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09.15.20

Links 15/9/2020: IBM Z and LinuxONE, PinePhone Multi-Distro Image

Posted in News Roundup at 6:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Cabin Fever | LINUX Unplugged 371

        Friends join us to discuss Cabin, a proposal that encourages more Linux apps and fewer distros.

        Plus, we debate the value that the Ubuntu community brings to Canonical, and share a pick for audiobook fans.

      • GNOME 3.38 – Tour of the New Features, and a few thoughts

        It’s that time of year again, where the new version of GNOME is upon us. Like every 6 months, this release includes a bunch of improvements to the desktop experience, and will be included in Ubuntu 20.10, Fedora 33, and will hit Arch and other rolling releases pretty quickly.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 98

        How do we fix the broken Internet? We try to find solutions that don’t mean resorting to regulation. Plus Arm is sold again, Ubuntu community rumblings, a packed KDE Korner, and more.

      • Ripcord: Time To Uninstall The Official Discord Client

        I’ve been trying out a lot of these 3rd party discord clients lately like 6cord and Gtkcord and they’re all missing something fundamental, but finally I’ve discord Ripcord which is an almost perfect client, basically the only thing that it’s missing is video calls but I can always use the web client for that anyway.

      • Python Podcast: Simplified Data Extraction And Analysis For Current Events With Newspaper

        News media is an important source of information for understanding the context of the world. To make it easier to access and process the contents of news sites Lucas Ou-Yang built the Newspaper library that aids in automatic retrieval of articles and prepare it for analysis. In this episode he shares how the project got started, how it is implemented, and how you can get started with it today. He also discusses how recent improvements in the utility and ease of use of deep learning libraries open new possibilities for future iterations of the project.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux 5.9 Dropping Soft Scrollback Support From FB + VGA Console Code

          Linus Torvalds has decided to do away with the “soft scrollback” functionality found in the FBCON and VGACON kernel code as a sign of the times.

          VGACON/FBCON for the basic Linux console has supported a software scrollback buffer with the Shift + PageUp keyboard sequence for scrolling up in the output for contents out of view. But with most people not making heavy use of the frame-buffer console these days and the code being unmaintained, it’s being stripped out from Linux 5.9.

        • Russell Coker: More About the PowerEdge T710

          I’ve got the T710 (mentioned in my previous post [1]) online. When testing the T710 at home I noticed that sometimes the VGA monitor I was using would start flickering when in some parts of the BIOS setup, it seemed that the horizonal sync wasn’t working properly. It didn’t seem to be a big deal at the time. When I deployed it the KVM display that I had planned to use with it mostly didn’t display anything. When the display was working the KVM keyboard wouldn’t work (and would prevent a regular USB keyboard from working if they were both connected at the same time). The VGA output of the T710 also wouldn’t work with my VGA->HDMI device so I couldn’t get it working with my portable monitor.

          Fortunately the Dell front panel has a display and tiny buttons that allow configuring the IDRAC IP address, so I was able to get IDRAC going. One thing Dell really should do is allow the down button to change 0 to 9 when entering numbers, that would make it easier to enter 8.8.8.8 for the DNS server. Another thing Dell should do is make the default gateway have a default value according to the IP address and netmask of the server.

        • Intel Graphics Driver Patches Revived For Per-Client Engine Activity

          One of the interesting Intel Linux graphics driver patches to be sent out last year were for per-client engine reporting to allow on a per-application/process basis to see how the GPU’s render/blitter/video engines were being utilized.

          That work for per-client “engine busyness” reporting went through a few rounds of review but as of Linux 5.9 there still isn’t the support within Intel’s i915 kernel driver.

        • Vulkan Present Timing Extension With Aim To Avoid Stuttering

          The Vulkan System Integration working group has decided to publish their work-in-progress extension on VK_EXT_present_timing as their effort to expose the presentation engine’s display details and better allow scheduling a present to happen at a specific time.

          VK_EXT_present_timing is a big effort about helping to reduce stuttering and use-cases like better handling of variable refresh rate setups and other scenarios in wanting to ensure the presentation of a frame/image happens on schedule to avoid anomalies.

        • Intel Graphics Compiler 1.0.4944 Brings Many Minor Optimizations

          The Intel Graphics Compiler (IGC) that is used by their Linux OpenCL/Level-Zero compute stack as well as now being used by their Windows graphics driver and potentially their Linux OpenGL/Vulkan drivers in the future is out with a new release.

          IGC releases tend to come frequent with a large team working on this open-source graphics compiler code while the 1.0.4944 milestone is a bit of a larger release.

        • X.Org Developer’s Conference 2020

          After DebConf, Linux Plumbers and Akademy, the lineup of great virtual conferences continues this week with the 2020 edition of X.Org Developer’s Conference (XDC), the leading event for developers working on all things Open graphics, including the Linux kernel, Mesa, DRM, Wayland and X11.

          Taking place entirely online for the first time, XDC 2020 brings a packed schedule of talks, workshops and lightning talks spread out over three days. Collaborans will giving two presentations & a lightning talk during the week, for which you can find full details below. The entire conference will be live-streamed on YouTube (Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3), however if you would like to take part in any of the discussions, there’s still time to register (free of charge)!

        • AMD Radeon Navi 2 / VCN 3.0 Supports AV1 Video Decoding

          It turns out the Radeon RX 6000 series will have AV1 hardware video decode capabilities.

          In addition to Intel Xe / Tigerlake and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series supporting AV1 hardware decoding, it’s now firmed up that the next-gen Navi 2 GPUs will also have AV1 decode.

          As previously reported, the AMD next-gen GPUs feature VCN 3.0 for Video Core Next. The previous VCN 3.0 Linux/open-source patches didn’t reveal AV1 capabilities but new patches out today confirm AV1 support with VCN3.

        • AMD Shows First Glimpse Of Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics Card

          Ahead of the RDNA 2 / Navi 2 reveal on October 28, AMD has shown off the first official render of a Radeon RX 6000 series graphics card.

          On Twitter AMD commented, “Take a first look at the design of the new Radeon RX 6000 series. Our upcoming @AMD #RDNA2 graphics cards will feature a brand new cooler design.” They also noted there is a render of the Radeon RX 6000 series card within Fortnite for those wanting to explore there.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Jackbox Party Pack 7 Launches October 15 on Windows PC, Linux, Mac, and other “Major Platforms”

        They announced the game would launch October 15th for Windows PC, Linux, Mac (all via Steam), and other “major platforms”- assumedly Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

        For those unfamiliar with prior Jackbox games, only one player needs to own the game to host, while other players can play via their smartphone or any device that can connect to the internet. This means people sitting in the same room with friends, or across the internet can join in wacky word, doodle, and speech based games.

        Along with the returning Quiplash (challenging players to give hilarious answers which are then voted on), new games include The Devils and the Details, Champ’d Up, Talking Points, and Blather Round.

      • Modern point and click adventure Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit gains a demo

        Until September 18, you can try out a demo for the upcoming modern point and click adventure Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit. The demo going live for a limited time is part of the event season, specifically for the Europe focused Digital Dragons.

        “Crowns and Pawns, inspired by point-and-click classics such as Broken Sword, Still Life, Syberia and others, brings the less explored history of Europe to the world of adventurers. Experience the legendary stories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, beware of the villainous branch of the KGB, solve puzzles and follow hints to reveal the secrets of the king who was never crowned.”

        [...]

        Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit will be supporting Linux at release, and it seems like it’s in pretty good shape already going by some time spent in the demo.

      • GLITCHED is a slick-looking upcoming 2D RPG where an NPC becomes aware of you – the player

        A game where the unexpected hero is an NPC inside a game world that’s glitching out so badly the NPC becomes aware of you? GLITCHED sounds pretty wild.

        “When a glitch appears in the video game world of Soren, an NPC named Gus becomes aware of you- the player. Travel together to solve the mystery of the glitch and save Gus’s friends, hometown, and digital world. As the story unfolds, Gus might start to question what role you play in his world.”

        [...]

        As it turns out, it actually had a Kickstarter campaign way back in 2016 which clearly mentioned Linux support. Since it had been a long time, and it has now appeared on Steam as an upcoming title we reached out to the developer about this. They confirmed Linux support continues, although they will be officially only supporting Ubuntu.

      • The Humble Better Futures Bundle is up for more budget gaming

        Gaming on a budget? Humble Bundles are a good way to fill your library and there’s a new one up with the just launched Humble Better Futures Bundle.

        As usual, Linux supported / Linux builds will be highlighted.

      • Death Road to Canada gets a major upgrade with more to come

        Face off against large groups of zombies while taking a scenic road trip with Death Road to Canada, which just had a big upgrade and there’s more confirmed on the way.

        The ‘KIDNEY Update’ adds in a few big improvements for multiplayer co-op play, with a complete revamp of the character selection screen. They said it originally confused everyone so they remade it. Now any other player connected locally (or Steam Remote Play) can hit start and bring up a character select menu. Sounds great.

        Additionally, if you’re out or normal recruits the new player can pick the ‘?’ icon to be a ‘Vermin Recruit’ which has low stats but they regenerate every mission so anyone can still take part. They said they plan to expand this feature if it proves to be popular.

      • Try the demo for Scrabdackle, a 2D action adventure starring a novice wizard

        If the fullscreen mode for you only gives you a small window, simply toggle it in the options and for me that seems to sort it out properly into fullscreen. It’s obviously an early work in progress, and it’s a demo so issues are to be expected. Other than that, it worked great. Scrabdackle is another game made with the free and open source Godot Engine, awesome to see more developers go for it.

      • Amnesia: Rebirth from Frictional Games confirmed for launch on October 20

        The latest horror experience from Frictional Games with Amnesia: Rebirth now has an official release date of October 20 with Linux support.

        Just when you were planning for a quiet and casual 2020 Halloween right? Well, think again. Time to get your spare pants at the ready. Amnesia: Rebirth is a sequel to Amnesia: The Dark Descent released back in 2010 so it’s releasing not too far off the 10th anniversary.

        In the new trailer to go along with the announcement, we get a short look into the twisted story behind Amnesia: Rebirth. The protagonist, Tasi Trianon, finds herself in the desolate landscape of the Algerian desert, battling against her fears and pain as she seeks out answers. She must do everything and anything to survive. She is Tasi.

      • Vibrant twin-stick slasher Breakpoint releases September 24 – you need check it out

        We need to talk about Breakpoint because it’s now confirmed to be releasing with Linux support on September 24 and I think you need to put this on your wishlists. Mentioned before here on GOL early in August because it looked interesting but I didn’t realise just how brilliant the idea actually was.

        You’ve played twin-stick shooters but what if they took away ranged weapons? There’s no pew-pew lasers or firing tons of rockets here. Instead, you get an axe or a sword, it’s a melee twin-stick slasher soaked in neon and your weapons explode destroying things around you after building up power. What more do you need?

      • A cancelled old RTS named ‘Hard Vacuum’ gets revived with OpenRA

        OpenRA, the highly versatile open source game engine you can use to play Command & Conquer, Red Alert, Dune 2000 and more is bringing a game back from the dead with Hard Vacuum.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Akademy 2020 Recap

          By and large the technical infrastructure, both of the event and my own, held up. Over the course of the event a number of ideas for improving remote event experience came up though, such as those for Plasma collected in task T13570.

