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05.30.20

Burning the House That Richard Stallman (RMS) Built: An Open Letter to GNU Maintainers Who Opposed RMS

Posted in GNU/Linux at 10:44 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article/open letter by figosdev

House

Summary: An open letter to people who petitioned RMS to step down and who outsource GNU projects to Microsoft (GitHub)

Since many of you work for Microsoft — albeit for free, you should like aggressive, open letters. Microsoft was founded on demonising the 1970s equivalent of free software. Back then, Gates referred to hackers as “hobbyists” and made it clear that good, quality software requires kowtowing to the corporate control of software. Of course, that was bunk.

For the record, J and S wanted me to write a nice letter: “take your time, write nice, and kind email and don’t blame people if possible”.

You’ve already heard plenty of nice explanations why you should not do what some of you are doing — and you threw excuses back and went against the advice anyway. One more nice letter to traitors isn’t going to change anybody’s mind.

The GNU Project, along with Emacs, GCC and the GNU C Library, are flagships of the Free Software movement. Notice I said movement, not Foundation. There was a time when people who were truly dedicated to what they claim to be part of, actually stood up for it. Some of you still do.

Others have spent years bolstering rhetoric that co-opts both Social Justice and Free Software simultaneously, trying to disqualify the Free Software movement from promoting Free Software, so that corporations who do a great job with social justice theatre (all while using New York CCTV footage to create algorithms for racial profiling and skin-colour-based surveillance and identification) can exclusively speak for Free Software instead.

We already know what happens when monopolies who are busy using software patents and proxies to attack Free Software, gain control over who speaks for your movement — you get larger, fancier conferences (maybe not during a pandemic) and you get more money to promote their own version of what you used to be in charge of — your own freaking movement.

In other words, your organisations get paid to let corporate monopolies moderate your anti-monopoly message. That makes about as much sense as letting The Trump Organization moderate the messaging of the NAACP. It is conniving, corrupting and goes far beyond simple dishonesty and disruption.

An IBM-controlled FSF is an FSF under corporate Occupation. Red Hat is already annexed, which I predicted, by the way — along with others, I also predicted the coup to oust rms, after your little protest about LibrePlanet. We saw it coming months, maybe even nearly a year away.

The harshest and most ruthless attacks on rms came from people working for corporations that are giving substantial funding to the FSFE and the SFC. Within the group of Free Software organisations, the organisations that attacked rms the most distastefully and dishonestly — FSFE and SFC — are the ones (as far as I can tell) with the largest ties to the same corporations.

The paid employees of these companies attacking rms the most, and the staff of the FSFE and SFC accepting funding from the same companies, are all working for these monopolies in one way or another. They are working for monopolies — and against Free Software.

These people working against user freedom would love to point out that they give to Free Software, but the reality is that they “give” with one hand and take with the other. This isn’t charity, nor is it beneficial, and more than it is beneficial when public education and hospitals are sabotaged by funding from B and MG.

First they take away your platform, then they use it lie to you and lie about you. It takes some pretty brilliant P.R. to stage a series of coups against non-profits, based on weaponised nonsense like that.

I have no more patience for people who year after year, pretend that politically-correct messaging is essential to the betterment of humanity — then when they act or vote, they sign their name to actual war crimes, torture, mass murder and the illegal occupation of other countries. In the name of a better humanity, they censor people for speaking out against far worse things than the pitiful excuses they they get censored for.

Your movement is already co-opted. In the 1980s, the people who created Free Software were demonised as pirates, thieves and communists — today they are demonised as neckbeards, autists (and you claim to fight ableism — Ha!) and bigots. It was all a rather contrived excuse for people to let Microsoft control their computing — just as it is today. Just s/thieves/bigots/g and Good ol’ Bill is back in business!

Microsoft are the biggest pirates of all of course, but they don’t share much of what they steal. It actually deserves to be called theft, because whatever they take, they hoard. This is hardly different from when surgical masks were intercepted and tax money was taken from the public, to be redistributed to states more loyal to the Traitor in Chief. You want to use free software? You’ve got to buy Azure.

These companies support actual, literal crimes against humanity. And people continue to conflate things like “rudeness” and so-called “tribalism” (people grouping together naturally, based on common likes and preferred methods, and a concept of extended family) with actual murders and human rights violations. We already know where this is going, because Open Source has paved the way for nearly 30 years.

First, you say that you can do things “the same as Free Software” but “better”. Then, you have a giant public lovefest with the corporations that have spent decades attacking their own users. I know, I was there. When I joined the Open Source movement, (not Free Software) the thing that really threw me was they way they claimed to be more laid back than rms, then ruthlessly attacked people for criticising Microsoft. Wait — what? This is what you call reform!

Open Source isn’t more laid back as it pretended to be, it just has different sacred cows. Open Source can’t even tell the difference between criticising an evil corporation and “kicking a puppy!” And when I looked more into the claims made by its most popular advocates, I realised these people were rewriting history to put themselves in the centre of it.

That’s some powerful propaganda — and it worked, it put Torvalds at the centre, as a shill and a stand-in for corporate takeover in the future. Today, GIAFAM is in the centre, where Torvalds once stood. What a shell game! Swap out rms with Torvalds, and then Torvalds with Bill Gates! Watch the cup, watch the cup! Oh I’m sorry, better luck next time!

To say these are dirty tactics really does them no justice — Open Source is a Billion-dollar smear campaign and takeover of Free Software. It’s a lie, and a scam.

What I don’t know is at what point it became that. Perens seems very sincere. He also dropped out early in protest, only to return. I don’t know what to make of ESR, but it seems clear that Microsoft led him around like cattle by his ego. This isn’t a hasty conclusion — I’ve been trying to figure it out for years. This is a much more generous interpretation than the one where he deliberately sold off everything to Microsoft. I find that harder to believe.

Open Source has its own flagships — their legacy was built on Linux (a kernel), Apache and Mozilla. These were the famous brands of Open Source. Red Hat also plays a very key role.

Today, the 1980s are repeating. Microsoft and IBM are on top — IBM owns Red Hat, someone from Salesforce, Google and Microsoft is the COO of Mozilla. This is exactly, play for play how Microsoft took over the Linux Foundation.

Copyleft? You know that Microsoft has always attacked it. You’re going to put Trump in charge of the NAACP, or Microsoft in charge of copyleft, and they’re going to hoard it all for themselves.

If they cared about copyleft, they would have actually followed it instead of attacking GPL2 as “viral”, attacking GPL3 through lobbyist fronts so Torvalds would come out against it, and violating the license and pushing for permissive licensing everywhere.

I don’t hate permissive licensing (it’s really quite easy to use) but I’m certainly aware that it benefits Microsoft for permissive licensing to take over the GNU Project and Linux kernel. They’re even rewriting GNU Coreutils in Rust — with a permissive license!

Today, Mozilla, the Linux Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation (along with OSI itself) have all been co-opted, infiltrated, staffed and even stifled (they don’t criticise their sponsors much anymore) by IBM and Microsoft. The FSF was founded in the 1980s, when IBM and Microsoft ran everything — and here they are, doing it again.

But make no mistake, maintainers — YOU did this.

YOU opened the door for this.

And now, YOU continue to promote and make excuses for this.

You have at least 48% of the projects in the GNU Project requiring software that Microsoft steers and influences the development of. More than that, if you can’t fix GCC and GLIBC.

YOU know as well as anybody that if the user doesn’t have control of their computer, it isn’t really their computer — it effectively belongs to the company that controls it.

So how do you give up control of GNU to the same company, take their money and “free” hosting, then tell me you’re not selling it off! Clearly, you’ve become a bit full of crap! You effectively put Trump in charge of the NAACP, but you claim you care about humanity and human rights — you know what? BULLSHIT!

I only know of one person rms ever called a traitor to free software — Miguel de Icaza. At the time, I really did wonder if that was too harsh a word. Icaza loves Microsoft, just like you obviously do.

But today there are so many de Icazas, busy bees dragging control of the GNU Project away from its founder and into Microsoft’s corporate lair — Letting IBM redesign the entire free software ecosystem around itself. And you claim to be helping.

The people who have grown so self-important, being trusted and taken on board to help rms build his own house, are now claiming some moral right to burn it to the ground.

I’m not disputing the value of the work they did to help — that is self-evident. What I dispute is that you have any right whatsoever, after helping rms build a house for all hackers…

(Yes, God Damn You, ALL hackers — just because you want to be the thought police and say he doesn’t kowtow to people exactly the way you want, doesn’t change the fact that he HAS IN FACT welcomed people from every race, every religious belief, every gender — with greater diversity than Microsoft ever had)

…to kick him out of his own house!

YOU are usurpers, backstabbers and members of a corporate coup — serving the corporate Cult of Microsoft. YOU, who are participating willingly in precisely the same tactics that GIAFAM used to corrupt and overthrow Mozilla, OSI, LF and ASF — and IT WILL WORK to occupy and annex Free Software and GNU, just as it did with Open Source. Same tactics — same results. Same warning signs along the way! These are not difficult predictions to make!

That’s the coup that is STILL going on, right now. And YOU are part of it — you are complicit and you are party to it.

And as to the GNU Maintainers who crap out Guix and destroy its credibility as a project, how many of you work for Red Hat? Enough that it’s worth mentioning. It’s not just Red Hat, either. Plus, how many of you still contribute to Microsoft GitHub? It’s roughly 2/3 of you.

I want to point out, very emphatically, that the people who claim they are better suited to run Free Software advocacy and even the GNU project itself, are still promoting non-free software and helping Microsoft take over the GNU project. As if they haven’t done that to countless competitors, as if they have ever ceased to do that!

You may not all be doing this wittingly, but even your past contributions do not stop you from being dangerously unqualified to run the GNU project.

Which brings me to rms himself.

As I am not working for the FSF, and not working for the GNU project, I do not have to answer to rms. Though I would certainly choose his advice and examples, over the de Icaza-like traitors trying to sell off the GNU Project to GIAFAM like Open Source sold out its own flagships.

Unlike SFC, FSFE and some people from Guix, I still think rms should be in charge of the GNU Project. I also thought he should train a replacement for his position as FSF President — but someone who could nonetheless actually carry the torch for him and the movement he created.

As of this time, I can tell that nobody is qualified to do so. The FSF is taking on water, whether it’s the Titanic or just a beverage that has lost its flavour and character. The New FSF is about glib soundbites and kowtowing to GIAFAM. That’s what you get I guess, during an occupation.

Stallman should be able to retire when he wants to, knowing that the house he built is in good hands. Too bad that it’s in the hands of people who not historically, not sometime in the future, but RIGHT NOW, are busy auctioning it off piece by piece by piece to the same monopolies that have decade after decade tried to destroy user freedom, and free software itself.

Many of you undoubtedly are traitors. But you were invited to help build the GNU Project. That comes with no right to help competing contractors tear it down — that right is your own delusion and self-entitlement. Go build your own corporate flagships, like Mozilla and Apache did. Stop co-opting the one you contributed to.

I know people are afraid of GNU being forked. But their mistake is thinking a forked GNU is worse than one that is occupied by and sold off to its very enemies.

GET OUT! And take GNU Radio and GNUstep with you — hell, if you stay, you’ll only use your presence to further erode the actual mission.

It’s better to split OpenOffice development between those who care, and those who actually welcome the Oracle hegemony, than to let Oracle continue to run the show. Was LibreOffice a bad idea? It didn’t destroy OpenOffice, it helped preserve as much of it as possible. Enter the pedants to say why LibreOffice is different.

SOME FORKS ARE NECESSARY.

LibreGNU, whatever you will call it — is the future of the GNU project. The question is, will those of you who aren’t trying to raze the house you helped to build — will you ever get there? Will you build it, as rms built the GNU Project? Or will you just let these assholes continue to take bribes and sell you out?

That goes for you too, rms — you are far more respectable than your traitors, but you are too forgiving, and too soft.

I really don’t blame you for realising that realistically, you can’t strongarm these people into doing your will if they’re set against it. I don’t think being diplomatic means you aren’t fit to lead. But I think it’s very clear that you sit as leader of the GNU Project, while they continue to box it up piece by piece and ship it via Amazon to Redmond. I blame them, not you.

You still have too many de Icazas, but I do think the GNU will come back eventually, Fawkes-like, from the ashes of the house that rms built, which traitors burned down and stuck a flag in for GIAFAM. The legacy will live on, freedom won’t be lost forever, but The House of GNU Will Fall — at least for a time.

You could call the new one The Next GeGNUration, or just TNG:

TNG’s Not GNU.

But for the moment, thanks to these corporate shills in your midst, what you really have is Microsoft GNU.

My more diplomatic colleagues said that developers need a list of alternatives. They do not, such lists are plentiful. What they require is the will and the INTEGRITY to choose independence over monopolistic corporate rule — the will to stand for the things GNU was created specifically to stand against. This is what some GNU maintainers are not demonstrating anymore.

“I’m sorry you feel that way, but basically it’s the nature of the beast”.

“Maybe I’m wrong on this one, but for me, the beast doesn’t include selling out”.
(Wayne’s World, again).

I do mostly agree with rms on his essay, where he says that every step users take towards freedom helps. I also agree with rms that creating non-free software is unethical, and in my opinion it steals ownership of the user’s computer away from the user — turning into a tool against users and against the human rights that are co-opted with non-free technology — privacy, free speech, and the freedom to do basic necessary things like math and toolmaking.

While the user can (and ideally will) help, making choice after choice in favour of their own freedom — the onus and the ethics remain on developers (that’s YOU lot) to not sell out the user. Can you still do that? Well? CAN YOU? Because that’s NOT what some of you are actually doing.

In April or around then, some troll came to the GNU mailing lists to say that software freedom isn’t as important as some other things going on in the world. I think Edward Snowden would strongly disagree! I think dissidents using free software to help protect themselves would disagree! You think you’re only selling out rms? You’re selling out every user on Earth, including yourselves!

These days, even on the GNU mailing lists, people talk about how it’s not about freedom for these developers, it’s about the software.

Golly, if that isn’t the old rallying cry of Open Source.

To hell with the Open Software Foundation, to hell with the coup of de Icazas, and long live GNU.

And thank you, SO MUCH, for ALL of your help! I particularly liked that part where you tried to undo your part and undo the rest as well, and still wanted credit!

What the serious Hell is the matter with you people? Do you not know how full of crap you are? You’ve betrayed free software, and have become Microsoft Evangelists (their own term for shills) through and through. A few of you are just as slimy, dishonest and narcissistic as James Plamondon.

Not contributors — Double agents. SABS. Traitors.

Pack up your code, and go work for Bill. Stop pretending and lying that you care about my freedom, or anybody else’s. I’ve heard all the old Open Source bullshit before. I know where it goes — like Mozilla, ASF, like Microsoft Linux.

Not only is it possible for the rest of you to rebuild — in the future these people will not leave you with a choice, you know. You are already surrounded, occupied, and awaiting annexation. But it’s not to late to kick out your SABOTeurs. Their help comes with too many strings attached.

1. Steal
2. Add Bloat
3. Original Trashed

LibreGNU is possible right now, and it is possible in the future — just as LibreUNIX was possible in 1983, and LibreOffice was possible in 2010. You think you need these people — but you don’t. GNU, FSF and OSI have already suffered enough from false friends. You’re not going to reform them, and they really don’t care about your friendly, patient, logical arguments. They don’t respond to them honestly. They Just. Don’t. Care.

This year GNU is a corporate slave of GIAFAM sponsors — we hope that next year, it will be truly Free as in Freedom.

Long live rms, and long live GNU. But whatever does become of those, the freedom they stood for matters regardless — they are both proof that it can be done.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Links 30/5/2020: Godot Editor Under Web Browsers, Alpine Linux 3.12.0 and EasyOS 2.3

Posted in News Roundup at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux at Home: Brew Great Beer with Linux



      In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

      In recent weeks we’ve seen a gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions in many countries. But this could be short-lived. For example, schools across South Korea only opened briefly before having to return to online teaching. It seems very likely that we’ll still be spending more time at home.

    • Server

      • K8s KPIs with Kuberhealthy

        Last November at KubeCon San Diego 2019, we announced the release of Kuberhealthy 2.0.0 – transforming Kuberhealthy into a Kubernetes operator for synthetic monitoring. This new ability granted developers the means to create their own Kuberhealthy check containers to synthetically monitor their applications and clusters. The community was quick to adopt this new feature and we’re grateful for everyone who implemented and tested Kuberhealthy 2.0.0 in their clusters. Thanks to all of you who reported issues and contributed to discussions on the #kuberhealthy Slack channel. We quickly set to work to address all your feedback with a newer version of Kuberhealthy. Additionally, we created a guide on how to easily install and use Kuberhealthy in order to capture some helpful synthetic KPIs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E09 – Breaking mirrors

        This week we’ve been getting older and adding plugins to OBS Studio. We discuss Ubuntu being certified on the Raspberry Pi, Unity Remix, if Microsoft should buy Canonical and WSL getting GUI app support. We also round up our pick from the general tech news.

      • All Good Things | TechSNAP 430

        It’s a storage showdown as Jim and Wes bust some performance myths about RAID and ZFS.

        Plus our favorite features from Fedora 32, and why Wes loves DNF.

      • Episode 11: Advice on Getting Started With Testing in Python

        Have you wanted to get started with testing in Python? Maybe you feel a little nervous about diving in deeper than just confirming your code runs. What are the tools needed and what would be the next steps to level up your Python testing? This week on the show we have Anthony Shaw to discuss his article on this subject. Anthony is a member of the Real Python team and has written several articles for the site.

        We discuss getting started with built-in Python features for testing and the advantages of a tool like pytest. Anthony talks about his plug-ins for pytest, and we touch on the next level of testing involving continuous integration.

      • LHS Episode #348: The Weekender XLIX

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • 2020-05-29 | Linux Headlines

        An 8 gigabyte version of the Raspberry Pi 4 is available for purchase, Apache’s Subversion celebrates 20 years of version control with its 1.14 release, Genymobile improves its ability to control unrooted Android devices over ADB, Google’s Android Studio 4.0 launches with some major changes, and the Godot project previews a browser-based version of its game editor.

      • Python Bytes: #183 Need a beautiful database editor? Look to the Bees!
      • Talk Python to Me: #266 Refactoring your code, like magic with Sourcery

        Refactoring your code is a fundamental step on the path to professional and maintainable software. We rarely have the perfect picture of what we need to build when we start writing code and attempts to over plan and overdesign software often lead to analysis paralysis rather than ideal outcomes.

        Join me as I discuss refactoring with Brendan Maginnis and Nick Thapen as well as their tool, Sourcery, to automate refactoring in the popular Python editors.

    • Kernel Space

      • Improved EXT4 + XFS DAX Implementation Appears Ready To Go For Linux 5.8

        Adding to the expected changes for Linux 5.8 is improved EXT4 and XFS file-system direct access “DAX” support.

        DAX is the means of direct access to files backed by persistent memory (such as Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory) without needing to be copied via the page cache. Thus DAX bypasses that extra copy for reads/writes to the storage device and mapping the storage device directly into user-space.

      • The Top Linux 5.7 Features From Apple Fast Charge To Official Tiger Lake Graphics

        Assuming no last minute concerns, the Linux 5.7 kernel is set to debut as stable this weekend. Given all the weeks since the merge window and our many articles covering all the feature activity at that point (and not to be confused with our activity of new work being queued for the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle), here is a look back at some of the top features of the Linux 5.7 kernel.

