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Links 26/10/2020: Linux 5.10 RC1 and Loongsoon Laptops

Posted in News Roundup at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Chinese Laptop Featuring New 14nm Loongsoon 3A4000 CPU Appears

        Due to this laptop being in the Chinese market, Windows is not supported at all. It only runs Chinese “domestic operating systems” that are typically modified versions of Linux. Fortunately, this does mean you can install any Linux flavor you want on the laptop, which can be handy if you don’t want to run China-specific apps only.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 377

        Fedora Silverblue.

      • LHS Episode #375: No Deliveries | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to the 375th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topics episode, the hosts discuss the FCC relocating its offices, Logbook of the World, the new FST4 mode, Peertube, Hashicorp, RustyLinux, Ubuntu DragonOS, QRadioLink and much more. Thank you for tuning in and we hope you have a wonderful week.

      • Linux Action News 160

        Ubuntu 20.10 is out, with official Raspberry Pi 4 desktop support. We try it out and report back. And our thoughts on the youtube-dl takedown.

        Plus Edge is out for Linux, and PayPal gets bitcoin fever.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.10-rc1
        Two weeks have passed, and the merge window is over. I've tagged and
        pushed out 5.10-rc1, and everything looks fairly normal.
        This looks to be a bigger release than I expected, and while the merge
        window is smaller than the one for 5.8 was, it's not a *lot* smaller.
        And 5.8 was our biggest release ever.
        I'm not entirely sure whether this is just a general upward trend (we
        did seem to plateau for a while there), or just a fluke, or perhaps
        due to 5.9 dragging out an extra week. We will see, I guess.
        That said, things seem to have gone fairly smoothly. I don't see any
        huge red flags, and the merge window didn't cause any unusual issues
        for me. Famous last words..
        The most interesting - to me - change here is Christoph's setf_fs()
        removal (it got merged through Al Viro, as you can see in my mergelog
        below).  It's not a _huge_ change, but it's interesting because the
        whole model of set_fs() to specify whether a userspace copy actually
        goes to user space or kernel space goes back to pretty much the
        original release of Linux, and while the name is entirely historic (it
        hasn't used the %fs segment register in a long time), the concept has
        remained. Until now.
        We still do have "set_fs()" around, and not every architecture has
        been converted to the new world order, but x86, powerpc, s390 and
        RISC-V have had the address space overrides removed, and all the core
        work is done. Other architectures will hopefully get converted away
        from that very historic model too, but it might take a while to get
        rid of it all.
        Anyway, to most people that all shouldn't matter at all, and it's
        mainly a small historical footnote that 5.10 no longer relies on the
        whole set_fs() model. Most of the actual changes are - as usual -
        driver updates, but there are changes all over. I think the merge log
        below gives some kind of flavor of what's been going on on a high
        level, but if you're interested in the details go look at the git
        tree. As mentioned, it's a big merge window, with  almost 14k commits
        (*) by closer to 1700 people.
        Please go test,
        (*) closer to 15k commits if you count merges.
      • Linux 5.10-rc1 Released With New Hardware Support, Security Additions

        Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.10-rc1 that also marks the end of the feature merge window for this EOY2020 kernel. Linux 5.10 isn’t the largest kernel update in recent time but still has a lot of interesting additions and improvements.

        Linux 5.9 to 5.10-rc1 brings around 704k lines of new code and some 419k lines deleted. In comparison, Linux 5.8 to 5.9-rc1 had 727k lines added and 270k deletions while 5.7 to 5.8-rc1 had 973k lines added and 429k deletions — the biggest kernel ever. So it’s not the largest kernel update in recent times but still ranks highly and has a decent number of changes.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.10-rc1 [LWN.net]

        Linus has released 5.10-rc1 and closed the merge window for this development cycle.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Peppermint OS 10

          Peppermint is one of those delightful distributions which does what it says it will do. It sets out to be lightweight, easy to set up, and offer native-like access to web applications. It does all of these things and does them well. I also happen to really like the well-organized settings panel and the friendly software manager. I especially like how mintInstall makes it clear when it is working with Deb or Flatpak packages.

          While I’m not personally a fan of web applications, I do think Peppermint deserves full credit for making them as easy to use as possible and as native-like as it does. I may never like running my applications over the web, but for people who do like this approach, Peppermint’s Ice and SSB features are excellent.

          Mostly though I’m a big fan of the distribution’s combined LXDE/Xfce desktop. It is a mixture of components which works nicely, is fairly easy to configure, and it offers some of the best performance I have had with an open source desktop this year.

          There are some rough edges. The system installer threw out some errors towards the end of the setup process. Needing to logout and back in to see Flatpaks in the application menu was a pain, but not a deal breaker. On the whole I think Peppermint does a good job of feeling modern while offering good performance and easy to use tools.

      • Arch Family

        • Wikiman: An Offline Search Engine For Arch Linux, Gentoo Wiki, And More

          Official documentation of applications or commands is always the best way to learn about them if you want to know every detail, which a blog or article can’t provide.

          And in the Linux community, we can’t deny Arch Wiki is truly a go-to place for anything you want to learn about Linux. Besides Arch, there are other documentations as well which you may also want to prefer like Gentoo or FreeBSD.

          So, whether you want to know about a command or jargon in Linux, you can refer to any of the Wiki sites available. But if you’re looking for something that can provide documentation not only of Arch Linux but also of Gentoo, FreeBSD, and others to read in an offline mode, meet Wikiman.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora program update: 2020-43

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 33 will be released on Tuesday!

