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06.09.20

Links 9/6/2020: Plasma 5.19 and GNU/Linux “on Desktop is Taking a Sudden Leap Forward”

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • SpaceX: Each Batch Of 60 Starlink Satellites Has 4,000+ Linux Computers

      On May 30, Elon Musk’s SpaceX carried its first manned Dragon spacecraft with two NASA astronauts into space via Falcon 9 rocket. Later on June 3, SpaceX launched a batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit.

      Following the same, we reported that SpaceX used an open-source Linux system to power both Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. Now during the ongoing Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with the SpaceX software team on Reddit, Matt Monson revealed that each batch of 60 Starlink satellites carries more than 4,000 Linux computers.

    • Why Linux’s systemd Is Still Divisive After All These Years



      systemd is 10 years old, but feelings about it in the Linux community haven’t mellowed—it’s as divisive now as it ever was. Although it’s used by many major Linux distributions, the hardcore opposition hasn’t relented.

      When you power on your computer, the hardware boots, and then (according to the type of boot sector your computer uses) either the master boot record (MBR) executes or the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) runs. The last action of both of these is to fire up the Linux kernel.

      The kernel is loaded into memory, decompresses itself, and initializes. A temporary file system is created in RAM, usually by a utility called initramfs or initrd. This allows the required drivers to be determined and loaded. This, in turn, allows the user-space file system to load and prepare to establish the user-space environment.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • ‘The world is really changing’: Why Linux on desktop is taking a sudden leap forward



        Lenovo’s announcement that it’s giving its hardware the Linux treatment serves as yet another indicator that the once-niche operating system is beginning to capture the attention of mainstream manufacturers, and signifies a huge leap forward for the Linux ecosystem.

        Soon, Lenovo will offer enterprise versions of the Red Hat and Ubuntu distributions as a pre-loaded option across its P Series ThinkPad and WorkStation range. This means that users for whom Linux is their go-to platform will be able get a Linux PC from Lenovo as easily as it would be to get one running Windows 10.

      • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga: impressions, bugs, workarounds, and thoughts about the future



        My new laptop arrived last week and I’ve been using it since then! Here are my impressions so far of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (gen 4), and how it compares to my old laptop, a 2016 HP Spectre x360…

        I wish I could say that it’s been a pleasant, trouble-free experience and that I’m loving my new computer. In truth, getting the ThinkPad X1 Yoga to function well enough to comfortably write this post took several frustrating days of poring over documentation, filing bug reports, tweaking config files, and altering kernel parameters. On top of that, it’s still not quite there yet and is worse than my old laptop in several ways despite costing twice as much money. The high DPI scaling issues are our fault in KDE, and we need to do better, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The problems run throughout the entire software stack. Simply put, this is not acceptable in 2020. We need to up our game of partnering with hardware makers to ship FOSS operating systems by default. Everything I’m going through with this computer is the kind of problem that should be caught by paid Linux QA teams so that it can be fixed before the hardware is released to customers.

        I continue to believe that we will get nowhere until more hardware comes with a Linux-based OS pre-installed. People shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of nonsense! My wife has been happily using KDE Neon on her laptop for two years, but I had to do the initial installation. Normal people want their computers to just work, not endlessly fiddle around with settings to make things functional that should have been so out of the box in the first place.

      • This is probably the best Linux laptop deal right now

        The LinuxBook 7350 also features three USB ports (including a Type-C one that has DP mode), one HDMI connector, a microSD card, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 and an audio jack.

        Let’s not forget, this laptop weighs only 1.2Kg and has an all-metal chassis, making it a solid candidate for any business eager to explore alternatives to Windows 10.

        The device’s clear unique selling, however, is the presence of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which serves as a useful introduction to the world of Linux.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 91

        Linux audio tips, upgrade vs nuke and pave, smartwatches, a new Raspberry Pi, Microsoft and Mint drama, and the shortest KDE Korner ever.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.4 And 4.19 Will Be Supported For 6 Years

        Good news as the Linux Kernel 5.4 LTS will be supported for 6 years. Not only 5.4, Kernel 4.19 LTS will also receive support for 6 years.

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, a lead Linux Kernel developer officially extended end-of-life (EOL) support for the kernel 5.4 and 4.19 to six years from two years.

        Kernel 5.4 will receive support until Dec 2023 and 4.19 until December 2024. Kernel 4.19 LTS was released on 2018-10-22 and Linux Kernel 5.4 LTS was released on November 24th, 2019.

      • Staging/IIO Changes For Linux 5.8 Are The Most Boring We Have Seen In A While

        With the staging/IIO subsystem changes for Linux 5.8 arguably most notable is what didn’t make the cut this round.

        The staging/IIO changes for this 5.8 merge window is some of the lightest work we’ve seen in a number of cycles: no big code cleanups, no shiny new drivers, and no other new features like the previous exFAT staging driver.

      • Samsung Sends In Improvements To The exFAT File-System Driver For Linux 5.8

        The exFAT file-system driver is seeing more polishing with Linux 5.8 in the form of fixes and optimizations. There are a number of bug fixes for exFAT this round, code clean-ups, logging improvements, and optimizing of the exFAT entry cache functions. A new feature is boot region verification for exFAT. Boot region verification is part of the exFAT specification as a means of checksumming the boot sectors.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Sienna Cichlid GPU support added to Radeon Linux driver

          The numerous AMD Sienna Cichlid GPU patches definitely provide hints of a next generation GPU. It has signs of being Navi based with “new VCN 3.0 capabilities for video encoding and DCN3 on the display front.” Furthermore, it includes a number of alterations compared to existing Navi supporting code.

          Phoronix notes that its initial data mining of the 207 patches show that they mainly leverage the existing Navi code paths. Several changes represent “the usual churn surrounding firmware, clock-gating / power management differences,” when new hardware lines are added, it is observed. The major changes spotted thus far are in the aforementioned VCN 3.0 media engine and DCN3 display engine. Phoronix says it will continue to poke through the code for anything enlightening.

        • Radeon Navi 2 “Sienna Cichlid” Published For AMD’s OpenGL Driver

          Last week AMD’s open-source Linux engineers published the initial Linux kernel driver patches for the “Sienna Cichlid” GPU that appears to be almost definitely the big Navi 2. Now that those AMDGPU patches are public, the folks working on the user-space drivers have had the go-ahead to begin volleying their related patches for Sienna Cichild. Out today is the RadeonSI OpenGL driver support for this next-generation Navi GPU.

          Posted today as a new MR for Mesa is the RadeonSI patches and common Mesa code for supporting Sienna Cichlid.

    • Applications

      • Rosegarden 20.06 Open-Source MIDI and Audio Sequencer Arrives with New Features, Fixes



        Dubbed “Zepherine Drouhin,” Rosegarden 20.06 introduces the ability to adjust the track’s height in the Preferences, the ability to use right-click to set the loop in the Loop Ruler, as well as support for displaying the current segment label in the Matrix editor when selecting multiple segments for editing.

        It also adds a new Segment > Transpose by Semitones feature in the Segment Canvas and a Segment “For Notation” feature. Moreover, this release increases the height of the Loop Ruler and sets 127 as default for Expression instead for 100.

      • 9 Best Download Managers For Linux In 2020



        There are tons of awesome Linux applications available these days. In this post, we are going to discuss some of the best download managers for Linux based operating systems.

        This is our list of best download managers for Linux based operating systems. Let us know if you have any suggestions for this Linux blog post.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Mirror your Android phone to your Linux (or Windows) desktop. Play games. Get a little crazy!

        This is a Linux video, a gaming video, and an Android video, all in one! While trying to figure out a way to make better Oculus Quest videos, I ran across scrcpy, and while there were some hiccups along the way, I found that I could use this to mirror my Pixel phone’s desktop onto my Linux desktop, and even play games, like Clash of Clans.

      • Europa Universalis IV: Emperor is now available, some thoughts

        The sprawling strategy title by Paradox Development Studios sees its latest expansion rework and add content to many of the nations of Europe. I spent a few hours building up my empires and have a few thoughts to share.

        [...]

        The first major aspect of the expansion has to do with religion: there are new mechanics for the popes and Catholics to deal with the desire for reform within the church. These are nothing too complicated, mostly the result of events and a new button in the papacy interface. They do successfully add a dynamic element to the reformation that was always intended but, until now, missing to the game. Add to that some flashpoints of early tension, such as the unique Hussite faith in Bohemia at the start of the game and the way that religion develops in Europe is a little less predictable.

      • Bots & Belts looks like Overcooked but you’re making toys

        Bots & Belts is an upcoming title from developer PopPlay that looks like a fun twist on the chaotic gameplay found in the likes of Overcooked.

        Instead of running around chopping up ingredients and attempting to serve dishes, you’re running around making toys. Looking at the early footage, the gameplay looks like a huge amount of hectic fun. Each level has a bunch of conveyor belts and devices that spit out parts, with your job to run around and ensure to incomplete toy reaches the end of the line.

      • Bloody and difficult action platformer They Bleed Pixels is now on itch.io

        They Bleed Pixels is full of pixel blood, lots of action and it’s genuinely a lot of fun if you can master the combat. It’s also now available DRM-free on itch.io. Originally released in 2012 for Windows by Spooky Squid Games, it was later put on Linux and macOS with the help of game porter Ethan Lee when it went through something of a rewrite.

      • Alisa is an upcoming 90s 3D throwback horror-themed action adventure

        Developed as a throwback to the ‘golden age’ of 3D games in the 90s, Alisa looks like a good retro game that’s coming to Linux and the Kickstarter campaign is just shy of the goal needed.

        It looks like something you would expect to see on the original PlayStation and I love that. There’s been a bit of a resurgence of retro-3D titles in the last year or so and this continues the trend. Alisa is set in a fantasy world inspired by the 1920s. The protagonist is Alisa, an Elite Royal Agent. While on the trial of a criminal, you end up in some weird victorian mansion haunted by materialized/mechanized doll-like humanoids. Sounds freaky.

      • PICO-8 fantasy console arrives on itch.io, available in a bundle

        PICO-8, an extremely popular fantasy console from developer lexaloffle has been released on itch.io giving you another easy place to grab it.

