Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 9:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.7.2

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.7.1 and Istio 1.7.2

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Doom Emacs For Noobs

        Doom Emacs is my preferred text editor, and I have made several videos about it. But some of those videos assumed that the viewer had some knowledge of Vim and/or Emacs. So I decided to make this Doom Emacs introductory video for the complete noob! This video covers how to install Doom Emacs, how to configure it, and some of the basic keybindings and commands.

      • The Endless Stream Of Linux Video Topics To Sift Through
    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Compute Runtime 20.37.17906 Brings Rocket Lake Support

          Intel’s software team has released a new version of their Compute Runtime that provides OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero capabilities for their graphics hardware on Linux.

        • AMDGPU TMZ + HDCP Should Allow Widevine DRM To Behave Nicely With AMD Linux Systems

          Coming together this year for the mainline Linux kernel was the AMDGPU Trusted Memory Zone (TMZ) capability for encrypted video memory support with Radeon GPUs. This topic was talked about at this week’s XDC2020 conference.

          AMDGPU TMZ prevents unauthorized applications from accessing the encrypted/trusted memory of an application. TMZ protects both reads and writes while leveraging an AES cipher. But while discrete Radeon GPUs can also support TMZ, for now the AMD Linux developers have just been focused on the capability for their APU platforms.

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Seeing Some 50~100% FPS Gains

          After working on getting the Zink OpenGL-over-Vulkan driver up to OpenGL 4.6 with still pending patches, former Samsung OSG engineer Mike Blumenkrantz has been making remarkable progress on the performance aspect as well.

          This generic Mesa OpenGL implementation that works atop Vulkan drivers is about to see much better performance. Blumenkrantz recently commented the performance was turning out better than expected but that was for micro-benchmarks. But now with more optimizations he is achieving even better results.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Free Linux Web Caches

        Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is considered to be the fundamental protocol of the web. This simple request/response protocol is used for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. The web consumes a large portion of internet traffic.

        With HTTP, a client makes a request for a resource to a server, and the server delivers messages with additional content such as images, style sheets and JavaScript. HTTP dictates how these messages are displayed and transmitted, and how web servers and browsers should respond to various commands.

        The developers of the HTTP protocol realized at an early stage that there was going to be rapid growth in web traffic. This continues to be the case.

      • Celluloid (formerly GNOME MPV) 0.20 Released! How to Install

        Celluloid, formerly Gnome MPV, released version 0.20 a few hours ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04 via PPA.

        Celluloid is a simple GTK+ frontend for mpv media player.

      • Telegram for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Mint Ulyana and Latest Fedora

        This is for you who want to have Telegram application on Ubuntu Focal Fossa and latest GNU/Linux Mint 20 Ulyana and Fedora 32. You can also practice this on other great OSes released just recently most notably MX Patito Feo and deepin 20. This means you can enjoy the fastest instant messenger on latest free software operating systems released this year for your computer and laptop. Enjoy Telegram!

      • Open Source Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Solutions

        LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is an application protocol for accessing directory services. It runs on a layer above the TCP/IP stack incorporating simplified encoding methods, and offers a convenient way to connect to, search, and modify Internet directories, specifically X.500-based directory services. It is an open, vendor-neutral, industry standard application protocol. LDAP utilizes a client-server model.

        This protocol is specifically targeted at management applications and browser applications that provide read/write interactive access to directories.

        The main benefit of using an LDAP server is that information for an entire organization can be consolidated into a central repository. LDAP supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), so that sensitive data can be protected. LDAP servers are used for a variety of tasks including, but not limited to, user authentication, machine authentication, user/system groups, asset tracking, organization representation, and application configuration stores.

      • Top 6 Web Hosting Control Panels

        A Web hosting control panel is a web-based interface that enables users to manage hosted services in a single location. Control panels can manage email account configuration, databases, FTP users’ accounts, monitor web space and bandwidth consumed, provide file management functionality, create backups, create subdomains and much more.

        Web hosting control panels offer an attractive solution to developers and designers that host multiple web sites on virtual private servers and dedicated servers. This type of server management software simplifies the process of managing servers. By offering an easy to user interface, the control panels avoid the need to have expert knowledge of server administration.

        Two of the most popular control panels are Plesk and cPanel. These are web-based graphical control panels that allow you to easily and intuitively administer websites, DNS, e-mail accounts, SSL certificates and databases. However, they are both proprietary software. Hosting providers will charge a monthly fee for these control panels to be installed on a server. Fortunately, there is a wide range of open source software available to download at no cost that offers a real alternative to these proprietary solutions.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 6 high quality web hosting control panels tools that let users take full control of a web hosting account. We give our highest recommendations to ISPConfig, Virtualmin and Webmin.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • NVIDIA GeForce Now quietly starts working on Linux as the Avengers come to play

        If you use or have been following NVIDIA GeForce Now, the cloud gaming platform that delivers PC titles you already own from sources such as Steam and Epic Games to a multitude of devices, the latest development seems to have emerged silently. Spotted by the team at GamingonLinux, users of Linux can now, it seems, access GeForce Now in either Chromium of Google Chrome.

        Indeed, previously this tactic involved fudging user agents to make GeForce Now believe you were on a Chromebook, following the launch of the web client for Google’s laptops. And it works just fine, I logged in and played some games with no issues on Ubuntu in both browsers. And just to double check, Firefox still shows an incompatible device error.

      • Dive into cyberspace this weekend with the latest Black Ice upgrade

        After finishing the first act of Black Ice story, this cyberpunk FPS continues getting content expansions and some of it sounds hilarious.

        Black Ice has always been a first-person shooter that leaned into the crazy and it’s all the more enjoyable for it. Since it’s in cyberspace, it doesn’t need to conform to being normal in any shape or form. That’s certainly true when you look at all the weapons types which are wild and varied – now even more so.

        The “Black Ice Enhancement Update” went live today, September 19, adding in new types of enemies like static Turrets which pump out bullets at you to mix up the gameplay. There’s also E-Snails, which lob pools of fire (and other elements) at the ground and explode if you destroy the barrel on their back. More new enemies arrived with this including Mini-webcrawlers and E-xploding-snails which spawn as ambush waves to surprise you.

      • Give tiny countries a resource transport network in the upcoming Mini Countries

        Mini Countries from Yheeky Games looks like a fresh take on the transport-network puzzle strategy system. With each level being a new miniaturised country that you need to build up.

        What they’ve created looks like a very unique blend of ideas in other games like Rise of Industry, Train Valley 2 and the likes. Although, the developer cited inspiration from others like Mini Metro. You’re responsible for building up your industry in each tiny country, and getting a network of it all going. Looks like a very sweet and streamlined approach to it.

      • Atmospheric fantasy turn-based RPG Colmen’s Quest is out now

        Not long after we only just discovered it, the fantasy turn-based RPG Colmen’s Quest is now considered finished and released and it also has an updated demo.

        “Colmen’s Quest is a turn-based fantasy RPG. You play as Colmen, an aspiring monster hunter, who is on a quest to unveil a dark threat that haunts the village of Valkirk. You will explore Valkirk and its villagers, descend dusky dungeons, fight monsters and eventually collect a bunch of loot and treasures.”

      • The Hotline Miami series is launching on Stadia soon, WWE 2K Battlegrounds out now

        Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number are the next set of games to be announced for Google’s game streaming service Stadia.

        They’re both going to be releasing next week, on September 22. Both games are available on desktop Linux already, from Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital.

      • Proton Deals: A New Service for Linux Gamers

        If you are anything like me, you probably check deals for Steam games on a regular basis across different sources – after all, why buy games at full price if you can get them discounted? I also like having a look at deals periodically since it helps me discover games I have not heard about before.

        The problem with deals (outside of the Steam store), is that it can be time consuming and tedious to find the best ones and check ProtonDB afterwards to ensure the game also works well on Linux. It’s 2020, and there is a good number of games that work out of the box, but as you know, Proton is not a perfect compatibility layer for all titles out there yet.

        So we are introducing Proton Deals, a newsletter service which crawls for the best deals out there, cross-references them with the ProtonDB ratings, and filters them out to make them as relevant as possible (removing the ones that have very poor compatibility, for example). Here’s what it looks like. Note that the “PROTON:” descriptions directly link to ProtonDB for more information about compatibility.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta is out. Final Release Next Month.

          The next installment of the Plasma desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta released. The final release is expected on October 13, 2020.

        • This week in KDE: everything happened

          This was a pretty huge week for KDE. Apparently people had a lot of pent-up work, because right after Akademy finished last week, the floodgates started opening! Amazing stuff has been landing left and right every day this week! Some highlights are touch support in Dolphin, user-configurable per-view sort ordering in Elisa, optional Systemd startup, tons of Okular scrolling improvements, and much, much, much more.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21 Bringing Systemd Startup Support, Wayland Improvements

          KDE developer Nate Graham known for his weekly development summaries characterized this week as “the floodgates started opening! Amazing stuff has been landing left and right every day this week!”

          In addition to this week bringing the Plasma 5.20 Beta, a lot of new code began lining up for Plasma 5.21 as well as fixes for next month’s 5.20 release. Among the KDE work that landed this past week includes:

          - Plasma now uses systemd for startup when it’s present. This should lead to faster startup/load times and other improvements as a result. But it’s not landing until Plasma 5.21.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME gets new versioning scheme, and Linux users are going to be confused

          The GNOME 3 desktop environment was officially released in 2011, and in 2020 we are still on version 3.x. Yeah, despite many massive changes over the last (almost) decade, we have been stuck with point releases for GNOME 3. For instance, just yesterday, GNOME 3.38 was released. Historically, the stable releases all ended in even numbers, with pre-release versions ending odd. For fans of the DE, such as yours truly, we have simply learned to live with this odd versioning scheme.

          Well, folks, with the next version of GNOME, the developers have finally decided to move on from version 3.x. You are probably thinking the new version will be 4.0, but you’d be very wrong. Actually, following GNOME 3.38 will be GNOME 40. Wait, what? Yes, the developers are actually moving from 3.x to 40.x! They are even ditching the even/odd aspect, as the next major stable version to come after 40 will be 41. Minor stable updates will be given incremental point designations (.1, .2, .3, etc.). During development, there will just be alpha, beta, and release candidates — nice and simple. Understandably, this is going to be confusing for some Linux users that are used to the old versioning scheme.

