Links 24/4/2020: Ubuntu LTS, Alpine 3.9.6 and 3.10.5, Rust 1.43.0

Posted in News Roundup at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Locking Down Linux For The Enterprise

      Security has always been important for datacenter operators, but the days of putting a ring of protection around the datacenter and then walking away satisfied in the knowledge that the data and applications therein were protected from outside forces are long over. Cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), the edge, containers and the rapid growth in the number of mobile devices have all contributed to the expansion of IT outside of core datacenters, creating a highly distributed environment where the bulk of data is created and applications are access beyond the firewall. Add in the growing numbers and increasing sophistication of cyber-threats and security becomes a much more complex calculation.

      Because of this, the growing expectation for years now has been that hardware, component and software makers would embed security into their products to ensure security regardless of whether they were running in the datacenter or somewhere out in the wild. Enterprises will gravitate toward vendors with reputations for strong security and privacy features in their offerings, which can drive growth for those that make the investment. It’s something that Canonical is emphasizing as it looks to extend its open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system deeper into the enterprise and cloud datacenters.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Behind the Scenes of a [System76] Product Launch: Marketing

        Our Behind the Scenes series serves to outline the magic it takes to launch a System76 product. It’s a great opportunity to teach people how the process works in different fields. First up in the series is the Grape Vine Mother. The devil of desire. The catalyst of material salivation: Marketing.


        Once all the pieces are in place, they’re sent to assembly for Voltronesque fusion. This is where we take the product photos, lifestyle photos, and product page copy—a fancy way of saying “company words”—and lay out the product page in Figma. Figma is a tool for mocking up Web pages and navigation, and helps provide an easy handoff to the Web Team once the page layout is finalized. Then we review the information with other departments to ensure technical accuracy before the big day.

    • Server

      • Google Anthos Update Aims at AWS, Puts Azure in Crosshairs

        Anthos is a Kubernetes-based platform that is fully managed by Google and allows users to manage their data and applications in an on-premises environment or across cloud platforms from rivals like AWS and Microsoft. It was initially announced at Google’s Cloud Next event in 2018 — when it was labeled Cloud Services Platform — and formally launched at last year’s event.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSD Now 347: New Directions

        After being part of Jupiter Broadcasting since we started back in 2013, BSDNow is moving to become independent. We extend a very large thank you to Jupiter Broadcasting and Linux Academy for hosting us for so many years, and allowing us to bring you over 100 episodes without advertisements. LinuxAcademy is now under new leadership, and we understand that cutbacks needed to be made, and that BSD is not their core product. That does not mean your favourite BSD podcast is going away, we will continue and we expect things will not look much different. What does this mean for you, the listener? Not much will change, just make sure your subscription is via the RSS feed at BSDNow.tv rather than one of the Jupiter Broadcasting feeds. We will update you with more news as things settle out.

      • New Directions | BSD Now 347

        Rethinking OpenBSD security, FreeBSD 2020 Q1 status report, the notion of progress and user interfaces, Comments about Thomas E. Dickey on NetBSD curses, making Unix a little more Plan9-like, Not-actually Linux distro review: FreeBSD, and more.

      • Where Do I Start? | Self-Hosted 17

        Knowing which hardware to buy or which apps to run on that shiny new hardware can be hard. Chris and Alex discuss networking gear and where to find some of the best getting started documentation on the net.

    • Kernel Space

      • What Are the Best Linux Filesystems in 2020?

        When formatting a hard disk to install your Linux system, you have to decide on the best Linux filesystem to use. In 2020, the most popular option is EXT4. Is it the best one, though, and if you have alternatives, should you choose them? Let’s see the (possible) options.

      • Samsung Respins exFAT-Utils As exFATprogs In New Release
      • Graphics Stack

        • From Bifrost to Panfrost – deep dive into the first render

          In Panfrost’s infancy, community members Connor Abbott and Lyude Paul largely reverse-engineered Bifrost and built a proof-of-concept shader dis/assembler. Meanwhile, I focused on the Midgard architecture (Mali T600+), building an OpenGL driver alongside developers like Collaboran Tomeu Vizoso.

          As Midgard support has grown – including initial GLES3 support – we have now turned our attention to building a Bifrost driver. We at Collabora got to work in late February, with Tomeu porting the Panfrost command stream, while I built up a new Bifrost compiler.

          This week, we’ve reached our first major milestone: the first 3D renders on Bifrost, including basic texture support!

        • From Bifrost to Panfrost – deep dive into the first render

          The interface to a modern GPU has two components, the fixed-function command stream and the programmable instruction set architecture. The command stream controls the hardware, dispatching shaders and containing the state required by OpenGL or Vulkan. By contrast, the instruction set encodes the shaders themselves, as with any programmable architecture. Thus the GPU driver contains two major components, generating the command stream and compiling programs respectively.

          From Midgard to Bifrost, there have been few changes to the command stream. After all, both architectures feature approximately the same OpenGL and Vulkan capabilities, and the fixed-function hardware has not required much driver-visible optimization. The largest changes involve the interfaces between the shaders and the command stream, including the titular shader descriptors. Indeed, squinting command stream traces from Midgard and Bifrost look similar – but the long tail of minor updates implies a nontrivial Panfrost port.

        • Rosenzweig: From Bifrost to Panfrost – deep dive into the first render

          Alyssa Rosenzweig has posted a detailed look at progress on the Panfrost driver (a reverse-engineered driver for Arm Mali GPUs) on the Collabora blog.

        • The Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Begins Rendering On Arm Bifrost Hardware

          With the open-source Panfrost Gallium3D driver having its Arm Midgard graphics support in order, the developers involved have begun working more on the newer Bifrost architecture.

          Mali Bifrost GPUs have been around for two years now and already succeeded by Valhall as the latest Mali architecture. Bifrost is found in the likes of the Samsung Exynos 7885/8895, Rockchip RK3326, AmLogic S922X, Kirin 970/980/990, and numerous other SoCs.

        • Collabora continue expanding the FOSS ‘Panfrost’ driver to cover Mali Bifrost GPUs

          Some interesting open source GPU driver news to share today, as Collabora continue working on their open source Panfrost driver to cover newer generations of Mali ARM GPUs.

          Writing on the Collabora blog, Alyssa Rosenzweig, Software Engineer at Collabora, did a bit of a deeper dive into what’s been happening. Now, they’re in a position to get the first 3D renders on Bifrost, including basic texture support. This is following after getting the Panfrost driver to support OpenGL ES (GLES) 3.0 on the earlier Midgard series.

    • Applications

      • 31 Best Free Linux Backup Software (Updated 2020)

        Backup software is used to perform a complete back up of a file, data, database, system or server. It enables users to make a duplicate of everything contained on the original source. This type of software is also used to perform a recovery of the data or system in the event of a disaster.

        Making file backups is an essential activity for all users, yet many users do not take adequate steps to protect their data. Whether a computer is being used in a corporate environment, or for private use, the machine’s hard disk may fail without any warning signs. Alternatively, some data loss occurs as a result of human error. Without regular backups being made, data will inevitably be lost even if the services of a specialist recovery organisation are used.

      • Linux at Home: Plan your Ideal Garden with Linux

        We are told by our governments that in the current crisis the single most important action we can take is to stay at home. The repeated message is that everyone should minimise time spent outside the home. By following this directive, this will flatten the spread of the coronavirus, thereby protecting our health service, and saving lives.

        Social distancing is unlikely to be significantly relaxed in the coming months, and there’s a realistic prospect of many measures still being in place next year. Given this forecast, it’s important to recognize the need to protect our physical mental and emotional health. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues.

      • The 5 Best OneNote Alternatives for Linux

        Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook used to gather information and also acts as a multi-user collaboration tool. Users can use this program to write notes, make drawings, add screen clips, and audios. Unfortunately, this fantastic application doesn’t support Linux systems.

        Even though there are ways you can maneuver to have this program run on your Linux system, the hustle is so much, yet we have reliable OneNote alternatives you can consider. In this article, we are going to look at the five best OneNote alternatives for your Linux system.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Prison Architect getting a free ‘Cleared for Transfer’ expansion on May 14

        Today, Paradox Interactive and Double Eleven announced that Prison Architect will be getting a free expansion on May 14 named ‘Cleared for Transfer’.

        It’s all about to get more complicated. Cleared for Transfer will add in more layers of complexity to inmate management and allows players to assign privileges to a security sector, pushing prisoners to improve their behaviour while giving players more control over their prisons. In addition to the new gameplay features, this expansion adds more rooms and other objects players can use to customize their prisons.

        “Prison Architect players have been asking for more ways to manage inmates and customize prison security,” Steacy McIlwham, Product Manager for Prison Architect at Paradox Interactive, said. “The folks at Double Eleven have done an incredible job at listening to the community and incorporating player feedback into the game since we partnered with them last year. With the Cleared for Transfer expansion, we wanted to take things further and introduce features that will let even the most veteran Wardens flex their management muscles.”

      • There has never been a better time to play games on Linux

        It’s thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that I, like so many of you, have had to rapidly adjust to a life lived almost entirely at home.

        It’s not an ideal situation, but I’ve had some real consolation—there has never been a better time to play games on Linux.

        Don’t take my word for it. Check this out…

      • The classic Escape Velocity: Override is getting remastered with Cosmic Frontier: Override

        Escape Velocity: Override, something of a classic from the 90s is getting remastered with Cosmic Frontier: Override and it’s seeking funding on Kickstarter.

        Cosmic Frontier: Override is a space trading game, inspired by the original Elite from 1984 and their plan is to release Cosmic Frontier: Override in 2021 on Linux (plus macOS and Windows). The project creator, Peter Cartwright, was also the writer on Escape Velocity: Override. The original designer, Matt Burch, is not involved but did not object to Cartwright doing a remake like this.

      • Literary mystery adventure ‘Sarawak’ announced, developed on Linux – releasing early 2021

        Developed by Duncan and Marina from Cowleyfornia Studios, a husband and wife team from Oxford – UK. This is their first project, and Marina told us that the game engine for Sarawak was developed on Linux with it then ported to Windows and macOS. Always wonderful to see more developers working directly on Linux.

      • Linux game launcher ‘GameHub’ has a brand new release, with game tweaking support

        GameHub is another game launcher available for Linux, one we’ve talked briefly about before, and it just recently had quite a nice looking update. Another easy way for you to keep all your games together in one place. Regardless of them being from Steam, GOG, Humble Store, itch.io, Emulation, Wine / Proton and more plus support for DLC from stores like GOG.

      • Latest Steam Beta has Linux fixes plus (speculation) possible Steam Rewards, Subscriptions and Cloud Gaming

        Recently, Valve released another fresh Steam Beta and it does include some handy Linux fixes but it seems they have some more exciting changes upcoming.

        Firstly, the Steam Beta that released today. For the Steam Library you can now copy text from news popups, a fix for a client crash is offline mode, Steam Chat should work better under heavy load and Steam Input also had some enhancements. Valve added support for the Thrustmaster ESwap Pro, Giotek VX4 PS4 and the PDP Afterglow Wireless Switch Controller (although Bluetooth only).

      • Play Stadia Games from Fedora

        Do you enjoy playing games on your Fedora system? You might be interested to know that Stadia is available to play via a Google Chrome browser on your Fedora desktop. Additionally, Stadia is free for two months starting April 8th. Follow these simple steps to install the Google Chrome web browser in Fedora and enjoy the new world of cloud-based gaming on your Fedora Linux PC!

      • Get ready to putt as ‘Golf With Your Friends’ releases on May 19

        Blacklight Interactive and Team17 have announced that their super fun casual sports game, Golf With Your Friends, is leaving Early Access on May 19.

        The release date announcement comes not long after a massive update, the Volcanic Update, which went out earlier this month. It added in a new 18-hole course, plus the new and improved course editor to make your own and controller support.

      • Gain fame as well as fortune as Tropico 6 goes social with the Spitter DLC that’s out today

        Tropico 6 always leans on the side of silliness and it appears the latest DLC for this strategy / city-builder is taking aim at social networks. The Tropico 6 – Spitter DLC is out today.

        With the main highlight feature being Spitter, the “only short message social networking app officially approved by the Tropican Ministry for Modern Communications & Smoke Signals”. This allows you to interact with celebrities and faction leaders to increase your standing with the new fame feature, to then gain their support and unlock extras from them.

      • ead Cells expands with the ‘Bestiary Update’ adding in six new enemies and new item affixes

        Evil Empire & Motion Twin have updated the excellent Dead Cells again, after release a Half-Life themed patch last month, the larger ‘Bestiary Update’ is out now.

        They actually said an even bigger update is coming, with this to hopefully keep players going until that’s done. Included are six new monsters to fight. 3 are biome-specific, the other 3 are spread through different levels at different Boss Cells. The reason being things getting a little repetitive so this should mix up the combat more, since they have newer attack patterns too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt Developers Discuss Theoretical Clang-Based Tool For Porting Qt5 Code To Qt6

          While the future of Qt as an open-source project isn’t too clear for now it’s progressing as if all is well. One of the new items being discussed on the Qt 6 front is discussing a possible LLVM Clang based tool to help developers in automatically converting all of their Qt 5 syntax into a Qt 6 compatible manner.

          This theoretical tool could dramatically help with Qt 6 adoption if it’s in large part able to convert most Qt 5 code into Qt 6 compatible usage.

        • KDE’s April 2020 Apps Update

          A new bundle of KDE applications is here! In these releases, you can expect to find more features, stability improvements, and more user-friendly tools that will help you work more effectively.

          There are dozens of changes to look forward to in most of your favorite applications. Take Dolphin, for example. Windows Samba shares are now fully discoverable.

          On the topic of playing music: the Elisa music player is adding features by leaps and bounds. This release brings a new “Now Playing” view, easy accessibility through the system tray, and an option to minimize the playlist whenever you want. Thanks to the recently-added visual shuffle mode, it’s much easier to rearrange your music in the playlists.

          These are just the highlights of what’s new in KDE’s applications this month. Read on to find out about everything we’ve prepared for you.

        • KDE Releases Its April 2020 Applications Bundle
        • KDE Applications 20.04 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Several months in development, the KDE Applications 20.04 software suite is here to replace the KDE Applications 19.12 series with a plethora of worthy changes and enhancements to many of the included apps and components.

          The components that received the most attention during this cycle is the Dolphin file manager, which now lets users watch movies stored on remote sites without downloading them, streaming directly to your video player.

        • Qt Creator 4.12 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.12!

          Qt Creator 4.12 allows you to browse and search for items in the Qt Marketplace. Check the new page “Marketplace” in the Welcome screen. So far it provides a browser similar to the examples and tutorials page, with a search input field and support for tags. Choosing an item from the list opens the corresponding marketplace page in your system browser.

        • Qt Creator 4.12 Released For Improving Qt/C++ Development

          QT — A few weeks ahead of Qt 5.15, The Qt Company has released Qt Creator 4.12 as their Qt/C++ focused integrated development environment that also supports other languages via the Language Server Protocol.

          Among the changes to find with the Qt Creator 4.12 IDE update are…

        • Qt for MCUs 1.1 Adds Support for more STM32 and NXP i.MX RT Boards, FreeRTOS

          The first stable version of Qt for MCUs was released in August 2019 in order to bring Qt graphical toolkit to microcontrollers such as STMicro STM32F7, Renesas RH850, or NXP i.MX RT1050. Qt for MCUs would run bare metal on supported boards, and software engineers would develop graphical interface using QML and C++.

          Qt for MCUs 1.1 has just been released with the addition of more STM32 and i.MX RT boards, support for FreeRTOS real-time operating system, and more.

        • Kdenlive 20.04 is out

          Jean-Baptiste Mardelle and team are happy to announce the release of Kdenlive 20.04, this version marks the one year anniversary release of the code refactoring. The highlights include major speed improvements due to the Preview Scaling feature, New rating, tagging sorting and filtering of clips in the Project Bin for a great logging experience, Pitch shifting is now possible when using the speed effect, Multicam editing improvements and OpenTimelineIO support. Besides all the shiny new features, this version comes with fixes for 40 critical stability issues as well as a major revamp of the user experience. Kdenlive is now more reliable than ever before.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Custom widgets in GTK 4 – Introduction

          With GTK 4 getting closer to completion, now is a good time to provide an overview of how custom widgets will look in GTK 4.

          This series of posts will look at the major aspects of writing a widget, and how they changed compared to GTK 3. The articles will provide a high-level overview; for a detailed checklist for porting an application to GTK 4, look at the migration guide.

        • Recent activity on Flatpak: video workshop and new bundles

          Joining my mates at HackLab Almería, who took the initiative of a set of video talks supporting the #YoMeQuedoEnCasa initiative fighting against the boredom COVID-19 confinement in Spain (thanks Víctor), I felt ready enough to give a talk about guerrilla Flatpak packaging using as examples my work on recent bundles:

          Talk is in Spanish. If interested you can ask or comment at the HLA forum entry. The recording quality is not good enough: it’s the first time I record a talk with the amazing OBS application. It’s not a great work but it does the job.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite 5.0 RC1 Is Now Available for Download with Massive Improvements

          And truth be told, the changelog is massive, bringing so many improvements in key areas of the operating system.

          And it all starts with UEFI, which is now officially supported by Linux Lite. The developing team recommends users to disable SecureBoot, explaining that despite everything working correctly, “it’s just a hassle to have it enabled.”

        • Linux Lite 5.0: Everything You Need To Know About The Upcoming Version

          Linux Lite, one of the best lightweight distros and Windows alternatives, has released a testing version of their upcoming v5.0. The first release candidate (rc1) of Linux Lite 5.0 is the most feature-rich and complete Linux Lite release till now. So, let’s take a look at the list of new changes that’ll ultimately ship with final v5.0.

        • Alpine 3.9.6 and 3.10.5 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.9.6 and 3.10.5 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

          Those releases include an important security fix for openssl CVE-2020-1967.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Suggests openSUSE Community To Synchronize Code Streams

          In its proposal to the openSUSE community, SUSE has suggested bringing the code streams of both SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE Leap closer together. The proposal includes SLE binaries for the community version.

          According to the proposal, bringing the code streams closer together to provide full compatibility provides several advantages to the community going forward. These include the use of higher-quality code due to the clean-up of spec-files, an improved relationship between the two distributions, easier bug reporting, less code streams to maintain, extensively tested packages and the inclusion of SLE supported architectures like s390x.

        • SUSE Stratos Console 3.0 & 3.1

          SUSE Stratos Console 3.0 was released a little over a month ago without the fanfare it absolutely deserves. Now the 3.1 release which will be part of Cloud Application Platform 2.0 has just been released, so let’s go over some of the great work the Stratos team has done over the last few months for both releases.

        • Leveraging Cloud Expertise and Consultancy for the UK

          With the election of Matt Eckersall to techUK’s “Cloud Leadership Committee”, a seasoned leader and senior executive with experience across proprietary and opensource vendors, he is now part of the group of experts providing strategic direction for the industry organization’s Cloud Computing work program. The Cloud Leadership Committee currently has 29 members, made up from leading vendors such as Atos, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP and VMware.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 32 Cleared For Release Next Week

          After it was delayed last week, Fedora 32 will now be released next week.

          Fedora 32 is to be released on its back-up release target date of Tuesday, 28 April.

          The blocker bugs around the LVM partition issue and F32 backgrounds were cleared up since last week’s Go/No-Go meeting.

          As such it was decided that Fedora 32 is ready to be officially released.

        • Fedora 32 election schedule, again

          It was just Tuesday that I announced a change in the election schedule for Fedora 32. Since then, a delay in the datacenter move timeline has given us enough time for the election to proceed as originally scheduled. The published schedule has been updated to reflect the new/old election dates. I have not yet updated the datacenter move dates on the infrastructure schedule, pending more details from that team.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 9.1 Beta now available

          The latest versions of Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset are available now in beta. Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 delivers the latest stable versions of many popular open source runtime languages and databases natively to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. These components are supported for up to five years, helping to enable a more consistent, efficient, and reliable developer experience.

        • Fedora 32 vs. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Engaged In Some Healthy Competition Over Performance

          After showing yesterday how the performance has changed from Fedora 31 to Fedora 32, you may be wondering about how Fedora 32 — which is due to be released next week — stacks up against the brand new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release. Here are the results from dozens of benchmarks and with some areas seeing some clear performance differences.

          Fedora 32 is set to ship next week (pending any last minute delays) with the Linux 5.6.5 kernel and GCC 10.0.1. This differs from Ubuntu 20.04 sticking to the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel and also remaining on GCC 9 with GCC 10 stable not being out yet. Fedora 32 is also using the GNOME Wayland session by default while Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is sticking to the X.Org session. Both Linux distributions have in common GNOME Shell 3.36.1 desktop, Mesa 20.0.4 for the graphics drivers, X.Org Server 1.20, EXT4 by default, and other packages like Python 3.8.2 and PHP 7.4.

