06.25.20

“Philanthropic Racism” (Clinical Trials/Experimentation on Live Subjects and Ethnic Cleaning as ‘Public Good’)

Posted in Bill Gates, Videos at 10:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sent to us by a former Microsoft employee

Summary: Anti-vaxx or anti-abortion isn’t the focus on the video; it’s about the corrupting influence of money and devaluation of African lives (for private, for-profit corporations studying the effects of their controversial treatments that are banned in the Western market) and also about the agenda of reducing reproduction of ‘inferior’ races (whilst you yourself double in a single generation)

Resurgent Interest in Gates Foundation Scandals

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 9:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Pun Hayden Panettiere: 1. set up tax-exempt charity 2. use that to bribe media, scholars, key institutions, and to invest in companies (tax-free) 3. ... Profit!

Summary: Growing awareness regarding the real modus operandi of Bill Gates and his cohorts (tripling their wealth while pretending to be giving it all away)

The recent revelations, handed over to recipients of the first installment from Seattle’s Police Department (there will be about a dozen installments in total), have kept us very busy. This slowed down publication at Techrights (we had hoped to maintain an average of 10 posts per day). We’ve just surpassed 650,000 views on this Gates Foundation wiki page and we plan to write more on that subject soon. Awareness is rapidly improving…

Belatedly? Sure. But better late than never.

“Awareness is rapidly improving…”We recently received a lot of mail about Bill Gates and his co-called ‘charity’. We’re sorting all that into heaps: conspiracy nonsense, stuff to be covered in the future, stuff to look into (review for accuracy), and stuff to be published urgently (as soon as possible). I’m helped by some associates and we’re using a shared filesystem to ensure no single person is a ‘point of failure’. As always, informed insiders can contact us anonymously with or without encryption (my public key is here).

[Humour] Mozilla Firefox Will Protect Your Privacy Like Comcast Does

Posted in Deception at 9:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hoopla: Oh, Hi, Mozilla; Comcast, Firefox user

Summary: Comcast is the company Mozilla wants Firefox users to trust with their DNS lookups; but Comcast as an ISP has a terrible track record when it comes to privacy

Mozilla Shames Itself and Harms Its Reputation by Stating That “Comcast Has Taken Major Steps to Protect Customer Privacy”

Posted in Deception at 9:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: It’s truly surreal that Mozilla, more so in 2020, would seek to associate itself with some of the biggest enemies of privacy (and even add Microsoft managers to its Board) while bragging about how Firefox is good for privacy

YESTERDAY Mozilla proudly announced its partnership with Comcast as an ISP ‘for privacy’, noting that, in Mozilla’s own words, “Comcast has taken major steps to protect customer privacy” (I find the whole thing laughable and another embarrassment to Mozilla, which previously did this with Cloudflare).

“Notice that this was compliance based on suspicion alone (no arrest and no conviction yet).”In police records that I recently studied Comcast was mentioned about a dozen times as 100% cooperative with the police (note: this isn’t a terror case or a situation where national security is at stake). Maybe one day we’ll share the full chain of events, at least once we’ve gathered all the installments (we handle this with great care and publish responsibly, omitting parts that contain sexual descriptions), but for now the following two pages may do:

Comcast request

Comcast request page 2

Notice that this was compliance based on suspicion alone (no arrest and no conviction yet). Going back to Mozilla, its DNS lookup partner (whether with or without encryption) would likely keep detailed logs about requester/s. So what kind of privacy safeguards will there be, really? For Firefox users outside the US this may also mean leaking out browsing history to another country. Not a country renowned for peace and privacy, either…

[Humour] European Inventor Award (EIA) Still a Hallmark of EPO Corruption

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 8:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dog comparison 3: Independent jury. Like the one you sent to exile? France gets EIA every other year?

Summary: A reminder that ‘Judge’ Battistelli profits from EIA and sits on the panel (warning: epo.org link) instead of in some prison cell

Latest EPO Cartoon: Lufthansa

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 8:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘animal office’ latest

The animal office

Summary: Insiders of the European Patent Office (EPO) will know what it’s all about and what that generally alludes to

[Humour] Careful What You Wish For

Posted in Deception at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Let’s Ban Bombings, Not Words (Corporations Taking Away People’s Freedom of Speech So They Can Bomb ‘in Peace’)

Xi in the news

4 Panel Fancy Pooh: Slave/master

Summary: Banning words due to sensitivities/sensibilities may seem fine, simple and of little effort/cost; but as the progression of these things serves to show (e.g. historically in China) the dilution of vocabularies and ‘permissible’ language benefits those in positions of power (the real “masters”) the most

Links 25/6/2020: Mint Release and Mozilla Partners With Comcast

Posted in News Roundup at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux To Begin Tightening Up Ability To Write To CPU MSRs From User-Space

        The Linux 5.9 kernel is slated to begin introducing new restrictions on allowing writes to CPU model specific registers (MSRs) from user-space.

        Via the Linux kernel x86 MSR driver, writes to arbitrary model specific registers from user-space is allowed — assuming you have root permissions. But even with requiring root access, there are security implications and other issues in allowing any CPU MSRs to be written to from user-space without the intervention of the kernel via /dev/cpu/[CPU-number]/msr.

      • Intel Squaring Away “Hours of Battery Life” Feature For New Notebooks On Linux

        Intel’s open-source Linux developers have got the Tiger Lake and Gen12 graphics support largely squared away at this point, but a few remaining features remain. One of the features new to Tigerlake/Gen12+ on the graphics side is HOBL, or “Hours of Battery Life”, while the Linux support there is still being tidied up.

        As confirmed via patches earlier this month for implementing the support in Intel’s DRM kernel driver, HOBL is for “Hours of Battery Life.” This is a power-savings feature where supported laptops can take advantage of an optimized voltage swing table that uses less power in conjunction with motherboards and embedded DisplayPort (eDP) panels able to operate at the lower voltage.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Sway 1.5-RC1 Wayland Compositor Brings VRR / Adaptive-Sync, New Protocol Support

          The first release candidate of the Sway 1.5 Wayland compositor is now available for testing that continues to be inspired by the i3 design while being at the forefront of Wayland capabilities.

          [...]

          - Support for the wlr-foreign-toplevel-management protocol that can be used for creating custom docks and window switchers. This protocol exposes a list of opened applications and actions can then be performed on them such as maximizing windows or switching between these windows.

        • Patch time! NVIDIA fixes kernel driver holes on Windows and Linux

          The latest security patches from NVIDIA, the maker of high-end graphics cards, are out.

          Both Windows and Linux are affected.

          NVIDIA hasn’t yet given out any real details about the bugs, but 12 different CVE-tagged flaws have been fixed, numbered sequentially from CVE-2020-5962 to CVE-2020-5973.

          As far as we can tell, none of the bugs can be triggered remotely, so they don’t count as RCEs, or remote code execution holes, by means of which crooks could directly hack into your laptop or server over the internet.

          However, as is very common with security bugs in kernel-land, they could let crooks carry out what’s known as information disclosure or elevation of privilege attacks.

        • Install / Uninstall NVIDIA Driver 440.100 On Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

          In this Tutorial I will tell you how to install the Latest stable version of NVIDIA Graphics driver 440.100 On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and LinuxMint.

          Nvidia Linux Display Driver is a proprietary, yet freely distributed OpenGL video driver that aims to offer support for Nvidia graphics cards on any Linux kernel-based operating system.

        • Nvidia 440.100 Linux Graphics Driver Released with Support for New GPUs

          Nvidia released the Nvidia 440.100 proprietary Linux graphics driver with support for new GPUs better support for Pascal-based notebooks, and other improvements.

          The biggest new feature of the Nvidia 440.100 graphics driver is support for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti with Max-Q Design, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q Design, and Nvidia Quadro T1000 with Max-Q Design graphics cards.

        • Mesa 20.2 RADV Driver Flips On ACO By Default For Quicker Game Load Times, Better Performance

          As we have been expecting, as of a few minutes ago in Mesa 20.2-devel Git, the Radeon Vulkan “RADV” driver has enabled the Valve-backed ACO shader compiler by default rather than AMD’s official AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler back-end.

          With the last of the blockers cleared for reaching feature parity with the AMDGPU LLVM back-end, RADV is now defaulting to using ACO in place of the AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler that is currently used by RadeonSI, ROCm, and other AMD graphics driver components. RADV though being developed outside of AMD by the community and stakeholders at Valve / Red Hat / Google have the flexibility of changing the default to this AMD compiler back-end that was funded by Valve over the past year, merged for Mesa 20.0, and in good enough shape that it’s now the default with next quarter’s Mesa 20.2.

