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03.05.20

EPO Presflash 002: Diversity and Inclusion (Humour)

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 11:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Inclusive of family members and friends

Summary: The latest European Patent Office (EPO) flier, dated 5 March 2020, deals with the promise of diversity — a subject that has received much scorn for the lack of it (it's about nepotism)

You will agree that for a modern, dynamic forward-looking organisation like the European Patent Office it is essential that we emphasise diversity and inclusion. We owe it to the organisation and those who use our services to cast our net as far as possible in order to gain the best, most able talent and most diverse talent. We need these people so that we can further our mission and unlock the synergies, and leverage the potential locked up in the latent skillset (whatever that sentence means but it sounds good).

Following in-depth consultations and discussions at top management level we had to conclude that the Office was left lacking in this area and that there was scope for improvement in diversity and inclusion.

Accordingly, we have decided to take the following measures:

Diversity

You may know that in my previous position, in Alicante, I felt we were like one big family. And it is so pleasant to be surrounded by members of one’s own family. This is true not only for myself but also for all the people of my EUIPO management team I gifted senior employee positions at the EPO.

We will initiate a pilot project, offering also spouses and first-degree relatives of these senior employees jobs in the Office (regardless of their qualifications, although having appropriate qualifications is not necessarily an impediment).

When the pilot proves successful it will be expanded.

We have decided to take a stepwise approach:

In a first step we will forthwith extend the scope of our recruitment efforts to their second and third degree relatives, second cousins, and in-laws.

In a second step we will extend to cover more remote cousins and in laws by marriage (in German “Schwippschwager/Schwippschwägerin”).

In a final step we will extend to family friends.

Inclusion

With regard to inclusion, it is unsatisfactory and a matter of shame to me that we have so far included in our recruitment targets only former colleagu es and subordinates of these senior employees. We will, analogously to the approach on diversity, now cast the net wider, in a first step, to close family members of their former colleagues/subordinates. In a second step, we will extend to more remote family members, and finally, in a third step, to friends of their former colleagues/subordinates.

As inclusion and diversity have become a major part of our HR policy it is essential that no pedantic attitude or other obstacles are allowed to impede these laudable aims from flourishing. Hence suitable qualifications and experience will no longer be of any relevance. Job descriptions and vacancy notices will be drafted in order to fit the specific people we are targeting or who have requested a post at the Office. (Fortunately we have modified the recruitment procedures to reduce the influence of those pesky staff representatives who always complained about such procedures.)

We expect all staff to support this initiative, which forms an essential component of the move to produce a more inclusive working culture, as set out in the recent announcement on the intranet. Clearly there may be some impact on staff in place, e.g. by having to change jobs, or take on extra workload to support the newly arrived employees whilst they get acclimatised to their new tasks (for no more than a couple of decades). Also, we expect all staff currently in place to understand that staff reporting assessments and distribution of bonusses will have to be adjusted to take account of the influx of new high calibre staff members.

Your President

www.epostaff4rights.org

Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) – Part V: Richard Stallman is Not Going Away (Any Time Soon)

Posted in FSF at 8:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free Speech and Free software

Summary: The next step towards FSF success would be mending its relationship with Richard Stallman through the GNU Project

THE people who basically ousted Stallman (or convinced him that it was critical for him to step down) aren’t getting their way. Some aren’t even in the FSF anymore. They did their damage and ran away.

“It is actually not as bad as some people were led to believe or simply assume.”A lot of people are pessimistic about the relationship between the GNU Project (still headed by Stallman) and the FSF. Rest assured if you’re among those people — Stallman (RMS) and the FSF will get along fine. They already work on some document to that effect, with an early sort of draft being publicly available.

What about the management and the board of the FSF? It is actually not as bad as some people were led to believe or simply assume.

“Much of the board, however, is still “scared,” we’ve learned, and doesn’t stand up to the ousters of RMS, or even against the false narrative put forth to staff.”“It’s not that the board is compromised,” one party told us. “I think [pro-RMS people] still have a majority.”

Much of the board, however, is still “scared,” we’ve learned, and doesn’t stand up to the ousters of RMS, or even against the false narrative put forth to staff. There’s an effort to make people around the FSF believe that RMS is a major liability, a danger, and allowing him anywhere near the FSF again would lead to devastating effects.

Deep inside, we’ve learned, the majority of the board is still on RMS’s side.

Ethical Censorship of One’s (Co)Founder

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, OSI at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When is it not ethical to censor or banish one’s founder?

THIS IS ETHICS*! Maybe it's about corporate agenda and politics rather than objective ethics

Summary: Yesterday the OSI was justifying its growing culture of censorship [1], which includes banning its co-founder Eric Raymond (mentioned alongside Stallman yesterday [2] — another canceled founder) in the name of problematic “ethics” [3] that corporate media is also covering/promoting this week [4]

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Hard Work of Critical Conversations in Open Source

    Open source is bigger and more diverse than ever before. With that success comes challenges, some new and some old, but all of them on a larger scale than ever before.

    As we grow and convene more people and viewpoints, the conversations will get more difficult. In some ways, that’s good–vigorous discussions help us clarify our shared understanding and pushing the boundaries helps us find where those boundaries are. We evolve appropriately to meet the needs of a changing world.

    But the challenges of cross-cultural discourse amongst people with strong convictions are readily apparent. This has come into stark relief, over the last two years, across contentious elections and experiments in licensing. We need to provide a safe and productive environment for the communities we convene. The world of open source is large and diverse. We appreciate the continued efforts of the people who were here at the beginning and recognize that while many new people have joined the community, many more do not feel like they’d be welcome participants–and we are lesser for it.

  2. Basic Blockchain: The Organization of the Future

    Stallman was followed in the 1990s by Eric Raymond, whose essay ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’ served as a call to arms for what he began to term the ‘open-source’ software movement, accompanying the release of his open-source operating system Linux. With open source, the source code (written instructions) of the software is openly published for anyone to use for free. The socially understood price, however, is that if you make improvements, you need to publish those improvements back to the code so that others can take advantage of them. Instead of the proprietary software licensing model of companies like Microsoft, open-source companies like Red Hat made their money from selling services and solutions to enhance the open-source software implementation.

    [...]

    The organisation of the future may or may not live on a blockchain, but without question blockchain holds the potential to make that future organisation more effective. One of the challenges of decentralised decision-making is the loss of coordination of activities. In complex systems this can lead to gridlock and chaos, as nobody knows what the rest of the organisation is doing or how their work fits in with the greater whole, sometimes leading people to working cross-purposes.

  3. “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” – and other news

    These days the Free and Open Source Software community is seeing its theoretical foundations somewhat challenged. First, there are those who would like to see the official definition of Open Source changed so that it matches their marketing and lobbying needs. It is a rather complex issue here, on which I will likely write about some time in the future. There are also those who have a business model issue as (much) bigger companies seem happy to distribute their own, Open Source licensed software on their platform (read: cloud platforms) but do not necessarily enable an effective revenue sharing across the ecosystem. Next, there is a growing momentum towards what is sometimes referred to as “ethical” open source licenses. By inserting the compliance or adherence to more or less specific ethical norm, these licenses would supposedly force their recipients to accept these norms by using the software distributed under these licenses. In other words, if a license comes with the obligation for me or for my employer to comply with human rights, I can no longer use nor distribute the software if I know or suspect I’m not respecting the norms contained within the declaration of Human Rights as expressed by the United Nations.

    Complying with human rights, however, may be the best case scenario here. Other cases include a general “Do No Evil” clause, which by definition is impossible to comply with. Practically, it disregards the abyss of “Evil” both individuals and corporations or governments are capable of doing to the point of being a metaphysical absurdity. In the case of the Human Rights clause, one would have to believe that it would be scrupulously followed by entities and people who are already in violation of human rights…

    More troubling is the question of who sets what’s good and evil. In the case of human rights, there’s some loose consensus about its importance and about its moral values in countries that are mostly western and democratic. The rest of the world has many examples of daily, ongoing and continuous violations of human rights. In other words, ethical standards are important, but ethical standards work and can be enforced within organizations. Within Free and Open Source Software Licenses they raise troubling questions.

    Enter the case of Eric S. Raymond (aka ESR). Eric S. Raymond, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, the man who initially coined the terms “Open Source” and the author of the seminal “the Cathedral and the Bazaar” book, was discussing how he felt such ethical open source licenses were in direct violation with specific points of the Open Source Definition. In the course of this discussion, things became heated. As a result, Eric Raymond got moderated out of the mailing lists of the organization he co-founded. His last posts were indeed somewhat rude, but not out of the ordinary level of a heated exchange on a mailing list. Eric did end up publishing a good post summarizing an other wise precise and relevant chain of thoughts.

    I hope this moderation was done as a temporary measure in order to bring some peace to the discussion. Be that as it may the discussion reveals a troubling tendency at the level of the Open Source Initiative: some people would like to turn Open Source and Hacker’s ethos into something it is not, a political movement that is only very partially about software and a lot about liberal ideas.

  4. Should open source be ethical?

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the governing body of the definition of what it means to be Open Source and which licenses are accepted as Open Source licenses. It coined the modern use of the term “open source” and maintains the Open Source Definition.

    Right now there is a group of people who want to take over OSI and change the Open Source Definition to include ethical clauses. These clauses include things such as prohibitions on human rights abuses. Presently such licenses violate the Open Source Definition.

EPO Lobbyists and Team UPC Lobbying Arms Disguised as News Sites

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Managing IP lying

Summary: Managing IP is still behaving like little but a booster of Team UPC’s selfish agenda; the same is true for other blogs controlled by litigation firms whilst actual journalism is nowhere to be seen (or a single UPC antagonist quoted)

THE state of journalism when it comes to patent law is worse than pathetic. A decade ago we still saw an occasional article about software patents and up until half a decade ago there were plenty of press articles about patent trolls.

Today?

Almost nothing.

Former Managing IP writer James Nurton has just published in Watchrtoll “UK Rules Out Participation in Unified Patent Court, Defines Priorities for FTAs” and his articles there are always pro-EPO (management), pro-UPC and supportive of patent trolls (just like the site itself). This article is no exception. It’s understating the fact that without such participation (“UK Rules Out Participation”) the UPC is officially dead.

He wrote some more about it in Twitter, as we noted days ago.

Could we expect better from people who did puff pieces with and for Battistelli?

Meanwhile, “Kluwer Patent blogger” (UPC boosters hiding behind a pseudonym) calls the British stance “just tactics”, quoting Team UPC for ‘supporting’ ‘evidence’…

“UK backs out of the Unitary Patent system – a blow, the end of it, or just tactics?”

Just tactics?

Seriously?

Based on Wouter Pors? the ‘Trump of Team UPC’? That’s quoting another slanted publication that’s in the EPO’s pocket:

Bird & Bird partner Wouter Pors, a long-time supporter of the UP and UPC, told WIPR he thinks the EU and the participating member states are still determined to continue with the project: “Of course, the UPC will be less attractive without the UK, but it will still cover all the major EU member states and will, therefore, have considerable added value compared to national litigation.”

These Team UPC vendor-captured platforms just quote one another to give readers false impressions and false expectations.

What caught our attention is the EPO’s first response to it — an item that was ‘exclusively’ ‘broken’ by Managing IP. Guess where…

Yes, Managing IP‘s own event.

The EPO President who’s lying to his own staff this week, along with his team that’s basically friends of his whom he hired (corruption of the highest order) is doing an “everything’s under control” routine.

Here he is, an EPO President who is not only a disgusting liar but also a major crook. His track record speaks for itself.

António Campinos UPC

Max Walters said “Campinos was speaking at Managing IP’s International Patent Forum in London today.”

Walters works for Managing IP and Managing IP is once again revealing its incestuous relationship with crooks who cover up crimes of the EPO's management. And yes, it’s the same Managing IP that’s pushing judges [1, 2] like it’s a lobbyist of Team UPC and management of the EPO.

Speaking of their entrapment of judges, remember what Huber said. If what they said was true, there would be a decision in Germany by month’s end (not that it matters because Berlin won’t ratify regardless, as it indicated before, saying it’s due to Brexit). The article says this:

EPO president Antonio Campinos has conceded that the proposed unitary patent may appear less attractive without the UK, but has insisted that with the political will to make it happen the project can still be a success.

Describing the UK government’s decision to no longer seek membership of the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) as a “great pity”, Campinos said: “Some will say the decision is a blow to the whole system, but is it a decisive blow? No.”

He added: “Yes, no longer having the UK as a member may make it less attractive but it still has huge benefits to offer, especially when you consider the economic benefits and the potential reach. Whether it has 25, 22 or 20 member states, the UPC makes sense.”

The EPO has already tweeted about it: “EPO President António Campinos at @ManagingIP’s International #PatentForum: “When there is a political will, there is always a legal way -and that applies to the UP/UPC too. Industry have said that they want the UP, so the question now is whether their needs will indeed be met””

Notice this comment which said: “Want = need?”

There’s more in there. The EPO receives public criticism for this.

The funny thing is that even some law firms don’t share the enthusiasm expressed by Campinos.

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP’s Andrew J. Freyer and S. Craig Hemenway, for instance, have just stated that “enforcement of an EPO patent classified as having unitary effect will likely require adjudication through both a British court and the UPC, substantially increasing complexity and expense for litigants, frustrating the entire purpose of the UPC.”

Apart from Lexology they’ve used their own blog and framed it as advice to clients:

As noted in previous client alerts, the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an agreement between member states of the European Union (EU) that fundamentally changes the European patent landscape for both applicants and litigants. Broadly, the UPCA seeks to “improve the enforcement of patents and the defence against unfounded claims … and to enhance legal certainty … for litigation relating to the infringement and validity of patents” across the world’s largest trading block. (UPCA, pg. 4). The UPCA is not yet in force.

More specifically, the UPCA, once ratified and in force, affords owners of a patent granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) an option to classify that patent as one having “unitary effect” throughout substantially all EU member states. Disputes arising from unitary patents will be heard by a single court, namely the Unified Patent Court (UPC), and decisions relating to those disputes, including infringement and invalidity decisions, will be binding throughout the EU.

[...]

In view of this statement, it appears clear that Europe’s second-largest economy will not seek to advance ratification of the UPCA in any manner. As a result, if the UPCA comes into force, enforcement of an EPO patent classified as having unitary effect will likely require adjudication through both a British court and the UPC, substantially increasing complexity and expense for litigants, frustrating the entire purpose of the UPC.

Read as: it ain’t happening.

Linux Foundation Adds Another Microsoft Executive to Its Leadership (Fourth by Count)

Posted in Kernel, Microsoft at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In a matter of months Microsoft’s occupation of the Foundation has more than doubled

Microsoft Linux Foundation
Credit: Will Hill

Summary: More and more management positions at the employer of Linus Torvalds are picked up by people who receive massive salaries from Microsoft (millions of dollars)

WE regret to inform readers that a longtime Microsoft executive managed to enter the top management of the Linux Foundation, adding to an already infiltrated board (Microsoft employers in elevated positions inside the Board) and Microsoft veterans who now speak on behalf of the Foundation.

We wish we were just joking or exaggerating or whatever, but some time after this press release (which we took note of at the time, arguing that OpenJS Foundation was controlled by Microsoft) that same person entered the very management team of the Foundation. We don’t know what month exactly this happened (there’s no real transparency about such moves and clearly no announcement). Quietly added some time in recent weeks or months…

“The LF is becoming a classic case of “friend-brings-a-friend” (like the EPO) and we know whose friend.”Congrats to Microsoft. You want the LF? You can have it. Just don’t forget to rename it please.

And dear Linus, wake up already. Enough of that bathrobe. Put some proper clothes on, man up and please do something about it. The LF is becoming a classic case of “friend-brings-a-friend” (like the EPO) and we know whose friend. Not yours.

Chief Marketing Officer of Linux Foundation Left Earlier This Year to Become Chief Communications Officer for Proprietary Software Vanguard That Exposes Kids’ Data to Crackers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I wrote off the Linux Foundation ages ago. They’re corporate tools and incompetent. Corporate members are fine, FOSS is for everyone. But [the] LF does not believe this & elected to become a corporate shill. They earned my undying contempt for firing all the editors & writers at http://Linux.com without warning or word of thanks & replaced them with shills.” [1, 2] –Carla Schroder, former Linux.com journalist. Lots more of interest in this thread which is hours old, including with stronger language.

Caerlaverock castle

Summary: The body that employs Linus Torvalds continues to show that the spirit of Linux, the most famous Free software project, isn’t at all compatible with it

TODAY we revisit the Linux Foundation (LF), whose own staff seems dissatisfied at times (why do readers think we get all those ‘scoops’ and exclusive stories?).

Those who aren’t of the mindset of the infiltrated board will, sooner or later, decide to leave or be ejected.

Following yesterday’s articles about the LF [1, 2] we decided to research further, only to discover that the CMO of the LF quietly left earlier this year. No replacements have been made since.

“Those who aren’t of the mindset of the infiltrated board will, sooner or later, decide to leave or be ejected.”Don’t worry about the departing CMO…

Back to a career in the private sector, where the last job she had was apparently Executive Vice President of Edelman, known for its controversial if not illegal Microsoft AstroTurfing, which included bribing bloggers (to name just one example; we covered some more examples over a decade back). The company itself has its share of scandals with security and privacy (this one as recent as months ago), so the timing if not need for a politically well-connected new spokesperson seems right. There may be a lot of communication to do, trying hard to compete against Free software.

“We’re not aware of the circumstances (or cause) of departure, but we welcome informed sources eager to tell us.”The LF’s CMO was, by the CMO’s own admission, not technical. How can one promote technical projects without basic technical grasp? Like the rest of the chiefs there, using GNU/Linux on the laptop (or desktop) would hardly be expected. They’re only Linux by name, by their own admission. Lots of Microsoft in the management (more over time!)….

The way things stand at the moment, the LF’s public face (in some sense) decided to stay there for not even 2 years. We’re not aware of the circumstances (or cause) of departure, but we welcome informed sources eager to tell us. Surely some readers know the backstory (or stories) and can discreetly whisper to us.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:08 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 5/3/2020: CirrOS 0.5.0, GCC 8.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – News – Week 19

        This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

        A news aggregator is software which collect news, weblog posts, and other information from the web so that they can be read in a single location for easy viewing. With the range of news sources available on the internet, news aggregators play an essential role in helping users to quickly locate breaking news.

