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09.07.20

Links 7/9/2020: Linux 5.9 RC4, Julian Assange Hearing Resumes

Posted in News Roundup at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Education Laptop Review

        CrowPi2 looks to be a great little platform to learn about electronics, programming, and the basics of artificial intelligence thanks to over one hundred lessons and tutorials. Multiple kids can make use of the laptop since there can be an offline account of each that keeps track of the progress of each student.

        But the platform is not perfect. Sometimes samples won’t work without messing with the command line, as some instructions may not be complete. Some Project samples simply do not work as intended, but hopefully, this will be fixed before shipping to backers. I could not really find any (active) online resources for CrowPi2 and the earlier CrowPi, but Elecrow does have a Wiki for their other products.

        Another potential issue is that the fan is really loud, especially when you take out the keyboard to play with the electronics module underneath. As we’ve seen in the review it might be possible to convert it into a fanless laptop with some minimal efforts.

    • Server

      • Five things to know about Bottlerocket, AWS’ new container-optimised Linux

        Bottlerocket isn’t the first operating system stripped down to most-efficiently run containers, but it’s one that is likely to see rapid adoption, and generate a significant partner opportunity, because of its tight integration with native services in the industry’s leading public cloud, as well as innovative upgrading and security capabilities.

        “We are one of largest destinations for customers running containerized workloads,” Peder Ulander, who lead’s AWS’ open source efforts, told CRN. That includes enterprises self-managing orchestrators like Kubernetes or Docker Swarm, or opting for managed AWS container services Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (EKS) and Amazon Elastic Container Services (ECS).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 370

        lm_sensors, lsof, and lsscsi.

      • How To Add A Scratchpad To Any Window Manager With Tdrop

        Until I discovered tdrop I didn’t really see what someone might want to use a scratchpad or dropdown terminal but I sort of get it now, they can actually be really useful if you don’t want to disturb the window you’re currently on. Obviously you don’t need it but it’s still kind of cool and tdrop will help you turn any terminal with any window manager into a scratchpad.

      • 6 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Linux’s History

        Wow! Eric Londo, FrontPageLinux.com contributor, wrote an amazing article about the History of Unix and Linux entitled “A Guide Through The History of Unix & Linux: Everything You Need To Know”. It’s just Wow! This video has 6 Cool things about the History of Unix & Linux that you can get from this article and the article has a whole lot more!

      • First Look at WebApp Manager by Linux Mint

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the new WebApp Manager by Linux Mint, the Beta version, and how it works.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9-rc4
        Hey, last weekend I said that rc3 was fairly small, and it was likely
        due to the usual timing fluctuations in pull requests. And guess what?
        Here we are, a week later, and yup - rc4 has all the pieces that were
        missing from rc3, and is larger than usual.
        
        It's not outrageously so, and we've had bigger rc4's, so it while it's
        a bit larger than average, it's all well within the normal range, and
        not something I'll lose any sleep over.
        
        We've got changes all over, with the expected networking fixes perhaps
        standing out, but there's all the usual suspects: drivers (sound,
        nvme, gpu, iommu, mmc etc), filesystems (btrfs, afs, affs(!) and xfs),
        architecture updates (a little bit of this, a little bit of that) and
        documentation and tooling (mainly perf). Plus misc core noise, mainly
        mm.
        
        But most of it looks pretty small, with a couple of bigger blips in
        the diffstat (intel pstate cpufreq driver, mac802.11 data rates, xen
        memory allocation helpers). But even those blips aren't exactly huge,
        they just end up standing out by being more than a few handfuls of
        lines of change.
        
        So I certainly can't claim that things have calmed down, but hopefully
        this was pretty much it. Knock wood.
        
        Go test. Pretty please.
        
                         Linus
        
      • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc4

        The 5.9-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing.

      • Linux 5.9-rc4 Kernel Released

        Linus Torvalds took some time out of his US Labor Day weekend to issue the fourth weekly release candidate of the Linux 5.9 kernel.

        Even with the US holiday kicking off at the weekend, Linux 5.9-rc4 ticked up in activity but that is in part because 5.9-rc3 was smaller than normal due to timing of pull requests.

      • Linux 5.9-rc4 Kernel Released with More Driver, Feature Support

        Linux Torvalds announced the availability of the latest Linux Kernel release candidate 5.9-rc4 for the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.9.

    • Benchmarks

      • 18-Way NVIDIA GPU Performance With Blender 2.90 Using OptiX + CUDA

        A few days ago I published a deep dive into the CPU and GPU performance with Blender 2.90 as a major update to this open-source 3D modeling software. Following that I kept on testing more and older NVIDIA GPUs with the CUDA and OptiX back-end targets to now have an 18-way comparison from Maxwell to Turing with the new Blender 2.90.

        Given the Blender 2.90 performance changes over Blender 2.8x as outlined in the earlier article, here is a fresh look at how the NVIDIA GPU performance compares for this large range of graphics processors. Additionally, with Blender 2.90 is now OptiX support for non-RTX GPUs. While RTX GPUs still perform the best with the Blender OptiX support, non-RTX GPUs can now work for this back-end and in some cases perform better than the CUDA back-end.

