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09.04.20

Links 4/9/2020: GNU/Linux Laptops Galore and Release of GTK 3.99.1

Posted in News Roundup at 1:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP’s Z Series of Laptops and Workstations Are Now Certified with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Canonical and HP announced that HP’s Z family of laptops and workstations are now certified with the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series.

        If you’re in the market for a HP laptop with Linux pre-installed, there are now quite a few models that you can buy with Canonical’s Ubuntu 20.04 LTS operating system. Canonical and HP have collaborated for some years now, and this is their latest joint project, specifically targeted at developers.

        HP’s new Z series of laptops include the HP ZBook Fury 15 G7, HP ZBook Fury 17 G7, and HP ZBook Power G7. On the other hand, the company’s Ubuntu certified workstation portfolio has been extended with the HP Z2 Mini G5, HP Z2 Small Form Factor G5, HP Z2 Tower G5, and HP Z Central 4R models.

      • HP Releases Z Series Laptops with Official Ubuntu 20.04 Support

        Computer maker HP announced its latest offering Z series of laptops with certified Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • New TUXEDO Polaris Linux Laptops Launched With Intel And AMD CPUs

        Last week, TUXEDO Computers launched AMD-powered Pulse 14, an ultra-light version Linux laptop. Now, it has announced two remarkable 100% Linux compatible laptops optimized for Linux gamers.

        TUXEDO Polaris 15 and Polaris 17 is the brand new additions to its notebook lineup with Linux distros pre-installed. Surprisingly, it comes with a choice to let you prefer either AMD Ryzen 4000H or Intel Core i7 CPUs.

      • Tuxedo Polaris 15 Linux gaming laptop from $1,330

        Tuxedo has this week introduced a new Linux laptop in the form of the Tuxedo Polaris 15, sporting a 15.6 inch display and powered by a choice of AMD Ryzen or Intel Comet Lake processors supported by NVIDIA graphics. Providing a Linux laptop suitable for gaming.

        Prices start from $1330 or roughly €1125 and will provide a Linux laptop running Ubuntu, openSUSE, or Tuxedo_OS, powered by a AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor supported by 8GB of RAM,250GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 1650 Ti graphics and fitted with a full HD 60 Hz display.

      • Lenovo launches ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Fedora Linux, and it’s on sale for Labor Day!

        There are many Linux distributions nowadays, but sometimes it feels like Ubuntu gets all the attention. Don’t get me wrong, Ubuntu is worthy of its praise — it is a great operating system. Still, why can’t other distros shine sometimes? Companies that sell Linux-based computers, like Dell and System76, offer Ubuntu on their Linux computers, but what about Fedora?

        Well, if you are a big Fedora fan like me, I have some seriously amazing news. Popular computer-maker Lenovo has started selling a Fedora variant of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 laptop (Windows 10 is an option too). The 14-inch notebook is thin, light, and gorgeous. A ThinkPad running Fedora? It looks like Christmas came early this year…

      • Lenovo releases first Fedora Linux ThinkPad laptop

        For years, ThinkPads, first from IBM and then from Lenovo, were Linux users’ top laptop pick. Then, in 2008 Lenovo turned its back on desktop Linux. Lenovo has seen the error of its ways. Today, for the first time in much too long, Lenovo has released a ThinkPad with a ready-to-run Linux. And, not just any Linux, but Red Hat’s community Linux, Fedora.

        [...]

        First in this new Linux-friendly lineup is the X1 Carbon Gen 8. It will be followed by forthcoming versions of the ThinkPad P1 Gen2 and ThinkPad P53. While ThinkPads are usually meant for business users, Lenovo will be happy to sell the Fedora-powered X1 Carbon to home users as well.

        The new X1 Carbon runs Fedora Workstation 32. This cutting-edge Linux distribution uses the Linux Kernel 5.6. It includes WireGuard virtual private network (VPN) support and USB4 support. This Fedora version uses the new GNOME 3.36 for its default desktop.

        The system itself comes standard with a 10th Generation Intel Core 1.6Ghz i5-10210U CPU, with up to 4.20 GHz with Turbo Boost. This processor boasts 4 Cores, 8 Threads, and a 6 MB cache.

    • Server

      • AWS Releases Bottlerocket, a Linux Distribution for Containers

        According to the announcement, “Bottlerocket is designed to improve security and operations of your containerized infrastructure. Its built-in security hardening helps simplify security compliance, and its transactional update mechanism enables the use of container orchestrators to automate operating system (OS) updates and decrease operational costs.”

      • AWS Announces GA Of Bottlerocket Container Operating System

        AWS has announced the general availability of Bottlerocket, a Linux-based open source operating system designed and optimized specifically for use as a container host.

        Bottlerocket is designed to improve security and operations of your containerized infrastructure. Its built-in security hardening helps simplify security compliance, and its transactional update mechanism enables the use of container orchestrators to automate OS updates and decrease operational costs.

      • The advantages of using Linux

        AS a developing country, the Philippines is always challenged to provide concerned stakeholders all their information and communications technology (ICT) needs to boost the digital capability of the country.

        Radenta Technologies Inc., a Filipino-owned computing technology company, recently pointed out that using the Linux operating system is one major way to meet the challenges of the dearth in computing software. “One difference, however, is that Linux is an open source software that is free and available for the public to view, edit and, for those with the technical skill, contribute to. Linux is customizable. You can swap out word processor, web browsers, system display graphics and other user-interface components,” the company said in a press statement.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Foundation Doesn’t Use Linux To Create Their Reports

        The Linux Foundation was spotted, once again, not using the Linux operating system. In a recent report that they published, you can see that it was created on a Mac using Adobe software. Here are my thoughts on video and in the email below:

        MY EMAIL TO THE LINUX FOUNDATION:
        info@linuxfoundation.org
        To Whom It May Concern:

        I am long-time Linux user and supporter of free and open source software, but I am growing increasingly concerned that The Linux Foundation and its employees may not share my values regarding Linux and open source. I noticed that the recently published 2020 Linux Kernel History Report was written on a Mac using Adobe software. I find it strange that anyone associated with The “Linux” Foundation would be using a Mac. And considering that your website states that your organization is committed to providing support for the open source community, I find it even more bizarre that proprietary garbage, such as the software produced by Adobe, is being used to create basic PDF presentations.

        Personally, I love Linux and open source. Linux has influenced my life in a positive way, and I want Linux to continue to grow and awareness of Linux to spread. But for this to happen, I think that The Linux Foundation and its employees should play a pivotal role in this growth. And I don’t see this happening. I don’t think it is crazy to imagine a time when the open source community, which tends to be rather idealistic, becomes so uncomfortable with the directions of the Foundation that many in the community abandon Linux altogether. After all, if The Linux Foundation cares so little about Linux and open source, why should I, as an open source advocate, care about Linux?

        Sincerely,
        Derek Taylor

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E24 – Acorn

        This week we’ve been playing Fall Guys. We discuss the Pinebook Pro and Pine Phone (we have hardware), bring you some command line love and respond to your wonderful feedback.

    • Kernel Space

      • Announcing the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 Update 4 for Oracle Linux

        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux provides the latest open source innovations and key optimizations and security to enterprise cloud and on-premises workloads. It is the Linux kernel that powers Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Exadata Database Machine as well as Oracle Linux on 64-bit Intel and AMD or 64-bit Arm platforms.

        What’s New?
        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 Update 4 (UEK R5U4) is based on the mainline kernel version 4.14.35. Through actively monitoring upstream check-ins and collaboration with partners and customers, Oracle continues to improve and apply critical bug and security fixes to UEK R5 for Oracle Linux. This update includes several new features, added functionality, and bug fixes across a range of subsystems.

      • Oracle Releases Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel “R5U4″

        While Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6 is the latest and greatest series for Oracle’s kernel spin derived from upstream Linux 5.4 as an alternative on Oracle Linux to their “Red Hat Compatible Kernel”, for those still making use of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5, a new update was issued today.

        Oracle’s Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 is based on the Linux 4.14 kernel series and with UEK R5 Update 4 is on the Linux 4.14.35 point release. New to this update is process virtual address space reservation support, updating of NFS and OCFS2 file-system code compared to the upstream 4.14 state, expanded Spectre V1 mitigations back-ported from Linux 5.6, and various driver updates. There are also security fixes and other improvements with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 Update 4.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Peter Hutterer: No user-specific XKB configuration in X

          In the posts linked above, I describe how it’s possible to have custom keyboard layouts in $HOME or /etc/xkb that will get picked up by libxkbcommon. This only works for the Wayland stack, the X stack doesn’t use libxkbcommon. In this post I’ll explain why it’s unlikely this will ever happen in X.

          As described in the previous posts, users configure with rules, models, layouts, variants and options (RMLVO). What XKB uses internally though are keycodes, compat, geometry, symbols types (KcCGST) [1].

          There are, effectively, two KcCGST keymap compilers: libxkbcommon and xkbcomp. libxkbcommon can go from RMLVO to a full keymap, xkbcomp relies on other tools (e.g. setxkbmap) which in turn use a utility library called libxkbfile to can parse rules files. The X server has a copy of the libxkbfile code. It doesn’t use libxkbfile itself but it relies on the header files provided by it for some structs.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Buffer Ranging

          As I mentioned last week, I’m turning a small part of my attention now to doing some performance improvements. One of the low-hanging fruits here is adding buffer ranges; in short, this means that for buffer resources (i.e., not images), the driver tracks the ranges in memory of the buffer that have data written, which allows avoiding gpu stalls when trying to read or write from a range in the buffer that’s known to not have anything written.

    • Applications

      • The 10 Best Free and Open-Source CAD Software

        Making its way into the world somewhere in the 1960s, Computer-Aided Design, or better known as CAD, has thoroughly revolutionized design and drawing, constituting a multi-billion market in the US alone. Today, this technology is extensively utilized in engineering-based manufacturing industries and design creations. Products are bought, sold, and traded in millions of Dollars, and this is how CAD flourishes in sectors.

        From manufacturing space crafts and vehicles in Aerospace to playing a massive role in diverse fields such as Architecture, Fashion, Cartography, and Automotive industries, CAD has its roots deeply driven in almost every element of substance in the world. The software in question lays out the groundwork for the design basically, and it’s from there on that the final product is built. This doesn’t mean CAD has no place in your personal life. Software like FreeCAD, Sketchup are very helpful for even designing your home furniture!

      • Best Video Editors for Linux Mint 20

        Video editing is considered as a very powerful skill these days. It involves lots of creativity and hard work to present such a masterpiece on the screen that every single viewer appreciates. However, the task of video editors has been eased quite a lot by the exceptional video editing software that is available these days. These video editors not only provide you with all the advanced tools that you need for beautifying your videos; rather, they also provide you with a platform for turning your imagination into reality. Therefore, in this article, we will be commenting on the best three video editors for Linux Mint 20 by reviewing and highlighting their note-worthy features.

