EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.27.20

Links 27/6/2020: rpminspect 1.0 and Godot Engine 3.2.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • New high-end Linux laptop: System76′s Oryx Pro packs latest Intel Core i7 H-series CPU

        Linux laptop maker System76 has refreshed its high-end Oryx Pro machine with new Intel Core CPUs and Nvidia graphics for developers.

        The 2020 Oryx Pro Linux laptop updates System76′s 2015 Oryx Pro model and comes with an eight-core Intel Comet Lake 10th generation Core i710875H processor, from Intel’s high-power H-series lineup.

        [...]

        “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.”

        Additionally, its embedded controller firmware code is licensed under GPLv3, so users can access and control hardware, such as the keyboard, fans, and battery.

        Also, it lets users switch off the discrete Nvidia graphics and use the integrated Intel graphics to save battery when needed.

      • MX Linux Now Comes Pre-Installed on Star Labs’ Linux Laptops

        A couple of weeks ago, Star Labs partnered with elementary to offer the latest elementary OS distribution on their latest Linux laptop, the Star LabTop Mk IV, which is now available for pre-order.

        In addition to elementary OS, the Linux laptop can also be acquired with either Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS, Linux Mint 19.3, Manjaro Linux 20.0 or Zorin OS 15.2 Core, Education, Lite and Ultimate.

      • PsychOS: A retro-styled Linux distro for your old PCs

        PsychOS 3 is an open-source project that is based on Devuan ASCII and derived from Debian Linux. What makes PsychOS unique is its retro based theme, meant to power older 32-bit hardware and computer systems. PsychOS is currently available only for 32-bit architecture-based computers with no plans or forecasts for a 64-bit version.

        Why PsychOS?

        Linux operating systems offer several benefits over Windows and macOS. The only thing, which is “considered” to be a drawback in Linux OS, is a lack of a user-friendly interface. However, most Linux versions available in the market now come with very easy-to-use, minimalistic UI. Linux-based operating systems do not collect user data, are highly secure, and are open source. On top of these advantages, Linux OS also provides access to source code, which allows users to customize the operating systems according to their needs.

        PsychOS offers all these advantages. And because it is primarily meant for old 32-bit powered machines, PsychOS users can get the most out of their old and aging PCs. PsychOS is a very well-polished designed variant of Linux, which contains all the essential tools and features needed to turn old PCs into productive machines.

        What is packed into PsychOS?

        The PsychOS packs in some essential software and tools, ensuring that users can be productive. PsychOS comes with a combination of LibreOffice suite and AbiWord/Gnumeric for regular office and document works. It also includes project Pale Moon and Dillo for browsing.

        For learning purposes, the PsychOS comes with Nootka — an application to learn musical score notations. The OS also has several other tools and applications such as BKChem, Stellarium, and Reinteract. The multimedia menu includes some interesting software and tools, including GIMP, Inkscape, Krita, Blender, and Scribus.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Software War (Keith Curtis)

        Hello there! Do you know who Keith Curtis? If yes then good! If no and you are someone who using opensource software then you should get to know who are this guy.

        I never meet him personally but I my love with linux start with Debian and I like to read his blog about debian, opensource vs proprietary software, questioning about Ubuntu existant etc (which is how this thing lead me to his weblog 10 years ago).. I just silent reader, I read this articles including everyone comments which I believe everyone have they own implicit objective and mutual objective for everything about IT.

      • 2020-06-26 | Linux Headlines

        Linux Mint lands version 20 as an LTS, Mozilla welcomes an unlikely member into its Trusted Recursive Resolver program, elementary ditches Bountysource, TWRP gets closer to supporting Android 10, System76 introduces a new high-end laptop, and the EFF joins the Internet Archive’s legal battle against the publishing industry.

    • Kernel Space

      • Coccinelle: 10 Years of Automated Evolution in the Linux Kernel

        Julia Lawall gives an introduction to the use of Coccinelle and gives an overview of its impact on the Linux kernel. Over the years, Coccinelle has been extensively used in Linux kernel development, resulting in over 7000 commits to the Linux kernel, and has found its place as part of the Linux kernel development process.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux 5.9 To Expose Adaptive-Sync / VRR Range Via DebugFS

          For aiding in testing and other purposes, the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) range for FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync setups will now be exposed via DebugFS with Linux 5.9.

          Sent in today was the latest weekly drm-misc-next round of updates. This includes many DRM core changes like NV15 / Q410 / Q401 YUV format support, uncompressed AFBC (Arm Framebuffer Compression) modifier support, and DebugFS reporting of VRR monitor ranges. There are also updates to the various smaller DRM drivers like Lima, Panfrost, and others.

        • Mesa 20.2 gets Valve-backed ACO shader compiler on by default for AMD RADV

          With the upcoming release of Mesa 20.2 which should hopefully be in late August, it seems AMD GPU owners will get a nice boost thanks to the Valve-backed ACO shader compiler.

          Introduced by Valve back in 2019, ACO was designed to replace the huge LLVM project in Mesa for AMD GPUs on Linux, with a specific focus on improving gaming performance. Yesterday, ACO was enabled by default in the Mesa 20.2 development code for the AMD RADV driver, with a note that “No more dragons have been seen, caution is still required…”. There’s also now a “RADV_DEBUG=llvm” environment variable you can set to force it back to LLVM for testing purposes.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Performance On Windows 10 vs. Six Linux Distributions

        As part of our Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U Linux benchmarking there have been multiple requests for showing how various Linux distributions run and perform with these exciting Ryzen 4000 series mobile CPUs. Here are some benchmarks not only looking at six Linux distributions but also the performance of Microsoft Windows 10 as was preloaded on the Lenovo Flex 5 15-inch 2-in-1.

        The Lenovo Flex 5 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop that I picked up for $599 USD was used for this round of testing. This laptop features the Ryzen 5 4500U 6-core CPU with Vega graphics, 16GB of dual channel memory, 256GB SSD, and 14-inch 1080p display. It’s quite a nice budget laptop with very great performance for the price. The operating systems tested for this comparison included…

    • Applications

      • 5 Best Ebook Readers for Linux

        Digital books provide a convenient way to carry a large library of books in your smartphones, computers, and cloud storage. The book reading experience on these devices depends on the reader’s software. This article will list various ebook management and reading apps for Linux. Some of these apps go beyond being simple readers and allow you to manage your entire digital book collection and convert them in different formats.

      • 5 ways to watch video streams on the Linux desktop

        Do you want to watch video streams on your Linux desktop? Confused and unsure about how to do it? We can help! Follow along with this list as we go over 5 ways you can watch video streams on the Linux desktop!

        Do you want to watch video streams on your Linux desktop? Confused and unsure about how to do it? We can help! Follow along with this list as we go over 5 ways you can watch video streams on the Linux desktop!

      • rpminspect-1.0 released

        Time for a new release of rpminspect! There are a number of signficant changes in this release and one change that warranted moving the major version to 1. The major change is moving the configuration file and profiles from INI-style syntax to YAML syntax. I discussed this in a previous blog post. The desire was to give more structure to the main configuration file and reduce the number of dependencies that rpminspect carries. The INI-style syntax does not provide a nice mechanism for lists, which was a main desire I had. YAML already defines this and I am already reading YAML data for modules.

        Because of this major change, the configuration file has been renamed from rpminspect.conf to rpminspect.yaml. Likewise, the profiles now end in .yaml. This change is backwards incompatible and rpminspect 1.0 does not carry any provision to read the previous style configuration files. The configuration file and profiles still live in the same paths. The next release will shift these around so tha you can have more than one rpminspect-data package installed on the system.

        [...]

        In addition to the new rpminspect release, there is also a new rpminspect-data-fedora release. This data file package contains updates that match the changes in this new release of rpminspect. The new rpminspect-data-fedora release is available in my Copr repo. It will be available in the official collections once the new rpminspect package is built.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Cyberspace FPS ‘Black Ice’ has a huge update with first story act complete

        Run, shoot and loot in cyberspace – that’s what Black Ice is all about, with masses of different weapons and abilities and it just had a huge upgrade.

        This brings in The Volcano area, which also completes the first act of the story. The rest of the game expanded with it to include new game mechanics, guns, abilities, perks, enemies, music, world events and so on. Since it’s such a big update they will also be upping the price once the current 25% discount finishes for the 2020 Steam Summer Sale.

        [...]

        Black Ice is turning into quite a gem! The best bit about it is how wild the weapons are. From tron-like discs you throw around to shotguns that shoot colourful bouncy balls and everything you can imagine in between. Lasers, missiles, great big disco-ball orbs and more.

      • Be super evil in the Dungeons 3 Complete Collection out now

        Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media are finally finished updating and expanding Dungeons 3 and so it now has a proper Complete Collection available.

        A delightful dungeon-building strategy game with a touch of RTS elements thrown in, plus a whole lot of humour from the amusing narrator. You build and manage your own dungeon as an evil Dungeon Lord, recruit new monsters and place traps for unsuspecting adventurers and then visit the Overworld too. Released with Linux support back in 2017, they’ve since expanded it with seven DLCs to add in more maps and narrated missions to play through. It’s a great game and now if you had been holding out on it, your time has come.

      • Dying Light – Hellraid launches July 23, pre-purchase and Beta up now

        While Techland have put Hellraid on hold for now, they have given it a new life with Dying Light – Hellraid which is releasing on July 23 and you can get Beta access.

        This amusing DLC makes you run through dungeons fighting off skeletons and all sorts of underworld horrors. Using what looks like an old arcade machine, it transports you between worlds and “you’ll emerge in a grim fortress overrun by Hell’s minions”. They’ve put it up for pre-purchase now, and if you do grab it you can play a Beta of the Hellraid DLC until June 29.

      • Maintenance release: Godot 3.2.2

        Godot contributors released the Godot 3.2 stable branch in January 2020 as a major update to our free and open source game engine. The main development effort then moved towards our future major version, Godot 4.0 (see Godot’s Devblog for a preview of some things to come). But Godot 4.0 is still a long way off, and in the meantime we want to provide the best support possible to all Godot users, so the 3.2 branch is worked on in parallel and receives minor updates to fix bugs, improve usability and occasionally add some compatible features.

        We thus released Godot 3.2.1 in March 2020 with a focus on fixing the main issues surfaced in Godot 3.2.

        After fixing the most urgent issues in 3.2.1, we could take the time to add some new features to the 3.2 branch which we believe are important improvements to the Godot 3.2 experience (especially since we expect at least one year of development before 4.0 is released). Some of those features had already been partially implemented before the 3.2 release, but not merged to avoid delaying the release (any new feature involves new issues and a certain amount of time to improve and stabilize its implementation).

