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06.19.20

Links 19/6/2020: New Python Software Foundation Board of Directors Election Results and PureBoot Bundle

Posted in News Roundup at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Launches Ryzen-Powered Laptop

        System76 is never one to rest on their reputation or become complacent in an incredibly competitive field. This has never been more apparent with their constant push to bring more and more powerful systems to consumers. Case in point, the new Serval WS laptop. This Linux workhorse includes a powerful AMD Ryzen CPU, along with all the other bells and whistles you’d expect in a flagship laptop.

        [...]

        Consumers can also choose between a GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2070 GPU, for graphics intensive workloads. Other features of the Serval WS include an RGB keyboard, 1080p webcam, and plenty of ports for connectivity. The laptop can be purchased with either a 15″ 1080p or 17″ 4K display. The Serval WS supports up to 4TB of NVMe SSD storage and up to 64GB of memory.

        The base model starts at $1,299.00 and can be configured to a whopping $5,000.00. Like all System76 machines, the Serval WS comes preloaded with their in-house Linux distribution, Pop!_OS.

      • Jackal Pro 2U at the Lab: An Interview with the Institute for Protein Innovation

        Trisha: IPI is focused on innovating in the protein sciences, accelerating research by providing scientists with tools and reagents, and improving human health. It’s a non-profit and not a business or academic institution, so it puts us in a very unique position. Borrowing the best of both, we can take on those projects that no one else can.

        Chris’ team is focused on the cutting edge of academic discovery. It fills in the gap between genes and disease treatments. Most protein engineering is accomplished by clever lab techniques that can speed up what evolution naturally does—but in a test tube. This enables scientists to repurpose natural proteins to do new things. Chris’ group skips the evolution part and designs their proteins using computer software. This is where those System76 machines come into play. By starting with computational design, the team can engineer proteins in ways that would otherwise be impossible, and it is focused on creating disease treatments and diagnostics.

      • Lenovo, Star Labs, and Ubuntu Laptops

        Amid Corona pandemic, June this year comes with two good news for worldwide Free Libre Open Source Software community. Lenovo plans to ship Ubuntu, Fedora, and Red Hat preinstalled laptops with certifications. Star Labs now sells Ubuntu laptops aside from elementary OS, Zorin, and Manjaro as well. Like Star Labs, there is also a new laptop brand now selling GNU/Linux laptops for us all included in this overview. I present here vendors’ news, distros’ news, and several third parties’ news important to help you search further. For you wanting to buy Ubuntu laptops, these news are for you. Now let’s go!

      • Linux at Home: Collaborating in real-time

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

        There has been positive news surrounding coronavirus this week. An anti-inflammatory drug called dexamethasone appears to be a ground-breaking treatment for hospital patients seriously ill with Covid-19. Research indicates for every 100 patients on a ventilator for 28 days, 60 patients are likely to recover, and an additional 12 patients survive if they are also given dexamethasone. It’s a cheap, well established steroid.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Installing FreeBSD Is Quick And Easy

        You guys have been wanting me to do a video on that “other” Unix-like operating system. So I am going to do a quick installation of the recently released FreeBSD 11.4 inside a virtual machine. FreeBSD is not difficult to install. It’s actually so simple to install, even a Boomer could do it!

      • BSPWM: Yes Luke, My Window Manager Also Swallows
      • Living On in VR and YouTube Death Matches

        This is TIC TEK TOE, episode 015. Today, Marcel and Evan visit the afterlife in VR, consider the world’s loudest 21 seconds of silence, consider some Microsoft and Open Source conspiracy theories, wonder at the beauty of chroma key and Zoom backgrounds, mourn over the graves of many failed products, ask the tough questions about when good news becomes bad news, and generally chat about how we never cover the topics we think we’re going to cover.

      • Has Ubuntu Succeeded Where Windows Failed?

        Has Ubuntu Succeeded Where Windows Failed? Let’s go over the Snap Store and how it is dominating the Linux space better than the Microsoft Store does on Windows 10.

      • Brunch with Brent: Philip Muller | Jupiter Extras 74

        Brent sits down with Philip Müller, Co-Founder and Lead Developer of Manjaro, and CEO at Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG. We explore the formation and evolution of Manjaro as a Linux distribution, the development of past and recent hardware partnerships, cross-distribution collaborations, and what’s inspiring Philip in the next 5 years.

      • Python Bytes: #186 The treebeard will guard your notebook
      • GNU World Order 0×2

        Special Juneteenth episode about anarchism, diversity, and what GNU World Order is all about.

    • Kernel Space

      • Seccomp and deep argument inspection

        Seccomp filtering (or “seccomp mode 2″) allows a process to filter which system calls can be made by it or its threads—it can be used to “sandbox” a program such that it cannot make calls that it shouldn’t. Those filters use the “classic” BPF (cBPF) language to specify which system calls and argument values to allow or disallow. The seccomp() system call is used to enable filtering mode or to load a cBPF filtering program. Those programs only have access to the values of the arguments passed to the system call; if those arguments are pointers, they cannot be dereferenced by seccomp, which means that accepting or rejecting the system call cannot depend on, for example, values in structures that are passed to system calls via pointers—or even string values.

        The reason that seccomp cannot dereference the pointers is to avoid the time-of-check-to-time-of-use (TOCTTOU) race condition, where user space can change the value of what is being pointed to between the time that the kernel checks it and the time that the value gets used. But certain system calls, especially newer ones like clone3() and openat2(), have some important arguments passed in structures via pointers. These new system calls are designed with an eye toward easily adding new arguments and flags by redefining the structure that gets passed; in his email, Cook called these “extensible argument” (or EA) system calls.

        It does not make sense for seccomp to provide a mechanism to inspect the pointer arguments of every system call, he said: “[...] the grudging consensus was reached that having seccomp do this for ALL syscalls was likely going to be extremely disruptive for very little gain”. But for the EA system calls (or perhaps only a subset of those), seccomp could copy the structure pointed to and make it available to the BPF program via its struct seccomp_data. That would mean that seccomp would need to change to perform that copy, which would require a copy_from_user() call, and affected system calls would need to be seccomp-aware so that they can use the cached copy if seccomp creates one.

      • 5.8 Merge window, part 1

        Just over 7,500 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository since the opening of the 5.8 merge window — not a small amount of work for just four days. The early pulls are dominated by the networking and graphics trees, but there is a lot of other material in there as well. Read on for a summary of what entered the kernel in the first part of this development cycle.

      • A crop of new capabilities

        The first of the new capabilities is CAP_PERFMON, which was covered in detail here last February. With this capability, a user can perform performance monitoring, attach BPF programs to tracepoints, and other related actions. In current kernels, the catch-all CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability is required for this sort of performance monitoring; going forward, users can be given more restricted access. Of course, a process with CAP_SYS_ADMIN will still be able to do performance monitoring as well; it would be nice to remove that power from CAP_SYS_ADMIN, but doing so would likely break existing systems.

        The other new capability, CAP_BPF, controls many of the actions that can be carried out with the bpf() system call. This capability has been the subject of a number of long and intense conversations over the last year; see this thread or this one for examples. The original idea was to provide a special device called /dev/bpf that would control access to BPF functionality, but that proposal did not get far. What was being provided was, in essence, a new capability, so capabilities seemed like a better solution.

        The current CAP_BPF controls a number of BPF-specific operations, including the creation of BPF maps, use of a number of advanced BPF program features (bounded loops, cross-program function calls, etc.), access to BPF type format (BTF) data, and more. While the original plan was to not retain backward compatibility for processes holding CAP_SYS_ADMIN in an attempt to avoid what Alexei Starovoitov described as the “deprecated mess”, the code that was actually merged does still recognize CAP_SYS_ADMIN.

        One interesting aspect of CAP_BPF is that, on its own, it does not confer the power to do much that is useful. Crucially, it is still not possible to load most types of BPF programs with just CAP_BPF; to do that, a process must hold other capabilities relevant to the subsystem of interest. For example, programs for tracepoints, kprobes, or perf events can only be loaded if the process also holds CAP_PERFMON. Most program types related to networking (packet classifiers, XDP programs, etc.) require CAP_NET_ADMIN. If a user wants to load a program for a networking function that calls bpf_trace_printk(), then both CAP_NET_ADMIN and CAP_PERFMON are required. It is thus the combination of CAP_BPF with other capabilities that grants the ability to use BPF in specific ways.

      • DMA-BUF cache handling: Off the DMA API map (part 1)

        Recently, the DMA-BUF heaps interface was added to the 5.6 kernel. This interface is similar to ION, which has been used for years by Android vendors. However, in trying to move vendors to use DMA-BUF heaps, we have begun to see how the DMA API model doesn’t fit well for modern mobile devices. Additionally, the lack of clear guidance in how to handle cache operations efficiently, results in vendors using custom device-specific optimizations that aren’t generic enough for an upstream solution. This article will describe the nature of the problem; the upcoming second installment will look at the path toward a solution.

        The kernel’s DMA APIs are all provided for the sharing of memory between the CPU and devices. The traditional DMA API has, in recent years, been joined by additional interfaces such as ION, DMA-BUF, and DMA-BUF heaps. But, as we will see, the problem of efficiently supporting memory sharing is not yet fully solved.

        As an interface, ION was poorly specified, allowing applications to pass custom, opaque flags and arguments to vendor-specific, out-of-tree heap implementations. Additionally, since the users of these interfaces only ran on the vendors’ devices with their custom kernel implementations, little attention was paid to trying to create useful generic interfaces. So multiple vendors might use the same heap ID for different purposes, or they might implement the same heap functionality but using different heap IDs and flag options. Even worse, many vendors drastically changed the ION interface and implementation itself, so that there was little in common between vendor ION implementations other than their name and basic functionality. ION essentially became a playground for out-of-tree and device-specific vendor hacks.

      • It’s Looking Like FSGSBASE Support Might Finally Land In Linux 5.9

        It’s looking like the Linux kernel support for the FSGSBASE instruction that has been present since Intel “Ivy Bridge” CPUs might finally see mainlining with Linux 5.9.

        FSGSBASE is the instruction that can help with the performance of some workloads. FSGSBASE can help a variety of workloads including context switch heavy workloads and software like Java. In our past testing of the FSGSBASE patches we found it helped performance by ~3%.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • Krita 4.3 Released with Watercolor Effect Brush Presets

        Free open-source painting software Krita 4.3 was released as the new major released a days ago.

        Krita 4.3 brings over 1000 bug-fixes and many new features that include:

        New set of brush presets that evoke watercolor painting.
        Color mode in the gradient map filter
        New palettize filter and high pass filter
        Allow to adjust the opacity and lightness on colored brush tips separately.
        The GIMP image hose format (gih) supports multiple dimensions
        Snapshot docker allows to save certain stats of progress.
        Brand new magnetic selection tool.
        Gradients can now be painting as spirals.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Everspace 2 Prototype | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Everspace 2 Prototype running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • Cyberpulse is a twin-stick thrower where you smash viruses into firewalls

        Cyberpulse looks like an absolutely brilliant twist on the bright and fierce arcade action genres. Instead of a twin-stick shooter, it’s a twin-stick…thrower? Yes.