        Among the most interesting new features and improvements for Linux 5.7 include:

        - Intel Tiger Lake “Gen12″ graphics are now enabled by default in being deemed stable enough for out-of-the-box support where as on prior kernels the support at the time was hidden behind a kernel module parameter.

      • Performance-Helping FSGSBASE Patches Spun For Linux A 13th Time

        The FSGSBASE Linux kernel patches that have the potential of helping performance going back to Intel Ivy Bridge era CPUs in select workloads have now hit their 13th revision to the series in the long-running effort to getting this support mainlined.

      • Linux’s Hardware Monitoring “HWMON” Picking Up Notification Support

        In addition to the AMD Zen “amd_energy” driver coming for Linux 5.8, another late change now queued into hwmon staging is introducing notification support for the hardware monitoring subsystem.

        HWMON subsystem maintainer and Google employee Guenter Roeck has queued up notification support for this subsystem. This serves as a generic notification mechanism not only to notify user-space but also the thermal subsystem for any HWMON driver events. In the HWMON context, these events could be important like warnings/critical alarms over detected temperatures or voltages for different components.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Monado OpenXR runtime development gaining momentum: version 0.2, multi-layer support & more!

          With the excellent (online) edition of Augmented World Expo 2020 in full swing this week, what better time to announce version 0.2 of the Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux!

          It’s been a very busy three months since the last Monado developer update and there are a number of exciting developments to share. Most importantly however, a big thanks to everyone who has contributed patchs, bugs and ideas to the project thus far, and who have cheered us on. The Monado OpenXR community is growing and we’re very proud to be part of it.

        • Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux 0.2 out, continues advancing VR

          Collabora have today announced the release of Monado 0.2, their open source OpenXR (VR / AR) runtime for Linux. Their work continues to be quite amazing and it’s progressing rapidly.

          In the previous update, they showed off how Monado could run the Blender OpenXR VR Session which was already pretty amazing. Now they’re going even further. One big addition is support for multiple layers at a time, they say it’s important for things like UI rendering and another step towards supporting overlay applications like xrdesktop or Pluto VR.

        • Monado 0.2 OpenXR Runtime Brings Multi-Layer Support, New Controller Support

          Monado as the leading open-source OpenXR implementation for AR/VR headsets is out with a new release.

          Since February’s release of Monado 0.1 there has been a lot of activity on the Monado front, in turn thanks to new software leveraging it like Xrdesktop 0.14.

          Monado 0.2 ships with multi-layer support, compositors and drivers run in their own service process, Vive Wand and Valve Index controllers are now supported as 3DOF controllers, Bluetooth LE and Google Daydream 3DOF support, experimental libsurvive driver support, optional systemd socket activation support, and various other improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7F72 vs. Intel Xeon Gold 6258R – Latest EPYC Rome vs. Xeon Cascade Lake Benchmarks



        Following the Xeon Gold 6250 vs. EPYC 7F32 benchmarks from earlier this month, here is a look at the latest x86_64 server CPUs we have our hands on with the EPYC 7F72 and Xeon Gold 6258R being benchmarked against a lineup of other competing AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors under the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        The EPYC 7F72 is the third and last product of the AMD EPYC 7Fx2 line-up to test for these high frequency SKUs. The EPYC 7F72 is a 24-core / 48-thread processor with a 3.2GHz boost and 3.7GHz boost frequency while having a 240 Watt TDP like the EPYC 7F52. While the EPYC 7F52 16-core CPU has a 256MB L3 cache, the EPYC 7F72 comes in at just 192MB. But this actually puts the EPYC 7F72 cheaper than the EPYC 7F52 at $2450 USD compared to $3100.

    • Applications

      • 9+ Best Linux Screen Recorder On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        This post is for you if you are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and looking for a perfect screen recorder for Ubuntu. These tools are applicable for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS too.

      • MyPaint – Tablet Friendly Drawing Program Releases v2.0.1

        A while back in February 2020, MyPaint brought the major release of its 2.0.0 version with some massive changes which I have summarised. This current release is a bug-fix and maintenance update of the prior release and brings you a solid application with features and enhancements ironing out if any bugs remained after the major version.

      • Best Digital Audio Workstation Apps For Linux In 2020



        Let’s look into the list of some of the best digital audio workstation apps for Linux in 2020.

        Tracktion is a cross-platform freeware digital audio workstation apps for recording and editing audio and MIDI. Tracktion software is written in C++.

        LMMS is another popular DAW for Linux. It is a free and cross-platform digital audio workstation. LMMS is a 100% free, open-source, community-driven project.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Godot Engine

      • Godot Editor Running In A Web Browser

        Hello Godotters! It’s-a me, Fabio! In the last few months, thanks to the great sponsorship of Mozilla I’ve been working on a big surprise for Godot 4.0, namely making the editor available as an HTML5 application.

        This DOES NOT mean that we will move completely to the Web like other engines did. It will only be provided as a complementary option to the native editor, as a way to lower the entry barrier. Let me explain further.

      • Mozilla Sponsored The Godot Game Engine To Port Their Editor As An HTML5 Web App

        While we have been eager for Godot 4.0 as the open-source game engine update bringing big renderer improvements and initial Vulkan support, it also turns out there will be a new offering on the editor front…

        Mozilla has been sponsoring a Godot developer for several months to make the game engine’s editor available as an HTML5 application that can run within the browser. Godot intends to make this web-based editor complementary to their existing native application.

      • Godot Engine running in a web browser is now a thing

        Godot Engine just keeps on advancing in new and interesting ways. This free and open source game engine can now be run in a web browser – yes really.

        Writing on the official blog, developer Fabio Alessandrelli mentioned that thanks to a sponsorship from Mozilla they’ve been able to make Godot Engine available as a HTML5 application. Currently, it needs either Firefox Nightly or a very recent Chromium based browser, due to the features it needs like Shared Array Buffer.

    • Games

      • Akurra to support Linux without a stretch-goal on Kickstarter

        Game developer Jason Newman who is currently crowdfunding Akurra, mentioned here on GOL recently, has decided they no longer need a stretch-goal for Linux support.

        What is Akurra? A retro styled puzzle game, inspired by the likes of Chip’s Challenge, Star Tropics, Sokoban, and Zelda. Push blocks into holes and over pits, avoid spikes, explore caves, and ride sea turtles in order to find keys, gems, and stars that unlock new paths and friends to aid you as you explore a collection of islands chock-full of puzzles and secrets.

      • The latest RimWorld update opens up more possible paths

        RimWorld was already a deep game, with so much on offer it’s easy to get completely sucked into it and now that’s going to be even more possible.

        With the latest update, the developer mentioned their aim has been to open up RimWorld to more progression paths. Enabling you to take the game in whatever direction tickles your fancy including tribal, outlander, pro-Empire, anti-Empire, neutral Empire, use Psycasters or not, use drugs or not, use ranching or not and whatever else. The point was to have the game AI and world respond sensibly to where you’re headed.

      • Space Grunts 2 is a roguelike with card-based combat out now

        Merging together elements of a card-based deckbuilder with a traditional turn-based roguelike, Space Grunts 2 from Orangepixel has now left Early Access. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        This is the 9th game from Orangepixel to support Linux, and might possibly be my favourite yet! A very easy to get into game, with a satisfying gameplay loop that sees you travel through procedurally generated sci-fi environments with a tight pixel-art style.

      • Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert will be partially open-sourced alongside remaster launch

        Today, EA gave another update regarding the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, specifically about modding support for the two games in it, Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert. Surprisingly, it was revealed today that EA will be open-sourcing some key parts of the game.

        The open-sourced material, “TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code,” will be under the GPL version 3.0 license, and will be released into the wild alongside the Remastered Collection’s launch on June 5. Regarding this move, EA producer Jim Vessella said that “this is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL.”

      • Warhammer 40,000: Gladius gets a new DLC, major update and Steam Workshop

        Proxy Studios and Slitherine continue supporting Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, with some major news dropping yesterday.

        Firstly, a new ‘Assault Pack’ DLC has been released that adds in a new unit for each faction. As the name leads on, it’s focused on raw offensive power to give you new tactical options in battle. This pack is $4.99 / £3.99 / €3.99. Quite a small DLC and the appreciation of it likely depends on how big a fan of Gladius you are, seems a bit pricey for just a few units.

      • Historically-accurate WWII adventure Attentat 1942 looking at Linux builds

        Attentat 1942, a historically-accurate adventure about World War 2 from developer Charles Games has recently switched to the Unity game engine and is looking into Linux support.

        Originally released in 2017, it was made using Adobe AIR which dropped Linux support many years ago and Adobe themselves won’t even be supporting AIR at all directly as it’s moving over to HARMAN. For game development, there’s now far better tools available for cross-platform development. The developer actually made a little blog post on Gamasutra about moving to Unity.

      • Darkest Dungeon gets a Free Weekend, Butcher’s Circus on Linux later

        Darkest Dungeon got a big free new DLC recently with The Butcher’s Circus but it comes with a caveat for Linux gamers.

        The Butcher’s Circus adds the first PvP mode into Darkest Dungeon, one that’s entirely separate to the main single-player game so it doesn’t interfere with it. It’s pretty much an arena mode, with two sides picking 4 heroes to battle with. Sounds fun though and with the Darkest Dungeon style I can never get enough of.

      • Spacebase Startopia confirmed for launch on October 23

        Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media have announced that Spacebase Startopia will be launching on October 23. This will be a simultaneous launch across Linux, macOS and Windows which is fantastic. Realmforge Studios did good work on Dungeon 3 which worked wonderfully on Linux so we expect good things again here,

        Spacebase Startopia is a fresh take on the classic and much loved Startopia from Mucky Foot Productions, which originally released in 2001. They say it will offer up a mixture of a building sim with city-building and base-management mixed in with some RTS-styled skirmishes.

      • Path of Exile adds a Vulkan Beta, another step closer to Linux support

        Path of Exile, the free to play online action RPG just recently released a huge update that adds in a Beta version of their new Vulkan API rendering system.

        To be clear: while Path of Exile does not support Linux officially, getting Vulkan into it is progress towards it since it’s a cross-platform open graphics API. The developer talked a bit about this in a previous interview we covered, when they were talking about Path of Exile 2 and Linux was directly mentioned.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: all about the apps

          This week we landed a lot of nice improvements for KDE’s apps, which I’ve highlighted below! Of course we didn’t forget about Plasma, so have a look-see…

        • Screen Zoom and Mouse Indicator for Teachers using KDE Desktop

          Teacher who uses computer can zoom in and increase cursor visibility on screen aside from drawing free lines and displaying keystrokes. Thanks to KDE developers, Plasma desktop has these all enjoyable teaching features built-in since a long time. You do not need to install any application, just enable them on the System Settings. Together these make a complete environment for teaching especially for screencast and live presentation. I make this short article and also a video below to explain how to do that. Finally, if you want this superb teaching ability I suggest you to use Kubuntu the friendly operating system on your computer. Happy teaching!

        • KDE Ending Out May With UI Tweaks, Bug Fixes

          KDE Plasma 5.19 is due for release very soon (9 June) but that hasn’t kept KDE developers from already working on Plasma 5.20 and other components for this open-source desktop.

          Among the changes ironed out by KDE developers as we hit the end of May include:

          - The Dolphin file manager now supports mounting ISO images via the context menu when clicking on said file.

        • KOrganizer Overview – You Will Love Calendar Scheduling on Computer


          KOrganizer is a colorful and useful calendar application for computer. For years, it helps me schedule my works, teaching, and personal life and also reminds me for important appointments so I won’t forget any task I should do. It works offline and can also work with online calendar services you have. After I wrote many articles about it before, now I want to sum them up in a simple yet thorough overview of this awesome tool. Thanks to all KOrganizer developers I could reach up to this point with it. Let me share with you, it is fun! I believe you will also love scheduling after reading this. Happy scheduling!

        • How To Enable KOrganizer Desktop Integration

          As I said on previous KOrganizer Overview, it can be integrated to your desktop. To do so, simply right click your desktop clock > Configure Digital Clock > Calendar > enable PIM > PIM Event Plugin > enable calendars you have > OK. Now all schedules from KOrganizer are synchronized with clock’s calendar. For more details watch a six minutes video below. For further learning, see additional last section. Happy scheduling!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Meet the GNOMEies: Efstathios Iosifidis

          I am a veterinarian and I work at a vet practice. In 2010, my friend Kostas and I had a dream to revive openSUSE community in Greece. Our project was very successful, and the global community trusted us to organize the openSUSE conference in 2013. During that period I got involved in other open source projects and communities. Right now I travel to different cities to attend national and international conferences, I speak and represent open source projects on those events. I was in the organization committee of GUADEC 2019.

          [...]

          Do you have any other affiliations you want to share?

          I am openSUSE member. I also contribute to other communities such as GNU Health, Nextcloud, ONLYOFFICE, ownCloud.

          Why did you get involved in GNOME?

          My first distro was Ubuntu and then Fedora. Both using GNOME. During my involvement with openSUSE global community, I met my friend Isabel Valverde. She was into GNOME community and she dragged me into GNOME community.

          Why are you still involved with GNOME?

          GNOME is one of the most important open source software/desktop environment. I would like to thank the community that releases new versions with many features. I use a powerful “tool” for free, so the least I can do is translate and promote it so more people can use it. Although I’m involved in other communities, GNOME is one of the most friendly and awesome ones.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Fedora 32 Workstation review – Tux over troubled waters



          The spring season continues. We shall now embark on a Fedora journey. If you followed my tirades over the past few years, you will probably have noticed that I did manage to find some semblance of reasonable productivity with Fedora, albeit after heavy modifications and tweaking. You can of course sample of those experiences by reading my reviews – Fedora 29, Fedora 30 and finally the yesteryear Fedora 31 article.

          There’s much more, but I’m sure, if you want, you’ll find the material. Anyway, on my eight-boot test laptop, I’ve had both versions 30 and 31 installed, and typically, I’d go for an in-vivo upgrade. But I wanted to start from scratch, and get a sense of how the system behaves au naturel, without any trace of my years-long polish and trim. So here we go.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine Linux 3.12 Released with Initial MIPS64 Port, Support for YubiKeys

          While not a major milestone, Alpine Linux 3.12 is here to introduce initial support for the MIPS64 (Big Endian) architecture. This means that you can now install the distribution on this platform.

          On top of that, this new stable release also introduces initial support for the D programming language, also known as Dlang.

        • Alpine Linux 3.12.0 Released
        • Alpine Linux 3.12 Released With D Language Support, MIPS64 Port



          Version 3.12 of the Alpine Linux lightweight distribution built around musl libc and Busybox is now available for this platform popular with containers and other embedded use-cases.

          While MIPS owner Wave Computing filed for bankruptcy earlier this month and other major setbacks in recent years for the MIPS architecture (including the abandoning of their Open MIPS plans), Alpine 3.12 is the first release now supporting 64-bit MIPS. MIPS64 big endian is supported by Alpine Linux 3.12 for the many MIPS64 systems still out there.

        • Today is the day! — Nitrux 1.2.9 is available to download

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.2.9. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.2.9 is available for immediate download.

        • EasyOS version 2.3 released
        • Easy Buster version 2.3

          EasyOS versions 1.x are the “Pyro” series, the latest is 1.3. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using ‘oe-qky-src’, a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.
          The “Buster” series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1.
          The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).
          The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.
          On the other hand, DEB packages have many dependencies, and the end result is a release considerably larger than Pyro with similar app selection. For example, the download file of Pyro 1.2 is 418MB, Buster 2.1 is 504MB — despite the Buster build having less apps (Pyro has Qt5 and big Qt5-based apps such as Scribus, this is all missing from the Buster build, but can be installed).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Leap “15.2″ Enters Release Candidate Phase



          The openSUSE community, contributors and release engineers for the project have entered into the release candidate phase today after the Build “665.2” snapshot was released for the upcoming openSUSE Leap “15.2” version.

          In an email to the openSUSE Factory mailing list, Leap release manager Lubos Kocman recommended Beta and RC users using the “zypper dup” command in the terminal prior switching to the General Availability (GA).

          The release candidate signals the package freeze for software that will make it into the distribution. Among some of the packages that are expected in the release are KDE’s Plasma “5.18” Long-Term-Support version, GNOME “3.34” and Xfce “4.14”. New package for Artificial Intelligence and data scientist will be in the release. The release will also contain the tiling Wayland compositor Sway, which is a drop-in replacement for the i3 window manager for X”11”. The DNF package manager has been rebased to version “4.2.19”, which brings many fixes and improvements. In addition, a lightweight C implementation of DNF called “Micro DNF” is now included. Pagure, which provides an easy, customizable, lightweight solution for setting up your own full-featured Git repository server, has been updated to version “5.10.0”. A list of some of the packages in Leap “15.2” can be found on the openSUSE Wiki.

        • openSUSE Leap 15.2 Hits RC Phase With GNOME 3.34 + KDE Plasma 5.18, Sway

          OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 has progressed to its release candidate phase ahead of the official release planned for the first week of July.

          Now onto release candidate builds, openSUSE Leap 15.2 is under a package freeze. This next version of openSUSE Leap has GNOME 3.34, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS, and Xfce 4.14 as its primary desktop offerings. This is also the first release of Leap to contain the Sway Wayland compositor as an option. OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 also is bringing new packages for AI and data scientists, an updated DNF package manager, and many other package updates.

        • Maintaining SUSE Linux support during the pandemic



          The global pandemic and resulting government shelter-in-place or quarantine measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus have shifted the priorities of IT organizations away from non-critical maintenance and upgrades. Unfortunately, the planned end of General Support date for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 Service Pack 4 happens to be in the middle of this crisis. At SUSE, we understand the strain the current environment is putting on your IT operations so we have an option to help you keep your systems supported and secure.

          General Support for SLES 12 SP4 ends on June 30, 2020. Normally, organizations would either upgrade to a SLES service pack/version that still has full support or purchase up to 3 years of Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS). Available today, organizations with current subscriptions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4 are eligible to receive continued access to patches and updates in the LTSS repositories free of charge for 3 months starting July 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020. Platforms included in this offer are x86-64 and IBM Z/LinuxOne. This gives IT teams more time to complete upgrade plans and evaluations at a time when staffing is limited and the focus is on keeping the business operational.

        • Developing Software for Linux on Mainframe at Home

          When developing for architectures that are not mainstream, developers often have challenges to get access to current systems that allow to work on a specific software. Especially when asking to fix an issue that shows up only on big endian hardware, the answer I repeatedly get is, that it’s hard to get access to an appropriate machine.

          I just recently saw reports that told that the qemu project made substantial progress with supporting more current Mainframe hardware. Thus I thought, how hard could it be to create a virtual machine that allows to develop for s390x on local workstation hardware.

          It turned out to be much easier than I thought. First, I did a standard install of tumbleweed for s390x, which went quite easy. But then I remembered that also the OBS supports emulators, and specifically qemu to run virtual machines.

        • openSUSE for INNOVATORS Project is born

          It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the INNOVATORS for openSUSE project, is an initiative to share projects, articles and news about innovative projects on the openSUSE platform developed by the community and public and private companies.

          All information on this wiki is related to innovative projects that use augmented reality technology, artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics, virtual assistants and any and all innovative technology (in all hardware plataforms ).

        • Highlights of YaST Development Sprints 99 and 100

          One hundred development sprints, that’s a nice rounded number… and a good moment to rethink the way we write and publish our reports.

          Yes, you read it right. This post will be the last one following our traditional format, assuming something can already be called “traditional” after four and a half years. As we will explain at the end of this post, subsequent reports will look more as a digest with links to information and not that much as a traditional blog post that tries to tell a story.