        This brings us to Godot 3.2.2 released today, which includes a number of big new features that have been merged and tested over the past few months, on top of the usual batch of bug fixes, usability enhancements, documentation and translation updates.

        Download Godot 3.2.2 now and read on about the changes in this update.

      • Godot Engine 3.2.2 is out with 2D batching for the GLES2 renderer

        Godot Engine 3.2.2 is an update to the current latest stable branch of the open source game engine, which does pull in some big new features.

        While it’s only technically a maintenance release, they said they’re still expecting Godot Engine 4.0 with Vulkan support to be some time away so it made sense to bring in more to the current release.

        One of the biggest additions is 2D batching for the GLES2 renderer. This can greatly speed up 2D rendering performance, reduce drawcall-related bottlenecks and more. It depends on how each game is being rendered and only applies to the GLES2 renderer. There’s also a lot of bug fixes for both the GLES2 and GLES3 renderers.

      • After a rough launch, Mists of Noyah seems to be turning things around

        Mists of Noyah is a new co-op survival game from developer Pyxeralia, it’s definitely pretty looking with some wonderful lighting and art but they had a very rough launch.

        When it released with Linux support on May 27, they ended up quickly getting only a 23% positive user score giving them a considerably negative outlook. However, Pyxeralia are showing how to come back in style and within a week they were able to get it back into Mostly Positive overall. A negative initial reaction can completely kill an indie game so they’ve been lucky to manage to push back.

        A thorough mixture of gameplay elements from an action-platformer with RPG elements to a crafting survival game with co-op, it’s got a lot going for it. That’s boosted up by the graphical style, which cleverly mixes together the pixel-art style with seriously vibrant colouring.

      • You can now be a majestic Unicorn commander in Planetary Annihilation: TITANS

        Planetary Annihilation: TITANS is real-time strategy game about war on a massive interplanetary scale and you can pick different commander units to control like the new majestic Unicorn.

        This is not a joke, this is serious game business we’re talking about here. I will admit to taking off and cleaning my glasses, to ensure I was reading this correctly. Along with an update that brings improvements to various areas, Planetary Annihilation Inc did actually add in a Unicorn commander which is free to play as during the Steam Summer Sale and after you can buy it from the in-game Armoury.

      • Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York set to release in Q3 2020

        Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York, a standalone visual novel following from Coteries of New York is now set to release in Q3 2020.

        Now that we actually have a release window, we can expect it somewhere between July and September so it could end up being quite soon. If you love a good novel then Shadows of New York sounds promising, hopefully the end is not as abrupt as Coteries. The developer, Draw Distance, said that Coteries was basically an introduction with Shadows planned to be a more personal and unique tale.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/26

          Week 26, aka half of the year, is over. But as we all know, Tumbleweed does not care much about the weather, the temperatures, or the season at all. It only cares for its contributors to have fun – at any given moment. So, week 26 has seen 3 snapshots (0618, 0621, and 0622).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 32 essential post-install tweaks

          I’ve written a guide showing essential post-install tweaks and configuration changes for Fedora 32 Workstation, intended to provide a complete, friendly and aesthetically pleasing desktop experience, including Gnome Tweaks, extensions, window buttons, desktop panel, new fonts, themes and icons, extra software repositories, extra applications, and more.

        • Securely access open source trusted AI packages in IBM Cloud Pak for Data

          As open source artificial intelligence technologies grow, the need for AI systems to make decisions fairly, to be invulnerable to tampering, and to be explainable is more important than ever. At IBM, we believe that building trust in AI starts in the open, with code that is transparent and accessible to anyone. To support our commitment to trusted AI, IBM previously released 3 open source trusted AI packages: AI Fairness 360, AI Explainability 360, and the Adversarial Robustness Toolbox.

          Developers need to incorporate trust in data and models as well as in the way packages are used inside their projects, so they don’t end up using packages with vulnerabilities or legal implications. In the latest IBM Cloud Pak for Data release, we added a feature to give developers secure access to our trusted AI packages via IBM Cloud Pak for Data’s Open Source Management service.

          Let’s take a closer look at the trusted AI packages and how to access them in IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

        • Red Hat and Affirmed Networks collaborate to help accelerate 5G deployments on Red Hat OpenShift

          Service providers are transforming and virtualizing their networks in response to an increasingly dynamic market and rapid technology changes. As new opportunities for services grow, 5G has also given service providers the opportunity to increase efficiency, flexibility and elastic scale with microservices-based cloud-native architectures.

          As these shifts take place, Red Hat and Affirmed are working together to help service providers adopt cloud-native network functions (CNFs) for 5G Cores. Building on the foundation of Red Hat OpenShift, we’re enabling the Affirmed UnityCloud “Any G” solution to be deployed more broadly on a supported, cloud-native backbone, making it easier for telecommunications companies to more efficiently deploy 5G, 4G and 3G services backed by a common telco cloud infrastructure.

        • There’s A Proposal To Switch Fedora 33 On The Desktop To Using Btrfs

          More than a decade ago Fedora was routinely trying to pursue the Btrfs file-system by default but those hopes were abandoned long ago. Heck, Red Hat Enterprise Linux no longer even supports Btrfs. While all Red Hat / Fedora interests in Btrfs seemed abandoned years ago especially with Red Hat developing their Stratis storage technology, there is a new (and serious) proposal about moving to Btrfs for Fedora 33 desktop variants.

          There is a new proposal to use Btrfs as the default file-system for desktop variants starting with Fedora 33. This proposal is being backed by various Fedora developers, Facebook, and other stakeholders in believing Btrfs is more featureful than the current EXT4 while now is stable enough following years of testing.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-26

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • virt-manager is deprecated in RHEL (but only RHEL)

          I’m the primary author of virt-manager. virt-manager is deprecated in RHEL8 in favor of cockpit, but ONLY in RHEL8 and future RHEL releases. The upstream project virt-manager is still maintained and is still relevant for other distros.

          Google ‘virt-manager deprecated’ and you’ll find some discussions suggesting virt-manager is no longer maintained, Cockpit is replacing virt-manager, virt-manager is going to be removed from every distro, etc. These conclusions are misinformed.

          The primary source for this confusion is the section ‘virt-manager has been deprecated’ from the RHEL8 release notes virtualization deprecation section.

        • RHEL Deprecating The Virt-Manager UI In Favor Of The Cockpit Web Console

          The upstream virt-manager project including the virt-manager user-interface is still being maintained, but Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 has decided to deprecate the virt-manager UI moving forward.

          With the recent RHEL 8.2 release it turns out the virt-manager UI is deprecated. This is the common graphical user interface for managing VMs on the likes of KVM and Xen with libvirt and has been quite common for a decade. Virt-manager has been around for a while for those wanting a means of easily creating, managing, and viewing virtual machines running on Linux.

        • What Are Fedora Labs and How Are They Useful to You?

          Fedora Labs are pre-built images of Fedora 32 Workstation, a Linux distribution known for solid performance and new software packages. What the Labs do is provide users of a few common use cases access to an image that comes with all of the software they’d want in order to hit the ground running after they install the system.

          There are eight different labs right now, covering everything from astronomy to gaming to design. They’re all live systems, so there is no need to install anything to your system, which is potentially an attractive option for those users who have a system already up and running. Let’s look at all eight in brief.

          1. The Fedora Astronomy Lab

          The Astronomy Lab comes with a wide array of tools useful in astronomy, including visualization software, scientific Python tools, and free astronomical image processing software. Also of note is a library designed to support the control of astronomical instruments. This Lab will absolutely be great for both experienced and amateur astronomers.

          2. The Fedora Comp-Neuro Lab

          The Comp-Neuro Lab is similar in its philosophy to the Astronomy Lab: it comes pre-installed with an array of free Neuroscience modelling software to allow you to get to work quickly. This includes SciPy, a scientific Python library, and NEURON, a detailed neuron simulation environment that allows you to work down to the single-neuron level.

      • Debian Family

        • Norbert Preining: KDE/Plasma 5.19.2 for Debian

          I have been preparing this release for quite some time, but due to Qt 5.12 I could only test it in a virtual machine using Debian/experimental. But now, finally, a full upgrade to Plasma 5.19(.2) has arrived.

          Unfortunately, it turned out that the OBS build servers are either overloaded, incapable, or broken, but they do not properly build the necessary packages.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20 ISOs finalised, release due in the coming days

          According to the Linux Mint Community’s ISO Images page, the stable editions of Linux Mint 20 have been tested and are now approved for release. The Linux Mint team has still not updated the main website with any information but it’s expected it will do so over the coming days. Although no announcement has yet been made by the Mint team, some mirrors, including Bytemark’s are already giving access to the ISOs.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • An open source browser extension to zoom in on images

        Have you ever visited a website and wanted to see the images displayed larger? That happens to me all the time, and it isn’t always easy to make that happen.

        On occasion, I sift through the source code, use Ctrl + F to search for the image, copy the image source address and paste it into a new window in order to see the image at its full-size glory. Or, the other option is to right-click, copy the image address, and paste into a new tab.

      • Bountysource update

        I quickly wanted to share an update to my previous post our leaving Bountysource behind (at least as platform for individual bug bounties).

        Bountysource support has informed us that “All bounties on Xfce issues have been refunded and backers notified.”

      • The ultimate guide to contributing to open source, an unparallelled reliance on Linux, and more industry trends

        As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Comcast And Mozilla Partner Up To Help Encrypt DNS

            Over at our Tech Policy Greenhouse, Article19′s Joey Salazar and Consumer Reports’ Benjamin Moskowitz just discussed how it’s long past time to encrypt the Domain Name Server (DNS) system at the heart of the internet. Thanks to the GOP demolishing of FCC broadband privacy rules in 2017, ISPs have carte blanche to monetize this data as they see fit, storing and selling access to your DNS browsing data to data brokers who continue to build detailed user profiles with little to no meaningful oversight.

          • More details on Comcast as a Trusted Recursive Resolver

            When Mozilla first started looking at how to deploy DoH we quickly realized that it wasn’t enough to just encrypt the data; we had to ensure that Firefox used a resolver which they could trust. To do this, we created the Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR) program which allowed us to partner with specific resolvers committed to strong policies for protecting user data. We selected Cloudflare as our first TRR (and the current default) because they shared our commitment to user privacy and security because we knew that they were able to handle as much traffic as we could send them. This allowed us to provide secure DNS resolution to as many users as possible but also meant changing people’s resolver to Cloudflare. We know that there have been some concerns about this.

            [...]

            Jason Livingood from Comcast and I have published an Internet-Draft describing how resolver selection works, but here’s the short version of what we’re going to be experimenting with. Note: this is all written in the present tense, but we haven’t rolled the experiment out just yet, so this isn’t what’s happening now. It’s also US only, because this is the only place where we have DoH on by default.