        Instead of firing your own lasers at enemies, it has a more inventive approach. You fly around and use physics-based mechanics to slam viruses, and your friends, into firewalls.

      • Tau Cubis is a shiny upcoming sci-fi Tower Defense game

        Love your Tower Defense? You might want to keep an eye on Tau Cubis which will be releasing later this year.

        With rather shiny graphics in a sci-fi / space environment, solo developer Cube Mandarine it’s confirmed to be coming to Linux and they mentioned it will support both OpenGL and Vulkan on Linux.

      • Monstrous puzzle-programming with ‘Monster Logic’ launches July 6

        Launching with Linux support on July 6, Monster Logic takes the programming puzzle genre is a weird direction.

        Instead of just placing down programming in logic blocks like other similar games, you’re rearranging monstrous creatures on a board to change the interactions that happen. It’s thoroughly odd but wonderful to see a new spin on it. At release it will feature 42 levels with support for English, French, German, Chinese and Japanese translations and Linux support is confirmed and already there.

      • Retro Commander is an upcoming classic RTS that looks promising

        Noble Master Games, developer of Age of Conquest IV and Demise of Nations will be releasing a new classic RTS with Retro Commander.

        Sounds like quite a fully-featured RTS, in the spirit of the classics. With a single-player campaign, AI battles, cross-platform online multiplayer, LAN support, a big mix of unit types across land, sea and air and it even has a day and night cycle with weather too. Overall, as a huge RTS fan I have to admit my excitement over it.

      • CONSCRIPT is an upcoming top-down WW1 survival horror

        Taking the setting of World War 1 blended with a top-down pixel-art survival horror, CONSCRIPT has my attention.

        CONSCRIPT will blend all the punishing mechanics of older horror games taking inspiration from the likes of Resident Evil and Silent Hill and mixing it all into a “cohesive, tense, and unique experience”. In CONSCRIPT, you play as a French soldier searching for his missing-in-action brother during the Battle of Verdun. As you battle through twisted trenches, navigate overrun forts, and cross no-mans-land to find him things get a little dark.

      • The Last Faith looks like a very slick metroidvania and it’s now funded

        With a crowdfunding campaign that’s over and finished, Kumi Souls Games have successfully funded their metroidvania The Last Faith and it looks awesome. First covered here in GOL last month, it was an early hit with getting to 100% of the goal quite early on it the campaign. Looking back, it took a mere two days to get there which is pretty amazing.

        “An ancient religion ruling for centuries left the world to its fate. The once majestic capital and full of a glorious past, is now decadent and haunted by a fatal disease. Eric will have to subvert the words of the hidden prophecy and discover the truth behind the now corrupted and ravaged world.”

      • Tallowmere 2 could be my next favourite dungeon-crawling action platformer

        After playing a bunch of Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens by solo dev Chris McFarland during the Steam Game Festival, I’m annoyingly hooked on the absurdness of it.

        When covering the announcement recently, I was captured by how amusing the trailer made it seem while hoping it wasn’t just good editing. As it turns out, it’s crazy-satisfying to blast through a few rooms in the demo. I’ve played masses of action platformers, plenty of roguelikes and all sorts in between and thankfully Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens (despite the name you could end up overlooking it on), leans nicely into the goofy side.

      • Crayta launches exclusively for Stadia on July 1, free with Stadia Pro

        Crayta is a big and colourful game creation and sharing multiplayer platform, it does genuinely look great and it’s now confirmed to be releasing on July 1.

        It’s going to be the first game to have Stadia State Share (Beta), letting you give a link to anyone and have them instantly join your session. A very useful sounding feature, especially for what’s as much a game creation kit as Crayta is for actually playing games.

      • Outer Wilds | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Outer Wilds running through Steam Play on Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Google Summer of Code 2020 – Week 2

          Last week, I did not manage to work as much as I should, because I was not feeling very well. Now that I am feeling better, I am trying to work more to compensate. This is the post that should have been written last week.

          This week, I implemented the first version of the graph-layout-plugin for Rocs. For now, it supports only a force based graph layout algorithm, which is an adaption of the Fruchtermani-Reingold algorithm. The graph-layout-plugin can be found at Graph Document – Tools – Graph Layout. The user interface is the following.

          [...]

          How big should a square for a given graph be? Sincerely, I do not now. I came up with an heuristic, though. My heuristic finds a square big enough for one to be able to place a certain number of circles at positions chosen at random with uniform probability, with high probability of not having intersections between circles. Currently, I am using one circle for each vertex and for each edge. If random algorithm can succeed at placing this many circles without getting intersection, there should be enough space in the square so the graph layout algorithm can move nodes around easily.

        • Enrico Zini: Missing Qt5 designer library in cross-build development

          While testing the cross-compiler, we noticed that the designer library was not being built.

          The designer library is needed to build designer plugins, which allow loading, dynamically at runtime, .ui interface files that use custom widgets.

          The error the customer got at runtime is: QFormBuilder was unable to create a custom widget of the class ‘…’; defaulting to base class ‘QWidget’.

          The library with the custom widget implementation was correctly linked, and indeed the same custom widget was used by the application in other parts of its interface not loaded via .ui files.

          It turns out that it is not sufficient, and to load custom widgets automatically, QUiLoader wants to read their metadata from plugin libraries containing objects that implement the QDesignerCustomWidgetInterface interface.

          Sadly, building such a library requires using QT += designer, and the designer library, that was not being built by Qt5′s build system. This looks very much like a Qt5 bug.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed on an HP Zbook 15 G2 with Nvidia Quadro K2100M

          Outside of the Nvidia issue, which I may have eventually worked out if I had the time or the inclination, openSUSE Tumbleweed with the Plasma desktop was a nice experience. At least, far nicer than the Windows 7 experience and now that I am thinking of it. The graphics drivers on Windows were wonkey too. I often had to reboot the machine to clear things up. So, it is possible there may be something not quite right with the hardware. It is also possible the keyboard may have been abused before I obtained it so that might account for the poor keyboard performance too.

          If I had more time, I would have probably tried a few more distros on it. Leap being one and Pop_!OS being the other. Just to see if the Nvidia issue was a hardware thing. Would I ever buy this machine for myself? Nope. Lots of little things I don’t like about it, really. I would call it an “almost” machine. Everything about it is almost great but just happens to fall short in a lot of areas.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Investing In Modularity And Will Support It Where It Makes Sense For RHEL 9

          Red Hat continues to invest in the modularity concept for packaging and will be embracing it “where it most makes sense” for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.

          Red Hat’s Josh Boyer writing with his hat on as one of the lead RHEL architects commented on RHEL9 and Modularity planning. Modularity is the long evolving effort as an alternative to traditional RPM packaging that is principally focused on allowing multiple versions of a given software component to be distributed for multiple versions of Fedora. Or moving forward, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          Fedora Modularity has been getting better, but it still has some criticism and open issues from both users and the developers/packagers. Red Hat though is continuing to invest in it and recently shifted the Modularity effort off to a new development team.

        • How to virtually lead engaging technical presentations

          Were you scheduled to lead a technical meet up at your company recently? I was supposed to lead a session last week around configuring Kafka for Reactive systems and had to rethink how I could successfully engage the audience with such a technical topic without being in the same room. Thankfully, it went very well, but it also has some unexpected moments. I put together a list of five things that I recommend you consider when preparing for your next virtual presentation so that you can keep your audience engaged and present yourself in the best manner possible.

          [...]

          You probably saw the video of the BBC reporter, whose children interrupted his broadcast from home. Most people understand the occasional interruption from children, but take the time to pause and usher them along so that you can continue the presentation. Allowing them to stay in the room causes more distraction when you are trying to communicate an important point.

          Another example about why your background matters, is singer Charlie Puth’s performance for the One World: Together at Home live-stream concert. He sat in front of an unmade bed with piles of laundry. It was distracting and appeared unprofessional to the audience. Fans on Twitter accused him of laziness and having a lack of respect for the occasion.

        • Fedora Update Weeks 10–24

          Other than that, there have been few major issues with packaging, with anything notable being rather minor. Some JavaScript packages were retired, so I’ve had to re-bundle them into some packages. While I dislike it, that seems to be a necessary evil with many JavaScript things these days. With python-xarray, a weird bug caused it to be unusable, but it was an easy fix. In Rawhide, a few other packages needed tweaks due to dependency changes, but these changes are pretty normal.

          The only notable major thing has been updating fedora-obsolete-packages. In Fedora 30 and 31, python2-matplotlib was updated to the latest version, 2.2.5, but the obsoletion was for an older version, which prevented upgrades to Fedora 32. Also, I’ve held out on Fedora 30 for various reasons, and found several conflicts on upgrades due to retired python2-* packages. So I went through to find all of those, and added Obsoletes for all of them in the Fedora 31 and 32 versions of fedora-obsolete-packages.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Making the MAAS machine list fast with React

          We have been transitioning the web interface for MAAS from AngularJS to React. One of the reasons for this is to make the interface faster.

          The main page with performance issues is the list of machines. This list needs to be fast at displaying a few hundred machines at a bare minimum.

          So what happens when you rebuild the page and discover it isn’t as fast as you need it to be?

          This was our predicament. We knew React had a bunch of tools for increasing performance, some of which we had used sporadically.

          Our first action could have been to throw all these tools at the page and see if that felt any better.

          Instead, we decided to see if we could measure the page’s performance to figure out why it was slow.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Home Assistant, the Python IoT Hub

        The Internet of Things (IoT) push continues to expand as tens of thousands of different internet-enabled devices from light bulbs to dishwashers reach consumers’ homes. Home Assistant is an open-source project to make the most of all of those devices, potentially with no data being shared with third parties.

        Generally speaking, IoT devices are most useful when operating in coordination with each other. While decentralized systems are possible, keeping all of these devices coordinated in the effort to make a “smart house” generally uses a centralized server (or “smart hub”) — a reality not lost on Apple, Amazon, and Google among others, who all provide various solutions to the problem.

        For the privacy and security minded however, those solutions are problematic because they send private data to centralized servers for processing simply to turn on your lights. That these solutions are also closed-source black boxes does not help matters. Home Assistant is an Apache-licensed project to address this problem, started by Paulus Schoutsen, to provide a private centralized hub for automation and communication between a home’s various IoT devices. Schoutsen is also founder of Nabu Casa, Inc., which provides commercial backing for the project. The platform is popular and active, approaching its 600th release from nearly 2,000 contributors to its core on GitHub. Integrations between various IoT platforms and Home Assistant are provided by its 1,600 available components written by the various contributors.

      • How to sell open source software

        In 2010-2011, Mike Jumper started the Guacamole project, a multi-protocol gateway that allowed admins to securely serve up desktops remotely. The client interface ran in the browser, so it was a lightweight, easy-to-use replacement for some older remote access solutions. The project immediately started to grow, resulting in a number of incoming requests for support and help.