    • Applications

      • Linux Weekly Roundup – LibreOffice 7.1, Linux Laptops, Blender

        Here’s the Linux Weekly roundup series, filtered for you from the Linux and opensource world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights.

        This week there has been plenty of app updates, distribution release announced. With so many moving items happening all around the Linux and the open-source world, it is not always possible to cover the updates, especially the minor releases of news.

      • Top 7 Screenshot Tools for Ubuntu Desktop

        Looking for screen capturing application for your Ubuntu desktop? Here are 7 popular graphical tools you can try.

        There are also many other screenshot tools (e.g., KDE Spectacle, Deepin screenshot, xfce4-screenshooter, lximage-qt) that are either not desktop independent, or not working good in my case.

        So the previous 7 tools are the best for Ubuntu so far in 2020 in my private opinion.

      • HomeBank 5.4.3

        HomeBank is a free software (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) that will assist you to manage your personal accounting. It is designed to easy to use and be able to analyse your personal finance and budget in detail using powerful filtering tools and beautiful charts. If you are looking for a completely free and easy application to manage your personal accounting, budget, finance then HomeBank should be the software of choice.

      • Browsh

        There is a new application available for Sparkers: Browsh

        What is Browsh?

        Browsh is a fully interactive, real-time, and modern text-based browser rendered to TTYs and browsers… …Browsh is different in that it’s backed by a real browser, namely headless Firefox, to create a purely text-based version of web pages and web apps. These can be easily rendered in a terminal or indeed, ironically, in another browser. Do note that currently the browser client doesn’t have feature parity with the terminal client.

      • Ventoy – An Open Source Tool to Create Bootable USB Drive

        Ventoy is a robust free and open-source tool for creating bootable USB drives for ISO/IMG/EFI and WIM files. Unlike 99% of flashing tools in the market today, Ventoy comes with a menu for selecting boot files which can be run directly as well as installed anew – no extraction needed.

        This means that you wouldn’t need to repeatedly format your flash drive for new installations. Just copy several ISO files to the drive and Ventoy will create an easy-to-use boot menu for you.

        Ventoy supports Legacy BIOS and UEFI in the same way and that is combined with support for GPT and MBR partition styles. As if that is not enough, it features a “Ventoy Compatible” concept which enables it to support any ISO file. It also supports most operating systems including Windows, Linux, Vmware, Unix, Xen, and WinPE.

      • Linux Candy: eDEX-UI – sci-fi computer terminal emulator and system monitor

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

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

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivilous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative. eDEX-UI is one such example. It’s certainly not a traditional program though.

        eDEX-UI is an open source terminal emulator and system monitor which does things very different. It’s inspired by the TRON Legacy movie effects.

        It uses Electron, so don’t expect it to be lightweight.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • DRAG: A Punishing Racer

        As popular hits like the GRID series, the Project CARS series, the Formula 1 series, and the DIRT franchise have made an impact on gamers on what racing is like in the real world, none of them hit quite as hard as DRAG. While the former titles mix a combination of realism peppered with a dash of arcade, I could argue DRAG takes all the arcade BS out and presents a formula that I’ve never seen in a racing game before. It’s almost completely realistic, brutal.

        [...]

        The engine was built on Linux (if I recall correctly, on Fedora specifically), and the art assets were made on Windows. The benefit of having their own engine, is that they can make the physics of the vehicle as complicated or as simple as they need to, and I have to say, they definitely did their job trying to simulate the realism of driving an off-road race car.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • UKUI 3.1 Makes Some Major Visual Changes

        If you dig the slick look of Ubuntu Kylin’s UKUI desktop you’re gonna love what’s coming later this year — so fair warning: spoilers follow.

        UKUI 3.1 is the next major version of the bespoke Qt-based desktop environment. The update will ship as part of Ubuntu Kylin 20.10 which is due out this October.

        For UKUI 3.1 Kylin devs have deftly built on the foundations they laid in the UKUI 3.0 ‘Preview’. That version, which features in Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS, has now been downloaded over 3 million times since April and received more than 500 updates in the past 4 months alone.

        But bug fixes, stability improvements, and performance tweaks are something of a given. We all expect those. What you want to know is if there are any visual changes on the way — and I’m pleased to tell you that there are!

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kate – Color Themes

          Two years ago, we migrated our syntax highlighting to KSyntaxHighlighting. That was some work done mostly at the Akademy 2018.

          What we didn’t touch during that port: KSyntaxHighlighting has an own color theme concept that allows more or less all that we did support in KTextEditor but on the base of much better defined JSON .theme files.

          This means you can now have a theme being self-contained in a small file and you need not to import it somewhere into a large configuration mess but just place it like a highlighting definition file in some folder in either the system-wide or user-wide XDG directory “org.kde.syntax-highlighting/themes”.

          If you use KSyntaxHighlighting or KTextEditor in your own application, you can even just bundle these themes as Qt resources in “:/org.kde.syntax-highlighting/themes” inside your application binary. This simplifies bundling of own themes a lot.

          Starting with Frameworks version 5.75 we will start to make use of this variant of color themes. KSyntaxHighlighting themes now show up as color themes inside KTextEditor based applications like Kate and are usable out of the box. The change was done in this merge request.

