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06.24.20

António Campinos is Just an Empty Suit: 2 Years in the Office and Only 3% Approval Rate (Worse Than Battistelli)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The two-year anniversary is next week

Empty Suit

Summary: European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos has been an utter failure if not an embarrassment, according to the staff of the EPO; to quote: “After about 2 years at the head of the EPO, Campinos scores 3% as regards confidence, a level which is even lower than the 5% obtained by Battistelli in 2013 after 3 years at the head of the Office.”

[Humour] EPO Still Above the Law in 2020

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lord of the rings council of elrond: You have the council in your pocket and the European Commission and ILO

Summary: In 2020, a decade after Benoît Battistelli took over the Office, the EPO remains effectively unregulated and without any real oversight (either internal or external)

The EPO’s ‘Early Certainty From Google’ Approach (“Closest Prior Art”) Means Loads of Fake European Patents and Frivolous Litigation/Shakedowns

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 11:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Good for wealthy monopolists and their law firms; bad for everybody else

Loads of money

Summary: Yet again, quite frankly as usual, the UK Supreme Court tosses European Patents right in the wastebasket; it’s clear that the only winner is a bunch of law firms which bicker over patents that should never have been granted in the first place

SEEING that Kluwer Patent Blog’s best author has just dealt with the EPO‘s controversial “Closest Prior Art” approach ([1] below; we wrote about this in [1, 2, 3, 4]), and moreover seeing that the UK Supreme Court [2,3] threw out European Patents that “sought to cover genetically modified mice that contain chimeric human-mouse antibody genes, as well as human antibodies made using those mice,” we’re witnessing yet more evidence of the comprehensive failure of the EPO under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, whose rush to grant as many patents as possible by rushing searches (aka Early Certainty From Google) led not only to grants of software patents in Europe but also grants/awards of monopolies that courts everywhere would reject (if one can afford the legal challenge; it’s expensive to appeal all the way up to the UK Supreme Court). AstraZeneca Kat wrote about it yesterday [2], calling it “a majority judgment”; why were these patents granted in the first place? And how many European Patents, if scrutinised properly, would suffer the same fate? SUEPO showed (about a year ago) how legal validity associated with European Patents had collapsed. One can guess how the EPO's management responded.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Problem of the “Closest Prior Art”

    As readers of this blog will be aware, the EPO applies a quite peculiar and unique method to the analysis of inventive step, the “problem-solution approach”. This approach breaks the statutory question of Art 56 whether the invention was, having regard to the state of the art, obvious to a person skilled in the art, down into a 3-step test. This involves (1) the determination of the “closest prior art”, (2) the formulation of the “objective technical problem”, and (3) the assessment whether or not the claimed invention would have been obvious to the skilled person. One might quip that this approach has replaced a single problem (the determination of obviousness/inventive step) with three problems. This is because parties nowadays frequently argue about (i) what the closest prior art was, (ii) what the objective problem was, and of course (iii) whether the invention, expressed as the solution to the objective technical problem, was obvious or not at the priority or filing date. This contribution will focus on question (i), i.e. the question of what is (or should be) the closest prior art, and whether the EPO’s approach towards the closest prior art has changed in the last couple of years.

    [...]

    The concept of the closest prior art within the problem solution approach has been invented to facilitate and objectivize the examination of inventive step. The facilitation resides in the presumption that if the invention is not obvious starting from the closest prior art document, then it will a fortiori also be non-obvious starting from further remote prior art. Thus, if and when one document can be identified clearly as being closest prior art, the examination of inventive step can be focused and limited on this one document (in combination with any further document from the state of the art). The question is what happens in cases where (a) several documents are (arguably) about equally close to the invention and (b) if no document qualifies as a sensible starting point. In scenario (a), an Opponent was, at least in the past, usually allowed to present multiple attacks for lack of inventive step even if they start from different “closest” prior art documents.

    […

    At present, T 320/15 seems to not have been used by other Boards to prevent an Opponent from presenting more than one inventive step attack. Therefore, one should not overestimate the practical relevance of this decision, in particular for the appeal stage. This is even more so because several recent decisions rather point in the opposite direction, supporting a more liberal approach for the choice of the starting point for the assessment of inventive step.

    Albeit in a somewhat unusual context, the criteria for the determination of the closest prior art were put to a test in T 405/14. In this case, the Appellant argued that the skilled person would never start from document D2 when document D1 was available. This argument relied on the view that document D1, in addition to sharing many features with the claimed invention, also addressed the same problem as the invention, which was (arguably) not the case for D2.

    [...]

    This would then no longer be so different from the inventive step approaches taken by at least some national courts in EPC member states. In Germany, for example, the concept that there is a preference of a “closest” prior art and that the examination of inventive step can be stopped once it has been shown that the invention is not obvious starting from the “closest prior art”, has long been dismissed and criticized. The prevailing opinion in Germany is that inventive step must be present vis à vis the entire prior art and should not depend on the choice of the starting point in an individual case.

  2. BREAKING: Kymab caught the mouse as sufficiency strengthened by UK Supreme Court in Regeneron battle ([2020] UKSC 27)

    The UK Supreme Court today found Regeneron’s valuable antibody platform technology patents invalid for insufficiency. In doing so, the UK Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal decision and confirms the strong sufficiency requirement in the UK. The Supreme Court decision places emphasis on the principle of sufficiency that a patent claim should be enabled across its whole scope. As summarised by the UK Supreme Court itself, the Court of Appeal reasoning was seen as increasing the rewards obtainable by inventors in a complex, rapidly developing field like genetic engineering. The Supreme Court found in a majority ruling that the Court of Appeal swayed the balance too much in favour of patentees in a way that was not warranted by UK or EPO law. The full UK Supreme Court judgment can be read here.

    [...]

    In a majority judgment, the UK Supreme Court found the Court of Appeal’s reasoning logically sound, but ultimately considered it to be inconsistent with the UK and EPO law on insufficiency. In particular, the UK Supreme Court understood the principle that a patent should enable substantially all products within the scope of a claim at the priority date to be part of the bedrock of both UK and EPO law. In the words of Lord Briggs, who led the majority judgment, “[t]o water down that requirement would tilt the careful balance thereby established in favour of patentees and against the public in a way which is not warranted by the EPC, and which would exceed by a wide margin the scope for the development of the law by judicial decision-making in a particular Convention state”.

    The Supreme Court thus did not think the patent bargain was satisfied if the benefits of an invention could only be realised after the priority date, if and when all embodiments within the range could be made. Kymab’s appeal was therefore upheld, and the Regeneron patents found invalid for insufficiency.

    In a dissenting view, Lady Black first noted agreement between the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on the legal principles. For Lady Black, the two courts disagreed in the application of these principles to the case in question. Contrary to the Supreme Court majority, Lady Black agreed with the Court of Appeal that the invention related to a broad general principle, that this principle was employed in all mice across the range of the claim, and that the patent should be rewarded by a commensurate broad scope of protection.

    A key part of the UK Supreme Court judgment are the “principles of sufficiency” provided on paragraph 56. According to principle vi)

    “the patentee has to demonstrate in the disclosure that every embodiment within the scope of the claim has been tried, tested and proved to have been enabled to be made. Patentees may rely, if they can, upon a principle of general application if it would appear reasonably likely to enable the whole range of products within the scope of the claim to be made. But they take the risk, if challenged, that the supposed general principle will be proved at trial not in fact to enable a significant, relevant, part of the claimed range to be made, as at the priority date” (emphasis added).

  3. Kymab holds off Regeneron in patent fight on home turf

    Chalk one up for antibody maker Kymab. The U.K. Supreme Court invalidated a pair of Regeneron patents around antibody-producing mice, putting to rest a lawsuit Regeneron filed against Kymab seven years ago.

    Known as patents ‘287 and ‘163, or the “Murphy patents,” they sought to cover genetically modified mice that contain chimeric human-mouse antibody genes, as well as human antibodies made using those mice. Regeneron sued Kymab in U.K. High Court in 2013 alleging that its Kymouse technology infringed patents covering its Velocimmune platform.

    The Supreme Court upheld 4-1 the decision of a High Court from 2016 to revoke Regeneron’s claims, reversing an Appeals Court’s verdict that the patents were valid.

    [...]

    The U.K. verdict is just the latest in a string of decisions that have come down on Kymab’s side. In April, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board shut down a request from Regeneron to invalidate four Kymab patents. And that decision followed similar ones from patent offices in Japan and Australia—the Japanese Patent Office upheld Kymab’s patents in unappealable decisions, while IP Australia rejected Regeneron’s opposition to a Kymab patent on all grounds. Regeneron has appealed the latter decision.

    For its part, Regeneron emphasized that the Supreme Court decision applies only within the U.K.

    “The decision renders the two patents invalid and revoked in the UK only. Regeneron’s rights concerning these patents in other European jurisdictions remain in full force and effect,” the company said in a statement. “The 287 patent validity was upheld at the Europe-wide level by the Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (“EPO”) in 2015, and the 163 patent validity was upheld by EPO Opposition Division in 2018. Proceedings before the EPO’s Technical Board of Appeal on the 163 patent are ongoing.

Three Steps to a Free Software Reboot

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 10:33 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

CTRL+ALT+DEL sequence

Summary: “Do we teach people to code just so they can be forced to use GitHub, or so that they have a choice, or so they can help us fight against such a monopoly?”

This was going to be called “Three Necessary Ingredients”, but I was reminded of Lawrence Lessig’s address at Dartmouth called “Rebooting Democracy”, and I decided to borrow his CTRL+ALT+DEL sequence.

“We need to take back control of this movement.”The CTRL+ALT+DEL key combination was originally used to reboot a PC, and now gets hooked for other purposes as well. As to why write yet another article like this, it’s no secret that I’ve nearly given up on the free software movement — at least for now. But when people have questions about fixing problems with the free software movement, I often feel the opportunity should not be ignored.

For the moment, I’m particularly enheartened by a comment made to a previous article:

Now that our “platform is burning”, what are the things we should do? Is it still possible to put out the fires? How do we discern friend from foe? As far as I’m concerned, the pragmatic user who doesn’t care about the Libre process is just a tourist and shouldn’t be counted among our numbers. Do we still have sufficient numbers to turn the tide?

I actually liked the entire comment, but maybe this is the part that’s the most important to address. So let’s talk about these three things I think we will need:

CTRL:

We need to take back control of this movement. And by “control” I don’t mean the kind of top-down structure that sponsors have co-opted, I mean in the sense that each user needs to have “control” of their computing. Only a grassroots movement can save one that is centred around a group of 501(c)3 and similar organisations that were co-opted by sponsors.

“Only a grassroots movement can save one that is centred around a group of 501(c)3 and similar organisations that were co-opted by sponsors.”I’m not entirely against these non-profit corporations — they are probably necessary for certain types of goals. When the FSF was founded, it made perfect sense to have a 501(c)3 non-profit for handling things like equipment, donations, office space, and printing costs and merchandise.

We may always need non-profit organisations as some part of what we do, though I don’t know of any that were fully salvaged after being taken over by sponsors (Bill-and-Melinda-Gates-sponsored NPR comes to mind).

“I am wary of the implications of not only Microsoft and IBM but also Google funding so much of what the “free software” movement does lately.”My problem with these organisations is their inherent vulnerability to corporate takeover. It shouldn’t be possible — trying to control a non-profit through obvious-strings-attached deals with for-profit sponsors ought to be against antitrust law, but we know that antitrust law is more rhetoric than anything these days. I am wary of the implications of not only Microsoft and IBM but also Google funding so much of what the “free software” movement does lately.

So even if these organisations prove to be a necessary evil (and I’m not trying to prove they are, only acknowledge what I consider a likelihood) there is a great and non-hypothetical danger in letting them speak for us. When these organisations speak for us, they get co-opted and begin to to stifle conversations that are necessary for us to advocate.

“When these organisations speak for us, they get co-opted and begin to to stifle conversations that are necessary for us to advocate.”I wrote about the dangers of this with regards to rms getting ousted, after the first stage of the coup regarding LibrePlanet — before rms was ousted. I also wrote that ousting rms was not unlike ousting most of us — if he isn’t “allowed” to represent the movement he founded, how permitted are we? Indeed, that was all before the mailing lists were being censored to remove any messages that supported him. So once again, this concern was not only valid — it was later proven realistic.

If we do not find ways to speak for ourselves, and if we do not try to hear each other, we effectively outsource all of that to an organisation that could be run by rms one day, and a global patent troll the next day. As long as we rely on monolithic organisations for advocacy, this proven vulnerability remains.

Obviously maintaining anything other than a fringe advocacy, without relying on some level of centralisation is easier said than done. But it is not unheard of. When it comes to other sorts of rights, there are many different organisations and groups espousing many different points of view. Not only do I consider this natural, but I consider it unavoidable if our goal remains for “all software to be free software”. That was the goal of the free software movement.

“Freedom does not automatically produce choice in all things, but choice is a common byproduct. Its absence is telltale.”I’ve written a lot about ways we could go about decentralising the free software movement, for those of us who are sincere about self-advocacy and not simply trying to drive a wedge into the FSF so that large corporations can take over — that’s what “open source” did, first to OSI and now to the FSF, on behalf of GIAFAM and other corporate interests. The THRIVE guidelines (which are about self-organisation, more than they are about “conduct”) include some of my very best ideas about this.

ALT:

If we expect things to change, we need alternatives to the status quo. Freedom may outrank choice, as some people say — but if you have no choices, it’s unlikely you have any freedom, either. Freedom does not automatically produce choice in all things, but choice is a common byproduct. Its absence is telltale.

“Although I no longer support Devuan, I continue to support the idea of forking distros to remove IBMd.”Free software has a love/hate relationship with choice — those of us who have paid attention are aware of the problems caused by license proliferation. I personally think license proliferation is a negative thing, and exceptions are much rarer than examples. But I am also aware that without forks, LibreOffice would not exist and OpenOffice would likely be proprietary now. Although I no longer support Devuan, I continue to support the idea of forking distros to remove IBMd.

In fact, I support the idea of forking EVERY non-free distro to produce a libre version. The FSF does not. RMS does not. But just as Trisquel is still better than actually using Ubuntu, I firmly believe this holds true for any distro. It holds even more true for distros that offer something no free distro really offers.

Of the current list of “fully-free” distros the FSF endorses, none are as lightweight as Slitaz or as modular as Tiny Core. I have long advocated (to rms and to others) that we create a fully-free version of Tiny Core. In fact I would say that (despite a kernel I would prefer be replaced with Linux-libre or something from HyperbolaBSD) Tiny Core has a greater commitment to freedom than Trisquel at this point.

“But the FSF is not paying attention to any modern threats, and the only “freedom” Trisquel offers you now is something very cynical.”The definition of “fully-free” that puts linux-libre above all else, but allows IBM and Microsoft (via systemd and the Linux Foundation) to co-opt practically all functionality is overly specific and lacking the vigilance needed for the user to be free. I think for the most part, it’s a good definition. But the FSF is not paying attention to any modern threats, and the only “freedom” Trisquel offers you now is something very cynical.

Trisquel was the distro that made me switch to fully-free and Linux-libre in the first place, and as recently as Trisquel 8 I made an automated remix that replaces systemd with upstart — even on the live DVD. This relied on upstart being in the repos, which I highly doubt is a permanent fix.

I spent no more than a day or two on that automated remaster script, and at least one person asked me to share the workings of it (it’s free software, but consultation sometimes beats documentation) so they could create a similar project. I wanted to demonstrate the idea, and to be able to say it had been done. But I don’t think Trisquel cares about your freedom anymore. I believe they think they do.

“Modularity is the closest that “one-size-fits-all” can get to pleasing every individual’s needs.”It’s not just that we need more distros. We need more software that respects the user’s right to NOT run the software — we need more software that is not designed to push YOU into using a thousand other things you don’t want at all.

And I think this was an intrinsic, de facto part of free software from the beginning, which we ignored the importance of until it was half-gone. I think this is the primary route (apart from lies, threats and bribery) that enabled corporations to take over free software. The 10th THRIVE guideline says:

Communities should avoid, as much as possible and practical, efforts to lock other users into their software or distributions. The more important and popular (and fundamental) the software is, the more modular and optional and flexible the software should ideally be. Even the distro itself should become more modular and universal — via thoughtful design conventions, rather than rigid and demanding standards.

