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07.01.20

Links 1/7/2020: Tails 4.8, Serpent OS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Summer came: show your Linux love

      Given that Linux and open source software are free and compete with monopolistic companies, they need financial, moral and media support. As is well known, the greater the Linux market share (the percentage of Linux users), the more companies will support it. One of the most important ways you can contribute to Linux support and development (of course after a financial donation) is advertising! But what does this have to do with Summer?

    • Generation Linux!

      We’re all quite old here at Linux Format. Effy’s looking forward to retirement, I’m enjoying the fresh and exciting new aches and pains that my joints bring each day, and Jonni’s looking forward to many decades paying off his boat’s mortgage.
      So we’re all set in our ways. Effy’s been using Mint for an age, I’m happy using Ubuntu and even Jonni doesn’t like updating his install of Arch too often these days. But there’s a new generation of Linux users coming through and they’re looking for new features, new approaches and they’re bringing with them the next-gen of Linux distros. Some of these distros sport cutting-edge technology, while others offer a super-slick user experience, but at their hearts they’re all running the Linux kernel.
      So this issue we’ve tasked Jonni to hunt down the best of the new breed of distros and pick them apart, explaining what makes them special and why you’d want to give them a spin. We think you might like them!

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Review: System76’s Lemur Pro

        If you’re a Linux user on the hunt for a new laptop, there’s quite a bit of preparation and research you must do on top of the regular research buying such an expensive piece of equipment already entails. Reading forum posts from other Linux users with the laptop you’re interested in, hunting for detailed specifications to make sure that specific chip version or that exact piece of exotic hardware is fully supported, checking to see if your favourite distribution has adequate support for it, and so on.

        There is, however, another way. While vastly outnumbered, there are laptops sold with Linux preinstalled. Even some of the big manufacturers, such as Dell, sell laptops with Linux preinstalled, but often only on older models that have been out for a while, or while not fully supporting all hardware (the fingerprint reader and infrared camera on my XPS 13 were not supported by Linux, for instance). For the likes of Dell, Linux in the consumer space is an afterthought, a minor diversion, and it shows.

    • Server

      • Working with Terraform and Kubernetes

        Maintaining Kubestack, an open-source Terraform GitOps Framework for Kubernetes, I unsurprisingly spend a lot of time working with Terraform and Kubernetes. Kubestack provisions managed Kubernetes services like AKS, EKS and GKE using Terraform but also integrates cluster services from Kustomize bases into the GitOps workflow. Think of cluster services as everything that’s required on your Kubernetes cluster, before you can deploy application workloads.

        Hashicorp recently announced better integration between Terraform and Kubernetes. I took this as an opportunity to give an overview of how Terraform can be used with Kubernetes today and what to be aware of.

        In this post I will however focus only on using Terraform to provision Kubernetes API resources, not Kubernetes clusters.

        Terraform is a popular infrastructure as code solution, so I will only introduce it very briefly here. In a nutshell, Terraform allows declaring a desired state for resources as code, and will determine and execute a plan to take the infrastructure from its current state, to the desired state.

        To be able to support different resources, Terraform requires providers that integrate the respective API. So, to create Kubernetes resources we need a Kubernetes provider.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Raspberry Pi Cluster Episode 5 – Benchmarking the Turing Pi

        In this post, I’m going to talk about the Turing Pi’s performance. I’ll compare it to a more traditional Raspberry Pi cluster, my Pi Dramble, and talk about important considerations for your cluster, like what kind of storage you should use, or whether you should run a 32-bit or 64-bit Pi operating system.

        As with all the other work I’ve done on this cluster, I’ve been documenting it all in my open source Turing Pi Cluster project on GitHub.

      • mintCast 338 – Two Oh Snap

        First up, in our Wanderings, Owen refurbishes, Tony prints new stuff, Moss has a panic attack, Joe attends a LUG, Bo games, and Leo upgrades to 20.

      • The Hard Work of Hardware | LINUX Unplugged 360

        We’re joined by two guests who share their insights into building modern Linux hardware products.

        Plus we try out Mint 20, cover some big Gnome fixes, and a very handy open source noise suppression pick!

        Special Guests: Alfred Neumayer, Brent Gervais, Drew DeVore, and Jeremy Soller.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Unveils New “KMB” DRM Driver For Their New SoC With An ARM CPU + Movidius VPU

        Intel has introduced a new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) kernel driver for Linux.

        This new “KMB” DRM driver is initially just for their Keem Bay SoC platform. Keem Bay is the codename for their next-gen computer vision offering for inference edge computing with Movidius VPU. Keem Bay details have been light since the initial announcement at the AI Summit last November.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Khronos Releases SYCL 2020 Provisional Specification

          The Khronos Group has announced the provisional specification of SYCL 2020 as the newest version of this higher-level programming model originally designed for OpenCL that is based on pure single-source C++.

          The SYCL 2020 provisional specification is available today and is now based on C++17 where as formerly SYCL had been based on C++11. SYCL 2020 is also bringing new programming abstractions like unified shared memory, group algorithms, sub-groups, and other features.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.6 Brings More Performance Tuning

          The AMD Radeon Vulkan driver developers are ending out June by shipping their sixth open-source snapshot of the quarter.

          With AMDVLK 2020.Q2.6, there are continued performance tuning/optimization efforts. There has been performance tuning going on to benefit Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Zombie Army 4: Dead War under Wine / Steam Play. There is also improved pipeline compiler performance with this Vulkan driver update.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Nirly There

          In yesterday’s post, I left off in saying that removing an assert() from the constant block index check wasn’t going to work quite right. Let’s see why that is.

        • Monado: Multi application support with XR_EXTX_overlay

          By implementing this extension we are exposing Monado’s multi application support, which was recently merged to master.

          In the video below you can see Monado compositing the rendering of Blender’s VR view and the xrgears demo displaying a XrCompositionLayerProjection as overlay. The demo also showcases Monado’s ability to deal with multiple graphics APIs as Blender uses OpenGL and xrgears Vulkan to submit its frames.

          To enable the extension in xrgears only this small change was required, which enables the XR_EXTX_overlay extension and passes the XrSessionCreateInfoOverlayEXTX struct to the graphics bindings `next` field.

    • Applications

      • To-Do App With Built In Timer “Go For It!” Updated With Pomodoro Timer, Configurable Shortcuts

        Go For It! productivity application has been updated to version 1.8.0. The new release adds Pomodoro timer mode, configurable keyboard shortcuts, an option to log the time spent working on a task to the todo.txt files, and more.

        Go For It! is a Gtk tool which includes a to-do list and a timer. It uses the Todo.txt format, which is supported by a plethora of applications, for both desktops and mobile devices; Todo.txt is a popular to-do list format in which the data is stored in a flat text file. The application is available for Windows and Linux.

        The most important change in the latest Go For It! 1.8.0 is a new option to change the timer mode. The time break time or time between breaks doesn’t have to be the same anymore – you can now set the timer mode to Simple, Pomodoro, or use a custom time schedule.

      • Zorin OS Privacy Pack

        Search engine – Startpage.com – visit this privacy focused search engine and click to make it default instead of Google.

        Tracker protection – uBlock Origin – install this addon to your web browser and it will block all advertisements as well as online trackers.

        Browsing security – HTTPS Everywhere – install this addon too and automatically every connection to websites will be forcefully encrypted.

      • Introducing dns-tor-proxy, a new way to do all of your DNS calls over Tor

        dns-tor-proxy is a small DNS server which you can run in your local system along with the Tor process. It will use the SOCKS5 proxy provided from Tor, and route all of your DNS queries over encrypted connections via Tor.

        By default the tool will use 1.1.1.1 (from Cloudflare) as the upstream server, but as the network calls will happen over Tor, this will provide you better privacy than using directly.

        In this first release I am only providing source packages, maybe in future I will add binaries so that people can download and use them directly.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Charming dungeon crawling adventure ‘UnderMine’ launches August 6

        After about five years in development and close to 120,000 players later, UnderMine is getting ready to leave Early Access on August 6 to have you dig deep for gold.

        The big 1.0 introduces a new final boss encounter with a cinematic ending, post-credits story content, additional scenarios, plus new items, enemies, challenges, and of course, secrets. The full game arrives after nearly a year in Early Access, which had five major content updates that added in new levels, bosses, the Othermine “true roguelike mode”, and more which might be the biggest update yet. Thorium also confirmed more is to come after release.

      • Ideas for Game Projects in C++

        Before you start programming, it is good to know more about your idea than the basic idea. You need to go beyond “A creature running through a forest.” Build a story; users can relate to and then decide what it needs to feel real. Having said that, to get started, you need to select these details.
        In this article, you will see a few ideas on what you can build quickly to get some action on the screen. Simply put, you should use these ideas for the on-screen work after your idea for the entire story is ready.

      • Prime OS Review an Indian Android Emulator for Playing PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty

        If you haven’t heard of Prime OS then you’re not alone. It’s a new android emulator that is very different from what most users including myself are used to. Most android emulators function on your laptop or desktop as a virtual machine that runs on top of Windows. Prime OS is very different from them. Prime OS is more like Chrome OS without limited functions. It runs separately from windows. Prime OS offers users something that no other android emulator is offering right now. That is to use the Android OS as a fully functioning replacement for Windows on desktops.

        [...]

        If you need to choose between Prime OS or Ubuntu as your other operating system then the obvious choice is Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a proper desktop operating system that offers a lot of functionality and practicality than android on desktops. Choose Prime OS only if you want a proper android experience on a desktop.

      • MediaTek Helio G35 & G25 Entry-Level SoCs Feature MediaTek HyperEngine Game Technology

        So far, the company had integrated the HyperEngine technology into premium SoCs such as Helio G80 or Helio G90T powered by Cortex-A75/A76 cores, and BiFrost GPUs. There are aggressively Helio G90T priced phones such as Redmi Note 8 Pro going for about $240, but to address the lower-end side of the market, MediaTek has now introduced Helio G35 and G25 octa-core Cortex-A53 SoC with HyperEngine Game Technology.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Relive the NeXTSTEP Operating System with Window Maker

        Released in September 1989, NeXTSTEP was the pioneering operating system behind Steve Jobs’ NeXT computer line, including the NeXTcube – one of the most desirable computers of all time. Although relatively unknown today, NeXTSTEP inspired many modern interfaces, gave birth to the Web with the first browser, and was even used by id Software to develop Doom and Quake.

        You may think NeXTSTEP is now lost to time, but what if you could use essentially the same interface on a modern Linux PC with no need for emulation? With Window Maker you can.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.19 testing in Groovy Gorilla

          Are you running the development release of Kubuntu Groovy Gorilla 20.10, or wanting to try the daily live ISO?

          Plasma 5.19 has now landed in 20.10 and is available for testing. You can read about the new features and improvements in Plasma 5.19 in the official KDE release announcement.

        • GSoC Review 1 – Qt3D based backend for KStars

          In the fourth week of GSoC, I worked on adding support for Skybox which supports the projection modes implemented last week. I also added the grid implementation in KStars based on the prototype.

        • GSoC ’ 20 Progress: Week 3 and 4

          The past two weeks did not see as much progress as I would have liked because of my university exams and evaluations. Now, let’s focus on the work that I could do before I got swamped with the academic work and term exams.

          I started the third week by working on drafting a basic QML display of the subtitle model items, like the position of the subtitles in the timeline. I drafted a basic delegate QML model to display the start positions of each subtitle line. Then I began working on integrating the back-end part (which I had mentioned in the previous post) with the basic front-end part (displaying the position of the subtitles).

          In this process of integrating the subtitle model with the QML delegate model, I encountered a few logical errors with my code and some connections with the Subtitle Model which I had completely overlooked. It was also during this time that I realised I had missed out some key functions while writing the subtitle model class.

