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06.28.20

Links 28/6/2020: Mint’s 20 Release, Audacity 2.4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76′s Oryx Pro is a portable Linux powerhouse

        In brief: The OEM Linux club recently saw the addition of Lenovo’s ThinkPads. If you’re not a fan of those, System76 has a different beast packed with Nvidia RTX graphics and open-source embedded controller firmware. A first for this kind of laptop.
        System76 has refreshed its high-end Oryx Pro laptop for developers and Linux enthusiasts, and it now packs Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs. Specifically, you can get this with a Core i7-10875H that offers eight cores and 16 threads – essentially a more refined, 14nm version of the Skylake architecture that’s able to push 5 GHz on a single core under certain conditions.

    • Kernel Space

      • The Major Components of an Embedded Linux System

        This article provides an overview of the major components of a Linux system and describes the interactions between these components. It will explain terms and describe details that may seem very basic, as it doesn’t assume a lot of prior expertise.

        Every Linux system has a number of major components. One of these components, the bootloader, is technically outside of Linux and often isn’t talked about. The rest of the components are all software elements that together create the full Linux system.

        [...]

        When the kernel finds, loads and runs the init program, that program then is responsible for bringing up the rest of the system. At this point, the kernel is no longer actively running and remains to coordinate the sharing of hardware among all of the running programs.

        A number of different init programs are available. Regardless of which init program is chosen, this program will launch all of the necessary services and applications that are needed for the system to be useful. This set of services includes setting up networking, mounting additional filesystems, setting up a graphical environment, and more.

        Under Linux, services are just programs that run in the background. Linux folks traditionally call these services daemons or daemon programs, though I see this terminology less frequently these days.

      • RISC-V UEFI Linux Support Under Review

        Western Digital’s Atish Patra sent out the set of 11 patches on Thursday for adding UEFI support to RISC-V. The patches are still marked as a “request for comments” but should be working when using the latest U-Boot and OpenSBI development code. QEMU has been tested for this UEFI support for both 32-bit and 64-bit RISC-V. Some issues with the EDK2 code on RISC-V are still being worked out.

      • Intel Begins Volleying Open-Source Patches Around Intel AMX

        Intel updated their instruction set extensions programming reference guide that along with other additions now details the Intel AMX (Advanced Matrix Extensions) coming with Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs next year.

        On top of AVX-512 and DL-BOOST and the company’s other efforts for making Xeon better optimized for handling modern AI workloads, Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) aims to further enhance their AI performance for both training and inference workloads. AMX consists of “tiles” as a set of two-dimensional registers for representing a larger memory image and accelerators that can operate on said tiles. Initial AMX features are for BFloat16, TILE, and INT8 while new accelerators can be introduced later on.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Queues Its First Batch Of AMDGPU Changes For Linux 5.9: Sienna Cichlid + More

          On Friday the initial batch of AMDGPU kernel graphics driver changes were submitted to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.9 merge window happening in August.

        • Freedreno Lands On-Disk Shader Cache Support In Mesa 20.2

          Freedreno Gallium3D is the latest Mesa driver implementing an on-disk shader cache.

          Freedreno on Friday merged disk cache support for IR3, the driver’s compiler and machine-specific IR for the shader ISA with this open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver.

          This addition for Mesa 20.2 comes after its review the past couple of weeks and also needing other changes in place for this shader cache support to land, which can help with game load times thanks to having the shader IR cached to disk and in some cases helping overall performance.

        • LuxCore 2.4 Beta Brings Big Changes For This Open-Source Physically Based Renderer

          This leading open-source physically based renderer is about to get even better with the upcoming LuxCore 2.4 release.

          The beta for LuxCoreRender 2.4 was issued a few minutes ago and it features improvements on many new fronts, several new features, and various fixes too.

          [...]

          More details on the LuxCoreRender 2.4 changes building up via the beta1 announcement that also includes Linux / macOS / Windows binaries for this leading open-source PBR engine.

    • Applications

      • Audacity 2.4.2 Released with Updated wxWidgets Library

        Audacity audio editor 2.4.2 was released last night with updated wxwidgets library and numerous bug-fixes.

        [...]

        As the building system has changed, the PPA package (v2.4.1) does not fully work on Ubuntu. So it’s recommended to use Audacity Flatpak.

      • Nikola v8.1.0 is out!

        On behalf of the Nikola team, I am pleased to announce the immediate availability of Nikola v8.1.0. This release makes a few feature changes, improvements, and fixes a few bugs.

      • LanguageTool 5.0 is released

        LanguageTool is a style and grammar checker for 25+ languages. It’s available as an extension for LibreOffice and as online version. Here is a change list for 5.0 version.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Violence on The Streets: No Sign of Stopping

        Streets of Rage. How uncanny for a game to carry that name in the first half of 2020! Even more so considering that this sequel had fans waiting for something like 30 years to materialize.

        Of course, anyone remembering Streets of Rage (SoR) will inevitably refer to Streets of Rage 2. The first one was a draft, at best, and the third one was a cheaply-made sequel following the pinnacle that the second represents.

        When you play video games for a long enough part of your life, you end up realizing that not everything new is better, not every game pushes genres forward.

        There are genres where the best games remain, to this very day, in the past. Symphony of the Night is still the master of the Castlevania series. The peak of 2D Mario games were probably on the NES and SNES. The most exciting Sonic episode would be the second one on the Genesis/Megadrive. You may have a different opinion, but there’s a pattern that we can all agree with: popular genres mean increasing revenues, growing revenues bring competition, competition brings new ideas, and new ideas push games to surpass themselves iteration after iteration. But when genres fall out touch with the public, the trend reverses: less investment, less innovation, and newer titles are lesser titles more often than not.

        This is especially relevant in the case of the “brawler” genre, to which Streets of Rage belongs. Brawlers are simple to grasp. You control a character (usually a vigilante) and your pass-time is to kick and punch people in the face for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

        Something we can all identify with.

      • Classic Board Games You Can Play on Linux

        Everybody loves board games and they are a great way to spend time with your friends and family and have a lot of fun. Playing board games on an open-source platform like Linux is great because you can play board games on your own but still have the same experience as if you were playing with other people. Computer board games have transformed the board game experience and there are so many great options that you can try out. In this article, we will present the 5 best classic board games that you can play on Linux.

      • Need For Speed Heat | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Need For Speed Heat running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • What have you been playing recently and what’s your pick this weekend?

        It’s coming to the end of another week on planet Earth. More games have released, tons have seen updates and it’s time for another chit-chat.

        You might laugh but a lot of my time has been spent playing Troll Patrol, I’ve actually found myself somewhat hooked by it. The simplicity of match-3 gameplay with a dash of RPG elements makes for quite a fun brew. I’m genuinely surprised by how fun it actually is and it seems the PC release has gone firmly under the radar with only one single user review on Steam.

      • Valve continues battling with the Team Fortress 2 bots

        After recently dealing with an influx of game-ruining racists bots in Team Fortress 2, the battle continues.

        Earlier this month, Valve finally pushed out an update to deal with some of the issues and slow down the bot attack somewhat by limiting what accounts can do. They mentioned at the time that work was ongoing to deal with new accounts being made for abusive purposes.

        The problem was, as always, bot creators found ways around the limitations by simply and repeatedly changing their name or team name. So Valve has once again stepped in to deal with that side of it to prevent accounts that have chat disabled to no longer be able to update their name while connected. They also added rate limit checks for in-game text chat, and fixed being able to update team name while in matchmaking games.

      • Supraland stops supporting Linux shortly after leaving GOG entirely

        Supraland, a highly rated open-world puzzle adventure, has now removed mentions of Linux on Steam as the developer is unable to actually support it.

        This comes shortly after the developer asked for Supraland to be completely removed from GOG, after being there less than a year citing lower sales. If you read that previous linked article, this news likely won’t come as much of a surprise. Checking on SteamDB, it seems they removed the note of Linux support earlier in June. Looking around, the developer mentioned this in the official Discord, “I stopped direct linux support. Using the windows version with proton gives much better results like a much higher framerate.”.

      • PSP emulator PPSSPP has a big new release out

        Remember the PSP? The classic Sony handheld lives on thanks to open source with the PPSSPP emulator.

        Just today, June 27, they tagged the 1.10.0 release on GitHub and it looks like it’s absolutely crammed full of goodies. The first update since October 2019 too so there’s going to be plenty of fixes included for those of you wanting to play some classic PSP games on modern platforms.

        [...]

