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07.15.20

Links 15/7/2020: Deepin OS Expansion, openSUSE Board Non-Confidence Vote

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Running Linux – Benchmarks – Week 2

      This is a weekly blog chronicling my experiences of running the AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC on Linux.

      I was intending to kick off Week 2 of this series with testing multimedia on the AK41. But we’ve received requests to benchmark this Mini Desktop Computer.

      For this week’s blog, I’ve run a variety of benchmarking tests on the AWOW AK41 Mini PC together with three other systems to put the results into context. All the tests use the Phoronix Test Suite, unless otherwise stated. For ease of reference, I list system information about the 4 machines under the spotlight on each page. Together with the AWOW AK41, I’ve included another Mini PC from AWOW. This is the NYI3. I’ve also included a laptop from ASUS (UX305FA), and a Mini PC from Gigabyte (BXBT-1900). They are all low-power machines.

    • Deepin OS could soon support tablets, suggests newly leaked images

      Deepin, a Linux operating system for computers, seems to be getting ready to power tablets. An image of the Deepin OS powering a laptop as well as a tablet has surfaced online through Weibo.

      This seems to indicate that the company is gearing up to launch a tablet version of its operating system and thus, will support multi-terminal collaboration. Currently, not much information is available regarding this development.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • A Small Yet Mighty Star Lite Mk III Linux Laptop Available For Pre-order

        Besides top laptop makers like Dell and Lenovo, Star Labs is one such company that builds laptops specifically to run Linux flawlessly. Star Labs offers Linux laptops ranging from low-cost to high-powered such as Lite and LabTop.

        Subsequently, Star Lite Mk III is the latest refreshed and lightweight edition that is available for pre-order at a budget price starting $426. As the name suggests, Lite Mk III is a smaller model that comes with a mighty look and improved specifications.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Christopher Allan Webber: Announcing FOSS and Crafts

        I wrote recently about departing Libre Lounge but as I said there, “This is probably not the end of me doing podcasting, but if I start something up again it’ll be a bit different in its structure.”

        Well! Morgan and I have co-launched a new podcast called FOSS and Crafts! As the title implies, it’s going to be a fairly interdisciplinary podcast… the title says it all fairly nicely I think: “A podcast about free software, free culture, and making things together.”

      • mintCast 339 – OLTs? More Like OLGeez

        First up, in our Wanderings, Joshua Hawk is fighting with his mic, I upgrade all the things, Tony Hughes inkscapes and breaks lockdown, Moss gets Full Circle love, and Joe does TV repair

        Then, in the news, Linux is more popular than ever, there’s a snake in my boot menu, Firefox fixes the fixes, and more

        In security, DuckDuckGo Stops, and hackers are stealing your interwebs.

      • The Hidden Cost of Nextcloud | LINUX Unplugged 362

        Our team has been using Nextcloud to replace Dropbox for over a year, we report back on what has worked great, and what’s not so great.

        Plus why Linus Torvalds has become the master of saying no.

    • Kernel Space

      • linux/arch/* Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the linux/arch/* Microconference has
        been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

        Linux supports over twenty architectures.

        Each architecture has its own sub-directory within the Linux-kernel arch/ directory containing code specific for that architecture. But that code is not always unique to the architecture.

        In many cases, code in one architecture was copy-pasted from another, leaving for a lot of unnecessary code duplication. This makes it harder to fix, update and maintain functionality relying on the architecture specific code.

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Reminder for LPC 2020 Town Hall: The Kernel Report

        On July 16th at 8am PST / 11am EST / 3pm GMT the Kernel Report talk by Jon Corbet of LWN will take place on the LPC Big Blue Button platform!

      • Ice Lake Xeons Will Ramp Up Frequencies Slower, So Linux Is Preparing A Workaround

        While being very eager to learn more about Intel next-gen Ice Lake Xeon processors as their move in the server space finally from 14nm to 10nm+, we continue to learn new tid-bits from the open-source Linux kernel activity.

        Though the process advancements of Ice Lake allow for power efficiency improvements, the latest kernel activity is pointing to Ice Lake Xeon CPUs actually yielding slower behavior when it comes to ramping up clock frequencies from sleep.

      • Linux 5.9 To Allow Defaulting To FQ-PIE Queuing Discipline For Fighting Bufferbloat

        Flow Queue Proportional Integral controller Enhanced (FQ-PIE) that has been mainline for a while in the Linux kernel’s networking code will now be supported as an option for the default queuing discipline (qdisc) with the Linux 5.9 kernel.

    • Applications

      • The 5 Best Graphical Backup Tools for Ubuntu and Linux Mint

        In this guide, we review the best graphical user interface backup tools for Ubuntu and Linux Mint operating systems. These Linux backup tools are also installable and work on Ubuntu flavors such as Lubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu and other derivatives such as elementary OS, Zorin OS, and more.

        That’s all! The above are the best graphical backup tools for Ubuntu and Linux Mint operating systems. Do you have some thoughts to share? Have your say, via the comment form below.

      • VirtualBox 6.1.12 Adds New GLX Graphics Output, Guest Additions Improvements

        VirtualBox 6.1.12 comes more than five weeks after version 6.1.10 to fix more of those pesky bugs that stop VirtualBox from being more stable and reliable, as well as to add various improvements and new features.

        Most of the work in this release was done around Guest Additions, which received a new experimental 3D feature called GLX graphics output, as well as improvements to shared folders on systems running Linux kernels between 4.10.0 and 4.11.x, and the file is mmap’ed.

        Also improved in the Guest Additions is the resize coverage for the VMSVGA graphics controller and the detection of the Guest Additions ISO during runtime. Moreover, VirtualBox 6.1.12 fixes an issue that could cause the guest to crash.

      • Planner Is a Great GTD and To-Do List App for the Linux Desktop

        If you’re looking for a free app to track all of your projects and life goals, or even keep track of your calendar so you don’t miss anything, then Planner is for you.

        I recently wrote about the rebirth of a really good to-do list app for the GNOME desktop, Getting Things GNOME, and a reader, which turned out to be the lead developer, suggested I take a look at Planner too. And so I did, and now I don’t want to use another GTD app. Here’s why.

        I’ve installed Planner on my Ubuntu 20.04 LTS machine from Flathub. Since I already had Flatpak installed, the installation was painless and one click away. All you have to do is click on the “Install” button on the Flathub page and Ubuntu Software will take care of the rest.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Stadia Connect July 2020 – what’s coming and new announcements

        Today, July 14 2020, Google are doing another Stadia Connect to go over a bunch of new games and features coming to their fledgling Linux-powered game streaming platform.

        During the last Stadia Connect in April, they did quite a push announcing things like PUBG that became available to play immediately along with plenty more announcements so we’re expecting some more like that today.

      • Psychological horror adventure ‘Saint Kotor’ gets extra Kickstarter time

        Saint Kotor, the upcoming psychological horror adventure from Red Martyr Entertainment has been given extra time on Kickstarter and it’s really close to the goal.

        What is it? A point and click horror adventure with a chilling atmosphere and a stylish hand-painted world. You follow the tale of Benedek Dohnany and Nikolay Kalyakin as they try to find the truth behind a macabre series of murders and strange phenomena, allegedly related to devil worship and witchcraft. You can try it yourself too, as they actually released a prologue going by the name of Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask to give you a small 2-3 hour slice of what to expect.

      • The Humble Warhammer Bundle 2020 is live plus a big Warhammer sale

        WAAAGH! The Humble Warhammer Bundle 2020 is live and I don’t think I need to explain the type of games that are included in this one.

        A name that very much speaks for itself, you either love it or hate it. I’ve grown to very much enjoy Warhammer and didn’t actually discover my love of it until Feral Interactive ported Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II back in 2016. We did a lot of livestreams of it back then, great fun.

      • The 20 Best Basketball Games for Android Device in 2020

        Do you know that you can play basketball games on your Android device? We all know that basketball is one of the most popular and exciting outdoor games. But with the advancement of modern life, having a field, finding a playing partner, or maintaining a schedule for outdoor sports, it can often be challenging. For all the obvious reasons, people are now looking more for mobile games than outdoor games. Over the years, many developers have developed several gaming apps that allow you to play all your favorite outdoor games, including basketball, on your mobile device.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Week 6: GSoC Project Report

          This week I worked on writing tests for interactions between different parts of Krita and investigated how to update all affected items in the storyboard.