    • Benchmarks

      • Testing Intel FSGSBASE Patches For Helping Elevate Linux Performance

        After covering the Linux patches for FSGSBASE for years, it’s looking like Linux 5.9 will finally land the support for this CPU capability present since Ivy Bridge on the Intel side and more recently on AMD CPUs with Bulldozer and Zen. Here are benchmarks looking at some of the performance benefits the Linux FSGSBASE patches can provide for an Intel Xeon Cascade Lake Refresh server.

    • Applications

      • 5 modern alternatives to essential Linux command-line tools

        In our daily use of Linux/Unix systems, we use many command-line tools to complete our work and to understand and manage our systems—tools like du to monitor disk utilization and top to show system resources. Some of these tools have existed for a long time. For example, top was first released in 1984, while du’s first release dates to 1971.

        Over the years, these tools have been modernized and ported to different systems, but, in general, they still follow their original idea, look, and feel.

        These are great tools and essential to many system administrators’ workflows. However, in recent years, the open source community has developed alternative tools that offer additional benefits. Some are just eye candy, but others greatly improve usability, making them a great choice to use on modern systems. These include the following five alternatives to the standard Linux command-line tools.

      • 9 Best File Systems for Big Data

        Big Data is an all-inclusive term that refers to data sets so large and complex that they need to be processed by specially designed hardware and software tools. The data sets are typically of the order of tera or exabytes in size. These data sets are created from a diverse range of sources: sensors that gather climate information, publicly available information such as magazines, newspapers, articles. Other examples where big data is generated include purchase transaction records, web logs, medical records, military surveillance, video and image archives, and large-scale e-commerce.

        There is a heightened interest in Big Data. Oceans of digital data are being created from the interaction between individuals, businesses, and government agencies. There are enormous benefits open to organisations providing they effectively identify, access, filter, analyze and select parts of this data.

        Big Data demands the storage of a massive amount of data. This makes it a necessity for advanced storage infrastructure; a need to have a storage solution which is designed to scale out on multiple servers.

        This is the third article in a series identifying the finest open source software for Big Data. This feature highlights the finest open source file systems designed to cope with the demands imposed by Big Data. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who needs to support high performance data and offer consistent access to a common set of data from multiple servers.

      • Software To Install Every Time With Lubuntu 20.04

        Lubuntu 20.04, the latest LTS version of Ubuntu using LXQt, is quite a great operating system. While the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, Gnome, is nice, LXQt is designed to be light and fast. This article will discuss the best software to install every time with Lubuntu 20.04 to give you the best experience using it.

      • Software To Install Every Time With Debian Buster

        If you love Debian as much as I do and frequently install it, then here a list of software that I install every time with my Debian Buster installs.

      • Mp3blaster: An Awesome Music Player for the Terminal

        Have you accidentally killed X Window? Has work stuck you with a boring non-graphical server? Fear not! Fresh out of 1997, Mp3blaster can drown out your misery! Sporting a handy semi-GUI interface, Mp3blaster provides an easy-to-use music player that runs in your terminal.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Overcooked! 2 – Sun’s Out, Buns Out! is a big free update due July 5

        Overcooked! 2, quite possibly one of the best co-op games available on Linux for the madness it offers and proper laugh out loud fun. It’s also about to get bigger, for free.

        Ghost Town Games and Team17 Digital have announced the Overcooked! 2 – Sun’s Out, Buns Out! free update that’s going to release on July 5. Filled full of extra content, it’s not going to be a DLC either but as a normal game update so get ready to dash across crazy kitchens some more with a friend.

      • Skeletris mixes a Tetris-like equipment system with a roguelike

        Gosh, itch.io can really be a gold-mine of interesting games can’t it. Today I took a look at Skeletris, which mixes a Tetris-based equipment system with a roguelike.

        The idea is absolutely brilliant and it’s a thoroughly charming little game too. Sometimes I wish to see games continue to expand and Skeletris is one such game because I just feel like I need more of it. A puzzle-based equipment system is such an odd idea, as you piece together procedurally generated “artifacts” and weapons to build your character across a 5×5 grid.

      • Forgotten Fields is a new narrative adventure from the dev of Rainswept

        Forgotten Fields is a story of a writer suffering a mental block what Frostwood Interactive say is a cozy game about nostalgia, creativity, appreciating the present, and the passage of time – a meditation on impermanence and the shortness of life.

        With a low-poly but nicely presented style, it’s a story-focused interactive fiction game. With conversations to have, histories to learn and memories to relive while also solving some light puzzles and mini-games.

      • Amusing Tower Defense game Cows VS Vikings is now on Linux

        Cows, vikings and something about aliens is what you will find when you play Cows VS Vikings, a new Tower Defense game that’s now available on Linux.

        It’s surprisingly amusing actually, with a nicely made story introduction about sentient humanoid cows that live in peace with vikings until aliens start abducting them and it leads to war between the cows and the vikings. The way it’s told is great though, loved the cut-scene. While it would be hard not to compare it to Kingdom Rush, since they set a good standard for Tower Defense games, they certainly weren’t the first and Cows VS Vikings feels quite a bit like it with a fresh setting.

      • Classic and open source RTS ‘Warzone 2100′ has a new release

        Now this is a true classic I thoroughly enjoy seeing have a new life with open source! Warzone 2100, originally a commercial titles continues to evolve with a new release out now.

        After the original developer, Pumpkin Studios and Eidos allowed the source code to be released back in 2004 all proprietary technologies have been replaced with open-source counterparts and it works great on modern platforms with tons of enhancements since the original. You don’t even need the data files, all of it is free.

      • Colourful open-world adventure Pine overhauls various gameplay features

        Pine sure is pretty and as an open-world adventure, it did the job quite nicely at giving you plenty to explore with some tough combat and now it should be smoother.

        Pine is an open world action adventure simulation game. Set in the beautiful world of Albamare, you take on the role of Hue, a smart young adult who will have to explore, trade, and fight his way through a vibrant world filled with creatures much smarter than humans.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 6 porting work we need help doing now

          “6.0″ is a word that brings a lot of excitement but also a lot of aprehension and for good reason. The reason our .0 releases sometimes struggle to match the quality isn’t due to changes in the underlying libraries changing but how much we have to port away from the things that we’ve deprecated internally and have put off porting to.

          Too many changes in one release becomes overwhelming and bugs creep in without time to get address them.

          We want to be proactive in avoiding that.

          At a recent Plasma sprint, we went through some of our bigger targets that we want to finish completely porting away from in time for the 6.0 release that we can actively start doing within the 5.x series where we can do things more gradually and inrecementally.

        • Two Areas KDE Can Use Help Right Now In Porting For Plasma 6.0
    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Noodlings | KDE Plasma 5.19, Partition Manager and a BADaptor

          KDE Plasma 5.19 Experience

          It is another fantastic release with much attention being made to the finer details that enhance the usability experience without taking away from any of its functionality.

          KDE Partition Manager

          I have become quite the fan of Gparted over the years of my Linux life and I started wondering if there were other partition management options out there. Specifically one that is Qt based instead. This is not a light on GTK based applications, I just find that they don’t tend to look as nice and clean as Qt apps. In this off-hand search, I stumbled upon PartitionManger which is in official openSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap Repositories.

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

          I have reached the end of the road with this machine. We have been together for about three years and before sending it off to the ether, I wanted to try out openSUSE Tumbleweed on it. It was something of a question I have been asking myself since I was first assigned the piece of hardware. Windows 7 worked fine on it but how would it spin with the Plasma desktop.

        • Modern development – SUSE CTO: This is not a test, this is real testing

          Hold on now, this isn’t going to hurt. But in case your chest just contracted a bit – relax. I am not intending to use you as Guinea pigs fed with semi-random code de jour to test you. That being said… I am going to test, test, test your ability to embrace testing, because testing is never overrated. In fact, you hardly can test too much.

          The question is “when” and “how” and “what” you test.

          It’s long been a common understanding that the earlier you catch an issue, the less effort there is involved to address it… and the cheaper it is to fix. Not to mention the fact that you will upset fewer colleagues (or indeed users!) in the process of calming them down and showing that code has been remediated. So, in general, ‘the earlier, the better’ should be our mantra here.

          CI/CD/CD (or Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery/Continuous Deployment) are common buzzwords these days, alongside DevOps. These are about a tight, virtuous cycle of developing in small increments and high frequency, integrating those changes and making the result available (Delivery) and rolling them out (Deployment).

          While technically not a strict requirement, the success or failure of a CI/CD approach closely hinges on testing being part of the integration phase, beyond merely building the software.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Magazine trying Discourse

          Having both of these merged into a single channel makes it easier for community members to see what is going on and join the discussion.

          And compared to a mailing list, the forum promises better discoverability and accessibility to newcomers! No need to subscribe to a mailing list and manage a flood of emails. Just go to the Fedora Magazine Discourse forum, and start discussing.

