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04.29.20

Links 29/4/2020: TDE 10th Anniversary, Sailfish OS 3.3

Posted in News Roundup at 1:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Is VPN secure for the Linux server?

        There has been a massive push to help people protect their privacy online. Even though the internet has given people access to the world’s information at their fingertips, there are still people out there who seek to steal people’s personal information and sell it online at a profit. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to invest in a virtual private network, also known as a VPN.

        Even though there are plenty of VPN options for those who use Apple and Windows products, some might be in search of a VPN for Linux. Options like Surfshark for Linux are out there, helping people remain secure over the internet, particularly when using an open network. It is important for people to keep a few points in mind when using a VPN for a Linux server.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Lenovo Loves Linux | LINUX Unplugged 351

        Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller joins us to discuss Lenovo shipping ThinkPads loaded with Fedora, and our review of the new 32 release.

        Plus Ubuntu’s Director of Desktop Martin Wimpress covers the details everyone missed in 20.04.

      • mintCast 333.5 – EFIred

        In our Innards section, we talk about Fun With Boots!

        And finally, our listener feedback and a few suggestions.

      • This Week in Linux 101: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Manjaro 20, LXQt, Lenovo / Fedora ThinkPads, Void Linux

        this section is still in progress, sorry for the delay.

        01:07 = Sponsored by Digital Ocean · [do.co/dln]
        02:35 = Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released ·
        14:02 = Manjaro 20.0 Lysia Released ·
        22:17 = Fedora is Coming to Lenovo ThinkPads ·
        26:29 = Void Linux: The Drama & The Future ·
        29:53 = Front Page Linux ·
        33:27 = Destination Linux ·
        37:20 = Become a Patron of TuxDigital & TWinL ·
        39:31 = LXQt 0.15 Released (What’s Up with LXQt) ·
        45:59 = Kdenlive 20.04 Released ·
        50:47 = BleachBit 4.0 Released ·
        53:25 = Vivaldi 3.0 Released ·
        59:06 = Outro

      • Windows 10 to Linux Mint | Introduction

        Windows 10 to Linux Mint | Introduction This is a new video serious going over the transition from Windows 10 to Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • Generic USB Display Driver Published For Linux – Allowing Nifty Possibilities With Raspberry Pi, Etc

        Longtime Linux DRM developer Noralf Trønnes has written a new driver for Linux to serve generic USB display purposes. This driver was written following his idea of turning a Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB to HDMI display adapter.

        The Generic USB Display Driver is a generic solution for using the likes of the Raspberry Pi SBCs into converting them into makeshift USB display adapters via a new USB host driver and a device/gadget driver. Noralf noted, “The reason for calling it ‘Generic’ is so anyone can make a USB display/adapter against this driver, all that’s needed is to add a USB vid:pid. I was hoping to have someone working on a microcontroller based USB display by now, but unfortunately that has been delayed. It would have been nice to have a microcontroller implementation to ensure that I haven’t made things unnecessary difficult to implement.”

      • New Intel “Adaptive” P-State Frequency Governor Volleyed For Better GPU-Bound Efficiency

        The Intel P-State driver has been going through a number of improvements recently including transitioning to the “Schedutil” governor by default on some systems so far in this governor making use of scheduler utilization data. But Intel’s graphics team meanwhile has been working on P-State changes to improve the GPU-bound energy efficiency and that is now spun as a new “adaptive” governor.

      • QEMU 5.0 Released For This Important Open-Source Emulator For Linux Virtualization

        QEMU 5.0 is out today for this processor emulator that is a key piece to the Linux virtualization stack.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Gen11+ Graphics See An Easy Bump On Mesa 20.1-devel

          There’s been a lot of interesting work hitting Mesa Git this week ahead of the Mesa 20.1 code branching and feature freeze. Merged this afternoon was a rather simple optimization benefiting Gen11 (Icelake) and newer for their open-source Vulkan driver, it’s such a simple change it is almost surprising it took so long to benefit.

          The change to the Intel “ANV” Vulkan driver is for allowing all clear colors for texturing on Gen11+ hardware.

        • BLAKE3 Cryptographic Hashing Function Sees Experimental Vulkan Implementation

          BLAKE3, the cryptographic hash function that advertises itself as being “much faster” than the likes of SHA1 and MD5 and its predecessor BLAKE2 while being more secure and highly parallelizable has seen an experimental implementation for GPU-based acceleration using the Vulkan API.

          There has been a lot of interest in BLAKE3 since its introduction in January and building off the successes of BLAKE2. While its design is “highly parallelizable” for threads and SIMD implementations, to date it’s been just implemented in Rust for the multi-threaded version and a reference C implementation. But a developer has begun exploring GPU-based BLAKE3 support with Vulkan.

    • Applications

      • BleachBit, the Open Source System Cleaner, Sees New Release

        Feature wise the app adds the ability to clean up Discord files is added, and is now offers fastidious cleaning of Chrome, Firefox, VLC, and the open source podcast client gPodder.

        Package management tasks dnf autoremove and apt autoremove are now run automatically (depending on the distro) as part of the cleanup process (in case you forget to do it yourself).

        The app also fixes a few issues, including one that affected the pop-up notification shown when cleaning is done, and another affecting the responsiveness of the app window whilst cleaning was in progress.

      • BashTop is a Linux Resource Monitor for the Terminal

        It shows CPU use in graphical and text forms, memory and storage usage, a list of processes, as well as network usage both in graphical and text forms.

      • Jitsi Meet, my favourite video conferencing platform (and a way to share audio when using it in Linux)

        Jitsi Meet requires no installation; it runs in a browser window. Either Google Chrome or Firefox can be used, although I find it runs better in Google Chrome. Actually, an Ubuntu 16.04 user told me that Firefox hangs when he tries to join a Jitsi Meet meeting, but Jitsi Meet works fine in Firefox in my two Gentoo Linux installations and in my family’s Lubuntu 18.04 installation. When using Google Chrome, to be able to share your screen you need to install the Google Chrome extension ‘Jitsi Meetings’ by meet.ji.si in the Google Chrome Web Store.

        One of my family here at home has a laptop running Windows 10. Google Chrome, but not Firefox, displays a ‘Share audio’ tick box when the ‘Share your screen’ icon is clicked (see ‘Jitsi Meet features update, April 2020‘). The ‘Share audio’ feature is needed when, for example, you are casting via the Internet to remote players a multi-user game running on your machine. During the current COVID-19 lockdown we have been having fun playing Jackbox Games Party Pack 6 this way with family and friends in different locations (see ‘(My Solution) Best method for Virtual Couch Multiplayer‘). Each household connects a laptop to their TV via HDMI and joins the Jitsi Meet meeting. The Jackbox Games games are cast via Jitsi Meet from the laptop at my house, and the group of players in each household can view and hear the game on their TV and participate using their mobile phones as per the Jackbox Games paradigm.

        Jitsi Meet provides a ‘Share audio’ function in Windows only, but I found a work-around to to be able to share any application’s audio in Linux if I ever want to use my Linux machines to cast games by Jackbox Games or other suppliers. For once, I have found PulseAudio useful! I use PulseAudio Volume Control to redirect the audio output from the desired application (be it a game, music player, video player or whatever) to the microphone input. The precise way to do this depends on the audio hardware your machine has, but an example is given in the blog post: ‘Redirect Audio Out to Mic In (Linux)‘.

      • VLC 3.0.10 Adds SMB2/3 Support, Improved Chromecast Audio

        It looks like a new version of the VLC media player is available to download.

        VLC 3.0.10 is the first major release of the open source multimedia app this year, following on from VLC 3.0.8 which popped out in December.

        But four months is a long time in tech so, as you’d expect, the latest release is packing an sizeable set of improvements and enhancements.

        This includes libsmb2 support to handle SMB2/3 shares, allowing you to easily stream content from local Samba shares, plus better handling of MP4 and RAW H264/HEVC files. Additionally, VLC can now more consistently seek on the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol.

        If you use VLC as your go-to DVD player (like I do) then you will appreciate the inclusion of some DVD related fixes, mainly related around DVD reading crashes and menu navigation glitches.

        Other changes between VLC 3.0.8 and 3.0.10 include improved Chromecast audio quality, working YouTube URL playback, and a bunch of security fixes.

        You can refer to the VLC NEWS file for a more comprehensive change log.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Thought You Couldn’t Ever Play Street Fighter V, Huh?

        Chief among these changes is the playability of what we never thought would run: Street Fighter V. After doing some brief testing, I can confirm it runs out of the box, audio and everything included. For the life of me I couldn’t get my DualShock 4 to work, but after disabling Steam Input, then re-enabling it, it was back in business.

    • Games

      • Hell Can Wait is an upcoming bullet-hell deck-builder that sounds insane

        Hell Can Wait will be fusing together a bullet hell with a deck-builder, in development by Triplevision Games Limited and planned to release next year.

        This continues the deck-builder mechanics creeping into everything, which I’m pretty happy with as I love to see how developers can put their own spin on it. Hell Can Wait sounds pretty amusing too! Insane action, bullets flying around everywhere and then you get to pick abilities from 250 cards that can drastically change how you play the game.

      • If you work for the NHS you can get free games from the Games for Carers initiative

        Here’s a nice feel-good story for today. If you work for the NHS in the UK, you’re now able to get a free game thanks to the Games for Carers initiative. The initiative is being run by Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment), with support from Keymailer after the original idea from journalist Chris Scullion.

        Over 85,000 games across various genres will be given away, from tons of different developers and publishers aimed at supporting those who are working to help fight the Coronavirus. It launched yesterday, and the amount of games included is expected to keep growing.

      • Kingdom Two Crowns grows bigger with a free Dead Lands expansion out now

        Kingdom Two Crowns has a bit of a crossover going over, with the Dead Lands expansion out now across all platforms and it’s free for everyone too. Quite a varied team involved in this one with it being published by Raw Fury, while also developed by director & designer Gordon Van Dyke (Stumpy Squid), Fury Studios, and Coatsink all working together.

        What is it? Kingdom Two Crowns is a side-scrolling micro strategy game with a minimalist feel wrapped in a beautiful, modern pixel art aesthetic. Play the role of a monarch atop their steed and recruit loyal subjects, build your kingdom and protect it from the greedy creatures looking to steal your coins and crown.

      • Missing out on VibranceGUI for Linux? There’s a project for that and now a fork for AMD too

        VibranceGUI, a program on Windows that adjusts the colouring of your games as it’s sent to your screen is quite popular and there’s a similar project available for Linux. Now it’s also not just for NVIDIA.