          I added two test classes, one for interactions between keyframe channels and animation interface and one for the interaction between keyframe channel and the storyboard docker. This was essential because the interaction is broken up into two stages. First the keyframe channel emits signals to the animation interface of the current image when any changes, such as add, remove, move are made. These signals result in emission of similar signals from the animation interface. These final signals can be connected to any part of Krita if it has a pointer to the current image, which dockers have. The first class of tests passes after some changes. I have completed parts of the second test. Some tests are yet to be implemented.

          Updating all affected items in the storyboard would cause the canvas to update slowly if we update all items in the same thread. So we would have to use multi-threading for this purpose. There are some classes that already do that, I will use those classes. As this is a non-trivial task I postponed this to the next week.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Jan Schmidt: OpenHMD and the Oculus Rift

          In short, OpenHMD is a project providing open drivers for various VR headsets through a single simple API. I don’t know of any other project that provides support for as many different headsets as OpenHMD, so it’s the logical place to contribute for largest effect.

          OpenHMD is supported as a backend in Monado, and in SteamVR via the SteamVR-OpenHMD plugin. Working drivers in OpenHMD opens up a range of VR games – as well as non-gaming applications like Blender. I think it’s important that Linux and friends not get left behind – in what is basically a Windows-only activity right now.

          One downside is that does come with the usual disadvantages of an abstraction API, in that it doesn’t fully expose the varied capabilities of each device, but instead the common denominator. I hope we can fix that in time by extending the OpenHMD API, without losing its simplicity.

        • Philip Withnall: Startup time profiling of gnome-software

          Following on from the heap profiling I did on gnome-software to try and speed it up for Endless, the next step was to try profiling the computation done when starting up gnome-software — which bits of code are taking time to run?

        • Ole Aamot: Record Audio as Ogg Vorbis in GNOME Gingerblue

          GNOME Gingerblue will be a Free Software program for musicians who would compose, record and share original music to the Internet from the GNOME Desktop.

          The project isn’t yet ready for distribution with GNOME 3 and the GUI and features such as meta tagging and Internet uploads must be implemented.

        • Kavan Mevada: Sound Recorder to modern HIG II

          Yay, new changes also added in Sound Recorder. Another blog for new recent changes.

          This snapshot, of application is at almost stable usable for daily life, cause we added back delete and rename button those temporarily removed.

          In this snapshot three new cool features are added “Pause Recording” and “Cancel Recording”.

          Pause recording: Before this added people were recording whole long single recording, even they not wanna record some part, cause they couldn’t able to pause recording. They were doing extra steps and using other apps to remove part of the unwanted recording. Now it’s a big relief for them.

        • Chinmay Gurjar: Chapter 2: Passes the first Mountain

          It has been a month since the coding period has begun. And it is going great, we have managed to get most of the work for the first milestone done. This month’s work included adding support for DLNA sources to Music, so that it can list and play media from the DLNA server.

          FIRST THINGS FIRST !

          What is DLNA and DLNA media server? Digital Living Network Alliance, or as we know it, DLNA, is a set of rules and specs that specifies standards and guidelines for media streaming devices. DLNA-compatible devices use UPnP(Universal Plug and Play) to communicate with other DLNA devices.

          Once a DLNA media server is plugged into a “Home Network”(LAN), it can browse, open/play, search, download or upload any type of media for you. I’m using Rygel as a DLNA server, and for all the testing.

    • Distributions

      • Lindows, WinLinux, Linuxfx: Ubuntu gets Windows 10 on Linux makeover

        Familiar graphics user interface, accustomed shortcuts, software support, and predictable performance are primary reasons why Windows 10 is so popular among the end user, even compared to Linux.

        While things like compatibility, performance, and overall logic of an operating system can hardly be replicated, GUI styles can be copied – as demonstrated by the developers of Linuxfx: who have released an Ubuntu-powered OS that looks a lot like Windows 10.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva: News from 2020-07-09 TC Meeting

          Our Project Leader Bero said we are almost ready to copy cooker repos to rolling repos, which will bring some big changes to Rolling experimental project.

          Notably changes regarding how 32-bit library packages are handled. They will be in the x86_64 or znver1 repos now so user will not need to add i686 repos to install wine, steam, other 32-bit games, or apps.
          It will all work with just the one wine package, whereas before OM users had to switch between wine-32 and wine-64 which was also time consuming.
          Existing Rolling users will need to remove all i686 packages and then reinstall any of these types of software such as wine, steam, other games and apps.

          This change was a monumental amount of work by Bero and other developers as a lot of software was affected and had to be rebuilt.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Board Non-Confidence Petition result announced

          Two weeks ago the openSUSE Election Committee set up an electronic petition to measure whether 20% of the community members are in favour of a re-election of the current elected Board Members. Let me remind that a non-confidence vote was called by openSUSE member Pierre Böckmann. He explained his reasoning in the email he addressed to community members.

          [...]

          Out of the 509 eligible voters on Helios, 59 voted “Yes” for a re-election of the openSUSE Board. This result indicates that only 11.6% of the community voted in favour of a re-election.

          Since the result is less than the 20% required for the complete Board’s re-election, the Election Committee will proceed with an election to fill the current vacant seats only.

      • Arch Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Colin Walters: On BTRFS

          There is this terminology in the industry of pets vs cattle – I once saw a talk that proposed “elephants vs ants” instead which is more appealing. Lately I tend to use “disposable” or “reprovisionable” for the second term.

          I mentioned above I reprovision my workstation periodically, but it’s still somewhat of a “pet”. I don’t have everything in config management yet (and probably never will); I change things often enough that it’s hard to commit to 100% discipline to record every change in git instead of just running a CLI or writing a file. But I have all the important stuff. (And I take backups of data separately of course.)

          For people who don’t have much in configuration management – the server or desktop system that has years of individually built up changes (whether from people doing things manually over ssh or interactively via a GUI like Cockpit, being able to take a filesystem snapshot of things is an extremely compelling feature.

          Another great BTRFS-style use case is storing data like your photos on a local drives instead of uploading them to the cloud, etc.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian announces end of support for Jessie after five years

          The Debian GNU/Linux project has announced that its distribution known as Jessie or version 8 has reached the end of its long-term support period on 30 June, five years after it was released on 26 April 2015.

          A statement from the project said there would be no further security updates for Jessie, though a small set of packages would be supported by external parties.

          Debian releases are named after characters from the film Toy Story. The current stable release is known as Buster or version 10.

          Debian spokeswoman Laura Arjona Reina said the LTS team would prepare the transition to Stretch or version 9 which is the old stable release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Axelor is a Powerful Open Source Business Platform

        Axelor is a low code & BPM platform having a huge number of business apps and modules. It is one of the best open source alternatives to traditional ERP software due to the business use cases it can fulfill and the features it provides, as you’ll see later in this review

        Many open source business platforms systems exist as they are the main alternative for the proprietary ones, but few of them excel in their task. Today, we’ll take you in a detailed review of Axelor; An open source business platform system that was released as open source in 2012.

        Axelor is written in Java and licensed under the AGPL license. It is a modular platform that replaces traditional ERP systems and contains modules for CRM, sales, finances, project management and much more. Some of its features are…

      • Istio Community Wary of Google’s New Open Source Trademark Protection Scheme

        Google says it’s a way for open source projects to protect trademarks, but others see it as a way to retain control of its open source projects.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Testing WireViz

            Documentation is pretty limited, but looking through the tutorials and the data models you get a pretty good idea of what’s possible.

            I’m using the wiring diagrams from my guide to add an auxiliary audio input to a 2005 Subaru Outback, which is pretty simple, there’s an audio jack which connects to the Outback’s motherboard and the Outback’s FM audio module (and ground).

            The input is a YAML document with three sections: * connectors – A list of connectors and the information about their port. * cables – A list of wires (and their information, e.g. gauge). * connections – A lists of ports that should be connected via each cable.