            First, Comcast inserts a new DNS record on their own recursive resolver for a “special use” domain called doh.test with a value of doh-discovery.xfinity.com The meaning of this record is just “this network supports DoH and here is the name of the resolver.”

            When Firefox joins a network, it uses the ordinary system resolver to look up doh.test. If there’s nothing there, then it just uses the default TRR (currently Cloudflare). However, if there is a record there, Firefox looks it up in an internal list of TRRs. If there is a match to Comcast (or a future ISP TRR) then we use that TRR instead. Otherwise, we fall back to the default.

            [...]

            First, let’s examine the case of someone who only uses their computer on a Comcast network (if you never use a Comcast network, then this has no impact on you). Right now, we would send your DNS traffic to Cloudflare, but the mechanism above would send it to Comcast instead. As I mentioned above, both Comcast and Cloudflare have committed to strong privacy policies, and so the choice between trusted resolvers is less important than it otherwise might be. Put differently: every resolver in the TRR list is trusted, so choosing between them is not a problem.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Best Documentation Is No Documentation

          Over the past couple of weeks, I have read a few different articles on writing good user documentation from a software developer’s perspective. It is an area I was always told I excelled at by people who read the docs I wrote through the years. However, by the time I stepped away from my WordPress business of over a decade, I had almost completely stopped writing user documentation. Few users seemed to have noticed or questioned why there were no step-by-step explanations of certain features.

        • littler 0.3.11: docopt updates

          The twelveth release of littler as a CRAN package is now available, following in the fourteen-ish year history as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

          littler is the first command-line interface for R as it predates Rscript. It allows for piping as well for shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript only started to do in recent years.

          littler lives on Linux and Unix, has its difficulties on macOS due to yet-another-braindeadedness there (who ever thought case-insensitive filesystems as a default where a good idea?) and simply does not exist on Windows (yet – the build system could be extended – see RInside for an existence proof, and volunteers are welcome!). See the FAQ vignette on how to add it to your PATH.

        • Simplifying unit tests using a custom markup language

          Today I want to present a testing technique I now use in Nanonote unit tests.

          Nanonote main component is a QTextEdit with several “extensions” to provide custom behaviors such as indenting/unindenting selected lines with tab/shift+tab or moving selected lines up and down with alt+shift+arrow keys (next version feature, #spoileralert!).

          Testing these extensions is not particularly difficult but it requires tedious setup to set the text, position the cursor, define the selection. Then you perform the action and have to write more tedious code to check the new text, cursor position and selection match your expectations. Not only is it tedious to write, it is also error-prone and hard to read.

        • Wes’s wonderful Minecraft user notification display
        • Perl/Raku

          • Please not yet-another-oo-system, let’s support frameworks

            I’m very keen to be actively deprecating and removing syntactic oddities that folks should already be prohibiting via good perlcritic policies (i.e linting) hopefully in their editors and CI pipelines.

            And standard perl is a good way for code bases to prepare for the future and derive real benefits right now. Both build on the meritocracy approach of CPAN.

            It is that meritocracy that brought us the object frameworks Moose (which people seemed to feel was too big) and then Moo+Type::Tiny (which people seem to feel is about right). There are many other frameworks (object systems) which perl’s minimalist internal object functions enable people to write, if one of them strikes a better balance of trade off’s then there is nothing to stop it supplanting Moo as number one.

            In ECMAScript (javascript) / Node.js there is a similar pattern with jQuery and now React, Vue, and Angular. Without weighing in on their various trade-offs, they are very much akin to Moose and Moo, although they add much more which might make them more analogous to Mojolocious. Hold that thought.

        • Python

          • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #15: Python Regular Expressions, Views vs Copies in Pandas, and More

            Have you wanted to learn Regular Expressions in Python, but don’t know where to start? Have you stumbled into the dreaded pink SettingWithCopyWarning in Pandas? This week on the show, we have David Amos from the Real Python team to discuss a recent two-part series on Regex in Python. We also talk about another recent article on the site about views vs copies in Pandas. David also brings a few other articles and projects from the wider Python community for us to discuss.

          • Bucket Sort in Python

            In this tutorial, we’ll be diving into the theory and implementation of Bucket Sort in Python.

            Bucket Sort is a comparison-type algorithm which assigns elements of a list we want to sort in Buckets, or Bins. The contents of these buckets are then sorted, typically with another algorithm. After sorting, the contents of the buckets are appended, forming a sorted collection.

            Bucket Sort can be thought of as a scatter-order-gather approach towards sorting a list, due to the fact that the elements are first scattered in buckets, ordered within them, and finally gathered into a new, sorted list.

            We’ll implement Bucket Sort in Python and analyze it’s time complexity.

          • 5 Python Features That You May Not Be Familiar With

            Python, for all its ease of learning, has some pockets of real complexity. If you’ve ever read through the programming language’s documentation, you’ve probably gotten a sense of that. If you’re new to the language, here are some features you might not be familiar with, but could nonetheless prove useful (or at least fun to experiment with).

            [...]

            Staying on top of the changes in a language like Python is never easy, but it can be fun finding out new things! Careful reading of the What’s new in Python 3.xx webpages is a good start; they are already there for both 3.9 and 3.10.

          • 5 Best Python IDE and Code Editor

            Python is everywhere today, and it is arguably the C programming language of the modern era. You can find Python everywhere from websites, apps, data science projects, AI to the IoT devices. So being a popular programming language of this decade, it is important to know the development environment of Python where developers create applications, especially if you are starting afresh.

            There are many Python development environments available with many features and utilities catering to your need. Some of them useful for beginners starting to learn Python by setting up the environment, other users for heavy Python development, and complex setups. Here, in this post, I will touch upon 5 best of them which would help you to pick one for your own need and use case.

          • Python Bytes Episode #187: Ready to find out if you’re git famous?

            “Snek is a tiny embeddable language targeting processors with only a few kB of flash and ram. … These processors are too small to run MicroPython.”
            Can develop using Mu editor
            Custom Snekboard runs either Snek or CircuitPython.
            Or run Snek on Lego EV3.
            Smaller language than Python, but intended to have all learning of Snek transferable to later development with Python.

          • 2020 Python Software Foundation Board of Directors Election Retrospective and Next Steps

            With the 2020 Board of Directors Election Results announced, a new class of directors will officially be joining June 30th!
            In light of the results and narrow margins, the Python Software Foundation (PSF) staff, incoming directors, existing directors, and community have already taken time to consider and discuss the participation and representation of our global community on the PSF Board of Directors. These facets are crucial to the long term direction and resilience of our community.
            For now, the PSF staff would like to share information on participation, representation, and the next steps we plan to take to improve these facets of our membership.

            [...]

            After the results were published, an immediate question raised was “what do the demographics of our members and voters look like?”.
            This is not a new question among the PSF staff, directors, or community, but was particularly impassioned this year due to the extremely close margins. Especially given that the winning candidates (unlike the candidate pool) all reside in North America and Western Europe.
            Bluntly, we do not have the data needed to answer this question accurately. Currently the only membership class we have any demographic information for is Supporting members, who constitute less than 25% of the voter roll, and that only includes their postal address.

            [...]

            We are grateful as an organization for each and every member of our community past, present, and future. We are excited to see the field for the board expanding to better represent our global community. We look forward to doing the work necessary to improve the membership experience of the Python Software Foundation and will be sharing more information over the coming months as the PSF staff and board better develop plans.

          • Python 3.6.9 : My colab tutorials – part 005.
          • Hackathon App Part 2 – Building SaaS #62

            In this episode, we took a break from the regular app to work on an app for a local hackathon that I’m participating in. This is the second week for the hackathon and in this stream, I apply the final touches to the application. We work on models, a template, and build an RSS feed using Django syndication contrib app.

            The final presentation for the app was the next day so it was crunch time to finish everything off. After showing off what was done so far, I tried to show the new page and we were met with an exception. The code was in a half finished state before I started the stream because the Service model was changed without an associated migration.

            We added a test for the model change and generated the migration. After completing the model change, I talked about working with databases in Heroku and why SQLite won’t work there.

            After finishing the modeling work, I integrated the remaining design from my team’s designer and plugged it into the live template. We had a to polish a couple of edges on the design to make it fit well with the rest of the site.

          • 10 Most Useful Python List Methods

            The list method is used to define multiple data in Python. The values of any list item can be changed any time. The list is defined using the brackets ‘[]’ and the values are separated by commas. Different types of data can be assigned as list item values, such as string, number, Boolean, etc. The index value of the list starts from 0, like an array. Python has many built-in methods to work on list data for various purposes. The ten most useful list methods of Python are explained in this article.

  • Leftovers

    • Truth is Our Weapon and Shield – An Interview with Black Panther Party Veteran Billy X Jennings

      Truth and reconciliation commissions attempt to heal divided nations after the injustice has ceased. They rely on a process of education in which a reckoning with hard truths of systemic oppression lead to national accountability, reparations for victims, healing and potential unity.

    • Pariah Country

      Americans locked down at home for months may be locked out of most of Europe because the United States failed to control the coronavirus within its borders.

    • US Drinking Beer, Producing Cars and Military Tech at the Expense of Mexican lives

      Fridges in Mexico are empty of beer because production has ceased as the product isn’t considered essential. However, US company Constellation Brands is defying local orders and forcing Mexican workers to continuing producing its Corona and Modelo beers for export to US consumers.

    • Disgraced Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Headed Back to Jail

      Prosecutors in San Francisco said that in 2017, Mr. Abramoff secretly agreed to seek changes in federal law — and met with members of Congress — on behalf of the marijuana industry without registering as a lobbyist.

    • Zoom Appoints Former Salesforce Security Executive as CISO

      Lee, who will take on the role of Zoom’s CISO on June 29, has 20 years of experience in information security and operating mission-critical services. He most recently served as senior vice president of security operations at Salesforce, and before that he worked at Microsoft as principal director of security engineering.

    • Trump Administration: Social Media Platforms Need to Police Calls for Violence That Aren’t the President’s

      It should be noted that Wolf makes no mention in these letters of Trump’s own controversial post in which he encouraged a violent military response to protestors by proclaiming “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Ironically, that post did run afoul of Twitter’s policies against glorifying violence and was quickly flagged with a warning.

    • Zuckerberg: It Is Now More Convenient for Me to Be the Arbiter of Truth

      What’s changed? Over the past month, Facebook got a taste of the inevitable consequences of sucking up to the right when it removed Trump ads with Nazi iconography for political prisoners, and it faced withering criticism from its own workers. It also faced an advertising pseudo-boycott organized by the Stop Hate for Profit campaign that might not have seriously threatened the company’s bottom line, but it was, at the very least, a clear indication of the way the wind was blowing.

