02.15.20

Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • South Korea switching their 3.3 million PCs to Linux

        South Korean government has announced that it will switch the computers used in its central, local, and public institutions to Linux-based operating systems starting this year-end.

        The announcement comes just one month after the end of “free” support for Microsoft Windows 7, the most prevalent operating system used by the South Korean government.

        The reasoning behind the switch is two-fold. South Korea was looking to reduce its reliance on Microsoft and Windows and cut down on software licensing costs.

      • Windows 12 Lite ships as Linux in drag

        A version of Linux which rips off Windows has shipped and we really expect Vole to take notice – even if it is keen to say it is all open sauce friendly these days.

        Windows 12 Lite resembles Windows 10, but it is really just Ubuntu in drag. It is being touted by its developers as superior to Windows 10 “in every respect”. Someone is even selling physical install discs of the dodgy Linux distribution, too.

        The software is made by an UK outfit called Webhouses which says Windows 12 Lite is a Linux Lite 4.8 LTS Desktop with the Windows 10 desktop background applied.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Multiboot USB UEFI & Legacy All In One

        Multiboot USB UEFI & Legacy All In One This video shows how to create the ultimate multiboot drive for uefi and legacy in both Windows and Linux!

      • Review – Manjaro ARM (xfce edition) running on the Pinebook Pro!

        The more I use the Pinebook Pro, the more I love it. In this video, I check out Manjaro running on this awesome Linux laptop, and give you my overall thoughts. Is there anything else you’d like me to run on this laptop?

      • Brunch with Brent: Broadus Palmer | Jupiter Extras 55

        Brent sits down with Broadus Palmer, Google Cloud Training Architect at Linux Academy and Cloud Career Coach at Level Up with Broadus. We explore his history as a musician and banker, sneaker bots, the value of mentorship, what gets people hired in tech, leveling up as a lifestyle, and more.

      • Name Your Shoes | User Error 85

        Open source at work, learning languages, naming cars, and innovations that haven’t appropriately delivered.

        Plus permission vs apologies, who has the most shoes, and more.

      • 5 Things I Hate About Linux Gaming

        5 Things I Hate About Linux Gaming We did Linux and now it is time to go over the things I hate about Gaming on Linux.

      • 2020-02-14 | Linux Headlines

        OpenSSH plans for the future of cryptography, NetBSD launches its first fundraising drive in a decade, Blender releases version 2.82, and Corona Labs announces its shutdown.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5.4

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.5.4 kernel.

        All users of the 5.5 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.5.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.5.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.4.20
      • Linux 4.19.104
      • Linux 4.14.171
      • Linux 4.9.214
      • Linux 4.4.214
      • Linux 5.7 Getting A “Tiny Power Button” Driver

        A new driver already queued in the power management code for the Linux 5.7 cycle not opening up until April is a “tiny power button” driver.

        This ACPI tiny power button driver is not for a physically tiny power button, but rather a simple ACPI power button driver out of Intel intended for virtual machines and more basic than the generic ACPI button driver given the limited scope of VMs.

      • Google slams Samsung for making unnecessary changes to Linux kernel code

        We all know that Samsung makes an extra effort in strengthening the security of its smartphones with initiatives such as Knox. However, sometimes those extra efforts hurt more than they help. Now, Google has slammed the South Korean smartphone brand for making unnecessary changes to the Linux kernel code and exposing it to more security bugs.

        According to Google Project Zero researcher Jann Horn, Samsung is creating more vulnerabilities by adding downstream custom drivers for direct hardware access to Android’s Linux kernel. These changes are implemented without being reviewed by upstream kernel developers. Horn found a similar mistake in the Android kernel of the Galaxy A50, and the unreviewed custom driver added security bugs related to memory corruption.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Imagination Working On A New Open-Source Linux Graphics Driver Project

          While many in the Linux community still cringe when hearing Imagination Tech’s PowerVR given the troubling state of their graphics drivers over the years, in 2020 it looks like they are pursuing a new open-source graphics driver project.

          Imagination is now hiring for skilled driver developers to be “a founder of our new Linux open source graphics driver project.” Imagination is currently hiring for Linux open-source graphics drivers.

        • mesa 19.3.4
          Hi List,
          
          Mesa 19.3.4 is now available.
          
          There's lots of stuff here, but also a ton of release process data changes.
          We've got changes all over the tree, but aco and anv are leading the way in
          changes.
          
          
          Dylan
          
          
          Shortlog
          ========
          
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (1):
                radv: Do not set SX DISABLE bits for RB+ with unused surfaces.
          
          Boris Brezillon (1):
                panfrost: Fix the damage box clamping logic
          
          Brian Ho (2):
                anv: Properly fetch partial results in vkGetQueryPoolResults
                anv: Handle unavailable queries in vkCmdCopyQueryPoolResults
          
          Danylo Piliaiev (2):
                i965: Do not set front_buffer_dirty if there is no front buffer
                st/mesa: Handle the rest renderbuffer formats from OSMesa
          
          Drew Davenport (1):
                radeonsi: Clear uninitialized variable
          
          Dylan Baker (17):
                docs: Add SHA 256 sums for 19.3.3
                .pick_status.json: Mark 58c929be0ddbbd9291d0dadbf11538170178e791 as backported
                .pick_status.json: Mark df34fa14bb872447fed9076e06ffc504d85e2d1c as backported
                .pick_status.json: Update to 997040e4b8353fe9b71a5e9fde2f933eae09c7a3
                .pick_status.json: Update to ca6a22305b275b49fbc88b8f4cba2fefb24c2a5d
                .pick_status.json: Mark 552028c013cc1d49a2b61ebe0fc3a3781a9ba826 as denominated
                .pick_status.json: Update to f09c466732e4a5b648d7503787777c926dd93c29
                bin/pick-ui: Add a new maintainer script for picking patches
                .pick_status.json: Update to b550b7ef3b8d12f533b67b1a03159a127a3ff34a
                .pick_status.json: Update to 9afdcd64f2c96f3fcc1a28912987f2e8066aa995
                .pick_status.json: Update to 7eaf21cb6f67adbe0e79b80b4feb8c816a98a720
                .pick_status.json: Mark ca6a22305b275b49fbc88b8f4cba2fefb24c2a5d as backported
                .pick_status.json: Update to d8bae10bfe0f487dcaec721743cd51441bcc12f5
                .pick_status.json: Update to 689817c9dfde9a0852f2b2489cb0fa93ffbcb215
                .pick_status.json: Update to 23037627359e739c42b194dec54875aefbb9d00b
                docs: Add release notes for 19.3.4
                VERSION: bump version for 19.3.4
          
          Eric Anholt (1):
                Revert "gallium: Fix big-endian addressing of non-bitmask array formats."
          
          Florian Will (1):
                radv/winsys: set IB flags prior to submit in the sysmem path
          
          Georg Lehmann (3):
                Correctly wait in the fragment stage until all semaphores are signaled
                Vulkan Overlay: Don't try to change the image layout to present twice
                Vulkan overlay: use the corresponding image index for each swapchain
          
          Hyunjun Ko (1):
                freedreno/ir3: put the conversion back for half const to the right place.
          
          Ian Romanick (1):
                intel/fs: Don't count integer instructions as being possibly coissue
          
          Jan Vesely (1):
                clover: Use explicit conversion from llvm::StringRef to std::string
          
          Jason Ekstrand (6):
                anv: Insert holes for non-existant XFB varyings
                anv: Improve BTI change cache flushing
                anv,iris: Set 3DSTATE_SF::DerefBlockSize to per-poly on Gen12+
                genxml: Add a new 3DSTATE_SF field on gen12
                intel/fs: Write the address register with NoMask for MOV_INDIRECT
                anv/blorp: Use the correct size for vkCmdCopyBufferToImage
          
          Kenneth Graunke (1):
                i965: Use brw_batch_references in tex_busy check
          
          Lionel Landwerlin (1):
                isl: drop CCS row pitch requirement for linear surfaces
          
          Marek Olšák (1):
                radeonsi: fix the DCC MSAA bug workaround
          
          Marek Vasut (1):
                etnaviv: Destroy rsc->pending_ctx set in etna_resource_destroy()
          
          Michel Dänzer (6):
                winsys/amdgpu: Keep a list of amdgpu_screen_winsyses in amdgpu_winsys
                winsys/amdgpu: Keep track of retrieved KMS handles using hash tables
                winsys/amdgpu: Only re-export KMS handles for different DRM FDs
                util: Add os_same_file_description helper
                winsys/amdgpu: Re-use amdgpu_screen_winsys when possible
                winsys/amdgpu: Close KMS handles for other DRM file descriptions
          
          Neha Bhende (1):
                svga: fix size of format_conversion_table[]
          
          Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer (2):
                radeonsi: disable display DCC
                radeonsi: stop using the VM_ALWAYS_VALID flag
          
          Rafael Antognolli (1):
                intel: Load the driver even if I915_PARAM_REVISION is not found.
          
          Rhys Perry (6):
                aco: fix operand to scc when selecting SGPR ufind_msb/ifind_msb
                aco: ensure predecessors' p_logical_end is in WQM when a p_phi is in WQM
                aco: run p_wqm instructions in WQM
                aco: don't consider loop header blocks branch blocks in add_coupling_code
                aco: don't always add logical edges from continue_break blocks to headers
                aco: fix target calculation when vgpr spilling introduces sgpr spilling
          
          Samuel Pitoiset (2):
                radv: do not allow sparse resources with multi-planar formats
                nir: do not use De Morgan's Law rules for flt and fge
          
          Tapani Pälli (2):
                mapi: add GetInteger64vEXT with EXT_disjoint_timer_query
                mesa: allow bit queries for EXT_disjoint_timer_query
          
          Thomas Hellstrom (1):
                svga: Fix banded DMA upload
          
          Vasily Khoruzhick (1):
                lima: ppir: don't delete root ld_tex nodes without successors in current block
          
          Vinson Lee (1):
                swr: Fix GCC 4.9 checks.
          
          
          
          git tag: mesa-19.3.4
          
          
        • mesa 20.0.0-rc3
          Hi list,
          
          Mesa 20.0.0-rc3 is now available. This is a much smaller release than last time,
          things seem to be slowing down nicely, and the number of opened issues/MRs
          against the 20.0 release milestone is 2; I'm hopeful that means we can have the
          20.0 release next week, and begin the normal release process without a dozen
          RCs.
          
          There's a bit of everything in here, gallium, freedreno, vulkan overlays, anv,
          radeonsi, svga, intel common, aco, nir, swr, and panfrost, but no on thing
          dominates the changes, which I like a lot.
          
          Dylan
          
          
          Shortlog
          ========
          
          Dylan Baker (4):
                .pick_status.json: Update to d8bae10bfe0f487dcaec721743cd51441bcc12f5
                .pick_status.json: Update to 689817c9dfde9a0852f2b2489cb0fa93ffbcb215
                .pick_status.json: Update to 23037627359e739c42b194dec54875aefbb9d00b
                VERSION: bump for 20.0.0-rc3
          
          Eric Anholt (1):
                Revert "gallium: Fix big-endian addressing of non-bitmask array formats."
          
          Georg Lehmann (3):
                Correctly wait in the fragment stage until all semaphores are signaled
                Vulkan Overlay: Don't try to change the image layout to present twice
                Vulkan overlay: use the corresponding image index for each swapchain
          
          Hyunjun Ko (1):
                freedreno/ir3: put the conversion back for half const to the right place.
          
          James Xiong (1):
                gallium: let the pipe drivers decide the supported modifiers
          
          Lionel Landwerlin (1):
                anv: set MOCS on push constants
          
          Marek Olšák (2):
                radeonsi: don't report that multi-plane formats are supported
                radeonsi: fix the DCC MSAA bug workaround
          
          Neha Bhende (2):
                svga: fix size of format_conversion_table[]
                svga: Use pipe_shader_state_from_tgsi to set shader state
          
          Rafael Antognolli (1):
                intel: Load the driver even if I915_PARAM_REVISION is not found.
          
          Rhys Perry (1):
                aco: fix gfx10_wave64_bpermute
          
          Samuel Pitoiset (4):
                aco: do not use ds_{read,write}2 on GFX6
                aco: fix waiting for scalar stores before "writing back" data on GFX8-GFX9
                aco: fix creating v_madak if v_mad_f32 has two sgpr literals
                nir: do not use De Morgan's Law rules for flt and fge
          
          Tapani Pälli (1):
                intel/vec4: fix valgrind errors with vf_values array
          
          Thomas Hellstrom (1):
                svga: Fix banded DMA upload
          
          Timur Kristóf (1):
                aco/optimizer: Don't combine uniform bool s_and to s_andn2.
          
          Vinson Lee (2):
                swr: Fix GCC 4.9 checks.
                panfrost: Remove unused anonymous enum variables.
          
          
          git tag: mesa-20.0.0-rc3
          
          
        • Mesa 20.0-RC3 Released Along With Mesa 19.3.4 As The Latest Of The Stable Series

          On the stable front, Mesa 19.3.4 is out as the newest point release in this driver series from Q4’2019. Mesa 19.3.4 has various RADV and ANV Vulkan driver fixes, a few Vulkan overlay fixes even, several AMDGPU winsys fixes, RadeonSI is now disabling display DCC over issues, and there are also a number of Valve ACO back-end fixes too. Overall, Mesa 19.3.4 is a pretty hefty stable update particularly for Intel ANV and Radeon RADV Vulkan driver users.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows vs. Linux Scaling Performance From 16 To 128 Threads With AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

        As has been known for a while now, AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors really show their true potential on Linux with often significant increases to the performance thanks to the kernel’s better scalability compared to Microsoft Windows. While Microsoft has made some improvements in this area over the past year, with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core / 128-thread HEDT processor it really shines on Linux. In this article are benchmarks of Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Enterprise against Linux on the Threadripper 3990X when going from 16 cores to 128 threads for seeing how the three operating systems are scaling.

    • Applications

      • The Background Story of AppImage [Interview]

        As a Linux user, you might have come across AppImages. This is a portable packaging format that allows you to run an application on any Linux distribution.

        Using AppImage is really simple. You just need to give it execute permission and double click to run it, like the .exe files in Windows. This solves a major problem in Linux as different kind of distributions have different kind of packaging formats. You cannot install .deb files (of Debian/Ubuntu) on Fedora and vice versa.

        We talked to Simon, the developer of AppImage, about how and why he created this project. Read some of the interesting background story and insights Simon shares about AppImage.

      • Blender 2.80

        The second update of the Blender 2.80 milestone release is here!

        With again over a thousand fixes and several important updates that were planned for the 2.8 series. In this release you will find UDIM and USD support, MantaFlow fluids and smoke simulation, AI denoising, Grease Pencil improvements, and much more!

      • Blender 2.82 Released with AI Denoiser for Nvidia RTX GPUs, More
      • Blender 2.82 Released With Many Improvements, 1000+ Fixes
      • Blender 2.82 Released with UDIM, USD Support

        Blender 2.82 was released as the second update for the 2.80 series. The snap package has been updated for Ubuntu 18.04 and higher.

        Blender 2.82 comes with over a thousand fixes and several important updates. Changes in the new release include

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Tactical turn-based RPG ‘Urtuk: The Desolation’ now on Steam for Linux

        With a low-fantasy setting, Urtuk: The Desolation has now jumped from itch.io to Steam to give Early Access turn-based tactics to a wider audience.

        You take on the role of Urtuk, an escapee from a facility that conducts experiments on people and during your stay you suffered some kind of “severe” mutation from being exposed to Life Essence extracted from long extinct ancient Giants. Every day your health gets worse and you wander the world for a cure. Definitely a setting that grabs your attention.

      • Get ready to eat your enemies in Bite the Bullet – releasing on March 27

        We have it confirmed now that the crazy action-platformer RPG ‘Bite the Bullet’ where you quite literally eat your enemies is releasing in March.

        A mix of rogue-lite randomness with the action you would expect from a shooter, plus some RPG elements thrown in for good measure. Bite the Bullet is certainly attention grabbing, especially since the headline feature is gameplay driven by what your character eats. It’s weird I know—and Mega Cat Studios have now confirmed March 27 is the date and Linux support is online and ready.

      • Simple pleasures – bouncing and barking my way to victory in Barkour

        Sometimes it really is the simplest things that you need to make you laugh. Taking away from all the seriousness of the gaming industry we have Barkour.

        It’s a small 2D indie platformer where you play as some sort of robotic dog with a powered jump ability. You need to find your way across an obstacle course, one that’s designed to be difficult and it will take you some time to do. Get a gamepad ready for this one, you’re going to need it.