        • Introducing the Red Hat build of the OpenJDK Universal Base Images—now in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

          With the recent release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, we also added the first Red Hat build of OpenJDK Universal Base Images. These General Availability (GA) images for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 set a new baseline for anyone who wants to develop Java applications that run inside containers in a secure, stable, and tested manner.

          In this article, we introduce the new OpenJDK Universal Base Images and explain their benefits for Java developers. Before we do that, let’s quickly review what we know about UBIs in general.

        • Debugging GraalVM-native images using gdb

          The GraalVM project includes, amongst other capabilities, a component called GraalVM Native Image. GraalVM Native Image supports the delivery of Java applications as shrink-wrapped, self-contained, standalone executables, commonly referred to as Java-native images. Native images often have a smaller footprint and faster startup time compared to running the same application in the traditional way on the JVM. This is often a win for short-running applications or small, container-based services. The trade-off is usually lower peak performance for long-running programs, and higher garbage collection overheads and latencies for programs with large amounts of resident data.

          We are especially interested in GraalVM-native images as an alternative back-end delivery option for applications based on Quarkus. The Java team has worked hard to ensure that Quarkus is well integrated with GraalVM Native Images. In the process, they have found that one important usability issue is the ability to debug the delivered native image.

          Of course, this is not primarily a development problem. Most of the hard work of debugging an application can be done on the JVM during development and testing. However, there is always the question of what to do if a deployed native image behaves differently. While that should not happen, it may occur because of errors in the application, or problems configuring the build. In rare cases, a deployed native image might behave differently because of a disparity introduced by the native compilation process when compiling either application code or JDK runtime code to native machine code.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 brings faster Python 3.8 run speeds

          The Python interpreter shipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 is version 3.6, which was released in 2016. While Red Hat is committed to supporting the Python 3.6 interpreter for the lifetime of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, it is becoming a bit old for some use cases.

          For developers who need the new Python features—and who can live with the inevitable compatibility-breaking changes—Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 also includes Python 3.8. Besides providing new features, packaging Python 3.8 with RHEL 8.2 allows us to release performance and packaging improvements more quickly than we could in the rock-solid python3 module.

          This article focuses on one specific performance improvement in the python38 package. As we’ll explain, Python 3.8 is built with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)’s -fno-semantic-interposition flag. Enabling this flag disables semantic interposition, which can increase run speed by as much as 30%.

        • Red Hat, IBM and SAP: Collaborating on bridging the intelligent enterprise with a cloud-native future

          At Red Hat, we believe that the open hybrid cloud is the future. Realizing the opportunity it offers rests on balancing data strategies, business models, and using the latest innovation. We find that as companies continue to rapidly evolve business models and re-architect processes to better support clients, suppliers and the workforce, many are realizing that public cloud offerings cannot fully meet their changing needs. The result is an increased interest in intelligent enterprises based on private and open hybrid cloud offerings. Frequently, we see business intelligence being driven by managed services, like SAP Cloud Platform, which makes the ability to use these services on-premises a key need for many organizations.

        • Red Hat upgrades Ansible Automation Platform to streamline IT tasks

          Red Hat today released a new version of the Ansible Automation Platform, its suite of software products for automating information technology management tasks.

          The suite is based on Ansible, a popular open-source tool maintained by Red Hat that lets administrators create scripts called playbooks to handle repetitive IT chores automatically. The Ansible Automation Platform also includes other tools such as analytics features.

          The main highlight of today’s update is a collection of 17 pre-packaged playbooks developed by Red Hat. They help automate management tasks on Amazon Web Services, as well as workflows involving certain products from Red Hat parent IBM Corp., Cisco Networks Inc., Splunk Inc. and others.

      • Debian Family

        • Grml 2020.06 Released: A Debian-based Live Linux System For Sysadmin

          Grml is a Debian GNU/Linux-based bootable live operating system, especially for system administrators. After a hiatus of around two years, Michael Prokop, Grml lead developer, has finally released a new version — Grml 2020.06 ‘Ausgehfuahangl.’

          The latest version 2020.06 is based on the testing branch of Debian 11 ‘bullseye.’ Subsequently, the live system now uses Debian linux-image packages in place of its own custom Grml kernel. Grml 2020.06 has also removed 22 packages and included 30 fresh software packages from Debian testing as of June 24, 2020.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20 Gets Approved For ‘Stable’ Release: Download ISO Here

          A few weeks ago, Clem Lefebvre, Linux Mint founder, released the beta version of the upcoming Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana.” According to the official Linux Mint ISO status page, he has now approved the stable release of Mint 20.

          As I’m writing this article, the Linux Mint team has not officially released or published any information about the stable version. However, they’ve pushed the ISO images of all stable Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions of Linux Mint 20 to some of the download mirror archives.

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

          The wait is finally over! Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” is now available for download and you can get it right now from the official mirrors to enjoy all of its new features and improvements.

          Linux Mint 20 entered beta testing a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like it’s a very stable release because the developers have just uploaded the final ISO images for the usual Cinnamon, Xfce and MATE flavors on the main download mirror, which you can download right now.

          There’s no official announcement at the moment of writing because it takes time for all official mirrors to sync with the main download server, but we already know all the new features and improvements included in the Linux Mint 20 release.

          Based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, Linux Mint 20 offers users long-term support with security updates until 2025, improved support for Nvidia GPUs and Nvidia Optimus, /home directory encryption, and a new file sharing app with encryption called Warpinator.

        • Index of /mirrors/linuxmint.com/stable/20
        • Split Personality Snaps

          Broadly speaking, most snaps in the Snap Store fall into one of two categories, desktop applications and server daemons. The graphical applications such as Chromium and Spotify use desktop files, which ensure they can be opened on demand by any user via a menu or launcher. The server applications such as NextCloud and AdGuard-Home typically have systemd units, which control their automatic (background) startup.

          Taking an existing desktop application and converting it to an always-running appliance leads to some interesting engineering challenges. Applications and games tend to have expectations for what programs and services are accessible at runtime. which need mitigating. Application confinement in snaps on Ubuntu Core means some assumptions about file and device access may no longer apply.

          We will typically need to stand-up a configuration in which the application believes it’s running in a standard desktop environment. The application will also need the startup automated in an appliance setting, but launched on demand when in a desktop environment.

          We can be quite creative with snaps and build a “split personality” snap that can run both as a desktop application and as an appliance!

        • Open source holds the key to autonomous vehicles

          A growing number of car companies have made their autonomous vehicle (AV) datasets public in recent years.

          Daimler fueled the trend by making its Cityscapes dataset freely available in 2016. Baidu and Aptiv respectively shared the ApolloScapes and nuScenes datasets in 2018. Lyft, Waymo and Argo followed suit in 2019. And more recently, automotive juggernauts Ford and Audi released datasets from their AV research programs to the public.

          Given the potential of self-driving cars to considerably disrupt transportation as we know it, it is worth taking a moment to explore what has motivated these automotive players — otherwise fiercely protective of their intellectual property — to openly share their precious AV datasets with each other and with the wider world.

          [...]

          In the true spirit of open source, a symbiotic relationship is established from sharing AV datasets with the public. Researchers gain recognition for their novel insights. Developers build an industry repute for contributions to open source projects. And companies can integrate these new advancements into their own products, thus strengthening their portfolio and bringing new features to their customers faster.

          By allowing more people to contribute to the field, car companies can harness the economics of open source and benefit from faster software cycles, a more reliable codebase, and volunteer help from some of the brightest minds in the world.

          Automotive companies are beginning to understand this, and the industry will greatly benefit if this trend becomes the default.

        • Ceph storage on VMware

          If you were thinking that nothing will change in your VMware data centre in the following years, think again. Data centre storage is experiencing a paradigm shift. Software-defined storage solutions, such as Ceph, bring flexibility and reduce operational costs. As a result, Ceph storage on VMware has the potential to revolutionise VMware clusters where SAN (Storage Area Network) was the incumbent for many years.

          SAN is the default storage for VMware in most people’s minds, but Ceph is gaining momentum. In this blog, we will do a high-level comparison of SAN and Ceph to highlight how Ceph storage on VMware makes sense as the traditional data centre is moving towards a world of low operating costs through automation that leaves space for more R&D and innovation.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Taking a practical approach to open source PostgreSQL

        The open source PostgreSQL database, sometimes referred to as Postgres, is continuing to find new applications as a scalable relational database.

        At the Postgres Vision 2020 virtual conference, held Tuesday and Wednesday, database developers and users shared insights on PostgreSQL’s past, present and future. The event was sponsored by EnterpriseDB, which used the event to mark its rebranding to EDB.

        PostgreSQL is an open source database and can be freely used by anyone. EDB provides a commercial distribution as well as different support options for those running the community edition of PostgreSQL on their own.

