Links 28/8/2020: EasyOS 2.4, Qt Creator 4.13, SupertuxKart 1.2

Posted in News Roundup at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Interview from Episode #34 of The Mike Dominick Show (Audio Only)

        I had a chance to sit down and chat with Mike Dominick recently, on August 25th 2020. We spoke about some of my current projects, and our views on some of the recent happenings in the industry lately. Topics include writing, the industry’s move to ARM, the Linux community in general, and more.

      • LHS Episode #364: The Weekender LV

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

      • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #24: Options for Packaging Your Python Application: Wheels, Docker, and More

        Have you wondered, how should I package my Python code? You’ve written the application, but now you need to distribute it to the machines it’s intended to run on. It depends on what the code is, the libraries it depends on, and with whom do you want to share it. This week on the show we have Itamar Turner-Trauring, creator of the website pythonspeed.com. We discuss his article “Options for Packaging Your Python Code: Wheels, Conda, Docker, and More,” covering the how of sharing your code.

      • Python Bytes: #196 Version your SQL schemas with git + automatically migrate them
      • Are My Linux Videos Too Long? They Might Be

        A lot of the videos I make are Linux software showcases but I’ve had a few people mention that some of my videos might be a bit too long so I thought I’d explain why my videos end up being as long as they are and how I’m slowly stripping down the videos as I improve upon my style.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Developers Continue Evaluating The Path To Adding Rust Code To The Kernel

        As mentioned back in July, upstream Linux developers have been working to figure out a path for adding Rust code to the Linux kernel. That topic is now being further explored at this week’s virtual Linux Plumbers Conference and it’s still looking like it will happen, it’s just a matter of when the initial infrastructure will be in place and how slowly the rollout will be.

        Back in July, Linus Torvalds shared his thoughts on Rust within the Linux kernel tree and didn’t shoot down the idea just his preference on how it be handled, basically having it be enabled if Rust is present on the system.

      • Using the Linux kernel’s Case-insensitive feature in Ext4

        Linux 5.2 was released over one year ago and with it, a new feature was added to support optimized case-insensitive file name lookups in the Ext4 filesystem – the first of native Linux filesystems to do it. Now, one year after this quite controversial feature was made available, Collabora and others keep building on top of it to make it more and more useful for system developers and end users. Therefore, this seems like a good time as any to take a look on why this was merged, and how to put it to work.

        More recently, f2fs has started to support this feature as well, following the Ext4 implementation and framework, thanks to an effort led by Google. Most, if not all, of the information described here also applies to f2fs, with small changes on the commands used to configure the superblock.


        A file name is a text string used to uniquely identify a file (in this context, ‘directory’ is the same as a file) at a specific level of the directory hierarchy. While, from the operating system point of view, it doesn’t matter what the file name is, as long as it is unique, meaningful file names are essential for the end user, since it is the main key to locate and retrieve data. In other words, a meaningful file name is what people rely upon to find their valuable documents, pictures and spreadsheets. Traditionally, Linux (and Unix) filesystems have always considered file names as an opaque byte sequence without any special meaning, requiring users to submit the exact match of the file to find it in the filesystem. But that is not how humans operate. When people write titles, ‘important report.ods’ and ‘IMPORTANT REPORT.ods’ usually mean the same piece of data, and you don’t care how it was written when creating it. We care about the content and the semantics of the words IMPORTANT and REPORT.

      • Krisman: Using the Linux kernel’s Case-insensitive feature in Ext4
      • Google Using AutoFDO On Linux Meant Up To 12% Less Cycles Spent Within The Kernel

        Google is not only leveraging link-time optimizations (LTO) and profile-guided optimizations (PGO) for maximizing compiler-based efficiencies of their kernel images but also auto feedback directed optimizations. AutoFDO relies upon CPU hardware counters with a sampling based profile for driving feedback to the compiler for better optimizing the binaries. AutoFDO uses data collected by Linux’s perf subsystem with hardware counters and using that information for making more informed decisions regarding optimizations. More details on AutoFDO can be found via this Wiki page.

        AutoFDO has the benefit of not needing specialized builds in the first place, unlike PGO, for collecting the profile information. But AutoFDO obviously still requires a run of the program in order to collect the samples.

      • Graphics Stack

        • [Mesa-announce] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 20.2.0-rc3
          Hi list,
          This rc is a whole week late, that's on me. Though LPC certainly hasn't helped
          :) I'm planning to have one more RC at least, as there are several patches that
          need to go in the final release but are not in, I'm planning to have that one on
          time next week on Wednesday.
        • Mesa 20.2 Should Be Released In About Two Weeks – LLVMpipe OpenGL 4.5 Enabled

          After forgetting to release last week, Mesa 20.2-RC3 is out as the newest test build of this quarterly Mesa3D feature release for the collection of open-source OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

          Mesa 20.2 is bringing many exciting features for these open-source graphics drivers. With Mesa 20.2-RC3 there are the latest fixes in getting ready for release. But as not all blocker bugs have been resolved, there will be at least a 20.2-RC4 milestone next week. If all goes well, Mesa 20.2.0 will be officially out in about two weeks.

        • ROCm 3.7 Has Open-Source OpenCL Image Module Included

          With last week’s release of ROCm 3.7 for the Radeon Open Compute stack, it turns out there is a welcome change that wasn’t published as part of the announcement.

          Radeon Open Compute 3.7 has an open-source OpenCL Image implementation. With previous releases, a binary-only libhsa-ext-image64.so library was required for OpenCL Image support with the ROCm stack. But quietly with the new ROCm 3.7 release, they added the source code as part of the ROCR run-time.

        • Melissa Wen: Another day, another mistery

          As a newbie, I consider debugging as a study guided. During the process, I have a goal that leads me to browse the code, raise and down various suspicions, look at the changes history and perhaps relate changes from other parts of the kernel to the current problem. Co-debugging is even more interesting. Approaches are discussed, we open our mind to more possibilities, refine solutions and share knowledges… in addition to preventing any uncomplete solution. Debugging the operation of vkms when composing plans was a very interesting journey. All the shared ideas was so dynamic and open that, at the end, it was linked to another demand, the implementation of writeback support.

          And that is how I fell into another debugging journey.

          Writeback support on vkms is something Rodrigo Siqueira has been working on for some time. However, with so many comings and goings of versions, other DRM changes were introducing new issues. With each new version, it was necessary to reassess the current state of the DRM structures in addition to incorporating revisions from the previous version.

        • Melissa Wen: False-positive for alpha blending

          I recently posted about a feature I developed for VKMS to consider the alpha channel in the composition of the cursor plane with the primary plane.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Borders

          Once more, I’ve spun the wheel of topics to blog about and landed on something extension-related. Such is the life of those working with Vulkan.

          In this case, the extension is VK_EXT_custom_border_color, the underlying implementation for which I had the luxury of testing on ANV as written by the memelord himself, Ivan Briano.

          Let’s get to it.

          The setup for this (in zink_screen.c) is the same as for every extension, and I’ve blogged about this previously, so there’s no new ground to cover here.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Zink Gains Part One

          Taking a break from talking about all this crazy feature nonsense, let’s get back to things that actually matter. Like gains. Specifically, why have some of these piglit tests been taking so damn long to run?

      • Applications

        • Daniel Stenberg: tiny-curl 7.72.0 – Micrium

          You remember my tiny-curl effort to port libcurl to more Real-time operating systems? Back in May 2020 I announced it in association with me porting tiny-curl to FreeRTOS.

          Today I’m happy to bring you the news that tiny-curl 7.72.0 was just released. Now it also builds and runs fine on the Micrium OS.

          Timed with this release, I changed the tiny-curl version number to use the same as the curl release on which this is based on, and I’ve created a new dedicated section on the curl web site for tiny-curl:


          Head over there to download.

        • Enabling better curl bindings

          I think it is fair to say that libcurl is a library that is very widely spread, widely used and powers a sizable share of Internet transfers. It’s age, it’s availability, it’s stability and its API contribute to it having gotten to this position.

          libcurl is in a position where it could remain for a long time to come, unless we do something wrong and given that we stay focused on what we are and what we’re here for. I believe curl and libcurl might still be very meaningful in ten years.

        • Linux Candy: Variety – wallpaper changer software

          Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

          Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

          Variety is a wallpaper manager for Linux systems. It supports numerous desktops and wallpaper sources, including local files and online services: Flickr, Unsplash, and more.

          Variety is written in Python.

      • Instructionals/Technical

      • Games

        • Rockfish show off some impressive EVERSPACE 2 footage

          ROCKFISH Games have revealed two new trailers for the upcoming space-action sim EVERSPACE 2, a traditional hype trailer and some more raw gameplay footage.

          Get ready for some never-seen-before content from the game shows a new star system and cockpit view featuring fully functional displays. Both of which, I might add, show that ROCKFISH are crafting a pretty incredible looking open-world space shooter, one I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on.

        • Valve announce new Chat Filtering and a big change to Steam Wallet Codes

          Valve continue to roll out new experiments with their Steam Labs, one of which is now live which you can try out with special Chat Filtering.

          As the name easily suggests, it will enable you to filter out commonly used strong profanity and slurs sent via chat all across Steam. If you choose to join the experiment and enable it, the filtering will be applied across Steam Chat, games that support it and eventually they may roll it out across “more forms of user-generated content”. They said that it basically moves the filtering they built for games like CS:GO, Destiny 2, and Dota 2 and puts it directly into your Steam settings.

        • The International 10 for Dota 2 breaks the esports prize pool record again

          Surprised? I doubt anyone will be. Valve have managed to gather what’s now the single biggest prize pool for an event – ever. It’s now absolutely massive.

          Back in 2019, Epic Games held the title for the biggest prize pool across a tournament with Fortnite. Valve smashed that record not longer after with TI 2019 having a $34,330,069 prize pool. Records are breaking everywhere it seems, as once again it has been eclipsed. The International 10, now has a prize pool of $34,539,661 from the Battle Pass (plus other purchases like the Collector’s Cache) and it’s still going up with plenty of time to spare as Valve announced before that it will continue until September 19.

        • Godot web export progress report #2

          Howdy Godotters! It’s time for a long overdue update on the status of the HTML5 export and the web version of Godot in general.

          Many of the improvements made for the Web editor’s early prototype have been merged in the master branch and backported to the 3.2 branch. Support for SceneTree.quit() and drag and drop of files via the files_dropped signal are already in the upcoming 3.2.3 release.

        • Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead is the next physics builder crossover

          Ready for more physics fun, this time involving Zombies? Yep, it’s happening. Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead was announced during Gamescom today.

          In development by ClockStone, the same team that made the previous Bridge Constructor, they’re coming back to give us another dose of bridge building but with a different spin on things.

        • SuperTuxKart 1.2 Released with Better Gamepad Support, New Theme, and More

          SuperTuxKart 1.2 free and open-source kart racing game is now available for download. This release comes after eight months of development with improved gamepad support, new theme, new kart, and much more.

        • Free and open source racer SuperTuxKart has a big 1.2 release out

          The classic FLOSS racing game returns with more enhancements, as SuperTuxKart now has the 1.2 release officially available. Here’s a run over the highlights and what’s new.

          Part of the good news here, is that online play remains compatible with the previous version so people not rushing out to upgrade won’t see major issues. One of the major new features is improved gamepad support, as they’re now using SDL 2 for it which means hotplugging is supported, easier remapping and most of their previous issues should be gone. It’s quite essential for such a racing game so good to see it in.

        • 3D Arcade Racer SuperTuxKart 1.2 Released [How to Install]

          SuperTuxKart 1.2, free and open-source kart racing game, was officially released a day ago.

        • SupertuxKart 1.2 release

          The SuperTuxKart team is happy to announce the release of version 1.2. Online play is still compatible with previous 1.x versions.

        • SuperTuxKart 1.2 Brings Better Gamepad Support, Other Features

          For those looking at enjoying some open-source Linux gaming this weekend, SuperTuxKart 1.2 is out as the Mario Kart inspired racing game that is cross-platform and features the Linux mascot Tux.

          SuperTuxKart 1.2 brings better gamepad support thanks to SDL2, support for customizing the game’s camera, a new theme, Haiku OS support for that open-source BeOS inspired platform, Android improvements, various kart improvements, support for IPv6 LAN servers, and other in-game features.

        • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – August 2020 free upgrade out now, cross-play has issues

          Sid Meier’s Civilization VI has another free upgrade out now, which thankfully game porter Aspyr Media was able to get onto Linux (and macOS) right away but with a major caveat.

          Currently, the cross-play is disabled between Windows and Linux/macOS. Linux and macOS can play together but Windows is by itself right now.

        • Recording and livestreaming software OBS Studio has a major new build in testing

          Free, open source and pretty essential for anyone doing livestreaming and/or recording videos on Linux; OBS Studio has a new Release Candidate out for testing.


