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08.15.20

Links 15/8/2020: Wine 5.15, Cantor 20.08, Diffoscope 156

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Preparing Coreboot Laptop With Core i9 10900K, Up To 128GB RAM

        System76 has been on a spree of interesting hardware launches this year and their next one is a new Bonobo WS ultra high-end laptop.

        System76 has begun teasing a new Bonobo WS laptop featuring an Intel Core i9 10900K desktop processor, up to 128GB of DDR4-3200 memory, up to a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GPU, four M.2 slots for plenty of storage options, a 97 Wh battery, and amplified speakers complete with a subwoofer.

      • 3 crucial Linux patch management best practices for IT

        At a high level, Linux patch management best practices are actually similar to Windows patch management best practices. The process involves scanning the Linux desktops for missing patches, downloading those patches from the vendor’s site and then deploying the patches. While this process sounds simple, it can be anything but for admins.

        After all, each vendor distributes its own patches, and the patches designed for one distribution will not work with another. Similarly, patches are OS version-specific, so IT professionals will have to ensure they apply the patches to the proper version of the correct distribution.

        [...]

        For example, Red Hat enables live kernel patching, which doesn’t require a reboot, using a tool called Kpatch. Kpatch is available on GitHub and designed to work with other Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Ubuntu and Debian. However, these Linux distribution vendors may not support Kpatch — and for good reason. GitHub provides a warning for admins that they should use Kpatch with caution. The site indicates that “kernel crashes, spontaneous reboots and data loss may occur.”

        There are two Linux patch management best practices to follow that will help admins avoid these issues. The first is to only use native tools that officially support the specific Linux distribution vendor, such as Red Hat officially supporting Kpatch. The other option for Linux desktop admins is to adopt a reputable third-party patch management tool, such as Automox, ManageEngine Desktop Central or GFI LanGuard.

      • With Android, Linux, and now Windows 10 support, have Chromebooks lost their simplicity?

        Back in 2009 at the debut event for Chrome OS, Sundar Pichai said Chromebooks would focus on the “three S’s”: Security, speed, and simplicity. And the first devices were indeed simple to use; if you knew how to use the Chrome browser, you knew how to use a Chromebook. Since then, Android apps arrived in 2015, followed by Linux containers and, most recently, news of Windows 10 in a Parallels virtual machine. With each one of these bolt-ons to Chrome OS, I heard people say something along the lines of, “I don’t want all that, I just want the simple experience of the Chrome browser.”

        [...]

        When it comes to hardware resources, there are some valid concerns there but again, they’re pretty minimal. Chromebooks ship with support for Android apps in the Google Play Store by default these days, so the code for that is actually part of the Chrome OS build. That means some of your local storage is used for a feature that you may not want or use. It’s not gigabytes of storage that’s “wasted” though; in the grand scheme of things, I’d be surprised if the Google Play Store code takes up more than 250 MB of data.

        And the Linux container doesn’t take up any space at all by default. You have to enable Linux in the Settings of your Chromebook to get Linux. When you do, that’s when the 300 or so megabytes of code for the Terminal and Debian build of Linux are downloaded for use.

    • Server

      • Intel mOS: Linux variant intended for for high-performance computing

        Intel mOS aims to provide a high-performance environment for software, the operating system is based on the Linux kernel, modified by Intel to make it suitable for the HPC ecosystem.

        The media said that mOS is still in the early stages of research, but could already be used for supercomputers like ASCI Red, IBM Blue Gene, and so on. Intel’s goal is to develop a stable version of the Aurora supercomputer when it is ready.

        The Intel mOS system will continue to be based on Linux extensions, the latest version 0.8 uses the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel, but it has its own LWK lightweight kernel, the Linux kernel manages a small number of CPU cores to ensure compatibility, and the LWK kernel manages the rest of the system, similar to the Mutil-OS multi-OS.

      • OpenStack Charms 20.08 – TrilioVault, Arista and more

        One of the biggest enhancements brought by the OpenStack Charms 20.08 release is an addition of TrilioVault for OpenStack. TrilioVault is a backup and recovery solution that natively integrates with OpenStack, providing data protection capabilities for workloads running in the cloud. It integrates with the OpenStack dashboard to provide tenant-level control and visibility for backup administrators in a single view.

        TrilioVault for OpenStack is available in the form of four charms: trilio-data-mover, trilio-dm-api, trilio-horizon-plugin and trilio-wlm that can be seamlessly plugged into the Charmed OpenStack deployment. Refer to the OpenStack Charms documentation for exact integration steps. All charms are released as stable and will be supported under the Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure (UA-I) subscription. Canonical and Trilio have partnered to ensure that the joint solution is fully tested and validated.

      • Introducing Hierarchical Namespaces

        Safely hosting large numbers of users on a single Kubernetes cluster has always been a troublesome task. One key reason for this is that different organizations use Kubernetes in different ways, and so no one tenancy model is likely to suit everyone. Instead, Kubernetes offers you building blocks to create your own tenancy solution, such as Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and NetworkPolicies; the better these building blocks, the easier it is to safely build a multitenant cluster.

      • Mirantis acquires popular Kubernetes IDE Lens

        Kubernetes, the container orchestration program of choice for most companies is many things, but one thing it’s not is “easy.” It’s famous for being complex and a real pain-in-the-rump to work with, which is one reason why Mirantis, a Kubernetes, has acquired the popular open-source Lens Kubernetes integrated development environment (IDE) project. This comes after Mirantis acquired the Kotena team behind it in February.

        [...]

        Why? Mirantis states it’s because: “Lens eliminates the Kubernetes complexity that has hindered mainstream developer adoption since its inception. The tool unlocks situational awareness and enables users to easily manage, develop, debug, monitor, and troubleshoot their workloads across multiple clusters in real-time.”

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #360: Zapped

        Welcome to the 360th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topic show, the hosts discuss 1.2GHz distance records, a hybrid antenna for geosynchronous satellite operation, data mode identification for your smart phone, being pwned, Ubuntu 20.04.1, LibreOffice, HamClock and much more. Thanks for listening and hope you have a great week.

      • LHS Episode #361: The Weekender LIV

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • 2020-08-14 | Linux Headlines

        Google could be extending its Firefox search royalty deal, PyPy leaves the Software Freedom Conservancy, Ubuntu puts out a call for testing, Linspire removes snapd support, Microsoft showcases its open source contributions, and Facebook joins The Linux Foundation.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9 Brings Safeguard Following NVIDIA’s Recent “GPL Condom” Incident

        Stemming from the recent discussions over NVIDIA NetGPU code that relied on another shim for interfacing between NVIDIA’s proprietary driver and the open-source kernel code, a new patch is on the way for Linux 5.9 to fight back against such efforts.

        As a result of that “NetGPU” code patch series and the ensuing discussion, longtime kernel developer Christoph Hellwig followed through with a set of kernel patches to tighten up access to kernel symbols exported as GPL-only and are frequently used by these open-source “shim” drivers to sit between the open-source kernel code and the binary kernel modules. This situation also known as the “GPL condom” defense is working to be better avoided with Linux 5.9+ kernels.

      • Linux 5.9 Dropping Xen 32-bit PV Guest Support

        Back in Linux 5.4 Xen 32-bit PV guest support was deprecated while now for Linux 5.9 it’s set to be removed entirely. Last year’s deprecation comes with the 32-bit usage dwindling in general but PVH being preferred to PV, Meltdown mitigations not being present, and the code not seeing much activity. Now for Linux 5.9 that support is being gutted.

      • Final passes for sale for Linux Plumbers

        We hit our registration cap again and have added a few more passes. The final date for purchasing passes is August 19th at 11:59pm PST. If the passes sell out before then we will not be adding more. Thank you all once again for your enthusiasm and we look forward to seeing you August 24-28!

      • OpenRISC Sees Sane TLB Flushing With Linux 5.9

        While RISC-V is flourishing when it comes to this open-source CPU architecture, the related OpenRISC architecture is still advancing but not seeing as much hardware efforts around it. In any case, the Linux kernel support continues improving for OpenRISC and with Linux 5.9 are more improvements.

        OpenRISC still lacks any open-source ASIC with predominantly being used on FPGAs and a few commercial efforts based on the OpenRISC 1000 architecture. OpenRISC on the Linux software side has continued seeing improvements since its introduction back in 3.1.

      • NFS Client Changes For Linux 5.9 Include User Xattr Support

        As reported a few days ago the NFS server with Linux 5.9 saw user xattr support finally merged for user-extended attributes as defined by RFC 8276. The NFS client changes have now been sent in for this kernel and include the user xattr support along with other changes.

        The NFS client pull request was sent in on Friday by Trond Myklebust. Most notably is the support for user extended attributes through the NFSv4.2 protocol as previously covered on Phoronix. Both the client and server support was wired up by an Amazon engineer.

      • Intel P-State With Linux 5.9 Adds Passive Mode With Hardware P-States

        Merged last week to Linux 5.9 were the main set of power management updates while hitting the kernel now are some last minute power-related changes.

        Intel power management maintainer Rafael Wysocki for a while now has been working on allowing the P-State CPU frequency scaling driver to work in its passive mode when hardware p-states (HWP) is enabled for the system. That support is now deemed ready for mainline and will be available with Linux 5.9.

    • Applications

      • Photoflare – Simple Powerful Image Editor Inspired by PhotoFiltre

        Photoflare is an open-source simple and powerful image editing software inspired by PhotoFiltre.

        Photoflare is written in C++ with Qt5 framework. It works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, and features basic image editing capabilities, paint brushes, image filters, colour adjustments and more advanced features such as Batch image processing.

        Besides the community version, the software also offers studio edition requires to pay for packages.

      • 8 Best Free Vim-Like Text Editors

        Fortunately, the days of Emacs vs vi flame wars fizzled out decades ago. But there’s still lots of friction when it comes to text editors.

        Vim is an enhanced version of the vi editor, with development dating back to 1976.

        Vim is a highly configurable, powerful, console-based, open source text editor. It’s efficient, letting users edit files with a minimum of keystrokes. Vim offers word completion, undo, shortcuts, abbreviations, keyboard customization, macros, and scripts. You can turn this into your editor for your environment.

        Why learn Vim?

      • Vim: There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Vim Plugins

        I’ve covered a lot of vim plugins on this channel and I’m not still running every single one of them that would be ridiculous so I thought because people occasionally ask about it why not do an updated look at what I’m actually running. Yes it’s a long video because there’s a lot of plugins to talk about.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.15 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Initial implementation of the XACT Engine libraries.
          - Beginnings of a math library in MSVCRT based on Musl.
          - Still more restructuration of the console support.
          - Direct Input performance improvements.
          - Exception handling fixes on x86-64.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.15.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.15.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
      • Wine 5.15 is out with XACT work and Direct Input improvements

        Another two weeks and another development release of Wine has been let out to breathe, here’s the highlights of Wine 5.15 that will eventually become Wine 6.0.

        [...]

        This release also saw 27 mentioned bug fixes, some being older bugs that were found to be working now. Fixes include: Red Dead Redemption 2, Grim Dawn, Call of Duty: WWII, FrostyModManager, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Bully Scholarship Edition and more.

      • Wine 5.15 Release Brings Initial Work On XACT Engine Libraries

        Wine 5.15 is out as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot for this program allowing Windows games/applications to generally run quite gracefully on Linux and other platforms.

      • Wine Developer Begins Experimenting With macOS ARM64 Support

        Over the months ahead with Apple preparing future desktops/laptops with their in-house Apple silicon built on the ARM 64-bit architecture, Wine developers are beginning to eye how to support these future 64-bit ARM systems with macOS Big Sur.

        Wine developer Martin Storsjo has been experimenting with the macOS + ARM64 support and has got the code along far enough that “small test executables” can run on the patched copy of Wine.

      • Wine-Staging 5.15 Brings Systeminfo, Media Improvements

        Following the release yesterday of Wine 5.15, Wine-Staging 5.15 is out this morning and is coming in slightly smaller as a result of the XACT Engine work being upstreamed.

        Wine-Staging 5.15 is coming in at just 670 patches thanks to the XACTEngine3 DLL work hitting Wine 5.15 plus other patches being upstreamed around raw input, FSUTIL, and other bits.

    • Games

      • The Vaporum: Lockdown teaser has me wanting more

        Vaporum: Lockdown is the upcoming prequel to 2017′s Vaporum, a first-person real-time dungeon crawler that impressed with the graphical style and the gameplay. With grid-based movement, it was something of a highlight if you enjoyed classics like Dungeon Master I and II, the Eye of the Beholder series, and the more recent Legend of Grimrock I and II.

      • Want more professional Godot Engine tutorials? Check out this new Kickstarter

        Interested in game development? Godot Engine is a constantly improving free, open source and high quality game engine and one developer is trying to push out more professional content to help people using it.

        Nathan Lovato has been working on GDQuest, a free Software project and a social company that started off as a little YouTube channel focused on game art tutorials. They later moved onto Krita as their “first taste” of free software, and then they moved onto Godot Engine and Linux too. Since then they’ve continued to expand, putting out a ton of free tutorials and tools for developers over on the GDQuest website, which includes plenty of open source stuff.

      • Papercraft tactical RPG ‘Wildermyth’ is now massively better after recent updates

        Wildermyth, a tactical turn-based RPG with a Papercraft styled design that’s like a tabletop RPG mixed with XCOM has recently had some pretty huge tech upgrades.

        It’s already winning me over as a game, with some fantastic campaigns to play through and a style that is just amazing. However, it has struggled with a few major technical issues across both Linux and Windows. In particular, the mouse was unusable in fullscreen which has now been fully solved. The developer has recently upgraded their use of the cross-platform tech: libGDX, LWJGL and GLFW to new major versions which has made the entire experience drastically better.

      • Free and open source voxel RPG ‘Veloren’ has a huge new release out

        Veloren is an in-development open-world and open source voxel RPG, it shows a massive amount of promise and a brand new release is out for you to try. If you missed it, we did an interview with one of the developers back in June which is a good read if you want a little more background info.

        Inspired by the likes of Cube World, Dwarf Fortress, and Breath of the Wild it could be something special and this brand new 0.7 release is showing more of what it’s capable of.