As long as we are free to be different, we will have differences. Modularity is the closest that “one-size-fits-all” can get to pleasing every individual’s needs. In fact I think it’s unlikely that computing will ever take care of your every need. Sometimes what you need is pen-and-paper. Sometimes what you need is a completely new idea. If computing took care of every possible need, what would be the point of writing new software ever again?

Corporations try to corral us into their one-size-fits-all plans because that’s what gives them the most power to control users. They practice colonialism, and denounce (and even fear) our ability to form tribes.

“Corporations try to corral us into their one-size-fits-all plans because that’s what gives them the most power to control users.”Tribes are the antithesis of the sort of control that corporations want. This is why “tribalism” is such a dirty word to people who used to work at IBM and Microsoft. They want us to be “unified” — under their control. Empires promise everlasting peace to those they consider savages, but first you must give yourself over to the empire. Eventually you will learn that their promises were lies.

Our ability to celebrate (and yes, sometimes argue about) our differences scares them, whenever they can’t use it to cynically give themselves more power over what we do. They are supposed to have control over the narrative, control over our computing — control over everything we do. They would even like control over what differences we are allowed (and not allowed) to have or even talk about. Tribes are chaos to such schemes. But freedom isn’t bothered.

“Empires promise everlasting peace to those they consider savages, but first you must give yourself over to the empire. Eventually you will learn that their promises were lies.”This isn’t to say that every kind of chaos helps. It’s a known fact that GIAFAM have introduced their own preferred forms of chaos into our movement so that they can take control in the aftermath. The FSF is now unfortunately as good an example of this as any. But it’s worth mentioning that the form of “chaos” we represent to them is simply being true to ourselves and not all being the same corporate cookie-cutter person. The form of chaos GIAFAM spreads is the means to an end, where they get more control than before.

As for cloning rms, I am alright with the idea of a thousand rms clones, provided that they think and speak for themselves. I’m not bothered by leaders and followers — I find parrots who simply regurgitate words without serious critical thought (with outsourced values) to be much creepier. Talking to people like that is like talking to a wall.

But you also can’t expect people to just change their minds because you’re “right” and they’re “wrong” — even if your position does have more merit in any context you can imagine, people just don’t work that way. We want to advocate for freedom — to make the very best arguments for it we can, and invite other people to do the same.

“The sincerest form of advocacy isn’t something that can run on auto-pilot.”If there’s a phrasebook (or a dictionary) we all have to regurgitate lines from, that isn’t any kind of “freedom” I’m interested in. If you really are an advocate, you’ll have to learn to support the lines you repeat with your own words and your own thoughts and feelings. The sincerest form of advocacy isn’t something that can run on auto-pilot.

I have cautiously promoted the idea of linking together free software with other ideas. The FSFE (an organisation I have zero admiration for) has done this with veganism, for example. I have proposed that anti-capitalists create their own free software organisation, but this sort of thing is just an example though, and part of something broader and more universal.

If we really want all software to be free software, that includes specialty software. To design specialty software for various groups, those various groups need to have input — and possibly even training. I don’t think one organisation can possibly satisfy those needs — it makes more sense from a sheer laws of physics (and theory of communication) perspective that we would have smaller organisations for special purposes, possibly linked together by voluntary (optional) umbrella organisations. These organisations can (and possibly ought to) remain smaller, by virtue of not taking on too many tasks.

“If we really want all software to be free software, that includes specialty software.”But I am cautious to promote that because I realise that side-interests have co-opted free software already. If that is inevitable, we need to find a better way to deal with that inevitability than we have done so far — I think we can have specialised free software organisations, but the danger of having free software co-opted is always there. If we have many different organisations with many different side-interests, perhaps it will be necessary (and thus hopefully encouraged) that we NOT let a single interest take over for all the others. Free software is the thing we have in common.

So I encourage anti-capitalists to create their own anti-capitalist free software organisation — to promote both free software and anti-capitalism as they think best. This does not mean I think all free software organisations need to adopt such a stance. That’s the difference, and I think that’s important.

Above all, alternatives are about the freedom to try new ideas — this is important to science as well as philosophy, and the idea of calling a user “free” when they have no opportunity to try new things seems very cynical to me.

“Freedom and Vigilance do go hand in hand, though to be truly free you must also be able to resist efforts that are made to enslave everyone — even when those efforts are seductive and more comfortable.”Sometimes the worst ideas — about dragging everyone in the same direction regardless of what they want, are presented as “the freedom to do something different”. I believe in that freedom, but I certainly don’t believe forcing everybody to do the same thing has anything to do with the freedom to try new things.

DEL:

The commenter from the other article asked if we still have enough people we can count among ourselves. I ask myself that all the time, and I don’t know the answer. There’s a bit of a Catch-22 to get past here, in that we won’t know how many there are to fix this until enough of us are promoting something that appeals to them.

If every effort to establish freedom for the user is met with 12 offers to sell the user out — or even sell ourselves out — we need to be able to practice saying “No”.

This is another reason why the freedom to NOT run the software is so important — if you haven’t developed the ability to say “No”, then it means nothing when you say “Yes” and are agreeable. If you are only agreeable (as people are encouraged to be as a matter of course these days) then you are not acting with agency — you are preaching Freedom without any concept of what it is actually like.

“If enough people are saying “No” at the same time — even if they aren’t all saying no to exactly the same things, they will eventually be heard.”Freedom and Vigilance do go hand in hand, though to be truly free you must also be able to resist efforts that are made to enslave everyone — even when those efforts are seductive and more comfortable. Nobody can expect everyone to be stoic — but the very idea of Civil Disobedience that inspired Gandhi and King was coined by a minimalist — a person who repeatedly said “no” to many of the things that keep life from being simple, as well as many of the things that keep life from being questioned.

If we do not question our way of life then we cannot change it — we are stuck waiting for someone else to give us the means, on their terms. We cannot have freedom without questioning. There is no surer way to question your everyday habits than to step outside of them, as much as possible — to do something completely differently for comparison.

If we question more and more, if we become sceptics of the elaborate monstrosity that computing invariably becomes when we don’t have control, again and again I believe we will find that minimalism is always closer to freedom than excess — and I don’t tell you this from a mountaintop or a monastery. Even Thoreau (so I’m told) went to his mother’s house to do laundry. At least half the benefit of minimalism is in the effort to get there.

If you are looking for a place to get started, my advice will usually include a boycott of some kind. Boycott everything — boycott all software, if it pleases you. But if you can’t boycott all software, at least try to use as little software from GitHub (sadly, that’s most of it now) as possible. And when you discover that includes parts of the GNU project, boycott that as much as possible. And maybe eventually, we can drag Perl out of Microsoft’s clutches and get GNU Automake working again.

But since virtually all software seems to require either Perl or libFFI or zlib1g (all GitHub) at some stage, boycotting all software is the logical solution. Boycotting as much as possible is the practical solution. Changing nothing is the non-solution.

“But ultimately we need to teach the teachers computer literacy (too many were taught that computer literacy is the ability to use applications, nothing else — like using an Office program means you understand the computer and aren’t helpless once the application closes or does something peculiar) — too many literacy programmes are centred around making people proficient with a specific Brand of computing solutions.”If enough people are saying “No” at the same time — even if they aren’t all saying no to exactly the same things, they will eventually be heard. And possibly even answered.

Finally: “Rebooting” Implies Booting —

Getting things started again means we need places to start. And while I would have said “Start with the boycott” (and by all means, feel free to!) it’s more reasonable to start at the beginning. We need to learn and preserve history, to get a better idea of where we are.

If you take that to mean history in general, so be it — though I’m referring to the history of computing, the history of things like copyright and patents which (for better or worse) have had profound impacts on our freedom — software wasn’t even copyrightable in the USA until 1980, locking up software required an NDA prior to that. If you want to fight GIAFAM you need to learn about your enemy. It also helps to learn about our heroes (for one, it shows what utter propaganda we’ve been dealing with for the past few years). And I’m referring to the history of the free software movement.

All of this is context that gives us more power over our lives. Knowledge is power, and learning is a powerful workout.

When I talk about creating free software organisations for various purposes, I don’t only mean different intersections with politics. I also mean a free software organisation that specialises in education. I’d still like to see computer literacy initiatives that work with teachers to design tools they understand and can teach more powerfully with.

But ultimately we need to teach the teachers computer literacy (too many were taught that computer literacy is the ability to use applications, nothing else — like using an Office program means you understand the computer and aren’t helpless once the application closes or does something peculiar) — too many literacy programmes are centred around making people proficient with a specific Brand of computing solutions. This is deliberate and suits the owners of the brand, but it is a cynical miseducation.

“Do we teach people to code just so they can be forced to use GitHub, or so that they have a choice, or so they can help us fight against such a monopoly?”Teaching everyone to code is still the best route to universal literacy in my opinion, though how we do that makes all the difference. Do we teach people to code just so they can be forced to use GitHub, or so that they have a choice, or so they can help us fight against such a monopoly? How and what we teach makes all the difference.

To make all this work, I think we need to do a lot of collaborative research. This doesn’t mean putting all our eggs in one basket, or all our faith in a single institution. The dangers of doing that are well demonstrated by now. Nor should we simply trust everybody. Instead, we should gradually establish a broad, grassroots network of networks (just like the internet itself) and work together to figure all this stuff out.

How should we organise that? On each of our own terms. That’s not just the cost of freedom, it’s the benefit as well. And I don’t think we should torture ourselves with boring institutional learning, unless that’s what you feel driven to do. Instead, think of the Wright brothers. To succeed where others failed, they took it upon themselves to learn whatever they could about the subject — they were pioneers, not experts, nor were there classes they could take on how to produce powered flight — such “hooey” was discouraged by most of the day’s scientists as frivolous and stupid.

“The next free software movement won’t always be comfortable for the user, and not all the conversations will be pleasant because that’s how things work in real life — and it will all require some pioneering.”They started small, building working models of increasing size, until they had an airplane that could carry a pilot — all they needed was the engine. They also knew that for their model to create lift, it required flying against the wind. They accomplished what no one else had through lots of curiosity, reading, experimentation, and iteration.

The next free software movement won’t always be comfortable for the user, and not all the conversations will be pleasant because that’s how things work in real life — and it will all require some pioneering. But it could still be fun, sometimes. Flying against the wind is something you can feel, and I think most aviators would consider it worthwhile.

Love live rms, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

[Humour] Whose Security is Microsoft Defending? (So-called ‘National Security’)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

National Security Agency or GNU/Linux and Android? Your call.

Kermit: So... some news sites that tell us that 'Microsoft loves Linux'; microsoft works for the nsa; Only reckless GNU/Linux users would put Microsoft's proprietary software on their systems even if it says 'defender' and 'security'

Summary: The NSA’s top partner Microsoft has leveraged the corporate media and gullible bloggers, getting them to promote proprietary software that is mislabelled ‘security’ and actually helps spy on machines (whose underlying base is free/libre)

Links 24/6/2020: ARM and GNU/Linux Top TOP500, Apple ARMed, Microsoft Lays Off Workers

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux Laptop With Ubuntu 20.04 Is Available To Buy At $1,099.99

        Linux Laptop dedicated to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is now available for the purchase at a price tag of USD 1,099.99.

        Dell Inc, the popular laptop company is selling the laptop preloaded with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition will cost you 1,099.99 US dollars.

        Canonical, The company behind Ubuntu announces the availability of the first Ubuntu 20.04 laptop.

      • Linux: Dell’s top developer laptop now comes with Ubuntu 20.04 out of the box

        The combination of Canonical’s most popular open-source desktop operating system and Dell’s flagship developer machine “is designed to offer developers their ideal laptop based on input received from the community,” according to Canonical.

        “We’re delighted to see the first Dell systems ship with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS,” said Martin Wimpress, the software company’s director of desktop engineering.

        “Enterprises are increasingly equipping their developers and engineers with the operating system of their choice ensuring high end-user productivity. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on the latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition offers the performance developers demand with the assurance of security and long-term support that IT management needs.”

      • Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is now available

        Today, Ubuntu announced that starting today, you can get the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was first released in April, and this is the first laptop to ship with the OS. This year’s XPS 13 is actually the 10th anniversary of Dell’s Project Sputnik, the program for the company’s Linux-based Developer Edition laptops.

        “We’re delighted to see the first Dell systems ship with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Enterprises are increasingly equipping their developers and engineers with the operating system of their choice ensuring high end-user productivity. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on the latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition offers the performance developers demand with the assurance of security and long term support that IT management needs,” said Martin Wimpress, Director of Desktop Engineering at Canonical.

      • First Linux Laptop With Ubuntu 20.04 Now Available To Buy At $1,099.99

        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has just announced the availability of the first Dell system pre-loaded with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS — Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition.

        Ubuntu 20.04 is the latest long-term version and it was released on April 23, 2020. So, if you want a powerful Linux laptop with a new pre-installed Ubuntu LTS version, you can now buy the latest Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. The new Linux laptop is also fully Ubuntu-certified to offer high performance and productivity to developers and engineers.

      • The Librem Mini is Shipping!

        We were excited to see so much interest from the community in our Librem Mini pre-order campaign and we hit our initial goals within only three weeks. Since then we’ve been testing hardware and porting coreboot over and now we are ready to start shipping Librem Mini pre-orders to customers.

        As you may know the Librem Mini is revolutionary in that it supports Purism’s PureBoot out-of-the-box in addition to our default coreboot firmware and can work with the Librem Key for ultimate security. It is the ideal home server or secure workstation, and is fully backed by the support of Purism.

      • Purism Librem Mini is now shipping (Linux mini PC with Intel Whiskey Lake CPU)

        The Purism Librem Mini is a 5″ x 5″ x 1.5″ desktop computer with an Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor and support for up to 64GB of RAM.

        It also ships with PureOS, a GNU/Linux distribution that emphasizes privacy, security, and free and open source software.

        Pre-orders for the Librem Mini began in March, and now Purism says the little computer is ready to ship. It’s available for purchase for $699 and up.

      • A Complete Look at the PineBook Pro

        For a $200 laptop though, I can’t really complain. The materials that compose this product are of durable quality, the components that make the device work are pretty beefy for the price tag, the keyboard is decent, and you can still do *most* of the things that you’re used to doing on a desktop. I can see the PBP or even the original Pinebook as a valuable resource for those that need computers in third-world countries. You may want to consider getting the PBP if you’re in need of a laptop.

        With Apple making the move to make all of their Macs ARM-based as early as this year, the folks at Pine64 may have already set the precedent for us with their Pinebook lineup. There isn’t a doubt in my mind ARM-based devices will become more and more of a common thing within the next decade, and Pine64 is already paving that way for us, before Apple did, with the addition of easy customization, both on the hardware and software side. Thumbs up from me!

      • My linux desktop configuration

        I love reading about the development machines of others and want to share my current setup below. There is a risk of procrastinating on actual software engineering tasks by fine-tuning a desktop, but by drawing inspiration from others, you can get a highly customized setup without too much work. What follows isn’t the result of an afternoon of tinkering, a slow evolution over years has led to the current setup. This evolution is not and probably never will be “done”, new challenges and opportunities come along and I will adapt accordingly. Just in putting together this article I have made several changes.
        Friends and family often ask me to fix some IT problem for them. I then get to use their computers, which often take forever for the simplest tasks. You want to open a file explorer? That’s going to take 5 seconds. That is a long, long time for a CPU these days and I am not willing to wait. Given how powerful hardware has become, I want all interaction to be close to instant. (Re-)booting should be quick and painless.
        My goal is to have a machine that enables me to be productive. I’m looking for a short path between what I have in mind and what I can make appear on the screen. Common tasks like launching a terminal, switching to another workspace or invoking certain commands in my shell should be easy and fast. Drew DeVault put it well when he said “It’s what so many of us are looking for: a frictionless experience that instantly moves thoughts and ideas from our brain to the screen.”. Common command line utilities can be invoked via short aliases and fish’s based autocompletion are great helpers.
        I try not to be dogmatic, I neither believe that CLIs are always better than GUIs, nor do I think it is useful to aim for goals like “you should never have to take your hands off the keyboard”. For tasks like moving files, using git (especially when resolving larger merge conflicts), interacting with databases or changing system settings I have found GUIs to be really useful.
        Generally, I don’t want to be interrupted by notifications about software updates or emails. Instead of “push notifications”, I prefer looking at my emails/messages when I’m not busy. “We’re going to need 45 minutes to update your system” is not acceptable to me.