      • Arch Family

        • Latest BlackArch Linux ISO Adds More Than 150 New Hacking Tools, Linux 5.6



          Coming five months after the previous release, the BlackArch Linux 2020.06.01 ISOs are here packed with more than 150 new tools for all your penetration testing and ethical hacking needs.

          According to the team, this latest BlackArch Linux ISO a high-quality release, which means that all the included packages have been quality tested and numerous bugs were fixed, including missing dependencies.

          This is also the first BlackArch Linux release to ship with a newer kernel, namely Linux 5.6. The Linux kernel 5.6.14 is included in the ISO images for better hardware support.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 brings updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7



          Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 9.1 are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Here’s what that means for developers.

          Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL) is how we distribute the latest stable versions of various runtimes and languages through Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, with some components available in RHEL 6. RHSCL also contains the Red Hat Developer Toolset, which is the set of tools we curate for C/C++ and Fortran. These components are supported for up to five years, which helps you build apps that have a long lifecycle as well.

        • Empowering remote teams to collaborate in a WFH world

          Many more people are working at home these days, and although much of this started with COVID-19, remote work from home (WFH) could become standard procedure for businesses around the world.

          Team members may no longer work on-site, in the same building, but proper communication and collaboration is still the foundation of teamwork. Of course, this means teams need to conduct remote meetings on a regular basis, more than they ever have before. Many of us already attend conference calls all the time, but remote meetings—where every team member is working from home—that is a completely new encounter for most teams.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-22

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 30 has reached end-of-life. Elections voting is open through 11 June.

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

        • Earn a badge with the new IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer course
      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Rolando Blanco: Ubuntu Desktop Makeover

          I must confess that since Ubuntu started, there have been a lot of changes that we have experienced on our desktop (each time for the better). However, I have always loved changing its appearance, to one more according to my particular tastes, sometimes up to 3 changes per year. This is one of the features that I like most about GNU / Linux, the freedom to adapt everything to my liking.

          This time, I wanted to make some slight changes in search of elegant minimalism.

          This is how I started testing a new icon pack and a tool that works as a widget and that animates my desktop, for this I used Conky.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • SUSECON Digital (halfway) – I’m with the Band!

          When I last posted, about a month before SUSECON, I was a little bit worried. As with any event, you’re never quite certain how things are going to turn out. I should not have worried…
          After over 53,000 of you read my post (thank you!) we worked night and day to finish recording, polishing, posting and hosting the best content we have ever had the pleasure to serve up at a SUSECON event. And when we opened the virtual doors on May 20, thousands of you poured through those doors to get a taste of what we were serving. (So many, in fact, that we had some troubles getting the login info out to some people – my very sincere apologies for that!) So after nine days of offering open source for the enterprise on a silver platter, here’s a quick recap of where we stand:

        • EuroPython 2020: Schedule published

          After the 2nd CFP, we found that we had so many good talk submissions that we were able to open a fourth track.

          [...]

          If registrations continue as they currently do, we will have a few hundred people waiting to participate in your sprint projects, so this is the perfect chance for you to promote your project and find new contributors.

          Participation in the sprints is free, but does require registration. We will provide the necessary collaboration tools in form of dedicated Jitsi or Zoom virtual rooms and text channels on our Discord server.

        • foss-north: Enablement Talks

          During foss-north 2020 we had a group of talks related to using free and open source in various settings. I call them enablement talks. Someone with a more salesy mind might have said success stories.

          This year we had tree such talks. One from about SVT’s (the Swedish public TV broadcaster) video streaming platform by Gustav Grusell and Olof Lindman, one from arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish public employment service) by Johan Linåker and Jonas Södergren, and about Screenly OSE by Viktor Petersson, a digital signage solution.

        • Heads up → Online MiniDebConf is Online

          I know most Debian people know about this already – But in case you don’t follow the usual Debian communications channels, this might interest you!

          Given most of the world is still under COVID-19 restrictions, and that we want to work on Debian, given there is no certainty as to what the future holds in store for us… Our DPL –fearless as they always are– had the bold initiative to make this weekend into the first-ever miniDebConf Online (MDCO)!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Marco Zehe: Welcome to Marco’s Accessibility Blog 2.0!

            Well, after 13 years, I felt it was time for something new. Also, as I wrote recently, Mozilla now has a dedicated accessibility blog, so I feel that I am free to do other things with my blog now. As a sign of that, I wanted to migrate it to a new platform.

            This is not to say the old platform, WordPress, is bad or anything like that. But for my needs, it has become much too heavy-weight in features, and also in the way how it feels when performing day to day tasks. 80% of features it offers are features I don’t use. This pertains both to the blog system itself as well as its new block editor. But those features don’t get out of the way easily, so over the months and actually last two to three years, I felt that I was moving mountains just to accomplish simple things. It has nothing to do with the steadily improving accessibility, either. That is, as I said, getting better all the time. It just feels heavy-weight to the touch and keyboard when using it.

          • Jeff Klukas: Encoding Usage History in Bit Patterns

            Monthly active users (MAU) is a windowed metric that requires joining data per client across 28 days. Calculating this from individual pings or daily aggregations can be computationally expensive, which motivated creation of the clients_last_seen dataset for desktop Firefox and similar datasets for other applications.

            A powerful feature of the clients_last_seen methodology is that it doesn’t record specific metrics like MAU and WAU directly, but rather each row stores a history of the discrete days on which a client was active in the past 28 days. We could calculate active users in a 10 day or 25 day window just as efficiently as a 7 day (WAU) or 28 day (MAU) window. But we can also define completely new metrics based on these usage histories, such as various retention definitions.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: WebXR Viewer 2.0 Released

            We are happy to announce that version 2.0 of WebXR Viewer, released today, is the first web browser on iOS to implement the new WebXR Device API, enabling high-performance AR experiences on the web that don’t share pictures of your private spaces with third party Javascript libraries and websites.

            It’s been almost a year since the previous release (version 1.17) of our experimental WebXR platform for iOS, and over the past year we’ve been working on two major changes to the app: (1) we updated the Javascript API to implement the official WebXR Device API specification, and (2) we ported our ARKit-based WebXR implementation from our minimal single-page web browser to the full-featured Firefox for iOS code-base.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Scaling Virtual Events with Hubs and Hubs Cloud

            Virtual events are unique, and each one has varying needs for how many users can be present. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the different ways that you can consider concurrency as part of a virtual event, the current capabilities of Mozilla Hubs and Hubs Cloud for supporting users, and considerations for using Hubs as part of events of varying sizes. If you’ve considered using Hubs for a meetup or conference, or are just generally interested in how the platform works, read on!

          • Extensions in Firefox 77

            Firefox 77 is loaded with great improvements for the WebExtensions API. These additions to the API will help you provide a great experience for your users.

            Optional Permissions

            Since Firefox 57, users have been able to see what permissions an extension wants to access during the installation process. The addition of any new permissions to the extension triggers another notification that users must accept during the extension’s next update. If they don’t, they won’t receive the updated version.

            These notifications were intended to provide transparency about what extensions can do and help users make informed decisions about whether they should complete the installation process. However, we’ve seen that users can feel overwhelmed by repeated prompts. Worse, failure to see and accept new permissions requests for updated versions can leave users stranded on older versions.

          • Moving SUMO Community synchronous communications to Matrix

            As some of you already know, Mozilla has been working for some time to replace its official synchronous communication tool, and earlier this year we decided to launch our own Matrix instance to host our public conversations.

            In SUMO, we historically maintained a Telegram group to enable synchronous communications, and now we want to transition it to the new Mozilla Matrix.

          • Asa Dotzler: 20 Years with Mozilla

            Today marks 20 years I’ve been working full-time for Mozilla.

            As the Mozilla organization evolved, I moved with it. I started with staff@mozilla.org at Netscape 20 years ago, moved to the Mozilla Foundation ~17 years ago, and the Mozilla Corporation ~15 years ago.

            Thank you to Mitchell Baker for taking a chance on me. I’m eternally grateful for that opportunity.

      • FSF

        • Introducing Amin Bandali, intern with the FSF tech team

          Hi there, I’m Amin Bandali, often just bandali on the interwebs. I wear a few different hats around GNU as a maintainer, Web master, and Savannah hacker, and I’m very excited to be extending that to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as an intern with the FSF tech team for spring 2020.

          Growing up around parents with backgrounds in computer engineering and programming, it did not take long for me to find an interest in tinkering and playing with computers as a kid, and I first came into contact with GNU/Linux in my teenage years. My first introduction to the world of free software came a few years later, when a friend kindly pointed out to me that what I had vaguely known and referred to as “open source” software is more properly referred to as free software, and helped me see why “open source” misses the point of free software. After learning about and absorbing the ideas and ideals of free software, I have since become a free software activist. As a computer scientist who enjoys studying and hacking on various programs and sometimes writing my own, I have made a point of releasing all I can under strong copyleft licenses, particularly the GNU AGPL license.

          My involvement with the GNU Project started in 2016, first as a volunteer Web master, and later as one of the maintainers of GNUzilla and IceCat late last year. Also around the same time, I led a group of volunteers in organizing and holding EmacsConf 2019 as a completely online conference, using only free software tools, much like the excellent LibrePlanet 2020. I love GNU Emacs, and use it more than any other program. GNU Emacs helps me do a wide variety of tasks such as programming, reading and composing emails, and chatting via IRC.

      • Programming/Development

        • Hello Android development world

          

          Today at Red Hat we have another “Day of Learning”. To this day I have never touched Android development, just installing various flavours and configuring it. But I’ve been curious about it for a while now, mostly to be able to fix a little thing here and there in all the great things available on F-Droid. So today was an excellent opportunity!

          The first thing to do is to install Android Studio. This is quite straightforward – download the tarball, unpack it, and run studio.sh inside it. It even bundles a Java Runtime Environment, so I was quite surprised that it was not missing any dependency even on my radically minimal system (I fully expected having to install tons of stuff in toolbox).

        • Performant Containerized Go* Applications with Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 on Clear Linux* OS

          Major cloud software such as Docker*, etcd*, Istio*, Kubernetes*, Prometheus*, and Terraform* use the Go* programming language for core cloud infrastructure components. Why are they using Go? Compared with many other scripting languages, Go is fast!

          This article shows how to develop performant Go applications that leverage Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512) and a Go container based on Clear Linux* OS to improve the performance potential of Go.

          [...]

          Go is an open source programming language with concurrency mechanisms that help developers make full use of multicore and networked machines. It is expressive, modular, and efficient. Go based data science and analytic applications typically leverage gonum, a set of libraries for matrices, statistics, and optimization. Libraries like gonum build on top of a lower-level BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines) layer.

          Gonum / netlib creates wrapper packages that provide an interface to Netlib CBLAS implementations. Because netlib uses C and CBLAS, using gonum/netlib provides indirect use of an Intel processor’s Intel AVX-512 capability, if available on the running system. The gonum/netlib recommended BLAS layer for performance on Linux is OpenBLAS.

          OpenBLAS is an optimized open source BLAS library based on GotoBLAS2 1.13 BSD version, implemented in C. It provides a BLAS layer implementation with Intel AVX-512 acceleration that is adaptable to Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel® AVX2) or Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions (Intel® SSE) only platforms.

        • Intel’s Clear Linux Working On AVX-512 Optimized Golang Container

          One of the latest performance optimizations being pursued by Intel on the open-source Linux side is providing an AVX-512-optimized container for Golang usage.

          Intel’s Clear Linux crew has assembled a new container providing AVX-512 tuned Go language support paired with AVX-512 optimized Glibc, OpenMP, and OpenBLAS libraries for operating on Intel’s Xeon Scalable servers.

        • Some notes on Corona

          In many ways, very little has changed in the way I work on Free Software projects. I get paid to do so – partly on Calamares, partly on other things – and there simply was no switch-to-remote work for me. Sitting at my desk, two monitors, FreeBSD underneath and Linux VMs in my face, with IRC for realtime communication: that’s been part-and-parcel of work for years now and nothing has changed there.

          Except that now there’s people in the house.

          One thing I notice is that when kid[1] is at the machine next to mine, it’s distracting. But how distracting, depends on what is on-screen. Java code only a little, until I feel the urge to ask what’s the issue – then I’m the cardboard cutout dog. Geometry Dash also only a little, since the rhythmic clicking of the mechanical keyboard mostly makes the same sound as my own keyboard when I’m doing something derpy like re-indenting chunks of CMakeLists.txt. Minecraft, on the other hand, drives me nuts. I just can’t work sitting next to that.

          The Slimbook sees a lot more work now, when I flee to the living room. But that’s where online lessons are happening, so I need to sneak around (sometimes out around the side of the house to cross to the other end of the room) because I don’t want to be broadcast accidentally to 20 students listening to middle-school explanations of quadratic equations. The equations are written on the blackboard painted onto one wall of the room.

          kid[0] had final exams cancelled out from under them, so they graduated from school with very little sound or fury. We wrote out a CV together and they now have a job (in “smart” lockdown times!) until the end of the summer and the start of university.

        • This’ll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year

          Pascal, a descendant of ALGOL 60 and darling of computer science courses for decades, turns 50 this year.

          For engineers of a certain age, Pascal was hard to avoid in the latter part of the last century. Named for 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, the language is attributed to Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Wirth and was created in part due to Wirth’s frustration with the process to improve the ALGOL 60 language.

          Involved in the ALGOL X effort, Wirth proposed ALGOL W, which, while not deemed a sufficient advance over ALGOL 60, became Pascal in 1970.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #062

            Once again, Neil Bowers, came up with another exciting task for all Team PWC members. Like always, it was fun task. Thanks to Ryan for providng sample data and expected result based on the definition of the task. Half the job done already. The only thing left for the us, is get on with the job. I noticed Raku needed slightly different approach then the Perl. It could be I am doing something very badly. I am happy to correct myself, if you find anything silly. More on this, later down below.

            However the second task of the week, N Queens, turned out to tough nut to crack for me. For the first, since I started contributing, I gave up on this. Technically speaking, I did attempt to solve it with the help of my 11 year old daughter, but it was only limited to 2D rather than 3D as expected in the task. Therefore I decided not to submit my solution. Having said that I didn’t want to loose my work, so just for record, I am sharing in this blog, just in case, if I want to re-visit the code.

          • New Arel like SQL Manager

            Some months ago I started working in a system similar to ActiveRecord. But then it became pretty big so then I centered my attention in a SQL AST manager instead.

            So I made a library that is basically an Arel port. You can see the README with most of the basic info. After looking at implementations in CPAN I realized there are many of them already but all of them based on hash structures.

        • Python

          • Add interactivity to your Python plots with Bokeh

            In this series of articles, I’m looking at the characteristics of different Python plotting libraries by making the same multi-bar plot in each one. This time I’m focusing on Bokeh (pronounced “BOE-kay”).

            Plotting in Bokeh is a little more complicated than in some of the other plotting libraries, but there’s a payoff for the extra effort. Bokeh is designed both to allow you to create your own interactive plots on the web and to give you detailed control over how the interactivity works. I’ll show this by adding a tooltip to the multi-bar plot I’ve been using in this series. It plots data from UK election results between 1966 and 2020.

          • Bruteforcing Emails Using a Simple Python Script

            Brute forcing is an essential part of hacking – it is the last resort, it offers hope and sometimes, it just works! Have you ever wanted to code a small script that would bruteforce email servers for you?

            It is imperative to remember that our brute forcing efforts are only as great as our password list, and as such, the list must be chosen with care. That said, first and foremost, we need to import the two modules we will need from Python.

          • Best Python Game Engines

            To write computer games (us oldies call them video games!), you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” To make a playable game in a decent timeframe while also learning how the program works, you will need a game framework. The framework creates many of the constructs that you will need for your games to function. You do not want to invent these yourself. These include how to draw anything to screen, how to detect a collision, and how to keep the score.

            Even making things move on the screen is complex without some underlying library. In this article, you will learn about which packages do what and how easy it is to get started on your game.

          • Week 1 Check-in

            During the community bonding period, i am working on the first step of my proposal. I have used shlex to split the shell script into tokens, and then find the seperator(&&|;) to concatenate the commands. After the review from my mentor, we find that we can improve the code. We do not need to split into tokens at first. Instead, we can directly find the seperator(&&|;) to seperate the commands. This will save a lot of time, since we are not going through every word in the shell script.

          • Backing up and restoring Zato Single Sign-On data

            This article presents a procedure for backing up all of Zato Single Sign-On (SSO) data and restoring it later on.

            A single Zato server with SQLite is used for simplicity reasons but the same principles hold regardless of the size of one’s environment or the SQL database used.

          • Attrs, Dataclasses and Pydantic

            Attrs also adds a nice string representation, comparison methods, optional validation and lots of other stuff to your classes, if you want to. You can also opt out of everything; attrs is very flexible.

            Attrs became so popular, that since Python 3.7 we also have the dataclasses module in the standard library. It is predominantly inspired by attrs (the attrs team was involved in the design of data classes) but has a smaller feature set and will evolve a lot slower. But you can use it out-of-the box without adding a new requirement to your package.

          • How to handle bulk data insertion SQLite + python

            When it comes of handling huge amount of data, the most common things that developer always does is to store data in a single manner each SQL statement has a new transaction started for it. This is very expensive, since it requires reopening, writing to, and closing the journal file for each statement. Despite that fact that they can do it in a bulk transaction. Now how do we did this? I’ll show you.

            Let’s say you have 20,000 candidate records to be inserted in your database. It really makes sense to consider a bulk transaction right? Sure why not.

          • Convert Bytearray to Bytes in Python

            Many different types of data objects are supported by Python. Two of them are the objects bytearray and bytes. The bytearray() function returns an array object of bytes. This object is changeable and supports the integer number from 0 to 255. The bytes() function returns bytes objects, is not changeable, and supports the integers from 0 to 255. This article will describe these functions and explain how bytearray objects can be converted into bytes objects.

          • List Intersection in Python

            Many object variables exist in python to store a variety of data types. The list is one of these variables and can store different types of data for different needs. Sometimes, we need to find common, uncommon, or both common and uncommon data items from the multiple lists for programming purposes. Python contains several built-in functions and operators that can perform these types of tasks for Python sets. Finding common data from the multiple lists is called list intersection, but there is no operator or built-in function for lists like sets to find the common data items from multiple lists. This tutorial will show you how to intersect lists in Python.

          • How to Execute Shell Commands in Python Using the Subprocess Run Method

            Subprocess is a built-in Python module that can be used to create new processes and interact with their input and output data streams. In simpler terms, you can use it to run shell commands and run executable binaries usually scattered in various “bin” folders across a Linux file system. You can also supply a full path to an executable binary and use any command-line switches associated with the binary. This article will explain how to use the subprocess module and its run method in Python apps. All code samples in the article are tested with Python 3.8.2 on Ubuntu 20.04.