          Some of the important social interactions during a physical events are missing at a virtual event, the creation of the hallway BBB rooms helped a lot with this though. It’s still not the same as having dinner with a small group for example, but it nevertheless enabled discussions on random topics, fun and hacking for hours after the official schedule had ended for the day.

          Another very positive aspect is that the virtual setup not only enabled many people to participate that otherwise might not have been able to attend at all, but also let people say hello again that weren’t that active in recent years.

          As said before we should find a way to retain remote participation in post-pandemic physical events for this reason.

        • Presenting Kontrast

          Kontrast is a contrast checker available for desktop and mobile devices. You can use Kontrast to choose background and text color combinations for your website or app that your users will find easy to read. Kontrast can help you improve the accessibility for your site or app for people with vision problems.

          Kontrast won’t catch all the problems, but it should still be very helpful to catch many issues early on, when designing your interface.

          I released the first version of Kontrast earlier this month.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME DMA-BUF Screencasting Now Limited To Intel Drivers Due To Bugs Elsewhere

          Prior to tagging Mutter 3.38 for this week’s GNOME 3.38 desktop release there was a last-minute change around the DMA-BUF screencasting feature.

          Earlier this year GNOME developers wired up DMA-BUF screencasting support for GNOME on Wayland. With making use of DMA-BUF for buffer sharing to avoid excess image copies between CPU and GPU memory, the screencasting functionality is much more efficient. GNOME screencasting is just one of many projects making use of this zero-copy buffer sharing support.

        • Bilal Elmoussaoui: Oxidizing portals with zbus

          One major pain points of writing a desktop application that interacts with the user’s desktop is that a “simple” task can easily become complex. If you want to write a colour palette generator and you wanted to pick a colour, how would you do that?

          GNOME Shell for example provides a DBus interface org.gnome.Shell.Screenshot that you can communicate with by calling the PickColor method. The method returns a HashMap containing a single key {“color” : [f64;3] }. Thankfully with zbus calling a DBus method is pretty straightforward.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • File roller updated to 3.38.0

          File Roller is an archive manager for the Linux desktop. This means that you can:
          create and modify archives
          view the content of an archive
          view a file contained in the archive
          extract files from the archive.

        • Gedit updated to 3.38.0

          gEdit is a small but powerful text editor. It includes such features as split-screen mode, a plugin API, which allows gEdit to be extended to support many features while remaining small at its core, multiple document editing through the use of a ‘tabbed’ notebook and many more functions.

        • Evince updated to 3.38.0

          Evince is a Document viewer application. It supports PDF, PostScript and other formats. To view .dvi files as produced by TeX in evince, install the evince-dvi package.

        • Connections updated to 3.38.0

          Connections is a new app that aims to be a modern remote desktop client for the desktop. The app takes advantage of the VNC (Virtual Network Client) and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) standards and lets users connect to remote machines.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 Change To Further Compress Install Media Rejected Due To Install Time Concerns

          The plans to shrink the Fedora install media by ramping up the compression settings were rejected at last week’s Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee meeting.

          The plan had called for ramping up the XZ compression settings for Fedora’s SquashFS image in order to deliver a smaller image. Some numbers being talked about in the proposal were saving around 142MiB for a roughly 6.5% longer install time.

          While the smaller image size is a win for those on limited/metered bandwidth as well as reducing the hosting requirements for Fedora mirrors, depending upon your system the increase in install time could be much longer.

        • Twenty years of open source software for IBM Z and LinuxONE

          In this post, I explore the history, the details, and the large ecosystem of open source software that’s now available for the IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms.

          IBM has deep roots in the open source community. We have been backing emerging communities from a very early stage — including the Linux Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation, and the Eclipse Foundation. This includes years of contributions to the development of open source code, licenses, advocating for open governance, and open standards in addition to being an active contributor to many projects.

          As open source continues to gain momentum in the software world, we see growth reflected across different hardware and processor architectures. The processor architecture for IBM Z and LinuxONE is known as s390x.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 achieves Common Criteria Certification and CSfC status

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux has further solidified itself as a platform of choice for users requiring more secure computing, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 achieving Common Criteria Certification as well as Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) Status.

          These validations show Red Hat’s commitment to supporting customers that use the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform for critical workloads in classified and sensitive deployment scenarios.

        • IBM Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Linux on Z, 5 Years of LinuxONE

          Today, IBM celebrates not one but three important milestones in their 20-year-long relationship with Linux and the Open Source community, 20th anniversary of Linux on Z, 5th anniversary of LinuxONE and first anniversary of Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z and LinuxOne, as the company informs 9to5Linux.

          Believe it or not, this month marks 20 years since IBM made the smart choice of opening its proprietary computer technology and announcing it would support Linux on IBM Z, a family of z/Architecture mainframe computers from the Z900 series, which is now used by more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100 companies to protect their highly sensitive data.

        • [RFC] nvfs: a filesystem for persistent memory

          I am developing a new filesystem suitable for persistent memory – nvfs. The goal is to have a small and fast filesystem that can be used on DAX-based devices. Nvfs maps the whole device into linear address space and it completely bypasses the overhead of the block layer and buffer cache.

        • Red Hat Has Been Working On New NVFS File-System

          Yet another new file-system being worked on for the Linux/open-source world is NVFS and has been spearheaded by a Red Hat engineer.

          NVFS aims to be a speedy file-system for persistent memory like Intel Optane DCPMM. NVFS is geared for use on DAX-based (direct access) devices and maps the entire device into a linear address space that bypasses the Linux kernel’s block layer and buffer cache.

        • Optimizing a Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation ISO image

          Modifying Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation media is not a supported process, but this handy workaround may be useful to you. Please see this solution on the Red Hat Customer Portal for more information and other options that you may wish to consider for your environment.

          Not everyone has high-speed network connections to locations where they need to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Customers often ask how they can reduce the installation media to make delivery over slower networks faster. I walk you through the steps to build a custom, small RHEL installation ISO. The default RHEL 7.8 ISO is over 4GB in size; these steps show you how to create a RHEL 7.8 ISO that is 1GB in size and supports a smaller RHEL installation.

        • IBM Contributing A2O Processor Core To OpenPOWER Community

          IBM announced today at the OpenPOWER Summit 2020 that they are contributing the A2O POWER processor core and Open Cognitive Environment to the OpenPOWER community.

          The A2O processor core is now open-source as a POWER ISA core for embedded use in SoC designs. The A2O offers better single threaded performance over its predecessor and supports 2-way SMT, PowerISA 2.07, and a modular design.

        • IBM and Red Hat: Nearly two decades of Linux innovation across computing architectures

          In the decades since its inception, Linux has become synonymous with collaboration, both at a technical and organizational standpoint. This community work, from independent contributors, end users and IT vendors, has helped Linux adapt and embrace change, rather than fight it. A powerful example of this collaboration was the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 2.1 in 2002, heralding the march of Linux across the enterprise world. Today, Red Hat Enterprise is a bellwether for Linux in production systems, serving as the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform to power organizations across the world and across the open hybrid cloud.

          All of this innovation and industry leadership wouldn’t have been possible without a strong partner ecosystem, including the close ties we’ve long had with IBM. IBM was one of the first major technology players to recognize the value in Linux, especially RHEL. As IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE celebrate 20 years of powering enterprise IT today, this benchmark provides further validation of the need for enterprise-grade Linux across architectures, especially as the requirements of modern businesses change dynamically.

        • Achievement unlocked: How we revamped the Red Hat Learning Subscription dashboard

          The final destination of a journey is what usually has the most focus, but it’s also important to understand the steps it took to arrive there. This certainly holds true for learning, especially as you work to achieve something as big as a Red Hat certification. You ultimately want that tangible object that says “I have the knowledge and I can prove it,” but what about the milestones that marked your progress to get to that result? The achievements earned along the way that consistently reminded you that you are on the right path? Understanding the small goals in pursuit of larger ones helps you keep motivated to continue progressing.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 Achieves NIAP Common Criteria Certification

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 has achieved Common Criteria Certification as well as Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) Status.

        • Should Modern Developers Care About Mainframe?
      • Debian Family

        • The 10 Best Debian-based Linux Distributions

          There’s no doubt that Debian is one of the most popular distributions, especially among desktop enthusiasts and professionals alike. This guide features some of the most popular and widely used Debian-based Linux distributions.

          This is by no means the entire list, however, we would like to acknowledge other flavors such as Dog Linux which is a good alternative to Puppy OS, SolydXK, and BunsenLabs Linux which is a lightweight distribution.

        • Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, August 2020

          Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

        • Molly de Blanc: “Actions, Inactions, and Consequences: Doctrine of Doing and Allowing” W. Quinn

          There are a lot of interesting and valid things to say about the philosophy and actual arguments of the “Actions, Inactions, and Consequences: Doctrine of Doing and Allowing” by Warren Quinn. Unfortunately for me, none of them are things I feel particularly inspired by. I’m much more attracted to the many things implied in this paper. Among them are the role of social responsibility in making moral decisions.

          [...]

          One of the things I maintain is that we cannot be the best versions of ourselves because we are not living in societies that value our best selves. We survive capitalism. We negotiate climate change. We make decisions to trade the ideal for the functional. For me, this frequently means I click through terms of service, agree to surveillance, and partake in the use and proliferation of oppressive technology. I also buy an iced coffee that comes in a single use plastic cup; I shop at the store with questionable labor practices; I use Facebook. But also, I don’t give money to panhandlers. I see suffering and I let it pass. I do not get involved or take action in many situations because I have a pass to not. These things make society work as it is, and it makes me work within society.

        • David Bremner: Debcamp activities 2018
        • Ciano

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: Ciano

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Slick ‘Material Shell’ Extension Now Easy to Install on Ubuntu

          The developer behind the add-on recently shared a ‘one year update’ with Linux customisation fans on Reddit, announcing that the add-on is now considered stable and is available to install direct from the GNOME Extensions website.

          Fans of the well-crafted cross between a tiling window manager and modern GNOEM goodness can also learn more about it through a new website. This not only offers an “intro” the extension to potential new users but also provides a concise introduction to Material Shell, why it exists, and what makes it different from other tiling window managers.

        • Mark Shuttleworth to revive Ubuntu Community Council after body shrinks to single member – Mark Shuttleworth

          Canonical founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth said yesterday that he will revive the defunct Community Council amid complaints that the volunteer Ubuntu community has been neglected.

          In theory, the Ubuntu Community Council plays a key role in the governance of the project, setting the code of conduct, resolving disputes, and managing nominations and elections for other Ubuntu boards and councils.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Middle of September 2020 Notes

          I also have taken time to test the Groovy Gorilla ISOs for Xubuntu. I encourage everybody out there to visit the testing tracker to test disc images for Xubuntu and other flavours as we head towards the release of 20.10 next month. Every release needs as much testing as possible.

