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06.26.20

Adapting to Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Response to “Adapting To Circumstances” from Planet Ubuntu (hours ago)

PuTTY
Handing the keys over the Microsoft, even literally

Summary: Doing ‘Linux’ the way Microsoft wants you to do it is merely strengthening the Microsoft monopoly; even Planet Ubuntu is currently promoting this inane approach

IT’S not often that we do line-by-line rebuttals anymore, but this one merits a rebuttal. It’s a symptom of concessionary thinking, which is basically accepting Microsoft’s supremacy over GNU/Linux and Free software in the name of “compromise” or “convenience”. It’s why we end up with everything in a Microsoft monopoly called GitHub and lots of OEMs paying Microsoft for “Linux” because of software patents (which are likely bunk anyway).

“It’s a symptom of concessionary thinking, which is basically accepting Microsoft’s supremacy over GNU/Linux and Free software in the name of “compromise” or “convenience”.”Below we quote the original, with a response following every statement, hopefully putting things in context:

I have written prior that I wound up getting a new laptop.

OK, lots available or around these days with GNU/Linux pre-installed. More so over time.

Due to the terms of getting the laptop I ended up paying not just for a license for Windows 10 Professional but also for Microsoft Office.

So what? Proprietary software is worse than worthless. What’s the actual value of Office? It’s mere rental of a piece of malware. Money down the drain.

As you might imagine I am not about to burn that much money at the moment.

You already have. You paid for Windows and for an Office licence.

With the advent of the Windows Subsystem for Linux I am trying to work through using it to handle my Linux needs at the moment.

WSL is Windows, not Linux. WSL doesn’t even have Linux in it. It’s a misnomer. As for WSL2, only about 150,000 people use it worldwide. It’s a failure.

Besides, I did not realize OpenSSH was available as an optional feature for Windows 10 as well.

May I introduce you to PuTTY? It has been around for… how long? Two decades? PuTTY was not controlled by Microsoft, so Microsoft had to ‘reinvent’ it… to keep people like you in the gated community [sic] (prison) of Windows.

That makes handling the herd of Raspberry Pi boards a bit easier. Having the WSL2 window open doing one thing and a PowerShell window open running OpenSSH makes life simple. PowerShell running OpenSSH is a bit easier to use compared to PuTTY so far.

So now you’re running Microsoft’s patented and non-standard shell. Hurray to freedom! Just don’t write any programs/scripts in it. That’s Microsoft lock-in right there.

Did you supply private keys? Oh, wait till you find out Microsoft hoovers all the data from Windows and works closely with the NSA and others… so you might as well assume your keys are already compromised.

The Ubuntu Wiki mentions that you can run graphical applications using Windows Subsystem for Linux. The directions appear to work for most people. On my laptop, though, they most certainly did not work.

So Ubuntu wastes space and time promoting Microsoft’s monopoly and an attack on GNU/Linux. The fact that the documentation did not work for you means that Microsoft is getting its way. It’s already painful enough, giving GNU/Linux a bad name.

“Hey, why bother with this Linux thing? Might as well stay with Windows…”

After review the directions were based on discussion in a bug on Github where somebody came up with a clever regex.

Oh, GitHub. Lovely! So now we’re turning to Microsoft for ‘Linux’ bug reporting.

The problem is that kludge only works if your machine acts as its own nameserver. When I followed the instructions as written my WSL2 installation of 20.04 dutifully tried to open an X11 session on the machine where I said the display was.

At this stage you could have instead asked yourself, “why did I not just wipe Windows and why bother with this whole “kludge” (your word)?”

Unfortunately that regex took a look at what it found on my machine and said that the display happened to be on my ISP’s nameserver. X11 is a network protocol where you can run a program on one computer and have it paint the screen on another computer though that’s not really a contemporary usage. Thin clients like actual physical X Terminals from a company like Wyse would fit that paradigm, though.

Wow, talk about reinventing the wheel. Microsoft taking back technology two decades. I literally did that in 2001. A lot. Without issues. Even Cygwin could handle that very reliably at the time.

After a wee bit of frustration where I was initially not seeing the problem I had found it there. Considering how strangely my ISP has been acting lately I most certainly do not want to try to run my own nameserver locally. Weirdness by my ISP is a matter for separate discussion, alas.

I inserted the following into my .bashrc to get the X server working:

export DISPLAY=$(landscape-sysinfo –sysinfo-plugins=Network | grep IPv4 | perl -pe ‘s/ IPv4 address for wifi0: //’):0

Considering that my laptop normally connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi I used the same landscape tool that the message of the day updater uses to grab what my IP happens to be. Getting my IPv4 address is sufficient for now. With usage of grep and a Perl one-liner I get my address in a usable form to point my X server the right way.

Congrats on reinventing X forwarding?

Elegant? Not really. Does it get the job done? Yes. I recognize that it will need adjusting but I will cross that bridge when I approach it.

Since the original bug thread on Github is a bit buried the best thing I can do is to share this and to mention the page being on the wiki at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WSL. WSL2 will be growing and evolving. I suspect this minor matter of graphical applications will be part of that evolution.

So basically, here you are dealing with issues long solved (like two decades ago). And all this? Just so that you can run Windows while pretending to use GNU/Linux. And it has a keylogger, too. According to the latest press reports, Microsoft also ‘steals’ data from Firefox users on Windows. So good luck; assume Microsoft does the same to your ‘Linux’ setup.

So well done, Canonical. There are now 150,001 WSL2 users. And your documentation sucks. Maybe restart the focus on bug #1 and try replacing Windows instead of ‘improving’ it, driving more Ubuntu members (like the above) back to Windows.

Removal of Words Sold to Us as Promotion of Tolerance Rather Than the Autocrats’ Playbook

Posted in Deception at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Limiting expression of ideas by banning particular words would make it harder to object or rationalise resistance to unjust power, e.g. from corporate masters. It is akin to ‘tone-policing’ by those who don’t wish to be policed/scrutinised.

Russia banning words

Summary: Being lured into the shallow but convenient idea that mere words rather than inequality or systemic racism (e.g. high cost of higher education) are a barrier to social justice is exactly the sort of framing that autocrats favour because it diverts attention away from vastly more problematic and unethical matters, such as bombings (it also restricts freedom of expression, i.e. criticism of such behaviour)

THE generic term master is being described as racist. It doesn’t seem to matter that in feudal contexts too there are masters. It doesn’t seem to matter that in today’s corporate contexts and environments there are masters (it’s a class thing). It doesn’t seem to matter if most classic slavery in this century is a case of people enslaving their own race (it’s still happening a lot in Africa). Forget about ‘neo’ slave labour (like sweatshops), prison labour and all sorts of financial enslavement (mostly lending). Forget about Mastercard. To merely point these things out is an invitation for controversy. As if one is being racist for merely not agreeing.

“It collectively weakens us and limits antagonism against unjust power.”The US Founding Fathers, slave owners themselves, spoke about free speech. “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object,” Thomas Jefferson wrote. Mark Twain once wrote: “It is by the goodness of God that, in this country, we have three benefits: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either.”

Mark Twain and Worf: That's racist

The objective in removing the word “master” isn’t to restrict speech but to encourage manners or reduce the likelihood of discomfort, but inadvertently a word is getting a bad connotation to the point where it won’t be used as much, limiting one’s ability to express particular views. Maybe it isn’t a side effect but a subtle goal. In the name of politeness we’re being morphed or socially-engineered into obedient workers with no personal political views (for they might infringe/violate/trample on some Code of Conduct). It collectively weakens us and limits antagonism against unjust power. We emancipate almost nobody, so the net benefit is small; those who are irritated by the word “master” probably never had a master in the slavery sense (ancestors did).

“…jokes made by Linus Torvalds about Greg K-H were being mis-portrayed as a violent threat by an employee of the same company that’s now in the Linux Foundation’s Linux Kernel Code of Conduct (CoC) Committee.”Free speech has long been a balance between what’s to be lost and what’s to be gained. How many things will be lost due to erosion of vocabularies, including the freedom to be blunt or insult? We’re getting to the point already where many comedians cannot do their job for fear of being labeled “racist” or a “bigot”; jokes made by Linus Torvalds about Greg K-H were being mis-portrayed as a violent threat by an employee of the same company that’s now in the Linux Foundation's Linux Kernel Code of Conduct (CoC) Committee.

This trend is not encouraging. We’re becoming more like China or like Russia — something the West used to take pride in rejecting.

The WSL Song

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Microsoft at 10:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We pinch Linux Like this! And then we'll squash it!

Summary: “Linux” Subsystem for Monopoly; get up and dance, peasants! Let’s celebrate!

TWO reboots a week are less than sufficient
That may be the cost of running a base too ancient for the technically-proficient
A piece of malware and/or a keylogger — all with its own bootable system
What else can be added? Let’s add more bloat to the rhythm

So we threw in GNU, but of course we called it Linux
What else is new? Well, at least it’s kind of like UNIX
Canonical was recruited to help, but their assistant jumped ship
So a Hayden we added, taking his first UNIX dip

Anonymously we trolled our critics
What do they know after all? Just a bunch of fanatics!
The media we bribed, except that which was already in our pockets
WSL they called “LINUX”, what a bunch of mindless muppets!

Several years passed and WSL was a failure
We refused to reveal numbers, we said it’s an error
So WSL2 we trotted out, this time with Linux included
ActiveX we then added, as EEE must be EEEmbedded

Here we are an election cycle later
Things aren’t getting better
Our position is slipping even faster
Our boss Bill says this should matter

In between crucial meetings
Secret meetings nevertheless
With Modi, with Trump
With Epstein the mess

Microsoft can’t be evil, for it says it loves everything
And it can’t be racist either, for Nadella fronts for Windows and Bing!

Microsoft loves Linux
Polygamy is OK
It loves Windows more so
With Linux on top (crap, that sounds gay)

Cygwin is reinvented
Or invented in Redmond
Two decades later
But it says “Microsoft” so it’s a diamond

As our market share continues to dwindle
Harder we shall fake
Lying to our shareholders
Distractions from the layoffs we bake

“Linux” Subsystem for Windows
150,000 users worldwide
Anything to ensure GNU/Linux hasn’t WINE on the side

Microsoft loves Linux
Polygamy is OK
But no bootloader, no improvements
We love Linux only as long as its users pay

Gross Journalistic Misconduct at ZDNet (Microsoft-Sponsored CBS Tabloid)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: ZDNet isn’t showing the ability or the will to improve; its “LINUX” section is still littered with Microsoft marketing/propaganda and its articles that are actually about GNU/Linux are preceded/covered by Windows promotion

EARLIER this month we took note of ZDNet embedding Microsoft promotion (as videos!) in articles about competitors of Microsoft. How does ZDNet excuse or frame such behaviour as ethical? It’s not. It is also an insult to reporters, who basically cover X only for the publisher to place anti-X at the very top of their articles (something positive about X).

Today, having just checked, we’re still seeing the same thing. A couple of examples:

ZDNet Vista 10

The subliminal message or issue is rather clear: you should really just use Vista 10. It’s all about the “new Microsoft” that tells us it "loves Linux" so that it can attack GNU/Linux.

“Keep it up, ZDNet. You show your true face.”This is, quite frankly, all one needs to know about ZDNet and who runs the agenda there. We might also note that about half the story in the “LINUX” section are currently just Microsoft promotion/spam. Some have nothing whatsoever to do with GNU/Linux (even remotely). Hey, it’s not like ZDNet is trying to pretend to be a professional news site, right? It’s all about advertisers, to whom readers (“audiences”) are a product to be sold.

Keep it up, ZDNet. You show your true face. You expose your real owners.

Links 26/6/2020: Oryx Pro With Open Firmware, Mageia 8 Alpha 1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Apple macOS ‘Big Sur’ Theme Is Getting Ready For Linux Desktops

      Recently, at WWDC 2020, Apple announced its new macOS “Big Sur” with the biggest design updates in more than a decade. With its modern, clean, and spacious design look, it aims to bring an entirely new visual experience.