          • crates.io security advisory

            Until recently, API keys for crates.io were generated using the PostgreSQL random function, which is not a cryptographically secure random number generator. This means that in theory, an attacker could observe enough random values to determine the internal state of the random number generator, and use this information to determine previously created API keys up to the last database server reboot.

            As part of the investigation for this, we also found that API keys were being stored in plain text. This would mean if our database were somehow compromised the attacker would be have API access for all current tokens.

          • This Week in Rust 347
          • TenFourFox FPR25b1 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 25 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). Raphaël traced the the Twitch JavaScript crash we wallpapered over in FPR24 back to an issue with DOM workers not having sufficient memory allocated, so we widened that out. There still seems to be an endian issue Twitch is triggering, because it needs a huge amount of memory for its worker to finish and then can’t spawn another thread because there’s not enough memory to (but it reportedly works on Intel TenFourFox, so it’s something specific about PowerPC). But hey! No crashes!

            Raphaël gets a second gold star for noticing that the gcc runtime we include with every copy of TenFourFox (because we build with a later compiler) is not itself optimized for the underlying platform, because MacPorts simply builds it for ppc rather than one of the specific subtypes. So he built four sets of runtime libraries for each platform and I’ve integrated it into the build system so that each optimized build now uses a C/C++ runtime tuned for that specific processor family (the debug build is still built for generic ppc so it runs on anything). This is not as big an improvement as you might think because JavaScript performance is almost overwhelmingly dominated by the JIT, and as I mentioned, JavaScript is one of the few areas TenFourFox has tuned and tested to hell. But other things such as DOM, graphics, layout and such do show some benefit, and scripts that spend more time in the interpreter than the JIT (primarily short one-offs) do so as well. There are no changes in the gcc runtime otherwise and it’s still the same code, just built with better flags.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Simulated Animation Effects Week#6

          After adding support for path motion animation effects last week, this week I kept adding support for remaining animation effects. I’ve started with visibility (appear/disappear) animation effects. First done some work on GenericAnimation class so that it has access to box2DWorld and the attribute name that the animation modifies. Attribute name is used to classify what kind of update will be queued for box2DWorld.

          After getting visibility animation effects in a working state, started working on rotation animation effects since they also use GenericAnimation class. To make rotation animation effects work, I’ve made an implementation that calculates angular velocity needed to rotate the shape to desired angle similar to how I’ve implemented linear velocity for path motion animations last week.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • autoconf-2.69b released [beta]
            
            
            We are pleased to announce beta release 2.69b of GNU Autoconf.
            
            This release includes eight years of development work since the
            previous release, 2.69.  See below for the detailed list of changes
            since the previous version, as summarized by the NEWS file.
            
            Because it has been such a long time, and because some of the changes
            potentially break existing Autoconf scripts, we are conducting a
            public beta test before the final release of version 2.70.  Please
            test this beta with your autoconf scripts, and report any problems you
            find to the Savannah bug tracker:
            
            https://savannah.gnu.org/support/?func=additem&group=autoconf
            
            Please also send general comments and feedback to <autoconf@gnu.org>.
            
            Please also spread this announcement widely, so that as many Autoconf
            users as possible hear about it.
            
            The final release of Autoconf 2.70 is tentatively scheduled for three
            months from now.  We may make more beta releases during this period.
            
            
      • Programming/Development

        • Choosing a technology stack for your web application

          There are several factors you need to consider in choosing the technologies to include in your technology stack. These factors may consist of the purpose of your application or website, business size, and organizational culture. Examples of the most popular technology stacks are the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) and MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js).

        • Documentation as knowledge capture

          Maybe you’re one of the tiny minority of programmers that, like me, already enjoys writing documentation and works hard at doing it right. If so,the rest of this essay is not for you and you can skip it.

          Otherwise, you might want to re-read (or at least re-skim) Ground-Truth Documents before continuing. Because ground-truth documents are a special case of a more general reason why you might want to try to change your mindset about documentation.

          In that earlier essay I used the term “knowledge capture” in passing. This is a term of art from AI; it refers to the process of extracting domain knowledge from the heads of human experts into a form that can be expressed as an algorithm executable by the literalistic logic of a computer.

          What I invite you to think about now is how writing documentation for software you are working on can save you pain and effort by (a) capturing knowledge you have but don’t know you have, and (b) eliciting knowledge that you have not yet developed.

        • What’s the difference between DevSecOps and agile software development

          There is a tendency in the tech community to use the terms DevSecOps and agile development interchangeably. While there are some similarities, such as that both aim to detect risks earlier, there are also distinctions that drastically alter how each would work in your organization.

          DevSecOps built on some of the principles that agile development established. However, DevSecOps is especially focused on integrating security features, while agile is focused on delivering software.

          Knowing how to protect your website or application from ransomware and other threats really comes down to the software and systems development you use. Your needs may impact whether you choose to utilize DevSecOps, agile development, or both.

        • You’ve only added two lines – why did that take two days!

          Why did a fix that seems so simple when looking at the changes made take two days to complete?

        • Perl/Raku

          • SanDiego.pm Meeting, Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

            Because of the pesky disease that’s been spreading, we’ll be gathering online. The agenda for tonight is: Normal conversation and seeing how everyone is doing; if there are any questions that need to be answered, we’ll do that; followed by jumping into our presentations. We have at least three, though if anybody would like to step up and add another to the mix, please let me know.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Java

          • An example of very lightweight RESTful web services in Java

            Web services, in one form or another, have been around for more than two decades. For example, XML-RPC services appeared in the late 1990s, followed shortly by ones written in the SOAP offshoot. Services in the REST architectural style also made the scene about two decades ago, soon after the XML-RPC and SOAP trailblazers. REST-style (hereafter, Restful) services now dominate in popular sites such as eBay, Facebook, and Twitter. Despite the alternatives to web services for distributed computing (e.g., web sockets, microservices, and new frameworks for remote-procedure calls), Restful web services remain attractive for several reasons

  • Leftovers

    • How Becoming a Mother Is Like Space Travel

      He was up there a long time. He learned to sleep suspended. He learned how the sunrise looks when you watch it every morning from the soft dark mouth of space. Many things, he told us, were different than he’d once expected.There’s no space ice cream, he said. That’s a big hoax. His vision blurred. His body became a study: blood, appetite, cognitive function.

    • Education

      • Republicans Are Afraid to Attend Their Convention But Want Your Kids in School

        The Republican National Convention, like the first day of school, is only weeks away. The GOP’s quadrennial confab, lustily anticipated by Donald Trump, may not quite be the top-shelf shindig he was hoping for, however. A whole slew of big-name Republicans are saying “Nope” to the invite. “Everybody just assumes no one is going,” says GOP Rep. Darin LaHood.

      • The Crackdown on Foreign Students

        There must be something unusually cruel amid a worldwide plague in trying to force international students to take possibly dangerous in-person higher education classes or face losing their U.S. visas or being deported. Colleges and universities are considering online courses for the fall because of a rampant COVID-19 that won’t recede.

      • Ayanna Pressley to Betsy DeVos: ‘I Wouldn’t Trust You to Care for a House Plant Let Alone My Child’

        There could not be a worse time in history for Betsy DeVos to serve as this country’s secretary of education. It is not merely that the billionaire campaign donor has spent decades working to subvert public education; it’s that she refuses to recognize—or care about—the fact that her boss is far more concerned about his own reelection prospects than the health and safety of students and their families, teachers, and other school employees at a point when the United States is experiencing another Covid-19 surge.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Will Americans Reject Trump and the GOP Death Cult This Fall?

        Will November bring the kind of change necessary to put an end to unnecessary death as a routine way of life in this country?

      • Saviors

        cut loose the papery drained bodies

      • Deregulated Under Trump, Nursing Homes Are Becoming COVID Morgues

        Lorry Sullivan was a regular visitor at the Our Lady of Consolation Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Center in West Islip, Long Island, New York, where her 89-year-old mother had been placed to recover from a fall earlier this year. But in March, the facility suddenly barred all visitors. And around the last week of that month, Sullivan said, phone calls went unanswered for several days. When she finally did get through to her mother at the end of March — when the coronavirus outbreak was ravaging New York City and seeping into neighboring Long Island — Sullivan recalled: “She sounded terrible.”