      • Meet the Groundswell of Open Source COVID-19 Efforts

        As the global pandemic continues, the number of open source COVID-19 software and hardware projects – developed by diverse open source communities – continues to grow.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Comcast’s Xfinity Internet Service Joins Firefox’s Trusted Recursive Resolver Program

            Today, Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, and Comcast have announced Comcast as the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provide Firefox users with private and secure encrypted Domain Name System (DNS) services through Mozilla’s Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR) Program. Comcast has taken major steps to protect customer privacy as it works to evolve DNS resolution.

            “Comcast has moved quickly to adopt DNS encryption technology and we’re excited to have them join the TRR program,” said Eric Rescorla, Firefox CTO. “Bringing ISPs into the TRR program helps us protect user privacy online without disrupting existing user experiences. We hope this sets a precedent for further cooperation between browsers and ISPs.”

            For more than 35 years, DNS has served as a key mechanism for accessing sites and services on the internet. Functioning as the internet’s address book, DNS translates website names, like Firefox.com and xfinity.com, into the internet addresses that a computer understands so that the browser can load the correct website.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Getting Started with GIMP

            In this article you will learn about GIMP also known as GNU Image Manipulation Program the professional free computer image editor which is famous as Photoshop alternative. With it you can edit photos, pictures, logos, and screenshots quickly for your authoring works. For example, GIMP is good for cropping and resizing photos as well as annotating and combining pictures. I present you here an introduction, how to obtain it for your computer, running it for the first time, enjoying the application environment, and making your first work. This article is the first part and all parts will be listed in GIMP for Authors started June 2020. Enjoy!

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel oneAPI DPC++ Compiler 2020-06 Released With New Features

          While Intel has been providing daily snapshots of the oneAPI Data Parallel C++ (DPC++) open-source compiler, today marks the latest monthly feature compiler release to their cross-architecture language for direct programming that is based on C++ while leveraging SYCL, LLVM/Clang, and other open-source technologies for exploiting the potential of hardware from CPUs to GPUs and FPGAs.

          The Intel oneAPI DPC++ Compiler release for June 2020 brings some notable new features. The DPC++ Compiler 2020-06 release has partial support for host task with interop capabilities for better SYCL-OpenCL interoperability. There is also a new Level Zero plug-in for enabling SYCL on top of the Intel oneAPI Level Zero API but the interoperability support is not yet complete. Various new extensions have also been wired up like SYCL_INTEL_bitcast, parallel_for simplification, SYCL_INTEL_enqueue_barrier, SYCL_INTEL_accessor_simplification, and more.

        • Python

          • Jupyter notebooks help data scientists and policy makers analyze real-time COVID-19 data

            For data scientists and policy makers who are analyzing the effects of COVID-19 and trying to come up with actionable plans based on data, the information landscape is overwhelming. A near-constant flow of data from research studies, news outlets, social media, and health organizations make the task of analyzing data into useful action nearly impossible. Developers and data scientists need answers to their questions about data sources, tools, and how to draw meaningful and statistically valid conclusions from the ever-changing data.

            Policy makers face similar challenges. The United States has over 3,000 counties, each with a unique story of how COVID-19 is impacting its community. Policy makers are asking questions including: What stories can we tell in the aggregate? Are there patterns we see across the country? What regions or demographics are getting affected the most by the pandemic?

          • Creating a Photo Slideshow Application with wxPython

            In this tutorial, you will learn how to improve the image viewer application that you created in the previous video tutorial to make it load up a folder of images.

            Then you will add some buttons so that the user can go forwards and backwards through the images or play a slideshow of the images.

  • Leftovers

    • Between Mystery and Social Democracy: A Journey Through Scandinavian Crime Novels

      Wendy Lesser first became captivated by Scandinavian crime novels during the early 1980s, drawn in by the thrillingly realistic plots and their attention to social realities. In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, that fascination reasserted itself; she once again longed to be immersed in a region she’d visited only in fiction. And then one day, she writes, the fictional Scandinavia “no longer seemed sufficient.” She traveled to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, delving into how the real places aligned with—and differed from—the versions she’d gleaned from Nordic police procedurals. The result is Scandinavian Noir: In Pursuit of a Mystery, a book that’s part travelogue and part affectionate dissection of a genre.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Arizona Mega-Church Hosting Trump Falsely Claims Air Filter Kills 99.9% of COVID

        Disease experts rejected claims by an Arizona mega-church set to host President Donald Trump on Tuesday that its new air filtration system is capable of killing 99.9% of the new coronavirus.

      • Outbreak at San Quentin: COVID Is Skyrocketing in CA Prisons. Why Haven’t More People Been Released?

        As coronavirus rapidly spreads through California’s overcrowded prisons, 400 people have tested positive for the virus at San Quentin State Prison. Advocates and incarcerated people warn conditions behind bars make it nearly impossible to stop the virus once it enters. We speak with Adnan Khan, executive director of Re:Store Justice, an organization that advocates for policy and alternative responses to violence and life sentences. He links inhumane prison conditions to the mass uprising in the streets against systemic racism and state violence. “There are literally millions of people in prison based on the ‘credible testimony’ and written reports of the very police that we’re seeing brutalize protesters, brutalize and shoot at media and nurses during these peaceful protests,” he says.

      • Frankenstein Chimeras: COVID, Wuhan Labs and Biosafety

        In 2015, the Wuhan Institute of Virology started experimenting how to make a natural virus more pathogenic and easier to transmit. In the military jargon of hiding reality, experts call this weaponization of viruses “gain of function.”

      • The Plant-Based Diet That Our Planet Urgently Needs

        The gulf between what people say they understand is necessary and what their actions continue to prove otherwise is alarming. It is nowhere more evident than their dietary choices.

      • COVID-19: Freedom Means That We Can Do Stupid Things, Not That We Have To

        NBC News reports that US president Donald Trump is “furious” over “underwhelming” attendance at his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 6,200 of 19,000 seats ended up cradling Trump supporters’ butts. An optimistically pre-arranged overflow area went unused.

      • How can health regulators maintain public trust when facing scientific uncertainty?

        Health regulators such as the FDA and CDC always operate under uncertainty—evidence about health interventions inevitably comes with error bars. Under normal circumstances, regulators demand evidence that meets certain thresholds of validity and reliability before taking action, such as making a public health recommendation or approving a new drug. During a public health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic, regulators are forced to act under higher-than-usual uncertainty: the social costs of waiting for better evidence often outweigh the costs of taking action before all the evidence is in. Regulators will thus make more mistakes than usual. And in addition to the direct costs of these mistakes, apparent flip-flopping on regulatory decisions risks undermining public trust in health agencies. In this post, we provide some examples of regulators reversing COVID-19-related decisions, describe the considerations these agencies are attempting to balance, and suggest ways for health regulators to maintain public trust while acting under high scientific uncertainty.

        [...]

        In these situations, regulators are dealing with at least three types of challenges. The first is scientific uncertainty. Although there is always some degree of scientific uncertainty in the regulation and approval of new healthcare technologies, in emergency situations like this one, regulators need to make decisions earlier in the scientific process of understanding a new technology. In the midst of skyrocketing COVID-19 cases and widespread PPE shortages, the CDC could not wait for the best evidence on masks before making some public recommendation. And the FDA is being asked to authorize the use of prescription drugs or diagnostic tests on evidence that would not be sufficient for full approval of the products, and which is often of lower quality (such as when a clinical trial is not randomized). Like all of us, the government is also constantly learning more about the novel coronavirus, such that the FDA may update its performance expectations for diagnostic tests over time.

        Second, regulators must consider the right balance of Type I and Type II errors in their regulatory decisions. That is, one possibility is for the FDA to minimize the number of unsafe or ineffective drugs it approves (Type I errors), for fear of harming patients and jeopardizing the public trust in the agency. But another possibility is for the agency to minimize the number of safe, effective drugs it fails to approve (Type II errors), because doing so would deny patients access to a drug which is actually safe and effective. When focusing on this patient access perspective, economists have argued that the FDA is often too conservative in approving new drugs for particularly deadly conditions. These same considerations might weigh in favor of the agency taking rapid action to authorize the use of new products—like HCQ or antibody testing—for a condition wreaking havoc around the globe. However, the negative coverage of the agency for its decisions on both fronts means that the agency already has two strikes against it, from the public’s perspective. The FDA thus may be especially cautious when it comes to the authorization of a vaccine candidate.

        Third, the negative coverage of reversed decisions highlights the need for regulators to maintain the public trust. As Professor Dan Carpenter has written in his seminal book on the FDA, the agency’s reputation and public image as an organization committed to consumer safety has cemented public trust in the agency. The agency would be jeopardizing existing high levels of trust if it made too many decisions about which it later changed its mind. In the context of the pandemic, it is especially critical that the public trusts that any vaccine the FDA authorizes or approves is both safe and effective for its intended use. This task is made more difficult in light of reporting that the administration may pressure the FDA to authorize or approve a vaccine before the election. Similarly, the CDC’s mixed messaging on the use of masks created a contradiction that may have increased mistrust in the agency. Health regulators cannot simply assume widespread compliance with their recommendations and focus on maximizing health impact; they also need to consider how to maintain public trust.

