Law360 Says the EPO’s Popularity is Decreasing

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:18 pm by Guest Editorial Team

The writings are on the wall

Law firm

Summary: Lustre is lost at the EPO, whose appeal is generally decreasing, just like quality or legal certainty associated with granted patents

“While the EPO remains the worldwide favorite, its relative popularity has been decreasing,” said Law360 this week in “Time To Reassess Your Patent Cooperation Treaty Strategy” (alluding to “percentage of worldwide applicants selecting the EPO…”).

#1! At bribing me

But how can that be? According to IAM, EPO is #1. And according to the EPO, IAM says EPO is #1. Yes, IAM gets PR money from the EPO. It’s all corrupt. Reality distortion or perception management? Anything to bury or distract from the message of the EPO's staff who actually dealt with pertinent patents/applications.

It’s Time for RMS to Come Out of the Closet

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 9:04 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

On Not GNU
Mocking Assange in exile

Summary: Richard Stallman (RMS) is still quiet and it’s not helping software freedom one year after the ‘lynching’

No, not that closet; rms has in fact had more girlfriends than some people assume. I on the other hand, consider Lawrence Lessig marriage-material — from his brainy brain to his adorable beard. (I actually think he’s nearly the most attractive man alive).

Having spent years complaining about the FSF selling out (around the same time Debian did — this is a bigger problem than just the FSF, to be certain) I started a small organisation with a goal of lobbying and reforming the FSF to renew its commitment to both users and freedom. When I realised this was not possible, I disbanded it.

“I know what rms thinks of my position, he thinks that I am being too pessimistic. That’s understandable, I think he is being (rather uncharacteristically) too optimistic.”As a result of this (some might argue “ridiculous”) act, I learned more about the FSF than I ever thought I would. I (along with others) predicted the ousting of rms — but all that’s changed is thinking that the FSF could be reformed and that the problems were a result of excessive devotion to one person, when actually it was the precise opposite. The FSF has had problems for a long time.

I know what rms thinks of my position, he thinks that I am being too pessimistic. That’s understandable, I think he is being (rather uncharacteristically) too optimistic. He asked several people, including everybody really, to continue to support the FSF. And I really gave it my very best effort. But the FSF continued to betray both rms and us.

I think I know what’s going on now. For one, rms underestimates the scale of the coup. I believe he sees it as isolated incidents caused by a few troublemakers, the same way that Douglas Adams’ factory planet of Magrathea was commissioned to build Earth by “mice”. However, it is bizarre to conclude that these things must have happened at Debian, FSFE and the FSF both simultaneously and by sheer coincidence.

“For one, rms underestimates the scale of the coup. I believe he sees it as isolated incidents caused by a few troublemakers, the same way that Douglas Adams’ factory planet of Magrathea was commissioned to build Earth by “mice”.”Instead, the “few troublemakers” are actually “protrusions” into the Free Software world by corporate corruption on a broader scale — even Perens knows that. Mako Hill’s comment at LibrePlanet about Open Source reminds me of Eisenhower’s famous farewell address. Instead of a science-fiction world where the “mice” are actually a facet of interdimensional beings, we simply have manifestations of corruption from multinational corporations. It’s really nothing new at all, only the specific examples we face are new.

On the surface it sounds of course like a really grandiose claim. But harder to believe is that it could “happen here”, when we know Free Software is “the real thing” and unlike Open Source, would never corrupt itself this way.

But as wild a claim as it is on the face of it, believing that Free Software was ever 100% immune is even wilder. RMS himself is quoted as saying he doubted it would ever get as far as it did, so it is time to face the failures. They will never get fixed if we don’t (and that’s exactly that point).

If I thought nothing could be done, I would stop talking. I stopped lobbying the FSF when I decided nothing could be saved there. The only thing I still advocate trying to salvage is the GNU Project, and Stallman’s legacy.

“The only thing I still advocate trying to salvage is the GNU Project, and Stallman’s legacy.”Although I am against treating him as a has-been (it is chiefly in the interest of Open Source to do so) his legacy is of both historical and symbolic importance to what we still do right now — and that’s why they’re attacking it — to hurt US. If you want to destroy Free Software as a movement, you strike at the root. That’s what they did.

Of greater relevance to this article than anything else, is the way that rms was lied to by lots of people he considered friends and confidants — a reality he was ultimately made aware of. Given the number of people who lied, it is possible some people he still calls friends attacked some people he now thinks of as betrayers, due to some of the traitors “poisoning the well” for those defending him. This is definitely not a defence of anybody in particular.

I’m not trying to make it sound more complicated than it is — but it is at least possible that one or two key allies were actually cut off from rms by someone pretending to protect him. This isn’t a hint that I know of that happening. It is only a possibility, but I have no examples of this (not even ones I won’t name).

But either way, I think rms underestimates the scope of the coup and the betrayal. I do of course think there are still people who care about Free Software and rms, obviously — but many of them also underestimate the scope of this, because they are focused primarily on what happened inside the FSF. The best reason to think it is bigger than that is to look at what happened outside it.

“But either way, I think rms underestimates the scope of the coup and the betrayal. I do of course think there are still people who care about Free Software and rms, obviously — but many of them also underestimate the scope of this, because they are focused primarily on what happened inside the FSF. The best reason to think it is bigger than that is to look at what happened outside it.”I sympathise with the situation rms is in. After he was attacked by his own organisation and some treacherous volunteers and/or staff, here are the things he has to figure out what to do about:

1. I think he would (very naturally) like someone who represents Free Software properly and sincerely to represent the FSF.

2. I think we all would like the GNU Project to remain viable. I personally think it is more important than the FSF itself.

3. The FSF holds copyright, officially maintains the FSD, and can create policies (if left in the wrong hands) to do to rms what Debian has done to Daniel Pocock, trying to get between rms and the rest of the community. I think 1 & 2 are more prominent issues, but this is worth mentioning. (You could argue this has happened already).

I can’t know for certain if the people in charge now really intend to help rms, but I know that he was lied to already. He was lied to before and during the coup. It’s possible he is being lied to now, as a carrot for him to go along with things that he normally wouldn’t:

“This is temporary…”

“When people are desperate, organisations will at times work with an attitude that they can do no wrong.”That is a classic lie used to manipulate people who stay on the right side of something: just be patient, this will all get sorted out.

Sometimes it isn’t true, and is used as a stalling tactic to allow for continued corruption.

I think this is more likely than the FSF coming back. If we imagine any kind of promise being made to rms for his silence, it is almost certainly a promise that can’t be made. We don’t have to question the honesty of the people making these promises directly then — only the ability of anybody to make such promises.

I’ve heard lies about the capabilities and lack thereof with regards to the organisation before. These are things that anybody could look up for themselves (such as whether or not something can be said without putting the mission statement and organsiational status in jeopardy) but they were used as excuses before.

The people who fell for those lies could be innocent, but such lies were used to convince rms to step down in the first place.

I’ve actually read in detail about people who lost their own families due to such lies about official policy. Someone would call an organisation about a problem and would be told (incorrectly) that they were required to take certain actions, or they would end up in court. In fact, taking those actions created entirely new problems, leading to the person calling for advice to end up separated from their family.

“Plea deals are used to coerce people who happen to be innocent…”I do not think it is any stretch to say that this is the real reason rms is no longer the president or on the board — I’m very fairly confident of it. So promising him some return if he plays his cards right sounds like a similar, and very dubious lie to manipulate him and get his cooperation.

I’ve volunteered with both the homeless and the mentally ill. Drugs and alcohol sometimes get people into cycles of trouble that they can’t find their way out of. I’ve seen people turn their lives around too, but it’s given me many glimpses into the ugly side of “assistance” and help from well-meaning volunteers and organisations. I’m really not against the fact that organisations exist, but it is important to know that they come with their own pitfalls, and sometimes make things even worse.

When people are desperate, organisations will at times work with an attitude that they can do no wrong. After all, some think they are the only chance that a person will get, and they should just be grateful under any circumstances. Organisations that operate with that attitude certainly should not exist.

But given the situations of some of these people, they will find themselves in various kinds of trouble, including legal. Plea deals are used to coerce people who happen to be innocent (there are plenty of guilty people too, but they’re guilty people who have a chance to turn around for themselves and to be there for their families — and this also happens to people who were in fact innocent) to take the fall, in return for promises that are not always kept.

“As a matter of principle, censoring the founder of a movement for strategic (and allegedly sympathetic) purposes is no better than censoring him out of spite, betrayal or mutiny. RMS should be able to speak!”I think rms could easily be the victim (metaphorically) of such a deal — not based on his guilt, but based on his stature with the organisation.

So they will keep him silent (while Bruce Perens — yes, at least it’s someone! talks about problems that rms should be speaking about Right Now) but the FSF remains in damage control mode an entire year later; give or take a week or two.

I said YEARS AGO that the FSF was failing, but now it is stuck in that position. Just a little while longer, Chief, and you’ll be back where it counts.

C’MON! Fool him once, shame on you… Fool him — “you can’t get fooled again.” (Why not go with the Bush version? It almost sounds like The Who…)

People that assume this is just about my experience or instincts are missing a more important point — for me, this is a matter of principle.

“This is an organisation that just one year ago, was censoring its own supporters on the mailing lists. It still censors its founder — this is NOT how you fight for freedom.”Yes, it is important to freedom that we not ignore the long-term benefits of a choice for the short-term benefits of the alternative. But it’s not acceptable to abandon the mission (or ask rms to abandon the mission) now, for the promise of being able to speak later. As a matter of principle, censoring the founder of a movement for strategic (and allegedly sympathetic) purposes is no better than censoring him out of spite, betrayal or mutiny. RMS should be able to speak!

This is an organisation that just one year ago, was censoring its own supporters on the mailing lists. It still censors its founder — this is NOT how you fight for freedom.

Note that we were saying less than a month prior to his cancellation that “Free speech [is the] basis for Free software”. You aren’t fighting for MY freedom while rms goes censored!

But it’s also quite relevant that this scheme has every hallmark of a lie. It is a plea deal, a ruse, designed to keep rms quiet when it is most important for him to speak up.

Even if it’s not, it has that exact effect.

So whatever the real intentions of those involved are, to me this just like the coup continuing to do what it does — silence freedom, silence rms and keep his supporters hushed while we promise to fight for your freedom REAL SOON NOW.

Bullshit, it’s as good as a lie.

The title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to South Park teasing Tom Cruise by insisting he “come out of the closet”, but for me Tom Cruise’s preferences (I’m mostly certain the allegations regarding his sexuality were fake and media manufactured, actually) are not important — coming “out of the closet” to talk about organisational problems is what matters here.

The bottom line here: rms is still the founder of this movement, and rather than keeping him quiet (probably as a ruse) in his older years, he should be speaking on behalf of users and freedom — just like he always has.

And the FSF should know better, but of course it only pretends to care about your freedom — and the freedom of rms.

RMS has been defended by the former head of the ACLU, as well as book authors, software authors, Techrights, and others. The comments Perens made one year ago about rms are part of the reason I don’t trust him now, though I will say that some of the things he’s said lately are very noteworthy and I agree many are worth commenting on. Some are even worth considering.

The FSF’s “strategic” reasons for convincing rms to step down were lies. The “strategic” reasons for convincing him to stay down are also lies. And they aren’t just lying to one person, they’re lying to the entire world.

Stop the lies, get rms out of the closet, and let the man speak. If you’re afraid of him talking, you’re cowards — and you’re on the wrong side of freedom. Cowards don’t fight for us. They make lousy decisions and are swayed easily by liars.

And it’s as safe for rms (and Free Software) now as it will ever be. As with the Constitution and the PAT-RIOT Act, the worst thing that could happen is that we give up what really matters, due to what we fear could happen if we don’t.

The FSF is still selling him (us) out — and if they don’t know that, then they’re fooling themselves. They’re not fooling us.

We don’t get to keep rms forever — the last thing we should be doing is playing along while the same FSF that stifled him under FALSE pretenses insists that the right thing to do is continue along those same ridiculous lines. This is still a fraudulent imposed retirement, only now with icing on top.

We need more Stallmans as well — but either way, Silencing activists is NOT what people who care about freedom DO. If rms isn’t speaking up for your freedom, then the FSF isn’t either. The new de facto FSF policy hasn’t changed in a year — it’s nothing more than “Exile-in-place” (c/f Julian Assange). “Freedom” can do better than that, and the FSF could too, if it still cared about freedom.

If they won’t do it for rms, why won’t they do it for us? We don’t matter, so they’ll lie to us, too. “This is temporary…” Yeah, so when does it sunset, assholes?

Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!

Free rms, Free Assange, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Debian’s Human Rights Paradox

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software at 8:34 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

IT all started with a non-native-English speaker choosing the wrong pronoun in reference to a developer who identifies as non-binary. What, then, is the basis for this concern? Why do we give a damn about it?

Is it because Sage Sharp is a great friend of Debian? Or is it because we would have the same concern for all LGBTQ+ people? In other words, is it about egos or is it about principles?

I suspect and hope most people would agree it is about principles. We would expect the same respect to be shown referring to any person from a minority even if they have no relation to Debian whatsoever.

If it is about principles, then, do we need to identify the principles that guide us, to ensure consistency in decision making? Recent posts on debian-project suggested human rights may not apply in Debian as we are not a Government, the same attitude has been repeated more strongly in a private email of the Debian account managers (DAM):

This is not involving anything from the universal declaration of human rights. We are simply a project of volunteers which is free to chose its members as it wishes.

If that is true, what is the basis to protect Sage Sharp’s rights? If that is true, then we have to go back to the question, why was any action taken at all?

In fact, if human rights principles are not present, what is the basis for Debian’s anti-harassment team and the Code of Conduct?. If we don’t want to be guided by human rights principles then could we take Norbert Preining’s advice and dispense with those things?

Yet I suspect that is not about to happen. People may prefer to understand them better and improve upon the way they are designed and used.

When the Trump administration rescinded guidelines protecting transgender rights in education, they nonetheless allowed the following phrase in the new guidelines:

All schools must ensure that students, including L.G.B.T. students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment

Let’s transpose that into the Debian context:

Our non-LGBT developers need to be able to learn about LGBT issues, making mistakes along the way, because that is part of learning. To thrive, they should not fear making mistakes. People learn in different ways too, if one method of helping them doesn’t work, we need to try others.

We will continue to see people do things like deadnaming by mistake and we need to be able to deal with it patiently each time it happens. Given that anybody can post to the Internet and social media, there are a plethora of bad examples out there and people may not realize they are doing anything wrong. But if our reactions appear too strong, we run the risk that they never learn and just continue doing the same thing somewhere else.

Thousands of messages have been exchanged, thousands of man hours consumed reviewing recent actions that have an impact on individual members. Would those decisions have been easier to defend, or mistakes more easily avoided, if human rights principles were involved more explicitly from the beginning?

Let’s consider some of Debian’s guiding principles, the Debian Free Software Guidelines, which relate to intellectual property. It turns out intellectual property is not a Silicon Valley buzzword, it is a human right, firmly enshrined in article 27 of the declaration. Gotcha. Debian has been promoting human rights all along when we make a distinction between code that belongs in main and code that belongs in non-free.

So why do we put the rights of users on a pinnacle like this but do so little to document and protect the rights of members and contributors?

Another significant topic of debate now is the right to be heard. It appears that the Debian account managers consider it acceptable to summarily expel members without giving a member any evidence and without respecting the member’s right of reply.

The Debian account managers have acknowledged they operate this way.

Yet without hearing from a member, they run the risk of operating on incomplete or inaccurate evidence, making decisions that could both be wrong and bring the project into disrepute.

In fact, when evidence is taken in secret, without review by any party, including the accused, we run the risk of falling back to a situation where decisions are made based on egos rather than principles. Ironically, the Debian project’s widely respected reproducible builds effort aims to ensure a malicious actor can’t insert malicious code into a binary package. A disciplinary process operating without any oversight or transparency may be just as attractive for infiltration by the same malicious actors (name a state) who would infiltrate Debian’s code. Fixing the process is just as imperative as the Reproducible Builds effort.

By jumping head-first into these processes, the account managers may have also failed to act on information related to other human rights. Imagine if they made the mistake of subjecting somebody to a degrading or humiliating interaction, such as “demotion”, at a time of personal tragedy. Society at large would find such a proceeding and the outcome quite repulsive. It may be unreasonably harmful to the person concerned and do severe and avoidable damage to the overall relationship: there are many times when it would be completely inappropriate for Debian to blindly send a member a long written list of their perceived defects, with no trace of empathy or compassion. There is never a good time to start gossip about a member but at certain times, it may be even more outrageous to do so. How can Debian target a member like that at a time of vulnerability and then talk about being a “safe space”? Is sending emails like this an abusive practice itself?

Wouldn’t it be paradoxical to see the Debian account managers taking action against a member accused of violating gender identity rights while simultaneously the account managers are failing to observe due process and violating another member’s rights in a multitude of different ways?

In fact, the violation of rights in the latter case may be far more outrageous than what may be a blogger’s mistake because it has occurred at an institutional level, rejecting every opportunity to meet the person in question for almost a year and multiple pleas to act humanely and consider facts.

We wouldn’t dismiss Sage Sharp’s gender identity rights as “minutiae”, yet there is no doubt whatsoever that dismissing another member’s circumstances as “minutiae” in this specific case was extraordinarily callous and grossly offensive. People wondering where mutual trust and respect was damaged may wish to focus on interactions like that and ignore everything said since then.

Is it right to pick and choose human rights when convenient and ignore them when it isn’t convenient, even in the same decision making process? Or is that the very reason why there is now so much confusion and frustration?

So there is a new reason to heed the UN HRC’s call to Stand up for human rights: doing so may help Debian roll back the current mistakes more quickly, avoid repeating them in future and avoid the reputation damage that would occur if a vote was taken on an issue that both contravenes a member’s human rights and appears manifestly abusive and callous to society at large.

It is my view that any processes that started without respecting the rights of the member should be rolled back and furthermore, everything that has happened since those rights were violated can be disregarded as part of a process to re-establish mutual trust.


Links 2/9/2020: Sparky 2020.09, TUXEDO Computers’ Polaris 15 and 17

Posted in News Roundup at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Computers Unveils TUXEDO Polaris 15 and 17 Laptops for Linux Gamers

        TUXEDO Computers unveiled today two new laptops for Linux gamers, the TUXEDO Polaris 15 and TUXEDO Polaris 17, which come with powerful components from both Intel and AMD.

        Meet TUXEDO Polaris 15 and TUXEDO Polaris 17, two brand-new Linux laptops from the German-based Linux computer manufacturer TUXEDO Computers, which promise to “polaryze” Linux gamers with the Ryzen 4000 family of processors.

        If until now you had to decide which computer to buy from TUXEDO Computers, depending on the components (e.g. Intel or AMD), now users finally have the option to buy the same computer with either Intel or AMD CPUs. The choice is yours.

      • TUXEDO announce the Polaris 15 and 17 Linux laptops ready for gaming

        TUXEDO Computers continue to push out new and more powerful hardware, with their focus on the Linux market. Today, they announced two laptops with a choice of CPU vendor. Yes, that’s right. Two new models and both let you pick between Intel and AMD for the CPU. Giving you more choice is always good!

        Available to order now, with stock expected later next month they’ve launched TUXEDO Polaris 15 and TUXEDO 17, with the main obvious difference being the screen sizes. Other than that, the rest of the specifications are mostly the same. The Polaris 15 starts with a 60hz screen but the Polaris 17 can only come with 144Hz – both screens are 1080p mat (so less glare) and IPS.

      • Linux laptops: You can now buy the first Lenovo ThinkPad preloaded with Fedora

        The first Lenovo ThinkPad preinstalled with Fedora 32 Workstation is now available to buy.

        The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is the first laptop in Lenovo’s ThinkPad series to get the Fedora treatment, coming four months after the manufacturer teamed up with the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project to pilot a new series of Linux community edition devices.

      • RPI 4, Raspberry Pi OS, MATE desktop & Network Manager

        This article has a somewhat cryptic title, because the problem I am going to show and resolve here is not trivial. Long story short, you installed the MATE desktop in Raspberry Pi OS. Things are working fine, except there’s no network icon in the panel. The network WORKS, but you can’t control it.

        You may even have installed network-manager-gnome (Network Manager) and enabled it, but it shows as an empty icon, with no Wireless networks detected and listed. As it happens, I faced this problem when I setup my Raspberry Pi 4, and so, I’d like to show you how to fix this. The solution is not pretty, but it works. Let’s get to it, to it, to it, to it …

      • AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Astronomy – Week 9

        For this week’s blog, I examine how well the most popular open source astronomy programs run on the AWOW AK41.

        Astronomy is a branch of science that deals with the study of celestial objects (including stars, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, meteor showers, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and other phenomena.

        Astronomy is particularly well suited to the layperson. It’s a wonderful hobby which has almost no age limits, it’s open to individuals of all financial means, and there is always the potential for an amateur to discover something that has eluded professional astronomers, or to help monitor stars and track asteroids.

        Even with the unaided eye, there is much to study in the night sky including constellations, shooting stars, planets, and of course the moon, the Earth’s only natural satellite. And even with a pair of inexpensive binoculars you can easily view say the more prominent of Jupiter’s moons.

    • Server

      • AWS introduces Bottlerocket: A Rust language-oriented Linux for containers

        Earlier this year, Linus Torvalds approved of adding drivers and other components in Rust to Linux. Last week, at the virtual Linux Plumbers Conference, developers gave serious thought to using the Rust language for new Linux inline code. And, now Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that its just-released Bottlerocket Linux for containers is largely written in Rust.

