[Meme] Congratulations to IBM for Putting GNU/Linux (Back) on ThinkPads

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A good sign of progress

ThinkPads meme: I call it 'Linux' and it started in 1991

Summary: As the latest news [1,2] puts it, mostly citing a tweet, there’s finally an easy way to get Fedora preloaded on ThinkPads (sold by IBM to Lenovo)


  1. You Can Now Buy Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 Laptop with Fedora Linux

    Fedora Project’s leader Matthew Miller announced today on Twitter that the first (of many to come) laptop from Lenovo with Fedora Linux pre-installed is now available for sale, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8.

    About four months ago, Lenovo shocked the Linux community by announcing that they FINALLY plan to offer Linux laptops, choosing the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Linux as default operating system.

    The first Lenovo laptops to ship with Linux are supposed to be the ThinkPad P1 Gen2, ThinkPad P53, and ThinkPad X1 Gen8.

  2. Lenovo Starts Offering Up Fedora Linux Pre-Loaded Systems From Their Web Store

    As a follow up from the news earlier this summer of Lenovo planning to certify their ThinkPad and ThinkStation lines for Linux from Ubuntu and Red Hat while also offering distribution choices like Fedora, that work is proceeding with Lenovo now offering up their first system from their web store that comes pre-loaded with Fedora.

    The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is available with Fedora preloaded while still offering up options from Core i5 through Core i7 10th Gen CPUs, 8GB / 16GB of RAM, a variety of display options (including 14-inch 4K), etc.

Debian ‘Coup’ Followed by Harassment and Threats to Whistleblowers (at the Expense of Very Limited — Albeit Secret — Debian Funds)

Posted in Debian, Deception, Microsoft at 9:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Truth itself is not a crime; those who expose borderline criminality aren’t criminals, either (because wrongdoers like using lawyers and leveraging laws they’ve lobbied for to safeguard their own wrongdoing)

Switzerland money
Debian takes proprietary software monopolists’ money; it’s trying to hide some of it in Switzerland

Summary: It seems like Microsoft money for Debian (conferences as conduits of bribes, not a new issue) has stopped for the first time in half a decade and Debian is now wasting limited funds trying to suppress discussion about its relationship with proprietary software monopolists (also known as “sponsors”)

THE inversion (of narratives) tactics are absolutely incredible. Here we have Debian accepting money (sometimes in secret) from serial GDPR violators and then leveraging that same law — which one might assume was passed to stop/curtail mass surveillance by American “Big Tech” — to silence Europeans who speak about bribery by American "Big Tech". Should we be surprised by all this? No. The EPO has been doing the same thing to me; it sent several law firms based in London to harass me, repeatedly, for merely exposing EPO abuses and corruption. As if embarrassment to the corrupt people is somehow unlawful…

“As if embarrassment to the corrupt people is somehow unlawful…”Not to mention they misused EPO money to bully exposers of EPO abuses. They also misuse/waste EPO money on bribery of the media (in exchange for puff pieces and/or silence regarding EPO crimes).

As we noted earlier this month, criminals love using “privacy” as an excuse for censorship of their exposers/accusers. This often backfires. Badly. They rely on their target being fearful or poor (or both, as those two things are closely connected/correlated). It’s an intimidation tactic designed to discourage people by terrorising them; this can have negative health impact, at times even suicides, as we already saw at the EPO.

“Well, billionaires-owned media keeps telling us that billionaires are always “philanthropists” and “job creators”, so perhaps we’re supposed to think that billionaires exist in the “public interest” as well.”To summarise what we have shown, the hidden DebConf13 profit is quite a big deal, as the “SPI’s 501(c)(3) charitable status could be compromised,” someone recently told us. We’re quite surprised that the Linux Foundation still enjoys breaks/exemptions from tax (which Ryan calls “taxpayer-funded giveaways”). Today it’s not even a foundation/nonprofit but an openwashing/PR front group of massive multinationals. It is, in effect, a proxy or a loophole that serves billionaires. Yes, so much for “public interest”…

Well, billionaires-owned media keeps telling us that billionaires are always “philanthropists” and “job creators”, so perhaps we’re supposed to think that billionaires exist in the “public interest” as well.

On Friday CommonDreams published “Bezos Now Worth $200 Billion as Millions Struggle to Afford Essentials” and Warren Buffett once said: “There’s been class warfare for the last 20 years, and my class has won.”

They hide behind lawyers. They loot the public. They hijack groups/institutions/organisations that used to represent the public.

A couple of days ago, CommonDreams published “As Trump Pushes New Tax Cuts for Wealthy, Analysis Shows US Billionaires $800 Billion Richer Since Pandemic Hit” (a lot of this money was looted from the Treasury and handed over to companies including Microsoft, which fired workers regardless).

“Transparency belatedly having an impact?”“For billionaires,” CommonDreams quoted, “this is a heads we win, tails you lose economy, boosted by Trump policies to funnel wealth to the top.”

The other day I noticed that Microsoft appears not to have sponsored DebConf this year, unlike the past 4 years (unless the funding persists but was made secret/concealed/withdrawn due to the pandemic). Good riddance? Transparency belatedly having an impact?

Miriam Ballhausen and Debian Money, DebConf Online, Insulting a Volunteer at a Time of Grief

Posted in Debian, Finance at 8:50 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News

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? Let’s look at how Debian parks money in Switzerland.

For the first time ever, Debian paid somebody to work on DebConf fundraising as an Outreachy, 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 woman 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. With her experience, the woman in question would easily get that salary package in any other industry.

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. We estimate that DebConf has received over $100,000 from these companies and nobody knows where it will go.

Item Increase Decrease
Sponsor donations $100,000
Fundraising cost (Outreachy employee) $6,000
DebConf20 online surplus $94,000

(Not actual figures, estimated from previous DebConfs)

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.

Debian hiding money Switzerland

DebConf13 organizers had organized the venue and catering contracts separately. Neither the venue hire or catering contract included provision for washing the dishes. At the last minute, DebConf organizers had to reach out to local labor-hire companies to find temporary workers and they received a proposal for the work. Nonetheless, they didn’t want to pay people. As usual, various people suggested they should try to conscript volunteers to do this tedious work:

Subject: Re: [Debconf-team] Urgent: Dishwashing & Cleaning

Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 14:04:35 -0400

From: Tiago Bortoletto Vaz <tiago@debian.org>

To: debconf-team@lists.debconf.org

On Mon, Jul 08, 2013 at 07:57:07PM +0200, Holger Levsen wrote:

> seriously, buy two dishwashing machines (max 1000€ total) and let them be

> filled by volunteers… 5k for dishwashing is like 3% of our total budget.


I’d join a team to coordinate volunteers on this.

Volunteers don’t come to DebConf to wash dishes, they want to relax after dinner, meet people, attend any evening seminars and learn new things.

debian women, diversity, washing dishes, debconf, outreachy, intern, woman

Nonetheless, organizers proceeded to seek volunteers for this task. We notice that female participation in dishwashing was close to thirty percent, much higher than the two percent rate of female participation in development. Is that a win for diversity?

While discussion about expenditures and volunteers took place on the public debconf-team list, discussions about profit from fundraising were kept on debian-private (leaked elsewhere). Local volunteers, who do most of the work in each DebConf destination, were subscribed to debconf-team but they never have access to debian-private so they didn’t see the following email:

Subject: Call for ideas — useful ways of spending Debian money

Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2013 21:46:17 +0200

From: Lucas Nussbaum <leader@debian.org>

To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

CC: auditor@debian.org, philipp@hug.cx

[ TL;DR: ETOO_MUCH_MONEY — need ideas to flush queue ]


Thanks to the fantastic work of the DebConf13 sponsorship (fundraising)

team, DebConf13 generated a surplus. The current estimate of it is CHF 38k (that’s USD 42k, or EUR 31k). That’s excellent news.

The not-so-excellent news is that it means that the debconf13

association will have to pay income taxes for it. (no estimate yet;

Philipp Hug (DC13 and debian.ch treasurer) will get in touch with a tax


Even if Switzerland has been very welcoming towards Debian, it would not

be a bad idea to try to avoid paying too much taxes. A good way to do

that is to spend some of the surplus (in ways useful to Debian, of


Could you start thinking of useful ways to spend some money? servers?

porter boxes? buildds? sprints? Of course, it would need to be spent before

the end of 2013. There are no known restrictions on what we can buy or

where we can ship. What we end up buying will of course be made public

as usual. To move forward, please reply to this mail, providing an

estimate and a justification. Or mail leader@ + auditor@ if you prefer.

Somehow related: we are participating in GNOME’s Outreach Program for

Women, winter edition[1].

As already stated in April[2], I wouldn’t favor a situation where Debian

funds are used to pay OPW participation on a regular basis. However, as

an experiment, it makes sense to help that happen for the first time (it

didn’t happen in the summer edition).

So, if the fundraising effort currently being set up fails to raise

enough money for one stipend, but still raises a significant amount of

money, I will authorize the use of Debian money for the difference

(likely for at most $2900 — that’s half the stipend, so the other half

needs to come from fundraising).

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-women/2013/09/msg00058.html

[2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/04/msg00108.html

Q: Why is this on -private@?

A: Because I’m not sure yet how cautious we need to be about the DC13

surplus situation. Better safe than sorry. We can restart the

discussion on a public list when/if things are cleared.



Let us amend that final answer:

Q: Why is this on -private@?

A: because we didn’t mention this money in the thread about washing dishes

Despite Nussbaum’s intention to spend the money, it remains in a Swiss bank account with PostFinance.

Miriam Ballhausen, Bird & Bird, Women in Business Law Awards 2020 Finalist

Where does all the money go? Well, we know that some of it goes to lawyers. After a volunteer’s father died, Debian was the only organization to send him insults through a lawyer. We’ve been told Miriam Ballhausen at Bird & Bird charges EUR 300 per hour for her services, which now includes writing emails and letters on behalf of the Debian project. The Debian Project doesn’t exist as a legal entity, Ballhausen has so far refused to reveal who is actually instructing her.

If that rate is correct, the EUR 31,000 profit from DebConf13 would pay for 100 hours or two weeks of full-time lawyer work. We doubt that we will see Frau Ballhausen assisting with the dishes.

We would have thought that the legal profession may have some minimum standards, expecting lawyers to respect volunteers at a time of grief and expecting them to be able to identify who they work for. Not in Germany. Ballhausen’s antics with Debian have seen her nominated for the Women in Business Law Awards 2020.

Miriam Ballhausen, insults, harassment, abuse, volunteer, GDPR

The next DebConf for 2021 was supposed to go to Prishtina, Kosovo. It has been suggested it will be pushed back one year to 2022 but given the pandemic situation, that is not a definite decision. There are currently no Debian Developers in Kosovo who have access to the financial information in debian-private, we hope that Debian will be as generous in paying the Kosovo local team as they have been with lawyers but we are doubtful.

Daniel Lange and Debian: DebConf, Aggression Towards Volunteers

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 8:06 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Daniel Lange, Debian, DebConf, aggressive, disrespectfulReprinted with permission from Debian Community News

We can only wonder, why was this posted to the debian-private (leaked) gossip network and not to LWN?

Subject: [Daniel Lange] Do some public considerations for newmaint application, good way to proceed?

Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 19:42:26 -0400

From: Tiago Bortoletto Vaz <tiago@debian.org>

To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

Hi all,

I’ve supported a few applications in the newmaint list and I never objected
one. With Daniel Lange’s declaration of intent I feel for the first time the
need to publically do some considerations, but I don’t know the best way to proceed.
I’d like to make it clear that his behavior in some situations in the past
are not welcome in Debian. At the same time I don’t want to start a noisy
thread in there.

I witnessed aggressive and disrespectful behavior from Daniel against a person
very close to me, both written and in person, during Debconf15. As he was not a
member/whatever of the Debian community I decided to let it go. Besides that, I
think he was quite harmful during the storm against the Debconf chairs. But it
may be more a personal opinion.

I’m aware that he’s doing a lot of work for Debconf and I’m not objecting to
his application. But I’ll just feel bad if I say nothing at this time.

Any suggestion on how to act will be appreciate on such situations.



Daniel Lange, debian, debconf, aggressive, disrespectful

This shows a pattern in Debian: people who do a lot of visible work, such as DebConf organizers and Debian Account Managers, can behave like bullies and it is tolerated.

In fact, despite these reservations, Daniel Lange was being welcomed into Debian in exactly the same month that Jacob Appelbaum was being publicly humiliated for falsified cases of harassment. It is an incredible contradiction.

People who do invisible work, such as quietly assisting victims of harassment from leadership figures like Molly de Blanc, get no recognition at all.

Do you have evidence about Daniel Lange? Please contact the Debian Community News Team.

Daniel Lange, Tiago Bortoletto Vaz, Debian, DebConf, bullying, enforcement, mollamby, molly de blanc, chris lamb

Timeline of Free/Livre/Libre Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not quite what the corporate media likes to tell people

What if I told you it all started in 1983 and not 1991?

Summary: Our research into the history (and present) of Free software continues; at the moment it is our foremost interest and our subject of focus

THE Free Software timeline, maintained and constantly updated by figosdev (last updated yesterday), helps put in perspective what happened over the years and the decades. New leaks help do the same. We just want to have a better understanding/grasp of what happened and what is still happening. The present and future certainly depend on the past.

“The interest in the topics we cover is certainly there.”Yesterday we published about 8,000 E-mails from Debian’s ‘elevated’ (and secretive) community. Mark Shuttleworth shows up there more than a dozen times and we’ve found nothing really unsavoury in these E-mails (we studied many hundreds of these). One might ask, however, “aren’t ordinary Debian Developers allowed to see what happens ‘higher up’?” Transparency is certainly possible. We’ve found not much gossip or sensitive details in these E-mails; however we’ve learned a lot about the early days of Debian. It’s good to have these in the public domain.

