Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 29/10/2020: Istio 1.6.13, Krita 4.4.1 and PyPI Key-Signing Ceremony

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 602: Linux on IBM – Encouraging Open Source Computing

        Reflecting on the 20-year anniversary of Linux on IBM Z mainframes. Hosts Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb talk with Boaz Betzler, one of the original team members from the IBM Böblingen Lab in Germany responsible for porting Linux onto the IBM Z mainframes. They discuss the initial decision to port Linux onto the IBM mainframes and why that was a controversial decision at the time. They also talk about the impact of putting Linux on the mainframe and how it continues to impact the open-source community.

      • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 10 – Youtube-dl, Linux Jobs, LBRY, Text Editors, Ubuntu, Fedora, NixOS – YouTube

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software. On this freedom-packed episode: 0:00 – Intro 2:12 – The music industry goes after youtube-dl; it is removed from GitHub. 10:11 – Linux and open source jobs are hot right now. 14:04 – LBRY has a marketing problem. 17:30 – Six of the best text editors on Linux.

    • Applications

      • 10 Best Free and Open Source Linux Revision Control Tools

        Version control systems play an essential role for developers. First up, they allow developers to safely store successive versions of source code. Besides providing a secure backup of the source code, this type of software lets developers revert back to a stable release if subsequent code changes have unforeseen consequences.

        Equally important, revision control tools enable team members to work simultaneously on a project’s code. If you have ever collaborated with other people on a project, you will appreciate the frustration caused by swapping files. Revision control is an excellent way to combat the problem of sharing files between developers without treading on each other’s toes. For open source projects having tens/hundreds of people working on the same code base, revision control software is essential.

      • Announcing Istio 1.6.13

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.12 and Istio 1.6.13

      • Best Audio Mergers to Combine Audio Files Together

        As a free audio merger, Audacity can help you manage audio files in different formats, such as WAV, AIFF, MP2, MP3, FLAC and OGG.

        It lets you easily merge multiple audio files together to make a long recording or song. In addition, it can handle your multi-track audio and work with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems perfectly.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Kinto – Easily Get Mac OS Like Keybinds in Ubuntu Linux | UbuntuHandbook

        For Mac users want to change keybinds in Ubuntu Linux or Windows, Kinto is an easy system-wide solution with setup wizard and system tray indicator.


        Just click on ‘Agree’ button, follow the wizard, hit Enter, and you’re done! The system tray indicator is not enabled by default, you can enable it from the File menu.

      • Kinto – Easily Get Mac OS Like Keybinds in Ubuntu Linux | UbuntuHandbook

        In this article, we will show you how to create your own abstract graphics using the GNU Image Manipulation Program for abstract graphic design. This program was initially created for Unix-like systems such as Linux. It has also been made available for Windows and OSX users. The following steps are very simple but can yield some awesome results.

      • Vdx – An Intuitive Commandline Wrapper To FFmpeg – OSTechNix

        Vdx is an intuitive commandline wrapper to FFmpeg. Using Vdx, we can do most common audio and video encoding and transcoding operations.

      • Linux Bash Shell Special Characters

        There are a set of characters the Bash shell treats in two different ways. When you type them at the shell, they act as instructions or commands and tell the shell to perform a certain function. Think of them as single-character commands. If you want to master the Bash shell on Linux, macOS, or another UNIX-like system, special characters (like ~, *, |, and >) are critical. We’ll help you unravel these cryptic Linux command sequences and become a hero of hieroglyphics.

      • Find Ubuntu Images on Microsoft Azure [Ed: Microsoft would love to pretend that it now owns and controls its competition (and that it means "love")]
      • Deleting many files from an S3 bucket | There and back again

        So we found ourselves in the need to delete a considerable amount of files (around 500000, amounting to 1.6T) from an S3 bucket.

      • Use Docker and Alpine Linux to build lightweight containers

        When it comes to Docker, sometimes less is more — a maxim that applies especially to the base OS images installed in each Docker image.

        The use of a lightweight image — one with less than 200 MB — can result in significant resource and cost savings when used alongside optimized applications. A lightweight image also takes less time to deploy compared to a larger one, as it boots up faster.

        Most OS images are lightweight, with minimal compute resource requirements. But others, such as Windows containers, are huge. Alpine Linux is a super lightweight Linux distribution that’s useful for Docker containers.

        In this Docker and Alpine Linux tutorial, we’ll build an Nginx web server that demonstrates how small a Docker container image can be.

      • Managing resources with cgroups in systemd | Opensource.com

        Cgroups manage resources per application rather than by the individual processes that make up an application.

      • Improve your database knowledge with this MariaDB and MySQL cheat sheet | Opensource.com

        When you’re writing an application or configuring one for a server, eventually, you will need to store persistent information. Sometimes, a configuration file, such as an INI or YAML file will do. Other times, a custom file format designed in XML or JSON or similar is better.

        But sometimes you need something that can validate input, search through information quickly, make connections between related data, and generally handle your users’ work adeptly. That’s what a database is designed to do, and MariaDB (a fork of MySQL by some of its original developers) is a great option. I use MariaDB in this article, but the information applies equally to MySQL.

      • Creating a Linux-Windows hybrid system with Cygwin | Enable Sysadmin

        When you need a consistent scripting platform in a heterogeneous data center, Cygwin delivers.

      • Eight ways to protect SSH access on your system | Enable Sysadmin

        The Secure Shell is a critical tool in the administrator’s arsenal. Here are eight ways you can better secure SSH, and some suggestions for basic SSH centralization.

      • Securely tunnel smart phone traffic with WireGuard and OpenBSD

        Learn how to securely tunnel smart phone traffic over a WireGuard VPN with an OpenBSD 6.8 endpoint using the newly released in-kernel wg(4) driver with only base utilities.

      • How to Monitor Ubuntu Performance Using Netdata

        In this article, we will see how you can install Netdata on Ubuntu to monitor real-time, performance, and health monitoring of server and applications.

      • How to Select the Best Hosting Service – RoseHosting [Ed: Maybe a tad too self-promotional]

        Choose a hosting service that will provide everything that you’re looking for. These are our top factors to look out for in a hosting plan.

      • How to Use apt-cache Command in Linux

        With apt-cache command, you can search for package details in the local APT cache. Learn to use apt-cache command in this tutorial.

      • How to install Kdenlive 20.08 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Kdenlive 20.08 or newer on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Xiphos on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS- A software to Study Bible – Linux Shout

        Commands to install Xiphos on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 LTS Linux. An open source software for Linux, Windows and Uinux to study Bible.

      • How to install Zenmap Nmap GUI on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        In simple words, the Zenmap is a graphical user interface developed for “Nmap“, a tool that we use on the command line terminal for scanning ports and networks. However, it could be difficult and cumbersome even for experienced users to use the command line for every small task, thus, in such scenarios, the Zenmap not only helps a lot but also expands the network tool with additional functions. It cross-platform GUI (Graphical User Interface) and make it very easy for beginners to use Nmap.

        When we install Zenmap it also adds the network driver WinPcap that programs such as Nmap and Wireshark need. If you don’t have any idea about Nmap, then it is a tool usually used by network security experts to analyze open ports over a network of a computer. It is a very powerful program.

      • How to use the history command on CentOS 8

        The ‘history’ command is used to display the terminal history. It keeps the history of all terminal commands executed on your system. It also allows users to replay or reuse previously executed commands on the terminal without having to type them all again. So the History command is useful in the situation when the user has forgotten a command that was previously executed on the terminal. The history of all executed commands is stored in the file ~/.bash_history. By default, the history file stores the record of all executed commands on the Linux system. If you have difficulties to check the history of all previously executed commands, this article would be useful for you. In this article we show you how to use the “history” command on your CentOS 8.0.

      • How to Install Hadoop Single Node Cluster (Pseudonode) on CentOS 7

        This article describes the process to install the Pseudonode installation of Hadoop, where all the daemons (JVMs) will be running Single Node Cluster on CentOS 7.

      • How to Install Eclipse in Ubuntu 20.04 | IT Pro

        Here are two ways to install Eclipse–and one way not to install Eclipse–in Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Give Your Raspberry Pi a Static IP Address – Linux Hint

        It is essential to configure a static IP address on your Raspberry Pi system if you are planning to run some kind of server software on it. This article shows you how to configure a static IP address on the Ethernet and Wi-Fi network interface of your Raspberry Pi system running the Raspberry Pi OS.

      • How to Delete a Service in Kubernetes

        Learn two ways to delete a service in Kubernetes.