    • Facebook just lost one of the biggest advertisers in the world for the rest of 2020

      The global consumer packaged goods company Unilever announced Friday that it will halt its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, joining a growing movement to stop spending ad dollars on the social media platforms.

      The New Jersey-based conglomerate also said it would pull its advertising from Twitter because of a polarized climate on social media, which is being exacerbated by the November election.

    • Unilever to pull ads from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook through end of the year

      Unilever, which controls brands including Dove soap and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, announced Friday that it is pulling brand advertisements from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook until “at least” the end of 2020.

      The decision was made after several other major companies pulled advertisements from Facebook as part of an advertising boycott called for by the Stop Hate for Profit campaign over allegations that Facebook had not done enough to rein in hateful content, particularly in the wake of protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

      Unilever wrote in a blog post pointed to the “polarized atmosphere in the U.S.,” such as “hate speech” during the run up to the presidential election in November, as being a major contributing factor to pulling brand advertisements.

    • Facebook Ad Boycott Sinks Stock, Raises Pressure on Zuckerberg

      The decision by the maker of major consumer goods like Dove soap and Hellmann’s mayonnaise to follow other brands in an advertising boycott, prompted a rare reaction from Facebook’s investors. Shares plunged 8.3% on the news, eliminating $56 billion in market value. Unilever’s pledge applies immediate pressure on other big companies and presents a risk to Facebook’s dominant business. Later Friday, Coca-Cola Co. said it would pause ads on all social media platforms for at least 30 days, while Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. unit, Hershey Co. and several smaller brands said they would join the boycott.

    • Facebook to label but leave up ‘newsworthy’ posts that violate policies

      He pointed specifically to posts from politicians, writing that “we leave up content that would otherwise violate our policies if the public interest value outweighs the risk of harm.”

      Zuckerberg emphasized though that politicians and government officials are not exempt from the new policy, and their posts will be taken down if the company determines it could incite violence or lead to voter suppression.

    • Facebook to Label All Rule-Breaking Posts, Including Trump’s

      Facebook is also banning false claims intended to discourage voting, such as stories about federal agents checking legal status at polling places. The company also said it is increasing its enforcement capacity to remove false claims about local polling conditions in the 72 hours before the U.S. election.

      Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Civic Media, said the changes are a “reminder of how powerful Facebook may be in terms of spreading disinformation during the upcoming election.”

      He said the voting labels will depend on how good Facebook’s artificial intelligence is at identifying posts to label.

    • ‘Instant chaos’: Police shot into crowd minutes after beginning to clear road for Trump

      Police “were moving closer to us, telling us to back up, but we were already in the sidewalk,” Hernandez said. He said some people were pushed up against a building on the corner of Sharon Drive and Cave Creek Road.

      “Quite literally, the people couldn’t go any further back,” he added. “It’s not that we weren’t obliging, it’s that there was really nowhere else.” Soon police were face-to-face with protesters. Hernandez said the next thing he heard was a loud bang.

      He tracked the events using the timestamp from photos on his camera. Within five minutes of lining up in riot gear, police had declared an unlawful assembly, he said.

      “It was literally provoked by them,” he said.

      Police “never tried to de-escalate the situation. … They were automatically the aggressors” Byrd said. He and other family members were pepper sprayed amid the unrest, he said.

    • Hacker Culture Reading List

      A friend recently asked me if I could recommend some reading about hacking and security culture. I gave a couple of quick answers, but it inspired me to write a blog post in case anyone else is looking for similar content. Unless otherwise noted, I’ve read all of these books/resources and can recommend them.

    • Science

      • Christopher Shaw uses the results of an abusive FOIA request to intimidate a scientist

        It’s been a week since I last laid down a helping of Orac’s trademark Insolence, be it Respectful or not-so-Respectful. Before I delve into today’s topic, I feel that you, my loyal audience, deserve a brief explanation in three words: Grant application deadline. The grant now submitted, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things, and the other day I got an email from a scientist named Catherine Roe, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in the Department of Neurology at Washington University, in which she forwarded an email from Christopher Shaw, a scientist turned antivaccine activist. It’s the perfect topic to get the blog rolling again.

      • Honeywell claims it has built the most powerful quantum computer ever

        Honeywell measured its computer’s capabilities using a metric invented by IBM called quantum volume. It takes into account the number of quantum bits – or qubits – the computer has, their error rate, how long the system can spend calculating before the qubits stop working and a few other key properties.

        Measuring quantum volume involves running about 220 different algorithms on the computer, says Tony Uttley, the president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions. Honeywell’s quantum computer has a volume of 64, twice as high as the next highest quantum volume to be recorded, which was measured in an IBM quantum computer.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Chasing the Perfect Podcast Microphone Sound

        I’ll continue to update this post as I make improvements. But hopefully this is fairly close to where I’ll be for a while. It’s time to land and focus completely on content rather than accouterments.

        Anyway, hope this helps someone.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Far Right’s Absurd War on Masks

        The chief cultural signifier of our times is this: Wearing a mask. Or not.

      • ‘Unfathomable Cruelty’: Trump Files Legal Brief Aiming to Kick 20 Million Off Health Insurance in Middle of Pandemic

        “We need to be guaranteeing healthcare for all, not gutting it from millions.”

      • How Amazon Used the Pandemic to Amass More Monopoly Power

        If lawmakers in Congress stick to their guns and maintain the threat of a subpoena, at some point in the coming weeks Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will have to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to answer lawmakers’ questions about the scope and impact of Amazon’s market power. The hearing will be a final step before the committee releases the findings from its year-long investigation of big tech and makes a set of policy recommendations that might include breaking up Amazon.

      • FEMA Ordered $10.2 Million in COVID-19 Testing Kits It’s Now Warning States Not to Use

        The Federal Emergency Management Agency has warned states not to use COVID-19 testing supplies it bought under a $10.2 million contract after a ProPublica investigation last week showed the vendor was providing contaminated and unusable mini soda bottles.

        A FEMA spokeswoman said the agency is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to analyze test tubes filled with saline and sold to the government by Fillakit LLC, whose warehouse is near Houston.

      • Will Covid Start a Trade War Over U.S. Meat Exports?

        On June 21, the official China website posted that products from Tyson Foods’ Springdale, Arkansas plant “that have arrived or are about to arrive in Hong Kong will be temporarily suspended by the customs department.” Two days earlier, 455 Tyson Foods workers living in Benton and Washington counties in which Springdale is located were found to be COVID-19 positive. Most were asymptomatic.

      • With COVID Spiking in Sun Belt, Trump Leads GOP Governors Toward Electoral Ruin

        President Trump traveled to Wisconsin on Thursday to tour a naval shipyard, where he bragged that he had the Navy steer a big contract Wisconsin’s way, which can only be construed as an order to boost his electoral chances in the swing state. I suppose it’s not surprising that he is so open about such things. After all, he was impeached for trying to extort a foreign ally into produce damaging information on his presumptive opponent, and every Republican senator except Mitt Romney backed him to the hilt. Why would he think interfering in a domestic military contract for his own benefit would be a problem?

      • 20 Million Could Lose Health Coverage As Trump Aims to End Obamacare

        The Trump administration filed a late-evening briefing to the United States Supreme Court on Thursday, joining a number of states urging justices to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the signature health care law passed by the Obama administration.

      • In Racial Justice Victory, Johnson & Johnson to Pay $2B to Women in Asbestos-Laced Baby Powder Suit

        Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $2.1 billion to a group of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder contaminated with asbestos. Johnson & Johnson heavily marketed the powder to African American women despite warnings that the products could cause cancer. Six of the plaintiffs in the Johnson & Johnson case died before the trial started. Five more of the women have died since 2018. We get response from M. Isabelle Chaudry, senior policy manager at the National Women’s Health Network, who says the company must ban the products globally and do more to address the harm it has caused, particularly to communities of color. “They have a history of engaging in racist practices,” she says.

      • Florida Reports 9,000 New Coronavirus Cases In Biggest Daily Surge

        Florida officials announced on Friday the largest single-day increase of new coronavirus cases in the state, eclipsing the previous record set just one day prior by a count of several thousand.

      • How the Virus Won

        Researchers with the Seattle Flu Study ignored C.D.C. testing restrictions and uncovered a single case with no travel history in late February. This was the first sign that the outbreak had spun badly out of control.

      • Jim Naureckas on Covid’s Preventable Nightmare, Clare Garvie on Police Facial Recognition

        This week on CounterSpin: It’s hard to understand how journalists can report Donald Trump’s repeated claim that the US should do less coronavirus testing because “with smaller testing, we would show fewer cases!” without following up with “and that’s why we’re calling for his resignation.” Trump’s bizarre delusions on Covid-19 aren’t just bats in his attic; they’ve driven a response that is nothing short of disastrous. He’s backing up the no test/no disease fallacy, for instance, by cutting funding for testing sites around the country, a move that, Talking Points Memo reports, local officials met with a “mixture of frustration, resignation and horror.” We’ll get an update on the preventable Covid nightmare, and US media’s approach to it, from FAIR editor Jim Naureckas.

      • Ebola’s long goodbye, Egypt’s dam denial, and Srebrenica at 25: The Cheat Sheet

        For almost two years, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been grappling with the world’s first Ebola outbreak in an active conflict zone. It became the country’s deadliest outbreak to date and, with more than 2,200 lives lost, the second deadliest anywhere so far. Yesterday, it was officially declared over, though a new cluster of cases in Équateur province, on the other side of the country, has left little time to celebrate. Twenty-four people have fallen ill and 13 people have died of the disease in the northwestern province since 1 June, with vaccines, drug therapies, and dedicated facilitates for handling patients all in short supply. As relief efforts ramp up, responders will be keen to avoid the mistakes made in the east, where distrust between local communities and health workers led to hundreds of attacks, and where hundreds of millions of dollars in Ebola response funds created fertile ground for conflicts of interest and competition for profits. Check out our recent investigation into what residents in the east dubbed “Ebola business”, and stay tuned next week when we’ll be bringing together all our recent coverage onto one in-depth page.

        [...]

        Large-scale trials of a promising coronavirus vaccine began this week in Brazil and South Africa, where COVID-19 cases remain high. Work on the vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, has raced ahead of the competition and the vaccine could be in use before the end of the year if all trials go well. Money has poured in, with Western governments pre-booking millions of doses. Médecins Sans Frontières is, however, urging caution. It has called on pharmaceutical corporations to sell future COVID-19 vaccines at cost, for governments to eschew any nationalistic interests, and for vaccine distribution to be based on need. The worry is that in any stampede to the vaccine lifeboats, the weakest will get trampled. Gavi, the vaccines alliance, is supposed to take care of that problem with its Covax Facility – a fund to in theory ensure equitable access. It has announced a licensing deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca for the production of 400 million doses of the Oxford vaccine for low and middle income countries by the end of the year. But there appears to be a transparency problem with that agreement, and as yet no guarantee there won’t be two-tier access that privileges the rich.