          The UI is changed to call this “Color Theme” instead of “Schema”, the font choosing is decoupled from this now in the settings dialog. Color themes can only alter the coloring and text attributes like bold/italic/underline/…, but not switch the font itself.

          Per default the default color theme for KTextEditor based applications in now automatically selected based on the configured KDE color theme, e.g. for dark themes you will get a dark theme per default, for light themes a light one.

    • Distributions

      • Linux Weekly Roundup #94

        Q4OS 3.12, SparkyLinux 2020.09, Endless OS 3.8.6, RebornOS 2020.09.01 Garuda OS 200831, Nitrux OS 2020.09.05, Ubuntu DesktopPack 20.04 has been released this week.

        Apps wise, Linux Mint, released the news in their latest monthly roundup that they are working on a new app, inspired by ICE by Peppermint OS, to make an electron application of any website called WebApp Manager, and we also have a Beta release of it.

      • Reviews

        • Review: NixOS 20.03

          NixOS is a Linux distribution with a special approach to package and configuration management. NixOS is built on top of the Nix package manager which is declarative and makes upgrading systems reliable by way of atomic updates and package snapshots. Nix also provides the ability to roll forwards and backwards through package snapshots, which it calls generations, allowing the administrator to rollback changes or move forward through available versions. Since package transactions are atomic this means upgrades and installations will not break the operating system if a crash or power failure occurs. The administrator can simply revert back to the original snapshot of the installed packages.

          Nix can use declarative configuration, meaning we can use the same system configuration file on multiple machines to have them all set up the same way without needing to use disk cloning.

          There are over 60,000 packages in the Nix repository. Since Nix can be installed on most Linux distributions, this provides a great repository of software to any distribution where we care to install the Nix package manager.

      • Debian Family

        • DebConf 20 Online – by DPL Jonathan Carter

          My first one was DebConf7. Initially I mostly started watching the videos because I wanted to learn more about packaging. I had just figured out how to create binary packages by hand, and have read through the new maintainers guide, but a lot of it was still a mystery. By the end of DebConf7 my grasp of source packages was still a bit thin, but other than that, I ended up learning a lot more about Debian during DebConf7 than I had hoped for, and over the years, the quality of online participation for each DebConf has varied a lot.

          I think having a completely online DebConf, where everyone was remote, helped raise awareness about how important it is to make the remote experience work well, and I hope that it will make people who run sessions at physical events in the future consider those who are following remotely a bit more.

          During some BoF sessions, it was clear that some teams haven’t talked to each other face to face in a while, and I heard at least 3 teams who said “This was nice, we should do more regular video calls!”. Our usual communication methods of e-mail lists and IRC serve us quite well, for the most part, but sometimes having an actual conversation with the whole team present at the same time can do wonders for dealing with many kind of issues that is just always hard to deal with in text based mediums.

          There were three main languages used in this DebConf. We’ve had more than one language at a DebConf before, but as far as I know it’s the first time that we had multiple talks over 3 languages (English, Malayalam and Spanish).

        • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in August 2020

          This month I accepted 159 packages and rejected 16. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 172.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 87 Dev Builds Trying Again With X11+Wayland Ozone Enabled

            While Chrome 86 entered beta with many features, Chrome 87 in development has re-enabled the Wayland+X11 Ozone support as another attempt at improving the Wayland support experience off the single binary.

            As of the Chrome/Chromium 87.0.4252.0 dev build, the support has been relanded for using X11 and Ozone and fixes Vulkan tests on Linux with the Skia renderer as well as ANGLE tests on Linux Ozone.

      • Programming/Development

        • String Comparison: C Programming

          A string in C language is an array of characters, which is terminated with a null character (\0). Using this property strings are compared.

        • inline 0.3.16: Now with system2()

          A new minor release of the inline package just arrived on CRAN. inline facilitates writing code in-line in simple string expressions or short files. The package is mature and stable, and can be considered to be in maintenance mode: Rcpp used it extensively in the vrey early days before Rcpp Attributes provided an even better alternative. Seveal other package still rely on inline.

          One of these package is rstan, and Ben Goodrich updated our use of system() to system2() allowing for better error diagnostics. We also did a bit of standard maintenance to Travis CI and the README.md file.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 76: Letter Grid

            These are some answers to the Week 76 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

            Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a few days from now (on Aug. 16, 2020). This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

  • Leftovers

    • Here’s Why BuzzFeed News Is Calling QAnon A “Collective Delusion” From Now On

      The editors at BuzzFeed News have become uneasy about using conspiracy theory to describe QAnon, which has grown to encompass a whole alternative world of beliefs and signals. The copydesk has to stay on top of language and note when terms become stale and reductive; QAnon has shifted, and so should how we write about it.

      QAnon is a collective delusion, and that’s what BuzzFeed News will be calling it from now on.

    • Science

      • Reasons to hire inexperienced engineers

        There are many reasons to consider hiring inexperienced software engineers into your team, beyond the commonly discussed factors of cost and social responsibility.

        Hire to maximise team effectiveness; not to maximise team size. Adding more people increases the communication and synchronisation overhead in the team. Growing a team has rapidly diminishing returns.