          Based upon an article from The Register it appears that the Community Council is being brought back to life. Nominations are being sought per a post on the main Discourse instance but readers of this are reminded that you need to be a current member either directly or indirectly of the 609 Ubuntu Members shown on Launchpad. Those 609 persons are the electors for the Community Council and the Community Council is drawn from that group. The size and composition of the Ubuntu Members group on Launchpad can change based upon published procedures and the initiative of individual to be part of such changes.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 648

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 648 for the week of September 6 – 12, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • deepin 20 GNU/Linux Released with Download Links, Mirrors, and Torrents

          Here is deepin 20 “Innovation is ongoing” released September this year. deepin 20 is the latest stable version of a beautiful yet modern operating system for desktop and laptop computers. This version is a long awaited continuation to the version 15 released five years ago. It is really luxurious that will make everyone wants to enjoy. Congratulations to deepin developers and users! Happy downloading!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 3 open source alternatives to Confluence

        One of the most important things to do well in a modern enterprise is to collect company knowledge. Organizations need shared workspaces where individuals and teams can collaborate and share their experience and knowledge. This makes knowledge-management systems essential in today’s agile environments.

        Some companies use Confluence, others use GSuite, and still others use SharePoint. But they’re all proprietary software, which means they don’t offer their source code for you to audit or modify. If you are uncomfortable entering your company’s shared knowledge into software that you don’t own or control, the open source projects BlueSpice, XWiki, and DokuWiki are excellent alternatives.

      • Best Free and Open Source Load Balancers

        Load balancing is defined as the methodical and efficient distribution of network or application traffic across multiple servers in a server farm. Each load balancer sits between client devices and backend servers, receiving and then distributing incoming requests to any available server capable of fulfilling them.

        The underlying concept is simple but powerful. Imagine you’re working with a website that needs to serve a huge number of users. Currently, the domain points to the IP address of a single web server. Responding to each request consumes some fraction of the server’s resources. When the server is using all of its resources, it will either take longer to respond to requests or the requests will fail entirely and the user experience will suffer. You can add more RAM, more storage capacity, and, in some cases, additional CPU cores, but you can’t scale forever. Enter load balancers.

      • Tracy Miranda Joins CD Foundation as New Executive Director

        In Miranda’s previous role at CloudBees, she served as the Director of Open Source Community. She has used her impressive technical, community building, writing and speaking skills to improve the Jenkins, JenkinsX, and CI/CD developer community. The CDF welcomes her extensive experience and excitement as we work to establish best practices and industry specifications for the world’s fastest growing projects.

        Join the CD Foundation for a two-day virtual event, CDCon Oct 7-8, focused on improving the world’s capacity to deliver software with security and speed. Become part of the conversation that drives continuous delivery by meeting peers, sharing ideas, and talking to industry leaders on all things software delivery and DevOps.

      • How Free Software Powers Cloud Services

        For a long time, there was a hard-and-fast division between two legal classes of software. Free or open source software could be copied, changed, and redistributed. Proprietary or closed software was closely controlled by the vendor, and its use was encumbered with restrictions. There are other categories of software that lie somewhere between these two extremes (such as software that can be viewed but not changed and redistributed). In this article, however, we stick to the categories of free and proprietary and explore the relationship between cloud services and free software.

      • WordPress Sites Attacked in Their Millions

        Wordfence, which itself produces a plugin for the platform, revealed news of the zero-day bug at the start of September. It affects File Manager which, as the name suggests, is a plugin that helps users to manage files on their WordPress sites.

        The plugin is installed on around 700,000 WordPress sites, and although Wordfence estimates that only around 37%, or 262,0000, are still running a vulnerable version, this hasn’t stopped attackers from trying their luck against a much larger number of users.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Tor Stable Release Adds v3 Onion Balance Support, Many Improvements

            Tor 0.4.4.5 is the first stable release in the 0.4.4.x series, coming exactly four months after Tor 0.4.3.5. It brings some important enhancements, such as the implementation of the HiddenServiceOnionBalanceInstance option in the torrc configuration file to enable v3 onion services to act as backend instances for OnionBalance, the Tor load balancer.

            This release also replaces the 148 fallback directories from previous releases with a list of more recent 144 fallbacks generated in July 2020, re-implements support for GUARD NEW/UP/DOWN control port events, and improves the guard selection algorithms to address load balancing issues with older versions and improve security.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 2020-09-15 Tuesday

          On the joys of go-oo I agree it was fun; there was a community of peer / developers, who were good to each other, and a clear shared problem. Meritocracy was present there, in a way it is not at TDF, on that I agree. However – go-oo was an alliance of packagers, with a few developers that provided some polish and minor features around the incredible work that Sun/StarDivision was investing in around OpenOffice.org. It was rather easy to look good filling in the gaps they left. The code is still there.

        • LibreOffice and Google Summer of Code 2020: The results

          This year, LibreOffice was once again a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) a global programme focused on bringing more student developers into free and open source software development. We ran six projects – and all were finished successfully. Students and mentors enjoyed the time, and here we present some of the achievements, which should make their way into LibreOffice 7.1 in early February 2021!

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Markdown

          Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax created by John Gruber in 2004. It’s designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write.

          Readability is at the very heart of Markdown. It offers the advantages of plain text, provides a convenient format for writing for the web, but it’s not intended to be a replacement for HTML. Markdown is a writing format, not a publishing format. You control the display of the document; formatting words as bold or italic, adding images, and creating lists are just a few of the things we can do with Markdown. Mostly, Markdown is just regular text with a few non-alphabetic characters included, such as # or *.

        • Tarsnap – cleaning up old backups

          This is a great example of Tarsnap deduplication and compression. I have 5 years of backups taking up only 96G and the latest backup is 113G.

        • login_ldap added to -current

          The code is based login_ldap port, but uses our own aldap implementation instead of openldap.

        • How young people can run their computer programs in space with Astro Pi
        • Git Essentials

          While Git tools and add-ons abound, these seven utilities can help any user make the most of Git.

          Git, the version control system originally written by Linus Torvalds, is one of the most widely used Linux commands. Like other popular commands, such as apt or vim, an entire ecosystem of tools has grown up around it. In fact, Debian’s stable repository alone lists over 60 secondary tools whose names start with “git” and around 70 with unique names.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.37 Fundamentally Raku

            Want to quickly learn about the fundamentals of Raku with a book? Raku Fundamentals by Moritz Lenz has just arrived on the physical bookshelves as well as on the virtual ones. Formerly known as “Perl 6 Fundamentals”, the second edition has been completely updated and has a chapter on Cro web services added. Be sure to leave a review when you have become the owner of a copy!

          • Zydeco::Lite

            Today I released Zydeco::Lite, a re-implementation of Zydeco but just using standard Perl syntax. So for example, class { … } becomes class(sub { …});.

            This has the advantage of much faster compile time, similar run time speed, fewer dependencies, and compatibility with older versions of Perl before the keyword API was introduced. Of course, in some circumstances these aren’t important concerns, so the nicer syntax of the full Zydeco will be preferred.

        • Python

          • Improve your time management with Jupyter

            JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook provide a great environment to scrutinize my laptop-based life.
            My exploration is powered by the fact that almost every service I use has a web application programming interface (API). I use many such services: a to-do list, a time tracker, a habit tracker, and more. But there is one that almost everyone uses: a calendar. The same ideas can be applied to other services, but calendars have one cool feature: an open standard that almost all web calendars support: CalDAV.

          • PyDev 8.0 released (17 years of PyDev, typing support, MyPy and Debugger)

            As with the previous release, this release keeps on improving the support for type hinting and MyPy.

            On the MyPy front, besides showing an error it will also show the related notes for a message on the tooltip (which would previously be available only in the output view) and MyPy processes are no longer launched in parallel when using the same cache folder (as this could end up making MyPy write wrong caches which required the cache folder to be manually erased).

            In the type inference front there are multiple improvements to take advantage of type hints (such as support for Optional[] in code completion, handle types given as string and following type hints when presenting an option to create a new method in a class).

            The debugger had a critical fix on the frame-evaluation mode (the mode which works by adding programmatic breakpoints by manipulating bytecode) which could make it skip breakpoints or even change the behavior of a program in extreme cases.

          • EuroPython 2020: First batch of edited videos available

            We’re happy to release the first 30 cut videos of EuroPython 2020.

          • Changes in chemfp 3.4

            In a previous essay I talked about the new licensing model in the recent chemfp 3.4 release. In short, no-cost academic licensing is now available, a pre-compiled version of the package, with some restrictions on use, is available for no-cost use on for Linux-based OSes.

            The 3.4 release had the unofficial title back in action. I took time off from development to (among other things) write a paper about the chemfp project and take parental leave for our second kid.

            [...]

            There are a number of small tool improvements, like adding a –help-formats command-line option to give more detailed information about the support format types and options for each of the toolkits. (Previously much of this information was available from –help but that lead to information overload.)

            One nice change is that simsearch now accepts a structure query as command-line input or a file, rather than an FPS file. Simsearch will read the target file to get the fingerprint type, then use that to parse the query structures correctly.

          • Command Line Interfaces in Python

            Adding the capability of processing Python command line arguments provides a user-friendly interface to your text-based command line program. It’s similar to what a graphical user interface is for a visual application that’s manipulated by graphical elements or widgets.

            Python exposes a mechanism to capture and extract your Python command line arguments. These values can be used to modify the behavior of a program. For example, if your program processes data read from a file, then you can pass the name of the file to your program, rather than hard-coding the value in your source code.

          • Python Software Foundation: Answer these surveys to improve pip’s usability

            The pip team has been working on improving the usability of pip since the start of this year. We’ve been carrying this work out remotely – by interviewing pip users, by sending short surveys, and doing usability tests of new pip functions.

            We want to thank everybody who is contributing input to this work and are taking part in this research, which is still ongoing. We’ve learned a lot about who uses pip and how you use it. This has helped the team make decisions to improve pip, such as error messages and documentation to help you fix dependency conflicts.

            Our team has put together a User Experience (UX) section in pip’s documentation to tell you about this UX work. It covers what has happened so far, how you can contribute, and what is coming in the future.

          • Python 101: An Intro to Working with JSON

            JavaScript Object Notation, more commonly known as JSON, is a lightweight data interchange format inspired by JavaScript object literal syntax. JSON is easy for humans to read and write. It is also easy for computers to parse and generate. JSON is used for storing and exchanging data in much the same way that XML is used.

            [...]

            Python’s json module uses the dump() function to serialize or encode an object as a JSON formatted stream to a file-like object. File-like objects in Python are things like file handlers or objects that you create using Python’s io module.

          • TDD in Python with pytest – Part 3

            This is the third post in the series “TDD in Python from scratch” where I develop a simple project following a strict TDD methodology. The posts come from my book Clean Architectures in Python and have been reviewed to get rid of some bad naming choices of the version published in the book.