      Now, if you’re a Linux enthusiast, you won’t buy such an expensive mac only for a beautiful desktop. Instead, you may want to make your Linux desktop look like the new macOS Big Sur using themes. Not all, but some of you definitely want to turn your Linux UI into macOS. After all, it’s not wrong to leverage the customization power of Linux.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Things We Love About the New Oryx Pro

        For the first time ever, we loaded System76 Open Firmware onto a machine with NVIDIA graphics. System76 Open Firmware is open source firmware that’s built from coreboot firmware and EDK2 in conjunction with System76 Firmware Apps. It’s designed to be lightweight on code for better speed and security. Furthermore, coreboot disables the Intel Management Engine by default, which has been tied to recent security vulnerabilities industry-wide.

        What does this mean for you? Lightning fast boot times, enhanced security, and firmware updates accessible through your operating system. Plus, open source firmware gives you a look inside the code, so you can keep track of what’s happening with your data. (We may be a funny business, but we don’t DO funny business.

      • System76 Oryx Pro Linux laptop gets Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and Open Firmware

        We recently told you that the thin and light Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition has finally started shipping with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. While that is certainly cool, the reality is, Linux-focused companies like System76 were shipping out computers with the newest Ubuntu LTS pre-installed way before that. In fact, System76 even offers the option of its own operating system that is based on Ubuntu 20.04. Called “Pop!_OS,” the Linux distribution adds many beneficial tweaks and enhancements to improve the overall user experience.

        Today, System76 refreshes its popular Oryx Pro laptop, and you can choose between Ubuntu 20.04 and Pop!_OS 20.04 (I would recommend the latter). The powerful notebook (with 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch display options) now comes with a cutting-edge 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H CPU which offers an impressive 8 cores and 16 threads. You also get an NVIDIA RTX 20-series GPU which can work in conjunction with the Intel graphics thanks to the smart graphic-switching capabilities baked into Pop!_OS.

      • Oryx Pro is the first System76 laptop with Coreboot, Open Controller Firmware and NVIDIA

        System76 have today revealed a refreshed Oryx Pro laptop. The first to come from System76 that features both their System76 Open Firmware, System76 Embedded Controller Firmware and NVIDIA together. This was hinted at recently, when System76 engineer Jeremy Soller had mentioned they were working on it on Twitter.

        Quite an exciting development, having a top Linux hardware vendor bring open source firmware that’s built from coreboot and the EDK boot-loader to more models and with an NVIDIA GPU too so there’s plenty of power involved. System76 said it “means that users get lightning fast boot times, enhanced security, and firmware updates accessible through their operating system” plus “open source firmware gives a look inside the
        code, so users can keep track of what’s happening with their data”.

      • System76’s New Oryx Pro Linux Laptop Comes with Open Firmware, Hybrid Nvidia Graphics

        System76 unveiled today a new version of its popular Oryx Pro Linux laptop that comes, for the first time, with open source firmware and Nvidia graphics.

        Following the Darter Pro, Galago Pro and Lemur Pro laptops, the powerful Oryx Pro Linux laptop is now available with System76’s Coreboot-based Open Firmware, and it’s the first machine from System76 to also include Nvidia graphics and the System76 Embedded Controller Firmware.

        These days, when buying a Linux laptop, it’s important to take into consideration if the firmware is proprietary or Open Source. The System76 Open Firmware with Coreboot makes the new Oryx Pro faster, more secure and private.

      • System76 Oryx Pro Linux laptop update brings an 8-core Intel Comet Lake-H processor

        The System76 Oryx Pro is a Linux laptop available with a choice of 15.6 inch or 17.3 inch full HD displays with 144 Hz refresh rates, Pop!_OS or Ubuntu operating systems, and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX Super graphics.

        Now it’s also available with a 10th-gen Intel Comet Lake-H processor.

        System76 is now selling updated Oryx Pro computers packed with Intel Core i7-10875H processors.

    • Server

      • My unusual path to Linux system administration

        This is something that I say a lot and I find it to be true in nearly every aspect of life. I spent a lot of time searching for what I wanted in life. Most of us want the same thing—to love, to be loved, to grow, and to explore. So we work hard to build something of ourselves to make a better tomorrow by doing it today. We all go through hardships in life and come out the other end, but it’s up to us if we end up better than we were before.

        This is the story of how I became something more by doing more.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7.6

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.7.6 kernel.

        All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.4.49
      • Linux 4.19.130
      • Linux 4.14.186
      • Graphics Stack

        • EGMDE Is Still Being Hacked On As A Lightweight Mir Desktop

          A year and a half later, it turns out this lightweight Mir desktop is still being worked on by lead Mir developer Alan Griffiths. Through his recent experiments with EGMDE on the latest Mir code-base, there is now improved keyboard shortcut handling, optional support for workspaces, optional support for shell components, and other changes.

          Griffiths outlined the latest EGMDE process on Ubuntu Discourse for those interested. He did note, however, “egmde is still not ready for use as a lightweight desktop.”

        • egmde: updated features
        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Briefly Piglit

          I didn’t budget my time well today, so here’s a very brief post about neat features in piglit, the test suite/runner for mesa.

          Piglit is my go-to for verifying OpenGL behaviors. It’s got tons of fiendishly nitpicky tests for core functionality and extensions, and then it also provides this same quality for shaders with an unlimited number of shader tests.

          When working on a new extension or modifying existing behavior, it can be useful to do quick runs of the tests verifying the behavior that’s being modified. A full piglit run with Zink takes around 10-20 minutes, which isn’t even enough to get in a good rhythm for some desk curls, so it’s great that there’s functionality for paring down the number of tests being run.

    • Applications

      • 5 Simple Linux Tools For Enhanced Productivity

        In software development there is the concept of SRP or the Single Responsibility Principle. When working with the individual components of software like classes or functions you should ensure that they each do only one thing, and do one thing very effectively. In Linux this practice could not be more apparent. Linux is filled to the brim with programs that embrace SRP to the extreme. Most included programs do one particular thing and do it quite well.
        There are programs for reading files, editing files, moving files, etc. Each one of these programs has a distinct purpose and doesn’t try to include the kitchen sink of functionality. To add in a lot of different functionality would degrade the quality of the originally intended purpose.
        But what happens if you need all kinds of different functionality wrapped up into one single command? Linux commands are meant to be chained together with the help of pipes or through scripting. You can take the output of one command and quite literally “pipe” it into the input of another. You can also write a Bash script that composes many of these commands together to form one cohesive set of actions.
        Let’s look at some great one-liner examples of different commands that incorporate a multitude of functionality in a compact package. Some of these are piped together while others are multi-line actions composed into a single line to be more concise.

      • Linux at Home: Embroidery design

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

        We’ve seen welcome relief in the past few weeks in European countries, with marked declines in Covid-19 associated deaths. However, with the threat of a second wave looming in many European countries, and the pandemic remaining rampant in other parts of the world, social distancing looks set to remain for the foreseeable future.

        With more time at home, there’s never a better opportunity to embark on a new hobby. How about embroidery? Learning embroidery doesn’t have to be complicated, and it definitely shouldn’t feel like a huge investment of time and money. It’s actually an easy and inexpensive hobby. And there’s good free and open source software available that helps a lot with creating and modifying embroidery designs.

      • ledger2beancount 2.3 released

        I released version 2.3 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

        There are three notable changes with this release:

        1) Performance has significantly improved. One large, real-world test case has gone from around 160 seconds to 33 seconds. A smaller test case has gone from 11 seconds to ~3.5 seconds. 2) The documentation is available online now (via Read the Docs).

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine (so Proton eventually) takes another step towards Easy Anti-Cheat working

        Recently we highlighted the ongoing unofficial work to get Easy Anti-Cheat working in Wine (so Steam Play Proton then too) and it appears another major step has been achieved.

        We still don’t know what the plan is, if any now, for Easy Anti-Cheat to officially support Wine / Proton and there’s been no update from them directly or Epic Games on if it’s going to happen. At least, not since they said they would work with Valve in Early 2019. With that in mind, this is very much a community-led effort from a CodeWeavers developer @Guy15241 with help from @0xdt0.

        The ongoing EAC work is now at a stage where they’ve been able to get Dead By Daylight into a game, although with low performance (Guy mentioned 1FPS in the menu). They also shared some shots…

    • Games

      • What Did You Play During The Steam Summer Game Fest?

        From June 16th to the 22nd, over 900 demos of unreleased, in-development titles on Steam became available to download and play. Developers have come from sixty-five different countries and have ranged from new developers to seasoned alike. Sadly, the festival has come to an end (although some demos are still attainable). Here, we present to you what we at Boiling Steam have played during the festival. In case you’re wondering why we didn’t make an announcement in the first place, we were too busy writing other articles. We’d love to hear what you played too and what your thoughts were on it!

      • Warzone2100 3.4.0 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu

        Warzone 2100, open source 3D real-time strategy game, released version 3.4.0 today with graphics and UI improvements, and many new features.

        After almost 10 months of developments, Warzone 2100 was released with over 485 commits.

      • Valve moves on from OpenVR, goes all-in with OpenXR for SteamVR

        Recently, Valve released a new SteamVR Beta that was aimed at developers with initial support for the OpenXR specification and it appears they’re going all-in.

        We’ve been wondering how Valve would be proceeding since then and they’ve now announced their further plans in a blog post titled “Transitioning To OpenXR”. Currently, the Valve-made OpenVR is the default API and SDK for SteamVR but that’s about to change.

      • The Steam Summer Sale 2020 is live with a Points Shop

        From now until July 9, there’s thousands of titles discounted across the whole of the Steam store so you can fill up that backlog with some goodies.

        Like every year, the Steam store struggles to cope with the demand and it’s been up and down as people from all over the world rush to check out the deals. Valve has included a few extras this year. If you spend £30/$30 or regional equivalent you get £5/$5 off the price of it which is applied at the checkout.

        Something of a novelty is included this year too as a brand new Steam feature with a special Points Shop. This is a permanent thing. As Valve said “The Points Shop is here to stay, now open all year round.”. So at least now we know what the rumoured Steam Rewards system would be.

      • Civilization VI has a big June 2020 update with restored cross-play

        Civilization VI today from developer Firaxis Games, publisher 2k and game porter Aspyr Media has been updated with a huge June 2020 update.

        For Linux fans (and macOS), the headline feature is the official restoration of cross-platform online play as Aspyr Media worked to provide the update on the same day. I’ve tested it myself earlier in a game of Red Death with other Windows players and it worked without issue, same with a Standard ruleset online game – all seems fine once again.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Advice for getting started with GNOME

          GNOME is one of the most popular Linux desktops today. It started as a humble desktop called the GNU Network Object Model Environment (GNOME) and was built on top of the GIMP GTK libraries. Its 1.0 release was announced in 1999, just two years after the project got started.

          Today, the most widely used Linux distributions provide GNOME 3 as their graphical desktop, and it’s a great place to start learning Linux. As with any open source desktop, GNOME is extremely amenable to customization. You can alter and add to GNOME until it best suits your unique style of work.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia 8 Alpha 1 Released With Better ARM Support, Linux 5.7 Kernel

          Mageia 8 Alpha 1 is out this morning as the newest version of this Linux distribution that originates from the once legendary Mandrake Linux.

          Mageia 8 has been working on better ARM support, they have nearly wrapped up their Python 2 removal effort, RPM package metadata is now compressed with Zstd rather than XZ for faster processing, the Linux 5.7 kernel is powering the distro, various packaging improvements, Mageia Control Center enhancements, and a newer KDE Plasma stack for the default desktop experience.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat CEO: We Have A ‘Head Start’ In Kubernetes

          Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier speaks with CRN about the role IBM has played in Red Hat’s channel strategy, how the company has preserved its independence under Big Blue, and why Red Hat will win in the ultra-competitive Kubernetes market.

        • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform Enhancements and New Certified Ansible Content Collections Refine the Automation Experience to Drive Business Imperatives

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced key enhancements to the Ansible Automation portfolio, including the latest version of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and new Red Hat Certified Ansible Content Collections available on Automation Hub. The latest release of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform helps organizations expand automation to new domains while increasing productivity and cross-team collaboration. As a component of the latest platform release, new Ansible Content Collections developed, tested, and supported by Red Hat enable organizations to get the most up-to-date automation content.

        • Open Source Stories: How to Start a Robot Revolution

          In Part 1 of our 5-part documentary, How to Start a Robot Revolution, we introduce you to the people who took ROS (Robot Operating System) and turned it from a small open source project into a global phenomenon. This is the story about the limitless potential that comes with building software the open source way. And why—because of that—the robot revolution is now in the hands of everyone.

        • Welcoming contributors to their new neighborhood

          Recently my wife and I made the move from my native Indiana to the warmer climes of North Carolina. There is a lot of work involved in packing up all of your material possessions and moving 730 miles. Then, once you are finally at the new place, there is a lot of work re-settling to make that house a home.

          Beyond the inevitable foibles of unpacking, and wondering why you needed to bring that umpteenth coffee mug you got at SCaLE 9x, another big adjustment comes from re-establishing your bearings in a new community. Everything must be rediscovered, where’s the grocery store? The gas station? Where is the best takeout pizza (an imperative in the Proffitt household)?

          [...]

          Consider: when someone enters a new community, they haven’t been living in a vacuum. Like a van full of cardboard boxes, they are bringing their own experiences with them, and they are going to instinctively seek out the parts of the new community that will be most familiar to them. We are all, after all, creatures of habit, because pattern-discovery and -matching are hard-wired into our brains.

          Thus, a new member of any project is going to automatically observe things in the new community and make internal comparisons to something else in their prior experience: another community’s way of doing things or something they learned at a previous job, for instance. This is not always a negative comparison, mind you; it can go either way. But the comparison will be made, as newcomers are going to try to reassess this new “home” in terms of that which is familiar.

          Clearly it is not possible to tailor-make a project’s community to match all new members’ expectations. Participants should ultimately learn to understand the new environment, no matter how much they want to make it like something more convenient for them. Change can come, of course, but usually later: it’s very hard to change what you don’t know.

        • Fedora Developers Restart Talk Over Using Nano As The Default Text Editor

          Fedora developers are once again discussing a proposal on switching to Nano as the default text editor on Fedora systems.

          A similar proposal was sent out last year while now the discussion is over defaulting to Nano rather than Vi as is currently used as the default editor in cases like git commit and other CLI-based text editing.

        • Madeline Peck: Almost done with storyboards!

          I’m over half way to finishing the storyboards of all 20 pages for the coloring project, and by this time next week I’ll have had a meeting with the technical review board to go over all the pages and see what everyone’s opinions are. These are a few of my favorite pages that I’ve worked on this week, but as a reminder you can see all of them here on github as I upload them! Perspective has caused me some trouble this week but I’ve laid out my troubles and solutions. For the next week I’m just going to be working hard to finish these up for the weekend, and then get ready whatever presentation I need to for the technical review.

        • Noesis Solutions Certifies its Optimus Process Integration and Design Optimization Software with Oracle Linux

          We are pleased to introduce Noesis Solutions’ Optimus into the ecosystem of ISV applications certified with Oracle Linux. Noesis recently certified its Optimus 2020.1 release with Oracle Linux 6 and 7.

        • Oracle Linux container images now available on GitHub

          Oracle is committed to cultivating, supporting, and promoting popular open source technologies that customers can confidently deploy in business-critical environments.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon.

        • Linux Mint 20 MATE Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20 MATE.

        • Linux Mint 20 XFCE Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20 XFCE.

        • Linux Kernel and NVIDIA Vulnerabilities Patched in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 19.10 and 18.04 LTS

          Canonical released today new security updates for the Linux kernel and NVIDIA graphics drivers to address several vulnerabilities in several of the supported Ubuntu Linux releases.

          The new security patches address three vulnerabilities affecting Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. These include a vulnerability (CVE-2020-5963) discovered by Thomas E. Carroll in the NVIDIA Cuda grpahics driver, which could allow an attacker to cause a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code.

          The other two security issues were an unspecified vulnerability (CVE-2020-5973) discovered in the NVIDIA virtual GPU guest drivers that could potentially lead to privileged operation execution and a race condition (CVE-2020-5967) discovered in the UVM driver in the NVIDIA graphics driver. Both these vulnerabilities could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service.

        • BQ Aquaris X2 & Aquaris X2 Pro Android 10 update rolls out

          For those who do not know, BQ is a Spanish consumer electronics and software company, which claims to have developed the world’s first Ubuntu OS powered smartphone, the BQ Aquaris E4.5.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source tools for translating British to American English

        Last Christmas, my wife and I traveled to my hometown of Ft. Pierce, Florida, and frequented a local establishment on the beach. There, we met a couple from The Midlands in the UK. The music was loud and so was the beer, so it was a bit hard to hear. Plus, even though it “seemed” they were speaking English, it was sometimes a challenge to understand what they were saying. I thought my time in Australia would have given me enough linguistic power, but, alas, a lot went over my head. There was more than the usual “soccer is football” or “trunk is a boot” sort of confusion.

        Fortunately, there are open source solutions to translate “British” into “American.” We may speak the same language, but our shared speech takes more twists and turns than Zig Zag Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset!

      • Puppet introduces beta of cloud-native, event-driven DevOps program: Relay

        Puppet is a great DevOps program for managing multiple servers, but it wants to do more than automating server setup, program installation, and system management. The Portland, Oregon-based open-source company wants to automate processes across any cloud infrastructure — as well as all tools and APIs — with its new cloud-aware DevOps program Relay.

      • How to use the Zoom malware safely on Linux if you absolutely have to

        “Zoom is malware.”

        You should be using Jitsi instead. (Or, if want to live stream to lots of people, pay for something like Vimeo Live if you can.)

      • Web Browsers

      • LibreOffice

        • Tumbleweed Gets LibreOffice “7″, New Breezy Features

          LibreOffice 7 beta 2 was updated in snapshot 20200622. The new major version improves the usage of quotation marks and an apostrophe in several languages with autocorrect. LibreOffice 7 adds support for exporting to new versions of Open Document Format, available via Tools > Options > Load/Save > General > ODF format version: “ODF 1.3” and “ODF 1.3 Extended”; the latter is the default, unless the user has previously changed the version in the configuration. Another new (experimental) feature is to make documents more accessible: an accessibility check tool to review common accessibility problems in documents, and support for PDF/UA specifications in the PDF export dialog. To enable the accessibility check tool and the PDF/UA export, go to: Tools > Options… > LibreOffice > Advanced > Optional Features > Enable experimental features (may be unstable). Then restart LibreOffice. A handful of libraries were updated in the snapshot including libzip 1.7.1, which restore LIBZIP_VERSION_{MAJOR,MINOR,MICRO} symbols, and gnome-desktop 3.36.3.1 had some clock and translation updates. The general-purpose scripting language php7 updated to version 7.4.7 fixed a regression in the previous version when yielding an array based generator and fixed a bug that involved hangs when an invalid value was encountered. The microcode updates for Intel x86/x86-64 CPUs, ucode-intel, reverted some code for the processor microarchitecture Skylake in the snapshot that caused some stability issues. The snapshot is trending moderately stable with a rating of 78, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

        • User defined color for symbols in LibreOffice Math formulas

          LibreOffice Math allows you to define one from 16 color for symbols in your Math formula. You can write something like color red {formula} in Formula editor and get formula! But you couldn’t define your own color there.

      • Programming/Development

        • A user story about user stories

          The way I learned to use the term “user story”, back in the late 1990s at the beginnings of what is now called “agile programming”, was to describe a kind of roleplaying exercise in which you imagine a person and the person’s use case as a way of getting an outside perspective on the design, the documentation, and especially the UI of something you’re writing.

          For example:

          Meet Joe. He works for Randomcorp, who has a nasty huge old Subversion repository they want him to convert to Git. Joe is a recent grad who got thrown at the problem because he’s new on the job and his manager figures this is a good performance test in a place where the damage will be easily contained if he screws up. Joe himself doesn’t know this, but his teammates have figured it out.

          Joe is smart and ambitious but has little experience with large projects yet. He knows there’s an open-source culture out there, but isn’t part of it – he’s thought about running Linux at home because the more senior geeks around him all seem to do that, but hasn’t found a good specific reason to jump yet. In truth most of what he does with his home machine is play games. He likes “Elite: Dangerous” and the Bioshock series.

          [...]

          Point three is that design by user story is not a technique for generating code, it’ s a technique for changing your mind. If you approach it in an overly narrow and instrumental way, you won’t imagine apparently irrelevant details like what kinds of video games Joe likes. But you should do that sort of thing; the brain hack works in exact proportion to how much imaginative life you give your characters.

          (Which in particular, is why “As an X, I want to do Y” is such a sadly reductive parody. This formula is designed to stereotype the process, but stereotyping is the enemy of novelty, and novelty is exactly what you want to generate.)

          A few of my readers might have the right kind of experience for this to sound familiar. The mental process is similar to what in theater and cinema is called “method acting.” The goal is also similar – to generate situational responses that are outside your normal habits.

          Once again: you have to get past tools and practices to discover that the important part of software design – the most difficult and worthwhile part – is mindset. In this case, and temporarily, someone else’s.

        • RcppSimdJson 0.0.6: New Upstream, New Features!

          A very exciting RcppSimdJson release with the updated upstream simdjson release 0.4.0 as well as a first set of new JSON parsing functions just hit CRAN. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed; see the video of the recent talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (which was also voted best talk). The very recent 0.4.0 release further improves the already impressive speed.

        • PHP 8.0.0 Alpha 1 available for testing

          The PHP team is pleased to announce the first testing release of PHP 8.0.0, Alpha 1. This starts the PHP 8.0 release cycle, the rough outline of which is specified in the PHP Wiki.

        • PHP 8.0 Alpha 1 Released – Running Faster And With New Features

          PHP 8.0 Alpha 1 was just released as the first development snapshot for this major PHP programming language update due to ship around the end of November.

          Most notable with PHP 8.0 is the just-in-time (JIT) support and other performance improvements to accelerate the already increasingly speedy PHP7 compared to the sluggish PHP5 days. Earlier this month I ran some PHP 8.0 benchmarks including JIT too and in both modes PHP 8.0 is shaping up to be faster than prior PHP releases. I’ll have some more numbers out soon.

        • PHP version 7.3.20RC1 and 7.4.8RC1

          RPM of PHP version 7.4.8RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32 or remi-php74-test repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux 7-8.

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.20RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl 7 Thoughts

            My objection to this is that :prototype was only introduced in Perl 5.20. Code using it won’t work as expected on older versions of Perl.

            This means that if I want my code to support Perl 7, I need to abandon Perl 5.18 and below, or jump through some fairly ugly hoops.

            I don’t like that.

        • Python

          • Code Coverage and 100% Coverage

            Code Coverage or Test Coverage is a way to measure what lines of code and branches in your code that are utilized during testing.

          • An introduction to the BRKGA-MP-IPR Algorithm

            I recently performed a study on a brand new evolutionary algorithm called BRKGA-MP-IPR_[1]_. This article aims to explain a little about what the algorithm consists of and its main features and novelties.

          • Answering 59 scikit-learn questions (video)

            In April, I hosted a live, public webcast to answer any questions about scikit-learn. I’ve been teaching scikit-learn for five years, and I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with others!

          • Teaching Python Basics!

            I have seen a lot of people struggling to learn python, mostly because its their first language. So I am starting a python basics course where I will be teaching python from the very basics.