We’re currently exploring a number of other angles. There are answers to particular questions which need further evidence and some of that is work in progress. We appreciate readers’ patience and support. Moral support is very important. We don’t mean to disparage but to understand. Truth has always been of utmost value. Due to the P.R. industry [sic] truth has long been elusive. We’re very transparent about our processes and communications; the pastes in the latest IRC logs also reveal parts of E-mails. Sometimes we rub out names in the interest of privacy/anonymity. That seems sensible (protecting sources).

Techrights readership keeps growing. The interest in the topics we cover is certainly there. Our baseline readership is about 3,000 per article (direct views, not RSS or multi-post pages), sometimes 10k, sometimes even 150k (earlier this month). And that’s just in the first week (not long-term statistics). But what matters is accuracy, not readership. We’re very rarely proven wrong. We very rarely need to correct/amend articles.

“For the time being we’re mostly done with research into IBM’s past and the EPO scandals have quieted down (not that they’re resolved).”On our “TODO” list right about now is publication of older material that can shed light on suppressed matters/issues in the GNU/Linux community. For the time being we’re mostly done with research into IBM’s past and the EPO scandals have quieted down (not that they’re resolved). Regarding software patents, there’s no sign of resurgence and in Daily Links we habitually add stories about such patents perishing in American courts. So we shelve those aside, so to speak, unless or until there’s something major to report (a change in pattern). The recent FRAND ruling in the UK is not particularly interesting. Lots of blog/media coverage about that, mostly by law firms looking to make a buck/quid/euro.

“We’re happy to see what Bruce Perens has to say this month and his huge number of Debian-Private E-mails reveal him or ‘expose’ him as a reasonable person who habitually speaks to Richard Stallman and promotes Free (as in Freedom) software.”As promised, over the next few weeks we’ll publish more findings about the past and present of Free/livre/libre software. We’re happy to see what Bruce Perens has to say this month and his huge number of Debian-Private E-mails reveal him or ‘expose’ him as a reasonable person who habitually speaks to Richard Stallman and promotes Free (as in Freedom) software. As figosdev put it some hours ago: “He does a great job describing the problems, and people should pay attention to that. But his solutions have some of the same problems that Open Source do with regards to Free Software — and he says things like two similar licenses in a set of 3 makes it more like 2.5 licenses because you don’t have to learn three completely different ones. That’s true on a certain level, but mostly 3 licenses are three licenses if you change a word or sometimes a semicolon. So sharing substantial text (in a legal document like that) — even if he has a point, it won’t have the effect he claims — not for people who are actually going to learn the license. I suspect he will clarify that later as I’m sure he knows better and doesn’t gain from misleading on that.”

What is a Debian Developer?

Posted in Debian at 5:56 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

When I started doing things with Debian in 1997, it was prompted by a visit from another Debian Developer. His generosity with his time, skill and advice have left an impression on me to this day about what it means to be a Debian Developer.

Virtual Moreland was just starting out with a $100,000 grant to get us moving. Some second-hand servers had been donated to run web sites and mail systems, thin clients to build a training lab. I had been using Slackware Linux for a number of years and anticipated using it for Virtual Moreland.

Fortunately, I was introduced to this Developer who pointed out the benefits of the Debian packaging system over Slackware. He brought the latest Debian archive to me on his hard disk so I could get a local mirror up and running more quickly. When I introduce people to Debian today, I hope I can be equally helpful to them.

That was before Debian had a constitution and before SPI, Inc, a US organisation which has excluded many Developers from the membership rolls, had seized a Debian trademark. It was before Debian was persuaded into accepting a Code of Conduct that doesn’t have any safeguards for the community.

Today, after more than 20 years, Debian still means much the same thing for me: technical excellence. Giving back to the community. Following the principles laid out in the Debian Social Contract.

Yet being on the Debian keyring has become a poisoned chalice. After the events of 2018, it is clear that people are both added to the keyring and removed for reasons that are related to politics and control.

To put it another way, rogue elements of Debian want to flex their muscles and have the power of an employer, without paying us.

For most of us, our responsibility is to the employers and clients who do pay us, not to those who coerce us and periodically use Debian’s otherwise enviable reputation to shame somebody and maintain control through fear. People who prioritize their family, their education or their health are no less Debian Developers than those who submit to control from these would-be masters.

In 2010, the Debian Developers passed a motion allowing non-Developers to be regarded as Developers. In other words, 285 members of the project who voted made a decision that being a Debian Developer was now about status rather than Developer competence. Approximately 600 people, the majority, did not vote at all.

This started us going down a slippery slope.

At the bottom of that slippery slope there is a very hard landing. Developers, with over 30 years experience between them, suddenly deleted under the radar. One of the newest non-developing Developers stands up at a conference to boast about rudely displacing people who were there from the beginning. Neo-Developers who behave like this have nothing in common with the Debian Developers I first met in 1997.

When this type of person decides to indulge herself shaming a volunteer at a time of grief, that is a step too far.

What about those who still feel comfortable with the original and more honest and logical definition of a Developer?

Personally, none of my employers has ever expected me to be on the Debian keyring. Some of them would see it as an unacceptable risk for any employee to be on the Debian keyring if it puts them at risk of coercion. Imagine if you are a manager and somebody outside the company spreads a rumour that one of your employees has been demoted by an external group like Debian, can you afford the damage to productivity and morale? Many other professional developers I speak to don’t feel the time demanded by Debian’s politics and bureaucracy justifies the benefits of participation. While other communities have grown, Debian reached approximately 1,000 members and has stayed at this level for many years.

I really don’t care which Debian keyring I’m on and either should anybody else. As long as I follow the same principles and find creative ways to make my packages available to the world, I’m entirely consistent with the principles Debian was founded on. After all, Linus Torvalds didn’t ask for permission to make Linux. Ian Murdock didn’t ask for permission to make Debian. If you have done the same work creating packages, why do you need permission to call yourself by the same title, Debian Developer? For that matter, why shouldn’t anybody create their own Debian keyring and distribute it to their friends and clients, as long as they are using it to sign packages created in accordance with the principles we all associate with Debian? In other words, is being a Developer about egos or about principles?

If even one person is happily using your packages, you might be a Debian Developer too. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Links 29/8/2020: Nitrux 1.3.2 and Kraft 0.95

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Why I have a problem with AppImages on Linux

      I get why AppImages exist. They were the precursors for Flatpak and Snaps and made it possible for developers to create portable, universal applications that could run on any Linux distribution.

      That, my friends, is a great idea. It’s also one that both Flatpak and Snap packages have succeeded to do. On my primary machine (a System76 Thelio), I install applications via source, apt, Snap and Flatpak–I don’t discriminate. As long as an application will install and run as expected, I’ll install it, regardless of the package format.

      With one exception: AppImages.

      I do not like AppImages and I believe it’s time developers stopped using them, but I get why they do. AppImages aren’t actually installed on systems. Instead, they are sort of like the containers of desktop applications, without having to rely on an installed engine like Docker. You simply download an AppImage, give it executable permission, and run it. The application in question should open and you could use it. Simple, right?

    • Librem 5 Evergreen Update: Mold and Milestones

      In our last Librem 5 update post, we discussed a number of the changes in our Librem 5 “Dogwood” batch as compared with previous batches. Dogwood was our last “small batch” in preparation for Evergreen, our highly-anticipated mass-produced Librem 5 batch. Dogwood was incredibly important as it gave us one of our last opportunities to identify any flaws and fix them before mass-production. It also was the first batch to feature a flipped CPU which we found did improve heat dissipation. As a result we spent much more time in the testing process for Dogwood than we did in the Chestnut batch.

    • Librem 14 Progress – Hardware Development

      About a month ago we approved the schematics for our Librem 14 main board, which is a fully custom Purism design. After that the schematics, which describe which electronic components are connected to which and how, needs to be turned in to a PCB design. This is a complicated and time-consuming process. We are happy to announce that this has been completed and first PCBs are being made and assembled as we speak. This is a great step forward since it will also allow us to to get started with something we have not talked about that much yet…

    • Advance your Linux skills with these 3 command line primers

      Open source powers many corporate servers, and admins need to know their way around Linux services to keep vital operations running smoothly. That means mastering the command line. The following three downloads from TechRepublic Premium will help you do just that.

      TechRepublic contributorJack Wallen wrote these command-line primers. Wallen, who has been using Linux and writing about it for more than 20 years, knows the ins and outs of most Linux distributions, as well as how to keep systems running smoothly. Follow his advice on how to master the Linux command line, and your servers andusers will be in good shape.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA’s DALI 0.25 Deep Learning Library Adds AArch64 SBSA, Performance Improvements

          DALI is the project at NVIDIA focused on GPU-accelerated data augmentation and image loading along with other tasks while being optimized for deep learning workflows. DALI 0.25 was released on Friday as the latest step forward for this open-source NVIDIA project.

          Yes, DALI (short for the NVIDIA Data Loading Library) is one of NVIDIA’s open-source projects. DALI currently describes itself as “a library containing both highly optimized building blocks and an execution engine for data pre-processing in deep learning applications.”

        • LunarG Introduces New Vulkan Configurator (vkconfig)

          The friends at LunarG who maintain the Vulkan SDK today announced their new Vulkan Configurator tool, accessible via the vkconfig command and installed as part of the SDK.

          The Vulkan Configurator is for managing the system’s Vulkan layers, allowing the override of layer configurations, loading layers from arbitrary paths, and other similar functionality at right now focused on better controlling of the Vulkan layers feature.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD AOCC 2.2 Helping Squeeze Extra Performance Out Of AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” CPUs

        At the end of June AMD quietly released a new version of the AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler. Noticing the new release this week, here are some benchmarks of AOCC 2.2 up against LLVM Clang 10 and GCC 10 with Ubuntu Linux while running from an AMD EPYC 7742 2P server for looking at the performance gains possible with the compiler optimizations.

        AMD AOCC 2.2 rebases the Zen-focused compiler against upstream LLVM/Clang 10.0 code-base. While the Optimizing “C/C++” Compiler, the Fortran language support continues being improved upon by leveraging LLVM’s FLANG. With AOCC 2.2, Fortran 2008 features are present in FLANG along with other Fortran improvements. AOCC 2.2 also has “enhanced high-level optimizations” focused on the AMD EPYC 7002 series, machine dependent optimizations for EPYC 7002 series, updated AMD Math Libraries (AMDLibM 3.3), and LLVM’s LLD linker is now the default. AOCC 2.2 is quite a hearty release but a bit unfortunate AMD doesn’t do more to promote AOCC as two months past release this is the first time I heard of the new release when being curious about any summer updates.

    • Applications

      • Kubernetes 1.19 Released

        The Kubernetes project has released version 1.19 of the platform, the second release for 2020, and by far the longest release cycle lasting 20 weeks in total.

        The 1.19 release consists of 34 enhancements: 10 enhancements are moving to stable, 15 enhancements in beta, and 9 enhancements in alpha.

        Major updates include the extended support window for Kubernetes versions from nine months to one year. “A survey conducted in early 2019 by the Long Term Support (LTS) working group showed that a significant subset of Kubernetes end-users fail to upgrade within the current 9-month support period,” said a blog post by Kubernetes 1.19 Release Team.

      • 5 open source software applications for virtualization

        Open source tools can provide various benefits that proprietary products sometimes lack, such as improvements in flexibility and agility, speed, costs and security. Admins can find open source options to meet almost any of these needs, such Cockpit for administering servers; Proxmox Virtual Environment for improving Linux container and system management; KubeVirt for combining container and virtualization technologies; Open vSwitch for managing multiple physical servers; and AWS Firecracker for micro VM management.

        When choosing an open source software application, admins must understand the features and use cases of each tool prior to use. This helps ensure that each tool meets workload and business needs.

      • August GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new releases!


    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.16 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Support for x86 AVX registers.
          - Some ARM64 fixes for macOS.
          - Still more restructuration of the console support.
          - Various bug fixes.
      • Wine 5.16 Released With Support For AVX Registers

        Wine 5.16 is out as the latest bi-weekly development release leading up to next year’s Wine 6.0.

        Wine 5.16 brings support for x86 AVX registers, ARM64 fixes for macOS, more restructuring of the console support, and around 21 known bug fixes. The bug fixes range from fixes for Quake Champions to Tomb Raider to various application bugs.

    • Games

      • 2019′s weirdest release ‘Hypnospace Outlaw’ has a huge update, with improved Linux support

        Hypnospace Outlaw, a ’90s internet simulator / parody that takes things to the extreme which was probably 2019′a weirdest game just had a major upgrade.

        A game that carefully reconstructs various elements of the early days of the internet, when the likes of GeoCities and others were in their prime as everyone had to have their own special page full of complete junk. It’s seriously clever, weird and brilliant. There’s a point to it all though, as you’re an enforcer tasked with hunting down wrongdoers and all sorts. What they’re calling Hypnospace PLUS, a free upgrade, was worked on since the original launch and was a “real labour of love” for the team. So what’s new? A lot.

      • Two Point Hospital gets a Free Weekend and huge sale to celebrate 2 years

        Two Point Studios and SEGA are celebrating it coming up for two years since Two Point Hospital released, so it’s on a pretty big discount and a free weekend so you can try it for a few days.

        Created as a spiritual successor to the much loved Theme Hospital, by some of the original team too, Two Point Hospital is quite the worthy successor. It’s colourful, modern, funny and about exactly what you expect in a hospital management sim. With the added online features that has people work together, it’s quite wonderful.

      • Observer: System Redux should be available for Linux PC too

        Observer: System Redux was announced, as the standalone definitive edition of the award-winning cyberpunk thriller from Bloober Team.