      • Dota 2 – The International 10 close to a record for the Battle Pass, new Collector’s Cache

        The International 10, Dota 2′s upcoming major tournament is getting close to breaking another record for the prize pool. Plus there’s a new Collector’s Cache up.

        Mostly funded by the Battle Pass, where 25% of it goes into the prize pool and the rest to Valve, making it a tidy earner for Valve even with their costs. For the 2019 tournament, the total managed to hit $34,330,068 which was a world record for the biggest prize pool in a single e-sport event. It’s looking this the next tournament is going to be even bigger with it currently sitting at $32,655,676. There’s still quite a long while to go too, as the current Battle Pass isn’t ending until September 19. Looks like we might have another world record on our hands here soon! A lot can happen though, as the actual tournament is no longer happening as planned. Valve delayed The International 10 until 2021, due to all the issues with COVID19 making travel a bad idea.

      • A weekend round-up: tell us what play button you’ve been clicking recently

        Another week has dragged on and here we are, the weekend. It’s time to go over a few little bits and find out what our readers have been playing this week.

        For me, I’ve been playing rather a lot of DRAG, the fancy new racer from Orontes Games. As pretty as it is and how smooth the performance is, the game itself might be the most frustrated I’ve been with a racing game—ever. Not the kind of frustration to put me off because of technical issues, more at my own inability to keep the damn car from sliding about everywhere and then smashing into a tiny little tree and losing a precious wheel.

        [...]

        Something very concerning is what’s happening over at Mozilla. There’s been some conflicting reports but they’re definitely changing and letting go of 250 staff members. MDN (Mozilla Developer Network), practically one of the go-to places for reading up on web tech and standards also had its team gutted and they’re trying to find a way forwards. Hopefully it’s not all as bad as it sounds. It’s alarming since they make Firefox, and it would be really bad if we ended up with just Chromium sticking around. Open source still sure, but Google pretty firmly control it. The somewhat good news, is that Mozilla has now managed to sign a new deal with Google for funding, which makes up the majority of their incoming monies.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Highlight changed settings and much much more

          This week a big new feature landed for Plasma 5.20: the System Settings app now has the ability to optionally highlight any settings you’ve changed from their default states! This required a ton of engineering throughout the stack which will pay many dividends down the road. For example, it opens the door to a global “reset to defaults” button now that all of the pages know what their default states actually are and take into account distro default settings, rather than always using KDE upstream defaults. Big thanks to Kevin Ottens, Benjamin Port, and Cyril Rossi, who made this happen.

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Seeing More System Settings Work, KDE-Inhibit Helper

          KDE developers remain very busy tacking new features onto Plasma 5.20 and other improvements for polishing their desktop.

          KDE developer Nate Graham has published his weekend report on the various KDE changes that landed over the past week. Some of this week’s highlights include:

          - Plasma 5.20′s System Settings can now highlight any settings that have been changed from their default states.

          - The System Settings area’s autostart page has been rewritten. Also, the System Settings global shortcuts and standard shortcuts have been combined into a single “shortcuts” area.

        • Sketchnotes at FOSDEM 2020

          This year I attended FOSDEM again and I kept sketchnoting some of the few session I attended. I didn’t manage to sketchnote them all though… Looks like I was less lucky than the previous year and sometimes entered the room a bit late.

          Also it looks like I didn’t post them on social media this year… woops, I was really badly organized in February 2020.

        • SPDX for KF5/KF6 Status Update

          Converting source files from traditional license headers to SPDX expressions maybe is explained best to be like visiting a dentist: Usually it is not the most appealing thing in the world, while being there it can be slightly unpleasant and tedious for both, but at the end you are quite happy that the work was done. This is quite similar to my experience with the KDE Framework sources. Since many of the files are older than 10 years and some even older then 20, you can find surprisingly different copyright statement styles. However, finally after quite some moths task T11550 is done \o/

          This small task tracks all the work that was done in the ~80 frameworks repositories, which finalle state all copyright and license statements in machine readable, modern SPDX syntax. In total, my “grep -nr “SPDX-License-Identifier” |wc” command (not completely accurate, but easiest to get an general direction) tells about ~7400 files that were converted. At this point, I want to thank especially Christophe Giboudeaux, who did most of the reviews of these changes. Even if we could do most of the conversions with tooling (see licensedigger, which is now in SDK Playground by the way) the whole conversion was quite time consuming because every change must be reviewed carefully.

        • Gina Häußge and OctoPrint

          Well, I found myself in the situation that I had this huge Open Source project on my hands that really was not a thing you could still do on the side, but I also had no funding. I could just have said, “well, okay then” and gotten myself a regular job again. No risk, steady paycheck. But not as exciting either.

          So, I did what just two or so years prior I had laughed off and decided to go self-employed. I figured I would probably kick myself for the rest of my life if I didn’t even TRY to see if I could maybe continue working on OctoPrint full time funded through crowdfunding. So, I went for that. Set up a Patreon campaign, pushed out a “Call to Action” on all social feeds of the project and hoped for the best.

        • Cantor 20.08

          Our developers are adding some usability improvements to Cantor and some initial results from GSoC projects are now available with the 20.08 release.

          For example, now you can collapse, uncollapse, and remove all results from the worksheet; exclude entries from the worksheet commands processing; add actions for selected texts; zoom widgets; get tooltips for almost all settings options; use the new horizontal rule entry; and more.

    • Distributions

      • Best Kali Linux Alternatives

        A system based on security is a great approach for hackers, as it can immediately detect any defects and weaknesses in a computer or network. Linux is the most commonly used operating system among hackers. Various Linux hacking distributions consist of several tools used to improve the security of the network. Kali Linux is one of the best distributions, and alternative Linux distributions come with different advanced features. This article will discuss some of the best Kali Linux alternatives used by hackers.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The modern developer experience

          We hear from many clients that developer productivity and efficiency continue to be pain points. Cloud adoption can help normalize developer experiences across application stacks and runtimes. The path and steps for your developers to push code should be clear, simple, and easy to implement, even on Day 1.

          The modern developer experience provides a unified and normalized practice with modern tools. Developers thrive in the inner loop where unit tests and code come together, and in a penalty-free runtime execution environment where no one gets hurt, no processes take down precious workloads, and no one knows that it took 20 minutes to resolve that pesky runtime error. The inner loop occurs in a developer workspace that is easy to set up, manage, prepare, maintain, and, more importantly, easy to allocate. If a new developer is added to your squad, they can have all of the mechanical things they need to push code changes into the pipeline on their first day.

          An important part of the modern developer experience is expressed as Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, which provides a set of constructs to provision a developer workspace in the cloud where they can perform their inner loop. A save action to a workspace file initiates an inner loop build in their local workspace, and an endpoint for the developer to see their changes quickly.

        • Call for Code Daily: Grillo, and how your code can help

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of August 10th:

        • Culture of Innovation and Collaboration: Hybrid Cloud, Privacy in AI and Data Caching

          Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven through the Office of the CTO and includes OpenShift, OpenShift Container Storage and use cases such as the hybrid cloud, privacy concerns in AI, and data caching. We recently interviewed Hugh Brock, research director for the office of the CTO, here at Red Hat about these very topics.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-33

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 33 has branched from Rawhide. Please update the Release Readiness page with your team’s status.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Fedora Magazine: Come test a new release of pipenv, the Python development tool

          Pipenv is a tool that helps Python developers maintain isolated virtual environments with specifacally defined set of dependencies to achieve reproducible development and deployment environments. It is similar to tools for different programming languages, such as bundler, composer, npm, cargo, yarn, etc.

          A new version of pipenv, 2020.6.2, has been recently released. It is now available in Fedora 33 and rawhide. For older Fedoras, the maintainers decided to package it in COPR to be tested first. So come try it out, before they push it into stable Fedora versions. The new version doesn’t bring any fancy new features, but after two years of development it fixes a lot of problems and does many things differently under the hood. What worked for you previously should continue to work, but might behave slightly differently.

        • Introduction to cloud-native CI/CD with Tekton (KubeCon Europe 2020)

          If you’re interested in cloud-native CI/CD and Tekton but haven’t had a chance to get hands-on with the technology yet, the KubeCon Europe Virtual event provides an opportunity to do that. Tekton is a powerful and flexible open source framework for creating cloud-native CI/CD pipelines. It integrates with Kubernetes and allows developers to build, test, and deploy across multiple cloud providers and on-premises clusters as shown in Figure 1.

        • Introduction to Strimzi: Apache Kafka on Kubernetes (KubeCon Europe 2020)

          Apache Kafka has emerged as the leading platform for building real-time data pipelines. Born as a messaging system, mainly for the publish/subscribe pattern, Kafka has established itself as a data-streaming platform for processing data in real-time. Today, Kafka is also heavily used for developing event-driven applications, enabling the services in your infrastructure to communicate with each other through events using Apache Kafka as the backbone. Meanwhile, cloud-native application development is gathering more traction thanks to Kubernetes.

          Thanks to the abstraction layer provided by this platform, it’s easy to move your applications from running on bare metal to any cloud provider (AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM, and so on) enabling hybrid-cloud scenarios as well. But how do you move your Apache Kafka workloads to the cloud? It’s possible, but it’s not simple. You could learn all of the Apache Kafka tools for handling a cluster well enough to move your Kafka workloads to Kubernetes, or you could leverage the Kubernetes knowledge you already have using Strimzi.

        • OpenShift for Kubernetes developers: Getting started

          If you are familiar with containers and Kubernetes, you have likely heard of the enterprise features that Red Hat OpenShift brings to this platform. In this article, I introduce developers familiar with Kubernetes to OpenShift’s command-line features and native extension API resources, including build configurations, deployment configurations, and image streams.

        • Man-DB Brings Documentation to IBM i

          IBM i developers who have a question about how a particular command or feature works in open source packages now have an easy way to look up documentations, thanks to the addition of support for the Man-DB utility in IBM i, which IBM unveiled in late July.

          Man-DB is an open source implementation of the standard Unix documentation system. It provides a mechanism for easily accessing the documentation that exists for open source packages, such as the Node.js language, or even for commands, like Curl.

          The software, which can be installed via YUM, only works with open source software on IBM i at the moment; it doesn’t support native programs or commands.

        • Making open decisions in five steps

          The group’s leader made a decision, and everyone else accepted it. The leader may have been a manager, a team lead, or the alpha in a social group. Was that decision the best one for the group? Did it take all relevant factors into account? It didn’t really matter, because people didn’t want to buck authority and face the ramifications. But this behavior was typical of life in hierarchical systems.

        • 7 tips for giving and receiving better feedback
      • Debian Family

        • Debian Janitor: 8,200 landed changes landed so far

          The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor.

          The bot has been submitting merge requests for about seven months now. The rollout has happened gradually across the Debian archive, and the bot is now enabled for all packages maintained on Salsa , GitLab , GitHub and Launchpad.

        • Meet the first South African elected to lead Debian Linux

          Earlier this year, the developers of Debian elected Jonathan Carter, a South African based in Cape Town, as the Debian Project Lead.

          Debian is a Linux distribution that is an important component in the free software and open-source ecosystems.

          Aside from being used as an operating system on servers and desktop computers, Debian is used as the foundation of several other popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu which was founded by Mark Shuttleworth.

          Debian was also a pioneer in providing users with central software repositories, releasing its Advanced Packaging Tool in 1999.

        • Jonathan Carter: bashtop, now in buster-backports

          Recently, I discovered bashtop, yet another fancy top-like utility that’s mostly written in bash (it uses some python3-psutil and shells out to other common system utilities). I like its use of high-colour graphics and despite being written in bash, it’s not as resource heavy as I would have expected and also quite snappy (even on a raspberry pi). While writing this post, I also discovered that the author of bashtop ported it to Python and that the python version is called bpytop (hmm, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it), which is even faster and less resource intensive than the bash version (although I haven’t tried that yet, I guess I will soon…).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS released
        • Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS released
        • Canonical updates two old Ubuntu LTSs with point releases

          Canonical, the firm behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, has announced the availability of Ubuntu 16.04.7 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS. The new updates come just a week after the firm pushed Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS which includes all the latest patches on a brand new ISO. The two updates for the older LTSs also include the latest patches in newly spun ISOs helping users to save time post-installation as fewer updates will need installing.

          The most interesting of the two releases is Ubuntu 18.04.5, this update includes hardware enablement stacks that add support for newer hardware. The new hardware support is available for all the supported architectures and comes out of the box when you install Ubuntu using one of the desktop images. Ubuntu Server will default to the GA kernel but the HWE kernel with new hardware support is available from the installer bootloader.

        • Optimised authentication methods for Ubuntu Desktop

          Still counting on passwords to protect your workstation? When set up properly, alternatives to passwords provide a streamlined user experience while significantly improving security. These alternative authentication methods can also easily be combined to create a custom and adaptive authentication profile.

          This whitepaper introduces three popular authentication methods that provide a solid alternative to passwords. Perhaps you’d like to configure your laptop for login using a YubiKey hardware token connected to a dock. Another option could be to login with a Duo push notification when not connected to the dock, but use a Google Authenticator one-time password when no network is available. Maybe you need a separate hardware token just for ssh authentication, and you always need to keep a long, complex password for emergency authentication should all other methods fail. All of these scenarios can be easily configured within Ubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • GIMIAS: An Open-source Modular Environment for Building Medical Imaging Applications

        Building medical imaging applications has been evolving as the industry demands over the last decade. From creating the application from scratch to medical imaging specific frameworks, platforms and environments. Today’s topic is about one of these specific tools: GIMIAS.

        GIMIAS is an open-source platform for creating medical imaging applications that can be used for clinical practice, research and medical simulation.

        It’s introduced as “a workflow-oriented environment for solving advanced biomedical image computing and individualized simulation problems”.

        GIMIAS is developed by dozens of scientists, researchers and scientific developers at CISTIB (Center for Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine).