          • Create GUI Applications with Python & Qt5, 4th Edition now available (PyQt5 & PySide2)

            Hello! This morning I released a new update to my PyQt5 book Create GUI Applications, with Python & Qt5. This is an enormous update, expanding it from 258 to 665 pages and adding 211 complete code examples.

            To celebrate the milestone the book is available this week with 20% off. Readers get access to all future updates for free, so it’s a great time to snap it up!

          • Store Data With Models

            In the previous Understand Django article, we encountered forms and how forms allow your application to receive data from users who use your site. In this article, you’ll see how to take that data and store it into a database so that your application can use that data or display it later.

          • Listener GUI Started

            So with the code-context, the dictation in Listener is getting okay-ish. It’s still pretty frustrating and error prone, but I can use it maybe 1/4 of the time (mostly for doc-strings). Part of the frustration is just that the language models are not yet well tuned for some commonly needed phrases that the tokeniser didn’t generate for the code corpus, but a big part of it is that I don’t yet have the correction/undo operations nor the navigation bits, so any mistake means editing by keyboard. The lack of a good contextual awareness/biasing model is also pretty big.

            So, I’ve been working on getting the GUI built up for doing corrections. As of now, a dbus service runs in the background which is driving the interpreter, and IBus and delivering the partial and final transcriptions via signals to the front-end GUI. I’ve also got a “floating window” that shows the text as you speak, though currently you have to install some KWin config to get it to float over other windows (due to focus-stealing protections). I’m thinking a KDE plasmoid that runs in the panel might be a better approach.

  • Leftovers

    • Letting Go of Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee University

      The first time I walked inside Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University, I noticed an overpowering, musty odor before I spotted the larger-than-life mass of marble in the sanctuary that depicts a prone Confederate General Robert E. Lee in uniform, as if asleep on the battlefield.

    • Dixie Chicks Officially Change Name to ‘The Chicks’

      The Dixie Chicks have officially changed their name to “the Chicks,” after public discussions arose over the appropriateness of the Civil War-era “Dixie” as part of their moniker.

    • Spotify Stock Closes at All-Time High

      After reaching an all-time high of $236 on Monday and $241.76 on Wednesday, Spotify’s stock closed even higher on Thursday — at $267.48 per share — boosted by an upgrade from Goldman Sachs, which raised its price target from $205 to $280.

    • [Old] The Economy Is A Mess. So Why Isn’t The Stock Market?

      We’ve said it before: The stock market is not the economy.

      Usually, this simply means that fluctuations in the markets may have little to no real bearing on the underlying realities we think of as making up the economy. Or that there are many important structural factors that make the markets’ outlook different from how ordinary citizens view the country’s overall economic health.

    • Science

      • The Human Genome Project transformed biology and medicine

        Unlike Apollo, though, this announcement marked a beginning rather than an end. Genomics is now so embedded in biology that it is hard to recall what things were like before it. Those first human sequences cost billions of dollars to obtain. Today, with the advent of new technologies, a full sequence costs about $200, and less detailed versions are cheaper still. It is as if, to use Apollo as the analogy, regular shuttles to the Moon had become available at prices an average family in the West could afford—and the more adventurous might now be considering a trip to Mars.

      • Genetic Lesion Segregation Found in Chemically Induced Tumors in Mice

        Genetic instability has long been recognized as a hallmark of oncogenesis and tumor progression. The phenomenon was first identify cytogenetically, most famously by the Philadelphia chromosome in chronic myelogenous leukemia (see Wapner, The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Genetic Mystery, a Lethal Cancer, and the Improbable Invention of a Lifesaving Treatment), later appreciated as the result of a translocation between a human protooncogene (c-abl) with a heterologous sequence that resulted in development of the disease. But it was later recognized by histological analysts that cancer cells could be characterized by a host of aneuploidies, including chromosome loss and duplication as well as changes in fine structure features of the genome.

        The advent of rapid and (relatively) inexpensive whole genome sequencing (WGS) methodologies has resulted in even more sensitive assessments of changes in human genomic DNA associated with cancer progression. This week, the scientific journal Nature published a paper* entitled “Pervasive lesion segregation shapes cancer genome evolution” that showed for the first time a heritable pattern of DNA strand-specific changes caused by contact with chemical mutagenic agents and the consequences for cancer development. The experiments were performed by treating inbred male C3H/HeOuJ mice (as well as “divergent” CAST/EiJ mice) with one dose of dimethynitrosamine (DEN), a known cancer-causing agent. Treatment with this mutagenic agent were found to be predominantly (76%) mutations in A:T basepairs (T→N or A→N, where N is any of the other bases), which the paper note is “consistent with the long-lived thymine adduct O4-ethyl-deoxythymidine being the principal mutagenic lesion.” Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on a total of 371 independently-arising tumors from 104 C3H mice and these researchers reported finding about 60,000 point mutations in each tumor (about 13 changes per megabasepair, Mb). Perhaps unsurprisingly (in view of what is known about how this chemical produces mutations), insertion and deletion mutations were rarely detected.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • A new Amiga 1200 Case and Keys in 2020

        So, why would I want to do this to my Amiga 1200? Well, my old case is yellowing and so are the keys. The keys and I have never really liked that biscuit and gray look. When I saw the Amiga CDTV with its black keyboard and case, I thought how cool and sleek it looked but I wanted a more traditional computer (at that time) not something that was meant to go on your Hi-Fi stack. Now, today, you can have both the cool black look along with the full fledged Amiga Computer.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • IBM Offers Open Source Toolkit for COVID-19 Data Analysis

              The toolkit provides a set of Jupyter Notebooks to aggregate and clean up COVID-19 data from authoritative sources as a way to kickstart in-depth analysis.

            • The Open COVID Pledge – Don’t Say “I Do” Till You Think It Through

              We are still facing a global pandemic, yet we can take a measure of hope in the way COVID-19 has brought people and companies together to find solutions to this urgent crisis. One inspiring example of this collaborative effort is the Open COVID Pledge, created the Open COVID Coalition, which “calls on organizations around the world to make their patents and copyrights freely available in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Coalition consists of an international group of scientists and lawyers, including notable IP scholars such as Profs. Mark Lemley and Jorge Contreras.

              [...]

              As reflected in the above examples, there is some flexibility in nature and scope of the license that may be used. For companies interested in using IP offered under the Pledge, it is important to note that such IP may be covered by a number of different licenses and that each license should be reviewed separately. As such, companies using pledged IP will need to have mechanisms in place to ensure compliance with all applicable licenses.

              [...]

              Companies that have made the Pledge are listed on the Open COVID Pledge website and include a number of well-known technology companies and research institutions. However, the Pledge has not yet seen wide adoption in certain key industries. For example, it does not appear that the Open COVID Pledge has been embraced by the pharmaceutical or medical device industries. In such situations, it is especially important for companies to carefully consider the impacts of being an early (or sole) adopter in an industry.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • MLflow Project joins Linux Foundation

                What’s better than a machine learning platform? Answer: an en-to-end machine learning platform, obviously.

                What’s better than an end-to-end machine learning platform? Answer: an open source end-to-end machine learning platform, obviously, obviously.

                What’s better than an open source end-to-end machine learning platform? Answer: an open source end-to-end machine learning platform that resides under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, obviously, obviously, obviously.

                Okay enough of this, but this is what Databricks is hoping — the company has now said that its MLflow open source machine learning will join the Linux Foundation.

                The project is two-years old in 2020 and has seen engagement from somewhere over 200 contributors.

                It is downloaded more than 2 million times per month.

              • MLflow is now a Linux Foundation project

                Databricks, the company behind the commercial development of Apache Spark, is placing its machine learning lifecycle project MLflow under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation.

                MLflow provides a programmatic way to deal with all the pieces of a machine learning project through all its phases — construction, training, fine-tuning, deployment, management, and revision.

                It tracks and manages the the datasets, model instances, model parameters, and algorithms used in machine learning projects, so they can be versioned, stored in a central repository, and repackaged easily for reuse by other data scientists.

              • MLflow is now a Linux Foundation project

                Databricks, the company behind the commercial development of Apache Spark, is placing its machine learning lifecycle project MLflow under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation.

                MLflow provides a programmatic way to deal with all the pieces of a machine learning project through all its phases — construction, training, fine-tuning, deployment, management, and revision. It tracks and manages the the datasets, model instances, model parameters, and algorithms used in machine learning projects, so they can be versioned, stored in a central repository, and repackaged easily for reuse by other data scientists.

              • Databricks Donates MLflow Project To Linux Foundation

                At the Spark + AI Summit virtual event, Databricks has announced that the MLflow project is joining the Linux Foundation.

              • The MLflow Project Joins Linux Foundation
              • The MLflow Project Joins Linux Foundation
              • The MLflow Project Joins Linux Foundation

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that MLflow, an open source machine learning (ML) platform created by Databricks, will join the Linux Foundation. Since its introduction at Spark + AI Summit two years ago, MLflow has experienced impressive community engagement from over 200 contributors and is downloaded more than 2 million times per month, with a 4x annual growth rate in downloads. The Linux Foundation provides a vendor neutral home with an open governance model to broaden adoption and contributions to the MLflow project even further.

                “The steady increase in community engagement shows the commitment data teams have to building the machine learning platform of the future. The rate of adoption demonstrates the need for an open source approach to standardizing the machine learning lifecycle,” said Michael Dolan, VP of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. “Our experience in working with the largest open source projects in the world shows that an open governance model allows for faster innovation and adoption through broad industry contribution and consensus building.”

              • The Zephyr Project Marks Critical Milestones for Security and Product-Ready Maturity
              • The Zephyr Project Marks Critical Milestones for Security and Product-Ready Maturity

                The Zephyr™ Project, an open source project at the Linux Foundation that builds a safe, secure and flexible real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT) in space-constrained devices, announces continued momentum by marking critical milestones for security and product-ready maturity.

                Earlier this year, the NCC Group, a global expert in cyber security and risk mitigation, notified the Zephyr Project of a number of security issues found as part of their independent research into the security posture of Zephyr. The research, which was driven by growing interest from their clients, found Zephyr to be a mature, and a highly active and growing project with increasing market share. The May 2020 report outlines the issues discovered in detail and acknowledges the proactive work of the Zephyr Project Security Committee to fix these issues and follow-up on recommendations of the report. Priority fixes have been backported into Zephyr’s Long Term Support (LTS) and a maintenance release published. Learn more about Zephyr’s security assessment and response in this blog.

        • Security

          • Microsoft admits there’s a serious problem with Windows 10

            Microsoft has quietly acknowledged that some of Windows 10’s most recent updates are causing rather serious problems for some PCs.

            According to the company, the KB4557957 and KB4560960 updates, which are supposed to be cumulative updates that bring numerous security fixes to Windows 10, are instead encountering a critical issue with the Local Security Authority Process.

            This has led to some computers to randomly reboot – with just a “your PC will automatically restart in one minute” message as a warning.

            This can be incredibly frustrating, as it means you have to quickly save any work you’ve got open. Not only is it disruptive, but it could lead to loss of data as well if you don’t save in time.

          • Daniel Stenberg: bug-bounty reward amounts in curl

            A while ago I tweeted the good news that we’ve handed over our largest single monetary reward yet in the curl bug-bounty program: 700 USD. We announced this security problem in association with the curl 7.71.0 release the other day.

            Someone responded to me and wanted this clarified: we award 700 USD to someone for reporting a curl bug that potentially affects users on virtually every computer system out there – while Apple just days earlier awarded a researcher 100,000 USD for an Apple-specific security flaw.

          • LKRG 0.8 Released For Increasing Linux Kernel Runtime Security

            Version 0.8 of the Linux Kernel Runtime Guard (LKRG) has been released for further enhancing the runtime security provided by this out-of-tree kernel code plus other general improvements.