      • BpyTOP – resource monitor tool

        The top utility needs little introduction to seasoned Linux users. top is a small utility that offers a dynamic real-time view of a running system. It allows users to monitor the processes that are running on a system. top has two main sections, with the first showing general system information such as the amount of time the system has been up, load averages, the number of running and sleeping tasks, as well as information on memory and swap usage. The second main section displays an ordered list of processes and their process ID number, the user who owns the process, the amount of resources the process is consuming (processor and memory), as well as the running time of that process. Some versions of top offer extensive customization of the display, such as choice of columns or sorting method.

        top remains a useful utility. It helps with system administration by identifying users and processes that are hogging the system. It is also useful for non-system administrators, helping to track and kill errant processes. However, top is showing its age and there are a bunch of utilities that offer a more feature-laden and visually attractive alternative.

        BpyTOP is an alternative to top. It’s a resource monitor that shows usage and stats for processor, memory, disks, network and processes. As its name suggests, its written in Python. What’s not obvious from its name is that BpyTOP is a port of bashtop, but it’s recommended to use BpyTOP rather than its predecessor.

      • PGPainless 0.1.0 released

        After two years and a dozen alpha versions I am very glad to announce the first stable release of PGPainless! The release is available on maven central.

        PGPainless aims to make using OpenPGP with Bouncycastle fun again by abstracting away most of the complexity and overhead that normally comes with it. At the same time PGPainless remains configurable by making heavy use of the builder pattern for almost everything.

      • There’s Now an Official Todoist App for Linux [Ed: Snaps help push proprietary software to GNU Linux users ("apps")]

        Prepare for a productivity boost because an official Todoist app for Linux desktops has been released.

        Todoist is a task and project management service with serious pedigree as more than 20 million people use it to arrange, plan, track, and collaborate on projects, tasks, and other todos.

        Official Todoist apps have long been available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Now Linux joins the family too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Release candidate: Godot 3.2.3 RC 5

        Godot 3.2.2 was released on June 26 with over 3 months’ worth of development, including many bugfixes and a handful of features. Some regressions were noticed after the release though, so we decided that Godot 3.2.3 would focus mainly on fixing those new bugs to ensure that all Godot users can have the most stable experience possible.

        Here’s a fifth Release Candidate for the upcoming Godot 3.2.3 release. Please help us test it to ensure that no new regressions have slipped through code review and testing.

      • Desperados 3 is now on Mac and Linux, and its first DLC is out

        Here’s a fun computing fact for you: the Linux term root is derived from the cowboy term rootin’ tootin’, because the console cowboys who clip-clopped on their mechanical keyboards like a bucking bronco and listened to Fields Of The Nephilim would cry “Yeehaw!” and wave their leather Stetsons when they got system admin rights – a real rootin’ tootin’ time. How fitting, then, that wonderful Wild West squad tactics game Desperados 3 today launched a Linux version. A Mac version arrived too, so even those city slickers might be tempted by the cowboy lifestyle.

        The first paid DLC mission is out now too, plus a challenge mission that’s free for all players.

        Money For The Vultures Part 1: Late To The Party, the paid DLC, is set after events of the main campaign and sees the gang hunting for Vincent DeVitt’s hidden riches. “Help them uncover a mysterious vault, avoid bloodthirsty looters, and find out if the enigmatic Rosie from Baton Rogue can really be trusted, or if she has her own interests in mind,” the blurb explains. I had completely trusted Rosie up until I read that. I fair reckon she is up to something.

      • Valve update open source GameNetworkingSockets with P2P connections

        GameNetworkingSockets is just one in a list of open source projects worked on by Valve developers, and this doesn’t even require Steam so developers can use it anywhere.

        What is it? A basic transport layer for games, with a long list of features to add networking of some form into your games. It can be easily used with Steam, since it matches up with a lot of the Steamworks SDK but it’s entirely standalone so it can be used across stores. The idea is that for Steam you use the SDK, for everywhere else you slot this in.

      • BOY BEATS WORLD is an upcoming rhythm action-adventure for Linux PC

        Love your musical rhythm adventures? Duckbridge, developer of hiphop western game Luckslinger is coming back with BOY BEATS WORLD.

        From what the developer told us over email, it’s somewhat like the Nintendo Switch game Cadence of Hyrule with the same view point and how you react with the beat. However, Duckbridge mentioned they wanted to make a rhythm game that “is less punishing and more about vibing out the beat and jammin’ than doing combo chains”.

      • Mythicard is an oddly relaxing free online card battler in Early Access for Linux PC

        Available in Early Access, Mythicard has a fresh take on battling online with cards and it’s free to play so you can jump right in and try it out.

        Instead of building up a powerful deck of your own, every player has access to the same pool. Instead, it’s all about how and when you use the available cards. Additionally, what also sets it apart is that it’s an auto battler. Like Dota Underlords the battles happen for you, instead of you picking cards to fight and their targets. Together, it makes it thoroughly streamlined with no fuss.

      • Skullgirls developer Lab Zero lays off everyone who hadn’t quit

        Things continue not going well for Lab Zero Games, after many essential staff up and quit over the behaviour of studio owner Mike Zaimont.

        With that, it put the future of Skullgirls on PC and Indivisible in question. Thankfully for Skullgirls, Lab Zero Games did not own it and the previous statement from Hidden Variable and Autumn Games (who own the IP) mentioned their plan to continue on with it. So, Skullgirls will hopefully live on.

      • Skullgirls Developer Lays Off Everyone Who Hadn’t Already Quit

        Lab Zero Games’ controversial owner Mike “Mike Z” Zaimont fired the studio’s entire staff last week following a series of high-profile departures, leaving several full-time employees and contract workers scrambling for support.

        News of these mass layoffs became public yesterday thanks to former Lab Zero artist Jonathan “Persona” Kim, who helped promote fellow departee Marial Cartwright’s sketchbook sale to raise funds for the fired developers. As of this morning, Cartwright has sold through her stock, collecting thousands of dollars for her former co-workers.

      • Intense action-focused RTS ‘Abstractanks’ is coming to Steam with Linux PC support

        After being available on indie store itch.io for some time now, the real-time strategy game Abstractanks is now confirmed to be heading to Steam with Linux PC support.

        Abstractanks is a bit different to traditional RTS experiences, as you’re not building up a base and it also doesn’t rely on how fast you can click like some other competitive games. Instead, it’s about planning and getting into the action as you throw tons of units at each other. Play intense skirmishes with up to sixteen teams, where map-control, positioning, decision-making, speed and a little bit of luck is rewarded.

      • Crazy rogue-lite Streets of Rogue gets a major Unity upgrade that needs testing

        Matt Dabrowski continues updating the absolutely fantastic rogue-lite action game Streets of Rogue, with a major Unity game engine upgrade and they need your help.

        “Fight, sneak, and hack your way through randomly generated cities. It’s like Nuclear Throne meets Deus Ex, mixed with the anarchy of GTA. Rogue-lite meets immersive sim, and goes completely insane.”

        While they’re also working on a much bigger sequel, it seems they’re not quite done with Streets of Rogue. They’ve moved the game from Unity 2018.2.14f1 to 2019.3.7f1 – which is a massive change and could come with all sorts of issues. They put out a call to action for players across Linux, macOS and Windows to test it as much as possible before it’s pushed out for everyone.

      • Co-op space sandbox ship builder Avorion is getting a free update & Black Market DLC

        Build ships block by block, explore space and now perhaps do a little shady dealing? That’s what’s coming with the Black Market DLC and big free update for space sim Avorion.

        Avorion released fully in March of this year, going on to receiving a very warm reception from users. Over six thousand user reviews have given it a Very Positive rating so the developer is coming back for more. Huge new features are coming like Docking, which is a much more versatile system for moving things around. You’ll even be able to move stations, cargo containers and more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • I’m going to Akademy 2020 and I don’t have a fancy banner

          Just a quick post to tell the world that, after more than a decade of dreaming, I’m finally going to Akademy 2020, the KDE community’s annual gathering of developers, contributors, fans, and everyone in between. Of course, it will all be virtual, which is really the only reason I’m able to attend in the first place.

          It’s honestly a bittersweet thing, to be able to finally be among the formal attendees of the event. It’s a dream come true but not in the way I had dreamed. It’s definitely not the face-to-face and very personal gathering I had hoped but I’ll take an Akademy over no Akademy any time.

        • Akademy 2020 Starts Tomorrow

          Tomorrow European morning you can learn about QML, Debugging or speed up dev workflows. In the evening a choice of QML, Multithreading and Implicit Bias training.

          Saturday morning the talks start with a Keynote at 09:00UTC and then I’m up talking about the All About the Apps Goal. There’s an overview of the Wayland and Consistency goals too plus we have a panel to discuss them.

          Saturday early evening I’m looking forward to some talks about Qt 6 updates and “Integrating Hollywood Open Source with KDE Applications” sounds intriguing.

        • KDE’s September 2020 Apps Update

          A quiet month ahead of our big conference this weekend Akademy. Join us online from Friday 4th to talk all things KDE.

        • Maui Weekly Report 5

          Today, we bring you a new report on the Maui Project progress.

          Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux Mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject.

          If you are interested in testing this project and helping out with translations or documentation, you are also more than welcome.

          The Maui Project is free software from the KDE Community developed by the Nitrux team. This post contains some code snippets to give you an idea of how to use MauiKit. For more detailed documentation, get in touch with us or subscribe to the news feed to keep up to date with the upcoming tutorial.

        • Using EteSync with Kontact – GSoC 2020 with KDE and EteSync [Part 6]

          Over the past few months, I have been working on enabling EteSync users to sync their calendars, contacts and tasks to Kontact. Recently, the resource has been beta-tested, and it is becoming better with every feedback we’re getting. This is a guide on how to add your EteSync account to Kontact and use it to manage your EteSync contacts, calendars and tasks.

        • What time is it in Prague?

          The KDE PIM code deals with lots of timezone information: after all, you want appointments to appear in the right local timezone (so the timepiece on your wrist matches the appointment) and when you communicate an appoinment to a remote colleague (say a friend in Brasil) then you want the time to appear correctly over there, as well.

          Several of the unittests were failing on FreeBSD, so I got roped into checking out what the problem is. What could possibly go wrong?

          Well, at the end of the day I know a lot more about timezone changes in Prague (that’s a lousy transliteration of Praha .. fie on you, English orthography!) than I feel I really need to, and have butted heads with K&R style C code, which is something I thought I left behind me in 1998 or so.

        • Google Summer of Code Final Evaluation

          In the previous blog I wrote about one of the major milestones I achieved. If you haven’t read it yet you can read it over here Blog

          Google summer of code is going to end soon so in this project I would like to update about my work I have done this month. During this month I worked on two more activities after adding multiple datasets to memory activities.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Released: GTK 3.99.1

          It has been a month since we released GTK 3.99, high time for another snapshot. Here it is: https://download.gnome.org/sources/gtk/3.99/gtk-3.99.1.tar.xz

          This snapshot is focused on polish and completion.

