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06.30.20

Links 30/6/2020: OpenSUSE Leap 15.2, 4MLinux 34.0 Beta and IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 146

Posted in News Roundup at 1:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • [S5 TEASER] Command Line Heroes: Season 5 Animated Teaser
      • [S5 TRAILER] Command Line Heroes: Season 5 Audio Trailer
      • LHS Episode #354: QSO Today Ham Expo Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to the 354th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we talk with Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, of the QSO Today podcast. With just the spark of an idea, he has created the first large-scale virtual ham fest. In a COVID-19 world where in-person events are cancelled all over the place, particularly Hamvention, Huntsville and more, this may usher in a new era of virtual ham radio gatherings. We dive into every aspect of the Expo from inception to participation to technical details. Thanks for listening and have a great week. Hope to see you at the Expo!

      • 2020-06-29 | Linux Headlines

        Ubuntu gains an unofficial rolling release version, Mastercard joins the chorus of voices warning Magento store owners to update, and two more browsers join the bandwagon on certificate lifetime shortening.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9 Likely To See USB4 Support Improvements

        Linux 5.6 brought initial USB4 support that primarily was starting things off by basing things off the existing Thunderbolt 3 support in the kernel for which this latest USB standard is based. For the Linux 5.9 kernel later this summer it’s looking like there will be further work on getting Linux’s USB4 support into good shape ahead of hardware appearing in the months ahead.

        Via the Thunderbolt bleeding-edge branch has been a number of USB4 patches building up over the past week. Intel’s Mika Westerberg, Kranthi Kuntala, and Rajmohan Mani have been working on these latest USB4 additions.

      • Linux 5.8 Bringing Some Performance Boosts For AMD Renoir Graphics

        Over the weekend I began running some benchmarks of the Linux 5.8 development kernel on the Lenovo Flex 5 laptop with Ryzen 5 4500U. One of the standouts so far for from this Linux 5.8 testing compared to the stable 5.6/5.7 kernel series is better Radeon graphics performance with the Renoir laptop.

      • Linus Torvalds on the future of Linux kernel developers and development

        The illustrious pair started with Hohndel asking about the large size of the recent Linux kernel 5.8 initial release. Hohndel wondered if it might have been so big because developers were staying home thanks to the coronavirus. Torvalds, who always worked at home, said, “I suspect 5.8 might be [so large] because of people staying inside but it might also be, it’s just happened that several different groups ended up coming at roughly the same time, with new features in 5.8.”

        While COVID-19 has slowed down many technologies, while speeding up other tech developments, it hasn’t affected Linux development much at all. “None of my co-developers have been hugely impacted either. I was worried for a while because one of our developers was offline for a month or two. … [But,] it turned out that it was just RSI [repetitive strain injury], and RSI is kind of an occupational hazard to deal with.” He added. “One of the things that is so interesting about the Linux community is how much it has always been email-based and remote, how rarely we get together in person.”

        In any case, Torvalds trusts this new build. Indeed, he ran his end of the videoconference from his new developer machine running the first release candidate of 5.8.

      • Shoe Carnival Increases Security and Availability with Oracle Ksplice

        In this article, we will discuss how Shoe Carnival increased their IT systems security and availability using Oracle Ksplice.

        Shoe Carnival, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest family footwear retailers, offering a broad assortment of moderately priced dress, casual and athletic footwear for men, women and children with emphasis on national name brands. The company operates 390 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico, and offers online shopping.

        In keeping with the carnival spirit of rewarding surprises, Shoe Carnival offers their customers chances to win various coupons and discounts. Customers can spontaneously win while spinning the carnival wheel in the store or redeeming an a promotional offer. These specials encourage customers to make a purchase. Customers are also eligible to earn loyalty rewards via a “Shoe Perks” membership. This loyalty program allows them to earn points with each purchase and receive exclusive offers. Members can redeem points and awards either when in store or shopping online.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink GL-On-Vulkan Driver Approaching OpenGL 3.1 Support

          Zink is the generic OpenGL over Vulkan driver that has been in development as part of Mesa’s Gallium3D code. It was just earlier this month that Zink achieved OpenGL 3.0 support and now it looks like OpenGL 3.1 will soon be flipped on.

          Thanks to relying upon Gallium3D, Zink has already much of OpenGL 3.1 support in place for a while but has been blocked by NV_primitive_restart and ARB_uniform_buffer_object. These remaining extensions should be wrapped up soon.

        • Opengl 3.1

          Not really, but I didn’t get around to blogging on Friday because I was working until pretty late on something that’s Kind Of A Big Deal.

          Not really, but it’s probably more interesting than my posts about unhandled ALUs.

        • AMD Publishes AMDGPU UVD Firmware For Southern Islands

          Recently AMD posted UVD video decode support for GCN 1.0 with the AMDGPU driver, one of the long holdouts for letting the AMDGPU DRM driver approach feature parity with the longstanding Radeon DRM driver that is the default for GCN 1.0/1.1 era GPUs. That AMDGPU UVD GCN 1.0 decode support is going into the Linux 5.9 kernel later this summer after years ago Radeon driver developers largely dismissed the efforts of porting the UVD decode capability for these original GCN graphics cards over to AMDGPU.

          One of the reasons that this wasn’t possible previously was AMD hadn’t published the necessary firmware binaries for GCN 1.0 UVD that were compatible with the AMDGPU driver and just for the older Radeon DRM driver. But hitting linux-firmware.git today are those firmware files.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking The Performance Overhead To Linux’s Proposed FGKASLR Security Feature

        One of the security improvements being worked on in recent months by Intel’s open-source team has been FGKASLR. But how is the performance overhead compared to just traditional KASLR? Here are benchmarks looking at the performance impact of FGKASLR on top, just KASLR, and then no address space layout randomization.

        FGKASLR is being worked on by Intel for improving Linux security with this Function Granular Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization. Rather than just randomizing the position in memory of the kernel, this FGKASLR patch series enables randomization at the function-level and used on top of KASLR. The reordering of kernel functions is done in memory at boot time. FGKASLR isn’t anything specific to Intel CPUs but a common security feature that just happens to be worked on by Intel’s large open-source team as one of the leading organizations contributing to the Linux kernel.

    • Applications

      • Cadmus is a new Linux UI for managing microphone noise suppression

        Are your voice chat friends getting bothered by your fancy new loud mechanical keyboard? Or perhaps you’re doing an audio recording and need everything in the background to shutup – enter Cadmus.

        I’m sure many of you have been there, getting distracted while playing an online game because one of your crew sounds like an elephant jumping on a keyboard while they furiously press WASD or angrily type in the chat. Noise suppression helps with anything remotely like that.

        On Windows there’s a lot of solutions, on Linux there’s not so much that’s actually user friendly. Cadmus aims to hopefully help a little there, giving Linux users a very simply notification icon UI to enable noise supression – using the PulseAudio Noise Supression Plugin from werman.

      • The 13 Best Music Players for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

        We all love listening to music. Well, at least most of us do. Whether it’s just listening to cool ambient music as we work on our PC or unwinding after a long day’s work, music plays a crucial role in our everyday lives.

        In this article, we have put together a list of some of the most popular music players that you can install on your system and play your favorite music as you blow off some steam.

      • Firebird Project is happy to announce general availability of Firebird 3.0.6

        Firebird Project is happy to announce general availability of Firebird 3.0.6 — the 6th point release in the Firebird 3.0 series.

        This sub-release offers many bug fixes and also adds a few improvements, please refer to the Release Notes for the full list of changes.

      • MIXXX: powerful DJ-ing software

        Mixxx is a powerful and free (open source) DJ program which allows you perform a live set with up to 4 virtual decks and optionally stream it to a broadcasting server. Common effects like echo, flanger, reverb, bitcrusher are available, and through its LV2 plugin interface you can use many more external effects to spice up your set.
        Its master sync feature ensures that the music primed in all your decks stays locked to the beat. You can control pitch and key, or loop a stretch of audio. Quantize your cues and loops so that they start right on the beat all the time. And so on – and all of that with an attractive skinnable user interface.

        You can plug in a MIDI controller and map its buttons/knobs/sliders to operate the Mixxx user interface so that you do not have to use your computer’s mouse & keyboard to cue, mangle and cross-fade the audio. There’s actually a lot of presets you can load for the most well-known MIDI controllers like the Novation LaunchPad Mini.

        If the JACK daemon is running you can connect Mixxx to it, but it will perform just fine with ALSA as well.

    • Painless file extraction on Linux
    • How to disable hardware acceleration Chrome
    • Create and Run Your First Bash Shell Script
    • How To Install Apache Solr 8.5 on Ubuntu 20.04
    • How to Install and Configure Memcached on Ubuntu Linux
    • How to Restart Networking on Ubuntu
    • How to install Chrome and Chromium Browser on Pop!_OS
    • Emacs download and installation on Ubuntu
    • How To Install JFrog Artifactory on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
    • How To Setup Virtual Host Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
    • How to Install IDLE Python IDE on Debian 10
    • How to migrate helm v2 to helm v3
    • How to create a Service in Kubernetes
    • How to Use pandoc to Convert Files on the Linux Command Line
    • How to Install Puddletag (Python3, Qt5 Port) in Ubuntu 20.04
    • How to Install Nginx, MySQL & PHP (LEMP) on Ubuntu 20.04
    • Connect GNOME File Manager or Windows Explorer to an ISPConfig 3 website
    • Ubuntu CPU Monitor
    • How to Specify Time Limit for a Sudo Session in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
    • How to Install and Use Curl on Ubuntu 20.04
    • How to Secure Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 16.10
    • How to install League of Legends on Linux Mint 20
    • Tiling Window Management Is Objectively Better Than The Rest
    • Vulnerability scanning in disconnected environments
  • Games

    • Best offline games for Android

      Many Android games rely on an internet connection. Some of them need to download data from the server, like Clash of Clans, or need DRM protection, like most Final Fantasy games. Anyway,you may find that most games require a web connection just for the game to run. But that is not true. Not everyone has the luxury of always having a stable internet connection, so we selected the top Android games offline, that is, you would not require a 4G or a Wi-Fi connection to play them.

      In fact, the Android app store itself, Google Play, has a category called ” Offline games “, launched in 2014. This category offers free and paid games that do not require Internet access. The category is updated frequently, always bringing new games . So if you want to stay up to date, you might want to take a look at this category every now and then.

    • 7 Days to Die ‘Alpha 19 Experimental’ is out with HD Zombies

      The Fun Pimps are working towards another huge upgrade for the survival game 7 Days to Die, with a new experimental build out now to try.

      It’s a massive upgrade again to many areas of the game, and it does sound quite exciting. One of the best survival games available on Linux, easily. Alpha 19 can be tried out in the “latest_experimental” Beta branch on Steam. Keep in mind it will be unstable since it’s not yet ready for everyone. With that in mind though, it’s still fun to try. Some of what’s new includes: Linear Color Space Lighting, Food and Water Bars in the UI, New Survival System & Critical Injuries, Interactive Loading Screen and even HD Characters, like my friend pictured below while exploring myself earlier.

    • Bounty Battle the ‘ultimate indie fighting game’ releasing July 23

      Featuring an all-star fighting cast from various indie games, the fighting game Bounty Battle is due to release on July 23.

      Inspired by the likes of Skullgirls and Street Fighter, it’s a multiplayer 2D fighter that gives you access to over 20 characters taken from games like Guacamelee!, Darkest Dungeon, Dead Cells, Owlboy and more. It was funded on Fig back in 2017, with help from 334 backers and a bunch of money from Fig directly too.

      Just recently, they confirmed in an announcement that it’s due to launch on July 23. In the comments, they mentioned the Linux version should be launching at the same time too.

    • First-person melee combat expands in Paint the Town Red

      The highly rated first-person melee combat game Paint the Town Red is violent, bloody and getting bigger.

      Released into Early Access back in 2015, this ultra-violent game of punching and kicking has continued to expand with new content and game modes with it going on to receive a very high user rating on Steam. As bloody as it is, Paint the Town Red isn’t supposed to be taken seriously at all with it’s blocky voxel-style.