            The Linux Kernel Runtime Guard provides runtime integrity checking of the kernel and various runtime detection of different security exploits. This out-of-tree kernel module saw a big update on Thursday in the form of v0.8.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Top suppliers halt sales of facial recognition technology to the police – how much of a win is that really?

              As this blog has noted, police forces around the world have been pushing for the routine deployment of real-time facial recognition technologies. It’s an attractive option for politicians. It offers the hope that more criminals will be arrested and convicted, and for a price that is constantly falling. As a result, it’s hard to win the argument that privacy concerns are so great that the technology should not be rolled out.

            • Andrew Yang unveils Data Dividend Project to make tech companies pay for your personal information

              Andrew Yang is making headlines again with a new endeavor called the Data Dividend Project that would make tech companies pay users for the personal information given up while using a company’s products and services. The project would get its teeth from privacy regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPR) and is part of the burgeoning movement to treat data as property.

            • TikTok seems to be copying and pasting your clipboard with every keystroke

              A new privacy feature in iOS 14 has revealed that TikTok is copying the contents of your clipboard with every keystroke. The new feature – called paste notifications – shows that TikTok is inspecting the clipboard with each new keystroke, and it’s possible that they’re also grabbing the contents and storing it for later to be sent off with the other information that TikTok phones home with. This discovery was tweeted by Jeremy Burge and is demonstrated in a video below:

            • California Agency Blocks Release of Police Use of Force and Surveillance Training, Claiming Copyright

              Under a California law that went into effect on January 1, 2020, all law enforcement training materials must be “conspicuously” published on the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) website. 

              However, if you visit POST’s Open Data hub and try to download the officer training materials relating to face recognition technology or automated license plate readers (ALPRs), or the California Peace Officers Association’s course on use of force, you will receive only a Word document with a single sentence: 

            • Your Objections to the Google-Fitbit Merger

              EFF Legal Intern Rachel Sommers contributed to this post.

              When Google announced its intention to buy Fitbit in April, we had deep concerns. Google, a notoriously data-hungry company with a track record of reneging on its privacy policies, was about to buy one of the most successful wearables company in the world —after Google had repeatedly tried to launch a competing product, only to fail, over and over.

            • ‘This Bill Should Immediately Pass’: Applause for New US Legislation to Ban Facial Recognition

              “No one should have to fear the government tracking and identifying their face wherever they go.”

            • Stop EARN IT and LAED

              Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Crypto Wars are back. Politicians, seemingly led by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, seem bound and determined to undermine user’s privacy and security online to strengthen the power of the police state. It will have disproportionate affects on the innocent rather than criminals and will raise operating costs and make it much harder for small businesses and startups to compete in the US.

            • Feds would be banned from using facial recognition under new bill

              The Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2020, introduced by Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) on Thursday, would ban federal agencies from using facial recognition technology and force state and local police departments to enact similar policies in order to receive federal grants. The bill would effectively prohibit the tech’s use until Congress passes a law explicitly allowing it.

              “Facial recognition technology doesn’t just pose a grave threat to our privacy, it physically endangers Black Americans and other minority populations in our country,” said Sen. Markey. “As we work to dismantle the systematic racism that permeates every part of our society, we can’t ignore the harms that these technologies present.”

            • Farewell to privacy: Lindsay Graham unveils a bill that would make encryption useless

              Salon spoke with cybersecurity experts, all of whom agreed that the proposed legislation threatens civil liberties and could have unintended consequences.

              “The problem with that is that it fundamentally doesn’t understand how encryption works. You can’t create a backdoor just for ‘good guys,’” Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, told Salon. “Anytime you weaken encryption, you weaken it in terms of the cybersecurity of the system itself and the product itself. The proposal is similar to what we’ve seen in the past and similar to those past protocols that were also rejected as fundamentally flawed. This similarly doesn’t reflect a clear understanding of not only the value of encryption, but how companies would even do what the bill purports to require.”

            • “Googles” Suit Revived by Appeals Court

              The suit comes from SM Kids, which claims to be the proper successor to the “Googles” brand. That’s plural, but understandably, there’s the possibility for consumer confusion. According to a complaint first filed back in 2018, what started out as a 1995 book titled The Googles From Goo became a multimedia platform for children. All before the big search engine came along. In 2008, the complaint continues, Google resolved a potential trademark problem with a settlement with the “Googles” owner and then allegedly breached that very deal by among other things, operating YouTube Kids, a mobile app that facilitates the sharing of videos appropriate for children.

              When the original suit was filed, we compared this situation to the time when Steve Jobs got Apple Inc. into the music business through the launch of iPods. That provoked litigation from Apple Corps, the label founded in the 1960s by members of The Beatles which had a deal whereby the computer giant would stick to its lane. Eventually, via a newer settlement, Apple Inc. and Apple Corps. figured out a way to again coexist.

            • “I’m Done”: Right-Wing Personalities Ditching Twitter for Parler Over Claims of Censorship

              Some conservative commentators have questioned whether Parler can compete with Twitter due to the latter’s size and audience reach. Parler reportedly has over 1 million users which is dwarfed by Twitter’s 330 million users. But more pointedly, someone like Trump Jr., who has 5.2 million Twitter followers, has a fraction of that on Parler with prospects for only limited growth in the future. “Still have my doubts that anyone can compete with Twitter but it would be nice to be wrong,” tweeted Human Events editor-in-chief Will Chamberlain after announcing he had joined Parler.

            • Jun 24, 2020 NEW BILL TAKES DIRECT AIM AT ENCRYPTED DEVICES AND SERVICES

              A new bill introduced yesterday in the Senate would require device manufacturers, cloud platform providers, and software makers to provide law enforcement agencies direct access to encrypted data on devices and encrypted communications services. The bill provides clear language about the way that access must work and would essentially make truly end-to-end encrypted services nearly impossible to operate.
              The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act is sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and provides the most direct challenge to the use of strong encryption for data at rest and in motion of any proposed legislation in recent years. While some other bills have made oblique references to encryption or used end-arounds to address the issue, Graham’s bill includes specific language to spell out requirements for the type of access that OS manufacturers, device makers, and cloud providers would have to provide to encrypted devices and services.
              Under the provisions in the bill, when presented with a search warrant, providers would be required to assist in “decrypting or decoding information on the electronic device or remotely stored electronic information that is authorized to be searched, or otherwise providing such information in an intelligible format, unless the independent actions of an unaffiliated entity make it technically impossible to do so”.
              The language concerning data in motion is similar, requiring service providers to deliver “all communications authorized to be intercepted securely, reliably, and concurrently with their transmission.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Two-Headed Hydra of Racism and Imperialism

        Black Lives Matter (BLM) has raised mass consciousness against the institution of police violence and the brutality it inflicts on Black communities around the country. The movement has placed the question of police brutality at the top of the political and juridical reform agenda. The naked display of the oppressive state apparatus has now forced everyone, from the fascist residents of the White House to the liberal democrats of the House, politicians speak of the need to reform policing–more training, more screening, more record-keepings, judicial vigilance, and other haphazard sutures for the centuries old wounds. Many observers have pointed out the depth of this chronic pain and different ways it might be remedied.

      • Meet the far-right oligarchs working to topple Mexico’s progressive President AMLO

        A Trump-like Mexican oligarch, Gilberto Lozano, is leading a coalition of corporate leaders and far-right fanatics called FRENA to try to overthrow President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

      • The Korean War and US ‘Total Destruction’ Began 70 Years Ago

        For Koreans of a certain age, total destruction by the United States isn’t just some abstract threat, it is a hellish reality that ranks among the most egregious crimes of a century that witnessed some of the most appalling barbarity in human history.

      • CNN’s Portrayal of North Korea as Lawless Aggressor Reverses Reality

        The Grayzone’s Ben Norton (5/4/20) once observed that there is

      • Masters of Space: Deep Space Strategy in the Age of Trump

        The United States “must be capable of winning wars that extend into space,” asserts a just-released “Defense Space Strategy” report. It is the first space strategy document issued by the U.S. since President Donald Trump, after declaring that the U.S. must achieve “dominance in space,” signed a measure this past December authorizing establishment of a Space Force.

      • Neo-Nazis and Antisemitism in Germany

        They are deliberate provocations from Germany’s right-wing and Neo-Nazi extremists: attacks by rightwing gangs and Neo-Nazi visitors to concentration camp memorials, sporting antisemitic T-shirts, denying Nazi crimes, taking selfies with far-right symbols. The list goes on and on.

      • Why hasn’t Twitter flagged ‘kuffar’ as a term of abuse

        However, the website continues to host thousands of tweets that use the word kuffar, a derogatory Arabic term for non-Muslim unbelievers, as a form of abuse. Usually used by Islamists and far-right religious extremists against minorities and those they disagree with, it was often used by ISIS members in 2014 as a term of abuse directed at those they marked for genocide, such as Yazidis, Shi’ite Muslims and Christian minorities in Iraq.

        The term is nevertheless not labeled by the platform. For instance, a quick search reveals a tweet on June 22: “if you’re a feminist you basically believe that kuffar ideologies are better than the rights that Allah gave you.” That tweet is directed at feminists, who the user labels “unbelievers.”

        The way kuffar is used on Twitter often resembles the Nazi term Untermensch, or inferior and subhuman.

      • American national died in UK terror stabbing, Ambassador confirms

        An American national was among the three victims of a terrorist stabbing in the U.K. on Saturday night, Ambassador Woody Johnson confirmed.

      • Chokehold on Diplomat Exposes Israel’s Special Type of Apartheid

        An Israeli diplomat filed a complaint last week with police after he was pulled to the ground in Jerusalem by four security guards, who knelt on his neck for five minutes as he cried out: “I can’t breathe.”

      • Will Biden Remain Tone Deaf to Palestinian Rights?

        Joe Biden wants you to believe that he is opposed to Israel’s likely annexation of parts of the West Bank that Netanyahu plans to carry out in July. “I do not support annexation,” he said during a call with American Jewish donors on June 16. But only a month ago, Biden senior foreign policy advisor Tony Blinken insisted that under absolutely no circumstances, not even the annexation of the West Bank, would Biden consider reducing or withholding U.S. military aid to Israel. And contrary to the position of his former boss, President Obama, Biden also pledged that if elected, he would keep disagreements with Israeli policies private.

      • Black Lives Matter and Lessons from Palestine

        On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by Derek Chauvin, a white policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s murder was the latest in a normalised history of police abuse of Black, brown, Native American, immigrant and other marginalised communities, carried out with impunity and encouraged by the racist incitement of United States President Donald Trump and his white supremacist administration.

      • UN launches sexual misconduct probe after incriminating car video emerges

        The UN says it is investigating a possible case of sexual misconduct by staff after a video surfaced of a woman straddling a man in a car with UN markings in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

        The 18-second video, filmed at night from a building alongside a busy road, shows a female figure in red moving astride a man in casual clothing on the back seat of a Toyota 4×4 vehicle. Another man is visible in the front passenger seat. The driver cannot be seen.

        UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told The New Humanitarian that the world body was “shocked and deeply disturbed by what is seen on this video”.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • North Carolina cop: “We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them f—— n——”

        I’m fascinated by how CBS News is reporting this in its unbylined story:

        “we are just going to go out and start slaughtering them (expletive)” blacks.

        There’s the necessary use of formal euphemisms such as “N-word” or, as the AP Style Guide recommends, replacing characters with hyphens as in “N—–”. And then there’s this, where the word “blacks” is substituted for the racial slur actually used, fig-leaved by the placement of a closing quote.

        The Washington Post uses a cooked version of the quote as its headline.

      • Whistleblower says Trump administration continues to retaliate against him

        Rick Bright, who led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) until he was demoted in late April, said in an amended complaint he has been “deliberately impeded” in his role at the National Institutes of Health, which “does not remotely utilize his expertise or experience.”