        Mozilla may have cut back on Rust’s funding, but with Linux embracing Rust, after almost 30-years of nothing but C, Rust’s future is assured.

        Rust was chosen because it lends itself more easily to writing secure software. Samartha Chandrashekar, an AWS Product Manager, said it “helps ensure thread safety and prevent memory-related errors, such as buffer overflows that can lead to security vulnerabilities.” Many other developers agree with Chandrashekar.

      • AWS launches its Bottlerocket container operating system into general availability

        Amazon Web Services Inc. today announced the general availability of Bottlerocket, an open-source Linux distribution it has developed specifically for running software containers.

        Popular Linux distributions are designed to run not only containers, which enable applications to be run in multiple computing environments, but also a range of other workloads. Because they support a large number of use cases, they have a large number of components that can be difficult to manage.

        When developing Bottlerocket, AWS left out many standard Linux components and kept only the ones necessary to run container-based workloads, creating an operating system that it says is both easier to manage and more secure. The extra security stems from the fact that Bottlerocket’s smaller code base leaves fewer potential weak points for hackers to exploit.

    • Applications

      • Audacity 2.4.2 PPA is back for Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the latest Audacity 2.4.2 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Mint 20.

        Audacity audio editor 2.4.x was missing from the unofficial PPA for a few months, due to build system change and my poor debian packaging skill.

        Since the upstream maintainer has built the 2.4.2 package for Debian unstable and Ubuntu 20.10, backports for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 18.04 now are here for you!

      • Introduction to Google Suite

        Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Participants will receive an introduction to Audacity to make audio recordings applicable to audiobooks, podcasts, and more!

      • Introduction to Google Suite
      • Min Lightweight Browser Releases 1.16 with UI Improvements

        The privacy-centric yet minimal browser Min brings another release with its version 1.16 with UI improvements and major new features.

      • Improve Focus and Productivity with Blanket, an Ambient Noise app for Linux

        Blanket is a new desktop app for Linux designed solely for the purpose of playing background noises like nature sounds (e.g., rain, storm), indistinct ambient noise (e.g., coffee shop), as well as white noise and pink noise. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Listening to background noise is a staple life hack. It can help slow a speeding mind. It can help dial out distractions around you. And it can wrap you up with sense of familiarity and safety.

      • Cockpit 227

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 227.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Story-driven, tactical stealth game Desperados III is now available on Linux PC

        THQ Nordic and Mimimi Games kept to their word, with Desperados III now being officially released for Linux PC and macOS along with the latest update.

        “Desperados III is a story-driven, hardcore tactical stealth game, set in a ruthless Wild West scenario. Play smart if you want to succeed. A good plan can make the difference between survival and finding yourself at the business end of a pistol.”

      • Games for sysadmins: Prince of Persia 1 on Linux with SDLPoP

        SDLPoP is an open-source port of the classic 80s and 90s game Prince of Persia. It’s based on the disassembly of the DOS version and documentation provided by the game creator Jordan Mechner. It’s licensed under the GPL v3 license.

      • A little round-up of Gamescom news for Linux PC fans

        With Gamescom 2020 now over and done with, there was quite a lot of news to sift through and it’s easy to get a bit lost. Especially if you’re on Linux. We’re here to help, with a nice little round-up of what’s going to be supported on Linux PC.

      • Vlambeer celebrates 10 years of indie dev by announcing time is up

        Vlambeer were an indie developer duo consisting of Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail. They recently hit the 10 year mark, and decided to celebrate by announcing Vlambeer is shutting.

        A bit of a shock I will say, although I like how they announced it. In a time when seeing indie developers closing up due to a lack of funding is quite common, with all sorts of blog posts about their game failing and more – this is different. Vlambeer simply announced on Twitter, that “it is time for new things” in a pretty relaxed manner.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Musescore and Plasma Styles

          Here’s another story of chasing a bug up and down the stack. The real work was done by Arjen, Marco and Noah whom I dragged into the debugging-and-fixing; mostly I sat and juggled bug reports in various up- and down- and side-stream trackers.

          Musescore is a sheet-music making application. It’s written in C++ with Qt. In principle it can run anywhere. Upstream seems to follow the line that it shouldn’t be packaged, and anything other than the official AppImage on some unspecified platform is unsupported – that doesn’t stop Linux distro’s and FreeBSD from doing so, and some people care to run it on a KDE Plasma desktop.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux releases Pantheon and Budgie editions

          The GeckoLinux project is pleased to announce the addition of the Pantheon and Budgie desktop environments to its lineup. Both desktop environments are offered with the choice of an openSUSE Leap 15.2 or openSUSE Tumbleweed base system, plus multimedia support from the Packman repository.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Shares ―Learning Kubernetes

          Kubernetes has a learning curve, but understanding how to use this open source container orchestration platform can help you solve several problems with 1 tool. Here are some practical resources to help you get started.

        • Using Spring Cloud Functions with OpenShift Serverless

          Spring Cloud Functions are yet another interesting option for Java developers when building serverless applications. You have already seen how to build and run applications for Red Hat OpenShift Serverless using Quarkus, but in this article, we talk about how to use Spring Cloud Functions and walk you through those steps. These steps are similar to running any other Spring Boot application with OpenShift Serverless. One of the benefits of building an open hybrid serverless platform is giving developers a choice of programming languages, tools, frameworks, and portability across any environment to run serverless applications. Beyond that, you want to ensure that the developer experience and overall workflow is intuitive and practical, which is what you will learn here.

        • Add Java language support for Apache Camel K inside Eclipse Che

          Apache Camel K should be as lightweight as possible. Therefore, the Camel K project provides standalone Java files that describe a Camel integration. The downside to this practice is that existing IDEs cannot provide complete support out of the box. A few months ago, I mentioned the Java language support for Apache Camel K that was discussed in Red Hat Visual Studio Code (VS Code) extension, and how it provides Java language support for Apache Camel K. In this article and demo, I show you how to do the same with Eclipse Che and che.openshift.io.

        • Level up your Red Hat Enterprise Linux skills with containers

          Red Hat OpenShift is built on the trusted foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, providing the same security, stability and ecosystem that you know and expect. Just as Red Hat brought Linux to the enterprise, we are doing the same with Kubernetes. And because containers are fundamentally a Linux technology, Red Hat is able to deliver an optimized path for you to add containers and Kubernetes to your core skills.

          As a result of the heightened industry importance of containers, we are extending two of our core Linux courses by a day to include containers. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) and RHCSA Rapid Track course (RH199) will be extended from five to six days with the final day focused on container, Kubernetes, and OpenShift content. Any students who have purchased or taken either course within the last year will be given free access to the added course materials and virtual instruction.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – August 2020

          In this 31st edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in August 2020.

          For last month’s digest, see Kafka Monthly Digest: July 2020.

        • Nest with Fedora

          With everything going on in the world, sadly the normal “in person” Fedora conference, flock, had to be canceled. In it’s place a ‘all virtual’ conference was scheduled for Aug 7th through 9th: “nest with fedora”
          Sadly the keynotes were all way too early for me to make it to live (4-5am my time is just too early), so I am going to catch those via recordings as soon as they are up. I did manage to make it to some sessions however.
          First a quick note about the platform that was used: hopin.io. I’ve been to a number of virtual events of late, and most of them have not been that great. However, this time I was pleasantly surprised! hopin is actually pretty well done. There was a ‘reception’ area and a live chat for conference wide discussions, talks appeared a few minutes before their scheduled time to allow people to join and each talk had it’s own chat. Speakers could invite other people to join in the video chat part if they wanted. There was a conference wide ‘poll’ section with lots of silly polls in it for people to take. Mixed in the talks were some ‘hallway’ track places where everyone who joined could join via video. There was also a timed thing where you could get 5min with a random other person then it would switch everyone to the next person. Not as good as a real hallway track, but not bad given the constraints. Video and audio worked pretty well.
          There was a number of nice talks I went to, as well as some fun ones (CPE put on a pub quiz and a bingo, both were great!).

        • Red Hat solutions for health and human services agencies
        • Red Hat solutions for state and local government public safety
        • FAF is dead, long live ABRT Analytics

          Disclaimer: this blogpost was written on 2019-03-28. But I forgot to publish it. Let’s do that now. :)\

          There were several reasons. FAF stands for Fedora Analysis Framework, but only very old versions of FAF were bound to Fedora. While we support deployment to Fedora and RHEL/CentOS only, it can analyze crashes from any system or container.

          The names “FAF” and “ABRT” don’t sound related, and you have to read a lot of documentation to find the relation between two. From the marketing point of view it should be evident that they are tightly connected. ABRT daemon and client tools gather crashes and reports and FAF analyzes and aggregates them.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2020.09

          The September snapshot of Sparky 2020.09 of the (semi-)rolling line is out. It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

          This release provides package updates and fixed an issue of the Sparky Advanced Installer, which generated broken fstab. There is no problem if you have installed Sparky 2020.08 using Calamares (called Sparky Installer).

          • packages updated from Debian testing repos as of August 31, 2020
          • Linux kernel 5.7.17 (5.8.5 & 5.9-rc3 in Sparky unstable repos)
          • Firefox 80
          • LibreOffice 7.0.1-rc1
          • fixed the Advanced Installer issue; thanks to lami07

          System re-installation is not required, simply keep Sparky up to date.

          The Special Edition iso images have been already updated too.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Canonical at KubeCon EU 2020: our first virtual KubeCon experience

          Another great KubeCon has recently come to an end – which is nothing less than what we expected. After all, that’s why Canonical and Ubuntu have been consistently present at KubeCon & CloudNativeCon EU, to connect with the community.

          This year, we showcased Canonical’s conformant, interoperable, multi-cloud Kubernetes through our two Kubernetes distributions – Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s. We’re excited to now open our presentations up to the public, by giving you access to the recordings of the live Kubernetes demos that our technical team exhibited at KubeCon EU 2020! Just scroll down for the full picture.


          As much as we’ve enjoyed the gaming, chatting, and exploring what virtual expos look like, it was clear that all of us joining KubeCon EU again this year were still very much there to hear what’s new around Kubernetes. We can attest to this ourselves too, judging by the multitude of Kubeheads signing up for our demos, and grabbing the opportunity to ask our technical team for insights on their Kubernetes use cases. We were thrilled to see how relevant our presentations were his year in particular, as we showed our peers what’s new on Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s, and how our two Kubernetes distributions empower them to truly leverage Kubernetes in any scenario – from cloud to edge. Get a taste for yourselves via the demo recordings below!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How to judge open-source projects

        Plenty of people have put together systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But they all have flaws.

        Take that oldest of metrics: Lines of code (LoC). Yes, it’s easy to measure. But it’s also profoundly misleading. As programming genius Edsger Dijkstra observed in 1988, LOC gives us “the reassuring illusion that programs are just devices like any others, the only difference admitted being that their manufacture might require a new type of craftsmen, viz. programmers. From there it is only a small step to measuring ‘programmer productivity’ in terms of ‘number of lines of code produced per month.’ This is a very costly measuring unit because it encourages the writing of insipid code.”

      • Programming/Development

        • 4 reasons Jamstack is changing web development

          The way we use and the way we build the web have evolved dramatically since its inception. Developers have seen the rise and fall of many architectural and development paradigms intended to satisfy more complex user experiences, support evolving device capabilities, and enable more effective development workflows.

          In 2015, Netlify founders Matt Biilmann and Chris Bach coined the term “Jamstack” to describe the architectural model they were championing and that was gaining popularity. In reality, the foundations of this model have existed from the beginning of the web. But multiple factors led them to coin this new term to encapsulate the approach and to give developers and technical architects a better means to discuss it.

          In this article, I’ll look at those factors, Jamstack’s attributes, why the term came into existence, and how it is changing how we approach web development.

        • Linux and Security for Today’s Embedded Medical Devices
        • IAR Systems streamlines Continuous Integration workflows and adds static code analysis in build tools for Linux

          Uppsala, Sweden-September 2, 2020-IAR Systems®, the future-proof supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, announces an update of its build tools supporting implementation in Linux-based frameworks for automated application build and test processes. The latest version adds IARBuild for building IAR Embedded Workbench® projects directly from the command line, enabling streamlined workflows from the developer environment to continuous integration. In addition, the tools now support the static code analysis tool C-STAT, enabling code quality control from development to building and testing processes.

        • Fortran newsletter: September 2020

          Welcome to the September 2020 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out on the first calendar day of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

  • Leftovers

    • A Thing Like This Should Never Happen (But Somehow It Does, Again and Again)
    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Corporate-Backed State Attorneys General Seek End to Obamacare

        The Supreme Court may gut the Affordable Care Act in a case called Texas v. California brought on behalf of the attorneys general in 18 states. All of them are Republicans, and all but one were elected. Publicly traded corporations and their trade associations spent money in most of these elections through the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA).

      • Now in Government Food Aid Boxes: A Letter From Donald Trump

        Millions of Americans who are struggling to put food on the table may discover a new item in government-funded relief packages of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat: a letter signed by President Donald Trump.

        The message, printed on White House letterhead in both English and Spanish, touts the administration’s response to the coronavirus, including aid provided through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative to buy fresh food and ship it to needy families.

      • ‘Nonsensical and Madness’: Outrage After Trump Excludes US From WHO-Backed Global Vaccination Cooperation Pact

        The administration’s latest decision regarding vaccines and global cooperation denounced as “more self-inflicted damage.”

      • The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal After ProPublica Investigated the Price

        The federal government is backing out of a controversial $646.7 million deal to buy ventilators from Royal Philips N.V., acting before the company had delivered a third of the order.

        The deal has been the focus of several ProPublica stories since March. That reporting prompted a congressional investigation that last month found “evidence of fraud, waste and abuse” in the acquisition of the Philips ventilators.

      • America Doesn’t Have a Coherent Strategy for Asymptomatic Testing. It Needs One.

        Dr. Sara Cody, health officer of Santa Clara County, California, was tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. Her contact tracers were telling people exposed to COVID-19 that they needed to get tested, but when some went to testing sites, health care providers turned them away because they didn’t have any symptoms.

        This posed a problem for Cody’s work. Knowing if a contact was infected would help her department keep an accurate count of her county’s coronavirus infection rate; also, if a contact tested positive, it’d spur a new round of contact tracing from her staff, to help stop any further transmission from that asymptomatic carrier.

      • COVID-19 and the Future of Autocrats

        The outbreak of COVID-19 initially looked like a gift to autocrats around the world. What better pretext for a state of emergency than a pandemic?

      • Fauci Fires Back Against Errant Claim on COVID Shared by Trump

        Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force team, spoke out against the false notion being perpetuated on social media, including by President Donald Trump, that the number of deaths associated with COVID-19 is significantly smaller than what’s being reported.

      • Meet the New Yes Man on Trump’s COVID Task Force: Dr. Scott Atlas Wants U.S. to Adopt Herd Immunity

        As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States passes 6 million, with a death toll of over 183,000, the Trump administration is loosening coronavirus restrictions, fast-tracking vaccine approval and disregarding safety tests, and now one of Trump’s top medical advisers is pushing for the country to adopt a controversial “herd immunity” strategy, raising alarm among public health officials. Washington Post health reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb says Dr. Scott Atlas is not an epidemiologist and was brought on specifically because he would back President Trump’s position “about how the pandemic was going, that the threat was receding, that the country should reopen.” We also speak with Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves, who argues the U.S. is already following an “implicit” herd immunity policy. “They realize it’s politically toxic, so they don’t want to use the phrase, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck,” he says.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Mageia (mutt and putty), openSUSE (ldb, samba, libqt5-qtbase, opera, and postgresql10), Red Hat (bash, kernel, and libvncserver), SUSE (apache2, curl, and squid), and Ubuntu (ark, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux-hwe, linux-aws-5.3, linux-gke-5.3, linux-raspi2-5.3).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Facebook’s Violence Standards Make for a Bad Business Plan

        “Facebook Employees Are Outraged At Mark Zuckerberg’s Explanations Of How It Handled The Kenosha Violence,” reads the headline at Buzzfeed. One such employee asks “[a]t what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?”

      • “If It’s on the Ground, Why Shoot?” Outrage After LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Kill Man Who Allegedly Dropped Gun

        “That means he was unarmed,” said a neighborhood resident following the police killing of Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year old black bicyclist, in Los Angeles on Monday. 

      • Trump Defends Kyle Rittenhouse But Refuses to Meet Jacob Blake’s Family

        President Trump, speaking to reporters during a Monday press briefing, refused to condemn the shooting by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week.

      • Life During a Trump Second Term: Paramilitary Democracy Accelerates

        Two Headed Monster: One Side is Out of Control

      • Trump Hasn’t Ended Endless Wars

        Speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention lauded President Trump as a foe of endless wars. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) praised the president for “bringing our men and women home,” while Eric Trump claimed that his father accomplished “peace in the Middle East. Never-ending wars were finally ended.”

      • Australia-China Relations: Down Under Squabbling

        These are proving testy times for Australian-Chinese relations. Last week, Chinese authorities announced that an investigation would be conducted into claims that Australia has been using unfair dumping practices for its wine on the Chinese market. This was not what Australian wine makers wanted to hear, given that exports of Australian wine to China grew from AU$268 million in 2015/16 to AU$1.75 billion in 2018/19. While the investigation will take eighteen months, it risks going the way of a similar anti-dumping inquiry into Australian barley that was concluded in May.

      • After the Beirut Blast, Hezbollah Almost Went to War

        Even before the August 4 Beirut port explosion that devastated the heart of the Lebanese capital, Hezbollah commander Abu Karim was on edge at his post in the southern Lebanese hills, east of the ancient port city of Tyre. Tensions were high after a week of escalating Israeli attacks on Hezbollah in Syria, and the Party of God was ready to retaliate on the Lebanese-Israeli border. So when the monumental blast occurred, panicked orders came from the top and the commander found himself on the radio, calling his fighters to battle stations and bringing Lebanon’s powerful militia to the brink of war with Israel.

      • In Trump’s America, Domestic Terrorists Thrive
    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook Says It Will Block News Sharing In Australia If Murdoch’s Social Media Tax Becomes Law

        Earlier this year, regulators in Australia announced plans to tax Google and Facebook for sending traffic to news organizations, and then pay those news organization. The draft law literally names Google and Facebook and says that this law only impacts those two companies. The whole thing is bizarre. There are no pretenses here. It’s just that old line media companies (many owned by Rupert Murdoch) are jealous of the success of Google and Facebook online, and seem to think they’re magically owed money. And that’s what the tax would do. It would force Google and Facebook to pay money for the awful crime of sending traffic to news sites without paying them.

      • Supreme Court To Courts And Federal Agencies Trying To Rewrite Section 230: Knock It Off

        A version of this post appeared on Project Disco: What the Bostock Decision Teaches About Section 230.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Demanding ‘Full Accountability,’ Lawmakers Call for Probe Into Claims ICE Gave Muslim Detainees a Choice: Spoiled Food or Pork

        “This is the latest betrayal of religious liberty by Trump and a reminder of the inhumanity of ICE detention.”

      • America’s Greatest Athletes Are Standing Up, Calling This Country To Change

        Despite unprecedented, multiracial demonstrations across the country protesting police violence against African Americans, the horrors keep on coming.

      • Muslim Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Is Fueling the Push to Defund Police

        Muslim groups across Wisconsin and from Washington, D.C., joined together soon after the police-perpetrated shooting of Jacob Blake to issue a joint statement saying, “Yet again, police officers committed horrifying, infuriating violence against a Black person.… We condemn this police shooting and demand a thorough investigation in order to bring justice to Blake and his family.”

      • Jailed Asylum Seekers Report Unlivable Conditions in Wake of Hurricane Laura

        New Orleans, Louisiana—Incarcerated immigrants and their families and advocates have reported dangerous, unlivable conditions and haphazard evacuations at remote immigration jails in Louisiana, where Hurricane Laura caused widespread damage and power outages as it rampaged across the state late last week.

      • Post navigation

        Today the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it has launched a “pilot” at Washington National Airport (DCA) of yet another scheme for biometric identification and tracking of domestic air travelers.

        [Screen capture from TSA video]The new “touchless ID verification” stations at DCA include a webcam (at top center of photo above) a magnetic-stripe reader (lower left) for drivers licenses and other ID cards, and a photographic scanner for passports (lower right).

        Travelers who volunteer to use the new system are directed to insert their drivers license, ID card, or passport into the appropriate reader, stand on a marked spot in front of the webcam, and remove their face mask, so that the image from the ID (or, more likely, from some back-end image database linked to the ID, although that hasn’t been disclosed) and the image from the webcam can be compared by some undisclosed algorithm.

      • Film Review: Made in Bangladesh: A Union Story

        If you’re gathering evidence of the victimization of Muslim women, this is not your film. Yes, Made in Bangladesh highlights exploitation in a country, most of whose citizens are Muslim. But this film’s focus is women workers: people working to support their families, as most women do, and fighting for parity, as most of us do.

