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07.29.20

Links 29/7/2020: LabPlot 2.8 Beta and GNU Nano 5

Posted in News Roundup at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Arm Wrestling | LINUX Unplugged 364

        The past, present and future of Linux on Arm. The major challenges still facing full Linux support, and why ServerReady might be a solution to unify Arm systems.

        Plus we chat with the Manjaro team about recent changes.

    • Kernel Space

      • Google Sends Patches For AMD Zen / Zen 2 RAPL PowerCap Support

        Building off the work sent out by Google engineers in recent months and merged for Linux 5.8 around RAPL support for AMD Zen / Zen 2 CPUs with supporting the “runtime average power limiting” counters on Linux similar to Intel’s longstanding support, that work has continued now with Zen RAPL support in the PowerCap driver.

        Google engineer Victor Ding sent out a set of patches this morning for AMD Zen / Zen 2 RAPL support within the PowerCap Linux driver that allows power capping of the CPU(s) if so desired and some new interfaces via sysfs.

      • Intel Making It Easier To Flash Ethernet Device Firmware On Linux

        For those using the Intel ICE Linux network driver that is used for the likes of the E800 series, it’s now going to be easier updating the device firmware from Linux.

        A PLDM firmware update library is being introduced with Linux 5.9 to support hardware flashing the firmware using the devlink flash command. ICE firmware updates are using the PLDM file format. PLDM is the Platform Level Data Model firmware update specification developed by the DMTF industry consortium.

      • L1d Flushing Patches Revived After It Was Rejected From Linux 5.8 As “Beyond Stupid”

        Worked out in recent months by an Amazon engineer was optional L1 data cache flushing on context switches to allow for greater computer security in an era of data sampling vulnerabilities and other data leakage issues via side channels. It was sent in for Linux 5.8 but Linus Torvalds characterized it as “beyond stupid” and not being convinced by it. Well, now it’s been revised but isn’t yet clear if it will appease Torvalds for mainline inclusion.

        The overall concept of this new L1d flushing work remains the same is that it’s entirely opt-in and interested programs can make use of it via the prctl interface. The focus remains on providing an additional level of security for CPUs affected by the likes of L1TF and other data snooping vulnerabilities.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Free and open source 3D creation suite Blender gets funding from Microsoft

        It feels like FOSS is on a roll lately, with more and more great open source applications seeing funding from big names. Blender is back in the spotlight again, with backing from Microsoft.

        Announced by the Blender team today, July 29 2020, Microsoft has joined them as a ‘Gold’ level Corporate Member. This means Microsoft will be giving the Blender Foundation at least €30K a year, which the Blender team say pays for half a year of developer time to improve Blender.

      • Cult classic Beneath a Steel Sky is finally available free on Steam

        It’s hard to believe that until now, Beneath a Steel Sky wasn’t available on Steam. With the launch of the sequel Beyond a Steel Sky recently, Revolution Software decided to fix that.

        Currently, the build on Steam is only officially available for Windows. Thankfully though, with it being such an old game now from 1994, it’s easy to get it running on Linux and through Steam directly too thanks to the Steam Play feature in the Linux Steam client. Remember, Steam Play is just a feature to run compatibility layers (the biggest being Proton) and there’s one named Roberta designed for running adventure games like this using a native Linux build of ScummVM.

      • Wilderness survival roguelike Wayward gets a big free expansion

        Currently in Early Access, Wayward is a wilderness survival roguelike from developer Unlok and the 9th major update is out now with the Seafarer expansion.

        With this now out, the developer mentioned this brings an end to the limited amount of exploration that was possible as you can now sail the seas to explore new lands. Sounds like a pretty huge advancement for the game and not something that was easy for the team, a feature they had originally said ‘would probably never happen’ but an important milestone for making it much more enjoyable.

      • Atari VCS FAQ offers fresh console details and focus from COO Michael Arzt

        For about as long as the Atari VCS has been in development, critics have often wondered about who this device is marketed towards and what it’s packing under the hood to execute and deliver once it’s in the living room. To that end, Atari VCS COO Michael Arzt recently published a lengthy FAQ to try to clear up some of the remaining mysteries about the device. Among the many questions taken on, Arzt goes into further detail on the tech of the VCS, as well as Atari’s priorities in game availability and customer appeal.

        Michael Arzt published a Q&A on the Atari VCS on Medium on July 29, 2020. The goal of the publishing was to answer many of the common questions that are still coming up in regards to the purpose and priorities of the Atari VCS. Interestingly enough, Arzt claims it’s wrong to think of it as a “retro console” such as the Atari Flashback and other such devices.

        “The Atari VCS is a much more powerful PC-based device, with a premium build quality, significantly more power, internet access, and an online store full of games, apps and streaming services, so it really can’t be compared to the “throwback” consoles,” Arzt wrote.

      • Valve Hires Former Emulator Developer To Work On Open-Source Graphics For Linux

        Emulator developer Tony Wasserka has announced that he is going to be joining Valve, to work on open-source graphics for Linux. As part of Valve’s general push to improving gaming on Linux, his first project is going to be working on the RADV Vulkan driver, an open-source driver project for AMD GPUs on Linux.

        Wasserka has been a major contributor to the development of the leading Gamecube and Wii emulator, Dolphin, where he maintained the GPU subsystem and implemented a Direct3D 11 rendering engine. Dolphin is the gold standard for console emulation, offering the most compatible and robust emulation of games for these classic Nintendo systems, and it’s a fully open-source project.

      • Event-driven open source game engine GDevelop adds a live preview feature

        GDevelop is an in-development free and open source game engine, one that is powered by a drag and drop event system and it continues bringing in new and fun features.

        One feature it just added in the latest release is Live Previews, otherwise known as Hot Reloading. This is where you can apply a bunch of changes in the game engine editor, with the game currently running and then at the click of a button have your changes applied. It’s a useful feature, one that could aid debugging and prototyping nicely.

      • Take a walk and take some nice snaps in Shutter Stroll

        Shutter Stroll, a walking sim about taking nice photographs across hundreds of generated islands is a pretty sweet experience for when you want to properly relax.

        There’s no goal, no timers and not much else. It’s a small game about slowing down, taking things in and just appreciating a bit of beauty. With you starting off in a little boat, camera in hand, you set off to find the perfect shot. Once you find a spot you bring up your camera, switch between different filters by pressing F and take your snap. Then it’s back to your boat to pick some coordinates and explore somewhere else.

        Here’s a few snaps, click to enlarge the thumbnails because they’re high resolution shots. Having the coordinates of the island generation on the pictures is a nice touch too.

      • Steam has a sale on to celebrate Swiss Games and Developers

        If it wasn’t enough that there’s multiple good Humble Bundles going on, and a big RPG sale on GOG – Valve have launched a sale to celebrate Swiss Games.

        Never one to miss an opportunity to run a sale, Valve picked this to go along with Swiss National Day, a national holiday of Switzerland on August 1. With the Swiss sale running until August 3 at 5PM UTC, you can save big on some quality games made by people all over Switzerland. There’s some really good indie choices there too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • LabPlot 2.8 Beta

          In the last couple of days we’ve got a lot of feedback and bug reports from our users testing the current code and helping us to finalize the next release of LabPlot. Most of this feedback is addressed now and today we’d like to invite more people to contribute and we announce the availability of the beta release of 2.8.

    • Distributions

      • A Guide to the Endless OS for Linux

        Many find the idea of switching to Linux intimidating. Let’s face it: despite being the most-used operating system for servers, it’s yet to see major commercial and consumer use. This is mostly because there still aren’t many off-the-shelf computers that have Linux pre-installed, and most people don’t want to deal with the hassle of installing a new OS. After all, you’ll have to worry about so much more – most notably, app and driver compatibility.

        Luckily, the latest version of Endless OS presents us with solutions to many of our concerns. Released on May 18, Endless OS 3.8.1 is the latest version of this Debian-based OS initially introduced to the public back in 2014. Like its previous versions, Endless OS 3.8.1 comes with a lot of digital literacy initiatives that make computing easier than ever before.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The Beta Version Of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3 Is Now Available

          Another new feature of RHEL 8.3 beta is the addition of security profiles for the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmark and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). System administrators can use these new SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) profiles to configure their RHEL systems based on best security practices and standards.

          For a full list of new features, improvements, and fixes, you can read the RHEL 8.3 beta release notes.

