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02.22.20

Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • After South Korea, Polish Government Increases Use Of Linux

      In addition to the recent full-scale shift to Linux by South Korea, the Polish state organization has also signed a three-year support contract with Linux Polska for its IT systems.

      Poland’s social insurance company, ZUS (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych), announced the agreement with Linux Polska to obtain 24×7 support for integrated Linux server virtualization.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • DStv Now working on Linux streaming problems

        MyBroadband readers have complained of problems when trying to stream DStv Now on Linux devices.

        Previously, users running Linux operating systems were able to watch DStv Now through a web browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

        However, since the beginning of 2020, these users have been unable to watch shows on the platform, likely due to a change in the Widevine DRM system.

        Similar problems with international streaming platforms have been reported this year, indicating that the issue could be a common DRM issue rather than individual platform changes.

      • A Tale of Four Laptops, or, How Lenovo’s Digital River Customer Support Sucks

        In September, I made a mistake… We needed new laptops for Dmitry and Agata, and after much deliberation, we decided upon Lenovo Yoga C940’s. These are very cool devices, with HDR screens, nice keyboard, built-in pen, two-in-one convertible — everything in short for the discerning Krita hacker.

        I accidentally ordered the S940 instead — two of them. These are very awful devices, without a pen, no touch-screen, don’t fold, don’t have HDR, don’t even have normal USB ports. Overpriced, under-powered — why the heck does Lenovo call these Ideapads yoga’s? I have no idea.

        Well, no problem, I thought. I’ll just return them and ordered the C940 instead. The C940’s arrived in time for our BlenderCon sprintlet, and were all what one expected them to be. And I filled in Lenovo’s web form to return the S940’s.

        [...]

        I’ve bought Yoga’s, Thinkpads and even Ideapads in great numbers in the past twenty years… But I think it’s time to make a change.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Clear Linux | The Fastest Linux Distro?

        Clear Linux | The Fastest Linux Distro? Let’s do a deep dive into Clear Linux and go through the installation, configuration, and overall setup for it on your System.

      • Brunch with Brent: Heather Ellsworth | Jupiter Extras 57

        Brent sits down with Heather Ellsworth, Software Engineer on Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop Team, a GNOME Foundation Member, and former Purism Librem 5 Documentation Engineer. We discuss her deep history in experimental high energy physics at CERN, the similarities and synergies between the sciences and software engineering, her love of documentation, her newly established maintainership of LibreOffice, and how empathy factors into good bug reporting.

      • Kdenlive: From Beginner to Advanced Video Editing

        This is a different kind of video because it has a bit of Time Travel in it. In June 2019, I presented a talk at the SouthEast LinuxFest entitled “Kdenlive: From Beginner to Advanced Video Editing”. This was an interesting experience and the editing process took an excessive amount of time which I suppose is fitting for a video about video editing. In this video, you will learn some tips and tricks that I use for working in Kdenlive as well as some cool transitions like Matte Transitions. There was also a very useful Questions & Answers section at the end of the talk.

        I actually learned some more things during the process of editing this video so there is always plenty to learn about this kind of software. If you would like more Kdenlive videos from me then please leave a comment below. I would be happy to make some specific tutorial videos, this is more of an overview and I think there’s plenty to show in tutorial form.

      • Hopeful for HAMR | TechSNAP 423

        We explore the potential of heat-assisted magnetic recording and get excited about a possibly persistent L2ARC.

        Plus Jim’s journeys with Clear Linux, and why Ubuntu 18.04.4 is a maintenance release worth talking about.

      • 2020-02-21 | Linux Headlines

        Red Hat OpenStack Platform reaches version 16, Google announces the mentors for this year’s Summer of Code, DigitalOcean secures new funding, the Raspberry Pi 4’s USB-C power problems get a fix, and the GTK Project unveils its new website.

      • Talk Python to Me: #252 What scientific computing can learn from CS

        Did you come into Python from a computational science side of things? Were you just looking for something better than Excel or Matlab and got pulled in by all the Python has to offer?

        That’s great! But following that path often means some of the more formal practices from software development weren’t part of the journey.

        On this episode, you’ll meet Martin Héroux, who does data science in the context of academic research. He’s here to share his best practices and lessons for data scientists of all sorts.

      • Matt Layman: Templates and Logic – Building SaaS #45

        In this episode, we added content to a template and talked about the N+1 query bug. I also worked tricky logic involving date handling.

        The first change was to update a course page to include a new icon for any course task that should be graded. After adding this, we hit an N+1 query bug, which is a performance bug that happens when code queries a database in a loop. We talked about why this happens and how to fix it.

        After finishing that issue, we switched gears and worked on a tricky logic bug. I need a daily view to fetch data and factor in the relative time shift between the selected day and today. We wrote an involved test to simulate the right conditions and then fixed the code to handle the date shift properly.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7 DRM Bringing New “TIDSS” Driver

        The first batch of DRM-Misc changes following the recent Linux 5.6 merge window have been merged into DRM-Next in forming the early material that will ultimately come to the Linux 5.7 cycle in April.

        With this first batch of new feature material there are changes like the Arm Mali 400/450 “Lima” driver now supporting heap buffers, various DRM core improvements, DPMS clean-ups of atomic drivers, other maintenance items, and a new Direct Rendering Manager driver.

      • Intel Ethernet E823 Support Coming To The ICE Driver In Linux 5.7

        Intel’s ICE driver for the Ethernet E800 series is seeing a new member of the family come Linux 5.7.

        Queued in net-next thanks to an Intel developer is adding support for Intel Ethernet E823 series devices. This Intel E823 support for the Linux ethernet driver covers E823-L and E823-C adapters.

      • Linux EFI Going Through Spring Cleaning Before RISC-V Support Lands

        The Linux EFI boot code is going through some “spring cleaning” ahead of the RISC-V EFI support landing that still could make it for the Linux 5.7 kernel cycle this spring.

        The EFI kernel code is seeing some cleaning before the RISC-V support is merged since that increases the complexity of the code-base and for testing due to having an extra architecture in there. With this early batch of EFI changes to be staged until the Linux 5.7 merge window in April, the RISC-V support isn’t yet included but it still could get pulled together in the next month for making the 5.7 kernel.

      • Linux NUMA Patches Aim To Reduce Overhead, Avoid Unnecessary Migrations

        A set of patches that continue to be worked on for the Linux kernek is reconciling NUMA balancing decisions with the load balancer. Ultimately this series is about reducing unnecessary task and page migrations and other NUMA balancing overhead.

        The main focus with the patch series is addressing inconsistencies between the kernel’s NUMA balancing code and the load balancer. “The NUMA balancer makes placement decisions on tasks that partially take the load balancer into account and vice versa but there are inconsistencies. This can result in placement decisions that override each other leading to unnecessary migrations — both task placement and page placement. This series reconciles many of the decisions — partially Vincent’s work with some fixes and optimisations on top to merge our two series.”

      • Cloud, Linux vendors cash in on KVM-based virtualization

        Vendors such as Red Hat, IBM, Canonical and Google rely on KVM-based virtualization technology for many of their virtualization products because it enables IT administrators to execute multiple OSes on the same hardware. As a result, it has become a staple in IT admins’ virtual systems.

        KVM was first announced in October 2006 and was added to the mainline Linux kernel in February 2007, which means that if admins are running a Linux machine, they can run KVM out of the box.

        KVM is a Type 1 hypervisor, which means that each individual VM acts similar to a regular Linux process and allocates resources accordingly. Other Type 1 hypervisors include Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle VM Server for x86 and VMware ESXi.

      • Unikraft: Building Powerful Unikernels Has Never Been Easier!

        Two years ago, the Xen Project introduced Unikraft (http://unikraft.org) as an incubation project. Over the past two years, the Unikraft project has seen some great momentum. Since the last release, the community has grown about 20% and contributions have diversified a great deal. Contributions from outside the project founders (NEC) now make up 63% of all contributions, up from about 25% this time last year! In addition, a total of 56,739 lines were added since the last release (0.3).

        [...]

        Finally, the Unikraft team’s Simon Kuenzer recently gave a talk at FOSDEM titled “Unikraft: A Unikernel Toolkit”. Simon, a senior systems researcher at NEC Labs and the lead maintainer of Unikraft, spoke all about Unikraft and provided a comprehensive overview of the project, where it’s been and what’s in store.

      • Linux to get iPhone fast charging support

        Before the iPhone 11 Pro was released, all iPhones shipped with slow 5W chargers. However, now that the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max come bundled with 18W fast chargers, it makes sense to have computers support the technology as well.

        To add fast charging support for iPhones, the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.7 will add support for the latest fast charging technology. To be more specific, it’s not only for iPhones but also iPads which use 24W chargers.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa’s RADV Vulkan Driver Adding Compatibility For Use With The AMD Radeon GPU Profiler

          To date the Mesa “RADV” Radeon Vulkan driver hasn’t supported AMD’s GPUOpen Radeon GPU Profiler but that is changing.

          With RADV being developed by the community — principally by the likes of Valve, Red Hat, and Google — this Mesa Vulkan driver hasn’t supported all of the tooling AMD makes available under the GPUOpen umbrella and is tailored for their official AMD Linux/Windows Vulkan drivers. While AMDVLK and the Radeon Software for Linux driver have supported the company’s Radeon GPU Profiler, RADV is now adding compatibility for this profiler.

        • Intel Compute Runtime Adds OCLOC Multi-Device Compilation

          Version 20.07.15711 of the Intel Compute Runtime was released this morning.

          The Intel Compute Runtime 20.07.15711 is what principally provides their modern OpenCL implementation for Broadwell graphics hardware and newer with current at OpenCL 2.1 for all generations from Broadwell through the yet-to-be-released Gen12 Tiger Lake.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking OpenMandriva’s AMD Ryzen Optimized Linux Distribution On The Threadripper 3970X

        While Clear Linux is well known as being the performance-optimized Linux distribution out of Intel and catered towards performing the best on their hardware (though as we continue to show, Clear Linux does also perform incredibly well on AMD hardware too and generally faster than other distributions), when it comes to AMD-optimized distributions the primary example remains OpenMandriva. Since 2018 OpenMandriva has been providing an AMD Zen optimized build where their operating system and entire package archive is built with the “znver1″ compiler optimizations. As it’s been almost a year since last looking at OpenMandriva’s Zen optimized build, here are some fresh benchmarks using the newly-released OpenMandriva 4.1.

    • Applications

      • 8 Essential Free Speech Tools

        Speech synthesizers are text-to-speech systems used with computers. This type of software is programmed to include phonemes and the grammatical rules of a language, so that words are pronounced correctly. This article identifies the finest open source speech synthesizers that are available for the Linux platform. This category of software is particularly useful for increasing the accessibility of the internet, but there are many other applications for speech synthesizers.

        Although this article focuses on open source software, we would take this opportunity to mention the IVONA Text to Speech System, software that is compatible with Linux. IVONA is an incredibly impressive text-to-speech system, generating exceptionally natural sounding voices. Unfortunately, the software is released under a proprietary license. While its open source competitors, eSpeak, Festival, and Praat Speech Analyser, sound somewhat robotic in comparison with the human-sounding IVONA, they do provide clear audio with text documents.

        This article also highlights the best speech recognition software for Linux. Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. This type of software helps users to operate their computer by speaking to it, and is a real blessing for anyone who finds it difficult to type, such as the elderly, or people with physical disabilities. Using speech recognition software, users can easily write emails, surf the net, manage their finances, chat to other users online, and perform many other computer activities.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 of the finest speech tools covering the spectrum of speech synthesizers, speech recognition software, speech recognition engines, and speech analysis. Here’s our recommended tools.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Proton 5.0-3 for Steam Play released, Direct3D 12 support for Metro Exodus

        Another small release in terms of noted changes but still an interested one, with today seeing Proton 5.0-3 for Steam Play being made available.

        For those who really can’t wait for the upcoming Linux release of Metro Exodus, you can now run it in Proton in the Direct3D 12 mode. Nice to see support for that making it in so quickly and it will be interesting to see how it fares against the aforementioned Linux release.

        The rest of this release are bug fixes, with the major fix being a “high polling rate mouse regression” I saw a number of complaints on so Proton 5.0-3 should behave a bit better. On top of that there’s also a fix for crashing launches with both The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners and eFootball PES 2020 plus Automobilista being unable to load some assets also being fixed up.

      • Steam Play’s Proton 5.0-3 Released With Support For Metro Exodus Direct3D 12 Mode

        CodeWeavers working under contract for Valve on their Wine downstream Proton is out with a new update to their Proton 5.0 series.

        Proton 5.0-3 is out as the newest release on their heavily patched Wine 5.0 based software for allowing countless Windows games to run smoothly under Linux. With Proton 5.0-3, Metro Exodus should be running nicely with its Direct3D 12 mode. Metro Exodus was released last February but made an Epic Games Store exclusive until recently. With the game now on Steam, it should be playing nicely on Linux thanks to Proton while 4A Games is said to be working on a native Linux port as well. For now though, Proton / Steam Play allows Metro Exodus to run on Linux.

      • Extreme top-down racing game ‘Bloody Rally Show’ is out now and it’s good

        Bloody Rally Show has been mentioned here a few times, as the developer gave GOL early access to test it and it’s a top-down racer I’ve certainly enjoyed watching grow.

        This is absolutely not your usual 2D racing sim either, it’s set in a dystopian future with a rather unique blending of racing, battling and some rogue-lite mechanics to give you a huge amount of content to play through full of missions and challenges.

      • Furiously intense ball-smashing game ‘Lethal League Blaze’ is now available on Linux

        Today, Team Reptile announced they have officially released a Linux build for their intense sports game Lethal League Blaze.

      • Dungeon-building RTS ‘Dungeons 3′ has another DLC out with a claim of it being final

        I’m not sure I believe it. Kalypso Media and Realmforge Studios just put out a brand new DLC for the delightfully silly dungeon-building RTS Dungeons 3 with a claim that it’s the final one.

      • Some early thoughts and exploration in The Longing, a game that takes 400 days to finish

        The Longing is a game that takes 400 real days to complete, a game that’s pretty much impossible to review but I’ve played quite a number of hours now to get an idea of what to expect from it. Since this is something of a short preview, a few spoilers may be contained.

        It doesn’t release until March 5 and due to the immense length of the game, we’ve been allowed to give it a few thoughts whenever. So here we are, with a short preview.

      • Big games of Stellaris are going to run a lot smoother in the 2.6.0 update

        Along with the major expansion coming to Stellaris with Federations, Paradox Development Studio as expected are working on a huge free patch and it’s sounding good.

        One problem with Stellaris, is that big games end up slowing down—a lot. PDS are aware of this and they’ve been working on it. Using a saved game from the community that had 20,000 “pops” on quite a powerful PC (Intel Core7-7900X @ 3.30Ghz, 10 cores and 20 threads, and AMD R9 Fury) they showed off the difference between 2.5.1 “Shelley” to 2.6 “Verne”.

      • Challenging turn-based RPG ‘Stoneshard’ now available for Linux

        True to their word, Ink Stains Games have delivered a Linux version of their open-world turn-based RPG Stoneshard that’s currently in Early Access.