        • Google Summer of Code 2020 – week 4 and 5

          Hi, today I will talk about my week 4 and week 5 and bring some news!

          The last post was short but this one will make up for it, explaining some important bits, and changes, in the structure of mark that changed/improved during the first month of coding in GSoC.

          In week 4, I documented a huge part of the existing code, although there is still a need for some updates. Currently in week 5, I am fixing some bugs of the new logic and I will document the newly created Painter class (more information below), also start developing the logic for text annotation.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Arc Menu 47 Released with New Layout, Other Improvements

          A new version of Arc Menu, the popular app launcher extension for GNOME Shell, is now available to download.

          Arc Menu v47 includes a new menu layout (called “Tognee”, and pictured above), adds the option to rank installed software in alphabetical order (very handy), and introduces a new (and entirely opt-in) “frequent apps” view.

          Mouse scrolling and keyboard navigation is said to be improved in this release; application context menus and tooltips boast better contrast; and there are new preset themes.

          The icon picker, which lets you set a different menu icon, boasts some UI tweaks to make sifting through and finding glyphs a touch faster and saner. A selection of new panel icons are also said to be available include an openSUSE icon.

          Also look out for new “Flip Layout Horizontally” and “Searchbar Location” options available in traditional panel layouts.

          Finally, Arc Menu 47 requires GNOME 3.36. You can continue to use older versions of the menu on GNOME 3.34 and earlier, you just won’t get all of the ‘new’ stuff mentioned in this roundup.

        • Fractal: Refactoring and the review process

          In this year GSoC, Alejandro is working on Fractal, moving code from the backend to the client, to try to simplify the code used to communicate with the matrix.org server and maybe in the future we can replace fractal-matrix-api with the matrix-rust-sdk. And then we’ll have less code in our project to maintain.

          This is a great work, something needed in a project with a technological debt of several years. I created this project to learn Rust, and also I was learning about the matrix protocol during the project build. And other contributors do the same. So we’ve been building one thing on top another for a lot of years.

          In this kind of community driven projects it’s the way to go. For some time we’ve people interested and developers think about the design and start change some parts or to write new functionality following a new design pattern. But voluntary developers motivation change in time and they left the project and the next one continues the work with a different vision.

    • Distributions

      • Sans Investigative Forensics Toolkit (SIFT)

        SIFT is a computer forensics distribution created by the SANS Forensics team for performing digital forensics. This distro includes most tools required for digital forensics analysis and incident response examinations. SIFT is open-source and publicly available for free on the internet. In today’s digital world, where crimes are committed every day using digital technology, attackers are becoming more and more stealthy and sophisticated. This can cause companies to lose important data, with millions of users exposed. Protecting your organization from these attacks requires strong forensic techniques and knowledge in your defense strategy. SIFT provides forensic tools for file systems, memory and network investigations to perform in-depth forensic investigations.
        In 2007, SIFT was available for download and was hard coded, so whenever an update arrived, users had to download the newer version. With further innovation in 2014, SIFT became available as a robust package on Ubuntu, and can now be downloaded as a workstation. Later, in 2017, a version of SIFT came to market allowing greater functionality and providing users the ability to leverage data from other sources. This newer version contains more than 200 tools from third parties, and contains a package manager requiring users to type only one command to install a package. This version is more stable, more efficient, and provides better functionality in terms of memory analysis. SIFT is scriptable, meaning that users can combine certain commands to make it work according to their needs.

        SIFT can run on any system running on Ubuntu or Windows OS. SIFT supports various evidence formats, including AFF, E01, and raw format (DD). Memory forensics images are also compatible with SIFT. For file systems, SIFT supports ext2, ext3 for linux, HFS for Mac and FAT, V-FAT, MS-DOS, and NTFS for Windows.

      • Manjaro Linux 32-bit is dead

        We have had 64-bit processors in the mainstream for many years now, but for some reason, developers have continued to maintain 32-bit versions of operating systems. This includes Microsoft, who still supports 32-bit Windows 10 in 2020 (although the company plans to wind that down). Thankfully, many Linux distributions such as Fedora, Tails, and Linux Mint have killed off their 32-bit versions, choosing to instead focus on 64-bit.

        And now, another major Linux distribution follows suit. You see, as of today, Manjaro Linux 32-bit is dead. This is a very wise move, as 32-bit computers are obsolete and maintaining a 32-bit variant of an OS is a waste of resources. Anyone that disagrees is very wrong.

      • Ex-Solus Dev is Now Creating a Truly Modern Linux Distribution

        The ex-developer of Solus Linux has announced Serpent Linux, a truly modern Linux distribution which is not dependent on GNU toolchain.

      • Meet Serpent OS: A Truly Modern Linux Distribution Under Development

        Freedom to choose, customize, create, and distribute is what Linux is known for. That is why we have more than 500 active Linux-based operating systems. In addition to the same, we’re going to have another new Linux distribution called Serpent OS, which is currently under heavy development.

        Serpent OS is a new project announced by Ikey Doherty, who is currently CEO at Lispy Snake and also ex-leader and founder of Solus OS. He is the person who gave us one of the most beautiful Linux distribution Solus OS and desktop environment Budgie.

        Now, he is creating a truly modern Linux Distribution with notably different goals from the mainstream offering. To know what it means to say, you have to know what Serpent Linux is not going to be.

      • Reviews

        • Elementary OS 5.1 Hera Review

          Elementary OS has a reputation for elegant minimalism and user friendliness, enjoying a strong fan base. Its latest release, Hera 5.1, has been out for a while now, but the company has recently made an interesting move in one of its updates. In this Elementary OS review, as we put Hera through its paces, we’ll explore what’s new, what to expect if its your first time using the OS, and how it stacks up against rival desktops.

          [...]

          Elementary OS is a gorgeous product that will leave an excellent lasting impression and will likely win over new Linux users. Nevertheless, there are situations when all this tasteful minimalism may become a hindrance. Sometimes elegance needs to make way for brute force, and if you have a desktop PC and rely on heavy customization, you’re probably better off with something like KDE, MATE, or Xfce.

          However, on portable computers this system is right at home. There are times when it genuinely feels like you’re using the future of Linux. I’m personally using KDE Neon on my main workstation, but when I’m on the go, I use Elementary on an ultra-mobile PC. The two machines complement each other nicely, and together, they make for a very powerful and satisfying combination.

          Is Elementary too Mac-like for your tastes? Check out our list of the best Linux distros for Windows users. Or maybe you just want to see the competition? Check out our list of 5 of the Best Linux Distributions for Mac Users.

      • BSD

        • The unfortunate limitation in ZFS filesystem quotas and refquota

          This limitation affects our pool space limits, because we use them for two different purposes; restricting people to only the space that they’ve purchased and insuring that pools always have a safety margin of space. Since pools contain many filesystems, we must limit their total space usage using the quota property. But that means that any snapshots we make for administrative purposes consume space that’s been purchased, and if we make too many of them we’ll run the pool out of space for completely artificial reasons. It would be better to be able to have two quotas, one for the space that the group has purchased (which would limit only regular filesystem activity) and one for our pool safety margin (which would limit snapshots too).

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Full Installation Walkthrough

          Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” was released recently, and as usual I’ve created a walkthrough video on the installation process. This procedure will walk you through wiping your drive and installing Mint as your only OS. The procedure hasn’t changed much (if at all) from previous releases, so if you’ve already seen the process, there’s nothing new this time around for the most part.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Ask the experts during Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience: Open House

          One of the most popular activities during the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience was the Ask the Experts sessions, where attendees could engage with Red Hat experts and leadership in real time, so we’re bringing it back for our Open House in July.

        • Making open source more inclusive by eradicating problematic language

          Open source has always been about differing voices coming together to share ideas, iterate, challenge the status quo, solve problems, and innovate quickly. That ethos is rooted in inclusion and the opportunity for everyone to meaningfully contribute, and open source technology is better because of the diverse perspectives and experiences that are represented in its communities. Red Hat is fortunate to be able to see the impact of this collaboration daily, and this is why our business has also always been rooted in these values.

          Like so many others, Red Hatters have been coming together the last few weeks to talk about ongoing systemic injustice and racism. I’m personally thankful to Red Hat’s D+I communities for creating awareness and opportunities for Red Hatters to listen in order to learn, and I’m grateful that so many Red Hatters are taking those opportunities to seek understanding.

        • The latest updates to Red Hat Runtimes

          Today, we are happy to announce that the latest release of Red Hat Runtimes is now available. This release includes updates that build upon the work the team has done over the past year for building modern, cloud-native applications.

          Red Hat Runtimes, part of the Red Hat Application Services portfolio, is a set of products, tools and components for developing and maintaining cloud-native applications. It offers lightweight runtimes and frameworks for highly-distributed cloud architectures, such as microservices or serverless applications. We continuously make updates and improvements to meet the changing needs of our customers, and to help developers better build business-critical applications. Read on for the latest.

        • Kourier: A lightweight Knative Serving ingress

          Until recently, Knative Serving used Istio as its default networking component for handling external cluster traffic and service-to-service communication. Istio is a great service mesh solution, but it can add unwanted complexity and resource use to your cluster if you don’t need it.

          That’s why we created Kourier: To simplify the ingress side of Knative Serving. Knative recently adopted Kourier, so it is now a part of the Knative family! This article introduces Kourier and gets you started with using it as a simpler, more lightweight way to expose Knative applications to an external network.

          Let’s begin with a brief overview of Knative and Knative Serving.

        • CodeTheCurve: A blockchain-based supply chain solution to address PPE shortages

          This past April, creative techies from all over the world gathered online for CodeTheCurve, a five-day virtual hackathon organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with IBM and SAP. Participants all worked toward the goal of creating digital solutions to address the global pandemic.

          Our team focused on the goal of improving the efficiency of the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain in order to prevent shortages for health care workers. With the rise of the current global pandemic, supplies of medical equipment have become more critical, particularly PPE for medical workers. In many places, PPE shortages have been a serious problem. To address this challenge, we proposed that a blockchain-based supply chain could help make this process faster and more reliable, thereby connecting health ministries, hospitals, producers, and banks, and making it easier to track and report information on supplies.

        • Analyze your Spark application using explain

          It is important that you have some understanding of Spark execution plan when you are optimizing your Spark applications. Spark provides an explain API to look at the Spark execution plan for your Spark SQL query. In this blog, I will show you how to get the Spark query plan using the explain API so you can debug and analyze your Apache Spark application. The explain API is available on the Dataset API. You can use it to know what execution plan Spark will use for your Spark query without actually running it. Spark also provides a Spark UI where you can view the execution plan and other details when the job is running. For Spark jobs that have finished running, you can view the Spark plan that was used if you have the Spark history server set up and enabled on your cluster. This is useful when tuning your Spark jobs for performance optimizations.

        • What’s new in Apache Spark 3.0

          The Apache Spark community announced the release of Spark 3.0 on June 18 and is the first major release of the 3.x series. The release contains many new features and improvements. It is a result of more than 3,400 fixes and improvements from more than 440 contributors worldwide. IBM Center of Open Source for Data and AI Technology (CODAIT) focuses on a number of selective open source technologies on machine learning, AI workflow, trusted AI, metadata, and big data process platform, etc. has delivered approximate hundreds of commits, including a couple of key features in this release.

        • GSoC Progress Report: Dashboard for Packit

          Hi, I am Anchit, a 19 y.o. from Chandigarh, India. I love programming, self-hosting, gaming, reading comic books, and watching comic-book based movies/tv.

          The first version of Fedora I tried was 21 when I came across it during my distro-hopping spree. I used it for a couple of months and then moved on to other distros. I came back to Fedora in 2017 after a couple of people on Telegram recommended it and have been using it ever since. A big reason why I stuck with Fedora this time is the community. Shout out to @fedora on Telegram. They’re nice, wholesome and helpful. They also got me into self-hosting and basic sys-admin stuff.