          • How to Use the Python Isalpha Function

            Sometimes, we need to check the content of data for programming purposes. There are many different types of built-in functions in Python for string data to check the content This content may include letters, numbers, or other special characters. The isalpha() function is one of the useful built-in functions of Python that can be used to find out whether or not the content of the data is alphabetic. This function searches the alphabet in the starting of the string value. If the starting value of the string is a letter, then this function returns true; otherwise, it returns false. This tutorial will show you how to can use the isalpha() function in Python.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog #1

            Hello Everyone, this is Soham Biswas currently in 2nd year pursuing my Bachelor’s(B.Tech) degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Institute of Engineering & Management, Kolkata. I have been selected for GSoC’ 20 at sub-org FURY under the umbrella organisation of Python Software Foundation. I will be working on building sci-fi-like 2D and 3D interfaces and provide physics engine integration under project titled “Create new UI widgets & Physics Engine Integration”.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: First Blog GSoC 2020
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #1
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Blog : Week 1

            Since most of the places including my university are closed due to the pandemic outbreak, I decided to get a head start and start with the project early. During the community bonding period, I had video conference meetings with my mentors scheduled every week on Wednesday. During these meetings i interacted with the mentors to have a coherent understanding of how the project design and implementation will be managed over the course of the entire period.

            Since my project involves a lot of theoretical understanding of concepts such as ray marching, I spent the period going through the theory of each topic.This week also involved going through the documentation for shaders used in VTK.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Community Bonding Check-in

            I had an onboarding meeting with my mentors where we got to know each other a bit better. They advised me to play around with uarray and unumpy without any goal in mind which I found to be a very good advice. I played a bit with special methods by implementing a simple Vector2D class and used the code in this notebook with some print statements to understand better the protocols and how they are called. I wanted to start earlier on my project so I took over a PR from one of my mentors which adds multimethods for the linalg module.

            What is coming up next?

            I’m going to continue the PR that I have been working on since it still isn’t finished and I will also follow the proposed timeline and start adding multimethods for other routines like checking class equality in array elements. Some mathematical constants and their aliases are also missing so I will be adding these too and probably refactoring the existing ones into classes. This week marks the end of my college classes but I still have some assignments and exams coming up in the following weeks so there’s a lot of work ahead of me to proper balance both university studies and GSoC but I wouldn’t have it other way.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxx) stackoverflow python report
        • Rust

          • In Rust, we lust: Security-focused super-C++ language still most loved among Stack Overflow denizens

            Rust for the fifth year in a row has held its position as the most-loved programming language in Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey, even if it’s not the primary language for most programmers and not many jobs require it.

            Rust, beloved by 86 per cent of respondents this year, recently celebrated five years since its 1.0 release. After years of appreciation for its memory safety features, speed, and other benefits, the language is making the move from an aspirational technology to a growing presence in savvy software organizations.

  • Leftovers

    • An Oath for Hypocrites

      Do you feel plagued by things like the plague?

    • About That City on A Hill

      Once upon a time, the goal of our aborning country among Puritan emigrants to the New World was “we shall be as a city upon a hill” – a haven.

    • Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?

      In their new book, W.E.B.  Du Bois: A Life in American History,Charisse Burden-Stelly and Gerald Horne pose the question that every scholar of African American history, a central part of all US history, must sooner or later approach. W.E.B. Du Bois is without question one of the largest, perhaps the very largest, figure in African-American history. Fellow Pan African C.L.R. James argued vociferously, a half century ago, that even describing Du Bois as a giant of “Black History” made it too easy for establishment intellectuals, liberal as well as conservative, to push him  and his work to the side of “American history” or “World history.”  He belongs in the center of our picture.

    • In Search of the Chosŏn People of Lost Korea

      I can still recall the early morning cab ride I took many years ago in Daegu, South Korea. I was in a hurry, as usual; too much soju and kimchi the night before. On my way to the hagwan for the morning portion of my day-night split shift to teach EFL to busy university-aged students cramming in some English idioms seemingly between classes. It was the loneliest cab ride I’ve ever taken. No English spoken; I pointed to a map. The interior a shrine of talismans lit by a black light, a weird Wurlitzer melody and a voice of sorrow coming from the tape player, like an oriental version of “In Heaven” from David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Speaking of hung over idioms.

    • Professional Race Car Driver Hires Expert Gamer To Race His Video Game Car

      The esports momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down. And one of things many people are learning now that they’re either spectating or participating in esports for the first time is just how hard it is to be really, really good in these competitions. The days that bore the cliches about unskilled gamers slothing in their parent’s basement are long gone, replaced by corporate sponsorships for sold out events in full-scale arenas. In the absence of traditional IRL sports at the moment, many professional athletes are now getting into esports as well, with autoracing having led the way.

    • Plague Music

      Were Georg Frideric Handel to be beamed back to earth from the celestial realm he has inhabited since his death two-and-a-half centuries ago, he would soon have a Netflix hit, scores of viral YouTube videos with a host of marketing tie-ins—from organ pe(da)loton work-out regimens to a line of prophylactic powdered wigs so fashion-backward they’re actually fashion-forward.

      [...]

      These scenes are unsettling and prescient, as in Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film Contagion which drew in so many viewers at the outset of the Corona crisis. Indeed, it is simultaneously inspiring and appalling how entertaining Handel makes his menu of death and destruction, though this is fare no more sinister than lockdown America feasting on the misfortune of the Tiger King. Come to think of it, there’s an oratorio that Handel would easily knock out of the big cat park!

      These communal utterances are indeed great fun, but given the topic of plagues, can’t help remind us that choral singing is an extremely effective way to pass the virus, what with all the explosive consonants firing off droplets like mini-viral bombs bursting in air. The only choirs now singing together do so virtually.

      One of the earliest surviving sound recordings can be marveled at on a then newly-invented Edison wax cylinder from 1888. Barely audible over the chug and hiss of the technology is a choir of 4,000 singing excerpts from Israel in Egypt in London’s Crystal Palace. It sounds like a chorus of the dead, ghosts not just from another century, but from a vanished world.

    • Science

      • Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller publish another terrible “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study

        I was looking back at the blog and my blog posts over the last few months and noticed that the last time I wrote anything that wasn’t about COVID-19 was on March 16. I had been feeling that I needed a break from the unrelentingly depressing news about SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pandemic it’s causing, and all the quackery, bad science, and conspiracy theories that it’s provoked and continues to provoke, including the unholy alliance between COVID-19 deniers and the antivaccine movement. Oddly enough, yesterday I was made aware of the publication of a study that in this age of over a hundred thousand Americans dead from a pandemic seems almost quaint by comparison. It is, however, nonetheless still important because it’s yet another example of antivaxxers promoting a favorite myth of theirs, namely that unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children (spoiler: they aren’t) because, of course, they believe that vaccines are toxic brews of horrible chemicals and DNA and tissue from aborted fetuses and therefore cause autism and every manner of chronic health problem, thus making our children the “sickest generation” (another spoiler: they aren’t). Yes, it’s another “vaxxed vs. unvaxxed study,” and it’s just as bad as every other antivax “vaxxed vs. unvaxxed” study out there, but superficially better in appearance. Hilariously, it’s by two antivaxxers whom we’ve met before, Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Coverage of School Reopening Needs to Include School Workers

        The eagerness to reopen schools is understandable, but given the intensity of this crisis, the decision must come after a comprehensive review of all factors, which includes the voices of the workers who will be taking on the most risk.

      • Russia’s public health authority issues recommendations for reopening places of worship

        Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, has issued recommendations for gradually allowing worshipers access to temples, Interfax reports, on the basis of a government document in the publication’s possession. 

      • Common Preservation or Extinction?
      • Amid Global Pandemic—With Nearly 363,000 Dead—Trump Terminates US Ties With the World Health Organization

        “When every single country in the world is able to work with the WHO, except for one whose president advocates treating coronavirus with bleach and UV light, who do you think is at fault?”

      • Conditions Close at Hand

        Closest at hand is our Coronavirus pandemic, a virus gone viral in the American mass psyche bringing a close to home sense of our mortality. Our wars didn’t do it, at least our “volunteer” wars. When existentialism was the rage, there was a cerebral “fear and trembling, sickness unto death” but not quite the same thing as worrying whether a surface you touched, or a person you spoke to might have been your own messenger from the Grim Reaper.

      • Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19

        Lockdowns imposed in response to Covid-19 forced millions of people to stay at home, businesses closed and a widespread hush descended. The major beneficiary of the controls has been the natural environment; in particular there has been a dramatic reduction in air pollution everywhere. But as countries begin to lift restrictions, road traffic levels are once again increasing, air and noise pollution rising.

      • U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World

        Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods, and not under exclusive patent rights. The United States explicitly disassociated itself from the patent pool call, talking instead of “the critical role that intellectual property plays”—in other words, patents for vaccines and medicines. Having badly botched his COVID-19 response, Trump is trying to redeem his electoral fortunes in the November elections this year by promising an early vaccine. The 2020 version of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is shaping up to be, essentially, “vaccines for us”—but the rest of the world will have to queue up and pay what big pharma asks, as they will hold the patents.

      • Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US

        American workers have a huge opportunity as a result of this coronavirus pandemic — an opportunity to massively expand union membership in the workplace, and a chance, after decades of being ignored by Congress, to finally win a desperately needed increase in the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to at least $15 per hour.

      • Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots.

        On Dec. 15, 2016, the nation’s largest nursing home lobby wrote a letter to Donald Trump, congratulating the president-elect and urging him to roll back new regulations on the long-term care industry.

        One item on the wish list was a recently issued emergency preparedness rule. It required nursing homes to draw up plans for hazards such as an outbreak of a new infectious disease.

      • Many Russians are continuing to ignore social distancing rules. A sociologist explains why.

        During the coronavirus pandemic, being able to maintain social distancing in public spaces has become a vital skill. As it turns out, Russians are not coping with this very well. Meduza asked sociologist Andrey Korbut, a senior lecturer at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics who specializes in the sociology of every life, about the particularities of upholding social distancing in Russia.

      • Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic

        As of May 27th 2020, in Venezuela, there have been 1,245 coronavirus cases (44 cases per million inhabitants) and only 11 deaths.[1] It remained at 10 for over a month.[2] Venezuela has the lowest percentage of confirmed coronavirus deaths per population in the region (0.4%) and the highest ratio of testing, 31,561 tests per million people, more than any other country in the region.[3]

      • Children Risking Their Lives. How Cute!

        If you really want to understand the ideology corporate media are constantly selling us, it’s often best not to look at how they cover serious news, but what they depict as light-hearted human interest stories. There’s always a stream of them from local and national outlets, designed to pique interest and serve as a balance to the often heavier headline content. Stories along the lines of  “Homeless Man Wins Lottery” or “Local Sisters Accepted to Harvard AND Yale” abound, often appearing at the ends of news broadcasts.

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 400,000

        On the morning of May 29, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 8,572 new coronavirus infections in the past day (201 more new cases than the day before) bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 387,623 patients.

      • Trump Opposes Masks Because Culture War Nihilism Is His Last Line of Defense

        I don’t think there’s ever been a U.S. president with more influence with his political base that Donald Trump. All presidents are defended by those who support them, of course. Even the most unpopular failures have diehard fans who stick with them to the bitter end.

      • Masks and COVID-19: an Open Letter to Robert Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense

        I join with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in opposing mandatory vaccinations. I have no faith in products like vaccines that are developed for profit under American capitalism. Manufacturing and marketing occurs without utilizing the precautionary principle, without sufficient testing, and with aluminum-based and other dangerous adjuvants and impurities. The Food and Drug Adminstration’s administrators and regulators come from the corporations they’re supposed to be regulating. They’ll return to the same corporate behemoths when their time in government service is ended, via that revolving door between Big Pharma and U.S. regulatory agencies. Given all of that, how could one not oppose unsafe and compulsory vaccinations? That is why I support Children’s Health Defense, as well as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s great environmental work.

      • How Hydroxychloroquine Could Help Trump…Politically

        This month President Donald Trump boldly continued to promote the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a protection against being infected by covid-19. In an almost off-handed comment during a briefing he said he was taking it himself, although the size of the dosage was not mentioned. At the same time, a new study of 96,000 coronavirus patients on six continents taking the drug concluded that they experienced a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias. Those findings would seem to answer Trump’s question of “What do you have to lose?” in encouraging people to take the drug.

      • ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking Medical Stockpile Records From HHS

        ProPublica has sued the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the agency failed to promptly process requests for records about a cache of medical supplies maintained by the federal government.

        The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, alleges that the delays violated the Freedom of Information Act, a law passed in 1967 whose purpose is to provide the public with information about federal agency operations.

      • No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India

        The port city of Vizag or Vishakhapatnam, situated on the south-east coast of India in the State of Andhra Pradesh, is home to several hazardous industries. In the early morning on 07 May 2020, five million people residing in the Vizag Metropolitan Region were rudely woken up by the alarming news of a poisonous chemical leak from a plant producing polystyrene-based products situated about 15 kms away on the outskirts of the city. As a result of exposure to toxic Styrene vapours that escaped from the plant, about 12 people and 32 animals have been killed so far. At least another 1000-odd people – living in the adjacent villages up to a radius of six kms – have reportedly suffered injuries of whom over 800 had to be hospitalized. About 4000 others, who were evacuated in time by some alert volunteers, managed to escape without any noticeable injuries. Nearly 10,000 other residents in the vicinity were forced to vacate their homes in panic. There are also sufficient indications that the environment through which the vapours traversed has been adversely affected. Even a week after the tragedy:

      • BBC launches ‘Corona Bot’ to tackle COVID-19 confusion

        Currently, the tool is available through Messenger for Facebook and the BBC Facebook page, where users can type questions to BBC News; it will answer them using information from BBC News and, where appropriate, the NHS website for England.

        The corporation plans to roll out the tool on other BBC digital platforms and open up the service to other voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

        Anthony Mullen, senior research director at Gartner, said that collaboration is needed between experts, publishers, distributors and consumers to make sure correct information is distributed. Otherwise, bad actors and bad narratives can prosper.

      • Survey reveals that one third of Russians are coronavirus skeptics

        One third of Russian (32.9 percent) think the coronavirus pandemic is either a fabrication, or that the disease is harmless to humanity, according to the results of a new survey published by RBC.

      • A Chronicle of a Lost Decade Foretold

        Many on the left still cling to the hope that the COVID-19 crisis will translate into the use of state power on behalf of the powerless. But those in authority have never hesitated to harness government intervention to the preservation of oligarchy, and a pandemic alone won’t change that.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Amazon will no longer support the Echo Look, encourages owners to recycle theirs

          Amazon is discontinuing its Echo Look camera, a standalone device that gave owners fashion advice using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The Look’s companion app and the device itself will stop functioning on July 24th. Between now and July 24th, 2021, Look users can back up their images and videos by making a free Amazon Photos account. (People with existing Photos accounts will have their media backed up automatically.) Anyone who wants to delete all their existing photos and videos will have to do so before the July 2020 deadline; otherwise, they’ll have to call Amazon’s customer service to have them deleted. They can currently delete them through the Look app.

        • “Virtual terrorism”: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

          On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.

          The newly uninvited guests quickly overtook the meeting — first, by chanting the n-word; then by taking control of the screen. The trolls drew swastikas and displayed pornography images for all to see.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • FINOS expands industry presence by joining the Linux Foundation

                Red Hat is part of many communities, and one community that is important to us, and to the financial services industry, is the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS). This community helps drive open source advancements geared specifically towards the unique needs of the financial services firms, accelerating innovation and collaboration through the adoption of open source software, standards, best practices and governance.

                Red Hat joined FINOS as a Gold Member in spring of 2018, and Red Hat OpenShift is providing the underlying technology for the FINOS Open Developer Platform (ODP), one of the leading venues for community development within the financial services community.

                Red Hat has also contributed its open source leadership experience to the Open Source Readiness Project, which provides governance and open source legal guidance to banks who are first participating in open source. Additionally, we’ve provided our experience and expertise in the hybrid cloud to help progress the Cloud Services Certification project under FINOS, which works to accelerate firms’ journeys to open source readiness.

                Red Hat is also an active member of the Linux Foundation, which is dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems around open source projects, with the goal of accelerating technology development and adoption. The Linux Foundation was founded in 2000, and has helped to establish and build some of the most critical open source technologies in use. Additionally, it has expanded its work beyond Linux, to foster innovation at every layer of the stack.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libexif and tomcat8), Fedora (python38), openSUSE (libxslt), Oracle (git), Red Hat (bind, freerdp, and git), Scientific Linux (git), SUSE (qemu and tomcat), and Ubuntu (apt, json-c, kernel, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, and openssl).

          • FYI: There are thousands of Chrome extensions with so, so many fake installations to trick you into using them

            Efforts to manipulate installation counts in Chrome Web Store extension listings appear to be alive and well, despite a developer’s personal crusade to call attention to the problem.

            Julio Marin Torres has been highlighting suspiciously popular Chrome extensions since January in posts to the Chromium Extensions forum, trying to get Googler to enforce their store policies.

            In an email to The Register, he said Google has taken some action since his initial posts on the subject, but the problem has only gotten worse since then. “Something has to change,” he said. “I think this hurts the entire Chrome Store developer and user community.”

          • NSA warns about Sandworm APT exploiting Exim flaw

            “When CVE-2019-10149 is successfully exploited, an actor is able to execute code of their choosing. When Sandworm exploited CVE-2019-10149, the victim machine would subsequently download and execute a shell script from a Sandworm-controlled domain,” they said.

            The script would then attempt to add privileged users, disable network security settings, update SSH configurations to enable additional remote access, and execute an additional script to enable follow-on exploitation.

          • Morpheus Data Strengthens Security and Automation in Latest Platform Release

            Lastly, the Morpheus software application has been updated to run on an even broader set of operating systems for additional flexibility. New support for Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Linux 8.x and SUSE Linux is added to existing support for Debian, RHEL 7.x and Ubuntu.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Can You Protect Privacy If There’s No Real Enforcement Mechanism?

              Privacy laws can have a lot of moving pieces from notices and disclosures, opt-in and opt-out consent requirements to privacy defaults and user controls. Over the past few years, there has been significant progress on these issues because privacy advocates, consumer groups, industry voices, and even lawmakers have been willing to dive into definitional weeds, put options on the table, and find middle ground. But this sort of thoughtful debate has not happened when it comes to how privacy laws should be enforced and what should happen when companies screw up, families are hurt, and individuals’ privacy is invaded.

            • Twitter Slams Trump’s Social Media Checks on U.S. Visa Seekers

              Since May 2019, the State Department has required most visa applicants to register every social media handle they’ve used over the past five years on more than a dozen platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. The lawsuit alleges the policy violates applicants’ free-speech rights by subjecting their online speech and associations to scrutiny.

              State and the Department of Homeland Security, the named defendants in the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

            • Who profits from our medical records?

              These data owners also sell access to medical and genetic data for many beneficial uses. For example, if researchers want to know the long-term side effects of a drug, they can access 10-years of data for 20 million people and check for side-effects or dangerous drug interactions occurred.

              The critical point here is that, today, patients do not generally own exclusive rights to their own data. Once a patient shares their data, they have little or no say in how it is used. Most of them do not even know their data is being sold, and never see any direct profit from the sale of their data. But that could change. In an age where consumers know that Facebook, Google, Amazon and others are exploiting their electronic data for profit — and governments in Europe and elsewhere are legislating limits on these data uses — the models for medical data ownership may soon be ripe for overhaul.

            • Mark Zuckerberg Worried for Facebook in Hong Kong After China’s Security Move

              The draft law is intended to prevent any threat to Beijing’s authority in the city through secession, subversion, terrorism or foreign interference. It may allow mainland security forces to operate within Hong Kong, and is widely expected to curb personal liberty, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. China’s own media is one of the most controlled of any country in the world and its own social media services are heavily censored.

            • Facebook’s New App Wants Sports Fans Looking at Their Mobile Phones

              Here’s how it works: The commentators will host a so-called venue for each event, where they’ll provide commentary, pose questions or polls and participate in chats tied to a specific moment in the game.

