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07.19.20

How Google, NCMEC and the Police Cooperate to Bust Pedophiles (Such as the Personal Engineer of Bill Gates)

Posted in Bill Gates, Google at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

See this first part for more detailed context and background

NCMEC file - part 1

NCMEC file - part 2

NCMEC file - part 3

NCMEC file - part 4

NCMEC file - part 5

NCMEC file - part 6

NCMEC file - part 7

Summary: This second part explains how Bill Gates’ personal engineer was busted for pedophilia. Ryan explains: “Google detected all of that and sent this sort of stuff over to NCMEC as the law requires once they became aware of it. NCMEC reviewed it and concluded it was child porn, and then basically proceeded to search for more information about Rick Jones themselves. It says they gave up and basically compiled the report Google sent them and sent it off to the Seattle Police. The Seattle Police used this as probable cause to bootstrap a search warrant, which they then served on Google, and Google dumped the guy’s entire account onto a DVD and sent it to the police. I liked the part about how they wouldn’t send it to a PO Box. Occasionally, the people at the post office accidentally put something in the next box over. So Google probably didn’t want an incident where that happened and someone got a DVD with Rick’s child porn and emails in their box. They didn’t even use the mail to send this to the detective. They used FedEx (and probably marked it signature required).”

How Google ‘Reads’ Your Mail and Repository of Files, Then Informs the Police

Posted in Bill Gates, Google at 10:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Note: we’re not defending the accused (and charged, then convicted), we’re only explaining how Google works

Google intercept
Ryan: “There’s where it starts. Google logged the file upload time, IP address, and emails. They are using a file “fingerprinting” scanner.”

Google address
Account zeroed in on.

DVD from Google
DVD of account prepared for the police. Ryan: “The detective is reading through the guy’s emails. It includes many other things, including details of his sister, but this is interesting.”

David Wong
Ryan: “He got a back and forth from a guy that Rick was in a sexual relationship with, skimmed over all their messages, and was able to note that they would frequently discuss young boys.”

Jones confirming address
Ryan: “The detective is fishing based on what he found in the exchange between Rick and David through the emails that Google sent as part of the DVD contents.”

Jones admits guilt
Ryan: “He gets Rick to admit the whole thing.”

More on Wong
More on sending the illegal material. Ryan: “The Express Stop photos aren’t of interest with the Google thing, because they found those in his house with the Windows computers and hard disks and CDs and stuff.”

Jones zip file
Ryan: “They feed all of the images in and see what comes back as a hit for child pornography from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”

44000 files
Ryan: “The additional material they found is catalogued and new material is submitted for inclusion into the database. The hashes are then shared with Google (and presumably others, like Microsoft OneDrive/Outlook, Apple iCloud) to train their detection systems, which is how Rick got himself reported in the first place.”

Child porn contents
Ryan: “Since they caught Rick and found his trove of tens of thousands of child porn images/videos, they can now find anyone else who has a copy and has put them into a monitored cloud storage or email system.”

Summary: In light of increasing government surveillance, e.g. on peaceful protesters planning to attend a lawful protest, it is essential to understand how Google (and others in the Clown Computing space) cooperate with law enforcement; this isn’t a defence of this particular behaviour (the above is about a Bill Gates employee busted for pedophilia) but an effort at shedding light — for better insight — on the level of overlap between police and “GAFAM”

RMS Probably Isn’t Fit to Lead — Here’s the Rest of That Picture

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 1:33 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

Stallman Good and Bad: O no, O libre

Summary: “RMS lost his position as FSF president to deception, as well as his position on the board. When his website was tampered with to make it look like he was also stepping down from the GNU Project, I couldn’t help being reminded of Fox running the false segment that made it look like Bush had won when not enough votes weren’t counted to tell.”

RMS probably isn’t fit to lead anymore. Most of the people saying this are even less fit to. I’m not sure that anybody is fit.

There was a time when I considered Alex Oliva, Ben Mako Hill, Kat Walsh, Denis Roio.

It wasn’t too bad a list; I picked at least one person that I’m told rms would have picked himself. Note that when I considered rms stepping down, it had nothing to do with the sort of corporate-led, immoral backstabbing that actually happened. It wasn’t a secret plan, but out in the open — it wasn’t based on lies or misrepresentation or double standards.

And it was based on the idea that someone could do better, at least rms could have someone worthwhile to hand over the reins to, which obviously has yet to happen in nearly a year since he was ousted as well.

“There was a time when I considered Alex Oliva, Ben Mako Hill, Kat Walsh, Denis Roio.”The FSF has a vested interest, now that they’ve usurped rms, in making things as shiny and new-looking as possible. They’ve gone all-out on graphics and propaganda, really laying it on thick with positive soundbites. They deserve to be called soundbites because they’re empty and ignore the reality of the situation, but you can’t expect people behind a dirty coup to just say “Yes, that was dirty. It was dishonest. Now buck up, it’s fun times from now on!”

They have to act like it didn't happen. They have to accentuate the positive.

Getting back to the negative disrupts their entire narrative. They can only bullshit you for so long before they accidentally start telling you what they really think, and what they really think is bullshit.

Funnily enough, when Techrights talks about organisations going on a giant “Charm Offensive” (like “Microsoft ♥ Linux”, even as they refuse to call it by its real name, which is GNU) they are usually talking about GIAFAM and Microsoft especially. They’re not generally talking about the “new” FSF.

“No one was betrayed more than rms of course, but I compare the whole thing to the 2000 United States Presidential election — of which Microsoft was a sponsor, I might add (on Bush’s side.)”The FSF has been on a charm offensive ever since they ousted rms, for the same reason that Microsoft goes on them. There are people at the FSF that I’m told are “really not like that” — I’m willing to believe it, up to a point. Then there are people who I actually believe are “really not like that” — in other words, they’re sincere. And I’m obviously willing to believe that up to a point, or I wouldn’t suggest that such people exist.

Some people are sincere, but there’s nothing wrong with saying they’re naive — when they really believe everything is alright. Others do know better, and there’s nothing wrong with calling them liars for it.

Either way, the move the FSF is executing right now is “FSF ♥ Freedom.” But like Microsoft, they have a funny way of showing it.

At one point, rms was asking us to continue supporting the FSF. I did that for as long as I could stand it, but the more I learned the more I realised the extent to which we were all betrayed. No one was betrayed more than rms of course, but I compare the whole thing to the 2000 United States Presidential election — of which Microsoft was a sponsor, I might add (on Bush’s side.)

“People who care about freedom did try to warn both rms and the FSF, which fell on deaf ears.”The election was so close, Al Gore may have actually won. Fox aired a segment that made it look like Bush won, before the votes were done being counted — even when Gore was ahead. Making it look like Bush won at such a critical point had a profound effect on the election.

Instead of drawing out the counting process too much, Gore decided to hand over the office to Bush. For a game of checkers, this might make plenty of sense. Less than a year later, Planes flew into the Twin Towers, and the Constitution itself took a major hit via the extremely Un-American PAT-RIOT act.

Al Gore acted like the most important thing to do was get on with the business of people running the country. I won’t say that he’s the worst President in history for basically stepping down and letting a corrupt administration take his place — but that’s what he did, and the cost to the country makes him one arguably one of the worst presidents ever.

Years afterwords, during a presentation about the environment, Gore would complain that he was supposed to be flying in Air Force One, and now he has to take his shoes when he goes to the air — Shut The Fuck Up, Al — we ALL have to take our shoes off. You’re not on Air Force One because you walked away and left your country in terrible hands.

My feelings for rms are warmer than this, for one because Gore was President-elect for about 5 minutes and completely and utterly useless, while rms gave us about 4 decades (nearly half a century, you bastards) of service to Free software — which you’ve somehow managed to brush aside like it was nothing. For two of those decades, Open Source has worked to co-opt everything. Very nice, very nice — and you’ve done well with that.

“When his website was tampered with to make it look like he was also stepping down from the GNU Project, I couldn’t help being reminded of Fox running the false segment that made it look like Bush had won when not enough votes weren’t counted to tell.”Although we owe rms for liberating software development far more than we own Open Source for packing it back up and selling it off to the same corporations we worked so hard to be free from, (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle — who now collectively own Red Hat, GitHub and enough of what used to be Sun Microsystems) the truth is that for the past 5 years, free software has spent more of its time slipping out of our hands.

People who care about freedom did try to warn both rms and the FSF, which fell on deaf ears. We even predicted rms getting ousted by bad people — nobody listened.

RMS was certainly a better president than Al Gore, but like Al Gore he has failed to defend everyone below him from what happened. To be certain, I blame the people leading the coup (and perhaps in a better position than rms right now, as far as the FSF goes) more than I blame its most prominent victim. Though the fact that rms chose to trust his betrayers over his defenders is a fact that can’t be ignored. He has since asked his defenders to support his betrayers.