      • Free From Epic Games Exclusivity, ‘Metro Exodus’ Is Coming To Linux

        First the good news. As of Valentine’s Day 2020, Metro Exodus has been liberated from its Epic Games exclusivity agreement and is now available to purchase on Steam. And now the great news, especially for my regular readers: it looks like Deep Silver and developer 4A Games are working on bringing the post-apocalyptic shooter to Linux.

      • Metro Exodus is now live on Steam and Deep Silver say it’s coming to Linux

        We have of course reached out to Deep Silver ourselves to confirm this as well, however it would be weird for them to seek this topic out themselves to confirm it if this wasn’t true. So it looks like we’re getting Linux support for Metro Exodus!

        Since it was ported to Stadia, it’s not too much of a stretch to jump to desktop Linux on Steam. A few different libraries here and there but it’s still Linux. The developer, 4A Games, did also bring the previous two Metro titles to Linux so it certainly would be nice to see them all available.

        For now, you can check out Metro Exodus on Steam. However, as usual it’s worth holding onto your monies until it’s actually out. Once we have more information, we will share it.

      • Stuck in this weekend? Here’s a little round-up of some Linux game sales

        It’s apparently something called Valentines Day today. Here, it’s just another wonderful wet and stormy Friday so let’s cheer ourselves up with a new game or two.

        First up on GOG they’re doing a ‘We Love Games’ (who doesn’t?!) sale with some really good stuff going discounted like 40% off Stardew Valley and 30% off Streets of Rogue.

        GOG also recently gained the Linux version of We Happy Few, even though it’s a Beta and a little rough since Compulsion Games decided not to continue it. Still, nice to see GOG get it for those who prefer their fully DRM-free builds. I did speak to a GOG rep who confirmed it’s all up and correct. It’s not a sale but just a little tip.

      • Crowbar Collective want you to break Black Mesa and test the 1.0 build

        The final release of Black Mesa, the re-imagining of Half-Life is coming close and Crowbar Collective want as many people as possible to test out the latest Beta build.

        Most important for them are game breaking bugs as they want it to be “as smooth and enjoyable as possible”. However, they said it’s been “very stable” in their own testing but we all know how this type of thing goes when more people get access. They also want to know about spikes in the difficulty with the upgraded AI, if any part of the game is unclear and to make sure the achievements works as there’s now 50 of them.

      • Space Impossible has a huge new release out for you to get building a starship

        Explore space in a fully customizable and destructible spaceship in Space Impossible, which just had a massive update as they bring it into Beta.

        [...]

        Coming in hot with a brand new tutorial too, well sort-of anyway. The first star system you get is now a bit more hand-crafted and get a brief walk-through to get you going. It’s simple and effective, giving you a short intro to at least tell you the basics. Masses of other changes including a new ore system. You now mine specific ores to then refine them into other materials for building and trading.

      • Vulkan overlay layer ‘MangoHud’ continues advancing quickly with a big new release

        MangoHud enables you to quickly and easily monitor FPS, temperatures, RAM, VRAM and do a little benchmarking too with Vulkan games (native and Wine/Proton). A fresh release was just today put up.

        This big new release brings in some exciting features to make it a true all-in-one tool. You can now limit the FPS, force VSync, display RAM & VRAM, show the current time, add a crosshair and it adds support for Zorin OS and Pop!_OS with the build script.

      • 8-player mayhem is coming with ‘Aeolis Tournament’ successfully funded and on the way to Linux

        Chaotic 8-player action is coming to Linux later this year, as Beyond Fun Studio have managed to get successfully funded on Kickstarter for their amusing looking game Aeolis Tournament.

        With physics-based gameplay, a tournament mode and local and online cross-platform multiplayer play it sure does look like it’s going to be a huge amount of fun.

      • Relow is a ridiculously fast FPS with procedurally generated arenas coming soon

        I absolutely love first-person shooters, it’s often a sort-of safety net comfort zone when I just want to jump into something quick for a while and it looks like Relow might be a good choice for that.

        Arriving in Early Access on February 26, the developer has announced it will fully support Linux and there’s a number of reasons why I think Relow could be interesting. For starters, maps are generated so you’ve always got something a little fresh. I’ve played numerous smaller shooters before that end up too stale with too few maps so my curiosity has been piqued here. Not just that it will also have crazy dual-wielding weapons, character customization and a promise of no micro transactions.

      • Urban turn-based tactics arrives on Linux with Black Powder Red Earth

        Black Powder Red Earth, a new minute-to-minute turn-based tactics game set in a proxy war between the dictatorship of a failing petrostate and a brutal jihadist insurgency from Echelon Software has released for Linux with the latest update.

        Currently in Early Access, it’s only been available since December last year and they plan to remain in Early Access for at least 12-16 months yet to finish it.

      • BATTLETECH considered complete with one last patch coming, Harebrained moving on

        That’s it, it’s done, finished. Harebrained Schemes have announced that their turn-based mech strategy game BATTLETECH is done, with a last patch coming this month.

        After many patches and three big expansions across, the BATTLETECH saga is coming to a close nearly two years after the full release. Speaking in a fresh update on their Kickstarter, they said “Now, with our season pass at an end, HBS is going to focus on two brand new non-BattleTech projects. Our last free update, BATTLETECH Update 1.9, will release in late February. After that, BATTLETECH will continue to maintain customer support.”.

      • BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION looks incredible and planned for Linux once they ensure it’s solid

        2D isometric adventure, BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION, has been announced for release this month and the good news is THE BROTHERHOOD will be bringing it to Linux.

        They previously made the point-and-click sci-fi horror adventure ‘STASIS’ and another isometric horror game with ‘CAYNE’, both games have Linux builds too (although STASIS is classed as a Beta). As for BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION, it’s releasing for Windows on February 26 and they confirmed to us on Twitter that they “will be supporting other platforms with a solid and stable build” and although there’s no set date to “rest assured – it’s on our roadmap”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • NEXTSPACE: a NeXTSTEP-like desktop environment for Linux

        KDE, GNOME, Xfce, and later MATE and Cinnamon have sucked up so much of the Linux desktop space that there’s very little room left for anything else. You’re either mainly a Qt desktop, or mainly a GTK+ desktop, and anything that isn’t based on either of those toolkits will either waste time recreating lots of wheels, or accept that half – or more – of your applications are Qt or GTK+-based, at which point the temptation to run one of the aforementioned desktop environments becomes quite strong.

        This project, while very welcome and having my full support and attention, will have a very hard time, but that’s not going to deter me from being hopeful against all odds. Reading through the documentation and descriptions, it does seem the developers have the right attitude. They’re not claiming to take on the other players – they just want to make something that appeals to and works for them.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt 5.15 Alpha Released

          I am happy to inform you we have released Qt 5.15 Alpha today.

          Qt 5.15 new features page is listing new features etc coming with Qt 5.15 release. But please remember it is still under construction and some items are still missing. The Feature list should be complete by beta release coming within a few weeks.

          Please start testing Qt 5.15 Alpha immediately & report your findings to jira. Your feedback is essential in our journey towards Qt 5.15.0 release.

        • Qt 5.15 Alpha Released With Various Improvements To Qt 3D, QML, Core, New Qt PDF Module
        • Akademy 2019 – Late Report

          There has been some time since my last blog post. It has happened because of a good cause, since I was focusing on my undergraduate thesis. Now I have finished it and finally have completed my graduation, yay! Soon I will include my thesis on my blog and share it with the world… I have just decided to fix some details in the project before that. Anyway, this post is to comment about my participation in Akademy 2019. I will give a brief report, share my experiences and tell you about how this experience was for me.

        • Last week of SoK 2020

          To this one I have made an checkable action in the menu “edit”, you can select it if you want to auto save a json or xml file automatically in the current working directory. This functionality can be pretty handy when annotating a big amount of items.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shares Designs for a Native Camera App

          The GNOME connection is even evident on the desktop thanks to the increased use of libhandy, an open source library that helps developers craft responsive GTK apps e.g., Lollypop,). These look like proper desktop apps on a regular screen but squish down nicely when used on a mobile one.

          What do both a phone and desktop have in common? A camera!

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Simplicity Does More Than Simplify Linux

          Simplicity Linux, even with its more modern retooling, maintains the distro’s earlier goals of providing a simpler way to run a fully powered Linux desktop. The addition of the Gaming Edition makes it easy to get started with computer gaming.

          This new offering no doubt could be merged with the Desktop Edition for a more compact selection. That might allow the developer to release a new X Edition offering in the next release cycle.

          I am not sure if the Mini Edition needs a full-function heavyweight desktop the likes of Cinnamon. I would like to see a return to the Xfce desktop there.

          Either way, I look forward to the next release of Simplicity Linux. This distro holds considerable promise.

      • New Releases

        • Void Linux 20.02 Image Available

          Project Trident is pleased to announce the first official release image based on Void Linux, available on the Project Trident download page.

          Please note the Project Trident installer supports four different installation “levels”…

          [...]

          Note: These installation levels provide pre-defined lists of packages to install for user convenience. The installed system can be easily be changed afterwards using the built-in package system.

      • BSD

        • OpenSSH 8.2 Released With FIDO/U2F Support

          OpenSSH 8.2 is out this Valentine’s Day as the leading SSH suite. Besides working to disable the SSH-RSA public key signature algorithm due to SHA1 collision attacks, OpenSSH 8.2 also comes with new features.

          The shiny new feature of OpenSSH 8.2 is support for FIDO/U2F hardware authenticators. FIDO/U2F two-factor authentication hardware can now work with OpenSSH 8.2+, including ssh-keygen can be used to generate a FIDO token backed key. Communication to the hardware token with OpenSSH is managed by a middleware library specified via the SSH/SSHD configuration, including the option for its own built-in middleware for supporting USB tokens.

        • OpenSSH adds support for FIDO/U2F security keys

          OpenSSH 8.2 adds support for authentication via FIDO/U2F protocols, most commonly used with hardware security keys.

        • New Qt5 and OpenSSH in [Slackware] Current

          Another big thing happening in -current is the new OpenSSH 8.2 release which will bring some incompatible changes, especially if you are still using ssh-rsa as the algorithm. To test whether your machine is affected, try to run this command in your shell

          ssh -oHostKeyAlgorithms=-ssh-rsa user@host

          If you managed to connect using the above command, it means that your OpenSSH software is fine, but if you don’t, then it needs to be upgraded.

        • OpenSSH 8.2 released

          OpenSSH 8.2 is out. This release removes support for the ssh-rsa key algorithm, which may disrupt connectivity to older servers; see the announcement for a way to check whether a given server can handle newer, more secure algorithms. Also new in this release is support for FIDO/U2F hardware tokens.

        • NetBSD 9.0 available!

          Sixth months after the start of the release engineering process, NetBSD 9.0 is now available.

          Since the start of the release process a lot of improvements went into the branch – over 700 pullups were processed!

          This includes usbnet (a common framework for usb ethernet drivers), aarch64 stability enhancements and lots of new hardware support, installer/sysinst fixes and changes to the NVMM (hardware virtualization) interface.

          We hope this will lead to the best NetBSD release ever (only to be topped by NetBSD 10 – hopefully later this year).

        • NetBSD 9.0 Debuts As The “Best NetBSD Release Ever”

          The NetBSD 9.0 release is a big one with finally supporting Arm AArch64 (64-bit ARMv8) and as part of that Arm ServerReady SBBR+SBSA system support. NetBSD 9.0 also improves its existing ARMv7 32-bit support, ships with updated Intel DRM GPU drivers, improves its virtualization support and introduces NVMM virtualization, adds Kernel ASLR support, supports various compiler sanitizers, updates the ZFS file-system support, finally supports NCQ with SATA, and various other hardware improvements along with performance and security benefits.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/07

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          At SUSE we had so-called hackweek. Meaning everybody could do something out of their regular tasks and work for a week on something else they wish to invest time on. I used the time to finally get the ‘osc collab’ server back in shape (Migrated from SLE11SP4 to Leap 15.1) – And in turn handed ‘The Tumbleweed Release Manager hat’ over to Oliver Kurz, who expressed an interest in learning about the release Process for Tumbleweed. I think it was an interesting experiment for both of us: for him, to get something different done and for me to get some interesting questions as to why things are the way they are. Obviously, a fresh look from the outside gives some interesting questions and a few things translated in code changes on the tools in use (nothing major, but I’m sure discussions will go on)

          As I stepped mostly back this week and handed RM tasks over to Oliver, that also means he will be posting the ‘Review of the week’ to the opensuse­factory mailing list. For my fellow blog users, I will include it here directly for your reference.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CoreOS Container Linux Will No Longer Be Supported After May 26, 2020

          Based on Gentoo Linux, CoreOS Linux saw the light of day more than six years ago, on October 3rd, 2013. It was well received by the community for being a lightweight operating system designed for distributing payload applications inside software containers and it gained a lot of popularity in a short time span.

          Three years later, in late 2016, CoreOS Linux changed its name to Container Linux by CoreOS or CoreOS Container Linux, in an attempt to distinguish the company’s name, CoreOS, from the container-focused Linux distribution, Container Linux, making things more clear to newcomers.

        • The OpenPOWER ISA EULA Draft Published – Generous For Libre Hardware

          Last summer it was announced that IBM’s POWER ISA would be open-source and the OpenPOWER Foundation joining the Linux Foundation. Finally we’re getting a look at how the end-user license agreement (EULA) is looking for those wishing to make use of the POWER CPU instruction set architecture.

          The final draft of the Power ISA EULA was published this week that allows anyone to build their own POWER ISA compliant hardware royalty-free and with a pass-through patent license from IBM regarding the ISA.

          The EULA is quite generous and should allow anyone (well, anyone capable of spinning their own SoCs / FPGAs) to create a POWER ISA compliant chip and quite accommodating for “libre” hardware projects. The final draft of this EULA can be found at OpenPOWERFoundation.org.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-07

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • AAA: FAS replacement project update

          The Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team and community contributors began building our new Fedora Account System (FAS) application system on the 8th of January 2020 and completed the first two-week sprint on the 21st of January 2020.

        • rpminspect-0.11 released

          The first release of rpminspect in 2020! I release rpminspect-0.11 today. Aside from the usual load of bug fixes and performance improvements, this release comes with a range of new features. New inspections, expanded configuration file options, and runtime profiles.

        • Do not upgrade to Fedora 32, and do not adjust your sets

          If you were unlucky today, you might have received a notification from GNOME in Fedora 30 or 31 that Fedora 32 is now available for upgrade.

          This might have struck you as a bit odd, it being rather early for Fedora 32 to be out and there not being any news about it or anything. And if so, you’d be right! This was an error, and we’re very sorry for it.

          What happened is that a particular bit of data which GNOME Software (among other things) uses as its source of truth about Fedora releases was updated for the branching of Fedora 32…but by mistake, 32 was added with status ‘Active’ (meaning ‘stable release’) rather than ‘Under Development’. This fooled poor GNOME Software into thinking a new stable release was available, and telling you about it.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2020.02.1

          Sparky 2020.02.1 “Po Tolo” of the (semi-)rolling line is out. It is based on the testing branch of Debian “Bullseye”.

          This is a minor update, which temporary fixes a problem of installing Sparky via Calamares with kpmcore 4.

          Changes between Sparky 2020.02 and 2020.02.1:
          • system upgraded from Debian testing repos as of February 13, 2020
          • kpmcore downgraded to version 3.3.0
          • Calamares installer rebuild using libkpmcore7 3.3.0

          No system reinstallation is required, simply keep Sparky up to date.

        • MystiQ

          There is a new tool available for Sparkers: MystiQ

          What is MystiQ?

          MystiQ is a GUI for FFmpeg, a powerful media converter. FFmpeg can read audio and video files in various formats and convert them into other formats. MystiQ features an intuitive graphical interface and a rich set of presets to help you convert media files within a few clicks. Advanced users can also adjust conversion parameters in detail.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The elementary OS team takes the first steps for AppCenter for Everyone

          The Linux distribution elementary OS, which is based on Ubuntu, always keeps the minds busy. There are very strong opinions about this somewhat different Linux distribution, but it is undeniable that it is very popular among Linux beginners, switchers who come from the macOS platform, style and design enthusiasts, and minimalist-minded computer users who are more focused on productivity than on the underlying technology. This openness of most other Linux distros is a bit in contrast to elementary OS, as the team behind this OS kind of positively dictates strong but strict human interaction style guides, deep integration, thoughtful uniformity, deliberate simplicity, minimalism and also strong believes in the underlying pay what you like model with a platform for curated applications. You can find myself in the group of elementary OS enthusiasts, since at the end, an operating system is just a tool for me and being able to use applications in a productive and distraction free manner is more important. I care less about total freedom to be able to control and change everything in an operating system, and instead appreciate the effort of the elementary OS team to offer a very refined and distraction free operating system that ensures that you focus primarily on productive tasks.