            What I introduced in the previous two posts is commonly called “unit testing”, since it focuses on testing a single and very small unit of code. As simple as it may seem, the TDD process has some caveats that are worth being discussed. In this chapter I discuss some aspects of TDD and unit testing that I consider extremely important.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #438 (Sept. 15, 2020)
        • JavaScript and Java

  • Leftovers

    • Éric Rohmer’s Most Underrated Masterpiece

      In Éric Rohmer movies, the men talk too much. Almost all that talk is about women. His men obsess over women, philosophically musing on the desire for new female companions to a maybe-ex-girlfriend even as they’re already yoked to a significant other (Claire’s Knee); they detail the Catholic morals that prevent them from acting on their desires, replacing sex with conversation (My Night at Maud’s); and they bemoan sexually liberated women who leave the men’s desires unfulfilled (La Collectionneuse). Few capture the pitiful foibles of man in such an entertaining, witty, visually splendid manner as Rohmer.

    • Living in the World of the Late John Frankenheimer

      The year 2020 is a time of high anxiety not unlike 1918 when the last year of the First World War One coincided with the first year of the Spanish Flu.  Far more lives were lost in those calamities: 20 million in the case of the First World War; 50 to 100 million in the Spanish Flu. Nevertheless, the United States faced a free and fair election in 1920 that produced a new president from a different political party.  The decade that followed was known as the “Roaring Twenties.”

    • Performing at conservative festival in Yekaterinburg, Russian musician surprises audience with speech in defense of LGBTQ rights

      While headlining at a festival over the weekend in Yekaterinburg dedicated to “traditional family values,” “Therr Maitz” frontman Anton Belyaev spoke from the stage in defense of LGBTQ rights. The musician later posted footage of his remarks on Instagram. 

    • Education

      • Years of Neglect Have Created Devastating Consequences for Tribal Colleges

        As students return to college this fall, Americans committed to racial equity and justice must awaken to the situation beyond the walls of their own institutions and alma maters. As usual, challenges facing predominantly white institutions are dominating public dialogue, Congressional hearings and dinner conversations.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Outrageous’: Sanders Blasts AstraZeneca for Raising Drug Prices Despite $1.2 Billion From Taxpayers for Covid-19 Vaccine

        Big drug companies don’t need more subsidies. We need to end their greed.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Species in Peril: Loss, Love and Protection

        Human calamities abound. The unrelenting coronavirus pandemic has already claimed more than 900,000 lives worldwide. The images of exploding wildfires from the American Southwest—California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—look apocalyptic. Racial injustice and inequity in the United States marches on. And, the economic suffering?—painful.

      • Woodward: Trump Possessed “Specific Knowledge That Could Have Saved Lives”

        Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said he was shocked when he learned from President Donald Trump earlier this year that he had knowledge about the deadly nature of COVID-19 but deliberately withheld that information from the American people.

      • Russia’s healthcare watchdog faces backlash from NGOs over new restrictions on at-home HIV tests

        On September 8, reports emerged that Russia’s healthcare watchdog, Roszdravnadzor, had issued a warning to the medical supply company UNIDENT, which imports the OraQuick rapid HIV test. According to the AIDS Center, the Roszdravnadzor document says that the test is registered for professional use in Russia and although the instructions say it can be used at home, this violates the law. At the same time, OraQuick is registered abroad as a test available for at-home use. UNIDENT said that now the tests are being “practically seized” from pharmacies.

      • Pandemic Spawns Dangerous Relaxation of Environmental Regulations
      • A Thank You Letter From Coronavirus to My Enablers in the United States

        Without your fervent defiance of safety protocols—especially by you president Trump—I might well be on my last legs by now.

      • Trump Accused of ‘Negligent Homicide’ for Gathering Thousands of Maskless Supporters at Indoor Nevada Campaign Rally

        “If you were trying to somehow increase the amount of virus in the community, what you would do is gather thousands of people shoulder to shoulder without masks and have them scream and yell and laugh for a few hours.”

      • The Immokalee Way: Protecting Farmworkers Amid a Pandemic

        “When I first heard about the virus, it was April. I was in Pittsburgh, staying with friends,” “Rosy,” a 45-year-old Haitian farmworker, said through a face mask. She’d come to the United States, eager for work, she explained. But when a job materialized offering decent wages for picking tomatoes in upstate New York, she hesitated. “We knew New York was the worst,” she said, regarding the spread of Covid-19. “But,” she shrugged, “I needed money. I needed to work.”

      • The Hospital System Sent Patients With Coronavirus Home to Die. Louisiana Legislators Are Demanding an Investigation.

        The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus has called for an investigation into the practice of sending infected coronavirus patients into hospice facilities or back home to their families to die.

        The legislators’ demands follow reporting by ProPublica that found that while many hospitals around the country decided not to use home hospice care for coronavirus patients — due to the infectious nature of the disease and the unpredictable and sometimes difficult-to-control symptoms — Ochsner Health, the largest hospital network in Louisiana, sent COVID-19 patients in New Orleans home with hospice care. Several families said that Ochsner staff pressured them into discontinuing treatment, even as they pushed back.

      • America Is About to Lose Its 200,000th Life to Coronavirus. How Many More Have to Die?

        As an editor, I’ve long had mixed feelings about the journalistic tradition of marking particular chronological or numerical milestones. No one wanted to avoid the “Sept. 11: One Year Later” package — and I was eager to do it given the six previous years I’d spent directing global coverage of al-Qaida — but the annual stories seemed far more forced by Sept. 11, 2005.

        More recently, we’ve seen stories like “World War I: A Century Later” or “The 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II.” They’re often illuminating, but they don’t have deeper meaning than stories that might have been published on the 99th or 74th anniversary of those events.

      • Emails Show the Meatpacking Industry Drafted an Executive Order to Keep Plants Open

        In late April, as COVID-19 raced through meatpacking plants sickening and killing workers, President Donald Trump issued a controversial executive order aimed at keeping the plants open to supply food to American consumers.

        It was a relief for the nation’s meatpackers who were being urged, or ordered, to suspend production by local health officials worried about the spread of the coronavirus.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Breaking up is hard to do: Chrome separates from Chrome OS
        • House approves bill to secure internet-connected federal devices against cyber threats

          The legislation would also require private sector groups providing devices to the federal government to notify agencies if the [Internet]-connected device has a vulnerability that could leave the government open to attacks.

          The bill is sponsored in the House by Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Will Hurd (R-Texas) and more than two dozen others.

        • Microsoft ends support for Office 2010: What you can do

          If the whole Microsoft thing is getting too complicated or too expensive for your pocketbook, we’ve reviewed the major alternative programs to Office, including Google’s online application, LibreOffice, FreeOffice and more. Because they’re all free, there’s little risk to trying them.

        • Security

          • Jonathan McDowell: onak 0.6.1 released

            Yesterday I did the first release of my OpenPGP compatible keyserver, onak, in 4 years. Actually, 2 releases because I discovered my detection for various versions of libnettle needed some fixing.

            It was largely driven by the need to get an updated package sorted for Debian due to the removal of dh-systemd, but it should have come sooner. This release has a number of clean-ups for dealing with the hostility shown to the keyserver network in recent years. In particular it implements some of dkg’s Abuse-Resistant OpenPGP Keystores, and finally adds support for verifying signatures fully. That opens up the ability to run a keyserver that will only allow verifiable updates to keys. This doesn’t tie in with folk who want to run PGP based systems because of the anonymity, but for those of us who think PGP’s strength is in the web of trust it’s pretty handy. And it’s all configurable to taste; you can turn off all the verification if you want, or verify everything but not require any signatures, or even enable v3 keys if you feel like it.

          • Mozilla Attack & Defense: Inspecting Just-in-Time Compiled JavaScript

            The security implications of Just-in-Time (JIT) Compilers in browsers have been getting attention for the past decade and the references to more recent resources is too great to enumerate. While it’s not the only class of flaw in a browser, it is a common one; and diving deeply into it has a higher barrier to entry than, say, UXSS injection in the UI. This post is about lowering that barrier to entry.

            If you want to understand what is happening under the hood in the JIT engine, you can read the source. But that’s kind of a tall order given that the folder js/ contains 500,000+ lines of code. Sometimes it’s easier to treat a target as a black box until you find something you want to dig into deeper. To aid in that endeavor, we’ve landed a feature in the js shell that allows you to get the assembly output of a Javascript function the JIT has processed. Disassembly is supported with the zydis disassembly library (our in-tree version).

            To use the new feature; you’ll need to run the js interpreter. You can download the jsshell for any Nightly version of Firefox from our FTP server – for example here’s the latest Linux x64 jsshell. Helpfully, these links always point to the latest version available, historical versions can also be downloaded.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dovecot), Debian (gnome-shell and teeworlds), Mageia (libetpan and zeromq), openSUSE (libxml2), Red Hat (chromium-browser and librepo), SUSE (compat-openssl098, firefox, kernel, openssl, and shim), and Ubuntu (gupnp).

          • Google Launches Confidential VMs, GKE Nodes, to Encrypt Data In-Use [Ed: The Linux Foundation is paying this publisher to participate in Google PR ploy, portraying servers controlled by Google as some sort of privacy magic]

            Google is hoping to make confidential computing — the encryption of data in-use — as easy as the click of a button for cloud native users. To this end, the company has released into general availability Confidential Virtual Machines (VMs), unveiled as a beta in July, as well as beta launched Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Confidential Nodes.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Two Dozen Progress Groups to Congress: No Secret Spy Provisions in Must-Pass Legislation

              The organizations sound alarms about potential “dragnet surveillance of domestic internet activity.”

            • Things to Know Before Your Neighborhood Installs an Automated License Plate Reader

              Every week EFF receives emails from members of homeowner’s associations wondering if their Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or Neighborhood Association is making a smart choice by installing automated license plate readers (ALPRs). Local groups often turn to license plate readers thinking that they will protect their community from crime. But the truth is, these cameras—which record every license plate coming in and out of the neighborhood—may create more problems than they solve. 

              Some members of a community think that, whether they’ve experienced crime in their neighborhood or not, a neighborhood needs increased surveillance in order to be safe. This is part of a larger nationwide trend that shows that people’s fear of crime is incredibly high and getting higher, despite the fact that crime rates in the United States are low by historical standards. 

            • Regulate non-personal data

              The committee defines non-personal data as anything that is not defined in the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, and that does not contain personally identifiable information. This would cover a wide array of information, including, for example, anonymised datasets that companies collect from their users or customers, traffic pattern and weather data, agricultural data and datasets containing information that is not directly linked to an individual. Given that datasets are an important aspect of many businesses today, any non-personal data regulation would affect most companies and entrepreneurs. They would also have significant implications for providing benefits and enabling individuals and communities to exercise their civil liberties, due to the inferences that can be drawn even from data that is anonymised.

            • Oracle Doesn’t Buy TikTok, But Gets A Lucrative Hosting Deal, And Trump & Friends Will Pretend This Means Something

              The TikTok saga, which was insanely stupid to begin with, kicked into overdrive last month when President Trump issued a blatantly unconstitutional executive order that was designed to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company. We had all sorts of questions about this, but effectively ByteDance had until this week to find a buyer. While Microsoft was rumored for a while, late last night Microsoft announced that its proposal had been rejected and the only competitor left standing was… wait for it… Oracle. This led many to conclude that Oracle was buying TikTok. That is not the case. But hold on, we’ll get there.