        However, adding the right people, perspectives, skills, and knowledge into a team can transform that team’s impact. Instantly unblocking problems that would have taken days of research. Resolving debates that would have paralysed. The right balance between planning and action.

        It’s easy to undervalue inexperienced software engineers as part of a healthy team mix. While teams made up of entirely senior software engineers can be highly effective. There are many benefits beyond cost and social responsibility for hiring entry level and junior software engineers onto your team.

        [...]

        Needing to make our code simple enough to understand for a new software engineer to be able to understand and change it exerts positive pressure on our code quality.

        Having to make it safe to fail. Protecting everyone on the team from being able to make a change that takes down production or corrupts data helps us all. We’re all human.

        Don’t have any junior engineers? What would you do differently if you knew someone new to programming was joining your team next week? Which of those things should you be doing anyway? How many would pay back their investment even with experienced engineers? How much risk and complexity are you tolerating? What’s its cost?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • FDA-Required Tests on Puppies Slow Progress to COVID Treatment

        The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is slowing the search for treatments and cures for COVID-19 and other illnesses by forcing pharmaceutical manufacturers to conduct unscientific and outdated drug safety tests on puppies. The FDA asserts these tests are necessary because they help screen out toxic drugs before they reach people, but the evidence shows they’re inaccurate and inefficient. The FDA has the power to fix this, but hasn’t, and I’ve joined a new #CutFDARedTape effort to change that.

      • A Doctor Got Charged $10,984 for a COVID-19 Antibody Test — by His Own Employer

        When Dr. Zachary Sussman went to Physicians Premier ER in Austin for a COVID-19 antibody test, he assumed he would get a freebie because he was a doctor for the chain. Instead, the free-standing emergency room charged his insurance company an astonishing $10,984 for the visit — and got paid every penny, with no pushback.

      • Two cases of human plague in Colorado this summer after nearly five years of no cases

        Save
        The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Friday the second reported case of human plague in the state this summer. These are the first cases of human plague in Colorado since 2015.

        The case, a resident in a rural Colorado county, was reported to the department on Thursday. The first case was diagnosed in early summer in southwest Colorado.

        The two cases have been confirmed to be unrelated and are not suspected to have spread to other people or animals.

      • Summer Without Fairs Leaves US Farm Kids Heartbroken

        In rural America, the county fair remains a cherished institution with agriculture its centerpiece even though farm families now represent less than 2% of the nation’s population.

        “I call it the farmers’ family reunion,” said Jacki Johnson, who has spent 41 years volunteering as a 4-H adviser in Hancock County, one of Ohio’s top crop-producing regions.

        It was hardly a surprise, though, when fair organizers decided in mid-July to scrap this year’s event for only the second time since it began in 1938. The decision came just a few weeks after the county’s fair board said it needed to raise $80,000 because the pandemic caused some businesses to limit their donations and forced the cancellations of other money-making events at the fairgrounds.

      • Anti-lockdown protests have been hijacked by conspiracy theorists

        But that these theories play such a prominent part in protests does bring three dangers. One is that they might be exploited by other political forces. Far-right extremists seem to have been in a minority in the crowd in Berlin, for example, but those protesting for other reasons gave them cover and a chance to recruit. Second, they feed into other “culture war” cleavages, leaving society more divided, at a time when a common threat might have brought it together. Wearing a mask should be a public-health precaution, not a political badge.

        Third, they risk discrediting perfectly reasonable grievances about the response to the pandemic. In Britain, for example, Liberty, a civil-liberties watchdog, is campaigning to repeal coronavirus legislation, raising legitimate worries about enhanced police powers, data privacy, surveillance and migrants’ rights. In every country, even if it is accepted that the coronavirus is neither an evil plot nor an elaborate fiction, government responses require scrutiny and, often, protest.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 3.3 Lets You Pause the Internet, Adds New Private Window Themes

          Vivaldi 3.3 is here about a month after Vivaldi 3.2 and introduces a new feature called Break Mode, which lets you take a break from work by pausing the Internet, that if you want to improve your work-life balance.

          The Break Mode comes in handy these days when we have to work from home, but not everyone can manage to balance their work and life while staying productive. But, if you’re using the Vivaldi web browser, now you can, sort of.

        • Accenture to fire 5% of its workforce; 10K employees in India to lose jobs

          The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports that Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, in an internal staff meeting streamed online in mid-August revealed that 5% of their global workforce can be asked to leave the company.

        • Ransomware hits two state-run organizations in the Middle East and North Africa [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The ransomware attacks used Thanos, a type of malware that surfaced earlier this year and has gained traction on underground forums, according to analysts at Palo Alto Networks. In an increasingly popular tactic among ransomware gangs, Thanos is sold “as a service” to other [attackers] interested in deploying it. That can make the attacks harder to trace, and allow users to develop their own custom features.