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Fedora status updates: September 2020

          Welcome to the newly-revitalized monthly set of updates on key areas within Fedora. This update includes Fedora Council representatives, Fedora Editions, and Fedora Objectives. The content here is based on the regular updates submitted to the Fedora Council, published to the project dashboard.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-42 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Final freeze is underway. Please update the Release Readiness page with your team’s status. The Go/No-Go meeting is Thursday.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Fedora Community Blog monthly summary: September 2020

          In September, we published 18 posts. The site had 3,176 visits from 2,022 unique viewers. Readers wrote no comments. 13 visits came from Fedora Planet, while 872 came from search engines, and 199 came from the WordPress Android App.

        • GitLab AMA follow-up – Fedora Community Blog

          Last month, we invited folks from GitLab to a public Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. We collected questions from the community in advance about the upcoming Fedora migration to GitLab.

          The Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team has been working with GitLab for the past few months on understanding and troubleshooting the technical challenges associated with the migration. This AMA was a natural next step to enable the community to participate and give the Fedora community a chance to get to know some of the GitLab team members who are supporting the migration process.

          During the AMA session, Nuritzi Sanchez, Lindsay Olson, Jason Young, André Luís, Greg Myers, Michelle Gill, Daniel Gruesso, and Nick Thomas from GitLab sat down on IRC with the Fedora and CentOS communities to answer questions live.

        • Crashing saltstack minions on f33?

          It’s a _scope_id bug affecting Salt on Python 3.9. There’s a patch submitted upstream, and 3002+this patch is headed to updates-testing.

        • The Python Maintenance team is hiring

          The Python Maintenance team at Red Hat is looking for a software engineer to join us and help us maintain Python in Fedora and RHEL.

          Hey, Pythonistas. We’re looking for a software engineer to join us in the Python Maintenance team at Red Hat – our remote-friendly Brno-based team with members throughout the Czech Republic (including Prague and Ostrava) as well as abroad (France, partially Greece, US planned).

    • Devices/Embedded

  • Leftovers

    • Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78

      Lee Kun-hee was a controversial figure who played a huge part in pushing Samsung from a cheap TV and appliances maker to one of the most powerful technology brands in the world. He became the richest man in South Korea, with the Samsung group contributing around a fifth of the country’s GDP. In its statement, Samsung says that Lee’s declaration of “new management” in 1993 was “the motivating driver of the company’s vision to deliver the best technology to help advance global society.”

      Lee also found himself in legal trouble. He was found guilty of bribing President Roh Tae-woo through a slush fund in 1995, and of tax evasion and embezzlement in 2008, but was formally pardoned for each conviction. The second pardon came in 2009 and was made “so that Lee could take back his place at the International Olympic Committee and form a better situation for the 2018 Olympics to take place in Pyongchang,” South Korea’s justice minister said at the time.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Pence Was Exposed to COVID From Top Aide. He Plans to Keep Campaigning Anyway.

        Despite being considered a close contact with a top aide who tested positive for Covid-19 and began quarantining on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence is still planning to maintain his travel and campaign schedule with the November election just over a week away—a decision medical experts denounced as potentially dangerous for Pence, those accompanying him, and the public.

      • Pence Denounced for ‘Grossly Negligent’ Decision to Keep Campaigning Despite Exposure to Top Aide With Covid-19

        “It’s just an insult to everybody who has been working in public health and public health response.”

      • “We’re Not Going to Control the Pandemic,” Trump Chief of Staff Says on Live TV as Covid Cases Surge

        “‘It is what it is’ wasn’t a randomly tossed off phrase: it’s the official policy.”

      • Covid-19 and the Political Utility of Fear

        The true mortality rate of covid-19 remains a matter of intense dispute, but it is undoubtedly true that a false public impression was given by the very high percentage of deaths among those who were tested positive, at the time when it was impossible to get tested unless you were seriously ill (or a member of society’s “elite”). When only those in danger of dying could get a test, it was of course not at all surprising that such a high percentage of those who tested positive died. It is astonishing how many articles are published with the entirely fake claim that the mortality rate of Covid-19 is 3.4%, based on that simple methodology. That same methodology will today, now testing is much more widely available to those who feel ill, give you results of under 1%. That is still an overestimate as very few indeed of the symptomless, or of those with mild symptoms, are even now being tested.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Episode 221 – Security, magic, and FaceID – Open Source Security

            Josh and Kurt talk about how to get started in security. It’s like the hero’s journey, but with security instead of magic. We then talk about what Webkit bringing Face ID and Touch ID to the browsers will mean.

          • Linux Patches Aim To Provide Fork’ing Brute Force Attack Mitigation

            Building off a set of “request for comments” patches from September, a set of patches were sent out on Sunday for providing brute force attack mitigation around the fork system call.

            With attacks aiming to break Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and similar attacks often relying on the fork system call in order to keep replicating the memory contents of the parent process, these patches aim to detect the behavior where fork is being exploited for these nefarious purposes.

            This work is inspired in part by some patches carried by GrSecurity where a delay around the fork system call will be imposed if a child died from a fatal error. These patches propose collecting statistical data shared across all the processes with the same memory contents and analyzing the timing of any children processes crashing. When the code determines such an exploit may be underway leveraging fork, all of the processes using the same memory contents are killed to stop whatever malicious activity may be happening.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • US official pushes India to ban Huawei, ZTE from mobile networks

              An American official has told India it needs to shut out Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation from the country’s forthcoming 5G trials and also remove the companies’ gear from other networks.

            • Sydney Morning Herald shows it knows nothing about encryption

              One of Australia’s main newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald, believes that technology companies can open “very small” encryption backdoors to enable government agencies to snoop on encrypted communications.

            • Former StyleHaul Execs Launch Vody, Big-Data Startup Aimed at Enhancing Content Recommendations (EXCLUSIVE)

              Entertainment-analytics startup Vody is coming out of stealth after more than two years of development and testing. Co-founders and co-CEOs Stephanie Horbaczewski and Jeremy Houghton, who both were previously top execs at YouTube network StyleHaul, claim they’ve built a better mousetrap. The company’s proprietary system, they say, uses machine-learning tech to trawl the [Internet] and compile a comprehensive database of entertainment titles — designed to plug into streaming services for more accurate content recommendations.

              The L.A.-based company was formed by Horbaczewski, previously founder/CEO of StyleHaul, and Houghton, who was StyleHaul CTO. They both left the RTL Group-owned fashion and beauty digital network before RTL shuttered StyleHaul last year.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Donald Trump, the Mr. Magoo of Geopolitics, Incites Warfare Between Egypt and Ethiopia

        Trump is much more terrifying, if equally cartoonish.

      • ‘Victory for Humanity’: Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons to Take Effect as Honduras Becomes 50th Nation to Ratify

        The United States has not ratified the treaty and the Trump administration is actively urging nations to withdraw from it.

      • Erik Prince’s Private Wars

        A revealing passage in Prince’s book suggests his father harbored concerns about his only son’s early lack of focus. Edgar Prince inserted a clause in his will stipulating that Erik, the youngest of his four children, wouldn’t receive any inheritance until he turned 30.

        The younger Prince’s life hit a major pivot, however, in 1992, when he left politics to be commissioned as a naval officer and join the elite Navy SEALs. His father, won over by his son’s perseverance, dropped the clause out of the will.

        After his father’s death in 1995 at age 63 from a heart attack, Prince resigned his military commission and used his share of the family fortune to build Blackwater USA, which began life as a cross between a shooting range and training facility for special-operations personnel near North Carolina’s Great Dismal Swamp. After 9/11, the company grew rapidly as it filled the government’s need to protect its personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater would go on to bill the U.S. government for more than $1 billion over its lifetime.

      • Murder Of Iranian Dissident In Toronto Raises Questions About Iran’s Footprint In Canada

        Amin, a construction worker and former member of the Iranian-Canadian Congress, has been active on social media in recent years. He attended political rallies against the Islamic Republic, calling for the overthrow of the clergy-dominated establishment in Iran.

        Hamed Ismaeilion, the spokesman for the Association of Victims of Flight 752, said that he had recently received death threats.

        Toronto police have not yet released a report on the possible motive, manner, and perpetrators involved in the murder.

      • Mali’s army liberates village besieged by jihadists: army statement

        Mali’s military has regained control of a village in the centre of the country where more than 2 000 residents have been besieged by suspected Islamist militants for two weeks, it said in a statement on Thursday.

      • France recalls ambassador from Turkey after ‘unacceptable’ Erdogan comments

        “President Erdogan’s comments are unacceptable. Excess and rudeness are not a method. We demand that Erdogan change the course of his policy because it is dangerous in every respect,” the official told AFP.

        The Elysee official, who asked not to be named, also said that France had noted “the absence of messages of condolence and support” from the Turkish president after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty outside Paris.

        The official also expressed concern over calls by Ankara for a boycott of French goods.

        Macron this month described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide and said the government would present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France.

        He announced stricter oversight of schooling and better control over foreign funding of mosques.

      • France: ‘Anti-Islamophobia’ campaigner issued death fatwa against teacher who showed Muhammad cartoon

        Police in France have arrested a Muslim leader who reportedly issued a fatwa, or the Islamic death warrant, on the school teacher beheaded in Paris on Friday, the French-language newspaper Le Soir confirmed on Monday.

        The suspect, Abdelhakim Sefrioui, leads an organization called “Cheikh Yassine Collective,” which was set up in the memory of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the slain founder of the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas.

      • Bereaved father blasts BBC for giving platform to terrorist

        The father of a teenage girl who was among 15 people murdered in the 2001 suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem condemned the BBC this week for giving one of the terrorists involved in the attack a platform, the UK-based Jewish News reports.

        A BBC Arabic program had reported that Ahlam Tamimi, who masterminded the bombing, was appealing to Jordanian King Abdullah II to intervene after her husband’s Jordanian residency was revoked. The report said, “The staff of the [BBC] program reached out to Ahlam to hear her request to the Jordanian king. Let’s listen.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Scholar Larry Bartels: Trump has revealed that “truth and reason” don’t matter to politics

        In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with political scientist Larry Bartels, who holds the May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University. Bartels is the author of several books, including “Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age” and “Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government” (with Christopher Achen). His commentaries and other writing have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times and other leading publications. Bartels is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

        Toward the end of our conversation, Bartels shares his thoughts on the reliability of the various models offered by historians, political scientists and others who claim to be able to predict the outcome of presidential elections and the likely defeat of Donald Trump. (I will not spoil his remarks for you here.) As usual, this interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    • Environment

      • Amy Coney Barrett Is Doubling Down on Climate Denial

        As a lower-court judge, Barrett had previously recused herself from cases involving Shell Oil, because her father worked there as a top attorney for decades. He also served in a top position at the American Petroleum Institute (API), one of the fossil fuel industry’s top lobbying groups, but she never included that organization in her recusal list.

      • Climate Change and Hurricanes

        Bruno Latour, the French sociologist and anthropologist writes, in Facing Gaia – Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime, 2017, “In the Anthropocene, how can the state maintain that it has a monopoly on legitimate physical violence in the face of the geo-historical violence of the climate?” These weather events now terrorize the state and as we become increasingly subject to anthropogenic phenomena – those characteristics of climate that we believe are acting out of humankind’s historic and present burning of fossil fuels –we anthropomorphize their impact. Wild fires rage, threaten and ravage; hurricanes bear down, hit and devastate. Their actions deriving, we understand from the frantic reporting of them, not from a set of climatological beginnings but devoted to the terrorizing of the human beings in their path – fire, flood and wind marked by a teleological stripe as wide as the swathe they purposefully cut through civilization. Either way, it’s all about us. We have created these vaporous monsters, these flowers of evil – their whirling florescence stunningly captured in satellite imagery – that can only survive in the hot-house of an anthropocentric world. Their evil is the evil that men do, their monstrousness mirrors ours. It is we who have turned the page of geologic epochs to the one named the Anthropocene.

        The fight to reduce CO2 levels to diminish global warming remains the central field of operations in the global climate war that was enjoined some decades ago. Capitalism and its enabling political environment of neoliberalism are locked in battle with a growing army of opinion (scarcely yet reified as action) that suggests that planetary health would be better served by a dramatic re-visioning of our hegemonic anthropocentrism towards an enlightened co-existence with other life-forms. As the world warms, this new Cold War is fated to get increasingly hot. It is a war between the Moderns – those living out the scientific rationalities of the seventeenth century and who still formally exist within the Holocene, a geological epoch characterized by the geomorphic changes signaled by the end of the last ice age and the subsequent advent of agriculture – and those whom Latour calls the “Earthbound of the Anthropocene”, populations alive to the geologic epoch which takes account of humankind’s impact on geo-history and which embrace a world suffused with animism.

      • An Effective Green New Deal Must Be Global. This Is What It Could Look Like.

        The position of the Academies of Science from more than 80 countries and scores of scientific organizations is that global warming is human-caused through the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil) to generate power. In fact, scientists have known for decades how carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to global warming, with nuclear weapons physicist Edward Teller actually warning the oil industry all the way back in 1959 how its own activities will end up having a catastrophic impact on human civilization.

      • 70+ Climate Journalists Pen Open Letter Condemning Barrett for Enabling the ‘Ecological Crisis of Our Times’

        “At the moment when the facts of the case were presented to her, this arbiter of justice freely chose to side with mistruths. Judge Coney Barrett’s responses are factually inaccurate, scientifically unsound, and dangerous.”

      • Energy

        • Fracking Isn’t Just Bad for the Climate. It’s Bad for Mental Health Too.

          Hydraulic fracturing has boomed in the U.S. over the past decade, but unless you live near it, you may not realize just how close fracking wells can be to homes and schools. In Colorado, the wellbore – the hole drilled to extract oil or gas – can be 500 feet from someone’s house under current state rules. In some states, like Texas, drilling can be even closer.

    • Finance

      • Maine Officials Propose Doubling Budget for Agency Charged With Defending the Poor

        Officials in Maine are proposing to double the size of the budget set aside to provide the legal services needed to adequately defend the state’s poor who are accused of crimes.

        The $35.4 million proposal put forward by the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services, or MCILS, would establish the state’s first two public defender offices and provide a substantial raise to private attorneys paid to represent the poor. Members debated the large price tag before unanimously voting in support of the budget plan on Oct. 15. One commissioner was absent.

      • Why Uber’s Desperate Prop 22 Is Bad for Drivers and Society

        It would lock in a serf-like condition forever, since Prop 22 requires an unprecedented 88% vote by the state legislature to change it.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Preparing to Protect the Election Results

        Winning, and then protecting this election against a coup, are necessary steps to getting back to our regular work of fighting to build a just and sustainable society.

      • The Birth of a Xenophobe

        Two years later, Trump descended the escalator at Trump Tower and launched one of the most virulent anti-immigrant campaigns in American political history, delivering a speech that declared Mexico was sending rapists to the US. No president has ever flip-flopped so dramatically on immigration.

        The story of how Donald Trump became a xenophobe reveals how a bigoted con artist joined forces with far right racist anti-immigration radicals and convinced the American people that he had an easy solution to immigration.

      • ‘Such an Insult’: Doctors Furious as Trump Peddles Baseless Claim That They Are Inflating Covid Death Count for Profit

        “We report deaths how they occur. If you did your damn job we wouldn’t be reporting so many.”

      • Out of the UK, a Bold Pay Prescription for a Post-Trump America

        Two British think tanks are calling for a cap on the compensation that goes to corporate chiefs.

      • How to Reverse the GOP’s Power Grab

        This is a travesty of democracy.

      • To Defeat Fascism, We Must Recognize It’s a Failed Response to Capitalist Crisis

        Few would disagree in light of recent events that the Trump regime, its most diehard extreme-right, white supremacist supporters, and elements of the Republican Party are bidding for a fascist putsch. Whether this putsch remains insurgent or is beaten back will depend on how events unfold in the November 3 election and its aftermath, and especially on the ability of left and progressive forces to mobilize to defend democracy and to push forward a social justice agenda as a counterweight to the fascist project.

      • After Socialist Victory in Bolivia, Media Still Whitewash Coup

        U.S. media have a long history of reporting on Latin America that does more to please the State Department than to inform readers.

      • Bob Woodward on the 2020 Election: “How Can You Not Be Worried?”

        Bob Woodward, 77, is also working from home. For decades, he has been among the most important chroniclers of political affairs in the capital. In the early 1970s, he uncovered the Watergate scandal together with his colleague Carl Bernstein at the Washington Post, leading to the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon. He later wrote books about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Woodward has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes.

        For his new book, “Rage,” which was just published in German, he interviewed top government figures over a span of 10 months, including President Trump.

        Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DER SPIEGEL spoke to Woodward via telephone.

      • Fire set in Boston ballot drop box; FBI asked to probe

        A fire was set Sunday in a Boston ballot drop box holding more than 120 ballots in what appears to have been a “deliberate attack,” Massachusetts election officials said.

        The state has asked the FBI to investigate the fire that was set around 4 a.m. in a ballot drop box outside the Boston Public Library downtown, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office said.

        In a joint statement, Galvin and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called it a “disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic duty, and a crime.”

        “Our first and foremost priority is maintaining the integrity of our elections process and ensuring transparency and trust with our voters, and any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” they said in the emailed statement. “We ask voters not to be intimidated by this bad act, and remain committed to making their voices heard in this and every election.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Samuel Paty’s murder shows need for free speech, combating radicalization in mosques

        The sad reality is that the indoctrination and radicalization of European youth inside European cities is not a single and isolated incident but an alarming trend, as seen in the large numbers of Europeans who joined ISIS. According to a report published by the World Bank under the title “Transnational Terrorist Recruitment: Evidence from Daesh Personnel Records,” 148 fighters resided in France before joining ISIS. The radicalization of young men is the result of a range of causes. Whether for extremist groups such as ISIS or white supremacist groups, it increasingly occurs online with local encouragement through inciting an hateful rhetoric that is articulated by influential figures at home, where young men are groomed by slick propaganda videos and online recruiters.

      • Internet disrupted in Guinea ahead of presidential election result announcement

        Network data from the NetBlocks internet observatory confirm that internet has been disrupted in Guinea as of 7:30 a.m. UTC Friday 23 October 2020 as the West African country prepares to announce official results from this week’s presidential elections. The incident has nation-scale impact and is likely to significantly limit the domestic and international flow of information.

        Tensions are high in capital Conakry as supporters of opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo and incumbent President Alpha Conde each appeared to declare their candidate’s victory ahead of the official announcement.

      • India Is Still Cracking Down on Dissent

        A lethal mix of authoritarianism and neo-liberal reforms is on the rise, benefitting big business but brutally curtailing many people’s freedoms, dispossessing them of their livelihoods, and sharply escalating inequalities. Here, I share with you what I have seen in India.

      • Looking back at France’s long tradition of caricature

        French history teacher Samuel Paty was murdered on 16 October after showing two caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a class about freedom of expression. In recent years, caricature in France has hit the headlines because of the irreverent cartoons of Charlie Hebdo and the 2015 terrorist attacks. But caricature has a long and colourful tradition in the country.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Turkish courts pursue trials, asset seizures in multiple cases against journalists

        Yesterday, a court Istanbul rejected an appeal by exiled journalist Can Dündar, thereby allowing authorities to seize his assets in Turkey, the news website Duvar English reported.

        Today, another Istanbul court convicted freelance journalist Sabiha Temizkan of making terrorist propaganda and sentenced her to 15 months in prison for a tweet from 2014, the independent news website Bianet reported, stating that she is free pending appeal.

        Tomorrow, hearings in Istanbul are scheduled to continue in the trials of two Turkish Bloomberg reporters, Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalınkılıç, as well as three other journalists and 33 other co-defendants, reports said.

      • Open Access Should Include Open Courts

        But using PACER takes more than skill–it takes money. Subject to some exceptions, the PACER system charges 10 cents a page to download a document, and that cost can add up fast. The money is supposed to cover the price of running the system, but has been diverted to cover other costs. And either way, those fees are an unfair barrier to access. Open access activists have tried for years to remedy the problem, and have managed to improve access to some of it. The government itself made some initial forays in the right direction a decade ago, but then retreated, claiming privacy and security concerns. A team of researchers has developed software, called RECAP, that helps users automatically search for free copies of documents, and helps build up a free alternative database. Nonetheless, today most of PACER remains locked behind a paywall.

        It’s past time to tear that paywall down, and a bill now working its way through Congress, the bipartisan Open Courts Act of 2020, aims to do just that. The bill would provide public access to federal court records and improve the federal court’s online record system, eliminating PACER’s paywall in the process. EFF and a coalition of civil liberties organizations, transparency groups, retired judges, and law libraries have joined together to push Congress and the U.S. Federal Courts to eliminate the paywall and expand access to these vital documents. In a letter (PDF) addressed to the Director of the Administrative Office of United States Courts, which manages PACER, the coalition calls on the AO not to oppose this important legislation.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • You Cannot Decarcerate by Using the Tools of Incarceration, Says Mumia Abu-Jamal

        The somber baritone of Mumia Abu-Jamal is unmistakable. Before we can exchange greetings, one of several automated announcements interrupts the call, reminding us that our conversation will be subject to recording and monitoring. Abu-Jamal is phoning from State Correctional Institution Mahanoy, a medium-security prison in Pennsylvania. Convicted in 1982 for the alleged killing of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in a racially charged trial that, according to Amnesty International, failed to meet international standards, Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2011. In April 2019, a new path for Abu-Jamal to appeal his life sentence was opened by reform-leaning Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who withdrew his initial opposition for a new appeal to go forward in the courts. Yet, 64-year-old Abu-Jamal remains skeptical when it comes to criminal legal reform in the United States. Despite calls to defund the police and a string of electoral victories for more progressive prosecutors like Krasner, the current administration is actively rolling back reforms. Most notably, Donald Trump has lifted the 17-year moratorium on federal executions and reinstated Department of Justice contracts with private prisons. For Abu-Jamal, with whom I spoke about abolition, the history of slavery and racialized state violence in the United States, this fraught political moment requires an entirely different mindset that allows us to think about decarceration in new ways.

      • How Did We Get Here? And How Do We Get Out?

        It’s important that we figure this out, and figure out how to inoculate the country from this disease—the disease that conflates bravado with brains, degeneracy with dignity, greed with grace, hate with hope.

      • Some rich people are getting even richer during the pandemic

        They found, unsurprisingly, that tech billionaires have performed especially well. Between March and the end of June the net worth of both Mr Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, soared by more than 50%. More than half of the 13 biggest gainers were from the tech sector. Another winner of the pandemic was Kuan Kam Hon, the boss of Hartalega, a Malaysian maker of synthetic gloves, whose wealth has doubled. Mr Kuan is now worth an estimated $7.6bn.

      • “John Brown: History’s Greatest Hero”

        On that day Thoreau said: “Some eighteen hundred years ago Christ was crucified. This morning, perchance, Captain Brown was hung. These are the two ends of a chain which is not without its links. He is not ‘Old Brown’ any longer; he is an Angel of Light . . . I foresee the time when the painter will paint that scene, no longer going to Rome for a subject; the poet will sing it, the historian record it, and with the landing of the Pilgrims and the Declaration of Independence it will be the ornament of some future national gallery, when at least the present form of slavery shall be no more here. We shall then be at liberty to weep for Captain Brown.”

        [...] Who shall be the John Brown of Wage-Slavery?

      • Female Cyclist Angers Hard-Liners In Iran By Riding Without Her Hijab

        Amateur video shows the unveiled woman riding her bike triumphantly in Najafabad’s city center while holding one her hands high. It quickly went viral on social media and many Iranians have praised her audacity.

        In the video, a man who apparently is recording the footage from a car asks the woman: “Lady, freedom came? The shah has returned?”

        After making the reference to the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, when Iranians had greater social freedoms, the man encourages the bicyclist by saying: “Bravo! Bravo!”

        Reports suggest those who recorded video of the incident and posted it online also have been detained by Iranian authorities.

      • Iranian woman arrested for cycling without hijab, accused of ‘insulting’ Islamic veil

        Authorities in Iran have arrested a woman for ‘insulting the Islamic Hijab,’ after a video of her cycling without a veil went viral on social media, news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported.

        “A person who had recently violated norms and insulted the Islamic veil in this region, has been arrested,” Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Najafabad governor Mojatabai Raei as saying.

        Raei further said the woman’s ‘motive’ for committing this action is being investigated. He, however, did not disclose her identity. “The residents of this city are holding a protest rally today after the unprecedented violation of norms,” the governor added.

      • Angela Davis Still Believes America Can Change

        During the trial, Davis’s profile transformed. Before, she had been a noted scholar. After, she became an international symbol of resistance. In a period when images of Black women in major newspapers or on network television were scarce, Davis’s was both ubiquitous and unique. Whether in journalistic photos, respectful drawings or disrespectful caricatures, her gaze was uniformly stern — as if focused on her offscreen accusers — and unbowed. No matter the platform or the publication, she radiated rebellion and intelligence. When I search her name online today, there are countless images from this period to scroll through. There’s a drawing of a bespectacled Davis that reads, “You can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail a revolution.” There’s a photo of her holding a microphone at a rally, her own words written beneath: “The real criminals in this society are not all of the people who populate the prisons across the state, but those who have stolen the wealth of the world from the people.” There’s a painting of her washed with the red, black and green of the Pan-African flag. There’s a poster that makes her look like a sexy saint, with the words “Free Angela” hanging above and below her face; an Ecuadorean pennant depicting Davis in shackles alongside a sickle and hammer and the phrase “Libertad Para Angela Davis” — and hundreds and hundreds more.

      • Christian Woman in Pakistan Beaten in Public for Arguing with Muslim

        Abbas was angry that Bibi, a person he considered socially lower than him due to her religious identity, had argued with him in public. As Abbas beat Bibi, he also used an extremely derogatory slur for Christians which labels them as untouchables.

        After the attack, Bibi and her family registered a police complaint against Abbas (FIR # 372/20). However, there police have yet to arrest Abbas or his son who reportedly joined his father in beating Bibi.

    • Monopolies

      • Silicon Valley Campaign Cash Complicates Democrats’ Plan to Break Up Tech Giants

        The stage is being set for Democrats to clash next year over a push to rein in Silicon Valley oligarchs. Earlier this month, House Democrats called for the break-up of major tech giants, but Democratic candidates in key Senate races are comfortably out-fundraising their Republican counterparts in campaign cash from the tech industry.

      • Making Sure You’re Covered – Using Intellectual Property to Protect Textiles [Ed: Journals reprinting misleading propaganda term “Intellectual Property”]

        Strategies for using a variety of intellectual property types to protect textiles are necessary due to the historical lack of any dedicated protection for textiles, apparel or fiber technologies. This paper is a review and illustration of a multi-pronged approach that weaves together aspects of utility patents, design patents, copyrights, trademark, and trade secrets.

      • Four Innovation Myths

        Bert Foer is one of the most influential figures in the past quarter century of antitrust. His founding and development of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) filled a significant hole in late 20th-century antitrust and served as a useful counterweight to the Chicago School. In addition to his crucial work with AAI, Bert explored long-standing antitrust issues with a fresh perspective. In particular, he offered thoughtful insights on innovation, recognizing the vital role played by “diverse competition,” understanding innovation’s long-term horizon, and highlighting innovation’s importance in antitrust enforcement.

        In the vein of channeling Bert’s fresh look at long-established issues and appreciation of innovation, I introduce and rebut four innovation myths in this chapter. Myths persist throughout the caselaw. But they are particularly likely to endure in this setting given the talismanic effect of the term “innovation.” No one can reasonably stand on the opposite side of “innovation,” the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. To do so would cast one’s lot with the fragile sands of backwards thinking and technological regression. Sometimes, however, innovation arguments are not appropriate or supported.

        This chapter exposes four of these “innovation myths”: (1) innovation is reflected solely by the initial invention; (2) innovation can be evaluated only in product markets; (3) robust intellectual property enforcement leads to more innovation; and (4) innovation is the only objective in certain settings.

      • Patents

        • Patent Law’s Equitable Defenses

          In Merck & Co. Inc. v. Gilead Sciences Inc., a jury found Gilead liable for infringement of Merck’s patents directed to treatment for Hepatitis C and awarded Merck $200 million in damages. Three months later, however, the trial judge found that the patents were unenforceable under the equitable defense of unclean hands and rendered the damages verdict moot. In patent law, “unenforceability” carries immense force, limiting and in some cases barring all remedies for infringement of a valid patent. Five doctrines together make up the defense of “unenforceability” as it was incorporated into the Patent Act in 1952: laches, estoppel, unclean hands, patent misuse, and, according to some, inequitable conduct. Yet in the 70 years since incorporation of equitable defenses into the patent statute, the Supreme Court has not fully illuminated the reach of these equitable defenses. The Court denied certiorari in Merck & Co. Inc. v. Gilead Sciences Inc. in 2019 and sidestepped many salient issues on the equitable defense of laches in its opinion in SCA Hygiene in 2017. A significant question remains unanswered: In what contexts are equitable defenses available to bar damages at law? Several interpretive methods have been proposed for determining the reach of such generally worded statutes: Under a dynamic statutory interpretation like that proposed by Professor William Eskridge, courts would be permitted to develop such statutes in accordance with what the law ought to be. Under a traditional faithful agent approach, in contrast, courts would try to determine the scope as set forth by the legislature, piecing together context and history to frame limited words. The scope of equitable defenses in patent law is an ideal proving ground between these methods, having both historical background for use in traditional approaches and high-stakes social questions that factor into a dynamic approach—what conduct do we allow patentees to engage in before we cut off remedies for infringement on innovations that support our health and modern lifestyle?

          Setting the stage of the statutory interpretive battle, this article examines the historical and statutory bases of equitable limits on patent law, with a particular focus on the substantive equitable defenses of unclean hands and patent misuse. It contrasts the history of equitable defenses such as estoppel, which crossed fully into courts of law well before the merger of law and equity and the Patent Act, with equitable defenses such as laches, unclean hands, and misuse. It also explores inequitable conduct. The article walks through these defenses’ pre-codification roots and potential statutory interpretations and presents normative and constitutional considerations under the competing interpretive approaches. It also presents a surprising approach to inequitable conduct. This article is the first to provide a comprehensive framework for the analysis of equitable defenses in patent law.

        • Patent Reviews in ‘Limbo’ as Supreme Court Takes Case on Judges
        • L’Oréal Beats Claims it Wrongly Fired Patent Lawyer Over Quotas
        • American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          One of the most interesting (albeit troubling) decisions by the Federal Circuit in the past year or so was its decisions, by a panel and then in denying review en banc, in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC. In addition to expanding (beyond recognition) the capacity for courts to invalidate patents on lack of subject matter eligibility grounds, the case illustrated the fractured nature of the Court on this question (with the judges being equally divided on the rehearing en banc petition). Another aspect was a pair of strong dissents by Judge Moore, at both stages, where she expressed her view that the Court had embarked on a course that resembles “enablement on steroids” and “turns the [Section 101] gatekeeper into a barricade.”

          On Friday, the Court denied American Axle’s motion to stay issuance of the Court’s mandate while awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on its petition for certiorari. The Court’s order cited the standard, under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 41(d)(1), that such a motion be granted only if “the petition would present a substantial question and that there is good cause for a stay.”

        • Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Government-Backed Anti-Piracy Deal Aims to Disrupt Pirate Site Cash Flow

          The Danish Ministry of Culture and Rights Alliance have brokered an anti-piracy agreement with various key players in the online media world. Under the new deal, Denmark’s biggest media outlets, advertising companies, and payment processors will try to cut off revenue streams to pirate sites. The list of blocked sites remains private but includes some 350 URLs.

        • ACE Obtains DMCA Subpoena to Unmask Operators of Major Pirate Sites

          Global anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has obtained a DMCA subpoena requiring the Tonic domain registry to hand over all information it holds on a wide range of ‘pirate’ sites. These include torrent giant 1337x.to and streaming portal BS.to, which are good for 78 million visits per month. Veterans Kinox.to and Movie4K.to are among the remaining targets.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. 3.5 Years Later Gemini Protocol and Geminispace Are Still 100% Community-Controlled

    Community-centric alternatives to the World Wide Web have gained traction; one of them, Gemini Protocol, continues to grow in 2023 and we're pleased to report progress and expansion

  2. Windows Falls to 16% Market Share in India (It was 97% in 2009), Microsoft Layoffs Reach India Too

    This month’s picture from the world’s most populous nation does not look good for Microsoft (it looks good for GNU/Linux); anonymous rumour mills online say that Microsoft isn’t moving to India but is actually firing staff based in India, so it’s a case of shrinking, not offshoring. When even low-paid (much lower salaries) staff is discarded it means things are very gloomy.

  3. Links 22/03/2023: GNOME 44 “Kuala Lumpur”

    Links for the day

  4. Microsoft Has Also Infiltrated the OSI's Board of Directors After Rigged Elections

    Weeks ago we warned that this would happen and for the third or fourth time in 2 years the OSI’s election process broke down; today the Open Source Initiative (OSI) writes: “The polls just closed, the results are in. Congratulations to the returning directors Aeva Black…” (Microsoft employee)

  5. Links 22/03/2023: Official Thunderbird Podcast Starts

    Links for the day

  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 21, 2023

  7. Many More Microsoft Layoffs Later Today

    Yesterday we shared rumours about Microsoft layoffs being planned for later today (there were 3 waves of layoffs so far this year). There are several more people here who say the same. How much noise will Microsoft make in the “media” in order to distract? Will the chaffbot "ChatGPT" help create enough chaff?

  8. Links 21/03/2023: JDK 20 and GNOME 43.5

    Links for the day

  9. Germany's Lobbyists-Infested Government Sponsors the War on Ukraine via the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The chief UPC ‘judge’ is basically seeking to break the law (and violate constitutions, conventions etc.) to start a kangaroo court while dodging real courts, just like Vladimir Putin does

  10. [Meme] The Meme That Team UPC (the Collusion to Break the European Laws, for Profit) Threats to Sue Us For

    António Campinos and Team UPC are intimidating people who simply point out that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is illegal and Klaus Grabinksi, shown above, strives to head a de facto kangaroo court in violation of constitutions and conventions (the UK does not and cannot ratify; Ireland hasn’t even held a referendum on the matter)

  11. Microsoft is Sacking People Every Month This Year, Even Managers (While Sponsored Media Produces Endless Chatbot Chaff)

    Lots of Microsoft layoffs lately and so-called ‘journalists’ aren’t reporting these; they’re too busy running sponsored puff pieces for Microsoft, usually fluff along the “hey hi” (AI) theme

  12. 3 Months Late Sirius 'Open Source' Finally Deletes Us From the Fraudulent 'Meet the Team' Page (But Still Lists Many People Who Left Years Ago!)

    Amid fraud investigations the management of Sirius ‘Open Source’ finally removed our names from its “Meet the Team” page (months late); but it left in the page about half a dozen people who left the company years ago, so it’s just lying to its clients about the current situation

  13. Amid Fraud at Sirius 'Open Source' CEO Deletes His Recent (This Month) Past With the Company

    Not only did the Sirius ‘Open Source’ CEO purge all mentions of Sirius from his Microsoft LinkedIn account; he’s racing against the clock as crimes quickly become a legal liability

  14. Web Survey Shows Microsoft Falling Below 15% Market Share in Africa, Only One Minuscule African Nation Has Windows Majority

    A Web survey that measured Microsoft Windows at 97% in Africa (back in 2010) says that Windows has become rather small and insignificant; the Microsoft-sponsored mainstream media seems to be ignoring this completely, quite likely by intention...

  15. Rumours of More Microsoft Layoffs Tomorrow (Including Managers!), Probably Azure Again (Many Azure Layoffs Every Year Since 2020)

    Amazon is laying off AWS staff and Microsoft has been laying off Azure staff for 3 years already, including this year, so it seems like the “clown computing” bubble is finally bursting

  16. [Meme] EPO's Management Brainstorm

    The story behind a misleading slogan told above

  17. The Photo Ops Festival of the Funky President António Campinos and Revolt From the Patent Examiners Whom He Perpetually Oppresses

    European Patents are being granted for no reason other than application and renewal fees, awarding European monopolies to companies that aren't even European (only about a third are actually European); staff of the EPO is fed up as it regards or views all this as an extreme departure from the EPO's mission (and it's also outright illegal)

  18. Links 21/03/2023: Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0 LTS

    Links for the day

  19. Back Doors Proponent Microsoft Infiltrates Panels That Write the Security Regulations, Press Fails to Point Out the Obvious

    Cult tactics and classic entryism serve Microsoft again, stacking the panels and basically writing policy (CISA). As an associate explained it, citing this new example, Stanford “neglects to point out the obvious fact that Microsoft is writing its own regulations.”

  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 20, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 20, 2023

  21. Links 20/03/2023: Curl 8.0.0/1 and CloudStack LTS

    Links for the day

  22. Standard Life (Phoenix Group Holdings): Three Weeks to Merely Start Investigating Pension Fraud (and Only After Repeated Reminders From the Fraud's Victims)

    As the phonecall above hopefully shows (or further elucidates), Standard Life leaves customers in a Kafkaesque situation, bouncing them from one person to another person without actually progressing on a fraud investigation

  23. Standard Life Paper Mills in Edinburgh

    Standard Life is issuing official-looking financial papers for companies that then use that paperwork to embezzle staff

  24. Pension Fraud Investigation Not a High Priority in Standard Life (Phoenix Group Holdings)

    The 'Open Source' company where I worked for nearly 12 years embezzled its staff; despite knowing that employees were subjected to fraud in Standard Life's name, it doesn't seem like Standard Life has bothered to investigate (it has been a fortnight already; no progress is reported by management at Standard Life)

  25. Links 20/03/2023: Tails 5.11 and EasyOS 5.1.1

    Links for the day

  26. Links 20/03/2023: Amazon Linux 2023 and Linux Kernel 6.3 RC3

    Links for the day

  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 19, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 19, 2023

  28. An Update on Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: It's Looking Worse Than Ever

    It's starting to look more and more like pension providers in the UK, including some very major and large ones, are aiding criminals who steal money from their workers under the guise of "pensions"

  29. Services and Users TRApped in Telescreen-Running Apps

    TRApp, term that lends its name to this article, is short for "Telescreen-Running App". It sounds just like "trap". Any similarity is not purely coincidental.

  30. Links 19/03/2023: Release of Libreboot 20230319 and NATO Expanding

    Links for the day

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