      • Trump vs Fauci? Undermining Science for Cult of Personality Politics Is Taking America Down

        Without an office or expertise, there is no authority, so it should be obvious to any American that the President’s views are about as valuable as a used face mask.

      • Opioid Overdoses Keep Surging in Chicago, Killing Black People on the West Side

        Cook County residents continue to die at a staggering rate from opioid-related overdoses, and Black residents from Chicago’s West Side account for a disproportionate number of those deaths.

        County political and public health officials on Tuesday sounded the alarm about what they said was a preventable crisis that has been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • Endangering Lives and Food Supply, Trump Labor Dept. Refuses Covid-19 Protections for Guest Farmworkers

        “The Trump administration should be prioritizing the health and safety of the nation’s farmworkers who are essential to our food security instead of spending time on reducing protections for farmworkers’ wages and working conditions.”

      • Homelessness in the Covid-19 Era

        Selective in its impact, the virus has struck the homeless hard.

      • Missouri School District Wants Impunity for COVID Damage From Extracurriculars

        A suburban school district just north of St. Louis, Missouri, has updated one of its waivers to parents of students involved in extracurricular activities, requiring them to relieve the district of any liability if their children contract coronavirus during school-sanctioned activities.

      • 4 Former CDC Heads Blast Trump for Sharing Tweet Accusing CDC of Being “Liars”

        Four former heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday decrying President Donald Trump and members of his administration for pushing politics ahead of public health when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

      • “Release Is Only Way to Save Lives”: Migrant Families Face Separation as COVID Spreads in ICE Jails

        As the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections, we go behind the walls of immigrant jails, where infection rates are also soaring, and also look at how thousands more jailed migrant parents may be separated from their children starting Friday. “Release is the only way to save the lives of people in custody,” says reporter Jacob Soboroff, who went inside these ICE jails and first witnessed kids in cages in 2018, which he writes about in his new book, “Separated: Inside an American Tragedy.”

      • In A Week, COVID-19 Infections Triple At Women’s Prison Where NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Is Incarcerated

        At Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where NSA whistleblower Reality Winner is incarcerated, the number of COVID-19 infections have tripled in one week.Her sister Brittany Winner said one of her bunkmates had “severe symptomatic COVID-19 and was removed.” Brittany Winner believes it is a “matter of time” before Reality Winner falls ill. Reality Winner received one of the 733 tests administered at the facility, but as of July 14, she is still waiting for the results.The rapidly intensifying facility outbreak comes as the 11th United States Court of Appeals deliberates over Winner’s request to reverse a district court ruling and release her into home confinement.Reality Winner filed an appeal on May 12. Her attorneys warned, “The entire basis for Reality’s motion—and so many like hers—is that she cannot afford to wait until she is removed from FMC Carswell in a stretcher, or worse, before she is afforded relief.”Two months later, the 11th Circuit still has not ruled on her appeal or scheduled a hearing on the increasingly dire circumstances she faces during the pandemic. Reality Winner pled guilty in 2018 to one count of violating the Espionage Act when she disclosed an NSA report to The Intercept. She believed the report contained evidence that Russian hackers targeted United States voter registration systems during the 2016 election. She has served well over half of her 63-month sentence.According to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), in the last two weeks, 134 inmates and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Winner submitted a filing on July 13 with additional details on the outbreak that indicates how cases have spiked. On June 29, according to the BOP, there were zero confirmed cases among prisoners. There were 45 confirmed cases on July 6. Three days later, there were 68 confirmed cases. One day later, there were 77 confirmed cases.The BOP reported 113 cases among prisoners on July 11 and 127 cases among prisoners on July 12.“Reality’s burden in the district court was to demonstrate that her circumstances–including, for instance, her underlying health issues coupled with her environment at FMC Carswell–meet the required test of being “extraordinary and compelling,” justifying her release,” declared Winner’s attorney Joe Whitley. “The exponentially growing harm at FMC Carswell is relevant to that inquiry and—combined with the other evidence in this record—justifies her release.”Brittany Winner communicates with her sister regularly and said those in Reality Winner’s unit are “confined to their cells except at specific times to shower once per day or use the restroom.”After her bunkmate contracted the virus, Reality Winner suggested it was “almost better in the cell with only three people now, as they have more space, but they still can’t all stand up at the same time because the space is so tight.”In recent days, guards are “using the stairs and the hallways for personal exercise” while prisoners remain confined. Not only do they feel like they are being taunted, but Reality Winner and other prisoners are concerned their increased breath rate will exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.“She hasn’t seen the sun in almost three weeks and hasn’t been given the time or space to exercise,” Brittany Winner shared. “Her sciatica is flaring up, and her anxiety is through the roof, as she isn’t allowed video chats with her family and some days is not allowed to use the phone or computer. She’s helpless and frustrated and trapped.”The July 13 filing mentions it took “over a week for Reality’s counsel to be able to schedule a phone call with her to obtain more insights into her current circumstances,” which her attorney sees as an illustration of “BOP’s inadequate handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as a whole.” “It is apparent, in view of the spiking numbers at this facility, that her health is, as argued in the district court and in this Court, in serious jeopardy. Counsel fears what information will be learned that is not reflected in the BOP’s numbers alone when he does have the opportunity to speak to Reality,” Whitley added.

        Local news reporting from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram paints an increasingly bleak picture. One prisoner named Sandra Shoulders suggested she is living in a “horror movie.” “Every day, prison staff at FMC Carswell, a federal medical prison in Fort Worth, take about a dozen people out of [Shoulders’] unit to get tested for COVID-19. Some of them come back; others do not.”The newspaper added, “When a woman tests positive for the virus, her mattress is dragged from the room she shares with three other people and stacked in what used to be the TV room. Every day, the mountain of mattresses grows. Shoulders tries to avoid walking past it.”“Multiple women in the prison who did not want to be named out of fear of retaliation wrote the Star-Telegram to describe the conditions,” according to the newspaper.  The women shared the following:

      • It’s Time to Tell a New Story About Coronavirus—Our Lives Depend on It

        In the summer of 1832, a mysterious scourge that had come all the way from Asia loomed over the city of New York, having ravaged London, Paris, and Montreal. Medical officials collected data showing that the disease—cholera—was spreading along the newly opened Erie Canal and the Hudson River, heading straight to New York City. But New York’s leaders did not attempt to regulate traffic coming down the waterways.

      • Agro-Imperialism in the Time of Covid-19

        All this greed at the top leaves devastation and little to trickle down to the bottom, where its consequences are deadly.

      • Thousands More Families May Face Separation as COVID Spreads in ICE Jails

        As the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections, we go behind the walls of immigrant jails, where infection rates are also soaring, and also look at how thousands more jailed migrant parents may be separated from their children starting Friday. “Release is the only way to save the lives of people in custody,” says reporter Jacob Soboroff, who went inside these ICE jails and first witnessed kids in cages in 2018, which he writes about in his new book, Separated: Inside an American Tragedy.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The 5 Best Cross-Platform Team Chat Software for PC
        • Security

          • Huawei 5G banned in the United Kingdom; must be removed by 2027

            The United Kingdom (UK) is banning telecommunications companies from using Huawei 5G equipment. Following sanctions put on Huawei by the United States, United Kingdom Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden told the press on Tuesday that the UK will forbid mobile providers from buying Huawei 5G kits and must retire already bought hardware by 2027. Huawei hardware is used by many UK telecom companies and the 2027 deadline was chosen to minimize the impact of this decision on regular phone users. Dowden commented to the BBC:

          • Raspberry Pi as a Penetration Testing Implant (Dropbox)

            Sometimes, especially in the time of COVID-19, you can’t go onsite for a penetration test. Or maybe you can only get in briefly on a physical test, and want to leave behind a dropbox (literally, a box that can be “dropped” in place and let the tester leave, no relation to the file-sharing company by the same name) that you can remotely connect to. Of course, it could also be part of the desired test itself if incident response testing is in-scope – can they find your malicious device?

            In all of these cases, one great option is a small single-board computer, the best known of which is the Raspberry Pi. It’s inexpensive, compact, easy to come by, and very flexible. It may not be perfect in every case, but it gets the job done in a lot of cases.