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Tor security advisory: exit relays running sslstrip in May and June 2020

            What happened

            In May 2020 we found a group of Tor exit relays that were messing with exit traffic. Specifically, they left almost all exit traffic alone, and they intercepted connections to a small number of cryptocurrency exchange websites. If a user visited the HTTP version (i.e. the unencrypted, unauthenticated version) of one of these sites, they would prevent the site from redirecting the user to the HTTPS version (i.e. the encrypted, authenticated version) of the site. If the user didn’t notice that they hadn’t ended up on the HTTPS version of the site (no lock icon in the browser) and proceeded to send or receive sensitive information, this information could be intercepted by the attacker.

      • FSF

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Libraries ‘will cancel journal subscriptions’ unless prices drop

            Research Libraries UK, the Society of College, National and University Libraries, and Jisc said that universities were under heavy pressure to reduce all expenditure and divert financial resources to areas of immediate concern, such as online teaching and measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. As a result, immediate reductions on the price of journal subscriptions were necessary if institutions and their researchers were to retain access to content, they said.

      • Programming/Development

        • Picolibc Updates

          I thought work on picolibc would slow down at some point, but I keep finding more things that need work. I spent a few weeks working in libm and then discovered some important memory allocation bugs in the last week that needed attention too.

          [...]

          Szabolcs Nagy and Wilco Dijkstra’s work in the last few years has been to improve the performance of some of the core math functions, which is much appreciated. They’ve adopted a more modern coding style (C99) and written faster code at the expense of a larger memory foot print.

          One interesting choice was to use double computations for the float implementations of various functions. This makes these functions shorter and more accurate than versions done using float throughout. However, for machines which don’t have HW double, this pulls in soft double code which adds considerable size to the resulting binary and slows down the computations, especially if the platform does support HW float.

          The new code also takes advantage of HW fused-multiply-add instructions. Those offer more precision than a sequence of primitive instructions, and so the new code can be much shorter as a result.

        • Josef Strzibny: Soft dependencies in Elixir projects

          How to support soft dependencies in Elixir libraries to provide optional features without any dependency baggage?

        • 8 + 1 things to get you started with the Elixir’s interactive shell (IEx)

          Are you coming to Elixir from another language with an interactive shell? There are a few specific things about Elixir’s interactive shell (IEx) to keep an eye on and make ourselves more efficient. Here they are.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #073

            For the first time, I have joined the private Early Bird Club and taking the advantage of doing the challenge before the launch. I am not sure, if you noticed, this I shared by solutions before lunch time on day one. I did both tasks in Perl, Raku and Swift. I really wanted to add Java to the list as well but then dropped the at the last moment and took day off instead. But that doesn’t mean, I won’t attempt again in the coming weeks.

            Having done Raku for some time now, I am getting the hang of it. In fact, I am enjoying it to be honest. I no longer ask stupid Raku questions on the official Twitter handle. Instead I rely on my notes that I have been collecting all along. They are very handy when I am stuck. Another thing that helped me a lot is the Live Video Raku Review by Andrew Shitov. I learnt a lot by watching how he test the code. He makes difficult things easier to understand.

        • Python

          • Django Weblog: DjangoCon Australia 2020: Schedule live and tickets on sale

            The 8th DjangoCon AU was scheduled to be run in Adelaide, South Australia this year. It’s been moved to an online event and will take place on September 4th.

            DjangoCon AU is organized as a specialist track as part of PyConline AU. The schedule — though shorter than in previous years — is packed with talks about best practices, communities, contributions, and the present and future of Django.

            Since the event was due to run in Adelaide, the event is running in Australian Central Standard Time, UTC+9:30, and DjangoCon AU will start at 3:45pm ACST. This link shows when the DjangoCon AU Opening address starts for all the DjangoCon timezones..

          • Return how many times each letter shows up in the string by using an asterisk (*)

            Hello people, in this article we will solve the below python problem.

            You receive the name of a city as a string, and you need to return a string that shows how many times each letter shows up in the string by using an asterisk (*).

          • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #22: Create Cross-Platform Python GUI Apps With BeeWare

            Do you want to distribute your Python applications to other users who don’t have or even use Python? Maybe you’re interested in seeing your Python application run on iOS or Android mobile devices. This week on the show we have Russell Keith-Magee, the founder and maintainer of the BeeWare project. Russell talks about Briefcase, a tool that converts a Python application into native installers on macOS, Windows, Linux, and mobile devices.

          • Python vs R: Which is Good for Machine Learning?

            If you want to build a machine learning project and are stuck between choosing the right programming language to build it, you know you have come to the right place.

            This blog will not only help you understand the difference between the two languages namely: Python and R; but also help you know which language has an edge over one another in multiple aspects. So without wasting a single moment, let’s dive into it!

          • Freezegun – Real Joy for Fake Dates in Python

            If you’ve ever tested code involving dates and times in Python you’ve probably had to mock the datetime module. And if you’ve mocked the datetime module, at some point it probably mocked you back when your tests failed.

          • Mastering the SQLite Database in Python

            In this tutorial, we shall see some advanced tasks associated with the SQLite database from Python. We shall see topics such as inserting images, Listing the tables, Backup a database, Dumping Rollback in SQLite, Deleting records from a table, Dropping a table, SQLite database exceptions, and more.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 6 Blog Post
          • Top 10 Important Uses cases of Python in the Real World

            These top 10 Python uses cases in the real world prove how effective the programming language is. Read the real life uses of Python and implement it in your organization.

          • Python Bitwise Operators

            Bitwise operators and bit manipulation are like recursion in that they are both topics that are fundamental to computing, yet the amount of use you will make of them will vary gratly depending on your domain. Bit manipulation is certainly important for job interviews at companies like the “bigN” (Google, FB, etc.) and other places where a deep knowledge of fundamentals is expected and required. It is also an very important when working with embedded systems, and some other areas as shown below.

          • Adding Robots.txt file to Django Application

            Robots.txt is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned.

          • Server Access Logging in Django using middleware

            Some application admins need to know which user performed what action in the application. We also felt the need of such tracking hence we started developing the access log system for our application.

            In this article, we will see how to develop the server access logging app for the Django project.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxl) stackoverflow python report
        • Java

          • Micronaut 2.0 Full-Stack Java Framework Released

            Object Computing, Inc., has just announced the latest release of Micronaut, its JVM-based, full-stack Java framework. Developed by the creators of the Grails framework, Micronaut was designed to provide developers with a polyglot tool for building modular, easily testable JVM applications with the Java, Kotlin, and Groovy languages.

            Micronaut 2.0, available now, works with such frameworks as Spring and Grails to run in scenarios such as serverless functions, Android apps, or low memory-footprint microservices. The latest version has been updated to support JDK 14, Groovy 3, and reactive frameworks such as RxJava 3 and Reactor.

            The Micronaut framework uses Java’s annotation processors, which work with any JVM language that supports them, as well as an HTTP server and client built on the Netty non-blocking I/O client server framework. To provide a programming model similar to Spring and Grails, these annotation processors pre-compile the required metadata to perform DI, define AOP proxies, and configure applications to run in a low-memory environment, the company says. Many of the APIs in Micronaut were “heavily inspired” by Spring and Grails,” which was by design and aids in bringing developers up to speed quickly,” the company says.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Can Lebanon be Saved?

      “Well, we can all agree that the sea took 70 per cent of the blast!” a close Lebanese friend announced to me this week, with intriguing if doubtful science. I had asked him – because I knew the answer – which of Lebanon’s religious communities had suffered most grievously from the explosion that changed the nation. Or did not change the nation, as the case may be.

    • Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach

      Only the youngest of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons departed the German homeland. Born in 1735, Johann Christian began his long sojourn in Italy in 1755 and converted to Catholicism; luckily the stern father as five years dead. Like so many Protestant musicians who worked in Italy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the sensual—even theatrical—appeal of Catholicism and opera proved difficult to resist: the mighty fortress of Lutheran austerity could not long hold out against the siege of sumptuous decadence.

    • Neil Young’s Journey Through the Past

      Rumors swirling around Neil Young’s long-lost, mid-1970s album Homegrown, released in June to considerable critical acclaim, boded a sense of archaeological discovery. The record had been shelved for decades because it was, in its composer’s words, “a little too personal.” Capturing the deterioration of Young’s relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress, Homegrown was mottled by bad vibes, with songs like “Separate Ways,” “White Line,” and “Try” tracing the tragic contours of love and love lost. During its extended period in absentia, the record’s reputation swelled. It became an almost haunted relic, too troubling to confront head-on, relegated to the dusty attic of memory, chains locked and tied across the door.

    • Essentially Brooklyn
    • Video Games Against Violence: How One Nonprofit Is Creating Change

      These days, Jennifer Ann’s Group runs an annual video game challenge where developers compete for cash prizes to create games with different themes. The group has published games from developers and designers in 15 countries and five continents.

      There are games about consent, abuse prevention, healthy relationships and more. Finalist entries are judged by a group of critics, developers and other gaming professionals, along with those engaged on the side of domestic violence and psychology. The contest’s only rule is that none of the games can have any on-screen depiction of violence. “We’ve seen tower defense games, art games, walking simulator type games, trivia games — most common are RPG,” says Crecente, explaining that the narrative format fits well with the topic.

    • Education

      • Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider

        Mercedes K. Schneider is an author, blogger  and classroom teacher based in Louisiana. Her most recent book is A Practical Guide to Digital Research: Getting the Facts and Rejecting the Lies (Garn Press, 2020). As the K-12 school year begins across the U.S., the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is spreading. Below is an interview about that public health crisis and its impacts on education instruction.

      • Are Outdoor Classrooms a Solution to the Disaster of School Reopenings?

        With some districts already in the trenches of the back-to-school season — opening only to quickly close again to contain outbursts of COVID-19 — education officials across the United States continue to offer three major options for the fall semester: in-person instruction in brick-and-mortar classrooms, remote learning, and a hybrid model. But these plans leave educators, parents and students alike stuck between a semester that is unsafe or one that results in unequal access to instruction.

      • Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time

        During Covid-19 times, the ‘social distancing’ catchphrase has invaded every aspect of our lives. Public space has been fragmented into individualized, quarantined units, transforming social relations into aggregates of their interactions. Unlike other pandemics of yesteryears, Covid-19 has given a tremendous push to technology to secure social distancing. In the field of education, the phenomenon of online education was already slowly gaining space especially as complementary to traditional classroom education and as a mechanism of distance learning. Today, the ideology of social distancing has brought online education in the centre of educational systems. It has acquired legitimacy and the capacity to take over the whole system of education. In countries such as India, where Covid-19 has been used by the state as an opportunity to revamp various sectors, including health and medicine, a reconception of education is underway. Online education serves as the organizing force in this regard. 

      • Murdoch denies demise of major is payback for whistleblowers

        Murdoch University’s decision to replace its bachelor of science in mathematics and statistics course triggered speculation that the move is payback for three staff members’ 2019 appearance in a TV broadcast criticising Murdoch’s international operations.

        But the university said the replacement was part of its regular efforts to “refresh” its courses’ appeal and relevance, and that only a handful of people were graduating from the course each year. Provost Romy Lawson said the university wanted to establish a more applied course geared to areas such as data analytics.

        “Big data is everywhere, but you need people who can understand and work with data. The blockchain requires people who understand the algorithms behind how it works,” she said.

      • Paying Thousands For University Zoom Classes Is Not Worth It

        Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t just take a semester off during all of this, the current setup for university classes is an absolute mess and this is going to be especially true if you’re just stating out at University. I’ve already got my group of friends but if you don’t starting University right now is going to be an absolutely awful experience and I would suggest waiting for a while.

    • Hardware

      • Why your laptop’s SD card reader might be terrible

        One mistake with that choice is it assumes all SD card slots are created equal. Our tests clearly show they’re not. It’s also difficult to know how fast the SD card reader in your laptop is. If SD card speed really matters to you, the best way to get what you want is to buy an external reader whose specs are clearly designated.

        PCWorld put four newly manufactured laptops’ SD cards through their paces. For this challenge we looked at: [...]

    • Health/Nutrition

      • It’s a Sick Country

        Working is a risky business these days. I’m not a coal miner, a heavy equipment operator or a logger. I don’t work in a steel mill where molten iron is poured into molds. Hell, I don’t even work in a kitchen where hot oil spatters and ovens bake at 400 degrees. I work at a library. The thing is, though, we work with the public; a public that in regular times carries and transmits communicable diseases.  It is a public I like serving. However, it’s not a public I want to die serving.

      • Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us

        We are still very much in the middle of the pandemic, with the U.S. seeing tens of thousands of new infections daily, and the world experiencing hundreds of thousands of new infections. However, it is not too early to look at areas where we need to reevaluate public policy, most importantly in financing the research and development of new drugs and vaccines.

      • Public Health Officials Are Quitting or Getting Fired in Throes of Pandemic

        Vilified, threatened with violence or in some cases suffering from burnout, dozens of state and local public health officials around the U.S. have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak, a testament to how politically combustible masks, lockdowns and infection data have become.

      • Joe Mercola: Celebrating 23 years of promoting quackery and antivaccine misinformation

        Joseph Mercola, DO has been a frequent topic of discussion on this blog over the last 15 years. The reason is simple. He runs one of the largest repositories of misinformation about health on the entire Internet, including social media. He promotes antivaccine pseudoscience, the rankest of cancer quackery (e.g., the idea that cancer is a fungus and that baking soda can cure it), and pseudoscience and quackery of every imaginable variety, all while presenting himself as “moderate” and “reasonable” compared to those “real crazies,” like Mike Adams. It’s not just his website and social media activity, though. Selling supplements and all manner of woo, Mercola has become fabulously wealthy and has been using that wealth to support antivaccine groups, such as Barbara Loe Fisher’s National Vaccine Information Center to run antivaccine ads in various outlets , promoting a fake holiday known as Vaccine Injury Awareness Week over the last decade, and in general try to spread disease by discouraging vaccination. How wealthy has Joe Mercola become with his online quackery empire? His net worth is now over $100 million!

      • Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID

        One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is the momentary spotlight it shined on the meatpacking industry. Working conditions inside packing plants were exposed in the sheer number of workers who were infected with the virus. Exact numbers are elusive but thousands of cases have been confirmed along with up to 100 deaths. Meanwhile, meatpacking workers were deemed ‘essential.’