        For example, your application has groups of pods running for various sections such as a group for serving front end load to users and other group for running back end processes and a third group connecting to an external data source.

        It is services that enable connectivity between these groups of pods. You can have as many services as required within the cluster.

      • How to Create EC2 Duplicate Instance with Ansible | Linux Journal

        Many companies like mine use AWS infrastructure as a service (IaaS) heavily. Sometimes we want to perform a potentially risky operation on an EC2 instance. As long as we do not work with immutable infrastructure it is imperative to be prepared for instant revert.

        One of the solutions is to use a script that will perform instance duplication, but in modern environments, where unification is an essence it would be wiser to use more common known software instead of making up a custom script.

        Here comes the Ansible!

        Ansible is a simple automation software. It handles configuration management, application deployment, cloud provisioning, ad-hoc task execution, network automation, and multi-node orchestration. It is marketed as a tool for making complex changes like zero-downtime rolling patching, therefore we have used it for this straightforward snapshotting task.

      • How To Install Kodi on Debian 10 Buster – idroot

        In this tutorial we will show you how to install Kodi on Debian 10 Buster, as well as some extra required package by Kodi

      • Install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi to Replace Your Smart TV OS

        Don’t like ads on your smart TV? Learn how to replace your TV OS with LibreELEC (Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) and a Raspberry Pi.

    • Games

      • Gaming On Linux To Get Major Improvements, Thanks To Collabora

        Gone are the days when people would criticize Linux for its incapability to run games. Thanks to the vast open source community, gaming on Linux hasn’t been better than today.

        Collabora is a firm that specializes in open-source consultancy and development. The company has been striving to improve the overall gaming scenario on Linux alongside Valve, sponsoring the work.

      • Major improvement for Windows gaming on Linux expected next year

        Gaming on Linux systems could be about to get a lot more inclusive thanks to the work of one open-source company.

        Headquartered in Cambridge, Collabora specializes in open source consultancy and development. The company has been working to improve the Linux kernel to better support gaming on the behest of Valve, who has been sponsoring the work.

        While gaming on Linux has made major positive strides in the last few years, a vast majority of games still continue to be developed exclusively for Windows. Valve’s approach to bring this Windows-only gaming ecosystem to Linux is through emulation.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 7.2.0-beta1 is released

          After a long time to integrate the student codes working on faces management while this summer, we are now ready to propose a first beta with the the new improvements planned since a very long time about the usability and the performances of faces tagging, faces detection, and faces recognition, already presented in July with 7.0.0 release announcement.

          We also fight against plenty of bugs, and after a long triaging stage, this new version come with more than 140 bug-fixes since last stable release 7.1.0 and look very promising. Nothing is completed yet, as we plan one more beta version before Christmas, when we will publish officially the stable version. It still bugs to fix while this beta campaign and all help will be welcome from the community to stabilize codes.

        • Krita 4.4.1 Released

          Despite an extra-long beta period during which we got awesome feedback from our community, 4.4.0 was released with several regressions, that is, bugs that weren’t present in 4.3.0. So today we’re releasing Krita 4.4.1 with the following fixes…

    • Distributions

      • EndeavourOS is a Wholesome Arch-Based Distribution

        Most readers may probably remember the Antergos Linux distribution which was discontinued in 2019. It was an Arch-based Linux distribution that aimed to be beginner-friendly, easy to install and easy to use. Making the average life quite possible with Arch Linux as a base. It featured a graphical installer with multiple options to install various desktop environments in a few clicks.

        After it was discontinued, a group of the older community merged efforts to create a new continuation of that distribution, named EndeavourOS.

        The latest version was released around one and half months ago, and it uses Xfce as a default desktop environment, with many other options available for users.

        We’ll go today in a review of EndeavourOS 2020.09.20 and what to expect of it. TL;DR: It is a good distribution for anyone who wants an easy, minimal Arch installation.

      • New Releases

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 152 is available for testing

          It is time for another Core Update: IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 152. It comes with various smaller bug fixes and improvements and updates the Windows File Sharing Add-on.

          IPFire is a small team of people from a range of backgrounds sharing one goal: make the Internet a safer place for everyone. Like many of our open source friends, we’ve taken a hit this year and would like to ask for your continued support. Please follow the link below where your donation can help fund our continued development: https://www.ipfire.org/donate

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33

          Today we are looking at Fedora 33. It is based on Linux Kernel 5.8, Gnome 3.38, and uses about 1.7GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Fedora 33 Run Through – YouTube

          In this video, we are looking at Fedora 33. Enjoy!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Codename Is Hirsute Hippo

          The codename of Ubuntu 21.04 has been revealed and it is Hirsute Hippo. Along with the codename development of Ubuntu 21.04 is now officially started.

          Ubuntu developer Matthias Klose posted a message over Ubuntu developer mailing list regarding the announcement…

        • Canonical shares release schedule for Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo

          It’s only a week since we saw the release of Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla, and now Linux-luvvie Canonical has shared details of the follow-up — Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo.

          The newly published release schedule shows that work kicks off today with the toolchain upload. There are a number of key dates to look forward to, including a beta release on April 1, 2021 and the final release just three weeks later.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • The FSF Is Looking To Update Its High Priority Free Software Projects List

          As we roll into 2021 the Free Software Foundation is looking to update its high priority free software projects list. These are the software projects that should be incorporating “the most important threats, and most critical opportunities, that free software faces in the modern computing landscape.” For now the FSF is looking for help deciding what to include.

          The FSF high priority projects list is what once included PowerVR reverse engineering as being very important albeit never happened prior to PowerVR graphics becoming less common. In fact, many FSF high priority projects never panned out as they weren’t contributing much in the way of resources to the causes but just calling attention to them.

          PDF support was among their high priority projects as well as another example as well as the likes of an open-source Skype replacement and reverse-engineering other popular technologies.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Creator 4.14 Beta released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.14 Beta!

          The biggest change in Qt Creator 4.14 is one that you hopefully won’t notice: We switched the build of our packages completely to the CMake build system! Other changes behind the scenes include adaptations to the code needed for building Qt Creator with Qt 5 and Qt 6, which is still an ongoing process. But here follows a summary of functionality fixes and changes…

        • GNU Toolchain Begins Adding ARMv8.7-A Support

          The GNU compiler toolchain has begun landing Arm’s contributions around ARMv8.7-A architecture support.

          While all of the ARMv8 cores to date remain with older versions of the architecture and even cases like ARMv8.2-A with the Cortex-A78 and X1, Arm continues working on new ARMv8 revisions and getting that software support in place well ahead of hardware availability.

        • Software correctness is a lot like flossing

          Which means that they’re not seeing the bigger picture. An explanation of why programmers “don’t care about correctness” shouldn’t just be post-hoc rationalizations. Here’s my main argument for why most programmers don’t seem to care about software correctness:

          Which is worse: buggy software or a root canal?

          How often do you floss?

          Whenever I pose this in a discussion, I get the same answer: everyone thinks root canals are worse, and at most half of the group flosses daily. That’s ridiculous! Flossing takes like three minutes a day. But people don’t do it because it’s fiddly, annoying, and inconvenient. If people are unwilling to do something simple to keep their teeth from rotting, why should we expect people to use annoying inconvenient tools to improve software?

        • Javascript Alert – Linux Hint

          Javascript is the most known language of the web. Javascript is widely used in front-end development as well as in the back-end. Javascript provides a lot of built-in functions to help in development. In this article, we are going to learn one of the javascript’s built-in alert() method, which is used to show pop-ups over the screen to either display a message or show a warning. The alert box is different from any other message or text on the screen. It is a pop-up that contains a message/text with an “OK” button. The user won’t be able to do any task while an alert box is over the screen, and he/she clicks the “OK” button. So, it is not recommended, if not needed. So, let’s have a look at what is an alert box and what are the different ways to use it.

        • Javascript Print Page – Linux Hint

          Javascript is a scripting or programming language, which is most commonly used nowadays in the web industry. It provides a lot of built-in objects, functions, and methods to perform several tasks. In this article, we are going to have a look at one of them which is used to print the web page. So, let us get started!

          You must have encountered some websites that provide a button to print the whole web page, or you must have felt the need to print a web page but there is no print button there. Javascript’s built-in object window provides us a method named print(). We can use window.print() function to fulfill this requirement.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Planned obsolescence | Playing Perl 6␛b6xA Raku

            Twelve years ago Larry planned the obsolescence of one of my modules. His cunning plan was executed by lizmat a fortnight ago. If you are building Rakudo from source you take another shortcut now.