        This led Mike to start a consulting and support business, Glyptodon, the success of which allowed him to quit his day job and work on Guacamole full-time by 2013. Along the way, they contributed Guacamole to the Apache Software Foundation, where it officially became the Apache Guacamole project. After a few years, Mike and his business partners, James Muehlner and Frank La, began to think about ways to scale the business. By the beginning of 2017, they realized that their services and support model would be difficult to scale out and decided to transition to a subscription licensing model. The result of this was Glyptodon Enterprise, a packaged, supported version of Apache Guacamole. Within two years, they had successfully transitioned 90% of their customer base to the new model and were increasing the number of customers and subscriptions. Here’s how they’re evolving into a sellable open source option.

      • Use your artistic skills to help open source

        Are you a designer looking to share your talents? Open Source Design may just be the place for you. It is “a community of designers and developers pushing more open design processes and improving the user experience and interface design of open source software.”

        Open Source Design has many goals, including opening up the design process and involving designers in processes by keeping communication open with developers.

        One of the best ways to achieve these goals is through the website’s Jobs section, where developers and organizations post open jobs, and designers can review the requirements and submit design proposals.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Announcing Rust 1.44.1

            The Rust team has published a new point release of Rust, 1.44.1. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Compiler Compiler: A Twitch series about working on a JavaScript engine

            Last week, I finished a three-part pilot for a new stream called Compiler Compiler, which looks at how the JavaScript Specification, ECMA-262, is implemented in SpiderMonkey.

            JavaScript …is a programming language. Some people love it, others don’t. JavaScript might be a bit messy, but it’s easy to get started with. It’s the programming language that taught me how to program and introduced me to the wider world of programming languages. So, it has a special place in my heart. As I taught myself, I realized that other people were probably facing a lot of the same struggles as I was. And really that is what Compiler Compiler is about.

            The first bug of the stream was a test failure around increment/decrement. If you want to catch up on the series so far, the pilot episodes have been posted and you can watch those in the playlist here:

            Future episodes will be scheduled here with descriptions, in case there is a specific topic you are interested in. Look for blog posts here to wrap up each bug as we go.

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: Social Support program updates [Ed: Mozilla is once again outsourcing to proprietary software, Conversocial]

            We have very exciting news from the Social Support Program. In the past, we invited a few trusted contributors to Buffer Reply in order to let them reply to Twitter conversations from the official account. However, since Buffer sunset their Reply service per the 1st of June, now we officially moved to Conversocial to replace Buffer Reply.

            Conversocial is one of a few tools that stood out from the search process that began at the beginning of the year because it focuses on support rather than social media management. We like the pricing model as well since it doesn’t restrict us from adding more contributors because it’s volume-based instead of seat-based.

          • First Steps Toward Lasting Change

            In this moment of rapid change, we recognize that the relics of racism exist. The actions we have seen most recently are not isolated actions. Racial injustice affects all aspects of life in our society, our collective progress has been insufficient, Mozilla’s progress has been insufficient. As we said earlier this month, we have work to do.

            [...]

            How Mozilla shows up in the world and engages to uplift and increase Black voices in the broader efforts to build a better internet, beyond just our own teams, is equally important. We have supported organizations working at the intersection of tech and racial justice such as the ACLU, Color of Change and Astraea Foundation. We’ve already committed to further work at the intersection of technology and racial justice in 2020 because it helps us build a bigger and stronger movement for a healthy internet.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • New Presenter Screen/Presenter Console User Interface

          Long time no updates, here I would show you a little improvement over the UI of Impress Presenter Screen/ Presenter Console. The UI itself has no major change since first inception in 2008/2009 so I try to make it more modern.

          The extra white border pixel in the box has been removed as well as the blurred shadow. The background also a little bit darker now and of course the icons in the bottom toolbar now looked sharped and harmonized.

        • Documentation updates: Czech Guide for LibreOffice Math

          Math is LibreOffice’s formula editor, and can be invoked in your text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings, enabling you to insert perfectly formatted mathematical and scientific formulas. Your formulas can include a wide range of elements, from fractions, terms with exponents and indices, integrals, and mathematical functions, to inequalities, systems of equations, and matrices.

          We have an English guidebook for Math in LibreOffice 6.4, and now our Czech community has completed a translation, thanks to Zdenek Crhonek, Petr Kubej, Eliska Rolfova and Roman Toman.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Breaking: Peer Review Is Broken!

            The higher the perceived quality of the journal, the greater the incentives for hype and fraud. The evidence that pre-publication peer review rarely detects fraud is overwhelming. But post-publication peer review, as in these cases, is better:

            “The retracted paper in The Lancet should have raised immediate concerns, [Dr. Peter Jüni] added. It purported to rely on detailed medical records from 96,000 patients with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, at nearly 700 hospitals on six continents. It was an enormous international registry, yet scientists had not heard of it.”

      • Programming/Development

        • 5 benefits of pair programming you should know about

          There are proven benefits of pair programming you and your team can take advantage of. I have been pair programming here and there for some years now. I have pair programmed with engineers senior to me as well as software engineers junior to me. Every time while pair programming I have learned something new from the other person regardless of my colleague’s programming experience. I believe you and your team can also reap these rewards of pair programming, let’s get started.

        • A comprehensive guide on how to become a DevOps engineer

          Type “what is DevOps” into Google and a staggering amount of results show. Considering DevOps is a relatively new term and job function in IT, there still seems to be some confusion among non-technical professionals as to what the role involves. This blog post gives a history of DevOps, provides a short comparison to System Admin, and finishes off with a glossary of DevOps terms.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Cannot change password

            Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to change my (hacked) password for blogs.perl.org?
            Unfortunately, the password change form complains that it couldn’t verify my current password, which doesn’t come as a surprise as there is no field on the form to enter it.

        • Python

          • Working with Celery and Django Database Transactions

            In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to prevent a Celery task dependent on a Django database transaction from executing before the database commits the transaction. This is a fairly common issue.

          • Generating cooking recipes using TensorFlow and LSTM Recurrent Neural Network: A step-by-step guide

            I’ve trained a character-level LSTM (Long short-term memory) RNN (Recurrent Neural Network) on ~100k recipes dataset using TensorFlow, and it suggested me to cook “Cream Soda with Onions”, “Puff Pastry Strawberry Soup”, “Zucchini flavor Tea” and “Salmon Mousse of Beef and Stilton Salad with Jalapenos” .

          • Hackathon App – Building SaaS #61

            In this episode, we took a break from the regular app to work on an app for a local hackathon that I’m participating in. My team is building a mobile web app for the homeless around Frederick, MD. In this stream, we cranked through some modeling, admin building, a couple of pages, tests, and templates! We got a lot done!

            The virtual hackathon running in Frederick is split into multiple teams serving three different community groups around Frederick county. My team is working on an mobile responsive web app for SHIP, the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership. After explaining the basics of what the app should do, we got started.

          • 2020 Python Software Foundation Board of Directors Election Results

            The 2020 Python Software Foundation Board of Directors election has concluded.
            Of 1,151 eligible voting members, 462 ballots were cast. This surpasses the necessary 1/3 quorum.
            The four top votegetters via approval voting are:
            Nina Zakharenko
            Dustin Ingram
            Jeff Triplett
            Thomas Wouters

        • Java

          • Java’s 25th birthday prompts a look at which tech products have survived since 1995

            Foundational programming language Java is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, further cementing 1995 as an auspicious year for the tech world. The internet and dozens of corresponding technological advances were emerging that year as unparalleled sources of culture and financial wealth, paving the way for much of what exists today.

            Rich Sharples, senior director of product management at Red Hat, put Java and its birth-year brethren in context, explaining how the programming language and others have been able to stand the test of time.

            “They’re all dependent on adoption and ecosystem. These are all technologies where it matters that you have that cumulative advantage. These are not niche technologies and that’s why they’re all survivors,” Sharples said. “They were pioneers in categories that survived. It all comes down to, very early on, whether you are first or second, getting the early advantage, building the ecosystem of developer or content creators around it and maintaining that.”

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The safety of GMail’s POP server TLS certificate verification (or lack of it)

        None of this could make GMail’s lack of full checking completely safe. But it at least could make it a lot safer than an isolated program or service trying to do the same thing. Google’s in a position to have a lot of information that let it ‘authenticate’ (in some sense) your server, which is part of the reasons for verifying the server name.

      • What’s wrong with email?

        To put this into perspective, the carbon output of hitting “send” on 65 mails is on par with driving an average-sized car a kilometre.

        10 emails with big attachments are like burning 240g of coal.

        The global carbon footprint from spam annually is equivalent to the greenhouse gases pumped out by 3.1 million passenger cars using 7.6 billion litres (two billion gallons) of gasoline in a year.

        So please stop adding images or HTML in your emails. Period !

  • Leftovers

    • It’s Been a Long Time Coming
    • Recruiting Needs to Burn

      I conducted an informal survey about the state of recruiting last week and right before I hit publish on this post, 560 engineers had completed it (70% completion rate!!!). I can’t get most engineers to keep their calendars up to date, but I can get 560 folks to complete a survey?! I was shook.

      The number of people willing to give their time to complete the survey tells me almost as much as the data did. WE ARE ALL SCREAMING FOR A CHANGE.

      Almost no one is having a positive experience being recruited. And if they are, it’s because a recruiter was simply forthright, helpful and didn’t low-ball them on salary (pretty low bar).

    • [Old] Netiquette Guidelines

      We define one-to-one communications as those in which a person is communicating with another person as if face-to-face: a dialog. In general, rules of common courtesy for interaction with people should be in force for any situation and on the Internet it’s doubly important where, for example, body language and tone of voice must be inferred. For more information on Netiquette for communicating via electronic mail and talk, check references [1,23,25,27] in the Selected Bibliography.

    • Taiwanese female users of Ashley Madison surge by 600% after adultery ruling

      On May 29, Taiwan’s grand justices ruled that Article 239 of the Criminal Code violates the constitution and should be ended immediately, effectively decriminalizing adultery. In less than three weeks, new registrations on Ashley Madison, an online dating site marketed at people married or in a relationship, skyrocketed by 600 percent among women and 70 percent overall in Taiwan.

      Ashley Madison chief strategist Paul Keable told Taiwan News that the previous law deeming adultery as a crime was “viewed as a tool to oppress desire, mainly against women, who, historically, have been told to refrain from being overtly sexual.” Now that adultery has been decriminalized, he said that the company “was not surprised to see strong interest from women,” as women have outnumbered men on the website for the past three years.

    • Facebook removes Trump ad over ‘Nazi hate symbol’

      Antifa is a far left protest movement that opposes neo-Nazis, fascism, white supremacists and racism. It is considered to be a loosely organised group of activists with no leaders.

    • Science

      • Today’s Science Deniers: What We Owe Galileo After 400 years

        On June 22, 1633, a sick and beaten old man, on his knees, had to “abjure, curse and detest” his view that “the earth moves and is not the centre of the world.” It was “one of the most deplorable acts of the Inquisition”, relevant to our times, according to astrophysicist Maria Livio in a new book, Galileo and the Science Deniers. [1] He’s right, but not because of “fake news” and “alternative facts”. Galileo’s relevance hits much closer to home.

    • Hardware

      • Time to upgrade your monitor

        To sum up, this is the best setup for programmers:

        Text can’t be made look good on low-resolution displays.

        High-PPI displays are now a commodity, it’s time to switch.