        • Canonical pushes fourth point release for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

          Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS. The new update is a point release which rolls all of the latest updates into a single disc image saving you time when you do a clean install as you have fewer updates to install. Also, this update includes hardware enablement stacks which adds support for newer hardware.

          The new point release is available for Ubuntu on Desktop, Server, and the Cloud as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support including Kubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, and Xubuntu. Detailed release notes for each of these flavours can be found on the Ubuntu Wiki.

          Each Ubuntu LTS release ships with five years of maintenance updates, this means that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will reach end-of-life around April or May 2021. If you’re still using this older release, Canonical will offer you an automatic upgrade to 18.04.4 via the Update Manager, you can find detailed instructions for upgrading here.

        • Accelerating IoT device time to market

          Launching IoT devices and managing them at scale can be a time intensive and complex process. With 85% of IoT initiatives not launched after a year of development, it is inevitable that change is needed.

          To overcome these challenges, Canonical has introduced Smart Start, a package that reduces business and technical decision making into a 2-week, fixed-cost decision. Smart Start provides a guided journey through the infrastructure needed to develop, customise, and distribute software to fleets of devices. With consulting services to de-risk the journey at critical points, an enterprise’s IoT strategy is fast tracked to market.

          This webinar details the learnings from over 30 project summaries and case studies of Canonical customers. Nilay Patel, Product Manager for IoT and Devices, will speak about the lessons to take away, and why businesses such as Rigado, Cyberdyne and Fingbox chose Canonical to launch their IoT devices.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How to set up your own fast, private open source mesh network

        The reason to use open source is simple: privacy. With FreeMesh, your data is your own. It doesn’t track or collect data. Don’t trust it? You can easily check—it’s open source, after all! With some other popular mesh solutions, say those provided by very large tech conglomerates, would you trust them with your data?

        Another important factor: updates. FreeMesh says it is committed to pushing out security and performance updates regularly. What about 10 years from now? With an open source solution, you are free to update the product for as long as you want.

        So why mesh? In a mesh network, multiple wireless routers work together to broadcast a single, very large wireless network. Each router in a mesh network intelligently communicates with the other(s) to provide the best “path” for your data. The following images from FreeMesh’s website highlight the difference between using a single wireless router and a mesh network. The red network represents a single wireless router, and the green is a mesh network.

      • 3 steps for product marketing your open source project

        I frequently get questions from open source project creators or new founders of commercial open source software (COSS) companies about the best way to market their product. Implicit in that inquiry lies more foundational questions: “What the hell is product marketing? How much time should I spend on it?”

        This article aims to share some knowledge and specific action items to help open source creators understand product marketing as a concept and how to bootstrap it on their own until a project reaches the next level of traction.

      • Looking for an open-source VPN? We’ve got the answer

        After undergoing a successful independent security audit earlier this year, IVPN has announced that it will open source all of its VPN clients.

        The VPN provider’s Android, macOS, iOS and Windows apps are now open source under the GPLv3 license.

        However, this is just the first step in IVPN’s multi-year plan to open source many other parts of its service. The company’s next step is to release key parts of its infrastructure to the public with end goal of enabling anyone to set up and verify its VPN server configuration.

      • Is Google cooling on open-source foundations?

        Google has been one of big tech’s biggest supporters of open-source software. But customers, partners and members of the open-source community say the company is shifting its priorities.

        Consider the case of the open-source project Istio, whose future was thrown into question late last year.

        Istio is a “service mesh,” a tool that helps technology organizations manage application strategies built around microservices. Microservices allow developers to work on various parts of an application without having to worry about screwing up the whole thing — and help ensure that if one service goes down, the impact is relatively minor. For example, adopting microservices helped Twitter end the days of the fail whale.

        Google, IBM and Lyft introduced Istio in May 2017, and discussion about donating the project to a nonprofit foundation — which is common practice for open-source projects — took place almost immediately, according to several people familiar with the talks. Google controls six seats on the 10-seat steering committee that governs Istio, and the parties agreed to table further decision-making until the project found its footing, with consensus that Istio would eventually wind up in a foundation when the timing was right.

        By 2019, that momentum had arrived, as usage of Istio grew inside big companies and major organizations, like the U.S. Air Force. Throughout the year, Google continued to make vague promises to its partners about donating Istio to a foundation, which would mean ceding control of the project’s trademarks and overall direction. The most natural time to make that announcement seemed to be November’s Kubecon, a software convention dedicated to Kubernetes, the open-source project Google gave to a foundation in 2015.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • I’m a (senior) staff engineer panel

            Last week, my colleague Chenxia Liu and I arranged a panel at our Berlin all-hands meeting called AMA: I’m a (senior) staff engineer. Our goal for this panel was to provide a Q&A session where staff and senior staff engineers could share their stories what that a typical day in that role looks like, how their career progressed to that level and their advice for others interested in the role.

            [...]

            Everyone company’s career ladder for individual contributors is different. At Mozilla, the change for senior engineer to staff engineer is the progression where the role changes to be substantially more self-directed. You aren’t just landing code to address issues identified by your manager or peers. Your role is to determine what problems the team should focus on. What value will solving these problems bring to the business? How can you elevate the work of your team from a technical perspective? How can you level the skills of early career engineers on your team? As a result, the promotion to staff engineer requires promotion paperwork to be approved by higher level of management than the individual’s direct manager.

            Ahead of the panel, we reached out to five staff or senior staff engineers and asked them to participate. We reached out to people from several geographies and domains of expertise within the company and also different demographics. The day before panel, Chenxia arranged a lunch with the panellists so we could share the logistics of the panel, proposed initial questions and allow the panellists to get to know each other a bit before the session. We also shared a doc in a company wide channel where attendees could add questions before the session.

          • ESLint now turned on for all of the Firefox/Gecko codebase

            About 4 years and 2 months ago, Dave Townsend and I landed a couple of patches on the Mozilla codebase that kick-started rolling out ESLint across our source code. Today, I’ve just landed the last bug in making it so that ESLint runs across our whole tree (where possible).

            ESLint is a static analyser for JavaScript that helps find issues before you even run the code. It also helps to promote best practices and styling, reducing the need for comments in reviews.

            Several Mozilla projects had started using ESLint in early 2015 – Firefox’s Developer Tools, Firefox for Android and Firefox Hello. It was clear to the Firefox desktop team that ESLint was useful and so we put together an initial set of rules covering the main desktop files.

            Soon after, we were enabling ESLint over more of desktop’s files, and adding to the rules that we had enabled. Once we had the main directories covered, we slowly started enabling more directories and started running ESLint checks in CI allowing us to detect and back out any failures that were introduced. Finally, we made it to where we are today – covering the whole of the Firefox source tree, mozilla-central.

            Along the way we’ve filed over 600 bugs for handling ESLint roll-out and related issues, many of these were promoted as mentored bugs and fixed by new and existing contributors – a big thank you to you all for your help.

          • Extending Glean: build re-usable types for new use-cases

            The philosophy of Glean has always been to offer higher-level metric types that map semantically to what developers want to measure: a Timespan metric type, for instance, will require developers to declare the resolution they want the time measured in. It is more than just a number. The build-time generated APIs will then offer a set of operations, start() and stop(), to allow developers to take the measurements without caring about the implementation details or about the consistency of times across platforms. By design, a Timespan will record time consistently and predictably on iOS, Android and even desktop. This also empowers the rest of the Glean ecosystem, especially pipeline and tooling, to know about the quality guarantees of the types, their format and, potentially, ways to aggregate and visualize them.

          • Resolve data breaches with Firefox Monitor

            Corporate data breaches are an all too common reality of modern life. At best, you get an email from a company alerting you that they have been hacked, and then you’re left to figure out how to protect yourself from there. It’s lonely, daunting and leaves you seeking closure.

            With Firefox’s newest update to Monitor, you can track the breaches you’ve been involved in, follow steps to protect yourself, and mark a breach as “resolved” when you’re ready for some satisfying closure.

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 69
      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MariaDB 10.5.1 Release Notes

          MariaDB 10.5 is the current development series of MariaDB. It is an evolution of MariaDB 10.4 with several entirely new features not found anywhere else and with backported and reimplemented features from MySQL.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Call for Papers, Registration Opens for openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference

          Both openSUSE and LibreOffice are combining their conferences (openSUSE Conference and LibOcon) in 2020 to celebrate LibreOffice’s 10-year anniversary and openSUSE’s 15-year anniversary. The conference will take place in Nuremberg, Germany, at the Z-Bau from Oct. 13 to 16.

        • Call for Paper for LibOCon 2020 is now open

          The openSUSE and LibreOffice Projects are combining their annual conferences together for one year in 2020 to have a joint openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference. This joint conference, which is combined this one year to celebrate 10 years of the LibreOffice Project and 15 years of the openSUSE Project, will take place at the Z-bau in Nuremberg, Germany, from October 13 to 16, 2020. The goal of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference, brings together fun, smart and open-source minded community members to discuss and present topics relative to the two projects as well as open-source software development topics.

          The Document Foundation invites all members and contributors to submit talks, lectures and workshops for this year’s event. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or have never spoken in public before, if you have something interesting to share about LibreOffice, the Document Liberation Project or the Open Document Format, we want to hear from you!

      • CMS

        • Kiwi TCMS: We’re not participating in ‘QA of the year’ award

          Hello testers, this is the story of how our team is not taking part of the “QA of the year” contest organized by the QA: Challenge Accepted conference despite being nominated by Alex.

        • People of WordPress: Kori Ashton

          You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

          [...]

          Like many other web development agencies, WebTegrity started out with the “one-time fee and you’re done” business model. This business model is known for unpredictable revenue streams. Hearing about recurring revenue business models at WordCamp Austin was a lightbulb moment for Kori. She started drafting a more sustainable business model on the way back home.

          Support packages were key to their new business plan. Clients needed ongoing support. They decided to include at least 12 months of post-launch support into their web development projects. This doubled their revenue in one year and allowed them to even out their revenue streams.

      • FSF

        • Register today for LibrePlanet — or organize your own satellite instance

          LibrePlanet started out as a gathering of Free Software Foundation (FSF) associate members, and has remained a community event ever since. We are proud to bring so many different people together to discuss the latest developments and the future of free software. We envision that some day there will be satellite instances all over the globe livestreaming our annual conference on technology and social justice — and you can create your own today! All you need is a venue, a screen, and a schedule of LibrePlanet events, which we’ll be releasing soon. This year, a free software supporter in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed an event, and we encourage you to host one, too.

          Of course, ideally you’ll be able to join us in person for LibrePlanet 2020: “Free the Future.” If you can come, please register now to let us know — FSF associate members attend gratis. We are looking forward to receiving the community at the newly confirmed Back Bay Events Center this year. We’ve put together some information on where to eat, sleep, and park in the vicinity of the new venue.

          However, we know that not every free software enthusiast can make it to Boston, which is why we livestream the entire event. You can view it solo, with friends, or even with a large group of like-minded free software enthusiasts! It is a great opportunity to bring other people in your community together to view some of the foremost speakers in free software, including Internet Archive founder and Internet Hall of Famer Brewster Kahle.

        • FSFE

          • Max Mehl (English): I love the hidden champions

            A few days ago I’ve sent an announcement email for today’s I Love Free Software Day to a large bunch of people. Most of the remarkably many replies have been positive and a pure joy to read, but some were a bit sceptical and critical. These came from Free Software contributors who are maintaining and helping projects that they think nobody knows and sees – not because these software pojects are unused, but because they are small, a building block for other, more popular applications.

            When we ask people to participate in #ilovefs (this year for the 10th time in a row!) by expressing their gratitude to contributors of their favourite Free Software projects, many think about the applications they often use and come up with obvious ones like Mozilla’s Firefox and Thunderbird, LibreOffice, their Linux-based distribution, or CMSs like WordPress and Drupal. Not that I think this is not deserved, but what about the projects that actually form the foundations for these popular suites?

            I researched a bit on my own system (based on Arch Linux) and checked on how many packages some of the aforementioned applications depend (including dependencies of their dependencies)1:

            Firefox: 221
            Thunderbird: 179
            LibreOffice: 185
            GIMP: 166
            Inkscape: 164

          • I Love Free Software on the go: the Replicant operating system in practice

            On I Love Free Software Day 2020 I’d like to pay attention to and thank the Replicant operating system, which is in active development and empowers users to use Free Software on the go.

            As a user with a non-technical background it was an honor and a privilege to attend the Replicant Birds of a Feather (BoF) meeting at FOSDEM 2020. There I concluded that my choice for Replicant not only helps the environment and strengthens the sustainability of my hardware, but also that the project is in active development and will support more contemporary hardware. At the end of the meeting the team handed out Replicant stickers on behalf of the Free Software Foundation, which you can join.

      • Programming/Development

        • Anisa Kuci: Outreachy post 4 – Career opportunities

          As mentioned in my last blog posts, Outreachy is very interesting and I got to learn a lot already. Two months have already passed by quickly and there is still one month left for me to continue working and learning.

          As I imagine all the other interns are thinking now, I am also thinking about what is going to be the next step for me. After such an interesting experience as this internship, thinking about the next steps is not that simple.

          I have been contributing to Free Software projects for quite some years now. I have been part of the only FLOSS community in my country for many years and I grew up together with the community, advocating free software in and around Albania.

          I have contributed to many projects, including Mozilla, OpenStreetMap, Debian, GNOME, Wikimedia projects etc. So, I am sure, the FLOSS world is definitely the right place for me to be. I have helped communities grow and I am very enthusiastic about it.

        • PHP 7.4 Slated To Land In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          PHP 7.4 should be landing in the Ubuntu 20.04 archive in the next week or so.

          PHP 7.4 was released at the end of November with some really great features. Ubuntu developers now feel comfortable enough with PHP 7.4 that they intend to land it for the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release, which also pans out well since that provides them with an extra year of upstream support compared to shipping PHP 7.3.

          PHP 7.4 brings the interesting FFI for accessing C structures / functions / variables from native PHP code, Opcache preload, more performance improvements, support for typed properties, and much more… It’s quite a hefty annual update to PHP7 and I’m quite glad that it is indeed set to be bundled for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        • PHP Development on Fedora with Eclipse
        • The Horrifically Dystopian World of Software Engineering Interviews

          I am rather confused with the advertised rankings of a software engineer. There seem to be only two rankings: non-senior and senior. In general job ads ask for 5 years of experience in order to be considered a senior. There seem to be some missing rankings. What do we call someone with 20 years of experience? Are they really the same thing as someone with 5? In my case, what do we call someone with 4 years of experience? I am not a new grad. I know how to write software on my own. I know how version control works and how to exist in an Agile environment. Depending on the situation I need people to set the direction for my work. To add further complexity to the issue, there is the the issue of years of experience in a technology. If a person has 5 years of experience writing Java and moves to a team that uses Python and is made up of only people who have less than two years of experience in Python should this person be considered a junior? This is such a confusing topic that it warrants an entire article of its own and even then I am not sure I can make any sense of it. My point is that I lie somewhere between junior and senior and it seems to be slim pickings for my experience level.

        • Decomposing Splines Without Recursion

          To make graphics usable in Snek, I need to avoid using a lot of memory, especially on the stack as there’s no stack overflow checking on most embedded systems. Today, I worked on how to draw splines with a reasonable number of line segments without requiring any intermediate storage. Here’s the results from this work:

        • Perl / Raku

          • av_fetch can return NULL

            If you create an array by inserting values, in the following way,

            $thing{key}[10] = 1;
            and then don’t populate the rest of the array, a call to av_fetch in the array to retrieve values lower than the tenth one may return a NULL value.

          • Struggle getting PDL book example to work on Windows 10

            As a workaround I was able to run an example on dual booted Linux and did not delve more deeply what was wrong on Windows as I wanted to learn more of Perl basics first and started reading Llama book.

        • Python

          • How to Get the Column Names from a Pandas Dataframe – Print and List

            The post How to Get the Column Names from a Pandas Dataframe – Print and List appeared first on Erik Marsja.

            In this short post, we will learn 6 methods to get the column names from Pandas dataframe. One of the nice things about Pandas dataframes is that each column will have a name (i.e., the variables in the dataset). Now, we can use these names to access specific columns by name without having to know which column number it is.

            To access the names of a Pandas dataframe, we can the method columns(). For example, if our dataframe is called df we just type print(df.columns) to get all the columns of the pandas dataframe.