            • Russian regulators reportedly turn to court enforcement officers, after Facebook and Twitter ignore noncompliance fines

              Russia’s battle with Facebook and Twitter has taken another turn: the two social media giants have reportedly failed to pay 4-million-ruble ($56,500) fines imposed for refusing to store Russian users’ data on servers in Russia. A source close to Roskomnadzor (Russia’s federal censor) told the newspaper Kommersant that the agency has submitted a writ of execution to court enforcement officers.

            • Google sued by Arizona for tracking users’ locations in spite of settings

              Arizona has filed suit against Google over tracking users’ locations even after they’ve turned tracking off, claiming that the advertising-fueled tech titan has a “complex web of settings and purported ‘consents’” that enable it to furtively milk us for sweet, sweet ad dollars.

            • THIS WEEK IN SECURITY: LEAKING PARTIAL BITS, APPLE NEWS, AND OVERZEALOUS CONTACT TRACING

              There is a constant tension between security and privacy. We’re used to governments making arguments about giving up privacy for the sake of security, but the same trade-off can show up in computer security, too. In this case, Apple has implemented an online check for every executable run by a macOS Catalina system. If you’re running macOS 10.15, you might have noticed your system is a bit slower than it should be. It seems that when connected to the internet, a modern Mac will upload a hash of each binary to Apple, assumably to check it against a blacklist of known malware.

              The Reddit thread discussing this issue had a few more interesting observations. First off, one user pointed out that he had observed this issue while flying and connected to the terrible in-flight wifi. A second poster observed that a Mac will take an inordinate amount of time to reboot when connected to a network without internet access.

              While there is likely an upside, this approach is terrible for performance and user privacy, and a breach of trust between Apple and their users. If they wanted to monetize the data, Apple now has a record of which binaries are run by which users and when. This sort of behavior should be documented at the very least, and come with an off switch for those who don’t wish to participate. The fact that it was discovered by internet sleuths is a black eye for Apple.

            • India’s contact tracing app made open source, but will this thwart a surveillance state?

              Two days ago, the government of India announced that it would publicly release the source code for its coronavirus contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu. However, the folks at MIT aren’t terribly impressed with Aarogya Setu’s safety quotient nor its collection of all manner of data beyond what contact tracing demands.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!

        The Washington Post’s senior diplomatic columnist, David Ignatius, has done it again.  He has a well-earned reputation as an apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency and a defender of increased defense spending and the newly-created Space Force.  Now, Ignatius has added a new plaque to his personal Hall of Fame—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  In an oped for the Post on May 27, Ignatius has defended Pompeo’s fund-raising dinners at the lavish ceremonial rooms of the Department of State, which incidentally was one of the issues being investigated by the State Department’s Inspector General, Steve Linick.

      • The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s

        In what ways are women present in political contexts? Kashmiri women, from different walks of life, have managed against all odds to express their agency during the plethora of political, social, and military transformations in the past nine decades. During the growing sense of nationhood in the 1930s, and during the political awakening in the 1940s Kashmiri women forged broad coalitions and informal networks to challenge state-centered, feudal, and elitist notions of identity and security.

      • What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID

        In November 2019, as experts warned that a novel coronavirus was likely to develop in the near-future, NATO boasted that its European Allies, including the UK, as well as Canada, were boosting their military budgets by an average of 4.6 percent, or an additional $130bn since 2016. The implication is that this increase in military spending is at the expense of healthcare, which is being privatized worldwide.

      • “Trust Was a Central Theme”: We Talked to a Navy Commander About How He Helped Us Uncover Staggering Failures From Senior Navy Leadership

        Retired Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson was wary when ProPublica reporter Megan Rose reached out to him for an investigation into the 2017 collision of the USS Fitzgerald. The accident was one of the deadliest in the Navy’s history, and Benson had been the captain of the warship.

        ProPublica’s investigative series, “Disaster in the Pacific,” would go on to reveal that failures from senior Navy leaders — who had endangered the Fitzgerald by sending an overworked and undertrained crew to sea with outdated and poorly maintained equipment — were responsible. But at the time that Rose contacted Benson, senior officers blamed him for the collision and had even sought a criminal prosecution.

      • Carrying Out Trump’s “When the Looting Starts, the Shooting Starts” Order Would Violate 4th Amendment, Warn Legal Experts

        “Donald Trump is calling for violence against black Americans. His advocacy of illegal, state-sponsored killing is horrific. Politicians who refuse to condemn it share responsibility for the consequences.”

      • Incel Terrorism

        America is getting back to “normal,” but what does that mean? Mass shootings, for one thing. No school shootings—though that’s mainly because there’s no school. But the other day, a self-proclaimed incel with an AR-15 went and shot up some folks he didn’t know (one in critical condition) in a Glendale, Arizona entertainment center.

      • Saying Quiet Part Very Loud, Netanyahu Calls Palestinians Future “Subjects” as Annexation Looms

        You can’t keep 5 million people stateless forever, that this is monstrous. But apparently, you can do so for many decades, maybe a century or more.

      • Alex Vitale, Chase Madar and Shahid Buttar on Racist Policing

        This week on CounterSpin: The May 26 New York Times reports that authorities are looking into “the arrest of a black man who died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee.” Police murder yet another black person in broad daylight, and the Times can’t bring itself to use active verbs. George Floyd was killed by a police officer who remained on the force despite a record of violence and complaints, his murder was covered up as a “medical incident” by the police department, and when people protested the killing, police tear-gassed and shot at them with rubber bullets. Now law enforcement will investigate law enforcement.

      • Minneapolis police leader defending George Floyd’s killers tied to ‘white power’-linked biker gang

        From The Grayzone vault: The record of a pro-Trump Minneapolis police leader defending the killers of George Floyd reveals a past marred in accusations of racist violence, including charges from fellow police officers that he once wore a “white power” badge on his motorcycle jacket.

      • Billions for Defense Contractor Hidden in New House COVID Relief Bill

        When they passed another bill this month to help the tens of millions of Americans left unemployed and hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats in the House of Representatives touted the $3 trillion legislation’s benefits to working people, renters, first responders and others struggling to get by.

      • Trump Calls Protesters “Thugs” and Threatens “Shooting” in Response to “Looting”

        In response to the uprising in Minneapolis against the brutal arrest and killing of a Black man named George Floyd by a white police officer earlier this week, President Donald Trump suggested he was ready to use state violence against the protesters, tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

      • Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?

        Politics makes strange bedfellows. Some of them want to kill us.

      • Without Anger Over Inequality and Lynchings, We Have No Hope for Democracy

        The anger that has erupted in Minneapolis and across the country in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd gives me hope. This anger — whether expressed peacefully or violently — is ignited by a betrayal of human equality. Without this anger, we have no hope for maintaining a democracy in the United States.

      • Police Arrest CNN Journalist During Live TV Coverage of George Floyd Protests

        A CNN journalist and his entire camera crew were arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning during their live television coverage of the aftermath of Minneapolis protests over the killing of George Floyd.

      • Police Arrested Afro-Latino Reporter While Treating White Colleague “Politely”

        CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, an Afro-Latino reporter for the TV network, was arrested Friday morning while covering the Minneapolis uprising, which took place in response to the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week.

      • As Minneapolis Protests Over Killing of George Floyd Intensify, Trump Threatens to Send in Military With Green Light to Open Fire

        “The president of the United States is threatening to use live fire on his own citizens.”

      • ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’: Watch Police Arrest CNN Journalist and Camera Crew During Live TV Coverage of George Floyd Protests

        “They arrested a CNN reporter and camera crew for reporting the news but not Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on camera.”

      • Taiwan email leaks suggest need for increased cybersecurity

        When specific people are targeted by [attackers], phishing emails or fake websites are often used to trick unsuspecting personnel. Additionally, there is always the likelihood that leaks could come from within the group itself.

        In a Facebook post, former National Security Council member Enoch Wu (吳怡農) explained three reasons for Taiwan’s frequent leaks: the lack of a cybersecurity chief, over-reliance on third-parties to police network security, and poor security awareness and practices by government officials.

        Wu suggested that the president create a new cybersecurity chief position in order to better protect digital networks and coordinate efforts among relevant departments. He also said the government should develop a national cloud-based server while at the same time keeping security networks up to date.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Facebook, Instagram Leave Trump’s Threat About Shooting Minneapolis Protesters Unchecked

        While Twitter put Donald Trump in a penalty box for a tweet advocating violence against crowds Minneapolis protesters, Facebook and Instagram for now have left up the same message from the president on their services without any similar warning.

        [...]

        Twitter’s move to apply fact-checking labels to a pair of inaccurate Trump tweets about mail-in ballots prompted the president to retaliate with an executive order seeking to rescind the legal protections social networks have under current U.S. law if they “censor” speech. Experts say Trump’s order is unconstitutional, representing a legal overreach by the executive branch.

      • Leaked posts show Facebook employees asking the company to remove Trump’s threat of violence

        But then Trump cross-posted to Facebook a tweet that seemed to suggest that violent action be taken against people protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. “Would it be possible to explain in more detail the interpretation of our community standards?” one employee asked. “Does this post violate them but get an exemption, or is it not violating?”

        But by mid-afternoon Pacific time on Friday, employees had not received a response — and they were beginning to grow frustrated. “It’s egregious that nobody from policy has chimed in or provided any sort of context here,” one employee said. When another employee defended Facebook’s silence by suggesting that top executives were likely debating their next steps, the original poster replied: “They’ve already made an official decision by keeping the post up after it’s been reported. They should communicate their justification for the decision.”

      • Media Corruption? Car Safety Recalls Reported Less When Manufacturers Advertise More [iophk: now study the impact of M$ and its parteners on the supression of tech coverage]

        Is the reporting of media outlets biased in favor of firms that advertise with them? A new study looked at the relationship between advertising by car manufacturers in U.S. newspapers and news coverage of car safety recalls in the early 2000s. The study found that newspapers provided less coverage of recalls issued by manufacturers that advertised more regularly in their publications than of recalls issued by other manufacturers that did not advertise, and this occurred more frequently when the recalls involved more severe defects.

        The study was conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Loyola Marymount University, Brown University, and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (GSE). It appears in Management Science.

    • Environment

      • Warmer weather means it’s time to be tick aware

        As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance.

        Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body.
        Many of those ticks are infected with Lyme disease. The illness, which was first identified in Connecticut in the 1970s, is found in countries across the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the most common tick-borne disease in both the United States and Europe.
        And the area where Lyme disease is found is expanding.

        Lyme disease is on the rise in the United Kingdom, and climate change is projected to worsen the spread of Lyme across northern Europe.
        According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s now a high incidence of exposure in Midwestern, Northeastern, and mid-Atlantic states.

      • No asteroids needed: ancient mass extinction tied to ozone loss, warming climate

        The end of the Devonian period, 359 million years ago, was an eventful time: Fish were inching out of the ocean, and fernlike forests were advancing on land. The world was recovering from a mass extinction 12 million years earlier, but the climate was still chaotic, swinging between hothouse conditions and freezes so deep that glaciers formed in the tropics. And then, just as the planet was warming from one of these ice ages, another extinction struck, seemingly without reason. Now, spores from fernlike plants, preserved in ancient lake sediments from eastern Greenland, suggest a culprit: The planet’s protective ozone layer was suddenly stripped away, exposing surface life to a blast of mutation-causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

        [...]

        It captures a startling transformation: Healthy fossilized spores, coated in distinctive symmetrical spikes, suddenly grow misshapen, their spikes dilapidated and uneven. Spores are a common fossil because of their armored coat, but they are vulnerable to UV radiation, much like humans; spores can even develop a “tan” in response to UV. The damage Marshall saw is consistent with such exposure, says Jeffrey Benca, an experimental paleobotanist who has linked such damage to the end-Permian extinction. “What they propose seems quite plausible,” he says.

        Marshall argues that the warming climate drove more powerful summer thunderstorms, which could have injected an ozone-depleting mix of water and salts into the stratosphere. As UV rays killed off forests, nutrient runoff into the sea could have caused blooms of plankton and algae, which would have produced more ozone-destroying salts in a runaway feedback. “It looks like it might be a perfect storm,” he says.

        Marshall’s scenario could explain not just the extinction, but also the many natural gas deposits dating from the period, says Sarah Carmichael, a geochemist at Appalachian State University. They formed from decaying organic matter, but no one has explained the needed surge in plankton growth. Nutrient runoff from dead forests could have fertilized the marine life.

        It’s also a portent of what could happen in today’s warming world, where more powerful thunderstorms sometimes “overshoot” the troposphere and inject moisture into the dry, cold stratosphere. When combined with aerosol particles and chlorine molecules, the moisture may eat away ozone.

        But atmospheric scientists can barely agree on whether these ozone depletions are happening now, let alone hundreds of millions of years ago. More overshoots occur now than expected, but whether they are spurring damaging reactions is not yet clear. Elliot Atlas, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Miami who studies this dynamic, is skeptical of Marshall’s theory. It needs much more rigorous testing in models, he says. “Is it impossible? I can’t say that.”

      • South Asia’s twin threat: extreme heat and foul air

        Climate change means many health risks. Any one of them raises the danger. What happens when extreme heat meets bad air?

      • With COP 26 Pushed to Late 2021 Due to Pandemic, World Leaders Urged Not to Delay Climate Action

        “Right now, real leaders should be doubling-down their efforts to ensure a green and just recovery in handling this health crisis and the climate emergency.”

      • Energy

      • Nature

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?

        When I learned that we were entering a new period called neo-feudalism, my first reaction was to wonder if that was any worse than what we have now. After all, the serf might have suffered from a lack of freedom but at least had lots of time off as Michael Perelman pointed out in “The Invention of Capitalism“:

      • Unearned Income for All

        I live in upstate New York, famous for its populist politics in the 19th century. It produced not only utopian experiments (including the Oneida and Shaker communities), but religious revivals and innovations (the ‘burnt over’ district, the Mormons), as well as political movements (the Underground Railroad and the Suffragette movement). We also had the Rent Wars, in which long-suffering tenants of landlords controlling thousands, even millions, of acres rebelled, in the early 19th century, with limited success, against their economic masters.

      • For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit

        The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Michael Strain wrote an op-ed in the New York Times recently explaining how “The American Dream Is Alive and Well,” and that in his opinion this nation has, “bigger issues than inequality.” Strain’s piece is part of the paper’s new pandemic-era series called “The America We Need” and engages in a set of impressive mental gymnastics to conclude that it ought to be of no concern that the rich are getting richer and that it would be better to focus instead on, “the relatively slow rate of productivity growth,” or “the long-term decline in male employment.”

      • Mnuchin and DeVos Sued for Unlawful Seizure of Student Loan Borrowers’ Tax Refunds During Pandemic

        “Secretaries DeVos and Mnuchin have inflicted needless financial pain on student borrowers and their families.”

      • Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling With COVID-19

        Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.

      • At Least 9 Million US Households With Children Are ‘Not At All Confident’ They’ll Be Able to Afford Food Next Month, Census Survey Finds

        “Even if they *do* end up getting food, you have to understand the mental and physical toll of living with that kind of fear, and how that affects relationships, work, health, and everything else.”

      • The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now

        Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it’s become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust. While the world has certainly experienced its share of staggering jolts in the past, this cycle of events is likely to prove unparalleled.

      • Newsweek Fails to Note That White House Reopening Guidelines Make Absolutely No Sense
      • In Search of a Lost Socialism

        In May of 1914 — 107 years ago this month — a small, yet vibrant socialist colony on the edge of Los Angeles County took root that is worth revisiting. In the Age of Covid-19, and with the continued violent assault on black and brown people across the US, one must visualize a more peaceful, egalitarian future, where healthcare is free and police are non-existent. The seeds of revolution are all around us, they just need planting. – JF

      • Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?

        In some ways, this horrible pandemic has brought out the best in humanity.

      • A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery

        The bankruptcy epidemic in the U.S. started last year, long before any COVID-19 pandemic had touched down. U.S. retailers ranked among the greatest casualties of 2019 with a total of 17 bankruptcies. Big names among the retail bankruptcies in 2019 included Gymboree on January 16; Charlotte Russe on February 3; Things Remembered on February 6; Payless ShoeSource on February 18; Charming Charlie on July 11; Barneys New York on August 6; and Forever 21 on September 29.

      • Forget “Looting.” Capitalism Is the Real Robbery.

        This morning the president of the United States threatened state-sanctioned murder in response to “looting,” laying bare the way in which white supremacy, capitalism and the state work together to violently repress people who defend Black life.

      • Rep. Katie Porter Accuses UnitedHealth of ‘Putting Profits Before Patients and Providers’ in Midst of Pandemic

        “It’s flat out wrong for the world’s largest insurance company to pass costs on to families in the middle of a pandemic—I want answers.”

      • ‘Cowardly’ and ‘Shameful’: Critics Say Trump Refusal to Release Mid-Year Economic Forecast an Obvious Election Year Ploy

        “It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like.”

      • More than 1.9 million Russians are officially unemployed — here’s how the government plans to help them

        President Vladimir Putin has announced new support measures for Russians who lost their jobs during the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. During a video conference on the current state of the Russian labor market on May 27, he supported the relevant proposals put forward by Labor Minister Anton Kotyakov.

      • Budget Cockups in the Time of Coronavirus

        Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. Even in their self-celebrated expertise, blunders will happen.

      • Former Federal Reserve Governor Rebukes Central Bank for Using Covid-19 Lending Power to Bail Out ‘Dying’ Fossil Fuel Industry

        “If polluters want to deny the existence of the ongoing bailout, Congress should swiftly repeal these blatant corporate tax giveaways and make fossil fuels ineligible for stimulus lending programs.”

      • The Case for a New Technology to Help Slaughterhouse Workers

        While the meat industry is receiving its massive $16 billion federal COVID-19 bailout, the USDA and Congress should also enact policies and allocate funds that would phase out archaic electrical slaughter methods in favor of CAS.

      • We Must Respond to the COVID Crash Like We Did to the Great Depression — Boldly

        Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it’s become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust. While the world has certainly experienced its share of staggering jolts in the past, this cycle of events is likely to prove unparalleled.

      • As More Parents Head Back to Work Amid Pandemic, Advocates Demand $100 Billion Federal Boost for Child Care

        “Without child care, there’s no recovery.”

      • California secession would create economic chaos: Letters

        Dan Walters brings into question whether California can stand alone as its own nation. He compares California now to Canada and covers all the basic grounds, allowing the readers to make their own conclusions.

        While California may be able to survive on its own, Walters fails to mention how the United States would survive without such an important state as California. California is largest state in the country with primarily Democratic views, so the political power would drastically change in the union.

        The U.S. prides itself in keeping a balance in politics, however, if California were to secede, that balance will be thrown to the Republican Party.

      • Federal support is critical for California’s economic recovery

        Throughout America right now, business owners are adapting, overcoming and rising to the challenge of COVID-19. They are reconfiguring their restaurants to allow for more space between diners. They are putting tape on the floor so that customers can stay six feet apart while they shop. They are making sure that their employees have the protective gear that helps their guests stay safe. In short, these entrepreneurs are using the same ingenuity and creativity that got them into business in the first place, getting ready to re-open as soon as they are able.

        But these safety measures, while critical, will not be enough on their own to bring the economy even to where it was just a few months ago. The most sophisticated physical distancing policies we implement won’t get customers in the door if they don’t feel safe from COVID-19 or if they don’t have money to spend.

        [...]