      • How Will Covid-19 Transform Urban Life?

        In Why America’s Richest Cities Keep Getting Richer, a 2017 article in The Atlantic, urban studies professor and author Richard Florida wrote: “The most important and innovative industries and the most talented, most ambitious, and wealthiest people are converging as never before in a relative handful of leading superstar cities that are knowledge and tech hubs. This small group of elite places forge ever forward, while most others struggle, stagnate, or fall behind… They are not just the places where the most ambitious and most talented people want to be – they are where such people feel they need to be.”

        Knowledge-intensive industries have long been centered in cities and surrounding metropolitan areas, where they’ve had the most access to a college educated, high skill workforce. But, – from Milan to New York, – high density, globally connected urban areas have been ground zero for the spread of Covid-19. Are cities now at risk of losing the superstar status they’ve enjoyed over the past several decades?

        This is not the first time we’ve asked this question in the recent past. In the mid-late 1990s, some predicted that the Internet would lead to the decline of cities, because it would enable people to work and shop from home, be in touch with their friends over e-mail, and get access to news and entertainment online. But, instead of declining, megacities have continued to generate the greatest levels of innovation and good jobs, and thus attract a disproportionate share of the world’s talent.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • What does Apple Silicon mean for the Raspberry Pi and ARM64?

          Even if many developers like me decide to jump ship off Apple’s platform after macOS 11 is released, there’s enough momentum in the Apple ecosystem, and in the computing world in general, to really push the ARM transition forward.

          I feel like Apple’s announcement at WWDC echoes earlier major changes, like dropping floppy drive support in the first iMac, adopting USB when most of the industry still used serial ports, or abandoning Adobe Flash before it was the ‘cool’ thing to do.

        • [Attackers] disrupt online college meeting with racist language

          In a message posted to the school’s website, Nathan Hatch said about 500 Wake Forest staff members were on a Zoom call on Wednesday when unidentified [attackers] disrupted it, the Winston-Salem Journal reported Thursday.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Databricks hands over MLFlow to Linux

                Open Source MLOps framework MLFlow launched by Databricks has been moved to the Linux Foundation. The news was announced at the Spark+AI Summit by Matei Zaharia, creator of Apache Spark and MLFLow, and the co-founder of Databricks. New functionalities are added to the framework, including integration with Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) platforms like GitLab and Jenkins, new Application Programming Interfaces (API), automatic versioning and logging, etc.

              • Linux Foundation interview with NASA Astronaut Christina Koch
              • Linux Foundation interview with NASA Astronaut Christina Koch

                Jason Perlow, Editorial Director at the Linux Foundation, had a chance to speak with NASA astronaut Christina Koch. This year, she completed a record-breaking 328 days at the International Space Station for the longest single spaceflight by a woman and participated in the first all-female spacewalk with fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir. Christina gave a keynote at the OpenJS Foundation’s flagship event, OpenJS World, on June 24, 2020, where she shared more on how open source JavaScript and web technologies are being used in space. This post can also be found on the OpenJS Foundation blog.

                [...]

                CK: Definitely. Well, I want to learn Python because it is really popular, and it would help out with my Raspberry Pi projects. The app that I am writing right now in Android Studio, which I consulted on with my 4-year-old niece, who wanted a journal app.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (alpine), Fedora (fwupd, microcode_ctl, mingw-libjpeg-turbo, mingw-sane-backends, suricata, and thunderbird), openSUSE (uftpd), Red Hat (nghttp2), SUSE (ceph, curl, mutt, squid, tigervnc, and unbound), and Ubuntu (linux kernel and nvidia-graphics-drivers-390, nvidia-graphics-drivers-440).

          • Nvidia squashes display driver code execution, information leak bugs

            This week, the tech giant published a security advisory for a total of six bugs in the driver, varying in severity with CVSS scores of between 5.5 and 7.8 and impacting both Windows and Linux machines.

          • Fancy hacking a PlayStation? Sony announces its bug bounty program

            You’ve probably heard the French saying, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

            Alliteratively coined by the French satirical writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, it means that the more things change, the more they remain the same, and it’s a cynical observation that what seems like an improvement may not, in the end, sort out the underlying problems or attitudes it was mean to fix.

            Well, here’s a change that really does seem to be a change, in heart as well as in direction!

            Sony, maker of the PlayStation games console series, has not always been friendly to hackers.

            About ten years ago, the company famously took legal action against a young George Hotz, better known as geohot, an American hacker – in the neutral sense of the word here – who has found his way into numerous “locked down” devices over the years.

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 149 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 149.

          • Embedded Insiders Podcast: Let’s Settle This. What’s More Secure, Proprietary or Open Source?
          • Patch time! NVIDIA fixes kernel driver holes on Windows and Linux

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

            Both Windows and Linux are affected.

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

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

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy Questions Raised By Distance Learning

              A Case Study in an edTech app

            • The Trump administration wants social media platforms to police protesters

              In a copy of one of the letters obtained by The Verge, Wolf claims that DHS agents witnessed “crimes such as burglary, arson, aggravated assault, rioting, looting, and defacing public property” and that perpetrators used social media “as a tool to plan, organize, and effectuate these crimes.”

            • Almost 17,000 Protesters Had No Idea A Tech Company Was Tracing Their Location

              Sen. Elizabeth Warren told BuzzFeed News that Mobilewalla’s report was alarming, and an example of the consequences of the lack of regulation on data brokers in the US.

              [...]

              It’s unclear how accurate Mobilewalla’s analysis actually is. But Mobilewalla’s report is another revelation from a wild west of obscure companies with untold amounts of sensitive information about individuals — including where they go and what their political allegiances may be. There are no federal laws in place to prevent this information from being abused.

            • Google to pay some news outlets for content

              The first news companies to strike deals with Google include Germany’s Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit, Tagesspiegel and Rheinische Post, Australia’s Schwartz Media, The Conversation, Private Media and Solstice Media and Brazil’s Diarios Associados and A Gazeta.

            • Deanonymizing Ethereum Users

              It has been clear for some time that the privacy of Bitcoin’s and similar blockchains is illusory. Companies such as Chainalysis exist to pierce their shields, despite the availability of privacy enhancements such as mixers. Now Blockchain is Watching You: Profiling and Deanonymizing Ethereum Users by the same team plus Mikerah Quintyne-Collins points out that the same applies even more strongly to Ethereum: [...]

            • In protest of Facebook’s failure to moderate hate, Verizon and Unilever stage a boycott

              Some speculation has emerged over a low-key meeting held at the White House in October between Trump, Zuckerberg and a Facebook board member who is notoriously sympathetic to Trump, Peter Thiel. While many details surrounding the meeting remain obscure, it has been reported that Trump did most of the talking and (according to The New York Times) the spirit of the meeting was “convivial.” Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor who is now a strident critic of the company, told the Times that “I believe they have a deal” and that it was “probably implied rather than explicit.” He also speculated that “Mark’s deal with Trump is highly utilitarian. It’s basically about getting free rein and protection from regulation. Trump needs Facebook’s thumb on the scale to win this election.”

              While there is no evidence that any deal was struck between Trump and Zuckerberg, and the Times added that “officials at Facebook and in the administration scoff at the notion that there is some kind of secret pact,” Trump seems to have been softer toward Facebook than other social media platforms. Last month he retaliated against Twitter after the social media giant appended a fact-check to one of his tweets, signing an executive order instructing the Federal Communications Commission to craft a new regulation potentially exempt social media platforms from previous legal protections. The order specifically targets Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms from being liable for the content posted by their users.

            • Coca-Cola and Unilever boycott Facebook adverts as Mark Zuckerberg pledges hate speech crackdown

              Significantly, he said that Facebook would now begin adding a label to posts that break its policies but have been left online because they are “newsworthy” – something that Twitter has already applied to Mr Trump, but that Facebook had previously demurred.

              The boycott, which has focused on Facebook so far, was provoked by its decision not to censor a bellicose post from US President Donald Trump and has snowballed into a general protest over its speech policies..

            • Coca-Cola joins Facebook boycott with a pause on all social media advertising starting July 1st

              “Starting on July 1, The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days,” reads a statement from Coca-Cola Company CEO James Quincey posted to the brand’s website. “We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine whether revisions are needed internally, and what more we should expect of our social media partners to rid the platforms of hate, violence and inappropriate content. We will let them know we expect greater accountability, action and transparency from them.”

            • Facebook Will Start Flagging Violating Content From Politicians Like Donald Trump, Just Like Twitter

              Facebook is doing an about-face, following Twitter’s lead in dealing with controversial and inflammatory statements from high-profile figures — like Donald Trump.

              In addition, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social-media company is banning a “wider category of hateful content in ads.” The moves represent an effort by Facebook to try to halt the spread of an advertiser boycott protesting the company’s lack of action on hate speech and harassment. That widened this week to include big marketers like Verizon and Unilever.

            • P is for Privacy

              The LWV Los Alamos is running a Privacy Study, which I’m co-chairing. As preparation for our second meeting, I gave a Toastmasters talk entitled “Browser Privacy: Cookies and Tracking and Scripts, Oh My!”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Stop Blaming Russia, China for US Disarmament Failures

        On June 22 and 23, Russian and American diplomats met in Vienna to discuss New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty which expires next year. The treaty provides for an optional five-year extension. Alternatively, the parties could negotiate a new agreement as has happened several times in the past.

      • We Must Defund Militarization From the Local Police to the Pentagon

        In the wake of the global protests against the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, activists have begun to reclaim public spaces by destroying statues of conquerors, slave traders, white supremacists and colonizers. In the United States alone, protesters have torn down and defaced statues of Confederate generals in Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Montgomery, Alabama; and statues of Christopher Columbus in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Boston, Massachusetts. Globally, sympathetic protesters in Bristol, U.K., threw a statue of Edward Colston — a prominent 17th-century slave trader — into the River Avon, while activists in Belgium defaced a statue of King Leopold II — the founder of the Congo Free State — prompting city officials to remove it.

      • Sanders Unveils Amendment to Slash Pentagon Budget by $74 Billion

        With the Senate preparing to vote on an annual defense policy bill calling for $740.5 billion in military spending for fiscal year 2021, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday delivered a floor speech in support of his new amendment aiming to cut the proposed Pentagon budget by 10% — around $74 billion — and devote those resources to funding healthcare, housing, jobs, and education in impoverished U.S. communities.