    • Distributions

      • Running deepin 20 LiveCD

        If you run deepin 20 from usb, you will find it is an Installer similar to Microsoft Windows Installer and not a LiveCD. Meaning, in order to try out deepin you must install it and cannot try it out beforehand like Ubuntu. Fortunately, actually the deepin installer includes LiveCD Session. We just need a little adjustment at the boot time and it works. Enjoy!

      • New Releases

        • Deepin Linux 20 Is Out And It Has An Awesome Dual-Kernel Feature

          It’s been a whopping 5 months since I covered the Deepin 20 Beta, but after a long wait and some perplexing silence, Deepin V20 has ditched its beta status and is ready for the masses. This shiny Linux OS also features some welcome new tricks up its Debian-based sleeves.

        • 4MLinux 34.0 Released with New Default Media Player, Mozilla Thunderbird 78.2

          4MLinux creator Zbigniew Konojacki announced today the release and general availability of 4MLinux 34.0, a new stable series of his independently developed GNU/Linux distribution for personal computers and servers.

          4MLinux 34.0 is here three months after 4MLinux 33.0, which is now marked as the “old stable” branch, and it’s packed with some of the latest Open Source software releases and a bunch of improvements to make your experience better, more stable, and more secure.

        • 4MLinux 34.0 STABLE released.

          The status of the 4MLinux 34.0 series has been changed to STABLE. Edit your documents with LibreOffice and GNOME Office (AbiWord 3.0.4, GIMP 2.10.20, Gnumeric 1.12.47), share your files using DropBox 103.4.383, surf the Internet with Firefox 80.0.1 and Chromium 83.0.4103.116, send emails via Thunderbird 78.2.2, enjoy your music collection with Audacious 4.0.4, watch your favorite videos with VLC 3.0.11 and mpv 0.32.0, play games powered by Mesa 20.0.7 and Wine 5.14. You can also setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server (Linux 5.4.61, Apache 2.4.46, MariaDB 10.5.5, PHP 5.6.40 and PHP 7.4.9). Perl 5.30.2, Python 2.7.18, and Python 3.8.2 are also available.

          As always, the new major release has some new features. The default media player is now Celluloid (more players are available as downloadable extensions). Support for WebP and HEIF images has been added to the Imlib2 library. FFmpeg now makes use of the SoX Resampler library.
          Many system-wide improvements related to time synchronization with ntpd servers, automounting of removable disks, and managing the Linux framebuffer (important when 4MLinux is run in virtual machines).

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.2-BETA2 Now Available
          The second BETA build of the 12.2-RELEASE release cycle is now
          Installation images are available for:
          o 12.2-BETA2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 i386 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 12.2-BETA2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 12.2-BETA2 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 BANANAPI
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 BEAGLEBONE
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 RPI2
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 WANDBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 RPI3
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 PINE64
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/12.2" branch.
          A summary of changes since 12.1-BETA1 includes:
          o A regression affecting the PowerPC architecture had been fixed.
          o A race condition that could lead to a system crash when using jails
            with VIMAGE had been fixed.
          o Several wireless driver updates, including an update to ath(4), as
            well as 802.11n support for run(4) and otus(4).
          o Capsicum support had been added to rtsol(8) and rtsold(8).
          o A fix to certctl(8) to prevent overwriting a file on rehash.
          o TRIM support had been added to the bhyve(4) virtio-blk backend.
          o Fixes to libcompiler_rt have been added.
          o The ice(4) driver had been added, providing support for Intel 100Gb
            ethernet cards.
          o Fixes to ixl(4) affecting the PowerPC64 architecture have been added.
          o Support for the Novatel Wireless MiFi 8000 and 8800 have been added to
            the urndis(4) driver.
          o Fixes to the ure(4) driver to prevent packet-in-packet attacks have
            been addressed.  [SA-20:27]
          o Fixes to bhyve(4) to prevent privilege escalation via VMCS access have
            been addressed.  [SA-20:28, SA-20:29]
          o A fix to the ftpd(8) daemon to prevent privilege escalation via
            ftpchroot(5) had been addressed.  [SA-20:30]
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.2-RELEASE cycle progresses.
        • FreeBSD 12.2 BETA2 Brings TRIM For Bhyve’s VirtIO-BLK, Intel ICE Added

          The second beta of the forthcoming FreeBSD 12.2 is now available with a fair number of prominent changes accumulating over the past week.

          It was just last week FreeBSD 12.2 Beta was released as the first test build of this next BSD OS installment due out in just over one month’s time and ahead of FreeBSD 13.0 due out around late March of next year. Even with just one week passing and hitting the second beta, a number of notable changes have made it into FreeBSD 12.2-BETA2.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux-Based EndeavourOS ARM Launches for ARM Devices

          Two months ago, I wrote about the upcoming launch of EndeavourOS ARM, when the Arch Linux-based distribution celebrated its first anniversary. But today is the day, and the Linux community can now finally download the mobile version of EndeavourOS if they want to install it on their ARM devices.

          Basically, EndeavourOS ARM is a port of Arch Linux ARM, but packing all the benefits of the EndeavourOS distribution, which is the successor to Antergos Linux (formerly Cinnarch), making life a bit easier for those who want to use Arch Linux.

        • The September release and EndeavourOS ARM arrived

          I have to say that the development of the two releases we are presenting today was an intense experience and almost felt like we were relaunching EndeavourOS. Now that we’re talking, I want to thank the community and our financial backers for the rock solid support you are giving us in times of trouble.

        • EndeavourOS Releases September 2020 ISO with Linux 5.8, Improved Installation

          Besides launching the EndeavourOS ARM operating system for ARM devices, the EndeavourOS team also released today the September 2020 ISO, which includes all the latest software updates and some much-needed improvements.

          The September 2020 release of EndeavourOS is here for everyone who wants to install this Arch Linux-based distribution for personal computers. EndeavourOS makes installing Arch Linux a breeze for newcomers as it uses the powerful Calamares graphical installer by default.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 3 ways to protect yourself from imposter syndrome

          Poet and activist Maya Angelou published many books throughout her storied career, but each time, she feared people would figure out that she’d “run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” This seems an odd response from a well-honored writer. What she is describing is her own challenge with imposter syndrome.

          Think for a moment about your own accomplishments. Being hired into a new role. Having your first open source contribution merged into the project. Receiving an award or recognition. Being invited to participate in a project or event with people you respect and look up to. Did you question whether you belonged there? Did you fear people would “know that you didn’t belong?” There is an extremely high likelihood that you have also experienced imposter syndrome. Please check the survey at the end of this article to see that you’re not alone.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Janitor: Expanding Into Improving Multi-Arch

          The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor.

        • New Debian Maintainers (July and August 2020)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Chirayu Desai
          Shayan Doust
          Arnaud Ferraris
          Fritz Reichwald
          Kartik Kulkarni
          François Mazen
          Patrick Franz
          Francisco Vilmar Cardoso Ruviaro
          Octavio Alvarez
          Nick Black

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Sculpt OS release 20.08

        The new version of Sculpt OS is based on the latest Genode release 20.08. In particular, it incorporates the redesigned GUI stack to the benefit of quicker boot times, improved interactive responsiveness, and better pixel output quality. It also removes the last traces of the noux runtime. Fortunately, these massive under-the-hood changes do not disrupt the user-visible surface of Sculpt. Most users will feel right at home.

        Upon closer inspection, there are couple of new features to appreciate. The CPU-affinity of each component can now be restricted interactively by the user, components can be easily restarted via a click on a button, font-size changes have an immediate effect now, and the VESA driver (used when running Sculpt in a virtual machine) can dynamically change the screen resolution.

      • Sculpt OS 20.08 Released With Redesigned GUI Stack

        Building off the recent Genode OS 20.08 operating system framework release is now Sculpt OS 20.08 as the open-source project’s general purpose operating system attempt.

        Sculpt OS 20.08 pulls in the notable Genode 20.08 changes like the redesigned GUI stack with better responsiveness and other benefits. It also includes the ability to run the Falk web browser as the first Chromium-based browser on Genode/Sculpt.

        Sculpt OS is Genode’s effort around creating a general purpose OS but for right now is still largely limited to developers, hobbyists, and those wishing to tinker around with new operating systems.

      • Where’s the Yelp for open-source tools?

        We’d like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That’s another matter. When it comes to open source, you can’t rely on star power.

        The “wisdom of the crowd” has inspired all sorts of online services wherein people share their opinions and guide others in making choices. The Internet community has created many ways to do this, such as Amazon reviews, Glassdoor (where you can rate employers), and TripAdvisor and Yelp (for hotels, restaurants, and other service providers). You can rate or recommend commercial software, too, such as on mobile app stores or through sites like product hunt. But if you want advice to help you choose open-source applications, the results are disappointing.

        It isn’t for lack of trying. Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites – and their methodologies – have flaws.

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

        We’ve gotten better since then, haven’t we? Perhaps not.

      • Where’s the Yelp For Open-source Tools?
      • Web Browsers

      • CMS

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • How to use Strcpy() in C language?

          In this article, we are going to learn about the strcpy() function in the C programming language. The strcpy() function is a very popular standard library function to perform the string copy operation in the C programming language. There are several standard header files in C programming language to perform standard operations. The “string.h” is one of such header files, which provides several standard library functions to perform string operations. The “strcpy()” function is one of the library functions provided by “string.h”.

        • How to Use C++ Vector

          An array is a series of same object types in consecutive memory locations. An array cannot increase ore reduce in length. A vector is like an array, but its length can be increased or reduced. A vector, therefore, has many more operations than an array.

          C++ has many libraries, all of which form the C++ Standard Library. One of these libraries is the container library. A container is a collection of objects, and certain operations can be performed on the collection. C++ containers can be grouped into two sets: sequence containers and associative containers. Sequence containers are vector, array (not the same array discussed previously), deque, forward_list, and list. These are different collections (array-like data structures), and each offers distinct trade-offs.

          Any programmer should know how to decide whether to use a vector, an array, a deque, a forward_list, or a list. When a programmer needs a structure that requires more operations than those associated with an ordinary array, the ordinary array should not be used.

          If the task involves frequent insertions and deletions in the middle of the sequence, then a list or forward_list should be used. If the task involves frequent insertions and deletions in the beginning or end of a sequence, then a deque should be used. A vector should be used when these kinds of operations are not required.

        • How to Use isalpha() in C Language

          There are several standard library header files in the C programming language used to perform various standard operations. The “ctype.h” is one such header file, and the “isalpha()” function is one of the library functions provided by “ctype.h.” The isalpha() library function is used to identify whether a character is an alphabet. In this article, you will learn about the isalpha() library function in C language.