      • Kenosha Police Under Scrutiny for Case of Black Teen Jailed for Killing Abuser

        We look at how the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has brought renewed scrutiny to another case from 2018: that of Black teenager Chrystul Kizer, who faces charges of killing her alleged sex trafficker, a 34-year-old white man, when she was just 17 years old. Court records show Randall Volar had a history of sexually abusing underage Black girls that was known to the Kenosha police, but he remained free for months. In June 2018, Kizer says she shot and killed Volar in self-defense after he drugged her and tried to rape her. Kizer was freed from jail on $400,000 bail in June but is still fighting her case. “It really says a lot about the police force there, the prosecutors there,” says Washington Post reporter Jessica Contrera. “Chrystul is at the center of this case that says everything about the sexual trauma that so many young Black girls go through when they are trafficked.”

      • Federal Court Temporarily Extends The NYPD’s Famous Opacity, Blocks Release Of Misconduct Records

        The NYPD barely bothers to punish officers who misbehave. This “misbehavior” often includes violations of rights and extrajudicial killings, but it appears the NYPD feels New York’s “finest” should be above reproach. Consequently, NYPD internal investigations often conclude no officers should be reproached, allowing them to remain the “finest” even when they’re really the worst.

      • This Simple Change Could Legalize Millions of Immigrants

        A general hallmark of immigration policy is that it’s complex. Even though many people believe that the undocumented can simply apply for residency after some period of time in the country, that’s just not true. At least, not in most cases.

      • Family of Jacob Blake Hosts Block Party, Voter Drive to Drown Out ‘Pain and Division’ Brought by Trump Visit to Kenosha

        “We’re not going to get caught up with him,” said Blake’s uncle of the president. “We’re here to heal Kenosha and push forward our agenda.”

      • Take to the Streets

        Running for Fuhrer and Loving It

      • Albuquerque Cops Cooperate with ICE and Operation Relentless Pursuit Despite City’s Sanctuary Policy

        In December 2019, the U.S. Justice Department announced a joint local-federal law enforcement operation called Operation Relentless Pursuit (ORP) for seven cities: Detroit, Memphis, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Albuquerque. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the U.S. Marshals would join officers with the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) “to target gangs, drug trafficking and other violent crime.”

      • ACLU Sues Federal Officers Over Excessive Force Deployed Against Portland Protesters

        The Trump Administration’s decision to send federal agents — led by the DHS — to Portland, Oregon to handle civil unrest (prompted by yet another killing of an unarmed Black man by a white police officer) continues to generate litigation.

      • SafeSpeed Executive Charged With Bribing Cook County Officials For Red Light Camera Contracts

        In January of this year, we discussed how the Illinois Comptroller had decided to opt out of collecting red light camera fees for motorists ticketed by these automated revenue generators. Susan Mendoza said in a statement that while her office was taking this action due to the feds investigating the contractor for the cameras, a company called SafeSpeed, it was also her position that red light cameras were revenue generators with little efficacy at impacting public safety.

      • Kenosha Police Under Scrutiny for 2018 Case of Chrystul Kizer, Black Teen Jailed for Killing Abuser

        We look at how the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has brought renewed scrutiny to another case from 2018: that of Black teenager Chrystul Kizer, who faces charges of killing her alleged sex trafficker, a 34-year-old white man, when she was just 17 years old. Court records show Randall Volar had a history of sexually abusing underage Black girls that was known to the Kenosha police, but he remained free for months. In June 2018, Kizer says she shot and killed Volar in self-defense after he drugged her and tried to rape her. Kizer was freed from jail on $400,000 bail in June but is still fighting her case. “It really says a lot about the police force there, the prosecutors there,” says Washington Post reporter Jessica Contrera. “Chrystul is at the center of this case that says everything about the sexual trauma that so many young Black girls go through when they are trafficked.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • From Cotton to Brinjal: Fraudulent GMO Project in India Sustained by Deception

        Insecticidal Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton is the first and only GM (genetically modified) crop that has been approved in India. It has been cultivated in the country for more than 20 years. In a formal statement to the Supreme Court of India, the Indian government has asserted that hybrid Bt cotton is an outstanding success. It therefore argues that Bt cotton is a template for the introduction of GM food crops.

      • Patents

        • Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Flatwing Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The Federal Circuit recently applied well-established principles of obviousness in affirming the Patent Trial and Appeals Board’s invalidation of several patents related to antifungal formulations in Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Flatwing Pharmaceuticals, LLC.


          The PTAB had earlier found claims in two related patents to be invalid for obviousness (see “Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu (Fed. Cir. 2018)”). Here, the PTAB applied some of the same art and arrived at the same conclusion of obviousness. The Board decided that the prior art taught the use of antiifungal compounds (albeit not tavaborole) at concentrations overlapping the 5% recited in claim 2 of the ’823 patent for treating fungal infections and thus the combination taught all the elements of the claimed invention. The Board held that routine optimization by the skilled worker would have produced the claimed formulations which would have been reasonably expected to be effective against onchomycosis. The Board also rejected Anacor’s arguments regarding challenges posed by using organoboron compounds that would have precluded the existence of a reasonable expectation of success, based on expert testimony, and further rejected that the prior art (which taught 10% antifungal concentrations in prior art formulations) taught away from obviousness of the claimed invention teaching 5% tavaborole formulations.

          The Federal Circuit affirmed, in an opinion by Judge Lourie joined by Judges O’Malley and Chen. Using the substantial evidence standard for factual questions arising before the PTAB, In re Gartside, 203 F.3d 1305, 1316 (Fed. Cir. 2000), and de novo review of questions of law, the panel agreed with the Board’s conclusion that the choice of 5% tavaborole concentrations in the claimed in formulation was a matter of routine optimization. The Federal Circuit recognized that tavaborole concentration was “a result-effective variable[] such that one could optimize nail penetration by routine experimentation within a predictable range of concentrations” in support of its opinion. The evidence showed that screening techniques existed in the art for testing for efficacy. The art also taught a relationship between nail penetration and antifungal effectiveness, for example, wherein the art taught that 5% econazole concentrations were effective for penetrating nails. According to the opinion, because tavaborole is a smaller molecule than econazole the skilled worker would have expected it to be effective in penetrating nails and thus being effective as an antifungal agent in that milieu.

        • Software Patents

          • $2,500 for VoiceAge EVS ’710 Prior Art

            On September 2, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claims 16 and 24 of U.S. Patent 7,693,710. This patent is owned by VoiceAge EVS, LLC, which is associated with Fortress Investment Group LLC, an NPE. The ’710 patent relates to concealment of frame erasure caused by frames of an encoded sound signal erased during transmission from an encoder to a decoder.

            According to the complaint, these patents are essential to the EVS Standard. The ‘710 patent is currently being asserted against Apple, Lenovo, TCL, and HMD Global. View VoiceAge ‘710 district court litigation.

      • Copyrights

        • New “Scene” Security Notice: ‘SPARKS’ Piracy Raids Busted Dozens of Sites

          Last week a massive law enforcement operation against members of The Scene unfolded, targeting release group SPARKS and their affiliates. In a brand new communication released this morning, a Scene entitity reveals that the action took down dozens of sites across 14 countries. It further predicts that more is yet to come and that security needs to be addressed.

        • Internet Provider RCN Fails to have Piracy Liability Lawsuit Dismissed

          Internet provider RCN has failed to have the piracy liability claims of several major music companies dismissed. The ISP argued that it’s not responsible for allegedly pirating customers, discrediting much of the evidence that was presented. The New Jersey federal court, however, sees the music companies’ allegations as sufficient at this stage but did dismiss similar claims against RCN’s management company Patriot.

Linux Foundation Works for Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux Foundation greenwashing and openwashing for Microsoft

Summary: Today’s Linux Foundation works for the purposes of proprietary software marketing, including Microsoft’s PR department and its lobbyists, who try to portray the Big Oil allies (proudly helping pollution and multi-million gallon leaks) as green, environmentalist and “open” (greenwashing and openwashing, ‘two in one’)

Links 2/8/2020: Linux Mint’s Warpinator, Qt 6.0 Feature Freeze, Endless OS 3.8.6, Linux From Scratch 10.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Server

      • AWS has launched a new Linux distro: Bottlerocket

        AWS has released a new open source Linux distro called Bottlerocket that has been built specifically to run on containers.

        The cloud giant already has its own Linux distro optimized to run inside the AWS cloud called Amazon Linux which can be run in a Docker container or with the Linux KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi hypervisors.

        In a blog post, product manager at AWS Samartha Chandrashekar explained why the company created Bottlerocket, saying…

      • AWS Fires Bottlerocket Linux for Container Apps

        Amazon Web Services (AWS) this week announced the general availability of Bottlerocket, a lightweight instance of Linux optimized for container applications running on the AWS cloud.

        Peder Ulander, director for open source at AWS, says the cloud service provider opted to create its own lightweight distribution of Linux to better optimize the experience of developers who rely on AWS to automate back-end IT operations on their behalf. Bottlerocket makes it easier for AWS to spin up and down both the operating system and the underlying virtual machines resources that developers use to deploy container applications on various AWS infrastructure services optimized for containers, he notes.

      • Amazon’s Bottlerocket Hits GA As Linux Distribution Optimized For Containers

        Earlier this year Amazon announced Bottlerocket as a Linux distribution for running containers. This week Bottlerocket crossed the general availability milestone.

        Bottlerocket from Amazon Web Services is a Linux distribution optimized for running containers with an emphasis on security, operations, and manageability. Bottlerocket is open-source and available via GitHub. A lot of Bottlerocket’s own tooling is written using the Rust programming language.

      • Ephemeral volumes with storage capacity tracking: EmptyDir on steroids

        Some applications need additional storage but don’t care whether that data is stored persistently across restarts. For example, caching services are often limited by memory size and can move infrequently used data into storage that is slower than memory with little impact on overall performance. Other applications expect some read-only input data to be present in files, like configuration data or secret keys.

        Kubernetes already supports several kinds of such ephemeral volumes, but the functionality of those is limited to what is implemented inside Kubernetes.

        CSI ephemeral volumes made it possible to extend Kubernetes with CSI drivers that provide light-weight, local volumes. These inject arbitrary states, such as configuration, secrets, identity, variables or similar information. CSI drivers must be modified to support this Kubernetes feature, i.e. normal, standard-compliant CSI drivers will not work, and by design such volumes are supposed to be usable on whatever node is chosen for a pod.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Double Data Rate Trouble | LINUX Unplugged 369

        The Raspberry Pi might be getting a small software fix that makes a big performance improvement.

        Plus, we attempt to combine two internet connections with Linux live from the woods!

      • mintCast 342.5 – Droidcam Can!

        We would like to welcome Owen Peery to the team. He’s our new editor!

        1:27 Linux Innards
        21:44 Vibrations from the Ether
        43:17 Check This Out
        48:10 Outro

        In our Innards section, how we use droidcam!

    • Kernel Space

      • Is Linux an Operating System or a Kernel?

        The latter is then installed on a computer as a distribution such as Ubuntu, elementary OS, Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc. However, because there are Linux distributions that come paired with more software other than GNU, some people feel we cannot generalize all ‘Linux-Kerneled‘ operating systems as GNU/Linux.

        The Linux Kernel was developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds and has since then ported to a wide range of computer architectures. Linux was adopted as the main Kernel for the GNU Operating System, meant to be a free and open source. Since then, Linux has gained popularity and deployed in different computing systems such as mobile devices (Android), PCs, Servers, embedded devices, supercomputers, and mainframes. Please read our article on the Top 10 New Features in Linux Kernel 5.8 released recently.

        Let’s understand the difference between a Kernel and an Operating System.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Supports AV1 Accelerated Video Decoding

          One important bit not covered in today’s GeForce RTX 3070/3080/3090 announcement but now detailed via the NVIDIA website is confirmation that the RTX 30 “Ampere” GPUs do in fact have dedicated AV1 hardware decode capabilities.

          The RTX 30 series is NVIDIA’s first line of GPUs supporting AV1 decode (though sadly no AV1 encode) for this open-source, royalty-free video codec that competes with H.264/H.265 and has shown much industry interest and growing adoption.

        • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 Series Launches With Impressive Specs, Competitive Pricing
        • NVIDIA announce the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 with 2nd generation RTX

          Today the ‘Ultimate Countdown’ from NVIDIA ended with the announcement of the RTX 3090, RTX 3080 and the RTX 3070, all of them being absolute monsters with 2nd generation RTX. Powered by their Ampere generation, this definitely sounds like a big generational leap. It’s really easy to be excited about it and I am.

          Not just in terms of power, the price of the main two RTX 3080 and the RTX 3070 puts them well in line with the current 20xx generation which is pretty amazing for the difference in power. We need to take anything with a pinch of salt though of course, until independent benchmarks can be done.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Test Xzibiting

          Just a quick post for today to talk about a small project I undertook this morning.

          As I’ve talked about repeatedly, I run a lot of tests.

          It’s practically all I do when I’m not dumping my random wip code by the truckload into the repo.

          The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t leave much time for performance improvements. How can I possibly have time to run benchmarks if I’m already spending all my time running tests?

    • Applications

      • Rclone Browser Enables You to Sync Data With Cloud Services in Linux Graphically

        If you want to use One Drive or Google Drive on Linux natively and effortlessly, you can opt for a premium GUI tool like Insync (affiliate link).

        If you can put some effort in the terminal, you can use Rclone to sync with many cloud storage services on Linux. We have a detailed guide on using Rclone for syncing with OneDrive in Linux.

        Rclone is a pretty popular and useful command-line tool. A lot of power users will need to use Rclone for its features.

        However, not everyone is comfortable using it from the terminal even if it’s useful enough.

        So, in this article, I’ll talk about an impressive GUI “Rclone Browser” that makes it easy to manage and sync your data on cloud storage using Rclone.

        It is also worth noting that Rclone does offer an experimental web-based GUI — but we are going to focus on Rclone Browser here.

      • Design a book cover with an open source alternative to InDesign

        recently finished writing a book about C programming, which I self-published through Lulu.com. I’ve used Lulu for several book projects, and it’s a great platform. Earlier this year, Lulu made changes that give authors greater control over creating their book covers. Previously, you just uploaded a pair of large-format images for the front and back book covers. Now, Lulu allows authors to upload a custom PDF exactly sized to your book’s dimensions.

        You can create the cover using Scribus, the open source page layout program. Here’s how I do it.

      • Auto-cpufreq – CPU Speed and Power Optimizer for Linux Systems

        This guide, we explore yet another monitoring tool – auto-cpufreq – a CPU speed and power optimizer. In an earlier article, we looked at a user-friendly resource monitor known as Bashtop and saw just how easy it is to keep tabs on the system’s performance straight from the terminal.

        Auto-cpufreq is an opensource command-line utility based on Python under the GPL 3.0 license. The tool monitors your CPU and prints metrics on the terminal such as the CPU usage, and frequency & temperature of each CPU core. Additionally, it monitors the state of your battery, system load, and turbo boost management.

      • RSS Guard 3.7.2

        RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It’s free, it’s open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services – this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Top 10 Free and Open-Source Games to Play in 2020

        Courtesy of open-source software, you could not only save a large amount of cash but also get the chance to make amendments to the code so that the application better fits your needs. When it comes to video games, most of the popular titles won’t be open-source. With that being said, if you look hard enough, you’re going to find a plethora of open-source games on the Internet.

        Although such games are only a Google search away, it should be noted that there is a wide variety of open-source games out there, so it might take quite a while for you to get to the best ones. Considering this, FOSSLinux thought to do all the research for you and compile this list of the best free and open-source games to play in 2020.

      • Crusader Kings 3 System Requirements

        The Linux requirements and recommended hardware are the same as the Windows ones with the sole difference that the player run Ubuntu 18.04.

      • Humble 1C Publishing Bundle is up with some quality Linux gaming inside

        Another game bundle is here, this time it’s the Humble 1C Publishing Bundle which comes with some pretty great Linux gaming titles ready for you.

      • Open world strategy with Tenderfoot Tactics releases for Linux PC in October

        Tenderfoot Tactics looks like it really does put a fresh spin on tactical battling, with an open world and a deterministic combat system it could be great.

        Releasing on October 21, you take control of a small party of adventurers granted magic by the friendly spirits of the archipelago. Your quest is to discover the truth and hopefully put an end to the terrible Fog – one vast, voiceless, and cruel spirit – has been eating the once-thick forests of the mainland

        “Manipulate the elements to turn the battlefield to your advantage, but beware the consequences, as nature is complex and fickle. Open chasms, raise mountains, boil lakes, drain rivers. Start fires you later regret.”

      • My Exercise is a peculiar game about doing sit-ups with various animal friends

        I don’t quite know what to make of this. My Exercise is completely bizarre and yet ridiculously charming at the same time, all about some chubby kid doing sit-ups with their dog.

        “Softly sink into the dog’s body or comfortably rub your head against his fur. More animals join this festival of private comforts as it builds up to a climactic end. Repeat the exercise to unlock more animals. There are also other secrets, hidden delicately. Let’s do sit-ups!”

      • ScummVM 2.2.0 is coming soon, developers need help testing

        With the next release of ScummVM upcoming, the team have put out a call to arms for helping testing a bunch of new titles that will be supported with ScummVM 2.2.0.

        Another wonderful bit of FOSS software, which enables tons of classic games to be perfectly playable on all sorts of modern operating systems. From Blade Runner to The Secret of Monkey Island there’s a lot it supports.

      • Stadia Pro games for September are up with HITMAN, Hello Neighbor and more

        As a reminder GRID, Kona and Get Packed have left Stadia Pro, so you now have to buy them on Stadia as normal. You can see the full list of current claimable Stadia Pro games here.

        Other recent Stadia launches include that are not in Pro: DOOM, HITMAN 2, PGA Tour 2K21, Relicta, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break, Spiritfarer, Strange Brigade, SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete, Windbound. More to come in future including Avengers, Baldur’s Gate 3, Serious Sam 4, Watch Dogs: Legion, WWE 2K Battlegrounds and so on. Quite a busy year for Stadia as it builds up a healthy selection of titles new and old.

      • Steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum: Lockdown arrives Sept 15, Linux PC shortly after

        Fatbot Games have revealed that Vaporum: Lockdown will be launching on September 15, with the official Linux PC release to follow along ‘shortly after’.

        Acting as a prequel to Vaporum, it expands on everything from the original. A grid-based, single-player, single-character game, seen from a first-person perspective in an original steampunk setting, and inspired by old-school games like Dungeon Master I and II, the Eye of the Beholder series, and the more recent Legend of Grimrock I and II.

        Follow the story of Ellie Teller, a scientist who is a part of a mysterious research project in the middle of an ocean. After disastrous events, she struggles to survive and escape the tower of Arx Vaporum.

      • Gothic horror roguelike Golden Krone Hotel gets a wonderful overhaul

        Golden Krone Hotel is an approachable, easy to understand and thoroughly underrated roguelike that you should check out. Especially now, with a big update out that overhauls lots.

        A gothic horror roguelike, one where you fight vampires with sunlight or become a vampire yourself and sneak in the shadows. It has a fun setting and the approachable mechanics also make it a really great roguelike for playing on coffee breaks.

      • Event-driven FOSS game engine GDevelop adds dynamic 2D lights, more features

        The free and open source game engine and editor GDevelop continues maturing, with new features constantly being pulled it to make it more powerful. If you missed it, a recent previous release added a live preview feature.

        Never heard of it before? GDevelop is a full-featured, open-source game development software, allowing to create HTML5 and native games without any knowledge in a specific programming language. All the game logic is built up using an intuitive and powerful event-based system.

        Release ’5.0.0-beta99′ is now live, which continues expanding the graphical power with the addition of support for dynamic 2D lights. So you can now add a Light object to scenes, with a customizable colour and radius which looks and sounds extremely useful. Testing it myself, it does work really well and it’s super easy to use.

      • Dark monster taming game Monster Crown gets a major upgrade with online trading

        After early success on Steam, retro Pokemon inspired creature capture / taming game Monster Crown has its first major update available now and it sounds exciting.

        This first and rather large content update introduces three new game features: NET Eggs, the ‘Move Learner’ and online monster trading. A NET Egg lets players breed with a random monster egg, which contains monster genes from players all over the world. The egg serves as a wild-card parent, resulting in a surprise monster. The ‘Move Learner’ allows monsters to remember a new set of moves from its large roster of attacks. Monsters can learn a lot of moves, but they can only remember six at a time. Now players can select which moves their monsters remember at any given time. Lastly, online monster trading lets players exchange their monster creations with the world.

      • Crusader Kings III is now out, some thoughts on the medieval mayhem

        Crusader Kings III is a difficult game to describe succinctly. While a great deal of the game is about being a character, gameplay spans generations of rulers of your dynasty. Things like interpersonal disputes and interactions can have large administrative and strategic consequences. It’s possible to, through cunning and good marriages, come up from a lowly count to a great emperor in a generation or two. It’s also possible to be said emperor and be murdered by a scorned wife and have half of your realm rise up in revolt when your inbred son comes to power.

        All of this takes place on a beautiful map that lovingly details terrain and kingdoms ranging from West Africa to Northern Europe, vast Russian steppes, the Middle East, and India and Tibet. Still images don’t really do the game justice—character models are fully 3d and are animated. These are vibrant and lively, reflecting their current lot in life at a glance. The level of detail is fantastic with banners fluttering from the parapets of castles or rivers lazily babbling around villages when zoomed in. Zooming out reveals the colors of the different realms before finally yielding to a faux-parchment map complete with fantastical beasts drawn in the water and margins.