          If you have an active subscription for RHEL, you can directly try RHEL 8.3 beta from Red Hat’s Customer Portal. Or else you can download it from developer.redhat.com where it’s available as part of the no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscription.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How learning Linux introduced me to open source

        When I entered the engineering program as a freshman in college, I felt like a frivolous teenager. In my sophomore year, and in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, I joined Zairza, a technical society for like-minded students who collaborated and built projects separate from the academic curriculum. It was right up my alley. Zairza provided me a safe space to learn and grow and discover my interests. There are different facets and roadways to development, and as a newbie, I didn’t know where my interests lay.

        I made the switch to Linux then because I heard it is good for development. Fortunately, I had Ubuntu on my system. At first, I found it obnoxious to use because I was used to Windows. But I slowly got the hang of it and fell in love with it over time. I started exploring development by trying to build apps using Android and creating data visualizations using Python. I built a Wikipedia Reader app using the Wikipedia API, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I learned to use Git and put my projects on GitHub, which not only helped me showcase my projects but also enabled me to store them.

      • The Apache® Software Foundation Announces Annual Report for 2020 Fiscal Year

        The Apache® Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today the availability of the annual report for its 2020 fiscal year (1 May 2019 – 30 April 2020).

        Now in its 21st year, the world’s largest Open Source foundation’s “Apache Way” of community-driven development is the proven process behind thousands of developers successfully collaborating on hundreds of Apache projects. The Apache Way has directly influenced the InnerSource methodology of applying Open Source and open development principles to an organization. The Apache Way has been adopted by countless organizations, including Capital One, Comcast, Ericsson, HP, IBM, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, SAP, T-Mobile, Walmart, and countless others.

      • Apache Software Foundation Estimates Its Code Value Increased ~$600M For FY2020

        For fiscal year 2019 the Apache Software Foundation valued their codebase at around $20 billion USD. The open-source organization has now published their annual report for fiscal year 2020.

        The Apache Software Foundation’s FY2020 report values their massive code-base now in excess of $20 billion dollars using the CoCoMo model. With eight million lines of code added over their fiscal year, they estimate that increase to be approximately worth $600 million USD worth of work.

      • This ‘world’s biggest’ messaging and collaboration rollout is based on open source software

        For example, technology developed by UK software company Element is to be rolled out by the German education system to provide collaboration tools for half a million seats in the states of Schlesweig-Holstein and Hamburg.

        [...]

        “We want to democratize control over communication,” Element’s CEO Matthew Hodgson tells ZDNet – needless to say, over an open-source video call. “People in Germany shouldn’t be beholden to the legislation happening in the US, or trusting their data through an app controlled by a particular government.

        “Empowering organizations to run their own stuff is just a re-levelling effect to decentralize the control of that data to the people who own it in the first place,” he continues, “rather than holding it all in whatever organization it might be and hope it doesn’t get compromised or pressured by the authorities.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a4

            Tor Browser 10.0a4 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

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

          • New Release: Tor Browser 9.5.3

            Tor Browser 9.5.3 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This release updates Firefox to 68.11.0esr, NoScript to 11.0.34, and Tor to 0.4.3.6.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU nano 5.0 Open-Source Text Editor Released, This is What’s New

            GNU nano is probably one of the most popular text editors for the command line. It’s probably included in almost all GNU/Linux distribution is it usually comes in handy whenever there’s some configuration files you need to edit.

            Dubbed “Among the fields of barley,” GNU nano 5.0 introduces a new –indicator parameter that displays some sort of scrollbar to show you where the viewport is located in the buffer and how much it covers, along with the –bookstyle parameter that makes nano consider any line that begins with a whitespace the start of a paragraph.

            It’s now possible to tag any line with an anchor using the shortcut. You can then jump to the nearest anchor using and . GNU nano 5.0 also lest you access the Execute Command prompt directly from the main menu with ^T, as well as to toggle the help lines in all menus (except for the linter and help viewer) with M-X and list the possibilities at a filename prompt with .

      • Programming/Development

        • Jussi Pakkanen: About that “Google always builds everything from source every time” thing

          The obvious counterargument to this is the tried-and-true if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too response known by every parent in the world. The second, much lesser known counterargument is that this statement is not actually true.

          Google does not actually rebuild all code in their projects from source. Don’t believe me?

        • CMake Project Configuration in Qt Creator 4.13

          Configuring medium-sized to large CMake projects in Qt Creator can be a challenge. This is due to the number of options that you would need to pass to CMake to configure the project in the right way.

          Let’s take Qt Creator’s CMake build. Unlike its qmake build, the CMake build lets you configure which plugins you want to build.

          Let’s say you would just want to build the CMake project manager, the Git source control, only C++ and only for the Desktop platforms.

        • Building and packaging a sysroot

          This is part of a series of posts on compiling a custom version of Qt5 in order to develop for both amd64 and a Raspberry Pi.

          After having had some success with a sysroot in having a Qt5 cross-build environment that includes QtWebEngine, the next step is packaging the sysroot so it can be available both to build the cross-build environment, and to do cross-development with it.

          The result is this Debian source package which takes a Raspberry Pi OS disk image, provisions it in-place, extracts its contents, and packages them.

        • The golden rule of software quality

          Carefully note that the golden rule of software quality does not mandate that you have to fix problems upstream. The rule advises that you should prefer to upstream fixes, all other things equal. Sometimes other considerations can prevent one from doing so (such as limitations on time or money). However, when quality is paramount then you should strive to observe the rule!

        • Perl/Raku

          • Demonstrating Perl with Tic-Tac-Toe, Part 4

            This is the final article to the series demonstrating Perl with Tic-Tac-Toe. This article provides a module that can compute better game moves than the previously presented modules. For fun, the modules chip1.pm through chip3.pm can be incrementally moved out of the hal subdirectory in reverse order. With each chip that is removed, the game will become easier to play. The game must be restarted each time a chip is removed.

            [...]

            Line 12 demonstrates that a regular expression can be pre-compiled and stored in a scalar for later use. This is useful as performance optimization when you intend to re-use the same regular expression many times over.

            Line 59 demonstrates that some system library calls are available directly in Perl’s built-in core functionality. Using the built-in functions alleviates some overhead that would otherwise be required to launch an external program and setup the I/O channels to communicate with it.

        • Python

          • HackInScience: friendly Python learning

            A short while ago I discovered HackInScience, a fantastic site for learning Python by doing exercises. It currently includes 68 programming exercises, with increasing level of difficulty.
            I learned about it via an issue filed for Friendly-traceback: yes, HackInScience does use Friendly-traceback to provide feedback to users when their code raises Python exceptions. These real-life experiences have resulted in additional cases being covered by Friendly-traceback: there are now 128 different test cases, each providing more helpful explanation as to what went wrong than that offered by Python. Python versions 3.6 to 3.9 inclusively are supported.

          • Deep Learning in Keras – Data Preprocessing

            Deep learning is one of the most interesting and promising areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning currently. With great advances in technology and algorithms in recent years, deep learning has opened the door to a new era of AI applications.

            In many of these applications, deep learning algorithms performed equal to human experts and sometimes surpassed them.

            Python has become the go-to language for Machine Learning and many of the most popular and powerful deep learning libraries and frameworks like TensorFlow, Keras, and PyTorch are built in Python.

            In this series, we’ll be using Keras to perform Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA), Data Preprocessing and finally, build a Deep Learning Model and evaluate it.

            If you haven’t already, check out our first article – Deep Learning Models in Keras – Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA).

          • PyCharm 2020.2 Out Now!

            Complete the full Pull Request workflow, quickly catch exceptions, and apply project-wide refactorings. All without leaving your IDE. Download the new version now, or upgrade from within PyCharm.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • A Legislative Path to an Interoperable Internet

        It’s not enough to say that the Internet is built on interoperability. The Internet is interoperability. Billions of machines around the world use the same set of open protocols—like TCP/IP, HTTP, and TLS—to talk to one another. The first Internet-connected devices were only possible because phone lines provided interoperable communication ports, and scientists found a way to send data, rather than voice, over those phone lines.

        In the early days of the Internet, protocols dictated the rules of the road. Because the Internet was a fundamentally decentralized, open system, services on the Internet defaulted to acting the same way. Companies may have tried to build their own proprietary networking protocols or maintain unilateral control over the content on the network, but they ultimately failed. The ecosystem was fast-moving, chaotic, and welcoming to new ideas.

  • Leftovers

    • America Doesn’t Deserve to Have Baseball Back

      Baseball is my favorite sport. I know that’s weird since I’m a Black guy under the age of 80, but it is what it is. I’m one of those guys who can pound out “baseball is an allegory for the American experience” takes like a hitter spraying singles to all fields.