      • Letter to the Editor: Ladakh venture is China’s test of its plan to encircle India

        The Ladakh incursion has to be seen as part of a series of Chinese, and Chinese-instigated, maneuvers along India’s northern borders in the Himalayas as well as in the Indian Ocean in the south over the last couple of years. That the maneuvers are executed in spite of the world’s preoccupation with COVID-19 and President Xi Jinping’s repeated friendly gestures toward Indian leadership suggests one thing: Xi is in a hurry to execute a militarist plan primarily to divert his own people’s attention from his government’s political excesses and economic failings and simultaneously go forward with his country’s expansionist “China Dream.”

        The political aspect of the dream involves expanding China’s hegemony toward Europe and Africa as much as possible. The crux, however, is the containment of India. China’s expansion plans hinge on this crucial element.

        Why? The road route toward the West passes through some of the most inhospitable and mountainous regions of the Himalayas that run close to India’s borders are defended ably by the country.

      • Man’s plea to prevent deaths of innocents may have cost him his life

        Joel Negrete Barrera, a 2018 candidate for mayor of Abasolo, was shot to death Wednesday, one day after he posted an open letter on Facebook to the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel.

      • French jihadist goes on trial over IS group executions in Syria

        A French jihadist went on trial Thursday on terror charges amid accusations that he oversaw executions in Syria as a senior figure in the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Minnesota Sues Exxon and Koch Industries for ’30-Year Campaign of Deception’ on Climate

        The oil and gas industry was hit with yet another lawsuit when Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced this week that his office is suing two of the nation’s largest oil companies, and the oil industry’s trade group, for a “30 year campaign of deception” about the impacts of climate change.

        At a press conference in Saint Paul, Ellison stated that Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, and the American Petroleum Institute “knowingly directed, conducted and funded a campaign to deceive and defraud Minnesotans and Americans” about the effects of fossil fuels on the environment. The state’s charges include fraud, failure to warn, and false statements in advertising.

      • The Big Green Lie

        WWF recently released (June 5th, 2020) a short video[1] of British “national treasure” and conservation icon, Sir David Attenborough, telling us that “suddenly” saving the world is within reach. He says they know what to do and have a plan to build a stable, healthy world that we can benefit from forever. What’s not to like? Well, a lot! WWF’s plan regurgitates a 19th century racist assumption: That too many of the wrong kind of people threaten us all.

      • Energy

        • California is creating America’s largest market for electric trucks

          The new rule puts a fire under an industry with little incentive to innovate: The market share for electric trucks remains well under 1%. The new rule by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) specifies all manufacturers must sell electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2024. By 2035, zero-emission trucks should account for 55% of medium-duty sales (including pickups) and 75% of heavy-duty vehicles. (Manufacturers unable to meet the standard can buy zero-emission vehicle credits.) Virtually all of California’s freight sector will have a zero-emission mandate by 2021, says law firm Earthjustice.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Capitalism and the Throttling of Democracy in India

        The deregulation of international capital flows (financial liberalisation) has effectively turned the planet into a free-for-all bonanza for the world’s richest capitalists. Under the post-World-War Two Bretton Woods monetary regime, nations put restrictions on the flow of capital. Domestic firms and banks could not freely borrow from banks elsewhere or from international capital markets, without seeking permission, and they could not simply take their money in and out of other countries.

      • Qasim Rashid Is the First Muslim Ever to Win a Congressional Primary in Virginia

        Qasim Rashid, a Pakistani-born author, human rights activist and lawyer, won a primary contest Tuesday night to become the Democratic Party’s nominee in the First Congressional District of Virginia.

      • Corporate Media Looks to Purveyors of State Violence Abroad to Condemn State Violence at Home

        Anti-racist protests have swept across the country over the past month, demanding justice for George Floyd, police accountability and the defunding of law enforcement.

      • How to Cover an Uprising (Without Causing Harm)

        Greensboro, N.C.—Do no harm: It’s a critical concept for doctors, going back to the philosopher Hippocrates in ancient Greece.

      • Driving a Responsible Digital Ecosystem in These Polarized Times

        Given our Responsibility Framework and the polarized atmosphere in the U.S., we have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary.

        We will maintain our total planned media investment in the U.S. by shifting to other media.

      • Pakistan PM Imran Khan Slammed For Saying Osama Bin Laden Was “Martyred”

        The prime minister faced blowback from opposition figures and observers following the televised speech.

      • Snowden: Tech Workers Are Complicit in How Their Companies Hurt Society

        During a panel on technology and surveillance hosted by Motherboard and Mijente, Snowden was asked by Mijente campaign organizer Jacinta González what needs to be done to get workers within the tech industry to take a stronger position in the dismantling of oppressive systems.

        Reflecting on his own experience, Snowden acknowledged there does seem to be an awakening occurring within the tech industry, but said those within tech need to think harder about the technologies they’re working on and the greater implications of their work.

        “The reality is all work is political work. I don’t care if you’re selling hotdogs on the street. We’re all confronted with choices about how our labor is used, how we direct that, who we are really serving, who we’re working for and who benefits from the labor of our lives,” Snowden said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Just Like Every Other Platform, Parler Will Take Down Content And Face Impossible Content Moderation Choices

        Like Gab before it, the hot new Twitter-wannabe service for assholes and trolls kicked off of Twitter is Parler. The President and a bunch of his supporters have hyped it up, and the latest is that Senator Ted Cruz (and Rep. Devin Nunes) have recently joined it, and like others before them they have hyped up the misleading claim that Parler supports free speech unlike Twitter. Cruz — who has been spewing blatantly false information about “anti-conservative bias” on various internet platforms — even announced his move to Parler… on Twitter, which does not seem to be moderating him at all. Cruz’s overwrought speech is full of nonsense that has come to typify his pathetic attempt to win fans among Trump’s base.

      • German Minister Files Criminal Complaint Against A Journalist Who Said Police Officers Are ‘Trash People’

        Germany’s speech laws are bad and they’re getting worse. Ignoring the rights the government has (apparently provisionally) extended to citizens, the recent years have seen a lot of claw-back by this same government as it seeks to regulate more kinds of speech, including the ultra vague “hate” variety.

      • Senator Loeffler’s New Section 230 Reform Bill Would Threaten Encryption And Pressure Websites To Keep Spam & Porn

        Senator Kelly Loeffler has apparently jumped on the grandstanding bandwagon in trying to destroy Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act without understanding the first thing about how any of this works. Loeffler was already a co-sponsor of Josh Hawley’s latest dumb bill to reform Section 230 and somehow decided that she had to introduce her own, even dumber, bill. It is clear that Loeffler, the wealthiest elected official in Congress (by a lot), has never spent any time with the actual working people who do content moderation. Because her bill is written by someone who doesn’t understand the first thing about how all of this works.

      • Change of law puts Iranian Christians at greater risk of repression and punishment

        Human rights lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz, who has represented several Christian converts, agreed. “The law should protect citizens, including Christian converts and Baha’is, against the government,” he said. “But in Iran the law has become a tool to justify the government’s violent treatment of converts and other unrecognised minorities.

        “I have seen it many times when defending religious prisoners of conscience, like Sunni Muslims or Christian converts, when they can use laws like this to carry out their oppression and then say ‘we are acting according to the law’,” added Ahmadiniaz.

      • Dr Disrespect is gone and Twitch won’t say why

        Beahm doesn’t appear to have been among those who were accused of harassment or other misconduct, but he’s been a controversial figure in the past. Beahm was banned last year for streaming from a men’s bathroom at E3. In 2018, he was criticized for performing racist caricatures while streaming.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • States Are Legally Required to Protect the Right to Vote

        As the 2020 general election approaches, the Trump Administration and Republican-controlled states have ramped-up efforts to keep people of color from exercising their right to vote. Leaders of the Republican Party favor suppressing the votes of minority people, knowing they likely support Democratic candidates. In March 2020, The Guardian reported that Texas leads the South in closing voting locations, with the vast majority of closures in communities with large African-American or Latino populations. Other voter suppression tactics include laws making it more difficult to register new voters, or requiring voters to show a government-issued ID. In 2014, Alabama began enforcing a law requiring specific types of photo ID in order to vote, while contemporaneously closing DMV offices where the ID is issued, in 8 of 10 counties having the highest percentage of black voters. In the run-up to the 2020 general election, Republicans are focused on limiting the use of mail-in ballots as another way to reduce voter turnout. In addition, voter roll purges will prevent those who are purged from getting a ballot. If in-person voting becomes the only option, voters fearing exposure to Coronavirus must risk their health to vote. Transportation difficulties and long waits at polling sites discourage many poor and working people from voting.

      • From “How Could He…” to “How Am I…”: A Confession

        The writer Robert Penn Warren once described the “national rhythm” on race matters to be one that swayed between “complacency and panic.” There is a great deal of truth in this observation – especially among elites – and unless we can break that rhythm we seem doomed to remain trapped in what Ibram X. Kendi has aptly called “the American nightmare.”

      • Sex, Pride & Black Lives Matter

        Trigger Warning: this piece is pretty politically incorrect and, though I’m trying not to be offensive, it’ll probably offend some people.

      • Black Workers’ Jobs Matter

        The wave of protests after the police killing of George Floyd has prompted a re-examination of racism in all areas of American society. In many cases, policies that may initially seem unconnected to race are major contributors to racial disparities.

      • Racism Baked In

        Whiteness is a privilege color in Western culture. Jacques Derrida referred to a White Mythology (1971) which involved whites pushing their own Indo-European logos, or, ways of attaching their words to a fundamental reality through their Reasoning. Derrida called this a mythology, offering a great many witty examples of how words, though hallowed with a variety of imprimatur, had the same hold on reality as did fiction. Such an accusation stirred things up in the last quarter of the 20th Century because both Indo-European whites and their reasoning were sacrosanct.

      • Lawlessness in Trump’s Fascist State: Bill Barr and the Ghost of Fascism

        Theodor W. Adorno argued in “The Meaning of Working Through the Past” that “the past that one would like to evade is still very much alive.” [1] This is particularly evident in the debilitating pronouncements of William Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, regarding his defense of unchecked executive authority, which he believes should be unburdened by any sense of political and moral accountability. Tamsin Shaw is right in suggesting that Barr bears a close resemblance to Carl Schmitt, “the notorious…‘crown jurist’ of the Third Reich.” [2] Barr places the President above the law, defining him as a kind of unitary sovereign. In addition, he appears to relish in his role as a craven defender of Trump, all the while justifying a notion of blind executive authority in the face of Trump’s endless lies, racist policies, and lawlessness that echo the dark era of the 1920s and 30s. His attack on the FBI, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, and his threat to remove police protection from Black communities who are not loyal to Trump are at odds with any viable notion of defending the truth and “the most basic tenets of equality and justice.”[3] James Risen claims that Barr “has turned the Justice Department into a law firm with one client: Donald Trump [and that] under Barr, the Department of Justice has two objectives: to suppress any investigation of President Trump and his associates, and to aggressively pursue investigations of his political rivals.”[4]

      • Racism and the Neoliberal Consensus

        A political line was drawn in 2016 when Hillary Clinton asked: ‘if we broke up the big banks tomorrow, would that end racism?’ With history erased, the question is a non sequitur. When it is considered, Wall Street was financier to the slave trade and money launderer for it. Leading up to the crisis of 2008, Wall Street securitized predatory loans made at high interest rates to blacks because of their historic exclusion from access to credit. When the housing bubble turned to bust, Wall Street disappeared a generation or more of black wealth through foreclosures organized by America’s first black President, Barack Obama.