      • Make the switch from Mac to Linux easier with Homebrew

        The Homebrew project began its life as an unofficial Linux-style package manager for the Mac. Its users quickly fell in love with its friendly interface and helpful prompts, and—in what may seem like a strange twist of fate—it got ported to Linux.

        At first, there were two separate projects for macOS and Linux (Homebrew and Linuxbrew), but now Homebrew’s core manages both operating systems. Because I’ve been on a journey to migrate from Mac to Linux, I have been looking at how my favorite open source applications for macOS perform on Linux, and I’ve been happy to find that Homebrew’s support for Linux truly shines.

      • Dell is finally shipping the XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS

        If you want a laptop that comes with Linux pre-installed nowadays, there are actually a lot of options. While it used to be hard to get a computer without Windows on it, it is now a pretty easy task. You can choose from popular Linux-friendly computer sellers like System76 or Tuxedo Computers, but there is another company that sometimes gets overlooked — Dell. Yes, one of the biggest manufacturers of Windows computers also sells “Developer Editions” of its computers that come with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed. The company has sold these Linux computers for several years.

        One of the most celebrated laptops in recent years is Dell’s wildly popular XPS 13. This is a thin and light notebook that offers both elegance and impressive performance. Newer models are famous for their super-thin bezels. And yes, Dell does offer a Developer Edition of the XPS 13. Believe it or not, even though Ubuntu 20.04 LTS came out in April, Dell has been shipping the laptop with the older (yet still supported) 18.04 LTS. Well, folks, as of today this changes. Dell is finally shipping the XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu Linux 20.04!

      • The New macOS Big Sur Looks Like…Deepin Linux

        Apple has announced the new version of macOS. And this new macOS Big Sur surprisingly looks like Deepin Linux version 20.

    • Server

      • ARM and Linux take the supercomputer TOP500 crown

        For years, x86 processors and Linux have ruled supercomputing. Linux still runs 500 out of the TOP500 supercomputers in the world. For just about as long, x86 CPUs have dominated supercomputers — until now. On June 22, Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer, powered by Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX SoC and running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), became the first ARM-powered supercomputer to be dubbed the fastest computer in the world.

        In winning over the others, it wasn’t even close. Fugaku turned in a High-Performance Linpack (HPL) result of 415.5 petaflops, besting the second-place IBM Summit system by a factor of 2.8x.

        Fujitsu has been working on creating ultra-high-speed silicon since it turned from the obsolete SPARC architecture to the ARM-based A64FX. This was the first CPU to adopt ARMv8-A’s Scalable Vector Extension (SVE). This is an ARM extension to its instruction set specifically for supercomputers. Fujitsu worked with ARM to develop the A64FX.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • SMLR 324: Year of the Linux Laptop
      • This Week in Linux 107: Krita 4.3, FFmpeg 4.3, FreeNAS on Linux, postmarketOS PinePhone

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a lot of great news with a bunch of App releases. We’ve got new releases from Krita, FFMpeg, Strawberry music layer, nativefier which is a really cool desktop app creator for webapps, and more. We’ve also got some news from Pine64 about a new community…

      • LHS Episode #352: Loosey Goosey

        Welcome to the 352nd installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts cover AMSAT, AMSAT, AMSAT, trunked radio systems monitoring with SDR, the Open Technology Fund, LibreOffice, HamPi, Google, AMSAT and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you have a great week. Don’t forget to enjoy and participate in Field Day 2020.

      • Video: Software Wars (2020) Documentary

        This documentary (Software Wars 2020) was released under a Creative Commons license. It reminds me of Revolution OS from back in the day.

      • Death of the Mac | LINUX Unplugged 359

        Why we think Apple just handed market share to Desktop Linux, and why you can kiss running Linux on the Mac goodbye forever.

      • mintCast 337.5 – Managing the Managers

        As the name implies, a compositor composes how the window looks and functions. It does this by using an off-screen buffer for each window. Each buffer is made into an image. The compositor uses those images for drawing and re-drawing of the windows, also for when it is moved or resized or closed. Windows can overlap or ‘stack over’ one another. Each window is drawn and redrawn individually, along with the desktop wallpaper image. Compositing also uses those buffer images to allow for 2D and 3D effects such as Blending, Fading, Scaling, Rotation, Bending, Contortion and Blurring, etc.

        Examples would be the wobbly windows effect in the KWin Window Manager in KDE Plasma, or the ALT-TAB display of open windows (Flip Switch, Cover Switch, etc.), or the appearance of a window sliding in and out or slowly fading in and out when it is opened, closed or minimized.

        One of my favorite effects is Shade, sometimes referred to as Roll Up. When that feature is used, the window is reduced to only the title bar being visible. This was very useful back in the 90’s and early 2000’s due to the small sizes of the monitors then; you could keep the application on the screen but it took up much less space. KWin among others support this feature.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Registration for Linux Plumbers Conference 2020 is now open

        Registration is now open for the 2020 edition of the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC). It will be held August 24 – 28, virtually. Go to the attend page for more information.

      • kcbench, the Linux kernel compile benchmark, version 0.9.0 is out

        Hello, is this thing still on? Looks like I have not blogged here in nearly 10 years. Uhhps. But today there is a reason to write something again:

        I released kcbench 0.9.0. Kcbench is a simple Linux kernel compile benchmark that downloads the Linux sources and measures the time it takes to build the kernel.

      • FGKASLR Revised For Better Linux Security Via Enhanced Address Space Randomization

        One of many high profile features that didn’t make it in time for Linux 5.8 is FGKASLR, Function Granular Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization.

        Intel’s Kristen Carlson Accardi sent out the original FGKASLR patches back in February for enhancing kernel security by providing address space layout randomization on a function level rather than just changing out the base address of the kernel. Function reordering is used on top of KASLR to make relative addresses within the kernel far less predictable. This reordering is done at boot time.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver Finally Adds External Memory Host Support

          NVIDIA today released a new Vulkan beta driver for Linux systems at version 440.66.17.

          New to this Vulkan beta driver update is VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state and VK_EXT_external_memory_host support. Additionally, the Vulkan vkCmdMultiDraw*IndirectCount performance should be better for Pascal and older GPUs.

        • NVIDIA 440.66.17 Vulkan Beta Driver released

          It’s interesting to see VK_EXT_external_memory_host finally land in the driver, as it’s been around since 2017 according to the linked spec. What does it do? This extension enables an application to import host allocations and host mapped foreign device memory to Vulkan memory objects. As for VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state, that was made available at the end of 2019, adds some more dynamic state to support applications that need to reduce the number of pipeline state objects they compile and bind.

        • Mesa 20.2 Gets A Release Schedule With Hopes Of Shipping By End Of August

          It should hardly come as a surprise if you regularly follow the Mesa quarterly release cadence for these open-source Vulkan/OpenGL drivers, but a release schedule has now been committed for next quarter’s Mesa 20.2.

          The release schedule puts the Mesa 20.2.0 release at the end of August, just as we have been expecting. Granted, with any release blocker delays it could easily mean the release doesn’t ship until September with Mesa release delays being somewhat common.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.5 Driver Released With Some New Bits + Bug Fixes

          AMDVLK 2020.Q2.5 is out today as the newest snapshot of this open-source official AMD Radeon Vulkan driver for Linux systems.

          Now supported by AMDVLK 2020.Q2.5 is vkGetDeviceQueue2, speeding up CmdCopyImageGraphics, and the VK_COMPOSITE_ALPHA_PRE_MULTIPLIED_BIT_KHR capability within supportedCompositeAlpha.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Anatomy Of A Shader Bugfix

          I’ve talked and rambled about various things, and maybe I’ve given an idea of what it’s like to work on Zink, but the reality is that I spend a majority of my time working on the shader translation pipeline, which converts NIR to SPIRV.

          Today let’s go through the process for fixing an issue in this pipeline, as detected by piglit.

        • Microsoft Posts Initial DRM Driver For Hyper-V Synthetic Video Device

          We’ll see how this Microsoft DRM driver pans out and how quickly it will be accepted to mainline as well as how long it will take until the driver is more feature complete.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 20.04 vs. Windows 10 WSL/WSL2 Performance In 170+ Benchmarks

        Earlier this month was a look at the Windows 10 May 2020 Update performance for WSL/WSL2 with many benchmarks and testing on an Intel Core i9 10900K. Here is a follow-up round of testing this time with HEDT performance in the form of running an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X and running even more benchmarks up to 172 in total for this comparison of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS against WSL and WSL2 performance on this newest Microsoft Windows 10 update.

        This round of testing is our largest look ever at WSL/WSL2 performance while using the recently released Windows 10 May 2020 Update. The same system used for all of this testing was an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X at stock frequencies, ASUS ROG ZENITH II EXTREME, 64GB of RAM, 1TB Corsair Force MP600 NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics.

    • Applications

      • Customize your Linux terminal with your favorite logo

        For beautiful screenshots of a terminal, there’s no better command than screenfetch. Screenfetch autodetects your distribution and places an ASCII art version of the logo in your terminal window upon request. It also provides common information about your system, such as your user name, kernel version, uptime, and much more.

      • curl 7.71.0 – blobs and retries

        Welcome to the “prose version” of the curl 7.71.0 change log. There’s just been eight short weeks since I last blogged abut a curl release but here we are again and there’s quite a lot to say about this new one.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 Milestone 2 Released For Open-Source/Linux Benchmarking

        Building off Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 M1 from the start of June, the second development “milestone” release is now available for our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking software.

        The original Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 development release brought enhanced handling around minor test profile version updates when it comes to taking care of any build issues, a rewritten virtual test suite implementation, early tweaks around PHP 8.0 support, AMD Energy Linux driver reading support, and other changes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Fast-paced low-poly 3D rail shooter Ex-Zodiac looks awesome – demo up now

        Do a barrel roll! If you remember that classic, you will probably want to take a look at Ex-Zodiac which is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter with a demo up.

        “Join protagonist Kyuu as she fights to free the the worlds of the Sanzaru Star System, overrun by the intergalactic terrorist organisation known as Zodiac.”

        Heavily inspired by classic 3D shooters, developer Ben Hickling has been hacking away in their free time with Godot Engine to create something that looks simply awesome. It seems plenty of people agree, as the Kickstarter campaign that launches yesterday has already £18,864 of the £20,000 goal which is pretty amazing.

      • Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark – Missions and Monsters expansion is out now

        Colourful turn-based tactical RPG Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark gets a first expansion with Missions and Monsters.

        Bringing several new additions to expand the gameplay, like being able to recruit powerful monsters, customize them with their own classes, and send them into battle alongside the rest of your forces. As your army grows, you’ll get to dispatch your troops on missions of their own to gather precious resources, earn special rewards, unlock new locations and classes. Sounds like a great proper expansion to an already fantastic experience that fans of Final Fantasy: Tactics absolutely need to take a look at.

      • The itch.io Summer Sale 2020 is live

        After running a massive charity bundle recently, a lot more eyes are likely on game store itch.io and now they have a big Summer Sale running with lots of games discounted.

        itch do a lot more than just being a game store too, as they also constantly run Game Jams and because the barrier to entry is so low compared with the likes of Steam, itch is rammed full of smaller and often experimental experiences. This can, at times, make it hard to find the good stuff.

      • Game model maker Asset Forge releases the big 2.0 preview for Linux

        Asset Forge, a seriously useful program to help anyone make models and sprites for their games has a big 2.0 revamp that’s in preview and it’s now on Linux. Asset Forge 2 is a complete re-write, aimed at making it more feature-filled than ever.

        The original version has been on Linux for some time but initially the 2.0 version was Windows only, that changed with the release of Asset Forge 2.0 preview-1e on June 23. Not only does it bring in Linux support, it also added new features and tutorials.

        How does Asset Forge work? It gives you a big selection of blocks you can stick together with various tools to position, stretch, rotate and so on to make all sorts of wild creations.

      • Unity Learn Premium has been made permanently free

        After initially opening up their developer resources for a few months, Unity Technologies have now decided to make Unity Learn Premium actually free for all.

        Unity mentioned that over three hundred thousand developers sign up for their initial three-months free period, so clearly there was a huge amount of interest. Giving access to a wealth of resources including game template projects, live chats with Unity experts, Unity courses to follow, tutorials and so on it’s quite a nice boost for game developers.

      • Co-op RPG ‘Adventure in Aellion’ Early Access release delayed to August

        Originally due to launch July 22, the co-op RPG Adventure in Aellion has now been delayed until August 26.

        Adventure in Aellion is an open-world fantasy epic combining the game style of classic dungeon adventure games with seamless drop-in, drop-out multiplayer to create a world ripe for exploration.

      • Boreal Tenebrae is another fascinating PS1-styled horror adventure

        Bring on the PS1-style resurgence! Not only do we have Alisa upcoming but Boreal Tenebrae (previously Boreal Tales) also looks pretty amazing and it’s out now.

        A very retro themed mystery adventure with a dash of horror themes at the core, Boreal Tenebrae also pulls in the dream logic of works like ‘Yume Nikki’ and the fixed camera angles found in the classics. It’s a story of a working-class northern town plagued by some sort of boxes, which seem to emit sound kind of static and everything is going a bit weird.

      • Google announce 4 Stadia Pro titles for July, plus new titles landing today

        While the port of The Elder Scrolls Online was something of a disappointment on Stadia, there’s more coming to look forward to if you’re a fan of the game streaming service.

      • Prison Architect – Island Bound expansion is out now plus free update

        Completely changing the way you think about and design your prison systems, the Prison Architect – Island Bound expansion is out now along with a free update for everyone. This is the first true major expansion for Prison Architect, and likely a sign of what’s to come since Double Eleven took over as developer since Paradox Interactive now own the IP.

      • Skul: The Hero Slayer gets a Dead Cells crossover

        Skul: The Hero Slayer just got a big update with a Dead Cells crossover character ability, not that I needed any excuse to jump back into Skul: The Hero Slayer.

        As far as rogue-lite action platformers go, Skul: The Hero Slayer has so far been pretty great and definitely reminds me of Dead Cells. Skul is firmly unique though, thanks to the Skull swapping feature that sees you take on many different forms. High quality pixel-art, mixed with fast-paced action and a lot of variety in the enemies you encounter make it stand out against so many others. It’s currently in Early Access and they’ve continued expanding all parts of it since the initial release in February.

      • The Minecraft Nether Update is out now and it’s massive

        Feeling adventurous? Minecraft has again become a whole lot bigger with the Nether Update now available.

        Probably one of the biggest updates yet! The Nether now has multiple new biomes including: Basalt Deltas, Crimson Forest, Soulsand Valley and the Warped Forest. In addition to that there’s new mobs including Hoglins, Piglins, Striders and Zoglins. All together with the assortment of new blocks, actually living and surviving in the Nether is now a lot different and possible although difficult.

      • Vernal Edge is now funded bringing great pixel-art and enemy-juggling combat

        With a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter that’s now finished, Vernal Edge from Hello Penguin is now officially on the way to Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.19.2 Desktop Is Out with More Than 25 Bug Fixes, Improvements

          Coming just a week after the first point release and two weeks after the launch of the KDE Plasma 5.19 desktop environment series, the Plasma 5.19.2 update is here to fix more important issues in an attempt to make the desktop environment more stable and reliable.

          This point release includes improvements for the Discover package manager, which now confirms the reboot action with the user, as well as the KSysGuard system monitor utility, which now has more sane default sizes for new System Monitor widgets and allows users to search in the new System Monitor configuration pages.

        • It’s Looking Unlikely KDE Will See Per-Screen Scaling On X11 This Year

          At the start of 2020 well known KDE developer Nate Graham who publishes the weekly status reports on their desktop environment posted a 2020 KDE roadmap of sorts. Now being half-way through the year, here is a look at how that roadmap is looking with what items have been completed, what is still being tackled, and what is looking less likely to be accomplished.

