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08.16.20

The Free Software Movement is Falling for Too Many Old Tricks

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 6:43 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

Lighthouse
Sentry for Free Software Needed?

Summary: “RMS does a reasonable job of introducing people to the subject of when “Open” is something meaningless.”

Open Source was always a P.R. thing; getting co-opted was its highest ideal.

RMS says that “Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software,” but there is no point to Open Source.

In UHF, the 80s movie starring “Weird Al” Yankovic, Yankovic’s character George Newman creates a number of strange TV shows including “Wheel of Fish,” hosted by his friend and neighbour Kuni.

Contestant Phyllis Weaver spins the wheel, landing on “red snapper” — and is given the chance to take home her own weight in snapper, or she “can go for what’s in the box that Hiro-San is bringing down the aisle right now!”

Kuni leaps forward and says “What’s it gonna be?”

“I’ll take what’s in the box!”

Hiro-San lifts up the box and reveals its contents–

“NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!”

“RMS does a reasonable job of introducing people to the subject of when “Open” is something meaningless.”Kuni’s following catchphrase really isn’t the point of this article, but lately you hear from Nat Friedman that “Open Source has Won”–

And you get what’s in the box.

RMS does a reasonable job of introducing people to the subject of when “Open” is something meaningless.

It does have a definition, of course. And there’s nothing wrong with the OSD, except that it doesn’t matter — not even to Open Source. Bruce Perens wrote the perfectly-alright Open Source Definition based on his own Debian FREE SOFTWARE Guidelines.

The problem is that “Open Source” has nothing to do with the OSD. Nothing.

Open Source was and is more about packaging up the artifacts of Free Software without the philosophical or ethical arguments, so that it could be “sold” (as an idea) to corporations.

The OSD is a list of criteria for whether a license can be called an Open Source license or not, just as the Free Software Definition is a list of criteria for whether a license can be called a Free Software license.

“Open Source, which is built purely on bait-and-switch (philosophically, ethically and otherwise) is a shell game where Free Software is switched with OSS and OSS is switched with Proprietary Software — NOT (by its own definition) Open Source.”The link between whether something is Free Software or whether it Has a Free Software License is a bit stronger than it is with Open Source in practice, though when it comes down to evaluating whether something is “Free” or “Open”, the licenses play a more prominent (if not exclusive) role in determining whether the software itself is “Free” or “Open”.

Open Source, which is built purely on bait-and-switch (philosophically, ethically and otherwise) is a shell game where Free Software is switched with OSS and OSS is switched with Proprietary Software — NOT (by its own definition) Open Source. This has happened with Canonical pushing WSL for Windows and Microsoft, Red Hat teaming up with Microsoft, and both using GitHub instead of Free software for hosting “Open Source” code.

Open Source is built on double standards — its popularity is backed by monopoly-funded marketing and a corporate-friendly tech press, but when their term becomes more popular (by selling out users using the same tactics Microsoft does) they insist that Free Software is just quibbling over a name!

But when you refer to Free Software as Open Source, what you’re actually doing is not letting the Free Software movement represent itself, and instead letting its opponents speak on its behalf.

“But when you refer to Free Software as Open Source, what you’re actually doing is not letting the Free Software movement represent itself, and instead letting its opponents speak on its behalf.”Open Source says it’s the “same thing”, while attacking Free Software year after year. It’s these attacks (which are deeply fallacious and incredibly dishonest) that people are falling for more than ever before.

In that regard certainly, “Open Source has Won.” It has succeeded in co-opting a legitimate movement. It had already done so just one year after OSI was founded, that co-founder Bruce Perens resigned in protest, saying that Free Software had been “overshadowed” and that “this was never fair”.

If you are attacking something you claim is the “same thing” as what you’re doing, what you’re really claiming is to be “The same, only better!”

There was a time, more than a decade ago, when I fell for the “same, only better” scam. But since then I’ve warned people about these tricks.

If you watch videos that show how carnival games (not unlike the old shell game) are rigged to fleece and scam carnival-goers, there are arguments that Open Source is built on (many of them are false dichotomies) that are similarly rigged to fleece advocates of Free and “Open” software alike.

“The effects of these tactics include people being mislead about the importance of freedom — it goes from being a priority to being a fashion accessory.”Perens did a lot to expose the wrongdoings of OSI — including their now-ancient (yet eerily familiar and oh so relevant) plans to oust rms, but he has not spoken out against these tactics themselves — only their use and the overall effect.

The effects of these tactics include people being mislead about the importance of freedom — it goes from being a priority to being a fashion accessory.

This is not unlike what happened to mid-20th century counter-culture movements, as they shifted from being about philosophy to books, to music, to drugs, to just statements made with clothes and hairstyles.

“This is not unlike what happened to mid-20th century counter-culture movements, as they shifted from being about philosophy to books, to music, to drugs, to just statements made with clothes and hairstyles.”Note that the counter-culture movements of that time were co-opted with all the force of government agencies and propaganda:

“FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive,[5] including feminist organizations,[6] the Communist Party USA,[7] anti–Vietnam War organizers, activists of the civil rights movement or Black Power movement (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panther Party), environmentalist and animal rights organizations, the American Indian Movement (AIM), independence movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups like the Young Lords), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left.”Wikipedia on COINTELPRO

Although their methods were anti-freedom, at least some of their targets had nothing to do with progress:

“The program also targeted the Ku Klux Klan in 1964.[8]“

I wouldn’t call myself a supporter of the Communist Party USA, either. Any just society will surely have some elements of socialism (voluntary at least) the question for me is how to do that with the most insignificant impacts to freedom.

“The only freedom Microsoft wants is for itself. They want you to think THEIR freedom is YOUR freedom, but they also want the freedom to control what you do.”But you should know that my feelings about Open Source (and what it really is) and my feelings about COINTELPRO are not far apart. They’re both attacks on freedom, using misinformation with the goal of sustaining and even contributing further to a corrupt status quo.

The only freedom Microsoft wants is for itself. They want you to think THEIR freedom is YOUR freedom, but they also want the freedom to control what you do. Call it “Trickle-down Freedom theory,” because that’s basically what it is. As long as THEY can do whatever they want, so can you — if you believe that.

That’s practically the single lie at the core of all of this. Not that it sours me in the least on the idea of true freedom for everybody — it clearly has for some people, who insist that freedom without a progressive thumb placed forever on the scale is nothing more then privilege. I do believe in (human/ecological) progress, I simply don’t believe in SOME of the thumb-on-the-scale methods advocated.

But it is a fact that Microsoft has their own thumb on the scale, and that thumb weighs more than many of us (certainly not all of us) put together. The original thumb Microsoft put on the scale was that they could sell code they got out of a skip, but people who share code are thieves.

“The original thumb Microsoft put on the scale was that they could sell code they got out of a skip, but people who share code are thieves.”Corporate theft is good business, collaboration without corporations is theft (now discrimination). That whole corporations-are-people-too nonsense is so strong, that if you say “corporations aren’t real people” it almost sounds racist these days. HEY! Corporations have RIGHTS!

Anything you do is spun as taking something away from the richest and most powerful. If you don’t want Microsoft running updates that give them complete control of your computer (and limit your own control of your own physical property), then you’re basically a terrorist. The other OSI Co-founder, Eric S. Raymond, even said this more than 15 years ago:

“I also expect a serious effort, backed by several billion dollars in bribe money (oops, excuse me, campaign contributions), to get open-source software outlawed on some kind of theory that it aids terrorists.”

“As I’ve said many times, Open Source is an attack on Free Software. It attacks rms, it attacks anybody outspoken…”(That article has the ESR quote and links to the Halloween Documents mirror on slated.org — it is also itself a relevant article.)

Controlling your own computer? Anarchy and Theft.

These are the people propping up “Open Source” with millions or billions spent on it. But it isn’t just the fact that Open Source is backed PRIMARILY by corporate thugs. It’s also the endless, smarmy dishonesty of the whole thing.

As I’ve said many times, Open Source is an attack on Free Software. It attacks rms, it attacks anybody outspoken:

CoC images/memes by figosdev

CoC images/memes by figosdev - second part

It attacks computer nerds for being nerdy, it pretends to care about “ableism” while former presidents of OSI (plural — maybe not Perens) made ad hom remarks (to me personally) about other people being “autistic” (Perens is unlikely to do so, having been born with cerebral palsy), and it attacks philosophers and advocates for having ideals different than corporate ones, calling them “extremists.”

It’s funny that ESR thought people would be bribed to conflate open source with terrorism, when that’s basically what Open Source proponents have done to Free Software advocates for years:

“I also expect a serious effort, backed by several billion dollars in bribe money (oops, excuse me, campaign contributions), to get open-source software outlawed on some kind of theory that it aids terrorists.” – OSI Co-founder ESR

“It’s funny that ESR thought people would be bribed to conflate open source with terrorism, when that’s basically what Open Source proponents have done to Free Software advocates for years…”“There are ‘extremists’ in the free software world, but that’s one major reason why I don’t call what I do ‘free software’ any more. I don’t want to be associated with the people for whom it’s about exclusion and hatred.” – Open Source proponent / Linux kernel author Linus Torvalds

“I think we just don’t care that much [about Microsoft] anymore… They used to be our big rival, but now it’s kind of like kicking a puppy.” – Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation‘s chief

Just so you know, Jim, most puppies don’t have 10-billion-dollar defense contracts.

“Just so you know, Jim, most puppies don’t have 10-billion-dollar defense contracts.”If you have principles of any kind, you’re an extremist and driven by “hate”. This is nice and vague, because you may hate the abuse a corporation doles out against its customers and the human race itself, but Linus Torvalds will make it sound like bigotry if you don’t love Microsoft.

“This is nice and vague, because you may hate the abuse a corporation doles out against its customers and the human race itself, but Linus Torvalds will make it sound like bigotry if you don’t love Microsoft.”You know it’s pure narcissism when someone expects you to love them, just because they (allegedly) love you? Like if I go up to you and say “You’re wonderful — I LOVE you–” nearly any expectation of reciprocation I have is unreasonable. It would be very nice if it’s mutual, it would be nice if you don’t take it the wrong way or reject me in a mean way, but demanding that someone love you back despite years of abuse is just NUTS.

THAT’S Microsoft. It’s also everybody who attacks YOU for disliking Microsoft.

But that’s exactly what Open Source expects you to do — love being lied to, love being abused by corporations, or you’re some kind of bigot.

“But that’s exactly what Open Source expects you to do — love being lied to, love being abused by corporations, or you’re some kind of bigot.”I have a serious problem with this sort of emotional blackmail being used to co-opt a movement that actually stood for something. Stood — because what the Free Software movement (a bit too much of it) wants me to do now is support an FSF President who supports and promotes Microsoft.

No.

I will not support Microsoft, because they are extremely bad people. It isn’t extremely relevant that there are other bad people — Microsoft are among the very worst. It isn’t extremely relevant that history has a handful of people that are arguably worse than Microsoft — Microsoft are still among the very worst. They have co-opted our movement, our software and even Love Itself.

“I will not support Microsoft, because they are extremely bad people. It isn’t extremely relevant that there are other bad people — Microsoft are among the very worst.”I will not support ANY of this!

I will not support your lies, your bullshit, your dishonesty, your narcissism, your abuse or your greed. I’m not going to support shills so you do more fundraising. No.

I will not support your double standards, your attacks on the best people (and anybody who defends those people) only to have you turn around and ask me to support someone lesser in importance or integrity.

I will not let a predominately corporate movement speak for people they don’t care about — then twist what people say around into “bigotry” so they can be silenced and never get to speak for themselves again!

“Today, people are falling for so many well-documented fallacies and false-dichotomies, long used by Open Source to drive wedges between advocates.”But unfortunately, most people will. At least for now.

Today, people are falling for so many well-documented fallacies and false-dichotomies, long used by Open Source to drive wedges between advocates.

The User / Developer dichotomy is one of the most powerful.

A developer is someone who makes software. Software is produced by coding.

When computers first existed, using them and coding them were basically the same act. When you use a pocket calculator, you are punching simple instructions into the processor:

ZERO VALUE

2

ADD

2

DISPLAY VALUE

“So as computer use has become more abstracted, now we separate people into “users” and “developers” — like there is some magic in it.”When you write a computer program, you are punching simple instructions into the processor.

What’s changed is the complexity of the processor, and the fact that most code is now higher-level than the processor codes themselves. But that’s true for the vast majority of developers, because people mostly code in machine code when they have to — not when they can help it.

So as computer use has become more abstracted, now we separate people into “users” and “developers” — like there is some magic in it. Now instead of writing a function, it gets called when you click a button.

Hey, when you bootstrapped a PDP-11, that was also a click of a button. Followed by another one. Followed by another one.