      • Russell Coker: How Will the Pandemic Change Things?

        One thing that has been happening recently is a transition in transport. It’s obvious that we need to reduce CO2 and while electric cars will address the transport part of the problem in the long term changing to electric public transport is the cheaper and faster way to do it in the short term. Before Covid-19 the peak hour public transport in my city was ridiculously overcrowded, having people unable to board trams due to overcrowding was really common. If the economy returns to it’s previous state then I predict less people on public transport, more traffic jams, and many more cars idling and polluting the atmosphere.

        Can we have mass public transport that doesn’t give a significant disease risk? Maybe if we had significantly more trains and trams and better ventilation with more airflow designed to suck contaminated air out. But that would require significant engineering work to design new trams, trains, and buses as well as expense in refitting or replacing old ones.

        Uber and similar companies have been taking over from taxi companies, one major feature of those companies is that the vehicles are not dedicated as taxis. Dedicated taxis could easily be designed to reduce the spread of disease, the famed Black Cab AKA Hackney Carriage [3] design in the UK has a separate compartment for passengers with little air flow to/from the driver compartment. It would be easy to design such taxis to have entirely separate airflow and if setup to only take EFTPOS and credit card payment could avoid all contact between the driver and passengers. I would prefer to have a Hackney Carriage design of vehicle instead of a regular taxi or Uber.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • First Windows 10 …now it’s Microsoft Outlook users who are hit by serious glitch

            WINDOWS 10 users have been pummelled by a catalogue of issues in recent weeks, but the latest annoying glitch is impacting those who use Microsoft’s hugely-popular Outlook software.

            It’s not been the best few weeks for Microsoft. Ever since the Redmond-based firm pushed out its Windows 10 May 2020 Update, it has been dogged by issues with a number of PCs suffering from the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) whilst others have been left unable to print anything from their PCs. And now, it seems another popular Microsoft software is also suffering from a hugely irritating and serious glitch which is making the software inoperable.

            It seems when users update to the latest version of Outlook, they’re instantly faced with an error message that stops them accessing the email client. There are numerous reports from users suffering from the issue and Microsoft has also confirmed that there is a problem.

          • Security Policies Lacking for At-Home Employees, According to Survey

            A recent study from IBM Security, focusing on security risks and behaviors of those working from home (WFH) during the COVID-19 global pandemic, found security policies and support lacking for at-home workers. According to the survey, more than 80 percent of respondents have either rarely or never worked from home before the pandemic, yet many have not received guidance for doing so.

            “Working from home is going to be a long-lasting reality within many organizations, and the security assumptions we once relied on in our traditional offices may not be enough as our workforce transitions to new, less controlled surroundings,” said Charles Henderson, Global Partner and Head of IBM X-Force Red.

            In the study, more than half (53 percent) of respondents reported using their own personal laptops or computers for business while working from home. And, although 47 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about cybersecurity risks, 45 percent said their employer had not provided tools to properly secure their devices.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libexif, php-horde-horde, and tcpreplay), openSUSE (rubygem-bundler), Oracle (docker-cli docker-engine, kernel, and ntp), Slackware (curl and libjpeg), and Ubuntu (mutt).

          • KIOXIA Releases Latest KumoScale Software Suite, Enables Next-Gen Cloud Deployments

            Network Resilience: KumoScale software clients use Linux® Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) and enhanced connections management to ensure consistent delivery of packets across all available network paths. KumoScale software targets use port bonding to ensure availability while maximizing total storage node throughput.

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

            • Security Stack Vulnerabilities: Blame it on Insecure Open Source Code [Ed: Doug Britton from Lockheed Martin wants us to think only Free software has security bugs; actually, proprietary software has deliberate back doors, but never mind facts... a lot of today's news or so-called 'news' is just marketing (for the author or the publisher's client_, so no wonder journalism is dead and people are cynical about the media.]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Bolton Weaves a Tall Tale in his Venezuela Chapter

        Four major sanctions over 10 months that crippled the Venezuelan economy are hardly indicative of an administration that “vacillated and wobbled”, in Bolton’s words.

      • Palestinian Scholar Noura Erakat: Israeli Forces Killed My Cousin on His Sister’s Wedding Day

        Israeli soldiers on Tuesday killed 27-year-old Ahmed Erekat at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank as he was on his way to pick up his sister, who was set to be married that night. Ahmed Erekat is the nephew of senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and cousin of Palestinian American legal scholar Noura Erakat, who says Israeli claims that Ahmed was attempting a car-ramming attack on soldiers are completely unfounded. “What we understand is that Ahmed lost control of his car or was confused while he was in his car. That was all it took to have a knee-jerk reaction … and immediately to cause the soldiers to open fire on him multiple times,” she says.

      • With Demand ‘Echoing Across the World,’ UN Chief Calls on Israel to Abandon Illegal Annexation Plan

        European MPs and international NGOs have also denounced annexation and demanded a “just solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      • There’s No Excuse for Blocking the Anti-Lynching Bill

        It’s 2020—we should’ve made the lynching of Black Americans a federal crime by now.

      • ICC Condemns ‘Unlawful’ US Attempt to Block Court’s War Crimes Investigation Via Threats and Coercion

        Nearly 70 of the court’s member states signed a statement in support of the ICC. 

      • Trump Sanctions the International Criminal Court

        You may not have noticed that President Donald Trump declared a national emergency earlier this month. Don’t be hard on yourself; it’s an easy emergency to overlook. This emergency isn’t as dramatic as the coronavirus pandemic which has killed 450,000 people worldwide, including 110,000 in the US. It’s not the rising global temperatures caused by the use of fossil fuels which could end life on Earth. It’s not racist cops killing Black Americans. And it’s not the nation’s sky-high unemployment and the terrifying threat of a second Great Depression. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s not a real emergency at all. The national emergency President Trump declared on June 11 is the International Criminal Court’s investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan.

      • John Bolton Is a Terrorist in Pinstripes

        Can a tedious, overlong book, packed from one end to the other with self-serving anecdotes, half-truths, and hearsay, still, in spite of its obvious faults, be an instructive one? One that helps make sense of a particular era, and of the players involved?

      • Biden Can Reverse Trump’s Failures on Iran

        It will be important for a Biden administration to act swiftly to restore international confidence in U.S. policy toward Iran.

      • Tributes to Breonna Taylor Around the Country
      • Lost in translation: Language barriers and the Rohingya response

        Hossain Ahmed faces a language barrier each time he sees a doctor in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps.

        His 17-year-old son, Mohammed Tuha, can’t move his legs. Ahmed said soldiers shot his son when the family fled Myanmar’s military purge of the Rohingya population starting in August 2017.

        Tuha spends most of his time lying prone on a straw mat, apart from frequent visits with his father to a health clinic in the refugee settlements.

        “I mostly don’t understand what they say in the clinic,” the father said, “and I think they also don’t understand what I am saying.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Governor Urged Businesses to Reopen Safely, but a Restaurant at His Luxury Resort Didn’t, Complaints Say

        When West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice allowed restaurants and bars across the state to reopen in late May, he urged them to follow his administration’s guidance for avoiding the spread of the coronavirus.

        “I caution you again over and over and over to be careful in what you do and be cautious,” the governor, a Republican, said at that day’s media briefing.

      • Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid

        To most people, if they are familiar with it at all, BlackRock is an asset manager that helps pension funds and retirees manage their savings through “passive” investments that track the stock market. But working behind the scenes, it is much more than that. BlackRock has been called “the most powerful institution in the financial system,” “the most powerful company in the world” and the “secret power.” It is the world’s largest asset manager and “shadow bank,” larger than the world’s largest bank (which is in China), with over $7 trillion in assets under direct management  and another $20 trillion managed through its Aladdin risk-monitoring software. BlackRock has also been called “the fourth branch of government” and “almost a shadow government”, but no part of it actually belongs to the government. Despite its size and global power, BlackRock is not even regulated as a “Systemically Important Financial Institution” under the Dodd-Frank Act, thanks to pressure from its CEO Larry Fink, who has long had “cozy” relationshipswith government officials.

      • Now Is Still a Good Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

        Higher minimum wages disproportionately benefit women workers and workers of color, both of whom are disproportionately represented in frontline industries and “essential” jobs.