        They need funding to protect local farms, farm workers and food processors so that we can maintain the food supply and keep fresh, healthful produce in our communities.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Suing Russia’s president An ‘ultra-Putinist’ ex-governor has made history with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal. Here’s his story.

        Mikhail Ignatiev has an interesting list of accomplishments. He lost his job as the head of Chuvashia in January this year after two scandals: first, he advocated “wiping out” bloggers and journalists who praise Western countries, and then he humiliated a fireman by forcing him to jump for the keys to a new fire engine. Ignatiev is now saddling up for his next adventure: becoming the first public official in Russia to contest the presidential order that cost him his governorship. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev takes a closer look at the man who would take Vladimir Putin to court. 

      • Dimming VP Hopes, Klobuchar’s Failure to Prosecute Police Misconduct Highlighted as Outrage Over Killing of George Floyd Intensifies

        “You can’t refuse to prosecute killer cops and act like you don’t have blood on your hands.”

      • Reminder to the Press: Trump’s Deadly Covid-19 Failures Are Still Happening

        It’s almost as if the D.C. media has forgotten what Trump and the federal government urgently need to do—and could be doing—to save people’s lives.

      • Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

        Returning to La Paz, Bolivia after last November’s coup was like returning to the scene of a crime. Since Bolivian President Evo Morales was removed from power, right-wing interim President Jeanine Áñez has led the country with an iron fist.

      • Electionland 2020: Trump on Vote by Mail, Poll Worker PPE, Naturalizations and More

        In both his public appearances and on Twitter, President Donald Trump has continued to rail against mail voting, and has accused Democrats of trying to rig the election. This set off alarm bells among voting rights advocates and experts who believe the president is setting the stage to delegitimize the election if he loses. Then, this week, the president tweeted again about mail voting, and Twitter labeled his tweets with a message “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which linked to this fact-check page. After falsely accusing Twitter of interfering in the election and stifling free speech, Trump threatened “Big action to follow!” On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order that aims to limit the power of social media companies.

      • Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest

        Eighteen years before Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd on Monday, Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named Christopher Burns. Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar decries the killing of Floyd. Back then, Minneapolis chief prosecutor Amy Klobuchar refused to prosecute city police for killing Burns.

      • Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages

        President Trump orders governors to open up the churches.  Churches defy governors and seek to open.  Someone needs to remind both the president and religious institutions that the Middle Ages are over and Modernity won.

      • Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP

        In the race to the bottom, Donald Trump is unbeatable. Therefore, so now too is the Republican Party; being under his thumb, it is with him, every step of the way.

      • A Few Good Sadists

        Here’s a flashback that may help to explain how we got to where we are: the day was April 30, 2004. Alexander Cockburn and I were sitting by the pool having a gin and tonic at the old Richelieu Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The concierge, an elegant black man from Haiti named Jean-Claud, dropped a sheaf of papers on our table. “I hope I’m not disturbing you, Mr. Cockburn,” he said. “These just came through for you by fax with a note marked ‘Urgent.’”

      • The Class Politics of Coronavirus Responses in the Americas

        Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is rapidly losing public support, while Donald Trump remains entirely capable of triumphing in November despite his relative unpopularity.

      • Elizabeth Warren Leads Demand to Audit OSHA as Covid-19 Sparks ‘Massive Worker Safety Crisis’

        “OSHA’s failure to take stronger actions will result in more workers being made sick and killed by this virus.”

      • There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice

        Summer 2014: a year since George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. Another summer of violence and justification: US shells incinerating Palestinian children, devastating UN refuges in Gaza, pounding Afghan villages, again. Another trial of another white man who says he was scared, who had to defend himself with a blast of ammunition against an unarmed black teenager – a womanchild this time, 19, in Michigan this time, shot through a locked screen door. Another police killing on the front pages of the New York tabloids: a big man, a black father, put in a choke hold, kneed in the back as he gasped for air, as he told cops he couldn’t breathe; extinguished for passing a cigarette to someone on a street in Staten Island. He may have been selling looseys, police said, and he refused to submit; they had to bring him down. Then they watched as he expired. “The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious,” one stated.

      • Facebook won’t take any action on Trump’s post about shootings in Minnesota

        But until late Friday, Facebook had made no comment about whether it intended to take action against Trump’s tweet about the protests in Minneapolis, which included the line, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” That led to consternation among some employees, who asked the company to intervene in posts on Workplace, the company’s internal chat tool.

      • Facebook CEO Says Users Should See Trump Posts ‘for Themselves’

        The social media giant faced questions earlier in the day about why it had not acted on messages from Trump, posted to both Twitter Inc.’s and Facebook’s apps, that contained language Twitter flagged for glorifying violence. The rival social platforms have taken different stances on political speech and fact-checks, with Facebook adopting a more hands-off approach that it says supports free speech and an exchange of ideas. Zuckerberg sought to reinforce that idea in his post.

      • Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Is a Confession of His Ignorance

        The president doesn’t understand the Constitution he’s tasked with upholding, and we’re all paying for it.

      • The real purpose of China’s global propaganda

        With its global propaganda going nowhere, what is Beijing’s strategic calculus? Has China become powerful enough to take on the whole world? Does Xi really believe the West is so weakened by the pandemic that it cannot respond to his expansionism, which is not unlike Mao’s in the 1960s? Or is his bellicose stance itself a manifestation of the enormous economic and political troubles that face the country down the road?

        This author would argue that the aim of China’s global propaganda is not to convince the world that the communist regime governs a peace-loving country with a legitimate foreign policy, political value, and an attractive culture.

        Rather, the campaign is designed to show the Chinese people that rising China is now on a par with the U.S. and on its way to restoring its national pride and glory. That is, the supposedly external global propaganda is aimed at an internal audience.

      • China’s national-security bill for Hong Kong is an attempt to terrify

        The new bill would wreck that. True, the central government is making use of a clause in the Basic Law that allows it to legislate for Hong Kong. But that is permitted only in matters relating to diplomacy, defence and “other matters outside the limits” of Hong Kong’s autonomy. Democrats in Hong Kong argue that the proposed bill is within Hong Kong’s scope. Article 23 of the Basic Law says Hong Kong should enact laws “on its own” against treason, secession, sedition and subversion, as well as to prohibit ties between Hong Kong bodies and foreign political organisations (though an attempt to do so in 2003 was abandoned after a huge protest).

        The central government, then, has no legal authority to add a national-security law to the Basic Law’s annexe. Hong Kong’s Bar Association also points to a lack of any assurance that the new bill will comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Basic Law pledges to uphold.

      • Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Shows Just How Low He’ll Go to Win

        He is—it should go without saying—wrong. Indeed, the whole point of the First Amendment was to establish the right of the people and the media to object to claims by presidents and other powerful officials—especially when those claims are lies.

      • What to Know Before Heading to a Protest

        7. Avoid taking pictures of peoples’ faces and avoid letting others take pictures of yours.

        On January 20, 2017, over 200 people were arrested for protesting at the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. The prosecution of what became known as the J20 defendants highlighted the danger of photography and live-streaming at protests. Federal prosecutors used video and photos obtained from arrested journalists and protesters to build their cases in an unprecedented mass prosecution. Advertisement

        It’s not just the prosecutors you have to worry about either. Some right-wing groups also conduct their own surveillance. This is why it’s important not to take pictures or video of other people at a protest (except if you’re monitoring aggressive police behavior) and to prevent people from taking pictures of you.

      • A hotspot in the Polar Circle Regional unification plans in northern Russia awaken a dormant protest movement

        On May 13, the leaders of two neighboring regions — Arkhangelsk and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) — signed a unification memorandum. In the latter region, the possible merger has provoked major protests, inciting everyone from school children to local elected officials. Residents have picketed against the decision, organized demonstrations, and gathered every evening in Lenin Square to sign the NAO’s anthem. Meduza examines how this sleepy northern region of Russia has transformed almost overnight into one of the country’s most contested political hotspots. 

      • Is Stacey Abrams Progressive?

        Stacey Abrams is being widely touted as Joe Biden’s best pick for the vice-presidential nomination. She has been a rising star in the Democratic Party ever since her historic and groundbreaking run in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race. But — while having a black woman on the ticket would be welcome — progressives need to understand that Abrams is firmly entrenched in the centrist establishment wing of the party.

      • Last Stand in the Big Woods

        This essay, excerpted from Red State Rebels: Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, is dedicated to Ron Mitchell, one of the fiercest defenders of wild nature that I’ve ever encountered. Ron died earlier this month, but his legacy lives on in the forest, rivers and mountains he fought, often against great odds and at great personal peril, to protect.

      • Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

        Following Áñez’s seizure of power, Bolivia has endured the worst state violence and political persecution it has seen in decades.

      • Trump’s Reelection Strategies Are Killing a Massive Number of People

        Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that there will be a presidential election in 159 days as scheduled. This assumption, given the extent of the COVID pandemic combined with comprehensive Republican resistance to the very notion of voting, requires a leap of faith that would challenge even the vast talents of Simone Biles.

      • Trump Signs Executive Order Aimed at Twitter for Fact-Checking His Bogus Claims

        President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday regarding social media sites, in response to a fact-check he received from Twitter earlier this week, with hopes that his doing so will allow the reinterpretation of a law widely cited as crucial for the birth of the internet.

      • Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?

        As with George W. Bush’s false WMD claims about Iraq in 2003, Trump’s real goal is not nuclear non-proliferation but regime change.

      • With Trump-Aligned Votes as ‘Anvil Around Her Neck,’ Susan Collins Down 9 Points to Likely Dem Challenger

        The four-term Republican senator from Maine who presents herself as a centrist has faced national criticism for her votes during the Trump administration.

      • It’s Time for Bold Responses to a Stark Crisis

        We live in a time of bitter divisions. Today, even the wearing of masks has become a partisan question.

      • Ethics Complaint Filed to Force Trump’s Covid-19 Vaccine Czar—a Former Pharma Exec—to Submit to Ethics Rules

        “Trump has put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of handing out the government contracts for coronavirus vaccine development. How could this possibly go wrong?”

      • House Democrats Demand Trump Administration Stop Rushing Through Deportations of Migrant Children

        Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”

        The letter signed by five key House leaders overseeing immigration cited a May 18 ProPublica/Texas Tribune story that found the U.S. government has aggressively begun to rush the deportations of unaccompanied children in its care to countries where they have been raped, beaten or had a parent killed, according to attorneys, court filings and congressional staff.

      • This Billionaire Governor’s Been Sued Over Unpaid Bills. A Judge Just Ordered Him to Pay More.

        The billionaire governor of West Virginia, whose business empire has amassed more than $128 million in judgments and settlements against it for unpaid bills, lost another court case this week that adds millions more to that tally.

        On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice’s Bluestone Resources Inc. was ordered to pay nearly $2.8 million to a financing company after it stopped making payments on a lease for a bulldozer used in coal mining. In court, Bluestone argued it didn’t owe the full original amount. A judge ruled otherwise, ordering Bluestone to pay $2.7 million in damages and $76,000 in legal fees and costs.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • News coverage of comedy video parodying Russian president and Moscow mayor deleted following calls from officials

        Several Russian media outlets simultaneously deleted news coverage of comedian Maxim Galkin’s immensely popular video parodying a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, The Bell reports. Sources from one of the outlets in question told The Bell that the news was taken down following a phone call from officials.

      • Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny

        I’m pretty sure this place use to be a democracy. Not America. Contrary to what Broadway may have told you, even our saintly Founding Fathers were little more than racist neocons in pantaloons. I’m talking about the fucking internet. The Anarchist’s American Dream. A brave new world wrestled from the savages of the military industrial complex who birthed it and wilded into a stateless candy land of endless possibilities by fuzzy little daydream believers like Steve Wozniak and Richard Stallman. The place that gave us Linux and Anonymous and Napster. That land of a million possibilities where no kink was left without a chatroom and a 12 year old hacker in Ethiopia could take down the American Federal Government just for the lulz. That glorious pirate utopia of temporary autonomous zones foretold by Hakim Bey, where only censorship was taboo and any lunatic with a Commodore could say whatever the fuck they wanted about the latest twat in the White House and the only recourse was to bitch and troll. Even a confirmed Luddite like myself couldn’t help but to look upon this satanic majesty and swell with pride at the seemingly inevitable supremacy of raw chaos.

      • DC Appeals Court Dumps Lawsuit Claiming Multiple Tech Companies Are Engaged In An Anti-Conservative Conspiracy

        Early last year, a federal court dumped a lawsuit filed by alt-right figureheads Laura Loomer and Freedom Watch (Larry Klayman’s organization) alleging multiple online platforms were engaging in a government-enabled conspiracy to silence them. Mixing and matching liberally from precedent that didn’t say what the plaintiffs thought it said, the lawsuit tried to skirt around things like Section 230 immunity by pretending this was about being unconstitutionally blocked from entering public spaces.

      • Two Cheers For Unfiltered Information

        In the early hours of December 31st, 2019 weeks before the coronavirus was recognized as a budding pandemic, Taiwanese Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director Luo Yijun was awake, browsing the PTT Bulletin Board. A relic of 90s-era hacker culture, PTT is an open source internet forum originally created by Taiwanese university students. On the site’s gossip board, hidden behind a warning of adult content, Yijun found a discussion about the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. However, the screenshots from WeChat posted to PTT described a SARS-like coronavirus, not the flu or pneumonia. The thread identified a wet market as the likely source of the outbreak, indicating that the disease could be passed from one species to another. Alarmed, Luo Yijun warned his colleagues and forwarded his findings to China and the World Health Organization (WHO). That evening, Taiwan began screening travelers from Wuhan, acting on the information posted to PTT.

      • Fighting The Free Speech Digital Divide Requires Interoperability and Privacy Protection

        When people mention the digital divide, often they’re referring to the divide between people who have access to the internet and those who do not. However, we can also visualize it as the divide between those who benefit from free expression on social media and other digital platforms—and those who don’t.

      • Trump’s Final Executive Order On Social Media Deliberately Removed Reference To Importance Of Newspapers To Democracy

        We wrote a detailed breakdown of the President’s silly, nonsensical, legally wrong Executive Order regarding social media yesterday. A few hours later the official version came out, and it was somewhat different than the draft (though, in no ways better). If you want to see the differences between the draft and the final version, here’s a handy dandy redline version put together by Professor Eric Goldman.

      • No, Twitter Fact Checking The President Is Not Evidence Of Anti-Conservative Bias

        I know we’ve gone through this a bunch already, but there remains no evidence to support the claims of “anti-conservative bias” at major social media platforms. Some people (usually self-claiming conservatives, though they rarely seem to represent actual conservative principles) get really angry about this. But, oddly, none ever seem to present any actual evidence.

      • New Zealand Government Seeking To Expand Its Internet Censorship Powers

        New Zealand has been in the censorship business for years, but the government appears to believe it’s still not doing enough censoring. Legislation stemming from the government’s reaction to the live-streamed Christchurch shooting seeks to expand its ability to block content it deems to be objectionable. In most cases, this means content related to terrorism or violent extremism. But the livestreaming of a mass shooting has created an open-ended definition for the government to work with in conjunction with its criminalization of this act.

      • TikTok blames ‘random’ bug after users complain they couldn’t use hashtags related to George Floyd’s death

        TikTok said Friday that an unintended bug caused view counts of hashtags on the platform’s “upload stage” to disappear, including some tags in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement and others associated with the police-involved death of George Floyd.

        A user first pointed out the error on Twitter, accusing TikTok of blocking hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter or other tags related to Floyd and the protests erupting in Minneapolis and cities across the nation.

      • Let’s go through Trump’s terrible [Internet] censorship order, line by line

        So it’s worth going through the order in more detail — partly to understand the actual policy changes it’s proposing, but also to establish what Trump probably can’t do and pin down when he seems to just be making stuff up. We’ve bolded some especially important parts for emphasis.

        Let’s start with the introduction, which is mostly bluster with no particular legal foundation — and actually goes opposite the courts in one key instance: [...]

      • Joe Biden doesn’t like Trump’s Twitter order, but still wants to revoke Section 230

        Earlier this year, Biden told The New York Times that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be “revoked, immediately.” In recent days, President Donald Trump has reinvigorated a controversial debate over amending the foundational internet law after Twitter fact-checked one of his tweets for the first time. Over the last year, Trump and other congressional Republicans have grown concerned over the false idea that social media platforms actively moderate against conservative speech online.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos

        In twenty-first-century mainstream media, a real journalist is difficult to find. Instead, one finds multiple purveyors of corporate and government propaganda, entertainers who sensationalize the most meaningless tidbits about the lives of public figures, faux investigations of misdoings that focus on the symptoms and not the causes, and outright liars. Elected and non-elected officials use their forums to attack journalists and their employers; their intention being to cast doubt on any and every article published. The resulting confusion has created a situation where scientific facts have become opinions and illogical and even insane conspiracies are considered truths. Most of those who own the media do not seem to have a problem with this scenario. Even those who claim they do rarely bother to use their power and money to change a policy or take down a corrupt and authoritarian leader—most likely because there is little monetary incentive in doing such a thing.

      • Sale of top Russian business newspaper ‘Vedomosti’ complete

        One of Russia’s top business newspapers, “Vedomosti,” has officially been sold to the company “Sapport,” Gleb Prozorov, the CEO of the newspaper’s now former publisher, “Business News Media,” told Meduza. According to Vedomosti, the agreement was signed on May 28 and will be closed in the coming days. 

      • More than 20 protesters arrested during second day of demonstrations in support of jailed journalist Ilya Azar

        On May 29, single-person demonstrations resumed near the police headquarters in Moscow. Protesters demanded the release of jailed Novaya Gazeta journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar, as well as the activists arrested during the solidarity protests the day before. 

      • Exclusive images from inside British court expose Assange’s un-democratic treatment, physical deterioration

        Photographs surreptitiously taken inside a British courtroom and provided to The Grayzone show a visibly disoriented Julian Assange confined to a glass cage and unable to communicate with his lawyers.

      • Protests, vandalism reported outside CNN headquarters in Atlanta

        Demonstrators descended on Atlanta to protest the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed during a police arrest in Minneapolis this week, and appeared to migrate to the CNN building.

      • RSF Calls For Independent Investigation Into Pakistani Journalist’s Killing

        However, the journalist’s father filed a complaint with the police on May 28 naming several different suspects, including a police officer, said to be linked to a local drug trafficker, RSF said in a statement.

        Mandrani, who had been investigating the activities of this drug trafficker, received death threats from the suspects before his murder, the father was quoted as saying.

      • CNN Reporters Arrested For Covering Protests in Minnesota

        As seen in the video, Jimenez clearly states to law enforcement that the crew will comply with any directions. “Put us back where you want us,” Jimenez says. “We are getting out of your way. Just let us know. Wherever you want us, we will go.”

        Jimenez then described the scene before he is told he is being put under arrest and his hands are zip-tied behind his back. He asks why he is being arrested to no apparent response, after which he is led away and Kirkos and Mendez are arrested.

      • In Moscow and St. Petersburg, peaceful protests in solidarity with arrested journalist end in more arrests

        A series of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in support of arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar took place in Moscow on May 28. Earlier that day, Azar was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest. The court maintained that his peaceful, solo picket in support of “Police Ombudsman” administrator Vladimir Vorontsov constituted a repeated violation of the law on public demonstrations.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner suggests funding cuts for abortion clinics

        During her annual performance report, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, Anna Kuznetsova, proposed reducing funding for abortion clinics.

      • In Show of Solidarity, Public Transit Workers Refuse to Transport Police Units or Those Arrested at #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd Protests

        “More than ever, we need a new civil rights movement that is joined with the labor movement.”