      • Profiteering off the Pandemic

        Big drug company CEOs and their major investors are doing nicely, too.  Since the start of the pandemic, Big Pharma has raised prices on over 250 prescription drugs, 61 of which are being used to treat Covid-19.  

      • Iran closes newspaper after expert questions coronavirus numbers

        Iran shut down a newspaper on Monday after it published remarks by an expert who said the official figures on coronavirus cases and deaths in the country account for only 5 percent of the real toll, allegations rejected by the Health Ministry.

      • Boston University Applies For Trademark On Offensive COVID-19 Awareness Slogan For Some Reason

        Anyone who knows anything about me knows how much I both love and rely on profanity. Love, because profane language is precisely the sort of color the world needs more of. Rely on, because I use certain profane words the way most people use commas. So, when the courts decided that even the most profane words could be used in trademarks, I applauded. Fucks were literally given.

      • Who Gets to Tell the Story of Wuhan’s Lockdown?

        The quarantine diary emerged in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic as the genre de rigueur in response to the crisis and trauma, both personal and global, brought on by the coronavirus. As a literary form, the diary is perfect for capturing the immediacy of emotional experiences and ongoing uncertainties. It is kind to fragments and negative space and does not require perfection. The public diary shares many strengths with the traditional private diary but has a social aspect closer to blogging and letter writing; it seeks connection with others who are (or have become) physically distant. Thus, as the coronavirus pushed us further and further away from any sense of normalcy or a predictable future, diary writing—both public and private—became one way for people to hold on to small certainties.

      • In First Address as VP Candidate, Harris Slams Trump’s Handling of Pandemic

        As Kamala Harris, the first woman of color on a major presidential ticket, hits the campaign trail with Joe Biden for the first time, we play an extended excerpt of her address, in which she blasts President Trump’s handling of the economy, immigration, racial justice and the coronavirus pandemic. “The case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut,” Harris says. “Just look where they’ve gotten us: more than 16 million out of work; millions of kids who cannot go back to school; a crisis of poverty, of homelessness, afflicting Black, Brown and Indigenous people the most.”

      • Billionaire-Funded Think Tanks Call for Pandemic Deregulation to Be Permanent

        The reactionary right-wing juggernaut has quickly seized upon the coronavirus pandemic to accelerate its anti-government agenda. Every citizen’s right to protest has been curtailed, massive amounts of industrial pollution have been deregulated and crucial rules governing Wall Street have been canceled.

      • AMC Theaters: Risk Death And Disability To Watch Movie Reruns For 15 Cents!

        Even before COVID-19, the brick and mortar movie industry was already struggling to adapt in the face of technological evolution. Now with a pandemic demolishing theater attendance, companies like AMC Theaters face an accelerated timeline as they attempt to cling to outdated constructs like movie release windows, sticky floors, and seventeen dollar popcorn, which were already showing their age in the 4K streaming era.

      • CDC Director Warns: Mask Up or Face Possibly the Worst Fall in US Health History

        The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a dire warning for Americans still on the fence or actively opposed to wearing a mask or facial covering, or otherwise refusing to adhere to other social distancing rules: Your choices put the country in peril.

      • As Politicians Play With Our Lives, It’s Hard to Imagine a Future Beyond COVID

        Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield gave an interview to WebMD this week. If people don’t take COVID-19 precautions seriously, if they refuse to wear masks and practice social distancing, Redfield flatly stated the nation could be on the verge of confronting “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had.”

      • ‘If We Don’t Work, Who’ll Produce the Harvest?’

        “We know about corona, but we can’t stop working. We have to work for farmers. Farming is the only hope for us and the farmer. If we don’t work, then how do we survive?” said Shubhadra Sahu.

      • Okra of Time

        A few years ago, I wrote an article for Splice Today in which I proposed a vegan run of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While I’m an animal activist, I tried to make clear I didn’t think my proposal had much political significance. It was mostly a way to bring fresh life to my favorite game, which I’d beaten many times before.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Facebook Says Apple In-App Fees Hurt Businesses During Covid

          Apple gets its 30% commission for digital goods, but doesn’t take a cut for facilitating the purchase of services like in-person classes or ride sharing, as the company requires developers to let users pay with a credit card. Now that in-person business has gone virtual due to the pandemic, Apple’s rules let it charge the fee through its payment network. These App Store charges have been a focus of regulatory inquiries about the company’s market power. At a July antitrust hearing in U.S. Congress, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said, “we will work with people that happen to move from a physical to a virtual world because of the pandemic.”

        • Jack Daniel’s Manufacturer Was Target of Apparent Ransomware Attack

          In this instance, a message sent anonymously to Bloomberg claimed to have [cr]acked Brown-Forman and compromised its internal network. The alleged [attackers] said they copied 1 terabyte of confidential data and promised to share it online. The website named by the attackers goes to a page that lists victims of Sodinokibi ransomware, which emerged in 2019 and has spread across the globe, according to McAfee LLC. Also known as REvil, the ransomware code is maintained by one group of people and distributed by affiliates, a model known as ransomware as a service, McAfee said.

        • Finns Among the Most Concerned in Europe About Cybersecurity [iophk: Windows TCO]

          More than half of Finns reported to being a victim of cybercrime in recent years, while Finland also had among the highest number of survey respondents that claimed to have been a victim of online banking fraud in the past five years. In addition, 49% of Finns say they are increasingly concerned about the ability of companies to keep their user data safe and secure, although this figure was higher in countries such as Spain, Malta, and Ireland.

          Let’s take a closer look at why Finns might be so concerned, and what companies with a presence in Finland can be doing to assuage those concerns.

        • Facebook Launches Paid Online Events for Creators, Complains That Apple Will Take 30% of Payments Made Through iOS App

          The social-media giant is promising to not collect any fees for paid online events for at least the next year. However, for payments Facebook users submit through the app for Apple’s iOS app, Apple will keep 30% of the revenue.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • South East Water says sorry to customers without water during heatwave

              At least 300 households in West Sussex have had no tap water since Friday. Others have had intermittent supplies.

            • South East Water woes continue as more customers in West and East Sussex left without water

              According to the website the issues in Crowbrough, Mayfield, Rotherfield and Five Ashes are due to a burst main pipe, which the company admits is proving “complex” (expected to be resolved by 3pm).

            • Linux Foundation

              • Facebook joins The Linux Foundation as highest level

                New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Facebook that has been an active contributor to major open source projects is joining The Linux Foundation membership at the highest level.

              • Facebook Becomes A Platinum Member Of Linux Foundation

                For years, Facebook has been an active contributor to the world of open source. It has been an active participant in Linux kernel development, employing key developers and maintainers across major kernel subsystems. In a move to further boost its open source investments, the social networking company has now joined the Linux Foundation at the highest level.

                Facebook’s sponsorship of open innovation through the Linux Foundation will help support an estimated $16 billion in development costs of the world’s 100+ leading open source projects.

              • Facebook is stepping up its Linux work once again

                Facebook has signaled its long-running support for open source software by signing up to the largest Linux organisational body around.

                The social network has revealed it has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member, meaning it will take a leading role in helping shape the future of the software platform going forward.

                The Linux Foundation looks to promote the spread of open-source ecosystems through training and awareness programs, and claims to be currently heading up $16 billion worth of projects.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (squid3), Fedora (lilypond and python3), openSUSE (xen), SUSE (libreoffice, libvirt, webkit2gtk3, xen, and xerces-c), and Ubuntu (apache2).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 156 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 156. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * Update PPU tests for compatibility with Free Pascal versions 3.2.0 or
              greater. (Closes: #968124)
            * Emit a debug-level logging message when our ppudump(1) version does not
              match file header.
            * Add and use an assert_diff helper that loads and compares a fixture output
              to avoid a bunch of test boilerplate.
            
            [ Frazer Clews ]
            * Apply some pylint suggestions to the codebase.
            

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Forget Your Feelings About Trump, Say Allies of NSA Whistleblower, ‘Snowden Pardon Would Be a Major Win’

              “Edward Snowden is a patriot. Our democracy is better off because of him,” tweeted the ACLU. “As we said four years ago, the president should pardon him.”

            • Facebook begins merging Instagram and Messenger chats in new update

              Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment Friday evening.

            • Clearview Hires Prominent First Amendment Lawyer To Argue For Its Right To Sell Scraped Data To Cops

              Clearview — the facial recognition company selling law enforcement agencies (and others) access to billions of photos and personal info scraped from the web — is facing lawsuits over its business model, which appears to violate some states’ data privacy laws. It’s also been hit with cease-and-desist requests from a number of companies whose data has been scraped.

            • ICE just signed a contract with facial recognition company Clearview AI

              ICE is known to use facial recognition technology; last month, The Washington Post reported the agency, along with the FBI, had accessed state drivers’ license databases — a veritable facial recognition gold mine, as the Post termed it — but without the knowledge or consent of drivers. The agency has been criticized for its practices at the US southern border, which has included separating immigrant children from their families and detaining refugees indefinitely.

            • China Plans to Expand Digital Yuan Tests to Beijing, Hong Kong

              The exercise will kick off in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, Xiong’an and sites for the 2022 Winter Olympics and will then expand to other regions, the announcement said.

              The digital currency trials are part of a broader package of initiatives Beijing rolled out on Friday to stimulate innovation and encourage further opening of its service sector. The same day, the country reported steady industrial growth in July, though retail sales continued to show weakness.

            • Are bread riots coming to America?

              In the past week, the r/unemployment subreddit has taken a dark turn with the expiration of the CARES Act’s super-unemployment and the failure of Republicans to even come to an agreement about what they want in the next round of pandemic relief. It’s become a de facto support group for people whose lives are collapsing around them for simple lack of income or jobs, and talk of suicide is common.

            • Why & Where You Should You Plant Your Flag

              In short, although you may not be required to create online accounts to manage your affairs at your ISP, the U.S. Postal Service, the credit bureaus or the Social Security Administration, it’s a good idea to do so for several reasons.

              Most importantly, the majority of the entities I’ll discuss here allow just one registrant per person/customer. Thus, even if you have no intention of using that account, establishing one will be far easier than trying to dislodge an impostor who gets there first using your identity data and an email address they control.

            • EHR vendors eye safe data access for third-party health apps

              One of the challenges EHR vendors face is how to offer patients a narrower scope of the data they choose to share. For example, there isn’t a simple way for authorization scopes to pull vitals-only data out of the EHR, Syed said. Instead, if patients want to provide an app access to vitals data, they have to grant permission for the app to access diagnostic data, the set of data where vitals data is lumped.

              “In the future for 21st Century Cures, a lot of bullet points will become check boxes where patients can select and deselect [data] to share with apps,” Syed said.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan

        The best way for us to understand Afghanistan is to look at the record of American involvement going back four decades and to look at the record requires a reexamination of President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. From the start, U.S. policy formation surrounding Afghanistan has lived in a realm of magical thinking that has produced nothing but a catastrophe of nightmarish proportions. Brzezinski impacted the future of American foreign policy by monopolizing the Carter administration in ways that few outside the White House understand. In his role as national security advisor he put himself in a position to control information into and out of the White House and when it came to Afghanistan – to use it for whatever purposes he saw fit.

      • Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.

        There’s a sickness that comes with the certainty of those who view the world in so black and white, so good and bad, so us versus them terms, that killing is often a morally defensible act. More so, such killing often goes beyond just simple self defense, to a level of retributive necessity, a preventive act that makes the act of killing practically an act of altruism. “If I hadn’t killed the bad guy, the bad guy would have killed other people” so the reasoning goes. The myth of redemptive violence, is clearly espoused and expressed in our explanations of American history: we had to kill the British to be free; in America’s majority Christian religion: Jesus had to die in the most painful way possible, on the cross, for mankind to be saved; and in the United State’s greatest popular culture: Luke had to destroy the Death Star to save the galaxy…

      • Learning from the Hibakushas

        “They were covered with blood and burned and blackened and swollen, and the flesh was hanging from the bones. Parts of their bodies were missing, and some were carrying their own eyeballs in their hands. And as they collapsed, their stomach burst open.”

      • Venezuelan Guaidó coup regime pledges to restore relations with Israel, decade after Hugo Chávez broke ties

        Guaidó’s ‘ambassador’ wants Israel to help the Venezuelan coup regime fight ‘terrorism’

      • The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis

        August-September 2020 marks the 2,500-year anniversary of the battle of Salamis the Greeks fought and won against the vast invading Persian army of Xerxes. The decisive naval battle took place in the waters between the tiny island of Salamis and the coast of Athenian Attica in late September 480 BCE.

      • Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!

        Oh what a democracy we have in America! What a free and vibrant land of choices we’ve created for ourselves on the graves of more primitive civilizations. We just have so many goddamn choices to chose from, it’s enough to make a conspicuous consumer downright dizzy. We get to choose which dead-end box store to slave in for minimum wage beneath the tutelage of a 10th-grade tyrant named Chip. We get to choose between several bloodsucking insurance cartels required by the Heritage Foundation socialism of Obamacare. We get to choose which Impossible Glop fast-food franchise to slowly murder ourselves with, and if that fails to do the trick, we get to choose which caliber of bullet to snack on instead.

      • I Lost My Son in a Hail of Bullets at an Israeli Checkpoint

        It was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life. My daughter Eman was getting married. What a joy to watch her dote on herself as she did her hair and put on make-up in shades unsuitable for an ordinary day in Abu Dis. We did not tell her that Ahmad had been shot dead. She looked so precious in her white dress, the way it hugged her waist and then flared out like a princess; it changed the spring in her step. So, we decided to wait to let her know until she had taken a few photos unencumbered by a weight that would press on her for the rest of her lifetime: Israeli soldiers had shot her little brother, Ahmad, at a checkpoint and left him to bleed to death for over an hour.

      • The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?

        On August 4, hours before a massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued an ominous warning to Lebanon.