        “The year is 2084. In a dark cyberpunk world shattered by plagues and wars, become a neural police detective and hack into the jagged minds of others. Make use of anything they felt, thought, or remembered to solve the case and catch the elusive killer.”

        With the Observer: System Redux standalone it’s going to bring in three new side-cases to explore to dive deeper into the world, expanded gameplay mechanics, new secrets, redesigned stealth, additional interrogations, quality of life improvements, upgraded textures, new animations—the full works.

      • Ova Magica looks like the next great life sim with a creature-taming twist

        Top Hat Studios along with ClaudiaTheDev have shown off a bit more of Ova Magica, what I think could turn into the next great big casual life-sim type of game.

        With it being a mixture of genres you’re doing a little farming, chatting with and befriending NPCs, explore puzzle-dungeons, a little fishing, cooking and so on. Where it has my attention truly though are the funny creatures you find and raise, little Blobs. Yes, they’re actually just called Blobs. There’s even a battle system, although to make your Blobs stronger it doesn’t come from battle, instead you have to treat them well.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kraft Version 0.95

          The authors are happy to announce the new release 0.95 of Kraft. Kraft is free desktop software for managing office documents like quotes and invoices in the small enterprise for the Linux desktop.

          With version 0.95 we do a big step forward in the way of generating documents: Until now (more than fifteen years!) Kraft uses the ReportLab python library to create high quality PDF documents.

          While this has served us well, it has always been cumbersome to adopt the template for users needs. ReportLab uses a XML format as the template which has a bit of a steep learning curve and is not really easy with syntax.

        • This week in KDE: Tons and tons and tons of Plasma 5.20 features, bugfixes, and UI improvements

          Plasma 5.20 is going to be one absolutely massive release! It already was but this week we added even more to it: more features, more fixes for longstanding bugs, more improvements to the user interface!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Celebration is in Order

          In the The Final Piece post we announced the completion of our GSoC project i.e. Porting Nautilus Properties Dialog to use GtkBuilder, now like any other craft this too needs finishing, and polishing, so that the advantages of the project could be felt by the end-user using it and the developer working on it, who perhaps might improve this even more.

        • Sound Recorder to modern HIG III

          The application now implements the Design mockups. The whole application is reincarnated. It is now fulfilling GNOME’s modern Human Interface Guidelines with a new cool look. Alongside this, some other issues are also fixed with the help of Bilal Elmoussaoui.

          The goal of my GSoC was to bring Sound Recorder to the current Human Interface Guidelines. When I started looking into the app, it turns out it had a very old codebase that was implemented in the imports.lang module via imports.lang.Class and imports.lang.Interface. The application was so simple and small so we decided to completely rewrite it. Now the question is if we gonna rewrite why not make in modern lang like rust? The answer is GNOME has to have an application written in all those languages where GObject bindings existed and the app is simple to understand so newcomers can easily adapt things.

        • Chris Lord: OffscreenCanvas, jobs, life

          Well, unfortunately my work with Impossible ended, as we essentially ran out of funding. That’s really a shame, we worked on some really cool, open-source stuff, and we’ve definitely seen similar innovations in the field since we stopped working on it. We took a short break (during which we also, unsuccessfully, searched for further funding), after which Rob started working on a cool, related project of his own that you should check out, and I, being a bit less brave, starting seeking out a new job. I did consider becoming a full-time musician, but business wasn’t picking up as quickly as I’d hoped it might in that down-time, and with hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t (Covid-19 and all).


          My next goal, after asynchronous updates on Linux, is to enable WebGL context support. I believe these aren’t particularly tough goals, given where it is now, so hopefully they’ll happen by the end of the year. Text rendering is a much harder problem, but I hope that between us at Igalia and the excellent engineers at Apple, we can come up with a plan for it. The difficulty is that both styling and font loading/caching were written with the assumption that they’d run on just one thread, and that that thread would be the main thread. A very reasonable assumption in a pre-Worker and pre-many-core-CPU world of course, but increasingly less so now, and very awkward for this particular piece of work. Hopefully we’ll persevere though, this is a pretty cool technology, and I’d love to contribute to it being feasible to use widely, and lessen the gap between native and the web.

    • Distributions

      • Nitrux 1.3.2 is available to download

        We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.3.2. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

        Nitrux 1.3.2 is available for immediate download.

      • Nitrux 1.3.2 Drops Systemd in Favor of OpenRC, Adds Wayland Support

        Nitrux 1.3.2 distribution is now available for download. This release ships with OpenRC as default init system instead of systemd, an experimental Wayland session, the latest KDE Plasma desktop, and various updated components.

        The post Nitrux 1.3.2 Drops Systemd in Favor of OpenRC, Adds Wayland Support appeared first on 9to5Linux – do not reproduce this article without permission. This RSS feed is intended for readers, not scrapers.

      • Nitrux 1.3.2 Linux Distro Released With OpenRC As The Default Init System

        Nitrux founder Uri Herrera has released a new point version — Nitrux 1.3.2. The latest version 1.3.2 succeeds the last month Nitrux 1.3.1 to bring new software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and hardware support.

        If you don’t know, Nitrux is one of the unique 64-bit Linux distributions featuring a beautiful KDE Plasma desktop and a portable universal application format, AppImage, along with package managers like APT and DPKG. So, let’s see what more Nitrux 1.3.2 has to offer.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • News from our package manager “urpmi”

          News from our package manager “urpmi” :
          Inherited from the Mandriva distribution, Mageia’s default package manager is URPMI. It offers a wide range of features to manage software repositories, install, update and remove applications packaged in rpm format. This standardized format is adopted by many well-known distributions, such as Redhat, Fedora, Centos, Suse and Opensuse. Urpmi is also used to update your distribution.
          This tool comes with many tools :
          – urpmi, urpme to install and remove applications,
          – urpmq to search for an application by querying repositories
          – urpmf to search for a package from the files it contains
          – urpmi.update to update your system and applications
          – urpmi.addmedia and urpmi.removemedia to add, remove your software repositories.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Alpha Prototype Jump is Available, Tumbleweed gets systemd, curl Updates

          The prototype project openSUSE Jump is now available for Alpha phase testing. Jump is an interim name given to the experimental distribution in the Open Build Service as developers have been trying to synchronize SUSE Linux Enterprise binaries for openSUSE Leap. The efforts are trying to bring the codes of Leap and SLE closer together, which was previously mentioned in an article titled New Prototype Builds Bringing Leap, SLE Closer Will be Available Soon.

          The past week produced three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots.

          The snapshots brought some interesting packages including one used by NASA and one package fixed a ancient bug. A full rebuild of Tumbleweed was done with Build20200825, but the build doesn’t appear good enough to be released in a snapshot.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/35

          This week we have published a few snapshots less than normal. To ‘compensate’, the next one will be huge to download though. On August 25, I merged the change for libexecdir == /usr/libexec and since then I’m fighting to QA after effects to get you a snapshot out that won’t break in all corners. There will likely be some rough patches here and there though.

        • Live Patching And SUSE Lifecycle Manager On SLES For SAP On-Demand In The Public Cloud
        • Adapting for Hybrid Cloud – Part 1 of 3: The Market
        • OpenSUSE Jump Distribution Now Available For Alpha Testing

          An alpha prototype of openSUSE “Jump” is now available for testing of this new build of openSUSE.

          OpenSUSE Jump is the prototype project that is built using the Open Build Service and working to synchronize SUSE Linux Enterprise with openSUSE Leap. OpenSUSE Jump brings SUSE Linux Enterprise and Leap closer to the same code-base.

          For those wanting to test openSUSE Jump as this new blend, alpha images are available. Jump images can be found at download.opensuse.org.

          At the same time, their rolling-release openSUSE Tumbleweed continues moving forward with new package updates as well.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Conf Online 2020

          During the weekend of 10th and 11th of October there is going to be an online Arch Linux conference. The details are currently being worked on, but the Call for Participation has been published and people can submit their talk ideas until the 18th of September. All talks are expected to be recorded as it will ease the planning for the live portion of the stream, however there are going to be live Q&A session with the presenters if they are available.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 Aims To Shrink Its Install Media By Ramping Up Compression

          While Fedora 33 hasn’t even been released yet, Fedora 34 is already seeing new feature proposals.

          One of the planned changes so far for next spring’s Fedora 34 release is to reduce the installation media size by means of greater compression.

          The current plan is to ramp up the compression ratio of the SquashFS file-system on the install media. Red Hat’s Bohdan Khomutskyi is looking at making use of XZ compression, a block size of 1MiB, and without the BCJ filter. In doing so there should be roughly a 6.5% / 24 second longer install time but with space savings of roughly 142MiB for the Fedora install media. The install time should ultimately not regress much though due to a planned change to Fedora’s Anaconda installer.

        • Linux in the IBM Z ecosystem

          IBM LinuxONE is a mainframe that exclusively runs Linux, but where does Linux live in the general mainframe ecosystem of operating systems?

          First, let’s talk about the terms used when running Linux on the mainframe. LinuxONE is a hardware product line. You can think of it as the sister to IBM Z, with similar hardware and specifications, but it only runs Linux. This is in contrast to when we use the term “Linux on IBM Z” or simply “Linux on Z,” which can be either Linux running on LinuxONE or Linux running on an IBM Z system — typically along with other operating systems like z/OS.

          Linux itself was first introduced to the mainframe as a community-driven project in 1998, and then in December 1999 IBM released their first series of patches for the 2.2.13 kernel. This makes Linux a relative newcomer as far as operating systems go in the mainframe space. Over the years, Linux on Z became a staple of many organizations running alongside operating systems like z/OS, z/VSE, and z/TPF, which people more frequently think of when you’re talking about mainframes. In 2015, the first LinuxONE was released, cementing Linux as an operating system that was here to stay on the platform.

        • Call for Code Daily: Persistent Systems, Kode with Klossy and AI fairness

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of August 24th:

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Janitor: The Slow Trickle from Git Repositories to the Debian Archive

          Last week’s blog post documented how there are now over 30,000 lintian issues that have been fixed in git packaging repositories by the Janitor.

          It’s important to note that any fixes from the Janitor that make it into a Git packaging repository will also need to be uploaded to the Debian archive. This currently requires that a Debian packager clones the repository and builds and uploads the package.

          Until a change makes it into the archive, users of Debian will unfortunately not see the benefits of improvements made by the Janitor.

          82% of the 30,000 changes from the Janitor that have made it into a Git repository have not yet been uploaded, although changes do slowly trickle in as maintainers make other changes to packages and upload them along with the lintian fixes from the Janitor. This is not just true for changes from the Janitor, but for all sorts of other smaller improvements as well.

          However, the process of cloning and building git repositories and uploading the resulting packages to the Debian archive is fairly time-consuming – and it’s probably not worth the time of developers to follow up every change from the Janitor with a labour-intensive upload to the archive.

          It would be great if it was easier to trigger uploads from git commits. Projects like tag2upload will hopefully help, and make it more likely that changes end up in the Debian archive.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 open source activities for kids to try this weekend

        During the last six months or so, my family and I have enjoyed a slower pace of life. With few museums and parks open, we’ve stayed safer at home together or going on outdoor excursions. My young children are pretty good at creating their imaginary worlds where they could play for hours. I think they are adapting to this new normal better than I am to tell you the truth. However, there will be weekends when we have all run out of ideas. Luckily, Opensource.com is chock full of boredom-busters for kids of all ages. In this article, I rounded up a few of our more recent open source activities for kids.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 7 Privacy-Preserving Addons for Firefox You Should Have

            Firefox is such a great web browser to save privacy by default; It blocks trackers, 3rd-party cookies, fingerprint trackers and cryptomining scripts by default. But even with this, the browser is still in need of few extra addons to enhance users’ privacy.

            We’ll show them for you in less than 2 minutes to get you going in your way.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Why Researchers Should Conduct User Testing Sessions in Virtual Reality (VR): On Using Hubs by Mozilla for Immersive, Embodied User Feedback

            Amidst the pandemic, our research team from Mozilla and The Extended Mind performed user testing research entirely in a remote 3D virtual space where participants had to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This research aimed to test security concepts that could help users feel safe traversing links in the immersive web, the results of which are forthcoming in 2021. By utilizing a virtual space, we were able to get more intimate knowledge of how users would interact with these security concepts because they were immersed in a 3D environment.

            The purpose of this article is to persuade you that Hubs, and other VR platforms offer unique affordances for qualitative research. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the three key benefits of using VR platforms for research, namely the ability to perform immersive and embodied research across distances, with global participants, and the ability to test out concepts prior to implementation. Additionally, I will discuss the unique accessibility of Hubs as a VR platform and the benefits it provided us in our research.

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 6 (Firefox 80-81)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 80 and 81 Nightly release cycles. If you like these newsletters, you may also enjoy Yulia’s Compiler Compiler live stream.

            With the recent changes at Mozilla, some may be worried about what this means for SpiderMonkey. The team continues to remain strong, supported and is excited to show off a lot of cool things this year and into the future.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Education

        • The best learning management systems for education, enterprise, and small business

          Moodle, like Canvas, is open source. Unlike Canvas, Moodle doesn’t have a managed services model. If you want to use Moodle, download it, install it, set it up, manage it, customize it, and manage whatever inevitable problems arise in the process.

          Moodle (an acronym for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment) is very powerful and flexible, as you might expect from a community-maintained product with very broad market penetration. It’s also a bit fussy, and its mobile features aren’t really keeping up with what modern students expect. It works on phones, but meh.

          There is a cloud-based solution, MoodleCloud, launched in 2015. If you’re interested in Moodle and don’t mind paying a monthly fee so someone else maintains the installation, MoodleCloud might be for you.

      • Funding

        • Linode renews Kubuntu VPS sponsorship

          The Kubuntu Council and Community would like to thank Linode for once again renewing their sponsorship of Kubuntu by providing us with another year’s usage of a VPS instance.