        • NVIDIA C++ Standard Library Now Available Via GitHub

          Introduced last year as part of CUDA 10.2 was libcu++ as the CUDA C++ standard library, which works with not only NVIDIA CUDA enabled configurations but also CPUs. The libcu++ sources are now available via GitHub.

        • Python

          • Python 3.8.5 : Linked List – part 001.
          • Doug Hellmann: sphinxcontrib.datatemplates 0.7.0

            sphinxcontrib.datatemplates is an extension for Sphinx to render parts of reStructuredText pages from data files in formats like JSON, YAML, XML, and CSV.

          • Python : 10 Ways to Filter Pandas DataFrame

            In this article, we will cover various methods to filter pandas dataframe in Python. Data Filtering is one of the most frequent data manipulation operation. It is similar to WHERE clause in SQL or you must have used filter in MS Excel for selecting specific rows based on some conditions. In terms of speed, python has an efficient way to perform filtering and aggregation. It has an excellent package called pandas for data wrangling tasks. Pandas has been built on top of numpy package which was written in C language which is a low level language. Hence data manipulation using pandas package is fast and smart way to handle big sized datasets.

          • Top GUI Frameworks that is every Python Developer’s Favorite

            Python is one of the most popular and widely known programming languages that is a favorite in the developer community. Its advanced libraries and file extensions enable developers to build state-of-the-art tools for real-world problems, or simply design a GUI (Graphic User Interface). GUI plays an essential role in the computer world as it makes human-machine interaction easier. Python offers a diverse range of options for GUI frameworks. Some of these frameworks are more preferred by the developers to build both .apk and .exe applications. Moreover, its GUI toolkits include TK, GTK, QT, and wxWidgets, which come with more features than other platform-specific kits. Though the Python wiki on GUI programming lists on 30 cross-platform frameworks, we have selected our top 4 picks. They are:

            Kivy: It an open-source Python library for the rapid development of applications that makes use of innovative user interfaces, such as multi-touch apps. This liberal MIT-licensed Kivy is based on OpenGL ES 2 and includes native multi-touch for each platform. It is an event-driven framework based around the main loop, making it very suitable for game development. It supports multiple platforms, namely, Windows, MacOSX, Linux, Android-iOS, and Raspberry Pi. Unlike QtCreator, Kivy doesn’t have a visual layout program, but it uses its own design language to help you associate UI layout with code objects.

        • Laravel

          • Laravel CSRF Protection

            The full form of CSRF is Cross-Site Request Forgery. It is one type of online attack in which the attacker sends requests as an authorized user to a system by gaining access information of a particular user of that system and performs different types of malicious activities by using the identity of that user. The impact of this attack depends on the victim’s privileges on the system. If the victim is a normal user then it will affect the personal data of the victim only. But if the victim is the administrator of the system then the attacker can damage the whole system. The users of any business website, social networking can be affected by this attack. This attack can be prevented easily by using Laravel CSRF protection to make the system more secure. Laravel generates CRSF token for each active user session automatically by which any request and approval are given to the authenticated user for the system. How Laravel CSRF Protection can be applied in the Laravel application is shown in this tutorial.

        • Java

          • Fun with Java Records

            Records, like lambdas and default methods on interfaces are tremendously useful language features because they enable many different patterns and uses beyond the obvious.

            Java 8 brought lambdas, with lots of compelling uses for streams. What I found exciting at the time was that for the first time lots of things that we’d previously have to have waited for as new language features could become library features. While waiting for lambdas we had a Java 7 release with try-with-resources. If we’d had lambdas we could have implemented something similar in a library without needing a language change.

  • Leftovers

    • George Atiyeh, Opal Creek Champion

      George has been missing since the Sept. 8th Wildfire that roared down Opal Creek, burning down the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Education Center at Jawbone Flats, the old mining camp that he and pals restored starting the 1970s. As I write this no contact has been made since that fateful day.

    • Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons: More Than a Love Story

      With one announcement, a future gripping documentary became a Hollywood movie. Maya Moore, one of the greatest basketball players on earth with a closet full of trophies to prove the point, had left her career in her prime to pursue justice. Back in 2019, she shocked the world by turning away from the WNBA to take on our system of racist mass incarceration and focus on freeing a man named Jonathan Irons. At age 16, Irons was arrested for a crime that he said he did not commit, a home-invasion robbery in Missouri. There was no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, but he was still handed a stunning 65-year prison sentence by an all-white jury. As fortune and unimaginable luck would have it, Irons had been in the youth choir led by Maya Moore’s uncle. That relationship continued when Irons was locked away to be forgotten, just another number in a system that houses more people behind bars than any country on earth.

    • Let ‘Gender Reveal’ Parties Burn

      Even their creator says enough is enough. Let children discover themselves on their own terms.

    • Rum, Sodomy and the Lash

      Review of The Anatomist’s Tale by Tauno Biltsted (Lanternfish Press, 2020)

    • WAP It Good

      Don’t run, walk, or crawl towards the Apocalypse. Dance. This most curious form of human movement, unlimited in its variety and meanings, and instantly recognizable even by other species (our dog would go berserk when her masters began shimmying across the living room of an evening) seems as pleasant a way as any to tip into the abyss—twerking or twisting, sashaying or salsaing. The reason to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic is so that you can have one last dance before the icy waters close around you.

    • Airline’s flight ‘to nowhere’ gets fully booked in 10 minutes
    • Google, nobody asked to make the Blogger interface permanent

      As a followup to my previous rant on the obnoxious new Blogger “upgrade,” I will grudgingly admit Blogger has done some listening. You can now embed images and links similarly to the way you used to, which restores some missing features and erases at least a part of my prior objections. But not the major one, because usability is still a rotting elephant’s placenta. I remain an inveterate user of the HTML blog view and yet the HTML editor still thinks it knows better than you how to format your code and what tags you should use, you can’t turn it off and you can’t make it faster. And I remain unclear what the point of all this was because there is little improvement in functionality except mobile previewing.

    • Science

      • ‘Astounding’: Trump Officials Reportedly Bypassed CDC Scientists to Publish ‘Dangerous’ Covid-19 Testing Guidelines

        “Trump’s hacks just sidestepped the CDC entirely and shamelessly wrote their own politically-motivated testing guidelines and published them under the agency’s imprimatur.”

      • Trump vs. Masks: Attacks on CDC, Doctors & Scientists Undermine a “Pillar of Pandemic Control”

        As the official United States death toll from COVID-19 approaches 200,000 people, we speak with infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi, who says President Trump’s refusal to promote face masks has made the pandemic much worse. “Masks are a pillar of pandemic control. They are incredibly important,” says Dr. Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as a division head at San Francisco General Hospital. “There is no country in the world right now that has been fighting masks like this, especially at the presidential level. If we could have started mask wearing, consistent mask wearing, at the beginning, we would have averted deaths and cases.”

      • Can we trust the CDC and FDA any more?

        [Orac note: Some of you might have seen a version of this post earlier this week elsewhere. This version is updated. I have a major grant deadline on Monday and that’s why there haven’t been any new posts since Monday. I anticipate resuming the Insolence on Tuesday or Wednesday, and hopefully I can get back to my regular schedule, at least until the next grant deadlines in early October. After that, things should be less hectic for a couple of months. In the meantime, I ask the question: Can we trust the CDC and FDA any more?]

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Win-KeX Version 2.0 Released For Kali Linux Running In WSL 2 [Ed: Prisoners of Windows]

            For those who don’t know, Win-KeX is a graphical desktop environment for Kali Linux running on Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2). It aims to provide a GUI and improve the Kali Linux experience on WSL 2.

          • Popular VPN closes critical vulnerability on Linux client

            The VPN service Private Internet Access (PIA) has released a new version of its Linux client which fixes a critical vulnerability that could have allowed remote attackers to bypass the software’s kill switch.

            The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2020-15590, was discovered by Sick Codes and it affects versions 1.5 through 2.3 of PIA’s Linux client.

            The client’s kill switch is configured to block all inbound and outbound network traffic when a VPN connection drops. However, privileged applications still have the ability to send and receive network traffic even when the kill switch is turned on if net.ipv4.ip_forward has been enabled in the system kernel parameters.


            “For the issue raised, we have no legacy customer support requests relating to this use case. We welcome input from community sources in addressing their usage and with this in mind, we took the decision to support this use case with our next Linux client release.”

            PIA users running Docker on Linux should upgrade to version 2.4 of the company’s client as soon as possible to avoid any potential attacks leveraging this vulnerability.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • House Passes Bill To Address The Internet Of Broken Things

              Though it doesn’t grab the same headline attention as the silly and pointless TikTok ban, the lack of security and privacy standards in the internet of things (IOT) is arguably a much bigger problem. TikTok is, after all, just one app, hoovering up consumer data in a way that’s not particularly different from the 45,000 other international apps, services, governments, and telecoms doing much the same thing. The IOT, in contrast, involves millions of feebly secured products being attached to home and business networks every day. Many also made in China, but featuring microphones and cameras.

            • Lawsuit accuses Facebook of using mobile phone cameras to spy on Instagram users

              The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court Thursday by a New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi who claimed Facebook accesses mobile cameras while users are on the app “to collect lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.”

              “By obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes, [Facebook is] able to increase their advertising revenue by targeting users more than ever before,” the lawsuit alleges.

            • Choosing a VPN for the WeChat and TikTok Ban: Paid VPN vs. Free VPN

              Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a popular and effective way to bypass bans. Recently, the governments in India and the United States have banned certain apps like WeChat and TikTok from the app store. While the bans currently only stop users from downloading the app from the app store and will not yet block users from using the app if they already have it, it isn’t unreasonable to think that might be the next step. As US companies will soon be forbidden from providing technical services to WeChat and TikTok, it’s possible that even those that still have the app will experience degraded usage experiences unless they use a VPN.

            • Details Of Unconstitutional WeChat/TikTok Ban Actually Would Make Users Of Those Apps Less Secure, Not More

              This morning the Commerce Department released the details of how the WeChat and TikTok bans will work. It’s possible that the ban on TikTok will get lifted if Treasury Secretary Mnuchin can convince enough people in the administration to buy into the grifty Oracle non-sale, but the WeChat ban is happening no matter what.

            • Starting Sunday, TikTok and WeChat banned in US: American users will need a VPN

              The United States government has officially banned TikTok and WeChat from American phones, citing national security concerns. Starting Sunday, September the 20th, TikTok and WeChat will no longer be allowed in the Apple iOS Store or the Google Play Store. The news comes from a U.S. Department of Commerce press release which is titled: “Commerce Department Prohibits WeChat and TikTok Transactions to Protect the National Security of the United States.” Where many people use VPNs in China to bypass Chinese censorship of American apps and services, the reverse is now going to become a thing.