        • Python

          • Get Started With Django Part 3: Django View Authorization – Real Python

            In part 1 of this series, you learned the fundamentals of Django models and views. In part 2, you learned about user management. In this tutorial, you’ll see how to combine these concepts to do Django view authorization and restrict what users can see and do in your views based on their roles.

            Allowing users to log in to your website solves two problems: authentication and authorization. Authentication is the act of verifying a user’s identity, confirming they are who they say they are. Authorization is deciding whether a user is allowed to perform an action. The two concepts go hand in hand: if a page on your website is restricted to logged-in users, then users have to authenticate before they can be authorized to view the page.

            Django provides tools for both authentication and authorization. Django view authorization is typically done with decorators. This tutorial will show you how to use these view decorators to enforce authorized viewing of pages in your Django site.

          • PyCharm 2020.3 EAP #3

            The third build of PyCharm 2020.3 is now available in the Early Access Program with features and fixes for a smoother, more productive experience.

            We invite you to join our EAP to try out the latest features we have coming up, test that they work properly in your environments, and help us make a better PyCharm for everyone!

          • Change Tick Frequency in Matplotlib

            Matplotlib is one of the most widely used data visualization libraries in Python. Much of Matplotlib’s popularity comes from its customization options – you can tweak just about any element from its hierarchy of objects.

            In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to change the tick frequency in Matplotlib. We’ll do this on the figure-level as well as the axis-level.

          • Python Software Foundation News: Key generation and signing ceremony for PyPI

            On Friday October 30th at 11:15 AM EDT the Python Software Foundation will be live streaming a remote key generation and signing ceremony to bootstrap The Update Framework for The Python Package Index. You can click here to see what time this is in your local timezone.

            This ceremony is one of the first practical steps in deploying The Update Framework to PyPI per PEP 458.

            The Python Software Foundation Director of Infrastructure, Ernest W. Durbin III, and Trail of Bits Senior Security Engineer, William Woodruff, will be executing the runbook developed at https://github.com/psf/psf-tuf-runbook.

            For transparency purposes a live stream will be hosted from the Python Software Foundation’s YouTube channel. Please subscribe to the channel to be notified when the stream is live if you’d like to follow along.

          • Generating random avatar images in Django/Python – Peterbe.com

            But most people don’t have their mugshot on Gravatar.com unfortunately. But you still want to display an avatar that is distinct per user. Your best option is to generate one and just use the user’s name or email as a seed (so it’s always random but always deterministic for the same user). And you can also supply a fallback image to Gravatar that they use if the email doesn’t match any email they have. That’s where this blog post comes in.

          • How to work with Files in Python | FOSS Linux

            In this tutorial, we see how to work with files in python, such as creating files, reading data from files, writing data to files, removing, and renaming files.

        • Rust

          • Lang team Backlog Bonanza and Project Proposals

            A month or two back, the lang team embarked on a new initiative that we call the “Backlog Bonanza”. The idea is simple: we are holding a series of meetings in which we go through every pending RFC, one by one, and try to reach some sort of determination about what to do with it. Once we’ve finished that, we can start in on categorizing other forms of backlog, such as tracking issues.

          • Core team membership changes

            The core team has had a few membership updates in the last month, and we wanted to provide an update.

            To start, Florian Gilcher is joining the Core team as a full member. Florian has been attending meetings as an observer since March 2019. He is the lead of the Community Events team, and has done a lot of work in the open source world, with plenty of insight to offer especially as we look to form a Rust Foundation.

            There are also two folks stepping back from the team. Carol Nichols has been a member of the team for three years, and she is stepping back to make more time for other projects in the community, including crates.io and her continued work on the Rust book. Nick Cameron has recently welcomed a second child (congratulations!) and is leaving the core team to be able to focus more on his family and his work at PingCAP. He will continue to be around in the Rust community.

          • This Week in Rust 362
  • Leftovers

    • DiPrima on a Piano, in Eternity
    • Book review: The Reasonable Robot, Artificial Intelligence and the Law – The IPKat

      The introduction ‘artificial intelligence and the law’ covers AI legal neutrality, tax, tort, intellectual property, criminal and the future of AI. In the intellectual property section, Abbott says that it is unclear whether AI-generated inventions, made without traditional inventors, are eligible for patent protection. As we know, this is currently being tested in the courts of the UK, USA, and Europe. In fact, Abbott was involved in the project which he discusses in the book, you can also find out more information on their website here, Katposts here and here. However, he suggests that “patent offices have likely been granting patents on AI-generated inventions for decades – but only because no one’s disclosing AI’s involvement.” Abbott argues that the law should permit patents for AI-generated inventions and even recognise AI as an inventor when AI meets inventorship criteria. This argument is based on the purpose of intellectual property to fulfil the purpose of encouraging socially valuable activities as well as financial motivations for inventors. He reasons that the machine has no use for the patent, but granting one would incentivise AI inventions.

      Chapter 1: ‘Understanding artificial intelligence’, provides a brief history and background on the development of AI. Abbott sets his definition of AI as ‘an algorithm or machine capable of completing tasks that would otherwise require cognition’. This Kat recalls the definition proposed by Jacob Turner in Robot Rules as ‘the ability of a non-natural entity to make choices by an evaluative process’. These are similar ideas but perhaps Abbott’s definition is a lower threshold, in that the AI only needs to complete a task, rather than make a choice. Abbott’s choice of word ‘cognition’ is interesting to this Kat – as she has a book called Law, Technology and Cognition! Cognition is a word that traditionally relates to brain function. This word therefore fits well with Abbott’s view that the law should not discriminate between AI and human behaviour.

    • Science

      • Did James Randi “destroy skepticism”?

        I debated about whether to write about the particular article I’m going to write about today, not so much because it’s something that makes me uneasy but rather because I wasn’t sure if I should give the writer who wrote it more attention. (Not that he likely needs it, give that, somehow, he got this drivel posted on Boing Boing, one of the most highly trafficked websites out there.) However, one week after the death of James “The Amazing” Randi, I suppose that I should have expected an attack like the one written by Mitch Horowitz and given the rather click-baity title of The man who destroyed skepticism. Obviously, given that the modern skeptic movement is inseparable from James Randi, who was one of the major figures who helped birth it decades ago, that title, plus the blurb, “Scourge of psychics James Randi was no skeptic; our culture is poorer as a result” was obviously intended as red meat. However, I ultimately decided that deconstructing the article is a useful exercise, because Horowitz uses a combination of Randi’s known shortcomings and missteps, numerous rhetorical devices that give away his bias, plus appeals to aggrieved pseudoexperts in the paranormal and “energy medicine” with whom Randi had tussled in his lifetime over their promotion of pseudoscience. I finally decided to bite the bullet and take one for the team.

    • Education

      • Many Americans still don’t have internet access — Congress should help

        Home broadband is a necessity for all, regardless of race, income or geography — especially as we’re being asked to stay at home whenever possible to stop the spread of the virus. Yet according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) December 2018 Internet Access Services report, 44 million households do not even have a standard broadband connection, either because they do not have access or can’t afford it. This crisis is reaching a breaking point this fall as many schools hold all classes online.

        Congress cannot stand idly by while millions of people across the country are unable to connect with loved ones, work from home, engage in distance learning, take advantage of telehealth or otherwise fully participate in society because they lack affordable broadband access. Now, more than ever before, is the time to take the necessary steps toward universal, affordable broadband service.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The New Humanitarian | COVID-19, systemic crises, and the need for aid reform

        The humanitarian system has developed to respond to geographically contained and separate crises that are usually a long-haul flight from the centres of power and wealth that sustain it.

        But that is no longer how crises work.

        If you didn’t believe in systemic crises before, hopefully you do now – because like the COVID-19 virus, crises have jumped the species barrier and we don’t know how to contain them. The humanitarian system isn’t broken, or broke. But it is hopelessly ill prepared for our times, out of ideas, and running out of time.

        The COVID-19 pandemic provides a text-book example of systemic risk, where shocks are transmitted through the networks and systems that our global economy depends on. The cascading consequences are hard to predict, leaving policymakers aghast and adrift as they weigh decisions with little foresight of the trade-offs and their unintended repercussions.

        The legacies of the pandemic are expected to be wide-ranging and profound, including tipping a further 150 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, and leaving us in a more unequal and politically unstable world.

      • Trump In A Nutshell: They Came For the Covid, But Stayed For the Hypothermia
      • ‘Why Tell Me That We’re Safer Here?’