        It is because the game acknowledges all this freedom in its design that the underlying systems are coherent and universal. Now, if you’re a newer player it’s still all complex, perhaps to the point of being initially overwhelming, but I believe that it’s needfully so. To its credit, Paradox has made strides in easing players in with a comprehensive tutorial. Beyond that, the game has tooltips for just about anything and concepts that remain unclear can be looking up in an in-game encyclopedia at any moment.

        Understanding the basics doesn’t take too long; exploring the game’s other systems can be done at leisure or according to taste. Focusing on intrigue and scheming is just as valid as diplomacy and conventional warfare. Characters spend their lives improving their skills according to the lifestyle chosen for them. This system, complete with skill trees, can result in tailor-made characters for your preferred play style.

        It’s perfectly fine to play as a virtuous ruler, a dreaded tyrant or anything in between. Intimidating your vassals and courtiers can be just as effective as being the very model of chivalry. Some lifestyle perks feed into systems like stress, dread or respect, providing a powerful feedback so that you can rule as you like. The favors system—called hooks—adds to this and can compel vassals and courtiers to accept your demands. They can be gained by various means ranging from intrigue and blackmail or to simply being a good friend. These can be leveraged to change feudal contracts, keep characters out of faction and all sorts of other actions. It is a system more intuitive in action than it is to describe and also provides plenty of opportunity for players.

      • From Terminal Master to Grandmaster: Play Chess in Linux Terminal

        Linux terminals can be fun too. Learn how to play chess in Linux terminal that too with a formidable opponent Stockfish chess engine.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.19.5 Released as the Last in the Series, Plasma 5.20 Lands on October 13

          The KDE Project released today the KDE Plasma 5.19.5 maintenance update as the last in the Plasma 5.19 desktop environment series.

          Launched in early June 2020, the Plasma 5.19 desktop environment is currently the most advanced stable version of KDE’s modern and powerful user interface for Linux-based operating systems. But being a short-lived branch, it only receives five maintenance updates, Plasma 5.19.5 being the last one, and also a small update that includes only a few changes.

          The most important ones being the support for printing of multiple copies and print scaling from Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird using the KDE Print dialog, the ability for KSysGuard to detect changes in monitors list, and support for the Powerdevil daemon to remember the keyboard brightness level and restore it when waking up the computer from suspend.

        • Cutelyst 2.12 released

          Cutelyst a Qt web framework got a new version, this version has one important fix for async apps using FastCGI or HTTP2, also fixes for SO_REUSEPORT, and as a new feature is has support for listen queue backlog on UNIX, sadly QTcpServer doesn’t support both of these (I need to find time to write some patches…).

          Cutelyst is available for many Linux distributions but doesn’t for Debian/Kubuntu, so I’m also adding the CPack deb built will all but uWSGI support for 20.04 amd64.

        • Latte Dock v0.10~ | Simplify Layouts Mode

          that is a major new feature, so please read carefully and take full backup before updating to Latte v0.9.86~ [~, stands for rapid development, in your distro package repos is mentioned as git version]

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Fly-Pie is an Innovative New App Launcher for GNOME Shell

          It’s called Fly-Pie and despite being at an early stage in its development (i.e. expect bugs, missing features, possible death, etc) it’s already looking pretty functional as this YouTube video ably demonstrates…

          Now, I’m sure some of you (i.e. those with a bit of Linux lineage behind ya) might see some familiarity with GNOME Pie (which, for those unaware, was an radial app launcher for Linux popular during the Compiz years),

          GNOME Pie was the work of developer Simon Schneegans and — cue faux shock — he’s also the developer of Fly Pie! But Fly Pie isn’t a straight up clone or a direct continuation of his old project. It’s very much its own thing (like Wayland compatible, hurrah).

        • PureOS for Creatives Part 3: Studio and System Set Up with JACK

          In the PureOS for Creatives series, we’ve covered how the Librem line of products work for creative use, particularly for recording studios: commercial or home. There are many more tools like Ardour and LMMS, available from the PureOS Software Store (where everything is free as in libre) and ready to go right after download. Many of the dependencies needed for the programs to run as intended are available on your Librem computer out of the box, such as ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and PulseAudio – which both provide low-latency audio suitable for professional music production.

          ALSA and PulseAudio are integrated within the audio/MIDI settings for all music creation software, and both are great audio systems for MIDI and audio handling. But if you need two programs to share audio between one another or any external studio gear that you would like to communicate with each other as well as the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), you might want to familiarize yourself with JACK.

    • Distributions

      • GSoC 2020 Final Report: XFS File System

        Hello there! This is the final report on my project which aimed at initiating support for XFS Filesystem on Haiku, by first making a read only driver.

      • New Releases

        • Release | Endless OS 3.8.6

          Developers in the Linux community have recently become aware of a severe problem in the GRUB2 bootloader that allows a bad actor to completely circumvent UEFI Secure Boot. This vulnerability was discovered by researchers at Eclypsium and given the name BootHole. While a group of engineers worked to fix this bug, they also performed an in-depth audit of GRUB2’s source code, fixing a few other vulnerabilities in the process. A full list can be found in Debian’s Security Advisory 4735 (which we use as base for our GRUB2 package).

          All vulnerabilities mentioned above are now fixed in Endless OS 3.8.6. We are also using a new secure boot signing certificate to sign these new packages, and have revoked the old certificates, to prevent a downgrade to the vulnerable binaries.

        • LFS Stable Version 10.0 Release

          The Linux From Scratch community announces the release of LFS Version 10.0.

          This version of the book has undergone a major reorganization. It uses enhanced cross-compilation techniques and an environment isolated from the host system to build tools for the final system. This reduces both the chance for changing the the host system and the potential of the host system influencing the LFS build process.

          Major package updates include toolchain versions glibc-2.32, gccc-10.2.0, and binutils-2.35. In total, 37 packages were updated since the last release. The Linux kernel has also been updated to version 5.8.3.

          You can read the book online, or download to read locally.

          In coordination with this release, a new version of LFS using the systemd package is also being released. This package implements the newer systemd style of system initialization and control and is consistent with LFS in most packages.

        • Linux From Scratch 10.0 Released For Rolling Your Own Linux Installation From Source

          Just over twenty years after the Linux From Scratch project was started as a guide/book to building all of the software components manually from source, Linux From Scratch 10.0 has been released.

          Linux From Scratch continues to teach the user how to roll their own Linux installation from source and while hearing “LFS” has been less common in recent years the effort still continues.

      • BSD

        • Modernizing the OpenBSD console

          At the beginning were text mode consoles. Traditionally, *BSD and Linux on i386 and amd64 used text mode consoles which by default provided 25 rows of 80 columns, the “80×25 mode”. This mode uses a 8×16 font stored in the VGA BIOS (which can be slightly different across vendors).

          OpenBSD uses the wscons(4) console framework, inherited from NetBSD.

        • 6.8-beta tagged in CVS

          Theo (deraadt@) has just committed the crank to 6.8-beta to CVS

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux-Based Garuda Linux Gaming Distro Now Supports Snap and Flatpak Apps

          Garuda Linux, a user-friendly and gaming oriented GNU/Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, has a new ISO release that brings various improvements, new features, and updated components.

          New features in this release include a revamped Welcome app with support for Adguard DNS, a new option for switching the GDM (GNOME Display Manager) login screen to Wayland, a new option to enable the HiDPI mode for 4K screens, as well as support for enabling and disabling the guest account.

          The Network Assistant app has been improved as well in Garuda Linux 200831 and it now features buttons for restarting the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, and supports detection of NetworkManager or Connman backends to allow you to start the networking service.

        • Arch-Based Garuda Linux Has A New Release With Snap, Flatpak Support

          Garuda team has released a new version 200831 of Garuda Linux, which includes numerous updates and improvements to applications and desktop environments.

          For those who don’t know, Garuda Linux is an Arch Linux-based rolling distribution focussing only on performance. But unlike Arch, it comes with a graphical Calamares installer and other advanced GUI tools like Garuda Settings Manager and Garuda Boot Repair for managing the system easily.

        • First Arch Linux ISO Powered by Linux Kernel 5.8 Is Now Available for Download

          It’s that time of the year again, when the famous Arch Linux distribution gets a new ISO release with the latest and greatest Linux kernel. Arch Linux’s September 2020 snapshot is out as the first to use Linux kernel 5.8.

          If you’ve been waiting to install Arch Linux on your personal computer or server with the Linux 5.8 kernel series out of the box, the wait is finally over. The Arch Linux 2020.09.01 snapshot is out now and it’s powered by Linux Kernel 5.8.5.

          Dubbed as one of the biggest releases of all time, the Linux 5.8 kernel introduces mitigations for the Special Register Buffer Data Sampling (SRBDS) a.k.a. CrossTalk hardware vulnerability, a new initrdmem= boot option to allow you to specify an initial RAM disk image, as well as support for LZO-RLE compression in the F2FS file system.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Tomas Tomecek: Rootless Podman I/O

          A colleague of mine asked me today to prove that rootless podman has worse I/O performance than running podman as root. Which I claimed.

          My instinct is that it gotta be worse, because fuse-overlayfs is overlayfs implementation in userspace, so it gotta be less performant than a kernel module. Let’s see.

        • Podman remote clients for macOS and Windows

          The core Podman runtime environment only runs on Linux operating systems. Other operating systems can use remote client software to manage containers on a Linux backend. The remote client is nearly identical to the standard Podman program. Certain functions that do not make sense for remote clients have been removed. For example, the –latest switch for container commands is not present.

        • What’s your favorite automation tool?

          The eternal goal of every good sysadmin is to be replaced by a script.

          It seems self-defeating, but sysadmins know that only when a technology is understood completely can it be automated, and new technology appears every year. By the time you’ve automated one thing, there’s something new to learn and eventually automate.

          Automation makes sense because computers are better and more reliable at repetition than humans. And because it’s so popular a goal, there are dozens of tools to make automation possible, and most aren’t mutually exclusive.

        • Show us your gear: David Nugent, mastering developer meetups

          Over the last couple months, I’ve created a pretty sweet setup for running meetups — including the IBM Developer SF Meetup — and the ForwardJS conference series from my home. Let me show you how!

      • Debian Family

        • Q4OS 3.12 Centaurus Released with Latest Debian Update

          Q4OS 3.12 “Centaurus” released its latest long term support release with Debian Buster 10.5 update.

        • Russell Coker: BBB vs Jitsi

          I previously wrote about how I installed the Jitsi video-conferencing system on Debian [1]. We used that for a few unofficial meetings of LUV to test it out. Then we installed Big Blue Button (BBB) [2]. The main benefit of Jitsi over BBB is that it supports live streaming to YouTube. The benefits of BBB are a better text chat system and a “whiteboard” that allows conference participants to draw shared diagrams. So if you have the ability to run both systems then it’s best to use Jitsi when you have so many viewers that a YouTube live stream is needed and to use BBB in all other situations.

          One problem is with the ability to run both systems. Jitsi isn’t too hard to install if you are installing it on a VM that is not used for anything else. BBB is a major pain no matter what you do. The latest version of BBB is 2.2 which was released in March 2020 and requires Ubuntu 16.04 (which was released in 2016 and has “standard support” until April next year) and doesn’t support Ubuntu 18.04 (released in 2018 and has “standard support” until 2023). The install script doesn’t check for correct apt repositories and breaks badly with no explanation if you don’t have Ubuntu Multiverse enabled.

        • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS and ELTS – August 2020

          Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and Debian Extended Long Term Support (ELTS), which extend the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

          In August, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability – I was assigned 21.75h for LTS (out of my 30 max; all done) and 14.25h for ELTS (out of my 20 max; all done).

          We had a Birds of a Feather videoconf session at DebConf20, sadly with varying quality for participants (from very good to unusable), where we shared the first results of the LTS survey.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities August 2020

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

        • Daniel Lange & Debian, aggression and hypocrisy in focus

          This blog follows up on the earlier report about Daniel Lange, who was accused of aggression but accepted into Debian anyway at almost the same time Jacob Appelbaum was expelled.

          We quote the following two emails from the debian-private (leaked) gossip network, little comment is needed to see the hypocrisy at work inside Debian.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint’s Warpinator Is Now Available as a Flatpak for All Linux Distros

          Linux Mint project’s lead developer Clement Lefebvre announced today that the Warpinator network transfer tool from the Linux Mint 20 distribution is now available as a Flatpak for all distros.

          One of the attractions of the Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” release was Warpinator, a small utility that makes file sharing on the local network a breeze, and it also provides encryption so no one can intercept your network transfers. Warpinator was also recently ported to the LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 4 operating system.

          Warpinator is made by the Linux Mint team for Linux Mint, and, until now, there was no way to install it on other GNU/Linux distributions. But, as of today, Warpinator is available as a Flatpak app that you can install on virtually any Linux distro that supports the Flatpak universal binary format.

        • Monthly News – August 2020

          We’re happy to announce that Warpinator, the network transfer tool which shipped with Linux Mint 20 and was ported to LMDE 4, is now available to all users of Linux as a Flatpak.

          If you are using Linux Mint 19.x or Linux Mint 18.x open the Software Manager and search for “Warpinator”.

          If you are using a different Linux distribution head over to Flathub at https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.x.Warpinator.

          If you want to share files between computers running different releases of Linux Mint or different distributions, note that you can use both Flatpak and non-Flatpak versions of Warpinator on the same network.

        • Soon You’ll be Able to Convert Any Website into Desktop Application in Linux Mint

          Imagine this situation. You are working on a certain topic and you have more than twenty tabs open in your web browser, mostly related to the work.

          Some of these tabs are for YouTube or some other music streaming website you are listening to.

          You finished the work on the topic and close the browser. Your intent was to close all the work related tabs but it also closed the tabs that you were using for listening to music or some other activities.

        • Linux Mint WebApp Manager Can Turn Websites Into Desktop Apps

          t’s been over two months since the exciting release of the current stable Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana.” Over this period, it has also received several bug fixes, and the Linux Mint team is already working towards the development of the next point release v20.1.

          Now, in the latest monthly blog, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre has revealed the WebApp Management system, one of the features they’re working to implement in the upcoming Linux Mint 20.1.

        • elementary OS Adds Experimental Support for the Pinebook Pro

          The $199 ARM laptop from Pine64 has gained a cult following amongst tech-savvy Linux enthusiasts thanks the combination of low entry price and decent build quality. Heck, even I’m saving up for one!

          Now Pinebook Pro owners have even more choice.

          Anyone wishing to sample elementary OS experience can do so using a new version of the OS custom-built for the Pinebook Pro. This “early access” build is based off the upcoming elementary OS 6 release. It is only available to download by financial supporters of the project, e.g., via Github Sponsors.

        • Ubuntu Linux 20.10 Groovy Gorilla Beta is coming soon

          The popular Ubuntu Linux gets two new versions a year, with one coming in April, and the other in October. Its version numbering scheme is based on year (YY), a period, and the month (MM). For instance, the most recent stable version was released this past April and it is numbered as 20.04. In addition, Canonical (the operating system’s owner) assigns names — sequentially and alphabetically. The alphanumeric code name is always based on two words starting with the same sequential letter — an adjective followed by an animal name. The aforementioned 20.04 is named “Focal Fossa.”

          Obviously, the next version of Ubuntu will be numbered 20.10, and it will be given a two-word code name based on the letter “G.” This time, the operating system will be called “Groovy Gorilla.” Thankfully, development of the operating system seems to be on schedule, as it recently received a feature freeze. What does this mean? Essentially, moving forward, Ubuntu 20.10 should only receive bug fixes — no more features will be introduced unless by exception. It also signals that the upcoming Beta release should be released on schedule as expected.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Daily Builds with Gnome 3.28 Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Ubuntu 20.10 Daily Builds with Gnome 3.28 Beta.

        • FIPS certification and CIS compliance with Ubuntu
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud incorporates Kaspersky antivirus security

        These days we almost all use personal Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds at work, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. But, if privacy and security are at the top of your mind, these public clouds are, well, public. That’s where the open-source, private IaaS cloud software Nextcloud enters. You control your data. Now with Kaspersky Scan Engine added on, you make sure your files are free of malware before they’re loaded into the cloud.

        Like any of the personal IaaS clouds, with clients on mobile and desktop operating systems and files saved to your server, users can unknowingly upload and share infected files. The integrated antivirus Scan Engine intercepts and blocks such potentially dangerous files as they’re uploaded on the server-side. This makes sure malware isn’t spread to other users.

      • Open source 3D creation suite ‘Blender’ has a major new release

        Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite continues going from strength to strength, with a brand new release out now. Let’s go over the highlights.

        After seeing many more big names chip-in over the last year or two to help fund Blender like AMD, NVIDIA, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Unity and plenty more they’ve now got over €106,265 coming in per month. Amazing, since that work ends up free for all to use like this. Blender 2.9, released August 31 it “builds on the success of the 2.8x series, Blender 2.90 continues to polish the user experience, introducing improvements to EEVEE, Cycles, sculpt, VR, animation, modeling, UV editing and so much more”.


        For game developers, film makers and more Blender is becoming essential and it’s fantastic to have it so well supported on Linux.

      • Blender 2.90 Released with Intel Embree, NVLink Support for CUDA / OptiX

        Open source 3D creation software Blender 2.90 was released as the new major series with huge feature updates and performance improvements.


        And improvements to EEVEE, Cycles, sculpt, VR, animation, modeling, UV editing and so much more.

      • My dramatic journey to becoming an open source engineer

        It’s been five years and a heck of a journey from being a non-programmer to becoming an associate software engineer at Red Hat. It’s a story worth telling—not because I have achieved a lot, but because of so much drama and so many pitfalls. So grab a cup of coffee, and I will share the unturned pages of my love story with technology.

        People say love is as powerful as hate. And love stories that start with hate are often the most passionate ones. My love story with technology was just like that. I got into the world of programming in my freshman year of college. It was my most painful subject. Even though I have always been passionate about futuristic technologies, I didn’t know how to move forward towards my passion.

      • [Older] Computers can’t sustain themselves

        Becoming knowledgeable about computers and being able to manage them efficiently is easier with Free Software than proprietary software. Free Software creates a healthy relationship between developers and users whereby the former plays nice with the latter because he or she has may redesign the software to better fit their needs or completely stop using it. Its openness allows everyone to dig into technical details and discover how it works. Therefore, Free Software puts users in control, allowing them to better understand technology.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • An Introduction to the Rust Programming Language

            Since its launch in 2010, Rust has forged a path directly to the heart of the developer’s community, reaching the enviable top position among the most loved languages, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Surveys.

            Part of that success is the language’s flexibility: Rust can be used to create game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components, websites and tools, and more.

            In short, Rust is a static multi-paradigm programming language, more focused on performance and security. In practice, its usage resembles a lot of C++, being very light, simple, and fast.

            It was created by Graydon Hoare for Mozilla and later refined until it reached a stable version for release.

          • State of cloud native development, Rust gets a foundation, and more industry trends

            The impact: This seems like some good problems to have for the Rust community; maturity level “needs an independent foundation” activated!

          • This Week in Glean: Leveraging Rust to build cross-platform mobile libraries
          • This Week in Glean: Leveraging Rust to build cross-platform mobile libraries

            A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk titled “Leveraging Rust to build cross-platform mobile libraries”. You can find my slides as a PDF. It was part of the Rusty Days Webference, an online conference that was initially planned to happen in Poland, but had to move online. Definitely check out the other talks.

            One thing I wanted to achieve with that talk is putting that knowledge out there. While multiple teams at Mozilla are already building cross-platform libraries, with a focus on mobile integration, the available material and documentation is lacking. I’d like to see better guides online, and I probably have to start with what we have done. But that should also be encouragement for those out there doing similar things to blog, tweet & speak about it.

          • The Tor Project Membership Program

            Today we are officially launching the Tor Project Membership Program, a new way for nonprofit and private sector organizations to financially support our work.

            For a while, we have been thinking about how to continue to increase the diversity of funds in the Tor Project’s budget, and more importantly, how to increase unrestricted funds. The latest is a type of funding that allows us to be more agile with software development of tor and other tools.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.5.1 Maintenance Release

          WordPress 5.5.1 is now available!

          This maintenance release features 34 bug fixes, 5 enhancements, and 5 bug fixes for the block editor. These bugs affect WordPress version 5.5, so you’ll want to upgrade.

          You can download WordPress 5.5.1 directly, or visit the Dashboard → Updates screen and click Update Now. If your sites support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

          WordPress 5.5.1 is a short-cycle maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.6.

          To see a full list of changes, you can browse the list on Trac, read the 5.5.1 RC1 and 5.5.1 RC2 posts, or visit the 5.5.1 documentation page.

        • The Month in WordPress: August 2020

          August was special for WordPress lovers, as one of the most anticipated releases, WordPress 5.5, was launched. The month also saw several updates from various contributor teams, including the soft-launch of the Learn WordPress project and updates to Gutenberg. Read on to find out about the latest updates from the WordPress world.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Knowledge Drop – September

          As we enter the tail-end of Summer, everything can start to look a little bleak. On the Qt front however, we’re happy to say that things are just about to heat up. This challenging year has caused us to heavily adapt our content plans, redirecting our focus from physical events to producing as much helpful and informative online content for our community as possible. Most of which is just about to come to fruition.

          So here’s a little forecast to help you ride the heatwave. Find out exactly where and when to pick the ripest pieces of content for you.

        • Qt 6.0 Feature Freeze Milestone Reached

          We are super-excited that a significant milestone, the feature freeze of the next major version of Qt, has been reached! We now have the functionality in place, and the following months will be spent in polishing and tuning the release. Target is to complete the maturation phase in the coming months to be able to release Qt 6.0.0 in December.