        Notebooks are ok, but a standalone monitor is always better.

        4k monitor only makes sense with 2× / 200% scaling.

        If you want to go further, there are now affordable 4k @ 120 Hz options.

      • Russell Coker: Storage Trends

        The cheapest hard drive that MSY sells is $68 for 500G of storage. The cheapest SSD is $49 for 120G and the second cheapest is $59 for 240G. SSD is cheaper at the low end and significantly faster. If someone needed about 500G of storage there’s a 480G SSD for $97 which costs $29 more than a hard drive. With a modern PC if you have no hard drives you will notice that it’s quieter. For anyone who’s buying a new PC spending an extra $29 is definitely worthwhile for the performance, low power use, and silence.

        The cheapest 1TB disk is $69 and the cheapest 1TB SSD is $159. Saving $90 on the cost of a new PC probably isn’t worth while.

        For 2TB of storage the cheapest options are Samsung NVMe for $339, Crucial SSD for $335, or a hard drive for $95. Some people would choose to save $244 by getting a hard drive instead of NVMe, but if you are getting a whole system then allocating $244 to NVMe instead of a faster CPU would probably give more benefits overall.

        Computer stores typically have small margins and computer parts tend to quickly either become cheaper or be obsoleted by better parts. So stores don’t want to stock parts unless they will sell quickly. Disks smaller than 2TB probably aren’t going to be profitable for stores for very long. The trend of SSD and NVMe becoming cheaper is going to make 2TB disks non-viable in the near future.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Profiteering Off Publicly Funded COVID Treatments

        I’m all for heavily compensating whoever comes up with an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, but our existing setup seems designed to encourage scamming and grifting. For years, we’ve talked about the evil that is the Bayh-Dole Act, which encouraged universities to patent every damn thing (most of which was funded from federal government grants) and then sell off those patents to industry. While it’s made a bunch of people rich, it’s been such a disaster in so many other ways. First it’s done massive harm to university research (rather than the opposite as its backers promised). It significantly decreased information sharing and collaboration (keys to innovation breakthroughs) because universities kept demanding ideas be kept secret so they could patent them and lock up the output of any (again, mostly taxpayer funded) research.

      • ‘Unimaginable Double Emergency’: Record High of Nearly 80 Million People Forcibly Displaced Worldwide Amid Pandemic

        “These numbers should serve as a wake-up call to the international community on the human cost of war, and the social and economic implications exacerbated by Covid-19.”

      • Trump Hammers Cuba While Cuba Cures the Sick

        A team of 85 Cuban doctors and nurses arrived in Peru on June 3 to help the Andean nation tackle the coronavirus pandemic. That same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced another tightening of the sanctions screws. This time he targeted seven Cuban entities, including Fincimex, one of the principal financial institutions handling remittances to the country. Also targeted was Marriott International, which was ordered to cease operations in Cuba, and other companies in the tourism sector, an industry that constitutes 10 percent of Cuba’s GDP and has been devastated globally by the pandemic.

      • Russia’s healthcare workers are dying of COVID-19 much more often than the general population
      • Trump Claimed Coronavirus Will “Fade Away” on a Day That Saw 26,000 New Cases

        In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump tried to portray the current state of the coronavirus crisis in the United States in a positive light, implying that the disease would soon be disappearing on its own, without scientific evidence backing his claim.

      • The Covid-19 Vaccine Should Belong to the People

        Within weeks, President Donald Trump is expected to announce a short list of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates. As part of its Operation Warp Speed program, the Trump administration has given Big Pharma billions of dollars to expedite vaccine development, but provided little assurance that corporations will not profiteer. This raises a crucial question: If we get a safe and effective vaccine, will everyone be able to afford it?

      • Russia’s health watchdog walks back statement on medical workers’ deaths from COVID-19

        On June 18, Alla Samoylova, the head of Russia’s public health watchdog, Roszdravnadzor, said that 489 medical workers in Russia had died of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

      • Coronavirus claims life of ex-governor who filed lawsuit against Vladimir Putin

        Mikhail Ignatiev, the former governor of Chuvashia, has died from COVID-19, officials confirm. He was reportedly hospitalized in early May in St. Petersburg with double pneumonia and placed on life support.

      • Corrupt Propositions: AstraZeneca, Public Institutions and the Coronavirus Vaccine Drive

        Putting your destiny into the hands of a drug company is much like seeking reassurances from an opportunistic pimp. The returns are bound to mixed, dressed up in deceptive language. The promises, however, are always remarkable. The back-breaking pace in finding a vaccine for COVID-19 is something that is bringing out the pimps of industry, notably those in Big Pharma.

      • The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles

        Since May, the Trump administration has paid a fledgling Texas company $7.3 million for test tubes needed in tracking the spread of the coronavirus nationwide. But, instead of the standard vials, Fillakit LLC has supplied plastic tubes made for bottling soda, which state health officials say are unusable.

        The state officials say that these “preforms,” which are designed to be expanded with heat and pressure into 2-liter soda bottles, don’t fit the racks used in laboratory analysis of test samples. Even if the bottles were the right size, experts say, the company’s process likely contaminated the tubes and could yield false test results. Fillakit employees, some not wearing masks, gathered the miniature soda bottles with snow shovels and dumped them into plastic bins before squirting saline into them, all in the open air, according to former employees and ProPublica’s observation of the company’s operations.

      • When Police and Public Health Collide in the Age of Covid-19

        At the beginning of August last year, the Boston Police Department rolled out Operation Clean Sweep, several nights of terror for the city’s drug-using homeless community dwelling on the streets where Boston’s South End and Roxbury neighborhoods meet, near the Boston Medical Center and many of the city’s largest substance use and homeless service providers. Operation Clean Sweep lingered for weeks, with increased police presence and constant harassment of people in the area who use drugs or were suspected of doing so. In one incident last summer, according to his health care provider, a patient who’d been admitted to the hospital was arrested by police when he stepped outside for a cigarette, and though he was released from custody later that day, had his care interrupted thanks to the caprices of the Boston Police Department.

      • Nearly 9 in 10 Americans Fear Big Pharma Will Exploit Pandemic to Raise Drug Prices: Poll

        Large majorities of those surveyed also said they are concerned about both insurance premiums and the general cost of healthcare rising.

      • Out of the Ashes of Covid-19 Should Rise Our Unstoppable Medicare for All Movement

        The battle against this pandemic—and all the associated injustices and inequalities it has exposed—should galvanize a nation to finally embrace the kind of healthcare system it deserves.

      • More People in the U.S. Have Died From COVID-19 Than Were Killed During WWI

        According to Johns Hopkins University, over 117,000 people have died from COVID-19, with over two million cases confirmed. In comparison, 116,516 Americans were killed during WWI.

      • ‘Ripple’ effect: Flaws found in protocols impact everything from printers to infusion pumps

        Applying those patches, however, will be easier for some vendors than others. Some of the code is deeply embedded in systems, and some devices can’t be easily updated without interrupting the processes they support.

      • Coronavirus: Social media ‘spreading virus conspiracy theories’

        Sixty percent of those who believe there is a link between 5G and Covid-19 get a fair amount or great deal of their information on the virus from YouTube. Only 14% of those who reject the theory are regular YouTube users.

      • How ‘Ebola business’ threatens aid operations in Congo

        Questionable practices in the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including payments to security forces, renting vehicles at inflated prices, and job kickback schemes, may have jeopardised humanitarian operations and put lives at risk.

        A months-long investigation by The New Humanitarian into the so-called “Ebola business” found such practices, which are also reported in a recent draft operational review commissioned by a group of UN agencies and NGOs looking at corruption and fraud across the wider aid sector in the country.

        Together, the reporting TNH began in mid-2019 and the work carried out by the review’s authors from January into April 2020 show how an “Ebola business” evolved around the aid effort in Congo, raising concern for future emergencies, including a new Ebola outbreak in a northwestern region.

        The stream of hundreds of millions of dollars in Ebola response funds into a country that Transparency International ranks as among the world’s most corrupt has created fertile ground for conflicts of interest and competition to profit.

      • How can the government improve access to COVID-19 preventatives and treatments for low-income Americans?

        In the United States, one of the most important factors in receiving COVID-19 testing or treatment is access to insurance. But insurance—like other health innovations—is grossly and unevenly distributed. In particular, because of the way income and employment are distributed in the U.S.—and the country’s long-standing connection between income, employment, and insurance—Black Americans and other people of color remain vastly uninsured or underinsured, problems likely to be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, we look at how insurance policy—itself, a form of health innovation policy—has a racially disparate effect in the pandemic, with a particular focus on Medicaid.

        [...]

        The most straightforward action that government could take in response to these coverage gaps would be to follow the lead of some states, and require COVID-19 treatments to be covered by insurers without patient contributions. COVID-19-related testing should also be covered, whether or not an actual COVID-19 test is performed, if a patient presents with COVID-19 symptoms. The reasoning is simple: it’s bad policy to have symptomatic patients with scant insurance avoid getting testing in the fear that their provider will test them for other ailments. This should be easier as more tests become more available—a different innovation policy lever. The goal of these policies is not only to decrease the financial burdens of care and the resulting inequitable hardship for Black Americans and other vulnerable communities—even though that would be a significant and important salutary effect. Such policies should also reduce the financial fears of the underinsured more broadly, making it easier for all Americans to get tested and treated—a key policy goal for tamping down the pandemic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • CEO of Open Technology Fund Resigns After Closed-Source Lobbying Effort

          The head of the Open Technology Fund (OTF) Corporation, which funds internet freedom projects and technologies, resigned Wednesday because she said she became aware of a lobbying effort that would push the group’s funds toward closed-source tools rather than the open-source ones it has traditionally championed.

          In a resignation email sent to an OTF mailing list, Libby Liu, the inaugural OTF CEO, mentioned that the Trump administration had recently sworn in Michael Peck as the new head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which is the OTF’s grantor. She said that she learned of lobbying efforts to push money to closed-source tools.

        • How I Accidentally Hijacked Someone’s WhatsApp

          Earlier this month, I bought a pay-as-go SIM card because I needed a fresh number for a particular article I was working on. I then downloaded WhatsApp and registered with my new number.

          When I logged into WhatsApp for the first time, something was wrong. I was immediately in multiple group chats with other people and numbers I did not know. I checked my ‘status’ in the app, and my profile picture was of a blonde woman. This, I quickly realized, wasn’t really my WhatsApp account, but someone else’s.

        • Apple’s App Store fees are ‘highway robbery,’ says House antitrust committee chair

          Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) joined The Vergecast along with Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson to discuss the plight of Hey, Basecamp’s new $99-a-year premium email service. Earlier this week, Heinemeier Hansson revealed that Apple had rejected the Hey iPhone app from the App Store because it didn’t offer any way to sign up and pay in the app itself — which would require giving Apple a 30 percent cut of the fee.

          “Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market,” said Rep. Cicilline. “It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.”