        On Linux, the main project just named ‘Vibrant Linux’ is open source under the MIT license and available on GitHub. However, it currently only supports NVIDIA. That should hopefully not be the case for much longer, as there’s now a fork with vibrantLinux AMD which as the name suggests also implements it for AMD hardware. This new fork should work with: Radeon RX 5700 XT, Radeon RX 5600 XT, Radeon VII, Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 470, Radeon R9 270 and possibly more GPUs.

      • Orangepixel has announced Residual, a survival platformer exploration adventure with no combat

        No combat? In a survival styled game? Well that’s a bit unusual. Orangepixel who created games like Space Grunts, Heroes of Loot, Gunslugs and more has announced Residual.

        Residual will crash you into a randomly generated planet with no other humanoid life. From here, you need to find a way to restore your ship to escape. Described as a mix of a survival platformer, full of exploration, crafting and light puzzles. There’s no combat though, zero. No guns, weapons or violence.

      • Techland announced a Dying Light dungeon crawling DLC with Hellraid

        Based on their unreleased and long delayed game, Techland are continuing to expand the excellent Dying Light with a fresh DLC arriving this Summer. The Dying Light – Hellraid DLC was announced today, with Techland explaining, “No, it’s not a metaphor. You will be literally hacking through demonic hordes of Hell.”.

        Sounds like it might be sizable too with a new dungeon map, new enemies and weapons included and it will also support co-op play too.

      • Total Mayhem Games drops Linux support for We Were Here

        Total Mayhem Games have announced that We Were Here, a co-op puzzle game series, will no longer support Linux. Currently the series is made up of We Were Here (which is free), We Were Here Too and We Were Here Together.

        [...]

        This is the constant struggle of a niche platform. We are at least slowly trending upwards going by the Linux user share on Steam. Until we grow a lot though, we aren’t likely to see consistent developer support. A lack of developer interest is part of the reason Valve teamed up with CodeWeavers to create Steam Play Proton too, so there’s at least something to fallback onto.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • TDE celebrating its 10th anniversary with new R14.0.8 release!



          Ten years ago today, the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) saw the release of its first version (3.5.11). Lot of things have happened since that day but TDE has continued to grow and flourish throughout the years. Today the project is healthier than ever, with dedicated self-hosted servers, regular releases, modern collaboration tools and a vibrant community of users and enthusiasts.

          The development team is pleased to celebrate TDE’s 10th birthday by announcing the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.8 release. TDE is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software.

          R14.0.8 is the eighth maintenance release of the R14.0 series, and is built on and improves the previous R14.0.7 version.. Maintenance releases are intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability through the avoidance of both major new features and major codebase re-factoring.

        • Trinity Desktop Turns 10 Years Old As A Fork Of KDE 3.5 – Celebrates With New Release
      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Custom widgets in GTK 4 – Input

          In the previous parts, we’ve seen a few examples where handling GtkWidget signals was replaced by some auxiliary objects. This trend is even stronger in the input area, where we’ve traditionally had a number of signals to handle: ::button-press-event, ::key-press-event, ::touch-event, and so on. All of these signals are gone in GTK 4, and instead you are expected to add event controllers to your widget, and listen to their signals. For example, there are GtkGestureClick, GtkEventControllerKey, GtkGestureLongPress, and many more.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • Improving libossaudio, and the future of OSS in NetBSD

          Linux drifted away from OSS and towards ALSA due to licensing disagreements.

          Because of this drift, we’re seeing increasing problems with OSS adoption today, even if the licensing concerns are no longer relevant, and other implementations of OSS have surpassed the original Linux OSSv3 implementation as far as their feature set and usability are concerned.

          So, in NetBSD, it’s recommended to use the native API for new code and only rely on the OSS layer for compatibility with existing code.

          I spent a while working on third-party software to improve support for native NetBSD audio. These included Firefox, SDL, PortAudio, ffmpeg (working with yhardy@), and more.

          However, I’ve turned my attention to the OSS translation layer. Since a lot of older and less popular software still relies on it, I wanted to go over the OSSv4 specification and iron out surprising differences.

        • NetBSD Working On Better OSS Compatibility / Translation Layer, Encouraging Native API Use

          While the Open Sound System (OSS) usage hasn’t been prevalent on Linux systems in many years, on NetBSD there still is some software making use of the OSS interfaces in not supporting the native NetBSD audio interfaces. Better OSS compatibility via a translation layer is available while ultimately they are working on transitioning more open-source software to support the native interfaces.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 32 Linux Distribution is now available

          Fedora 32 has been released on April 28, 2020. The new version of the Linux distribution is already available as a direct download or upgrade.

          Fedora Workstation administrators may consult the official upgrading Fedora 31 to 32 guide if they need assistance when upgrading to the new version of the Linux distribution. In short, the following commands need to be run from Terminal…

        • Fedora 32 Linux Officially Released: 5 New Changes Since Fedora 31

          After the beta release and a week of delay for a stable release, the new version Fedora 32 has finally arrived. The latest iteration packs with major new changes and performance improvements since the previous Fedora 31.

          Though Fedora is a bleeding-edge and Red Hat-sponsored community project, it is not as popular as other distros like Ubuntu or Manjaro. However, Fedora 32 has evolved a lot and it’s totally worth seeing what it offers in this new release. So, let’s see what’s new with Fedora 32…

        • Fedora 32 Released! Check Out The New Features

          Fedora 32 has finally arrived! Just a few days after Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release, fedora fans can get their hands on the latest Fedora 32 as well!

          In this article, I am going to highlight the new features available on Fedora 32.

          [...]

          You no longer need to utilize the GNOME Tweaks tool to separately install/manage extensions. Fedora 32 features the new extension app which lets you manage GNOME extensions directly.

          [...]

          You can simply head to the software center to find the latest update available or head to the terminal to upgrade your system from Fedora 31 to Fedora 32.

          If you need help with that, we have an article on how to upgrade a Fedora version to assist you.

        • Fedora 32 Released. This is What’s New.

          Fedora 32 is officially released and available for download. This is what’s new in this release.

        • Postmortem 2020-04-28

          Root Causes: Backup restore mechanisms didn’t work as expected. Server has booted after upgrade, but has been partly inconsistent. The package manager dnf has stopped working, due to the python2 to python3 move of Fedora 32. Also SSH login were not possible anymore. Login on Rescue console, was not possible due to selinux enforcing new PAM rules.

          Trigger: Failed Upgrade from Fedora 31 to Fedora 32.

          Resolution: I’ve setup Fedora 31 again and restored the files I needed from the backup, instead of doing a full system backup or trying to repair the broken Fedora 32 installation.

        • Fedora 32 Officially Launched

          Fedora 32 now available for download, and so are all the typical flavors that are specifically aimed at certain uses.

          For example, in addition to the main Fedora 32 image, today’s release also includes Fedora Workstation, Fedora Server, and Fedora CoreOS.

          As it typically happens with major Fedora updates, version 32 comes with substantial improvements, and one notable addition is GNOME 3.36.

          This GNOME update, which went live in March, is codenamed Gresik and sports a long list of changes, including a new lock screen design, additional refinements to settings, parental controls, and new software features.

          Fedora 32 also drops Python 2 and goes for Python 3.8, as the old version has already reached the end of life. The team at Fedora, however, has decided to include a legacy python27 package just for developers and users who still need this old version.

        • Things To Do After Installing Fedora 32

          Fedora releases a new version in approximately every 6 months. Each now version is supported with updates for 13 months in total. The distribution is a good place to get the latest stable software and technologies consistently.

          The latest stable version is currently Fedora 32, you can download it from the Fedora official website.

          If you are a new Fedora user, you may be wondering about what to do after installation. The guide will help you through this part. No matter the supported Fedora version you use, you can apply everything on this list.

        • Adam Williamson: Fedora 32 release and Lenovo announcement

          It’s been a big week in Fedora news: first came the announcement of Lenovo planning to ship laptops preloaded with Fedora, and today Fedora 32 is released. I’m happy this release was again “on time” (at least if you go by our definition and not Phoronix’s!), though it was kinda chaotic in the last week or so. We just changed the installer, the partitioning library, the custom partitioning tool, the kernel and the main desktop’s display manager – that’s all perfectly normal stuff to change a day before you sign off the release, right? I’m pretty confident this is fine!

          But seriously folks, I think it turned out to be a pretty good sausage, like most of the ones we’ve put on the shelves lately. Please do take it for a spin and see how it works for you.

        • Lenovo will start offering ThinkPads with Linux pre-installed

          The world’s biggest PC company in terms of shipments has decided to offer a few select models with Linux pre-installed. In doing so, it joins the existing club that includes Dell and other smaller players like Purism, ZaReason, and System76.

          If Linux has a special place in your heart, you will want to know Lenovo is partnering with the Fedora Project to give you your dream machine in the form of ThinkPad laptops that make it easy even for a newcomer to get started with Fedora.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 Released With Major Improvements

          With its ongoing Virtual Summit 2020, the Red Hat team has finally announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2. The new version comes with new enhancements and high-end user experience for both regular users and developers.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Released with Enhanced Security and Performance

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 is here six months after version 8.1 with a dozen of enhancements to the user experience, security, compliance, monitoring, performance, lifecycle management, as well as extended developer support.

          One of the major highlights of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 release is the extended security and compliance by implementing new OpenSCAP profiles, namely DISA STIG (draft) and Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) Essential Eight.

        • Red Hat Summit: Linux Is The Foundation, OpenShift The Future
        • Kaloom™ and Red Hat Expand Collaboration to Provide a Unified Solution for Edge Sites
        • Open source and the changing world

          

          The world is not the same as it was a few months ago. No matter where we are, we have all been experiencing a new way of life. Social distancing and sheltering in place mandates mean that companies are reevaluating how they work. With an unprecedented number of workers shifting to working from home full time, many for the first time in their careers, companies are learning how to adapt to a completely distributed workforce. We are suddenly faced with new challenges, including balancing working from home while parenting and keeping our families and loved ones safe when we leave the house for groceries. In work: how can we maintain business continuity? What do our customers need right now, and what is the best way to serve them?

      • Debian Family

        • New Debian 10 Buster Linux Kernel Security Update Fixes 5 Vulnerabilities

          

          According to Debian Security Advisory DSA-4667-1, the new Linux kernel security update patches a flaw (CVE-2020-2732) discovered by Paulo Bonzini in the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) implementation for Intel CPUs, which could allow an L2 guest to cause a denial of service, leak sensitive information from the L1 guest or escalate his/her privileges.