        According to the updated complaint, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told HHS employees to refrain from doing anything that would help Bright be successful in his new role, and HHS employees were warned that Azar was “on the warpath” in response to Bright’s allegations.

    • Environment

      • Surviving Paradise

        Eighty-five people died in the Camp Fire, sparked by deteriorating PG&E power lines; 18,804 homes and buildings burned. Roughly nine of every ten Paradise High students lost their homes; Chandler was among those whose homes burned. The care facility where her mother worked was also destroyed. She and her mother rent a room in a house from the person who owned the place where Chandler’s mother had worked.

        The high school is one of the few structures in town that wasn’t reduced to ash. “When you’re at school walking through halls, you’re not reminded of the fire all the time,” says its principal, Michael Ervin, who also lost his family’s home to the blaze. “It’s when you leave school and you drive through town you are.”

      • Coronavirus-stricken U.S. faces another problem: A massive dust cloud from Africa

        The enormous dust cloud — which some experts say could be the biggest and most intense Saharan plume in 50 years — could aggravate health problems, including asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and make visibility difficult on the ground.

        “Dust particles are what we call particulate matter, and we know that breathing in fine particles of anything is not good for the respiratory tract — especially people who are sensitive to poor air quality,” said Thomas Gill, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso.

        The added dust pollution may be particularly problematic in light of the coronavirus pandemic, because COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is a respiratory illness.

      • Clean ships needed now to cut polluting emissions

        The vessels plying the world’s oceans release huge volumes of polluting emissions. Existing fleets badly need a clean-up.

      • Senate Candidate Andrew Romanoff’s Campaign for Climate Justice

        Starting with a declaration that “we have a choice: a once or perhaps last in a lifetime chance to rescue the world we know,” Andrew Romanoff has framed his bid for Colorado’s Democratic US Senate nomination around a climate justice message that rejects the failed vision of “tired politicians [who] tell us to lower our sights, to curb our ambitions, to settle for the status quo.”

      • Energy

        • DC Sues Fossil Fuel Giants for Decades of Spending Millions to ‘Mislead Consumers and Discredit Climate Science in Pursuit of Profits’

          “Climate denial is not a victimless crime. Now, one by one states and local governments are stepping up to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

        • Louisiana Activists Charged with Felonies After Delivering Box of Formosa Plastic Pollution to Lobbyists

          “The women are accused of terrorizing oil and gas lobbyists by giving them a file box full of plastic pellets found in Texas bays near a plastic manufacturing facility owned by Formosa Plastics,” NOLA.com reports.

        • DC Is the Latest to Sue Exxon and Big Oil for Climate Disinformation Campaigns

          District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced the consumer fraud lawsuit on Thursday, June 25. The lawsuit claims that the four oil majors violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in misleading acts and practices around the marketing, promotion, and sale of fossil fuel products, which produce globe-warming pollution. The D.C. lawsuit alleges that these companies knew since at least the 1950s about the harmful consequences of burning fossil fuels and that they engaged in a campaign to deceive the public about those risks.

        • A Ray of Bright Light in a Time of Darkness

          It seems like a very long time since there was much good news to celebrate. The pandemic brought America to a screeching halt, which is where it’s stayed and, from the newly rising cases, will likely stay for some time to come due to Trump’s incredibly bungled response. Protests are once again sweeping the nation, still struggling to deal with police brutality and racial injustice. But then, like a brilliant sun rising into Montana’s cerulean sky, comes the decision to halt the oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area, the sacred center of the Blackfeet tribe, bringing hope in a very dark time.

        • Exposed: West Virginia and Other States Relying on ‘House of Cards’ to Pay for Coal Mine Cleanup

          But over the past decade, a devastating combination of forces has pummeled the industry, from cheap natural gas and the falling cost of renewables to growing public pressure to respond to the climate crisis. U.S. coal production has dropped 40 percent since its peak 12 years ago, and the commodity accounted for only 14 percent of the country’s electricity generation last year.

        • Saudi Arabia owns more than half of Lucid Motors

          California EV startup Lucid Motors gave up majority ownership to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in exchange for the $1.3 billion investment it closed last year, according to an email from the company’s lawyers that was included in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

          The lawsuit was filed by Lucid Motors’ former head of finance, Doug Coates, who believes he’s entitled to certain severance benefits based on the language of the deal he signed with the company. Coates argues he’s eligible for these benefits because the Saudi Arabia investment triggered a “Change in Control” clause in his agreement with Lucid Motors because it resulted in “a change in the majority shareholder of the Company,” according to an email from his lawyer to the startup sent last year. That means Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) owns more than 50 percent of the company’s shares.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Amazon Rainforest Hit By Killer Droughts

          Over the past 20 years, like clockwork, severe droughts have hit the Amazon every five years with regularity 2005, 2010, 2015. Of course, droughts have hit the Amazon rainforest throughout paleoclimate history, but this time it’s different. The frequency and severity is off the charts.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Potential Political ‘Earthquake’ Brewing as Booker Takes Lead Over McGrath in Kentucky

        “What’s going on in Kentucky, you ask? Something big.”

      • Repair & Revive: Rev. William Barber on Fighting Racism, Poverty, Climate Change, War & Nationalism

        The Poor People’s Campaign offered a counterpoint to President Trump’s sparsely attended Tulsa campaign rally with a mass digital gathering that unveiled a policy platform to spur “transformative action” on five key issues of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and the threat of religious nationalism. “We have to repair and revive,” says Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. “That has to be a part of if we’re truly going to ever be the democracy we claim to be on paper.”

      • White House Vows to Veto DC Statehood Bill Ahead of Historic Vote

        “Make no mistake: one of the many ways our country has silenced Black voices and suppressed Black votes has been by preventing D.C. statehood.”

      • ‘Some kind of technical error’ Electoral officials can’t seem to explain Moscow’s unusually high online-voter registration numbers

        More than one million Muscovites registered for online voting in Russia’s constitutional plebiscite — overall, that’s every seventh voter. According to official statistics, in several precincts the number of voters wanting to cast their ballots online is actually greater than the total number of voters in that area. The strangest numbers have appeared at Moscow’s polling station No. 3395 in the Troitsky Administrative Okrug, where three times the total number of voters in that precinct filed applications to vote online. Meduza spoke with a representative of the territorial electoral commission and the chairman of the local electoral commission in charge of this voting district, and it turns out they themselves don’t understand how this happened.

      • Photos of Russians voting in unusual places are all over social media — don’t worry though, it’s legal

        June 25 marks the first day of voting in Russia’s plebiscite on constitutional amendments — a nationwide vote that could allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036. Following months of advertising and an official push for voting online, however, many Russian citizens were surprised to find out that the government’s high-tech electoral capabilities don’t extend to in-person voting.

      • Barr DOJ Weaponized Antitrust To Launch Flimsy Inquiries Into Legal Weed Companies

        We’ve long noted how Bill Barr, a former Verizon lawyer (and forefather of our domestic surveillance apparatus) isn’t a big fan of this whole “rule of law” thing. It had already been established that he’d been wielding the DOJ’s antitrust authority as a personal Trump bludgeon, using it to launch capricious, unnecessary probes (the whole short-lived and nonsensical inquiry into California automaker emissions), and prop up the interests of companies willing to kiss Trump’s ass voraciously enough (the decision to rubber stamp the Sprint/T-Mobile merger while ignoring all objective data).

      • Progressives Must Fight With—and In—the Democratic Party

        In the electoral arena, the goal is not only about winning elections. It’s also about replacing the top-down weight of entrenched politicians with the bottom-up power of grassroots activism.

      • The Rule of Law Is Being Gutted Because ‘Moderate’ Republicans Stayed Silent

        Non-MAGA Republicans, be they George Conway–style “Never Trumpers” or Mitt Romney–style conservatives who support 90 percent of Trump’s policies but don’t like wearing hats, like to try to distance themselves from the most brazen lawlessness of the Trump regime. They furrow their brows or snark at the president on Twitter when he or one of his henchmen lies or commits crimes.

      • Truly Shameful BBC Israeli Propaganda

        In a genuinely outrageous piece of victim blaming, BBC News just blamed Palestinian intransigence in refusing to accept Israeli annexation of the West Bank for the deaths of Palestinian children caused by the Israeli blockade of medical supplies to Gaza.

      • How a US and Qatari regime change deception produced ‘Caesar’ sanctions driving Syria towards famine

        Like the mysterious figure it is named for, the Caesar sanctions bill is the product of an elaborate deception by shadowy US- and Gulf-backed operatives. Instead of protecting Syrian civilians, the unilateral measures are driving them towards hunger and death.

      • Verizon Joins Growing Facebook Ad Boycott Over Hate Speech Concerns

        Verizon is the biggest advertiser yet to join a boycott of Facebook, with the telco saying it is “pausing” ad spending with the social-media giant until Facebook can address brand-safety problems.

        Verizon’s decision came after the Anti-Defamation League — one of the groups behind the #StopHateForProfit campaign to pressure Facebook into adopting more aggressive steps to combat hate and harassment — said it found an ad for Verizon on Facebook next to a video from conspiracy group QAnon.

      • Go read this investigation from The Guardian on Facebook’s failure to contain QAnon

        Facebook has a fringe conspiracy theory problem, and it’s getting worse by the day. According to a new investigation from The Guardian, the far-right QAnon movement continues to flourish on the social network, despite its attempts last month to begin removing accounts and pages promoting it.

        The investigation, by journalist Julie Carrie Wong, details in depth how QAnon account and page owners caught wind of Facebook’s crackdown in early May and the clever methods they relied on to avoid detection. Earlier today, Verizon announced its participation in a growing advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram, in part it appears because its ads continue to show up next to QAnon content.

      • George Floyd: US phone giant Verizon joins Facebook ad boycott

        Verizon is believed to be the biggest advertiser so far to back the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

        Other than its namesake platform, Facebook’s social media brands also include Instagram and WhatsApp.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russian TV celeb Ksenia Sobchak sues ‘Business Insider’ for headline that says she insulted Black people

        Television personality and former presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak says she’s filing a defamation lawsuit against the German-language edition of Business Insider, claiming that the news outlet misrepresented her comments about Black people. 

      • Another Day, Another Bad Bill To Reform Section 230 That Will Do More Harm Than Good

        Last fall, when it first came out that Senator Brian Schatz was working on a bill to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, I raised questions publicly about the rumors concerning the bill. Schatz insisted to me that his staff was good, and when I highlighted that it was easy to mess this up, he said I should wait until the bill is written before trashing it:

      • Charles Harder Tries And Fails To Censor Another Book About His Most Famous Client, The President

        Lawyer Charles Harder (who, yes, was once the lawyer for the guy who sued us) has built up a nice reputation now of the lawyer who tries and fails to stop people from saying stuff that upsets President Trump. You may recall that Harder, representing the president, threatened former Trump adviser Steve Bannon for his supposed quotes to author Michael Wolff. More recently, Harder, representing the Trump Campaign, has sued the NY Times, the Washington Post and CNN over various articles (often opinion pieces) that portray the President negatively.

      • Author Of Section 230 Chris Cox Says All The Critics Are Wrong About The History And Intent Of 230

        A few weeks ago we highlighted Ron Wyden’s explanation of the intent of Section 230, which was useful since he was one-half of the team that wrote the law. Now, the other half of the team, Chris Cox has written a long and detailed article highlighting how nearly every attempt at reform of 230 misunderstands both the intent and history of the law. On the history side, he highlights the incorrect notion being spread by some that Section 230 was designed as “balance” to go along with the rest of the Communications Decency Act, which was written by porn-hating Senator James Exon. Some have argued that because the two were passed together, but then the rest of the CDA was thrown out as unconstitutional, that now means that 230 is somehow unbalanced.

      • ECtHR finds Russian website blocking approach contrary to Article 10 ECHR (freedom of expression and information)

        The applicant, Mr Kharitonov, is the owner and administrator of the website Electronic Publishing News (http://www.digital-books.ru), which features a compilation of news, articles and reviews about electronic publishing.