“But either way, the point of constantly emphasising the user/developer dichotomy is to create a peasant class called “users”, who are supposed to basically shut up and take whatever they’re given, or learn how to code.”Of course the demonstrable difference now between a user and developer is that developers produce new code, while users simply call it. Unless they call it by issuing commands on the command line, until they gradually build up into routines. The command line isn’t a programming language, it’s a user environment. But you can still develop useful code on it, even in the course of “using” the command line.

Sometimes it’s the link between use and development that’s tenuous, sometimes it’s the distinction that is. But either way, the point of constantly emphasising the user/developer dichotomy is to create a peasant class called “users”, who are supposed to basically shut up and take whatever they’re given, or learn how to code.

Of course I do recommend making it as easy to code as possible, so more people can learn. I recommend people learn, so they can have more control over their computing. A little ability goes a long way — I have no formal training, my own simple programming language, which I used to create my own GNU/Assholex distro. (Like comparing people who disagree with your corporate shilling to terrorists is any less offensive — Piss Off, Linus).

“And creating this division between Users and Developers is political — all developers are users, but (these days) not all users are developers.”Everything I try to do, I try to do the easy way — whether it’s coding, or creating a language or creating a distro. Yeah, I want DIY — but I still want to take advantage of the fact that computers can abstract things, while also giving me control of my own computer. The Free Software movement is by definition mostly about portable, reusable code — even if native CPU code is ultimately required underneath that. Otherwise rms would say:

“The only way to have control of your computing is via machine code and mnemonics” — he never said that. But I have great admiration for people who can toggle in a program on switches or write the lower-level code that makes our higher-level code work. Basically all of us accept various levels of abstraction.

But it should be our decision, not one Microsoft (or the rest of GIAFAM) makes for us.

And creating this division between Users and Developers is political — all developers are users, but (these days) not all users are developers. So while it’s alright (possibly even necessary) to say “We need a more user-centric Free software movement” I’m aware, as a developer, that people can’t generally demand I do something and expect me to just code it for them.

I’ve always known that, but how this fact is used in the way large projects like Debian are managed is both dishonest and condescending. That’s the goal of the user/developer dichotomy — SHUT UP USERS, there are GROWN-UPS talking!

“If we don’t care about users at all, we are no better than Microsoft.”“But this erased my home directory every time I ran grub2-update”

“IT’S PROBABLY YOUR FAULT! QUIT SPREADING FUD!”

If we don’t care about users at all, we are no better than Microsoft. That doesn’t mean that you are obligated to maintain your software. You can write it and put it online and go Amish, it’s not a crime. The idea that it’s not really “free” unless there’s a “community” around it is one of those wedges from Open Source, they used to push this a lot harder (check ancient OSI blogs).

“Then there is the good old Freedom / Pragmatism dichotomy!”The truth? A community is a bonus- Free software itself is a contribution to society. You can let someone else create a community around the software, but that can go horribly wrong. Free software without a community is like a public refrigerator. It just sits there, waiting for someone to come and make it into a meal. But it provides a clear benefit for those who can make use of the contribution it provides.

Then there is the good old Freedom / Pragmatism dichotomy! I don’t care about whether software is free or not, I want it to “just work!” This is great, because Free Software often does (or often did — bowing to Open Source has reduced long-term reliability, for reasons easy enough to explain) “just work”, but with this dichotomy you’re creating a circular argument where if non-free stuff “just works” and free stuff doesn’t. It’s either/or, you know (it’s not) but this non-argument is a staple of Open Source B.S. (OSBSS).

Open Source has long had different goals and different trade-offs than Free Software, but it has always worked to muddy the waters so that it can bring you to its own pro-corporate side.

Once you’re where their grass is always greener (it should be, an awful lot of it’s made out of American money and corporate AstroTurfing) you’ll find that far from the laid-back, anything-goes narcissistic love-bombing stage that is so much better than free software “extremism” and “hate” — Open Source holds corporate hegemony as sacred, all while pretending to be rebellious and “Open” to anything.

“Open Source has long had different goals and different trade-offs than Free Software, but it has always worked to muddy the waters so that it can bring you to its own pro-corporate side.”Microsoft: “Help people. Help people as much as you can, because then they owe you a favor. One of the first things I did when I started doing evangelism to the Mac community is, I started giving stuff away like crazy. Sending them the compiler; sending them the STK, sending them documentation. I had this thing that got to be known as the Plamondon Love Kit. It was this big, heavy box full of books and compilers and goodies, and Mac developers started talking about the Plamondon Love Kit, and how, you know, if you sent off to James and said that you were going to do something on Windows, he’d send you this Plamondon Love Kit. And Apple was just—arrggh, like that, because they couldn’t afford to give stuff away like that.”

They have just as many (if not more) sacred cows, but they include Bill Gates (you conspiracy theorist) and IBM (no Nazis on earth are less racist or more diverse than IBM) and Microsoft (you neckbeards!)…

Microsoft: “I mean, all through this presentation previously I talked about how you’re using the pawns you’re going to screw them if they don’t do what they want, and da-da-dah. You can’t let them feel like that. If they feel like that, you’ve lost from the beginning.”

But I’ve written about all of these things many times, and I could go on (and on, and on) about the many lies of Open Source.

But that wasn’t the point of this article.

“I mean everybody’s using Linux, right? Well, no — the leader of the Linux Foundation doesn’t use it, Linux itself is a brand that’s been use to fight against our freedom (and against copyleft) and it’s been used to steal control via bogus patent agreements and organisations literally overthrown via disputes over codes of conduct.”The point was that even my closest allies in the Free Software world are starting to buy into the same old arguments they used to not be fooled by. So Nat Friedman was right — Open Source has Won. It’s won at overshadowing Free Software.

But they’ve claimed to be the same thing for so long, we are expected and encouraged to think Free Software won? I mean everybody’s using Linux, right? Well, no — the leader of the Linux Foundation doesn’t use it, Linux itself is a brand that’s been use to fight against our freedom (and against copyleft) and it’s been used to steal control via bogus patent agreements and organisations literally overthrown via disputes over codes of conduct.

So “just be nice to each other” becomes “let a corporation control your movement for user freedom”.

“Alessandro, who inspired the name for my most recent book, was telling me that it’s more about compatibility and interoperability (I can’t quote it, I’m paraphrasing) than it’s about freedom.”HMM… Free Software advocates should be able to not fall for that. But a year without RMS (he was never immortal; I was against the way he was ousted, I STILL AM — though we were going to have to find our way without him eventually) and Free software advocates are pushing more of the old “Open Source” bullshit than I’ve ever seen.

Alessandro, who inspired the name for my most recent book, was telling me that it’s more about compatibility and interoperability (I can’t quote it, I’m paraphrasing) than it’s about freedom. He probably didn’t even mean it, but this is classic, textbook OSBS.

Milo, who is one of the truest Free Software advocates I know, is getting caught up in Luke Smith videos. Luke Smith says a lot of things that need to be said right now, but what I’m hearing is a lot of stuff about being “more openminded” (as if Free Software having principles meant they were closed-minded) — this is more textbook OSBS, although I have myself criticised “Free Software parrots” who can’t make their own arguments and just quote rms exclusively.

We need more people like rms — idealists, people who don’t want false compromise, but rms thinks for himself. If you cloned him, I like to think the clones would think for themselves. That’s how genetic clones most likely work.

But when Open Source talks about being “open minded,” they typically mean “more open to our arguments, less open to Free Software advocacy” — that isn’t the least bit honest. But it is narcissistic. If someone’s definition of being “open-minded” is that you agree with them — there’s a word for that. Being open-minded is about giving ideas a fair chance, not about agreement or going along with scammers.

“But when Open Source talks about being “open minded,” they typically mean “more open to our arguments, less open to Free Software advocacy” — that isn’t the least bit honest.”So I’ve taken Luke Smith’s statements individually, and as a sum. He certainly says some things that need to be said right now. But he says a lot of things that are questionable, which makes me think he’s really more like the next Lunduke — things like how Free Software “won” and the movement is dying, but “It doesn’t really matter” because everybody uses Free Software now anyway.

I think on the whole, Luke Smith is going to drag people closer to being Open than being Free.

Does that mean we should ban him? No, but if he’s being dishonest and encouraging people to shut up and not worry, Free Software doesn’t matter — I have a problem with the dishonesty of that.

Another thing I noticed today:

Freedom is not simple

When people say “GPL[1] increases freedom” then they’re right. When others say “GPL limits freedom compared to MIT” then they’re right too. It’s just a matter about which freedoms exactly we’re talking about, and for who. Indeed, the entire Free Software movement seems like a typical failure of appreciating these kind of trade-offs when it comes to freedom.

My reply was: HILARIOUS… First recognise that there are trade-offs either way, then blame your opponent for their trade-offs, as if they’re inherently worse than yours. This is a very funny double standard. It’s even funnier as a lot of bullshit.

This kind of sophistry is insidious, P.R. experts make a fortune on it, Open Source is built on little else (except corporate backers) and if we aren’t careful we will continue to be taken over by it.

“We should probably distance ourselves further from Open Source” — Ben Mako Hill, LibrePlanet

Being leaderless makes movements vulnerable to this sort of thing — that's by design, it’s exactly why Free Software is leaderless right now. It doesn’t mean we have to accept shills or puppets as our leaders.

“That’s bad enough when we are talking about the funding. When we are talking about the messaging, it poses a true existential threat to the movement.”The trajectory of OSI over 20 years was to become increasingly (relatively) leaderless, letting corporate sponsors take over.

The trajectory of the Linux kernel close to 30 years was to become increasingly (relatively) leaderless, letting corporate sponsors take over.

The trajectory of the FSF over close to 40 years is to become increasingly (relatively) leaderless, letting corporate sponsors take over.

“You’re letting liars speak for you, and rewrite your philosophy with bullshit.”The trajectory of the NPR over many decades is to become increasingly run by corporate sponsors, while repeating lip service like “Supported by Listeners like You”.

No, it’s run by corporate sponsors, and subsidised by Suckers Like You.

That’s bad enough when we are talking about the funding. When we are talking about the messaging, it poses a true existential threat to the movement.

You’re letting liars speak for you, and rewrite your philosophy with bullshit.

Be careful, everybody. It’s your RIGHT to say what you want — it’s their JOB to use you for their purposes, against even your own interests.

I have mixed feelings about Derek Taylor (DistroTube) and I believe he uses the phrase “Open Source” a lot, but the points he makes I feel are more honest than Luke Smith’s. He also (despite thinking I read or heard him say “Open Source”) puts a lot of GNU in his GNU/Linux. I would sooner recommend DistroTube (the video he did about the Free Software movement was good) than Smith, even though I think Smith is right about a bunch of things regarding the future of the software we use.

You don’t have to be honest or reasonable to say something factual, and I’m not sure I trust Smith’s intentions or integrity at all. But he has made SOME reasonable points, among others I find extremely suspect. So has Lunduke, but I don’t care for him in the least (I think he’s dishonest and opportunistic).

“Be careful, everybody. It’s your RIGHT to say what you want — it’s their JOB to use you for their purposes, against even your own interests.”The stage is set for many people to rise to prominence now — we do need Leaders, PLURAL — the single-leader thing could only work for so long. We need more advocates who act like leaders. I think on the advocacy side, Roy now (for a couple years) does as good a job as any single person.

I don’t say this because I think of Roy as a friend, or because we are associates. On the contrary, I associate with Roy BECAUSE I think he does a good job on the advocacy side. The only reasons I’ve contributed to Techrights as much as I have, is that I believe Techrights is predominantly on our side. I don’t happen to agree with Roy (or other authors here) on everything, and I know Roy doesn’t agree with me on everything. What matters is what matters — and the most important stuff, I believe we are (unlike Open Source) part of the same cause here.

What you may not know is that a number of us were encouraged to join the FSF board. I believe Roy was at one point, I was invited (that is not the same as being accepted, that is a formal process I never participated in — I actually recommended someone else I thought would be better for the Board) and I think that person I recommended had just as good a chance (or better) at being able to join as I did. I believe he was considered (I think he withdrew though).

But we need leaders, plural. It’s definitely NOT just about the people “Up Top” — I don’t think Free Software is inherently elitist, but I do think there is corruption and the “Top” is something I now find suspect. I think rms is a victim of that as well. But I still believe leadership is the answer — just not single leadership.

“Leadership is not about awards. It’s not about sponsors. It is OCCASIONALLY about celebrity and admiration.”Here is, in my (idealistic — I certainly have a more cynical side, or you don’t know me at all) opinion, what leadership is NOT about:

Leadership is not about awards. It’s not about sponsors. It is OCCASIONALLY about celebrity and admiration. I wish it wasn’t, and this aspect is overrated (which is why I list it under what it’s NOT about) but many of us ARE inspired by rms — including former FSF board member Lawrence Lessig, who also inspires me a great deal (about as much as any person on Earth, really).