      • The Machine Stops

        Given the current confinement imperative, one is confronted everywhere with the idolization of detached digital communication, turning necessity into a virtue.

      • After Days of Protest, Police Officer Derek Chauvin Charged With 3rd Degree Murder for Killing George Floyd

        “Don’t think for a minute that Derek Chauvin would have been arrested if people in Minneapolis weren’t standing up and fighting.”

      • It’s Bigger Than Buildings. America Is Burning

        We didn’t start the fire. America was founded by firestarters. The thieves of land who also stole people and raped and killed and brutalized their way into power. This country was built on the backs of Black folk it didn’t perceive as human and even today it tries to pillage our souls.

      • US Border Patrol Denounced as ‘Rogue Agency’ for Using Predator Drone to Spy on Minneapolis Protests

        “This is what happens when leaders sign blank check after blank check to militarize police, CBP, etc while letting violence go unchecked.”

      • Honduran Family Sues US Govt for Separation Lawyers Say Was Deliberately Meant to ‘Torment and Traumatize’

        “These federal agents made a choice, a cruel and heinous choice, to deliberately inflict pain and trauma upon a family seeking refuge.”

      • Arrests continue in Moscow during second day of protests in solidarity with jailed journalist

        Law enforcement have arrested more protesters outside of the police headquarters in Moscow, during the second day of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in solidarity with arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar.

      • Bill to Ban Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Gets Sidelined After Pushback From Administrators

        After months of debate about schools’ use of seclusion and face-down restraints on children, Illinois lawmakers did not act last week on a measure that would have banned the controversial practices immediately, instead delaying the decision until the fall at the earliest.

        Although Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala have vowed to stop the practices of putting children alone in locked rooms and holding them down on the floor, the bill faced opposition from school groups that viewed oversight requirements as too burdensome.

      • Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?

        The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed fundamental inequalities in this country.

      • Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp’s Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the Georgia Election

        It was a stunning accusation: Two days before the 2018 election for Georgia governor, Republican Brian Kemp used his power as secretary of state to open an investigation into what he called a “failed hacking attempt” of voter registration systems involving the Democratic Party.

        But newly released case files from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reveal that there was no such hacking attempt.

      • California Sheriff Refuses to Release People From Jail as COVID Outbreak Rages

        California Sheriff Chad Bianco recently made a splash in the conservative media after he told Riverside County officials that his department would not enforce local public health orders meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A viral video of his statement earned Bianco an interview on Fox News on May 8, where he said it was time for businesses to reopen despite a statewide stay-at-home order.

      • Protest, Uprisings, and Race War

        The moralizing has begun.

      • Anger and Unrest Nationwide as Protests Over Killing of George Floyd Spread Across US Cities

        “When people look to these individuals who are frustrated, who are angry, for not just Mr. Floyd but countless others for whom there was no video evidence, as there was in this case, who lost their lives—that is what you are seeing bubble up.”

      • Minneapolis Protesters Call to Defund the Police

        As thousands take to the streets of Minneapolis to protest against the police killing of George Floyd for the third night in a row, we go to Minneapolis to speak with City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison. Police pointed an automatic rifle at his head in 2015 when he was peacefully protesting the police killing of another African American man, Jamar Clark. We also speak with Kandace Montgomery with the Black Visions Collective, which is calling for the abolition of police.

      • Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis

        In India there is never one story but thousands, even millions, and so the detrimental impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on this country of more than 1.3 billion, especially among the poor, has been profound, causing immense suffering. Nor did it help matters much when Prime Minister Narendra Modi shut India into immediate lockdown without warning to mitigate Indians from contracting COVID-19. Thousands of day-laborers and migrant-laborers were left stranded in large cities without food or money such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, and Lucknow, among others. It was the largest lockdown in the world because of COVID-19.

      • The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic

        Black Georgia jogger, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, was murdered in cold blood by three white racists on February 23. Arbery’s family attorneys, led by Benjamin Crump, have charged that his murder was premeditated.

      • White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector

        Tensions are high as Minneapolis police murdered a black man named George Floyd, not by gunshot, but by an agonizingly long kneel on his neck; which was not released for seven minutes, several of which the man was not breathing. Protest is a place to emerge into the collective and become unoriginal, to humble yourself in silence as others more aware with said experience lead the charge. However, writing should be the place for originality. A place where we solve the problems of theory that informs action.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Reality Winner Predicted DOJ Would Pretend They Never Received Request For Release

        Billie Winner-Davis, the mother of NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, admits she did not believe it. Her daughter told her the Justice Department, or Bureau of Prisons, would claim she never filed for compassionate release at Federal Medical Center Carswell.

        Winner also suggested they would “mysteriously lose the form,” and as it turns out, that is essentially the bureaucratic game they are playing with her life as the coronavirus remains a risk in prisons throughout the United States.

      • Pressley, Omar, Bass, and Lee Introduce Resolution to Condemn Police Brutality and Demand Nationwide Reforms

        “For too long, black and brown bodies have been profiled, surveilled, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized, and murdered at the hands of police officers.”

      • George Floyd death: Ex-officer charged with murder in Minneapolis

        aHennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said Mr Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

        He said he “anticipates charges” for the three other officers but would not offer more details.

      • Across the country, thousands plead for justice as chaos, unrest grows

        Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was fired Tuesday along with the three other officers involved in the incident. Chauvin was taken into custody Friday and faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

        A request to Chauvin’s lawyer for comment was not immediately returned Friday night.

        Minneapolis police identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng

      • Civil Rights Attorney: Minneapolis Police Have a Long Pattern of Racist Violence

        Parts of Minneapolis erupted into flames Wednesday night as residents again took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday. A viral video shows Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for a number of minutes as Floyd repeatedly says “I cannot breathe.” Three other officers stood by as George Floyd suffocated. They have been identified as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. All four officers were fired on Tuesday. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on prosecutors to file criminal charges against Derek Chauvin. We speak with civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, founder of the Racial Justice Network and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “What needs to happen is that charges need to be brought immediately against the four officers who killed George Floyd,” she says. “There is simply no justification for what they did or why they did it.”

      • House Dems Demand Trump Admin Stop Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children

        Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”

      • Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest

        When Amy Klobuchar was running for president, corporate media served as her biggest political base.

      • There is No Vacation Anymore

        Covid has made a mockery of scheduling. Its new order of hibernation or death caught the Republic unawares, despite two months of international warnings and as many afternoons of mediocre golf. Shucks, accidents will happen! But I suspect that in the nursing homes, VAs, slum high-rises, and Shatila-like neighborhoods, something was clearly on the wing if only because nothing was different. Prophecies are the voice of the present, clothed in future tense for personal safety and for parody. Thus did John the Revelator talk about the Roman Empire and Domitian (currency number 666) using seven-headed dragons, whores on shining beasts, seas of blood. John also used plague-ravage as metaphor. Death is a new master from a besieged body. Pathogen or bust? The host is the soft, radical center – or the Seven Churches, corrupt with the day.

      • Top 6 Reasons Authorities Are Cracking Down Hard on Black Protesters While Treating White Supremacist Reopeners With Kid Gloves

        The establishment, of systematic racism, in everything from school resegregation to residential segregation to employment discrimination, needs to be addressed through a second generation of civil rights legislation.

      • Why Central Park Karen Deserves What She Got

        She wasn’t overheard telling a friend that she’d never date a black guy. Or even saying that she wouldn’t do so because she doesn’t find them attractive, or whatever.

        These are the types of opinions and comments that make modern people crinkle their noses and distance themselves from the speaker. Like bad cheese or unwashed feet. And it’s no reason to end someone’s career.

        This was different.

        This was a white woman trying to force a black man to comply by using the history of America’s racism like a nightstick.

        In so many words, here’s what she told him.

      • Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny

        I’m pretty sure this place use to be a democracy. Not America. Contrary to what Broadway may have told you, even our saintly Founding Fathers were little more than racist neocons in pantaloons. I’m talking about the fucking internet. The Anarchist’s American Dream. A brave new world wrestled from the savages of the military industrial complex who birthed it and wilded into a stateless candy land of endless possibilities by fuzzy little daydream believers like Steve Wozniak and Richard Stallman. The place that gave us Linux and Anonymous and Napster. That land of a million possibilities where no kink was left without a chatroom and a 12 year old hacker in Ethiopia could take down the American Federal Government just for the lulz. That glorious pirate utopia of temporary autonomous zones foretold by Hakim Bey, where only censorship was taboo and any lunatic with a Commodore could say whatever the fuck they wanted about the latest twat in the White House and the only recourse was to bitch and troll. Even a confirmed Luddite like myself couldn’t help but to look upon this satanic majesty and swell with pride at the seemingly inevitable supremacy of raw chaos.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis

        The current Corvis-19 pandemic provides a unique vantage point to assess key social institutions of American life. Sadly, none has failed so gravely as the nation’s health care system, especially as underwritten by the private insurance model. The crisis of the U.S. healthcare system raises the deeper, more fundamental, question as to whether health care is a privilege or a right, a private business or a social utility?

      • Why the USMCA Locks in the Internet Platform Liability System in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

        I have written how the provision benefits freedom of expression in Canada, noting that the absence of a Canadian safe harbour rule has meant the same companies that require court orders before the removal of content for claims originating in the U.S. frequently take down lawful content in Canada based on mere unproven allegations due to fears of legal liability. The Trump executive order purports to support free speech, but the Canadian experience suggests that if the safe harbours were dropped entirely they would have the opposite effect of increasing content removal. At most the order could spark another review of the rules, but Trump’s own trade deal, which is set to take effect by the summer, may severely limit future reforms given that it commits the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to the long-standing U.S. approach on Internet platform liability.

      • Last Minute Addition To Louisiana Bill Hamstrings Community Broadband

        We’ve long noted that roughly twenty states have passed laws either outright banning community broadband, or tightly restricting such efforts. The vast majority of the time these bills are literally written by telecom lobbyists and lawyers for companies like AT&T and Comcast. While the bills are usually presented by lawmakers as an earnest concern about taxpayer boondoggles, the real motivation usually is the prevention of any disruption of their cozy geographical monopolies/duopolies.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Denuvo’s Anti-Cheat Software Now Getting Ripped From Games At Record Speed Too

        Remember Denuvo? Back in the far simpler times of 2016-2018, which somehow seem light years better than 2020 despite being veritable dumpster fires in and of themselves, we wrote a series of posts about Denuvo’s DRM and how it went from nigh-uncrackable to totally crackable upon games being released with it. Did we take a bit too much pleasure in this precipitous fall? Sure, though our general anti-DRM stance sort of mandated dunking on a company that once touted itself as invincible. Either way, it started to get comical watching publishers release a game with Denuvo, have the game cracked in a matter of days, if not hours, and then release a patch to remove Denuvo entirely from the game.

    • Monopolies

      • Innovators reassured by ventilator IP indemnity

        The UK government’s promise to indemnify IP infringement liabilities of new ventilator makers appeases medical device innovators

      • Beijing Treaty in Africa series #1: Algeria (Implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances in Africa)

        The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (“Beijing Treaty”) entered into force on 28 April 2020 (3 months after the 30th Contracting Party had submitted its instrument of ratification or accession to WIPO). It now behoves on Contracting Parties to implement the treaty or domesticate the treaty into their respective national laws.

        The Beijing Treaty deals with the intellectual property rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. It grants performers (actors, singers, dancers, etc.) moral rights and various economic rights (the right of reproduction; the right of distribution; the right of rental; the right of making available) for their performances fixed in audiovisual fixations. The most contested provision of the Treaty is Article 12, which allows Contracting Parties to create a legal presumption of transfer of performers’ rights to the producer once a performer has consented to the fixation of his/her audiovisual performance. Bearing in mind that the predominant practice in the audiovisual industry is for performers to transfer any rights regarding their performances to the producer, it is quite likely that the decision of Contracting Parties in terms of Article 12 will determine whether or not the rights afforded by the Beijing Treaty will improve the lot of performers in those countries.

      • Why is it not good to postpone the protection of intellectual property for the time “after the virus”?

        The Coronavirus epidemic caused a downtime in the work of courts and offices. Official and court time limits have been officially suspended in most cases on the basis of the regulations of anti-crisis shield. Does it mean that we should put off all matters connected with the protection of industrial and intellectual property and return to them after the epidemic ends?

        Helena Gajek explains: No, certainly not. We cannot think in this way. Indeed, the Act on the anti-crisis shield, among many regulations laid down in order to facilitate the operation of firms in the times of economic downtime caused by the coronavirus epidemic, contains the provisions pertaining to industrial property matters. Some time limits provided for in the Act on Industrial Property Law, the Act on filing European patent applications and the effects of the European patent in the Republic of Poland are suspended or interrupted.

        [...]

        H.G.: The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) also extended the time limits until May 1 (in practice May 4) due to the epidemic, but it strongly recommends undertaking regular actions in this time. It needs to be remembered that the electronic means of communication have been the basic way of contacting the EUIPO for many years. As one of the top users of the EUIPO (JWP is at the forefront of the ranking of representatives most often filing EU trademark applications online), we can confirm that the Office in Alicante possesses perfectly prepared tools for cooperation with users via the Internet. The European Patent Office also reacted quickly to the global situation. The EPO has extended the time limits (once again) for performing actions that fall due during the epidemic (i.e. after March 15) until May 4. It also introduced special remedies for users from areas particularly affected by the epidemic. Some procedures requiring the presence of representatives are conducted by videoconference (hearings). It cannot be excluded that the deadlines will be extended again if the situation so requires. It should be emphasized that both the EUIPO and EPO work, even in these difficult times, “normally”.

        Why do we need to proceed? Wouldn’t it be better to wait, since the time limits are suspended by statute?

        HG: All the aforementioned Offices, including the Polish Patent Office, encourage entrepreneurs to undertake planned actions on a regular basis, also in order to avoid excessive accumulation of matters after the end of the pandemic. We may only imagine the adverse effects of this type of “piling up”. Many firms and persons who wait until “the return to normality” may face a situation of a significant slowdown of the Office’s work, for obvious reasons. Settling various matters related to the protection of intellectual property, important for entrepreneurs, may be difficult then, and for certain decisions, undoubtedly, they will have to wait longer. This can be avoided by not giving up the ongoing matters and by initiating new ones if such an initiative (new solution, new idea for a product, sign, design) is born during this particular period. We should remember that many enterprises operate as they have done so far, only adapting their activities to the applicable sanitary requirements, and therefore the Offices also work as usual, although in a slightly changed manner.

      • Survey: In-house to shift COVID litigation work to law firms

        Law firms globally can expect in-house counsel to send them a wave of COVID-created litigation work in the next three months despite many external lawyers being asked to reduce their rates, according to a comprehensive survey by Euromoney’s Legal Media Group (LMG) and Euromoney Thought Leadership Consulting.

        In May, LMG – whose titles include Managing IP, ITR and IFLR – surveyed 435 senior legal and company officials about the impact of COVID-19 on their legal work. General counsel, heads of legal and other figures including chief executives, all from a range of countries and industries and companies of various sizes, took part.

        In asking what type of work counsel will send to external law firms in the next three months, we found that nearly a third (31%) of respondents will be keeping advisers busy with litigation/dispute resolution. This represented a significant jump from the 15% figure when we asked the same question but applied it to the situation today.

      • Patents

        • New means of opposing French patents

          Since April 1, 2020, it is possible to file an opposition against a French patent, before the French Patent Office (INPI). This new procedure is part, with the examination of inventive step[1] and the reform of the utility certificate[2], of the specific intellectual property provisions of the PACTE law (“Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises”, Action Plan for Growth and Business Transformation), promulgated by Parliament on May 22, 2019.

          The opposition procedure enables a third party to challenge the validity of a patent, avoiding costly and lengthy legal action, and for which an interest in bringing an action is requested.

          The Intellectual Property Code, as amended by the PACTE law, unveils the outline of the procedure. Guidelines for opposition, providing more details on the procedure, are also being prepared.

          [...]

          INPI finally rules on the opposition in view of all the written and oral observations. It is important to note that the opposition is deemed rejected if INPI has not acted within four months from the date of the end of the investigation phase. This provision makes, on the one hand, the opponent bear the consequences of a breach of INPI. On the other hand, it ensures a fast treatment of the opposition.

          This new procedure lasts at most fifteen months between the start of the investigation and the decision of INPI.

        • European Patent Office gives green light to prohibit patents on plants and animals

          The Board concluded that plants and animals obtained by ‘essentially biological processes’ are not patentable, with the exception of patent applications filed before July 2017. This verdict is in line with the interpretation of European patent law as decided by the 38 member states of the EPO in 2017. No Patents on Seeds! welcomes the verdict but is also demanding further political decisions to close still existing loopholes. Access to biological diversity needed for further breeding must not be controlled, hampered or blocked by any patents.

          “For more than ten years we have been fighting against patents such as those on broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, melons and cereals. Therefore, we welcome this verdict in the name of the European public, gardeners, farmers and consumers. Knowledge of methods of breeding plants and animals continues to evolve as a common good from the activities of farmers and breeders over centuries, it is not invented by industry. In future, conventionally bred plants and animals have to be kept available for further breeding,” Martha Mertens says for Friends of the Earth Germany.

          “We hope the new verdict will help to put an end to a decade of complete legal absurdity and chaotic decision-making at the EPO. However, there is still a huge risk that big corporations, such as Bayer (previously Monsanto) will try to abuse patent law to take control of our daily food,” says Katherine Dolan for ARCHE NOAH. “The problem is not yet solved. Further political decisions still have to be taken to close the existing loopholes.”

        • Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Office to resume holding oral proceedings

          The European Patent Office (EPO) Boards of Appeal have issued a new communication today advising that, to a limited extent, the Boards of Appeal will resume holding oral proceedings from Monday 18th May 2020. Parties will be contacted accordingly by communication and asked to confirm that they expect to be able to attend in person and that they do not anticipate being affected by travel restrictions.

          With the agreement of all parties concerned, oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal may now also be held by video-conference.

        • Are Patent and Trademark Deadlines Extended Due To COVID-19? (UPDATED)

          As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, patent offices worldwide are taking steps to minimize negative impacts that patent and trademark filers may suffer.

          Many offices have asked their employees to work from home, potentially causing delays. Most or all offices, including the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO), are conducting oral proceedings via telephone or videoconferencing.

          [...]

          Overall, all offices are taking measures to help reduce any delays caused by COVID-19.

          Links to certain offices’ COVID-19 webpages are included below. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.

        • Book Review: Overview of the Appeal Proceedings according to the EPC, Third Edition

          The new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA), which came into force on 1 January 2020, will be a cornerstone in helping the EPO’s Boards of Appeal meet their objectives of settling 90% of cases within 30 months of receipt and reducing the number of pending cases to fewer than 7,000 by 2023.

          The changes in the RPBA 2020 are discussed in detail in the book “Overview of the Appeal Proceedings according to the EPC” by Hugo Meinders, with translations into French and German by Gérard Weiss and Philipp Lanz, all (former) members of the Boards of Appeal.

        • Issues in recognition of Artificial Intelligent entity as Inventor

          Recently, naming an AI entity as an inventor for a patent application has become a critical point of discussion across several industrial quarters…

        • COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates

          European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all oral proceedings in opposition scheduled until September 14, 2020, which have not already been confirmed to take place by videoconference, are postponed until further notice. More info.
          French IP Office (INPI) has postponed all deadlines until either July 23, 2020 or August 23, 2020, depending on the case.
          Indian IP Office has issued a notice confirming that the due date for “all deadlines falling during the lockdown period” (March 15 until May 17 2020) are extended until June 1, 2020.
          Australian IP Office launched a free support and assistance services for small to medium Australian businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, on May 25, 2020.
          Other general closures & deadline extensions have been added to the Google document.