            • TikTok Asks Facebook for Support Against Trump’s Ban

              dam Mosseri, who runs Facebook’s Instagram photo-sharing app, tweeted Friday that a TikTok ban, which the Commerce Department announced earlier, “would be quite bad for Instagram, Facebook, and the internet more broadly.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat will be banned from U.S. app stores starting Sunday.

              TikTok’s interim Chief Executive Officer Vanessa Pappas replied to Mosseri’s tweet, asking the company to join its legal fight against the White House. “We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation,” she wrote. “This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law.”

            • Trump to ban US TikTok and WeChat app store downloads on September 20th

              The full order was published by the Department of Commerce on Friday morning. “Any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd,” the order reads, “shall be prohibited to the extent permitted under applicable law.” It is set to take effect on September 20th.

            • EXCLUSIVE-Trump to block U.S. downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday- officials

              The Commerce Department order will “deplatform” the two apps in the United States and bar Apple Inc’s app store, Alphabet Inc’s Google Play and others from offering the apps on any platform “that can be reached from within the United States,” a senior Commerce official told Reuters.

              The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made public.

              The order will not ban U.S. companies from doing businesses on WeChat outside the United States, which will be welcome news to U.S. firms like Walmart and Starbucks that use WeChat’s embedded ‘mini-app’ programs to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China.

            • WeChat Users Fighting To Block Trump’s Executive Order Banning The App In The US

              While the TikTok part of Trump’s original August Executive Order got all the attention, we pointed out that it was fairly notable that he issued a nearly identical order to also effectively ban WeChat by blocking any transactions related to WeChat. While WeChat is not that well known or widely used in the US, it is basically central to the Chinese internet, and, as such, is a key part of how many Chinese Americans stay in touch with relatives, friends, and colleagues back in China. So it was perhaps not that surprising that a group of WeChat users in the US quickly sued to try to block the order:

            • Let Gender Reveal Parties Burn

              The Georgia sun beat down on my uncle Dennis’s front yard the day he cut my hair.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Bolstering Calls for Climate Action, ‘Mutant Sloth’ Hurricane Sally Leaves Major Mess for Gulf Coast

        “The planet, it’s screaming to us,” said one expert. “When are we going to start listening?”

      • Trump’s Climate Denial Gains Strength If We’re in Denial About His Neo-Fascism

        Climate change is an emergency. And so is Trumpism. Flames are approaching what’s left of democratic structures in the United States.

      • We Need a New Climate Narrative: Not a Dystopian Movie, but a Vision of Hope, Change and Empowerment

        In a season of fire and storm, we need more than fables of apocalypse. There’s real hope, if we can seize it.

      • Court Considers If Washington State, Smothered by ‘Climate Fires’ and Smoke, Is Violating Youths’ Rights to Life and Liberty

        That case, Aji P. et al. v. State of Washington, argues that the government is violating the youths’ fundamental rights under the state constitution through policies that perpetuate fossil fuels and fail to reduce carbon emissions rapidly enough to avoid catastrophic climate consequences. At a time when the state is literally on fire and climate calamity impossible to ignore, the court appeared skeptical of the state’s argument that the political branches of government are doing enough to address the crisis and that climate change doesn’t undermine fundamental rights protected by the constitution.

      • Are Environmentalists Too Compromised to Fight for Real Solutions?

        A group of aging environmentalists is out with an Open Letter telling people: Don’t vote for the Green Party. As the aging environmentalist who is the Green Party candidate for president, let me respond.

      • As Advocates Demand Media ‘Cover the Crisis,’ Poll Shows Voters Want Comprehensive Reporting on Climate Crisis

        “To give voters the information they need to make political decisions in an increasingly chaotic world, the media must cover the climate crisis with the accuracy and urgency it deserves.”

      • ‘Climate Floods. Climate Droughts. Climate Fires’: Interactive Map Illustrates How Planetary Crisis Threatens Every Corner of US

        Digital project allows Americans to recognize the “most significant climate threat unfolding” in their own backyard.

      • Misinformation Raging Like Wildfire

        With large fires still raging around the West, we can all feel empathy for those who lost their homes and even entire communities and all of us suffering from the smoke.

      • Media Blame Gender Reveal Parties, Not Climate Change, for West Coast Fires

        The West is on fire, quite literally. A record-breaking heatwave has sparked unprecedented wildfires up and down the coast, turning the sky an apocalyptic, terrifying shade of red. Six of California’s 20 largest-ever fires have occurred this year, over half a million Oregonians have been forced to flee their homes and the destruction from this week’s blazes alone in Washington qualify it as the state’s second-worst fire season in history.

      • As Fires Rage Across the West, Trump Bails Out Big Oil & Picks Climate Denier for Top Role at NOAA

        As climate-fueled wildfires continue to ravage the West, the Trump administration has tapped a well-known climate change denier for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. University of Delaware professor David Legates has written papers calling for more fossil fuel emissions and has had his work supported by the Robert Mercer-funded Heartland Institute and Koch Industries, as well as major gas companies. He was recently hired as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. We speak with David Goodrich, a former top climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who says Legates’s appointment goes against the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community. “You have about 97% of the scientists disagreeing with the position of Dr. Legates,” says Goodrich, who served as director of NOAA’s Climate Observations Division from 2009 to 2011. We also speak to David Goodrich about his latest book, “A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean,” in which he examines the impact of the fossil fuel industry through an epic bicycle journey from the Alberta tar sands to the Bakken oil field of North Dakota.

      • Toxic Wildfire Haze Leaves Damage Long After It Clears

        Seeley Lake, Montana — When researchers arrived in this town tucked in the Northern Rockies three years ago, they could still smell the smoke a day after it cleared from devastating wildfires. Their plan was to chart how long it took for people to recover from living for seven weeks surrounded by relentless smoke.

      • As wildfires rage, climate experts warn: The future we were worried about is here

        “Individual things like a bad hurricane season, bad flooding or bad wildfires are not that surprising because literally every climate scientist predicted these things would happen,” said Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a senior research associate at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia. “But seeing all these things happen in one year — in some cases, simultaneously — is shocking and does make me worried about what the next 10 years are going to look like.”

        Though they occurred thousands of miles apart, on different continents and different terrains, there are some similarities between the wildfires in Australia and those in the western U.S., according to Mike Flannigan, director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science at the University of Alberta in Canada.

        In both places, the fire seasons started earlier than normal amid persistent drought conditions, he said. Lightning also played a key role in igniting fires in Australia and in California, in particular.

      • Enough is Enough: It’s Time for a Real Green New Deal

        With fires raging across the western United States – leaving in their wake human and wildlife death, upended lives, and what looks like apocalyptic Martian wastelands – renewed calls for a Green New Deal (GND) are intensifying. But with these renewed calls comes a renewed responsibility to speak honestly about our climate crisis and what a truly appropriate response might look like. The time is upon us to stop pushing childish fantasies about our energy future and to finally face the difficult realities that stand before us.

      • European Thinktanks Repeating ‘Well-worn’ US Climate Denial Tropes

        The paper published in the journal Climatic Change examines publications from eight of the most prominent contrarian thinktanks in six EU countries over 24 years from 1994 to 2018, and argues the organisations enjoy a “remarkable” level of political influence for their size.

      • ‘Delay, Distract, and Derail’: New Report Reveals How Plastic Polluters Have Avoided Regulation Worldwide for Decades

        “This report is a damning exposé of the tactics employed by the plastics industry and shines a welcome light on the shadowy world of corporate lobbying.” 

      • Energy

        • Antonia Juhasz on the End of Oil

          This week on CounterSpin: As the coronavirus pandemic shut down business as usual around the world, some saw a kind of silver lining in emerging images of formerly gray skies returned to blue, skylines re-emerging from years of polluted muck. More than an “ironic upside,” those images were a message: that situations presented as inevitable have always been choices, that it is action—and inaction—that have kept those skies gray.

        • Fossil Fuel Industry and Koch Network Fighting Pennsylvania’s Move to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

          The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board, part of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), voted on September 15 to adopt draft regulations limiting carbon emissions from power plants as part of the state’s process of joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program designed to slash emissions from the electric power sector. An ongoing battle has been brewing over Pennsylvania joining this program. Its Republican-controlled legislature is opposed to the state participating, while Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has taken executive action to start the process of joining.

        • Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them.

          In May 2019, workers in California’s Central Valley struggled to seal a broken oil well. It was one of thousands of aging wells that crowd the dusty foothills three hours from the coast, where Chevron and other companies inject steam at high pressure to loosen up heavy crude. Suddenly, oil shot out of the bare ground nearby.

          Chevron corralled the oil in a dry streambed, and within days the flow petered out. But it resumed with a vengeance a month later. By July, a sticky, shimmering stream of crude and brine oozed through the steep ravine.

        • Pulp mills could be massive source of synthetic fuel

          Carbon dioxide can be scrubbed from mill smoke and combined with hydrogen to produce synthetic fuels that can replace petrol and diesel.

          The Lappeenranta – Lahti University of Technology LUT published a study on Friday in cooperation with with the energy company St1 and the engineering technology company Wärtsilä, according to which Finland could become fully energy self-sufficient and completely end the use of fossil energy sources.

        • A little rant about talent

          It’s become less common to hear people referred to as “resources” in recent times. There’s more trendy “official vocab guidelines”, but what’s really changed? There’s still phrases in common use that sound good but betray the same mindset.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Millions of Children Go Hungry as Mitch McConnell Blocks Stimulus Bill

        Millions of children across the United States are already going hungry amid the economic recession spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and emergency food assistance is set to expire on September 30 as Congress remains at an impasse over stimulus legislation. The House has already passed legislation that would renew the emergency food assistance, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take it up in the Senate.

      • Surprise! Still No Economic Relief from Washington

        With tens of millions unemployed, inevitable eviction merely postponed for a few months and low-wage jobs and small businesses drying up like the Rio Grande south of Albuquerque, you’d think the federal government could negotiate some help for stranded Americans. Democrats had a bill ready back in May. But it just sat on Mitch McConnell’s desk till the last minute, when government aid ran out. Then the GOP said no. That’s called negotiating – in some, demented quarters. Anyway, the Dems halved their price-tag. The GOP said no again. Trump passed a bunch of legally questionable executive orders – most of which did little to help desperate Americans. Meanwhile the Biden campaign idiotically indicated it might not repeal the odious Trump tax cut for billionaires, if Biden wins.