        What is PICO-8? What’s a fantasy console? They’re a fun way for making, sharing and playing small games and other computer programs. It’s a set of limitations and an API for developers, along with a “console” that runs cross-platform across Linux, macOS and Windows to play games. It’s really sweet, especially if you love retro games and tech. All the fun of consoles, retro and such without needing dedicated hardware.

      • Supply Chain is a free game about understanding just-in-time supply chains

        Supply Chain, a free and open source game developed to hopefully generate some thought and discussion about supply chains and their issues.

        Developed by Cheeseness, who also made the wonderful Hive Time (and sometimes a contributor here), it takes a look at how highly optimised, just-in-time supply chains can be susceptible to disruption. A very on-point game and discussion to have, like what we saw earlier this year with all the Coronavirus panic buying.

      • Tallowmere 2 looks like an insanely good roguelike platformer

        Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens, a name I would expect from something entirely different to what the trailer shows and you need to see this.

        Coming from developer Chris McFarland, this is a roguelike platformer that has some insane looking action and honestly I think this is going to be good. Speaking to McFarland earlier today, they also confirmed Linux support with a plan to release later this year in Early Access.

      • Unity 2019.4 LTS is out for developers needing a more stable base

        The Unity team have today release 2019.4 LTS (Long-Term Support), a culmination of all the work done across the previous “TECH” releases.

        As a reminder, Unity has completely changed their release schedule. They now provide only two (down from three) “TECH” releases per year, which include big fancy new features aimed at devs needing the cutting edge stuff. Each then cleaned up and eventually once a year a new LTS release will be made with a focus on usability and stability of Unity.

        If you follow Unity you will already know a lot of the big features in Unity 2019.4 LTS like the Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP), the Visual Effect Graph, the Shader Graph, Nested Prefabs, an updated UI, Google Stadia support, IL2CPP support for Linux builds (hooray!), OpenGL and Vulkan improvements and much more.

      • Meet The Software That Does For Linux Gaming What AMD Won’t



        If the big guys like AMD won’t treat Linux like a first class citizen when it comes to gaming, count on the open source community to fill the void and get the job done. Fresh from complaining about the vast gaming ecosystem differences in the Linux and Windows worlds, I just stumbled across a brilliant piece of software called CoreCtrl for Radeon GPU users. If the phrase “WattMan for Linux” excites you — or you crave easier control over your CPU and graphics card — read on!

        CoreCtrl is a free open source app that gives you precise control over your AMD Radeon graphics card, and limited control over your AMD or Intel CPU. While the developer plans to include support for Nvidia graphics cards in the future, right now CoreCtrl is focused on bringing one of the best utilities from AMD’s Radeon Adrenalin software to Linux.

      • Electronic Arts (EA) Launches Command & Conquer Remastered
      • You can grab the top-down shooter Geneshift FREE for a few days

        Geneshift, an intense top-down shooter action game with a certain classic GTA2 flair thanks to the vehicle system is currently 100% off for a few days.

        Previously known as Subvein and also Mutant Factions, it’s been through a few different faces over the years. It was also known as Geneshift: Battle Royale Turbo until recently where the developer has settled back on just calling it Geneshift. The current focus has been on the Battle Royale mode, which is looking good but it did just recently introduce a daily survival run which is also quite a test of skill.

      • With seriously crisp pixel-art, Alwa’s Legacy launching on June 17

        After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Elden Pixels have announced that the colourful retro adventure Alwa’s Legacy is set for launch on June 17. It’s the successor to the acclaimed 8-bit inspired platformer Alwa’s Awakening, while also being a standalone adventure so you don’t need to have played the first in the series.

        Not the most ideal date to have set, with the upcoming Steam Game Festival clashing with it which is now running through June 16 – 22, so they could see that hurt their sales. Hopefully not too much though.

        From what the press info said, their aim is to honour the past with a “thoroughly contemporary take on the metroidvania genre”. They’ve upped the pixel count since the last game, with this being a 16-bit inspired style mixing both pixel art and modern touches like slick lighting and some modern game design principles.

      • Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy is a fantastic addition to a great game

        Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy, the first full expansion for the aquarium building game Megaquarium is a worthy addition to a game that was already wonderful. Note: Key provided by Evolve.

        When Megaquarium itself released back in 2018 it was pure joy. Putting a great twist on the usual building sim, that often feels like a tired genre full of lots of the same. Building an aquarium isn’t something we saw much of at all and it was a good game. Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy takes everything good and just gives you a whole lot more, a proper expansion like we used to see before miniature DLC became the norm.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Introducing the WebKit Flatpak SDK


          Working on a web-engine often requires a complex build infrastructure. This post documents our transition from JHBuild to Flatpak for the WebKitGTK and WPEWebKit development builds.

          For the last 10 years, WebKitGTK has been relying on a custom JHBuild moduleset to handle its dependencies and (try to) ensure a reproducable test environment for the build bots. When WPEWebKit was upstreamed several years ago, a similar approach was used. We ended up with two slightly different modulesets to maintain. The biggest problem with that is that we still depend on the host OS for some dependencies. Another set of scripts was then written to install those, depending on which distro the host is running… This is a bit unfortunate. There are more issues with JHBuild, when a moduleset is updated, the bots wipe all the resulting builds and start a new build from scratch! Every WebKitGTK and WPE developer is strongly advised to use this setup, so everybody ends up building the dependencies.

        • GNOME Renders on Arm Mali-G31 Bifrost GPU with Fully Open Source Code



          We first wrote about Panfrost open-source Arm Mali GPU driver getting initial support for Mali-G31 Bifrost GPU in late April, when engineers at Collabora managed to run some basic demos.

          Progress has been fast-paced as the company has now implemented support for all major features of OpenGL ES 2.0 and some features of OpenGL 2.1. That means hardware-based on Arm Mali-G31 GPU such as ODROID Go Advance (used for testing) can run Wayland compositors with zero-copy graphics, including GNOME 3, every scene in glmark2-es2 benchmarks, and some 3D games such as Neverball. All without any binary blobs.

        • Neville Antony: Full Throttle

          Coding period for GSoC 2020 has started and I have begun my work on my summer project. As said in my introductory post, I will be working on adding functionality to create and manage game collections in GNOME Games with help from Alexander (@alexm). After the project is complete, it will provide users with a shiny new ability to add any games to their own custom collections. And some additional feature to provide users with a quickly accessible, automatically generated collections such as recently played, favorites and hidden games.

          I started out by separating the work into independently manageable chunks so that I can open several smaller merge requests, rather than a single large one, which I can imagine would be horrible to manage, and even worse for Alexander to review. And my code, however small it is, usually needs a lot of fixing.

          So the first chunk I decided to work on is… Selection Mode! I decided selection mode would be the best part to start with so that when I get to modifying the database part to store all the collections and the games in it, I will have all the necessary functionality to test it with actual real world data rather than some made up data using temporary spaghetti code.

        • [Older/context] Neville Antony: Its Happening!!

          I will be working on GNOME Games. It’s a video game launcher + emulator for several video game platforms. My work is to implement game collections which will allow users to create, view and manage user creatable and auto generatable collection of games (like albums in photo viewers). Games is mostly written in Vala, and is packaged as flatpak. You can get it from here.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Network Security Toolkit Live Distro Is Now Based on Fedora Linux 32



          Network Security Toolkit 32 is now available and it is based on the latest Fedora Linux 32 distribution. It uses the Linux 5.6 kernel series from Fedora 32 and ships with up-to-date components, as well as new features and improvements.

          The star of this release appears to be NST WUI a.k.a. Network Security Toolkit’s web-based user interface, which now features several new pages and features.

          New pages are now available in NST WUI for displaying network statistics conversations for Wireshark and TShark, for the Kismet wireless network and device detector and sniffer application, and for fast directory scanning using the dirble directory scanning and scraping tool, which integrates a word list derived from the CeWL (Custom Word List) generator.

        • Penetration Testing OS Black Arch Linux 2020.06.01 Released

          Black Arch Linux project announced the immediate availability of its latest version Black Arch Linux version 2020.06.01.

      • BSD

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Talks About IBM and His Vision for the Future

          In early April, Jim Whitehurst left Red Hat after serving as the company’s CEO for more than 12 years, to become president of Red Hat’s new owner, IBM. Taking his place as CEO was Paul Cormier, a 19-year Red Hat veteran who had served as the company’s EVP of engineering and president of products and technologies since the time Whitehurst had joined the company.

          It’s easy to understand how Cormier got the nod to take the reins after Whitehurst’s departure. Not long after joining the company he’d been one of the people behind Red Hat’s decision to drop it’s consumer-targeted Linux operating system, which had been its flagship since the early 1990s, to focus on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the enterprise. He is also said to have been central to many of Red Hat’s numerous acquisitions.

          Data Center Knowledge had the opportunity to talk with Cormier not long after he took the reins as Red Hat’s CEO. Among other things, we asked him about Red Hat’s relationship with its new owner, IBM, and about his vision for the company he now operates.

          [...]

          That’s really what IBM bought. IBM sort of decided that there’s probably as much opportunity in hybrid cloud, because that’s the deployment reality right now, as there is in being a public cloud provider, although they are both. So what we’re doing is building that out right now, and we’ll continue to build that out. There’ll be more services that are open source-based. There’ll be more automation on top of that, there’ll be more development tools on top of that, and more management on top of that. So that’s the base to build around in this hybrid cloud environment. That’s the vision.

          In the technology world, especially enterprise, none of these things go as fast as anyone thinks. Amazon’s been around for 12 years, and like I said, in the beginning they were saying every app’s going to the cloud tomorrow. That was 10 plus years ago and now it’s maybe 20%-25%. So we look at public cloud as part of our customer’s IT environments and not necessarily their entire IT environment. That’s our vision: to keep building around this hybrid cloud platform.