      • There’s going to be more customization in Dota Underlords with the full release next week

        Next week, Valve will push Dota Underlords out the door as it leaves Early Access and with that the first full gameplay Season will begin.

        In a short and sweet announcement on Steam, the team mentioned a few things that will be coming with it although they’re still being coy about the bigger features to come like the City Crawl which is likely some sort of single-player adventure mode.

      • Swipe right for Socialism in Democratic Socialism Simulator now available on Linux

        Using the swipe left or right mechanic found in titles like the Reigns series (which are good fun), Democratic Socialism Simulator is now available.

        “Enact radical reforms, tax the rich, transform the economy, tackle the most pressing issues without alienating voters or bankrupting the government. But beware: the ruling class won’t give up its power easily. Even your closest allies may turn on you.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • New GTK Website Design Goes Live to Help Boost Linux App Development

          Many coders looking to get started GTK app development likely make the website their first port of call, meaning the page needs to make a strong, confident first impression.

          And the redesigned GTK website certainly does that. It pairs bold imagery and concise text with an uncluttered layout that puts essential links within easy reach.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Freespire 6.0: A Return to GNOME2′s Simpler Linux Days

          Freespire Linux 6.0 is a solid performer. I have not used the MATE desktop in quite a few years, but checking it out for this review instantly returned me to simpler days of using the Linux OS . I was a dedicated fan of the GNOME 2 desktop years ago and followed along with MATE rather than put up with the unsettling changes in the early releases of GNOME 3.

          I like the simple approach Freespire brings to using Linux, and I’m anticipating the release of the KDE version. Check back in upcoming weeks for an update when the KDE version of Freespire 6.0 is available.

      • BSD

        • Discussing Past, Present and Future of FreeBSD Project

          FreeBSD is one of the most popular BSD distributions. It is used on desktop, servers and embedded devices for more than two decades.

          We talked to Deb Goodkin, executive director, FreeBSD Foundation and discussed the past, present and future of FreeBSD project.

        • Can You Use FreeBSD for a Developer Machine in 2020?

          I’ve been considering moving my blog back to a FreeBSD web server. I’d hosted it that way for years and recently switched it to a Linux machine so I could make Octopress work properly. It uses some old, outdated Ruby gems, and it just seemed easier.

          But with a new redesign coming and a new Hugo back-end, I’ll be bringing my hosting machine back to FreeBSD.

          I recently read FreeBSD is an amazing operating system, which got me thinking:

          Can FreeBSD be a viable desktop operating system for developers in 2020?

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo Python Guide

          Gentoo provides one of the best frameworks for providing Python support in packages among operating systems. This includes support for running multiple versions of Python (while most other distributions avoid going beyond simultaneous support for Python 2 and one version of Python 3), alternative implementations of Python, reliable tests, deep QA checks. While we aim to keep things simple, this is not always possible.

          At the same time, the available documentation is limited and not always up-to-date. Both the built-in eclass documentation and Python project wiki page provide bits of documentation but they are mostly in reference form and not very suitable for beginners nor people who do not actively follow the developments within the ecosystem. This results in suboptimal ebuilds, improper dependencies, missing tests.

        • No more PYTHON_TARGETS in single-r1

          Since its inception in 2012, python-single-r1 has been haunting users with two sets of USE flags: PYTHON_TARGETS and PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET. While this initially seemed a necessary part of the grand design, today I know we could have done better. Today this chymera is disappearing for real, and python-single-r1 are going to use PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET flags only.

          I would like to take this opportunity to explain why the eclass has been designed this way in the first place, and what has been done to change that.

          Why PYTHON_SINGLE_TARGET?

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/08

          After a week of hacking on different stuff and being in the background for Tumbleweed while Oliver took on the role of Release Manager, I am back with you. And we have released three snapshots this week (0214, 0218 and 0219). The gap between 0214 and 0218 was the integration of glibc 2.31. But of course, there was more happening this week. So here comes the list:

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Network Automation: Why organizations shouldn’t wait to get started

          For many enterprises, we don’t need to sing the praises of IT automation – they already get it. They understand the value of automation, have invested in a platform and strategy, and have seen first-hand the benefits IT automation can deliver. However, unlike IT automation, according to a new report from Forrester Research 1, network automation is still new territory for many organizations.

          The report, “Jump-Start Your Network Automation,” found that 56% of global infrastructure technology decision makers have implemented/are implementing or are expanding/upgrading their implementation of automation software, while another 19% plan to implement it over the next 12 months. But those same organizations that are embracing IT automation haven’t necessarily been able to take that same initiative when it comes to automating their networks.

          Even if they know it will be beneficial to them, the report found that organizations often struggle with even the most basic questions around automating their networks.

        • Using a story’s theme to inform the filmmaking: Farming for the Future

          The future of farming belongs to us all. At least that’s the message I got from researching Red Hat’s most recent Open Source Stories documentary, Farming for the Future. As a self-proclaimed city boy, I was intrigued by my assignment as director of the short documentary, but also felt like the subject matter was worlds away. If it did, in fact, belong to all of us how would we convey this to a general audience? How could we use the film’s theme to inform how we might approach the filmmaking to enhance the storytelling?

        • Raptor Rolls Out New OpenBMC Firmware With Featureful Web GUI For System Management

          While web-based GUIs for system management on server platforms with BMCs is far from anything new, Raptor Computing Systems with their libre POWER9 systems does now have a full-functioning web-based solution for their OpenBMC-powered systems and still being fully open-source.

          As part of Raptor Computing Systems’ POWER9 desktops and servers being fully open-source down to the firmware/microcode and board designs, Raptor has used OpenBMC for the baseboard management controllers but has lacked a full-featured web-based system management solution on the likes of the Talos II and Blackbird systems up until now.

        • Introduction to open data sets and the importance of metadata

          More data is becoming freely available through initiatives such as institutions and research publications requiring that data sets be freely available along with the publications that refer to them. For example, Nature magazine instituted a policy for authors to declare how the data behind their published research can be accessed by interested readers.

          To make it easier for tools to find out what’s in a data set, authors, researchers, and suppliers of data sets are being encouraged to add metadata to their data sets. There are various forms for metadata that data sets use. For example, the US Government data.gov site uses the standard DCAT-US Schema v1.1 whereas the Google Dataset Search tool relies mostly on schema.org tagging. However, many data sets have no metadata at all. That’s why you won’t find all open data sets through search, and you need to go to known portals and explore if portals exist in the region, city, or topic of your interest. If you are deeply curious about metadata, you can see the alignment between DCAT and schema.org in the DCAT specification dated February 2020. The data sets themselves come in various forms for download, such as CSV, JSON, GeoJSON, and .zip. Sometimes data sets can be accessed through APIs.

          Another way that data sets are becoming available is through government initiatives to make data available. In the US, data.gov has more than 250,000 data sets available for developers to use. A similar initiative in India, data.gov.in, has more than 350,000 resources available.

          Companies like IBM sometimes provide access to data, like weather data, or give tips on how to process freely available data. For example, an introduction to NOAA weather data for JFK Airport is used to train the open source Model Asset eXchange Weather Forecaster (you can see the model artifacts on GitHub).

          When developing a prototype or training a model during a hackathon, it’s great to have access to relevant data to make your solution more convincing. There are many public data sets available to get you started. I’ll go over some of the ways to find them and provide access considerations. Note that some of the data sets might require some pre-processing before they can be used, for example, to handle missing data, but for a hackathon, they are often good enough.

        • Red Hat Helps Omnitracs Redefine Logistics And Transportation Software

          Fleet management technology provider Omnitracs, LLC, has delivered its Omnitracs One platform on the foundation of Red Hat OpenShift.

          Using the enterprise Kubernetes platform along with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, Omnitracs One is a cloud-native offering and provides an enhanced user experience with a clear path towards future innovations. With Red Hat’s guidance, Omnitracs said it was able to embrace a shift from on-premises development technologies to cloud-native services, improving overall operations and creating a more collaborative development process culture.

        • Flatseal: Graphical Tool To Manage Flatpak Application Permissions

          Many applications are available to install in Linux desktop via Flatpak packages nowadays. If you’re sticking to flatpak applications, then Flatseal may be useful for you.

          Flatseal is a graphical utility to review and modify basic permissions for all your installed Flatpak applications.

          Simply launch Flatseal, select or search for an application from left pane and modify its permissions. Restart the application after making the changes. If anything goes wrong just press the Reset button.

        • Word Embeddings Simplified

          Recently I have been dwelling with a lot of NLP problems and jargons. The more I read about it the more I find it intriguing and beautiful of how we humans try to transfer this knowledge of a language to machines.

          How much ever we try because of our laid back nature we try to use already existing knowledge or existing materials to be used to make machines understand a given language.

          But machines as we know it can only understand digits or lets be more precise binary(0s and 1s). When I first laid my hands on NLP this was my first question, how does a machine understand that something is a word or sentence or a character.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-08

          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.

      • Debian Family

        • Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 beta images available now

          Linux Mint Debian Edition, more commonly known as LMDE, has a new beta release out on third-party mirrors even though no official announcement has yet been made about its availability. LMDE 4 was discussed in the last Linux Mint blog post and is expected to come with all the improvements that were shipped with Linux Mint 19.3 such as Cinnamon 4.4, new default software, a boot repair tool, and more.

          Unlike typical Linux Mint versions which use Ubuntu as the base, LMDE uses Debian Stable. The software packages that are included with Debian Stable are thoroughly tested and are considered to be a bit more stable than the ones Ubuntu ships with (Ubuntu is based on Debian Unstable/Debian Testing depending on whether it’s an Ubuntu LTS release). LMDE also acts as an emergency option if, in future, Ubuntu is not a suitable base.

        • Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 Beta Is Now Available for Download

          Announced at the end of January, Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 “Debbie” is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series and will be released before Linux Mint 20 as it’s mostly an updated installation media for those who want to deploy the latest LMDE operating system on new computers without having to download hundreds of updates after the installation.

          The new features in Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 can be spotted right from the boot as this release includes a new boot option that lets users start the live system with out-of-the-box support for Nvidia graphics cards. Yes, that’s right, the proprietary Nvidia graphics drivers are now preloaded in the ISO image.

        • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, January 2020

          January started calm until at the end of the month some LTS contributors met, some for the first time ever, at the Mini-DebCamp preceeding FOSDEM in Brussels. While there were no formal events about LTS at both events, such face2face meetings have proven to be very useful for future collaborations!
          We currently have 59 LTS sponsors sponsoring 219h each month. Still, as always we are welcoming new LTS sponsors!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Coronavirus wreaking havoc in the tech industry, including FOSS

        At FOSS Linux, you may wonder why we are covering the coronavirus and how it relates to Linux and open-source software?

        Aside from the apparent effect of the slowdown in components required for Linux to run on, the coronavirus outbreak directly impacts several products featured in FOSS Linux over the past year.

        Purism – the brains behind the Librem 5 phones powered by PureOS are the most directly affected by the outbreak, suffering production delays.
        Dell – the titanic computer manufacturer, has hinted at a possibility of interruption of supplies, which could affect the availability of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition preloaded with Ubuntu 18.04.
        System76 – these creators of Pop_OS! 19.10 recently announced their foray into the world of laptop design and manufacturing. The coronavirus could adversely affect this endeavor.
        Pine64 – maker of the Pinebook Pro, the affordable laptop which supports most, if not all, Linux distros featured on FOSS Linux also is under threat of production delays.

      • Announcing the release of Samza 1.3.1

        We have identified some issues with the previous release of Apache Samza 1.3.0.

      • Events

        • Linux Foundation, LF Networking, and LF Edge Announce Keynote Speakers for Open Networking & Edge Summit North America 2020

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, along with co-hosts LF Networking, the umbrella organization fostering collaboration and innovation across the entire open networking stack, and LF Edge, the umbrella organization building an open source framework for the edge, today announced initial keynote speakers for Open Networking & Edge Summit (ONES) North America 2020. The event takes place April 20-21 in Los Angeles, California.

          Open Networking & Edge Summit (formerly Open Networking Summit) is the industry’s premier open networking event now expanded to comprehensively cover Edge Computing, Edge Cloud and IoT. The event enables collaborative development and innovation across enterprises, service providers/telcos and cloud providers to shape the future of networking and edge computing with a deep focus on technical, architectural and business discussions in the areas of Open Networking & AI/ML-enabled use cases for 5G, IoT, Edge and Enterprise deployment, as well as targeted discussions on Edge/IoT frameworks and blueprints across Manufacturing, Retail, Oil and Gas, Transportation and Telco Edge cloud, among other key areas.

        • SUSE welcomes Dublin City University students at SUSECON 2020

          DCU relies on SUSE to support their IT infrastructure. DCU also utilize our academic program for teaching and training Open Source technologies in the classroom, so when the idea came to invite a university to SUSECON, they were a perfect fit.

          Nearly 50 master’s students and a handful of teaching staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing are looking forward to attending this year’s SUSECON. MSc and M.Eng students from the School of Computing and the School of Electronic Engineering will be in attendance throughout the week. The event will provide numerous opportunities for the students to learn from and engage with industry experts from companies like SUSE, Microsoft and SAP.

        • Follow-up on the train journey to FOSDEM

          Here’s a recap of my train journey based on the Twitter thread I kept posting as I travelled.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome deploys deep-linking tech in latest browser build despite privacy concerns

            Google has implemented a browser capability in Chrome called ScrollToTextFragment that enables deep links to web documents, but it has done so despite unresolved privacy concerns and lack of support from other browser makers.

            Via Twitter on Tuesday, Peter Snyder, privacy researcher at privacy-focused browser maker Brave Software, observed that ScrollToTextFragment shipped earlier this month in Chrome 80 unflagged, meaning it’s active, despite privacy issues that have been raised.

            “Imposing privacy and security leaks to existing sites (many of which will never be updated) REALLY should be a ‘don’t break the web,’ never-cross redline,” he wrote. “This spec does that.”

            The debate over the feature percolated last year on mailing lists and in GitHub issues posts and picked up in October when the team working on Chrome’s Blink engine declared their intent to implement the specification. The feature rollout serves to illustrate that the consensus-based web standards process doesn’t do much to constrain the technology Google deploys.

        • Mozilla/WWW

          • TenFourFox FPR20b1 available

            When using FPR20 you should notice … absolutely nothing. Sites should just appear as they do; the only way you’d know anything changed in this version is if you pressed Command-I and looked at the Security tab to see that you’re connected over TLS 1.3, the latest TLS security standard. In fact, the entirety of the debate was streamed over it, and to the best of my knowledge TenFourFox is the only browser that implements TLS 1.3 on Power Macs running Mac OS X. On regular Firefox your clue would be seeing occasional status messages about handshakes, but I’ve even disabled that for TenFourFox to avoid wholesale invalidating our langpacks which entirely lack those strings. Other than a couple trivial DOM updates I wrote up because they were easy, as before there are essentially no other changes other than the TLS enablement in this FPR to limit the regression range. If you find a site that does not work, verify first it does work in FPR19 or FPR18, because sites change more than we do, and see if setting security.tls.version.max to 3 (instead of 4) fixes it. You may need to restart the browser to make sure. If this does seem to reliably fix the problem, report it in the comments. A good test site is Google or Mozilla itself. The code we are using is largely the same as current Firefox’s.