        • Sumana Harihareswara – Cogito, Ergo Sumana: Apply For Grants To Fund Open Source Work, and Career Thoughts

          We know some things about what some funders are seeking, and want to help match you up with funders who might be a good match. Depending on where you live, there may be country-specific grants that the existing members of the Project Funding Working Group know less about! Like, there is the Prototype Fund for people in Germany, and Innovation Fund Denmark, and there are a bunch of European Union grant opportunities that I know very little about like Horizon 2020.

      • Programming/Development

        • AMD Radeon GPU Offloading For GCC Still Maturing In 2020

          When it comes to Radeon GPU offloading for compute, most of the emphasis placed by AMD has been on Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) and now as part of that as well is the AOMP compiler for OpenMP targeting the AMD GPUs. Both ROCm and AOMP along with their other graphics driver components like RadeonSI and AMDVLK target an LLVM-based compiler stack as their principal focus, but they do continue engaging with Mentor Graphics who leads the development work on a Radeon GPU back-end for GCC.

        • LLVM Clang Will Finally Honor “-mtune=” On x86/x86_64 CPUs

          Starting with LLVM Clang 12.0 next year, the Clang compiler on x86/x86_64 CPUs will finally honor -mtune= in a similar manner to GCC.

          GCC has long allowed the -mtune= option on Intel/AMD processors for supporting microarchitectural tuning optimizations (scheduler model) to be applied independent of the CPU being targeted for instructions to enable that is set via the -march=. LLVM Clang is now supporting -mtune= as well in its x86 code for allowing this finer-grained tuning separate from -march=. Like GCC, if -mtune is not set it will follow the value specified via -march otherwise the defaults (generic).

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: anytime 0.3.9: More Minor Maintenance

          A new minor release of the anytime package arrived on CRAN yesterday. This is the twentieth release, but sadly we seem to be spinning our wheels just accomodating CRAN (which the two or three last releases focused on). Code and functionality remain mature and stable, of course.

          anytime is a very focused package aiming to do just one thing really well: to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, … format to either POSIXct or Date objects – and to do so without requiring a format string as well as accomodating different formats in one input vector. See the anytime page, or the GitHub README.md for a few examples.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 75: Coin Sums and Largest Rectangle Histogram

            These are some answers to the Week 75 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

          • Time Challenge (CY’s Take on PWC#075 Task 1)

            Thanks for the volunteers, there are code Reviews on Perl/Raku; in addition, on each Monday, you can read the RECAP linking others’ solutions and blogs; I often learn something from both RECAP and Perl Review.


            While the weekly challenge is fighting towards new record of submission, I am starting my own programming adventure. Congratulations to CY Fung, she knows how to code in Python and Java now. I am going to submit guest solutions in these two languages for the coming challenges.

        • Python

          • Do You Post Too Much? Analyze Your Personal Facebook Data with Python

            That looks great! We’ve got our post counts broken down by month, and if we check the original data set, we can quickly see the counts are correct.

            Note that months with no posts have been correctly counted as 0 rather than simply skipped. That’s one of the reasons why using resample(), which is designed to work with time series, is better for this kind of task than using something like groupby(), where it’s easy to skip months with no data if we’re not careful.

          • “From The Docs: PyCharm Skills, Beginner to Advanced” with Alla Redko

            PyCharm is a comprehensive IDE that also comes with comprehensive help. What’s available and what is it like working on the help? PyCharm’s Alla Redko joins us to discuss how the help gets made. As a bonus, we show 3 help topics — one for beginners, intermediate, and advanced — then demonstrate all the ways to that feature in PyCharm.

          • Python with Pandas: DataFrame Tutorial with Examples

            Pandas is an open-source Python library for data analysis. It is designed for efficient and intuitive handling and processing of structured data.

            The two main data structures in Pandas are Series and DataFrame. Series are essentially one-dimensional labeled arrays of any type of data, while DataFrames are two-dimensional, with potentially heterogenous data types, labeled arrays of any type of data. Heterogenous means that not all “rows” need to be of equal size.

            In this article we will go through the most common ways of creating a DataFrame and methods to change their structure.

            We’ll be using the Jupyter Notebook since it offers a nice visual representation of DataFrames. Though, any IDE will also do the job, just by calling a print() statement on the DataFrame object.

          • Test and Code: 128: pytest-randomly – Adam Johnson

            Software tests should be order independent. That means you should be able to run them in any order or run them in isolation and get the same result.

            However, system state often gets in the way and order dependence can creep into a test suite.
            One way to fight against order dependence is to randomize test order, and with pytest, we recommend the plugin pytest-randomly to do that for you.

            The developer that started pytest-randomly and continues to support it is Adam Johnson, who joins us today to discuss pytest-randomly and another plugin he also wrote, called pytest-reverse.

          • Hands-On: BornHack 2020 Badge Has 9×32 Of Bling Fed By CircuitPython

            Despite widespread pandemic cancellations, BornHack still happened this year and they even managed to once again bring an electronic badge to all attendees. If you missed it, I’ve already published an overview of the hacker camp itself. Today let’s dig into the 2020 BornHack badge!

            Designed by Thomas Flummer and manufactured in Denmark, it takes the form of a PCB in the shape of a roughly 60 degree circular arc with most of its top side taken up by a 9 by 32 array of SMD LEDs. There is the usual 4-way button array and space for an SAO connector on the rest of the front face, while on the rear are a set of GPIO pads and a pair of AA battery holders for power. Connectivity is via USB-C and infra-red, and usefully there is also a power on/off switch.

          • Unravelling augmented arithmetic assignment

            This post is part of a series on Python’s syntactic sugar. The latest source code can be found as part of the desugar project.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Blog Post
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: udiff: Project Summary
        • Rust

          • Will Kahn-Greene: RustConf 2020 thoughts

            Last year, I went to RustConf 2019 in Portland. It was a lovely conference. Everyone I saw was so exuberantly happy to be there–it was just remarkable. It was my first RustConf. Plus while I’ve been sort-of learning Rust for a while and cursorily related to Rust things (I work on crash ingestion and debug symbols things), I haven’t really done any Rust work. Still, it was a remarkable and very exciting conference.

            RustConf 2020 was entirely online. I’m in UTC-4, so it occurred during my afternoon and evening. I spent the entire time watching the RustConf 2020 stream and skimming the channels on Discord. Everyone I saw on the channels were so exuberantly happy to be there and supportive of one another–it was just remarkable. Again! Even virtually!

            I missed the in-person aspect of a conference a bit. I’ve still got this thing about conferences that I’m getting over, so I liked that it was virtual because of that and also it meant I didn’t have to travel to go.

  • Leftovers

    • Shit Bowl Country

      I will contradict myself numerous times in this piece.

    • Torrid Zones
    • Soccer’s Holy Trinity

      The lackluster players’ performances during the last Champions League show that Pelé, Maradona and Messi continue to be the three best players of the last century. They constitute the Holy Trinity of the most popular game in the world. The three of them have been considered by different observers as the best player in soccer’s history. A nuanced analysis shows that, despite some differences, it is practically impossible to choose one over the two others.

    • Hardware

      • You Can’t Find a Laptop. Now What?

        Kimber said that if your budget allows, higher-priced Chromebooks or other computers are often easier to find than lower-cost models.

      • Jussi Pakkanen: It ain’t easy being a unique snowflake, the laptop purchasing edition

        Probably going to stick with the current ones for now. New models come out at a fairly steady pace, so maybe this mythical white whale will become available for purchase at some point. Alternatively I might eventually just fold, give up on some requirements and buy a compromise machine. Typically this causes the dream machine to become available for purchase immediately afterwards, when it is too late.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • GOP Convention Pretended COVID Was Over While Creating Super-Spreader Conditions

        He lied about testing, again. He lied about the China travel ban, again. He lied about the pandemic dead, again. He lied about supporting Black people, again. He lied about protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions, again. He lied about Joe Biden and Barack Obama, again and again. He lied about petroleum, the police, the military, the border wall, immigration in general, NATO, the economy, veterans… for more than an hour in the hot COVID night of Washington D.C., Donald Trump breathed in oxygen and exhaled fiction.

      • White House Official Spurns COVID Prevention: “Everybody Is Going to Catch This”

        Around 1,500 of the president’s supporters gathered on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday evening to hear Donald Trump formally accept the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention (RNC).

      • Five Trump Failures That Unleashed a Pandemic

        Suppose you learned that the school bus driver had been warned – just before the big crash that killed a dozen kids – that the brakes were failing. “Sir, that brake line could blow out at any minute,” the mechanic told him that morning. “Can’t wait. You need to get that fixed right away.”

      • Wild Poliovirus Eradicated in Africa; Rejoice!

        Lost amidst the mirrored disavowal of the left this week was wonderful news. Democrats were too busy insisting that they weren’t left, Republicans were too busy insisting the Democrats were left. Both found themselves ignoring all policy related to the deadly pandemic ravaging the country.

      • The COVID Heroism of Cuban Doctors

        With Covid-19 roaring through the U.S., now is a good time to discuss Cuban health care. It’s about as different from the American variety as possible. It is not for profit. It is socialized. It does not first resort to expensive medical technology. Its doctors live among the people, like in Haiti after the earthquake, not in luxury hotels, like American doctors. It does not rely on the thinking that there is a pill for every ailment. It is successful. Cuba has suffered 88 deaths from covid, and the 3408 infected people have not gone bankrupt receiving care. To repeat, that’s because Cuban doctors and pharmaceutical entities are not in it for the money. Cuba’s astonishingly good health statistics derive from its emphasis on preventive medicine, something not stressed nearly enough in the U. S.

      • He Faced a Criminal Charge for Not Self-Isolating When He Had COVID-19 Symptoms. Prosecutors Just Dropped the Case.

        Prosecutors have dismissed a criminal charge against a southern Illinois man whom they accused of endangering public safety when he entered a busy gas station store after he was ordered to self-isolate because of coronavirus-like symptoms.

        Jason Liddle, 36, of Olney, was charged in late March, as Illinois was under a shelter-in-place order because of the accelerating number of COVID-19 cases. Liddle had stopped at The Gas Station convenience store in Sainte Marie, in Jasper County, so his then 4-year-old son could use the bathroom. A store employee who attended high school with Liddle recalled a Facebook post that Liddle shared that showed a note from medical professionals instructing him to stay at home for 14 days because of “possible COVID 19 illness.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • As Speakers At The RNC Whined About Big Tech Bias, You Could Only Watch The Full Convention Because Of ‘Big Tech’

          There was much nonsense spewed at this week’s Republican National Convention, and as has been expected given the nonsense narrative about “anti-conservative bias” in big tech, there were plenty of people using the podium to whine about how the big internet companies are working against them. Thanks to the folks at Reason for pointing out how utterly stupid and counterfactual this actually is. Indeed, if you actually wanted to watch the RNC speeches (and I’m not sure why you would), the only place to actually watch them uninterrupted was… on those internet platforms that the speakers swore were trying to silence them.

        • Hope you didn’t delete Fortnite or Infinity Blade because Apple just terminated Epic’s dev account

          Apple says Epic will no longer be able to submit apps or updates using its Epic Games developer account, but users who’ve previously downloaded Fortnite on iOS and Mac can keep playing it.

        • Apple Terminates ‘Fortnite’ Maker Epic Games’ Developer Account

          The suspension of Epic’s developer account means that users can’t download “Fortnite” (or other Epic games) from the Apple App Store or update them. Apple’s action comes after a court issued a temporary restraining order Monday, Aug. 24, that prohibits Apple from blocking Epic’s App Store account for the Unreal Engine, which is used by third-party game makers, but leaving the door open for Apple to freeze out the popular “Fortnite” app.

        • Apple removes Fortnite developer Epic from App Store

          Apple has terminated Epic Games’s account from its App Store amid a legal battle over in-app payments on the Fortnite game.

          Apple had already removed Fortnite from the store after the game offered a discount on its virtual currency for purchases made outside of the app, from which Apple receives a 30% cut.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Xen Developer & Design Summit 2020 Virtual Event Recap

                Last month, the Xen Project community gathered, virtually, to collaborate, connect, and solve the important challenges we all face. While our gathering may have looked different than in years past, we made the most of it and heard from a broad set of community members both in presentations and in collaborative Design Sessions.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9 and squid), Fedora (libX11 and wireshark), Gentoo (libX11 and redis), Mageia (firefox, libx11, qt4 and qt5base, and x11-server), openSUSE (gettext-runtime, inn, and webkit2gtk3), Oracle (firefox), SUSE (libqt5-qtbase, openvpn, openvpn-openssl1, postgresql10, and targetcli-fb), and Ubuntu (chrony, nss, and squid).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 158 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 158. This version includes the following changes:

            * Improve PGP support:
              - Support extracting of files within PGP signed data.
                (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#214)
              - pgpdump(1) can successfully parse some unrelated, non-PGP binary files,
                so check that the parsed output contains something remotely sensible
                before identifying it as a PGP file.
            * Don't use Python's repr(...)-style output in "Calling external command"
              logging output.
            * Correct a typo of "output" in an internal comment.

          • Google Engineer Calls For Greater Collaboration On Speculative Execution Mitigations

            Case in point to all the work going on in this area were talks by Google, Oracle, and DigitalOcean this week at Linux Plumbers Conference. DigitalOcean has been pursuing Core Scheduling to make Hyper Threading safer by ensuring only trusted applications share a core. Oracle meanwhile presented on their Address Space Isolation work for Linux. Google also had a talk on Linux Address Space Isolation at this week’s virtual event. ASI aims to deal with Hyper Threading data leakage by isolating the address space between the different areas of the kernel with a particular emphasis on KVM/virtualization to avoid the possibility of data leakage between guest VMs or the host.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Mark Zuckerberg says Kenosha Guard rulings were ‘an operational mistake’

              Some Facebook employees weren’t happy with that answer, according to Buzzfeed News reporting. “At what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?” one employee commented on the video feed. “Anti-semitism, conspiracy, and white supremacy reeks across our services.”