        • Red Hat Announces General Availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

          Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, the latest version of its enterprise Linux platform and the foundation for Red Hat’s hybrid cloud portfolio. To help better address the IT challenges presented by shifting global dynamics, Red Hat said it believes that the operating system should do more than “just work”; it should help stabilize operations today with the capacity to support and embrace innovation later.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, built for the interconnected nature of the hybrid cloud era, is designed to offer these capabilities and more, extending beyond the reliability, stability and production-readiness for which the platform is known. The latest additions to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform help organizations recognize more value from existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions with new intelligent management and monitoring capabilities via updates to Red Hat Insights, enhanced container tools and a smoother user experience for Linux experts and newcomers alike.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Hits the stage

          RHEL 8.2 includes new container tools that are supported for 24 months as part of Red Hat’s Tech Preview, which provides early access to new products. The tools include Buildah for building and Skopeo for transferring container images.

          The new relase also introduces Udica, a policy tool for containerized SELinux that can make it less likely that processes will break out of containers and cause problems to other containers or the host.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Goes GA

          Red Hat announced the general availability (GA) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 (RHEL 8.2) this week. This release of the IBM-owned organization’s flagship operating system for business users continues its commitment to deliver new versions of RHEL on a six-month cadence.

          Topping the list of noteworthy enhancements in this release are new intelligent management and monitoring capabilities added via updates to Red Hat Insights, a proactive operations and security-risk-management solution that comes with an RHEL subscription (versions 6.4 and higher). The Insights solution was designed to help RHEL customers identify, prioritize and resolve risks to security, performance, availability and stability before they become urgent issues.

        • Red Hat Summit 2020 preview: Going digital without the hoopla

          With new leadership and unprecedented challenges, Red Hat Inc. finds itself in the unique position of strengthening its business to survive a global pandemic and grow its open-source software efforts to help customers do the same. Now the company seems prepared to fight the battle on both fronts, even when that means moving forward with its annual summit, now gone digital.

        • Red Hat awards North American partners for commitment to open source innovation

          Partners play an integral role in the success of Red Hat and our customers. From building advanced hybrid cloud solutions to facilitating innovation with open source technology, Red Hat’s partner ecosystem enables customers to solve industry problems. The Red Hat North America Partner Awards celebrate our dedicated partners and their continued efforts to support customers on the path to IT modernization.

          The awards honor commercial and public sector partners for developing innovative solutions with Red Hat technologies to meet customer needs and business challenges. By tapping into Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio, the honorees demonstrate the power of working openly and collaboratively to drive change for customer lines of business. This recognition is based upon the partner’s efforts during Red Hat’s last fiscal year, from March 2019 – March 2020.

        • Announcing the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience agenda

          In its 16th year, Red Hat Summit has become known as the premiere open source technology event that brings together thousands of IT professionals for a high-energy event focused on innovation, education and collaboration. This year, Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience will be a free, immersive multi-day event from April 28-29, 2020, that will deliver the same inspiring content you’ve come to expect from us—keynotes, breakout sessions, access to Red Hat experts and more.

          The best part? If you’re unable to attend or just want to hear something again, we’ll be recording much of the content, including all keynotes, and it will be available for up to one year after the event. So you don’t have to miss a moment!

        • People, process and technology: Red Hat’s take on business continuity

          Red Hat is invested in helping our customers keep business continuity and we’re relying on our people, processes, and technology to navigate the special challenges that we all face from COVID-19. We truly are all in this together. In this post, we’ll look at how these have come into play for Red Hat, and what might make sense for your organization in responding to the new challenges we’re facing together.

        • Building Effective Serverless Applications with Kubernetes and OpenShift

          Serverless architecture has recently taken center stage in cloud-native application deployment: Enterprises started to see the benefits that serverless applications bring to them, such as agility, rapid deployment, and resource cost optimization. As with any other new technology, there were multiple ways to approach and employ serverless technologies, such as Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) and Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS)—that is, running your applications as ephemeral containers—with the ability to scale up and down automatically.

        • Red Hat OpenShift 4.3 on IBM Cloud introduces improvements for developers

          Enterprises today are building containerized applications on infrastructure from a number of cloud vendors, and prioritize flexibility across these environments. Although Kubernetes is a strong solution for enabling hybrid and even multi-cloud architectures, there is a growing need for reducing complexity by streamlining DevOps, hardening security, and providing seamless portability. Red Hat OpenShift rises to that challenge, providing enterprise-ready capabilities geared to ease onboarding onto container-based app development, while maintaining industry-grade security.

          Combine this with IBM Cloud, where Red Hat OpenShift runs on the same infrastructure as 20,000 production Kubernetes clusters, and the result is a world-class experience. With Red Hat OpenShift 4 and IBM Cloud together, clients have access to a flexible, fully managed solution to quickly create and manage their clusters in the cloud. Let us handle the infrastructure, security, and provisioning – you focus on developing your next-generation cloud applications.

        • Unpacking Tekton Pipeline’s Beta release

          Earlier this year, I discussed the new features inside of Tekton version 0.10.0’s Bombay Robbie release. In this blog, I am excited to share that Tekton Pipeline’s Beta release version 0.11.0, nicknamed Ragdoll Norby, is finally here!

          The first official Tekton Pipeline Beta release has a lot of interesting features and fixes that I’d like to address, so let’s dive right in!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

          • Ubuntu User Survey Results Published, Show Some Surprising Results

            A colossal 21,862 people took the survey, which asked respondents everything from ‘Is Ubuntu stable enough?’ through to more thought provoking queries like ‘What could Ubuntu to do to make your life easier?’.

            Always intended to be consultative, Ubuntu’s aim in asking for feedback was simple: to get a pulse check on its community, their needs, and their thoughts and use the data to help signpost its journey going forward.

          • What’s New In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), With Screenshots

            This article presents the most important changes in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop since the previous version, 19.10 (Eoan Ermine), as well as some changes between Ubuntu 18.04 (the previous LTS version) and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ships with GNOME 3.36.1, which features visual improvements, including a reorganized system menu, and updated login and lock screen design, a do not disturb button, as well as significant performance gains.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop Installation Steps with Screenshots

            Canonical has released its stable and latest LTS (Long Term Support) operating system i.e “Ubuntu 20.04” and Code name for Ubuntu 20.04 is “Focal Fossa“. As it is an LTS version so canonical will provide updates and support for next 5 years. In this post we will demonstrate the Installation steps of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Laptop or Desktop. Let’s first look into some of the new features that have included in this release.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Officially Released

            First and foremost, it’s important to know that Ubuntu 20.04 ships with Linux kernel 5.4, so it includes notable refinements, like better hardware support and enhanced security.

            There are major changes in terms of UI as well, and the first things you’ll notice are the updated login and lock screens. But of course, a highlight in this regard is the highly-polished dark mode, which you can enable from the Appearance page of the Settings app where it’s listed alongside the standard and the light themes.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS arrives

            Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, today announced the general availability of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, with a particular emphasis on security and performance.

            “Accelerating open source globally is our mission. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is the new state of the art open source platform for the enterprise and the entrepreneur,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “We bring together thousands of contributors and the world’s largest technology companies to make Ubuntu 20.04 LTS the standard reference platform for secure cloud and edge compute.”

            Ubuntu has reached the top of independent rankings of enterprise Linux security. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS applies Kernel Self Protection measures, assures control flow integrity and adds stack-clash protection for systemic forward-looking enterprise security.

          • Kubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released, featuring Plasma 5.18 LTS

            The Kubuntu Team is happy to announce that Kubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released, featuring the beautiful KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS: simple by default, powerful when needed.

            Codenamed “Focal Fossa”, Kubuntu 20.04 continues our tradition of giving you Friendly Computing by integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

            The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

            Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 5.4-based kernel, KDE Frameworks 5.68, Plasma 5.18 LTS and KDE Applications 19.12.3

          • Ubuntu 20.04 arrives with Linux 5.4 kernel and WireGuard VPN

            As expected, Canonical has released the newest version of its Ubuntu Linux distribution, Ubuntu 20.04. This long-term-support (LTS) version is more than just the latest version of one of the most popular Linux distributions; it’s a major update for desktop, server, and cloud users.

            Let’s start with the core operating system. Here, you’ll find Ubuntu 20.04, aka Focal Fossa, is now based on November 2019′s Linux 5.4 kernel. This kernel includes significant new features.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 Has Been Released

            Right on schedule, Canonical has released the latest version of the Ubuntu desktop. Focal Fossa includes plenty of new features that should excite any and all Linux and Ubuntu fans. This latest iteration of the Ubuntu desktop is an LTS (Long Term Support) release, which means it will be supported until 2025.

            Focal Fossa is built upon the Linux 5.4 kernel (which is also an LTS release).

            One of the most anticipated features included with 20.04 is the Wireguard VPN service, which is built-in at the kernel level and is significantly easier to setup than a traditional VPN. Wireguard is also more secure than other solutions, partially because it is implemented within the kernel and is limited to using only new and more secure cryptographic protocols.

          • 17% Of Ubuntu Linux Users Have To Use Windows OS At Work

            Linux-based operating systems certainly dominate many fields such as supercomputing, servers, and mobile, except the desktop market where Windows and macOS share a large usage percentage.

            The popularity of Windows (or, say, traditional dependency) is also clearly visible in the latest survey result shared by Ubuntu. The result reveals that a large percentage (about 17.4%) of Ubuntu users use Windows as their primary OS. On the other hand, 55.3% use Ubuntu, and the rest use macOS, Debian, or Ubuntu flavors and derivatives.

          • Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’ now available for download

            There are many desktop Linux distributions these days, but only a handful are significant enough to cause widespread excitement. None have the mainstream attention that Ubuntu does, however — it is undoubtedly the most popular desktop Linux-based operating system on the planet. Hell, what other distro got mentioned on the wildly popular TV show The Big Bang Theory?

            But why is Ubuntu so popular? Despite what some critics may say, Ubuntu’s popularity and admiration are absolutely warranted — there’s a reason the distro has been trusted by so many people over the years. Not only is the operating system beautiful, easy to use, and very stable, but there are countless packages and repos available for it, making it a wise choice for both beginners and experts alike. Not to mention, it has a very large online community, making it is easy to find help if needed. Plus, these days, it uses the overall best desktop environment — GNOME.

          • What’s New in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

            Canonical released Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on April 23, 2020. This Long Term Support release includes a shiny new desktop theme and dark mode. Under the hood, you’ll find an upgraded Linux kernel and a new way of installing applications. It’s Spring, so that means a new Ubuntu is in the air. This time it’s Ubuntu 20.04, code-named Focal Fossa after the cat-like critter from Madagascar. This is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, meaning it’ll be furnished with software patches and security fixes for the next 5 years. Non-LTS releases are only supported for 9 months.

          • 30% Of Ubuntu Linux Users Want Unity Back; 80% Want “Better” GNOME

            Is GNOME better than Unity? Or, is Unity better than GNOME? The battle between Unity and GNOME desktops has turned fierce since Canonical ditched Unity and adopted GNOME as the default desktop in Ubuntu 17.10.

            Some Ubuntu users still hope for the return of Unity while the rest enjoy GNOME. If we talk about numbers, the latest survey by Ubuntu reveals that approximately 30% of the people want Unity to return back to Ubuntu. On the other hand, approximately 80% of people want Ubuntu to continue with the GNOME desktop with improvements.

          • Top 10 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS releases today. Here are 10 quick tips which you should consider as your after install checklist.

          • 16 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04

            Here is a list of tweaks and things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04, to get a smoother and better desktop Linux experience.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS brings plenty of new features and visual changes. If you choose to install Ubuntu 20.04, let me show you a few recommended steps that you can follow to get started with it.

          • Security and performance are the focus as Canonical launches Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

            Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, has made Ubuntu 20.04 LTS generally available, with a particular emphasis on security and performance.

            “Accelerating open source globally is our mission. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is the new state of the art open source platform for the enterprise and the entrepreneur,” says Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “We bring together thousands of contributors and the technology companies to make Ubuntu 20.04 LTS the standard reference platform for secure cloud and edge compute.”

            Ubuntu has reached the top of independent rankings of enterprise Linux security. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS applies Kernel Self Protection measures, assures control flow integrity and adds stack-clash protection for systemic forward-looking enterprise security.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS also includes Secure Boot to protect against low level attacks and rootkits, often employed by Advanced Persistent Threat groups, and limits attack proliferation or ‘blast radius’ with strict snap confinement of key exposed applications on the desktop and server such as the local Kubernetes package MicroK8s. To mitigate social engineering attacks, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS introduces Fast ID Online (FIDO) for universal multi-factor and passwordless authentication.

          • VIDEO: New Features in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

            Here is our video showing the new features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” that will get official updates from Canonical until April 2025. In a nutshell, the major features of this new release include a new dark theme mode, boots faster, packages Linux 5.4, applies GNOME 3.36, supports fractional scaling, and improved UI.

          • Canonical launches Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’

            Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’. According to the firm, this update has a particular emphasis on security and performance. The new update uses the GNOME 3.36 desktop environment which includes a new lock screen, and there’s also an option to switch to dark mode in the Appearance tab in the settings.

          • Welcome to life in the Fossa lane: Ubuntu 20.04 let out of the cage and Shuttleworth claims Canonical now ‘commercially self sustaining’

            Canonical has unleashed Ubuntu 20.04, the first LTS (Long term support) release since 18.04, Bionic Beaver, two years ago, and its CEO and Ubuntu desktop chief have spoken a bit about what’s under the lid.

            Ubuntu 20.04 will be supported until April 2025, for the Desktop, Server and Ubuntu Core editions, and other flavours for three years. Businesses can also get Extended Security Maintenance for 10 years of support. It is built on Linux 5.4, which is also a long-term support release.

            In a press briefing attended by The Reg, Canonical founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth stated that: “This has been a very big year for Ubuntu and for Canonical, it is the year where Ubuntu became commercially self-sustaining.”

            He also added in response to a question: “We’re well past the point where Ubuntu itself and all the supporting systems and infrastructure are dependent on me. If I were to meet my maker tomorrow, Ubuntu continues in the very capable hands of the team in Canonical, and the community.”

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS released

            The latest version of Ubuntu Linux is out today, and it’s a long term support release, which means that it’ll receive 5 years of official support from Canonical.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be supported through April, 2025. As such, there’s more of a focus on stability and performance than flashy new features — especially if you’re comparing the OS to the most recent version that came out just six months ago.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released – What’s New?

            Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” was released nearly exactly two years ago, and that means it’s time for another LTS (Long Term Support) release with Canonical officially releasing Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa” today.

            There are a few changes to the graphical user interface, Amazon Icon is now gone, a recent Linux 5.4 kernel is used by default with Wireguard VPN backport, and snap becomes a first citizen in Ubuntu 20.04. This is also the first version of Ubuntu that does not provide 32-bit x86 images.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Is Now Available for Download, This Is What’s New

            Canonical released today the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system as their 8th LTS (Long-Term Support) release and 32nd Ubuntu release overall.

            Six months in development, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is dubbed as “Focal Fossa” and comes with a 10-year support promise from Canonical, until year 2030. It’s the most advanced Ubuntu Linux release yet, on both desktop and server, brining many of the latest GNU/Linux technologies and latest software.

            One of the biggest new features of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release is the latest and greatest GNOME 3.36 desktop environment, which introduces numerous new features and enhancements you can check out in my detailed report here.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS also comes with a new graphical boot splash that also integrates with the system BIOS logo. This means the next time you’ll boot your Ubuntu PC after upgrading to Focal Fossa a new logo should be displayed during boot.

            On top of that, the default Yaru theme saw a much-needed refresh during this cycle and it now looks cooler than ever before. There’s even an easier way to switch between Light and Dark themes, from Settings > Appearance.

            But not all the new features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS are visible. Another big change in the Focal Fossa release is the inclusion of the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series. Not only this kernel will be supported upstream for the next two years, but it also brings dozens of changes compared to previous kernels.

          • Top Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa To Make The Most Of It

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) will be released today, so I’ve prepared a list of top things to do after installing it.

            Whether you’re new to Ubuntu or a long-time user, use this list of top things to do after installing the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, to help you get most things set up so you can enjoy your new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS desktop, and customize it to accommodate your needs.

            I obviously don’t know what each user does after a fresh Ubuntu installation, so this list contains the things I do that I think would benefit others. Use the tweaks that you find useful for your use case.

          • 10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – And 4 You Shouldn’t!

            Here’s our pick of the top things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’ — thing that will help you get more from your Linux system.

            The arrival of Ubuntu’s latest Long Term Support (LTS) release is a pretty big deal as the majority of Ubuntu’s (ever growing) user base choose to run a an LTS edition over the latest short-term one.

            Ubuntu prides itself on shipping sane defaults. It comes with apps most people will use, and settings most people will like.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 Released. This is What’s New.

            Canonical announced the immediate release of its flagship desktop and enterprise operating system Ubuntu 20.04. This Ubuntu 20.04 is a long term support release and users will get support and security updates till April 2025.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released. Download Now!

            If you are already using Ubuntu 18.04 or 19.10, you can easily upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from within your system.

            This way, your files and most of the applications settings remain as it is while you start using the new version without reinstalling it from the ISO.

            You can read this detailed tutorial to learn how to upgrade Ubuntu to a newer version.

            Please note that if you are using Lubuntu 18.04, you must not upgrade to Lubuntu 20.04. Lubuntu 18.04 used Lxde desktop while later versions use LXQt desktop. Upgrading this way result in conflicts and possible broken system.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Official Flavors Released, Here’s What’s New

            he official flavors have been released as well and I want you to be the first to read about their new features.

            The official flavors released as part of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) include Kubuntu 20.04 LTS, Xubuntu 20.04 LTS, Lubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS, and Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS. They include all the features of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and much more…

            Kubuntu 20.04 LTS ships with the latest KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS desktop environment, KDE Applications 19.12.3 software suite, Qt 5.12.8 LTS, Elisa 19.12.3 as default music player instead of Cantata, digiKam 6.4.0, KDEConnect 1.4.0, KDevelop 5.5.0, Krita 4.2.9, and Latte Dock 0.9.10. It also removes the KDE PIM Suite from the default install and adds experimental ZFS on root installer support.

          • Lubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Released!

            Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released! With the codename Focal Fossa, Lubuntu 20.04 is the 18th release of Lubuntu, the fourth release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment, and the first Long Term Support release with LXQt.


            Lubuntu 19.10 will be supported for three months, until July 2020, and Lubuntu 18.04 LTS, the last supported release with LXDE, will be supported until April 2021. For both of these releases, we are limiting changes to critical fixes and underlying system changes shipped with all other Ubuntu flavors.

            Note, due to the extensive changes required for the shift in desktop environments, the Lubuntu team does not support upgrading from 18.04 or below to any greater release. Doing so will result in a broken system. If you are on 18.04 or below and would like to upgrade, please do a fresh install.

          • Lubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa Version Released Today! {Official}

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released: Lubuntu 20.04 is developed under the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS platform. Lubuntu 20.04 is the first release as the 20.04 version. Lubuntu 20.04 is a long term support version.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Now Available For Download

            Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa” is now available as the distribution’s newest long-term support release.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on the desktop is shipping with GNOME 3.36 and its plethora of improvements, improved OpenZFS support as an experimental option, the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel and the many improvements the new kernel brings, WireGuard VPN support, and a wealth of other package updates.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released – Here’s What’s New

            Canonical officially announced today its Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system for computers, IoT, and cloud environments.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is dubbed “Focal Fossa” and it’s Canonical’s Eighth LTS (Long Term Support) release. It will be supported with security and software updates for five years, until April 2025, This release received numerous improvements over previous releases.

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS features the latest GNOME 3.36 desktop environment by default and it’s powered by the most recent and advanced kernel, Long term Support of Linux kernel 5.4. which it brings improved hardware support (among other features). Ubuntu developers have also enabled support for WireGuard (the secure VPN technology) and integration with Livepatch (for reboot-free kernel updates).

            Probably the most important new feature of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system is shown OEM vendor logo during boot. The yaru default theme for all ubuntu version improved introduced a dark variant, which it comes with three variations that user can switch from “Settings” – Yaru dark, Yaru Light and Yaru standard that falls in between ‘dark and light.’

          • It’s Here: Ubuntu 20.04 is Now Available to Download!

            This is the final, stable release of Ubuntu 20.04, codename ‘Focal Fossa’. It comes with 5 years of guaranteed security updates, critical fixes, and select software updates from Canonical.

            You can download Ubuntu 20.04 direct from the Ubuntu image server using the link below. This will download a 64-bit .iso image of the release that is around 2.7GB in size.