      Over the last few months it’s had some pretty huge updates which includes a 2-4 player cooperative multiplayer addition to Beneath, the rogue-like campaign mode. There’s also now an Endless Mode for the Arena so you can keep fighting for as long as you can survive. Together the new modes add quite a bit of extra gameplay.

    • Godot 4.0 will get SDF based real-time global illumination

      While we already briefly mentioned SDF based real-time global illumination was coming in our post on the recent Godot Engine 3.2.2 release, Godot’s Juan Linietsky has now explained the upcoming feature in more detail.

      Godot 4.0 is the massive rendering overhaul that’s still a while away with Vulkan support, and over time new and more advanced 3D rendering features are making it in. SDFGI (Signed Distance Field Global Illumination), the latest mentioned addition, is a seriously fancy lighting technique that provides a form of real-time dynamic lighting. They said it’s something akin to a dynamic real-time lightmap but it doesn’t require unwrapping, nor does it use textures and it doesn’t require Ray Tracing either – all while keeping performance in check.

    • OpenRA working to support C&C Remastered assets, Tiberian Sun work continues

      The team behind OpenRA have confirmed their continued commitment to working on the game engine to support Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert and Dune 2000 on modern platforms.

      Since the release of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, plus the open source code along with it from EA, people have questioned if OpenRA will continue and the good news is that it will. Not only that, it’s going to get better than ever and work is ongoing.

      Thanks to the open source release of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection code, the OpenRA team have already begun studying it and mentioned that while OpenRA takes things in a different and more modern direction, they have already been able to learn a few things.

    • Papercraft styled tactical RPG ‘Wildermyth’ adds Legacy campaigns

      Wildermyth is a seriously great in-development character-driven tactical RPG, with a fantastic papercraft style and it just got a great boost to the story.

      It’s a little bit unusual actually. Combining the story-telling from classic tabletop D&D RPGs, with the combat of an XCOM-like with turn-based tactical options aplenty. Together with the style it’s wonderful and I’m always happy to load it up for another run, now even more so. In Wildermyth, if you manage to complete one of the story campaigns, you get to promote one or more characters into a special Legacy pool, to find and recruit them during Legacy campaigns.

    • Sweet settlement building game The Colonists gets random maps

      Inspired in parts by The Settlers and Anno, The Colonists is a settlement building game about little robots trying to become a bit more human.

      “You take control of a team of self-replicating robots built to simulate human civilisation. After escaping Earth, The Colonists are now free to roam the galaxy in search of a new home and construct their dream settlement. You’ll advance through three different Ages as you build infrastructure for your colony by constructing road, boat and train transport systems.”

      Quite a sweet game actually, one I consider quite the gem if you’re into such building games and it’s been supported rather nicely since the original release in 2018. Since release it’s gained new official maps, new translations, AI upgrades, a map editor, entirely new game mechanics and the latest being a random map generator.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Why the KDE community is #MovingToGitlab

        The KDE community is #MovingToGitlab! After announcing the original decision to migrate to GitLab in November 2019, KDE has officially completed phase one of their migration, and contributors have begun to use GitLab on a daily basis at invent.kde.org. Read on to learn more about KDE’s migration story.

      • KDE’s GitLab is now Live

        After our final decision to adopt GitLab in November 2019, KDE started the work of tackling the many challenges that come with moving a whole development platform for a large open source community. KDE has now officially completed Phase One of the adoption and contributors have begun to use GitLab on a daily basis.

        [...]

        GitLab will also help us to achieve goals like “Consistency”, as it will help our community members have a single solution to their needs. Now, we will be able to host and review code, manage projects/issues, communicate, collaborate, and develop software/applications on a single platform.

        By adopting GitLab as a platform, we will be adding stability to our framework, as we will count on the support of GitLab as a company. GitLab, Inc. has nearly a decade of experience behind it, releases new versions on a regular basis and, apart from its in-house team, counts on an active community of third party contributors. This guarantees that our new development platform will be updated and maintained throughout the years.

      • KDE Completes Transition To GitLab For Developer Portal

        KDE has completed its transition to its own self-hosted GitLab instance for Git hosting and other developer services for handling of bug reports and merge requests.

        KDE has followed the likes of GNOME, FreeDesktop.org / X.Org, and other projects on centering around GitLab for their Git serving and related hosting rather than relying upon the likes of GitHub.

      • Google Summer of Code 2020 – Week 3

        This week, I spent most of my time testing the Rocs graph-layout-plugin. I needed to test the method that applies the force-based layout algorithm to a graph, whose signature is the following.

        [...]

        Before going to the non-functional part, I decided to deal with the easy and familiar functional tests. I was not precise in my description of the method deliberately. Actually, there is at least one guarantee that it should provide: if we draw each node as a circle of radius nodeRadius with centers at the positions calculated by the method, these circles should respect a left-margin and a top-margin of length margin. This was a nice opportunity for me to try the QtTest framework. I wrote a data-driven Unit Test and everything went well.

        Back to the non-functional part, I decided to write a quality benchmark. The idea is to measure some aesthetic criteria of the layouts generated for various classes of graphs. The metrics already implemented are: number of edge crosses, number of edges that cross some other edges, number of node intersections and number of nodes that intersect some other node. Although there is no formal definition of a nice layout, keeping the values of these metrics low seems to be desirable. Currently, I already implemented generators for paths, circles, trees and complete graphs. For each one of these classes of graph, I generate a number of graphs, apply the layout algorithm a certain number of times to each of them, and calculate summary statistics for each one of the considered aesthetic metrics.

  • Distributions

    • 7 Best Linux Distros for Security and Privacy in 2020

      Privacy and security are pressing concerns for all of us these days – not a day goes by that we aren’t bombarded with security news headlines about hacks, breaches and the increased storing and monitoring of sensitive personal information by governments and corporations.

      Luckily, when it comes to security, Linux users are faring better than their Windows- or Mac- using counterparts. Linux offers inherent security advantages over proprietary operating systems due to the transparency of its open-source code and the constant, thorough review that this code undergoes by a vibrant global community. While transparent source code may at first seem like a privacy nightmare, it is actually the complete opposite. As a result of the “many eyes” that Linux has on its code at all times, security vulnerabilities are identified and remedied very rapidly. In contrast, with proprietary OSes like Windows or MacOS, source code is hidden from outsiders – in other words, users are dependent upon Microsoft or Apple to find, fix and disclose vulnerabilities. Linux is also a relatively unpopular target for malicious hackers due to its small user base.

      While all Linux “distros” – or distributed versions of Linux software – are secure by design, certain distros go above and beyond when it comes to protecting users’ privacy and security. We’ve put together a list of our favorite exceptionally-secure Linux distros and spoken with some of their lead developers to find out first-hand what makes these distros so great. This article aims to help you evaluate your options and select the distro that best meets your individual needs.

    • Reviews

      • Panorama – Part I Of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Review

        This is the first part of my review and here I talk about its Look and Feel or let me word it panorama. First, I present you here a video I name it Ubuntu 20.04 in One Minute that reveals to you the panorama of this amazing computer operating system including desktop animation effects and how one interacts with everything inside it. Second, I present you long explanations following it to emphasize the improvements since the age of Hardy Heron version twelve years ago. In panorama, it got so many changes in order to make it just works for most people yet still unique with its own humanity for human beings. So, let’s go to the review and see you in the next part!

    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 34.0 BETA released.

        4MLinux 34.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages.

        Road map:
        June 2020 -> BETA
        September 2020 -> STABLE
        December 2020 -> OLD STABLE
        March 2021 -> EOL

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • A First Look At Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Cinnamon

        Linux Mint 20, codenamed “Ulyana,” was recently released so I thought I would take a quick first look at Linux Mint 20 with the Cinnamon desktop environment. Linux Mint 20 has made headlines recently due to their decision to try to block installation of snaps.

      • Linux Mint 20 First Look: Fresh Cinnamon Looking Good

        Linux Mint 20 release is around the corner. Beta version is released and we take it for a ride to show you what it looks like and the new feature it brings.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 set for release

        OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 is complete and ready for a planned release on July 2. Leap is the version based on SUSE Linux Enterprise, but with many updated packages; see the 15.2 features page for an overview of what’s coming. “Leap 15.2 is filled with several containerization technologies like Singularity, which bring containers and reproducibility to scientific computing and the high-performance computing (HPC) world. Singularity first appeared in the Leap distribution in Leap 42.3 and provides functionality to build smallest minimal containers and runs the containers as single application environments. Another official package in Leap 15.2 is libcontainers-common, which allows the configuration of files and manpages shared by tools that are based on the github.com/containers libraries, such as Buildah, CRI-O, Podman and Skopeo. Docker containers and tooling make building and shipping applications easy and fast.”

      • openSUSE Leap 15.2 is Gold!
    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Data centre automation for HPC

        Now physical servers are a lot easier to set up, provision and configure thanks to tools such as MAAS. For example, connecting servers and selecting which ones will be configured for networking and which for data, is as easy as clicking a button on a web UI. This may seem innocuous but it means that a server farm can be used for one project in the morning and for something completely different in the afternoon.

        In reality, the server configuration is only the start, the base from which everything bubbles up. Re-configuration at the server level allows for use of higher-level tools such as LXD VMs, Kubernetes and Juju to quickly put together an environment with reusable code without needing to be a DevOps expert or having to wait for an expert to do it for you.

        What we are going to see in the next few years is a growth of HPC with cloud native tools. Or, in other words, bringing cloud software tools and good developer experience into the world of HPC to make the operations easier.

      • Linux Mint 20

        Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” has been released in Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions. Linux Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and will be supported until 2025. Release notes are available for Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

      • 13 Things To Do After Installing Linux Mint 20

        Linux Mint is easily one of the best Linux distributions out there and especially considering the features of Linux Mint 20, I’m sure you will agree with that.

        In case you missed our coverage, Linux Mint 20 is finally available to download.

        Of course, if you’ve been using Linux Mint for a while, you probably know what’s best for you. But, for new users, there are a few things that you need to do after installing Linux Mint 20 to make your experience better than ever.

      • Convert Ubuntu Into Rolling Release Using Rolling Rhino

        Arch Linux follows the rolling-release model to provide the latest and up-to-date stable versions of most software. Not just Arch Linux, many other distributions, such as Gentoo, Kali Linux, KaOS, PCLinuxOS, Solus, openSUSE and Void lInux etc., are also following the rolling release model. Despite its popularity, Ubuntu is still missing in this list. Not anymore! Thanks to Rolling Rhino script, we can now convert Ubuntu into a rolling release distribution easily and quickly.

        Rolling Rhino is a shell script that transforms the Ubuntu into a “rolling release” that tracks the devel series. It converts the Ubuntu desktop and official desktop flavours, that has been installed from a daily image, into a rolling release distribution. So you can get the latest software as released by the original developers in your Ubuntu desktop. Under the hood, this script sets all your apt sources to devel branch. Rolling Rhino is created and maintained by Martin Wimpress from Canonical among other contributors.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 637

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 637 for the week of June 21 – 27, 2020.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Apache Advances Multiple Open Source Cloud Efforts

      The Apache Software Foundation updates a number of its open source cloud projects, including Apache Libcloud, Traffic Control and CloudStack, with new functionalities

    • Web Browsers

      • Chromium

        • Chromium-based browsers pros and cons

          How much do you think about your internet browser? Not much, right? If it gets you to your target web destination, that’s all that matters. For most, it’s a choice between Chrome or Firefox, with Edge and Safari coming not far behind.

          While most internet users opt for Chrome, many people don’t realize that many of the other leading browsers in the world are not so different from it. They use the Chromium source code.

          While Chrome and Chromium are separate projects, one is Google’s proprietary web tool, and the other is open source. But there are a lot of similarities between the two.

          Developers love Chromium. It’s easy to work with, has tons of extensions and API kits, and more. You can even swap out Chrome and use Chromium directly instead as your browser.

      • Mozilla

        • mozregression GUI: now available for Linux

          This is an area where using telemetry in mozregression can help us measure the impact of a change like this: although Windows still dominates in terms of marketshare, Linux is very widely used by contributors — of the usage of mozregression in the past 2 months, fully 30% of the sessions were on Linux…

        • Firefox 78.0 Released – Also Serves As The Newest ESR Version

          Firefox 78.0 is available this morning as the newest version of Mozilla’s web browser. Firefox 78.0 is also significant in being the newest Extended Support Release (ESR) series.

