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08.13.20

Links 13/8/2020: New LibreOffice 6.4.x, Linspire 9.0, Endless OS 3.8.5

Posted in News Roundup at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Introduction to Web Hosting Bandwidth

        There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. Many service providers use the term as nothing but marketing strategy to lure potential buyers. Each time a visitor accesses any content of any website in the server, the data transfer consumes a portion of the allocated bandwidth. There is always a possibility that a sudden spike in visitors utilizes all the available bandwidth, resulting in slow loading and poor performance in general. Service providers say “unlimited” only because they know that under normal circumstances the server’s traffic will never use all the available resources.

        The most suitable web hosting plan (and bandwidth) for you is the package that suits your current needs. You don’t have to pay for the most expensive plan if you only have one or two websites with relatively low page numbers each. Unless you have a massive website with hundreds of pages, multimedia files, and thousands of visitors on a daily basis, the most expensive package from any service provider will most likely be a waste of money.

      • Trilio and Canonical extend partnership to enable data protection for Charmed OpenStack

        Canonical and Trilio, announced today an extension of their partnership to include TrilioVault data protection capabilities with Charmed OpenStack as a tested and validated joint solution. TrilioVault for OpenStack is a cloud-native, application-centric data protection platform that was designed to provide native backup and recovery for private cloud workloads.

      • Combination of A Cloud Guru and Linux Academy creates the most comprehensive, hands-on, and effective cloud learning solution for individual learners and enterprise teams

        Today A Cloud Guru (ACG), the leader in modern tech skills development, announced the launch of its new flagship ACG platform, forming the most comprehensive, hands-on, and effective skills development platform for cloud learning in the world. Following the December 2019 acquisition of Linux Academy (LA), the new platform combines the strengths and benefits of both ACG and LA products to offer an unparalleled solution for upleveling cloud skills among individual learners and enterprise teams.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 186: Quality Control in Linux, System76 Keyboard & DLN Game Fest!

        00:00 Intro
        00:44 Welcome to DL186
        01:06 Lower Deck
        01:48 What Ryan has been up to
        02:46 What Noah has been up to
        07:11 What Michael has been up to
        10:05 Digital Ocean https://do.co/dln
        11:34 Community Feedback: Linux Mint’s System Reports
        12:47 Noah’s suggestion to the Linux Foundation to help with Tech Support in Linux
        13:59 What does the Linux Foundation do?
        16:33 Send Us Feedback: comments@destinationlinux.org
        17:06 News: System76 Reimagining The Keyboard
        22:26 Security Advisory: Snapdragon Vulnerabilities (Android Users Need To Update)
        25:21 Bitwarden https://bitwarden.com/dln
        26:56 Topic of the Week: Quality Control in Linux (DLN Forum Thread)
        41:21 DLN Game Fest on August 30th at 4PM Eastern!
        43:48 Linux Gaming: Camp Canyonwood
        45:18 Tip of the Week: /boot
        47:17 ShellShock Added to DLN Game Fest by Patron Request
        48:19 Software Spotlight: ProtonMail Bridge
        48:52 Become a Patron of Destination Linux
        50:15 DLN Store https://dlnstore.com
        50:39 Join the DLN Community! (Ryan made Noah give up on the \being hip\ stuff this week lol)
        52:14 More Great Content at DestinationLinux.Network
        52:33 Journey itself . . .
        52:39 Preview of the Patron Post Show

      • FLOSS Weekly 591: PLATO & The Rise of Cyberculture – Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations

        P.L.A.T.O. is an acronym for Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations. Before the internet, there was the PLATO system which was not only computer-based education but, surprisingly, the first online community. Doc Searls talks with Shawn Powers and Brian Dear who was the author of Friendly Orange Glow which is the first book on PLATO. The book discusses the importance of PLATO. PLATO was the original incubator for social computing: instant messaging, chat rooms, message forums, the world’s first online newspaper, and so much more. PLATO also created flat-panel gas plasma displays and was one of the first systems with touch panels built-in to the screen. They discuss how PLATO and the rise of the cyberculture and the internet were due to the “Hacker Method” an agreement among early developers to share and have open code.

      • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 2 – FSF Elects President, Emacs 27.1, Mozilla Layoffs, HBO Drops Linux

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software. On this freedom-packed episode: 0:00 – Intro 1:27 – Free Software Foundation finally elects a new president.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 870

        samsung chromebook review, developing on chromebook, arduino, keypad programming

      • Noodlings | BIOS Games Serving the NDI™ Plugin

        18 Episodes… 18 is a fun number. Divisible by 2, 3, 6 and 9. The age you can vote in the United States.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E21 – Rabbit’s foot

        This week we’ve been exploring our computing past and getting sweets not computers from Amazon. We discuss new point releases of Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04 and 20.04, an Ubuntu restrospective infographic and KDE Neon 20.04. We also round up some events and tech news.

      • The Future of Unraid | Self-Hosted 25

        Jonathan Panozzo, aka Johnp join us to talk all things Unraid. He hints at future subscription plans, details performance features coming soon, shares the story of how Docker came to Unraid, and much more.

      • BSD Now Episode #363: Traditional Unix toolchains

        This episode of BSDNow is brought to you by Tarsnap

    • Kernel Space

      • Netgpu and the hazards of proprietary kernel modules

        On its face, the netgpu patch set appears to add a useful feature: the ability to copy network data directly between a network adapter and a GPU without moving it through the host CPU. This patch set has quickly become an example of how not to get work into the kernel, though; it has no chance of being merged in anything like its current form and has created a backlash designed to keep modules like it from ever working in mainline kernels. It all comes down to one fundamental mistake: basing kernel work on a proprietary kernel module.
        The use case for netgpu appears to be machine-learning applications that consume large amounts of data. The processing of this data is offloaded to a GPU for performance reasons. That GPU must be fed a stream of data, though, that comes from elsewhere on the network; this data follows the usual path of first being read into main memory, then written out to the GPU. The extra copy hurts, as does the memory-bus traffic and the CPU time needed to manage this data movement.

        This overhead could be significantly reduced if the network adapter were to write the data directly into the GPU’s memory, which is accessible via the PCI bus. A suitably capable network adapter could place packet data in GPU memory while writing packet headers to normal host memory; that allows the kernel’s network stack to do the protocol processing as usual. The netgpu patch exists to support this mode of operation, seemingly yielding improved performance at the cost of losing some functionality; anything that requires looking at the packet payload is going to be hard to support if that data is routed directly to GPU memory.

      • Some statistics from the 5.8 kernel cycle

        Linus Torvalds released the 5.8 kernel on August 2, concluding another nine-week development cycle. By the time the work was done, 16,306 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository for this release. That happens to be a record, beating the previous record holder (4.9, released in December 2016) by 92 changesets. It was, in other words, a busy development cycle. It’s time for our traditional look into where that work came from to see what might be learned.

        A total of 1,991 developers contributed to 5.8, which is another record; 304 of those developers appeared for the first time in this cycle. The community added over 924,000 lines of code and removed around 371,000 for a net growth of over 553,000 lines of code.

      • FUSE Read/Write Passthrough Updated For Much Better File-System Performance

        Of various criticisms around FUSE for implementing file-systems in user-space, one of the most prolific issues is around the performance generally being much lower than a proper file-system kernel driver. But with the FUSE passthrough functionality that continue to be worked on, there is the potential for much better FUSE file-system performance.

        The ongoing FUSE passthrough work is about allowing the passthrough read/write of files in avoiding at times unnecessary overhead of the user-space FUSE daemon. When operating in FUSE_PASSTHROUGH mode, the daemon can allow on a per-file basis opening in passthrough mode where all read and write operations are forwarded by the kernel directly to the lower file-system rather than to the FUSE daemon running in user-space.

      • Navi 2 Fixes, Other Graphics/Display Fixes Sent In For Linux 5.9

        Following all of the feature updates to the open-source GPU/DRM drivers for Linux 5.9 that included a lot of new material, the first batch of fixes have now been sent in for mainline in addressing early fallout from these many changes.

        Ahead of the Linux 5.9-rc1 release this weekend, an initial batch of Direct Rendering Manager fixes were sent out on Thursday.

      • How the ARM32 Linux kernel decompresses

        This is intended as a comprehensive rundown of how the Linux kernel self-decompresses on ARM 32-bit legacy systems. All machines under arch/arm/* uses this method if they are booted using a compressed kernel, and most of them are using compressed kernels.

      • Walleij: How the ARM32 Linux kernel decompresses

        For those who are into the details: here is a step-by-step guide through the process of decompressing an Arm kernel and getting ready to boot from Linus Walleij.

    • Intel

      • Intel Offers New Xe Graphics Details, Product Updates At 2020 Architecture Day

        This week Intel held their 2020 Architecture Day, albeit virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of interesting technical information was shared on both the hardware and software sides. Here are some of the interesting highlights.

      • Intel Is Using IGC In Their Windows Drivers, Internal Prototype For Mesa

        At Intel’s Architecture Day this week the company was talking about work on their new Windows graphics driver that is being timed for Xe but supporting existing generations of hardware as well. One of the interesting takeaways was seeing the Windows driver is now using the open-source “IGC” back-end.

      • Intel oneAPI 1.0 “Gold” Is Coming Later This Year

        Recently I wrote about it looking like oneAPI 1.0 was lining up and now there is further confirmation of the first production release of this Intel software collection indeed coming this year.

        After oneAPI was announced in late 2018 at Intel’s Architecture Day, it was released in early form last year and the various software components making up this collection of interfaces to exploit the potential of Intel’s diverse hardware offerings have continued to advance.

    • Applications

      • QEMU version 5.1.0 released

        We’d like to announce the availability of the QEMU 5.1.0 release. This release contains 2500+ commits from 235 authors.

      • QEMU 5.1.0 released

        Version 5.1.0 of the QEMU processor emulator is out. “This release contains 2500+ commits from 235 authors.” Enhancements consist mostly of additional hardware emulation, of course, but it doesn’t stop there; see the changelog for lots of details.

      • QEMU 5.1 Release Brings Many Improvements To This Open-Source Virtualization Component

        QEMU 5.1 is now available for this important piece of the open-source Linux virtualization stack.

        There are plenty of changes across the board with QEMU 5.1 while some of the highlights standing out include:

        - Support for live migration on AMD EPYC systems with nested virtualization.

        - Persistent Memory Region (PMR) support from the NVMe 1.4 specification.

      • Checking out FreeCAD

        Our look at running a CNC milling machine using open-source software led me to another tool worth looking at: FreeCAD. I wasn’t previously familiar with the program, so I decided to check it out. In this article I will walk through my experiences with using FreeCAD for the first time to do a variety of CNC-related tasks I normally would have used a commercial product for. I had varying degrees of success in my endeavors, but in the end came away with a positive opinion.

        FreeCAD is an LGPL v2+ licensed CAD and CAM program written in Python and C++. The first release of the project was in 2002, and its last stable version 0.18.4 was released in October 2019. The project’s GitHub page indicates that it has 271 contributors with new commits happening often (generally more than 50 a week). Beyond code contributions, FreeCAD has a welcoming community with active forums to answer any questions users might have along the way. FreeCAD is designed to be cross-platform, supporting Linux, macOS, and Windows, with binary releases provided by the OS-independent package and environment management system Conda.

        I decided to take on a relatively simple CNC project: milling a new street-address sign for my home. The plan called for a 700mm x 150mm sign, and I decided to mill it out of a plank of maple wood. The design I have in mind is pretty straightforward, so it should be a great way to put FreeCAD through a test on a real project. I also looked at using FreeCAD for taking existing models that are available online with an open license and importing them for milling (in this case, a wooden spoon).

        It is worth noting that before this effort I had never used FreeCAD before. My personal goal is to become fluent enough with FreeCAD that I can replace my dependence on the commercial CAD software I presently use in my design work. The goal of this article, however, is to share what my experience with FreeCAD was, and provide a glimpse of FreeCAD from the perspective of an inexperienced user.

      • 9 Best Emacs-Like Text Editors

        Over the years, one of the most emotive areas in the world of Linux is the choice of text editor. Some people are strong advocates of Vim, others prefer Emacs. And there’s tons of other text editors available with strong backing. Having robust opinions is the way the land lies in Linux.

        Emacs has a long and revered history. The original program was written in 1976 as a set of macros for an existing text editor called TECO. Emacs originally was an acronym for Editor MACroS, unifying the many TECO command sets and key bindings. TECO is both a character-oriented text editor and an interpreted programming language for text manipulation.