          From the 2020 roadmap made by Graham, already completed this year is better handling of FUSE mounts via kio-fuse, improving Samba share discovery for Dolphin, and auto-rotation handling in conjunction with rotation sensors for tablets/convertibles.

        • Week 3: GSoC Project Report

          This week I implemented views, drag and drop of storyboard items in the central view and made some small changes. I also ran unit-tests, checked for memory leaks and debugged code, but unfortunately we couldn’t get it tested by users as we got some crashes.

          There are three views to customize what part of the storyboard item you see. Namely they are Thumbnail only, Comments only and Both. This was easy to implement as we only had to make changes to delegate and view class to draw the right parts based on the chosen view.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Bluestar Linux 5.7.4 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Bluestar Linux 5.7.4. Enjoy!

        • Master and Slave Are Being Removed From Open Source Software

          Due to the political climate, many organizations and open source projects are removing the terms “master” and/or “slave” from their software. GitHub is changing “master” branches to “main” branches. Master-slave terminology in regards to drives, file systems, programming languages, etc. are being removed as well.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Manager 4.1 Public Release Candidate 1!

          As usual, we have prepared tons of updates and we hope you will like it.
          We also now have a new Public Mailing List, so you can share your feedback with our Public Beta Community, our Engineering and our Product Managers.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • GNU Health expands Raspberry Pi support, Megadeth’s guitarist uses open source principles, and more open source news.

          The GNU Health project, designed to help hospitals run on low-cost software and hardware, expanded its support for Rapsberry Pi models in its recent release according to CNX. The GNU Health Embedded version that runs on Raspberry Pis is “especially suited for remote areas without internet, academic Institutions, domiciliary units, home nursing, and laboratory stations.”

        • Call for Code and HERE Technologies

          Since the creation of Call for Code, IBM has tackled society’s most pressing issues by partnering with a wide collection of humanitarian experts and leading tech providers. This ecosystem is what sets us apart. It helps developers get the real-world insights and tools you need to create innovative solutions and deploy them wherever they’re most needed. We rely on partners like HERE Technologies to help inspire and power each new wave of solutions.

          HERE, a location and technology platform, joined Call for Code in April. They provide location services APIs that let you access geospatial data, routing, geofencing and interactive maps. Working together with the HERE team, we realized this technology was a perfect fit for our starter kits: the quick start-guides to help you start creating applications tied to easy-to-understand use cases in just minutes. HERE’s code and APIs are featured in both the COVID-19 community cooperation starter kit and the climate change disaster resiliency starter kit.

          “When you combine HERE’s highly accurate location technology with IBM Watson, you give developers a sophisticated tool set which can be used to help solve the world’s most challenging problems,” said Mithun Dhar, VP Developer Relations and Self-Serve Channel for HERE.

          So far, hundreds of developers have signed-up for HERE APIs to build their Call for Code solutions, including Dave Chura who created Safe Queue. Safe Queue is one of the top three solutions IBM selected in May as part of our accelerated COVID-19 track for early deployment.

        • Culture of Innovation: Data Management on the IoT Edge

          There’s been a trend over the past decade of bringing compute into centralized data centers. And that looks like public cloud. This has been driven by requirements around taking advantage of the economies of scale that are available at the centralized data centers, like being able to make use of centralized power and centralized cooling, and locating data centers in places that might be less expensive.

      • Debian Family

        • eDEX-UI

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: eDEX-UI

          [...]

          Features:
          – Fully featured terminal emulator with tabs, colors, mouse events, and support for curses and curses-like applications.
          – Real-time system (CPU, RAM, swap, processes) and network (GeoIP, active connections, transfer rates) monitoring.
          – Full support for touch-enabled displays, including an on-screen keyboard.
          – Directory viewer that follows the CWD (current working directory) of the terminal.
          – Advanced customization using themes, on-screen keyboard layouts, CSS injections. See the wiki for more info.
          – Optional sound effects made by a talented sound designer for maximum hollywood hacking vibe.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • AMD EPYC Rome support in Ubuntu Server

          The second generation of AMD EPYC central processing unit (CPU), codenamed Rome, provides outstanding performance and “hardened at the code” security. It was launched in 2019 and has already been widely adopted.

          Support for AMD EPYC Rome has been merged to the Linux kernel starting with 5.4 series. Therefore, all Ubuntu releases with 5.4 kernel installed support this CPU and all its new features. However, Canonical has also backported basic support for AMD EPYC Rome to older LTS releases to ensure they will work properly on this new CPU.

        • 2020 LiveCD Memory Usage Compare

          Time for a 20.04 LTS LiveCD memory comparison with a bunch more distros. I last did one in 2016.

          Using Lubuntu as an example base memory usage approximately doubled from 2016 (251M) to 2020 (585M). Those numbers aren’t strictly comparable because I’m not using the exact same setup as in 16.04 and I enabled more modern features (virtio graphics, EUFI, 4 cores).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Tips for switching your team to a SharePoint open source alternative

        MediaWiki is many IT professionals’ first exposure to wikis. By virtue of being the platform behind Wikipedia, MediaWiki’s familiarity makes it a compelling open source alternative to proprietary technology like Atlassian Confluence, which is common with developers, and SharePoint, the default corporate collaboration platform.

        If you would like to bring MediaWiki into your organization but aren’t sure how to begin, I hope the following best practices I’ve learned as a regular MediaWiki user will help you get started.

      • Redis 6: A high-speed database, cache, and message broker

        Like many, you might think of Redis as only a cache. That point of view is out of date.

        Essentially, Redis is a NoSQL in-memory data structure store that can persist on disk. It can function as a database, a cache, and a message broker. Redis has built-in replication, Lua scripting, LRU eviction, transactions, and different levels of on-disk persistence. It provides high availability via Redis Sentinel and automatic partitioning with Redis Cluster.

        The core Redis data model is key-value, but many different kinds of values are supported: Strings, Lists, Sets, Sorted Sets, Hashes, Streams, HyperLogLogs, and Bitmaps. Redis also supports geospatial indexes with radius queries and streams.

        [ ALSO ON INFOWORLD: HOW REDIS SCRATCHED AND ITCH — AND CHANGED DATABASES FOREVER ]
        To open source Redis, Redis Enterprise adds features for additional speed, reliability, and flexibility, as well as a cloud database as a service. Redis Enterprise scales linearly to hundreds of millions of operations per second, has active-active global distribution with local latency, offers Redis on Flash to support large datasets at the infrastructure cost of a disk-based database, and provides 99.999% uptime based on built-in durability and single-digit-seconds failover.

      • PeaZip 7.3.2

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

        Open and extract 180+ archive formats: 001, 7Z, ACE(*), ARC, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, DMG, GZ, ISO, LHA, PAQ, PEA, RAR, TAR, UDF, WIM, XZ, ZIP ZIPX – view full list of supported archive file formats for archiving and for extraction.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Promote your Onion site with the Onion-Location HTTP header

            The Tor Browser anonymizes web browsing using multi-hop network routing featuring layered encryption (the “Onion network”). You can picture it like that trope in action movies where they’re tracing a network intrusion back through multiple server locations scattered all over a world map. (Except that the reverse tracing isn’t a thing and the Onion network’s encryption prevents any meaningful interception.)

          • Update on Firefox Support for macOS 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11

            On June 30th, macOS 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11 users will automatically be moved to the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR).

            While Apple doesn’t have an official policy governing security updates for older macOS releases, their ongoing practice has been to support the most recent three releases (i.e. version N, N-1, and N-2). The last security update applicable to macOS 10.11 was made available nearly 2 years ago in July 2018 (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222). Unsupported operating systems receive no security updates, have known exploits, and can be dangerous to use, which makes it difficult and less than optimal to maintain Firefox for those versions.

          • Welcoming Safari to the WebExtensions Community

            Browser extensions provide a convenient and powerful way for people to take control of how they experience the web. From blocking ads to organizing tabs, extensions let people solve everyday problems and add whimsy to their online lives.

            At yesterday’s WWDC event, Apple announced that Safari is adopting a web-based API for browser extensions similar to Firefox’s WebExtensions API. Built using familiar web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, the API makes it easy for developers to write one code base that will work in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Edge with minimal browser-specific changes. We’re excited to see expanded support for this common set of browser extension APIs.

            [...]

            Interested in porting your browser extension to Safari? Visit MDN to see which APIs are currently supported. Developers can start testing the new API in Safari 14 using the seed build for macOS Big Sur. The API will be available in Safari 14 on macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina in the future.

          • Firefox 78 new contributors

            With the release of Firefox 78, we are pleased to welcome the 34 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 28 of whom were brand new volunteers!

          • What is the core of the Python programming language?

            It’s no secret that I want a Python implementation for WebAssembly. It would not only get Python into the browser, but with the fact that both iOS and Android support running JavaScript as part of an app it would also get Python on to mobile. That all excites me.

            But when thinking about the daunting task of creating a new implementation of Python, my brain also began asking the question of what exactly is Python? We have lived with CPython for so long that I suspect most of us simply think that “Python == CPython”. PyPy tries to be so compatible that they will implement implementation details of CPython. Basically most implementations of Python that I know of strive to pass CPython’s test suite and to be as compatible with CPython as possible.

            That’s daunting. Python as implemented by CPython is very dynamic and exposes many things that only make sense if you implement Python using an interpreter somehow. For instance, PyPy has a baseline interpreter that they JIT from, but there are many things you can use in Python which force PyPy to turn off the JIT and stick with bytecode. The REPL alone makes things very dynamic as everything you enter into the REPL is dynamically parsed, compiled, and executed by the interpreter right then and there.

            That has led me to contemplate the question of what exactly is Python? What is the core of the language that makes it what it is? What baseline would all Python implementations need to cover in order to truly be able to call themselves an implementation of Python that people would still recognize? Or from my perspective, how much would one have to implement to compile Python directly to WebAssembly and still be considered a Python implementation?

          • Firefox Relay protects your email address from hackers and spammers

            Firefox Relay is a smart, easy solution that can preserve the privacy of your email address, much like a post office box for your physical address. When a form requires your email address, but you’d rather not share it, Firefox Relay can help. Click the relay button to give an alias instead. Firefox Relay will forward emails from the alias to your real inbox, keeping your actual email address hidden.

            Firefox Relay is currently in the experimental, closed beta phase, and it’s free for now. If you’re an early adopter who likes to test new products, sign up for an invitation to give it a try.

            Why bother? Email addresses are a hot commodity, and with good reason. Most people have only one or two email addresses, yet they have dozens, if not hundreds, of online accounts connected to them. Your email address is a unique identifier — after all, you’re the only one with it. And that means a good deal of data is associated with it, making your email address a desirable target.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Looks Gorgeous on Zorin OS

          Do you know that LibreOffice looks pretty on Zorin? The developers apparently made excellent effort so that its appearance looks well shaped as from its desktop, its start menu, to file manager, every app looks pretty, and this includes the office suite. I present you here short videos and simple reviews of these beautiful combination for our computing. Enjoy!

        • Calc Guide 6.4 is Released! – Download Now!

          The LibreOffice Documentation Team announces the release of the LibreOffice Calc Guide 6.4, the complete handbook for the spreadsheet tool of LibreOffice. The guide was updated from the existing release 6.2 and include all the improvements developed since then.

        • Online events in the LibreOffice Hispanic community

          Everyone loves to meet in person, share ideas, work on the software and have a good time. Of course, “real life” meetings have been difficult in the last few months, so many communities in the LibreOffice project have chosen to go online.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP for Authors

            This is my GIMP image editor guide for authors. GIMP is a professional free image manipulation program for everyone which is good for editing photos and pictures as you can have the program on personal computer, Mac and also other platforms. This guide is intended for everyone who writes with computer regardless their operating system brands. I make this based on my own experience authoring in this UbuntuBuzz website. You will find in this guide enough skills to edit pictures and photos for your text works such as articles, tutorials, books, pamphlets and so on without the skills you will not need. I will also include every section with fun exercises for you. I make this guide in form of a serial of limited number of articles so you will find it easy to learn. In this first page you see the overview of all titles and I am in a progress working all the tutorials. I hope you will enjoy this.

      • Programming/Development

        • Regarding Git and Branch Naming

          Existing versions of Git are capable of working with any branch name; there’s nothing special about ‘master’ except that it has historically been the name used for the first branch when creating a new repository from scratch (with the git init command). Thus many projects use it to represent the primary line of development. We support and encourage projects to switch to branch names that are meaningful and inclusive, and we’ll be adding features to Git to make it even easier to use a different default for new projects.

        • Python

          • Clinging to memory: how Python function calls can increase your memory usage

            Unlike languages like C, much of the time Python will free up memory for you. But sometimes, it won’t work the way you expect it to.

          • EuroPython 2020: Opening our Merchandise Shop
          • Creating a Discord Bot in Python

            In a world where video games are so important to so many people, communication and community around games are vital. Discord offers both of those and more in one well-designed package. In this course, you’ll learn how to make a Discord bot in Python so that you can make the most of this fantastic platform.

          • Understanding Zato server startup callable objects

            Zato startup callable objects are a means through which arbitrary Python functions or classes can be invoked when a server is booting up in order to influence its configuration or setup, even before any service is invoked.

            This technique offers customisation possibilities in addition to the standard configuration options set before a server starts – read on to learn details.

          • Relaunch of Mouse Vs Python YouTube Channel

            I recently decided to relaunch the Mouse vs Python YouTube channel. I am working on new tutorials from the 2nd Edition of Python 101 as well as starting some new content on regular Python tutorials and wxPython tutorials.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #426 (June 23, 2020)
          • Python 3.8.3 : Using twitter application with python-twitter – part 001.

            I used the python-twitter see the official webpage documentation.

          • PyCharm virtual environment creation

            The availability of many third party packages makes Python such a powerful and appealing programming language choice. Moreover, you can select Python for almost any kind of project, ranging from desktop applications, web applications, server scripts and even embedded systems. The recommended approach for installing third party packages is to install them in a project specific virtual environment.

            The concept of Python virtual environments is great. You can install whatever package, and even a specific version of a package, just for the project you work on. It won’t affect your main Python installation or your other Python projects.

            Unfortunately creating, activating and deactivating virtual environments strikes me as tiresome. You need to leave the comfort of your Python programming environment and fire up a terminal to perform these tasks. Luckily, the PyCharm development environment solves this problem. It enables you to conveniently create a virtual environment for your Python project. Once created, PyCharm automatically activates and deactivates the virtual environment for you, each time you open and close your Python project, respectively.

          • Report of June 16th Cubicweb Meeting

            Here is the weekly report of last week meeting with some delay…

          • Python 101 – Working with Files

            Application developers are always working with files. You create them whenever you write a new script or application. You write reports in Microsoft Word, you save emails or download books or music. Files are everywhere. Your web browser downloads lots of little files to make your browsing experience faster.

            When you write programs, you have to interact with pre-existing files or write out files yourself. Python provides a nice, built-in function called open() that can help you with these tasks.

          • Python Meeting Düsseldorf – 2020-06-24

            The following text is in German, since we’re announcing a regional user group meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog Post #2

            Hi every one, So after 3 weeks my PR finally got merged now tern have html feature up and running. I had some quizzes at the start of week so it was a very busy start of the week.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Character equivalence classes 2: the nature of equivalence

            In part 1 of this 2-part series I showed how to use POSIX equivalence classes in searching and replacing. But what does “equivalence” actually mean?

            It’s complicated, but equivalence classes based on Unicode are derived mainly from the script in which the characters appear, not by the appearance of the characters.

        • Rust

          • Rust for Data-Intensive Computation

            I have some thoughts on the use of Rust for data-intensive computations. Specifically, I’ve found several of Rust’s key idioms line up very well with the performance and correctness needs of data-intensive computing.

          • Diving into Rust with a CLI

            A blog post titled, “Diving into Go by Building a CLI Application” has been making it’s rounds of the internet. It uses a small XKCD downloader as the subject. I thought was small and self contained enough, that it’d be interesting to see the same example in Rust!

          • Writing Non-Trivial Macros in Rust

            Macros in Rust tend to have a reputation for being complex and magical, the likes which only seasoned wizards like @dtolnay can hope to understand, let alone master.