        For individuals that read lots of weblogs, a news aggregator makes keeping track of them effortless, and particularly useful if the weblogs are only updated occasionally.

      • Chrome OS 80 improves tablet mode, adds APK sideloading, and updates Linux environment (Update: Rollout resumed)

        Chrome OS updates always arrive a little later than Chrome browser updates, but Chrome OS 80 has been cooking in the oven for an especially long period of time — v81 of the browser is due soon. Still, good things come to those who wait, and Chrome OS 80 has a few noteworthy improvements.

        Beyond all of the changes in version 80 of the browser, Chrome OS 80 includes a significant update for anyone using Linux containers. If you’re setting up a Linux environment for the first time on your Chromebook, it will now use Debian 10 ‘Buster’ instead of Debian 9 ‘Stretch’ (Debian releases are named after characters from Pixar’s Toy Story films). That means you’ll get newer packages by default, but there’s no way right now to upgrade an existing container to Debian 10 — you’ll have to wipe your Linux environment and set it up again after updating to Chrome OS 80.

    • Server

      • Kubeflow 1.0 Released- A cloud native Machine Learning

        Kubeflow 1.0: Thea Lamkin from Kubeflow recently said, “On behalf of the entire community, we are proud to announce Kubeflow 1.0, our first major release”. She added that It was open-sourced at Kubecon USA before two years and the project has gone beyond their wildest expectations. The goal of this project is to make machine learning easy for engineers, and data scientists to leverage cloud assets.

      • How service virtualization relates to test-driven development

        The agile approach to software development relies on service virtualization to give each IT team autonomy. This approach removes blockages and allows autonomous teams to continue development activities without having to wait on anyone. That way, integration testing can commence as soon as teams start iterating/sprinting.

      • How to Choose the Right Kubernetes Distribution
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 847

        covid, varnish, couchbase, nodejs

      • LHS Episode #329: The Third Dimension

        Welcome to the 329th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss the Coronavirus and Hamvention, open positions at the ARRL, Kubeflow, LineageOS, SRain, Sweet Home 3D and much more. Thank you for listening and hope to see you all in Xenia this May.

      • FLOSS Weekly 568: Linux Bier Wanderung

        The Linux Bier Wanderung (LBW) is a week-long event which takes place in a different European country each summer, drawing together Open Source software enthusiasts from more than a dozen different countries, for a combination of talks, presentations, hands-on mini-projects, and more.

      • Desktop Apps on a Mobile Phone | Firefox with Adblock

        Desktop Apps on a Mobile Phone | Firefox with Adblock Let’s go over setting up Firefox with AdBlock on our Linux phone. As a bonus, we are going to set up another Desktop app to make our phone a Minecraft server.

      • 2020-03-04 | Linux Headlines

        Canonical releases a new version of Multipass, PowerShell 7 becomes generally available, and how the Linux Foundation is still all in on blockchain.

      • Test and Code: 104: Top 28 pytest plugins – Anthony Sottile

        pytest is awesome by itself. pytest + plugins is even better.
        In this episode, Anthony Sottile and Brian Okken discuss the top 28 pytest plugins.

      • mintCast 329.5 – Lucky 777

        This week we talk permissions administration, our listener feedback and a few “check this out” items.

    • Kernel Space

      • A look at “BPF Performance Tools

        The book is meant to be both a way to learn about what BPF can do to improve the observability of Linux systems and applications and a reference guide to a large body of tools that Gregg and others have built up to peer inside the running system. Interestingly, it does not actually cover the underlying BPF virtual-machine instructions all that much, except in an appendix; the focus is on how to use BPF at a higher level. Even then, learning to actually write tools using the high-level environments (BCC and bpftrace) is not truly the intent either, though code samples for bpftrace abound. The book is definitely geared toward finding problems at multiple levels on Linux systems running in production.

        It begins by introducing BPF, noting its origin as the Berkeley Packet Filter and its eventual upgrade to extended BPF (eBPF), before giving a quick overview of the tracing and sampling techniques available on Linux. It then gives a taste of what the BPF Compiler Collection (better known as BCC) can actually do by using canned tools to examine system-wide execve() calls and block I/O latency. The different levels of tracing available in a Linux system, from applications through system libraries and the system-call interface down to internal kernel tracepoints and hardware counters, are briefly described with an eye toward a few bpftrace “one-liners” to examine open() and openat() system calls. Examples of bpftrace one-liners (and more) can be found in Gregg’s LWN article from July 2019 and a report on his talk at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit.

        That first chapter would be useful to anyone who is curious what the BPF fuss is all about. The concepts introduced in the first chapter (and more) are spelled out in greater detail in the rest of Part I (“Technologies”). The book is meant to be read straight through, if desired, or simply used as a reference of the tools and techniques that can be used to track down problems in a system. That leads to a bit of repetitiveness here and there throughout, so that readers popping into a particular place will not be completely lost. It can be a bit irritating at times for those just reading through it, but it is probably unavoidable in a dual-purpose book like this.

        BPF itself is a complicated beast, which hooks into a wide variety of facilities for gathering tracing information. That includes both static options (kernel tracepoints and user-level statically defined tracing (USDT) markers) and ways to insert dynamic instrumentation into the kernel (kprobes) or user-space programs (uprobes). BPF programs can be used to collect information from those sources (and others like hardware performance monitoring counters (PMCs) and perf_events), summarize it in-kernel, and display the results in a variety of forms. Chapter 2 describes all of them in some detail

      • watch_mount(), watch_sb(), and fsinfo() (again)

        Filesystems, by design, hide a lot of complexity from users. At times, though, those users need to be able to look inside the black box and extract information about what is going on within a filesystem. Answering this need is David Howells, the creator of a number of filesystem-oriented system calls; in this patch set he tries to add three more, one of which we have seen before and two of which are new.
        The new system calls, watch_mount() and watch_sb(), provide ways for a process to request notifications whenever something changes at either a mount point (watch_mount()) or within a specific mounted filesystem (watch_sb(), the “sb” standing for “superblock”). For a mount point, events of interest can include the mounting or unmounting of filesystems anywhere below the mount point, the change of an attribute like read-only, movement of mount points, and more. Filesystem-specific events can also include attribute changes, along with filesystem errors, quota problems, or network issues for remote filesystems.

        These system calls are built on a newer version of the event-notification mechanism that Howells has been working on for some time. In the past, getting notifications has involved opening a new device (/dev/watch_queue), but that interface has changed in the meantime. In the current version, a process calls pipe2() with the new O_NOTIFICATION_PIPE flag to create a special type of pipe meant for notification use.

      • CAP_PERFMON — and new capabilities in general

        The perf_event_open() system call is a complicated beast, requiring a fair amount of study to master. This call also has some interesting security implications: it can be used to obtain a lot of information about the running system, and the complexity of the underlying implementation has made it more than usually prone to unpleasant bugs. In current kernels, the security controls around perf_event_open() are simple, though: if you have the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability, perf_event_open() is available to you (though the system administrator can make it available without any privilege at all). Some current work to create a new capability for the perf events subsystem would seem to make sense, raising the question of why adding new capabilities isn’t done more often.
        Capabilities are a longstanding effort to split apart the traditional Unix superuser’s powers into something more fine-grained, allowing administrators to give limited privileges where needed without making the recipients into full superusers. There are 37 capabilities defined in current Linux kernels, controlling the ability to carry out a range of tasks including configuring terminal devices, overriding resource limits, installing kernel modules, or adjusting the system time. Among these capabilities, though, is CAP_SYS_ADMIN, nominally the capability needed to perform system-administration tasks. CAP_SYS_ADMIN has become the default capability to require when nothing else seems to fit; it enables so many actions that it has long been known as “the new root”.

      • Memory-management optimization with DAMON

        To a great extent, memory management is based on making predictions: which pages of memory will a given process need in the near future? Unfortunately, it turns out that predictions are hard, especially when they are about future events. In the absence of useful information sent back from the future, memory-management subsystems are forced to rely on observations of recent behavior and an assumption that said behavior is likely to continue. The kernel’s memory-management decisions are opaque to user space, though, and often result in less-than-optimal performance. A pair of patch sets from SeongJae Park tries to make memory-usage patterns visible to user space, and to let user space change memory-management decisions in response.
        At the core of this new mechanism is the data access monitor or DAMON, which is intended to provide information on memory-access patterns to user space. Conceptually, its operation is simple; DAMON starts by dividing a process’s address space into a number of equally sized regions. It then monitors accesses to each region, providing as its output a histogram of the number of accesses to each region. From that, the consumer of this information (in either user space or the kernel) can request changes to optimize the process’s use of memory.

        Reality is a bit more complex than that, of course. Current hardware allows for a huge address space, most of which is unused; dividing that space into (for example) 1000 regions could easily result in all of the used address space being pushed into just a couple of regions. So DAMON starts by splitting the address space into three large chunks which are, to a first approximation, the text, heap, and stack areas. Only those areas are monitored for access patterns.

      • Impedance matching for BPF and LSM

        The “kernel runtime security instrumentation” (KRSI) patch set has been making the rounds over the past few months; the idea is to use the Linux security module (LSM) hooks as a way to detect, and potentially deflect, active attacks against a running system. It does so by allowing BPF programs to be attached to the LSM hooks. That has caused some concern in the past about exposing the security hooks as external kernel APIs, which makes them potentially subject to the “don’t break user space” edict. But there has been no real objection to the goals of KRSI. The fourth version of the patch set was posted by KP Singh on February 20; the concerns raised this time are about its impact on the LSM infrastructure.

        The main change Singh made from the previous version effectively removed KRSI from the standard LSM calling mechanisms by using BPF “fexit” (for function exit) trampolines on the LSM hooks. That trampoline can efficiently call any BPF programs that have been placed on the hook without the overhead associated with the normal LSM path; in particular, it avoids the cost of the retpoline mitigation for the Spectre hardware vulnerability. The KRSI hooks are enabled by static keys, which means they have zero cost when they are not being used. But it does mean that KRSI looks less like a normal LSM as Singh acknowledged: “Since the code does not deal with security_hook_heads anymore, it goes from ‘being a BPF LSM’ to ‘BPF program attachment to LSM hooks’.”

    • Benchmarks

      • 20-Way GPU Gaming Comparison With March 2020 Linux Drivers

        Given the continuously evolving state of the open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers in particular, here are fresh AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux gaming benchmarks with the latest Linux graphics drivers as we begin March 2020. Besides the latest NVIDIA 440.64 Linux driver, on the Radeon side was Mesa 20.1-devel paired with the Linux 5.5.5 kernel and also having the RADV ACO back-end enabled.

        This comparison is intended to provide the latest look at the Linux gaming performance against an assortment of current AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. The twenty graphics cards tested this round included…

      • [Older] A Linux Performance Look At AMD’s 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X Processor

        Our Linux configuration is simple overall. We’re using the latest version of Ubuntu (19.10) for our testing, which is fully updated, and upgraded to the 5.5 kernel. Out-of-the-box, Ubuntu 19.10 can’t boot on the latest Threadripper platform without the ‘mce=off’ boot flag, but once upgraded to the 5.5 kernel, that problem goes away.

        Many of our tests are run with the help of Phoronix Test Suite, with tests locked to a specific version to generate repeatedly reliable data. We don’t do any real OS configuration outside of disabling sleep, and enforcing the performance power profile.

        On AMD platforms, XMP is enabled, and that’s all that’s touched. There is no automatic overclocking performed by the EFIs on these platforms, as far as we can tell (when compared to reviewer guide performance). On the Intel platforms using ASUS, XMP is enabled, and “Yes” is chosen to let it optimize the settings, after which point the Turbo boost settings are reverted to Intel default behavior. This ensures proper memory timings and settings are enabled, and that no automatic overclock will take place.

        All of the platforms we tested on had their EFI updated before testing, if one was available. While the current EFI available for our tested ASUS Zenith II Extreme from ASUS’ website will handle the 3990X no problem, we upgraded to an internal beta for this review, as it was expected to deliver better stability with DDR4-3600 memory.

    • Applications

      • XAMPP 7.1.33 Released With Many New Bugs Fixes and Features!

        XAMPP 7.1.33 Released: XAMPP is an open-source application, is developed by Apache Friends Organization. XAMPP application is an open-source web server solution stack. This application can be installed to your system and which allows you to run the test server as “LocalHost” server. XAMPP supports basic add-ons such as “WordPress and Joomla“. Now the team announced that the latest version of XAMPP 7.1.33 has been released with many new essential features and bug fixes.

      • OpenSnitch Linux Application Firewall Fork With Improvements And Bug Fixes

        OpenSnitch, an application firewall for Linux, is no longer under active development. This didn’t mean it was the end for this project though, because Gustavo forked it about 8 months ago, and has been constantly improving it since.

      • OpenShot 2.5.1 Released, How to Install it via PPA

        OpenShot video editor 2.5.1 was released a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10, and derivatives via PPA.

        OpenShot 2.5.1 features faster performance, huge optimizations with effects, and improved UTF-8 character support.

      • OpenShot Video Editor 2.5.1

        OpenShot Video Editor is a free, open-source video editor licensed under the GPL version 3.0. OpenShot can take your videos, photos, and music files and help you create the film you have always dreamed of. Easily add sub-titles, transitions, and effects, and then export your film to DVD, YouTube, Vimeo, Xbox 360, and many other common formats. What really sets OpenShot apart from other video editors is the easy-to-use user interface.

        OpenShot has many great features, such as trimming and arranging videos, adjusting audio levels, transitions between videos, compositing multiple layers of video, chroma-key / green screen effect, and support of most formats and codecs.

      • OpenShot Gets a Bug Fix Update, Adds Multi-Core Effects Processing

        Some software updates are like buses: you wait ages for one, only for another to arrive soon after!

        And so it is with OpenShot, the popular open source video editor for Windows, macOS and Linux.

        Devs have just issued a new bug fix update for the non-linear video editor that irons out a few wrinkles in the recent (not to mention sizeable) OpenShot 2.5.0 release.

        “With faster performance, huge optimizations with effects, and improved UTF-8 character support, OpenShot 2.5.1 is the best version yet, bringing powerful and simple video editing to the open-source world,” writes Jonathan Thomas, lead developer for he MLT-based tool.

      • Top 5 VirtualBox Alternatives for Linux

        VirtualBox is one of the most popular virtualization programs out there. It comes packed with a lot of powerful features and is a free open source program under the GNU General Public License. But while VirtualBox is fantastic, it isn’t the only virtual machine option out there. Anyone who’s looking for something different should check out these top 5 VirtualBox alternatives for Linux.

        Virtual machine software or virtualization is a popular way for businesses and individual users to run different operating systems on their hardware. Many companies use virtualization to save money by being able to run and test different systems on a single computer. The technology is as useful for those at home. For example, people like to use virtualization to test out new software without corrupting the system.

        But you can’t install every virtualization program on every operating system (host system). Some of the options listed here aren’t only for Linux. You can run them on macOS or PCs with Windows systems installed as well. But all the options mentioned below will definitely work on Linux.

      • VirtualBox & NAT network configuration tutorial

        Simple, but hopefully quite useful. I’ve seen a lot of forum posts where baffled VirtualBox users ask why all their machines have the same addresses. Perhaps it is not instantly clear that each NAT-ed host lives in its own isolated network environment, and that they don’t automatically share the same virtual router. This is probably for security reasons, because you may have insecure or noisy VM in the system. Anyway.

        VirtualBox is powerful and flexible, and it has what it takes to generate fairly complex configurations network-wise. We covered quite some today, including the different options you need to get your hosts to share the adapter and get assigned IP addresses from the same pool so that they can talk to each other. Well, that would be all for now. Happy virtualization.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Google Stadia Lacks Games In Its Library, Isn’t Shelling Out For New Games

        This Google Stadia thing is starting to move into full on failure to launch territory. If you’re unfamiliar with the Stadia product, it was pitched by Google as essentially the end of console gaming. Something like trying for “the Netflix of gaming” moniker, the idea is that Google would stream games for a monthly fee, freeing gamers from the need of having dedicated gaming hardware in their homes. The initial launch of the product was met with a public mostly uninterested in or skeptical of the service. Add to all of that the problems the platform had accepting new gamers, what looks like very real resolution issues with how games are delivered visually, and Stadia’s problems getting gamers to “buy in” to the platform more recently, and it’s all looking to be something of a disaster.

      • OpenRA for classic Red Alert and Command & Conquer has a new test build up

        Dune 2000, Red Alert, Command & Conquer – all classics and all playable on Linux with the cross-platform open source OpenRA.

        Yesterday, a brand new test release went up that we actually spoke about in a previous article. It brings in an overhaul to the rendering engine, to make more modern features possible. It was a special experimental build before but now they’re getting everyone in to test.

      • A new Steam Client Beta is up, fixing some annoyances for Linux users

        Valve have released a fresh update to Steam for those of you testing out the Beta, and with it comes some fixes for annoyances.

        For Steam Play, there was a ‘race condition’ that could cause some games run through Proton to end up redownloading. Very annoying, good to see it fixed.

        With the Linux version of Steam, they’ve also now disabled the CEF keyring integration by default as it was causing prompts to come up for both GNOME and KDE desktops to ask for a password. An issue that has been around since last year that should hopefully now be solved. You can enable it manually using “-enable-keyring” as a launch option for Steam if you really need it.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Operation Shattered Web will end on March 30

        Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gained a lot of new stuff for Operation Shattered Web, including the Battle Pass system and it’s all coming to an end this month.

        Yesterday, Valve put up all the missions for Week 16 of the Battle Pass and announced on the official blog that Operation Shattered Web will officially end on March 30. This new set of missions also includes a new co-op Strike mission tasking players with finding and eliminating “Franz Kriegeld”. Additionally, Valve will also be giving out “Diamond Operation Coins to users who have completed 100 missions”.

        The latest update might also help performance, Valve said “Materials now store an internal parameter precache to reduce the need for disk access during gameplay”.

      • Lair of the Clockwork God blends an adventure game with a platformer – now out on Linux

        After a brief Beta test, Lair of the Clockwork God which blends gameplay between a point and click adventure with a platform from Size Five Games is now officially available on Linux.