        Emacs has come a long way since 1976. It offers a robust Lisp interpreter that is hugely extensible and hackable. It brought to light lots of novel concepts such as an infinite clipboard, tree-based exploration of history, a reverse variable search, structural editing of code, and recursive editing that let you stop what you are doing, perform other edits, and then revert back to the original task.

        Emacs is an incremental programming environment, a mutable environment that provides functionality without applications.

      • Michael Kerrisk (manpages): man-pages-5.08 is released

        I’ve released man-pages-5.08. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

        This release resulted from patches, bug reports, reviews, and comments from more than 30 contributors. The release includes more than 190 commits that change around 340 pages.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • How to Find New and Exciting Games to Play on Android
      • 16 of the Best Free Games For Linux

        “Free” and “Linux” go hand in hand beautifully, like chips and a milkshake, and even though Linux isn’t widely seen as a gaming platform, there is a veritable wealth of free games you can get for it if you look in the right places. That’s in large part thanks to unpaid, open-source developers, who collaborate to bring classics (and new games) all together in Linux.

      • Quirky comedy point and click adventure ‘Sol 705′ is out now for Linux PC

        Sol 705, a point and click adventure that pays homage to the classics from the likes of Lucas Arts, Sierra is out now and it’s added Linux PC support too.

        Developed by Land Patricio and Space Indie Studios, it appears this is a crowdfunded title that slipped through the cracks as we completely missed the successful Kickstarter from 2018 where the developer pulled in over ten thousand dollars. While it’s designed like the classics, it does have plenty of modern touches from a hint system to voice acting for some of the seriously varied cast.

      • The Bomber Crew team announced Space Crew and it’s coming to Linux PC

        Did you enjoy Bomber Crew? Runner Duck’s strategic simulation game was a wonderful release from 2017 and they’re now going aiming to go further with Space Crew.

        This was actually announced back in June, although at that point the platforms it was launching on was not confirmed. Towards the end of July, I spotted Linux appearing in the system requirements and today the developer emailed back with a firm confirmation, “Yes, we are planning on Space Crew supporting Linux at launch.”.

      • Religion creation auto-battler Godhood has launched after a rough time for Abbey Games

        After going through funding and development troubles, Abbey Games have now launched the 1.0 release of their religion creation auto-battler Godhood.

        Quite a relaxing and laid-back experience that blends together a little bit of many things. You construct a religion, build up a little town and engage in hands-off turn-based battles that do everything for you so you get to sit back and watch how it all unfolds. Quite a different take on the auto-battling seen in the likes of Dota Underlords that’s for sure.

      • The free Rise of Avalon expansion for Albion Online is live

        Free to play and now much bigger, Albion Online has a brand new expansion out with Rise of Avalon and there’s lots of new goodies to play through.

        One of the biggest additions to Albion Online since it began, this brings the Roads of Avalon, a big network of magical pathways that bring new ways to travel, transport and engage in combat allowing you to explore the Wilderness of Avalon. Another huge addition are Corrupted Dungeons, giving Solo players something fun that mixes PvE and PvP invasions together in randomized dungeons. There’s also fifteen powerful new Avalonian weapons to find.

      • Streets of Rogue gets a big bug-fix update as work continues on a sequel

        Streets of Rogue, one of my absolute favourite indie games has a new update out as work continues to find and fix every possible bug, plus a few new bits were added.

        Before getting into the juice of the update though, with the developer previously confirming a sequel is in the works (that should also come to Linux) they’ve briefly mentioned it again now. In the update notes, they mentioned how they’re building up the tech needed for the sequel and that it’s going “really smoothly.”. This work will allow for a much bigger and more open world, which sounds pretty exciting!

      • Unity Game Engine Planning For Many Improvements In 2021

        The popular, cross-platform Unity game engine is planning for a very exciting 2021.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Ships 20.08 Application Updates

          KDE has shipped their latest collection of applications with newest feature updates.

          The KDE “20.08″ application updates include changes like:

          - Many improvements to the Dolphin file manager to improve its usability and a number of refinements that make it feel more polished.

        • KDE Applications 20.08 Released with Many Improvements to Dolphin, Konsole, and More

          The KDE Project released today the KDE Applications 20.08 open-source office suite as the August 2020 apps update, but, in fact, a massive release that brings countless improvements and new features.

          KDE Applications 20.08 marks the end of life of the KDE Applications 20.04 series and it’s here to bring your KDE apps to the next level, implementing numerous new features and improving existing functionality to many of your favorite apps, including Dolphin, Konsole, Yakuake, Digikam, Kate, Elisa, KStars, Okular, Gwenview, and more.

          [...]

          The Konsole terminal emulator received much-needed attention too during the development of KDE Applications 20.08 and it brings some exciting new features, including the ability to copy the full path of a file or directory and paste it into another app or terminal, the ability to display a subtle highlight for new lines when the terminal output is rapidly scrolling, as well as to show thumbnail previews of image files when hovered with the mouse cursor.

        • Love Ubuntu but want the latest KDE Plasma? KDE neon now sits atop Ubuntu 20.04

          Merging together a solid Ubuntu 20.04 LTS foundation and the latest KDE Plasma packages, KDE neon has a fresh rebase out for you to try out.

          So what exactly is it? Is it another Linux distribution? Well, sort of. Not quite. It’s just the long-term supported versions of Ubuntu with the freshest releases of the KDE Plasma desktop environment (plus Qt and other KDE software) stuck on top of it. They said it’s for people who want “the latest and greatest from the KDE community but the safety and stability of a Long Term Support release”. So unlike Kubuntu, the official Ubuntu KDE distribution variant, you’re not stuck to the main version of Plasma it launches with.

        • KDE Neon 20.04 Review: Fast and Stable

          If you are a KDE fan, like always, this is good news. The latest KDE Neon 20.04 operating system is here. #kde #KDENEON

        • Qt Creator 4.13 RC released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.13 RC !

          For an overview of the improvements in Qt Creator 4.13, please head over to the first Beta blog post.

          The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under “Pre-releases”, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.13 RC is also available under Preview > Qt Creator 4.13.0-rc1 in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

          You can read the Qt Creator Manual in Qt Creator in the Help mode or access it online in the Qt documentation portal.

        • Qt Creator 4.13 RC Released With Initial Meson Integration, Updated C++ Code Model
        • KDE’s 20.08 Apps Updates: New Features land in Dolphin, digiKam, KStars, Konsole and More

          The updates to KDE apps released today are many, contain a wide array of changes, and cover an impressive number of applications.

          Dolphin, KDE’s file explorer, for example, adds previews for more types of files and improvements to the way long names are summarized, allowing you to better see what each file is or does. Dolphin also improves the way you can reach files and directories on remote machines, making working from home a much smoother experience. It also remembers the location you were viewing the last time you closed it, making it easier to pick up from where you left off.

        • KDE’s August 2020 Apps Update

          Dozens of KDE apps are getting new releases from KDE’s release service. New features, usability improvements, re-designs and bug fixes all contribute to helping boost your productivity and making this new batch of applications more efficient and pleasant to use.

          [...]

          Dolphin is KDE’s file explorer that helps you search, copy, and open files and folders. As such, one of its main functions is to give you a clear idea of what each file contains. Showing thumbnails is crucial for this and Dolphin has been able to show you previews of images, video clips, even Blender 3D files for a long time now.

          In this new version, Dolphin adds thumbnails for 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) files to the list and you can also see previews of files and folders on encrypted file systems such as Plasma Vaults. This is done securely by storing the cached thumbnails on the file system itself, or falling back to generating them but not storing cached versions anywhere if necessary. Either way, you are still in absolute control of how and when Dolphin shows you a file’s content, as you can independently configure the file size cut-off for displaying previews for local and remote files.

          Another way of identifying files is through their names. In case the file name is too long to display, developers have refined the file name shortening behavior. Instead of cutting out the middle of a long file and folder name as Dolphin did in prior versions, the new version cuts off the end and always keeps the file extension (if present) visible after the ellipses. This makes identifying files with long names much easier.

          Dolphin now remembers and restores the location you were viewing, as well as the open tabs, and split views you had open when you last closed it. This feature is on by default, but can be turned off in the “Startup” page of Dolphin’s “Settings” window.

          Talking of usability improvements, Dolphin has always let you mount and explore remote shares, be it via FTP, SSH, or other protocols. But now Dolphin shows remote and FUSE mounts with user-friendly display names rather than the full path. Even better: You can also mount ISO images using a new menu item in the context menu. This means you can download and explore a file system you will later burn to a disk or USB stick.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • Lightweight Linux Distros for Old Laptop (2020)

        Do not discard that old PC or laptop yet. You can use a lightweight Linux distro to make them as good as new. Some of these Linux distros are specifically for use in older machines.

        You can use any of the lightweight Linux distros and bring your old machine back to life. In as much we focus on the old distros, we do have some new releases that do not require many resources that can re-invent your old computers.

      • New Releases

        • Linspire 9.0 Released

          Today our development team is excited to announce the release of Linspire 9.0; packed with a TON of improvements and security updates, this is a major update that we’ve been working hard to get out to our faithful users. The global pandemic has delayed its release, but the development team has worked diligently and meticulously behind-the-scenes over the past few months, fine-tuning every detail of what is widely considered to be the premier Linux desktop on the market today.

          The Linspire 9.0 series will be the last one featuring the 18.04 LTS codebase; upcoming Linspire X will be based on the 20.04 LTS code and kernel.

        • Linspire 9.0 Officially Released, Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Linux 5.4 LTS

          Based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series, yet shipping with the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), Linspire 9.0 is available today with numerous improvements, security updates, and updated core components.

          Linspire 9.0 comes with a fully customized Xfce 4.14 desktop environment and ships with up-to-date packages from the soon-to-be-released Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS operating system, which includes the HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernel based on Linux 5.4 from Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS.

          Among the applications included, there’s the latest Google Chrome 84 web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.8 email client with the Lightning extension integrated, OnlyOffice office suite, VLC media player, KolourPaint painting program, Redshift utility, KPatience and DreamChess games, as well as Microsoft Powershell.

          Furthermore, users can now use the Btrfs, XFS, or JFS filesystem during the installation for the root file system. All multimedia codecs are present as well in this release for a complete media playback experience.

        • Endless OS 3.8.5

          Endless OS 3.8.5 was released for existing users today, August 10th, 2020.
          Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days.

        • CAELinux 2020 Released: A Linux Distro For Computer-Aided Engineering

          After almost half and year, Joël Cugnoni has announced the new 2020 version of CAELinux. The latest CAELinux 2020 is based on the long-term Xubuntu 18.04 release, and comes with several new tools and updated CAELinux core packages.

          Focusing on computer-aided design (CAD), CAELinux is a LiveDVD Linux distribution, which you can boot directly from DVD or USB flash drive without installation.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Tumbleweed Snapshots bring Kernel 5.8, Hypervisor FS Support with Xen Update

          This week openSUSE Tumbleweed delivered four snapshots that brought in a new mainline kernel for the distribution as well as a package for Xen that removes previous requirements of parsing log data or writing custom hypercalls to transport the data, and custom code to read it.

          The latest snapshot, 20200810, brought the 5.8.0 Linux Kernel that had a fix for missing check in vgacon scrollback handling and an additional commit from the previous version improves load balancing for SO_REUSEPORT, which can be used for both TCP and UDP sockets. The GNU Compiler Collection 10 update includes some Straight Line Speculation mitigation changes. GNOME had a few package updates in the snapshot with updates to accerciser 3.36.3, web browser epiphany 3.36.4 and GNOME games gnome-mines 3.36.1 and quadrapassel 3.36.04. The snapshot is trending at a rating of 84, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Infusing your UX writing with brand personality

          Brand can often be overused as a content term, but it can be overlooked as a content strategy. Plenty of folks rave about building their brand, promoting their company brand, creating brand recognition, and so on. But how many of those people actually consider the vast array of content channels that should be on-brand?

          Yes, blog posts and other marketing collateral should reflect your brand, but you might be overlooking something else: your product’s user interface (UI). I’m not specifically referring to the colors, logos, and icons (although those brand elements are extremely important). I’m referring to the words in the UI. These words are usually called “microcopy” or “UX copy,” and the act of creating them is called “UX writing.”

        • Open Data Hub 0.7 adds support for Kubeflow 1.0

          Open Data Hub (ODH) is a blueprint for building an AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) platform on Red Hat OpenShift 4. Version 0.7 of Open Data Hub includes support for deploying Kubeflow 1.0 on OpenShift, as well as increased component testing on the OpenShift continuous integration (CI) system. This article explores the recent updates.