          After giving it a test run, I genuinely love the UI addition to have this new Source Toolbar for really quick adjustment of sources. You can see it in the above picture where it mentions Properties, Filters and the Screen source being the HDMI input. It’s a nice little time saver to have less clicking around. The new Noise Suppression using RNNoise is going to be extremely useful too, nice to see it being pulled in by more projects as it is impressive.

      • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Distributions

        • EasyOS 2.4 Released: An Experimental Blend Of Puppy And Quirky Linux

          Creator of EasyOS Barry Kauler has released a new point version, EasyOS 2.4, of the 2.0 “buster” series. EasyOS version 2.4 is built from Debian 10 “Buster” and includes exciting new features.

          For those who don’t know, Barry Kauler is also the creator and former project lead of one of the best lightweight distros Puppy Linux and discontinued Quirky Linux. He started EasyOS in 2017, inheriting features from Puppy and Quirky Linux.

        • Reviews

          • Slimbook & Kubuntu 18.04 – Combat report 13

            There we go. I think my combat report experience has plateaued. There won’t be any revolutionary new stuff coming up in this release, and I don’t believe any of my long-standing annoying will go away unless I upgrade. And I think this could be the next sensible thing on my list – upgrade from Kubuntu 18.04 to 20.04. This should give me plenty of fun activities, and hopefully the revamped and refreshed Plasma desktop will make the naughty bugs go away. With disk encryption in place, plus a bunch of third-party apps, this ought to be interesting.

            In general, 18 months down the road, Slimbook & Kubuntu is a good combo, especially since I’m being extra rigorous. To put things into perspective, looking at my Windows-based systems, there are all sorts of tiny problems that won’t go away. Keyboard repeat speed on my Y50-70 machine, fullscreen alt-tab gaming experience in Windows 10, Explorer search, and whatnot. But that does not absolve Kubuntu in any way. We want perfection. All in all, though, for most standard-use purposes – gaming and office aside, Kubuntu does a pretty solid job, and remains robust and dependable. Onto the next chapter in the adventure then!

        • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

          • Six questions around race and diversity in technology with Sasha Pass

            Sasha Pass, a developer advocate and project manager with 8 years experience at IBM has been an integral part of many developer initiatives at IBM, including the global Call for Code initiative. Given her inter-racial background, the impact of Black Lives Matter has hit especially close to home. Learn a bit more about Sasha’s take on diversity and racial inequality as a black woman in the workplace and her current work with Emb(race), a project to improve racial diversity at IBM.

          • Interaction and microcopy: UX best practices for the setup process

            Sometimes, signing up for a service or setting up a new account can be stressful, even with the convenience of online-everything. As a user, you may second guess yourself in the process: Did I miss an important step? Was I supposed to click that button? This uncertainty is understandable. You need to get something done, but there are a few things standing in your way. And if the user interface (UI) isn’t designed well or the copy isn’t clear, then it’s safe to say the experience may not be all that pleasant.

            Thankfully, setup processes don’t always have to be nerve-wracking. By putting extra effort into the user experience (UX), you may just be able to transform an intricate process into a few easy clicks. Let’s take a look at some UX design and copy best practices—and a real-life Red Hat use case—that will hopefully help you make your next product setup process a bit easier for users.

          • Red Hat Satellite 6.7.2 has been released

            We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.7.2 is generally available as of July 30, 2020.

            Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

          • vDPA kernel framework part 2: vDPA bus drivers for kernel subsystem interactions

            In the previous post (vDPA Kernel Framework Part 1: vDPA Bus for Abstracting Hardware), we discussed the design and implementation of the kernel vDPA framework with a brief introduction of the vDPA bus drivers. We will proceed to cover the technical details of the vDPA bus drivers and how they can provide a unified interface for the vDPA drivers.

            This post is intended for kernel developers and userspace developers for VMs and containers who want to understand how vDPA could be a backend for VMs or a high performance IO for containers.

          • Modernize telco operations support systems with Red Hat
          • Red Hat and Intuit Join Forces on Argo Project, Extending GitOps Community Innovation to Better Manage Multi-Cluster Cloud-Native Applications at Scale

            Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and Intuit Inc. today announced collaboration between the two companies on Argo CD, a declarative continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes deployments. Argo CD makes it easier to manage configurations, definitions and environments for both Kubernetes itself and the applications it hosts using Git as the source of truth. Argo CD, open sourced by Intuit in January 2018, is also an incubation-level project within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and is currently deployed in production by many companies including Electronic Arts, Major League Baseball, Tesla, and Ticketmaster.

          • Sunrise speeds time to market by 75% with hybrid cloud technologies

            Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, reports that Sunrise Communications AG has worked with Red Hat to build a hybrid cloud-ready platform and adopt an agile DevOps culture to help speed innovation and reduce time-to-market.

            Sunrise has migrated several critical customer applications to its microservices architecture on Red Hat OpenShift, supported by Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and Red Hat Runtimes and managed with the help of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

          • NEC Corporation Onboards Red Hat OpenShift to Streamline Air Travel

            Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that NEC Corporation has used Red Hat OpenShift as the foundation for Narita International Airport’s new “Check-in to boarding experience” known as “One ID” in Japan. One ID covers the entire passenger experience within an airport, from check-in to boarding, and uses Red Hat OpenShift to provide the massive scale and flexibility required to handle peak passenger volume at Narita.

        • Debian Family

          • Twenty years with Debian on the desktop – and no regrets

            It was in August 2000 that I finally took the plunge to use Linux without the back-up of a dual-boot system, reasoning that if I did not cut the strings at some point, it would never happen.

            My choice of Linux distribution was Debian, something I have never regretted in the years since, as I have grown from a nervous novice to someone who can negotiate this operating system with something approaching confidence.

            Prior to that, for about two years, I experimented with other Linux distributions, running first Red Hat and then Slackware, and trying to learn what I could to make the switch. I had to give up on both these distributions because they lacked a proper mechanism to update the whole system.

          • Miriam Ballhausen & Debian Money, DebConf Online, insulting a volunteer at a time of grief

            DebConf20 was due to take place in Haifa, Israel this year (a separate controversy about Debian censoring Palestine) but it was moved online due to the pandemic.

            Therefore, what happens to all the sponsorship money collected in 2020?

            For the first time ever, Debian paid somebody to work on DebConf fundraising as an Outreachy intern, generating a lot of gossip that is unfair to the woman concerned. Naturally, as in any business, fundraising salaries and other costs of acquiring sponsors are the first things that will be deducted from the budget. We share the view of those who feel she was underpaid: the woman is a highly experienced event organizer. Debian paid a total of $6,000 for her services, $2,000 per month. $500 was deducted by Outreachy administrator, Sage Sharp. This is also controversial, as Sage Sharp does the same work that Debian’s GSoC Administrators do, Sage Sharp receives a cut of the money but the Debian GSoC Administrators don’t receive anything. If the intern was employed at an event management company in Israel, she would have received more than $6,000 every month, overtime pay, illness and accident insurance, pension, maternity rights and a performance bonus. Many non-profit organizations give their fundraising staff at least 10% of all revenues as salary and bonus.

            After deducting the $5,500 Outreachy salary and $500 Sage Sharp fees, what does Debian do with the rest of the money from these sponsors? As we are online in 2020, there are no venue expenses, no travel and accommodation expenses.

            Will this money be used to pay all the volunteers for the next DebConfs? Or will it be used for other Debian purposes?

            Let’s have a look at DebConf13 to find the answer.

          • DebConf20 welcomes its sponsors! [Ed: No Microsoft anymore!]

            DebConf20 is taking place online, from 23 August to 29 August 2020. It is the 21st Debian conference, and organizers and participants are working hard together at creating interesting and fruitful events.

            We would like to warmly welcome the 17 sponsors of DebConf20, and introduce them to you.

            We have four Platinum sponsors.

            Our first Platinum sponsor is Lenovo. As a global technology leader manufacturing a wide portfolio of connected products, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and workstations as well as AR/VR devices, smart home/office and data center solutions, Lenovo understands how critical open systems and platforms are to a connected world.

            Our next Platinum sponsor is Infomaniak. Infomaniak is Switzerland’s largest web-hosting company, also offering backup and storage services, solutions for event organizers, live-streaming and video on demand services. It wholly owns its datacenters and all elements critical to the functioning of the services and products provided by the company (both software and hardware).

          • David Bremner: Debcamp activities 2018 [Ed: Newly edited]
          • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2020

            Like each month, albeit a bit later due to vacation, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

          • Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 Is Coming on September 4th with Support for Many New Devices

            It’s been 4 months since OTA-12 arrived with the Lomiri (Unity 8) interface, which introduced new functionality and interaction models, including the Application Drawer. Lomiri is a continuation of the Unity 8 UI developed by Canonical for its Ubuntu operating system to provide convergence.

            But enough history and let’s have a look into the future, as Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 promises to be yet another hefty update for Linux phone users. Two major features are present in the upcoming release, ARM64 and Halium 7 support.

      • Devices/Embedded

      • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

        • Best Free and Open Source Online Markdown Editors

          No need to install. Use these free online markdown editors to write and save your markdown notes. Some editors also offer real-time collaboration.

        • Why Comcast open sourced its DNS management tool

          This open source DNS management tool was built by and for the telcom giant, but is establishing itself in its own right and welcoming more contributors.

          Adoption of DevOps practices at Comcast led to increased automation and configuration of infrastructure that supports applications, back-office, data centers, and our network. These practices require teams to move fast and be self-reliant. Infrastructure is constantly turned upside down, with network traffic moved around it constantly. Good DNS record management is critical to support this level of autonomy and automation, but how can a large, diverse enterprise move quickly while safely governing its DNS assets?

        • ORC – Anonymous Cloud Storage Helps Protect Investigative Journalism

          ORC stands for Onion Routed Cloud is an anonymous cloud storage network. It is a free and open-source project. ORC allows anonymous file sharing online without the risk of leaking them to the Internet.

          Why Is Anonymous Cloud Storage Important?

          In times when Governments around the world are peeking into everyone’s life, Journalists and activists around the globe are finding it difficult to communicate safely on the Internet.

          Journalists around the globe are being murdered, facing death threats as a consequence of their journalism. If not put under law, even social networking sites can also be a threat to freedom in a free country.

        • Swap Detector: Open source tool for detecting API usage errors

          GrammaTech has released Swap Detector, an open source tool that enables developers and DevOps teams to identify errors due to swapped function arguments, which can also be present in deployed code.


          Modern software development involves the use of third-party APIs, libraries, and/or frameworks that are complex, rapidly evolving, and sometimes poorly documented. According to industry estimates, open source components can represent up to 90% of the code in the average application. Meanwhile, API usage errors are a common source of security and reliability vulnerabilities.

          “Traditional static-analysis techniques do not take advantage of the vast wealth of information on what represents error-free coding practices available in the open-source domain,” says Alexey Loginov, VP of Research at GrammaTech. “With Swap Detector we applied Big Data analysis techniques, what we call Big Code analysis, to the Fedora RPM open-source repository to baseline correct API usage. This allowed us to develop error-detection capabilities that far exceed the scalability and accuracy of conventional approaches to program analysis.”

        • Challenges, priorities, and progress in anti-censorship technology at Tor

          This blog post seeks to bring clarity to the modus operandi of the Tor Project in the anti-censorship space by providing a summary of the challenges we face, the priorities we focus on, and the progress we have made so far related to our circumvention technology. Censorship circumvention is a complex and ever evolving problem, and this blog post summarizes our approach in tackling it. Please feel free to ask any related question in the comments. Thanks to hanneloresx’s translation, you can find a Chinese version of this blog post below.


          Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) block the domain www.torproject.org, making it difficult for their users to download a copy of Tor Browser. Our service GetTor can help these users get Tor Browser despite this: simply send an email to gettor@torproject.org, which will automatically respond with alternative download links for Tor Browser. These download links point to GitHub, GitLab, the Internet Archive, and Google Drive. At least one of these hosting providers should be accessible to each of our users. For example, users from China can download Tor Browser from our GitHub mirror.

          Once you have your copy of Tor Browser, you are ready to connect to the Tor network. Unfortunately, some ISPs interfere yet again, aided by technology that either blocks the IP addresses of Tor relays and/or detects the Tor protocol dynamically, by inspecting network traffic that passes the ISP’s perimeter—so-called deep packet inspection (DPI).

          If you are unable to directly connect to the Tor network, you need to use bridges. Bridges are unlisted Tor relays and, depending on the bridge type, can obfuscate network traffic in a way that’s more difficult for ISPs to detect. The simplest method of censorship circumvention in Tor Browser is to use our default bridges—a set of a dozen bridges that are part of Tor Browser. These bridges are essentially public, which is why more effective censorship systems such as China’s Great Firewall (GFW) block them, but they are still effective in many places like Iran. Take a look at our Tor Browser manual to learn how to enable default bridges.

        • Web Browsers

          • Mozilla

            • 7 things to know (and love) about the new Firefox for Android

              The newly redesigned Firefox browser for Android is here! The Firefox app has been overhauled and redesigned from the ground up for Android fans, with more speed, customization and privacy than before. There are a ton of great reasons to love the new Firefox for Android app. Here are some of our favorites.