        This is the first game they’ve really made official on Linux, so it’s awesome to see. Not only that, Lair of the Clockwork God comes with a free prequel Visual Novel ‘Devil’s Kiss’ too so you’re getting a two-for-one here.

        In Lair of the Clockwork God you switch between two characters, using their unique abilities to help each other progress through in a race-against-time effort to stop all the Apocalypses happening simultaneously. You will “solve classic point-and-click style puzzles as Ben to create unique upgrade items for Dan, so he can jump higher, run faster and blast away at everything with a shiny new gun. Then, run and jump as Dan to unlock new areas and exciting new puzzles for Ben!”.

      • Godhood from Abbey Games has the ‘biggest update yet’ with Newfound Shores out now

        As Abbey Games work to improve their crowdfunded religion building auto-battler ‘Godhood’, they just released the Newfound Shores update they claim is the biggest yet.

        With this update they said “we made huge improvements to the game and how it plays” as they were previously “not meeting the bar we set ourselves out to achieve” so now it should have a much more fun foundation to it. There’s now multiple islands to explore, there’s a new Generosity commandment you can spread, an improved tutorial, new music, a lot more and “better” upgrades available, development trees are more balanced and have more options, a better time/turn system that gives you a fixed number of actions between turns, better city management and the list goes on—it’s massive and really game changing.

      • The End of the Sun, an upcoming adventure with a Slavic fantasy world has a new teaser

        The End of the Sun is very pretty looking first-person exploration and adventure game set in the world of Slavic rites, beliefs, legends, and their everyday life. A story inspired primarily by Slavic mythology and legends, they said that the game “is inspired by both adventure and exploration games with unorthodox riddles to solve, but the story-line is in the first place here”.

        Currently in development with a Linux version firmly planned, the team has already spent almost three years working on it and they’re planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign sometime soon.

      • Served! – the top-down racing game with a culinary theme is out now

        Giving a whole new meaning to fast food, Served! is a racing game with a culinary theme and it’s out now.

        This is the kind of ridiculous laugh-out-loud fun you need to have someone with you for. While it does have a very short single-player against the AI for each character, the real fun is playing with another. You get to race around restaurants throwing rice across the floor, whacking someone with a great big spoon or perhaps throwing your lid.

      • Google opens a second studio to develop Stadia games – The Division 2 this month and more

        Stadia was off to a rough start, it’s still quite rough now but an interesting look at a possible future of convenience playing games wherever you want. Seems Google are just getting started.

        Back in October Google announced Stadia Games and Entertainment, their own first-party studio dedicated to making games for their streaming service. They later acquired Typhoon Studios to join that new studio and now they’ve announced the formation of another studio focusing on Stadia exclusives.

        In a fresh blog post today, Jade Raymond the VP and Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, announced the second Stadia Games and Entertainment studio in Playa Vista, California. This additional team will be led by Shannon Studstill, who previously led Sony’s Santa Monica Studio (God of War).

      • Low-fantasy tactical RPG ‘Urtuk: The Desolation’ is up on GOG and worth a look

        Urtuk: The Desolation is dark, a little gruesome and very much an in-development tactical RPG that you’re going to need to check out because it’s great. Note: Copy provided to GOL by GOG.com.

        The setup here is quite grim, an evil scientist of sorts experimented on people in some dungeon. You are Urtuk, one such person who had this treatment for many years. A friend comes to bust you out, and it’s here you journey quickly begins with a short introduction to the stylish turn-based battles. It doesn’t ease you in either, it’s a brutal open-world setting with large maps and lots going on. You also have to deal with the fact that you quickly find out: you’re dying and you need to find a cure.

      • Blender 2.82′s NVIDIA OptiX Support Is Performing Very Well

        Continuing on with our Blender 2.82 benchmarking for this open-source 3D modeling software update that debuted last month with numerous improvements, here are some fresh benchmarks of the CUDA and OptiX back-ends for NVIDIA GPU acceleration.

        Blender’s OptiX support originally landed at the end of last year with Blender 2.81 for boosting the NVIDIA RTX GPU potential with faster render times than the OpenCL or CUDA back-ends.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Allan Day: Settings UX testing for GNOME 3.36

          A little while ago, I wrote about using data-driven design approaches in GNOME. For the 3.36 development cycle we successfully used one these techniques to improve the Settings app, and I wanted to share the story of what we did, and how the testing we’ve conducted is feeding into the GNOME user experience.

          The inspiration for the testing initiative came from several sources of feedback. A number of our own contributors had complained that, in the Settings app, they struggled to remember which settings were in each of the two sub-sections (called Devices and Details). Then, last GUADEC, Deb Nicholson ran a SpinachCon (a kind of usability testing event) and a number people were observed having trouble finding some of the settings, particularly the Date & Time settings.

          Suspecting that there might be an issue around settings navigation, we experimented with some ideas for how the structure of the Settings app could be improved.

    • Distributions

      • CirrOS 0.5.0 released

        Someone may say that I am main reason why CirrOS project does releases.

        In 2016 I got task at Linaro to get it running on AArch64. More details are in my blog post ‘my work on changing CirrOS images’. Result was 0.4.0 release.

        Last year I got another task at Linaro. So we released 0.5.0 version today.

        [...]

        Yesterday Scott created 0.5.0 tag and CI built all release images. Then I wrote release notes (based on ones from pre-releases). Kolla project got patch to move to use new version.

      • What is Linux and Why There are 100’s of Linux Distributions?

        When you are just starting with Linux, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

        You probably know only Windows and now you want to use Linux because you read that Linux is better than Windows as it is more secure and you don’t have to buy a license to use Linux.

        But then when you go about downloading and installing Linux, you learn that Linux is not a single entity. There are Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, elementary and hundreds of such ‘Linux variants’. The trouble is that some of them look just like the other.

        If that’s the case, why there are multiple of those Linux operating systems? And then you also learn someone mentioning that Linux is just a kernel not an operating system.

      • All About Trisquel GNU/Linux

        This is a long list of my tutorials and reviews about Trisquel operating system on this website UbuntuBuzz.com. I acknowledge Trisquel Forum’s All Manuals long list as my inspiration of this very list. This list includes installation guide, bootable making, applications recommendation, printing and scanning, writing Arabic and Latin texts, software development, and so on. I hope you can find articles you want about Trisquel from this list. Enjoy!

      • New Releases

        • Porteus Kiosk 5.0 released with Linux 5.4 and new features

          Users can now get their hands on the latest major update to Porteus Kiosk that comes with software upgrades, new features, and a couple of bug fixes as well.

          However, before we have a look at the new Porteus Kiosk 5.0.0, it’s the part where we briefly explain what this software is all about. It is a Linux-based operating system mainly geared towards securing public access computers.

        • Linspire 8.7 Promises Top-Notch Performance on Slow Windows 10 Computers

          Linspire 8.7 is now available as an update to Linspire 8.5 and uses the Mate desktop in an attempt to make the desktop experience as familiar as possible for those coming from Windows 7 and Windows 10.

          One of the reasons many Windows 7 users decide to stick with Microsoft’s operating system and upgrade to Windows 10 is the familiar desktop, so with this approach, the PC/Opensystems Enterprise development team hopes it can convince more people to move to the Linux world.

        • Linspire 8.7 Trying To Lure Windows Users With Switch From KDE To MATE Desktop

          Linspire is still kicking in 2020 as the Linux distribution formerly known as “Lindows” more than a decade ago. Linspire 8.7 is out today with a renewed emphasis on trying to get legacy Windows PCs migrated to Linux.

          After the original Linspire faded away a decade ago after its renaming from Lindows following legal action by Microsoft, Linspire was reborn in 2018 under new ownership. It’s been seeing new releases for this commercial-focused Linux distribution and this week marks version 8.7.

        • Kali Linux 2020.1a Installation ISOs Released to Fix Installer Bug

          Offensive Security released the Kali Linux 2020.1a installation images to fix an installer bug that could result in a installation without a graphical interface.

          Kali Linux 2020.1 was quite a major release that introduced a universal installer image for all desktop environments that Kali Linux currently supports, among numerous other new features and improvements.

          Available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, the new installer images make it easier for Offensive Security to push new releases of Kali Linux as they don’t have to build separate ISOs for all supported desktop environment, like they did until the 2020.1 release.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Plasma, VIM, Wireshark update in Tumbleweed

          A total of five openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week that provided updates for YaST, KDE’s Long Term Support version of Plasma and the open source printing system CUPS.

          The latest snapshot, 20200301, updated a few libraries like libstorage-ng, which updated to version 4.2.65; the low-level storage library’s newer version added support for btrfs RAID1C, added being and end functions to ProbeCallbacks, and updated translations. The update of libyui to 3.9.3 removed obsolete RPM group tags. A check to make sure the network is working before starting the initialization scripts was made with the autoyast2 4.2.28 update. Support was added for IBM’s S390 secure boot with the yast2-firstboot package update. The update of yast2 4.2.67 made a change to show capable modules in the control center for Windows Subsystem for Linux and a jump from yast2-network 4.2.47 to 4.2.58 added a class to represent NTP servers. The snapshot is currently trending at a stable rating of 98, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Helm and Operators on OpenShift Part 2

          This is the second part of a two-part blog series discussing software deployment options on OpenShift leveraging Helm and Operators. In the previous part we’ve discussed the general differences between the two technologies. In this blog we will specifically the advantages and disadvantages of deploying a Helm chart directly via the helm tooling or via an Operator.

        • Gospel choirs and wedding bells: Fun facts about Red Hat Summit

          Red Hat Summit is primarily about bringing together our customers and partners to help share practical IT insights and solutions to their computing problems. But, well, we’re Red Hat. We also like to have a little fun with it and mix it up a little. Here’s a few things about past Red Hat Summits you may not know, and you never know what might happen this year!

        • The Story of Unsung Heroes – SAP HANA and SUSE [Ed: SUSE keeps calling proprietary software “hero” (sort of) and other praises; it’s like SAP is controlling them.

          That was exactly the scenario here, IBM, SAP and SUSE have been long term collaboration partners, with a lot of communication and embedded knowledge across the 3 engineering and support teams. The three teams worked closely for a number of months to bring this process to the fruition.

        • Fedora 31 and AMD Radeon 5600 XT

          I have upgraded my RX 560 to much more powerful 5600 XT. Thanks to 7nm technology, this beast draws 7W on idle and both fans are turned off similarly to my old 560 (4W idle) while it can deliver robust performance up to 160W after BIOS update (I have the launch model before AMD knew about NVidia price cuts).

      • Debian Family

        • Chrome OS 80 Rolls Out with Debian 10 “Buster” Linux Containers

          Based on the Chrome 80 web browser, which arrived in early February with SameSite Cookie enforcement, SVG support for favicons, and deprecated File Transfer Protocol (FTP) support (will be completely removed in Chrome 81), Chrome OS 80 is here to inherit most of its changes.

          One thing that caught my attention in this release is the move to the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series for default Linux containers that allow you to run Linux apps on your Chromebook. Linux app support is still considered a beta feature in Chrome OS, which uses the Linux kernel.

        • Hartman: Opposite of a Platform for DPL 2020
          TL;DR: Overall, being DPL has been incredibly rewarding.  I have
          enjoyed working with you all, and have enjoyed the opportunity to
          contribute to the Debian Project.  I hope to be DPL again some year,
          but 2020 is the wrong year for me and for the project.  So I will not
          nominate myself this year, but hope to do so some future year.
          
          I wanted to take some time to share my thoughts on my time as DPL, and
          some thoughts about the next year.  Over the past year, we've done
          some great work.  I'd like to start by acknowledging that and taking a
          moment to be proud of our accomplishments together.
          
          Consensus And Summaries: DH and Git
          ===================================
          
          In my platform I wrote:
          
              Debian is not fun when we face grueling, long, heated discussions.  It is not fun when we are
          unable to move a project forward because we cannot figure out how to get our ideas considered or
          how to contribute effectively.
          
          Much of my focus at DPL was on a couple of experiments in decision
          making.  Together I hoped we could show ourselves and the world that
          Debian can make decisions.  I wanted to explore the DPL's role in
          accomplishing that.
          
          We succeeded.  I facilitated a number of consensus-based discussions
          where we explored options and came to conclusions.  In my mind the
          major elements of these were:
          
          * Starting with a statement of the problem area and a set of questions/observations about the
          current state of the discussion.
          
          * Giving people an opportunity to give input.
          
          * Indicating areas where we appeared to have an answer and areas where additional input was
          required; trying to cut off threads that were starting to repeat themselves.
          
          * Providing a summary so others could check that we got to the same place.
          
          * Feeding results of the discussion to the appropriate parts of the project.
          
          
          I think we succeeded at this work a number of times.  From my
          standpoint, it was rewarding and energizing to see us actually make a
          decision and to get to a place where I thought we were not just
          repeating ourselves.  For me and a number of other contributors I've
          talked to, discussions are less draining when we reach conclusions.
          
          I think I demonstrated that the DPL can be valuable in facilitating
          these discussions.  I'm glad that I was able to explore more ways that
          the DPL could help the project.
          
          But what really made me happy is watching others copy this pattern.
          Yes, the DPL can facilitate, and for some project-level discussions
          that is the right answer.  But anyone can implement the above steps.
          I saw a number of people do so.  In particular, I think summaries at
          the end of discussions are incredibly important.  It was great to see
          others doing that.  It's great to see us learning together.
          
          This was an experiment.  While I think we demonstrated that we can use
          this procedure to make decisions, we also brought forward a number of
          things to think about for the future.  The biggest issue is that these
          discussions do take time and energy even when they eventually reach
          conclusions.  I think we need to think carefully about when we need to
          make decisions as a project, or when other approaches are better.
          
          Also, one or two people can cause a consensus discussion to drag on
          much longer.  As an example, it was obvious to me as a facilitator
          very early on in the Git Packaging discussion that we were not going
          to change our position on the use of Gitlab and other non-free
          services.  Hundreds of messages were spent on a sub-thread that was
          never going to reach consensus.  We need better tools for managing
          that use of our collective time while allowing each other to be heard.
          
          I think both of these are great areas to explore as we continue to
          improve Debian decision making.
          
          Facilitated GRs
          ===============
          
          In my platform I talked about how I thought the DPL's power to propose
          general resolutions could be used as a tool for facilitating
          discussion when consensus cannot work.  We explored that together, and
          I think we did a great job of breaking a longstanding block in how we
          approach init systems.
          
          The traditional wisdom is that GRs should be proposed by a strong
          proponent of the option in question.
          
          I was dubious of this wisdom.  It starts the process out on a
          confrontational note, rather than as a cooperative exploration of what
          the project wants.  When consensus is impossible, there is inherent
          conflict.  However, we can (and did) work together cooperatively to
          enumerate the options.  I believe doing some ground work as a
          facilitator behind the scenes helped make that easier.
          
          There's another benefit though.  By working to facilitate, I was able
          to hear options in the middle expressed by people who had opinions,
          but who were not involved enough to dedicate their time to go put that
          option forward.  In this instance, that sort of compromise--collected
          from comments of bystanders rather than entrenched parties--won.
          
          Yes, there are dangers to compromise, but there are also dangers to only selecting from the
          positions on the edge as well.
          
          All in all, I'm very happy with the experiment of having a DPL more
          involved in facilitating a GR.  We even demonstrated that multiple
          people who view things differently can get their options refined and
          supported on the ballot, so having someone facilitating added to
          rather than limited our ability to get options considered.
          
          During the process, we did discover a number of bugs in the voting
          system that really should be fixed before we have another
          controversial GR.
          
          Delegates and Project Needs
          ===========================
          
          One area where i was completely naive is in my understanding of how to
          manage delegations.  I'm not talking about my interactions with the
          Community Team: yes I made some mistakes there, but I have every
          expectation that we'll have a Community Team delegation in place by
          the end of my term.
          
          I'm talking about the broader issues of how to see if delegates are
          doing what the project needs.  On paper, the DPL has the power to
          adjust who is a delegate for a given position and to adjust what the
          task is.
          
          When people are stuck because of a disagreement with a delegate,
          because of inaction of a delegate, they often come to the DPL.  I was
          hoping there would be some way to fairly explore ( in a small
          group or as a project) whether a particular delegation was meeting the
          current needs of the project.
          
          I did not find a way to succeed at that.
          The challenge is finding a way to evaluate whether a delegation is meeting our needs while
          respecting the time and effort that current delegates are bringing to the process.
          We need to find a way to ask ourselves whether delegations are meeting our needs without current
          delegates feeling defensive.
          When we need to make changes, it does not mean something negative about the current delegates.
          Often it means that the job we need done has changed or that there is value in looking at problems
          with new eyes.
          
          And yet, that's not how it comes across, either to the delegates or to
          the broader community.
          
          I also naively assumed that we could consider these changes as part of
          the normal part of doing delegation work.
          
          In practice, the DPL randomly gets notes from delegates, typically
          after the change has become de facto reality, asking for some change
          to be made in a delegation.  These notes rarely have any discussion of the
          qualifications of people being added, the overall needs of the project
          in regard to the team's area of responsibility, or how the team
          believes their current staffing stacks up against these needs.
          
          I initially reacted fairly strongly to this, and got some really
          helpful advice showing me ways in which I was being naive.  The kind
          of analysis of project needs that would be helpful is hard to
          come by.
          Often delegates are simply faced with a new person showing interest or an old person leaving.  We
          don't want to turn away motivated new people waiting for detailed analysis of our needs.
          
          And yet, we've got to find some way to do better.  We've got
          to find a way that we can adjust delegations as the needs of the
          project change without people taking it so personally.  I have things
          I could learn about how to do that.  but we as a community need to
          decide that we're actually going to be interested in exploring whether
          our delegations meet our current needs.  I think we should encourage
          that exploration:
          
          * some of our teams are doing the best they can with some really hard
            constraints.  We're frustrated because we want them to do things
            they don't have resources to do.  And yet in some cases even if we
            explored trying to give them more resources we'd conclude we can't.
            So we could get to a position where we could say "Yeah, those folks
            are doing the best they can, and no we can't find a better way to do
            it."  Coming to this realization would allow us to be more
            supportive of our teams rather than the current vague (or in some
            cases poignant) dissatisfaction.
          
          * Some of the time, people are doing the best they can with the
            resources they have.  But sometimes we as a project might be happier
            if we got additional resources for the team, or changed the problem
            they are trying to solve.  Today, we just let resentment build up:
            it's an us vs them mentality.
            