      • Over 13 Million More People Would Be in Poverty Without Unemployment Insurance and Stimulus Payments

        Senate Republicans are blocking legislation proven to reduce poverty.

      • ‘Completely Upside Down’: As Most Americans Struggled During First Six Months of Pandemic, Billionaire Wealth Surged by $845 Billion

        “The difference is stark between profits for billionaires and the widespread economic misery in our nation.”

      • Giuliani’s Payroll Company Got a Paycheck Protection Loan But Lists No Employees

        A payroll company owned by Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, took between $150,000 and $350,000 in taxpayer-backed emergency small business loans this spring. It’s unclear what Giuliani did with the money.

      • Bolstering Case for Single Payer, Study Shows For-Profit Insurer Plans Pay Hospitals Nearly 250% More Than Medicare

        “There is no better system of cost control and universal care for employers than Medicare for All.”

      • Confronting Collapse

        As we pick up the pieces of the shattered economy, the route to the Great Transition becomes clear: we need to recapture and democratize money as a lever for resource allocation and collective power.

      • Cuomo’s Choice: Tax the Rich or Starve the Schools

        New York City is facing its most tumultuous school reopening in recent memory. The city’s Department of Education is the only major urban school system that is attempting to start the new school year with in-person learning, and the move will offer either a road map for districts everywhere or serve as a cautionary tale of what a city should not do. As of now, the DOE plans to reopen in-person instruction in staggered shifts, with the majority starting after September 29, delaying a start date from September 10 after pressure from concerned teachers and parents.

      • To Provide Public Alternative to ‘Predatory’ Wall Street Banks, Sanders and Gillibrand Unveil Postal Banking Act

        “No one in America should have to pay a 400% interest rate on a $375 loan from a payday lender.”

      • President Trump Has Attacked Workers’ Safety, Wages, and Rights Since Day One

        Here’s a look at five of the worst actions the Trump administration has taken against workers.

      • With Eye on Biden Victory, Warren and Schumer Unveil Plan to Cancel Up to $50,000 for Federal Student Loan Borrowers

        “Broadly cancelling student loan debt would be a game-changer for millions of people in this country and a lifeline when they desperately need it.”

      • Billionaires Called to Pay It Back as UN Warns of ‘Wave of Hunger and Famine’ That Could Rock Globe

        “It’s time for those who have the most to step up, to help those who have the least in this extraordinary time in world history,” says the World Food Programme director. “Humanity is facing the greatest crisis any of us have seen in our lifetimes.”

      • Reflections on the Later Stages of Our Careers

        I recently read “Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think,” an essay in The Atlantic by social scientist and author Arthur C. Brooks. Brooks essay is a personal reflection on professional careers. In particular, the essay explains why in July of 2019 at the age of 55, he concluded that it was time to resign his decades-long position as president of the prestigious American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to join the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School. I found Brooks’ essay particularly intriguing as a lens through which to reflect on the later stages of my own career; – when I turned 60 in 2005, I started the transition toward my 2007 retirement from my long IBM career by becoming affiliated with MIT and starting to write my weekly blogs.

        The essay references the work of Dean Simonton, professor emeritus of psychology at UC Davis, who’s conducted extensive research on the trajectories of creative careers and is one of the world’s leading experts on the subject.

        Over the years, Simonton developed a mathematical model that explains the long term variations in the career trajectories of different individuals, as well as the differences in career trajectories across disciplines and domains. A few parameters account for most individual differences: the age at which the career starts, the career’s initial creative potential, the rates at which new ideas are generated, and the rate at which the ideas become finished results as publications or products. This simple model can then predict the trajectory of each individual’s career, including the ages of their first, their best and their final contribution. Simonton confirmed the validity of his model by analyzing the creative output of the careers of over 2,000 scientists and inventors, as well as the output of musicians, painters, authors and other artists.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Democrats: Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em

        Like HIV or COVID-19, the Democratic Party is likely to be with us for some time to come. The best we can hope for is that it becomes more manageable.

      • For Real Resistance: The Fascist Trump-Barr Regime Can’t Simply Be Voted Out

        “There Has to be Retribution”

      • Taking the Next Knee

        Is this athletic revolt for real and is it a danger to Donald Trump?

      • Changing the Washington Guard: What a Democratic Sweep in November Portends

        At the risk of counting chickens before they hatch, what would the return of Team Blue portend?

      • Top Dems Demand IG Probe Into Possible Illegal Election Influencing in Favor of Trump by William Barr

        Recent actions by the U.S. Attorney General, said chairs of key House committees, “clearly appear intended to benefit President Trump politically.”

      • “Law and Order” vs. “Empathy and Healing”

        Americans citizens have considered, knowingly or not, the legacy of American history every four years since 1788. This election season, we have the choice of ‘Law and Order’–conservatism as a morally bankrupt subservience to power, or ‘Empathy and Healing’–a nostrum that offers compassionate listening rather than progressive change.  Both represent attempts to shape society based on some idealized historical fiction rather than confronting the clear and present exigencies of past injustices.

      • Remembering is Powerful

        Remembering makes us wiser. The words Never Forget takes us back to the events of 9-11. Years later, the site of the Twin Towers has been rebuilt as a memorial with two reflecting pools marking where the two buildings once stood. The memorial not only marks the spot where innocent people lost their lives but also becomes a place for introspection. Many millennials will not remember 9-11 but have been exposed to the aftermath of Islamophobia and twenty-years of military reprisals. This is part of their world – so, remembering is important.

      • ‘A Recipe for Disaster’: Democrats Worry Biden Campaign Missing in Action in Battleground States
      • A Trump Admin Rule Change Would Allow Shelters to Refuse Trans People

        Few experiences are more commonly shared among transgender people than a lack of stable housing. Nearly one in three transgender Americans have been homeless in their lifetime and one in eight have been homeless in just the last year, according to a 2015 survey. And not having a place to live leaves individuals more vulnerable to the harassment, abuse and violence that characterizes so much of life as a transgender person in the U.S.

      • Conspiracy Theories by Cops Fuel Far Right Attacks Against Antiracist Protesters

        On August 22, a far right confederation of Three Percenter militia, Proud Boys and Trump Republicans confronted Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Portland, Oregon. They came armed to the teeth: open-carried rifles and handguns, shields paired with pipes and batons, and body armor with heavy-duty bulletproof helmets. They formed a shield line, many emblazoned with far right slogans like “Save the Children,” a reference to the conspiracy theory that Democrats are running child sex-slave rings. After an hour of taunts, they charged into the crowd. They swung metal pipes, beating people to the ground, breaking bones and leaving serious injuries.

      • Amid Fears of False Victory Claim by Trump, Media Urged to Form Plan to Combat Election Night Lies

        The National Task Force on Election Crises warned that “period of uncertainty” caused by surge in mail-in ballots could “allow bad actors to attempt to undermine our democratic process.”

      • ‘Existential Threat to Our Democracy’: Trump Openly Telegraphs Intent (Once Again) to Delegitimize 2020 Election Results

        The president’s latest baseless attack on mail-in ballots drew yet another warning from Twitter.

      • Judge What I Say, Not What I Do: Yves Engler On Canada’s Foreign Policy

        In June 2020 Canada’s grovelling desire to gain a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council was rejected. This may have been a surprise to some Canadians who bathe in the sunny light of the peacekeeping nation and resolute upholder of human rights and international law. How could Canada, of all nations, be rejected? In 2016 former President Obama had cried out that “The world needs more Canada.” Indigo Books picked up this phrase and turned it into a treacly birthday card greeting. But many nations in the world adamantly disagreed with these lovely sentiments.

      • Russian to Judgement: the Senate Report

        Author and former British spy, a rightwing fave, is regarded as the coiner of the expression Deep State — what he described as “the invisible labyrinth of power” outside of government that actually controls the operations of a nation’s background machinations. Most powerful nations have one. In the US, we often refer to this State as the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC), after Ike’s farewell speech in 1960, in which he references the expression. Not necessarily malignant, the Deep State does complicate the open workings of government by privileging the needs of corporations and the military over democratically expressed desires (such as a modernization of the social safety net to include universal health insurance, free tuition and loan forgiveness). Usually, the needs of the MIC amounts to illicit money-making.

      • From Nukes to Northern Ireland: Breaking International Law is as English as Afternoon Tea

        Referring to a major piece of Brexit legislation, British media and punditry issued burning condemnation of the ruling Tory government’s Internal Market Bill, which the former Tory Party chair and current Northern Ireland Minister, Brandon Lewis, says will: “break international law in a very specific and limited way.”

      • Voters Should be Wary of USA Today’s False Balance on Election 2020

        The newspaper overstates Trump’s support and creates the impression of a balance that doesn’t exist.

      • Right-Wing Operatives Accused of Trying to Entrap Progressive Pro-Democracy Groups in North Carolina to Undermine Their Election Work

        “Common Cause may be the target, but the attack is on our democracy and on the right of every eligible voter to have a say in the future for our families, communities, and country.”

      • As Early Voting Begins in Key States, Advocates Emphasize ‘Election Day’ Not Just in November This Year—It’s Now!

        Given the pandemic, said one organizer, “we are really stressing that folks should try to vote as early as possible, whether they do that by mail or in person.”

      • Burn Unit
      • Nature, Science and Revolutionary Struggle

        Working my way through John Bellamy Foster’s magisterial “The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology,” it dawned on me that there was a gap in my knowledge. I knew that Marx and Engels were consumed with ecological problems, even though the word wasn’t in their vocabulary. To a large extent, my awareness came from reading another great Foster book, “Marx’s Ecology.” However, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that in between Marx/ Engels and Rachel Carson it was mostly a blur. The failure of the socialist states to support Green values reinforced that feeling. From Chernobyl to the shrinking of the Aral Sea, there was not much to distinguish capitalist and socialist society.

      • Very Brief Briefings
      • ‘Huge Victory for Voting Rights’ in Pennsylvania as State Supreme Court Extends Mail-In Ballot Deadline, Allows Voting Drop Boxes

        “The court’s well-reasoned decision protects the right to cast a vote by mail that will count, and it protects voters whose health are at risk due to Covid-19.”

      • Remembering Ike, Our Unexpected Egalitarian

        Former president Dwight Eisenhower deserves his new memorial. We deserve the greater economic equality he worked to help achieve.