          • PyCharm 2020.1 EAP 3

            We have a new Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm that can be now downloaded from our website.

            We have concentrated on fixing the issues that needed to be fixed and making lots of improvements so the final PyCharm 2020.1 will be everything you hoped for. Here is a rundown of some of the things you can expect from this build.

          • Python Basics: How To Print in Python?

            It’s quite common to make mistakes when you try to print something using Python considering you’re new to Python scripting.

            No matter what program you write, you will always be needing to print something or the other (most of the time).

            So, in this article, I’ll be explaining how to print something in Python and list out some common mistakes that you can avoid.

          • Selection Sort in Python

            Sorting, although a basic operation, is one of the most important operations a computer should perform. It is a building block in many other algorithms and procedures, such as searching and merging. Knowing different sorting algorithms could help you better understand the ideas behind the different algorithms, as well as help you come up with better algorithms.

            The Selection Sort algorithm sorts an array by finding the minimum value of the unsorted part and then swapping it with the first unsorted element. It is an in-place algorithm, meaning you won’t need to allocate additional lists. While slow, it is still used as the main sorting algorithm in systems where memory is limited.

            In this article, we will explain how the Selection Sort works and implement it in Python. We will then break down the actions of the algorithm to learn its time complexity.

          • Multiple File/Image Upload with Django 3, Angular 9 and FormData

            In the previous tutorial we have seen how to implement file uploading in Django and Angular 9. In this tutorial, we’ll see how to implement multiple file uploading.

            It’s recommended that you start from the previous tutorial to see detailed steps of how to create a django project, how to install Angular CLI and generate a new Angular 9 project along with services and components as we won’t cover those basics in this part.

          • Solving python error – ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10

            We can get this error when trying to convert a variable to an integer.

          • New features for Raspberry Pi, Wireguard in the Linux kernel, NSA Python course and more open source news

            The National Security Agency has released its own Python tutorial for beginners. It is a 118-megabyte PDF download that provides a complete course of study from a first Python project to advanced programming examples. While it’s not clearly licensed, it is declassified and available as a great resource to learn the language. Many thanks to Chris Swenson who submitted the FOIA request to the NSA for their Python training materials, which resulted in this treasure trove of Pythonics.

          • redirect-chain – Getting a comfortable insight input URL redirects history

            You can accomplish the same with curl -L but I’ve had this as a little personal hack script in my ~/bin folder on my computer. Thought I’d make it a public tool. Also, from here, a lot more can be done to this script if you wanna help out with ideas.

          • Solving python error – TypeError: ‘NoneType’ object is not iterable

            This is one of the most common errors we all faced at least once while working on a Python code. If you are facing a similar error then it is probably due to a for or while loop on an object.

          • Creating the ultimate terminal experience in Spyder 4 with Spyder-Terminal

            The Spyder-Terminal project is revitalized! The new 0.3.0 version adds numerous features that improves the user experience, and enhances compatibility with the latest Spyder 4 release, in part thanks to the improvements made in the xterm.js project.

          • How I learned Python

            I am a Software Engineer at Robert Bosch Engineering and Private Solution with 1 Year of Experience.

          • Python 3.7.5 : Use Brython in web development to avoid javascript.

            The tutorial for today is about how can avoid the javascript and use python script in webdevelopment using the Brython.
            Brython’s goal is to replace Javascript with Python, as the scripting language for web browsers. see the official webpage.
            It is necessary to include brython.js and to run the brython() function upon page load using the onload attribute of the BODY tag.

          • Hello Word in Django 2: How to start with Django 2
          • Getting query params from request in Django

            To get query parameters from the request in the Django view, you need to access the GET attribute of the request.

          • How to display flash messages in Django templates

            Sometimes we need to show the one-time notification, also known as the flash messages in our Django application. For this Django provides the messages framework. We are going to use the same here.

            To show flash messages in the Django application, we will extend our previous project Hello World in Django 2.2. Clone the git repository, check out the master branch and set up the project on your local machine by following the instructions in the README file.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxv) stackoverflow python report
        • JavaScript

          • JavaScript Internationalization in 2020

            2020 is shaping up to be an amazing year for JavaScript Internationalization API.

            After many years of careful design we’re seeing a lot of the work now coming close to completion with a number of high profile APIs on track for inclusion in ECMAScript 2020 standard!

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Russell Coker: Self Assessment

        A significant problem in large parts of the computer industry is that it’s not easy to compare various skills. In the sport of bowling (which Erik uses as an example) it’s easy to compare your score against people anywhere in the world, if you score 250 and people in another city score 280 then they are more skilled than you. If I design an IT project that’s 2 months late on delivery and someone else designs a project that’s only 1 month late are they more skilled than me? That isn’t enough information to know. I’m using the number of months late as an arbitrary metric of assessing projects, IT projects tend to run late and while delivery time might not be the best metric it’s something that can be measured (note that I am slightly joking about measuring IT projects by how late they are).

        If the last project I personally controlled was 2 months late and I’m about to finish a project 1 month late does that mean I’ve increased my skills? I probably can’t assess this accurately as there are so many variables. The Impostor Syndrome factor might lead me to think that the second project was easier, or I might get egotistical and think I’m really great, or maybe both at the same time.

        This is one of many resources recommending timely feedback for education [4], it says “Feedback needs to be timely” and “It needs to be given while there is still time for the learners to act on it and to monitor and adjust their own learning”. For basic programming tasks such as debugging a crashing program the feedback is reasonably quick. For longer term tasks like assessing whether the choice of technologies for a project was good the feedback cycle is almost impossibly long. If I used product A for a year long project does it seem easier than product B because it is easier or because I’ve just got used to it’s quirks? Did I make a mistake at the start of a year long project and if so do I remember why I made that choice I now regret?

    • Education

      • School Employees Have Used Isolated Timeouts Illegally, State Investigations Find

        In the first state review of isolated timeout in Illinois schools, investigators found six of the eight districts they examined violated state law by placing children in seclusion for improper reasons, for too long or without properly notifying their parents.

        The investigations by the Illinois State Board of Education came after the first part of a ProPublica Illinois/Chicago Tribune series, published in November, found public schools throughout the state overused seclusion, routinely breaking the law that allowed children to be placed in isolated timeout only when there was a safety issue.

      • Could Corporations Control What’s Taught in Our Public Schools?

        The national discussion about the movement to privatize America’s public schools has mostly focused on the issues of charter schools and school voucher schemes. But a growing number of parents, teachers, and public school advocates, as well as experts in academia, are increasingly warning about another form of school privatization.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Global Mining Corporations Have a Friend in the New Guatemalan Government

        Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei is less than a month into his term and yet there are already disturbing signs that his administration will side with global mining corporations against indigenous communities fighting to protect their land and water.

      • ‘Code for Massive Cuts’: Audio Shows GOP Sen. Joni Ernst Telling Donors She Wants ‘Changes’ to Medicare, Medicaid

        “Again, Joni Ernst has shown that she is willing to push our families into poverty with a smile. The programs she plans to cut are a lifeline for millions of Americans. She should be ashamed.”

      • The Lies of Industry and the Liars Who Sell Them

        Climate change isn’t real. Tobacco isn’t as bad as people say. Monsanto’s RoundUp doesn’t cause cancer. The fact that these statements are still considered valid by some people is not because they might be true or because some people are just stupid. That some deny these and other scientifically proven phenomena is testament to the power of what researcher David Michaels calls the product defense industry. His new book, titled The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception, is an expose of this industry and how it works to enable those industries who profit from the sale of carcinogens and other poisons.

      • Menace on the Menu in Post-EU Britain

        Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written the report ‘Bayer Crop Science rules Britain after Brexit – the public and the press are being poisoned by pesticides’. It has been sent to editors of major media outlets in the UK. In it, she outlines her concerns for pesticide regulation, health and the environment in a post-Brexit landscape. This article presents some of the report’s key points.

      • Virus Cases Rise as Experts Question China’s Numbers

        Infections and deaths from the new virus in China ballooned for a second straight day Friday, on paper at least, as officials near the epicenter of the outbreak struggled to keep up with a backlog of patients’ lab work.

      • US Maternal Mortality Rate Is Increasing — and the Data Still Miss Many Deaths

        Late last month, maternal health experts from around Illinois were videoconferencing in Chicago and Springfield, poring over the files of expectant and new mothers who’d died in the state in 2017. Many of the deaths could have been prevented if only medical and other providers had understood the special risks that women face during this critically vulnerable time.

      • NPR and the Escalating Attack on Single-Payer Health Care

        National Public Radio’s Mara Liasson this weekend entered a new term into the corporate liberal establishment’s attack on single payer healthcare.

      • Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Trump’s ‘Work-or-Die’ Medicaid Requirements in Arkansas

        The ruling upheld a lower court decision, with a three-judge panel unanimously arguing Medicaid work requirements negate the purpose of the program.

      • Groups Challenge Louisiana Permits for Formosa Plastics’ Giant Petrochemical Complex in Cancer Alley

        “The fight against Formosa’s polluting and unjust petrochemical complex is part of a growing national movement to address the triple threat of climate chaos, plastics pollution, and environmental racism.”

      • We Showed How Easy It Is to Commit Health Care Fraud. Now Senators Want to Close the Loophole.

        Four United States senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to close a little-known, but gaping, loophole that allows scammers to plunder commercial insurers by posing as licensed medical providers.

        The Medical License Verification Act, introduced Thursday, comes in response to a July ProPublica story that showed how absurdly easy it is to commit health care fraud, which experts say could be costing Americans hundreds of billions of dollars a year. ProPublica told the story of David Williams, a Texas personal trainer and convicted felon, who represented himself as a licensed physician when he applied for National Provider Identifiers, the unique numbers required by the federal government to bill insurance plans.

      • Things Said in Confidence to 4000 Close Friends This Week

        A medical issue on the [L] tracks (I’m guessing someone collided with a front-car) kicked me and others off the CTA Red Line. A toothless old white woman who spoke like a poor Black woman cursed out loud for one minute straight to the disgust of most. I admired her fire and creativity.

      • Fake vaccinations and a suicide note by Dr. Van Koinis

        Yesterday’s post ended up being quite long, to the point that I had considered not writing anything today. However, there is a vaccine-related news story that I became aware of yesterday that mandates at least some comment, mainly because it’s so bizarre. Regular readers who’ve encountered this story will understand why I feel I had to write about it. I’m referring, of course, to the case of a Chicago area pediatrician named Dr. Van Koinis who committed suicide last August and who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a forest preserve outside of Chicago. Why did this story attract my attention? It was headlines like this appearing in the news over the last three days:

      • Can the U.S. Slash Food Waste in Half in the Next Ten Years?
      • Medicare for All Helps Unions by Taking Health Care Off the Bargaining Table

        On February 11, the Nevada Culinary Workers Union publicly criticized Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All plan ahead of the state’s Democratic presidential caucus. On February 12, Sanders responded, “Many, many unions throughout this country — including some in Unite Here, and the Culinary Union is part of Unite Here — absolutely understand that we’ve got to move to Medicare for All.”

      • As WHO Forum Ends, Updated Figures From China Reveal New Virus Has Infected Over 60,000 Worldwide

        “This outbreak is a test of solidarity—political, financial, and scientific,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We need to come together to fight a common enemy that does not respect borders.”

      • Living in Inequality, Dying in Despair

        The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released some welcome news late last month: Americans are living a tiny bit longer. In 2018, the federal health agency reported, U.S. life expectancy at birth inched up about a month, from 78.6 to 78.7 years.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi Browser 2.11 Released with Themes Update

          Vivaldi web browser 2.11 was released a few days ago. The new release features pop-out video improvements and themes update.

          Vivaldi 2.11 brings pop-out video improvements. Now you can easily launch the separate, floating video window via a single click on a small video box icon displayed in the center of the video.

        • Why I am not using Grindr

          Grindr is proprietary software that only runs on Android and iOS. It also depends on a centralized server infrastructure that stores data in unencrypted form. The company that hosts Grindr, Amazon is known for violating users privacy. Grindr also sends data to Third-Party Websites and is known for sharing users HIV status without their consent. The terms of use and privacy policy are much too long (about 50 pages), therefore most users don’t read them. If a user has read only parts of those terms, they should become suspect that Grindr violates their privacy and not use the service. I think that sensitive information should be visible only to the intended recipients and not the administrators of any servers or routers, therefore I never use Grindr.

        • Microsoft temporarily blocked from beginning Pentagon project

          Amazon had asked the judge to force a temporary stay of work on the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure, or JEDI, project until the court can rule on Amazon’s protest over Pentagon awarding it to Microsoft.

          AWS had earlier alleged that the contract was awarded to Microsoft last October after US President Donald Trump exercised his influence over the country’s Defence Department.

        • Security

          • Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

            The National Crime Agency has publicly distanced itself from a poster urging parents to call police if their child has installed Kali Linux, Tor or – brace yourself – Discord.

            Issued by West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU) via local area councils, the poster in question lists a slack handful of common infosec tools – as well as some that clearly have nothing to do with computer security.

            Should your child install Kali Linux, virtual machines (the image on the poster looks like Virtualbox) or internet privacy tool Tor, West Midlands Police wants to know immediately. And if – heaven forfend – junior installs Metasploit, free VoIP service for gamers Discord or WiFi Pineapple, you might as well report straight to your nearest prison and abandon your tainted offspring forever.

            “If you see any of these on their computer, or have a child you think is hacking, let us know so we can give advice and engage them into positive diversions,” intones the offending poster, forwarded to us by a reader and which we reproduce below in all its glory.

          • UK police deny responsibility for poster urging parents to report kids for using Kali Linux

            Naturally, the poster has drawn the ire of many in the cybersecurity industry and as both the WMROCU and NCA logos were included, the NCA has been forced to publicly distance itself from the advisory.

            In response, the NCA said the agency “was not involved in the production or release of this poster.”

            “There are many tools which tech-savvy children use, some of which can be used for both legal & illegal purposes, so it is vital that parents & children know how these tools can be used safely,” the NCA added.

            The team from Kali Linux might have enjoyed the marketing, though, given their light-hearted response to the poster:

          • UK Police Deny Responsibility For Poster Urging Parents To Report Kids For Using Kali Linux

            The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has publicly said it has nothing to do with a misleading poster designed to put fear into the hearts of parents and urge them to call the police if their children are using Kali Linux.

          • UK police tell parents to check if their kids use Linux or Discord because it means they could be hackers

            The day when open-source operating systems/apps, especially those based on the mainline Linux kernel, come under a smear campaign that it takes a while for authorities to properly react to – surely must be some kind of a sad milestone moment on the web – the very same web which these days depends on, and runs on that very technology.

            But – the message from British law enforcement seems to be – “don’t let your kids use it.”

            As Gareth Illmann-Walker and some of his followers said on Twitter – the list might also be considered as a handy summary of where a clever kid using the web these days should actually look to get themselves started safely and securely (“except Discord” – of course).

          • Kids Using Kali Linux Are the Next-Generation Hackers, UK Police Warn

            The warning was published online by Twitter user G_IW and obviously generated an avalanche of reactions from the WWW, many of which criticized the British police for what they consider to be disinformation.

            “If you see any of these on their computer, or have ea child you think is hacking, let us know so we can give advice and engage them into positive diversions,” the warning reads.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (debian-security-support, postgresql-11, and postgresql-9.6), Fedora (cutter-re, firefox, php-horde-Horde-Data, radare2, and texlive-base), openSUSE (docker-runc), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (sudo), and Ubuntu (firefox).

          • 500 Chrome Extensions Caught Stealing Private Data of 1.7 Million Users

            Google removed 500 malicious Chrome extensions from its Web Store after they found to inject malicious ads and siphon off user browsing data to servers under the control of attackers.

            These extensions were part of a malvertising and ad-fraud campaign that’s been operating at least since January 2019, although evidence points out the possibility that the actor behind the scheme may have been active since 2017.

            The findings come as part of a joint investigation by security researcher Jamila Kaya and Cisco-owned Duo Security, which unearthed 70 Chrome Extensions with over 1.7 million installations.

          • PSA: Beware of Exposing Ports in Docker

            Docker is an awesome technology, and it’s prevalent in nearly every software developer’s workflow. It is useful for creating identical environments and sharing them between development, testing, production, and others. It’s a great way to ship a reliable software environment between systems or even to customers. However, like with any technology, one must know how to be secure when using it.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Dating in a politically polarized world

              OkCupid saw a 187% increase in political mentions on profiles between 2017 and 2018. The company says the trend continued in 2019.

              The platform finds millennials to be the most likely to filter out matches with differing politics compared to Gen X or Gen Z.