            • Trump’s Ban on TikTok Violates First Amendment by Eliminating Unique Platform for Political Speech, Activism of Millions of Users, EFF Tells Court

              We filed a friend-of-the-court brief—primarily written by the First Amendment Clinic at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law—in support of a TikTok employee who is challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on TikTok and was seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO). The employee contends that Trump’s executive order infringes the Fifth Amendment rights of TikTok’s U.S.-based employees. Our brief, which is joined by two prominent TikTok users, urges the court to consider the First Amendment rights of millions of TikTok users when it evaluates the plaintiff’s claims.Notwithstanding its simple premise, TikTok has grown to have an important influence in American political discourse and organizing. Unlike other platforms, users on TikTok do not need to “follow” other users to see what they post. TikTok thus uniquely allows its users to reach wide and diverse audiences. That’s why the two TikTok users who joined our brief use the platform. Lillith Ashworth, whose critiques of Democratic presidential candidates went viral last year, uses TikTok to talk about U.S. politics and geopolitics. The other user, Jynx, maintains an 18+ adult-only account, where they post content that centers on radical leftist liberation, feminism, and decolonial politics, as well as the labor rights of exotic dancers.Our brief argues that in evaluating the plaintiff’s claims, the court must consider the ban’s First Amendment implications. The Supreme Court has established that rights set forth in the Bill of Rights work together; as a result the plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment claims are enhanced by the First Amendment considerations. We say in our brief:

              EFF, the First Amendment Clinic, and the individual amici urge the court to adopt a higher standard of scrutiny when reviewing the plaintiff’s claims against the president. Not only are the plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment liberties at stake, but millions of TikTok users have First Amendment freedoms at stake. The Fifth Amendment and the First Amendment are each critical in securing life, liberty, and due process of law. When these amendments are examined separately, they each deserve careful analysis; but when the interests protected by these amendments come together, a court should apply an even higher standard of scrutiny.The hearing on the TRO scheduled for tomorrow was canceled after the government promised the court that it did not intend to include the payment of wages and salaries within the executive order’s definition of prohibited transactions, thus addressing the plaintiff’s most urgent claims.

            • Oracle’s TikTok deal accomplishes nothing

              But the last-minute sale is strange in a number of ways — for a start, it’s not a sale at all. After months of insistence that TikTok sever its US operations from Chinese ownership, we’re now settling for a vague partnership between Oracle and the US TikTok operation. It’s still unclear exactly what Oracle’s “trusted tech partner” status entails, but it’s definitively not a sale, and it’s unlikely Oracle is taking over any significant operations from the US TikTok offices. Microsoft’s version of the deal would have severed American TikTok from Europe and Asia entirely, but Oracle’s version of the deal leaves it mostly intact. US TikTok will stay the same as Korean TikTok and Nigerian TikTok; it’s just getting an extra babysitter. That makes it less of a sale and more of a glorified hosting deal. It lets Trump say he’s solved the problem but doesn’t do much else.

            • Facebook ignored blatant political manipulation around the world, claims former data scientist

              A fired Facebook data scientist has written a 6,600-word memo condemning the company for ignoring evidence the platform was wielded to sway public opinion and manipulate elections around the world, according to a report from BuzzFeed News, which obtained a copy of the memo. The data scientist, Sophie Zhang, was fired earlier this month and posted the memo on her final day, the report reads.

              Zhang implies she was fired after bringing her concerns to upper management and being told to stop focusing on issues beyond the scope of her role, which involved analyzing the platform to identity “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Facebook’s phrase for bot networks and other malicious activity with ulterior motives like influencing election outcomes and promoting or undermining various political candidates and controversial topics. The memo indicates she also turned down a $64,000 severance package because it involved signing a non-disparagement agreement that would have restricted her ability to speak publicly about the company.

            • YouTube Lawsuit in UK Claims Violation of Children’s Privacy
    • Defence/Aggression

      • “Blood All Over”: Physicians’ Group Identifies 115 Head Injuries Caused By So-Called “Less-Lethal” Projectiles

        “We must ban the use of kinetic impact projectiles in crowd-control situations due both to the life-threatening injuries they can cause and their potential to violate freedom of expression and assembly,” says Physicians for Human Rights. 

      • Resisting Authoritarianism One Co-Op at a Time

        A popularly-elected republic overturned by a reactionary armed revolt—there are myriad reasons why the painful history of the Spanish Civil War might pop into one’s head at this particular moment.

      • Unresolved 911 Issues – The Project Censored Show

        With the September 11, 2001 attacks now nineteen years past, Mickey hosts two truth-and-accountability activists still at work on unresolved issues. Jon Gold reviews the many failures of the 9/11 Commission, and notes that important pieces of information are still being kept secret. And architect Richard Gage summarizes a recent university study which disputes the official explanation of why WTC Building 7 collapsed, as well as multiple legal actions his organization is pursuing.

      • Free Chicken: Alexander Vindman on Trump, Stone and All the Other Deadly Useful Idiots
      • Did US Lobbying Efforts Backfire for Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Movement?

        Hong Kong was once a non-issue in American politics. For decades, the former British colony dutifully served as a semi-autonomous go-between for US and Chinese capital, processing billions of dollars of trade and investment between the countries each year. But over the last 14 months, this meeting ground for global capitalism has transformed into the front lines of a new Cold War. An increasingly confident China has calculated that it no longer needs to honor its long-standing international agreement to grant Hong Kong elections by universal suffrage, and since last summer, it has accelerated its devastating crackdown against pro-democracy Hong Kongers. The United States has responded by ending its recognition of Hong Kong as a separate territory from China and enacting sanctions against officials who have violated Hong Kong protesters’ human rights.

      • Former US-Backed Salvadoran Colonel Sentenced by Spanish Court to 133 Years in Prison for 1989 Jesuit Massacre

        Col. Inocente Orlando Montano led an elite U.S.-trained army unit that massacred six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. 

      • Remembering the Martyred Revolution
      • National (In)Security and the Pentagon Budget

        A post-coronavirus economy can no longer afford to put the pentagon first.

      • Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South

        For years there was a long-running struggle in Charlottesville, Virginia, to remove a 26-foot-high statue of Robert E. Lee from a local park. On August 12, 2017, during a Unite the Right rally, clashes broke out between supporters of the statue, who marched under Confederate flags, and peaceful counter-protesters. During the rally, counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others were injured when a car was deliberately driven into the crowd. That statue is one of 1,700 Confederate monuments in the U.S.

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        Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time donation and enjoy access to our Subscriber Area.  Donate Now

      • Trump Said He’s “Entitled” to a Third Term During Nevada Campaign Push, and Defied COVID-19 Restrictions

        As Business Insider reported, Trump has frequently entertained the idea of pursuing a third term — or more. That flies in the face of a two-term limit, a convention set by George Washington and officially codified in the 22nd amendment when it was ratified in 1951. According to the National Constitution Center, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, only one constitutional amendment has ever been repealed — the 18th, a.k.a. Prohibition, which was overturned only by a second constitutional amendment, the 21st.

      • Police shoot, kill knife-wielding man, setting off protests
      • Afghanistan’s memory museum pushes for justice by reframing a war

        A mound of charred and blood-stained clothing, shoes, and scarves is heaped within a large glass container. They’re the everyday items belonging to brothers Asadullah and Hikmatullah Shafayee – two victims of a July 2016 suicide attack that killed dozens of people in Kabul.

        The display is one of 36 “memory boxes” found in the Afghanistan Center for Memory and Dialogue, a basement museum that opened in a Kabul suburb last year to commemorate the untold stories of the victims of Afghanistan’s 40-year conflict – and to highlight elusive justice and accountability for ongoing violence.

        “This country has not come to terms with the legacies of the past, with war crimes, systematic torture, human rights abuses,” said Kazim Ehsan, the museum’s programme manager.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Intercept Promised to Reveal Everything. Then Its Own Scandal Hit.

        “They sold her out, and they messed it up so that she would get caught, and they didn’t protect their source,” her mother, Billie Winner-Davis, said in a telephone interview last week. “The best years of her life are being spent in a system where she doesn’t belong.”

        Failing to protect an anonymous leaker is a cardinal sin in journalism, though the remarkable thing in this instance is that The Intercept didn’t seem to try to protect its source. The outlet immediately opened an investigation into its blunder, which confirmed the details that the Justice Department had gleefully announced after it arrested Ms. Winner. They included the fact that The Intercept led the authorities to Ms. Winner when it circulated the document in an effort to verify it, and then published the document, complete with the identifying markings, on the [I]nternet.

      • Is your woke academic friend actually a manipulative ‘sock puppet’?

        There are more such cases in academia than you might think. Social media seem to encourage academics – critical thinkers by profession – to drop their guard and take things (sometimes outrageous things) at face value, partly because of the polarisation such platforms encourage. Asking sceptical questions easily gets someone branded a bigot, and whoever has the most followers also has the largest voice, meaning they can drown out opposition.

        So, drawing on my own and friends’ experiences, here is a list of signs that your woke academic friend is actually a manipulative sock puppet.

    • Environment

      • New Study Finds Planet Heading Toward Temperature Threshold Not Seen in 34 Million Years

        Researchers behind the comprehensive study of Earth’s atmospheric record over tens of million of years say “immediate and stringent action” could prevent most dire outcomes.

      • Oil Industry’s Shift to Plastics in Question as Report Warns $400 Billion in Stranded Assets Possible

        Aldabra is a UN World Heritage Site that’s home to a stunning array of wildlife, including tens of thousands of wild giant tortoises, far more tortoises than in the Galapagos Islands. Sir David Attenborough, the documentary filmmaker, has called Aldabra “one of the wonders of the world.” The atoll is exceedingly difficult to visit, not only because it’s so remote, but also because new arrivals must contend with a $225 per-visitor daily environmental impact fee — as well as piracy in the region.

      • Finland has directed nearly 60% of energy-related coronavirus stimulus at fossil fuels

        What is noteworthy is that none of the funding for fossil fuel – be it in the form of capital, direct subsidy or loan guarantee – is conditional on emission cuts, despite the government’s objective of ensuring the recovery effort facilitates its departure from fossil fuels.

        The government outlined in its second supplementary budget of the year that the stimulus effort should be designed to support its objectives of becoming carbon-neutral, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning toward a carbon-free circular economy.

      • US West Coast fires: Trump fans flames of climate row in California

        “The hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting drier,” he said. “We submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident: that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this.”

        Oregon Governor Kate Brown has said her state is facing “the perfect firestorm” and called the moment “truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast.

        “And this is a wake-up call for all of us that we have got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change.”

      • As the West Goes Up in Flames, Trump Couldn’t Care Less

        The West is burning. Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington are incinerating homes, killing scores of people, sickening many others, causing hundreds of thousands to evacuate, burning entire towns to the ground, consuming millions of acres, and blanketing the western third of the United States with thick, acrid and dangerous smoke.

      • Fires Prove the Climate Catastrophe Is a Constitutional Crisis Too

        The West Coast of the continental United States is on fire, producing images of apocalyptic desolation running from California to Oregon to Washington state. An entire time zone is burning.