    • If It Wasn’t for You

      Teen romance stories are almost always about the feeling of a shift in power. They channel the thrill of turning a position of weakness into one of strength: the ugly, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged using their less apparent abilities—talent, wit, emotional acuity—to claim for themselves a better role in the social hierarchy. In teen romance, things tend to change all at once rather than gradually. A relationship’s subtext shifts through strange, rare moments of shared perception, and then, in some moment of truth—often a school dance or other public event—the subtext becomes explicit and replaces what came before. A received, social understanding is replaced with an interpersonal, emotional truth that levels all disparities.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Insanity of Prescription Drug Prices in America

        Solution: slash the prices and kill the ads.

      • “What Should My Family Do?” Out of Work, Food and Money in Maharashtra

        “My two eldest sons worked for two days for the patil [farm owner] and earned Rs. 150 each. They used that money to buy kanyaa from him,” said Vanita Bhoir. She opened a yellow plastic jar and took out a few rice fragments in her hand to show me. These are collected when the harvested paddy is threshed to separate the chaff, and are cheaper than the rice grain. Along with these kanyaa, there was a week’s stock of salt, chilli and turmeric powders, cooking oil and a few potatoes in 52-year-old Vanita’s straw-and mud hut. Even these had been given to the family by local social workers.

      • ‘History Will Not Judge This Kindly’: DNC Platform Committee Votes Down Medicare for All Amendment

        “It’s like opposing the New Deal during the Great Depression. Unforgivable.”

      • Democratic Leaders Have Blocked Real Healthcare Reform for Decades. Time to Give ‘Em Hell.

        This history of Democratic obstruction and vacillation to corporate interests and the greed of insurance companies must come to an end. The need for Medicare for All has never been more clear than it is today.

      • A Vaccine by November? Science Journalist in Vaccine Trial Casts Doubt on Rosy U.S. Projections

        With 30,000 people taking part in the first major COVID-19 vaccine study in the United States, hopes are high that the collaboration between drugmaker Moderna and the National Institutes of Health will yield positive results as early as November. Researchers around the world are working on more than 165 vaccine candidates, though only a handful are conducting large-scale human trials. We speak with BBC science journalist Richard Fisher, who took part in the vaccine trial run by Oxford University that is among the most promising. “It was both a personal decision and a journalistic one,” Fisher says of his decision to volunteer. “I wanted to do something that helps the collective effort to get us closer to a vaccine.”

      • Little Pharma on Rooms

        1421 From whose eaves pigeons tumble Its permanent winter of shit Where she would like to put a thin strip of suspended garden Something in love with guano like hay Some ruffling infancy of color

      • Democratic Leaders Have Blocked Real Healthcare Reform for Decades. Time to Give ‘Em Hell.

        In 1948, Harry Truman pushed for a national nonprofit health insurance program in his successful, come-from-behind presidential campaign. When Truman’s plan was denounced as “socialized medicine” and “un-American” by the powerful American Medical Association, “Give ‘Em Hell Harry” stood his ground, defending his proposal as “simple Christianity.”

      • Without Reciprocity, Ayahuasca Consumption Is Extractive

        As COVID-19 devastates Amazonian communities, spiritual tourists are abandoning the cultures holding the sacred traditions of Ayahuasca.

      • DNC Platform Committee Votes Down Medicare for All Amendment

        A Democratic National Committee panel on Monday voted down an amendment that would have inserted a plank supporting Medicare for All into the party’s 2020 platform, a move progressives decried as out of touch with public opinion and a slap in the face to the millions of people who have lost their health insurance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

      • Who Profits & Where Is the Transparency in Trump Admin’s $6 Billion Vaccine Program?

        As researchers around the world race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, we speak with Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program, about who is profiting from government efforts to fund vaccines, testing and treatment. The Trump administration has announced major contracts with pharmaceutical companies as part of its $6 billion program, Operation Warp Speed, including with firms that have never brought a vaccine to market. Meanwhile, a New York Times investigation shows corporate insiders from at least 11 companies working on coronavirus research have sold shares worth more than $1 billion since March. “The problem is that the companies, the executives, the hedge funds are feeding on people’s hope and desperation, and it only takes a little bit of positive news to send stocks soaring,” says Maybarduk. Public Citizen recently released a database that tracks the billions of taxpayer dollars supporting COVID-19 research.

      • “I Have Not Been Misleading the American Public”: Fauci Responds to Trump Tweets

        On Tuesday morning, Anthony Fauci, a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force and the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to criticisms made against him on social media that were shared by the commander-in-chief.

      • In Remote Villages, Domestic Violence Kills More Than COVID-19

        COVID-19 has largely spared the isolated villages of Western Alaska. Yet it has been a summer of burials.

        On June 22, troopers say a woman stabbed and killed her boyfriend in the Yukon River village of Grayling. Later that week, about 330 miles away, a man was accused of beating his wife to death with a crowbar in the Northwest Arctic village of Noatak. The day after that, neighbors found the body of a 50-year-old woman, missing a portion of her scalp, in the home she shared with her boyfriend in the Kuskokwim River village of McGrath. Then, on July 1, two Alakanuk men stabbed each other to death in what troopers called a “domestic dispute.”

      • Tech And COVID-19: Stop Using Video Game Graphics For Fake Crowds, Fox

        Professional sports is now fully in the weeds trying to navigate reopening live sports events during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not going great, frankly. NFL players are beginning to opt out of the season, citing health concerns. Golfers have been trickling out of events due to positive COVID-19 tests. MLB, meanwhile, just found itself with four teams unable to play the other night due to roughly a third of the Florida Marlins popping positive for the virus. Given that these leagues just started reopening, it’s not a good sign.

      • Worries About Foreign ‘Hacking’ of Vaccine Research Place Corporate Profits Ahead of Public Health

        A recent spate of reports in US media features US officials accusing Official Enemies Russia and China of “stealing” the US’s coronavirus vaccine research data. To accuse another party of “stealing” something, of course, is to imply unjust deprivation. If my wallet is stolen, it means I no longer possess it or its contents, while someone else does. Does it make sense to describe the alleged actions of Russian and Chinese hackers as a form of “theft”? If so, what kind of “theft” is it?

      • As COVID Deaths Pass 151,000, Trump Says “Not Sure I Could have Done Any More”

        During an interview with a local television station in North Carolina on Monday evening, President Donald Trump suggested he was one of the most successful chief executives this country has ever seen.

      • US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation

        The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose what they say is a clear link between the sites and Russian intelligence.

        Between late May and early July, one of the officials said, the websites singled out Tuesday published about 150 articles about the pandemic response, including coverage aimed either at propping up Russia or denigrating the U.S.

      • US Officials: Russia Behind Spread of Virus Disinformation

        Russian intelligence services are using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain ahead of the presidential election in November, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

        Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort meant to reach American and Western audiences, U.S. government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Opera 70 Released with Improved Search in Tabs

          Opera web browser 70 was released a day ago improvements to existing features and tools.

        • Michigan online bar exam temporarily taken down by ‘sophisticated’ cyberattack

          ExamSoft, one of the three vendors offering the exam that certifies potential attorneys, said the test had been hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which involves a hacker or group attempting to take down a server by overwhelming it with traffic.

          [...]

          “If this was such a sophisticated attack, what do they have to say about the biodata collected during exam administration?” the group tweeted.

        • Security

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Zuckerberg to paint Facebook as ‘proudly American company,’ contrast with Chinese internet model

              Although Zuckerberg is now very critical of China’s approach to the [I]nternet, he spent the better half of the decade pushing to overturn the country’s ban on Facebook.

            • Twitter Hashtag Mocking Trump as ‘Crybaby’ Trends after He Calls Criticism ‘Illegal’

              Twitter has explained that trending topics are “determined by an algorithm” and tailored based on who a person follows, their interests and their general location.

              “This algorithm identifies topics popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter,” it says. “The number of tweets that are related to the trends is just one of the factors the algorithm looks at when ranking and determining trends.”

            • Car Companies Want to Monitor Your Every Move With Emotion-Detecting AI

              But safety is only one attraction of in-cabin monitoring. The systems also hold huge potential for harvesting the kind of behavioral data that Google, Facebook, and other surveillance capitalists have exploited to target ads and influence purchasing habits.

              Automakers and advertisers have come to a “vast realization” that as cars become more autonomous and embedded with screens, “many passengers in your vehicle are kind of a captive audience in an entertainment context,” Gabi Zijderveld, Affectiva’s chief marketing officer, told Motherboard.

            • India bans 47 Chinese apps and may ban 275 more

              Included in last month’s ban was the very popular video-sharing app TikTok, which was a big statement by India. At the time of the ban, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said that the country was “strongly concerned regarding the decision of the Indian government.”