        • [Old] This was inevitable: ‘Thanos’ ransomware weaponizes research tool against Microsoft Windows users

          Scammers on cybercriminal forums are marketing a new strain of ransomware, dubbed “Thanos,” to other attackers aiming to infiltrate computers running Microsoft Windows, according to research published Wednesday by threat intelligence firm Recorded Future. Thanos operates much like similar [cracking] tools — encrypting victims’ files until they pay a shakedown fee — except that it’s the first ransomware built, in part, based on a proof-of-concept from security researchers who previously marketed their computer code as a way to bypass Windows 10 security protocols as part of otherwise legitimate tests.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • U.S. govt-linked PR firm ran fake news networks for right-wing Latin American regimes
      • Bengaluru riot was pre-planned, communally motivated: Citizen fact finding body

        Noting that it is estimated that nearly 36 government vehicles, nearly 300 private vehicles and many houses were destroyed in the violence, the committee has said the damage could be estimated to be nearly Rs 10 to 15 crores. It could be seen from the FIRs and certain interactions with the victims, that local people were also involved in carrying out this riot, the committee said, “it is of the opinion that the locals were not only involved in execution but were also aware about it in advance.”

        “Despite attempts being made to project the same as political rivalry, it was undoubtedly communally motivated. The panel is of the opinion that based on the kind of houses and people targeted, the motive of the riots could also be fear mongering so as to change the demography and turn the area into a Muslim majority one,” it said.

        It was also of the view that SDPI and PFI were involved in planning and execution of this incident.

      • Trump’s promotion of armed militias risks stoking civil war

        Armed militias have been the classic tool of authoritarian regimes in for the past century, from Hitler’s brown shirts to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

        Only last month, I heard the Iraqi prime minister describe his struggle to curb Iranian-backed militias in his country that have killed peaceful protesters. In Belarus and Moscow, autocrats are using personal security forces to attack pro-democracy activists. In Hong Kong, once a rule of law bastion, police sent or trained by Beijing are helping the mainland crush protesters.

      • Why We Should Be Concerned About CAIR

        Hiding behind the façade of righteousness, CAIR’s “official mission” is “to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” It in fact stands for everything contrary to social justice and racial equality with the goal to curtail our democracy with the sharia.

        What tends to be disturbing is that the terrorist-linked CAIR has and continues to receive financial support our own U.S. government.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • ‘You’re Not Allowed To Film’: The Fight To Control Who Reports From Portland

        Reporters seen as not sufficiently sympathetic to the cause—which is defined by the Ten Demands for Justice, and includes most notably the abolition of the police—will be followed, be harassed, have their notes photographed and their phones blocked or stolen. (All these things have happened to me in the last month. A photographer friend has been repeatedly doxxed and placed on a list of “enemies.”)

      • Trump Campaign Uses Filter on Joe Biden Photo to Make Him Look Older in Facebook Ads

        In recent days, there have been multiple instances of the Trump campaign uploading manipulated media to its followers across mainstream social media. On Sunday, the White House director of social media Dan Scavino tweeted a video that claimed to show Biden falling asleep during a TV interview. It was fake, quickly traced back to an interview from 2011 with musician and actor Harry Belafonte.

        The footage has since been removed by Twitter in response to a copyright complaint. Belafonte told The New York Times: “They keep stooping lower and lower. A technical glitch in an interview I did nine years ago now becomes another one of their lies, more of their fake news. I beg every sane American—please vote them out.”

        On Monday, a deceptive post from the Trump campaign’s “War Room” Twitter account was flagged by the platform and labeled as containing “manipulated media.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘This Is Against the Law and DeJoy Must Be Fired’: Postmaster General Accused of Criminal Violation of Campaign Laws

        Former head of human resources at DeJoy’s logistic firm, along with other employees, says the major GOP donor now running the Postal Service reimbursed workers for donations—”an arrangement that would be unlawful.” 

      • GOP-Aligned Groups Use Discredited Ideas to Promote Fear of Mail-in Voting

        Two groups in the well-funded influence network of Leonard Leo, the Trump confidant and right-wing operative credited with moving our nation’s federal courts to the Right, held a webinar for the State Policy Network (SPN) on voter fraud messaging in August.

      • Trump Admin’s Small Business Bailout Has Been Plagued by Waste, Fraud and Abuse

        In several cases that have received heavy press attention, small business owners who said they needed money from the government to stay afloat during the economic downturn have been busted for falsifying information after being caught using the money to purchase luxury items including multiple Lamborghinis. A Florida man purchased a new Lamborghini Huracán EVO, worth $314,000, using taxpayer funding that was supposed to be used to keep his employees paid, while a man in Texas opted to use his bailout funds on Lamborghini’s Urus model, an SUV, as well as a new Ford F-350.

      • Voatz urges Supreme Court to not protect ethical research from prosecution

        The incident with Voatz marked the first time that HackerOne, an established vulnerability reporting company, severed its relationship with a client. The relationship was doomed when Voatz executives accused researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of acting in “bad faith,” and participating in “a systematic effort to dismantle any online voting pilots” by searching for vulnerabilities in a Voatz app.

        The firm also reported a University of Michigan student who was studying election security to authorities in West Virginia, who turned the case over to the FBI, as CNN first reported. The student was enrolled in a course where participants examined proposed mobile technologies.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • We must ask tough questions about Facebook’s role. But problem of freedom, civility, censorship goes deeper

        But while we hold Facebook accountable, we should be under no illusion that there any are easy solutions to the challenges posed by Facebook. We are in the midst of a revolution akin to the printing revolution of the 14th and 15th centuries, and later what Benedict Anderson called print capitalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Both empowered masses of people, enabled new forms of knowledge and transformed the Self. They allowed the creation of new community identities like nationalism. But they also enabled new forms of hate to emerge and consolidate as political forces. We are in the midst of a similar transformation.