      • How Racism is an Essential Tool for Maintaining the Capitalist Order

        U.S. capitalism survived because it found a solution to the basic problem of its instability, its business cycles. Since capitalism never could end cyclical downturns and their awful effects, its survival required making those effects somehow socially tolerable. Systemic racism survived in the post-Civil War United States partly because it helped to achieve that tolerability. Capitalism provided conditions for the reproduction of systemic racism, and vice versa.

      • Infiltrating Black Lives Matter: Cops, Feds, and White Supremacists

        Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a major step forward in the ongoing struggle for Civil Rights in the United States and around the world. BLM was founded in 2013, following the acquittal over what organizers describe as 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s murderer, the gated community watchman, George Zimmerman. The organization came to international attention in July 2014, after its response to the suffocation to death of 43-year-old Eric Garner in New York by Officer Daniel Pantaleo and others, and in August of that year over the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.

      • NYPD, Health Department Decide Public Shouldn’t Know How Many New Yorkers Are Killed By Cops Every Year

        The NYPD has never been the most honest — or the most transparent — law enforcement agency. It enjoys the secrecy it has. And it really enjoys the secrecy it grants itself. And it seems to enjoy hiding as much as it can from the public at all times.

      • A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies

        A company created by a former Pentagon official who describes himself as a White House volunteer for Vice President Mike Pence won a $2.4 million dollar contract in May — its first federal award — to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns.

        Mathew J. Konkler, who worked in the Department of Defense during the George W. Bush administration, formed BlackPoint Distribution Company LLC in August 2019 in Indiana, state records show, but had won no federal work until May 26. The Bureau of Prisons chose the company with limited competition for a contract to supply surgical gowns to its facilities.

      • ‘The state has no right’ Russian state servers are hosting a third-party system that monitors voter turnout

        On June 24, Meduza reported on an electronic system that is being used in several regions across Russia to monitor turnout among employees at major enterprises during the plebiscite on amending the constitution (this includes changes that could allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036). The system uses the website Votely.ru. Formally, it was developed by an IT specialist from Rybinsk named Ivan Petrov and not by government agencies. As it turns out, however, the system is running on servers owned by state agencies in several regions across Russia, including in Chuvashia, the Komi Republic, Bashkortostan, the Krasnodar territory, and the Tambov region. 

      • Appeals Court Strips Immunity From Abusive Cops Who Assaulted A Compliant Black Man… And The City That Allowed This To Happen

        It is exceedingly difficult to overcome qualified immunity in civil rights lawsuits against law enforcement officers. It often seems no matter how egregious the rights violation, qualified immunity still gets awarded because no previous law enforcement officer has egregiously violated rights in this exact way prior to the current case.

      • Cops and a Coverup

        Although murders of unarmed residents by police in the US affect Black people disproportionately, acts of police brutality and murder occur against people of all skin tones. It’s clear that the legacy of slavery goes a lot towards explaining police killings of Black people. However, the rationales usually provided by modern police departments when any such murders take place are usually focused on some kind of misbehavior by the victim that the cops consider reason enough to murder. Drugs and alcohol, resistance, cops fearing for their lives; we have heard these excuses for decades. Fewer and fewer people find them believable any more. Yet, the cops keep killing and getting away with it

      • ‘No One Is Above the Law’: Federal Court Rules Trump Effort to Seize Pentagon Funds for Border Wall Is Illegal

        “This ruling is a win for the rule of law, the environment, and border communities.”

      • Constabulary Notes from Northern Vermont, or Why We Don’t Need the Police

        Most newspapers do not publish the entire police log. They pick out the juicy stuff—sex offenders, drug busts, fatal car crashes. Things you might consider legitimate police work—if you had not started to wonder, given recent evidence, whether any police work is legitimate.

      • Russia’s Central Election Commission says it’s under DDoS attack

        The website of Russia’s Central Election Commission is experiencing a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the commission reported on its Telegram channel.

      • ‘Outrageous’: Trump Administration Waived Ethics Reviews for Lawmakers and Federal Officials Seeking Small Business Loans

        “This is the exact time when we should be worried about government officials, even members of Congress, taking money out of the hands of others in need.”

      • Supreme Court Sides With Trump Administration on Fast-Tracking Deportations

        The Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a major victory Thursday when it ruled the government can fast-track deportations of asylum seekers without first allowing them to fight for their cases in front of a judge. The ACLU’s Lee Gelernt argued the case in court on behalf of Tamil asylum seeker Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam. “It’s a very serious decision and will adversely affect many, many asylum seekers,” says Gelernt. “We’re likely to see more people fail their hearings, and now they don’t have a backstop in the federal courts.”

      • Opinion: Christians a welcome scapegoat in Turkey

        Turkish authorities have started to simply assign land owned by a community or a private person to other owners, in effect expropriating it from the Christians. During the armed confrontation with the Kurds, churches in this part of the country have also been destroyed.

        In the wake of the recent Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, some 200,000 people, many of them Christians, have been forced to flee their homes. They are currently unable to return due to the conflict.

      • How to combat online voter suppression

        Understanding the necessity of reform to address digital voter suppression requires understanding the recent history of Facebook, which has been grappling with how to address voter suppression on the platform since at least 2018, when a civil rights audit forced it to more closely examine its role in politics.

        During that audit, I was serving as the head of “Global Elections Integrity Ops” on the advertising side of the business. With the company gearing up for that year’s midterm elections, my team began drafting a strategy to ensure that political ads on the platform would not result in voter suppression.

        Since the company was not scanning ads for misinformation about voting at the time, my team prioritized the issue. We worked across multiple offices and proposed a coordinated plan to scan political ads for false information about voting procedures. The proposal launched a fierce debate and was ultimately rejected, for what seemed at the time to be typical tech company operational priorities.

      • 3 North Carolina police officers fired over racist rants

        Later, according to the investigation, Piner told Moore that he feels a civil war is coming and that he is ready. Piner said he was going to buy a new assault rifle, and soon “we are just going to go out and start slaughtering them (expletive)” Blacks. “I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.” Moore responded that he wouldn’t do that.

      • Man suspected of terrorism storms into Vienna City Hall and shouts “Allahu Akbar” – connection with a politician’s criticism of the Koran suspected

        As soon as the 32-year-old arrived on his bicycle, he threw it down and stormed into the Vienna City Hall shouting “Allahu-Akbar”. Thereupon he splashed petrol around him and threatened to set everything on fire. The fire brigade – as well as the police – arrived with a considerable number of men and neutralised the accelerant. At this time a meeting of the Vienna City Council was taking place in the City Hall. Nobody was injured due to the professional and quick action of the security guard, who was provided by the police.Sharp criticism of the political reaction on the part of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) mayoral faction was voiced by state party secretary Michael Stumpf of the Freedom Party (FPÖ). The fact that the socialist Christian Hursky spoke of the fact that the attacker did not carry a lighter with him anyway, would “scandalously downplay” an obviously Islamist-terrorist motivation.Moreover, the latter would instead have referred to Norbert Hofer’s statements on the Koran.

      • Police Unions: What to Know and Why They Don’t Belong in the Labor Movement

        As author Kristian Williams explains in Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, police unions developed in relative isolation from the rest of the labor movement, and their reliance on institutional solidarity is vastly different from the class consciousness that powers the organizing of other workers. “The police are clearly part of the managerial machinery of capitalism,” Williams writes. “Their status as ‘workers’ is therefore problematic. Second, the agendas of police unions mostly reflect the interests of the institution (the police department) rather than those of the working class.”

        Williams argues that the shared workplace identity that makes up the “thin blue line” mentality for cops transcends other identity markers, and shows how they view themselves as police first, and everything else second. As such, police unions tend to keep their distance from the rest of the labor movement (unless they’re cracking its members’ skulls). Even the basic terminology is different. These organizations are usually broken down into “lodges” instead of “locals,” and are more often known as “associations” rather than unions. Some people balk at the thought of referring to police associations as “unions” at all, and it’s understandable why, though for the sake of this piece, we’ll hold our noses and use the more common term. Labor unions exist to protect people; police exist to protect property. They may carry their version of union cards and enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining agreements, but that’s about where the similarities between cops and unionized workers end.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • African regional court rules Togo 2017 internet shutdown was illegal

        In response to the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice’s ruling today that Togolese authorities illegally shut down the country’s [I]nternet in September 2017, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

        “Today’s court decision is a welcome reaffirmation that internet shutdowns pose a threat to press freedom and freedom of expression around the world, and authorities should pay a price for implementing them,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “Togolese authorities should respect this ruling and refrain from restricting [I]nternet access in the future.”

    • Monopolies

      • Mixer Shuts Down, Showing Again Why You Don’t Need To Freak Out By Copycat Competitors

        In all sorts of intellectual property conversations, one common refrain is something like “If you let people copy others, those copycats will be just as successful without having to work to develop a product.” This ire is most commonly aimed at big companies that see something successful and simply come up with their own version of it. And, to be generous, there certainly does seem to be something less than fair about that. But then you take a step back and watch just how often these copycat startups fall flat on their faces and you have to wonder why anyone worries about this stuff at all. Does nobody remember Google Plus?

      • Patents

        • Kymab wins UK court case against Regeneron’s patent claims

          Kymab has announced that the Supreme Court of the UK has held that all of the claims of two patents owned by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that were asserted against Kymab are invalid. The patents in question are EP(UK) 1 360 287 and EP(UK) 2 264 163, otherwise known as the ‘Murphy patents’.

          The Murphy patents sought to cover genetically modified mice containing chimeric human-mouse antibody genes and the human antibodies made using such mice. The European Patent Office (EPO) had previously upheld them but had not considered evidence that was available to the UK courts.

          The UK court’s decision upholds the February 2016 decision of the High Court trial judge, Mr Justice Henry Carr to revoke the claims and reverses the Appeal Court’s determination that they were valid.