        For any easy install on Linux, you can grab it via Flatpak on Flathub. It’s currently still the previous version so hopefully it will see 1.10.0 in the next week or so.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a new Beta to deal with cheating

        While Team Fortress 2 is dealing with racist bots, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is dealing with cheating and there’s a new Beta out now.

        In a blog post on the official CS:GO website, Valve mentioned their ongoing battle to reduce the amount of cheating found in the popular free first-person shooter. CS:GO will now “significantly” restrict the number of external applications and files that can interact with it. How they described it sounds like it mainly affects the Windows version but obviously a reduction in cheating benefits anyone playing across Linux and macOS too as well.

      • Colony building sim ‘Maia’ has a huge free update with more world simulation

        With a very tough looking release behind them, developer Simon Roth release a huge free update for their colony building sim Maia.

        After release in November 2018, it gained a fair amount of negative user reviews due to various problems. It’s quite a difficult game to understand in a few ways too, like with the very minimal UI but that hasn’t stopped Roth from continuing to build on the promising idea.

        The ‘Firestorm’ update is out now, with an aim to not just expand the game but also improve upon bugs and perceived issues with AI behaviour. It brings in a big sweeping-fire system that can spread from “faulty equipment, explosions, tracer rounds and even the soft landing rockets on the capsules” and droughts can make it even worse with high-winds.

      • Become a Scottish agent in the Goldeneye inspired Pinkeye

        Currently in development, Pinkeye is another upcoming first-person shooter with a heavy-retro theme and if you enjoyed the classic Goldeneye or The World is Not Enough you might like this.

        Set in an alternate universe where the UK never formed. You play as a Scottish Secret Service agent protecting Scotland from being invaded by England. An amusing sounding setting and certainly not one that’s explored like this that’s for sure.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Rendering OSM Maps with MapCSS

          When looking at the geometry, OSM data consists basically just of lines and polygons, so technically there’s only few primitives to render. To make this look like a useful map though, a lot depends on the map styling. That is, the decision with which colors, line strokes, fill patterns, z order, and iconographic or textual labels those geometric primitives should be rendered. Here we are talking about hundreds of rules to make a good map.

          Since writing all those rules in code is hard to work with and to maintain, using a declarative way to define the rules is attractive. Several such systems exist in the OSM space already, such as MapCSS or CartoCSS, so we followed that and are using MapCSS for our indoor map renderer.

          [...]

          While there is of course still plenty of work to do all over this, I think we are getting close to an initial integration into KDE Itinerary. While initially not offering more than showing a basic map, it would enable work on deeper integration features, and make all improvements on the map side immediately useful.

          If you are interested in contributing, no matter if feedback, ideas or code, check out the workboard on Gitlab.

          For playing with this locally, the best starting point is probably the QML example. After building KPublicTransport, add the bin/ sub-folder of the build directory to the QML2_IMPORT_PATH environment variable (or install to a properly setup prefix), and then load tests/indoormap.qml with qmlscene.

        • More (mis-)adventures in Qt Quick land

          There’s no escaping that Qt Quick, sometimes also referred to by its language QML, has become the major focus of the framework. At least until the company decides to drastically change course in Qt 7. There will always be a place for QWidgets-based UI and C++ (everything compiles to C++ anyway, more or less), Qt Quick is really being pushed as the future of building user interfaces, especially for touch, mobile, and embedded.

          A few years back, I tried playing around with using Qt Quick for rapid app prototyping by creating some reusable components and I wanted to build upon that by prototyping some non-conventional and even fictional user interfaces from prototype devices and concept videos. I didn’t get far with my limited knowledge of Qt Quick and was only able to implement an extremely crude version of MeeGo’s column-based home screen (a dream from long ago, don’t ask).

        • First Evaluation

          It has been two weeks since my last post. In this time period, I took forward my project, adding multiple datasets and completed “share pieces of candies” and “locate the regions” activities.

          Our motive behind adding multiple datasets in activities is to make the difficulty range of activities wider. This way the same activity can be easily configured to be played by pupils of different ages or capabilities.

          GCompris code has been divided into two parts/folders i.e “activities” and “core” parts.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Kubuntu 20.04 LTS – Bland but functional

          Kubuntu has been reviewed here before, albeit in a comparison with the Fedora KDE spin in the KDE 4 days. Quite a while I know, and since I happen to like Plasma it’s been on the cards to check out a few KDE-centric distributions once again. Kubuntu is one of the oldest official Ubuntu flavours from Canonical and should have become the default desktop offering long ago.

          When talking about consistency and predictability for business and enterprise desktops, which is what’s needed there, Ubuntu does not exactly look good. What could be less consistent than moving from Gnome 2 to Unity and then again to Gnome Shell in a matter of a few years? For the home user it does not matter much, most of us are jumping from distro to distro and between different environments as we see fit, but in business there’s training involved, in particular with non-technical staff who may already have a hard time switching from other operating systems.

          With that out of the way, let’s begin. Kubuntu 20.04 is distributed as a 64 bit download for the amd/intel architecture only. I opted to get it via torrent as it does the checksum checking for us so we can be sure not to get a corrupted download. Then created the bootable USB stick. Kubuntu is distributed as a hybrid live installable image so we can check it out and test the hardware before committing.

        • 7 Alternatives to Kubuntu

          Kubuntu is of course a valid distribution in its own right and the case for it has been stronger again ever since Linux Mint cancelled their own KDE edition in 2018. On top of that Kubuntu serves as a base for KDE Neon. Nevertheless, one or the other user might want to look at other alternatives and options to run a pre-configured and set up Plasma Desktop. A ready-made one because the desktop environment can be installed on top of any distribution base.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Monthly News – June 2020

          We’re almost ready to release Linux Mint 20. Following this release, before we move on to the next development cycle, we’ll take two weeks to work on the upgrade path from Linux Mint 19.3 and the port of the new features in LMDE 4.

          I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the BETA. Thanks to your participation, we received a lot of feedback and we were able to fix very important bugs. 167 reports were processed. Among other important changes, Cinnamon fractional scaling was made more intuitive, many translations issues were solved, LVM encrypted installs no longer require an Internet connection, panel layout selection was brought back in the Welcome Screen, support for StatusNotifier icons (Qt and Electron apps) was improved. Many components received bug fixes and as always the BETA phase allowed us to identify new issues and get a better release.

          We also had to make a few tough decisions. The new Mint-Y colors were postponed until Linux Mint 20.1. The change which made the Grub menu always visible was reverted, and the Grub theme, which in this release prevented Linux Mint 20 to boot on particular laptops was removed.

          As we made these changes, we felt the need to document them, so we took the opportunity to start gathering info into a new guide called The Linux Mint User Guide. At the moment it’s just a collection of pages which cover new topics such as how to configure and theme Grub, how to install Chromium, why Snap is disabled and how to enable it. As we go along we’ll add more and more information in this guide and we’re hoping it will grow into something very helpful for the community.

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Xfce released!

          The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Xfce Edition.

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” MATE released!

          The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” MATE Edition.

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Cinnamon released!

          The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Cinnamon Edition.

        • Linux Mint 20 is Officially Available Now! The Performance and Visual Improvements Make it an Exciting New Release

          Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” is finally released and available to download.

          Linux Mint 19 was based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS — so you will find a lot of things different, improved, and potentially better.

          Now that it’s here, let’s take a look at its new features, where to download it, and how to upgrade your system.

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Released – Based On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” is shipping this weekend as the newest major release to this user-friendly desktop Linux distribution derived from the Ubuntu LTS package set.

          The big change with Linux Mint 20 is now being based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS packages rather than 18.04, thus better hardware support and a whole host of new packag

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Released. This is What’s New

          Linux Mint team announced that the latest version of its operating system Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana”, and it is available for download and upgrades.

          Coming after a couple of days since the BETA release, Linux Mint 20 brings some core and major changes. Here’s a summary for you.

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 20 ‘Ulyana’ is here

          Earlier this month, we told you about Linux Mint 20 BETA . Code-named “Ulyana,” it was a very controversial release, as the developers decided to cancel the 32-bit version. Unfortunately, the devs also shocked the world by revealing their intention to remove Snapd starting with version 20 of the operating system. Don’t forget, all of this follows the unpopular decision by the developers to pull both GIMP and VLC from Mint too.

          And now, Linux Mint 20 sheds its pre-release tag and becomes available for download. The newest version of the operating system comes with Linux kernel 5.4 and is based on Ubuntu 20.04. Linux Mint 20 is officially supported until the year 2025! Best of all, you can choose among three desktop environments — Cinnamon (4.6), MATE (1.24), and Xfce (4.14). It even comes with a new program called “Warpinator.”