            I’ll use this opportunity to discuss the setups I’ve done in the past and the things I would change when doing it again or alternatives I considered. I hope some will find this useful. Some familiarity with the Linux command line is assumed.

          • Critical SAP Bug Allows Full Enterprise System Takeover

            SAP’s widely deployed collection of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used to manage their financials, logistics, customer-facing organizations, human resources and other business areas. As such, the systems contain plenty of sensitive information. According to an alert from the Department of Homeland Security, successful exploitation of the bug opens the door for attackers to read and modify financial records; change banking details; read personal identifiable information (PII); administer purchasing processes; sabotage or disrupt operations; achieve operating system command execution; and delete or modify traces, logs and other files.

          • Mozilla Joins Apple, Google in Reducing TLS Certificate Lifespans

            Currently, SSL/TLS certificates have a maximum lifespan of 825 days, but, in an attempt to ensure better protection of HTTPS connections, browser makers such as Apple, Google and Mozilla are looking into reducing that period to 398 days.

            Apple was the first to make a move in this direction, by announcing earlier this year that, starting September 1, 2020, TLS server certificates should have a validity period of up to 398 days.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Detroit PD Now Linked To Two Bogus Arrests Stemming From Facial Recognition False Positives

              Late last month, the first known false arrest linked to facial recognition software was reported. But that first in AI police work now appears to be merely a repeat offender. There have been two bogus arrests linked to facial recognition false positive. And both bogus arrests were performed by the same law enforcement agency, the Detroit Police Department. Elisha Anderson of the Detroit Free Press has the details on the first blown call by the PD’s software.

            • Companies Are Selling Cops Access To Personal Data Harvested From Malicious Hacking And Data Breaches

              There’s a new way for cops to get information about suspects and it involves people who’ve already been victimized by criminal acts and/or careless handling of personal data by corporations. As Joseph Cox reports for Motherboard, law enforcement agencies are using third-party services to gain access to personal info derived from data breaches.

            • Private Internet Access shuts down VPN servers in Hong Kong due to new national security law

              Private Internet Access users will soon be able to connect to a new Hong Kong exit gateway – this is possible thanks to the use of geo-located servers in another country so that our users can continue to access a Hong Kong IP address but through servers located in countries with more favorable laws regarding privacy. This isn’t the first time that Private Internet Access has taken a stand against oppressive laws and it won’t be the last – PIA will not operate servers in locations that have enacted anti-privacy internet laws or proven to not follow the rule of law. Our commitment to privacy is why PIA has previously removed servers in Brazil, South Korea, and Russia.

            • Google Finally Gets Around To Banning Ads For Stalkerware

              Stalkerware is one of those things that most people never would have considered when technologies were being developed, but which in hindsight come off as practically inevitable. These apps, often times named as if they would be chiefly marketed to parents trying to keep tabs on their kids, but which instead are also specifically advertised as ways to stalk current romantic partners and exes, are all different flavors of creepily allowing a person to snoop on the location and activities of an unsuspecting other person. The whole concept is so obviously evil that it’s a wonder why any platform would allow these apps to be sold in the first place, and yet it was only in 2019 that Google managed to ban them from its app store.

            • Google Bans Stalkerware Ads – With a Loophole

              Google will soon prohibit ads on its platform that promote stalkerware products and services – but the tech giant’s ban comes with a catch that some security experts worry will render it ineffective.

              Starting August 2020, Google’s ads policy will be updated to ban advertisements for stalkerware, which is software that can be installed on devices to track their owners’ location, activity and more. Google said, violations of this policy will first lead to a warning being issued for at least seven days prior to any suspension of one’s account.

            • How far will Facebook go to address their civil rights audit?

              In the interview, Robinson talks about how the boycott campaign came together; his history pushing Facebook on issues of hate speech and civil rights; and meeting with Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and fellow leaders of the boycott to discuss the Facebook civil rights audit and how the company can improve the platform.

              Below is a lightly edited excerpt of the conversation. [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Pillar of Sand in Okinawa

        On 23 June, the House Subcommittee on Readiness passed its draft of H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY21. It included the following words:

      • The Beginning of the End for Ever-Rising Pentagon Budgets

        When Congress returns to work, progressives in the House and Senate will launch the first round of what will be a central debate in the coming years: challenging ever-rising Pentagon budgets. After years of virtually reflexive bipartisan support for shoveling more money at the military, progressives, led by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), will push for a 10 percent cut in the Pentagon’s top-line budget. The $74 billion in savings would instead be used for distressed communities’ vital needs.

      • More Veterans in Congress Could Mean Fewer Wars

        If you still follow the mainstream media, you’re probably part of the 38 percent of registered voters who knew something about the op-ed Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) published in The New York Times early in June, exhorting the president to use the Insurrection Act to “restore order to our streets.” This was in response to what he called “anarchy” but others saw as peaceful Black Lives Matter protests. And yet that op-ed was actually less incendiary than an earlier tweet of Cotton’s demanding “no quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters” or his Fox News call to send the 101st Airborne onto the streets of America.

      • In Dead-of-Night Ruling, Supreme Court’s Right-Wing Majority OKs First Federal Execution in 17 Years

        Condemning the state-sanctioned murder of Daniel Lewis Lee, critics accused the high court of enabling the DOJ to “short-circuit federal appellate process to allow it to execute people in the middle of a global pandemic.”

      • DOJ Conducts First Execution Since 2003 Just Hours After Supreme Court Ruling

        Early on Tuesday, the United States Department of Justice carried out the execution of a person on death row just hours after the United States Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling refusing to consider a delay.

      • 10 Reasons Why Defunding Police Should Lead to Defunding War

        Just as we want to radically redefine the role of police in our local communities, so we must radically redefine the role of military personnel in the global community.

      • Media Conceal—or Celebrate—Depriving Syrians of Food and Medicine

        Late last month, the latest round of United States sanctions, known as the Caesar Act, took effect against Syria, a country already in a dire situation after nine years of war and sanctions. Covid-19 and an economic crisis in Lebanon, a financial lifeline for Syrian civilians that the US has largely severed (CBS, 6/18/20), have exacerbated Syria’s plight.

      • DoD gets new top uniformed cyber adviser

        With his dual roles, Chase will serve as the top uniformed cyber policy official at the Department of Defense, overseeing a wide portfolio to include implementation of policy, strategy and personnel matters pertaining to cyber issues across the department.

      • What if Trump rejects the election result?

        I’ve taught and consulted on promoting democracy in former Soviet republics like Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Estonia. Leaders like Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych or even Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic did not rely simply on constitutional pyrotechnics to try to remain in power. They also used a ruling party that they controlled entirely, powerful state media, the threat of violence and a large and loyal base of support.

        We must be prepared for the possibility that Trump could do the same. The 2020 presidential election result may be close, with narrow victories in a few states determining the winner. If Trump loses those states by small margins it will be easy for him to build a “stolen election” narrative based on the doubts he has already seeded about voting by mail and his frequent, and false, statements about widespread voting by non-citizens.

        If Trump pursues this narrative and refuses to accept defeat, it can be reasonably assumed that he will mobilize his base around this belief. We cannot know what will happen next, but if most of the Republican Party leadership at the national level and in key states, as well as conservative media such as Fox News, support Trump’s claims, there will be political stalemate and potential for conflict.

      • killer drones and robots – AI autonomous weapons – what is the JEDI DoD cloud project?

        But what is the JEDI cloud used/useful for?

        And why did Google employees protest this project in a hefty way so Google completely opted out of the contract race. (also Trump seems to favor Microsoft for whatever reason)

        [...]

        this means: Elon Musk believes that AI could become so advanced and out of control that mankind might face a “Terminator 2” or “The Matrix” like scenario, where mankind’s own creation got “out of hand” and then has to fight against an AI that is many many times more intelligent than a human or even a team of humans – making winning such a battle pretty impossible.

        But this does not prevent the military from researching and maybe even one day fielding such autonomous weapons.

        The military of several nations around the globe are researching autonomous weapons system = AI enhanced robots / drones.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Judge Does The Expected: Gets Rid Of Prior Restraint Order Against Mary Trump, Allows Her To Publish Her Book

        As we had fully expected a judge in NY has now tossed out the bogus restraining order against Mary Trump, the niece of President Donald Trump, regarding her book about the President and their family.