      • Trump’s Ban on Temporary Work Visas Is an Attempt to Scapegoat Immigrants During an Economic Collapse

        Real reform would improve wages and working conditions.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Brazil’s Fake News Bill Would Dismantle Crucial Rights Online and is on a Fast Track to Become Law

        Despite widespread complaints about its effects on free expression and privacy, Brazilian Congress is moving forward in its attempts to hastily approve a “Fake News” bill. We’ve already reported about some of the most concerning issues in previous proposals, but the draft text released this week is even worse. It will hinder users’ access to social networks and applications, require the construction of massive databases of users’ real identities, and oblige companies to keep track of our private communications online. It creates demands that disregard Internet key characteristics like end-to-end encryption and decentralised tool-building, running afoul of innovation, and could criminalize the online expression of political opinions. Although the initial bill arose as an attempt to address legitimate concerns on the spread of online disinformation, it has opened the door to arbitrary and unnecessary measures, that strike settled privacy and freedom of expression safeguards.

        You can join the hundreds of other protestors and organizations telling Brazil’s lawmakers why not to approve this Fake News bill right now.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • When We Don’t Say Their Names, We Deny Them Justice

        As I marched down Washington Avenue in Brooklyn at a protest against police brutality earlier this month, I carried a sign around my neck that read, in big block letters, i won’t be next. Black women like me may come out to demonstrations as somebody’s mother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter or partner. But we are fighting for our own lives, too—while too many black women are ignored, even in death.

      • DC Court Upholding DOJ’s Decision to Drop Flynn Case Is a “Travesty” Say Critics

        A three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that a lower court judge’s original demands, seeking out justifications from the government for why the Department of Justice (DOJ) was dropping its case against Michael Flynn, were inappropriate, in essence giving the DOJ the go-ahead to let Flynn go without any charges at all.

      • Unions Are Taking a Stand for Black Lives

        Last Friday morning, thousands made their way to the Port of Oakland to gather for one of many national mobilizations planned for Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. In what has emerged as a daily ritual in many American cities, protesters carried placards denouncing systemic racism and expressing solidarity with black Americans killed by law enforcement. But in Oakland, the proceedings went a step further, bringing economic activity to a halt at one of the busiest ports in the United States.

      • Rural New York Is in the Streets, Marching for Black Lives

        Greene County, N.Y.—I knew about the June 4 march in Catskill to protest the murder of George Floyd only because I read about it that morning on a community Facebook page. So I expected to see a few dozen people at most, given not just the limited advance information but also the fact that Greene County (of which Catskill is the main town) is 90 percent white and went overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

      • DOJ Finally Uses FOSTA, Over Two Years Later… To Shut Down A Site Used By Sex Workers

        For years leading up to the passage of FOSTA, we were told that Congress had to pass the law as quickly as possible because so many women were “at risk” due to trafficking. And when asked for evidence of this, people would point to Backpage, even though the site had shut down its “adult” section under pressure from Congress a year earlier. Of course, the actual stats that were provided turned out to be fake and Backpage was seized before the law was even passed. The charges against the founders did not include sex trafficking charges. Also, as the details have come out about Backpage, it’s become evident that rather than facilitating sex trafficking, the company was actively working with law enforcement to find and arrest sex traffickers. However, where they started to push back on law enforcement was when law enforcement wanted to go after non-trafficked sex workers.

      • How Black Lives Matter Protests Are Shifting Racial Justice Dialogues in Professional Sports

        The Black Lives Matter protests are dramatically shifting dialogues about racial justice in sports, says former NBA player, author and activist Etan Thomas. He describes how athletes are forcing a reckoning about systemic racism in professional sports, including in NASCAR, which has rallied around the sole Black driver competing in the Cup Series, Bubba Wallace, who led a push to ban Confederate flags from races. “It’s amazing what’s happening in NASCAR,” Thomas says. “They did more in 48 hours than the NFL did for Colin Kaepernick for four or five years.”

      • Whistleblowing, the Pandemic and a ‘Law and Order’ System of Injustice

        It is hard to find many positives as the death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to climb, but as we have seen before with situations of crisis, truth does find a way to make itself known. In the sense of whistleblowing, we saw it with the crisis involving the president, which demonstrated the worth and power of whistleblowers to bring accountability to power (though of course, the end result had more to do with denial than truth). Now we see the revealing nature of whistleblowing once again as so many have been coming forward to reveal how we have had no preparedness nor plan with regard to combatting the coronavirus. Whistleblowers have testified before Congress about how woefully unprepared we have been and how the response from those charged with protecting us and this nation has been, at best, deemed inadequate, and at worse, negligent. Imagine where we would be in this pandemic without the courage of those who have dared to come forward to reveal the realities of our government’s response to and our preparedness in a global crisis.

      • Geographies of Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore
      • Mobilize, Organize, Legislate, and…

        Millions marched across the United States in protest and celebration of Juneteenth on June 19. There have been localized million people marches, specifically in 1982 in New York for a nuclear freeze; in Washington D.C. in 1995 the Million Man March to “convey to the world a vastly different picture of the Black male;” the Million People March in the Philippines in 2013 to abolish the Pork Barrel fund, and the 2019 million people march in Santiago, Chile, to protest economic inequality.

      • Drop the Charges Against Protesters!

        Some weeks ago in Washington, D.C., one of us, Arjun, saw several black young people tag a building near the White House. As Arjun watched them write on the wall, a police officer quickly approached, presumably to make an arrest. He urged the officer to consider their age, imagine their story, and think about what they had just inscribed in big black letters, “Black Lives Matter.” After a tense back and forth, the police officer left the scene.

      • Land of the Unfree

        This July 4, let’s lay claim to the freedom and equality we’ve celebrated for centuries, but seldom practiced.

      • Legalize Equal Rights: A Singalong for Kids

        Equal Rights (1977) was a follow-up to Tosh’s debut album the year before, the wildly popular Legalize It, which got him instant fame among the undergraduate activist set in America and into all kinds of legal problems back home. Reportedly he was the “victim” of police brutality, and his title song was banned from Jamaican radio, making it even more popular worldwide. Legalize It is part of the fantastic cornucopia of musical wares teeming from 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Sadly, Tosh died brutally in his own personal 9/11 at home in 1987.

        Equal Rights was more in tune with the global vibe at the time to end racism everywhere, arguably, Tosh and Bob Marley leading the way, getting our feet moving to da riddim (sometimes against our will, it seemed). They were engineers on the freedom train that some rastas (and wannabes) argue set in motion, by means of emotion, the collapse of the official Apart-Hate regime in South Africa and the release of Nelson Mandela.

      • Muslim Heroines Find their Way into New American Literature

        Years ago, in a Brooklyn writers’ workshop of largely African Americans, one member woefully explains the thwarted plot of her novel in progress: — how, despite her effort to feature a Black hero: “By the second chapter, I had killed him off”. That Black character, even in her imagination, was irretrievably doomed; in a fictional scenario she still can’t rescue a Brother from his overriding Black American destiny.

      • Secret Trials Down Under

        There a few more spiteful things in political life than a security establishment attempting to punish a leaker or whistleblower for having exposed an impropriety. Such a tendency has no ideological stripe or colouring: it is common to all political systems. In Australia, it has become clear that secret trials are all the rage. The disclosure of their existence tends to be accidental, and trials held partly in secret are also matters considered necessary by the current attorney general.

      • ‘You’re Not Allowed to Read Transgender People Out of Protection Because You Dislike Them’

        Janine Jackson interviewed attorney Ezra Young about the Supreme Court’s LGBTQ ruling for the June 19, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Record Label For Current And Formerly Incarcerated Musicians Releases First Album