        • Linux Mint 20 ‘Ulyana’ is out with better NVIDIA Optimus support, fractional scaling

          Linux Mint 20 has today been officially released across multiple official desktop environments and it’s all sounding great. The Cinnamon desktop edition sounding especially good.

          This is the first Linux Mint release to be based upon Ubuntu 20.04, the latest Long-Term Support release so you can keep on using Linux Mint 20 happily until around 2025. If you’re looking for a good starting point with Linux, Mint is often a good choice.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Can open, collaborative tactics help us crack COVID-19?

        At least 109 organizations are currently working on treatment for COVID-19. But many researchers believe an approved, effective vaccine against the coronavirus will not be available in 2020.

      • Programming/Development

        • 5+ Years Late: LLVM’s AMD Excavator Target Was Missing Two Features

          It took until 2020 for an Intel developer to land a patch providing support for two instructions supported by AMD “Excavator” CPUs but not exposed by the “bdver4″ target.

          It turns out LLVM’s bdver4 target for Excavator CPUs was missing MOVBE and RDRND features. RDRND is for the RdRand hardware random number generator that was new to Excavator / Bulldozer v4. MOVBE is the Big Endian move instruction for going to/from x86 Little Endian format, basically reversing the byte order. MOVBE was also new to AMD CPUs starting with Excavator. RDRND is for calling on the CPU’s RdRand capabilities while the MOVBE instruction can be useful in networking processing and related areas when needing to switch endianness.

        • GCC 11 Now Defaults To C++17 Dialect By Default

          Following the proposal at the end of last year over GCC 11 aiming to default to C++17 for its C++ front-end, that change is now in place for GNU Compiler Collection 11.

          When not specifying any alternative C++ standard, the default revision has been C++14. But with GCC’s C++17 support being mature now for over a year, with the GCC 11 release due out next year it will assume C++17 by default.

        • Python

          • Python 3.8.3 : PyCryptodome python package – part 001.

            In the last tutorial, I wrote on Sunday, June 16, 2019, you can see a simple example of this python package with KDF with PBKDF2 function.
            I guess it should be interesting for visitors to this blog to read more about this package because it is very useful and interesting.
            Today I come up with another tutorial covering how to use A.E.S. standard encryption and decrypting text in a binary file.
            The A.E.S. is a standard?
            The Federal Information Processing Standards Publications (FIPS PUBS) announcing the A.E.S. on November 26, 2001, on the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 197.

  • Leftovers

    • Admitted Russian scammer Aleksei Burkov sentenced to 9 years by US court

      A U.S. judge has sentenced an admitted Russian scammer to nine years in prison, marking the likely end of a years-long legal saga that has involved secretive cybercriminal forums, high-level political negotiations and a proposed prisoner swap.

    • Why Elizabeth Warren Is the VP Pick Facebook Doesn’t Want to See

      While a vice president takes his or her cues on administration priorities from the president, Warren’s selection could be a setback for the powerful company, which already faces accusations that it placates President Donald Trump as well as antitrust issues in Europe. Facebook and Warren have launched broadsides at each other, as they did in October, when audio leaked of CEO Mark Zuckerberg telling his employees he would sue the government if Warren tried to break up his company.

      With Biden’s VP decision weeks away, sources who’ve worked with the company and Democrats told Newsweek that Facebook would prefer to see anyone but Warren on the ticket.

      “I don’t think they’d like it,” said a source with ties to Facebook, who asked for anonymity in order to discuss sensitive company matters. “The question is, If Biden wins, will they have the same animus?”

    • Sex and the Stricken City: In Praise of Proximity

      We were very tired, we were very merry— We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.

    • The Hut at the End of the World

      Places can hold space for greater understanding between countries and people, or to confrontation. Examples of both occurred in the same region, Hainan Province, the smallest of the provinces of the People’s Republic of China, known during the Qing dynasty as “End of Earth”, because it was so far from the country’s capital.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • MLflow has Grown Up and Left Home: Machine Learning Framework Joins Linux Foundation

                “We’ve moved MLflow into the Linux Foundation as a vendor-neutral non-profit organization to manage the project long-term”

                Databricks has donated its hugely popular machine learning framework MLflow to the non-profit Linux Foundation.

                The open source tool from the US company (whose founders created analytics engine Apache Spark) sees an eye-ball popping 2.5 million downloads a month and has 200 contributors from 100 organisations.

                MLflow allows organisations to package their code for reproducible runs and execute hundreds of parallel experiments, across platforms. It integrates closely with Apache Spark, SciKit-Learn, TensorFlow and other open source ML frameworks.

        • Security

          • PGP::Sign 1.00

            This is the first new release of PGP::Sign in 13 years, so it’s long-overdue. I have finally updated it in preparation for creating a new, more modern signing key for the Big Eight Usenet hierarchies and issuing control messages with both the old and new keys, using GnuPG v2 for the new key.

            The biggest change in this release is that it drops support for all OpenPGP implementations other than GnuPG, and adds support for GnuPG v2. I think some of the other PGP implementations are still around, but I haven’t seen them in years and have no way to test against them, so it didn’t seem worthwhile to continue to support them. GnuPG v2 support is obviously long-overdue, given that we’re getting close to the point where GnuPG v1 will start disappearing from distributions. The default backend is now GnuPG v2, although the module can be configured to use GnuPG v1 instead.

            This release also adds a new object-oriented API. When I first wrote this module, it was common in the Perl community to have functional APIs configured with global variables. Subsequently we’ve learned this is a bad idea for a host of reasons, and I finally got around to redoing the API. It’s still not perfect (in particular, the return value of the verify method is still a little silly), but it’s much nicer. The old API is still supported, implemented as a shim in front of the new API.

          • California University Paid $1.14 Million After Ransomware Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The University of California, San Francisco paid criminal [attackers] $1.14 million this month to resolve a ransomware attack.

            The [attackers] encrypted data on servers inside the school of medicine, the university said Friday. While researchers at UCSF are among those leading coronavirus-related antibody testing, the attack didn’t impede its Covid-19 work, it said. The university is working with a team of cybersecurity contractors to restore the hampered servers “soon.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Guy Who Reverse-Engineered TikTok Reveals The Scary Things He Learned, Advises People To Stay Away From It

              “TikTok might not meet the exact criteria to be called “Malware”, but it’s definitely nefarious and (in my humble opinion) outright evil,” Bangorlol said. “There’s a reason governments are banning it. Don’t use the app. Don’t let your children use it. Tell your friends to stop using it. It offers you nothing but a quick source of entertainment that you can get elsewhere without handing your data over to the Chinese government. You are directly putting yourself and those on your network (work and home) at risk.”

            • Hardin-Simmons University in Texas says student who made racist TikTok ‘no longer enrolled’

              Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene did not reveal the name of the person who posted the video but acknowledged it was one of their students, who was wearing an HSU T-shirt in the video.

            • iOS 14 reveals TikTok still accessing copied text on iPhone’s clipboard

              The beta release of Apple’s iOS 14 revealed that TikTok is still accessing the iPhone’s clipboard, months after a pledge to stop the practice.

            • TikTok and also 53 various other iphone applications still sleuth your delicate clipboard records

              In March, scientists found an uncomfortable personal privacy grab through greater than 4 loads iphone applications consisting of TikTok, the Chinese-owned social networking sites and also video-sharing sensation that has actually taken the Internet through tornado. Regardless of TikTok promising to inhibit the strategy, it remains to access several of Apple individuals’ very most delicate records, which may consist of codes, cryptocurrency pocketbook handles, account-reset hyperlinks, and also private information. Yet Another 53 applications pinpointed in March have not ceased either.

            • TikTok Snoops Your Clipboard Every Few Seconds, iOS 14 Reveals

              A new security feature in iOS 14 reveals every time an app accesses your clipboard. TikTok does so every few seconds.

            • One Bad Algorithm? Advocates Say Facial Recognition Reveals Systemic Racism in AI Technology

              The controversy over police use of facial recognition technology has accelerated after a Black man in Michigan revealed he was wrongfully arrested because of the technology. Detroit police handcuffed Robert Williams in front of his wife and daughters after facial recognition software falsely identified him as a suspect in a robbery. Researchers say facial recognition software is up to 100 times more likely to misidentify people of color than white people. This week, Boston voted to end its use in the city, and Democratic lawmakers introduced a similar measure for federal law enforcement. “This is not an example of one bad algorithm. Just like instances of police brutality, it is a glimpse of how systemic racism can be embedded into AI systems like those that power facial recognition technologies,” says Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Federal Court Rules Against Trump’s Bid to Seize Pentagon Funds for Border Wall

        The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed President Donald Trump another rebuke Friday by ruling that the administration’s efforts to redirect previously appropriated Pentagon funds towards his border wall was an unlawful violation of the Constitution.