      • August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars

        August 14, 1945. The day Japan surrendered. I was eleven year old. I was crammed in the back of a pickup packed with other boys and girls, all yelling our hearts out as loud as we could to be heard over the cacophony of honking horns and howling air raid sirens. We were part of an impromptu motorcade weaving through the evening streets of our Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn. Everywhere we went—past the sidewalk fruit and vegetable stands, the storefront A&P exuding the smell of freshly ground coffee, the fish market and the kosher delicatessen along Avenue J, the small row houses and big apartment houses on the side streets, along Coney Island Avenue, with its rows of small stores dotted with small restaurants and soda fountains, where the electric trolley cars were clanging their bells nonstop—more and more cheering people poured onto the sidewalks, waving American flags and homemade signs, hugging, dancing. We kids in the truck were all screaming, “Peace! Peace! The war is over!” We believed this was the end of not just this war but of war itself, that we were all going to live the rest of our lives in a prosperous and victorious nation, on a peaceful planet.

      • Roaming Charges: It Had to be You

        + So it’s Drug War Joe and Madame Prosecutor. What a team for the BLM era!

      • Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump

        Daniel Falcone: You recently stated that it has never been more urgent that we repudiate nuclearism in all forms. What rationales do proponents of this put forth?

      • Buying stamps won’t stop Trump from destroying the postal system

        But there’s just one problem: Consumers buying stamps won’t do anything to save the postal system. The postal service is not like a lemonade stand. Indeed, the problems created by Trump (and, previously, George W. Bush) are definitely structural and run much deeper.

        The USPS’s crisis exists largely because Trump cut funding for the post office and implemented other policies that slow mail delivery. Trump actually told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday that he deliberately weakened the post office, and said that move would make universal vote-by-mail impossible.

      • Trump Tampers With Postal Service After Months of Railing Against Vote-by-Mail

        In the pandemic election of 2020, restricting access to the ballot box is as simple as restricting access to the mailbox. And this week, Donald Trump accelerated efforts to do just that. On Thursday, he openly linked his efforts to block full funding of the postal service with his crusade against mail-in voting. The same day, a top adviser derided congressional efforts to safeguard voting rights as part of a “liberal, left wish list” that is “not our game.” On top of that, the new postmaster general Louis DeJoy — a right-wing millionaire who’d previously been tapped as the chief fundraiser for the 2020 Republican National Convention — cleared house at USPS in a “Friday Night Massacre,” while carrying out plans to dismantle mail sorting equipment and remove mailboxes from the streets. The attempt to create election dysfunction in November is as blatant as it is brazen.

        The effort to sabotage mail-in voting is no surprise to close watchers of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. Since early spring, the president has railed against the shift to vote-by-mail, which has been made essential by his mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. Although Trump himself votes by mail, he has been blasting absentee balloting as a threat to Republican electoral prospects, crying out that it is a fraud, a scam, cheating, and “the scandal of our times.”

      • US 2020: Postal service warns of delays in mail-in vote count

        The US Postal Service (USPS) has warned that millions of mail-in votes may not arrive in time to be counted on the presidential election day, 3 November.

        In letters to states across the country last month, the agency said “certain deadlines… are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards”.

        Critics have blamed the new USPS head – a loyal supporter of President Donald Trump – for a slowdown in deliveries.

        A record number of people are expected to vote by mail due to the pandemic.

      • U.S. Postal Service warns numerous states that mail-in ballots may be delivered too late

        The implication is serious, as the ballots of tens of millions of American voters eligible to vote by mail could be discarded because of delays in mail delivery.

      • Valley must look within

        Drabu quotes NTR’s 1983 conclave. Several state chief ministers were at the receiving end of Delhi in the Eighties of the last century. Only Kashmir reacted differently. Andhra Pradesh prospered and Hyderabad became one of the most economically vibrant Indian cities. Hyderabad continues to prosper though Andhra Pradesh has been divided into two states. And we, in Kashmir, went on a path of self-destruction.

        In 1947, Kashmir didn’t go with either India or Pakistan. But this agreement on status quo was violated by Pakistan which attacked us in October 1947. After the Maharaja signed the accession treaty, the Indian Army came forward to save Kashmir and drove out the enemy with the active support of Kashmir’s Salamati Fauj.

        Till January 25,1990, the families of security personnel used to live among Kashmir’s civilian population, their children attended school with us. How, when, why and who made India into an enemy? Each Kashmiri should look within for answers.

      • Boko Haram/ISWAP Leadership Tussle: Terrorists execute 20 prisoners, including 2 soldiers

        Thousands of Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP fighters and their commanders have recently been eliminated forcing a complete overhaul of ISWAP leadership and independent groups turned bandits.

        Some of the criminals spilled over to the North-West geo-political zone of Nigeria to align and terrorize the vulnerable population.

      • On This Day in 1945, Japan Released Me from a POW Camp. Then US Pilots Saved My Life

        Then he climbed to about 7,000 feet while circling above us—we assumed he was radioing our location to base—before making another pass over the camp, as slowly as he dared, this time with his canopy back. He threw out a silver tin box on a long streamer that landed in the centre of the camp. Inside, we found strips of fluorescent cloth and a hand-written note: “Lieutenant Claude Newton (Junior Grade), USS Carrier John Hancock. Reported location.”

        The instructions for the cloth strips were as follows: “If you want Medicine, put out M. If you want Food, put out F. If you want Support, put out S.” We put out “F” and “M.” Once more, Lieut. Newton flew over the camp, this time to read the letters we’d written on the ground. Waggling his wings, he headed straight out to sea to his floating home, the John Hancock.

      • VJ Day 75 years on: the last voices of the Forgotten Army

        More than a million soldiers from across the Commonwealth took part in the war in the Far East against Japan, although today their numbers have been reduced to just a few. Around 40 veterans are expected to attend today’s 75th anniversary commemorations at the National Memorial Arboretum, which will be led by the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

        Those few men are the last witnesses to the brutal closing chapters of the Second World War and their testimonies a history that will soon be lost.

      • Learning From the Hibakushas

        The essential paradox of disarmament is that nuclear power, and thus nuclear bombs, having been invented, will never go away.

      • October Surprise: Will War with Iran Be Trump’s Election Eve Shocker?

        Was Donald Trump’s January 3rd drone assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani the first step in turning the simmering Cold War between the United States and Iran into a hot war in the weeks before an American presidential election? Of course, there’s no way to know, but behind by double digits in most national polls and flanked by ultra-hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump is a notoriously impetuous and erratic figure. In recent weeks, for instance, he didn’t hesitate to dispatch federal paramilitary forces to American cities run by Democratic mayors and his administration also seems to have launched a series of covert actions against Tehran that look increasingly overt and have Iran watchers concerned about whether an October surprise could be in the cards.

      • Would Trump Go to War With Iran to Get Reelected?

        Was Donald Trump’s January 3 drone assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani the first step in turning the simmering cold war between the United States and Iran into a hot war in the weeks before an American presidential election? Of course, there’s no way to know, but behind by double digits in most national polls and flanked by ultra-hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump is a notoriously impetuous and erratic figure. In recent weeks, for instance, he didn’t hesitate to dispatch federal paramilitary forces to American cities run by Democratic mayors and his administration also seems to have launched a series of covert actions against Tehran that look increasingly overt and have Iran watchers concerned about whether an October surprise could be in the cards.

      • Don’t Stigmatise the Nuke! Opponents of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

        It would seem a logical step, at least from an existential perspective: to ban something so utterly horrendous to life; to forbid its use in any circumstances, whatever rationale employed to justify its use. But the nuclear weapon has its admirers. There are those who continue to worship its sovereign properties, and those who leave gifts at the shrine of extended deterrence. Be wary, they say, of the abolitionists.

      • Armed men raid Minsk offices of Yandex and Uber

        Unidentified armed men blocked entry and exit into Yandex’s office in Minsk on Thursday, sources told the news agencies TASS and The Bell, which company representatives later confirmed to Meduza. The Russian tech giant employs roughly 120 people in Minsk, most of whom are now working remotely.

      • Teaching Torture: The Death and Legacy of Dan Mitrione

        In the pre-dawn darkness of Monday, August 10, 1970, Dan Mitrione’s bullet-ridden body was discovered in the back seat of a stolen Buick convertible in a quiet residential neighborhood of Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital. He had just turned 50, and he had recently started a new dream job, although it was thousands of miles from his home in Richmond, Indiana. Who was Dan Mitrione, and what work was he doing in Uruguay that led him to such an early and violent end?

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Fact-Checking President Trump’s ‘Historic Coronavirus Response’ Brief

        The White House released a brief on Monday titled “President Trump’s Historic Coronavirus Response Brief,” which outlines the supposed ways the president has successfully combated the novel coronavirus. The United States’ response to Covid-19 is globally considered an ongoing failure, however, and the brief contains several inaccuracies or exaggerations. The U.S. is currently leading the world in the number of people who have been killed by the virus at over 165,300 at publication time. We’ve fact-checked the “key takeaways” from the White House brief below.

      • House GOP candidate known for QAnon support was ‘correspondent’ for conspiracy website

        In some 59 posts for the website, according to her author bio page, Greene commented on news of the day in blogs that built on articles from far-right outlets like Breitbart and fake news websites including YourNewsWire. The American TruthSeekers website is now inactive, but Greene’s posts were found by NBC News through the Internet Archive’s WayBack machine.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • We Live Here!
      • Despite ‘Frantic’ Walk-Back Efforts, Group Says Trump Threat to Destroy Social Security Must Be Believed—and Defeated

        “The only prudent course for people who care about their earned Social Security is to defeat Trump this November.”

      • The Great Question

        In the August Harper’s, in a lengthy article entitled “The Art of Losing,” James Pogue talks with (among others) the mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin. It took a while for Pogue to interview John Antaramian—the mayor never returned Pogue’s phone calls—until, by chance, the opportunity presented itself at a Labor Breakfast.

      • The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion

        What would you estimate is the minimum amount of money you need to get by every day? $100? $50? The figure, of course, depends very much on where you live and what you’re used to spending. Now shift and imagine you’re in a so-called developing country, say in sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia. You might estimate you can get by on $10 if you’re in, say, Kenya as opposed to $20 in Thailand. But how about trying to live on $1.90 a day? According to the World Bank, that would put you in “extreme poverty.” Yet the Bank uses that figure as the “International Poverty Line (IPL),” and by that measure, global poverty has been reduced significantly. Which also means that if you’re making two or three times that amount per day, you’re supposed to be overcoming poverty.

      • ‘Morally Obscene,’ Says Sanders as McConnell Adjourns Senate for Month-Long Recess Without Deal on Coronavirus Relief

        “During the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans think they can take a long vacation while millions of Americans face hunger and eviction.”

      • McConnell Adjourns Senate for Month-Long Recess Without Deal on COVID Relief

        Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the U.S. Senate for the rest of August on Thursday after failing to come anywhere close to approving another Covid-19 relief package, leaving tens of millions of out-of-work, hungry, and eviction-prone Americans without additional financial aid as the pandemic and economic crisis continue with no end in sight.

      • Pence Says Trump Outperformed Obama on Jobs, Forgetting 20 Million Lost in April

        Vice President Mike Pence, appearing on Fox News on Wednesday evening, made an outlandish claim about job growth under his and President Donald Trump’s tenure.

      • Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States

        Trump’s economic policy is simple: gut social security and bankrupt the states. He made this clear when he announced his executive orders on August 8. By suspending the payroll tax, he chokes off funding for social security and Medicare; he says he’ll ditch that tax completely if reelected. That means in about 10 years the two programs will go bust. Promises that at that time Treasury will fund social security and Medicare are cheap and easily broken.

      • AT&T Fires Hundreds Of DC, HBO Execs In Latest Example Of ‘Merger Synergies’

        This may be shocking to hear, but nearly all of the promises AT&T made in the lead up to its $86 billion merger with Time Warner wound up not being true.

      • The Stimulus Deal Should Include Free College

        The Covid-19 crisis bill currently under negotiation should both extend student loan relief and offer free college for young people facing limited job opportunities.

      • More than 1,200 Amazon delivery drivers laid off
      • Reconnecting Society and Reopening the Economy

        A few months ago, MIT Connection Science held it’s annual Sponsors’ Meeting online. The virtual meeting included a number of very interesting presentations. Given its continuing importance, I want to focus my discussion on “Reconnecting Society After a Pandemic,” a talk given by visiting professor Esteban Moro.

        Moro started his presentation by showing a slide from this article. The slide illustrates that if we had done nothing, or just relied on soft mitigation and herd immunity to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the number of cases and deaths would have gone up very rapidly, – overwhelming healthcare systems around the world. Instead, many national and state governments adopted two distinct sets of actions, the hammer and the dance.

        The hammer is the somewhat draconian social distancing policies aimed at containing the spread of the virus, especially in regions like the New York metro area where the number of cases were escalating at a very rapid pace. The dance starts once the spread of the virus has been brought under reasonable control, – albeit at the price of large economic costs and societal disruption. The dance is the longer term effort to keep the virus contained until there’s an effective vaccine while reopening the economy and bringing life as close to normal as possible.

        [...]

        Lift and enhanced tracing: The stay-at-home order is lifted as in the previous scenario, but is now accompanied by a proactive policy of testing and contact tracing. Those who test positive are isolated at home, and their household members and contacts are successfully quarantined for two weeks. The models show that such a proactive policy allows for the gradual reopening of economic activities and workplaces, with a low COVID-19 incidence in the population and a manageable impact on the health care system. “Assuming the identification of 50% of the symptomatic infections, and tracing of 40% of their contacts and households, only about 9% of the population would be quarantined at any time.”

        While 9% is still a significant fraction of the population to have to quarantine, this is a much better option when compared to the more massive social distancing hammer policies first deployed to contain the escalating spread of the virus. Moreover, in his presentation at the MIT online meeting, Moro showed that tracing 20% of the contacts of those infected, – while not as effective as 40% contact tracing, – will still work much better than not tracing contacts at all, as long as contacts who test positive and their household members quarantine for two weeks.