        Die Jim Crow is the first nonprofit record label for current and formerly incarcerated musicians, and on Juneteenth, the label released their first album, “Assata Troi” by BL Shirelle.Shirelle, a deputy director for Die Jim Crow, told Shadowproof she is relieved to have the project out because she has a body of work that the label can stand on. “I can put it in the marketplace with anybody, with any hip-hop record that’s been out.”The label obtains access to facilities, and they collaborate with prisoners. They lay down instrumentals, record vocals, and mix tracks with professional equipment. Over 50 musicians in five prisons in Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, and South Carolina have been recorded, and according to executive director Fury Young, they have a huge backlog of unreleased music.In October 2019, Die Jim Crow raised $50,000 through Kickstarter to launch the label. They also released an EP in 2016, which included two tracks that featured Shirelle. Shirelle’s mother was a crack addict, and Shirelle sold crack when she was 12. As she shared with Interview Magazine, Shirelle was sentenced to 10 years in a prison in Philadelphia after she was shot by police “multiple times and beaten while in handcuffs.” She was accused of assaulting a police officer.The name of the album means “she who struggles is a warrior,” and it is filled with hip-hop, electronic, and rhythm and blues as she confronts some aspects of her life after incarceration that she found difficult to accept, like questioning her faith.Assata Troi by BL Shirelle“Conspiracy” is Shirelle’s favorite record on the album. “It’s huge, theatrical. It’s cinematic,” Shirelle said. There’s the guitar solo at the end. “The beat is amazing.” Shirelle heard the beat for “Conspiracy,” and immediately thought, “It needs a story, number one, and it needs a story of incarceration.” She decided to tell a story about how one may be accused of conspiracy because in Pennsylvania the state has the most juveniles sentenced to life in prison. Many of those sentences stem from conspiracy charges.“Most of them weren’t exactly aware of what was happening or even if they were aware of a robbery or whatever, a murder ensued and they have to pay for the rest of their life,” Shirelle said.She made it a “very harsh record” so people could think about the company they keep and realize what could happen.“If you’re 14 and you get life, your parents and everyone else is going to be there for you for some time, but eventually they start to get used to you not being around,” Shirelle suggested. “[It’s] similar to a death, and you don’t get the support that you think that you’re necessarily going to get. Only those who are supremely blessed get support from their family during a complete life sentence.”“I wanted to make it very harsh so that people understand that people adapt, people adjust to you not being around,” Shirelle added. “It’s a very unfair scenario when people are [sentenced] to life for something they had no idea what was happening.”“I got the beat first from my producer. My main producer, his name is Trvp Lvne. He produced eight of the ten records on there. We developed my sound together. There’s no me without him-type thing.”Assata Troi by BL ShirelleFor “Generational Curse,” Shirelle heard the beat and was reminded of the era of hip-hop that she remembers hearing when she grew up. It sounded like something from Jay-Z, like the era of Roc-A-Fella records or “The Blueprint” (2001). It bears some similarity to the single released from the album, “SIGS,” in that she confronts her past while also showing her confidence in herself and her artistic abilities.“At this point, regardless of how Die Jim Crow is, we are the first nonprofit record label for incarcerated musicians in history. That’s a fact,” Shirelle declared. “So I felt as though it was a time for me to express that I know who I am.”“I know where I’m going, and I’m going to go there with or without whoever. It was a time for me to talk my shit and also express that I’m fully aware of my past. and I’m fully aware of how I want to kind of change the narrative or break the curse in my children, and I don’t want them to have to experience the same things I did.”Shirelle would never recommend people sell drugs to their mother, like she did, however, she believes all that she’s survived has helped her become an adult, who would do well raising children.Assata Troi by BL Shirelle“Til I Go,” which concludes the album, features a phenomenal song-stealing alto saxophone solo from John Heinrich.The song is one of the most personal tracks on the album. Shirelle took the fact that many black people grow up as Christians and never question the word of God. As they take in more and more information about the world, they question their faith.“You start to question tradition versus free thought. And you have that fork in the road, where you have to determine which way you’re going to go,” Shirelle shared. “For me, I didn’t give the answer. Because the answer is different for everyone. But I gave my answer in a very abstract way by singing the Lord’s prayer throughout the hook, and then at the end, it becomes [more] clear. You can hear what I am saying. You can hear that it’s the Lord’s prayer.”Shirelle has never met Heinrich, though she hopes to meet him in the near future as they collaborate on future projects.The joy of simply creating music comes through on the record. For example, “Phantom Cookie” features a toy piano in one section of the song. Most of the songs, Shirelle was involved in making the beats. She said they are musically sophisticated beats. They aren’t 808s, a beat popularized by hip-hop artists in New Orleans. ***When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Shirelle was traveling from Philadelphia, where she is based, to New York to work with Fury Young. They were finishing “Assata Troi” and had to cancel a couple sessions as it became more dangerous to travel. “I was going there every week at the time. We were paralyzed with fear for a couple weeks.I said we gotta do something. We got to get our hands dirty in the situation,” Shirelle recalled. Shirelle and Young came up with an idea to host virtual benefits and weekly talent shows, where they raised funds to purchase personal protective equipment that could be sent to prisoners. So far, Die Jim Crow has sent over 13,000 masks. (Shirelle’s wife is an essential worker.) While prisoners at facilities they visited already loved and respected Die Jim Crow, Shirelle believes this established a level of trust that demonstrates the label has their “best interests at heart.” Over 500 prisoners have died from the coronavirus while incarcerated, and there have been anywhere from 2,000-4,000 new cases reported in prisons throughout the United States for the past two months. Shirelle is understandably concerned about the way in which the pandemic is impacting incarcerated individuals. “One of your biggest fears is getting sick, especially for women,” Shirelle stated. “A lot of times we’re not diagnosed with cancer until we’re in stage 4 or terminal inside of prison. No matter how many times we tell them there’s something wrong. Please check me out. Please help me. We’re losing weight, and we’re losing 100 pounds in nine months. They still won’t help until it’s too late.”Shirelle continued, “Coupled with everything that’s going on as far as the protests and police brutality, being a victim of police brutality, doing six years for assault on a police officer for simply defending my own life, I see that I’m happy, and I’m hopeful that people are fighting and people are protesting and people are marching.

        “People are doing the things that they need to do for change, however, I’m a little startled at how quickly we were able to flip the switch from the pandemic to this.”“I just hope we can keep multiple things on our minds at the time. I hope that we can multitask, and I hope that throughout all this, as we’re fighting, we don’t forget about the deliberate indifference to health care inside of prisons and being exposed to COVID-19 inside of prisons.”“If we have to be the torch to keep that going, we’ll be the torch. So, hopefully it doesn’t die out,” Shirelle concluded. “That’s also very serious, very important, very scary, and I just want to keep that in the forefront of everyone’s minds.” Listen and support BL Shirelle’s “Assata Troi” at Bandcamp. 

      • Black Lives Matter Protests Are Shifting Racial Justice Dialogues in Pro Sports

        The Black Lives Matter protests are dramatically shifting dialogues about racial justice in sports, says former NBA player, author and activist Etan Thomas. He describes how athletes are forcing a reckoning about systemic racism in professional sports, including in NASCAR, which has rallied around the sole Black driver competing in the Cup Series, Bubba Wallace, who led a push to ban Confederate flags from races. “It’s amazing what’s happening in NASCAR,” Thomas says. “They did more in 48 hours than the NFL did for Colin Kaepernick for four or five years.”

      • Inside the U.S.’s Largest Maximum-Security Prison, COVID-19 Raged. Outside, Officials Called Their Fight a Success.

        By the time he persuaded the guards to let him call his family, Michael Williams could feel his life slipping away. His body ached, and he was struggling to breathe. For three days, he had been locked behind the heavy metal door of a cramped prison cell, terrified and alone.

        “They weren’t treating him,” his son, Kevin Cooks, recalled. “He kept telling me, ‘Son, I’m going to die in here.’” Williams, a 70-year-old diabetic, was serving a life sentence for a 1974 convenience store murder he had always maintained he did not commit. It was the first time his son had ever heard him cry.

      • ACLU Demands Lawmakers Act After Michigan Man Wrongfully Arrested ‘Because Face Recognition Can’t Tell Black People Apart’

        “It’s past time for lawmakers to prevent the continued use of this technology. What happened to the Williams family should never happen again.”

      • Groundbreaking Community-Building Technologists Join EFF’s Board of Directors

        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is honored to announce the two newest members of its Board of Directors: tech executive and advocate Anil Dash and free and open source software advocate James Vasile. Both Dash and Vasile have spent their careers blending technology and community, and are dedicated to using technology to make the world better both online and off.

        Anil Dash is the CEO of Glitch, a coding community where millions of creators collaborate and create apps together. He has been a prominent and welcome voice, advocating for a more humane, inclusive, and ethical technology industry through his work as an entrepreneur, activist and writer. Dash also hosts Function, a podcast exploring how tech is shaping culture and society. Dash was an advisor to the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, and today advises major startups and non-profits including Medium, DonorsChoose, and Project Include. He also serves as a board member for Stack Overflow, the world’s largest community for computer programmers; the Data & Society Research Institute, which researches the cutting edge of tech’s impact on society; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, which serves girls and families in need in New York City.

      • For a Racism-Free 22nd Century, We Need a Billionaire-Free 21st

        The novel coronavirus just keeps coming — and so do the billions for America’s top billionaires. The nation’s five richest — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison — have added a combined $101.7 billion to their net worth since the virus hit hard nationally in March.

      • MLK County Labor Council Kicks Out Police Union: Statement by Seattle DSA

        In a groundbreaking move, on June 17 the Martin Luther King County Labor Council kicked out the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) by a vote of 55% to 45%. Seattle DSA wholeheartedly welcomes this decision, which members of ours in the labor movement helped push for.

      • President Trump Ain’t Just Dog Whistling Dixie

        In his Tulsa speech and an interview Trump previews his hate-fueled, if incoherent, 2020 campaign strategy.