        • Apple doubles down on controversial decision to reject email app Hey

          “The HEY Email app is marketed as an email app on the App Store, but when users download your app, it does not work,” the letter reads. Apple cites three App Store policies — Guideline 3.1.1 and Guidelines 3.1.3 (a) and 3.1.3 (b) — that outline the company’s requirements for in-app purchases for most apps, with exceptions only carved out for a subset of “Reader Apps,” like Netflix and other streaming services.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • ELISA Project Momentum Continues

                As ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) nears its year and a half anniversary, the project continues to hit key milestones showing its value for delivering foundational support for safety-critical applications. ELISA, formed in February 2019 and a hosted project of the Linux Foundation, aims to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications and systems whose failure could result in loss of human life, significant property damage, or environmental damage.

                As Linux continues to be a key component in safety applications, autonomous vehicles, medical devices, and even rockets, ELISA will make it easier for companies to build and expand these safety-critical systems. As a show of support for this business-critical initiative, several new members have joined the ELISA project. New members include Premier Member Intel/Mobileye, General Members ADIT, Elektrobit, Mentor, SiFive, Suzuki, Wind River and Associate Members Automotive Grade Linux and Technical University of Applied Sciences Regensburg.

              • Cloud Native Computing Foundation Welcomes SPD Bank as Gold Member

                As an active participant of the CNCF Financial Services User Group, SPD Bank is dedicated to working with the cloud native ecosystem to address the security, regulatory and compliance-related questions that financial institutions face when using cloud native platforms. Since 2017, it has introduced microservices and cloud native technologies, including Docker and Kubernetes, into its infrastructure. The bank’s container management platform now runs over 3,000 containers and nearly 60 applications, including mission-critical applications for mobile banking and online payments.

        • Security

          • AMD SMM Callout Privilege Escalation Bug Disclosed For APUs

            The SMM Callout Privilege Escalation impacts mobile/embedded AMD APUs that could lead to arbitrary code execution undetected by the operating system. Affected hardware was launched between 2016 and 2019. AMD is shipping updated AGESA to motherboard vendors for mitigating the issue. Updated AGESA should be out for most systems before the end of the month.

          • PureBoot Bundle

            Secure boot was one answer to preventing and detecting tampering on your computer. This specification has plagued Linux users for years and is only now supported in some distros of GNU/Linux. At Purism, we took a different approach while still securing the boot process. PureBoot is the result of building on top of free software tools with the goal of a good security story that respects your rights.

            PureBoot uses common cryptography tools that allow users to self-sign their own OS, instead of having to pay a 3rd party to create those keys, a user can generate them on their own computer and back them up as the user sees fit.

          • Why Bountysource? Why?

            When Bountysource decided to change its Terms of Service yesterday (note: the ToS change has been withdrawn since) this was a bit of a wake-up call for us. Let me briefly summarize: All uncollected bounties would after a fixed amount of time would have been withdrawn and the money retained by Bountysource. I can only presume that the business model of the platform is seriously struggling if such a drastic measure is imposed on the community when at the same time the fee of withdrawing/collecting bounties is at a not exactly unconsiderable 10%.

            This all comes also after a so-called “inactivity fee” was introduced in 2018, which already felt strange and made me wonder what Bountysource does with all the money it holds for its users to justify such a fee. (Just putting the money in a regular bank account while holding on to it would earn you a little interest, as opposed to costing you – inflation ignored).

            In any case, even if my reasoning above is not sound, we took the decision to disable bug bounties for Xfce starting now. This is the only reasonable step because GitLab is not supported, so we don’t have any way of updating our issues or confirming that they were closed (GitHub is the only supported platform these days).

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7), Fedora (dbus, kernel, microcode_ctl, mingw-glib-networking, moby-engine, and roundcubemail), Mageia (libjpeg), openSUSE (chromium and rmt-server), Oracle (kernel and microcode_ctl), Red Hat (rh-nodejs8-nodejs and thunderbird), Slackware (bind), and SUSE (adns, containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork, dbus-1, fwupd, gegl, gnuplot, guile, java-1_7_1-ibm, java-1_8_0-ibm, kernel, mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss, perl, and php7).

          • Malicious Chrome Extensions Downloaded Over 33 Million Times

            Google has removed scores of malicious and fake Chrome extensions being used in a global eavesdropping campaign.

            The threat was spotted by Awake Security, which detected 111 of the malicious extensions over the past three months. When it notified Google of the issue last month, it claimed that 79 were present in the Chrome Web Store, where they had been downloaded nearly 33 million times.

            Figures for the others not in the official marketplace are hard to calculate for obvious reasons.

            “These extensions can take screenshots, read the clipboard, harvest credential tokens stored in cookies or parameters, grab user keystrokes (like passwords), etc,” it said in a report detailing the investigation.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy Concerns Lead To Deletion Of All Data Collected By Norway’s Contact Tracing App

              In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak — a few months ago, in other words — there was a flurry of activity around contact tracing apps. Desperate to be seen to be doing something — anything — governments around the world rushed to announced their own digital solutions to tracing people who have been in the proximity of infected individuals. There are now over 40 in various stages of development. After the initial excitement, it’s striking how quiet things have gone on the contact tracing front, as projects struggle to turn politicians’ promises into useful programs. Some of the apps are beginning to emerge now, and we’re likely to hear more about them over the next few weeks and months. For example, there’s been an interesting development in Norway, one of the first to release its smartphone app, Smittestopp (“infection stop”), back in April. As the Guardian reports:

            • Germany’s Corona-Warn-App: Frequently Asked Questions

              This blog post is co-authored with Least Authority, a Berlin-based tech company committed to advancing digital security and preserving privacy as a fundamental human right.

              This week, Germany’s COVID tracing app finally went live. As governments around the world have been rushing to adopt contact tracing apps in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, their efforts have been accompanied by important debates regarding the safety, efficacy, and necessity of the technology. Germany’s approach to contact tracing apps has been a long and winding road, with many delays and shifts in course.

            • California Privacy Advocates Sue Vallejo Over Cell-Site Simulator

              Special thanks to legal intern Gillian Vernick, who was lead author of this post.

              The Vallejo Police Department was warned: by rushing to purchase a cell-site simulator without first crafting a use policy, the agency side-stepped its legal duty to transparency. Now, Oakland Privacy has filed a first-of-its-kind suit to ensure the public has a say in how this controversial surveillance technology is deployed in their communities. 

            • Staying Private While Using Google Docs for Legal & Mutual Aid Work

              Regardless of your opinion about Google, their suite of collaborative document editing tools provides a powerful resource in this tumultuous time. Across the country, grassroots groups organizing mutual aid relief work in response to COVID-19 and legal aid as part of the recent wave of protests have relied on Google Docs to coordinate efforts and get help to those that need it. Alternatives to the collaborative tools either do not scale well, are not as usable or intuitive, or just plain aren’t available. Using Google Sheets to coordinate who needs help and how can provide much-needed relief to those hit hardest. But it’s easy to use these tools in a way Google didn’t envision, and trigger account security lockouts in the process.

              The need for privacy when doing sensitive work is often paramount, so it’s understandable that organizers often won’t want to use their personal Google accounts. But administering aid documents from a single centralized account and sharing the password amongst peers is not recommended. If one person accessing the account connects from an IP address Google has marked as suspicious, it may lock that account for some time (this can happen for a variety of reasons—a neighbor piggybacking off of your WiFi and using it to hack a website, for example). The bottom line is: the more IPs that connect to a single account, the more likely the account will be flagged as suspicious.

            • Research shows human rights activists in India were targeted with spyware

              The targets were sent spearphishing emails with malicious links and files that, if clicked, would infect the victims’ computers with spyware capable of tracking their communications. Three of the activists were also alleged to have been targeted by Pegasus, a notorious spyware program developed by Israeli surveillance software firm NSO Group last year.

              Human rights defenders in India have been victimized by spyware in the past. But the research shows that surveillance software has been leveraged multiple times against activists linked to the Bhima Koregaon activists. One of the activists who was imprisoned following the protests, Anand Teltumbde, alleged last year that someone used NSO’s software in an attempt to hack his devices.

            • The Impending Doom of Expiring Root CAs and Legacy Clients

              Regular readers will know that I’m very active in the CA / PKI space and even deliver a 2-day advanced training course on the topic. Over the last year or so I’ve been watching as a potentially big problem has been rolling in over the horizon and just the other day I saw the first signs of the storm hitting the shore.

            • Google Chrome Users Targeted in ‘Massive Global Surveillance Campaign’

              The Alphabet-owned search giant told Reuters more than 70 suspicious add-ons were purged from its browser after the issue was raised by Awake Security, a Santa Clara, California-based outfit that uses artificial intelligence to hunt for threats.

              Researchers at Awake Security found there had been at least 32,962,951 downloads of “malicious or fake” extensions, more than 100 add-ons total, as of May 2020.

              The team alleged unknown attackers’ infrastructure was relying on web domains from a single registrar in Israel: CommuniGal Communication Ltd., or GalComm.

              Awake Security wrote in a blog: “In the past three months alone, we have harvested 111 malicious or fake Chrome extensions using GalComm domains for attacker command and control infrastructure and/or as loader pages for the extensions.

              “These extensions can take screenshots, read the clipboard, harvest credential tokens stored in cookies or parameters, grab user keystrokes (like passwords).”

            • A Tattoo and an Etsy Shirt Led Cops to Arrest Woman Accused of Burning Cop Cars

              On Wednesday, prosecutors announced that they charged a woman for allegedly burning down two Philadelphia police cars on May 30, accusing her of arson. FBI agents were able to identify her thanks to an investigation that largely relied on data freely available online, based on an aerial video taken the day of the protests, an Instagram picture, photos taken by an amateur photographer, and—crucially—a forearm tattoo and an Etsy t-shirt.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Moscow’s Victory Day rehearsal in a snapshot
      • Armed Extremist Groups Aren’t Lone Wolves — They Were Galvanized by the GOP

        Protesters are being menaced and shot by heavily-armed right-wing militias over the removal of racist statues across the country. Where does this eruption of violence stem from?

      • Leaked documents reveal right-wing oligarch plot to overthrow Mexico’s AMLO

        Mexico’s oligarchs and establishment political parties have united in a secret alliance to try to remove left-wing President López Obrador from power, with help from the media, Washington, and Wall Street. Leaked documents lay out their devious strategy.

      • ‘Peaceful Protests Are An Agent Of Change’, And Other Ridiculous Things The World’s Maestro Of War And Sanctions Says

        Violence is never the answer… except when it is. Julian Cola delves into the world of US politics at home and abroad, and the breathtaking contradictions its leaders refuse to see.

      • Germany charges Russian citizen over murder of former Chechen commander

        Germany’s Attorney General’s Office has charged a Russian citizen with the 2019 murder of former Chechen field commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin, reports the department’s website.

      • Murder Charge for Atlanta Cop Who Shot & Killed Rayshard Brooks Shows the “Power of a Movement”

        Prosecutors have charged the Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks with felony murder, and accuse Garrett Rolfe of twice shooting Brooks in the back and then kicking him as he lay dying. A second officer, Devin Brosnan, faces four charges, including assault. We talk to Rashad Robinson of Color of Change about the charges in Atlanta and growing calls to defund the police. “For the last 20 years in this country, violent crime has basically steadily went down,” Robinson says. “At the same time, police budgets have continued to rise, continued to expand. We’ve militarized police.”