          The kernel update also fixes a vulnerability (CVE-2020-10942) discovered in Linux kernel’s vhost_net driver, which could allow a local attacker with access to /dev/vhost-net to cause a stack corruption by crafting system calls. This could lead to a denial of service (system crash) and even to privilege escalation.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • QEMU & libvirt enhancements in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Ubuntu is the industry-leading operating system for cloud hosts and guests. Every day millions of Ubuntu instances are launched in private and public clouds around the world. Many launched right on top of Ubuntu itself. Canonical takes pride in offering the latest virtualization stack with each Ubuntu release.

          In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), users can find the recently released QEMU version 4.2 and libvirt version 6.0 available on day one. These new versions have brought a number of key updates to the virtualization stack. Here are the most notable ones…

        • 25 Things to Do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

          Canonical finally announced the availability of Ubuntu 20.04, the new release came with many updated packages and programs which is very good for people who are looking for the most updated packages.

          In this article, we’re going to explain some of the key things you need to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04, to get you started with using Focal Fossa.

          First, you may like to view our tutorial about upgrading or installing Ubuntu 20.04 on your machine.

        • Regolith Linux 1.4 Released Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Thoughtful touches, some canny package curation, and a dash of sane defaults make up the Regolith desktop (which you can install on top of an existing Ubuntu from a PPA).

          Regolith Linux 1.4 has a new look. The new default theme, called “Lascaille”, uses the JetBrains Mono font, and features a higher contrast look based on the Ayu colour scheme. The previous ‘theme’, Cahuella, can be installed manually from the repos.

          Some clever integration tweaks (and a smattering of gtk3-nocsd) allow GNOME Terminal to become Regolith Linux’s default terminal emulator. For those who prefer it, st is still available in the repos.

          Mastering the array of keyboard shortcuts (“keybindings”) in Regolith is made easier by the inclusion of the Remontoire app which has been refreshed for this release.

          Those installing Regolith Linux 1.4 fresh will benefit from a smaller download size and reduced resource usage. Additionally, the GDM3 login screen is replaced by LightDM as well.

          Elsewhere, there’s a new file search dialog (powered by mlocate); full ARM64 support; and easier swapping of notification modules, including notify-osd.

        • New Ubuntu Linux Kernel Security Updates Fix 12 Vulnerabilities

          

          Affecting the Linux 5.3 kernel in Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Linux 5.0 and 4.15 kernels in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, as well as Linux 4.15 and 4.4 kernels in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the new security patch fixes an issue found in the Intel Wi-Fi driver (CVE-2019-16234), which could allow a local attacker to crash the system by causing a denial of service.

          Also fixed in the aforementioned Ubuntu kernels are a race condition (CVE-2020-8648) discovered in Linux kernel’s virtual terminal implementation and a flaw (CVE-2020-9383) discovered by Jordy Zomer in the floppy driver, and a race condition (CVE-2019-19768) discovered by Tristan Madani in the block I/O tracing implementation. All these issues could allow a local attacker to either crash the system or expose sensitive information.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Gets Its First Kernel Security Update

          The security issue (CVE-2020-11884) patched in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) was discovered by security researcher Al Viro in the Linux kernel for s390x systems. Apparently, the Linux kernel failed to perform page table upgrades for kernel sections that use a secondary address mode.

          This could allow a local attacker to either crash the vulnerable, unpatched system by causing a denial of service or execute arbitrary code. In other words, systems running on the IBM Z (s390x) architecture could be made to crash or run programs as root (system administrator) under certain conditions.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • PixelFed: A potential open-source alternative to Instagram

        Virtual social networking is a new way of socializing. Social networks have become quite an essential part of our daily lives, whether to know what has been happening around the world and the people we know.

        It is also used as a news source and sometimes, just for the heck of it. Although seemingly neat and exciting, there are a couple of problems with most of the major social media platforms.

        In one way or the other, they are owned by giant multinational companies. While this has its perks, at the end of the day, it’s (in most cases) centralized, proprietary and subject to skepticism when it comes to privacy. Well, we have a contender here, that solves most of those problems for us. We are introducing you to PixelFed, a federated photo-sharing platform.

        Introduction

        Photo sharing platforms have really taken off right now. There is an aesthetic factor in images and the fact that people don’t have to read long texts. One of the most popular services that conform to this pattern is Instagram. Instagram has become popular, and why not? It shows you the content that you like and has a clean interface. But it has the issues that we had mentioned earlier. Facebook owns it, and there is no denying the fact that personal data on Facebook has faced threats.

      • 6 Best Adobe Dreamweaver Alternatives of 2020

        Quanta Plus

        It’s totally free of cost and Linux based program. It has similar features like dream weaver i.e. it supports CSS2, JavaScript, X Forms. However, it doesn’t directly support HTML5 or SVG. It can also erase hard-coded HTML.

        [...]

        Bluefish Editor

        It is an open source software and is available on Mac, Linux, BSD, Windows and UNIX systems. It does not offer WYSIWYG editor and shared editing. It supports Google Go, ColdFusion, Ruby Shell. The users can use a number of browsers to check their work. It has very similar features like Dreamweaver i.e. it develops HTML, CSS and XHTML. It also has built-in FTP upload, if something crashes your work, you can automatically recover the changes you made by using this.

      • Best Free Photoshop Alternatives

        To most artists, Krita is the best free service. The combination of it having been on the market for over a decade, it being free, and its open source nature means Krita gets massive community support. That’s always a good thing for anyone looking to learn a new program. Aside from that, it features tons of brushes and tools to make drawing digital art an easier process. It’s a favorite amongst painters and webcomic producers, likely because it was developed by a group of artists.

        [...]

        The best all-around alternative to Adobe Photoshop is GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Its interface is atrocious and it has a steep learning curve, but its capabilities are immense. GIMP has a fully-featured suite of tools rivaling most paid software and, due to it being open source, it receives new options constantly. It even works with many Photoshop plug-ins. Many professional photo editors use GIMP exclusively, saving hundreds of dollars by choosing it over Photoshop. If it was more intuitive, had better drawing options, and didn’t have such an eyesore of a UI, many people would consider GIMP to be better than Photoshop.

      • Open source live streaming with Open Broadcaster Software



        If you have a talent you want to share with the world, whether it’s making your favorite sourdough bread or speedrunning through a level of your favorite video game, live streaming is the modern show-and-tell. It’s a powerful way to tell the world about your hobby through a medium once reserved for exclusive and expensive TV studios. Not only is the medium available to anyone with a relatively good internet connection, but the most popular software to make it happen is open source.

        OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a cross-platform application that serves as a control center for your live stream. A stream, strictly speaking, means progressive and coherent data. The data in a stream can be audio, video, graphics, text, or anything else you can represent as digital data. OBS is programmed to accept data as input, combine streams together (technically referred to as mixing) into one product, and then broadcast it.

      • Events

        • Puppet Camping in place: East meets West

          I pitched a tent at Puppet Camp a couple of times before joining the company and have to say that last week’s event was superb, and it more than lived up to the standards set in ye olden times. It was great to hang out (virtually) with so many community members! There were some faces, or should I say Slack handles, that I knew, but many more I got to meet and chat with for the first time. The work these gurus are doing in their day jobs is just amazing! The best part is that a lot of what was demoed and talked about is directly applicable to the work that I and the other attendees do. Below are some of my takeaways from the event along with a boatload of reference material from the presenters and people in Slack.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Will Finally Remove Adobe Flash Player Support

          The Document Foundation is working not only on minor revisions for LibreOffice, which most often include tens of bug fixes, but also on a new major release that should go live at some point in the coming months.

          Referred to as LibreOffice 7.0, this new major update will include lots of improvements, including several under-the-hood changes that make sense moving forward.

          As one of the most popular productivity suites out there, LibreOffice also supports exporting content, such as presentations and drawings, to Adobe Flash. In other words, it’s one easy way to create Flash Player content that can be then used for a wide variety of purposes.

        • Calligra 3.2 Open-Source Office Suite Arrives with Better LibreOffice Interoperability



          Two years in the works, Calligra 3.2 “Gemini” is finally here and it’s specifically designed for 2-in-1 devices, namely touchscreens laptop that can double as tablets.

          The Calligra 3.2 release updates the Karbon vector drawing application to support multi-page documents, as well as to allow users to import PDF documents with multiples pages and export documents that contain multiple pages to an image, allowing you to choose which page to export.

          Karbon’s toolbar also received some attention in this release, allowing users with small screens to be able to scroll it when a lot of tools are being used.

      • Programming/Development

        • Go for ROS



          If you started reading this post thinking I would explain why you should go for ROS when building robots, think again. To be fair, that topic deserves a post of its own. But for this article, I’ll be using Go in the context of Golang. As in the Go programming language. As in the one designed by Google with an adorable Gopher for a mascot.

          Specifically, we will talk about ROS client libraries for the Go programming language; their features, their advantages, and what gaps still remain.

        • Sending data in a signal

          The well-known kill system call has been around for decades and is used to send a signal to another process. The most common use is to terminate or kill another process by sending the KILL or TERM signal but it can be used for a form of IPC, usually around giving the other process a “kick” to do something.

          One thing that isn’t as well known is besides sending a signal to a process, you can send some data to it. This can either be an integer or a pointer and uses similar semantics to the known kill and signal handler. I came across this when there was a merge request for procps. The main changes are using sigqueue instead of kill in the sender and using a signal action not a signal handler in the receiver.

          To illustrate this feature, I have a small set of programs called sender and receiver that will pass an integer between them.

        • Spring Issue of 2600 Released – Important News

          Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find this issue in stores. With most of the country and a good part of the world in quarantine, bookstores haven’t been all that popular. In fact, we were told after printing the issues that our distributors ordered to not ship to them after all. We’re now stuck with the entire cost of printing while distributors and stores pay nothing.

          It gets worse. Our previous issue (the one still on stands) can’t be sold to Barnes and Noble “curbside pickup” customers even though most everything else in their stores can be. Why? It’s their “policy” that magazines can’t be sold this way and that policy can’t be changed despite the current circumstances. It makes no sense at all to us. Our issues are right there in the store yet they can’t be sold to customers.

          Rather than working out options where we might have a chance at survival, we’re being told that we have to figure out what to do with all these issues or pay a penalty for not shipping them. We find ourselves in the middle of a Kafka novel where everything is stacked against the publisher because that’s just how it is.

          We’ve seen injustices before where distributors have gone out of business without paying us, sometimes simply changing their name and continuing to make millions while we don’t get a dime. But this time it’s different. This time what’s happening affects all of us, and what we were hoping we’d see was a sense of community where we all supported one another and helped everyone get through this terrible crisis. That most certainly hasn’t been the case in the publishing world.