          Over the past few years, we have been working to research, plan, and create the next Qt version. Qt 5 has been a great success, and it is a solid foundation for the development of applications and devices still for many years to come. But the world is changing, so we are introducing a version that takes Qt users into the new decade. The Qt 6 technical vision blog post by Lars offers a great overview of Qt 6.0 future strategy.   

        • Qt 6.0 Now Under Feature Freeze

          The Qt Company has announced the feature freeze for the big Qt 6.0 toolkit milestone.

          No more feature work is happening for Qt 6.0 in order to make this month’s planned Qt 6.0 Alpha release followed by beta releases in October, the Qt 6.0 release candidate in November, and ideally releasing Qt 6.0.0 in December.

          Qt 6.0 has a lot of work on its graphics stack, continued Wayland improvements, big improvements for QML, improved C++ APIs, better Python bindings, and more — The Qt Company will begin organizing feature blog posts and more comprehensive release notes as the 6.0.0 milestone closes in.

        • Create Custom classes And functions in Laravel

          PHP is an object-oriented programming language and we can define classes and functions like any other OOP language. Laravel is a PHP framework and provides great advantages over other PHP frameworks.

          Laravel classes can easily be imported anywhere in the application. If you are thinking to create your own classes and functions in Laravel, it is equally easy to do.

          One of the reasons we may want to create our own classes is to have customized functionality in our Laravel app. Though we can write code in the controllers but it’s recommended to extract extra functionality from controllers to other classes or functions. This way, we can keep controllers clean and more focused on the main task.

        • Optimize runtime performance with C++’s move semantics

          If you are allowed to choose which programming language to use for an application, you usually pick one you know and that offers the shortest path to your goal. If you require a high runtime speed, programming languages that compile directly to machine code— like C++—are your best option.

          In modern applications, the back and forth of memory addresses, jumps, loops, and the (sometimes unnecessary) copying of data areas consumes a huge share of machine code. In this article, I’ll highlight the C++ move semantics, which enable you to avoid unnecessarily copying processes. Even if you are not a programmer, you can still analyze memory allocations with the valgrind heap profiler massif.

        • Review Of CodeLobster IDE – Free PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript Editor
        • Create a mobile app with Flutter

          Flutter is a popular project among mobile developers around the world. The framework has a massive, friendly community of enthusiasts, which continues to grow as Flutter helps programmers take their projects into the mobile space.

          This tutorial is meant to help you start doing mobile development with Flutter. After reading it, you’ll know how to quickly install and set up the framework to start coding for smartphones, tablets, and other platforms.

          This how-to assumes you have Android Studio installed on your computer and some experience working with it.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Why I don’t try the Perl Weekly Challenges

            A little over a month ago I learned about the Perl Weekly Challenges. The site states the challenges are for any skill level. So, I went and took a look. After looking at the first challenge that week, I realized “any skill level” did not mean my skill level.

          • Monthly Report – August

            It was the most busiest month of the year 2020 for me. Of course, most of my spare time was dedicated to The Weekly Challenge. We, as a team, created record of 100+ contributions 4 weeks in a row. It was hectic and exhausting, I must admit.

            With every passing week, the team is also growing. Team members are blogging more often. As of today, we have received 3000+ Perl contributions and 2000+ Raku contributions. For blogs, very soon we would cross 1000 mark, currently it stands at 940. Did I expect such response in the beginning? No, never dream of such support.

            Encouraged by Gabor Szabo, I created my Patreon profile for the first time. I am overwhelmed by the support I have received so far. I would like to take this opportunitity to thank each and every supporters.

          • 2020.35 Election Candidacies

            Less than a week to go until the candidacy period for the first election of the Raku Steering Council ends (at midnight UTC on 6 September 2020, to be precise). So far, ten people have announced their candidacy, which is great to see! Yours truly feels that, to make the Raku Steering Council truly reflect the Raku userbase, there should be more women, more younger people and more people who do not have English as their first language. If you feel you belong to these groups, and you want to be a part of the future of Raku, please consider adding your candidacy! If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to open an issue!

          • *** New Hash Implementation ***

            A special edition of the Rakudo Weekly News to inform you all of an exciting development in the world of the Raku Programming Language.

        • Python

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog Post | GSoc | #14
          • A Lesson in LoRa Module P2P Standards (or the Lack Thereof)

            I got a handful of LoRa modules from Reyax a while back, the RYLR896 model based on Semtech SX1276 chips. Instead of using an SPI interface they operate over UART using a small set of AT commands. This made them easier to work with since I didn’t have to dig too deeply into a bunch of SPI registers and Semtech specs and they communicate between one another really well. My Espruino JS module for them is available here, which I’ve used in a few of my YouTube videos.

          • Coding the Classic Snake Game with Python Turtle Graphics

            Python Turtle Graphics is awesome! It can be used to learn and teach Python programming and Computer Science from elementary to advanced level. There is a post on my blog about the Turtle Graphics demos which come with IDLE (the development environment that ships with Python) – check them out to get an idea of some of the fun stuff you can do!

            You can play to a version of the Classic Snake Game on repl.it here.

            Click on the Turtle window to enable keyboard control using the arrow keys.

          • Django security releases issued: 3.1.1, 3.0.10 and 2.2.16

            In accordance with our security release policy, the Django team is issuing Django 3.1.1, Django 3.0.10 and Django 2.2.16. These releases address the security issue detailed below. We encourage all users of Django to upgrade as soon as possible.

          • What are good Python interview questions?

            Python is a programming language with objects, modules, threads, exceptions and automatic memory management. The benefits of pythons are that it is simple and easy, portable, extensible, build-in data structure and it is an open source.

          • Tryton Newsletter September 2020

            This month we got a major improvement with a new theme for the web client.

          • Python 101 – Conditional Statements (Video)

            In this video, you will learn how to create conditional statements using the Python programming language.

          • Django + AJAX : How to use AJAX in Django Templates

            AJAX or Asynchronous JavaScript And XML is a set of web development techniques using web technologies on the client-side to create asynchronous web requests.

            In simpler words, AJAX allows web pages to be updated asynchronously by exchanging data with a web server behind the scenes. This means that updating parts of a web page is possible, without reloading the whole page.

            We can make AJAX requests from Django templates using JQuery. With the jQuery AJAX methods, you can request text, HTML, XML, or JSON from a remote server using both HTTP Get and HTTP Post and you can load the external data directly into the selected HTML elements of your web page.

            In this tutorial, we will learn how to make AJAX HTTP GET and POST requests from Django templates.

          • When, Why, and How To Use Web Scraping In A Nutshell

            The internet is a rich source of information, but a majority of it isn’t accessible programmatically through APIs or databases. To address that shortcoming there are a variety of web scraping frameworks that aid in extracting structured data from web pages. In this episode Attila Tóth shares the challenges of web data extraction, the ways that you can use it, and how Scrapy and ScrapingHub can help you with your projects.

          • Editing Excel Spreadsheets in Python With openpyxl

            Excel spreadsheets are one of those things you might have to deal with at some point. Either it’s because your boss loves them or because marketing needs them, you might have to learn how to work with spreadsheets in Python, and that’s when knowing openpyxl comes in handy!

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #436 (Sept. 1, 2020)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Final Words
        • Rust

          • How to speed up the Rust compiler some more in 2020

            First up is a process change: I have started doing weekly performance triage. Each Tuesday I have been looking at the performance results of all the PRs merged in the past week. For each PR that has regressed or improved performance by a non-negligible amount, I add a comment to the PR with a link to the measurements. I also gather these results into a weekly report, which is mentioned in This Week in Rust, and also looked at in the weekly compiler team meeting.

            The goal of this is to ensure that regressions are caught quickly and appropriate action is taken, and to raise awareness of performance issues in general. It takes me about 45 minutes each time. The instructions are written in such a way that anyone can do it, though it will take a bit of practice for newcomers to become comfortable with the process. I have started sharing the task around, with Mark Rousskov doing the most recent triage.

            This process change was inspired by the “Regressions prevented” section of an excellent blost post from Nikita Popov (a.k.a. nikic), about the work they have been doing to improve the speed of LLVM. (The process also takes some ideas from the Firefox Nightly crash triage that I set up a few years ago when I was leading Project Uptime.)

            The speed of LLVM directly impacts the speed of rustc, because rustc uses LLVM for its backend. This is a big deal in practice. The upgrade to LLVM 10 caused some significant performance regressions for rustc, though enough other performance improvements landed around the same time that the relevant rustc release was still faster overall. However, thanks to nikic’s work, the upgrade to LLVM 11 will win back much of the performance lost in the upgrade to LLVM 10.

  • Leftovers

    • Patreon Raises $90 Million in Financing, Creator-Membership Platform Worth $1.2 Billion

      Patreon, whose platform lets creators earn money from fans through subscriptions, has raised $90 million in new funding. The seven-year-old company says it now has a valuation of $1.2 billion, and it’s planning to use the financing to expand internationally and beef up tools for creators (and their fans).

    • Search Warrant Served on Teen for Twitter [Attack], NYT Reports

      The FBI on Tuesday served a search warrant on a 16-year-old related to his alleged role in the July 15 [attack] on Twitter Inc., the New York Times reported.

      The youth was believed to have played a significant role in the attack, the Times reported. The attack took over the accounts of some of Twitter’s most prominent users, including Barack Obama and Elon Musk, as part of an alleged crytocurrency scam.

    • The Culture Is Still Catching Up With Georgia Anne Muldrow

      In mid-July, during a 48-minute Instagram Live interview with the Black culture and art website Afropunk, Georgia Anne Muldrow explained the meaning behind Mama, You Can Bet!, her third album under the pseudonym Jyoti. As she put it, single mothers forgo their own desires for the betterment of their children; the album was written to celebrate them. “I wanted to make a song for when a daughter sees their mother as a woman, for when the child respects a mother’s right to have passionate love in her life,” Muldrow said. “They say after a certain age, you’re not beautiful. They say that this woman, who’s given her whole body [and] done the holiest thing known to man, has now depreciated in value.” On the title track, which also opens the album, Muldrow speaks specifically to Black mothers. And with its distinctly West African sound—a woozy mix of goblet drums, upright bass, and quiet piano chords, produced by Muldrow in her home studio—it’s meant to empower a group of women who’ve been historically mistreated and disconnected from their ancestry. “There’s many a man who’d love your hand,” she sings. “Love is waiting for you.”

    • “Is There No End to Big Oil’s Evil?” Campaigners Condemn Industry Plan to Pour US Plastics Into Africa

      Anti-pollution advocates responded with alarm to the American Chemistry Council’s reported efforts to influence a pending U.S.-Kenya trade deal.

    • Big Oil Faded. Will Big Tech?

      Companies tend to find workarounds for most data privacy guidelines, and Apple’s latest change won’t slow down the biggest digital data hogs of all, Google and Facebook. But I think Apple is taking a good step to put more guardrails around companies that try to follow our every move online and in the real world.

      It is also a reminder that in the absence of effective government policy in the United States to limit digital privacy intrusions, we have Apple and Google remaking how the digital world works without input or oversight on this important policy issue.

    • Animation Editors Weigh Pros and Cons of Working From Home

      Animation is an area that has generally been able to keep production moving forward amid COVID-19. Several top editors of animated features — all of whom are currently working, albeit from home — are also speculating that, post-pandemic, more filmmakers might split editing between a home and office environment.

    • Science

      • Stonehenge enhanced sounds like voices or music for people inside the monument

        Stonehenge Lego, as Cox dubbed the model, was assembled assuming that Stonehenge’s outer circle of standing sarsen stones — a type of silcrete rock found in southern England — had originally consisted of 30 stones. Stonehenge today includes 63 complete stones, including five standing sarsen stones and 12 other stones in fragments. Based on an estimated total of 157 stones placed at the site around 4,200 years ago, the researchers 3-D printed 27 stones of all sizes and shapes. Then, the team used silicone molds of those items and plaster mixed with other materials to re-create the remaining 130 stones. Simulated stones were constructed to minimize sound absorption, much like actual stones at Stonehenge, Cox says.

    • Education

      • Plagiarism is not a victimless offence

        I contacted the UPenn admissions department, who assured me that the marketing department – responsible for the envelope – would never use a fake quotation. Despite my request, marketing never contacted me.

      • CC Open Education Platform Activities Fund: Six Winners!

        The CC Open Education Platform is a vibrant, international network of over 1120 open education advocates, educators, librarians, lawmakers, graduate students, and more, spanning 79 countries. This year, CC launched an activities fund to support Platform members’ good work to further open education in their countries. The activities fund offered up to $5,000 USD to community members who proposed efforts that: 1) Build and sustain community; 2) Increase educational access and equity; and/or 3) Use policy to open education opportunities for all. Accepted proposals focus on work supporting these goals in Brazil, Chile, Francophone Africa, India, Ireland, and globally. 

    • Health/Nutrition

      • No Going Back: It’s All Got to Change

        It’s been a weird time, the last six months, and so it continues; perhaps it always was. It’s certainly been an unjust violent mess in varying degrees of severity, for as long as most can remember. With selfishness, division and pleasure firmly in the driving seat, and the planet beautiful, slowly choking to death under the weight of human greed and stupidity.

      • Health Experts Horrified as New Trump Covid-19 Adviser Pushes ‘Herd Immunity’ Strategy That Could Kill 2 Million Americans

        “It’s not edgy, contrarian,” one public health expert said of the “herd immunity” approach. “It’s dangerous and terrifying.”

      • In Wake of Laura’s Devastation and Amid Pandemic and Heat Wave, Calls Emerge to ‘End Climate Silence’

        Hurricane has left residents without power during a deadly heat wave while lack of running water and offline air quality monitors intensify Covid-19 threat, yet climate change is not mentioned once by ABC, CBS, and NBC. 

      • Collaboration Houses: How Technology & A Pandemic Have Created Entirely New Ways To Go To College

        There has been plenty of talk about how technology has impacted how we live during the pandemic, but it’s interesting to see how that’s impacting things beyond the most obvious — including some interesting cultural changes. Over in the NY Times, reporter Taylor Lorenz, who always has her finger on the beat of the most interesting cultural changes due to technology, has an article about college collaboration houses. That is, because so many colleges are remaining in distance learning to start the school year, thanks to the ongoing pandemic, students are recognizing that just because they don’t need to be on campus, it doesn’t mean they need to stay at home either:

      • In COVID Era, Artists Are Generating Hope and Illustrating Pandemic Inequities

        Almost immediately after the coronavirus began to spread throughout New York City, art historian Han Hongzheng, an immigrant from China, started seeing anti-Asian slurs on social media.

      • 6 Million Stricken With COVID-19: Trump Has Turned the US Into a Sh*thole Country

        It is hard to explain just how bad the US death rate under Trump from the novel coronavirus is.

      • Public Health Experts Sound Alarm Over FDA Willingness to Roll Out Covid-19 Vaccine Before Finishing Phase 3 Trials

        “Circumventing clinical trials would place huge numbers of people at risk,” warned one leading virologist. 

      • In the Age of Covid, Elder Care Should Be an Election Issue

        The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that we need better care that honors everyone’s humanity.

      • The Post-Capitalist Hit of the Summer

        Ever since COVID-19 collided with the enormous bubble governments have been using to re-float the financial sector since 2008, booming equity markets became compatible with wholesale economic implosion. That became clear on August 12 in London and New York.

      • GOP Incumbents’ Opposition to the Affordable Care Act Could Be Their Undoing

        In the 2014 elections, Republicans rode a wave of anti-Affordable Care Act sentiment to pick up nine Senate seats, the largest gain for either party since 1980. Newly elected Republicans such as Cory Gardner in Colorado and Steve Daines in Montana had hammered their Democratic opponents over the health care law during the campaign and promised to repeal it.

      • Schools Are Preparing for a Mental Health Crisis Amid COVID

        The calls started at 6 a.m., and Patrick McCauley was ready, having retreated to the privacy of his garage where he sat waiting for Angelenos to share how they’re coping with the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Trump’s New COVID Adviser Is Pushing Herd Immunity, Which Some Liken to Eugenics

        A new top COVID-19 adviser to President Trump, Scott Atlas, is pushing the White House to embrace a “herd immunity” approach to the pandemic, which would allow the virus to spread nearly unmitigated through the population while protecting nursing home residents and other vulnerable people, reports The Washington Post.

      • Why the “6%” meme stating COVID-19 deaths are exaggerated is wrong

        These tweets all reflect a profound misunderstanding of what “comorbidity” means, Dr. Alfred Sommer, an epidemiologist and dean emeritus at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Salon by email.

      • The “only 6%” gambit: The latest viral COVID-19 disinformation

        It’s always weird to try to get blogging again after an absence due to a health issue with a member of the family and other pressing issues that were more important than my little side hobby and thus crowded it out. True, the absence was only a week and a half, but it’s weird nonetheless. Sometimes, it’s hard to pick a subject. Fortunately (or unfortunately), over the weekend I started seeing memes and content on various social media that went something like this about “only 6%,” as shown by this collection of memes from @BadCOVID19Takes:

      • In Peru’s Amazon, Indigenous COVID-19 patients get too little, too late

        Almost one in three of Peru’s 32 million inhabitants identify as Indigenous. Long neglected by the central government, and in the country with the highest per capita death rate per million in the world, they are among those hardest hit by COVID-19.

        The vast majority of their remote communities are inaccessible by road, making transfer to hospital all but impossible. And for the many who have already migrated to towns and cities, or travel to them for urgent assistance, access to overcrowded public healthcare facilities is still a struggle.


        The eastern Amazonian city of Pucallpa, with a population of approximately 326,000 people, is one of Peru’s worst-hit areas for COVID-19. A large cemetery has been carved out of the surrounding forest exclusively for victims of the pandemic. Local authorities told TNH these were not mass graves, but the ditches fit four caskets each, and family members are given the option to move the body to another burial site within 12 months. When TNH visited in late July, over 300 people had already been buried here.

      • COVID-19 fallout drives Tunisians to Italy despite deportations

        Driven partly by increased hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, almost three times as many Tunisian migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy already this year than did so in all of 2019.

        Italy is putting pressure on Tunisia to reduce departures, but the decades-long history of migration between the two nations suggests these efforts may do little to deter Tunisians intent on escaping their country’s long and worsening economic malaise.

        The arrival of more than 7,800 Tunisians in 2020 – including over 4,000 in July alone – has overwhelmed the migration reception centre on Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost island, 130 kilometres from Tunisia’s coast, and helped right-wing Italian politicians stoke anti-migrant sentiment during the pandemic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple accidentally approved malware disguised as Flash, new report finds

          According to security researcher Patrick Wardle, Apple approved an app that contained code used by a well-known malware called Shlayer. Shlayer is a trojan downloader that spreads through fake applications, bombarding users with an influx of adware. Shlayer is the “most common threat” to Macs, cybersecurity and anti-virus firm Kaspersky said in 2019.

        • Zoom saw revenue quadruple in monster second quarter

          Videoconferencing platform Zoom had a huge second quarter, with $663.5 million in revenue compared to $145.8 million a year ago, the company announced on Monday. It now has around 370,000 customers with more than 10 employees, an increase of 458 percent year over year.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and libx11), Fedora (batik, ecj, eclipse, eclipse-cdt, eclipse-ecf, eclipse-emf, eclipse-gef, eclipse-m2e-core, eclipse-mpc, eclipse-mylyn, eclipse-remote, eclipse-webtools, firefox, httpd, jetty, lucene, selinux-policy, and univocity-parsers), Mageia (hylafax+), openSUSE (ark and chromium), Red Hat (virt:8.2 and virt-devel:8.2), SUSE (freeradius-server, freerdp, php7, php72, php74, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (freerdp2, keystone, net-snmp, python-django, and python-rsa).

          • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 149 is available for testing

            IPFire is based on glibc 2.32, the standard library for all C programs, and GCC 10.2, the GNU Compiler Collection. Both bring various bug fixes and improvements.

            The most notable change is that we have decided to remove a mitigation Spectre 2 which caused that user space programs in IPFire were running about 50% slower due to using a microcode feature which is called “retpoline”. Those “return trampolines” disable the branch prediction engine in out-of-order processors which was considered to help with mitigating leaking any information from any unaccessible kernel space.

            This is however not as effective as thought and massively decreases performance in the user land which mainly affects features like our Intrusion Prevention System, Web Proxy and URL filter. We still use this mechanism to avoid leaking any kernel memory into the user space.

            On top of that, we have updated various tools used for building IPFire as well as core libraries.

            We have also enabled a new GCC feature called “stack clash protection” on x86_64 and aarch64 which adds additional checks to mitigate exploits and we have enabled “CF protection” which hardens all software against attackers gaining control over a program flow and circumventing security checks like password or signature validation.

          • [Old] On Biometric Authentication

            With a regular password-based method which doesn’t require things like scanning fingers or smiling at a camera, attackers don’t have a lot of opportunities to interfere in the login process. Either the system validating the authentication must be compromised, or the shared secret must be guessed. Biometric authentication doesn’t work like that. Because, by definition, it’s tied to your body, the attacker can easily make a copy of the secret. They just have to make a copy of the biometric data. And one leave plenty of them around. For example, think about the number of fingerprints we make every day, the number of pictures of people online, the number of times our voices may be recorded, and more generally, the number of biometric traces we leave. In 2014, hackers replicated fingerprints from high resolution photos and showed how to fool fingerprint readers. One has to keep in mind that biometric data are not bullet-proof and have a wide the attack surface. Avoiding biometric data leaks and protecting against replay attacks is complicated.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • FBI warned of how Ring doorbell surveillance can be used against police officers [Ed: In the article "FBI warned of how Ring doorbell surveillance can be used against police officers" ZDNet twists things around! Both the FBI and the police use these cameras for surveillance on homes. They're the ones in real control.]
            • Digital Identification Must Be Designed for Privacy and Equity

              With growing frequency, the digital world calls for verification of our digital identities. Designed poorly, digital identification can invade our privacy and aggravate existing social inequalities. So privacy and equity must be foremost in discussions about how to design digital identification.