        • Sysadmin careers: How my team distributes work over holidays, nights, and weekends

          Well, I thought this would be an interesting topic to explore because I’m working in a team most sysadmins probably dream of—we don’t work over holidays, nights, or weekends. Our mode of operation dictates that everyone works eight hours a day from Monday to Friday. Office hours are between 6:45 am and 8:00 pm, but most of us keep to the typical workday schedule of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with an hour for lunch.

          That means there is no operations team present onsite or even on call during nights, weekends, and holidays. (Full disclosure—we do put in an extra hour here and there, but only for some of the bigger migrations, e.g., a new SAN goes live, or we do a migration of a whole mail system including mailboxes and calendars. Some guys will briefly check-in at night or during the weekend to see if the jobs are still running. But, as a rule, other typical maintenance tasks like release upgrades take place during the usual office hours).

          Sounds awesome, right? Unfortunately, we’re not hiring at the moment.

          When I tell people that we don’t have to work on weekends and holidays and don’t have to be on call at night, they usually ask, “but what do you do when something breaks?”

          So we work 8×5, but our clients need our services to be available 24×7. To make that possible, you have to consider a few important things when it comes to product selection and service design.

        • Boosting manufacturing efficiency and product quality with AI/ML, edge computing and Kubernetes

          The manufacturing industry has consistently used technology to fuel innovation, production optimization and operations. Now, with the combination of edge computing and AI/ML, manufacturers can benefit from bringing processing power closer to data that, when put into action faster, can help to proactively discover of potential errors at the assembly line, help improve product quality, and even reduce potential downtime through predictive maintenance and in the unlikely event of a drop in communications with a central/core site, individual manufacturing plants can continue to operate.

          [...]

          To achieve this manufacturing vision, along with the continued digitalization of factories, manufacturers must now take a hard look at their operations and technology to meet these new opportunities. It requires factory systems to mirror the best practices of a modern IT environment based on containers, Kubernetes, agile development, AI/ML and automation. All of these technologies, coincidentally, are components of open hybrid cloud, an IT footprint that can be used to accommodate these manufacturing technologies, from the edge of the network to the factory floor.

        • Michel Alexandre Salim: Breaking out of walled gardens

          I have been progressively getting more and more dissatisfied with the grip Big Tech firms have over our collective lives, and have been gradually pruning my use of proprietary technologies over the past months.

        • Red Hat Offers Certification Exams Online in Response to COVID-19

          With travel and in-person gatherings made difficult by COVID-19, Red Hat is now offering certification testing online – and using a unique solution to deter cheating.

      • Debian Family

        • Norbert Preining: KDE/Plasma Status Update 2020-08-13

          Short status update on my KDE/Plasma packages for Debian sid and testing:

          Frameworks update to 5.73
          Apps are now available from the main archive in the same upstream version and superseeding my packages
          New architecture: aarch64

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Call for testing: improved WiFi via iwd

          This is Lukas Märdian, a software engineer for the Ubuntu Foundations team. I have been evaluating the use of iwd [0] as a wireless daemon in Ubuntu. iwd (iNet Wireless Daemon) is a modern, up-and-coming wireless daemon for Linux. It is written by Intel and aims to replace wpa_supplicant for potential benefits in…

        • Ubuntu needs feedback on some possible major WiFi changes

          Are you an Ubuntu Linux user on either Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy – unreleased, in testing) or 20.04 LTS (Focal – the current release)? The Ubuntu Foundations Team needs feedback on some possible major WiFi changes.

          They’re looking at replacing the currently widely used wpa_supplicant for iwd (iNet Wireless Daemon) a more modern upcoming solution which was written by Intel. According to Lukas Märdian, a software engineer for the Ubuntu Foundations Team it would give these benefits…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Our favorite open source writing tools

        Writing is one of the primary ways we communicate, and it’s endlessly fascinating to see the different ways writers work. I can hardly imagine writing before computers and their ability to instantly edit and rearrange the words I’ve typed onto a screen. Likewise, I wonder whether people who started out writing on a typewriter process their thoughts differently, even on a modern word processor, or whether their workflow has changed and adapted because of these new tools.

        We asked some of our correspondents how they get their thoughts into comprehensible words and what open source tools they prefer while doing so. As you might expect, we got different answers from everyone who answered.

      • Web Browsers

        • Will This Speed up Your Raspberry Pi Browsing by up to 1200%?

          Puffin manages these incredible speeds because the content is rendered remotely on their encrypted cloud servers. A JavaScript engine is used to pre-process and compress web pages before they arrive at your screen. This can be interpreted as a proxy server by some sites, and may affect the content that is available to you.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • What is PostgreSQL, and why do developers love it?

          PostgreSQL solves the problem of extensibility, in complex cloud environments. This statement is often thrown around, but why is it true? Should next-generation cloud-infrastructure still use it? Is it still relevant in an era of big data?

          So far, we’ve looked at the benefits and challenges of Kafka and Cassandra. Let’s look at the main benefits, challenges and use cases of it, and the easiest way to get PostgreSQL deployed and running in production.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Announcement of LibreOffice 6.4.6

          The Document Foundation announces the availability of LibreOffice 6.4.6, the 6th minor release of the LibreOffice 6.4 family, targeted at all users relying on the best free office suite ever for desktop productivity. LibreOffice 6.4.6 includes bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility and interoperability with software from other vendors.

          LibreOffice 6.4.6 is optimized for use in every environment, even by more conservative users, as it now includes several months of work on bug fixes. Users of LibreOffice 6.3.6 and previous versions should update to LibreOffice 6.4.6, as this is now the best choice in term of robustness for their productivity needs.

          For enterprise class deployments, TDF strongly recommends sourcing LibreOffice from one of the ecosystem partners, to get long-term supported releases, dedicated assistance, custom new features and other benefits, including SLAs (Service Level Agreements): https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/. Also, the work done by ecosystem partners flows back into the LibreOffice project, and this represents an advantage for everyone.

        • LibreOffice 6.4.6 Office Suite Update Arrives with 70 Bug Fixes, Download Now

          The Document Foundation released today LibreOffice 6.4.6 as the sixth of seven maintenance update to the LibreOffice 6.4 office suite series, adding more bug fixes and improvements.

          LibreOffice 6.4.6 is here about a month after the LibreOffice 6.4.5 point release, which introduced more than 100 bug fixes and also marked the LibreOffice 6.4 series as ready for enterprise deployments.

          This new update consists of a total of 70 bug fixes across all of LibreOffice’s components, including Writer, Impress, Draw, and Calc, in an attempt to further improves the document compatibility and interoperability with proprietary formats from MS Office and other office suite vendors.

        • Week 10 Report

          The last week was the 10th week of coding weeks in GSoC program. I worked more on adding support for new objects from the unsupported list.

      • CMS

        • QGIS has chosen Kiwi TCMS

          We are happy to announce that QGIS has chosen Kiwi TCMS for the basis of their Quality Assurance methodology and infrastructure improvement program! Kiwi TCMS will play a central role in storing test case definitions, organizing test cycles, and assigning and tracking test executions by testers from the QGIS community.

      • Education

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • JSHint is Now Free Software after Updating License to MIT Expat

            The world of open source tooling has expanded to welcome JSHint, as the project’s maintainers have finally completed the necessary work to adopt the MIT Expat license. Previously, the JavaScript linter’s code was partially published under the JSON license, with an additional seemingly innocuous clause that stated: “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.” This clause prevented it from being recognized by FSF as a free software license and similarly was not recognized as open source by the Open Source Initiative.

      • Programming/Development

        • Go filesystems and file embedding

          The Go team has recently published several draft designs that propose changes to the language, standard library, and tooling: we covered the one on generics back in June. Last week, the Go team published two draft designs related to files: one for a new read-only filesystem interface, which specifies a minimal interface for filesystems, and a second design that proposes a standard way to embed files into Go binaries (by building on the filesystem interface). Embedding files into Go binaries is intended to simplify deployments by including all of a program’s resources in a single binary; the filesystem interface design was drafted primarily as a building block for that. There has been a lot of discussion on the draft designs, which has been generally positive, but there are some significant concerns.

          Russ Cox, technical lead of the Go team, and Rob Pike, one of the creators of Go, are the authors of the design for the filesystem interface. Cox is also an author of the design for file embedding along with longtime Go contributor Brad Fitzpatrick. Additionally, Cox created YouTube video presentations of each design for those who prefer that format (the filesystem interface video and the file-embedding video).

        • a Piece of Note on Unicode Encoding for CJK characters (with my simple Caesar encoding script)
        • Plasmoid with C++

          So the goal is pretty simple, and all I have to do is to find a way to share information from KClock to the plasmoid. However the solution isn’t that trivia. As it turned out, DBus is perferred for IPC(Inter-process communication). Before start working on plasmoid, I need to expose some of the class of KClock to DBus first. Since KClock is built upon Qt, I choose to using Q-DBus as it will save a lot of effort than using low level interface. Now the problem is – I don’t know how to use Q-DBus. As usual, I went to the Qt documentation and to my surprise, it spent most content to describe the concept of DBus and compared to Qt’s signal/slot machinism. Although useful as it is, lack of examples meaning I still didn’t know how I can use it in my code. Thankfully, KDE has its own tutorial about DBus and it provides multiple examples. You can find it here.

        • How to use printf to format output

          When I started learning Unix, I was introduced to the echo command pretty early in the process. Likewise, my initial Python lesson involved the print function. Picking up C++ and Java introduced me to cout and systemout. It seemed every language proudly had a convenient one-line method of producing output and advertised it like it was going out of style.

        • Ceph – the practical storage solution for companies of all sizes

          Ceph was conceived by Sage A. Weil, who developed it while writing his dissertation and published it in 2006. He then led the project with his company Intank Storage. In 2014, the company was acquired by RedHat, with Weil staying on as the chief architect, in charge of the software’s development.

          Ceph only works on Linux systems, for example CentOS, Debian, Fedora, RedHat/RHEL, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu. Accessing the software through Windows systems cannot be done directly, but is possible through the use of iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface). As such, Ceph is particularly suitable for use in data centers that make their storage space available over servers, and for cloud solutions of any kind that use software to provide storage.

          We have complied a list of the most important features of Ceph: [...]

        • Kali Linux and Pentesting

          • Kali Linux USB Sticks

            The main aspiration of the Kali Linux bootable USB device is to serve the purpose of initiating live Kali Linux. Its essence is to provide the portability of Kali Linux, and you can carry it with you inside of your pocket. It assists in running your kali Linux in any system available near you, making kali Linux accessible to you at your accord. One of the main vantage that it provides is the customize feature. You are free to customize your very own operating system to carry it in the Kali Linux USB stick. The user just needs to follow the procedure to customize its OS image on the kali Linux USB stick. It is very system friendly, imposing no harm to the system you install it in. You just need to plug out the USB drive to get back to the original operating system of the host. Every model of kali Linux USB stick has a different chipset, making dongles compatible with the overall Kali Linux. It is rarely possible to get all features in a single USB stick as some are focused on size, while others are based on the reading/ writing cycles and speed. Here is the buying guide that can help you in selecting the best USB stick compatible with your system needs depending on its usage.

          • KALI LINUX DNS RECONNAISSANCE

            DNS Reconnaissance is an information-gathering part for a penetration testing. It is used where penetration testing is being performed. It can gather and collect all types of information on the records and target server. It does not affect any IP addresses; therefore, it is best to use for checking on or disclose the information of any network. This is only possible for those networks or organizations that do not check upon the DNS traffic. So, the types of enumeration that perform include zone transfers reverse lookups domain and host brute force standard record, enumeration, catch snooping, zoom working, and also Google Luca.

          • Metasploit in Kali Linux 2020

            The internet is full of lurkers with malicious intents who want to access networks and exploit their data while evading detection. It only makes sense to ensure a network’s security by measuring their vulnerabilities. Penetration testing or ethical hacking is how we test networks or servers for pregnable targets by pinpointing all possible breaches that a hacker might use to gain access, thus reducing security compromises. Penetration testing is often conducted through software applications, the most popular of which is Kali Linux, preferably with the Metasploit framework. Stick till the end to learn how to test a system by executing an attack with Kali Linux.