              Others worried that the company’s pattern of reactive moderation made it difficult to prevent tragedies before they occur. “We need to get better at avoiding mistakes and being more proactive,” said another comment obtained by Buzzfeed News. “Feels like we’re caught in a cycle of responding to damage after it’s already been done rather than constructing mechanisms to nip these issues before they result in real harm.”

            • Clearly Zoom still don’t understand GDPR.

              During the last month, Threatspike EDR detected the widely used Zoom Windows client accessing the Google Chrome cookie file during the uninstall process.

              This was flagged as suspicious behaviour and we decided to get to the bottom of why this access was taking place and whether there was any malicious intent.

            • Palantir’s stockmarket prospectus reveals both losses and promise

              This—combined with work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency despised by progressives for its heavy-handed treatment of migrants, or the Pentagon’s Project Maven, to analyse drone footage—has made Palantir one of the most hated firms in left-leaning Silicon Valley. “I’ve had my favourite employees yell at me,” said Mr Karp earlier this year, from a barn in New Hampshire where he was self-isolating even before the pandemic. Some engineers have left. Others are demanding high salaries to remain; in the first half of the year Palantir paid $182m in stock-based compensation, 38% of revenue. Though being in bed with America’s law enforcers and spies won’t scare off other government customers, corporate clients may take fright, particularly abroad. As the prospectus concedes, “Our reputation and business may be harmed by news or social media coverage.”

            • Elon Musk Unveils Brain Computer Implanted in Pigs

              For the four-year-old startup, this demonstration was meant to show that Neuralink’s brain-machine interface technology is progressing toward a day when it could be safely put into humans, possibly aiding people with a wide variety of debilitating conditions while also opening the door to a host of wild, sci-fi scenarios. The event naturally veered into a free-wheeling discussion of where this type of research could go. Some Neuralink employees joined Musk on stage and talked about their desires to get rid of pain, to give people super vision and to explore the nature of consciousness. “I think in the future you will be able to save and replay memories,” Musk said at the event.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Catholics Against Nukes: Archbishop Wester’s Hiroshima Vigil

        In what is a turn-up for the books, a senior voice of the Catholic Church made something of an impression this month that did not incite scandal, hot rage, or the commencement of an investigation. It did, however, agitate a few editors. Archbishop John C. Wester of San Fe, in speaking at the online Hiroshima Day vigil, had put up his hand to defy the validity and morality of nuclear weapons and, along with them, the idea of nuclear deterrence. One of the organisers of the event, the veteran peace activist Rev. John Dear, claimed it had “never happened before.”

      • The Israel-UAE Agreement: Good for a Few, Bad for Most

        Commentators evidently desperate for good news are touting the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreement as a welcome path to Middle East peace. The agreement trades Israel’s promise not to annex portions of the West Bank for the UAE’s recognition of Israel. One conservative writer for the Washington Post actually thinks Trump’s role in helping bring the agreement about makes him a Nobel Prize candidate. But hold on.

      • One Ranch, Nine Dead Cows, and Six Very Strange Wolf Investigations

        Anyone who has been following my pieces on CounterPunch lately knows that I’ve been writing  a bit and a bit more  about Wildlife Services’ depredation reports that indict Mexican wolves for livestock deaths under suspicious circumstances, often with very scant or inconsistent evidence. It’s been a long, strange trip that started with our questions about potential causes of repeated depredations and grazing management on public lands, but has led into something that seems a bit more nefarious. There’s a pattern of hasty conclusions and sketchy data that seems indicative of something more than incompetence.

      • Biden’s Troubling Foreign Policy

        An important behind-the-scenes battle is being fought over the Democratic nominee’s conservative positions. 

      • ‘Muscular’ Foreign Policy: Media Codeword for Violence Abroad

        Writing in the Washington Post , pro-war columnist Josh Rogin appeared relieved that Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate for November—as opposed to a progressive like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, who would have called for cutting military budgets, fewer US interventions and the withdrawal of troops stationed abroad. Biden and Harris, he explained, will together pursue a “robust” foreign policy agenda.

      • Ending the Civil War

        This looks like the beginning of a civil war.

      • White Supremacist Groups Have Infiltrated US Police Departments, Report Says

        As law enforcement agencies and lawmakers respond to nationwide outrage over countless police shootings of Black Americans with pledges to address racial profiling and “implicit bias,” the Brennan Center for Justice released a report Thursday on what it called “an especially harmful form of bias, which remains entrenched within law enforcement: explicit racism.”

      • US Law Enforcement’s Warrior Complex Is on Full Display in the Streets—and in Leaked Documents

        The flyer was heavy on drama and ellipses.

      • Historian Rick Perlstein on the RNC & Trump’s Dangerous Propaganda Driving People to Violence

        President Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s nomination on Thursday before a crowd of about 1,500 on the South Lawn of the White House. In defiance of social distancing guidelines, attendees sat shoulder-to-shoulder with few people wearing masks. Trump spoke as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus neared 180,000 — by far the highest total in the world — and repeatedly defended his administration’s handling of the pandemic. Trump warned of chaos and violence if Joe Biden becomes president, but made no reference to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, or the killing of two protesters in Kenosha by a 17-year-old Trump supporter. We speak with historian Rick Perlstein, who says Trump paints a “picture of the world that bears no resemblance to reality” and that he has driven people to act violently.

      • Twitter Forces Ann Coulter to Delete Tweet Praising Kyle Rittenhouse

        Conservative pundit Ann Coulter was forced by Twitter to delete a tweet in which she praised Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old shooter who killed two protesters during demonstrations following the police-perpetrated shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

      • Kremlin says it doesn’t expect to deploy Russian ‘reserve police’ to quell Belarusian ‘extremists’

        A day after Vladimir Putin announced that Russia has created a police reserve to reinforce Belarusian law enforcement “if necessary,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured journalists that Moscow very much considers such assistance to be unlikely. 

      • What Have We Become?

        My friend and mentor the much-missed Gordon Wilson used to run Radio Free Scotland, a pirate radio station supporting Independence. It was broadcast entirely illegally, a crime the state took very seriously in the 1950’s. Some of the others involved were of the group that liberated the Stone of Scone temporarily from Westminster Abbey. That was a serious crime too. One of the most enjoyable evenings of my life, one I remember 40 years later, was a boozy dinner with this whole group at Gordon and Edith’s home in Broughty Ferry.

      • Kenosha Unsurprising

        There is little to be surprised about by recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin…

      • Roaming Charges: Great Balls of Ire at the RNC
      • Moscow court orders domestic violence victim to pay ex-husband damages over Facebook post

        On Thursday, August 27, a Moscow court ordered Irina Zhivova to pay her ex-husband approximately 10,000 rubles ($135). Her ex, Evgeny Zhivov — the former deputy head of the investment company Alfa Capital, — had filed a claim against her after she accused him of domestic violence.

    • Environment

      • Class Reductionism and Environmental Racism

        On August 14th, the N.Y. Times reported on the clash between Adolph Reed Jr. and the Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus in DSA. The caucus advocates stepped up support for BLM protests while Reed views them as tools of corporate America. Naturally, when the event organizers scheduled a Zoom lecture for Reed, the caucus demanded a debate, surely expecting to be ignored. When Reed grew wary over the possibility that the upstarts might crash his talk, he canceled himself.

      • Plant world feels effect of growing climate heat

        From Hudson Bay to Tierra del Fuego, the plant world is beginning to change. Blame it on global heating.

      • The Revolutions of Hurricanes
      • Hurricane Laura Ravages Gulf Coast, Exposing Legacies of Environmental Racism
      • No Fire Without Smoke

        The smoke travels down the coast in a great southerly flow. For the past week, the particulate rich air has been sucked south by a tropical depression off of Baja, Mexico, that for a few days became sufficiently deep and focused to warrant a christening by the National Hurricane Center as Tropical Cyclone Genevieve. Now, downgraded to a post-tropical depression, smoky air still streams south over the Pacific, pushed into flood plains, canyons and valleys by local onshore winds.

      • Hurricane Laura Devastates Gulf Coast, Laying Bare Climate Crisis, Environmental Racism

        Hurricane Laura has slammed ashore as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing sustained winds of 150 miles per hour to the Gulf Coast. The strongest storm to hit Louisiana in over a century, Laura made landfall near the border of Louisiana and Texas. At least six people have been killed. Residents near Lake Charles were told to stay indoors with windows and doors shut when a chemical fire broke out at a Biolab plant. Hilton Kelley, the executive director of the Community In Power and Development Association, says local communities are dealing with multiple crises amid the devastation of the hurricane. “People are ingesting all of these dangerous toxins and at the same time dealing with COVID-19 and the extreme heat,” he says.

      • Climate Accountability Largely Missing from Senate Democrats’ New Climate Report

        But the report appears to have left out any reference to, much less a plan for, climate accountability — that is, holding polluters accountable for the harms they are knowingly causing in communities across the country facing extreme heat, devastating wildfires, and disastrous flooding and storms.

      • Pollution Scientist Calls Plastic Pellet Spill in the Mississippi River ‘a Nurdle Apocalypse’

        After visiting a couple locations along the river banks affected by the spill, Mark Benfield, an oceanographer and plastic pollution expert at Louisiana State University, estimated that nearly 750 million of these lentil-sized plastic pellets, also known as nurdles, could have been lost in the river.

      • August 2020: Hurricane Laura

        On August 27, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) began collecting aerial damage assessment images in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Imagery is being collected in specific areas identified by NOAA in coordination with FEMA and other state and federal partners. Collected images are available to view online via the NGS aerial imagery viewer. View tips on how to use the imagery viewer.

      • Marine Heat Waves Are Getting Worse. What Can We Do?
      • Washington Schemes to Heat Up the Arctic

        One of the more bizarre indications that Trump Washington is interested in the Arctic was made a year ago when he said he would like to buy Greenland, a vast territory that is administered by Denmark.  It is about the same size as Saudi Arabia, and slightly smaller than India — a big country in which there is a Pentagon base at Thule which, among other things, as Defence News tells us, is “the U.S. military’s northernmost base and the only installation north of the Arctic Circle. It is home to the 12th Space Warning Squadron, a cadre of Air Force officers and enlisted personnel that provide 24/7 missile warning and space surveillance using a massive AN/FPS-132 radar. Besides being a critical site for missile defence and space situational awareness, Thule hosts the Defence Department’s northernmost deep-water seaport and airfield. Those assets would come into play in any sort of military conflict in the arctic, giving the Pentagon forward-basing options if needed.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Trump Proposes Expanded Drilling and Fracking in California Amid Wildfires

          Especially given the climate-fueled wildfires ravaging the region, conservationists sounded alarm Thursday in response to a Trump administration proposal for an oil and gas lease sale in California, which would be the state’s first such federal auction in eight years.

        • They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen?

          What a week. Rough for all Californians. Exhausting for the firefighters on the front lines. Heart-shattering for those who lost homes and loved ones. But a special “Truman Show” kind of hell for the cadre of men and women who’ve not just watched California burn, fire ax in hand, for the past two or three or five decades, but who’ve also fully understood the fire policy that created the landscape that is now up in flames.

          “What’s it like?” Tim Ingalsbee repeated back to me, wearily, when I asked him what it was like to watch California this past week. In 1980, Ingalsbee started working as a wildland firefighter. In 1995, he earned a doctorate in environmental sociology. And in 2005, frustrated by the huge gap between what he was learning about fire management and seeing on the fire line, he started Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. Since then FUSEE has been lobbying Congress, and trying to educate anybody who will listen, about the misguided fire policy that is leading to the megafires we are seeing today.

        • Poverty and Petrochemicals Converge as Hurricane Laura’s Devastation Exposes Entire Gulf Coast as ‘Sacrificial Zone’

          “The devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura is staggering. Climate denial is not a victimless crime, and it’s time for the fossil fuel industry to be held accountable.”

    • Finance

      • ‘I Blame Mitch McConnell the Most. At Least Pelosi Was Trying’: Anger at GOP Over Economic Pain Grows

        “The White House continues to disregard the needs of the American people as the coronavirus crisis devastates lives and livelihoods.”

      • Race, Class, and the True Roots of American Inequality

        Prominent analyses of the current moment by those on the Left showcase an increasingly bitter division among progressives focused on combatting inequality. The summer of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter underscores different lessons depending on which you see as this country’s original sin: class or race? Everyone agrees that something must be done to help Americans out of work and in danger of losing their economic futures. And everyone agrees that racial disparities in incarceration, education, and wealth are unacceptable. But there is real disagreement about what fundamentally explains these societal ills and, consequently, what to do about them.

      • The Comeback of Manufacturing Jobs: MAGA Land and the Real World

        We know that Donald Trump has no interest in reality, but just in case anyone might be tempted to take his boasts about bringing back manufacturing jobs seriously, it is worth a quick visit to the actual numbers. In 2016 Trump focused his campaign on a series of Midwestern swing states that had been hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs due to trade. He insisted that he would bring back these jobs as a result of his great skills as a deal maker. He would negotiate new trade deals so that we would get back the jobs we had lost.

      • Time for Democratic Deficit Hawks to Go the Way of the Dodo

        Democrats just can’t help themselves. On the eve of Joe Biden’s acceptance speech, a longtime confidant of the former vice president, Ted Kaufman, poured cold water on the idea that a future Biden administration would rid itself of the deficit fetishism that has plagued the Democratic Party since the days of Bill Clinton. “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” said Kaufman.