      • Defunding Police Must Be Paired With Demilitarization and Denuclearization

        In much the same way that local Black Lives Matter activists are right to call for cuts to militarized police departments, we must pair the current movement with efforts to rein in American militarism extending beyond our borders too.

      • ‘Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud,’ Trump Suggests $5 Billion Weapons Contract Awarded to Boost 2020 Chances in Wisconsin

        “There is nothing normal about the commander-in-chief publicly admitting that the government contracting process was corrupted by political considerations.”

      • Battleground States: The Time for Manufacturing Weapons of War Has Passed as a Viable Industry for Our Nation

        The world that our global empire is swiftly creating, through our devastating oil wars in the Middle East and our arriving cold wars with Russia and China, is a world without winners. 

      • Trump Is Trying to Remake the Military in His Own Ugly Image

        It is not surprising that retired Army BGen. Anthony Tata was nominated by Donald Trump as undersecretary of defense for policy at the Pentagon, the third-highest political posting in the military. Tata has a habit of incendiary and bigoted tweeting in a Trumpian fashion. He claimed that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and a “Manchurian candidate” and that Representative Maxine Waters is a “vicious race baiting racist.”

      • The War That Time Forgot

        I hear it all the time. The most crucial decision of this century was the vote to go to war against Iraq. It’s meant to serve as a political line of demarcation, a sure-fire way to determine which politicians, celebrities and news personalities you can trust.

      • To Shift Funds From ‘Endless Wars’ to ‘Human Needs,’ Sanders Unveils Amendment to Slash Pentagon Budget by $74 Billion

        “It is time for us to truly focus on what we value as a society and to fundamentally transform our national priorities.”

      • Avoiding War With China

        Relations between the U.S. and China have hit an all-time low. As the election nears, expect them to plunge lower. That’s because Trump is campaigning against China, hoping for a surge of xenophobic hatred to sweep him back into the white house. The charge is that China caused Covid-19 – possibly in a lab, but if not, worsened the plague with its secrecy and lies at the pandemic’s start. This is nonsense. The Chinese government’s first instinct may have been to cover up, but it quickly did an about-face. It certainly didn’t dilly dally about fighting the disease as long as Trump did. As for the accusation that China underreported fatalities, it is irrelevant even if true; China quickly warned the world that this was a killer plague and promptly locked down. There was no mystery, no grand deceit. If China undercounted its dead, that did not alter the message: disaster was coming and you better prepare. Which is exactly what the Trump regime did not do.

    • Environment

      • The Environment, the Trump and Bolsonaro

        “[A] great empire and little minds go ill together.”—Edmund Burke, 2d Speech on Conciliation with America (1775)

      • The Language of ‘Brown Finance’ in Climate Finance is Racist

        If you cannot hear the problem with the term “brown finance” yourself, please let me explain.

      • Energy

        • ‘Slight’ radioactivity rise in Nordic countries

          The Netherland’s public health agency said Friday it analysis of Nordic data showed that radionuclides had come “from the direction of Western Russia,” indicating “damage to a fuel element in a nuclear power plant.”

        • ‘Incredibly Reckless’: Trump Moves to Expand Fossil Fuel Drilling in Alaska’s Western Arctic Region

          “At a time when oil prices are cratering, prioritizing expanding oil and gas drilling anywhere—let alone the Arctic—is ridiculous.”

        • The cleanup and the cover-up After 17,000 tons of diesel spilled into Arctic waters, Russian officials took two full days to react. Then, they spread falsehoods about when they learned the spill had happened.

          On May 29, 17,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled out of a faulty tank in the northern Siberian city of Norilsk, flooding the surrounding waterways with a red slick easily visible by satellite. The tank was part of the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company’s Thermal Power Plant No. 3, whose parent firm, Norilsk Nickel, is known for its connections to other ecological disasters. According to Nornickel, the latest spill stemmed from melting permafrost underneath the corroding tank; northern Siberia is currently undergoing a major heat wave. Officials estimate that cleaning the Norilsk spill will take at least half a year, while the environment surrounding the city will take at least a decade to recover as the climate crisis continues to take its toll. Amid that recovery, one key question is why government officials learned about and acted on the historic spill days after it happened. Meduza special correspondents Maxim Solopov and Anastasia Yakoreva reconstructed the initial response to the Norilsk disaster using internal documents from the Emergencies Ministry and interviews with government employees.

        • It’s Time to Nationalize the Fossil Fuel Industry

          The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy provides a golden opportunity for creating a fairer, more just and sustainable world as it shatters long-held assumptions about the economic and political order. Its impact on the energy industry in particular can boost support for tackling the existential threat of global warming by raising the prospect of nationalizing and eventually dismantling fossil fuel producing companies, a position argued passionately by one of the world’s leading progressive economists, Robert Pollin, distinguished professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Bolton’s Memoir Bolts from the Stable

        President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton would have been confident. His indulgent The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir pitted him against the administration in a not infrequent battle over material that is published by former officials recounting their giddy days in high office. On June 17, the US government filed a civil suit seeking a preliminary injunction ahead of the planned release of the memoir on June 23, and a “constructive trust” arising from all profits issuing from the publication of the work.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange

        On Feb 17, 2020, Doctors for Assange demanded an end to the torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange.1 Yet no responsible authority has acted. Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and two medical experts visited Mr Assange in prison in May, 2019, concluding that his treatment constituted psychological torture, a form of torture aimed at destroying the personality of an individual.2 The situation has deteriorated since then, with continued abuses of Mr Assange’s fundamental rights and the medical risks posed by COVID-19.

        Since February, 2020, there has been a string of hearings in the context of Mr Assange’s US extradition trial. A timeline is provided in the appendix. His treatment throughout has been described as “shocking and excessive” by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).3 He has been held in a bulletproof enclosure unable to fully hear proceedings and denied meetings with his lawyers. He was strip-searched, handcuffed 11 times, moved to five different holding cells, and had privileged client–lawyer communications seized.3

      • “Free Speech” In The US Empire Is As Illusory As “Free-Range” Eggs

        In what Shadowproof‘s Kevin Gosztola calls “a not-so-subtle effort to criminalize the journalism of an adversarial media organization that the United States has spent the last decade working to destroy,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been hit with another superseding indictment by the US Department of Justice.

        Shadowproof, WSWS, and Consortium News all have solid and informative write-ups on this new development. The indictment adds no new charges, is riddled with inaccuracies, glaring plot holes, and amateurish errors, relies heavily on testimony from a literal convicted pedophile and diagnosed sociopath, and appears to be little more than a feeble attempt to legitimize the injection of the words “hacking” and “hackers” into the prosecutorial narrative.

        To quote Assange’s partner Stella Morris, “They didn’t throw the book at Julian. They threw bits of paper found crumpled up in the discard pile.”

        [...]

        The persecution of Julian Assange is a transparent and iron-fisted attempt by the US government to globally criminalize the publication of leaks which embarrass the US-centralized empire, thereby drawing a firm line which journalists all around the world know never to cross.

        This is the inverted totalitarian oligarchic empire at its most overtly tyrannical. The imprisonment of Assange was the part of the movie where the villain finally reveals their true face for the monster they’ve always been, where it became clear to anyone paying attention that the US power alliance is as authoritarian and intolerant of real dissent as any tin pot dictator.

        But this is the rarest form of imperial censorship. Normally, wherever possible, the power structures which dominate human civilization prefer to do so out of sight and out of mind, ideally having the inmates of the prison serve as their own wardens.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Undocumented Survivors Have Long Lived in Limbo. COVID-19 Is Making It Worse.

        Anna had recently given birth to her second daughter when two tall, masked strangers broke into her home in East-Central Texas. On that evening in early July 2010, the burglars came in through a backdoor and held a gun against Anna’s head. One of them covered her mouth, telling her not to make a noise or they would shoot. The little girls started crying as they held onto their mother tightly. Anna, who is originally from Pakistan and asked to be identified by a pseudonym due to fears about her uncertain immigration status, handed over her gold earrings, bracelets and two rings. After the strangers searched the house and found $2,500 in cash in one of the bedrooms, they proceeded to punch Anna in the face, hit her in the head and molest her. Before leaving, they told her they would be back.

      • From the Streets to the Ballot Box: New York’s Political Revolution

        Alongside a wave of insurgent progressive candidates, New York’s primary elections ushered in a mandate for radical change.