          We’ve tied up a number of loose ends in our APIs.

          The most user-visible change was probably the simplification of the button class hierarchy. Instead of deriving GtkCheckButton from GtkToggleButton, they are now two independent widgets, and they both can be grouped to be mutually exclusive (aka as “radio group”). In this new setup, GtkRadioButton is not really needed anymore, and therefore gone.

        • GTK 3.99.1 Released As The Latest Development Step Towards GTK4
        • James Bottomley: Lessons from the GNOME Patent Troll Incident

          First, for all the lawyers who are eager to see the Settlement Agreement, here it is. The reason I can do this is that I’ve released software under an OSI approved licence, so I’m covered by the Releases and thus entitled to a copy of the agreement under section 10, but I’m not a party to any of the Covenants so I’m not forbidden from disclosing it.

          Analysis of the attack

          The Rothschild Modus Operandi is to obtain a fairly bogus patent (in this case, patent 9,936,086), form a limited liability corporation (LLC) that only holds the one patent and then sue a load of companies with vaguely related businesses for infringement. A key element of the attack is to offer a settlement licensing the patent for a sum less than it would cost even to mount an initial defence (usually around US$50k), which is how the Troll makes money: since the cost to file is fairly low, as long as there’s no court appearance, the amount gained is close to US$50k if the target accepts the settlement offer and, since most targets know how much any defence of the patent would cost, they do.

          One of the problems for the target is that once the patent is issued by the USPTO, the court must presume it is valid, so any defence that impugns the validity of the patent can’t be decided at summary judgment. In the GNOME case, the sued project, shotwell, predated the filing of the patent by several years, so it should be obvious that even if shotwell did infringe the patent, it would have been prior art which should have prevented the issuing of the patent in the first place. Unfortunately such an obvious problem can’t be used to get the case tossed on summary judgement because it impugns the validity of the patent. Put simply, once the USPTO issues a patent it’s pretty much impossible to defend against accusations of infringement without an expensive trial which makes the settlement for small sums look very tempting.

          If the target puts up any sort of fight, Rothschild, knowing the lack of merits to the case, will usually reduce the amount offered for settlement or, in extreme cases, simply drop the lawsuit. The last line of defence is the LLC. If the target finds some way to win damages (as ADS did in 2017) , the only thing on the hook is the LLC with the limited liability shielding Rothschild personally.

          [...]

          While the lessons above should work if another Rothschild like Troll comes along, it’s by no means guaranteed and the fact that Open Source project don’t have the funding to defend themselves (even if they could raise it from the community) makes them look vulnerable. One thing the entire community could do to mitigate this problem is set up a community defence fund. We did this once before 16 years ago when SCO was threatening to sue Linux users and we could do it again. Knowing there was a deep pot to draw on would certainly make any Rothschild like Troll think twice about the vulnerability of an Open Source project, and may even deter the usual NPE type troll with more resources and better crafted patents.

          Finally, it should be noted that this episode demonstrates how broken the patent system still is. The key element Rothschild like trolls require is the presumption of validity of a granted patent. In theory, in the light of the Alice decision, the USPTO should never have granted the patent but it did and once that happened the troll targets have no option than either to pay up the smaller sum requested or expend a larger sum on fighting in court. Perhaps if the USPTO can’t stop the issuing of bogus patents it’s time to remove the presumption of their validity in court … or at least provide some sort of prima facia invalidity test to apply at summary judgment (like the project is older than the patent, perhaps).

        • Shelved Wallpapers 2

          Yet again the iterations to produce the default and complimentary wallpapers for 3.38 generated some variants that didn’t make the cut, but I’d like to share with fellow gnomies.

    • Distributions

      • Meet the creator of Alpine Linux – Natanael Copa

        Alpine Linux is one of the most popular Linux distributions for containers. In this episode of TFiR Success Stories, we sat down with the creator of Alpine Linux, Natanael Copa, to learn about the history of the project and how it has evolved over time.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux Revives Budgie Edition And Adds New Pantheon Desktop

          Afew months ago, openSUSE-based GeckoLinux released new versions of its three main editions — STATIC, ROLLING, and NEXT — after a gap of around two years.

          The Static (based on openSUSE Leap) and Rolling (based on openSUSE Tumbleweed) edition combinedly offers a large variety of customized desktop environments such as KDE Plasma, GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE, LXQT, and IceWM.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Rick Elrod: How Ansible/ansible-base releases work

          Back in March of this year, I transferred teams within Red Hat and joined the Ansible Core team to work primarily as a release engineer/release manager. Shortly after joining, I shadowed how releases were cut, and from there began to cut releases myself.

          I’ve had a number of people including some friends ask how we handle our branching and release schedule and cut releases, so I wanted to address that and discuss it some.

          In what follows, I use the term “Ansible” to refer to both: ansible < 2.10 and ansible-base >= 2.10. “Ansible” – the community distribution of collections – follows its own development cycle, independent of ansible-base.

          Keep in mind that this process does change over time, so this post is likely to become outdated as time goes on. As a recent example, when I started, we no longer published release candidates for every patch release1, and I have pushed to start doing them again.

        • Could you build a better TikTok?

          mainstream giant goes countercultural.” That is how the technology press described the decision in the early 2000s by ibm, then a paragon of corporate it, to back Linux, an obscure operating system written by a ragtag collection of activist coders. In the event, the unnatural combination wound up being a match made in computing heaven. It turned Linux into a serious rival to Microsoft’s Windows, then the dominant operating system, and justified the decentralised way that Linux had been developed. This benefited ibm and fuelled the rise of cloud computing, which is mostly powered by Linux and similar “open source” software.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.7.3 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.7.3 is generally available as of September 2, 2020.

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

        • vDPA kernel framework part 3: usage for VMs and containers

          In part 2 of the vDPA kernel framework series, we discussed the design and implementation of vhost-vDPA bus driver and virtio-vDPA bus driver. Both drivers are based on the vDPA bus which is explained in part 1 of the vDPA kernel framework series. In this post we will cover the use cases for those two bus drivers and how they can be put to use for bare metal, container and VM.

          This post is intended for developers and architects who want to understand how vDPA is integrated with the existing software stacks such as QEMU, traditional kernel subsystems (networking and block), DPDK applications etc.

          The post is composed of two sections: the first part focuses on the typical use cases for the vhost-vDPA bus driver. The second part focuses on several typical use cases for the virtio-vDPA bus driver.

        • The present and future of CI/CD with GitOps on Red Hat OpenShift

          The need to deliver applications faster is near-universal, even in organizations that traditionally are perceived as risk-averse. As the foundations of DevOps, continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) are essential to application delivery in most organizations. Together, CI/CD tools and processes automate building and testing applications on every code or configuration change, then trigger a sequence of workflows that deliver the application to production.

          Automation helps developers deliver quality applications faster while reducing human error, with proven results. As an example, Ford, one of the largest automakers in the United States, has accelerated their development process by adopting DevOps processes and CI/CD workflows, reducing their application delivery time to minutes instead of months.

          Kubernetes and containers play an important role in reducing barriers to automating application delivery by providing the APIs and tools required to spin up infrastructure and deploy applications on demand. Automation on this level paved the way for many organizations to embark on a DevOps transformation, adopting not just the tools but the mindset and collaborative culture that comes with them. As the Kubernetes platform for developers, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform was designed to support developer teams in adopting CI/CD practices and automating application delivery workflows.

      • Debian Family

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, August 2020

          I was assigned 16 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative, but only worked 6.25 hours this month and have carried over the rest to September.

          I finished my work to add Linux 4.19 to the stretch-security suite, providing an upgrade path for those previously installing it from stretch-backports (DLA-2323-1, DLA-2324-1). I also updated the firmware-nonfree package (DLA-2321-1) so that firmware needed by drivers in Linux 4.19 is also be available in the non-free section of the stretch-security suite.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical announces new point releases – Ubuntu 20.04.1 and 18.04.5

          Canonical have released both the first point release of Ubuntu 20.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) as Ubuntu 20.04.1 and the fifth point release of Ubuntu 18.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) as Ubuntu 18.04.5.

          I’ve respun the desktop ISOs using my ‘isorespin.sh‘ script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices…

        • Between Ubuntu 20.04 and openSUSE Leap 15.2 Releases

          This year 2020 is amazing as two big European computer operating systems come out. They are Ubuntu and openSUSE more precisely version Focal Fossa and Leap 15.2. They are ranked number 4th and 13th on Distrowatch.com.This article sums up these two for everyone to quickly download or purchase a computer with them.

          The leading operating system for PCs, IoT devices, servers and the cloud.

          The makers’ choice for sysadmins, developers and desktop users.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Q&A: Open Source advocate David Strejc on why the Czech IT industry is so overpriced

        Thankfully, we had the right support on hand: David Strejc of WPDistro, a Prague-based developer who specializes in WordPress and open source solutions. Since migrating to WPDistro’s servers six months ago, our news site hasn’t seen any downtime at all.

        David is also a long-term advocate of Open Source software solutions, and provides the CRM system AutoCRM, which builds upon a solution used by more than 50,000 companies worldwide.

        We recently spoke with David about the Information Technology sector in the Czech Republic, how it compares to the rest of the world, and what’s in store for the future.

      • LF

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • 7 Important Privacy-Preserving Extensions for Chromium-Based Browsers

            According to StatCounter, 70% of all desktop users worldwide use Google Chrome as their default Internet browser. A sad fact, as Chrome is a proprietary web browser that does not respect the user privacy by default. Chromium however, is %100 open source and licensed under the BSD license. Chrome extensions do work on Chromium.

            Still, we do not recommend any user who cares about his/her privacy to use Google Chrome or Chromium, as both browsers are full of Google’s integrated services which phonehome some of your data, besides their horrible default settings for privacy which block nothing by default. Instead, we recommenced using Firefox, but if you still want a Chromium-based browser to use (Whether for performance or because of the huge number of extensions… etc), then what we recommend is the Ungoogled-Chromium browser instead.

            However, what can’t be completely reached shouldn’t be completely left; Here’s a list of 7 privacy-preserving extensions to have if you are still going to use Chrome/Chromium browsers anyway. Or maybe you can even use them with the Ungoogled-Chromium browser, which is a better choice.

        • Mozilla

          • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Planning the 2021 Roadmap

            The core team is beginning to think about the 2021 Roadmap, and we want to hear from the community. We’re going to be running two parallel efforts over the next several weeks: the 2020 Rust Survey, to be announced next week, and a call for blog posts.

            Blog posts can contain anything related to Rust: language features, tooling improvements, organizational changes, ecosystem needs — everything is in scope. We encourage you to try to identify themes or broad areas into which your suggestions fit in, because these help guide the project as a whole.