      • Apple reacts to censorship censure

        In February, investors pushed Apple to respond to concerns related to its decision to remove VPN services from its App Store in China, calling for a public commitment to freedom of expression.

        Apple faced further backlash in the middle of the year when it reportedly removed thousands more apps from its marketplace in China to comply with local laws.

      • Letters to the Editor, Sept. 4

        And how fragile is any one religion it cannot be criticized?

      • Censoring hate speech can backfire – just like it did in Germany

        Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms face increasing pressure to crack down against antisemitism and other forms of hate speech. This summer, the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP led a one-month corporate boycott against advertising on Facebook, and a group of British Jews led a 24-hour boycott of Twitter.

        Nadine Strossen, the former head of the ACLU and a daughter of Holocaust survivors who is generally supportive of the ADL, believes such moves to censor hate speech are generally ill-advised.

        In this wide-ranging conversation, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency spoke with Strossen, the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita at New York Law School, about the best ways to counter hate speech, the limits and importance of free speech, new media, and more.

        This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Incarcerated People Are Challenging Deadly Pandemic Conditions in Prisons

        On April 10, Esther Arias made a video call to her son and asked him to stream the call on Facebook Live.

      • Abolish Qualified Immunity

        In this month’s issue, we draw on decades of Reason journalism about policing and criminal justice to make practical suggestions about how to use the momentum of this summer’s tumultuous protests productively. Check out Peter Suderman on busting the police unions, Jacob Sullum on ending the war on drugs, Sally Satel on rethinking crisis response, Zuri Davis on restricting asset forfeiture, C.J. Ciaramella on regulating use of force, Alec Ward on releasing body cam footage, Jonathan Blanks on stopping overpolicing, Stephen Davies on defunding the police, and Nick Gillespie interviewing former Reasoner Radley Balko on police militarization.

      • Phoenix police held man on hot asphalt for nearly 6 minutes before he died, video shows

        Surveillance, body-worn camera footage and photos were released Tuesday afternoon regarding the death of a man in Phoenix police custody on Aug. 4, showing he was held on the hot asphalt for nearly six minutes and sustained what appear to be burns before dying.

        Minutes after three Phoenix police officers restrained 28-year-old Ramon Timothy Lopez on the searing blacktop, he was found unresponsive in the back of a police vehicle.

      • Islam’s “Separate But Equal”

        The truth of the matter that the Quranic teachings and the attributed traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (the hadiths), subjugate women to a second-class status. In her New York Times bestselling book Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation, Ayaan Hirsi Ali states: “No group is more harmed by sharia than Muslim women, … a reflection in part of the patriarchal tribal culture out of which Islamic law emerged.”

      • Blasphemy: Musician appeals conviction, says Sharia law illegal

        A 22-year-old musician, Yahaya Shariff-Aminu, who was sentenced to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed, has filed a notice of appeal before a Kano State High Court, describing Sharia law as practised in the state as unconstitutional and undemocratic.

        Shariff-Aminu was sentenced to death by an Upper Sharia Court on August 10, 2020, but was given 30 days to file an appeal.

        Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had expressed readiness to sign the convict’s death warrant once the 30 days lapses.

      • Fired THP trooper who confronted bystander arrested on assault charge

        A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper fired after a confrontation with a bystander filming a traffic stop last month has been arrested on an assault charge in connection with the incident.

        Harvey Briggs, 52, was booked into the Metro jail about 9 p.m. on Thursday, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office records show.

        He was released just before 11:30 p.m. after posting a $1,000 bond.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • A measurement of link rot: 57%

        This week, to mark the fifteenth anniversary, I have checked the status of the URLs in my thesis bibliography. Sadly, I find that 82 of them (57%) no longer work.

        It’s not just random blog posts, or geocities (remember that?) sites that don’t work. Major companies, industrial research labs and even a number of computer science departments have reorganised their web presence and decided that maintaining old URLs as a courtesy to others is not worth their effort.

        I fully expect that search engines would locate the new location in some cases, but many of the documents are gone — as indeed is the whole of the site that used to host them. In passing I will note that for $5000 you can buy the domain that used to hold policy documents issued by the Indian Government!

    • Monopolies

      • Huawei’s private antitrust action against Nokia over refusal to make component-level patent licensing offer likely to be referred to top EU court

        This is going to be a short post–just a follow-up, for the sake of complete coverage, to yesterday’s post on the Dusseldorf Regional Court’s superstrong inclination to refer a Nokia v. Daimler patent infringement case to the Court of Justice of the EU, with the formal decision having been scheduled for November 12, 2020.

        Right after that patent infringement trial, the same court also held an early first hearing in Huawei v. Nokia, an antitrust lawsuit in which Huawei is asking the court to obligate Nokia to make an exhaustive component-level standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing offer on FRAND terms. Huawei brought that case last year.