      • The Seventh Studio Case: What Kirill Serebrennikov means to Russia’s art world

        On Friday, June 26, a Moscow court announced verdicts in the controversial “Seventh Studio” case involving the alleged embezzlement of almost 129 million rubles (about $1.9 million) allocated to the Culture Ministry’s “Platforma” project (a state-led contemporary art incubator). All four defendants — director Kirill Serebrennikov, former Culture Ministry official Sofia Apfelbaum, former “Seventh Studio” general producer Alexey Malobrodsky, and the studio’s former CEO, Yuri Itin — maintain their innocence.

      • For Decades, She Blamed Herself for the Abuse. Writing Her Story Was an Act of Survival. Publishing It Was an Act of Rebellion.

        She was still small enough to climb on her mother’s back, too little to step from the family boat without help, when the violations began. “Touching games” led by older men with big smiles at her family’s fish camp, across the water from Kotzebue, a regional hub of 3,000 people known as the “gateway to the Arctic.”

        From those early years into her adulthood in distant Anchorage, Tia Wakolee, 46, says she was molested, raped or stalked nearly 30 times. She never reported the abuse to law enforcement.

      • Angela Davis on “Mainstream Feminism”
      • Bree Newsome Took Down the Confederate Flag 5 Years Ago. She’s Still Organizing.

        Five years ago today, 30-year-old activist Bree Newsome Bass shocked the world by climbing a 30-foot flag pole and taking down the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina State Capitol Building — a flag that state leaders had first raised in 1961 to tell the budding civil rights movement to “stay out!”

      • We Must Confront Anti-Black History in All Forms in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter

        In early June, a viral video captured Dominicans dressed in all black chasing out a group of people from the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan. The video sparked debates on Twitter about colorism, Blackness and tyranny within the Dominican community. Some called the confrontation a racist act informed by a long Dominican history of colorism and anti-Blackness, while others defended the vigilante group, arguing that they were “protecting” their neighborhood from being looted.

      • ‘Black Lives Matter’ is About More Than the Police

        Black life must be valued at every stage and in every facet of society. We won’t rest until it is.

      • ‘Not Good Enough’: Protesters Demand More Action After Officers Who Killed Elijah McClain Taken Off Streets

        “Elijah McClain and his family deserve justice.”

      • Elijah McClain case: Nearly 2 million sign petition calling for investigation of Aurora police

        Nearly 2 million people have signed an online petition that launched early in June calling for Aurora officials to reopen the investigation into the death of Elijah McClain — a 23-year-old unarmed black man who died in August 2019 following an encounter with Aurora police and paramedics.

        The petition calls on Adams County District Attorney Dave Young, along with Mayor Mike Coffman and the Aurora Police Department, to “bring justice for Elijah,” by conducting “a more in-depth” investigation and removing the officers involved from duty.

        [...]

        Both Michael Bryant, spokesperson for the city of Aurora, and Officer Matthew Longshore, police department spokesman, have said that the decision to reopen the investigation would have to come from Young’s office.

        “I don’t open up investigations based on petitions,” Young told Colorado Politics earlier in June. “Obviously, if there is new evidence to look at, I will look at the evidence in any case.

        “But no,” he said, “I’m not going to open up an investigation because people are signing a petition.”

        Three Aurora City Council members have since called on the city manager to launch an independent investigation into McClain’s death.

    • “Please Forgive Me,” Said Elijah McClain As Three Cops Murdered Him
    • ‘We Need More People Like’ Regan Russell: Mourning and Justice Demanded Over Killing of Animal Rights Activist Regan Russell

      “She was the most peaceful, logical, kind, compassionate person that I’ve ever met.” 

    • That Panna Cotta Sucks: the Faux Anti-Capitalism of “The Platform”

      There’s a fictional prison set in Spain that’s unlike Rikers or Fulsom. On each of its 300+ floors, there’s a rectangular cell occupied by two prisoners. In the middle of each cell, there’s a gaping hole. Once a day, a large titanium platform descends from the top floor to the cells—the platform locks into each opening for just a few minutes. On the platform, one table is prepared for all the floors. The table’s buffet includes, but isn’t limited to, Michelin star escargots à la bourguignonne, lobster, aged and cured meats, and panna cotta. Of course, the table is decked with “Versailles-worthy tableware with a markedly decadent halo,” said Spanish director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. And there are bottles of wine (maybe Bordeaux) to boot. The prisoners at the top eat as much as they want, the next set of prisoners eat the leftovers, and so on. This is breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one. Buen provecho.

    • Silence of the Swine: Abolish the Police and Bring Back the Panthers

      One thing that has become crystal fucking clear to any sane sentient creature with a pulse who has paid attention to current events over the last month is the fact that America’s cherished fascist institution known as the police is completely and totally fucking useless to working class people. By night, our self-flagellating martyrs in blue become harder to find than Waldo as they’re outnumbered by the most irate of the citizenry they’ve wronged, who’ve turned their rage inward towards defenseless small business’ while the true target of their anger cowers in the shadows of the flames. By sunrise however, these heavily armed cowards suddenly rediscover that old fighting side of them and prove their shriveled manhood by laying into guitar-strumming pacifists with flailing truncheons, Covid-friendly tear gas, and a torrential downpour of barely-less-than-lethal rubber rounds. Just like schoolyard bullies and neo-Nazi skinheads, the neckless jarheads of the American police state are only badass’ when its ten against one and that one is a sickly old peacenik that could be bowled over by a stiff wind.

    • Land of the Unfree

      When I was a child, I learned to believe that Americans valued freedom and equality more than any other place on the planet. I learned that, in our criminal justice system, we were innocent until proven guilty.

    • Yes, Defund the Cops–And Put Them Under Community Control

      Community control of the police means empowering the people to shape and oversee the mechanisms of their own security and end forever the armed occupation of our communities by hostile forces.

    • Conservatives Lose – and Lose – and Lose

      This month’s Supreme Court decree that gays cannot be fired from jobs simply because they’re gay is a solid blow to white evangelicals, the heart of the Republican Party. Such born-again conservatives claim they have “religious freedom” to treat gays cruelly. Now they’re exposed, once again, as more intolerant than the rest of America.

    • The DEA’s Most Recent Abuse of Power Should Renew Calls for Divestment

      A critical look at the DEA is long overdue. The agency has existed for more than forty-five years but little attention has been given to the role it has played in fueling racial disparities, mass criminalization, the surveillance state, and other drug war harms.

    • The Supreme Court Just Took a Hammer to the Asylum Process

      Between the pandemic and the threats of military force against US citizens, it’s easy to forget that the Trump administration reserves its greatest cruelty for nonwhite immigrants. And it’s easy to forget, in the wake of last week’s narrow ruling to uphold the DACA program, that the Supreme Court has been largely willing to give constitutional cover to this bigotry and xenophobia. But Trump’s antipathy for black and brown immigrants never takes a day off. And the courts consistently let him get away with it.

    • The Responsibility to Protect? Bipartisan Crimes Against Humanity in the U.S.

      Hundreds of people are unnecessarily dying every day with African Americans representing a disproportionate number of those deaths. 80 million people are now without health coverage, millions are unemployed, over the next two months evictions will resume with an expected explosion of homelessness. And what is the response from the state that is tasked with the responsibility to promote and protect the fundamental human rights of its population?

    • Russian theater director sentenced to probation in controversial embezzlement case

      On Friday, June 26, a Moscow court announced verdicts in the controversial “Seventh Studio” case involving the alleged embezzlement of almost 129 million rubles (about $1.9 million) allocated to the Culture Ministry’s “Platforma” project (a state-led contemporary art incubator). All four defendants — director Kirill Serebrennikov, former Culture Ministry official Sofia Apfelbaum, former “Seventh Studio” general producer Alexey Malobrodsky, and the studio’s former CEO, Yuri Itin — maintain their innocence.

    • The Struggle for No Police in the Los Angeles Schools: a Great Leap Forward and Victory is in Sight

      On Tuesday, June 23, in Los Angeles, the decade’s long struggle for No Police in the Schools had a major breakthrough. Los Angeles School Board member Monica Garcia introduced the most structural and hopeful motion to make “defund the police” a reality. Her motion, expressing gratitude to the national Black uprising, called for cutting the $70 million budget of the Los Angeles School Police Department—with 350 armed officers—by 50% in 2021, 75% in 2022, and 90% in 2023—essentially phasing out the entire department. We think “50%, 75%, 90%” is a model for the “Defund the Police” movement nationally. Any movement that gets to 100% first wins. Her Civil Rights motion did not pass but neither did any of the toxic compromises. That “50/75/90%” motion is still the centerpiece of our movement going forward and we have every intention of bringing it into reality.