              On Monday, a spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that some of the new bans were apps operating as clones for the ones already prohibited.

            • Matt Gaetz Files Criminal Referral of Mark Zuckerberg, Claims He Lied to Congress

              Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday sent a criminal referral to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, asking that the justice department investigate Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly lying to Congress.

              Gaetz based his request for an investigation on information he said he learned from a reports by the right-wing group Project Veritas. According to Gaetz, the James O’Keefe-founded group learned that Facebook censors conservative-leaning content on its platform, despite Zuckerberg’s April 2018 testimony to the contrary.

            • GOP lawmaker asks Barr to investigate Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for possibly lying to Congress

              Rep. Matt Gaetz asked Attorney General William P. Barr on Monday to have the Department of Justice investigate whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lied under oath to Congress.

              Mr. Gaetz, Florida Republican, wrote Mr. Barr to raise concerns about statements Mr. Zuckerberg made when he appeared on Capitol Hill twice in April to testify about Facebook.

              Citing reporting from sting-group Project Veritas, the congressman suggested Mr. Zuckerberg may have misled lawmakers when he asserted his social network does not suppress or otherwise censor content supportive of conservatives including President Trump.

            • [Old] Project Veritas: how fake news prize went to rightwing group beloved by Trump

              On Monday afternoon, Project Veritas, the discredited rightwing attack organization run by James O’Keefe that specializes in sting operations against liberal groups and the established media, was itself thoroughly exposed. The Washington Post turned the spotlight that O’Keefe had tried to put on the newspaper back on him by disclosing a plot to dupe its reporters into publishing an entirely false story.

            • [Old] The latest conservative scam got exposed. But it’s just one piece of a much bigger fraud.

              In subsequent years, O’Keefe has launched one failed scam after another designed to “catch” liberals and Democrats on video doing something unethical or illegal. The tactic has failed again and again. O’Keefe and three others were arrested and pled guilty to charges after posing as telephone repairmen in an apparent attempt to bug Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. After calling a staffer at George Soros’s Open Society Institute using an assumed name, he forgot to hang up the phone and left a long message in which he and colleagues discussed their plan to infiltrate the foundation. He put on an Osama bin Laden mask and waded into the Rio Grande.

              In short, O’Keefe is a fraudster and a buffoon. But here’s what’s important to know about him: He’s a fraudster and a buffoon who is treated like a serious person by substantial parts of the conservative movement. His organization, Project Veritas, had a budget of just under $5 million in 2016. He’s got dozens of employees.

              And O’Keefe won’t be slowed down by this latest embarrassment, because people on the right will still give him their money. How do I know that? Because it’s what they’ve been doing for decades.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Bonus Army Protest

        July 28 will mark almost the 90th anniversary of one of most controversial protests in U.S. history and yet it remains virtually unknown to most Americans. On that day, in 1932, 500 U.S. army infantrymen with loaded rifles, fixed bayonets and gas grenades containing a vomit inducing ingredient, 200 calvary, a machine gun squadron, 800 police and 6 M1917 army tanks, prepared to attack 17,000 unarmed men, plus thousands of their wives and children. Moments before the assault, Gen.Douglas MacArthur, in charge of the operation, turned to a police official standing next to him and said, “I will break the back of the enemy.”

      • Our Military Is the Virus

        The phrase “thinking about the unthinkable” has always been associated with the unthinkable cataclysm of a nuclear war, and rightly so. Lately, though, I’ve been pondering another kind of unthinkable scenario, nearly as nightmarish (at least for a democracy) as a thermonuclear Armageddon, but one that’s been rolling out in far slower motion: that America’s war on terror never ends because it’s far more convenient for America’s leaders to keep it going—until, that is, it tears apart anything we ever imagined as democracy.

      • Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, the U.S. War Machine Presses On

        That Russia paid the Taliban financial bounties to kill 18 U.S. and “coalition” soldiers in Afghanistan is in dispute to say the least. Both Democrats and Republicans cite various and conflicting official U.S. intelligence agencies on the veracity of this latest New Cold War episode. The July 9 New York Times reported, “The C.I.A. – as well as analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center – expressed medium or moderate confidence in that conclusion. The National Security Agency, which puts greater stock in surveillance intercepts, was more skeptical, officials have said.”

      • The United States Faces Irreparable Damage in a Cold or Hot Conventional War with China and its Allies

        Are any of the grand brains in administration of Donald Trump—or possibly a future Joe Biden presidency—thinking systematically about the costs of containing China; i.e., waging a Cold War against a nation of 1.4 billion people or actually fomenting a hot conventional war in the Western Pacific? It’s madness made worse by the fact that Trump, Biden and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are using tired tropes reminiscent of the language of that was employed during the USA vs USSR Cold War that saturated the consciousness of the American people and its Western European comrades.

      • “F-35s Don’t Help Families Pay Their Bills”: GOP Under Fire for Slipping $30 Billion Pentagon Gift Into Coronavirus Plan

        “Just how twisted is the Senate GOP coronavirus bill you ask? It includes $686 million for new F-35 fighter jets.”

      • “F-35s Don’t Help Families Pay Their Bills”: GOP Slips Pentagon Into COVID Bill

        In a floor speech late Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the GOP’s newly released coronavirus stimulus package as a “carefully tailored” plan to provide financial relief to desperate Americans.

      • The Breathtaking Hypocrisy of the US Condemning an Afghan Air Strike

        No matter the administration in Washginton, impunity and lack of accountability have been constants in the so-called War on Terror.

      • ‘Umbrella Man’ aimed to ‘incite violence’ during George Floyd protests, police say

        An email tip sent in last week alerted authorities about the man’s intentions to “sow discord and racial unrest,” Minneapolis police Officer Emily Christensen said in the affidavit, which was filed Monday.

      • Police: ‘Umbrella Man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting

        Christensen wrote in the affidavit that she watched “innumerable hours” of videos on social media platforms like Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube to try to identify the suspect, to no avail. Investigators finally caught a break when a tipster e-mailed the Minneapolis Police Department identifying the man as a member of the Hell’s Angels biker gang who “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” the affidavit said.

        A subsequent investigation revealed that the man was also an associate of the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood, a small white supremacist prison and street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky. Several of its members were present at the Stillwater incident.

        In the days after the rioting started, video of “Umbrella Man” ricocheted around social media, prompting a flurry of speculation about the man’s identity.

      • How the Defense Department is reorganizing for information warfare

        While each service is undertaking a slightly different approach toward information warfare, Defense officials have said there is a broad buy-in to a larger vision of how to fuse capabilities and better prepare to fight. Collectively, they show the breadth of the movement.

        Here are several ongoing efforts within the services and the Pentagon underway.

      • Turkey on the Warpath

        Turkey’s choice of names for its gas exploration ships are also a giveaway. The name of the main ship that Turkey is using for seismic “surveys” of the Greek continental shelf is Oruç Reis, (1474-1518), an admiral of the Ottoman Empire who often raided the coasts of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean that were still controlled by Christian powers. Other exploration and drilling vessels Turkey uses or is planning to use in Greece’s territorial waters are named after Ottoman sultans who targeted Cyprus and Greece in bloody military invasions. These include the drilling ship Fatih “the conqueror” or Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who invaded Constantinople in 1453; the drilling ship Yavuz, “the resolute”, or Sultan Selim I, who headed the Ottoman Empire during the invasion of Cyprus in 1571; and Kanuni, “the lawgiver” or Sultan Suleiman, who invaded parts of eastern Europe as well as the Greek island of Rhodes.

        Turkey’s move in the Eastern Mediterranean came in early July, shortly after the country had turned Hagia Sophia, once the world’s greatest Greek Cathedral, into a mosque. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then linked Hagia Sophia’s conversion to a pledge to “liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Climatologist Michael Mann on 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season: “Hate to Say, ‘We Told You So’”

        Citing his pre-season forecast predicting as many as 20 named storms, the expert now warns that “if anything, that might be too low…”

      • Holidays at home can help to slow climate heating

        Staycationing − spending holidays at home − can protect the planet by cutting the aircraft emissions which heat the Earth.

      • Paradise lost: Eviction looms for hermit living alone on Italian island

        Morandi, who has enjoyed a safe and isolated retreat during Italy’s Covid-19 emergency, believes authorities will serve him his eviction notice once summer is over.

        “All I ask is, if I must be sent away during the renovation works, that I can come back after and keep doing what I do each day: guard the endangered pink coral beach, keep tourists at bay, protect the nature. I fear that if I’m gone, it will be the end of Budelli too”.