      • Crippling new sanctions punish Syrian civilians for US defeat in proxy war
      • Why are China and India fighting over an inhospitable strip of the Himalayas?

        In his book on the region, British historian Neville Maxwell describes it as a “no-man’s land, where nothing grows and no one lives.” And yet, India and China went to war over it in 1962, leaving thousands dead on both sides, and between that month-long conflict and Monday’s skirmish, the region saw numerous fist fights and minor clashes between border guards and outraged statements from Beijing or New Delhi accusing the other of seeking to overstep the de facto border.

        So why is the area so important to both sides?

      • Chinese Bring In Bulldozers, Disturb Flow Of Galwan River: Satellite Pics

        Indian soldiers were assaulted with iron rods, nail-studded clubs and rocks wrapped in barbed wire in the fight near Patrol Point 14, a vantage point in Indian territory that overlooks Chinese positions on their side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or the de-facto border between India and China. There were a significant number of casualties on the Chinese side. Though Beijing has given no official figure, army sources say at least 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.

        The images acquired by NDTV clearly show Chinese bulldozers in operation on their side of the LAC. The flow of the river perceptibly changes at the spot where the bulldozers are seen – from flowing blue waters to a small, muddy stream which becomes imperceptible when it crosses over to the Indian side of the LAC a short distance away.

      • Indonesia Convicts Anti-Racism Papuan Activists for Treason

        An Indonesian court sentenced Wednesday, seven Papuan activists, to up to 11 months in prison after declaring them guilty of treason for their involvement in anti-racism rallies in West Papua last summer.

        Known as the “Balikpapan Seven,” the men were convicted over protests that were sparked by a viral video in which Papuan students were called “monkeys” and subjected to other racist taunts.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Coronavirus: Social media ‘spreading virus conspiracy theories’

        The research also found that people who have left home with possible Covid-19 symptoms were more than twice or three times as likely than those who haven’t to get information about the virus from Facebook or YouTube.

        People that admitted having had family or friends visit them at home were also much more likely to get their information about coronavirus from social media than those who have stuck by the rules.

        The researchers conclude that there is a strong link between belief in conspiracy theories about the virus and risky behaviour during restrictions imposed to prevent its spread.

      • Twitter, Facebook see new tactics in foreign disinformation efforts

        Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) warned the officials testifying Thursday, which also included a top Google executive, to be prepared for elections this year.

      • The Death of Cop Propaganda

        Propaganda, when successful, will induce a lived experience out of step with surrounding events. If you are led to believe the NYPD is largely a force for good, that its actions spring from the best of intentions, that its enforcement tactics are humane and rational, then you will not see a police vehicle accelerating into a crowd as unhinged and dangerous. You will see, as de Blasio professed to, cops protecting themselves from violent protesters (never mind that those protesters were on foot, unarmed, and defenseless).

        We have been inundated by cop propaganda from birth in the form of entertainment—cop-centric shows that are now the subject of criticism and calls for reconsideration—and news media that gives undue deference to law enforcement. But now, perhaps the most insidious form of cop propaganda is found in the very medium being used to document injustices. Videos of cops kneeling with protesters—performative gestures that have been followed by violent outbursts—are shared as heartwarming affirmations of a police department’s desire for such ill-defined virtues as unity and peace. De Blasio shared one such video himself to heap praise on Police Chief Terence Monohan, who knelt one day with protesters near Washington Square Park. Monahan also oversaw and subsequently defended the violent clampdown on protesters in the Bronx.

    • Environment

      • Dams, Deaths Squads and the Murder of Berta Cáceres

        “They build dams and kill people.” These words, spoken by a witness when the murderers of environmental defender Berta Cáceres were brought to trial in Honduras, describe Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA), the company whose dam project Berta opposed. DESA was created in May 2009 solely to build the Agua Zarca hydroelectric scheme, using the waters of the Gualcarque River, regarded as sacred by the Lenca communities who live on its banks. As Nina Lakhani makes clear in her book Who Killed Berta Cáceres?,[1] DESA was one of many companies to benefit from the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras, when the left-leaning President Manuel Zelaya was deposed and replaced by a sequence of corrupt administrations. The president of DESA and its head of security were both US-trained former Honduran military officers, schooled in counterinsurgency. By 2010, despite having no track record of building dams, DESA had already obtained the permits it needed to produce and sell electricity, and by 2011, with no local consultation, it had received its environmental licence.

      • Deadly Heat Is Killing Americans

        Yearly heat-related deaths have more than doubled in Arizona in the last decade to 283. Across the country, heat caused at least 10,000 deaths between 1999 and 2016—more than hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods in most years.

        Scientists link the warming planet to a rise in dangerous heat in the United States, as well as the spread of infectious diseases and other health conditions. Federal research predicts heat stroke and similar illnesses will claim tens of thousands of American lives each year by the end of the century. Already, higher temperatures pose lethal risks: The top five warmest years nationwide have all occurred since 2006. In the last six decades, the number of annual heat waves in 50 US cities has, on average, tripled. In contrast to a viral pandemic, this is a quiet, insidious threat with no endpoint.

      • Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most

        Pregnant women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn, and African-American mothers and babies are harmed at a much higher rate than the population at large, according to sweeping new research examining more than 32 million births in the United States.

      • Coal-burning in Siberia led to climate change 250 million years ago

        A team of researchers led by Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration Professor Lindy Elkins-Tanton has provided the first ever direct evidence that extensive coal burning in Siberia is a cause of the Permo-Triassic Extinction, the Earth’s most severe extinction event. The results of their study have been recently published in the journal Geology.

      • Pollution Rises As China Ends COVID-19 Shutdown
      • IEA Chief Warns: Just Six Months Left for Green Recovery to Change Course on Climate

        “This year is the last time we have.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Wednesday Night Massacre’: Trump’s New Right-Wing Propaganda Chief Initiates Purge of US-Funded Media Outlets

        “The Breitbart crowd may be getting a taxpayer-funded global platform.”

      • ‘This is a new Belarus’ Viktor Babariko is Lukashenko’s main opponent in the Belarusian presidential elections. Now he’s been put under arrest.

        Belarus is set to hold presidential elections on August 9. For the first time in the 26 years that Alexander Lukashenko has been president, there’s a twist: hundreds of thousands of people are backing candidacy for independent politicians and attending rallies to show their support. At the same time, those supporting Lukashenko’s rivals have faced threats and police raids. 

      • California “Berning” for Ro Khanna to Chair the State’s Delegation to Democratic National Convention

        With so much at stake this election year—fairness, logic, and party unity all argue for progressive U.S. congressman to chair the delegation.

      • Who Really Was Roy Cohn?

        “This is my grandfather Julius Rosenberg, and this is Julius and Ethel Rosenberg together,” says a blonde child in pigtails, pointing to family pictures in a home movie from the 1970s at the beginning of the new documentary Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn. “My father and my uncle were around 10 and 6 when [their parents] were electrocuted.” The young girl is Ivy Meeropol, the film’s director; its subject, Roy Cohn, was a prosecuting attorney in the Rosenberg trial.

      • Jair Bolsonaro Isn’t Just a Hazard to Brazil’s Health

        Buenos Aires. The president of Argentina looked and sounded exhausted. After first declaring a nationwide lockdown toward the middle of March, Alberto Fernández announced in a May 23 press conference that he would be extending the quarantine until June 7. In the days prior, confirmed cases of Covid-19 had spiked from approximately 150 to 700 daily, with the poorest villas of Buenos Aires hit the hardest. So when a reporter asked him if he had considered how much distress his stay-at-home order was causing, independent of its politics, his answer was brusque.

      • COVID-19, Police Violence Or Hillary’s Emails: Guess Which One Trump’s Republicans Just Launched An Inquiry Into

        A week is a long time in politics, but the next few months – while the world awaits the outcome of the US presidential elections – are going to feel like an eternity. Dr Stephen Scher explains.

      • Fighting the ‘satanic regime’ After falling out with the Russian Orthodox Church over COVID-19, a dissident priest seizes a convent in the Urals

        An ongoing conflict between one of the most prominent priests in central Russia and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church turned into an open confrontation on June 16. Schema-Hegumen Sergii not only denies the existence of COVID-19, but has also spent the entire quarantine period urging believers to visit churches and refuse vaccinations, which he claims is a front for implanting deadly microchips. The Russian Orthodox Church has announced a clerical trial against Father Sergii, while the police say his speeches could constitute “extremism.” In response, the rebellious cleric has taken over the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery outside of Yekaterinburg, overthrowing the Mother Superior and calling on Cossack guards for help.

      • Trump Defends Cop Who Shot Rayshard Brooks in the Back

        President Donald Trump late Wednesday came to the defense of the now-former Atlanta officer who shot and killed 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot last week, blaming the victim for not fully cooperating and declaring that “police have not been treated fairly in our country.”

      • ‘Police Have Not Been Treated Fairly,’ Says Trump in Defense of Cop Who Shot Rayshard Brooks in the Back

        The president’s comments came hours after the now-former Atlanta officer was charged with felony murder.

      • Joe Scarborough, shouting on air, lambasts Mark Zuckerberg for making billions by ‘promoting extremism’

        Joe Scarborough has had enough of Mark Zuckerberg.

        In a nearly seven-minute monologue on his show Wednesday, at times shouting, the MSNBC “Morning Joe” host said that the Facebook CEO is a danger to democracy.

        Social media, including Facebook (FB), has long been a home for conspiracy theories and hate groups. Recently, particularly incendiary speech promoted by President Donald Trump and others has sparked a nationwide outcry about the role of social media in our society.

        But the killing of federal officer David Patrick Underwood last month, who was shot by a member of the anti-government extremist “Boogaloo” group, sent Scarborough over the edge.

      • Facebook removes Trump ads for using Nazi imagery

        The extreme language is an extension of Trump’s weeks-long campaign against antifa, which has coincided with a spate of bizarre hoaxes claiming that violent agitators were bussing into rural areas to wreak havoc. While nationwide protests have incurred significant property damage, there has been little evidence of coordinated antifa involvement, although a number of far-right extremists have been arrested for killings or planned attacks during the same period.

      • Delaware Quietly Fielded An Online Voting System, But Now Is Backing Away

        The system, which was offered by the Seattle-based voting technology company Democracy Live, allows voters to mark their ballots through a web portal and then upload them to a cloud accessed by election administrators, who print them out and count them.

        It’s a voting method that the federal government recently warned states was considered a “high-risk” endeavor.

        Earlier this month, security researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan also released an analysis of the Democracy Live system that said it “represents a severe risk to election security” and found it to be “vulnerable to vote manipulation.”

        “There isn’t any way for voters, Democracy Live or even election officials to confirm for sure that the vote [a] voter tries to cast is the same as what’s received and counted by election officials,” said University of Michigan researcher J. Alex Halderman, one of the authors, in an interview Tuesday.