              Many factors contribute to one’s identity; degrees, morals, hobbies, schools, occupations, social status, personal expression, etc. The way these are expressed looks different depending on the context. Sometimes, identity is presented in the form of paper documentation. Other times, it’s an account online.

            • Will Trump Pardon Edward Snowden?

              The name ‘Edward Snowden’ represents different things to different people. For those interested in government transparency and the rule of law, he is a hero, a man who initially tried to go through the ‘proper’ channels to publicize the blatant injustices he saw. To others, he is a traitor, a government employee who had the temerity to question the basic U.S. government doctrine that whatever the U.S. does is good, the citizens are too ignorant to form a reasonable opinion of it, and U.S. allies should be kept in the dark.

            • If A College Is Going To Make COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps Mandatory, They Should At Least Be Secure

              One of the more frustrating aspects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been the frankly haphazard manner in which too many folks are tossing around ideas for bringing it all under control without fully thinking things through. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, desperate as I am for life to return to normal. “Give me the option to get a vaccine candidate even though it’s in phase 3 trials,” I have found myself saying more than once, each time immediately realizing how stupid and selfish it would be to not let the scientific community do its work and do it right. Challenge trials, some people say, should be considered. There’s a reason we don’t do that, actually.

            • Mozilla study reaffirms that internet history can be used for “reidentification”

              A recent research paper has reaffirmed that our internet history can be reliably used to identify us. The research was conducted by Sarah Bird, Ilana Segall, and Martin Lopatka from Mozilla and is titled: Replication: Why We Still Can’t Browse in Peace:On the Uniqueness and Reidentifiability of Web Browsing Histories. The paper was released at the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security and is a continuation of a 2012 paper which highlighted the same reidentifiability problem.

            • FBI worried Ring and other doorbell cameras could tip owners off to police searches

              The Intercept spotted the files in the BlueLeaks data trove aggregated from law enforcement agencies. One 2019 analysis describes numerous ways police and the FBI could use Ring surveillance footage, but it also cites “new challenges” involving sensor- and camera-equipped smart home devices. Specifically, they can offer an early warning when officers are approaching a house to search it; give away officer locations in a standoff; or let the owner capture pictures of law enforcement, “presenting a risk to their present and future safety.”

            • Facebook may block news from being shared on its platforms in Australia

              The country’s proposed News Media Bargaining Code law, which is in draft form at present, stemmed from a 2019 inquiry that found tech giants like Facebook and Google take too large a share of online advertising revenue from media organizations in Australia. The Treasurer of Australia ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to develop a voluntary code of conduct which would force the platforms to pay media companies. The ACCC told the government it seemed “unlikely” that a voluntary agreement could be reached, however.

              Under the proposed legislation, Google and Facebook would have to provide publishers with advance notice of changes to their algorithms, with penalties for failing to comply. Both companies have pushed back strongly against this provision. with Facebook saying it would give news organizations in Australia an unfair competitive advantage.

            • Facebook to Resist Australia Law on Payments, Will Halt News Sharing

              Social media giant, Facebook says that it would rather cut people’s access to news in Australia than comply with the country’s proposed law which would make it pay local news publishers.

              On Tuesday local time Facebook said that it would stop allowing news publishers and individuals in Australia from sharing local and international news via Facebook and Instagram.

            • What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’?

              The reason right-wing content performs so well on Facebook is no mystery. The platform is designed to amplify emotionally resonant posts, and conservative commentators are skilled at turning passionate grievances into powerful algorithm fodder. The company also appears willing to bend its rules for popular conservative influencers. Recent reports by BuzzFeed News and NBC News, based on leaked documents, found that Facebook executives had removed “strikes” from the accounts of several high-profile conservative pages that had shared viral misinformation in violation of the company’s rules.

            • Frenemies Facebook and Apple square off

              Why it matters: The two companies, along with Google and Amazon, are being challenged over a range of issues, from abuse of power to violations of privacy to allowing hate and misinformation to flourish. By trading accusations, Facebook and Apple could just be handing more ammo to critics and regulators — but at the same time, conflict between these giants could be read as a sign of competitive life and a rebuttal to antitrust charges.

            • Facebook Threatens to Cut Off Australians From Sharing News

              The threat escalates an antitrust battle between Facebook and the Australian government, which wants the social-media giant and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to compensate publishers for the value they provide to their platforms.

              The legislation still needs to be approved by Australia’s parliament. Under the proposal, an arbitration panel would decide how much the technology companies must pay publishers if the two sides can’t agree.

            • Facebook Grants Researchers Access to Study 2020 Election

              A group of 17 university researchers will look at how Facebook and Instagram influence issues such as political polarization, and whether people vote, said Talia Stroud, a communications professor at the University of Texas who is co-charing the research group. Users must consent to participate, and will be paid, says Chaya Nayak, who leads Facebook’s open research and transparency team. While Facebook is covering the costs to participants, the researchers are not taking money from the company. The researchers won’t need Facebook’s approval before it can publish its findings, the company said in a blog post.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Beware the tea: Why do Russians keep being poisoned?

        Today, critics of the Kremlin still have a much higher chance of succumbing to rare poisons than the general population – although the Russian government has consistently denied any involvement in the string of suspicious deaths and illnesses that have befallen politicians, spies and journalists down the years.

      • A Tale of Two Teens: When White Killers Are Treated Better Than Black Victims

        Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager, was killed for walking home at night—Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager, is being defended by Republicans after murdering two BLM protesters.

      • Republicans Praise “Citizen Soldiers” Waging Violence Against Protesters

        Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has appeared to endorse violence against protesters while appearing on CNN, saying that “citizen soldiers” are needed to quash anti-racist protests across the country. His statement comes days after 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with murdering two Kenosha, Wisconsin, protesters and shooting a third.

      • After 22-year-old opposition blogger is attacked in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman cautions against connecting incident to Navalny’s poisoning

        Moscow police are investigating the assault and battery of 22-year-old blogger and radio host Egor Zhukov, who was attacked and beaten near his home late on August 30. A popular libertarian YouTuber, Zhukov became an oppositionist icon in the summer of 2019 when, for supposedly inciting acts of extremism, he was sentenced to three years of probation and prohibited from blogging for two years after a major protest on July 27, 2019. 

      • ‘Russia Today’ scabs are reportedly propping up Belarusian state TV after hundreds walked off the job in protest

        According to a new report by the news outlet RBC, Belarus’s National State TV and Radio Company is leaning on Russian state journalists — especially staff from Russia Today — to maintain operations after hundreds of employees walked off the job to protest against police brutality and censorship following Alexander Lukashenko’s most recent re-election. Former and current staff told RBC that the loss of many technical workers (camera operators, video engineers, lighting technicians, and so on) threatened to paralyze work at Belteleradio, which controls several different TV networks, six of which broadcast original content. RBC’s sources say Russia Today is now even preparing its own segments for Belteleradio networks, where the news coverage has suddenly embraced a conspiratorial tone similar to RT’s own reporting. 

      • Trump’s signal to his followers is clear: Violence and chaos are my only hope

        In fact, Trump’s surrogates are saying it right out loud. Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump whether she agreed with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s assertion that “the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.” Lara answered, “Well, I think it paints a very clear picture.” She might as well have said, “You go, boys!”

      • Jacob Blake Was Shot in Kenosha, a City Adrift in a Moral Desert

        Kenosha, Wis.—Reverend Jesse Jackson came to Kenosha last week on a moral mission. He stood in the parking lot of Bert and Rudy’s Auto Service in the heart of this shaken Wisconsin city, near the locations where two nights earlier a 17-year-old white vigilante shot and killed two men who were protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who is now paralyzed from the waist down. Jackson’s anguish was evident. He decried “a system of racism in law enforcement” in Kenosha and nationwide.

      • In Portland and Kenosha, Trump’s Vigilante Forces Mean Fascism Is Surging, Not Creeping

        The simple fact is that the president is tacitly encouraging armed vigilante groups to act in his name, which may feel like something new for 2020, but is really a blood-chilling echo of the political leadership style people so often ascribe to the president — i.e., fascism. While they may yet lack the uniformity and formalization of groups like Adolf Hitler’s Sturmabteilung or Benito Mussolini’s Camicia Nera, last week made it impossible to deny that the president has armed and dangerous supporters willing to fight political dissidents in the streets.

      • Death at a Portland Protest: What You Need to Know

        This has not been established. At a press conference Sunday Police Chief Lovell was asked by a reporter: “Do you know if the shooting was politically motivated?” He responded: “I do not know that, no.” He cautioned reporters about jumping to conclusions and counseled patience as police investigators do their jobs.

        That advice has gone unheeded everywhere. The New York Times headline framed the killing as the result of political violence: “One Person Dead in Portland After Clashes Between Trump Supporters and Protesters.” And that assumption has taken hold.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Black and Latinx People Are Primary Targets for Disinformation. We Must Fight Back

        If social media companies won’t step up, it’s up to all of us to inoculate our own communities against harmful disinformation, particularly as it pertains to voting. Make sure your people—especially the elders in your community, who might be less savvy when it comes to suspicious social media activity—have the information they need to vote.

        Because algorithms reward engagement, amplifying disinformation, even to correct the record, often only makes it stronger. “Don’t engage with disinformation or suspicious activity directly,” Licona said. “When you retweet, reply or share a post, even to disagree with it, you’re helping to amplify the original message and allowing it to reach more feeds and more people.” Focus instead on uplifting positive, accurate information.

      • A Paean To Transparency Reports

        One of the ideas that comes up a lot in proposals to change Section 230 is that Internet platforms should be required to produce transparency reports. The PACT Act, for instance, includes the requirement that they “[implement] a quarterly reporting requirement for online platforms that includes disaggregated statistics on content that has been removed, demonetized, or deprioritized.” And the execrable NTIA FCC petition includes the demand that the FCC “[m]andate disclosure for internet transparency similar to that required of other internet companies, such as broadband service providers.”

      • From QAnon to Kyle Rittenhouse, the Right is Sinking Deeper Into an Alternate Reality

        At a glance, these provocations might appear disconnected. But they are deeply intertwined. In the span of a week, Trump and Carlson both gave the green light to extremist elements on the Right, QAnon conspiracy theorists on the one hand and armed pro-police adventurists on the other. In the process they each drew on the same bedrock narrative: that the streets of America — especially Democrat-run cities, but nowhere is safe — are teeming with lawless agents of anarchy who flout authority, terrorize innocents, and threaten civilization itself. Thus besieged, right-wing extremism of one variant or another is not really extreme at all. It is rational, even heroic and patriotic.

      • GOP Congressman Slammed for Sharing ‘Manipulated’ Video of Activist Who Uses Computerized Voice

        On Sunday, Barkan, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and uses a computerized voice to speak, called out the House Minority Whip before Twitter placed a “manipulated content” label on the post.

        “These are not my words. I have lost my ability to speak, but not my agency or my thoughts. You and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain. Please remove this video immediately. You owe the entire disability community an apology,” Barkan wrote.

      • Twitter flags Trump campaign tweet of Biden clip as manipulated media

        The campaign tweeted a 3-second clip of Biden saying, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” that was clipped to separate it from the line before where Biden clearly stated that he was quoting the message the Trump campaign has been pushing.

    • Environment

      • Yellowstone, Environmental Collapse, and Compromised Thinking

        In this era in which climate change and global warming occupy ever more of the public discourse and awareness, it is striking that its brethren environmental concerns, all of no less consequence, remain starkly and fatefully off the public radar screen. These threats could be enumerated to include, among others, deforestation, ocean acidification, grasslands and desert destruction, stream de-watering, wetlands subsidence, ubiquitous pollution, massive species extinctions, unendingly growing human overpopulation of the planet, and intractably continuing shrinkage of wildlands and the flora and fauna dependent upon them. When we hear of climate change or global warming, it is almost always stated as though it were our sole environmental worry, and as though the world’s biotic community would be just fine if only we solved that one problem. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. We ought to be speaking of the multi-pronged threat of environmental collapse. Environmental collapse, not sheer climate change, should be the watchword.

      • Research Reveals Ancient Peat Bogs Burning and Unprecedented Emissions From 2020 Arctic Fires
      • Despite Poll Showing Aggressive Climate Action a Winning Issue, Biden Boasts ‘I Am Not Banning Fracking’
      • Fossil fuels face rapid defeat by UK’s wind and sun

        The cost of UK energy from renewables like wind and sun continues to plunge, beating British official expectations.

      • Fall High Tide Bulletin

        The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth. There are some factors that cause the tides to be higher than what is “normally” seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between between September from November 2020.

        We also publish annual high tide flooding reports that present a broad outlook of what to expect for a given year in terms of high tide flooding, as well as a summary of high tide flooding events for the previous calendar year.

      • ‘That’s the Way It Is’: Trump’s Dismissal of Hurricane Laura and Climate Crisis Echoes Remarks on COVID-19 Deaths

        The phrase carried echoes of his remarks on COVID-19 — made at a time when the coronavirus had killed over 156,000 and infected over 4.7 million in the U.S. — that the virus’s death toll “is what it is.”

      • Hurricane Laura Floods ICE Jails in Louisiana as Asylum Seekers from Cameroon Strike over Conditions

        People held in immigration jails in Louisiana report horrific conditions and continued mistreatment after Hurricane Laura devastated the area. Immigrants detained at the LaSalle and Jackson Parish jails say that after the storm, the two facilities have flooded with urine and feces and lack electricity, clean food or water. Many of those protesting the conditions are from Cameroon, and refugee rights groups, including the Cameroon American Council, are demanding an investigation into conditions. “The current immigration system is based on the racist practices, the white supremacy of 400 years,” says Sylvie Bello, founder of the Cameroon American Council, one of the leading immigration advocacy groups working with Black and African communities in the U.S. She says it’s vital during a time of “racial reckoning” to fight for Black immigrants in ICE detention.

      • ‘Ban adverts for cars that damage the climate’

        Tobacco advertisements are often banned these days. So why not ban adverts for gas-guzzling cars that damage the planet?

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The New Class War of the Managerial Elite

        Ever since Frederic Taylor’s falsely labelled “Scientific Management”, the managerial elite has been on a stratospheric rise. Rather cunningly and often even deceitfully, Taylor named his book “scientific” even though it does not contain a single scientific experiment. What he presented was an engineering ideology – not science. Despite this and together with French factory administration expert Henri Fayol, modern management was born. But managers are not only the people who control workers and tell employees what to do, but they are also a powerful group of corporate apparatchiks and worse, they have established themselves as an ever more powerful social class.

      • How We Can Save Aviation Without Enriching Airline CEOs

        The next economic calamity of the Trump regime’s Year Four? That will come October 1 when the federal coronavirus aid deal brokered last March for the airline industry expires.

      • ‘Relief is Due!’: Uprisings Against Evictions Planned for September 1 in Cities Across US

        “Workers, families, small businesses, and communities desperately need the Senate to act in our interests—now. We’ll be in the streets and at their doors on September 1st to tell them that #ReliefIsDue.” 

      • The Loan Company That Sued Thousands of Low-Income Latinos During the Pandemic

        HOUSTON — On an afternoon in mid-June, Analleli Solis was walking home from her brother’s house just down the street when she noticed someone she didn’t know retreating from the front door of her modest brick home.

        Solis approached the woman, who handed her an envelope.

      • How We Found Out How Many Debt Collection Lawsuits Oportun Inc. Filed During the Pandemic

        In May, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune set out to answer a question: Which debt collectors were filing the most lawsuits in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic, which has put more than 3 million Texas residents out of work?

        To do this, reporters focused on Texas’ 800-plus justice of the peace courts, where most debt claims are filed. The vast majority of the state’s 254 counties don’t post justice records online, but an initial search of records in two large counties that do, home to the cities of Houston and Fort Worth, revealed one of the top filers of debt lawsuits was a small, publicly traded consumer lender called Oportun Inc.

      • Workers At Factories For Sporting Goods Companies Say Management Fired Them To Get Rid Of Union

        Around 200 unionized workers who make sports equipment for Wilson Sporting Goods, Mizuno, and CCM Hockey at a factory in Yangon, Myanmar, were fired at the end of June 2020 after orders from companies stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Workers say management shut down the VIP 1 factory while non-union workers were transferred to other nearby factories.

      • How Big Corporations are Draining the Life out of a Sick America

        Our richest corporations are much to blame for the free-market “winner take all” philosophy that has caused over half of our nation to try to survive without adequate health care and life savings.

      • From the Political Conventions to Civil Unrest: Corporate Media Still Manufacturing Consent – The Project Censored Show
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How Big Money Corrupts Our Politics (And How to Fix It)

        The important thing to remember is that the big money takeover of our democracy prevents us from advancing all of the policies we need to overhaul our racist, oppressive system and create a society that works for the many, not the few.

      • Biden campaign launches official Animal Crossing: New Horizons yard signs

        The Biden-Harris campaign released four sign designs for players to download, featuring the official Biden-Harris logo, Team Joe logo, the “Joe” Pride logo, and an image of aviator sunglasses shaded in red, white, and blue. Players will be able to access the designs in-game by scanning the design QR codes through the Nintendo Switch Online app.

      • America’s economy is cooked

        In a new essay on Naked Capitalism called “How an ‘Act of God’ Pandemic Is Destroying the West: The US Is Saving the Financial Sector, Not the Economy,” Hudson reveals the abyss on whose brink we are balanced, and what we must do to pull back from it.

      • Covid-19 is spurring the digitisation of government

        The pandemic will probably accelerate a shift online. During the pandemic the governors of New York and California legalised digital marriages. When New Jersey’s leaders realised the extent of the shutdown, they invested in putting more services online, says Beth Noveck, the state’s chief innovation officer. Her office created a single website through which residents can find information and book covid-19 tests, for example, remotely. Other states have followed suit. Her office is also trying to find ways to streamline the awkward process of verifying people’s identities online in America, which like Britain has no ID cards. In France social-security paperwork, which once had to be sent by post, can now be submitted electronically.

      • Russian internet trolls hired U.S. journalists to push their news website, Facebook says

        Some of Russia’s most notorious internet trolls have launched a news website that hired real-life journalism freelancers — including Americans — to contribute, Facebook said Tuesday.

        The site, called Peace Data, launched this year with coverage focused largely on the environment and corporate and political corruption. Facebook learned through a tip from the FBI that people formerly associated with the Russian Internet Research Agency, which created a number of influential Twitter and Facebook personas to inflame political tensions in the 2016 election, ran Peace Data and has taken down its known affiliated accounts. It had yet to gain a serious following, said Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s head of cybersecurity policy.

      • Letter to the Editor: Reality Winner deserves America’s pardon before Snowden

        For me the incredibility of the editorial championing Snowden’s total forgiveness is that a more deserving person sits in a federal prison and will stay there until her excessive five year and three- days sentence (longest sentence ever under the Espionage Act) is completed, no matter how well-behaved or repentant she made be. In a more just time, Ms. Winner’s crime compared to Snowden’s crime, would have made her eligible for a patriot’s medal of service to her country.

        In May 2017, she printed a document showing how Russian intelligence hacked a U.S. voting software supplier and attempted to breach more than 100 election systems in the days before the Nov. 6, 2016 election. The importance here is that the document was shared in August 2017 well after the United States and the world had accepted as fact that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election. What was missing was the newly elected president’s and the GOP congressional legislators’ refusal to believe what everyone else knew was fact. Reality Winner, an intelligence specialist found proof that Russian interference occurred and was being hidden from the nation. She shared it with a news outlet and was punished severely by those who continued to deny the evidence.

      • Facebook says Russian [astroturfer] farm hired US journalists for fake news site

        The social media platform announced it took down 13 accounts that it attributed to “individuals associated with past activity by the Russian Internet Research Agency” after receiving a tip from the FBI.

        The accounts were directing people to a news site called Peace Data, a “global news organization” that’s focused largely on the environment and corporate and political corruption. Though the company, which launched this year, recruited some real journalists, several accounts that posed as “editors” were not real.

      • The Rotten Alliance of Liberals and Neocons Will Likely Shape U.S. Foreign Policy for Years to Come

        The emergence in recent weeks of a coalition of neocon Republicans and former national security officials who have thrown their support behind the candidacy of Joe Biden is an ominous development to those who believe U.S. foreign policy should be guided by the principles of realism and military restraint, rather than perpetual wars of choice.

      • The Empty Theater

        Media personality figure and former prosecutor, Kimberly Guilfoyle, perhaps gave the most crazed speech at the Republican National Convention. In a shrill tone, she repeatedly claimed that Joe Biden and the Democrats are socialists. This is how far down the rabbit hole the American political landscape has fallen. If they are socialists, they are the worst ones in living memory.