          With Firefox 78 ESR it’s a big upgrade over the current Firefox 68.9 ESR release with the many new features introduced over the past number of months. But even if currently on Firefox 77, the Firefox 78 release continues with its WebRender improvements, TLS 1.0/1.1 are retired and disabled, WebRTC handling improvements, the Linux system requirements have been raised to needing Glibc 2.17 / libstdc++ 4.8.1 / GTK+ 3.14 or newer, a new RegExp engine for SpiderMonkey, and other Web API support additions.

        • Firefox 78 Released, Bumps Linux System Requirements

          Yeah, can’t say I’ve heard of the last one either.

          Tongue firmly out of my check I once again report that latest change-log for this (rightly) revered browser isn’t loaded with changes.

          There’s are some welcome security patches, a bevy of bug fixes, and a pinch of usability finesse. But major headline additions? Well, I’ll let you decide if any of the ones below qualify as that!

        • Firefox 79 Enters Beta, Lets You Export Saved Passwords and Logins to a CSV File

          Firefox 79 was in the Nightly channel since earlier this month, but today Mozilla released the first beta version to the public, following the official release of Firefox 78 as the newest ESR (Extended Support Release) series.

          While Firefox 78 packs a lot of cool new features and improvements, Firefox 79 will probably see only a handful of enhancements as it continues the monthly, rapid release cycle. And, the first new feature to surface is the ability to export saved passwords and logins to a CSV file.

          The new option is implemented in the Logins & Passwords page a.k.a. Firefox Lockwise. It can be accessed by clicking on the three dots on the right side of the screen, next to “Sign in to Sync” button, and then on the “Export Logins” entry in the context menu (see the screenshot gallery below for details).

        • New in Firefox 78: DevTools improvements, new regex engine, and abundant web platform updates

          A new stable Firefox version rolls out today, providing new features for web developers. A new regex engine, updates to the ECMAScript Intl API, new CSS selectors, enhanced support for WebAssembly, and many improvements to the Firefox Developer Tools await you.

        • Mozilla’s analysis: Brazil’s fake news law harms privacy, security, and free expression

          Breaking end-to-end encryption: According to the latest informal congressional report, the law would mandate all communication providers to retain records of forwards and other forms of bulk communications, including origination, for a period of three months. As companies are required to report much of this information to the government, in essence, this provision would create a perpetually updating, centralized log of digital interactions of nearly every user within Brazil. Apart from the privacy and security risks such a vast data retention mandate entails, the law seems to be infeasible to implement in end-to-end encrypted services such as Signal and WhatsApp. This bill would force companies to leave the country or weaken the technical protections that Brazilians rely on to keep their messages, health records, banking details, and other private information secure.

        • Brazil’s fake news law will harm users

          The “fake news” law being rushed through Brazil’s Senate will massively harm privacy and freedom of expression online. Among other dangerous provisions, this bill would force traceability of forwarded messages, which will require breaking end-to-end encryption. This legislation will substantially harm online security, while entrenching state surveillance.

          Brazil currently enjoys some of the most comprehensive digital protections in the world, via its Internet Bill of Rights and the upcoming data protection law is poised to add even more protections. In order to preserve these rights, the ‘fake news’ law should be immediately withdrawn from consideration and be subject to rigorous congressional review with input from all affected parties.

        • 5 Serious Flaws in the New Brazilian “Fake News” Bill that Will Undermine Human Rights

          The Brazilian Senate is scheduled to make its vote this week on the most recent version of “PLS 2630/2020” the so-called “Fake News” bill. This new version, supposedly aimed at safety and curbing “malicious coordinated actions” by users of social networks and private messaging apps, will allow the government to identify and track countless innocent users who haven’t committed any wrongdoing in order to catch a few malicious actors. 

          The bill creates a clumsy regulatory regime to intervene in the technology and policy decisions of both public and private messaging services in Brazil, requiring them to institute new takedown procedures, enforce various kinds of identification of all their users, and greatly increase the amount of information that they gather and store from and about their users. They also have to ensure that all of that information can be directly accessed by staff in Brasil, so it is directly and immediately available to their government—bypassing the strong safeguards for users’ rights of existing international mechanisms such as Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties.

        • Missing structure in technical discussions

          People are amazing creatures. When discussing a complex issue, they are able to keep multiple independent arguments in their heads, the pieces of supporting and disproving evidence, and can collapse this system into a concrete solution. We can spend hours navigating through the issue comments on Github, reconstructing the points of view, and making sense of the discussion. Problem is: we don’t actually want to apply this superpower and waste time nearly as often.

          [...]

          I’m excited to have this new way of preserving and growing the structure of a technical debate. We can keep using the code hosting platforms, and arguing on the issues and PR, while solidifying the core points in these .argdown files. I hope to see it applied more widely to the workflows of technical working groups.

    • FSF

      • GNU Projects

        • GnuCash 4.0

          GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

          GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

        • Hardware Challengem Ham Radio

          We got a nice note from Michelle Thompson this week thanking us for mentioning the GNU Radio Conference in last week’s Links article, and in particular for mentioning the virtual CTF challenge that they’re planning. It turns out that Michelle is deeply involved in designing the virtual CTF challenge, after having worked on the IRL challenges at previous conferences. She shared a few details of how the conference team made the decision to go forward with the virtual challenge, inspired in part by the success of the Hack-A-Sat qualifying rounds, which were also held remotely. It sounds like the GNU Radio CTF challenge will be pretty amazing, with IQ files being distributed to participants in lieu of actually setting up receivers. We wish Michelle and the other challenge coordinators the best of luck with the virtual con, and we really hope a Hackaday reader wins.

        • June GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: Twelve new releases!

          adns-1.6.0
          bison-3.6.4
          chess-6.2.7
          gnun-1.0
          guile-3.0.4
          libmicrohttpd-0.9.71
          linux-libre-5.7-gnu
          mcsim-6.2.0
          mit-scheme-11.0.90
          parallel-20200622
          r-4.0.2
          shepherd-0.8.1

    • Public Services/Government

      • The public sector of Bühl uses Free Software

        The town of Bühl, Germany, has started the successful Free Software based video conference platform “Palim! Palim!”. To find out more about the relations between Bühl and Free Software we conducted an interview with Eduard Itrich, the digitisation officer from the town of Bühl.

        The town of Bühl, in the south-west of Germany, started a video conference platform, called “Palim! Palim!” based on the Free Software “Jitsi Meet” to ease the effects of the COVID-19 lock-down for their citizens. “Palim! Palim!” quickly became a striking success; the citizens were thrilled with it and also other municipalities started to became interested. But “Palim! Palim!” is not the only Free Software project used and maintained by the town of Bühl. To find out more about the background behind “Palim! Palim!” and what other relations the town of Bühl has with Free Software we conducted this interview with the “Chief Digital Officer,” Eduard Itrich, from the public administration of Bühl.

    • Programming/Development

      • Welcome to Lua 5.4

        Lua is a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language developed by a team at PUC-Rio, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Lua is free software used in many products and projects around the world.

        Lua’s official web site provides complete information about Lua, including an executive summary and updated documentation, especially the reference manual, which may differ slightly from the local copy distributed in this package.

      • Lua 5.4 Released With New Garbage Collection Mode, Warning System

        Lua 5.4 shipped today as the newest version of the interpreter for this scripting programming language that is particularly popular for embedding within games and other applications.

        Lua 5.4 is the first major release since Lua 5.3 shipped five years ago with support for bitwise operators, integers, UTF-8 library handling, and other capabilities. Lua 5.4 is another hearty feature update.

      • 10 ReactJS tools to boost your web development skills

        Did you know most résumés submitted for jobs get rejected with just a single glance? That’s a daunting fact if you are trying to get started in web development, but there are ways to improve what you have to offer prospective employers and clients. For application developers, now is a great time to increase your skills, and open source is the best avenue for professional development. You don’t need to attend university to learn new open source skills; all you need is a sense of direction and self-discipline.

        ReactJS is one of many skills you would be wise to learn on your way to becoming a successful web developer. If you’re already comfortable with JavaScript and HTML, it is a natural next technology to learn. If you’re not familiar with them yet, then you’ll find ReactJS a great place to start as a programmer.

      • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn D

        D is a general-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax that compiles to native code.

        It is statically typed and supports both automatic (garbage collected) and manual memory management.

        D programs are structured as modules that can be compiled separately and linked with external libraries to create native libraries or executables.

      • Worrying about the npm ecosystem

        The npm ecosystem seems unwell. If you are concerned with security, reliability, or long-term maintenance, it is almost impossible to pick a suitable package to use — both because there are 1.3 million packages available, and even if you find one that is well documented and maintained, it might depend on hundreds of other packages, with dependency trees stretching ten or more levels deep — as one developer, it’s impossible to validate them all.

        I spend some time measuring the extent of the problem.

        I suggest that this is a social problem, more than a technical one, and propose a semi-social solution: a human-maintained subset of the total registry, based on shared criteria by which a “healthy” package can receive a seal of approval. One criterion would be to only depend on other approved packages.

      • Be a better Scrabble player with a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera
      • Perl/Raku

        • 2020.26 Cloud Gone

          The Conference in the Cloud is over. All that’s left is a number of videos (and some slides):

        • Handling Perl character codes is very easy even for beginners.

          I feel that Perl users are losing confidence because of negative feedback from other communities.

          The opinions of people who intend to harm Perl are 99% useless in my experience.

          Handling character codes is actually simple.

          Because all you have to do is remember the following three things.

          1. use utf8 and save file as UTF-8

          2. if you print text, encode text to platform charset(Linux is UTF-8, Windows is cp932)

          3. if you get text from outside, decode text from platform charset(Linux is UTF-8, Windows is cp932)

          If “use v7;” enabled “use utf8″, it would be less memorable and less mistake.

      • Python

        • Build Your Own Domain Specific Language in Python With textX

          Programming languages are a powerful tool and can be used to create all manner of applications, however sometimes their syntax is more cumbersome than necessary. For some industries or subject areas there is already an agreed upon set of concepts that can be used to express your logic. For those cases you can create a Domain Specific Language, or DSL to make it easier to write programs that can express the necessary logic with a custom syntax. In this episode Igor Dejanović shares his work on textX and how you can use it to build your own DSLs with Python. He explains his motivations for creating it, how it compares to other tools in the Python ecosystem for building parsers, and how you can use it to build your own custom languages.

        • python-bugzilla REST API support

          I just released python-bugzilla 2.4.0. The main interesting bit it adds is support for Bugzilla’s REST API.

          All previous versions of python-bugzilla and /usr/bin/bugzilla only used the XMLRPC API, but that is deprecated in Bugzilla 5.0+ and all new API development is taking place on the REST API.

          In practice there isn’t any released bugzilla version that has big differences between the two API versions. On bugzilla.redhat.com specifically the XMLRPC API is still recommended, because some custom features are not available over REST yet. Note though that bugzilla.mozilla.org is looking at disabling the XMLRPC API entirely, but they are usually ahead of the Bugzilla curve.

        • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In | Gsoc’2020 | #5

          Fourth week of GSOC was slightly different than what I wanted it to be like. My struggle with a stable internet connection and area lockdown due to COVID19 precautionary measures were just too overwhelming , Though its been a while with this struggle but things were at a peak this week and I couldnt make a PR until saturday when things calmed a little. And that was a slight relief.

        • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week 5: improve CVEDB

          I have finished my work on improving cvedb this week. I am using aiohttp to download NVD dataset instead of requesting with multiprocessing pool. This has improved our downloading speed since now every tasks are downloading concurrently in same thread instead of 4 tasks at a time with process pool. I have also measured performance of aiosqlite but it was significantly slower while writing to database so, I decided to keep writing process synchronous. I have also added a beautiful progressbar with the help of rich module. So, now user can get feedback about progress of the downloading and updating database. Here is the demo of how does it look now.

        • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly checkin #5
        • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check In – 4
      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

      • Java

        • Should API-restricting licenses qualify as open source?

          In its 2014 Oracle v. Google decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the method declarations and “structure, sequence, and organization” (SSO) of the Java SE API were protected by copyright. This much-criticized result contradicted a decades-old industry and professional consensus assumption that APIs were in the public domain, reflected in an ongoing common practice of successive reimplementation of APIs, and persisting even after the general copyrightability of software was settled by statute. Unsurprisingly, that consensus shaped the view of APIs from within open source. Open source licenses, in particular, do not address APIs, and their conditions have not customarily been understood to apply to APIs.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OASIS Open Joins Open Source Initiative

      “OASIS Open and OSI have been informal collaborators on licensing and other topics from the early days of the OpenDocument Format to our recent Open Projects Program,” noted Guy Martin, Executive Director of OASIS Open. “We are delighted to formalize our relationship as a sign of our mutual commitment to expanding the role of open source in the standards definition process and look forward to an exciting future for this combined open ecosystem.”

      Founded in 1993, the OASIS Open community is committed to advancing work that lowers cost, improves efficiency, stimulates innovation, grows global markets, and promotes interoperability. Each project operates independently under OASIS’s industry-leading process and clear Intellectual Property Rights.

      Begun in 2019, the OASIS Open Projects program provides open source communities with foundation-level support—for governance, intellectual property (IP) management, collaboration tools, outreach and events—with an optional path to standardization and de jure approval for reference in international policy and procurement. Open Projects lets communities choose from seven currently-supported, OSI-approved licenses.

    • Gopherspace in the Year 2020

      Today the Gopher protocol has been supplanted almost completely by the HTTP protocol upon which the World Wide Web is based. Though the Internet has changed considerably, Gopher servers are still around. Text is still mostly what users see in gopherspace, and it can still be navigated with gopher-capable Internet browsers. Sadly, only one Veronica search engine appears to operate today. Now, When a user navigates through gopherspace with the Veronica search engine, by following links, or by entering URL’s into his browser, he has an experience in many ways similar to surfing the modern Internet.

      Though about two dozen Internet browsers can still access gopherspace, either natively or with plugins, I will only talk about one. I’ll focus on the Lynx browser, because it is readily available, easy to use, and powerful. The Lynx browser also runs on all the major operating systems. I’ll show readers how to use the Lynx browser to get into gopherspace and have a look around.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • 50,000 people sign up for Duolingo’s Finnish course within first four days

        The language learning app, which has an estimated 300 million users worldwide, published a Finnish language course for the first time on June 24, following years of speculation and delays. Finnish has been described by the company as the “most requested” language ever from its community of users, and the initial uptake of the course has been viewed as promising by Duolingo employees.

      • Covid-19 is no longer a short-term crisis for higher education

        Traditional university planning processes cannot keep up. Strategies become working documents rather than the dot-perfect papers that used to work their way through our administration. Requirements can be turned on their heads in the time it takes one committee to pass a paper to the next.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “Back to Normal” Thinking and Why Trump’s Anti-Mask Stance Has Been So Deadly

        Understanding why some people continue to disregard the best advice of public health officials, means understanding why how dangerous the president’s behavior has become.

      • The Fight’s Not Over. Doctors Like Me Will Continue Pushing for Abortion Rights.

        When I was a medical student, I was one of thousands of students who received a mailing from an anti-abortion organization that included this so-called joke…

      • ‘Time Is Now to #PassTheDamnBill’: 116 California DNC Delegates Demand Pelosi Hold Floor Vote on Medicare for All

        “Our privatized, employer-based health coverage model is an international embarrassment. It economically crushes working families for the private profits of a few elites.”

      • ‘Absolute Robbery’: Gilead Announces $3,120 Price Tag for Covid-19 Drug Developed With $70 Million in Taxpayer Support

        “Taxpayers provided funding for the development of this drug. Now Gilead is price-gouging off it during a pandemic. Beyond disgusting,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      • ‘Not Even Close to Being Over’: WHO Chief Says Despite Some Progress, ‘Pandemic Is Actually Speeding Up’

        The warning from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus came after global Covid-19 cases topped 10 million and the death toll passed 500,000.

      • New COVID Infections Surge in US as Trump Fixates on His Election Prospects

        COVID-19 is surging across the United States, but the only thing this president seems to care about is the slow decay of his election prospects.

      • The Pandemic Shows the Importance of Funding Early Childcare and Education Infrastructure

        The COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the economy in March has led to sharp declines in employment and output. In December, women made up more than half the workforce; now, for the first time, women have lost jobs at a more rapid rate than men. They need to be able to return to employment in large numbers if the economy is to recover and get onto a strong growth path.

      • Massive Case of Denial: COVID Surges in US, Tops 10M Globally, as Pence Touts “Remarkable Progress”

        As coronavirus cases top 10 million worldwide and spikes are being reported in 36 states, Vice President Mike Pence has touted “truly remarkable progress” on the pandemic. “This has just been a massive case of denial, of idiotic government policy, of the lack of any strategic planning, any really specific strategic goal,” Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett says of the response to the pandemic. “We’re in very, very dire straits right now.”

      • Russia’s longest quarantine How ‘Rosatom’ is keeping its key nuclear power plant workers in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic

        Russia’s government-owned atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, has been keeping key employees from its nuclear power plants in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the investigative news outlet Proekt. In particular, employees in charge of the control panel blocks and all technological aspects of these power stations have been isolated. Rosatom declared these people “critically important” workers, since the power units of these stations can’t function without them, and because replacing them is very difficult: in order to work in a nuclear control room you need to obtain a license and pass an exam. Russia has 11 nuclear power plants, which, according to Proekt’s calculations, employ a little more than 1,000 control room operators. Presumably all of them were sent into quarantine: Rosatom announced the decision to isolate “all workers who ensure the continuity of production processes and work in nuclear facilities” in the spring.

      • COVID Surges in US as Pence Touts “Remarkable Progress”

        As coronavirus cases top 10 million worldwide and spikes are being reported in 36 states, Vice President Mike Pence has touted “truly remarkable progress” on the pandemic. “This has just been a massive case of denial, of idiotic government policy, of the lack of any strategic planning, any really specific strategic goal,” Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett says of the response to the pandemic. “We’re in very, very dire straits right now.”

      • Covid-19 Means Good Times for the Pentagon

        Or how to vaccinate the military-industrial complex.

      • Pence Praises Texas Governor for Reopening That Fueled Massive Surge in Covid-19 Cases and Hospitalizations

        “The head of the Covid Task Force just commended our governor for his role in opening the economy and creating the largest outbreak to date.”

      • “We need to catch that cold!”: Antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers vs. public health

        One of the happy delusions that many in the science-based community (including, at least somewhat, myself) and mainstream press have held over the years that has been punctured by the arrival of COVID-19 is that one main reason that antivaccine beliefs persist is that we’ve forgotten the toll that the diseases against which we vaccinate. If, for instance, measles returned with a vengeance, or haemophilus influenza type B, or polio, antivaxxers would see the error of their ways, and resistance to vaccination would diminish. How many times have you heard this argument? How many times have I suggested this? It’s a comforting thought. However, truth be told, it is also one that makes us, as science advocates, feel a bit smug and confident. That’s not to say that there isn’t a grain of truth in this idea, particularly for the vaccine-hesitant, but for hard-core antivaxxers, it has been a comforting myth. But why is it a myth? It seems so obvious, so rational, to think that the return of deadly diseases would knock some sense into antivaxxers’ heads. So why have antivaxxers aligned themselves with COVID-19 deniers and conspiracy theorists in the most emphatic way possible, with a number of COVID-19 lockdown protests being organized by antivaxxers? Let me provide some perspective as someone who’s been following the antivaccine movement for nearly two decades and writing about it regularly for over 15 years. I will admit that these are my observations, and that there isn’t a lot of research, but perhaps I can provide some ideas for actual research and action regarding public health.

      • An enduring coronavirus mystery: Why do only some get sick?

        Sexton added that the virus’ long incubation period has also led to some confusion over how “asymptomatic” is defined. According to the CDC, it could take up to 14 days after exposure for someone to show any symptoms.

        “There are people who are positive but truly have no symptoms, and there are people who go on to develop very mild or atypical symptoms, and then there are people who think they are asymptomatic until you query them about some of the more unusual manifestations of COVID-19,” she said. “But sometimes, these all get lumped together as ‘asymptomatic.’”

        It’s thought that people in all three categories — including those who are presymptomatic — can transmit the virus, although there was again some confusion about the nature of asymptomatic spread. In early June, the World Health Organization was forced to clarify that the coronavirus can be spread by people with no symptoms after one of the agency’s top infectious disease epidemiologists, Maria Van Kerkhove, said she thought asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 was “very rare.”

      • The True Cost of Dollar Stores

        Frustration was rising at City Hall, too. When Mayor Whaley entered city government, in 2005, she viewed the dollar chains as serving a useful purpose, but over time she saw how the chains’ stores in urban neighborhoods contrasted with the ones in rural areas. Residents often sent her photos of dangerously cluttered aisles, and she asked fire marshals to issue warnings. “The more and more ubiquitous they’ve gotten, they’ve gotten less and less caring,” she said. “I came to see them as glorified check-cashing and payday lenders, for the way they prey off the poor but don’t really care about the poor.”

      • JUSTICE MALALA: What three American airports taught me about Covid-19 and political leadership

        Last Wednesday, the front page of The New York Times carried a story saying that the EU is prepared to block Americans from entering its political and economic zone because the US has failed to control the spread of Covid-19.

        “That prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President [Donald] Trump’s handling of the virus in the US,” the newspaper said.

        How did it come to this? For many of us growing up in the 1980s and 1990s in the shadow of the Cold War, the US was a beacon of scientific and medical prowess. It was a country you looked to for science-led innovations and solutions to humanity’s challenges. Russia was the country of Chernobyl; the US was the man on the moon and the “giant leap for mankind”. What could have happened to bring the country so low in its response to Covid-19, let alone international diplomacy and leadership?

      • Coronavirus Damages Lungs of Asymptomatic Patients Too, Medical Examiner Says

        Thogmartin cited his own experience doing autopsies and a study published earlier this month by Scripps Research, a nonprofit medical research facility. That analysis suggested that up to 45 percent of those infected with the novel coronavirus were asymptomatic, while also noting that these individuals appeared to suffer lung damage.

        “When the person dies, you can find lungs that don’t look and feel like lungs anymore,” Thogmartin said.

      • As Supreme Court Blocks Louisiana’s Anti-Choice Law, Reproductive Rights Groups Breathe Sigh of Relief—and Prepare for Continued Fight

        “The court’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public will be threatened if they follow through on Trump’s promise to end legal abortion,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America.

      • Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisiana Abortion Restrictions

        The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. voting with the court’s four-member liberal wing but not adopting its reasoning. The chief justice said respect for precedent compelled him to vote with the majority.

      • Justice Roberts Joins Liberal Wing to Block Louisiana’s Restrictive Abortion Law

        The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on Monday invalidating a Louisiana law that sought to put tough restrictions on abortion clinics, threatening access to the procedure for thousands of individuals in the state.

      • The Supreme Court Struck Down A Louisiana Abortion Law. Here’s Where The Fight Could Head Next.

        Today’s ruling means that the center of gravity in the abortion debate will likely shift away from requirements placed on clinics — particularly those that are similar to the ones struck down in Texas and Louisiana. According to the Guttmacher institute, a research organization that supports legal abortion, 14 states, including Louisiana and Texas, have passed admitting-privileges restrictions since 2011. The Supreme Court striking those laws down is a significant victory for abortion-rights supporters, because those types of restrictions were very onerous for doctors to comply with. A ruling in favor of Louisiana in this case would have almost certainly made it even harder to get an abortion in the state — and perhaps also in other parts of the country.

        But as you can see in the chart above, there are still hundreds of other laws that limit abortion rights on the books. And a few kinds of laws that several Republican-controlled legislatures have recently passed could turn into the next big front in the abortion wars.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple News just lost The New York Times

          The New York Times has announced that, as of today, it will no longer be distributing articles in the Apple News app, making it one of the largest publishers to end its association with Apple’s publishing platform.