            • Mozilla VR Blog: Update on Mozilla Mixed Reality

              Having developed a solid initial Firefox Reality offering that brings the web to virtual reality, we are going to continue to invest in standards. We’ll also be supporting our partners, but in light of Covid-19 we have chosen to reduce our investment in broad new features at this time.

              At the end of the month, we will release Firefox Reality v12 for standalone VR headsets, our last major release for a while. We’ll continue to support the browser (including security updates) and make updates to support Hubs and our partners. In addition, we’ll remain active in the Immersive Web standards group.

              Two weeks ago, we released a new preview for Firefox Reality for PC, which we’ll continue to support. We’ll also continue to provide Firefox Reality for Hololens, and it will be accessible in the Microsoft store.

              Finally, for iOS users, the WebXR Viewer will remain available, but not continue to be maintained.

            • Mozilla Addons Blog: Disconnect’s road to success

              Developers create extensions for a variety of reasons. Some are hobbyists who want to freely share their work with the world. Some find a way to turn their project into a small, independent business. Some companies build extensions as part of a business strategy. Earlier this year, we interviewed several add-on developers to learn more about the business models for their extensions. We learned a lot from those conversations, and have drawn on them to create upcoming experiments that we think will help developers succeed. We’ll be posting more information about participating in these experiments in the next few weeks.

              In the meantime, we asked Disconnect CEO Casey Oppenheim to share his thoughts about what has made his company’s popular privacy-enhancing browser extension of the same name successful. Disconnect is an open-source extension that enables users to visualize and block third-party trackers. Together, Mozilla and Disconnect studied the performance benefits of blocking trackers and learned that tracking protection more than doubles page loading speeds. This work led us to build Enhanced Tracking Protection directly into Firefox in 2019 using Disconnect’s tracking protection list.

              Today, Disconnect earns revenue by offering privacy apps at different price points and partnerships with organizations like Mozilla. They have also extensively experimented on monetizing the Disconnect browser extension to support its development and maintenance. Following are some of the learnings that Casey shared.

            • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: August 2020 Edition

              As you are probably aware, Mozilla just went through a massive round of layoffs. About 250 people were let go, reducing the overall size of the workforce by a quarter. The l10n-drivers team was heavily impacted, with Axel Hecht (aka Pike) leaving the company.

              We are still in the process of understanding how the reorganization will affect our work and the products we localize. A first step was to remove some projects from Pontoon, and we’ll make sure to communicate any further changes in our communication channels.

            • WebAssembly Reference Types in Wasmtime

              A few weeks ago, I finished implementing support for the WebAssembly reference types proposal in Wasmtime. Wasmtime is a standalone, outside-the-Web WebAssembly runtime, and the reference types proposal is WebAssembly’s first foray beyond simple integers and floating point numbers, into the exciting world of garbage-collected references. This article will explain what the reference types proposal enables, what it leaves for future proposals, and how it is implemented in Wasmtime.


              Unlike the other host environments we’ve considered, WASI isn’t natively implemented on the Web. There’s nothing stopping us, however, from polyfilling WASI APIs with a little bit of JavaScript and a couple DOM methods! This is still an improvement because there is overall less module-specific glue code. Once one person has written the polyfills, everyone’s Wasm modules can reuse them.

              There are many different things an “open file” could be modeled by on the Web. For this demo, we’ll use a DOM node: writing to it will append text nodes. This works well because we know our module is only writing text data. If we were working with binary data, we would choose another polyfilling approach, like in-memory array buffers backing the file data.

            • Get organized with Firefox Collections

              The Firefox for Android app lets you collect and organize tabs into any quick grouping you want. You can create and name your own Collections and add pages to them as you browse. To add any tab to a Collection, tap the three dots, then tap Save to collection.


              No matter how much time you spend on your phone, keeping yourself organized just feels good! And collections do just that. Let us know how you like Collections in Firefox for Android by sending us a screenshot on Twitter, and we’ll reply with something to add to it. We’d love to hear from you.

            • Four pillars of Android performance

              This summer, I had the pleasure of interning at Mozilla with the Android Performance Team. Previously, I had some experience with Android, but not particularly with the performance aspect except for some basic performance optimizations. Throughout the internship, my perspective on the importance of Android performance changed. I learned that we could improve performance by looking at the codebase through the lens of four pillars of android performance. In this blog, I will describe those four pillars of performance: parallelism, prefetching, batching, and improving XML layouts.


              Parallelism is the idea of executing multiple tasks simultaneously so that overall time for running a program is shorter. Many tasks have no particular reasons to run on the main UI thread and can be performed on other threads. For example, disk reads are almost always frowned upon and rightfully so. They are generally very time consuming and can block the main thread. It is often helpful to look through your codebase and ask: does this need to be on the main thread? If not, move it to another thread. The main thread’s only responsibilities should be to update the UI and handle the user interactions.


              Prefetching is the idea of fetching the resources early and storing them in memory for faster access when the data is eventually needed. Prefetching is a prevalent technique used by computer processors to get data from slow storage and store them in fast-access storage before the data is required. A standard pattern is to do the prefetching while the application is in the background. One example of prefetching is making network calls in advance and storing the results locally until needed. Prefetching, of course, needs to be balanced. For instance, if the application is trying to provide a smooth scrolling experience that relies on prefetching the data. If you prefetch too little, it’s not going to be very useful since the application will spend a lot of the time making a network call. However, prefetch too much, and you run into the risk of making your users wait and potentially draining the battery.

        • CMS

        • FSF

          • Licensing/Legal

            • Finland’s Covid-19 trace app published as open source

              On Tuesday, Finland’s Koronavilkku Covid-19 track and trace application was published as an open source solution under the European Union Public Licence (EUPL). The Koronavilkku software is being developed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, or THL), together with a handful of the country’s software development firms.

            • Why NUKEMAP isn’t on Google Maps anymore

              But most of all: today there are perfectly viable alternatives. Which is why I don’t understand their pricing model change, except in terms of, “they’ve decided to abandon small developers completely.” After a little scouting around, I decided that MapBox completely fit the bill (and whose rates are more like what Google used to charge), and that Leaflet, an open-source Javascript library, could make for a very easy conversion. It took a little work to make the conversion, because Leaflet out of the box doesn’t support the drawing of great circles, but I wrote a plugin that does it.

  • Leftovers

    • The New Charlatans

      In response to the spectacular and catastrophic failure of the global Liberal Capitalist system, Messrs. Classical Liberals, centrists, IDWers, and other representatives of the Quiet Life camp, are adamant they have the solution: Liberal Capitalism.

    • Pharrell Williams – Entrepreneur
    • What We Talk About When We Talk About Catastrophe

      “What in the world are we supposed to care about,” Elisa Gabbert demands near the end of her new book, The Unreality of Memory, “and how much?” In the moment, her question registers as both anticipatory and empathetic, a commiserating acknowledgement of the gnarled, unsolvable dilemmas hovering in her book’s atmosphere. Who could write about the catastrophes addling this world without, just briefly, burying her head in her hands?

    • Following Scrutiny, Facebook Blocks Searches for Alleged Kenosha Shooter’s Name

      In the hours following the shooting, various right-wing pundits and extremist groups have praised Rittenhouse as a hero, framing him as a vigilante who took action against unruly protesters. On his TV show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended the shooter’s actions, saying, “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?,” comments that prompted outraged social media users to call for Fox News to cancel his show; in a tweet, Ann Coulter said she wanted Rittenhouse as her “president.” Numerous crowdfunding campaigns for Rittenhouse have popped up following his arrest. (Two such campaigns on GoFundMe and Fundly have since been taken down.)

      Because Facebook designated Rittenhouse as a mass shooter, it removed his profile and took steps to remove posts praising him. It has not, however, removed videos of Carlson defending Rittenhouse’s actions.

    • Facebook is blocking searches for the name of Kenosha shooter

      A number of self-proclaimed militia groups, including the Kenosha Guard, have also been banned in the wake of the shooting, after having previously been deemed acceptable by Facebook moderators. Facebook says its internal investigation has produced no evidence linking Rittenhouse to the Kenosha Guard.

    • Condé Nast Taps Book Veteran Dawn Davis as Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief

      Her appointment comes after the June ouster of former EIC Adam Rapoport amid allegations of racial discrimination at the food-media brand. In the last month, several people of color who had starred in Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen” video series said they were refusing to enter into new deals with Condé Nast over what they claimed were unfair terms.

      Davis most recently was VP and publisher of 37 Ink, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. She starts as EIC of Bon Appétit on Nov. 2, reporting to Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, artistic director of Condé Nast U.S. and global content adviser. Davis will oversee editorial for Bon Appétit and Condé Nast’s food brands Epicurious, Healthyish and Basically across digital, video, social and print platforms.

    • Education

      • Teachers shot by plastic pellets during training drill sue sheriff’s department, officers

        The controversial training drill, conducted at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Northern Indiana last year, became national news after teachers reported being left bruised, bloodied and traumatized. The lawsuit, filed last week in Indiana’s northern federal court, claims that four White County Sheriff’s Deputies subjected teachers “verbal threats, expletives, and screaming,” in addition to being struck with the plastic pellets fired from airsoft guns.

        “The teachers displayed obvious signs of anguish and physical pain, but were humiliated to find the law enforcement officers joking and laughing at them,” the complaint reads. “The terrifying and inexplicable experience left the teachers with lasting physical and emotional injuries.”

      • 2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills

        Now the advocacy group Everytown For Gun Safety is joining with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — the nation’s largest education unions, with several million members — in calling for schools to reassess the use of lockdown drills.

        In a white paper out Tuesday, the groups say they do not recommend active shooter training for students. And if schools do choose to do these drills with students, they shouldn’t be unnecessarily realistic and schools should give plenty of warning. Plus, they should be done with age-appropriateness and sensitivity toward children with special needs or those who have experienced trauma.

        The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety in America, part of Everytown, focuses on raising awareness about gun violence. But founder Shannon Watts said she was increasingly hearing from parents whose children were terrified by active shooter drills. So, she started to look at emerging evidence that “these drills cause trauma, whether it’s anxiety or depression, sleeplessness, worsening school performance in kids.” There are reports, Watts says, of drills getting “over the top” with things like teachers being shot with pellet guns. “When we have a fire drill in a school, we don’t set a fire in the hallway.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As AstraZeneca Signs Deal With EU, Critics Warn Big Pharma Push for Covid Vaccine Liability Protections a ‘Dangerous Precedent’

        “Governments need to resist pharma pressure and be transparent.”

      • People Who Live in Red States Die Younger. Conservative Policies Are to Blame.

        People in red states don’t live as long as people in blue states, often by a wide margin.

      • As Hurricane Laura Batters Louisiana, Massive Chemical Leak Spews Toxic Smoke Near Lake Charles

        “We knew this would happen. Lake Charles and Cameron Parish are petrochemical industry epicenters. The plants, export terminals, refineries, oil tank farms are ticking time bombs every hurricane season.”

      • Why Cuban Doctors Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize

        Five years ago, I read the story of Dr. Félix Báez, a Cuban doctor who had worked in West Africa to stop the spread of Ebola. Dr. Báez was one of 165 Cuban doctors of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade who went to Sierra Leone to fight a terrible outbreak in 2014 of a disease first detected in 1976. During his time there, Dr. Báez contracted Ebola.

      • The Annus Horribilis of the Anus Horribilis

        Coming to the end of the last year of Trump’s presidency, during which he will have mismanaged the Covid-19 pandemic to the effect of 300,000 plus deaths; sent the economy into Depression and millions into hunger; separated untold thousands of children from their parents at the southern border, confining many in cages; was impeached for attempting to bribe the Ukrainian Government into investigating his political rival by withholding congressionally authorized military aid; deployed federal troops against peaceful protesters for racial justice in the capital and democratically governed cities; supported racist and white nationalist causes while endorsing wingnut conspiracy theories about political opponents (and Jews); removed departmental inspector generals and other honest officials who testified or ruled against him in the course of their duties; continued to set government policies against attempts to mitigate climate change, including discharging or silencing of government climate scientists; continued to dismantle America’s foreign alliances and policies at Vladimir Putin’s bidding, while sacrificing the Kurdish forces in Syria to the Erdogan’s Turkish forces, apparently for some clandestine economic dealings; kissed Kim Jung Un’s ass to no avail, as North Korea continued to build a nuclear arsenal; blatantly used presidential powers to enrich himself and his family, especially through his properties in Scotland and Washington, D.D.; illegally used White grounds and personnel, including the Marine guard, for partisan political  events; told the American people over 20,000 lies; not to mention the harmful deregulations and unqualified judicial appointments; etc., etc… In short, it has been the annus horribilis of the anus horribilis.

      • It’s Time for a Pandemic Wealth Tax on Billionaires’ Windfall Gains

        Nothing symbolizes the inequality of sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic more than watching a few hundred billionaires gain while everyone else struggles through job losses, debilitating illness, or death.