        • The problem with COBOL

          A lot of the blame has fallen on COBOL, a 1950s-era programming language that a lot of the systems still run on. But this isn’t like old hardware breaking down, and COBOL isn’t exactly broken. The problems with running a decades-old programming language are more subtle — so subtle that you can run for years without any obvious problem.

          The problems only show up when you suddenly need to handle an unprecedented surge in traffic and you find out your state unemployment system can’t scale up the way a service like Netflix or Zoom can. But to understand why that is, you need to understand the way network management has changed over the past 20 years (that is, the shift from pets to cattle) and how technical debt can lock you into the old way of doing things.

          And most importantly… you have to look at the Big Picture.

        • Will Kahn-Greene: Experimenting with Symbolic

          One of the things I work on is Tecken which runs Mozilla Symbols Server. It’s a server that handles Breakpad symbols files upload, download, and stack symbolication.

          Bug #1614928 covers adding line numbers to the symbolicated stack results for the symbolication API. The current code doesn’t parse line records in Breakpad symbols files, so it doesn’t know anything about line numbers. I spent some time looking at how much effort it’d take to improve the hand-written Breakpad symbol file parsing code to parse line records which requires us to carry those changes through to the caching layer and some related parts–it seemed really tricky.

          That’s the point where I decided to go look at Symbolic which I had been meaning to look at since Jan wrote the Native Crash Reporting: Symbol Servers, PDBs, and SDK for C and c++ blog post a year ago.

        • Major R language update brings big changes

          Version 4.0.0 of the R language for statistical computing has been released, with changes to the syntax of the language as well as features pertaining to error-checking and long vectors.

          The upgrade was published on April 24. Source code for R 4.0.0 is accessible at cran.r-project.org. A GNU project, R has gathered steam with the rise of data science and machine learning, currently ranking 10th in the Tiobe Index of language popularity and seventh in the PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index.

        • Python

          • Structuring a Python Application

            Python, though opinionated on syntax and style, is surprisingly flexible when it comes to structuring your applications. On the one hand, this flexibility is great: it allows different use cases to use structures that are necessary for those use cases. On the other hand, though, it can be very confusing to the new developer. The Internet isn’t a lot of help either. There are as many opinions as there are Python blogs!

          • Python 3.9.0a6

            Python 3.9 is still in development. This release, 3.9.0a6 is the last out of six planned alpha releases. Alpha releases are intended to make it easier to test the current state of new features and bug fixes and to test the release process. During the alpha phase, features may be added up until the start of the beta phase (2020-05-18) and, if necessary, may be modified or deleted up until the release candidate phase (2020-08-10). Please keep in mind that this is a preview release and its use is not recommended for production environments.

          • Python 3.9.0a6 is now available for testing

            On behalf of the entire Python development community, and the currently serving Python release team in particular, I’m pleased to announce the release of Python 3.9.0a6.

          • Scientific Software Developer- Contract Basis [SunPy Project]

            NumFOCUS is seeking a Scientific Software Developer to support the SunPy project. SunPy is a Python-based open source scientific software package supporting solar physics data analysis. This is a 1 year contract.

          • “Flying Pandas” and “Making Pandas Fly” – virtual talks this weekend on faster data processing with Pandas, Modin, Dask and Vaex

            This Saturday and Monday I’ve had my first experience presenting at virtual conferences – on Saturday it was for Remote Pizza Python (brilliant line-up!) and on Monday (note – this post predates the talk, I’ll update it tomorrow after I’ve spoken) at BudapestBI.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #418 (April 28, 2020)
          • IBM announces Elyra AI Toolkit, a set of AI-centric extensions to Jupyter Notebooks

            Jupyter Notebooks are now the open standard for data science and artificial intelligence (AI) model development. In keeping with our commitment to open source and the Jupyter community, in particular, IBM is proud to announce Elyra, a set of open source AI-centric extensions to Jupyter Notebooks, and, more specifically, the new JupyterLab user interface.

          • How to use count() method in python

            The built-in count() method of Python is very helpful when we need to find out how many times a particular string appears in a text or how many times an item appears in a tuple or list. By default, this method will search a particular sub-string in the whole content of a particular string but this method can also be used to search the sub-string in the particular portion of the main string. The uses of count() method in Python are explained in this article using multiple examples.

          • How to use a break and continue statement within a loop in Python

            Break and continue statements are used inside the loop of any programming language for different purposes. These two statements are considered as jump statements because both statements move the control from one part to another part of the script. The break statement is used within any loop to terminate the loop based on any specific condition before the termination condition appears. The continue statement is used within any loop to omit one or more statements of the loop based on any specific condition but it is not used to terminate the loop. How these statements are used inside the python loop are shown in this tutorial.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Pity the Nation
    • The Uplifting Magic of Mother’s Day in These Perilous Days

      For my Mother, the family table was a mosaic of sights, scents, and tastes, of talking, teaching, and teasing, of health, culture, stimulation, and delight. 

    • Save Lives Now, Don’t Wait to Kill

      If we can save lives, shouldn’t we always? And if we can do that now rather than wait to kill someone later, why wouldn’t we do that? Yet that is precisely what might be happening across the country, as states that have retained the death penalty are likely holding on to drugs for lethal injections that can be used to sedate and immobilize people who must be put on ventilators for serious cases of COVID-19.

    • Hardware

      • Airtel and Nokia sign multi-year deal to boost network capacity and customer experience

        Nokia and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) today announced a multi-year agreement to deploy Nokia’s SRAN solution across 9 circles1 in India, helping Airtel to enhance the network capacity of its networks, in particular 4G, and improve customer experience. The rollout, which will also lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future, will see approximately 300,000 radio units deployed across several spectrum bands, including 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz, and is expected to be completed by 2022.

      • Nokia bags Rs 7,500 crore deal from Bharti Airtel

        Bharti Airtel announced a multi-year agreement to deploy Nokia’s Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) solution across nine circles in India, helping Airtel to enhance the network capacity of its networks, in particular 4G, and improve customer experience.

        According to sources the deal size is around Rs 7,500 crore.

      • Nokia wins network equipment order from India’s Bharti Airtel

        Nokia said the deal includes Nokia’s Single Radio Access Network solution, AirScale Radio Access, Baseband, related Services, and it will be completed by 2022.

      • Airtel signs multi-year deal with Nokia to enhance network capacity

        According to Airtel, the deal also covers Nokia’s RAN equipment, including its AirScale Radio Access, AirScale BaseBand and NetAct OSS solution which will help the operator better manage and monitor the network.

      • Avoid the Trash Heap: 15 Great Uses for an Old PC

        In 2019, after seven years of slumps, PC sales went up by the tiniest increment—0.3 percent. Demand then surged in recent weeks as people shifted to work-from-home setups due to COVID-19 quarantines. Which means some of you may be getting a new computer. But what do you do with the old PC?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “That Doesn’t Do Anything”: Experts Warn Trump Plan for States to Test Just 2% of Residents Is Completely Inadequate

        “It’s totally in our control to fix this. We should be spending $100 billion on the testing. We should just get it going. It’s just not that hard.”

      • Experts Warn Trump Plan for States to Test 2% of Residents “Doesn’t Do Anything”

        President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled what the White House described as a “blueprint” for nationwide Covid-19 testing that public health experts say falls far short of the robust federal strategy needed to track and contain the deadly virus before states can safely begin reopening their economies.

      • ‘We just want to remember our fallen colleagues’ Russian doctors launch website to list health workers who have died during the coronavirus pandemic

        An advocacy group of Russian doctors has launched a website with a crowdsourced “in memoriam” list of the health workers who have died in Russia during the coronavirus epidemic. The list already includes more than 70 names — far more than Russian officials have acknowledged. Meduza special correspondent Pavel Merzlikin spoke to Moscow cardiologist Alexey Erlikh, one of the advocacy group’s creators, to find out more about the “in memoriam” list.

      • The Two Numbers Trump Can’t Spin

        Total deaths and job loss.

      • ‘Where’s the f***ing quarantine? Where are the f***ing masks?’ Hundreds of Gazprom workers in Yakutia gather together in a crowd to demand better protection against the coronavirus

        Shift workers at the Chayanda oil field in Yakutia assembled for an unplanned protest on April 27, demanding measures to protect them against the spread of COVID-19. The oil field in question is operated by the company “Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk.”

      • LAPD’s Failed Predictive Policing Program The Latest COVID-19 Victim

        Fucking predictive policing/how the fuck does it work. Mostly, it doesn’t. For the most part, predictive policing relies on garbage data generated by garbage cops, turning years of biased policing into “actionable intel” by laundering it through a bunch of proprietary algorithms.

      • Putin will address the nation again on Tuesday, when he’s expected to extend Russia’s ‘non-working’ period into mid-May

        Sometime after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, Vladimir Putin will make another national address — a “big speech,” says Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. 

      • Monastery candidate outside Moscow self-immolates after testing positive for COVID-19

        A candidate (a poshlushnik, or “novice”) for the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra monastery outside Moscow has reportedly killed himself after testing positive for COVID-19. Before dawn on April 24, after he was hospitalized with coronavirus, Dmitry Pelipenko apparently knocked out a first-floor window, walked to the hospital’s church, and set himself on fire, receiving burns on roughly 90 percent of his body. He was then placed in intensive care, where he died two days later.

      • The Luxury to Fear COVID-19

        El Salvador is showing very different faces. While some people herald its young president for his forceful actions as the savior of the country and even an example for Latin America, others denounce him for his disregard for Salvadorian law, the blatant violations of human rights committed under his regime, and his seeming aspirations as a populist, authoritarian leader. Rather than thinking of this as “the truth lies somewhere in between,” it is important to explore how the government has reacted to the COVID-19 crisis, and how these actions have affected the sectors of the society that are usually ignored – the rural and urban poor.

      • The COVID-19 Chronology From Hell

        Historically, in hyper-crises, local and global systems can change fundamentally. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit first China and then the rest of the globe, the question of whether the American imperial era might be faltering was already on the table, amid that country’s endless wars and with the world’s most capricious leader. When humanity emerges from this devastating crisis of disease, dislocation, and impoverishment, not to mention the fracturing of a global economic system created by Washington but increasingly powered by Beijing on a climate-stressed planet, the question will be: Has the Chinese dragon pushed the American eagle down to a secondary position?

      • COVID-19 and Central America: a Learning Moment?