        • Fedora Looking To Offer Better Upstream Solution For Hiding/Showing GRUB Menu

          Fedora for the past few releases doesn’t show the GRUB boot-loader menu by default when only Fedora is installed on the system as there is little purpose for most users and it just interrupts the boot flow. But for those wanting to access the GRUB bootloader menu on reboot, they offer integration in GNOME to easily reboot into this menu. The other exception is the menu will be shown if the previous boot failed. This functionality has relied on downstream patches but now they are working towards a better upstream solution.

          Hans de Goede of Red Hat who led the original GRUB hidden boot menu functionality is looking to clean up this feature for Fedora 33. The hope is to get the relevant bits upstream into GNOME and systemd for avoiding the downstream patches they have been carrying. This reduces their technical debt and also makes it easier for other distributions to provide similar functionality.

        • Fedora Developers Discussing Possibility Of Dropping Legacy BIOS Support

          Fedora stakeholders are debating the merits of potentially ending legacy BIOS support for the Linux distribution and to only support UEFI-based installations.

          Given Fedora 33 GRUB changes planned and things being easier if they were to just switch to the UEFI-based systemd sd-boot as well as Intel planning to end legacy BIOS support in 2020 and UEFI being very common to x86_64 systems for many years now, Fedora developers are discussing whether it’s a good time yet for their bleeding-edge platform to also begin phasing out legacy BIOS support.

        • Fedora Looks To Introduce The Storage Instantiation Daemon

          As one of the last minute change proposals for Fedora 33 is to introduce the Red Hat backed Storage Instantiation Daemon “SID” though at least for this first release would be off by default. The Storage Instantiation Daemon is one of the latest storage efforts being worked on by Red Hat engineers.

          The Storage Instantiation Daemon is intended to help manage Linux storage device state tracking atop udev and reacts to changes via uevents. This daemon can offer an API for various device subsystems and provides insight into the Linux storage stack. More details on this newer open-source effort via sid-project.github.io.

        • Explore best practices for Spark performance optimization

          I am a senior software engineer working with IBM’s CODAIT team. We work on open source projects and advocacy activities. I have been working on open source Apache Spark, focused on Spark SQL. I have also been involved with helping customers and clients with optimizing their Spark applications. Apache Spark is a distributed open source computing framework that can be used for large-scale analytic computations. In this blog, I want to share some performance optimization guidelines when programming with Spark. The assumption is that you have some understanding of writing Spark applications. These are guidelines to be aware of when developing Spark applications.

          [...]

          Spark has a number of built-in user-defined functions (UDFs) available. For performance, check to see if you can use one of the built-in functions since they are good for performance. Custom UDFs in the Scala API are more performant than Python UDFs. If you have to use the Python API, use the newly introduced pandas UDF in Python that was released in Spark 2.3. The pandas UDF (vectorized UDFs) support in Spark has significant performance improvements as opposed to writing a custom Python UDF. Get more information about writing a pandas UDF.

        • Volunteer your Raspberry Pi to IBM’s World Community Grid
        • “Project Springfield” Is Red Hat’s Effort To Improve Linux File-Systems / Storage

          Following recent talk of Fedora potentially switching to Btrfs and Red Hat’s Storage Instatiation Daemon among other Linux storage areas pursued by Red Hat, it turns out “Project Springfield” is some effort being pursued by the enterprise Linux giant for improving in this area.

          [...]

          Given that Red Hat is already working a lot on the likes of Stratis and SID, it will be interesting to see what more there is to come in this area.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.8 is out

          This release fixes many security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

        • Tails 4.8 Anonymous OS Released with Linux Kernel 5.6, Improved Security

          Tails 4.8 amnesic incognito live distribution has been released today and it looks to be a significant release that adds new security features and major under-the-hood upgrades.

          First and foremost, Tails 4.8 ships with the Linux 5.6 kernel series, which should add a new layer of hardware support, especially when running Tails on computers with newer components like Wi-Fi or graphics.

          Starting with this release, Tails no longer enables the Unsafe Browser by default, which could be used by attackers to deanonymize you due to a security vulnerability in another application.

        • Sparky news 2020/06

          The 6th monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

          • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.7.6 & 5.8-rc3
          • added to repos: Popcorn-Time, eDEX-UI, Visual Studio Code, VSCodium, Bitcoin-Qt, Litecoin-Qt
          • Sparky 2020.06 of the rolling line released
          • a point release of the stable line is on the way, stay tuned

        • TeX Live Debian update 20200629

          More than a month has passed since the last update of TeX Live packages in Debian, so here is a new checkout!

        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in June 2020

          As part of my duties of being on the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative and Software in the Public Interest I attended their respective monthly meetings and participated in various licensing and other discussions occurring on the internet, as well as the usual internal discussions regarding logistics and policy etc.

          [...]

          One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

          The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

          [...]

          This month I have worked 18 hours on Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and 5¼ hours on its sister Extended LTS project.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities June 2020

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

          [...]

          The ifenslave and apt-listchanges work was sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Which Ubuntu Flavor Should You Choose?

          Kubuntu 20.04 comes with the KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS desktop environment. KDE is much more customizable that Gnome, making Kubuntu the perfect choice for those who demand a modern, ultra-customizable desktop and aren’t afraid they’ll get lost among the dozens of options.

        • UbuntuEd 20.04: A New Educational Linux Distribution For All Students

          Rudra Saraswat, a very young developer, has announced a new remix of Ubuntu called UbuntuEd. Earlier, he launched his own Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04 and now has released the first stable version of UbuntuEd based on the latest long-term Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

          UbuntuEd 20.04: Ubuntu Educational Edition

          UbuntuEd 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’ is a new Educational spin of Ubuntu for all students ranging from pre-school to university level. Interestingly, this Education Edition aims to fill the gap of discontinued Edubuntu Linux distribution.

        • Meet UbuntuEd 20.04, an Educational Ubuntu Flavor for Kids, Schools and Universities

          The team behind the Ubuntu Unity distribution have released today UbuntuEd 20.04, an unofficial, educational focused Ubuntu flavor for kids, schools and universities.

          Meet UbuntuEd, an educational edition of Ubuntu Linux created by Rudra Saraswat, the same person who created Ubuntu Unity, and designed as a substitute for the discontinued Edubuntu flavor.

          The first release of UbuntuEd is now available, based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and featuring both GNOME and Unity7 desktop environments. In other words, you’re getting Ubuntu, Ubuntu Unity and Ubuntu Education in a single container.

          Users will be able to choose the right desktop environment for them, GNOME or Unity7, from the login screen. However, it looks like Unity7 is the default session when booting the live system and after the installation.

          As expected, UbuntuEd comes with a plethora of educational apps for kids, schools and universities. Four metapackages are also available for those who want to install additional educational apps if they need more. Moreover, it’s possible to install these metapackages on your existing Ubuntu systems.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Crust Drops Paywall For Open-Source CRM Alternative To Salesforce

        The Crust CRM suite that aims to compete with Salesforce has been open-source under an Apache 2.0 license but now its paywall has been dropped to make it more compelling as a free software CRM suite.

        Crust 2020.06 released today and adds new reporting to the suite, new options, better record exporting, and a variety of other improvements.

        Fundamentally though the biggest change is removing the paywall for all of their Crust software components, including their messaging component that can be seen as an open-source alternative to Slack, Crust CRM Suite as the “open-source Salesforce alternative”, and case/application management offerings as well.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a2

            Tor Browser 10.0a2 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 9.5.1

            Tor Browser 9.5.1 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This release updates Firefox to 68.10.0esr and NoScript to 11.0.32.

          • Firefox 78

            Firefox 78.0 has been released. This is an Extended Support Release (ESR). The Protections Dashboard has new features to track the number of breaches that were resolved from the dashboard and to see if any of your saved passwords may have been exposed in a breach. More details about this and other new features can be found in the release notes.

          • Honza Bambas: Firefox enables link rel=”preload” support

            We enabled the link preload web feature support in Firefox 78, at this time only at Nightly channel and Firefox Early Beta and not Firefox Release because of pending deeper product integrity checking and performance evaluation.

          • Giorgio Maone: Save Trust, Save OTF

            As the readers of this blog almost surely know, I’m the author of NoScript, a web browser security enhancer which can be installed on Firefox and Chrome, and comes built-in with the Tor Browser.

            NoScript has received support by the Open Technology Fund (OTF) for specific development efforts: especially, to make it cross-browser, better internationalized and ultimately serving a wider range of users.

            OTF’s mission is supporting technology to counter surveillance and censorship by repressive regimes and foster Internet Freedom. One critical and strict requirement, for OTF to fund or otherwise help software projects, is them being licensed as Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), i.e. their code being publicly available for inspection, modification and reuse by anyone. Among the successful projects funded by OTF, you may know or use Signal, Tor, Let’s Encrypt, Tails, QubeOS, Wireshark, OONI, GlobaLeaks, and millions of users all around the world, no matter their political views, trust them because they are FLOSS, making vulnerabilities and even intentionally malicious code harder to hide.

            Now this virtuous modus operandi is facing an existential threat, started when the whole OTF leadership has been fired and replaced by Michael Pack, the controversial new CEO of USA Global Media (USAGM), the agency OTF reports to.

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: June 2020 Edition

            Firefox 78 is currently in beta and will be released on June 30. The deadline to update localization was on Jun 16.

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 78 on POWER

            Firefox 78 is released and is running on this Talos II. This version in particular features an updated RegExp engine but is most notable (notorious) for disabling TLS 1.0/1.1 by default (only 1.2/1.3). Unfortunately, because of craziness at $DAYJOB and the lack of a build waterfall or some sort of continuous integration for ppc64le, a build failure slipped through into release but fortunately only in the (optional) tests. The fix is trivial, another compilation bug in the profiler that periodically plagues unsupported platforms, and I have pushed it upstream in bug 1649653. You can either apply that bug to your tree or add ac_add_options –disable-tests to your .mozconfig. Speaking of, as usual, the .mozconfigs we use for debug and optimized builds have been stable since Firefox 67.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet News: GNS Specification Milestone 3/4

            We are happy to announce the completion of the third milestone for the GNS Specification. The third milestone consists of documenting the GNS zone revocation process. As part of this, we have reworked the proof-of-work algorithms in GNUnet also used for GNS revocations.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • As the Computer Misuse Act Turns 30, Critics Say Reform is Desperately Overdue

            The Computer Misuse Act (CMA) turns 30 today. Critics say it has far outlived its purpose, with its Section 1 blanket-criminalising security researchers, and undermining the ability for security teams to conduct threat scanning. That, in turn, is putting businesses at greater risk of attack, they warn.

            Now, an eclectic coalition spanning members from across the UK’s multi-billion tech sector including businesses, think tanks and industry consortia have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to reform the legislation — warning that it is no longer fit-for-purpose in today’s world.

          • Motorola Razr and Realme 3/3i Android 10 kernel sources are now available

            Measuring the developer-friendliness of a particular Android OEM is a difficult task. However, their stance on kernel source code release is undoubtedly an important parameter in this regard. Android device makers are obliged to provide the source code – at least upon request – for any Linux kernel binaries that ship on their devices to comply with the requirements of the GNU General Public License (GPL) v2. Not every company goes by the book, though, as a handful of them regularly publish source code for all the updates they roll out.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Future of Linux DApps – Cartesi Launches ‘Descartes’ SDK Documentation Portal

          The Descartes SDK makes it possible for developers to build computationally intensive DApps with all software tools available for a full Linux operating system. DApps preserve full decentralization and the security guarantees of Ethereum.

          Developers and software enthusiasts can access the Documentation Portal immediately through Cartesi’s redesigned website. The portal provides tutorials and the information developers need to get started at coding for Cartesi.