      • Black Diabetics Lose Limbs at Triple the Rate of Others. Here’s How Health Care Leaders Are Starting to Act.

        Prompted by a ProPublica story that detailed how Black Americans with diabetes lose limbs at a rate triple that of others, the American Diabetes Association has included an initiative to prevent unnecessary amputations as part of an unprecedented campaign to reduce racial disparities in diabetes care.

        “The ProPublica article raised the consciousness of what the problem is,” said Tracey Brown, the CEO of the ADA. “Every four minutes, someone is losing a limb from diabetic complications. That’s ridiculous. We have got to find a way to drive change.”

      • Republican policies lead to shorter lives, new study finds

        Hobbes explains that the study published in Milbank Quarterly “illuminates the choice before Americans in the 2020 election. While the Republican Party has declined to release a national policy platform for the next four years, the GOP currently holds 29 state legislatures and 26 governorships and has spent decades enacting its preferred policies in conservative states. Over the last decade, a growing body of research has found that these policies are negatively affecting the health of constituents.”

      • Many Americans are buying into baseless theories around COVID-19, poll shows

        A number of Americans have voiced a level of acceptance for baseless theories surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including the novel coronavirus’ origins and impact on mail-voting, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

        The poll found that while many Americans dismiss unproven or debunked theories that have emerged this year, others continue to believe them or have shown a level of acceptance for certain misinformation.

      • ‘This Change in Policy Will Kill’: Scientists, Medical Experts Warn of Dangerous Loosening in CDC’s Covid Guidelines

        “This is a stunning betrayal of public health that will spread the pandemic and lead to more unnecessary deaths.” 

      • Right-Wing Reporter With No Known Health Expertise Is Given Senior Post at FDA

        Emily Miller, a gun-rights advocate and former senior correspondent for the right-wing One America News Network (OANN), has been appointed as assistant commissioner for media relations at the embattled Food and Drug Administration, Miller confirmed in a tweet.

      • Even With a New Union, California’s Child Care Providers Struggle Amid Pandemic

        Miren Algorri first started hearing about child care workers’ unionizing efforts about 17 years ago, when her mother and other child care providers in California started to organize.

      • Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic

        Walter Hutchins cast his first vote for president for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and he has voted in every election since. The last thing he wants is for his “68-year streak,” as he proudly calls it, to end in November.

        An industrial engineer, Hutchins helped design the M16, the weapon of choice for American soldiers during the Vietnam War, and he invented several tools that may be currently sitting in your garage. He and his wife, Margaret, a teacher and ordained Episcopal minister whom he married the year after he voted for Ike, were “executive gypsies,” she said. They followed his jobs from Connecticut to Florida, New York and Wisconsin, until they retired to North Carolina. Wherever they were, they always voted — in fire stations, churches, their retirement community. When Walter became blind and hard of hearing, Margaret helped him in the voting booth.

      • Latest COVID Conundrum: Accessibility of Vaccines (When They Are Available)

        Despite the challenges of addressing a previously unknown virus, development of an effective vaccine, soon, is a distinct possibility (see “Multiple Candidate Coronavirus Vaccines Being Developed According to WHO”). But as set forth in an article in Nature on Monday (“The unequal scramble for coronavirus vaccines — by the numbers”) by Ewen Callaway, there is a legitimate concern that such vaccines may not be equitably accessible based on medical need.

        The issue is a practical one: how to produce enough doses in a short enough time to be effective in stemming the pandemic and delivering these doses where they are most needed. Some of this is simply math: as the subtitle of the article notes, “[w]ealthy countries have already pre-ordered more than two billion doses”). These are, as may be expected, countries like the U.S. (“By mid-August, the United States had secured 800 million doses of at least 6 vaccines in development, with an option to purchase around one billion more”) and UK (“the world’s highest per-capita buyer, with 340 million purchased: around 5 doses for each citizen”), as well as EU nations and Japan, Brasil, and Indonesia. These statistics are illustrated in a graphic provided in the Nature article.

        Of course, these statistics fly in the face of the need, recognized by public health officials, that the pandemic will not be quelled until it is eradicated globally; after all, the days when diseases like COVID-19 can be limited to one region of the globe ended with international air travel and global mobility. The article captures these sentiments (and the realities behind them) by quoting Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) as saying “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism.”

        And this form of at least attempted vaccine hoarding is not new; as the article notes something similar happened in 2009 with the H1N1 influenza vaccine, but the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic raises the stakes on this type of behavior dramatically.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft to remove insecure TLS support on its Linux Software Repository [Ed: As if Microsoft gives a damn about security; it literally gives the NSA back door access into everything]

          Microsoft is discontinuing support for the insecure TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 protocols on its Linux Software Repository starting with September 24, 2020.

          TLS is a secure protocol used for encrypting the communication channels between sits and web browsers, with the original TLS 1.0 specification and its TLS 1.1 successor having been in use for roughly the last 20 years.

          Microsoft’s Linux Software Repository hosts a wide range of software products for Linux systems built and supported by the company. These products are available for download from packages.microsoft.com via standard YUM and APT package repositories.

        • Security

          • Netcraft Extension adds credential leak detection

            The Netcraft Browser Extension now offers credential leak detection for extra protection against shopping site skimmers.

            With brick-and-mortar shops around the world closed due to COVID-19, consumers turned to online businesses to fulfil their shopping needs. According to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index report, US online spending in June was $73 billion, up 76% from $42 billion last year. Even with restrictions lifted, research commissioned by Visa suggests that 74% of Britons who shopped online more often during the lockdown will continue to do so.

            Now more than ever it is important to protect against JavaScript skimmers. These are snippets of malicious code which criminals upload to compromised shops. Unbeknownst to the store owner or the user, they transmit entered card details directly to the criminal. Unlike scams such as phishing, which can often be avoided by a vigilant internet user, skimmers are invisible to the human eye without a tool such as the Netcraft Extension to expose them.

          • Spotting /tmp related vulnerabilities with TmpWatcher

            Did you know that misuse of the /tmp directory is one of the most common security flaws? If you search mitre for the keyword “tmp”, you’ll find a plethora of vulnerabilities (529 at the time of this writing). Because /tmp is a world-writable directory, applications need to be very careful about how they create and use files in /tmp. Unfortunately, many developers are unaware that improper use of /tmp can lead to symlink race, TOCTOU, information disclosure, privilege escalation, and denial-of-service vulnerabilities.

          • How to Protect your cPanel Server from Backdoor Access, Plus a Warning for the Disabled Shell Access Setting in WHM
          • Use this command-line tool to find security flaws in your code

            Testing is an important part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), and there are several stages to it. Today, I want to talk about finding security issues in the code.

            You can’t ignore security when developing a piece of software. That’s why there is a term called DevSecOps, which is fundamentally responsible for identifying and resolving security vulnerabilities in an application. There are open source solutions for checking OWASP vulnerabilities and which will derive insights by creating a threat model of the source code.

            There are different approaches to handling security issues, e.g., static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), interactive application security testing (IAST), software composition analysis, etc.

            Static application security testing runs at the code level and analyzes applications by uncovering errors in the code that has already been written. This approach doesn’t require the code to be running, which is why it’s called static analysis.

            I’ll focus on static code analysis and use an open source tool to have a hands-on experience.

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

            • Vaughan-Nichols loses his rag over Linux reporting

              Veteran tech writer Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has lost his rag over stories claiming that Linux is less secure than other operating systems.

              “Generally speaking, Linux is more secure than its competitors. You couldn’t tell that from recent headlines which harp on how insecure Linux is. But, if you take a closer look, you’ll find most — not all, but most — of these stories are bogus.”

              He said that reporting of the Boothole security hole sounded downright scary. You could get root access on any system, but it turns out that an attacker needs admin access for their exploit to do the dirty work.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Bridgefy, A Messaging App Hyped As Great For Protesters, Is A Security Mess

              Over the last year Bridgefy, a messaging app developed by Twitter cofounder Biz Stone, has been heavily promoted as just perfect for those trying to stand up to oppressive, authoritarian governments. The reason: the app uses both Bluetooth and mesh network routing to let users within a couple hundred meters of one another send group and individual messages — without their packets ever touching the internet. Originally promoted as more of a solution for those out of reach of traditional wireless, more recently the company has been playing up their product’s use for protesters in Belarus, India, the U.S., Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong.

            • One Database to Rule Them All: The Invisible Content Cartel that Undermines the Freedom of Expression Online

              Every year, millions of images, videos and posts that allegedly contain terrorist or violent extremist content are removed from social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. A key force behind these takedowns is the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), an industry-led initiative that seeks to “prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms.” And unfortunately, GIFCT has the potential to have a massive (and disproportionate) negative impact on the freedom of expression of certain communities.

              Social media platforms have long struggled with the problem of extremist or violent content on their platforms. Platforms may have an intrinsic interest in offering their users an online environment free from unpleasant content, which is why most social media platforms’ terms of service contain a variety of speech provisions. During the past decade, however, social media platforms have also come under increasing pressure from governments around the globe to respond to violent and extremist content on their platforms. Spurred by the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and guided by the shortsighted belief that censorship is an effective tool against extremism, governments have been turning to content moderation as a means to fix international terrorism.

            • Mass Biometric Scanning Of Students Is COVID-19′s Latest Dystopian Twist

              COVID-19 has disrupted almost everything. Most schools in the United States wrapped up the 2019-2020 school year with zero students in their buildings, hoping to slow the spread of the virus. Distance learning is the new normal — something deployed quickly with little testing, opening up students to a host of new problems, technical glitches, and in-home surveillance.

            • DNC warns campaign staffers of dating app security concerns: report

              The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Thursday sent an alert to campaign staffers warning them to be vigilant against attempts by opposition groups to gain information on campaigns through dating apps.

            • ‘Swipe carefully’: Democratic campaign staffers warned of possible ‘sting’ on dating apps

              Democratic Party security officials on Wednesday sent a warning to campaign staffers across the country that political opposition groups may be using dating apps to try to get dirt on them and their campaigns.

              “We’re received reports that opposition groups may be trying to ‘sting’ or infiltrate Democratic campaigns or organizations through dating sites,” the emailed warning, obtained by CNN, read.

            • Facebook Allows Ads to Be Served to Mainland China Users

              Facebook has long said it works with Chinese advertisers to reach users only outside the country, not inside. But the company’s advertising system tells a different story. Through the ad-buying portal, businesses are told they can reach 3.7 million people in mainland China on Instagram, the photo app Facebook owns. Advertisers can target specific cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

            • Walmart Joins Microsoft’s Bid for TikTok

              In a statement, the retailer says a deal would help it “grow our third-party marketplace and advertising business.”

            • Microsoft, Walmart Offer Joint TikTok Bid, Vying With Oracle

              Competing offers have been made in what augurs the closing process of a deal, although it will take longer for final details to be worked out, one person said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.

            • Walmart joins Microsoft in bid for TikTok’s US operations

              According to reports, TikTok’s US operations could fetch as much as $30bn (£22bn) if a deal is reached.

              Since its global launch at the end of 2018 Tiktok has attracted a huge following, especially amongst the under-25s.

            • TikTok Sale: Walmart Says It Is Partnering With Microsoft on a Bid for App

              A rep for Microsoft, asked for comment about the Walmart partnership, said that “at this time, the company has nothing to share.”

              The other leading suitor for TikTok is Oracle, led by pro-Trump chairman Larry Ellison. A sale of the app by parent company ByteDance would encompass TikTok’s U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations.

            • Walmart is teaming up with Microsoft on TikTok bid

              Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove declined to say how the two companies would split ownership of TikTok, if they had the winning bid, and whether the retailer would be the majority owner.

              Walmart is pursuing the acquisition at a time when it’s trying to better compete with Amazon. It plans to launch a membership program, called Walmart+, soon. The subscription-based service is the retailer’s answer to Amazon Prime, which includes original TV shows and movies.

            • TikTok’s American boss hits the eject button

              Mr Trump appears to favour Oracle, whose co-founder, Larry Ellison, is a rare supporter of the president’s in left-leaning Silicon Valley. Still, the bidding war is Microsoft’s to lose. It has much more cash and, thanks to a small consumer business, a somewhat less incongruous case to buy a social-media app than Oracle, which sells exclusively corporate software. Walmart adds heft to Microsoft’s bid, and could lessen the risk of a deal for its boss, Satya Nadella.

              Mr Mayer’s departure has seemed inevitable for a while. He spent his career in Hollywood; people close to ByteDance reckon he lacks the technology chops to run TikTok once it is shorn from ByteDance. His appointment seemed primarily designed to show that TikTok was run by Westerners, not the Chinese. If so, it did not wholly succeed. Peter Navarro, Mr Trump’s trade adviser, labelled him a “puppet” of the Chinese just for taking the job. Besides calling out Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s boss, for agitating against TikTok to Mr Trump, Mr Mayer has largely avoided wading into the controversy.