            One way of helping us understand the lens you’re looking at Rust through is to give one (or more) statements of the form “As a X I want Rust to Y because Z”. These then may provide motivation behind items you call out in your post.

          • Cameron Kaiser: I’m trying really hard to like the new Android Firefox Daylight. Really, I am.

            I’ve used Firefox for Android nearly since it was first made available (I still have an old version on my Android 2.3 Nexus One, which compared with my Pixel 3 now seems almost ridiculously small). I think it’s essential to having a true choice of browsers on Android as opposed to “Chrome all the things” and I’ve used it just about exclusively on all my Android devices since. So, when Firefox Daylight presented itself, I upgraded, and I’m pained to say I’ve been struggling with it for the better part of a week. Yes, this is going to be another one of those “omg why didn’t I wait” posts, but I’ve tried to be somewhat specific about what’s giving me heartburn with the new version because it’s not uniformly bad and a lot of things are rather good, but it’s still got a lot of rough edges and I don’t want Daylight to be another stick Mozilla gives to people to let them beat them with.

          • Update on extension support in the new Firefox for Android

            Last week, we finished rolling out the new Firefox for Android experience. This launch was the culmination of a year and a half of work rebuilding the mobile browser for Android from the ground up, replacing the previous application’s codebase with GeckoView—Mozilla’s new mobile browser engine—to create a fast, private, and customizable mobile browser. With GeckoView, our mobile development team can build and ship features much faster than before. The launch is a starting point for our new Android experience, and we’re excited to continue developing and refining features.

            This means continuing to build support for add-ons. In order to get the new browser to users as soon as possible—which was necessary to iterate quickly on user feedback and limit resources needed to maintain two different Firefox for Android applications—we made some tough decisions about our minimum criteria for launch. We looked at add-on usage on Android, and made the decision to start by building support for add-ons in the Recommended Extensions program that were commonly installed by our mobile users. Enabling a small number of extensions in the initial rollout also enabled us to ensure a good first experience with add-ons in the new browser that are both mobile-friendly and security-reviewed.

          • About:Community: Five years of Tech Speakers

            Given the recent restructuring at Mozilla, many teams have been affected by the layoff. Unfortunately, this includes the Mozilla Tech Speakers program. As one of the volunteers who’s been part of the program since the very beginning, I’d like to share some memories of the last five years, watching the Tech Speakers program grow from a small group of people to a worldwide community.

            It all started as an experiment in 2015 designed by Havi Hoffman and Dietrich Ayala from the Developer Relations team. They invited a handful of volunteers who were passionate about giving talks at conferences on Mozilla-related technologies and the Open Web in general to trial a program that would support their conference speaking activities, and amplify their impact. That’s how Mozilla Tech Speakers were born.

            It was a perfect symbiosis. A small, scrappy Developer Relations team can’t cover all the web conferences everywhere, but with help from trained and knowledgeable volunteers that task becomes a lot easier. Volunteer local speakers can share information at regional conferences that are distant or inaccessible for staff. And for half a decade, it worked, and the program grew in reach and popularity.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The best LibreOffice extensions. Barcode

          Possibly you know that you can insert a QR-code in your LibreOffice document using a main menu Insert->Object->QR-code. But, unfortunately, you still can’t insert a barcode.

          And there is a solution for you now! This is a Barcode extension.

          You should download it by link above and install it into your LibreOffice using Tools->Extension manager. Then you can use it using a main menu Insert->Object->Barcode. There are many options in the dialog. So, enjoy!

      • FSF

        • Free Software Awards: Recognize those who advance our freedom by October 28th

          The work of dedicated contributors is at the center of free software’s ability to empower users. Whether they’re developers, documentation writers, community organizers, or inspiring new volunteers, everyone plays their own role in building the movement. Together, the work of these community members contributes to the technical excellence of free software, but more importantly, it makes it possible for everyday people to live a full digital life without compromising their freedom.

          Each year, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) formally expresses our appreciation to these individuals and organizations through the Free Software Awards. These awards are given each year at LibrePlanet, our conference for free software community activists, domain experts, and people seeking their own solutions to problems like user-abusive antifeatures and bulk government surveillance. The Free Software Awards let these people and projects know that their work is deeply appreciated, and that they play a vital role in bringing this global movement toward its goals.

          You might know of a contributor or organization who has done significant and user-empowering work on free software. We invite you to take a moment to show them (and tell us) that you care, by nominating them for an award in one of three categories: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software, the Award for Projects of Social Benefit, or the Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor. Don’t assume that someone else will nominate them — too often, everyone assuming someone else will express the appreciation means that it never happens. As taking initiative and speaking up for the community are important parts of free software, why not take the time yourself to make sure your voice is heard?

        • GNU Projects

          • GCC Is Currently Faster Than LLVM’s Clang At Compiling The Linux Kernel

            While LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler was traditionally known for its faster build speeds than GCC, in recent releases of GCC the build speeds have improved and in some areas LLVM/Clang has slowed down with further optimization passes and other work added to its growing code-base. As it stands right now, GCC is faster than Clang at compiling the Linux kernel.

            Presented at last week’s Linux Plumbers Conference 2020 was a look at the kernel compile times with Clang. What developers Nathan Chancellor and Nathan Huckleberry found were that “GCC always beats LLVM” for 64-bit ARM and x86_64, even when LLVM is compiled with LTO and PGO enabled. Only when LLVM was compiled with PGO to build 32-bit ARM was it faster at compiling the Linux kernel than GCC.

          • GCC Automatic Parallel Compilation Viability Results Help Up To 3.3x

            One of the most interesting projects out of Google Summer of Code 2020 has been the ongoing work for allowing individual code files to be compiled in parallel, building off work last year in addressing GCC parallelization bottlenecks. The final report for GSoC 2020 on this work has been issued.

            This work has been focused on being able to parallelize the compilation of large source files compared to traditionally with making use of multiple jobs from the build system for compiling multiple files in parallel. For large source files and further enhancing GCC parallelization abilities is a big win in an era of increasing core/thread counts.

          • Oak Ridge Sponsoring GCC Compiler Improvements For NVIDIA + AMD GPU Offloading

            Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) announced on Thursday that they are funding improvements to the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) around GPU compute offloading.

            Oak Ridge’s OLCF has entered into contract with Siemens’ Mentor Graphics to fund more work on GCC upstream development. The work they are funding is on providing better GPU accelerator offloading support for the upstream, open-source GCC compiler. This will include work on both OpenACC and OpenMP.

          • dico @ Savannah: Version 2.10

            Version 2.10 is available for download. This is a bugfix release, that fixes compilation with gcc 10 and restores the po files, which were absent in the two previous releases due to the packaging error.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 10 Programming Languages That Pay Handsome Salaries in 2020
        • Benchmark Demo Evolved

          The Benchmark demo application that was created a few months ago, and introduced here, was missing a few important features. Most importantly, running a set of benchmarks was not possible. Benchmark mode (–mode benchmark) only ran one test, with features based on a preset target hardware level.

          It was already possible to adjust everything using the UI, and then running another individual benchmark by clicking the Start Measuring button, but that does not make testing a bunch of things in a short amount of time very easy.

        • Python

          • New chemfp licensing model in chemfp 3.4

            Background: chemfp is a Python package for high-performance cheminformatics fingerprint similarity search. There are two development tracks. Chemfp 1.x is the no-cost/open source version, which only supports Python 2.7, and chemfp 3.x is the more advanced and capable version which supports Python 2.7 and Python 3.6+.

          • What’s up with chemfp 1.x?

            Background: chemfp is a Python package for high-performance cheminformatics fingerprint similarity search. There are two development tracks. Chemfp 1.x is the no-cost/open source version, which only supports Python 2.7, and chemfp 3.x is the more advanced and capable version which supports Python 2.7 and Python 3.6+. Try out chemfp now!

            The chemfp 1.x track is still being maintained and updated under a no-cost/open source license. It only supports Python 2.7, which is no longer supported by the core Python developers, so you might easily wonder “why?” and “who will use it?”

            To summarize: I hope it will be used in future benchmarking and I expect Python 2.7 will be available for several more years.

          • Python Does What?!: Welcome to the float zone…
          • Not counting zeros

            We all have our favorite way of intentionally raising an exception in Python. Some like referencing an undefined variable to get a simple NameError, others might import a module that doesn’t exist for a bold ImportError.

            But the tasteful exceptioneer knows to reach for that classic computer-confounding conundrum: 1/0 for a satisfyingly descriptive DivisionByZero.

          • Presentation: We have nearly one million lines of Python 2 code in production — and now?

            Still running Python 2 code in production is like steering a ship without radar in thick fog: You don’t know, which obstacle you will hit next. But there are ways to see the sun again – even for large code bases. This presentation contains a discussion of the possible ways and a success story.

          • Custom Form Validation – Building SaaS #71

            In this episode, I added some custom checking to ensure that students may only be enrolled in a single grade level for a school year. We talked about form cleaning and wrote a for unit test to prove that the change worked. After that change, we switched to a template and wrote copy for when no progress reports are viewable for users.

            With the first issue, I needed to update a form that enrolls students. I wanted to ensure that students can’t be enrolled in more than one grade level in a single school year. I updated the clean method of the EnrollmentForm to check that no other enrollments exist for the school year.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 14 blog!

            This is the last blog for GSoC 2020. It was an amazing journey and an experience to cherish for lifetime.
            I would like to thank Google for giving us, students this platform and Python Software Foundation for leading so many sub-organisations and the students towards the world of open source.

          • wxPython by Example: Making Your Application Fade In and Out (Video)

            In this screencast, you will learn how to change the transparency of your application. This will allow you to make your application fade in or out.

          • Book Review: Modern Python Cookbook

            I first read Lott’s Mastering Object-Oriented Python, which is an excellent book. He is an excellent writer who can easily dive into the technical details of any topic in Python.

            O’Reilly was the first company to put out a Python Cookbook. That book is good too and it’s nearly as large as Lott’s latest work. Cookbooks aren’t meant to be read cover-to-cover. But they are great for learning new nuggets of information. Lott’s book is arranged in groups of recipes. Interestingly, Packt was able to get the author of the first Python Cookbook, Alex Martelli, to be one of the technical reviewers for this one.

            There are 15 chapters with a varying number of recipes in each. You will be surprised how detailed the recipes get. For example, there is a recipe called “Working with large and small integers” which sounds trivial at first blush. But after reading through it, you will learn a lot about how Python represents integers differently than other programming languages.

            It also explains how sys.maxsize() comes into play which was actually much more interesting than I expected. I appreciated that the recipes have a “See Also” section that tells you where to go next to learn something related within the book or at a URL.

            I like that there are recipes that explain how to use the walrus operator, forcing keyword-only arguments and position only arguments too. There’s a lot of good coverage of new features in the latest versions of Python here.

          • Part 1: How to create a Telegram Bot in Python in under 10 minutes

            Let us build a Telegram Bot that echoes the messages that we send to it. In the next part, we will learn how to deploy the bot on websites like Heroku.