        The countries of Central America are indeed central to the foreign and domestic policies of the United States in many ways, most obvious of which is immigration. But the current COVID19 pandemic has exposed significant differences in the responses of Central American countries and examples of gross disaster opportunism and the double standard applied to different countries. Compare two neighbors—Honduras and Nicaragua. The difference between these countries is stark. According to figures from the Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA)—figures that the World Health Organization considers reliable—as of April 10 Central America as a whole had over six thousand confirmed cases of COVID19. Honduras had 385 confirmed cases in a total population of about 9.5 million. Other sources reported an increase in cases the next day. Nicaragua had 8 total confirmed cases, including 4 active, 1 death, and 3 recovered, out of a population of 6.7 million, the second lowest number of cases in Central America, after sparsely populated and much smaller Belize, but by April 14, Belize had surpassed Nicaragua in number of cases. By April 19, the date of this writing, Honduras had nearly 500 confirmed cases; Nicaragua, 10. Some have attributed the low number of cases in Nicaragua to a very low testing rate, but the same concern has been voiced about Honduras where some think the actual rate of infection is much higher than detected.

      • What Antibody Studies Can Tell You — and More Importantly, What They Can’t

        In the past two weeks, researchers across America have begun announcing results from studies showing that there have been many more coronavirus infections in their communities than were previously recorded.

        Findings have come in from Santa Clara County, California, as well as Los Angeles, New York, Chelsea, Massachusetts, and Miami-Dade County, Florida. The debates began immediately. What did the study results actually mean? If more people were infected than previously known, did that mean the death rate is actually lower than previously thought? Is the coronavirus actually more like the flu, after all? And are we close to “herd immunity,” meaning enough people are infected that the virus won’t spread easily anymore?

      • Beijing in the Time of COVID-19
      • What Happens When the Workers Who Make Hand Soap Get COVID-19? They Protest.

        In the weeks before Norma Martinez died of COVID-19, she and her co-workers talked about their fears of contracting the coronavirus on the factory floor where they make and bottle personal care and beauty products, including hand soaps.

        Rumors had been circulating among the workers — particularly those, like Martinez, who were employed through temporary staffing agencies -— that somebody at the facility in the southwest suburb of Countryside had tested positive for the virus or had been exposed to someone who had. Martinez, 45, told relatives she walked quickly and tried to hold her breath when she got close to other workers.

      • COVID-19 From the Front Lines

        Some of us in the frontlines of health care have been trying to convince CDC to declare racism as a threat to public health. We think our proofs are strong.

      • Let Prisoners Go During COVID-19 Pandemic

        Inmates awaiting trial, the elderly, and those who have served much of their sentence should get early release before deaths start to soar. Use the extra space to provide more social distancing,

      • ‘I did my duty’ Former nurse at Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital says unsafe working conditions have led to mass resignations

        In a video published on April 27 by the news website Open Media, a former assistant nurse at Moscow’s Kommunarka hospital says many staff aren’t given adequate protective gear and haven’t receive promised bonus payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • With 6,411 new confirmed cases in the past day, Russia’s coronavirus infection count nears 100,000

        On the morning of April 28, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 6,411 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 93,558 patients. A day earlier, the nation recorded 6,198 new infections (213 cases fewer).

      • Trump Encourages School Openings, But Majority of Americans Think It’s Unsafe

        As President Donald Trump continues to encourage an end to stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic — even encouraging state governors to open schools again — the vast majority of Americans appear unwilling to see social distancing measures loosened just quite yet.

      • Trump Ignored More Than a Dozen Early COVID Briefings — But Now Blames China

        President Donald Trump continues to place much of the blame for the presence of coronavirus in the United States on China, suggesting in comments on Monday that his administration was looking into Beijing’s actions to demonstrate that they are at fault for the pandemic’s spread.

      • Both Sides-ing Bleach Injection

        You probably saw Donald Trump’s ridiculous, false and deadly claim last week: that ingesting chemical cleaners could cure humans of the coronavirus. At a White House press briefing on Thursday (4/23/20), the president said:

      • Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi: Promoting dangerously bogus pseudo-epidemiology about COVID-19

        There’s a pandemic of more than just COVID-19 right now. There’s also a pandemic of pseudoscience, misinformation, disinformation, and just plain bad science. There’s also a pandemic of armchair epidemiologists confidently spouting off about infection rates and case fatality rates, people who self-assuredly say, “I’m not an epidemiologist or infectious disease expert, but…” and then proceed to make opine about the incidence, prevalence, and treatment as though they were experts. Personally, whenever anyone starts out by saying, “I’m not an infectious disease expert or epidemiologist, but…” I respond, “You should have stopped after ‘I’m not I’m not an infectious disease expert or epidemiologist.” The problem, of course, is that estimating, for example, prevalence of exposure to COVID-19 and case fatality rates is very difficult in the middle of a pandemic in which there is insufficient testing, case numbers are still climbing, and the antibody tests likely have high false positive rates, and if you don’t have any training you don’t even know what you don’t know. That applies to physicians, too, most of whom have no training in epidemiology or virology. It goes double for the Bakerfield duo who’ve become the darlings of Fox News and COVID-19 deniers, Drs. Dan Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi. Their toxic Dunning-Kruger ignorance is spreading via news stories like California urgent care doctor questions stay-at-home orders: ‘You can get to herd immunity without a vaccine’, Tucker Carlson: New Evidence Means The Coronavirus Far Less Deadly Than We Were Told, and Frontline doctors who administered 5,000 coronavirus tests want to reopen, say COVID-19 similar to flu, all based on this video, originally posted featuring Drs. Erickson and Massihi a week ago or so:

      • Nurses Say They Don’t Want to Be Called Heroes During the Coronavirus Pandemic

        Every evening at 7 o’clock, cheers erupt from apartment buildings throughout New York City to applaud the health care workers combating COVID-19 at the global epicenter of the pandemic. But as political leaders in Washington commend their courage in the “war” against the coronavirus, some nurses consider the language of heroism and sacrifice a way of disguising how they’re being forced to work in risky conditions that could have been avoided. “I am being martyred against my will,” Jillian Primiano, an E.R. nurse in Brooklyn, wrote on her protest sign for a demonstration in Harlem earlier in the month. Health care workers across the country carried out a National Healthcare Day of Action on April 15 to decry the unsafe working conditions they are enduring in the eye of the pandemic, declaring #TheSystemIsBroken.

      • The Government Must Decide If It Wants Pedestrians to Die or Not

        The slow walk from 2008 to 2016 is hard to understand in its own right, but it seems the administration change hasn’t helped matters since. NHTSA officials told the GAO staff that “administration priorities have shifted since publication of the 2015 Request for Comments” and that “after the administration changed,” specifications for a rule change were withdrawn from the Federal Register, preventing further public comment.

        The upshot to all this is NHTSA knows more pedestrians are dying but, despite being the regulatory agency with “highway traffic safety” in its name, refuses to do anything about it.

      • Coronavirus pandemic in the US

        There are more than 1 million cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally, and more than 58,000 people have died.

      • Coronavirus update: Scott Morrison says easing of restrictions ‘not too far away’, US reaches 1 million cases, woman dies in Victoria

        According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 57,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, rapidly approaching the number of Americans killed during the 20 years of the Vietnam War, in which 58,220 died.

        The US has far outstripped Europe in terms of infections. It has some 770,000 more cases than Spain, the country with the second-highest COVID-19 caseload.

      • McConnell wants corporate immunity from COVID-19 suits: “No consequences for negligence that kills”

        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is demanding that Congress use the next Covid-19 stimulus bill to shield corporations from legal responsibility for workers who contract the novel coronavirus on the job, throwing his support behind a proposal pushed in recent weeks by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other right-wing organizations.

      • ‘No Consequences for Negligence That Kills’: McConnell Wants Corporate Immunity From Covid-19 Lawsuits

        “This is one of the most appalling things I’ve heard in the context of this crisis.”

      • COVID-19 is more than a public health crisis — it’s a political crisis fueled by the ruling class

        This white supremacist worldview was bluntly called out by David Frum, a former speech writer for George W. Bush, when he appeared on MSNBC with Ari Melber on April 24.

        Frum observed that ProPublica had published a list of seven basic action items, like contact tracing, that should be in place before re-opening the economy. Yet, Frum rightly observed none of these public health prerequisites were in place even as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, moved to re-open the Peach Tree state’s economy.

        This, Frum explained was moving “toward the policy” of “let’s take the punch” and reopen accepting ‘that there may be hundreds of thousands, or some double hundreds of thousands, of Americans killed. They’re going to be mostly poor and minorities, mostly not going to be Trump voters. Let’s take that punch and push through and try to get to herd immunity as fast as possible.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Several people are [attacking]: Feds turn to civilian Slack groups for help during coronavirus [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Cyber Threat Coalition is one of two Slack groups — the CTI League is the other — created in recent weeks by civilian cybersecurity professionals who wanted to put their heads together and try to stem the rising tide of cybercrime that’s flooded the [Internet] amid the coronavirus pandemic.

          Both groups vet each new member and have still quickly swelled to thousands of users worldwide. And notably, each quickly saw an influx of government agents, leading to an unprecedented situation in which technology employees regularly find themselves chatting in [Internet] chat rooms with cyber cops around the world, each identified by their real name and agency.

        • [Old] Your Slack DMs aren’t as private as you think

          It’s also possible that your employer has invested in a higher-level plan, like Enterprise Grid. Those plans work with third-party apps like Hanzo that allow employers to store messages and other information. Companies may need to consistently preserve electronic communications for review by regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulation Authority.

        • [Old] Slack updates privacy policy: Employers can read ‘private’ DMs without telling workers

          Under the updated policy, which starts on April 20, compliance reports are being discontinued and the downloading options expanded. According to the Slack website: [...]

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel, openjdk-7, openjdk-8, and openldap), Fedora (openvpn), openSUSE (teeworlds and vlc), Red Hat (bind, binutils, bluez, container-tools:1.0, container-tools:2.0, container-tools:rhel8, cups, curl, dnsmasq, dpdk, e2fsprogs, edk2, evolution, exiv2, fontforge, freeradius:3.0, gcc, gdb, glibc, GNOME, grafana, GStreamer, libmad, and SDL, haproxy, ibus and glib2, irssi, kernel, kernel-rt, liblouis, libmspack, libreoffice, libsndfile, libtiff, libxml2, memcached, mod_auth_mellon, openssl, patch, php:7.2, pki-core:10.6 and pki-deps:10.6, python-pip, python-twisted-web, python27:2.7, python3, qt5, rsyslog, ruby, samba, sqlite, sudo, systemd, targetcli, tcpdump, unbound, unzip, wavpack, and zziplib), SUSE (samba, squid, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe,linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2,linux-snapdragon, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp11, and samba).