RMS was a great inspiration to Lessig, rms helped inspire BOTH Creative Commons AND Wikipedia — and whether Linus admits it or not, oh whatever. F — Linus. In the future we won’t even able to use his sellout kernel, it will be infested with DRM and all other kinds of corporate crap. The pieces are already in the right places. [Editor's note: Tim B-L, who started the World Wide Web, was also inspired by RMS.]

True leadership is about standing for the thing you lead — it’s about standing up to bullies as well as bullshit — you can see there are a lot of puppet leaders like Jim Zemlin, who do not stand for anything but simply do what they’re told. I think Bradley Kuhn is turning into such a puppet, from his dishonest attacks on rms to the takeover of SFC by enemies of Free Software and copyleft alike.

“…you can see there are a lot of puppet leaders like Jim Zemlin, who do not stand for anything but simply do what they’re told. I think Bradley Kuhn is turning into such a puppet, from his dishonest attacks on rms to the takeover of SFC by enemies of Free Software and copyleft alike.”True leaders inspire, sometimes teach, they warn people against moves that will compromise what THOSE PEOPLE stand for, and rms has withstood decades of criticism for doing all of these things — but above all, for warning people against the very things that would compromise their freedom. For this, he is labeled a zealot. As if pretending that things that compromise your freedom won’t really do so would make him more reasonable. It would make him less honest, is all.

True leaders have words put in their mouths, then they (sometimes) have to say “no, that’s not what I said nor what I meant” because people like Beatles lyrics to mean whatever they think they mean. To say that Charles Manson misinterpreted the words to “Helter Skelter” is an understatement, though other people interpret song lyrics to hilarious ends. People misinterpret rms for political reasons.

The point of course is NOT that rms was a true leader, though he was. I firmly believe and advocate that rms be treated with the respect and legacy due a great person, I don’t think we should plug our ears when he speaks, though I doubt he has a great deal more to say. I am against treating him as a has-been, even as an old man. RMS founded this movement and IMO is still the most relevant person (not the only relevant person) in it.

But even if the heavens opened, and a shaft of light shined down (this imagery could very mildly offend both rms and maybe ultimately even Roy, and that amuses me — I was a strong atheist too when I was younger and I’m agnostic now) and suddenly rms was FSF President again and all the backstabbers who betrayed ALL OF US (they didn’t care about us, at best they intended to use us) fell over in agony and resigned next week — I don’t think rms could save the FSF now.

“You do that by standing up to this LIMITLESS compromise, by saying “No” to lies and “No” to corporate takeover.”That ship has sunk, it no longer fulfils its mission, the board itself is useless (but I don’t necessarily think all its members are useless individually, they serve no real purpose on the board) and a free software movement that ignores this is a free software movement that will fail.

We need STRONGER leaders but smaller leaders — leaders of slightly smaller domains, working voluntarily and when possible and reasonable, collectively as part of a larger movement. How do you do that? You do that by standing up to this LIMITLESS compromise, by saying “No” to lies and “No” to corporate takeover.

But gone forever is the day when a monolithic organisation can (or will) represent the movement. Not every spin-off deserves support — SFC does not. OSI does not. It is the job of a leader to lead whatever (a project, a group of people, sometimes an organisation) in a way that deserves the movement’s support — that is up to the integrity of the leader and the wisdom (FINGERS CROSSED!) of the movement that rms himself founded.

“There was a time that I admired Linus, he rewarded that by selling us all out in so many ways — though I know the people who will replace him will sell us out even more.”If you need a cornerstone (and quite possibly we do) I still think the FSD is more fundamental than the FSF. The GNU Manifesto has very important historical value, at the very least. The Manifesto and the FSD may even be the closest the movement has to a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution. If that’s exaggerating a bit, whatever. I’ve never paid as much attention to the Declaration (there are some dodgy bits, I know) or the GNU Manifesto, though I still recognise their importance. These things let us know how far we go astray, if we move away from our beginnings.

History is the tool I used to discover (as an Open Source advocate) just how full of crap Open Source really is. Having cared so much less about history as a subject (okay, old computers were already awesome) until I found its value as a Bullshit Detector, I can say with some confidence that History is more about the present than it is about the past, and people who don’t get that don’t really understand the point of history.

Which is why Open Source wants to you to ignore history as much and soon as possible — it’s old, it’s outdated, we have a new product for you. It’s brown and it’s sticky, and if you hold your nose you’re going to love it more than all the hatred, impracticality and close-mindedness those neckbeards ever gave you.

New and Improved! And perhaps most importantly, fully outside of your control.

Meanwhile I offer you rms and Roy as examples of, whether or not you consider them (or they consider themselves) true leaders. I know rms is aware of his role in the movement he founded. I know Roy does whatever he does for whatever reasons he does — I know he considers himself an activist.

By no means will you find anybody perfect in this entire movement — only people. But if you go looking for the best, the most honest, the ones that inspire you to grow as a user (or developer) or advocate — those are the true leaders we need.

And more than I want you to bow to them or give them endless respect, I want you to learn from them. Try to be more like the best people you know. I still think it helps to (more than not) be like rms. But if for some reason you can’t find the wisdom in that, be more like Lessig or Roy (both of whom rms has inspired).

“I don’t think rms sold us out (he was sold out) but I do think it is past time for this movement to pick the reins and do SOMETHING — otherwise we won’t be a movement anymore.”And if for some reason that doesn’t appeal to you either, find the best people you can, and emulate those. There was a time that I admired Linus, he rewarded that by selling us all out in so many ways — though I know the people who will replace him will sell us out even more. I don’t think rms sold us out (he was sold out) but I do think it is past time for this movement to pick the reins and do SOMETHING — otherwise we won’t be a movement anymore.

We should do so with (I will continue to stand for) proper recognition of the place rms has in all of this, both for the rest of his life, as well as a place in history. No single living person has done more for your computing freedom than rms, and the people who are most likely to be leaders in this movement (not in Open Source) already know this — or eventually will realise it.

I still think FACIL with their Free Computing advocacy sets a great example for organisations [1, 2].

“That’s where the Free Software movement, if it continues — will find its true leadership. By enough people doing just that; by emulating the very best qualities of the very people, and thus becoming something that others can eventually emulate.”We still need true iconoclasts like rms and Denis Roio, not corporate shills with blue hair dye. (I like blue hair, I don’t like shills.)

So first, be You.

And then find your best qualities, in the best people who stand for the right things.

You may find that includes politically-incorrect people like George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Russell Peters and Bill Hicks — don’t let crybullies, liars and paid shills shame you for that.

None of those four people were or are bad people. They just really hate/d bullshit and have taught people how to spot it and make fun of it. That’s comedy — as a political weapon of The People. They typically don’t call it that, because it isn’t as funny.

Then after all of that — be more like the best You. Only as much as you can.

“Do you get what Carlin did though? It’s (often) funny to say words you can’t say, but more importantly, you can’t say those things on the radio. What Carlin was doing was giving the finger to the federal authority on broadcasting, and their own code of conduct.”That’s where the Free Software movement, if it continues — will find its true leadership. By enough people doing just that; by emulating the very best qualities of the very people, and thus becoming something that others can eventually emulate.

But be careful, because there’s an awful lot of bullshit out there for you to emulate and propagate as well. And it too, is a weapon — but not for or by The People.

Pure bullshit is a weapon that works predominantly against freedom, no matter who wields it. Temporarily and in the short term, it can be focused against someone we don’t like. As it spreads throughout society and becomes the norm, the only thing it leads to is Mutually Assured Corruption. And that will only ever truly serve the corrupt.

Long live George Carlin, and happy S.P.F.C.C.M.F.A.T. — I thought I’d go easy on Roy here — though if you (the reader) republish this, you are neither required to include this line or to replace the acronym with the actual words, but it would be appreciated!

Do you get what Carlin did though? It’s (often) funny to say words you can’t say, but more importantly, you can’t say those things on the radio. What Carlin was doing was giving the finger to the federal authority on broadcasting, and their own code of conduct.

“Some people, like Carlin, are the comedic equivalent of Tank Man. RMS was the software world’s version of Tank Man, and today, we need lots more people to stand in that place.”The code of conduct itself is never the real problem — it’s the double standards and dishonesty and creeping corporate authoritarianism — though without all of that, what is the code of conduct really needed for? Nobody who ever pushed one was doing it for good reasons, unless they were agreeing unwittingly with someone who was already pushing it (in the same event or project) for the wrong reasons.

Some people, like Carlin, are the comedic equivalent of Tank Man. RMS was the software world’s version of Tank Man, and today, we need lots more people to stand in that place.

Just being an outspoken douchebag isn’t quite enough — you have to actually be standing for something. You have to really mean it, and the reasons ultimately have to be the right reasons. That’s the difference between someone like Dave Chappelle, and someone like Lunduke. (Surprise! It’s not that he’s black! — it’s that Chappelle is a vertebrate.) Sure, one of them is also more talented, but this is an area where Heart still outweighs talent sometimes.

“Good people make fun of bad people, bad people make fun of good people — and almost EVERYBODY makes fun of almost everybody else, sometimes.”I don’t know if Chappelle or Carlin “won”, really. But I know they’re more important than all the shills in history of the world. Do you care more about the movies, or more about the Oscars? More about the music, or more about the Grammys? More about who Won? Or more about what we stand for?

I guess it always depends who you ask, but I think the right questions and good (honest, fair, reasonable) answers are even more important than that. Also, if someone is a lying, scumbag asshole — it’s STILL okay to say they are! Good people make fun of bad people, bad people make fun of good people — and almost EVERYBODY makes fun of almost everybody else, sometimes.

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

Everything is Becoming Slow When Users Aren’t the Top Priority

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Right at home (turtle)

Summary: The Web in 2020 is a divisive click-bait machine with censorship and state/corporate propaganda; but there are things that we, collectively as Web users, can do to take the Web back and make it work for users, not monopolies and people in positions of power (with endless and ever-growing wealth)

THE news is slow, news sites are slow to load/open (too many spurious objects), and people are slow to type because they use lousy devices that lack something as basic as a keyboard. How did we come to this? Aren’t we supposed to become faster and more productive over time, given that technology is progressing and — one might hope — getting more compact?

“Well, adopting Free software is the first step, but it’s not enough.”Sometimes it may seem like technology is moving not in a positive direction, not for users anyway. People are measured by terms like “screen time” (the goal is to keep you staring at the screen as long as possible, irrespective of actual need) and to spy/shove ads rather than inform.

How do we get out of this unsocial/antisocial trap?

Well, adopting Free software is the first step, but it’s not enough. Suffice to say, using a 100% Free software browser to access the walled gardens of Facebook is like becoming a vegan who works in the slaughterhouse. It just doesn’t make sense, does it?

“For one thing, explore the use of (almost exclusively) RSS feeds and readers.”So, speaking in very general terms, software freedom goes beyond licences and tools. A lifestyle change or an online habits change (like Richard Stallman queuing downloads for pages he wishes to read, for a remote server to fetch for him) may be required. Nowadays I read E-mail only once a day — sometimes more, sometimes less — because streamlining like this is better for the mind, conductive for workflows. To Twitter I navigate at most once a day only to see replies that I receive but nothing else. Anything else would slow the mind down, or add endless clutter to it (Twitter is nowadays far more noise than signal; it is mental pollution and it makes it next to impossible to limit scope to one’s choosing, more so after they deprecated APIs back in summer of 2018, then blocked some RSS scrapers).

Do you feel like your navigating of sites is getting slower?

Do you feel like it takes you longer to separate the signal from the noise in today’s World Wide Web? Or the “Social Control Media” much of it became?

“Let’s flip things around and make the Web work again for surfers or users (not “useds”). It’s doable if enough or us do it and convincingly encourage others to do the same.”Looking for advice? For one thing, explore the use of (almost exclusively) RSS feeds and readers. There are many side benefits to them, other than eliminating cruft and stuff such as “likes” (which probably doesn’t mean a thing anyway; it’s proportional to popularity/scale of sites and status of people rather than the underlying message and its accuracy).

If the goal is to make technology faster, healthier, more informative and less conflict-fuelling, we need to rethink how we access it and how data is processed. Middlemen such as Twitter and Facebook view people as products (whom they connect with the real clients, their advertisers). Let’s flip things around and make the Web work again for surfers or users (not “useds”). It’s doable if enough of us do it and convincingly encourage others to do the same.

Links 16/8/2020: Debian Turns 27, MX Linux 19.2 KDE Edition and GNOME 3.38 Beta Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Biggest Failure Of Linux Is Package Management

        I, like many of you, cannot switch away from an Arch-based Linux distribution. Why? The AUR! And while Arch Linux and the AUR are great, the popularity of the AUR highlights one of the biggest weaknesses of the Linux ecosystem. And that’s package management.