            Rust’s declarative macros provide a mechanism for pattern matching on arbitrary syntax to generate valid Rust code at compile time. I use them all the time for simple search/replace style operations like generating tests that have a lot of boilerplate, or straightforward trait implementations for a large number of types.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 344
          • Cross building Rust GStreamer plugins for the Raspberry Pi

            In our previous post we discussed about how Rust can be a great language for embedded programming. In this article, we’ll explain an easy way to setup to cross build Rust code depending on system libraries, a common requirement when working on embedded systems.

        • Node.js

          • A surprising way to do data science with Node.js

            JavaScript (also known as JS) is the lingua franca of the web, as it is supported by all the major web browsers—the other languages that run in browsers are transpiled (or translated) to JavaScript. Sometimes JS can be confusing, but I find it pleasant to use because I try to stick to the good parts. JavaScript was created to run in a browser, but it can also be used in other contexts, such as an embedded language or for server-side applications.

            In this tutorial, I will explain how to write a program that will run in Node.js, which is a runtime environment that can execute JavaScript applications. What I like the most about Node.js is its event-driven architecture for asynchronous programming. With this approach, functions (aka callbacks) can be attached to certain events; when the attached event occurs, the callback executes. This way, the developer does not have to write a main loop because the runtime takes care of that.

          • How to install the Strapi Node.js headless CMS

            Strapi is a cross between a content management system (CMS) and a Node.js framework. With this headless tool running in your data center, you’ll save weeks of API development time. Strapi offers only the basic functionalities for managing content and users, while allowing you to manage and share that content via REST or GraphQL.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • CAN XL error detection capabilities

        CAN XL offers data-rates and payload sizes that are many times higher than in Classical CAN and CAN FD [1], [2]. Error detection is a crucial functionality provided by communication protocols. A receiving node has to be able to judge if a frame was received with or without errors. Autonomous driving and other safety relevant applications require that frame errors are detected with a very high probability. The acceptance of an erroneous frame should be practically impossible. This article first introduces the three CAN error types known in literature that might occur in a frame in harsh environments: (1) bit error, (2) bit drop and bit insertion, (3) burst errors. The two main pillars of the CAN error detection mechanism are: (A) the cyclic redundancy code (CRC) check and (B) the format checks. Both pillars are strengthened during the currently ongoing specification of CAN XL, to fit to tomorrow’s applications.

        We explain how these pillars were improved. Therefor we show the reasons for the chosen CRC concept of having both a header CRC and a frame CRC in a CAN XL frame. Further, we introduce the available format checks in CAN XL. Finally, we show systematically how the CAN XL error detection mechanisms master to detect the three error types. A deep dive into the properties and strengths of the used CRC polynomials is given in [9].

  • Leftovers

    • Koan: In Memory of Thích Quảng Đức
    • Science

      • [Old] I Set Two Cars On Fire Last Night, Here’s What I Learned

        We ran the exercise three times, once with an engine fire on the Suzuki, once with the entire Suzuki consumed by conflagration or “fully involved” in fireman speak, and the last time with an engine fire in both vehicles simultaneously.

        As a newer member of my fire district, my role is still limited to supporting tasks. But at least it was a better position to observe all the exciting aspects of car fires you might not have thought about, which I’ll share with you here.

    • Education

      • We Need Police Out of Our Schools—Now

        On June 7, Seattle high school teacher and author Jesse Hagopian interviewed Minneapolis Public School student Nathaniel Genene about the uprising in Minneapolis against police violence and the movement to remove police from the schools. Nathaniel is the current student representative on the Minneapolis Board of Education and an officer on the citywide Youth Leadership Council for the Minneapolis public schools.

        This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Make Masks Mandatory in All Public Spaces

        Enough denialism. Enough childishness. People are dying and state government is criminally indifferent. It’s up to our local governments to act.

      • The EU plans to ban US travelers indefinitely after haphazard COVID-19 response

        The EU is still finalizing the list, the NYT reports, and it expects to submit it to the 27 bloc members next week ahead of the July 1st reopening deadline. Members are being strongly encouraged to adopt it or else the EU may consider reinstating stricter borders within the bloc to prevent travelers from countries on the list from entering into one country with looser restrictions and crossing the border into another.

      • E.U. May Bar American Travelers as It Reopens Borders, Citing Failures on Virus

        Travelers from the United States and the rest of the world already had been excluded from visiting the European Union — with few exceptions mostly for repatriations or “essential travel” — since mid-March. But a final decision on reopening the borders is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1.

        A prohibition of Americans by Brussels partly reflects the shifting pattern of the pandemic. In March, when Europe was the epicenter, Mr. Trump infuriated European leaders when he banned citizens from most European Union countries from traveling to America. Mr. Trump justified the move as necessary to protect the United States, which at the time had roughly 1,100 coronavirus cases and 38 deaths.

      • House Dems Introduce Bill to Prevent Big Pharma Price-Gouging During Covid-19 Pandemic

        The legislation was applauded as necessary to combat Trump’s “sycophancy to drug corporations” that is “endangering the nation’s pandemic response.”

      • WHO Reports Largest Single-Day Increase in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases

        The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this week that Sunday saw the highest number of new cases of coronavirus across the globe since the pandemic began.

      • Four Years of Failure on Toxic Chemicals

        It’s become clear we can’t rely on EPA to do its job. Which is why the task once again falls to Congress.

      • Missing: 505 COVID Masks Destined for Baghdad Hospital via UPS

        Our human-to-human good-will gesture—the washing, cutting, sewing, assembling and shipping costs along with the sweet anticipation of their arrival in Baghdad—has been denied, stolen from us. 

      • Afghanistan’s missing coronavirus patients: Women

        High coronavirus infection rates among health workers – and lopsidedly low numbers among women – are raising fears that Afghan women are missing out on healthcare while their exposure to the virus goes undetected.

        Women make up only 27 percent of Afghanistan’s roughly 30,000 coronavirus cases, according to health ministry data. And roughly five percent of the country’s total cases have been health workers, according to the UN – a sign the health system is struggling to contain an outbreak that has swept through every province.

        For the past three months, Fauzia Abrar has seen both trends unfold in her job as head nurse at one of the biggest COVID-19 hospitals in northwestern Herat city – the early epicentre of Afghanistan’s outbreak.

        “We’ve tested hundreds of people every day, but only about 30 to 35 percent of them are women,” Abrar said, her face covered by a mask. “This, however, doesn’t mean fewer women get sick. It just means fewer show up at testing centres.”

        Just as alarming to her: all of the hospital’s 15 doctors, and many of the 30 nurses, have tested positive, including her.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Feds aim to bolster data encryption practices for .gov websites

        GSA officials want that HTTP Strict Transport Security functionality enabled automatically for federal websites.

      • U.S. Pushes for HTTPS on .gov Domains

        One of the additional features adopted to further enhance the security of users was HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which ensures that browsers always enforce an HTTPS connection to a website.

        The issue with HSTS is that it does not offer protection on the first connection to a website, unless the domain has been included in the HSTS preload list, which tells the browser to get HSTS enabled automatically.

        On Monday, the U.S. government’s DotGov Program, which operates the .gov TLD, announced intent to preload the .gov TLD to ensure the security of users.

      • Proprietary

        • Hijacking DLLs in Windows

          First of all, let’s get the definition out of the way. DLL hijacking is, in the broadest sense, tricking a legitimate/trusted application into loading an arbitrary DLL. Terms such as DLL Search Order Hijacking, DLL Load Order Hijacking, DLL Spoofing, DLL Injection and DLL Side-Loading are often -mistakenly- used to say the same. At best such terms describe specific cases of DLL hijacking, but are often used interchangeably and therefore incorrectly. As an umbrella term, DLL hijacking is more accurate, as DLL hijacking always involves a DLL taking over from a legitimate DLL.

          Attackers have been seen to use DLL hijacking in different ways and for different reasons. Motives include execution (executing malicious code through a trusted executable may be less likely to set off alarm bells, and in some cases even bypasses application whitelist features such as AppLocker [1]), obtaining persistence (if the target application is pre-installed and runs regularly, so will the malicious code) and privilege escalation (if the target application runs under elevated permissions, so will the malicious code).

          There is a variety of approaches to choose from, with success depending on how the application is configured to load its required DLLs. Possible approaches include: [...]

        • Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch Competitor and Home to Ninja, Is Dead

          Mixer made headlines a year ago when streaming superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins signed a deal reportedly worth $20 to $30 million to leave Twitch and stream exclusively on Mixer. Mixer signed other popular streamers Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek and Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, but the move seemed to hurt everyone in the long run. Twitch’s viewership numbers fell. Ninja had racked up 14 million subscribers on Twitch, after a year on Mixer he’s sitting at just over 3 million.

          Mixer was home to hundreds of other working streamers, putting in the time and building audiences on a new platform. Working on Mixer was always a risk. Twitch had the name recognition and the headstart and Microsoft spent tens of millions of dollars betting that it could drive viewers to the service by courting Twitch’s most popular personalities.

        • Apple to Ditch Intel Chips in Macs as It Consolidates Its Power

          Losing Apple as a customer is a symbolic hit, as well as a financial one. Intel sells to Apple about $3.4 billion in chips for Macs each year, or less than 5 percent of Intel’s annual sales, according to C.J. Muse, an Evercore analyst.

        • Top European official warns China against targeting hospitals with cyberattacks [iophk: Windows kills]

          While China has not been implicated in many of these attacks, it is regarded by experts as one of the most dangerous nation-states in cyberspace, alongside Russia, North Korea and Iran.

        • How fast are Apple’s new ARM Mac chips? It’s hard to tell

          Now, it’s official: Apple is migrating the Mac to its own homegrown silicon, starting later this year.

          But are Apple’s ARM chips actually powerful enough now to replace the likes of Intel and AMD? That’s still an open question — because at Apple’s 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company shied away from giving us any definitive answers.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • What enterprise developers need to know about security and compliance

            One of the luxuries of my job is that I get to speak to and work with a range of IT people employed by U.S. federal and state government agencies. That range includes DevOps engineers, developers, sysadmins, database administrators, and security professionals. Everyone I talk to, even security professionals, says that IT security and compliance can be imprecise, subjective, overwhelming, and variable—especially in the federal government.

          • Josh Bressers: The ineffective CISO

            I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. I’ve seen some CISOs who are amazing at what they do, and I’ve seen plenty that can’t get anything done. After working with one that I think is particularly good lately, I’ve made some observations that has changed my mind about the modern day CISO reporting structure.

            The TL;DR of this post is if you have a CISO that claims they can only get their job done if they report to the board or CEO, you have an ineffective CISO.

            All change, even change in our organizations tends to obey Newton’s Third Law of motion. For every action there must be an equal and opposite action. Change happens because there is something driving that change. Change doesn’t happen because someone is complaining about it. A CEO demanding action could be your incentive. Maybe you need better security posture to help sales. Maybe you had an incident and making sure it never happens again is a driver.

            What’s the inception for security change in your organization? If bad security is holding back sales, that’s easy to understand. But what happens when there isn’t an obvious need for security? All change in an organization, especially security change, will be the result of some other action. In our case we are going to call that action our incentive.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (thunderbird), Debian (wordpress), Fedora (ca-certificates, kernel, libexif, and tomcat), openSUSE (chromium, containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork, fwupd, osc, perl, php7, and xmlgraphics-batik), Oracle (unbound), Red Hat (containernetworking-plugins, dpdk, grafana, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, libexif, microcode_ctl, ntp, pcs, and skopeo), Scientific Linux (unbound), SUSE (kernel, mariadb, mercurial, and xawtv), and Ubuntu (mutt and nfs-utils).

          • Principles for Making Your Linux System More Secure

            Security by design not only makes for a securer system, it also provides a better understanding of how your Linux system is constructed. Here are 10 of the most common security by design principles.

            To many users, security is a matter of using the right tools – a matter, for instance, of setting up a firewall or perhaps an antivirus application. Such tools should be part of any security policy, but they are lacking in two important ways. First, they do not add up to any coherent understanding of security. Users install these tools, but without much understanding of the security principles that lie behind them. Second, many are reactive tools, designed to respond to an intrusion, rather than prevent them in the first place. A more fruitful approach is security by design, which offers basic approaches to writing software or configuring a system.

            [...]

            Open Design

            One major advantage of free software is that development is public. Anyone can access the code, and the engineering standards are freely available, which means that with open design there is a greater chance of improvements or of bugs being detected. This principle was expressed in Eric S. Raymond’s The Cathederal and the Bazaar as “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” It is named Linus’s Law in honor of Linus Torvalds.

            The opposite of open design is security by obscurity, which is frequently considered a practice of proprietary software development. Instead of reporting a bug as soon as it discovered – the common practice in free software – security by obscurity delays reporting the bug until a patch is released. The problem with this practice is that no one knows if the bug is exploited during the wait for the patch, which can take months. By contrast, open design provides an incentive to write a speedy patch and allows more than one person or team to write a patch. Open design is not foolproof, and it is not always followed, but at the very least, it minimizes security risks.

          • TCG Pushes for Security in Embedded, Automotive, and IoT Systems with Complete TPM 2.0 Software Stack

            The completed TCG TSS Stack standard now supports a wide range of devices making it possible to integrate the TPM 2.0 as a turnkey solution and to achieve interoperability for platform security, network communication, and data exchange.

          • Open Source Success: Let’s Encrypt

            Let’s Encrypt is a project that, although you might not think about it often, plays a huge role in securing the websites that you use every day – including our own FOSSlife. In this article, as part of our open source success series, we’ll look at the history and impressive achievements of the Let’s Encrypt project.

            Briefly, Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, global certificate authority (CA) providing TLS certificates to 200 million websites. This service allows organizations to obtain, renew, and manage SSL/TLS certificates and thus enable secure HTTPS connections. According to the project website, their mission is “to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web by promoting the widespread adoption of HTTPS.”

            That rate of adoption has been nothing short of phenomenal. In February of 2020, the organization marked a major milestone, issuing one billion total certificates. Additionally, back in June of 2017, approximately 58 percent of page loads used HTTPS globally (with 64 percent in the United States). In 2020, according to the announcement, 81 percent of page loads used HTTPS globally (with 91 percent in the US). “This is an incredible achievement. That’s a lot more privacy and security for everybody,” the announcement state

          • Matthew Garrett: Making my doorbell work [Ed: "The future is wonderful," says Google's Matthew Garrett about installing listening devices connected to Google even outside his own home]

            So. Someone pushes the doorbell. That sends a signal to a machine that’s bridged onto that network via an access point. That machine then sends a protobuf command to speakers on a separate network, asking them to stream a sample it’s providing. Those speakers call back to that machine, grab the sample and play it. At this point, multiple speakers in the house say “Someone is at the door”. I then say “Hey Google, activate the front gate” – the device I’m closest to picks this up and sends it to Google, where something turns my speech back into text. It then looks at my home structure data and realises that the “Front Gate” device is associated with my Home Assistant integration. It then calls out to the home automation machine that received the notification in the first place, asking it to trigger the front gate relay. That device calls out to the Doorbird and asks it to open the gate. And now I have functionality equivalent to a doorbell that completes a circuit and rings a bell inside my home, and a button inside my home that completes a circuit and opens the gate, except it involves two networks inside my building, callouts to the cloud, at least 7 devices inside my home that are running Linux and I really don’t want to know how many computational cycles.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • APT groups’ mobile momentum finally faces resistance

              The cyber defence industry is finally turning its attentions toward mobile devices as Covid-19 shines a light on remote working trends and strains. Unfortunately, they’re already 10 years behind the world’s most elite Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) contingent.

              While this period of lockdown, working from home, and siloed digital infrastructures have undoubtedly caught the eye of the most sophisticated – often state-run – hacking operations, it would be a mistake to think that such a focus is only just taking off.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Victory: Indiana Supreme Court Rules that Police Can’t Force Smartphone User to Unlock Her Phone

              In courts across the country, EFF has been arguing that the police cannot constitutionally require you to unlock your phone or give them your password, and today the Indiana Supreme Court issued a strong opinion agreeing with us. In the case, Seo v. State, the court found that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination protected a woman against unlocking her phone because complying with the order was a form of “testimony” under the Fifth Amendment. Indiana joins Pennsylvania, which ruled strongly in favor of the Fifth Amendment privilege in a compelled decryption case last year. Meanwhile, state supreme courts in New Jersey and Oregon are also considering this issue. 