          • Post exploitation with Meterpreter

            This is an introduction to the Meterpreter payload plugin within Metasploit. In this short tutorial, we will discuss how to use it to apply post exploitation to a WINDOWS OS system once you’ve already breached it using the Eternalblue exploit. We will limit ourselves to accessing the windows system and exploring it, and all the things that we are going to do will focus on accessing information and user credentials.

            Introduction to Meterpreter

            Meterpreter is an attack payload in the Metasploit framework that lets the perpetrator control and navigate the victim computer through a command shell. It can prove to be a very versatile tool when it comes to penetration testing. It is a post-exploitation tool that is based on in-memory DLL injection, meaning it gets the injected DLL running by creating a new process that calls for the system to run the injected DLL. It can give you access to an invisible command shell on a victim machine, letting you run executables and profile networks.

            It was originally written for Metasploit 2.x and is upgraded for Metasploit 3.

          • Pen testing web applications with Metasploit’s “Wmap scanner”

            “Scanning” involves all methods and techniques for identifying live systems like networks or servers to uncover its operating system and architecture. These techniques are used to identify any vulnerable points in a network that can be exploited.

            This is a beginner’s tutorial on using the WMAP plugin incorporated in the Metasploit framework to scan for vulnerabilities in web applications. We will use the web application DVWA as a target to demonstrate the scanning process done using WAMP. DVWA is short for “damn vulnerable web application,” and the app is specially designed to used by cybersecurity novices to test and sharpen their penetration skills.

        • Python

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 5.2.1

            sphinxcontrib-spelling is a spelling checker for Sphinx-based documentation. It uses PyEnchant to produce a report showing misspelled words.

          • Python Community Interview With Bruno Oliveira

            Welcome to Real Python, Bruno. I’m glad you could join us. Let’s start in the same manner we do with all our guests: How’d you get into programming, and when did you start using Python?

          • How to use AJAX with Django

            AJAX is an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It is a group of inter-related technologies like JavaScript, DOM, XML, HTML, CSS etc. AJAX allows you to send and receive data asynchronously without reloading the web page.

            At some point in your project development process, you will need AJAX to execute some task. One fine example could be checking username availability on the signup form.

            We will discuss the same scenario here and will guide you through the step by step process of using AJAX with Django.

          • How to create management commands in Django

            You must have used createsuperuser command in your Django application at one or another time. If not then I am sure you must have used makemigrations or migrate commands in your project. Yes? Yes.

            So these commands, also called as management commands are used to execute some piece of code from the command line.

            In this article, We will see how to create your own command.

          • Python Development Environment on macOS Mojave & High Sierra

            While installing Python and Virtualenv on macOS Mojave & High Sierra can be done several ways, this tutorial will guide you through the process of configuring a stock Mac system into a solid Python development environment.

          • How to Learn Python for Data Science In 5 Steps

            Before we explore how to learn Python for data science, we should briefly answer why you should learn Python in the first place.

            In short, understanding Python is one of the valuable skills needed for a data science career.

            Though it hasn’t always been, Python is the programming language of choice for data science.

          • Conservancy and PyPy’s great work together

            PyPy joined Conservancy in the second half of 2010, shortly after the release of PyPy 1.2, the first version to contain a fully functional JIT. In 2013, PyPy started supporting ARM, bringing its just-in-time speediness to many more devices and began working toward supporting NumPy to help scientists crunch their numbers faster. Together, PyPy and Conservancy ran successful fundraising drives and facilitated payment and oversight for contractors and code sprints.

            Conservancy supported PyPy’s impressive growth as it expanded support for different hardware platforms, greatly improved the performance of C extensions, and added support for Python 3 as the language itself evolved.

          • A new chapter for PyPy: Transitioning away from a Charitable Model

            PyPy has been a member project of Software Freedom Conservancy since 2010 and although it’s been a mutually successful partnership, nothing lasts forever — especially in software. Today, Conservancy and PyPy announce that they are winding down their ten year relationship. PyPy will remain free software, but the community’s structure and organizational underpinnings will change. Conservancy provides a fiscal and organizational home for projects that find the freedoms and assurances that come along with a charitable home advantageous for their community goals. While this framework was a great fit for the early PyPy community, that community has changed such that this is no longer the case. PyPy’s leadership are exploring non-charitable options for its next phase of growth.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 9
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 11 Check in!
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check In – 10
          • “Structural pattern matching” for Python, part 1

            We last looked at the idea of a Python “match” or “switch” statement back in 2016, but it is something that has been circulating in the Python community both before and since that coverage. In June it was raised again, with a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) supporting it: PEP 622 (“Structural Pattern Matching”). As that title would imply, the match statement proposed in the PEP is actually a pattern-matching construct with many uses. While it may superficially resemble the C switch statement, a Python match would do far more than simply choose a chunk of code to execute based on the value of an expression.

        • Laravel

          • PDOException SQLSTATE[HY000] [2002] No such file or directory

            It’s not a big deal. This error message indicates that a MySQL connection via socket is tried (but it seems that it isn’t supported).

            When it comes to running Laravel commands (eg. artisan), you probably want to use a different environment. Eg: php artisan migrate –env=production (or whatever environment). See here.

          • How to set value in for-loop in Laravel blade
          • Why Should I Use Laravel Framework
          • Composer Error while installing Laravel “Failed to decode response: zlib_decode(): data error
          • Mysql update or insert multiple rows – Raw Laravel SQL
          • Laravel update model with unique validation rule for attribute

            I have a Laravel User model whre I added unique validation rule on username and email. Now when I update my User through my Repo, and I want to re-validate my model, I get an error.

          • Laravel – Eloquent “Has”, “With”, “WhereHas”

            with() is generally used with eager loading, which is a quick way to pull related models. Basically, it means that, along with the main model, Laravel will preload the listed relationship(s). This is beneficial when you need to load additional data and want to avoid making N+1 DB bad practices. With eager loading, you run only one additional DB query instead of potentially hundreds of additional queries.

          • Getting a 500 Internal Server Error on Laravel 5+ Ubuntu 14.04

            This is the first time I am installing Laravel on Ubuntu and I am already running into issues, 500 errors. I have done it before, numerous times on Windows OS and never had an issue.

            This 500 internal server usually happens when your “mod_rewrite” module is not turned on.

          • Ajax Laravel 419 POST Error

            I would really be thankful if someone could help me with this. I am trying to make an Ajax call but I am getting 419 POST error.

          • Creating a Radio Button Input Field

            You want to create a radio button field for your Blade template.

          • Decoding HTML Entities to a String
          • 13 Best Laravel Helpers To Consider Using

            Laravel comes with a ton of useful global helper functions. If you haven’t used them so far, this is the best time to start. Over the years of me using the Laravel, 10 of those emerged as the most useful, making the development a lot easier. Sometimes we don’t really see how we can apply some methods until we see an example. So let’s get down to it and see the top 10 helpers I often use the most.

            These go for Laravel 5.*, however those on Laravel 6.* can bring these back using the following package https://github.com/laravel/helpers.

            You can also check out the official documentation for all laravel helper functions.

          • How to use Laravel with Socket.IO

            Websockets are cool. They are really helpful if you want to show real-time activities from your users (or perhaps some queue jobs).

            Now, if you are afraid of the word “Websockets”, don’t be. I will lay down the instructions on how you can use it and will be around to answer your questions if you need to.

            I had this challenge where I needed it to show a list of people who are currently viewing a specific URL in Laravel. So I started thinking. Part of me wanted to do a quick hack (luckily that’s not the strongest side of mine). Whilst the other wanted to build something cool, reusable and long-lasting.

          • Guide To Injecting Dependencies Into Controllers

            Laravel’s facades present a simple interface to the most useful classes in Laravel’s codebase. You can get information about the current request and user input, the session, caches, and much more.

            But if you prefer to inject your dependencies, or if you want to use a service that doesn’t have a facade, you’ll need to find some way to bring instances of these classes into your controller.

            All controller methods (including the constructors) are resolved out of Laravel’s container, which means anything you typehint that the container knows how to resolve will be automatically injected.

          • How to Upload Multiple Files via Ajax (VueJs and Laravel 5.5) – File Management

            When I first started using VueJs, it was a nightmare to find a decent tutorial on how to upload a single file using Ajax, let alone a tutorial explaining how to manage multiple files.

            I have been dealing a couple of years with file management, mostly using VueJs and Laravel, so I thought writing a tutorial like this could help a lot of developers implement one of the coolest things in applications, which is real-time asset management.

            First off, you will find many solutions online that are good but those who are early beginners will definitely struggle.

            What I will cover here is writing your frontend and backend code that will allow you to upload multiple files. Additionally, I will give you a few tricks on how to apply this stuff to different situations.

        • Rust

          • Federico Mena-Quintero: “Rust does not have a stable ABI”

            These are extremely valid concerns to be addressed by people like myself who propose that chunks of infrastructural libraries should be done in Rust.

            So, let’s begin.

            The first part of this article is a super-quick introduction to shared libraries and how Linux distributions use them. If you already know those things, feel free to skip to the “Rust does not have a stable ABI” section.

        • Java

          • Java date format

            Date value needs to format for various programming purposes. One of the essential reasons to format the date is to represent the date value in a human-readable format. Many classes exist in Java to format the date value. DateTimeFormatter and SimpleDateFormat are two of them. These classes can be used to format date values in different ways. How these two classes can be used to format the date in Java is explained in this tutorial.

          • Java Enum Tutorial

            Java enum is a special Java type that defines by a Java class. It is also called the Java enumeration type. It is introduced in Java version 5 first, which is mainly used to define the collection of constants. The compile type of safety is ensured by using the enum type. So, when all possible values of the variable are known before compile time, then it is better to use enum type. It defines a class that always extends from java.lang.Enum. How enum type can be declared and used in Java are shown in this tutorial.

          • Java Abstract Class

            The concept of the abstraction is to highlight the task of the object instead of highlighting, “how the object does the task”. This type of concept can be implemented by using two ways in Java. These are the abstract class and interface. Abstract class contains the keyword abstract. This class can not be initiated like other normal classes, but a subclass can be derived by inheriting the abstract class. The features of the abstract class can be accessed by creating the object of the subclass. An abstract class can also contain the constructor that can be accessed by creating the object of the subclass class. How you can use an abstract class in Java is shown in this tutorial.

          • Java exception handling

            When the normal flow of the program execution interrupts for any error, then it is called an exception. This type of event can be handled by using a try-catch-finally block. An exception is an object that is used to catch the error and run the statement based on the error condition that is called exception handling. Mainly two types of error are handled by exception handling. These are compiled time errors and run-time errors. The run-time errors are handled by exception handling. How you can handle exceptions in Java is explained in this tutorial.

  • Leftovers

    • The Grim World Our Grandchildren Will Inherit

      Let me be blunt. This wasn’t the world I imagined for my denouement. Not faintly. Of course, I can’t claim I ever really imagined such a place. Who, in their youth, considers their death and the world that might accompany it, the one you might leave behind for younger generations? I’m 76 now. True, if I were lucky (or perhaps unlucky), I could live another 20 years and see yet a newer world born. But for the moment at least, it seems logical enough to consider this pandemic nightmare of a place as the country of my old age, the one that I and my generation (including a guy named Donald J. Trump) will pass on to our children and grandchildren.

    • It Could Have Been Different

      Let me be blunt. This wasn’t the world I imagined for my denouement. Not faintly. Of course, I can’t claim I ever really imagined such a place. Who, in their youth, considers their death and the world that might accompany it, the one you might leave behind for younger generations? I’m 76 now. True, if I were lucky (or perhaps unlucky), I could live another 20 years and see yet a newer world born. But for the moment at least, it seems logical enough to consider this pandemic nightmare of a place as the country of my old age, the one that I and my generation (including a guy named Donald J. Trump) will pass on to our children and grandchildren.

    • Santa Davis and the “Stalag 17” Riddim

      Relatable to reggae music lovers everywhere, Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Mary Oliver once wrote: “Rhythm is one of the most powerful pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue. When it does, the sweet grows sweeter. When it becomes reliable, we are in a kind of body-heaven.”

    • WarnerMedia Looking to Sell Crunchyroll Anime-Streaming Service for at Least $1 Billion

      WarnerMedia’s move to sell Crunchyroll was previously reported by The Information, which said the media company wanted $1.5 billion for the streamer. But a source familiar with WarnerMedia’s plans said that was much higher than the company is expecting to get for Crunchyroll, which is being pitched to additional buyers besides Sony.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Terminal Zero: Building the Ultimate Raspberry Pi Zero Computer

        The new edition has no keyboard in favor of a touchscreen interface. The case is custom designed and no only has a huge selection of ports to access but also additional buttons. The unit is completely wireless, using a LiPo battery for power. There’s a small speaker inside but you can also use headphones via a 3.5mm jack.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem

        Bloodletting was a common medical treatment for nearly 3,000 years.