          • Moving to Markdown

            I’m writing this only for those who follows this blog via RSS feed and probably wonders why they had many notifications on their RSS reader. Sorry, this thing happen when upload a new version of my website. So, what’s new on this new website? Not much, nothing changed visually… But everything changed under the hood!

          • Semantic markup, browsers, and identity in the DOM

            HTML was initially designed as a semantic markup language, with elements having semantics (meaning) describing general roles within a document. These semantic elements have been added to over time. Markup as it is used on the web is often criticized for not following the semantics, but rather being a soup of divs and spans, the most generic sorts of elements. The Web has also evolved over the last 25 years from a web of documents to a web where many of the most visited pages are really applications rather than documents. The HTML markup used on the Web is a representation of a tree structure, and the user interface of these web applications is often based on dynamic changes made through the DOM, which is what we call both the live representation of that tree structure and the API through which that representation is accessed.

            Browsers exist as tools for users to browse the Web; they strike a balance between showing the content as its author intended versus adapting that content to the device it is being displayed on and the preferences or needs of the user.

            Given the unreliable use of semantics on the Web, most of the ways browsers adapt content to the user rarely depend deeply on semantics, although some of them (such as reader mode) do have significant dependencies. However, browser adaptations of content or interventions that browsers make on behalf of the user very frequently depend on the persistent object identity in the DOM. That is, nodes in the DOM tree (such as sections of the page, or paragraphs) have an identity over the lifetime of the page, and many things that browsers do depend on that identity being consistent over time. For example, exposing the page to a screen reader, scroll anchoring, and I think some aspects of ad blocking all depend on the idea that there are elements in the web page that the browser understands the identity of over time.

          • Chris H-C: This Week in Glean: A Distributed Team Echoes Distributed Workflow

            I was recently struck by a realization that the position of our data org’s team members around the globe mimics the path that data flows through the Glean Ecosystem.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Sysadmins: Is LibreOffice a viable office suite choice for your users?

          At some point in our lives, we have all been in a situation that required us to make use of a software suite for productivity. For most of us, that software has been Microsoft Office. Some of my earliest technology encounters (aside from taking typing classes in elementary school) involved sitting down at a desktop computer to type up a homework assignment, or a surprise five-page expose on the universal themes permeating The Grapes of Wrath. (Insert eye roll here.)

          [...]

          Another aspect that sysadmins need to consider is cost. With the trend toward subscription models, making a decision now requires a different calculus. A subscription option allows you to always have the most up to date version, although it only covers one software license unless you are purchasing for a business. You still have one-time purchase options, however, it will never receive updates in the future outside of routine maintenance patches. For small business sysadmins, every dollar counts. If you can save your company money on software licensing and still have a robust productivity suite, you will not struggle to prove your value to the company.

          So, what is a forward-thinking, frugal, open source sysadmin to do? As this is not a trick question, the answer is simple: Use open source software to solve the issue. I want to look at what open source can do for us in the productivity space.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Reposurgeon defeats all monsters!

            On January 12th 2020, reposurgeon performed a successful conversion of its biggest repository ever – the entire history of the GNU Compiler Collection, 280K commits with a history stretching back through 1987. Not only were some parts CVS, the earliest portions predated CVS and had been stored in RCS.

            I waited this long to talk about it to give the dust time to settle on the conversion. But it’s been 5 weeks now and I’ve heard nary a peep from the GCC developers about any problems, so I think we can score this as reposurgeon’s biggest victory yet.

            The Go port really proved itself. Those 280K commits can be handled on the 128GB Great Beast with a load time of about two hours. I have to tell the Go garbage collector to be really aggressive – set GOGC=30 – but that’s exactly what GOGC is for.

      • Programming/Development

        • Designing an event-driven process at scale: Part 2

          In the first article in this series, Designing an event-driven business process at scale: A health management example, Part 1, we began by defining the business use case and data model for a concrete example from the health management industry. We then began implementing the example in jBPM (an open source business automation suite) by creating our trigger process.

        • 9 Reasons You Should Use Golang Language

          Golang is the open-source programming language developed by Google in the year 2007. Several programming languages are present in the market with advantages and disadvantages. We cannot predict which language is better, it would take months to discuss. However, the most sensible thing that helps choose a better language is the one that suits a specific purpose more reliably than the others. Thus, Golang development will be most suitable for those who are willing to combine simplicity, concurrency, and safety of the code.

          Different programming languages are less memory efficient and are unable to communicate with the hardware. Therefore, Golang is one of the most preferred languages for developers that help build software. It is also the open-source and procedural language that is advantageous to deploy simple, effective, and reliable software. Go language aids the environment to adopt different patterns that are similar to dynamic languages.

          Go language has several advantages that are responsible to quicken the development process. Moreover, Golang is the language that makes the process of software development easy and simple for programmers. These days, Golang is gaining popularity amongst the developers as it has a plethora of advantages than the other programming languages. So, the use of Golang has been adopted by mobile app development companies.

        • Perl / Raku

          • My first date with Raku

            Ever since I started the Perl Weekly challenge i.e. 25th March 2019, I have been planning to take part in the weekly challenge. Because of lack of time, I couldn’t take part in the past. In the Week #046, I finally took the plunge and contributed Perl solutions to the Perl Weekly Challenge – 046.

          • Possibly the best k-means clustering … in the world!

            Short post this time because I got nerd-sniped looking at the data. The fun part is that you quickly move from thinking about how to get your results to trying to work out what they mean.

            Forget why I started down this road. Right now, we are seeking the answer to Lewis Carol’s famous question, How is a Porsche 914-2 like a Volvo 142E? (well, that’s what it was in the first draft) A quick summary for those who have just joined us.

          • Demonstrating PERL with Tic-Tac-Toe, Part 1

            PERL is a procedural programming language. A program written in PERL consists of a series of commands that are executed sequentially. With few exceptions, most commands alter the state of the computer’s memory in some way.

            Line 00 in the Tic-Tac-Toe program isn’t technically part of the PERL program and it can be omitted. It is called a shebang (the letter e is pronounced soft as it is in the word shell). The purpose of the shebang line is to tell the operating system what interpreter the remaining text should be processed with if one isn’t specified on the command line.

            Line 02 isn’t strictly necessary for this program either. It makes available an advanced command named state. The state command creates a variable that can retain its value after it has gone out of scope. I’m using it here as a way to avoid declaring a global variable. It is considered good practice in computer programming to avoid using global variables where possible because they allow for action at a distance. If you didn’t follow all of that, don’t worry about it. It’s not important at this point.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 048: Survivor and Palindrome Dates

            I tried two different approaches to the problem.

            The first one uses an array of living people and a variable $sword that stores the index of the person holding the sword. In each iteration of the loop, the next person is removed from the array, and the sword is passed to the next person.

            The “next person” has a special cyclic meaning: at the end of the array, the sword must return to the beginning. This is achieved by using the modulo operator %. Note that we use it twice, once to find the person to kill, and once to find the person to pass the sword to—and each case uses a different array size in the modulo operation, as killing a person changes the size of the array.

        • Python

          • Personalize your python prompt

            The >>> we see when the Python interactive shell starts, is called the Prompt String. Usually, the prompt string suggests that the interactive shell is now ready to take new commands.

          • My Unexpected Dive into Open-Source Python

            I’m very happy to announce that I have joined Quansight as a front-end developer and designer! It was a happy coincidence how I joined- the intersection of my skills and the open source community’s expanded vision.

            I met Ralf Gommers, the director of Quansight Labs, at the PyData Conference in New York City last year after giving a Lightning Talk. However, as cool and confident as this may sound, I sure didn’t start off that way.

            At that point, it’s been a few months since I graduated from a coding bootcamp. I was feeling down in the job-search funk. I hadn’t even done much in Python, since my focus was in Javascript.

          • Automating Everything With Python: Reading Time: 3 Mins

            Python is a general language for beginners to get started with programming. Python is used for automation due to a built-in standard library and other tools within the Python ecosystem.

            Which can be useful for anyone besides just a system administrator to automate certain parts of their process to make work much efficient. From data wrangling to just gathering market research data.

            Due to this ease of picking up and the python ecosystem. Python is used as part of DevOps, Data Science, Marketing.

          • Python 3.7.5 : This python package can work with ArcGIS platform.
          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxvi) stackoverflow python report
        • Rust

          • Anatomy of a generic function in Rust

            It can handle different input types and thus it’s called a generic function. The generic data type is represented by the capital letter T in this example. T is an arbitrary placeholder. It could be have been another letter, X, Y or V, but when using T it can be easier to remeber that it refers to a “type”.

            I don’t usually write code but I do enjoy reading and here the syntax of the function definition can be daunting at first. Let’s have a look at a simpler version.

        • Java and JS

          • Don’t like loops? Try Java Streams

            In this article, I will explain how to not write loops anymore.

            What? Whaddaya mean, no more loops?

            Yep, that’s my 2020 resolution—no more loops in Java. Understand that it’s not that loops have failed me, nor have they led me astray (well, at least, I can argue that point). Really, it is that I, a Java programmer of modest abilities since 1997 or so, must finally learn about all this new Streams stuff, saying “what” I want to do and not “how” I want to do it, maybe being able to parallelize some of my computations, and all that other good stuff.

            I’m guessing that there are other Java programmers out there who also have been programming in Java for a decent amount of time and are in the same boat. Therefore, I’m offering my experiences as a guide to “how to not write loops in Java anymore.”

          • Live video streaming with open source Video.js

            Last year, I wrote about creating a video streaming server with Linux. That project uses the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RMTP), Nginx web server, Open Broadcast Studio (OBS), and VLC media player.

            I used VLC to play our video stream, which may be fine for a small local deployment but isn’t very practical on a large scale. First, your viewers have to use VLC, and RTMP streams can provide inconsistent playback. This is where Video.js comes into play! Video.js is an open source JavaScript framework for creating custom HTML5 video players. Video.js is incredibly powerful, and it’s used by a host of very popular websites—largely due to its open nature and how easy it is to get up and running.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Gopher: When Adversarial Interoperability Burrowed Under the Gatekeepers’ Fortresses

        In the early 1990s, personal computers did not arrive in an “Internet-ready” state. Before students could connect their systems to UMN’s network, they needed to install basic networking software that allowed their computers to communicate over TCP/IP, as well as dial-up software for protocols like PPP or SLIP. Some computers needed network cards or modems, and their associated drivers.

        That was just for starters. Once the students’ systems were ready to connect to the Internet, they still needed the basic tools for accessing distant servers: FTP software, a Usenet reader, a terminal emulator, and an email client, all crammed onto a floppy disk (or two). The task of marshalling, distributing, and supporting these tools fell to the university’s Microcomputer Center.

        For the university, the need to get students these basic tools was a blessing and a curse. It was labor-intensive work, sure, but it also meant that the Microcomputer Center could ensure that the students’ newly Internet-ready computers were also configured to access the campus network and its resources, saving the Microcomputer Center thousands of hours talking students through the configuration process. It also meant that the Microcomputer Center could act like a mini App Store, starting students out on their online journeys with a curated collection of up-to-date, reliable tools.

        That’s where Gopher comes in. While the campus mainframe administrators had plans to selectively connect their systems to the Internet through specialized software, the Microcomputer Center had different ideas. Years before the public had heard of the World Wide Web, the Gopher team sought to fill the same niche, by connecting disparate systems to the Internet and making them available to those with little-to-no technical expertise—with or without the cooperation of the systems they were connecting.

        Gopher used text-based menus to navigate “Gopherspace” (all the world’s public Gopher servers). The Microcomputer Center team created Gopher clients that ran on Macs, DOS, and in Unix-based terminals. The original Gopher servers were a motley assortment of used Macintosh IIci systems running A/UX, Apple’s flavor of Unix. The team also had access to several NeXT workstations.

      • The Things Industries Launches Global Join Server for Secure LoRaWAN

        Co-Founder and CEO of The Things Industries Wienke Giezeman announced the launch of Global Join Server (GJS) which is a secure component of the LoRaWan server.

      • Apple May Soon Let You Set Third-Party Mail, Browser Apps as Default on iOS: Report

        Apple has always had its own apps set as defaults in cases like the music player and the browser, Apple Music and Safari respectively. But, this might change soon. Reportedly, Apple is considering allowing third party apps to be set as defaults on iOS. Apple is also debating whether to allow third-party music apps on the HomePod speaker, something would mean allowing users to stream music via Spotify, which is one of Apple Music’s rivals. No decision has been made by the company as of now.

  • Leftovers

    • The Soviet Century

      Moshe Lewin (1921-2010) was a scholar of Russian and Soviet history. Of Jewish stock, he was born in what is now modern Lithuania. In his youth he worked on a collectivized farm and in a metallurgy factory in the Soviet state, before enlisting in the Red Army during the Second World War.

    • Roma: How Romans Differ From Europeans

      Drive across the Alps into Italy and set out southwards and you’re surprised that the capital city on the Mediterranean is still hundreds of kilometers away. That long road ahead makes you conscious of the isolation of the ancient city called Roma. And you are right. Rome is isolated. Far away from the “real” Europe of London and Paris and Berlin, cities of high diplomacy and international accords. Far away not only in kilometers. It is also that isolation that makes Rome and the rest of Mediterranean Italy—packed onto the protrusion sticking out southwards toward Africa—so different from “Europe”. From the rest of the Continent. And therefore its fatal attraction. North Europeans love Italy. Poles have long had a special relationship with Rome—the Polski Dom for Polish pilgrims to the holy city is near my house. Like their writer Gogol, Russians feel a powerful attraction to Rim. The fascination these peoples of the North perceive for Roma is itself a mystery. I find it like the romantic mysteries of, say, Baranquilla or Macao or Alexandria. But one perception that most of them—Germans, Poles, Russians and Englishmen and others—have in common is that Italy is an exotic abroad. So it is no wonder that the mysteriousness of the city of Roma stirs your own imagination. And once there and have seen it you feel you have to get to the bottom of it. For you too might fall victim to it someday.

    • Loss Leaders

      There is a vintage Odd Couple episode in which uber-neatnik Felix Unger, desperately trying to woo back his beloved ex-wife, concocts a scheme to prove his newfound flexibility by emulating Oscar Madison, his slob supreme of a roommate. Felix attempts to generate just the slightest bit of sloppiness. He finds himself utterly incapable of even the most minute gesture in that direction, unable to toss a napkin on the floor, to disturb the pristine order of his apartment—anything, really. He lacks the template to change this aspect of his behavior.

    • Science

      • Meet the Soviet physicist who hosted the USSR’s best-known underground parties and recorded the greatest writers of his era

        Bookshelves lined the entire wall of a narrow room on the ninth floor of a Soviet apartment block. In the dim light of a single desk lamp, you could barely make out a large divan that served as a bed at night, and as a sofa for guests to sit on in the evenings. Up to twenty people could squeeze together on the divan, while others sat perched on rickety benches assembled from wooden boards. The apartment belonged to physicist Alexander Krivomazov. Among the hundreds of people who flocked to his apartment, he went by Sasha.

      • Stop Calling It “Innovation”

        Let me start with the obvious: Innovation is the buzzword. In fact, it has been the buzzword for so long, you could say we’ve developed a cult around it.