          • Massive & Unprecedented Security Breach Takes Usenet Providers Offline

            A massive security breach has taken at least one major Usenet provider offline. UseNext says that a “security hole in a partner company” could have revealed names and bank account information, exposing customers to fraud and identity theft. The precise nature of the breach isn’t clear but reports that a Usenet client has been stealing login credentials is being linked to the security disaster.

          • How to avoid Coronavirus scam websites, calls, and texts

            The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best – and worst – in human society. While people around the world have come together in solidarity to try and flatten the curve and front line essential workers are still keeping everyone fed, the scammers of the world have taken this as a golden opportunity to try and steal from people just when they need their money the most.

          • Endangered users of Windows, macOS and Linux. Critical vulnerability detected in all popular antiviruses

            Vulnerability experts tested and found a “hole” in 28 popular antivirus programs, including Microsoft Defender (Windows Defender), Avast, Kaspersky, and many others. Moreover, it acts not only on Windows but macOS with Linux.

            According to experts, antivirus packages have errors that allow hackers to delete files, cause serious system crashes, and install malware. Depending on the operating system, vulnerabilities can be exploited in various ways. It is based on the already known type of vulnerability called Symlink, which originates in the unsafe creation of files by a program.

            Rack911 Labs notes: During testing on Windows, macOS, and Linux, we were able to easily delete important files related to antivirus software, which resulted in the loss of efficiency or even deletion of key files of the operating system, which could cause significant damage requiring a complete reinstallation of the OS ”.

          • We’re going on a vuln hunt. We’re going catch a big one: Researchers find Windows bugs dominate – but fixes are fast

            A study of vulnerabilities – bugs that can be a gateway for malware or allow privilege escalation by an intruder – shows that Windows platforms have the most by far, but that they also tend to be fixed quickly, compared to Linux systems or appliances like routers, printers and scanners.

            Kenna Security has published a report based on “vulnerability data culled from more than 9 million active assets across nearly 450 organizations,” gathered by its cybersecurity research partner Cyentia Institute and based in part on data from automated vulnerability scanners.

          • Why voting online is not the way to hold an election in a pandemic

            Yet online voting faces serious, possibly insurmountable obstacles. Even its keenest cheerleaders acknowledge that it should complement, not replace, other methods. The consensus among experts is that the technology remains vulnerable to security breaches and cyber-attacks. Malware can tamper with votes before they reach government servers. Hackers can create mirror versions of an election portal, steal voter credentials, or attack computers that count and store online ballots. A recent paper by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a non-profit group, concludes that countries without experience of online voting should not contemplate rolling it out in response to the covid-19 crisis. The cure would be worse than the disease.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Federal Court Says Baltimore PD’s High-Powered Aerial Surveillance Program Doesn’t Violate The Constitution

              Four years ago, the Baltimore Police Department unilaterally decided to put several eyes in the sky. The 192-million megapixel camera system capable of covering 32-square miles was sent skyward with zero public comment or input from the city. And why not? The city was barely involved. The BPD received the camera system courtesy of a private donor.

            • Apple and Google’s COVID-19 Exposure Notification API: Questions and Answers

              Apple and Google are undertaking an unprecedented team effort to build a system for Androids and iPhones to interoperate in the name of technology-assisted COVID-19 contact tracing.

              The companies’ plan is part of a torrent of proposals to use Bluetooth signal strength to enhance manual contact tracing with proximity-based mobile apps. As Apple and Google are an effective duopoly in the mobile operating system space, their plan carries special weight. Apple and Google’s tech would be largely decentralized, keeping most of the data on users’ phones and away from central databases. This kind of app has some unavoidable privacy tradeoffs, as we’ll discuss below, and Apple and Google could do more to prevent privacy leaks. Still, their model is engineered to reduce the privacy risks of Bluetooth proximity tracking, and it’s preferable to other strategies that depend on a central server.

            • China is installing surveillance cameras outside people’s front doors … and sometimes inside their homes

              Although there is no official announcement stating that cameras must be fixed outside the homes of people under quarantine, it has been happening in some cities across China since at least February, according to three people who recounted their experience with the cameras to CNN, as well as social media posts and government statements.

            • Facebook is adding the option to charge for access to live streams

              Details on the new feature are slim right now — the news came buried in Facebook’s larger announcement about its new Zoom-like Messenger Rooms feature — and there’s no real date for when users will be able to charge for events outside of a vague promise that it’ll arrive in the “coming weeks.” The announcement references that pages will be able to charge for events, but Facebook has yet to clarify if there will be any limitations as to who’ll be able to use the feature.

            • Blind faith in technology diverts EU efforts to fight terrorism

              If there is one thing the coronavirus crisis proved to us is that automated tools used by big social media companies completely fail to provide a suitable online space for the exchange of vital health-related information, write Chloé Berthélémy and Diego Naranjo.

              Chloé Berthélémy is a policy adviser at European Digital Rights (EDRi). Diego Naranjo is the head of policy at EDRi.

              After emptying their content moderators offices and sending their employees back home due to health safety guidelines, Facebook and the like promised to fight the spread of disinformation about the virus with the help of their so-called artificial intelligence. It only took a few hours to observe glitches in the system.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • After US Suspension of Funding, WHO Expected to Cut 80% of Humanitarian Aid to War-Torn Yemen

        “Trump deflecting blame for his handling of the pandemic onto the WHO and making Yemenis pay for it in the end.”

      • US-Backed Forces Killed Twice as Many Children as Taliban and ISIS Did During 1st Quarter of 2020

        The new quarterly report on casualties comes a month after U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      • The Taliban branded him an infidel, so with his life on the line, he rolled the dice

        In 2018, he published one opinion piece decrying violence against women and another exhorting the Afghan youth to become more involved in the political process.

        “This publication prompted individuals whom I believe were the Mujahideen to demand that I stop publishing these types of materials,” Ahmadi said in an affidavit for his asylum hearing. “These individuals once approached me at a Quran-reading session and told me that publishing articles that depict women is forbidden. They told me that if I published another article, they would kill me and leave my head on the road.”

        His writing also led to an argument with religious leaders, who told him he must stop depicting women in his articles, he said in his affidavit.

        “They told me that women should be afraid of men, must be obedient and should stay at home. … I disagreed with them and spoke about my beliefs,” he said.

        “They labeled me as an infidel.”

        Ahmadi believes that was tantamount to a death sentence.

      • [Old] Former interpreters laud court ruling to accelerate special visa decisions

        “This decision is an essential step toward keeping our promises to the thousands of Afghans and Iraqis who risked their lives for the United States,” said Rebecca Curwin, an associate with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP, in the release. “We look forward to the government’s efficient adjudication of applications that have been pending for years.”

        The Department of Justice declined to comment on the ruling.

    • Environment

      • The EPA’s Dirty Water: New Rule Discards Science, Ignores Importance of Wetlands and Tributaries

        The EPA’s blatant dismissal of the importance of clean water, from tap water to wildlife, has alarmed scores of former federal scientists, environmental officials, and the heads of virtually every major scientific society.

      • The Corporate Food System is Making the Coronavirus Crisis Worse

        The global food system has been very much front and center in the COVID-19 story.

      • ‘Demoralizing’ New Michael Moore Film Attacks Climate Movement at a Time When Solutions Should be at the Forefront, Say Critics

        “Throughout, the filmmakers twist basic facts, misleading the public about who is responsible for the climate crisis.”

      • Amid Dual Crises of Climate and Covid-19, World Leaders Told ‘Empty Words Will Not Help Us’

        “Despite promising statements, the [Petersberg] dialogue did not result in firm commitments to a green and just recovery.”

      • Ranked-Choice Voting: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

        Climate activist Bill McKibben took to the New Yorker recently to advise me and the Green Party to stand down our presidential campaign and instead work for ranked-choice voting (RCV) so we don’t “spoil” the election for Joe Biden (“Instead of Challenging Joe Biden, Maybe the Green Party Could Help Change Our Democracy,” April 15).

      • Mobilizing Climate Action in the Face of Planet of the Humans

        Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs’s new film is so full of weak analysis, misinformation, and misplaced invective that I worry it will cause more harm than good. 

      • Energy

        • We Need Healing From Our Oil-Addicted Society
        • Is a Post-Pandemic World the Beginning of the End for Oil?

          Energy analysts have long assumed that, given time, growing international concern over climate change would result in a vast restructuring of the global energy enterprise. The result: a greener, less climate-degrading system. In this future, fossil fuels would be overtaken by renewables, while oil, gas, and coal would be relegated to an increasingly marginal role in the global energy equation. In its World Energy Outlook 2019, for example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that, by 2040, renewables would finally supersede petroleum as the planet’s number one source of energy and coal would largely disappear from the fuel mix. As a result of Covid-19, however, we may no longer have to wait another 20 years for such a cosmic transition to occur — it’s happening right now.

        • The Beginning of the End for Oil?

          Energy in a post-pandemic world.

        • Sea level rise threatens UK nuclear reactor plans

          Sea level rise may consign the planned UK site for two large nuclear reactors to vanish beneath the waves.

        • Solar Panels Could Be the Best Fad Ever

          I went home, intrigued. I’d been thinking about putting an array on my roof for years, but something about my friend’s confidence pushed me over the edge. I called up Brooklyn Solarworks, a local firm, and their crew of electricians arrived and, with a chill, we-got-this vibe, installed a gorgeous, sleek set of panels. It’s a “canopy” setup, with the panels raised 9 feet above my roof on thick, shiny aluminum braces, crafted with such perfect welds it made my engineering-nerd heart swoon. My house is old, built in 1902, so the canopy lends it a vaguely William Gibsonian aesthetic: a ramshackle blend of vinyl siding, snaky wiring, and dark promise. You can see the panels from a block away; they attract attention.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Public Wants Ranchers Out of Point Reyes National Seashore

          The National Park Service recently released the public comments on how Point Reyes National Seashore should be managed and they show that the vast majority of the public wants beef and dairy operations booted off Park Service lands. Contrary to prevailing assumptions that local food culture overrides conservation concerns in the local area, some 91.4% of all public comments opposed ranching on the Park Service lands of Point Reyes National Seashore, while only 2.3% supported continued  beef and dairy operations, according to a volunteer-led tally of public comments supported by Resource Renewal Institute, a local conservation group.

        • As Slaughterhouses Shut Down Across the Country, Animals Are at Risk of On Farm Mass Slaughter

          Slaughterhouses are clearly a weak link in the food system and pose serious threats to our health, especially during a pandemic. But as plants shut down, we must also consider the fate of the millions of animals who had been scheduled for slaughter.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump and McConnell Aren’t Waging War on COVID. They’re Waging War on Us.