        The website is hosted by DreamHost, a service which hosts multiple websites, all with the same IP address but different domain names.

        In late 2012, the applicant became aware that access to his website had been blocked by a number of Russian ISPs as a result of an order of the Russian telecoms regulator (Roskomnadzor) which, in turn, had given effect to a decision of the Federal Drug Control Service. The order was directed at blocking another website, rastaman.tales.ru (“a collection of cannabis-themed folk stories”), also hosted by DreamHost and sharing the same IP address as Electronic Publishing News.

        On 22 March 2013, the blocking of the IP address ceased.

        Mr Kharitonov brought a claim to the Taganskiy District Court in Moscow, arguing that the decision to block the entire IP address had resulted in the undue blocking of his website, which did not contain any illegal information.

        The action at both first instance and on appeal failed. In 2014, the Constitutional Court also refused to consider a separate application filed by Kharitonov, who eventually decided to bring his case against Russia to the ECtHR.

        His key argument was that Russian authorities’ decision to block access to the offending website by blacklisting its IP address, whilst pursuing the legitimate aim of blocking access to information about the production and use of drugs (which, however, was not what rastaman.tales.ru did), had also had the disproportionate collateral effect of blocking access to his website and would thus be contrary to Articles 10 and 13 ECHR.

        [...]

        As mentioned, the decision afforded the ECHR with the opportunity to review website blocking in light of inter alia Article 10 ECHR. On the one hand, the Court considered that the blocking of an entire website is to be regarded as an “extreme measure”. On the other hand, it did not consider that website blocking orders per se would be contrary to that provision. However, it is necessary that this particular remedy is available within a balanced and carefully drafted legislative framework, which contains a robust and articulated set of safeguards against abuse.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Hong Kong’s Cartoonists Aren’t Giving Up on Dissent

        In a career spanning nearly four decades, four Hong Kong chief executives, and four Chinese Communist Party leaders, Wong Kei Kwan has traced the arc of history as well as the contours of every leader’s face.

      • Press Freedom Advocates Say New US Indictment Against Julian Assange ‘Could Not Be More Dangerous’

        “We know Trump has been privately musing about how to jail journalists. We know an Assange conviction under the Espionage Act—whether you like him or not—could be used against the New York Times and many other outlets.”

      • Mass media outlets in Russia’s Tver region reportedly have instructions to stop covering all ‘negative’ stories

        For the week and a half before July 1, when Russia finishes its nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments that could extend Vladimir Putin’s presidency to 2036, mass media outlets in the Tver region are prohibited from reporting any “negative news,” according to local journalists at Politver. 

      • US Government Expands Assange Indictment To Criminalize Assistance Provided To Edward Snowden

        The United States government expanded their indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to criminalize the assistance WikiLeaks provided to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden when staff helped him leave Hong Kong. Sarah Harrison, who was a section editor for WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former spokesperson, and Jacob Appelbaum, a digital activist who represented WikiLeaks at conferences, are targeted as “co-conspirators” in the indictment [PDF], though neither have been charged with offenses. No charges were added, however, it significantly expands the conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge and accuses Assange of conspiring with “hackers” affiliated with “Anonymous,” “LulzSec,” “AntiSec,” and “Gnosis.”The computer crime charge is not limited to March 2010 anymore. It covers conduct that allegedly occurred between 2009 and 2015. Prosecutors rely heavily on statements and chat logs from Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson and Hector Xavier Monsegur (“Sabu”), who were both FBI informants, in order to expand the scope of the prosecution. In March, Judge Anthony Trenga dismissed the grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, that was investigating WikiLeaks. U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who refused to testify before the grand jury, was released from jail after spending about a year in confinement for “civil contempt.” She was still ordered to pay $256,000 in fines. Activist Jeremy Hammond, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the hack against the intelligence consulting firm Stratfor, refused to testify as well. Trenga ordered his release, and he was transferred back into the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. Prosecutors accuse Assange and other WikiLeaks staffers of engaging in “efforts to recruit system administrators” to leak information to their media organization.

        “To encourage leakers and hackers to provide stolen materials to WikiLeaks in the future, Assange and others at WikiLeaks openly displayed their attempts to assist Snowden in evading arrest,” the indictment declares. It notes Harrison (“WLA-4”) traveled with Snowden to Moscow from Hong Kong, leaving out the part where the State Department revoked his passport and trapped him in Russia.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Let’s Stop Putting the Worst Americans on a Pedestal

        So many monuments to racism, slavery, and colonialism have been toppled, removed, or slated for removal in the wake of the George Floyd protests that Wikipedia’s army of volunteer editors is keeping a running tally: Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and a slew of other Confederate generals and notable white supremacists and segregationists; Frank Rizzo, the notoriously racist mayor (“Vote white”) of Philadelphia; even symbolic figures like the Pioneer and Pioneer Mother, formerly of the University of Oregon in Eugene. As I write, word comes that the embarrassing statue of Theodore Roosevelt mounted on a horse and trailed by a Native American man and a black man on foot will be removed from the main entrance of New York’s Museum of Natural History.

      • Betraying ‘Bedrock Principle’ of Due Process, Supreme Court Allows Fast-Tracked Deportations

        “This decision means that some people facing flawed deportation orders can be forcibly removed with no judicial oversight, putting their lives in grave danger.”

      • “He Couldn’t Breathe”: Graphic Video From April Police Killing of Carlos Ingram Lopez in Tucson Draws Outrage

        “Carlos Ingram Lopez should still be alive today.”

      • ‘We Can’t Be Duped by Petty Reforms’: A Q&A With a Black Panther

        For the past three weeks, Kent Ford has hit the streets of Portland, Ore., to protest police brutality and fight for racial justice. Ford, 77, knows more than his fair share about both police repression and political activism. Fifty-one years ago, he founded the Portland chapter of the Black Panther Party. After being released from jail, where he had been held for two weeks on riot charges, Ford walked onto the steps of the old city police station in downtown Portland and publicly launched the chapter, stating, “If they keep coming in with these fascist tactics, we’re going to defend ourselves.”

      • ‘She didn’t want to go back’ A Chechen mother suspected her son-in-law was behind her daughter’s suspicious death. Kadyrov made her apologize.

        On June 12, twenty-three-year-old Madina Umayeva died in her home in Chechnya. Relatives on her husband’s side maintain that she fell down the stairs during an epileptic seizure — they buried her that same night. Then rumors began circulating on social media that Umayeva’s husband killed her. Her own mother supported this version of events, saying that her daughter had complained about physical abuse more than once and wanted to leave her husband. Local state investigators later decided to exhume Umayeva’s body for an autopsy. Before the results of the autopsy were revealed, however, her mother publicly apologized for speculating that her daughter had been killed. The apology took place during a meeting with the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, who said of marriage: “Sometimes there are arguments and fights, and sometimes the husband uses his fists.” 

      • Court says deadly raid on Yekaterinburg man’s home was illegal

        A district court in Yekaterinburg has determined that a SWAT team broke the law when it raided Vladimir Taushankov’s home on May 31, 2020, which resulted in his death. According to “Agora” human rights group head Pavel Chikov, citing attorney Alexey Bushmakov, the court ruled that the authorities violated criminal procedure search-and-seizure codes. Investigators never presented Taushankov with a search warrant and only issued the paperwork three hours after entering his home and shooting him.

      • Interactive Map Shows Police Using Violence Against Peaceful Protesters in 125 Cities and 40 States

        Click here to view the map.

      • Human rights group ‘Memorial’ declares Yakut shaman a political prisoner

        The Human Rights Center Memorial is calling for the release of Alexander Gabyshev, a shaman from the Siberian city of Yakutsk, who was forcibly hospitalized at a psychiatric clinic at the beginning of June.

      • UK Information Commissioner Says Police Are Grabbing Too Much Data From Phones Owned By Crime Victims

        The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has taken a look at what law enforcement officers are hoovering up from citizens’ phones and doesn’t like what it sees. The relentless march of technology has enabled nearly everyone to walk around with a voluminous, powerful computer in their pocket — one filled with the details and detritus of everyday living. And that relentless march has propelled citizens and their pocket computers right into the UK’s regulatory void.

      • There is a Spectre Haunting Ireland: Emigration

        The bargaining now underway between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, the traditional parties of the right, plus the centre-left/centrist/neoliberal Greens, in Ireland’s Twenty-Six Counties has provoked once more in the youth the urge to emigrate.

      • Martin Luther King’s Giant Triplets: Racism, Yes, But What About Militarism and Materialism?

        In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans are finally — or is it once again? — confronting the racism that afflicts this country and extends into just about every corner of our national life. Something fundamental just might be happening.

      • It’s Time to Disarm the Police

        Watch the harrowing video of Rayshard Brooks being shot in the back by Atlanta police and the conclusion is inescapable: These people should not be allowed to carry guns. The same can be said of the police in Louisville, Ky., who killed Breonna Taylor as she slept in her own bed, the Minnesota cop who killed Philando Castile, the officer in North Charleston, S.C., who killed Walter Scott, and the Cleveland cop who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The list of African Americans shot and killed by police is a shameful legacy that stretches back generations.

      • How Visual Culture Is Implicated in Mass Incarceration

        According to the Prison Policy Initiative’s (PPI) 2020 report, there are close to 2.3 million people currently incarcerated by the United States justice system. This includes individuals who are in state and federal prisons, municipal jails, and immigration detention facilities, as well as juvenile detention facilities, military prisons, Indian Country jails, state psychiatric wards, and prisons in US territories. This number represents the highest incarceration rate in the world, an alarming statistic by any account, but it is vital to remember that these people can never be reduced to mere abstractions. They are mothers. They are fathers. They are male identified, female identified, and genderqueer. They are often poor, often black, often brown. They are students and migrants and children. They are writers and poets. They are artists.

      • Prosecuting Race Provocateurs: Bolsonaro, Trump, and Others

        In 2002, the U.N. established a Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to “study the problems of racial discrimination faced by people of African descent living in the diaspora” and to draft proposals on the elimination of racial discrimination against people of African descent. Originating from the slave trade and the associated stereotypes, people of African descent confront racism throughout the world, more severely than any other racial group. Based on the studies of the Working Group, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2013 to launch the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). The resolution reiterated “that any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and must be rejected.” Right amid the International Decade, crimes against African Americans shock Americans and the peoples of the world.

      • Come In Spinner: The Magpies’ ‘Cultural Problems’ Are Black And White, And Coming Home To Roost

        You don’t have to look too closely at the growing scandal engulfing the Collingwood Football Club over its treatment of star player Héritier Lumumba to know that something is very wrong… but it helps. Chris Graham investigates.

      • Black Lives Matter Protests Are Everywhere, Even in the Unlikeliest Places

        Timberly Vogel felt jaded about marches. As the president of the Black Student Alliance at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Vogel had led and participated in her fair share. They struck her as quiet and contained within the student community, never affecting the rest of the town, which is roughly 90 percent white. So when local residents started to organize protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a police officer in Minneapolis, Vogel worried they would be another disappointing flash in the pan.

      • Kentucky imam sentenced to 2 years in kidnapping plot

        A law enforcement informant posing as a hit man first met with Shalash in the spring of 2019, according to affidavits filed in federal court.

        Shalash told the informant a person owed him $80,000 and asked the informant to do whatever he had to to get the money back, including breaking the person’s legs. Two associates of Shalash, John Sadiqullah and Abdul Hadi, later asked the informant to kill a second person they believed had cheated them in business deals, the affidavits said.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • T-Mobile Is Already Trying To Wiggle Out Of Its Sprint Merger Conditions

        Is it too early to say “I told you so” yet?

      • No to .io, yes to .xyz!