RMS lost his position as FSF president to deception, as well as his position on the board. When his website was tampered with to make it look like he was also stepping down from the GNU Project, I couldn’t help being reminded of Fox running the false segment that made it look like Bush had won when not enough votes weren’t counted to tell. It made it look like he wasn’t leading the GNU Project anymore — and he hasn’t been treated like the leader since then.

“Along with this petition, the people moderating the FSF mailing lists were manipulating public opinion by censoring the mailing lists of messages supporting and defending him.”Instead, a petition not unlike the one to remove him from LibrePlanet (helping us to predict his ousting from the FSF itself) was launched against his leadership of GNU as well. Along with this petition, the people moderating the FSF mailing lists were manipulating public opinion by censoring the mailing lists of messages supporting and defending him. And this is the (now) corrupt organisation rms wants us to support!

When he got control of his website back, and made it clear that he was not stepping down, and the petition failed to gain support, the coup did not end there. Since May or earlier, there has been a page on the GNU wiki to basically continue the effort to nullify his leadership, and replace it with a consortium of corporate developers who don’t care about your freedom.

This reminds me too much of the effort to further “democratise” the Open Source Initiative, which enabled corporate sponsors to basically overthrow and self-deputise themselves into the organisational structure of OSI. At this point it might as well be called the Bill and Melinda Open Source Foundation, although as far as I know it’s Microsoft, not the Gates Foundation that controls OSI now.

“What will most likely happen with your money instead, is these organisations will be used to channel money from corporations to (relatively) smaller things like the Python Foundation, where more free software projects are essentially bribed to become a symbolic part of Microsoft.”This it the future of the FSF, if nobody stops the coup. Since rms is not stopping it, but asking people like you and me to throw money at it (I believe he does this in good faith — but far too much faith) I believe you are probably wasting your money — bootstrapping the next Open Source coup with funds accepted under false pretenses.

The new FSF betrays your freedom, it will not fight for it any more than OSI will fight for the few causes they actually stood for — as Roy has said on various occasions, OSI has stopped fighting since the takeover.

What will most likely happen with your money instead, is these organisations will be used to channel money from corporations to (relatively) smaller things like the Python Foundation, where more free software projects are essentially bribed to become a symbolic part of Microsoft.

The Linux Foundation is an even better example of what the FSF stands to become than OSI.

The organisations that have betrayed us, lied to us, and betrayed rms include the Software Freedom Conservancy, the Free Software Foundation Europe, the FSF itself as well as GNOME, several times over.

If you are “supporting” the FSF now, you are not only supporting the coup that ousted rms and continues to work (even now) to oust him further, but you are paying them to oust YOU and replace any say you have via exactly the same tactics that turned OSI into a Microsoft puppet organisation and Torvalds into Microsoft’s gimp boy.

“The Linux Foundation is an even better example of what the FSF stands to become than OSI.”Any money you give to the FSF will likely be used to tear it down and weaken free software further.

What I’ve done for the past half year is try to find reasons this might not be so. Unfortunately, the more I look for good news, the more bad news I find.

Most of the good news you’ll hear right now (including the outcome of the GNOME battle with/for bogus software patents) is either hypothetical, about something in the future, or just spin from the same P.R. firms that probably figured out how to attack rms in the first place.

But no matter what toilet you decide to flush your money down, the FSF is still falling apart and rms (who still runs the GNU Project) has very little say in anything that happens. That’s why the GNU Project continues to move closer to Microsoft and IBM/Red Hat, as Debian did years ago.

So who is really leading the FSF?

Nobody. For nearly a year, the FSF has had no real leader, anymore than Bush Jr. was leading the country when he was reading his favourite Hungry Caterpillar book when the planes hit the Twin Towers. Cheney, along with various companies who stood to benefit from a new sort of global warfare initiative, seized a historical amount of power.

As tech companies have done to the Linux Foundation and OSI, the FSF is next — the FSF takeover is happening, right now. You can send money to fund their corporate puppet show, while they “unite” with the corporations eager to fill the power vacuum created by the departure of rms. Of course I would argue that vacuum started forming half a decade ago, but officially nothing changed until more recently.

“GNU continues to slip into the wrong hands, and replacing its leader with a fake democratic process run by traitors won’t lead GNU to fair better than Debian.”One thing I haven’t talked about, except in retrospect, is who would make a better leader than rms. The answer is nobody — nobody has stepped up, everybody in place now (whether they intend to be or are simply being used) is part of the same 20-year-long shell game that replaced RMS with Torvalds and Torvalds with monopoly corporations. Not everybody keeping his seat warm is necessarily a traitor or intentional puppet, but they’re still only holding it for more corporate takeover.

RMS won’t stop this, he will only be used to beg for money for this. The puppets in charge certainly won’t stop this. The corporations taking over won’t stop this, and the shills apologising for all this will only keep this going.

I certainly don’t expect people to rise up and take Free software back. I mean, I hope very strongly they will do this eventually — but I don’t expect them to right now. People are still smarting from what happened to rms, they’re being hopeful and agreeable (and some are simply a bit naive) and others just don’t give a shit at all — and never did.

Shills will say (as OSI has for years) that the FSF really doesn’t matter anymore, though they’re lying, because (like with Nokia handset) you have to devalue your target before you take control of it. They’ve spent years glorifying these corporations and speaking of the people who originally made Free software happen in diminutive terms — that’s happened as long as Open Source has existed. Open Source treats corporations like idols.

But the people voting to oust rms from GNU do not care about you or me. They are dishonest, conniving backstabbers, some of whom rms did not trust in the first place.

“Only a true grassroots movement, not a 501(c)3 corporation, will save free software now.”GNU continues to slip into the wrong hands, and replacing its leader with a fake democratic process run by traitors won’t lead GNU to fair better than Debian. If you want GNU to be Free-as-in-Freedom, rather than Open-Because-Free-Offends-Corporations, the only people who will ever be able to fill the shoes of rms will be the ones who still want software to be Free-as-in-Speech, not Free-as-in-GitHub-accounts.

Hope is a long way off, but the FSF will never fight for you again. As in the days when these people pretended to support rms — they will pretend to support you, as well.

Only a true grassroots movement, not a 501(c)3 corporation, will save free software now. A 501(c)3 can be leaned on for financial reasons and infrastructure, but becoming overdependent on incorporation is exactly what tied the puppet strings.

A few years ago, at LibrePlanet no less, Ben Mako Hill said “we should probably distance ourselves from Open Source.” Now that Open Source and the like has taken over the FSF, we should probably distance ourselves from the corporations causing the very same problems that Mako was referring to — they’re the ones running the show at the FSF. It does no justice to democracy or true advocacy, to pretend that either had anything to do with the state of things now.

Long live rms, nobody is better — and (like Digit says) keep the FAIF.

“The freedom to NOT run the software, to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies; meaning any Free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives (freedom 4).” — Peter Boughton

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Links 19/7/2020: Laptop Mode Tools 1.74, Cloudflare Failures Again, and Why People Are Crazy About Arch Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Enables Working FP16 Support

          The Panfrost Gallium3D driver providing open-source OpenGL driver support for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost hardware has another feature tacked on as of Friday night.

          The Panfrost driver has been working steadily on supporting new driver functionality in the OpenGL space, especially improving the newer Bifrost support, albeit not yet any open-source Vulkan driver for Arm Mali hardware at this point

        • AMD Sends In Navy Flounder Support, More Sienna Cichlid For Linux 5.9

          At the end of June was the first batch of AMDGPU changes queued for DRM-Next to in turn go into the Linux 5.9 kernel when that cycle opens up in August. On Friday a second batch of feature changes for this open-source AMD Radeon kernel graphics driver was submitted.

          That first pull request had Sienna Cichlid enablement as one of the Navi 2 GPUs. Also included in the PR was continued Arcturus enablement, UVD support for GCN 1.0 GPUs, continued tweaks to Renoir, BACO runtime power management for Vega 10, ASSR for content protection on eDP, and display updates.

        • Intel’s IWD Daemon Has Been Fleshing Out WiFi Display Support

          Intel’s IWD wireless daemon for Linux systems has been seeing work in recent days on integration around WiFi Display support, a.k.a. WFD / Miracast.

          The Intel-developed iNet Wireless Daemon has been seeing many WFD-related commits in recent days including a D-Bus API for registering of WiFi Display service handlers and other changes around WiFi Display / Miracast support.

          This also includes now shipping a sample/test app that streams an X11 screen using GStreamer to a WiFi Display device. This though is a very rough application primarily aimed at developers wishing to build WFD support built off the IWD interface.

    • Applications

      • Laptop Mode Tools 1.74

        Laptop Mode Tools version 1.74 has been released. This release includes important bug fixes, some defaults settings updated to current driver support in Linux and support for devices with nouveau based nVIDIA cards.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Lutris Updated With D3D12 DLL Provided By VKD3D-Proton

        The Lutris open-source gaming platform manager that also makes it easier installing Windows games via Steam is now employing the Valve-backed VKD3D-Proton fork for Direct3D 12 over Vulkan.