        Recent data from across the country has shown the validity of these findings and recommendations. The same modeling methods can be used to evaluate reconnecting and reopening strategies for any other cities and metropolitan areas as long as similar data is available.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Newsweek Should Disavow Racist Insinuation That Kamala Harris Is Not a Citizen

        It is an effort, based on the most far-fetched legal speculation, to assert that Harris is literally not an American because her parents were immigrants.

      • Why Trump Is Using Birtherism Against Harris

        Birtherism fueled Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, so it’s not surprising that he’s returned to it when seeking reelection. With the announcement that Kamala Harris will be Joe Biden’s running mate, Trump immediately started raising questions about her eligibility. “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday. He was alluding to a discredited Newsweek article by John C. Eastman, a conservative lawyer who holds the view, rejected by the courts, that there is no birthright citizenship. Eastman claimed that because Harris’s mother was an immigrant from India and her father an immigrant from Jamaica, Harris has no birthright citizenship and is thus ineligible to run for president.

      • What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us

        Both teach us or should have taught us by now many, many things but foremost for a Biden administration to consider is that the Republican Party has been waging a war, no holds barred, in the name of maximizing profit to those invested at the upper quintile while Democrats have been contemplating the bust of Homer, that is, aspiring to lofty extensions of the common Good to even the lowliest among us. And so on.

      • Could Kamala Harris’s Presence on the Ticket Help Usher in a Third Reconstruction?

        “This is a historic moment in American political life. Historic for myself, for my people. For the first time in the history of this nation, a political party has chosen a Negro woman for the second highest office in the land.” Charlotta Bass, an activist and the first Black woman to own and operate a newspaper in the United States, spoke these words in 1952. She was the first Black woman to be nominated as vice president of the United States. As a nominee with the Progressive Party, her slogan was “Win or lose, we win by raising the issues.” The issues, as she saw them, included housing rights, labor rights, voting rights, and addressing police brutality and harassment.

      • Biden Wins, Then What?

        Assume Joe Biden wins the presidency. Assume as well that he genuinely intends to repair the damage our country has sustained since we declared ourselves history’s “Indispensable Nation,” compounded by the traumatic events of 2020 that demolished whatever remnants of that claim survived. Assume, that is, that this aging career politician and creature of the Washington establishment really intends to salvage something of value from all that has been lost.

      • Biden Must Listen to the Demands of the Left

        The Democratic nominee needs to embrace progressive policies, or risk losing to Trump in November.

      • Denounced as Going ‘Too Far’ When Sanders Said It—American Bar Association Backs Full Voting Rights for Incarcerated People

        “This Resolution follows a long American Bar Association tradition affirming and supporting the expansion of Americans’ right to vote.”

      • Is Kamala Harris a Hawk?

        Biden’s veep pick has at times embraced militarism and even attacked Trump from the right.

      • Svetlana Tikhanovskaya announces creation of coordination council for transfer of power in Belarus

        Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has announced the creation of a Coordination Council for ensuring the transfer of power in Belarus, reports Free Belarus News. 

      • First moments of freedom Protesters in custody in Minsk were released en masse last night

        Around 10:30 p.m. local time on August 13, the detention center on Akrescina Street in Minsk opened its doors to release a group of detainees — people who had been arrested during this week’s ongoing protests. The opposition demonstrations began on August 9, the final day of voting in the contested Belarusian presidential elections. Law enforcement officers have responded by violently dispersing and arresting demonstrators — those who were sent to Akrescina Street were people being held for 72 hours, as well as those placed under administrative arrest. Hundreds of people were gathered outside of the detention center to meet the newly released. Those who came out of the prison had visible injuries from beatings. But when the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s Deputy Head Alexander Barsukov (Alyaksandr Barsukou) came to the detention center that same night, he claimed that there hadn’t been any abuse. He also added that all of the detainees would be released on the morning of August 14. According to police officials, 6,700 people have been arrested across the country during the protests so far. How many people were in custody at Minsk’s Akrescina Street detention center and whether or not all of them have been freed remains unknown.

      • Belarusian President Lukashenko assures the public that he’s ‘still alive’ and hasn’t fled the country

        In opening remarks at a meeting on the construction industry on August 14, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced: “For starters, I’m still alive and I haven’t fled abroad as some of our vaunted, ‘informed’ compatriots are drumming up that the president has fled the country and is now abroad.”

      • Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama Agree: Trump’s Attack on Postal Service a Direct Assault on 2020 Election

        “What elections should not be about in a democratic society is winning because your opponents are prevented from voting. And that is exactly what Trump is doing right now.”

      • How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy

        It is simply astonishing that the first attempt by the Guardian – the only major British newspaper styling itself as on the liberal-left – to properly examine the contents of a devastating internal Labour party report leaked in April is taking place nearly four months after the 860-page report first came to light.

      • Trump’s Fake News

        The chief flim-flam man in the White House is putting one over on the American people again, signing an executive order bypassing Congress with his big, fat black pen – that dreaded instrument – that will do nearly nothing to help the 30 million unemployed but create chaos.

      • Forget the Nasty Insults. Trump Plans to Sabotage the Election.

        A float depicting Trump at the Mainzer Carnival Club in Mainz, Germany, on February 18. (Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images)

      • A Small Dollar Donation Isn’t a Threat, Susan Collins—It’s a Promise

        Nice try, Susan, but you’re wrong. The money I contributed to your opponent isn’t a bribe, and it’s not a threat. It’s democracy.

      • On Its 85th Anniversary, ‘No Damn Politician’ Should Be Allowed To Scrap Social Security

        On this anniversary, we must renew our commitment to preserving and expanding Social Security in the face of these relentless efforts to undermine it.

      • Happy 85th Birthday to Social Security—Crown Jewel of the New Deal

        Just as enacting Social Security was a solution 85 years ago, expanding Social Security, while requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share, is a solution we should embrace today.

      • Factory workers are staging mass strikes at major Belarusian enterprises

        On Friday, August 14, workers at major enterprises across Belarus held rallies demanding a review of the voting results from last week’s presidential elections, which, according to election officials, saw incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenko) win 80 percent of the vote. The protesting workers are also demanding the release of everyone arrested during this week’s street protests and an end to the use of violence against demonstrators. Strikes are now taking place at the Atlant and Gefest appliance manufacturers, as well as at the Milavitsa clothing factory, the Grodno meat-packing plant, the Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ), and the Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ). At a meeting earlier today, Lukashenko said that “there was only one example at MAZ and MTZ: there, 20 people decided to express their opinion and walked off the job. The production head says: fine, go guys, I’ve got enough people, all these people’s salaries. They turned around and went back to work.” In reality, the workers’ rallies look quite different.

      • ‘Mayors of Belarus, join the movement!’ Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya releases new video, calling for nationwide peace protests against official election results

        Dear friends! We have accomplished the impossible in the past few months. Just half a year ago, no one believed that Belarusians could come together and say no to the old authorities. But this is what has happened. We turned out and we voted and we made our choice — and we did it obeying the law, peacefully and with dignity.

      • Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History

        Anne Applebaum through her publications in the Atlantic and most recently in her book, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, has articulated a perplexed disappointment with Republican politicians and colleagues endorsing Trumpism. She poses a series of questions in her recent Atlantic article History Will Judge the Complicit: why have Republicans abandoned their principle in support of a dangerous and immoral president. How could “Each violation of our Constitution and our civic peace gets absorbed, rationalized, and accepted by people who once upon a time knew better”? How can the fear of a Twitter tirade silence members of once honorable elite, men like John Bolton and Paul Ryan, from intervention against the slide to totalitarianism. Her Atlantic article, Laura Ingraham’s Descent into Despair, begins with puzzlement of how a deeply idealistic iconoclast could evolve into an end-of-days Trumpist, stoked by fatalism over American decline, by liberal deracination, and from Catholic unlapsing. How indeed?

      • The Truth About Prince Philip

        With all the current furore about Prince Andrew, it is worth remembering that the biggest scandal about the monarchy has yet to break. A revelation a long time in the making. I don’t know quite how to say this but the simple truth is…

      • Yanis Varoufakis in Conversation with Daniel Denvir
      • Just As The Postal Service Is Being Dismantled To Prevent The Handling Of Mail In Ballots, It Tries To Patent Blockchain Voting By Mail

        We are living in truly dystopian times. As you may have heard, this week there have been a bunch of stories regarding the somewhat systematic dismantling of US Postal Service operations in what appears to be a coordinated effort by this administration to foil the process of sending and collecting mail-in ballots. But, apparently, rather than ensuring its own ability to handle mail-in ballots for this election, the US Postal service is trying to… patent blockchain-based voting?

      • Trump Gets Mail-In Ballot After Opposing Vote by Mail and Post Office Funding

        Despite alleging for months that voting by mail is insecure and unreliable, President Donald Trump has requested an absentee ballot for Florida’s primary elections next week.

      • Trump’s New Racist Campaign Strategy Is Tweeting Mugshots of Black People

        Donald Trump’s campaign has been tweeting mugshots of Black people out on bail in an effort to instill fear in voters about a future Joe Biden presidency.

      • Liz OuYang on Census Sabotage

        This week on CounterSpin: Sure, the United States has been conducting the census for some two centuries, but Donald Trump and his cronies have a new idea of how to do it, that involves—no points for guessing—screwing it up entirely in service to a racist, nativist project; using methods that are, yes, unconstitutional, but can still have impact anyway; leaving everyone who knows anything about the census or statistics or democracy shaking their damn heads. We’ll talk about the White House’s transparent campaign to sabotage the census with civil rights attorney Liz OuYang.

      • DHS Agencies Are Taking Millions In Cash From Travelers Every Year, Can’t Be Bothered To Stop Any Crimes

        In a little over 15 years, DHS agencies interacted with millions of travelers passing through our nation’s airports… and relieved them of over $2 billion in cash. (And that’s just agencies like the CBP and ICE. The DEA also lifts cash from airline passengers — something it loves doing so much it hires TSA agents to look for money, rather than stuff that could threaten transportation security.)

      • Don’t be Hoodwinked by Trump’s UAE-Israel “Peace Deal”

        This agreement is more about shoring up Trump’s slumping electoral campaign and improving Netanyahu’s battered image in Israel than bringing peace to the Middle East.

      • Expert: Israel and UAE Deal Is Being Falsely Characterized as a Peace Deal

        In a deal brokered by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to fully normalize relations after years of secretly working together on countering Iran and other issues. Under the deal, Israel has also agreed to temporarily halt plans to annex occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, which had already been on hold due to international condemnation. We speak with Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, who says the agreement is being falsely characterized as a peace deal. “I don’t see that it has anything to do with peace,” he says. “On the contrary, it makes the chance of a just, equitable and sustainable peace much, much, much harder.”

      • Rashid Khalidi: Israel & UAE Deal to Normalize Relations Is New Chapter in 100-Year War on Palestine

        In a deal brokered by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to fully normalize relations after years of secretly working together on countering Iran and other issues. Under the deal, Israel has also agreed to temporarily halt plans to annex occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, which had already been on hold due to international condemnation. We speak with Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, who says the agreement is being falsely characterized as a peace deal. “I don’t see that it has anything to do with peace,” he says. “On the contrary, it makes the chance of a just, equitable and sustainable peace much, much, much harder.”

      • The Russian Interference Report, Without Laughing

        Now the madding crowd has moved on, I take a mature look at the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee on Russia. It is so flawed it is tempting simply to mock it. But in fact, it is extremely dangerous.

        [...]

        In short the report is a real threat to democracy. Its evidence base is appalling, and that is what I shall look at first.

      • The Wikipedia War That Shows How Ugly This Election Will Be

        But after his breaking-news edit, Kamala Harris’s page on “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” quickly became a battleground—first over a sexist slur and then over racial identity—offering a grim preview of the attacks Harris is already facing as the presumptive Democratic nominee for vice president.

      • How to Stay One Step Ahead of Donald Trump

        Among those that managed to succeed, a pattern largely holds: You need an autocratic leader, a close connection to the Trump family, or a deal the president can hail as a victory. Ideally, you have all three. Perhaps the best example of this is Saudi Arabia. “The Saudis are doing business with us the way people do business with the Saudis,” Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and an official in the Reagan and both Bush administrations, told us. “They’re saying, ‘Okay, the United States has become like us. It’s being run by a family. So we will deal with the family.’”

        Trump was an early fan of Saudi Arabia. He made Riyadh his first foreign stop as president and his hosts pampered him, projecting a five-story image of him onto the hotel where he stayed and presenting him with a gold medallion that is the country’s highest civilian honor. Not even the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was enough to deter a president focused on future deals. By then, Kushner was already close to the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And in a statement largely absolving the Saudis of the Khashoggi killing, Trump explicitly referenced the $450 billion the kingdom had “agreed to spend and invest” in the U.S., including a sum on military equipment. Autocracy. Familial ties. Business deals.

      • Can This Crisis Be Used to Build a Better Future in Argentina?

        Buenos Aires, Argentina—On a recent morning, Juana ran to the corner of Cobo Avenue and Curapaligüe to make the noon demonstration. As a resident of Villa 1-11-14, the most populous slum in Buenos Aires, Juana has seen firsthand the grave danger the coronavirus crisis poses to Argentina’s poor and disenfranchised: The cramped and crowded housing of the city’s poor has turned into a virus incubator; the hand-to-mouth existence of the slum’s residents has forced people to continue working despite the threat of the pandemic; and the lack of access to adequate health care that existed before the crisis is now exacerbating the deadly situation. That’s why Juana turned out on May 26 along with her neighbors and a coalition of social organizations, doctors, and activists for a protest against the government’s response to the crisis. This project has been supported by the Pulitzer Center and Revista Anfibia.

      • Rep. Neal Urged to Condemn Smear Campaign Targeting Progressive Challenger Alex Morse After Internal Chats Revealed

        “Everyone who bought into this bullshit smear campaign needs to recant, apologize, and more importantly, LEARN SOMETHING for god’s sake.”

      • AOC Challenges Trump on College Grades: “Loser Has to Fund the Post Office”

        Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) responded to misogynistic insults from President Donald Trump on Thursday morning, in which the commander-in-chief disparaged her intelligence and academic record.