      • Democrats Must Demolish Trump’s Delusional Law-Breaking Dystopia

        Donald Trump continually breaks multiple laws. Yet the serial lawbreaking, lying Trump is playing the “law and order” card against street protestors reacting to fatal cases of police brutality. Armed pro-Trump provocateurs are attending civic protests and generating casualties and property damage, as was the case recently in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Trump uses such mayhem to attack Joe Biden and his hyped “radical leftists.” This is grotesque, but then that is how corrupt, dangerous, devious Donald operates when cornered by falling polls, and growing opposition from leading retired military leaders and national intelligence officials. Trump’s attack on the U.S. Postal Service is also producing a nationwide backlash and even red-state conservatives are troubled by delays in deliveries of medicine and Social Security checks.

      • If Trump Tries to Hijack the Election, We Must Be Ready to Resist

        For nearly four years, we have been laser focused on November 3, 2020, the day that Donald Trump could be voted out of office. In all likelihood, however, the election will not be decided that evening as it has in the past (with the notable exception of the 2000 election). That is because in order to protect themselves against COVID-19, a record number of people will forego the polls and mail their ballots, which take longer to count. There are several scenarios of what could transpire between November 3 and January 20. All of them are frightening.

      • A Festival of Distortion

        The fake other worldly Republican national séance was marked by an orchestrated festival of lies, distortion, fear-mongering and cult-like worship of Donald Trump. At its apex, the people’s White House blatantly was used as a prop that violated a longtime tradition of not mixing up governing and politics.

      • Reckoning delayed Russian investigators have been unable to move forward with their key case against ex-Governor Furgal because of a 16-year-old police report

        Federal officials in Russia have been unable to launch a criminal investigation against Sergey Furgal regarding the key offense in their case against the former Khabarovsk governor: the murder of businessman Evgeny Zorya in 2004. According to the newspaper Kommersant, the Investigative Committee has hit a snag because a detective in the Khabarovsk Prosecutor’s Office issued an order in October 2004 terminating all prosecution of Furgal in Zorya’s killing, citing a lack of evidence that he was involved. (Kommersant has not named the detective who filed this decision.)

      • ‘Photo-Op for White Nationalist President Isn’t Helpful,’ Says Wisconsin Dem as Trump Plans Kenosha Visit Despite Calls to Stay Away

        In a letter to Trump on Sunday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers warned the president’s visit “will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

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

        If Trump’s lengthy rap sheet of lies, threats, obstruction, and incitement doesn’t add up to fascism, then what would?

      • The Kremlin called it unrealistic a month ago, but now Putin’s advisers say Russia is one of the world’s top-five major economies

        The Kremlin ditched it as a national development goal just a month ago, but Vladimir Putin’s advisers now say Russia is one of the world’s top-five major economies. On Monday, August 31, presidential adviser and former Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin announced the good news: “If you open up the latest IMF forecast for this year, you’ll see that Russia will be the fifth economy in the world — that it’s rising to this level. From this perspective, we can say that [the goal] has been achieved.”

      • Sri Lanka and Turkey: an Interview with the Turkish Ambassador, R. Demet Şekercioğlu

        As a part of my series on talking to the foreign diplomats in Sri Lanka for our newly initiated talk show; The New Normal, I have had an opportunity to sit with newly appointed Turkish Ambassador to Sri Lanka. In this exclusive interview she has detailed with me about diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and Turkey as well as the prevailing situation in Turkey. Ambassador R. Demet Şekercioğlu was born in 1969 in Bonn, Germany. She graduated from the Department of Economics of the Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University in 1995. After joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in 1995, she assumed duties at the Turkish Embassy in Rabat, Brussels, Kuwait and Islamabad as well as at the Turkish General Consulate in Lyon throughout her professional career. She served in the Directorate General of Consular Affairs, Europe and lately South Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. She was appointed as the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and assumed her duties in Colombo in January 2020.

      • ‘White House Cover-Up’: Covid-19 Task Force Reports Withheld From Public Reveal Trump Knew of Threats as He Spread Lies

        “Rather than being straight with the American people and creating a national plan to fix the problem, the president and his enablers kept these alarming reports private while publicly downplaying the threat to millions of Americans.”

      • ‘A Necessary Step’: House Democrats to Subpoena Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for Withholding Documents

        “He has repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to share documents and information with Congress, and we don’t have time to wait for him to find a moral compass.”

      • Days after ‘Putin’s chef’ buys civil-suit debt owed by Navalny ally, nearly $500,000 is overdrafted from her bank accounts

        When Anti-Corruption Foundation lawyer Lyubov Sobol woke up this morning, she discovered that two of her bank accounts are now overdrafted by more than 34 million rubles ($460,700). The debt, it turns out, is the work of Russian court marshalls acting on behalf of catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin and several organizations controlled by the Moscow Mayor’s Office. Until Sobol can pay off the negative total on her bank statement, her accounts are inoperable. 

      • Anti-Corruption Foundation releases investigative report Navalny was building before he was poisoned

        The Anti-Corruption Foundation has published part of the investigation Alexey Navalny was compiling before he was poisoned on August 20. The 40-minute documentary film, titled “Who Captured Siberia’s Capital and How to Liberate It,” focuses on City Duma deputies and City Hall officials in Novosibirsk who are also the beneficiaries of major construction companies and municipal services enterprises. The report draws attention to the public officials’ expensive watches and cars, as well as real estate they allegedly own abroad.

      • Trump at the RNC: Echoes of Saddam
      • Why U.S. Political Scientists Are Arguing That Evo Morales Should Be the President of Bolivia

        Three political scientists from the United States closely studied allegations of fraud in the Bolivian election of 2019 and found that there was no fraud. These scholars—from the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University—looked at raw evidence from the Bolivian election authorities that had been handed over to the New York Times. They suggest late-counted votes came from rural regions where the candidacy of incumbent President Evo Morales Ayma was popular; the character of these votes, and not fraud, accounts for the margin of victory announced by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on October 21, 2019.

      • Close to Zero
      • Trump Embraces the Samson Option

        Last week’s Republican National Convention gave us a muzzled Donald Trump. Although his concluding speech had some red meat for the base, it wasn’t a freewheeling rant of the sort the president usually delivers when he has a crowd in front of him. Instead, Trump stuck to script and kept to his best behavior, in keeping with the larger thrust of the convention, which was to win back wavering Republicans. A recurring theme of the convention was to focus on Trump’s actions delivering results for Republicans—rather than his incendiary tweets. “I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste, and I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered, but the results, the results speak for themselves,” Ivanka Trump said.

      • Trump Signals to His Followers That Violence Is His Best Hope for Reelection

        President Trump was having a normal one on Sunday morning, tweeting and retweeting 89 times over the course of three and a half hours. Many of them were tweets of polling numbers from obscure firms showing him in the lead after the Republican convention. But most of the tweets and retweets were incitement to violence among his true believers and complaints about “Democrat cities,” an ongoing mantra which he seems to think is a slam dunk to get him re-elected.

      • Trump Is Denying the US’s Racism While Stoking Its Flames in Kenosha

        In Part Two of our interview with Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, we air excerpts from the families of Jacob Blake and George Floyd at the massive protest marking the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, and discuss President Trump’s planned visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he blames Democrats for violence during protests there and in Portland, Oregon. “Racism has spread to every part of the body,” says Kendi, comparing U.S. racism to cancer, “and then we have a president who is claiming that it doesn’t exist.”

      • Post navigation

        A panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decided today, over a dissent, that TSA checkpoint staff at airports (“Transportation Security Officers”) are “officer[s] of the United States … empowered by law to execute searches… for violations of Federal law”, making TSOs liable for damages if they commit assault, battery, or certain other torts against travelers.

        With today’s decision in Iverson v. TSA the 8th Circuit joins the 3rd Circuit (en banc) in what is now a 2-1 split with the 11th Circuit, which ruled in 2014 that TSOs, despite their title and the fact that their primary job is to carry out searches, are not “officer[s] of the United States … empowered by law to execute searches… for violations of Federal law” and thus are completely immune from liability for even intentional assaults on travelers.

        Most people unfamiliar with the law assume that the government is generally liable for damages if its agents attack innocent citizens. While the law is complex, the general principle is just the reverse: The US government generally enjoys “sovereign immunity” — a despicably undemocratic vestige of the idea that the king is above the law — and private individuals can sue the government only with the government’s permission.

      • USPS Board Chairman Revealed as Director of McConnell, Trump-Linked Super PACs

        The United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors Chairman, Robert M. Duncan, is a director of the Mitch McConnell-allied Senate Leadership Fund Super PAC, as paperwork filed Monday confirmed. The ties between Duncan and McConnell deepen concerns about the integrity of what will likely be an election largely conducted with mail-in ballots, which has also been complicated by issues with a Republican-led gutting of the USPS.

      • All the Latest on Trump’s War on Our Public Postal Service

        The House passed legislation to defend the Postal Service, but unless the Senate takes action, the Postmaster General will be free to continue policies that have slowed the mail and raised concerns about mail-in voting.

      • How a Biden Win Can Sink One of Mcconnell’s Top Priorities

        A President Biden could make public financing of elections happen early next year—and end the quest he began almost five decades ago.

      • The Young Eugene V. Debs

        A pair of leftist historians has undertaken a massive project: compiling a six-volume collection of Eugene Debs’s writings and speeches. We spoke with one of them, who detailed Debs’s extraordinary journey from moderate young trade union leader to courageous socialist militant.

      • White Supremacist in the White House: Ibram X. Kendi on Trump’s Calls for “Law & Order” in Kenosha

        In Part Two of our interview with Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, we air excerpts from the families of Jacob Blake and George Floyd at the massive protest marking the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, and discuss President Trump’s planned visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he blames Democrats for violence during protests there and in Portland, Oregon. “Racism has spread to every part of the body,” says Kendi, comparing U.S. racism to cancer, “and then we have a president who is claiming that it doesn’t exist.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Australian Court Says Zipper Mouth Emoji Might Be Defamatory

        Hopefully that won’t get me sued in Australia. Because a court there has determined that the zipper mouth emoji is capable of defamatory meaning. I should note, as we have many times in the past, that Australian defamation law is totally fucked up. They are among the worst of any industrialized nation, and we’ve been on end of absolutely ridiculous threats and harassment for years because of our coverage of totally wacky censorial Australian court decisions regarding defamation. To which I say: 😛

      • Dr Disrespect says his mysterious Twitch ban is causing him anxiety

        Twitch signed Beahm to an exclusive contract at the beginning of the year. But in June, his account disappeared from the platform, and Twitch refused to say why or even confirm that he had been banned. It was a big surprise given that Beahm was one of the platform’s top streamers. The ban came amid criticisms about Twitch failing to deal with sexual harassment, though no complaints had been publicly made about Beahm.

      • France’s Charlie Hebdo to republish Mohammed cartoons at start of terror trial

        French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre by Islamist gunmen in 2015, said on Tuesday it was republishing hugely controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to mark this week’s start of the trial of alleged accomplices to the attack.

      • Charlie Hebdo to reprint controversial cartoons as terror trial begins

        The next edition of Charlie Hebdo, which will be published as the trial begins on Wednesday, carries not only the cartoons but a tribute to the magazine’s employees who were killed in the attack on January 7, 2015.

      • Charlie Hebdo Republishes Cartoons That Prompted Deadly 2015 Attack

        The growing sensitivity to race, ethnicity and religion has clashed with France’s traditionally forceful commitment to freedom of expression and secularism. Many traditionalists have expressed concern that the country is yielding to American-style identity politics, long widely rejected in France.

        Charlie Hebdo’s editors wrote in the new issue that it was “unacceptable to start the trial’’ without showing the “pieces of evidence” to readers and citizens. Not republishing the caricatures would have amounted to “political or journalistic cowardice,’’ they added. “Do we want to live in a country that claims to be a great democracy, free and modern, which, at the same time, does not affirm its most profound convictions?’’

      • France to relive Charlie Hebdo attacks as landmark terror trial opens in Paris court

        More than five years after a three-day killing spree in the Paris area that claimed 17 lives – including some of France’s leading cartoonists – victims of the January 2015 attacks and their loved ones will finally face suspects during a special terror trial.

        Over the next few months, 14 suspects – including three in absentia who may be dead – will be tried at a courthouse in northwest Paris amid tight security.

      • Charlie Hebdo Re-Runs Prophet Mohammad Cartoons to Mark Attack Trial

        Twelve people, including some of the magazine’s best-known cartoonists, were killed when Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and sprayed the building with automatic gunfire.

        The Kouachi brothers and a third Islamist gunman who killed five people in the 48 hours that followed the Charlie Hebdo massacre were shot dead by police in different stand-offs, but 14 of their alleged accomplices go on trial on Wednesday.

      • Fighting Hate Speech Online Means Keeping Section 230, Not Burying It

        At Free Press, we work in coalition and on campaigns to reduce the proliferation of hate speech, harassment, and disinformation on the internet. It’s certainly not an easy or uncomplicated job. Yet this work is vital if we’re going to protect the democracy we have and also make it real for everyone — remedying the inequity and exclusion caused by systemic racism and other centuries-old harms seamlessly transplanted online today.

      • Hypocritical AT&T Makes A Mockery Of Itself; Says 230 Should Be Reformed For Real Net Neutrality

        I regret to inform you that AT&T is at it again. For over a decade now, the company has had a weird infatuation with Google. It seems to truly hate Google and has long decided that anything bad for Google must be good for AT&T. Because Google was an early supporter of net neutrality — a concept that AT&T (stupidly and incorrectly) seems to think is an existential threat to its own business plans of coming up with sneaky ways to spy on you and charge you more — over a decade ago, AT&T started floating the lame idea that if it’s to be held to “net neutrality” Google ought to be held to “search neutrality.” Of course, there’s a problem with that: there’s no such thing as “search neutrality” because the whole point of search is to rank results for you. A “neutral” search would be a useless search that ranks nothing.

      • Zimbabwe’s ‘keyboard warriors’ hold protests off the streets

        Tensions are rising anew in the once-prosperous southern African country. Inflation is over 800 percent, amid acute shortages of water, electricity, gas and banknotes and a health system collapsing under the weight of drug shortages and strikes by nurses and doctors.

        Revelations of alleged corruption related to COVID-19 medical supplies led to the sacking of the health minister and further pressure on Mnangagwa.

        His government has responded to the rising dissent with arrests and alleged abductions and torture.

      • Textbook censorship threatens to spread China’s collective amnesia to Hong Kong

        After voluntarily submitting textbooks for review, several publishers were advised last week that certain content had to be modified or even removed, if the volumes were to appear on the “recommended book list” on the bureau’s website.

        An incredibly wide range of subjects was censored, from an innocent discussion of the constitutional idea of the “separation of powers”, to a photograph of a “Lennon Wall”.

        Explanations of the concept of “civil disobedience” were, of course, scrapped, and some textbooks even added “warnings” of potential legal consequences that can occur when engaging in such activities.

      • How Hollywood should deal with Chinese censors

        Yet the fears over censorship are well-founded. Some of the Chinese bureaucrats’ demands are silly, like their insistence that dirty laundry be removed from a Shanghai skyline in “Mission: Impossible III”. But airbrushed underpants are not the end of it. Flags are removed and maps altered. To get a release in China, movies must avoid the “three Ts” of Tiananmen, Taiwan and Tibet. American actors who once liked to pose with the Dalai Lama know that a selfie could get them blacklisted by the Chinese authorities. The sanctions are asymmetric: when Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan, tweeted support for the police who put down pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Disney said nothing.

        The trouble is that the proposed cures are often worse than the disease. Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, wants studios that agree to censors’ demands to be banned from working with the Department of Defence, which lends its hardware as props. That would turn the government into an arbiter of what is politically acceptable—surely an idea more at home in the Communist Party than the Republican one. PEN America, a free-speech body, says studios should disclose any changes they make to their Chinese releases. A fine idea—but studios have little incentive to do so, and if forced, they might respond by ensuring the original cuts of their movies were inoffensive enough to pass without edits, thus subjecting the whole world to China’s censorship.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Waiting for the Old Bailey: Julian Assange and Britain’s Judicial Establishment

        On September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture. The US Department of Justice hungers for their man. The UK prison authorities are doing little to protect his health. The end result, should it result in his death, will be justifiably described as state-sanctioned murder. This picture was not improved upon by a prison visit from his partner, Stella Morris, accompanied by their two children. Almost six months had passed since the last meeting.

      • Appeals Court Says Not Allowing Federal Officers To Pepper Spray Journalists Makes Law Enforcement Too Difficult

        The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has just stripped away the protections granted to journalists and legal observers covering ongoing protests in Portland, Oregon. After journalists secured an agreement from local police to stop assaulting journalists and make them exempt from dispersal orders, the DHS’s ad hoc riot control force (composed of CBP, ICE, and Federal Protective Services) showed up and started tossing people into unmarked vans and assaulting pretty much everyone, no matter what credentials they displayed. Shortly after that, a federal court in Oregon granted a restraining order forbidding federal agents from attacking journalists and observers.

      • The Peace Reporters

        Today, videos of police attacking unarmed people have become commonplace, due to the ubiquity of smartphone cameras and the rise of social media. And the protests against police violence have become one of the largest movements in American history — itself fueled by access to cameras, social media distribution, and organizing tools across the internet.

      • Yegor Zhukov: Leading Russian opposition blogger beaten up

        A prominent opposition blogger in Russia, Yegor Zhukov, has been beaten up in Moscow and taken to hospital for treatment.

      • UN human rights organs should press for investigations into missing journalists

        The Committee to Protect Journalists, which holds consultative status with the U.N., is an independent, nonprofit organization that defends the rights of journalists worldwide to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal. CPJ reports on and mobilizes against hundreds of attacks on the press each year, such as killings, assaults, restrictive legislation, imprisonment, media closures, online harassment, and other threats.

        According to CPJ’s research, at least 64 journalists are missing around the world. Nearly one-third of them disappeared while covering armed conflict in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

      • Assange’s detention violates international law: Australia must intervene

        The United Nations (UN) maintains that Britain must free and compensate Assange. So why hasn’t it done that and why hasn’t Australia insisted on it?

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘Better this than war’ 12 asylum seekers describe the challenges of living in Russia while stuck in immigration limbo

        Twenty-six million people around the world have official refugee status, but only 487 of them live in Russia. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of people are engaged in the Russian government’s asylum application process at any given time, but it’s vanishingly rare for an application to be accepted. This is in part because Russia’s UN delegations often criticize human rights violations abroad, but the Russian government refuses to recognize armed conflicts and persecution as valid causes for granting asylum. Even of the 42,000 people who have temporary, one-year asylum status in Russia, all but 487 are from Ukraine. This pattern leaves asylum seekers from other countries to fend for themselves, including those who have fled civil wars much like Ukraine’s. Journalist Vladimir Kabeyev and photographer Maria Muzalevskaya spoke with 12 people from a range of countries who decided to seek asylum in Russia and contacted the Civic Assistance Committee, a legal aid NGO, for help.

      • “Defund Police” Doesn’t Mean Hire Private Guns — But Cities Are Doing Just That

        When the uprisings against police-perpetrated violence first hit Chicago in late May, the phone lines of AGB Investigative Services started ringing off the hook.

      • Wisconsin’s Governor Called a Special Session on Police Reform. Republicans Stopped It After 30 Seconds

        On Monday, Wisconsin’s state Senate and Assembly met. But it was more of a skeletal session than a special session. Both chambers gaveled in and out almost immediately. A television camera panned a gallery of empty mahogany chairs. By NBA standards, neither chamber stayed in session even the length of the 24-second shot clock. “Senators do not need to be present,” the Senate president’s chief of staff told reporters, “and no bills are being taken up.”

        Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature cannot be budged. Not by the governor. Not by the people. Not by vigilantes in the streets. Not by the Milwaukee Bucks. Wisconsin’s brutally gerrymandered state legislative maps — by almost every standard, the nation’s most biased — guarantee that they can’t even be budged at the ballot box. And so they remain an immovable and unaccountable force.

      • Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend was offered a deal to say she was involved in organized crime

        Despite repeated calls from activists, lawmakers and celebrities for the officers involved in Taylor’s death to be held accountable, no arrests have occurred. Hankison was fired from the force in June after it was determined he “blindly” fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain with the department, both placed on administrative reassignment.

      • Amazon removes listings for jobs tracking ‘labor organizing threats’

        The “Intelligence Analyst” and “Sr Intelligence Analyst” positions were with Amazon’s Global Security Operations’ (GSO) Global Intelligence Program (GIP), which handles the ecommerce giant’s corporate and physical security.

        The postings described several kinds of threats that the analysts would focus on in addition to “organized labor,” including “protests, geopolitical crises, conflicts impacting operations.”

      • Amazon Posts, Then Pulls Job Listing to Probe Union Threats

        Labor activists said the posting suggests Amazon is trying to prevent workers from collective bargaining to improve their pay and working conditions. Amazon employs thousands of hourly warehouse workers who pack and ship orders, which has made it a target of union organizers.

        “This job description is proof that Amazon intends to continue on this course,” said Dania Rajendra, director of Athena, a coalition of activist groups that frequently criticizes Amazon. “The public deserves to know whether Amazon will continue to fill these positions, even if they’re no longer publicly posted.”

      • Amazon seeks intelligence analyst to track ‘labor organizing threats’
      • Escalation in Portland

        This past weekend a man was shot to death near the Justice Center in downtown Portland, where protests have been taking place every night for over three months. The deceased was a heavily-armed member of the far right. Another member of the far right was just arrested in the working class Portland suburb of Milwaukie. He was arrested for having fired into a crowd the day before with live ammunition, apparently, in a separate incident from the killing at the Justice Center.