          In a memo announcing the change, Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer at the Times, said the company wants “a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers, and the nature of our business rules.” She added that the paper’s “relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters.”

        • [Old] Fujitsu must face scrutiny following Post Office Horizon trial judgment

          The second trial in the group litigation, Bates and Others vs Post Office, examined the Post Office’s claim that Fujitsu’s Horizon system used in branches was robust and not to blame for accounting inaccuracies. Horizon was introduced in 1999/2000, and is used by about 12,000 Post Office branches.

          Following an out-of-court settlement between the two parties, the judgment for the second trial, which examined whether Horizon could have been to blame for the accounting shortfalls, was handed down by Fraser, who ruled unequivocally that the system was not robust.

        • [Old] Post Office IT contractor faces prosecution after judge’s ‘grave concerns’ about evidence

          Last week it was announced that the epic Bates v Post Office group litigation, which has dragged on for over three years, had been settled, and the Post Office admitted ‘we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters’. The settlement is £57.75m.

          This afternoon, the Horizon judgment – which is separate to the mediation and relates to the computer system which wrongly suggested postmasters had committed fraud – was handed down.

        • Eight more former Post Office workers referred to Court of Appeal

          They claim a glitch [sic] with the system created financial discrepancies which led to charges of theft or false accounting.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Ahana Announces Linux Foundation’s PrestoDB Now Available on AWS Marketplace and DockerHub

                PrestoDB is a federated SQL engine for data engineers and analysts to run interactive, ad hoc analytics on large amounts of data, which continues to grow exponentially across a wide range of data lakes and databases. As a result, data platform teams are increasingly using Presto as the de facto SQL query engine to run analytics across data sources in-place, without the need to move data. One of the fastest growing projects in the data analytics space, PrestoDB is hosted by the Linux Foundation’s Presto Foundation and is the same project running at massive scale at Facebook, Uber and Twitter.

              • MLflow moves to Linux Foundation project

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

                MLflow’s source is already available under the Apache 2.0 license, so this is not about open sourcing a previously proprietary project. Instead, it is about giving the project “a vendor neutral home with an open governance model,” according to Databricks’s press release.

              • Scality Affirms Commitment to Open Source as Founding Member of New Linux Foundation to Solve Data Management Challenges

                Scality today announced its founder status and membership of SODA Foundation, an expanded open source community under the Linux Foundation umbrella. As a founding member, Scality joins forces with Fujitsu, IBM, Sony and others to accelerate innovation in meeting the challenges of data management across multiple clouds, edge and core environments for end users.

                The range of challenges end users are facing today has resulted in an increase in data management complexity. Data is scattered across various locations, including proprietary silos, the risk of security breaches is rising by the day, and datacenters are often reliant on a heterogenous range of data management solutions; today data management is more and more complex and time-consuming for CIOs and IT teams. SODA Foundation members are building a common framework to promote standardization and best practices that simplify management and unify storage pools. SODA Foundation announced yesterday that it is expanding to include both open source software and standards in order to integrate efforts across platforms and support its mission to enable data autonomy and mobility for end users.

              • Linux Foundation Hosts FinOps and Offers Free Related Training Course

                At this week’s virtual Open Source Summit, The Linux Foundation announced that it will host the FinOps Foundation, which aims to bring financial accountability to the area of cloud computing through collaborative management, best practices, education, and standards.

                According to the announcement, “the FinOps community is defining cloud financial management standards and is increasing access to education and certification for this discipline across industries.” In addition to hosting FinOps, The Linux Foundation is also offering a free edX course – called Introduction to FinOps – to help educate professionals in this area. The course will “cover the basics of FinOps and how it can positively impact an organization by building a culture of accountability around cloud use,” the announcement states.

              • FinOps Foundation Joins Linux Foundation to Bring Focus to Cloud Costs
              • 3 Blockchain Firms, iExec, IoTeX, and R3, join Linux Foundation’s Privacy-Focused Consortium

                Only half of the new entrants in the consortium deal with blockchain-related services, with R3 an enterprise-focused blockchain company, IoTeX is an internet-of-things company that integrates blockchain technology to secure data and iExec, a decentralized cloud computing firm. The three companies will join Oasis Lab, the only blockchain company present among the CCC founding members.

                Blockchain technology and TEEs share the common property of data security. The experience that these blockchain firms can bring data privacy TEEs so users will be able to not only “own their private data, but also to use it in a privacy-preserving way,” Raullen Chai, CEO of IoTex, said in a statement.

                According to Chai, the introduction of TEEs in confidential computing will solve two main issues in people’s everyday data privacy – facial recognition and contact tracing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        • Security

          • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 146 released

            The next Core Update for IPFire is available. It updates the IPFire kernel, enhances its hardening and adds mitigations for Intel’s latest hardware vulnerabilities…

            Arne has rebased the IPFire kernel on version 4.14.184 from the Linux kernel developers and integrated our custom patches into this release. It brings various stability and security fixes.

            This kernel brings mitigations for processor vulnerabilities in Intel’s processors and includes updates of Intel’s microcode.

          • IPFire Linux Firewall Discontinues Support for 32-Bit Systems with PAE

            A new update to the IPFire Linux firewall distribution has been released today with some important under-the-hood changes, especially regarding the future of 32-bit support.

            IPFire 2.25 Core Update 146 was announced today by developer Michael Tremer. This release bumps the Linux kernel to version 4.14.184 LTS, as well as the Intel microcode firmware, to mitigate the recent Intel hardware vulnerabilities dubbed as CrossTalk.

            Another important change in this new IPFire update is the discontinuation of support for 32-bit systems with PAE (Physical Address Extension), a memory management feature for the x86 architecture that allows 32-bit CPUs to access more than 4GB of RAM.

            IPFire 2.25 Core Update 146 doesn’t ship with the optional PAE kernel. The developers recommend all those using IPFire on pure 32-bit systems to upgrade their hardware to 64-bit as soon as possible.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (coturn, drupal7, libvncserver, mailman, php5, and qemu), openSUSE (curl, graphviz, mutt, squid, tomcat, and unbound), Red Hat (chromium-browser, file, kernel, microcode_ctl, ruby, and virt:rhel), Slackware (firefox), and SUSE (mariadb-100, mutt, unzip, and xmlgraphics-batik).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Now Is The Time: Tell Congress to Ban Federal Use of Face Recognition

              Cities and states across the country have banned government use of face surveillance technology, and many more are weighing proposals to do so. From Boston to San Francisco, elected officials and activists rightfully know that face surveillance gives police the power to track us wherever we go, turns us all into perpetual suspects, increases the likelihood of being falsely arrested, and chills people’s willingness to participate in First Amendment protected activities.

              That’s why we’re asking you to contact your elected officials and tell them to co-sponsor and vote yes on the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2020.

            • Your Phone Is Vulnerable Because of 2G, But it Doesn’t Have to Be

              Security researchers have been talking about the vulnerabilities in 2G for years. 2G technology, which at one point underpinned the entire cellular communications network, is widely known to be vulnerable to eavesdropping and spoofing. But even though its insecurities are well-known and it has quickly become archaic, many people still rely on it as the main mobile technology, especially in rural areas. Even as carriers start rolling out the fifth generation of mobile communications, known as 5G, 2G technology is still supported by modern smartphones.

              The manufacturers of operating systems for smartphones (e.g. Apple, Google, and Samsung)  are in the perfect position to solve this problem by allowing users to switch off 2G.

            • Facial Recognition Software Finally Gets Around To Getting An Innocent Person Arrested

              Well, it’s happened. The thing people have been warning about for years. A person lost some of their freedom due to a facial recognition mismatch. It may have only been 30 hours, but it should have been zero. And it might have been zero hours if investigators had bothered to read the disclaimers attached to its facial recognition search results.

            • Twitch, YouTube, and Reddit punished Trump and other racists – and that’s a great thing for freedom

              This brings us to a series of recent decisions by big tech companies:

              Twitch, a popular video streaming service associated with the gaming community, temporarily suspended President Donald Trump’s account because the company claimed it violated their policies on hate. Trump had posted a video of a speech claiming undocumented Mexican migrants are more likely to be rapists and criminals, as well as a video in which he spoke hypothetically about “a very tough hombre” breaking into the house of a “young woman.”

              “Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” a spokesperson for the company told Salon. “In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

            • Microsoft, Ford, Pepsi Join Facebook, Instagram Ad Boycott

              American corporate giants Ford, Pepsi and Microsoft are the latest blue-chip companies to join the growing advertising boycott of Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram over its failure to deal with hate speech and misinformation on its platform.

              “We are pausing all national social media advertising for the next 30 days to re-evaluate our presence on these platforms,” Ford said in a statement to Ad Age. “The existence of content that includes hate speech, violence and racial injustice on social platforms needs to be eradicated. We are actively engaged with industry initiatives led by the Association of National Advertisers to drive more accountability, transparency and trusted measurement to clean up the digital and social media ecosystem.”

            • YouTube Bans More White Supremacist Channels for Hate Speech

              YouTube has wrestled with how best to respond to inflammatory and offensive videos posted by provocateurs like Molyneux and Spencer, who have amassed huge followings on the world’s largest video site. Tech companies say they are not responsible for the views posted by their users, and only take down videos that violate their policy guidelines.

            • YouTube bans Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer, and more for hate speech

              YouTube has banned several prominent white supremacist channels, including those belonging to Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, and Richard Spencer.

              Other channels banned include American Renaissance (with its associated channel AmRen Podcasts) and the channel for Spencer’s National Policy Institute. The channels repeatedly violated YouTube’s policies, a YouTube spokesperson said, by alleging that members of protected groups were inferior. These come alongside other violations that led to YouTube taking action.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How to Reverse the US’s Shockingly Low Global Peace Index Ranking

        The GPI measures peace in three domains: Societal Safety and Security, Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and Militarization.

      • Defense Industry Cheers as the Trump Administration Is Poised to Loosen Restrictions on Drone Exports

        In light of the U.S. decision, Congress must step up and exert its oversight role.

      • A Decades-Old Atrocity Finally Sees Its Day in Court

        In the dark early morning hours of November 16, 1989, an elite unit of the US-trained Atlacatl Battalion entered the Pastoral Center of the Central America University (UCA) in San Salvador. The soldiers rousted six Jesuit priests who lived there and executed them in their pajamas, one-by-one, with an AK-47 shot to the back of the head. On orders to “leave no witnesses,” they also murdered the Jesuits’ cook and her 16-year-old daughter, who were found lying together in “an embrace full of bullets,” according to a poignant description of one witness who did survive the massacre.

      • Will South Korea’s Moon Defy Trump and Improve Relations with North Korea?

        North Korea is in the news again.  As always, that means that it is time for mainstream journalists and establishment figures to reach for the handy cliché and to recycle received opinion as a substitute for thought. Terms like “provocation,” “threat,” and “aggression” abound. Not surprisingly, powerful political and military actors in the United States are seizing the opportunity offered by strained inter-Korean relations to try and kill any prospect of reengagement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – the official name for North Korea).

      • Is the Deep State Attempting a Hybrid War in Mexico?

        An important article by journalist Ben Norton appeared on the online outlet The Grayzone describing the content of a leaked document that consists “of an executive summary of ‘Project BOA,’ outlining what it calls a ‘plan of action’ – a blueprint of concrete steps the opposition alliance will take to unseat AMLO.” AMLO is Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and BOA stands for Bloque Opositor Amplio (Broad Opposition Bloc). The document was presented by AMLO himself at a press conference in early June and the source of the leak remains unknown. Some of the alleged members of this “alliance” have denied the existence of such document. However, its content is quite credible within the geopolitical context of the region.

      • Bombing People Is Not Feminist, No Matter How You Spin It

        That this structure still exists, reaping untold violence across the world, only it is now headed by women, is hardly a step forward for feminism.

      • ‘Annexation Is Illegal. Period.’: UN Human Rights Chief Slams Israeli Government

        Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to begin implementing the annexation plan July 1, despite mounting international outcry.