        • IBM releases toolkit aimed at keeping data encrypted even while in use

          IBM’s new toolkit, which will soon be available for Linux, aims to give developers easier access to fully homomorphic encryption, a technology that protects sensitive data by allowing for computation and analysis of data while keeping it encrypted.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ZFS focus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: ZSys for system administrators



          Now that we covered the basics ZSys functionalities, I think you realize that the system is generally fully transparent to the users. However, most of system administrators are more likely to want to deep dive in more details on how you can tweak those behavior and observe more information on the current status. We getting more technical from now on and for the rest of the series covering ZSys & ZFS on ubuntu 20.04 LTS!

          As explained in the corresponding post, ZSys has a client/service architecture (mediated by polkit). The unix socket which activates on demand zsysd is using SO_PEERCRED to pass credentials (who/when) and with some (black magic) wizardry and multiple attempts, we were able to make it work over gRPC, the communication RPC framework we are using. As this whole combination was not really documented anywhere on the Internet, it may be useful to document that in a more technical blog post in the future. So if you are interested, let us know in the discourse link!

        • Linux Mint Drops Snap

          Linux Mint has officially dropped their support for Canonical’s snap packages.

          In a move that surprised many within the Linux landscape, Linux Mint (one of the most popular desktop distributions) has decided to drop support for the universal snap package system.

          What are snap packages? Simply put, they are a way to combine an application and all of its dependencies into a single package. By doing this, an application can be installed on any supporting operating system, regardless of desktop or default package manager.

          The idea of leaving behind snap packages began in 2019, when Clement “Clem” Lefebvre said, “When Snap was announced it was supposed to be a solution, not a problem.” Clem continues, “It was supposed to make it possible to run newer apps on top of older libraries and to let third-party editors publish their software easily towards multiple distributions, just like Flatpak and AppImage.”

        • Complete Graphic Design Suite on Ubuntu 20.04 – Inkscape, GIMP, Krita, and More

          With this article you can turn Ubuntu Focal Fossa into a full professional graphic design system. This enables mass resize pictures by one click. You are given 2D and 3D graphic editing tools for both raster and vector types including animation suite and video production. For photography, I include here darkroom tools and camera management software. Last but not least, I also include a game engine which is able to produce cross platform video games. I listed them here alphabetically with necessary information I think important placed under every name. All applications below are free software. I hope this article will be useful for you. Happy designing!

        • Design and Web team summary – 9th June 2020

          The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

          [...]

          I help run a few of our squads in the web team. The web squad, vanilla squad and the brand squad. This means I get to see how different disciples work and help them form plans to achieve their objectives. I really enjoy seeing squad members work well together to get stuff done!

          Before I came to Canonical, I worked in a small branding studio, working on a range of different projects, from digital brand hierarchies to cold-brew labels!

          When I am not being a project manager I like to unwind by cooking something a bit bougie or by playing games on my PS4.

        • Ubuntu Is Working On Much Faster Hibernation/Resume Support

          Canonical’s Andrea Righi who is on the Ubuntu Kernel Team sent out a set of patches last week working on opportunistic memory reclaim support as a means of achieving much speedier system hibernation and resume performance.

          When hibernating the system and needing to dump the entire contents of RAM to the swap/resume device, the kernel can try to free up some pages that don’t need to be saved to disk where they can be easily regenerated at resume time without much overhead.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 634 for the week of May 31 – June 6, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 77 / 78 Beta vs. Chrome 83 Linux Browser Benchmarks


            Given the recent releases of Chrome 83 and Firefox 77 while Firefox 78 was promoted to beta, here are some current web browser benchmarks from the Linux desktop for these different browser releases.

            For this series of benchmarking, Chrome 83 stable was benchmarked against Firefox 76.0.1 and Firefox 77.0 stable. Additionally, the Firefox 78.0 beta was also included as the latest Mozilla development release.

            All tests were done on the same Intel Core i9 10900K + Radeon RX 5700 XT system for benchmarking and with each browser configuration at its defaults. Normally with our Firefox benchmarking we do a run with WebRender enabled since Mozilla still hasn’t enabled MOZ_WEBRENDER by default on Linux. But in our testing for this Intel CPU + AMD Radeon Navi/GFX10 system, enabling WebRender tended to severely hurt the performance.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: May 2020
        • Why I hate LibreOffice Help changing

          Did you try to change LibreOffice Help? No? Just try it. You’ll get many pleasure (no).
          And then try to edit any article in Wikipedia. You can change it directly on site! And you’ll really can make it EASY and you’ll have a simple editor for heading or list creating. Also you’ll can easy add links to another article by keywords.

        • Week 1 Report

          The last week was the first week of coding weeks in GSoC program. I starting adding support for the non supported items.

          I begin this week with adding support to Zoom option in calc. You can find the work in this commit.

        • Simulated Animation Effects – Week #1

          While constructing these functions, I’ve hoped to get a more solid understanding of what kind of parameters will be needed for these functions, and whether or not I can easily access these parameters from the animation engine.

        • GSoC Community Bonding Report

          The last week was the first week of coding weeks in GSoC program. I starting adding support for the non supported items.

      • CMS

        • The latest headless CMS, a new Firefox release, huge leaps in open source audio engineering, and more open source news

          Strapi announced the general availability of its Community Edition after two years of development. The Strapi CMS, which is built on Node.js, is customizable using APIs boasting interoperability with common frameworks. As a headless CMS, it doesn’t bother with the website’s front-end—all its focus is on the back-end content repository, which is used for storing and delivering structured content.

          Its database and file content can be accessed for display on websites, smartphones, and IoT devices. The content is delivered via JAMstack static-site generators and front-end frameworks, such as Gatsby.js, Next.js, Nuxt.js, Angular, React, and Vue.js, and it supports a broad range of SQL and NoSQL databases. The source code is available under the MIT license.

        • Move Over Drupal, WordPress Here Comes Strapi
        • Best free WordPress themes for 2020

          Knowing the best free WordPress themes for 2020 is the first step for anyone who is creating a website for their new business. In addition to the templates being free, they provide the essentialdesign, navigability and loading speed .

          More than creating a beautiful website, it is essential that it be responsive. This is because more and more people are using mobile devices , such as tablets and smartphones, to do their research and purchases.

          To have an idea, the estimate is that, in 2020, there will be 2.87 billion smartphone users in the world. Of these, 57% say they do not recommend a company that has a poorly designed website, according to socPub .

          The good news is that the best WordPress themes for 2020 are responsive, free and have customization options that are super easy to handle.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Etalab shows how Free Software can be made available for the public sector

            Etalab maintains two lists of Free Software. One is about the Free Software recommended for the public sector (called SILL) while the other one links to Free Software repositories created by the public sector. To find out more about the two lists we conducted an interview with Bastien Guerry from Etalab.

            Etalab, a department of the French public administration in charge of digital affairs, has created two lists of Free Software. One lists the Free Software recommended for the public sector (called SILL) while the other links to Free Software repositories created by the public sector. So far there are 3,739 Software repositories that contain Free Software developed by the public sector. These lists are available online, to browse through, since 2019. This move is in line with the FSFE’s “Public Money? Public Code!” Initiative, where we demand that software developed from and for the public sector should be made publicly available. To find out more about the two lists deployed by Etalab, how they came into being, and the ideas behind it, we conducted an interview with Bastien Guerry from Etalab.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • [OSI] February 2020 License-Review Summary

            License-Review mailing list topics for February 2020:

            Continued discussion on the Cryptographic Autonomy License (Beta 4)
            Resolution of the Cryptographic Autonomy License (Beta 4) – Approved
            Resolution on the Mulan PSL V2 – Approved

      • Public Services/Government

        • More German cities ditch Microsoft, move to open-source tech

          Once upon a time, the German city of Munich had a visionary tech idea: switch the city’s public administration from the costly, slow, inefficient, and security-issues riddled Windows – to its perfect antidote: Linux.

          Nowadays, when the entire backend of the internet is running on free and open software, deploying Linux anywhere doesn’t seem like a big deal. It makes perfect sense – even as Microsoft itself is moving its ostensibly only truly profitable business, the cloud, onto Linux, at the same time adopting and incorporating Linux/Unix tools to lure in developers or keep them locked in on Windows as a platform that is, otherwise, becoming sadly irrelevant.

          But there are still battles to be fought and more importantly, huge amounts of legacy money to be lost on the “front end” of the game of computer usage, especially in various public administrations/organizations all around the world.

          And there, Microsoft is still fighting hard and dirty. Specifically, to keep its tentacles firmly wrapped around Munich as a test and a showcase of sorts – resulting in a multi-year to-and-fro saga that saw the city drop “the cancer of Windows” – to then seemingly go back – to then, the last we heard, backtrack again towards free and open source.

      • Programming/Development

        • Short term usability is not the same as long term usability

          When designing almost any piece of code or other functionality, the issue of usability often comes up. Most of the time these discussions go well, but at other times fairly big schisms appear. It may even be that two people advocate for exactly opposite approaches, both claiming that their approach is better because of “usability”. This seems like a paradox but upon closer examination we find that it’s not for the simple reason that there is no one thing called usability. What is usable or not depends on a ton of different things.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.23 500+ Rakoons

            In just over 7 months, the /r/rakulang subreddit has had more than 500 people join it. Although this is still a lot less than the 1631 people that joined the now closed /r/perl6 subreddit, that number was achieved in 8.5 years. It’s good to see interest in Raku growing!

        • Python

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #2

            I worked on question answering and classification models using Hugging Face Transformers. Now, both question answering and classification models can be trained in DFFML.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 2 blog!

            Its me again. Excited to share my progress this week with you all. There was a lot of coding involved this week. I coded three classes in order to generate a polymesh using the recast tools directly through the panda3d interface. First I coded for any .obj file to be loaded into a polymesh, but later changed it to load polymesh from any geometry stored in the NodePath. A lot of time was spent on debugging and stuffs. Properly converting Z-up coordinate system to Y-up coordinate system and vice versa, drawing the output polymesh using GeomNode, understanding how exactly GeomNode and various other Panda3D tools work, proper knowledge of recast library were very essential to get the code compile and run successfully. Here is a 3D model form Panda3D sample directory called roaming-ralph and corresponding output for polymesh (the walkable surface) is shown in red.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Unexpected Things When You’re Expecting

            Hi everyone, I hope that you are all doing well and wishes you all good health! The last week has not been really kind to me with a decent amount of academic pressure (my school year is lasting until early Jully). It would be bold to say that I have spent 10 hours working on my GSoC project since the last check-in, let alone the 30 hours per week requirement. That being said, there were still some discoveries that I wish to share.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Blog post for week 1: Introducing support for Redis

            Scrapy uses queues for handling requests. The scheduler pushes requests to the queue and pops them from the queue when the next request is ready to be made. At the moment, there is no support for external message queues (e.g. Redis, Kafka, etc.) implemented in Scrapy, however, there are external libraries (https://github.com/rmax/scrapy-redis and others) that bridge Scrapy with external message queues.