        • AMD/ROCm “AOMP” Compiler Enables OpenMP 5.0 By Default, Preps For More Upstreaming

          AOMP 11.6-2 is out this evening as the final Radeon Open Compute update for H1’2020. This is AMD’s LLVM Clang downstream focused on providing OpenMP offloading to Radeon GPUs.

          AOMP is ROCm’s OpenMP focused compiler based on Clang that launched with ROCm 3.0 at the tail end of last year. Since then AOMP releases have come fairly frequently and AMD has been working to upstream the code where possible/relevant into upstream LLVM/Clang.

        • Some updates: CapTP in progress, Datashards, chiptune experiments, etc

          Hello… just figured I’d give a fairly brief update. Since I wrote my last post I’ve been working hard towards the distributed programming stuff in Goblins.

          In general, this involves implementing a protocol called CapTP, which is fairly obscure… the idea is generally to apply the same “object capability security” concept that Goblins already follows but on a networked protocol level. Probably the most prominent other implementation of CapTP right now is being done by the Agoric folks, captp.js. I’ve been in communication with them… could we achieve interoperability between our implementations? It could be cool, but it’s too early to tell. Anyway it’s one of those technical areas that’s so obscure that I decided to document my progress on the cap-talk mailing list, but that’s becoming the length of a small novel… so I guess, beware before you try to read that whole thing. I’m far enough along where the main things work, but not quite everything (CapTP supports such wild things as distributed garbage collection…!!!!)

          Anyway, in general I don’t think that people get too excited by hearing “backend progress is happening”; I believe that implementing CapTP is even more important than standardizing ActivityPub was in the long run of my life work, but I also am well aware that in general people (including myself!) understand best by seeing an interesting demonstration. So, I do plan another networked demo, akin to the time-travel Terminal Phase demo, but I’m not sure just how fancy it will be (yet). I think I’ll have more things to show on that front in 1-2 months.

        • Top 5 programming languages for systems admins to learn

          You may be asking yourself, why write an article about something you don’t like? There’s a simple answer for that, too. It makes the systems admin portion of my job responsibilities significantly easier. That’s the main reason I work so hard at figuring it out, making sense of it, taking courses, and ultimately putting it to good use. There aren’t enough hours in the day to give everything that personal touch or to repeat the same task over and over across tens of thousands of clients, servers, and mobile devices on- and off-site.

          As a hands-on IT professional, I can be found working on many jobs at once, attending meetings, and providing support to colleagues at any given time. So, that’s why learning at least one programming language is so important: The flexibility of automating tasks (particularly the repetitive ones) frees up time that is better spent addressing matters that require the personal touch.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Create various graph and chart for Earning Software with Python

            Hello and welcome back, in this chapter we will continue to develop the previous earning application which shows the shoe and shirt sales figure from the input database.

            If you want to understand what is going on, then do read the previous post about this topic. In this chapter, I am going to improve the previous application by including a combo box that allows the user to select the type of graph or chart he or she wants to view.

            This is the updated version of the user interface program.

          • Creating a Portable Python Environment from Imports

            Python environments provide sandboxes in which packages can be added. Conda helps us deal with the requirements and dependencies of those packages. Occasionally we find ourselves working in a constrained remote machine which can make development challenging. Suppose we wanted to take our exact dev environment on the remote machine and recreate it on our local machine. While conda relieves the package dependency challenge, it can be hard to reproduce the exact same environment.

          • How to Comment in Python

            When writing Python code, it is always a good practice to make your code clean and easily understandable. Organizing the code, giving variables and functions descriptive names are several ways to do this.

            Another way to improve the readability of your code is to use comments. A comment is a human-readable explanation or annotation that is used to explain the code.

          • Mike Driscoll: Python 101 – Launching Subprocesses with Python

            There are times when you are writing an application and you need to run another application. For example, you may need to open Microsoft Notepad on Windows for some reason. Or if you are on Linux, you might want to run grep. Python has support for launching external applications via the subprocess module.

            The subprocess module has been a part of Python since Python 2.4. Before that you needed to use the os module. You will find that the subprocess module is quite capable and straightforward to use.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #427 (June 30, 2020)
          • Python 3.8.4rc1

            The Python 3.8 series is the newest major release of the Python programming language, and it contains many new features and optimizations.

          • Python 3.8.4rc1 is now ready for testing

            Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2020-07-13, the scheduled release date for 3.8.4, no code changes are planned between this release candidate and the final release.
            That being said, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release and as such its main purpose is testing.
            Maintenance releases for the 3.8 series will continue at regular bi-monthly intervals, with 3.8.5 planned for mid-September 2020.

            [...]

            The Python 3.8 series is the newest feature release of the Python language, and it contains many new features and optimizations. See the “What’s New in Python 3.8” document for more information about features included in the 3.8 series.

            This is the first bugfix release that is considerably smaller than the previous three. There’s 20% less changes at 130 commits than the average of previous three releases. Detailed information about all changes made in version 3.8.4 specifically can be found in its change log.

          • Episode 6 – Where Does the Data Go?

            On this episode, we will learn about storing data and how Django manages data using models.

            [...]

            A relational database is like a collection of spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet is actually called a table. A table has a set of columns to track different pieces of data. Each row in the table would represent a related group. For instance, imagine we have an employee table for a company. The columns for an employee table might include a first name, last name, and job title. Each row would represent an individual employee.

          • Unicode in Python: Working With Character Encodings

            Python’s Unicode support is strong and robust, but it takes some time to master. There are many ways of encoding text into binary data, and in this course you’ll learn a bit of the history of encodings. You’ll also spend time learning the intricacies of Unicode, UTF-8, and how to use them when programming Python. You’ll practice with multiple examples and see how smooth working with text and binary data in Python can be!

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 4 Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 5 Checkin!

            This week I worked on the PR.
            The code was not exactly python ready. So I along with my mentors worked on making the code ready for use in python. Giving PUBLISHED access to exposed functions and members and especially, debugging while compiling the code was challenging. I was stuck many times while compiling the code to make it python ready.

        • Rust

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Email Is Not Broken

        A good place to start a discussion about something as polarising as email, is to articulate what email actually is. That way, you guys will hopefully understand where I am coming from right from the start.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • NJ Latinx Parents & Students Fight Robert Wood Johnson Plan to Demolish Public School

        In a story Democracy Now! has followed closely, Juan González shares an update on efforts to prevent the demolition of the Lincoln Annex public school in New Brunswick, New Jersey. City officials are trying to proceed with demolishing the public school this summer, in a move that would force 760 students to be bused to other schools for years, and parents and local activists are holding a rally in front of the Lincoln Annex School. “They want to keep the pressure on in the streets and to call on allies … who support public education, who are against gentrification and the abuse of immigrants, to join the rally,” González says.

      • University staff must find their voice, says Murdoch whistleblower

        Dr Schröder-Turk and colleagues Duncan Farrow and Graeme Hocking moved a step beyond that when they criticised Murdoch’s treatment of international students in a May 2019 broadcast of ABC TV’s investigative programme Four Corners.

        They alleged that Murdoch was addressing its budgetary problems by accepting Indian students with inadequate English language capabilities, triggering a wave of cheating by ill-prepared and desperate students and putting their welfare at jeopardy.

        While the three acknowledged that their intervention could jeopardise their careers, it was Dr Schröder-Turk – as the staff-elected member of Murdoch’s senate, the university’s overarching governing body – who paid a particularly heavy price.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As the Pandemic Rages On, the Right Continues Playing Dumb

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • In US and Canada, Migrants Caring for COVID Patients Lack Basic Protections

        Incoherent, inhumane, insulting — that is how Wilner Cayo described the Canadian province of Quebec’s treatment of asylum seekers laboring in the health care sector during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

      • John Roberts Is Not Your Friend

        Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices on Monday morning to defend abortion rights in a case called June Medical Services v. Russo. That follows his decision to temporarily uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and his decision to uphold gay and transgender rights under the Civil Rights Act earlier this month. Even on the big, end-of-term case in which he did side with conservatives, Roberts ruled that the president could fire the director of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, but he did not rule that the entire bureau was unconstitutional, as conservatives hoped he would.

      • “Moment of Elation”: In 1st Big Abortion Case of Trump Era, SCOTUS Strikes Down Strict Louisiana Law

        In the first big ruling on abortion in the Trump era, the Supreme Court has struck down a restrictive abortion law in Louisiana that would have left the state with just one abortion clinic. The 2014 law required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic, an onerous requirement that often made it impossible for abortion providers to continue to operate. “It was a moment of elation,” says Lakeesha Harris, director of reproductive health and justice at Women with a Vision, a women’s rights organization based in New Orleans. “Many of us have been working years, so this was justice in the making.”

      • Pressed by Sanders, Trump Health Officials Agree Everyone in US Should Be Able to Get Covid-19 Vaccine Regardless of Income

        “We need to manufacture and distribute free, high-quality masks and guarantee free vaccines to everyone in America.”

      • Memories of Pox, Plague, and Pandemics in Tamil Nadu

        It was women from a nearby village who found their beloved chieftain in the battlefield. They had come searching for men from their families. Instead, they found their leader Umaidurai badly wounded and bleeding, but still alive. They lifted him carefully and carried him back to their own village, three miles away.

      • Obamacare Vulnerable

        And now something else wicked this way comes in the midst of a pandemic that has killed upwards of 125,000 Americans: Donald Trump and his cohort of loyal Republicans has asked the Supreme Court to terminate the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

      • The Case for Medicare for All Has Grown Stronger Than Ever

        Despite an ever-present flood of misinformation from those making huge profits from the status quo, almost all reputable research and projections about M4A indicate that Americans overall would pay significantly less than we do now.

      • Washington Is Still Putting the Military Before Public Health

        In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Washington has initiated its largest spending binge in history. In the process, you might assume that the unparalleled spread of the disease would have led to a little rethinking when it came to all the trillions of dollars Congress has given the Pentagon in these years that have in no way made us safer from, or prepared us better to respond to, this predictable threat to American national security. As it happens, though, even if the rest of us remain in danger from the coronavirus, Congress has done a remarkably good job of vaccinating the Department of Defense and the weapons makers that rely on it financially.

      • Pence Masks Up While Trump Keeps Dog-Whistling
      • Fauci Is “Very Concerned” US COVID Cases May “Go up to 100,000 a Day”

        Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force team, gave a grim assessment of where things could be headed with regard to the total number of new cases of COVID-19 infections seen daily in the United States.

      • Google Pushes Back U.S. Office Reopening Plan After Virus Surge

        All U.S. offices will remain closed until Sept. 7 at the earliest, according to a memo Google sent to employees. In May, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the company would cautiously move some workers back in starting July 6.

        Covid-19 is spreading fast again in the U.S., prompting some states to reverse earlier decisions to relax lockdowns. California, where Google is based, reported its second-biggest jump in new cases on Tuesday.

      • Coronavirus: Fauci warns of 100,000 US cases per day

        The surge – which is occurring particularly strongly in southern and western states – has forced at least 16 states to pause or reverse their reopening plans, according to CNN. Florida, Arizona, Texas and California are the four states referenced by Dr Fauci as being most heavily hit currently.

        For some the new measures come over a month after they first began to reopen their economies.

      • EU confirms ban on American travelers as US scrambles to contain coronavirus

        Despite the pressing economic need, though, the EU has judged that allowing US travelers back in is too risky. America’s rate of infection is too high, and the response from the Trump administration has not reassured the experts that this will change anytime soon. The US instituted its own travel ban for visitors from Ireland and the 26-country Schengen common travel area (which includes 22 EU nations) in March.