        Donald Trump and his top Republican allies in Congress are fighting a war, and the battle lines have begun to clarify themselves. Their war is not being waged against COVID-19, the pandemic that has killed tens of thousands in this nation alone. Their war is being waged against the nation itself, and specifically against areas of the nation that are heavy on population but light on Trump supporters.

      • “A Plague On Both Your Houses”

        Trump’s discussion of injecting UV light and disinfectant into the body to treat COVID-19 during his daily briefing was, of course, a new low. The man, whom his secretary of state Rex Tillerson once famously described as “a moron,” is obviously a toxic mix of stupidity and arrogance. So this morning MSNBC, the unofficial DNC organ, gleefully posts poll numbers showing that 54% of the people polled “do not believe” Trump’s statements during the briefings. The poll also shows that 28% routinely receive “information” about the virus from Trump.

      • Demand Grows for Biden to Address Tara Reade Allegations as Democrats Wrestle With #MeToo Hypocrisy

        “Republicans already basically dismiss sexual assault allegations against their co-partisans out of hand; if Democrats do the same for the leader of their party it will do a great deal to move us back to the pre-#MeToo past.”

      • Trump and Biden Trade China Hit Pieces: Distinctions without a Difference

        This season’s sequel to the Game of Thrones features reality TV star and current occupant of the Oval Office versus the former Senator from MBNA and two-term VP. It’s time to binge watch dueling hit pieces from the US electoral duopoly going at it.

      • Gossiping Over Kim Jong-Un

        Illness can often fall into the category of the obsessive, becoming a sport for mugs, sufferers and observers alike. The following often feature: the hypochondriac, the speculator of disease, the gossip about how far gone a person is who has contracted something or rather. When it comes to tyrants, such speculation becomes a thrill of sorts, with rich lashings of Schadenfreude. Rome’s notorious consul Lucius Cornelius Sulla and despot of the Republic was one who perished to phthiriasis, that lousy disease of antiquity characterised by stubborn lice, lesions, itching and death. His demise brought cheers from Pausanias, while Pliny thought Sulla’s victims more fortunate than him, whose “body ate itself away and bred its own torments”.

      • Lauren Sandler: How Americans learned to blame the homeless for their own poverty

        Yet if you haven’t experienced poverty directly, there is only so much these data-driven stories and reports can tell you — which is why Lauren Sandler’s new book, “This Is All I Got,” is so powerful. A work of narrative non-fiction, Sandler follows Camila, a young single mother hunting for affordable housing in New York City. “Picture yourself at twenty-two with no margin for error,” Sandler writes in the book. “Picture yourself shouldering the stress of caring for an infant while attempting to navigate the system.” If picturing yourself in these shoes is hard, Sandler’s vivid writing helps.

        In reporting on Camila, Sandler transforms from journalist to friend, fostering a deep intimacy between the two that is evident in her reporting. Moreover, Sandler shows us that if Camila can’t break the poverty loop, then nobody can. “What it means to get stable housing, not just in this city, but in this country, is something that is systemically impossible because of our policies,” Sandler told Salon in an interview.

        We sat down with Sandler to talk about the country’s housing crisis, poverty, and privilege. As always, this interview has been condensed and edited for print.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Yandex says its experimental search results trashing Alexey Navalny were ‘a mistake’

        The Russian Internet giant Yandex has acknowledged a flaw in an experimental feature being tested on its search engine that caused some users to see overwhelmingly negative content when seeking information about opposition politician Alexey Navalny. The company says the search results were designed to capture trending content and the beta widget has now been removed from its website. 

      • Sean Hannity Hires Charles Harder To Threaten The NY Times And Its Reporters, Because Of Course He Does

        Last month, Kara Swisher wrote an opinion piece for the NY Times ripping Sean Hannity and Fox News to shreds for convincing her mother that COVID-19 wasn’t going to be too bad back in February and leading into March. It’s notable how she started her piece:

      • Lawmakers introduce legislation to combat global censorship, boost [Internet] freedom

        A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Monday introduced legislation intended to expand global [Internet] freedom and cut down on social media and news censorship by governments in countries such as China and Russia.

        The Open Technology Fund Authorization Act would authorize the existing nonprofit Open Technology Fund (OTF) as an independent group under the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which also includes media groups such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Investigative journalists link senior FSB official to MH17 case

        The open-source investigation website Bellingcat and the Russian investigative outlet The Insider have identified a senior official from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) as a key figure in the downing Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014.

      • Saving Journalism Will Require Some New Thinking

        There has been a new wave of despair among journalists in the last couple of weeks as several major news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and McClatchy News Service, announced layoffs and/or pay cuts. The immediate cause is the coronavirus. Pandemics sharply reduce advertising opportunities, but the underlying model is clearly not viable for most news outlets.

      • FBI documents reveal communication between Stone, Assange

        The documents — FBI affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants in the criminal investigation into Stone — were released following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organizations.

        They were made public as Stone, convicted last year in Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, awaits a date to surrender to a federal prison system that has grappled with outbreaks of the coronavirus.

      • Julian Assange and Catalan political prisoners lead collective letter to the UN over the situation in prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic

        Among the signatories are the Catalan political prisoners, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and activists imprisoned in Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Morocco and Western Sahara.

        Around thirty political prisoners from different territories around the world have sent a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, with the purpose of denouncing their situation of imprisonment during the Coronavirus crisis, after international institutions and organizations such as the Council of Europe, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch recommended reducing the population in prisons due to the high risk of spreading the disease.

        In late March, the High Commissioner herself called on governments to take urgent measures to protect the health and safety of people imprisoned or detained in other facilities, as part of efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the elderly, the sick, “each and every person who is imprisoned without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained for having expressed critical or dissenting opinions,” as well as low-risk prisoners.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • To Understand COVID in Prisons, Listen to Incarcerated People

        The last few years I have written many articles attempting to diagnose the deep malaise within the U.S. criminal legal system — in particular, the human costs of high walls, razor wire, locked doors, grossly restricted mobility, punishment-violence and execution — prison’s defining characteristics.

      • The Supreme Court Needs To Reverse The Fifth Circuit’s Awful Ruling In The DeRay McKesson Case

        Whenever our nation’s court system resumes to normalcy, there will hopefully be another case on the Supreme Court docket that could clarify if someone who engages in protected speech can be held responsible for violent actions of someone else at the same protest.

      • UN Projects ‘Staggering’ 20% Rise in Gender-Based Violence Worldwide During Pandemic Lockdowns

        The new data—which also address child marriages, female genital mutilation, and unintended pregnancies—”shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally.”

      • Who Is ‘Being Stupid’: Jeff Goldblum or Islam’s Apologists?

        The rest—weeping and wailing vis-à-vis the hinting of unpleasant facts—might have been expected, not least considering that the venue where Goldblum’s utterance was made epitomes irrationalism, emotionalism, and relativism.

      • Tesla’s Laid Off Janitors and Bus Drivers Say They Can’t Afford Food and Medication

        Tesla’s decision to lay off contracted workers without pay followed remarks from CEO Elon Musk downplayed “panic” about the pandemic as “dumb.” On March 19, after defying local orders to shut down its factories and facing public outcry, Tesla closed its California factories.

        In late March, Tesla laid off roughly 150 unionized shuttle drivers, according to Teamsters Local 853. Less than a week later, 130 unionized janitors who clean Tesla’s auto-manufacturing plants in Fremont and Lathrop lost their jobs, Solis, the union official said.

        “This is having a devastating effect on workers, who are low wage workers and not seen,” Solis said. “They’re subcontracted and that’s the way Tesla tries to remove any responsibility. Many of these workers have chronic conditions like diabetes and don’t have healthcare. There are no other jobs out there right now, and these workers don’t know how they’ll pay May rent or put food on the table.”

      • Take Action Now: Bail Out People, Not Corporations

        Hundreds of Amazon workers called in sick Friday to protest working conditions they argue are unsafe and unethical amid the pandemic. They join frontline workers from grocery stores to poultry plants to emergency rooms who’ve demanded safety protections, pay increases, and paid sick leave as they confront some of the greatest risks of contracting the virus. As these fights continue across the country, it’s crucial that we fight for the policies that workers need to be safe in the workplace and beyond.

      • Harry Dunn: Foreign Office failed to tell police Anne Sacoolas was leaving UK

        Harry Dunn’s mother has called on Dominic Raab to “reevaluate his position” after ITV News learned a Foreign Official official said there was “not much mileage” in keeping his alleged killer and her family in the UK just three weeks after his death.

        Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike was involved in a collision with a car allegedly driven by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence officer on August 27, 2019.

        Ms Sacoolas left the UK around three weeks after the crash, which took place near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

      • Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Prohibition on “Exceeding Authorized Use”

        The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) is a Federal criminal statute intended to protect government and other “protected computers” from hacking. Among other things, the CFAA serves as the basis for punishing anyone who “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains . . . information from any protected computer.”[1] But the provision on exceeding authorized access has been extremely controversial, in part because it allows private companies to shape the contours of criminal law through their terms of service. That controversy has led to a split between the Federal circuit courts on the breadth of the provision, one that the Supreme Court has now agreed to decide through Van Buren v. United States, 940 F.3d 1192 (11th Cir. 2019), cert. granted, __ U.S. __ (2020).

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • This Rural School District Has Been Asking for Wi-Fi for Years. Now It’s Finally Getting It.

        Since the March shutdown of schools across Illinois, teachers at one rural southwestern district have been stuffing 800 manila envelopes with learning packets and mailing them to students’ homes because many families in the area don’t have computers or high-speed internet.

        Trico District 176’s remote learning challenges were highlighted in a ProPublica Illinois and Chicago Tribune story last month that exposed a digital divide across Illinois as schools shifted to remote learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. State agencies later released a map touting publicly accessible Wi-Fi hot spots at about 250 locations; none are in the 250 square miles that make up the Trico district.

      • TV ‘Cord Cutters’ Will Be The Majority By 2022

        The broadcast and TV sector spent the last fifteen years trying to claim that TV cord cutting (cancelling traditional TV and going with streaming or antenna broadcasts) wasn’t a real thing, or that it was only something done by losers. But it’s the cord cutters who’ll be getting the last laugh.

    • Monopolies

      • Disney Says If You Tweet #MayThe4th At It, You’re Agreeing To A Disney Terms Of Use (You’re Not)

        A million and a half people are all sending this monstrosity to me. From patient zero of overly aggressive content ownership, the Twitter account of Disney+, the new streaming service from Disney, announced that everyone should share their favorite Star Wars memories using the #MayThe4th hashtag. As you probably know, “May the 4th” has become the semi-official Star Wars day, thanks to fans of the movies spreading the “May the force be with you”/”May the 4th be with you” puns on social media a little over a decade ago, leading to it being declared (unofficially) as “Star Wars Day” in 2011. Disney finally agreed to embrace it in 2013.