              In Seo, the defendant reported to law enforcement outside of Indianapolis that she had been the victim of a rape and allowed a detective to examine her iPhone for evidence. But the state never filed charges against Seo’s alleged rapist, identified as “D.S.” Instead, the detective suspected that Seo was harassing D.S. with spoofed calls and texts, and she was ultimately arrested and charged with felony stalking. The state not only sought a search warrant to go through Seo’s phone, but a court order to force her to unlock it. Seo refused, invoking her Fifth Amendment rights. The trial court held her in contempt, but an intermediate appeals court reversed.

            • Private Internet Access to temporarily remove Mexico VPN exit gateway

              Private Internet Access is removing its Mexico VPN server from our VPN network. We are leaving the Mexico region temporarily as we seek a new data center partner to work with.  In the past, we have had to remove exit gateways as a result of various reasons including changing regulations or government actions. Since the closing of our Mexico exit gateway is not related to government requests or a change in law, Private Internet Access is planning to offer a Mexico exit gateway in the future. Mexico has been a highly requested VPN exit gateway location and our users can rest assured that we will bring the exit gateway back with a reliable data center partner as soon as possible.

            • Identifying a Person Based on a Photo, LinkedIn and Etsy Profiles, and Other Internet Bread Crumbs

              The obvious moral isn’t a new one: don’t have a distinctive tattoo. But more interesting is how different pieces of evidence can be strung together in order to identify someone. This particular chain was put together manually, but expect machine learning techniques to be able to do this sort of thing automatically — and for organizations like the NSA to implement them on a broad scale.

              Another article did a more detailed analysis, and concludes that the Etsy review was the linchpin.

            • Privacy-Focused OS Wants to Know How Facebook and the FBI Hacked it

              Harlo Holmes has been developing tools for journalists and activists for years, and now helps media organizations set up SecureDrop and trains their journalists to use tools such as Tails. Holmes said that Facebook needs to be more transparent as to what the vulnerability was exactly, and what the agreement with the FBI was.

              “What was in that contract? Was it a one time use license against this one actor? Or did they just hand it over to the FBI and be like ‘now this is in your arsenal now’?” Holmes said in a phone call. “Those are very, very key questions.”

            • How Social Media Has Changed Civil Rights Protests

              Social media radically simplified organizing and coordinating large groups. The downside is there isn’t a deep well of trust among demonstrators, as there was among people who did the first sit-ins of lunch counters and all knew each other.x

            • The CIA Can’t Protect Its Own Hacking Tools. Why Should We Trust Government Privacy and Security Proposals?

              As implied earlier, we should strongly resist government efforts to compromise encryption in the name of law enforcement or anything else. Some of the most technically savvy government bodies cannot even secure the secret weapons they have not advertised. Can you imagine the attack vectors if they publicly attain some master encryption-breaking technique?

              It also demonstrates the weaknesses of many top-down proposals to promote privacy or security. Government plans often attempt to sketch out master checklists that must be followed perfectly on all levels to work well. They can be time-consuming and burdensome, which means that personnel often cut corners and shirk accountability. Then when disaster inevitably strikes, the conclusion is that “people didn’t stick to the plan hard enough,” not that the plan was generally unrealistic to start.

              There isn’t a lot that the public can do about seemingly out-of-control intelligence agencies failing to secure potent cyberweapons beyond making a fuss. “National security” and all that. But it does give us a powerful argument against granting more power to these insecure intelligence bodies to break strong encryption. Governments can’t even protect their secret cyber weapons. They almost certainly will not be able to protect a known backdoor into encryption.

            • Palantir Adds First Woman to Board Ahead of Stock Listing

              The Silicon Valley company named a journalist, Alexandra Wolfe Schiff, as director, along with two men, according to an email sent to investors that was seen by Bloomberg. Wolfe Schiff is the daughter of novelist Tom Wolfe, who wrote “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” and has been a reporter at the Wall Street Journal since 2013. A spokeswoman for the paper said late Tuesday that Wolfe Schiff will be resigning before joining Palantir’s board.

              The other new directors are Spencer Rascoff, a founder of Zillow, and Alexander Moore, an early Palantir employee who is now a partner at venture capital firm 8VC. The group will consist of seven directors, expanding the four-man board chaired by billionaire co-founder Peter Thiel.

            • Vietnam Indicts Facebook User For Anti-State Documents

              Nguyen had previously been arrested and fined 750,000 dong (U.S. $32) on June 10, 2018 by police in Ho Chi Minh City for his involvement in unrelated protests over law drafts on special economic zones and cybersecurity.

            • Appeals Court Says California’s IMDb-Targeting ‘Ageism’ Law Is Unconstitutional

              The state of California has lost again in its attempt to punish IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) — and IMDb alone — for ageism perpetrated by [checks notes] movie studios who seem to refuse to cast actresses above a certain age in choice roles.

            • It’s Long Past Time To Encrypt The Entire DNS

              With work, school and healthcare moving online, data privacy and security has never been more important. Who can see what we’re doing online? What are corporations and government agencies doing with this information? How can our online activity be better protected? One answer is: encryption. Strong encryption has always been an important part of protecting and promoting our digital rights.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Attacks Anti-Fascists But Is Silent on Boogaloo & Far-Right Groups Engaged in Deadly Violence

        President Trump claims without evidence that anti-fascists are inciting riots at protests against police brutality, but has downplayed groups like the “boogaloo” movement, which are using the protests as cover to carry out violence, even murder. “We know that in this country the far right holds a monopoly on political violence and that since September 11th, far-right extremists have killed far more people than members of any other ideology,” says Cassie Miller, senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center. We also speak with journalist Ali Winston about a new BBC investigation into how the neo-Nazi militant group The Base is grooming and recruiting teenagers online.

      • Give or take 188,190 dead The Russian- and English-language versions of Vladimir Putin’s big WWII essay cite different casualty counts for one of the Red Army’s costliest campaigns

        Last week, ahead of Moscow’s parade honoring the 75th anniversary of the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany, Vladimir Putin released an article about the start of the Second World War. The English-language text appeared on June 18 in the relatively obscure American journal The National Interest (Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insists that it is “a very serious publication”), and a day later a Russian version of the article was printed in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian state’s official newspaper of record.

      • The War Zone is America: a Military Spouse’s Perspective on Racism and Armed Violence in the United States

        Recently, in this Black Lives Matter protest moment, my five-year-old son looked at me and asked, “Mommy, where did all the brown people go? Did the police here shoot them?”

      • China to Pass Draconian Sedition, Subversion Law For Hong Kong ‘Soon’

        State news agency Xinhua confirmed in a long article on the law on Saturday that it would target acts of secession, subversion, terrorism,and collusion with foreign or external forces that endanger national security.

        The law requires the setting up of a national security office under the direct control of the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing to oversee the implementation of the law, the report said.

      • Trump’s Muslim Ban Ignored the Most Dangerous

        he entire thing is worth reading, both for the seeming Saudi indifference to their own vetting and for the discussion about ongoing tensions as DOD attempts to vet those it trains. The key problem, however, is that Alshamrani fell through the holes on both of the vetting programs purportedly set up to keep out people like him. Not only did Trump’s Muslim ban not exclude Saudis (from where more terrorists have come to attack the US than any other country, with the possible exception of Pakistan), but the increased vetting he demanded did not apply to diplomatic visas like the one he came in on.

      • The Lapses That Let a Saudi Extremist Shoot Up a U.S. Navy Base

        But that “extreme vetting” did not stop precisely the sort of person Mr. Trump’s policy was supposed to root out: Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani of Saudi Arabia, a 21-year-old Qaeda loyalist who was part of a prestigious training program at the naval air station in Pensacola, Fla. This past December, Lieutenant Alshamrani opened fire in a classroom building at the base, killing three sailors and wounding eight other people before being fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies.

        The episode, one in an alarming series of insider attacks on U.S. military bases, forced American officials to acknowledge serious problems in their vetting systems and pledge reforms.

        But a New York Times review reveals lapses far more extensive than previously known in how international military students are selected, screened and monitored once in the United States. Even the sophisticated antiterrorism systems developed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks failed to identify the future gunman.

      • What Cyber Command’s ISIS operations means for the future of information warfare

        Given the global nature of information warfare, Russell said, the MIG must be able to engage with adversaries on a regular basis to understand and manipulate their behavior.

        Russell noted that information warfare — which takes place in cyberspace and on the electromagnetic spectrum, and involves intelligence, deception and psychological operations — often falls outside of what the military calls the traditional targeting cycle. But officials should reimagine how those teams can operate, he said.

      • For minor tactical gains on the ground, China has strategically lost India, says former Indian Ambassador to China

        The June 15 clash at Galwan Valley, which claimed 20 Indian soldiers in the worst violence since 1967, has left the entire border architecture, carefully built by India and China to maintain peace, in the heap of history, says Gautam Bambawale, former Indian Ambassador to China and Pakistan. India’s relations with China have reached a inflection point that will require a fundamental reassessment of its China policy. Edited excerpts: [...]

      • The Final 100 Seconds

        Never before this year 2020 has the world-famous Doomsday Clock registered only “100 seconds-to-midnight.” According to the Science & Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, since WWII, the world has never been so perilous.

      • If We’re Going to Defund Militarized Police Departments, Why Not Add the Pentagon?

        When Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced a resolution recently to cut $350 billion from the Defense budget, the only media outlets that covered her bill were independent progressive ones. In a statement on her website Lee said, “For years, our government has failed to invest in programs that actually keep our country safe and healthy. The prioritization of defense spending and the underinvestment in public health has led to 10 times more deaths from COVID-19 than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Corporate news outlets such as CNN or the New York Times, which have been extensively covering the national uprising against police brutality, simply ignored this story—just as they ignored police brutality for so long—and failed to connect Lee’s idea to slash the military budget to the prevailing demand to “Defund the Police.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • A note from Bridge about reader comments

        Here at Bridge we love reader comments on our website. At their best, they broaden perspectives, create a more intimate forum to engage with our audience and absolutely make our journalism better.

        But we’ve noticed with alarm that in recent months that way too many submissions have fallen short of our standards for thoughtful commentary that can advance civic debate.

    • Environment

      • Global Warming and Cooling After CO2 Shutoff at +1.5°C

        I have done further analytical modeling of global warming, using the same general method described earlier.

      • DNC ‘Snubs’ Climate Movement Just as Greenpeace Endorses Democratic Panel’s Visionary Plan

        “There are more big bank executives on the Democratic platform drafting committee than there are climate activists or millennials.”

      • Greta Thunberg says coronavirus pandemic should be a global wake-up call to tackle climate emergency

        “A crisis is a crisis, and in a crisis, we all have to take a few steps back and act for the greater good of each other and our society. In a crisis, you adapt and change your behavior.”

        That is one of the takeaway messages from a 75-minute radio program, “Humanity Has Not Yet Failed,” that 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg released Saturday. In the program, available in Swedish and English, the two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee discusses climate science and activism; how polluting activities of industrialized, rich nations are driving global conditions that disproportionately impact poor and historically marginalized groups; and the failures of the existing economic and political systems.

      • Antarctic melting could bring a much hotter future

        Antarctic melting can force sea ice retreat of 50 metres daily. CO2 levels are at their highest for 23 million years. Learn from the past.

      • ‘This Scares Me,’ Says Bill McKibben as Arctic Hits 100.4°F—Hottest Temperature on Record

        “100°F about 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle today in Siberia. That’s a first in all of recorded history. We are in a climate emergency.”

      • Energy

        • Fossil Fuel Companies and Their Supporters Ask Supreme Court to Intervene in Climate Lawsuits

          Similar lawsuits filed by Colorado communities, Baltimore, and Rhode Island are also marching on in state courts following unsuccessful attempts by fossil fuel companies to have the cases heard in federal courts, where they are more likely to be dismissed. Overall, the communities lodging these legal battles seem to be gaining momentum.

        • In Break With Trump’s EPA, Nevada Announces Plan to Cut Tailpipe Emissions

          With the announcement of the Clean Cars Nevada initiative, Nevada is set to join 14 other states that have fully or partially adopted clean car standards identical to California’s stricter standards authorized by the Clean Air Act.

        • A just transition for the peat industry can speed Finland towards carbon neutrality

          The first publication in the project is a working paper that highlights a variety of methods for ensuring fairness and justice during the transition. Together with the Finnish Environment Institute, Sitra charted the employment, financial, climate and environmental effects of peat production and the corresponding effects of stopping the use of peat fuel for the working paper “Giving up peat fuel – means for supporting a just transition in Finland”. The working paper lists five ways to promote a just transition and makes recommendations to decision-makers. Finland is in the process of looking for ways to achieve carbon neutrality. The reduction of emissions must be coupled with social support to ensure a socially and economically just transition for the peat industry.

          The burning of peat fuel is currently responsible for nearly 12 per cent of Finland’s total greenhouse gas emissions, while employment in the industry accounts for 0.1 per cent of the Finnish workforce and the share of added value produced by Finland’s economy is less than 0.1 per cent.

          According to a survey commissioned by Sitra, peat producers are interested in participating in the planning of a just transition.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Is GOP Money Going to Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel?

        Today’s primary election in New York’s 16th congressional district sees insurgent candidate Jamaal Bowman challenge 16-term incumbent Representative Eliot Engel. While they’re both Democrats, a review of Engel’s foreign policy record shows just how much he has in common with the Republican Party.

      • If Trump is Thinking About a Meeting With Maduro, What about Trudeau?

        Based on an interview held in the White House last Friday, June 19, the U.S. website Axios reported:

      • America Is Exceptional in All the Wrong Ways

        The problems at the core of our broken system, laid bare by this pandemic, have been plaguing this country long before Trump came along.

      • America is Exceptional in All the Wrong Ways

        As protests erupted across the country in response to more police killings of unarmed black Americans, the protesters have been met with even more police violence. Firing tear gas into crowds of predominantly black protesters, in the middle of a pandemic caused by a respiratory virus that is already disproportionately hurting black communities, is unconscionably cruel.Indeed, a lot of the responsibility rests with Trump and his hapless and corrupt collection of grifters, buffoons, sycophants, lobbyists and relatives.But the problems at the core of our broken system, laid bare by this pandemic, have been plaguing this country long before Trump came along.America is the only industrialized nation without guaranteed, universal healthcare. No other industrialized nation insists on tying health care to employment, resulting in tens of millions of U.S. citizens losing their health insurance at the very moment they need it most.We’re the only one out of 22 advanced nations that doesn’t give all workers some form of paid sick leave. Average wage growth in the United States has long lagged behind average wage growth in most other industrialized countries, even before the pandemic robbed Americans of their jobs and incomes. Since 1980, American workers’ share of total national income has dropped more than in any other rich nation. And America also has the largest CEO-to-worker pay gap on the planet. In 1965, American CEOs were paid 20 times the typical worker. Today, American CEOs are paid 278 times the typical worker.Not surprisingly, American workers are far less unionized than workers in other industrialized economies. Only 10.2 percent of all workers in America belong to a union, compared with more than 26% in Canada, 65% in Sweden, and 23% in Britain. With less unionization, American workers are easily overpowered by corporations, and can’t bargain for higher wages or better benefits.So who and what’s to blame for the largest preventable loss of life in American history?It’s not just Trump’s malicious incompetence.It’s decades of America’s failure to provide its people the basic support they need, decades of putting corporations’ bottom lines ahead of workers’ paychecks, decades of letting the rich and powerful pull the strings as the rest of us barely get by.This pandemic has exposed what has long been true: On the global stage, America is the exception, but not in the way we would like to believe.

      • What the Federal Court of Appeal Anti-Spam Law Case Means for the Interpretation of CASL

        The Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling on Canada’s anti-spam law puts to rest persistent claims that the law is unconstitutional. As discussed at length in my earlier post, the court firmly rejected the constitutional arguments in finding that the law addresses a real problem and has proven beneficial. The impact of the decision extends beyond just affirming that CASL is (subject to a potential appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada) here to stay. It also provides important guidance on how to interpret the law with analysis of the business-to-business exception, implied consent, and what constitutes a valid unsubscribe mechanism.