      • Study Shows ‘Unambiguous Evidence’ Covid-19 Infectious in the Air, Researchers Claim
      • Within Health Care USA, Risk and Reward Have Never Been More Out of Kilter

        How’s pandemic life been going for you? If you work in America’s health care industry, that depends. That totally depends.

      • Republicans Suddenly Have a Passion for College Football

        One of the first things you teach a child is the difference between “wants” and “needs.” You “want” candy. You “need” food. College football is a “want.” But the Republican Party has decided to call it a “need.”

      • Sputnik-V: A Russian con job on its COVID-19 vaccine

        Yesterday, the news was dominated by what I consider to be one of the worst ideas ever. Russian President Dictator Vladimir Putin announced the approval of a new vaccine for COVID-19. In a not-very-subtle admission of the purpose of approving this vaccine, the Russians dubbed the vaccine “Sputnik-V,” after the surprise launch of the first space satellite by the Soviet Union in 1957 during the Cold War, which panicked the US, a panic sometimes referred to as the Sputnik crisis. In the wake of Sputnik, there was a period of fear and anxiety about a perceived gap in science and technology between the US and its Cold War superpower rival.

      • The Decrepit UK Political System

        The Covid-19 pandemic and the continuing Brexit crisis have cast an unforgiving light on the UK’s failed political system, the pivot of which lies with its “first past the post” (FTTP) election structure. It should be noted that in this respect the UK is similar to the US, and that the UK is the only country in Europe which uses FTTP.

      • The first vaccine that wasn’t Russia approves a coronavirus immunization, but a lack of clinical trials means those getting inoculated are rolling the dice

        On Tuesday, August 11, during a teleconference with Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, Vladimir Putin noted that Russia’s prototype vaccine “works well enough, forms stable immunity, and has passed all the necessary checks.” Murashko then told the president: “Allow me to report that the state has registered the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection.”

      • Grief in Florida

        ’Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind…

      • Florida Sheriff Bans Deputies and Civilians From Wearing Masks in His Department

        Even though the state of Florida saw a record-high single-day number of deaths from coronavirus earlier this week, one sheriff in the state decided that his deputies do not need to wear masks in most cases, and is banning civilians from wearing facial coverings in his offices.

      • As Florida Sets Daily Record for Covid-19 Deaths, Sheriff Bans Deputies From Wearing Masks

        The policy “actively puts peoples’ lives at risk,” critics warn.

      • How Britain Could Have Defeated COVID. The Dirty War On The NHS Now Available To Watch Here Free Of Charge

        The Dirty War on the NHS was first broadcast in Britain on the ITV Network on 17 December, 2019. It was shown following the general election that saw Boris Johnson become prime minister – even though the future of the NHS was a major issue in the campaign.

      • Groundbreaking Study Shows Organic Diets Drastically Lower Glyphosate Levels in the Body

        “We all have the right to food that is free of toxic pesticides.”

      • How is the NIH seeking to encourage investment in diagnostic testing for COVID-19?

        In this blog post series, we have written about the importance of ensuring an adequate supply of diagnostic testing for COVID-19, and about the challenges the United States has faced so far on this front. Many months after COVID-19 began spreading in the United States, there is still great concern that we lack sufficient testing to ensure that we can detect and respond to the virus quickly. In this post, we explain a new initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative—that aims to speed the development and marketing of new COVID-19 tests, how RADx is progressing so far, and what policymakers can learn from the initiative about the design of different types of innovation incentives.

        [...]

        The speed and commitment to fund all comers seems real. The NIH last week announced that seven companies have received $250 million in awards through RADx. Some winners are quite small, such as Talis Biomedical, a small biotech company from Menlo Park, California. Others are much larger, like the San Diego biotech behemoth, Quidel (market cap: $11 billion). But further RADx funding isn’t limited to these seven firms; others are still eligible for funding, and yet others can jump ahead in the phase queue if they can demonstrate advanced success. Most importantly, “[t]he seven technologies use different methods and formats and can be performed in a variety of settings to meet diverse needs,” including using CRISPR-based technology. Whatever terminology can be used to describe such a funding mechanism, the public health and research arms of government are paying milestone payments to a wide variety of companies to design a product in order to solve a specific problem without being particular to the methodology employed.

        [...]

        Finally, while RADx and other initiatives like it certainly seem like a good idea, they represent a significant departure from the NIH’s typical approach to research funding, and it will be hard to know how well they work without rigorously measuring outcomes. It is perfectly plausible that RADx will be a crucial initiative to drive scale-up of COVID-19 diagnostics, and that the companies selected will bring very large volumes of excellent tests to the market. But it is also plausible that the selected companies would have reached the same outcome without RADx’s help: substantial federal investments are already being made into the development and reimbursement of COVID-19 diagnostics, and the selected firms might already have sufficient capital and access to regulatory expertise. Because there is no comparison group for the funded entities, future researchers will have difficulty understanding this program’s impact. The NIH should carefully observe and record the process and the results for funded companies (as CARB-X, a similar initiative in the antibiotic space, does). A more rigorous way to distinguish such outcomes is to consider structuring future RADx-like initiatives as policy experiments. Policymakers might consider, for example, randomly varying the funding received by each recipient and observing differences in outcome. Just as we need to know what health interventions and diagnostic tests work for COVID-19 and other diseases, we need to know what policy interventions work to improve the overall innovation ecosystem.

      • Accuracy of U.S. coronavirus data thrown into question as decline in testing skews drop in new cases
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 3.2 Launches for Android and Chromebooks with Privacy Improvements, New Features

          Vivaldi Technologies released today the latest Vivaldi 3.2 web browser for Android and Chromebooks, a release that brings enhancements to the built-in privacy options and adds new UI features.

          Last week, Vivaldi 3.2 was released for desktops, including Linux, Mac, and Windows, but it’s now also available on mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, as well as Chromebooks.

          While on the desktop the new Vivaldi release introduced a new mute button for the Picture-in-Picture feature and a few other improvements to various parts of the browser, on mobile the new version comes with improvements to the existing privacy options.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open Source Collaboration is a Global Endeavor

                The Linux Foundation would like to reiterate its statements and analysis of the application of US Export Control regulations to public, open collaboration projects (e.g. open source software, open standards, open hardware, and open data) and the importance of open collaboration in the successful, global development of the world’s most important technologies. At this time, we have no information to believe recent Executive Orders regarding WeChat and TikTok will impact our analysis for open source collaboration. Our members and other participants in our project communities, which span many countries, are clear that they desire to continue collaborating with their peers around the world.

              • The Linux Basis Needs Open-Supply Tech to Tackle Future Pandemics [Ed: Surveillance]

                The Linux Basis, which helps open-source innovation in blockchain tech, launched the Linux Basis Public Well being Initiative (LFPHI) on the finish of July. The LFPHI’s purpose is to advertise using open supply by public well being authorities, which will be scrutinized by anybody, to combat not simply COVID-19 however future pandemics as effectively.

                Among the many seven core members of the LFPHI are Tencent, Cisco and IBM. The initiative is supporting two publicity notification initiatives, “COVID Shield” and “COVID Green,” with the intention of bettering interoperability throughout initiatives in several jurisdictions.

              • Facebook’s Long History of Open Source Investments Deepens with Platinum-level Linux Foundation Membership [Ed: The Linux Foundation is a voice for malicious surveillance companies that need openwashing]

                From its efforts to reshape computing through open source to its aggressive push to increase internet connectivity around the world, Facebook is a leader in open innovation. Perhaps more important today than ever, Facebook’s focus on democratizing access to technology enhances opportunity and scale for individuals and businesses alike. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the company is joining the Linux Foundation at the highest level.

                Facebook’s sponsorship of open innovation through the Linux Foundation will help support the largest shared technology investment in history with an estimated $16B in development costs of the world’s 100+ leading open source projects and supports those project communities through governance, events and education. The company is also already the lead contributor of many Linux Foundation-hosted projects, such as Presto, GraphQL, Osquery and ONNX. It has been an active participant in Linux kernel development, employing key developers and maintainers across major kernel subsystems.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (linux-4.19, linux-latest-4.19, and openjdk-8) and Fedora (ark and hylafax+).

          • Google to Microsoft: Nice Windows 10 patch – but it’s incomplete

            Google Project Zero (GPZ) is refusing to give Microsoft further extensions on disclosing a Windows 10 authentication bug because it says a patch Microsoft delivered in the August 2020 Patch Tuesday update is incomplete.

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

            • Using Open Source in Your Business? Beware the Fine Print [Ed: It says about GPL: "This is the most notorious of open source licenses." In whose eyes? Microsoft's? Lawyers'?]

              Use of open source exposes the source code – An example of a particularly limiting license is the GNU General Public License (GPL for short). This is the most notorious of open source licenses. GPL permits the distribution of software using a GPL component, while stipulating that such derivative software be distributed under the same license, i.e., it requires the public release of the new software’s source code. This requirement could be the death knell for a tech company, as the exposure of any part of its source code may cause it to lose its competitive edge. Unfortunately, early-stage developers and startups often neglect to read the licenses or misconstrue the fine print, or they fail to turn to legal advisors to pinpoint the red flags. There are consequences to this, which could require amendments and many development hours at a later stage when the issue arises.

              [...]

              Spotting a GPL as part of a company’s proprietary software could have significant implications in terms of risk assessment and valuation of the target company.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Las Vegas Police Are Running Lots Of Low Quality Images Through Their Facial Recognition System

              Even when facial recognition software works well, it still performs pretty poorly. When algorithms aren’t generating false positives, they’re acting on the biases programmed into them, making it far more likely for minorities to be misidentified by the software.

            • The Idea That Banning TikTok Thwarts Chinese Intelligence In Any Way Is Ridiculous

              As we’ve noted a few times, not much about the Trump administration’s ban of TikTok makes coherent sense. Most of the biggest TikTok pearl clutchers in the GOP and Trump administration have actively opposed things like basic US privacy laws or even improving election security, and were utterly absent from efforts to shore up other privacy and problems, be it the abuse of cellular location data or our poorly secured telecom infrastructure. It’s a bunch of xenophobia, pearl clutching, and performative politics dressed up as serious adult policy that doesn’t even get close to fixing any actual problems.

            • Court finds UK police use of facial recognition technology breaches privacy rights, data protection laws and equality laws

              Automated facial recognition has emerged as one of the most problematic technologies for privacy. That’s reflected in the increasing number of posts on this blog dealing with the issues it raises. Of particular concern is police use. The UK has been in the vanguard here, as has the pushback by privacy campaigners. A year ago UK human rights campaigners described the increasing use of automated facial recognition systems by the police as putting “arsenic in the water of democracy“. One local police force in the UK, South Wales Police, is particularly keen on the technology. Privacy News Online wrote about its pioneering use of automated facial recognition to spot a man on a police watch list, as far back as 2017.

            • Palantir Plans Direct Listing for Late September

              A direct listing would allow the company’s current investors to sell their shares on the first day of trading rather than having to wait for a lock-up period to expire, as would be required in a traditional initial public offering. Unlike an IPO, though, the company doesn’t raise capital in a direct listing.

              Palantir is in the process of raising $961 million, $550 million of which it has already secured, according to a July filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That includes a $500 million investment from Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc. and $50 million from Fujitsu Ltd.

            • Facebook will now show a warning before you share articles about COVID-19

              This new notification screen is part of an ongoing series of measures Facebook has been employing since March to try to prevent its platform from becoming a conduit for dangerous coronavirus-related conspiracy theories and other forms of misinformation. At the onset of the pandemic, the company began putting vetted coronavirus information from trusted health and medical authorities at the top of the News Feed, as well as the above-mentioned COVID-19 information hub.

            • Facebook creates unit devoted to financial services

              The new group, called Facebook Financial, will be headed by e-commerce veteran David Marcus, who was a president at PayPal before joining the leading social network six years ago.

              Marcus is one of the creators of Facebook’s digital money network Libra, and heads the team building a Novi digital wallet tailored for the currency.

              The Novi wallet — set to launch when Libra coins debut — promises to give Facebook opportunities to build financial services into its offerings, offer to expand its own commerce and let more small businesses buy ads on the social network.