            • Facebook Prepares for Wave of Influencer Marketing in Politics

              Facebook Inc. is trying to clarify how it will handle a new wrinkle in the world of digital political advertising: politicians paying influencers to post on social media platforms like Instagram, which it owns.

              In the past, political entities were technically barred from offering money for posts, which has become a common practice for marketers. But Facebook is changing its policy after a New York Times report this week about how Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is paying Instagram creators to make and distribute posts making him “look cool.”

            • Palantir Revises Compensation to Save Cash, Prep for Future IPO

              Palantir Technologies Inc., a data mining company co-founded by Peter Thiel, is changing its employee compensation in a bid to cut costs, ensure all employees can own shares and prepare for an eventual public stock listing, said three people familiar with the matter.

              The company, which helps governments and businesses collect and analyze data, will move toward eliminating cash bonuses and instead reward staff with restricted stock units, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. The change was conveyed to staff in an email Friday.

            • UK plans to regulate the internet won’t make much difference at all

              Because of that, both Ofcom and the government have said that the onus to police content would remain with the platforms. Under the mooted plans, people couldn’t directly complain about an individual piece of content to Ofcom. In that sense, nothing really has changed. And for that reason, it is unsurprising that YouTube and Facebook tell New Scientist they welcome the chance to co-operate with the government.

            • CBP, ICE Hoovering Up Cell Location Data From Third Party Vendors To Track Down Immigrants

              Supreme Court precedent says the government needs a warrant if it wants to get cell-site location info. This ruling altered the contours of the Third Party Doctrine, making it clear not every third-party record exists outside the Fourth Amendment’s protections.

            • US Takes Baby Steps Toward Providing Actual Public Evidence Of Huawei Spying

              We’ve noted a few times now how US claims that Huawei routinely spies on Americans haven’t been supported much in the way of actual public evidence, a bit of a problem given that’s the primary justification for the country’s global blackballing efforts. Previous White House investigations 18 months in length couldn’t find evidence of said spying, and many US companies have a history of ginning up security fears simply because they don’t want to compete with cheaper Chinese kit.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Unending Human Tragedy in Syria

        The regime of President Bashar al-Assad is winning the decade-old civil war in Syria. With the help of like-minded allies Iran and Russia, Assad is ruthlessly mopping up his remaining opposition. After the defeat of the ISIS Caliphate, the West has no security interests or oil reserves to protect in Syria. Its authoritarian Arab neighbors wouldn’t like to see a democratic and free Syria either. The nations who earlier vociferously called for the removal of the regime have lost interest. Once in control of only 20% of its territory, the Assad dynasty has another lease on life as a hapless people suffer.

      • Fueled by US Under Trump, Global Military Spending in 2019 Had Biggest Increase in a Decade

        The amount the United States increased in defense spending between 2018 and 2019 was nearly the same as the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget.

      • Can the World’s Second Superpower Rise From the Ashes of Twenty Years of War?

        February 15 marks the day, 17 years ago, when global demonstrations against the pending Iraq invasion were so massive that the New York Times called world public opinion “the second superpower.” But the U.S. ignored it and invaded Iraq anyway. So what has become of the momentous hopes of that day?

      • Dresden, February 1945

        The Allied destruction of Dresden wasn’t the biggest or deadliest aerial bombardment of a German city during World War II. But it is by far the most infamous, largely due to Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five. February 13 marks the 75th anniversary of what Vonnegut, who survived the bombing as a prisoner-of-war, called “carnage unfathomable.”

      • U. S. Lies and Deaths in Afghanistan

        Last December the Washington Post published secret Pentagon documents showing the official lies that have undergirded the U.S. war on Afghanistan for the past 18 years. The opening paragraph of the article puts the matter bluntly:  “A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”

      • Was James Brown Murdered? Atlanta DA Office Examining New Evidence

        An Atlanta prosecutor is considering launching an investigation into James Brown’s death after receiving new evidence.

      • Backlash After Kobe Bryant’s Death Illustrates Continued Resistance to Discussing Sexual Assault

        In the hours following the helicopter crash that left basketball star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others dead, social media sites were inundated with mourning fans, commemorating an idol and cultural icon. But as celebrities, fans and players remembered the inspiring and dedicated Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard, thought to be one of the best players in NBA history, one less-uplifting detail of his career went largely unmentioned: the 2003 rape case.

      • Rwanda: UN Body Targets Abuse of Street Children

        (Nairobi) – The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s call for Rwanda to take “urgent measures” to end abuse of street children should be carried out immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. In observations released on February 13, 2020, the Geneva-based treaty body called for a halt to arbitrary detention of children in transit centers, for investigations into allegations of ill-treatment – including beatings –, and for amendments of the legal framework that regularizes this abuse.

        On January 27, Human Rights Watch released a 44-page report, “‘As Long as We Live on the Streets, They Will Beat Us’: Rwanda’s Abusive Detention of Children,” documenting the arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of street children, who are held for up to six months at Gikondo Transit Center, in Kigali, the capital. Since 2017, new legislation and policies under the government’s strategy to “eradicate delinquency” have sought to legitimize and regulate so-called transit centers. But Human Rights Watch found that the new legislation provides cover for the police to round up and detain street children at Gikondo in deplorable and degrading conditions, and without due process or judicial oversight.

      • Klobuchar Has Pushed Extreme Right-Wing Policy on Israel/Palestine

        In recent days, much of the mainstream media has been focusing on the rise of centrist Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar as a serious contender in the Democratic presidential primary. Many in the more progressive wing of the party have been criticizing her positions on climate change and broader environmental concerns, as well as her stances on economic inequality, social welfare and the criminal legal system. However, attention also needs to be brought to her surprisingly right-wing foreign policy perspectives.

      • William Barr’s Move To Rid The DOJ Of Independence Shows One Of Many Reasons Josh Hawley’s FTC Plan Is Dangerous

        Karl already took some time to highlight just one of the many absurdities in Senator Josh Hawley’s “plan” to revamp the FTC by turning it into a sub-agency of the Justice Department, rather than an independent agency. First of all, the Justice Department is the law enforcement arm of the government, and the FTC is supposed to be engaged in protecting consumers from “unfair or deceptive acts” by businesses. It is a separate and different focus than straight law enforcement by the Justice Department.

      • Warren, Sanders Join Letter Urging AG Barr to Resign Immediately Over ‘Corrupt’ Role in Roger Stone Case

        “The shocking action taken by your or your senior staff to seek special protections for Mr. Stone make a mockery of your responsibilities to seek equal justice under the law.”

      • Trump says on Twitter he has right to interfere in criminal cases after Barr criticizes president’s tweets

        Barr and his department claim that the decision to amend Stone’s sentencing recommendation came prior to Trump’s attacks on social media. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for the department’s internal watchdog to investigate the matter.

      • Mali violence: At least 30 killed in spate of violence

        Twenty one were killed when gunmen attacked a village in central Mali, burning houses, crops and livestock.

        A group of eight soldiers also died in an ambush, while another was killed during an attack on a military camp in the Gao region.

        Mali has been blighted by instability since 2012 when an Islamist rebellion broke out in the north.

      • Six Key Questions We Should Be Asking About the US’s Never-Ending Wars

        My first question is simple enough: After 18-plus years of our forever wars, where are all the questions?

      • Ocasio-Cortez to Constituents on Bolivian Coup: Drop Dead

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the celebrity who moonlights as my Congressional representative, has repeatedly claimed to speak for “ordinary people,” but she refuses listen to them,  even if they are constituents.

      • Bolivia: An Election in the Midst of an Ongoing Coup

        On May 3, 2020, the Bolivian people will go to the polls once more. They return there because President Evo Morales had been overthrown in a coup in November 2019. Morales had just won a presidential election in October for a term that would have begun in January 2020. Based on a preliminary investigation by the Organization of American States (OAS) that claimed that there was fraud in the election, Morales was prematurely removed from office; the term for his 2014 presidential election victory did not end until January. Yet, he was told by the military to leave office. An interim president—Jeanine Áñez—appointed herself. She said she was taking this office only on an interim basis and would not run for election when Bolivia held another election. She is a candidate for the May 3 election. (For more information on what is happening in Bolivia, see this overview from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.)

      • War Addicts, Inc.

        Making sense of the age of carnage.

      • Senate Passes War Powers Resolution to Stop Trump From Launching ‘Illegal’ Attack on Iran

        “The nation should not be at war without a vote of Congress,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, the measure’s lead sponsor.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Climate Change is Decimating the Chinstrap Penguins of Antarctica

        Chinstrap penguins are exquisitely adapted to their environment. They live and breed in some of the world’s harshest conditions, nesting in the windblown, rocky coves of the Antarctic Peninsula, a strip of land comprising the northernmost part of the frigid continent. In water they are precision hunters, darting after krill, the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that are their sole food source, utilizing barbed tongues engineered for catching the slipperiest of prey. On land, these 2-2.5-foot-tall flightless birds are prodigious mountaineers, able to scale rocky escarpments in spite of their ungainly waddle. Their perfect adaptation to local conditions makes them the ideal barometer for the future of the region. If anything changes in the marine environment, the health of chinstrap penguins will be one of the most reliable indicators. They are the canaries of the Southern Ocean.

        And these endearing, black and white emissaries from Antarctic waters are starting to disappear.

      • The Medium Warps the Message Straight to Our Extinction

        I’ve been working lately on an article about Extinction Rebellion, the direct action movement that emerged out of England in 2019 and has since gone worldwide to spread the message that radical civil disobedience is the only way to alter our deranged course toward climate catastrophe.

      • Energy

        • Are Electric Vehicles Really Better for the Climate? Yes. Here’s Why

          Switching to an EV can make a big difference in how much global warming emissions we produce and is one of the biggest actions a household can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

        • Western States Petroleum Association Tops CA Lobbying Expenses with $8.8 Million Spent in 2019

          The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, placed first in the annual lobbying “competition” in California in 2019 with $8.8 million spent on influencing legislators, the Governor’s office and other state officials, a position it captures most years.

        • Speeding sea level rise threatens nuclear plants

          With sea level rise accelerating faster than thought, the risk is growing for coastal cities − and for nuclear power stations.

        • Canadian Pipeline Protest Forces Closure Of Major Rail Link

          The Mohawks of Tyendinaga are protesting the 416-mile, $4.68 billion (6.2 billion Canadian dollars) Coastal GasLink pipeline running from northern British Columbia to a natural gas facility near Kitimat, British Columbia. They’ve used snowplows, barrels and wooden barricades to block the tracks, forcing Canadian National Railway to temporarily close the line.

          Protests in Ontario have also taken place in support of the indigenous chiefs.

          The pipeline passes through the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation near Houston, British Columbia, in the Canadian west.

        • Indigenous Groups Block Gas Pipeline In Canada And Spark Solidarity Protests

          MCGUFFIN: It was just one of many anti-pipeline protests across Canada this week, shutting down railway lines, ports, highways, city streets, resulting in dozens of arrests. The protests are against the planned $6 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline from the western province of Alberta through the territory of the Indigenous Wet’suwet’en people in neighboring British Columbia. A long-standing Indigenous blockade against that pipeline was broken up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police last week.

          Na’Mok is a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief.

          NA’MOK: They came in with armed forces to remove peaceful people that are doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. We’re protecting the land, the air, the water, our rights and title as hereditary chiefs, and we’re exercising our jurisdiction.

        • The Wet’suwet’en Fight Against New Pipeline Spreads Across Canada
        • Dumping On South Australia’s First Nations

          No means no, especially when it comes to dumping nuclear waste, write Dr Jim Green and Sister Michele Madigan.

        • Ohio Anti-Protest Bill Could Criminalize Support for Pipeline Demonstrations

          Activists say a bill advancing in the Ohio legislature could criminalize activities such as offering rides, water or medical aid to anti-pipeline protesters.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Measuring Our Impact on the Planet

          Is Joaquin Phoenix the voice for farmed animals everywhere right now?

        • A Short History of Humanity’s Future

          Our variety of the human species, homo sapiens sapiens, emerged from out of bands of more primitive yet contemporaneous older variants of humanity well over 200,000 years ago and rapidly expanded in both their numbers and the range of their occupancy on our planet. The competitive pressure by this efflorescence of homo sapiens sapiens against the older variants of humanity reduced the numbers of the latter to the point of extinction over the course of 1600 centuries, leaving just our variety of the human species to range over the Earth for 40,000 years up to the beginning of the 21st century. The story of our species from then up to the present moment is the subject of this work.

        • Climate Crisis Could Cause a Third of Plant and Animal Species to Disappear Within 50 Years: Study

          “Successful implementation of the Paris agreement targets could help reduce extinctions considerably, possibly to 16% or less by 2070,” according to lead author Cristian Román-Palacios.

        • Trump’s Gutting of NEPA Will Cut the Public Out of Public Lands Decisions

          The Trump administration is stampeding ahead with a rewrite of the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This landmark law requires federal agencies to study—and let the public weigh in on—the environmental impacts of federal actions. Ironically, given NEPA’s central purpose of including the public in environmental decision-making, the Trump administration is already cutting the public out of its regulatory overhaul.

        • Just When You Thought the Sports Rorts Affair Couldn’t Get Any Worse…

          Summer rains finally fell on large parts of New South Wales this week. They didn’t fall everywhere, and much of inland Australia is still in drought, but enough rain fell where it was needed to allow weary fire authorities to announce that the New South Wales bushfires were finally contained.

        • Amazon Onslaught

          This month Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill promoting mining, expanded agriculture, and energy production on indigenous lands in the Amazon. Accordingly, private developers as well as private hedge funds will occupy and develop land that’s been home to indigenous people for thousands of years.

        • Video Reveals Threat of “Wholesale Transfer and Privatization of America’s Public Lands” on Trump’s Agenda, Says Watchdog Group

          The event in question, which took place June 2019 and was hosted by the Interior Department, featured a keynote address by climate-denier Myron Ebell.

        • The Problem With Wilderness Collaboration

          Recently there has been a spate of commentaries advocating collaboration as a means of resolving issues surrounding which public lands should be given the “Gold Standard” of wilderness protection under the 1964 Wilderness Act.

        • Timber Industry Wants to Rape-and-Run on Our National Forests

          When Idaho billionaire Ron Yanke purchased the timber mills in Townsend and Livingston, Montana years ago to form RY Timber, he also bought lots of former Anaconda Mining Company timberland.  But just like Champion International and Plum Creek Timber who, according to a University of Montana study, cut trees 3 times faster than they could grow back, RY has already overcut their private land.

        • Coded Messages About Australia’s Big Burn

          Media-inflected “fatigue” has been in the news recently.

    • Finance

      • Reimagining Democratic Public Ownership for the Twenty-first Century

        A new transatlantic project will explore how new models of public ownership can shape the emerging commanding heights of the economy.

      • Who’s Afraid of Socialism?

        For decades, Republicans have painted anyone left of Barry Goldwater as a “socialist.” Why? Because for a generation raised on the Cold War, “socialist” just seemed like a damaging label.

      • Trump’s Plan to Unveil Next Round of ‘Tax Scam’ Just Before 2020 Election Slammed as ‘Another Political Ploy’

        “If Trump had wanted to help the middle-class, he would have done so already,” said Tax March executive director Maura Quint.

      • Qatar: Wage Protection System Falls Short
      • Mnangagwa’s Neoliberal Assault on the Zimbabwean People

        As Zimbabwe’s economy continues its descent since a military coup installed Emmerson Mnangagwa as the nation’s ruler in November 2017, his government’s response has been to double down on its ruinous neoliberal reform program.

      • Spectrum Workers Are on the US’s Longest Strike. When Will the Company Listen?

        The longest ongoing strike in America today is happening in the media capital of the world. It involves the people who install and repair the cables that bring the news to many of the most influential people in America. But after three long years, the Spectrum workers of New York City are beginning to feel as though everyone has forgotten about them. For those who soldier on, the fight has become much bigger than a contract dispute. It is a fight that can only be won with a wholesale reimagining of public control over corporate power.

      • Meg vs. Socialism
      • Marx, Lincoln and Project 1619

        It must have enraged the historians who signed Sean Wilentz’s open letter to the New York Times and their World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) allies to see Abraham Lincoln knocked off his pedestal. How insolent for Nikole Hannah-Jones to write in her introductory essay for Project 1619 that “Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country, as does the belief, so well articulated by Lincoln, that black people are the obstacle to national unity.” Lincoln was not only an iconic figure for the average American. Karl Marx admired him as well for his war on slavery. Since the primary goal of the critics of Project 1619 was to prioritize class over “identity”, naturally Karl Marx was just the authority to help make their case against the bourgeois New York Times intent on dividing the working-class.