        Merrimack County, N.H.—Frost came early this year. My tomatoes hung unripe on dead vines while it was still summer. If you’re one for metaphor, this is 2020: It gives, but it also takes. The take will be swift, cold, and absolute. It happens like this sometimes, my neighbors tell me about the frost. They are resigned to the loss with a knowing headshake. None seemed as devastated by the taking as I.

      • ‘We’ve Made Such Progress, It’s Incredible,’ Trump Lies as US Hits Record 500,000 Covid Cases in One Week

        “Trump’s anti-science attitude is why 225,000 Americans are dead and why the pandemic is surging nationwide,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      • White House Press Release Wrongly Claims Trump Has Defeated COVID

        The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a news release on Monday asserting that the Trump administration had put a stop to the coronavirus pandemic — a dubious claim given that the nation is seeing its highest rates of new cases being reported since the crisis began.

      • Covid Takes Center Stage at the World Series

        Let’s start with everything we should be talking about today in that narrow, rapidly collapsing space of escape from the political golems beating down our doors. We should be talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers—one of the great historic franchises in all of sports—winning their first World Series in 32 seasons, after years of devastating near-misses. We should be talking about Mookie Betts, the Dodgers’ right fielder and a player who—if MLB knew how to market anything beyond the building of a stadium on public money—could be a global superstar of swag. We should be talking about Los Angeles, a place that has had a hell of a hard year even by 2020 standards, now a city of champions, with the Dodgers’ following the Lakers’ victory in the NBA Finals. We should be talking about the greatest baseball announcer in history, Vin Scully, who at age 92 was able to celebrate another Dodgers World Series win and tweet his joy.

      • Academic overwork ‘leaves no time for keeping healthy’

        Research involving more than 900 academics from dozens of universities across the two countries found that only 20.4 per cent of respondents in Australia and 18 per cent in the UK met the World Health Organisation guideline of two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity each week. A similar proportion managed 90 minutes. In comparison, 55 per cent of Australian adults meet these benchmarks.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows REvil ransomware group member says annual take is US$100m

          A man who claims to be a member of the group behind the Windows REvil ransomware says the group takes in more than US$100 million (A$1.4 million) annually through ransom payments.

        • Microsoft: No Driver Updates Allowed for Win7 and Win8
        • Nitro again insists data breach ‘isolated’ as incident gets more coverage

          ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that had its origins in Melbourne and offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, has issued an update on Wednesday to its earlier statement regarding a data breach, in what appears to be an attempt to negate the details published about the incident by the American website Bleeping Computer and a number of other websites.

        • Git shared hosting quirk | Daniel Lange’s blog

          The hack was discussed on Github in Dec 2018 when it was discovered. I forgot about it again but Konstantin’s mail brought the memory back and I think it deserves more attention.

          I’m sure putting some illegal content into a fork and sending a made up “blob” URL to law enforcement would go quite far. Good luck explaining the issue. “Yes this is my repo” but “no, no that’s not my data” … “yes, it is my repo but not my data” … “no we don’t want that data either, really” … “but, but there is nothing we can do, we host on github…1″.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • CA calls for restricting state agencies’ access to metadata

              The lobby group representing the telecommunications industry has called on the government to accept recommendations made by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and repeal two sections of a law which have allowed numerous state agencies to gain access to Australians’ telecommunications metadata.

            • EFF Files Amicus Brief Arguing That Law Enforcement Access to Wi-Fi Derived Location Data Violates the Fourth Amendment

              With increasing frequency, law enforcement is using unconstitutional digital dragnet searches to attempt to identify unknown suspects in criminal cases. In Commonwealth v. Dunkins, currently pending before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, EFF and the ACLU are challenging a new type of dragnet: law enforcement’s use of WiFi data to retrospectively track individuals’ precise physical location.

              Phones, computers, and tablets connect to WiFi networks—and in turn, the Internet—through a physical access point. Since a single access point can only service a limited number of devices within a certain range, WiFi networks that have many users and cover larger geographic areas have multiple stationary access points. When a device owner moves through a WiFi network with multiple access points, their device seamlessly switches to the nearest available point. This means that an access point can serve as a proxy for a device owner’s physical location. As an access point records a unique identifier for each device that connects to it, along with the time the device connected, access point logs can reveal a device’s precise location over time.

            • Disney Plus Now Lets Users Share Content on Social Media, Messaging Apps

              To share a piece of content, Disney Plus subscribers must tap the new “Share” button found on a Disney Plus title’s details page. They then select the preferred platform (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or messaging app) and, if applicable, the recipients of the message. The app’s sharing feature will compose a prepopulated message (e.g., “I thought you might like ‘The Mandalorian’ on Disney+”), but subscribers can overwrite it with their own text.

              Recipients can click on the shared link to go straight to the Disney Plus title — but, of course, they must subscribe to the $6.99/month service to actually watch it.

            • A White House Adviser Was Involved in Surveillance of Protesters

              After joining the DHS, Dobitsch was “promoted like crazy,” scoring three promotions in about a year, the former senior I&A intelligence officer said. “It was her that started taking the open source intelligence reports and memos and directing them to be changed to suit Trump’s narrative,” he added, referring to I&A’s production of intelligence reports on journalists covering the Portland protests. After news of these reports was broken by The Washington Post, a firestorm of controversy ensued and the DHS’s chief intelligence official, Bryan Murphy, was removed from his role and reassigned.


              After the Portland controversy, some of I&A’s intelligence officers began taking copious notes on the orders they were being given, in anticipation of subpoenas from Congress or investigation by the inspector general. Despite this, a former intelligence officer familiar with the matter alleged that Dobitsch was careful to cover her tracks by refusing to memorialize certain directives on paper.

              “She never takes notes and shreds everything…so HPSCI [the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] will never get her,” the former intelligence officer said. Every DHS source I spoke to seemed pessimistic about the likelihood that anyone would face consequences for their involvement in the Portland operation.

            • Facebook Q3 Earnings Preview: Ad Rebound Shouldn’t Be the Only Hope

              The other two issues (antitrust and Section 230) may not be addressed as directly. “Antitrust” was mentioned twice by Mark Zuckerberg during its Q3 2019 earnings, which followed that summer’s reports that the FTC and state attorneys general were investigating Facebook for antitrust reasons.

              But any information on how Facebook is dealing with its current government scrutiny woes, or even any insights gained from any recent conversations with Democratic lawmakers who want to break it up, could be helpful for long-term Facebook investors (which would have less incentive to be long-term on the stock if it no longer controlled the billion plus user-hosting Instagram).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Another Arrest Shows It’s Pretty Much Everyone But Antifa Engaging In Anti-Government Violence

        The DOJ really wants to make El Presidente’s antifa dreams come true. The anti-police brutality protests have been cast by the administration as a leftist conspiracy to… um… demand better policing and better police officers. In addition to sending federal officers to clamp down on unrest in “Democratic” cities, the FBI has been sending analysts to crack phones taken from protesters in hopes of finding some sort of antifa org chart the feds can use to dismantle this “group.”

      • The World is Changing: China Launches Campaign for Superpower Status

        Simply put, Beijing has long realized that, in order for it to sustain its economic growth unhindered, it has to develop the necessary tools to protect itself, its allies and their combined interests.

        The need for a strong China is not a novel idea developed by the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping. It goes back many decades, spanning various nationalist movements and, ultimately, the Communist Party. What sets Xi apart from the rest is that, thanks to the unprecedented global influence acquired by Beijing during his incumbency (2013 – present), China is now left with no alternative but to match its ‘economic miracle’ with a military one.

      • Breonna Taylor Grand Jurors Say Police Actions Were “Criminal”; Never Given Chance to Indict Cops

        Two members of a Kentucky grand jury convened after the Louisville police killing of Breonna Taylor have spoken on camera for the first time, calling the actions of the Louisville officers responsible for Taylor’s death “criminal” and saying the state’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron never gave them the option to consider murder or manslaughter charges against the police officers involved. “From the very beginning, we have seen a campaign of prevarication, of dishonesty, of outright neglect of any semblance of justice for Breonna Taylor or for her family,” responds Marc Lamont Hill, professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University, who notes that in lieu of justice, her family at least deserves accountability.

      • ‘Eroding Transparency’: New Airwars Report Details Deadly US Drone Strikes and Raids in Yemen Under Trump

        Since Trump took office, U.S. actions in the country have killed “between 86 and 154 civilians, including at least 28 children and 13 women.”

      • Care Not Cops: Marc Lamont Hill Makes Case for Abolition After Philadelphia Police Kill Walter Wallace Jr.