    • Kernel Space

      • Paragon Looks To Mainline Their NTFS Read-Write Driver To The Mainline Linux Kernel

        The existing NTFS driver is basically unmaintained in the kernel and lacks proper write support along with other features, thus ntfs-3g with FUSE often being the more recommended choice. Paragon Software though is looking to mainline their “ntfs3″ kernel driver to the mainline kernel and are GPL licensing it for inclusion.

        Paragon Software has long offered their commercial NTFS driver for Linux and other platforms, among other proprietary file-system drivers. It looks though that with NTFS being surpassed by other more advanced file-systems, they are finally interested in contributing their code to the kernel. But at this time they also haven’t published their user-space utility catered towards this driver.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.37.90 released
          Hi,
          
          GNOME 3.37.90 is now available. This is the first beta release towards
          3.38. It also marks the start of the UI, feature and API freezes
          (collectively known as The Freeze). The corresponding flatpak runtimes
          have been published to Flathub beta.
          
          If you'd like to target the GNOME 3.36 platform, this is the best time
          to start testing your apps or extensions. You can use the 3.38beta
          branch of the flatpak runtimes.
          
          A virtual machine image is available at
          
          https://gnome-build-meta.s3.amazonaws.com/3.37.90.1/disk.img.xz
          
          It can be used to test the new version, and test/port GNOME Shell
          extensions. It is recommended to use the nightly version of GNOME
          Boxes to run it (the beta version should be soon available on Flathub
          beta, and can be used as well).
          
          If you want to compile GNOME 3.37.90 yourself, you can use the
          official BuildStream project snapshot:
          
          https://download.gnome.org/teams/releng/3.37.90/gnome-3.37.90.tar.xz
          
          The list of updated modules and changes is available here:
          
          https://download.gnome.org/core/3.37/3.37.90/NEWS
          
          The source packages are available here:
          
          https://download.gnome.org/core/3.37/3.37.90/sources/
          
          WARNING!
          --------
          This release is a snapshot of development code. Although it is
          buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking
          purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development
          status.
          
          For more information about 3.38, the full schedule, the official module
          lists and the proposed module lists, please see our 3.37 wiki page:
          
          https://www.gnome.org/start/unstable
          
          Cheers,
          Abderrahim
          
        • GNOME 3.38 Beta Released Ahead Of Official Release Next Month

          GNOME 3.37.90 has been released this weekend to serve as the beta of the upcoming GNOME 3.38 desktop release.

          A lot has been building up over the past six months for GNOME 3.38, which we’ll have our usual feature overview in the weeks ahead. As far as new changes to the GNOME 3.38 beta, some of the latest work includes:

        • GNOME 3.38 Desktop Environment Enters Beta, Final Release Expected on September 16

          After a one week delay, the GNOME Project announced today the general availability of the first beta version of the upcoming GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series.

          The GNOME 3.38 beta marks an important milestone in the development cycle of the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment. which is expected to hit the streets exactly in a month from the moment of writing this article, on September 16th, 2020.

          The beta milestone also marks the start of the UI Freeze, Feature Freeze and API Freezes, which means that no major new features will be added to the upcoming GNOME 3.38 desktop environment until its final release.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MX Linux 19.2 KDE Edition Officially Released, Available for Download Now

          The MX Linux project published today the final release of the highly-anticipated MX Linux 19.2 KDE Edition, the first officially supported MX Linux flavor using the KDE Plasma desktop environment since the end of MEPIS Linux.

          I’ve been keeping my eyes on this first KDE Plasma edition of the MX Linux distribution lately, which appears to have quite some fans. Usually, MX Linux was only released ISOs with the Xfce desktop environment as it aims to be a fast and lightweight Debian-based distribution for 32-bit and 64-bit computers that doesn’t ship with the systemd init system.

        • Debian-based MX Linux 19.2 KDE Edition now available for download

          A couple months ago, MX Linux 19.2 was released. It’s a really solid operating system that has been growing in popularity lately. The problem is, it uses Xfce for its desktop environment. While Xfce isn’t bad, it isn’t the most attractive DE — it is designed with a bigger emphasis on being lightweight as opposed to having a lot of eye candy. For users with meager hardware, that is absolutely fine. However, for those with more powerful computers, there could be a feeling of disappointment by the ho-hum visuals.

        • MX Linux 19.2 KDE Edition Officially Released, Download Now

          MX Linux 19.2 KDE Edition, the first officially supported MX Linux flavor using the KDE Plasma desktop environment is now available for the download.

          MX-19.2 KDE is an Advanced Hardware Support (AHS) enabled 64-bit only version of MX featuring the KDE/plasma desktop. This is the first officially supported MX/antiX utilizing the KDE/plasma desktop since stopping the use of the predecessor MEPIS project in 2013.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian turns 27!

          Today is Debian’s 27th anniversary. We recently wrote about some ideas to celebrate the DebianDay, you can join the party or organise something yourselves

          Today is also an opportunity for you to start or resume your contributions to Debian. For example, you can scratch your creative itch and suggest a wallpaper to be part of the artwork for the next release, have a look at the DebConf20 schedule and register to participate online (August 23rd to 29th, 2020), or put a Debian live image in a DVD or USB and give it to some person near you, who still didn’t discover Debian.

          Our favorite operating system is the result of all the work we do together. Thanks to everybody who has contributed in these 27 years, and happy birthday Debian!

        • Debian GNU/Linux Turns 27 Years Old
        • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in July 2020

          Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in August) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Xubuntu Based CAELinux 2020 Released for Dedicated Simulation Works

          The Xubuntu 18.04 LTS based CAELinux 2020 is released with major improvements with more customizations and pre-loaded tools, utilities. CAELinux is a distribution aimed to help in simulating various engineering areas by pre-loading free and open-source simulation tools.

          CAELinux 2020 comes with tools for stress analysis, thermal and fluid flow simulations, mathematical modeling tools, graphic and design software, CAD/CAM, prototyping software which makes it ideal for running a fabrication software.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR26b1 available (after all, Mozilla’s not dead yet)

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 26 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). There isn’t a great deal in this release due to continued heavy workload at my regular job and summer heat here in excessively sunny Southern California making running the G5 and the Talos II at the same time pretty miserable, and I also had the better part of a week laid up ill to boot (note: not COVID-19). Still, this hopefully completes the work on DOM workers and the usual security updates, which will switch to 78ESR starting with FPR27. All going well, it will be released on August 25.

            With much of the low-hanging fruit gone that a solo developer can reasonably do on their own, for FPR27 I would like to resurrect an old idea I had about a “permanent Reader mode” where once you enter Reader mode, clicking links keeps you in it until you explicitly exit. I think we should be leveraging Reader mode more as Readability improves because it substantially lowers the horsepower needed to usefully render a page, and we track current releases of Readability fairly closely. I’m also looking at the possibility of implementing a built-in interface to automatically run modifier scripts on particular domains or URLs, similar to Classilla’s stelae idea but operating at the DOM level a la Greasemonkey like TenFourFox’s AppleScript-JavaScript bridge does. The browser would then ship with a default set of modifier scripts and users could add their own. This might have some performance impact, however, so I have to think about how to do these checks quickly.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Celebrating LibreOffice Seven

          Congratulations to all computer users as LibreOffice reaches seventh version! We are very happy now LibreOffice celebrates its tenth anniversary and shines with brand new icon themes. LibreOffice is a professional alternative and replacement to Microsoft Office and it is downloadable gratis in the official website. LibreOffice is one of the best and successful computer programs in history which is guaranteed to be Free Software for everyone everywhere. LibreOffice is also one of the most popular software as it is included in many world class computer operating systems such as Ubuntu, Red Hat, and SUSE as well as available for Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS. This short writing sums up everything we need to know about LibreOffice Seven. Congratulations to LibreOffice Community!

      • Education

        • The Hacker Quarterly Magazine

          This magazine is one of the few remaining physical hacker/computer magazines from the days of old. There’s something… humanizing about reading a physical magazine over consuming everything through digital publications. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re into hacker culture (if you’re reading this blog post now, you’d probably be interested in it).

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • PSPP 1.4.0 has been released

            I’m very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel Continues Readying Linux/Open-Source For AMX, Begins Discussing Programming Model

          Back in June after Intel first published the Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) specification, the open-source/Linux patches were quick to come by their large software team. That work has continued over the summer in ensuring the Linux ecosystem and developers are ready for Intel AMX programming come next year with Sapphire Rapids.

        • Picolibc Continues Seeing Improvements, Contributions From Arm

          Picolibc is a newer C library implementation written by longtime free software developer Keith Packard with a focus on being lightweight for embedded systems. Last year marked the release of Picolibc 1.0 while work on it hasn’t let up.

          Picolibc was born in part from code found within Newlib and AVR’s libc. Picolibc 1.1 followed the 1.0 release last year but since then there hasn’t been too much to report on this libc implementation. This weekend though longtime X11 developer Keith Packard outlined some of the recent progress on this libc.

        • How to delete values ​​from an array in Javascript

          This is one of the most common questions when working with Javascript. In this short tutorial we will explain how to remove an element from an array using the Javascript programming language. We will explain it in detail in order for you to use this article as a definitive guide for it, from how to eliminate first, final and intermediate elements .

        • [Old] Compiling Rakudo Star on OpenBSD 6.7

          I really enjoy using raku to write small scripts for system maintenance and text parsing. Its regex and grammar engine are next level! The problem with using it on OpenBSD is that the packaged version is a couple years out of date. The version in ports is from 2018, which contains a bug regarding NativeCall on OpenBSD. Not to mention it’s missing a lot of performance gains and patches.

          Instead of just compiling everything from source and installing them myself as I did on my last system, I installed it using the rakudo star distribution and its rstar command. Rakudo Star is raku plus some community modules and the zef package manager. It also comes with the rstar command, which helps you in the build process.

        • Don’t design for mobile

          The intent of mobile-first is the right one. And for your average site or app, the outcome between a mobile-first approach vs a device capability approach is fairly much the same.

          Though as the device landscape continues to converge, the categorisations will continue to blur. And as you introduce more interactivity and complex features to your site, the singular approach starts to break down.

          It’s only a slight mindset shift between the two approaches, but it is a significant one. Design for a touchscreen and it’ll work with a mouse, optimise performance for a slow connection and it’ll work on a faster connection, design for a small screen, and at the very least it’ll work on a larger screen.

          Since we started this approach at Canva it’s meant less code, less design, and less testing—all for a far greater outcome. And that’s something I think we can all get behind.

        • Python

          • A python module to sort a number list

            This python module will help you to sort any numbers within a list, either integer or double type, or a mix of both.

            For example, if you enter this list, [3.4, -4, 3.5, 7, 14] and pass in True as the second parameter to the below function.

          • Pure list sorting with Python program

            Hello and welcome back, in this Python solution article we will sort a number list with a Python function. If the function passes in an empty array or a none value then it should return an empty array or else it will sort the list and return the number list in ascending order!

            Our strategy here is to compare the first number with the remaining numbers from the list and to put the smallest number in the list to the head of the list. Next we will compare the second, third and the remaining numbers with the numbers after it and placed the next smallest number in the correct position of the array.

          • Python 3.8.5 : The hashlib python package – parts 001.

            The tutorial for today is about hashlib python module.
            The official webpage comes for this python package has this intro:
            This module implements a common interface to many different secure hash and message digest algorithms. Included are the FIPS secure hash algorithms SHA1, SHA224, SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512 (defined in FIPS 180-2) as well as RSA’s MD5 algorithm (defined in Internet RFC 1321).

        • Java

          • Java write to file

            To store data temporarily or permanently for programming purposes, we need to write data to a file. There are many classes and methods in Java to write data in a file. How different classes and methods can be used in Java to write data in a file are shown in this tutorial.

  • Leftovers

    • I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…

      The month of July was an interesting month for two newspapers in different parts of the world with, in at least one respect, similar outcomes.

    • HBO Max adds racist-language disclaimer to Blazing Saddles

      Stewart acknowledges that many people think of the movie as “one of the greatest comedies of all time.” She also states the obvious — that “the issue of race is front and center,” noting that “racist language and attitudes pervade the film.”

    • HBO Max Adds “Proper Social Context” Intro to ‘Blazing Saddles’

      TCM host and University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart provides the intro to Blazing Saddles. She also did the intro for Gone With the Wind.

    • Blazing Saddles Gets Contextual Intro on HBO Max, Just Like Gone With the Wind

      But as the years have gone on, Brooks himself has said that Blazing Saddles was a product of its era and couldn’t be made today. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2016, he acknowledged that while the film does punch up, ultimately poking fun at the racist characters, there are some aspects that just couldn’t work for a contemporary audience.