      • Trump Touts Stock Market Gains That Benefit the Wealthy as Americans Suffer

        It is always curious when the health of the economy is equated with the stock market, as President Trump did when he touted the recent record highs of the S&P and Dow Jones, claiming he is presiding over the “fastest economic recovery” in U.S. history.

      • Under Capitalism Black Lives Are Adrift and Vulnerable

        It’s true. Too often, in too many circumstances, for too long, the lives of Black people in the United States don’t matter. Black people fill prisons; their children fill terrible schools; many are poverty-stricken. But at issue here are the killings and people being left to die.

      • American Recessional

        So, the tumult and the shouting–such as it was–dies, the Capitalists and the Cronies depart, still stands this diseased, battered country, reeling in furious confusion, justified outrage, passionate nonsense, and reflex violence as it shifts its focus to the geeks and freaks–the Bearded Lady, Sword Swallower, and Pinhead–who’ll parade their freakish kinks…

      • “Business as Usual! Business as Usual!” Chants the Oligarchy as the World Burns

        On this fire season, the last one, and the fire seasons to come.

      • Let’s Not Tatreez: Normalisation in the Age of Neoliberal Depoliticisation

        One wonderful aspect of being Palestinian and living in Palestine is that there is never, ever, ever a dull or quiet moment. Even global pandemics take on a new sordid meaning here. The incessant drip-drip-drip of horror, which is occasionally interrupted by a burst of disaster, is the order of life. One such droplet came crashing down at the start of last month when I became aware of the ongoing digital exhibition, Let’s Tatreez (let’s embroider) by Jordan Nassar at the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Mosaic Rooms Gallery in London.

      • The Relational Economy

        Both romantic and working relationships are under extraordinary pressure. Can we seize this moment to reclaim our hearts from our jobs?

        “The fact is, we take home to work and we take work home. Love and work are the two pillars of our life . . . Sigmund Freud said it before me: in both we experience a sense of identity, a sense of belonging, a sense of continuity, and—hopefully—a sense of self-worth and fulfillment.” So says Esther Perel, probably our most famous relationship therapist. The Belgian daughter of concentration camp survivors has garnered more than 20 million views for her TED talks, and her book Mating in Captivity has been translated into twenty-five languages. More importantly, she’s the host of two extraordinary podcasts, where she takes you inside real therapy sessions, anonymized but excruciatingly raw.
        The first, Where Should We Begin?, is about romantic relationships. In each episode, listeners eavesdrop as Perel advises couples on how to rekindle the spark, sort through the wreckage left after infidelity, and navigate a host of other problems. Since the advent of the coronavirus, she’s released a new series on the podcast, “Couples Under Lockdown,” looking at the extraordinary pressures that tight quarters and a lack of freedom place on our most intimate bonds.
        Her most recent podcast, How’s Work?, takes the same shape—anonymous therapy sessions—but instead of romantic partners, she’s talking to pairs of coworkers about their relationships on the job. In doing so, she not only gives us a little frisson of voyeurism but lays bare a multitude of dysfunctional attitudes toward work.
        I listened to Where Should We Begin? in the wake of a major breakup, yet I felt flayed open by How’s Work? in an entirely different way. Romantic relationships, after all, aren’t the only ones in our lives; often, as Perel points out a few times over the eleven episodes, they actually take a back seat to the relationships at our jobs, where we spend the majority of our time. But according to Perel, romantic relationships and working relationships have something else in common: both are under extraordinary pressure in this particular phase of capitalism.
        Even before the coronavirus, the boundaries between work and home had thinned, and our vocabularies for both were blending. “Emotional capitalism”—a term Perel borrows from sociologist Eva Illouz—leads to first dates that feel like job interviews, as we apply market logic to our love lives. Meanwhile our bosses expect us to bring all the passion we have to our jobs, and in return we expect work to provide “authenticity and vulnerability and trust and transparency and belonging,” according to Perel. This is because “we see both our jobs and our relationships as a place for identity fulfillment.”
        How did we get here? In the series prologue, Perel addresses a focus group, whose applause you can hear. She asks how many of them live and work where they grew up. When the answer she gets is the one that she expects—that many of them do not—she points out that this is historically novel. While our grandparents lived in a production economy in which many of them did what their parents did and stayed where their parents lived, that is no longer the case, she says. For people to relocate to pursue education, a career, a relationship, or fulfillment, or to escape a lack of economic opportunity, “requires a societal structure that is not about tight knots, but is about loose threads. That means that we moved from structure to network. In the network, you make loose threads that allow you to enter and leave easily so that you can connect and disconnect.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Where Trump is Getting His Lines

        Rory McVeigh wrote The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan, a study of the KKK in the 1920s, in 2009 —  long before Donal Trump became president. But it could almost be about Trump today.

      • William Perry Pendley Must Go

        William Perry Pendley’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management has been withdrawn and while President Trump offered no explanation for withdrawing Pendley’s nomination, it seems he didn’t have the votes necessary for Senate confirmation. The Senate Democrats were united against him and a few GOP Senators found themselves in an election year hot seat and being pressed to weigh in on Pendley’s unpopular position on selling off public lands (not to mention his record of racism and disdain for the “other” BLM, Black Lives Matter).

      • Former DHS Official Claims Trump “Wanted to Maim” Migrants at US-Mexico Border

        Former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief of Staff Miles Taylor claimed in a podcast earlier this week that President Donald Trump told administration officials he wanted to “maim” and “shoot” migrants at the southern border.

      • GOP Convention: George Wallace Meets ‘Duck Dynasty’
      • Heartland Tenants Who Beat the Odds

        Six years after immigrating from Mexico, Vanessa and Oscar Romero Del Campo moved into the first place of their own in the U.S. — a one-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis. But what should have been a celebratory occasion quickly soured as Vanessa discovered the dilapidated state her building was in.

      • The ‘Abomination’ of a Convention Makes Clear the GOP Threat

        Eight years ago, at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave a dishonest speech in which he blamed President Barack Obama for the closure of a Wisconsin General Motors factory that began shutting down during the George W. Bush presidency. Even so, Washington Post lead fact-checker Glenn Kessler gave Ryan a pass. What’s more, he objected to the fact that anyone else thought it significant. The headline above Kessler’s column read: “The truth? C’mon, this is a political convention.” In it, Kessler wrote that “the whole point is for the party to put its best foot forward to the American people. By its very nature, that means downplaying unpleasant facts, highlighting the positive and knocking down the opposing team.”

      • Citing His ‘Alarming Disregard’ for the Law, House Committee Launches Contempt Proceedings Against Pompeo

        “You don’t get to repeatedly defy congressional subpoenas and undermine the Constitution with no consequences,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar.

      • Donald Trump Has Declared Himself Impotent

        So that was terrifying.

      • RNC: None Shall Sleep

        Across four nights, the televised program of the Republican National Convention had all the drama of an interminable student piano recital in which one put-upon pupil after another trudges dutifully to the bench of doom, soldiers through “Für Elise” or “The Entertainer,” takes a sheepish bow and then hurries back to the seat next to mom and dad, praying that that’ll be the last time ever having to go through such an ordeal.

      • Trump’s AG Department is Serving Up Diseased Chicken

        Top regulatory officials in Trump’s government keep chanting the same one-word mantra: “Deregulate. Deregulate. Deregulate.”

      • Dissenter Weekly: EPA’s Trump Propaganda, Whistleblower Challenges Police Use Of Ketamine

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights an effort by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) to challenge the EPA and its administrator’s “illegal political self-promotion.”

        PEER wants Congress to enforce a ban against federal funding for “propaganda purposes” and “obtain reimbursement for the costs of EPA’s partisan tweets and other improper social media campaigning.” They asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s tweets. Wheeler is a coal industry lobbyist.

      • The F-Word: No Other Way to Describe Trump’s Fascism 2.0

        Since the defeat of fascism in World War II, it’s been bad form in America to call a political opponent a fascist—or even a liar. But given Donald Trump’s career of long cons, his cult convention, his recent suggestions about changing Election Day, and his persistent efforts to sabotage the Postal Service, it’s now naive not to.

      • Press Normalizes Trump’s Lawlessness as Use of ‘Tools of Presidency’ to ‘Broaden Appeal’

        After the spectacle of a Democratic National Convention featuring more Republicans than Latinos, Americans got a Republican Convention featuring—to pick just one thing— gleeful violations of the Hatch Act. That’s the law that prohibits federal employees from taking part in partisan political activities. So, things like having the Secretary of State make a campaign speech from Jerusalem, where they’re engaged on state business, or the first lady stumping with the White House Rose Garden as backdrop, or the head of Homeland Security performing a naturalization ceremony, with Trump looking on, as part of the convention—all patently illegal and unethical.

      • ‘Not to Have an Accurate Count  Is Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Liz OuYang on the hijacking of the 2020 census for the August 14, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Mail-In Voting’s Difficulties Extend Beyond DeJoy’s Gutting of USPS

        While much of the recent attention on mail-in voting has focused on the U.S. Postal Service or on the likelihood of voter fraud, there is a lesser-known, looming problem for the November elections: The burden of mail-in voting does not just fall on the Postal Service.

      • Trump’s Postmaster General Should be Returned to Sender

        President Trump’s postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, recently testified before Congress about major slowdowns in mail delivery under his watch.

      • Identity, Race and Electoral Politics

        Ongoing protests against police violence raise the question— if the police could be made to either serve a constructive social role or disappear, would the objectives of the protests disappear with them? Racism, as it is being put forward, is certainly a larger issue than police violence. But as with the police, what would ending racism look like? Would it mean diversity, where the distribution of power remains the same, but exclusion on the basis of race is prohibited. Would it mean a redistribution of power to select groups only? Or would it mean the creation of a just society?

      • Phyllis Bennis on Foreign Policy Visions
      • ‘We’re in the business of saving lives, get it?’ One of the ICU doctors who treated Alexey Navalny in Omsk explains how Russian physicians handled the case and why he thinks activists’ criticism is unfair

        Boris Teplikh, the head of the Anesthesiology and ICU Department at Moscow’s Pirogov National Medical and Surgical Center, was one of the doctors summoned to consult on Alexey Navalny’s treatment in Omsk, after the opposition politician needed hospitalization and slipped into a coma on August 20. Teplikh then returned to the capital and wrote a Facebook post where he defended his Russian colleagues’ decision to delay Navalny’s transfer to Berlin and their reluctance to rush a diagnosis. Doctors in Omsk ultimately concluded that Navalny’s condition was due to a “carbohydrate imbalance.” Navalny’s family and fellow activists, meanwhile, insisted from the start that he was likely poisoned — a suspicion later confirmed by doctors at the Charité Clinic in Germany. Meduza special correspondent Svetlana Reiter spoke to Boris Teplikh about his work in Omsk and the chances that Navalny was poisoned.

      • As German officials discuss possible sanctions against Russia, doctors treating Navalny seek help from ‘Novichok’ researchers

        Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Berlin would be ready to introduce diplomatic sanctions against Russia if it turns out that the Russian authorities were behind the poisoning of opposition politician Alexey Navalny, Reuters reports. 

      • Germany is outraged over Alexey Navalny’s poisoning, but has no jurisdiction when it comes to his case

        One week after Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny was hospitalized, concerns are rising that his poisoning may never be officially investigated. On August 27, Russia’s Attorney General’s Office stated that “no information evidencing deliberate criminal acts against Navalny has been established.” Meanwhile, Navalny is still in intensive care at the Charité Hospital in Berlin. But even if the doctors there are able to prove that a chemical weapon was used to poison him, Germany’s Attorney General’s Office won’t be able to initiate criminal proceedings, nor will it be able to open a case for attempted murder. Meduza breaks down why the Russian authorities are the only ones who can launch a criminal case over Navalny’s poisoning.

      • Alexey Navalny is in stable condition but remains in a coma, German hospital says

        The Charité Hospital in Berlin, where Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny is being treated for poisoning, has issued a new press release on the state of his health.

      • Biden Campaign Trolls Trump by Snapping Up ‘Keep America Great’ Website, Which Claims to Detail President’s Failures

        The keepamericagreat.com domain was previously owned by billionaire Tom Steyer, the Democratic presidential hopeful, who had emblazoned the site with anti-Trump messages, including “Trump is a fraud & a failure” and “BEAT TRUMP: HE’S A CONMAN, A CROOK, AND A CRIMINAL.”

      • The Nativist Tradition

        Migration, he thundered, was the right of all. It was the foundation for the freedom he would fight for just a few years later.
        The political language of those revolutionary years struck universal notes. Rights were “natural,” “inalienable,” possessed by all. Much of this rhetoric seemed to transcend both history and geography. Indeed, centuries later echoes of it could be heard in the words of revolutionaries the world over as they struggled to forge a postcolonial order. But Jefferson’s writings also betray the racial ideology of his particular time and place. The Declaration’s grievances against King George III famously denounced the incitement of “domestic insurrections” of Native Americans and slaves. The right to roam where one willed and to live free was circumscribed by various markers of difference. If the ultimate end—freedom from monarchical domination—could only be realized through migration, that implied conquest and the subordination and unfreedom of others—native, black, propertyless.
        Two new books, one by renowned historian Erika Lee and the other by writer and Jacobin podcaster Daniel Denvir, explore immigration politics through the histories of xenophobia and nativism. Both authors take us from the colonial era to the present. Denvir and Lee have written profoundly different books in both style and structure, but they share a mission: to correct the misperception that Trump’s nativism is a profound departure from our political norms. His politics, they insist, tap into a political tradition that has shaped every stage of U.S. history.