      • Utah Representative Proposes Bill to Stop Payday Lenders From Taking Bail Money from Borrowers

        A Utah lawmaker has proposed a bill to stop high-interest lenders from seizing bail money from borrowers who don’t repay their loans. The bill, introduced in the state’s House of Representatives this week, came in response to a ProPublica investigation in December. The article revealed that payday lenders and other high-interest loan companies routinely sue borrowers in Utah’s small claims courts and take the bail money of those who are arrested, and sometimes jailed, for missing a hearing.

        Rep. Brad Daw, a Republican, who authored the new bill, said he was “aghast” after reading the article. “This smells like debtors prison,” he said. “People were outraged.”

      • ‘Straight-Up Swampy’: Trump to Headline $580,600-Per-Couple Reelection Fundraiser at Home of Billionaire

        “Shows everything that is wrong with our campaign finance system and with Trump, that fake ‘friend of the worker.’”

      • Residents of Detroit Are Fighting Back After Foreclosure Crisis

        In Detroit, a showdown between progressive lawmakers and the city is taking on racist housing policies that robbed African Americans in Detroit of their homes and widened the racial wealth gap. On Thursday, the Coalition for Property Tax Justice announced a class-action lawsuit against the city of Detroit, Wayne County and the state of Michigan in response to unfair property tax foreclosures. One in four Detroit properties have been subject to property tax foreclosure, a level comparable only to tax foreclosure rates during the Great Depression. According to legal experts, many of the foreclosures were caused by illegally inflated property taxes that violated the state’s Constitution, which says that no property can be assessed at more than 50% of its market value. Detroit is now 80% African-American, and 40% of the city’s residents live below the federal poverty line. But as downtown Detroit becomes increasingly gentrified, thousands of the city’s longtime residents, mostly African-American families, have lost their homes to foreclosure for property taxes they should not have been paying in the first place because the poverty tax exemption excuses those in poverty from paying. From Detroit, Michigan, we’re joined by Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who has worked on this lawsuit from before the time she entered Congress, and Bernadette Atuahene, a professor at IIT, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and research professor at the American Bar Foundation. She is a member of the Coalition for Property Tax Justice, and her forthcoming study, to be published in the UC Berkeley Law Review, is titled “Predatory Cities.”

      • Time Warp UK

        The resignation of Savid Javid yesterday as Chancellor without even presenting a budget mirrors the resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston’s father – and in so doing says something extraordinary about lack of social progress in the UK in the intervening 130 years.

      • Is tipping on the way out? Here’s why more travelers are joining the ‘do not tip’ movement

        The members of the “do not tip” movement say they want to pay their servers and tour guides a fair wage. But for them, this isn’t about workers’ pay. It’s about honesty. If a business advertises a product or service at one price, the customer should be able to pay that price, period. If businesses expect a 20% tip, why not just raise the price by 20%? Don’t try to guilt someone into paying more, they say.

      • Cloud service stocks set to gain from Wuhan virus outbreak

        Shares in cloud services are likely to rebound in the second quarter when Wuhan virus (COVID-19) cases are expected to gradually taper off, according to market analysts.

        The markets are optimistic about the prospects of cloud and data center services amid the ongoing virus threat. This is due to an increasing number of workers forced to work at home and the rising demand for video conferencing, reported CNA.

      • How Rage Against the Machine Are Trying to Beat Scalpers

        In fact, the band was anticipating this very scenario, and did what it could to get in front of the criticism. Earlier this week, scalpers started posting tickets — before they’d even gone on sale — with speculative prices, prompting a response from guitarist Tom Morello, who urged fans to be wary and get their tickets through the band’s website. Then, just as legitimate tickets hit the market on Thursday, Rage shared a statement on Instagram detailing how they planned to combat scalpers, and ensure that the profits from some necessarily higher-priced tickets went to good causes.

      • Trump Says His Budget Doesn’t Cut Social Security — But Mnuchin Admits It Does

        During a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — using euphemistic language Democratic lawmakers described as “Washington-speak” — admitted that President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal would cut Social Security days after the president insisted he is “not touching” the program.

      • In Show of Solidarity, US Men’s Soccer Team Slams Officials for ‘Systematic’ Pay Discrimination Against USWNT

        “Achieving equal pay is so much bigger than our team and our playing fields—women in workforces everywhere deserve equality now.”

      • This One Chart Explains Why the Kids Back Bernie

        Today’s version of American capitalism can’t give the rising generation of college graduates what they were promised.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • When the People Lead, Leaders Follow—Lessons From the Fight to Impeach and Remove Trump

        The Senate may have betrayed the American people, but the movement for impeachment secured critical victories that will propel us forward in the longer battle for democracy.

      • ‘More Political Interference at DOJ’: Barr Installs Outside Prosecutor to Scrutinize Michael Flynn Case

        “Barr is going to burn DOJ to the ground from the inside in his crusade to advance the president’s political interests.”

      • Polling Shows Sanders Extending Lead Among Hispanics Ahead of Nevada Caucuses

        “Bernie Sanders is building the most diverse movement in America.”

      • Gramsci and You: an Open Letter to Mayor Pete
      • Delhi Polls: A Storm Over Winner’s “Religious” Acts!

        The recent elections in India’s capital city, which also has the status of a state, have raised quite an intellectual storm over the importance given to “religion” by politicians. Elections to 70-member Delhi Assembly, held on February 8, 2020, have led to the victory of sitting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). His party has won 62 seats against only eight won by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads the Central government. Considering the stunning victory of BJP in parliamentary polls held in May 2019, in which all seven parliamentary seats of Delhi were won by it, this party’s pathetic performance in assembly elections certainly raises several questions. Of these, perhaps a significant one is the development agenda promoted by AAP’s campaign against the communal card used by BJP and its associates.

      • Democrats Prepare to Spend Big to Take Control of 2021 Redistricting

        Democrats and Republicans are raising millions, preparing to battle for GOP-controlled state legislative majorities before a crucial, once-in-a-decade redistricting year in 2021.

      • Better in Dolby

        What if every week was a non-stop series of public spectacles? One big-time show after another. Every night a blockbuster.

        [...]

        Wednesday’s broadcast is an Impeachment Vote in the U. S. Senate, a show thought a few viewers even find exciting. (The writers are busy: Mitt Romney will not be asked back for season two.)

        Thursday there’s a televised flash mob around Trump where he rants and raves about his vindication.

      • Why This Election Is Different

        Elections, I think most of us can agree, usually bring out the idiocy, superficiality, and illogic in everyone who can muster any. Imagine supporting, as many did, Sanders and then Trump because they were both “outsiders.” On Tuesday, I heard somebody on CNN announce that Sanders and Klobuchar were both “change candidates” (because you’d have to change every bit of the platform of one of them to match that of the other?). Tokenism no longer embarrasses voters or even the candidates who openly campaign on it. When voters are asked on television how they choose a candidate, they talk about temperament, personality, debating skills, and intelligence.

      • Trump Served Up Projection at the National Prayer Breakfast

        One would think that a National Prayer Breakfast would encourage transparency and truth; as prayer is a primary spiritual means of self-examination, confession, reconciliation, and moral resolve. The opposite was on display at the recent National Prayer Breakfast, attended by over 3500 guests, including dignitaries from over 140 countries, Congress persons, business officials, and faith leaders. There President Donald Trump wrapped one falsehood after another in the language of faith, sadly to the repeated applause of many attendees.

      • Jim Naureckas on Democratic Primaries, Nina Luo on Decriminalizing Sex Work

        This week on CounterSpin: Remember when Les Moonves declared that Donald Trump’s candidacy “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS“? That wasn’t a faux pas; it was an operating principle. And we can’t be shocked that it’s carrying through to coverage of the Democratic primary process, which has foregrounded far more “radical” ideas—and public receptivity to them—than corporate elites are comfortable with. We’ll take a look at election coverage with Jim Naureckas, editor of FAIR.org and FAIR’s newsletter Extra!.

      • For Media in New Hampshire, Losing Is Winning and Winning Is Losing

        The results from the New Hampshire primary are in—mercifully quickly—showing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders victorious with 26% of the vote, ahead of former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg with 24%. However, it was third place Amy Klobuchar, with 20%, who seemed to draw the greatest media buzz. The Minnesota senator has received a lot of press attention of late—almost all of it positive.

      • The Buttigieg Delusion

        Once again, dearest motherfuckers, I feel obligated to reprise my roll as ‘that bitch.’ Do I really have to be the queer bummer who smashes the Buttigieg delusion? Are all the other faggot anarchists busy? Oh well, fuck it. Hand me my hammer and I’ll do what I do best, which seems to be pissing off other queer people by interrupting their increasingly statist pride parades with the stone-cold inconvenience of reality. I’m really sorry darlings, but its time for some tough love. This hurts me more than it hurts you but hopefully, it hurts Mayor Pete the most. Because a vote for Mayor Pete may be a vote for the first gay president, but it’s also a vote for assimilation. So, here we go.

      • The Overwhelming Sex Appeal Of Bernie Sanders

        Happy Valentines Day to all Bernie Bros, Bernie Gals, and non-binary Berners.

      • Race and Class: Overcoming the Divides

        The forthcoming 2020 election is again highlighting the country’s apparently deep divides on race and class. A common formulation is that a hopelessly racist White working class is locked into the new Trump Republican Party which consciously has adopted a divide-and-conquer strategy based on race. The mainstream Democratic Party hope is that an electoral coalition of the young, women, suburban middle-class and union loyalists will provide a majority to dump Trump. The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren challenge claims that White working class people can be won with an economic justice program that recognizes how insecure they really are and offers universal benefits that lift all working people economically, including African-Americans, Latinos and other economically marginalized groups.

        The campaign also offers an opportunity to look more deeply into these divisions that have plagued efforts to build majorities for economic and social justice programs. But before going there, let me make this stipulation: racial prejudice and discrimination against African-Americans runs deep in American culture and experience; all White people have in one-way-or-another, whether consciously or unconsciously imbibe in it. Prejudice + discrimination practiced by decision makers in powerful institutions constitutes racism; all-powerful American institutions have engaged in this practice. Saying this is a necessary step to understanding, and developing a strategy to end, racism. It is not a sufficient one. Sufficiency requires distinctions that I hope are illustrated in what follows.

      • Timeline: How the DNC Manipulated 2016 Presidential Race
      • DCCC-Backed Incumbent Henry Cuellar Gets Support From Koch Network As Progressive Primary Challenger Jessica Cisneros Picks Up Union Endorsements

        Cuellar is hosting a fundraiser in Laredo with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on February 22. 

      • Sanders vs. the Establishment Democrats: McGovern All Over Again?

        It’s a perfect time to recall a famous quote from one of the nation’s foremost philosophers, Yogi Berra: Its “déjà vu all over again.”

      • The Iowa Fallout and the Democrats’ Shadowy Plot to Stop Sanders

        Yogi Berra, the great Yankees catcher, had the memorable line, “It’s like deja vu all over again.”

      • Vichy Democrats vs. the Master Voice

        One reading of the present shows us a hyped economic reality but also political and cultural realities hyped so far that simulacra is quite easily digested and regurgitated as reality. In a world of simulacra, reality is not only a vacated former presence, like a former tenant, but unrecognizable in any reappearance. It’s a war of every simulation of reality against every other similar displacement of reality.

      • Cambridge Analytica: a Salesgirl’s Report

        Much has been written about the murky world of the UK PR firm Cambridge Analytica – a company acting by stealth which furnished the propaganda behind successes like the election of Donald Trump along with the British vote for Brexit. One of the faces that Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica’s shadowy boss, liked to push was that of a young American women called Brittnay Kaiser. In her 2019 book, Kaiser admits I was just a glorified salesgirl. The book’s title – Targeted – can easily have two meanings. For one, we – or at least the voters of Donald Trump and the supporters of Brexit – have been targeted by Cambridge Analytica’s manipulative propaganda machine. The title can also mean that Brittnay Kaiser, originally a young Democrat and embued with a hefty dose of naivety, was targeted and lured into the opaque underworld of Cambridge Analytica to do their bidding.

      • ‘There Needs to Be Accountability,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez as Documents Show DNC Involvement With Iowa Caucus App

        “If the DNC was responsible for security and there were security failures, we need to address that.”

      • Even With Corbyn Gone, Antisemitism Threats Will Keep Destroying the UK Labour Party

        If there is one issue that denotes the terminal decline of Labour as a force for change – desperately needed social, economic and environmental change – it is not Brexit. It is the constant furore over an “antisemitism crisis” supposedly plaguing the party for the past five years.

      • The Doomsday Cuckoo Clock

        Even when he’s losing, Donald Trump wins (and bigly!) every time. His secret? He knows how to tap into our nihilism with the same technique he used to milk investors of his real estate schemes. If greed is the stated ideology of capitalism, then nihilism is its less overt philosophical underpinning. A system of mass murder will eventually turn its blood lust inward, having expended itself in the endless pursuit of prey. Unlike his more technocratic cohorts across the aisle, Trump has the charisma to turn a collective death wish into a raucous, bloody spectator sport. No gradual march off the proverbial cliff, but a gleeful nosedive into the abyss. His high rise mausoleums across a mostly submerged Manhattan skyline will someday stand testament to yet another victory.

      • Post-Impeachment, House Democrats Set Sights on Barr

        House Democrats frustrated over the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump are pushing their oversight efforts toward the Justice Department and what they call Attorney General William Barr’s efforts to politicize federal law enforcement.

      • Mayor Mike, Worse Than Mayor Pete

        The good news out of New Hampshire was, of course, that Bernie Sanders won – not by much, but by enough to leave no doubt as to who the winner was. There was more good news as well: Joe Biden, the former king of the moderates, is on his way to becoming toast.

      • Corporate Media’s Sanders Denialism Is Only Getting Worse

        The results from the New Hampshire primary are in—mercifully quickly—showing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders victorious with 26% of the vote, ahead of former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg with 24%. However, it was third place Amy Klobuchar, with 20%, who seemed to draw the greatest media buzz. The Minnesota senator has received a lot of press attention of late—almost all of it positive.

      • “Sublime Madness”: Anarchists, Psychiatric Survivors, Emma Goldman & Harriet Tubman

        When the state becomes chillingly evil—enacting a Fugitive Slave Act to criminalize those helping to free slaves, or financing prisons and wars for the benefit of sociopathic profiteers—and when dissent is impotent and defiance is required, we need the sublimely mad. For his 2013 piece “A Time for ‘Sublime Madness’” (and his 2015 book Wages of Rebellion), Chris Hedges invokes William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, James Baldwin, James Cone, Black Elk, and Crazy Horse. Hedges cites Reinhold Niebuhr, who explained why “a sublime madness in the soul” is essential when the forces of repression are so powerful that liberal intellectualism results in capitulation.

      • Democrats criticize FCC for not taking action against DC station broadcasting Russian disinformation

        In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the House members led by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Michael Doyle (D-Penn.) pointed to concerns around WZHF, known as Radio Sputnik, which is based in the Washington, D.C., metro area and airs Russian propaganda without informing listeners that the information is propaganda.

        A federal judge ruled last year that the station had to register as a Russian foreign agent due to the station continuously airing Sputnik International news from Moscow.

      • Facebook to allow paid political messages that are not ads

        Policy change comes days after U.S. presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities.

        Facebook decided on February 14 to allow a type of paid political message that had sidestepped many of the social network’s rules governing political ads.

      • Warren Slams Bloomberg for Blaming 2008 Financial Meltdown On End of Redlining Policy

        “We need to confront the shameful legacy of discrimination, not lie about it like Mike Bloomberg.”

      • Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg Is a GOP Bankroller

        Over the last decade, Bloomberg helped Republicans take and maintain control of the U.S. Senate.

      • Pundits Look to Bloomberg as Their Anti-Sanders Savior

        Coming out of the first two Democratic primary states, with Bernie Sanders leading in votes and Pete Buttigieg leading in delegates, who is “starting to dominate the national political debate like no one in the past five years other than President Donald Trump”?

      • Hackers Can Seize Control of Ballots Cast Using the Voatz Voting App, Researchers Say

        Security researchers have found key flaws in a mobile voting app that some states plan to use in the 2020 election that can allow hackers to launch both client- and server-side attacks that can easily manipulate or even delete someone’s vote, as well as prevent a reliable audit from taking place after the fact, they said.

      • Surprise! MIT Study Claims Voatz E-Voting Technology Is A Security Dumpster Fire

        You’d be pretty hard pressed to find a single respected cybersecurity expert that thinks voting via smartphone is a good idea. There’s just too many potential attack vectors as your voting data floats from your personal device, across the internet, and into the final tally repository. Despite this there’s an endless chorus of political leaders, cities, and states who continue to insist they know better. From West Virginia to Washington State, the quest for great inclusivity in voting access often results in people ignoring these warnings in the belief that they’re helping.