      • What Jamaal Bowman’s Historic Win Represents for the Palestinian People

        For decades, the pro-Israel lobby was able to carry the day in Congress because Members feared the repercussions of criticizing Israel. That tide is turning.

      • “Atrocious”: Police Killed Elijah McClain in 2019. Why Did It Take Colorado So Long to Launch Probe?

        Colorado Governor Jared Polis has ordered a new investigation into the 2019 police killing of 23-year-old Elijah McClain in Aurora, which is facing renewed scrutiny and outrage amid the nationwide uprising against police brutality. McClain was walking home from a store last August when someone called 911 to report a “suspicious person.” Three Aurora police officers who answered the call tackled McClain to the ground and placed him in a chokehold as he pleaded for his life, and medical responders who arrived then injected McClain with the powerful sedative ketamine. He suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and died several days later. “It’s really atrocious that it’s taken almost a year for this case to gain the kind of attention that it should have gained immediately,” says Mari Newman, attorney for the McClain family.

      • Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Suleimani Assassination

        The Iranian government on Monday issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and recommended that he face “murder and terrorism charges” over the January assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani that brought the two nations to the brink of all-out war.

      • Iran Issues ‘Murder and Terrorism’ Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Soleimani Assassination

        “His prosecution will be pursued even after the end of his term in office.”

      • Protest and the Post-Legitimation State

        In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, protests have spread across the United States (and the world). These protests force us to confront the question of state legitimacy in the United States today in a way that we have not considered in over fifty years. They also allow us to discern the thread connecting the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) movements.

      • Election officials report nearly 40 percent turnout in Russia’s ongoing constitutional plebiscite

        As of June 29, turnout for Russia’s plebiscite on constitutional amendments has reached 37.2 percent, Interfax reports, citing the Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Nikolai Bulayev.

      • Iran calls for Interpol to issue a “red warning” for the immediate arrest of President Trump

        Iran called for Interpol to issue a “red warning” for the immediate arrest of the president, who was reported to have told associates he ordered the strike in part to distract from impeachment proceedings.

        Interpol said in a press statement that it could not do so, citing constitutional restrictions on “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.” The trans-border law enforcement agency said it would not consider such requests, though it did not say whether Iran had submitted an official notice.

      • A few dead Americans — what’s the big deal? Trump’s disastrous foreign policy looks even worse

        According to the Times, and as later confirmed by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, Trump was briefed on this in March, but made a great show of insisting that Russia be allowed back into the G7 throughout this past spring so he didn’t seem overly concerned. Setting aside the pretext for the Soleimani assassination, he is typically very cynical about these things. (Recall that he excused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s killing of journalists by saying, “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too.”)

        Since the story broke, Trump and the White House have offered a number of responses. Trump tweeted that he knew nothing about this and was never briefed. He also mischaracterized the story and said, oddly, that “there have not been many attacks on us.” Is the thinking here that even if it did happen, we didn’t lose many people, so what’s the big deal?

        The president carried on with his weekend, playing golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeting incessantly about the arrests of four people for defacing a monument, and otherwise acting entirely unconcerned about this story.

      • European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend report (TE-SAT) 2020

        Terrorists’ ultimate goal is to undermine our societies and our democratic political systems. Terrorism generates fear, empowers political extremes and polarises societies. Europol’s EU Terrorism Situation and Trend report (TE-SAT), pulls together facts and figures on terrorist attacks and arrests in the EU in 2019: [...]

      • Powerful Islamist Group Intensifies Crackdown on Jihadists in Syria’s Idlib

        The crackdown comes nearly two weeks after several jihadist groups, including Hurras al-Din, announced the formation of a joint operations room to coordinate efforts in the fight against Syrian government troops and allied forces.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Louisiana Activists Face 15 Years for “Terrorizing” Oil Lobbyist with Box of Plastic Pollution

        Two environmental activists with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade face up to 15 years in prison for leaving a box of plastic pellets, found on the Texas coast, at the home of an oil and gas lobbyist in December. Advocates say the “terrorizing” felony charges reflect longtime attempts to criminalize environmental activists in Louisiana and come amid a campaign to block Formosa Plastics from building a new plant in St. James Parish, an area known as Cancer Alley. We speak with Anne Rolfes, director of the group Louisiana Bucket Brigade and one of those facing felony charges, and Gregory Manning, activist and pastor of Broadmoor Community Church, who was charged with inciting a riot as he led a peaceful protest along Cancer Alley in October of 2019.

      • The wetter world ahead will suffer worse droughts

        Things are bad now, but worse droughts are coming. More rain will fall in a warmer world, but not where and when we need it.

      • ‘Incredible Green Wave’ in French Elections Celebrated as ‘Mandate to Act for Climate and Social Justice’

        “Today, ecology is taking a big step. A giant step.”

      • Arctic Heat Overwhelms Green Infighting Issues

        Arctic temperatures are soaring to new records… and staying there, ever since May of this year. Truth be known, the Arctic’s been heating up for years. Siberia recently hit 105°F. That’s not normal. It’s 30°F hotter than normal.

      • Energy

        • Journalists uncover ‘Norilsk Nickel’ plant pumping toxic wastewater into the Russian tundra

          The Talnakh Concentrator Plant, which belongs to industrial giant Norilsk Nickel, has been dumping industrial wastewater into the tundra in the Russian Arctic, reported the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta on June 27.

        • ‘The Poster Company for US Fracking Has Fallen’: Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy

          “Meanwhile the Trump administration continues to try and bail out this garbage fire industry with our tax dollars.”

        • Ancient coal fires led to prehistoric extinctions

          Did eruptions set ancient coal fires burning? Global heating happened 250 million years ago, just as it is happening now.

        • The CARES Act Is Subsidizing Fossil Capital

          As part of the CARES Act, Congress authorized the Federal Reserve to buy $250 billion in corporate bonds to prop up corporations across a variety of sectors. This week Influence Map released data showing that fossil fuel companies are likely to account for $19 billion of these purchases. According to the data, $4 billion are likely to be junk bonds, considered non-investment grade.

          For the most part, the purpose of this financing is to fund the continued extraction of fossil fuels that will wreak havoc on our climate and cause economic calamity at a greater scale than the coronavirus. Making the Fed’s decision even more dangerous is the evidence that the air pollution increases death rates from the virus.

          The fundamental question for fighting the climate crisis is not simply passing a Green New Deal that ramps up massive infrastructure spending in the clean energy sector. It is time we end the Dirty New Deal that back-doors massive investment in fossil fuel spending by the government.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Shocking Number of Snakes Traded Internationally Each Year
        • On safari with Africa’s last great herds

          The book also contains some very serious underlying conservation themes of climate change, urbanization, modernity in the form of new roads, the potential downside of eco-tourism developing Africa.

          Even on Tanzania’s wildlife reserves and national parks where wild species are protected by law, poachers are having a field day killing gnus and other antelope species for food. In most cases, this is done with the ubiquitous poacher’s snare.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Battleground States

        On Thursday, June 25th, President Trump’s re-election efforts took him to the “battleground” state of Wisconsin, where he toured the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard. He railed against the Democrats as a scarier enemy than Russia or China. He also celebrated Wisconsin’s win over domestic enemies like the state of Maine in securing a key shipbuilding project. “The first-in-class FFG(X) [frigate] will not just be a win for Wisconsin workers; it will also be a major victory for our Navy,” Trump said.  “… The stunning ships will deliver the overwhelming force, lethality, and power we need to engage America’s enemies anywhere and at any time.”  On many military minds, it seems, was China.

      • Doing the Dirty Work
      • The Blundering British Political Class has Shown the Same Incompetence in Both Fighting Wars and Coronavirus

        The government’s controversial Prevent programme aims to stop individuals becoming terrorists, but it would be much more effective if it taught British political leaders not to engage in wars that become the seed-beds of terrorism.

      • Congress Must Hold President Trump Accountable!

        Here is an abridged version of a letter sent on June 22, 2020, by me and two constitutional law experts Bruce Fein and Lou Fisher, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerald Nadler, and the Committee’s Vice Chairman, Jamie Raskin. It touches on where Congress has not exercised its constitutional authority to hold Trump accountable under the law.

      • ‘Are you sure this isn’t fake?’ Kremlin spokesman responds to reports of major companies monitoring voter turnout among employees

        Meduza: Our publication discovered that there is an electronic system [called] votely.ru, which is being used to monitor turnout among employees at large enterprises in the vote on amendments to the constitution. For example, Russian Post, Rostec, and Rostelecom are connected to the system. Employees at these companies are being given special QR-codes, which are then scanned at polling stations under the pretense of participating in various contests and quizzes. All the data is being entered into the [Votely] system. The experts we interviewed say that this kind of data collection violates the law. We also found out that the system is working on the servers of Russia’s government agencies, using their IP-addresses. Does the [Putin] administration know about the existence of such a system? Is this system connected to the authorities, and will the Kremlin look into how it ended up on the servers of government agencies?

      • Trump’s Geriatric Race War

        If the Trumpist political movement has a heartland, it is surely The Villages, a retirement community in Florida just an hour’s drive away from Disney World. Like the famous theme park, The Villages is a sumptuous capitalist utopia, a meticulous tribute to the ability of big business to create an immersive artificial reality. Writing in Politico in 2018, Michael Grunwald described it as a “groomed dreamscape of gated subdivisions, wall-to-wall golf courses, adult-only pools and old-fashioned town squares.”

      • An Open Letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom on Ethnic Studies
      • Nothing Succeeds Like Secession: Suggested Demands for CHOP From a Friendly Panarchist Ally

        I have always been fascinated by secessionist movements. It goes back to my childhood love of maps, flags and geography. I use to spend hours poring over atlases and fixating on the strange autonomous zones that only existed inside fluid borders drawn in dotted lines. Strange places no American ever spoke of, with exotic names like Transnistria, Gaza, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara. I would eventually grow into a commie, Third World, war nerd who fastidiously followed and supported these esoteric independence movements from afar.

      • The De-Trumpification of America

        Let’s assume that Donald Trump loses the election in November.

      • Great Minds Think Alike: Bolsonaro and Trump

        Great minds think alike. And you probably thought the only thing those two great minds had in common was their love of hydroxychloroquine and their enthusiastic support for using it to combat the coronavirus.  As the trump explained some weeks ago, during the period he was taking the drug, he’d received lots of letters “from people who support my use of the drug.” Letters from “people” is clearly of more importance to the trump than medical information from experts. And  in that respect, we learned that President Jair Bolsonara of Brazil and the trump  have a lot in common.

      • Bolton and the Pandemic

        The corporate media is obsessing over John Bolton’s views with regard to Donald Trump, but it is worth examining what they’re not asking.

      • Trump Shares Video of Couple Pointing Semi-Automatic Weapon at Protesters

        President Donald Trump shared a tweet on Monday morning of a white St. Louis couple brandishing and pointing their guns in the direction of protesters against anti-Black racism and police violence who were marching toward the mayor’s office.

      • 116 California DNC Delegates Demand Pelosi Hold Floor Vote on Medicare for All

        Urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “forego political expediency and incrementalism” in favor of a bold solution to the healthcare crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, 116 delegates elected to represent California at the Democratic National Convention issued an open letter Sunday demanding an up-or-down floor vote on the Medicare for All Act before the November election.

      • Trump used looted Venezuelan public money to build border wall with Mexico

        Right-wing opposition upset Trump didn’t give Guaidó gang all stolen Venezuelan money

      • You Can’t Just Vote Out Trumpism

        Let’s assume that Donald Trump loses the election in November.

      • Fake News With Special Guest Nolan Higdon – The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Nolan Higdon teaches history and media studies at California State University, East Bay, and is a frequent contributor to the annual Project Censored books. He and Mickey Huff are the authors of the recent City Lights book “United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (and what we can do about it) and was one of the writers/directors of the recent Project Censored documentary, “United States of Distraction: Fighting the Fake News Invasion.”

      • Eggs Over Albanese: Labor’s Green Ham-Fisted Attempt To Distract On Stacking

        Anthony Albanese’s attempts to distract attention from his party’s internal factional troubles are as see-through as they are ridiculous. Sylvia Hale from Greens NSW weighs in.