        Protesters in Philadelphia mark a second night of calling for the abolition of police after two Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, while he was having a mental health crisis. The shooting reflects decades of defunding of social services, including for mental health, while police departments have continued to grow, says author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, who argues, “If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Lamont Hill is professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University and author of “We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility.”

      • Draft debacle: Bellingcat smears OPCW whistleblower, journalists with false letter, farcical claims
      • Stop the Massacres in Haiti! End U.S. and UN Support for the Criminal Regime of Jovenel Moise

        On October 2nd, 2020, university student leader, law student, and teacher-in-training Gregory Saint-Hilaire  was shot in the back inside of the university by Jovenel Moise’s special security unit within the Haitian police that had illegally invaded the campus. Saint-Hilaire was an outspoken pro-democracy  activist who had been calling upon students and faculty to denounce government corruption, massacres, and Haiti’s rapid descent into dictatorship. After being shot Saint-Hilaire was prevented from receiving medical care for 4 hours or more and died. The next day, university students accused the Haitian police of involvement in setting the school library on fire.

        Gregory Saint-Hilaire’s murder came on the heels of the assassination of Monferrier Dorval,  a well-respected Haitian lawyer, constitutional scholar, and head of the Port-au-Prince bar association, who was killed on August 28th, 2020, literally within hours of speaking out against the regime in a radio broadcast.

      • Bolivia calls to investigate OAS for fraud and coup: Interview with Evo’s Foreign Minister Diego Pary
      • Blasphemy Cases Against Shiite Community Surge in Pakistan

        According to Amnesty International, Islamabad’s laws concerning blasphemy are often used to go after marginalized people, including members of religious minorities such as the Shiites and Ahmadiyya.

        The watchdog group says the laws are “broad, vague and coercive,” violating the basic human rights of freedom of religion and expression.

        Pakistan is a Sunni majority country of 220 million people, with the Shiites making up 10% to 15% of its population. The group is one of the main targets of Sunni extremist groups.

        Waris Husain, a law professor at Howard University and former South Asia policy analyst at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told VOA that those who engage in mob violence often justify themselves as protecting the country’s laws and values.

        “The process is unfair for the accused individuals. I am very concerned about the blasphemy laws against the Shia,” said Husain, adding that the law has exacerbated violence and sectarian division.

    • Environment

      • Antarctic depths warm far beyond oceanic average

        Heat from factories and car exhausts must go somewhere. A surprising amount is now sunk in the remote Antarctic depths.

      • Detroit Knew: GM and Ford Were Aware of Climate Risks Decades Ago Too, Investigation Reveals

        “Just as with the oil industry, the auto industry was really focused on potential regulatory threats from pollution to its business long ago,” Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, a nonprofit law firm which helped uncover historical documents on Ford scientists’ climate research, told DeSmog. 

      • ‘Grotesquely Fitting’ Say Climate Campaigners as Trump Mulls Pro-Fracking Executive Order Ahead of Election

        Polling data doesn’t support the idea that the issue is politically popular overall, and critics say the order would be “just one more desperate attempt by this White House to make fracking into a winning campaign issue.”

      • Energy

        • The Koch Operatives Behind the Trump Energy Department’s Renewables Research Censorship

          Documents obtained by InvestigateWest reveal clear political interference in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), much of it coordinated by Dan Simmons, the office’s Assistant Secretary, and Alex Fitzsimmons, the former Chief of Staff to Simmons. While the article notes the lobbying histories of DOE’s top brass, Simmons and Fitzsimmons also have recent ties to the Koch network. 

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • ‘Bankrolling Extinction’: Report Shows Big Banks Lent Over $2.6 Trillion to Fund Global Biodiversity Destruction in 2019

          “Imagine a world in which projects can only raise capital when they have demonstrated that they will contribute meaningfully and positively to restoring the planet’s bounty and a safe climate for all. That’s the future this report envisions and builds toward.”

        • 60 Minutes’ Toothy Porn

          Our treatment of animals has surely become more enlightened. We have banned wanton abuse of animals and curbed killing of wildlife. We have also learned a lot about the critical role that large carnivores play in the web of life and our national psyche. Our collective grief over the extirpation of many species fueled the passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that codifies a national moral commitment to preventing extinctions.

          But just how much have we really evolved since the days of Nero? And why is it that so many are still entertained by the sight of animals being harassed, slaughtered, and eviscerated? What explains the thirst to possess body parts taken from large toothy predators? If, in fact, we were so enlightened, copies of Outdoor Life with covers featuring snarling grizzlies would no longer fly off the racks. And shows such as Savage Wild or Ted Nugent’s Spirit of the Wild that feature animals being gunned down and tormented would not have so many enthusiastic fans.

        • 5 Reasons to Rethink the Future of Dams
        • Clear Lake NWR Emblematic of How Livestock Degrades Public Wildlife

          The refuge uplands are clothed in native bunchgrasses and sagebrush, though the exotic cheatgrass and medusahead are also present.

          The Clear Lake NWR also serves other wildlife species, including the endangered sage grouse and several native fish. Many refuges around the West are compromised by on-going livestock grazing and agricultural production. As such, the Clear Lake Refuge situation is emblematic of a much larger problem of allowing commercial interest to compromise our wildlife refuge system.

        • ‘One Word for This: Vandalism’: Six Days Before Election, Trump Finalizes Plan for ‘Catastrophic’ Attack on Largest National Forest

          “Destructive development in the country’s largest national forest—such as extractive logging and expansive road building—will be catastrophic for generations to come,” warned Greenpeace.

      • Overpopulation

        • The pandemic may be leading to fewer babies in rich countries

          More sex doesn’t necessarily mean more babies. But covid-19 has disrupted supply chains for contraception. Poor people rarely buy several months’ worth of contraceptives at once. Even a short break can lead to unwanted pregnancies. Data from health facilities in India show that between December and March the distribution of contraceptive pills and condoms dropped by 15% and 23%, respectively. Insertions of intrauterine devices for long-term birth control also tumbled.

          The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice think-tank, points out that the strain placed on health-care systems in developing countries by covid-19 is likely to disrupt sexual-health services. It estimates that a fall of 10% in the use of such services in 132 low- and middle-income countries will mean that 50m more women will not get the contraceptives they need this year, leading to 15m unintended pregnancies. It estimates that 28,000 mothers and 170,000 newborns will die, and there will be an extra 3.3m unsafe abortions.

    • Finance

      • The Black Hole of Depressions: Doing Nothing About Climate Emergency Could Cost More Than All the Wealth in the World

        The worst case scenario of not doing anything is that we lose everything.

      • Capitalism is Double-Billing Us: We Pay From Our Wallets Only to be Robbed of Our Future

        It sounds like a piece of economic jargon. It is a piece of economic jargon. But it is also the foundation stone on which the west’s current economic and ideological system has been built. Focusing on how externalities work and how they have come to dominate every sphere of our lives is to understand how we are destroying our planet – and offer at the same time the signpost to a better future.

        In economics, “externalities” are usually defined indifferently as the effects of a commercial or industrial process on a third party that are not costed into that process.

      • After Covid: Will the Recession Become a Depression?

        In June, the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private forecasting group, reported that the “peak in quarterly economic activity occurred in 2019-Q4.” It noted:

        It then warned that a recession had begun in February 2020, just around the time the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic struck – and a month before Diamond warned about the “pandemic.” It reported:

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Top FEC Official’s Undisclosed Ties to Trump Raise Concerns Over Agency Neutrality

        Debbie Chacona oversees the division of the Federal Election Commission that serves as the first line of defense against illegal flows of cash in political campaigns. Its dozens of analysts sift through billions of dollars of reported contributions and expenditures, searching for any that violate the law. The work of Chacona, a civil servant, is guided by a strict ethics code and long-standing norms that employees avoid any public actions that might suggest partisan leanings.

        But Chacona’s open support of President Donald Trump and her close ties to a former Republican FEC commissioner, Donald McGahn, who went on to become the 2016 Trump campaign’s top lawyer, have raised questions among agency employees and prompted at least one formal complaint. Chacona, a veteran agency staffer who has run the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division, or RAD, since 2010, has made her partisan allegiance clear in a series of public Facebook posts that include a photo of her family gathered around a “Make America Great Again” sign while attending Trump’s January 2017 inauguration.

      • Supreme Hypocrisy
      • What Trump and Biden Get Wrong About North Korea

        Instead of further militarizing the region and applying more sanctions and pressure, which are harming innocent North Korean civilians, the next administration should engage in the hard work of sustained diplomacy based on specific, concrete next steps.