            • Sending discharge summaries electronically can help cut costs and save time

              Traditionally GPs have had to enter information from patient discharge letters into GP systems, taking up valuable admin time. National transfer of care messages allow for the data to be easily extracted straight into GP computer systems.

              Adopting clinical and technical standards in electronic healthcare records across the NHS in England, allows clinical information to be recorded, shared and accessed consistently to deliver better care and outcomes for patients.

              Messages are sent using the Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) and have been built to HL7 FHIR standards, giving hospitals the possibility to send files that are much bigger than could be sent through email in the future.

              Hospitals will also be able to send messages containing standardized coded clinical terminology, such as SNOMED-CT and dm+d.

            • Can Telegram Compete with Skype and Zoom?

              Moreover, Telegram announced the service that will be available to use for the group communication for educational and business purposes that will compete with Zoom and Skype. Therefore, it was planned to expand the functionality of calls, adding the ability not only to share videos, but also to add several participants to the “conversation” at once.

              The conferences will appear before the end of the year, but it is not clear when in regular or group calls it will be possible to exchange video order from the desktop computer. We only know that the latest beta version of the app for iOS already has this functionality and appears to have positive reviews.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Unconscionable, But Unsurprising’: Trump Border Officials Proposed ‘Heat Ray’ Weapon to Deter Migrants

        “Maximum cruelty and maximum harm: That is how this administration operates. It is their policy and their platform,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

      • The Pentagon’s Next Project: Automated War

        With Covid-19 incapacitating startling numbers of US service members and modern weapons proving increasingly lethal, the American military is relying ever more frequently on intelligent robots to conduct hazardous combat operations. Such devices, known in the military as “autonomous weapons systems,” include robotic sentries, battlefield-surveillance drones, and autonomous submarines. So far, in other words, robotic devices are merely replacing standard weaponry on conventional battlefields. Now, however, in a giant leap of faith, the Pentagon is seeking to take this process to an entirely new level—by replacing not just ordinary soldiers and their weapons, but potentially admirals and generals with robotic systems.

      • Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Slams Canadian Actions

        In his thorough critique, Jorge Arreaza detailed the Trudeau government’s support for Donald Trump’s aggression against Venezuela.

      • Belarus’s Options in the Midst of a Color Revolution

        A “color revolution” is a media term for a movement based on legitimate grievances only to be co-opted into a regime change operation backed by the US and confederates. There have been so many – Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004, Kyrgyzstan in 2005 – that they have run out of colors. Belarus is amidst the “slipper” color revolution.

      • Putin says Ukrainian and U.S. intelligence lured Russian mercenaries to Belarus to destabilize the country ahead of elections

        In a television interview on August 27, Vladimir Putin stated that the Russian nationals arrested outside Minsk last month were lured to Belarus as part of a special operation by Ukrainian and U.S. intelligence agents. 

      • Dictatorship is our brand Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko owes his tenuous grasp on reality largely to his press secretary, Natalya Eismont. Here’s how she gained such influence.

        In the six years since she was hired as the Belarusian president’s press secretary, Natalya Eismont has become one of his closest associates. Many of Alexander Lukashenko’s adversaries — and more than a few former supporters — say Eismont bears much of the blame for the president’s current “detachment from reality.” Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solopov reviewed the professional milestones that led Eismont to her current prominence amid the largest protests in the nation’s history.

      • Lukashenko says he and Putin reached an agreement on refinancing $1 billion of Belarus’ debt

        Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) says that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reached an agreement on refinancing $1 billion of Belarus’ debt to Russia, reports RIA Novosti. 

      • Chris Wallace Calls Out Fox News Hosts for Justifying Vigilante Justice

        After Carlson’s program aired, social media called on the host’s removal and #FireTuckerCarlson began to trend.

      • Climate Apocalypse Now

        Luckily, there are signs we are waking up to the risks we face. Recent polls show that the number of Americans who feel passionately about climate change is rising sharply. The Green New Deal, a policy framework that for the first time frames the climate crisis in all its human dimensions, is increasingly popular and helped shape Joe Biden’s ambitious climate plan. Global carbon-dioxide emissions are still rising, but only at half the rate they were in the 2000s. Coal — the most CO2-intensive fossil fuel — peaked in 2013 and has been in freefall ever since. In many parts of the country, electricity generated from clean energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Nightmare scenarios where global emissions triple by the end of the century are increasingly unlikely.

      • New Zealand Deploys Spy Agency as Stock Market Hit by [Attackers]

        Authorities haven’t commented on the suspected source of the attacks, which flood a network with Internet traffic and disrupt services, other than saying they originate from offshore. Security intelligence company Akamai warned earlier this week that extortionists claiming to be the Russian-linked hacking group Fancy Bear have recently been sending ransom letters to companies in finance, travel and e-commerce in the Asia Pacific, U.S. and U.K. demanding payments to stop attacks.

      • How a Facebook engineer became an informant for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

        His self-described descent into the clutches of Iran’s intelligence apparatus has touched an angry nerve among Iranians at home and abroad. Many view his story as part of a deeper malaise afflicting the country: The most promising young Iranian minds see their futures elsewhere, and are viewed with suspicion at home.

      • He Was Iran’s Homegrown Tech Star. The Guards Saw a Blackmail Opportunity.

        He was blindfolded and interrogated for long hours twice a day. His handler threatened to harm his brother and sister and keep him imprisoned for 10 years for spying if he did not cooperate. When he requested a lawyer, the agents laughed and reminded him he was in the custody of the Revolutionary Guards where words like lawyer carry no weight.

        He broke, he said.

      • Facebook failed to shut down page of Kenosha militia group, despite warning

        Facebook’s failure to act was first reported by the technology news publication The Verge.

        Multiple users had reported the account for inciting violence but were told it did not violate Facebook’s rules, The Verge reported.

      • Outrage Grows Over Police Treatment of Alleged Kenosha Killer Kyle Rittenhouse Compared to Shooting Victim Jacob Blake

        In the streets and on social media, anger and questions about systemic racism and white privilege abound in the wake of Kenosha shootings. 

      • Murdering Democracy in Kenosha

        No other president or presidential candidate than Donald Trump has so openly courted far-right violence.

      • Kenosha Police Chief Blames Murdered Protesters for Their Own Deaths

        After two protesters were murdered by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night, the city’s Chief of Police Dan Miskinis appeared to imply in comments to media that it was the murdered protesters themselves who were to blame.

      • “The Games Will Not Go On”: Pro Athletes Strike for Black Lives, Bringing Leagues to Grinding Halt

        Professional athletes are taking part in unprecedented collective action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and against police violence, bringing basketball, baseball and soccer leagues to a grinding halt. The protests and calls to recognize systemic police brutality also extended across tennis arenas. Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation and host of the “Edge of Sports” podcast, says the actions constitute “a sports strike wave” for racial justice. “It’s more than a boycott. It’s them withdrawing their labor,” Zirin says. “It’s not just an example for racial justice protesters around the country. I think it’s a challenge to the labor movement as a whole.”

      • As RNC Speakers Denounce Protests, Police Pepper Spray Activists Protesting RNC

        Each Republican National Convention (RNC) is met with protests and a corresponding police presence. The resistance against the 2020 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, has taken on a particularly anti-racist character, in line with ongoing rebellion following the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and others in the spring. The RNC protests are happening amid uprisings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and elsewhere in response to the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake.

      • Law and Order? VP Mike Pence Ignores Police Violence & Stokes Division on Third Night of RNC

        Vice President Mike Pence headlined the third night of the Republican National Convention, focusing largely on preserving law and order and attacking Joe Biden. We play excerpts of the comments made by Pence, who made no mention of police brutality or the recent police shootings that have sparked protests across the U.S. Pence also failed to mention the white gunman accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

      • “On a Hunting Spree”: Wisc. Rep. David Bowen Says Cops Turned Blind Eye to White Militias in Kenosha

        The police shooting of Jacob Blake has sparked massive protests across the country and in Kenosha, where a white teenager opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters and killed two people. Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old self-declared militia member and avid Trump supporter, was apprehended in Antioch, Illinois, after fleeing Wisconsin. He has been charged with murder. Wisconsin state Representative David Bowen, who has attended racial justice protests in Kenosha, says he “witnessed firsthand” how freely organized white supremacists targeted protesters without interference from law enforcement, and accuses police of giving Rittenhouse the “Dylann Roof treatment,” managing to arrest him without incident, while unarmed Black people are frequently met with deadly force. “This is Exhibit A and Exhibit B of why we need to transform law enforcement and public safety in Wisconsin and in this country,” Bowen says.

      • ‘Wild and Timely’ Report Details Infiltration of Far-Right Militias and White Supremacist Groups in US Police Departments

        The study comes amid unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the latest high-profile police shooting of a Black man and the shooting deaths of two protesters by an alleged far-right militia member.

      • ACLU Demands Immediate Resignation of Kenosha Police Chief, Sheriff, and Mayor

        The actions of the city’s top law enforcement officials, said the group, “uphold and defend white supremacy, while demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their first amendment rights and speaking out against police violence.”

      • Wisconsin Rep.: White Supremacists Targeted Protesters Without Cop Interference

        The police shooting of Jacob Blake has sparked massive protests across the country and in Kenosha, where a white teenager opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters and killed two people. Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old self-declared militia member and avid Trump supporter, was apprehended in Antioch, Illinois, after fleeing Wisconsin. He has been charged with murder. Wisconsin state Representative David Bowen, who has attended racial justice protests in Kenosha, says he “witnessed firsthand” how freely organized white supremacists targeted protesters without interference from law enforcement, and accuses police of giving Rittenhouse the “Dylann Roof treatment,” managing to arrest him without incident, while unarmed Black people are frequently met with deadly force. “This is Exhibit A and Exhibit B of why we need to transform law enforcement and public safety in Wisconsin and in this country,” Bowen says.

      • Professional Athletes Are Showing America Just How Powerful Labor Really Is

        The wave of strikes by athletes against racist police violence is not ebbing. On Thursday night, the New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field, held a 42-second moment of silence (in honor of Jackie Robinson), and then walked off. They left behind a shirt that read “Black Lives Matter” on home plate.

      • ‘Strike Is Our Tactic. Solidarity Is Our Power’: NBA, WNBA Players Ignite Work Stoppage to Protest Police Violence

        “Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball,” said the Milwaukee Bucks.

      • NBA, WNBA, MLB Teams Strike to Protest Jacob Blake Police Shooting

        Following the police-perpetrated shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this week, a number of sports teams in various leagues that were scheduled to compete on Wednesday opted instead to strike, refusing to play in order to highlight racial injustice, including anti-Black police violence.

      • Armed militias mobilize on social media hours before deadly Kenosha shooting

        While the full details of the fatal incident are still being investigated by law enforcement, the seeds of potential violence were planted over the course of the day leading up it, as multiple threads on Facebook and reddit encouraged militiamen and other armed individuals to head to Kenosha, ostensibly to protect local businesses from protesters. In some cases, these discussions encouraged acts of violence. The conspiracy website InfoWars, meanwhile, amplified the call to arms, potentially encouraging additional people with weapons to attend the event.

      • Militants Kill With Impunity in Iraq, Report Says

        “Unfortunately, the reality is that right now, people are getting killed in Iraq by groups who clearly from their behavior know that they are immune from the law,” Belkis Wille, author of the HRW report, told VOA. “That is what is most disturbing about these killings in Basra and people being able to conduct assassinations in broad daylight.”

      • Robot Generals Will They Make Better Decisions Than Humans…Or Worse?

        With Covid-19 incapacitating startling numbers of U.S. service members and modern weapons proving increasingly lethal, the American military is relyingever more frequently on intelligent robots to conduct hazardous combat operations. Such devices, known in the military as “autonomous weapons systems,” include robotic sentries, battlefield-surveillance drones, and autonomous submarines. So far, in other words, robotic devices are merely replacing standard weaponry on conventional battlefields. Now, however, in a giant leap of faith, the Pentagon is seeking to take this process to an entirely new level — by replacing not just ordinary soldiers and their weapons, but potentially admirals and generals with robotic systems.

      • Amnesty Calls for Repeal of ‘Open Carry’ Laws After Teen Gunman Charged With Murder for Shooting at Kenosha Protest

        Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes warns that the danger posed by white militias has been ignored for far too long.

      • White Gunman Kills Two Protesters in Kenosha Amid BLM Demonstration

        Protests continue in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where police shot an unarmed Black man in the back seven times as he was getting into his car, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Jacob Blake was reportedly breaking up a fight before police shot him, and the shooting was witnessed by his three young children. On Tuesday, the situation escalated further when at least one white gunman opened fire on a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. Two people were killed, and a third was injured, as police continued a violent crackdown on protesters demanding justice for Blake. We speak with Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who says the police response to Blake was completely unjustified. “There’s no way that any officer could look at that video and say that that’s the way policing should happen,” he says. “We need police departments, sheriff’s departments to acknowledge that there is a real problem in the culture of policing.”