      • Voters want Facebook to be accountable for climate misinformation, poll finds

        The poll comes on the heels of a high-profile moderation incident that called Facebook’s impartiality into question for many critics. Last August, Science Feedback reviewed an article from the Washington Examiner op-ed that used inaccurate information and cherry-picked datasets to cast doubt on the accuracy of climate change models. Science Feedback’s experts determined that the article was “highly misleading” and rated it as false.

        That rating should have reduced its reach on Facebook. But the CO2 Coalition, a group that that rejects mainstream climate science and posted the Washington Examiner article, put up a fight. Ultimately, it convinced Facebook to remove the “false” rating, E&E News reported in June.

        “Placing statements that are verifiably false in an opinion section shouldn’t grant immunity from fact-checking,” Scott Johnson, science editor of the organization Science Feedback, told The New York Times this month. Science Feedback is one of Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers that helps it “identify and review false news.”

      • Energy

        • Unplugged: How the Gas Industry Is Fighting Efforts to Electrify Buildings

          Natural gas constitutes a vast majority, about 80 percent, of the direct fossil fuel CO2 emissions from the residential and commercial sectors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Transitioning away from direct fossil fuel use in buildings is key for de-carbonizing and meeting climate targets, experts say.

        • Whistleblower Center Warns Fossil Fuel Industry Fraud Spurred By Climate Change Is A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

          Fossil fuel companies dramatically understate the risks posed to them by climate change and threaten the global economy, according to the National Whistleblower Center (NWC).

          NWC, a whistleblower advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., compiled a report [PDF], “Exposing a Ticking Time Bomb: How Fossil Fuel Industry Fraud is Setting Us Up For A Financial Implosion—and What Whistleblowers Can Do About it.”

    • Finance

      • ‘Voters Will Know Who to Blame’: Poll Shows At Least 7 in 10 Americans Support $1 Trillion State and Local Aid GOP Refuse to Provide

        “Senators can no longer ignore the calls of voters, local elected officials, and economists who have repeatedly called for this relief.”

      • Progressive Caucus Demands Democrats Reject GOP Plan to ‘Unleash Widespread Suffering’ on the American People

        “The Republican proposal is nothing less than a policy of mass evictions, mass homelessness, mass poverty, and mass hunger.”

      • Raise the Social Cost: an Important Strategic Concept

        In the late 1960’s, McGeorge Bundy, who had been the national security adviser to Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, in a debate at MIT, said he had turned against the Vietnam War. Bundy said he now favored U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam not because the U.S. war was immoral or wrong or not in U.S. “interests”, but rather because college students, including at elite schools were becoming radicalized. Rather than becoming government officials and administrators or corporate managers, they were rejecting these future possibilities and becoming revolutionaries who wanted to overthrow and transform the U.S. economic and social system. McGeorge Bundy, a faithful servant of the ruling class, was in essence admitting that the social costs of pursuing the Vietnam War had become too high because it was weakening the stability and reproduction of the U.S. empire and domestic rule.

      • Not the ‘Heals Act’ But the ‘Heels Act’: GOP Covid-19 Plan Puts Corporate Greed Before Human Need

        What if we ignored corporations and their billionaire CEOs and owners altogether, gave them nothing, and instead directed all our efforts to providing unemployment and other benefits to individual human beings?

      • ‘Pathetic Would Be Too Mild a Word’: Sanders Rips GOP Plan to Subsidize Business Meals as Children Go Hungry

        “Millions of families in this country are facing hunger; there’s not an additional nickel in their package for nutrition programs for children or for working people.”

      • Property May Not Be Theft, but It’s Not NOT Theft

        In a recent essay for The Nation, I argued that property destruction needs to be taken seriously as a coherent, intelligent form of political speech. Reframing property destruction as a fully conscious, intelligent form of resistance is important for a number of reasons. It forces us to distinguish between violence against people (often in the name of property protection) and violence against non-living things. It explicitly acknowledges the role of coercion in political struggle that is obscured by a reductive notion of nonviolence as the gold standard of democratic change. And it invites us to examine something so fundamental to the very terms of our political thought that it often escapes scrutiny. Namely, private property.

      • The US Chamber of Commerce Says Trump Is Bad for Business
      • The GOP’s Disgraceful HEALS Act Will Cost Millions of Jobs and Protect Bad Employers While Failing to Help People

        This bill will lead to deep and prolonged pain.

      • ‘Utter Disgrace’: GOP Proposes Legal Immunity for Corporations, $0 in Funding for States, and Deep Cuts to Unemployment Benefits

        “Republicans have wasted months coming up with a proposal that, remarkably, would make the pandemic and economic pain even worse—especially a corporate immunity provision that would be a literal death sentence to countless Americans.”

      • Many Terms That Are Frequently Used to Describe Capitalism Simply Don’t Hold Up Under Scrutiny

        Capitalism is not, as its defenders like to claim, defined by “free” or “private” enterprises. Likewise, “free” or “unregulated” markets do not define capitalism. Politics and ideology drive its defenders to choose those definitions over clearly better, different definitions. The causes and consequences of conflicts over definition are part of today’s mounting battles over capitalism.

      • People of Color Are Facing Economic Devastation While Police Get a Blank Check

        Increasingly, activists are drawing connections between police killings and rising inequality across class and racial lines.

      • Even If Biden Wins in a Blowout, the Economy Still Isn’t Coming Back

        COVID-19 has not only presented the global economy with its greatest public health challenge in over a century, but also likely killed off the notion of America’s “unipolar moment” for good. That doesn’t mean full-on autarky or isolationism but, rather, enlightened selfishness, which allows for some limited cooperation. Donald Trump’s ongoing threats to impose additional tariffs on a range of EU exports are exacerbating this trend as the old post-World War II ties between the two regions continue to fray. Even the possibility of a Biden administration is unlikely to presage a reversion to the status quo ante. Regionalization and multipolarity will be the order of the day going forward.

      • They Sued Thousands of Borrowers During the Pandemic — Until We Started Asking Questions

        A Silicon Valley-based installment lender that caters to Latino immigrants announced on Tuesday that it would drop all the lawsuits it has filed against borrowers who fell behind on payments, including during the coronavirus pandemic.

        Oportun Inc. also said it would cap interest rates on new loans at 36% — a percentage that consumer advocates consider the gold standard for smaller personal loans.

      • Trump’s Worst Attacks on Workers

        Well, here’s a clue: Tucked away on page 203 of the COVID stimulus package backed by Trump, is an obscure provision that delivers a whopping $135 billion in tax breaks to millionaire real estate developers and hedge fund managers. One real estate tycoon who stands to profit handsomely from the provision is none other than the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. In total, the cash secretly spent on tax cuts for millionaires in the COVID-19 package is more than three times as much money as was included for emergency housing and food relief.Kushner isn’t the only Trump insider getting paid off during the pandemic. Forty lobbyists with ties to Donald Trump have helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal COVID aid. And if Trump succeeds in getting the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the richest 0.1 percent of Americans will get an average additional tax cut of $198,000 each per year. Donald Trump is no working-class champion. He’s a corporate con man – the culmination of a rigged-for-the-rich system that’s shafting working Americans at every turn.

      • ‘Please stop evicting the poor’ Sisulu pleads with landlords

        Landlords have been urged not to evict people who cannot pay rent due to the economic crisis prompted by the lockdown, and instead practice “ubuntu”.

        This is an appeal by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, after meeting Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato on Tuesday.

        Plato, in his statement after the pair met, said he had warned Sisulu about a “lack of police support for anti-land invasion operations in Cape Town” and she agreed to take this up with Police Minister Bheki Cele.

        “It was agreed by all that land invasions cannot be tolerated and must be prevented. I appreciate the national minister’s support in this regard given the overwhelming coordinated nature of land invasions and related criminality,” Plato said.

        Sisulu, in her statement, explained her “appeal to landlords who have been providing shelter to our people not to evict them”.

        “We all understand that the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic has resulted in people losing their jobs and has hit already destitute communities particularly hard.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Campaign Gets Pissed At Wireless Carriers For Blocking Unwanted Political Spam

        While the United States talks a lot about our heroic efforts to combat robocalls and unwanted text messages, the reality is we just aren’t very good at it. Most of our initiatives go comically out of their way to fixate exclusively on “scammers,” ignoring that the biggest source of unwanted robocalls and spam texts is usually legitimate companies and debt collectors, who often utilize many of the same tactics to harass targets they know can’t pay. And while we like to crow often about “record” fines levied against bad actors, the FCC has only collected $6,790 in actual penalties of the $208 million in fines doled out so far.