      “It’s possible. But I mean, using the N-word so devastatingly and so often—I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s possible today. The movie itself, it’s a period movie. But if you made a new one, like Blazing Saddles 2, and you threw the N-word all over the place, you might be in for a lot of trouble.”

    • Education

      • Grading Algorithm: Judicial Review Letter
      • Colorado Springs teachers opposed to ‘return to learn’ during pandemic sign wills

        A handful of educators signed their wills outside of Centennial Hall Monday in a recognition of their opposition to the resumption of in-person learning this fall.

        The teachers, members of the Pikes Peak Education Association, stopped by the organization’s tent to have their wills notarized and signed in front of witnesses, or to symbolically sign a will as a gesture of solidarity for those returning to the classroom.

        “The way it is set up right now, I would never go,” said Cari Fox, a seventh grade teacher at Challenger Middle School in Academy District 20 and president of the association. “They’re wanting me to teach 100 students a day, and that’s a lot of contact for someone that’s been in her house all summer. It’s a scary proposition.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Profiteering off the Pandemic

        American billionaires have been cleaning up.

      • Action (Lack Thereof) on Economic Aid Reflects Longstanding Anti-Government Agenda

        The country suffered from the refusal to pay attention to scientists and comply with health advice, and now there’s similar refusal to accept economic truths.

      • Community-Based Farms Rise to the Occasion as Big Food Supply Chains Stall

        The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep craters in the U.S. food supply chain. Dairies that supply milk and food products to restaurants have had the heartbreaking task of dumping millions of gallons of milk. Many giant meat processing plants had to close down because their workers were getting infected by the virus. The shutting down of these plants resulted in millions of farm animals being “culled” by drowning, shooting and suffocating. The meat processing plants were ordered to reopen when the administration declared that it is essential to maintain the meat supply in late April, even as the death toll and number of infections continue to swell. Since April 22, there have been more than 32,000 COVID-19 cases and 109 deaths among food-system workers, according to the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

      • Russian health officials announce start of coronavirus vaccine’s mass production

        Russia has officially started mass production of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, the Russian Health Ministry confirmed to the news agency Interfax.

      • Taking my home work setup seriously: Ergonomics & settling in for the long haul

        I’ve been very concerned with ergonomics ever since early-career wrist issues had me mousing with my non-dominant hand for six months. One of my university friends had such terrible pain that he became a pioneer in open-source speech recognition for programming by voice (although his issues didn’t turn out to be from repetitive stress injuries). All of which is to say I haven’t used a non-ergonomic keyboard or mouse in about a decade. Still, my home setup, while decent, fell short in a few crucial areas. It was time to make some improvements – I’m in this career for the long run. Join me on this somewhat self-indulgent journey!

      • How QAnon rode the pandemic to new heights — and fueled the viral anti-mask phenomenon

        While QAnon bubbled on the fringes of the internet for years, researchers and experts say it has emerged in recent months as a sort of centralized hub for conspiracy and alternative health communities. According to an internal document reported by NBC News this week, Facebook now has more than 1,000 of these QAnon groups, totaling millions of members.

      • CDC’s chief of staff, deputy chief of staff depart agency
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Did Fortnite just kill the App Store as we know it?

          Fortnite maker Epic Games sent shockwaves through the tech industry this week when it sued Apple and Google, claiming both companies’ app stores are monopolies. If Epic were to win the lawsuits, Apple and Google could be required to overhaul their businesses by making their app stores more favorable to developers.

          The controversy arose Thursday when both Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) kicked Fortnite out of their app stores. The companies claimed Epic violated their guidelines by announcing a way for players to buy in-game currency outside their proprietary payment systems.

        • Medical Debt Collection Firm R1 RCM Hit in Ransomware Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          It’s unclear when the intruders first breached R1’s networks, but the ransomware was unleashed more than a week ago, right around the time the company was set to release its 2nd quarter financial results for 2020.

          R1 RCM declined to discuss the strain of ransomware it is battling or how it was compromised. Sources close to the investigation tell KrebsOnSecurity the malware is known as Defray.

          Defray was first spotted in 2017, and its purveyors have a history of specifically targeting companies in the healthcare space. According to Trend Micro, Defray usually is spread via booby-trapped Microsoft Office documents sent via email.

        • MacSnap RAM Upgrade for Macintosh 512Ke

          Installing the MacSnap requires removing the rear case, unplugging the analog board and floppy drive, and sliding out the motherboard.

        • How Apple’s 30% App Store Cut Became a Boon and a Headache

          Today, the App Store is one of the world’s largest centers of commerce, facilitating half a trillion dollars in sales last year alone. And Apple still takes 30 percent of many apps’ sales.

          That commission has proved hugely consequential for Apple. It has been the primary driver of growth in recent years for a company that has nearly $275 billion in annual sales. And it has created some of Apple’s biggest headaches, drawing antitrust scrutiny, fury from app makers and lawsuits from consumers and partners.

          The headaches intensified this week when Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, arguably the world’s most popular video game, sued both Apple and Google, accusing the companies of breaking antitrust laws by forcing app makers to pay their 30 percent fees. The lawsuits followed Apple and Google’s removal of Fortnite from their app stores because Epic encouraged users to pay it directly, rather than through Apple or Google, to avoid their fees.

        • Apple stumbled into a war with the gaming industry, and the future of iOS is at stake

          Epic countered Apple’s removal with an antitrust lawsuit, prepared well in advance and complete with a detailed 62-page legal complaint. It may be a strong enough case to impose long-lasting changes on Apple’s business. But Epic’s dramatic public performance — an unprecedented bit of corporate trolling the likes of which we’ve never seen — sets up the feud with Apple as a fight bordering on good versus evil, with Apple the corporate bad guy aggressively taxing and restricting developers. Epic’s complaint argues that behavior also breaks the law.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Intel Details TDX To Better Protect Virtual Machines

            Intel has published a whitepaper on their new TDX “Trust Domain Extensions” technology for better securing virtual machines.

            Intel TDX is designed to isolate virtual machines from the VMM/hypervisor and other non-VMM system software on the platform. TDX is also able to protect the VMs from some forms of hardware attacks. Intel TDX will be coming with a future CPU generation but so far Intel has not detailed what generation or the timing of such support.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • A Third of TikTok’s U.S. Users May Be 14 or Under, Raising Safety Questions

              In July, TikTok classified more than a third of its 49 million daily users in the United States as being 14 years old or younger, according to internal company data and documents that were reviewed by The New York Times. While some of those users are likely to be 13 or 14, one former employee said TikTok workers had previously pointed out videos from children who appeared to be even younger that were allowed to remain online for weeks.

              The number of users who TikTok believes might be younger than 13 raises questions about whether the company is doing enough to protect them. In the United States, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires internet platforms to obtain parental permission before collecting personal information on children under 13. The operators of Musical.ly, an app that was merged into TikTok in 2018, paid a $5.7 million fine last year to settle accusations from the Federal Trade Commission that it had broken those rules.

            • TSA considers new system for flyers without ID

              An identity thief (or ‘bot) with access to the commercial database used as the basis for “pass/fail” determinations would be better able to answer questions about the information in that database than would a real person who is unprepared for this questioning and who has no way to know (or to correct) what misinformation is contained in the database.

              A traveler who shows up at a TSA checkpoint would, it appears, be told they have to install the mobile app, pay a fee through the app (which presumably would require a credit or debit card or bank account), complete the in-app questioning, and show a “pass” result from the app to the TSA staff or contractors in order to “complete screening” and proceed through the checkpoint.

              No cellphone? No fly. (We’ve seen this already in Hawaii.)
              Your cellphone isn’t a smartphone? No fly.
              Your smartphone has a different OS that can’t run the contractor’s app? No fly.
              No charge in your cellphone battery? No fly.
              No signal in the airport? No fly.
              No credit or debit card? No fly.
              Don’t know what misinformation is in data brokers’ records about you? No fly.
              Your record fits a “fail” profile in the contractor’s secret algorithms? No fly.

              According to the TSA’s Request for Information, “The system shall be able to identify if the mobile phone has been or is being ‘spoofed’ or had its Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card swapped”. We’re not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it suggests that you might not be allowed to use a cellphone with an open-source operating systems not rooted to Apple or Google, such as LineageOS, or a SIM purchased anonymously.

            • European Commission starts new attack on end-to-end encryption

              The „decryption platform“ at Europol plans to switch to supercomputers soon. A working group is looking for ways to counter end-to-end encryption. By the end of the year, the Commission plans to present a study on how internet providers can break these secure connections and report criminal content to the relevant authorities.

            • Instagram Retained Deleted User Data Despite GDPR Rules

              Instagram kept copies of deleted pictures and private direct messages on its servers even after someone removed them from their account. The Facebook-owned service acknowledged the slipup and awarded a security researcher $6,000 for finding the bug.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • 5,000 people gather to say goodbye to demonstrator killed in Minsk
      • Lukashenko and Putin speak on phone about protests in Belarus

        As protesters fill the streets in cities across Belarus for the seventh straight day, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko — imperiled as never before — publicly announced that he needed to hold talks with Vladimir Putin about the unrest in Belarus. An hour or so later, a telephone call between the two presidents took place, reported the news outlet Belta, citing Lukashenko’s press service.

      • The day of U.S. victory in the Pacific is often forgotten. Survivors hope its lessons won’t be.

        More than 30 million soldiers and civilians were killed in the Pacific theater during the course of the war, compared with the 15 million to 20 million killed in Europe.

        But remarkably, as the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Asia approaches, on Saturday, Aug. 15, few remembrance ceremonies are planned, and it’s not because of COVID-19.

      • Woman member of Afghan peace team survives attack by gunmen

        No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Taliban and Islamic State affiliates continue to carry out attacks against Afghan government figures.

        Koofi is also a women’s rights activist who has been a vocal Taliban critic.

      • Female Afghan Peace Negotiator Survives Assassination Bid

        Koofi was “slightly” wounded but she was in “good health,” tweeted Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, the head of a 21-member national team designated to negotiate a political settlement to the country’s long conflict with the Taliban.

      • Protesters Gather Outside USPS Postmaster General’s House Amid Voter Suppression Fears

        The USPS recently sent letters to states saying that it could not guarantee that all mail-in ballots will be counted in time for the 2020 election. With coronavirus still a major health risk in the U.S., mail-in voting is predicted to hit unprecedented levels this November. Business at the USPS has also been impacted harshly, with the Associated Press reporting that the organization had a $4.5 billion loss in Q1.

        Trump has frequently raised questions about the legitimacy of mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 election, and he was candid with Fox Business Network about stalling USPS funding in a recent interview.

      • VJ Day: UK commemorates 75th anniversary as royals lead tributes

        Then those who could stand, were invited to do so for a two-minute silence.

      • Frank Figliuzzi Republican QAnon candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene’s win highlights coming 2020 crisis

        Some current elected GOP officials, including Rep. Steve Scalise and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, appear panicked that QAnon may usher in yet another extreme shift in GOP ideology. It’s the kind of pivot that would make the tea party look like, well, a tea party.

        They should be worried. One estimate, by Alex Kaplan of Media Matters, claims that dozens of congressional or state legislative candidates this year express some degree of support for QAnon. It’s time for serious GOP thinkers to do what they did when white supremacist congressman Steve King revealed his true colors: deny committee assignments and close ranks.

      • How the QAnon Conspiracy Theory Went Global

        While Q has hopped from one fringe imageboard to another, his followers have thrived on mainstream platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Telegram. On any given day, an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people post about QAnon on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram, according to Argentino, who says that it would be a mistake to dismiss them as “lunatics with tin foil hats living in their parents’ basement.”

      • A college kid’s fake, AI-generated blog fooled tens of thousands. This is how he made it.

        At the start of the week, Liam Porr had only heard of GPT-3. By the end, the college student had used the AI model to produce an entirely fake blog under a fake name.

        It was meant as a fun experiment. But then one of his posts found its way to the number-one spot on Hacker News. Few people noticed that his blog was completely AI-generated. Some even hit “Subscribe.”

        While many have speculated about how GPT-3, the most powerful language-generating AI tool to date, could affect content production, this is one of the only known cases to illustrate the potential. What stood out most about the experience, says Porr, who studies computer science at the University of California, Berkeley: “It was super easy, actually, which was the scary part.”

      • A playbook for combating QAnon

        Conspiracies are as old as time, but QAnon has a modern twist: It thrives off [I]nternet sites like Facebook and Twitter.

        I asked Kharazian what the internet companies should do to more effectively combat this conspiracy.

      • System Update with Glenn Greenwald – How Congress Maintains Endins Endless War
      • Further Escalating Tensions, Trump Administration Seizes Alleged Iranian Fuel Bound for Venezuela

        Iran’s ambassador to Venezuela, Hojad Soltani, said that neither the ships nor their owners are Iranian but did not address whether the gasoline came from his country.