        While Nokia was granted leave to file another pleading the week before Christmas, the most likely course of events is now going to be that the court will, even well ahead of Nokia’s filing deadline, refer the question of component-level SEP licensing to the CJEU along with Nokia v. Daimler. Presiding Judge Sabine Klepsch indicated this much. It’s unclear whether there will be a single referral with a common set of questions, or some limited overlap. Huawei’s complaint was actually filed as a third-party counterclaim (Huawei is an indirect Daimler supplier), so this used to be the same case until the counterclaim over an entitlement to a licensing offer got severed.

      • Mercedes sales ban over standard-essential patent not being enforced in Germany: Nokia can’t afford giving security and/or fears regulatory backlash

        Two weeks after the Mannheim Regional Court granted Nokia’s request for a Germany-wide Mercedes sales ban, assembly lines at Daimler are still humming, salespeople at Mercedes dealerships are still hustling, and customers are still picking up their new cars day after day.

        Much ado about nothing? For now, that’s right.

        There’s much to be criticized about the rationale underlying the Mannheim court’s Second Civil Chamber’s (Presiding Judge: Dr. Holger Kircher) decision. The patent isn’t infringed (as one key supplier explained to an unreceptive court), its validity is doubtful, the sense of urgency for enforcement prior to expiration is not just generally misguided but doesn’t make any sense at all when a patent has seven more years to go, Nokia was only able to bring that lawsuit against Daimler because of its dogged refusal to grant exhaustive component-level licenses to Daimler’s suppliers, and above all, the court found that Nokia had failed to make Daimler a licensing offer on FRAND terms, in which case the Court of Justice of the EU envisioned–in the landmark Huawei v. ZTE decision–that no injunction would come down.

        It would have been a tragedy if Nokia had managed to coerce Daimler into a settlement under those circumstances. But for the time being Daimler doesn’t have a reason to cave. The court determined that Nokia would have to provide security to the tune of seven billion euros, which is presumably unaffordable to a company in steady decline.

      • Patents

        • Spectacular turnaround in German patent reform process: Federal Ministry of Justice proposes definitive end to automatic injunctions

          With all that had gone awry, there came a point when I gave up hope that the German patent reform process (“PatMoG2″) would have a useful outcome. But with a view to the greater good, I’d love to be proven to have been wrong on this one, and while it’s too early to tell, that may actually happen.

          In January, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection published a first draft of the reform bill that would have had a negligible impact at best–if any–on the automatic patent injunction system in Germany. “Reform” would have been a misnomer. In March I quoted some of Germany’s most competent patent litigators, whose impact assessments were consistent with the views I expressed within hours of the publication of that first draft.

        • AI Invents But Can’t Be an Inventor. So Now What?

          In recent months, “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience” (DABUS) has dominated patent headlines. DABUS is an AI system created by Dr. Stephen Thaler that “generates novel ideas … having the most novelty, utility, and value.” Simply put, it’s a machine that is good at inventing stuff. So good, in fact, that Dr. Thaler has even filed patent applications on two of DABUS’s inventions in ten countries and the European Patent Office (EPO).

        • Dusseldorf Regional Court virtually certain to refer component-level standard-essential patent licensing questions to Court of Justice of the EU: Nokia v. Daimler

          History repeats itself with the Landgericht Düsseldorf (Dusseldorf Regional Court) taking the lead again among German patent infringement courts of first instance on a key standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing question. More than seven years after the same court referred several questions of EU antitrust law relating to SEP injunctions to the bloc’s top court in Luxembourg, another referral–and what follows may even be an understatement–looms large: the questions recently raised by the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel of Office of Germany), or at least a largely similar set of questions concerning a SEP holder’s duty to grant exhaustive licenses to component makers, will apparently be sent to Luxembourg.

          That was the clear inclination of the 4c Civil Chamber of the Dusseldorf Regional Court (Presiding Judge: Sabine Klepsch) at today’s Nokia v. Daimler patent infringement trial over EP2087629 on “a method of transmitting data within a telecommunications system.” (The trial is still ongoing at the time of publication of this post.)

          The referral makes a lot of sense, given that–as the court noted–there’s even a split between German courts, with Munich and Mannheim being prepared to grant injunctions against a car maker whose suppliers are willing licensees and the Dusseldorf court leaning Daimler’s way.

        • Germany’s most prominent patent judge disagrees with Mannheim court’s Mercedes sales ban on three out of four counts

          Last month’s Germany-wide Mercedes sales ban–a final (though appealable and actually being appealed as we speak) judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court in a Nokia v. Daimler case–is already the most controversial German patent ruling since a December 2018 iPhone injunction that was later reversed on multiple independent grounds. It may even have contributed to a surprising change of mind on the part of the Federal Ministry of Justice of Germany regarding the injunction part of a patent reform bill. While the rationale provided by the ministry is still the same as in January, the statute–and that’s what really matters, as the commentary will only be adduced if there’s a lack of clarity–would definitely do away with automatic patent injunctions. The way it’s written, injunctions would still come down in most cases, but no longer in all of them–and certainly not without a fair amount of analysis if a defendant demonstrates harm to itself and/or third parties.

          [...]

          At this stage, the Karlsruhe appeals court has not yet scheduled a decision on Daimler’s motion to stay enforcement. I guess that will happen this year, but the actual appellate hearing will presumably be held in mid-2021.