        As outlined earlier this month, Valve funded developers have begun working on “VKD3D-Proton” as a fork of Wine’s VKD3D. Similar as Proton is to Wine, VKD3D-Proton is looking to jump-start VKD3D for Direct3D 12 layered over the Vulkan API and getting more newer, high profile Windows games beginning to run nicely on Linux. Performance and game compatibility are the driving factors for VKD3D-Proton.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD Lands New EXT2/3/4 File-System Driver

          DragonFlyBSD has long offered an EXT2 file-system driver (that also handles EXT3 and EXT4) while hitting their Git tree this week is a new version. The new sys/vfs/ext2fs driver, which will ultimately replace their existing sys/gnu/vfs/ext2fs driver is based on a port from FreeBSD code. As such, this driver is BSD licensed rather than GPL. But besides the more liberal license to jive with the BSD world, this new driver has various feature/functionality improvements over the prior version. However, there are some known bugs so for the time being both file-system drivers will co-exist.

      • Arch Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source development works to improve contact tracing in Europe

        The Corona-Warn-App is an awesome example of how governments and public administrations can use open source software development to help citizens while simultaneously advancing the technology ecosystem. The app helps trace infection chains of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in Germany. The app uses a decentralized approach to notify users if they have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

        Transparency is essential to protecting the app’s end users and encouraging its adoption, and open source is a key element of achieving transparency. Open source allows anyone to use, study, share, and improve Covid-Warn-App. This is similar to the tracing apps developed by Italy (Immuni), Switzerland (SwissCovid), and partially by France (StopCovid). In contrast, Radar Covid is a new non-open source COVID-tracking app being piloted in Spain’s Canary Islands; between the non-open nature of the app and the fact that the website still fails to load in mid-July 2020, it’s debatable whether citizens will trust it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • New Features in [LibreOffice] Impress Presenter Screen/Presenter Console

          I am not sure with term is the most up to date, but if you are not familiar with Presenter Screen or Presenter Console. It is the UI that you see in your personal computer or laptop which contain speaker notes as well as timer, and slide order while your notes free slide showed in audience screen (projector or television).

          If we trace back, this Impress feature was came from extension. It was so popular than the developers integrated it to the core. Michael Meeks, one of veteran of OpenOffice/LibreOffice said in the LibreOffice Design Telegram group that the code needed to be cleaned up. But the good news that in current master Presenter Screen/Presenter Console has receive some updates also.

          So what’s update is that? Thanks for Srijan Bahtia. With his voluntary work, Presenter Screen/Presenter Console now has two new features. I help him to provide necessary icons.

      • Programming/Development

        • git-annex and ikiwiki, not as hard as I expected

          So apparently there’s this pandemic thing, which means I’m teaching “Alternate Delivery” courses now. These are just like online courses, except possibly more synchronous, definitely less polished, and the tuition money doesn’t go to the College of Extended Learning. I figure I’ll need to manage share videos, and our learning management system, in the immortal words of Marie Kondo, does not bring me joy. This has caused me to revisit the problem of sharing large files in an ikiwiki based site (like the one you are reading).

          My goto solution for large file management is git-annex. The last time I looked at this (a decade ago or so?), I was blocked by git-annex using symlinks and ikiwiki ignoring them for security related reasons. Since then two things changed which made things relatively easy.

        • Secrets Management for Developers

          One thing that comes up frequently in security is how to deal with application secrets. There are many methods for managing secrets, from hard coding into source code to using a credential manager to environment variables.

          In this post, I’ll go through some Do’s and Don’ts for managing secrets securely, both for web services and for client applications like mobile apps that need embedded API keys.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: drat 0.1.8: Minor test fix

          A new version of drat arrived on CRAN today. This is a follow-up release to 0.1.7 from a week ago. It contains a quick follow-up by Felix Ernst to correct on of the tests which misbehaved under the old release of R still being tested at CRAN.

          drat stands for drat R Archive Template, and helps with easy-to-create and easy-to-use repositories for R packages. Since its inception in early 2015 it has found reasonably widespread adoption among R users because repositories with marked releases is the better way to distribute code.

        • tint 0.1.3: Fixes for html mode, new demo

          A new version 0.1.3 of the tint package arrived at CRAN today. It corrects some features for html output, notably margin notes and references. It also contains a new example for inline references.

        • Perl/Raku

          • PGP::Sign 1.01

            This is mostly a test-suite fix for my Perl module to automate creation and verification of detached signatures.

            The 1.00 release of PGP::Sign added support for GnuPG v2 and changed the default to assume that gpg is GnuPG v2, but this isn’t the case on some older operating systems (particularly non-Linux ones). That in turn caused chaos for automated testing.

        • Python

          • How to make a game in Python: An introduction to Pygame

            Python is well known as one of the most beginner-friendly and flexible programming languages. But while Python has a fantastic onboarding experience for even the least experienced new programmers, it is actually more confusing to get to grips with in some other ways. Python is so flexible, that it isn’t immediately apparent what you can do with it.

            You can read a ton of tutorials, for example, and still not understand how to make a game in Python, or how to build a web app. In this post, we’re going to discuss how to make a very simple game in Python using Pygame, the popular selection of modules designed to facilitate simple game creation.

          • Unravelling attribute access in Python

            I wonder how many people realize that Python is has a lot of syntactic sugar? I’m not claiming it’s like a Lisp-based language where the syntax is as bare bones as possible (although the Lisp comparison is not entirely unfounded), but much of Python’s syntax isn’t technically needed as under the hood a good chunk of it is just function calls.

            But so what? Why care about how Python devolves into less syntax and more function calls? There’s two reasons really. One is it’s educational to know how Python actually functions to help you understand/debug when something goes awry. Two, it helps detail the bare minimum you need to implement the language.

            And so, to both educate myself and to think about what might be required to implement Python for WebAssembly or a bare bones C API, I am writing this blog post about what attribute access looks like when you look beneath the syntax.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: [Week 7] Check-in
    • Standards/Consortia

      • In Africa, An Open Internet Standards Course for Universities

        To expose the next generation of African experts to open Internet standards, the Internet Society put together a short pilot course on Internet Protocol Security (IPSec). IPSec is a technology used to improve communication security between devices on the Internet.

        To promote the teaching of open Internet standards in African Universities, the one-month course brought together 70 students from 4 African universities from DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Ghana. The pilot course was designed to provide university lecturers with additional training material to support existing courses at universities.

      • Cloudflare outage and the risk in today’s Internet

        Yes, we have return to a small Internet, it is big in number of websites, pages, content and all the fiber optic cable linking those servers, actually Data Centers full of servers, full in turn of VPSs or Containers… But small in the number of owners of the infrastructure, even smaller that in the first days.

        Facebook, Google, Amazon, Cloudflare and Apple concentrate almost all Internet traffic and hosting services. To the point that some people might think that the Internet is Facebook. Some small companies does not even have a website anymore, they just have Facebook page, they do not publish their email on cards, just their Facebook page, and use Facebook Messenger to get contacted by their customers.

        How is that bad

        That is bad in such a variety of ways that this post will not be enough to name them, but let us name a few.

  • Leftovers

    • Blaze At Centuries-Old Cathedral In Nantes Under Investigation As Arson

      Begun in 1434, construction on the cathedral took nearly half a millennium to be completed. Not until 1891 was the structure formally inaugurated. By that time, the French government had already listed it as a historic monument for several decades.

    • French officials launch arson inquiry after historic cathedral burns in Nantes

      The local firefighter service said the roof is not affected by the fire and was “under control.”

    • Science

      • Google is using its subsea cable network to detect earthquakes and tsunamis

        The basic premise is that when an earthquake happens, Google’s undersea cables can pick up the vibrations as the ground shakes underneath them. And Google has already proven the accuracy of this theory. In 2019 it began monitoring the SOP on some of its subsea cables as an experiment, and observed that the ocean floor is “remarkably stable” for most of the time.

    • Education

      • ‘Welcome to Typhoid Mary Middle School’: Why an Educator and Dad Thinks Reopening Our Schools Is a Non-Starter

        All of us in education desperately want to get back in our classrooms, but we also want assurances that we are not taking on catastrophic health risks by doing so.

      • ‘Alarming’: Trump Blocks CDC Officials From Testifying to Education Panel on School Reopenings

        “It’s imperative that we listen to the experts… the president is barring them from the room.”

      • Higher Education Privatization Opened Up International Students to Trump’s Attack

        Yet Trump’s vindictive order — which combined crude nativism, pandemic denialism, and resentful anti-intellectualism into one swift action — still proved a powerful point. For a moment, schools were forced to choose between risking the lives of their students, faculties, and communities, and losing their international students. These students, Trump proved beyond a doubt, could be used as political pawns. And the schools chock full of “liberal elites” who criticize him would feel the heat in the process.