      • Anguished by America’s Decline, More Foreign-Policy Wonks Run for Office
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Navalny versus the veteran: A defamation case pits Russia’s opposition against ‘RT’ and the pro-Kremlin new media

        Federal investigators have opened another criminal case against opposition politician Alexey Navalny, charging him with defaming a World War II veteran who appeared with several public figures in a video promoting Russia’s upcoming plebiscite on constitutional amendments. After the advertisement was published by the state-run media outlet Russia Today, Navalny called its participants “corrupt hacks,” though he did not single out the veteran, who was later named as the victim in the defamation case. Prominent members of Russia’s state media also say Navalny is guilty of “rehabilitating Nazism.” Meduza journalists Anna Vilisova and Ilya Shevelev explain what’s going on.

      • Anti-SLAPP Law Turns Bogus Defamation Lawsuit Into A $26,500 Legal Bill For The Plaintiff

        Tennessee’s new anti-SLAPP law has resulted in another bogus defamation lawsuit being dumped by a plaintiff before it could do any more damage… to the plaintiff. The great thing about anti-SLAPP laws is they shift the financial burden to the person bringing the lawsuit. If the lawsuit is completely without merit — like many of those filed in Tennessee before the new law — the plaintiff pays the defendant’s legal bills.

      • Two Different Proposals to Amend Section 230 Share A Similar Goal: Damage Online Users’ Speech

        Whether we know it or not, all Internet users rely on multiple online services to connect, engage, and express themselves online. That means we also rely on 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”), which provides important legal protections when platforms offer their services to the public and when they moderate the content that relies on those services, from the proverbial cat video to an incendiary blog post.

        Section 230 is an essential legal pillar for online speech. And when powerful people don’t like that speech, or the platforms that host it, the provision becomes a scapegoat for just about every tech-related problem. Over the past few years, those attacks have accelerated; on Wednesday, we saw two of the most dangerous proposals yet, one from the Department of Justice, and the other from Sen. Josh Hawley

      • Victory! French High Court Rules That Most of Hate Speech Bill Would Undermine Free Expression

        Paris, France—In a victory for the free speech rights of French citizens, France’s highest court today struck down core provisions of a bill meant to curb hate speech, holding they would unconstitutionally sweep up legal speech.The decision comes as some governments across the globe, in seeking to stop hateful, violent, and extremist speech online, are considering overbroad measures that would silence legitimate speech. The French Supreme Court said the bill’s requirements—that online posts, comments, photos, and other content deemed hateful by potential plaintiffs must be taken down within 24 hours of being reported—would encourage social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, in their haste to avoid hefty fines, to remove perfectly legal speech. The provisions “infringe on freedom of speech, and are not necessary, appropriate and proportionate,” the court said.It also rejected a provision that required speech related to terrorism and child pornography be removed within an hour of being flagged. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Nadine Strossen, the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita at New York Law School, and the French American Bar Association (FABA) urged the court in a brief submitted earlier this month to reject the bill.“We applaud the court for recognizing that citizens’ rights of free speech and expression are paramount in a democratic society, and the bill’s draconian deadlines for removal were so inflexible and extreme that those rights would be violated under France’s constitution,” said EFF International Policy Director Christoph Schmon. “Any government effort to censor objectionable content must be balanced with people’s rights to air their views on politics, the government, and the news. This bill failed to strike that balance. Its requirements would deputize platforms to police speech at the behest of the government, which is unacceptable in a free society.”In its filing with the court, EFF and its partners argued that the bill, known as the Avia Bill, would undermine European Union (EU) directives prioritizing users’ free speech rights when dealing with Internet activities. Instead of taking steps to foster innovation and encourage competition so that social media platforms would improve their speech removal practices or lose customers, lawmakers in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere are pushing legislation that makes online platforms the new speech police.“Although the law’s anti-hatred goal is laudable, human rights activists around the world agree that the more effective strategy is to counter hateful ideas through education, and ensuring that everyone has meaningful access to online resources,” said Nadine Strossen, the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita at New York Law School.“The Avia Bill would have forced social media platforms to single-handedly make an immediate determination as to the legal nature of the content,” said Thomas Vandenabeele and Pierre Ciric, president and vice president, respectively, at FABA. “We are pleased that the French Supreme Court adopted the position expressed in our joint June 1 amicus brief, whereby those take down timing requirements will cause over-censorship of perfectly legal speech, and are therefore unconstitutional.””As the European Union is gearing up for a major reform of key Internet regulation, the court’s decision is also a strong call that lawmakers should better focus on how to put users back in control of their online experience,” said Schmon.For the decision:  https://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/decision/2020/2020801DC.htm

      • Russia gives up and unblocks Telegram

        Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, announced on Thursday that it is lifting restrictions on access to the messaging platform Telegram. In a statement shared online, the agency says an agreement was reached with federal prosecutors to unblock the platform.

      • France charges teens for death threats over anti-Islam remarks

        The case of 16-year-old Mila – who made her remarks about Islam on an Instagram post that went viral – revived debate in France about freedom of speech, and highlighted deep societal divisions on the topic.

        Mila’s family was placed under police protection amid the fallout, and she had to change schools.

      • It Didn’t Start with The Federalist

        Why was there no reaction? Because years ago, the establishment right accepted the “Islamophobia” narrative. Leftist organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) told the world that to oppose jihad violence and Sharia oppression was ipso facto “Islamophobic” and hateful. Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) relentlessly insisted that all opposition to jihad was “bigotry,” while the establishment media passed on these claims uncritically, never informing the public about CAIR’s unsavory ties. Meanwhile, Dinesh D’Souza told conservatives that unnamed “conservative Muslims” were their natural allies and partners, ignoring the fact that Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the like are “conservative Muslims.” George W. Bush told them that Islam was a religion of peace.

      • Clothing store ordered to remove pro-democracy Lady Liberty statue as customers queue to visit

        On Tuesday evening, a Chickeeduck branch at D Park in Tsuen Wan installed a 2-metre tall statue affiliated with the city’s year-long pro-democracy protests. The fixture portrays a female demonstrator wearing familiar protest gear, including a helmet, respirator and goggles. She has an umbrella in one hand, while raising a flag that reads “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” on the other.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Police Culture in the United States

        The call to defund the police ignores a fundamental structuring principle at work in the collective mindset of policing, and that is the culture of policing in the United States.

      • Why and How to Defund the Police

        The vague and easily misinterpreted call to Defund the Police has been spreading quickly across the USA. Some may have a knee-jerk reaction to “just say no” to this call, but polls show a vast majority of Americans are concerned about improving the lives of people of color across the country. Reforms such as teaching police to de-escalate conflicts and enforcement of body camera use have support of about 90% of Americans. So, what could solutions to the current situation look like, how could they be paid for, and should relative costs realistically be coming out of police budgets?

      • Rio de Janeiro: Police Violence and Solidarity

        On May 31, hundreds of people in Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil, joined protesters around the world in marching against police brutality. While the protest was in solidarity with the wave of Black Lives Matter protests in the US following the killing of George Floyd, Brazilian protesters were marching against their own police brutality problem as well. The state of Rio de Janeiro has one of the highest rates of police violence on Earth, with an average of five killings of civilians each day during the first four months of this year. What is happening in Rio illustrates how a combination of anti-Black racism, militarized law enforcement, and a lack of social services leads to tragic levels of state violence.

      • ‘Now Is Not the Time for More Studies’: Sanders Rips Weak GOP Bill and Demands End to Police Immunity

        “Now is the time to hold racist and corrupt police officers and police departments accountable for their actions.”

      • Amid Calls for a General Strike, Labor Will Shut Down 29 Ports on Juneteenth

        It was Tuesday, May 26, the same day the video of George Floyd’s murder by four Minneapolis policemen surfaced. James Curbeam was walking to his car outside a Lowe’s store not far from where he lives in Nashville, Tennessee, when a white woman approached him demanding to know, “Why are you following me?” Curbeam, who is chairman of the Teamsters National Black Caucus, told Truthout his immediate sinking thought was: How can I defend myself to the police when they come?

      • 911 Services That Dispatch Mental Health Counselors, Not Cops, Gain Traction

        Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Capt. Jason Castleberry grabbed his shoulder radio, responding to a dispatcher from his office at Austin EMS’s Station 5, “Chip 100, chip 1, are you calling me?” “Yes, we’ve got a confirmed psych call. Are you available?” “Yes, we’ll get moving.”

      • Defunding ‘Justified’ Murder

        Defunding the police is part of an enormous process of social reorganization.

      • ‘Dreamers Are Home’: Supreme Court Rejects Trump Effort to End DACA Program

        “Today we celebrate and tomorrow we will continue to fight because Trump’s attacks on the immigrant community must end.”

      • Bay Area Juneteenth Event Includes Protest Against Right Wing Billionaire Fisher Family: Taking Public Space from Minorities in SF and Oakland

        Doris Fisher, who is a KIPP Charter School founder, and her sons (Robert, John, and William) are currently using their money to dismantle the public school system in San Francisco and take public land in Oakland. The main people affected by the Fisher’s privatization are low-income minorities.

      • Putin pens 9,000-word exegesis on WWII, defending Soviet non-aggression pact with Hitler and describing occupation of Baltic states as ‘with consent’

        The National Interest — yes, the same international affairs journal run by Dmitri Simes, whose name appears more than 100 times in Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — has published a new article credited to President Vladimir Putin about the Second World War.

      • The US Needs to Be Treated Like the Racist Pariah State It Is

        The first time I really became aware of apartheid was in a Foot Locker in 1989, when I was around 11 years old. I had seen the movie Cry Freedom, though I kind of thought Stephen Biko, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela were all the same guy at various stages of life. I knew apartheid was “bad,” kind of like segregation but way worse, and not really a problem for me, an African American boy who was freed by Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

      • ‘Nine years is probably a sign of admiration’ Excerpts from the courtroom speeches of the suspects in the St. Petersburg ‘Network’ case

        During a hearing in St. Petersburg on June 17, the prosecutor in the high-profile “Network” (“Set”) terrorism case urged the court to find the two suspects on trial — 25-year-old Viktor Filinkov and 28-year-old Julius Boyarshinov — guilty, and sentence them to nine and six years in prison, respectively. Filinikov has denied the charges against him, stating that his initial guilty plea was obtained under torture. Boyarshinov, on the other hand, has pleaded guilty to the charges against him. Here are their final statements from their courtroom speeches.

      • Companies linked to Putin’s friends scored $6 billion in government contracts for waste removal

        The main beneficiaries of the garbage reform that Russia’s initiated in 2019 are people from President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, reveals a new report from the investigative outlet Istories. 

      • OPEN CALL: Freelance Journalism On Prison And Police Abolition

        We’ve watched the recent rise in awareness of Abolitionism with pride at Shadowproof. The movement to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC) is one we have supported and covered since we launched the site five years ago.

        There are many understandable questions at this moment about what abolitionist organizing and demands look like. In particular, readers seek critical abolitionist analyses of reforms, and they’re curious about non-carceral interventions in violence and other harms being developed by communities most impacted by policing. 

      • Sorry, Not Sorry: All Our Heritage Is Created Equal, Some Is Just More Equal Than Others

        In Australia, you can blow up 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage and make money from it. But vandalise a statue of Captain Cook…? Georgia McGrath from Marque Lawyers explains.