    • Environment

      • 5 Crazy Ways Climate Change Is Affecting Us

        While we non-ocean dwellers might not notice much of a difference, anything that lives in the ocean and has a shell is already feeling the burn. The changing chemistry is a double whammy for mollusks like clams and oysters since acidification erodes their shells and makes carbonate ions — the stuff they need to rebuild them — less abundant. The increased acidity is also harmful to plankton, which sucks because plankton is food for almost anything that swims from whales to Aquaman. The Pacific Northwest has already seen massive oyster die-offs, and unless we begin to reverse the damage, scientists estimate that by the year 2080, even hardier creatures like corals will start to erode faster than they can rebuild.

      • Japanese ship leaking tons of oil off Mauritius has broken in two

        Most of the oil from the vessels have been pumped out, the Mauritian government said on Thursday, but there was still 166 tonnes of fuel oil inside and authorities were working to remove it.

        Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said on Saturday Tokyo planned to send a team of officials from the ministry and other specialists to assess the damage. The MV Wakashio is owned by Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines.

      • California Temperatures Could Reach Levels of Deadly 2006 Heat Wave When Hundreds Died

        The NWS said “dangerously hot conditions” with high temperatures between 102 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit are expected in the Santa Clarita Valley, San Fernandino Valley and San Gabriel Valley, although Antelope Valley could see the mercury rise to as high as 112 degrees.

        Forecasters also predicted that overnight temperatures will be very warm in the area, only falling as low as the 70s.

        Other parts of the state also have excessive heat warnings and heat advisories in effect. In fact, some desert areas of the state could see temperatures of 120 degrees and higher in the coming days.

      • Indonesia risks repeating an environmental disaster

        The Mega-Rice Project (MRP) was a mega-failure. It produced hardly any rice; the peaty soil, it turns out, lacks the requisite minerals. Instead of spurring farming, the draining of the waterlogged forest with a 6,000km network of canals fuelled fire. A few months after Suharto’s visit, the dried peat burst into flames. It was the biggest environmental disaster in Indonesia’s history. A study published in 2002 found that burning peat in 1997 on Kalimantan and the nearby island of Sumatra generated the equivalent of 13-40% of the average annual global emissions from fossil fuels. The MRP was abandoned in 1999 but its legacy endures in the infernos that have ravaged Kalimantan almost every year since.

      • Excessive Heat Warning in Western Nevada County

        Temperatures are projected to hit 100 degrees in parts of Western Nevada County. Extreme heat impacts are expected through at least next Thursday as the longest stretch of hot weather of the season is forecast.

        During this heat wave, the Nevada County Public Health Department and Office of Emergency Services would like to remind everyone that higher temperatures can be dangerous for all persons but especially the very young, senior citizens, and those with chronic medical conditions. Due to COVID-19 many traditional cooling areas are not open, so residents are encouraged to take extra precautions in planning for the heat. If residents must mix households in order to find relief with air conditioning, they should take all COVID-19 related precautions including facial covering, hand washing, 6 feet physical distancing and disinfection of high touch surfaces.

      • Energy

        • Don’t Let Big Oil Open a New Front in Its War on Environmental Defenders

          Chevron clearly wants me confined so I can no longer work on the case or speak publicly about the company’s gross wrongdoing.

        • Rolling blackouts hit up to 250,000 PG&E customers as ‘heat storm’ drives up energy use

          To help ease burden on the grid, PG&E encouraged residents to draw their drapes, unplug phone chargers and power strips and, for those who have pools, to have their pumps run overnight. Frozen bottled water can also come in handy to help refrigerated food last longer if the power goes out, Smith said.

        • [Old] Power Supplies: A Hidden Opportunity for Energy Savings (warning for PDF)

          Nearly 2.5 billion electrical products containing power supplies are currently in use in the United States, and about 400 to 500 million new power supplies (linear and switching) are sold in the U.S. each year. The total amount of electricity that flows through these power supplies is more than 207 billion kwh/year, or about 6% of the national electric bill. More efficient designs could save an expected 15 to 20% of that energy. Savings of 32 billion kwh/year would cut the annual national energy bill by $2.5 billion, displace the power output of seven large nuclear or coal-fired power plants, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 24 million tons per year.

          Our research suggests that, on average, about 73% of the total energy passing through power supplies occurs when the products are in active use (Figure 1). Sleep and standby modes, though they account for most of the hours of operation in the majority of products, represent much smaller overall energy use.

          Many products like televisions and computers only spend a few hours per day in active mode but consume far more energy during that time than they do in the longer periods spent in sleep and standby modes. This is easy to see in the following table, [...]

        • Ohio groups launch coalition to pressure lawmakers on House Bill 6 repeal

          A group of environmental, energy and public policy groups have formed a coalition pushing for the repeal of House Bill 6, the nuclear energy plant bailout at the center of an FBI corruption investigation into state government.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Trump Seeks to Trash Endangered Species Act by Redefining “Habitat”

          In what prominent conservation group WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) is calling “death by a thousand cuts,” the Trump Administration is at it again, with another proposed change that would weaken the overwhelmingly popular Endangered Species Act (ESA/the Act). This go-round features an attempt to define the word habitat — literally — in an effort to affect what can be classified as critical habitat. If successful, the effort is one that Guardians, and the Center for Biological Diversity (the Center), say would make it harder to protect imperiled flora and fauna in “degraded areas.” Guardians told EnviroNews it is currently “assessing [its litigative] options.”

        • Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric

          Less than three months from now Colorado will decide whether to support Initiative 107, otherwise known as the Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative.  Polling done as recently as August of 2019 by Colorado State University found that 84% of Coloradans support reintroduction and suggests that the initiative will almost certainly pass.  Understandably, the prospect of big, bad gray wolves returning to the state’s sparsely populated Western Slope has not sat well with a vocal minority of folks— outfitters, elk/deer hunters, livestock producers, as well as the self-described political organization Coloradans Protecting Wildlife and Stop the Wolf PAC—who all oppose the initiative.

        • PETA response to Attorney Howard Taylor statement

          The following statement is from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo in response to the defendants’ attorney Howard Taylor’s misleading claims about the settlement of the horse-doping lawsuit Tretter v. Bresnahan:

          Attorney Howard Taylor’s statement on Tretter v. Bresnahan was carefully worded and misleading

          [...]

          PETA–whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”–opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.

        • PETA Response to Defendants’ Attorney on Horse-Doping Lawsuit

          Attorney Howard Taylor’s statement on Tretter v. Bresnahan was carefully worded and misleading. It was Jeff Tretter’s request—not the defendants’—that $7,500 be donated to the horse rescue charity after the $20,000 figure had already been agreed upon. Mr. Tretter wanted it to be on the record that the horse was the ultimate victim. The defendants delayed and frustrated the legal process by refusing to respond to discovery fully, forcing motions to compel, and attempting to obstruct nonparty discovery. Mr. Taylor’s characterization of the settlement agreement as a “business decision” is no doubt accurate from his perspective. The defendants reached that “business decision” when it became clear that they faced risk of a judgment many times the amount that Mr. Tretter should have won. Furthermore, Mr. Taylor does not know the amount of legal fees spent in prosecuting the claims against his client. The facts stand: Tests showed Tag Up and Go was doped with EPO, this amounted to cheating bettors, and the trainer and owner had to pay up. This should be the first of many such lawsuits.

    • Finance

      • Trump’s Decision to Block COVID Aid to Hard-Hit States Will Cost 4 Million Jobs

        President Donald Trump’s refusal to provide federal aid to states hit hard by the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic would cost the country 4 million jobs, according to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics.

      • This Pandemic Brings Out the Worst in Our CEOs

        Last year, CEOs signed a pledge to be better corporate citizens. Then the pandemic hit.

      • Insurance Industry Front Group to Bombard Democratic Convention With Ads Attacking Biden-Backed Public Option

        The ads by the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future fearmonger over potential tax hikes and recycle industry talking points against “government-controlled health insurance.”

      • MarxMail 2.0

        You may have noticed a reference to the Marxism mailing list in the tag-line at the bottom of my CounterPunch articles. I want to take this occasion to tell you about a recent crisis that nearly put this 22-year Marxism forum out of business and recount its history. Assuming that you are one of the kinds of people that Alexander Cockburn once described as a dwindling number of leftists “who learned their political economy from Marx via the small, mostly Trotskyist groupuscules,” the mailing list might be right up your alley. Maoists and independents, of course, are also welcome. 9/11 Truthers, no thank you.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Didn’t Invent State Violence Against Protesters — But He’s Escalating It

        Over the past month, a series of investigative reports have detailed the extraordinary way in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has come to see journalists and political protesters as domestic enemies. At least two journalists covering the Portland protests were, apparently, targeted by DHS officers, who wrote “intelligence reports” on their activities, and compiled on them the sorts of dossiers more frequently used against overseas terrorists.

      • Needed: Indicators for Measuring Injustice and Societal Decay

        Adequate housing, healthcare, food, public services, education, mass transit, health & safety standards, and environmental protections are the prerequisites for a humane democracy.

      • Familiar Faces Bankroll DNC Convention Account

        Many Democratic donors have already invested in this year’s virtual event.

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

        Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama on Friday raised alarm over President Donald Trump’s open attempt to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service by refusing to provide emergency funding in what critics call an effort to hamper the general election—in which millions of Americans are expected to vote by mail.

      • Sanders Warns of Trump Effort to ‘Destroy the Post Office to Sabotage This Election’

        The warning from the Vermont senator follows a USPS announcement that it’s halting its collection of mailboxes in multiple states—which voting rights advocates rebuked as evidence of “massive voter suppression.”

      • Still happening For six consecutive Saturday, thousands march in Khabarovsk in support of ousted governor

        Protesters in Khabarovsk have held regular mass demonstrations for more than a month in support of former Governor Sergey Furgal. On August 15, for the sixth consecutive Saturday, a large crowd of people marched through the center of the city toward the regional government’s office in Lenin Square (locals call it the White House). City officials reported a “significant decline” in the number of protesters. “Ten times fewer people came out today than for the first rally. [...] This is the sixth straight week we’ve seen less and less activity from the public,” said spokespeople for the mayor’s office. According to the news agency Baikal 24, however, the crowd was just as big as it’s ever been, stretching nearly a mile and comprising roughly 30,000 people.

      • 80 Days Until Election Day
      • Confederate Monument Protests Gain Momentum in Small Alabama Town

        This year cities across the nation erupted in outrage as the stories of police brutality garnered national attention. News coverage of nationwide demonstrations forms a grim mosaic, documenting the trials and tribulations of protesting oppressive institutions: streets flooded with protesters, seas of signs with harrowing messages, street brawls among opposing protesters, and police retaliation, complete with tear gas and rubber bullets. The national conversation surrounding the U.S.’s roots in systemic racism quickly focused on those ubiquitous symbols of the nation’s sordid history which stand tall above city streets across the country: Confederate monuments.

      • Burial Site Found on a Property Tied to Obama, Causing Tension With Native Hawaiians

        On a Wednesday morning in early July, the Oahu Island Burial Council logged on to Zoom for its monthly meeting. Members, who are appointed by the governor to oversee and consult on the treatment of Native Hawaiian remains, faced a long agenda. Bones had been found at a variety of construction sites. Some were discovered under a sidewalk, others near a waterline replacement project.

        Kamuela Kala‘i was there to speak up for ancestors in Waimanalo, a Native Hawaiian community in eastern Oahu. In January, workers had found human remains, or iwi kupuna, as they reshaped a multimillion-dollar oceanfront lot into a luxury compound being developed by Marty Nesbitt, the chair of the Obama Foundation and head of a Chicago-based private-equity firm. The bones were unearthed in an area where the owners were planning a swimming pool and septic system, and they were reburied months later on another part of the property. A state official made the decision to relocate the remains.

      • Obama and the Beach House Loopholes

        As Barack Obama entered the home stretch of his presidency, his close friend Marty Nesbitt was scouting an oceanfront property on Oahu, the Hawaiian island where the two regularly vacationed together with their families.

        A home in the nearby neighborhood of Kailua had served as the winter White House for the Obama family every Christmas, and photographers often captured shots of Obama and Nesbitt strolling on the beach or golfing over the holidays.

      • Chinese accounts blast Trump, with help from AI-generated pictures

        A network of accounts on multiple platforms has been criticizing Trump and broadcasting more positive images of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, as part of an apparent campaign to rebuke the White House, according to a report published Wednesday by Graphika, a New York-based research firm.