        Despite Trump’s decision to rescind the order — an enormous victory — it will not be the last anti-immigrant action. This is a White House pervaded by uncommon cruelty, and Trump is facing an uphill reelection bid. But let’s take a step back: how did international students end up as bargaining chips in the first place, not just as individuals but as money-makers vital to the survival of American universities?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We Need Healthcare Professionals in Washington to Fight Back Against a Reckless President

        There has never been a more important moment for medical experts to have a seat at the table and to have the funding they need to do their jobs.

      • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Wants to Give Black Residents Health Coverage

        Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is working to make good on his promise to expand health coverage to all Black residents amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the emergency measure comes with an expiration date.

      • Trump Blocks CDC Experts From Testifying to Education Panel on School Reopenings

        The Democratic chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee revealed Friday that the Trump administration is blocking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials — including agency director Dr. Robert Redfield — from testifying at a congressional hearing next week on school reopenings as the White House continues its efforts to force the resumption of in-person classes in the fall.

      • With CDC Sidelined, Some States Lose Access To Timely COVID-19 Hospital Data

        The absence of the data will make it harder for health and public officials, as well as the general public, to understand how the virus is spreading.

        “It’s hugely problematic,” says Dr. Karen Maddox, a public health researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. “The only way that we know where things are going up and where things are going down and where we need to be putting resources and where we need to be planning is because of those data.”

        The White House instructed hospitals to report data to the Department of Health and Human Services through a new system created by a Pennsylvania-based company, TeleTracking, instead of sending the information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as they had been doing.

      • The coronavirus means doctors, nurses and PAs are essential workers — until they get laid off

        As a lead physician assistant for an urgent care department, I never thought my job would be dispensable during a global health disaster. Getting rid of PAs as we face a pandemic is like laying off firefighters when forests are ablaze. But I am hardly alone. As health care workers get publicly celebrated for their heroics, behind the scenes thousands are getting pushed out the door.

        Nearly 1.5 million health care workers lost their jobs in a single month this spring. Some positions have begun to reopen, but far from all. That health care jobs are increasingly a casualty of COVID-19 might sound absurd and unjust, but it makes cold-hearted sense given the financial fragility — and focus — of the system. Profits are a major driver of employment decisions, even in an industry that claims to prioritize community health. When patient encounters decreased, it was health care workers who saw their pay, benefits and hours decrease, too.

      • Asthma does not increase risk or severity of Covid-19, says new study

        Patients of asthma are not at increased risk of contracting Covid-19 and neither does it influence the severity of the viral infection, a team of researchers have suggested.

        Old age and conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and obesity are reported risk factors for the development and progression of Covid-19.

        According to the researchers, people with asthma seem to be no worse affected by SARS-CoV-2 than a non-asthmatic person. This is true even if an asthmatic person has diminished lung function and is being treated to manage asthmatic inflammation.

        There is limited data as to why this is the case.

        The team said inhaled corticosteroids, which are commonly used to protect against asthma attacks, also may reduce the virus’ ability to establish an infection.

      • As virus surges in some US states, emergency rooms swamped

        A fast-rising tide of new coronavirus cases is flooding emergency rooms in parts of the United States, with some patients moved into hallways and nurses working extra shifts to keep up with the surge.

        Patients struggling to breathe are being placed on ventilators in emergency wards since intensive care units are full, officials say, and the near-constant care they require is overtaxing workers who also are treating more typical ER cases like chest pains, infections, and fractures.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EU Court Again Rules That NSA Spying Makes U.S. Companies Inadequate for Privacy

              This decision shows, yet again, that the U.S. needs much broader, privacy-protective reform, and that Congress’ inaction makes us all less safe, wherever we are.

            • The Data Delusion: Protecting Individual Data Isn’t Enough When The Harm is Collective

              In the era of big data and AI, people can suffer because of how the sum of individual data is analysed and sorted into groups by algorithms. Novel forms of collective data-driven harms are appearing as a result: online housing, job and credit ads discriminating on the basis of race and gender, women disqualified from jobs on the basis of gender and foreign actors targeting light-right groups, pulling them to the far-right. Our public debate, governments, and laws are ill-equipped to deal with these collective, as opposed to individual, harms.

            • Forget TikTok. There are better ways to protect Americans’ data from China.

              The most important data TikTok has available is likely metadata, particularly location data, that it tracks of people who carry the app on their phones.

              But that kind of information is widely trafficked already by third data brokers — which are significantly regulated in Europe, and by some states’ laws, but not by federal U.S. law.

            • Data privacy: ‘We’re pretty much in the worst-case scenario,’ says whistleblower

              It was not just the work of Cambridge Analytica that made this possible, but the way in which social media companies — particularly Facebook — collected data. Following the company’s collapse in 2018, social media firms were forced to address increasing pressure from people about how their data was used. Two years on, social media firms are still struggling with their role in the collection user data — and also being an intermediary in the spread of mis- and disinformation and political targeting online.

            • Hey, YouTube: Looks Like Facebook Is About to Offer Official Music Videos

              The entirety of artists’ official music video libraries will be automatically shared, provided that this permission is granted. Though artists will reportedly be able to tailor (including by deleting) the content in their pages’ “video” section and timeline after the fact. And once an artist has given the green light to the automatic-upload process, the leading social media platform will reportedly post subsequent music videos as they receive them from record labels.

              Also worth noting is that Facebook higher-ups are encouraging artist-page administrators to enable automatic music video uploads prior to August 1st. Artists who don’t approve automatic uploads before then will reportedly see Facebook create (and operate) a separate page with all their music videos.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Russia Bounty Story Falls Flat

        Opportunist Democrats and foreign policy insiders drive “hysteria.”

      • Making America Feared Again: The Trump Administration Considers Resuming Nuclear Weapons Testing

        “The nuclear testing now being considered by the Trump administration is designed with the same purpose that weapons have traditionally had in world affairs: to intimidate other nations.”

      • DHS Official On Reports Of Federal Officers Detaining Protesters In Portland, Ore.

        CUCCINELLI: Well, we are – we welcome – the more investigations, the better. With as much lawbreaking is going on, we’re seeking to prosecute as many people as are breaking the law as it relates to federal jurisdiction. That’s not always happening with respect to local jurisdiction and local offenses. But, you know, this is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we’re responsible for around the country.

      • WHO Calls for End to Africa Conflicts to Fight Coronavirus

        Several African countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Mali are coping with Islamist insurgencies, while others like South Sudan are dealing with inter-communal fighting.

        According the UNHCR, more than 1.5 million people have been displaced in the Sahel region this year, raising the total number of displaced across sub-Saharan Africa to 27 million.

      • Iran-linked [attackers] steal sensitive data from US Navy member, researchers say
      • Trump’s Federal Police Are Kidnapping and Brutalizing Protesters in Portland

        On July 11, Donavan LaBella, 26, was shot in the head with an impact munition as he stood at a protest holding a speaker over his head. “It caused a pretty deep laceration, but he was bleeding from his nose, his mouth, his ears — it was pretty bad,” Jessica Shifflett, a woman who helped LaBella after he was shot. Videos show protesters rushing to his side, while federal officers stood by.

      • Oregon Sues Federal Agencies For Grabbing Up Protesters Off The Streets

        It lists defendants as John Does 1-10 because the “identity of the officers is not known, nor is their agency affiliation,” the lawsuit states.

        According to Oregon DOJ spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson, the suit accuses the agencies of engaging “in unlawful law enforcement in violation of the civil rights of Oregon citizens by seizing and detaining them without probable cause.”

        State attorneys are asking a judge to issue a temporary restraining order that “would immediately stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregonians,” the DOJ said in a release.

        The lawsuit is asking a judge to find that the federal agencies’ tactics are indeed unlawful and violate Oregonians’ First, Fourth and Fifth amendment constitutional rights.

        It is also asking that federal agents and officers identify themselves and their agencies before detaining or arresting any person, explain to the person why they’re being arrested or detained, and not arrest any person without probable cause or a warrant.

      • Portland Mayor Warns Trump: Keep Your Troops in Federal Buildings or ‘Leave Our City’

        Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told Trump directly on Friday to “keep your troops in your own buildings or have them leave our city,” as video emerged that appeared to show unidentified federal officers handcuffing a protester and placing them in an unmarked vehicle.

        Both of Oregon’s U.S. senators and two of its House members wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr Friday demanding the agency immediately withdraw “these federal paramilitary forces from our state.” Agents with the the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and Marshals Service are in Portland to protect federal property.

        But Oregon Governor Kate Brown told KPTV Friday that federal troops in Portland are only worsening protests over racial inequality and police brutality that have taken place for the past 50 nights.

      • Justice Department to probe shooting of Portland protester

        The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester was hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after being hit in the head by a less-lethal round fired by a federal law enforcement officer, authorities said Monday.

        The investigation into the shooting will be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams said. He said his office would have no further comment.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Twitter [attack] may erode credibility of information [sic] relayed through social media

        With the presidential election just over three months away, the influence that social media platforms have on politics has become a hotly debated issue.