          
          * Some of our teams are low energy.  Even if we had to reboot them, it
            might be better in the long run.
          
          * Rotation is is a huge win in the long run.  Over time people can get
            set in how they think about problems and ideas.  I've been an expert
            in a number of roles in my life.  And every time I had to step
            aside, yes there were bumps.  But within a year, someone had found
            some cool way to do things--something that I had not properly
            considered or even actively blocked.  In most cases new people
            filled my shoes and we suddenly found ourselves with more people who
            understood the technology or who were experts.  In some cases it
            turned out that the work was not valuable enough to the broader
            community to continue.  But that's okay too.
          
          If I were running as DPL, figuring out how to do a better job of
          managing delegations, respecting both the current delegates and the
          needs of the project, would be my priority for the next year.  I hope
          that the candidates who step forward take on this challenge.
          
          Technical Committee
          ===================
          
          Bluntly, the Technical Committee is an inadequate tool to deal with
          maintainers who are not cooperating with the larger community.  The
          DPL gets a number of complaints where maintainers are blocking
          progress especially in areas where their packages overlap with others.
          Examples include people who interact negatively with the release
          process, or people who are so hard to deal with that they suck the joy
          out of Debian.
          
          Handling these cases with a public TC bug and a public vote is a
          dreadful process.
          
          Similarly, we run into problems when maintainers make decisions in
          their packages that affect a much broader community.  Sometimes,
          maintainers do the work of driving the necessary discussions with that
          broader community.  The discussion of changing default firewall rules
          for bullseye and of the impacts of persistant journal spring to mind
          as examples of handling this well.  But when a maintainer doesn't have
          the necessary broader discussion, we have little recourse.  The TC
          process is to heavy and too confrontational to be effective in these
          situations.
          
          
          In one case, I actually started talking to DAM about communication
          problems because that seemed like a more approachable and humane
          process than the TC.  But in many cases DAM is way too big of a hammer (even if it's just going to
          be a warning issued initially).
          
          I'm not sure that the DPL is the right person to be looking at this
          sort of reform: the separation between the DPL and the TC is something
          that a DPL should be careful to consider.  But this needs some
          attention in the upcoming time.
          
          Conflict Deescalation
          =====================
          
          I've been talking about trying to find better ways to resolve
          conflicts in Debian since at least 2014.  I continue to believe this
          issue is more pressing than ever.  I've tried this from the side
          lines; I've tried this as a trainee in the Antiharassment team; I've
          tried this as a TC member; and I've tried this as the DPL.
          
          In my last bits from the DPL mail I've called for volunteers to try
          and help with this task.  This joins calls and discussions I've made
          earlier.  I have received no volunteers to help reduce conflict in
          Debian.  The Community Team has made it clear that parts of this (if
          not all) are beyond their scope.
          
          The feedback I've generally gotten is that reducing the conflict in
          Debian is too hard.  That we need to learn to crawl before we can
          walk, and that we are not ready to tackle this issue.  We need to get an effective community team
          working, finish understanding what our Code of Conduct means in practice, and that sort of thing
          before we're ready to handle the sort of conflict deescalation I'm talking about.
          
          That may be true, but I also think the conflict is tearing us apart.
          Putting in the kind of energy and emotional commitment I've done
          over the last year is not something it would be safe for me or for the
          project without a better solution to conflict deescalation.
          
          The most positive message I've heard on this is that perhaps given
          some time it will all cool down and that if we are effective at
          actually making decisions, resentment and frustration will decrease
          without active help.
          That's probably partially true.
          But not true enough that  I think it makes sense to have a high energy DPL without more people
          involved in deescalating from conflict.
          
          There are other positive things going on.  A couple of the people
          joining the community team have relevant experience.  I know of at
          least one talk being prepared for DebConf hoping to advance the
          discussion.  Another member of the community indicated interest in
          working on mediation later in the year.
          
          so, I remain hopeful that we can make better progress on this in the future.
          
          
          Campaign of Harassment
          ======================
          
          Throughout my entire term as DPL, Debian has been subjected to a
          campaign of harassment from a former project member.
          The primary thing I'm doing my last few months as DPL is dealing with lawyers.
          This is not a new thing: this issue persisted through much of my predecessor's term as well.
          
          I've always had respect for Chris, but seeing this now I stand in awe
          of anyone who could work as DPL under that kind of
          pressure.
          
          Whoever steps forward as DPL is going to need to spend some
          significant energy continuing to defend our community.  You won't be
          alone.  There are a number of people who are spending significant
          energy on this problem inside Debian and in the greater Free Software
          community.  But I won't lie: it is a real emotional drag.
          
          Some people, hearing that this harassment is a factor in my decision
          not to run again, have said that they are worried we're letting "them"
          win.  If I thought no one could step forward, I might agree.  But
          there are people to step forward; there are people inside Debian and
          the broader Free Software community who do have energy.  It's better
          for me to run my lap of the relay, heal and recover, and be ready to
          go again in the future.  Besides, while this is a factor, it is not
          the primary factor.
          
          My overall reaction to this situation is disappointment and horror
          thinking about how much damage a single motivated person can do to a
          community.
          
          And yet, there are positive aspects to come out of this.  We are
          facing this and growing as a community.  Yes, there are still people
          who ask "why can't you just kill file this."  But as a community,
          we've moved on from Usenet of the 1990's.  The vast majority of people
          understand that in order to create a place where we want to work, we
          need to take care of each other.  We all need to work on the effort of
          making our place desirable, rather than demanding that each of us
          spend that technical and emotional cost on their own.
          
          This situation is something that we can all understand.  We can all
          empathize with the harm that members of our community are seeing.  And
          we're starting to see results.  People are working together, building
          emotional support mechanisms, building connections with professionals,
          and taking social and technical steps to defend our community.
          
          I regret the necessity.  I regret that even on an issue like this, it
          sometimes seems like there is needless debate.  But when I step past
          all that, I'm proud to be a member of a community that does care about
          its members, and that once the wheels start to turn will make changes
          to grow.
          
          Conclusions
          ===========
          
          For me the deciding factor was the lack of other interest from people
          interested in Conflict Deescalation.  That was the most important
          thing I hoped to move forward during my term.  I am very happy with my
          term overall, but I am disappointed that I didn't move this task
          forward.
          
          I've considered whether I should let this item go.  But no, I still
          care about compassion, connection, and finding ways to approach
          conflict in Debian maintaining more of the above as much as I did
          in 2014.  My heart wouldn't be in a second term right now without a
          plan to move this forward.  It's time to let another person take a
          try.  As I said above rotation is good: perhaps someone else will find
          a way to look at this and succeed where I haven't so far.  Also, as I
          said above, there is motion on this front.
          
          
          I am available to help, especially on the issue of conflict
          deescalation and compassion.  I hope to stay involved, and I hope to
          be back as DPL some day.  Debian is one of my homes.
          
        • Daily VM image builds are available from the cloud team

          Did you know that the cloud team generates daily images for buster, bullseye, and sid? They’re available for download from cdimage.debian.org and are published to Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure. This is done both to exercise our image generation infrastructure, and also to facilitate testing of the actual images and distribution in general. I’ve often found it convenient to have easy access to a clean, up-to-date, disposable virtual machine, and you might too.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How open source can sustain your reading habits

        Reading about technology often can build up your career. I recently shared, on Valentine’s Day, how I read (what some would say is) too many books. I used to have a hard copy library that actually consumed two rooms in my house until my husband moved in. He respectfully requested space for, you know, people, and I considered a shift toward digital.

        I still take up a lot of room, but now it’s limited to a digital format between e-readers and my audiobook collection. I now own three e-readers, which I organize by the subject of the book, and store audiobooks across multiple devices. With that adjustment, I was able to shift my rooms of books to a mostly digital format, except for some personal favorites, pocket guides, and cookbooks.

        So what makes all this reading worthwhile in an age where you can search and immediately find a site full of resources?

      • The Hard Work of Critical Conversations in Open Source [Ed: OSI justifying its growing culture of censorship, which includes banning its co-founder Eric Raymond]

        Open source is bigger and more diverse than ever before. With that success comes challenges, some new and some old, but all of them on a larger scale than ever before.

        As we grow and convene more people and viewpoints, the conversations will get more difficult. In some ways, that’s good–vigorous discussions help us clarify our shared understanding and pushing the boundaries helps us find where those boundaries are. We evolve appropriately to meet the needs of a changing world.

        But the challenges of cross-cultural discourse amongst people with strong convictions are readily apparent. This has come into stark relief, over the last two years, across contentious elections and experiments in licensing. We need to provide a safe and productive environment for the communities we convene. The world of open source is large and diverse. We appreciate the continued efforts of the people who were here at the beginning and recognize that while many new people have joined the community, many more do not feel like they’d be welcome participants–and we are lesser for it.

      • Basic Blockchain: The Organization of the Future

        Stallman was followed in the 1990s by Eric Raymond, whose essay ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’ served as a call to arms for what he began to term the ‘open-source’ software movement, accompanying the release of his open-source operating system Linux. With open source, the source code (written instructions) of the software is openly published for anyone to use for free. The socially understood price, however, is that if you make improvements, you need to publish those improvements back to the code so that others can take advantage of them. Instead of the proprietary software licensing model of companies like Microsoft, open-source companies like Red Hat made their money from selling services and solutions to enhance the open-source software implementation.

        [...]

        The organisation of the future may or may not live on a blockchain, but without question blockchain holds the potential to make that future organisation more effective. One of the challenges of decentralised decision-making is the loss of coordination of activities. In complex systems this can lead to gridlock and chaos, as nobody knows what the rest of the organisation is doing or how their work fits in with the greater whole, sometimes leading people to working cross-purposes.

      • “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” – and other news

        These days the Free and Open Source Software community is seeing its theoretical foundations somewhat challenged. First, there are those who would like to see the official definition of Open Source changed so that it matches their marketing and lobbying needs. It is a rather complex issue here, on which I will likely write about some time in the future. There are also those who have a business model issue as (much) bigger companies seem happy to distribute their own, Open Source licensed software on their platform (read: cloud platforms) but do not necessarily enable an effective revenue sharing across the ecosystem. Next, there is a growing momentum towards what is sometimes referred to as “ethical” open source licenses. By inserting the compliance or adherence to more or less specific ethical norm, these licenses would supposedly force their recipients to accept these norms by using the software distributed under these licenses. In other words, if a license comes with the obligation for me or for my employer to comply with human rights, I can no longer use nor distribute the software if I know or suspect I’m not respecting the norms contained within the declaration of Human Rights as expressed by the United Nations.

        Complying with human rights, however, may be the best case scenario here. Other cases include a general “Do No Evil” clause, which by definition is impossible to comply with. Practically, it disregards the abyss of “Evil” both individuals and corporations or governments are capable of doing to the point of being a metaphysical absurdity. In the case of the Human Rights clause, one would have to believe that it would be scrupulously followed by entities and people who are already in violation of human rights…

        More troubling is the question of who sets what’s good and evil. In the case of human rights, there’s some loose consensus about its importance and about its moral values in countries that are mostly western and democratic. The rest of the world has many examples of daily, ongoing and continuous violations of human rights. In other words, ethical standards are important, but ethical standards work and can be enforced within organizations. Within Free and Open Source Software Licenses they raise troubling questions.

        Enter the case of Eric S. Raymond (aka ESR). Eric S. Raymond, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, the man who initially coined the terms “Open Source” and the author of the seminal “the Cathedral and the Bazaar” book, was discussing how he felt such ethical open source licenses were in direct violation with specific points of the Open Source Definition. In the course of this discussion, things became heated. As a result, Eric Raymond got moderated out of the mailing lists of the organization he co-founded. His last posts were indeed somewhat rude, but not out of the ordinary level of a heated exchange on a mailing list. Eric did end up publishing a good post summarizing an other wise precise and relevant chain of thoughts.

        I hope this moderation was done as a temporary measure in order to bring some peace to the discussion. Be that as it may the discussion reveals a troubling tendency at the level of the Open Source Initiative: some people would like to turn Open Source and Hacker’s ethos into something it is not, a political movement that is only very partially about software and a lot about liberal ideas.

      • Should open source be ethical?

        The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the governing body of the definition of what it means to be Open Source and which licenses are accepted as Open Source licenses. It coined the modern use of the term “open source” and maintains the Open Source Definition.

        Right now there is a group of people who want to take over OSI and change the Open Source Definition to include ethical clauses. These clauses include things such as prohibitions on human rights abuses. Presently such licenses violate the Open Source Definition.

      • Events

        • OpenUK Kids Competition with Imogen Heap’s MiniMu

          The OpenUK Kids Competition is now open for registrations. Teams of 4 aged 11 and 14 can take part to design the most interesting use for the MiniMu musical glove from Imogen Heap.

          It’s free to enter and one winning team from each Region will be brought by OpenUK to London on 10 and 11 June. They will compete in the Competition Final at Red Hat’s Innovation Lab in Monument, London on 11 June having had the opportunity to spend the night before in London.

        • Moving Red Hat Summit 2020 to a virtual experience

          Each year, Red Hat Summit is one of our favorite events of the year because it brings together our customers, partners, community members and Red Hatters to talk about the open source innovations and best practices that are enabling the future of enterprise technology.

        • WSLConf: The first conference dedicated to Windows Subsystem for Linux goes virtual [Ed: The ridiculous WSL ‘conference’ seems to have been demoted to a stream; WSL is a failure and they lied about revealing usage figures, knowing it’s appalling]
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Future-proofing Firefox’s JavaScript Debugger Implementation

            We’ve made major improvements to JavaScript debugging in Firefox DevTools over the past two years. Developer feedback has informed and validated our work on performance, source maps, stepping reliability, pretty printing, and more types of breakpoints. Thank you. If you haven’t tried Firefox for debugging modern JavaScript in a while, now is the time.

            [...]

            The JavaScript debugger in Firefox is based on the SpiderMonkey engine’s Debugger API. This API was added in 2011. Since then, it has survived the addition of four JIT compilers, the retirement of two of them, and the addition of a WebAssembly compiler. All that, without needing to make substantial changes to the API’s users. Debugger imposes a performance penalty only temporarily, while the developer is closely observing the debuggee’s execution. As soon as the developer looks away, the program can return to its optimized paths.

          • Spotty privacy practices of popular period trackers

            We don’t think twice when it comes to using technology for convenience. That can include some seriously personal aspects of day-to-day life like menstruation and fertility tracking. For people who have periods, understanding the natural cycles of their body plays an important role in spotting irregularities, family planning and just generally being healthy. Writing all of that down can be a hassle, which is why more than 50 million women worldwide use a period tracker.

          • More privacy means more democracy

            The 2020 U.S. presidential election season is underway, and no matter your political lean, you want to know the facts. What do all of these politicians believe? How do their beliefs align with mine? What have they done to support issues I care about? What do they plan to do policy-wise if elected? After all, a well-informed electorate is critical to any democracy.

          • [Mozilla's Patrick Cloke Gets] New Position at New Vector

            I’m excited to share that a few weeks ago I started a new position at New Vector! They’re the company behind Matrix, “an open network for secure, decentralized communication”.

            I’ll be working on the reference backend server software used in Matrix (Synapse). The tech stack overlaps with what I was using: mostly Python code (specifically Twisted). Additionally, most of my work will be open-sourced (and developed in the open)! I’ve already had a few pull requests merged and a couple of my changes are already in the current version of Synapse (v1.11.1).

      • Web/CMS/Sysadmin

        • Cockpit 214

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 214.

        • Getting started with the Gutenberg editor in Drupal

          Since 2017, WordPress has had a really great WYSIWYG editor in the Gutenberg plugin. But the Drupal community hasn’t yet reached consensus on the best approach to the content management system’s (CMS) editorial experience. But a strong new option appeared when, with a lot of community effort, Gutenberg was integrated with Drupal.

        • Kiwi TCMS 8.1

          We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 8.1!

        • The Beauty of a Static Website with Hugo

          I love static websites. No PHP. No big server-side databases. None of that stuff. Just pure, static files being served up and displayed in a browser. The way “The World Wide Web” used to be. Not that there’s anything inherrently wrong with non-static webpages, mind you. Sure, they serve a purpose. eCommerce websites with inventory loaded from a database. Sites focused on communication and constantly changing content (like forums or social media type things).

      • FSF

        • Youth software developers to deliver opening keynote for LibrePlanet conference

          The panelists will be Alyssa Rosenzweig, a free software hacker working at Collabora, Taowa, a sysadmin, free software enthusiast, and the youngest (non-uploading) Debian developer, and Erin Moon, whose free software work has focused on federated social media software as a user, contributor, and maintainer.

          Alyssa leads the Panfrost project to build a free graphics stack for Mali GPUs, and she is passionate about freedom. She has strong, pointed ideas on what the future of free software is supposed to look like: “Beyond abstract criteria, today’s software has profound network effects and psychosocial implications. In the balance is more than software freedom, but also users’ entire lives. The need for holistic, optimistic free software is greater than ever,” she states.

          [...]

          Erin is the developer behind Rustodon, a Mastodon-compatible ActivityPub server. To her, having the panel comment on the future of freedom is a way to represent the meta community of diverging projects. She says: “Together we shape the future of free software and its subcommunities: what projects are prominent, the public image of free software, our culture and social mores. Paneling with people whose work is vastly different from my own is exhilarating! While I’m excited to learn about others’ technical work, I’m also connected to them by this meta-community: our shared experiences as people involved with free software.”

          The panel is the third confirmed keynote for LibrePlanet 2020. It follows the announcement of Brewster Kahle in January, and the more recent announcement of Public Lab’s Shannon Dosemagen. The schedule features talks and workshops from a wide and international range of community members. Thousands of people have attended LibrePlanet over the years, both in person and remotely. The conference welcomes visitors from up to fifteen countries each year, with many more joining online. Hundreds of impressive free software speaker sessions from past LibrePlanet conferences, including keynote talks by Micky Metts, Edward Snowden, and Cory Doctorow, can be viewed in the conference’s video library.

        • GNU Projects

          • GCC 8 Release Series

            The GNU project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the release of GCC 8.4.

            This release is a bug-fix release, containing fixes for regressions in GCC 8.3 relative to previous releases of GCC.