        Board of Innovation, a global consulting firm, estimates that there are about 70,000 books on innovation available for purchase right now. If you read at a pace of 20 pages per day, it would take you about 2,500 years to go through them all. Looking for a shortcut? A Google search will yield you nearly 2 billion results. This publication alone offers 4,858 digital articles and 10,192 case studies.

        Innovation’s public profile is matched by its priority on the CEO’s agenda. In 2019, 55% of company leaders participating in PWC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey claimed “We are not able to innovate effectively,” which placed that skill gap on top of the list. The 2020 C-Suite Challenge Report, published by the Conference Board, listed “building an innovative culture” among top-three most pressing internal concerns of 740 CEOs surveyed globally.

        Whether in the classroom, the newsroom, or the boardroom, innovation is our global darling.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis

        In 2017, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, produced a report that called for a comprehensive new global treaty to regulate and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming and move towards sustainable agricultural practices.

      • ‘Avalanche of Public Pressure’ Forces Trump’s EPA to Regulate PFAS, But Water Safety Experts Warn of More Delays

        “States should not wait for the EPA to act.”

      • Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory

        The case of an animal rights activist who infiltrated an independent German chemical testing laboratory has triggered the discovery of an apparently extensive chemical testing fraud.

      • Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic

        Donald Trump has long presented himself as an advocate for the disadvantaged, and this narrative continues to play into his political strategy as he seeks reelection come November. Nowhere is this clearer than in the president’s claims that he’s committed to combating drug addiction. His administration announced in 2019 $1.8 billion “in funding to states” that focused on “expanding access to [drug] treatment,” with “more than $900 million in new funding for a three-year cooperative agreement with states, territories, and localities to advance the understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to scale-up prevention and response activities.” Trump bragged about the administration’s achievements in his latest State of the Union address:

      • L’Ordre des Médecins suspends the French medical license of the president of fake médecine for speaking out against homeopathy

        One of the things I like about having blogged continuously for so many years are times when I’ve written about something that few, if any, other bloggers have and then, years later, learn of an update to the story. It’s particularly great when these sorts of stories occur overseas and hardly punctured the consciousness of the English-speaking world, giving me the opportunity to be the main take on the issue. So it was nearly two years ago that I noticed the #FakeMed hashtag on Twitter and wrote about a public statement by 124 physicians in France calling on the government to stop funding homeopathy and alternative medicine. Nearly everything written about it was in French, with almost no English sources, even though an English version of the physician’s statement was included on the fake médecine website letting me refresh my skills in the French language while reporting on an important development in Europe that wasn’t getting much coverage in the English-speaking world. Basically, these physicians who signed the fake médecine (FakeMed) statement called for the following actions by the French General Medical Council with respect to alternative medicine and homeopathy…

      • Medicare for All Should Be a Reality Today

        “People with low or moderate incomes do not get the same medical attention as those with high incomes. The poor have more sickness, but they get less medical care,” so said the president of the United States in a message to Congress.

      • [Older] China applies for patent on Gilead’s remdesivir to treat coronavirus

        The Wuhan Institute of Virology has said that an application has been filed seeking a new patent on Gilead Sciences’ investigational antiviral drug, remdesivir, believed to have the potential to treat the new coronavirus.

        Remdesivir, originally developed to treat Ebola, is not licensed or approved anywhere.

        However, the drug is being advanced into human clinical trials for coronavirus treatment in China. This comes after the drug showed early signs of effectiveness in coronavirus patients in the US when given with chloroquine, an existing malaria drug.

        Chloroquine is marketed in China and can be obtained via independent supply. Meanwhile, remdesivir has intellectual property barriers in the country and a patent application was submitted on 21 January.

      • Health, environment and climate are not negotiable

        More than 100 civil society organisations demand a stop to trade talks with the US that will further endanger EU rules on health and the environment and aggravate the climate crisis. A change of course is needed.
        We have followed the recent talks between the European Commission and the US authorities on a new trade agreement with disbelief and disappointment. It has become clear that the Commission is prepared to accommodate Trump’s demands for a reduction of EU food safety levels, to the detriment of public health, animal welfare and the environment, and also undermining EU commitments on climate change.

        Fear of threats made by the US President to impose high tariffs on European cars cannot be an excuse for retreating on basic public interest. The apparent paradigm shift within the Commission, emerging after months of negotiating behind closed doors and largely shielded from public scrutiny, is highly alarming. We call on governments and parliamentarians in the EU to push the Commission to alter its course. It must be made clear to the US Administration that our public health and environmental protection levels are not for sale.

        Pressure from US trade negotiators on the EU to lower standards is nothing new. Recent statements made by US Agricultural Secretary Perdue stated that any deal would depend on concessions from the EU to allow meat rinsed with acid or chlorine, or treated with hormones, pesticide residues in food and feed, or the dismantling of protective rules on GMOs.

        What is new is the response from the EU. When a comprehensive free trade agreement (TTIP) was negotiated with the US previously, the Commission claimed it would not lower standards. But recent statements by Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan about the current talks show a different approach. He has spoken of “a long list of regulatory barriers in agriculture” that could be “resolved” in an agreement.

      • Patenting Coronavirus Treatments

        The drug attracting attention is called remdesivir. It is a novel chemical compound designed, tested and patented by the company Gilead Sciences, Inc., with help from various research partners. Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and it has not been demonstrated to a government regulator be safe or effective for any medical use. It was originally developed for treatment of Ebola virus and Marburg virus1. The results from further clinical testing were not strong enough for the company to seek regulatory approval.

        Gilead later ran experiments to show the usefulness of the compound against adenovirus and coronavirus infections, and filed a patent specifically on this new medical use. The MERS virus and SARS virus are two examples of coronavirus virus. It is not uncommon that a drug that fails at one therapeutic use will be repurposed for a new, successful use. For example, development of the HIV drug treatment, AZT, was led by the pharma company, GSK, about a couple of decades after it was first synthesized by university researchers as a failed cancer drug. It was legitimate for GSK to get a patent on that new and inventive use for treating HIV. GSK successfully defended and enforced that new use patent, for example, in Canada, it went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

        [...]

        Regardless of the patent dynamics around the 2019-nCov virus, the main thing to note is that organizations are not engaging in IP battles or standoffs at this time. The primary focus has been on applying the expert knowledge and skills of these organizations to the epidemic. The viability of any potential patent rights specific to 2019-nCov will be reviewed in future by patent offices. There is currently considerable cooperation between governmental organizations and industry in supporting the rapid identification of treatments. For example, Gilead is working with the US government, Chinese government and the World Health Organization to contribute antiviral expertise, resources and permitting experimental use of remdesivir. At times, IP is rightfully a secondary consideration.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft rolls out a new update for Surface Duo SDK Preview

          The new update is available for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu….

        • Microsoft Brings Its Windows 10 Antivirus Arsenal to Linux [Ed: Wow. Softpedia’s “LINUX” section (Popa) is now an arm of Microsoft proprietary software marketing. Sure missing Marius Nester there. Whose arsenal is this? NSA’s?]
        • Microsoft: Linux Defender antivirus now in public preview, iOS and Android are next [Ed: Of course Microsoft’s sponsored propaganda network also promotes Microsoft proprietary software in the “LINUX” section. It does this all the time. The site has also just put “GitHub: We won’t take down any of your content unless we really have to” under the “LINUX” section because proprietary software (GitHub) is somehow “LINUX”?!]
        • Myst (or, The Drawbacks to Success)

          After listening to the cultural dialog — or shouting match! — which has so long surrounded Myst, one’s first encounter with the actual artifact that spurred it all can be more than a little anticlimactic. Seen strictly as a computer game, Myst is… okay. Maybe even pretty good. It strikes this critic at least as far from the best or worst game of its year, much less of its decade, still less of all gaming history. Its imagery is well-composited and occasionally striking, its sound and music design equally apt. The sense of desolate, immersive beauty it all conveys can be strangely affecting, and it’s married to puzzle-design instincts that are reasonable and fair. Myst‘s reputation in some quarters as impossible, illogical, or essentially unplayable is unearned; apart from some pixel hunts and perhaps the one extended maze, there’s little to really complain about on that front. On the contrary: there’s a definite logic to its mechanical puzzles, and figuring out how its machinery works through trial and error and careful note-taking, then putting your deductions into practice, is genuinely rewarding, assuming you enjoy that sort of thing.

          At same time, though, there’s just not a whole lot of there there. Certainly there’s no deeper meaning to be found; Myst never tries to be about more than exploring a striking environment and solving intricate puzzles. “When we started, we wanted to make a [thematic] statement, but the project was so big and took so much effort that we didn’t have the energy or time to put much into that part of it,” admits Robyn Miller. “So, we decided to just make a neat world, a neat adventure, and say important things another time.” And indeed, a “neat world” and “neat adventure” are fine ways of describing Myst.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Google Announces The 200 Open-Source Projects For GSoC 2020

              Google’s Summer of Code initiative for getting students involved with open-source development during the summer months is now into its sixteenth year. This week Google announced the 200 open-source projects participating in GSoC 2020.

              Among the 200 projects catching our eye this year are GraphicsFuzz, Blender, Debian, FFmpeg, Fedora, FreeBSD, Gentoo, GNOME, Godot Engine, KDE, Mozilla, Pitivi, The GNU Project, VideoLAN, and X.Org. The complete list of GSoC 2020 organizations can be found here.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Top 10 Most Used Open Source Software: Linux Foundation Report

                Accounting for 80-90 percent of all software, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) ecosystem is booming with high dependency usage by all sector companies.

                Accordingly, The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) in collaboration with Harvard’s Lab for Innovation Science has released a census report titled “Vulnerabilities in the Core, a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software.”

              • Mirantis Joins Linux Foundation’s LF Networking Community

                Mirantis, the open cloud company, today announced it has joined the Linux Foundation’s LF Networking (LFN) community, which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects.

                LFN software and projects provide platforms and building blocks for Network Infrastructure and Services across Service Providers, Cloud Providers, Enterprises, Vendors, and System Integrators that enable rapid interoperability, deployment, and adoption. LF Networking supports the largest set of networking projects with the broadest community in the industry that collaborate on this opportunity.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (openjpeg2), Debian (cloud-init, jackson-databind, and python-reportlab), Red Hat (ksh, python-pillow, systemd, and thunderbird), Slackware (proftpd), SUSE (java-1_7_0-ibm, nodejs10, and nodejs12), and Ubuntu (ppp and squid, squid3).

          • Honeypots and Honeynets
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Windows & Linux Devices at Risk From Unsigned Peripheral Firmware

              Reportedly, researchers from Eclypsium have discovered how a problem in peripheral devices can risk the security of entire systems. Specifically, they found that unsigned firmware in peripheral devices can allow an adversary to attack Windows, Linux systems. They have shared the details of their findings in a blog post.

              As revealed, unsigned firmware in a large number of WiFi adapters, trackpads, USB Hubs, and cameras impact various enterprise devices. Despite being known for years, the researchers state that many vendors paid no heed to this problem. Consequently, this issue makes the systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

            • Up close and personal with Linux malware [Ed: ESET trying to sell its useless proprietary software for a platform that does not need it]

              Chances are that the very word ‘Linux’ conjures up images of near-impenetrable security. However, Linux-based computer systems and applications running on them increasingly end up in the crosshairs of bad actors, and recent years have seen discoveries of a number of malicious campaigns that hit Linux systems, including botnets that were made up of thousands of Linux servers. These mounting threats have challenged the conventional thinking that Linux is more or less spared the problems that affect other operating systems, particularly Windows.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Kentucky Appeals Court Says Cops Need Warrants To Obtain Real-Time Cell Site Location Info

              The Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision added Fourth Amendment protections to historical cell site location information (CSLI). The Court recognized people had a privacy interest in their location info, even if it was collected and stored by third parties. This narrow finding — that historical cell site info is covered by the Fourth Amendment — has created ripples that are rocking the Third Party Doctrine boat, resulting in the Carpenter decision being applied to other records historically believed to be outside the Constitution’s protections.

            • Russia’s War On Encryption Stumbles Forth With Ban Of Tutanota

              The Russian government continues to escalate its war on encrypted services and VPNs. For years now, Putin’s government has slowly but surely taken steps to effectively outlaw secure communications, framing the restrictions as essential for national security, with the real goal of making it harder than ever for Russian citizens to dodge the Putin government’s ever-expanding surveillance ambitions.

            • Freedom of speech, surveillance and privacy in the time of coronavirus

              The situation concerning the Covid-19 coronavirus is serious, although it is not yet clear whether it will develop into a pandemic affecting billions of people worldwide. The story so far touches on most of the central themes of this blog. For example, we know that the Chinese authorities wasted valuable time trying to suppress news about the possible outbreak of a new virus, instead of acting swiftly to limit its spread. Given China’s record of obsessive control, that’s no surprise, but what is unexpected is the reaction of the public there, which has called for greater freedom of speech after the death of the whistleblower doctor who tried to raise the alarm:

            • Sweden is now testing its digital version of cash, the e-krona

              Physical cash is headed toward obsolescence in Sweden. Nearly everyone uses a mobile payment application called Swish, and it’s been estimated that retailers could stop accepting cash by 2023. This concerns the country’s central bankers, for two reasons. First, they fear that if the payment infrastructure is left completely to the private sector, certain groups might be excluded. Second, if people lose the ability to convert what’s in their commercial bank accounts into a form of “cash” backed by the government, it might undermine their faith in the money system.

              That’s why, a few years ago, the Riksbank began investigating the possibility of a state-backed digital currency that might play a similar role to the one physical cash plays today.

            • How to use the Tor Browser’s tools to protect your privacy

              As a result, according to Tor, websites and browsers will identify your connection as coming from the Tor network. While this efficiently protects your identity, it can also become troublesome with sites such as financial institutions or medical services that see your login as not coming from your home computer. It can also slow things down.

            • New Mexico Sues Google Over Collection of Children’s Data

              New Mexico’s attorney general sued Google Thursday over allegations the tech company is illegally collecting personal data generated by children in violation of federal and state laws.

            • ISPs sue Maine; claim their First Amendment right to free speech allows them to sell your internet history

              Internet service providers (ISPs) are taking the state of Maine to court over an internet privacy law that the ISPs do not want to follow. The lawsuit was first reported on by ArsTechnica’s Jon Brodkin. Back in 2017, Maine legislatures on every side of the bench came together to propose a law that forbade ISPs from selling the internet activity and history of its constituents. An iteration of this effort finally came to fruition in 2019, when Maine’s governor signed an internet privacy law that will take effect starting July 1, 2020. Unfortunately for the rest of America, the telecom industry was given the right to further monetize their users by selling information on what you do online to third parties. Maine specifically asked for ISPs to make this behavior opt-in instead of opt-out as it currently is federally. The spirit of the law is clear. The law:

            • Confidentiality

    • Defence/Aggression

      • White Terrorism Targeting Innocent Muslims in Germany Is Not Termed “Terrorism”

        It is no accident that the shooter idolized Donald J. Trump, one of the world’s most vocal purveyors of hatred toward Muslims.

      • A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.