      • Why Biden May Follow Through on a Bolder Agenda

        With Joe Biden’s polling lead growing, more attention is being paid to what he might do as president. The signals have been contradictory to say the least. After positioning himself as a resolute moderate to win delegates for the nomination, he announced that this was “a real inflection in American history” not unlike “what Roosevelt [faced].” When the six task forces he set up with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hammered out a party platform, Sanders announced that “the compromise that they came up with, if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR.” But as The New York Times’ Michelle Cottle pointed out, Biden’s closest advisers are veteran Democratic Party operatives from the Clinton and Obama eras, not known for original, much less radical, thinking. So the question remains—what will Biden do?

      • Winning Requires Vision, Strategy, and Numbers

        Winning is the primary task of any political organizing effort. Generally speaking, in order to win, people must change the power dynamic between elites and the rest of us. Right now, ordinary people have very little actual power, but plenty of potential power. Elites hold institutional power, but their power is unstable, based on coercion, and requires our cooperation and participation.

      • Revisions on China: Abandoning the Nixon Legacy

        There is little doubt about it. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the puffed-up hawk of the Trump administration, talons at the ready, beak protruding. While the president coos at the prospect of seeing, or admiring, the next strongman of international relations, Pompeo hovers over selected authoritarian targets. This Jekyll-Hyde appraisal of foreign policy is a ready recipe for chaos and one that has done much to confuse Washington’s friends and foes.

      • ‘Unacceptable, Un-American, and Unconstitutional’: Six Mayors Demand Congress Block Federal Agents From US Cities

        “This provocation is resulting in direct physical harm to our communities and must end.”

      • Trump is Daring Us to Stop Him

        President Donald Trump’s recent reelection campaign advertisement is straight out of the plot of a horror movie. Just days after he deployed federal officers to the streets of Portland, Oregon, his campaign released a 30-second television spot featuring an elderly white woman watching on her television the news of activists demanding a defunding of police. The woman shakes her head in disapproval as she notices a figure at her door trying to enter her house. She nervously calls 911, but apparently the activists she disapproves of have been so effective in their nefarious demands that the universal emergency hotline Americans rely on now goes unanswered. The vulnerable woman drops her remote control as the intruder enters her home, and we are only left to imagine the horror of what he does to her as the words “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America” appear on the screen. In this dystopian version of America, only Trump promises law and order.

      • Biden Surges in the Polls But Trump Doubles Down on the Economy to Stop Him

        A mid-July Washington Post-ABC News poll found that Biden leads Trump by double digits. It was conducted by telephone among a random national sample of 1,006 adults, with 75 percent reached on cell phones and 25 percent on landlines. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

      • Watchdog Group Lays Out Case for William Barr’s Impeachment Ahead of Testimony Before Congress

        “An impeachment inquiry is the only way to put an end to the dangerous path we are on.”

      • Brazilian Health Workers File ICC Complaint Arguing Bolsonaro Covid-19 Response Has Been Crime Against Humanity

        Catholic bishops in Brazil are also accusing the government of systematically using “unscientific arguments… to normalize a Covid-19 plague that is killing thousands.”

      • Wartime President

        This self-styled wartime president’s disposed To mock all masks and states that keep bars closed. A list of acts like these we should compile, In case some day we hold a war crimes trial.

      • Disability is Shaping the 2020 Presidential Race—But Not in the Way That It Should

        If you take Donald Trump’s word for it, he’s “all there,” while his presumed Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, may not be. According to Trump, doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center found the president’s performance on a recent cognitive exam “unbelievable,” given the extent to which Trump “aced the test.” Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News that the test refutes claims from “the radical left” concerning the president’s diminished mental state. “I proved I was all there,” he exclaimed, while also insisting that Biden “should take the same exact test, a very standard test.”

      • Donald Trump and the Use of Psychology

        In 1999, Justin Kruger and David Dunning wrote a paper, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” The paper provided, with unparalleled accuracy, an explanation for Donald Trump’s temperament and behavior.

      • Counting the Many Ways the GOP Senate Covid-19 Relief Plan Would Fail Struggling Families and the Economy

        The Senate Republican proposal fails to come close to meeting the scale and nature of the challenges we face.

      • In Light of Supreme Court Ruling, ACLU Says Trump’s Latest Move to Undermine DACA ‘Patently Illegal’

        “There is absolutely no reason for this,” said immigration rights activist Erika Andiola. “Nothing. Not a legal reason. Not a political reason. Just hate.”

      • Barr to Attack Russia Investigation, “Violent Rioters” in First House Testimony

        Attorney General William Barr is expected to attack Democrats and the Department of Justice’s own investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia during his first appearance Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee.

      • Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation issued two fines for violating Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ law

        On Tuesday, July 28, Moscow’s Simonovsky Court issued two 300,000-ruble ($4,140) fines to opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) for violating Russia’s “foreign agents” law, MBK Media reports.

      • GOP Stimulus Bill Shows McConnell and Trump Are Perfectly Happy to Watch You Die

        Let us now turn our primers to the chapter titled, “Stuff That Should Have Happened Months Ago But Didn’t Because Mitch McConnell Said ‘No.’”

      • Democritus/Democracy

        Perhaps we could’ve been
        Much less discreet
        About dragging garbage
        Out into the street
        For barricades and towers
        Like Simon Rodia’s, in Watts —
        But to keep out the cars
        And to keep out the cops —
        Perhaps not
        It’s obvious, replies Democritus
        That some things can’t be cut
        Squares? They’re abstractions!
        You think these exist?
        Oh, no, rejoins Plato
        Who burns all Democritus’ books
        That! Is! The Nomos! Haha!
        He says, with a mouthful of baklava
        A fact!

      • Making Khabarovsk great again: Mikhail Degtyarev has a chance in Russia’s Far East to prove himself, but his new constituents don’t want the federal attention he offers

        Mikhail Degtyarev was appointed the acting governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk region on July 20, after President Putin declared a “loss of confidence” in Governor Sergey Furgal, following the latter’s arrest on murder charges. Degtyarev has been in office for about a week now and in that time mass protests against his predecessor’s ouster have only grown. The most recent Saturday rallies on July 25 were the biggest yet, according to multiple independent estimates. Demonstrators appear to be adopting more radical slogans, as well, as protesters last weekend shouted anti-Putin chants not previously heard in the region. Meduza special correspondent Anastasia Yakoreva, who’s spent more time in Khabarovsk than its acting governor, reviews Mikhail Degtyarev’s first week on the job and examines why his affinity for Russia’s federal authorities alienates his new constituents.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • NTIA Follows Trump’s Unconstitutional Order To Request The FCC Review Section 230

        As we mentioned on Friday, on Monday, the NTIA followed through on a key part of Trump’s executive order on Section 230, asking the FCC to weigh in on interpreting the law. Everything about this is crazy. The NTIA request was almost certainly written by a recently hired lawyer who has spent the last couple of years attacking Section 230. He’s also the same lawyer who sued Twitter on behalf of a white supremacist, and when I had reached out to him over email to ask him how that made sense under 230, insisted to me that Section 230 was a narrow statute that only applied if it was about protecting children. I can’t say for sure, but my email exchange with him suggested to me that he was wholly unaware of Section 230 prior to me asking about it. Either way, that case failed spectacularly, and Adam Candeub has spent the past two years attacking 230 on various panels. And now he’s deputy secretary at NTIA in charge of this issue.

      • Nick Sandmann’s Wacky QAnon Supporting Lawyer Threatens Reporters For ‘Speculating’ On Washington Post’s Settlement With Sandmann

        On Friday, we wrote about the bad reporting concerning Nick Sandmann’s settlement with the Washington Post, that nearly every knowledgeable lawyer figures was likely for “nuisance value” to get rid of the lawsuit. We noted that the NY Post’s coverage of it misleadingly suggested that the kid got many millions of dollars, when there’s no evidence to support that conclusion, and plenty to suggest he got very little. If you want a thorough debunking of “the kid got paid” narrative, this thread by @RespectableLawyer lays out the details. As we had noted in our post, the court had already rejected nearly all of the claims in the case, and only allowed it to be reinstated to allow for very narrow discovery on very narrow issues which Sandmann almost certainly would not have won on. There was basically no chance Sandmann would win the case. So, a nuisance fee settlement makes it worthwhile to everyone. The paper gets out of the case for less than the cost of going through discovery and the whole summary judgment process, and Sandmann gets to say he got paid, without ever saying how little.