        • Looking at EU priority in ARIPO patent applications

          Vítor Sérgio Moreira of Inventa International examines the growing trend in EU priority claims in ARIPO patent applications and looks at which sectors those applications are most likely to originate from.

          In this article, we aim to identify the profile of patent applications filed before the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in which priority is claimed via a document originating from a European Patent Office Member State (EU priority). In doing so, we intend to acquire more information about the main technological fields and applicants from Europe that seek patent protection with the member states of ARIPO. ARIPO was created by the Lusaka Agreement (1976). It is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in matters related to patents, trademarks, and other IP rights.

          In respect to patents, ARIPO is empowered to grant patents and administer such rights on behalf of Contracting States of the Harare Protocol (1984). ARIPO applications require the applicant to designate those member states where protection is sought. The ARIPO system does not replace national systems. The results of our research indicate a growing trend in the number of patent applications filed before ARIPO (AP patents) claiming an EU priority. The main technological fields observed are related to the pharmaceutical industry and the agrochemical industry. The applicants are major European corporations with a global presence in their respective industrial sectors.

        • Software Patents

          • Rise in extended reality technology patents suggests market revival

            Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are on the cusp of revolutionising our lives – from the way that we shop to the way that we consult doctors and interact with our communities.

            Extended reality (XR) is a fairly recent addition to the tech dictionary and the world of AR, VR and mixed reality (MR). It refers to all real and virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. As such, ‘XR’ is an umbrella term that includes and unites AR, VR and MR.

            [...]

            Figure 1 also shows dedicated XR rivals Oserhout Design Group (ODG) and Magic Leap among the leading patent owners. ODG seemed to have been bolstered by a $58 million investment by 21st Century Fox in 2016, but its market presence has dissipated in subsequent years. Nevertheless, the 20-year old company has already seen its early work in foundational AR patents pay off. In 2014 Microsoft paid around $150 million to acquire a trove of ODG patents after deciding not to buy the company outright. Moreover, ODG claims that a number of AR patents in its collection have been infringed by existing products from companies such as Magic Leap, Google and Facebook, specifically pointing to diagrams of systems like Magic Leap 1 and Oculus Quest, which it claims conflict with its prior art. With a patent sale, ODG’s leadership is looking to recoup enough to pay back the company’s debts.

            Meanwhile, Magic Leap glasses have also plummeted in sales, and the company’s position is of grim concern, especially in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Yet over the years, Magic Leap has managed to hire some top engineers who have developed some great technology that will likely be included in future AR headsets that the company has patented. Therefore, even if Magic Leap’s products expire and the organisation collapses, it will still have intellectual property that other contenders will likely have to license in order to bring their own products to market.

          • Qwikcash LLC patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,714,445, owned and asserted by Qwikcash LLC, an NPE. The ’445 patent is directed to a cash transfer system. It is currently being asserted against Blackhawk Network, Inc.

          • B# On Demand patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,553,880, owned and asserted by B# On Demand, LLC, an NPE. The ’880 patent discloses a system that transmits a catalog of electronic files to a requesting user, sets up customer accounts, processes payments from customers to establish file access authorizations, and enables transmission of user-selected files to customers. It is currently being asserted against Spotify.

          • NavBlazer Patent Challenged as Likely Invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,885,782, owned by NavBlazer LLC, an NPE. The ’782 patent is generally directed to vehicle navigation systems that provide information about a route (e.g., identifying traffic congestion, weather conditions, etc.). The case against TomTom was terminated earlier this month, but the patent is currently being asserted against Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola Mobility, and Hyundai for their devices that provide vehicle navigation.

      • Copyrights

        • District Court Mostly Refuses To Terminate The Litigation Testing The Copyright Termination Provision

          The decision this post discusses, Waite v. Universal Music Group, came out at the end of March, but, as one of the leading cases litigating the termination provision of the copyright statute, it’s still worth the attention. Maybe even especially now, as the Copyright Office overtly goes to bat for rightsholders. Because the termination provision speaks to who the rightsholders actually are. Without it, it’s likely to not actually be the artists behind the creation of the works.

        • US Court Hands Down Preliminary Injunction Against Pirate IPTV Provider

          A Florida district court judge has handed down a highly-restrictive preliminary injunction against a ‘pirate’ IPTV provider trading under various names including CBC and X-View. The case was originally filed under seal by TV broadcaster DISH Networks, whose representative tracked down the alleged operator in Belize.

        • US Copyright Office’s DMCA Tweaks Trigger ‘Internet Disconnection’ Concerns

          Last week the US Copyright Office released its long-awaited review on the DMCA’s safe harbor section. While far-reaching proposals such as pirate site blocking and upload filters were not recommended, some proposals have triggered criticism from digital rights groups, who fear that the interests of users are being ignored.

        • Book review: The Making Available Right

          This Kat is delighted to review The Making Available Right: Realizing the Potential of Copyright’s Dissemination Function in the Digital Age by Cheryl Foong (Lecturer, Curtin Law School, Australia).

          This book suggests that copyright has an underserved function – dissemination. And that this dissemination function can be served through a principled interpretation of the making available right. It sets out to demonstrate the utility of the making available right as a tool for advancing copyright’s dissemination function (disseminating the works to the public).

        • CC Search Celebrates Its First Birthday!

          Here’s a look at the top 25 queries this past year,,,

EPO’s Illegal Patents and Massive Corruption Go Unnoticed by Corporate Media and Sites That Cover Patent News

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The latest excuse we hear is “coronavirus” (as if journalism cannot be done from one’s home), leaving corruption unreported or grossly under-reported

EPO corruption is now OK?  Look, you just don't understand.

Summary: Very major corruption scandals still emerge in Europe’s second-largest institution and illegal patents get granted as well as promoted; somehow, perhaps miraculously, this no longer seems to bother anybody in the media (corruption and radical policies have been gradually ‘normalised’)

THE LAW is seen as a “barrier” when your sole goal is to cheat the law and defraud the system. This is why the current leadership of the USPTO goes out of its way to ignore/bypass 35 U.S.C. § 101. This is why European Patent Office (EPO) leadership only ever pretends to give a damn about the EPC.

Yesterday, citing “DigitalisationIndex” again, the EPO bragged about “data retrieval” patent applications. “In 2019,” the EPO tweeted, “we received 4% more patent applications in data retrieval than the year before. More on the latest patenting trends here: https://bit.ly/DigitalisationIndex …”

“But in today’s EPO corruption has become the default mode and radicalism became the norm a few years ago (like the Trump administration).”These are software patent applications that must be rejected in Europe. They’re illegal. But today’s EPO grants them anyway and António Campinos lobbies for them (even pressuring judges on the matter) just to fake so-called ‘production’ and spur more frivolous patent lawsuits over mere algorithms, which copyright law already covers regardless.

Separately, tweeted the EPO, “Official Journal 5/2020 is now available online” (it can be found here; warning: epo.org link). “List of professional representatives before the EPO” is included. Does it include more corruption like this? It’s hard to tell without a lot of research. But in today’s EPO corruption has become the default mode and radicalism became the norm a few years ago (like the Trump administration).

Remember 2015 or thereabouts, back when media across Europe actually did cover EPO corruption on occasions? Before EPO management bribed and intimidated it? Once upon a time even Managing IP dared mention at least some of the corruption, some of the time, but almost nobody who wrote for Managing IP back then still works there. Maybe none at all! Hard to name a single person…

Managing IP now takes money (bribes) to promote SPAM (“sponsored” articles) for drug pushers of the “cannabis industry” [sic] and days ago we also saw articles composed by “Julia Anne Matheson and Anna Kurian Shaw of Hogan Lovells” on behalf of clients (megaphones for big clients as ‘news’)…

This is really terrible…

Months ago we also saw Managing IP‘s Patrick Wingrove lobbying an FCC judge (Justice Huber) to manufacture a bunch of misleading ‘news’. They’re shamelessly promoting the UPC, looking to manufacture caselaw for software patents using a crooked system of litigation controlled by the same thugs who spent a decade attacking the EPC, nakedly and shamelessly. Not too shockingly Wingrove has also just published some fluff for Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy Thierry Breton, who’s pushing for the UPC in defiance of Justice Huber and his FCC colleagues [1, 2]. With so much corruption in the recent past of Mr. Breton, one has to wonder how he managed to find his way into a top EU job. And to quote:

The EU should ramp up efforts to find “pragmatic solutions” for standard essential patents and to create a single European patent system, internal market commissioner Thierry Breton announced to the European Parliament this week.

[...]

The commissioner made these statements in French during his opening remarks to the JURI committee via video conference, where he also spoke about the need to reform data laws in the EU as part of a new regulation for the information society.

“It’s a major challenge for our economic recovery,” he said.

The European Commission is currently considering a competition complaint made by German car manufacturer Daimler against Finnish telecoms company Nokia over licensing terms for connectivity technologies in cars.

EU competition regulators quizzed Daimler and some of its suppliers involved in the complaint in March on why talks on patent licensing arrangements failed between these companies.

On the matter of a single patent system, EU member states and the European Parliament agreed on a patent package nearly a decade ago, in 2012, which included the establishment of a Unified Patent Court.

The harmonised patent project was dealt a huge blow this year, however, after the UK announced that it would not participate after Brexit and the German Federal Constitutional court upheld a complaint made against the system’s ratification.

Wait, who was this a blow to? Oh, that’s right, the clients of Managing IP, a megaphone of the litigation ‘industry’. Poor predators…

“Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.”

Plato

Never Mind If GNU/Linux Works Better Inside Hospitals and Free Software Not Only Safer But Vastly More Efficient…

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

  1. Microsoft Kills: An Introduction
  2. Microsoft Killed Far More Patients Than COVID-19 Killed
  3. Microsoft Kills: Hospitals Taken Over by Windows Crackers and Hospital Staff Threatened Not to Talk About It
  4. Very Bad Reporting or Deliberately Shallow Media Coverage After Microsoft Windows Hands Hospitals Over to Crackers
  5. Microsoft Cult-Like Tactics Destroy Hospitals by Ripping Apart Everything Microsoft (and the NSA) Cannot Control
  6. Stories From the Battleground (Hospitals Where Windows Killed More Patients Than COVID-19 Has Killed)
  7. Nothing to See Here, People, Please Move Along. The “System is Down…”
  8. With Microsoft Windows on Key Systems Many Hospitals Become Remotely Controlled and Nonoperational
  9. The Difficulty of Blowing the Whistle on Hospitals Brought Down by Microsoft Windows
  10. When the Response to Hospitals Being Systematically Cracked Through Microsoft Products Like Windows is… Blocking the Competition of Microsoft
  11. Trust Microsoft With Everything Including Your Life
  12. Removing Free/Libre Software as an Inadequate Response to Microsoft Windows (With Back Doors) Getting Compromised, Killing People
  13. Hostility and Aggression Towards Staff That Does Not Use Windows After Windows Takes Entire Hospital Down
  14. Allegations That Microsoft Will Ruin Besieged Clinics and Hospitals to Retaliate Against Those Who Name the Culprit

Men at hospital

Summary: With lives on the line one might expect hospitals to choose what’s most secure and generally works best; but in practice there seems to be a leaning towards what bribes best

AS part of my job I keep machines patched and fully up to date in medical research environments. There are no back doors. If there are any, go ahead and show them. GNU/Linux has the full source code publicly available…

I am, however, familiar with the experience of clueless managers at work and outside work. What sources of ours describe is a very common problem. They’re not alone. The technical matters aren’t the sole factor at hand/play; Especially when Microsoft employees and partners offer kickbacks (bribes), take people out for lunch/dinner, and make promises/offers we can’t quite find out about…

“So, just to recap, a hospital got cracked because of Windows and instead of banning Microsoft they decided to ban everything but Microsoft.”Microsoft is like a cult and it turns technical matters into ‘politics’… then they have the audacity to accuse Free software of being a political stunt.

“This was a shock to me,” a source once told him after a GNU/Linux machine had been banned (not confiscated), thereafter prevented from entering the workplace. And when? After a Windows incident — not a GNU/Linux incident — caused a massive security breach. Shouldn’t Windows be banned? Nope. Not when it’s down to Microsoft politics. “I’m a scientist working for a scientist,” the source told us. “The closed-minded bigotry demonstrated was mind-blowing. I’ve met clueless management before, and my boss has shown some of it before, but this latest outburst was amazingly bad.”

So, just to recap, a hospital got cracked because of Windows and instead of banning Microsoft they decided to ban everything but Microsoft.

“So after a massive security breach already killed some patients (this is inevitable) staff that has long relied on a GNU/Linux workflow is being slowed down even further, limiting the capacity to treat patients.”Amazing, isn’t it?

Gotta be seen (to believe it). We saw enough evidence…

“Losing my [GNU/Linux] [redacted] at work makes me look bad,” the source told us. “It takes me three times as long to do anything and my note-taking has fallen back to scribbles on the back of a paper patient schedule. Staff and the doctors still expect me to use my magical [redacted] hacker skills to do things like copy disks for them and to be able to display [redacted] files on disks with missing or defective readers, but I have to pull the magic out of a hiding place and they wonder why I can’t do the same with Windows like they imagine everyone else does.”

So after a massive security breach already killed some patients (this is inevitable) staff that has long relied on a GNU/Linux workflow is being slowed down even further, limiting the capacity to treat patients. And all this because of a Windows incident…

“Why are the alternatives to the “Microsoft way” being banned after the “Microsoft way” caused the loss of lives?”“What’s worse is that I’m forced to advocate shit I hate,” the source continued. “I can’t, of course, tell people what I think because that would be undermining my boss while he’s in a weak position and none of them have a clue to begin with. The contract depends on making the utterly [redacted] Medical Systems electronic records work using really backward techniques like pasting screenshots of pdfs into Word Documents. I had worked out a nice way of making reports with LibreOffice, pdf prints from the [redacted] software, and [redacted], that load quickly but my boss insisted I use the [redacted] raster image methods because Word pulls from the [redacted] database. Word documents take seconds to load and this will greatly annoy the doctor who is expected to click open each for approval. I have to hide my methods from the doctor and tell him that better documents are on the way. I’m his [redacted] on site, so I have to push all of this shit.”

The anger is very much evident from the use of expletives. Imagine being forced to not use something that works a lot better and a lot more securely after that inferior method was in fact the cause of a deadly breach. Why are the alternatives to the “Microsoft way” being banned after the “Microsoft way” caused the loss of lives? Well, we suppose it’s all down to the the “Microsoft way” politics…

The next part of the series will look at additional aspects and conclude. The above-mentioned patterns may be familiar to many; this isn’t a unique case, not an isolated story, so it needs to be told and shared widely.

Sick Alexander Ramsey is Using a Public Health Crisis to Lie About the Unitary Patent, Whose Fall Made Him Redundant and/or Obsolete

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Exploiting emergencies after being rendered unemployed?

Can't come up with reasons for the UPC; Comes up with lies about how UPC will save our lives

Summary: Weaponised media continues to manufacture utterly ridiculous puff pieces for Team UPC, containing intentional lies from beginning to end

TEAM UPC…

What a bunch of lying losers…

We’ve grown tried of having to rebut their lies, but it definitely needs to be done. Somebody needs to correct them.

The nature of Big Lies is that if repeated often enough and flung at the wall in sufficiency large quantities, something might stick.

“The nature of Big Lies is that if repeated often enough and flung at the wall in sufficiency large quantities, something might stick.”As an example, over the past 4-5 years the European Patent Office (EPO) wrote “tweets” about so-called ‘SMEs’ several times per week. It’s becoming harder for an outside observer to understand just how much harm the EPO causes, especially to SMEs. The EPO keeps repeating its propaganda again and again, not just in mere “tweets” but also videos and Web pages, sometimes so-called ‘reports’ and ‘papers’…

See, today’s EPO is run by liars and politicians (which is what António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli really are). To them, science hasn’t any real value; it’s all about public perception. Never mind facts when political pandering is so much more effective.

“We predict that 2020 will be full/saturated with more farcical ‘articles’ like these; they’ll try to spin COVID-19 in every possible way, somehow portraying a major barrier as an upside or “opportunity” (it’s not; the very opposite is true).”EPO set aside, consider Alexander Ramsey, who spearheads (Team) UPC even though he’s hardly an objective actor (see career history and affiliations). Typical caricature of a failed coup based on faked premises…

Something called “ResearchEurope” in Twitter wrote the other day that “[a]fter multiple setbacks, Europe’s unitary patent could help with the recovery from the pandemic (€)…”

What an utter lie (it’s patently false!) from chronic liars. This UPC plot is and has long been an SME killer, even by design. Why print deliberate lies? Ben Upton published a 100% puff piece for Alexander Ramsey, disguised as something professional, stating:

After multiple setbacks, Europe’s unitary patent could get a surprising kickstart from Covid-19

To protect an invention across Europe, patent holders must pay fees for every member state in which they want coverage. If someone disputes their ownership, they may have to fight cases in multiple courts far from their home, with the costs potentially enormous.

No, this is what global conglomerates like pharmaceutical giants do, and usually they’re not even European. The European companies are their victims, the defendants.

“Europe’s unitary patent could get a surprising kickstart from Covid-19″ is an absolutely ridiculous, contemptible lie. It’s no secret that the very opposite is true! First of all, politicians aren’t around and many people aren’t going to work. So Team UPC is unable to do anything! Moreover, courts barely function.

It has been widely asserted around the Web that this pandemic will — if anything — further harm the UPC lobby.

But who cares about facts anyway…

Secondly, “Europe’s unitary patent” is technically and legally dead, not clinically perhaps…

It exists merely as a zombie or a ghost. You could argue that Elvis too is still around… albeit 6 feet under.

The above nonsense was spotted by Henrion, who joked: “After the corona crisis, the patent crisis, or how to boost the economy with more patent trolls and lawsuits…”

“Probably a a new astroturting site hiding the lies behind paywalls,” I joked with him. I never before saw this “ResearchEurope” site. So much for ‘research’…

Couldn’t even do the most fundamental fact-checking; it wouldn’t have been too hard…

But anyway, another day, another lie. Another site puts its credibility to rest. We’ve become used to it.

Just about a month ago was noticed IP Law Galli’s Cesare Galli promoting his article that piggybacked COVID-19 in Italy and said (under the headline “Patent infringement to deal with COVID-19 emergency: possible exemptions”): “In addition, this exemption excludes any professional conduct of contributory infringement, such as the supply by a professional – even to private individuals – of the essential means to allow infringements and, in particular, the supply of files or projects made by third parties with the precise purpose of allowing the reproduction of a patented product. The rule is now contained in Article 26 of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court; the Italian legislature has also implemented it, introducing a corresponding rule in Article 66 of the IIPC.”

Well, this “Agreement on a Unified Patent Court” is basically dead and was already dead for well over a month (if not years) prior to this article. So who are those people kidding? Do they think that bringing it up and naming it every now and then will somehow summon its spirit, waking it up like some ghostly entity?

We predict that 2020 will be full/saturated with more farcical ‘articles’ like these; they’ll try to spin COVID-19 in every possible way, somehow portraying a major barrier as an upside or “opportunity” (it’s not; the very opposite is true).

IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 29, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:26 am by Needs Sunlight

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