      • Google to ban more ads from sites promoting virus conspiracies

        The company already has a policy against harmful health claims online, and it has removed more than 200 million ads that were trying to take advantage of the mayhem caused by the pandemic. Friday’s changes are an escalation of Google’s efforts.

        Google is acting after a study estimated the company will funnel about $19 million in ad revenue this year to websites publishing misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus.

      • “Hinky:” NPR Permitted Billy Barr to Lie More than Once

        The other day, NPR’s public editor did a piece exploring how the NPR allowed itself to spread Billy Barr’s lies about vote by mail uncontested. It reviews the exchange, noting where Steve Inskeep did not ask obvious follow-ups.

      • Liberals Still Think Fact-Checking Will Stop the Right. They’re Wrong.

        It’s a telling recurrence, because it suggests that many liberals still believe Democrats lose elections because of bad epistemology rather than because of politics. This is, as far as I can discern, the basic formula underlying Plouffe’s thesis and many others like it: 1) The Right creates misinformation [Democrats eat children, climate change is fake, etc.]; 2) Said misinformation is disseminated through powerful outlets like Fox News; 3) People internalize bad facts and empirically false narratives; 4) Without sufficient pushback and fact-checking, Democrats lose. The facts support Democrats, or so this logic goes, ergo the absence of facts bolsters conservatism.

        If some people find this story compelling, it’s probably because it contains a grain of truth. American conservatives have, on the whole, been better than their liberal rivals at creating powerful media enterprises, and outlets like Fox and Breitbart manifestly do spend plenty of time misinforming their audiences. And, despite facing an abundance of competition, Donald Trump probably lies more than anyone.

        But conservatism is ultimately a political project, not a malign information system. Most people with hardened conservative beliefs won’t be swayed by an article from the Wall Street Journal or a Glenn Kessler column giving the birther conspiracy five Pinocchios — even when it clearly contradicts their stated view. A fact, by itself, is nothing until it becomes part of a larger narrative — and it’s these, by and large, that actually structure political identity. In this respect, the Right’s willingness to embrace populist storytelling matters a whole lot more than the obvious untruths so regularly put to work in its service. Which is all to say, if we’re actually serious about rolling back conservative dominance, fact-checking will never be a substitute for politics.

    • Environment

      • Scientists: Climate Change Will Get So Hot Your Organs Shut Down

        n the coming years, climate change will heat some parts of the world so much that merely working outdoors could become life-threatening.

        New models suggest that unless greenhouse gases are reined in, millions of people — especially in developing nations — will be exposed to dangerous levels of heat that could cause heat stress, a dangerous condition that can cause your organs to shut down, BBC News reports. And with workplace fans shut off and heavier protective garments due to the pandemic, even more people are likely to be affected.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Wake Up, America! We Must Force Trump to Resign or At Least Step Aside

        Your messages tell presidents which way the political winds are blowing. Make this “rumble of the people” speak loud and clear NOW!

      • To End ‘Unconstitutional Nightmare,’ ACLU Sues Trump Administration Over Use of Secret Police in Portland

        “This is a fight to save our democracy.”

      • John Lewis Never Stopped Bending the Arc Toward Justice

        John Lewis made one of the last public appearances of a lifetime of courageous struggle for economic, social, and racial justice on a Sunday morning in early June. Though he was wrestling with the cancer that would take his life on Friday, July 17, at age 80, Lewis wanted to see Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., where painters had just completed a giant mural covering a two-block stretch of 16th Street leading to the White House.

      • ‘These Tactics Must Stop’: Oregon DOJ Launches Criminal Probe Into Violence by Trump-Deployed Feds

        “Every American should be repulsed when they see this happening. If this can happen here in Portland, it can happen anywhere.”

      • ‘Should Tell You All You Need to Know’: Trump Attempting to Block Billions in New Funding for Covid-19 Testing

        “Testing saves lives by detecting people who are infectious but don’t know it, and allowing them to self-isolate. I try to avoid hyperbole but I can’t think what to call this other than attempted murder.”

      • More Than A Bunch Of Corporate Platitudes: Jen Perelman’s Campaign Against Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

        Jen Perelman has had the same representative in the United States Congress for nearly 16 years—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. Now, Perelman is mounting a primary challenge against Wasserman Schultz. Primary day is August 18. She has until July 20 to convince independents in the district to switch their registration to Democrat to vote for her.

        Wasserman Schultz is a well-known corporate Democrat, who chaired the Democratic National Committee until she was forced to resign in 2016 after WikiLeaks published emails that exposed the DNC helped rig the presidential primary to favor Hillary Clinton.Perelman is running on a platform of demilitarizing the police, ending marijuana prohibition, abolishing for-profit prisons, and forgiving student loan debt. She also backs Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and affordable housing initiatives.

      • China’s flawed South China Sea sovereignty claims exposed by US

        Like Taiwan, none of these South China Seas territories has ever been part of China and most have self-governed quite happily for hundreds of years. Even the U.N., which so often kowtows to the CCP, has ruled against it on this issue, when in 2016 a tribunal added an annex to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that dismissed any legal basis for its claims.

        Dynastic claims

        There is no legal or justifiable basis for the CCP’s claims and the US government is absolutely right to recognize this fact. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of the CCP’s territorial claims are built on an equally unjustifiable basis.

      • AMSAT: Urgent Issue, And The Future of North American Amateur Satellites

        Last year, Bruce Perens K6BP wrote to you to recommend the election of new directors to the AMSAT board, to remedy severe problems with the organization. Two new directors were elected, but the then-incumbent board has never allowed them to function as directors. The main means used to disenfranchise the new directors were that AMSAT stopped having board meetings, so that the new directors can not make any motions or participate in any meaningful way. And information that would usually be given to directors was withheld from the newly elected ones.

        If AMSAT members send additional new directors to the board, they will break this logjam, because there will be enough new directors to call a board meeting. The candidates we recommend are: [...]

      • Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Got a Big Boost From a Mysterious Individual Donation of $15.9 Million

        The conservative dark money group that led the fight to install Brett Kavanaugh on the US Supreme Court received nearly $16 million from a single mystery donor, according to IRS documents we recently obtained.

        The documents show that the (JCN) received a total of nearly $30 million of donations in between July 2018 and June 2019 — the period that covered Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation. In addition to the $15.9 million donation from a single donor, the group received five other seven-figure donations from anonymous sources.

      • Belarus bars main challengers from presidential ballot

        Election authorities in Belarus on Tuesday barred two main rivals of authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko from running in this summer’s presidential election.

        The country’s central election commission allowed five candidates on the ballot, denying spots to Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko and removing any serious competition for Lukashenko, who is seeking a sixth term after a quarter-century in power.

        Babariko, the former head of a Russia-owned bank, gathered more than 400,000 signatures in support of his candidacy — four times more than the minimum needed — but was jailed last month on money-laundering charges.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Internet disrupted in Iran amid regional protests

        Targeted Internet restrictions with regional effect have been registered by the Internet Observatory in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran from 10 p.m. local time. Demonstrations are taking place in Behbahan, Khuzestan with slogans critical of Iranian foreign policy and the economic crisis. In recent days, many Iranians have spoken out against the death penalty following the sentencing of youths who participated in the November 2019 protests.

        Disruptions identified on Thursday affect connectivity at the network layer and cannot be worked around by users. Hence, they are likely to significantly limit coverage of incidents as they take place.

      • Sudan Army Vows to Answer ‘Insults’ With Lawsuits

        Activists regularly accuse the army of having failed to protect demonstrators during the protest movement.

        Fresh protests have been held demanding justice for demonstrators killed in clashes with security forces last year.

        At least 246 people were killed and hundreds wounded during the 2018-19 anti-government demonstrations, according to doctors linked to the protest movement.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Turkish Court Sentences Germany-based Journalist to Jail on Terrorism Charges

        A Turkish court sentenced German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel in absentia on Thursday to jail for 2 years and 9 months for terrorism propaganda, his lawyer said, in a case that has strained ties between Ankara and Berlin.

        Yucel, who denied the charges against him, returned to Berlin in February 2018 when he was released from custody after being kept in jail for a year without indictment.

        The court convicted Yucel on Thursday for spreading propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, lawyer Veysel Ok said.

      • Detained Vietnamese Blogger Beaten, Forcibly Injected

        Le Anh Hung, a member of the online Brotherhood of Democracy advocacy group who had blogged for the Voice of America, was arrested in July 2018 on a charge of “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state” under Article 331 of Vietnam’s criminal code.

        He was transferred from jail to Hanoi’s Central Mental Hospital No. 1 for “observation and treatment” in April 2019, and if convicted at trial could serve up to seven years in prison.

      • Pakistani journalists beaten, detained in Balochistan prison without charge for 2 days

        On June 19, 2020, agents with the Pakistani Balochistan Levies force, a law enforcement agency under the direction of the Balochistan district administration, detained and beat Saeed Ali Achakzai, a reporter with the privately owned TV channel Samaa TV, and Abdul Mateen Achakzai, a reporter for privately owned broadcaster Khyber TV, according to both journalists, who spoke to CPJ in phone interviews, and news reports.