          A five-member panel of the Supreme Court heard arguments on the 11 and 12 of February 2020. It was held that the relevant claims of the Murphy patents were invalid for insufficiency because they did not enable the ordinary skilled person to work the claimed invention across the breadth of the claims, in line with established jurisprudence of the UK courts and EPO. The Supreme Court noted that Kymab’s ability to create transgenic mice with the entire human antibody variable region depended upon Kymab’s own inventions made separately after the priority date of the Murphy patents.

        • “The technology involved in this appeal is simple” and Allows Common Sense to Substitute for Elements Not in the Prior Art

          Commercial aircraft lavatories are always oddly shaped in order provide some amount of functionality while minimizing space usage. B/E’s patent here covers the shape of the bathroom that includes the carve-out for a seat just forward — notice the “s” shape of the wall in the image below. On appeal here the Federal Circuit has affirmed the PTAB obviousness decision. This outcome was easy to guess once I read the court’s opening discussion line: “The technology involved in this appeal is simple.” U.S. Patent Nos. 9,073,641 and 9,440,742.

          [...]

          With regard to the design drawings submitted to identify the level of skill in the art. The Federal Circuit determined that it need not reach the issue of whether they were improperly handled or prohibited by 35 U.S.C. 311(b). Rather, the court held that the PTAB’s obviousness conclusion stands on its own – based upon the two prior art references coupled with the expert testimony.

        • New Report Confirms IPR Has Had Significant Positive Impacts On U.S. Industry

          A recent report, prepared by economists at the Perryman Group, confirms what has long been stated to be the case—inter partes review (IPR) has positively impacted the U.S. economy.

          In 2017, on the five-year anniversary of IPR, I calculated an estimate of the legal savings that IPR had generated from 2012 to 2017. I estimated that—just in legal savings—IPR had generated more than $2.3 billion in legal savings, an average of more than $400 million per year. The Perryman report confirms this estimate, finding that over a similar five-year period (2014-2019), IPR had generated $2.6 billion in legal savings. But I noted in my original estimate that the benefits of IPR go beyond just avoiding legal fees—there’s economic growth generated by that money being spent on new R&D. And the Perryman report produces an analysis of that money as well—and it’s even larger in scale.

          In fact, Perryman estimates that nearly $3 billion in additional business within the U.S. was created by IPRs, alongside another $1.5 billion in additional personal income. The plurality of this impact—nearly 50%—benefited companies that manufacture products, with smaller benefits accruing to the transportation, utilities, and financial sectors.

        • Software Patents

          • SISVEL patent held unpatentable

            On June 25, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC et al. v. S.I.SV.EL. Societa Italian Por Lo Sviluppo Dell Elettronica S.P.A. et al., holding all but one dependent claim as unpatentable of U.S. Patent 7,734,680, owned by S.I.SV.EL. S.p.A., an NPE. The ’680 patent, directed to a recommendation engine that generates a user profile based on a user’s interests and suggests content based on similar user profiles, has been asserted against Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rakuten in district court. At the time of this decision, only Rhapsody is in active litigation.

      • Copyrights

        • Appeals Court Revives Record Labels’ Lawsuit Against YouTube Rippers

          The copyright infringement case between several major record labels and the YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com is back on. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s ruling, which dismissed the case for a lack of jurisdiction. The record labels will celebrate this as a win but the legal battle is far from over.

        • EFF & Heavyweight Legal Team Will Defend Internet Archive’s Digital Library Against Publishers

          The EFF has revealed it is teaming up with law firm Durie Tangri to defend the Internet Archive against a lawsuit targeting its Open Library. According to court filings, the impending storm is shaping up to be a battle of the giants, with opposing attorneys having previously defended Google in book scanning cases and won a $1bn verdict for the RIAA against ISP Cox.

        • Creative Common license (CC)

          Have you heard keyword such as intellectual property, copyright, pattern, watermark, plagiarize etc? Well of coz you heard it everywhere. It all about licenses and permission.

          If someone creating opensource software, we normally heard it under “Free and open-source software software licenses” such as GNU GPL, BSD, Apache, MIT, Mozilla public, Common public and many more.

          How about books, plays, movies, music, articles, photographs, blogs, and websites? Okey,it is also eligible to file for a license. Creative Common license (CC) is one of several public copyright licenses we can use.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Linked In to Pedophilia

    As the above articles show (one published a couple of days ago), the 'Web of Lies' and the incredible deceit/cover-up run deep and we still lack answers from those who enabled what Salon has just said involved "trafficking five or six girls a day."



  2. Whistleblower Aid Already Showed Cover-up of Bill Gates 'Contributions' to MIT

    The Goodwin Procter report which failed to actually investigate whether Gates and Epstein jointly directed payments to MIT (the latter was already dead) can be understood differently in light of the above leak, which was published earlier this year



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, August 10, 2020



  4. Proof (Archived Original Letter): Bill Gates Lied to the New Yorker, BBC and Others About Connection of MIT Money to Mr. Jeffrey Epstein and Their Close Relationship

    As the article (“The anatomy of Bill Gates’ Jeffrey Epstein-facilitated MIT donations”) put it at the time (just 2 days before Dr. Stallman received all the heat at MIT), “Secrecy in the funding of academic programs is highly problematic, as University of Virginia professor Siva Vaidhyanathan explains in a long Twitter thread. “Companies and the billionaires who run them are always bending research agendas (and sometimes even results) to their interests,” he writes. “Anonymity would prevent any examination or accountability.”” But there are more high-level Microsoft links to Mr. Epstein; “Hoffman invited both former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and Epstein to an August 2015 dinner in Palo Alto with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel. He tells Axios that he invited Epstein at Ito’s behest, and only because Ito vouched for the convicted criminal, saying that he had successfully cleared MIT’s vetting process.” In 2016 the article “Bill Gates talked to Reid Hoffman about being on Microsoft’s board of directors” was published. “Furthermore,” it notes, “Gates and Hoffman have a lot in common: They both hold board seats and advisory roles, and no other formal status or day-to-day obligations, at the tech companies they founded.”



  5. All This Happened While Bill Gates' Engineer Was on Trial for Amassing Child Pornography

    While MIT relies on the word of someone who repeatedly lied about his relationship with Mr. Epstein (refuted even by MIT itself), the record shows what happened just when Bill Gates’ own engineer faced conviction for pedophilia (the media diverted attention to Dr. Stallman just days after the above E-mails came to light)



  6. Links 10/8/2020: Popcorn Computers Pocket PC, Finnix 121, GhostBSD 20.08.04, EasyOS 2.3.8

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 09, 2020



  8. Release: Bill Gates' Engineer Busted for More Child Pornography Than Reported in the Media

    Based on our analysis, which was repeated carefully twice, the sum of recognised hashes turns out to be about 7,500 (7,430 objects), which is more than was reported in the media after the arrest of Rick Allen Jones at Bill Gates' mansion



  9. Links 10/8/2020: KPhotoAlbum 5.7.0 and MX Linux RC

    Links for the day



  10. UserLibre: What I Want You to Get From This Book

    "Corporate-backed lies run the world, and the FSF used to get in the way."



  11. Even the Mainstream/Corporate Media is Trying to Study Why (or If) Bill Gates and Epstein's Sex Abuse Ring Were Closely Connected

    People in the media are eager to understand why Mr. Gates was so close to Mr. Epstein and even flew his plane (despite having several of his own)



  12. The Incredible Demise of News Sites About Patents

    Sites for (and by) patent lawyers/attorneys seem to be perishing, which means it's hard to know what's going on



  13. Understanding Users and the Three Kinds of Computers: New, Slow and Broken

    "Understanding the user is the first step towards a practical response to misconceptions."



  14. The Good and Bad of a (GNU?) BSD (not GNU/LINUX) Future

    "The software industry now occupies Free software's own territory. No longer is it Free software vs. Windows and MacOS, it's Free software vs. GIAFAM-co-opted Free software."



  15. Links 9/8/2020: Popcorn Computers Pocket PC and New Interview With Richard Stallman

    Links for the day



  16. Education and Free Software

    "If students learn how to code, they'll be able to figure out the applications."



  17. Features Considered Harmful (Revised)

    "But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn't in control."



  18. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."



  19. I Would Have Supported the Coup (Under Very Different Circumstances)

    Richard Stallman's (rms) ordeals are showing us how not to deal with a founder; this is how power transition could be done instead, according to figosdev



  20. It Looks Like Red Hat's (IBM) Fedora Project May be 'Outsourced' to Amazon's Datacentres

    In "seeking a more modern and cost effective location" for Fedora Infrastructure it seems to have been decided, privately, that Amazon (AWS) would be the new home of this project; but there's sufficient obfuscation surrounding the matter and many people seem to be totally unaware



  21. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, August 08, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, August 08, 2020



  22. Fearmongering Was Originally an IBM Thing, Not a Microsoft Thing

    Microsoft made FUD famous, but it was actually IBM’s practice that made it commonplace in the first place (the term or acronym was coined before Microsoft even mattered and on the same year Microsoft was founded)



  23. [Meme] People Get Fired for Being Bought by IBM (With a Crummy Severance Package)

    IBM used to proudly provide job security and one could have a job there for decades (career ladders and worker benefits of all sorts are what some people assess this when looking for an employer, e.g. whether they can progress, get promoted, stay onboard); by today’s standards only a month’s salary is exceptionally bad, especially when one gets fired without warning, but this is what IBM did to some Red Hat employees



  24. New FSF Video Makes the Case Against Microsoft GitHub (and Similar), So Why is the FSF's Board Being Filled Up With Active GitHub Users?

    The FSF makes a good point about “important values like autonomy, sharing, social responsibility, and collaboration” — the very things that are under attack by Microsoft’s GitHub, which is all about coercion and monopolistic control over developers



  25. Techrights is Not Against Microsoft

    It may be a suitable time to explain why Microsoft is mentioned so much and why it's not a fixation but a reactionary priority



  26. The THRIVE Guidelines

    "Nobody is perfect, and it's obvious that people already hold some to a more unreasonable interpretation of their standards than others."



  27. Links 8/8/2020: Mageia 8 Hits Beta and FSF Has New Video

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme/History] OpenPOWER or Just White POWER?

    Antiwar and anti-nukes activists cannot support those causes and support IBM at the same time, as the founder’s son (father received a medal from the Nazi Party) flew “an American heavy bomber” and enjoyed a track record of nepotism, propelling him to the top both in the military and at IBM



  29. Rebuilding Communities

    "First, we should talk about how our communities have regressed."



  30. [Meme] Microsoft in 2020: Liaising With Criminals to Make Crime the New Normal

    As the TikTok situation serves to show, Microsoft is little but a criminal cult that relies on other criminals to do Microsoft's biddings


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts