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09.26.20

Links 26/9/2020: Wine 5.18, FreeBSD 12.2-BETA3 and Debian 10.6 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Last phase of the desktop wars?

        Economic pressure will be on Microsoft to deprecate the emulation layer. Partly because it’s entirely a cost center. Partly because they want to reduce the complexity cost of running Azure. Every increment of Windows/Linux convergence helps with that – reduces administration and the expected volume of support traffic.

        Eventually, Microsoft announces upcoming end-of-life on the Windows emulation. The OS itself , and its userland tools, has for some time already been Linux underneath a carefully preserved old-Windows UI. Third-party software providers stop shipping Windows binaries in favor of ELF binaries with a pure Linux API…

        …and Linux finally wins the desktop wars, not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.

    • Server

      • Lack of Qualified Linux Talent Impedes Enterprise Move to the Clouds

        The Linux Foundation has been working to address the shortage of Linux talent for many years with a combination of training and certification exams.

        Despite this, the breathtaking growth in Linux adoption, especially as the de facto OS of the cloud, means that there is still a shortage of qualified talent, according to Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation (LF).

        “We are always supportive of developments in the training ecosystem which help address this gap. In particular, we are finding that demand for our performance-based certification exams continues to be gated by individuals not feeling adequately prepared,” he told LinuxInsider.

        LF’s certification exams include Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Certified Kubernetes Application Developer, Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin, and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer.

        “ACG and LA both have excellent reputations for the quality of their open-source training content so we are pleased to see them come together to better serve the talent development needs of the open-source software ecosystem,” he added.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Boost Productivity With Emacs, Org Mode and Org Agenda

        Do you use “productivity apps”? If so, Emacs, Org Mode and Org Agenda lets you make todo lists, schedule tasks, manage projects and much more. I’ve never been a “todo list” or “appointment scheduling” kind of person but the more I play with Emacs and Org, the more I think that I should be doing these things.

      • The Untapped Magic Of The Vim Runtime Directories

        Prior to using plugin managers vim plugins were handled in a completely different way, you would make use of all these special run time directories and be required to move the files for each plugin into the specified directories, while they’re not used as much anymore there’s no reason why you can’t make use of them in a modern vim configuration.

      • Artificial intelligence as Free Software with Vincent Lequertier

        For the seventh episode of our Software Freedom Podcast we talk with Vincent Lequertier about transparency, fairness, and accessibility as crucial criteria for artificial intelligence (AI) and why it is important for our society to release AI software under a Free Software license.

        Our guest for the seventh episode of the Software Freedom Podcast is Vincent Lequertier. Vincent is a member of the Free Software Foundation Europe and is researching AI in the health care sector. Together we discuss the use and development of artificial intelligence from a Free Software perspective. Vincent explains what AI actually is and why it is important for our society to release AI software under a Free Software license. We discuss why the criteria of transparency, fairness and accessibility are important when working with artificial intelligence and how they relate to Free Software. Finally, we also discover what challenges AI is facing in the future and whether we should be afraid of the increasing use of this technology in our daily lives.

    • Kernel Space

      • Trenchboot Secure Launch Support For Linux Sees New Patches

        For a while now Oracle engineers and others have been working on Trenchboot as a means of secure launch/boot support when paired with the likes of Intel TXT and AMD SKINIT for trusted execution and configuring each piece of the software boot chain for trusted/secure handling. The latest kernel patches have been sent out for review for secure launching of the kernel.

        Earlier this year Oracle engineers sent out Linux kernel patches for Trenchboot while on Thursday the newest work surfaced.

      • Linux 5.10 To See RAID10 DISCARD Improvement – From 259 Seconds To Less Than 1 Second

        Queued today into the block subsystem’s “-next” area ahead of the Linux 5.10 cycle kicking off next month are some MD RAID enhancements.

        In particular, thanks to Red Hat’s Xiao Ni is improved RAID10 discard request handling. The change with a set of five SSDs in a RAID10 array on a test system dropped the mkfs.xfs time for creating an XFS file-system taking 4 minutes 39 seconds to less than 1 second… Quite a noticeable difference in that scenario.

      • Colin King: Kernel janitor work: fixing spelling mistakes in kernel messages

        The Linux 5.9-rc6 kernel source contains over 300,000 literal strings used in kernel messages of various sorts (errors, warnings, etc) and it is no surprise that typos and spelling mistakes slip into these messages from time to time.

        To catch spelling mistakes I run a daily automated job that fetches the tip from linux-next and runs a fast spelling checker tool that finds all spelling mistakes and then diff’s these against the results from the previous day. The diff is emailed to me and I put my kernel janitor hat on, fix these up and send these to the upstream developers and maintainers.

        The spelling checker tool is a fast-and-dirty C parser that finds literal strings and also variable names and checks these against a US English dictionary containing over 100,000 words. As fun weekend side project I hand optimized the checker to be able to parse and spell check several millions lines of kernel C code per second.

      • Initcalls, part 2: Digging into implementation

        In the first part of this blog post series on Linux kernel initcalls, we looked at their purpose, their usage, and ways to debug them (using initcall_debug or FTrace). In this second part, we’ll go deeper into the implementation of initcalls, with a look at the colorful __device_initcall() macro, the rootfs initcall, and how modules can be executed.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Ryzen 5000 leak shows a powerful APU to strike back at Intel’s Tiger Lake

          This popping up in Linux now suggests that we could see these Ryzen 5000 chips sooner rather than later. Currently, their anticipated debut is early 2021, but maybe it’ll be very early 2021; perhaps at CES? Or could we see a reveal possibly even this year? Who knows, and of course all this is pure guesswork, although the latter still seems rather unlikely.

          Whatever the case, Ryzen 5000 APUs for notebooks aren’t far away now, and will of course go up against Intel’s Tiger Lake CPUs which have already been revealed, and will start pitching up in laptops before the end of 2020 (we already know that some notebooks will be arriving in November).

          These 11th-gen mobile chips from Intel look to be shaping up very impressively from what we’ve seen thus far, and of course come with Xe integrated graphics, which represents a big step forward for gaming on a laptop – and that’s why RDNA 2 graphics will be key for AMD with its incoming Van Gogh APUs.

        • AMD Linux Kernel Patch Confirms Next-Gen Van Gogh APUs With DDR5 And RDNA2

          After a Linux kernel patch with 275K lines of code came out on Friday, the people over at Phoronix began to snoop around for any hidden information. Among the lines of code, they discovered that the upcoming Van Gogh APUs from AMD will have Navi 2 GPUs and will use DDR5 system memory.

        • Mesa 20.3 Can Now Consume SPIR-V Binaries Generated By LLVM’s libclc

          Libclc is the LLVM library around OpenCL C programming language support and goes along with Clang’s OpenCL front-end. Jesse Natalie of Microsoft has seen his two month old merge request land on Friday for being able to make use of libclc SPIR-V binaries that can be used by Mesa OpenCL code. Ultimately this code in part allows converting a libclc SPIR-V library into a set of NIR functions. Earlier this year the effort was started by Red Hat’s David Airlie for being able to support a SPIR-V library generated from libclc to implement OpenCL runtime functions. Microsoft though pursued the work over the finish as part of their effort for getting OpenCL over Direct3D 12 (and OpenGL).

        • AMD Sends Out Linux Kernel Support For Van Gogh APUs – Confirms DDR5 Memory, VCN3

          s a nice Friday afternoon patch series there is the 275k lines of code for wiring up the next-generation AMD Van Gogh APU support under Linux.

          Earlier this week there were the Mesa patches for AMD Dimgrey Cavefish and Van Gogh while today the kernel-side portion for Van Gogh was sent out for the AMDGPU kernel driver.

        • AMD Van Gogh APUs Spotted In Linux Patch, Features DDR5, Navi 2 iGPU

          AMD submitted the 45 Linux kernel patches, which weigh in at 275,000 lines of code, to enable Linux support for the coming APUs. The patches also reveal that Van Gogh comes with Video Core Next 3.0, which supports AV1 decode. In the past, Phoronix has found patches indicating VCN 3.0 (video encode) is native to the Navi 2 graphics engine.

          Pairing the Navi 2 / RDNA 2 graphics engine with DDR5/LPDDR5 could unlock quite a bit of graphical horsepower, as integrated graphics engines tend to respond well to increased memory throughput. Van Gogh is also predicted to come with Zen 2 cores, and it will certainly be interesting to see what kind of impact the improved memory throughput has on the Zen 2 architecture.

        • Roman Gilg: Universal means to specific ends

          Today new beta versions for all KWinFT projects – that are KWinFT, Wrapland, Disman and KDisplay – were released. With that we are on target for the full release which is aligned with Plasma 5.20 on October 13.

          Big changes will unquestionable come to Disman, a previously stifled library for display management, which now learns to stand on its own feet providing universal means for the configuration of displays with different windowing systems and Wayland compositors.

          But also for the compositor KWinFT a very specific yet important feature got implemented and a multitude of stability fixes and code refactors were accomplished.

          In the following we will do a deep dive into reasons and results of this recent efforts.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Engage Thrusters

          Briefly, zink copies the framebuffer state, there’s a number of conditions under which a new pipeline object is needed, which all result in ctx->gfx_pipeline_state.hash = 0;. Other than this, there’s sample count check for sample changes so that the shader can be modified if necessary, and then there’s the setup for creating the Vulkan framebuffer object as well as the renderpass object in get_framebuffer().

          Eagle-eyed readers will immediately spot the problem here, which is, aside from the fact that there’s not actually any reason to be setting up the framebuffer or renderpass here, how zink is also flushing the current batch if a renderpass is active.

          The change I made here was to remove everything related to Vulkan from here, and move it to zink_begin_render_pass(), which is the function that the driver uses to begin a renderpass for a given batch.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Vulkan Neural Network Performance With NCNN

        With having added Tencent’s NCNN tests to the Phoronix Test Suite with Vulkan acceleration, here is a look at the real-world impact by using RealSR-NCNN for scaling up with RealSR. Various NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested for this initial NCNN / RealSR-NCNN Vulkan comparison.

        This is our first time looking at how well Vulkan performs in this area with the current state of the Linux drivers. The GeForce hardware was tested with the latest 450 series proprietary driver while on the Radeon side it was with Linux 5.9 and Mesa 20.3-devel using the RADV Vulkan driver. One of the Tencent developers working on NCNN has commented as well that using RADV’s ACO offers a big boost for the performance, which fortunately is the current default for the RADV Vulkan driver.

      • Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org Now Has 600 Different Tests/Benchmarks

        Ahead of next month’s Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 release and the new OpenBenchmarking.org, the milestone was met this week of having 600 different test profiles (benchmarks) available for automated execution via our open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Mail Notification Tools

        Email is arguably one of the most popular and useful functions of a Linux system. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of free email software available on the Linux platform which is stable, feature laden, and ideal for personal and business environments.

        A mail notification tool lets you know when new emails are received. A prominent feature of these tools is the non-obtrusive passive notification about important emails which will let you concentrate on your work and avoid unnecessary interruptions.

        When all you want to do is be notified when you have a new e-mail message the last thing you want is software chugging along in the background using up valuable system memory. Fortunately, the programs are lightweight in nature.

        Here’s our recommendations. All of the programs are free and open source goodness.

      • Calibre E-book App 5.0 Released with Highlighting & Dark Mode

        Calibre, cross-platform open-source comprehensive e-book software, released version 5.0 with some great new features.

        Calibre 5.0 features highlighting in the E-book viewer. Simply select text and click the Highlight selection button. It can be colors, underlines, strikethrough, etc. and has added notes. All highlights can be both stored in EPUB files and centrally in the Calibre library.

        The new release also feature Dark mode support. On Windows and Mac, it is activated automatically based on OS settings. In Ubuntu Linux, launch the software in dark mode via CALIBRE_USE_DARK_PALETTE=1 environment variable.

      • 7 Alternatives to Google Earth

        Google Earth has received so much press coverage that many users will appreciate that it is one of the coolest applications to download. In brief, it is a feature-laden 3D virtual globe, map and geography browser which lets users zoom in on their world with fantastic detail. View satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the sky. This application allows the exploration of rich geographical content, save toured places and share with others. The software maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe.

        Google Earth is undoubtedly a very impressive application, and it is extremely hard not to admire the wealth of features that it offers. Its satellite images are unrivaled, it provides useful and accurate statistical information, and the software has many practical benefits, such as helping to find locations and give driving directions. In terms of functionality, this application earns our highest praise. We use the software on a regular basis on both desktop and mobile devices (the latter under Android). However, while Google Earth is available to download without charge, Google do not release the software under an open source license.

        In the past there have been attempts to reverse engineer Google Earth and implement its features in an open and extensible way. However, these actions were understandably frowned upon by Google. Instead we prefer to see the development of open source virtual globe software which uses freely licensed or public domain data. While the development of open source virtual globe applications may not, in itself, encourage Google to release its application or data under a similar license, it does give users the option to be able to have the freedom to do what they want. This route also helps to foster greater user community support to drive development often in the form of add-ons and plug-ins.

        There are a number of applications which are credible open source alternatives to Google Earth. While none of the software applications featured in this article have all of the features offered by Google Earth (although some offer some different features), and they are not exactly comparable, they are all worthy of investigating.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.18 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Vulkan shader compilation using the new vkd3d-shader library.
          - USER32 library converted to PE.
          - Console no longer requires the curses library.
          - Support for display modes with various orientations.
          - A number of syntax fixes in the WIDL compiler.
          - Non-recursive makefiles.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.18.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.18.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
        
      • Wine 5.18 is out making use of the new vkd3d-shader library

        The team hacking away on the Wine compatibility layer have put out another development build with Wine 5.18 now being made available. Wine 5.18 comes not long after the Wine team also released vkd3d 1.2, their Direct3D 12 to Vulkan translation layer and it seems part of the work was on integrations here.

      • Wine 5.18 Released With VKD3D 1.2′s vkd3d-shader Usage

        Wine 5.18 is out as the newest bi-weekly feature development release.

        Wine 5.18 isn’t the most exciting feature release in recent times but is notable in that Vulkan shader compilation is now done using the vkd3d-shader library. That library was introduced as part of this week’s VKD3D 1.2 release for mapping Direct3D 12 over Vulkan. VKD3D 1.2 is much more capable than the prior v1.1 release from nearly two years ago.

        Wine 5.18 also converts the USER32 library to being of the portable executable (PE) format, the console no longer requires the curses library, support for display modes with various orientations, syntax fixes in the WIDL compiler, non-recursive makefiles now for the build system handling, and various bug fixes.

    • Games

      • Warzone 2100 Lands Vulkan Renderer, Adaptive V-Sync For 20+ Year Old Game

        Warzone 2100 as the real-time strategy/tactics game that first premiered in 1999 before becoming open-source in 2004 and then fully open-source with game data in 2008 is now evolving in 2020 with Vulkan graphics support.

        The open-source Warzone 2100 game not only has a Vulkan back-end that was merged today but also OpenGL ES 2.0/3.0 support for those wanting to relive this late 90′s computer game on mobile/embedded devices having only GLES drivers.

      • Another Discord voice chat overlay for Linux appears with ‘Discover’

        Since the official Discord client doesn’t currently support the Overlay on Linux, it’s up to the community and another has been released named Discover. Not to be confused with the KDE application store, which is also named Discover.

        The Discover overlay for Discord was created by the same people as the last one we wrote about. This time, it’s a little different. They’re not relying on Discord’s StreamKit and it instead interacts with the Discord client directly. This means it could expand to support other chat applications too in future perhaps, plus they said it should also be “lighter on system resources and less hack-and-slash included than discord-overlay”.

      • Post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy Overland has a big 1.2 update with an all-dogs mode

        Possibly one of the most stylish turn-based strategy games around and one that’s also rather difficult, Overland just had a big 1.2 update released with some funny new additions.

        A post-apocalyptic road-trip game all about making tough decisions. You thought XCOM 2 was difficult? Overland can be quite on the brutal side. Small maps that don’t give you a lot of wiggle room, with one misstep it might all be over. Every noise you make only brings weird creatures closer and you’ve got to get moving across the United States.

        [...]

        Finding another dog and inviting them into my crew might be the sweetest thing I’ve seen in a turn-based strategy game, as they both give a little “woof” and wag their tails and suddenly I’ve got a two-dog crew driving across the USA during the end of the world. It’s weirdly wholesome, until one of them dies that is — so sad.

      • Revisit childhood games with DOSBox on your Chromebook

        I’m back at it! I spent the better part of yesterday morning tinkering with virtual machines and the Linux container on my Chromebook to see was sort of shenanigans I could get myself into. Somewhere along the way, I decided to fiddle with MS-DOS. More on that later. Along the way, I discovered a nifty little app that I had never heard of until this week. Just to be clear, this application is not new. In fact, it’s been around for nearly two decades and its sole purpose is to emulate DOS in an x86 environment.

        [...]

        There you go. You’re all set. You can now launch DOSBox from the terminal by just typing or you can open it with the app icon that is now in your app launcher. I’m sure you’re now wondering what you can actually do with DOSBox. Don’t worry. We’ll get to that next. As I mentioned above, DOSBox has been reworked to bring countless older video games directly to the web by allowing users to play in the browser. Chances are decent that, if you are looking for one of your favorite childhood games, it’s available in a browser-based version. Sites such as playclassic.games use this very technology to run games like Oregon Trail, DOOM, and Civilization I&II.

        Anyway, you can use DOSBox to do the very same thing locally on your Chromebook. Here’s how to get your favorite MS-DOS games on Chrome OS using DOSBox. First, we will need a game to play. For many DOS games, you can download the .exe file and run the game directly from that file. Other games, like the example we’re using, has an installation file. That file will create the .exe file that will launch the game. In honor of all the Intel Gemini Lake Chromebooks out there, we will be installing the cult classic Commander Keen. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, most Chromebook code names and baseboards are named after video game or animated characters. The original Google Cr-48 is code-named Mario. More recent devices powered by Intel’s Gemini Lake processors are named after characters from ID Software’s Commander Keen series of video games.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.2-BETA3 Now Available
          The third BETA build of the 12.2-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          
          Installation images are available for:
          
          o 12.2-BETA3 amd64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA3 i386 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA3 powerpc GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA3 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 12.2-BETA3 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv6 RPI-B
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 BANANAPI
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 BEAGLEBONE
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 RPI2
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 WANDBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 RPI3
          o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 PINE64
          o 12.2-BETA3 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
          system.
          
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/12.2/
          
          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 12.2-BETA2 includes:
          
          o An installation issue with certctl(8) had been fixed.
          
          o Read/write kstats for ZFS datasets had been added from OpenZFS.
          
          o The default vm.max_user_wired value had been increased.
          
          o The kern.geom.part.check_integrity sysctl(8) had been extended to work
            on GPT partitions.
          
          o The cxgbe(4) firmware had been updated to version 1.25.0.0.
          
          o Fixes for em(4) and igb(4) have been addressed.
          
          o A fix for a potential NFS server crash had been addressed.
          
          o A lock order reversal between NFS server and server-side krpc had been
            addressed.
          
          A list of changes since 12.1-RELEASE is available in the releng/12.2
          release notes:
          
          https://www.freebsd.org/releases/12.2R/relnotes.html
          
          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.
          
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/12.2-BETA3/
          
          The partition layout is:
          
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          
          https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU
          
          To boot the VM image, run:
          
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
          
          === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            af-south-1 region: ami-085b7b5b76d8f88e1
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0d2aaf811cd455b5d
            ap-south-1 region: ami-0c85211fa78c701f5
            eu-west-3 region: ami-08c4c388a19042fb3
            eu-west-2 region: ami-030841f586c12d392
            eu-south-1 region: ami-035fcb9515104859e
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0d5e826250c10cd3a
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-01adc51da511ea8fc
            me-south-1 region: ami-04b2ddbedee42d57a
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-0e5b3fc6777cd037d
            sa-east-1 region: ami-08be6405809912e60
            ca-central-1 region: ami-0c954a7d72d7b483c
            ap-east-1 region: ami-04377808aeca208a7
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-02e1e04501c308c0b
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0e9ae229b9ca55677
            eu-central-1 region: ami-002e88141d3b00ee2
            us-east-1 region: ami-0c678fade90df8f04
            us-east-2 region: ami-0967c088cbf208659
            us-west-1 region: ami-0dafae7edc2b2f376
            us-west-2 region: ami-07e4d062d094f5364
          
          FreeBSD/aarch64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            af-south-1 region: ami-07c05f6349125a1c7
            eu-north-1 region: ami-041e507b80cb59335
            ap-south-1 region: ami-064907659b94c4823
            eu-west-3 region: ami-000c4a31405be8e94
            eu-west-2 region: ami-0debbacd03a24e562
            eu-south-1 region: ami-0c358e05477cd8b6b
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0fc48c1fef0e255f0
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-06bd715c00c4237b7
            me-south-1 region: ami-04a671aa9611f8a74
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-008e0fa8be5e5c44c
            sa-east-1 region: ami-03c2f687354f086b4
            ca-central-1 region: ami-0647aa16bc62701a3
            ap-east-1 region: ami-08f54406159203762
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-007e5e33e3e4d9152
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0a028a4f5beeed373
            eu-central-1 region: ami-072e09d78436cf375
            us-east-1 region: ami-0218fa187d85dc688
            us-east-2 region: ami-06e8312e95743ce1a
            us-west-1 region: ami-0211983509f75ee9b
            us-west-2 region: ami-038188157f971a711
          
          === Vagrant Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
          be installed by running:
          
              % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-12.2-BETA3
              % vagrant up
          
          === Upgrading ===
          
          The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
          systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
          FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
          
          	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 12.2-BETA3
          
          During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
          merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
          performed merging was done correctly.
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
          continuing.
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
          userland components:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
          especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
          FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
          other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
          into the new userland:
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
          stale files:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
        • [NetBSD] Curses Library Automated Testing

          My GSoC project under NetBSD involves the development of the test framework of curses. This is the final blog report in a series of blog reports; you can look at the first report and second report of the series.
          The first report gives a brief introduction of the project and some insights into the curses testframe through its architecture and language. To someone who wants to contribute to the test suite, this blog can act as the quick guide of how things work internally. Meanwhile, the second report discusses some of the concepts that were quite challenging for me to understand. I wanted to share them with those who may face such a challenge. Both of these reports also cover the progress made in various phases of the Summer of Code.

          This being the final report in the series, I would love to share my experience throughout the project. I would be sharing some of the learning as well as caveats that I faced in the project.

        • [NetBSD] RumpKernel Syscall Fuzzing

          The first and second coding period was entirely dedicated to fuzzing rumpkernel syscalls using hongfuzz. Initially a dumb fuzzer was developed to start fuzzing but it soon reached its limits.

          For the duration of second coding peroid we concentrated on crash reproduction and adding grammar to the fuzzer which yielded in better results as we tested on a bug in ioctl with grammar. Although this works for now crash reproduction needs to be improved to generate a working c reproducer.

          For the last coding period I have looked into the internals of syzkaller to understand how it pregenerates input and how it mutates data. I have continued to work on integrating buildrump.sh with build.sh. buildrump eases the task fo building the rumpkernel on any host for any target.

          buildrump.sh is like a wrapper around build.sh to build the tools and rumpkernel from the source relevant to rumpkernel. So I worked to get buildrump.sh working with netbsd-src. Building the toolchain was successfull from netbsd-src. So binaries like rumpmake work just fine to continue building the rumpkernel.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Calibre updated to 5.0.1

          Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

        • Flameshot updated to 0.8.1

          Flameshot is a powerful and simple to use screenshot software with built-in editor with advanced features.

        • Teamviewer updated to 15.10.5

          TeamViewer provides easy, fast and secure remote access and meeting solutions to Linux, Windows PCs, Apple PCs and various other platforms, including Android and iPhone.

        • Blender updated to 2.90.1

          Blender is the essential software solution you need for 3D, from modeling,
          animation, rendering and post-production to interactive creation and playback. Professionals and novices can easily and inexpensively publish stand-alone, secure, multi-platform content to the web, CD-ROMs, and other media.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Update Infrastructure Access – Adios http

          Earlier this year we enabled access to the update infrastructure through the data center. This was made possible by a refresh of the update infrastructure last year. Also earlier this year SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4 reached EOL w.r.t on-demand image maintenance and this allowed us to switch all our traffic to run over https. The redirection of traffic from http to https happened shortly after SLES 11 SP4 images reached EOL but until now we didn’t come around with making this change stick on the client side.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian GNU/Linux 10.6 Released with Over 30 Security Updates, 53 Bug Fixes

          Debian GNU/Linux 10.6 is here two months after the Debian GNU/Linux 10.5 update to provide those who want to install the latest stable Debian GNU/Linux release an up-to-date installation media that includes all the important corrections and security updates.

          Debian GNU/Linux 10.6 packs a total of 53 updated packages with miscellaneous bug fixes, as well as 32 security updates that address some of the latest vulnerabilities. All of these updates have already been made available to exiting Debian Buster users through the official software repositories.

        • Debian 10.6 Released With Many Security & Bug Fixes
        • Updated Debian 10: 10.6 released

          The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian 10 (codename “buster”). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

          Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old “buster” media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

          Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

          New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

        • Andrew Cater: There’s a Debian point release for Debian stable happening this weekend – 10.6

          Nothing particularly new or unexpected: there’s a point release happening at some point this weekend for Debian stable. Usual rules apply: if you’ve already got a system current and up to date, there’s not much to do but the base files version will change at some point to reflect 10.6 when you next update.

        • Andrew Cater: There are things that money can’t buy – and sensible Debian colleagues are worth gold and diamonds :)

          Participating in the Debian media testing on debian-cd. One of my colleagues has just spent time to sort out an email issue having spent a couple of hours with me the other night. I now have good, working email for the first time in years – I can’t value that highly enough.

        • Andrew Cater: Chunking through the tests for various media images …

          We’re working our way through some of the CD/DVD/Blu-Ray media images, doing test installs, noting failures and so on. It’s repetitive work but vital if we’re going to provide some assurance that folk can install from the images we make.

        • Top 10 New Features of Deepin 20

          Deepin released its latest version Deepin V20. It’s beautiful and more stable than before. It has been a whopping five months since we wrote about the Deepin 20 beta and the new features it brought along. After a long wait, Deepin V20 has ditched the beta status and is now out for the masses.

          Deepin V20 developers seem to have focused more on the overall look and feel of this impressive open-source GNU/Linux distribution. There has even been a conversation that Deepin V20 looks like the New macOS Big Sur. Or is it the other way round?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Linux Jargon Buster: What is FOSS? What is Open Source?

        In this part of Linux jargon buster, learn about the FOSS principles. Learn what is FOSS, what is open source and why you should care about it.

      • Build a successful community using a Linux leader’s playbook

        legitimately—settling in with my copy of DocBook: The Definitive Guide (TDG to those of us who us who’ve read the whole series). I love learning to understand and integrate technology, and so those are the books I read.

        But when I heard that Jono Bacon, former community manager of Ubuntu Linux, had written a book about understanding and integrating people, I was intrigued enough to purchase the book for myself. This past weekend, I sat down with the book and read it from cover to cover. I’ll admit I still don’t understand people, but for the cover price of the book, I do have a few years’ worth of new insight.

      • Bandwidth for Video Conferencing

        For the Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) I’ve run video conferences on Jitsi and BBB (see my previous post about BBB vs Jitsi [1]). One issue with video conferences is the bandwidth requirements.

        The place I’m hosting my video conference server has a NBN link with allegedly 40Mb/s transmission speed and 100Mb/s reception speed. My tests show that it can transmit at about 37Mb/s and receive at speeds significantly higher than that but also quite a bit lower than 100Mb/s (around 60 or 70Mb/s). For a video conference server you have a small number of sources of video and audio and a larger number of targets as usually most people will have their microphones muted and video cameras turned off. This means that the transmission speed is the bottleneck. In every test the reception speed was well below half the transmission speed, so the tests confirmed my expectation that transmission was the only bottleneck, but the reception speed was higher than I had expected.

        When we tested bandwidth use the maximum upload speed we saw was about 4MB/s (32Mb/s) with 8+ video cameras and maybe 20 people seeing some of the video (with a bit of lag). We used 3.5MB/s (28Mb/s) when we only had 6 cameras which seemed to be the maximum for good performance.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • More Recommended extensions added to Firefox for Android Nightly

            As we mentioned recently, we’re adding Recommended extensions to Firefox for Android Nightly as a broader set of APIs become available to accommodate more add-on functionality. We just updated the collection with some new Recommended extensions, including…

            Mobile favorites Video Background Play Fix (keeps videos playing in the background even when you switch tabs) and Google Search Fixer (mimics the Google search experience on Chrome) are now in the fold.

            Privacy related extensions FoxyProxy (proxy management tool with advanced URL pattern matching) and Bitwarden (password manager) join popular ad blockers Ghostery and AdGuard.

            Dig deeper into web content with Image Search Options (customizable reverse image search tool) and Web Archives (view archived web pages from an array of search engines). And if you end up wasting too much time exploring images and cached pages you can get your productivity back on track with Tomato Clock (timed work intervals) and LeechBlock NG (block time-wasting websites).

          • Jeff Klukas: The Nitty-Gritty of Moving Data with Apache Beam

            In this session, you won’t learn about joins or windows or timers or any other advanced features of Beam. Instead, we will focus on the real-world complexity that comes from simply moving data from one system to another safely. How do we model data as it passes from one transform to another? How do we handle errors? How do we test the system? How do we organize the code to make the pipeline configurable for different source and destination systems?

            We will explore how each of these questions are addressed in Mozilla’s open source codebase for ingesting telemetry data from Firefox clients. By the end of the session, you’ll be equipped to explore the codebase and documentation on your own to see how these concepts are composed together.

          • This Week in Glean: glean-core to Wasm experiment

            On the Glean team we make an effort to move as much of the logic as possible to glean-core, so that we don’t have too much code duplication on the language bindings and guarantee standardized behaviour throughout all platforms.

            Since that is the case, it was counterintuitive for me, that when we set out to build a version of Glean for the web, we wouldn’t rely on the same glean-core as all our other language bindings. The hypothesis was: let’s make JavaScript just another language binding, by making our Rust core compile to a target that runs on the browser.

            Rust is notorious for making an effort to have a great Rust to Wasm experience, and the Rust and Webassembly working group has built awesome tools that make boilerplate for such projects much leaner.

          • Data Publishing @ Mozilla

            Mozilla’s history is steeped in openness and transparency – it’s simply core to what we do and how we see ourselves in the world. We are always looking for ways to bring our mission to life in ways that help create a healthy internet and support the Mozilla Manifesto. One of our commitments says “We are committed to an internet that elevates critical thinking, reasoned argument, shared knowledge, and verifiable facts”.

            To this end, we have spent a good amount of time considering how we can publicly share our Mozilla telemetry data sets – it is one of the most simple and effective ways we can enable collaboration and share knowledge. But, only if it can be done safely and in a privacy protecting, principled way. We believe we’ve designed a way to do this and we are excited to outline our approach here.

            Making data public not only allows us to be transparent about our data practices, but directly demonstrates how our work contributes to our mission. Having a publicly available methodology for vetting and sharing our data demonstrates our values as a company. It will also enable other research opportunities with trusted scientists, analysts, journalists, and policymakers in a way that furthers our efforts to shape an internet that benefits everyone.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Get involved – Meet the TDF team

          Joining a free and open source software project, such as LibreOffice, is a great way to build your skills, gain experience for future career options, meet new people – and have fun!

          But sometimes, joining a large and well-established project can be a bit daunting at the start. So here we’ll introduce you to the small team at The Document Foundation, the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice. Most team members oversee certain sub-projects in the LibreOffice community – click on their names to learn more in interviews…

      • Education

        • France’s open data lab launches study into open source and education

          Etalab, the French governmental open data lab, has begun a study on the importance of open source software in higher education and research. The study will identify open source use in education, and compare institutional strategies on open data and open access and the sovereignty of education.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Setting Decimal Precision in C Language

          This article will show you how to set decimal precision in C programming language. First, we will define precision, and then, we will look into multiple examples to show how to set decimal precision in C programming.

        • Easy, Reliable, Fast and Portable Linux and macOS Continuous Integration

          Welcome to the 30th post in the rarified R recommendation resources series or R4 for short. The last post introduced BSPM. In the four weeks since, we have worked some more on BSPM to bring it to the point where it is ready for use with continuous integration. Building on this, it is now used inside the run.sh script that driven our CI use for many years (via the r-travis repo).

          [...]

          We find this setup compelling. The scheme is simple: there really is just one shell script behind it which can also be downloaded and altered. The scheme is also portable as we can (as shown) rotate between CI provides. The scheme is also more flexible: in case of debugging needs one can simply run the script on a local Docker or VM instance. Lastly, the scheme moves away from single points of failure or breakage.

        • GraalPHP Is A PHP JIT Implementation Built On GraalVM

          Oracle’s GraalVM has seen language support well outside of Java/OpenJDK from Ruby to WebAssembly to R and Python. The newest language seeing an experimental implementation built atop GraalVM is PHP.

          Andrin Bertschi for his university thesis has been implementing PHP atop the GraalVM. A sizable subset of the PHP 7.4 programming language is implemented by this GraalPHP compiler and runtime.

        • 14 open source tools to make the most of machine learning

          Spam filtering, face recognition, recommendation engines — when you have a large data set on which you’d like to perform predictive analysis or pattern recognition, machine learning is the way to go. The proliferation of free open source software has made machine learning easier to implement both on single machines and at scale, and in most popular programming languages. These open source tools include libraries for the likes of Python, R, C++, Java, Scala, Clojure, JavaScript, and Go.

        • Python

          • Ternary Search Algorithm: Explained with example.
          • Robot Framework with Selenium and Python: All You Need to Know

            With 5000+ stars and 1500+ forks on GitHub, Robot framework has been a go-to-option for many organizations who are aiming for Agile and Test Driven Development (TDD) where developers should write functional code only when there is a test that has failed. Robot framework allows acceptance testing, behaviour driven testing, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Acceptance test-driven development (ATDD).

            It offers an extensible keyword driven approach to perform automation testing. The learning curve is simple as you don’t need to have a programming experience to get started with the Robot framework.

            Robot framework is written in Python, however, it is not restricted to that. You can implement keywords in Robot framework using Python, Java, JavaScript, Perl, .Net and PHP.

          • How and why I built a menu planning application: What’s on the Menu?

            The application that I build can, of course, be used for searching recipes. Additionally, a list of persons could be maintained with their list of allergies, favourite ingredients and when the user decides to plan a meal or cook for them, then appropriate recipes would be suggested which fulfils the needs of the people being planned for. It also learns to suggest recipes based on previous selections.

          • PyCharm: Webinar Recording: “From The Docs: PyCharm Skills, Beginner to Advanced” with Alla Redko

            PyCharm has broad, useful, up-to-date documentation. How does it get made? Who works on it? What are some hidden gems? Last week we had a webinar covering this with Alla Redko, technical writer for PyCharm, and the recording is now available.

          • Mixing text and chemistry toolkits

            This is part of a series of essays about using chemfp to work with SD files at the record and simple text level. Chemfp has a text toolkit to read and write SDF and SMILES files as records, rather than molecules. It also has a chemistry toolkit I/O API to have a consistent way to handle structure input and output when working with the OEChem, RDKit, and Open Babel toolkits. In this essay I’ll combine the two, so chemfp reads records from an SD file, which are then passed to a chemistry toolkit for further parsing, then chemfp adds a data item back to the original record instead of converting the toolkits molecule into a new SDF record.

          • Colin Watson: Porting Launchpad to Python 3: progress report

            Launchpad still requires Python 2, which in 2020 is a bit of a problem. Unlike a lot of the rest of 2020, though, there’s good reason to be optimistic about progress.

            I’ve been porting Python 2 code to Python 3 on and off for a long time, from back when I was on the Ubuntu Foundations team and maintaining things like the Ubiquity installer. When I moved to Launchpad in 2015 it was certainly on my mind that this was a large body of code still stuck on Python 2. One option would have been to just accept that and leave it as it is, maybe doing more backporting work over time as support for Python 2 fades away. I’ve long been of the opinion that this would doom Launchpad to being unmaintainable in the long run, and since I genuinely love working on Launchpad – I find it an incredibly rewarding project – this wasn’t something I was willing to accept. We’re already seeing some of our important dependencies dropping support for Python 2, which is perfectly reasonable on their terms but which is starting to become a genuine obstacle to delivering important features when we need new features from newer versions of those dependencies. It also looks as though it may be difficult for us to run on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (we’re currently on 16.04, with an upgrade to 18.04 in progress) as long as we still require Python 2, since we have some system dependencies that 20.04 no longer provides. And then there are exciting new features like type hints and async/await that we’d like to be able to use.

          • How to Perform Mann-Whitney U Test in Python with Scipy and Pingouin

            In this data analysis tutorial, you will learn how to carry out a Mann-Whitney U test in Python with the package SciPy. This test is also known as Mann–Whitney–Wilcoxon (MWW), Wilcoxon rank-sum test, or Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney test and is a non-parametric hypothesis test.

          • Python Bytes: #200 No dog-piling please (it’s episode 200!)
          • Python Remove Element List

            In this post, we will look at different ways of removing elements from the list.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • FTP Fadeout

        Here’s a small piece of news you may have missed while you were trying to rebuild your entire life to fit inside your tiny apartment at the beginning of the COVID crisis: Because of the way that the virus shook up just about everything, Google skipped the release of Chrome version 82. Who cares, you think? Well, users of FTP, or the File Transfer Protocol. During the pandemic, Google delayed its plan to kill FTP, and now that things have settled to some degree, Google recently announced that it is going back for the kill with Chrome version 86, which deprecates the support once again, and will kill it for good in Chrome 88. (Mozilla announced similar plans for Firefox, citing security reasons and the age of the underlying code.) It is one of the oldest protocols the mainstream [Internet] supports—it turns 50 next year—but those mainstream applications are about to leave it behind. Today’s Tedium talks about history of FTP, the networking protocol that has held on longer than pretty much any other.

  • Leftovers

    • Josh Hawley Is A Lying Demagogue Who Has Built A Fake Fantasy World About ‘Evil Big Tech’

      What’s up Senator Hawley? What’s bugging you today? Yesterday, Hawley went to the floor of the Senate to try to sneakily move forward one of his many, many bills to destroy the internet and take away Section 230. He tried to sneak it through without letting folks who he knew would oppose it know, in the hopes that they might not show up to stop him. In fact, he did it at a time when the key person blocking his bill — Senator Ron Wyden, who authored Section 230 and knows that Hawley is lying about it — was in an important committee meeting.

    • Disney Hires Technology Veteran Diane Jurgens as CIO

      Jurgens most recently served as CTO for BHP, a multinational mining, metals, and petroleum company based in Singapore. She previously held senior executive positions with companies in various industries including president and managing director of Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co., CIO for General Motors’ international operations, and as an executive at Boeing.

    • This Vanishing Moment and Our Vanishing Future

      Whether you’re reading this with your morning coffee, just after lunch, or on the late shift in the wee small hours of the morning, it’s 100 seconds to midnight. That’s just over a minute and a half. And that should be completely unnerving. It’s the closest to that witching hour we’ve ever been.

      Since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has adjusted its Doomsday Clock to provide humanity with an expert estimate of just how close all of us are to an apocalyptic “midnight” — that is, nuclear annihilation. A century ago, there was, of course, no need for such a measure. Back then, the largest explosion ever caused by humans had likely occurred in Halifax, Canada, in 1917, when a munitions ship collided with another vessel, in that city’s harbor. That tragic blast killed nearly 2,000, wounded another 9,000, and left 6,000 homeless, but it didn’t imperil the planet. The largest explosions after that occurred on July 16, 1945, in a test of a new type of weapon, an atomic bomb, in New Mexico and then on August 6, 1945, when the United States unleashed such a bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Since then, our species has been precariously perched at the edge of auto-extermination.

      No one knows precisely how many people were killed by the world’s first nuclear attack. Around 70,000, nearly all of them civilians, were vaporized, crushed, burned, or irradiated to death almost immediately. Another 50,000 probably died soon after. As many as 280,000 were dead, many of radiation sickness, by the end of the year. (An atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki, three days later, is thought to have killed as many as 70,000.) In the wake of the first nuclear attack, little was clear. “What happened at Hiroshima is not yet known,” the New York Times reported that August 7th and the U.S. government sought to keep it that way, portraying nuclear weapons as nothing more than super-charged conventional munitions, while downplaying the horrifying effects of radiation. Despite the heroic efforts of several reporters just after the blast, it wasn’t until a year later that Americans — and then the rest of the world — began to truly grasp the effects of such new weaponry and what it would mean for humanity from that moment onward.

    • A Radical Alternative to Whiteness

      Is it just me or do white people kind of suck lately? I mean more than usual. That’s not racist, I use to be one. I sort of still am, I guess. More on that later. It kind of seems like white folk have fallen into two equally obnoxious sub-species. There’s the White Alpha Douche, bitching like a 13 year old emo kid that he’s the real victim because everybody else is playing the fucking victim card and that’s his card. Then there’s the equally tiresome Squishy White Apology Addict, who’s just terribly terribly sorry about all the savagery his ancestors have dished out to minorities, but now he looks to the Noble Savages and Magical Negroes to show him how to walk and talk and censor people like me for not stepping in line. He’s probably banning me again from Facebook as we speak for self-identifying as a tranny and patting himself on the back for being part of the solution.

      Both of these unbearable archetypes are offensively one dimensional and, lets face it, downright racist in their shallow world view. The first one blames all the world’s woes on people of color, and the second relies completely on this same coalition of minorities to save him from his ancestral evil ways. Black folks have enough trouble getting home from the grocery store without getting shot full of ketamine and chucked in the back of a police cruiser without having to choose between smacking us or holding our hand. Why can’t we just get our shit together? Well, believe it or not, it’s not all our fault. Not exactly anyway.

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • ARM Deal Could Drag Britain into U.S.-China Trade Wars, MPs Warn

        Members of Parliament, who have already expressed concerns about jobs at ARM’s Cambridge headquarters, want ministers to examine the risk of the company being drawn into Washington’s conflict with Beijing after President Donald Trump imposed restrictions on the trade in technology between the two countries.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Ignorance is Bliss

        After almost four years of being ruled by the trump it should come as no surprise. But it does. For years as children, we all subscribed to the bizarre notion that “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” The trump has now explained to his subjects that even though we thought with adulthood we had learned that what we don’t know CAN hurt you, he has now explained on numerous occasions that ignorance is indeed bliss and what you don’t know can’t hurt you. It’s all thanks to the pandemic.

        Starting in early May the trump explained that what seemed like the terrible consequences of the pandemic on those living in the United States, the consequences were not nearly as bad as was commonly believed. Starting a mere 6 weeks after the scope of the pandemic became common knowledge, the trump began offering reassurance to his subjects that the reason we thought the pandemic was a really bad thing was because of facts disclosed by the testing that was being done in this country.

        On May 6, less than two months after the United States entered a lock down period in order to curb the pandemic, the trump attributed the number of deaths and illnesses being caused by the pandemic to the testing being done that, he explained, “makes us look bad. The media likes to say we have the most cases, but we do, by far, the most testing. If we did very little testing we wouldn’t have the most cases. So, in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad.”

      • Speaking to Cuban Doctors Who Heal the World

        In 2004, Dr. José Armando Arronte Villamarín was posted to head a Cuban medical brigade in Namibia. Cuban medical personnel first came to southwest Africa in 1975 alongside Cuban soldiers; the soldiers had arrived there to assist the South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) in the fight for the liberation of Namibia from the apartheid South African military. Dr. Arronte Villamarín, a friendly man with a glint in his eye, tells me how much he has enjoyed his work, not only during his time in Namibia, which lasted till 2007, but also—strikingly—in the United States of America.

        I was surprised. I had no idea that Cuban medical personnel had served in the United States, which has—since the Cuban Revolution of 1959—tried to overthrow the government of Cuba. In 2005, Dr. Arronte Villamarín was in Havana for the annual meeting of the chiefs of Cuba’s medical brigades. That was when Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans, destroying the city and putting the entire southern half of Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast in serious peril. Cuba offered to send its medical teams to assist their neighbors to the north. But U.S. President George W. Bush refused. Cuba’s Fidel Castro encouraged the formation of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade. Dr. Arronte Villamarín’s medical team in Namibia became part of this new brigade.

      • ‘Intentional Cruelty’: House Investigation Finds Deadly Medical Neglect in Immigrant Detention Facilities

        Despite knowledge of “systemic health and safety issues at immigration detention facilities operated by for-profit contractors,” the Trump administration has rewarded these companies with “lucrative contracts.”

      • 40 Groups Demand Congress Probe ‘Gross Misuse’ of $1 Billion in Covid-19 Funding by Pentagon

        “It’s unconscionable that the department would prioritize defense contractor wish lists over the health and safety of the American people.”

      • At Least 33 Million Workers Are Being Hurt by the Coronavirus Recession

        The top policy priorities for boosting the economy are fiscal aid to state and local governments and extending the unemployment insurance provisions of the CARES Act.

      • Absent Collective Action, WHO Warns Global Covid-19 Deaths Could Surpass Two Million Before Vaccine Is Ready

        “The real question is: Are we prepared, collectively, to do what it takes to avoid that number?”

      • Trump and McConnell Refuse to Help Millions Amid Pandemic, But Stop at Nothing for Supreme Court Power Grab

        Let’s fight Trump’s nominee like our lives depend on it—because they do.

      • ‘Nobody wants to kill business’ Moscow is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases, but there’s no lockdown in sight

        Moscow is experiencing a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases. As of Friday, September 25, the Russian capital had recorded 1,560 new cases in the last day — 510 more than the day before and nearly twice as many as last week. This marks the highest daily increase the city has seen since June 12. “Yes, it’s a spike. We hope the healthcare system can cope,” a source close to Moscow’s leadership told Meduza, adding that the authorities don’t have any forecasts about future morbidity rates.

      • GOP Lawsuit to Repeal the ACA Would Give Huge Tax Cut to the Richest Americans

        The Republican lawsuit that seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act would save the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans an average of $198,000 per year, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

      • The Virus Came From A Chinese Lab? Headlines and Pre-pubs, Oh My! Documenting The News Literacy Process – Censored Notebook

        It was just another day in 2020: COVID-19 continued ravaging communities; we were still on lockdown; police and protesters were clashing in cities across the US; and the air quality from wild fires made stepping outside of my California residence an experience that included tasting metal and choking. As I stared at the dusting of ash on the windowsill, my biologist friend asked, “What are your feelings on The New York Post?”

      • Russia records highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in three months

        Russia has recorded 7,212 new coronavirus cases in the past day, reported the operational headquarters for the fight against COVID-19 on Friday, September 25. This is the highest daily increase since June 28, when 7,658 people in Russia were diagnosed with the disease.

      • The COVID-19 Charmer: How a Self-Described Felon Convinced Elected Officials to Try to Help Him Profit From the Pandemic

        The video had the feel of a public service announcement, as the two elected leaders sat around a table in Austin and discussed the importance of COVID-19 testing.

        It was late March, and these men were among those tasked with organizing the response to the emerging coronavirus pandemic: Ruben Becerra, the chief executive of fast-growing Hays County, just south of Austin; and Tommy Calvert, a county commissioner representing a chunk of San Antonio, about 70 miles to the south. Also present was Becerra’s chief of staff, Alex Villalobos.

      • A Quick (Corrected) Calculation on Child Covid Deaths

        I posted an angry piece on Wednesday (9/23/20) about an interview that was published by Jacobin (9/19/20)—and then immediately took it down, because it was based on a misreading of a chart from the Centers for Disease Control.

      • COVID-19 and Sliding Indian Economy: What’s the Way Out?

        India has become the world’s new hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic as infection cases have surged in recent weeks. On September 22, the total number of confirmed cases surged past 5.6 million. If the current trend continues, India may soon become the world’s worst-hit country, surpassing the US. With more than 90,000 people succumbing to COVID-19 infection so far, India’s death toll is the third highest in the world after the US and Brazil.

        More worrisome is that the coronavirus is fast spreading to rural and remote areas of the country that lack testing, treatment, and tracing infrastructure. While the world is currently witnessing the second wave of infections, India has not been able to flatten the first wave curve.

        [...]

        There is still worse ahead. The business activity and consumption will remain subdued in the coming months due to a continued rise in virus cases across the country. Since July, several state governments have imposed localised lockdowns to curb the spread of infections.

        The relief packages announced by the government since March are not aiding faster recovery because the direct government spending component is modest. The bulk of relief measures consists of indirect support such as credit guarantees and liquidity infusion and have proved to be ineffective in generating higher credit growth. The credit offtake from banks will remain muted in the near term because of subdued credit demand. What’s the point of massive liquidity injection when there is no demand for credit from businesses and consumers?

        The contraction in the Indian economy would continue into the next three quarters and a recession is inevitable. Since Independence, India has faced a recession only thrice: 1958, 1966 and 1980. Economists, rating agencies and international financial institutions have revised their forecasts and their current projections show India’s GDP could contract in the range of 9% to 18% this fiscal year.

        Both private consumption and investment demand will take a long time to recover. The discretionary spending on non-essential goods has declined drastically due to rising unemployment and worries about likely job losses in the future. In the absence of domestic demand, businesses will not undertake fresh investments, which in turn would curb employment and overall economic growth.

      • It’s Not Vaccine Nationalism, It’s Vaccine Idiocy

        Last week an official with China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the country may have a vaccine available for widespread distribution by November or December. This would almost certainly be at least a month or two before a vaccine is available for distribution in the United States, and possibly quite a bit longer.

        While we may want to treat statements from Chinese government officials with some skepticism, there is reason to believe that this claim is close to the mark. China has reported giving its vaccines to more than 100,000 people. In addition to giving it to tens of thousands of people enrolled in clinical trials, it also has given them to front line workers, such as medical personal, through an emergency use authorization.

        This may not have been a good policy, since these workers faced the safety risks associated with a vaccine that has only undergone limited testing, but it does mean that a large number of people have now been exposed to China’s leading vaccine candidates. If there were serious side effects, it would be hard for China to bury evidence of large numbers of adverse reactions. If no such evidence surfaces, we can assume that bad reactions to the vaccines were either rare and/or not very serious.

        Of course, the evidence to date tells us little about long-term effects. But that would be true even if we had a couple more months of testing. Evidence of long-term effects may not show up for years. Ideally, researchers would have enough understanding of a vaccine so that they would largely be able to rule out problems showing up years down the road, but we know they do sometimes overlook risks. In any case, the possibility of longer-term problems would still be there with a longer initial testing period.

      • As COVID-19 hit Georgia Meatpacking Counties, Officials and Industry Shifted Blame

        Hall County in north central Georgia is home to Gainesville, a town of about 43,000 where a large chicken-topped monument in its center declares it the “Poultry Capital of the World.” There are more than a dozen meat processing plants in Hall County, and several others in surrounding counties.

        But Hall County is also home to one of the most concentrated COVID-19 outbreaks in Georgia. Since March, there have been over 7,000 cases in the county — an infection rate of 3,521 per 100,000 residents, roughly 40% higher than rates for the five counties that make up the Atlanta metropolitan area. This is remarkable, since more dense urban areas typically have the highest infection rates. Hall County’s experience is an extreme example of a nationwide pattern of high rates of COVID-19 in many counties with meatpacking plants.

      • Algorithms used in medicine are trained on data from only a few states

        Most medical algorithms were developed using information from people treated in Massachusetts, California, or New York, according to a new study. Those three states dominate patient data — and 34 other states were simply not represented at all, according to the research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The narrow geographic distribution of the data used for these algorithms may be an unrecognized bias, the study authors argue.

      • “It isn’t a question of politics”: Fauci on calling out Sen. Rand Paul’s misinformation

        On Thursday, Vox and Today, Explained host Sean Rameswaram spoke to Fauci about calling out Sen. Rand Paul at a Wednesday Senate hearing; his projections for when vaccines may be ready to distribute; his concerns about public mistrust in the vaccine approval process; and telling political appointees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “take a walk.” He also detailed who the real enemy is and what he would ask for if he could wave a magic wand right now.

        “The public health response and the public health activities, in fact, have become politicized, which is so unfortunate,” he told Rameswaram.

        The transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

      • Firearms research at U-M gets $4.6M boost with CDC grants

        The new multiyear grants, totaling $4.6 million, come from a new source of CDC funding to address a cause of death that kills 109 Americans each day. The 16 new grants to U-M and other institutions are believed to be the first CDC funding that specifically focuses on firearm injury prevention research in more than 20 years.

      • Young People More Likely to Believe Virus Misinformation, Study Says

        The results diverge from past research that said older people were more likely to share false news articles on social media. Last year, a paper published in Science found that people over the age of 65 were seven times as likely as those ages 30 to 44, the youngest group included in that survey, to share articles from websites that spread false information during the 2016 presidential campaign.

        In the virus study, people were questioned to gauge their acceptance of 11 false claims. Those included false claims that the virus originated in people who ate bats, that taking antibiotics protects against the disease and that only people 60 or older are at risk of being infected.

        “Across the 11 false claims,” the report said, “we find a clear pattern: The older the age group, the lower the average level of belief in false claims.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Google Reaches $310 Million Settlement In Misconduct Case

          Google parent Alphabet Inc. pledged $310 million to expand diversity efforts and resolve shareholder litigation that alleged the company’s board to failed to prevent sexual harassment and hid misconduct by executives.

          The settlement caps a controversy that shook the technology giant and reverberated across Silicon Valley. At the center of the lawsuit was a $90 million exit package for Google executive Andy Rubin, creator of the Android mobile operating system, who faced a sexual harassment investigation at the time.

        • European Commission to challenge Apple tax bill verdict

          The European Commission plans to appeal against a ruling that Apple does not have to pay 13bn euros (£11.6bn) in back taxes to Ireland.

          The EU’s General Court had ruled in July there was no evidence Apple had broken any rules on tax paid there.

          Ireland never disputed the arrangement but the European Commission, which brought the case, argued it enabled Apple to avoid taxes on EU revenues.

          The EU said paying the correct amount of tax was “a top priority”.

          In 2016, a court ruled that Apple had indeed been given illegal tax breaks by Dublin – but this was overturned in July 2020.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • FinSpy Spyware for Mac and Linux OS Targets Egyptian Organisations

            FinSpy, also known as FinFisher, can target both desktop and mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux, to gain spying capabilities, including secretly turning on their webcams and microphones, recording everything the victim types on the keyboard, intercepting calls, and exfiltration of data.

          • Multiple vulnerabilities in Pandora FMS could trigger remote execution attack

            Critical vulnerabilities lurking in Pandora FMS could have led to the full compromise of enterprise infrastructure and networks.

            Developed by Ártica ST, Pandora FMS is an open source solution that provides an interface for monitoring network connections, app management, event alerts, and both agent and agentless monitoring for Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android systems.

            On September 22, SonarSource cybersecurity researcher Dennis Brinkrolf explained the potential impact of four vulnerabilities recently discovered in Pandora FMS version 742. All flaws have since been patched.

          • Introducing “YAYA”, a New Threat Hunting Tool From EFF Threat Lab

            At the EFF Threat Lab we spend a lot of time hunting for malware that targets vulnerable populations, but we also spend time trying to classify malware samples that we have come across. One of the tools we use for this is YARA. YARA is described as “The Pattern Matching Swiss Knife for Malware Researchers.” Put simply, YARA is a program that lets you create descriptions of malware (YARA rules) and scan files or processes with them to see if they match. 

            The community of malware researchers has amassed a great deal of useful YARA rules over the years, and we use many of them in our own malware research efforts. One such repository of YARA rules is the Awesome YARA guide, which contains links to dozens of high-quality YARA repositories. 

          • EU Still Asking For The Impossible (And The Unnecessary): ‘Lawful Access’ To Encrypted Material That Doesn’t Break Encryption

            A few months ago, Techdirt wrote about a terrible bill in the US that would effectively destroy privacy and security on the Internet by undermining encryption. Sadly, that’s nothing new: the authorities have been whining about things “going dark” for years now. Moreover, this latest proposal is not just some US development. In an official document obtained by Statewatch (pdf), the current German Presidency of the Council of the European Union (one of the key organizations in the EU) has announced that it wants to move in the same direction (found via Netzpolitik). It aims to prepare:

          • ‘BootHole’ implications for ‘isorespin.sh’

            When it was discovered that GRUB2 contained various vulnerabilities that would allow UEFI Secure Boot to be bypassed and which became known as the “BootHole” vulnerability (CVE-2020-10713), the recommendation was that all operating systems using GRUB2 with Secure Boot must release new installers and bootloaders.

            I reviewed ‘isorespin.sh’ at that time as one of it’s key features is the option to add a GRUB2 bootloader to allow ISOs to boot on the many Intel devices limited by their BIOS requiring a 32-bit bootloader to boot a 64-bit OS.

            My initial ‘fix’ was based around Ubuntu’s response by recompiling and adding the latest fixed GRUB2 bootloader from ‘groovy’ (Ubuntu 20.10) and let the Ubuntu package manager ‘apt’ install the appropriate GRUB2 binaries to the ISO whilst being respun.

          • Bug Bounty FAQ: Top Questions, Expert Answers

            Four leading voices in the bug bounty community answer frequently asked questions from bounty hunters, companies and curious cybersecurity professionals.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ‘Our Right to Privacy Is at Stake’: Jayapal Leads Demand for White House Answers on Possible Illegal Mass Surveillance

              “We are concerned that the executive branch may, once again, be using questionable legal theories of executive authority to justify the illegal surveillance of the American people,” the 39 lawmakers wrote. 

            • TikTok And The DOJ Still Fighting It Out In Court Despite Oracle ‘Deal’

              Even though Trump gave his supposed okay to the grifty TikTok/Oracle hosting deal, it appears that TikTok, ByteDance and the Trump administration are still busy fighting this out in court. The Trump rules to ban the app are still set to go into effect on Sunday. And while WeChat users were able to block the rules from going into effect, they still technically are scheduled to go into effect for TikTok this weekend.

            • ICE Is Hauling In More Data Than Ever And Palantir Is Helping It Turn Data Into Detainments

              ICE has gotten bigger and bolder under the Trump Administration. The minimal constraints placed on it by previous administrations have been removed, allowing the agency to gorge on data and engage in widespread surveillance. Billions of dollars and an untold amount of tech are being thrown at a “problem” that isn’t even criminal. Living in this country while undocumented is a civil violation, but ICE (and the Administration) treats it as one of the most severe threats to the nation.

            • Senator Wyden Presses the DHS on ‘Unconstitutional’ Surveillance

              On Monday, The Nation reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intercepted protesters’ phone communications in Portland this summer. Today, Senator Ron Wyden sent a letter to the DHS demanding answers.

            • Senator Blumenthal Warns AT&T Not To Make Wireless Privacy A Luxury Option

              Last week, we discussed how outlets like Reuters were making a big stink about a new proposal by AT&T to dole out “wireless discounts for advertising.” Granted as we pointed out then, that’s not really what AT&T has in mind. AT&T for years has been trying to craft a new industry paradigm whereby users who opt in to user surveillance and targeted ads pay one price, and those that opt out to protect their privacy pay significantly more.

            • Students Are Pushing Back Against Proctoring Surveillance Apps

              Special thanks to legal intern Tracy Zhang, who was lead author of this post.

              Privacy groups aren’t the only ones raising the alarm about the dangers of invasive proctoring apps. Through dozens of petitions across the country, and the globe, students too are pushing school administrators and teachers to consider the risks these apps create.  

            • The Ring drone is just the latest Amazon privacy puzzle box

              The drone was just one of well over a dozen product announcements Amazon made yesterday — including a full-on game streaming service to compete directly with Microsoft and Google. But everybody’s visceral reaction to the idea of an Amazon-powered drone flitting its camera about your house is what will be remembered.

            • Facebook is turning VR into a platform — but some indie developers fear its power

              By Godin’s reckoning, it would be the second time Facebook had pulled the rug from under Virtual Desktop. In 2017, the tethered Oculus Rift headset incorporated his app’s core functions into the Oculus app… under an icon labeled “Virtual Desktop.” Godin says the move caused confusion and frustration, with users leaving one-star reviews because they thought he’d ripped off Oculus. “Every year at Oculus Connect I’m crossing my fingers. I hope they don’t screw with me this year and develop the same thing that I’ve been working on.”

            • Apple to Let Facebook Online Events Temporarily Avoid 30% Cut

              Apple Inc. will let users of Facebook Inc.’s online events product use the social network’s own payment method through the end of the year, temporarily bypassing the iPhone maker’s typical 30% cut.

            • Apple will temporarily stop taking a 30 percent cut on Facebook event fees

              Earlier this year, Facebook launched a new feature that let small businesses create paid online events. The company framed it as a way of helping organizations struggling with lost revenue during the pandemic, and said that because of the exceptional circumstances, it would not collect any fees on purchases for these events until August 2021.

              But the social network also stressed that any payments made on iOS would be subject to Apple’s standard 30 percent platform fees, noting this meant less money for small businesses. As Fidji Simo, head of Facebook’s main app, said at the time: “We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and [small businesses] will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue.”

            • TikTok’s ‘sale’ is a wake-up call to the dangers of data

              The risks related to data collection and storage and the potential for violations of the privacy, rights and security of citizens and for manipulation of political systems are poorly understood by government in general. Remedying that requires a new, comprehensive communications policy that puts the national security issues arising from digital platform oligopolies firmly in the spotlight.

              But the TikTok case also points tangentially to a broader range of national security threats posed by the highly concentrated social media market. These include the external manipulation of Australia’s information environment and the shriveling of Australia’s domestic news industry.

            • China Will Learn the Hard Way That Australians Can’t Be Shamed

              News broke last week that a Chinese company with links to China’s Ministry of State Security has been secretly data-profiling at least 35,000 prominent Australians.

              A leak revealed that the company, Zhenhua Data, has compiled records on at least 2.4 million people of “special interest” to China worldwide. The operation has “scraped” open-source material from social media as well as used confidential “bank records, job applications and psychological profiles” probably obtained from the dark web. Defense experts warn of a likely intention to “exploit and manipulate” individuals with the information.

              The conspicuous Australian response to this gross violation of national privacy has been … “meh.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Hitting at Venezuela: the Colombia/US Axis

        Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Colombian President Ivan Duque, meeting in Bogota on September 20, talked about “managing the COVID-19 response … narcotraffickers … and [President] Maduro’s illegitimate regime,” according to the State Department. A Cuban observer insists they explored “when to begin military actions and sabotage in Venezuela.” Elliott Abrams, the White House official responsible for Venezuelan affairs, dismissed the idea of U.S. military engagement as an “absurdity.”

        While talks were taking place in Bogota, joint naval and air force exercises were underway along Colombia’s Caribbean coast supposedly in order to prepare for blocking Venezuela’s alleged illicit drug trade. That’s the reason given for why the U.S. Navy has been monitoring Venezuela’s northern coast since April. Colombia itself, of course, supplies most of the illegal drugs entering the United States.

        The specter looms of an “October Surprise”, that staple of U.S. presidential electioneering. It’s widely assumed that to win in Florida, candidates must demonstrate anti-revolutionary zeal to voters of Cuban or Venezuelan origin. Decisive action against Venezuela might now do the trick.

      • America Can’t Afford to Descend Into Violence

        When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid’s shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

      • Roaming Charges: Simple Twists of Fate

        + Breonna Taylor probably had no expectation that her life would end the way it did in a horrible twist of fate: shot in her own bed, during a drug raid on an apartment that didn’t contain any drugs, left to bleed out for 20 minutes before receiving any medical attention. But she had to have at least been haunted much of her exemplary life by the possibility that extreme police violence might be inflicted upon her at any moment: during a traffic stop, while shopping at a store, when jogging through the “wrong” neighborhood, at a backyard barbecue. Because it happens multiple times a day, day after day. And had Taylor’s entire life. And the cops who commit the acts of violence, the homicides in the line of duty, rarely, if ever, especially in Louisville, face any kind of consequences for their lethal actions. Nor do the judges, who sign the no-knock warrants, that give the cops the authority to break down your down door while you’re in bed, guns blazing at any sign of movement inside, no questions asked.

      • On Louisville, Breonna Taylor, and Muhammad Ali

        I’ve been wrestling with the devastating miscarriage of justice that has taken place in Louisville, Ky., in the case of Breonna Taylor. I’ve been rocked not merely by this obscene decision to hold no one responsible for her death, but also by the fact that Louisville is hallowed ground as the birthplace of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., also known as Muhammad Ali. One city is now marked by both glory and an act of unspeakable evil. In the same city that Ali called home, Taylor was murdered by the police in her bed. The people of Louisville deserve so much better.

      • Military-Enlisted Students Are Getting Called Up for “Riot Control”

        “I’m a soldier and I have been called up for riot control.”

      • Why We Should All Be Reading Howard Zinn Right Now

        As the historian aptly predicted, who is on the Supreme Court is not as important as what the American people demand.

      • At Pentagon, Fears Grow That Trump Will Pull Military Into Election Unrest

        On Aug. 11, John Nagl and Paul Yingling, both retired Army officers and Iraq war veterans, published an open letter to General Milley on the website Defense One. “In a few months’ time, you may have to choose between defying a lawless president or betraying your constitutional oath,” they wrote. “If Donald Trump refuses to leave office at the expiration of his constitutional term, the United States military must remove him by force, and you must give that order.”

      • Seven detained after knife attack near ex-Charlie Hebdo offices

        Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said it was “clearly an act of Islamist terrorism”. He said police had underestimated the threat level in the area.

        The attack came as a high-profile trial was under way of 14 people accused of helping two jihadists carry out the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.

      • Four injured in knife attack near former Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris: PM

        Four people were injured, two seriously, in a knife attack in Paris on Friday outside the former offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Prime Minister Jean Castex said.

      • Two injured in Paris knife attack near Charlie Hebdo’s former office

        Two people were seriously injured in a knife attack Friday near the former offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the site of a 2015 terrorist attack, the Paris police told CNN.

        The two victims are in a serious condition but their lives are not in danger, according to the police spokesperson. Police had previously said there were four people wounded in the attack

        Not long after the attack, a suspect was arrested near Place de la Bastille, in Paris’s 11th district, but the person was not immediately identified by police. French prosecutors have opened up a terror investigation.

      • The most dangerous conspiracy theory in 2020 isn’t about blood-sucking pedophiles

        Let that sink in. The conspiracy theory that’s catching on — the one to really worry about as the country gears up to elect its future leaders — is not QAnon, which claims that Satan-worshipping, liberal pedophiles are running the country. It’s the one hiding in plain sight, the one that supporters of both parties are pushing, and the one that’s at the center of the most dangerous misinformation campaigns.

        The voter fraud conspiracy theory, including related theories about voter suppression, is also what stands to undermine American democracy in a very immediate way, both by suppressing voter turnout and by sowing doubt among voters about the election’s results. That gets even more worrisome when you consider that President Trump continues to suggest that he won’t leave office, regardless of the election’s outcome. When asked on Wednesday if he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Trump said, “We’ll have to see what happens.” He added, “The ballots are a disaster.”

      • Turkey’s relationship with ISIS proves it’s deserting its European allies

        With Turkey’s increasingly divisive and destabilizing influence in the Middle East, the region’s biggest concern for the West yet could be President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s burgeoning Islamist tendencies. In order to understand the Turkish role in the threat of ISIS, borne from the Muslim Brotherhood, it is necessary to rewind six years.

      • Suspected extremists abduct 3 non-Muslims in Kenya’s north

        He said it’s not clear why the bus did not have a police escort, a requirement for commercial transport traveling in Mandera county which has been hard hit by violence from Somalia’s extremists.

      • France’s Foreign Ministry investigating alleged leak of Macron–Putin conversation on Navalny to the press

        France’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is conducting an investigation over the details of a phone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin that were recently published in the French press.

      • Russia’s Foreign Ministry claims Navalny’s poisoning could have been ‘staged’

        Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry says that “discrepancies and inconsistencies” in the situation surrounding opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s poisoning indicate that it could have been “staged.”

      • The U.S. ‘War on Terror’ Has Displaced 37 Million People

        Over the last week, considerable debate arose around a calculation I helped produce showing that the wars the U.S. government has fought since the attacks of September 11, 2001, have forced at least 37 million people — and perhaps as many as 59 million — to flee their homes.

      • Time to Put an End to the Nuclear Age

        On September 26, 1983, Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov got an alert that a U.S. missile attack was imminent.
        Faced with the choice of whether to launch a submarine nuclear missile, Petrov made the split-second decision that the alert must have been an error. His choice not to launch a nuclear weapon saved the world from the dreadful prospect of nuclear war.
        In Petrov’s honor, the world marks September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
        In 2020, we’ve dealt with everything from gender reveal parties sparking deadly wildfires to locust swarms, murder hornets, and a global pandemic. So it may feel like talking about nuclear weapons is just the radioactive frosting on an apocalyptic cake.
        But nuclear weapons pose one of the gravest threats to human survival, and there are concrete actions world leaders can take right now to make sure they’re never used again and eliminated for good.

    • Environment

      • Supply chains generate massive carbon emissions

        When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, think global. Think multinational. Think Coca-Cola, or Total. But don’t fly.

      • How Congress Can Support Lawsuits Demanding Climate Accountability

        In January, a divided federal appeals court dismissed the Juliana youth lawsuit, but the youths have asked the full court to review that dismissal and a decision is still pending.

      • Why the 6 Topics for the First Biden-Trump Debate Are Actually All About Climate Change

        Lawmakers noted the climate’s absence, too: In an effort spearheaded by Massachusetts’ Democratic Senator Ed Markey, on Wednesday 37 U.S. Senators — 35 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders — wrote to the Commission on Presidential Debates, imploring that the climate crisis receive greater attention during this debate cycle. “The climate crisis isn’t coming, it’s here,” they wrote, and voters want the candidates to talk about it. A poll released this week found that 74 percent of voters want climate questions to be asked during the three presidential debates.

      • Climate Disasters Are Leaving Families With Nowhere to Go

        This problem will only get worse, because in a sense the world is shrinking. Across the globe, coastlines are disappearing. Saltwater is seeping inland, deadening agricultural fields. Deserts are expanding, as an atmospheric circulation pattern called the Hadley cell, which creates a dry, hot band around the middle of the earth roughly from the top of the Sahara down to the bottom of the Kalahari, shifts northward. Without a dramatic change in global greenhouse gas emissions, extreme heat will become common in the South and Southwestern US, as well as a swath through India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China where a fifth of the world’s population lives. According to a recent New York Times/ProPublica analysis, 28 million Americans, not just in the West but also in states like Georgia and Florida, are likely to face mega-fires by 2040, while 100 million people live in areas projected to become so hot and humid that working outside will be a health hazard. As more and more people flee from natural disasters, there will be fewer and fewer decent places to go.

      • Can Kentucky Slip the Industry Ties That Prevent Change?

        This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. This article originally appeared in The Guardian.

      • Masked, Socially Distanced, and Mad as Hell: Global Youth Take to the Streets for Over 3,200 #ClimateStrike Events

        Fridays for Future founder Greta Thunberg said young people are striking, “in a safe way and following Covid-19 guidelines, to demand those in power treat this like the urgent crisis it is.”

      • Seas Are Rising. We Must Create Climate-Resilient Infrastructure — Now.

        A new report on melting Antarctic ice sheets has dire implications for communities and infrastructure in the United States and across the world. Even if global warming is contained to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the stated goal of the Paris Climate Accord that President Trump backed the U.S. out of in 2018, loss of Antarctic ice is still projected to cause sea levels to rise about 2.5 meters across the world. Ice loss is imminent even if temperatures fall after rising by 2 degrees Celsius because of an array of feedback loops that permanently destabilize the ice sheets, causing glaciers the size of Florida to fall into the ocean. If greenhouse gas emissions do not drop fast enough and the global average temperature rises 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels, melting ice could cause more than six meters of sea level rise, devastating coastal cities around the world.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Trump Moves to Finalize ‘Catastrophic’ Stripping of Key Protections for Largest National Forest in US

          At issue is Tongass National Forest, located in southeast Alaska and described as “the crown jewel of the National Forest System.”

        • The Forest Service Not Only Loses Money Logging, It Makes Fires Worse

          In the middle of yet another big wildfire seasons, some reporters finally listened to fire scientists when they quoted people like Dr. Higuera, an associate professor of fire ecology at the University of Montana, stating that climate change is resulting in making big wildfire seasons the new normal.

          For 30 years economists have been also telling the public and reporters that the Forest Service loses money logging our national forests and that it is nothing more than welfare for the timber industry.

          But some reporters still mistakenly write that commercial logging makes money for the Forest Service. It doesn’t — and this is an important issue because citizens need to know that politicians are actually sacrificing the public’s national forest resources as well as billions of federal tax dollars to enable the private profit of the timber industry.

        • What is to Be Done for Animals

          In the present moment, animal liberationists’ top priority should be making cultured meat less expensive and making slaughtered meat more costly. The former can be achieved by public subsidies and funding for research. The latter can be accomplished by taxation and cutting subsidies.

          Obviously, the goal of both is to make cellular agriculture more appealing to consumers and producers. Passing laws banning slaughtered meat — similar to existing laws banning fur — is a more distant aim. It will only become politically feasible when slaughtered meat is a niche product, as animal fur has become.

          Now, why should we prioritize cultured meat? First of all, it addresses the right problem. Far, far greater numbers of animals are killed for food than are used for entertainment, clothing, vivisection, or any other purpose. Second, it provides the most realistic path to ending slaughter in the shortest period of time.

          Let’s talk tactics. In my view, there are two major categories: those seeking individual and systemic change. Examples of the former variety might include encouraging individuals to eat cultured meat or vandalizing individual businesses involved in slaughtered-meat production. While there might be other objections to these tactics, the primary one should be they’re insufficient.

          [...]

          “During the coronavirus pandemic alone, the US will invest $36B to prop up the existing meat production system,” Alemli said. “Instead, with that same $36B, the government could accelerate the transition to cultivated technology.”

          Justin Kolbeck, the cofounder and CEO of Wildtype, struck a similar note. “We’re delighted to see that the National Science Foundation awarded what we believe to be the first cellular agriculture grant to UC Davis,” he said. “We as a nation need to do much more. Singapore, for example, has a national initiative designed to support alternative proteins generally, with a specific focus on cell-based meat and seafood.”

        • Climate Change is Responsible for Devastating Wildfires

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

          Still, there is a tremendous amount of smoke and mirrors about the blazes and their cause.

          The timber industry, Forest Service, and forestry schools are quick to suggest that logging can reduce large blazes. Rushing to log more of the forest will not solve the problem, indeed, it can worsen it. Subsidized logging takes funds away from solutions that can protect communities.

          First, we must address many of the misguided information.

          [...]

          6. Much of what is burning in the large California fires as well as elsewhere in the West is not forest at all, but chaparral, grasslands, sagebrush, and non-forested habitat. So “active forest management” would have no influence upon much of the acreage currently in flames.

          7. We cannot preclude large fires through forest management, but we can reduce the impacts on humans. A shift from logging the forest miles from communities to an emphasis on reducing the flammability of houses and communities, planning evacuation route, burying power lines, zoning to reduce sprawl, and other measures can help.

          8. The ultimate cause of these large conflagration is climate change. We need to address the causes of global climate change and make this a national priority.

      • Overpopulation

        • How Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Fuel Pandemics

          The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may be the worst in recent memory but another pandemic occurred just a decade ago. During 2009 and 2010, the world was stricken with H1NI, a novel virus hosted by pigs.

          Originally termed swine flu, the novel virus was a new and ominous combination of five viruses –– North American swine flu, North American avian flu, two swine flu viruses found in Asia and Europe and a human flu virus.

          The viruses had undergone reassortment and swapped genes, creating a novel virus not previously identified in humans. Not only did no one have immunity or antibodies to the novel virus, experts said humans could both give and get H1N1 from pigs.

          “Unlike the situation with birds and humans, we have a situation with pigs and humans where there’s a two-way street of exchange of viruses,” warned Nancy Cox, who served as Director of the Influenza Division at the CDC during the H1NI pandemic.

          Five months after its identification, H1N1 had spread to 43 countries according to the WHO which declared it apandemic in June 2009. Between 151,700 and 575,400 people died worldwide according to the CDC.

    • Finance

      • Is Home Ownership Really the “American Dream?”

        In 2016, then-presidential-candidate Donald Trump bemoaned the “lowest [US home ownership] rate in 51 years,” promising that “WE will bring back the ‘American Dream!’” In a 2019 “Memorandum on Federal Housing Finance Reform,” now-President Trump called on federal agencies to “make sustainable home ownership for American families our benchmark of success.”

        Trump’s 2020 Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, pledges to “rebuild the middle class,” which he defines as “a value set which includes the ability to own your own home.” While his campaign platform also nods to tenant protections and affordable rental housing, it’s clear Biden agrees with former President Barack Obama that home ownership constitutes “the most tangible cornerstone that lies at the heart of the American Dream.”

        Are they right? Is home ownership the embodiment of the “American Dream?” Are Trump and Biden trying, in their own ways, to deliver the goods for you? Or are they just beholden to special interests whose members make larger campaign contributions than you do — for example, realtors, developers, and mortgage lenders?

        Maybe a little of both, but the latter is certainly a factor. It’s not obvious that home ownership is a good fit, or a wise investment, for everyone.

        The case for home ownership includes things like building equity instead of flushing rent down the financial drain, and owning something that might (prior to the 2007 housing collapse, the conventional wisdom was “would”) appreciate in value.

      • Let’s Start Debating What Dooms Democracy: Concentrated Wealth

        Why we need to shove inequality onto America’s political center stage.

      • Trump Lied to Heartland Workers

        As the election draws near, Donald Trump and Mike Pence are campaigning across Ohio, Michigan, and the rest of the Midwest, making big claims about “bringing back” jobs.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Modi’s Government is Not Up to the Task

        A striking aspect of the 24 percent decline in India’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020-21 compared to the previous year’s first quarter is the decline by 10.3 percent in public administration, defense, and other public services. This is a sector where the GDP is estimated not by the “output” of the sector but by the government expenditure incurred under these heads. The decline in the GDP originating in this sector therefore means a decline in public expenditure. This is surprising for two reasons: first, it shows that government expenditure, instead of being “counter-contractionary” has been “pro-contractionary”; second, during the lockdown caused by the pandemic, one would expect government spending on health care to go up, and thereby raise the overall government expenditure, instead of the fall we are actually observing.

        When there is a lockdown, and output contracts, it is incumbent on the government to increase its expenditure. The rise in expenditure reduces the degree of contraction; and it puts purchasing power in the hands of the people so that many of them can maintain their consumption without getting into debt. Even if the government is timid enough not to increase its expenditure, at least it must maintain its expenditure to limit the contraction in GDP; but a fall in government expenditure during the period of a lockdown, which accentuates the overall contraction, is just the opposite of what the government should have done.

      • The GOP Reshaped America to Hold Onto Power, Can the Dems Do the Same Thing to Save It?

        In the power grab to fill the Supreme Court seat announced the same evening as the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitch McConnell didn’t do anything new. The GOP has a long history of playing hardball power politics.

        In the late 19th century, Republicans added four states (Nevada, Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota) purely to gain eight new Republican senators, a trick Democrats could duplicate today by bringing statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico (and maybe even Guam).

        And in 1877, Republicans installed their presidential candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, into the White House after he had lost both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote to Democrat Samuel Tilden, a case Trump may have been referring to in a press conference on September 16, saying, “at a certain point, it goes to Congress.” (This is the 12th Amendment nightmare I wrote about in March and Greg Palast has recently pursued.)

        Republicans have also reduced the size of the Supreme Court specifically to deny a Democratic president a nominee before. (And, of course, there’s the sordid tale of what they did to Merrick Garland.) Democrats can easily change the composition of the court with a simple majority if they control the House and Senate after the election and choose to end the slavery-era filibuster rule.

      • Political Partisans in Black Robes

        In 1832, President Andrew Jackson condemned a Supreme Court decision in words that are famous in judicial history, but today almost unthinkable in their disrespect for the highest court in the land: “Justice Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”

        Jackson, a violent slave owner (and idol of President Trump) is best known for the ethnic cleansing of 120,000 Native Americans who were forcibly removed from the Southeastern United States in the 1830s.

        When the state of Georgia tried to seize millions of acres of Cherokee land, the Supreme Court affirmed the rights of the Cherokee. But Jackson ignored the decision, and Native Americans eventually died by the thousands on the “Trail of Tears.”

        Nowadays, while people on the left and right both criticize the Supreme Court, the notion of simply ignoring a ruling is almost unimaginable. The court often has the last word on deeply political issues, but it’s generally seen as judicial, not “political.” That’s the key to its legitimacy.

      • Amid the Chaos of the 2020 Presidential Race, Four House Contests Could Determine the Result Based on the 12th Amendment

        In the shadow of the 2020 presidential race, four House contests could determine the result under the Twelfth Amendment
        To defeat Trump Biden has to win resoundingly—in the swing states that will decide the electoral college sweepstakes. If he wins only narrowly, Trump is poised to steal the election by challenging enough states’ results to prevent either candidate from getting 270 electors.

        You may be wondering how Trump wins by failing to amass 270 electors himself. The answer is, with a lot of proto-fascist temerity and a little help from the Twelfth Amendment. The Twelfth Amendment prescribes that if no candidate reaches the magic 270 elector mark, the House of Representatives chooses the next president. Under the Twentieth Amendment, the newly elected Congress, not the outgoing Congress, casts the vote.

        [...]

        On the other hand, if voters can realign at least three of these state delegations, this might provide ultimate insurance against Trump’s scheme to steal the election.

        The DNC—and every voter who wants to serve Trump his walking papers—would be wise to focus attention and resources on the four House races listed above. In the shadow of the presidential election, they could decide its actual outcome.

      • Does It Really Matter Who Wins the Election?

        The clock is ticking down to the presidential election of November 3rd and, sadly, it appears that the outcome seems more a toss-up than had earlier been predicted.

        A Trump victory would be horrible for the country, imposing a proto-fascist regime with near-dictatorial powers on a restive nation facing a deepening social and economic crisis.

        A Biden victory will likely institute a modified Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama neo-liberal regime, one offering only moderate, band-aid solutions to the structural problems facing an increasing two-tier society marked by ever-growing inequality.

        Whoever wins the election, the next president will confront the Covid-19 pandemic and how the two candidates deal with it will likely be fundamentally different. Nevertheless, no one knows when it will finally be contained. One consensus suggests that a proven vaccine will likely be available and dispensed in the U.S. during 2021. Thus, American society may reach a “new normal” in 2022 or 2023.

      • Call and Response
      • The last ‘90s man Looking back on Evgeny Savchenko’s 27-year career as governor of Russia’s Belgorod region

        The head of Russia’s Belgorod Region, Evgeny Savchenko, served in this post for 27 years, making him the country’s last remaining governor from the Yeltsin era. On Thursday, September 17, he announced his resignation unexpectedly, opting to take up the mandate of regional parliamentary deputy and become a senator. He made the announcement before Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an official notice on his resignation. The last regional heavy-weight — the man who managed to defeat Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky in the gubernatorial elections in 1990s and drive Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s family out of business in the Belgorod Region — had spoken. “Meduza” special correspondent Andrey Pertsev recounts Evgeny Savchenko’s story.

      • Is the Justice Department Assisting Trump’s Campaign to Smear Mail-in Voting?

        The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday published, abruptly removed, then re-posted a revised version of what was described as a highly unusual press release announcing an inquiry into nine “discarded” military ballots in Pennsylvania, seven of which were purportedly cast for President Donald Trump.

      • Yalta Mayor fires his deputy for supporting opposition protests in Belarus

        Yalta Mayor Ivan Imgrunt has fired his deputy over statements he made in support of the protests in Belarus. The former deputy mayor, Mikhail Zagortsev — who held this post for just four days — used to be a district official in Belarus.

      • ‘Bananas’ DOJ Press Release on Discarded Ballots Viewed as Effort to Fuel Trump’s Lies About Mail-In Fraud

        “Suggests DOJ is now an active participant in Trump’s effort to undermine the integrity of the presidential election.”

      • ‘Foreseeable Train Wreck’: Warnings That Ballot Technicality Could Toss Out 100,000 Pennsylvania Votes—and Throw Election to Trump

        Public officials and commentators are sounding the alarm and urging Pennsylvania voters not to mail in “naked ballots,” which the state Supreme Court ruled cannot be counted in November.

      • Will Dems’ Embrace of Mail, Masks, and Social Distance Help Trump Win the Election?

        Democrats have embraced voting-by-mail with a quasi-religious zeal that almost defies reason.

      • Bernie Sanders Has Given Us a Tool Kit for Defending Against Trump’s Threat to Democracy

        Bernie Sanders knows exactly what is at stake in the 2020 presidential race.

      • Remembering Stephen Cohen Ivan Kurilla looks back at the American historian who helped redefine Soviet studies before becoming a pariah at home in the age of Putin

        The historian Stephen Cohen died on September 18 at the age of 81. During Perestroika, the American scholar’s work on early Soviet history (translated into Russian) influenced the USSR’s own understanding of Stalinism. Over the past 20 years (especially in the last decade), however, Cohen became a darling of the pro-Kremlin media and disappointed many liberal-leaning readers, both in Russia and in the United States. At Meduza’s request, Ivan Kurilla — a professor of history and international relations at European University at St. Petersburg and the author of the book “Frenemies: The History of Opinions, Fantasies, Contacts, and Mutual (Mis)understanding Between Russia and the USA — reflects on Stephen Cohen’s contributions to public debate and the study of history in America and Russia.

      • “The Election That Could Break America”: Inside How Trump & GOP Could Steal the Vote

        As President Trump refuses to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming election, we speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman, whose latest piece in The Atlantic looks at how Trump could subvert the election results and stay in power even if he loses to Joe Biden. “Trump’s strategy is never to concede. He may win, he may lose, but under no circumstances will he concede this election,” says Gellman. “That’s a big problem, because we don’t actually have a mechanism for forcing a candidate to concede, and concession is the way we have ended elections.”

      • Russia’s Attorney General files for dissolution of messianic sect following arrest of its leader

        Russia’s Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit with the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court requesting the dissolution of the Church of the Last Testament, a religious organization based in Siberia, also known as the “Vissarion commune.” 

      • Bernie Sanders on How to Block Trump from Stealing Election & Preserve American Democracy

        In an address to the country, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has issued a stark warning about the threat posed by President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the November election. Trump, who has made spurious claims of voter fraud and election-rigging against Democrats for months, recently ramped up his efforts to discredit the election results by suggesting he will refuse to concede if he loses. “This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy. And democracy must win,” Sanders said. We air excerpts from his speech.

      • Joining Trump to Undermine Election Results, GOP Senator Proposes Nullifying All Mail-In Ballots Not Counted Within 48-Hour Window

        “It’s just wild that they’re introducing a bill like this in the light of day.”

      • Trump: “We’re Going to Have to See What Happens”

        An Atlantic article rings the fire bell.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Peril of America’s Aging Elite

        We all should know when to pass the baton to a younger generation.

      • 6 Crucial Races That Will Flip the Senate

        Winning the White House is absolutely crucial, but it’s just one piece of the fight to save our democracy and push a people’s agenda.

      • Sen. Thom Tillis Embraces QAnon’s Dangerous COVID Conspiracy Theory

        During a virtual town hall on Thursday, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) responded to questions in a way that aligned with false QAnon conspiracy theories regarding the count of coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

      • Bernie Sanders Issues Warning About Prospect of Trump Refusing to Leave Office

        In an address to the country, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has issued a stark warning about the threat posed by President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the November election. Trump, who has made spurious claims of voter fraud and election-rigging against Democrats for months, recently ramped up his efforts to discredit the election results by suggesting he will refuse to concede if he loses. “This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy. And democracy must win,” Sanders said. We air excerpts from his speech.

      • Trump Accused of ‘Pathetic Attempt’ to Bribe Seniors for Votes by Promising to Mail $200 Medicine Discount Cards

        “Seniors and all Americans don’t need Trump cards, they need real solutions to rip-off drug prices.”

      • Democrats Will Propose Bill Limiting Supreme Court Terms to 18 Years

        Democratic lawmakers have drafted a bill that, if passed, would limit the tenures of Supreme Court justices on the bench to just 18 years.

      • ‘Capitulation’ Not an Option: Memo Details How Dems Can Stall or Stop GOP Rush to Confirm Trump SCOTUS Pick

        “Hill Democrats and MSNBC pundits have been saying there’s very little Dems can do to block Trump’s illegitimate Supreme Court pick. False.”

      • ‘Knives Out on SCOTUS’: Patriotic Millionaires Open Letter Pushes Senate Dems to Fight ‘Nakedly Illegitimate’ Nomination Attempt

        Citing Trump’s signals that he may try to remain in office regardless of the election results, the group tells lawmakers, “to be clear, you no longer have the option to stand idly by and wait for things to ‘play out.’”

      • It’s Not Just the Supreme Court That’s at Stake

        As Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lamar Alexander—once more profiles in cowering—fall into line, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has the votes to confirm Trump’s nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Supreme Court.

      • ‘Time to Standardize and Democratize the Supreme Court’: Ro Khanna Introduces Bill for Justice Term-Limits of 18 Years

        “We can’t face a national crisis every time a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court,” says the California Democrat.

      • As Trump and GOP Openly Hatch Election Theft Plot, Question Grows: ‘Which Side Will Our Military Be On?’

        Amid growing concern that chaos will be unleashed in wake of uncertain results, Pentagon officials reportedly discussing their response.

      • Electionland 2020: North Carolina Mail Voting, In-Person Voting Starts, Naked Ballots and More

        In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

        Black voters were more than twice as likely to have mail-in ballots rejected than those submitted by the state’s white voters in 2018, and rejection rates for 2020 show a similar pattern, according to a new analysis by ProPublica and WRAL News. Read the story.

      • Episode 109 – RBG, The People’s Party & RussiaGate with Jeremy Kuzmarov – Along The Line Podcast

        On today’s episode, Nicholas Baham II (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo, and Nolan Higdon discuss the life of RBG, The People’s Party and  RussiaGate with Jeremy Kuzmarov

      • Nicaraguan ‘political prisoner’ freed under US pressure later caught with explosives planning terrorist attack
      • ‘This Is How You Normalize a Madman’: Scholars, Press Watchdogs Call on Corporate Media to Treat Trump Like the Authoritarian Threat He Is

        “Our democracy is at stake. Trump is trying to steal an election, and the press should say so, every day until Election Day.”

      • He Taught Gorbachev

        Without Stephen Cohen, it is impossible to imagine perestroika Moscow. He attended rallies and meetings of former Gulag prisoners, participated in public debates and scholarly symposia, spoke out with equal passion at forums and at friends’ homes, and he talked and talked with everyone—the “architects of perestroika,” young journalists, people on the street.

      • Mueller’s Failure Exposes the Limits of Prosecutorial Liberalism

        Historians of the far future will be puzzled by many of the events in the Trump presidency, perhaps none more baffling than the bizarre cult that sprang up around Robert Mueller, the special counsel who from 2017 to 2019 investigated Russian election interference. During those years, there was a significant number of liberals who thought Mueller was the savior who would deliver America from Trump. As The New York Times noted shortly after the Mueller report was filed, fans of the special counsel “elevated Mr. Mueller, a former F.B.I. director, into an anti-Trump cultural icon, complete with T-shirts, scented candles and holiday-themed songs like ‘We Wish You a Mueller Christmas.’”

      • Scoop: Google to block election ads after Election Day

        In the email, Google says that advertisers will not be able to run ads “referencing candidates, the election, or its outcome, given that an unprecedented amount of votes will be counted after election day this year.”

        The policy, which is intended to block all ads related to the election, will apply to all ads running through Google’s ad-serving platforms, including Google Ads, DV360, YouTube, and AdX Authorized Buyer.

        The ban will target ads that are explicitly election-related, as well as any other types of ads that reference federal or state elections within the ad, or ads that run based on targeting election-related search queries, including on candidates or officeholders.

        For reference, Google considers any ad an election-related ad if it mentions a current state or federal officeholder or candidate, political party, or ballot measure.

      • Google to temporarily bar election-related ads after polls close on Nov.

        Google will bar election-related advertising after all polls close on Nov. 3, a spokesperson for the company confirmed Friday.

        The move was prompted by the possibility that final election results might be delayed this year because of the high volume of mail-in voting driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

        The ban will be temporary but last at least one week.

      • Google is banning election ads after polls close on November 3rd

        While the winner of the US presidential election is often announced on election night, this year the process is expected to take longer as more people are voting by mail due to the pandemic. That window could give the political campaigns of Donald Trump or Joe Biden a chance to run ads prematurely claiming victory and spreading confusion about the results.

      • Facebook’s Power This Election

        On the doorstep of the U.S. presidential election, Charlie and I talked about how much blame Facebook and other [I]nternet companies deserve for divisions in the United States, and how much Facebook should intervene to make sure voters aren’t swayed by misleading narratives about the world.

      • Psychiatrist and expert on cult movements: Trump’s attempts to falsify reality follows ‘pattern of the Nazis’

        A prominent psychiatrist who spent years studying Nazi Germany has called for mental health professionals to speak out about President Trump’s “falsification of reality” ahead of the election, warning that his attacks on the truth echo those of the Nazis.

      • China Blocks Wikimedia From WIPO… Because There’s A Taiwanese Wikimedia Chapter

        The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, who has a long history of poor decision making despite its crucial role in helping to define standards regarding copyright and patent rules around the globe, is now letting China block Wikimedia from having “observer status.” As Tersa Nobre from Communia notes, tons of civil society/public interest orgs have been granted observer status at WIPO, including EFF, Creative Commons and others. In fact, the only other time anyone can remember an organization being blocked is when Pirate Parties International was blocked. Indeed, when we wrote about that, we noted that it coincided with WIPO granting observer status to an organization that claimed its goal was to “free individuals and organizations from space lizards’ control.” Really.

      • For Tibetan refugees, the India-China border rift is personal

        Currently, India’s diplomacy does not stress either human rights in Tibet or Tibetans’ demands for self-determination, Professor Anand says. But given their existential crisis as a community, as the years in India go by, “they have to engage with whatever opportunity they have for their identity to be recognized.”

        Ms. Choedon, the journalism student, expresses a similar view. The first thing for New Delhi is to “accept that [the border tension] is not an India and China problem but an Indo-Tibet border issue. This is a chance; people of Tibet have got their own image now.”

      • See Willie Nelson’s Animated Video for ‘Vote ‘Em Out’

        Willie Nelson has paired his political anthem “Vote ‘Em Out” — which the country legend premiered ahead of the 2018 midterms election — with a new animated video to spread its message before Election Day 2020.

      • Underwood takes over as chair of House cybersecurity panel

        The cybersecurity subpanel has in the past addressed issues around election security, state and local cybersecurity needs, bolstering the cybersecurity workforce and oversight of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Science and Technology Directorate.

      • Howie Hawkins on Being Removed from PA Ballot – Pittsburgh’s KDKA Radio Morning Show

        Green Party Candidate for President ​Howie Hawkins again joins The KDKA Radio Morning Show to discuss the 2020 Presidential Campaign and being removed from the Pennsylvania ballot.

      • What’s really behind Colombia’s protests

        A little past midnight on 9 September, Javier Ordóñez, a 46-year-old engineer and father of two, was stopped by police in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, for consuming alcohol in public. He was pinned down and shocked with a Taser multiple times over several minutes as he pleaded, “please, no more”. He later died in police custody after being further beaten.

        In the days following Ordóñez’s death, protests swept Bogotá, leaving 13 people dead, hundreds of civilians injured, and 60 police precincts damaged – many of them set ablaze. It’s unclear how many deaths were at the hands of police, who beat protesters and fired baton rounds and teargas at them.

        While there’s shock at what transpired, the country was primed for an outburst. Economic turmoil due to COVID-19, a long list of alleged security forces abuses, years of perceived governmental indifference, and a wave of massacres in August had all been provoking indignation well before the video of the Ordóñez incident went viral.

        Colombia is one of the most unequal countries in the world. It faces a growing gulf between its middle to upper class urban elite and neglected rural areas that lack basic services like potable water and healthcare. Many stateless regions fall under the control of armed groups, and thousands of displaced people fleeing conflict end up living on the margins within cities.

      • An Independent Left Alternative – The Highlands Bunker

        Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins joins Rob in the virtual bunker to talk about his campaign and where it fits into a left electoral strategy in 2020 and beyond.

      • Election 2020: The Coming Chaos

        Is this the future, leaking into the present moment?

        “You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

        The speaker, of course, is Donald Trump, playing, so it seems, the Nazi card at a campaign rally last week in Bemidji, Minnesota — tossing genetic superiority out to his white supporters.

        And this, of course, is only part of the chaos we’re unavoidably heading toward. As the 2020 presidential election gets closer and closer, the doubts about its possible illegitimacy grow ever larger. On the same day as Trump’s Minnesota rally, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, giving Republicans a golden opportunity to shift the court’s ideological makeup for a generation and, maybe even more importantly, ensure victory for their party this fall, should contested election results wind up being decided by the court. All they have to do is shove through their nominee before the election, smirking at their own hypocrisy in the process.

        And Trump has made clear the likelihood that he will not accept the results of the election unless he’s the winner.

        So here we are, a month and a half away from what may be the most chaotic, uncertain election since . . . uh, 1860? Are we on the brink of a latter-day civil war? That certainly seems to be Trump’s belief, not to mention his strategy: Invent an easily feared and hated “them” and herd his supporters into a sense of “us.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Twitter’s Algorithm Misidentifies Harmless Tweet As ‘Sensitive Content’ (April 2018)

        Summary: While some Twitter users welcome the chance to view and interact with “sensitive” content, most do not. Twitter utilizes algorithms to detect content average users would like to avoid seeing, especially if they’ve opted in to Twitter’s content filtering via their user preferences.

      • Foreign firewalls present challenge to global online learning

        Western universities have scrambled to reach students for teaching purposes and also to retain an important source of tuition income. However, even institution-issued virtual private networks (VPNs) do not always work, while privacy concerns persist with China-linked tools – Zoom admitted in June to shutting meetings and terminating accounts of some US and Hong Kong users.

        Internal guidelines from a US university, seen by Times Higher Education, serve as an example of the difficult balancing act academics and students are asked to perform. The document says all online courses must be recorded for later viewing – but not if there are “sensitivities”, in which case instructors “must create other ways”. It says the institution is against “censoring or altering course content” in violation of academic freedom; but it also warns that students might face “invasive surveillance, political persecution, harassment and/or the imposition of criminal penalties”.

        Students are to be sent a disclaimer asking them to review the syllabus and decide for themselves, “in light of [their] own countries’ laws or norms”, whether they are able and willing to complete the course.

      • Why Is Funny? How America Lost Its Sense of Humor

        But the real reason that we often don’t think that jokes are funny is not because we don’t understand them, but because they aren’t. Being funny, especially in front of strangers, is really hard. If you don’t think so, just go to any open mic and watch amateur comics awkwardly struggle through their sets, or better yet, just watch my first ever cringe-worthy performance at the Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan. Testing new material and failing—i.e. telling jokes that aren’t funny—is an integral part of the process of producing humor. Even a seasoned veteran like Seinfeld can spend 15 minutes on a single syllable to get a joke right and never knows if a joke will work until he tells it in front of a live audience. Good jokes evolve over months and years and the same material can bomb one night but then, after a few subtle tweaks, kill the next. They are always a work in progress and require critical feedback from an audience. This is not just true of standup; all humor works this way and we only get better at it by practicing it with others. Jokes involve risk and when we aren’t allowed to fail we stop telling them. This can impair everyone’s sense of humor and when jokes become rare we can be oblivious to when something is even intended to be a joke. Last spring, when it was our turn to take Gerry, our daughter’s class gerbil, home for the week, I asked her teacher if it came with a glue trap. She stared at me blankly for a second and then helpfully added “I don’t think so, but Gerry does have an exercise wheel.” Not finding my stupid joke funny is one thing, but not understanding that it was supposed to be a joke is another. Detecting humor is a talent and refining this skill depends on hearing it.

      • Review of the Selection Process for the International Women of Courage Award

        The DCM stated:Jessikka has criticized the current U.S. administration openly on Twitter [...]

      • ‘Page not found’: what happens when diplomatic statements meet the WeChat censor

        On 9 September, the official CCP newspaper, the People’s Daily, refused to publish an opinion piece by US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad about the deteriorating relationship between the two countries.

        In the article, the ambassador lamented an imbalance in US–China relations, noting that the standards set by the CCP impede equal exchanges between Chinese and American businesses, as well as undermine diplomatic relations and information flows.

        The paper’s refusal to carry the piece caused tit-for-tat attacks between Chinese and US officials over press freedom and freedom of speech.

      • Sama Al-Masri Brings To Court a Quran and a Prayer Rug To Attend the Final Ruling in Her Case

        The Public Prosecution accused Sama Al-Masri of committing crimes of incitement to immorality and assaulting the values of society, using 5 videos that violate public morals, in which Al-Masri appeared highlighting her charms and speaking in a manner and phrases that carry sexual connotations.

      • US watchdog: Yle reporter Jessikka Aro’s award rescinded due to anti-Trump tweets

        US State Department officials lied about why Yle investigative journalist Jessikka Aro was denied a prestigious award last year, according to a report released by the department’s own Inspector General on Friday.

      • Censorship, Curiosity and “Cuties”

        There’s nothing more effective at igniting interest than controversy. Such are the paradoxes and manipulations of the present age that cancel culture provides free advertising. Censorship always piques curiosity.

        And so it is with the predictable course of Netflix Cuties. Commentators and congressmen fulminate against its pornographic abominations and sanctimoniously call for investigations. Fox News incendiaries cry that the movie pours gasoline on the flames of rampant pedophilia. Never mind that most of the right-wing fire-brigade has only seen the initial poster used by Netflix to promote the film. Asbestos clad moralists have nonetheless doused the whole movie and the broader threat it represents. Far from quelling the blaze, these actions only fan it.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Laura Flanders on Journalism of Engagement

        This week on CounterSpin: This week is one for the books, as a grand jury refused to charge any of the police officers responsible for killing Breonna Taylor with her murder, the president said he would not commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election, and states continued plans to reopen, even as cases of Covid-19 are starting back up again.

      • Lawmakers Criticize Trump Administration Changes at US-funded Media Networks

        U.S. lawmakers from both parties said Thursday that they feared the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded broadcasters were at risk of losing credibility with foreign audiences because of actions by new CEO Michael Pack.

        Pack, the first presidential appointee to serve in a new position that Congress created to streamline and modernize U.S.-funded broadcasting efforts, has faced bipartisan criticism for his actions since taking charge in June.

      • Cameroon Journalists Say They Are Regularly Abused, Brutalized

        Cameroon’s journalism association has called on authorities to immediately and unconditionally release journalists detained while covering anti-government protests this week.

        Police detained at least eight journalists covering Tuesday’s protests, searched the homes of four of them, and seized or destroyed their equipment. At least one journalist was still in custody Thursday.

      • Day 14: September 25, 2020 #AssangeCase

        Before testimony began today, Judge Baraitser acknowledged the political dimensions in the case against Julian Assange for the first time. Amid discussion of when closing arguments will be submitted, and how much time is needed to prepare them after testimony concludes next week, the judge asked the defense whether the U.S. presidential election would impact the defense’s case.

      • Julian Assange: Press Shows Little Interest in Media ‘Trial of Century’

        Labeled the media “trial of the century,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing is currently taking place in London—although you might not have heard if you’re relying solely on corporate media for news. If extradited, Assange faces 175 years in a Colorado supermax prison, often described as a “black site” on US soil.

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 17

        During the hearing of medical evidence the last three days, the British government has been caught twice directly telling important lies about events in Belmarsh prison, each lie proven by documentary evidence. The common factor has been the medical records kept by Dr Daly, head of the jail’s medical services. There has also been, to put it at its very lightest, one apparent misrepresentation by Dr Daly. Personally, I am wary of the kind of person who impresses Ross Kemp.

      • Why are Amnesty International monitors not able to observe the Assange hearing?

        Amnesty International had requested access to the court for a trial monitor to observe the hearings, but the court denied us a designated seat in court. Our monitor initially did get permission to access the technology to monitor remotely, but the morning the hearing started he received an email informing us that the Judge had revoked Amnesty International’s remote access.

        We applied again for access to the proceedings on Tuesday 8 September, setting out the importance of monitoring and Amnesty International’s vast experience of observing trials in even some of the most repressive countries.

        The judge wrote back expressing her “regret” at her decision and saying: “I fully recognise that justice should be administered in public”. Despite her regret and her recognition that scrutiny is a vital component of open justice, the judge did not change her mind.

        If Amnesty International and other observers wanted to attend the hearing, they would have to queue for one of the four seats available in a public gallery. We submitted a third application to gain direct access to the overflow room at the court where some media view the livestream, but this has also been denied.

      • Assange embassy removal ‘known in advance’

        Ms Fairbanks, who was working for the pro-Trump Gateway Pundit publication at the time of the call, said she was told Assange would be targeted over the leaks from US army analyst Chelsea Manning.

        “He also told me that the US would be going into the embassy to get Assange.

        “I responded that entering the embassy of a sovereign nation and kidnapping a political refugee would be an act of war, and he responded, ‘Not if they let us’.

        “I did not know at that time that Ambassador Grenell himself had that very month, October 2018, worked out a deal for Assange’s arrest with the Ecuadorian government.”

      • Assange on Trial: Mental Health, Managed Risk and Publication Chronologies

        The lion’s share of today’s Old Bailey proceedings in Julian Assange’s extradition trial was spent on battles over mental health and dire risk. The prosecution continued its attempt to minimise the dangers facing Assange were he to be extradited to the United States for 17 charges under the US Espionage Act and one under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. While the defence has its case on Assange’s fragile mental health well plotted, the prosecution is hoping that witnesses such as Dr Nigel Blackwood, consultant psychiatrist with the National Health Service, will punch holes in the argument. They will certainly hope for better efforts than those made by their own witnesses, Seena Fazel, a psychiatry professor who seemed too professionally tentative to land firm blows against Assange’s diagnosis for Asperger’s syndrome, or dismiss the health risks facing him in the US prisons system.

        Blackwood and managed risk

        Blackwood had conducted his own psychiatric evaluation of Assange’s condition via phone in July 2020. What he gave the court was a show of qualified hypotheticals. He found the publisher to be “moderately depressed”; there was undoubtedly “some risk of suicide attempt in the event of extradition”. He did not feel this risk to be a “high” one. It had been “carefully managed in Belmarsh and the risk factors are modifiable.” Assange “engages with treatments to manage that risk.”

        Reliance was placed upon the capacity for self-control in the face of such risk. If the person facing extradition could self-manage or be “capable of controlling” their own risk of suicide, the extradition should be made. Blackwood was excruciatingly selective, finding Assange “resourceful” and “very resilient”. He believed Assange “retains the capacity to resist suicide.”

      • The Extradition Trial of Julian Assange: an Interview With John Pilger

        John Pilger: Well, he’s very dangerous. He exposes what governments – the crimes of governments, the crimes that we the people know very little about. And in this case, he has revealed the unerring, relentless war crimes of the U.S. government, especially in the post-9/11 period. That’s his crime. There are so many ironies to this, Dennis. Assange is more than a whistleblower. He’s a truth teller and as the so-called corporate media is now committed almost entirely to propaganda, the truth that he tells is simply intolerable, unforgivable. He – for example, he – Wikileaks exposed something those of us who have reported America’s wars already know about, and that is the homicidal nature of these wars, the way the United States has exported the homicide that so consumes much of U.S. society, the way that it’s exported it to other countries, the relentless killing of civilians.

        The video, “Collateral Murder”, in which an Apache helicopter crew guns down civilians, including journalists, in Baghdad, with the crew laughing and mocking the suffering and death beneath them was not something that will be unique. All of us who have reported – let’s say America’s colonial wars had stories of that kind of thing happening. But Assange had evidence, and that’s – and that was his other crime. His evidence is authentic. All the disclosures of Wikileaks are authentic. That makes it very different from other kinds of journalism, which – some are authentic, but some are not. That’s just the way it goes. But all of Wikileaks disclosures are authentic. They are coming from within a system and all of that has really shaken, I think, the inner core of the national security establishment in the United States. And nothing is being spared, to get hold of Assange and put him away.

        Bernstein: And that is very troubling to those of us who really consider ourselves journalists. We know that U.S.authorities allege that Assange conspired with U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning. Manning spent a lot of time in jail, in solitary and she is back in jail again. They’re going’ after her and him. Really, the point that you make about collateral murder, some would say he released important secrets of the United States. Others would say he told the truth about a country called the United States, engaged in mass murder.

        Pilger: Well, these revelations give us more than a glimpse of the sociopathic nature of the way the United States conducts itself around the world. You know, many people are shocked by the behavior of Donald Trump, but they really wouldn’t – shouldn’t be shocked. Well, yes, they should be shocked. They – but they shouldn’t be surprised, because Trump’s behavior has been the behavior of his predecessors over many years. The difference is that Trump is a caricature of the system. And so, he’s much easier to identify, much easier to loathe, I suppose [laughs], certainly much easier to understand. It makes it all very simple and simplistic, but it’s rather more complicated than that.

        The evidence that Wikileaks produced was long before Trump, and it’s – we now know, of course, that Afghanistan has been a killing field for the United States and its so-called allies since 2001. I mean, there was a report you may have seen, just recently, by Brown University, Professor David Vine, at the Watson Institute at Brown, I know David, where this study estimates that some 37 million people – that’s equivalent to the entire population of Canada – have been forced to flee their home country by the actions of the United States. He says this is a very conservative figure, that the numbers of these displaced peopleis probably in the region of between 48 and 59 people [sic]. They estimate that 9.2 million people and 7.1 million people in Syria have been displaced.

        Now, the numbers of deaths – and again, they emphasize how conservative this finding is, is something like 12 million. This carnage has been going on for a very long time, but Professor Vine and his researchers are only referring to the period since 9/11, the so-called war on terror, which, of course, has been a war of terror all that time, as his findings demonstrate. And Wikileaks’ findings really complement these facts, and we’re talking of facts here. This isn’t an opinion. These things have happened. These people have been forced out of their homes. Their societies have been destroyed. Untold numbers have been probably sent out of their mind, and many, many people are grieving the loss of loved ones because of these actions.

        So, Wikileaks has given us that truth, and really, Julian Assange has performed a quite remarkable public service in letting us know – he’s let – he’s letting us know how governments lie to us, how our governments lie to us, not the official enemies, although Wikileaks, of course, has released hundreds of thousands of documents, secret documents from Russia and China and other countries. But it’s really those countries in the West that we regard as our countries that matter most. He’s forced us – what he – he’s forced us to look in the mirror. That has been his extraordinary contribution and – to true enlightenment of Western societies. And for that, he’s paying a very high price…

        He’s told us the truth, in other words. He is shining the light on all corruption in the world…’ Wikileaks has given us insights. Wikileaks has allowed us to see how governments operate in secret, behind their backs. I mean, that is such an essential part of any true democracy that really there’s no discussion about. It should be just part of it. But we’ve reached a stage in the 21st century where the formal democracies have changed character to such a degree.

        I don’t know, really, what they’ve become, but they’re certainly not democracies, where almost every day they invent a new law that is designed to suppress truth or make what they do even more secretive. And that’s – that’s earned him the – curiously, but I suppose understandably, if you’re a psychiatrist, that’s earned him the animosity of many journalists, because he shamed journalism for not doing the job, for not telling us.

      • What’s the Difference Between ‘Villain’ Assange & ‘Intrepid’ Woodward?

        The completely fair super awesome trial of Julian Assange continues in the U.K. as I write this. It’s a beautiful blend of the works of Kafka, Stalin and Joseph Heller.

        Seeing as Julian is kept in a glass container in the courtroom, like a captured cockroach, maybe Kafka wins the day.

        The court clearly must keep Julian in that giant Tic-Tac container because he’s undoubtedly as dangerous as Hannibal Lecter. If he weren’t in there, no one would know when he might lurch forward and PUBLISH SOMETHING THAT’S TOTALLY TRUE!

        What they’re deciding in this trial is whether Assange should be extradited to the United States, or “kidnapped” as the kids call it these days.

        If he is lovingly black-bagged by our government, they have promised he will face 175 years in prison if convicted by another super rad show trial presided over by an American government puppet judge. (A puppet judge is just like a real judge but they’ve got the government so far up their backside they can taste the Cheetos.)

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Mourn Justice Ginsburg, Fight to Close Irwin Detention Center

        “Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed the way the law sees gender… She changed the course of American law… She touched the lives of generations of men and women… She pushed for a full and inclusive definition of equality.”

        Those are just some of the ways people have described Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy in the days since her death. Now tens, probably hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are getting ready to file past her body as it lies in state at the Supreme Court and then in Congress.

        So much she changed. So much remains still to be changed. It will be many days before we know what impact her death will have on the election, or her life on the years ahead.

        But I can’t help thinking that rather than filing past her corpse, one fitting way to honor the historic justice would be to take action on some unfinished feminist business. Justice Ginsburg is on my mind today, and so is Nurse Dawn Wooten.

        Dawn Wooten is the ICE whistleblower who, earlier this month, called out abusive medical practices against immigrant women at a detention center in Georgia.

    • Me, My Congresswoman and the Terrorism Watch List

      I voted enthusiastically two years ago for Democrat Madeleine Dean to represent the newly un-gerrymandered Congressional district in which I live here in Pennsylvania. An attorney who moved into politics and was a representative in the Pennsylvania House at the time she ran for Congress in 2018, Dean sold herself as a new progressive voice in Congress who would far better represent the voters of suburban Montgomery County, PA.

      My prior representative in what had been a ludicrously-gerrymandered district, was Pat Meehan, a law-and-order Republican and former prosecutor who resigned in a sexual harassment scandal involving a top female aide.

      I had high hopes for Dean as my Congresswoman, but sadly have learned personally that she lacks the kind of courage and fire that a real progressive must have. I discovered this when I contacted her office last year, both as a constituent in need of assistance and as a journalist for the Nation magazine writing an article about a grave threat to First and Fourth Amendment freedoms posed by the FBI and its multiple Terrorist Watch Lists.

      Let me start by explaining my personal experience with this threat.

    • When Men Legally Controlled Women

      This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, when women got the right to vote in all 50 states. Limiting voting to men at the nation’s founding was part of the legal doctrine of coverture, in which a woman was legally represented first by her father and then by her husband.

      Denying women the right to vote was only one part of coverture. Here are a few more.

      Under coverture, married women could not own property. They first gained that right in 1848.

      Under coverture, by marrying a man, a woman was giving him access to her body “till death do us part.” Marital rape did not become illegal in all 50 states until 1993. Even now, sometimes marital rape has lesser penalties than rape that occurs between people who are not married.

      At our nation’s founding, love was seen as a flimsy and even irresponsible reason for marriage. Couples were married for economic reasons — he had a large farm, she had a sizable dowry, and so on.

    • Ayotzinapa Disappearances
    • Ginsburg Would Want Women to Fight, Not Despair

      In August 1993, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg took her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. I was two months old. You could say we both accomplished a lot that summer.

      Now, some 27 years later, the pair of us have accomplished so much more.

      Ginsburg composed some of history’s most iconic dissenting opinions, inspired an entire generation of cynics to believe in a better America, and earned the highest honor bestowed by millennials: memehood.

      I didn’t write any famous opinions, but I did learn the bilingual lyrics to “Oh, Canada,” in case I needed to fake Canadian while traveling abroad.

      Yeah, I’m one of the cynics. But even with all that cynicism, many millennial women believed in some higher power of justice when we looked at Ginsburg — affectionately known to many as the “Notorious RBG.”

    • ‘Recognize What Is at Stake,’ Progressives Warn Amid Reports Trump Will Tap Amy Coney Barrett as Ginsburg’s Successor

      “Barrett is a threat to our healthcare, reproductive freedom, to immigrant rights, equality, and the well-being of American democracy writ large.” 

    • Amy Coney Barrett Is an Extremist—Just Not the Kind You Think

      For three years, I have dreaded writing this piece. Conservatives have been planning for this day since at least 2017. And they know Democrats are not prepared for what comes next.

    • “Without Love, We Won’t Make It”: Bishop Michael Curry on Faith & What’s at Stake in November

      We speak with Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the first African American to lead the denomination, about systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2020 election and President Trump’s use of faith as a political prop. “The church must not be used for partisan political purposes,” Curry says. “The faith, the Christian faith, is not up for sale.” Curry’s latest book is “Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times.”

    • The Children of Incarcerated People Vote, Too

      This story is published as part of StudentNation’s “Vision 2020: Election Stories From the Next Generation,” reports from young journalists that center the concerns of diverse young voters. In this project, working with Dr. Sherri Williams, we recruited young journalists from different backgrounds to develop story ideas and reporting about their peers’ concerns ahead of the most important election of our lives. We’ll continue publishing two stories each week over the course of September.

    • Civil Rights Groups Claim Victory, Vow to Fight On After Federal Judge Blocks Trump From Ending Census Early

      “The Trump administration was attempting to fan the flames of racial division, further divide our country and exclude communities of color from the final enumeration.”

    • Republicans Are Pushing State-Level Measures to Block Defunding of Police

      Roughly a month before Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd, a 42-year-old man named Michael Ramos was killed by police in Austin, Texas.

    • Black Voters in East Baton Rouge Face Continuous Polling Place Changes

      When historic floods overwhelmed East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, in August 2016, Jacqueline Mims’ house on Sherwood Street escaped the rising waters. It was “kind of like on a little island of slight elevation,” she said, while some streets in her neighborhood were navigable only by boat. Among the thousands of buildings inundated was the middle school where Mims voted.

    • In the Navajo Nation, Anarchism Has Indigenous Roots

      About an hour west of the New Mexico–Arizona border, an expanse of highway, sky, and sagebrush-spotted terrain ends in sandstone cliffs. The red-orange walls drop down into Canyon de Chelly, the only national park operated on land still owned by the Navajo Nation. This summer, as the per capita rate of coronavirus cases in the Navajo Nation surpassed New York state’s, Kauy Bahe, 19, found himself standing on the canyon’s edge as he delivered food to a Navajo elder and her family as part of a mutual aid effort.

    • Amy Coney Barrett Is an Emergency

      Stated differently, if Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett, one of the leading liberals on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will be replaced with a staunch conservative who could take the Court to the far right on almost every issue. Even worse, given that she’s only 48, Judge Barrett is in position to do so for thirty to forty years (or more!).

      Again, this is not an exaggeration. Why? Because unlike Trump’s previous two appointees, Justice Bret Kavanaugh or Justice Neil Gorsuch, Judge Barrett has a long track record telling us exactly what kind of Justice she is going to be on major issues of the day. And that track record means that she is going to tear down the legacy of the Justice she might replace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    • Tibetan Farmers, Herders Given Military-style ‘Vocational Training,’ Sent to Jobs Far From Home

      Though official documents describe the program as based on voluntary participation, “there are clear elements of coercion during recruitment, training and job matching,” Zenz said.

    • What Is ALEC? Learn About the Organization Writing Your State Laws

      ALEC has existed for decades, but spent most of its life in the shadows, cultivating a reputation as a conservative organizational powerhouse. On its website, ALEC describes itself as a “nonpartisan” organization “of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.” Though that description may appear staid at first glance, its detractors argue that ALEC is central to some of the most profound shifts in American politics over the last several decades. Groups like Dream Defenders and the Center for Constitutional Rights, have accused it of resembling a “shadow-state apparatus” and promoting “legislation that sustains corporate power.”

      Here’s what you need to know about the controversial organization.

    • Down in the Dirt With Bruno Latour

      I can imagine Bruno Latour dressed as a musketeer, wearing a felt cavalier hat with showy ostrich plumage and embroidered brown leather coat, flashy purple cape, pantaloons, boots fit for Captain Morgan, entering a room full of critical philosophers and shouting, “Are there any modernists here? If there are, I forthwith challenge them to a duel, pistols or swords, your choice.” A loud rattling of swords is immediately heard.

      Bruno LaTour is a gallant French intellectual provocateur extraordinaire. Flowing in the stream of French intellectual sword play and competition to see who’s the most daring and adept, Latour doesn’t disappoint. He pierces his sword into the Habermasian project of rescuing modernity from its derailment. Modernity, he proclaims, is The Problem. Its framework of assumptions and institutional practices is not up to the tasks facing us in the New Climate Regime.

      [...]

      He thinks we, the human species, has lost its way.

    • The Social Network Is the Computer

      “Human beings have always been a social species,” writes MIT professor Sinan Aral in the opening paragraph of The Hype Machine, his recently published book. “We’ve been communicating, cooperating, and coordinating with one another since we were hunting and gathering.” Our increasingly complex social interactions have been the critical factor in the exponential increase of human cranial capacity over the past few million years. “But today something is different. Over the last decade, we’ve doused our kindling fire of human interaction with high-­octane gasoline. We’ve constructed an expansive, multifaceted machine that spans the globe and conducts the flow of information, opinions, and behaviors through society.”

      Professor Aral has been studying social media since its beginning in the early 2000s, when it was driven by the idealistic vision of connecting the world and providing free access to information. The Hype Machine is what he now calls our global social media ecosystem. This ecosystem has been designed to stimulate and manipulate the human psyche, “to draw us in and persuade us to change how we shop, vote, and exercise, and even who we love.” His book nicely explains how the social media industrial complex works, how it affects us, and what we can do to help achieve its original vision while avoiding its later perils. Let me discuss a few of its key points

    • The Larger Problem, or the Birth of Racism out of the Spirit of Musical Chairs

      A lot of attention has been focused recently on eradicating racism from American culture. That’s a laudable goal but a much larger task than I think anyone has yet acknowledged. The problem is not simply that racism is very deep in American culture. The problem is that it emanates from something that is even deeper and hence harder to eradicate: misanthropy.

      We don’t care much for human beings in the United States. We don’t want to feed or clothe them if, for some reason, they can’t do that themselves, don’t want to pay to educate them, or to protect their health. We’re the only economically-developed country in the world without free, or nearly free public healthcare, and free, or nearly free, higher education. We see work as a duty rather than a right and punish those who are unable to find work, even during times, such as the present, when there isn’t enough work to go around.

      Many years ago, when I lived in Denmark, I listened to a debate on Danish radio about whether Denmark should lower its minimum wage. Denmark had both a very high minimum wage and high unemployment and there was a theory circulating among economists (or was it among politicians?) that a high minimum wage could be partly to blame, that lowering the minimum wage could raise levels of employment.

      Every speaker, or at least every speaker I remember, rejected the theory.

      “We’ve heard that theory before,” responded one, “and it doesn’t work. We’ve seen places lower their minimum wage without experiencing any rise in levels of employment. We have to accept,” he continued, “that increasing industrialization and mechanization of tasks formerly performed by human beings mean that there isn’t going to be enough work for everyone. Our challenge as a culture is to make sure that everyone has the same quality of life, independently of whether they have a job.”

    • Camus: a Stranger No More

      One of Algeria’s greatest sons, the late Albert Camus, is back where he rightfully belongs–center stage! Thanks to Elizabeth Hawes’ delightful and vibrant book, “Camus: a Romance,” and Robert Zaretsky’s scholarly and insightful tome, “Albert Camus: Elements of a Life.”

      Camus, a talented writer and philosopher, has again risen from the literary ashes. His clarion call for “limits” in the pursuit of otherwise laudable causes; and for truth-telling in the realm of political injustice and social inequities, is as relevant today, as it was during his turbulent lifetime.

      Camus was a French-Algerian. He was born in 1913, and raised in the city of Algiers, in a run-down neighborhood. His father, whose ancestral roots were French, was killed fighting in WWI for France against the Germans; while his mother, of Spanish stock, was half-deaf, uneducated and rarely spoke. Is the latter, the origin of the importance of “silence” in Camus’ persona? Zaretsky thinks it played a relevant part and I agree with him.

      Algeria, in Camus’ days, was a French colony, although its Arab population, was in the majority. Life was hard for the budding writer and for his family, but for many of his Arab contemporaries, discrimination, starvation and illiteracy were often their lot.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • “Get Money from Web Giants” Grows: Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault Says Government Working on a New Data Tax

      Beyond the failure to include any reference to a data tax in its 85 page platform, the proposal is ill-advised and runs counter to the platform’s commitment to enhance privacy rights. Guilbeault mistakenly describes how Facebook uses personal information (it does not sell personal information to other companies without permission) to argue that some form of tax is needed. Yet rather than beefing up Canada’s privacy laws, the government effectively seeks to take a cut of the revenues that come from using Canadians’ personal information. Canadians don’t need yet another party profiting from their personal information. They need stronger privacy rules that limit the collection, use and disclosure of their information. In his zeal to “get money from web giants”, Guilbeault apparently seems to think that even a tax cash grab derived from Canadians’ data is fair game.

  • Monopolies

    • The Government’s Antitrust Suit Against Google: Go Big and Do It Right

      U.S. antitrust enforcers are reported to be crafting a lawsuit against Google (and its parent company, Alphabet). The Department of Justice and a large coalition of state attorneys general are meeting this week and could file suit very soon. While it will reportedly focus on Google’s dominance in online advertising and search, the suit could encompass many more facets of Google’s conduct, including its dominance in mobile operating systems and Web browsers. This suit has the potential to be the most significant antitrust case against a technology company in over 20 years, since the DOJ’s 1998 suit against Microsoft.

      All users of Google products, and everyone who views Google-brokered ads—in other words, nearly all Internet users—have a stake in the outcome of this lawsuit. That’s why it needs to be done right. It should cover more than just advertising markets, and focus on Google’s search, browser, and mobile OS market power as well. And the antitrust authorities should pursue smart remedies that look beyond money damages, including breakups and requiring interoperability with competitive products, all while being careful to protect users’ free speech and privacy interests that will inevitably be caught up in the mix. Like many, we worry that if this is rushed, it might not go well, so we urge the enforcers to take the time they need to do it right, while recognizing that there is ongoing harm.

    • FTC petitions for rehearing en banc of Qualcomm antitrust decision, tells Ninth Circuit “panel opinion tears the fabric of antitrust law”

      Today, competition authorities on both sides of the Atlantic made filings with appeals courts after deciding not to give up after negative decisions by three-judge panels. First, the European Commission brought a further appeal after losing the first round to Apple and Ireland in a tax policy matter styled as a “state aid” case.

    • Patents

      • U.K. Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling on SEPs: An Imperfect Solution, But Is There a Perfect One? (Part I)
      • U.K. Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling on SEPs: An Imperfect Solution, But Is There a Perfect One? (Part II)

        At 1st glance, the U.K. Supreme Court’s judgment suggests that a FRAND license must always be global. It is permissible, however, to have national carve-outs by which implementers can seek a reduction in, and/or refund of, royalties on a country-by-country basis upon a finding of non-infringement/non-essentially or invalidity.

      • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

        The European Patent Office (EPO) will begin to use Zoom videoconference for certain oral proceedings in oppositions. This testing will proceed as part of the EPO’s pilot program for oral proceedings. This technical development will allow more cases to be concluded and thereby contribute to greater legal certainty.

        The EPO is now asking all visitors to abstain from visiting if they have recently visited a high risk area. If they have been to a high risk area, they will only be allowed entry if they confirm having had a negative COVID-19 test result from at least five days after they left the high risk area. Earlier tests cannot be accepted. Visitors will be required to sign a declaration of the areas visited in the two weeks prior to their planned visit to the Office.

      • German FRAND Decision May Shape Global SEP Landscape

        Following Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. v. ZTE Corp., the German high court provided further guidance on SEP licensing, and, in particular, what an SEP implementer must do to raise a defense based on the SEP holder’s fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory commitments.

        These FRAND defenses typically involve third-party beneficiary breach of contract claims or claims based on antitrust or unfair competition theories. Those asserting a FRAND defense often argue that, at a minimum, the alleged violation precludes an injunction. But some may also argue the violation is so severe that the asserted patents should be declared unenforceable.

        The German high court’s decision is widely considered to be pro-patent owner and will impact the SEP landscape not only in Germany, but, given the influence of the German courts and its economy, around the world as well.

        Let’s decipher Sisvel v. Haier. Sisvel sued Haier for infringing patents allegedly essential for certain communication standards. The Düsseldorf regional appeal court held that Sisvel breached its FRAND obligations by refusing to grant Haier the same discounted rates offered to another licensee, Hisense Co. Ltd., without adequate justification.

      • More unhinged standard-essential patent injunctions to come down in Germany in wake of Sisvel v. Haier: Munich trial in Conversant v. Daimler

        Before talking about yesterday’s Munich trial in Conversant v. Daimler, let’s look at the strategic landscape:

        In general, Daimler’s efforts to fend off Nokia, its patent trolls like Conversant, and the abusive Avanci gang at large, are on the right track. The Dusseldorf Regional Court’s foreseeable referral of questions relating to the entitlement of suppliers to an exhaustive component-level license is likely to result in exactly the kind of clarification that the automotive industry and the wider IoT sector need, provided that the top EU court won’t be indirectly affected by lobbying: Nokia, Ericsson, and their traditional allies are going to get a number of EU member state governments, and possibly the EU Commission, to make submissions to the court that will advocate the cause of abusive SEP holders, given that the European automotive industry’s lobbyists know less about IP policy than their counterparts in the telecommunications industry have already forgotten. Therefore, even some countries with a significant number of automotive jobs may end up siding with Nokia.

        I hope the Fair Standards Alliance will manage to counterbalance the SEP abusers’ lobbying efforts. Otherwise a number of key FSA members will have no one but themselves to blame. They don’t even need to win the lobbying battle; all it takes is to neutralize the Nokia camp’s efforts.

      • Component-level SEP licensing gains ground as Avanci member and notorious patent troll Sisvel settles litigation with Switzerland’s u-blox

        With respect to the component-level licensing of standard-essential patents (SEPs), the Federal Trade Commission’s petition for a Ninth Circuit rehearing en banc of the Qualcomm case is not going to make a difference either way, given that the FTC’s theory is not an actual antitrust duty to deal but just an allegation of a violation that would (should the court agree) consist of a breach of contract. Any positive effects of the FTC’s continuing efforts would be of an indirect nature in terms of preserving the ability of antitrust law to combat SEP abuse.

      • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

        The European Patent Office (EPO) has released a series of videos highlighting inventor efforts to solve various COVID-19 issues. The series, title Inventors Against Coronavirus, is one of several measures implemented by the Office to disseminate information to keep the public informed with expert viewpoints, and help researchers make informed decisions. The series is available here.

      • Patent granted for tech used in cuff-based blood pressure devices

        CardieX Limited has announced that its subsidiary ATCOR was granted a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) for the company’s SphygmoCor technology used in cuff-based blood pressure devices.
        blood pressure.jpg
        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.

      • Double patenting in the USA and Europe
      • Sisvel expands UMTS standard campaign against Xiaomi

        On 4 September, Sisvel filed a patent infringement suit against Xiaomi at the Munich Regional Court (case ID: 7 O 1154/20). The non-practising entity is suing the German, French and Dutch subsidiaries of Xiaomi, as well as Xiaomi Inc. The lawsuit is currently being served to the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer.

        Sisvel accuses Xiaomi of infringing two UMTS patents with its tablets and mobile phones. Sisvel is demanding injunctive relief, damages and the rendering of accounts.

        EP 16 83 282 B1 protects a procedure for handling data blocks by updating a next-expected TSN and receiver window to avoid stall conditions. According to Sisvel, the Xiaomi devices indirectly infringe the patent. EP 18 11 804 B1 protects a method for controlling data transmission rates between a base station, and mobile stations served by the base station, in order to increase data throughput.

        Sisvel acquired both patents from LG Electronics in September 2019. EP 282 B2 and EP 804 B1 are part of Sisvel’s Mobile Communication Programme (MCP).

        Since early 2018, Sisvel says it has been combining and licensing various telecommunications licensing programs for the UMTS and LTE standards through its MCP. The portfolio comprises 82 patent families for the 3G standard, and 107 for the LTE standard.

      • Halo Seeks to Recover Extraterritorial Damages from Pulse

        Some readers may be aware that I’ve been working on a paper titled Extraterritorial Damages in Patent Law. I haven’t posted it yet on ssrn, but the basic argument is that, both as a matter of legal doctrine (post-WesternGeco v. ION) and as a matter of policy, where an act of domestic patent infringement is (1) the cause-in-fact and (2) the proximate cause of extraterritorial losses to the plaintiff (or benefits to the defendant), the patent owner should be able to recover damages for those extraterritorial losses, as long as courts avoid awarding duplicative recoveries for the same loss. I suspect that many U.S. academics may disagree with me on this, but my proposal is consistent with the (albeit limited) case law on this topic from other countries, and I am reasonably confident that my arguments are logically sound.

        Anyway, I mention this now because an article recently published on Law360 alerted me to a motion recently filed by Halo Electronics, Inc. to recover damages for lost foreign profits. (And yes, this is the same Halo v. Pulse litigation that was before the Supreme Court in 2016 on the issue of enhanced damages). If I am understanding the argument correctly, Halo’s contention is that Pulse engaged in pre-infringement negotiations and other conduct in the U.S., which then resulted in the foreign manufacture and sale of equipment that incorporated Halo’s U.S. patented technology, some of which equipment was subsequently imported into the U.S. for sale here. Halo has already been compensated for the losses stemming from the infringing imports into, and sales within, the U.S., and now seeks to recover additional damages for the foreign sales.

      • Software Patents

        • PTAB Can Consider Patent Eligibility under § 101 for Substitute Claims in IPR

          In Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Hulu, LLC, No. 2019-1686 (Fed. Cir. July 22, 2020), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s denial of Uniloc’s requested substitute claims, holding that the PTAB may consider patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 when determining the patentability of proposed substitute claims in IPR.

          Uniloc sued Hulu and Netflix in district court, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,566,960. Hulu and Netflix filed IPR petitions against the ’960 patent. The PTAB found the original claims unpatentable and rejected Uniloc’s substitute claims as not patent eligible under § 101. Uniloc appealed.

    • Trademarks

      • How To Be Funny And Not A Jerk In A Cease And Desist Notice, From The Doobie Brothers

        I’ve written about famed classic rock band The Doobie Brothers before. As a person who is very much a fan of the band’s music, I was rather disappointed when they decided to go after a cover band, The Doobie Decimal System, over trademark infringement. Their argument was that the names would confuse the public as it is too similar to their own band’s name and if you aren’t already laughing out loud by now you most certainly should be. The legal team for the band went with some fairly standard messaging as well, rather than taking a softer approach.

      • Evel Knievel’s son is suing Disney over a ‘Toy Story 4’ character

        Las Vegas-based K and K Promotions accuses Disney-owned Pixar of intentionally modeling the Caboom character, voiced by Keanu Reeves in the movie, after Knievel — although Knievel’s name is never mentioned.

        Son Kelly Knievel, head of K and K, has had publicity rights to Evel Knievel’s name since 1998, according to the Tuesday court filing in U.S. District Court. He said Thursday the moviemakers never sought permission to use his father’s likeness.

      • Off-White is Still Fighting for a Trademark Registration for “Product Bag”

        Virgil Abloh’s quotation marks-centric trademark is not getting the registration treatment just yet. On the heels of filing a trademark application for registration for “Product Bag” – quotation marks including – in May 2019 for use on “tops as clothing; bottoms as clothing,” and being shot down by a U.S Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) examining attorney on more than one occasional since, largely on the basis that the mark “does not function as a trademark,” and thus, cannot be registered as one, counsel for Off-White is looking to buy the brand a bit more time.
        In a filing on September 1, counsel for Abloh’s Off-White asked the USPTO to withdraw its existing refusals to register the trademark in light of the fact that Off-White has amended its application. The amendment at play: a change to the filing basis from 1(a) – which identifies a mark that is already in use in commerce – to 1(b), which refers to a mark that the filing party has “a bona fide intention” to use (in the not too distant future) but is not using at the time of the application filing. (Use in commerce is relevant, as it is a prerequisite to registration in the U.S.)
        In accordance with USPTO protocol, an application-filing party may switch from a 1(a) to a 1(b) basis if the application at issue fails to result in a registration because the mark was not in use in commerce when the application was filed … or because the specimen (i.e., a required sample that shows how the trademark for which the party is seeking a registration is used in commerce) is unacceptable. And that is precisely what Off-White has done, presumably in an attempt to save the application (which will retain the original filing date) in light of issues with the specimen that it submitted to the USPTO, which consists of an actual product packaging bag.

    • Copyrights

      • Why Do Academic Institutions Seem Stuck In 1995?

        Functionalities we take for granted outside of academia, such as automated data sharing, collaborative code development and authoring, social media, etc. – virtually none of it is supported by academic institutions on an analogous, broad international scale such as email or browsing.

        As the technology is commercially available and more than enough money is still flowing into obsolete infrastructure such as journal subscriptions, the conclusion that it must be a social obstacle that prevents infrastructure modernization becomes inescapable.

        I was asked on Twitter today, what the social obstacle might be and how it cou8ld be overcome: [...]

      • US Copyright Groups Want China to Support Rigorous Piracy Filters and Site Blocking

        The MPA, RIAA, and other entertainment industry groups, would like China to tweak its copyright law and open the door to pirate site blocking. The groups propose several other changes and want the Chinese Government to encourage local tech giant Baidu to implement rigorous filtering technology while terminating repeat infringers.

      • 841 Alleged Pirates of Movie ‘The Outpost’ Targeted in Canada Federal Court

        The company behind the war drama film The Outpost has filed a mass copyright infringement lawsuit in Canada. The statement of claim targets 841 ‘Doe’ defendants who allegedly downloaded and shared the movie, demanding an injunction plus damages under the Copyright Act. The claim states that all defendants ignored two warnings to cease and desist.

      • Making Google and Facebook pay? Comparing the EU press publishers’ right and Australian Draft Media Bargaining Code

        The tension between news media and digital platforms has been growing for years. While going through financial difficulties caused by the adaptation to the new digital reality, news media organisations strongly object to platforms using their content for free. The EU has already made its decision on how to address this tension: in April 2019 it adopted a neighbouring right for press publishers as a part of the new Copyright Directive. Australia is currently in the process of shaping its approach, but we already know it will be different to the European, with the Morrison Government taking a course on competition rather than copyright regulation.

      • In Support of the Wikimedia Foundation WIPO Application

        This is a role we can fulfill notably thanks to our permanent observer status with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the UN agency that shapes international intellectual property (IP) law.

      • Registration Is Now Open for the CC Global Summit! Join Us on 19–23 October!

        Yes, you read that right! Over 150 sessions and more than 200 speakers! 

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