      • Election monitoring movement ‘Golos’ seeks defamation investigation

        The independent election monitoring movement ‘Golos’ has appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office and the police requesting the launch of a defamation investigation over materials that appeared in state media. 

      • Should We Cancel “Cancel Culture”?

        Many champions of free speech are less into civil liberties than the preservation of a certain view of modernity.  “Free speech,” in its discursive form (the form it takes as a rhetorical ideal), can be a mechanism to discipline people who have long been voiceless.  Beyond its legal dynamics, the term often reifies capitalist principles of free-marketeering and accumulation.  It also enables social media luminaries to deflect criticism when they share ghoulish opinions. Above all, the discourse of free speech preserves a vision of Americana implicated in an unacknowledged colonial origin.  Harmful politics, logic has it, are a necessary feature of democracy.

      • Canceling the Cancel Culture: Enriching Discourse or Dumbing it Down?

        The “cancel culture” has been all the rage in U.S. media over the last week. Depicting colleges as hotbeds of intolerance, Donald Trump threatened to remove their tax-exempt status if they don’t stop engaging in “radical left indoctrination.” Trump’s lament calls upon notions of bias and unfairness that have commonly been used to suggest that U.S. academia is a hotbed of radicals, who have little concern with freedom of inquiry or expression. Additionally, although it didn’t mention it by name, the recent Harper’s “Letter on Justice and Open Debate” has been widely discussed in the media within the framework of the “cancel culture.” But my interest here, first and foremost, is not with the Harper’s letter. Rather, I want to engage in a larger discussion about what has become known as the “cancel culture” – a catch-all term referring to attempts to shame those engaged in controversial or bigoted views. Elements of “cancel culture” are said to include the deplatforming of individuals engaged in controversial speech via removing their opportunities to communicate with large audiences in college settings and in the media, individual and group shaming of public intellectuals and other public figures who indulge in bigoted or otherwise questionable statements, and the firing of people who engage in embarrassing public acts such as displays of racism, belligerent refusals to wear masks, and other incendiary behavior. This “cancel culture” is condemned by many on the right as an assault on civility norms, and as representing a threat to open debate among competing voices and contrary opinions.

      • ‘Cancel Culture’ Letter is About Stifling Free Speech, Not Protecting It

        An open letter published by Harper’s magazine, and signed by 150 prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new “cancel culture”.

      • How Absolutely Desperate Must You Be To Try To Claim That The Answer To ‘Cancel Culture’ Is Stronger Copyright?

        Okay, I think I’ve found it: the absolute perfect specimen of how copyright maximalism eats the brains of its proponents. Last week we had a few discussions about the now infamous open letter in Harper’s about so-called “cancel culture.” I made my criticism of the whole saga quite clear, but even as someone who often sees how copyright impacts almost everything around us, I never would have ever thought that there was any kind of tie-in to copyright law. But, that’s why I don’t work for the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George Mason University. CPIP, set up and funded by a combination of extreme copyright and patent maximalists, tends to be quite reliable as pushing out the most ridiculous takes possible in favor of copyright and patent maximalism.

      • Lee Canceled
      • The Threat to Civil Liberties Goes Way Beyond “Cancel Culture”

        There are those who deny that the current chilly climate amounts to censorship, as censorship is only something that can be imposed by the state. Some concede that it is also something that elites can impose. But both positions deny that censorship is something that the crowd can impose. Yet there are many cases that involve independent schools, so this plainly cannot be the action of a state, even as this is quite clearly censorship. And the Islamic conservatives at Goldsmiths could in no way be described as elites. So to suggest that ordinary people cannot participate in censorship or inculcation of an illiberal environment is to be blind to the ways that such attitudes can operate at multiple levels in society.

      • [Old] Ending gag lawsuits in Europe

        The EU must end gag lawsuits used to silence individuals and organisations that hold those in positions of power to account. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) are lawsuits brought forward by powerful actors (e.g. companies, public officials in their private capacity, high profile persons) to harass and silence those speaking out in the public interest. Typical victims are those with a watchdog role, for instance: journalists, activists, informal associations, academics, trade unions, media organisations and civil society organisations.

        Recent examples of SLAPPs include PayPal suing SumOfUs for a peaceful protest outside PayPal’s German headquarters; co-owners of Malta’s Satabank suing blogger Manuel Delia for a blog post denouncing money laundering at Satabank; and Bollore Group suing Sherpa and ReAct in France to stop them from reporting human rights abuses in Cameroon. In Italy more than 6,000 or two-thirds of defamation lawsuits filed against journalists and media outlets annually are dismissed as meritless by a judge. When Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was brutally killed, there were 47 SLAPPs pending against her.

      • How Capitalism Drives Cancel Culture

        Activists regularly challenge criticisms of “cancel culture” by saying: “Come on, we’re just some people with Twitter accounts, up against governments and corporate behemoths.” But when you look at the economic incentives, almost always, the capitalist imperative is to yield to activist pressure. Just a bit. Enough to get them off your back. Companies caught in the scorching light of a social-media outcry are like politicians caught lying or cheating, who promise a “judge-led inquiry”: They want to do something, anything, to appear as if they are taking the problem seriously—until the spotlight moves on.

        Some defenestrations are brilliant, and long overdue. Weinstein’s removal from a position of power was undoubtedly a good thing. But the firing of Emmanuel Cafferty was not. For activists, the danger lies in the cheap sugar rush of tokenistic cancellations. Real institutional change is hard; like politics, it is the “slow boring of hard boards.” Persuading a company to toss someone overboard for PR points risks a victory that is no victory at all. The pitchforks go down, but the corporate culture remains the same. The survivors sigh in relief. The institution goes on.

        If you care about progressive causes, then woke capitalism is not your friend. It is actively impeding the cause, siphoning off energy, and deluding us into thinking that change is happening faster and deeper than it really is. When people talk about the “excesses of the left”—a phenomenon that blights the electoral prospects of progressive parties by alienating swing voters—in many cases they’re talking about the jumpy overreactions of corporations that aren’t left-wing at all.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘Dozhd’ TV host apologizes for outdated views on ‘personal space’ following sexual harassment allegations

        Pavel Lobkov, a television host at the independent network Dozhd, has offered his apologies to everyone “discomforted by his frivolous behavior” who “had the courage to talk about it publicly.” On July 13, Lobkov was one of several journalists and former journalists in Russia accused on Twitter of acts of sexual harassment and abuse. 

      • In bed with Kadyrov Investigative journalists at ‘Proekt’ say a Moscow businessman handles hundreds of millions of dollars that belong to Chechnya’s elite

        The investigative news website Proekt reports that Moscow businessman Pavel Krotov is responsible for handling money and property for several powerful Chechen public figures, including republic head Ramzan Kadyrov, his close friend Adam Delikhmanov, and others. Sources told Proekt that Krotov has at least twice obtained access to assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars while acting in the interests of Chechnya’s political elite.

      • Damage to the Soul

        The imprisonment of Julian Assange has been a catalogue of gross injustice heaped upon gross injustice, while a complicit media and indoctrinated population looks the other way. In a truly extraordinary twist, Assange is now being extradited on the basis of an indictment served in the UK, which is substantially different to the actual indictment he now faces in Virginia if extradited.

      • Police remove protesters’ tents near White House

        During Monday night’s unrest, several journalists, including two CNN employees, were told they had to leave the White House grounds immediately via the south side of the complex, which is not the normal entrance/exit for the press. Typically in security situations at the White House, the press corps is locked down inside the complex.

      • [Old] Voice of America, affiliates in turmoil as controversial Trump pick takes over, clears house

        Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker who’s worked closely with Steve Bannon and is reportedly under investigation by the D.C. Attorney General for alleged self-dealing, was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month to lead the agency which runs VOA, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other outlets.

        Hours after sending his first message to staff seeking to reassure them, Pack fired the heads of RFA and RFE/RL Wednesday night, with the Middle East Broadcasting Network’s chief’s termination expected soon.