            • Inside Verzuz’s Collaboration With Apple and Twitter

              Launched in March by veteran producers Swizz Beatz (who has worked with artists including Jay-Z, DMX and his own wife, Alicia Keys) and Timbaland (Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Aaliyah), the series has rapidly grown into a franchise matching the likes of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds against Teddy Riley and Erykah Badu versus Jill Scott. While the concept had been percolating for a couple years and Swizz and Timbaland had squared off at festivals in the past, the pair — inspired by the popularity and good vibes of D-Nice’s DJ sets from home early in the pandemic — saw that Verzuz could ease the loneliness of isolation with its combination of sports-like competition, classic hits, nostalgia and social media conversation.

            • The Weekend Virtual Concert on TikTok Drew Over 2M Viewers, Raised $350,000 for Equal Justice Initiative

              According to TikTok, The Weeknd’s live, interactive virtual concert that premiered Aug. 7 (with several rebroadcasts for international audiences through Aug. 10), pulled in more than 2 million total unique viewers. The event recorded 275,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, setting a new TikTok record, while videos that users shared with #TheWeekndEXP hashtag garnered more than 1.3 billion video views.

            • Apple’s $44 Billion China Market Threatened by Trump WeChat Ban

              If Apple was forced to remove the service from its global app stores, iPhone annual shipments will decline 25% to 30% while other hardware, including AirPods, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac computers, may fall 15%-25%, TF International Securities analyst Kuo Ming-chi estimated in a research note. Apple didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg News’ requests for comment.

              A survey on the twitter-like Weibo service asking consumers to choose between WeChat and their iPhones has drawn more than 1.2 million responses so far, with roughly 95% of participants saying they would rather give up their devices. “The ban will force a lot of Chinese users to switch from Apple to other brands because WeChat is really important for us,” said Sky Ding, who works in fintech in Hong Kong and originally hails from Xi’an. “My family in China are all used to WeChat and all our communication is on the platform.”

            • TikTok Signs Deal With Yankees Even as Trump Threatens U.S. Ban

              The exposure could help the Yankees appeal to more teens and 20-somethings. It could also help the team’s cable channel — YES Network — reach a demographic that largely ignores cable TV.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Digital Technology As Accelerant: Growth And Genocide In Myanmar

        Every person in Myanmar above the age of 10 has lived part, if not most, of their life under a military dictatorship characterized by an obsession with achieving autonomy from international influences. Before the economic and political reforms of the past decade, Myanmar was one of the most isolated nations in the world. The digital revolution that has reshaped nearly every aspect of human life over the past half-century was something the average Myanmar person had no personal experience with.

      • Paulding County High School Un-Suspends Student But Can’t Un-Infect Students Who Got COVID-19

        Well, that didn’t take long. We had just been discussing how the Paulding County School District had suspended a student for taking a photo of packed hallways filled with kids not wearing masks on the first day back to school a week or so ago. While the school mumbled something about the suspension being for using a phone without permission at school, the school also said the quiet part out loud over the intercom when it informed students that any social media activity that made the school look bad would result in “consequences.” In case it wasn’t already clear, that is blatantly unconstitutional, violating the students’ First Amendment rights.

      • Selective Maritime Rules: The United States, Diego Garcia and International Law

        There are few more righteous sights than the paunchy US Secretary of State savaging the People’s Republic of China with his next volley on Chinese territorial aspirations. In July, Mike Pompeo released a statement putting any uncertain minds at ease on where Washington stood on the matter. “We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”

      • Trump’s War On Arms Control and Disarmament

        Seventy-five years ago, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 Japanese and injuring another 100,000.  The great fires that raged in each city consumed many of the bodies.  If ever there was a visceral force for promoting a world free of nuclear arms, it should be the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      • Saudi Crown Prince’s Hit Squads Reflect His Foreign Policy—And Ours

        When the unlawful killing of political enemies on foreign soil could refer to President Trump’s unlawful assassination of an Iranian general just as easily as it could refer to Mohammad bin Salman ordering hits on Khashoggi and Dr. Aljabri, it’s time to think about what our foreign policy has become.

      • ‘Emergency Was a Sham’: Top Democrat Says IG Report on Saudi Arms Deal ‘Deeply Damning’ for Pompeo

        “What sort of emergency makes itself known a few months in advance and can be resolved with weapons delivered years later?” 

      • The US Contracts Out Its Regime Change Operation in Nicaragua
      • Turkey’s search for oil may spill over into conflict with Greece

        All these tensions have been growing for a decade or so but started escalating at the end of last year when Turkey announced that it had agreed upon a maritime border with Libya — both a geographical and legal stretch. Once again, the Turkish claim ignored any claim that Greece had on the basis of several of its islands, including Crete, where there is an American base.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Lawfare Podcast: Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny Explain QAnon

        [...] The conspiracy theory has inspired acts of violence and is becoming increasingly mainstream, with several candidates for U.S. Congress being QAnon believers. They talked about how QAnon started, why we need to take it seriously and how the internet—and big technology platforms—have allowed the theory to spread.

    • Environment

      • The Improbability of CO2 Removal From the Atmosphere

        The concentration of carbon dioxide gas in today’s atmosphere is 417ppm (parts per million). There are 10^44 gas molecules in the entire atmosphere (78% diatomic nitrogen, 21% diatomic oxygen, 1% everything else), so 1ppm is equivalent to 10^38 gas particles. The 417ppm of CO2 represents a total of 4.17×10^40 molecules.

      • Pollution from Illegal Coal Mining in Qinghai Creates Hardship for Tibetan Nomads

        Illegal coal mining on a state-protected nature reserve in China’s northwestern Qinghai province has caused massive ecological damage and deprived Tibetan nomads of food for livestock, sources in the region told RFA.

        Chinese authorities announced Sunday that, following local media investigations into open-pit coal mining in the Qilian mountains, they detained Ma Shaowei, owner of mining company Xingqing, in Qinghai’s Haixi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

      • Taiwan dive firm says swimmers wearing sunscreen ‘not welcomed’ in Kenting

        Taiwan Dive Center, which offers underwater diving tours, published information in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Aug. 11) about the severity of coral bleaching the country is experiencing. In addition to inviting people to learn about the ecological woes in a livestream show, it said straightforwardly that customers using its service are “not welcomed” to engage in underwater activities after applying sunblock.

        Dylan Chen (陳琦恩), founder of Taiwan Dive Center, said worryingly that Kenting and Lambai Island (小琉球) are seeing the worst coral bleaching events in 13 years. The company is asking its clients to refrain from wearing makeup or sunscreen to reduce the amount of toxic substances released into the waters, wrote CNA.

      • Mauritius oil spill: Almost all fuel oil pumped out of MV Wakashio

        Almost all the fuel oil from the Japanese-owned ship that has caused a huge oil spill off the coast of Mauritius has been pumped out, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has said.

      • Global offshore wind industry takes huge strides

        The global offshore wind industry is booming, rapidly growing in size and earning vastly more across the globe.

      • With Biden-Harris Ticket Set, Climate Groups Demand ‘Transformative Action From Day One’ If Elected

        “Let’s do our part to end this era of chaos and defeat Republicans up and down the ballot. Then, let’s turn up to make a Biden-Harris administration lay the groundwork for a Green New Deal.”

      • Freakish Arctic Fires Alarmingly Intensify

        NASA satellite images of fires in eastern Siberia depict an inferno of monstrous proportions, nothing in modern history compares. And, as of July, it’s intensifying. Should people be concerned? Answer: Yes, and double yes.

      • Energy

        • Campaigners Demand Court Shuts Down Ecuador’s Oil Pipelines After Spill

          The Kichwa and Shuar tribes launched a lawsuit against the government and state-owned oil company Petroecuador in April after two pipelines ruptured. Around 27,000 Indigenous people already isolated by COVID-19 were left with little or no access to freshwater and fishing after more than 15,000 barrels of crude oil gushed into the Rivers Coca and Napa and downriver to Peru.

        • Profits fall sharply at Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil firm

          Or take Aramco’s debt. At 20.1% of capital, it is above the range of between 5% and 15% the firm had promised, in part owing to its $69bn purchase of a 70% stake in SABIC, a Saudi state-controlled petrochemicals company. Yet it remains less indebted than other oil majors. Critically, its investors enjoy juicier returns (see chart). In a world where many firms are reluctantly choosing to cut their dividends—as BP has done by half and Shell by two-thirds—Aramco is keeping its pledge to return $75bn to shareholders this year.

        • ‘Stranded Assets’ Risk Rising With Climate Action and $40 Oil

          When you see a half-constructed building that’s been abandoned, it’s a sign the project no longer made economic sense. There’s an argument that trillions of dollars’ worth of investments to tap new supplies of oil and gas might suffer the same fate, leaving deposits of oil in the ground and turning them into what are known as “stranded assets.” What had seemed like an abstract debate has been made very real by the sharp drop in oil prices in 2020, leading some major companies to shift plans away from fields where drilling is costlier or whose deposits are more carbon intensive.

        • Exclusive: BP poised to sell ‘stranded assets’ even if oil prices rally

          However, BP’s new divestment strategy, which has not previously been reported, means there will be no way back for the British energy company once it has offloaded its so-called stranded oil and gas assets.

        • BP poised to sell stranded assets even if oil prices rally, set to invest more in renewable energy

          The new strategy also sheds more light on chief executive Bernard Looney’s plan to reduce BP’s oil and gas production by 40%, or at least 1 million barrels per day, by 2030 while expanding into renewable energy.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Amid Pandemic and Economic Pain, UNICEF Unveils First-Ever Project to Combat Child Suffering in US

        “Children in our country don’t fare as well as children in other wealthy countries around the world, so we have a lot of work to do.”

      • Which Way for Today’s Mass Radicalization? Capitalism’s Impending Catastrophe…or a Socialist Future

        Predatory capitalism is facing its greatest crises ever. The gap between the exploiting few, who rule by guile and deceit – and brute force whexn necessary – and the vast majority, who are compelled to sell their labor to survive, has never been greater. A stunning half of the working-age population stand unemployed or subjected to a low-wage, part-time, gig economy wherein unprecedented numbers live paycheck to paycheck in fear of eviction or foreclosure. One in five families are unable to provide food for their children. 27 million Americans and their family members have lost health insurance coverage during the pandemic.

      • With Warren Sidestepped, Wall Street Execs Cheer Biden’s Pick of Harris for VP

        Biden’s selection of the California senator comes after Wall Street executives made clear that they would prefer “almost anyone” but Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

      • Economic Justice Is Necessary to Stop Murders of Trans Women of Color

        Even after this summer’s series of historic protests and marches led by trans women of color, the murder of Black and Brown trans women continues unabated. During this long summer, the number of deaths of transgender women has climbed ever upward to at least 23, higher than the entire number killed in all of 2019. These include the recent brutal stabbing of 32-year-old Tiffany Harris in New York City and 24-year-old Queasha Hardy of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Their deaths underscore why the American Medical Association last year labeled the killing of transgender women “an epidemic.” And they point to why it is clearly time for unprecedented action to stem the tide of blood in trans communities of color. The good news is that there is a way to do it.

      • This Billionaire Governor Keeps Firing Top Officials When He Has a Crisis

        In the midst of a billion-dollar road-building program last year, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice fired his transportation secretary. The two had disagreed about how to best spend the money.

        A year earlier, while the state worked to recover from a major flood, Justice ousted his commerce secretary, the cabinet member who was leading much of the effort. The governor blamed him for delays in helping flood victims.

      • Ilhan Omar Soundly Defeats Big-Money Challenger

        Fueled by small donations, grassroots progressive enthusiasm, and an expanding base of support, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday handily defeated a dark money-backed challenger in the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district — a win the progressive incumbent characterized as further evidence that “organized people will always beat organized money.”

      • ‘Our Movement Didn’t Just Win. We Earned Mandate for Change,’ Says Ilhan Omar After Soundly Defeating Big-Money Challenger

        “In Minnesota, we know that organized people will always beat organized money. Despite outside efforts to defeat us, we once again broke turnout records. Despite the attacks, our support has only grown.”

      • The Raging Class War Against Poor And Working Class Americans During The COVID-19 Pandemic

        From the immense pressure placed on workers to return to low-wage jobs to broken social safety nets that have compounded poverty, food and housing insecurity, and inadequate unemployment benefits, America’s poor and working class have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, income inequality was at its highest levels since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking the widening gap fifty years ago. These gaps are now more stark and pronounced amid job losses in the millions, which have primarily impacted low-paying industries. Business closures have been extended, and a workforce where 40 percent of Americans didn’t have $400 in savings for emergencies before the pandemic has suffered immensely.