      • Lebanese TV host to stand trial over remarks critical of Turkish President Erdoğan

        In his filing, which CPJ reviewed, Jaafil alleged that Der Haroutiounian’s remarks critical of Erdoğan in a June 10 episode of his program violated Articles 288 and 317 of the Lebanese penal code, which criminalize harming ties to a foreign country and inciting sectarian strife, respectively. The filing also called on the government to charge anyone who participated in the production of the June 10 program.

        If convicted of both charges, the journalist could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 800,000 Lebanese pounds ($527), according to the penal code.

      • NY Times to move some staff from Hong Kong, citing new law

        The New York Times said Tuesday it will transfer some of its staff out of Hong Kong because of uncertainties about practicing journalism in the Chinese territory under its newly imposed national security law.

        The Times reported that it will move its digital team of journalists, about a third of its Hong Kong staff, to Seoul, South Korea, over the next year. Correspondents will remain to cover the city, it said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘The World Has Lost a Legend’: Civil Rights Hero John Lewis Dies at 80

        “It is up to us to pick up his mantle and carry on.”

      • Our Conscience: John Lewis Dies
      • The Birth of a Bill, the Death of an Activist

        Regan’s viewpoint, known as intersectionality, is the theory that all forms of oppression, discrimination, domination etc., intersect and influence each other.

      • Worker-Run News Outlets Are Good News for the Labor Movement

        The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the role of labor into focus for many people who might not have previously thought about what workers they considered “essential.” Farmworkers, nurses, pork processors and auto workers have been vocal sections of the working class protesting unsafe working conditions and low pay during the pandemic.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Whistleblowers Expose ICE, Bureau of Prisons’ Indifference To COVID-19

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola covers the COVID-19 outbreak at Federal Medical Center Carswell with a particular focus on NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, who requested compassionate release months ago.

        Later in the show, Gosztola covers allegations from whistleblowers who work for LaSalle Corrections, a private company contracted by ICE to operate immigrant detention facilities. At Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana, whistleblowers say the facility has not taken the coronavirus seriously.

      • “The front door blew off the hinges”: What happens when police raid your home without knocking first

        Being caught up in a violent sweep for an active shooter at large sounds like a dramatic outlier, but the experience of having the cops bust into your home without knocking or even announcing themselves is on the rise. The use of no knock warrants has grown expeditiously over the past 40 years — from 1,500 issued annually in the early 1980s to more than 45,000 in 2010, according to Peter Kraska, an expert on the militarization of police and Eastern Kentucky University professor.

      • Federal Officers Appear to Use Rental Cars From Enterprise to Snatch Portland Protesters

        The plate numbers were captured on video. Motor vehicle records in a national database reviewed by WW show that a van used to whisk away a protester wasn’t a law enforcement vehicle but a private rental.

        At least one of the vehicles that officers drove with protesters inside is a 2019 Dodge Caravan registered to EAN Holdings LLC, a company based in St. Louis. The website of Enterprise Holdings says EAN Holdings is an operating subsidiary of the agency. Enterprise Holdings owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental.

        Portland criminal defense lawyer John Schlosser says using unmarked rental cars to arrest protesters may fall outside the normal boundaries of law enforcement in which officers acting on probable cause make arrests in marked, publicly owned vehicles. He also said it raised questions whether the people in the unmarked vehicles are, in fact, federal agents.

        “Feds don’t drive rental cars,” Schlosser said. “Feds drive vehicles with federal license plates.”

      • France ‘Deeply Shocked’ By Execution Verdicts For Iran Protesters

        Iran said this week that the supreme court had upheld death sentences against the three young men, who were accused of setting alight banks, buses and public buildings in the November protests.

        The demonstrations erupted on November 15 after authorities more than doubled fuel prices overnight, exacerbating economic hardships in the sanctions-hit country.

      • Now Is the Perfect Time to Crack Down on Airbnb

        After years of making life more difficult for residents in cities around the world, the pandemic has placed Airbnb at the mercy of governments and its investors — and its power won’t return anytime soon. Cities have a rare opportunity to expel the company, take over the units that existed solely to serve tourists, and ensure any letting in future is properly regulated. Governments would be wrong to squander it.

      • ‘My Nigerian great-grandfather sold slaves’

        Slavery was so ingrained in the culture that a number of popular Igbo proverbs make reference to it:

        Anyone who has no slave is his own slave

        A slave who looks on while a fellow slave is tied up and thrown into the grave with his master should realise that the same thing could be done to him someday It is when the son is being given advice that the slave learns

        The arrival of European merchants offering guns, mirrors, gin, and other exotic goods in exchange for humans massively increased demand, leading people to kidnap others and sell them.

      • George Yancy: To Be Black in the US Is to Have a Knee Against Your Neck Each Day

        What drives the current rift between white and Black America, and how as individuals can we effectively contribute to the fight against the worldmaking of whiteness?

      • ‘I’m not a bad guy’: Police video captures distraught Floyd

        Body-camera footage made public Wednesday from two Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest captured a panicked and fearful Floyd pleading with the officers in the minutes before his death, saying “I’m not a bad guy!” as they tried to wrestle him into a squad car.

        “I’m not that kind of guy,” Floyd says as he struggles against the officers. “I just had COVID, man, I don’t want to go back to that.” An onlooker pleads with Floyd to stop struggling, saying, “You can’t win!” Floyd replies, “I don’t want to win!”

        A few minutes later, with Floyd now facedown on the street, the cameras record his fading voice, still occasionally saying, “I can’t breathe” before he goes still.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Remember when the internet was supposed to be transparent and democratic? There’s still hope

        Once upon a time, the internet was seen a wondrous fount of knowledge and information, empowering users and spreading democracy. This utopian view resonated widely with early adopters in the 1990s, after the end of the Cold War, but it resonated much more broadly around the world in 2011, during the Arab Spring. There were always dark shadows noted by observers, as in Gene Rochlin’s 1997 book, “Trapped in the Net,” but collectively we’ve been blindsided and bewildered by how different the online experience has become — how much of a marketplace for rumor, fear, conspiracy theories and polarized worldviews, all watched over by purportedly neutral platform manipulations bringing us exactly what we’re told we want.

        Could it be possible to recover that original promise? In a way, that promise was always naïve, as illuminated by Paulina Borsook’s 2000 book, “Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High-Tech.” As Borsook notes, it took more than half a century of government investment to make the internet’s commercial incarnation possible, contrary to Silicon Valley’s self-serving mythos. But democratic theory, history, philosophy and psychology is far richer than libertarians suppose, and there is a much more sober, realistic version of that promise — one that, for example, scientists collaborating worldwide have experienced for more than a generation now.

    • Monopolies

      • FTC may depose top Facebook leaders in antitrust probe: reports

        Anti-trust probes often include several rounds of document requests, and interviews will take time to finish, indicating the FTC is not near the end of its investigation.

        However, the company appears focused on Zuckerberg’s appearance at the end of the month in front of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee where he and other top tech executives will testify.

      • Facebook’s Top Advertiser Disney Cuts Ad Spending, WSJ Says

        Disney representatives had no immediate comment, while Facebook said in a statement that it knows it “has more work to do,” the Journal said. Disney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg.

      • Disney has reportedly paused its spending on Facebook ads

        According to the WSJ, Disney has paused ads for its news Disney Plus streaming service on Facebook, and paused ads for its Hulu streaming service on Facebook’s Instagram platform. Disney spent about $210 million for Disney Plus ads on Facebook in the US in the first half of 2020, the WSJ reports, and spent $16 million for Hulu ads on Instagram between April 15th and June 30th.

      • Patents

        • The EP opposition procedure: A practical example

          The EPO’s Board of Appeal decision T 1850/16 of 8 February 2020 concerns patent EP1797126 ‘Compositions monovalent for CD40L binding and methods of use’, which was rejected following an earlier opposition.

          As part of the opposition and appeal, the patent holder filed a set of claims including a main request and auxiliary requests I to VI. During the appeal, the opponent argued that those claims extended beyond the content of the application as filed because the claimed combination of features was not disclosed in that application. The patent holder in turn submitted that a basis for the individual features recited in the claim could be found in the application as filed.

          The main point of the February decision was to determine whether the invention mentioned in those claims was contained in the original patent application.

          [...]

          In this case, the Board indicated that one of the features indicated in the modifications proposed by the patent holder, although mentioned in the text, was not described in the text as being able to be combined. It assessed, therefore, whether the skilled person would seriously consider combining the individual features mentioned in isolation in the document. In particular, it indicated that in order to be accepted, the combination mentioned in the claim must be direct and unambiguously disclosed.

          On this basis, the Board considered that the skilled person would not have considered this combination. Thus, it concluded that the invention defined in the set of claims was not contained in the text of the application and dismissed the appeal.

        • Audi is number one in terms of patents for electric drives.