          • GCC 8.4 Released With A Year Worth Of Bug Fixes

            For those making use of the GCC 8 compiler series, GCC 8.4 is out with all of the bug fixes collected since GCC 8.3′s release in February of last year.

            GCC 8.4 solely consists of fixes to the GCC 8 series. Those building their compiler from source can obtain the new GCC 8.4 at gcc.gnu.org.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • 3 Reasons Why Integrators Should Embrace Open Source Systems

            With proprietary systems, users are forced to make up-front commitments that do not allow for variance as new technologies are developed. Open systems ensure users are at the forefront of innovation, on whatever scale works best for them, while also providing the freedom of choice to make security decisions based on functionality and security preferences, rather than manufacturer agreements.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?

            Access codes, averaging around $100 each, are one of many symptoms of what appears to be the commercial textbook market’s yearslong push to salvage profits while mitigating soaring costs for students. Textbook prices ballooned by over 1,000% between the 1970s and the mid-2010s. From just 2006 to 2016, the Consumer Price Index for college textbooks rose 88%, per the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (although prices have fallen in the past several years); and according to a 2019 report from the independent research firm Student Monitor, student spending on course materials has trended down in the past five years. All three major college textbook publishing companies have also experienced decreasing trends in overall annual revenue during the same period.

          • Majority of students still prefer physical books, survey finds

            The survey of 741 students across UK universities, conducted by the bookseller Blackwell’s, asked respondents: “If each of the following resources – printed textbooks, ebooks or digital courseware – is made available to you free of charge, which would you prefer to use in your studies?”

            The responses to the Learning Resource Survey 2019-20 showed that 76 per cent of respondents said they preferred printed textbooks, compared with 18.5 per cent who chose ebooks and 5.5 per cent who said digital courseware.

      • Programming/Development

        • CURL 7.69.0 SSH++ AND TLS–

          There has been 56 days since the previous release. As always, download the latest version over at curl.haxx.se.

          Perhaps the best news this time is the complete lack of any reported (or fixed) security issues?

        • 12 Best Udemy Courses for PHP Beginners in 2020

          PHP is a general-purpose, open-source scripting language that is so popular it almost never needs an introduction. Its name, PHP, was an acronym for Personal Home Pages but now stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, and it is designed for creating interactive and dynamic web pages with its running environment being a server.

          Following in the tradition of bringing you the highest-rated tutorial courses from Udemy, a category under which we last published 18 Best Udemy Courses for Python Beginners in 2020, here is a list of courses designed for PHP.

        • Simple Systems Have Less Downtime

          Complex ideas lead to complex implementations. If it takes too long to explain or grasp an idea, then its implementation will be complex, and it will take too long to fix when something inevitably breaks. For example, a proposed sales process that requires an hour-long presentation will be a nightmare to maintain, regardless of how clever it seems.

        • Approved Programming Languages for Google Fuchsia

          Google, for their upcoming Fuchsia operating system, has reviewed several programming languages. A summary was posted as a markdown document on their GoogleSource Git. It outlines how C, C++, Dart, Rust, Go, and Python will (or will not) be supported in the new operating system.

          Usage is broken down into two components: “Fuchsia Platform Source Tree” and “End-developers”. If a programming language is supported for the Fuchsia Platform Source Tree, then it can be integrated into fuchsia.googlesource.com. If it is supported for end-developers, then the SDK contains tools that enable it. Google has more control over code that enters their source tree, so they can introduce other languages without worrying about supporting it as a first-class citizen with their public SDK.

        • Multi-Threading Compilers

          For the last few months since the GCC Cauldron I’ve been researching/helping out plan for multi-threading GCC.

        • LLVM’s MLIR Will Allow More Multi-Threading Within Compilers

          One of the developers involved with the GCC efforts around more parallelization / multi-threading within the compiler itself has offered his skills to the LLVM team. Though as part of LLVM’s growing embrace of the MLIR intermediate representation will also be better multi-threading within compilers like Clang.

          Developer Nicholas Krause started a discussion about multi-threading compilers within the LLVM scope following his involvement on the GCC side.

        • RcppSimdJson 0.0.3: Second Update!

          Following up on both the initial RcppSimdJson release and the first update, the second update release 0.0.3 arrived on CRAN yesterday.

          RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic simdjson library by Daniel Lemire which is truly impressive. Via some very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in persing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. For illustration, I highly recommend the video of the recent talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (which was also voted best talk). The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed.

        • CLI Tools

          I spend a lot of time on terminal. I prefer using CLI Tools. Even when I like using Goland or Visual Studio Code (IDEs) for coding (instead of vim/emacs), I prefer to do my non-coding activities from a terminal using CLI tools.

          I am quite happy with my zsh and its various plugins (git, kubernetes, docker, etc). Since in $DAYJOB I work with kubernetes a lot, I heavily use kubectl, kubectx, kubens etc. in combination with grep, jq, pipes, etc. and prefer these CLI tools always over clicking buttons or scrolling long pages in browser.

        • Getting rid of “volatile” in (some of) Qt

          The upcoming version of the C++ Standard (C++2a) is proposing to deprecate certain usages of the volatile keyword, by adopting the P1152 proposal (Deprecating volatile).

          Despite the somewhat “flamboyant” title, the actual deprecated parts are very limited and indeed the paper limits the deprecation to somehow language/library corner cases and/or dangerous antipatterns.

          [...]

          To conclude, let’s celebrate the longevity of this problem in all the codebases in the world. In perfect security-drama design: the most important part of an issue is its logo.

        • R data.table symbols and operators you should know

          R data.table code becomes more efficient — and elegant — when you take advantage of its special symbols and functions. With that in mind, we’ll look at some special ways to subset, count, and create new columns.

        • Random STL wishlist

          Things I wish the C++ STL had (without having to pull in Boost or similar), in random order…

        • Python

          • Spatial Data with Python – Operations!

            We did it. We’ve taken the first step towards our data analysis project. We know the fundamental concepts of geographical data and how to load, inspect and visualize data in our Python project.

            Let’s keep going. Remember the vector files we worked on in the first post? We have the limits of every country in the world (world_gdf) and the position of 1,509 volcanoes around the planet (volcanoes_gdf). In this post, we’ll be working with a shapefile containing 7,343 cities all over the world (cities_gdf), which you can download from Natural Earth (the simple version will suffice for this project).

            Let’s load the shapefiles into GeoDataFrames and take a quick look at the first rows to remember what they were about.

          • Alexa Python Development: Build and Deploy an Alexa Skill

            Smart home speakers were a novel idea just a couple of years ago. Today, they’ve become a central part of many people’s homes and offices and their adoption is only expected to grow. Among the most popular of these devices are those controlled by Amazon Alexa. In this tutorial, you’ll become an Alexa Python developer by deploying your own Alexa skill, an application that users will interact with using voice commands to Amazon Alexa devices.

          • Django security releases issued: 3.0.4, 2.2.11, and 1.11.29

            In accordance with our security release policy, the Django team is issuing Django 3.0.4, Django 2.2.11 and Django 1.11.29. These releases address the security issue detailed below. We encourage all users of Django to upgrade as soon as possible.

          • An Update PyPI Funded Work

            After launching a request for information and subsequent request for proposal in the second half of 2019, contractors were selected and work commenced on Milestone 2 of the project in December 2019 and was completed in February 2020.
            The result is that PyPI now has tooling in place to implement automated checks that run in response to events such as Project or Release creation or File uploads as well as on schedules. In addition to documentation example checks were also implemented that demonstrate event based and scheduled checks.
            Results from checks are made available for PyPI moderators and administrators to review, but will not have any automated responses put in place. As a check suite is developed and refined we hope that these will help to identify malicious uploads and spam that PyPI regularly contends with.

          • Python 3.7.7rc1 is now available for testing

            Python 3.7.7rc1, the release preview of the next maintenance release of Python 3.7, is now available for testing. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2020-02-10, no code changes are planned between this release candidate and the final release. The release candidate is intended to give you the opportunity to test the new security and bug fixes in 3.7.7. While we strive to not introduce any incompatibilities in new maintenance releases, we encourage you to test your projects and report issues found to bugs.python.org as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that, since this is a preview release, its use is not recommended for production environments.

          • Python 3.6.9 : My colab tutorials – part 002.
        • Java

          • Shenandoah GC in JDK 14, Part 1: Self-fixing barriers

            The development of the Shenandoah Garbage Collector (GC) in the upcoming JDK 14 has seen significant improvements. The first one covered here (self-fixing barriers) aims to reduce local latencies that are spent in barrier mid- and slow paths. The second will cover concurrent root processing and concurrent class unloading.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Defeating Tech Giants With Open Protocols, Interoperability, And Shared Stewardship

        Across the ideological spectrum, there seems to be a consensus that something must be done about the biggest tech companies — that the legal mechanisms we currently have to address monopolization in the United States are inadequate to deal with the realities of the digital market. While recognizing how powerless our institutions have become in the face of Big Tech’s massive lobbying power, there’s an idea that’s gaining traction as a viable approach to curb the societal and economic impacts of tech monopolies. The idea is to restore the core of a healthy internet ecosystem: interoperability and the revival of open protocols.

  • Leftovers

    • Oregon Engineer Makes History With New Traffic Light Timing Formula

      Today, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) formally announced that it voted to adopt a new formula for determining the timing of traffic lights. The vote vindicates the theory of Mats Järlström, who was fined $500 by the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying for publicly criticizing traffic light timing without first obtaining a professional engineering license.

      The ITE’s vote updates a 55-year-old equation with Mats’s formula, which takes into account the time drivers need to slow down when making a turn in an intersection.

    • Science

      • The annals of “I’m not antivaccine,” part 30: Kevin Tuttle “drops the mic” at ACIP

        The first meeting of 2020 of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) was held last week. As I noted about the first ACIP meeting of 2019 a year ago, antivaxxers have adopted a strategy of basically trying to disrupt the meeting in any way they can. Where they have been most annoying is in managing to plant themselves in the public comment session, spurred on through a Facebook group Inundate the CDC ACIP meetings and antivaccine propaganda blogs like Age of Autism, which urge their readers to submit written comments and try to register to make oral comments at the meetings themselves. Each public commenter is alloted three minutes to make a statement to ACIP, and last year the vast majority of those making public statements were antivaxxers. Sure, Lori Boyle and Alison Singer tried to make some scientifically sound comments, but they were swimming against the tide. This year, I’m not going to concentrate mainly on one antivaxxer’s statement, that of Kevin Tuttle…

    • Health/Nutrition

      • In Every Super Tuesday State With Exit Polls, Majority of Democratic Voters Support Eliminating Private Health Insurance

        “Medicare for All is winning,” said Alyssa Kang, community organizer with the California Nurses Association.

      • Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Trump Vows to ‘See If We Can Help’ the Uninsured as He Attempts to Rip Insurance From 20 Million

        “The number of uninsured Americans has gone up by seven million people during Trump’s presidency, complicating the response to the coronavirus. But don’t worry, they’re gonna see if they can help them out.”

      • Violations at US Hospitals Reveal They’re Not Ready for Coronavirus

        In early February, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas docked in Bayonne, New Jersey, in need of a hospital. The cruise ship was carrying patients who had traveled from China, where an outbreak of COVID-19 had taken root. Four passengers needed to go somewhere for further medical observation.

      • House Democrats Probe Faulty Test Kits’ Role in Delaying Coronavirus Response

        The House Oversight Committee is investigating the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, citing ProPublica’s reporting that problems with the government’s lab tests may have hampered officials’ ability to contain the disease’s spread in the U.S.

        “It is essential that accurate and up-to-date information about testing and diagnosed cases is made public — in order to effectively manage this outbreak and keep the trust of the American people,” the Democratic-controlled committee said in a letter sent Tuesday to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, from Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi, National Security Subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch and Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerry Connolly. The lawmakers also sent letters requesting documents to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

      • Companies Trim Outlooks, Travel and Staff as Virus Spreads

        GROUNDED AIRPLANES: United Airlines will cut international and U.S. flying, freeze hiring and ask employees to volunteer for unpaid leave as it struggles with weak demand for travel because of the new virus outbreak. United said Wednesday it will reduce passenger-carrying capacity 20% on international routes and 10% to 12% in the U.S. United executives expect the reductions will carry into May. Beyond that, it depends what happens to bookings over the next few weeks. United’s CEO and president say they hope the moves are enough, but the nature of the outbreak requires the airline to be flexible in how it responds.

      • Anti-Virus Measures Take Drastic Turns in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Italy

        BANGKOK — Saudi Arabia banned citizens from performing the Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca, Italy weighed closing schools nationwide and Iran canceled Friday prayers for a second week as nations scrambled Wednesday to control the coronavirus outbreak.

      • ‘Absolutely Outrageous’: Trump White House Bars Press From Filming or Recording Coronavirus Briefing

        “We need transparency. Instead we are getting this.”

      • Trump White House Bars Press From Filming or Recording Coronavirus Briefing

        The Trump administration on Tuesday barred the media from filming or recording audio of a daily coronavirus briefing at the White House, sparking outrage from members of the press and progressive critics.

      • On the border How the Russian region most intertwined with China is coping economically amid the coronavirus outbreak

        Primorsky Krai, a region located in the Far East of Russia, borders North Korea and China. It has close ties with China through trade and tourism. Chinese workers come to Vladivostok, the capital of Primorsky Krai, to set up small businesses. Many of the goods sold in the region are imported from China. But life in this region has changed drastically since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The border is on lockdown, flights have been cancelled, and travel restrictions with China are in place. Meduza’s Andrey Pertsev visited Vladivostok to see Russia’s Far East is coping in the context of severed ties, however temporary, with neighboring China.

      • A Terrifying Scenario: Coronavirus in ‘Quarantined’ Gaza

        Imagine living in a place that you couldn’t get out off with sickness and threat of death all around you. Maybe now you will understand.

      • Our Capitalist, Corporatist Country Is Drastically Unprepared for the Coronavirus

        When we think about the government response to this crisis, we have to think about what the government is doing to address the economic disruption in the lives of people who can least afford to miss a paycheck. Maya Wiley, professor of Urban Policy and Management at the New School, tweeted: “2 important questions I don’t see asked enough on #coronavirus plan: 1. #paidleave for low wage workers who can’t afford to stay home if they have symptoms—34 Million ppl, including 54 percent of Latino & 38% of Black workers; 2. Access to protections like hand sanitizer [for] poor ppl.”

      • Water is a Privilege Not a Right: Bleeding the Deschutes River

        The Deschutes River was once one of the gems of the West. Due to numerous springs, its flow was nearly constant throughout the year. Clean and cold, it supported huge numbers of native trout, and other associated wildlife like the river otter, mink, bald eagles, and Oregon spotted frog.

      • Making America Unsafe Again

        Donald Trump is all about boundaries. At a personal level, he doesn’t like touching strangers for fear of infection. Politically, he makes no long-lasting close alliances. And geopolitically, he obsesses over strong borders: big walls, more stringent immigration requirements, tariffs on foreign imports.

      • Researchers Are Substantially Undercounting Gene-Editing Errors

        The standard gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, frequently produces a type of DNA mutation that ordinary genetic analysis misses, claims new research published in the journal Science Advances. In describing these findings the researchers called such oversights “serious pitfalls” of gene editing (Skryabin et al., 2020). In all, the new results suggest that gene-editing is more error-prone than thought and, further, that identifying and discarding defective and unwanted outcomes is not as easy as generally supposed.

      • Our For-Profit Health Care System is Unjust—Only Medicare For All Can Fix It

        When my patients struggle, it’s not because they’re unfortunate. It’s because the system is unjust. We don’t have to live like this.

      • COVID-19 Upends Political Landscape and Global Economy

        We knew the Democratic primary campaign was going to be exciting and sure enough, it is. Bernie Sanders is now the front-runner and, despite all efforts by the establishment Democrats to derail his campaign, he crushed the competition in the Nevada primary and shows no sign of slowing down as Super Tuesday approaches with enough delegates for Sanders to be “unstoppable.”

      • Feminist Icon and ‘Vagina Monologues’ Playright Eve Ensler Delivers ‘Must Watch’ Endorsement for Bernie Sanders

        “Do you feel that energy? That’s the energy of the people of America who got left out, finally finding each other.”

      • End to water cut in pipeline for Pretoria CBD

        While about 500 000 people affected by the water shortage in and around the heart of the city carry buckets back and forth from their homes, a new pipe has arrived at the site.
        Councillor Shaun Wilkinson said the new pipe section which was worked on off-site on Monday had finally been delivered – and the good news was that they had all the necessary manpower to push the installation.

        “We are now in a careful process of fitting, turning, adjusting, testing and tightening the pipe. We are hoping and praying for a successful operation to install the new pipe without any glitches and as quickly as possible.”

      • Rains rekindle Umzingwane farmers’ hopes

        For Ndaba Dube, a smallholder farmer at Ntabemnyama Village in Umzingwane District, Matabeleland South Province, reports of a drought in the 2019-2020 cropping season had cast darkness and despair.

        Reports of a drought were abuzz on radio, in newspapers, on his WhatsApp farming groups, scuttling all the hopes he had.

        The situation on the ground left him helpless.

        Livestock in and around Umzingwane were dying due to scarce grazing, the absence of reliable sources of water and lack of dipping chemicals.

      • You’ll Never Guess How Big Banks Want the Fed to Handle the Coronavirus: More Wall Street Deregulation

        “Surely, the big banks aren’t craven enough to use COVID-19 as an excuse to lobby for long-sought regulatory rollbacks, right? Wrong!”

      • US Is Not Prepared for Coronavirus. We Need a Massive Expansion of Health Care.

        The coronavirus (COVID-19) is in its very early stages in the United States so it is too early to predict its full impacts. The World Health Organization reports that COVID-19 has stricken more than 90,000 people around the world, killing nearly 3,110 and has spread to at least 62 countries. The global march of COVID-19 looks unstoppable.

      • Moscow hospital set aside for coronavirus patients

        Anyone who displays respiratory symptoms while arriving in Moscow from countries suffering a COVID-19 outbreak will be removed to a single hospital on the city’s southern outskirts, said Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova.

      • Economic Policy and the Coronavirus: How to Mitigate Harm and Plan for the Future

        A list of considerations for policy makers.