        • Java

          • Five Java frameworks for improving your automated testing

            Writing automated tests is a critical step in software development. A quality, automated testing suite provides rapid feedback to make sure a change meets requirements and also provides a valuable safety net so that a regression isn’t accidentally introduced. Automated testing also enables devops practices like Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, greatly increasing the speed and ease with which changes can be pushed to production.

            In this article we will look at five frameworks that help improve the process of automated testing. These frameworks can help with writing tests for complicated use cases, improve readability, and improve reliability.

            [...]

            Writing automated tests is a critical step in the software development life cycle. If you have been having trouble with writing automated tests or just want to improve the quality of your automated tests, then trying out these frameworks is an excellent place to start! The end-result of faster delivery of production-ready and production-tested applications benefits everyone involved.

  • Leftovers

    • Total Initial UI Claims Have Risen in Each of the Last Four Weeks

      Congress must act.

    • Good Music to Avert the Collapse of American Democracy
    • Sony May Just Be Loosening The Reins As Gaming Brings In A Plurality Of Its Revenue

      Any trip down Techdirt’s memory lane when it comes to Sony is not going to leave you with a good taste in your mouth. This is a company that has been almost comically protective of all things intellectual property, engaged in all manner of anti-consumer behavior, and is arguably most famous for either using an update to remove features from its gaming console that generated sales of that console or for installing rootkits on people’s computers. When it comes to any positive stories about the company, in fact, they mostly have to do with the immense success Sony had in the most recent Console Wars with its PlayStation 4 device.

    • Harlem
    • Education

      • Teen arrested for alleged cyberattacks on Miami-Dade schools

        Authorities said the student admitted to orchestrating eight distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks aimed at the school system’s online distance learning platform and other systems. The student was charged with computer use in an attempt to defraud and with interference with an educational institution.

      • These students figured out their tests were graded by AI — and the easy way to cheat

        Now, for every short-answer question, Lazare writes two long sentences followed by a disjointed list of keywords — anything that seems relevant to the question. “The questions are things like… ‘What was the advantage of Constantinople’s location for the power of the Byzantine empire,’” Simmons says. “So you go through, okay, what are the possible keywords that are associated with this? Wealth, caravan, ship, India, China, Middle East, he just threw all of those words in.”

        “I wanted to game it because I felt like it was an easy way to get a good grade,” Lazare told The Verge. He usually digs the keywords out of the article or video the question is based on.

        Apparently, that “word salad” is enough to get a perfect grade on any short-answer question in an Edgenuity test.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “Herd Immunity” Plan May Result in Long-Term Heart Problems for Many in US

        One of President Trump’s top medical advisers, Scott Atlas, is urging the administration to lean into a national “herd immunity” strategy to combat the pandemic, according to a report by The Washington Post.

      • Premature Release of Covid-19 Vaccine Could Be a ‘Dangerous Experiment on the American People,’ Nurses Union Warns

        “We have already seen far too many examples of the erosion of scientific integrity and the subversion of public health through political intervention and pressure by the Trump administration and corporate employers.”

      • Covid-19 Gag Rules Endanger Everyone, But Study Shows Unions Make It Easier to Assert Workplace Safety Rights

        “To stop this pandemic, workers need to be listened to rather than silenced,” something that is far more likely when workers are unionized. 

      • Surviving the Virus: a Glyph
      • Medicare for All Advocate Finds Universal Healthcare Mandates in Islam

        “We were always taught…that the foundation of Islam is an obligation to ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met.”

      • A Supercomputer Analyzed Covid-19 — and an Interesting New Theory Has Emerged

        Earlier this summer, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee set about crunching data on more than 40,000 genes from 17,000 genetic samples in an effort to better understand Covid-19. Summit is the second-fastest computer in the world, but the process — which involved analyzing 2.5 billion genetic combinations — still took more than a week.

        When Summit was done, researchers analyzed the results. It was, in the words of Dr. Daniel Jacobson, lead researcher and chief scientist for computational systems biology at Oak Ridge, a “eureka moment.” The computer had revealed a new theory about how Covid-19 impacts the body: the bradykinin hypothesis. The hypothesis provides a model that explains many aspects of Covid-19, including some of its most bizarre symptoms. It also suggests 10-plus potential treatments, many of which are already FDA approved. Jacobson’s group published their results in a paper in the journal eLife in early July.

        According to the team’s findings, a Covid-19 infection generally begins when the virus enters the body through ACE2 receptors in the nose, (The receptors, which the virus is known to target, are abundant there.) The virus then proceeds through the body, entering cells in other places where ACE2 is also present: the intestines, kidneys, and heart. This likely accounts for at least some of the disease’s cardiac and GI symptoms.

      • Ventilation and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

        An important approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants or contaminants including any viruses that may be in the air is to increase ventilation – the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. Ensuring proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the concentration of airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors. However, by itself, increasing ventilation is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. When used along with other best practices recommended by CDC and others, increasing ventilation can be part of a plan to protect people indoors.

      • Key to Preventing Covid-19 Indoors: Ventilation

        After urging steps like handwashing, masking and social distancing, researchers say proper ventilation indoors should join the list of necessary measures. Health scientists and mechanical engineers have started issuing recommendations to schools and businesses that wish to reopen…

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • [PCLinuxOS] Zoom updated to 5.2.454870.0831

          Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (asyncpg and uwsgi), Mageia (cairo), openSUSE (chromium, kernel, and postgresql10), Red Hat (dovecot and squid:4), SUSE (curl, java-1_7_0-ibm, java-1_7_1-ibm, java-1_8_0-ibm, kernel, libX11, php7, squid, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (apport, libx11, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04, xorg-server-hwe-18.04).

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (curl, dovecot, geary, httpd, lua, mysql-connector-java, and squid), Mageia (lua and lua5.3, sane, and squid), Oracle (dovecot), Scientific Linux (dovecot), SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm, kernel, php5, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (firefox).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Decades-Old Gang Laws Are Being Used to Target Black Lives Matter Protesters

              On July 9, Madalena McNeil bought several buckets of red paint, a ladder, and paint rollers from a Salt Lake City Home Depot store. Later that night, she accompanied two dozen other people to a demonstration outside the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office, amidst ongoing nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Demonstrators shattered four windows of the office, daubed red paint on the building’s driveway, and engaged in physical altercations with the police.

            • Technology Can’t Predict Crime, It Can Only Weaponize Proximity to Policing

              Special thanks to Yael Grauer for additional writing and research.

              In June 2020, Santa Cruz, California became the first city in the United States to ban municipal use of predictive policing, a method of deploying law enforcement resources according to data-driven analytics that supposedly are able to predict perpetrators, victims, or locations of future crimes. Especially interesting is that Santa Cruz was one of the first cities in the country to experiment with the technology when it piloted, and then adopted, a predictive policing program in 2011. That program used historic and current crime data to break down some areas of the city into 500 foot by 500 foot blocks in order to pinpoint locations that were likely to be the scene of future crimes. However, after nine years, the city council voted unanimously to ban it over fears of how it perpetuated racial inequality. 

            • Ninth Circuit Says NSA’s Bulk Phone Records Collection Was Illegal, Most Likely Unconstitutional

              The NSA’s bulk phone records collection is dead. It died of exposure. And reform. It was Ed Snowden’s first leak back in 2013. A few years later, a reform bill prompted by Snowden’s leaks revamped the program, forcing the NSA to tailor its requests for phone records from telcos. The NSA used to collect everything and sort through at its leisure. But once the program eliminated the “bulk” from the NSA’s bulk collection, the NSA couldn’t figure out how to obtain records without getting more than it was legally allowed to take.

            • Further Vindicating Righteousness of Snowden’s Whistleblowing, NSA Bulk Spying Ruled Illegal

              “I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them. And yet that day has arrived,” said Edward Snowden in response to the ruling.

            • COVID-19 Tracking Technology Will Not Save Us

              Technology may be part of the solution to stopping the spread of COVID-19, but apps alone will not save us. As more states develop COVID exposure notification apps, institutions and the people they serve should remain skeptical and remember the bigger picture. This is still experimental, unproven technology, both in terms of how it works under the hood and how humans will interact with it. And even the best-designed app will be no substitute for public health basics like widespread testing and interview-based contact tracing.

              On top of that, any benefits of this technology will be unevenly distributed. Any app-based or smartphone-based solution will systematically miss the groups least likely to have a cellphone and more at risk of COVID-19 and in need of resources: in the United States, that includes elderly people, people without housing, and those living in rural communities. 

            • NSA Surveillance Program Exposed by Snowden was Illegal, Rules Appeals Court

              An appeals court ruled Wednesday that a National Security Agency (NSA) telephone dragnet program designed to collect data on millions of American citizens without warrants violates a law specially designed to prevent abuse of the government’s spying capabilities.

            • Cryptographer and Entrepreneur Jon Callas Joins EFF as Technology Projects Director

              Some of the most important work we do at EFF is build technologies to protect users’ privacy and security, and give developers tools to make the entire Internet ecosystem more safe and secure. Every day, EFF’s talented and dedicated computer scientists and engineers are creating and making improvements to our free, open source extensions, add-ons, and software to solve the problems of creepy tracking and unreliable encryption on the web.Joining EFF this week to direct and shepherd these technology projects is internationally-recognized cybersecurity and encryption expert Jon Callas. He will be working with our technologists on Privacy Badger, a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking users’ web browsing, and HTTPS Everywhere, a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts user communications with major websites, to name of few of EFF’s tech tools.Callas will also bring his considerable crypto and security chops to our policy efforts around encryption and securing the web. In the last two decades he has designed and built core cryptographic and concurrent programming systems that are in use by hundreds of millions of people.As an entrepreneur, Callas has been at the center of key security and privacy advancements in mobile communications and email—the best-known of which is PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), one of the most important encryption standards to date. He was chief scientist at the original PGP Inc., and co-founded PGP Corp. in 2002.

            • Post navigation

              The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report requested by Congressional oversight committee chairs describing and assessing the ways that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) use facial recognition to identity and track international (CBP) and domestic (TSA) travelers.

              Here’s how the GAO says it works  (click flowchart for larger version): The GAO report doesn’t address several of the most significant issues with DHS use of facial recognition to identify travelers, including:

            • A Casualty in Trump’s China War: TikTok’s Kevin Mayer

              TikTok appears to have wound up in Trump’s line of fire because it’s the first Chinese-owned app to gain major influence in the U.S., where in the past two years its base has grown 800 percent to 100 million monthly active users. Those devoted TikTok users, fearing a U.S. shutdown, may cheer if a buyer emerges. But Mayer, who has led the business through these turbulent summer months, won’t be there to enjoy the celebration.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Joe Biden, Don’t Let Donald Trump Run as the Antiwar Candidate!

        As it is with so many issues, Trump has not really walked the walk on ending wars or bringing our troops home, but, he continues to talk the talk. And so must Joe Biden.