          Whereas many competitors purchase electric drive technology, Audi develops it in-house in many areas. As the most innovative premium brand, Audi is the leader in patent applications filed for electric powertrains in Germany. The statistics prove this, too: According to an analysis of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and the European Patent Office (EPO), in 2019, a total of 660 patents were filed with effectiveness just in Germany. These applications refer only to vehicles with electric powertrains. Compared to 2017, this corresponds to an increase of 42 percent. With 57 patent applications filed for the plug-in hybrids and the models of the all-electric Audi e-tron, Audi occupied the top spot. “This is ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ and shows the great innovative spirit of our developers,” says Roman Straßer, Head of Development, Power Electronics and Charging Systems. But not just the Patent Office documents Audi’s top ranking in the area of ideas and inventions. In 2020, the renowned Center of Automotive Management (CAM) recognises Audi as the winner in the area of alternative drives with the Automotive INNOVATIONS Award.

        • BioWorld MedTech Patent Highlights: Week 28

          BioWorld MedTech presents Patent Highlights, an excerpt of the most important med-tech patents from this week’s Cortellis Patents Gazette.

        • Licensors: video talks save time but can’t replace face to face

          Patent owners and implementers say the lockdown has made negotiations more efficient, but they’d like to use a hybrid remote and in-person model after COVID

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • ‘If Drake Goes Independent, the Music Business Is Done,’ Says United Masters’ Steve Stoute

          Stoute seconded: “If Drake goes independent, the music business is over. If Drake goes independent, the music business is done.”

          Russ then did the math out loud: “Drake uploads ‘God’s Plan’ on a digital distributor so whatever money it is: less than $10 dollars, right? Fine, pay for the beat — $10K, $20K, $30K, $40k, whatever the f–k it is — and to get mixed: four racks. So you’re all, $50K tops. That song, you owning it forever and getting paid weekly on it, you’re making a million dollars a week off that song. It’s different. If Drake goes independent, this whole industry gets turned upside down. That’s why I’m independent, putting out music independently. I’ma f–k this whole industry up.”

        • Appeals Court Reverses ‘Scathing’ Verdict Against Copyright Troll

          A Columbia appeals court has overturned an order in which Strike 3 Holdings was denied a subpoena, labeling it as a “copyright troll” that uses courts “as an ATM.” According to the opinion, the district court’s decision incorrectly factored in the adult nature of the content, while drawing unsupported conclusions about the company’s controversial litigation tactics.

        • Mindgeek Tries to Unmask Operator of Massive Pirate Adult Site Daftsex.com

          MG Premium, a company operated by adult giant Mindgeek, is trying to unmask the people behind Daftsex.com, a massive ‘tube’ site generating more than 65 million visits per month. The DMCA subpoena targeted at Cloudflare comes after MG filed takedown notices with Google requesting the deletion of more than 823,000 Daftsex URLs.

An Ode to Google

Posted in Google, Humour at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Teaser ahead of tomorrow’s publication, based on police FOIA

Google website

Summary: Surveillance giant Google deserves a little poem; tomorrow we’ll have some interesting material to show about how Google works with and for law enforcement

THE garage grew bigger

It then became too small
The credit cards were maxed
So VCs played ball

The logo was changed
A new mission crept
A few years passed
You became the Pentagon’s pet

Do no evil
Evil is the doodoo
You tell us you’re a public service
But we can see what you do do

Android contains Linux
So quiet we all keep
GSoC pays some developers
Their salary is like a tip

A genius of perception shaping
The Web you keep extending
Everything other than Chrome (or derivatives)
Will eventually be ending

Urchin became Analytics
Plus became a minus
When surveillance doesn’t pay
It’s put on eternal hiatus

Monopolies are good
Truly a public utility
If you don’t believe it yet
Just ask Bell and BT

The network is evolving
Our packets you’re absorbing
What’s invisible is “dark”
We’re all criminals and dogs as soon as we bark

Police likes to “Google it”
Failing that, Google serves it on a DVD
If you don’t know what we mean
Tomorrow thou shalt see

Microsoft Lays Off Azure Staff and Much More, Spins These Layoffs as “Optimization Strategy”

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 10:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They always have excuses and ridiculous tales ready to promptly tell the gullible

Hands

Summary: An in-depth but concise analysis of the recent “layoffs wave” at Microsoft; it’s a lot more serious than they want us to think, with profound cuts that go much deeper and further than initially reported or acknowledged

MICROSOFT is not a growth company. It has been laying off workers for over a decade and buying all sorts of companies like Nokia that became “write-offs” (causing the company report massive losses, nor profits, quite a few times).

Microsoft Peter used to spread lies about their financial results every quarter up until his arrest for sexually abusing children. Even when Microsoft announced layoffs he would post Microsoft’s ‘prepared’ statements (lies basically). A company can hide losses some of the time, but not all the time. When it admits losses it wants to make sure there’s some good excuse for these.

Seeing the latest silence about Microsoft layoffs (employees were gagged about it and most weren’t even told about it, based on what they’ve told us), we’ve decided to do some further research into it. This article is merely an outline of our findings.

“Microsoft Peter used to spread lies about their financial results every quarter up until his arrest for sexually abusing children.”Firstly, let’s consider the Microsoft spin; marketing and PR drones inside the media give us a lot of insight into that. It’s all about the face-saving strategy. Microsoft’s propagandist Mary Jo Foley does the typical propaganda at ZDNet right about now; her headline is calling the layoffs “usual” and “fewer than usual” (as a Microsoft mouthpiece would claim; this isn’t some annual ritual). The company’s spokesman called it “optimization strategy” (in the past they used to call layoffs “reorg”). This site says “Business Insider reports that jobs have been cut in the Microsoft Azure division,” as we noted here before. Well, Azure is a failure and a fraud (or Ponzi scheme), according to insiders. What Microsoft tells shareholders about Azure is a lie (performance is being faked, hoping that false perception of ‘growth’ and ‘health’ will help suck businesses into this Clown Computing trap). It’s a lock-in-based long-term strategy. “There is also talk of layoffs for Azure, the cloud division that brings the company billions of dollars in revenues,” Brian Adam wrote.

Profits or just revenue, Brian?

Not the same thing.

If it’s so profitable, then why the layoffs? Why are datacenters being shut? Remember that Microsoft was always a company of lawyers and predatory legal contracts (Bill’s dad is a lawyer; Bill Gates studied law, albeit he never graduated). They use NDAs to silence their CFOs regarding financial misconduct and the sacked staff too is being gagged (to defend the lies; they try to discredit the few who speak out, sometimes they even bribe them to shut up, as is widely documented).

The above also says that “Microsoft has already been making cuts to its business over the past few months. In terms of its games business, it most notably closed streaming service Mixer just four years after acquiring it.”

“Microsoft hoped people would not notice all these layoffs. But sacked employees used encrypted communication software to speak to journalists (what’s left of them), so right now Microsoft is belittling their reports.”We’ve taken stock of at least four rounds of layoffs since June and it turns out that Microsoft isn’t even done sacking MSN workers. “Microsoft is reportedly making more job cuts at MSN,” this report says, echoing the “HEY HI” (AI) spin. As if it’s OK to lay off staff because of some buzzword.

“Microsoft announced the closure of all the physical stores to focus exclusively on online sales,” Brian Adam said. Again… pure spin.

These closures alone (about 100 stores) would be over 1,000 people.

We’re accustomed to this sort of spin, having seen it at the European Patent Office (EPO), Novell and other institutions that we studied very closely. We speak to people from the EPO and from Microsoft, so we have insight (but cannot elaborate too much; source protection first). We also spoke to Novell insiders, who gave us tips and information.

Microsoft hoped people would not notice all these layoffs. But sacked employees used encrypted communication software to speak to journalists (what’s left of them), so right now Microsoft is belittling their reports. As one might expect.

Marketing Illegal Things at the European Patent Office and Amplifying Old Lies About UPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 8:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if the European Patent Office (EPO) boasts about being above the law

German Typing Error

Summary: Weaponised and bribed media keeps telling us a lot of lies while turning a blind eye to corruption and other crimes that carry on unabated at the European Patent Office

TWO years ago (start of July 2018) António Campinos replaced Benoît Battistelli as ‘king’ of EPOnia. In practical terms nothing has changed; earlier this morning we noted that Campinos is lobbying for software patents in Europe (not even the US tolerates such patents because of 35 U.S.C. § 101; courts reject them en masse) and the approval rate of Campinos among EPO staff is near zero.