      • Why Chief Justice Roberts Upheld Abortion Rights

        Thus, today’s decision should have been an open and shut case. Texas’ law was unconstitutional four years ago; Louisiana’s law was virtually identical to that law — it should be unconstitutional as well. But, the addition of the two new justices to the court, and in particular conservative Justice Kavanaugh replacing abortion-rights supporter Justice Anthony Kennedy, made this case a very big deal. To everyone following this issue, this case was going to be the barometer for how the newly conservative Supreme Court would treat abortion. Related Participants hold a sign that reads ‘Home is Here’ outside the US Supreme Court; as part of a demonstration held by immigration advocates and ‘DREAMers’ driving a procession of vehicles around the Supreme Court and US House of Representatives, in Washington, DC, USA, 27 April 2020. The demonstration was held to advocate for ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in hopes they will be allowed to stay in the country. The Justice Department during the Trump administration has rescinded the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but the complete phasing-out of the program has been put on hold by several courts.Immigration advocates and ‘DREAMers’ hold a demonstration during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Washington, USA – 27 Apr 2020

        This morning gave us the complicated answer. A majority of the justices voted to strike down the law based on the 2016 case, however, those five justices did not agree on the rationale. Justice Breyer, who wrote the 2016 decision, authored an opinion for himself and the three other liberals on the court. His opinion was a straightforward application of the 2016 case. He said that this law is no different, and because it also provides no benefits while seriously burdening abortion access, it is unconstitutional, like the Texas law. The Louisiana abortion clinics can remain open, and people seeking abortions in the state will not have to face an even more drastic access landscape.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The Senate has questions about DISA’s network security system

          The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, released June 23, would preclude the department from spending fiscal 2021 funds on the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) program for use on its Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. JRSS, run by the Defense Information Systems Agency provides cybersecurity services for many DoD components through intrusion detection and prevention, enterprise management, and virtual routing. DISA is tasked with operating and maintaining DoD networks,

          But the JRSS program has a checkered history for being effective. In 2018, the Defense Department’s chief weapons tester suggested that the program be shut down. Other tests have also found several operational and technical troubles. Now defense committees in both legislative chambers are trying to rein in the program.

        • Detroit Police Chief: Facial Recognition Software Misidentifies 96% of the Time

          In a public meeting Monday, Detroit Police Chief James Craig admitted that the technology, developed by a company called DataWorks Plus, almost never brings back a direct match and almost always misidentifies people.

          “If we would use the software only [to identify subjects], we would not solve the case 95-97 percent of the time,” Craig said. “That’s if we relied totally on the software, which would be against our current policy … If we were just to use the technology by itself, to identify someone, I would say 96 percent of the time it would misidentify.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • The open organization everyone deserves

              A work environment that encourages the collaborative utilization of everyone’s combined skillset, one in which contributors are intrinsically motivated to do their best work, is something I would wish for everyone. That’s why, over the past year especially, I’ve been cultivating an open organizational culture on my team and across my organization, Axians. Openness is the future, and it begins with individuals. In this article, I’ll explain the mindset shifts I believe any individual leader must make in order to pave the way for an organizational culture of openness.

              [...]

              This means that in order to get the most out of new technologies, you need to have an open organizational culture in which employees contribute from a place of intrinsic motivation. The current generation of tech employees isn’t drawn to organizations with a strong hierarchical culture. They’re looking for open organizations that encourage and inspire them to excel every single day. They’re looking for the kind of leadership that leaves ample room for individual input and ownership. A successful and future-proof organization demands an open culture and open leadership.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Most Important Privacy Case You’ve Never Heard Of

              One of the most important privacy cases you’ve never heard of is being litigated right now in a federal district court in Maine. ACA v. Frey is a challenge by the nation’s largest broadband Internet access providers to a Maine law that protects the privacy of the state’s broadband Internet users. If the broadband providers prevail, this case could eliminate sector-specific privacy laws across the nation, foreclose national privacy legislation, and have broad implications for broadband regulation generally.

            • Tell Your Senator: Vote No on the EARN IT Act

              This month, Americans are out in the streets, demanding police accountability. But rather than consider reform proposals, a key Senate committee is focused on giving unprecedented powers to law enforcement—including the ability to break into our private messages by creating encryption backdoors.

            • Inside the Invasive, Secretive “Bossware” Tracking Workers

              COVID-19 has pushed millions of people to work from home, and a flock of companies offering software for tracking workers has swooped in to pitch their products to employers across the country.

              The services often sound relatively innocuous. Some vendors bill their tools as “automatic time tracking” or “workplace analytics” software. Others market to companies concerned about data breaches or intellectual property theft. We’ll call these tools, collectively, “bossware.” While aimed at helping employers, bossware puts workers’ privacy and security at risk by logging every click and keystroke, covertly gathering information for lawsuits, and using other spying features that go far beyond what is necessary and proportionate to manage a workforce.

            • Indiana Supreme Court Says Compelled Decryption Of Smartphones Violates The Fifth Amendment

              Two years ago, the Indiana state Appeals Court ruled residents could not be compelled to unlock devices by law enforcement — not at the drop of a warrant. To compel the production of a password, law enforcement needs to have a certain amount of information in hand before it can ask courts to hit uncooperative criminal suspects with contempt charges.

            • Act now to protect encryption and make sure that there is no EARN IT Act passed

              A new anti-encryption bill proposed by Senator Graham will face a key vote this week, and activists are working to make sure that the bill does not pass. The bill is the EARN IT Act – the latest clueless attack on encryption – and there’s a chance that it can be stopped before it ever reaches the Senate floor. This Thursday, the 22 Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to not the EARN IT Act pass on to the next stage – and we need to make sure that it doesn’t pass this hurdle. If passed, the EARN IT Act would essentially kill free speech online.

            • Facebook is removing a network of accounts linked to the violent ‘boogaloo’ movement

              Facebook has removed a network of anti-government accounts associated with the fringe “boogaloo” movement after designating the group as a dangerous organization, the company said. The network, which represents a subset of the broader movement, actively planned violence, Facebook said, though it declined to share additional details, saying it did not want to interfere with ongoing law enforcement investigations.

            • Facebook Bans ‘Violent, Antigovernment’ Far-Right Boogaloo Network Amid Ad-Boycott Crisis

              Facebook announced that is banning a far-right antigovernment “boogaloo” group from its platform. The social-media giant, under fire from marketers and critics for not doing enough to stop hate and harassment, said it “is the latest step in our commitment to ban people who proclaim a violent mission from using our platform.”

            • Facebook bans ‘violent’ Boogaloo-linked network

              On Tuesday, Facebook said it was disrupting the “dangerous” group on its platform.

              “It is actively promoting violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions,” a statement said. “Members of this network seek to recruit others within the broader boogaloo movement, sharing the same content online and adopting the same offline appearance as others in the movement to do so.”

            • TikTok among 59 Chinese apps banned by India

              “There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country. The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and IoS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” the press release said.

              The press release said the mining of this data posed a threat to India’s sovereignty and integrity and also raised privacy concerns.

            • TikTok caught spying on in-app keystrokes thanks to new iPhone feature

              The popular social media platform was caught red-handed copying text from a user’s clipboard every few seconds, effectively logging their keystrokes without their knowledge.

              Though this was previously done in secret, beta users of Apple’s new iPhone software receive notifications when an app is collecting user data, and found themselves constantly being pinged when typing on TikTok.

            • India bans TikTok

              The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre recommended that the apps should be blocked. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) received complaints from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy.

            • Facebook Ad Boycott May Be Tip of Iceberg for Zuckerberg’s Social Network

              While social media experts remain uncertain of the long-term damage of the ongoing campaign, one industry consultant told Newsweek it may “tarnish” the brand.

              There are now over 200 companies involved in the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign that calls on businesses to limit advertising on the Mark Zuckerberg-led platform due to its allegedly lax policies on hate speech, extremism and misinformation.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • As Netanyahu Annexes the West Bank, Where Are the Democrats?

        Tomorrow, July 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to move forward with his campaign promise to annex significant sections of West Bank territory. As of this writing, the full extent of Netanyahu’s plan is not known, but he is expected to annex the fertile Jordan Valley as well as several large settlement blocs. Annexation also comprises parts of Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century, which calls for Israel annexing over 30 percent of the West Bank.

      • 60+ Groups Demand Senate Pass Amendment to Slash Pentagon Budget by $74 Billion

        More than 60 progressive advocacy groups representing millions of members across the U.S. are pressuring senators to pass an amendment led by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would cut the proposed Pentagon budget by 10% and redirect the $74 billion in savings toward funding healthcare, education, jobs, and housing in impoverished and neglected communities.

      • Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities Exposed in New Indictment

        President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

      • Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee Could Defy “the Madness of Militarism” as Co-Chairs of the Democratic Convention’s Biggest Delegation

        One of the few encouraging surprises in the lead-up to the 2020 Democratic National Convention is that co-chairs of California’s huge delegation will include Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee. Progressive activism made it possible — winning caucus races to elect strong Bernie Sanders delegates in early June and then organizing a grassroots campaign for Khanna to become chair of the state’s entire delegation.

      • 60+ Groups Demand Senate Pass Sanders Amendment to Slash ‘Out of Control’ Pentagon Budget by $74 Billion

        “The current moment should force us to confront the reality that, for too long, we have invested in the wrong priorities, the wrong tools, and the wrong solutions.”

      • For Politico, ‘Objectivity’ Means Asking Only Arms Industry Sources About an Arms Industry Endorsement

        Journalists often cling to the idea of objectivity as the key to their credibility. New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, for instance, defends his insistence on not calling Donald Trump a racist, or not calling out right-wing lies, because doing so would supposedly undermine the paper’s claim to objectivity, and therefore the impact of its reporting; his aim, he told a Times reporter in an interview (The Daily, 1/31/20; Press Watch, 1/31/20), is “sophisticated, true objectivity.”

      • Trump approves plan to pull 9,500 troops from Germany

        US President Donald Trump approved a plan to withdraw 9,500 US troops from Germany, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

      • Boko Haram suffer defeat as Nigerian troops kill scores of terrorists

        The Defence Headquarters has said that the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has destroyed Boko Haram’s structures at Warshale in Borno State.

      • Despite disengagement talks, India, China mobilise further in Ladakh, only winter holds hope

        Three things have emerged quite clearly from today’s talks. One, the process to define the crucial ‘how’ of disengagement has made no clear headway. Two, that while the two sides have defined their own details of disengagement, there are key disagreements that have stalled any clear progress in the talks. And three, the token reduction in troops seen at some sites, including Patrol Point 14, is precisely that — token, in the present scheme of things.

        In the absence of any clear take-aways to build on for the next round of talks, it is near certain that any disengagement may only happen by default when winter sets in, and manning positions at those frontiers become impossible to sustain for both sides. In the three months before winter takes over, the two sides will likely continue to talk, though no dramatic de-escalation is expected. For now, top sources say, the level of mobilisation by both sides, especially in the last four days, has emphasised trust deficit and also increased the ‘point of no return’ factor in deployments.

      • Battling the generals: A briefing on Sudan’s transition to democracy

        Sudan’s fragile transitional government is in the spotlight today as a “millions march” protest took to the streets of Khartoum to voice frustration over the lack of progress on promised reforms – nearly a year after mass demonstrations forced the military to share power with civilian leaders.

        The protesters are angry over rocketing inflation and shortages of fuel, electricity, and basic commodities, but are also giving voice to a deeper fear that the military has retained its power and out-maneuvered the civilian-led government of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.

        “The revolution is at risk,” said Hussam Ali, a member of a Khartoum resistance committee – the neighbourhood groups that were at the forefront of last year’s protests. “We feel that the military has arranged its cards and still has greed for power.”

        “I took to the street today because I want to see peace first, and then all criminals who are wanted by the ICC [the International Court] handed over, including [Omar al-] Bashir [Sudan’s three-decade-long former ruler],” said Ahmed Abdulkarem, a protester in Khartoum. “The government’s performance has been very slow and is doing nothing.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Publisher of news outlet arranged for wife to have unpaid position in Melania Trump’s office: report

        Politico reporters Daniel Lippman and Tina Nguyen revealed Tuesday that Jimmy Finkelstein — the publisher of the news outlet The Hill — has arranged for his wife to have an unpaid position in the office of first lady Melania Trump. This fact, presenting a potentially troubling conflict of interest for a publisher of political news, was not disclosed to readers.