        ‘Woke’ can be about matters other than social justice. This brief essay is a appraisal of David Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla, Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One [TAG].[1] The U.S. has been in continual warfare since 9/11 in the Middle East and beyond largely fighting anti-American insurgencies. American security elites are woke to the need to win these conflicts. Unsurprisingly, glitterati status is attached both to those good at fighting the wars, and to those good at telling the fighters how to fight. General David Petraeus exemplifies the first category; Lt. Colonel David Kilcullen the second. Contributing to the Colonel’s celebrity status is the fact that he is a prolific author. TAG is perhaps Kilcullen’s finest book. It offers understanding of the wars the Americans are fighting and more importantly, from the perspective of security elites, it tells them how to win them.

      • ‘They Are Afraid of Democracy,’ Says Evo Morales as Bolivian Tribunal Bars Him From Running for Senate

        The former president of Bolivia called the Supreme Electoral Tribunal’s decision “illegal and unconstitutional.”

      • One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way

        When anti-war activism plays second-fiddle to “follow the leader” the chosen champion and the opposing villian loom so large that they become the main focus of attention obscuring the empire and dumbing the movement down.

      • We Need to Treat Nuclear War Like the Emergency It Is

        If the current state of global affairs reminds you of an over-the-top plot by a white-cat-stroking James Bond villain, you’re not far off. When it comes to nuclear policy, we are closer than ever to a real-life movie disaster.

      • Dresden 75

        When the English music historian Charles Burney arrived in Dresden in 1772, he found mostly ruins.  This most beautiful of northern cities had not yet recovered from the ravages of the Seven Years War, concluded nearly a decade before:  “It is difficult for a stranger to imagine himself near the celebrated capital of Saxony, … [since] so few of its once many cloudcapt towers are left standing; only two or three remain intire, of all the stately edifices which formerly embellished this city.”

      • UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
      • Defense intelligence analyst pleads guilty to media leaks of classified materials

        Court filings indicate that Frese and this journalist “lived together at the same residential address from January 2018 to November 2018.” Frese worked for the DIA from February 2018 to October 2019.

        The Justice Department’s press release didn’t state the names of the journalists or who they worked for.

      • U.S., Taliban Agree to Terms for Peace Deal, Troop Withdrawal

        The United States and the Taliban said Friday they have agreed to sign a peace deal next week aimed at ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home, wrapping up America’s longest-running conflict and fulfilling one of President Donald Trump’s main campaign promises.

      • The CIA’s Role in Operation Condor

        The Washington Post reported that top secret documents confirm the role that the CIA played in Operation Condor, the international state-sponsored assassination, kidnapping, torture, and murder ring run by U.S.-supported military dictatorships in South America in the late 1970s. The documents confirm that the CIA’s role in the operation was to provide communications equipment to the ring, which enabled them to coordinate cross-border efforts to kidnap, torture, and kill suspected communists, which, of course, were nothing more than people who believed in socialism or communism.

      • Sudan: Progress on Rights, Justice, Key to Transition

        (Nairobi) – Sudan’s transitional government should accelerate legal and institutional reform and visible progress on domestic justice initiatives, Human Rights Watch said today, following its first official visit to the country in over 14 years. International donors should expedite assistance to support the transitional government’s reform agenda.

        “Sudan’s leaders confirmed to us in our meetings that they are committed to ensuring genuine reforms and bringing to justice those responsible for the most serious violations,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Now is the time to implement these commitments and seize this extraordinary moment of opportunity to secure the democratic, rights-respecting reforms that so many Sudanese took to the streets at great risk to themselves to achieve.” Expand

      • University students hear from those with first-hand experience of knife crime as part of work to help Sheffield schoolchildren

        The final year students, who are studying a social law module, gathered to hear from Dr Bankole Cole, a reader in criminology, and 24-year-old Blair Adderley about their experience with knife crime on Friday, February 21.

        Dr Cole conducted research on knife crime in London that later helped form The Ubuntu Round Tables Project led by Youth Futures and the Tutu Foundation UK charity with joint funding support from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and Sir John Cass’s Foundation to help youth provisions in different areas of the capital.

        What the students learned will help shape work with young people at Sheffield Springs Academy where they will deliver sessions on knife crime, gangs, and safety, as well as dispensing legal advice.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Our First Amendment or Our Empire, But Not Both

        At long last we (i.e., Americans) are forced to make a clear choice—either preserve the freedoms established by the First Amendment in 1791, or toss them aside and obstinately plod on with our exceptionalism. Julian Assange’s extradition hearing will begin on the 24th of February in London, but it is also a trial for Americans. We are being interrogated about how much we value our freedom, if we think we have a “right to know” anymore, and whether we will respect the rights of foreign journalists and international law.

      • Assange’s US Extradition Hearing Opens Monday: Fight for the Free Press Is Now On

        From medical professionals to journalists’ associations, the waves of courage that have emerged this week in defense of Julian Assange, invite all of us to join in, and stand on the right side of history.

      • “Leave Our Bloke Alone”: A Little Mission for Julian Assange

        An odd crew and perhaps the sort Julian Assange would have liked. Australian parliamentarian and government backbencher George Christensen, conservative to the point of parody. Andrew Wilkie, MP from Tasmania, a man fitfully dedicated to fight poker machines and gambling, formerly of the Office of National Assessments. Both united by a distinct liking for the cause of Julian Assange and a dislike for his treatment, showing the astonishing cross appeal of the WikiLeaks publisher, a point missed by his detractors and even his own followers.

      • Drop Charges and Extradition Pursuit of Assange, Says Amnesty International, Denouncing US Govt’s “Full-Scale Assault on the Right to Freedom of Expression”

        “The potential chilling effect on journalists and others who expose official wrongdoing by publishing information disclosed to them by credible sources could have a profound impact on the public’s right to know what their government is up to.”

      • UK minister who approved Trump’s request to extradite Assange spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for him to be “neutralized”

        Sajid Javid, who was Britain’s Home Secretary from April 2018 to July 2019, attended “starlight chats” and “after-dinner cocktails” in a series of off-the-record conferences involving high-level US military and intelligence figures at a 5-star island resort off the coast of Georgia, USA. Many of those attending have been exposed in WikiLeaks publications and have demanded the organisation be shut down.

        Javid signed the Trump administration’s extradition request for Assange in June 2019. He was Britain’s Chancellor until his resignation 9 days ago. One of the criteria under which a British Home Secretary can block extradition to the US is if “the person could face the death penalty”.

        The month before being appointed Home Secretary in April 2018, Javid visited Georgia for the “world forum” of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)—an influential neoconservative US organisation with close ties to the US intelligence community. The AEI has run a campaign against WikiLeaks and Assange since 2010.

        It can now be revealed that Javid spoke at the 2018 meeting, as did Jonah Goldberg, a fellow at the AEI who has called for Assange to be “garroted”. In a column published on the AEI website, Goldberg wrote: “WikiLeaks is easily among the most significant and well-publicised breaches of American national security since the Rosenbergs gave the Soviets the bomb. So again, I ask: Why wasn’t Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago? It’s a serious question.”

      • The Assange Hearing: A Reticent Request

        Julian Assange will stand next week in the armoured dock, accused of the “crime” of publishing. It is worth recalling that Wikileaks has a 100% record of accuracy. Nothing it has published has ever been shown to be inauthentic. Julian stands accused of the crime of telling the truth – more than that, of telling freely to the ordinary people of the world about the crimes which the powerful seek to conceal.

      • REVEALED: Chief magistrate in Assange case received financial benefits from secretive partner organisations of UK Foreign Office

        It can further be revealed that Lady Emma Arbuthnot was appointed Chief Magistrate in Westminster on the advice of a Conservative government minister with whom she had attended a secretive meeting organised by one of these Foreign Office partner organisations two years before.

        Liz Truss, then Justice Secretary, “advised” the Queen to appoint Lady Arbuthnot in October 2016. Two years before, Truss — who is now Trade Secretary — and Lady Arbuthnot both attended an off-the-record two-day meeting in Bilbao, Spain.

        The expenses were covered by an organisation called Tertulias, chaired by Lady Arbuthnot’s husband — Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former Conservative defence minister with extensive links to the British military and intelligence community exposed by WikiLeaks.

        Tertulias, an annual forum held for political and corporate leaders in the UK and Spain, is regarded by the UK Foreign Office as one of its “partnerships”. The 2014 event in Bilbao was attended by David Lidington, the Minister for Europe, while the Foreign Office has in the past funded Lord Arbuthnot’s attendance at the forum.

      • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face extradition hearing in U.K.

        The United Kingdom should not extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges in the United States, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

        On February 24, a London court will open the first phase of Assange’s extradition hearing, which is scheduled to last one week and focus on whether the extradition request is politically motivated; the second phase will begin May 18, according to Reuters. The extradition treaty between the U.S. and U.K. does not allow for extradition in the case of “political” offenses.

        “The extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to stand trial for his groundbreaking work with WikiLeaks would deal a body blow to First Amendment rights and press freedom. The U.K. should deny this request,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney in New York. “Using the draconian wartime powers of the Espionage Act against Assange undermines journalists’ rights and sets dangerous precedents that cast journalists and publishers as criminals.”

      • With WikiLeaks, Julian Assange did what all journalists should aspire to do
      • U.K. Shadow Chancellor: Assange’s Case Biggest Political Trial Of Contemporary Era

        According to the U.K.’s Shadow Finance Minister John McDonnell, the prosecution of Julian Assange is the biggest human rights concern of the contemporary era.

        McDonnell visited Assange at the U.K.’s Belmarsh Prison on Thursday and said the WikiLeaks founder must be granted whistleblower protections. The official added that Assange is working on his case and plans to return to journalistic work once his trial is finished.

        “We have a long tradition in this country for standing up for journalistic freedom, and standing up for the protection of whistleblowers and those who expose injustices,” he stated. “If this extradition takes place I think it will damage our reputation — I’m hoping it doesn’t.”

        McDonnell also added that people must have true information in the public domain and make their own judgments about certain reports.

    • Environment

      • Basescu: European Green Deal risks pushing ‘two or three countries’ towards EU exit

        The European Green Deal “will definitely create tensions” inside the EU, and risks pushing “two or three countries” to leave the Union altogether, warns former Romanian President Traian Basescu, saying the real priority in Romania is to build new infrastructure like motorways and exploit natural gas resources from the Black Sea.

        Traian Băsescu served for ten years as President of Romania and represented his country at EU summit meetings during that period (2004-2014). He currently sits in the European Parliament as an MEP for the centre-right European Peoples Party (EPP). He answered in writing to EURACTIV’s questions.

        [...]

        The Green Deal does not concern just one Member State but all 27 and approximately 120 partner countries with which the EU has international cooperation and commercial agreements. In this context, Romania must find the political and diplomatic capacity to put forward a realistic strategy that can help it to obtain as much EU financial support as possible.

        If it recognises the specific characteristics of each EU Member State, the Green Deal will be beneficial and will truly stimulate the economy and social wellbeing. This can be a colossal project, which might indeed change not only our economy but also our way of life if it is properly financed without affecting traditional EU policies, such as the CAP and cohesion policy.

        The European Commission must now put forward feasible proposals for the Green Deal. It is only when we have more clarity and analyse the impact of the Green Deal on our economy that we will see whether the EU will remain united or will lose two or three members.

      • Mulvaney Says GOP Won’t Act on Climate Crisis Because the Party Doesn’t Want Taxes to Go Up

        “Inaction is a choice that will force ‘lifestyle changes,’” said one critic. “The water will come.”

      • Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man

        It’s an open secret in environmental circles that Michael Bloomberg is a climate change con man, and organizations like the Sierra Club that take hundreds of millions in donations from the former New York City mayor to fight coal, are complicit in his fraudulent scheme to coopt the climate change movement for his own profit.

      • Finland must make haste with mining act reform, underlines Mikkonen

        “It has to be considered when setting up a mine if the benefits gained from the mine are more important than the tourism or natural value of the area. This is why the municipality has to be able to decide by zoning whether mines can be set up in its area,” she explained.

        Mikkonen argued that the guarantees associated with mining operations are currently insufficient, often leaving taxpayers to shoulder the cost of a failed operation.

      • Should Taiwan establish Asia’s first Green Deal?

        The Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act is Taiwan’s response to the climate target set by the Paris Agreement. The Act demands that the island nation diminish its GHG emissions to 20 percent of the 2005 levels by 2030 and 50 percent of the 2005 levels by 2050: a challenge requiring collective efforts across sectors.

      • Study Suggests Twitter Bots Have ‘Substantial Impact’ on Spreading Climate Misinformation

        A quarter of climate-related tweets in the studied period—around when Trump announced plans to ditch the Paris agreement—came from bots.

      • Study Suggests Twitter Bots Amplified Climate Denial Messages
      • JP Morgan Economists Warn of ‘Catastrophic Outcomes’ of Human-Caused Climate Crisis

        “Don’t want to hear Greta Thunberg or Extinction Rebellion? Try J.P. Morgan instead.”

      • Greenhouse gases have a puzzling double effect

        Lustier plant growth as greenhouse gases climb should counter global heating and atmospheric carbon build-up. But it’s not quite so simple.

      • 60,000-Strong Fridays for Future Protest in Hamburg, Germany Prompts Question: ‘Where Are You, USA?’

        “What is it going to take for the U.S. to rise up like this?”

      • Energy

        • A New Solar Power Deal From California

          I met Devon Hartman a few years ago in Claremont, California, where I have been living since 2008. He is tall and lean, wearing glasses and a pointed small beard. He grew up in Kansas. And for thirty-five years, he presided over a successful architectural firm, building and renovating expensive houses with little awareness of the carbon footprint of those houses.

        • 42 Nobel Laureates Urge Trudeau to Act With ‘Moral Clarity’ and Stop Climate-Wrecking Teck Frontier Mine

          “Projects that enable fossil fuel growth at this moment in time are an affront to our state of climate emergency, and the mere fact that they warrant debate in Canada should be seen as a disgrace.”

        • Oil or Food? Notes From a Farmer Who Doesn’t Think Pipelines are Worth It

          I live on my family’s farm in Fallon County, Montana near where the Keystone XL pipeline will pass. My neighbors here want the pipeline, believing it will provide a boost to the local economy.

        • Scientists develop open-source software to analyze economics of biofuels, bioproducts

          BioSTEAM is available online through the Python Package Index, at Pypi.org. A life cycle assessment (LCA) add-on to BioSTEAM to quantify the environmental impacts of biorefineries — developed by CABBI Postdoctoral Researcher Rui Shi and the Guest Research Group — is also set to be released in March 2020. To further increase availability of these tools, Guest’s team is also designing a website with a graphical user interface where researchers can plug new parameters for a biorefinery simulation into existing configurations, and download results within minutes.

          BioSTEAM’s creators drew on open-source software developed by other researchers, including a data bank with 20,000 chemicals and their thermodynamic properties.

        • To Many’s Dismay, Permian Produces More Gas and Condensate Instead of Oil and Profits

          Many of those problems can be traced to two issues for the Permian Basin: The quality of its oil and the sheer volume of natural gas coming from its oil wells.