    • Environment

      • U.S. Halts Some Foreign Assistance Funding to Ethiopia Over Dam Dispute with Egypt, Sudan

        The move is meant to address the standoff between Ethiopia and other countries that rely on the Nile River downstream that have opposed the construction of the massive dam project, called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt sees the dam’s construction as a core security issue given the country’s heavy reliance on the river for fresh water and agriculture, and in the past Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has hinted his country could use military force to halt the dam’s construction.

      • Hotter oceans make the tropics expand polewards

        The tropical climate zones are not just warmer, they now cover more of the planet. Blame it on steadily hotter oceans.

      • Pence Slammed for Offering ‘Prayers’ While Dismissing Climate Action at RNC as Hurricane Laura Ravages Gulf Coast

        “Denial is not a plan. Thoughts and prayers are not a solution. We must take action now to stave off even more devastation.”

      • Energy

        • States Take Action to Curb Oil Industry’s Most Glaring Problem
        • The Sturgis and Standing Rock Protests

          I grew up in the Black Hills of western South Dakota on a small ranch roughly 30 miles away from the small city of Sturgis and between 100 and 200 miles away from the sprawling Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Indian Reservations. David Taylor, who homesteaded our ranch, created a sinuous inholding within the newly created Black Hills Forest Reserve, laid out to capture as much bottomland pasture as possible along aptly named Hay Creek.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • It is Time to Create a New Equitable, Ecologically-Aware Forest Service

          Over a hundred years ago, Gifford Pinchot stated that national forests were for the home-builder first of all.  Although the idea was to implement “sustainable” logging, nonetheless the main function of these federally-owned forests was to provide timber for Euro-American development and expansion.  Over a century later, the Forest Service is still stuck in this archaic frontier mentality — spending billions of your taxpayer dollars every year subsidizing timber corporations to clearcut forests, bulldoze logging roads into watersheds, and push endangered species to the brink of extinction.

    • Finance

      • Seattle’s High-End Wage Tax and Taxing Stock Returns

        Sometimes random events come together in ways that help clarify our thinking. I had such an event last Friday. I was happy that day because Bloomberg ran a column by me on an idea I’ve toyed with for years: replacing the corporate income tax with a tax on stock returns.

      • I Am a Farmer’s Daughter, and I Don’t Buy Trump’s Promises to Family Farms

        As the Republican National Convention descended upon Charlotte, North Carolina, this week, Donald Trump (along with daughter Ivanka and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue) stopped by Flavor First Growers and Packers in Mills River, North Carolina. The event was livestreamed from WSPA 7 News and included co-owner of the farm Kirby Johnson as well as farmers from Homestead, Florida, where the company has other partnered growers. Trump and his posse spoke about the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, an initiative under the Coronavirus Food Assistance program which is supposed to funnel $19 billion in order to redistribute product to food banks, but has faced some criticism for mostly bailing out large agribusiness firms. In reality, for the White House, the visit served as an all-American photo-op that had nothing to do with agriculture or feeding the hungry.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Some Dare Call It Treason

        Donald Trump admitted he’s deliberately dismantling Postal Service because he believes he’ll lose his re-election bid if Americans get to vote by mail – which is why this is the most outrageous and unethical act of his corruption-laced presidency. Which is why the Billings Gazette deserves high praise for telling it like it is in the first sentence of its editorial last week. “The attempted dismantling of our United States Postal Service is beyond political malpractice. It is treasonous.”

      • Citing ‘Unbreakable Commitment,’ Harris Vows Biden Would Never Place Conditions on US Military Aid to Israel

        “Unconditional military aid to Israel,” one critic wryly noted, “puts Biden/Harris far to the right of notorious peacenik George H.W. Bush.”

      • UI Claims Remain Historically High and the President’s Executive Memorandum Is Doing More Harm Than Good

        Congress must reinstate the extra $600.

      • Twin Imperatives: Defeat President Trump This Fall, Challenge President Biden from Day One

        This is our political crossroads.

      • A Temporary Respite From the Shit This System Peddles

        Reading Jonah Raskin’s article at CounterPunch was like a moment when it all comes back again (“Woodstock Nation Revisited: Abbie Hoffman, Joan Baez and the Culture Vultures of Capitalism,” August 14, 2019). I found the article while looking at the Internet to see whether or not my article about celebrity and politics (“Celebrity, War, and Presidential Elections, “CounterPunch, August 20, 2020) had been cited anywhere. It’s an old habit I picked up from the early days of the Internet’s explosion when articles circulated freely and those with power cared less about limiting access to left Internet sites.

      • Is the Trump Death Cult Growing or Shrinking?

        Will Americans who have fallen sway to this cult begin to wake up, or will the Trump cultists be able, using Facebook and lies on Fox News and the media, to get even more Americans into their cult?

      • We Ran Our Online Election Disinformation Simulation Game And There’s Plenty To Be Worried About

        If you are interested in having us run Threatcast 2020, or commission some other “serious” games, for your organization or as a group event, please contact us..

      • I’m a Lifelong Progressive Voting for Joe Biden—Here’s Why

        A Trump win threatens democracy not just in the U.S., but across the world.

      • America’s Holy War Comes to the RNC

        On Wednesday night, former football Coach Lou Holtz spoke at the Republican National Convention and questioned Joe Biden’s faith. “The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history,” Holtz said. “They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives.”

      • Top Democrat Demands Postmaster General DeJoy Turn Over All ‘Secret Communications With the Trump Campaign’

        “The Postal Service should be independent and removed from politics. Engaging in undisclosed contacts with Trump campaign officials directly undermines these goals.”

      • Republicans Will Not Stop Screaming ‘Socialism’ Until Democrats Rebuff Them

        The Republican National Convention finished as it began, spewing lies, loathing, and fear itself as part of a determined strategy to jump-start Donald Trump’s fall campaign. Convention planners failed on many fronts, but they succeeded in keeping dozens of Trump children and in-laws, retainers and employees, congressional co-conspirators and prospective 2024 presidential candidates on message.

      • ‘We Need Answers Now,’ Says Warren After Explosive Reports Indicate Top Trump Officials Ordered Changes to CDC Covid-19 Guidelines

        Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was in surgery and under general anesthesia when the changes were discussed, warned the new guidance “will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern.”

      • This Looks Like the Beginning of a Civil War

        Some of the participants are police and some are vigilantes. They are armed and desperate for enemies.

      • The Democrats and the Agenda Test

        In last week’s Democratic National Convention, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris passed the character test.

      • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Insanely Stupid Lawsuit Against Facebook

        As you may have heard, last week Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his anti-vax organization “Children’s Health Defense” filed a supremely stupid lawsuit against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and fact checking organizations Poynter and Politifact among others. It was filed early last week and I’ve wanted to write it up since someone sent it to me a few hours after it was filed, but, honestly, this lawsuit is so incredibly stupid that every time I tried to read through it or write about it, my brain just shut down. I’ve been incredibly unproductive the last week almost entirely because of this silly, silly lawsuit and my brain’s unwillingness to believe that a lawsuit this stupid has been filed. And, as regular readers know, I write about a lot of stupid lawsuits. But this one is special.

      • Top Democrat Demands DeJoy Turn Over All Secret Trump Campaign Communications

        A top Democratic congressman is demanding that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hand over any and all of his “secret communications with the Trump campaign” after he admitted in testimony before the House Oversight Committee earlier this week that he has been in contact with people associated with the president’s reelection bid since taking charge of the U.S. Postal Service.

      • Trump Is Campaigning on a Fiction. That Doesn’t Mean He Won’t Stay President.

        Donald J. Trump is the most perfect coward in the long, weird history of American politics. I know this, because he has spent the last three nights showing the nation and the world how grossly thoroughgoing that cowardice is. Many have worked to produce this Republican convention, but all of it has flowed from one mind, Trump’s mind, and he is terrified of showing you who and what he truly is.

      • Trump and Sen. Martha McSally Could Lose Arizona for GOP, Republicans Fear

        Arizona has been on the verge of turning into a blue state for years. Now even some Republicans believe that President Trump’s sagging popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic and the worst economic crisis in a lifetime could flip the state to the Democrats.

      • Lindsey Graham Says We Need To Get Rid Of Section 230 To Sue ‘Batshit Crazy’ QAnon. That’s Not How Any Of This Works.

        As various Republicans in Congress have tried to tap dance around the fact that they’re the political party of the batshit crazy QAnon conspiracy theory cult, it’s actually nice to see Senator Lindsey Graham — who had become a consistent Trump kissass over the past few years — speak up in a Vanity Fair interview and call out QAnon for actually being “batshit crazy.” He didn’t tiptoe around it like some others:

      • As QAnon Conspiracy Spreads on the Far Right, Climate Science Deniers Jump Aboard

        “The Paris Agreement on Climate is Another Scam to Ripoff Taxpayers and Enrich the Politicians,” the Q-Drop (the term QAnon followers use to refer to messages they believe come from some sort of government insider who signs messages with the letter Q) claimed, labeling climate action a “con.”

      • A Republican Pledge of Allegiance

        A Republican Pledge of Allegiance

      • WATCH LIVE: The ‘Lies of Donald Trump Are Too Much’ Press Conference Counters RNC’s Flood of Falsehoods

        “We can’t be silent. Join us.”

      • House Democrats Call for Special Counsel Probe Into Blatant Violations of Hatch Act by Top Trump Officials at RNC

        “Through their actions, these officials mixed official government business with political activities as part of one of the largest political campaign events of the year.”

      • Republicans Have Organized a Backlash Convention, and It’s Tearing This Country Apart

        The political strategy of the Republican National Convention has been evident from the moment it opened. The organizers are determined to stir a backlash vote against every Democrat who has displayed even modest regard for the need to address police violence and systemic racism. There’s a reason for this. President Trump and his partisans are well aware that he cannot win an election based on his record of mismanaging the response to a pandemic and mass unemployment, and of dividing the country against itself with racism and xenophobia. So they are amplifying those divisions in hopes of identifying a narrow, ugly, and exceptionally dangerous path to victory.

      • Death Was the Theme of Both the RNC and the DNC

        Both the Democratic and the Republican national conventions were death-haunted events, but in very different ways. The deaths that came up in the DNC were from Covid-19 and cancer, medical problems that are commonly shared worries. The convention underscored the fact that Joe Biden has been the man of constant sorrow, who lost his wife and daughter in a tragic car accident in 1972 and one of his sons to cancer in 2015. The story told of Biden is that these experiences deepened his humanity and made him empathetic. Viewers of the DNC were repeatedly told of Biden’s ability to comfort the stricken, to give that special hug or kind word that hurting people need in their darkest moment.

      • Putin says Russia has a reserve contingent of law-enforcement officers ready to intervene in Belarus ‘if necessary’

        Vladimir Putin announced on August 27 that Russia has formed a reserve contingent of law-enforcement officers ready to provide assistance to Belarus “if necessary.” Putin revealed the preparations in his upcoming interview with the television network Rossiya, saying that he is acting at Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s request.

      • “Authoritarian Nightmare”: John Dean Helped Bring Down Nixon over Watergate. He Says Trump Is Worse

        As President Trump is set to accept the Republican Party’s formal renomination for president amid ongoing scandals and multiple crises, we speak with John Dean, who served as the White House counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1970 to 1973. His testimony during the Watergate scandal helped bring down Nixon. His new book is “Authoritarian Nightmare: Trump and His Followers.” “I worked for the last authoritarian president we had,” Dean says. “Trump is of a different cut than Nixon. … He’s going to make Nixon look like a choir boy before it’s all over.”

      • U.S. imposes sanctions on Russian research institute that developed Covid-19 vaccine
      • RNC
      • LIVE CHAT: Join Us for the Republican National Convention

        From the jump, the Republican National Convention, unsurprisingly, has been an unrelenting tsunami of hate, fearmongering, and, most of all, lies. The Republicans have doubled down on their fall 2020 campaign strategy: Go hard on the economy and try to trick voters into believing Trump has improved rather than destroyed it. Republicans completed the final step in the complete transfer of power over the Republican Party to Trump when the party decided not to adopt a new platform, making it ever more clear—seriously, how much more clear can it be?—that theirs is a party of extremists that elevates conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, anti-suffragists, and all-around monsters—and this is their convention. So it’s unsurprising that as protests responding to the police shooting of Jacob Blake rage, the Republican convention has been using Black people to convince white people it’s OK to vote for a bigot. The takeaway is painfully evident: They are tearing this country apart.

      • We Need to Talk About the GOP’s ‘Black Friends’

        In between the lies and the fearmongering and the stories about having intimate conversations with Jesus that somehow don’t include healing the sick or helping the needy, the goal of the 2020 Republican National Infomercial has been pretty obvious. Republicans are doing everything they can to give white people “permission” to vote for a white nationalist bigot, Donald Trump.