            Once the download completes you will need to write the Ubuntu 20.04 .iso image to a blank DVD or flash it to a USB stick using a tool like Etcher. Then just pop the DVD in or plug in the USB and reboot, selecting the appropriate boot option.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released Today! Codenamed Focal Fossa Is Out For Download & Use!

            Ubuntu 20.04[Stable]: There it is. The most awaited and the most advanced Ubuntu ever made, the Ubuntu 20.04 code-named Focal Fossa stable final release from Canonical is now released and officially available for users.

          • What to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04

            In this video, we are looking at some of the things which you might like to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04. Enjoy!

          • What is new in Ubuntu 20.04

            In this video, we are looking at some of the new features in Ubuntu 20.04. Enjoy!

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) released

            The 20.04 long-term support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, code named “Focal Fossa”, is out. There are desktop and server editions, as well as all of the different Ubuntu flavors: Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) released

            The Ubuntu team is very pleased to announce our eighth long-term support release, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Desktop, Server, Cloud and Core.

            Codenamed “Focal Fossa”, 20.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

            The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 5.4 based Linux kernel, with additional support for Wireguard VPN, AUFS5, and improved support for IBM, Intel, Raspberry Pi and AMD hardware.

            Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS features the latest version of the GNOME desktop environment, 3.36. Notable changes from 18.04 LTS include performance improvements, a new lock screen design, and support for fractional scaling under X11. 20.04 LTS also features a new look-and-feel: the “Yaru” theme, available in both light and dark variants.

          • Like a FOSS: Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’ Set for Release as Canonical’s Next Open Source Linux Distro

            Canonical’s latest iteration for the popular Linux distribution will be release on Thursday after months of developer testing and daily builds, which began in October last year.
            Millions of Ubuntu fans are awaiting the release of the Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu, published by UK software firm Canonical.

            Named “Focal Fossa” after the Madagascan feline, the latest title promises a stable but exciting list of changes, and will receive developer support such as updates and security patches up to 2025.

            The new title follows the launch of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, codenamed “Bionic Beaver”, which gained notoriety for its ease of use and features compared to previous versions.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS overview | Fast, secure and simple.

            In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and some of the applications pre-installed.

          • What’s New in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is officially out now with all the great features you have been waiting patiently for around six months. Code-named Focal Fossa, this release is a Long Term Support (LTS) release that will receive updates and support from Canonical for five years from now (until April 2025).

            If you are still on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, we assure you have all the reasons to take a plunge and upgrade your system to Focal Fossa.

            We have earlier outlined in detail the pre-release versions in our Development Updates article. Still, since we have an officially released build on our hands today, I’m equally excited as you to see the Canonical’s fully polished version and try it out. Without further ado, here are the top features that are noticeable in the front-end for an end-user. I will not miss out mentioning that there are hundreds of bug fixes and security updates that go unnoticed for most of us.

          • Xubuntu 20.04 released!

            The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 20.04. Xubuntu 20.04, codenamed Focal Fossa, is a long-term support (LTS) release and will be supported for 3 years, until April 2024.

            The Xubuntu team has been hard at work for the last six months of this development cycle improving both the Xfce desktop environment and the Xubuntu user experience following our 19.10 release, which introduced Xfce 4.14 for the first time. We were thrilled by the response to the Ubuntu Testing Week, which helped us make 20.04 another great and stable release.

            The final release images are available as torrents and direct downloads from xubuntu.org/download/.

            As the main server might be busy in the first few days after the release, we recommend using the torrents if possible.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is the best release yet! (Full Review)

            Ubuntu 20.04, released today, had a lot of hype to live up to – and it definitely impresses. Although I did run into one problem, Ubuntu 20.04 has been flawless for me. In this review, I show off some of the highlights of this new Long Term Support distribution.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 Full Installation Walkthrough

            Ubuntu 20.04 is a fantastic desktop Linux distribution, and in this video, I show off the process of wiping your drive and installing this distro as your only operating system.

          • Distro News – Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’, Ubuntu MATE and other flavours released

            Today is the big day for Canonical and their partners. Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’ is officially released as their new LTS (Long Term Support) edition along with other desktop flavours like Ubuntu MATE. If you’re moving from the previous LTS, you’re in for quite a shock. It’s a massive release.

            Why use a LTS release over the interim Ubuntu releases? The key point is stability. These releases are supposed to be what you go for if you want the best possible experience.

          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS… on Big Iron!

            Alongside the fanfare of a new server and desktop release for AMD64, and my own beloved Xubuntu, this new version walks in the path of 16.04 and 18.04 to be the third LTS to support the s390x mainframe architecture for IBM Z.

          • Welcome to Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa!

            It has been 2 months since I wrote and updated content on this blog, because the laptop I have been using for 10 years has suddenly died completely. And this time I tried writing again using a new laptop. In addition, Xubuntu 20.04 has been released (Goodbye and thanks to Xubuntu 18.04). I have changed the Xubuntu distro to 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

          • Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

            How to Upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) has been released on Apr 23, 2020. This version will be supported till 2025. The Ubuntu operating systems provides two types of releases Standard release and Long Term Support (LTS) release. Ubuntu provides support for standard releases for approx 1 year while Long Term Support is useful for approx 5 years.

            A new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) release is available to upgrade. The Ubuntu desktop users can upgrade to the latest version immediately. But the Ubuntu server users, especially production server recommended to wait for the few months before the upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          • How To Install Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop

            On Thursday, April 23rd, 2020, Canonical Ltd, the makers of Ubuntu Linux distribution officially released the long-awaited Ubuntu 20.04 version code-named “Focal Fossa”, it is an LTS (Long Term Support) version based on Linux kernel series 5.4, for which maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years until April 2025 and it will reach end-of-life in 2030.

          • What’s new in Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS?

            Well, here it is!

            Ubuntu is the world’s most popular open-source desktop operating system, and we think this is our best release to date. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is an enterprise-grade, secure, cost-effective operating system for organisations and home users.

          • Kubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released, featuring Plasma 5.18 LTS

            The Kubuntu Team is happy to announce that Kubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released, featuring the beautiful KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS: simple by default, powerful when needed.

            Codenamed “Focal Fossa”, Kubuntu 20.04 continues our tradition of giving you Friendly Computing by integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

          • Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS: stability, security and more

            Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS (long-term support) is here with enterprise-class stability, resiliency and even better security. As an LTS release, it will be supported by Canonical until 2025. However, customers can extend the support by an additional five years through the ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) service as part of their UA-I (Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure) subscription. All of that makes Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS one of the most stable and secure Linux distributions, perfectly suitable for production deployments across public clouds, data centres and the edge.

          • Ubuntu kernel 5.4: What’s new with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

            Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has just arrived. The latest LTS comes with a new version of the Linux kernel – 5.4 – which brings a lot of exciting new features, faster boot times, enhanced performance and security. Additionally, the Canonical kernel team ran benchmark tests to validate the performance improvements of the new kernel.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 4 open source chat applications you should use right now

        The first thing we usually do after waking up in the morning is to check our cellphone to see if there are important messages from our colleagues and friends. Whether or not it’s a good idea, this behavior has become part of our daily lifestyle.

        No matter the soundness of the reason, we all have a suite of communication tools—email, phone calls, web-conferencing tools, or social networking—we use on a daily basis. Even before COVID-19, working from home already made these communication tools an essential part of our world. And as the pandemic has made working from home the new normal, we’re facing unprecedented changes to how we communicate, which makes these tools not merely essential but now required.

      • Should you outsource your next open source project?

        There are many benefits of using open source solutions for your projects. They’re flexible, agile, cost-effective, and highly customizable. Most offer reliable information security thanks to the responsiveness of the open source community. In addition, you can start small and then scale up to shorten the development cycle and achieve results quickly.

        However, implementing open source software may require specific expertise you don’t have in-house. Should you outsource your next open source project, or assemble an in-house team?

      • On Open Source and the Power User Fallacy
      • On Open Source and the Power User Fallacy


        Scott Nesbitt always has an interesting take on technology. I agree with this one, which he published in his weekly newsletter (subscribe here; you can thank me later), which is about how just because you can do something yourself, it doesn’t mean you have the skills, time, or inclination.

        So yeah. I could host my own OwnCloud instance or my own email server. Or even my own WordPress instance. But it would take up a lot of time and energy. So I outsource. I understand there’s a cost in terms of money and privacy and understanding everything going on underneath the hood of these tools. And like Scott, I’m comfortable with the trade off.

      • ProtonMail Open Sources All Of Its Email Apps

        ProtonMail, the mind behind the popular secure email service, has announced that all of the ProtonMail apps are now open-source. Furthermore, each of these apps has passed an independent security audit to retain users’ trust.

        However, it doesn’t come as a surprise as the process began several years ago. ProtonMail’s web app was open-sourced back in 2015, just a year after the service was launched. It was followed by the iOS email app in 2019 and the Bridge app last week.

      • What you need to know about open source ad blockers

        Anew study meant to investigate energy conservation of free and open source ad blockers has unexpectedly shown that Internet ads are wasting shocking amounts of your time.

        More importantly, the results show how you can get that time back. The study estimates that the average Internet user would save over 100 hours a year by using uBlock Origin, a free and open source ad blocker. uBlock Origin was the most effective ad blocker tested, but all ad blockers save time, energy and money according to the study.

      • Volunteer engineers and physicians created open-source, cheap ventilators that could be used in ERs of the future—take a look

        So what happens now that there’s evidence that the coronavirus curve is flattening and the shortage of ventilators is no longer critical in cities like New York City, Chicago and New Orleans? The innovation does not have to go to waste.

        There could be sustained utility beyond the pandemic for the cohorts’ new devices, according to a consortium at New Lab in New York City working on a ventilator called the Spiro Wave.

        “I by no means think that it’s over,” Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, said of the need for emergency vents on a press call Monday. “We may well be using these Spiro Wave devices in our emergency rooms in the future.”

      • ‘handy’ is an open source tool designed to slow the spread of COVID-19

        handy can be 3D printed at home, printed via online 3D printing services, or for those who are creative, made by cutting and gluing layers of cardboard together. this might be a fun activity to do with kids and you can find the file and instructions for DIY manufacturing here. handy is customizable, easy to carry, personal, ergonomic (with a design that fits fingers of any size, and limits hand torsion), can be used by right or left-handed individuals and is easy to sanitize.

      • The top barriers and benefits to small businesses adopting open source

        With big tech players like Amazon and IBM focused on open source as an enabler of strong cloud solutions, it may seem like the technology is limited to the big leagues, yet small to midsize businesses are slowly starting to throw their hats in the open source ring.

        Many are realizing that open source enables them to compete at the level of larger tech companies and enable the flexibility, interoperability and cost savings that these solutions provide.

        Smaller companies are entering the market looking to prove themselves and innovation is key to their success, but it can be difficult to adopt open source technology for a variety of reasons.

        Dietmar Rietsch, CEO and founder of software company Pimcore, noted there was initial reluctance because SMBs think there is some kind of risk involved or have other concerns.

        “Open source has multiple benefits for small businesses and we think that every business will come to the realization that they need to create their own digital platform based on open source technology,” Rietsch said.

      • Events

        • Embedded Linux Conference goes virtual at $50 a pop

          The Linux Foundation has posted the schedule for a virtual online version of the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference North America 2020. Registration for the interactive, June 29 to July 2 event will cost $50.

          In March when Arrow announced its free, online-only Embedded to Go conference, which took place April 1-3, we were surprised that despite the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference was still scheduled to take place June 22-24 in Austin, Texas. Now, the Linux Foundation has announced that due to safety concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, it will switch to a web-based “Virtual Experience” taking place June 29 to July 2.

        • Take the 2020 #HappinessPacketChallenge!

          In this brave new COVID-19 world, we have to watch out for each other. These times are unusual and not normal. This year in 2020, I challenge you to join me and others in the Happiness Packets Challenge from Monday, 27 April to Sunday, 3 May! This is the same challenge I made in 2017. Can you say thanks to someone different every day for one week?

          When I was a kid, one of the most important lessons I learned was saying “thank you” when someones does something nice for you. So, a few years ago, I learned about this awesome little website called Happiness Packets. Its purpose is simple but powerful. Happiness Packets are open source thank-you cards you can send over email. You can send Happiness Packets to anyone for anything. Your message can be as short or as long as you like. You can put your name on it or keep it anonymous. The choice is yours. And now, I want to challenge you (yes, you) to the 2020 #HappinessPacketChallenge!

        • LibrePlanet 2020 videos now available online

          Looking for entertaining and educational advocacy materials to point people to while explaining the importance of free software for a free society? The recordings and slides from LibrePlanet 2020: Free the Future sessions are now available online! What’s more, we’ve taken the time since the conference to smooth over some glitches or small gaps you may have experienced while watching the conference live.

          You can now watch Saturday’s opening keynote featuring Free Software Foundation (FSF) campaigns manager Greg Farough in conversation with three young hackers: Alyssa Rosenzweig, Taowa, and Erin Moon. You can also view the Sunday keynotes by Public Lab founder and fellow with the Shuttleworth Foundation Shannon Dosemagen, and Internet Archive founder and Internet Hall of Famer Brewster Kahle. We hope these recordings can provide inspiration and knowledge that will be useful both now and in the years ahead.

          Video of thirty more sessions from the successful first online edition of LibrePlanet can be found in the conference’s video library. And of course, the story doesn’t end there. The LibrePlanet archives have hours of additional talks, keynote sessions, and presentations from past years of the conference. You can spend hours there diving deep into the wide range of free software activists, experts, and entrepreneurs who have shared their knowledge with the LibrePlanet audience over time, and endlessly expand your free software knowledge.

        • Demos at Qt World Summit 2020

          Qt World Summit 2020 in Palm Springs, CA has been postponed and the new date is October 20-22.

          KDAB will be Gold Sponsor. Except for 3 one-day training classes, we will also present an array of exciting demos in the KDAB booth. C

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Vivaldi browser to perform a symphony of ad and tracker blocking with version 3.0

            The release is a big one, evidenced by the jump to 3.0, and builds in both tracker and ad blockers as well as the usual array of configuration options for which the vendor is famed. We took the release for a spin and spoke to Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner about the update.

            While other browsers have been cheerfully implementing various levels of tracker blocking, leaving the business of blocking ads to add-ons, the decision to make the functionality part of Vivaldi (even if off by default) is controversial.

            “It wasn’t an easy decision,” von Tetzchner told The Register. “I always believe that it’s important to keep the internet open and free. So the concept of adding an ad blocker was not a simple one for us to do.”

            Many sites depend on the revenues generated by advertising so building code to block it is quite the step. However, the ad market has changed over the years as trackers have collected ever more personal information, which is something that the privacy-obsessed Vivaldi has seized upon.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: April 2020 Edition

            Before we get into the report, we must share that Youghourta Benali, one of the Arabic l10n community’s managers, has passed away due to prior health issues. He was a passionate activist for the open Web and Arabic’s presence on the Web, localizing Mozilla projects for over 7 years. We’ll all miss him and wish his family and friends peace at this time. The surviving Arabic managers are currently writing a guest post that we’ll post here when ready.

          • WebGPU Support Begins Coming Together In Firefox Nightly Builds

            The latest Firefox Nightly builds have the experimental WebGPU support working in early form. WebGPU is the W3C-backed web standard for modern graphics and compute that is based upon concepts from the likes of Vulkan and Direct3D 12.

          • A Taste of WebGPU in Firefox

            The group has mostly resolved the major architecture issues of the API. Recently we agreed on the WebGPU Shading Language direction based on the Tint prototype. We still need to solve a lot of design riddles before we make it available to end users to write shaders in.

            One of the unresolved issues is the API for data transfers between CPU and GPU. Working with memory directly is where the web platform differs greatly from native platforms. We’ve discussed a dozen different proposals but have not yet found a design solution that fulfills our principles.

            Overall, the spec is still heavily a work in progress. It’s available for early hackers but not recommended for any use in production yet. We are hoping to get a minimum-viable-product version of the spec and implementations by the end of 2020. The current state of implementations can be checked on webgpu.io.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Best open source database software

          The basic goal of any database should be to collect information, organize it and provide quick access to it.Databases are the backbone of every modern business application. Open source databases initially appear to be an attractive alternative to costly solutions from Oracle, Microsoft or IBM . As databases are becoming more voluminous and complex, open source platforms such as MySQL or PostgreSQL are increasingly competing with proprietary products in specific areas. In this article, we will outline the most used open source best database software.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP 2020: A powerful free alternative to Photoshop

            Think photo-manipulation software and you’re likely to think Photoshop. After all, the Adobe product is a true workhorse when it comes to creating graphics and editing images. But it’s also expensive. While there are other photo-editing software programs out there, one that has been quietly gaining followers for over 20 years is GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program. GNU is an open-source operating system that often goes by the name Linux. GIMP is also open-source software, which means users can modify the program to suit their needs. Best of all, GIMP is completely free – with no tricky upsells to unlock additional features or time limits on use.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Dutch government encourages public services to share their software source code

            The Dutch government wants the country’s public services to share as open source any software solutions that are written for or by them. “My appeal to public services is to release the source code, unless they have good reasons not to,” writes State Secretary for the Interior Raymond Knops in a letter to the Dutch parliament. “A public service that uses open source software can also be expected to actively share with society software that it develops itself.”

      • Public Services/Government

        • Netherlands commits to Free Software by default

          In the 2018 budget debate, Members of the Dutch Parliament raised questions about actively publishing Free Software by the government, and an ‘open source by default’ policy for procurement. These questions appealed to a report earlier in 2017 on a government-ordered inquiry in the options for publishing software under a Free and Open-Source-Software-License. The report states that adopting Free Software could make the government more transparent, as well as reduce costs and stimulate the economy. Additional efforts are deemed necessary to reap these benefits by ensuring readable and secure code and supporting the community at large. However, it also underlined the possibility that the government publishing Free Software could be considered unfair competition under current market regulations. Doing so would only be legal if the government abides by a strict set of regulations, which in its current form would render such publication nearly impossible.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Anzacathon: the benefits of Open Data

            25 April is Anzac Day in Australia, New Zealand and many communities around the world where Anzacs have served. Given the shift to online collaboration in 2020, Anzacathon has been set up to help people engage online.

            One of the key themes of Anzacathon is data: finding new ways to use the data and also demonstrating the benefits of community engagement with open data.

            With that in mind, I’m providing some tutorials for users of PostgreSQL and R to access the data and some simple examples to use it.


            The raw data files are shared over IPFS. They are in SQLite format, as this provides a convenient mechanism to query the data with SQL commands directly over IPFS.

            The pgloader tool provides a convenient way to load SQLite databases directly from IPFS into a PostgreSQL schema. There is no need to download the SQLite files, we can simply mount IPFS like a filesystem. A sample configuration for PostgreSQL users is provided.

            For R users, there is an RSQLite module that allows R to access SQLite data. Once again, there is no need to download the data, any file in IPFS can be opened directly using fuse.

            R users who want to use this method first need to follow the first part of the PostgreSQL setup instructions, up to the point where you start the IPFS daemon process.

      • Programming/Development

        • Cypress basics: how do cypress tests work?

          As I wrote earlier in a blogpost now we have cypress.io test framework integrated into Collabora Online codebase. Since we are testing an online, Javascript-based application that means we are working in an asynchronous environment. So triggering a user event via this framework, does not mean that this event is actually finished at the same time when the related cypress method is called. On the other hand, we try to cover real user scenarios, which are usually a sequence of events, as the user doing things on the UI step-by-step. So the question is, how to write sequential tests in an asynchronous environment. Fortunately, cypress has the answer to that.

        • Report from the February 2020 ISO C++ meeting (Core Language Working Group)

          The first International Organization for Standardization (ISO) C++ meeting of 2020 happened in Prague, Czechia. It was our first time meeting in Prague, though I’ve been there a few times for the GNU Tools Cauldron. Two of us from Red Hat attended: Jonathan Wakely serves on the ISO C++ Standards Committee Library Working Group (LWG), and I am part of the Core Language Working Group (CWG). (You can see the ISO C++ committee structure here.)

          This was our second meeting after sending the C++20 draft standard out for comments from the ISO C++ national bodies. We finished responses to the last round of comments. That went well, and at the end of the week, we voted to send the resulting C++20 standard to the national bodies for ratification.

          In the next sections, I’ll share the thinking behind some of our decisions. Note that this report addresses mostly lower-level issues, unlike my usual trip reports.

        • Google’s Flutter: 2 million developers, uptick in enterprise use, new release model revealed

          Google says two million developers have used its Flutter user-interface (UI) framework for building apps targeting mobile, desktop, and the web since declaring it production ready at Google I/O 2018.

          Unlike Microsoft, which will proceed with an online-only Build 2020 developer conference this May, Google in March decided to cancel its Google I/O developer conference completely. It was scheduled for May 12-14.