      • Citing U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarch, YouTube permanently blocks right-wing, Christian Orthodox news network

        YouTube has permanently blocked the account of the right-wing, Christian Orthodox news network Tsargrad TV. According to Interfax, Google’s press service cited the “violation of legislation on sanctions and trade rules” as the reason behind the decision. The United States sanctioned the network’s founder, Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, in 2014.

      • University of Hong Kong fires Occupy Central founder Benny Tai

        After many months of debate, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) council has voted to fire Benny Tai, an associate professor of law and pro-democracy figure.

        The council’s decision overrides a decision by the university’s senate earlier this month, which concluded that there were no grounds for Mr Tai’s dismissal. The council, the university’s governing body whose members are mostly not teaching staff or students, is responsible for management, finances and human resources. The senate, comprised mostly of professors and teachers, is responsible for academic matters and student welfare.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • First arrest during Khabarovsk protests targets ‘Furgalmobile’ driver

        Khabarovsk’s Central District Court has sentenced local protester Rostislav Buryak to eight days in prison, lawyer Vitaly Tykhta from the rights group “Human Rights Postcards” (“Pravozashchity Otkrytki”) told MBK Media. Buryak, an active participant in the ongoing protests in Khabarovsk, is best known as the owner of the so-called “Furgalmobile,” a food truck decorated with slogans in support of the region’s ousted governor, Sergey Furgal. 

      • McDonald’s Has a Real Sexual Harassment Problem

        Lois Jones started at McDonald’s when she was in her 20s. It was her first job. “I loved working for McDonald’s,” she said. “Don’t make no mistakes about it. I can take some food and turn it into a Sunday dinner. As long as I’m in the kitchen, I’m happy.”

      • For My Wife, Who Is Writing a Collection of Stories Called ‘Homescar’

        limpets leave once they’ve sealed into the rock and know

      • Real Answers Demanded After Barr Dodges on Government Authority to Aim ‘Intrusive Surveillance Tools’ at Protesters

        “The public needs to know whether Attorney General Barr thinks President Trump can conduct mass surveillance of protesters without congressional authorization.”

      • ‘This Is How It’s Done’: Must-Watch TV as Jayapal Tears Into William Barr at Oversight Hearing

        “Mr. Barr… I’m starting to lose my temper.”

      • Trump Is Lawless

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

      • We Don’t Need Trump’s Thugs in Chicago

        The excuse for sending federal police here is to protect federal property. The reality is that this is a cynical re-election ploy aimed at earning support for a law-and-disorder president.

      • Feds Attack! Trump’s Paramilitaries Invade American Cities

        Federal agents poured into Portland, Oregon this month to crack down on anti-racism protests. They beat up peaceful protesters and fired impact munitions at demonstrators, seriously injuring one of them. They drove around the city in unmarked vans pulling people off the street.

      • Call Trump’s Tactics What They Are: Fascist

        Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul responded appropriately to the news that President Trump intends to dispatch federal agents to Milwaukee, as Trump’s agents continue to create chaos in Portland, Ore.

      • Majority of Americans Back Black Lives Matter Protests and Think Demonstrations Will Help Racial Justice: Poll

        A new Gallup survey shows that 65% of U.S. adults support the protests.

      • The US Occupation of Haiti

        The only reason the corrupt, repressive and illegitimate Jovenel Moïse is currently president of Haiti is due to US (and Canadian) support.

      • “Defendant Shall Not Attend Protests”: In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights

        Federal authorities are using a new tactic in their battle against protesters in Portland, Oregon: arrest them on offenses as minor as “failing to obey” an order to get off a sidewalk on federal property — and then tell them they can’t protest anymore as a condition for release from jail.

        Legal experts describe the move as a blatant violation of the constitutional right to free assembly, but at least 12 protesters arrested in recent weeks have been specifically barred from attending protests or demonstrations as they await trials on federal misdemeanor charges.

      • Portland’s ‘Wall of Moms’: A Nonviolent Resistance Campaign with Historical Precedent

        Soon after George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old Black man, was suffocated to death by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, a nationwide response to his killing reenergized the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. BLM was founded in 2013 after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer. It has only grown and evolved in the years since, especially strategically. The movement’s demands include an end to systemic racism, racial injustice and police brutality; the arrest, prosecution and conviction of killer cops; the removal of monuments and statues which commemorate Confederate figures and other white supremacists; and the defunding of our archaic and oppressive policing system. The movement for Black lives operates based on the principle that the interconnected roots of structural racism, racial oppression and police violence – colonialism, genocide, white supremacy and capitalism – must be confronted and dismantled together. Moreover, it recognizes the importance and significance of functioning as an intersectional and multiracial struggle for liberation and justice.

      • No Paper Trail: Migrant Children Secretly Held in Hampton Inn Hotels Before Expulsion from U.S.

        Under a shocking new Trump administration policy, hundreds of people who came to the United States seeking asylum were secretly held in hotels for days on end before being expelled from the country, often with little or no paper trail. This includes more than 200 unaccompanied immigrant children — including babies and toddlers — who were taken to hotels near the Texas-Mexico border by a private contractor for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “The Trump administration has been just basically expelling them without due process and without any paper trail,” says Zenén Jaimes Pérez, advocacy director for the Texas Civil Rights Project, which helped uncover the abuse. We also speak with Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

      • Migrant Children Secretly Held in Hampton Inn Hotels Before Expulsion From US

        Under a shocking new Trump administration policy, hundreds of people who came to the United States seeking asylum were secretly held in hotels for days on end before being expelled from the country, often with little or no paper trail. This includes more than 200 unaccompanied immigrant children — including babies and toddlers — who were taken to hotels near the Texas-Mexico border by a private contractor for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “The Trump administration has been just basically expelling them without due process and without any paper trail,” says Zenén Jaimes Pérez, advocacy director for the Texas Civil Rights Project, which helped uncover the abuse. We also speak with Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

      • Your Questions About the New York City Police Complaint Data, Answered

        Since we published The NYPD Files, we’ve fielded a number of questions about the data from readers. We’ve answered a few of the most common ones here.

        What data did you release?

      • ProPublica Releases NYPD Discipline Records Its Union Thought It Had Talked A Court Into Keeping Secret

        Forty-five years after a law was passed in New York allowing public agencies to withhold employees’ disciplinary records from the public, it was finally taken off the books by the state’s legislature. The law — known by its statute number “50-a” — hadn’t really been an obstacle to the limited transparency begrudgingly extended by the NYPD until the department suddenly decided it was no longer interested in sharing information about disciplined officers with journalists.

      • Top NYPD Official Says Cops Don’t Need To Worry About Being Criminally Charged For Violating Chokehold Ban

        Surprising exactly no one, an NYPD official has declared NYPD officers to be above the law. In response to the George Floyd killing — a killing carried out by a Minnesota police officer who crushed Floyd’s throat with his knee until no pulse could be detected… and then continued for another three minutes — resulted in the city passing a new law forbidding officers from choking the life out of arrestees. Seems reasonable.

      • Jayapal: Barr Called BLM “Terrorists” But Ignored Armed Michigan Protesters

        In an exchange with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr revealed that he is oblivious to widely reported threats of violence made by right-wing “reopen” protesters, even as he has backed the Trump administration’s vicious crackdown on racial justice protesters.

      • ‘Threats are a familiar thing for me’ Dagestani journalist Svetlana Anokhina on covering women’s issues in Russia’s North Caucasus

        On July 22, an unknown man phoned Dagestani journalist Svetlana Anokhina several times and threatened to kill her. The caller promised to “deal with feminists,” apparently referring to Anokhina’s work as the chief editor of Daptar.ru, an independent outlet that has been reporting on women’s issues in Russia’s North Caucasus region for the past six years. After she reported this death threat to the police, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for a “swift and thorough investigation,” underscoring Anokhina’s need for adequate protection. In conversation with Meduza, Anokhina discusses the most recent threats against her and the reality of reporting on women’s rights in Dagestan.

      • Are protesters getting sprayed with expired tear gas? If so, that’s not good

        “The fact that they have expiration dates makes it deeply concerning that they’re using expired tear gas,” Dr. Rohini J. Haar, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health who focuses on human rights issues, told Salon. “It’s really difficult to know what the breakdown products are because manufacturers are not transparent about what exactly is in those canisters — the solvent, the combustibles and all of that.” After noting that there is no evidence about whether expired tear gas is more or less dangerous, Haar argued that the bigger problem is that we do not know what is in the canisters in the first place.

        “I think some transparency about what chemicals are in there would give us some insight into how they break down and what the degradation products are. We don’t have that information,” Haar explained.