          • Python Community Interview With Kattni Rembor

            This week, I’m joined by Kattni Rembor, a creative engineer at Adafruit Industries. Kattni’s role is varied, as she covers embedded software, hardware design, technical writing, and community leadership.

            In this interview, we talk about her work developing CircuitPython and the role mentorship has played in her career to date. She also shares her advice for anyone looking to start their first hardware project using CircuitPython.

  • Leftovers

    • A Small Good Thing: What Is Really Being Asked For Here
    • Stay Sane!

      Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

    • The Twisted Legacy of Alfred Jarry’s Monsters

      The 1896 premiere of Ubu Roi in Paris was a violent affair. Alfred Jarry, the 23-year-old playwright, planted friends in the audience to pick fights and holler obscenities. Brawls began when Père Ubu—sometimes translated as “King Turd”—strutted onto the stage wielding a toilet brush as his scepter. Ubu uttered the first word, “Merdre,” and the crowd erupted. The play came to a halt for 15 minutes. One theatergoer described the night as “five acts of shrieking and gesticulating by utterly grotesque puppets that created the impression of some sort of hallucinatory vision.” W.B. Yeats, who attended the premiere, wrote that Jarry’s absurdist debut hailed the end of one era and the beginning of another: “After all our subtle colour…what more is possible? After us, the Savage God.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • New Zealand Declared Virus-Free as United States Approaches 2 Million Cases

        New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the island nation would be lifting almost all of the restrictions it had put in place to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Amid Easing Restrictions, Study Estimates Shutdowns Prevented 60 Million Covid-19 Cases in US Alone

        “I don’t think any human endeavor has ever saved so many lives in such a short period of time,” said the study’s lead author.

      • Governor Cuomo’s Pandemic Wealthcare Plan

        The New York leader has prioritized the wealth and influence of billionaires—many of whom are his donors—over the physical well-being of his most vulnerable constituents.

      • Russia partially reopens borders after months of travel restrictions

        Russia is partially reopening its borders, allowing citizens to leave the country for the purposes of work, education, medical treatment, or caring for relatives, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said, according to reports from RIA Novosti. 

      • Moscow to lift its coronavirus quarantine tomorrow

        Russia’s capital is turning a major page in its fight against the coronavirus. On Monday, June 8, Moscow Civic Chamber chairman Konstantin Remchukov announced that officials will lift the city’s self-isolation quarantine, permit system, and special schedule allowing walks outside, effective tomorrow, June 9.

      • To Defeat Coronavirus, We Need to Expand Medicare

        Congress must act decisively to guarantee health care to everyone in the country. It should do so on moral grounds, it should do so on public health grounds, and it should do so to help ensure our economy gets back on track and stays back on track.

      • This global pandemic could transform humanitarianism forever. Here’s how

        There is a moment at the start of every major crisis when you think: “This is going to change everything.” COVID-19 was no exception.

        “In humanitarian response, there will be a ‘before’ and ‘after’ COVID-19,” Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop, executive director of the think tank HERE-Geneva, wrote in late March.

        But as the crisis born of this global pandemic has evolved, some of the promises of deep transformation in a humanitarian aid sector that has long resisted reform have proven overly optimistic – at least so far.

        Here are 13 ways the pandemic may change the future of humanitarianism – and the forces of resistance that may get in the way.

      • Why working together on global migration is vital to pandemic recovery

        As we struggle with the greatest global challenge in recent history – a pandemic the UN secretary-general says has “brought us to our knees” – multilateral cooperation and human rights are of greater consequence than at any time since 1945. Nowhere will the need for multilateralism be clearer in the coming months than as it relates to migration and migrants’ rights.

        The number of international migrants around the globe surpassed 271 million last year (including 28 million refugees), but many borders today are closed. The United States has recently trumpeted expelling more than 20,000 people at its southern border – including unaccompanied children seeking asylum – and has effectively closed its land borders to asylum seekers indefinitely while continuing to deport migrants with the coronavirus, likely contributing to its global spread.

        Malta has dispatched merchant vessels in the Mediterranean to intercept and expel asylum seekers to Libya, a practice linked to multiple deaths. Countries have refused disembarkation to Rohingya asylum seekers in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, leaving them adrift.

        Even as migrants are a significant percentage of essential workers, keeping people healthy and economies going, they are often forgotten in pandemic responses. Or worse: many who are perceived to be of East Asian descent have been targeted for racist or xenophobic attacks. The UN has warned of a tsunami of xenophobia.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Brave browser CEO apologizes for automatically adding affiliate links to cryptocurrency URLs

        A Twitter user spotted the redirect when he typed “binance.us” into the Brave search bar, and the browser autocompleted it to “binance.us/en?ref=35089877.” Both URLs go to the same page, but the affiliate link at the end can be used to track users and generate income. Many websites, including Vox Media and The Verge, use affiliate links, but most are transparent about doing so.

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • New, Free Training Course Teaches Use of Jenkins for CI/CD Workflows

                The Linux Foundation and Continuous Delivery Foundation are proud to announce the immediate availability of a new free training course on the edX platform, LFS167x – Introduction to Jenkins. Jenkins is the leading open source automation server, providing hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying and automating any project.

              • The Linux Foundation Adds Free Jenkins Training Course

                The Linux Foundation, in collaboration with the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF), today launched a free introductory course to the open source Jenkins continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform as part of what it plans will become a series of free and paid online DevOps tools courses.

              • Linux Foundation Support for the Black Community

                The Linux Foundation and its communities stand in solidarity voicing support for the Black community. The system under which we operate requires change to make justice and equality a reality. We support the individuals and organizations offering solutions for such changes, and we will be planning how we can support change as well.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libpam-tacplus), Gentoo (gnutls), Oracle (unbound), Scientific Linux (freerdp and unbound), and SUSE (firefox, java-11-openjdk, java-1_7_0-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, nodejs10, and ruby2.1).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Protecting Privacy While Promoting Innovation And Competition

              It may be the tech giants that dominate the headlines when it comes to privacy, but it’s startups that stand the most to lose in the ongoing debate about consumer privacy.

            • Worker Surveillance Is on the Rise, and Has Its Roots in Centuries of Racism

              As technology advances, so do the ever-watching eyes of the world’s largest companies. High-tech workplace surveillance is troubling to workers who are organizing for a union and now have to work around not just management, but also seemingly omniscient machines. But as public conversation around workplace technology focuses on automation, a whole realm of technology is being developed so that companies can surveil their workers in order to manage their productivity, make hiring and promotion decisions, and even predict their health outcomes.

            • EFF, ACLU File Lawsuit to Stop Los Angeles From Collecting Real-Time Tracking Data on Citizens’ Rental Scooters

              Los Angeles—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today joined the ACLU of northern and southern California in filing a lawsuit against Los Angeles for collecting detailed trip data and real-time locations and routes of the electric scooters thousands of residents use each day.EFF, ACLU-Northern California, ACLU-Southern California, and Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP are representing scooter riders Eric Alejo and Justin Sanchez in a case seeking a court order halting a requirement by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) that operators of dockless vehicles like JUMP, Lyft, and Lime, collect and turn over to the city information about every single scooter trip taken within city limits. The data collected includes real-time and historical, minute-by-minute information about where and what time every ride was started, and where and what time each ride ended.Los Angeles is collecting this data using a software tool it developed with an outside vendor called Mobility Data Specification, which gathers location data through Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers on scooters. MDS doesn’t capture the identify of riders directly, but collects with precision riders’ location, routes, and destinations to within a few feet, which can easily be used to reveal the identities of riders.The city has never offered a reasonable justification for why it needs such granular and precise location data, saying that the goal is to “experiment” with it in setting policies for motorized scooter use. The Los Angeles City Council asked the LADOT to provide a report about the specific regulatory purposes for data collection and how it will be used by Feb. 25. To date, the agency has not done so.“Route data can reveal detailed, sensitive, and private information about riders, such as where they live, who they work for, who their friends are, and when they visit a doctor or therapist,” said EFF Staff Attorney Hannah Zhao. “The city is collecting this information, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, as an experiment. This is galling and improper, especially at a time when protests are erupting around the country and privacy protections for those exercising their free speech rights on the streets has taken on new importance.”In Los Angeles, as in many cities around the country, renting motorized scooters is a popular way for residents to get around town and commute to work, as plaintiff Alejo does. Los Angeles is grappling with how scooters are being used on sidewalks, right of ways, and streets. But collecting reams of data about residents’ rides, with no guarantees or oversight about the security of the information or whether it’s being shared with law enforcement or other agencies, is unreasonable and overbroad.“The city plans to extend its use of MDS to collect minute-by-minute route data for ride-hailing and car-sharing services and driverless cars. It’s one thing to seek to regulate these new technologies—it’s another thing to obliterate citizens’ rights to keep their everyday travels private to do so. We think the courts will agree,” said EFF Surveillance Litigation Director Jennifer Lynch.“The government’s appropriate impulse to regulate city streets and ensure affordable, accessible transportation for all should not mean that individual vehicle riders’ every move is tracked and stored without their knowledge,” said Mohammad Tajsar, senior staff attorney at the ACLU SoCal. “There are better ways to keep ride-share companies in check than to violate the constitutional rights of ordinary Angelenos who ride their vehicles.”  For the complaint:https://www.eff.org/document/sanchez-v-ladot-complaintFor more on MDS:https://www.eff.org/document/eff-oti-letter-urgent-concerns-regarding-lack-privacy-protections-sensitive-personal-data

            • Palantir Given Access to U.K. Health Data on NHS Patients

              The data ranged from contact information to details of gender, race and work, and physical and mental health conditions, according to a copy of the contract struck in March and published on Friday by politics website OpenDemocracy and law firm Foxglove. It also included details of political and religious affiliation and past criminal offenses.