        Coronavirus cases in California soared toward the end of June, with Los Angeles County emerging as a hot spot in the state. 

      • Never waste an opportunity? COVID-19 and Kodak

        In today’s COVID-19 world, the granting of public funds for R&D and production is taking place at a feverish pace. For recipient companies, such sums are palpably welcome, even the more so when the recipient is yesterday’s technology success story trying to find new avenues for long-term survival. That is tough enough. But what happens when a government loan is announced, only to be put on hold. This is the current scenario involving the Eastman Kodak company.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Vital Democracy Reform’ Takes Hit in Oregon After US Supreme Court Undermines Another Ballot Initiative
      • That Will Show Us!
      • The Ambition of Kamala Harris Will Serve America Well

        Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate is one of the most fateful decisions of his political career. With Biden currently enjoying a healthy lead in the polls, there’s good reason to expect that Harris will make history in November by becoming the first female vice president, the first African American vice president, and the first Asian American vice president.

      • A Message to the Left About Kamala Harris—And Us

        If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected, they’ll still be influenced by the powerful forces that have shaped their careers. All the more reason progressives cannot sit this one out.

      • Kamala Harris Makes History, Many Times Over

        Kamala Devi Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, on Tuesday night became the first woman of color and child of two immigrants ever nominated for vice president of the United States. She grew up in the flatlands of Berkeley, Calif., raised by her beloved single mother, and was (now famously) bused to school. “We did not have an orderly television family life,” her late mother, breast-cancer researcher Dr. Shyamalan Gopalan Harris, told me 17 years ago. “I was always working.” Harris later chose to attend historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C. While in law school, this child of progressives decided she could have the most progressive personal impact as a prosecutor. Her devoted husband, attorney Doug Emhoff, is Jewish. His children call her “Momala.”

      • Kamala Harris? Really? Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

        Kamala Harris might be the perfect lens to reveal who the Democrats really are.  A good run-down on her track record highlights her assertion that “It is not progressive to be soft on crime.”  As a San Francisco social worker, I sat on the school district committee that met with families of chronically truant students.  Once, when we asked a student why he didn’t go to school, he said there was too much police tape and shootings at his school bus stop.  Harris, as CA Attorney General, was putting parents/caregivers in jail if their child was chronically truant.  Also as Attorney General, she denied a DNA test to Kevin Cooper, a very likely innocent man who came within hours of execution in 2004.  Such positions certainly furthered her political career as a tough-on-crime, prosecution-friendly politician, as well as garner political and financial support from police and prison guards.

      • Now Comes the Difficult Work of Pushing the Biden-Harris Ticket Left

        If Biden’s VP pick Kamala Harris is a “weather vane,” then it’s up to progressives to change the weather.

      • Denouncing ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Alex Morse, Former Detractor Calls for Focus on ‘Damage Richie Neal Is Doing to Our Democracy’

        “What is being done to Morse is a huge travesty—much more sinister than people yet know.”

      • Live blog: Protesters in Belarus plan to block roadways
      • Day three of the Minsk protests, in pictures

        Last night, opposition demonstrations in Belarus continued for the third day in a row. The protests started after election officials announced that incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) had won the elections on August 9, thereby extending his already 26-year rule. On August 11, a pro-government Telegram channel published a video message from Lukashenko’s main competitor during the elections, opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svitlana Tsikhanouskaya). The video raised a lot of questions, since Tikhanovskaya was reading directly from a piece of a paper. Without looking up, she called for an end to the demonstrations in Belarus. Allegedly, the video was recorded at the Central Election Commission’s office in Minsk. Hours later, reports surfaced that Tikhanovskaya had left the country for Lithuania. While yesterday’s demonstrations saw less protesters than the night before, law enforcement continued to respond violently. One incident saw riot police dispersing people who were bringing flowers to the Pushkin Metro Station to commemorate a demonstrator who was killed there the night before. According to Belarusian police officials, more than 1,000 people were detained during last night’s demonstrations and at least 50 people were hospitalized with injuries.

      • Kyiv seeks extradition of suspected Russian mercenaries arrested in Belarus

        Ukraine’s Attorney General’s Office has appealed to its Belarusian counterpart with a request to extradite the Russian nationals arrested in Belarus as suspected mercenaries from the “Wagner” private military company (PMC). The Ukrainian Attorney General’s Office shared this information in a Facebook post.

      • The Election Is Being Sabotaged Before Our Eyes

        As Trump continues his attacks on the post office and issues another round of illegal edicts, Truthout’s Kelly Hayes talks with author and researcher Sarah Kendzior about the ascent of authoritarianism in the U.S. and the potential collapse of democracy as we know it.

      • ‘A Conspiracy to Steal the Election, Folks’: Alarms Sound After Postal Worker Reports Removal of Sorting Machines

        The removal of key equipment from Post Offices should be viewed as nothing less than “sabotage,” said one observer.

      • The US Postal Service Was Never a Business. Stop Treating It Like One

        Congress should do everything in its power to ensure the U.S. Postal Service remains vibrant and strong.

      • Want to Get Into Some ‘Good Trouble’? Join the Fight to Save Our Post Office

        And that means fighting for our right to vote.

      • Trump’s Attack on the Postal Service Now Endangers Democracy

        Asked to defend his attacks on the U.S. Postal Service, Trump has just lied about them.

      • House Democrats Introduce Urgent Bill to End ‘Deliberate Sabotage’ of Postal Service by Postmaster General

        “A once-in-a-century pandemic is no time to enact changes that threaten service reliability and transparency.”

      • The 2020 Race Is Down to Center-Right vs. Far Right

        Vice President Mike Pence was doing a campaign gig in Arizona last night, the state where incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally continues to trail Democratic challenger and former astronaut Mark Kelly. Pence’s boss is locked in a virtual tie with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which explains why the vice president was spending time in a state that Republican presidential candidates have dominated in nearly every election since Barry Goldwater came down the mountain in 1964.

      • As Kamala Harris Makes History as VP Pick, Her “Top Cop” Record Faces New Scrutiny Amid BLM Protests

        Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s selection of California Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate for the November election makes her the first Black woman and the first Indian American on a major party presidential ticket. “It’s hard to overstate how historic, how monumental this is,” says Aimee Allison, president of She the People, which works to elevate the political voice and leadership of women of color. But in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history against racist policing, Briahna Joy Gray, the former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, says “there’s a great deal of frustration” with Harris, who is “known for being the top cop from California.”

      • Kamala Harris and her “Top Cop” Record
      • Kamala Harris’s “Top Cop” Record Faces New Scrutiny Amid BLM Protests

        Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s selection of California Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate for the November election makes her the first Black woman and the first Indian American on a major party presidential ticket. “It’s hard to overstate how historic, how monumental this is,” says Aimee Allison, president of She the People, which works to elevate the political voice and leadership of women of color. But in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history against racist policing, Briahna Joy Gray, the former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, says “there’s a great deal of frustration” with Harris, who is “known for being the top cop from California.”

      • Racist, QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene Wins Georgia GOP Primary

        Marjorie Taylor Greene’s views “have no place on the ballot or in Congress,” said DCCC chairwoman Cheri Bustos.

      • Trump Calls QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Who Won Georgia Primary “Republican Star”

        A Georgia Republican primary runoff election on Tuesday has resulted with voters selecting a candidate who promotes a highly dubious and potentially violent far-right conspiracy theory.

      • Georgia Governor Passes Law Granting Cops Protected Status For ‘Bias-Based’ Crimes

        Georgia governor Brian Kemp — last seen here trying to turn his own election security problems into a Democrat-lead conspiracy — has just proven he’s unable to read the room. The governor can’t read the room in his own state, much less the current state of the nation. Less than a month after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis triggered nationwide protests against police violence, officers in Atlanta were involved in a controversial killing of a Black man in a fast food restaurant parking lot.

      • Pro-Trump “News” Site Is Run by Trump’s Super PAC

        A super PAC officially endorsed by President Trump’s campaign has launched a conservative “news” site, and some of its content raises questions about possible violations of regulations that bar coordination between campaigns and political organizations.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Lockdown’ (Remix) By Anderson .Paak (Ft. JID, Noname & Jay Rock)

        “Lockdown” was released on Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the liberation of slaves on June 19, 1865.

      • It’s Illegal for Federal Officials to Campaign on the Job. Trump Staffers Keep Doing It Anyway.

        President Donald Trump’s recent musings about staging his Republican National Convention speech at the White House drew criticism from government ethics watchdogs and even one Republican senator, John Thune of South Dakota.

        The suggestion wasn’t an isolated blending of official presidential duties and the campaign. It was part of a yearslong pattern of disregarding such boundaries in the Trump White House. There is a law, called the Hatch Act, that prohibits most government officials from engaging in politicking in the course of their official work.

      • We Can’t Let the Nomination of Harris Blunt Our Demands for Racial Justice

        Kamala Harris has become the first woman of color to receive a major U.S. party’s nomination for vice president in large part thanks to widespread changes in consciousness resulting from the swelling tide of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter activism.

      • Kamala Harris Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the Vice Presidential Candidate

        On Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden selected Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his vice presidential running mate. We’ve collected some of the best stories on Harris to get you up to speed on the candidate.

        “How Kamala Harris Went From ‘Female Obama’ to Fifth Place,” Politico, November 2019

      • Mail sorting equipment being “removed” from post offices, leaving mail to “pile up”: union leader

        Numerous reports have detailed how changes made by DeJoy, a top donor to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, have cut overtime and changed policies, which have slowed down mail delivery across the country. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said last week that DeJoy had “confirmed that contrary to prior denials and statements minimizing these changes, the Postal Service recently instituted operational changes” shortly after he assumed office.

        “We believe these changes, made during the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, now threaten the timely delivery of mail — including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters — that is essential to millions of Americans,” they wrote in a letter to DeJoy, calling the cost-cutting measures “counterproductive and unacceptable.”

      • Trump filed “fraudulent” financial information about overseas golf clubs to US government: watchdog

        The American Democracy Legal Fund called on Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and the FBI to investigate whether Trump broke the law by filing false financial disclosure documents, according to a letter obtained by Politico.

        Trump reported to the U.S. government that his Trump International Golf Links Aberdeen and Trump Turnberry resorts in Scotland and the Trump Doonbeg in Ireland earned about $179 million in revenue between 2014 and 2018, according to research compiled by the group. Documents from the U.K. and Ireland show significantly less revenue — around $152 million — and the resorts actually lost $77 million over that time frame when expenses are included.

      • Facebook still hosts boogaloo extremist groups, report finds

        The boogaloo movement represents a group of loosely connected conservative and libertarian individuals who are often heavily armed and advocate for a second Civil War. The Tech Transparency Project said in its report Thursday that many of the groups aligned with the movement do not use “boogaloo” in their names, and often change their names to derivations of the word like “big luau” to avoid detection from the platform.

        In June, the company said, “this violent network is banned from having a presence on our platform and we will remove content praising, supporting or representing it.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Why Are There Currently No Ads On Techdirt? Apparently Google Thinks We’re Dangerous

        You probably didn’t notice it, but there are currently no third-party ads on Techdirt. We pulled them down late last week, after it became impossible to keep them on the site, thanks to some content moderation choices by Google. In some ways, this is yet another example of the impossibility of content moderation at scale. If we didn’t know and understand how impossible content moderation at scale is to do well, we might be like The Federalist and pretend that Google’s content moderation decisions were based on disagreement with our ideology. That would have allowed us to make a fake story like the one that is still getting news cycles, thanks to idiots in Congress insisting that Google defunded the Federalist because of its ideological viewpoints.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Hong Kong Media Tycoon’s Arrest Sparks Fear of Press Freedom Demise

        The arrest of pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai and the high-profile police raid on the Apple Daily newspaper this week has stoked widespread fears of the end of Hong Kong as a flourishing city where information and opinions were freely aired.

        Lai, 71, was one of ten people arrested Monday for violating the national security law imposed by China on July 1. Among them, two were his sons, four were senior executives at Lai’s Next Digital company, and three were activists, including 23-year-old Agnes Chow. Lai and Chow were released on bail late Tuesday.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Road to Portland: The Two Decades of ‘Homeland Security’

        Troops have stood down in Portland and, for now, the city is quiet — which may say something about who was driving the violence there.