      • Activists Are Challenging Colorado’s Ongoing Legacy of Racism

        From the cinders of Minneapolis’s police precinct burnt down in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, to calls for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, to protests over the killing of Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Florida, to the outrage over the murder of Breonna Taylor by police in Kentucky, Black communities and other communities of color are continuing to rise up and call for change. White supremacy’s roots are weaved into the foundation of the U.S. and it has systematically wrapped itself into institutions affecting health, economic disparity, foreign policy, housing, education, the prison system, and outright survival for Black and Brown communities. As noted by Joy DeGruy, author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, white supremacy is a boil you can’t ignore; you have to lance it, to clean it out. Denver is one of those boils in the middle of the U.S. It has long been a hotbed and breeding ground for white supremacy and police violence. White supremacy groups have been on the rise in Colorado: in late 2019 a white supremacist was arrested for plotting to bomb a synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado, and on June 11, a white man in Loveland, Colorado, held two Black men at gunpoint claiming they were from Antifa.

      • Get Police Out of Schools — Including University Campuses

        The brutal police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, among many others, and the wave of national Black-led protests against racist police brutality that followed, have permanently altered the realm of the possible. Once deemed fringe or too radical, calls to defund and abolish the police are not only within view of the mainstream, but are suddenly on the table. Such demands have fueled new and already existing movements to dismantle and defund police on college campuses. In particular, the University of Minnesota’s (UM’s) move to cut some ties with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in response to Floyd’s murder, as called for by student activists, has further shifted the paradigm, demonstrating that universities can absolutely act to remove law enforcement from their campuses.

      • When the West falls into crisis

        The globalisation of vulnerability – made clear by the coronavirus pandemic and a global anti-racism movement – is putting into question traditional conceptions of humanitarian aid, too.

        Will this historic moment force a rethink of international solidarity?

        Should the current situation in the United States be considered a humanitarian crisis?

        How does the language we use around different geographic crises reinforce assumptions about people in those countries?

        Is the international nature of aid inherently problematic?

        TNH Director Heba Aly posed these questions to panelists from across the aid sector.

        Candace Rondeaux, in Washington, D.C., who spent years as an analyst with the International Crisis Group before joining the Center on the Future of War and New America’s International Security Program as senior fellow – addressed why America is a fragile state.

        Award-winning writer and filmmaker Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of The Africa Center in New York and author of Beasts of No Nation – spoke to the links between racism in the United States and flawed assistance abroad, and why philanthropy should be recast as reparations.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Coronavirus Laid Bare Our Empty Lip Service To Fixing The ‘Digital Divide’

        FCC boss Ajit Pai likes to repeatedly proclaim that one of his top priorities while chair of the FCC is to “close the digital divide.” Pai, who clearly harbors post-FCC political aspirations, can often be found touring the nation’s least-connected states proclaiming that he’s working tirelessly to shore up broadband connectivity and competition nationwide. More often than not, the junkets involve Pai informing locals that gutting FCC oversight of some of the least competitive, least liked companies in America resulted in near-miraculous outcomes.

      • The House Has a Universal Fiber Broadband Plan We Should Get Behind

        America is behind on its transition to a 21st-century, fiber-connected Internet with no plan for how to fix the problem. Until today. For the first time, legislation led by Majority Whip James Clyburn would begin a national transition of everyone’s Internet connection into multi-gigabit capable fiber optics has been introduced and is likely heading towards a vote on the House floor as part of the overall COVID-19 recovery effort. After that its future remains in the hands of the Senate. 

        The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act (H.R. 7302) would create an $80 billion fiber infrastructure program run by a new Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth that would coordinate all federal infrastructure efforts with state governments. Such an ambitious program would have the United States match China’s efforts to build universal fiber with the U.S. completing its transition just a few short years after China. Without this law, the transition would take decades. This would ensure that the multi-gigabit innovations in applications and services can be created in the United States and also used by all Americans. A universal fiber program would also allow next-generation Wi-Fi and 5G to have national coverage as well as any future iterations of wireless technology. But perhaps most importantly of all, the issue of the digital divide would be solved in its entirety and properly relegated to the history books.

    • Monopolies

      • Top German Court Rules Facebook’s Collection And Use Of Data From Third-Party Sources Requires ‘Voluntary’ Consent

        Back at the end of 2017, Germany’s competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, made a preliminary assessment that Facebook’s data collection is “abusive”. At issue was a key component of Facebook’s business model: amassing huge quantities of personal data about people, not just from their use of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, but also from other sites. If a third-party website has embedded Facebook code for things such as the ‘like’ button or a ‘Facebook login’ option, or uses analytical services such as ‘Facebook Analytics’, data will be transmitted to Facebook via APIs when a user calls up that third party’s website for the first time. The user is not given any choice in this, and it was this aspect that the Bundeskartellamt saw as “abusive”.

      • Patents

        • A snooze reminder?

          Whilst Floyd LJ describes this analysis as straightforward, one of the points identified by Marcus Smith J as being tricky had been the impact of there being three different markets for Circadin (i.e. the fact that the marketing authorisation was narrower than the patent claims, and also that there were further off-label uses which fell outside the scope of the patent). There was no mention of this in Floyd LJ’s analysis (although he does note the different markets in the background section). Given that as a judge, Floyd LJ does not tend to leave any point on the “too difficult” pile, this seems surprising, especially in light of indications from both sides that analysing the market for these three categories of uses was not simple. Presumably this is because the issue goes not to adequacy of damages but to quantum.

          In any event, having come to the conclusion that damages would be an adequate remedy for Neurim, there was no need for Floyd LJ to consider the subsequent stages in the American Cyanamid test.

          A large concern for many patent lawyers following the first instance judgment was the approach that had been taken to the evidence. Marcus Smith J had essentially dismissed much of the evidence as partisan and of no weight given that the witnesses had not been tested under cross-examination. This had left many wondering how either party could ever reasonably put forward acceptable evidence in the time available to prepare for a preliminary injunction application. Floyd LJ implicitly disagrees with this approach when he notes that “the court must do the best it can on the available written evidence.” He accepts that it may not be possible to form a view on certain issues, but the Court “should not abandon the task at the outset”. Unfortunately for Neurim, Floyd LJ also makes it clear that the evidence should still be examined with a critical eye. In this regard, he notes “one difficulty” for Neurim is the fact that its principal evidence had been prepared before the expedited trial had been fixed. This meant that the evidence from Neurim was all about the impact of losing 1-2 years of exclusivity before trial, not just four months. He accepted that “such a period would indeed deprive Neurim and Flynn of a large part of the remaining monopoly under the patent… but that it cannot be assumed that a short period of generic competition followed by a final injunction would have the same effect.” This analysis of the longer time frame will have provided some comfort to patentees, but at the same time highlights the significance of the expedited trial.

          All in all, the judgment appears to be an attempt to settle nerves for patentees by dealing in a very English way with some unconventional analysis from the judge, by highlighting the “extremely unusual facts” and reiterating that he had not “decided any principle of general application. On this initial analysis, the case doesn’t seem to indicate future nightmares for patentees, or even necessarily a wake-up call, but maybe a snooze reminder about the importance of the facts of each specific case and the potentially highly significant impact of securing an expedited trial.

        • Supreme Court Takes Pass on Considering IPR Constitutionality

          There is little rhyme nor reason in the cases the Supreme Court decides to review. But the Court has patterns in its case selection that do (to some degree) probe what the Justices think are important questions. One pattern that has been evident in the past few years is that the Court believed it important to set the contours of the post-grant review provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, particularly with regard to inter partes review proceedings. Thus, the Court held in Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v. Lee (2016) that the USPTO properly applied the “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard for claim construction for IPRs and that the statute mandated that the decision to institute an IPR was not subject to judicial review. Two years later, the Court handed down two IPR-related decisions. In SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu (2018), the Court challenged the PTAB’s practice of partial IPR institution and held that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was compelled to render a Final Written Decision (FWD) on all claims challenged by a petitioner in its IPR petition. And in Oil States Energy Services, LLC. v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC (2018), the Court held that IPRs do not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. Last year, in Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service (2019), the Court’s decision precluded federal government agencies from availing themselves of post-grant proceedings under the AIA, and earlier this year in Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP (2020), the Court mandated that the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 315(b), which preclude a petitioner from filing an IPR petition more than one year after being served with a complaint alleging infringement, are barred from judicial review under 35 U.S.C. § 314(d).

          The Court’s decisions have ranged from the (relative) minutiae of statutory construction and administrative implementation thereof to questions of constitutionality. But the Oil States decision was perhaps the Court’s most explicit reservation of judgment on whether Congress (or the PTO) had (or might) overstep its Constitutional moorings under certain circumstances. The Court noted that it was not determining whether IPR proceedings raise due process concerns, and stressed that the holding should not be misconstrued to suggest that other constitutional challenges could not be made, for example challenges related to the Due Process Clause or the Takings Clause. The Court seemed content to await these issues (should they arise) to come before it in future cases.

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