        As far back as the early eighteenth century, panic over an influx of European migrants led colonies like Pennsylvania to institute an immigration registry, a specific tax on immigrants, and a requirement that Catholic migrants disavow the Pope. In America for Americans, Lee traces the vitriol that greeted each set of newcomers. First, it was Germans (“strangers to our laws and constitutions,” “the most ignorant . . . of their own nation”); then Catholics (“mass of alien voters,” “foreign criminal or pauper”); Chinese (“moral and racial pollution,” “filthy, vicious, ignorant, depraved, and criminal”); Jews, Irish, Italians, and other Southern and Eastern Europeans (“as bad as Negroes,” “moral cripples”); Mexicans (“low-grade Spaniard, peonized Indian, and negro slave mixe[d] with negroes, mulattoes, and other mongrels, and some sorry whites”); Japanese (“enemy within our gates”); then Muslims (“the greatest Trojan horse,” adherents to “a religion that promote[d] the most murderous mayhem on the planet”); and finally, Mexicans again (“criminal aliens”).

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • China’s Efforts To Hide Its Muslim Concentration Camps Helped Reporters To Find Them

        Here’s quite an example of the Streisand Effect. Buzzfeed investigative reporters have an incredible new series of stories about the massive new prison/concentration camps built in China to house the various Muslim minority populations they’ve been imprisoning (Uighurs, Kazakhs and others). But what’s relevant from our standpoint here at Techdirt is just how they were able to track this information down. As revealed in a separate article, Buzzfeed’s reporters effectively used the Streisand Effect. They looked at the maps provided online by the Chinese internet giant Baidu and spotted a bunch of areas that were “blanked out.” The reporters noticed that this graying out was deliberate and different than the standard “general reference tiles” that Baidu would show when it didn’t have high resolution enough imagery.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Facebook Responds To A Live-streamed Mass Shooting (March 2019)

        Summary: On March 15, 2019, the unimaginable happened. A Facebook user — utilizing the platform’s live-streaming option — filmed himself shooting mosque attendees in Christchurch, New Zealand.

      • More Video Game Art Is Being Sanitized, Likely To Appease China

        Mere days ago, we were talking about Activision’s decision to do a delete and replace for the trailer for the latest Call of Duty game worldwide due to pressure from the Chinese government. That pressure came about over 1 second’s worth of footage in the trailer that showed an image from pro-democracy protests in 1989. While only a trailer for an un-released game, the point I attempted to make is that this was a terrible precedent to set. It’s one thing to sanitize games, a form of art, for distribution within China. We could spend hours arguing over just how willing companies should be in bowing to the thin-skin of the Chinese government when it comes to art in favor of making huge sums of money, but that’s at least understandable. It makes far less sense to apply those changes to the larger world, where China’s pearl-clutching sensibilities aren’t a thing.

      • Google is removing Fediverse apps from the Play Store because they can be used to access hate speech

        A growing number of mobile apps meant to access the Fediverse are being removed from the Google Play Store. According to user reports, recently removed apps include Husky, Subway Tooter, and Fedilab. In a nutshell, a Fediverse is any combination of interconnected servers that can be used for web publishing and can manifest in something like Mastodon. Apps like Subway Tooter allow users to access Mastodon content which is hosted on individual servers in the Fediverse. The operators of the servers in the Fediverse (and often in the Internet at large) are responsible for moderating hate speech, not the operators of the apps used to access said servers.

      • How ‘Call of Duty’ Got Itself Into A Political Pickle

        The teaser showcases an actual, historical interview with Russian defect Yuri Bezmenov outlining a four-step Soviet plan designed to cripple America from within. We are shown clips of, again, real historical events, as he details this strategy like the Vietnam War, riots around the world, and footage of the White House. One such clip is of the famed 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests in which the Chinese Communist Government fired upon protesters, and it is still to this day one of the most heavily censored and sensitive topics in China. That’s why it is especially curious that Activision removed the teaser and replaced it with a version that no longer features the Tiananmen Square Protests. Here’s the new version: [...]

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • If We Were a Republic

        A misuse plagues our republic: the misuse of democracy; instead of building a democratic, and just, society, we simply use democracy to validate and renew the personnel of oligarchy.

      • Temp Workers Fight Back Against Alleged Sexual Harassment and Say They Face Retaliation for Doing So

        This week, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the settlement of a sexual harassment and job retaliation case involving female temporary workers at a southwest suburban beauty supplies factory. The settlement, which includes implementation of a two-year independent monitor to protect workers from further harassment and retaliation, is a victory for vulnerable Latina immigrant workers who rarely speak out against this type of abuse.

        We never reported on the allegations at Voyant Beauty, previously known as Vee Pak LLC, in Countryside. So, you may be wondering, why am I telling you about this now? Well, sometimes you come across a story you want to write about but, for one reason or another, you don’t. You “gather string,” as we say, and hope the right moment comes. Monday’s announcement of the settlement felt like the right moment to revisit this issue.

      • Kamala Harris Is No Ally to Transwomen

        All the shiny chattering skulls of Cablenewsland seemed to be beside themselves with an almost euphoric sense of inspiration. There didn’t appear to be enough words in the English dictionary to properly express their head over heels infatuation with our next vice president and beyond, Kamala Harris. Every botoxed buffoon from Joe Scarborough to Don Lemon was rendered dreamy eyed and stupid by Biden’s choice of human shield. To hear them gush about it you would think Rosa Parks had risen from the grave, dawned a smart power suit, and road on eagle’s wings to save them from the nightly ritual of verbal necrophilia that was necessary to keep old Joe’s corpse looking presidential. All of history could now be divided into two categories; Before Kamala and after the Neoliberal Enlightenment. After all, this was ‘It’ wasn’t it? This was the proof of the oligarchy’s color blind benevolence, and now, all across this great country, the winds of change could be felt. Little black girls woke up to a new day because now they knew that they too could aspire to run the most corrupt system on earth as long as they learned to step on other poor brown girls to get there. Wow! Just like a Lisa Frank folder with unicorns for wardens. Magical.

      • Securing ‘Real Change’ for Voting Rights, NBA Players Strike Wins Use of Stadiums for Polling Stations, Other Reforms

        “Don’t give into something that hasn’t happened. Keep pushing, keep working.”

      • Immigrant Children in the US Are Still In Cages
      • Black Lives Don’t Matter (To Congress)

        The Klick-Klack lady in red (Kimberly Klacik) is running for Congress in Maryland’s 7th District with the usual Republican talking points of opportunity zones, school vouchers, ending entitlements, etc. She is black, as are a number of other Republican candidates in Maryland, spoke at the RNC convention, and puts on a kick-ass video introducing herself! Her primary argument is that Baltimore is poverty-stricken, has been run by Democrats for decades, and Black Lives Don’t Matter for these past members of Congress. The last Congressman for this district was Elijah Cummings, a useful tool of the Democratic Party. The person who won his seat in a special election is Kweisi Mfume, former congressman from the same district, and disgraced former president of the NAACP.

      • The NBA and Black Lives Matter

        Amidst the Republican Convention for the 2020 presidential election, raging wildfires in the western states, a Category-4 Hurricane Laura heading toward Louisiana and Texas, and a COVID-19 pandemic, another shooting emerges of an African-American man, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake. It is a tragedy both saddening and infuriating. Blake was shot seven times in the back by a white police-officer while Blake’s children were waiting in his car. It begs the question again—why?! Why did the officers not attempt to tackle him or restrain him in some other manner? Likewise, why did this police shooting occur after the tumultuous events following the death of the African-American, George Floyd, on Memorial Day, only three months ago?

      • Billionaire T. Denny Sanford Was Under Investigation for Child Pornography

        T. Denny Sanford, the richest man in South Dakota and a major donor to children’s charities, was being investigated for possible possession of child pornography, according to four people familiar with the probe.

        Investigators with the South Dakota attorney general’s Division of Criminal Investigation obtained a search warrant as part of the probe, according to two of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said the case was referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation.

      • [Old] Lowell woman sues over $82,000 confiscated at airport

        The father and daughter were later notified that they would lose the money to civil forfeiture, according to the Institute for Justice.

        Neither Brown nor Rolin has been charged with a criminal offense, the nonprofit states.

        “There are no specific allegations against Rebecca,” Institute for Justice Assistant Communications Director Andrew Wimer said.

        “The TSA isn’t supposed to be looking just for large amounts of cash,” he added later. There is no limit to the amount of cash you can carry on a domestic flight, according to USA Today.

      • [Old] Retiree Who Had Over $82,000 Seized Sues TSA And DEA For Violating The Fourth Amendment

        It’s not a crime to travel with cash. But that hasn’t stopped federal agents from treating innocent Americans like criminals. Now a new class-action lawsuit states that the Transportation Security Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration have routinely violated the Fourth Amendment at U.S. airports by seizing cash without probable cause.

        Filed earlier this month by the Institute for Justice, the lawsuit was prompted by an outrageous seizure last August at Pittsburgh International Airport. Rebecca Brown was carrying her father’s life savings—more than $82,000 in cash—to fly back home to Boston where she would deposit it in a joint bank account.

      • Handcuffs attaching paralysed police shooting victim Jacob Blake to his hospital bed removed

        His lawyer Patrick Cafferty said Blake was restrained in his hospital bed and officers were watching over him because of an outstanding warrant stemming from a domestic violence-related incident in July.

        Cafferty said he had arranged with a district attorney to have that warrant cancelled.

        “As of five minutes ago, the cuffs have been removed from Mr Blake and the deputies have left his room,” Cafferty said at midday local time, according to the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper.

      • Handcuffs Removed From Kenosha Shooting Victim Jacob Blake

        Kenosha police issued a detailed report Friday on the incidents that led up to Blake’s shooting; he was shot 7 times in the back by one Kenosha police officer who was trying to arrest him, but police did not say what the arrest was for.

      • Jacob Blake Shooting Shines New Light on Death of Michael Bell, Killed by Kenosha Cops in 2004

        In light of the police shooting of unarmed African American father Jacob Blake, we look at the past misconduct of the Kenosha police department. In 2004, Kenosha police killed white 21-year-old Michael Bell in front of his mother and sister. The Kenosha Police Department conducted its own review of the incident, and within two days completely exonerated the officers. Bell’s father, Michael Bell Sr., commissioned an independent inquiry that found the police account of the incident to be forensically impossible. “It was really hard for me to believe that a uniformed person would do that,” says Michael Bell Sr., who claims the Kenosha police department “covered up the true facts of the case.”

      • ACLU Demands Resignation of Top Cops in Kenosha for Racism & Brutal Response to Jacob Blake Protests

        The ACLU of Wisconsin is calling for top Kenosha law enforcement officials to resign in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed below the waist after a white officer shot him in the back seven times. The shooting has sparked mass protests in Kenosha and around the U.S., bringing renewed attention to racism and violence in the Kenosha police force. A damning video of Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth has surfaced from a 2018 news conference, when he described Black people accused of shoplifting and crashing a stolen car as “garbage people that fill our communities that are a cancer to our society.” We speak with Chris Ott, executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, who says both Beth and Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis need to go. “When police and law enforcement go into communities in this militarized way, this heavy-handed way, it just inflames tensions, makes things worse and creates dangerous new situations,” says Ott.

      • [Old] California’s San Quentin prison declined free coronavirus tests and urgent advice — now it has a massive outbreak

        Now that the outbreak has exploded at San Quentin, and hospitalizations in the area are rising, lawmakers are paying attention. On 1 July, California’s senators held a hearing to identify what went wrong, in the hope of remedying the problems and preventing them from occurring at other prisons across California — emphasizing the risk that such outbreaks pose to the communities surrounding the institutions.

      • ‘They’re trying to kill us’

        America’s failure to stop the virus from spreading in prisons is a key piece of its failure to contain the virus at large. Tens of thousands of people in prison have tested positive for the virus. From March through the beginning of June, the number of COVID-19 cases in US prisons grew at a rate of around 8 percent per day, compared to 3 percent in the general population. Of the top 20 largest disease clusters in the country, 19 are in prisons or jails.

        To the men at San Quentin, this doesn’t feel like an accident. Speaking to The Verge on contraband cellphones, inmates discussed the systemic failings that led the facility to become a viral epicenter — failings they interpreted as intentional acts of aggression. While the men are largely cut off from the outside world, information trickles in, and conspiracy theories abound.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Wireless Carriers Once Again Fight Efforts At More Accurate Wireless Availability Maps

        If you live in a rural area, or have driven across the country anytime in the last five years, you probably already know the telecom industry’s wireless coverage maps are misleading — at best. In turn, the data they deliver to the FCC is also highly suspect. Regardless, this is the data being used when we shape policy and determine which areas get broadband subsidies, and, despite some notable progress in improving this data in recent years, it’s still a major problem. Last year, for example, the Trump FCC quietly buried a report showing how major wireless carriers routinely overstate wireless voice and data availability.

      • Google, Facebook Dump Plans for U.S.-Hong Kong Undersea Cable

        But the companies quickly submitted a revised proposal that includes links to Taiwan and the Philippines, as envisioned in the application that was withdrawn on Thursday. The new filing didn’t include Hong Kong-based Pacific Light Data Communication Co., a partner in the original plan and a concern for U.S. security agencies that cited its links to mainland China’s Dr. Peng Telecom & Media Group Co.

        The steps come as tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and China over a series of conflicts. These include Beijing’s tightening grip on Hong Kong and its treatment of the Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group; American accusations that Chinese high-tech products could be used for spying; and recriminations over the spread of the coronavirus from China’s Hubei province.

    • Monopolies

      • Useful Idiots: Zephyr Teachout and RNC Highlights

        Teachout points to different areas of the American economy that are being ruled by too big to fail companies, including tech, and particularly their power over the journalism industry. “It is amazing that we allowed Google and Mark Zuckerberg to be basically the kings of our news industry,” says Teachout, who argues that big tech’s dominance of where news outlets put their products has resulted in the death of local news. “I think publishers should march on Washington.”