        • COBOL Coders Needed for Coronavirus Fight
        • Is COBOL your plan B? and more industry trends

          The impact: I’m a writer first and foremost, and the most code I’ve ever written was under 100 lines of Perl to manage network config. Part of me is wondering how hard it could possibly be to pick up enough COBOL to be attractive to a bank? Always good to have a plan B, right?

        • Outsourcing Reduces Productivity

          In June last year’s The Risks Of Outsourcing I discussed Why public sector outsourcing is less efficient than Soviet central planning by Abby Innes of the London School of Economics . She points to the inevitable information asymmetry that places the buyer of outsourcing at a disadvantage: [...]

        • Coding for Fun

          Before COVID-19 came and cancelled all the conferences we had lined up, I had started working on a talk on our collective tendencies as software developers to end up doing work and automation that ultimately demands more effort and time from us than if we had done nothing, or something much simpler.

          Of course, in writing my talk and with the pures irony available to me, I ended up drifting aside and instead started programming my own slideshow software. I have my reasons—not very good reasons, but reasons nonetheless—for writing it, but regardless of what they are, I don’t encourage anyone to actually use it, and I’ll explain why in this meandering post, where I do a kind of personal retrospective of my last few years of maintaining OSS software.

        • Handling Diacritics

          A colleague had to create a list of email addresses from a list of names (given name + surname). Some of the names had letters with accents: these accents had to be removed to keep the basic letter, in order to form a list of email addresses. For example, “andré” had to be converted to “andre”.

          I found the Python module Unicode, and told my colleague he could use that module together with my python-per-line.py to generate his list. It turned out I had to make a change to my python-per-line.py tool first, so that it would handle Unicode input properly.

        • EKCD – Encrypted Crash Dumps in FreeBSD

          To protect your privacy, you should encrypt crash dumps—and FreeBSD now offers such a possibility. The functionality is called EKCD, from the Encrypted Kernel Crash Dumps. The idea behind is that the administrator or security officer in your company generates a RSA key. The public key is provided to the machine. When the key is loaded, the machine generates a one-time AES key, which is used to encrypt the actual crash dumps. The AES key is encrypted using an RSA key and stored on the machine. Only the owner of the private key can decrypt the AES key, hence the whole crash dump. If you are familiar with cryptography, this is pretty standard practice, because of the limitation of the RSA key.

        • Prioritizing simplicity improves performance and reliability

          These tests show that SourceHut has room for improvement. For one, some important features are conspicuously absent, like a git blame view. GitHub beats out our performance at rendering commits and tickets, and on several pages GitHub and Bitbucket both have better accessibility scores than the equivalent sr.ht page. But the overall results are clear: SourceHut is the best performing code forge, and by a wide margin. The data also shows that our approach delivers the best reliability: our friends at GitHub and GitLab have struggled with outages 15 of the last 90 days and 18 of the last 90 days, respectively. SourceHut has had two outages in 2020, both of which were planned and announced a week in advance, and only one of which affected more than one subsystem.

          The secret is, as you may have guessed, to prioritize simplicity. It’s all too easy for a development team to chase after shiny features — I know because it tempts me, too. But sooner or later the chickens come home to roost, and you have a giant single-page application downloading a megabyte of JavaScript and pinning a CPU for several seconds before the page is useful (if scrolling at 3 FPS can be considered useful).

        • Python

          • Kushal Das: mod_wsgi and a Python extention

            I was working on a performance analysis of a web API. After I identified the possible issues, I tried to see if I can use a native extension for that part of code (it is a Flask application). In this case the extension was written in Rust. It worked very well. In both test environment and using mod_wsgi-express it was super fast. But it failed when I tried to use it in the production under nginx + mod_wsgi combination. The import modulename statement was just stuck. Causing a timeout in the application. There were no other error messages or log lines.

          • Mike Hommey: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.5

            Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

          • Building Pyrseia II: Fleshing out Clients and Servers

            This is the second article in the Pyrseia series.


            It does! I’ve written tests in the repository for all of these adapters (although I use Hypercorn to run the Starlette app), and they work just fine. You could write an app using Pyrseia now!

            Pyrseia is still missing a few crucial pieces, though. We don’t have control over the wire format, so interoperability is still tricky. Until we deal with this in a flexible way, Pyrseia will only work with itself. We have loftier goals than that, though. We should also consider how to transfer errors/exceptions over the wire.

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

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


            First, we were able to update all the old JavaScript files to use ES6/JSX syntax and the tests for the client terminal. This change simplified the code base and maintenance and allows us to easily extend the project to new functionalities that the xterm.js API offers. In order to compile this code and run it inside Spyder, we migrated our deployment to Webpack.

          • [Old] Truths programmers should know about case

            A couple weeks ago I gave a talk about usernames at North Bay Python. The content came mostly from things I’ve learned in roughly 12 years of maintaining django-registration, which has taught me more than I ever wanted to know about how complex even “simple” things can be.


            Speakers of European languages are accustomed to the idea that their languages, written down, use case as a signifier. For example, in English we usually begin sentences with uppercase letters, and mostly continue them with lowercase letters. We also mark most proper nouns by beginning them with uppercase letters, and we handle many acronyms and initialisms via all-uppercase treatment.

            For the most part we tend to think of there being only two cases. There’s “A” and there’s “a”. One is UPPER and one is lower, right?

            But Unicode actually has three cases. There’s lowercase, and there’s uppercase. And there’s titlecase. Titlecase is most familiar to us from the way we write, well, titles. “Avengers: Infinity War” is titlecased. Normally, this means just uppercasing the initial letter of each word (depending on your style guide, some words, such as articles, conjunctions and prepositions, may not get initial-uppercased).

            The Unicode Standard gives, as an example of a titlecase character, U+01F2 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D WITH SMALL Z. It looks like this: Dz.

          • More Onboarding Goodness – Building SaaS #53

            In this episode, we continued with onboarding. I added unit tests for the new form and explained how foreign keys are wired through in CreateView. Then we marched on to the next template in the flow.

            In the last stream, we set all the context data for the view that shows the form to create a grade level for the school. With the context in place, and the form structure set, I added the form class that will create the GradeLevel record.

            We used Test Driven Development (TDD) to ensure that the form works. Once the happy path was in place, I wrote some additional tests to guard against some edge cases to guarantee that the user’s data is safe.

            Once the grade level form was complete, I started on the template for the course form. I finished the stream by getting the basic template structure in place for that step.

          • PyCharm & DSF Campaign 2020 Results

            The partnership between PyCharm and the Django Software Foundation has just raised 40,000 USD!

            For the fourth time, JetBrains PyCharm boosted the Django Software Foundation (DSF) fundraising with the campaign ‘Get PyCharm, Support Django’, where for 28 days users could purchase new individual PyCharm Professional annual subscriptions 30% OFF while giving the full amount of their purchase directly to the DSF. Even given current conditions, the campaign was a success, raising a total of 40,000 USD and representing 20% of the Foundation’s funding goal for 2020.

          • Python Project: Send a Text Message when root logs in

            A sped-up Python coding session where I program a script to alert me (via SMS) whenever root logs in via SSH, or when someone uses ‘sudo’. I’ve sped it up from ~2.5 hours to about 15 minutes, with a few breaks for explanation about my approach. None of the dead ends and wrong turns have been edited out, so have fun.

        • Rust

          • Announcing Rust 1.43.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.43.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.


            There are other changes in the Rust 1.43.0 release: check out what changed in Rust, Cargo, and Clippy.

          • Nicholas Nethercote: How to speed up the Rust compiler in 2020

            I last wrote in December 2019 about my work on speeding up the Rust compiler. Time for another update.


            Last year I noticed from profiles that rustc spends some time compressing the LLVM bitcode it produces, especially for debug builds. I tried changing it to not compress the bitcode, and that gave some small speed-ups, but also increased the size of compiled artifacts on disk significantly.

            Then Alex Crichton told me something important: the compiler always produces both object code and bitcode for crates. The object code is used when compiling normally, and the bitcode is used when compiling with link-time optimization (LTO), which is rare. A user is only ever doing one or the other, so producing both kinds of code is typically a waste of time and disk space.

            In #66598 I tried a simple fix for this: add a new flag to rustc that tells it to omit the LLVM bitcode. Cargo could then use this flag whenever LTO wasn’t being used. After some discussion we decided it was too simplistic, and filed issue #66961 for a more extensive change. That involved getting rid of the use of compressed bitcode by instead storing uncompressed bitcode in a section in the object code (a standard format used by clang), and introducing the flag for Cargo to use to disable the production of bitcode.

            The part of rustc that deals with all this was messy. The compiler can produce many different kinds of output: assembly code, object code, LLVM IR, and LLVM bitcode in a couple of possible formats. Some of these outputs are dependent on other outputs, and the choices on what to produce depend on various command line options, as well as details of the particular target platform. The internal state used to track output production relied on many boolean values, and various nonsensical combinations of these boolean values were possible.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The origin of software macros

        The term ‘macro’ has existed since the conception of programming languages ​​and it is used to automate common tasks. Macros were initially developed using the IBM 705 computer for the Dow Chemical Corporation and Air Material Command. In 1963, Timothy Hart proposed the addition of macros to LISP 1.5 in AI Memo 57. A macro instruction coded as per the framework of the target assembly language will be processed by a macro compiler. The macro language was followed by Macro Assemblers in the late 1950s. Programmers wrote a macro library for every target machine but not the complete assembly language program. The arrival of VBA and the ability to create macros from within Microsoft Office set new benchmarks in the software development arena starting from the late 1990′s.

  • Leftovers

    • The Best People, Also Labradoodles
    • To Ensure ‘No One Is Left Behind,’ UN Chief Says Human Rights Must Be Central in Fight Against Covid-19

      “We are all in this together. In what world do we want to live when this is all over? The way in which we respond now can help to shape that future—for better or for worse.”

    • Reopening Day 2020?: Big-Time Spectator Sports Are the Last Things We Need

      No Football, No Trump.

    • The only baseball in the world right now is in Taiwan — and they need English broadcasters

      Eleven Sports Network, which holds broadcast rights to home games of two of the CPBL’s four teams, streamed five of the empty-stadium games in English last week, drawing 5 million viewers, the company said.

    • Esports Milestone: Gambling On Esports Will Double To $14 Billion In 2020

      We’ve chronicled the many milestones esports has hit on its way to becoming the mainstream cultural occurrence that it is today. From having participants gain notoriety and fame by being featured on mainstream sports publications, to universities handing out esports scholarships, to esports being broadcast on ESPN, to the major IRL sports leagues getting involved. Now, with the world enveloped in the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that has shut down many if not most of the world’s traditional sporting leagues, esports is having something of a moment, rocketing in popularity as a result.

    • Science

      • Space X Starlink Beta Starts In 6 Months, Bringing A Glimmer Of Hope To Crappy US Broadband Market

        The US broadband market is a competitive mess. US telcos have routinely refused to upgrade their aging DSL lines, as the return on investment has never been fast enough for Wall Street. That has left cable giants like Comcast and Charter (Spectrum) with bigger broadband monopolies than ever before. While many see 5G wireless as some sort of competitive panacea waiting in the wings, there’s a litany of problems (cost, reach, competition eroding M&As) that suggests folks should temper their enthusiasm.

      • Before COVID-19, Big Pharma Was Neglecting Vaccine and Antiviral Research

        After reaching a new low in consumer confidence last year, thanks to public anger over rising drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation is on the rise as researchers worldwide rush to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. A new national poll finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has benefited the industry’s public image, with 40 percent of respondents saying they have a more positive view of private drug companies than before the outbreak.

      • Obama Criticizes Trump’s Lack of a “Coherent National Plan” as COVID Deaths Rise

        Former presidents rarely weigh-in directly on the work of the officeholders who follow in their immediate footsteps, but former President Barack Obama has been doing just that in subtle, indirect ways of late.

      • The Computer Scientist Who Can’t Stop Telling Stories

        Quanta Magazine spoke with Knuth in February at his home on the Stanford campus. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

    • Education

      • With Schools Shut Down, Educators Turn To Video Games To Help Educate Students

        It’s funny how fast things can change. With the exception of our recent stories on how esports has taken over the sporting world due to the COVID-19 shutdown, any other review of our stories on video games would leave you with the impression that gaming has tons of IP problems and is also the scapegoat for many of the world’s problems. Blamed for real world violence, for teenager apathy, for falling school test scores, and even for men not being manly enough, there seems to have been very little for which some beep-boop games couldn’t be blamed.

      • Colorado college students file two class-action lawsuits demanding fee refunds

        These fees are typically associated with having access to events and services like the student recreation center, bus passes, athletic events and arts performances, which are not available to students in the coronavirus era.

      • Libraries are offering programs online for all ages

        Rachel Johnson, the  library  system’s communication services division chief, said in a county press release the libraries are working to get out at least one video to post every day.

      • Colorado college students bring class-action lawsuit against universities refusing to refund fees

        Colorado students are suing their universities, arguing they are due refunds for student fees that cover services they can no longer receive due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down most recognizable aspects of campus life.

        Two class action lawsuits filed against University of Colorado’s Board of Regents and Colorado State University’s Board of Governors this weekend said students pay fees separate from tuition that enable access to events and services such as the student recreation center, bus passes, athletic events and arts performances.

      • How Often Do Schools Use Seclusion and Restraint? The Federal Government Isn’t Properly Tracking the Data, According to a New Report

        Federal education officials failed to check the accuracy of data submitted by school districts on their use of seclusion and restraint and did not try to identify the ones that potentially overuse these methods, leaving children at risk of being mistreated, according to a new watchdog report.

        The Government Accountability Office’s report found the U.S. Department of Education’s attempts to determine how often schools use seclusion and restraint are “largely ineffective or do not exist.” A dozen Illinois schools with troubling data were highlighted in the report, issued this week.

    • Hardware

      • How to store data forever

        As someone who has been often maligned by the disappearance of my data for various reasons — companies going under, hard drive failure, etc — and as someone who is responsible for the safekeeping of other people’s data, I’ve put a lot of thought into solutions for long-term data retention.

        There are two kinds of long-term storage, with different concerns: cold storage and hot storage. The former is like a hard drive in your safe — it stores your data, but you’re not actively using it or putting wear on the storage medium. By contrast, hot storage is storage which is available immediately and undergoing frequent reads and writes.

      • Updated quad pi3 hat

        I made a number of tweaks to the quad A1’s raspberry pi hat to get it ready for production, resulting in r4.1 of the board:

        None of the changes were particularly big, but each has some value:

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The WHO Has Never Wanted Your Politics

        If the WHO did get political, maybe the U.S. wouldn’t have chosen corporate profit over basic human rights, because the WHO would question why the world’s richest country is unable to provide healthcare. 

      • US ‘Obsession With Incarceration’ Could Lead to 100,000 More Deaths Than Projected

        “Failing to protect incarcerated people will hurt all of us.”

      • What Can Normalcy Bring?

        With COVID-19 figures slowly receding, Germany is limping back to some kind of normalcy. Auto and bike shops, book dealers, barbers and most shops less than 800 m2 can now re-open (with customers 5 ft apart). Bigger shops and department stores are squabbling: “Why not us?” So are churches, mosques and synagogues, possibly worried that their flocks may get used to doing without them on Sundays, Fridays or Saturdays. Schools are debating when and if which classes can start up again. A big “IF” is always attached. IF things continue to ease up, and IF no second wave hits.

      • What the President Continues to Say (About the Plague)

        In a previous piece in CounterPunch I compiled Donald Trump’s statements on the COVID-19 pandemic up to April 4th. Here is a continuation of that list.

      • More than 550 people have now died in Russia from coronavirus, where the number of total confirmed cases is 62,773

        On the morning of April 23, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 4,774 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 62,773 patients. A day earlier, health officials reported 5,236 new cases.

      • ‘I plan on working in diapers’ Doctors treating Russia’s coronavirus patients talk about their difficult job conditions, access to protective equipment, and the struggle to get tested

        The number of Russians diagnosed with COVID-19 has already surpassed 62,000 people. In order to cope with this influx, more and more hospitals are being either partially or fully reassigned to handle coronavirus patients and are only admitting confirmed or suspected cases. The medics at these clinics, who are now working with COVID-19 patients every day, told Meduza about their working conditions, the availability of medical supplies, how they cope with the fear of getting sick, and what their administrators are telling them. As it turns out, the supply of personal protective equipment varies radically from clinic to clinic — but according to the medical workers who spoke to Meduza, the main problem for most hospitals is testing the doctors themselves.

      • This Hospital Has Only 8 Nurses. They Are Also the Janitors.

        Eight nurses at the lone hospital in the rural Oklahoma town of Stigler now double as the cleaning crew. They stabilize patients with life-threatening conditions, mop floors and scrub toilets.

        The nurses, along with an office manager and a part-time maintenance worker, are the only remaining employees at the Haskell County Community Hospital, which two years ago had a staff of 68 and provided some of the highest-paying jobs in the southeastern Oklahoma town.

      • How the Acceleration of Death Precipitated by Covid-19 Exposes State Crime

        It did not take long. Three weeks after the outbreak, the Hungarian parliament conferred formidable executive powers on prime minister Viktor Orbán, allowing him to rule by decree. Israel was even faster. Immediately after the government announced a nation-wide lockdown, the Justice Minister barred thecourts from convening, a move that indefinitely postponed the corruption hearings against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, in Chile the government sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters.

      • ‘We should know them by name’ COVID-19 patient data is leaking out of hospitals and police stations across Russia, leaving the sick and their families to face mass doxxing, threats, and harassment

        In Russia, coronavirus patients are facing a mass wave of doxxing attacks, meaning that their identities and private data are being made public on messaging apps and social media. Meduza found that the attacks often stem from leaks of medical and law enforcement data that come directly from doctors and police officers themselves. The victims of the leaks then face harassment online and occasionally in person, with strangers threatening them and their families. Meduza investigative correspondent Liliya Yapparova traced the leaks to discover how the extreme circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have deprived Russian patients of their right to medical confidentiality.

      • Inequality and the Coronavirus: How to Destroy American Society From the Top Down

        My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt’s temperature every night because she shared a bedroom with my mom; how they had to put a sign on the front door of the house that read “quarantine” so that no one would visit.

      • The “Silent Killers” Stalking Indian Country: Covid-19, Red Tape, A “Money Grab” And Ethical Egosim

        Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico warned President Trump nearly a month ago that coronavirus “could wipe out tribal nations.” Governor Lujan Grisham cited “incredible spikes on the Navajo Nation,” to which Trump responded, “Boy, that’s too bad for the Navajo Nation – I’ve been hearing that.” Since then, Covid-19 deaths on the Navajo Nation have increased by over 2000% with over 1,000 tribal members testing positive, an infection rate that has almost quadrupled subsequent to Grisham’s call with Trump.

      • Federal Doctor Was Fired for Resisting Trump’s Promotion of Untested Treatments

        A high-ranking federal scientist and one of the leading vaccine experts in the U.S. said in a withering statement on Wednesday that he was fired from his post as director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority because he questioned and resisted President Donald Trump’s promotion of untested Covid-19 treatments, particularly hydroxychloroquine.

      • Parents Fear Exploitation as Children’s Screen Time Skyrockets 500% During Coronavirus Pandemic

        “This is not a problem that parents can solve on our own. We need Congress to include online safety measures for our children in the next stimulus package.”

      • South Korea Is a Model for Combatting COVID-19, It Should Now Take the Lead in Diplomacy With North Korea

        Moon has all the leverage he needs to resolve a 70-year-old conflict and create a model for peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

      • ‘Cronyism Ahead of Science’: Federal Doctor Says He Was Fired for Resisting Trump Promotion of Untested Covid-19 Treatments

        Dr. Rick Bright said he “resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public.”

      • Not This Time: Watch Out for Wall Street in a Pandemic

        Back during the Great Recession, we bailed out Wall Street. This time, we need to make sure the bailout is for the rest of us.

      • Virus-Denialist-in-Chief: Trump Claims ‘You May Not Even Have Corona Coming Back’ as Fauci Says ‘I Am Convinced’ It Will

        As U.S. president champions anti-science movement and publicly contradicts his own experts, WHO warns of Covid-19 fight for ‘long time’ to come.

      • Trump Failed to Vanquish Coronavirus With Hot Air, Now Wants to “Shoot Down” Tiny Iranian Skiffs

        What Trump was advising would be a war crime, since Iranian boats that haven’t actually fired on or harmed US vessels have a right to be on the high seas, and interfering in that right to the point of termination with extreme prejudice is illegal.

      • Stop the Pandemic Profiteers

        Wartime profiteering has been as common in our country as war itself.