      • ‘I’d Drop Any 10 of You’: GOP Rep. Clay Higgins Threatens to Shoot Armed Black Protesters

        The Louisiana lawmaker is a staunch gun rights advocate in an open carry state. 

      • Obama’s ‘Biggest Mistake’ Is Still Wreaking Havoc

        The bombing of Libya scattered weapons across Africa and worsened instability in the region.

      • Putin Wants Belarus Dictator to Retain Power — But the Masses Are Still Rising

        Mass protests entered their fourth week in Belarus to demand the ouster of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who claimed victory in the country’s August 9 election that critics say was rigged. But Lukashenko shows no sign of backing down, and authorities have responded to protests with violence and arrests. Sadakat Kadri, a human rights lawyer and writer, says Russian President Vladimir Putin is invested in keeping Lukashenko in power. “He can’t afford to see Belarus fall,” Kadri notes.

      • “Where Is the Accountability?” 23 Deaths at Fort Hood Prompt Commander’s Removal, New Investigation

        The top commander at Fort Hood is removed from his post, and the U.S. Army has launched an investigation, after a series of murders and accusations of sexual abuse at the base, with 23 deaths at Fort Hood this year and 13 soldiers disappeared, killed or who died by suicide. In April, the remains of soldier Vanessa Guillén were found near the base, and the main suspect in that case killed himself in July shortly after he was accused of her murder. Her case sparked national outrage about sexual assault in the military and led to the introduction of legislation to make it easier for military personnel to report sexual assault and harassment. “Rape culture, systemic racism, corruption and impunity has been really part and parcel in the Department of Defense for decades,” says Air Force veteran Pam Campos-Palma, who leads the Vets for the People project, adding that Congress must provide proper oversight of the military.

      • Putin “Can’t Afford to See Belarus Fall” as Protests Calling for Lukashenko’s Ouster Enter 4th Week

        Mass protests entered their fourth week in Belarus to demand the ouster of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who claimed victory in the country’s August 9 election that critics say was rigged. But Lukashenko shows no sign of backing down, and authorities have responded to protests with violence and arrests. Sadakat Kadri, a human rights lawyer and writer, says Russian President Vladimir Putin is invested in keeping Lukashenko in power. “He can’t afford to see Belarus fall,” Kadri notes.

      • Putin “Can’t Afford to See Belarus Fall”
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Islamic State: Giant library of group’s online propaganda discovered

        The material is added to social-media comments pages and spread via bot accounts.

        Another technique has been to target Twitter accounts linked to celebrities and athletes.

        For example, IS hijacked an account belonging to a fan of the pop singer Justin Bieber and used it to promote material from the cache.

      • Bill would not legalize pedophilia in California

        The false posts spreading on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday echoed posts shared by conspiracy theory and QAnon social media accounts earlier in the summer, when the bill was being discussed in the state legislature.

    • Environment

      • 43 Green Groups Demand Moderators Make Climate Crisis ‘Central Focus’ of 2020 Presidential Debates

        “In 2016, there was not a single question on climate change in any of the four presidential and vice-presidential debates,” 70 House Democrats noted in a similar appeal. “This cannot happen again.”

      • Portuguese Youth File ‘Unprecedented’ Climate Lawsuit Against 33 European Countries

        “I am very afraid for my future,” said one plaintiff, “with so little time to stop this situation, we have to do everything in our power to compel governments to protect us.” 

      • Latest Youth Climate Lawsuit Filed Against 33 European Countries Over Human Rights

        It is the latest in a series of legal actions brought by young people around the world demanding urgent climate action to protect their fundamental rights and safeguard their futures.

      • Air pollution is returning to pre-covid levels

        One particularly common pollutant is nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The World Health Organisation (WHO) reckons that NO2 levels above 40 micrograms in every cubic metre of air (40µg/m3) are harmful to people. In Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted big cities, NO2 fell sharply after the city imposed its lockdown, from 46µg/m3 in March to 17µg/m3 in early April. Similarly, NO2 levels in London fell from 36µg/m3 in March to 24µg/m3 two weeks later.

      • China wants a canal to cross Thailand into the Indian Ocean

        Foreign Policy drew parallels between the eventual Chinese canal in Thailand and the Panama Canal, which caused Panama to secede from Colombia with more than a century of American domination as a result.

        If the Thai Canal were ever built, China would increase its hold over Thailand, and could even decide to help Muslim rebels in the south split away from the rest of Thailand if a less pro-Chinese government took power in Bangkok, according to Foreign Policy.

      • The Next Front in the India-China Conflict Could Be a Thai Canal

        The current Thai canal proposal, known as the 9A route, would involve two parallel channels—each 30 meters deep, 180 meters wide, and running 75 miles at sea level from Songkhla on the Gulf of Thailand to Krabi in the Andaman Sea.

        By embracing the proposed project, however, Thailand risks splitting itself in two. Thailand faces an active insurgency in its three southernmost provinces, which are majority Muslim in religion and majority Malay in ethnicity. The canal could become a symbolic border between “mainland” Thailand in the north and a separatist movement in the south. It wouldn’t hamper the Thai military’s aggressive counterinsurgency campaign, but it would create a divide that could last for centuries. Once the channels have been dug out, they would be impossible to fill in, and if Thailand were ever to break in two, the Thai canal could be the fault along which it cracks.

      • India’s answer to China-backed Thai Canal plan is a huge military upgrade in islands

        With Chinese Navy positioning itself for dominance in the Indian Ocean through strings of ports in Myanmar, Pakistan and Iran, India is planning rapid infrastructure upgrade in its Island territories to ensure that there is no restriction on navigation or a replay of the South China Sea in Indian backyard.

      • 15 Years After Hurricane Katrina, It’s Time to Demilitarize Disaster Relief

        Instead of funneling hundreds of billions of dollars each year into militarism, we can invest in the infrastructure of care we need to keep each other safe.

      • ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ of Melting Ice and Sea Level Rise Coming to Pass, Warn Researchers

        At its current rate, the sea level rise will be “enough to double the frequency of storm-surge flooding in many of the world’s largest coastal cities” by the end of the century. 

      • Energy

        • The Fed Invested Public Money in Fossil Fuel Firms Driving Environmental Racism

          In April, the price of oil fell so far so fast that oil futures contracts went negative. Oil prices have recovered somewhat, but not enough to ever return the industry to its prior state. Analysts predict the U.S. has reached peak oil production and will never again “return to the record 13 million barrels of oil per day reached in November 2019.” ExxonMobil, which has been a part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average market index for 92 years, was removed last week and replaced with the software firm Salesforce. But while financial analysts sound the alarm about this dying industry, the Federal Reserve has been buying up the debt of fossil fuel companies through a pandemic emergency program. We the public, together with the Fed, now own over $315 million in bonds of fossil fuel firms, including those with a track record of environmental racism.

        • What 2020 Politicians and Pundits Get Wrong About Fracking

          Too many Democrats continue to fundamentally misunderstand the politics of fracking as much as they misunderstand the necessity of banning fracking to stop the worsening effects of climate chaos.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Pass the Payment Choice Act

        A growing number of retail businesses are refusing to let their customers pay in cash. This is bad for privacy. Higher-tech payment methods, like credit cards and online payment systems, often create an indelible record of what we bought, and at what time and place. How can you stop data thieves, data brokers, and police from snooping on your purchase history? Pay in cash.

        Stores with “cash not accepted” policies are also unfair to the millions of Americans who are unbanked or underbanked, and thus lack the ability to pay without cash. This cohort disproportionately includes people of color and people with lower incomes. Stores that require high-tech payment methods discriminate against people without access to that tech.

      • Social Security Could Come To a Screeching Halt

        Donald Trump may kill Social Security through the deferral of payroll taxes, the backbone of the program.

      • Plutocrats Control the US Political System, But They Can Still Be Defeated

        The U.S. populace leans strongly to the left, yet the right-wing Republican Party continues to win elections, control government and enact a far right policy agenda. For example, in 2001 and 2003, and again in 2017, Republicans enacted tax cuts that delivered 80 percent of the benefits to the richest 1 percent, which even most Republicans don’t favor. How is this possible in a representative democracy?

      • Either Raise Taxes on Wealthy to Fund Recovery or Expect Years of ‘Grinding Recession,’ Argues Nobel Prize-Winning Economist

        Failing to increase taxes on the rich to support recovery will lead to “cutbacks in basic services that will weaken our social fabric and harm our potential for years to come.”

      • GOP Under Fire for Offering ‘Emaciated’ Covid Relief Plan as Record Layoffs Continue and Mass Evictions Loom

        “After weeks on taxpayer-paid vacation,” said one critic, “the best they could come up with in that time amounts to a band-aid as the economy continues to hemorrhage jobs.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Fighting Against Voting Rights Everywhere’: Trump, RNC Sue Democratic Montana Governor to Restrict Mail-In Election

        “This template lawsuit appears to be part of a pattern of lawsuits across the country by Republican Party operatives to limit access to voting during the pandemic,” said Gov. Steve Bullock. 

      • Trump Threatens to Defund NYC and Other Cities He Deems “Anarchist”

        Democratic lawmakers and rights advocates voiced outrage and contempt overnight in response to a new five-page memo from the Justice Department sanctioned by President Donald Trump late Wednesday that would restrict federal funding to U.S. cities determined by Attorney General William Barr to be so-called “anarchist jurisdictions” — a term that made clear to critics the move is nothing short of an election-year canard designed to bolster the president’s “law and order” campaign message.

      • ‘Dangerous, Destructive, and Divisive’: Trump Ploy to Defund So-Called ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions’ Denounced as ‘Illegal’ Reelection Stunt

        “This is actually happening. On our watch,” said civil rights leader Vanita Gupta. “I can’t imagine what four more years of Trump-Barr would mean for our democracy.”

      • A Lawless Attorney General Hits New Lows

        It’s tough to choose the worst thing Attorney General William Barr said in a shocking Wednesday interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. He claimed that Jacob Blake, shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police last month, was armed; he was not. He appeared to back up Donald Trump’s demented claim that thugs in black boarded planes headed to Washington bent on mayhem, and then dissolved in “I don’t know what the president was specifically referring to.” When Blitzer asked if Trump’s outrageous suggestion that North Carolina supporters vote twice—ostensibly to check whether voting by mail made it possible—was illegal, Barr repeatedly averred, insisting, “I don’t know what the law in the particular state says.”

      • Bad Medicine: Weaponizing Government Resources for Partisan Politics

        It doesn’t matter who you vote for or what political party you do or don’t belong to, when it comes to funding government it’s taxpayers of all stripes who pick up the tab. Now, at both the national and state level, the new, nefarious, and open weaponization of government resources for partisan political purposes has emerged in full force. If we want to end democracy in the U.S. — this will do it.