    • Episode 95 – What We Can Learn From The Kent State Murders with Mickey Huff – Along The Line Podcast

      Along The Line is a non-profit, education-based podcast that provides listeners with context and analysis about various critical and contemporary issues and topics. Hosted by Dr. Nolan Higdon, Dr. Dreadlocks (Nicholas Baham III), and Janice Domingo. ATL’s Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga. Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster. Along the Line is brought to you by The Media Freedom Foundation. Listen to our previous content at https://www.projectcensored.org/atl/ Along the Line is a proud member of the Demcast Network. https://demcastusa.com/ Listen to Along the Line on these platforms: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3E5JGKCDVVePzxQxFY7jJg?si=jd65roYdQwWYA00TC9K6tg Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/along-the-line/id1447780425?mt=2 Follow us on Twitter: ATL Official Twitter – https://twitter.com/alongtheline2 Dr. Nolan Higdon – https://twitter.com/Nolan_higdon Dr. Nicholas Baham III – https://twitter.com/doctordredlocks Janice Domingo – https://twitter.com/j_nice44 Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alongthelineshow/ RSS feed: https://www.projectcensored.org/feed/podcast/along-the-line Send us an email: [email protected] Check out these books: The Anatomy of Fake News by Nolan Higdon – https://www.projectcensored.org/product/the-anatomy-of-fake-news-a-critical-news-literacy-education-pre-order-singed-copy/ United States of Distraction by Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff – https://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100388060 Support Along the Line and Project Censored: https://www.projectcensored.org/support/

    • Racism: Are We All Prejudice?

      Loud acts of racism, like the atrocious killing of George Floyd by a US police officer; the disproportionate number of black men incarcerated in American prisons or the high percentage of young black or minority ethnic (BAME) men subjected to ‘stop and search’ by police in Britain are blatant and ugly. But an individuals ‘unconscious bias’ and the institutionalized racism festering deep within organizations is subtler, perhaps harder to recognize.

    • Africans at Home and in the Diaspora in Two New Films

      Two new films debut as Virtual Cinema today. Both address the hopes and the suffering of Africans, both in diaspora and on the continent.

    • What to an American is Theocracy?

      Iranian people have had their most basic rights trampled daily and have been subjected to all categories of random harassment by the state, based purely on whether or not we are the ‘other’. So, it is in the spirit of empathy and solidarity that Iranian socialists, and on behalf of our people — who have fought for over a century to gain dignity and basic human rights — send comradely greetings to, and stand in unity with, the oppressed peoples of the U.S. who are sowing seeds of hope through their spirited struggle against injustice and brutality at the hands of their state.

    • The End of Asylum? 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.”

    • What Natives in the US Support Black Lives Matter

      If you speak of historical events seared on Native American minds, unspeakable traumas, the “Indian Removal Act” (1830), the “Trail of Tears” (1838-1850), the “Sand Creek Massacre” (1864), and even, the “Wounded Knee Massacre” (1890), perhaps come to the forefront, among a plethora of genocidal acts against Native peoples too numerous to count. Today, we have the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Tribal Nations across the United States and the consequences of the absolute neglect of President Donald J. Trump and his administration of Native peoples who are losing more people per capita to the disease than most countries.

    • Colonized Loyalty: Asian American Anti-Blackness and Complicity

      In the United States, racism against Asian Americans, whether in a public rally, in the public space or in the classroom, has become routine.

    • Trump’s Tulsa Travesty: the Missing Connection

      Rarely do all the major injustices in this country converge at one single place on one single day. President Trump’s re-election rally in Tulsa on June 20 near the site of the 1921 Greenwood massacre that killed 300 black citizens was not only the height of insensitivity; it was, in my opinion, criminally negligent, held indoors at Tulsa’s BOK Center when coronavirus infections were on the rise and the president did not require masks or social distancing for his fans. He even admitted in his speech that he told “my people” to “slow down the testing please!” (His defenders excused it as a joke).

    • Disability Justice and Abolition

      As co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Disability Justice Committee (NLG DJC), I spend a lot of time thinking about the way disability justice can be used to support social movements. The NLG has been an explicitly abolitionist organization since 2015, when we passed a resolution that calls for “dismantling and abolition of all prisons and of all aspects of systems and institutions that support, condone, create, fill, or protect prisons.”

      As police and prison abolition becomes more mainstream – thanks to the work of Black feminist thinkers like Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Mariame Kaba – the NLG has an important role to play in moving the abolition movement forward. It’s an opportunity for us to make sure that we bring abolitionist support to all movements, including the disability justice movement.

      The carceral state goes beyond jails and prisons, so if we want to abolish the cops in our head and our hearts, we need to identify the ways they exist and build alternatives. To those ends, I looked at abolition through a disability justice lens and identified some of the ways disabled people are affected by the carceral systems, not just in jail and prison but other manifestations of the carceral state like doctors, social workers, and other individuals and institutions. I also hope to make clear that abolition is a disability issue, which means that mainstream disability rights organizations should also be involved in the fight to abolish police and prisons.

      [...]

      As noted above, a lot of the people in prisons and jails are disabled. People with learning, developmental, and mental health disabilities are especially overrepresented in the criminal justice system. There’s a ton of writing about this so I’m not going to go too far into it, but this alone should be enough to convince the mainstream disability community that they should be pushing for abolition.

      Along with being more likely to end up in jails and prisons, once we are there disabled people are treated especially cruelly. In 2015 Human Rights Watch issued a report called Callous and Cruel, Use of force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons. Unsurprisingly, they found that people in prisons and jails were not getting the mental health treatment they needed. Of course, this leads to people having more mental health symptoms including being unable to follow the commands of guards. Instead of treatment, they are punished with isolation which then often leads to a further increase in mental health symptoms.

      A report from the Treatment Advocacy Center catalogued some of the ways that people with developmental and mental health disabilities are especially victimized in prisons and jails such as by being kept in prison or jail longer than non-disabled inmates; they are “disproportionately abused, beaten, and/or raped;” are more likely to spend time in solitary confinement and experience an increase of symptoms.

      Many jails and prisons are also not accessible for people with physical disabilities. I worked on a lawsuit against a prison that would not allow a wheelchair user to use a motorized wheelchair provided at his own cost. Instead, he had to rely on his roommate or someone else to push his manual wheelchair for him, including to the bathroom. However, there were not always people available to push him so sometimes he was forced to soil himself. I don’t say this to push for resources to be put into making prisons accessible of course. This is just one example of some of the cruelty against disabled people in prison. Jails and prisons are an especially terrible place for disabled people.

  • Monopolies

    • Patents

      • How attorneys can get back PTAB fees

        After the Federal Circuit said that it won’t grant PTAB attorneys’ fees, lawyers are left to pursue district courts and, frustratingly, the PTAB itself

      • IPO Webinar on AI Patentability and Inventorship in Europe

        The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) will offer a one-hour webinar entitled “Artificial Intelligence: Patentability and Inventorship in Europe” on July 1, 2020 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm (ET). Mike Jennings of AA Thornton, Tobias Kaufmann of Bardehle Pagenberg, Heli Pihlajamaa of the European Patent Office (EPO), and James Signor of Leydig, Voit & Mayer, LTD will discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) patentability and inventorship are playing out in Europe.

        [...]

        • Computer simulation case G1/19

      • IPO Webinar on Parallel Proceedings in District Court and PTAB

        The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) will offer a one-hour webinar entitled “Parallel Proceedings in District Court and the PTAB after NHK Spring” on July 2, 2020 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm (ET). Hon. Alan Albright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Eley Thompson of Foley & Lardner LLP, and Trenton Ward of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP will discuss the speedy rise of the Western District of Texas as a litigation hotspot and important PTAB decisions about Section 314 that have gone some way to change the complex interaction between post-grant proceedings at the PTAB and related district court actions.

      • Magic of the machine: can artificial intelligence invent?

        As part of the Artificial Inventor Project, he is seeking patents for inventions made by DABUS (pronounced ‘DA-BUS’). DABUS, a ‘creativity machine’, is a series of neural networks and was created and is owned by Dr Stephen Thaler. DABUS can be provided information on a particular topic in order to independently create inventions.

        Two of DABUS’ inventions form the subject of patent applications: a food container based on fractal geometry, and a warning light that flashes in a fractal sequence. As DABUS could not itself apply for a patent, Thaler was the applicant, with DABUS named as the inventor. Thaler said he had the right to be granted the patent on the basis that he owned DABUS.