      • The Perils of Politicizing the Pandemic

        President Trump has so thoroughly polarized the nation that almost every conceivable action is now seen through the false lens of red and blue. If the sky is blue, does that mean it’s Democratic? If the sunset is red, does that mean it’s Republican? Inane questions — until you consider the perils of this foolhardy president’s latest moves to politicize the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s get one thing straight, coronavirus doesn’t care about political parties, skin color, religion or whether you wear a MAGA hat or think Trump is the worst president in the nation’s history. Nope — it’s a virus. Humans are nothing more than a target organism, and a handy one at that since we tend to congregate in masses and perpetuate the virus’ spread through contact with other humans.

      • Episode 78 – The COVID Chronicles #2: with Dr. Andrew Chan (Massachusetts) and the COVID Symptom Tracker App – Along The Line Podcast
      • In No Rush to Approve Covid-19 Aid, McConnell Says He Will Start Confirming More Trump Judges ‘As Soon As’ Senate Returns

        “This is all they care about: stacking courts with ideologically extreme judges to roll back our rights for decades.”

      • Calls for Vote-by-Mail Intensify After At Least 19 Cases of Coronavirus Are Linked to Wisconsin Primary Election

        “This was completely avoidable.”

      • A Public-Health Crisis Demands Equitable Local News

        During an emergency, trustworthy information is paramount, and inequitable access is deadly.

      • Don’t Worry, Everything Will Get Back to “Normal”

        When will things get back to normal? Everyone is asking.

      • The UK government is in talks with facial recognition firms to develop COVID-19 immunity passports
      • Can a Pandemic Defeat the Politics of Austerity?

        U.S. government has suddenly gone Keynesian. Checks to households, massive liquidity injections from the U.S. Federal Reserve, and bailouts for businesses are now the order of the day—all at hitherto impossible levels, all justified by the extraordinary threat of the pandemic crisis.

        The U.S. government does not usually spend liberally. Rather, it tends to adjust to economic shocks through unemployment and austerity—especially at the state level, where governors are often required by law to maintain balanced budgets. As soon as the COVID-19 outbreak abates, the familiar calls to slash spending and balance budgets will return. Federal debt will have risen to levels not seen since the 1940s—and in response, the proponents of austerity will demand to get the “free market” back to work by cutting both taxes and spending.

        Americans should be prepared to reject such entreaties. Even those concerned about debt need look no further for an alternative than to the course American leaders took during the two great crises of the mid-twentieth century: the Great Depression and World War II. In response to these shocks, the U.S. government rejected the politics of austerity and increased taxes to finance the GI Bill and the largest infrastructure program in American history. It should do so again today, this time using the money to rebuild the nation’s health-care system.

      • Coronavirus puts Big Pharma’s IP [sic] regime to the test

        “Chaotic” is how Jorge Contreras, a law professor at the University of Utah, describes a struggle by companies and governments to navigate intellectual property law in the urgent search for Covid-19 treatments.

        When AbbVie, the US drug company, dropped its patent rights for its Kaletra antiviral drug — identified as a potential treatment for Covid-19 — it was clear that the pandemic had upended the normal rules of the pharmaceuticals sector.

        AbbVie’s move came after the Israeli government issued a compulsory licence — overriding normal patent protection — to allow the sale of copycat versions of the drug. For Israel to do this, say industry executives, shows that these are not normal times: the country is the home of Teva Pharmaceuticals and has an economy that is heavily dependent on R&D.

        Yet a growing number of higher-income countries — from China to Chile — have indicated that they too are prepared to issue compulsory licences to secure adequate drug supplies.

        The industry views such moves with alarm. Severin Schwan, chief executive of Roche Holdings, says waiving IP “would be a disaster”. “If we don’t have IP, no one will take care of developing anything . . . Who would ever invest if there was no incentive?”

        Beware of the backlash

        Pharmaceutical companies have responded rapidly to the need for treatments and a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) says more than a third of its 1000 members are now working on coronavirus. The trade organisation adds that surprising new collaborations are springing up — not least a vaccine development partnership between old rivals GlaxoSmithKline of the UK and Sanofi of France.

        IP is not the limiting factor at this stage, says David Loew, executive vice-president at Sanofi Pasteur. “Most vaccines don’t even have IP. In the end it’s a lot down to knowhow: how you produce them, workers, quality systems.”

      • ‘Time Is Running Out’: MoveOn Demands Congress Stay in Session as McConnell Balks at Swift Next Step on Relief

        “We are in a national health and economic emergency and we need Congress to start acting like it.”

      • Russian lawmakers propose urgent measures to curb domestic violence during self-isolation

        Three lawmakers behind a bill that would recriminalize domestic violence in Russia have asked Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova to exempt victims of such abuse from punishment for violating quarantine restrictions, RBC reports. 

      • Famed Law Professor Richard Epstein’s Ever Changing Claims About How Many People Will Die From COVID-19

        Richard Epstein is a very famous law professor, known for his “libertarian” take on the world. Lots of people who know him insist he’s a brilliant legal mind… who seems to think that his brilliance in that area allows him to be brilliant in fields where he has no experience at all. For years, I’ve followed him being just ridiculously wrong when it comes to internet law and (even more so) on any issue related to copyright or patents, which he views as identical to tangible property. He has long refused to even consider that he might be wrong about that. Still, it was pretty shocking last month to see him jump into the deep end of the debate over the seriousness of COVID-19 by writing a piece claiming that he expected US deaths to top out at 500 tops. This was on March 16th, at which time California and Washington were already shutting down and it was blatantly clear many more people would die. Still what he initially wrote was…

      • In a warning against ‘opportunism,’ Kremlin spokesman criticizes doctors who complain about PPE shortages to journalists

        At a press conference on April 22, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said doctors across the country who feel they lack the necessary medical equipment and personal protective gear should take their complaints to local Health Ministry officials, not journalists.

      • The Origin of Plagues: From Mao to Trump

        On July 1, 1958, the ruler of China, Mao Tse-tung, said farewell to the god of plagues. Mao’s celebration was short lived. The god of plagues has been ravaging China and the rest of the world to this day of the existential corona pandemic in 2020.

      • One of Russia’s richest lawmakers donated 50 ventilators to a hospital for coronavirus patients, but the machines expired 15 years ago

        State prosecutors in the city of Vladimir have asked federal investigators to examine the provision of expired ventilators to a local hospital treating coronavirus patients, requesting a criminal case for the alleged large-scale distribution of substandard medical devices. 

      • Medicare for All: Covid-19 Shows When It Comes to Health, the Government Is Your Friend, the Private Sector Sees You as an ATM

        Everyone should categorically reject fear tactics about ‘Medicare for All.’

      • Trump Dismisses New Study on Danger and Ineffectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine

        A drug that President Donald Trump frequently promoted for use in the treatment for COVID-19 (at one point calling it a “game-changer”) is getting renewed scrutiny after a study found that there was “no evidence” to suggest its application did any good for patients.

      • Trump Puts For-Profit Insurer in Charge of COVID-19 Hospital Funds

        Watchdog groups and healthcare advocates are raising serious concerns about conflicts of interest and corporate profiteering after the Trump White House tapped UnitedHealth Group — the largest private health insurer in the U.S. — to help distribute billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to hospitals struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

      • ‘We Are Abdicating Our Responsibility’: Ocasio-Cortez Rips Senate Passage of Inadequate Covid-19 Interim Measure

        “Every time we pass one of these bills we’re hearing that the real solution is coming in the next bill, and then the next bill, and the next bill, and at some point we have to raise our hands and say, ‘When is the solution coming?’”

      • Amid Hunger Crisis in Africa, Some Countries Face COVID-19 Without Ventilators

        Some 265 million people are expected to face acute hunger as the coronavirus crisis could trigger a second pandemic of hunger. The crisis is projected to disproportionately affect Africa, where there is already widespread hunger. This comes as the World Health Organization estimates the number of COVID-19 cases in Africa could rise to 10 million in the next three to six months. Ten African countries don’t have a single ventilator. “This is an extremely terrifying and frightening moment for the people of Africa. … We were already facing a major food crisis — that was before the coronavirus hit,” says lifelong South African human rights and climate justice activist Kumi Naidoo, former secretary general of Amnesty International and former head of Greenpeace.

      • The Deadly Denial Virus

        The Corona virus crisis has bought out into the open how we live within a matrix of interdependence that we normally take for granted and that is largely invisible to us.

      • We Won’t Stop COVID-19 with “Chickenpox Parties”

        Thumbing their noses at both government directives and the coronavirus, right-wing protestors have been massing at state capitols in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, and Texas to demand the lifting of stay-at-home orders issued by Democratic governors. President Donald Trump has responded in a way that looks a whole lot like a call to insurrection. On April 17, Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” and ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA,” apparently mistaking those states for Paris in 1944.

      • How Jared Kushner Is Tackling the White House’s Coronavirus Response — Without Any Evident Experience

        On April 2, Jared Kushner uncharacteristically took to the podium to speak at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing. He’d been given the task, he said, of assisting Vice President Mike Pence’s Coronavirus Task Force with supply chain issues. “The president,” Kushner said, “wanted us to make sure we think outside the box, make sure we’re finding all the best thinkers in the country, making sure we’re getting all the best ideas, and that we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we can keep Americans safe.”

        That very day, he said, President Donald Trump told him that “he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York public hospital system was running low on critical supply.” So Kushner called Dr. Mitchell Katz, who runs the 12-hospital system, which serves, in a normal year, over a million patients. Kushner said he’d asked Katz which supply he was most nervous about: “He told me it was the N95 masks. I asked what his daily burn was. And I basically got that number.”

      • France and COVID-19: Incompetence and Conceit

        On December 31, 2019, the Chinese government informed the World Health Organization of an epidemic of animal origin in Wuhan, reporting similarities to SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, originally appearing in 2002 in the province of Guangdong) and to MERS-CoV (Middle East Repiratory Syndrome, originally appearing in Saudi Arabia in 2012). On January 12, Chinese scientists shared the completely sequenced genome of this new coronavirus with the entire international scientific community.

      • More than 500 people have now died in Russia from coronavirus, where the number of total confirmed cases is nearly 58,000

        On the morning of April 22, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 5,236 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 57,999 patients. A day earlier, health officials reported 5,642 new cases.

      • Addressing social determinants of health with data interoperability

        At their best, interoperability resources establish a common data lexicon that enables the interpretation and delivery of relevant clinical information, and removes the structural, technical and cultural divisions that prevent transparent clinical data exchange among every stakeholder in the care continuum – including the community. Currently, a number of data interoperability initiatives are in play. They include: [...]

      • Immunity disrupted Contrary to global health recommendations, some regions in Russia are suspending routine vaccinations during the coronavirus pandemic

        Several regions across Russia have virtually suspended routine immunizations, following recommendations from the federal government that scheduled vaccinations can wait until after the coronavirus epidemic. At the same time, the World Health Organization says immunizations remain vital. Meduza looks at the dangers of disrupted vaccinations in parts of Russia.

      • Federal Scientist Says He Was Removed For Resisting Unproven Coronavirus Treatments

        Bright said his career in vaccine development has prepared him for a crisis like this one. “To this point, I have led the government’s efforts to invest in the best science available to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Unfortunately, this resulted in clashes with HHS political leadership, including criticism for my proactive efforts to invest early in vaccines and supplies critical to saving American lives. I also resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.”

      • Fox News hosts try to discredit study that finds no benefit from unproven drug therapy for COVID-19

        About 28% of veterans who received hydroxychloroquine and standard care and 22% of veterans who received a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin died compared to only 11% of patients who received standard care alone, according to the study, which was submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine but has yet to be peer-reviewed.

      • Coronavirus: YouTube bans ‘medically unsubstantiated’ content

        The Google-owned service says it will remove anything it deems “medically unsubstantiated”.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Three Paper Thursday: Attacking the Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Network

        In this post, I would like to introduce some recent attacks against the Bitcoin P2P network. The first exploits a vulnerability in the Bitcoin codebase to occupy all of a victim’s connections, whereas the latter two exploit the capability of network adversaries to break Bitcoin’s underlying network layer. The implications of those attacks can vary, from selfish mining leading to a majority attack and double-spending, or even worse, a service denial attack that takes down a cryptocurrency.

      • As contact tracing gains attention, a researcher pokes a hole in Bluetooth technology

        Jan Ruge, a researcher at the TU Darmstadt, a university in Germany, has shown how a hacker in close proximity to an Android device could use Bluetooth to execute code on it. The mobile device’s user wouldn’t need to click on anything to be compromised — the attacker would only need the Bluetooth address of the device and a software exploit. Ruge used the exploit on a Samsung Galaxy S10e, but it would work in theory on other phone models running unpatched versions of the Android 8.0-9.0 operating systems.

      • Proprietary

        • How the [Internet] has changed during lockdowns

          The timing of digital interactions shows how telecommuting has blurred the start and end of working hours. In Paris, London and New York the share of messages sent via Slack, a communication tool, during peak hours of 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm has fallen. It has risen from 6pm to 9pm, as well as around 9am in London and Paris and at lunchtime in New York and Paris. One cost of not having to show up to work is that you also never get to unplug.

          Some of the biggest changes are in how people spend time online. Surprisingly, traffic to gambling and pornography sites is flat. Visits to business and learning sites have risen the most, followed by games, e-commerce and streaming. The only category that has seen a decline is one incompatible with social distancing: online dating.

        • Public Sector Ransomware Attacks Rage On: Can Your Organization Repel Them? [iophk: Windows TCO]

          There’s no evidence of things slowing down in 2020 – even as a ransomware tactic called “double extortion” has been rapidly adopted since the beginning of the year by various cybercriminals behind the Clop, DoppelPaymer, Maze and Sodinokibi ransomware families.

        • A 35,000-device botnet in Peru is wounded, but still mining cryptocurrency [iophk: Windows TCO]

          What is clear is that the botnet is relying on USB devices to gradually spread from machine to machine in the South American country, one of many in Latin America grappling with financial cybercrime. The botnet follows the emergence in recent series of a series of banking trojans — financial-data-stealing malware — targeting Latin America.

          “This is a very physical way of propagation, so it makes sense that it is highly focused in a specific area,” Warburton said of the use of USB sticks.

        • ESET researchers disrupt VictoryGate cryptomining botnet [iophk: Windows TCO]

          ESET researchers have been “sinkholing” several domain names that control the botnet’s actions, replacing them with machines that do not send the botnet’s slave computers the commands they expect, but simply monitor botnet activity. Based on this data and ESET telemetry, ESET estimates that at least 35,000 devices became infected with VictoryGate at one point or another during this campaign.

        • Following ESET’s discovery, a Monero mining botnet is disrupted [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The only propagation vector we have been able to confirm is through removable devices. The victim receives a USB drive that at some point was connected to an infected machine. It seemingly has all the files with the same names and icons that it contained originally. Because of this, the contents will look almost identical at first glance, as seen in the example in Figure 2. However, the original files have been copied to a hidden directory in the root of the drive and Windows executables have been provided as apparent namesakes.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Finally Retiring Its Adobe Flash Export Support

          Many likely didn’t realize the functionality was still in place, but LibreOffice 7.0 will finally phase out its export support for Adobe Flash (SWF).

          LibreOffice 7.0 has long offered an Adobe Flash export filter, back to the days of it being Macromedia Flash. The focus on this export filter has been for allowing LibreOffice presentations and drawings to be in Flash format.

          But with Adobe retiring Flash technology at the end of 2020, LibreOffice 7.0 due out in August has found it time to drop the code.

        • Cool New Skype Feature Available on Linux, Not in Dedicated Windows 10 Client [Ed: "Bogdan Popa, Microsoft News Editor" promotes Microsoft spyware/malware. Proprietary Software.]

          Microsoft has started rolling out custom backgrounds for Skype, but the new feature is only available in the desktop client and not in the dedicated Windows 10 app.

          In other words, the custom backgrounds are available for Linux, Mac, and Windows, but only when the desktop client is used (Win32 for Windows users). The dedicated Windows 10 version of Skype, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store, already features blurred backgrounds, but is yet to be updated with today’s new feature.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (openssl), openSUSE (freeradius-server, kernel, thunderbird, and vlc), Oracle (git, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-1.8.0-openjdk, and java-11-openjdk), SUSE (ardana-ansible, ardana-barbican, ardana-db, ardana-monasca, ardana-mq, ardana-neutron, ardana-octavia, ardana-tempest, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, memcached, openstack-manila, openstack-neutron, openstack-nova, pdns, python-amqp, rubygem-puma, zookeeper, cups, kernel, ovmf, and pacemaker), and Ubuntu (openjdk-8, openjdk-lts and re2c).

          • Daniel Stenberg: Report: curl’s bug bounty one year in

            On April 22nd 2019, we announced our current, this, incarnation of the curl bug bounty. In association with Hackerone we now run the program ourselves, primarily funded by gracious sponsors. Time to take a closer look at how the first year of bug bounty has been!

          • Firefox’s Bug Bounty in 2019 and into the Future

            Firefox has one of the oldest security bug bounties on the internet, dating back to 2004. From 2017-2019, we paid out $965,750 to researchers across 348 bugs, making the average payout $2,775 – but as you can see in the graph below, our most common payout was actually $4,000!

          • Multiple Malware Campaigns Demonstrate How Cybercriminals Exploit SSH Keys
          • How Healthcare Providers Can Prevent Security Vulnerabilities

            Unfortunately, despite strict compliance regulations, there are still many exploited vulnerabilities misconfigurations that occur in healthcare systems. These issues can result in serious breaches of security and patient privacy and must be corrected.

            Some of these issues are outside of your control. For example, if vendors unknowingly leave bugs in software or have not yet provided a patch for known vulnerabilities. Others occur due to poor management or lack of best practices. For example, not properly restricting access privileges or not encrypting data.


            The consequences of a regular data breach range from monetary fines to loss of brand authority, and sometimes even bankruptcy. However, the consequences of a breached healthcare environment can be a matter of life and death.

            To ensure the security of healthcare data, providers should implement a number of strategies. Security strategies for healthcare providers include enforcing granular access controls, as well as staying updated on vulnerabilities and prioritizing mitigation on a continual basis.

            For improved visibility and better control, you can also centralize your overall security. However, what could help most is establishing a security culture that educates personnel and reduces the scope of insider threats. This can help enlist connected users to the overall protection of healthcare networks, systems, and data.

          • Microsoft Issues Out-Of-Band Security Update For Office, Paint 3D

            Microsoft has released an out-of-band security update for Microsoft Office, Office 365 ProPlus and Paint 3D. The applications are affected by multiple Autodesk vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could enable remote code execution.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • News Orgs Attack Big Tech For Being Bad For Privacy… While Their Lobbying Against Big Tech Will Harm Privacy

              It’s kind of difficult to take “privacy advocates” seriously if they’re supportive of the EARN IT Act and its structure that would effectively enable the Attorney General to ban real encryption. That’s why it was so ridiculous that vocal privacy advocate non-profit EPIC (in the midst of a truly horrifying scandal in which its President exposed employees to COVID-19 without telling them) came out in favor of the EARN IT Act. As with so much that EPIC does, the issue was more that they saw EARN IT as “anti-big tech companies” and to hell with how it actually impacts privacy and encryption.

            • Judge Dismisses Twitter’s Lawsuit Over Its Rights to Publish Information About Government Surveillance Orders

              A federal judge dismissed Twitter’s long-pending lawsuit last week over its right to share information about secret government surveillance orders for its users’ information. We hope that Twitter will continue its fight for transparency by appealing this decision.

              Using surveillance authorities such as national security letters (NSLs) and FISA court orders, the government can not only demand that companies turn over information about their customers’ accounts, but can also gag the company from disclosing any information about the demand—even the fact that the company received it. Thanks to public pressure in the wake of the 2013 Snowden revelations, companies began to seek more freedom to discuss these national security orders and to publish regular transparency reports.

            • ZecOps discovers current iOS mail app vulnerability that has been exploited in the wild

              A zero-click security vulnerability has been found that leaves hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads vulnerable to remote code execution. The vulnerability affects iOS 13 through the MobileMail app. The same security vulnerability exists in iOS 12 through the maild app, but requires the target to click on the email. The security vulnerability allows an attacker to essentially take over your iPhone or iPad by sending a specific type of email that is then processed automatically by Apple’s Mail App. This type of vulnerability is known as a heap overflow vulnerability. Apple is working on a fix that will be released with the next public update to iOS 13. In the meantime, iPhone and iPad users are vulnerable as it’s impossible for the default Mail App daemon to be turned off without rooting your iOS device. The vulnerability was discovered by security firm ZecOps. In their blogpost, they summarized the issue:

            • We Must Hire More Contact Tracers to Stop COVID, Global Health Doctor Says

              As parts of the United States and Europe consider reopening, most of the world’s population remains susceptible to the coronavirus. We look at new efforts to stop the deadly spread of COVID-19 with contact tracing — finding who infected patients have been in contact with so they can get tested and isolated. We’ll speak with global health expert Dr. Joia Mukherjee, with Partners in Health, about a contact tracing project she is working on now in Massachusetts.