      • Reddit bans r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse as part of a major expansion of its rules

        Reddit will ban r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse, and about 2,000 other communities today after updating its content policy to more explicitly ban hate speech. The policy update comes three weeks after Black Lives Matter protests led several popular Reddit forums to go dark temporarily in protest of what they called the company’s lax policies around hosting and promoting racist content. It marks a major reversal for a company whose commitment to free expression has historically been so strong that it once allowed users to distribute stolen nude photos freely on the site.

      • Twitch temporarily bans President Trump

        The suspension arrives a week after Twitch swore it would crack down on harassment within the community following reports of assault and harassment from streamers. It’s a sign that Twitch may be starting to take moderating streams a lot more seriously. The racist language it banned Trump for is often allowed on other platforms due to his role as a politician and president of the United States.

      • Twitch Suspends Donald Trump’s Campaign Account for “Hateful Conduct”

        Twitch’s decision to suspend Trump’s campaign account comes after clips from a 2016 campaign rally, as well as the president’s recent Tulsa rally, were shared on the platform.

        The 2016 video was flagged for Trump’s racist remarks about Mexican immigrants. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and their bringing those problems with us,” Trump says in the footage. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to the border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.”

      • Trump’s ‘white power’ retweet set off ‘five-alarm fire’ in White House

        The video remained on the president’s Twitter page, where he has 82 million followers, for more than three hours because White House officials couldn’t reach him to ask him to delete it, the two officials said. The president was at his golf club in Virginia and had put his phone down, the officials said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like

        Well, that did not take long at all. On Friday we predicted that just like every other social media platform out there, the new favorite among people who falsely say that Twitter is censoring conservatives, would start taking down content and shutting down accounts just like everyone else. Because, if you run any sort of platform that allows 3rd party speech, sooner or later you discover you have to do that. In Friday’s post, we highlighted Parler’s terms of service, which certainly allows for it to take down any content for any reason (we also mocked their “quick read on Wikipedia” style understanding of the 1st Amendment).

      • Knight Foundation Grant To Copia To Research Content Moderation, Governance, Rules & Norms For Internet Infrastructure

        So many of the discussions around content moderation have focused on the so-called “edge-providers” (the companies that are more user-facing). We all know the stories about content moderation dealing with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, etc. But for a while now we’ve been concerned about how the debate will play out regarding content moderation at the infrastructure layers — that is the behind-the-scenes providers that people don’t always even know exist. This includes hosting companies, DNS providers, domain registrars, CDNs, broadband providers and many, many more.

      • Trump’s “Hateful Conduct” Gets Him Kicked Off Yet Another Social Media Site

        The social media website Twitch has temporarily suspended the account for President Donald Trump after flagging content that goes against the company’s rules of conduct.

      • ‘South Park’s’ old Islam, Muhammad jokes too hot for HBO Max; deal excludes five episodes

        Deadline noted that two controversial episodes, “Cartoon Wars Part I” and “Cartoon Wars Part 2,” are available on the South Park website — for now.

      • Is the space for critical thinking shrinking in Pakistan?

        Rights groups say the freedom of expression in Pakistan, particularly the freedom of press, has come under immense pressure since Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power in August 2018. The military has further consolidated its power during Khan’s government, activists claim.

      • Twitch And Reddit Ramp Up Their Enforcement Against ‘Hateful’ Content

        On Monday, both Twitch and Reddit ramped up their efforts to deal with various forms of hateful content on their platforms — and both of them ended up shutting down some forums related to President Trump — which inevitably (but incorrectly) resulted in people again screaming about “anti-conservative bias.” Reddit kicked things off by announcing new content policies (which you can read here). The key change was an expanded rule against communities that “promote hate based on identity or vulnerability.”

      • GOOGLE THREATENS TO DEFUND TECHDIRT? Where Are All The Politicians Complaining?

        OH NO. GOOGLE MUST HAVE ANTI-TECHDIRT BIAS! THEY’RE THREATENING TO DEFUND US! Or not. A couple of weeks ago, we received yet another notice from Google that some of the pages on Techdirt violated its AdSense policies (AdSense is Google’s program for putting ads on 3rd party pages). We’ll get to what those pages were and what the complaints were in a moment, but the timing struck us as ironic — as it came a day after we had written about why Google sending a similar notice to The Federalist was not some conspiracy of “anti-conservative bias” to silence them. Yet, when it happened to the Federalist, a bunch of big name politicians and commentators went into overdrive attacking Google.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalists condemn attempts to cover up environmental damage from Norilsk fuel spill

        Journalists from the media association Syndicate-100 have issued a statement condemning attempts to cover up the scale of the ecological damage resulting from the massive fuel spill that took place at a Norilsk Nickel subsidiary in the Russian Arctic at the end of May.

      • ‘We haven’t seen new indictment’ Assange’s lawyers tell court

        The US government has failed to show its new indictment of Julian Assange either to his legal team or the Judge. This extraordinary fact emerged in Westminster magistrates court earlier today (Monday 29th June). Mark Sommers QC, acting for Assange, told the court he was ‘concerned that we are only hearing about this fresh indictment in the press’ and that neither he nor the court have been served with the document. The US Department of Justice’s Superseding Indictment was released to the press last Wednesday. It is meant to strengthen the US case against Assange but contains no new charges and little information that is not already in the public realm. ‘A superseding indictment is supposed to do what it says on the tin, it’s supposed to replace the existing indictment’, said WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, ’But the US have no new charges to bring, and they can’t even be bothered to send the court or the defence team the document. That just shows this is a glorified press release and not a new indictment at all.’  Hrafnsson continued ‘This shows how they are abusing due process in the UK and flaunting the legal system’s rules’. The US government is showing contempt both for the court and the defence lawyers by trying to run a prosecution in the press rather than in front of the judge. Without official sight of the fresh indictment the defence could make no response in court, despite the fact that it has been issued just days before the deadline for defence evidence on 10th July. Ill health prevented Julian Assange, on Doctors advice, from making the journey to the video room in Belmarsh prison to be part of the court proceedings. He has not  been able to join these routine procedural court proceedings for more than 3 months. The Covid crisis has further restricted contact between Assange and his lawyers. Judge Vanessa Baraitser also announced that the remainder of the extradition hearing is almost certain be heard in the Old Bailey, starting on Monday 7th September. The Don’t Extradite Assange campaign have said they will be protesting in a socially distanced manner when the hearing restarts.     Background The remaining three weeks of the Julian Assange extradition hearing is due to start on 7 September 2020.Julian Assange is charged by the Trump government with publishing the Afghan and Iraq war logs for which he could face 175 years in jail.  Julian Assange’s lawyers have experienced a considerable difficulty communicating with their client. Speaking at a recent hearing, Edward Fitzgerald QC, said ‘We’ve had great difficulties in getting into Belmarsh to take instructions from Mr Assange and to discuss the evidence with him.’ Mr Fitzgerald continued: ‘We simply cannot get in as we require to see Mr Assange and to take his instruction.’ The UN working group on arbitrary detention issued a statement saying that “the right of Mr. Assange to personal liberty should be restored”. Massimo Moratti of Amnesty International has publicly stated on their website that, “Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of its obligations under international law.” Human Rights Watch published an article saying, “The only thing standing between an Assange prosecution and a major threat to global media freedom is Britain. It is urgent that it defend the principles at risk.” The NUJ has stated “US charges against Assange pose a huge threat, one that could criminalise the critical work of investigative journalists & their ability to protect their sources”.

      • UK Judge Warns Assange on US Extradition Hearing Attendance

        Lawyers for Assange said he could not attend the latest hearing on his U.S. extradition case by video link from prison for medical reasons.

        District Judge Vanessa Baraitser set another hearing date of July 27 and said Assange must appear “unless there is medical evidence” to explain his non-attendance.

      • Julian Assange Lawyers Say New U.S. Indictment Could Derail Extradition

        Summers said Assange’s legal team had heard about the latest indictment through the press and is waiting to be served with it.

        “We are concerned it has obvious capacity to derail the hearing date,” listed for three weeks in September, he said, adding that Assange’s legal team are keen to keep to the current timetable.

      • Assange Surprised by Timing of New U.S. Indictment

        Assange himself was again absent from Monday’s hearing and unable to appear by videolink from prison because of medical reasons, Summers said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Powder Keg

        The previous Run the Jewels album Run the Jewels 3 arrived one month after Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. Atlanta’s Killer Mike and Brooklyn’s El-P echoed the horror and anger of many Americans shocked by the results of the 2016 election. The country felt raw, a powder keg of rage, anxiety, and fear brought on by Wall Street greed and the police killings of unarmed black people. Sensing an upheaval, Mike, an outspoken Trump detractor and Bernie Sanders surrogate, openly wondered when the revolution would arrive. On the song “2100” he rapped, “Nuclear’s too near / And the holders of the Molotov / Say that revolution’s right here, right now / And they ain’t callin’ off.” Indeed, Trump’s victory conjured the specter of full-scale revolt, the idea that this might be the breaking point. We all know the story of the last three years, though: Nothing happened.

      • Undermining Human Rights and Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Supreme Court Affirms Anti-Prostitution Pledge

        Critics called the ruling “a step back for human rights and public health.”

      • Republicans Fear D.C. Voters. That’s Why They’re Blocking Statehood.

        The House of Representatives made history on June 26, when it voted 232-180 to approve the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. This, noted the congressional delegate who advocates for the 705,000 Americans who live in the nation’s capital, was “[the] first time since the creation of the District of Columbia 219 years ago that either chamber of Congress has passed a bill to grant statehood to D.C. residents and, with it, equal citizenship.”

      • Black Liberation and Indigenous Sovereignty Are Interconnected

        The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on a visual chronicle of untold stories of the coronavirus crisis and the struggle for racial justice—read more from The Invisible Front Line.—The Editors

      • Public Enemy, Nas, & More For Rendition of Fight The Power
      • What Does It Really Mean to Invest In Black Communities?

        Since the murder of George Floyd on may 25 and in the absence of a legitimate government response, laypeople armed with little more than cardboard signs have quickly become the arbiters of justice. The simple nature of their presentation—a combining of poster board and Sharpie—masks the incredibly sophisticated nature of their demand: “Divest and invest.”

      • What’s “Justice” in the Face of Police Killings? Full Societal Transformation.

        For a while now, the U.S. has been poised at the threshold of full-on fascism, and “I can’t breathe” is the future to which those in charge appear willing to consign Black people. Fortunately, today, we’re seeing multiracial and multi-class initiatives pushing the state and communities to respond differently to social conflict and, on a more ambitious level, pushing us all toward a more humane society.

      • ‘Abdicating Its Moral Responsibility,’ SCOTUS Paves Way for Resumption in Federal Executions

        “The death penalty has no place in a just society,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass).

      • True detectives The precarious, not altogether lucrative, and often illegal life of Russia’s private investigators

        Today in Russia, there are more than 900 detective agencies, as well as an enormous number of self-described private investigators who gather financial, economic, and legal intelligence without ever notifying the authorities. In fact, many detectives constantly break the law, violating criminal statutes that technically prohibit activities that are essential to their investigative work. Meduza special correspondent Sasha Sulim spoke to several detectives about their lives and the intricacies of their craft, including one man who’s played a private eye on television and done the job for real on the streets of Moscow.

      • The Place You Call Home

        In “Novostroïka,” the opening story of Maria Reva’s Good Citizens Need Not Fear, we meet Daniil, a resident of 1933 Ivansk Street, a building that may or may not exist. It is winter, and the heat in his family’s apartment isn’t working. “Grandfather Grishko’s telling everyone he hasn’t seen his own testicles in weeks,” his aunt yells, adding, “We’re tired of the cold, Daniil…and we’re tired of hearing about the testicles.” However, when Daniil goes to the town council hall to get the heat turned on, the clerk has no record of the building, no address with that number. Daniil becomes flustered, asking her to check again. “Nineteen thirty-three Ivansk Street, Kirovka, Ukraine, USSR. Mother Earth.”

      • My Student Comes Home

        In 1990, Lawrence Bell was 14, orphaned and living in an abandoned house when three Camden cops pressured him to sign a confession of murder. Sunday, thanks to the dogged work of his laywer, he was freed.