        Lippman and Nguyen report that in 2017, Pamela Gross, Finkelstein’s wife and a former CNN producer, “volunteered to help the new first lady find her footing in the East Wing.” She was described as a “long-time friend of Melania Trump.”

    • Environment

      • Ocean sensitivity may lower carbon emissions cuts

        Ocean sensitivity to atmospheric change is well established. But just how sensitive the oceans are remains a surprise to science.

      • ‘Slam Dunk’ Study Finds Trump EPA’s Move Not to Tighten Air Pollution Standards Would Prematurely Kill 140,000 Americans

        In praising this study as a “slam dunk,” one former EPA air pollution scientist warned that the Trump EPA, which is trying to maintain the current standards, “ignores it at their peril.”

      • ‘Genocidal Negligence’: New Democratic Climate Action Plan Criticized as Woefully Inadequate

        The roadmap “underscores the establishment’s continuing refusal to address this existential crisis with the scale, speed, and intensity required to ensure a future for our next generation.”

      • Why climate change is too important to leave to “green” politics

        Adam Corner, research director at Climate Outreach, a UK NGO, says: “People on the centre-right are not sceptical about climate change, but about environmentalists.” They reject, he says, the “moralising and hubris” that they perceive in the climate conversation.

        The answer, says Corner, is to give climate action a “broad social mandate”, and to make green jobs real and achievable, rather than “a good-news narrative for the liberal elite”.

      • House Democrats just put out the most detailed climate plan in US political history

        All those consultations, hearings, and meetings have culminated in the release of the select committee’s official report and recommendations: “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional action plan for a clean energy economy and a healthy and just America.”

        It is the most detailed and well-thought-out plan for addressing climate change that has ever been a part of US politics — an extraordinary synthesis of expertise from social and scientific fields, written by people deeply familiar with government, the levers of power, and existing policy.

      • Advocate Opens the Door to Awareness

        While working at Maunakea, Kahananui enjoyed sharing the wonders of dark skies with visitors from all over the world. It was jaw-dropping for visitors from urban environments to see more than the moon and a few bright stars in the sky. “You can always open a door for people to be aware that dark skies are part of the environment. It’s half the day,” Kahananui says.

      • Democrats’ New Climate Plan Says Polluters Shouldn’t Receive Immunity From Lawsuits for Climate Impacts

        Some environmental groups criticized the plan for lacking ambition and not directly targeting fossil fuel production. However, the Democrats’ agenda does support a powerful provision for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their contributions to the disastrously warming planet: Not granting them legal immunity from Congress.

      • Energy

        • How a PG&E Contractor With a Sketchy Past Made Millions After California’s Deadliest Fire

          It was a last-ditch effort to save a scofflaw business. For years, the owners of Bay Area Concrete Recycling had run an unlicensed dump in the city of Hayward, California. Neighbors complained about dust blowing off a massive pile of crushed concrete. A city water pollution expert warned the runoff could be contaminating San Francisco Bay. City planners had fined the company nearly $60,000 and ordered it shut down.

          The company appealed in hopes of winning a permit to operate. But at a city Planning Commission meeting in November 2018, commissioners were unmoved.

        • New NAFTA Trade Deal Deepens Oil and Gas Dependency During Climate Crisis

          Reading between the lines of the 2,000-plus page deal, environmentalists say it is bad news for North America’s climate future. Far from addressing the crisis, the deal provides loopholes for oil, gas, and mining companies to operate across borders, and paves the way for U.S. companies to export even more fracked natural gas across the border into Mexico.

    • Finance

      • #OccupyCityHall: Mayor’s “Tone Deaf” Pledge to Move $1B from NYPD Budget Fails to Satisfy Protesters

        New York police have closed in on peaceful protesters camped outside City Hall who are demanding $1 billion be cut from the police department’s $6 billion budget, as the city approaches its July 1 budget deadline. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a budget deal that would move $1 billion in NYPD funding in an apparent nod to protesters’ demands, but organizers say they’re not satisfied. “All they’ve really done is shifted money from the NYPD budget over to school safety officers,” says Bianca Cunningham with the #OccupyCityHall encampment, who adds that school safety officers still contribute to a school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately hurts Black and Brown communities. “It shows that they are completely tone deaf about what this moment is about,” she says.

      • Has the IRS Hit Bottom?

        It’s been almost 10 years since Republicans, riding the Tea Party wave, took control of the House of Representatives and started hacking at the IRS’ enforcement budget. Down it went, some years the cuts were steep, some not, as Republican lawmakers laughed off dire warnings about the consequences of letting tax cheats run free.

        For the past couple years, ProPublica has been cataloging the descent of the IRS. We’ve watched as audits of the rich and the largest corporations have plummeted and become less aggressive, while audits of poor taxpayers have remained comparatively high.

      • Millions of Homeowners Who Need Flood Insurance Don’t Know It — Thanks to FEMA

        When Michael Wilson was in the process of buying a brick bungalow on Chicago’s South Side in October 2018, he thought he had been diligent in researching the flood risk.

        Touring the house’s finished basement, the 43-year-old Wilson saw no outward signs of water damage, and he said the real estate agent had no knowledge of a flood history at the home or while it had been on the market. Wilson also hired a waterproofing specialist to inspect the home for evidence of past flooding or structural concerns.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Temper, Temper

        With SCOTUS rulings seen as Trump defeats, Trump answered with a burst of angry tweets. At West Point, he prepared to look like Caesar. Instead his ramp walk showed a fragile geezer. His rage at that will probably never stop. And then his Tulsa rally was a flop. By then the tell-all book released by Bolton Had stoked this anger—hot now, nearly molten. Red-faced with rage? That judgment can’t be made, Since orange close to red’s his normal shade.

      • The Shadow Court Cementing Trump’s Immigration Policy

        Just eight miles from the White House, the Trump administration has quietly opened a new front in its war against immigrants. Inside a 26-story office tower next to a Target in Falls Church, Va., the Board of Immigration Appeals has broken with any pretense of impartiality and appears to be working in lockstep with the administration to close the door on immigrants’ ability to remain in the country.

      • ‘Green Light to Suppress Votes’: Federal Court Reinstates Wisconsin GOP’s Early Voting Restrictions Amid Pandemic

        “They let this case collect dust for three years. And they decide today, four months out from Election Day, that ‘early voting is not a fundamental right’ in the middle of a pandemic. Just outrageous.”

      • Ballots at three Moscow polling stations invalidated after discovery of irregularities involving home voting

        Significant voting irregularities have surfaced at three Moscow polling stations during Russia’s still-ongoing nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments (including reforms that could extend Vladimir Putin’s presidency to 2036). Following these reports, Moscow Deputy Election Commissioner Dmitry Reut announced that ballots cast at these stations will be invalidated, though he attributes the aberrations to “human error,” not deliberate acts.

      • ‘A Very Strong Run,’ But Booker Falls Short to Establishment-Backed McGrath in Kentucky Primary

        “McGrath’s campaign collapsed just a bit too late for Booker.”

      • Killer Lines, Killer Cops, and Trump’s Vote-Heist Dress Rehearsal

        The hidden, ugly story of the new Jim Crow tactics tested in the recent primaries—and coming soon to a state near you.

      • How Progressive Victories Blow Up the Conventional Wisdom

        Though the final votes are still being tallied from last week’s Democratic primaries, the outcome is already clear: The progressive movement inside and outside the Democratic Party is, contrary to conventional wisdom, alive and kicking. The millions of people demonstrating in the streets are accompanied by record turnouts in primary elections despite the pandemic. And establishment candidates deaf to the demand for change are courting defeat.

      • Donald Trump Is the ‘Undertaker’ of American Politics

        What’s not to love about a good old-fashioned three-ring circus? The flash and bang of the human cannon, the dancing bears, the ponies prancing in lockstep, the flying trapeze, the tiger tamed, the clown brought down in a pratfall. But circus magic depends upon the art of misdirection. The best acts amaze us not only because they are skilled gymnasts or animal whisperers but also because they have mastered the ability to focus attention—on what they are doing as well as away from it. Perfected distraction is the essence of magic: the sleight of hand, the visual feint, the shell game, the disappearing act, the great escape.

      • ‘America Isolated Under Trump’: Citing Soaring Covid-19 Rate, EU Bar US Travelers

        The decision, said one foreign correspondent, “is certainly an indication about how the rest of the world, particularly Europe, sees the United States right now.”

      • Democracy Chasers in a Badly Injured Nation

        Considering that 43% of Congress is comprised of lawyers and, according to at least one source, a goodly number of that percentage are alcoholics in various stages of recovery — climbing on the wagon, and then falling off, only to be picked up, like any package that mysteriously falls off a truck, by corporate mob figures and re-sold at a discount to a riffraff who deserve them — is it any wonder that they spend their time legislating like ambulance chasers?

      • Iran Seeks Interpol Red Notice on Trump for Soleimani Murder

        Trump unilaterally whacked Soleimani on Iraqi soil without the permission of the Iraqi government, violating the terms under which US troops operate in Iraq as well as committing murder against Soleimani and those with him.

      • Failed State: The Sudden Descent of the United States

        Can making Black Lives Matter rescue a failing state?

      • Progressive Groups Say Biden-Warren Ticket Best Way to Excite Voters and ‘Win the White House’

        “For voters and activists who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary, it’s vital that Biden choose a running mate with a longstanding progressive track record of fighting for the working families of this country.”

      • Trump Was Golfing and Unreachable for 3 Hours After Sharing “White Power” Tweet

        After President Donald Trump shared a video on Twitter this past weekend, showcasing one of his supporters shouting out “white power” toward others protesting against the president, the White House scrambled to get him to take the tweet down, as it had generated a great amount of condemnation online for the racist remark.

      • Lawmakers Dismiss Trump’s Claim That Russian Taliban Bounties Are a “Hoax”

        After a meeting at the White House to discuss intelligence relating to how Russian military operatives were allegedly paying bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan last year, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer expressed disagreement with President Donald Trump, who had called reports on the matter a “hoax” in a tweet over the weekend.

      • US claim of ‘Russian Bounty’ plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous
      • Afghanistan Bounties: Pot, Meet Kettle (and Turn Off the Stove!)

        “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan,” claims the New York Times.

      • Trump Is Either Lying or Out of the Loop on Afghanistan. Both Are Bad.

        The corporate media has been straining at its collective leash since the weekend, firing a volley of barks our way about Russian intelligence agents paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers, and my God, did Donald Trump know? The high dudgeon in these reports is unmistakable; one CNN article by Paul Begala calls it “the worst of Trump’s outrages.”

      • This Week in Authoritarian Newspeak
      • Green Party MP Caroline Lucas responds to Boris Johnson’s infrastructure speech
      • TikTok Teens and the Trump Campaign: How Social Media Amplifies Political Activism and Threatens Election Integrity

        If it’s this easy for a group of teens to influence turnout in a campaign rally, how easy would it be for a foreign actor to interfere in the election process? 

      • Trump’s 2020 Election Strategy in 25 Steps

        Memo to America: Beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.

      • Tech barons dream of a better world — without the rest of us
      • What anti-racist activists want from Facebook

        The Verge spoke with Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, Color of Change’s deputy senior campaign director, about what the campaign wants from tech companies and how they can get ready for the long haul.

        This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

      • Four ways the House wants military IT to improve

        A draft version of the annual defense policy bill directs the Department of Defense’s IT offices to describe how its plans to mitigate a series of IT and workforce challenges the department faces.