        Their ouster comes two days after the VOA’s two top executives resigned, as the outlet faces unfounded charges from the White House and a reported blacklisting by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

        Over the weekend, the head of the Open Technology Fund, a USAGM subsidiary that helps support technologies to promote a free internet like Signal, also resigned, according to a source familiar with her departure and other turmoil inside the agency.

      • Voice of America visa review could put journalists at risk

        The visa review, which follows the confirmation in June of Michael Pack as head of the agency, could affect 62 contractors and 14 full-time employees at Voice of America, according to reports by Voice of America and NPR.

        Repatriated journalists could face retribution for their critical reporting; CPJ research shows that VOA journalists have been harassed and detained in China, charged with treason in Ethiopia, imprisoned in Eritrea and Vietnam, and killed on assignment in Somalia.

        A spokesperson for USAGM, which oversees the broadcaster, told CPJ in an emailed statement that the agency will conduct a case-by-case assessment of J-1 renewal applications. The spokesperson said the review was implemented to “improve agency management and protect U.S. national security.”

        The deadline for J-1 visa renewal has already passed for several journalists, which would compel them to return to their home countries, VOA reported.

      • Russian Journalist Prokopyeva Wins Press Freedom Award After Conviction For ‘Justifying Terrorism’

        The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced on July 13 that Prokopyeva was one of its 2020 International Press Freedom awardees alongside three other journalists from Bangladesh, Iran, and Nigeria who have been “arrested or faced criminal prosecution in reprisal for their reporting.”

        “Like brave and committed journalists everywhere, CPJ’s honorees set out to report the news without fear or favor for the benefit of their communities, their country, and the world,” said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director.

        Prokopyeva, a freelance contributor to RFE/RL’s Russian Service, was ordered by a court on July 6 to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $6,950), but she escaped a prosecutor’s demands for six years in prison and a ban on journalistic activities for four years. Prokopyeva said she will appeal the decision.

        The case against Prokopyeva was widely criticized by independent Russian journalists, RFE/RL, media rights groups, and Western governments.

      • To save European journalism, we need an anti-SLAPPS directive

        Journalists who we spoke to as part of our ongoing research into the impact of SLAPPs, emphasised that those who sued them were looking to silence them above all else. “It was quite clear from the beginning that it was not even meant to win the case but rather to make us stop writing about the things that were happening,” explained Belgian journalist Tom Cochez, describing his experience of having faced a SLAPP last year, “it was rather a chilling effect that they were looking for rather than really winning the process in court.”

        They repeatedly expressed the inordinate drain on time and money caused by these lawsuits. “I think part of it is just dying by a thousand paper cuts, just to tie up resources, just to have these frivolous lawsuits,” said Peter Erdelyi of the Hungarian news site 444.hu which, according to Erdelyi, received dozens of vexatious threats in the last year. “You have to understand that the people who are doing the suing – some of the wealthier oligarchs, public institutions or big companies – their resources are infinite.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A New Generation of Protest Holds Great Promise for America

        This is a time for anyone with a conscience and a pulse to join this extraordinary movement.

      • What was lost when Ringling Bros. Left the Circus

        The business of America is show business, as the saying goes. Show business has slowly crept up into American politics creating a boundary difficult to define. After all, American show business is a greater manifestation of imperialism than the American military. And there was no better show in the United States than the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, billed as “The Greatest Show on Earth”. The show of both circuses ran from 1871 to 2017, certainly a Guinness world record.

      • Mosques, Museums and Politics: the Fate of Hagia Sophia

        When the caustic Evelyn Waugh visited the majestic sixth century creation of Emperor Justinian, one subsequently enlarged, enriched and encrusted by various rulers, he felt underwhelmed.  “‘Agia’ will always win the day for one,” he wrote of Istanbul’s holiest of holies, Hagia Sophia, in 1930. “A more recondite snobbism is to say ‘Aya Sofia’, but except in a very sophisticated circle, who will probably not need guidance in the matter at all, this is liable to suspicion as a mere mispronunciation.”

      • A Form of Exile

        A man and a boy arrive before a low, sprawling building, hurrying to enter before it closes for the day. The place is a government office of some kind, a Centro de Reubicación in a fictional town called Novilla. Speaking in halting Spanish and unfamiliar with the word reubicación, the man asks the clerk for help. He is seeking employment and a place to live. “We are new arrivals,” he tells the functionary. “I have a child with me.”

      • The U.S. Struggle for Justice for Palestine Begins a New Chapter

        The past several months have been exhausting for everyone, but the people of Palestine need support now more than ever. This is the time to escalate our activism, not let it fade away. 

      • Soft Power: Americans in Its Grip at Home Must Face the Mischief It Wields by BNimri Aziz July 11/2020

        I suspect most Americans would approve of what they understand to be this nation’s global cultural reach as expressed through its ‘soft power’. A term coined by an American political scientist, soft power “involves shaping the preferences of others through appeal and attraction”. Contrasted with coercive measures, it’s achieved largely through cultural means, although nevertheless a feature of foreign policy. Probably as old as politics itself.

      • Coming Forward

        When accusing powerful men of sexual assault, women of color anticipate a higher burden of proof and a slimmer margin for error. On the Record seethes at this plight. In frank detail, the documentary recounts the multiple sexual assault and rape allegations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and his accusers’ struggles to go public. Codirected by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, documentarians who previously chronicled sexual assault on college campuses (The Hunting Ground) and in the military (The Invisible War), the film uses the harrowing accounts of Simmons’s accusers to examine Black women’s double jeopardy when it comes to making such accusations. Drew Dixon, who once worked as an A&R executive at Simmons’s famed Def Jam label, serves as the film’s lodestar. She was interviewed before, during, and after she agreed to participate in a New York Times story on the accusations against him, and her difficult choice to go on the record becomes the heart of the film.

      • ‘We Will Never Back Down’: Landowners and Green Groups File New Lawsuit Against Keystone XL

        “The Keystone XL project was never in the public interest, and the administration continues to flout key environmental laws to promote this dirty and dangerous pipeline.”

      • Nepotism Barbie to Huddled Masses: Try Something New To Eat With Your Cake!
      • Donald Trump: Confederate From Queens

        No matter that they fought to keep folks slaves, He says they are our heritage, our genes. It’s true about his heritage at least: He is the rare Confederate from Queens.

      • Listen to the Brave Hunger Strikers in ICE Detention

        These strikes are not isolated events, but thoughtful and organized forms of resistance that demonstrate the life and death risks one faces in detention.

      • Prosecutors request sentences for suspects in controversial extremism case

        The prosecution has asked for a variety of sentences for the suspects in the “Novoe Velichie” (New Greatness) case, ranging from four years probation to seven and a half years in prison on charges of organizing an illegal extremist group.

      • Texas Progressives Eye GOP House Seat That Got Away in 2018

        The primary race between Democratic candidates Mike Siegel and Pritesh Gandhi is coming down to a competition between progressive endorsements and a well-funded opponent in Texas’ 10th Congressional district.

      • A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.

        One afternoon in mid-June, Charisse* drove up to the checkpoint at the Children’s Village juvenile detention center in suburban Detroit, desperate to be near her daughter. It had been a month since she had last seen her, when a judge found the girl had violated probation and sent her to the facility during the pandemic.

        The girl, Grace, hadn’t broken the law again. The 15-year-old wasn’t in trouble for fighting with her mother or stealing, the issues that had gotten her placed on probation in the first place.

      • Corporate Hypocrisy on Racism

        We have the power — as their consumers, clients, and employees — to demand these companies and their CEOs stop their racist practices. It’s time they back up their lofty rhetoric with fundamental change.Raise your voices, and stay vigilant.

      • ‘We’ve become hostages’ Thousands of migrants from Uzbekistan are stranded in makeshift camps at the Russia-Kazakhstan border

        In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of migrants from Uzbekistan have found themselves stranded at the Russia-Kazakhstan border. Left without work in Russia, they wanted to make their way home over land through Kazakhstan, but the country’s escalating coronavirus epidemic has led Nur-Sultan to tighten entry restrictions and the border remains closed. Left with nowhere to go, these migrants have set up a makeshift camp in an open field, where they are trying to survive without food, water, or money in 37 degree heat (98.6 degree Fahrenheit). Maria Shesterikova, a journalist from Russia’s southwestern Samara Region, travelled to the local border with Kazakhstan to speak with the camp’s inhabitants. Here’s her special report for Meduza.