      • Ending Mass Incarceration Is Only the Beginning

        The cry to end mass incarceration has become something of a bipartisan catchphrase in the last decade. Conservative stalwarts like Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist have decried the criminal justice system’s excesses in such unlikely forums as Ava Duvernay’s documentary 13th, and the Koch brothers have partnered with the Center for American Progress to create the Coalition for Public Safety, the largest bipartisan criminal justice reform organization in the United States. At a glance, criminal justice reform seems like one of the few areas in which people from across the political spectrum can find agreement, even if the total prison population has only seen modest declines since its peak in 2009.

      • Disparaging Stokely Carmichael, Bill Clinton attacks the black freedom struggle
      • After Charlottesville, Protesters Are Still in Danger

        Three years later, the wounds from Charlottesville still feel raw. After long, hot days of marching in the streets, my right leg will hurt more than usual. The flashbacks are still intense, particularly this time of year. After the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, uprisings against racism and police violence have once again forced America to confront its demons. Yet it still feels unclear what has changed in America since August 12, 2017. Though Confederate statues are finally coming down in Virginia and around the country, the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park—the site and pretext of the deadly rally in which I was nearly killed—still stands, with no plans for removal.

      • Activist Voices Missing From Corporate Coverage of Uprisings

        Since the brutal police murder of George Floyd, protesters for racial justice have mobilized across the country, attracting a frenzy of media commentary. To gauge who got to take part in this discussion, FAIR looked at whose voices were featured in some of the most prominent and influential outlets.

      • Popular Russian YouTuber arrested on treason charges

        Well-known St. Petersburg video blogger Andrey Pyzh (a.k.a. “Andrey MSH”) has been jailed in Moscow on charges of disseminating state secrets, reports Open Media. 

      • Belarusian Investigative Committee charges Russian election monitors with criminal rioting

        After being arrested during this week’s protests in Minsk, Belarus, two election monitors from the Open Russia group, Artyom Vazhenkov and Igor Rogov, are now suspects in a criminal rioting case, reports the Belarusian state news agency BelTA, citing the country’s Investigative Committee.

      • Women in white form human chains in solidarity with protesters in Belarus
      • EU foreign ministers to discuss sanctions against Belarus

        EU foreign ministers are set to hold an extraordinary meeting on Friday, August 14, to discuss sanctions against Belarus following the country’s disputed election and the violent suppression of opposition protesters, Reuters reports, citing Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde. 

      • What the Nazis Learned from Jim Crow: Author Isabel Wilkerson on the U.S. Racial Caste System

        In her extensively researched new book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson argues the United States’ racial hierarchy should be thought of as a caste system, similar to that in India. In a wide-ranging interview, she describes how she also looks at the ways Nazi Germany borrowed from U.S. Jim Crow laws. “The Nazis needed no one to teach them how to hate,” Wilkerson says. “But what they did was they sent researchers to the United States to study Jim Crow laws here in the United States, to study and to research how the United States had managed to subordinate and subjugate its African American population.”

      • Lyft joins Uber in threatening to pull out of California over driver status

        At issue is the classification of ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors, which Uber and Lyft say most drivers prefer because of the flexibility and ability to set their own hours. But labor unions and elected officials contend this deprives them of traditional benefits like health insurance and workers’ compensation. Earlier this week, Uber and Lyft were ordered by a California superior court judge to classify their drivers as employees. Both companies have said they would appeal the ruling, which was stayed for 10 days.

        But if their appeals fail, Lyft may join Uber in closing up shop in California, the company’s president John Zimmer said. “If our efforts here are not successful it would force us to suspend operations in California,” Zimmer said on a call announcing the second quarter earnings of 2020. “Fortunately, California voters can make their voices heard by voting yes on Prop 22 in November.”

      • Uber CEO Threatens Future Shutdown in California Over Labor Law

        Uber is asking the judge who issued the injunction to hold a hearing on Thursday for Uber to request that Monday’s order be put on hold for the duration of the appeals process, according to a filing in San Francisco state court.

      • Los Angeles police officer accused in lawsuit of fondling dead woman’s body

        After Rojas and his partner determined the woman was dead, the partner left the room and Rojas turned off his body-worn camera, but the camera caught the alleged fondling in the moments before the officer turned it back on because the devices have two-minute buffering periods to capture what happens right before they are activated, The Associated Press has previously reported.

      • 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment: Unpacking the Legacy | August 2020 Cover

        August 18 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment — the largest expansion of the franchise in the country’s history. It is a celebrated milestone in the United States’s story of suffrage and equal rights for women. But in practice, that historic document largely granted voting rights only to those who were white and well-off. Sexism, immigration bans, and a patchwork of other discriminatory state laws barred Native, Black, Asian, and Latinx women from voting well into the 20th century.

      • US asylum shutdown leaves LGBTQ+ people stranded and in danger in Mexico

        Having fled her home in El Salvador to try to start a new life in the United States after an assault by a gang left her in a coma for three months, Alejandra* arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana in November 2019 thinking the worst was behind her.

        A transgender woman, Alejandra thought the authorities at the US southern border would protect her. Instead, she was given an assigned number in the thousands and told to wait in Tijuana until it was called.

        Since the US government enacted a policy known as “Remain in Mexico” in January 2019, asylum seekers have been forced to wait for months in violent towns across the border until their US asylum hearing date, forcing many into makeshift camps as shelters filled up – a situation made even more precarious recently as Mexico has some of the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the world.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Creating Family Friendly Chat More Difficult Than Imagined (1996)

        Summary: Creating family friendly environments on the internet presents some interesting challenges that highlight the trade-offs in content moderation. One of the founders of Electric Communities, a pioneer in early online communities, gave a detailed overview of the difficulties in trying to build such a virtual world for Disney that included chat functionality. He described being brought in by Disney alongside someone from a kids’ software company, Knowledge Adventure, who had built an online community in the mid-90s called “KA-Worlds.” Disney wanted to build a virtual community space, HercWorld, to go along with the movie Hercules. After reviewing Disney’s requirements for an online community, they realized chat would be next to impossible:

      • ‘Open your carport:’ homeowners share their internet for online classes

        According to the Ministry of Communication and Transportation, although there are 74.3 million internet users in Mexico, only 65% of the country’s population over 6 years old has internet access.

        And that has triggered a grassroots movement to try to plug the gap.

        A Durango woman and her daughter are encouraging their fellow Mexicans to do what they’re doing: opening their carport to any student in need of Wi-Fi to attend classes or do their homework.

      • How the Internet Came to India: An Inside Account of India’s First Dial-Up Network

        I had the pleasure of having an early introduction to electronics and communication as a high school kid in the early fifties. A friend of mine, Mahadevan, and I used to haunt second hand bookshops to buy used copies of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines. This led to a fascination with “crystal radios” that could be built for Rs 15 in those days but after several visits to the Moore Market in what was then the city of Madras (now Chennai). The heart of the crystal radio was a small stone-like crystal glistening with its Germanium content. It sat in the metal cup of a broken torch light bulb. A bent wire made precarious contact with it. This was our homemade diode! I built a regenerative one-tube radio receiver the next year. Not surprisingly, I went on to study Electrical Engineering for my Bachelor of Engineering degree and Electronics for a Masters.
        Then came five years of work and study during the sixties at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), earning a PhD and getting deeply involved in the science and technology of computing. There was the magic of software and the grand ambition of artificial intelligence.

    • Monopolies

      • Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm Ins. (9th Cir. 2020)

        The Federal Trade Commission has a history of taking positions and aggressively pursuing them, despite getting reversed (sometimes continually) by Circuit Courts (see “Reverse Payments in Generic Drug Settlements”), although occasionally finding an ally in the Supreme Court (see “Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. (2013)”). Most recently, the FTC has waged a campaign against chipmakers involved in the cell phone industry, and their most spectacular victory was in convincing U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh (Northern District of California) to impose a worldwide injunction against Qualcomm. That victory was short-lived, however, with the Ninth Circuit ruling on Tuesday that Qualcomm’s business practices, while aggressive did not rise to antitrust violations. (The result may have been telegraphed by the Court in granting a stay on the injunction, where it said that the “district court’s order and injunction [was] either ‘a trailblazing application of the antitrust laws’ or ‘an improper excursion beyond the outer limits of the Sherman Act.’”)

        As set forth in the opinion, Qualcomm has been successful in making chips used in code division multiple access (“CDMA”) and premium long-term evolution (“LTE”) cellular modern technology, which it sells to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In addition, the company licenses its cellular standard essential patents (“SEPs”), non-cellular SEPS, and non-SEPs to OEMs as well as rival chipmakers. These chips and their licensed technologies that “enable[] cellular devices to practice CDMA and premium LTE technologies and thereby communicate with each other across cellular networks”; in a footnote, the Court explains that the company has two separate divisions, its Technology Licensing arm responsible for licensing its patent portfolios and establishing licensing rates, and its CMDA Technology division that cells modem chips. These divisions distinguish Qualcomm from other companies in this space (including Nokia and Ericsson, for example) who license their SEP portfolios but don’t also sell modem chips, and other chip makers (such as Samsung) who don’t have SEP portfolios to license. The opinion also acknowledged that Qualcomm had “monopoly power” (90% market share) over the CMDA modem chip market between 2006-2016 and 70% market share over the LTE chip market, and accordingly charged “monopoly prices” on its chips.

      • Patents

        • Untested hypothesis in a clinical trial protocol destroys novelty of a method of treatment claim in Australia (Mylan v Sun Pharma)

          When to file is one of the most important decisions to be made in the patent process. The later a patent application is filed, the more time there is to obtain data to support the patent. Data is necessary to overcome the strict sufficiency requirements for patentability of pharmaceutical and biotech inventions in Europe and elsewhere. On the other hand, the earlier a patent is filed, the lower the risk of novelty and inventive step destroying disclosures occurring before the patentee has put their flag in the sand.

          In recent years at the EPO, a dangerous crevasse has emerged between been what is necessary for sufficiency, and what is considered obvious. Many a would-be-patentee has fallen into the gap between the case law that says a clinical trial protocol (CTP) does not provide sufficient disclosure (e.g. T 0787/14, T 0899/14, T 1868/16) and the case law that says a CTP provides an expectation of success and thus renders a medical use claim obvious (e.g. T1853/16, T 0867/13, T 0239/16). The Australian court decision adds novelty to the equation.

          The case in Mylan v Sun related to Australian patents (AU2006313711, AU2003301807, AU731964) for fenofibrate and its second medical use to treat diabetic retinopathy. Fenofibrate was already known as a cholesterol-lowering agent. Mylan is the co-owner or exclusive licensee of the patents and markets its fenofibrate product Lipidil in Australia. Mylan sued Sun Pharma for infringement of the patents, and Sun Pharma counterclaimed that the patents were invalid.

      • Copyrights

        • [Old] Australia to make Google and Facebook pay for news content

          The Australian government said on Friday it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with Australian media businesses fair pay for news content.

          In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, the government aims to succeed where other countries have failed in making the global digital giants pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies.

        • High-Quality Piracy Boosts Box Office Revenues in Opening Week, Research Finds

          A new academic study shows that downloading movies from The Pirate Bay can positively affect box office revenue. The research finds that high-quality piracy during the opening week leads to an increase in legal revenues, likely due to a ‘promotional’ effect. However, this effect reverses in the weeks after.

        • BREIN Planning to Tighten The Noose on Pirates & Intermediaries

          Dutch anti-piracy group says it has remained busy during the COVID-19 lockdown period. In a report detailing its activities of the past six months, the group says that in addition to 250 enforcement actions against content providers, it is planning to tighten the noose on intermediaries. They need to cooperate more if they want to take advantage of their limited liability status.

        • Judge Tosses Out Genius’ Laughable Lawsuit Against Google Over Licensed Lyric Copying

          Last year we wrote about what we called the “dumbest gotcha story of the week,” involving the music annotation site Genius claiming that Google had “stolen” its lyrics. The only interesting thing about the story is that Genius had tried to effectively watermark its version of the lyrics by using some smart apostrophes and some regular apostrophes. However, as we noted, the evidence that Google “copied” Genius just wasn’t supported by the facts — and even if they had copied Genius, it’s unclear how that would violate any law. You can read that post for more details, but the simple fact is that a bunch of sites all license lyrics and have permission for them — and many use a third party such as LyricFind to supply the lyrics. But how those lyrics are created is… however possible. Even as sites “license” lyrics from publishing companies, those companies themselves don’t have their own lyrics. So basically lyric databases are created however possible — including having people jot down what they think lyrics are… or by copying other sites that are doing the same. And there’s nothing illegal about any of that.

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