        The de-facto choice is .io. Numerous startups use it as a way to make their offering more legitimate, due to the long history of it being used by businesses, starting in 1998 with levi.io, registered by Levi Strauss & co. The appeal comes from the shortness of the TLD and, with regards to the high-tech sector, it being the abbreviation for “input/output”.

    • Monopolies

      • Facebook Loses Antitrust Decision in Germany Over Data Collection

        The decision is a direct shot at Facebook’s business model, which relies on collecting reams of data about people in order to offer more targeted advertising. The authorities argued that Facebook unfairly used its dominance to collect data about millions of users of third-party sites that used tools like Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons, and an analytics service called Facebook Pixel.

        Regulators concluded that consumers faced a false choice: Agree to hand over vast amounts of personal data or not use Facebook’s ubiquitous social media services at all.

      • Verizon Joins Facebook, Instagram Ad Boycott

        Nitti added: “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”

      • Verizon is pulling advertising from Facebook and Instagram

        Last week, a group of six organizations called on Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the social media platform during the month of July. The groups — the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense — asked “large Facebook advertisers to show they will not support a company that puts profit over safety.”

      • Neurim v. Mylan: UK Court of Appeal denies interim injunction in face of a launch-at-risk case, but are damages really adequate?

        As this Kat was strolling home Wednesday afternoon, he received a call from his old pal Joost Duijm. On the ball as always, Joost told me that the appeal in Neurim Pharmaceuticals v. Mylan had been handed down [first instance decision here, appeal decision here]. The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision by Marcus Smith J. to deny an interim injunction against a generic company that launched at risk.

        Big news indeed. The UK patent courts are known across Europe, among many other things, for having developed a clear-the-way doctrine: if a generic entrant does not institute invalidity proceedings against the patent well in advance of a product launch, that is a strong argument in favour of granting an interim injunction awaiting trial and the status quo is maintained.

        Thus, in pharmaceutical patent cases, UK courts have come to readily grant interim injunctions if the generic entrant does not first seek to invalidate the patent [e.g. here], especially where they are coy as to their launch plans [e.g. here]. The argument that is often cited to justify it is that generic entry will inevitably lead to price erosion, which may permanently lower the price level of the originator’s product. This damage is hard to quantify, but for blockbuster products can be assumed to be significant.

      • Patents

        • Untitled

          Further, and happily, participation in the U.S. patent system, as patentees and as licensees, is available to citizens and non-citizens alike.

        • Software Patents

          • Cassiopeia IP settles with Unified Patents

            On June 24, 2020, the Board issued an order terminating IPR2020-00111 pursuant to a joint settlement request filed by Unified Patents and Cassiopeia IP, an IP Edge affiliate and well-known NPE. U.S. Patent 7,322,046, generally directed to secure use of a network service, has been widely asserted in 18 district court litigations against such companies as Best Buy, Western Digital, Aruba Networks, Epson America, and Funai.

      • Copyrights

        • Goldman Sachs releases new font you’re not allowed to criticize Goldman Sachs with

          Investment bank Goldman Sachs has released its very own typeface: an inoffensive set of sans-serif fonts dubbed Goldman Sans. But in the spirit of bankers everywhere, these fonts come with a catch in the contract. As their license states, you’re free to use Goldman Sans for just about anything you like so long as you don’t use it to criticize Goldman Sachs.

          Just by downloading the package of fonts, you agree to these terms and conditions. And although Goldman Sans is nominally a free font, Goldman Sachs retains complete control over the license, allowing it terminate usage for any reason it likes.

          Here are the relevant passages from the license: [...]

        • Goldman Sachs Created A Font, But You Are Forbidden By Its License To Critique Goldman Sachs Using It

          Even if you find financial news incredibly boring, you will be familiar with investment firm Goldman Sachs. The famed investment bank has a list of purported controversies that rivals some small nations, which will become important in a bit. First, let’s focus on this bit of hot news: Goldman Sachs developed its own font!

        • John Bolton Doesn’t Need Copyright Protection

          Leaving aside the many legal and ethical questions associated with the publication of John Bolton’s The Room Where it Happened, there’s one question nobody (to my knowledge) has asked: Why should John Bolton get copyright protection?

        • [Guest post] Shaping the right form of (IP) protection: The Moon Boot decision(s)

          It might not be the best season for après-ski boots (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), but The IPKat is nonetheless delighted to host the following guest contribution by Federica Pezza (HoganLovells), discussing an interesting, recent cancellation decision of the Board of the First Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) concerning a 3D trade mark in the shape of this type of boots.

          [...]

          According to Article 7(1)(b) EUTMR, marks which are devoid of distinctive character cannot be registered. The provision does not distinguish between different categories of signs.

          Still, following the practice of the Office, in applying this uniform legal standard to different trade marks and categories of trade marks, a distinction must be made depending on consumer perception and market conditions. For signs consisting of the shape of the goods themselves it may be more difficult to come to a finding of distinctiveness, as such marks will not necessarily be perceived by the relevant public in the same way as a word or figurative mark (see, eg, C-136/02 P, Torches, para. 30). In particular, in order to be distinctive, the shape must differ significantly from the shape that is expected by the consumer, and it must differ significantly from the norm or customs of the sector.

          [...]

          By holding that the Moon Boot shoes would not be distinctive, the BOA confirmed the well-settled principle according to which it is not sufficient for a shape to be aesthetically pleasing for it to be distinctive. (Nothing surprising, you might say).

          Still, a number of questions remain. For instance, what if surveys were also submitted before the BOA (as in the Vespa case)? And, to what extent could the enhanced aesthetic value of a shape be reconciled with the exclusion set out under Article 7(1)(e)(iii) EUTMR (shape giving substantial value)? Furthermore, the reference made by Italian courts, when assessing copyright protection of a shape, to criteria which are normally used in trade mark law is at least questionable.

          You’d better take your tanning lotion out, my dear. This is going to be a long summer and after-ski shoes are probably not your best option right now.

        • Say What? Jonathan Poritz Records All CC Certificate Content As Openly Licensed Audio!

          Today, we’re delighted to announce our training materials are now available as audio files licensed CC BY 4.0. Thanks to the fantastic work of Jonathan Poritz, we can now offer materials in another format for learners. Jonathan Poritz has been contributing to open education efforts for nearly a decade* and facilitates CC Certificate courses regularly.

        • Social Media Buzz Boosts TV Piracy, Research Finds

          A new paper published in the Journal of Internet Electronic Commerce Research concludes that social media buzz boosts online piracy numbers for TV-shows. The more people talk about them, the more people are downloading. Interestingly, traditional TV-show ratings have no effect on piracy at all.

        • EU Court of Human Rights Declares Order to Remove Anti-Censorship Tool Advice Illegal

          In 2015, a a human rights organization that monitors web-censorship and pirate site blockades in Russia was itself ordered to be blocked by a local court for offering advice on how to use tools including Tor and VPNs. The European Court of Human Rights has now ruled that the order to disable access to that advice was illegal and a violation of the freedom to receive and impart information.

        • EFF and Durie Tangri Join Forces to Defend Internet Archive’s Digital Library

          San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is joining forces with the law firm of Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit that threatens their Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program, which helps people all over the world check out digital copies of books owned by the Archive and its partner libraries.

          “Libraries protect, preserve, and make the world’s information accessible to everyone,” said Internet Archive Founder and Digital Librarian Brewster Kahle. “The publishers are suing to shut down a library and remove books from our digital shelves. This will have a chilling effect on a longstanding and widespread library practice of lending digitized books.”

Mixed Loyalties, Including to a Surveillance Industry

Posted in Finance, IBM, Red Hat at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…And not just Red Hat’s ties to the NSA (and IBM’s)

AltaVista Cormier
From AltaVista–Almost Google

Summary: Having cashed in on $27,325,797 worth of Cloudera shares while still sitting on the board of Cloudera and its NSA assets, in addition to a position in SolarWinds Corp (proprietary software), Red Hat’s CEO is a rich man; the question is, how loyal is he to Free software and Red Hat’s goals?

THE new CEO of Red Hat is a technical and seemingly decent/modest man. I was personally relieved what they announced he had been appointed CEO, having followed him since his earlier days at Red Hat. The only thing or the main thing that gives me discomfort is his Cloudera and Hortonworks role (they merged amid troubles). Based on public information, more than a month after he became Red Hat’s CEO he is still involved in that:

Cormier shares

As noted above and elsewhere, he’s still on the board of an NSA-connected company and a Board Member of SolarWinds Corp (proprietary software), which describes him as having “served on our board of directors since October 2018. Mr. Cormier previously served on our board of directors from July 2014 until the Take Private. Mr. Cormier has served as President, Products and Technologies of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) since April 2008 and as Executive Vice President of Red Hat since May 2001.” A page last updated a week ago says: “The estimated Net Worth of Paul J Cormier is at least $28.5 Million dollars as of 15 June 2020. Mr. Cormier owns over 40,140 units of Cloudera stock worth over $912,561 and over the last 13 years he sold CLDR stock worth over $27,325,797. In addition, he makes $285,002 as Independent Director at Cloudera.”

Maybe the solution to all this is simple; as Red Hat’s CEO under IBM’s leadership (the IBM Board) he should leave those other companies — and boards — behind. Too many companies out there have mixed loyalties; board members are members in many different corporations, so there’s no true dedication to any one in particular. Board members of IBM can still recall that Microsoft got 'the big break' only because of the mother of Bill Gates.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 25, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:08 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Just Because We Dislike and Distrust Many Who Profit From COVID-19 Doesn’t Mean It’s a ‘Hoax’ (Opportunism Does Not Imply a Crisis Being Faked or Manufactured)

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 12:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These numbers aren’t ‘fake’; a lot of people get infected, with a high proportion of them dying (and we have no known cure/immunisation for this, unlike influenza)

COVID-19 stats

Summary: The “dude with a webcam and a YouTube channel” crowd is really not helping the public understanding of — and response to — a dangerous virus that spreads very easily; and to make matters worse it serves to distract from legitimate criticisms of powerful people and generally rogue institutions

THE (il)logical fallacy that behind every gainer there’s a motivation that implies intent to harm has led to a great deal of misinformation. At the start of the year some people came to our IRC channels, somehow suggesting if not directly insinuating that Bill Gates was behind the pandemic (only epidemic at the time). We ignored them back then and we still dismiss them as lacking compelling evidence. Some are visibly offended and irritated by this rejection, but that’s alright; maintaining high standards is paramount. A bunch of patents pertaining to coronavirus (not this variant/mutation labeled “COVID-19″) isn’t evidence. In fact, coronavirus isn’t a new thing. These endemic issues have long impacted humankind, as did other standards/types of germs and viruses. The epidemiology experts (not ‘armchair generals’ with a YouTube channel) have long warned about this, foretelling the spread of something like Ebola. We already know the difference between well-contained viruses and those that spread rapidly through airports, aided by globalism and materialism.

“A lot of people who start with arguments of substance end up being misled by the cranks, which then breeds a message with signal and noise combined (also unhelpful).”Just like the whole “5G causes coronavirus” crowd, this one seems to contribute to dismissal of Gates critics as irrational cranks, as anti-vaxxers, or anti-abortion religious nuts. We’ve rejected this narrative all along, yet some people carry on and on. That’s not at all helping; it’s actually helping Gates because he later goes on national Chinese TV, collectively referring to claims about him as assertions that it’s him who started the whole thing (as if he controls Wuhan).

When we receive input (some as mail or social control media; sometimes even random IRC ramblings) we nowadays need to classify it, as some of it is pure noise and some of it very substantial. A lot of people who start with arguments of substance end up being misled by the cranks, which then breeds a message with signal and noise combined (also unhelpful). We’re not sure how to best deal with this situation and how to handle these people, who are typically well-meaning but misguided (or misled). We suppose one can hope that over time it will become more apparent what’s factual and what’s obviously false. The confusion or conflation serves nobody but those looking to make ‘caricatures’ of their critics.

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