      • Police: Richmond riots instigated by white supremacists disguised as Black Lives Matter

        Six people were arrested. The mayor of Richmond thanked the Black Lives Matter protesters he said tried to stop the white supremacists from spearheading the violence.

      • Egypt TikTok: Female influencers jailed over ‘indecent’ videos

        “The Economic Court in Cairo sentenced Mawada al-Adham and Haneen Hossam and three others to two years in prison and fined them 300,000 Egyptian pounds each,” the state-owned website al-Ahram reported.

        “They are accused of violating the values and principles of Egyptian society and posting indecent photos and videos disturbing to public morals,” al-Ahram added.

      • Islamists Involved In The Murder Of Egyptian Intellectual Farag Foda In 1992 Appear In Al-Jazeera Documentary; Abu Al-Ela Abd Rabbo Who Was Involved In The Assassination: I Acted In Accordance With Shari’a Law; I Believe Allah Will Reward My Actions

        On June 15, 2020, Al-Jazeera Network aired a documentary about the 1992 assassination of Egyptian secularist Farag Foda by members of the Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyya Islamist group. In the documentary, Islamic researcher Ayman Abd Al-Rahim and former Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyyah leader Nageh Ibrahim criticized Farag Foda’s views regarding the Islamic caliphate and its legitimacy. One of Foda’s assassins, Egyptian Islamist Abu Al-Ela Abd Rabbo, said that he killed Farag Foda because of the fatwa issued by Al-Azhar University scholars, that declared Foda to be an apostate and because the Mubarak regime had been suppressing Islamist groups while allowing Foda to continue spreading secular ideologies. Abd Rabbo said that he acted in accordance with shari’a law and that he does not regret his actions because he hopes Allah will reward him on Judgement Day.

      • Defund the police? Milwaukee eyes future amid Black Lives Matter protests, coronavirus budget crunch
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • California Legislator Introduces Anti-Rural Fiber Legislation That Prioritizes DSL

        Frontier’s bankruptcy has serious consequences for Americans, including 2 million Californians, who are stuck with their deteriorating DSL monopoly. After deciding for years to never upgrade their networks to fiber—despite the fact that, according to their own bankruptcy filing, they could have profitably upgraded 3 million customers to gigabit fiber already—the pyramid scheme of milking dying DSL assets caught up to the company. This has forced rural communities in California that either lack access to the Internet, or have been dependent on decaying copper DSL lines provided by Frontier Communications, into a serious predicament. The solution, of course, is for the state to build fiber in those markets by empowering local governments and small private ISPs to do the job Frontier neglected for so long.

        But, rather than leave this mega-corporation to its own demise and chart out a better future for Californians, a bill  introduced by Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry, A.B. 570, proposes to amend the state’s Internet infrastructure program to prioritize DSL upgrades over fiber.

    • Monopolies

      • Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook face an antitrust grilling

        Critics of America’s largest tech firms hope that a congressional hearing on July 29th—postponed by two days because the late Congressman John Lewis was lying in state in the Capitol—will unleash a similar dynamic. For the first time the chief executives of Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon, Apple and Facebook will together face the questions of lawmakers in Washington. Yet the chances are that the proceedings will prove far less momentous.

      • Big Tech is going on trial

        The main purpose of Wednesday’s hearing is for Zuckerberg, Pichai, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Apple’s Tim Cook to address the evidentiary record the committee has already prepared over the last 13 months, an intimidating number of documents that no tech CEO has reckoned with since Microsoft’s antitrust charges in the ‘90s. At the end of this probe, the committee intends to publish a report in the coming months detailing how the executives’ respective companies have avoided liability under current antitrust laws because those competition rules were never crafted with the tech industry’s behaviors in mind.

      • Patents

        • USPTO Issues Final Rule to Revise PTA Rules in View of Supernus v. Iancu

          According to the Office’s notice, the revisions to the rules will specify a period of reduction corresponding to “the period from the beginning to the end of the applicant’s failure to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution” as opposed to the consequences to the Office of applicant’s failure to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution.

          In Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu, the Federal Circuit reversed the entry of summary judgment by the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which concluded that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had not erred in calculating the PTA for U.S. Patent No. 8,747,897. During prosecution of U.S. Application No. 11/412,100, which issued as the ’897 patent, the Examiner issued a final Office Action, and Supernus responded by filing a Request for Continued Examination (RCE). After filing the RCE, Supernus was notified that an opposition had been filed in related European Patent No. EP 2 010 189 (which had issued from a European application corresponding to an International application that claimed priority from the ’100 application). One hundred days after the European Patent Office’s notification of the opposition, Supernus filed a supplemental Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) citing the Notice of Opposition and other documents concerning the opposition. The USPTO ultimately issued the ’100 application as the ’897 patent, determining that the ’897 patent was entitled to 1,260 days of PTA. The Office’s PTA determination included an assessment of 886 days of applicant delay, of which 646 days were assessed for the time between the filing of the RCE and the submission of the supplemental IDS. Supernus filed a request for Reconsideration of Patent Term Adjustment, but the Office rejected Supernus’ request, concluding that the 646-day reduction in PTA was proper.

          Supernus challenged the Office’s PTA determination in the Eastern District of Virginia, contending that it was entitled to at least 546 of the 646 days of PTA reduction (i.e., the period of time between the filing of the RCE and the EPO notification of opposition). The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the USPTO, finding that the USPTO did not err in the PTA calculation for the ’897 patent.

      • Copyrights

        • R.E.M., Rolling Stones, Elton John and Dozens of Artists Send Letter Demanding End to Unauthorized Political Use of Music

          What do Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Lionel Richie, Courtney Love, Panic! at the Disco, Pearl Jam, Sia, Aerosmith, Lorde and Linkin Park have in common? Among probably many other things, one definite is a desire for politicians to keep their grubby hands off their music. (Unless, perhaps, they ask nicely.)

          Those and dozens of other artists have put their signatures to an open letter from the Artist Rights Alliance, addressed to to the Democratic and Republican national, congressional and senatorial committees, asking all parties to put an end to appropriating popular songs for political purposes without authorization.

        • Quibi Dominates Shortform Emmy Nominations

          The mobile-first video venture of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman scored 10 nominations across the five shortform categories, the most of any platform. It was a strong show of support from the television industry after a bumpy start for Quibi, which launched in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic in April and has struggled to attract subscribers. (The company said 5.6 million people downloaded the app in its first three months but has yet to disclose how many paying subscribers Quibi has.)

        • Former Google Engineer Argues Prison Term Is a ‘Death Sentence’

          Levandowski, who agreed to plead guilty, countered that 12 months of home confinement and community service is enough.

          Levandowski “raided Google’s repositories and stole proprietary information that would have undoubtedly been useful to him,” prosecutors said in a filing. Had he not been caught, the stolen files might have made the engineer “the savior” of Uber’s self-driving program.

        • UEFA Launches Tender for Multi-Faceted Anti-Piracy Partner

          EUFA has published a tender inviting anti-piracy companies to minimize the effect of unauthorized streaming and downloading. The European football body is looking for a company that can provide protection on all fronts, covering live and non-live content, apps, IPTV services, help with blocking orders, and more.

        • Jolly Roger’s Patrons: Report Exposes ‘Pirate’ CDNs and Their Financial Backers

          New research published by cybersecurity firm Group-IB aims to shine a light on the shadowy world of ‘pirate’ CDNs, the streaming sites they fuel, and the companies helping to finance their operations. Online casinos and bookmakers reportedly play a major role, with platforms using players’ gambling activities and losses to keep pirate sites afloat.

        • Publisher Decries Damn Libraries Entertaining The Masses Stuck At Home For Free

          For years and years we’ve pointed out that, if they were invented today, copyright maximalist authors and publishers would absolutely scream about libraries and probably sue them out of existence. Some insisted that we were exaggerating, but now we’ve seen nearly all of the big publishers sue the Internet Archive over its digital library that acts just like a regular library.

        • 2nd Circuit Refuses To Stop Sanctions Order On Troll Richard Liebowitz, So He Files Required Notices With Petulant Note Attached

          Infamous copyright troll Richard Liebowitz didn’t have a very good Monday. Facing massive sanctions and quite an incredibly detailed order exposing his long trail of disobeyed orders and lies to courts across the country, with just a week before he had to comply, Liebowitz (1) appealed to the 2nd Circuit to put a stay on the original order, and (2) asked the original judge to lift the non-monetary sanctions as being unfair. The district court judge, Jesse Furman, wasted almost no time at all in rejecting that request highlighting (among many other things) that Liebowitz and the actual lawyers he hired to represent him waited until about the last possible minute to make that request.

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