              Faculty, a London-based artificial intelligence firm, is also working on the NHS’s coronavirus response and secured access to sensitive data.

              Under the Palantir agreement, names or other personal identifiers are replaced with a pseudonym or aggregated before being shared with the companies. Sensitive personal information such as race and political affiliation would only be provided to Palantir where such access is “lawful and critical in the performance of its obligations,” according to the contract terms.

            • IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology

              IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM fCEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology, IBM tells The Verge. Krishna addressed the letter to Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

              “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

            • Government drones and aircraft are being used to surveil the ongoing protests in American cities

              The government is flying predator drones and other military aircraft, well known for their use in foreign combat zones, over US cities to surveil the ongoing protests against police brutality. The first such protest surveillance flight was spotted by Jason Paladino, a reporter with the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) on May 29th.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • George Floyd Was Lynched

        Black Americans have seen their civil rights regress for thirty years.

      • Time Served and $25 a Month in Fines in First Sentencing of Kings Bay Plowshares Anti-Nuclear Activists

        “I don’t apologize for it,” said sentenced activist Elizabeth McAlister. “I think the weapons are completely destructive of life.”

      • Donald Trump Is Afraid of Us All — His Barricaded White House Is Proof

        With newly placed armor swaddling the White House and armored police and federal agents arrayed throughout Washington, D.C., Trump’s fearful agitation has taken on a macrocosm-microcosm hue that Shakespeare would recognize on sight: Even as he fortifies his fortress, this president is growing ever more afraid, his dread swelling in timorous harmony with the undiminishing size of the protests before him. King Lear and Julius Caesar are instructive.

      • ‘Light Em Up’: Warrior Cops When the Wars Come Home

        America’s forever wars in distant lands have now come home.

      • “Light ‘Em Up”: Warrior-Cops Are the Law–and Above the Law–as Violence Grips America

        From their front porches, regular citizens watched a cordon of cops sweep down their peaceful street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rankled at being filmed, the cops exceeded their authority and demanded that people go inside their houses. When some of them didn’t obey quickly enough, the order — one heard so many times in the streets of Iraqi cities and in the villages of Afghanistan — was issued: “Light ’em up.” And so “disobedient” Americans found themselves on the receiving end of non-lethal rounds for the “crime” of watching the police from those porches.

      • Media Buries George W. Bush’s Lies and Atrocities

        Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”

      • Protesters Sue Donald Trump, William Barr After Being Tear-Gassed for Photo Op

        Protesters are suing President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr and a number of federal officials after they were tear-gassed to clear the way for an administration photo-op.

      • Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

        But what’s happening on US streets right now looks familiar to veterans of the US intelligence community who’ve monitored foreign government responses to social unrest.

        Some are pointing out parallels between Trump’s attempts to quell protests, and the actions of authoritarian regimes that have done the same.

      • Update: US Navy C-40 reported flying directly over Taiwan

        U.S. military jets very rarely fly over Taiwan’s airspace, preferring instead to fly in international waters around the island. The C-40a is the Navy version of the Boeing 737-700 and is designed to carry high-priority passengers or cargo, according to the manufacturer’s website.

        The flight occurs at a time of rising tensions between China and the U.S. over sanctions imposed in retaliation for a draconian security law passed in Hong Kong. The escalating confrontation is also occurring on a number of other fronts such as the trade war, China’s poor handling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the South China Sea, and new restrictions on Chinese journalists and graduate students in the U.S.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • America Is Fracturing—and So Is ‘The New York Times’

        But beyond the panic at Trump’s threat to democracy, the actions of the staff of the Times were also a reflection of a changing approach to journalism in the face of a breakdown in the political consensus. This change has been felt in both the newsroom and the opinion section—but in very different ways. The divergent approach to what James Bennet has called “the crackup of ideologies” is the true source of the conflict between the newsroom and the opinion section.

        For most of its history, The New York Times has been not a paper of the left or of the right but rather of the establishment. It might have leaned in recent decades toward the Democratic Party, but its preeminent goal has been to win the trust of well-to-do readers of both the center left and the center right. It achieved this goal through style as much as substance: Unlike tabloids with screaming headlines about murder and corruption, the Times has presented the news in a tactful, restrained, and cool fashion. This has led to a preference for neutral, colorless, depersonalized prose that conveys a feeling of objectivity: a view from nowhere.

        The polarization of America since the end of the Cold War has made this faux-objectivity increasingly obsolete. A shared consensus that all elite readers can be assumed to agree with no longer exists.

    • Environment

      • Respect the countryside

        “However, with the lockdown restrictions now easing and so many attractions and venues still closed, we are seeing people coming onto farms who wouldn’t normally do so and some of the things we are seeing suggest that there is either little knowledge of, or care about the Countryside Code,” said Mr Stocker.

      • What Australia’s COVID-19 Panic-Buying Tells Us About Climate Change

        There’s always room for individual action aimed at solving big problems. But if the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that a collective response is the best way forward to tackle a global issue that confronts us all. Rebecca Colvin weighs in.

      • Florida’s Flooded Future: ‘Retreat While There’s Still Time’
      • An Unknowable Tragedy: Sundarbans After Cyclone Amphan​

        Asuper cyclone named Amphan struck Sundarbans on Wednesday, May 20, and continued north causing widespread destruction. A transnational nursery of universal importance, Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest on Earth and is situated on a delta formed by the confluence of three rivers—the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and the Meghna—on the Bay of Bengal spanning across south Bangladesh and coastal West Bengal.

      • Energy

        • Belgium to give all residents 10 free train journeys to encourage domestic tourism as lockdown ends

          All residents in the EU member state will get a pass entitling them to ten free journeys of any length on the country’s railways.

          The free ticket, agreed by government ministers at the weekend, is part of a raft of measures like higher welfare payments and a VAT cut, meant to stimulate economic activity.

          The 10 journeys will be valid between 1 July and 31 December 2020, with the aim of encouraging people to go away for the weekend and spend money in the ailing tourist sector.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Che, Chez and Ross Cannard: Organic Farming, Sonoma, California

          On an overcast Friday morning near the end of spring, Juan Umaña rolled up his shirt sleeves and went to work in a newly ploughed field with rich black soil on an organic farm in Sonoma County, California, an hour or so North of the Golden Gate Bridge. Born and raised in Colombia, with a tattoo of Che Guevara on his right arm, Umaña would normally be at work at Chez Panisse—Alice Waters’ flagship Berkeley restaurant—where he prepared sumptuous meals for foodies who arrived from all over the world and wanted their taste buds to be delighted.

        • There’s a Much Better Way to Create Forest Jobs Than Ron Wyden’s Big Timber Welfare Act, Pass NREPA Instead

          Oregon’s Democratic Senator Ron Wyden recently introduced a bill (S.3684) that uses the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to throw another $10.6 billion into the Forest Service budget.  That’s on top of the $5.7 billion Congress already appropriated to the agency this year and comes out to a whopping $45 million a day, most of which would be used to trash the environment, destroy fish and wildlife habitat, and further imperil endangered species by bulldozing more logging roads and clearcutting our dwindling national forests.  And of course it has nothing whatsoever to do with the pandemic.

        • ‘Megadrought’ and ‘Aridification’ — Understanding the New Language of a Warming World
        • Millions of species face extinction emergency

          An extinction emergency unparalleled in the history of life on Earth could soon overtake millions of species – thanks to us.

        • Grizzly Deaths: Time to Admit to Yellowstone’s Killing Crisis

          Recovery of grizzly bears — and any endangered species — is a lot about minimizing deaths. But, unfortunately, during recent years Yellowstone grizzly bears have been dying at alarming and unsustainable rates. You would never know this, however, from discussions during the April grizzly bear managers’ meeting.

    • Finance

      • Four Numbers that Show America’s Disdain for Its Most Vulnerable People

        The nation’s plague of economic inequality and poverty puts everyone at risk.

      • Understanding the New Unemployment Numbers

        Seventy-three percent of the unemployed report being on temporary layoffs.

      • Governor Cuomo: Avoid Budget Cuts by Not Rebating Stock Sales Tax to Wall Street!

        New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is basking in the popularity of his meticulous Covid-19 news briefings and simultaneously predicting a pandemic-driven $61 billion state deficit over four years. Astonishingly, the Governor electronically rebates an existing tiny stock transfer sales tax back to Wall Street. This stock transfer sales tax, bringing in an estimated 13 to 16 billion dollars a year, would reduce forthcoming budget cuts in health, education, transportation, and other safety nets.

      • Students and Staff Oppose COVID-Inspired Disaster Capitalism on US Campuses

        More than 80 years ago, during the Great Depression, college endowments fell by 26 percent and donations fell by more than 70 percent. But rather than cutting back on what was being offered on U.S. campuses, the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) hired 8.5 million people to lay more than 9,000 miles of storm drains and sewers, and build 4,000 new school buildings (most intended for K-12 instruction), 130 hospitals and 100 community arts centers.

      • Economic Growth Can’t Go Back to Normal If We Are to Solve the Ecological Crisis

        Most scientists agree that an unprecedented economic transformation is now needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and avert climate breakdown.

      • Striking for Their Lives

        Two-week McDonald’s strike shutdown in Oakland, California: Faith leaders, artists, and community rally as Covid-19 outbreak at McDonald’s hits double digits.

      • Defund the Police: Linda Sarsour & Mychal Denzel Smith on What Meaningful Change Would Look Like

        Amid growing calls in New York City for police accountability, Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to shift some of the city’s funding for police and reallocate it to social services. We get response from Linda Sarsour, longtime Palestinian American Muslim organizer and co-founder of Until Freedom, which along with others has led the push to institute meaningful change. We also speak with author Mychal Denzel Smith, who notes that “one thing that’s come of this global pandemic of COVID-19 is an understanding of what constitutes essential, what do we actually need. And police have shown that they are inessential.”