      • Pandemic, Wildfires & Heat Wave: Undocumented Farmworkers Face “Triple Threat” as West Coast Burns

        As devastating fires burn across the West Coast, some of the most vulnerable people are farmworkers — many of whom are undocumented. Despite the risks of the pandemic and the climate-fueled fires, many feel they have to keep working even if that means working inside evacuation zones. The state of California has repeatedly allowed growers to continue harvesting despite evacuation orders putting workers at great risk. Estella Cisneros, legal director of the agriculture worker program for California Rural Legal Assistance, says farmworkers who speak out against unsafe working conditions risk losing their jobs. “Farmworkers have continued to work during this whole time, despite fears of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, despite fears of getting heat stress while they’re at work, and now despite fears of the dangers that wildfire smoke brings,” Cisneros says.

      • Our Lost World: On Wildfires and Climate Grief

        The hardest part of this sense of loss to grasp is that, because of the way the climate crisis works, places are gone long before we can see it with our own eyes. Just as these wildfires in California were long predicted by scientists, the fact that the wildfires and heat will get worse in coming summers is already a done deal.

        Let me say that again, just to make it clear: Even if we cut global carbon pollution to zero tomorrow – which is not going to happen – because of the fact that CO2 lingers in the atmosphere for centuries, temperatures will not decline for a very long time. There is no going back to the gentle California climate of the past (in the 19th century, ranchers used to call what is now Silicon Valley “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” because the climate was so mild and the soil so rich that virtually anything would grow there). And every additional ton of CO2 we dump into the air – and the way things are going, we’re going to dump plenty of it — will make the west a hotter, more flammable place.

        There are two big implications of this. The first is, every action we take today matters. Every ton of CO2 avoided slows the rate and degree of warming. It’s very simple: The quicker we get off fossil fuels, the better chance we have of preserving something like a hospitable planet.

      • Sanders Says Climate Disaster Is Much More Expensive Than a Green New Deal

        Sen. Bernie Sanders used a virtual town hall on Saturday to call out his fellow members of Congress who — in the midst of record-shattering heat waves, massively destructive storms, and unprecedented wildfires — continue to insist that a Green New Deal aimed at combating the climate emergency and creating millions of good-paying jobs in the process would be too costly.

      • To Block Trump’s Gutting of Methane Regulation, Coalition of State and Local Governments Sues EPA

        “We need leaders who step up and propose solutions. Instead, we get President Trump’s version of the EPA.”

      • “It’ll Start Getting Cooler, You Just Watch”: Trump Spits Climate Denialism Right in California’s Face

        “I thought I’d find it funny watching this, but instead it’s just chilling: as the West Coast faces a climate catastrophe, the president laughs at them and denies the problem exists.”

      • ‘This Is a Travesty’: Climate Denier Who Has Argued in Favor of Fossil Fuel Emissions Named to Leadership Role at NOAA

        “He’s not just in left field—he’s not even near the ballpark.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Trump’s Forest Service Sidesteps Environmental Safeguards

          How the Agency Uses Legal Loopholes to Avoid Analysis and Public Involvement

        • Species in Peril: Loss, Love and Protection

          Our nonhuman relatives need us and, we need them.

        • “These Are Climate Fires”: Oregon Firefighter Ecologist Says Devastating Blazes Are a Wake-Up Call

          President Trump has said little about the wildfires raging in California, Oregon and Washington for three weeks, other than to suggest poor forest management was primarily to blame. But the states’ governors are pushing back and directly linking the fires to the climate crisis. “These are climate fires,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, an Oregon-based wildland fire ecologist and former wildland firefighter who now directs Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. “Though some scientists hesitate to attribute a single event to climate change, these are exactly the conditions predicted by climatologists.”

        • As the West Goes Up in Flames, Trump Couldn’t Care Less

          The president offers unambiguous proof that he couldn’t care less about the public good.

        • Undocumented Farmworkers Face Triple Threat as West Coast Burns

          As devastating fires burn across the West Coast, some of the most vulnerable people are farmworkers — many of whom are undocumented. Despite the risks of the pandemic and the climate-fueled fires, many feel they have to keep working even if that means working inside evacuation zones. The state of California has repeatedly allowed growers to continue harvesting despite evacuation orders putting workers at great risk. Estella Cisneros, legal director of the agriculture worker program for California Rural Legal Assistance, says farmworkers who speak out against unsafe working conditions risk losing their jobs. “Farmworkers have continued to work during this whole time, despite fears of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, despite fears of getting heat stress while they’re at work, and now despite fears of the dangers that wildfire smoke brings,” Cisneros says.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump’s Broken Promises to His Voters – He Didn’t Deliver!

        Trump voters are not inclined to change their minds. Some of them are forever Republicans and will only vote the GOP ticket; they are called hereditary voters. Others can’t stand the Democratic Party nominees, won’t vote for the Libertarian ticket, and will only vote for Trump. Some love Trump because of his anti-immigrant stance, deregulation of law enforcement on businesses, and nominations of anti-choice and right-wing corporatist federal judges.

      • To Counter ‘Misinformation Flowing From the Highest Levels,’ ACLU Launches Voter Preparedness Campaign

        “We’re calling on voters to make a plan, request their ballot where they can, and to encourage their friends to do the same.” 

      • Everybody’s a winner! Russia’s new three-day voting scheme delivers huge victory margins for incumbent governors, while Navalny’s coalition succeeds in two municipal races

        On September 13, Russia completed its first three-day elections in races across the country for governors, mayors, and local city council members. Gubernatorial candidates with the authorities’ backing won first-round victories everywhere in record-high numbers, and United Russia racked up majorities in all regional assemblies. Three of the four new party projects that are considered to have the Kremlin’s support got seats in regional parliaments, exempting them from the need to collect signatures to compete in future State Duma elections. The opposition did, however, achieve some success in elections for the city councils in Novosibirsk and Tomsk. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev breaks down the weekend’s voting results. 

      • France’s president demands explanation for Navalny’s poisoning from Putin

        During a phone call on Monday, September 14, French President Emmanuel Macron told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that French specialists have come to the same conclusion as German experts on opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s poisoning, confirming that he was poisoned with a Novichok-type paralytic nerve agent, reports the French newspaper Le Monde, citing an official statement.

      • Can We Address That British Eugenics Scandal?

        British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been known to have an interestin eugenics, but despite the persistence of support for this discredited idea over the years, eugenics is a scientific and moral failure.

      • Election Season is Here. Are You Ready to Vote?

        It’s on all of us to make our plan to vote. Today is not too early to act. 

        Molly McGrath is the Campaign Strategist for the National Political Advocacy Department at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

      • Episode 107 – Decolonizing Education and the CIA’s Operation Sea Spray with Gerardo Munoz – Along The Line Podcast

        On today’s episode, Nicholas Baham II (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo, and Nolan Higdon discuss decolonizing education and the CIA’s Operation Sea Spray with Gerardo Munoz.

      • “Trump Is Criminality Personified”: Rev. William Barber on Protecting the Vote & Mobilizing the Poor

        With less than two months before November, the Poor People’s Campaign has launched a push to register tens of millions of poor and low-income voters, who could decide the fate of the election. “Voting is power unleashed,” says Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach. “We’ve got to train the people on the power of the vote, the power to protect the vote, and the power to shape public policy by the vote.” The initiative is called MORE, which stands for Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, Educating People for a Movement That Votes.

      • The Fog of Trump

        The fog of Trump, like the fog of war, is choking the country in a cloud of situational uncertainty and grief. Its effects are extending to the whole world, which is now watching in revulsion the self-destructive implosion of the United States. The America we’ve all known is no more, and it will never be the same again.

      • Kenosha: Seven Bullets
      • Democrats Have Ignored Cities Like Kenosha for Too Long

        Kenosha, Wis.—Former vice president Joe Biden visited Kenosha just before Labor Day, making the first visit by a Democratic presidential nominee to Wisconsin since 2012. Biden was not campaigning in any traditional sense. He came to this historic industrial city on the shores on Lake Michigan to talk with residents who were shaken by the August 23 police shooting of a 29-year-old Black man, Jacob Blake, and by the August 25 killing of two demonstrators for racial justice by a 17-year-old white vigilante.

      • Alexey Navalny’s condition continues to improve as German doctors successfully take him off ventilator

        Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who is undergoing treatment for nerve agent poisoning at Berlin’s Charité Hospital, has been “successfully removed from mechanical ventilation,” the hospital stated in a press release. 

      • Russia’s weekend regional election results, in a nutshell

        Over the weekend, Russians voted in dozens of local elections, each spread over three days. In all, the contests included four single-seat State Duma constituencies, 18 gubernatorial races, 11 regional parliament elections, city council votes in 22 regional capitals, and competitions for city government offices in 33 other cities. 

      • Sixteen of Russia’s political parties are now cleared to run in the 2021 State Duma Elections

        Sixteen of Russia’s political parties are now able to participate in the 2021 State Duma elections without collecting endorsement signatures, announced Central Election Commissioner Ella Pamfilova during a press conference (broadcast on Youtube) on the results of the local elections that took place over the weekend.

      • Trump’s Main Strategy for Winning the Election Is to Discredit It

        Donald Trump recently held his first indoor rally since the super-spreader event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June. The campaign sent out a snotty statement to justify this:

      • How Should America Respond When Its President Commits Negligent Homicide?

        Holding giant rallies, as he did over the weekend, will lead to increased infection spreads and more deaths. There will be other Herman Cain’s who will die in a few months because of what Trump is doing right now.

      • Johnson Intended to Break the Withdrawal Agreement Even Before He Signed It

        As I wrote 11 months ago, Raab and Johnson sought legal advice on breaking the Withdrawal Agreement even before signing it, in a truly shocking example of bad faith negotiation. If mainstream journalists did the slightest actual journalism, they would have realised this was always Johnson’s plan.

      • In ‘Devastating’ Ruling, 9th Circuit Upholds Trump’s Termination of Humanitarian Protections for Nearly 300,000 Migrants

        “This court decision is doubling down on the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policy agenda.”

      • Beyond Attacking Trump, Sanders Says Biden Campaign Must ‘Give People a Reason to Vote for Joe’

        “I think Biden is in an excellent position to win this election, but I think we have got to do more as a campaign than just go after Trump,” the Vermont senator said on Sunday.

      • Every Trump Lie Is a Confession

        Donald Trump played host to what can only be described as a deliberate COVID super-spreader event in Nevada on Sunday. It is journalistically perilous to bandy words like “deliberate” and “super-spreader,” but I watched every galling second of his rally at the Xtreme Manufacturing plant in Henderson, and those words deserve to share the same space as “water” and “wet” in the context of what went down in the desert yesterday.

      • Kremlin spokesman says sorry, folks, but Lukashenko is the legitimate president of Belarus

        Moscow hasn’t changed its mind about Alexander Lukashenko, whom Vladimir Putin congratulated on his re-election last month and met face-to-face on Monday in Sochi. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that the Russian government views Lukashenko as Belarus’s legitimate leader, despite more than a month of widespread protests against Lukashenko’s supposed landslide election victory.