      • Cancelation of Cop Shows Signals a Cultural Shift in Glorifying Police Violence

        For more than a decade, the racial justice organization Color of Change led a push to cancel the long-running TV show “Cops,” which glorifies police aggression. Now the show has been cancelled, along with A&E’s “Live PD.” “The thing about these shows is that they call themselves reality programming, but they are only from the vision of the police officers,” says Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change. “These shows have served as a PR arm for law enforcement.” He is now calling on Netflix to cancel “Border Security: America’s Front Line.”

      • Rashad Robinson on Recent Spike in Hanging Deaths, the Cancellation of “Cops” & Boycotting Facebook

        For more than a decade, the racial justice organization Color of Change led a push to cancel the long-running TV show “Cops,” which glorifies police aggression. Now the show has been cancelled, along with A&E’s “Live PD.” “The thing about these shows is that they call themselves reality programming, but they are only from the vision of the police officers,” says Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change. “These shows have served as a PR arm for law enforcement.” He is now calling on Netflix to cancel “Border Security: America’s Front Line.”

      • “Tear Gas Is a Weapon”: Amnesty Report Reveals Police Use of Tear Gas Fuels Rights Abuses Worldwide

        As police officers in nearly 100 U.S. cities and towns have fired tear gas on protesters in recent weeks and left many with severe injuries, a new Amnesty International report finds the use of tear gas continues to grow each year, and fuels police human rights violations against peaceful protesters on a global scale. “Everywhere we look, police are just very quick to use tear gas, which is not a safe product and can cause real injuries,” says Brian Castner, senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations for Amnesty International.

      • The Prison Was Built to Hold 1,500 Inmates. It Had Over 2,000 Coronavirus Cases.

        Jason Thompson lay awake in his dormitory bed in the Marion Correctional Institution in central Ohio, immobilized by pain, listening to the sounds of “hacking and gurgling” as the novel coronavirus passed from bunk to bunk like a game of “sick hot potato,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

        Thompson lives in Marion’s dorm for disabled and older prisoners — a place he described to ProPublica in a phone call as the prison’s “old folks home” — where 199 inmates, many frail and some in wheelchairs, were isolated in a space designed for 170. As the disease spread among bunks spaced 3 or 4 feet apart, Thompson said he could see bedridden inmates with full-blown symptoms and others “in varying stages of recovery. While the rest of us are rarely 6 feet away from anyone else, sick or not.”

      • Her Attacker Was Stopped in the Act and Arrested, but This Assault Was Only the Beginning of Her Trauma

        It happened early on a Friday in June, the kind of summer night where darkness barely settles on Anchorage. The downtown bars had closed, and Mary Savage was headed home, unaware that a stranger would change her life before she reached her front door.

        The 30-year-old was drunk on vodka and cranberry juice and eager to get into the Mountain View apartment she shared with her boyfriend. Her ride dropped her off a block away.

      • “Movements Work”: As Activists Occupy Seattle’s Capitol Hill, City Bans Tear Gas, Expels Police Union

        In Seattle, the fight to demilitarize and defund the police continues as the King County Labor Council voted to expel the Seattle police union Wednesday, following weeks of protest. Seattle police sparked outrage for responding to massive protests against police brutality by using pepper spray, tear gas and flashbangs on demonstrators and reporters. Activists then formed an autonomous zone in response to the police department’s abandonment of a precinct building. On Wednesday, President Trump threatened to send troops into Seattle to dismantle the community-run Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, which extends over several city blocks. Seattle socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant calls the threat of military intervention “absolutely horrific” and says it “shows that Donald Trump is a coward and movements work.”

      • Trump Claims He Made Juneteenth Famous. It’s Been Widely Celebrated Since 1865.

        In his Juneteenth message delivered in 2019, President Donald Trump stated, “as a Nation, we vow to never forget the millions of African Americans who suffered the evils of slavery.”

      • Supreme Court: Trump’s Attempt to End DACA “Arbitrary and Capricious”

        Delivering a huge blow to President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the way the administration sought to end a popular program allowing Dreamers (undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children) to remain in the country had not followed the proper steps, thus resulting in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to remain in place for the time being.

      • A Walk In the (Fascist) Park
      • Instead of Vote on Covid-19 Relief, Senate GOP Confirms ‘Anti-Healthcare’ McConnell Protégé Justin Walker to Lifetime Judgeship

        “Another shameful step in the McConnell/Trump takeover of our judiciary.”

      • Sudan finds mass grave of conscripts killed during Bashir’s rule

        Sudan’s public prosecutor on Monday announced the discovery of a mass grave east of Khartoum suspected to contain the remains of students killed in 1998 as they tried escaping military service at a training camp.

        An investigation had been launched, the prosecutor said, adding that some of the suspected killers belonging to the ousted administration of Omar al-Bashir had fled.

        A source in the investigators’ team told Reuters dozens of bodies had been found at the site east of the capital.

      • In Zimbabwe, dissent can lead to disappearances and torture

        Crackdown on dissent is on the rise in Zimbabwe even as the country is under COVID-19 lockdown. The nation is recording a spate of abductions and torture common under late former leader, Robert Mugabe.

      • Which States Are Taking on Police Reform After George Floyd?

        Looking at action in the statehouse has its limits, because police reform usually happens on the local level, as cities and towns decide how to fund and regulate their own police forces. The sheer number of new bills can also be misleading: some state legislatures will eventually bundle multiple bills related to the same topic and pass them as one omnibus bill.

        Still, state legislatures can hold tremendous power on issues like setting pensions for police officers, and the wave of new state-level bills represents how swiftly the conversation around policing has shifted since the death of Floyd.

      • For ‘Police Accountability With Teeth,’ Citizens Demand Elected and Empowered Oversight Boards

        This is not a radical demand or a foreign construct. We live in a country where civilian control over the military is enshrined in our Constitution. This premise is so vital to the American experiment that retired Marine Gen. James Mattis made a point of reasserting it when he was under consideration to serve as defense secretary—telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2017, “I recognize my potential civilian role differs in essence and in substance from my former role in uniform. Civilian control of the military is a fundamental tenet of the American military tradition.”

        It follows that cities should recognize the importance of clearly defining, and maintaining, civilian control of the police.

      • Seattle police union booted from county labor council

        The George Floyd protests have brought renewed scrutiny to the epidemic of police brutality and racism in the United States, with particularly attention bearing down on the police unions that protect corrupt police officers. Now, the King County Labor Council, a coalition of over 150 unions that represents 100,000 workers in Seattle’s parent county, have expelled the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), the labor union that represents Seattle Police.

        After a long roll call on Wednesday night this week, the King County Labor Council — which identifies as “the central body of labor organizations in King County, Washington” — garnered over 45,000 votes in favor of removing the SPOG, according to local reports in My Northwest.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Our EU Policy Principles: Interoperability

        As the EU is gearing up for a major reform of key Internet regulation, we are introducing the principles that will guide our policy work surrounding the Digital Services Act. In this post, we take a closer look at what we mean when we talk about interoperability obligations, and at some of the principles that should guide interoperability measures to make sure they serve users, not corporations.

        The next years will be decisive for Internet regulation in the EU and beyond as Europe is considering the most significant update to its regulatory framework for Internet platforms in two decades. In its political guidelines and a recent communication, the European Commission has pledged to overhaul the e-Commerce Directive, the backbone of the EU’s Internet regulation. A new legal act—the Digital Services Act—is supposed to update the legal responsibilities of online platforms. New competition-friendly rules that tackle unfair behavior of dominant platforms are another objective of the upcoming reform. 

    • Monopolies

      • The pandemic has shown that Amazon is essential—but vulnerable

        All this might appear to fit the script Mr Bezos has written over the years in his letters to shareholders, which are now pored over by investors as meticulously as those of Mr Buffett. He argues that Amazon is in a perpetual virtuous circle in which it spends money to win market share and expands into adjacent industries. From books it leapt to e-commerce, then opened its cloud and logistics arms to third-party retailers, making them vast new businesses in their own right. Customers are kept loyal by perks such as Prime, a subscription service, and Alexa, a voice-assistant. By this account, the new digital surge confirms Amazon’s inexorable rise. That is the view on Wall Street, where Amazon’s shares reached an all-time high on June 17th.

      • Twitter Labels Trump Tweet Video As “Manipulated Media”

        Twitter added a “manipulated media” label to the tweet which linked to a page outlining its policies on such content. “You may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context,” the policy states.

      • Patents

        • New NAFTA takes effect next month. U.S. is already threatening legal challenges

          The new Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement includes different dispute panels: companies can sue a country for unfair duties under Chapter 10, or, likely more relevant in this case, under Chapter 31, one country can challenge another for failing to meet its commitments.

        • USPTO Director Updates Congress Regarding Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on USPTO Operations

          Last week, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary, Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, responding to an April 14, 2020 request to provide information regarding the Office’s transition to full time telework, status of patent and trademark filings and fee collections, and cost saving measures taken by the Office in response to the COVID-19 pandemic-related economic downturn. In particular, the letter was sent to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property; Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman and Ranking Member, resoectively, of the House Committee on the Judiciary; and Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA) and Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

          With respect to the Office’s transition to mandatory telework, Director Iancu noted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 88% of the USPTO’s workforce had been working from home at least one day per week, and of the approximately 11,185 employees working from home at least one day per week, about 7,200 had been working from home full-time. On March 23, 2020, in response to guidance from federal, state, and local authorities, the USPTO announced that it would be operating under mandatory telework. Since transitioning to mandatory telework, Director Iancu noted that more than 14,000 USPTO employees and contractors use the Office’s network, which was upgraded in January 2020, to connect to the campus daily from a remote location to perform their jobs. And using secure videoconferencing tools to conduct meetings, patent and trademark applicant interviews, and hearings before both the Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Boards, the USPTO has had more than 1,200 virtual meetings with more than 6,600 participants per day since moving to mandatory telework.

        • Who’s on First? Personal Jurisdiction and the First-to-File Rule

          (a) Wapp Tech first sued UK software company Micro Focus plc (MF PLC) in E.D. Tex. for infringing several of its patent, including U.S. Patent No. 9,971,678 (system for testing app for mobile device). (b) MF PLC then had a two fold response. First, through its US subsidiaries (MF LLC and SpinCo), the company filed a declaratory judgment (DJ) action in D.Del. Then, the MF PLC moved for dismissal in the Texas case for lack of personal jurisdiction — arguing that it lacked minimum contacts with Texas. The Texas court agreed with MF and granted the motion-to-dismiss. However, the court permitted Wapp to amend its complaint to add the MF US subsidiaries (MF LLC and SpinCo). Following that amendment, the Texas case continues, and the Delaware case is stayed pending outcome of the transfer arguments. The Federal Circuit has now denied mandamus — thus it looks like the case will stay in E.D. Tex.

          [...]

          Are We Talking in Circles: It is not surprising that there are not appellate decisions on this issue. A writ of mandamus is going to be required in order to get an appellate decision, and the court here holds that no mandamus will be granted without there first being an appellate decision. This type of prudential venue question is not appealable after final judgment — Any harm caused by an error is already done and will be a moot point by the time final judgment is reached in the case.

      • Copyrights

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