      • Police Raid Humanitarian Group Over Pandemic Aid to North Korea

        United Nations and U.S. sanctions targeting North Korea prohibit almost all trade and transactions with the nation, resulting in collective punishment of the entire population. Ostensibly, humanitarian aid is exempt from sanctions. Still, many humanitarian groups have been compelled to curtail or halt assistance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – the official name for North Korea). U.S. officials regularly contact officials abroad, urging them to crack down on businesses, organizations, and individuals having any dealings with North Korea.

        One such group is the New Zealand-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Society (NZ DPRK Society), which over the years, has provided aid and engaged in educational exchanges with North Korea. Among its projects, it has provided farm equipment, diesel fuel, flood relief, and fertilizer to the NZ Friendship Farm, supplementary food to the SeungHo Home for the Elderly, and multiple shipments of medical supplies. These are only a few examples of the group’s many activities.

      • Who Is My Member of Congress? How to Find Out What Your Elected Officials Have Been Up To.

        You probably learned what Congress does back in elementary school social studies — maybe you’re old enough to remember the “Schoolhouse Rock” video on the subject.

        As a refresher, here’s how the process is supposed to work:

      • Trump Got What He Wanted at the Border. Would Biden Undo It?

        In early October, hundreds of migrants in Honduras set out in a “caravan” with plans to travel through Mexico to the United States.

        The timing was similar to a caravan two years ago, which swelled to thousands of people, overwhelmed Guatemalan and Mexican border authorities and became the leading issue for President Donald Trump and Republicans going into the 2018 midterm election.

      • Make McConnell Pay for Amy Coney Barrett

        Amy Coney Barrett has begun her tenure as an illegitimate justice on the Supreme Court, which has been diminished by the antidemocratic charade that saw Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell elevate a right-wing judicial activist in a mad rush to avoid electoral accountability.

      • For Black Americans, Being Voters Is Who We Are

        My paternal grandmother, Ida Mingo, left Mississippi and fled north as a young woman in the 1920s to escape the Jim Crow violence and oppression that kept black people from voting and made us second-class citizens.

      • UK’s Chaos Unbound

        The negotiations with the EU point increasingly towards a No Deal Brexit, which will be catastrophic economically, piling yet more misery on top of the economic chaos caused by the Conservatives’ arbitrary and not-thought-through Covid-19 lockdowns and their accompanying band-aid job support schemes.

        As he sinks in the opinion polls, it becomes clearer by the day that Boris “BoJo” Johnson has no idea of what constitutes an adequate response to the pandemic. His proposed solutions are always ad hoc, the latest “solution” usually countermanding the one proferred a couple of days before.

      • The Unraveling of Thailand’s National Myth

        When the uprising came, 27-year-old pro-democracy activist Chonthicha “Lookkate” Jangrew was ecstatic. She found herself on the streets of Bangkok last week surrounded by tens of thousands of young protesters in hard hats and masks, giving the three-fingered Hunger Games salute that has become a symbol of Thailand’s anti-authoritarian resistance. They were using social media and messaging apps to appear at landmarks and then vanish, a step ahead of the bewildered police. Most strikingly, they were chanting slogans against the Thai king himself—crossing a line that no prior generation of protesters had dared. After years of pain and hopelessness, Chonthicha felt an awakening had finally arrived: “I never thought it was going to happen.”

      • The Rise in Material Hardship Among Working-Class Whites and How It Could Impact the 2020 Election

        The rise in material hardship among lower-income whites without college degrees, and the Congressional GOP’s opposition to new legislation addressing it, will likely make it harder for Trump to hold on to these important swing voters in next week’s election.

      • Warren Rips USPS Board Members for ‘Acting as Accomplices’ to DeJoy as He Sabotages Mail Delivery—and the Election

        “Once again, I call on the Board members to release their financial disclosure forms, remove DeJoy, and do their jobs by reversing DeJoy’s actions.”

      • “A Desire Rooted in Revolt”: Chileans Vote Overwhelmingly to Rewrite Pinochet-Era Constitution

        We get an update from Chile, where an overwhelming majority have voted to rewrite the country’s Pinochet dictatorship-era constitution and tens of thousands poured into the streets to celebrate, just one year after mass protests against social and economic inequalities rocked the country and set it on a path to social reform. Javiera Manzi, a spokesperson for Chile’s largest feminist advocacy group, Coordinadora Feminista 8M, says the referendum is the result of people doing what politicians had refused to do for decades. We also speak with journalist Pablo Vivanco, who says Chile’s neoliberal model has long been held up as an example to follow across Latin America. “Now with this vote … it really sends a signal throughout the region that this selling of the Chilean model and of the neoliberal state is a lie,” Vivanco says.

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

        Franklin D. Roosevelt, the new president that election would send to the White House, would soon bring some immediate relief from the callous approach to massive deprivation that the previous Hoover administration had so often displayed. FDR’s “First 100 Days” in 1933 would see a torrent of moves to arrest the economy’s frighteningly downward spiral.

        But what we know today as the “New Deal” — Social Security, labor rights, and so much more —  would only start taking shape two years later, after massive mobilizations of workers, seniors, and the unemployed recast the popular sense of what government could and should do.

      • A Year in Kazakhstan: Some Observations

        “Trip to Kazakhstan” is probably an incorrect phrase to use here. Trips tend to last days and weeks, or months at best. I was in Kazakhstan for almost an entire year — definitely not a tourist. Well, whatever way we put it, visiting Kazakhstan was a shocker.

        Spending a Year in Kazakhstan…

      • Switzerland’s Failing Democracy

        While Switzerland was the first to submit a pledge in the lead-up to the convention, these initial targets are insufficient for the framework’s aims. Moreover, these first timid steps have still not been passed into law. What happened to Switzerland’s desire to lead the way on climate?

        The answer lies in the much-vaunted Swiss system of governance. First, the country’s history of strong federalism insures that power is not concentrated at the national level, but rather shared with the cantons and communes, making it difficult to enact the kind of sweeping measures for which the current situation calls.

      • With US poll six days away, ASPI warns of attacks on foreign elections

        The defence industry lobby group Australian Strategic Policy Institute has issued a research paper claiming that state-backed actors are launching more and more online attacks and disinformation campaigns to interfere in foreign elections and referendums.

      • ‘Unusual’ Circumstance Sends Mail-in Ballot Back To Voter’s Home
      • Jeering Sign-Wavers. Caravans Of Honking Trucks. Voter Intimidation Or Free Speech?
      • N.Y. Early Voter Rights: Stay On Line, Ask for Accessible Accommodations
      • Long Lines For Last Day Of On-Demand Voting, Applications For Mail-In Ballots
      • Misleading Messages To Mendham Voters Follow Nationwide Trend Of Election Misinformation
      • Bucks County Scrambles To Handle Last-Day Early Voting Crowds
      • Williamson County Elections Chief: There Are No Mail-In Drop-Off ‘Boxes’
      • Journalists Pick Sides When They Call Adding Justices ‘Court Packing’

        By accepting “court packing” as “the term for” expanding the court, journalists lend a hand to those anti-democratic forces.

      • Texas Supreme Court Upholds ‘Shameful, Naked Voter Suppression’ With Ruling Allowing State to Limit Counties to One Ballot Drop Box

        “Texas continues to be openly hostile to voting rights.”

      • Marc Lamont Hill: Trump Is Counting on His White Nationalist Base & Supreme Court to Win Reelection

        Less than a week out from Election Day, we look at President Trump’s call for poll watchers in battleground states like Pennsylvania that he needs to win. Trump is “framing this all as a left-wing conspiracy to take away his presidency,” says Marc Lamont Hill, professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University in Philadelphia. “When he calls for people to come and form this sort of ‘army,’ when he calls for people to be his security force, he’s calling in his white nationalist base. … Trump very clearly knows the numbers are against him.”

      • Sanders and Klobuchar Explain to Trump: ‘In America, We Count the Votes to Determine Who Wins’

        Their joint statement came after the pair led a Senate report last week summarizing what Americans should expect on Election Day and reinforcing Democrats’ call for everyone to vote.

      • Nader, Chomsky, Salon and Biden

        It was typical Nader.

        On corporate crime, Nader said this….

      • How Not to Interview a Toddler

        The headline news from President Donald Trump’s 60 Minutes interview, taped on October 20, was that he walked out and ended the interview early, a fact CBS played up ahead of the October 25 airing of the show.

      • Biden Slams Trump for Stranding Omaha Rallygoers in Near-Freezing Temperatures

        Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden lashed out at President Donald Trump on Wednesday, making strong criticisms against the president for a campaign event that he held in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday night, which resulted in the stranding of thousands of rallygoers in near-freezing temperatures.