      • The selection of Kamala Harris and the degradation of American politics

        In terms of her politics, there is clearly nothing “historic” about Harris. As district attorney in San Francisco (2004-2011), attorney general in California (2011-2017), and, finally, US senator (2017 to the present), Harris has compiled a track record of backing the police, locking up workers and immigrants, covering up for the banks and supporting militarism and war.

        Wall Street is certainly happy with the choice. “A VP pick that big business can back,” ran a headline on the inside pages of the New York Times. As for the military, its main concern is what will happen if the aging Biden doesn’t make it through a full term. Since the beginning of the Trump administration, opposition from the Democratic Party has been focused on issues of foreign policy. Harris, who has no other agenda than her own self-promotion, will be silly putty in the hands of the military-intelligence apparatus.

        The “historic” character of the Harris nomination is premised entirely on her race and gender. She would be the “first African-American vice president,” the “first Asian-American vice president” and the “first female vice president.” She already is the “first Black woman on the national ticket of the Democrats or Republicans.” Everything is about the symbolism involved in the choice of Harris, with not a word about the program of a Democratic Party administration.

      • Why Sex Workers Are Wary of Kamala Harris

        As attorney general, Harris was also active in leading the charge against Backpage.com, a website that hosted classifieds ads and was used by many escorts — and, according to sex workers, a platform that was used as a resource for vetting clients and keeping themselves safe. In 2016, she filed numerous charges against the owners of the site, including money laundering, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping. Her argument was that it was a hub for sex trafficking, with some of the victims being children, even though the site was far more often used by escorts doing consensual sex work.

        [...]

        Harris also was one of the cosponsors of SESTA/FOSTA, the controversial anti-sex trafficking legislation. SESTA/FOSTA was intended to curb online sex trafficking by holding website publishers responsible for third-party ads promoting trafficking on their platform. But sex workers have long argued that SESTA/FOSTA has had the opposite effect, doing nothing to curb nonconsensual sex trafficking while simultaneously forcing those who do consensual sex work onto the streets and putting their welfare at risk. While there is little hard data, some surveys have shown that violence against sex workers has risen as a result of SESTA/FOSTA, and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Penn.) last year called for a bill looking into the ramifications of the legislation.

      • China’s Soft-Power Grab

        For Beijing, the United Nations is a safe space: a highly bureaucratic, hierarchical culture, staffed by international civil servants who defer to powerful states, whether China, Saudi Arabia, or the United States—no matter how badly they behave. At the height of the pandemic, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, found time to deliver virtual commencement addresses to top American and Chinese universities, including President Xi Jinping’s alma mater.

      • Inside Trump’s Impeachment

        Former House Judiciary attorney Norman Eisen, author of a new insider account of Trump’s impeachment, joins Pushback to debate and discuss the Mueller probe, Ukrainegate, and more.

        In his new book “A Case for the American People,” former House Judiciary Committee attorney Norman Eisen tells the inside story of the Democrats’ impeachment efforts against President Trump. Eisen joins Aaron Maté to debate and discuss the Mueller probe, Ukrainegate, and more.

      • Compromise & the Status Quo

        Life is all about compromise, people say. Don’t I know it. That is, don’t I know that people say it. Personally, I don’t think it’s true. When people say this, they are conflating “life” with “society” and even then, they are limiting the concept of “society” to how the powerful define it, not to how it really is, has been, or could be.

      • Amid ‘Coup Attempt in the Making’ by Trump, Top Democrat Demands Rapid IG Probe Into Postmaster General

        Rep. Gerry Connolly warned that the timing of Louis DeJoy’s policy changes suggest a “deliberate attempt” to influence the November election.

      • The Reign of Error

        He’s flailing, more desperate. More lost in a welter of words that no longer answer any question but only generate more questions. I have not even mentioned his name and my readers know of whom I speak. Trump has finally achieved the sort of fame he has always longed for. But like many if not most of his accomplishments, it bears out the old saw: Be careful what you wish for… He has done this in the last stages of what events—as I read them—increasingly suggest will be his complete and utter breakdown.

      • Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)

        Hollow Resistance: The Antidote to Obama Nostalgia Syndrome

      • We Do Not Live in the World of Before

        Following the announcement of US presidential candidate Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris for VP, I have seen many social media posts. US American liberal friends seem thrilled and some have already started the “vote shaming.” Biden and Harris have been forgiven or, better yet, not even noted for their centrist, rightwing past. And I have US American leftist, anarchist, and socialist friends lamenting the betrayal, once again, of the Democratic Party to working class people. Most of them are anticipating another four years (or more) of Trump. As one who is considered to be far left, I must concur with the latter. The Democratic establishment is once again banking on identity politics in favor of substance. It is digging in its heels to the noxious muck of late capitalism, as it always has. That might have worked before, but we do not live in the world of before.

      • Outrage in Oregon After Federal Agents Teargas Protesters Who ‘Held the Line Against Injustice’ by Blocking Bus With Deportees
      • ‘Big News’: GAO Says Top Trump DHS Officials Wolf and Cuccinelli Appointed Illegally

        Democratic lawmakers said the GAO decision “paints a disturbing picture of the Trump administration playing fast and loose by bypassing the Senate confirmation process to install ideologues.”

      • Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?

        The only Democrat nominee in the presidential contest is former vice-president Joe Biden, and he has chosen a non-white running-mate who Trump calls “extraordinarily nasty”, so it looks like we’ll be in for four years of the man known to Trump as “Sleepy Joe.”

      • The Greater Quiet

        The Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus has been a deadly disaster: The patchwork of lockdowns has failed to effectively curb the spread, the economic toll continues to climb, and amidst it all the president has tended more to his media appearances than to the needs of the people. Illustrator Steve Brodner has been drawing daily portraits of faces of those affecting and affected by these events, and each week we’ll be publishing new installments. This is the first week, and you can follow along here.

      • Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space

        Outrage and anger directed at monuments, religious imagery and art itself is nothing new in humankind’s chequered history. Usually we think of iconoclasm as the smashing of religious images, relics and stained glass windows. The Tudor period in English history epitomizes this state-administered intention to smash the icons. Tabitha Barber and Stacy Boldrick (Art Under Attack: histories of British iconoclasm [2013] identify the different dimensions of iconoclasm: the “iconoclastic zeal of 17th century Puritan reformers, whose violent actions were enshrined in legislation; the symbolic statue-breaking that is an aspect of political difference and which accompanies political change; the targeted attacks on cultural heritage at the beginning of the 20th century, and attacks on art by individuals stimulated by moral or aesthetic outrage.” Barber and Boldrick make two things crystal clear: iconoclastic attacks are not the on-off act of a crazy person and they have purpose and intention.

      • ‘Exact Right Message’: Ed Markey’s Must-Watch 2020 Campaign Ad Praised for Highlighting Broken Social Contract

        “With all due respect, it’s time to start asking what your country can do for you.”

      • The Working Families Party Endorses Biden and Harris

        Joe Biden will be nominated for president next week by the Democratic National Convention. But he just got another party’s backing this week.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The show trial of Julian Assange: A cruel and pseudolegal farce

        Yesterday’s hearing in London made clear, if any further proof was needed, that the prosecution of Julian Assange is a shameful and degrading show trial, intended to railroad an innocent man to prison or death for revealing the crimes of US imperialism.

        In a botched proceeding, Assange was initially not brought to the video room to join the proceedings, the US prosecutors failed to show up after getting the hearing time wrong, and, with only five observers allowed in the courtroom, every journalist and legal observer who tried to listen to the hearing remotely was not admitted.

        Assange, the world’s most famous political prisoner, has been denied access to his attorneys since March, and he has not seen his family or young children since then.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Small Mercies: The People Have the Right To Visit Their Sea
      • The Trouble with Disparity

        Racism is real and anti-racism is both admirable and necessary, but extant racism isn’t what principally produces our inequality and anti-racism won’t eliminate it.

      • ‘Go Home, Racists!’: BLM Counterprotesters Shout Down White Nationalists in Stone Mountain, Georgia

        “Hundreds of workers from across Georgia took a stand against racism and won.”

      • Following Outrage, Trump Pulls Nomination of “Unapologetic Racist’ William Perry Pendley to Oversee Nation’s Public Lands

        “Pendley never should have been nominated, and the fact that he was shows you what you need to know about this administration’s conservation priorities.”

      • 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.

      • People often have multiple social identities even in the physical realm

        The way you naturally create multiple social identities in the real world is simple; you don’t tell everyone you interact with about everything you do, especially in detail. You are in practice one person at work, another person at home, a third person at your bike club, a fourth person on the photowalks you do (or did) with the group of regulars, and so on and so forth. These disjoint groups of people may have some idea that you have other identities (you may mention to your co-workers that you’re a keen bicyclist and are in a bike club), but they probably don’t know the details (and often they don’t want to). In practice these are different social identities and you’re a different person to all of these groups; each one may well know some things about you that would surprise others who know you.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Early Internet at Harvard: Scott Bradner

        Scott Bradner was given his first email address in the 1970′s, and his workstation was the gateway for all Internet connectivity at Harvard for some time. Join Donald Sharp and Russ White as Scott recounts the early days of networking at Harvard, including the installation of the first Cisco router, the origins of comparative performance testing and Interop, and the origins of the SHOULD, MUST, and MAY as they are used in IETF standards today.

    • Monopolies

      • Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google assigned to judges in San Francisco and San Jose, case management conferences scheduled for mid-November

        In the 2010s, the most important legal battles surrounding smartphones and tablet computers were centered around patent infringement assertions (even Oracle v. Google, though the patent part went nowhere while the most controversial question of software copyright law took center stage and is now going to be adjudged by the Supreme Court). To the extent that major players brought antitrust claims against each other, they, too, involved patents, particularly standard-essential patents.

        The strategically most important topic for smartphone-related litigation in the 2020s–though 5G and other developments will continue to give rise to patent disputes–may very well be the way the iOS and Android app stores are run. There’s a lot at stake there, not only but first and foremost in monetary terms. Epic Games’ long-planned and well-orchestrated litigation and PR blitz against Apple and Google is clearly bigger than any–if not all–of the pending patent cases combined, especially when considering that Capitol Hill is already looking into the same set of issues. We’re still going to see spats over who invented what–but even more critical than IP ownership is the gatekeeper role that the major platform makers and app store operators play.

      • Cravath lawyers who represented Qualcomm against FTC and Apple are now suing Apple on Epic Games’ behalf over App Store monopoly

        An all-out war over Apple’s App Store (and, in parallel, Google’s Play Store) commissions is raging in the Northern District of California, where Fortnite maker Epic Games brought private antitrust lawsuits against both platform makers yesterday. Under the #FreeFortnite hashtag, a social media campaign appears to have huge momentum on Twitter right now.

        In a matter of weeks I’m going to announce my new game, and it’s going to have very broad appeal, much more so than the trivia game I launched in 2018. I bet it’s going to be one of the most talked-about games of 2020. In its first release, it won’t come with in-app purchasing, but we’ll add that in our second release. Just like any other app developer, I’d like to keep more than 70% of the App Store and Play Store purchases my product will generate, but I try to distinguish that natural de$ire on my part from the manifest antitrust violation some folks allege. For now I’m still at the opinion-forming stage.

        Based on what is known about Spotify’s positions (as some of the correspondence between Apple and Spotify was made public), its EU antitrust complaint against Apple is presumably just a self-serving attempt by a Swedish entity to capitalize on EU competition chief Vestager’s protectionist tendencies. At least I can’t see how my company is going to benefit from a Lex Spotify. Then there’s the Pepper v. Apple class action, trying to make a case of consumer harm, but consumers won’t truly benefit–it’s a money-making scheme for class action lawyers.

      • This week in IP: Qualcomm beats FTC, Fed Circuit extends closure, Haier files constitutional case

        The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Tuesday, August 11, that Qualcomm’s standard essential patent licensing model, including its insistence on licensing only to end-product manufacturers and ‘no chips, no licence’ policy, was not anti-competitive.

        In its decision in FTC v Qualcomm, the court reversed a previous judgment from Judge Lucy Koh at the District Court for the Northern District of California in 2019 and held that Qualcomm’s OEM-level licensing policy, however novel, did not constitute a violation of the Sherman Act.

      • Ninth Circuit: Qualcomm OEM licensing not anti-competitive

        The appeals court yesterday reversed the district court decision in FTC v Qualcomm, but wouldn’t say whether licensing exclusively to OEMs was FRAND

      • Patents

        • Artificial Intelligence and Patent Law: What Happens After DABUS?

          Tham also said a careful distinction needs to be drawn between AI-assisted and AI-generated inventions.

          AI-assisted inventions are made with significant human intervention with the aid of AI. For example, a life sciences inventor may use AI software while developing new drugs. Generally, these inventions can be protected as patents under existing law, provided they are novel and non-obvious.