            • What’s the best approach for building Bluetooth-based tracing apps as a way out of the pandemic lockdowns?

              As the coronavirus pandemic continues, governments around the world are desperately trying to find a way to ease current lockdowns without triggering massive new waves of infection by Covid-19. There is a wide consensus that one promising element of any plan is the use of tracing apps. As this blog wrote back in March, the idea is that people install software on their smartphones to keep track of who they have been physically close to. If someone is infected with Covid-19, a message is sent to people they were near to warn them. The consensus extends further to a general acceptance that the only practical technology for doing this is to use Bluetooth signals. Despite that general agreement, there is one area where there is a major argument brewing: over the best way to protect people’s privacy when they use these apps.

            • Federal Court Dismisses Twitter’s Long-Running Lawsuit Over NSL Reporting

              All the way back in 2014, Twitter sued the DOJ over its National Security Letter reporting restrictions. NSLs are the FBI’s weapon of choice in all sorts of investigations. And they almost exclusively come packaged with lifetime bans on discussing them publicly or disclosing the government’s request for info to NSL targets.

            • EFF Testifies Today on Law Enforcement Use of Face Recognition Before Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice

              The Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice invited EFF to testify on law enforcement use of face recognition. The Commission, which was established via Executive Order and convened by Attorney General William Barr earlier this year, is tasked with addressing the serious issues confronting law enforcement and is made up of representatives from federal law enforcement as well as police chiefs and sheriffs from around the country.

              We testified orally and provided the Commission with a copy of our whitepaper, Face Off: Law Enforcement Use of Face Recognition Technology. The following is our oral testimony:

            • Facebook to label national origin of popular posts

              Wednesday it will label posts from popular accounts with their geographic origin in an attempt to curb political misinformation by foreign-based pages that mimic legitimate groups and political parties.

              The new policy will apply to popular pages about elections, entertainment and other topics and will stamp every post they make on Facebook and Instagram with its origin. For instance, an Instagram account targeting U.S. voters but based in Brazil will have every post labeled with “Based in Brazil.” Users then can swipe to find out more information about the account.

            • Facebook will start telling you where page posts are coming from

              Facebook says today, it’s going to display the location of “high-reach” Facebook pages and Instagram accounts on every post the owners share in order to give people “more information to help them gauge the reliability and authenticity of the content they see in their feeds.” The company didn’t say what it considers a high-reach page or account.

              The change is first coming to accounts based outside of the US that reach large audiences primarily in the US. The company says the feature is aimed at keeping election messaging honest.

            • Denver Police quietly expands surveillance camera network

              Denver Police have long been monitoring the public through its own network of cameras at parks and busy street corners, but its visual web has quiety expanded to include potentially hundreds of other cameras that belong to other agencies.

              The program is called the Real Time Crime Information Center (RTCIC) and sounds like something straight out of a television crime drama.

            • Apple’s iPhone, iPad ‘Mail’ app had flaw allowing hackers to steal data for years

              The bug, which also exists on iPads, was discovered by Zuk Avraham, chief executive of San Francisco-based mobile security forensics company ZecOps, while investigating a sophisticated cyberattack against a client in late 2019. Avraham said he found evidence the vulnerability was exploited in at least six cybersecurity break-ins.


              Avraham, a former IDF security researcher, said he suspected that the hacking technique was part of a chain of malicious programs that could have given an attacker full remote access.

            • Our Arguments Against the French Contact-Tracing App StopCovid

              Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron invited the French Parliament to discuss the potential use of StopCovid, the contact-tracing application that his government is developing. We just sent out to the Members of the Parliament the following summary of arguments regarding this application.

              The StopCovid application would be useless, could endanger our civil liberties and could even worsen the health crisis.The French administration and Parliament must stop investing human or economic resources in this vain and dangerous project. The real emergency lies everywhere but here.

            • Russia’s lockdown surveillance measures need regulating, rights groups say

              The Russian capital has also introduced digital passes which are mandatory for anyone wanting to use public or private transport, a system that authorities say 21 of Russia’s more than 80 regions will soon copy in some form.

              Agora, a Moscow-based human rights group, and Roskomsvoboda, a digital rights campaign group, said the unprecedented nature of the pandemic meant some curbing of citizens’ rights and freedoms was justified.

              But in a joint appeal to regional governors they said the expanding surveillance measures had to be regulated to ensure they were legal, proportionate and temporary in nature.

            • Zuckerberg Just Gave Asia’s Richest Man a Sorely Needed Win

              This week, Facebook Inc. and its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg delivered just that. The U.S. social-media giant said it will buy about 10% of Reliance’s digital assets for $5.7 billion — its biggest purchase since acquiring WhatsApp six years ago. The deal will create a formidable e-commerce force to take on Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. in India, one of the world’s most competitive internet arenas.

            • Facebook Seals Biggest Deal Since WhatsApp With Ambani

              The U.S. company will buy about 10% of Jio Platforms, becoming the largest minority shareholder, Reliance Industries Ltd. said in a statement Wednesday. Separately, Facebook said the deal would bring together JioMart, an e-commerce venture of Mukesh Ambani and its WhatsApp platform to enable people to connect with businesses.

            • Facebook has a big new plan to make money in India

              One, India is one of the world’s biggest markets, and the extent to which Facebook succeeds there could determine much of its medium-term future. Two, Facebook’s history in India is complicated, as an effort to provide free Facebook access drew criticism from net neutrality activists and led to complaints of digital colonialism.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Will America’s Corruption End on a Ventilator or in a Mushroom Cloud?

        Little by little, Americans are understanding just how badly our government has let us down by its belated and disastrous response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how thousands more people are dying as a result. But there are two other crises we face that our government is totally unprepared for and incapable of dealing with: the climate crisis and the danger of nuclear war.

      • ‘No Warming, No War’: Report Details How US Militarism and Climate Crisis Are Deeply Interwoven

        “In the face of both COVID-19 and the climate crisis, we urgently need to shift from a culture of war to a culture of care.”

      • Cuba to the Rescue, But Don’t Tell the American People

        As we move through this crisis, we see the tragedy of the rich superpower with its privatized, dysfunctional health care system failing its people, while its impoverished neighbor — under constant attack from the superpower — reaches out to help the world.

      • 70+ Groups Demand Trump Immediately End US Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Others During Covid-19 Crisis

        “In a context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.”

      • Russia is About to Face its Biggest Test Yet in Syria

        An American reader tired of corona journalism sent me a plea this week: “There must be plenty of cruelty being unleashed by the gangsters-in-chief across the ‘Mideast’ that simply isn’t making it into the headlines,” she wrote. “Trump et al are either ignoring it or silently condoning it.”

      • Coronavirus Crisis Makes Clear Pentagon Should Get No More Money This Year for Its ‘Wasteful War Machine’: 60+ Groups

        “We cannot continue spending billions of dollars on weapons of war while people across the country struggle to buy food, pay rent, and survive a pandemic.”

      • Fighting COVID (and Repression) in Kashmir

        As the coronavirus pandemic spreads to India, Indian-administered Kashmir — home to 7 million people and under lockdown by the Indian government — is already experiencing among the highest density of cases of any area in the country.

      • Armenia Commemorates Victims Of Ottoman-Era Killings Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

        Armenia turned off street lights and church bells range across the country late April 23 in an altered commemoration to the victims of the World War I-era massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

      • Amid Pandemic, Minneapolis Permits Mosque to Broadcast Call to Prayer During Ramadan

        The broadcasts from dawn to sunset will reach thousands of residents, most of them Muslims who are living near the mosque.

      • Death and Destruction: ‘Wherever Christians and Muslims Live Alongside One Another’

        Historically, wherever the jihad was stopped, there, alongside the border of their infidel neighbors, Muslims erected chains of strongholds and fortresses, all filled with professional jihadis dedicated to launching raids onto the non-Muslims. Each of these came to be known as a ribat (رباط), based on an Arabic word rooted to the idea of a tight fastening or joining and found in Koran 3:200: “O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed [رابطوا] and fear Allah that you may be successful.”

        The word ribat lives on, though few recognize its etymology. For example, Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is so named because in origin it was a ribat, whence centuries of Barbary/pirate raids on the Christian Mediterranean were launched. Similarly, Almoravids—the name of a notorious eleventh century North African based jihadi group—is simply a transliteration of the Arabic al-murabitun, which means they who fight along the ribat (not unlike al-mujahidun, they who wage jihad). In 1086 these “Almoravids” invaded Spain and crushed the Castilians at the battle of Sagrajas; afterward they erected a mountain consisting of 2,400 Christian heads to triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar.”

      • Afghanistan: The detention centre for teenage Taliban members

        Zakir, like many of the boys, seemed to have a good relationship with the staff at the centre. But he was clear that he wanted to join the Taliban again.

      • Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee: Lockdown protesters resemble “child soldiers” and “urban gangs”

        Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who has mostly taught at Yale Law School, said the armed protests were a natural evolution of the loyalty President Trump demands from his supporters. Many of these protests have evidently been organized by deep-pocketed groups allied with the president.

        Lee, the author of the textbook “Violence,” has been sounding the alarm about the danger posed by the president for years. She edited “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” after his election, with a group of fellow mental health professionals. The book’s authors recently started a chat series entitled “Is America in an Abusive Relationship With Its President?”

        Lee has also served as a project group leader for the World Health Organization Violence Prevention Alliance. She told Salon that Trump’s recent call to “liberate” Democratic-led states was a dog whistle to his core supporters.

      • Yazidis face systematic violations in rural Serêkanîyê

        Villages of the Yazidi community are facing demographic change after being abandoned during the military operation “Peace Spring”, as well as the theft of their property by Turkish-backed factions.

        Britain-Based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that members of “Sultan Murad” faction destroyed and looted a cemetery belonging to the Yazidi Kurds in the village of Jan Tamer, east of Serêkanîyê (Ras al-Ain).

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Fox News Stars Trumpeted a Malaria Drug, Until They Didn’t

        The shift came as President Trump has dialed back his public zeal for the treatment — and as studies and health experts have increasingly cast doubt on the efficacy of the drug in treating coronavirus.

        On Tuesday, a study of 368 Veterans Affairs patients showed that the use of hydroxychloroquine was associated with an increased risk of death. Mr. Trump’s own medical team, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, has urged caution about hydroxychloroquine, noting the drug’s potential adverse effect on patients with heart troubles.

    • Environment

      • How a Democratic President Could Take Immediate Action on Climate Change

        Teen Vogue surveyed a range of climate, environmental justice, and democracy experts and advocates on how a new administration in 2021 could best immediately use its federal power, while bypassing Congress, to lay the groundwork for a liveable future.

      • On this 50th Earth Day, We Are Using The Internet To Change The World

        50 years ago when the first Earth Day happened, the networks that would later form the Internet were only beginning.

        20 years later, when Earth Day 1990 turned the celebration into a global event, the World-Wide Web existed only as a single website in Switzerland.

        Today, the Internet is our lifeline. In a world locked down by coronavirus, the Internet is how we connect. It is how we communicate, collaborate, and create together. It is how we work and how we play. And on this Earth Day 2020, we will use the Internet to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

      • Do We Need a New IP?

        A number of recent publications have addressed Huawei’s proposal for a new internet-like architecture, called “New IP”, which aims to develop a set of protocols that could replace the current Internet. We believe that any evolution of the Internet should be left to the IETF, and we want to explain why.

        The proposal has been put forward in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). As part of our ongoing participation in the ITU and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), we have been tracking this and related work for a while now and used our ITU membership to send a response objecting to this course of action.

      • Study shows fall in insect population by nearly a quarter

        A study by two German universities has unearthed a startling fact about insects – about 24% of them have been lost over a course of 30 years. Touted as the ‘largest study’ of insect change to date across 1676 sites in the world, the study particularly reported a decline in the population of land-dwelling insects.

        Insects like grasshoppers, ants and butterflies – land-dwelling insects – recorded a nearly 1% drop in population per year. Scientist Dr Roel van Klink said this indicated a decline of 50% over 75 years.

      • Ex-EPA Officials Mark 50th Earth Day With Scathing Snapshot of How Trump ‘Is Hurting People and the Natural World’

        “Critical public health and worker protections are being rolled back solely to maximize corporate profits.”

      • 3 New Documentaries to Watch While Quarantined This Earth Day

        Here are three new films to watch on Earth Day’s 50th anniversary to keep yourself entertained and informed about the planet, the challenges it faces and how you can help.

      • Don’t Misunderstand Earth Day’s Successes

        We should all be intensely grateful to the people who took to the streets exactly 50 years ago on the first Earth Day. The modern environmental movement that crystallized then has given us a cleaner, better planet. The pressure applied to governments and businesses on April 22, 1970 has not let up since, and has yielded two huge victories.

    • Our extraordinary 50th Earth Day

      A milestone event occurs in the shadow of the coronavirus, as the editor of Yale Climate Connections recalls.

    • The Solutions to the Climate Crisis

      Both our economy and the environment are in crisis. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few while the majority of Americans struggle to get by. The climate crisis is worsening inequality, as those who are most economically vulnerable bear the brunt of flooding, fires, and disruptions of supplies of food, water, and power.At the same time, environmental degradation and climate change are themselves byproducts of widening inequality. The political power of wealthy fossil fuel corporations has stymied action on climate change for decades. Focused only on maximizing their short-term interests, those corporations are becoming even richer and more powerful — while sidelining workers, limiting green innovation, preventing sustainable development, and blocking direct action on our dire climate crisis. Make no mistake: the simultaneous crisis of inequality and climate is no fluke. Both are the result of decades of deliberate choices made, and policies enacted, by ultra-wealthy and powerful corporations.We can address both crises by doing four things: First, create green jobs. Investing in renewable energy could create millions of family sustaining, union jobs and build the infrastructure we need for marginalized communities to access clean water and air.  

    • A Green Renaissance: Moving the Needle for a Gentler Society
    • Cloudless skies hasten Greenland’s ice loss

      This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.

    • Stopping Trump’s Demonic Reversals of the Long-term Benefits of the First Earth Day April 22, 1970

      The omnicidal Republicans controlling the Senate support Trump’s reckless agenda regardless of the environmental harm done to their own families.

    • Abolish Earth Day

      For 50 years, environmentalists have celebrated the illusion that the law is on their side.

    • Greta Thunberg: Climate Activists Are Changing How They Organize Amid a Pandemic

      Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke in an Earth Day live stream hosted by the Nobel Prize Museum about how the Fridays for Future school strikes movement she launched is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. “Within the Fridays for Future movement, there’s still this sort of big sense of resistance, and people are thinking, ‘We will get out of this. And when we do, we will continue, and we will do everything we can that is possible in that situation to continue to push even harder,’” says Thunberg. “I feel like many people have not lost their sense of hope. We have just changed the way we do things. We are maybe just saving it for later at the moment.”

    • This Earth Day, Stop the Money Pipeline

      Nineteen-seventy was a simpler time. (February was a simpler time too, but for a moment let’s think outside the pandemic bubble.)

    • Stopping Trump’s Demonic Reversals of the Long-term Benefits of the First Earth Day April 22, 1970

      Earth Day, April 22, 1970 was the most consequential demonstration of civic energy in modern American history. Engaging nearly 20 million Americans participating in about 13,000 local events, this first Earth Day changed corporate and government policies through popular demands for clean air, water, soil and food.

    • In Honor of Earth Day

      Don’t have a FOMO panic attack if you missed the new Holiday this past Sunday.  There were only a few of us who celebrated it.  That’s because only a few of us knew about it.  Next year on  April 18,  2021 there will be more.

    • My Earth Day

      We still need to demonstrate that we can rebuild the economy in a way that preserves life on this blue planet. Earth Day+50 is the time to do that.

    • Humanity Must ‘Tackle Two Crises at Once,’ Says Greta Thunberg of Climate and COVID-19 on 50th Earth Day

      U.N. Chief António Guterres declared the pandemic “an unprecedented wake-up call” and urged world leaders to pursue a “green recovery.”

    • Earth Day 2020: a Vision for the Next 50 Years

      Fifty years ago this week, a group of visionaries created an event to honor, celebrate and protect the earth. The original founders of Earth Day were inspired by an understanding that Earth and its life support systems were increasingly vulnerable. They also understood a profound and simple truth—if the Earth suffers, then humanity suffers too.

    • Environmental and Labor Groups Team Up to Demand COVID-19 Relief

      As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the U.S. economy, national environmental organizations are stepping up to support labor unions and frontline workers across the country in their push for personal protective equipment, sick and hazard pay, safe working conditions, and other forms of relief as the crisis intensifies.

    • An Earth Day After Coal: Amid All the Bad News, A Major Turning Point

      Launched as a call for resistance against the primacy of corporate profits, Earth Day turns a historic corner.

    • The EPA Just Gave Polluters A License To Kill

      Today the EPA acknowledges more than 40,000 communities across the United States are dangerously polluted with toxic chemicals, from rural areas to major cities like Birmingham and Detroit.

    • Climate Justice Arising—Hidden Hope in Dark Times

      Despite lack of federal leadership and underappreciated by most of us, key states and cities are not only getting it, they’re getting going—plowing ahead with solutions to the climate crisis grounded in social equity.

    • Energy

      • Amid Historic Oil Collapse, an Opportunity to Accelerate Clean Transportation

        Petroleum products continue to fuel most of our vehicles while fouling our air, leaving some people more vulnerable to suffering severe impacts from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Transportation is also the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and studies show that powering our cars, trucks, and buses with electricity would reduce climate pollution.

      • UK plutonium stockpile is a costly headache

        This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • Big Insurance Is Propping Up Big Oil. Activists Say It’s Time to Pull the Plug.

        In the western world, paying for insurance each month is as ubiquitous a routine as paying for the internet. Once insurance companies collect monthly premium payments, the industry turns around and invests the pool of money in profitable ventures — many of which are fossil fuel companies. A new coalition is teaming up to demand Big Insurance cut the lifeline it’s providing to the floundering fossil fuel industry.Back in 2013, tens of thousands of insurance professionals ranked a set of extreme risks, noting which they predicted would pose the greatest threat to the insurance industry as a whole. “Pandemic” came in first, followed by “natural catastrophe.”

      • A Look at the Oil Industry’s Favorite Climate Solutions

        Shell recently announced plans to “stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere by 2050,” a move hailed by some as a major step towards addressing climate change. Around the same time, however, the oil and gas major confirmed it would go ahead with its investment in a joint $6.4 billion gas project in Australia.

      • Trump Admin Looks to Use Federal COVID Relief Funds to Prop up Oil and Gas Industry

        On Tuesday morning, April 21, President Trump took to Twitter to announce that he is ordering what amounts to a bailout for the oil and gas industry.

      • Oil Companies Want to Use Social Media Campaigns to Greenwash Their Image

        Gomez, who now fights against oil companies through his work with the International Indigenous Youth Council, is a symptom of a larger dilemma for the oil sector. Where oil once represented progress and prosperity for a broad swath of the public, today, young people panicked about climate change regard the industry with suspicion and contempt. Companies are keenly aware of this fact and have responded with ads and social media campaigns aimed at winning over the next generation of workers and consumers.

        Their efforts have occasionally proved clumsy and, in a few cases, downright cringeworthy, but brand-conscious oil firms  —  Shell, in particular  —  have grown increasingly sophisticated in their youth outreach, producing flashy YouTube videos and Instagram pics for their own channels, and recruiting social media influencers to peddle their goods in sponsored posts.

      • What do negative oil prices mean? Not free petrol, it seems

        Oil’s nosedive to negative pricing was a result of two key factors. First, the coronavirus has caused an unprecedented drop in demand for petroleum products as people stay at home rather than driving their cars or working in factories, and airplanes sit dormant due to restrictions on international travel.

        Secondly, as demand has fallen off a cliff, oil producers have continued to produce increasing amounts of oil. Talks between key oil producers aimed at rebalancing the supply and demand of oil broke down in March, leaving the production of crude oil massively exceeding demand from refineries to produce petrol and diesel – resulting in large amounts of spare oil that needs to be stored.

        The world is running out of space to store this spare oil. As traders on the US market began to realize that there would be no space to put oil in once they bought it, a panicked selling frenzy gripped the market, and prices began to drop sharply.

        As the situation got worse, traders, who often do not even have a place to put oil and are just trading the commodity electronically, ended up having to pay to get rid of their futures contracts because they had nowhere to store it – otherwise known as negative pricing.

    • Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Become a Manufacturing Powerhouse in 2020: an Economic Recipe for Our Times

      Seldom a day goes by lately without politicians and pundits from countries all over the world calling for re-establishing their manufacturing base to avoid the vulnerabilities exposed in the wake of COVID-19. Whether it be Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, or the United States, to cite a few examples, the neoliberal agenda of outsourcing manufacturing abroad in search of lower costs for “cheaper goods” now rings as hollow as the debt-ridden economies of their populations. An “every country for itself” attitude is starting to catch on. If an industrialized country can’t supply itself in an emergency, is it truly industrialized? National security dimensions of economic planning that have receded and were dormant for decades are back in play.

    • Spotlighting Need for Response ‘At the Scale of This Catastrophe,’ US Unemployment Claims Hit 26.5 Million

      “Another 4.4 million unemployment claims… A one-time $1,200 check that many of us still haven’t received isn’t going to do a damn thing.”

    • Debts and Deficits With Coronavirus

      For all the suffering caused by the pandemic, one important positive effect is that it may lead to clearer thinking about government debt and deficits. To Congress’s credit, it has focused on dealing with the problem of sustaining the country through a period in which much of the economy is shut down, rather than worrying about the large deficit it will run this year, as well as the amount it is adding to the national debt. (I strongly suspect that this would not be the situation if a Democrat was in the White House. In that case, most Republicans would likely be making angry speeches feigning outrage over the burden that Obama, Biden, etc. was imposing on our children and grandchildren.)

    • U.S. Billionaire Wealth Surges as Covid-19 Pandemic Worsens

      As percentage of wealth, billionaire taxes have fallen 79% since 1980

    • ‘Working to Save Democracy’: Postal Service Reaffirms Policy of Delivering Mail-In Ballots Even Without Postage

      “Protect the USPS at all costs.”

    • “Sorry We Missed You”: Ken Loach Exposes the Holes in the Gig Economy

      Director Ken Loach has done it again.  “Sorry We Missed You” is a family drama infused with a searing look at life in the “gig economy” with a frayed social safety net. Like his previous film, “I, Daniel Blake,” this movie is about working class people maintaining their dignity and humanity in the face of government austerity, privatization, and corporate greed.

    • Online Schooling Is Highlighting the Inequality in Our Classrooms

      Noelle Salaun, an urban high school senior, is frustrated. Although she has already been accepted into a prestigious college for fall 2020, the transition from in-school classes to at-home learning has left her perplexed and angry.

    • Agricultural Workers Have Struggled for Decades. They Need COVID-19 Relief Now.

      My grandfather, who was a dairy farmer all his life, cried when he dumped his milk. It’s downright painful to watch your hard work literally go down the drain.

    • ‘Never Heard of Anything Like This’: Watchdogs Sound Alarm as Trump Puts For-Profit Insurer in Charge of Covid-19 Hospital Funds

      “It’s simply bizarre and unconscionable that the Trump administration would have United manage billions in relief to hospitals.”

    • Monetary Justice

      The coronavirus pandemic of 2020, by forcing a shutdown of most of the global economy, has precipitated a sharp economic collapse around the world. Millions of jobs have suddenly disappeared in the United States. Government bailouts look to be too little too late. Without a vaccine, the virus will resume ravaging the population as soon as social distancing and self-isolation rules are relaxed, making any quick return to ‘normal’ economic activity problematic. In the meantime, mass unemployment and business closures and bankruptcies will likely continue.

    • Hey, You Guys at the Fed, Fix the Plumbing!

      How are Americans recovering financially from the coronavirus shock? Slowly. Very slowly. The widely heralded $1,200 checks for each and every low- and moderate-income American adult are only now beginning to arrive, weeks after Congress gave this aid the green light. And millions of eligible Americans may not see any help for months.

    • The Corporate Welfare During Covid-19 Pandemic Is Morally Repugnant

      Here’s the bottom line: no mega-corporation deserves a cent of bailout money.

    • Donald Trump’s Governor Problem

      Things are getting dizzy in the White House on what, exactly, is being done to “open the economy”. Cranky advocates for the financial argument over the restrictions of public health have been attempting to claw back some ground. As Jonathan Chait puts it, “The anti-public health faction either believes the dangers of the coronavirus have been exaggerated, or that the cost of social-distancing requirements is so high that the economy should simply be opened, regardless of medical danger.”

    • The Washington Post’s Debt Cult

      The Washington Post is always telling us that debt, especially government debt is bad, very bad. It’s not quite sure why or how, but debt is definitely bad.

    • Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz Warns US Barreling Toward Second ‘Great Depression’ Thanks to Trump-GOP Failed Covid-19 Response

      “If you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell we will have a Great Depression. If we had the right policy structure in place we could avoid it easily.”

    • The Deadly Economic Disease Behind COVID-19

      The severity and gross disparity of our country’s present economic collapse is not simply caused by a sudden viral outbreak but by a severe, decadeslong plutocratic policy of intentionally maximizing profits for the rich and minimizing everyone else’s well-being. 

    • New Report Shows Social Security Is Strong, But Advocates Warn GOP Must Be Stopped From Using Covid-19 to Launch ‘Stealth Attack’

      “Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are trying to use the pandemic as an excuse to slash payroll contributions, Social Security’s dedicated funding.”

    • $300 Million in COVID-19 Aid Went Directly to Corporations Over Small Businesses

      Multiple new lawsuits allege that financial giants responsible for doling out billions in small business relief “prioritized” large corporate clients for the loans after dozens of publicly traded firms received aid before the program ran out of funding.

    • ‘The Federal Government Has the Resources That Could Stave Off the Economic Pain People Are Already Feeling’
    • Governor Kemp Is Lubricating the Economic Machine With His Constituents’ Blood

      It is time to start saying this in a dreary loop of bad but necessary noise: This pandemic is not even vaguely close to being over. Without testing, and until there is an effective vaccine, stay-at-home is how it has to be. To prevent an escalation in deaths, we have to crouch in our foxholes until the bombardment ends. It is as simple as that.

    • Rotten Potatoes Replace School Lunches For Some Russian Kids

      In Karelia and Nizhny Novgorod, parents are complaining about food packages given to their children in lockdown to replace school lunches. They say they are getting expired food and rotten potatoes.

    • “It’ll all be over by Christmas”

      Lockdown can’t be sustained more than 1-2 weeks after peak ICU occupancy passes, so it will be lifted in mid-May in the UK and possibly as early as May 1st in the USA. (I know the Eastern Coalition are kicking back against Trump’s deranged demand for an early restart: I expect other states may also join in if their estimates of the long-term damage track reality.)

      Trump is shooting for May 1st because he’s been told the economy will take 6 months to recover, minimum, and he’s shooting for the November election deadline. This is laughably optimistic, even if the pandemic had burned out by May 1st: we’re in Greatest Depression territory already, the hospitality sector has crashed 75%, airlines have crashed 90%, etcetera. It’s not going to be back to normal by November, even if the Fairy Godmother shows up and banishes the horrid virus with a wave of her wand. Period.

      So. The immediate peak hospital occupancy will pass, lockdown will be lifted sector by sector (or all at once) and region by region … and the 50% of COVID19 cases who are asymptomatic will go back to work, mingling with the uninfected.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Censorship Kills: US Government’s Focus On COVID-19 ‘Messaging’ Over Actual Protection Did Real Damage

      We’ve been writing a lot about the need for real transparency in the midst of a pandemic. The lessons to be learned from Taiwan’s transparency compared to China’s censorship and speech stifling are important. Tragically, it has become abundantly clear that the US is following the path of China, not Taiwan.

    • Rights group slams Thailand’s repressive laws to intensify crackdown on COVID-19 critics

      Thai authorities are prosecuting social media users who criticize the government and the monarchy “in a systematic campaign to crush dissent which is being exacerbated by new COVID-19 restrictions,” Amnesty International announced on Thursday.

      In a new report released on Thursday, the global human rights watch dog said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s administration has increased the use of “vague or overly broad laws” to criminally charge dozens of peaceful critics since being elected last year.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Journalists Are Essential Workers, Help Us Support Them During COVID-19 Pandemic

      Many journalists are without work as publications shut down and freelance budgets are frozen due to COVID-19.

      Journalism is critical to our collective health and safety right now. Reporters play a vital role in holding powerful people accountable during such precarious times.

    • ‘Expert Twitter’ Only Goes So Far. Bring Back Blogs

      We need to augment social platforms with a surge in capacity of the original Web 2.0 technology that these upstarts so effectively displaced: blogs. We need WordPress-style sites featuring both easy-to-update static pages and chronological posts. These sites could be hosted by institutions with some degree of public trust and a reasonable technology infrastructure, such as universities, medical centers, and think tanks. Some mild gatekeeping could be performed on the experts granted blogs by these institutions, and critically, IT support could be provided so that the experts could start publishing with minimal overhead. If possible, there would be a similar look and feel to these sites hosted at various institutions, providing the sense that they all belong to the same cohesive extended information network.

    • ‘Vedomosti’ journalists are now forbidden from publishing independent polling and criticizing Putin’s ‘zeroed-out’ presidential term clock

      The controversial new acting editor-in-chief of Vedomosti, Andrey Shmarov, has reportedly prohibited staff from publishing public polling results from the “Levada Center” or even mentioning the independent research institute in any content, two sources at the newspaper told Meduza. Shmarov issued the instructions to the newsroom on April 22.

    • COVID-19 Diaries: Where Have All the White House Reporters Gone?

      The first wave of culling due to social distancing left every other seat unoccupied and sent us to the back of the room in a seat shared with PBS.

      The second wave left just two occupied seats in each of the seven rows. Now, VOA is usually in the room only when we take our turn as the radio pool reporter. Some networks have dropped out of the rotation entirely for fear of infection, so VOA volunteers as often as possible, even though that means sitting closer to wandering photographers and other people than the 2 meters recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    • Watch: The Ongoing Travesty — and Dangers — of the Prosecution and Attempted Extradition of Julian Assange

      THE U.S. MEDIA HAS SPENT almost four full years loudly proclaiming its own devotion to defending press freedoms from any assaults by the Trump administration. And yet, with a few noble exceptions, they have largely ignored what is, by far, the single greatest attack on press freedoms by the U.S. Government in the last decade at least: the prosecution and attempted extradition of Julian Assange for alleged crimes arising out of WikiLeaks’ 2010 award-winning publication — in conjunction with the world’s largest newspapers — of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and U.S diplomatic cables.

      Assange is currently being held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London where he faces no charges of any kind other than the attempt to extradite him by the U.S. Government for those 2010 publications. There are no charges pending against him in Sweden, nor does this prosecution have anything to do with WikiLeaks’ publications during the 2016 election. The indictment pertains solely to those widely celebrated 2010 disclosures that revealed rampant war crimes, systemic corruption and official deceit by numerous governments around the world.

      Our new episode of SYSTEM UPDATE explores Assange’s case — the latest updates to it and the reasons it is so pernicious — with two guests: the international human rights lawyer Jen Robinson, who has long represented Assange in this and other legal proceedings, and the Washington Post’s media reporter Margaret Sullivan, who is one of the few major media figures to have denounced the Assange indictment. The show begins with my own comprehensive reporting on this case in order to document what did and did not happen, what is and is not in question, and why this attempted extradition should deeply anger anyone who cares about press freedom: not just in the U.S. but internationally.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Incarceration is Now a Potential Death Sentence

      This week, the New York Times featured the story of how the coronavirus savaged the Federal Correctional Complex in Oakdale, Louisiana. On March 28, Patrick Jones, 49, serving a 27-year sentence for possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, became the first federal inmate to die of the virus.

    • Russia’s domestic violence problem Why lawmakers are calling for urgent measures to address the dangers many women face at home during coronavirus quarantine

      On April 21, three lawmakers behind a bill that would recriminalize domestic violence in Russia sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, asking her to take additional measures to protect victims of abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of nine NGOs working to help domestic violence victims in Russia previously made a similar appeal to the government and regional leaders. Both the lawmakers and the human rights activists underscore that the level of domestic violence has surged worldwide because of coronavirus lockdown measures — and Russia is no exception. Unfortunately, the authorities appear to be in no hurry to respond to these warnings.

    • Puerto Rico, Protest, Prison: Johanna Fernández and Jose Saldaña Talk About The Young Lords

      Johanna Fernández, child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and professor at New York’s Baruch College, has just published The Young Lords: A Radical History, a book about the 1960s Puerto Rican activist group. The Young Lords began as a Chicago street gang; then, inspired by the Black Panther Party, morphed into a militant rights organization that caught fire in New York City, where Jose Saldaña, child of Puerto Rican immigrants, was born. Raised in impoverished East Harlem, Jose spent 38 years in NY prisons. On his release in 2018, he became the Director of Release Aging People in Prison Campaign (RAPP) and a compelling critic of our criminal justice system. Johanna, for her part, has devoted years to the prison abolition movement, championing the release of imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal.

    • Moral Injury and the Pandemic of Violence

      People still need help for more than just COVID-19. The blowback of our wars is still with us, complicating the present moment.

    • Groups Aligned with Right-Wing Megadonors Are Promoting Coronavirus Protests

      The DeVos-funded Mackinac Center promoted the Michigan protest, named “Operation Gridlock.” Another organizer of the protest, Michigan Conservatives, is led by Meshawn Maddock, an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.

    • Mexican Workers Strike For Paid Home Leave

      Wildcat strikes involving hundreds if not thousands of workers erupted in the mainly foreign owned factories (maquiladoras) of northern Mexico in recent days. 

    • First Do No Harm, Or Wait Maybe Just A Little If It’s Good For Our Ratings
    • Opera Singer Arrested For Initiating Anti-Government Rallies In Russia’s North Ossetia
    • Cooperation Humboldt and the Solidarity Economy

      Founded in 2017, Cooperation Humboldt was already incubating worker cooperatives, administering food sovereignty programs, advocating for public banking and participatory budgeting, and exploring housing cooperatives, an arts hub, and eco-villages—all before the pandemic arrived in the U.S. 

    • Russian Supreme Court recommends reducing punishments for coronavirus lockdown violations

      People who violate Russia’s self-isolation regime but are not suspected of having the coronavirus should receive lesser punishments for their offense, says a new judicial practice review from the Supreme Court, TASS reports.

    • ‘Cruel and Outrageous’: DeVos Blocks Undocumented Students From Receiving Coronavirus Emergency Aid

      “This is what [it's] like to be an immigrant under Trump.”

    • Appeals Court Says Parents Can Continue Suing The Three Mesquite Police Officers Who Helped Kill Their Son

      It has been nearly seven years since 18-year-old Graham Dyer died due to injuries he sustained while riding in the back of Mesquite (TX) Police car. Dyer, all of 5’4″ and 110 pounds, was picked up by Mesquite officers while experiencing a bad acid trip. Dyer had no idea what was happening to him or where he was. As the officers transported him to jail, he thrashed around in the back of the patrol car, ultimately slamming his head into the seat, window, and metal bars forty-six times.

    • After 48 Years, DC Appeals Court Overturns Murder Conviction Based On FBI’s Garbage ‘Hair Match’ Evidence
    • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘No Más’ By Irreversible Entanglements

      Irreversible Entanglements are a politically-minded avant-garde jazz ensemble formed in early 2015 by saxophonist Keir Neuringer, poet Camae Ayewa (a.k.a. Moor Mother) and bassist Luke Stewart, who joined forces to perform at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event organized after New York police murdered Akai Gurley.

      Shortly after their performance, they recruited two new members—trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and drummer Tcheser Holmes— their self-titled debut album, which was released in 2017. The album dealt with black trauma and provided listeners with an empowering message of liberation. (It made Shadowproof’s list of top ten protest albums in 2017.)

    • Coronavirus Put Her Out of Work, Then Debt Collectors Froze Her Savings Account

      Late last month, Kim Boatswain sat down at her computer in her southeast Austin home and logged into her credit union account. Her bills and mortgage were coming due soon, and she needed to move money from her savings to checking so she could pay them.

      The chauffeur and grandmother of three, who hadn’t been working because of the COVID-19 crisis, said her savings account had been newly padded with a $4,900 tax refund. Now, it showed a negative balance.

    • Inequality and Poverty Were Destroying America Well Before Covid-19

      About 31 million people today are uninsured in America, and 14 states have not even expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The healthcare system is seemingly structured in defiance of the people it should serve, functioning as yet another way to maximize profits at the expense of millions. In this coronavirus moment, many more Americans are finally awakening to the bitter consequences, the damage, wrought when even a single person does not have access to the resources he or she needs to live decently or, for that matter, survive. With the spread of a pandemic, the cost to a nation that often treats collective care as, at best, an afterthought should become apparent. After all, more than 9,000 medical workers, many not adequately protected from the disease, have already contracted it.

    • UN chief: Pandemic is fast becoming a ‘human rights crisis’

      He warned that with “rising ethno-nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and a push back against human rights in some countries, the crisis can provide a pretext to adopt repressive measures for purposes unrelated to the pandemic.”

      In February, Guterres issued a call to action to countries, businesses and people to help renew and revive human rights across the globe, laying out a seven-point plan amid concerns about climate change, conflict and repression.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Preps For Even More Cuts After $42 Billion+ In Trump Tax Cuts And Regulatory Favors

      It seems like only yesterday that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was promising on live television that if Trump followed through on his tax cuts, the company would dramatically boost investment and add thousands of new jobs. Not “entry-level jobs,” mind you, but “7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in the ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.” Each $1 billion in new investment spurred by government favors, AT&T insisted, would result in 7,000 new jobs. “Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages,” Stephenson said.

    • AT&T Provided FCC Bunk Broadband Availability Data Across 20 States

      We’ve noted repeatedly that despite a lot of talk from U.S. leaders and regulators about the “digital divide,” the United States doesn’t actually know where broadband is available. Historically the FCC has simply trusted major ISPs — with a vested interest in downplaying coverage and competition gaps — to tell the truth. The FCC’s methodology has also long been flawed, considering an entire area to be connected if just one home in a census tract has service. The results are ugly: the FCC’s $350 million broadband availability map all but hallucinates broadband availability and speed (try it yourself).

    • Final Results of the 2020 Board Elections and IETF Selection

      The Internet Society Elections Committee is pleased to announce the final results of the 2020 elections and the IETF selection for the Board of Trustees.

      The voting concluded on 3 April. The results were announced and the challenge period was opened on 6 April. The deadline to file challenges was 15 April. One challenge was filed in the Chapters election. In accordance with the Procedures for Selecting Trustees, Internet Society President Andrew Sullivan, the chairs of the Nominations and Elections committees, and the other members of the board discussed the merits of the challenge. In the end, the board decided that the challenge was without merit and rejected it.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Australia Takes Its First Baby Steps On the Road To A Right-To-Repair Law, With A Consultation About Tractors

        Techdirt has been writing about right-to-repair laws — or, rather, their absence — for many years now. A recent right-to-repair post concerned ventilators, pretty much the last hope for critically-ill patients suffering the effects of the new coronavirus. This underlines the fact that being able to repair equipment you have bought is not an abstract issue, but is literally a matter of life or death in some cases. Despite that, in Australia the fight to obtain a right to repair is still in its early stages…

    • Monopolies

      • Insights on pharmaceuticals patents and Covid-19 from an Italian perspective

        With the spread of what has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, countries all over the world are adopting emergency measures on several fronts in order to contain the spread of coronavirus and to ensure access to medical devices, diagnostic tests and medicinal products that are of essence for its treatment/diagnosis. Reference to compulsory licenses is often made as a key tool among intellectual property law provisions in this emergency period. However, taking a close look at compulsory licenses as a system, some doubts remain about their effective “universal” applicability in this situation.

      • New measures approved to deal with judicial activities during the pandemic

        As explained in our blog of 25 March 2020, the declaration of the state of emergency by the Spanish Government on 14 March affected judicial activities in Spain very seriously. For example, Court hearings were suspended, with very few exceptions. Likewise, the periods of time to carry out judicial activities (for example, filing an appeal) were interrupted.

        Since then, the “Permanent Commission of the General Council of the Judiciary” (“CGPJ“, the organ that governs Judges) has approved some additional measures aimed at preventing the collapse of the judicial machinery.

        First, on 13 April, the CGPJ lifted the ban on filing writs at Court by telematic means, effective as of 15 April. However, once the writ has been filed, the ensuing judicial activity will be stayed at the point when it triggers a specific timeframe, unless the case deals with a so-called “essential” matter, a category which does not include patent cases. Thus, this measure allows the filing of the initiating writs of the procedure (e.g. a complaint), their registration and assignment to a competent Court, as well as their processing in accordance with the applicable procedural rules until the moment at which a procedural action triggers a term that must be suspended pursuant to the state of emergency. This rule applies both to first instance proceedings and to the actions of successive instances and before the Supreme Court.

      • Patents

        • Compugen Expands Intellectual Property Portfolio for COM701 With New European Composition of Matter Patent

          Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company and leader in predictive target discovery, announced today that The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted the Company a new patent for the composition of COM701 or backup antibodies for the treatment of cancer.