      • RIP: David Graeber on Democracy
      • ‘Do Not Vote Twice’: State AGs Forced to Clean Up Law-Breaking Encouraged by Trump and Excused by Barr

        “Nope. Don’t do it. It’s illegal, and you’ll get prosecuted.”

      • Trump May Have Broken the Law by Encouraging NC Residents to Try and Vote Twice

        President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to encourage residents in North Carolina to attempt voter fraud — a felony crime — to test whether the system would catch voters who tried to cast two ballots in a single election.

      • Barr Repeatedly Claims He Doesn’t Know Whether It’s Illegal to Vote Twice Following Trump Comments

        “As the attorney general, you are expected not to be an idiot when it comes to basic legal principles,” said Rep. Ted Lieu.

      • Urging ‘New Good Neighbor Policy,’ 100 Groups Demand Biden End US Destructive Imperialist Approach to Latin America

        “The next administration must undo the brutal harms of the 2016-2020 Trump administration and must understand how past U.S. economic, security, and environmental policies have fueled mass migration.”

      • Highly toxic, but unreliable: ‘Meduza’ answers key questions about Novichok-type nerve agent poisoning

        On September 2, German officials announced that prominent opposition figure Alexey Navalny had been poisoned in Russia with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents. Traces of the poison were found through tests conducted at a toxicology lab run by Germany’s armed forces (the Bundeswehr), at the request of doctors from the Charité Hospital in Berlin, where Navalny is being treated in intensive care. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there are no doubts about the accuracy of the test results. “This is shocking information about the attempted murder by poison of one of Russia’s main oppositionists,” Merkel said. This announcement from the German government provoked a number of new questions about Navalny’s poisoning — “Meduza” answers some of the main ones.

      • Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation releases new investigation he filmed before his poisoning

        Alexey Navalny’s non-profit, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has released a new investigation titled “Tomsk held captive by a deputies’ mafia,” which looks into the business activities of high-ranking local officials and municipal deputies from the ruling party, United Russia. 

      • ‘It’s possible that I created it myself’ Chemical weapons experts explain who is capable of making ‘Novichok’ poisons and why their lethality makes them weapons to kill, not maim

        On September 2, the German government announced that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent. At a press conference on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated unequivocally that Navalny is the victim of a crime, and added that she believes someone tried to “silence” him. As the Kremlin insists that the West is jumping to conclusions, the public response has turned to questions about responsibility for the attack. Does the use of a nerve agent mean that Russia’s intelligence community is to blame? Meduza asked three chemical weapons experts what they think.

      • Homeland Security in Hollywood: How the Department Controls Its Image On Screen

        Newly obtained documents reveal the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security’s Multimedia Liaison Office, which assists the production of movies, documentaries, television shows, and books.

        Much like their counterparts in other arms of the ever-increasing security industrial-complex in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a profound impact on the entertainment industry. Dissenting and critical views of major events, policies and practices are diluted or eliminated from these productions while cheerleading for the habitual violation of people’s rights is encouraged. They aim to alter audience perceptions of the department and their activities and to promote a worldview that is scary and therefore justifies an authoritarian response from these agencies.The DHS was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as a conglomeration of the Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard and over a dozen other agencies. This was the greatest reorganization of the federal government since the National Security Act created the Department of Defense and the CIA.But the DHS has been beset by bureaucratic problems and widespread opposition to its policies and practices, including TSA agents groping airline passengers, nude body scanners at airports, and the horrific treatment of immigrants, such as gassing them with industrial-strength chemicals at ICE facilities. DHS is among those departments, whose federal agents have patrolled Portland, grabbing protestors off the streets and throwing them into unmarked vans, often without identifying themselves or providing reasons for these “arrests.”

      • Facebook Excited to Announce Election-Week Pause in New Disinformation

        For the week before the election, Mark Zuckerberg will take a stand for democracy by only allowing recycled bullshit on his platform

      • Zuckerberg vows to fact-check Trump if he declares premature victory: Critics are skeptical

        But Democrats say the changes do not address the fundamental issue that Facebook is used to spread misinformation.

      • Facebook will stop accepting new political ads a week before the US presidential election

        Candidates and political action committees will continue to be able to buy ads that have already received at least one impression by October 27th, the company said. They can also choose to target those existing ads at different groups or adjust their level of spending. But they won’t be able to launch new creative campaigns — a hedge against candidates spreading misinformation during a particularly fraught moment in the company’s history.

      • Facebook is paying people to shut down their accounts ahead of the election

        A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the company would be paying users who complete surveys or deactivate as part of its research Thursday. “Anyone who chooses to opt in – whether it’s completing surveys or deactivating FB or IG for a period of time – will be compensated,” Liz Bourgeous, a Facebook spokesperson, said in a tweet Thursday. “This is fairly standard for this type of academic research.”

      • India Bans 118 Chinese Apps as Indian Soldier Is Killed on Disputed Border

        The Indian government has blocked Chinese apps from its huge domestic market as a way to strike back against China, and the new measures will prevent Indians from gaining easy access to 118 Chinese apps, including the popular video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has over 50 million players in India.

        Some of the banned Chinese apps, including Baidu, Alipay and some versions of the messaging app WeChat, are operated by the largest Chinese internet companies, like Tencent and Ant Financial. Many of these companies see India as an avenue of growth.

        “This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” said a statement issued Wednesday by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

      • India bans 118 Chinese apps amid escalated border tensions

        The Indian government announced the decision Wednesday (Sept. 2) and said the 118 Chinese apps were a danger to national security and the sovereignty of the country’s cyberspace. It said it had received complaints from multiple sources about Chinese mobile apps being used to steal users’ information to servers outside of India.

        Among the newly banned apps was Tencent Holdings’ popular video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which has more than 50 million users in India. Meanwhile, Baidu, Alipay, and different versions of the messaging app WeChat were also on the list, according to The New York Times.

      • Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

        Trump’s understanding of concepts such as patriotism, service, and sacrifice has interested me since he expressed contempt for the war record of the late Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 while running for the Republican nomination for president. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

        There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • National Association of Broadcasters Warns Congress Tech Giants Could Kill Local Journalism

        NAB President and CEO Gordon H. Smith wrote a dire warning to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on behalf of the 7,500 local television and radio stations that belong to the organization, saying, “Local journalism is now at risk due to the overwhelming competitive position of a handful of technology companies in today’s digital marketplace.” He says, if left unchecked, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple will continue to syphon ad revenues and strain local broadcasters’ online connections with members of the public during a time when free access to information is vital.

      • For Years, Journalists Cheered Assange’s Abuse. Now They’ve Paved His Path To a US Gulag

        Journalists had a chance to join Assange in his struggle to rebuild journalism. Instead, they fled the battlefield, leaving him as a sacrificial offering to their corporate masters.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Appeals Court Says Address Mistakes On Warrants Are Mostly Harmless, Not Worth Getting Excited About

        In a case involving a drug bust utilizing a warrant with erroneous information, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had this to say [PDF] about the use of boilerplate language and typographical errors:

      • ‘Unjust, Inhumane, and Avoidable’: Horrifying Video of Police Killing of Daniel Prude Sparks Outrage

        “If someone calls for mental health assistance, murdering people should not be the result,” one racial justice advocate said.

      • EFF Pilots an Audio Version of EFFector

        Today, we are launching an audio version of our monthly-ish newsletter EFFector to give you a new way to learn about the latest in online freedom, and offer greater accessibility to anyone who is visually impaired or would just like to listen!

      • 5 Garífuna Leaders Are Still Missing in Honduras
      • Closure of Border to Refugees Spreads Misery as US Tourists Vacation in Mexico

        Over the past few months, conditions for migrants traveling through Mexico have grown worse. With most shelters still closed to new migrants because of the pandemic and the U.S. sending people who reach the border back within hours, many refugees and migrants in Mexico are living on the streets.

      • A Message to Senate Democrats: Tribal Lands Are Not Carbon Dumping Grounds

        Targeting Native nations with carbon pricing projects that would disproportionately increase wealth and accumulation for the largest petroleum and mineral polluters at the expense of Native lives is unforgivable and horrifying.

      • As Pence Attends Anti-Choice Event in North Carolina, Providers and Rights Groups Sue Over State Abortion Restrictions

        “If we are not able to get reproductive healthcare when we need it, from providers we trust, in spaces that are accessible and affirming to our communities and our needs, then we are not actually free.”

      • Dismissing Need for Abortion Access, Ted Cruz Claims Pregnancy Is Not ‘Life-Threatening’—Despite Alarming Maternal Mortality Rate in US

        “Ted Cruz has never been pregnant and clearly knows nothing about maternal mortality rates in the U.S. or in Texas.”

      • Healing Needs to Happen: Kenosha Native Rep. Mark Pocan on Trump’s Visit & the U.S. “Policing Problem”

        As Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden heads to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to meet with the family of Jacob Blake, we speak with Congressmember Mark Pocan, who was born and raised in Kenosha. “Clearly, what happened — someone shot in the back seven times, close range, in front of their children, by the police — was another example of the policing problem we have in this country,” Pocan says. He also discusses Attorney General Barr’s attacks on mail-in voting, his proposal to cut the Pentagon budget by 10% to make more funds available for COVID-19 and unemployment relief, and calls for those behind the homophobic smear campaign in the Alex Morse primary to be fired.

      • Report: Only 7% of Inmates’ Loved Ones Say Prisoners Have Soap and Other Basic Necessities to Stop the Spread of Covid-19

        Among prisoners, the death rate from the potentially fatal virus is three times higher than average. 

      • Kenosha protesters arrested for breaking curfew while police supporters were allowed to ‘roam,’ lawsuit says

        Officials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, enforced their curfew selectively, targeting demonstrators protesting police brutality while allowing “militia members” and supporters of law enforcement to roam the street, a federal lawsuit alleges.

        The curfew ended Wednesday, the mayor announced.

        The civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday comes after protesters took to Kenosha’s streets decrying the police shooting of Jacob Blake earlier this month. A lawyer for Kenosha County and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department called the lawsuit “entirely without merit.”

      • Service Workers Describe Rude Customers, Health Risks During COVID-19

        “Understandably, hospitality groups are trying to keep their overhead costs low, but this led to us being understaffed every single shift. Before, our sections were six tables that were all in a compact indoor space. We [are now] having to physically run to hit 13 or more tables spread out along the streets outside. One Monday, I was the only server scheduled and all 23 tables filled up. My coworkers would track their steps, and on many occasions we walked 30,000 to 50,000 steps in one shift,” Alexis said.

        According to Bailey, a 29-year-old server at a casual upscale restaurant, the lack of financial reward added with the toll of the job has made the industry intolerable. Bailey said one shift in particular sticks out in her mind. After serving a large party and clearing away their meals, one of the men informed her that he had accidentally wrapped his Invisalign in a tossed-away napkin.