        • IPOS expands cooperation with the Republic of Korea and Lao People’s Democratic Republic for PCT applications

          With effect from 1 July 2020, nationals and residents of the Republic of Korea will be able to select IPOS, in addition to the Australian Patent Office, the Austrian Patent Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), as a competent International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for international applications filed with KIPO or with the International Bureau (IB) as the Receiving Office under the PCT.

        • Unwired FRAND ruling makes UK attractive for SEP holders

          SMEs fear UK Supreme Court ruling will lead to forum shopping and warn some companies could withdraw from the UK to avoid risk of global FRAND licence

        • The Inventor Must Be A Person – Grounds For The Decision On AI Inventions

          As we already know, the European Patent Office (EPO) has refused two European patent applications in which the artificial intelligence DABUS has been designated as an inventor.

          And now we know why. The European Patent Office has published the grounds for its decision to refuse the application related to the invention developed by DABUS. We have already discussed the solutions covered by the applications.

          In the grounds for the decision, the European Patent Office points out that the European Patent Convention (EPC) grants a wide variety of rights to inventors, including the right to be designated as an inventor in patent documents. Even if a person is not mentioned in the list of inventors, they may demand their rights as inventors to be recognised before a national court.

        • Patents a luxury many can’t afford: African entrepreneurs

          The prohibitive cost of filing patents could be stifling innovation and economic growth on the continent, but there are reasons for hope

        • How auto companies make IP strategies that suit their needs

          “Patents are ultimately an enforcement mechanism, and it might not make sense to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a portfolio that isn’t necessarily going to give the value it is intended to provide when you don’t enforce very much.”

          He notes that when it comes to the issue of non-practising entity (NPE) litigation, there may be an argument to create a portfolio for defensive purposes – but that there are some holes to that argument.

        • Lawyers urge ‘unfriendly’ EPO to communicate venue changes

          The EPO should tell parties directly if the location of an oral hearing has been changed, in-house counsel say, but others believe this is unnecessary

        • PTAB memo creates consistency but ‘shows pro-patent agenda’

          Lawyers suggest that while new USPTO guidance on applicant admitted prior art does harmonise the law, it also waters down the potency of post-grant petitions

        • BioWorld MedTech Patent Highlights: Week 35

          The Patent Gazette provides snapshot analysis and indexing of pharmaceutically relevant patenting within days of its publication by patent offices. Primarily focusing on material from the main three patents offices (i.e., the EPO, USPTO, and WIPO), it provides brief descriptions of a patent’s content and seeks to link it to both prior patenting of relevance and to any commercial activity pertinent to the technology being described.

        • Time To Reassess Your Patent Cooperation Treaty Strategy

          When filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, application, an election must be made of an international search authority, or ISA.

          The ISA, as the name suggests, searches for prior art relevant to the claimed invention and prepares the international search report, and written opinion ahead of the applicant electing the particular countries or regions for national phase entry.

      • Trademarks

        • MF Brands Group IP head: overhaul accounts rules to show brand value

          Zeeger Vink, IP director at MF Brands Group, explains why IP should have a sway over all aspects of a business and why lawyers and accountants should build bridges

        • This week in IP: MF Brands interview, Apple, Cisco sue USPTO, AG copyright opinion

          Managing IP interviewed Zeeger Vink, of MF Brands Group, who said accountancy rules should be updated so IP departments can better demonstrate the value of their brands and trademarks to business executives.

          Vink, IP director at the Switzerland-based fashion holding company, said the value of internally developed brands should be included in a company’s balance sheet – something businesses are prevented from doing at the moment under International Accounting Standards rules.

          This restriction is becoming a bigger problem as the importance of intangible assets becomes more important to companies, Vink told Managing IP.

          Vink, who said bridges should be built between accounts and IP departments to help businesses overcome these challenges, said integrated IP management is an important aspect that is being implemented at MF and should happen elsewhere.

          “The idea of integrated IP management refers to the idea that IP is not purely a legal function – restricted to merely filing a trademark – but has a role to play throughout a company. Instead of having IP isolated in a legal silo, the idea should be that IP is integrated throughout all operational divisions of a company,” Vink said.

        • How to infiltrate social media groups that shield counterfeiters

          Counsel from Crocs, Harley-Davidson and four law firms explain how they tackle private social media groups and other counterfeiter tricks that cause problems for brands

        • MF Brands Group IP head: overhaul accounts rules to show brand value

          Zeeger Vink, IP director at MF Brands Group, explains why IP should have a sway over all aspects of a business and why lawyers and accountants should build bridges

      • Copyrights

        • The Scene: A Stress Headache That Most Pirates Can Do Without

          Many up-and-coming pirates dream of one day being elite enough to become a member of The Scene, hoping to bathe in the collective mystery, kudos and notoriety it exudes. But for most, however, the headaches and stress would probably outweigh the benefits of this exclusive ‘club’.

        • Takedown Requests Target News Reports that Cover Leaked Tenet Movie

          New movie titles ‘leak’ online pretty much every day, but some get more attention than others. Tenet is one of those titles that made worlwide headlines, including numerous articles about the film being leaked. This prompted a flurry of takedown requests from copyright holders, which accidentally targeted some of those news reports.

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