      • A President So Unhinged That Even Bill Barr Says He’s Out of Control

        The level of alarm about Trump’s post-acquittal rampage has been predictably high—five-alarm-fire, red-siren-for-our-democracy high. Trump may have gone too far even for one of his most stalwart loyalists. In a striking interview with ABC News, released on Thursday afternoon, Attorney General William Barr broke with Trump over the President’s public demand that the Justice Department change its recommended prison sentence for Stone, Trump’s friend and adviser, who was convicted of lying to Congress and of other offenses that came out in the Mueller investigation. Barr denied overruling his own prosecutors in response to the President and agreed that Stone’s sentence should be reduced, but then he let loose on Trump, anyway. Trump’s tweets, Barr said, “make it impossible for me to do my job.” What’s more, he added, in a swipe at the President, “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.” Democrats, understandably, were more inclined to say “I told you so” than to give Barr the benefit of the doubt. He has, after all, been a willing accomplice in Trump’s assertion of essentially unlimited executive powers, and he only seems to be speaking out now because his own credibility has been questioned. Still, for many, the rare rebuke of Trump from his Attorney General will only underscore the grim fallout from the Senate acquittal: a President so unhinged that even Bill Barr says he is out of control.

      • Trump contradicts past denials, admits sending Giuliani to Ukraine

        Emboldened after his impeachment acquittal, President Donald Trump now openly admits to sending his attorney Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to find damaging information about his political opponents, even though he strongly denied it during the impeachment inquiry.

        The reversal came Thursday in a podcast interview Trump did with journalist Geraldo Rivera, who asked, “Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer? Are you sorry you did that?” Trump responded, “No, not at all,” and praised Giuliani’s role as a “crime fighter.”

      • Trump contradicts his own impeachment defense by admitting that he sent Giuliani to Ukraine

        President Donald Trump contradicted his legal team’s impeachment defense Thursday when he admitted that he sent his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to hunt for damaging information on his political rivals.

      • Bernie Sanders Takes Lead in Texas Primary Poll, Doubling Support Since October

        A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Thursday night showed Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the 2020 Democratic presidential field in the delegate-rich Super Tuesday state after doubling his support since last October.

      • Doubling Support Since October, Bernie Sanders Takes Lead in 2020 Texas Primary Poll

        Sanders surged from 12% support in October to 24% in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune survey.

      • You’re a Lying, Dog-Faced Pony Soldier


        Back to Joe Biden, but, first, I need to check his age. Give me a minute. Sigh of relief. He’s 77. Maybe I have a few more years before I’m shouting, “You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.” Still, it’s prudent to plan, confirm that my end-of-life decisions are known to my children, my siblings, and to my physicians. Reminder: advance directive.

        For added measure, I’ll be nitpickingly detailed and include the following instructions: If I ever say to anyone, “You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” do not allow me to run for president of the United States, to run for a seat on my condo board, to go outdoors on my own, or be relied on to make anything more complicated than Jello to take to one of my grandsons’ birthday parties.

      • The Benefits of Being Joe Biden’s Brother

        Jim Biden was in a bind. An investor had put up $1 million to help Jim and his nephew Hunter buy a hedge fund. Then it turned out that the fund’s assets were worth less than the Bidens had thought. Now the investor wanted its money back.

        It was December 2006, not long before Jim’s older brother and Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, then a Delaware senator, would announce his second campaign for president.

      • Buying the Presidency

        But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Oligarchy is better than tyranny. But neither is as good as democracy.

      • Michael Bloomberg Hires Fyre Festival Social Media Team

        Michael Bloomberg wants to meme his way into the presidency in 2020. He’s using the same disastrous promoter as the Fyre Festival.

      • Mike Bloomberg Is Paying Influencers to Post Fake Messages to Make Him Look Cool

        Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaign is paying social media influencers and a social media firm to flood Instagram with fake messages purportedly sent by the billionaire.

      • The Irony of the Centrist-Progressive Debate

        Moderates consistently warn that progressive ideas can’t win “the middle.” But just look at the polls.

      • Rodney Garcia Epitomizes Trump’s Brand of Political Intolerance

        Montana didn’t need the very negative worldwide press it got last week when Billings Republican legislator Rodney Garcia decided to inform us that according to the U.S. Constitution, it’s OK to “shoot socialists.” For those who doubt the dangerous effects of President Trump’s unhinged rants against “socialism,” Garcia’s acceptance of personal violence against those with whom he disagrees on public policy should be a blaring warning sign — and one Montanans should universally reject.

      • Out of Their Grip: Ending the Repetition of Defeat

        I’m sure that there must be at least a few of you out there who remember the frustration, the insult and the pain of trying to move our country out of the grip of the two major parties political stranglehold and the ongoing tug-of- war between the greater and lesser evils of the Democratic and Republican parties back in 2016. As these two parties each decided to offer up their own versions of “most hated candidate ever”, a few voters had the sense and courage to use the moment of failure on their parts to attempt a breakaway by supporting, promoting and trying to elect one of the more progressive candidates ever to run for president, the Green Parties Jill Stein. I sure do. There were many long and bitter arguments that lost  some of us more than a few friends when we decided to stand-up for ourselves and our interests and refuse to accept the trash they were handing us for presidential candidates. Here we found ourselves in the vulnerable position of having to explain the horrors of Donald Trump and by no pleasure of our own, we also found ourselves in the position of having to remind everyone who Hillary Clinton was and why we preferred to not be voting for her either. Those were some interesting though unfortunate days, caught between the two evils, as they say and damned by our friends and foes alike for attempting an escape.

      • Devin Nunes Is Leading Republicans in a Post-Impeachment “Strike”

        Less than a week after President Trump lauded Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., as “the hardest worker,” the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee refused to show up for his first day back at work following the president’s impeachment trial.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Subverting the Blacklist: Kirk Douglas’s Modest Contribution

        Leaving aside the content of the spectacular, embellished account that became Spartacus, Kirk Douglas, whose life ticked over into a century and a few years, left his own distinct mark on US cultural politics. At the very least, he managed to fashion a spear to direct through the Hollywood blacklist, an infamous compilation of the supposedly unpatriotic naughties in the film business who had sympathies, proven or otherwise, with communism. The justified question, however, is how significant his role actually was. Celebrities and thespians often assume a heft they do not have, a significance they lack.

      • Bangladesh: New Arrests Stifle Free Speech

        Expand

        Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina interacts with journalists in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

      • SLAPP Suits And The Enemies Of Writing And Ideas

        Writer George Packer recently won the Christopher Hitchens Prize, which has been given out yearly since Hitchen’s death. The prize is awarded “to an author or journalist whose work reflects a commitment to free expression and inquiry,‭ ‬a range and depth of intellect,‭ ‬and a willingness to pursue the truth without regard to personal or professional consequence.” That’s quite a noble effort. This year’s award went to the excellent writer George Packer, who gave a speech that is being passed around among many people I know, on the topic of The Enemies of Writing. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful piece, and I think it does get at a growing concern today about how certain areas of exploration are considered too taboo to even suggest that the orthodoxy is not correct. His concerns, mainly, are that writing on a taboo subject or not taking an orthodox position on certain topics will get you mauled in the court of public opinion.

      • Tulsi Gabbard: A Political Postmortem

        The all-or-nothing New Hampshire gamble of Tulsi Gabbard has come up snake eyes.

      • Trouble At The Law Firm Filing Patently Ridiculous Lawsuits On Behalf Of Tulsi Gabbard

        We’ve covered the two ridiculous lawsuits filed by Tulsi Gabbard in the past few months — one against Google and another against Hillary Clinton. In both cases, the lawsuits were filed by lawyers at the law firm Pierce Bainbridge, and we questioned why they’d want to sully their own reputation by filing lawsuits that seemed clearly destined to fail, and which only seemed to serve a PR purpose in playing to her supporters.

      • How the UK government plans to clamp down on harmful online content

        Currently, providing they’re not seen to endorse posts that contain illegal or harmful material, social media companies are largely exempt from penalties, even if a user uploads pro-terrorist material or child abuse imagery onto their platforms. This new legislation will grant Ofcom the power to force companies to remove the material more quickly, and prevent most of it from being posted in the first place.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • ABC Radio National on the Suffering and Resilience of Julian Assange

        Phillip Adams interviews John Pilger on ABC Radio National on the plight and hope and courage of Julian Assange ahead of his courtroom struggle to prevent extradition to the the United States.

      • Nigerian journalist Fejiro Oliver charged with cybercrime for corruption report

        Fejiro Oliver, the publisher of the privately owned Secret Reporters news site, is scheduled to appear in court in Nigeria’s southwestern Lagos city on May 28, 2020, after years of adjourned legal proceedings, he told CPJ. Department of State Services (DSS) agents separately questioned him three times about his reporting in 2019, he said. Oliver’s real name is Tega Oghenedoro, but he goes by his pen name.

      • UN Special Rapporteur On Torture Demolishes The Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange

        The problem for the propaganda system targeting Assange is that Melzer is not just someone blogging on the internet; he is the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. In addition, he is a professor of international law at the University of Glasgow and holds the Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland, where he has been teaching since 2009, including as the Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law (2011–2013). Melzer even speaks fluent Swedish. In other words, it is hard to imagine anyone better qualified to comment on the Assange case.

      • Jeremy Corbyn praises Julian Assange and calls for extradition to US to be halted

        Among Wikileaks’ revelations was video footage from a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed at least nine men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 50th Anniversary of Abbie Hoffman’s Intro to STB

        One of the funniest bit I can remember reading about Abbie Hoffman was the time he tried to get himself arrested at a police station and the cops wouldn’t bite. His friend, and fellow Yippee, Paul Krassner said, “We went to the 9th precinct. Abbie wanted to get busted to show solidarity between the hippies and the ethnic groups. But they wouldn’t arrest him.” The Yippies had a sit-in outside the police station, where Abbie carried on, telling cops: “I want to be arrested because I’m a nigger. You’re arresting my black brothers. Arrest me.” He was invited inside the police station to talk.

      • Black America and the Presidents

        The myth of US American “greatness” is not only a right-wing narrative. Liberals too embrace the concept that the nation is fundamentally good; certainly, they insist, our worst days are behind us and we can all be grateful for the progress we’ve made. Leading us on this shining path have been enlightened figures like Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Carter and Obama, all of whom have sought to fulfill the promise of the wise “Founding Fathers” and their brilliant (even sacred) Constitution.

      • Rush Limbaugh Gets Medal for Being the King of Creeps

        There’s a lot going on in Trumplandia these days—from the Trumpus taking his Vindman Brothers Revenge Tour (“when you take out these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” he’d said) to elites everywhere freaking out over Bernie’s wondrous wins—but here’s a “little item” worth mentioning…

      • Yes, the ERA Has Been Ratified

        On January 15, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. According to the US Constitution, that makes the ERA part of “the supreme law of the land.”

      • Sugar-Coated Pimping

        “Sugaring” is an enormously profitable and growing trade. Women are being encouraged to sell sex through so-called sugar baby/sugar daddy arrangements. Online sugar dating sites, such as SeekingArrangement (SA), bypass prostitution and pimping laws by presenting the transaction as “dating with benefits.”

        A sugar arrangement is, according to the pimps and entrepreneurs, an exchange of cash, gifts or other financial and material benefits for good company. In fact, it is what is euphemistically known as the “girlfriend experience,” but often on a much longer-term basis.

      • Michael Avenatti Is Convicted of Trying to Extort Nike

        Michael Avenatti, the combative lawyer who gained fame by representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits involving President Donald Trump, was convicted Friday of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike.

      • A New Idea for the Old Problem of Corruption

        This week, United States Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Congressman Jim McGovern introduced a resolution to the US House of Representatives to challenge corruption at the highest levels around the world: an International Anti-Corruption Court. This novel idea, first proposed by Judge Mark Wolf in 2012, is worth considering given the desperate need to develop new mechanisms to address corruption’s severe, transnational impacts on human rights and the enduring challenge of holding kleptocrats accountable for their crimes.

        Corruption can ravage societies and be stubbornly difficult to uproot. Allowed to fester, corruption breeds poverty, violence, and instability that can spread well past a country’s borders. The World Economic Forum estimates that 5 percent of the world’s GDP is lost to corruption, and the International Monetary Fund blames it for US$1 trillion in lost tax revenue.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Alleged ‘Vault 7’ Materials Leaker On Trial, Interior Department Whistleblower Reinstated

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights the trial against alleged CIA leaker Joshua Schulte, who the government claims provided “Vault 7” materials to WikiLeaks.

        Schulte’s lawyer Sabrina Shroff, according to Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press, opened the trial by maintaining the CIA did not want these documents published and the CIA had no idea how they were leaked nor do they know when, why, or who leaked them. She suggested the CIA felt pressure to blame someone and Schulte was an easy target. “All they know is WikiLeaks published the information on March 7, 2017.” 

      • Russia: Raids on Rights Defenders in Dagestan

        (Moscow) – Police in southern Russia on February 13, 2020 raided the homes and office of activists who provide legal and psychological assistance to survivors of domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. The raids took place in Makhachkala and Khasavyurt, two cities in Dagestan, a republic in Russia’s Northern Caucasus region.

        The activists targeted are partners of Stichting Justice Initiative (SJI), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) representing victims of grave human rights abuses in the North Caucasus and survivors of domestic violence in Russia. Police seized computers and electronics containing documentation pertaining to their work.

      • ‘These are the Bad Times’: Trump to Deploy Heavily Armed Border Patrol Tactical Units to Help With Immigration Arrests in Sanctuary Cities

        “It is unbelievable how much this action will undermine public safety. Unbelievable.”

      • Apple must pay store employees for bag-search time, court rules

        “Given that Apple requires its employees to wear Apple-branded apparel while working but directs them to remove or cover up such attire while outside the Apple store, it is reasonable to assume that some employees will carry their work uniform or a change of clothes in a bag in order to comply with Apple’s compulsory dress code policy,” she wrote.

        The court found that because Apple requires the employee searches, the law requires the employees to be paid for their time.

      • Murders of women and girls are soaring – are we dismissing the danger of controlling men?

        We need to stop minimising controlling behaviour, which requires a conversation about gender norms and inequality. And we need public services which believe women when they say they feel threatened or afraid, and understand that this does not look the same for all women. We need to redesign our response with women at the centre and accountability rather than invisibility of perpetrators. And for all of this we need leaders and champions across every part of public life. Without this, women will continue to be murdered at these alarming rates.

      • Asian grooming gangs: how ethnicity made authorities wary of investigating child sexual abuse

        The five-year investigation conducted by the IOPC, codenamed Operation Lindon, has produced a highly critical report. It states that the South Yorkshire police were scared to take action against a group of Asian men who were sexually abusing a young girl for fear of triggering unrest in the Asian community and being branded racist. Instead, they did little to disrupt the gang and safeguard the vulnerable victim and other young girls, even though they knew they were being subjected to horrendous sexual abuse.

        South Yorkshire police has accepted the findings of the report and said it has been developing a “far deeper understanding” of child sexual exploitation since 2014. It will now await the full and final report, which will focus on the actions of its former senior command team and whether it deliberately turned a blind eye to what it knew was happening.

      • An invasion of propaganda: Experts warn that white supremacist messages are seeping into mainstream

        “They’ve rebranded themselves,’’ Cohen said. “In the past they were viewed as racist individuals who were on the fringe or outside of mainstream society. Now their thoughts and ideas and messaging have been incorporated into the mainstream political discourse by a growing number of elected officials.’’

      • A New Face of White Supremacy: Plots Expose Danger of the ‘Base’

        Experts who have studied the Base say it seems to have followed the model of Al Qaeda and other violent Islamic groups in working to radicalize independent cells or even lone wolves who would be inspired to plot their own attacks.

        They describe the Base as an “accelerationist” organization, seeking to speed the collapse of the country and give rise to a state of its own in the Pacific Northwest by killing minorities, particularly African-Americans and Jews.

      • Syria Passes Resolution Condemning Turkish Genocide of Assyrians, Armenians

        The Syrian Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday that called for the recognition and condemnation of the genocide of Armenians, Assyrians, and Syriacs that took place in the early part of the 20th Century.

      • Court of Appeal ruling will force women to discriminatory Sharia courts

        The judgment says that the state does not have a human right obligation to recognise religious marriage. Whilst we agree, this case provided an opportunity for the Court to address the cultural and religious barriers that prevent minority women from opting into the formal marriage system and to provide access to legal remedies where there is such manifest unfairness in the process of marriage.