      • Nation’s Fractured Public Health System Under Trump ‘Woefully Unprepared’ for Coronavirus, Nurses and Experts Warn

        “It is critical that the federal government take quick and meaningful steps to urgently protect the public from this outbreak.”

      • Jonathan Bartley responds to the government’s plan to tackle coronavirus

        “The government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak will require detailed and thorough scrutiny to ensure everything is being done to protect and care for the public.

      • U.S. Hospitals Say They’re Ready for Coronavirus. Their Infection Control Violations Say Otherwise.

        In early February, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas docked in Bayonne, New Jersey, in need of a hospital. The cruise ship was carrying patients who had traveled from China, where an outbreak of COVID-19 had taken root. Four passengers needed to go somewhere for further medical observation.

        The obvious next step was University Hospital in Newark, a major academic medical center equipped with isolation rooms. “The hospital is following proper infection control protocols while evaluating these individuals,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. The patients tested negative, but the governor was clear. The state’s first coronavirus cases would go to University.

      • Experts Warn U.S. Health Care System Is ‘Woefully Unprepared’ for Coronavirus

        As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the U.S., nurses and other public health experts are warning that the country’s public health system is unprepared to handle a pandemic and calling on the federal government to take more urgent steps to protect the American people from the disease.

      • ‘This is not sustainable’: Public health departments, decimated by funding cuts, scramble against coronavirus

        In the last 15 years, public health, the country’s frontline defense in epidemics, lost 45% of its inflation-adjusted funding for staff, training, equipment and supplies. The Public Health Emergency Fund, created for such disease or disaster relief is long depleted. And much of the money the federal government is racing to come up with now to combat the COVID-19 outbreak will be pulled from other often-dire health needs and likely will arrive too late to hire the needed personnel.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open Networking Foundation unveils new open source edge and cloud platform

              Sloane said that Aether uses various open source components that ONF has been building over the past nine years, but the concept of Aether started in earnest late last year.

              Aether is built on the CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) and ONOS platforms and runs in an orchestrated Kubernetes environment. Aether disaggregates CORD and places the necessary elements at the edge or in the public cloud where they are then connected via the cloud providers’ APIs.

              Aether also uses ONF’s mobile core (OMEC) to distribute the user and control planes across edge and central clouds. OMEC provides the capability for the control plane to oversea the control of multiple users planes at the remote edge locations to provision edge cloud-as-a-service deployments.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Contributor Summit Amsterdam Postponed

                The CNCF has announced that KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU has been delayed until July/August of 2020. As a result the Contributor Summit planning team is weighing options for how to proceed.

              • Novel Coronavirus Update

                The health, safety, and wellbeing of our attendees and staff are our highest priority, and we know that what makes KubeCon + CloudNativeCon such a great event is the people who gather there. Thus, after discussions with many community members, we have made the difficult decision to postpone KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Amsterdam (originally set for March 30 to April 2, 2020) to instead be held in July or August 2020. (We’re finalizing the date and will announce it shortly.) We expect that by mid-summer, there will be more clarity on the effectiveness of control measures to enable safe travel to industry events like this one.

                Additionally, we are, unfortunately, canceling KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + Open Source Summit Shanghai in July 2020 due to the uncertainty around travel to China and our ability to assemble the speakers, sponsors, and attendees necessary for a successful event. CNCF remains deeply committed to engaging with our Chinese community and we are looking forward to again holding KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + Open Source Summit in China in 2021.

        • Security

          • Let’s Encrypt Revoking 3 Million TLS Certificates Issued Incorrectly Due to a Bug

            The most popular free certificate signing authority Let’s Encrypt is going to revoke more than 3 million TLS certificates within the next 24 hours that may have been issued wrongfully due to a bug in its Certificate Authority software.
            The bug, which Let’s Encrypt confirmed on February 29 and was fixed two hours after discovery, impacted the way it checked the domain name ownership before issuing new TLS certificates.
            As a result, the bug opened up a scenario where a certificate could be issued even without adequately validating the holder’s control of a domain name.

          • Check If Your Domain Is Affected By Letsencrypt CAA Rechecking Bug

            Let’s Encrypt is a non-profit Certificate Authority ( shortly CA) run by ISRG (Internet Security Research Group). They provide SSL/TLS certificates to enable https on millions of websites’ domain for free! Unfortunately, there is bug, known as CAA rechecking bug, in their CAA code.

            [...]

            This bug is confirmed by the Let’s Encrypt team on February 29th, 2020. Let us see how to check if a website’s domain is affected by Letsencrypt CAA Rechecking Bug.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libzypp), Fedora (opensmtpd and thunderbird), openSUSE (nodejs8), Red Hat (http-parser, kpatch-patch, and xerces-c), SUSE (cloud-init, compat-openssl098, kernel, postgresql96, python, and yast2-rmt), and Ubuntu (python-django and rake).

          • TechGenix Patch Central: February non-Microsoft patches [Ed: When it comes to holes and back doors, Microsoft is a special case]

            Let’s look at what has come down the pike from the major non-Microsoft vendors in the past month.

          • A [cracker] group says it has major defense companies’ data [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing and SpaceX are among dozens of companies named as victims of compromised data, accessed through the hacking of Visser Precision LLC, a Colorado-based aerospace, automotive and industrial parts manufacturer.

            DoppelPaymer, a ransomware group, perpetrated the [attack], according to Brett Callow, a threat analyst with Emsisoft.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Argentinian Companies Still Have a Long Way to Go in Defense of Their Users’ Privacy, Second “Who Defends Your Data” Report Shows

              Argentinian civil rights group Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) has just launched its second edition of the ¿Quien Defiende Tus Datos? (Who Defends Your Data?) report, rating nine companies’ commitments to transparency and user privacy.

              Argentinian companies are off to a good start but still have a long way to go to fully protect their customers’ personal data and be transparent about who has access to it. This years’ report shows Telefónica-Movistar taking the lead, followed far away by Telecentro, IPLAN, Claro. This was the first year Claro was included in the Argentina report and it presented poor results compared to its evaluation in other countries in which it operates, such as Chile and Brazil. This year, two companies from the previous report have merged, Fibertel (Cablevisión) and Arnet (Telecom), leading to a concentration of 68% of the fixed broadband market in just one firm.

            • Cathay Pacific Fined: [Attackers] Had Raided Databases Over Four Years [iophk: Windows TCO]

              Pacific became aware of suspicious activity in March 2018 when a database was subjected to a brute force attack. The firm hired a cybersecurity firm who then contacted the ICO about the breach, triggering an investigation.

              The ICO said it found “back-up files that were not password protected; unpatched internet-facing servers; use of operating systems that were no longer supported by the developer and inadequate anti-virus protection.”

            • Cathay Pacific fined £500,000 over customer data protection failure

              The £500,000 fine Cathay Pacific is facing is the maximum possible under the Data Protection Act 1998, which was used instead of the newer GDPR “due to the timing of the incidents in this investigation”.

            • International airline fined £500,000 for failing to secure its customers’ personal data

              The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Cathay Pacific Airways Limited £500,000 for failing to protect the security of its customers’ personal data.

              Between October 2014 and May 2018 Cathay Pacific’s computer systems lacked appropriate security measures which led to customers’ personal details being exposed, 111,578 of whom were from the UK, and approximately 9.4 million more worldwide.

              The airline’s failure to secure its systems resulted in the unauthorised access to their passengers’ personal details including: names, passport and identity details, dates of birth, postal and email addresses, phone numbers and historical travel information.

            • Cathay Pacific fined £500,000 for 2018 data breach

              A minimum of one attack used a server that harboured a known vulnerability but was not patched for more than 10 years despite the knowledge of its existence. Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner last year found the airline guilty of a low regard for data privacy and delay in disclosing the 2018 breach.

            • Cathay Pacific Given Maximum Pre-GDPR Fine

              As the incident occurred before the introduction of GDPR, the ICO investigated it under older legislation. The £500,000 fine was as big as it could issue under those laws.

            • Redditor Wins Fight to Stay Anonymous

              San Francisco – A Reddit commenter has won their fight to stay anonymous after facing an improper copyright claim from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, a group that publishes doctrines for Jehovah’s Witnesses. A U.S. District Court judge has granted a motion to quash a subpoena for the identity of “Darkspilver,” a Redditor represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

              “Our client shared comments and concerns about the Watch Tower organization—something they have every right to do,” said EFF Staff Attorney Alex Moss. “We are glad that Darkspilver is safe from unmasking, and that a judge saw the important free speech and fair use issues at play here.”

            • Congress Needs to Stop Playing Games & Rein in the Patriot Act

              Section 215 of the Patriot Act is scheduled to sunset in mid-March, following a controversial 90-day clean extension included in the budget bill late last year. This dangerous authority has allowed the government to collect an astonishing amount of sensitive data about the daily lives of people in the United States. Under Section 215, the government can monitor data on our phone calls, our locations, our financial transactions — even our medical records.

              There’s an urgent need for reform — especially in light of the Trump administration’s history of targeting activists and journalists who oppose its policies.

            • [Older] Demand Progress condemns Adam Schiff for undermining surveillance reform bill markup

              “We condemn Rep. Adam Schiff for undermining the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of a surveillance reform bill, which was set to start at 2:30 today. Judiciary Committee members were expected to offer amendments to the USA FREEDOM Act that would have protected Americans’ civil liberties and not left mass surveillance tools in the hands of our increasingly erratic autocrat, Donald Trump. Instead, Rep. Schiff told Chairman Nadler that if he allowed any substantive amendments, he would kill the bill. (He has done this before.)

            • Facebook Weighs Libra Revamp to Address Regulatory Concerns

              At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, Facebook executive and Libra co-founder David Marcus emphasized that the Libra network wouldn’t preclude central bank projects.

            • Walgreens app exposes customer prescription data
            • The Man Behind Trump’s Facebook Juggernaut

              In September, at a resort hotel in the Coachella Valley, the California Republican Party held its fall convention. Brad Parscale—forty-four, six feet eight, balding, prolifically bearded—walked onstage in shirtsleeves and tilted the microphone upward, mumbling a self-deprecating joke about being “awkwardly tall.” Parscale has lived in a red county in California and a blue county in Texas, and he now splits his time between Washington, D.C., and two luxury properties in South Florida, yet he still speaks with the neutral accent of Topeka, Kansas, where he grew up. He was one of the top staffers on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. “I was the digital-media director,” he said. “So, yes, all that crazy Facebook stuff was my idea.” Other former Trump-campaign officials fill their calendars with paid speaking gigs, padding their remarks with jingoistic platitudes or rapturous accounts of Trump’s improbable victory. Parscale appears in public less often. When he does, he gets to the point.

              “We have turned the R.N.C. into one of the largest data-gathering operations in United States history,” he said. He was referring to the Republican National Committee, which has raised two hundred and sixty-three million dollars for the 2020 elections. (The Democratic National Committee has raised just over a hundred million.) As Parscale explained, the Trump campaign has been operating more or less full time since 2016, continually improving its “technology and data operations.” During this period, the campaign and the R.N.C. have essentially merged, sharing staff, voter data, and other resources. The Democrats do not yet have a nominee for President, and some of their systems for acquiring and sharing data are considered outdated by comparison. “You cannot just build an app, or build out data, in the few months you have from the Convention,” Parscale said. “The Democrats will have that problem this time. As they all interfight, we are building for our future.” Two years ago, Parscale was named the manager of Trump’s 2020 campaign. “I know everybody wants me to do it from my laptop,” he joked to the audience. “Not possible. I’ve already done that once.”

            • Facebook to give ‘WHO as many free ads as they need’ for coronavirus response

              Facebook’s ad policies have also faced criticism, particularly from Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), for allowing political candidates to host ads on its platform that contain false or misleading content. Those ads, though, will be flagged with warnings from Facebook’s team of independent fact-checkers.

            • Facebook fact-checking is becoming a political cudgel

              In short, Trump is making a weird and unclear statement, followed by conflicting notes on how seriously we should be taking the coronavirus outbreak. And The Daily Caller’s fact-checking wing is using its power — fairly or not — to push an interpretation favored by Trump, who has in fact made reckless and false claims downplaying the threat.

              Legum argues that The Daily Caller’s seriously flawed editorial record makes it unfit to judge truth. But even leaving that aside, fact-checking is often politically fraught — The Washington Post has been accused of nitpicking claims by Sen. Bernie Sanders in an ideologically motivated way as well.

              Perhaps the most notable thing about this case is that conservatives are usually the ones arguing Facebook has censored them. Now, figures like Donald Trump, Jr. are celebrating the fact that “Facebook [weighed] in” on their side.

              So far, nobody involved is changing their mind on the situation. In response to questions from The Verge, a Facebook spokesperson said that “all fact-checkers on Facebook are certified by Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and work independently of Facebook. There’s an appeals process in place for publishers to dispute a rating by reaching out directly to any certified fact-checker.” The spokesperson also directed us to a tweet by journalist Mathew Ingram, who defended The Daily Caller’s interpretation.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Police reportedly discover remains of second murder victim linked to ‘Penza Network case’ suspects

        Officials in the Ryazan region have reportedly discovered what are likely the remains of Ekaterina Levchenko, a young woman from Penza who went missing in 2017. A source in law enforcement told Meduza about the discovery and says the body still needs to be examined further to verify the person’s identity.

      • For Afghanistan, the Doha Accord Is Just the Beginning

        Truthdig is proud to present this article as part of Global Voices: Truthdig Women Reporting, a series from a network of female correspondents around the world who are dedicated to pursuing truth within their countries and elsewhere.

      • Myanmar: Civilians Caught in Surge of Fighting
      • The Real Modi: Do the Killings of Muslim’s Represent India’s Kristallnacht?

        On 9 to 10 November 1938 the German government encouraged its supporters to burn down synagogues and smash up Jewish homes, shops, businesses, schools. At least 91 Jews – and probably many more – were killed by Nazi supporters egged on by Joseph Goebbels, the minister for public enlightenment and propaganda, in what became known as Kristallnacht – “the Night of Broken Glass”. It was a decisive staging post on the road to mass genocide.

      • What the Vatican’s Secret Archives Are About to Reveal

        Today, after decades of controversy over Pope Pius XII’s failure to condemn the mass murder of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War, the Vatican archives covering his papacy are at last open to researchers. Pius XII—born Eugenio Pacelli—is reviled by some for his failure to speak out against the Holocaust. He is venerated by others who have been promoting him for sainthood. His long papacy, stretching from 1939 to 1958, remains the subject of intense debate. For those of us who have been trying for years to make our way past the thicket of polemics surrounding the pope—and to capture the role the Vatican played during the war—the sense of anticipation is great.

        The issues the newly opened archives will shed light on are not only of historical interest. The traumas of the Second World War and of the Holocaust remain very much alive. Holocaust denial might be dismissed as the delirium of a crackpot fringe, but denial of responsibility for the war and for the Holocaust remains widespread in Europe and in the Christian churches.

      • Violence Continues in Mali Despite Negotiation Efforts

        But some experts charge that there is no groundwork of effective dialogue between the Malian government and Islamist insurgents, arguing that recent jihadist attacks would only dispel any prospect of trust-building between the two sides.

        “Terrorist groups see violence as the only means to achieve the objectives,” said Jasmine Opperman, an Africa associate at the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism, a U.K.-based think tank.

        She told VOA that jihadist groups would not fully trust the government “as their enemy number one, all the foreigners on the soil fighting the terrorists and being the primary target of attacks.”

      • Greece/EU: Respect Rights, Ease Suffering at Borders

        Greece and its European Union (EU) partners should deliver a collective response to Turkey’s new policy of not stopping migrants and asylum seekers trying to leave for Greece, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response should provide for shared responsibility, uphold the right to seek asylum, and guarantee humane and dignified treatment to all migrants.

        On March 1, 2020, Greece’s Governmental National Security Council decided to effectively suspend access to the asylum system for a month for people who crossed the border irregularly, a measure for which there is no legal basis or justification. In recent days, Greek courts have handed down prison terms to people who had crossed the border without documents, Greek authorities said, in circumstances that preclude the possibility that the defendants had fair proceedings with due process.

      • As Erdoğan Weaponizes Turkey’s Migrants, Greece Pays the Price

        Last week, Turkish forces suffered heavy military losses in Syria, where Erdoğan has been pursuing an increasingly aggressive policy. He now is looking for a ceasefire in Idlib, site of the latest Turkish intervention and the last significant outpost of resistance to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime. Erdoğan’s announcement regarding asylum-seekers seemed aimed not only at pressuring other countries to support his shifting war aims, but also at diverting attention away from a Syrian military quagmire into which Erdoğan recently poured 7,000 fresh troops.

        In a brazen attempt to weaponize the migrant crisis, the country’s officials have begun providing free transport to thousands of refugees seeking entry into Greece. Lest anyone miss the message, Friday’s mini-exodus was broadcast live on Turkish television. Harried people were shown heading to the borders by bus, taxi, and on foot.

      • Hallam joins fight against knife crime

        Sheffield Hallam is helping to tackle knife crime by educating young people in the city and working with South Yorkshire Police to produce research.

        Law students took part in a special seminar with Blair Adderley, a former victim of knife crime who now works with the Ubuntu Police-Youth Roundtable, a project developed in partnership by the Tutu Foundation and Youth Futures to improve relations between the police and groups of young people.

    • Environment

      • Thunberg: “When your house is on fire, you don’t wait a few more years to start putting it out”

        “When your house is on fire, you don’t wait a few more years to start putting it out, and yet this is what the commission are proposing today,” Thunberg said in a Wednesday speech to Members of the European Parliament. “When the EU presents this climate law, and net zero by 2050, you indirectly admit surrender, that you are giving up.”

        After claiming that the E.U. delegates were abandoning their commitment to the Paris agreement and describing climate change as an “existential threat,” Thunberg concluded that “this climate law is surrender, because nature doesn’t bargain and you cannot make deals with physics.”

        In addition to delivering her speech, Thunberg signed an open letter with 33 other young climate activists advocating for immediate carbon dioxide emissions instead of long-term goals. The letter, which was published on Tuesday, argued that “we don’t just need goals for just 2030 or 2050. We, above all, need them for 2020 and every following month and year to come.”