      • Federal Asset Forfeiture May Undermine Efforts To Defund Police

        Between 2001 and 2017, the federal government seized $40 billion from ordinary people and high profile criminal defendants, including major corporations, through asset forfeiture. The money was funneled into the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF), a trust founded in 1984 through the Comprehensive Crime Control Act as part of the War on Drugs.

        Asset forfeiture is potentially a major hurdle for the Black Lives Matter movement. Since the burning of the third police precinct in Minneapolis, the mainstream conversation around policing has shifted from reforming to defunding departments. However, the public has little direct control over the budgeting process, and no control over external revenue sources like asset forfeiture, which massively contribute to the expansion of the carceral apparatus.

      • Sorry, the Chicago Blackhawks Need to Change Their Name and Logo

        “Fast Getting Rid of Those Demons in Human Shape”

      • We Are Not Your Mascots: Washington NFL Team Removes Racist Name After Years of Indigenous Protests

        The Washington NFL team, whose name and mascot have been a slur against Native Americans for nearly 90 years, announced Monday it will change its racist name, facing mounting pressure from corporate sponsors. The decision is a hard-fought victory for Indigenous activists who for years have demanded the team remove the R-word from its name. It also comes as the Black Lives Matter movement has forced a reckoning about monuments and tributes to racism around the country. We get response from Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo activist who has led the fight to change the name and logo of the Washington R-dsk-ns football team.

      • Chief editor at independent Russian media outlet ‘MBK Media’ resigns after allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women

        Journalist Sergey Prostakov has resigned from his position as chief editor at the news outlet MBK Media, following allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women and a rumor that he masturbated while a woman was gang-raped during a party at his apartment in 2014.

      • Russia’s #MeToo resurgence In two days, half a dozen men working at ‘MBK Media,’ ‘Dozhd,’ and Sberbank have been named in sexual harassment and abuse allegations

        Over the past two days, on July 12 and 13, multiple threads have appeared on Twitter accusing current and former Russian journalists of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, and abuse. Violeta Sharipkulova was the first to discuss her past abusive relationship with one of these men. When Valentina Dekhtyarenko, a project manager at the “Open Russia” human rights group, outed the name of Sharipkulova’s ex-partner, it led several other women to share their stories of abuse, harassment, and mistreatment within Moscow’s small community of journalists.

      • Women MPAs decry delay in legislation on child marriage, domestic violence

        Protesting the growing incidents of sexual abuse, murder and underage marriage of children, women members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from the treasury and opposition benches flayed the provincial government for what they called delaying legislation to punish child marriages and domestic violence against women.

      • Breonna Taylor was killed by police in March. The officers involved have not been arrested.

        On March 13, three officers with a no-knock warrant entered Taylor’s apartment looking for two people suspected of selling drugs, neither of whom was Taylor. The officers fired more than 20 rounds into the apartment, hitting Taylor at least eight times.

        After months of investigation, the Louisville Police Department (LMPD) fired officer Brett Hankison on June 23; the other two officers remain on administrative assignment. A special Kentucky prosecutor is leading an investigation into both the shooting and the department’s handling of the shooting to determine whether to charge the three officers who fired their weapons; the FBI is leading its own investigation. On June 29, the Louisville Metro Council also announced a resolution to investigate the actions of Mayor Greg Fischer and his administration surrounding Taylor’s death. The council hopes to create greater transparency around who made what decisions in the Taylor case, according to a news release.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Washington State AG Fines Frontier Communications A Pittance For Its Bullshit Fees

        In telecom policy circles, there’s an army of “experts” who twist themselves into pretzels trying to pretend U.S. telecom is a healthy, normal, vibrant market. Blinded by partisan loyalties, sector financial links, or ideologies embedded decades ago in grad school, they’re incapable of even acknowledging that Americans pay too much money for spotty, substandard service with historically terrible customer support. They’re even less likely to acknowledge the corruption, regulatory capture, and lack of competition that made this dysfunction possible. If it is acknowledged, it’s downplayed to a comical degree.

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon driver in Detroit quits job on Twitter, leaves package-filled van with keys in the ignition. Here’s why he did it.

        He also got back on Twitter and posted a live video about why his job and mental health wasn’t worth $15.50 an hour.

        Since the pandemic began, Amazon workers nationwide have called out sick in protest and held rallies to raise awareness about what they say are unsafe and harsh working conditions.

      • Patents

        • Woops: Fixing an error in my prior chart on patent grants

          A few days ago I posted a chart showing the number of patents granted per year. That chart had a major error. I had inadvertently included data from all issued patents (utility + design + plant + reissue) for the pre-2020 bars, but the 2020 forecast only included utility patents. This made the current year forecast appear small in comparison. Sorry for temporarily leading folks astray.

          Please find a corrected chart below (with 1-additional week of data). The chart still shows a forecast of 2020 ending behind 2019 in terms of sheer numbers, but only slightly. After my post, folks at the PTO also told me that examiners have been working full steam through the COVID pandemic.

        • Arthrex Files Certiorari Petition in Arthrex case

          The latter of these Questions were also presented in the U.S. government’s and Smith & Nephew’s petitions; the former is unique to Arthrex and addresses a question the Court has been unwilling to address directly. Although it is reasonable to assume that the Court will not respond in the affirmative this question does address one of the grounds of appealing a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision left open by the Supreme Court’s decision in Oil States Energy Serv. LLC v. Greene’s Energy Grp. LLC. Arthrex notes that the Court is already considering a petition on this issue in Celgene Corp. v. Peter, but this case differs because Celgene had both applied for and been granted its patent prior to enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in 2011. Arthrex asks the Court to consolidate these cases to decide whether invalidating a patent arises to a Fifth Amendment taking in each factual context.

          The forfeiture issue arises in this petition because Arthrex is asking the Court to review this Federal Circuit decision that did not consider its constitutionality challenge under the Appointments Clause because Arthrex had not raised the issue before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. This raises the question according to Arthrex of “[w]hether a court may refuse to address constitutional claims on forfeiture grounds despite an intervening change in law,” which the petition characterizes as “another important and recurring issue.”

          [...]

          The petition also asks the Court to consider that IPRs negatively affect the fundamental choice each inventor faces to “keep [the] invention secret and reap its fruits indefinitely,” Bonita Boats, Inc. v. Thunder Craft Boats, Inc., or choose to apply for a patent that “enabl[es] others to ‘practice [the invention] and profit from its use.” This bargain is disrupted by “[a] legal system where Congress can change the rules after an inventor has already made that choice casts a pall over others facing the same decision.” The petition provides the Court with a real world perspective: “[c]ompanies invest hundreds of billions of dollars each year creating new technologies,” citing a Congressional study, which is particularly costly in medicine-related fields according to Arthrex’s petition. The cost imposed by IPRs amounts to loss of 2/3rds of the value of patents pre-AIA Arthrex contends.

      • Copyrights

        • Canadian Pirate Site Blockade No Longer Blocks Original Domains

          Canada’s Federal Court has approved a new update of the site-blocking injunction against pirate IPTV provider GoldTV. The rightsholders used an undercover investigator to track down new domain names. Interestingly, the latest order no longer targets any of the original domains, which are no longer in use.

        • Stop Selling Pirate IPTV Packages or Pay €10,000 Per Day, Court Rules

          An individual who previously paid a 40,000 euro settlement to BREIN after selling ‘pirate’ IPTV subscriptions has failed to stop his activities. A court has now handed down an order requiring him to cease-and-desist or pay a 10,000 euro per day penalty. He must also hand over information relating to the business’s operations.

        • What A Shock: Scammers Are Abusing YouTube’s Notice And Takedown System With DMCA Claims

          There has been something of an explosion of copyright claims on streaming services as of late. Frankly, the impetus for these claims is all over the place. You have your ever-expanding cadre of copyright maximilists going ballistic. There are the political actors, looking to copyright claims to try to take down content from those on the opposite side of the aisle. There are the automatic bots that crawl for content and get it wrong many times. And then there are the scammers.

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