      • Did Amy Klobuchar Condemn an Innocent Teenager to Life in Prison?

        After a surprising third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is attempting to gain ground in the national polls. But Klobuchar is also facing mounting scrutiny over her record as a district attorney in Minnesota. The Minneapolis NAACP, Black Lives Matter Twin Cities and other racial justice groups recently called on Klobuchar to suspend her presidential campaign following a shocking investigation by the Associated Press. The AP report centered on the case of Myon Burrell, an African-American teenager who was sentenced to life in prison over the 2002 murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards. Klobuchar led the case against Myon Burrell when she was Hennepin County’s district attorney, but the AP report says she may have mishandled the case and that Burrell could be innocent. The Associated Press report shows how prosecutors had no DNA or fingerprints tying Burrell to the murder and that they relied on jailhouse informants, some of whom have since recanted their testimonies. Burrell has always maintained his innocence. On the campaign trail, Klobuchar has cited the jailing of Burrell as one of her achievements and brought up the conviction during a debate in September. We speak with Nekima Levy Armstrong, civil rights attorney, activist, head of the Racial Justice Network and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “It’s shocking at this point that Amy Klobuchar is still in the race for president of the United States, given the significance of Myon Burrell’s case,” she says.

      • Judge Who Originally Approved Sketchy UNC ‘Silent Sam’ Settlement Now Voids Deal, Realizing ‘Confederate’ Group Had No Standing

        Back in December, we wrote about the crazy situation in North Carolina, mostly unearthed by lawyer Greg Doucette, that the University of North Carolina had “settled” a lawsuit before it was even filed. The background story was crazy, and this is only the briefest of summaries. The “Silent Sam” statue was put onto the UNC campus by the “United Daughters of the Confederacy” in 1913 as part of a process that happened throughout the south many decades after the Confederacy lost the Civil War to try to put in place racist monuments and to pretend that there was some noble cause behind the war to defend enslaving people. As more and more people have recognized the racist purpose, history and intent of these monuments, many have been removed. Students at UNC toppled the Silent Sam statue a few years ago, and the University has basically just tried to avoid talking about it since, especially as racist-celebrating officials tried to legislate that such monuments to racism must stay put.

      • The $290 Billion Noongar Claim: It’s the Constitution, It’s Justice, It’s Mabo… It’s The Vibe!

        In The Castle, Darryl Kerrigan captured the essence of belonging when he said, “It’s not a house – it’s a home”. The notion that the monetary value of land is not a measure of the true value of the spiritual and cultural connection to country, of which that land is just the geographic marker, will soon be tested in a case of major importance.

    • Monopolies

      • How the T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Will Increase Inequality

        Since economic power leads to political power, these companies have used their resources to lobby for rules and regulations that further narrow the scope of antitrust laws and harm consumers.

      • ‘Proof will be in pudding’ for China trade deal, say US lawyers

        Law professors, in-house counsel and private practice lawyers say trade secrets are among the agreement’s most important provisions, and express mixed views on the deal’s efficacy

      • Patents

        • Nokia and its trolls are losing left and right: LG defeats Conversant case in Munich over Nokia patent two days after Nokia itself lost to Daimler

          The patent-in-suit, EP1173986 on a “method and arrangement for managing packet data transfer in a cellular system,” was incorrectly alleged to be essential to the 4G/LTE cellular standard. Nokia’s privateer asserted its broadest method claim (claim 1) and two apparatus claims of similar breadth, but to no avail. The court concluded that the transmission of a traffic volume indicator (TVI) in accordance with the LTE specification does not involve a direct selection of a channel as claimed by the patent. As a result, the LTE standard does not require any technical step going beyond the prior art.

          The Nokia patents transferred to Conversant, which is basically acting as a licensing agency for the Finnish failed handset maker, have generally performed very poorly in litigation. Last month the Munich I Regional Court held an early first hearing in a Conversant v. Daimler case, and that patent doesn’t appear to have impressed anyone either.

          Nokia failed on Tuesday (Mannheim), indirectly (because it used Conversant as its front) failed on Thursday (Munich), and we’ll probably hear very soon that mediation with Daimler and its suppliers failed this week, too.

        • Mediation between Nokia and Daimler as well as its suppliers fails definitively: European Commission must act swiftly and forcefully

          A first round of talks had failed in January for the reasons I mentioned then. The fact that the supposedly super-secretive mediation process was pretty transparent to me–thanks to certain sources–even sparked a peripheral controversy at last week’s Nokia v. Daimler trial in Munich.

          A second round of talks was held this week, and went nowhere–for the very same reasons that the first round had failed. Nokia simply wouldn’t consider extending an exhaustive component-level license to Daimler’s suppliers, and Nokia continued to refuse to put highly relevant SEP license agreements with smartphone makers on the table.

          Let’s give the mediator the benefit of the doubt: he gave this another try just because he was unrealistic, not because it helped produce billable hours.

          The European Commission’s request that the parties engage in mediation–instead of doing the job European citizens pay them for–was a bad idea in the first place. It set a terrible precedent and made Mrs. Vestager, who earned herself a reputation as a determined competition enforcer during the first time, appear very weak.

          Interestingly, the fact that last week’s Munich trial went very well for Nokia didn’t bring the parties closer to a deal. Maybe no one believes that the Munich court will seriously interpret a key sentence in the Court of Justice of the EU’s Huawei v. ZTE ruling as if “and” meant “or.” It’s also possible that Nokia’s piecemeal injunction strategy–with an explicit carve-out for Samsung subsidiary Harman Becker for the time being–means even a ruling in Nokia’s favor on April 9 wouldn’t give the failed handset maker much leverage.

        • UC Berkeley gene-editing technology patent upheld by European Patent Office

          The European Patent Office, or EPO, upheld a patent on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology following an opposition proceeding that took place from Feb. 5 to Feb. 7.

          The opposition proceedings were part of the EPO’s standard procedure, according to an email from Cate Cronin, a member of UC Berkeley’s public relations team for CRISPR-Cas9 matters. This procedure grants a nine-month window for a party to file an opposition on patents.

          These oppositions can be filed anonymously and are common in commercially important patents. In these cases, oppositions are primarily filed by opposing parties with a commercial interest in the patents.

          Cronin said in the email that the CRISPR-Cas9 patent had seven opponents.

          “Not all of the parties that have challenged UC’s patent from the EPO are publicly known,” Cronin said in the email. “They were filed as ‘straw men,’ which is a way for parties to obscure their identities while filing an opposition.”

        • European Patent Office (EPO) Upholds Foundational CRISPR Patent Owned by UC, Univ. of Vienna, and Charpentier

          On February 10, 2020, the European Patent Office Opposition Division announced the results of an opposition filed against patent EP2800811, owned by the Regents of University of California, University of Vienna, and Emanuelle Charpentier (collectively, UC/UV/Charpentier), with claims directed to methods and compositions of Cas9 and a single-guide RNA. The decision, which comes after three days of oral proceedings on February 5-February 7, 2020, upheld the patentability of the claims, and required only minor amendments, and the cancellation of two dependent claims. While the European Patent Office (EPO) hasn’t yet provided details of their decision, a non-binding opinion of the EP Opposition Board dated, August 30, 2019, found that the patent meets the European Patent Convention (EPC) requirements for novelty, inventive step, and sufficiency, but violated added matter requirements for only some dependent claims. A written decision from the Opposition Division will follow.

        • Software Patents

          • Open Source Voice Assistant Promises To ‘Nuke From Orbit’ Patent Troll

            Open source voice assistant company Mycroft AI (which we actually wrote about years back) appears to be the latest startup to recognize that the only way to properly deal with patent trolls is to fight back. This strategy was first pioneered by online retailer Newegg, whose refusal to give in to any patent trolls eventually (after years of litigation) meant that patent trolls stopped trying to shake the company down. More recently, Cloudlfare has taken a similarly successful approach.

          • Can computers invent? EPO says no to AI inventors

            In a landmark ruling, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided its opinion on whether an AI system can be designated as an inventor on a European patent application.

            The decision: No.

            The reason: inventors under the European Patent Convention (EPC) are understood to be ‘natural persons’. That is to say, the inventor(s) must have a legal personality. The two patent applications at the centre of the EPO’s decision both named the inventor as a machine called “DABUS”, which is “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence”.

            The EPO also noted that this approach – requiring a human to be designated as the inventor – was consistent with the national approaches taken within European countries and the international consensus evident from China, Japan, Korea and the USA.

            [...]

            Philosophical questions regarding AI personalities aside, a historical precedent has been set by the EPO in this regard. If inventors want patents involving AI/Machine Learning, all inventors named on the application will have to be natural persons.

          • Can AI Be An Inventor? Not At The European Patent Office.

            The European Patent Office has denied two patent applications on the grounds that an AI system cannot be listed as the inventor.

            For the first time, the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a ruling on its approach to patent applications that designate artificial intelligence (AI) systems as inventors. In January 2020, the EPO published its reasons for rejecting two patent applications where the inventor named on the applications was an AI system called “DABUS.” The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has also rejected the applications on similar grounds.

          • Federal Circuit: Server Is Not A Regular And Established Place Of Business

            Today, the Federal Circuit granted a writ of mandamus, ordering the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss or transfer a case for lack of venue. This order is the latest in a series of Federal Circuit decisions, post-TC Heartland, where the Eastern District of Texas has tried to hold on to patent cases even when venue isn’t appropriate.

            Patent Plaintiffs Want Venue In Texas

            In a case decided soon after TC Heartland, E.D. Texas Judge Gilstrap found venue appropriate due to a remote employee who chose to live in the Eastern District, even though the defendant company hadn’t established any locations in the district. The Federal Circuit found that to be an abuse of discretion—a “fixed physical location in the district is [] a prerequisite to proper venue.”

            So, in a follow-on case involving SEVEN Networks, the Eastern District turned around and decided that collocating servers in a district was the type of fixed physical location that justified venue. Google requested mandamus, and the Federal Circuit denied mandamus and rehearing. Several judges presciently noted in their dissent from denial that the denial would “leave unanswered a critical issue that increasingly affects venue in legal actions involving e-commerce.”

            After this decision, NPEs began to file lawsuits against companies with collocated servers in E.D. Texas. Those cases included the one the Federal Circuit decided today—Super Interconnect Technologies (SIT) v. Google—filed only four days after the denial of mandamus.

          • Is the Broad Institute planning a last-ditch attempt to save their CRISPR patent?

            Last month the EPO dismissed the Broad Institute’s appeal (T 844/18) in the high profile dispute relating to one of the Broad Institute’s CRISPR patents (EP2771468). At the hearing, the Board of Appeal deemed it unnecessary to refer the issue of priority to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA). Many thought this would be the end of the road for the patent. However, in one last-ditch attempt to save their patent, it seems that Broad Institute is now laying the groundwork for a petition for review, the extraordinary legal remedy by which the EBA may review decisions of the Board of Appeal. None-the-less, even if the EPO amended the minutes in line with the Broad’s requests, in this GuestKat’s view there seems to be little prospect that the EBA would be willing to grant a petition for review.

            [...]

            The opponents 1 and 2 have already objected to the Broad Institute’s proposed changes to the minutes. The procedure for such disagreements about the minutes of oral proceedings is not provided for in the Rules. As of today, the opponents have merely submitted that they dispute the need for the proposed changes. They further request that the EPO defers any decision to correct the minutes until the opponents have filed more detailed submissions.

            Under what grounds might the opponents challenge the change to the minutes? The opponents may disagree that the corrections proposed by the Broad Institute are an accurate reflection of events at the hearing. Alternatively, the opponents may argue that the correction of the minutes would serve no useful purpose and that even with the correction, a request for a petition of review would be clearly inadmissible.

            The EPO will be under pressure to resolve the dispute quickly. The deadline for filing a petition for review is 2 months from the Board of Appeal decision.

          • Pebble Tide LLC v. Arlo Technologies, Inc. (D. Del. 2020)

            A few weeks ago, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted Defendants’ Rule 12 motions in three different cases, each naming Pebble Tide LLC (hereinafter, “Pebble”) as Plaintiff. The Defendants in the three cases were Arlo Technologies, Inc., Uniden America Corp., and Petcube, Inc. In granting the Rule 12 motions, the Court found the claims of two asserted patents — U.S. Patent Nos. 10,261,739 (the ’739 patent) and 10,303,411 (the ’411 patent) — to be invalid as being patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

            [...]

            In applying the first part of the Alice test, the Court deemed claim 1 to be directed to an abstract idea of “wirelessly outputting data from one device to another,” citing Cellspin Soft, Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc. (“we have consistently held that similar claims reciting the collection, transfer and publishing of data are directed to an abstract idea”) in support of this conclusion. The Court also reached this conclusion based on the similarities between this claim and those held by the Federal Circuit to be abstract in ChargePoint, Inc. v. SemaConnect, Inc. (“abstract claims directed to transmitting data from one device to another”). The Court also found the claim to be lacking technical details, stating that both the claims and the patents’ specification merely describe the recited components in functional terms.

            Turning to second part of the Alice test, the Court shot down a variety of seemingly scattered attempts at Pebble arguing that the claims recite an inventive concept, even after considering some constructions that Pebble more-recently proposed. For instance, the Court briefly dismissed Pebble’s notions that the “information apparatus” (which the specification states “generally refer[s] to computing devices”) or the interplay of the job object process and the device object process is inventive.

      • Copyrights

        • Disqualification of a Party’s Expert Who Migrates to the Firm of a Court-Appointed Expert

          An order by Judge Alsup in Oracle Am., Inc. v. Google, LLC (N.D. Cal. Jan 28, 2020 (here)) reflects an unusual fact pattern. The court had appointed an expert (in docket 2143, which by itself says a lot) who worked with the firm of Charles River Associates (“CRA”). Google had an expert, Dr. Leonard. Google notified Oracle that Dr. Leonard was to become “affiliated” with CRA, prompting Oracle to file an “objection” with the court.

          In response, Judge Alsup issued an order stating the most it could say so far was “that Dr. Leonard (and Google) have made this move at their peril.” He asked for motion practice and an appropriate record.

        • Oracle’s brief: More competing questions

          We’re reading the Google and Oracle briefs in my Introduction to Intellectual Property class this semester as part of the concluding exercise for the unit on copyright. On Monday we’ll discuss and debate the two positions in small groups then see which is most persuasive to a group of smart law students with a few weeks of copyright law.

        • Warhorse Studios Hilariously Infringes Pirates’ Copyrights to “Support the Developer”

          The developer of action role-playing game Kingdom Come: Deliverance has hilariously turned the tables on the cracking group that first put a pirated copy of its game on the Internet. With its tongue planted firmly in cheek, the Czech company is now selling limited edition metal posters of Codex’s game-accompanying NFO file, hoping that sales of the high-quality knock-off will “support the developer”.

        • Activision Tries To Bury Cover Art For New CoD Game Via Copyright Threat…So Let’s All Look At It Together, Shall We?

          Of all the dumb ways that the DMCA process has been misused in the very recent past, one of the most frustratingly stupid certainly has to be certain interests using it to try to bottle up leaks. From Nintendo to Universal to Marvel, among others, each and every time some content, often times unfinished, gets leaked onto the internet, the lawyers fire off a bunch of DMCA notices to try to get the content taken down. And each and every time, the whole thing backfires completely and instead this leaked content gets Streisanded into the public consciousness.

        • YouTube TV Is Blocking Apple In-App Subscriptions Starting in March

          YouTube TV is stopping support for in-app subscriptions on Apple devices altogether in March.

        • BitTorrent ‘Copyright Troll’ Lawsuits Skyrocket In Sweden

          The number of piracy lawsuits filed against alleged file-sharing pirates in Sweden hit a record high in 2019. In total, more than 60,000 IP-addresses of alleged BitTorrent users were targeted. The information was made available by the local Internet provider Bahnhof, which labels the ‘copyright trolling’ practice as extortion.

        • Judge Shuts Down Copyright Troll’s Cut-And-Run Effort; Hits It With $40K In Legal Fees

          The art of copyright trolling is completely artless. There’s no subtlety to it. Flood federal courts with filings against Does, expedite discovery requests in hopes of subpoenaing a sue-able name from a service provider, shower said person with threats about statutory damages and/or public exposure of their sexual proclivities, secure a quick settlement, and move on.

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  28. Links 26/10/2020: Linux 5.10 RC1 and Loongsoon Laptops

    Links for the day



  29. The Downfall of Free Software Leaders (and Their Projects or Missions)

    "Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking."



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 25, 2020


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