      • Marking the 30th Anniversary of the Internet and Cybersecurity Treaty

        Next week, July 1, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most significant treaty instruments in modern times. On 1 July 1990, the Melbourne Treaty came into force as the first and only global treaty that enabled worldwide internets and mobile networks to exist, together with the cybersecurity provisions designed to protect those infrastructures. The achievement remains as an enduring tribute to Richard Edmund Butler of Australia who was one of the most influential, and best-loved Secretaries-General of the ITU.

      • Twitter hides Trump tweet that threatens violence against D.C. activists

        Twitter has once again moderated a tweet posted by President Donald Trump — this time by hiding it with a warning label and adding a warning notice.

        “We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group,” Twitter wrote. In the original tweet, Trump responded to the rumor of a police-free autonomous zone being formed in Washington, D.C., writing, “There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!”

      • Trump Got a Humiliating Comeuppance in Tulsa. Expect New Lows From His Campaign.

        We have endured five long years of bombast, bullying and unreconstructed bullshit — from a Trump campaign that knew no shame to a Trump administration that knows no truth. Now, however, following the president’s broad-spectrum rally calamity in Tulsa on Saturday night, there is finally the sense of a reckoning in the air.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Twitter Bans Amy Mek for Telling Inconvenient Truths

        President Trump on May 28 issued an executive order designed to prevent online censorship of voices that dissent from the hard-Left’s agenda, and since then Twitter’s Jack Dorsey seems determined to defy it and force a showdown. He has more than once flagged Trump’s tweets as supposedly inciting violence or committing some other transgression, and he continues his steady campaign to silence voices of freedom, including foes of jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women. His latest victim is the popular counterjihad writer Amy Mek, who had over 266,000 Twitter followers when she was summarily deplatformed.

      • Jakim to continue monitoring insults against Islam, Prophet Muhammad, says deputy minister

        Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said that there had been several cases related to postings in the various social media platforms that were brought to court and that showed the seriousness of Jakim in addressing the issue.

      • They’ll Come for Us Next

        The pitfalls of this dilemma only get clearer when one looks at the organization responsible for mustering the pressure that led Google to act in this case: the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). Despite the Americanized spelling, CCDH is a British nonprofit headquartered in London. More to the point, several of the figures involved enjoy links to the right wing of the UK Labour Party, which for years cynically used accusations of antisemitism to undermine the party’s former left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

        It’s not that anyone left of center will lose sleep over what the CCDH has done so far. They made a handbook for how to deal with online trolls, got far-right troll Katie Hopkins and conspiracy theorist David Icke (of reptilian shapeshifter fame) kicked off some social media platforms, and sounded the alarm over online misinformation about coronavirus.

        But as with any push for censorship, the question isn’t about the widely reviled figures or organizations that — for now — constitute the targets of groups like the CCDH, but where this campaign will stop — and which legitimate but politically controversial views could eventually be caught in the net. And based on the careers of those involved in the group, there’s good reason to be concerned.

      • Trump changes spur concerns for anti-censorship Open Technology Fund

        The drama surrounding the OTF begins with the appointment of Michael Pack as the chief executive officer of USAGM, which also manages Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. Libby Liu, the CEO of OTF, resigned from the corporation last week, claiming that she had become aware of lobbying efforts by Pack to shift the OTF’s focus to closed-source circumvention tools.

        [...]

        The Trump administration itself has said nothing as yet as to its plans for the OTF. But a bipartisan bill, H.R. 6621 The Open Technology Fund Authorization Act, was introduced into the House of Representatives in April that would support the corporation’s efforts in combating censorship. The bill is currently sitting in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump

        Pack was finally confirmed, on a party-line vote, on June 4. A few days later he arranged, with a ghoulishly Orwellian touch, for the removal of a portrait of his popular predecessor, John Lansing, who departed the building last autumn. Quotes from a Lansing speech that had been painted on the wall beside the picture—“Since our country’s founding, journalists and journalism have stood watch over private and public officials to hold them accountable”—were painted over, causing some to wonder whether the sentiment was going to be erased as well. Then, on the evening of June 17, Pack fired the heads of all the networks, plus many senior staff, in a series of curt emails.

        [...]

        None of these new board members has any background in international broadcasting. None of them has worked in any of the most relevant geographic areas (Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, the Middle East) or in the world of anti-censorship technology. I asked a spokesperson for the new Agency for Global Media leadership about them—he would not go on the record—and all he would say in their defense was that they are “interim.” He refused to say whether the institution intends to create bipartisan boards in the future.

      • Moroccan journalist targeted by NSO Group spyware, Amnesty International says

        Amnesty International said Sunday its security team found evidence of abuse on a Moroccan journalist’s cell phone that can be tied back to spyware developed by NSO Group.

        The journalist, Omar Radi, was targeted by surveillance software capable of tracking texts, calls, emails, camera, and more — just days after NSO Group, the Israeli surveillance software company, announced it would stop its products from being used to perpetuate human rights abuses, according to Amnesty International.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Meet Brandon Saenz: Dallas Protester Who Lost Eye After Police Shot Him with “Less Lethal” Projectile

        As a new Amnesty International report documents at least 125 instances of police violence against Black Lives Matters protesters in 40 states from May 26 to June 5, we speak with Brandon Saenz, a 26-year-old Black man shot in the face by Dallas police with so-called less-lethal ammunition that shattered his left eye and fractured his face. We also speak with his lawyer, Daryl Washington, about how he has since helped to win a 90-day preliminary injunction against the police use of chemical agents and rubber bullets in Dallas.

      • A New Voting Crisis: Kentucky Closes 95% of Polling Places, Leaving Louisville with Just One

        As primary voters head to the polls in New York, Kentucky and Virginia, they face long lines, even as President Trump continues to attack mail-in voting, falsely claiming it leads to fraud. Kentucky has reduced the number of polling places from 3,700 to just 170 — a 95% reduction. “There’s the potential for record turnout,” notes Cliff Albright, co-founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter, despite such suppression tactics.

      • “I Can’t Breathe”: Chokehold on Diplomat Exposes Israel’s Special Type of Apartheid

        An assault by Israeli security officials on a diplomat sounds like an aberration—a peculiar case of mistaken identity—quite unlike an established pattern of police violence against poor black communities in the US. But that impression would be wrong.

      • Alternatives to Policing: Putting the Power and Money Back Into Our Communities – The Project Censored Show

        Project Censored researcher and author Amber Yang, a Restorative Justice and Wellness Coordinator at Novato High School in Marin County, California rejoins the show along with Phoebe Smith, a long-time public-school teacher, teacher trainer, and consultant to school districts on restorative-justice practices in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. As the concept of “defunding the police” is discussed nationwide, this week’s program offers alternatives to policing with community-based approaches. Mickey’s guests also discuss the school to prison pipeline and explain the theory, practice, and benefits of using ‘restorative justice’ in the context of public schools.

      • The Politics of Kneeling: A Tribute to Colin Kaepernick

        It takes a dedicated movement, not a string of moments, no matter how searing and memorable, to achieve the deep structural changes that will allow all persons of color to be treated as equal citizens with equal rights.

      • The US Military Also Has a Racism Problem

        Recently, in this Black Lives Matter protest moment, my 5-year-old son looked at me and asked, “Mommy, where did all the brown people go? Did the police here shoot them?”

      • Collingwood Crisis Deepens: Two More Players Confirm ‘Chimp’ Nickname For Héritier Lumumba

        Two more AFL players have this morning publicly confirmed former AFL star Héritier Lumumba was nicknamed ‘Chimp’ during his time at the Collingwood Football Club, plunging the club and the AFL into an ever-deepening racism scandal which has plagued it since 2017, and which contradicts long-standing claims by captain-coach Nathan Buckley, and club president Eddie McGuire.

      • The NBA Should Join the Struggle Against Institutionalized Racism

        A police officer once head-butted my dad in the face after he was arrested protesting against Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. My mother, during a different protest, was grabbed by the hair by an officer on a horse and brutally dragged on the ground. These stories shocked me when I first heard them, but now as I watch the brutality of the police in the US, I realize that my parents’ experience was mild when compared to what happens to blacks every day.

      • Officer, Why the Riot Gear?
      • Pride Resources for Activism in Digital and Physical Spaces

        In June, people honor one of the key events that ushered the era of LGBTQIA+ Pride—Stonewall—during which Black and Brown trans and queer people led a riot in direct response to police brutality. This year, Pride occurs during national and global protests over the continued murder of Black people, and highlights disparities around race, gender, ability and identity, with people at these intersections experiencing particular stress, such as the unprecedented dangers for Black trans women. In this moment of solidarity with Black, trans and disabled activists demanding justice for the killings of Tony McDade, Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others from historically targeted communities, we are sharing resources to help activists and others protect their digital security. While there are known and established practices for protecting people against physical threats and harassment during strictly in-person gatherings, digital gatherings involve a different set of security considerations. This guide offers an overview and further reading that, we hope, will help activists think  about how to adapt their work as digital considerations increasingly touch physical spaces. 

        This guide is divided into three sections… 

      • Secret Service Forces Press to Leave the White House as Police Use Pepper Spray and Batons to Beat Back Protesters

        “The move to force members of the media off White House grounds is highly unusual,” CNN reported after two of its journalists were removed.

      • Secret Service Forces Reporters to Leave White House as Police Beat Protesters

        Without initially offering an explanation, the Secret Service late Monday ordered members of the press to leave the White House grounds as law enforcement officials in riot gear used pepper spray and batons to beat back a nearby protest at which some attempted to topple a statue of former President Andrew Jackson.

      • My Family Saw a Police Car Hit a Kid on Halloween. Then I Learned How NYPD Impunity Works.

        Last Halloween, my wife and then-6-year-old daughter were making their way home after trick-or-treating in Brooklyn. Suddenly, an unmarked NYPD car with sirens wailing began speeding against traffic up a one-way street, our neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. The officer seemed to be going after a few teenage boys.

        Then, in an instant, the car hit one of the kids.

      • Has the NYPD Stopped a Teen You Know? Are You a Young Person With a Story to Share? We’d Like to Hear From You.

        A recent Civilian Complaint Review Board report described a pattern of abuse by New York police against teen and pre-teen boys of color: “The cases include instances when young teens or pre-teens of color were handcuffed, arrested, or held at gunpoint while participating in age-appropriate activities such as running, playing with friends, high-fiving, sitting on a stoop, or carrying a backpack.”

        If you are a teen or know a teen who has encountered the police, we’d like to hear from you. We are interested in all cases, even if you did not file a complaint to the board.

      • Defund the Police. Invest in Black Farmers.

        For years, I lived two blocks from Cup Foods — the corner store that George Floyd was killed in front of by Minneapolis police on May 25.

      • The Black Radical Tradition Can Help Us Imagine a More Just World

        Just as quickly as protests mounted in cities and towns across the country after George Floyd joined the ever-growing list of Black people murdered by police, public health officials began to warn of upcoming spikes in COVID-19 cases due to the lack of social distancing. It is not as though the mostly masked protesters are ignorant of the health risks of participating in mass gatherings, it is just that some things are worth the risk. People are leaving the relative “safety” of their homes to confront the police, to sit-in at precincts, city halls and state capitals because they understand that what they are fighting for is important. Perhaps COVID-19 cases will spike as a result of the protests, but as we have seen in the case of Floyd, who ironically had already been exposed to the virus, Black folks are never truly safe from harm.

      • Held as a Sex Slave by ISIS for Five Years: ‘I Never Thought that One Day I Would Be Free’

        ISIS hasn’t been front-and-center in the news recently, but it’s still a threat in many places around the world.

        In Iraq, thousands of women and girls who were kidnapped when the terror group took control in 2014 have yet to be returned to their homes.

        Now, families are put in the position of buying their daughters back from the brutal jihadist group.

      • What a machine learning tool that turns Obama white can (and can’t) tell us about AI bias

        It’s not just Obama, either. Get the same algorithm to generate high-resolution images of actress Lucy Liu or congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from low-resolution inputs, and the resulting faces look distinctly white. As one popular tweet quoting the Obama example put it: “This image speaks volumes about the dangers of bias in AI.”

        But what’s causing these outputs and what do they really tell us about AI bias?

      • GenderGate and the End of Philosophy

        A debate has arisen among philosophers concerning a couple of papers published recently in the prestigious journal Philosophical Studies. The first paper, “Are women adult human females?” by Alex Byrne (January, 2020) attempts to refute what Byrne identifies as “the orthodox view among philosophers,” that “the category woman is a social category, like the categories, wife, firefighter, and shoplifter,” rather than “a biological category, like the categories vertebrate, mammal, or adult human female.” Byrne argues woman is a biological category, that to be a woman is to be an adult adult human female. The second paper, “Escaping the Natural Attitude About Gender,” by Robin Dembroff (forthcoming, but available already online), attempts to discredit Byrne’s argument.

      • Playing the Mao Card

        In their effort to transform their discomfort with the current #BlackLivesMatter protests into a superficially sophisticated critique, right-wing “intellectuals” in the United States and Europe have latched onto a dubious historical analogy.

      • Journalist and Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov sentenced to 15 days in jail

        Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court has sentenced Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot member and the publisher of the independent legal news website Mediazona, to 15 days administrative arrest, Mediazona reports.

      • Bravo You Heroes: Columbus OH Police Mace Double Amputee, Take His Legs, Leave Him Writhing
      • New Research Suggests Racial Justice Protests Have Not Led to Covid-19 Transmission Spike

        A new study offers evidence that widespread wearing of masks at outdoor demonstrations may be limiting Covid-19 transmission, while indoor gatherings are linked to spreading the disease.

      • Firing of Top US Prosecutor Fuels Barr’s Move to Expand “Imperial Presidency”

        After a dramatic weekend showdown, the Trump administration has ousted Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who led multiple prosecutions and investigations into allies of the president. We look at the extraordinary measures U.S. Attorney General William Barr took to protect Trump, with New York Times Magazine writer Emily Bazelon, who has profiled Barr. “He believes in a very strong executive presidency, a kind of imperial presidency in which a huge amount of power resides in the president,” she says of the attorney general.

      • Moscow officials deny reports of fake voter registration, but their arguments don’t really hold up

        On June 16, the independent television network Dozhd (“TV Rain”) released an investigative report, claiming that Moscow residents are being offered money to register fake accounts and vote online in support of amending Russia’s constitution. The organizers of the scheme were recruiting via the messaging app WhatsApp, offering 75 rubles per registered account (about $1), and an additional 50 rubles ($0.72) for each online vote in favor of changing the constitution. 

      • ‘Systematic Assault on Legitimacy of Our Election’: Trump Launches Conspiratorial Attack on Mail-In Voting

        The president is “laying the groundwork for an election challenge,” warned Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics.

      • Prosecutor proposes six-year prison sentence for Russian director accused in ‘Seventh Studio’ case

        During the June 22nd hearing of the “Seventh Studio” case, prosecutors asked the court to sentence well-known theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov to six years in prison and fine him 800,000 rubles (around $11,525), Meduza’s correspondent reported from the courtroom. 

      • Top 6 Reasons Trump’s Racist Attack on Ilhan Omar at Empty Stadium Is a Lie

        Trump’s description of Rep. Omar’s goals as “no government” is much more appropriate to his own policies.

      • History in the Making: Police Violence vs. People’s Justice

        This is a people’s movement for a more humane and fair society.

      • If You Want Joe Biden to Govern More Like FDR Than Jamie Dimon, Vote for Bernie Sanders on Tuesday in New York and Kentucky

        The progressive base of the Democratic has to let Biden—and the rest of the party’s leaders—know which way the wind is blowing.

      • To Make Crime, Create Laws

        It is generally considered a beneficial thing for politicians to have on their resumés—that they sponsored many laws during their time in Congress. But how beneficial is that to the rest of us? The vast majority of these laws are the babblings of those shit kids gone adult who wanted 900 rules for an average game of hide and seek. You remember those kids. We hated them. And of course the rules they came up with only benefitted them (you count to one million when I hide, and I’ll count to 12 when you hide kind of thing).