      • The CARES Act Sent You a $1,200 Check but Gave Millionaires and Billionaires Far More

        Do you want to see how legislation that was supposed to be a bailout for our economy ended up committing almost as much taxpayer money to help a relative handful of the non-needy as it spent to help tens of millions of people in need? Then let’s step back and revisit parts of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and look at some of the numbers involved.

        The best-known feature of the CARES Act, as it’s known, is the cash grant of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child for households whose income was less than $99,000 for single taxpayers and $198,000 for couples. These grants are nontaxable, which makes them even more valuable. Some 159 million stimulus payments have gone out, according to the IRS.

      • Capital One and Other Debt Collectors Are Still Coming for Millions of Americans

        Since 2018, Capital One has been a looming presence in Julio Lugo’s life, ever since the company sued him, as it did 29,000 other New Yorkers that year, over an unpaid credit card. But when the coronavirus hit the city this March, it wasn’t on his mind.

        At Mount Sinai in Manhattan, where he works, he’d been drafted into the hospital’s frenzied effort against the virus. He normally gathered patient information at the front desk of a radiology clinic in orderly shifts, 9 to 5. Now he was working 16-hour days, often overnight. At one moment he might be enlisted to help a team of doctors or nurses put on their full-body protective equipment and then he would rush to disinfect another team. He lost track of the days, only orienting himself by the need to juggle care with his ex-wife of their two young children who were now out of school.

      • Inflation, shortages worsen Syrian poverty on eve of new US sanctions

        The value of the Syrian pound on the informal market has plunged from about 940 to the US dollar in January to a rate today of at least 3,000. And the rate of decline has been accelerating: it has more than halved in value since the beginning of May and dropped even faster in the last week.

        Local media and Syrian diaspora reports say shops and pharmacies are keeping their doors shut because the value of the currency is dropping too fast for traders to set prices. Price rises of essentials including cooking gas, bread, and sugar – combined with increasingly worthless wages – are leading to public alarm and anger. At 2,000 Syrian pounds, a kilo of lemons is out of reach for a civil servant whose salary is now worth less than $20 a month. A social media posting shows someone rolling and smoking a cigarette made with a banknote.

        As Syria enters its tenth year of civil war, more than 11 million people inside the country require humanitarian assistance, about half of whom are displaced from their original homes. Price rises are driving more people into poverty and food insecurity is rising, even in parts of the country relatively unaffected by the instability of recent years.

        A rare street protest was reported in Sweida, an area in southwest Syria generally seen as loyal to the central government. Some Syrians in Jordan, mostly refugees themselves, are organising fundraisers to help people back home.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘It Was—Then as Now—Clearly a Coup’: NYT Finally Gets Around to Reporting OAS Fraud Election Claims in Bolivia Were Bogus

        “For those paying close attention to the 2019 election, there was never any doubt that the OAS’ claims of fraud were bogus.”

      • Decrying ‘Unacceptable’ Brutality, UK Lawmakers Join Half a Million Britons in Calling to Halt Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets Exports to US

        “We should not be helping Donald Trump repress his own people,” said Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.

      • This is the Most Important Presidential Election Since the Last Presidential Election

        Every four years without fail (and usually a little earlier in each quadrennial cycle),  both “major” American political parties wind up and toss the same slow, fat pitch across the public’s plate:

      • Goodbye, America Russian state TV replaces ‘Brother 2’ film credits with footage of U.S. riots and police violence

        On Sunday evening, June 7, Russian state television aired Alexey Balabanov’s classic films “Brother” and “Brother 2,” marking the 20th anniversary of the latter motion picture. 

      • Due to Trump’s Maskless Visit, Medical Supplier in Maine Forced to Toss Out Badly-Needed Swabs

        “Thanks, President Jackass.”

      • Black Politics and Liberation: A CounterPunch Reading List

        What It Feels Like to be Black in America by Kevin Alexander Gray

      • In the lead up to Russia Day, the Kremlin takes to social media

        With Russia Day coming up on June 12, the Kremlin’s official preparations are well underway. And despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the authorities are hoping for mass participation. In its presentation for the Presidential Administration, the government’s preferred PR agency, IMA-Consulting, revealed that next week we’ll see everything from flash mobs in Russian cities, to patriotic Instagram filters, and Russian-themed “sticker packs” on the messaging app Telegram. Patients fully recovered from the coronavirus will receive tricolor ribbons and buttons that say “We defeated the coronavirus.” The Presidential Administration is even planning to launch its own challenges on TikTok.

      • ‘Whose Fence? Our Fence!’: Trump’s New White House Barrier Transformed Into Black Lives Matter Memorial

        “It’s so beautiful to remember, periodically, that the American people are hungry to express creativity and to march for justice.”

      • ‘BBC’ edits article on Putin’s daughter overseeing genetic research project following clarification from ‘Rosneft’

        The BBC Russian Service has edited its article on Putin’s alleged eldest daughter, pediatric endocrinologist Maria Vorontsova, partnering with Russian energy giant “Rosneft” to create a new genetic research center in Moscow. 

      • ‘RT’ files lawsuit against Alexey Navalny over anti-corruption investigations

        The state-owned television channel RT has filed a lawsuit against opposition politician Alexey Navalny, as well as Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), and the editors of the online publication Znak.com. 

      • 80 Lawmakers Demand Trump Ditch Any Thought of Resuming ‘Dangerously Provocative’ Nuclear Tests

        “When Americans say that they want and need tests, they weren’t talking about the nuclear kind.”

      • ‘Google the Geneva Conventions,’ Kshama Sawant Tells Seattle Mayor After Police Use Tear Gas on Protesters Despite Ban

        “Seattle police are banned from using tear-gas unless Seattle police disagree.”

      • “The Time Is Now”: Tens of Thousands in NYC March for Justice, Peace & an End to Racist Police

        As hundreds of thousands took to the streets nationwide and around the world to call for police accountability and demand Black lives matter in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Democracy Now! spoke to some of the people who joined the historic protests Saturday in New York City.

      • In Response To George Floyd Killing, Minnesota Schools Dump Contracts With Minneapolis PD

        We can disagree (vehemently and at length) about the most effective means of societal change. But we’ve seen a blend of tactics that no one unanimously agrees are helpful or harmful, but are still pushing legislators and other government officials towards meaningful change.

      • Reporting Curfews Through Official Eyes

        For well over a week, uprisings have surged throughout the country in pursuit of justice for George Floyd, a black man who was killed on May 25 by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, as well as other victims of racist US state violence. As a maneuver to suppress these protests, more than 200 municipal US governments, including those of New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, instituted daily curfews.

      • How police departments are using social media to remake their image

        The emergent social media PR campaign on behalf of the nation’s police appears to be a concerted effort to reclaim and redirect the digital narrative about policing, and the character of police officers. As my colleague Sophia Tesfaye wrote, these feel-good images — particularly the pictures of police officers taking a knee with protesters — are a type of “performative solidarity” that is often too quickly highlighted by the corporate media outlets, thus allowing the police to control the media narrative without context or critical thinking. Certainly many media outlets have advanced this propaganda narrative, but it starts with social media platforms — which are now comparable to the major broadcast TV networks of the mid-twentieth century in terms of their consolidated power to shape public opinion.

        Hence, as brands have turned to social media to manage their public image, so have police departments. According to a 2013 social media survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 96 percent of police departments use social media. Specifically, 73 percent of agencies surveyed said using it helped improve police-community relationships. An article in trade publication Police Chief Magazine also suggests that social media can be “a tool to have more positive interactions with the press.”

      • [Old] Twitter and Tear Gas

        Could the ability to organize massive protests quickly on Facebook and Twitter be making those protests vulnerable in the long term? If new technologies are so empowering, why are so many movements failing to curb authoritarianism’s rise? Is a glut of misinformation more effective censorship than directly forbidding speech? Why are so many of today’s movements leaderless?

        Zeynep Tufekci answers these questions and more, speaking from direct experience and combining on-the-ground observations with insightful analysis. She explains the role the [Internet] played in the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the power of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during the Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. She also looks at how governments have responded to the rise of digital tools with their own methods, including misinformation, distraction, and surveillance. Her observations from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of politics, technology, and culture—and offer essential and surprising insights into the public sphere and future of governance in the 21st century.

      • [Old] My book, Twitter and Tear Gas, is out! News and Details!

        Some news: there will be a free creative commons copy of my book. It will be available as a free PDF download in addition to being sold as a bound book. This is with the hopes that anyone who wants to read it can do so without worrying about the cost. However, this also means that I need to ask that a few people who can afford to do so to please consider purchasing a copy. This is not just so that Yale University Press can do this for more authors, but also because if it is not sold (at least a little bit!) in the initial few weeks, bookstores will not stock it and online algorithms will show it to fewer people. No sales will mean less visibility, and less incentive for publishers to allow other authors creative commons copies.

      • US Officially in Recession, Economic Panel Declares

        The organization said the U.S. gross domestic product fell at a 4.8% annual rate in the first three months of the year, and unemployment skyrocketed from 3.5% in February to 14.7% in April, dropping to 13.3% last month.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sheriff Goes All In On Violating The First Amendment After Assaulting A Protester For Carrying A ‘F*CK TRUMP’ Sign

        A whole lot of attention — and thousands of cellphone cameras — are focused on law enforcement officers. Nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis PD officer Derek Chauvin have aimed a lot of unblinking eyes at officers around the country.

      • Trump Campaign Gets Parody Cartoon Taken Down Off Redbubble Over Trademark Claim On MAGA Hats

        If I had to come up with a more 2020 headline than the above, I’m not sure I could. Still, this is also in the Techdirt wheelhouse as far as topics are concerned. For background, I think it’s fair to say that the Trump Campaign, and Donald Trump as well, have both built a reputation for themselves as being particularly litigious when it comes to all things IP, defamation, etc. etc. amen. Whatever your politics, it simply can’t be denied that on First Amendment grounds, our current president and his organizations have an abysmal reputation on matters of free speech, so long as that speech could potentially pierce the notoriously thin skin of Donald Trump.