          EPO Patent No. 3295951, titled “Anti-PVRIG Antibodies and Methods of Use,” covers the composition of matter for COM701 and backup antibodies including any anti-PVRIG antibody having the binding fragments of COM701 or backup antibodies for the treatment of cancer.

        • EPO data reveals continuation of transport innovation in 2019

          The latest data from EPO has revealed that the UK’s transport sector continued to innovate in 2019, with a primary upward trend in computer technology and digital communications.


          European patent applications from UK applicants is said to reveal the increasing role software and technology will have in transport and many other sectors. The UK filed 240 patent applications relating to digital communications and 467 relating to computer technology (up 7.1 and 24.5 percent respectively) – which is said to highlight the important role that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) will have in shaping the UK’s economy in the future.

          Ed Round, a Partner with the intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk, said: “The latest data from the EPO paints a positive picture of transport innovation in the UK, with a nine percent rise in patent applications filed in 2019. While the sector will undoubtedly be experiencing uncertainty due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is encouraging that the latest data shows that the sector has continued to innovate.

        • An unimpressed LJ Floyd strikes out Regen Lab’s UK appeal (Regen v Estar)

          Regen versus Estar was one of the key decisions of the High Court last year (Regen Lab v Estar [2019] EWHC 63 (Pat), IPKat here). Regen’s EP(UK) patent for its lucrative platelet purification (PRP) technology was revoked for lacking novelty in view of prior use. The case was part of the international dispute between rival PRP companies Regen Lab and Estar Medical. Regen filed an appeal against the UK decision to revoke their patent but has since been slow in filing the necessary appeal documents and payment of the costs ordered to Estar by High Court. Lord Justice Floyd, with some choice phrases regarding Regen’s conduct throughout proceedings, has now struck out the appeal in view of Regen’s inaction ([2020] EWCA Civ 451).

          The patent at issue (EP (UK) 2073862) related to a method of extracting platelets from the blood. Regen brought an infringement action against Estar. Estar counterclaimed that Regen’s patent was invalid. The issue of validity was primarily concerned with whether the claims were novel in view of Regen’s own disclosures before the priority date of the patent. In the High Court, HHJ Hacon found the patent lacked novelty in view of the prior use. Regen was ordered to pay Estar interim costs of just over £250,000.


          The patent had been revoked across Europe by the Opposition Division of the EPO. The appeal from this decision is currently pending. Lord Justice Floyd first addressed Regen’s request for a stay to proceedings in view of this pending EPO appeal. Lord Justice Floyd considered the fact that Regen had not made a formal request for a stay of the UK appeal until a few weeks from the appeal hearing. The Judge noted that “by that stage [Regen] had ensured that the prejudice to Estar would be extreme. Not only would Estar lose their date for the hearing of the appeal, but Regen had banked a period of uncertainty at least until the appeal could be re-fixed”.

          Lord Justice Floyd was also not impressed with the “highly inconsistent” conduct of Regen with regards to the UK and EPO actions. In particular, the Judge noted that “[i]t was Regen who chose to pursue Estar to judgment in the UK before the proceedings in the EPO were resolved, no doubt hoping for a success by utilising this jurisdiction. Now it has met with failure at first instance it wants to halt the proceedings whilst they attempt to restore the validity of the patent in the EPO.” In other words, Regen wanted to have its cake and eat it.

        • Broad Reply No. 3 to CVC’s Opposition No. 3 to Broad’s Motion No. 3 to De-designate Claims as Not Corresponding to Count No. 1

          On March 23rd, Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) filed its Reply to Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) Motion No. 3 in Opposition to Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 3 to de-designate claims as not corresponding to Count 1.

          In its Motion No. 3, the Broad reiterated the arguments made in Motion No. 2, that there are two embodiments of CRISPR, one involving single-molecule RNA guide RNA (which the Broad argues here is not recited in the claims it wants the Board to designate as not corresponding to the Count) and further that certain of the Broad’s claims directed to “SaCas9″ systems that require two or more NLSs do not correspond to the Count.

        • No European qualifying examination will be held in 2020 says EQE Supervisory Board [Ed: But no worries, you don’t need exams to pass]

          In what now seems like a different era, the EPO announced that the 2020 EQE was to be postponed in view of the emerging COVID-19 crisis (IPKat here). At that time, the full scale of the health emergency had not yet become apparent. There was hope that the 2020 EQE might be re-arranged for later in the year, provided that any such re-arrangement did not conflict with national patent exams. Any such hopes have now been dashed with a notice from the EPO supervisory board stating that the 2020 EQE will not be re-arranged: “No European qualifying examination (pre-examination or main examination consisting of papers A, B, C and D) will be held in 2020″. The full communication can be read here, with the accompanying decision here.

          The communication also provides some further details on the reasoning behind the original decision to cancel the 2020 EQE:

          “The main driver of such decision was the need to safeguard not only the health and safety of the nearly 3.000 people that participate and are involved in the organisation of the Exams, but also to preserve the health and safety of the public in general.”


          What about the UK exams? We are awaiting CIPA to come to a decision with regards to the 2020 UK exams. CIPA has issued a statement last month that “No decision has yet been made with regard to cancellation or postponement of the examinations. The status of the examinations is under regular review”. We urge CIPA to provide clarity sooner rather than later.

        • Patent case: Schutzverkleidung, Germany

          The Federal Court of Justice made the following findings in relation to the material and personal scope of the right to prior use:

          1. Where a pre-used embodiment does not implement all features of the patent claim, a modification of the pre-used embodiment which implements all the features is not covered by the right of prior use.

          2. The limits of the right of prior use may be exceeded if an additional advantage is realised with the modification which was not realised by the pre-used embodiment. In particular, this may be the case where a modification corresponds to an embodiment which is highlighted in a dependent claim or in the description of the patent because of this additional advantage.


          5. Under the circumstances of point 4, the manufacturer of the individual parts may also use a process protected by the patent, provided that the procedural instructions of the process claim are limited to teaching the only technically and economically sensible assembly

        • Judge Stoll Calls for En Banc Consideration of Assignor Estoppel

          The assignor estoppel doctrine (a doctrine in equity) potentially becomes more important in times of economic upheaval. Through layoffs, mergers, and acquisition of underperforming companies, patents are more likely to end up in the hands of someone other than their original owner or assignee. Conflicts then arise when that original inventor (ot prior owner) reenters the market and begins to compete against the new patent owner. The doctrine of assignor estoppel operates to bar the original inventory from later challenging the validity of the patent. An oddity of Federal Circuit precedent though, is that assignor estoppel does not apply to USPTO IPR Actions.

          In its decision here, the Federal Circuit reluctantly enforced the assignor estoppel doctrine noting that the court is “bound to follow” its prior precedent. Judge Stoll penned the opinion that was joined by both Judge Wallach and Judge Clevenger. Judge Stoll also filed a set of “additional views” suggesting that “it is time for this court to consider en banc the doctrine of assignor estoppel at it applies both in district court and in the Patent Office.”

        • UK Patents Court – coping with coronavirus

          After the UK’s Prime Minister announced via a televised address on 23 March 2020 the lockdown of the UK in a bid to combat the ever-increasing impact of COVID-19, legal practitioners were keen to see how the UK Courts would cope with such measures especially given that in the High Court at least, video and telephone hearings were a scarcity.

          The UK Government have confirmed that a network of priority courts will remain open during the pandemic to ensure the continued effective operation of the justice system such as the Criminal and Family courts with the Lord Chief Justice stating that:

          “an extraordinary amount of hard work has gone into keeping our justice system functioning. Technology is being used creatively to ensure that many cases can continue. Not everything can be dealt with remotely and so we need to maintain functioning courts.”


          The Court of Appeal (Civil Division) already streamed selected cases via its YouTube channel, this was far removed from the current video hearings. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeal is also hearing cases and in at least one of those cases, a judgment has been handed down. For now, the Court of Appeal has divided its caseload into “urgent business” meaning applications where it is essential in the interests of justice that there be a substantive decision within the next 7 days and “business as usual” (i.e., everything else).

          Despite the extensive changes on the use of technology in the English Courts which had been scarcely used previously, with the lockdown set to continue, it appears that UK practitioners may not see a return to the usual state of play for some time, particularly taken into account that the recent CPR PD will remain in force until 30 October 2020. The Ministry of Justice has made it clear that current measures are under constant review but this may just be the start of more widespread use of telephone/video hearings in the High Court.

        • Software Patents

          • Europe’s top three digital industry challenges: automotive; automotive; and don’t forget, automotive

            European Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager’s mission statement is found on her homepage: “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age” That, of course, is easier said than done, given that the digital economies of both the United States and East Asia are far, far ahead of the European Union. There’s no European Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Uber, AirBnB, whatever. No European cloud. No European smartphones (practically speaking). And U.S. tech giants employ far more top-notch researchers than all of the world’s universities combined, which is just one of various factors contributing to the brain drain affecting Europe (and for which Africa–let alone sub-Saharan Africa–is never going to provide an adequate replacement).

            “Incredible Shrinking Europe” (as the WSJ called it) has a rich history and a bleak future. What Mrs. Vestager faces is not merely a Herculean task. Putting Europe on an equal footing with America and East Asia is mission (absolutely) impossible. At the end of her term, Europe will have lost more ground than during the previous decade, no matter how hard she tries. But the EU can at least try to slow down its decline in an increasingly digital economy, and maybe avoid or delay the point at which a future European Commission president–if the EU still exists at that point–will have to fly to Washington DC and Beijing to beg for development aid.

            That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s basically where continental Europe is headed in economic terms. In a matter of a few decades, the economic discrepancies between the more advanced parts of the world and Europe will be comparable to today’s differences between Europe and, say, Latin America. One of various early indicators is the severe underperformance of continental European students in math (as evidenced by TIMSS), which keeps deteriorating.


            In fields like digital platforms, the EU has no chance to make headway, which is bad enough. But when it comes to automotive, it stands everything–its “automojo” if you will–to lose. Last month I pointed to some numbers that show how incredibly important the automotive sector is to the European economy (and, by extension, society). But that industry is being affected by digitization at a breathtaking pace and, as a result, is basically getting absorbed by the informations and communications technology (ICT) sector.

            The European Commission would have to be asleep at the steering wheel not to make the automotive industry its #1 priority with respect to digital-industry policies. Cars are smartphones on wheels, software is increasingly in the driver’s seat, and what most politicians probably don’t even know is that the whole business model is going to change. By that I don’t primarily mean ride-sharing. Whether future cars will be owned by one household or called on demand, the most lucrative revenue streams will be digital. Today, money is made primarily be selling, maintaining, and repairing the thing. Services (such as navigation) play a minor role. It will be just the opposite in about ten years’ time.

      • Copyrights

        • Toronto Film Festival Considers Digital Options in Post-Coronavirus World (EXCLUSIVE)

          TIFF has already started engaging with the latter via its “Stay-at-Home Cinema” series, partnering with Canadian streaming service Crave to offer recent and classic movies, in which Bailey conducts virtual Q&As with the likes of Emilio Estevez and Sarah Polley. “We find that with the online experience, people want more than just the ability to see a film, even a new film,” explains Bailey, who’s looking to expand that model with certain festival premieres, should in-person options remain limited.

          “It really forces us to go back to, ‘What is the core DNA of our festival? What are we offering?’” Bailey says. “Whether that’s the excitement of the in-person experience, the profile you get in the media from having your film invited, the opportunity to sell [to potential distributors] — all of those things — how can we still offer those core elements to people who bring films to us? That’s really what we’re working on.”

        • Football League’s Piracy Tracking Computer Now Helping to Beat COVID-19

          Spanish football league La Liga is using its piracy tracking ‘supercomputer’ to help fight the coronavirus. Since there are no football matches during the current lockdown, the anti-piracy machine is mostly serving the [email protected] project now. Unfortunately, however, not all copyright holders are equally supportive.

        • Major Movie Studios Obtain Blocking Injunction Against 115 ‘Pirate’ Domains

          A judge at the Federal Court of Australia has handed down a site-blocking injunction against 86 piracy-related sites accessible from 115 domains. The application, filed by the MPA including Netflix, plus Roadshow Films and several other studios, targets torrent sites, streaming portals, subtitle sites, and various related unblocking/proxy platforms. All must be rendered inaccessible by 50 local ISPs.

        • French Hypocrisy: Fines Google For Being Soft On Privacy; Now Angry That Google Won’t Let It Spy On Users

          We keep trying to explain to people that privacy is always about trade-offs, and arguing for privacy laws that protect “privacy” as if it’s a constant thing, will run into trouble. Most of that trouble is in the form of locking in big companies, but sometimes, the trouble is in showing you why understanding trade-offs matters so much.

        • Cancelling with the world’s largest scholarly publisher: lessons from the Swedish experience of having no access to Elsevier

          This article covers the consequences of the decision of the Bibsam consortium to cancel its journal licence agreement with Elsevier, the world’s largest scholarly publisher, in 2018. First, we report on how the cancellation affected Swedish researchers. Second, we describe other consequences of the cancellation. Finally, we report on lessons for the future. In short, there was no consensus among researchers on how the cancellation affected them or whether the cancellation was positive or negative for them. Just over half (54%) of the 4,221 researchers who responded to a survey indicated that the cancellation had harmed their work, whereas 37% indicated that it had not. Almost half (48%) of the researchers had a negative view of the cancellation, whereas 38% had a positive view. The cancellation highlighted the ongoing work at research libraries to facilitate the transition to an open access publishing system to more stakeholders in academia than before. It also showed that Swedish vice-chancellors were prepared to suspend subscriptions with a publisher that could not accommodate the needs and requirements of open science. Finally, the cancellation resulted in the signing of a transformative agreement which started on 1 January 2020. If it had not been for the cancellation, the reaching of such an agreement would have been unlikely.

        • UNESCO Suggests COVID-19 Is A Reason To Create… Eternal Copyright

          Yes, we’ve seen lots of folks using COVID-19 to push their specific agendas forward, but this one is just bizarre. UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an organization that is supposed to be focused on developing education and culture around the globe. From any objective standpoint, you’d think it would be in favor of things like more open licensing and sharing of culture, but, in practice, the organization has long been hijacked by copyright maximalist interests. Almost exactly a decade ago, we were perplexed at the organization’s decision to launch an anti-piracy organization. After all, “piracy” (or sharing of culture) is actually how culture and ideas frequently spread in the developing countries where UNESCO focuses.

        • Open Access in Practice: A Conversation with President Larry Kramer of The Hewlett Foundation

          The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a longtime CC supporter and thought partner. We reached out to the Foundation’s President, Larry Kramer, for his thoughts on the value of open access in the Foundation’s philanthropic work and the future he envisions for the open movement. 

        • YouTube Ripper ‘Yout.com’ Loses Site Blocking Case, Despite Putting Up a Defense

          Website blocking orders are relatively common now. What’s rare, however, is that a targeted site protests such a request in court. This is what the popular YouTube ripper Yout.com did in Denmark. After various experts, including a YouTube representative, weighed in, the Danish court decided in favor of the copyright holders.

        • Pirate IPTV Supplier Raided By Spain’s National Police, Seven Arrested

          Spain’s National Police say they have dismantled a criminal network involved the supply of pirated audiovisual and television content across the country. Following six raids, seven individuals were arrested under suspicion of operating an unlicensed IPTV and card-sharing service that, according to the authorities, caused rightsholders almost 12 million euros in damages during the last year alone.

        • Canadian Publishing Group Says France Has The Right Idea, Presses For Its Own Google Tax

          Canada is more than just a calmer, more apologetic version of the United States. It’s its own thing. But, more accurately, it’s a Britain + France thing. While Canada shares a common border with us, it’s still more Europe than US of A.

One Thing the Free Software Fellowship Gets Wrong About FSFE

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Confidence in the leadership of the FSFE may be eroding; but remember where it really came from

FSFE 2016

Summary: “I worked with its founders and encouraged them to start FSFE,” Richard Stallman recalls, but the FSFE did not defend him after media had defamed him out of the FSF’s leadership and Board

THIS post most certainly isn’t an attack on anyone, it is merely a clarification. We want to get the corrupting influence of money out of Free software institutions and set the record straight while at it. Truth matters. It is extremely important at this time because Microsoft spends billions of dollars attacking the Free software community. Of course Microsoft is smiling when it does all this; it cannot contain its glee. Miguel de Icaza, his sidekick Nat and his boss Satya can already taste blood (millions of projects inside their proprietary, monopolistic slaughterhouse that tells lies).

Last week we took note of the fact that FSFE had taken money from Microsoft and explained why it's a dangerous move. I sought clarity on the matter, having noticed that the Free Software Fellowship chronicled the FSFE’s history, which was then copied into its official “About” page. We do not oppose the Free Software Fellowship, which is apparently looking to recruit members amid controversy that includes or extends to the Debian Project. But this part seemed a little wonky/iffy (not what I had remembered or thought): “In 2001, a group of volunteers split from FSF and started using the name FSF Europe, now FSFE, for a new organization. They promised to be subject to an agreement with FSF but they abandoned the agreement and stubbornly continued using the name FSFE anyway.”

“What it says about the formation of FSFE is very badly wrong,” Richard Stallman told me. “I worked with its founders and encouraged them to start FSFE.”

“We need an army of sceptical and critical thinkers, not drones.”I spoke to the founders and its chief (at one point), Mr. Greve. He was always very courteous and very much understanding of Free software causes. I reject some policies and statements of its current leadership (no need to name anyone in particular here) and I am deeply suspicious of their funding sources. But it’s worth setting the record straight on the origins of FSFE, which used to do very fine work and still (occasionally) accomplishes important things in Europe, e.g. liberation of public code, tackling Adobe’s monopoly on PDF files/format, to name just a couple.

Our goal is to (overall) improve the FSFE and make it realise that bad actions/statements will lead to negative reaction. We have, on numerous occasions, also criticised the FSF. This did not prevent us from getting along with the FSF and the GNU Project. Blind acceptance of something or someone prevents introspection. We need an army of sceptical and critical thinkers, not drones.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 23, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:11 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Software Freedom Means Societal Freedom in the Increasingly Digital Age

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software at 1:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Soon they want to also, at least eventually, “certify” if not microchip all people (Bill Gates has made that his personal project, by his very own admission, but he distances himself from claims microchips are to become obligatory)

The digital control

Summary: The discussion about software freedom becomes increasingly urgent because of public panic that drives acceptance of oppressive measures

THE mostly antiwar-leaning Free software movement goes back to the late era of the Hippies and geeks. That’s not too revisionist a thing to claim, particularly with respect to Richard Stallman and his political orientation/roots. Mr. Torvalds might not like to acknowledge it in public, but he comes from a socialist family with sympathy towards the Soviets (his father).

“Mr. Torvalds might not like to acknowledge it in public, but he comes from a socialist family with sympathy towards the Soviets (his father).”We as a site don’t associate with the “left” or the “right”; we rarely speak or think in those terms. We do, however, focus or speak about some objective if not slightly subjective concept of ethics, which isn’t the same as political wings (both can do truly unethical things, both fiscally and militarily).

What about software?

“Debian’s new project leader (DPL), in his opening or introductory statement that is a couple of days old, stressed the relevance of this pandemic to software freedom and the Debian Project in particular.”Well, more and more things are becoming digital now. The pandemic further contributes to this because of remote work, digital payments, surveillance and so on. It seems inevitable that governments will, over time, treat people who wander around without a tracking device (such as a ‘smart’ phone) like unvaccinated, reckless individuals looking to spread plagues.

Debian’s new project leader (DPL), in his opening or introductory statement that is a couple of days old, stressed the relevance of this pandemic to software freedom and the Debian Project in particular. The same is true for the GNU Project, still led by Richard Stallman by the way, and the FSF openly speaks about it. Those are very positive signs.

“Please join us in promoting and spreading the idea that we need Free software for a free and open society.”Over the next few months more of us ought to become increasingly vocal, in light of profound societal changes. Resistance in moderation will be necessary to ensure we preserve basic human dignity (such as privacy inside our own homes).

Please join us in promoting and spreading the idea that we need Free software for a free and open society. Not everyone out there agrees with us. Google and Apple are currently facilitating even greater surveillance with SDKs. The media, owned by barons and large companies, praises them for it. Be sceptical, but not alarmed. Public safety and “health” have long been exploited by the surveillance capitalists; their wearable spying machines have been promoted for a number of years not just as a matter of convenience/productivity but a matter of life-saving. That extends to listening devices.

Giving Awards to Raytheon Won’t Help Red Hat’s Image

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 12:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It might, however, help keep those military contracts coming

It's called Red Hat... Because the drone strike paints the hat red

Summary: This morning’s revelations from Red Hat aren’t particularly pacifying or calming (except to the war industry)

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