      • Melania Trump Really Doesn’t Care

        I used to feel sorry for Melania Trump. All she wanted, I imagined, was to be one of those rich private-school moms who spend their life getting spa treatments and lunching with their girlfriends at chic little Upper East Side restaurants. Instead, she ended up trapped with a sociopath in a tower full of gold toilets. People put too much stock in the concept of agency, I would say. Sometimes you make a mistake and you can’t get out of it. And because she’s a woman, she gets double the blame, like Marie Antoinette. These days, Marie gets more grief than her husband, Louis XVI, the actual king of France.

      • White Supremacists Are a Threat to Elections, Says the DHS

        Last week, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower told the press that agency officials had ordered him to downplay the threat of white supremacist terrorism. But a recent DHS intelligence assessment about physical threats to the 2020 election season identifies “white supremacist extremists” as the foremost threat to the democratic process this year.

      • Electionland 2020: USPS Mailers, Pandemic Voting, Get Out the Vote Efforts and More

        No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials

        The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, whose work about voting fraud has been discredited, has been conducting private meetings for Republicans only. Read the story.

      • Change and Decay: A Time of Transition

        It’s the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere, a beautiful and refreshing space between the heady days of summer and the chill of winter, a transitional time. And collectively we are living through a time of global transition; a shift from one civilization, colored by certain influencing qualities, to a new time, growing out of the old but infused with a different energy, with distinct unifying qualities and evolving modes of living.

      • Denouncing ‘Intentional Effort’ to Sabotage Election, Judge Orders Nationwide Reversal of DeJoy Mail Changes

        “At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement,” said Judge Stanley Bastian.

      • Displaced by Fire or Smoke? Here’s How to Protect Your Right to Vote
      • Bill Barr Says DOJ Prosecutors Should Bring Sedition Charges Against Violent Protesters

        If Attorney General Bill Barr is ever gifted with superlatives, the one that will stick will be “worst.”

      • ‘Unprecedented Abuse of Emergency Powers’: Free Speech Advocates Denounce Trump Effort to Ban TikTok, WeChat Apps

        The move, says one advocate, is “shortsighted, ridiculous, and likely unconstitutional.”

      • TikTok and WeChat Apps Banned by Trump Administration Starting This Sunday

        The Trump administration announced a ban on downloading two popular social media apps owned by China-based corporations starting this Sunday, citing national security and consumer privacy concerns.

      • U.S. Bans TikTok, WeChat Citing National Security

        The action is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to weaken influence from China, a rising economic superpower. Since taking office in 2017, Trump has waged a trade war with China, blocked mergers involving Chinese companies and stifled the business of Chinese firms like Huawei, a maker of phones and telecom equipment. China-backed [attackers], meanwhile, have been blamed for data breaches of U.S. federal databases and the credit agency Equifax, and the Chinese government strictly limits what U.S. tech companies can do in China.

      • Selena Gomez Shares Private Message to Facebook Leadership on Hate, Racism: “We Have a Serious Problem”

        Gomez then noted the upcoming election, 46 days from now.

        “We cannot afford to have misinformation about voting,” she continued. “There has to be fact-checking and accountability. Hope to hear back from you ASAP.”

      • Michael Moore: Biden strategy in Michigan might be ‘worse than Hillary’

        Filmmaker Michael Moore warned that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be running a “worse” campaign in Michigan than 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost the state by less than half a percentage point four years ago.

      • Facebook Versus Democracy

        Facebook, long criticized for facilitating hate speech and incitement all over the world, is finally cracking down on one particular form of incendiary rhetoric: any criticism of Facebook management. The company has an internal message board that mirrors the platform it provides to users, a kind of private Facebook. On that forum, employees have been increasingly critical of senior executives for their cozy relationship with Donald Trump and other authoritarian leaders, which often leads the company to violate its own stated policies about disseminating hate speech and political disinformation.

      • For RBG: Today We Grieve, Tomorrow We Fight
      • US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ‘Advocate for Equality and Reason,’ Dead at 87

        On her deathbed, she told her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

      • Memoriam of US Supreme Court Legend, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933 – 2020)

        Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of the US Supreme Court, passed away on Friday 18th September 2020, just before the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, which according to the tenets of her Jewish faith, is the hour of death for the most righteous souls. And that she was. Her life was dedicated to seeing that justice was done. She was a women with a formidable sense of justice, and the gumption and tenacity to change history.


        In the early 1970s she became the director of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she succeeded in five gender equality cases at the Supreme Court. She was the second women to be appointed to the US Supreme Court. (See the obituary by Nina Totenberg for a thorough account of Ruth’s triumphs).

        With her progressive views on social issues including abortion, immigration, healthcare, and equality, she was a torch bearer that blazed through hundreds of restrictive laws to change the world for women and the marginalised and disempowered. She became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, featuring in the poignant movie ‘On The Basis of Sex’ in 2018, and the subject of a documentary which led to her being crowned the Notorious RBG.

      • A battle for the Supreme Court looms after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

        But although precedent has some authority in law, it holds little sway in politics. When Mr McConnell was asked last year how he would handle a Supreme Court vacancy in the run-up to the 2020 election, he did not skip a beat: “Oh, we’d fill it,” he said with a smirk. Indeed, just hours after Ms Ginsburg’s death, he declared that he will give a hearing to Mr Trump’s eventual nominee. At least one Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, says she will not vote to confirm a replacement for Ms Ginsburg until after inauguration day. “Fair is fair,” she said. Several GOP senators had expressed similar sentiments, though before Ms Ginsburg died, when there was no seat to fill. Without four committed Republican defectors to keep Ms Ginsburg’s chair empty until 2021 (Republicans hold the Senate by a 53-47 vote) Mr Trump may find himself with the opportunity to secure a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court before his first term expires.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and Gender Equality Advocate, Dies at 87

        When her husband moved to New York for work, she transferred to Columbia University for her final year of law school. She once again won a seat on the college’s law review and graduated at the top of her class. However, despite her long history of academic success, she found that her sex prevented her from obtaining any positions at established law firms.

        As a result, Ginsburg turned to teaching, becoming a law professor at Rutgers University in 1963 before transferring to Columbia University Law School two years later. There, she became the first woman to receive tenure and helped co-found “The Women’s Rights Law Reporter,” the first law journal in the United States devoted to gender equality issues.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘My Most Fervent Wish Is That I Will Not Be Replaced Until a New President Is Installed’

        For four long years, Justice Ginsburg kept the faith—battling cancer and advancing years. Just days before her death Friday, at age 87, the justice dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera that read: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

      • What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Could Mean For 2020 And The Supreme Court

        Indeed, her death, and the fight to fill her seat, may have a number of political implications. Those will become clearer over the next days and weeks, of course, with the election right around the corner, but here’s a first look at what some of those potential implications might be: [...]

      • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

        According to a statement from the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg’s passing came amid a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was previously diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999, and dealt with her first bout of pancreatic cancer in 2009. She died at home in Washington, surrounded by loved ones.

      • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

        Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

        She knew what was to come. Ginsburg’s death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court, not only is the leader of the liberal wing gone, but with the court about to open a new term, the chief justice no longer holds the controlling vote in closely contested cases.

      • 8 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Rulings to Know About

        “The Notorious RBG,” as she’s sometimes referred to, has spent her career fighting for the rights of women and other marginalized groups (she even co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project). She’s lent her voice to countless opinions, and become particularly well known for her scathing, clearly worded dissents. Here are just eight of the most critical cases she has participated in.

      • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

        “There wasn’t a single firm in the entire city of New York that was willing to take a chance on me,” she said.

        However, with the help of a professor, she got a clerkship and soon afterward started teaching at Rutgers University School of Law and Columbia Law School.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Dying Wish: DISSENT!

        The prospects for near-term success are grim. McConnell has already removed the filibuster rule for Supreme Court appointments, which means he needs only 50 votes to confirm a new justice (since the vice president breaks any ties), and he has 53 Republicans. Democrats would have to convince four of those Republicans to agree to wait until after the election to move on a nominee. Even if political pressure can be brought against Republicans in close Senate races to reject McConnell’s hypocrisy, Democrats would have to keep those Republicans on board, against McConnell, through the transition to the next presidential term. It’s entirely possible that some of those vulnerable Republicans will lose their election campaigns anyway, and thus have no real reason to stick with Democrats before the inauguration, instead of voting with their party as they transition to their post-electoral careers in Republican politics.

      • Corporate Crime at the New York Times and Washington Post
      • Palestinians in the Age of Trump

        I just dropped my request for an Ohio absentee ballot in the Palestine Post in Ramallah. Although thousands of miles away, I can see and feel the heavy, dark clouds descending above all 50 states. This presidential election is not about Trump’s top contender, it is about getting over this four-year bump in the hope that lessons were learned, and a historic correction can begin. A Biden win is not the correction, it is getting over the bump.


        Why is the U.S. system of democracy allowing Donald Trump to complete a full term in office? Scarily in Trump’s case, he has a real chance to manipulate the system yet again and win a second term. Americans of conscience, or even those with an iota of common sense, must answer this question before it is too late. Now is not the time for blind commitment to the broken political system that produced a Trump presidency in the first place.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Usenet Has To Figure Out How To Deal With Spam (April 1994)

        Summary: In the early 1990s, facing increased pressure from the commercial sector who sensed there might be some value in the nascent “Internet,” the National Science Foundation began easing informal restrictions on commercial activity over the Internet. This gave rise to the earliest internet companies — but also to spam. Before the World Wide Web had really taken off, the place where a great deal of internet communication took place was Usenet, created in 1980, which was what one might think of as a proto-Reddit, with a variety of “newsgroups” dedicated to different subjects that users could post to.

      • Alan Dershowitz Files SLAPP Suit Against CNN; Says Not Airing More Of What He Said Is Defamation

        Famed law professor Alan Dershowitz is at it again. He’s now suing CNN for defamation in a SLAPP suit, because he’s upset that CNN did not provide an entire quote he made during the impeachment trial before the US Senate, claiming that because he was quoted out of context, it resulted in people believing something different than what he actually meant with a quote. Reading the lawsuit, the argument is not all that different from the defamation claim made by another Harvard Law professor, Larry Lessig, earlier this year, in which he accused the NY Times and a reporter there of defamation for taking his comments out of context. Lessig later dropped that lawsuit.