      • Putin and Lukashenko meet privately in Sochi – their first tête-à-tête since mass unrest erupted in Belarus

        Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko have begun negotiations in Sochi, where the two leaders are meeting in person for the first time since mass protests began in Belarus, following a contested presidential election on August 9. The meeting is taking place at Putin’s Bocharov Ruchey summer residence located in Sochi’s Tsentralny City District. Sources told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that Putin and Lukashenko are speaking one-on-one, alone in a room.

      • ‘Russia is our elder brother’ Putin and Lukashenko’s Sochi meeting, in brief

        Vladimir Putin: We are in favor of the Belarusians sorting out the situation themselves, without any external help. I think that starting work on changing the Belarusian constitution is timely and appropriate. Russia remains committed to all agreements within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Union State, we will fulfill all of our obligations. We will give Belarus a $1.5 billion loan and continue our cooperation in the defense sphere. Belarus will be the first country to receive our coronavirus vaccine. Alexander Grigorievich, I’m glad to see you, welcome. 

      • 10th Circuit: No qualified immunity for police who demand ID

        A panel of the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals has ruled, in the case of Mglej v. Gardner, that it is “clearly established law” that police in Utah may not require suspects (or anyone else they detain, except operators of motor vehicles) to show ID documents, and therefore that the Garfield County Sheriff who wrongly arrested Matthew T. Mglej for “refusing to identify himself” is not entitled to qualified immunity and can be held liable for damages.

        In the summer of 2011, Mr. Mglej, then 21 years old, set out on his motorcycle from his family home in Portland, OR, to visit relatives in Dallas, TX. Mid-way on that road trip, his motorcycle developed problems, and he stopped in Boulder, UT (population around 200), to see if he could get his bike repaired and replace a tire that was threatening to blow.

        The town of Boulder’s offical website says that:

      • ‘No One Should Be Fooled’: Trump Executive Order on Drug Prices Denounced as Election Year Charade

        Latest move called nothing more than a public relations stunt “intended to distract Americans from the president’s broken promises to seniors and the 200,000 Americans that have died from the coronavirus as a result of his failed Covid-19 response policies.”

      • In Final Call to Woodward Trump Touts Stock Market Gains (Never Mind the Dead Americans)

        Trump’s lack of empathy has been on full display during the 18 interviews with Woodward that have been previously reported. During the 19th and final recording, obtained by CNN the president shows a laser-like focus on what he cares about most. Because this call happened after Woodward submitted the book to his publisher, it will not be a part of Rage.

      • Greens Denounce Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision

        Green Party nominees for President and Vice President, Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, rejected the decision handed down earlier today by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, to deny placing them on the November 2020 ballot. The Green Party has been on the ballot in Wisconsin for every presidential election since 1996.

        Several years ago, the workers of Wisconsin occupied the state capitol building with shouts of “this is what democracy looks like.” Angela Walker mobilized her Milwaukee transit workers local union into that defense of workers’ rights. Unfortunately, today, the state Supreme Court demonstrated something completely different from what most people consider to be democracy: a choice on their ballot.

        “The court majority failed to recognize the partisan Wisconsin Election Commission’s repeated unlawful actions, said Andrea Mérida, campaign manager.” Mérida continued, “now we have a dangerous precedent where a major party can effectively decide which minor parties can participate in elections, by conjuring up arbitrary requirements on the fly to remove its opposition. Regardless, the fact remains that we met all of the legal requirements for ballot access and followed the WEC’s instructions to the letter with regards to Angela Walker’s change of residence.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • SaveOnlineFreeSpeech.org lets you comment against Trump’s “Censor the Internet” executive order

        Fight for the Future has unveiled a new website and campaign to Save Free Speech Online: SaveOnlineFreeSpeech.org. The website helps you make a comment on the public record against President Trump’s most recent plan to destroy free speech online. Last year, President Trump unveiled a plan to bring a damaging dark veil of censorship to the internet with his “Censor the Internet” executive order. The order wishes to gut Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230) which has long been the cornerstone of free speech on the internet because it provides immunity to platforms for things posted online. In the blackhole that would result from a diminished CDA 230, President Trump would call on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to start enforcing the popular censorship flavor of the week instead of letting platforms police themselves.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘We’re With You’: ACLU, Press Freedom Advocates Denounce Attack on Journalist by LA Sheriff’s Deputies

        Video footage of the incident contradicts official reports from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

      • Day 5: September 14, 2020 #AssangeCase

        Paused last week due to a COVID19 scare, Julian Assange’s extradition hearing resumed today with witness testimony from Eric Lewis, chairman of the board of Reprieve and a lawyer who “represents Guantanamo and Afghan detainees in litigation, seeking redress and accountability for torture and religious abuse while in US custody.”

      • At Assange Trial, Prosecution Invokes Human Rights Court Decision That Downplayed Abusive Supermax Prisons

        The legal team for Julian Assange strongly believes if the WikiLeaks founder is extradited to the United States he will be detained in harsh and abusive conditions, and if convicted, he will be incarcerated in a supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, in conditions that amount to solitary confinement.

        Such conditions would likely violate Article 3 of the Human Rights Act in the United Kingdom, which is supposed to protect individuals from torture or cruel and inhuman treatment. But during the fifth day of proceedings in Assange’s extradition trial, James Lewis, the prosecutor, focused on a prior ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that clearly sided with the U.S. government.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Why Are We Still Ignoring Former Foster Children’s Votes?
      • Rogues in the Ranks

        On May 25, 2020, African American George Floyd, was arrested and killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. The officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt forcefully on Floyd’s neck, and in effect crushing Floyd’s wind pipe. Three other officers were involved, two helping to restrain Floyd, and another standing guard between witnesses and the actual killing. Eight minutes passed and Floyd was dead. Video taken by onlookers was posted world-wide which led to protests and riots in Minneapolis and throughout the United States. Protests also broke out in countries around the world, most notably Europe. Absent the video, the question being asked is how many more killings are taking place at the hands of the police, specifically black men.

      • We’ve Entered the Era of ‘Branding for Black Lives’

        This was a curious opening weekend in the National Football League. After a summer of marches in all 50 states against racism and police violence following the murder of George Floyd, the NFL has been desperate to avoid a players’ strike for racial justice. Since police shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, the struggle has escalated into labor action in almost every other sports league and the NFL, with billions of dollars at stake, has been trying to avoid any cancellation of games.

      • Black Lives Matter Is a Continuum of Black Protest Over Centuries

        The world is watching as Donald Trump and his team incite violence against nonwhite Americans across the United States. Trump’s team spans a broad array of warriors: his core staffers at the White House, senior Justice Department officers, many police departments across the country, key politicians in Congress, Fox News and other extreme media outlets, invisible right-wing trolls behind keyboards, armed vigilante militias, and many others. Their violent rhetoric spawns physical violence and emotional trauma on the vulnerable. For viewers afar, these flashpoints are baffling as they are incompatible with the imagined promised land of the U.S. Yet, for Black America, this is a continuation of the American odyssey. History is replete with unfathomable violence against Black people.

      • As Right-Wingers Block Evacuation Routes, “Antifa” Lead Relief Efforts in Oregon

        Law enforcement agencies in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States are struggling to dissuade people from buying into conspiracy theories alleging extremists are starting many of the wildfires currently ravaging the area.

      • Trump Faces Backlash for Rally That Could Become a COVID Super-Spreader Event

        As total coronavirus deaths in the United States approached 200,000, President Trump held his first indoor campaign rally in almost three months on Sunday, hosting an event in Henderson, Nevada, without enforcing social distancing protocols.

      • Albuquerque Police Work Closely with Company Investigated for Child Pornography and Targeted by National Security Agency, Documents Show

        The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) works closely with a data management company whose CEO was investigated by the New Mexico Office of Attorney General (NMOAG) in 2018 for allowing users on its network to store and distribute child pornography. This same CEO, whose company hosts APD’s connectabq.org website, was at the center of a massive National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence gathering operation in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to BlueLeaks documents leaked by the hacking group Anonymous in June 2020 and documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013.

      • Minnesota Cops Are Dismantling Criminal Organizations At Less Than $1,000 A Pop

        Law enforcement officials love to defend asset forfeiture. While sidestepping the fact that it almost always directly enriches the agency doing the forfeiting, these officials love to claim it’s an invaluable tool that helps cops dismantle dangerous criminal organizations.

      • Researchers Targeting AI Bias, Sex Worker Advocate, and Global Internet Freedom Community Honored at EFF’s Pioneer Award Ceremony

        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is honored to announce the 2020 Barlow recipients at its Pioneer Award Ceremony: artificial intelligence and racial bias experts Joy Buolamwini, Dr. Timnit Gebru, and Deborah Raji; sex worker activist and tech policy and content moderation researcher Danielle Blunt; and the global Internet freedom organization Open Technology Fund (OTF) and its community.

        The virtual ceremony will be held October 15 from 5:30 pm to 7 pm PT. The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Cyrus Farivar, a longtime technology investigative reporter, author, and radio producer. The event will stream live and free on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and audience members are encouraged to give a $10 suggested donation. EFF is supported by small donors around the world and you can become an official member at https://eff.org/PAC-join.

      • CBP So Confused It Seizes Clearly Labeled OnePlus Earbuds, And Falsely Claims They’re Counterfeit Apple Airpods

        Homeland Security and its various sub-organizations have a fairly tragic history of seizing things they shouldn’t, claiming that non-infringing works are “counterfeits.” And DHS continues to cluelessly push out press releases that only highlight how ignorant they are regarding the basics of the very laws they’re supposed to be enforcing.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Over At Politico, The AT&T Monopoly Gives Tips On Fixing A Broadband Problem It Spent Thirty Years Creating

        Every time legislation is looming that could threaten its broadband monopoly, AT&T attempts to get in front of it and steer the conversation away from subjects it doesn’t want tackled by legislation. The biggest of those subjects is the lack of overall competition caused by sector monopolization, and the high prices, crappy customer service, and patchy availability that usually results. With COVID-19 resulting in folks realizing the importance of affordable broadband more than ever, it’s becoming pretty clear that AT&T is worried somebody might just try to finally do something about it.

    • Monopolies

      • Craft Brewing Trade Mag Argues Beer Is The Most IP Product Ever, Ignores History Of The Industry

        And now, we shall talk about one of life’s great pleasures: beer. This nectar of the gods has been something of a focus of mine, particularly given the explosion of the craft brewing industry and how that explosion has created an ever-increasing trademark apocalypse over the past decade. It is important context for the purposes of this post that you understand that the craft brewing industry, before it exploded but was steadily growing, had for years operated under a congenial and fraternal practice when it came to all things intellectual property. Everything from relaxed attitudes on trademarks, to an artistic bent when it came to beer labels, up to and including the regular willingness of industry rivals to regularly collaborate on specific concoctions: this was the basic theme of the industry up until the past decade or so. It was, frankly, one of the things that made craft beer so popular and fun.