        The House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on intelligence and emerging threats and capabilities released draft legislation June 21 that includes several provisions governing the DoD’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, which is responsible for the Pentagon’s enterprise IT efforts, cyber talent management and several other modernization efforts.

        Here’s a roundup of what the subcommittee wants: [...]

      • How Reddit kicked off a day of bans for Trump and the far right

        The news: Early on Monday, Reddit banned r/The_Donald, a once-notorious pro-Trump forum, for repeated rule-breaking. CEO Steve Huffman announced that it was just one of 2,000 subreddits banned by the site as it institutes rule changes designed to make the platform less accommodating to hateful and abusive communities.

      • Reddit, Acting Against Hate Speech, Bans ‘The_Donald’ Subreddit

        The community or “subreddit,” called “The_Donald,” is home to more than 790,000 users who post memes, viral videos and supportive messages about Mr. Trump. Reddit executives said the group, which has been highly influential in cultivating and stoking Mr. Trump’s online base, had consistently broken its rules by allowing people to target and harass others with hate speech.

      • A foreign journalist’s warning about American authoritarianism

        The decline of democracy in Serbia is a bitter pill for people like Dojčinović to swallow, given that Serbia worked hard to build a real democracy after throwing off first a communist regime and then Slobodan Milosevic’s dictatorship in 2000.

        “We were kind of building democracy for 12 years, and now we are in the process of going backward,” he tells me.

        While America is not yet as bad off as Serbia, Dojčinović sees warning signs that America could go down the same road. In particular, he says, President Trump has the same willingness to abuse his position — cultivating a captive media, enriching himself and his family — that characterizes the current Serbian government.

        For this reason, Dojčinović sees the Serbian experience as a warning for America: A second term could, in his view, prove catastrophic for American democracy. Populist authoritarians undermine democracy in an insidious way, dressing up attacks on the press and courts as what the people truly want. After reelection, they believe they have a freer hand.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Athletes Are Taking Their Solidarity to the Streets

        On Juneteenth, two young Black men led a demonstration down the streets of Washington, D.C., megaphones in hand, chanting that Black Lives Matter, and that without justice, there would be no peace. This has become a familiar sight in the nation’s capital over the last month, since the police murder of George Floyd.

      • ‘People were being hunted’ Watch a clip from the new ‘HBO’ documentary about LGBTQ evacuations from Russia’s Chechnya

        On June 30, HBO released David France’s new documentary film Welcome to Chechnya to U.S. viewers. It tells the story of Moscow activists David Isteyev and Olga Baranova, as they work to secretly evacuate LGBTQ people from Russia’s Chechnya, taking them to temporary shelters in Moscow or abroad. In order to maintain the anonymity of the film’s main subjects, the director changed their voices, used pseudonyms, and — in a first for a documentary filmmaking — hid their faces with the faces of other people (a kind of deepfake in reverse). The documentary itself was shot on a cheap Sony camera — during some of the filming in Chechnya, the director pretended to be a tourist. To get the most dangerous shots, they used a GoPro or a cellphone camera. The documentary’s world premiere took place at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Whether or not the film will be shown in Russia remains unknown. Meduza shares a clip from Welcome to Chechnya, which demonstrates how the activists organized the evacuations.

      • ‘Attacking the Very Foundations’ of Church-State Separation, SCOTUS Delivers ‘Seismic Shock’ Ruling on Religious Schools

        “Today’s ruling is perverse,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent.

      • A Student Murdered in Cold Blood and a Kids’ Bike Ride Through Queens, New York

        The US is exceptional! Watching the racist attack against innocent children in Rosedale, an enclave in Queens, New York shook something in me in addition to the revulsion to the rocks and racist slurs. They were looking to ride their bikes through the then-white enclave in Queens on their way to a fast-food restaurant. They spotted a US flag and thought they were headed toward a parade. The video clip from Bill Moyers Journal (“A Racist Attack on Children Was Taped in 1975. We Found Them,” New York Times, June 21, 2020) of the incident awakened something in me from just five years ago that factored into my leaving an adjunct teaching position at a community college in upstate New York.

      • Why Be a ‘Model Minority’ When You Could Dismantle White Supremacy?

        Last month, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, a group of Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) nonprofits in Seattle asked the city to sweep large homeless encampments in the Chinatown–International District neighborhood.

      • Protest In Harmony for Elijah McClain – Until Rioting Cops Teargas His Violin Vigil
      • Anti-Racist Engagement in the Kansas Free State Struggle, 1854-64: Horace Greeley, German 48-ers, and the Civil War Journalism of Karl Marx, 1861-62

        History in the U.S. prior to the Civil War occurred on tumultuous political terrain that is still highly contested academically. One of its most controversial episodes is the struggle for a slavery-free Kansas. This essay[1] will show how crucial aspects of this history have been marginalized and/or repressed in conventional scholarly accounts, and will build an interpretive framework with widened cultural and political scope. This will derive from its close examination of the unique anti-racist engagement of three key social change agents: (1) Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune; (2) German 48er freedom fighters re-located to the Kansas Territory (K.T.) after 1855; and (3) a German 48er journalist working from London for Greeley, Karl Marx. Following the perspective of Frederick Douglass, discussed in more detail below, this essay acknowledges the abiding residual effects of racism among many (perhaps most) of the otherwise politically progressive whites of the day. Nicole Etcheson has recognized this explicit Kansas Free State capitulation to white privilege in her recent history of Bleeding Kansas.[2] My studies however disclose the manner in which a variety of vanguard white radicals stood in alliance with the leading voices of radically egalitarian African Americans, anti-slavery Native Americans, and Kansas German-Americans engaged in the Free State struggle. By focusing on the emancipatory anti-racist political praxis emergent during this epoch, we find that a significant white leadership existed that was radically committed to racial equality.[3]

      • ICE is Leaving Immigrants to Die in Detention, and Retaliating When They Speak Out

        The spread of COVID-19 to immigrant detention facilities poses a mortal danger to everyone who is unjustly detained. For months now advocates, organizers and those detained have urged elected officials and governmental agencies to take affirmative steps to prevent needless deaths and suffering inside immigrant detention facilities.

      • Trump to Black Americans: “You Have to Learn” About “Your History”

        President Donald Trump told Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade in a Sunday evening special that his message to Black Americans demanding the removal of monuments honoring slave owners is this: “You have to learn” about “your history.”

      • NAACP’s Derrick Johnson on Mississippi’s State Flag, Trump’s White Power Tweet & Boycotting Facebook

        In a historic vote, the Mississippi state Legislature passed a bill to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag, making it the last state to do so, after an ongoing nationwide uprising against racism and police brutality and a mounting pressure campaign in Mississippi. Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, says it has been a “long journey” to change the Mississippi flag. “We’ve had to fight both against the symbol of racial oppression, the revisionist history of racial oppression, and now the next step is to fight against the structural racism that’s embedded in the public policy, not only in the state of Mississippi but across the country,” Johnson says. He also addresses how President Trump shared a video on social media of a Trump supporter chanting “white power,” as well as the growing boycott of Facebook for allowing the spread of hateful and false information on its platform.

      • Mississippi Votes to Remove the Confederate Emblem From Flag

        In a historic vote, the Mississippi state Legislature passed a bill to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag, making it the last state to do so, after an ongoing nationwide uprising against racism and police brutality and a mounting pressure campaign in Mississippi. Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, says it has been a “long journey” to change the Mississippi flag. “We’ve had to fight both against the symbol of racial oppression, the revisionist history of racial oppression, and now the next step is to fight against the structural racism that’s embedded in the public policy, not only in the state of Mississippi but across the country,” Johnson says. He also addresses how President Trump shared a video on social media of a Trump supporter chanting “white power,” as well as the growing boycott of Facebook for allowing the spread of hateful and false information on its platform.

      • Can Making Black Lives Matter Rescue a Failing State?

        You know that feeling when you trip on the street and instantly sense that you’re about to crash hard and there’s no way to prevent it? As gravity has its way with you, all you can do is watch yourself going down. Yeah, that feeling.

      • Confronting Prejudice Isn’t Enough. We Must Eradicate the White Racial Frame.

        The brutal enslavement of Black people lasted for a full 60 percent of this country’s colonialist history.

      • How North Carolina Transformed Itself Into the Worst State to Be Unemployed

        By March, when the coronavirus began accelerating through the United States, Shawn Hill-Watkins had been working as a cashier at a Food Lion supermarket in High Point, North Carolina, for seven months, taking three buses to work and back each day. She couldn’t afford the groceries she was ringing up for customers, but she had always been outgoing and knew how to keep the mood upbeat. Older regulars at the market sought out her line. They knew her by the colorful silk flowers she had sewn for herself, which she would wear behind her ear.

        Hill-Watkins is 50, with six children and nine grandchildren. For years she’s lived around Virginia and in Philadelphia, making ends meet as a hairdresser, a seamstress and a house cleaner. Last June she came to North Carolina with her youngest son, Devan, after one of her daughters, who was in an abusive relationship, called her for help. Her daughter later left, but Hill-Watkins decided to remain. She had gotten the grocery job and eventually moved into a room with a kitchenette in an extended stay hotel just off Interstate 40 in Greensboro. Devan, who is 15, had made friends on a local football team. Hill-Watkins had been running around trying to help her children for two decades, she said, “and I felt like I couldn’t run with them anymore.”

      • Why Are Federal Jurists Cheering on Voter Suppression in Wisconsin?

        That’s a radical reinterpretation of the law. “The Supreme Court has never held that partisan animus provides a legitimate basis for discriminatory voting rules,” notes election law expert Rick Hasen, a professor of political science and law at the University of California, Irvine. Yet as Hasen points out, Easterbrook is suggesting, “in a very troubling way, that making it harder to vote on the basis of party is perfectly acceptable.”

        This is judicial activism writ large, and it is exceptionally dangerous, as it effectively invites Republican legislators in Wisconsin and elsewhere to ponder even more aggressive assaults on voting rights. “The judges take the Supreme Court’s redistricting decision and use it to argue that, essentially, lawmakers can change any election law for purposes of partisan advantage, as long as they’re not explicitly talking about racial (or other barred) discrimination while they do it,” explains Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Ben Wikler. “The truth is that because one party has so relentlessly weaponized racism, voting is now highly predicted by race—and so it’s possible to suppress the vote of African-Americans under the guise of suppressing Democrats. This opens the door to making that legal.”

      • Video appears to show Detroit police car driving into protesters

        Ketner said the protests had been peaceful until four cars blocked the protesters’ route, prompting them to surround the vehicles until officers cleared the way.

        “Right as we passed all four, the driver turned and started advancing toward us,” Ketner told CNN Monday. “I can’t explain how or why he thought it was a good idea, but that’s what he decided to do. There were other vehicles farther down on Verner (Highway) and if they tried to claim they did it (to) get past us, they could have dispatched another officer (down the road).”

        Ketner said police did not instruct the protesters to move out of the way before the vehicle accelerated into the crowd.

      • California Police Are Using Copyright to Hide Surveillance Documents

        California police are refusing to release documents about the surveillance technology it uses, despite a new law that requires their release.

        On January 1, SB 978 went into effect, which requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to “conspicuously” publish all law enforcement agency training materials. The agency has said that it will not comply on copyright grounds.

        Any attempt to download training materials concerning facial recognition technology or automated license plate readers (ALPRs), as well as materials relating to courses on the use of force, lead to a Word document that reads “The course presented has claimed copyright for the expanded course online.”

      • Indonesian Christian convert from Islam begs Muslim relatives to return snatched children

        A Barnabas contact said many Acehnese Muslim-background believers have suffered similar treatment to Fitri. “In Aceh, there is no freedom of religion and, since sharia law was enacted a few years ago, the number of Christians and churches is decreasing in the province,” he said. “Many churches have been destroyed or closed down and many Christians were persecuted.”

        Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, has seen a rise in hard-line Islamic ideology in recent years. A generation ago, Muslims and Christians lived peaceably as equals in accordance with the state-promoted philosophy of religious tolerance and national unity known as “Pancasila”.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Week in Internet News: Google to Pay Some News Publishers

        News isn’t free: Google has announced it will pay some news publishers in a “new news experience” it is rolling out later this year, TechCrunch reports. News outlets in Germany, Australia, and Brazil are among the first group of publishers that have signed on. The goal is to “help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience that lets people go deeper into more complex stories, stay informed and be exposed to a world of different issues and interests,” Google says.

      • New Bill Would Kill State Laws Blocking Broadband Competition

        For years we’ve noted how the United States has spent billions on broadband subsidies, tax breaks, and regulatory favors for major ISPs, only to receive half-completed networks. That’s largely thanks to lobbyists and the captured regulators who love them, resulting in a government that doesn’t do a great job tracking where subsidy money is spent, refuses to seriously police fraud, still doesn’t really know where broadband is or isn’t available, and routinely approves terrible industry consolidating mergers.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Italian Court of Appeal awards EUR 1,5 mio damages in pharma patent case for 40 days infringement

          Whilst the Italian Courts are not famous for awarding substantial damages in IP cases, a recent decision of the Rome Court of Appeal seems to have gone in the opposite direction, albeit taking a very long time to deliver the result. In this article, we report on a case started in 2012, which came to its conclusion in 2020 with a second instance judgment that awarded the holder of a significant pharmaceutical patent, EUR 1.5 mio damages approximately to compensate an infringement that lasted 40 days.

          The script is not unheard of, and revolves around a generic company that chooses to enter prematurely the market of an established originator product approaching the sunset of patent protection.

          In December 2012, Israeli generic player Teva decided to launch “at risk” in Italy its generic version of Montelukast, a leukotriene antagonist and a major respiratory medicine belonging to US based Merck Sharp & Dohme. More particularly, at the time of launch, the remaining life of MSD’s patent EP ‘480717, as extended by Italian supplementary protection certificate CPC-UB99CC647, protecting medicine Singulair (Montelukast) was only 40 days. Teva’s strategy arguably rested on the assumption that the approaching Christmas season would have hindered in practice the putting in place of an interlocutory injunction by MSD timely enough before the expiry of SPC ‘647 in February 2013. Which proved to be the case.

          [...]

          However, whilst the IQVIA data are accepted by the Court of Appeal as evidence of the damage caused by the reduction of the originator medicine’s reimbursed price, it remains unexplained why it felt unable to accept the same IQVIA data as evidence of the damage caused by the loss of volumes of MSD’s Singulair replaced by Teva’s generic. In this respect, MSD had moreover argued in first instance that the loss of margins on lost volumes should at least have been compensated by the virtual royalty method, and had presented along with the submissions of its own economic expert reference rates extracted by industry data banks and independent studies. However, the Court of Appeal does not accept that evidence either, and ends up awarding to MSD an otherwise unexplained lump sum compensation “in fairness” of EUR 100k for loss of volumes.

          In partial contradiction with its own premises, the Court of Appeal dismisses MSD’s damages claim for partial loss of depreciations, saying that it was implausible that any R&D investments should remain unamortized during the last 40 days of life of supplementary protection, which by definition went beyond the original term of the basic patent. The Court apparently fails to see that depreciation takes places by a linear arithmetic function, spreading the cost evenly across the entire useful life of the asset.

        • Software Patents

          • EFF Successfully Defends Users’ Right to Challenge Patents and Still Recover Legal Fees

            When individuals and companies are wrongly accused of patent infringement, they should be encouraged to stand up and defend themselves. When they win, the public does too. While the patent owner loses revenue, the rest of society gets greater access to knowledge, product choice, and space for innovation. This is especially true when defendants win by proving the patent asserted against them is invalid. In such cases, the patent gets cancelled, and the risk of wrongful threats against others vanishes.

            The need to encourage parties to pursue meritorious defenses, is partly why patent law gives judges the power to force losers to pay a winner’s legal fees in “exceptional” patent cases. The fee-shifting allowed in patent cases is especially important because there are so many invalid patents in the possession of patent trolls, which are entities that exploit the exorbitant costs of litigating in federal court to scare defendants into paid settlements. When patent trolls abuse the litigation system, judges have to make sure that they pay a price. That’s why the selective fee-shifting that happens in patent cases is so important.

          • Baidu Joins Linux Patent Consortium ‘Open Invention Network’ [Ed: OIN basically legitimises licensing or cross-licensing software patents dressed up as "Hey Hi"]

            Baidu, the largest Chinese language search engine and a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company has joined Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in the world.

            As an active supporter of open source and an important contributor of global open source technology, Baidu said it is committed to promoting the rapid development of AI through an open source platform and facilitating industrial transformation.

            OIN’s community practices patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies by cross-licensing Linux System patents to one another royalty-free. Similarly, OIN licenses its patents royalty-free to organizations that agree not to assert their patents against the Linux System.

          • Quartz Auto Technologies patent challenged as likely invalid

            On June 30, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,370,085, owned and asserted by Quartz Auto Technologies, LLC, an NPE. The ‘085 patent is generally directed to personal information management systems that track a user’s locations and activities. The patent is currently being asserted against Uber and Lyft for their rider/passenger applications.

      • Trademarks

        • Prosecco People Move On From Bullying Puns Over Trademark To Bullying Portmanteau Over Trademark

          Back in 2018, we wrote about the Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco, heretofore called only “The Prosecco People” to save my brain, opposing the trademark for a pet treats company over its branded doggy drink “Pawsecco.” The EU IPO, in one of the most bizarre trademark rulings I’ve ever seen, acknowledged that there was almost no chance for any actual customer confusion over the use of “Pawsecco”, but found in favor of The Prosecco People anyway, strictly because Prosecco was a well-known thing, and Woof and Brew’s pun was referencing a well-known thing. That is simply not the purpose of trademark law. The entire idea is that the public shouldn’t be confused in a given market of goods as to the origin of competing products. Pet drinks and Italian knockoffs of champagne seem fairly distinct in the marketplace.

        • Supreme Court rules Booking.com can trademark name

          The decision rejects a sweeping argument pushed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that the combination of a generic term and “.com” cannot be trademarked. Intellectual property law in the U.S. doesn’t allow companies to trademark generic terms.

          The court said in an 8-1 decision that certain combinations of two generic terms — in this case, “booking” and the domain name “.com” — are eligible for trademarking.

        • United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V. (2020)

          Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion in a trademark case directed to what it means for a trademark to be generic, and hence not subject to registration, in United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.[1] The question presented to the Court was whether an online business’s addition of a generic top-level domain (i.e., “.com”) to an otherwise generic term can create a protectable trademark.[2] The Court declined to impose a per se rule on this question, as urged by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and instead held that “[w]hether any given ‘generic.com’ term is generic . . . depends on whether consumers in fact perceive that term as the name of a class or, instead, as a term capable of distinguishing among members of the class.”[3] Here, lower court determinations established that Booking.com was not generic.[4]

          [...]

          In doing so, the Court appeared to reject the USPTO’s position that the primary significance test should be confined to potential cancellation of registered marks (as the test is found in that particular section of the Lanham Act).

          In any case, the Court found that consumer perception prevails, and “whether ‘Booking.com’ is generic turns simply on whether that term, taken as a whole, signifies to consumers the class of online hotel-reservation services.”[18] In finding that it does not, the Court noted that we would not expect consumers “to understand Travelocity—another such service—to be a ‘Booking.com’” or that “a consumer, searching for a trusted source of online hotel-reservation services, could ask a frequent traveler to name her favorite ‘Booking.com’ provider.”[19] “Because ‘Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic.”[20]

          The Court went on to refute a number of the USPTO’s arguments, including the comprehensive, per se rule urged by the USPTO because it is inconsistent with the USPTO’s own past practices of allowing registration of other “generic.com” marks.

          In doing so, the Court found one of main cases cited by the USPTO, Goodyear’s India Rubber Glove Mfg. Co. v. Goodyear Rubber Co., 128 U.S. 598 (1888), inapplicable to Booking.com. The USPTO argued that Goodyear’s supported the position that “a generic corporate designation added to a generic term does not confer trademark eligibility.”[21]

        • Breaking: US Supreme Court holds that “generic.com” marks are not necessarily generic – USPTO v. Booking.com

          This morning, the US Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision regarding the “Booking.com” service mark. In United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, the Court held that a mark consisting of a term that is generic for the class of goods or services offered and “.com” is not necessarily generic. Rather, as in this case, if consumers do not perceive the mark as generic for the class, the mark may be distinctive and thus registrable.

          Justice Ginsburg authored the opinion of the Court, which eight justices joined. The lone dissent came from Justice Breyer; additionally, Justice Sotomayor wrote a separate concurring opinion.

        • generic.com

          Today, the Supreme Court ruled (8-1) that merely adding “.com” to a generic term may allow the combination to be protected as a non-generic trademark. In other words, adding “.com” can confer meaning to the consuming public, and thus is not the same as adding “company” or “inc,” which does not confer meaning. That was really the linguistic question in the case. Case law has long held that “Booking, Inc.” is really “Booking.” So, is “Booking.com” also “Booking”? Or is it “Booking.com”?

          As a reminder, a mark is generic when it describes what the product is, and not who makes the product. So, Booking.com would refer to a single company (who) that makes bookings, and not to just any booking company (what). A generic term might be lawyer – it refers to what (legal services) and not to who (there are many lawyers). As the Court puts it, Travelocity is a booking company, but is it a booking.com company?

          I signed on to an amicus brief supporting Booking.com, and I’ll tell a story why (and why I so keenly followed this case). Way back in the beginning of the commercial internet, my firm registered the domain computerlaw.com. This was a big deal – making it work for email required complicated email gateways, etc. I hadn’t even gone to law school yet, and I was in charge of setting it up. Connectivity looked a lot different for a small firm in 1994 than it does now.

        • Patent Law and Booking.Com: as a whole or by parts

          Patent scholars and attorneys will recognize the battle in https://t.co/7wn2gtAbSC between the majority (Justice Ginsburg) and dissent (Justice Breyer) looks much the same to the debate over patentable subject matter.

        • “Noescco” appeal goes flat in the High Court

          Uncork the bottles – a resounding victory for the Prosecco producers in Les Grands Chais de France SAS v Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco [2020] EWHC 1633 (Ch), an appeal from the UK Intellectual Property Office which was heard in the High Court by Mr Justice Nugee.

          [...]

          The section 3(4) ground of opposition was based on Article 103(2)(b) of the Regulation, which protects a PDO against any “misuse, imitation or evocation”.

          The Appellant’s position was essentially that the term “Nosecco” was coined to refer to the non-alcoholic nature of its goods. The Appellant then argued (somewhat inconsistently) that “-secco” means “dry” in Italian and “sec” is a common word used in the wine industry to denote a “dry” (i.e. not sweet) taste, and therefore the public would understand “Nosecco” to mean “not dry”. To the extent that the public were to perceive “Nosecco”as referring to Prosecco, this would indicate an absence of Prosecco i.e. “Noescco” is a parody of (or a witty play on) Prosecco, and a name that points away from Prosecco.

          These arguments, run at first instance, were problematic because they suggest that “Noescco” evokes Prosecco at the very least, and the case law strongly suggests that evocation (with nothing more) is enough. All that is needed is a link in the mind of the public; confusion/deception are not necessary.

        • Are Patent and Trademark Deadlines Extended Due To COVID-19? (UPDATED)

          As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, patent offices worldwide are taking steps to minimize negative impacts that patent and trademark filers may suffer.

          Many offices have asked their employees to work from home, potentially causing delays. Most or all offices, including the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO), are conducting oral proceedings via telephone or videoconferencing.

      • Copyrights

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