      • You Have a First Amendment Right to Record the Police

        Like the rest of the world, we are horrified by the videos of George Floyd’s murder. Once again, police brutality was documented by brave bystanders exercising their First Amendment rights. Their videos forcefully tell a painful truth that has further fueled a movement to demand an end to racism and abuse of power by police officers.

        Recordings of police officers, whether by witnesses to an incident with officers, individuals who are themselves interacting with officers, or by members of the press, are an invaluable tool in the fight for police accountability. Often, it’s the video alone that leads to disciplinary action, firing, or prosecution of an officer.

      • U.N. to Staff: No Protests for You [iophk: social control media in place of official communications channels :( ]

        U.N. workers who wished to express support for the protesters would have to limit their activities to reposting U.N. press releases and social media posts by the U.N. chief and other senior U.N. officials, he said. “There is one thing we can all do, which is to retweet, to spread the U.N. messages that have been issued already in relation to [the protests], and this can be done by everybody and multiply and amplify those messages that are messages against racism, that are messages against police brutality, that are message against inequalities and discrimination,” Guterres said.

        But the decision faced pushback among U.N. staffers and independent U.N. human rights advocates, who claimed the restrictions abridged the rights of individuals to free speech and peaceful assembly, which are enshrined in the U.N. Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. “While I understand the need to ensure the impartiality of its international civil service, it is clear that internal UN rules cannot override broad international human rights norms applied in every nation,” Clément Voule, the U.N. special rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, said in a statement.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against the African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad

        Mass mobilizations have a place but developing the organizational forms that will build and sustain the power necessary to bring about radical fundamental change is the primary challenge and historic task.

      • Thousands in New York City March for Justice, Peace and an End to Racist Police

        As hundreds of thousands took to the streets nationwide and around the world to call for police accountability and demand Black lives matter in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Democracy Now! spoke to some of the people who joined the historic protests Saturday in New York City.

      • Seattle Protesters Tear-Gassed Just Hours After City’s 30-Day Ban on Its Use

        In spite of assurances from Seattle leaders last week that there would be a 30-day ban on the use of tear gas, demonstrators were still subjected to the chemical agent in the city on Sunday evening.

      • Families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Philando Castile Join 600+ Groups Urging UN Probe of US Police Violence

        Their joint letter requests an inquiry examining “the recent history of racist policing in cities across the country” and “allegations of excessive use of force against peaceful protesters and journalists.”

      • Ten Days that May Have Changed the World: an Internationalist Perspective

        Sparked by the police murder of George Floyd and fueled by Minneapolis authorities’ reluctance to arrest and charge the murderer’s three police accomplices, mass protests have been sweeping across the U.S. with an intensity not seen since the 1960s. In over 150 cities, African Americans and their allies have flooded the streets, braving the Covid 19pandemic, braving police violence, challenging centuries of racial and class inequalities, demanding liberty and justice for all, day after day defying a corrupt, racist power structure based on violent repression.

      • Rescind, Reform, and Fight: 3 Steps for Racial Justice

        As America witnessed the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, no one could argue that his blackness wasn’t the catalyst that led to his murder. His demise has returned the spotlight on racist policing and the dehumanization of African Americans in the criminal legal system. Floyd’s premature death reads like an installment in an ongoing tragedy, with intervals so short between chapters that one black life taken is followed by another and another in rapid succession. Say their names: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Stephon Clark, Mario Woods, Jessica Williams, Steven Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Amadou Diallo, and on and on and on.

      • John Oliver Says What Needs To Be Said About Why Defunding The Police Is The Right Thing Right Now

        We’ve posted a bunch of times when John Oliver has said pretty much exactly what we’ve been saying here at Techdirt, but he always does it much better, more pointedly, and (much, much) funnier than we do. The latest is no exception. It was all about the systemic racism that has created, enabled and encouraged so much police brutality, especially against black communities. Just watch it:

      • How Exactly Should the US Reinvent Its Police Departments?

        The nation’s Founders offered a couple clues on how to deal with guys with guns.

      • The Fires This Time and Next

        George Floyd is dead, murdered by a policeman while three others stood by and did nothing to protect him.

      • The End of Policing: Alex Vitale on How Cops & Their Unions Cover Up Inequality, Exploitation

        Professor Alex Vitale argues the answer to police violence is not “reform.” It’s defunding. The author of “The End of Policing” says the movement to defund the police is part of “a long story about the use of police and prisons to manage problems of inequality and exploitation.” He asks, “Why are we using police to paper over problems of economic exploitation?” He also discusses the role of police unions. “They become, in many cities, the locus, the institutional hub, for a whole set of right-wing ‘thin blue line’ politics that believe that policing is not only effective but it’s the most desirable way to solve our problems. And embedded in this is a deep racism that says that certain populations can only be managed through constant threats of coercion.”

      • Police Violence in Minneapolis Affirms Why Cops Have No Place in Labor Movement

        The police have no place in the labor movement. They are an anti-labor institution and share no interests with the working class. For over 200 years, they have operated at the behest of white elites to ensure that workers remain divided by race. The fact that police are unionized should not distract us from this fundamental fact.

      • Arresting Justice: Victimizing the Victimizers Won’t End the Policing Crisis

        In the wake of the brutal slayings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, demonstrators nationwide and throughout the world have trained their anger on racialized police brutality and state violence, more broadly. While many have expressed support for decarceration, abolition, and cuts to police budgets, some of these same activists and commentators have petitioned for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible. After Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison filed charges Wednesday against all of the officers implicated in Floyd’s death — and upgraded Derek Chauvin’s murder charge from third-degree to second-degree murder — many protesters rejoiced. In the downtown Minneapolis neighborhood in which Floyd took his last breaths, demonstrators chanted, “We got all four! We got all four!”

      • CASL is Constitutional: Federal Court of Appeal Upholds Constitutionality of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

        The decision continues with assessments of Sections 11, 7, and 8 of the Charter (no violations) and then upholds the specific CRTC analysis in the CompuFinder investigation. It is a long, comprehensive decision that validates the core arguments of CASL’s supporters, namely that the law addresses a real problem, has proven beneficial, and that the best way to address the legal obligations in the law is simply to ask for a clear consent from Canadians to send commercial electronic messages. A second post on the specific analysis related to the application of CASL in this case will follow shortly.

      • If You Watch This And Still ‘Don’t Get It’, Delete Your Social Media Accounts, Move Overseas, Do Not Breed

        This doesn’t really need an introduction, or an explanation. Just shut up and watch it.

      • ‘Kettling’: The Military Technique NSW Police Used To Force A Black Lives Matter Showdown

        After losing a court action to halt a large-scale civil protest that was in large part protesting their entrenched violent behaviour, NSW Police managed to ‘square things up’ at the end of the weekend’s Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney by using a military-style technique which increases the risk of violence, and criminalises the right of ordinary citizens to peacefully protest. Alec Brodie explains.

      • Minneapolis City Council Vows to Dismantle Police Dept. After Mass Protests & Grassroots Organizing

        After nearly two weeks of historic protests, the Minneapolis City Council has announced it will move to dismantle the city’s police department in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. “We’ve got to create a system of public safety that works for everybody,” says Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison.

      • “Stay in the Streets. It’s Working”: Two Weeks Into Racial Justice Protests, New York State Classifies Use of Chokeholds as Felony

        “Let’s keep pushing, marching, organizing, and winning for our communities.”

      • Pushed by National Uprising, Democratic Lawmakers Unveil Legislation to Overhaul Policing

        The new measure includes provisions to ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants and limits transfers of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement.

      • Minneapolis City Council Members Pledge to Abolish the Police Department

        A veto-proof majority of Minneapolis city council members pledged on Sunday to vote in favor of a resolution disbanding the city’s police force and replacing it with a broad system of community responses to the city’s issues.

      • Trump’s New White House Barrier Transformed Into Black Lives Matter Memorial

        As peaceful protests continued to flower and grow in U.S. cities and around the world over the weekend, a newly-erected security fence established around the White House in Washington, D.C. became what one reporter described as a “crowd-sourced memorial wall” — adorned with hand-made signs, posters, and other tributes — that offered a poignant rebuke to the president’s “law and order” response to the demonstrations that erupted following the murder of George Floyd last month.

      • Hospitals Got Bailouts and Furloughed Thousands While Paying C.E.O.s Millions

        HCA is among a long list of deep-pocketed health care companies that have received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds but are laying off or cutting the pay of tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and lower-paid workers. Many have continued to pay their top executives millions, although some executives have taken modest pay cuts.

      • What is Kettling?

        Ostensibly a form of riot control, kettling occurs when police officers block off streets and push people into confined areas, like a city block or a bridge. While protest and riot management traditionally focuses on dispersing crowds, kettling is all about containment. When you’re kettled, you have no access to bathrooms, very little space, and no place to go. Critically, no one gets to leave until the police say so. “Basically, it’s a pressure cooker without a valve,” said civil rights attorney Javad Khazaeli, ArchCity Defenders’ co-counsel on kettling cases.

        In theory, the technique allows police officers to slowly release small groups out the kettle as a way of defusing tension. In practice, however, it’s deeply problematic. “You’re interfering with people’s right and ability to do what the first amendment protects, which is to go out in the street and tell the government what you think,” says Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. “It also punishes the innocent for the misconduct of the few. That is also constitutionally infirm. To seize somebody, under the fourth amendment, you need to have a basis for doing so.” But when kettling happens, large swathes of people are grouped together indiscriminately.

        But kettling is particularly insidious for the way it elevates tension, rather than defusing it. “The tactic of completely surrounding a group of civilians leads to panic and increases the likelihood of a physical confrontation between the citizens and the police,” said ArchCity Defenders attorney Maureen Hanlon. Tensions run high in a kettle—protesters can become agitated, giving police officers grounds to employ more violent tactics and conduct arrests. Such was the case in Brooklyn this Wednesday, when police officers circled a peaceful protest at Cadman Plaza—and then descended with batons. The danger is even greater while battling a pandemic: in addition to garden-variety aggressive policing, kettling is also the opposite of social distancing.