      • Why Race is Everything in America

        The issues of ‘race’ and ‘racism’ have been with us since the founding of our august republic. Unfortunately, they are perniciously still with us today. They were the reason we fought the Civil War (1861-1865) and have mired our history throughout. There is no period in our history, the history of the United States, when ‘race’ has not been significant in some profound way.

      • No, We’re Not All Antifa Now. But We Should Be.

        “I’ve occasionally encountered mass hysteria in other countries,” Nicholas Kristof writes at the New York Times. “In rural Indonesia, I once reported on a mob that was beheading people believed to be sorcerers, then carrying their heads on pikes. But I never imagined that the United States could plunge into such delirium.”

      • Morbid Symptoms: An Interview with Ross Douthat

        About a year ago we launched a new podcast, Know Your Enemy, dedicated to critically examining the American right from a left-wing point of view. Episodes range widely, from a deep dive into how the Koch brothers deploy their fortune to influence politics, to an explainer on the rise of the new illiberal right, to a close reading of Norman Podhoretz’s Making It. We’ve also featured a stellar roster of guests such as Rebecca Traister, who explored gender and conservative politics, and Sarah Jones, who talked about how the media covers Trump voters. But until we interviewed New York Times columnist Ross Douthat in January, we hadn’t had an actual conservative on the show. Over the course of our discussion, we first focused on how he views conservatism in the Trump era and then turned to his new book, The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success. That means many topics on which we disagree with Douthat, from abortion to same-sex marriage, never get raised. We thought that rather than rehearsing well-worn arguments on issues where he is a fairly standard conservative, we’d zero in on where, as someone who is pro-populist but anti-Trump, he might have particularly interesting or unexpected insights. It was a conversation, not a debate—and a conversation held in January, when Bernie Sanders was topping the polls in Iowa and had a slight lead in national polling. What follows is a transcript of part of that conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity. Those interested in the entire exchange can listen to it on Know Your Enemy. —Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and the Pandemic, Again

        I know I have been pounding on this a lot, but it is important and there is a lot of money at stake. All we need (okay, maybe not all) is some clear thinking.

      • George Floyd: Ben & Jerry’s joins Facebook ad boycott

        Ben and Jerry’s has joined a growing list of firms pulling advertising from Facebook platforms throughout July.

      • Magnolia Pictures, Ben & Jerry’s, Eddie Bauer And More Brands Join Facebook Ad Boycott

        Hollywood studio Magnolia Pictures, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s and sporting equipment giant Eddie Bauer are the latest companies to announce that they will join a growing advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram for the month of July over the social media giant’s failure to stop the spread of misinformation and dangerous content on its platforms.

      • How Uber Turned a Promising Bikeshare Company Into Literal Garbage

        Motherboard spoke to a dozen former JUMP employees about their time at the company, most under the condition of anonymity because they signed non-disclosure agreements in order to receive severance and extended health care during a global pandemic. Former JUMP employees who agreed to speak on the record did so under the condition they not talk about the time the company was owned by Uber. They described remarkably similar experiences, in which JUMP, a previously thrifty company, with a culture that had a deep commitment to a shared sense of purpose gave way to Uber’s scale-obsessed model. The early promises of bikeshare for the world and replacing ridehail trips with bike journeys only partially materialized, but it came with unsustainable inefficiencies and waste. Uber bought JUMP in 2018 and two years later sold it to Lime, a changed and broken company. To these employees, the literal destruction of the bikes was a metaphor for the destruction of the operation they’d worked so hard to build.

      • Patents

        • Supreme Court issues ruling in Fresenius and Eli Lilly pemetrexed case

          Fresenius initially lodged an appeal against a Court of Appeal decision handed down in preliminary injunction proceedings. The court issued the decision on cancer drug pemetrexed just over two years ago, in May 2018 (case no. 200.228.753/01). This upheld an earlier decision made by the District Court of The Hague (case no. C/09/537158).

          The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has rejected the appeal by Fresenius, and ordered the company to pay Eli Lilly €140,000 in legal costs. The parties have concluded parallel proceedings in the UK and Switzerland, but there are ongoing disputes in many other jurisdictions including Germany, Belgium, France and Italy.

          Pemetrexed is a chemotherapy drug. Eli Lilly produces and markets the drug under the brand name Alimta. European patent EP 1 313 508 protects the use of the disodium salt of pemetrexed in combination with vitamin B12. The drug is formulated as a so-called Swiss-type claim, which forms the basis of Alimta.

          [...]

          If the court decides to uphold Fresenius’ appeal and revoke EP 508, all the injunctions granted against Fresenius so far will be void. The court will hear the case on 2 November, with a judgment expected at the end of 2020 or early 2021.

        • $1,400 Awarded for Contemporary Display ’398 prior art

          Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Sarasija Padmanabhan and Raghu Ram, who split the winning cash prize of $1,400 for prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 6,445,398. The ‘398 patent, generally directed to generating and displaying TV guide systems, is owned by Contemporary Display, LLC, a well-known NPE.

          To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

        • Is Termination a form of Institution (and thus Non-Appealable)

          BioDelivery began at the PTAB with three IPR petitions against Aquestive’s US8765167. This was pre-SAS, and the USPTO partially instituted the proceedings. On appeal, the Federal Circuit vacated the final written decision on SAS grounds — holding that the USPTO cannot partially institute an IPR. The partial-institution clearly falls on the side of step-1 nonappealable institution decision, but the Supreme Court created a limited exception in this situation. See SAS Institute v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018) as limited by Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Techns., LP, 140 S. Ct. 1367 (2020). You can read that original 2018 BioDelivery opinion here BioDelivery Scis. Intl., Inc. v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc., 898 F.3d 1205 (Fed. Cir. 2018).

          In SAS, the Supreme Court held that at institution stage the Director must either (1) institute the proceeding as to all challenged claims or (2) deny the petition all together. Federal Circuit then extended SAS to also require that any final written decision address every ground for challenge (not just every claim). PGS Geophysical AS v. Iancu, 891 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2018).

          On remand, the PTAB decided it was faced with the question of whether to (1) proceed with a final decision on all grounds raised or (2) drop the whole case. It chose the latter–terminating all three IPR petitions.

          [...]

          Although the situation is muddled by the PTAB/Director delegation, the basic question is whether ‘termination’ of an [improperly] instituted IPR is a furtherance of the institution process given to the discretion of the Director or is it instead a role given by statute directly to the PTAB. The statute does discuss termination following settlement, but not in the particular context of this case.

        • Software Patents

          • Microsoft’s patent for Xbox Series X might be hinting at another big surprise

            Now that the PS5 is out in the open, there has been a renewed upsurge of interest for Sony’s upcoming offerings. Unlike the Xbox Series X, which was revealed as a single flagship powerhouse on paper, its rival is presenting more options for consumers. Instead of marketing just one model, the addition of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, came as a pleasant surprise for some gamers. However, it seems Microsoft has another ace up its sleeve as hinted by a patent document it filed recently.

      • TMs

        • June 2020 Editorial: ‘Royal branding and trade marks’

          Late last year, media reported that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had filed two trade mark applications with the UK Intellectual Property office (UK IPO) to have, respectively, ‘Sussex Royal’ and ‘Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’, registered as UK trade marks. Since then, as Harry and Meghan have taken the decision to drop their royal duties and Royal Highness (HRH) titles, media have also reported that the couple would give up their two pending trade mark applications as well. Amidst all this royal turbulence, an interesting question is whether the couple could still style themselves as ‘royal’, and thus exploit the Sussex Royal brand in doing so, even despite that fact that they would not perform any royal duties.
          To start with, the use of certain royal insignia as trade marks is protected internationally under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention. In brief, the provision sets out that all contracting parties undertake not to register trade marks which incorporate or imitate State emblems, armorial bearings, official signs or hallmarks, which are designated as protected emblems under the Convention. The rationale is that country names and identities often function as brands which indicate the origin of the goods and services. A country’s name, flag, emblem or coat of arms can therefore be said to signal to the public that there is a relationship between the nation and the products and services in respect of which it is being used.1 Not only could this become problematic for a nation, which may or may not have control over the products distributed using its identity and goodwill, but it might also damage the reputation and brand value that a nation has built over time.

      • Copyrights

        • The CC Global Summit Is Going Virtual—See Our Latest Call for Proposals!

          After revising the CC Global Summit, we’ve decided to once again open our Call for Proposals (CFP) to better reflect the dynamics of our world today, including proposals that address issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the global movement against racial injustice. This CFP also welcomes proposals that take into account the changing medium of the CC Global Summit, from an in-person gathering to a virtual event. Finally, while the official language of the event is English, we highly encourage proposals in any of the five languages we’re supporting this year: Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish.

        • What Does a Case Over the Protectability of a Bike Design Have to Do With Fashion?

          What does the design of a bicycle have to do with fashion? Maybe more than meets the eye. In a recent decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), centering on the protectability of the shape of a foldable bike, the highest court in the European Union held that copyright protection may, in fact, exist for a product whose shape is, at least in part, necessary to obtain a technical result. In other words, the shape or appearance of a product may be protected even if there are utilitarian elements at play.
          The case ended up before the CEJU, which handed down its decision on June 11, after getting its start before a district court in Belgium when Brompton Bicycle filed a copyright infringement suit against Get2Get, a Korean company that was making and selling a similar folding bike. In response to Brompton’s complaint, Get2Get argued that the appearance of its bicycle is dictated by the functional concerns (i.e., creating a bike that is capable of folding), and such a purely functional design does not benefit from copyright protection.
          Unsure whether copyright protection exists for shapes “necessary to obtain a technical result,” the Belgium Companies Court referred questions to the CJEU, which determined last week that copyright protection may arise for products whose shape is at least partially necessary to obtain a technical result, assuming that the product, itself, “is an original work resulting from intellectual creation,” and that “through that [product’s] shape, its author expresses his creative ability in an original manner by making free and creative choices in such a way that that shape reflects his personality.”

        • Public service broadcasting, streaming services and the future for ‘terms of trade’

          The submission draws on CREATe’s research within the AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (PEC). The work stream led by CREATe focuses on Intellectual Property, Business Models, Access to Finance and Content Regulation. Important evidence in relation to changing business models and the emergence of powerful new entrant gatekeepers (such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney) is presented in a new CREATe working paper by Naysun Alae-Carew, Managing Director of Blazing Griffin, an innovative independent production company based in Scotland.

          Dr Kenny Barr (who edited the transcript of the lecture) says: “Naysun Alae-Carew’s account of the ‘lived experience’ of a cultural producer navigating the many creative and commercial decisions that must be made around intellectual property provides rare and valuable insights into the trade-offs between principle and pragmatism that must be made in order to build and sustain a business”.

        • Dainik Jagran Sues Telegram for Copyright Infringement: Are Platforms or Group Admins Liable for Unlawful Speech on Closed Online Forums?

          Telegram, a widely used instant messaging platform, is in a copyright soup before the Delhi High Court, concerning the circulation of ‘e-papers’ or digital versions of newspapers, through open Telegram Channels, a group messaging feature available on the app.

          In an order dated May 29, 2020, Justice Mukta Gupta issued an ad-interim injunction directing Telegram to provide information about the subscribers or ‘owners’ of certain Telegram Channels allegedly circulating online versions of Dainik Jagran, a Hindi daily. Further, Telegram was directed to take down the impleaded Telegram Channels. The order raises interesting questions about copyright over freely available newspapers, as well as on intermediary liability concerning copyright infringement. The issue of copyright liability of the circulation of e-papers has previously been covered in this great post by Balu last month.

          Case Background

          Dainik Jagran brought a suit against Telegram and unnamed defendants operating certain Telegram channels, which allegedly circulate versions of the plaintiff’s newspaper through PDF. The version circulating is downloaded from the plaintiff’s web-portal, where registered users can view the e-paper free of cost. According to the plaint, the plaintiff’s have also included a technological protection measure which restricts the download of the e-paper.

          While Telegram was served notices on the alleged infringement occurring through its channels, it did not respond, and consequently, the plaintiff brought a suit for copyright and trademark infringement against Telegram as an intermediary, and against the users, owners and operators of the various ‘channels’ on which the alleged infringement was taking place.

          The Court found prima facie infringement of Dainik Jagran’s copyright, and subsequently granted the ad-interim injunctions prayed for, directing Telegram to furnish information about the administrators and members of the channels, and directing Telegram to take down the infringing channels.

        • Pay to Link?: Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault Backs Bringing the Link Tax to Canada

          Mr. Guilbeault found himself backtracking earlier this year when he expressed support for regulating the content of online news services. But his shift away from his own government’s policies on news media support and his plan to tax links to news stories signals that the tax and regulate-first approach is still a big part of his plan.

        • 41% of Young Danes Illegally Stream or Download Digital Content

          A new study published by the Danish Chamber of Commerce has found that the number of citizens who download or stream pirated content from the Internet has largely remained static since 2018. However, the number of younger adults engaged in the practice has jumped from 28% to 41%.

        • ‘Academic’ Torrent Client Offers a Safe Haven for Pirate Sites

          BitTorrent is a decentralized technology but most torrent sites rely on a centralized infrastructure that can be seized or taken down. The Tribler torrent client, which is developed by the Delft University of Technology eliminates these weaknesses. As a result, it can provide a safe haven for torrent sites, which is confirmed by a quick browse through the client’s torrent channels.

        • Twitter Permanently Suspends Right-Wing Meme Account Carpe Donktum

          Twitter has permanently suspended pro-Donald Trump meme account Carpe Donktum for repeated violations of its copyright policy.

Free Software Likely to Thrive Under COVID

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proprietary software is too much of a headache and people have spare time to learn new things

Man's headache

Summary: Signs of opportunities for Free software everywhere including the desktop/laptop

WITH COVID-19 still on everybody’s mind (at some level; it’s hard to ignore sports without spectators and masks everywhere one goes) it makes sense to talk about it every now and then. People keep bringing it up because there’s no “going back to normal” and follow-up “waves” come (then go temporarily).

“Will homelessness follow or disobedience (like refusing eviction orders)? Mass revolt?”The economy isn’t well; not in China, not in Russia, not in the West… it’s a global thing. Shopping cycles with demand and supply aren’t quite there anymore (or barely) and many people are not able to pay rent. No fiscal amnesty anymore. There are also utility bills. Will homelessness follow or disobedience (like refusing eviction orders)? Mass revolt? People in poverty and activists (needing privacy) tend to gravitate towards Free/libre software, the latter factor not being price but control.

We won’t talk about COVID itself because it’s outside our area of understanding; we won’t speculate about its origins, either. Media consensus can always be wrong (or right). But this isn’t what we’re equipped to scrutinise (any better than domain experts).

“Dell has just made the announcement which their PR people attempted to get us to play along with.”What interests us is the COVID impact on software freedom. Adoption of Free software is increasing or simply continues to increase. Dell has just made the announcement which their PR people attempted to get us to play along with. GNU/Linux will be more readily available to more people. To Dell it's all about money, but to a lot of buyers it’s about freedom/control/power. Dell is not a particularly nice company. If or whenever it makes available its hardware without Windows, it’s always a step in the right direction. The more such hardware, the better. It’s eroding or weakening the monopoly. It’s emboldening GNU/Linux developers to work hard and improve the software. It can also provide some financial security for them. Truth be told, the passions comes not from money but from social contribution and a sense of technical accomplishment (even if the Linux Foundation ruins that).

A long time ago Linus Torvalds wrote: “you might as well skip the Xmas celebration completely, and instead sit in front of your linux computer playing with the all-new-and-improved linux kernel version.”

Richard Stallman spoke of “playful cleverness” and once said: “Playfully doing something difficult, whether useful or not, that is hacking.” Richard Stallman used the word hacking back when the word “cracking” still existed and meant something (whereas “hacking” was benign). He has not changed since. What’s definitely changing is the world around us. China is moving to GNU/Linux, as do a number of other countries (albeit smaller) and companies can no longer sell $10,000 licences for some proprietary software.

Speaking of $10,000 per unit, hours ago “Death of the Mac” was published in podcast form with the following outline/summary: “Why we think Apple just handed market share to Desktop Linux, and why you can kiss running Linux on the Mac goodbye forever.”

Apple is closing stores again and Microsoft is laying off employees. They’re really hurting.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:52 am by Needs Sunlight

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