      • Molly de Blanc: “All Animals Are Equal,” Peter Singer

        I recently read “Disability Visibility,” which opens with a piece by Harriet McBryde Johnson about debating Peter Singer. When I got my first reading for my first class and saw it was Peter Singer, I was dismayed because of his (heinous) stances in disability. I assumed “All Animals Are Equal” was one of Singer’s pieces about animal rights. While I agree with many of the principles Singer discusses around animal rights, I feel as though his work on this front is significantly diminished by his work around disability. To put it simply, I can’t take Peter Singer seriously.

        Because of this I had a lot of trouble reading “All Animals Are Equal” and taking it in good faith. I judged everything from his arguments to his writing harshly. While I don’t disagree with his basic point (all animals have rights) I disagree with how he made the point and the argument supporting it.

        One of the things I was told to ask when reading any philosophy paper is “What is the argument?” or “What are they trying to convince you of?” In this case, you could frame the answer as: Animals have {some of) the same rights people do. I think it would be more accurate though to frame it as “All animals (including humans) have (some of) the same rights” or even “Humans are as equally worthy of consideration as animals are.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • It’s Time To Regulate The Internet… But Thoughtfully

        The internet policy world is headed for change, and the change that’s coming isn’t just a matter of more regulations but, rather, involves an evolution in how we think about communications technologies. The most successful businesses operating at what we have, up until now, called the internet’s “edge” are going to be treated like infrastructure more and more. What’s ahead is not exactly the “break them up” plan of the 2019 Presidential campaign of Senator Warren, but something a bit different. It’s a positive vision of government intervention to generate an evolution in our communications infrastructure to ensure a level playing field for competition; meaningful choices for end users; and responsibility, transparency, and accountability for the companies that provide economically and socially valuable platforms and services.

      • The Copia Institute’s Comment To The FCC Regarding The Ridiculous NTIA Petition To Reinterpret Section 230

        In his post Mike called the NTIA petition for the FCC to change the enforceable language of Section 230 laughable. Earlier I called it execrable. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about it, or Trump’s Executive Order that precipitated it, and it has turned into an enormous waste of time for everyone who cares about preserving speech on the Internet because it meant we all had to file comments to create the public record that might stop this trainwreck from causing even more damage.

      • AT&T Is Astroturfing The FCC In Support Of Trump’s Dumb Attack On Social Media

        We’ve noted for a long time that telecom giants like Comcast and AT&T have been pushing (quite successfully) for massive deregulation of their own monopolies, while pushing for significant new regulation of the Silicon Valley giants whose ad revenues they’ve coveted for decades. As such, it wasn’t surprising to see AT&T come out with a incredibly dumb blog post this week supporting Trump’s legally dubious and hugely problematic executive order targeting social media giants. You know, the plan that not only isn’t enforceable by the agencies supposedly tasked with enforcing it (the FCC), but that also risks creating a massive new censorship paradigm across the entire internet.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Today, the Federal Circuit affirmed under Rule 36 the decision by the District Court of Nevada (Du, J.) in March that the claims asserted by Amarin Pharma against West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Ltd., Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc., and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ltd. were invalid for obviousness, in Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. Rule 36 decisions are rarely further discussed; this case (while not particularly remarkable) does provide an opportunity to understand the factual and legal circumstances surrounding this increasingly frequent outcome.

          The case arose in ANDA litigation over Amarin’s Vascepa® drug, which is a highly purified preparation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Specifically the formulation used in the patented methods is specified as comprising at least 96% EPA by weight and (relevant to these claims) further comprises substantially no docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or related esters. The drug is used to treat hypertriglyceridemia (hyperTG), a condition where blood concentrations of triglycerides (TG) can be as high as 500-1500 mg/dL (normal blood levels are less than 150 mg/dL TG). Prior art drugs, specifically Lovaza comprised a mixture of EPA and DHA, but suffered from the side effect that patients developed increased amounts of low-density lipoprotein-associated cholesterol (LDL-C) in their blood, increasing the risk of heart attacks. As a consequence, Lovaza was administered with a statin to counteract this negative side effect. Amarin’s Vascepa® drug did not have this side effect and did not require concomitant statin administration.

        • Apple, Google, Intel, Cisco sue USPTO Director Iancu over gutting the America Invents Act: litigation to the rescue of legislation

          Andrei Iancu, an IP litigator and former chairman of a firm that primarily represents patent trolls, has been persistent and creative in his efforts to prove that it’s bad idea to put the fox in charge of the henhouse. The Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office is one of the three most dangerous men in the U.S. from a patent policy perspective. The other two are Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Antitrust Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, with whom Mr. Iancu teamed up to abandon a very balanced U.S. policy position on the enforcement of standard-essential patents (SEPs).

          The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has been in Mr. Iancu’s crosshairs for years. After all, it’s a troll patent graveyard–and that’s just not conducive to the business of Mr. Iancu’s former (and presumably future) firm. Last year’s revision of the PTAB Trial Practice Guide raised a number of issues that made it harder to challenge weak patents. While those guidelines contain a set of roadblocks that have practical consequences, they did far less damage to the post-grant review process than Mr. Iancu’s decisions to designate as “precedential” (and, therefore, binding on the PTAB) two PTAB decisions relating to discretionary denials of the institution of inter-partes reviews (IPR): NHK and Fintiv.

          Taken together as the NHK-Fintiv rule, those decisions run counter to what was arguably the single most important idea behind the IPR part of the America Invents Act (AIA): patents that shouldn’t have been granted in the first place (because the claimed inventions weren’t new, or íf new, then not inventive) shouldn’t give their owners leverage in litigation. Otherwise the owners of weak patents are overcompensated, which is a misallocation of economic resource that impedes actual innovation.

          [...]

          The net effect is really absurd. Congress wanted IPR petitions under the AIA to bring some balance to patent litigation, considering that juries rarely hold patents invalid. While there is no formal distinction between patent assertion entities and other litigants, the problem of patent trolls was already rampant in 2011, and it was certainly part of the plan to make trolling less lucrative. But now, with NHK-Fintiv, the IPR part of the AIA ever more often fails to come to the aid of defendants when they need it the most, which is precisely when they have to defend themselves in the aforementioned troll-friendly districts.

        • Your feedback matters to us: new round of surveys starts soon

          The EPO will shortly commence surveys with its users to gather feedback, which will shape products and services in the future. With the coronavirus crisis changing the ways in which many of us work, it is more important than ever for the EPO to listen and to respond to your evolving needs.

          Five surveys will help us understand the level of satisfaction with all aspects of our end-to-end patent granting process, and more besides – helping us to improve; whilst another survey will explore patent applicants’ behaviours and intentions – enabling us to forecast demand and adapt proactively.

          [...]

          Consultation is essential to improving the quality and efficiency of our products and services. Your feedback is an important part of our ISO 9001 certified Quality Management System. Dialogue with users also takes place all year through many formal and informal channels, such as meetings with user associations or customer feedback via our website. To complement these, regular direct surveys with a representative sample of applicants and patent attorneys is another way to gather feedback. The results of these anonymous surveys, as well as the changes the EPO will make in response to feedback, will be published on our website in due course next year.

        • Will the Dusseldorf Regional Court violate the German constitution at this week’s Nokia v. Daimler trial through insufficient COVID protection?

          Dusseldorf is the capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, whose prime minister (the German equivalent to a governor of a U.S. state) Armin Laschet has failed miserably to take decisive action to contain the COVID-19 pandemic–a pathetic failure that most likely doomed his aspirations to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor (he was actually on track, and had succeeded in building the broadest alliance within his party). Recently Mr. Laschet’s state government has tried to regain some of the electorate’s trust, but all in all, North Rhine-Westphalia is in bad shape. And that includes its court, which hears more patent cases than any other court in the whole of Europe, and is run by the state (unlike U.S. district courts, which are federal courts).

          Huawei v. Nokia is a relatively small case: one plaintiff, one defendant, and presumably no intervenors. But Nokia v. Daimler is going to be huge, with approximately 50 people or more being in the courtroom at the same time. I hope things are still going to improve in the days ahead. Otherwise, there’s a clear and present danger of a superspreader event should just any one person in the room be coronavirus-positive. Infection numbers have recently been climbing up again in Germany–and in North Rhine-Westphalia.

          The Dusseldorf Regional Court’s current COVID-19 prevention rules are a disgrace. Totally irresponsibly, the court merely declares covering one’s mouth and nose “desirable” (not mandatory). There’s nothing in the rules about minimum distance, or about ventilation. To add insult to injury, they have a rule that denies access to the courthouse to those who have COVID symptoms or have during the last 14 days been “in close personal contact” with a corona-positive person. What does “close” mean in this regard? It simply means the court isn’t serious about preventing the spread of the virus. They just want those patent lawsuits to generate huge amounts of court fees and to contribute, through travel of outside counsel, to the local economy. That’s not a conspiracy theory: the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia is pretty open about its economic interest in attracting patent litigation to Dusseldorf.

        • How to better adapt your patent application document to European patent law and practice

          With growth of demand for Chinese products more and more Chinese enterprises are seeking patent protection in Europe. The majority of Chinese enterprises choose to seek protection via the European route, in which a single procedure confers protection in all the designated EPC contracting states. Applicants have two choices of filing a European patent application, namely, filing a direct European application or a Euro-PCT application. Most Chinese enterprises choose to file European patent applications by claiming the priority of an earlier Chinese patent or patent application, or file a PCT application and then file a European regional phase entry request for the PCT application.

          Under both European routes applicants have a number of opportunities to amend the application document when or after applying. Since there are a number of differences between Chinese and European patent law and practice, it’s usually advisable to take advantage of these amendment opportunities to better adapt an application to fit the European system before the search at the EPO is carried out. We advise our clients to use these amendment opportunities to correct any formal deficiencies (term inconsistency, typing errors etc.) and further improve the clarity of the claims. This method is much more time and cost efficient as it can reduce the number of objections/rejections raised against an application.

          When applying for an EU patent there are a number of adjustments you should consider making to increase an application’s chance of success, broadly speaking they fall into three categories: meeting formal requirements, remedying formal deficiencies and reducing additional fees and improving the efficiency of the search.

      • Copyrights

        • Cloudflare Shared Personal Details of Hundreds of Customers in Response to DMCA Subpoenas

          Cloudflare doesn’t remove anything in response to DMCA takedown notices unless it stores the content permanently. However, the company will hand over personal details of customers to copyright holders who obtain a DMCA subpoena. Over the past 12 months, Cloudflare was ordered to share information regarding more than 400 accounts.

        • Welcome to the New CC Chapter in Perú!

          The meeting began with a welcome greetings from Carlos Correa, followed by the presentation that the team had developed to introduce the attendees, by Karen Díaz. The presentation, which you can access here, began with the basic concepts of Creative Commons (What it is, why it exists, what are its work programs, the types of licenses and the content repository). Attendees were very active in the group chat and engaged with the topics through a lively discussion.  We had attendance from a wider range of backgrounds, including copyright and IP lawyers, as well as Wikimedians. 

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