      • The Democratic Convention Is Shaping Up to Be a Centrist Hoedown

        Now that Joe Biden has announced that he’s tapped Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, we know the full lineup of speakers for the Democratic National Convention next week. From where I sit, the choice of Harris was inspired. It’s the rest of the convention that leaves much to be desired.

      • Trump Campaign Appears to Be Hiding Massive Facebook Spending — But Why?

        The Trump campaign has spent tens of millions of dollars on Facebook ads, but has not reported any of that spending to the Federal Election Commission, records show.

      • Tennessee GOP Targets Racial Justice Movement by Turning Encampment Protests Into Felonies Punishable by Prison Term

        “Bonus penalty for exercising your protest rights in an unapproved manner: you lose your voting rights.”

      • ‘Just Comes Out and Says It’: Trump Declares Postal Service Can’t Handle Mail-In Voting Because He’s Blocking Funding

        “This is crazy by any standard. The president of the United States is actively trying to sabotage the election.”

      • Electionland 2020: USPS Chaos, Election Cybersecurity, August Voting and More
      • Trump Declares USPS Can’t Handle Mail-In Voting Because He’s Blocking Funding

        President Donald Trump proclaimed Wednesday that the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t have the capacity to handle an unprecedented increase in mail-in ballots because it lacks funds that his administration is blocking, remarks that were immediately viewed as an open admission of election sabotage by a president who has previously called USPS “a joke.”

      • ‘Silence Is Complicity’: GOP Condemned for Doing Nothing as Trump Openly Touts Sabotage of Postal Service

        “Donald Trump knows that if the people are heard in November, he and Republicans up and down the ballot will lose,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “This is what we’re up against—and this is why we have to fight back with all we’ve got.”

      • “Kinship” Isn’t Enough — Harris Must Be Accountable to Black People

        The writer and folklorist Zora Neal Hurston is credited with once saying “all my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.” The phrase, now fairly common, refers to the fact that those individuals who share racial or ethnic similarities (like skin tone) are not necessarily united as family or comrades in a unified struggle. Unfortunately, Black Americans continue to learn this lesson on grand political stages. Two such examples are Justice Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court and, more recently, Ben Carson’s appointment as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump administration.

      • Donald Trump and His Postmaster General Are Sabotaging Democracy in Plain Sight

        The post office has been, since before the founding of the United States, an essential service. So essential that when it came time to write a Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 gave Congress the power and the responsibility to “establish Post Offices and post Roads.” Yet, at precisely the moment when the country has begun to recognize the vital role of essential workers, postal workers have been under attack and the United States Postal Service has been undermined at every turn. The coronavirus pandemic should have been the moment when the Postal Service was finally accorded the respect and support it deserves. Instead, it is threatened by a White House wrecking crew that has coalesced, for reasons of short-term political strategy and long-term financial interest, to exploit a crisis.

      • ‘Only a Tiny Little Minute, But Eternity Is In It’: AOC Suggests 60 Seconds Is All She Will Need at DNC

        “So the DNC is giving AOC a TikTok minute while Republican John Kasich gets a whole speaking slot,” lamented one progressive critic.

      • Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick is … ZZZZZ

        Most years, the Super Bowl is a dud. Yet the hype machine keeps pulling in new suckers.

      • America Doesn’t Have Real Presidential Debates, But It Should

        On August 6, the Commission on Presidential Debates denied US president Donald Trump’s request to increase the number of debates between himself and Democratic nominee Joe Biden from three to four.

      • ‘Screams of Torture’ as Authoritarian Government in Belarus Continues Attacks on Protesters, Journalists

        Following what pro-democracy advocates say was a rigged election, world leaders condemn the violence against protestors and the press, and the authoritarian regime’s main opponent has fled the country.

      • Here’s why are protesters in Belarus are flying a white-and-red flag

        A white flag with a red stripe down the middle was the official flag of Belarus for several years, historically speaking. At the turn of the 19th–20th century, a cloth with this pattern was used among the first Belarusian nationalist circles and associations. The flag’s designer is believed to be architect and engineer Klawdziy Duzh-Dushewski (1891–1959), although this has never been a completely established fact. Some modern researchers claim that this pattern can be found on the banners that troops of Belarusian origin fought under at the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (which dates back to the 13th century) and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795). 

      • Photo of the day: Protesters in Minsk hug (and even kiss) riot police officers
      • ‘My conscience is clear’ Belarusian police officers start publicly resigning in protest against violent crackdown on opposition

        A court in Navapolatsk has acquitted former police captain Yegor Emelyanov of violating Belarusian laws on organizing demonstrations. The ex-cop was arrested earlier this week for publicly announcing his resignation from law enforcement in protest against the authorities’ violent suppression of opposition assemblies across the country, following Sunday’s presidential election, when long-time incumbent Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory despite a strong opposition challenger and evidence of widespread election fraud. In four days of unrest, police have arrested roughly 7,000 people and more than 250 demonstrators have been hospitalized. Two protesters have been killed, as well. “Seventeen years of service are done. My conscience is clear. The police are with the people,” wrote Emelyanov on Instagram. His post now has nearly 400,000 likes, and he’s not Belarus’s only cop who says he’s had enough.

      • Live blog: Protests in Belarus, day five
      • The lost boys Before the Belarusian presidential election, police in Minsk arrested a group of Russian mercenaries for supposedly plotting riots. ‘Meduza’ tried to find out why they were really there.

        On July 29, the Belarusian authorities arrested 33 Russian nationals. Local officials say these men work for the “Wagner” private military company (PMC) and planned to incite riots ahead of the August 9 presidential election. What these 33 Russians were actually doing in Belarus, however, remains unclear. Minsk has hinted that the supposed mercenaries were part of a plot by Moscow to meddle in the election, while rumors have circulated in the Russian media that Ukrainian intelligence agents are responsible for the scandal. Meduza special correspondent Lilia Yapparova spoke to multiple intelligence workers and the relatives of the Russian citizens now arrested in Belarus to find out what these men were really doing.

      • Why a Growing Force in Brazil Is Charging That President Jair Bolsonaro Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity

        Jhuliana Rodrigues works as a nurse technician at the Hospital São Vicente in Jundiaí, Brazil. “It is very difficult,” she says of her job these days. Brazil has just passed 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, with 3 million Brazilians infected with the virus. “We meet colleagues and feel a heavy energy, a lot of pressure, a block,” Rodrigues says. She is the vice president of Sinsaúde Campinas, a trade union of health workers.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • To Halt Fascist March With Progressive Power, Sanders and Omar to Host ‘United Against Trump’ Town Hall at DNC Convention

        “We have a moral responsibility to oust Trump.”

      • How Men’s Rights Groups Helped Rewrite Regulations on Campus Rape

        In July 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos held a summit on Title IX, the 1972 federal statute that bans discrimination on the basis of sex at universities. Inside the Department of Education building, she met with the National Coalition for Men Carolinas (NCFMC), Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), and Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), three organizations that claim there is a crisis of false rape allegations against male college students. Outside, despite the sweltering heat in Washington, D.C., more than a 100 people rallied, hoping to prevent the department from rolling back protections for students who are victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. “Dear Betsy,” one sign read. “Help end rape culture, don’t perpetuate it.”

      • A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s

        History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does restage old moments in new conditions and costumes.

      • ‘This video is about Russia’ A new documentary about Chechnya’s LGBTQ crackdown is now available on YouTube

        Russian journalist and host of the YouTube project, “Straight Talk with Gay People,” Karen Shainyan, has released a new, hour-long film about the persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia’s Chechnya. In the film, titled The Chechen War on LGBT, Shainayan talks to the main subjects and creators of the documentary film Welcome to Chechnya, which followed activists who worked to secretly evacuate LGBTQ people from Russia’s repressive Chechen Republic. 

      • Episode 102 – White Fragility, Cancel Culture, and Over Policing with Darren Kawaii – Along The Line Podcast

        On today’s episode, Nicholas Baham II (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo, and Nolan Higdon host University of Los Angeles’ Jeff Share.

      • How to Survive Anti-Police Protests

        At about 9:45 pm on August 1, protesters in Portland, Oregon, heard a familiar warning: “This event has been declared an unlawful assembly,” police said over their loudspeaker system. “Failure to comply with this lawful order may subject you to arrest and the use of force, to include crowd control munitions.”

      • Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order

        Federal troops may be standing down in Portland for now. But Donald Trump has also dispatched federal agents to Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, and Albuquerque.

      • Internal Memo Shows Trump Administration Expects Drastic Drop in Demand for U.S. Visas for Years to Come

        The Trump administration is predicting years of dramatically reduced international demand for U.S. visas, and planning for drastic budget cuts to visa services worldwide as a result, according to an internal memo seen by ProPublica.

        The projections made by the U.S. State Department in a memo signed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday contrast with the rosier outlook expressed repeatedly by President Donald Trump. As recently as Aug. 5, Trump predicted that the coronavirus “will go away” and that a vaccine will be available before the end of the year. But internally, the memo shows, the government is planning for the pandemic to drastically reduce international travel to the U.S. through at least 2022.

      • ICE Guards “Systematically” Sexually Assault Detainees in an El Paso Detention Center, Lawyers Say

        Guards in an immigrant detention center in El Paso sexually assaulted and harassed inmates in a “pattern and practice” of abuse, according to a complaint filed by a Texas advocacy group urging the local district attorney and federal prosecutors to conduct a criminal investigation.

        The allegations, detailed in a filing first obtained by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, maintain that guards systematically assaulted at least three people in a facility overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — often in areas of the detention center not visible to security cameras. The guards told victims that no one would believe them because footage did not exist and the harassment involved officers as high-ranking as a lieutenant.

      • In Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, Bridges Have Become Barricades

        The bridges that help define Chicago’s downtown aren’t raised very often anymore — usually just for a few scheduled minutes to let boats pass on the way to or from Lake Michigan.

        But this year, the Chicago River bridges have repeatedly been lifted for a new purpose: to keep people out of the center of the city.

      • Jail Took My Mom: Filmmaker on How His Mother Broke the Cycle of Incarceration & Shaping DNC Policy

        The coronavirus crisis and the movement for racial justice have magnified the challenges faced by people released from prison, whose criminal record makes it hard to find a job and even housing, especially women. We feature a new AJ+ series by Messiah Rhodes, whose mother was in and out of jail throughout his childhood and was able to break the cycle of incarceration. Rhodes says his work serves as a response to calls to defund police. “Instead of giving law enforcement agencies tanks and sci-fi-level weaponry, we should be funding … housing, education, family reunification, mental health support,” he says. We also speak with DeAnna Hoskins, president of JustLeadershipUSA, which will host Rebuilding the Table, an event on the official schedule of the Democratic National Convention that centers formerly incarcerated voices.

      • ‘Stop the violence’ Snapshots from yesterday’s peaceful demonstrations in Belarus

        Belarus witnessed its fifth day of mass protests on Thursday, August 13, as people continued to demonstrate in opposition to the results of the presidential elections, which claim that incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) won by a landslide 80 percent. During the day, people in cities throughout the country formed solidarity chains opposing the violence security forces used against protesters: these peaceful rallies were led by women who wore white and carried flowers. Large groups of doctors, transport workers, and factory workers joined the solidarity chains, as well. The Belarusian State Philharmonic’s choir also held its own action, performing the unofficial anthem of the Belarusian emigration “Magutny Bozha” (O God Almighty).

      • Belarus live-blog: Day six after the contested presidential election Minsk tractor plant workers march on the House of Government and the mayor of Grodno addresses protesters
      • ‘Like hell on Earth’ Torture and dehumanization in Belarusian jails now threatens to end the Lukashenko regime. Here are some of the stories changing how the public sees the state.

        Protests have swept Belarus since a contested presidential election on August 9. In the initial police crackdown, nearly 7,000 people were arrested. Those thrown behind bars weren’t all hardened activists or even participants in the rallies — the authorities swept up journalists, foreigners, and even random passersby. Many of these people are still missing in the bureaucratic mayhem that’s followed. Officials have not disclosed many detainees’ whereabouts to family members, human rights groups, and individuals’ own lawyers. Prisoners lucky enough to have been released talk of brutal conditions: overcrowded cells, inadequate food, and torture. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova spoke to some of these people to find out more about the conditions in Belarusian jails.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Vindicating The Rights Of Federal Whistleblowers

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights a couple examples of federal whistleblower legislation introduced recently in Congress.

        Whistleblower advocacy groups have fought for more than a decade for access to the courts and jury trials. Yet, in 2012, when there was an opportunity to expand federal whistleblower protections, President Barack Obama and Congress balked at giving federal whistleblowers the same ability to challenge retaliation that whistleblowers in the private sector have.

      • Taiwan to lower age of adulthood to 18 in 2023

        Once the Cabinet approves a package of measures, the revisions to the Civil Code will be up to the Legislative Yuan. The amendments should then take effect the first New Year’s Day two years later, in this case, Jan. 1, 2023, a government spokesman said.

      • Acting DHS chief Wolf and senior aide Cuccinelli not legally qualified to hold their jobs, congressional watchdog says

        The Government Accountability Office said Wolf and Cuccinelli assumed those jobs under an order of succession that was issued by an acting secretary who himself had no authority to hold his job. That former acting head was Kevin McAleenan, who took over after the last Homeland secretary to be confirmed by the Senate, Kirstjen Nielsen, resigned.

        GAO’s conclusion has no force of law, but the agency said it is referring its conclusion to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general. Friday’s findings could, however, be cited in lawsuits challenging DHS policies, including stricter immigration controls.

      • Cologne FC defends new kit’s mosque design

        Twelve per cent of the population of Cologne, in western Germany, is Muslim and the club has said that adding the mosque to the shirt was intended to be as “a sign of inclusivity”.

        “The mosque is symbolic of the large Turkish community in Cologne, where there are many diehard FC fans,” the club’s managing director, Alexander Wehrle, told Bild. “And it has become an unmistakable part of the Cologne skyline.”

        Cologne Central Mosque was officially opened in 2018 by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

      • Tweeters Were Criminally Charged For The Crime Of Trying To Identify A Police Officer… Who The Police Revealed In The Charging Docs

        The Nutley, New Jersey Police Department fears for the safety of its officer. It fears so much it tried to bring criminal charges against people who retweeted a tweet asking Twitter users to identify an officer who was policing a protest. Georgana Sziszak is one of the five people charged for interacting with the tweet, as Adi Robertson reports for The Verge.