      • Call for Papers: The Philosophy and Law of Information Regulation in India

        The Centre for Law and Policy Research is working on the project ‘The Philosophy and Law of Information Regulation in India’. As a part of this project, they are calling for papers to be published as a volume of inter-disciplinary studies reflecting upon the law and practice of information regulation in India. The full call for papers is here. Brief details of the project are below:

        ‘The Philosophy and Law of Information Regulation in India’ project is an effort to collate multi-disciplinary scholarship on the subject of the law and philosophy of information regulation, with a specific focus on India. We recognise that such an effort cannot be bound by legal scholarship alone, and must encompass and contend with the normative assumptions of various approaches towards information technologies. We invite multi-disciplinary submissions from fields of law, history of science, science and technology studies, informatics and information sciences, political and economic philosophy, design studies, and other related fields to reflect on the relationship between law, technology and information, with specific reference to the institutions of public law in India. Submissions taking a comparative approach between jurisdictions addressing similar concerns are particularly appreciated.

      • [Interview] How does Mercado Libre deal with online IP infringements?

        The most frequent infringement types are copyright and trademark infringements, specifically counterfeit and piracy. Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are the three markets in the region with more complaints filed. Finally, the categories of products most affected are consumer electronics, apparel, footwear, and cosmetics.


        Fighting against counterfeit and piracy entails investing more on human and technological resources. In this sense, MELI currently has a team made up of 9 (nine) different areas working together towards this goal. Furthermore, we constantly invest in new machine learning technologies and methodologies to detect potential infringing ads.

        Therefore, in addition to the reporting tool, -and with the help of sophisticated machine learning models-, MELI has recently developed proactive measures in order to improve the detection methods of allegedly infringing listings, that learn from reports made by IP owners through the BPP and remove similar listings that the brand owner may not have detected. Once we identify another listing containing the same infringement detected by the brand owner, it is automatically removed from our platform.

      • KOL294 | Burning Boots Liberty – IP and Abandoning Property

        Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 294. This is my appearance on the Burning Boots podcast, ep. 53. We had lots of fun. From their shownotes: We have Stephan Kinsella on this week to hang out and joke around then we get into some more thought provoking topics and questions for him from the listener mailbag! He’s one of the most prominent Hoppeans around right now and frankly we found him to be a little under-educated for our prestigious intellectual podcast, but hopefully you can forgive him anyway. Follow him, read him, listen to his podcast, and definitely listen to his debates because they usually rock. Before we bring Kinsella on though, we take about 30 minutes to talk about the state of Kenosha and the collapse in general and Davie tells us about how the doctor that cut his balls off might secretly be based. Burning Question for this week: Can property be implicitly abandoned? Outro song this week (chosen by Stephan) is The Eagle Has Landed by Saxon

      • Patents

        • Is the new world order of the English Supreme Court sustainable?

          As reported by IPKat, the Supreme Courts of England and Wales issued a landmark decision in the case of Unwired Planet vs Huawei and Conversant vs Huawei and ZTE. The cases address how to deal with international portfolios of standard essential patents and how to order the commercial relations between multinational technology companies. Apart from shedding further clarity on FRAND, a topic which deserves in and by itself further analysis, the Supreme Court offered its take on the ‘forum non conveniens’ doctrine.

          In particular, the Court confirmed that the U.K. is the appropriate forum for setting a FRAND rate. The Court justified its decision by arguing that the Chinese courts had not made a relevant claim and that, in the Court’s view, a global FRAND rate is a market practice. This is an interesting take, particularly as the defendants to the Conversant case did not consent to having England and Wales rule over the case. The fact that the parties had only a minor commercial stake in the U.K. and also had only minor exposure to the British patent system was equally dismissed by the Court.

          In this brief commentary, I look at these arguments from a historical perspective and explain why in my view the Supreme Court’s take on the forum non conveniens doctrine offers an unsatisfactory governance structure for global technology. My arguments are not rooted in law, but stem from an international relations perspective.

        • Inventorship as the Wind Blows

          Egenera’s network system architecture patent (US7231430) lists eleven inventors. Back in 2016, Energa sued Cisco for infringement, and Cisco responded with an IPR petition. At that point, Egenera “realized that all claim limitations had been conceived before one listed inventor, Mr. Peter Schulter, had started working there.” Egenera’s underlying concern in the case was its ability to prove an early pre-filing invention date.


          The district court did subsequently determine that Shulter had conceived of the claimed structure, that Egenera was judicially estopped from adding him back as an inventor, and that the patent claims were therefore invalid.


          The district court found that the removal of Mr. Shulter was a strategic and deliberate decision — and therefore not an error. In addition, the district court found that the inventorship “tactical ploy” created an estoppel to present the second Shulter from being added back.

      • Trademarks

        • The Authors’ Take – Protection of Traditional Art Forms under Geographical Indications Law: A Case Study of Madhubani and Sujini Art Forms of Bihar, India

          Using case studies of two of the oldest art forms practiced in Bihar, India, this article analyses challenges relating to the implementation of the law on Geographical Indications (GIs) in India, to better protect the rights and the craft of its most important stakeholders: the artists. This article is also a critique of the application of the current Indian GI regulatory framework to its traditional handicraft sectors.

          To address the relevant research questions, we undertook qualitative interviews with Sujini and Madhubani artists, their representatives and officials from government bodies, supported by field visits to the Muzzafarpur district, Bihar.

          We found that the GI label accorded to these art forms has become an effective tool for the artists’ self-expression. However, a GI registration has made limited contribution to ensure an increased economic rationale for their artists, and the reasons for that are manifold. These include, inter alia: lack of adequate government support in post-GI registration stages, ineffective provisions for quality control, discrepancies in the definition of ‘Goods’ and ‘GI’, the anomalous concept of ‘authorised user’, and difficulties in application for registration requirements. Issues with the construction and implementation of the law pose serious limitations to the rights of the artists to ensure economic returns from their artworks.

      • Copyrights

        • Volvo Argues That Its Use of Publicly-Shared Instagram Photos is Not Infringement

          In June, Jack Schroeder and Britni Sumida filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Volvo. In the complaint, which was filed in a California federal court, Schroeder, an “automotive and lifestyle photographer,” claims that he organized a photo shoot in April 2019 that featured Sumida, a “highly sought after model,” and a Volvo S60, and was set against the background of the “super bloom” of wildflowers in the high desert of Southern California. After the shoot, Schroeder posted a number of the images that he took on his Instagram account.

          “In addition to the positive response from his followers,” Schroeder claims that he “received a glowing Instagram comment from Volvo, requesting permission to use the images in its advertising.” After seeing the comment from Volvo, Schroeder emailed the automaker stating that “while he was flattered that Volvo liked the images, he does not license his work for free.” In an attempt to “build a relationship with Volvo, and to entice them to purchase his work, Schroeder provided a link to his personal website, which included additional images from the shoot that had not been posted to Instagram.”

          Schroeder claims that when he never heard back from Volvo, he assumed that the car company “had simply lost interest in using his images.” However, as he would learn six months later, that was not the case. In November 2019, Schroeder alleges that Volvo began running “a global advertising campaign” on social media “to increase sales, attract new customers, and enhance its brand goodwill.” The “campaign” – which was featured in Volvo’s Instagram Stories and on its Pinterest account – “inexplicably consisted solely of the nine photographs that [Schroeder] had posted to his Instagram account, as well as two photographs that he posted to his personal website, including images featuring Ms. Sumida.”

        • Thousands of Pirates Tricked into Downloading Fake ‘Tenet’ Torrents

          The official premiere of Tenet has drawn many people to the movie theaters this week. On pirate sites, there’s been plenty of interest too, as thousands of people are being tricked into downloading fake copies. Pirates are not the only ones being fooled though, as Warner Bros. has its eyes set on fake releases too.

        • Amazon, Lee Child & John Grisham Win Preliminary Injunction Against Pirate Sites

          In July, Amazon Publishing teamed up with Penguin Random House and authors including Lee Child and John Grisham to sue ‘pirate’ sites operating under the Kiss Library brand. A court has now handed down orders which, among other things, require a broad range of Internet and financial companies to hand over everything they know about the defendants.

You Don’t Earn Freedom by Making Unnecessary Concessions or Dethroning Influential Founders

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They put the shackles on us; “shut up,” they insist, “as anything else would be intolerant…” (or “extremist” or “not smart” or “overzealous” or “anarchic” etc.)

My feet, my freedom

Summary: The attack on principled people (and by extension the organisations/institutions they founded and/or led) is not some random pattern; it’s a well-coordinated attack on Freedom, looking to replace people who have long-held principles (putting corporate puppets in their place)

THE idea that being overly “inclusive” is the way forward is often promoted by those looking to be included inside their rival’s decision-making processes. The whole “tolerance” spiel is equally misused and misapplied.

Here’s an example.

“They try to censor critics using DMCA (censorship in the name of “copyright”), RTbF (censorship in the name of “privacy”) and GDPR (censorship in the name of “privacy” again) when companies like GAFAM grossly violate GDPR at a massive scale while laughing at us all (and at the authorities/enforcers).”Remember that large corporations try to portray leakers as criminals, e.g. for exposing evidence of their crimes. They try to censor critics using DMCA (censorship in the name of “copyright”), RTbF (censorship in the name of “privacy”) and GDPR (censorship in the name of “privacy” again) when companies like GAFAM grossly violate GDPR at a massive scale while laughing at us all (and at the authorities/enforcers).

Earlier today I discussed this with figosdev, who rightly told me a thing or two about a comment that I had received. It said: “‘Cancelling’ is just a framing by people that feel personally attacked by their behavior being correctly identified as discriminatory…”

“As noted here yesterday, many high-profile people are being ‘canceled’, partly or entirely. They’re being removed from positions of authority and power so that corporations can ‘fill the void’ (which they themselves created or contributed to).”“Without even commenting on how far either of those statements are from reality,” figosdev told me, “as a pair they outline a very typical double standard: if corporations go after you, the individual should simply cede guilt, while corporations get the benefit of the doubt LITERALLY through their participation in ACTUAL GENOCIDE. So nazis can accuse someone of being a raging misogynist and the hivemind goody-goodies will rally behind the nazis and their lawyers, who proceed to sue people for things like “we invented long names 40 years ago when they were simply a workaround against our own artificial limits, and are still waiting to get paid” and “we invented rectangles with rounded bits on them”. That’s justice today.”

As noted here yesterday, many high-profile people are being ‘canceled’, partly or entirely. They’re being removed from positions of authority and power so that corporations can ‘fill the void’ (which they themselves created or contributed to).

“It’s actually about the general trajectory, which is key organisations being forced to make concessions to monopolies and proprietary software giants. If people inside those organisations stand in the way of such concessions, there are ways to engineer their removal/resignation.”Sometimes I joke with my wife, “what can they find (or fake) about me?”

I don’t claim to be high-profile or anywhere near the likes we allude to, but certainly I see a number of people trying to ‘cancel’ me since 2007 (they had several “goes” at it, including several whole sites dedicated to this purpose). It never worked. Twitter is optimal for those sorts of 'lynch mobs'; it’s a useless site, which I decided to leave when I realised the degree to which it can be leveraged by ‘Cancel Culture’ artists.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s actually about the general trajectory, which is key organisations being forced to make concessions to monopolies and proprietary software giants. If people inside those organisations stand in the way of such concessions, there are ways to engineer their removal/resignation. RMS was removed from his own creation, ESR was banned by his own creation (just months ago), and Linus Torvalds is being insulted/humiliated by the Linux Foundation, which is ironically even named after him (exploiting his name to raise money). Linus Torvalds did not leave the biggest Free software project in the hands of Gregory (way back in 2018 for about a month) because he suddenly had an urge to go on holiday in Oregon’s winter (very cold and unpleasant). He didn’t seek help/counselling because he reached some realisation (the same is true for RMS by the way; they did the same to him with “anger management”) but because people demanded it. People crave their seats and corporations want power over them. If they cannot get that easily, they resort to shaming and blackmail tactics. That’s just what they do. IBM did that to its black workers (to the point where one of them opened fire, killing colleagues). Microsoft constantly does that to Microsoft whistleblowers, one of whom writes for us occasionally.

If we want software freedom, we must defend those who defend respective (and respectful alike) organisations that fight for the cause. If monopolies and proprietary software giants don’t like that, that’s good! The last thing we need is a bunch of weak or corruptible ‘leaders’ eager to appease monopolies and proprietary software giants.

“Elephants (like all other animals) weren’t liberated from circuses until those viciously stubborn and very long protests from animal rights activists — at times boycotts — compelled or made inevitable such an outcome. SeaWorld boycotts are certainly working, so marine life seems to be next in the ‘liberation pipeline’ (from this ‘entertainment’ business).”The antiwar movement, the environmentalists etc. never really accomplished anything by cooperating and collaborating with weapons manufacturers and oil companies, respectively. They fought them. Did they win? Not yet. But they carry on fighting. That’s what’s important. It’s a very long fight. In Switzerland women could not vote until several decades ago and slaves weren’t freed in the US until several generations ago. It took a lot of determination and political work to accomplish. There were arrests, there were riots, people got killed. Society doesn’t just bend over to activists and governments/corporations would fight them to death, literally (like Coca-Cola in Colombia). For software freedom to triumph rather than gradually perish (right now it’s mostly the latter) we need to stop the obsession with ‘mainstream’ if this mainstreaming means concessions or a series of surrenders (like celebration of DRM being “supported” by Linux).

Elephants (like all other animals) weren’t liberated from circuses until those viciously stubborn and very long protests from animal rights activists — at times boycotts — compelled or made inevitable such an outcome. SeaWorld boycotts are certainly working, so marine life seems to be next in the ‘liberation pipeline’ (from this ‘entertainment’ business). It looks like COVID will do a fine job putting SeaWorld out of ‘business’, irrespective of all that activism.

My feet, my freedom

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