      • Here’s How to Stop the Next Bill Barr From Gutting the Rule of Law

        The damage Attorney General William Barr has done to the Department of Justice is incalculable. He has surpassed every institutional metric in his quest to become the worst attorney general in US history. He’s likely responsible for shutting down the Robert Mueller investigation and is certainly responsible for misrepresenting its contents. He’s helped Donald Trump implement a truly monarchical theory of executive power. He’s ordered the teargassing of peaceful protesters so his boss could do a photo op with the Bible. And most recently, he tried to fire Geoffrey Berman, the head prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, via press release, possibly because Berman was looking into crimes committed by the Trump Organization or Trump’s cronies.

      • Battering Rams for All

        Pigs in the street
        sheep, lambs,
        and battering rams
        That slam, kabam
        Into John Doe’s condos
        He can keep one
        But does he need fifty?

      • Federal Court Rules Trump Effort to Detain Man Indefinitely Without Charges ‘Cannot Withstand Constitutional Scrutiny’

        Held without charges or evidence since 2017—and imprisoned overall for nearly two decades—the judge ordered, pending an appeal, for the U.S. government to release Adham Hassoun.

      • Missouri River Breaks: How BLM Neglect Threatens a Wild and Scenic River and National Monument

        One hundred forty-nine miles of the Missouri River in Montana is a designated Wild and Scenic River. It is also within the 375,000 acres Missouri River Breaks National Monument, which includes the Lewis and Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails. It is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Landscape Conservation System. The Monument also includes six wilderness study areas, the Cow Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, the Fort Benton National Historic Landmark, a watchable wildlife area, and Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway.

      • Progressive Challenger Kreibich Slams Right-Wing Democrat Gottheimer for “Trump Values” Voting Record

        “Josh Gottheimer should be ashamed of his pro-Trump record,” Kreibich said. “NJ-5 deserves a real Democrat who will stand tall for health care for all and bold climate action.”

      • Dutch Law Proposes a Wholesale Jettisoning of Human Rights Considerations in Copyright Enforcement

        With the passage of last year’s Copyright Directive, the EU demanded that member states pass laws that reduce copyright infringement by internet users while also requiring that they safeguard the fundamental rights of users (such as the right to free expression) and also the limitations to copyright. These safeguards must include protections for the new EU-wide exemption for commentary and criticism. Meanwhile states are also required to uphold the GDPR, which safeguards users against mass, indiscriminate surveillance, while somehow monitoring everything every user posts to decide whether it infringes copyright.

        Serving these goals means that when EU member states turn the Directive into their national laws (the “transposition” process), their governments will have to decide to give more weight to some parts of the Directive, and that courts would have to figure out whether the resulting laws passed constitutional muster while satisfying the requirement of EU members to follow its rules.

      • Egypt’s Crackdown on Free Expression Will Cost Lives

        For years, EFF has been monitoring a dangerous situation in Egypt: journalists, bloggers, and activists have been harassed, detained, arrested, and jailed, sometimes without trial, in increasing numbers by the Sisi regime. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, these incidents have skyrocketed, affecting free expression both online and offline. 

        As we’ve said before, this crisis means it is more important than ever for individuals to be able to speak out and share information with one another online. Free expression and access to information are particularly critical under authoritarian rulers and governments that dismiss or distort scientific data. But at a time when true information about the pandemic may save lives, instead, the Egyptian government has expelled journalists from the country for their reporting on the pandemic, and arrested others on spurious charges for seeking information about prison conditions. Shortly after the coronavirus crisis began, a reporter for The Guardian was deported, while a reporter for the The New York Times was issued a warning.. Just last week the editor of Al Manassa, Nora Younis, was arrested on cybercrime charges (and later released). And the Committee to Protect Journalists reported today that at least four journalists arrested during the pandemic remain imprisoned. 

      • North Carolina Cops Fired After Their In-Car Camera Catches Them Talking About Wiping Black People ‘Off The (Expletive) Map’

        Sometimes cop cameras do what they’re supposed to. In most cases, camera footage captured by cops is used by prosecutors to build cases. But every so often, they provide the accountability we were promised when cameras began rolling out.

      • How to Make Defunding the Police a Reality

        On a Sunday in early June, Grand Army Plaza, a large square at the entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, swarmed with people of all different races and ages. A family march of parents and their children flowed into groups of young people on bikes. Many held signs declaring “Black lives matter,” but there were perhaps an equal number of other signs: “Defund the police.”

      • How NLG Members Can Support the People’s Strike

        The People’s Strike, formed as a growing coalition of workers, community, and political organizations confronting the COVID-19 pandemic by struggling against inept and corrupt government and the forces of capital—embodied by banks, corporations, brokers, and others— that put profit before the people and the planet and had such a disparate impact upon BIPOC. The NLG was an early endorser of the People’s Strike, as its principles are in alignment with the NLG’s mission of putting human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests and profit.

        The People’s Strike is also now focusing on the mass outrage reflected in the current nationwide uprising for the movement for Black lives against racist police violence. Economic justice and the police/prison injustice system are two of the issues emphasized in the People’s Strike’s list of 17 demands, and they are key contexts in which white supremacist and capitalist violence proliferates with impunity.

        Kali Akuno, co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, is one of the key organizers behind the People’s Strike. He recently gave an inspiring presentation to the NLG International Committee, emphasizing that while there have been periodic mass radical movements, all of which the NLG has been involved in, what has been lacking is organization for lasting change, rather than superficial reforms. He foresees growing repression (including of lawyers defending the movement), necessitating even more organized, coordinated responses. Read his article on this in Popular Resistance, and watch his interview on Democracy Now.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The Patent Examination Board (PEB) releases further information on the 2020 UK patent exams

          The Patent Examination Board (PEB) has released more information on the arrangements for the UK patent exams this year, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

          The information is buried on the PEB website, and can be accessed here. The PEB confirm their earlier indications that the UK exams will take place online. The date of the examinations remains unchanged (mid-October). It appears that candidates will have the choice of sitting the exams at home or at work. However, if they wish to sit their exams at work, candidates will need to submit an application for a change of examination venue. The deadline for such applications is 31 August 2020.

          [...]

          Unfortunately, candidates will be at the mercy of their internet connection. If your internet flickers on the day of the exam, there will not be much that can be done. The PEB indicate that they “will not accept requests for Special Consideration after the examination based on the failure of IT/communications equipment, systems or software”. On the basis of this, it seems that patent attorney firms are advising candidates to take the exams at work. This will undoubtedly be easiest for trainees at the largest firms who can put the required arrangements in place. Trainees working at smaller firms or in-house may find it more difficult to satisfy the exam venue requirements.

        • USPTO Announces Additional Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines for Small and Micro Entities

          In a notice posted on its website earlier today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was further extending the time to pay certain required fees, but only for certain types of entities. As with the initial extensions announced by the Office on March 31, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines”), the extension of those deadlines announced by the Office on April 28, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Further Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines”), and the further extension of those deadlines announced by the Office on May 27, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Further Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines for Small and Micro Entities”), the additional extensions are the result of the temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.

          According to the Office’s latest notice, the additional extensions apply to deadlines for the payment of certain required fees that would have been otherwise due between March 27 and September 29, 2020, which “will be considered timely if paid on or before September 30, 2020,” provided that the payment is accompanied by a statement that the delay in payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as defined in the Office’s April 28, 2020 notice. However, as in the Office’s May 27, 2020 notice, the Office’s latest notice makes it clear that the additional extensions are “[f]or small and micro entities only” (emphasis added).

        • How to deal with abusive patent enforcement within the EU enforcement framework

          The IP Enforcement Directive (2004/48) was originally meant to fight piracy and counterfeiting, in particular in the field of copyright. However, at the time of adoption, no agreement could be reached on the definition of those unlawful practices. Therefore, at the end of the legislative process, the Directive was stretched to cover “any infringement” of IP rights – including patents. This all-encompassing scope is rather unfortunate as some parts of the EU enforcement framework are not completely appropriate for patent litigation involving disputes between bona fide commercial parties operating within the normal course of business.

          Recent developments have exacerbated the inadequacy of some enforcement tools for patents. Today, many products incorporate various complex information and communication technologies elements [see here]. This trend will only increase with the connected products of the Internet of Things and the deployment of artificial intelligence.

          The complexity of devices and services which rely or involve software-related technology heightens the risk of accidentally encroaching on patents [see here and here]. This enforcement trend is accompanied by a sharp rise in the number of patents applied for in Europe, making it more difficult to filter them during examination.

          Another growing trend in Europe is the increased activity of aggressive Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), which use all available means, in particular injunctions, as leverage to extract (settlement) fees [see e.g., here and here]. The activities of PAEs take place in a broader debate regarding potential over-enforcement practices by right holders and the means to reduce the negative effects of these practices.

          [...]

          Without guidelines on the balancing of interests, the practice of granting injunctive relief on a quasi-automatic basis without effective consideration to the proportionality requirement will persist. Patent rights should not be implemented blindly. Also, before initiating a legal dispute, or even before sending a notice of infringement, patent holders, including PAEs, should be induced to consider the risk of having to pay damages for abusive notices or for lodging disproportionate claims.

          Such deliberation will not deter reasonable actors from asserting their patent rights. A change to the incentive framework for requesting injunctions will reduce the number of unjustified court proceedings, it will also change pre-trial practices and reduce the aggressive behaviour of many patent-holding entities towards legitimate businesses, an abusive practice that goes largely unnoticed.

        • Oral Proceedings at the EPO in Times of COVID-19

          I recently had oral proceedings at the EPO’s Boards of Appeal for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

        • Software Patents

          • Baidu joins Open Invention Network Linux patent protection group

            The Open Invention Network (OIN) is the largest patent non-aggression community in history. Its chief job is protecting Linux and open-source friendly companies from patent attacks. Now, Baidu, the largest Chinese language search engine and one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) firms in the world, has joined OIN.

            This move makes perfect sense AI is almost entirely driven by open-source programs such as TensorFlow, Keras, and Theano. So, even before this intellectual property law move, Baidu has been an active, global open-source AI supporter.

            “Artificial intelligence-driven and internet-based services continue to spawn new industries while advancing business performance through actionable intelligence. As a global leader in internet and AI-related services and products, Baidu recognizes the benefits of shared innovation inherent in open source,” said Keith Bergelt, the OIN’s CEO. “We are pleased Baidu has joined our community and committed to patent non-aggression in Linux and adjacent open source technologies.”

      • Trademarks

        • time to register your generic.com

          In this trademark case, the USPTO asked the court to implement its “nearly per se” rule that a generic term remains generic even if coupled with a generic top level domain (such as “.com”). The 4th Circuit sided with BOOKING.COM and the Supreme Court has now affirmed: “[W]e discern no support for the PTO’s current view in trademark law or policy.” Id.

          According to the majority, the question is not whether some portion of BOOKING.COM is generic but rather whether the term “taken as a whole” is generic. Then the court queries — what type of generic thing is a “booking.com”

          [...]

          Breyer spends some time focusing on the problems associated with survey evidence. I suspect that aspect of his dissent will have some impact on how courts conduct trademark cases in the future.

      • Copyrights

        • ISP Ordered to Hand Over Pirates’ Details After Cracked Software ‘Phoned Home’

          Alleged pirates who installed cracked copies of expensive Siemens CAD tools on their computers are facing potentially huge settlement demands after the software “phoned home” informing the company of the illicit use. The Australian Federal Court has ordered ISP Telstra to hand over the personal details of the suspected infringers.

        • Global Pirate Site Traffic Drops to New Low After COVID-19 Peak

          When governments began to implement lockdown measures to hamper the spread of COVID-19, hundreds of millions of people were asked to stay at home. This resulted in a piracy peak. While some thought that this increase could be permanent, global traffic to pirate sites has already dropped and is now at a new low.

        • Here’s Why the Rolling Stones May Sue Donald Trump

          Artists including Neil Young, Adele, Panic! At the Disco and Aerosmith have also issued statements claiming to have not given Trump permission to use their songs for political campaigning.

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