      • So Trump Loses, What Happens Then?

        As one of those doomsday types, let me briefly suggest a few of the commonplace dystopian possibilities for November. Trump gets the majority of the votes cast in person on November 3rd. A Pew Research Center surveyfound that 60% of those supporting the president intend to vote that way on Election Day compared to 23% of Biden supporters; and a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll likewise revealed a sizable difference between Republicans and Democrats, though not as large. He does, however, lose handily after all mail-in and absentee ballots are counted. Once every ballot is finally tabulated, Biden prevails in the popular vote and ekes out a win in the Electoral College. The president, however, having convinced his faithful that voting by mail will result in industrial-scale fraud (unless he wins, of course), proclaims that he — and “the American people” — have been robbed by the establishment. On cue, outraged Trumpsters, some of them armed, take to the streets. Chaos, even violence, ensues. The president’s army of lawyers frenetically file court briefs contesting the election results and feverishly await a future Supreme Court decision, Mitch McConnell having helpfully rammed through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to produce a 6-3 conservative majority (including three Trump-appointed Supremes) that will likely favor him in any disputed election case.

      • Top Federal Election Official Corrects Trump: ‘Counting Ballots—All of ‘Em—Is the Appropriate, Proper, and Very Legal Way to Determine Who Won’

        “An election is not a reality show with a big reveal at the end,” said FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub.

      • Voting Will Not Save Us, But We Must Show Up Anyway

        The work is voting. The work is showing up at city council and school board meetings. The work is taking care of your neighbors. The work is to not give up. The work is to fight. The work is to live. Let’s get to work.

      • After Installing Barrett, McConnell Adjourns Senate for Recess Sans COVID Relief

        After installing right-wing judge Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court just days ahead of the November presidential election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell summarily adjourned his chamber for recess late Monday without approving any additional coronavirus relief, effectively signaling that the prospect of an aid package ahead of next week’s contest is dead.

      • Republicans weren’t happy about Facebook’s push to register more voters

        Facebook announced earlier this week that it had registered 4.4 million new voters through the drive, far exceeding its initial goal of 4 million. The project comes amid a nationwide surge in registration and early voting for the 2020 election. With six days remaining before polls close, more than 70 million votes have already been received, more than half the total votes counted in the 2016 election.

      • Why Joe Rogan’s Latest Podcast With Conspiracy-Monger Alex Jones Is OK With Spotify

        Spotify has not removed the “Joe Rogan Experience” episode with Jones, which also remains available on YouTube and Apple Podcasts, despite a backlash on social media. On YouTube, the episode has garnered more than 4.5 million views less than 24 hours after it was posted Tuesday (Oct. 27).

        “The Joe Rogan Experience” joined Spotify’s lineup in September under a multiyear pact reportedly worth $100 million. The show will become available exclusively on Spotify this December.

        A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment, and neither YouTube nor Apple has commented on the “JRE” episode with Jones.

      • Hundreds of Trump supporters stuck on freezing cold Omaha airfield after rally; 7 taken to hospitals

        Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters were left in the freezing cold for hours after a rally at an airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday night, with some walking around 3 miles to waiting buses and others being taken away in ambulances.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Another Section 230 Reform Bill: Dangerous Algorithms Bill Threatens Speech

        Representatives Malinowski and Eshoo and have introduced a Section 230 amendment called the “Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act” (PADAA). The title is somewhat of a misnomer. The bill does not address any danger inherent to algorithms but instead seeks to prevent them from being used to share extreme speech.

      • Facebook’s Content-Moderation Policies Are a Hot Mess

        The proliferation of divisive and hateful content is baked into Facebook’s business model: The platform profits from finely targeting ads to users who are most likely to respond to them.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Facebook’s Moderation Of Terrorist Content Results In The Removal Of Journalists’ And Activists’ Accounts (June 2020)

        Summary: In almost every country in which it offers its service, Facebook has been asked — sometimes via direct regulation — to limit the spread of “terrorist” content.

      • We Need to Think About Xinjiang in Internationalist Terms

        Recent media coverage has pushed the Chinese government-operated “re-education camps” in Xinjiang into mainstream consciousness in the United States. Americans are increasingly learning how, over the last few years, Chinese state institutions have detained more than 1 million Uighur and Kazakh people and subjected these Turkic-speaking Muslim minority groups to a program of “de-extremification,” entailing political and religious indoctrination, compulsory language education, and industrial training.

      • China’s Stateless Nations – Quillette

        First, the expansion. The Chinese authorities are looking to win recruits to their hyper-nationalist cause, and so Party propaganda now preaches a new China—a China that includes not only the 1.4 billion citizens living within the country’s borders, but also the huaqiao (Chinese citizens living overseas) and the huaren (ethnic Chinese with foreign citizenship).3 “The unity of Chinese at home requires the unity of the sons and daughters of Chinese abroad,” according to a CCP teaching manual for United Front cadres. The Party hopes that by appealing to these vast groups, it can “awaken their ethnic consciousness,” in the semi-mystical words of He Yafei, deputy chief of the Party-run Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO).

        And so the huaqiao and the huaren are told that their blood connects them to the motherland, no matter what it might say on their passports. The message is a loud one: Beijing now enjoys total control of virtually all Chinese-language media in Australia, as well as most Chinese community and professional associations in Western Europe and the United States. Future generations are being recruited too, at summer camps for young Chinese organised by the OCAO.4 We are witnessing the attempt to construct a global identity—one that straddles all borders, proudly representing Beijing on every continent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Community Broadband In The Age Of Covid

        When it comes to the goal of ensuring all Americans have affordable and reliable Internet access, we are pretty much stalled. Sure, the FCC will make noise every year about our quest to bridge the digital divide, but it has focused solely on for-profit private solutions. And while there are many hundreds of good local companies making important local investments, the FCC has tended to throw the most money at the few extremely big ones (the same big ones that are on the other side of the revolving door at the FCC for most employees, whether staff or political appointees.)

      • Schools Teach by Text Message as Covid Widens Philippine Digital Divide

        The pandemic has shut schools around the world, exacerbating a digital divide that leaves poorer children with less [Internet] access falling behind wealthier, more connected students. The Philippines is an extreme example. At least 60% of households have limited [Internet] access, according to the World Bank, and mobile [Internet] speeds are less than half the global average, Speedtest Global Index data show.

        Two weeks after the shutdown, AHA decided to deliver lessons using a low-bandwidth version of Facebook Inc.’s Messenger because it’s free. The problem is, the service strips out videos and photos. That left teaching via text as the best option for most poor families with kids at the school, according to AHA founder Jaton Zulueta.

      • How to become a great Internet warrior

        Individualism divides the society into too small chunks. It’s also undemocratic. On the other hand, populism is very democratic! Because the root of the word comes from Latin, populus = people. Which means if you are being populistic, you are the voice of the people, ergo you are being democratic, and in Greek, demos = people, so you are the voice of the people for the people! You cannot go wrong when TWO ancient languages full of philosophy agree with you!


        A glorious end to a glorious guide. Now you know what it takes to be a successful online warrior. It’s not about hard work, it’s not about essence, integrity, tolerance, or anything silly like that. It’s about helping others realize the errors of their ways through firm application of irrefutable principles of your broadminded convictions, which stem from your geo-socio-political superiority. As the old adage says, if you can’t beat them, get more people, and then beat them.

        This article was composed using the latest advancement in AI/ML, fake news, censorship, trolling, social media tips and tricks for career improvement, and Linux, built on top of serverless container cloud microservice servers hosted in a solar-powered coal-based leased data center offshore farm, and has been carefully screened by a most diverse team of fact checkers and truth seekers.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Soumya Sriraman to Lead Channels Business at Amazon Prime Video

        As head of Prime Video Channels, she will oversee a business that sells Amazon Prime members subscriptions to third-party streaming services like Showtime and HBO. It’s a business she knows well, having sat on the other side as president and CEO of niche streamer BritBox for the last three years.

        A key architect of the BritBox platform, Sriraman grew the service — which offers its subscribers access to British television — to 1.5 million subscribers. Earlier this year, the company, which is owned by BBC Studios and ITV, announced it would expand the service into up to 25 countries.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Hague Court of Appeal sets Dutch approach to equivalence, reversing District Court in pemetrexed saga – The IPKat

          Hot off the press is a decision by the Hague Court of Appeal (CoA) of 27 October 2020 handing Eli Lilly another win in its pan-European battle over infringement of its pemetrexed patents [here, in Dutch].