          On the other hand, AI-generated inventions are those created by artificial intelligence (such as the DABUS inventions) with little in the way of human contribution. These creations are not protectable under existing patent laws. These applications have been refused by the USPTO, UKIPO and EPO.

          However, while the question of AI as a patent holder settled conclusively, there still are remaining questions of how AI fits into the patent application process.

        • Salarius Pharmaceuticals Reports Business Highlights and Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results

          European Patent Office (EPO) issued Patent EP2744330 for seclidemstat

        • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all in-person events through December 31 will take place online, unless indicated otherwise.

          The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has announced its final extension of designated days, with the agency confirming that any deadlines and fee payment dates falling between 16 March and 21 August 2020 are automatically extended until August 24, 2020.

        • INmune Bio (INMB) Announces European Patent Granted Covering INmune Bio’s XPro1595
        • European Patent Granted Covering INmune Bio’s XPro1595

          INmune Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: INMB) (the, “Company”), a clinical-stage immunology company focused on developing treatments that harness the patient’s innate immune system to fight disease, announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted EP Pat. No. 2,892,547, titled “A DOMINANT NEGATIVE TNF-ALPHA INHIBITOR FOR USE IN TREATING NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS OF THE CNS,” which covers XPro1595 and its peripheral administration for treating Alzheimer’s Disease and other diseases of the CNS. The patent, which is set to expire in 2033, is owned by Xencor, Inc. and is licensed exclusively to INmune Bio.

        • Patent Applications in the African Continent having Origin in China

          In recent years, the investment from Chinese companies has increased substantially. Chinese companies operating in Africa have contributed to the development of certain industries in different countries on African continent*. The fact that there is a growing investment by Chinese companies in African jurisdictions may result in a greater concern by these investors to protect their intellectual assets in Africa. In this sense, this article will seek to identify the profile of patent applications having origin in China and filed in African countries, in order to identify the main jurisdictions targeted by Chinese applicants and which are the technological fields of the respective patent applications.

      • Copyrights

        • A decade of justice delayed: on this day ten years ago, Oracle sued Google over patents and copyrighted works

          It was the first smartphone IP dispute (of many) this blog commented on in detail. Initially it looked like a patent case with copyright infringement being more of an afterthought, and as I had actually fought against Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems the year before, I initially felt that Google was a victim of a patent shakedown. But over the years it became known that the Android development team had actually negotiated a license with Sun and decided to go ahead without one–and the focus shifted to copyright.

          Back in the day, neither the parties nor their counsel nor litigation watchers like me would have believed in their wildest dreams that this case was still going to be alive a decade later.

          In my opinion (though I do realize I may–but doubt that I will–have to adjust my position depending on what the Supreme Court will say), one person is primarily responsible for this disconcerting case of “justice delayed is justice denied”: District Judge William H. Alsup, who (again, subject to whether the Supreme Court opinion will be within my corridor of realistic expectations) made huge mistakes, all of them in Google’s favor and to Oracle’s detriment. If Google had been given the choice among all of the world’s judges, it would have been hard-pressed to come up with a more biased and more misguided one. Total disaster.

          Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (which is no stranger to this case as it already denied cert five years ago) has scheduled the oral argument, which got pushed back by the coronavirus crisis, for October 7, 2020. This makes it a possibility that an opinion will still come down in 2020, but early 2021 appears more likely, given that two distinct questions for review will (most likely) have to be addressed.

          Theoretically, the case could come to an end this year, but in order for that to happen, the Supreme Court would have to agree with Google on non-copyrightability. I’d have to take back everything I wrote about Judge Alsup above if that happened, but there’s no reason to believe so–and a procedural order by the Supreme Court serves as an indication that Google will lose that argument.

        • Piracy Giants KissAnime and KissManga Shut Down

          KissAnime.ru and KissManga.com, two of the largest pirate streaming sites, have gone offline. The operators report that all files were taken down by copyright owners and the sites don’t intend to make a comeback. Kissanime is arguably the most visited pirate site in the world and its demise affects millions of users.

        • Adobe Sued For Sending ‘Bogus’ DMCA Notices to Take Down Genuine Software

          Adobe is being sued in a California court for allegedly filing bogus DMCA notices with eBay in order to prevent a company from reselling its software. When the company responded by filing counternotices, Adobe allegedly circumvented the eBay DMCA complaints system by reporting the seller for selling pirated products, resulting in the termination of the account.

Something Very Fishy About the Way the Linux Foundation Puts Its Leadership ‘on Sale’

Posted in Deception, Kernel, Microsoft at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They became what they were supposed to fight (or compete with)

You ain't seen me right

Summary: We’ve lost count of the number of Microsoft people who are now in leadership positions in the so-called 'Linux' Foundation; considering the disclosure (to the IRS), it’s hardly unfathomable that appointments are basically sold to oligarchs-run corporations including Microsoft — a situation somewhat antithetical to the Free software psyche

EARLIER TODAY we published copies of some fresher Linux Foundation IRS filings. We promised we’d revisit the matter some time later because there’s plenty to be said and it’s better off split into pertinent issues/aspects. There’s no lack of things to be criticised, including their use of Windows.

“First of all, our estimate that the Linux Foundation would be boasting a revenue of $100,000,000 was correct.”Rest assured, we’re trying to be objective, not biased, as well as factual to the finest of details. We take many hours to prepare posts and carefully check each claim.

First of all, our estimate that the Linux Foundation would be boasting a revenue of $100,000,000 was correct. We spoke about it in early 2019, based on the pace of revenue growth and other factors (open source intelligence and extrapolation). Well, the real figure, based on the recently-disclosed papers (signed last winter by Lisbeth McNabb), was just 3 million dollars shy of our estimate (that’s a 3% error margin).

There’s nothing inherently wrong with money, but when that money comes from Microsoft, Facebook and other such fundamentally malicious companies you’re basically giving away the Linux brand (and message) to companies which are ardent opponents of actual users (sometimes also developers) of GNU/Linux. So revenue alone must not be the goal. The spouse of Jim Zemlin brags in her LinkedIn (Microsoft) profile about growing revenue, as if that alone is virtuous. There are many ways to make money, but not all are ethical (Mark Zuckerberg did not enter the ‘$100 billion club’ by making the world a better place and the Linux Foundation entered the ‘$100 million club’ by opening up to companies which oppose and fight against openness).

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with money, but when that money comes from Microsoft, Facebook and other such fundamentally malicious companies you’re basically giving away the Linux brand (and message) to companies which are ardent opponents of actual users (sometimes also developers) of GNU/Linux.”Sure, we know what types we're dealing with here. And sure, people who accomplish nothing in life — except amassing money — would indulge and judge themselves as well as others by criteria like “what car do you drive?” and “where do you live?” (all about symbols of wealth, which they conflate with cleverness and/or patriotism). Mr. Zermlin could buy himself a nice new Lamborghini each year; he could make a collection of a dozen by now. But that’s not what “Linux” is about… and he might never ‘get’ it because he was never a user of GNU/Linux and he cannot really code. “My grandfather was one of the founders of Cray Research,” (lots of nuclear simulations) he told Swapnil Bhartiya 3 years ago, noting that he never really pursued coding. “Just simple things like Basic,” he noted, alluding to his time as a kid.

Anyway, here’s the part we find akin to if not a lot worse than US politics. The leadership is almost literally up for sale. That helps explain why so many Microsofters an ex-Microsofters now dominate the Foundation:

LF directors for sale

What do readers think? If Linux management is really so undemocratic (money buys power), who are they to impose on members speech rules? Is speech a commodity? Is the Foundation an instrument of corporate occupation? Who in the Board made the decision to outsource almost everything to Microsoft (GitHub)? Think about it…

Freedom is Not Choice and Choice is Not Freedom (Rights Are Rarely Assured, Either)

Posted in Humour at 9:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You Have NO Choice – George Carlin (also see George Carlin on Freedom of Choice)

Summary: George Carlin (1937-2008) said some wise things about how people are led to believe they have freedom because they’re given a few choices and how their rights can be taken away or denied at any time

THE stand-up comedian and popular critic of society came from a family cynical about the state of the country (and its society); he repeatedly spoke about how “choice” (like Apple or Microsoft) is used to distract from actual freedom (not just a freedom to make binary choices). Here is what he said about “rights” (similarly animated) in his later days.

George Carlin is an excellent commentator, putting comedy/humour aside. Like a sit-com artist, he takes actual (real) issues and turns them into catchy skits. In some sense, he was ahead of his time.

Technology Liberates Us… Inside Golden Cages With Golden Chains

Posted in Humour at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Prison

Technology is marvellous
Endless in scope
Data it can process
More than humans can cope

Pick up your “smart” phone
In case there’s an emergency
The government can rescue you
It can also make calls, you see?

Technology is marvellous
It helps you “like” things
Of course others can see it
So upload things and sing!

“Likes” are the currency of popularity
What’s not to like?
You get two likes immediately
Provided you reciprocate with Jennifer and Ike

All technology is marvellous
More means “smarter”
Mightier, merrier
Sure, it’ll make you happier

Screw real-life relationships
You can make more Facebook friends
One in five of which you’ve met
But that’s not the message it sends

Circuses are marvellous
A show with frightful animals
And then you get some clowns
CIOs and CTOs who champion “clown computing”

Give up all your data
Rewards you shall receive
Loyalty cards track your purchases
Sometimes even your fridge

Cash is so disgusting
It’s for people who beg for change
Display your ID everywhere
Or they’ll put you in a cage

The Full Story (With References) of IBM’s Role in a Purge of Black People and Mixed-Race Couples

Posted in IBM, Videos at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bobby

Summary: Removing words versus the sin of removing people; today we revisit (more closely) IBM's early adoption of eugenics projects to drive sales of tabulation machines, the company’s ‘bread and butter’ at a time when it was still relatively small

THE term “eugenics” is often associated with “Aktion T4” and its successors, but it predates Aktion T4 and eugenics was very big in the United States about a decade earlier.

We’ve decided to reproduce this relatively new video whilst attributing its source.

This is just a publicly-available portion of this relatively new PBS series on the topic; in the official site it’s summarised as follows: “A hybrid derived from the Greek words meaning “well” and “born,” the term eugenics was coined in 1883 by Sir Francis Galton, a British cousin to Charles Darwin, to name a new “science” through which human beings might take charge of their own evolution. The Eugenics Crusade tells the story of the unlikely –– and largely unknown –– movement that turned the fledgling scientific theory of heredity into a powerful instrument of social control. Perhaps more surprising still, American eugenics was neither the work of fanatics, nor the product of fringe science. The goal of the movement was simple and, to its disciples, laudable: to eradicate social ills by limiting the number of those considered to be genetically “unfit” –– a group that would expand to include many immigrant groups, the poor, Jews, the mentally and physically disabled, and the “morally delinquent.” At its peak in the 1920s, the movement was in every way mainstream, packaged as a progressive quest for “healthy babies.” Its doctrines were not only popular and practiced, but codified by laws that severely restricted immigration and ultimately led to the institutionalization and sterilization of tens of thousands of American citizens. Populated by figures both celebrated and obscure, The Eugenics Crusade is an often revelatory portrait of an America at once strange and eerily familiar.

The series does mention the early large-scale experiments, which were also explored in depth earlier in this century. An investigative researcher and historian shared his findings: (highlights ours)

Davenport eugenics 0

Davenport eugenics 1

Davenport eugenics 2

Davenport eugenics 3

Davenport eugenics 4

Davenport eugenics 5

Davenport eugenics 6

Davenport eugenics 7

Davenport eugenics 8

Davenport eugenics 9

Davenport eugenics 10

Here are selected references (there are more; the full book is massive):

Davenport eugenics ref 1

Davenport eugenics ref 2

Davenport eugenics ref 3

Davenport eugenics ref 4

Davenport eugenics ref 5

These things happened almost a century ago and about 70 years before the World Wide Web, so there’s almost no mention of this anywhere on the Web. There are exceptions, however, citing work like the above. From “Code Black“:

Code-Black

And the rather recent “To Stop The Rise of Nationalism, We Must Remember High-Tech’s Role in Supporting Past and Present Nationalistic Agendas“:

Tech and eugenics

IBM is not quite what it seems (hagiographies about the co-founder, his family, and the company are plentiful). It often likes to pretend that it knew nothing about how its machines would be used, but that’s easily refuted by the paper records and trails. Nowadays we still have machines like these, except they’re vastly more advanced and they track billions of people (populations of entire continents), so history can repeat one day and corporate complicity is assured when there’s enough money in the pot.

What is Known for a Fact (Not Speculation) About Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein, and Rick Allen Jones

Posted in Bill Gates at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein

Summary: We’ve put together the articles index below; this index covers all the relevant posts/articles about this topic and they are carefully fact-checked with original material to support them (more recent posts listed first, so it is reverse-chronological as a sorting criterion)

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