      • WE. ARE. TIRED
      • Pandemic Could Disenfranchise Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents

        Walter Hutchins cast his first vote for president for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and he has voted in every election since. The last thing he wants is for his “68-year streak,” as he proudly calls it, to end in November.

      • Electionland 2020: Nursing Home Voting, Election Guides, Creative Enfranchisement and More

        Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic

        Renowned inventor Walter Hutchins has voted in every presidential election since 1952. This year, as many states stopped sending teams to help seniors vote, his nursing home was on coronavirus lockdown and his streak was in jeopardy. Read the story.

      • Russian television announces unscheduled ‘big interview’ with Putin, airing later today

        Russian state-run television announced a surprise “big interview” with Vladimir Putin today. The president’s conversation with news anchor Sergey Brilev will air at 2 p.m., Moscow time (roughly an hour from the time of this writing), on the networks Rossiya-24 and Vesti.ru.

      • What ‘Capitalism’ Is and How It Affects People

        Younger Americans, in particular, are challenging long-held assumptions about the way our economy functions. With climate crisis posing a grave threat to our collective future, millions living below the poverty line, the economic and social shocks of the coronavirus pandemic and unemployment wave still reverberating, and the richest 1% accumulating ever-more wealth, Gen Z and Millennials say they have grown increasingly disillusioned with capitalism.

        But it’s important to explore what capitalism actually involves and the arguments for and against it, so you can make your own decisions about the world you’d like to live in.

      • President fires back at Chinese netizens over Taiwan’s sovereignty

        President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday (Aug. 27) shot back at Chinese netizens and reiterated that Taiwan is a sovereign state with its own government, which Beijing does not have jurisdiction over.

        After hundreds of Chinese netizens flooded her Twitter account and labeled Taiwan as an inalienable part of China, Tsai offered her response through four picture messages on Thursday. She said the post was intended for those who doubted the country’s existence.

      • Apple blocks Facebook update that called out 30-percent App Store ‘tax’

        “Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes,” Facebook said in a statement to Reuters. “Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30-percent tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”

        It’s unclear how exactly Facebook could go about doing that, and it’s not surprising that Apple blocked the notice. Apple has been strict on apps that try to explain App Store policies — apps like Netflix, Kindle, and Spotify, for example, aren’t allowed to mention that users could pay on the web without Apple taking a cut, much less provide a link to do so.

      • Exclusive: Facebook says Apple rejected its attempt to tell users about App Store fees

        Facebook Inc on Thursday told Reuters that Apple Inc rejected its attempt to tell users the iPhone maker would take a 30% cut of sales in a new online events feature, forcing Facebook to remove the message to get the tool to users.

      • Can Language Help Us Heal?

        We are living thru a deep, intense and multifaceted crisis of civilization.

      • Critics Blast Anti-Immigrant Trump for Exploiting Naturalization Ceremony at RNC

        As massive backlogs across the U.S. prevent tens of thousands of immigrants from becoming citizens and voters, President Donald Trump — who has spent much of his term demonizing and terrorizing immigrants through rhetoric and policy — hosted a naturalization ceremony at the White House for five new citizens Tuesday on the second night of the Republican National Convention.

      • Chair of Postal Service Board Under Fire Over Little-Noticed RNC Appearance Backing ‘Four More Years!’ for Trump

        “It certainly doesn’t give the American public confidence that he and the Trump donor that he helped install as postmaster general are going to take concerns about voting by mail and about potential partisanship seriously.”

      • Could We Slide into the Abyss Like Germany in 1933?

        Will Donald Trump leave office if he loses the election? Many are wondering how he might bend the law to stay in the White House. The president frequently inveighs against “voter fraud” and says his opponents will steal the election with fraudulent mail-in ballots. Further, he refuses to say if he will accept election results.

      • Pompeo’s RNC Speech Violated His Own Ethics Guidelines for the State Department

        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is facing the possibility of an investigation into his use of department resources for a political speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Tuesday night.

      • Notes From the Great Democratic Infomercial

        I can’t say I was surprised that the Democrats led off their four-day Zoom summer jamboree with one of the Desperate Housewives acting as the moderator. On the same day there appeared a newspaper picture of former president Bill Clinton getting a back rub from a young blonde while both were waiting to board pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express plane. (As early Democrat Thomas Jefferson liked to say: “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”)

      • The USA: Global Leader in Election Interference Abroad and Now at Home

        Walt Kelly’s Pogo remarked that “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” In terms of election interference, historically the United States has been the enemy abroad and now we are the enemy at home.  There is more than 70 years of evidence of U.S. election interference abroad; the current interference at home is far more threatening.  Donald Trump is prepared to do great harm to the November election, creating the kind of cynicism and disarray that will enable Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propagandists to kick on an open door.

      • ‘Honor of My Life’: Alex Morse Scores Big Boost with Ocasio-Cortez Endorsement

        AOC’s Courage to Change PAC targets influential corporate-backed incumbent Richard Neal in a bid for yet another progressive upset. 

      • How a Day’s Delay in the Mail Could Re-Elect Trump

        Thirty-four states and DC currently allow mail-in and/or absentee voting, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. However, in five key swing states (listed below in a table) mail-in ballots must be in the hands of local officials by Election Day. Any ballots that were postmarked by then but were not delivered to the county clerk by Election Day cannot by law be counted.

      • Nightmare of an October Surprise

        The preservation of constitutional democracy in the United States could depend on our preparing for a possible—if very unlikely—October Surprise.

      • Voting for Biden Without Lying to Yourself

        Voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself. And we’ll need those bits to still exist, including voting, if we ever hope to have a real democracy. That’s it. That’s the reason.

      • Mirror, Mirror Politics in Germany

        “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” Nearly every German knows the story of Snow White. Currently, the question of who is “fairest of them all” faces nearly every German political party or, in modern terms, who can attract more votes in next year’s election. The U.S. equivalent question, which will seek and hopefully find answer much sooner, is simpler; the poisonous apple has been exposed often enough. As for dwarfs – a political species – they abound in both countries, though never so cute as Walt Disney’s. As for the wicked witch, I must be cautious about any German analogy!

      • Despite DNC Focus on Winning ‘Biden Republicans,’ New Poll Suggests Beating Trump ‘All About Democratic Turnout’

        “So much for going all out to get Republicans and shunning progressives.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Free Speech Be Damned: Joshua Krook and the Australian Public Service

        There was very little controversial about it. A featured blog post in the Oxford Political Review, authored in April by Joshua Krook, suggested that COVID-19 had brought a host of benefits for big tech companies. Isolation ushered people towards online platforms. Engagement on such platforms had increased dramatically.

      • Voter Advocacy Orgs Sue Trump Administration for Executive Order Threatening Social Media Censorship

        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined forces with Protect Democracy and Cooley LLP to represent five advocacy organizations suing President Trump and others in his administration for an unconstitutional executive order threatening their ability to receive accurate information free from government censorship. The plaintiffs are Common Cause, Free Press, Maplight, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.

        “Our clients want to make sure that voting information found online is accurate, and they want social media companies to take proactive steps against misinformation,” said David Greene, EFF’s Civil Liberties Director. “Social media platforms have the right to curate content however they like—whether it is about voting or not—but President Trump’s executive order punishes platforms for doing just that. Misusing an Executive Order to force companies to censor themselves or others is wrong and dangerous in the hands of any president. Here it’s a transparent attempt to retaliate against Twitter for fact-checking the president’s posts, as well as an obvious threat to any other company that might want to do the same.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Arsonists Strike at Mozambique Newspaper

        Staff at a weekly Mozambique newspaper are refusing to let an arson attack stop them from reporting. Canal de Moçambique published its regular Wednesday edition, just three days after the newsroom was firebombed.

        Speaking in front of the newspaper’s office Monday, Matias Guente, executive editor of Canal de Moçambique, said he believed Sunday’s attack was retaliation for the paper’s reporting and described the arson as a “terror attack on freedom of expression and against press freedom.”

      • Offices of Mozambican newspaper burned in arson attack

        The office and its equipment were thoroughly burned in the fire Sunday night and a container of gasoline fuel used in the attack was found at the site, Guente told the Zitamar news agency. The papers are privately owned and often critical of the government.

        The incident has been reported to the police, said Guente.

        Several prominent civil rights campaigners have condemned the attack. “This is barbaric … Freedom of expression is under attack,” Adriano Nuvunga of the Center for Democracy and Development wrote on Twitter.

      • Kenyan Journalist’s Arrest Highlights Ongoing Press Freedom Concerns in Ethiopia

        Kenyan journalist Collins Juma Osemo, also known as Yassin Juma, said he was in Ethiopia on assignment for the U.K.-based Sky News as a producer. Juma said his own company, Horn24 Media, also planned to film a documentary for the Oromo Broadcasting Network (OBN), an Ethiopian government affiliate in the Oromia region.

        In an ordeal that lasted more than two months, Juma was arrested and faced multiple charges, including inciting violence and plotting to kill senior Ethiopian officials. Juma told VOA that he contracted the coronavirus while in a detention center in Addis Ababa. He also said he broke a rib during an altercation with men he believes were security personnel after he was released on bail.

      • An Open Letter to Russell Brand

        As you are already no doubt aware, the Trump Administration last year bribed Ecuador $4.2 Billion to have Julian Assange stripped of his citizenship and thrown in Belmarsh prison specifically for exercising his journalistic duties in publishing the war crimes of the Bush Administration exposed by Chelsea Manning.

        Julian’s rendition hearing resumes in less than two weeks. The state of our corporate media apparatus is so infernal that no one will speak up for Julian because they are afraid that in doing so they might be construed as being a supporter of the man whose administration is most singularly responsible for his imprisonment without formal arrest, his torture and his immanent death.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Our EU Policy Principles: User Controls

        As the EU is gearing up for a major reform of key Internet regulation, we are introducing the principles that will guide our policy work surrounding the Digital Services Act (DSA). We believe the DSA is a key opportunity to change the Internet for the better; to question the paradigm of capturing users’ attention that shapes our online environments so fundamentally, and to restore users’ autonomy and control. In this post, we introduce policy principles that aim to strengthen users’ informational self-determination and thereby promote healthier online communities that allow for deliberative discourse.

        In a few months, the European Commission will introduce its much anticipated proposal for the Digital Services Act, the most significant reform of European platform regulation in two decades. The Act, which will modernize the backbone of the EU’s Internet legislation—the e-Commerce Directive—will set out new responsibilities and rules for online platforms. 

      • Hunting the Nearly-Invisible Personal Website

        Before discussing personal websites in detail, I should first mention two common predators in the Internet jungle. The corporate predator induces the Internet user to willingly approach him by pretending to be a harmless domesticated animal, much like a horse or a cow. Note that not all corporate websites are predators, though a large number of them do have certain similarities to cows, ponderousness often being one. But, many corporate websites are not nearly as domesticated as they appear. Just read the details of their terms-of-service agreements if you doubt this. As with many humans and their cats, the truth is that deciding in any given instance whether a corporate website or its Internet user is the dominant species can be a difficult task.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Linux users are having problem accessing HBO Max from their phones.

        This problem is for generic Linux PC and not for the dedicated Linux based streaming hardware as many of the users said that HBO is working fine on Roku. Many of the users reported that the app suddenly stops working a couple of weeks ago and it is not accessible on any browsing platform. They are getting the error message we are trouble playing this video please try again later when they tried to play a video on this streaming platform.

        Protecting HBO’s content

        HBO Max said that the root cause is the Widevine DRM which is attempting to protect the content on HBO. HBO said that its movies and series are being pirated and they did not want it to happen again.

      • [Old] Unbricking a $2,000 Bike With a $10 Raspberry Pi

        The rest of the post is a walk-through of my experience writing some code that enables the Flywheel Home Bike to work with Zwift and other training apps. It likely also works for the LifeFitness IC5 and support for other bikes should be easy to add.

        The finished program is called Gymnasticon and the code is open-source on GitHub.

    • Monopolies

      • Judge Rejects Epic’s Temporary Restraining Order Request For Fortnite (But Grants It For The Unreal Engine)

        On Monday there was a… shall we say… contentious first hearing in the antitrust fight/contract negotiation between Apple and Epic over what Apple charges (and what it charges for…) in the iOS app store. The issue for the hearing was Epic’s request for temporary restraining orders against Apple on two points: first, it wanted a restraining order that would force Apple to return Fortnite to the app store. Second, was a restraining order on Apple’s plan to basically pull Epic’s developer license for the wider Unreal Engine.

      • Patents

        • Open for Business: UK Supreme Court has final say on SEP licensing [Ed: Liars from Bristows conflate open for patent trolls with "Open for Business" because Bristows profits from trolls and litigation]

          This combined appeal deals with the relationship between patent owners, whose patents are declared essential to certain technical standards, and manufacturers of mobile devices (implementers) that make use of those standards. In this case, the standard essential patents (SEPs) in issue had been declared essential to the Standard Setting Organisation (SSO) ETSI’s standards for telecommunications equipment.