      • New Federal Court Rulings Find Geofence Warrants Unconstitutional

        Two federal magistrate judges in three separate opinions have ruled that a geofence warrant violates the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause and particularity requirements. Two of these rulings, from the federal district court in Chicago, were recently unsealed and provide a detailed constitutional analysis that closely aligns with arguments EFF and others have been making against geofence warrants for the last couple years.

        Geofence warrants, also known as reverse location searches, are a relatively new investigative technique used by law enforcement to try to identify a suspect. Unlike ordinary warrants for electronic records that identify the suspect in advance of the search, geofence warrants essentially work backwards by scooping up the location data from every device that happened to be in a geographic area during a specific period of time in the past. The warrants therefore allow the government to examine the data from individuals wholly unconnected to any criminal activity and use their own discretion to try to pinpoint devices that might be connected to the crime. Earlier this summer, EFF filed an amicus brief in People v. Dawes, a case in San Francisco Superior Court, arguing that a geofence warrant used there violates deep-rooted Fourth Amendment law. 

      • Intelligence Officials Scale Back Election Security Briefings Ahead of Election

        House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) indicated on Sunday that his committee may subpoena intelligence officials, following Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s announcement that regular election security briefings will be scaled back ahead of the general election.

      • The Inevitable Whitelash Against Racial Justice Has Started

        Now comes the part where white people abandon us. Now comes the part where the white majority impatiently demands a return to normalcy. Now comes the part where white people say, “I believe that Black Lives Matter, but…” Now comes the part where white people start literally telling Black people to stop protesting because some “bad” people are also protesting.

      • Remembering Chadwick Boseman: Ibram X. Kendi on Legacy of “Black Panther” Actor, Cancer & Anti-Racism

        Tributes continue to pour in for beloved actor Chadwick Boseman after his death at age 43 following a private four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman is best known for his iconic role as King T’Challa in the groundbreaking “Black Panther” — the first mainstream Black superhero movie and a smash hit that earned more than $1 billion at the box office. He is also widely acclaimed for his portrayal of major historical figures such as Thurgood Marshall, James Brown and Jackie Robinson. Boseman’s death has highlighted the higher rates of colon cancer among Black men and the links to systemic racism. “Cancer, like heart disease, there’s all sorts of racial disparities, just as there are with COVID-19 deaths,” says professor Ibram X. Kendi, cancer survivor and director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. “What is happening in our society that is causing so much Black death? Why is Black death so normal?”

      • These People Are Evil
      • California Bill to Help Prisoner Firefighters Find Work After Release Awaits Governor’s Signature

        As the Golden State burns amid a firefighter shortage, AB 2147 would expedite criminal record expungements so ex-inmates can apply for EMT licenses. 

      • The Sports Strikes Against Racism Have Not Been Coopted

        The story of the 2020 wave of sports strikes against racism is already one of both inspiration and cooptation. It’s also a story that is being written in pencil, not pen. In other words, it’s a story that still does not have an ending, and we should be wary of anyone who thinks they have an ironclad analysis of where all of this is headed. But to even have a sense of where it might go, we need to understand why it detonated in the first place.

      • The NBA’s Black Power

        On August 26, the third day of the Republican Convention and two days after a Kenosha, Wisconsin cop fired seven bullets into the back of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play. Then the rest of the NBA players, 75% of whom are Black, chose to go on strike as well and the National Basketball Association halted the NBA playoffs. As CounterPunch’s Nathaniel St. Clair noted, they kicked the Republicans out of center court and into the parking lot.

      • Basketball Plays Outside the Bubble

        Professional sports are trying to function within the constraints of the coronavirus. The National Basketball Association, in a most novel solution, has tried to finish its interrupted season within a bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida. The remaining games have been played under strict supervision; the players have been in virtual lockdown. But the bubble has burst, and not because of the virus.

      • Yekaterinburg woman convicted of using TikTok to organize ‘unlawful assembly’

        A court in Yekaterinburg has fined a local woman 20,000 rubles ($270) for trying to organize an unpermitted protest through the video-sharing social network TikTok. According to the newspaper Kommersant, Kristina Altshuler shared a message on TikTok on July 29, calling on city residents to gather outside the Sverdlovsky Drama Theater to support protesters in Khabarovsk. The video attracted almost 190,000 views and 31,000 likes, says the news website Znak.com. 

      • High School Teacher Receiving Death Threats After Wearing Black Lives Matter Shirt To Class

        The El Camino Real Charter High School teacher whose name is being withheld, said a parent took a photo of her wearing a shirt reading, “I can’t breathe” — a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement and some of the last words of people gunned down by police. The photo, according to the teacher, was sent out with a link to the teacher’s email address and invitations to harass her.

      • Riot in Sweden’s Malmo after anti-Muslim leader blocked from entering ‘Quran-burning’ rally

        The demonstration was connected to an incident earlier in the day in which protesters burned a copy of the Islamic holy book, police spokesman Rickard Lundqvist told Swedish tabloid Expressen.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • How California’s Assembly Killed The Effort to Expand Broadband for All Californians

        California is facing a broadband access crisis, as parents are relying more on the Internet every day trying to keep their jobs in the midst of the pandemic while remotely educating their kids. The people of California need help, and the state should move forward now to begin the work needed to finally close the digital divide. Yet with just hours left in this year’s legislative session, the California Assembly refused to hear SB 1130, or any deal, to expand broadband access—a refusal that came out of the blue, without any explanation to the more than 50 groups that supported this bill. And that kind of blockade is only possible at the direction of California’s Speaker of the Assembly, Speaker Anthony Rendon.

        A deal to expand broadband would have secured more than 100 million dollars a year to secure access to high-speed Internet for families, first responders, and seniors across the state. Senator Lena Gonzalez built a broad coalition of support for this bill, and had the support of the California Senate and Governor Gavin Newsom.

      • Yet Another Study Shows U.S. 5G Is Far Slower Than Many Other Nations

        Last May, a largely overlooked report by OpenSignal detailed how, despite endless hype, U.S. 5G is notably slower than 5G in most other developed countries. Because U.S. regulators failed to make mid-band spectrum (which offers faster speeds at greater range) widely available, many U.S. wireless carriers like Verizon embraced higher millimeter wave spectrum (which has trouble with range and building wall penetration) or low-band spectrum (which offers greater range but at notably reduced speeds). The result of the study was fairly obvious:

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • The DMCA could use an update, but not the one US Copyright Office recommends

        Over twenty years ago, the United States enacted a law known as the DMCA. The law amended the Copyright Act of 1976, implementing a series of rules addressing the changing technology landscape. The most damaging aspect of that law is section 1201, which implements rules preventing the circumvention of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and the sharing of tools needed for circumvention. This aspect of the law creates legal penalties for any user trying to control their own computing, or who tries to help their neighbor do likewise. It’s pretty strange to refer to this activity as circumvention since really it’s just regaining full control of bits present on your own computer, but this is the terminology used in the law. While ostensibly meant to enforce copyright, companies and government agencies over the past two decades have abused this law for whatever purpose they see fit.


        For years now, we have called on the government to end this madness and repeal the anti-circumvention provisions. So when the Copyright Office released a report on the DMCA earlier this spring, there was some hope that change would come. But our hopes were dashed when the report’s main recommendations related to other rules in the DMCA, in particular the safe harbor provisions. The DMCA’s safe harbor provisions implement the take-down notice system that many users are likely familiar with via video sharing sites. Users stung by take-downs likely won’t enjoy the Copyright Office’s recommendations on that aspect of the law, and the failure to meaningfully address or recommend change to the anti-circumvention provisions is shameful.

        The recommendations do nothing to protect the rights of users, who have demanded for years that the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions must be repealed. The report comes at an important time, as the United States Congress is considering amending the decades-old law. But like the Copyright Office, they too seem more interested in twisting up the Internet over the law’s safe harbor provisions.

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees to Get More Work

        Someone places several devices in a tree located close to the station where deliveries originate. Drivers in on the plot then sync their own phones with the ones in the tree and wait nearby for an order pickup. The reason for the odd placement, according to experts and people with direct knowledge of Amazon’s operations, is to take advantage of the handsets’ proximity to the station, combined with software that constantly monitors Amazon’s dispatch network, to get a split-second jump on competing drivers.

        That drivers resort to such extreme methods is emblematic of the ferocious competition for work in a pandemic-ravaged U.S. economy suffering from double-digit unemployment. Much the way milliseconds can mean millions to hedge funds using robotraders, a smartphone perched in a tree can be the key to getting a $15 delivery route before someone else.

      • Lack Of Anti-Trust Enforcement

        The accelerating negative effects that have accumulated since the collapse of anti-trust enforcement in the US have been a prominent theme on this blog. This search currently returns 16 posts stretching back to 2009. Recently, perhaps started by Lina M. Khan’s masterful January 2017 Yale Law Journal article Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox a consensus has been gradually emerging as to these negative effects. One problem for this consensus is that “real economists” don’t believe the real world, they only believe mathematical models that produce approximations to the real world.

        Now, Yves Smith’s Fed Economists Finger Monopoly Concentration as Underlying Driver of Neoliberal Economic Restructuring; Barry Lynn in Harpers and Fortnite Lawsuit Put Hot Light on Tech Monopoly Power covers three developments in the emerging anti-monopoly consensus: [...]

      • Why we won’t like it if signing email is the solution to various email problems

        Let’s be blunt: big email providers would love this. Google would be quite happy in a world where almost everyone used one of a few sources of email and Google could make deals or strongarm most or all of them. Such a world would significantly strengthen the current large incumbents and drive more business to their paid offerings. Even the current world where it’s rather easier in practice to get your email delivered reliably if you’re a Google Mail or Microsoft Office365 customer does that; a world where only a few identities had their email reliably accepted would make that far worse.

      • Domain Squatters Are The Scum Of The Earth

        I really wish there was a way for people like me, just Joe or Jane Bloggs off the street, to fight back against these wankers. If I can prove my name contains Quirk and I have no financial incentive, should that give me some rights to own the domain? I think so.

        If it was being used legitimately, I’d have absolutely not problem with someone else owning the domain. But domain squatters are in it purely for profit and they really are the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned.

      • Patents

        • Deep dive into the search function in the field of patent (Part – 3) – Method of Searching
        • Ford entered into short-term patent license agreement with Nokia “under duress” in March 2019, terminated it as per 31 January 2020

          At some of those Nokia v. Daimler patent trials in Germany, an unnamed American car maker was mentioned as a Nokia patent licensee, as I most recently wrote in April. I thought it was Tesla, but wasn’t sure. With all that’s going on in that context, such as last month’s Mannheim injunction and this week’s Dusseldorf trials, I asked around and learned from a U.S. source (which I obviously can’t disclose) that the provisional license had actually been granted to, but terminated by, the Ford Motor Company.

        • “No License, No Problem” – Is Qualcomm’s Ninth Circuit Antitrust Victory a Patent Exhaustion Defeat?

          The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in FTC v. Qualcomm (9th Cir., Aug. 11, 2020) is generally viewed as a resounding victory for Qualcomm. In a strongly worded opinion, the Ninth Circuit reversed the entirety of the district court’s holding, which found that Qualcomm violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. The Ninth Circuit exonerated Qualcomm with respect to each of its allegedly anticompetitive practices, concluding that these practices merely reflected the flexing of Qualcomm’s “economic muscle” with admirable “vigor, imagination, devotion, and ingenuity” (slip op. at 55).

          Among Qualcomm’s challenged practices was its refusal to license rival chip makers under patents that are essential to one or more wireless telecommunications standards (standards-essential patents or SEPs). While the District Court found that this refusal violated Qualcomm’s antitrust duty to deal under Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., 472 U.S. 585 (1985), the Ninth Circuit disagreed. It reasoned that Qualcomm did not violate any duty to deal because it uniformly refused to grant patent licenses to chip makers and did not “single[] out any specific chip supplier for anticompetitive treatment” (slip op. at 35).


          If a SEP holder licenses a chip manufacturer, then its SEPs covering a particular chip will be exhausted as soon as the manufacturer sell that chip to a device manufacturer, just as LG’s patents were exhausted in Quanta. This means that if the SEP holder licenses a Tier 2 chip manufacturer, it cannot separately license, or collect royalties from, Tier 3 smartphone manufacturers for the same SEPs. Qualcomm was keenly aware of the risk of patent exhaustion, which is why it refused to grant “exhaustive” licenses to chip makers like Intel. 411 F.Supp.3d at 748, 761.

          If SEP royalties were standardized on a per-unit basis (e.g. $0.50 per product embodying the standard), then it would not matter whether the SEP holder licensed its SEPs at Tier 2 or Tier 3. In either case it would receive the same payment. However, due to longstanding industry practice, that is not how SEP royalties are calculated. Instead, they are usually based on some percentage (say 2.5%) of the price of the product embodying the standard. So for a 4G LTE wireless radio chipset priced at $30, the royalty would be $0.75. But for a $600 iPhone incorporating that chipset, the royalty would be $15. For this reason, SEP holders strongly prefer to license their SEPs to end device makers (Tier 3). As explained by one Ericsson licensing executive, “we choose to license the patents as late in value chain as possible …. One big advantage with this strategy is also that it is likely that the royalty income will be higher since we calculate the royalty on a more expensive product.” Or, as more succinctly expressed by a Qualcomm attorney at trial, licensing SEPs to device makers is “humongously” more lucrative than licensing them to chip makers. 411 F.Supp.3d at 754, 758, 796. The practice by which a SEP holder licenses its SEPs at only one tier of the supply chain is sometimes called “level discrimination.” (Courts and commentators disagree whether level discrimination is permitted under the nondiscrimination prong of a FRAND commitment – see this article for a discussion).

        • Phytelligence, Inc. v. Washington State University (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          One of the banes of any practicing patent attorney’s professional existence is counseling clients on licensing agreements where the parties attempt to avoid setting forth definitive terms on contract provisions regarding circumstances expected to arise in future. This is an understandable inclination, because such terms are likely to depend on such future circumstances that neither party wishes to anticipate and thus later find that they are at a disadvantage as a consequence. But such an inclination neglects to consider other ways to structure a contract to avoid these risks, and also neglects to acknowledge the possible consequences of failing to address these issues during current contract negotiations. For such clients, the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Phytelligence, Inc. v. Washington State University provides a cautionary tale (as well as an example for the intrepid attorney to use for convincing such clients of the pitfalls that can arise and problems that can be created by fainthearted conduct during contract negotiations).

          The predicate facts are these. WSU and Phytelligence negotiated a Propagation Agreement for propagating a new apple cultivar named WA38 and patented by WSU. The Propagation Agreement permitted Phytelligence to propagate the trees but not to sell them unless the company obtained permission under a separate license.

        • Is the animated representation of a ventilated lung patentable subject matter?

          Patent litigation about ventilator technology in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic may not seem too surprising, although this case started in 2017, long before ventilators came to worldwide attention. The most recent decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court on ventilators deals with the fundamental concept of the technical character of an invention.


          Both the claimant, Hamilton Medical AG, and the defendant, imtmedical AG, manufacture ventilators for use in intensive care. Hamilton is the registered owner of EP 1 984 805 B1, related to a “method and a device for simplifying a diagnostic assessment of a mechanically ventilated patient”. Independent claim 1 relates (in summary fashion) to a ventilator having a screen that represents a lung shape designed such that –

          a volume change of the ventilated lung which is acquired with each breath, is represented in an animated manner by way of a size change of the lung shape corresponding to this volume change, involving an animation of a contour line of the lung shape, the design of which containing qualitative information on the compliance of the lung.

          Hamilton sued imtmedical for patent infringement before the Swiss Federal Patent Court and was awarded a permanent injunction in first instance. Upon appeal by imtmedical, the Federal Supreme Court affirmed the judgment.


          This decision must be read against the backdrop of the COMVIK-approach, which the Supreme Court has now formally accepted to be applicable in Swiss patent law. Under the COMVIK-approach (named after the Boards of Appeal decision T 641/00 of the same name), “where a feature cannot be considered as contributing to the solution of any technical problem by providing a technical effect, it has no significance for the purpose of assessing inventive step.”

          Though this Kat does not disagree with the result, he regrets not being able to have read more detailed explanations on the causal link between the graphical presentation of the change of volume of the lung and the healthcare provider’s decision to modify the ventilation parameters. This may be easy to understand with the facts of this case, but may be more difficult to argue in future cases. Further guidance would have been welcome.

          Finally, one important takeaway is the Court’s insistence on the fact that it is not necessary for the patentee to provide an improved technical solution. “Credibly assisting” the user does not mean “better assisting” them. Alternatives to existing solutions do not need to be assessed on whether they also constitute improvements, provided that they are new and inventive.

        • Software Patents

          • FireNet Technologies patent determined to be likely invalid

            On September 1, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 8,892,600, owned and asserted by FireNet Technologies, LLC, an IP Investments affiliate and well-known NPE. The ’600 patent, generally directed to a proxy firewall system for protecting devices within a network. FireNet had previously sued Kemp Technologies, Fortinet, Citrix, A10 Networks, and Fujitsu (now terminated).

      • Copyrights

        • Twitter Removes Trump Video With ‘Electric Avenue’ Song After Copyright Complaint

          The takedown came on the same day that Grant sued the Trump campaign for the unauthorized use of his song, according to CNN. Grant’s lawyer issued a cease and desist letter to the campaign the day after the president posted the video. A post on Grant’s website says that he is the “sole and exclusive rightful copyright owner of the musical composition.”

        • Shout-Out To Gutenberg Project

          I’ve mentioned before that my father spent his whole career, apart from WW2 as an RNVR watch officer on convoy escorts, at Harrods, the iconic London department store. He even published a textbook on retail distribution. So I can’t resist a shout-out to the amazing work of Eric Hutton and the volunteers of Project Gutenberg who, over the last 13 years, have scanned, OCR-ed and proof-read the entire Harrods catalog from 1912. Below the fold, the details.

        • The Pirate Bay: Expert Appears to Reconsider Existence of VPN Provider Logs

          In its legal action to track down The Pirate Bay, anti-piracy group Rights Alliance presented the court with testimony from an expert who found that VPN provider OVPN probably had some useful information on its alleged customer. However, OVPN has now produced comments from the same person who, given additional information, may have reconsidered.

        • Pirated Copies of Tenet Leak Online, For Real

          Several pirated copies of the sci-fi thriller ‘Tenet’ have appeared online. The leaks, which were recorded in theaters, appear to have at least two sources. One has badly cropped Korean subtitles and the other, which is sponsored by a gambling company, reveals partial German subtitles. Whether Warner Bros. should be overly concerned about these leaks is up for debate.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:34 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

What Does Democracy Mean in Free Software Communities?

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software at 12:22 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News

Yesterday, the message below was posted to the debian-vote mailing list.

Censors blocked it. It wasn’t received by list subscribers and it isn’t visible in the debian-vote list archive.

Can you see any possible way that this message violates the code of conduct used by this free software community?

In many free software communities, we accept that we contribute without the promise of anything in return.

In Debian, they gave us the promise of membership. Membership doesn’t mean much either, except the right to vote. But it turns out even that was a hollow promise. Enrico Zini from the Debian account managers team simply deleted a candidate from the Debian keyring in the same way that he would delete an unwanted file, just days before elections were announced.

enrico@debian:~$ dpkg --purge person
enrico@debian:~$ rm -rf serious/questions

Consider the countless things that volunteer has done for Debian and free software over more than twenty years, eight visits to new communities in the Balkans over the last two years and acting as an admin in Google Summer of Code, a huge responsibility that brought in significant revenue for Debian.

When Zini tampered with the keyring, no due process was followed, no reason was given to the volunteer and any reason made up after the fact has no credibility. But making stuff up retrospectively to justify bullying isn’t new.

Let me make that clear: for people not in the cabal, this ballot feels like it has been rigged before it even started. Certain people resented an independent candidate succeeding as FSFE Fellowship representative and think they can obstruct similar candidates in Debian.

Given there has already been extraordinary stress for people during the crisis, it is more important than ever for the debate about this platform to take place. An event this serious has ramifications for all free software communities because volunteers everywhere are losing faith in all of us.

If you would like to see a transparent and credible election debate proceed in Debian or if you would like to comment for or against any candidate, please write to the debian-project mailing list (subscribe, post). (NOTE: multiple people complained their attempts to send messages about voting were censored/blocked on official Debian mailing lists)

Subject: Re: Debian Project Leader Elections 2019: Call for nominations
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2019 06:16:06 -0700
From: Mike Bird <mike@soundsailors.com>
To: debian-vote@lists.debian.org
CC: Debian Project Secretary - Kurt Roeckx <secretary@debian.org>

On Sat March 9 2019 19:44:17 Steve Langasek wrote:
> There are no provisions in the Debian constitution for non-Developers to be
> nominated for the position of DPL.

The Debian Constitution provides that Developers may nominate
themselves.  There is no prohibition against non-Developers
nominating themselves.  There is no requirement that the DPL
be a Developer.

Compare the Speaker of the House in the US for whom membership
is not required[1,2].   The members may if they choose elect a
non-member Speaker.

Under the Debian Constitution there is now a candidate, the
nomination period has closed, and no more candidates may be

Should you disagree with the long-overdue reforms highlighted
in Daniel's excellent platform you can of course vote None Of
The Above.


[1] "The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker".


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