        [...]

        The problem is greater than who gets named on an application. We can see this from looking at the law of copyright. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides at section 9(3) that author of a computer-generated work ‘shall be taken to be the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken’, there is a similar provision in the Registered Designs Act 1949.

        So, the authorship issue associated with copyright has at that level been resolved. But the greater and more fundamental problem remains: when should a work by a computer attract statutory protection as intellectual property?

        The jurisprudence from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in recent years talks about copyright in a metaphysical way – it protects creativity.

        To get copyright, the CJEU has told us that a work must be the ‘author’s own intellectual creation’. In Painer C‐145/10 the CJEU said that ‘an intellectual creation is an author’s own if it reflects the author’s personality’. A computer does not have this personality, so it is at best unclear what protection can ever be achieved for computer generated works.

        In Football Dataco C-604/10, the CJEU said there could be no copyright if technical considerations left no room for creative freedom.

        Although patent law deals with science and engineering, it also engages with this sort of metaphysics. To be patentable in the UK and the EU, there has to be an ‘inventive step’.

        In Technograph v Mills & Rockley (1972), Lord Reid said that something is inventive if the invention could not have been reached by ‘an unimaginative man with no inventive capacity’ who is ‘incapable of a scintilla of invention’.

      • COVID-19 IP update: Intellectual Property Office developments (UPDATED)

        The Boards of Appeal have resumed the holding of oral proceedings, to a limited extent, at their premises in Haar from Monday, 18 May 2020. Parties will be contacted by communication and will be requested to confirm that they expect to be able to attend in person and that they do not anticipate being affected by travel restrictions. However, it is not clear how the EPO handles cases where a representative of a party, and employee or a managing director/general counsel etc. is affected by travel limitations. Parties and representatives will be asked to complete a simple screening questionnaire upon arrival. Any person replying to one of the questions in the affirmative will be denied access to the Boards of Appeal premises. The competent board will be informed accordingly and will decide whether the oral proceedings can be held without that person or whether they will need to be postponed. Access of the public will be allowed but only for a limited number of people.

        **[section on the extension of deadlines removed, since this provision ended on June 02, 2020]

        In a decision dated April 01, 2020, the EPO has further decided that all oral proceedings before Examining Divisions are to be held by videoconference, unless – either at the request of the applicant or at the instigation of the examining division – there are serious reasons against holding the oral proceedings by videoconference such as, in particular, the need to take evidence directly.

        During interviews and oral proceedings held by videoconference, submissions are to be made by email or, exceptionally, by fax. The chairperson or, in the case of an interview, the first examiner will provide the applicant or representative with the email address to be used at the beginning of the oral proceedings.

        This decision enters into force on April 02, 2020. The option to file documents by fax was removed with a decision on May 13, 2020.

        In another update on 28 May 2020, the EPO has confirmed to temporarily waive the additional fees required for belated payment of the annual renewal fees (R. 51 (2) EPC) until 31 August 2020.

        Authored by Andreas Schmid

      • US Patent and Trademark Office and New Zealand Music Commission: Brands in Action Series

        In this special series, we’re highlighting companies who are answering the call of their communities around the world. Whether in coordinated efforts with like-minded organizations or working internally to do their part, these companies are using their resources to support others.

        Moving forward through extraordinary circumstances is a collaborative effort combining the ingenuity of experts in all fields. While providing resources is nothing new for governmental services, the pivot to responding to a global pandemic lead to uncharted waters. Fortunately some departments have been able to keep up with community needs.

      • Valeo ranks as France’s second biggest patent filer, all sectors combined

        Valeo has taken second place in France’s INPI industrial property institute rankings, with 1,034 patents published in 2019, confirming its strong capacity for innovation.

        Since innovation is at the heart of its strategy, Valeo has invested heavily in Research & Development over the last ten years to develop technologies essential to reducing CO2 emissions and improving road safety. Its efforts have clearly paid off, as the Group was named the top patent filer in France from 2016 through to 2018.

        With new patents filed with the INPI in 2019, Valeo’s innovations are now protected by a portfolio of more than 33,300 patents across the world.

        Drawing on its experience and investments in Research & Development, Valeo has perfected 12 new technological platforms to profoundly transform its product portfolio and cement its position as a world leader in vehicle electrification and driving assistance systems. Now operational, these platforms allow Valeo to begin reaping the rewards of its innovation strategy.

      • How To Appeal PTAB Decisions Successfully To Fed. Circ.

        Currently, the largest portion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s docket comes from appeals of Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions — as of May 31, 37% of pending appeals originated from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.[1]

        Because the PTAB’s practices, especially related to inter partes reviews, continue to change and evolve, appeals of PTAB decisions frequently raise not only traditional issues of patent validity, but also novel questions regarding the PTAB’s governing statute and practice.

        While historically a relatively high percentage of PTAB decisions have been affirmed, those decisions, along with Federal Circuit decisions reversing…

      • Case: Patents/Obviousness (Fed. Cir.)

        The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s finding, in Adidas AG’s inter partes review of Nike Inc.’s patents directed to methods of manufacturing an article of footwear with a textile upper, that the challenged claims are not unpatentable as obvious. The Federal Circuit found that, in view of the undisputed evidence of the pre-seaming differences between one prior art patent and another prior art patent, substantial evidence supports the board’s motivation-to-combine findings with respect to the Base Claims and that, because the Unitary Construction Claims depend from the independent Base Claims, substantial…

      • [Older] Second medical uses at the EPO

        The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of investigating the use of known medications for the treatment of new diseases. Given the long road to clinical approval for new drugs, the repurposing of existing drugs represents a promising avenue, particularly in the face of fast-moving pandemics such as that we are currently experiencing. Patents protecting new uses of known drugs may also provide valuable protection for innovators after expiry of the initial composition-of-matter patent.

        At the time of publication, clinical trials are testing the potential use of known antivirals, which are currently used to treat diseases such as HIV and SARS, in the fight against COVID-19. One such example is remdesivir, which was originally developed for the treatment of Ebola. It is now undergoing Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 (more on this, and the worldwide pharma response to the coronavirus, can be found here).

        In this article, we consider so-called “second medical use” patents from the perspective of European patent law.

        Patenting second and subsequent medical uses

        Where a substance or composition is already known for one medical use, it may still be patentable for a second or subsequent medical use, provided that use is novel and inventive (Art. 54(5) EPC).

        In the US and other territories, such uses may be protected by way of method of treatment patents. However, in Europe, methods of treatment are excluded from patentability. The new use of a known medication must therefore be patented in a different way, as we discuss below.

      • COVID-19: Daily Report for Life Sciences and Health Care Companies (UPDATED)

        The Hogan Lovells IP & Media Technology team is tracking the changes being made by intellectual property offices around the world in response to the coronavirus so we can keep you informed on the key developments. Online here is our latest update for the European Patent Office (EPO).

      • Xintela Granted Preliminary Approval From European Patent Office

        * XINTELA GRANTED PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FROM THE EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE FOR THE TREATMENT OF BRAIN TUMORS

        * PATENT, WHICH BROADENS AND EXTENDS XINTELA’S FUNDAMENTAL PROTECTION IN THIS FIELD, WILL BE VALID UNTIL 2036.

        * EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE (EPO) HAS ISSUED A PRELIMINARY APPROVAL (“INTENTION TO GRANT”) FOR COMPANY’S PATENT APPLICATION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Gdansk Newsroom)

      • COVID-19 IP update: Intellectual Property Office developments (UPDATED)

        The EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until until September 14, 2020 (previous date was June 02, 2020) unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing or are converted into oral proceedings by videoconference with the applicant’s consent.

      • This week in IP: UK clarifies sufficiency, Nokia case ‘should go to CJEU’

        In a development that confirms a strong sufficiency requirement in the UK, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of biopharmaceutical company Kymab in its appeal against Regeneron over patents covering transgenic mice.

        The court dissented from the previous judgment made by the England and Wales Court of Appeal and invalidated patents held by US-based biotechnology firm Regeneron (EP 1360287 and 2264163). It also upheld UK-based Kymab’s patents for transgenic mice, also known as ‘Kymice’.

        The Supreme Court’s decision puts an emphasis on the principle of sufficiency – that a patent claim should be enabled across its whole scope.

        In its published judgment, the court said: “[The Court of Appeal’s] analysis watered down the sufficiency requirement, which is a bedrock of patent law, tilting the balance of patent law in favour of patentees and against the public.”