          Eli Lilly’s patent enforcement campaign has resulted in numerous decisions, including landmark rulings on the doctrine of equivalents in the UK and Germany. The ruling by the Hague CoA contributes to this bounty of legal fodder on the doctrine of equivalence in two important ways.

          First, it reverses the District Court’s 2019 decision which, in rejecting Eli Lilly’s claims, constituted an outlier among European decisions in this dispute [here]. Second, the CoA laid down the Dutch approach to the doctrine of equivalents, synthesizing prior decisions and bringing it in line with approaches taken elsewhere in Europe. To this Kat’s knowledge, this is the first time that the CoA has so explicitly set out a principled application of the doctrine of equivalents.

          The CoA’s formulation of the equivalence test

          The crux of the pemetrexed cases is that Eli Lilly’s patent claims a combination of vitamin B12 (claim 1) and B12 with a folic binding protein binding agent (claim 2) together with a specifically specified salt: pemetrexed disodium. The question is whether generic companies can avoid infringement of these claims by using a different salt (in the case of Fresenius, the Dutch defendant: tromethamine).

          The CoA began its analysis by citing Article 69 of the European Patent Convention and its Protocol. Section 1 of the Protocol stipulates that in the interpretation of a patent, a position must be taken that “combines a fair protection for the patent proprietor with a reasonable degree of legal certainty for third parties”. Section 2 adds that “due account shall be taken of any element which is equivalent to an element specified in the claims.”

          In applying these principles, the CoA performed a two-step test: in the first step, the question is whether the accused product conforms to all features of the claim. If not, the second step inquires whether differing features are nevertheless equivalent to the claim features. According to the CoA [at 4.4], this is currently the “leading” approach in most European jurisdictions. Dutch courts, however, had previously also taken a one-step approach whereby account is taken of equivalents in the initial interpretation of the claim. While not explicitly disapproving the one-step approach, the CoA’s application of the two-step approach and its emphasis on its conformity with the law of other EPO states suggest that going forward, the two-step approach will become the standard also in the Netherlands.

        • Wednesday Whimsies [Ed: Sophie Corke at IP Kat (new ‘Kat’, the old ones left) doing ads for corrupt EPO; the old Kats exposed the crimes, not advertised for criminals]

          This year’s edition of the European Patent Office’s annual East Meets West forum on patent knowledge from Asia and beyond will take place online on 23-25 November 2020, with a registration deadline of 12 November 2020.

        • First to File Rule and Transferring Venue

          The courts generally follow a first-to-file presumption for situations like this where there are two different cases filed in two different venues that involve the same parties and substantially overlapping issues.


          Fed. Prac. & Proc. § 3854 Standard in Considering Transfer—Interest of Justice. I should also note here that the Federal Circuit repeatedly refers to this as the “first-to-file rule” while I think it is more of a presumption. Their naming of this as a “rule” foreshadows their conclusion — that it must be followed.

          Nitro’s motion to transfer was filed under 28 U.S.C. § 1404. That statute permits change of venue for convenience and in the interest of justice. Typically this type of transfer analysis considers a balance of public and private factors: interest of justice; judicial economy; court’s familiarity with the law; local interest in deciding the case; convenience of the parties and witnesses; plaintiff’s forum preference; etc.

        • Unified Welcomes New CFO to its Executive Team

          Unified is pleased to announce Mary Malone has joined as Chief Financial Officer and a senior member of the executive team. Ms. Malone brings a wealth of experience working for several companies in the intellectual property space.

          Additional information about Ms. Malone is available below as well as under the Team section of Unified’s website.

        • Two Arnolds for the price of one (part 1)

          The key facts of the dispute are summarised in the IPKat’s post on the first instance judgment. US-based Celgard (claimant/respondent) and China-based Senior (defendant/appellant) are rival manufacturers of battery separators, which are used in lithium-ion batteries for (among other things) electric vehicles. [No doubt the atmosphere in the courtroom was electric.]

          A former R&D employee of Celgard (Dr Zhang) joined Senior in early 2017, following which Senior quickly expanded its range of products, gained market share and (allegedly) changed the formulation of a particular binder used in its products. Celgard said this was all because of unlawful disclosure and use of its trade secrets.

          Celgard brought proceedings against Senior in the English High Court earlier this year, shortly after Celgard learned from a UK-based customer (with which Celgard was negotiating a significant new contract) that the customer was looking at Senior as a potential supplier. Celgard, concerned that it would be undercut if Senior became a “qualified” supplier, sought an interim injunction to restrain Senior from supplying sample separators to the customer. Celgard’s claim is based on breach of an equitable obligation of confidence and/or breach of Regulation 3 of the Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018, which partially implement the Trade Secrets Directive in the UK.

          At first instance, Celgard secured an interim injunction. The judge (Trower J) found that there was a serious issue to be tried; that English law governed the claim as pleaded; and that England and Wales was the proper place to hear the claim.


          This kind of international trade secrets dispute seems to be increasingly common. It is interesting to note how vigorously Senior has resisted the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales and instead argued that China is the proper forum for the dispute. This is in spite of the fact that the Chinese courts – by Senior’s own submission – would be empowered to injunct Senior to prevent the exportation of the battery separators to the UK (and other jurisdictions). One can speculate that China would have provided a friendlier forum, but this is – as suggested – only speculation.

          This dispute has a clear UK dimension – the possibility of Senior selling to a UK customer – so it seems logical that the English court should have jurisdiction to hear the dispute. As one would expect, the claim seems to have been pleaded carefully in order to maximise the likelihood of this result (and, notably, Arnold LJ seemed to have doubts regarding the English court’s jurisdiction to hear the element of the action concerned with Senior’s potential vicarious liability for Dr Zhang’s alleged misappropriation of the trade secrets, which took place in the US and China).

        • FOSS Patents: The lemmings of patent injunction reform: Microsoft, BMW, Deutsche Telekom joined ip2innovate during German reform process

          Political decision-making processes tend to be so complex that it’s often very difficult to identify a clear causation between what went wrong and why. In connection with Germany’s patent reform, which has been carefully crafted by the country’s government to change almost nothing at all (see my initial reaction to yesterday’s official legislative proposal), one can infer from publicly-accessible documents that the Brussels-based ip2innovate lobby group (Google, Daimler, SAP etc.) committed the colossal blunder that most likely condemns the reform effort to fail. “Be careful what you wish for.” IP2I advocated the term “Einzelfall” that is now the central term that will render the reform ineffectual because the government’s official legislative rationale clearly defines it as “hardly ever happens.” Now the losers are trapped in a no-through one-way street as they can’t lobby against their own proposal. They dug their own reform’s grave.

          Germany’s leading information & communications technology news site, Heise online, quotes my analysis in an article on yesterday’s legislative proposal, including my criticism of IP2I’s lack of strategic sophistication. For what I know, however, chip makers Nvidia and Intel, while they’re longstanding IP2I members, can’t be blamed for the “Einzelfall” crap.

          Were IP2I only a fringe group of the patent reform movement, the others could still combat that “Einzelfall” term effectively. But birds of a feather flock together, and lemmings famously follow other lemmings. With the sole exception of Volkswagen (the whole group including subsidiaries like Audi and Porsche), IP2I’s membership directory lists practically every large German organization that demands injunction reform.

      • Trademarks

        • One Restaurant Sends Cease And Desist To Another Over The Word ‘Juicy’

          If it seems like there are more stupid trademark battles per capita fought in the restaurant industry, it’s not because you’re crazy. It’s very much a thing. Whether it’s Taco John’s wanting to own “Taco Tuesday”, McDonalds insisting only it can call a fish sandwich a “filet o’ fish”, or two Brazilian restaurants fighting over the rights to use image of a fire in their logos, the common theme you should notice is how these battles are all over things that are descriptive or generic. And, yet, these fights rage on.

      • Copyrights

        • Alleged KickassTorrents Operator is Now Officially a Fugitive

          All defendants in the criminal case against KickassTorrents are now at large. A few weeks ago the news broke that alleged operator Artem Vaulin had fled Poland. After that happened his U.S. legal team withdrew from the case. The court has now officially moved the matter to the fugitive calendar, which means that it will remain inactive until there’s a new arrest.

        • Sender of False DMCA Takedown Notices Ordered to Pay £370K in Damages

          An individual who filed false copyright complaints with platforms including Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram in order to damage a rival’s business has been heavily punished by a court. In a default judgment handed down this week, the defendant was ordered to pay almost $370k for abusing the DMCA.

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