      • Greta Thunberg’s Online Attackers Reveal a Grim Pattern

        The [Intrenet] didn’t create this problem, but it does amplify it. The same forces that have allowed Thunberg and her message to climb to global virality are, in the hands of those who wish to discredit the teenager, the best weapon to use against her. While these smears are especially troubling in Thunberg’s case because of her age, they mirror the kinds of targeted online harassment employed against many people and groups by those who wish to silence them. The behavior is shocking, but not a shock.

      • To Save Our Climate We Need Taller Trees Not Taller Wooden Buildings

        To many of us working at the intersection of forest conservation and climate stability recent opinions and news coverage of proposals to fill our cities with tall wooden buildings presents not a stirring vision of sustainability but a nightmarish scenario of a land base increasingly scarred by clearcuts, logging roads and small diameter tree plantations at a time when climate science insists that reestablishing natural forests and letting them grow much bigger and older is one of humanity’s last best hopes to keep climate change from accelerating out of control. To save our climate we need taller trees not taller wooden buildings.

      • Devastating Tornadoes Kill 25 in Tennessee

        Rescuers searched through shattered Tennessee neighborhoods for bodies Tuesday, less than a day after tornadoes ripped across Nashville and other parts of the state as families slept. At least 25 people were killed, some in their beds, authorities said.

      • North Sea dams could save Europe’s coasts

        There is a way to stop Europe’s coastal cities from vanishing below the waves – enclose the North Sea. But there’s a simpler solution.

      • Energy

        • Oil consumption just fell off a cliff. OPEC is facing a huge test

          Most of the reduction in demand can be traced to China, where the coronavirus has caused what IHS Markit describes as an “unprecedented stoppage” of economic activity.

          But reduced consumption will be widespread, and IHS Markit expects global demand to drop by 3.8 million barrels per day in the first quarter compared to 2019. Demand in the first three months of 2019 was 99.8 million barrels per day.

          “This is a sudden, instant demand shock — and the scale of the decline is unprecedented,” said Jim Burkhard, vice president and head of oil markets at IHS Markit.

        • OPEC struggles to win Russian backing for big oil cut amid coronavirus

          Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members struggled on Wednesday to win support from Russia to join them in additional oil output cuts in a bid to prop up prices which have tumbled by a fifth this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

        • Longtime Climate Science Foe David Schnare Uses “Scare Tactics” to Bash Transportation Climate Initiative for Koch-Tied Think Tank

          In Virginia, a conservative think tank is now touting a biased analysis, dismissed by critics as misleading “scare tactics,” authored by anti-environmental attorney David Schnare, that questions Virginia’s legal authority to participate in the regional program. 

        • Net zero isn’t enough: Congress must fight harder for climate

          While net zero may sound good on the surface, the fact that it’s being embraced by the biggest carbon polluters, including some fossil fuel companies and big utilities, should raise a huge red flag.

          The unfortunate reality is net zero targets are too distant, too vague and too easily manipulated to spur the ambitious change needed to avert the climate crisis. In effect, net zero is one of the oldest moves in the D.C. playbook: passing the buck to future generations rather than taking necessary action now.

          The first major problem with net zero is that it takes the focus off the need to drastically cut fossil fuel emissions in the next 10 years.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • For WaPo, Flourishing Elites Are a Matter of Perception
      • Why the US Would be Better Off With Fewer Billionaires
      • Bloomberg & Occupy Wall Street

        It is strange, to say the least, that Michael Bloomberg’s role in shutting down Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been overlooked so far during his presidential campaign. While his “stop-and-frisk” racist policies as New York City Mayor have rightly been the focus of critical attention, nothing seems to have been said about his hostility toward the Occupy movement, which galvanized New York City and subsequently the rest of the country in autumn 2011, during his contentious third term as mayor.

      • Do Stockholders Look Forward to a Decade of Very Low Returns?

        In spite of completely missing the crash of the stock bubble in 2000-2002 and the housing bubble in 2007-2010, people tend to think that the big actors in the stock market have great insight into the economy’s prospects. While I won’t claim to have a crystal ball that predicts the future of the economy (I had warned of both of those crashes), I did learn arithmetic in third grade.

      • California Seniors Protest Eviction With “Walker Brigade”

        Just two days before Thanksgiving, the nearly 100 elderly residents of Brookdale San Pablo received an unfortunate holiday notice — they were going to be evicted.

      • Barred From Striking, Airline Food Workers Seek Other Ways to Protest

        Melieni Cruz, who helps prepare the meals passengers eat on airplanes, went thousands of dollars into debt because she couldn’t pay her soaring medical bills. “When the doctor found cysts on my ovaries, I had to save for a year to afford the procedure, and my cysts got bigger and more painful the whole time,” she said as she picketed the terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

      • The Economics of Democratic Socialism

        The fact that capitalism is authoritarian is nothing really new and the fact that it needs to be replaced by democratic socialism is also nothing new. What is new is that there are three new arguments that outline why such a shift is urgently needed. The first argument is that “our” (!) current economy works well for about 1% of the world population. The second argument is that it barely works for the rest of us – the other 99%. Finally, we need to change and we can achieve this. Perhaps ever since David Ricardo and Karl Marx began writing about capitalism, it has always seemed to be in one state of crisis or another. Today, capitalism manifests itself in no less than six main crises.

      • Beginner’s Luck: How One Video Gambling Company Worked the Odds and Took Over a State

        Andrew Rubenstein rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange last November, then pumped his fist and cheered. He had much to celebrate. In a decade, the company he founded and led, Illinois-based Accel Entertainment, had grown from a tiny startup into the largest video gambling operator in the nation. Accel had also become the country’s first video gambling operator to be publicly traded. With the backing of investors, Accel now hopes to bring video gambling to other cash-strapped states hungry for new sources of revenue.

        Few would have predicted Rubenstein’s fledgling enterprise to emerge as the industry leader in 2009, when Illinois legalized video gambling outside of casinos. He had no experience in the gambling business and no apparent ties to companies that, before legalization, had provided bars and restaurants with “gray” machines, simulated video slots and poker devices that were legal but widely known to be used for illegal gambling.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Trump Administration Calls Iraq Dangerous for Christians — Until It Wants to Deport Them

        Even as U.S. immigration officials have pushed to deport hundreds of Iraqi Christians over the last few years, asserting in court that they are unlikely to be targeted in their homeland, another arm of the Trump administration has insisted just the opposite, saying that Christians in Iraq face terror and extortion.

        Last September, a senior Trump appointee at the U.S. Agency for International Development told a government commission that in the part of northern Iraq where many Christians live, militias aligned with Iran “terrorize those families brave enough to have returned, extort local businesses and openly pledge allegiance to Iran.”

      • Do Media Really Care About Money in Politics?

        All that soft money doesn’t go to the candidates—most of it goes directly toward ad buys, so it supports the salaries of people like Maddow and Bolduan. They aren’t about to bite the hand that feeds them.

      • Feminist Icon and ‘Vagina Monologues’ Playwright Eve Ensler Delivers ‘Must Watch’ Endorsement for Bernie Sanders

        “Do you feel that energy? That’s the energy of the people of America who got left out, finally finding each other.”

      • The Real Losers on Super Tuesday: Urgent Climate Action and Medicare for All. The Winner: Plutocracy

        On three big issues of major concern to the public, Biden ranges from being fairly good to being wholly inadequate. Sanders is superb on all three.

      • Sanders Kicks Off New Phase of Campaign With Ad Blitz Challenging Biden in March Primary States

        The ads follow a memo from Sanders campaign leaders declaring that “we are now entering the phase of the primary in which the differences between Bernie and Biden will take center stage.”

      • After Super Tuesday, Sanders Faces Questions About African American Support

        On Super Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden swept the South and Midwest, winning Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, propelled by a huge majority of African-American votes in several states. We host a roundtable discussion on the results with Barbara Ransby, historian, author and activist adviser to the Movement for Black Lives; Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach; and Elie Mystal, the justice correspondent for The Nation.

      • Honesty Isn’t Just a Campaign Attribute, It’s a Prerequisite for Change

        Last week, after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucus, long time human rights activist Brian Concannon wrote…

      • Sanders Says Warren Told Him She’s ‘Assessing Her Campaign’

        The Vermont senator cast the Democratic primary as a two-person race, and saying he was looking forward to having a substantive debate with the former vice president on a long a list of issues: Biden’s support for the Wall Street bailout, the Trans Pacific Partnership, the 2005 bankruptcy bill, cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ programs, and, most of all, health care.

      • Warren Urged to Help Form ‘Progressive Front’ With Sanders as Big-Money Establishment Fuels Biden Surge

        “If she can make the case for Sanders, she’ll help build a progressive front against a moneyed and well-organized moderate force.”

      • Episode 70 – Super Tuesday: What do Conversations with California Voters reveal??? – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon share and analyze their on the ground reporting and interviews from the 2020 Democratic Party California Primary. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

      • Super Tuesday Sets Stage for Biden vs. Bernie: ‘A Two-Person Race for Future of Democratic Party and the Country’

        While Sen. Bernie Sanders laid claim to the big-delegate prize in California, former Vice President showed with multiple wins in key states that he is now the corporate Democrat’s only hope. “May the best candidate win.”

      • Tired of Corporate Propaganda? Progressive Media Outlets Join Forces for Super Tuesday Coverage

        “Democracy depends on a free and independent press that can hold power accountable, but sadly, the corporate media does not meet that standard.”

      • NY Times Political Reporter Believes Telling Right From Wrong Is Beyond His Job Description; He’s Wrong

        For many years we’ve talked about the silly position that many journalism organizations take, in which their interpretation of being “objective” is to have what Professor Jay Rosen has called “the view from nowhere.” I understand where this inclination comes from — with the idea that if people think you’re biased or one-sided that it taints the legitimacy or credibility of what you’re reporting on. But in practice it often comes off as bland nothingness, and reporters willing to repeat any old nonsense that politicians and others put forth. Indeed, I’d argue that many people in the politics realm have learned to use this to their own advantage, and to say any old bullshit, knowing that the press will repeat it in a manner that only gives the original claim more validity and attention — rather than calling it out as bullshit.

      • Beware the Bipartisan Legion of Doom: Corporate Democrats and Trump’s GOP

        There is no more daunting and dangerous duo in U.S. politics than the profits-over-people corporate wing of the Democratic Party and the belligerent, bigoted, and brutal Republican Party of Donald Trump.

      • Four Numbers That Scream ‘Vote for Bernie!’

        The richest 10% are very interested in keeping things just the way they are.

      • Candidates Backed by Bloomberg Helped Pollute the Planet

        While Bloomberg has been consistent in his efforts to scale down coal operations, he’s been an enthusiastic supporter of natural gas development.

      • A Final, Super Tuesday Appeal to Warren Voters

        Please realize what is happening and don’t subvert the passionate democracy of the #NotMeUs generation.

      • Russia’s nationwide vote on Constitutional reforms now has a slogan and logo

        Russia’s Central Election Commission has preliminarily settled on a slogan and logo for the nationwide vote on April 22, when Russians will be asked to endorse sweeping reforms to the country’s Constitution: “Our country, our Constitution, our decision!” The logo shows the Constitution’s cover page printed on the back of the Russian tricolor.

      • ‘Which god did Putin have in mind, exactly?’ In unusually extensive back-and-forth with journalists, Kremlin spokesman engages on questions of God, history, and presidential responsibility for constitutional change

        On March 2, Russian State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced a series of additions to President Vladimir Putin’s proposed amendments to the country’s constitution. The amendments, introduced into the State Duma by Putin himself, include a measure banning same-sex marriage and a passage outlining the government’s view of Russian history and unity. On March 3, a group of journalists attempted to clarify the meaning of the newly proposed measures in the following conversation with Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov.

      • Mobile Voting Machines Are Enabling Hard-to-Reach Voters to Cast Ballots

        Instrumental string music filtered into the sprawling multipurpose room, where a dozen people rolled their hips, stretched their arms and twisted from side to side. Nearby, small groups of women huddled over elaborate needlepoint embroidery while men and women shuffled dominoes and mahjong tiles at game tables.

      • Mitch McConnell’s Do-Nothing Republicans.

        America used to have a Senate that served the people. But under Mitch McConnell’s leadership, what was once the world’s greatest deliberative body has become a partisan circus. He and his Republican colleagues have done nothing to benefit the American people, ignoring the voices of their constituents to serve the will of Donald Trump and Republican fat cats. History will not be kind to them. Hopefully, come November, American voters won’t either.

      • American Fuhrer—Corrupt Rampage Against Americans

        Delusionary, dictatorial Donald Trump is drunk on power. Trump’s monarchical and lawless actions are a clear and present subversion of our Republic and its Constitution. As soon as the impeachment trial ended and Trump was acquitted by the Senate’s supine Republican courtiers (except for Senator Mitt Romney), vengeance flooded Trump’s fevered mind.

      • Masterfully Baiting the Reds for a Dick’s Re-Election

        If we define “Russian” during this latest Red Scare as being opposed to war, and not supporting an oligarchy or its neoliberal agenda, then ‘guilty as charged’. I’m a Russian. You probably are, too, if you hold certain beliefs that contradict the official corporate State/DNC narrative – particularly the one put forward by ‘The Resistance’. This elite cadre of party flacks and wine cave dwellers are merely resisting grassroots opposition to Trump since it actually has a chance of succeeding. Thus Americans who openly criticize their party’s nomination process are maligned as fifth columnists. Non-Americans who express their own opinions about the next person to lead a country that will potentially invade theirs are similarly accused of “hacking” a foregone conclusion. And who wants to be a traitor to the cause of accelerated planetary collapse?

      • Trump’s Real Base Is the Ruling Class

        Don’t blame the Trump presidency on the white proletariat. The real responsibility for this epically transgressive administration — headed by an individual Noam Chomsky rightly describes as “the most dangerous criminal in human history” — lies with the billionaire class.

      • Netanyahu’s Election Victory Could Mean Palestine’s Destruction

        Three Israeli television news channels’ exit polls suggest that indicted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s far-right, racist Likud Party fell just short of a majority in Israel’s third parliamentary election in a year. The Likud, founded in the age of supremacist, racialist parties of the 1930s and 1940s, was projected to gain 59 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, or Israeli Parliament. If these preliminary indications are borne out in the actual election results, Netanyahu can probably find two MPs to join him so as to form a government — though he needs more than that for a stable governing majority.

      • ‘We Are Going to Be Back to Where We Were After Reconstruction—Unless We Stop It’
      • Ocasio-Cortez: ‘I Understand Disaffected Voters Because I Once Was One’

        Democratic congresswoman from New York issues powerful warning against nullifying voters clamoring for transformative change.

      • Do Media Really Care About Money in Politics?

        “Super PAC Launches to Support Elizabeth Warren, Who Has Decried the Role of Super PACs,” announced the Washington Post (2/19/20). “Elizabeth Warren, Long a Super PAC Critic, Gets Help From One,” was the New York Times‘ take (2/19/20).

      • Sanders and Warren Earn Highest Grades on Immigration Justice Scorecard by Texas-Based Rights Group

        “Over the past four debates, the media has refused to ask questions about this important issue… We have decided to break down the policies to inform voters where candidates stand.”

      • ‘Just Rich People vs Everyone Else at This Point’: Bloomberg Backer Judge Judy—Worth $440 Million—Tells Sanders Supporters to ‘Grow Up’

        Multi-millionaire TV star stumps for multi-billionaire presidential candidate on MSNBC.

      • Did Chris Matthews Reveal That Democratic Establishment’s Real Fear Is a Bernie Win?

        Notice that the central worry from many in the corporate media is not that Sanders will lose to Trump, but that he will win.

      • On Super Tuesday and Beyond, 10 Reasons to Vote for Bernie Sanders

        The choice Democratic voters face is now clear: the corporate centrist establishment (the same one that lost in 2016) versus a surging multiracial coalition of people demanding real change, real justice, real equality, and an end to the status quo power dynamics that are killing and harming so many Americans.

      • Bernie and the Biotariat

        It is useful to remember that revolution is clearly sanctioned in the United States in one of the nation’s foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence, published by the Second Continental Congress, and now celebrated every July 4th.

      • Bloomberg Drops Out of Presidential Race, Endorses Biden

        Billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. It was a stunning collapse for the former New York City mayor, who had his 2020 hopes on the Super Tuesday states and pumped more than $500 million of his own fortune into the campaign.

      • Biden: “You Know, The Thing.” Yeah, Sure, Let’s Go With This Guy.
      • Centrists Will Still Be Split on Super Tuesday, Thanks to Mike Bloomberg

        Joe Biden has had a nice couple of days for himself. His big win in the South Carolina primary — Biden’s first such victory in three presidential attempts — at least temporarily revived his sagging nomination hopes. His allies in the media have been celebrating, and his large donors have returned to the fold, at least for now.

      • ‘The Door Is Open, Come On In,’ Sanders Says to Buttigieg and Klobuchar Supporters as Centrists Line Up Behind Biden

        Sanders said the former candidates’ supporters “understand that we have got to move toward a government which believes in justice, not greed.”

      • ‘I Am Proud of My Record’: Sanders Takes Just Two Minutes to Provide Long List of Achievements

        “We’re gonna run on that record. But most importantly, we need a new vision for America, a vision that tells the corporate elite and the one percent that this country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

      • ‘Organized Money vs. Organized People’: New Sanders Memo Details Stark Choice Between Biden and Bernie

        “Voters face a decision between Bernie’s working-class movement and his message of change, and Biden’s effort to—in his own words—make sure that ‘nothing will fundamentally change’ for the billionaire class.”

      • SIX RESPONSES TO BERNIE SKEPTICS

        The Democratic establishment is wrong to think Sanders is too liberal to win a general election. To the contrary, he’s the Democrats’ best shot at taking back the White House.

      • Unions Fighting Single-Payer Are Fighting Against Their Workers’ Interests

        In early February, as the momentum of the primaries gathered behind Bernie Sanders, the senator’s universal health care plan took center stage in Las Vegas, promising working-class Nevadans comprehensive access to health care and relief from soaring medical costs. Nonetheless, one of Medicare for All’s biggest critics in the lead-up to the Nevada caucus seemed to come from one of Sanders’s key constituent groups: organized labor. The Culinary Union, UNITE HERE Local 226, circulated a flier that warned that Medicare for All would “end Culinary Healthcare.” The flier argued that the plan to give everyone in the U.S. good health care would mean an end to the “good health care” that powerful unions have fought for over the years.