      • The Dishonest and Misogynistic Hate Campaign Against J.K. Rowling

        What has Rowling done to deserve all of this? Well, let’s run through the list of her supposed crimes. First, in 2018, she liked a couple of tweets written by gender-critical feminists—which is to say, feminists who reject the idea that gender self-identification can serve to erase the reality of human biology—including one tweet protesting against sexism in the Labour Party. Next, she sent a very restrained tweet in December 2019, expressing her support for Maya Forstater, a British woman who lost her job as a result of her gender-critical views. Rowling’s tweet read: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”

      • Researchers discover six-year espionage campaign targeting Iranian dissidents

        Researchers announced Friday that they had discovered a “large-scale” six-year campaign by Iranian-linked [attackers] to surveil Iranian dissidents and expats, including through targeting accounts on the instant messaging app Telegram.

        A report released by Check Point Software Technologies said that, beginning as early as 2014, Iranian entities targeted government dissidents including resistance group Mujahedin-e Khalq and the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization through attacking their mobile devices and personal computers.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Federal Court Says Office Of Legal Counsel Must Proactively Release Opinions Covering Interagency Disputes

        The federal government’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) tells government agencies what they can and can’t do under existing law. Its interpretation of these laws may vary significantly from how they’ve been interpreted by courts. The OLC has been asked to justify everything from warrantless searches to extrajudicial killings. The bespoke law interpretations that justify these actions are then withheld from the public — often for decades at a time.

      • In Trump’s America, It’s Cruelty as Policy
      • Wake of the Giant
      • Mutual Aid Response During Fires Shows Black Lives Matter Is Building Community

        One year after Occupy Wall Street spread to public squares across the nation, a spontaneous network formed to provide civilian disaster response during and after Hurricane Sandy. They called themselves “Occupy Sandy.” Now, in response to a different climate catastrophe, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Portland, Oregon, are making a similar transition.

      • Human Rights Organization Issues Press Freedom Alert Over UK Government’s Refusal To Speak To Critical Journalists

        The UK government is fine with press freedom as long as the press confines itself to the unwritten guidelines the government uses to restrict it. Publish too many leaked documents? Well, the government will show up and destroy your computer equipment. Report on the wrong stuff? The government will kick you out of Parliament and tell you not to talk about why you’ve been kicked out. Publish names of people targeted by UK government investigations in the Land of the First Amendment and across the pond from the UK? Expect a UK court to issue a ruling telling you to abide by laws that don’t govern the country you’re actually publishing in.

      • ‘We had a technical glitch’ ‘Channel One’ talk show backtracks after accusing Navalny’s team of doctored video

        During an episode of the Channel One talk show “Vremya Pokazhet” (Time Will Tell) aired on September 17, host Artyom Sheinin showed the video of Alexey Navalny’s team searching his room at the Xander Hotel in Tomsk — and accused them of blurring out the dial on an alarm clock in the video. The show quickly came under criticism when it turned out that Sheinin’s team was responsible for the blur. Forced to explain themselves, they chalked it up to a “technical glitch.”

      • Kremlin spokesman says Navalny’s ‘poisoned water bottle’ is a mystery to Russian officials because it was never shared with local investigators

        Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday the Putin administration doesn’t know where European specialists were able to find traces of a Novichok-class nerve agent on Alexey Navalny’s water bottle because Russian police never examined the alleged water bottle.

      • Speaker of Russia’s Parliament suspects that German intelligence agents poisoned Navalny to limit Moscow’s options in Belarus

        State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin thinks German intelligence agents may have poisoned Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny as part of a plot to undermine Moscow’s support for Belarusian sovereignty. 

      • The Political Use and Misuse of ‘Mulan’

        You might already know the story of Mulan, or at least a version of it: a young woman in ancient China who passed as a man to take her father’s place in the army and defend her country. It has inspired numerous reinventions, most recently by Disney with a live-action movie featuring Chinese actors. “There have been many tales of the great warrior Mulan,” the narrator says at the beginning of the film, which was released this month. “This one is mine.”

      • Her Stepfather Admitted to Sexually Abusing Her. That Wasn’t Enough to Keep Her Safe.

        Dennis Mouser walked into Anchorage police headquarters on Sept. 2, 1987, for an interview he had requested with a detective.

        By the time he walked out, he had admitted to sexually assaulting his stepdaughter Sherri on at least two occasions when she was 10. He’d also exposed himself to her, he told police.

      • Iranian Dissident Whose Prison Beatings Left Him Unable to Walk Beaten Again, Lawyer Says

        Iran has detained several human rights defenders in recent years and charged them with national security offenses in relation to their legal work.

        One of Iran’s most prominent jailed lawyers is Nasrin Sotoudeh, who began her second hunger strike of this year on August 11 to protest Iran’s treatment of political prisoners, according to her husband. She has been jailed at Evin prison since June 2018 for defending Iranian women who were detained for removing their compulsory hijabs in public defiance of Iran’s ruling clerics.

      • Watching Sports While the World Spins Out of Control

        Confined and anxious because of the pandemic? Fearful for your home and having trouble breathing because of smoke from raging wildfires? Overwhelmed by high winds and floods because of Hurricane Sally? Afraid to go out because of violent altercations between police and Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrators? Worried that your partial employment checks will run out and that your job will disappear in the near future? Ashamed at how many child migrants your country will accept from the devastation on Lesbos? Distraught that Trump might win on November 3 and not sure if a Biden victory would make a significant difference?

      • Taking the Next Knee: Is the Athlete Revolt Real and is It a Danger to Trump?

        Last year, when LeBron James described some of President Trump’s public statements as “laughable and scary,” Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham ordered the basketball superstar to “shut up and dribble.”

      • The Next Revolt by Athletes Could Damage Trump’s Reelection Prospects

        Last year, when LeBron James described some of President Trump’s public statements as “laughable and scary,” Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham ordered the basketball superstar to “shut up and dribble.”

      • Pursuing National Liberation and Socialism: A Conversation with Oscar Figuera

        Oscar Figuera is the general secretary of the Venezuelan Communist Party [PCV]. As a 17-year-old metal worker in Aragua state, he cut his teeth as a union organizer in the Venezuelan Worker’s Unitary Central [CUTV, the PCV-led union federation], becoming the union’s general secretary in 1986. Today, Figuera is a member of the National Assembly [2016-2020 term]. In this exclusive interview, Figuera talks to VA about both the recent transformations of Venezuelan capitalism and the Popular Revolutionary Alternative, a broad coalition that aims to regroup leftwing Chavista forces in a front that is independent from the PSUV.

      • The Struggle for Bottom Unity in an Age of Division

        Solidarity is a bitch when everyone who can afford a knife is slitting each other’s throat. That’s the nasty little limerick that keeps playing on repeat in my skull like a mantra as populist grassroots uprisings devolve into bitter proxy wars between roaming tribes of bitter proles, killing each other over which oligarch’s name they have scrawled across their battle flags. Everyone wants to pick sides. Everyone is trolling for convenient scapegoats. I just see poor people killing poor people while two sick rich candidates arrange their corpses into clever platforms to stand on and promote more war from. The splintering of the George Floyd Uprisings into partisan turf warfare doesn’t just rip up my already bleeding heart because I had so much hope for the revolutionary potential now being squandered. It kills me because I have people on both sides of these gorey shenanigans and they should both be on the same damn team. All poor people should be, regardless of race or even politics.

      • Top Court In Massachusetts Says Prosecutors Must Provide Info On Bad Cops To Criminal Defendants

        Cops lie. Cops lie enough there’s a term for it: testilying. Honest prosecutors don’t want lying cops on the stand dirtying up their case with their impeachable testimony. Unfortunately, police unions are powerful enough to thwart this small bit of accountability. “Brady lists” are compiled by prosecutors. They contain the names of officers whose track record for telling the truth is so terrible prosecutors don’t want to have to rely on their… shall we say… misstatements in court.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Trump Nominates Guy Who Wants To Police Speech Online To Be The Next FCC Commissioner

        As was rumored late last week, the White House is, in fact, nominating Nathan Simington to the FCC, taking over the seat of of Mike O’Riely, whose nomination was withdrawn just days after O’Rielly expressed his strong support for the 1st Amendment and made it clear what he thought of idiots calling for the government to force websites to host content:

      • AT&T Says It’s Eyeing ‘Wireless Discounts For Ads.’ But It’s Not Going To Be What You Think.

        AT&T is telling Reuters that it’s considering offering wireless customers a “$5 to $10 reduction in their bill” in exchange for some targeted ads:

      • Verizon Buys Tracfone As U.S. Wireless Gets Even More Consolidated

        As economists and experts had warned, the recent $26 billion Sprint T-Mobile merger effectively decimated the prepaid space. T-Mobile had already laid off around 6,000 employees at its Metro Prepaid division, with more layoffs expected. Many of the “mobile virtual network operators” that operated on Sprint’s network now face an uncertain future, with growing resentment in the space among prepaid vendors, who say T-Mobile is already using its greater size and leverage to erode commissions and to renegotiate their contracts for the worse. Many prepaid vendors are calling for help that most certainly won’t be coming any time soon from the Trump Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • CardieX Granted Patent in Europe for Key Brachial Cuff Blood Pressure Technology

          CardieX Limited (ASX: CDX) (CardieX, the Company) announced today that CardieX subsidiary ATCOR was granted a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) for the Company’s proprietary SphygmoCor® technology used in cuff-based blood pressure devices.

          EPO Patent Number EP2566387 further protects the company’s intellectual property in relation to the measurement of a central blood pressure (BP) waveform with cardiovascular features using a brachial cuff. Patent EP2566387 specifically covers non-invasively estimating the heart’s pressure and pressure waveform related to cardiac function and arterial properties using a conventional BP cuff inflated to low pressure. The patent provides a simple tool to clinically diagnose and estimate the risk of heart disease.

        • CardieX subsidiary granted European patent for unique SphygmoCor blood pressure technology
        • EPO revokes Copaxone patent, clears path for Mylan

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has invalidated and revoked a patent related to Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection), in a win for Mylan.

      • Trademarks

        • Ubisoft Bows To Monster Energy To Rename An Upcoming Game Horribly

          Veteran Techdirt readers will have been so tempered by stories about Monster Energy playing the trademark bully at this point that the mere mention of the company should cause them to roll their eyes. Still, the history of what we’ve covered in the Monster’s attempt to win the trademark-protectionist championship are still constructive in one very important way: Monster Energy regularly loses these disputes. That in itself shouldn’t be terribly surprising; the company’s decisions on just how often to enforce the trademark rights it has are often so absurd that it would be a shock if it put together any sort of real winning streak. But what is surprising is when victims of Monster’s bullying choose to actually concede to the bullying, given that losing track record.