        Regeneron first brought proceedings against Kymab for infringing its VelocImmune patents to the England and Wales High Court in 2016. Kymab counterclaimed that those patents were invalid for reasons of insufficiency.

        [...]

        Finnish telecoms firm Nokia has brought several cases against German car manufacturer Daimler for infringing patents relevant to the UMTS and LTE mobile phone standards. Nokia is currently seeking an injunction against Daimler for this alleged infringement.

        The Mannheim and Munich regional courts have yet to decide whether to follow the Federal Cartel Office’s request and suspend these proceedings.

      • Federal Cartel Office of Germany asks regional courts to refer component-level standard-essential patent licensing questions to CJEU, disagrees with Nokia

        One of the most well-respected competition enforcement agencies in the world, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office), has dealt a major blow to Nokia’s abusive standard-essential patent assertion campaign against Daimler and, by extension, Daimler’s global suppliers. As a result, the Mannheim Regional Court has already postponed the ruling it was slated to announce tomorrow (June 23) to August 4, 2020.

        On June 18, Joerg Nothdurft, one of the highest-ranking officials of the Federal Cartel Office, sent a 24-page fax to the Mannheim and Munich courts, outlining the antitrust agency’s perspective on the question of component-level licensing. In what is comparable to a Statement of Interest by the DOJ in U.S. cases or an amicus curiae brief, the Federal Cartel Office moves to stay Nokia’s SEP infringement cases against Daimler and to refer multiple outcome-determinative legal questions to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Luxembourg.

        The letter notes that two of Daimler’s suppliers–Continental and Valeo–drew the office’s attention to certain issues.

        [...]

        This development is the worst news ever for Nokia and its partners-in-crime (mostly the Avanci gang) in the automotive patent wars. Nokia’s and its trolls’ (as well as Sharp’s) infringement campaign is going to grind to a halt now. The Court of Justice of the EU will decide. DG COMP may or may not launch formal investigations now, but in the event of a referral of those legal questions to Luxembourg, the Commission would most likely await the outcome before taking specific action against Nokia. I suspect that the Federal Cartel Office filed its amicus curiae brief with DG COMP’s unofficial blessings.

      • Plants Produced By Essentially Biological Processes Are Not Patentable In Europe

        You might think that an article dealing with broccoli, tomatoes and peppers ought to be on a recipe blog. However, these are the names of high profile cases in an area that, over recent years, has seen more change in European patent law than perhaps any other. It now seems that the European Patent Office wants closure.

        We reported here on the most recent decision of the Enlarged Board Of Appeal (G3/19). The decision brings the European Patent Office’s position on patentability of plants or animals produced by essentially biological processes into line with that of the Biotech Directive. The Enlarged Board’s opinion clarifies that Art. 53(b) EPC in combination with Rule 28(2) excludes animals and plants produced by essentially biological processes from patentability.

        [...]

        In July 2017, the Administrative Council of the EPO decided to amend Rule 28 explicitly to exclude plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process from patentability, in order to reflect the European Commission’s position.

        But what about Broccoli II and Tomato II? The amendment to Rule 28 contradicted the Enlarged Board’s decision in G2/12 and G2/13!

        Never fear, the Technical Board of Appeal in T1063/18 (Pepper) decided that the amendment to Rule 28 was void, and based on the fact that the Enlarged Board had already decided the matter in G2/12 and G2/13, did not refer the issue back to the Enlarged Board.

    • Trademarks

      • ‘Darlie’, ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’: when brands should be retired

        In-house lawyers say due diligence during an M&A and regular reviews can help brands avoid a very public backlash

      • Abandoning Disparaging Marks

        Quaker Oats says it plans to phase out its “Aunt Jemima” brand. The character has long been criticized as a stereotypical representation of black women as inferior servants. In recognition of the problem, the Company had been gradually revising the brand’s image and considering when might be the appropriate time to phase it out altogether. Of course, if taking a bold stand against racism had been their true intent, they would have taken much more decisive action to drop the brand long ago.

        [...]

        One of the potential ways to challenge a third-party registration of a racist brand was eliminated in 2017. For years Section 2(d) of the Lanham Act blocked registrations that disparaged a group of people. But despite this bar, the “Aunt Jemima” mark (and so many other disparaging marks) registered anyway. Some however, were blocked or cancelled (including the Washington Redskins mark) on that basis before the Supreme Court held the bar unconstitutional in Matal v. Tam 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017). Since that decision, the First Amendment right to free expression permits citizens to seek registration of racially offensive trademarks.

        After Tam, the Quaker Oats plan to abandon the Aunt Jemima mark raises an interesting question: what if a third party were to seize the opportunity to pick up the well-known mark and double down on the racist stereotype? Are there strategies that Quaker Oats can use to minimize any consequential harm? For a fun take on what such a highjacking looks like, go here https://southpark.cc.com/clips/vlg1j1/from-one-redskin-to-another to see what happens when the Southpark kids adopt “the Washington Redskins” for their start-up after the registration was cancelled. Contrary to the suggestion in that episode, there at least a couple of strategies that may work.

      • Brexit: implications for holders of intellectual property rights and domain names

        Businesses with pan-European rights, i.e. EU trade mark registrations, registered Community design rights, unregistered Community design rights, or database rights should in particular note the following.

        The UK formally left the EU, on 31 January 2020 (“Exit Day”) and we are now in transition. In this briefing, we highlight the key consequences of Brexit for intellectual property rights and domain names during the transition period and afterwards, and what businesses should do to prepare.

        We have written this section on the assumption that the transition period will now come to an end as planned on 31 December 2020, as both the UK and the EU have now ruled out any extension.

        In summary, the rights which are most likely to be affected by Brexit, and which will therefore require more focus in terms of preparatory activities, are EU trade marks and registered Community designs. Licence agreements will also need to be checked, and changes in respect of the rules regarding registration of .eu domain names may well have an impact.

        [...]

        Patents

        Brexit will have no effect on European patents designating the UK that are currently in force. This is because the European Patent Convention and the European Patent Office (the EPO) that manages it are independent of the EU and in any event, have always had a number of non-EU members such as Switzerland, Norway and Turkey. The UK will remain part of the European Patent Convention as a similar non EU European member.

        The filing and prosecution of European applications, whether directly at the EPO or via the Patent Co-operation Treaty route, is also entirely unaffected by Brexit. New and pending applications can continue to designate the UK where so required. At the grant stage, the applicant can opt for national protection in the UK and other countries, exactly as at present. Applicants who have filed for patents in the UK can still claim priority for that application in other countries.

        UK-based European patent attorneys will continue to represent clients at the EPO, as at present.

        As with other types of IP right, care should be taken when drafting licence agreements authorising patent use in Europe going forward, to ensure that territorial scope expressly covers the UK, where that is the intention of the parties. For further information about Brexit proofing contracts, please refer to our briefings: “Brexit proofing your contracts: a checklist”; and “References to EU, EEA etc after Brexit: handle with care”.

        Unitary Patent System

        The Unitary Patent System is intended to provide patentees with an option to apply for a single pan-EU unitary patent alongside benefitting from a Unified Patent Court, which would hear and determine patent disputes on an EU-wide basis. The Unitary Patent System has yet to come into force (and it is currently being challenged in the German courts), and the UK’s inclusion in the scheme remains uncertain as it is subject to negotiation with the EU – so the question of whether a unitary patent covering the UK will become available for businesses, is very much up in the air.

    • Copyrights

      • Rolling Stones warn Trump not to use their songs – or face legal action

        In a statement released on Saturday, representatives for the group said that “further steps to exclude” Mr Trump from using Rolling Stones material in future presidential campaigning was necessary after previous “cease and desist directives” had been ignored.

        The BMI has reportedly notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the use of their songs without permission will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement, and would be subject to legal action.

      • Court Grants Groups Permission to Intervene in Canadian Pirate Site Blocking Lawsuit

        Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal is allowing several high-profile groups and organizations to intervene in the country’s first pirate site blocking case. This includes rightsholder representatives including IFPI and the Premier League, as well as blocking opponents such as Canada’s domain registry and CIPPIC. In a novel ruling, parties with a similar stance are instructed to work together to file joint submissions.

      • MangaDex Develops P2P System to Distribute Manga Sharing Bandwidth Costs

        MangaDex, a scanlation platform with tens of millions of monthly visitors, has developed an innovative solution to help satiate its users’ thirst for content. The site’s newly open sourced [email protected] peer-to-peer project allows users to volunteer use of their PCs or servers to help ease the pressure on the site’s cache servers.

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