        • Paul Paz y Miño, Saqib Bhatti & Beverly Bell on Environmental Justice & Cross-National Solidarity

          This week on CounterSpin: The protests of the Wet’suwet’en in British Columbia, resisting the construction of a natural gas pipeline on their land, have been met with violent raids by Canadian police, which in turn have sparked solidarity actions around the country. A New York Times account detailed how many rail and road passengers were inconvenienced by blockades, noted the “strong support” for the gas line from the Canadian government, and the pipeline company’s “promise” of millions of dollars of contracts with indigenous businesses, before granting one line of explanation that “a number of chiefs…fear the project will irrevocably alter their land.” The fact that the Wet’suwet’en never signed a treaty, and the country’s Supreme Court confirmed (just three years ago) that they hold “aboriginal title” to the land involved, can be found in paragraph 16 of this 17-paragraph piece.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • ‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole

          Recently there have been commentaries published advocating collaboration to “settle” wilderness designation issues. Collaboration proponents often criticize those who are unwilling to compromise about wildlands protection as “extremists.”

        • Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect

          Imagine dedicating your entire life to protecting a place. Then imagine watching everything you’ve worked to protect be bulldozed by a desperate, self-serving president.

        • We Can Fireproof Homes But Not Forests

          Using wildfires as their cover, Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines announced that he and California’s Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein are introducing legislation to weaken federal environmental laws and allow more logging and thinning of our national forests.  Private, for-profit timber companies have already over-cut the private forest lands in the West and now Feinstein and Daines want to allow them to “cut and run” on our publicly-owned national forests.

        • 10 Species Climate Change Could Push to Extinction
        • The Latest BLM Hoodwinkery: “Fuel Breaks” in the Great Basin
        • A Trillion Trees in Rep. Westerman’s Hands Means a Trillion Stumps

          In an effort to springboard off President Trump’s recent pledge to join the global community in planting a trillion trees to increase the amount of carbon drawn out of the atmosphere and help us to mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis, Rep. Bruce Westerman, a pro-logging advocate from Arkansas, along with several Republican colleagues introduced legislation entitled the Trillion Trees Act.  While planting trees, especially in urban areas, can indeed have climate benefits, from absorbing CO2 to providing shade to lower energy use, the real contribution to be made by trees in drawing down atmospheric carbon comes from protecting them as part of existing forests ecosystems here in the U.S. and around the world.  If forest ecosystems are protected from logging and development they can actually contribute between one-third and one-half of our carbon/climate mitigation goals (Griscom et al. 2017, Erb et al. 2018).  Unfortunately, not only does Rep. Westerman’s bill literally miss the forest for the trees, it doesn’t really even acknowledge the trees themselves, only the wood that they contain.

        • A Story for the Anthropocene

          It’s explained that as a kardiya (non-indigenous) person and you go to work in an Australian Aboriginal community you’re either a missionary, mercenary, or misfit. Twice the England-born doctor, Elliot by name, afflicted by nose-bleed, goes into “country,” a misfit. His anxieties and fears are neither assuaged by possessiveness nor reduced by money. They leave him angry and untrusting of his companions, the yapa people or Warlpiri, who can find their way around the desert. Nevertheless, Elliot, this whitefella, is open to “the intangible essence of the land.” Even if he doesn’t know it, it knows him. Mulga, ghost-gum, saltbush, spinifex, dingo, the song of the butcher bird, the meat of the goanna, and – at last! – water from the jila.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
      • On JFK, Tulsi Gabbard Keeps Very Respectable Company

        On Monday night in Fairfax, Virginia, Donald Jeffries, author and talk radio host, asked Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard about a book she was seen carrying, “JFK and the Unspeakable.” Published in 2008, the book is a Catholic philosopher’s meditation about the assassination of liberal president John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, one of the great historical crimes of American politics.

      • The Young Lords: Luchadores Para La Gente

        The Young Lords were a somewhat unique political formation. Their primarily Puerto Rican membership focused their organizing on the neighborhoods they lived in. Despite the Marxist foundations of their political philosophy, they were able to gain popular support for their programs among the traditional Catholic Puerto Rican population. As Johanna Fernandez patiently explains in her newly released book The Young Lords: A Radical History, this success could be attributed to several factors. Most importantly were the rootedness of the Young Lord’s members in the communities they organized and the issues they decided to organize around.

      • Standing Up for Left Literature: In India, It Can Cost You Your Life

        On February 16, 2015, Govind and Uma Pansare went for a morning walk near their home in Pune (Maharashtra, India). Two men on a motorcycle stopped near them and asked for directions, but the Pansares could not help them; one of the men laughed, removed a gun, and shot the two. Uma Pansare was hit but survived the attack. Govind Pansare, age 82, died in a hospital on February 20, 2015.

      • ‘Meant to Hide the Poor’: Trump Gets His Wall—In India—Ahead of Monday Visit

        The newly-erected barrier will allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to offer a carefully-curated view for the U.S. president.

      • More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist

        So the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump took “the Beast” on a Victory Lap around the Daytona 500 track. Fossil fuels were burned with pride as the Trumpenvolk and NASCAR engines roared deep down in Dixie. Frau Melania looks semi-nauseated and couldn’t wait to get back to New York.

        This was Ferdinand Marcos-type shit. “He’s saluting the base and giving them a story to share with their family and friends,” writes Steve de La Rosa: “He is PT Barnum incarnate stirring the cauldron of White Nationalism.”

        I bet Trump enjoyed the fiery finish of the Daytona 500 (delayed one day by rain). He’s a sadist who likes to see “losers” crash and burn.

      • Pushing for ‘Political Courage,’ Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Slate of Progressive Women Challenging Establishment

        “If we’re going to build an economy…that centers working-class families, things must change. And that starts by electing new progressive leaders who exemplify political courage.”

      • “We’re Staring Into the Abyss”: Unhinged Trump Rally in Colorado Highlights Stakes of 2020 Election, Observers Say

        The president used the event to gin up xenophobia against immigrants, attack journalists, and joke about staying in office for decades.

      • Evaluating the Democratic Candidates: the Importance of Integrity

        On March 3, Democrats in the 15 Super Tuesday states (including Democrats Abroad) will have up to 15 (or more) presidential candidates on the Democratic ballots from which to choose. With so many choices, a voter may ask: “how should I decide?” The most obvious criteria are politics (policy positions), electability and personal integrity. Among those three, integrity should be foremost.

      • Hillary, Donald & Bernie: Three Who Would Make a Catastrophe

        America is a country that both loves and hates its conspiracy theories. On the one hand, our popular culture is lousy with them, from cinema to the president’s goddamn Twitter account. On the other hand, we host an academic elite which not only views such cultural trends with disdain, but seems to see our history, their history, the “official story”, as some kind of irrefutable biblical fact. Few people make the connection between these parallel trends, the likelihood that the overly presumptuous and at times downright jingoistic orthodoxy of our ivory tower elites is precisely what drives pedestrian America to search for alternatives to their “truth”. That old adage, consider the source. The reality is that history in and of itself is not black and white science. At its most accurate it is a collection of narratives, different perspectives from the ground floor that could easily be described as conspiracy theories. What appears to be a conspiracy theory from Arlington or Manhattan, looks a lot more like bad memories from Hiroshima or Tuskegee. Any true revisionist historian must become a collector of conspiracy theories, viewing all available narratives with a healthy grain of salt.

      • Brazil’s Bolsonaro Says No to Democracy

        “The Big Honcho suppressed all the newspapers that risked timid repairs to his management, and promised that factories would produce better wrapping paper. He then closed most magazines, including those dedicated to beekeeping and winter fabrics. Finally, he got rid of school publications, which, as is known, impress children’s minds. Concluded these tasks, the Big Honcho sent emissaries to international credit agencies to request subsidies that would stop the inexplicable rise in illiteracy.” Thus wrote the Argentinian writer David Lagmanovich (1927-2010) in his book Historias del Mandamás (Big Honcho Stories.)

      • Federal Appeals Court Rules Florida Voting Restrictions Unconstitutional

        In a great win for democracy on Wednesday, a federal appeals court delivered a major blow to the efforts of politicians in Florida to thwart the historic Amendment 4.

      • In Nevada, Culinary Union Members Make Last-Minute Turnout Push

        Democratic presidential candidates had one last chance to woo Nevadans at this week’s Democratic debate before the state’s caucuses take place on Saturday. While much of the debate covered focused on the theatrical takedown of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, members of the state’s Culinary Union were surprised by the attention that their organization got on stage.

      • Grace and Gullibility

        I’ve been overhearing conversations lately about how people of color, women, people who are LGBTQI, and people who have been mistreated and otherwise disrespected by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg should respond to his self-funded campaign to become the 2020 presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.

      • Upon Reflection
      • Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies

        + Michael Bloomberg is, of course, the perfect person to lead a party which has been the driving political force behind the neoliberal policies which helped make him the 9th richest person in America. In fact, he may be its apotheosis. Finally, we’ll have some clarity about what the Democratic Party has really been up to for the last 40 years.

      • Is Bloomberg Entitled to Keep His Wealth?

        Individual wealth in the billions of dollars (and arguably, considerably lower levels) creates a threat to social stability and to the continuation of our democracy.

      • Michael Bloomberg Is Spending Nearly $6 Million Per Day on Campaign

        No candidate has ever come close to Bloomberg’s personal spending.

      • Bloomberg Won’t, as They Say, Play Well in Peoria, But Then Neither Should Trump

        It seems that having money, plenty of money, must somehow bestow a certain sense of omniscience upon the very wealthiest in society, making some of them feel that they are uniquely qualified to hold political office.

      • Bloomberg Says 3 Women Can Be Released From NDAs

        Mike Bloomberg said Friday he’d free three women from confidentiality agreements that bar them from speaking publicly about sexual harassment or discrimination suits filed against him over the last three decades.

      • Gaslighting Bernie and His Supporters

        I have to preface this by saying it’s personal for me. I spent years of my early adulthood having ferocious fights about politics with my father. The more animated I became, the cooler he got. He had a lawyer’s knack for flipping an argument on its head. By the end I felt not only defeated but exposed and dirty, as if whatever I believed was just emotion-fueled nonsense. Not until I turned 50 was I able to hold my feelings in check and parry back with equal aplomb. It’s taken me another 12 years to realize that I was being gaslighted.

      • Bloomberg Versus Bernie: The Upcoming Battle?

        Between January 11 and April 14, 2019, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg had all announced their presidential bids. Sanders after entering the race formally on Feb. 19 was the immediate front runner. Biden entered the race on April 25, immediately replacing Bernie as the new front runner. This was automatic; Biden represented the Democratic establishment, had been Obama’s loyal lackey, had the DNC behind him, and was guaranteed positive coverage on CNN and MSNBC.

      • Sanders Says He ‘Welcomes Hatred of Crooks Who Destroyed Our Economy’ After Blankfein Suggests He May Vote Trump Over Bernie

        “I don’t like that at all,” the billionaire former Goldman Sachs CEO said of Sanders’ wealth tax proposal.

      • Critics Attack Buttigieg for Using ‘Fox News Propaganda’ By Referring to Grassroots Groups Backing Sanders as Dark Money Organizations

        “Disgraceful that Buttigieg continues to smear groups like ours, led by immigrants and people of color—all to boost his own fundraising.”

      • Centrists Use Nevada Debate to Position Themselves Between Bloomberg and Sanders

        If it isn’t clear by now, billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suffered a defeat in Nevada on Wednesday after virtually buying a spot on the Las Vegas stage that other Democratic candidates had to earn through exhausting schedules of rallies, fundraising (and wine caves).

      • Trump Would ‘Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out,’ Bernie Sanders Warns of Bloomberg Following Debate

        “The American people will rebel against this type of oligarchic movement. We are a democracy. One person, one vote. Not a guy worth $60 billion buying an election.”

      • Trump Would “Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out,” Bernie Sanders Warns of Bloomberg

        Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview set to air Sunday that Michael Bloomberg’s performance in the Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night showed that President Donald Trump would make easy work of the former New York City mayor in a general election debate.

      • In South Carolina, Sanders May Get Boost From Billionaire Steyer

        Billionaires are the consistent villains in Bernie Sanders’ campaign narrative. He rails against what he perceives as the undue influence their wealth wields and how that contributes to the yawning inequalities of American life.

      • Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label

        Bernie Sanders is currently the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He and everyone else knows exactly how the Republicans will attack him if and when he becomes the nominee: old-fashioned redbaiting.

      • Bernie Sanders Best Represents Nurses’ Values

        The Sanders campaign is premised on building a mass movement for transformative change. Nurses are too.

      • Sanders says he was briefed on Russian effort to help campaign

        Sanders told reporters on the campaign trail Friday that he was briefed on Russian interference efforts “about a month ago,” speculating that the news of potential Russian interference efforts came out now because it was on the eve of the Nevada caucuses.

        “It was not clear what role they were going to play. We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are gonna get involved in this campaign,” Sanders said.

        “The ugly thing that they are doing, and I’ve seen some of their tweets and stuff, is they try to divide us up. That’s what they did in 2016,” he added.

      • Russia Doesn’t Want Bernie Sanders. It Wants Chaos

        The Post is slim on details, other than saying that both Sanders and President Trump were briefed on Russia’s efforts. The news follows reports Thursday that intelligence officials recently briefed Congress about Russian interference aimed at helping reelect Donald Trump.

      • The Debate Question That Really Mattered

        The last question asked during the recent Democratic debate was the one that laid reality bare. The question was basically “are you okay with the will of the voters being subverted in order for the DNC establishment to place their own selected candidate as their nominee?” The answers came without hesitation from all but candidate Bernie Sanders. They agreed to this polluted and toxic plan—that of going to a second round of voting at the convention, freeing up delegates to vote for another puppet of the oligarchy, even if that individual did not have the majority of the votes. This will undoubtedly be the beginning of the end of the DNC should this occur. This seems to be the wreckage we are hurtling toward.

      • $40 Million Communications Tech To Be Used During Trump’s India Visit

        According to sources, the US Security Department had earlier this month requested clearances for about Rs 300 crore communication equipment from Indian government agencies.

        Sources also said that the Customs Department, which comes under the Ministry of Finance along with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), will ensure that all equipment, which are brought to India for Trump”s two-day visit will be taken back after the trip is over.

      • Mike Bloomberg tweeted a doctored debate video. Is it political spin or disinformation?

        Following his lackluster performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg tweeted out a doctored video that made it look like he had a hugely successful moment on the debate stage, even though he didn’t.

      • ‘Church has no reason to fear history’: Vatican to open wartime archives of Pius XII

        Cardinal José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, the Vatican’s chief librarian, told reporters that all researchers — regardless of nationality, faith and ideology — were welcome to request permission to use the Vatican’s Apostolic Library, which will open the archive on March 2.

        “The church has no reason to fear history,” he told reporters.

      • Trump’s New Spy Chief Used to Work for a Foreign Politician the U.S. Accused of Corruption

        President Donald Trump’s new acting intelligence director, Richard Grenell, used to do consulting work on behalf of an Eastern European oligarch who is now a fugitive and was recently barred from entering the U.S. under anti-corruption sanctions imposed last month by the State Department.

        In 2016, Grenell wrote several articles defending the oligarch, a Moldovan politician named Vladimir Plahotniuc, but did not disclose that he was being paid, according to records and interviews. Grenell also did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which generally requires people to disclose work in the U.S. on behalf of foreign politicians.

      • Republican National Committee Obscured How Much It Pays Its Chief of Staff

        Richard Walters began his career at the lowest rungs of the Republican National Committee when he was 23. Now, at 30, he’s the RNC chief of staff, earning far more than any other official there, including his boss, the chairwoman, and the top officials at the Democratic National Committee.

        The rich compensation might have raised eyebrows — but for the fact that the RNC obscured it. Last year, Walters earned a salary of $207,558, but the party paid him an additional $135,000 through a shell company he established in December 2018 called Red Wave Strategies.

      • Candidates Receive Endorsements From Democrats Who Benefited From Their PACs

        Billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s deep pockets and history of political spending seem to have benefited the Democratic presidential candidate as the race tightens — Bloomberg is being endorsed by Democrats who benefitted from his millions in the 2018 midterms.

      • New York Times Catches Culinary Workers Union Leadership Discouraging Members From Supporting Sanders

        A representative from the Culinary Workers Union discouraged a member, who supports Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, from talking to the press. New York Times reporters witnessed the encounter.

        The union member, Amigdia, was counseled by the union representative. When he spoke to the Times, he was enthusiastic about why he planned to vote for Sanders. Later, a Times reporter followed up with him and he no longer sounded as assertive. In fact, he seemed confused about what to say about Sanders.

      • Impunity Guaranteed for Torturers (and Presidents)

        On February 5th, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In other words, Trump’s pre-election boast that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters” proved something more than high-flown hyperbole. (To be fair, he did lose one Republican “voter” in the Senate — Mitt Romney — but it wasn’t enough to matter.)

      • Let Rome Burn

        Hear ye, hear ye!  I say unto thee that thou shall follow these hallowed and sacred rules of white liberalism as we enter the Holiest of Holy Epochs known as the presidential primaries, and they are thus…

      • Election Officials Are Already Raising Flags About Nevada’s Results

        As early voting began in Nevada’s 2020 Democratic presidential caucus, thousands of people had to wait for two hours or more before voting. The bottleneck was due to a shortage of pre-programmed iPads that the Nevada State Democratic Party gave volunteers to check in voters.

      • Break With Two-Party Capitalist Duopoly!

        Glory hallelujah! If the Lord’s “terrible swift sword” had descended from the heavens to witness the Democratic Party’s congressional delegation’s standing ovation in response to Donald Trump’s State of Union introduction of his despicably appointed Venezuelan presidential pretender Juan Guaidó, the Democrats would be dead in the water. But there is no God in American politics; the only certainty lies in a clear understanding that the election game is rigged from start to finish, that the only serious entrance fee to the current two year long, $8 billion spectacle is a war chest of hundreds of millions—even billions—of dollars, privileged access to the corporate media and a pledge in advance to abide by whichever Democrat or Republican emerges as the candidate. And what is true for the present election charade is magnified a thousand fold with regard to the corporate control of every aspect of the multi-trillion dollar U.S. economy, where every critical decision, every budget item, every penny, more or less, allocated in Trump’s present $4.7 trillion budget proposal is determined in advance by a slew of corporate technocrats in the pay of the billionaire elites who really run the country.

      • The DNC’s Plan to Block Bernie

        Bernie Sanders would make a transformative independent president, but the Democratic Party has already rigged its primary against him and progressives.

      • Some Oracle employees plan to walk off the job to protest Larry Ellison’s Trump fundraiser
      • The Great Google Revolt

        Laurence Berland had just gotten out of the subway in New York, some 3,000 miles from his desk in San Francisco, when he learned that Google had fired him. It was the Monday before Thanksgiving, and the news came to him, bad-breakup-style, via email. “Following a thorough investigation, the company has found that you committed several acts in violation of Google’s policies,” the note said. It did not elaborate on what he had done to violate these policies.

        [...]

        Berland’s terminated colleagues were even more shocked by the turn of events than he was. Rebecca Rivers, a software engineer based in Boulder, Colo., was dismissed over the phone after accessing internal documents. Rivers had only recently come out as transgender and was pursuing a medical transition. “I came out at Google expecting to stay at Google through the entire transition,” she said. “It’s terrifying to think about going to a job interview, because I’m so scared of how other companies treat trans employees.”

        Sophie Waldman and Paul Duke, the two other Googlers fired that day, had not received so much as a warning, much less a suspension. Though they had been questioned by corporate security two months earlier about whether they had circulated documents referring to Customs and Border Protection contracts, they had been allowed to continue their work without incident. Waldman, a software developer in Cambridge, Mass., said she was given a 15-minute notice before she was summoned to the meeting where she was fired; Duke, an engineer in New York, said an invitation appeared on his calendar precisely one minute beforehand. Security officials escorted him out of the building without letting him return to his desk. “I had to describe to them what my jacket, scarf and bag looked like,” he said.

        From its earliest days, Google urged employees to “act like owners” and pipe up in all manner of forums, from mailing lists to its meme generator to open-ended question-and-answer sessions with top executives, known as T.G.I.F. It was part of what it meant to be “Googley,” one of the company’s most common compliments. So well ­entrenched was this ethic of welcoming dissent that the company seemed to abide by it even after the uprising began, taking pains to show it was heeding activists’ concerns.

        Over the past year, however, Google has appeared to clamp down. It has gradually scaled back opportunities for employees to grill their bosses and imposed a set of workplace guidelines that forbid “a raging debate over politics or the latest news story.” It has tried to prevent workers from discussing their labor rights with outsiders at a Google facility and even hired a consulting firm that specializes in blocking unions. Then, in November, came the firing of the four activists. The escalation sent tremors through the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., and its offices in cities like New York and Seattle, prompting many employees — whether or not they had openly supported the activists — to wonder if the company’s culture of friendly debate was now gone for good.

        (A Google spokeswoman would not confirm the names of the people fired on Nov. 25. “We dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of our longstanding data-security policies,” the spokeswoman said. “No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities.” Without naming Berland, Google disputed that investigators pressured him.)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Why Section 230 Matters And How Not To Break The Internet; DOJ 230 Workshop Review, Part I

        Festivus came early this year — or perhaps two months late. The Department of Justice held a workshop Wednesday: Section 230 – Nurturing Innovation or Fostering Unaccountability? (archived video and agenda). This was perhaps the most official “Airing of Grievances” we’ve had yet about Section 230. It signals that the Trump administration has declared war on the law that made the Internet possible.

      • Section 230 and Criminal Law; DOJ 230 Workshop Review, Part II

        In Part I of this series on the Department of Justice’s February 19 workshop, Section 230 – Nurturing Innovation or Fostering Unaccountability? (archived video and agenda), we covered why Section 230 is important, how it works, and how panelists proposed to amend it.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Tajikistan: Journalist Held on Baseless Charges
      • Like a cornered animal, the Chinese Communist Party is lashing out at everyone

        “The editors used such a racially discriminatory title, triggering indignation and condemnation among the Chinese people and the international community,” squealed a spokesperson for the CCP’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs without offering a single shred of evidence that anyone outside his office was ‘indignant’. He also, somewhat bizarrely, claimed the article was racist.

        Indeed, given that the WSJ website is blocked across the country, it is difficult to understand how anyone in China could even be aware of such an article, much less be offended by it.

        This is the first time since 1998 that Western journalists have actually had their permits to work in China revoked. Many have not had them renewed, but to actually revoke them suggests the communist regime in China is in full-blown panic mode.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Cop-Hating Vandals or Pro-Democracy Activists?

        Depends whose police are being protested.

      • Senators Call on Highway Administration to Finalize Car Seat Test Rules

        Citing “an urgent matter of public safety,” two U.S. senators are pressing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to immediately finalize side-impact crash test standards for children’s car seats.

        Responding to a ProPublica investigation, Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, admonished regulators for failing to meet the requirements of two laws.

      • It’s Time for Sundown Towns to Become a More Visible Part of Illinois History. But How?

        I’m heading north on the Amtrak Lincoln Service from Springfield to Chicago. It’s before 9 a.m., and I’ve already encountered more Abraham Lincoln-related memorials and municipal signage than I thought possible.

      • The Politics of Vengeance

        It is a threat no one has contemplated and, therefore, not thought to address.  We can only hope that that will change and that we will now begin to anticipate events that may  confront us in November and begin planning to protect the country.

      • Ridiculing MLK’s Historic Garden State ‘Firsts’

        The Governor of New Jersey and that state’s two top black elected officials face criticism for their silence on a recent ruling by New Jersey state historic preservation authorities that devalues the early activism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

      • Encountering Malcolm X

        Watching the six-part documentary “Who Killed Malcolm X?” on Netflix stirred up powerful memories of how important he was to my political evolution. While the documentary is focused on exploring the Nation of Islam’s (NOI) role in his murder, it also sheds light on Malcolm’s post-NOI political odyssey. By creating a rival movement to the pseudo-Islamist sect, he risked a fatal encounter with four assassins on this date fifty-five years ago at the Audubon Ballroom in New York.

      • Malcolm X’s Daughter Ilyasah Shabazz on Her Father’s Legacy and New Docuseries

        Fifty-five years ago today, Malcolm X was assassinated. The civil rights leader was shot to death on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. He was only 39 years old. Details of his assassination remain disputed to this day. Earlier this month, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said he was considering reopening the investigation, just days after a new documentary series about the assassination was released on Netflix called Who Killed Malcolm X? It makes the case that two of the three men who were convicted for Malcolm X’s murder are actually innocent and that his uncaught killers were four members of a Nation of Islam mosque in Newark, New Jersey. We are joined by Ilyasah Shabazz, one of six daughters of Malcolm X, who was just 2 years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, her siblings and her mother. We also speak with award-winning author Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, independent scholar, historian, journalist, writer and activist, who is widely regarded as one of the most respected authorities on the life and legacy of Malcolm X and is featured in the new documentary series, and Shayla Harris, a producer for the series and an award-winning filmmaker and journalist.

      • Weinstein Jury Is Split on Most Serious Counts

        Jurors deliberating in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial indicated Friday that they are deadlocked on the most serious charges, but the judge told them to keep trying.

      • No Fascist USA! Lessons From a History of Anti-Klan Organizing

        Ever since fascism first crawled out of the ideological sewer, anarchists and autonomists have been there to confront, antagonize and organize against it. You need not dig deep into past history to find evidence of this. After the mayhem of Charlottesville, Cornell West, reported to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

      • Kerner Report Set Standard for What a Serious Presidential Candidate Should Champion

        As the Democratic presidential primaries move onto Nevada, South Carolina and the many Super Tuesday states, candidates turn their attention to people of color, and particularly African Americans.

      • A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked

        The year was 2008. Hundreds of ICE officers swooped down on Agriprocessors, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse located in Postville, Iowa, in the largest single-site raid to date in U.S. history. Half of the 800 person workforce was arrested.

      • The CIA’s Complicity in Recent Global Atrocities Revealed

        In another astounding revelation about the extent of United States’ global surveillance operations, The Washington Post recently published a piece about a Swiss company, Crypto AG, that was actually owned by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and West Germany’s intelligence agency. Crypto AG provided encryption services to over a hundred governments worldwide for decades. Unbeknownst to those governments, the CIA had access to the encryption tools and could therefore read high-level internal governmental correspondence from countries including France, Egypt, Venezuela and many others.

      • Chicago’s Lightfoot Administration to Defend Jon Burge’s Torture Henchmen

        Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration is poised to embark on defending two of the most notorious of Jon Burge’s midnight crew — former Chicago Police Sergeant John Byrne and Detective Peter Dignan — in a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of 65-year-old Stanley Wrice, whom they are alleged to have tortured and sent to prison for more than three decades.

      • Anti-Immigrant Nationalism Is Poisoning the Streets of London

        The anti-immigrant sentiments stoked by pro-Brexit forces are becoming increasingly palpable on the streets of London. They have led to a documented rise in racist violence throughout the United Kingdom, but they are also showing up in more mundane and subtle ways, such as at the neighborhood grocery store.

      • ProPublica and Bronx Documentary Center Present Talk on Reporting the Realities of Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” Immigration Policy

        ProPublica and the Bronx Documentary Center are co-hosting an intimate talk on ProPublica’s groundbreaking “Zero Tolerance” investigative series on family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Reporters Ginger Thompson, Topher Sanders and Adriana Gallardo will give a behind-the-scenes look at how they exposed the realities of the controversial policy and what was happening inside detention facilities that were holding migrant children but were closed to public view. The reporters will also speak about their experiences bearing witness to a major crisis.

        The event is being held in conjunction with the BDC exhibition “Trump Revolution: Immigration,” which explores through photography the impacts of various immigration policies advanced by the Trump administration. Getty Images special correspondent John Moore, whose work is featured in the exhibition — and whose famed image of a Honduran girl crying while her mother is detained by the U.S. Border Patrol won photo of the year at the World Press Photo Awards — will also join the discussion.

      • Warren drafts document for Bloomberg to sign that would release employees from NDAs

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., read a document during her Thursday CNN town hall that she drew up for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sign, saying it would release women who worked for his company from nondisclosure agreements.

        “I used to teach contract law and I thought I would make this easy,” Warren said. “All that Mayor Bloomberg has to do is download it. I’ll text it. Sign it, and then the women, or men, will be free to speak and tell their own stories.”

        Reports have revealed a history of allegations of sexual harassment, sexism, pregnancy discrimination, and a hostile work environment at Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg LP.

      • Trump Administration Targets Your ‘Warrant-Proof’ Encrypted Messages

        Riana Pfefferkorn, at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, says it’s a safe bet the best practices would include a requirement that law enforcement get access to encrypted content.

        “The bill as it’s drafted does a bizarre and alarming end run around normal legislative or even agency rule-making processes,” Pfefferkorn says, giving the attorney general “the keys for deciding what rules apply on the Internet.”

      • ‘What Does Criminalizing People Get Us, and What Does It Get Them?’
      • Beyond Prisons: Epistemic Violence feat. Michelle Jones

        Beyond Prisons Co-host Kim Wilson interviews Michelle Jones about her work as an artist, activist, and historian.

        Michelle shares the projects that she’s currently working on and she reflects on what it’s like to be a third-year graduate student working on her dissertation proposal. She speaks to Kim about reentry for women in Indiana, having a soft place to land after incarceration, and her fight for sentence modification so that she could attend grad school after having spent 20 years in prison.

      • Thailand: Court Dissolves Opposition Party

        Expand

        Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit arrives for a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, March 25, 2019. 

      • More Evidence of China’s Horrific Abuses in Xinjiang

        “His wife wore veils.” “He has one more child than allowed by the family planning policy.” “He prayed after each meal.”

        These are some of the reasons people in Karakax County in Xinjiang, northwestern China, are being detained in “political education” camps. Nothing done was illegal, but in Chinese authorities’ eyes, living the life of a Turkic Muslim is punishable. Their religious, linguistic, and cultural differences are deemed evidence of disloyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

      • Freedom for $5.30…and This Time Mexico Really is Paying for It

        Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his proposed border wall. Turns out Mexico wasn’t interested, so Trump eventually resorted to declaring fake emergencies and illegally misappropriating money from the military budget.

      • Turkey: Prominent Civic Leader Rearrested After Acquittal
      • Judge Sentences Roger Stone to 40 Months in Prison

        Stone is expected to be pardoned by President Donald Trump. 

      • Trump Ally Roger Stone Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

        Trump loyalist and ally Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in federal prison, following an extraordinary move by Attorney General William Barr to back off his Justice Department’s original sentencing recommendation.

      • Trump Goes Global With His Absurd Anti-Abortion Agenda

        In spite of the relentless fearmongering, legislative erosion of women’s rights and powerful political allies to do their bidding, the anti-abortionists remain a minority.

      • Rwanda: Ensure Justice Over Kizito Mihigo Death

        The government of Rwanda should ensure a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation into the death in police custody of Kizito Mihigo, a well-known singer and activist. Rwanda’s international partners should call for accountability for Mihigo’s death before and during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled to take place in Kigali in June 2020. His death adds to the list of disappearances, murders, and suspicious deaths of perceived critics and opponents of the Rwandan government, and the authorities’ failure to deliver justice in these cases sends a deliberately chilling message.

        The Rwanda National Police announced on February 17, 2020 that Mihigo had been found dead at 5 a.m. in his cell at the Remera Police Station in Kigali, the capital, in an alleged suicide. He had recently told Human Rights Watch that he was being threatened to provide false testimony against political opponents and wanted to flee the country because he feared for his safety. In 2014, Mihigo was held incommunicado for nine days, during which he was beaten and forced to confess to crimes with which he was later charged in court.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Dish Floats DirecTV Merger, Because What’s A Little Mindless Monopolization Among Friends?

        We just got done with AT&T’s $86 billion merger with Time Warner, a deal that immediately drove up costs for consumers and competitors alike. That was followed up with the recent approval of T-Mobile’s $26 billion merger with Sprint, another deal the lion’s share of objective experts say will reduce competition, raise rates, and end with thousands of pink slips as redundant positions are inevitably eliminated.

      • EFF Calls For Disclosure of Secret Financing Details Behind $1.1 Billion .ORG Sale, Asks FTC To Scrutinize Deal

        San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) Education Fund today called on ICANN and private equity firm Ethos Capital to make public secret details—hidden costs, loan servicing fees, and inducements to insiders—about financing the $1.1 billion sale of the .ORG domain registry.EFF and AFR today also urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to review the leveraged buyout, which will have profound effects on millions of charities, public interest organizations, and nonprofits—and the consumers who rely on them—around the world. The deal would turn the .ORG registry—run for 17 years by the nonprofit Public Interest Registry (PIR) organization—into a for-profit enterprise controlled by a private equity firm that is partially funding the deal with a $360 million term loan.The proposed transaction would increase the likelihood that the new for-profit PIR LLC could unfairly exercise its monopoly power to disadvantage non-profit organization consumers by reducing service levels, imposing onerous terms of service, or otherwise interfering with their operations./

    • Monopolies

      • Diminishing enjoyment as the test for plant variety right infringement?

        New Zealand kiwifruit is exported solely by Zespri Group Limited, which has a statutory monopsony to purchase all kiwifruit from licensed growers and maintain markets around the world both through sales of its variety from New Zealand and from licensing its varieties to growers in other countries in the counter seasons. New Zealand can lay claim to having domesticated kiwifruit from the Chinese gooseberry.

      • It’s Time For The ITC To Recognize Smartphones Impact Public Welfare

        Another day, another patent troll filing an ITC complaint. In this case, Neodron—an Irish NPE—is trying to block the sale of products made by three prominent American tech companies: Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. This isn’t Neodron’s first ITC case, and it remains a travesty that the ITC continues to allow foreign non-practicing entities to use a statute designed to protect American companies from unfair foreign competition.

        But this post isn’t about the absurdity of an Irish company that doesn’t make anything abusing a trade court—one designed to protect American companies—to try to extract a huge payday from those companies. It’s about the ITC’s continued refusal to recognize that the world has changed. It’s about the ITC continuing to believe that smartphones have no significant impacts on public health, safety, and welfare.

        [...]

        That was 2011. Things have changed a bit over the intervening years. In 2011, LTE barely existed. Smartphones were only owned by around 35% of the American population. Barely anyone—2% of adults—relied on a smartphone as their sole internet connection. And Blackberry, Palm, and Windows smartphones were still a significant portion of the market.

        Fast-forward to 2020. More than 80% of adults own a smartphone. Around 1 in 5 adults uses a smartphone as their sole form of Internet access, with poor and rural populations being more likely to rely solely on smartphones for access. That means that 20% of American adults rely on smartphones as their means for accessing basic services, medical information, finding jobs, transportation, everything that goes into modern life. Not to mention the increasing integration of mobile devices and medical data, with initiatives dedicated to enabling American adults to better understand and track their personal health.

        It’s hard to argue that smartphones don’t impact public health and welfare in 2020.

        But maybe this Neodron case is like the HTC case—maybe it’s a case where there are plenty of alternatives available?

        [...]

        It’s especially important for the ITC to address the public interest when the exclusion is on behalf of a foreign company that has never made a thing and is trying to exclude the vast majority of smartphones from the U.S. market.

      • UK attorneys at odds over exams overhaul

        This time last year trainee patent attorneys were handed a slight reprieve.

        In February, the pass mark for part of the mandatory exams was reduced to 47% from 50% in view of previously low pass rates.

      • Patents

        • Changing Business Models: Huawei Makes a Surprising Announcement, or, The Changing Role of Patents in the Global Economy

          On 12 September 2019, Th e Economist published a report of an interview it held with Mr Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei1. The report contained a surprising announcement: Huawei is apparently willing to sell its 5G technology to a Western buyer. “For a one-time fee”, says the report, “a transaction would give the buyer perpetual access to Huawei’s existing 5G patents, licenses, code, technical blueprints and production know-how”.

          The sale of the 5G patent portfolio – apparently accompanied by an extensive transfer of know-how – would leave the buyer “free to use it outside China and develop the technology as it sees fi t”. In the US, “the buyer would face no competition from Huawei” because the company does not operate there, while “in other countries the two would go head to head”. That’s a very interesting twist in the global strife over 5G dominance which will is analyzed more closely in this short contribution.

        • Jury Awards $32m Against Dentons for Damages Caused by its Disqualification

          The Gap moved to disqualify, arguing that Dentons was a single law firm and so it could not be adverse to its own client. The ITC agreed, and disqualified Dentons.

          The patentee then sued for damages caused by the disqualification. On February 20, and Ohio jury awarded what is reported to be the largest malpractice verdict in Ohio history, over $32 million. Presumably, the damages were in part caused by the rapid pace of an ITC proceeding, but the details I know of are sketchy.

        • This case is an example of a “picture claim” that works to avoid the prior art.

          This case centers on Spin Master’s patented transformable toy. U.S. Patent 7,306,504. Korean toymaker ChoiRock petitioned for IPR, but the PTAB sided with the patentee — holding that the challenged claims had not been proven unpatentable.

        • CVC Files Motion in Opposition to Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 4

          On January 9th, Junior Party the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Vienna; and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) filed its motion in opposition to Senior Party the Broad Institute (joined by Harvard University and MIT) Substantive Motion No. 4 asking the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/736,527 to Zhang (termed “Zhang B1″ in the motion), pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 41.121(a)(1)(ii) and § 41.208(a)(3) and Standing Order ¶ 208.4.1.

          [...]

          CVC’s brief argues that any such correction would be “subject to reasonable debate” and would constitute changes that would constitute a departure from the invention originally disclosed.” Under the circumstances before the Board in this instance, CVC argues that the Board should deny the Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 4.

        • French court may hold ETSI FRAND declarations to be binding contracts to the benefit of third parties: cross-jurisdictional ramifications

          Two weeks ago, the Tribunal judiciaire de Paris (TJP), which was known as the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) until the turn of the year, handed down an order in TCL v. Philips & ETSI, a case that has the potential to affect cellular standard-essential patent (SEP) jurisprudence throughout and beyond the rest of Europe. That’s because the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is based in Sophia Antipolis in the south of France, and the FRAND licensing pledges made by participants in cellular standard-setting to ETSI must be interpreted under French law wherever on this planet a party invokes an ETSI FRAND declaration by a patent holder.

          I don’t see a potential impact on how U.S. courts adjudicate cellular SEP licensing disputes as they have consistently recognized third-party beneficiary rights in connection with FRAND licensing pledges. However, on the other end of the spectrum there are those extremely biased German courts that have for many years stopped at pretty much nothing in their quest to favor patent holders over implementers, and as part of that have denied third-party beneficiary rights. Continuing to deny the existence of third-party beneficiary rights in connection with ETSI FRAND pledges will be quite problematic (to say the least) if and when the French court to which all French patent disputes are assigned has provided clarification with respect to a FRAND declaration that indisputably must be interpreted under French law. For implementers of standards it would definitely be a positive to be able to rely not only on antitrust law (abuse of dominant market position) but, additionally, on contract law (as defendants to U.S. SEP cases do all the time).

        • Software Patents

          • Prior art found for Riggs Tech Holdings

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Preeti Dua, who received a cash prize of $750 for two prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,299,067. The ’067 patent, generally directed to a system and method for providing and managing training over a network, is owned by Riggs Technology Holdings, LLC, and has been asserted against various tech companies in district court.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • U.S. Prosecutors Hit Huawei With New Federal Charges
          • Ford Is Learning Fast From Alphabet & Apple How To Compete With Patents

            Following the lead of Innovation study, in order to understand more about technology adoption in the automotive industry, LexisNexis PatentSight conducted further analyses – comparing Ford’s portfolio to that of Volkswagen, Alphabet and Apple, who are also active in the automotive space. To maintain consistency, the analysis was limited to patents owned by these companies that relate to a combination of classic and digitization technologies to be used in automobiles.

      • Trademarks

        • Brands reveal how they enforce without damaging their reputation

          Harley-Davidson, InterContinental Hotels, Spectrum Brands, Conair and Ziff Davis say tone matters in cease-and-desist letters, but add that it’s not always enough to prevent bad press

        • GM Files To Trademark Hummer In U.S. And Canada

          GM Authority was the first to tell you that General Motors is planning on resurrecting Hummer as a line of electric pickup trucks and SUVs. The Detroit-based automaker officially announced to the world its plans to bring back Hummer’s in a Super Bowl LIV commercial starring NBA legend LeBron James. And now, we’ve discovered that the automaker has filed to trademark the Hummer name in both the United States and in Canada.

      • Copyrights

        • Lawyers cautious over copyright applying to designs

          In-house lawyers say recent clarification that copyright protection can be applied to designs provides new opportunities, but they are unsure how it will work in practice

          In-house counsel say they are paying close attention to court rulings that suggest copyright protection can be applied to designs – an issue that has long been a source of debate.

        • Can states pirate works without paying? The potential grounds for abrogation of state sovereign immunity in copyright [Ed:
          Thomas Key perpetuates the ludicrous idea that copying text is almost like murder (piracy)]

          Of all the matters before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, this Kat is anxiously awaiting an opinion in one pirating case: Allen v. Cooper. The case concerns the validity of the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (CRCA) (1990), a bill that abrogates state sovereign immunity with respects to copyright infringement. The question before the Court is whether or not Congress has the power – as the federal legislature – to abrogate state sovereign immunity. Here are several of the potential grounds that the Court may consider for valid abrogation:

        • Copyright reform bid sparks contentious battle

          Some copyright owners argue that the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act should be revised to turn online service providers into partners in combating infringement

        • Book review: “Copyright and Collective Authorship: Locating the Authors of Collaborative Works”W

          The copyright dispute over the script of the hit film Florence Foster Jenkins revived interest in the joint-authorship test for copyright in the UK (see, Martin v Kogan (2017) and (2019) here and here). This review brings you “Copyright and Collective Authorship: Locating the Authors of Collaborative Works”, by Dr Daniela Simone from University College London, the book that influenced the Court of Appeal [Merpel adds: Isn’t that the dream of every author?] in overturning the first instance decision (according to Simon Malynicz QC, counsel of Kogan).

          Simone assesses how UK law defines shared authorship and how authorship is then allocated among creative collaborators. The book confirms copyright’s reputation as a legal framework ill-suited for collaborative creative processes, arguing that it prefers single authorship (and ownership). As a result, rights tend to be concentrated in singular, rather than, multiple, hands.

          [...]

          These conclusions come after road-testing the joint-authorship doctrine on three types of collective authorship: Wikipedia entries (Chapter 4), Australian Indigenous Art (Chapter 5) and films (Chapter 6). The use of these three case studies in this way keeps Simone’s critique of the joint authorship doctrine rooted in concrete examples. This is very good news if you are not facile with post-modern critiques on authorship or other esoteric analysis of the kind (and how many of us are?), as this book is not in that vein at all, making it much more accessible to readers.

          This book is a welcome contribution to the scholarship for little has been published in such depth on the topic of collective authorship. The book is written and structured so that each chapter is self-contained and can be read individually. The downside is that the discussion can be repetitive at times when read in one sitting. But this a small price to pay for the luxury of being able to dive in and out of the book.

          I will add one more thing is… footnotes! A good number contain interesting nuggets of commentary (which I would have loved to see addressed in the body of the monograph but I was nonetheless glad to encounter them at the bottom of the page).

        • Movie Company Links ‘Notorious Copyright Thief’ Peter Sunde to MKVCage Lawsuit

          The makers of the movie ‘Hellboy’ have filed an amended complaint against the popular torrent site MKVCage. While the site disappeared after the legal pressure became public, the lawsuit isn’t going away. Instead, the movie company now links MKVCage to Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, who they describe as a ‘notorious copyright thief.’

        • Activision Subpoenas Reddit to Identify Call of Duty Warzone ‘Leaker’

          In response to the many Call of Duty Warzone leaks appearing online, Activision has been filing aggressive takedowns on copyright grounds. According to documents obtained by TorrentFreak, the gaming giant has also obtained a DMCA subpoena from a US court, which compels Reddit to hand over the personal details of a user who allegedly posted a leaked image to the site.

        • Well Then: Activision Issues DMCA Subpoena To Have Reddit Unmask Whoever Posted That CoD Image Leak

          Well, okay then. We had just been discussing Activision’s silly attempt to DMCA to death a leaked image purporting to be the cover art or marketing material for a new Call of Duty game. The whole thing was idiotic in that once word got around that Activision was trying to bury the leak, it immediately caused everyone to think the image was for a real game, rather than some faked pretend leak, which is a thing that sometimes happens. From there, reporting and reproduction of the image in question went mildly viral. In other words, Activision Streisanded the leak it was attempting to bury. Pretty dumb.

        • Attempt To Put Every Musical Melody Into The Public Domain Demonstrates Craziness Of Modern Copyright

          The fact is that many of the copyright lawsuits we see coming out of the music industry mostly revolve around copyright claims on musical melodies. In many of these cases, artists find themselves on the losing end of judges and juries all while claiming that there was no intention to infringe, with the supposedly offending material instead being developed as essentially an independent creation that happened to be similar to previous works. The Blurred Lines case went that way, as has the Dark Horse case. The problem with this is that music is somewhat akin to mathematics, in that within a given octave or set of octaves, there are a finite number of musical combinations between notes that can be made. Sure, that number of combinations is large — tens of billions, actually — but the finite number of resources exists nonetheless.

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