      • Automobile plant workers join protests in Belarus, demanding Lukashenko’s resignation

        Factory workers at the Belarusian Automobile Plant (BelAZ) marched on company grounds on Thursday, chanting “Resign!” addressing President Alexander Lukashenko. The opposition Telegram channel NEXTA Live shared footage from the demonstration. Videos have also appeared on Twitter.

      • ‘There’s Been Very Little Attention, Despite a Great Deal of Advocacy, to Our Incarcerated Residents’

        Janine Jackson interviewed the Sentencing Project’s Nicole Porter on Covid and decarceration for the August 7, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • NLG Ohio and Philadelphia Chapters Organize Legal Support ahead of RNC and DNC

        The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is gearing up to support our Ohio and Philadelphia chapters as they prepare for anticipated mass protests—and arrests—at the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions (RNC, DNC) to be held in Cleveland, July 18-21 and Philadelphia, July 25-28, 2016.

        This convention season has witnessed excessive federal expenditures on security, increased “free speech” restrictions, and backlash against the growing Movement for Black Lives. NLG Ohio and NLG Philadelphia are each preparing an organized mass defense infrastructure of Legal Observers, jail support, and lawyers.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China

        The U.S. tech war on China continues, banning Chinese equipment from its network, and asking its Five Eyes partners and NATO allies to follow suit. It is a market and a technology denial regime that seeks to win back manufacturing that the U.S. and European countries have lost to China.

      • Social Media Critics Ignore Rest of Internet
      • Trump, Big Telecom Continue Quest To Ban States From Protecting Broadband Consumers

        As we’ve noted a few times, the Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality did a lot more than just kill net neutrality rules. It effectively neutered the FCC’s ability to hold giant broadband providers accountable for much of anything, from attempting to charge customers a rental fee for hardware they own, to the litany of bogus fees ISPs use to falsely inflate their advertised rates. So when a select group of folks try to claim that “killing net neutrality must not have mattered because the internet still works,” they’re advertising their ignorance.

      • Personal Telco Project: A Case Study in Community Connectivity

        The necessity to work from home as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the need for fast, reliable and affordable broadband internet. It is indisputable: access to the internet is essential. There has long been an acknowledgment that the connectivity disparity in America is only serving to widen the income gap. However, before the term ‘digital divide’ was coined a small group in Portland, Oregon set about addressing the shortcomings in connectivity that their community faced.For the past twenty years, the Personal Telco Project (PTP) has been creating a network in Portland using a mesh system, whereby homes and businesses (hosts) would use their existing internet connection as a ‘node’, making Wi-Fi connections available to the public. As participation in the network grew, the speed and coverage of this network improved.I had a conversation with Russell Senior, President of the Personal Telco Project. We discussed the origins of the groups, the impact it had on Portland Internet culture and what they did to address the immediate needs of the community. We also looked at solutions to the broader issue of the digital divide in Portland.

        Lewis: Can you tell me how the group got started? What was the pressing need at the time?

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • It Was Nice While It Lasted: 9th Circuit Rejects Lower Court Ruling On How Abuse Of Patent Monopolies Can Violate Antitrust

          Last year we had a detailed post about judge Lucy Koh’s district court ruling that outlined exactly how Qualcomm abused its patents in an anticompetitive way to shake down the entire mobile phone industry for decades. This was in a case that was brought by the FTC and it was a stunning ruling on multiple accounts. First, it’s rare for a court to recognize how patents and copyrights grant monopoly rights that can be abused in violation of antitrust rules. Second, it exposed a stunning degree of anticompetitive behavior on the part of Qualcomm.

        • Haier files constitutional complaint over FRAND judgment

          Haier’s lawyers have confirmed to JUVE Patent that the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer filed a constitutional complaint with the German Constitutional Court three days ago. The highest German court finally has its first FRAND case.

          At the beginning of May, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that Haier had infringed Sisvel’s SEP EP 08 52 885, thus overturning the ruling of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf. Sisvel appealed against the judgment. Effectively, the decision means the reinstatement of the previous ruling by the Regional Court Düsseldorf.

          The company wants the Constitutional Court to review whether the decision of the Federal Court of Justice (case ID: K ZR 36/17) is compatible with European law.

          [...]

          The Court of Justice of the European Union had set specific guidelines for SEP licensing, in doing so overturning the Federal Court of Justice’s so-called Orange Book ruling. According to this ruling, the implementer in particular was obliged to submit a FRAND-compliant licence offer.

          On the other hand, the CJEU considered that both parties should make a FRAND-compliant licence offer. The CJEU consolidated this obligation in 2015 in its decision in the case between Huawei and ZTE (case ID: (C-170/13).

          As a result, the patent courts in Europe have endeavoured to achieve a uniform interpretation of the CJEU’s FRAND rules. However, the various German courts have long held differing interpretations. Thus, patent law experts hoped that the Federal Court of Justice would harmonise German FRAND case law in the case between Sisvel and Haier.

          But this never happened. The Federal Court of Justice failed to comment on many details. To Haier’s detriment, the court largely reverted to its Orange Book decision. This means the onus is on the implementer to make a sound licence offer.

        • Software Patents

          • Another IP Bridge patent challenged as likely invalid

            On August 13, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,817,868 as part of its ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone. The ’868 patent is owned by IP Bridge, which is participating in the HEVC Advance patent pool (HEVC Advance patent list).

            HEVC Advance claims that certain claims of the ’868 patent are essential to the HEVC standard. After conducting an independent analysis, Unified has determined that the ’868 patent is likely unpatentable.

          • AlterWAN patent determined to be likely invalid

            On August 13, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,667,534, owned and asserted by AlterWAN, Inc., an NPE. The ‘534 patent, directed to routing packets via VPN, has been asserted in district court litigation against Amazon Web Services.

      • Trademarks

        • Jaguar Land Rover loses trade mark battle over Land Rover Defender car series

          In a recent decision, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales held that the shapes of the Land Rover Defender cars are not eligible for trade mark registration. In particular, it upheld the findings of the Hearing Officer of the UK Intellectual Property Officers (IPO) and considered it sufficient that merely 20 and 40% of the respondents recognized the cars as belonging to the Land Rover Defender series. This finding was relevant since it led to the conclusion that the marks in question do not have inherent or acquired distinctiveness.

        • Chrome Hearts is Suing Fashion Nova for Allegedly Hijacking its Horseshoe Trademarks

          Fashion Nova is on the hook for selling wares that allegedly infringe Chrome Hearts’ trademarks. On the heels of settling the trademark suit it filed against streetwear brand MNML for allegedly co-opting its well-known cross logo for a pair of copycat jeans, the Los Angeles-based brand has initiated the latest fight in a flurry of recent infringement actions, and this time, it has set its sights on Fashion Nova, accusing the fast fashion company of allegedly selling garments “that bear identical and/or confusingly similar copies of one or more [its] trademarks” without the authorization to do so.
          According to the complaint that it filed in a California federal court on Thursday, Chrome Hearts claims that it has been has been “designing, manufacturing, and selling artistically styled leather goods, apparel, jewelry, and accessories since 1988,” and in the process, has “devoted substantial time, effort, and money to designing, developing, advertising, promoting, and marketing its products, and spends on average over $1 million per year on advertising, promoting, and marketing [its] brand,” including its arsenal of trademarks.
          Since setting up shop 32 years ago, Chrome Hearts says that it “has sold over a billion dollars’ worth of clothing, all bearing one or more of [its] trademarks,” and those very marks “have achieved widespread acceptance and recognition amongst the consuming public” throughout the U.S. and internationally. Among its well-known marks are a number of horseshoe-inspired motifs, which the brand claims that Fashion Nova used on apparel in an attempt to “cause confusion, or to cause mistake [among consumers], or to deceive [consumers] as to the origin, affiliation, or association” between its horseshoe-adorned products and those of Chrome Hearts. In lieu of such an association, Chrome Hearts claims that Fashion Nova’s use of “identical or confusingly similar reproductions of one or more [of its] trademarks” has “misled and confused” consumers as to the source of the products, including its “Love Warrior Crop Top.”

        • Budweiser’s Trademark Infringement and Disparagement Claim: Nipping Satire in the Bud?

          Originally, a post was published on a website named ‘Foolish Humour’ which mentioned that a Budweiser employee with the alias Walter Powell had been pissing in Budweiser beer tanks for 12 years. Foolish Humour later also put up a post stating that Budweiser had admitted that ‘several employees have been pissing into their beer tanks for years’. These, however, were fictional reports as can clearly be seen even from the description of the website at the bottom of the page which reads as follows: “This website is a humorous page whose sole purpose is entertainment. The content of Foolish Humor is fiction and does not correspond to reality.” However, certain media channels such as Hans India mistook it to be credible news and released a report based on this story. This fictitious news also went viral on social media, drawing several memes against Budweiser and also trending the #Budweiser. A detailed fact check can be accessed here.

          The defendants in the instant case are also a satire website with the disclaimer at the bottom of their webpage reading: “The Fauxy is a Satire Web Portal. The content of this website is a work of fiction. Readers are advised not to confuse the articles of The Fauxy as genuine and true.” In light of the viral news concerning a Budweiser employee pissing in the beer tanks, the defendants came up with a video to ascertain its veracity. The video shows a person tasting Budweiser and urine sample and concludes that the news of Budweiser containing urine is fake as Budweiser tasted worse than the urine.

          One of the biggest errors in the order appears to stem from an incorrect understanding of this fact scenario. The court has noted the plaintiff’s submissions that the defendants have been perpetrating “fake news stating that the employees of the plaintiff have been urinating in the beer sold to its customers”. Moreover, the plaintiff submitted that the video was responsible for “the publication of several hundred defamatory posts and videos across social media”, “caused “#Budweiser” to trend as the no. 1 hashtag on twitter in India as on July 02, 2020”, and “caused even legitimate news publications such as The Hans India to report the fictitious news as being a legitimate fact”. Moreover, the plaintiff also pointed to a tweet by NDTV referring to a “news item ‘Budweiser admits several employees have been pissing into their beer tanks for years’”. Hence, it is clear that all outcomes of the original article by Foolish Humour have been wrongly attributed to the defendants in the instant case. The court failed to take note of this incorrect fact situation. It even failed to note that while the plaintiff highlights #Budweiser to trend on July 2, the defendants’ video was released only on July 8.

          [...]

          This order reflects an occasion where the court seems to have taken one party at its word regarding the factual matrix, perhaps simply because it is a well established party. Moreover, it also points out to the general lack of engagement of courts with the substantive law while granting interim reliefs. A bare minimum perusal of the applicable provisions indicates that Budweiser’s claims do not have the support of law. If such reliefs are granted, that too in ex parte proceedings, it creates a substantial hindrance in exercise of freedom of expression. As Prashant has discussed in relation to the Parachute orders (here and here), it is important to shield individual opinions from powerful entities, else it would jeopardise the value of the fundamental freedoms granted by the constitution.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          How does satire interact with trade mark infringement and commercial disparagement in India? According to this recent piece on Spicy IP, the courts fail to strike an appropriate balance between intellectual property and constitutional rights.

      • Copyrights

        • Judge Denies Copyright Troll Malibu Media’s Request For A Default Judgment

          Lately so many of our copyright trolling stories have been about Richard Liebowitz or Mathew Higbee, but we shouldn’t forget about Malibu Media, which is still out there doing Malibu Media things. The latest, to come out of a court in Connecticut is that the infamous copyright troll has had a default judgment request denied. This is exceptionally rare.

        • Another Day, Another Judge Is Wondering Whether Or Not A Richard Liebowitz Client Knows He’s A Richard Liebowitz Client

          Richard Liebowitz appears to be in trouble with a judge yet again. Judge Lewis Kaplan has issued quite an order in one of Liebowitz’s thousands of cases — Chosen Figure LLC v. Smiley Miley — asking for proof that the plaintiff actually knows it’s a client of Richard Liebowitz. The judge seems quite aware of Liebowitz’s reputation:

        • Balance lost: the US Copyright Office finds US copyright safe harbour provisions have been tilted askew

          The safe harbours subsequently created by the Congress were intended to incentivize and foster cooperation between right owners and online service providers to achieve these twin goals.
          The report finds that this is no longer the case. Instead, the DMCA safe harbour provisions have placed an increasing burden on rightholders while providing enhanced protections to online services “in circumstances beyond those originally anticipated by the Congress”. So, while section 512 has been successful in driving the development and growth of online services, it has left rightholders without sufficiently effective means to protect their rights.
          The report seems to put this down to two main factors: online services have developed beyond what the legislators could have foreseen at the time of the adoption of the DMCA, and the courts have not managed to strike the right balance in this changing environment between the twin goals that Congress intended to guarantee.
          Broadly speaking, the report finds that in most of the specific areas examined, courts have tended to interpret the section 512 safe harbour provisions in a manner that favours the online services.

        • Yandex Search Engine Faces $40m Copyright Lawsuit For Indexing Videos

          Leading Russian search engine Yandex is being sued in a Moscow court for copyright infringement. Filed by rightsholder TeleSport, the complaint alleges that Yandex’s video service displayed video highlights of top-tier Italian soccer matches without a license. Yandex believes it acted legally and rejects the $40m damages demand.

        • LimeWire Developer Creates MuWire, an Anonymous File-Sharing Application

          LimeWire once was the most used file-sharing application worldwide. This era came to an abrupt end when it was shut down ten years ago. The original Limewire.com domain still exists, however, and today it links to MuWire, an anonymous file-sharing client created by a former LimeWire developer.

        • Meet CC Netherlands, Our Next Feature for CC Network Fridays!

          To help showcase their work, we’re excited to continue our blog series and social media initiative: CC Network Fridays. At least one Friday a month, we’ll travel around the world through our blog and on Twitter (using #CCNetworkFridays) to a different CC Chapter, introducing their teams, discussing their work, and celebrating their commitment to open! 

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