          The first appeal in the Unwired Planet case stems from proceedings brought by Unwired Planet (UP) in 2014 against Huawei, Samsung and Google alleging infringement of five SEPs which it had acquired from Ericsson. After several technical trials and also Samsung and Google having settled, the High Court progressed to a non-technical FRAND trial between UP and Huawei concerning the FRAND licence which UP was required to offer Huawei.

          The judgment of Birss J in that case settled the terms of a FRAND licence, holding that none of the parties’ licence offers had been FRAND and concluding that the licence should be a global one given the size and geographic scope of UP’s patent portfolio and the geographic scope of Huawei’s sales. The Judge found that a reasonable licensor and licensee would agree a worldwide licence. At a subsequent hearing, Birss J ruled that, as Huawei would not commit to take the global licence which had been settled by the court, an injunction arising from an earlier finding of patent infringement was the appropriate remedy.

          The Court of Appeal upheld Birss J’s judgment on appeal, with the only significant point of disagreement being that it held that the FRAND rate for a portfolio may be a range. This overturned Birss J’s finding that there was only one true set of FRAND terms for any given set of circumstances. However, in this case, only a global licence was FRAND. Huawei appealed again to the Supreme Court (UKSC).

        • Software Patents

          • Patentability of accessibility inventions at the EPO

            With many of us spending an increasingly large proportion of our time interacting with electronics, accessibility is becoming more and more important so that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the rapid improvements in tech. In this article we examine the patentability of inventions relating to accessibility at the European Patent Office.

            What is meant by accessibility?

            Accessibility of technology has traditionally meant providing mechanisms to allow a person who, due to an impairment, would not normally have access to the technology or the content provided by that technology. So, for example, for a person who has impaired vision, turning visual communication into something auditory, and for someone who has impaired hearing, turning auditory communication into something visual.

            However, it is arguable that in the future, accessibility of technology may start to include one of the most challenging areas of technology; how to deal with differing levels of cognitive ability. This is not necessarily linked to intelligence, but is rather related to an individual’s ability to deal with an increasing level of complexity associated with interacting with technology. So, for example, how to use certain gestures when interacting with a device that are seen as more intuitive for users.


            This means that where improved accessibility for a person with a particular impediment or medical condition is the ultimate goal of the invention, this should be clearly stated in the application. This would allow the European Patent Attorney the latitude to argue that the decision reached in T1958/13 was not relevant. Of course, there may be other advantages to people who do not have such an impediment, and these may be stated. However, it is important that these other advantages are not the only advantages mentioned in the application.

            Where the sole purpose of the invention is to make the technology easier to use, the situation is more complicated. In this case, the question whether the tools actually achieved their goal does depend exclusively on the subjective user skills or preferences. This makes T1958/13 a possible issue to achieving a granted patent for what may be quite a valuable feature in a product.

            In the decision, the Technical Board of Appeal stated (in para 2.2.6) that the features of the invention are typically “defined based on experimental or empirical studies… with the aim of reducing the user’s cognitive load…rather than being directed to purely implementational improvements of a touch-screen device”. The Technical Board of Appeal gave some examples that it [the Board] considered to be such improvements. The Technical Board of Appeal noted that such implementational improvements may include processing load, gesture recognition speed or the like. In other words, the Technical Board of Appeal really wanted to see improvements to the functioning of the device itself rather than improvements in the gestures performed by a user of the device.

          • The Open Invention Network Aims to Protect Linux and Open-Source Software with a Patent Non-Aggression Pact

            When we covered Alibaba XT910 RISC-V processor earlier this week, the company confirmed working with open-source companies to make the source code is available for the chip, but that there were legal challenges to do so for a high-performance core.

            The company did not expand on what legal challenges there were, but I’m pretty sure it’s about patents and potential lawsuits. But there may be a solution, or at least a way for companies to protect themselves to some degree against patent trolls, thanks to the Open Invention Network (OIN) which I discovered in a press release about UNISOC recently joined the organization.

      • Trademarks

        • Aldi, Brewdog Brand War Ends In The Best Possible Way: Collaboration

          The world may well feel like a terrible place to you right now. A pandemic is sweeping much of the world, with leaders from many countries playing the ostrich, or else treating the victims as though they were mere idiots. Racial tensions and brutal police practices are on full display, with the most surprising aspects being that they continue even as the world is shining a spotlight on the offenders. World leadership appears to be in full retreat, leaving space for truly nefarious actors to shoulder their way into ever more troubling activities.

      • Copyrights

        • Federal Prosecutors Release Indictments for Alleged Piracy Operation Accounting for Tens of Millions in Losses to Studios

          In a release that includes the Manhattan federal court filing, Jonatan Correa, Umar Ahmad and George Bridi were indicted on charges of copyright infringement conspiracy, with Bridi also being charged for wire fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to transport stolen property interstate. The three men were charged in connection with their involvement in the Sparks Group, which pirates and distributes films and TV shows online.

          The extent of the allegations is wide-reaching: the report suggests that almost every major film in recent years could have been pirated by the group. But as of Wednesday, dozens of Sparks Group servers have been shut down throughout the globe.

        • Twitter removes video Eric Trump posted over copyright complaint

          Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, social media platforms can be held liable if they do not remove infringing content.

          According to Harvard’s Lumen database, which keeps track of and analyzes DMCA notices, the University of North Carolina Athletics filed a complaint over the video earlier Thursday.

        • Beijing IP Court: let’s talk about short video copyrights

          The opening paragraph of the Notice reads as follows: ‘The production and dissemination of short videos have not only played an active role in promoting cultural dissemination, but also brought new challenges to the protection of copyright.’

          The ‘new challenges’, in this Kat’s view, do not seem to refer to the fundamental impact on the copyright theory or system. Even high-profile cases, such as the ‘Douyin 13-second short video case’ (see the IPKat report on the case here), can hardly be taken as ‘new challenges’ from a legal point of view. The existing copyright theory or system has no substantial obstacles or blind spots in dealing specifically with the short video infringement cases.

          The real challenges lie at the operational level. On the one hand, copyright enforcement is on the rise in China; see, for example, the national Sword Net (anti-infringements) action (see a previous IPKat blog post about the action here). On the other hand, enforcement still faces great difficulties. First, the infringements of short videos have some tricky features, such as their large quantity, scattered distribution, lack of a quick authorisation channel (i.e. for music) and a fleeting popular lifecycle (which leads to the imbalance between litigation costs and the remedies). In addition, on the platform side, the abuse of or the sole dependence on the safe harbour principle has also contributed to rampant infringements.

          According to the 2019 China online copyright monitoring report from the Copyright Society of China (see a previous IPKat post introducing the platform here), there were 7.54 million new short video infringement links spotted in 2019, and despite the overall success rate of rights protection exceeding 95%, the number of infringing links was considered notably high in the first place. To ensure the sustainable healthy eco-system for copyrights, the co-operation of multiple parties would be necessary.

          In view of the above, for copyright protection, precaution in advance could be more noteworthy and efficient than merely relying on judicial remedies afterwards. That, together with the aforementioned six explicit tips, seems to be the key message the Beijing IP Court meant to deliver.

        • Creative Commons Is Now Leading the Open COVID Pledge—Here’s What That Means

          Earlier this year, CC joined forces with an international group of researchers, scientists, academics, and lawyers seeking to accelerate the development of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment, and software solutions that might be used to assist in the fight against COVID-19. The result was the Open COVID Pledge, a project that offers a simple way for universities, companies, and others to make their patents and copyrights available to the public to be utilized in the current public health crisis.

        • SPARKS Piracy Busts: Facts, Rumors & Fear Point to Something Huge

          The raids and arrests this week targeting piracy release group SPARKS have caused chaos in The Scene, with members and groups going into hiding and new releases dropping like a stone. The targeting of just one group shouldn’t have such a massive effect but it seems probable that in the weeks and months to come, we’ll learn that one weak spot can be exploited to undermine a much larger infrastructure.

        • Google Promises to De-index ‘Proxies’ and ‘Mirrors’ of Pirate Sites in Australia

          Google has reached a new voluntary agreement with copyright holders in Australia. The search engine promises to block proxies and mirrors of pirate sites without a court order. The new agreement aims to fix a loophole that made alternative addresses of blocked pirate sites easy to find.

The ‘Genius’ Microsoft Says It’s Against Racism So It Therefore Must be True

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Donald Trump’s Trash Against China Helps Prop up Microsoft Monopoly and Distract From All the Microsoft Layoffs | Microsoft Wants Only White People in Poland

TikTok and Microsoft

Feels like collusion (short clip):

Summary: Microsoft carries on working ‘hand in glove’ with a xenophobic and racist regime; it thinks that because an Indian CEO was appointed people would somehow overlook what Microsoft really stands for and profits from

Joachim Breitner Explains the Debian “PR Problem” and How to Better Handle Such Problems

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian PR issue

Summary: As corporate sponsorships grow inside influential Free software communities more of them become censorious and totalitarian like the Linux Foundation; we must reevaluate/reassess how to avert this creeping corrosion of freedom and coexist with opinionated people (like yours truly) whose intention isn’t malicious; many people are just rightly sceptical of proprietary/corporate takeover (accomplished through incremental concessions and entryism)

THE above message (here with additional context) was posted less than 5 years ago after Debian had ousted a volunteer, moreover shaming the person, adding insult to injury. Over the next few weeks we expect to be dealing with this topic a lot more.

“Over the next few weeks we expect to be dealing with this topic a lot more.”Why?

Because it’s a growing trend in Free software. And sure, they like to call it “Open Source” (those who engineer such expulsions).

“4 years later Richard Stallman was misquoted to force his ‘resignation’ (more like an ousting, which persisted for months, trying to do in GNU what was done in MIT and then the FSF).”3 years later Linus Torvalds was ‘demoted’ and put on ‘de facto leave’.

4 years later Richard Stallman was misquoted to force his ‘resignation’ (more like an ousting, which persisted for months, trying to do in GNU what was done in MIT and then the FSF).

Months later Bruce Perens quit OSI (which he had co-founded) in anger/protest and the other co-founder — and former President — was banned weeks later for expressing concerns about an attack on the very core of both Free software and Open Source.

“Months later Bruce Perens quit OSI (which he had co-founded) in anger/protest and the other co-founder — and former President — was banned weeks later for expressing concerns about an attack on the very core of both Free software and Open Source.”Who was responsible for those oustings? Almost always big corporate interests. They at least led some of these moves and we’ve named them before (Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, IBM/Red Hat and so on).

The issue isn’t a mere “PR problem”; it’s a modus operandi problem and it needs to be tackled by re-evaluating the degree to which we accept/tolerate people who deviate from corporate scripts (sponsors’ will) and exercise free speech rights. Free software without free speech may become worthless because such a movement would easily be co-opted by ‘cancel culture’ artists. This is already happening very frequently and sometimes we’re not even made aware of it because behind the scenes there’s extortion/blackmail (to silence those impacted, directly or indirectly).

[Meme] Microsoft’s Concern Trolling: Can’t Do Git Because E-mail is ‘Hard’

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if you’re going to get decent code (C programming is relatively hard) from people who can’t be bothered with E-mail and prefer ‘social control media’-like proprietary software with “like” buttons

Then you send the ....patch ... me@domain.org patch signature... Wait, I need to create an E-mail account? Absolutely!

Summary: Don’t fall for the Microsoft-led attempts to 'lower the bar' for Linux; they just want to outsource everything Linux to Microsoft

“Guy Who Started and Still Maintains Linux” (But Not Managing It Anymore)

Posted in Interview, Kernel, Videos at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: With the Linux Foundation making all the big decisions (like outsourcing the lion’s share of projects to Microsoft’s proprietary software, GitHub) Torvalds has a lowered sense of ego

“My name is Linus, and I am your God.” –Linus Torvalds (a very long time ago)

Tim Berners-Lee and W3C come to mind as well.

If You Don’t Understand Why Linux Foundation Board is Less Than 5% Geeks, Then You Don’t Understand the Linux Foundation

Posted in Deception, Kernel at 3:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: The Linux Foundation Exceeds $100,000,000 in Revenue and Jim Zemlin Now Pays Himself About a Million Dollars a Year While ‘His’ Foundation Operates at a Loss of $732,261 | Something Very Fishy About the Way the Linux Foundation Puts Its Leadership ‘on Sale’ | The message from Drew DeVault about the Linux Foundation

Drew DeVault on Linux Foundation

Summary: Drew DeVault’s latest criticism of the Linux Foundation might be overlooking the fact that nowadays Linux Foundation seats are literally on sale (that’s how it’s raising money, in effect handing over or selling Linux direction/control)

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 27, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

The Myth of Bill Gates ‘Success’ or ‘Genius’ Still Being Perpetuated Online

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 12:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Real History of Microsoft and How It Became ‘Successful’

Bill Gates born rich

Summary: Wealth begets wealth; and crime helps. Especially as wealth also begets impunity. I even wrote about it 15 years ago. But we’re being led (lied) to think that Gates started from nothing (‘rags to riches’ myth-making).

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