      • Uber CTO Steps Down as Company Reportedly Weighs Job Cuts

        The company may also be mulling job cuts of as much as 20%, according to tech news site the Information, which also reported on Pham’s departure earlier on Tuesday. Uber had about 27,000 employees at the end of last year.

    • COVID-19 UK Lockdown – a Time to Consolidate, Update and Innovate

      The requirement to stay at home is giving many of us the opportunity to undertake (or no excuse to ignore) the household and DIY tasks at home that have long been at the bottom of the to-do list. Similarly, directors, management teams and employees are adapting to the new normal of operating under lockdown and having taken steps to protect and stabilise their businesses. With social distancing restrictions extended in the United Kingdom until at least 7 May 2020, businesses may wish to use this time to do some corporate and business housekeeping.

      Once businesses have focused on the challenges that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents, taken advantage of available government schemes and (where applicable) adapted products, services, facilities and distribution channels in response, they should refocus on their legal and business fundamentals. For example, now may be the perfect time to tidy up corporate structures, update compliance policies, reinvigorate Brexit contingency plans, and plan for upcoming legal and regulatory changes.

    • Patents

      • Opposition against EPO plan to hold oral proceedings before examining divisions by videoconference

        The decision of the European Patent Office to start holding videoconferences as the standard way of conducting oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings is facing heavy criticism. There has been no testing, no consultation, the EPO doesn’t have the facilities, it may be discriminatory and in violation of Article 113(1) EPC, according to the epi, among others. The EPO’s Central Staff Committee thinks the “measures presently foreseen should be immediately halted”.

        [...]

        On 11 April, four representatives before the EPO of the Italian IP firm Bugnion sent an open letter to Campinos on the same issue, arguing the decision “appears to overlook a series of practical and legal aspects which could ultimately impair the applicants’ right to be heard enshrined in Article 113(1) EPC.” According to the authors, it could “negatively affect applicants and professional representatives residing in Contracting States that are at present most severely affected by the epidemic and where the national governments have imposed strict restrictions on the free circulation of people, in order to curb the spread of the contagion. (…) At present, due to the aforementioned restrictions and the resultant high number of people working from home, the quality and reliability of videoconferencing over the Internet in those Contracting States could not be sufficient to ensure that applicants and representatives could attend the oral proceedings in a reliable manner.”

        They argue there are various other reasons why it could be in violation of Article 113(1) EPC if the choice for oral proceedings by videoconference is not left to the parties. For instance: “As rightly underlined for example under point 2.11 of the decision R 0003/10 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, oral proceedings allow the organs of the Office and the parties to discuss issues, including controversial and perhaps crucial issues. (…) In this respect, it cannot be sufficiently underlined how effective can be, for users of the European patent system, a face-to-face discussion of technically or legally complicated issues, as they typically arise in examination proceedings, in the course of the up to now conventional oral proceedings on the premises of the European Patent Office, as compared to an oral discussion by videoconference.” (the letter is available here)

      • EU Court Of Justice Confirms Approach To Reverse Payment Settlements

        In its 30 January ruling in Generics (UK) and others v CMA, the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) in effect upheld the existing approach of the European Commission and EU General Court in relation to the assessment of so-called “reverse payment” patent settlements. The CJEU confirmed that settlements in which a generics manufacturer is paid a substantial sum in return for terminating its challenge to a patent are per se unlawful. They may also constitute an abuse of dominance on the part of the patent holder.

        The case relates to settlements entered into by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with three generic manufacturers. The generics had challenged a secondary patent relating held by GSK in relation to the active ingredient in its anti-depressant paroxetine. The original patent had expired in 1999 and the secondary patent, which covered production process and 4 polymorphs, was partially annulled by the UK courts.

      • Avanci conflict with Tesla escalates as Nokia-fed patent troll Conversant sues Tesla in Texas and Germany

        Avanci, which usually refers to itself as a licensing “platform” though its lawyers also described it as a “pool” in at least one U.S. court filing, offers a license to cellular SEPs held by a group whose key members are notorious standard-essential patent (SEP) abusers such as Nokia and Ericsson as well as some trolls they fed with patents. Various additional patents have been contributed by numerous organizations, such as Deutsche Telekom, that elected to come in for convenience and lack the strategic sophistication and foresight to realize the Avanci approach (of refusing to extend licenses to component makers) runs counter to their interests.

        One Avanci member, Foxconn-owned Sharp, sued Tesla in Japan last month, requesting the Tokyo District Court to impose an import ban. Another Avanci member, Nokia, may have an interim agreement with Tesla in place as an unnamed American car maker “X” was referenced in the public part of a Nokia v. Daimler trial in Munich in February; should Tesla have been that mysterious U.S. company, then they actually provided a fair amount of information that Daimler presented to the Munich court while the courtroom was sealed. And now we’re witnessing an all-out Avanci v. Tesla patent litigation campaign as Conversant Wireless Licensing is asserting various Nokia patents against Tesla in two complaints filed in the Western District of Texas last week (this post continues below the two documents)…

      • FibroGen v Akebia: Arnold LJ back in the Patents Court

        On 20 April 2020, Arnold LJ (sitting as a High Court Judge) gave judgment in the case between FibroGen Inc and Astellas Pharma Inc (together the “Claimants”), and Akebia Therapeutics Inc and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company Limited (together the “Defendants”) which concerned six patents owned by FibroGen and exclusively licensed to Astellas (the “Patents”). In a comprehensive 640 paragraph judgment, Arnold LJ considered a plethora of different patent issues from obviousness to insufficiency to infringement by equivalence and threatened indirect infringement of medical use claims. Arnold LJ ultimately found all the Patents to be invalid (although some of claims would have been infringed, if they had been valid). The judgment also provides some helpful guidance on the instruction of experts and the need for primers in patent cases.

    • Copyrights

      • Library of Congress to release an open-source hip-hop sampling tool

        We already learned that the Library of Congress (LOC) is becoming very hip, but now you can really add a hop to that. As Consequence of Sound (COS) reports, this government institution is set to launch an open-source hip-hop sample tool.

        LOC named it Citizen DJ and its preview is already available on a specially designated site. The full service is set to launch in the summer of 2020.

        COS points out that potential users will “have access to a massive audio collection that dates back over a hundred years, almost to the invention of the phonograph.“

      • Library of Congress launches open-source sampling tool
      • Library of Congress Unveils Open-Source Online Sampling Tool “Citizen DJ”

        The Library of Congress and Innovator-in-Residence Brian Foo have announced the upcoming open-source sampling tool, Citizen DJ.

        Scheduled to fully launch online Summer 2020, Citizen DJ will offer users access to the Library’s century-old public audio and moving image collections. The website will host these collections and users can acquire them by either using the interface that explores sound and metadata, the music-creation app that allows users to remix collections with beats or by downloading “sample packs” that contain thousands of audio clips from a specific collection that are compatible with most music production software.

      • Tweets on Georgia v. Public Resource

        Don’t worry too much if you’re upset by yesterday’s SCOTUS copyright decision. The judiciary is still charging 10 cents per page for the public to access court filings, so there are still a lot of legal documents that the public never will see.

      • Piracy Should be Tackled With ‘Carrot and Stick’ USPTO Paper Suggests

        A new ‘piracy landscape’ paper commissioned by the US Patent and Trademark Office provides a detailed overview of how online piracy should be tackled. Combining the results of dozens of peer-reviewed academic studies, the authors conclude that effective enforcement measures, paired with more attractive legal options, will yield the best results. A carrot and stick approach.

      • Support Artists Impacted By the Covid-19 Pandemic

        On March 20, 2020, we waived our revenue share in order to help artists and labels impacted by the pandemic. The Bandcamp community showed up in a massive way, spending $4.3 million on music and merch—15x the amount of a normal Friday— helping artists cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and so much more. It was truly inspiring.

        But the pandemic and its impact on the music community aren’t over, so on May 1, June 5, and July 3 (the first Friday of each month), we’re waiving our revenue share for all sales on Bandcamp, from midnight to midnight PDT on each day.

      • Fiona Apple on Her New Album and Acknowledging Indigenous Lands

        In a broadcast exclusive, world-renowned singer-songwriter Fiona Apple joins Democracy Now! for the hour to discuss her critically acclaimed new album, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” which was released early amid the pandemic. “I’ve heard that it’s actually making people feel free and happy,” Apple says, “and it might be helping people feel alive or feel their anger or feel creative. And that’s the best thing that I could hope for.” Her record includes an acknowledgment that the album was “Made on unceded Tongva, Mescalero Apache, and Suma territories.” We also speak with Native American activist Eryn Wise, an organizer with Seeding Sovereignty, an Indigenous-led collective that launched a rapid response initiative to help Indigenous communities affected by the outbreak.

      • Interview With Brad Schreiber On ‘Music Is Power’: Part 3—Black Sabbath, Gil Scott-Heron, Public Enemy

        Covering around a century, Music Is Power is a book by Brad Schreiber that takes readers on a tour of music that challenged social injustice and spoke to the masses during uncertain times.

        Schreiber is an award-winning author, journalist, and screenwriter, whose past books include Death In Paradise, Becoming Jimi Hendrix, and Revolution’s End.

      • OK, Landlord: If Copyright Supporters Are Going To Insist Copyright Is Property, Why Are They So Mad About Being Called Landlords?

        After writing this post, we realized that the phrase would make a great t-shirt! So now you can get yourself some OK, Landlord gear from the Techdirt store on Threadless »

      • Just One Giant Lab Co-Founder Leo Blondel on the Power of Community and Open Source During COVID-19

        JOGL is a research and innovation laboratory based in Paris, France that operates as an open and distributed mobilization platform for collaborative task solving. When the pandemic started, JOGL’s team recognized that their knowledge of community organizing and their open platform could help create and support many open-source projects. In response, they launched the OpenCovid19 Initiative, which now includes over 4000 healthcare workers, engineers, designers, scientists, technologists, and everyday citizens. The vibrant, global community exchanges thousands of daily messages on hundreds of projects they hope will help save lives; from an open-source syringe to an algorithm that calculates the probability of infection. 

      • Piracy Sees ‘Unprecedented’ Pandemic Bounce, But So Does All Media Consumption

        With a large part of the planet on lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, streaming video consumption has seen explosive growth. Streaming platform Mux this week issued a study stating that during one three-week period measured by the company, streaming video usage overall jumped 239%.

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