      • This Law Keeps Police Misconduct Secret

        In addition to shielding the records of dangerous officers like Pantaleo, 50-A helps hide the internal administrative trials the NYPD undertakes against officers who have committed wrongdoing. Journalists and members of the general public do not have to be told when trials are held, which officers are under investigation, and the ultimate outcome. It was only through political and public pressure that journalists were able to follow Pantaleo’s department trial at all.

      • Making George Floyd’s Life Matter

        The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on a visual chronicle of untold stories as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and the rest of the world—read more from The Invisible Front Line.—The Editors

      • Racism is bad – a Barcelona centered reflection

        I hope most of people reading this will not find “Racism is bad” to be controversial.

        The problem is even if most (i’d hope to say all) of us think racism is bad, some of us are still consciously or unconsciously racist.

        I am not going to speak about the Black Lives Matters movement, because it’s mostly USA centered (which is kind of far for me) and there’s much better people to listen than me, so go and listen to them.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Delays Law Banning Your ISP From Charging You ‘Rental Fees’ For Hardware You Already Own

        For the last few years, broadband customers have complained that Frontier Communications, the nation’s third-biggest telco, has been charging its customers a $10 per month rental fee for modems they already purchased and own. Normally, you’re supposed to be able to buy your own modem instead of paying your ISP a rental fee upwards of $10 per month. To nab some extra dough from captive customers, Frontier basically decided to charge its customers a rental fee anyway, giving them a polite, though giant, middle finger when they complained.

    • Monopolies

      • Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Almirall, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

        In Amneal Pharmacueticals LLC v. Almirall, LLC, the Federal Circuit professed to address a question it had not considered before: whether attorney’s fees and a exceptional case determination was available for fees and costs incurred when a patent owner defended an inter partes review (IPR) challenge before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The Court decided they were not, based on Court of Claims and Patent Appeals (CCPA) precedent and its plain meaning reading of the statute.

        The case arose over Almirall’s U.S. Patent Nos. 9,161,926 and 9,517,219, which were listed in the Orange Book with regard to Almirall’s ACZONE (dapsone) prescription acne treatment. Prior to filing an ANDA, Amneal petitioned the PTAB for IPR individually against the ’926 and ’219 patents (the latter IPR and patent not being part of this appeal). Thereafter, Amneal filed its ANDA and Almirall filed suit, alleging infringement only of the ’219 patent. Amneal filed a declaratory judgment counterclaim against the ’926 patent (the subject of this appeal) and the parties attempted to settle, which negotiations included Almirall’s offer to give Amneal a covenant-not-to-sue on the ’926 patent. The parties being unable to agree on settlement terms, the IPR was allowed to proceed to Final Written Decision, where the PTAB found Amneal had not established that the challenged ’926 patent claims were unpatentable. Amneal appealed but then moved the Federal Circuit for voluntary dismissal.

      • Patents

        • Patent case: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. v. Iancu, USA

          Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.—which had successfully petitioned for IPR—withdrew from the case after Huawei filed its appeal, but the U.S. government intervened to defend the PTAB’s decision.

          Substantial evidence supported the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s findings that a relevant artisan would have found obvious the claims of a patent directed to enabling a mobile communication device to gain access to a 2G/3G network using a temporary identifier existing in a 4G network, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held. The patent at issue was held by Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. The court affirmed the Board’s final decision that the challenged patent was invalid (Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. v. Iancu, June 4, 2020, Taranto, R.).

        • Case must be “Exceptional” for Attorney fees in Patent or TM case

          This lawsuit centers on Munchkin’s U.S. Patent 8,739,993 covers a “spillproof drinking container” as well as associated trademark and unfair competition claims. Munchkin sued and LNC responded with an inter partes review petition. The PTAB cancelled the claims; the Federal Circuited affirmed without opinion (R.36); and Munchkin then dismissed its patent claims in the district court. By that point, Munchkin had also dropped all of its non-patent claims (dismissed with prejudice).

          [...]

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit has reversed — holding that the moving party (LNC) had failed to meet its burden of presentation since it “presented nothing to justify” an exceptional case finding.

          Here, the trademark and unfair competition claims were voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff without any substantial analysis of the issues by the court. That situation can still lend itself to a fee award. However, the Federal Circuit here ruled that those underlying issues of merit or misbehavior must be “meaningfully considered by the district court.”

        • £220M NHS Suit Over Drug Patent Heads To Supreme Court

          The U.K.’s top court on Monday agreed to hear the National Health Service’s GBP220 million ($280 million) lawsuit against an international pharmaceutical company accused of blocking sales of a generic drug for high blood pressure despite allegedly knowing its branded, patented medication was invalid.

          The U.K. Supreme Court said it would revisit NHS’ claim for damages against French pharma giant Servier Laboratories and its British units over the sale of the drug Coversyl in the U.K.

          Britain’s health service has accused Servier of obtaining a court injunction blocking the sale of a cheaper, generic version of the drug…

        • Conversations with FRANDs: top courts in UK, DE and NL to decide key issues relating to SEP’s

          Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends tells a thoroughly enjoyable tale of friendship, love and envy. As Frances, the novel’s protagonist, comes of age her ties to the other three main characters become more difficult to navigate. Having learned that there are no easy solutions or black and white situations, she ultimately embraces the complexity of life with others.

          Europe’s patent courts may find themselves in a similar predicament, minus the romantic conundrums. After the recent decision by the German constitutional court and the UK government’s announcement on their respective countries’ participation in the UPC [here and here], a harmonized European patent law seems farther away than ever. In its absence, European courts have long tried to informally align through judicial dialogue. But dialogue has its limits, and jurisdictions also vie to increase their attraction to potential litigants, making national differences unavoidable.

          [...]

          In Germany, Sisvel filed suit for infringement of two SEP’s (previously owned by Nokia) against Haier. In first instance, the Düsseldorf regional court issued an injunction against Haier after finding that Haier had not fulfilled its duties under the Huawei-framework [decisions here and here; English summaries, courtesy of 4iP Council, here and here].

          The grant of the injunction was reversed on appeal [decision here; English summary here; Katpost here]. According to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht), Sisvel violated the Huawei-framework by discriminating against Haier: it charged significantly higher royalty fees as compared to licenses with competitors.

          Sisvel appealed to the German Federal Supreme Court, which in turn reversed the decision by the Higher Regional Court on 5 May 2020 [Katpost here]. Although a written decision is not available yet, the Court ruled that Haier had not shown itself to be a willing licensee, effectively affirming the outcome of the first instance court. The German Federal Supreme Court’s decision is expected any moment.

      • Copyrights

        • Anti-Piracy Lawyer Uses Trademark Claim to Expose ‘Showbox’ Sites

          Hawaiian company “42 Ventures” is using piracy-related trademarks to target pirate sites and apps. Represented by an anti-piracy lawyer, it’s now going after several sites that offer or link to the piracy app Showbox, including the popular publishing platform Medium. Through DMCA subpoenas, Cloudflare, Godaddy, and Namecheap are ordered to expose the site operators.

        • Movie Studios Apply For Injunction Against ISP With “Close Links” to The Pirate Bay

          Two movie companies have applied for an information injunction against a Sweden-based Internet company that they believe has “close ties” to The Pirate Bay. An IP address operated by Obenetwork was handed over to the studios by Cloudflare last week as part of an investigation being carried out by anti-piracy group Rights Alliance.

        • The CC License Suite 4.0 and CC0 Are Now Available in Slovenian!

          During this time, Matija Šuklje translated all of the deeds associated with these legal tools. 

        • Don Henley Tells Senators: We Must Change Copyright Law… Because The People Like TikTok?

          As we noted, last Tuesday, in the midst of a pandemic and nationwide protests about police brutality, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee (well, three members of it, at least, one of whom seemed to think that Section 512 of the DMCA was actually Section 230 of the CDA) decided it was a priority to host a hearing on copyright law. Specifically, the hearing was in response to the Copyright Office’s bizarre, ahistorical take on Section 512 of the DMCA that ignores the public as a stakeholder. It seemed particularly bizarre to have as the first speaker on the panel, Don Henley, who is one of the most successful recording artists of all time — his albums are literally the 1st and 3rd best selling albums of all time — with a history of being wrong about the internet.

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    Software development communities are being divided over issues that would likely not tackle actual racism in any meaningful and profound way (just a symbolic way)



  17. Links 12/7/2020: KF6 Progress Report, GNUnet 0.13.1, Nano Becomes Default Terminal Text Editor in Fedora

    Links for the day



  18. They Always Worked for Microsoft (Directly and Indirectly) and Were Financially Rewarded for That

    Nat and Miguel, now put in charge of new weapons against software freedom (e.g. GitHub and NPM), have long worked for Microsoft (Nat was also an intern there); Techrights was right all along about this pair



  19. Red Hat Betrayed the Free Software Community With Its Software Patents' Stockpiling Drive and Then a Sale to the Biggest Software Patents Lobbyist

    In 2020 Red Hat is little but a shadow of IBM, whose patent policy continues to threaten software freedom and whose lobbying for software patents (under the guise of "HEY HI") persists uninterrupted; this growing problem oughtn't be unspeakable



  20. Politically Correct Tech

    This new video entitled “Politically Correct Tech” covers a topic we’ve spoken a great deal about



  21. [Humour/Meme] High on Production, Stoned on Pseudoscience

    All-time high ‘production’ levels at the European Patent Office (EPO) do not mean what they want people to think and what they try hard to hide



  22. Missing From EPO Management: Actual Scientists

    Political figures and opportunists with connections occupy top positions at top European agencies; this assures self-destructive policies that diminish progress and cushion corruption



  23. All Software Should Come With a Cheat Mode

    Cheat modes are useful for developers because they enable debugging, and are sometimes called "Debug mode"



  24. Linus Torvalds Checks If It's Still Inclusive Enough to 'Bash' Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

    In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)



  25. Even Before Microsoft Paid ('Joined') the Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin Had a Preference for Microsofters

    Even years before the Linux Foundation was receiving money from Microsoft it had a tendency to hire Microsoft’s people for key positions (a lot of people no longer remember that, but it’s still in the public record; it was Jim Zemlin who approached if not chased Mr. Ramji to offer him the job and the colleagues saw no problem with that)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 11, 2020



  27. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  28. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  29. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  30. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)


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