      • It’s Super Bernie Day

        I retain the belief that the motivations of Bernie Sanders’ voters – a fair society with decent pay, healthcare, working conditions, immigration justice and the ultra wealthy paying their share – will not be affected today by the massive media hype of the right wingers coalescing around the corrupt and inept Joe Biden. I therefore expect that in 24 hours Bernie will be well down the path to becoming the Democratic nominee.

      • Biden Wins 8 Super Tuesday States; Sanders Takes California

        A resurgent Joe Biden scored sweeping victories across the country with the backing of a diverse coalition and progressive rival Bernie Sanders seized Super Tuesday’s biggest prize with a win in California as the Democratic Party’s once-crowded presidential field suddenly transformed into a two-man contest.

      • Sanders Surrogate Cornel West vs. Bloomberg Co-Chair Bobby Rush, Former Black Panther
      • Primary Notes from a Shit-Hole Superpower: Crashing the Party from the Top Down

        12 noon: Just to be clear, the Dem establishment will gladly enable a second fascistic and ecocidal Trump term before it will get behind a progressive Dem/Sanders nomination. The neoilberal Dem masters will do everything they can, including sabotage of Sanders, to sustain the party’s status as a thoroughgoing ruling class institutional asset. They are the ones with ideological purity tests, and they are loudly and clearly announcing their preference for Trump over Sanders in 2020 as in 2016.

      • If Sanders is Robbed of the Nomination, It’s Time for the VotePact Strategy

        Right now, the entire Democratic Party apparatus and allied corporate media are working to ensure that Sen. Bernie Sanders does not get the Democratic nomination even if he gets a plurality of delegates and votes in the primaries.

      • The Democratic Establishment May Fear Sanders More Than Trump

        Mainstream news outlets keep pounding home the same message — that the “Democratic establishment” or “Democratic moderates” are worried sick that Bernie Sanders can’t beat Donald Trump. They worry about a Trump landslide, and a “down-ballot disaster” in congressional races.

      • I Hope We Are Witnessing the Last Gasp of the Ruling Class, Says Cornel West

        Today people in 14 states and American Samoa go to the polls for Super Tuesday. About a third of the delegates needed to secure the Democratic presidential nomination are at stake. This comes after former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race on Sunday and Monday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. As the race heats up, billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to stay in the race. This will be the first time he is on the ballot, and while he has not won a single race, he does lead his challengers in one key sense: he leads in campaign spending by a wide margin. He recently crossed the $500 million mark in ad spending alone — more than 10 times that of any of his Democratic rivals. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders remains the front-runner. We host a debate on Sanders versus Bloomberg with Cornel West, professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University, who has endorsed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and is his surrogate, and Congressmember Bobby Rush of Illinois, who is national co-chair for the Mike Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign. Rush has served in office for more than two decades — since 1992. He got his start as a civil rights activist in the 1960s. His background includes being both a co-founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers and the only member of the Democratic Party to have defeated Barack Obama in an election, in the 2000 Democratic congressional primary.

      • Democratic Centrists Line Up Behind Biden in Hopes of Defeating Sanders

        Millions of voters in 14 states are heading to the polls today for Super Tuesday, as Democratic centrists coalesce around former Vice President Joe Biden as their best shot to defeat front-runner Bernie Sanders. Just ahead of the most decisive day of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar suspended her campaign and endorsed Biden on Monday. Her endorsement came one day after former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race. Both joined Biden on the campaign trail in Texas on Sunday. This comes as former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg — who has also presented himself as an alternative to Sanders — will be on the ballot for the first time, after passing half a billion dollars in campaign ad spending last week. Super Tuesday could also prove decisive for Elizabeth Warren, whose home state of Massachusetts heads to the polls today. We speak with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept. His recent book is titled We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement.

      • Twitter Surges After Activists Seek to Replace CEO Dorsey

        The stock climbed 7.7% in New York to $35.75. They had gained only 3.6% this year through Friday before news of the activist interest emerged.

        When Twitter executives met their activist investor agitators from Elliott Management Corp. for the first time last week, the man with the most to lose was absent. Dorsey didn’t attend the Friday night summit in San Francisco where his future was the main topic of conversation, according to people familiar with the matter.

      • Super Tuesday Is an Election Security Acid Test

        Tuesday’s presidential primaries across 14 states mark the first major security test since the 2018 midterm elections, with state and local election officials saying they are prepared to deal with everything from equipment problems to false information about the coronavirus.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook Files Anti-SLAPP Motion Against Defunct App Developer Who Sued Over Revamp Of Facebook’s App Platform

        Back at the end of 2018, a defunct Swedish app developer sued Facebook for the changes the company made to its app platform. As detailed by Cyrus Farivar (then at Ars Technica), it appeared that the lawsuit was somehow connected to the more high profile case filed by the developer of a sketchy bikini-spotting app, “Pikini,” Six4Three. At issue was that after Facebook realized that various apps were abusing the access the Facebook platform gave them to suck up data (a la Cambridge Analytica), Facebook drastically scaled back the platform and changed overall directions. Six4Three is fighting to argue that somehow Facebook owed it to developers to keep its platform open.

      • Bogus Automated Copyright Claims By CBS Blocked Super Tuesday Speeches By Bernie Sanders, Mike Bloomberg, And Joe Biden

        Another day, another example of copyright out of control. The latest, as highlighted by Matthew Keys, is that bogus (almost certainly automated) copyright claims by CBS ended up blocking a live stream of a Bernie Sanders speech, but similar notices also interrupted speeches by Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden.

      • China Bans ‘Plague Inc.’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

        Unless you’re somehow living in a cabin without electricity somewhere (in which case, how are you even reading this, bro?), you’ve heard all about the coronavirus. The virus is the subject of roughly all the news and at least half of our brainwaves these days, with an unfortunate amount of misinformation and spin floating around far too many governments and media. Some folks, such as social media groups used by law enforcement types, seem to think this is all a joke. Others, such as our very own United States Senate, seem to think an illness infecting and killing thousands is the perfect excuse to reauthorize surveillance powers by those same law enforcement types.

      • Oxford college investigates after lecturer is ‘no platformed’ at women’s history summit

        Her research suggests women who posed as men in the past were often lesbians seeking to protect themselves or did so because they wanted to do jobs that were only available to men.

        Earlier this year, it emerged that she had been given security guards to accompany her to lectures after receiving threats from transgender activists

      • Oxford professor Selina Todd feminist talk cancelled

        In her statement the academic added that the organisers of yesterday’s event justified the cancellation because of pressure from trans activists and the collective Feminist Fightback.

        Journalist and campaigner Julie Bindel who attended the event where Ms Todd was due to speak challenged the last minute decision.

        She said: “You should hang your heads in shame for giving into this mob.”

      • [Old] Security Guards Assigned to Professor Threatened by Trans Activists

        Prof Todd said that the history faculty now receives “daily” complaints from activists calling for her to be sacked, which has left her feeling unnerved.

        “I get frightened by the threats in lectures,” she said. “You can’t help but worry. It’s had a huge impact on me. You don’t expect to be defending yourself the whole time from complaints or threats of violence.”

        Prof Todd urged the university to take a stronger stance in disciplining students who are making threats and malicious complaints against her.

        “It would be far more helpful if the university could take robust action against the people making these threats in the first place,” she said.

      • Another Day, Another Bogus SLAPP Suit From Devin Nunes And Steven Biss

        A week after promising yet another defamation lawsuit, Devin Nunes and his lawyer Steven Biss have delivered, suing the Washington Post and reporter Shane Harris for defamation in Virginia federal court. Once again, I’ll remind you that Virginia has a very limited anti-SLAPP law, though that may be changing soon thanks, in part, to Nunes filing so many SLAPP suits in Virginia.

      • Internet disruption registered across Iran

        Most major providers including the Iran Telecommunication Company, RIghtel and Irancell and Pars are affected and were unreachable internationally for an hour before some connectivity returned.

        Network data show a distinct fall in connectivity with several of Iran’s leading network operators from approximately 0:30 a.m. UTC affecting cellular and fixed-line operators. National connectivity fell to a low point of 50% of ordinary levels for a period during the morning.

        The disruption comes as Iran struggles to tackle the domestic coronavirus outbreak, facing an upswell in online criticism as well as disinformation about the health crisis online.

      • Speaking Freely: Ahmet Alphan Sabancı

        Ahmet Alphan Sabancı is a Turkish digital activist who works on free expression, security and privacy. 

        Ahmet began his life as an activist after Turkey first blocked YouTube. When the Internet Governance Forum came to Istanbul in 2014, he co-organized an ungovernance forum alongside it, something he considers one of his major achievements thus far. Today, most of his focus is on digital security—in 2018, he became one of the founders of NewsLabTurkey, a project that trains journalists in Turkey on technology and on building new outlets so that they can grow as journalists. He also writes about security, technology, privacy, and the future of media.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Spanish Government Moves Ahead With First ‘Fake News’ Prosecution

        In 2018, the Spanish government amended its Data Protection Law to align it with European regulations like GDPR. While doing so, it slipped in an amendment that targeted “fake news,” adding to an already-problematic law that enshrined the “right to be forgotten” and mandated personal data deletion after a certain period of time.

      • Russian media regulator accuses ‘BBC World News’ of violations

        Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulation and censorship agency, has reported violations in the operations of the BBC World News television channel, TASS reported.

      • Letters to the Editor: Julian Assange is having his rights violated. He should be released immediately

        This heaps serious due process and human rights violations on top of the dangerous threat to freedom of the press posed by the entire unwarranted prosecution.

      • Emily’s List Has Endorsed Warren—but Will Anyone Hear About It?

        The third reason the endorsements were virtually ignored is that Warren is, too: The media has decided she has no path to the nomination, except a brokered convention. But for all the attention to the Biden endorsements by Buttigieg and Klobuchar, it’s possible their departures from the race help Warren. She is the second choice of Buttigieg supporters, according to a February Quinnipiac poll, tied with Klobuchar at 26 percent—meaning more than half of his backers supported two women. With Klobuchar out, even more of them become available to Warren, as well as some of Klobuchar’s own. Right now some polls suggest she will win her home state of Massachusetts, and RealClearPolitics has her making the 15 percent delegate threshold in California, Virginia, and Minnesota. That’s not the same as a big win, admittedly, but if Warren picks up appreciably more delegates than had been expected Tuesday night, she might trigger a new story line.

        Or not. It’s been astonishing how the media has written off Warren, going back to the Iowa caucuses a month ago. Traditionally, the media narrative says there are “three tickets out of Iowa,” but Warren immediately got her ticket canceled, despite coming in third. Biden’s collapsing became the big story, behind Sanders’s and Buttigieg’s essential tie. Now Warren’s story line is eclipsed by Biden’s rising, when in fact his Iowa failure and South Carolina success were the most predictable events in this primary. Go figure.

      • Stefania Maurizi: Julian Assange is the defendant, journalism is under trial
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Mouseland Should Be Governed By Mice, Not Cats

        As the population has jumped back and forth between Republican and Democrat, the plight of the ordinary person has remained the same or gotten worse.

      • Orange County DA’s Office Shrugs Off Sheriff’s Deputies Falsifying Evidence Reports

        If this were a private business, it would have collapsed under the combined weight of its unhappy customers and its own incompetence. But it isn’t. We realize you don’t have a choice in your law enforcement provider and all that.

      • ‘Relax a bit behind bars’ Here’s a summary of what Vladimir Putin said about Russia’s crackdown on protesters and foreign agents

        An active civil society is more than the so-called non-systemic opposition, which regularly breaks our laws; it’s also the millions of volunteers working across the country. Sometimes I look around at these people with tears in my eyes because they’re working so hard. But God bless the non-systemic opposition, too. I believe they’re deeply needed and that they have a real effect on life, especially at the municipal level in major cities. But there’s the law and everyone must observe it. Or do we want people going around, setting fire to cars in the street? If you want to express your point of view, then get a permit for a public demonstration and go to town. In some countries, unpermitted rallies can cost you five or even 10 years. Get a permit. And if you don’t and you protest anyway, then you’re in for a buzzcut when they lock you up. Take a load off and relax a bit behind bars. And we aren’t the ones who invented foreign-agent status — that was the Americans. Comparing it to the yellow badges the Nazis forced on the Jews is unfair. The only goal of the law against foreign agents is to protect Russia from outside political interference.

      • ‘About Time’: Women’s Groups Applaud Resignation of MSNBC Host Chris Matthews After ‘Decades-Long History of Misogyny’

        “For decades, Chris Matthews has used his position to harass women with sexist and predatory comments, while undermining women serving in public office.”

      • Texas Closed Hundreds of Polling Sites in Black and Latino Communities

        Texas has shuttered more polling places than any other state in the South since 2012, and most of the closures disproportionately hit black and Latino areas, according to a new analysis by The Guardian.

      • Human Rights Watch’s Tie To Saudi Billionaire Revealed

        In 2010, Human Rights Watch published a report documenting labor violations against foreign workers at Jadawel International, a Saudi Arabian construction company. Foreign workers, according to the report, “hadn’t been paid for months” at the company’s Dhahran and Riyadh compounds. Their residency permits had expired, leaving them both unpaid and trapped in the kingdom, forced to keep working.

      • Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Presidential Powers Case

        The Supreme Court wrestled Tuesday with whether to make it easier for the president to fire the head of the agency that enforces federal consumer financial laws, a decision that could ultimately impact a vast range of agencies.

      • Bill Barr Excises ‘Attorney’ From His Title As He Leads Our Nation’s Police Soldiers Into The War At Home

        It seems the only reason Attorney General Bill Barr opens his mouth is to apply more tongue-polish to the nearest policeman’s boot.

      • Nigeria: Army Restrictions Stifling Aid Efforts

        (Abuja) – Aid agencies are unable to respond effectively to the crisis in northeastern Nigeria due to worsening insecurity and stifling operational requirements imposed by military and civilian authorities. Such restrictions give the impression that the organizations are not independent, making them vulnerable to attacks by Boko Haram.

        The humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states is among the world’s most severe, with 1.8 million people internally displaced and over 7 million people in need of urgent lifesaving assistance, as a result of the 10 year insurgency by Boko Haram.

      • ICE rigged its algorithms to keep immigrants in jail, claims lawsuit

        NYCLU and Bronx Defenders filed a public records request for more details, and yesterday, they used the resulting information to sue ICE’s New York field office. When the system was implemented in 2013, the suit notes, roughly 40 percent of people that immigration officers arrested were released with or without bond. Between 2017 and 2019, the number dropped below 3 percent. This coincided with a massive spike in arresting immigrants without criminal convictions who should have been more likely to qualify for release.

      • She Faced Her ISIS Rapist in Court, Then Watched Him Sentenced to Death

        “This would be the first case I have come across in the last four years where a victim has had any meaningful role in the proceedings,” she said. “And it would be first case where the charge of rape was added and addressed by the court, which is significant.”

      • Bank Workers Unionize for the First Time in 40 Years

        The newly unionized workers at the community development bank, Beneficial State Bank—which former 2020 presidential candidate Steyer founded in 2007 to provide loans to families, small businesses, and nonprofits across California, Washington, and Oregon—includes bank tellers, loan officers, clerks, and custodial staff. Steyer resigned as the bank’s CEO in July 2019.

      • Ataturk Triumphed Over Religion

        Under the right circumstances, a brave freethinker can rescue a fundamentalist society and lead it away from oppressive religion. That’s what Mustafa Kemal Ataturk did for Muslim Turkey in the 1920s and 1930s. He turned a narrow Islamic society into a modern secular democracy. It was noble and inspiring.

        [...]

        However, keeping Turkey secular isn’t easy, because some Muslims crave theocracy. Islamist ferment always simmers. In the 21st century, it has surged under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islam-tinged political party, which pushes compulsory religious training in once-secular public schools. Repeatedly, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey “brainwashes” children for religion. So far, Turkey is resisting a school curriculum that omits evolution, teaches jihad and barely mentions Ataturk.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • WIPO-chief candidate shares views on lowering fees and AI inventorship

        In an exclusive interview, Peru’s IP head Ivo Gagliuffi tells Managing IP why he introduced teleworking, how he reduced fees and that listing an AI as an inventor is a possibility

        Ivo Gagliuffi, chair of the board of directors at Peru’s IP office, says one of the biggest challenges he faced entering his current role was getting to know a team of 1,700 people spread across 26 branches.

      • Patents

        • CRISPR Housekeeping

          Two papers were filed with the PTAB in Interference No. 106,155 between Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Junior Party the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”).

        • Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • RomUniverse Maintains Innocence and Demands Damages From Nintendo * TorrentFreak

          The admin of RomUniverse has filed his reply to Nintendo’s piracy lawsuit. In a pro se defense, the operator maintains that he is unaware of any copyright infringement, claiming protection from the DMCA’s safe harbor. Instead, he argues that Nintendo profited from free advertising while demanding millions in damages for false allegations of infringement.

        • Two Piracy-Configured ‘Kodi Box’ Sellers Handed One-Year Suspended Sentences * TorrentFreak

          Two men who sold piracy-configured set-top boxes and coached the public on how to use them to access infringing content have been sentenced to one-year prison terms under the Fraud Act, suspended for two years. The pair, who supplied ‘BlackBox.tv’ devices, must also do 120 hours of unpaid work.

        • Copyright Filters Are On a Collision Course With EU Data Privacy Rules

          The European Union’s controversial new copyright rules are on a collision course with EU data privacy rules. The GDPR guards data protection, privacy, and other fundamental rights in the handling of personal data. Such rights are likely to be affected by an automated decision-making system that’s guaranteed to be used, and abused, under Article 17 to find and filter out unauthorized copyrighted material. Here we take a deep dive examining how the EU got here and why Member States should act now to embrace enforcement policies for the Copyright Directive that steer clear of automated filters that violate the GDPR by censoring and discriminating against users.

          Article 17 of the EU’s Copyright Directive (formerly Article 13) makes online services liable for user-uploaded content that infringes someone’s copyright. To escape liability, online service operators have to show that they made best efforts to obtain rightsholders’ authorization and ensure infringing content is not available on their platforms. Further, they must show they acted expeditiously to remove content and prevent its re-upload after being notified by rightsholders.

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