      • DOJ antitrust chief takes “extraordinary” step over IEEE’s controversial 2015 SEP licensing policy
      • Pharma fears corruption of ‘hugely successful’ Bayh-Dole Act

        Counsel at Pfizer, Novartis and Wolf Greenfield, and one of the bill’s authors, are concerned that COVID could compel parties to misuse a 40-year-old act that stimulates US innovation

      • Law of Liberty #7: Argumentation Ethics and IP

        Stephan is a patent attorney and libertarian legal theorist.

      • Patents

        • How the West Became the East: The Patent Litigation Explosion in the Western District of Texas

          Guest post by Paul R. Gugliuzza & J. Jonas Anderson. Paul Gugliuzza is Professor of Law at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Jonas Anderson is Associate Dean for Scholarship and Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law.

          Move over Marshall. The new capital of American patent litigation is Waco, Texas. Waco’s sole federal judge, Alan Albright—who took the bench less than two years ago—now hears more patent cases than any other judge in the country.

          It’s all happened quickly. As recently as 2018, the Western District of Texas, which spans from Waco, Austin, and San Antonio in the central part of the state to El Paso in its far western reaches, received only 90 patent cases, a mere 2.5% of patent cases filed nationwide. Two years later, the Western District is on pace to receive 850 patent cases by year’s end, roughly 22% of patent cases filed nationwide and more than any other district in the country.

          Practically all of those cases are on Judge Albright’s docket. As the figure below shows, the Waco Division received a mere 28 patent cases in 2018, the year he took the bench. If current trends hold, Judge Albright alone will receive 779 patent cases in 2020, an increase of 2682%!

        • EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal Decision G 3/19 and the patentability of plant and animal products in Europe

          Combined EBA decisions G 2/12 and G 2/13 were published in 2015 and related to the relevance of Article 53(b) EPC to the patentability of plant products obtained by the excluded “essentially biological processes”. In those decisions, the EBA stated Article 53(b) EPC did not exclude such products from patentability, other than plant varieties specifically.

          However, Rule 28 EPC was subsequently amended by a decision of the Administrative Council (AC) in July 2017 to include an interpretation of Article 53(b) EPC under new Rule 28(2) EPC. The amended rule states, under Article 53(b) EPC, European patents shall not be granted in respect of “plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process”. This clearly conflicts with the EBA’s interpretation of Article 53(b) EPC in G 2/12 and G 2/13.

          The EBA in G 3/19 has affirmed the earlier Enlarged Board decisions, but has also stated the situation is different now than in 2015 when G 2/12 and G 2/13 were published, because of the amendment to Rule 28 EPC to explicitly exclude plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process. Given this changing context and to allow for continued legal certainty for patent applicants and third parties, G 3/19 will only be relevant to patent applications filed on or after 1 July 2017, i.e. the date of entry into force of the AC decision.

          In addition to overturning an earlier EBA decision, G 3/19 is notable because the EBA considered a “dynamic” interpretation if the EPC. Under a “dynamic interpretation”, it is accepted that considerations may arise after a treaty is signed that might give reason to believe a literal interpretation of the provision’s wording would conflict with the legislator’s aims. We believe this is the first time the EBA has used this approach to law interpretation. The EBA noted the amendment of Rule 28 EPC means “the legal and factual situation underlying decision G 2/12 has substantially changed” (para XXVI.4 of G 3/19). The very fact that this Rule was amended “allows and indeed calls for a dynamic interpretation of Article 53(b) EPC” (para XXVI.7 of G 3/19).

        • Cellular Sep Owners Score Two Victories In Europe [Ed: These are patent trolls, not “SEP owners” [sic])

          In the span of two weeks in August, two different owners of allegedly standard essential patent (SEP) portfolios—asserted…

        • UK Supreme Court dismisses telecoms patent infringement appeal by Huawei

          A patent infringement appeal brought against the UK branch of the telecommunications company Huawei has been dismissed by the UK Supreme Court after the company challenged the decision by the English Court of Appeal to uphold the trial judge’s order.

          Unwired Planet International Ltd, the respondent to the appeal, claimed that Huawei had infringed five of its UK patents, which it claimed to be Standard Essential Patents without which it would be impossible to make, sell, use, or operate mobile phones compliant with international standards for mobile telephony. An order in respect of two of those patents was made and then upheld on a previous appeal.

        • Software Patents

          • Essential guidance on patenting software-based inventions at the EPO

            ​A recent Board of Appeal decision at the European Patent Office, T 697/17, has reaffirmed a key practice point in the drafting of software-based patent applications for Europe: make the technical considerations which were at play when designing an invention the main focus of your application.

            In its decision, the Board provides further guidance on how features of an invention should be assessed to determine whether they contribute to providing a patentable “technical effect”. The key conclusion is that features which are specifically chosen with the intention of overcoming a technical problem in the prior art are more likely to be considered relevant for patentability than features chosen based on business-related motivations.

            In practice, it might be difficult to prove whether a feature was motivated by technical or business considerations during prosecution without supporting evidence. Our advice is therefore to draft your applications to include as many technical considerations and motivations which went into devising the invention as possible. It might not always be possible to “fix” applications for Europe at a later stage due to the strict approach taken by the EPO in relation to added subject matter, so getting this detail in at the outset is of the utmost importance. It will be harder to convince an Examiner that a technical consideration was at play if it appears to have been “made up” during prosecution.

            Emphasising technical considerations is especially important when patenting technology in areas the EPO tends to consider non-technical, like fintech, e-commerce or even aspects of AI. When drafting, ask yourself and the inventors why each identified feature is needed and how such a feature disrupts existing solutions in a technical way. That is, what does the feature in question do to bring about technical advantages such as security of data exchange, speed of computing, reliability of services and the like.

          • KAIST and KBS patent held unpatentable

            On September 14, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) holding all claims of US Patent 9,838,720 unpatentable. Owned by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), KAIST seeks to license patents allegedly essential to the HEVC / H.265 standard (such as the ‘720 patent). Unified filed this challenge as part of its ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone.

          • Another Sound View patent determined to have substantial questions of patentability, reexamination request granted

            On September 11, 2020, the Central Reexamination Unit of the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Unified Patents’ request for ex parte reexamination of U.S. Patent 6,725,456, owned and asserted by Sound View Innovations, LLC, finding substantial new questions of patentability for the challenged claim. The request was filed in an effort to protect Open Source technologies from invalid NPE assertions. The ’456 patent generally relates to ensuring quality of service in an operating system. Sound View recently asserted this patent against Cigna, Walmart, Vudu, Delta Air Lines, DISH Network, and Sling TV.

      • Trademarks

        • US Customs isn’t backing down, says seized OnePlus Buds violate Apple AirPods trademark

          “Upon examining the shipment in question, a CBP import specialist determined that the subject earbuds appeared to violate Apple’s configuration trademark. Apple has configuration trademarks on their brand of earbuds, and has recorded those trademarks with CBP,” the spokesperson said. Configuration trademarks cover the general appearance of a product, if you were wondering. “Based on that determination, CBP officers at JFK Airport have seized the shipment under 19 USC 1526 (e).”

          The CBP spokesperson also tried to address the common response that many people have had to this incident: couldn’t their officers tell that the OnePlus Buds were a genuine product (and not a “counterfeit” posing as AirPods) just by looking at the box and branding? “CBP’s seizure of the earbuds in question is unrelated to the images or language on the box. A company does not have to put an ‘Apple’ wordmark or design on their products to violate these trademarks.”

        • How to book your ‘generic.com’ at the USPTO

          Despite the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Booking.com, ‘generic.com’ trademark applicants still need to carefully document the protectability and registrability of their brands, say Victoria Doyle and Theodore Davis of Kilpatrick Townsend

      • Copyrights

        • Facebook is cracking down on livestreamed music performances, and hurting musicians in the process

          This was frustrating, not only because I own all the fucking copyright to my own fucking music, but also because of the weird language used in the notice. Maybe they weren’t mad that I was playing my own music, and shut me down for some other reason — I don’t know, because I have no idea who “[FB Test Page]” is. (Others have had a similar problem.)

          Whatever the truth is, that vagary is a central part of the problem. Because days later, Facebook announced new formal plans to crack down on “music listening experiences,” beginning October 1. The new regulations include these details: [...]

        • Dutch Government Did Not Induce Online Piracy, Appeals Court Rules

          The Dutch state is not liable for pirating citizens based on statements made by Government officials. The Court of Appeals rejected a damages claim from Dutch filmmakers who argued that government officials induced piracy. The statements indeed suggested that downloading pirated movies and TV-shows was allowed, which was factually correct at the time.

        • EU Advocate General: Inline Content Embedding Requires Copyright Holder Permission

          Embedding copyright works in a webpage from other websites using inline linking requires permission from the rightsholder, EU Advocate General Szpunar has advised the EU Court of Justice. However, when content is embedded using the framing technique, authorization is not needed, even when that circumvents technological measures imposed by rightsholders.

        • Copyright is for losers … and so are trade marks: Banksy’s EUTM declared invalid due to bad faith

          Can a sign representing an artwork be registered as a trade mark? Can trade mark registration be used to monopolize artworks? If so, can any such intention and behaviour be repressed?

          The answer to all these questions is in the affirmative, as Pest Control – a handling service acting on behalf of elusive artist Banksy – learned yesterday, when the Cancellation Division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ordered that its EU trade mark (EUTM) registration representing one of Banksy’s best known artworks, the Flower Thrower, be declared invalid on the ground of bad faith.

          [...]

          Conflicts between real and intellectual property are not novel, and there is interesting case law on this point. However, it would be problematic to hold in principle that only works realized out of legality, and not also works realized out of illegality, would be eligible for copyright protection. Possibly even more problematic is the Office’s suggestion that the public display location of an artwork may “annul” any ownership rights in copyright. Both are unacceptable conclusions.

          In any case, let’s stay tuned for the next episodes in the ‘Banksy in IPland’ saga …

        • APIs should take centre stage in Google v Oracle, lawyers say

          Creative Commons, Mapbox, Red Hat, and three other lawyers discuss what they expect and would like to see from Google v Oracle oral arguments

        • Would You Believe That Infamous Copyright Troll Richard Liebowitz Is In Trouble Again?

          I think if I stopped writing about other stuff, I could still fill Techdirt with the same number of posts just covering the problems facing copyright trolling lawyer Richard Liebowitz. Today we have a story of Liebowitz being in trouble, yet again. This is in the Chevrestt v. Barstool Sports case. We mentioned this one back in May, where a judge sanctioned Liebowitz and benchslapped him pretty significantly for failing to follow “simple” orders from the court. The judge in that case noted that in the case last year where Liebowitz lied about the death of his grandfather, that he had promised to attend some courses on how to better manage his legal practice. The judge asked for some details about whether or not he actually carried that out:

        • Meet CC Bangladesh, Our Next Feature for CC Network Fridays!

          The Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN) consists of 45 CC Country Chapters spread across the globe. They’re the home for a community of advocates, activists, educators, artists, lawyers, and users who share CC’s vision and values. They implement and strengthen open access policies, copyright reform, open education, and open culture in the communities in which they live.

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