“Facts ceased to matter. Law ceased to matter. Constitutions are treated like tissue paper one finds inside toilet bowls.”The EPO’s attitude towards law and order is equally appalling. The legal processes, constitutions and most basic legality ceased to matter. The Rule of Law was in effect suspended for the sake of “productivity” (which means granting as many patents as possible and as quickly as possible). We see this in the mistreatment of staff, the fraudulent ‘studies’, and the endless lies; we see this in UPC too. Facts ceased to matter. Law ceased to matter. Constitutions are treated like tissue paper one finds inside toilet bowls. There’s also the lack of impartiality/independence of judges — an issue we addressed again this morning. If that’s not bad enough, here’s the EPO’s management openly bragging about illegal outsourcing (to Microsoft) of EPO legal processes. (warning: epo.org link)

“Even the EPO’s technical chiefs lack a technical background; they just happen to know Campinos from the old employer (whose IT department was outsourced to India months before he left).”This is illegal, but who cares, right? They put that in the “news” section on Friday as if to celebrate the illegality. It’s all just referred to as “VICO” (with a screenshot showing Microsoft). What the heck is going on? Only days ago there was a ruling of relevance. Yesterday one report said that “EU Court Again Rules That NSA Spying Makes U.S. Companies Inadequate for Privacy” (suffice to say, this applies to courts or tribunals). “This decision shows,” says the outline, “yet again, that the U.S. needs much broader, privacy-protective reform, and that Congress’ inaction makes us all less safe, wherever we are.”

But never mind these ‘inconvenient’ (to EPO management) facts. Even the EPO’s technical chiefs lack a technical background; they just happen to know Campinos from the old employer (whose IT department was outsourced to India months before he left).

Where’s the media coverage about this scandal? Nowhere!

Nowhere at all.

“Where’s the media coverage about this scandal?”Kluwer Patent Blog mentioned it in passing several months ago, but it’s merely a blog that almost nobody can see except lawyers who follow the site closely.

Over at Managing IP (EPO mouthpiece) there are now sponsored ‘articles’ and even so-called ‘reporting’ by the “Georgia IP [sic] Alliance” (and the private company of the author), followed by this hogwash from Patrick Wingrove. It’s about “VICO”. “Patent owners and implementers say the lockdown has made negotiations more efficient,” he wrote, “but they’d like to use a hybrid remote and in-person model after COVID” (so even after the emergency they wish to maintain an illegal practice).

Should we expect this publication to take note of the illegality? Of course not, just follow the money…

“As long as EPO managers blackmail and bribe the media we can only expect those things to further exacerbate and create a fictional world with inverted facts.”The same author has also just produced an hilarious headline that says “EU hints UPC alive” (it’s not). Managing IP‘s Patrick Wingrove was previously spinning for Team UPC based on a telephone chat with Justice Huber months before Huber threw out the UPCA; months later Huber said there's more to the issue than just the two-thirds majority, but Team UPC doesn’t like to talk about that…

Citing the outrageous nonsense from Thierry Breton [1, 2, 3, 4], a Battistelli ally, Wingrove wrote the following: (to which we respond to in-line, in yellow)

EU Commission [well, Thierry Breton] says Germany can ratify UPCA despite Brexit

The European Commission would welcome Germany’s swift ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement despite Brexit, commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton wrote on Wednesday, July 15.

In a letter to MEP Patrick Breyer, who is from the German Pirate Party and asked in May whether Germany could ratify the UPCA now that the UK has left the EU, Breton said that Brexit does not affect the UPC’s ratification process. [It’s a lie]

The commissioner reasoned that the UK ratified the UPCA when it was still an EU member state [but the UPC as a whole wasn’t ratified yet], and that its departure from the bloc simply meant that it would not be able to participate in the UPC after the end of the Brexit transition period. [The UK ratified a UPCA that still says there’s a court in London]

“The unitary patent will be an effective tool for [large foreign] businesses [and especially monopolists] to protect their inventions [monopolies] on [by suing] the European market at a competitive price [to them], and the Unified Patent Court will offer the possibility for these businesses to enforce their patents [sue many European SMEs] at a European Union level, thereby enhancing legal certainty and reducing costs,” Breton wrote. [Certainty for monopolies, business uncertainty for everybody else]

“It will further boost innovation in Europe [litigation is innovation, right?], which will be key for the economic recovery following the COVID pandemic.” [Which politician does not exploit COVID-19 these days when spreading lies?]

The UK confirmed in February that it would not seek to participate in the UPC, noting that membership was inconsistent with its aims to become an independent and self-governing nation.

In June, the German Federal Ministry of Justice called for comments on a draft of its UPCA Approval Act, three months after the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that Germany’s pre-ratification of the agreement was void because it did not have a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag. [There’s a lot more to it]

Of course, the lies are embedded in the ‘reporting’, which is little more than parroting Team UPC and its enablers (e.g. Thierry Breton, a Battistelli ally). With Bristows pushing it into Lexology and various law firms constantly pushing those same talking points it’s difficult to actually find facts. The signal-to-noise ratio is very low.

The demise of the law necessitates the demise of honest media. As long as EPO managers blackmail and bribe the media we can only expect those things to further exacerbate and create a fictional world with inverted facts.

When You Break the Law and Have Nothing Positive to Say Why Not Exploit COVID-19 for Cheap, Fact-Free Marketing/Self-Promotion Along With a Superficial ‘Study’?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’ve lost humility and a sense of shame, haven’t they?

Joint message from the EPO and the KIPO on COVID-19

Committed to common solutions to global challenges – a joint message from the EPO and the JPO

Summary: The EPO has been brushing under a rug some really important issues; it’s using mindless fluff about COVID-19 and a so-called ‘study’ which in many ways demonstrate the opposite of what the Office claims

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is no ally of the fight against COVID. We have already pointed out that Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO awarded a fraud, whose patents were passed to patent trolls that now attack French researchers who look for COVID-19 cures/prevention.

“This is all just another smokescreen that serves to distract from EPO scandals.”The USPTO along with other ‘IP5′ offices would gladly exploit COVID-19 for propaganda, as would António Campinos, who does this every week. Now he’s using COVID-19 to attack his own staff.

EPO examiners are (still) smart people. Surely we don’t have to explain in much length what’s wrong with the above messages (screenshots taken). On Thursday or Friday (the slug says Thursday, but the CMS updates overnight for RSS feeds) the far-east propaganda was ‘dumped’ onto the EPO’s site. The latest puff piece (warning: epo.org link) takes advantage of “pandemic” for shameless patent propaganda (these patents actually help the pandemic spread as they restrict research). It says “[c]ommitted to common solutions to global challenges – a joint message from the EPO and the JPO” and there’s also a “[j]oint message from the EPO and the KIPO on COVID-19″ (warning: epo.org link) as if they’re some kind of health officials. They’re not!

“What ever happened to actual fact-checking and investigations?”This is all just another smokescreen that serves to distract from EPO scandals. The media has been 100% silent about those scandals, quite frankly as usual, and instead we saw parroted puff pieces in so-called ‘news’ sites like Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine and 3D Printing Progress (as noted here before in passing). What ever happened to actual fact-checking and investigations? No budget? Did the bribes and the blackmail by EPO management pay off?

IAM is meanwhile pushing FRAND, which is a "scam" according to people who properly understand it (Managing IP is boosting SPCs), and then IAM is also boosting the above EPO propaganda again, with its sister sites doing the same and promoting it here in Lexology. Are they journalists or parrots for a so-called ‘study’? Our response below in yellow:

The 3D printing boom is not over – Over on IAM there is analysis [no, parroting] of a boom in 3D printing patent applications [patents aren’t a surrogate] at the European Patent Office, with filers from the US leading the way [because the EPO is not serving Europe]. Overall the office saw applications for 3D printing or additive manufacturing inventions increase at an average rate of 36% from 2015 to 2018 [maybe because patent quality decreased and grants nearly doubled]. This is far above the 3.5% average growth that the EPO saw in applications overall [a reminder that the EPO may soon run out of work, having granted lots of bogus patents in a rush]. The number of filings has grown from less than 1,000 in 2013 to just over 4,000 in 2018. The analysis is available here [is this an analysis of just shallow promotion of the EPO’s own claims?]. A few years ago, the spectre of 3D printing was a hot topic in the trademark world. While that discussion isn’t as prevalent as it was, the brand issues that could arise from the technology persist (in an interview with ECTA Anette Rasmussen last month, it was revealed that the association’s December engagement meeting will focus on 3D printing and designs, Rasmussen stating that it remains “a live issue”). That is set to remain the case, the EPO report noting that additive manufacturing is forecast to capture 5% or more of the world’s $12 trillion manufacturing industry. [EPO as a marketing front for private industries]

Notice the EUIPO overlap, as noted here in 3DPrint.com:

The European Patent Office (EPO), one of the largest public service [public service? Really?!] institutions in Europe, is launching a new study on Monday, July 13th, titled “Patents and additive manufacturing – Trends in 3D printing technologies,” to offer evidence that Europe is a global 3D printing innovation hub [actually it shows Europe in the minority, even in Europe itself]. Ahead of the launch, there will be a panel discussion between EPO president António Campinos and Christian Archambeau, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and then the EPO’s Chief Economist, Yann Ménière, will present the study.

The timing of this, 2 days before the hearing about software patents in Europe, may be a coincidence. Or maybe not. But remember what happened a year ago when the 'Haar question' came home to roost. Never underestimate the minds of media strategists. They can groom the media to distract the public from more pressing and relevant matters.

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