      • Copyrights

        • University Voluntarily Agrees to Block Pirate Sites Under Code of Conduct

          The largest university in Denmark has signed a code of conduct with local anti-piracy outfit Rights Alliance to block access to pirate sites. Aarhus University will voluntarily prevent its 38,000 students from accessing sites that have previously been ruled illegal by a court, but without being served with a court order itself.

        • Why It’s Time to Reboot Canada’s Failed Digital Agenda

          Moreover, Facebook’s recent indication that it will block all news services in Australia in response to government plans to mandate payments for including links to articles suggests that Canada could face the same fate should Mr. Guilbeault proceed with his legislative plans. The combination of Facebook blocking news sharing and other services (such as Netflix, Spotify and Skype) facing new mandatory payments and content restrictions could leave Canadians confronting a highly regulated internet with limited access to some popular tools.

Video: Free Communication With Free Software – Daniel Pocock – FOSSASIA Summit 2016

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, Videos at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)

FOSSASIA about Daniel Pocock: “Professional software engineer and consultant. Daniel Pocock has developed enterprise grade solutions for some of the giants of the financial services industry, including secure connectivity for UBS (using Apache Camel), the first customer-facing WebRTC contact solution on Wall Street at Interactive Brokers, enterprise-wide real-time monitoring for Barclays Capital (based on Ganglia) and a wide range of real-time financial trade capture and risk management solutions for Thomson Reuters. Despite the highly proprietary nature of these enterprises, Pocock has remained a champion of efficient, cost effective open source solutions to meet demanding business requirements. Pocock actively contributes to a range of free software projects with a focus on real-time communications (RTC) and VoIP, in particular, Lumicall, JSCommunicator, DruCall, reSIProcate, Ganglia and flactag. Pocock is the author of the RTC Quick Start Guide and is part of the team behind the O’Reilly book Monitoring with Ganglia Pocock is a Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora Developer and an OpenCSW package maintainer. He is a licensed radio amateur with the callsigns VK3TQR and M0GLR.”

[Meme] Microsoft Downtime… Now in ‘Linux’ (Wait a Month for Microsoft to Restore Uptime)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Context: More Microsoft Googlebombing Designed to Slow Down and Drown Out the News Stories About Its Sabotage of WSL2 (Whose Users Lost Work!) Within Less Than 24 Hours

Coming soon; It's not like you need access to your work

Summary: Microsoft’s utter failure that is "WSL2" is bringing the failures Windows is so notorious for (loss of work, lack of security, fatal patches) to so-called ‘Linux’; the timeframe for a fix says a lot about just how much Microsoft “loves” Linux…

Coming Soon: Microsoft Leaks (Which Microsoft Pressured Medium to Suppress and Promptly Unpublish)

Posted in Microsoft at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft

Car crimeSummary: Microsoft is no ordinary company; exposing it is like dealing with the Mafia or some drug cartel in Mexico, but we’re able to publish truths about Microsoft nonetheless (their notorious intimidation and silencing attempts have always failed against us)

THE crimes of Microsoft are well known, but some are better known than others (the bribery epidemic for instance). Some time later this month or next month we plan to publish truly damning material — a string of internal communications which show a conspiracy to harm and to grossly violate the law.

“…Microsoft wants us to have blind faith in this nebulous concept of “new Microsoft” (same as the old Microsoft).”Microsoft is hardly the company which needs ‘exposing’; people everywhere know it’s run by criminals, founded by at least one criminal (the other is a dead patent troll), and its notoriety is well earned.

Censoring Techrights is very difficult; Microsoft is used to sending threats to platforms/publishers, to people’s bosses (they’ve tried this with my boss as well, having found his contact details) and they’re basically acting like a bunch of gangsters. Because that’s just what they are. If they cannot bribe, they will bully and bully and bribe some more (even bribing one’s bosses for leverage). It’s good to produce more and more evidence of it; Microsoft wants us to have blind faith in this nebulous concept of “new Microsoft” (same as the old Microsoft). Microsoft should be synonymous with criminal behaviour.

Stay tuned.

Dishonest Corporations — Like Smug Politicians — Pretend to be Something They’re Not

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, IBM at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pandering Politicians: Microsoft is green, Apple values your privacy, IBM does #TechForGood

Summary: Corporate lies dominate the media, having been crafted by unethical marketing departments with their photo ops and hashtags

QUICK! Name a company that openly says (or whose Web site states) it doesn’t value your privacy! Oh, even Facebook says it is about privacy. Name a company that says it pollutes… anyone? Anyone? Going once, going twice…

“They’ll work harder to control the psyche or the narrative, telling us stuff as ridiculous as morality being the censorship of mere words (even rather innocent and innocuous words, by taking them out of context).”The matter of fact is, corporations shamelessly lie about what they really are and about what they do.

Every week or every number of days IBM tells us that it does #TechForGood (typically some greenwashing, openwashing, disaster recovery and so on; screenshot below), but look no further than IBM’s past and present (not what press releases say). Sooner or later they reach the point of lying with sincerity; many employees come to believe the employer’s lies. And perhaps that’s the whole point — misleading employees and clients by sending out messages contrary to truth itself. That leads to contradiction and thus confusion, uncertainty.

IBM deception tacticsEnter Free software.

As the Debian mantra goes, they “won’t hide problems…”*

And we don’t. We talk about those things.

Sure, there are censorship and suppression attempts, but those tend to backfire. Recently we wrote a great deal about Debian, having already published about 100 articles about IBM (earlier on throughout the summer).

Having honest discussions based on pertinent facts isn’t always “easy” or “fun”; the world isn’t always a pretty place and technology tends to become more aggressive as regimes become more oppressive (creating a demand for such technology). It’s hardly surprising that Google and Microsoft spread their money around, seeking Public Relations and suppression of critics (censorship). Expect more and more of that as their work (so-called ‘technology’) becomes increasingly malicious. They’ll work harder to control the psyche or the narrative, telling us stuff as ridiculous as morality being the censorship of mere words (even rather innocent and innocuous words, by taking them out of context).

Techrights is a site that values truth, not convenient illusions and corporate/political pandering. That’s why many people read and trust Techrights. Truth is becoming a rarity because it is defunded. The Big Money is in deception; ask the Linux Foundation. This past week it spent a lot of resources openwashing IBM’s mainframes (as if sticking the word “open” in front of things magically makes them ethical).
* The Debian Social Contract says: 1. Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software; 2. We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community; 3. We Won’t Hide Problems; 4 Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software…

GNU is Also a Brand, But It Boils Down to Philosophy and Principles, Not Greed or Corporate Identity

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Politicians laughing or only two political perspectives

Summary: Why the goal of GNU should be freedom rather than so-called ‘world domination’ (the objective of large firms with shareholders)

THE history of UNIX goes half a century back; GNU goes more than 35 years back (way more than Linux) and there are various related concepts such as POSIX. We also recently learned about the role Richard Stallman had played in BSD becoming free. Back when the FSF was very young and even before it existed there were already a number of important movements set in motion.

“We also recently learned about the role Richard Stallman had played in BSD becoming free.”“LPF is some kind of FFII predecessor,” the FFII’s President told us in IRC earlier today, pointing to this Wikipedia page which says:

League for Programming Freedom (LPF) was founded in 1989 by Richard Stallman to unite free software developers as well as developers of proprietary software to fight against software patents and the extension of the scope of copyright. Their logo is the Statue of Liberty holding a floppy disk and tape spool.

How many people even knew about this? Stallman was willing to form a sort of coalition with proprietary software developers for the high-priority task of abolishing software patents. This wasn’t about power and money but about ensuring — to use the name above — “Programming Freedom”. Stallman didn’t earn 16 honorary doctorates and professorships for nothing; those who care about facts can see the contributions.

There tends to be this urge or a tendency to measure the importance or “success” of people and institutions based on money and brand recognition. GNU is different because its goal is to free or to liberate code and programmers. In the same way that to may musical artists what really counts is the quality of their work, possibly its reach, not purely monetary parameters (which mostly concern the copyright monopolists/cartels, sometimes referred to as the “music industry”).

“There tends to be this urge or a tendency to measure the importance or “success” of people and institutions based on money and brand recognition.”Some people still wrongly measure the relevance of organisations based on how much money they have in the bank. The Linux Foundation operates at a loss and wastes lots of money on ridiculous and self-harming (to Linux) things while raising money from literal sellout. Is that “success”? Becoming a de facto lobbying/pressure group for companies that predominantly produce proprietary software?

An avatarWhen lots of hackers (programmers) joined the Free software movement they didn’t do so for money as much as for recognition/fame for making the world a better place and for helping fellow engineers. GNU or the GNU Project (many pertinent projects) is a lot bigger than Linux, yet many people wrongly call GNU programs "Linux commands".

The concept of “world domination” (used a lot by “Linux” types) has always baffled me somewhat. I mean, what is the real and ultimate goal? Liberating people? Or just “market share”? The biggest market share (on the client side) now goes to Android, which has Linux in it. Does that mean that people now enjoy freedom?

“When lots of hackers (programmers) joined the Free software movement they didn’t do so for money as much as for recognition/fame for making the world a better place and for helping fellow engineers.”It’s convenient to think of everything in corporate terms that are easily measurable (revenue, number of clients/users etc.), but for GNU types the whole paradigm is inherently and profoundly different. Focus more on freedom and less on “market share”; some would argue that “market share” tells us how many people now enjoy or have access to software freedom, but in practice (as the example of Android/AOSP shows) it’s an optimistic oversimplification.

People in the GNU/Linux world are sometimes accused of barking at new users, having long discouraged widespread adoption (“market share”) of the operating system. In practice, however, they guard against turning GNU/Linux into yet another DRM platform (such as Chrome OS) and in theory they have good intentions (without a lack of exceptions here and there; elitism is a problem in the technical context, just as it is in racial or nationalist contexts).

“People in the GNU/Linux world are sometimes accused of barking at new users, having long discouraged widespread adoption (“market share”) of the operating system.”To change the world compromises may be needed here and there, but too many concessions lead to assimilation that devalues and ‘dilutes’ any potential change/reform. Richard Stallman is often maligned/mocked as too ‘backwards’ (not adopting the latest buzzwords and hype) or unproductively stubborn just because he still stands for the same standards he adhered to when GNU was born. People who do or say bad things about him typically turn out to be hostile towards GNU and whatever GNU stands for. It would be conceited to completely disregard their gripes and complaints (they want proprietary games, “apps”, Clown Computing and Facebook), but what they strive to have is just another corporate brand, typically “Linux” (with the same characteristics of whatever comes out of Apple and Microsoft).

IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 18, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:15 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts