01.14.21

Links 14/1/2021: Season of KDE 2021 Selection, Mesa 21.0.0-RC1, Tor Browser 10.0.8

Posted in News Roundup at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Is Linux POSIX-Compliant?

      Software is written by numerous developers with various backgrounds. General algorithms are available under a free license or have been scientifically published, and they might also be available for free for studying purposes. This results in different implementations and software versions that fit a variety of needs. A standardization of interfaces and data formats is necessary to make these different implementations both interchangeable and modular.

      In short, POSIX [1] does exactly that for UNIX and UNIX-like systems (see Zak H’s article [4] for a more detailed history on this topic). It defines the exchange interfaces, calling mechanisms, and transferred data for the software but leaves the internal implementation to the developer or maintainer of the software. The aim is to unify all the various UNIX forks and UNIX-like systems in such a way that different software implementations can interact with one another. The main advantage of POSIX is to have a binding documentation for these components – interfaces, mechanisms, and data – available in written form.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • SlimBook Titan is a Linux-friendly gaming laptop with Ryzen 5000H and NVIDIA RTX 3070

        This week NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel all launched new chips designed for high-performance gaming laptops. And we’ve seen a lot of companies announce new notebooks powered by those chips. But so far most have had one thing in common: they ship with Windows 10.

        Now Spanish PC maker Slimbook has revealed new gaming laptop with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics, and support for Ubuntu or Windows.

        The new Slimbook Titan is up for pre-order for 1750 € and up and the laptop should begin shipping in May, 2021.

      • Linux: Not all users are developers

        “Not all Linux users are developers.” It’s a statement I’ve been having to make quite a lot lately. This comes from prospective clients, who find out I’ve been using and writing about Linux since the late 1990s, and then approach me to ask if I’d be willing to either take on a development project or to write about development through the eyes of an actual developer.

        When I tell these possible clients that I’m not a developer, without fail, their response is shock. “You use Linux. Doesn’t that, by design, make you a developer?” My response to that is (at least internally), “Why would you assume I’m a developer?” Or maybe “You’re a Windows user. Does that make you a gamer?” Or “You’re a macOS user. Does that make you a musician?”

        [...]

        I probably should have prefaced this by saying I’m not the average user Linux should be targeting. Because of my various jobs, I wind up doing much more with Linux than what an everyday user would, which clearly defines me as a Linux admin and not just a user. However, I wear multiple hats, and one of those hats is user. Sometimes I don the admin hat and sometimes I doff the admin hat in favor of the user hat.

        However, a developer hat never sits atop my head–no matter how many times people assume it of me because of the platform I use.

        I’m good with that. What I’m not so good with is the assumption that every Linux user is a developer. Not only is it bad marketing, it almost always ends with me having to remind clients that I’m not a developer and they knew that going into our agreement.

        To every Linux user out there, I say to you: Be the user you want to be, not the user everyone assumes you are. To those who are interested in Linux, rest assured, it’s not a developer-specific platform.

    • Server

      • Three open-source giants to watch in 2021: Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu

        Apart from on desktop PCs used in businesses across the globe, the dominating operating systems on today’s computers are UNIX-like. The hardware that runs the world’s services, in the cloud, on the internet of things, and many phones, runs software that comprises of Linux variants and a small percentage of BSD-you-likes, typically FreeBSD. Windows Server instances still exist — estimates put the figure somewhere between 20% to 30% of servers running the OS.

        But in the main, the vast majority of operating systems, applications, databases, deployment tools, development tool-sets, and so forth comprise open-source software, which runs, usually, on UNIX-like operating systems.

        Of the Linux variants found in the data center, the three big players are Ubuntu Server (of Canonical), SUSE Linux Enterprise, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux — or variants thereon. (The word variants is often found in the free and open software world: variations or forks are rife in just about every part of open-source IT.)

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • What Is ‘Error-Correcting Memory’ and Why Does the Creator of Linux Think You Need It?

        Does the average computer user need to care about memory with error-correction capabilities? Linus Torvalds seems to think so.

        The Linux lead developer and creator recently went off on Intel, claiming that the company’s choice to relegate ECC (error-correcting code) memory to the server room had harmed consumers.

        “ECC availability matters a lot—exactly because Intel has been instrumental in killing the whole ECC industry with its horribly bad market segmentation,” Torvalds wrote in a forum post, his natural habitat. This seems like a particularly nerdy thing to focus on to some degree, but Torvalds seems to be making the case that the reason why it is so nerdy is because Intel, a company whose entire business model is facing challenges from activist investors right now, decided to treat something fundamental as a high-end premium feature.

        Is it? And what should tech nerds know about ECC memory? Let’s explain what error correction is and why he just might be right.

      • Graphics Stack

        • [Mesa-dev] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 21.0.0-rc1
          Hi list,
          
          It's that time again, the mesa 21.0 release release candidate cycle has
          begun. The first release candidate is available, and the blocking
          milestone has already been created. Please be sure to add any issues you
          want resolved before 21.0.0 is released.
          
          Cheers,
          Dylan
          
        • Mesa 21.0-rc1 Released To Get The Quarterly Release Process Underway

          While normally the feature branching and first release candidate for new Mesa3D quarterly releases doesn’t begin until around the end of the first month of a new quarter, this time around with Mesa 21.0 it has begun today — half-way through the month of January. This should at least ensure Mesa 21.0 stable ships in February rather than March. Mesa 20.3.3 was also released today as the newest stable version for the time being.

        • Mesa 21.0-devel RADV vs. AMDVLK 2021.Q1.1 Vulkan Driver Performance – Phoronix

          For those wondering how the open-source Radeon Vulkan drivers of Mesa’s RADV and AMD’s official AMDVLK are competing as we start the new year, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the performance for various Linux games (native and via Steam Play with DXVK) as well as Vulkan compute tests.

        • Desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Mali GPUs with Panfrost

          The open source Panfrost driver for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs now provides non-conformant OpenGL ES 3.0 on Bifrost and desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Midgard (Mali T760 and newer) and Bifrost, in time for Mesa’s first release of 2021.

          This follows the OpenGL ES 3.0 support on Midgard that landed over the summer, as well as the initial OpenGL ES 2.0 support that recently debuted for Bifrost. OpenGL ES 3.0 is now tested on Mali G52 in Mesa’s continuous integration, achieving a 99.9% pass rate on the corresponding drawElements Quality Program tests.

          Architecturally, Bifrost shares most of its fixed-function data structures with Midgard, but features a brand new instruction set. Our work for bringing up OpenGL ES 3.0 on Bifrost reflects this division. Some fixed-function features, like instancing and transform feedback, worked without any Bifrost-specific changes since we already did bring-up on Midgard. Other shader features, like uniform buffer objects, required “from scratch” implementations in the Bifrost compiler, a task facilitated by the compiler’s maturing intermediate representation with first-class builder support. Yet other features like multiple render targets required some Bifrost-specific code while leveraging other code shared with Midgard. All in all, the work progressed much more quickly the second time around, a testament to the power of code sharing. But there is no need to limit sharing to just Panfrost GPUs; open source drivers can share code across vendors.

        • Rosenzweig: Desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Mali GPUs with Panfrost

          Alyssa Rosenzweig presents a progress report on the Panfrost driver for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, which now provides non-conformant OpenGL ES 3.0 on Bifrost and desktop OpenGL 3.1 on Midgard.

        • Open-Source NVIDIA Support For Recent GPUs Is Poor But Now You Can Fake It For Testing

          The open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” Gallium3D code within Mesa has wired up DRM shim support for basically faking the support in the absence of real hardware. This is mainly useful for testing the Nouveau OpenGL shader compiler code path without any actual code execution.

          Longtime Nouveau developer Ilia Mirkin wired up support for the Nouveau_Noop DRM shim. This basically allows the Nouveau Gallium3D code to function without submitting commands to any GPU or waiting on fences.

        • Parsing HID Unit Items

          This post explains how to parse the HID Unit Global Item as explained by the HID Specification, page 37. The table there is quite confusing and it took me a while to fully understand it (Benjamin Tissoires was really the one who cracked it). I couldn’t find any better explanation online which means either I’m incredibly dense and everyone’s figured it out or no-one has posted a better explanation. On the off-chance it’s the latter [1], here are the instructions on how to parse this item.

          We know a HID Report Descriptor consists of a number of items that describe the content of each HID Report (read: an event from a device). These Items include things like Logical Minimum/Maximum for axis ranges, etc. A HID Unit item specifies the physical unit to apply. For example, a Report Descriptor may specify that X and Y axes are in mm which can be quite useful for all the obvious reasons.

          Like most HID items, a HID Unit Item consists of a one-byte item tag and 1, 2 or 4 byte payload. The Unit item in the Report Descriptor itself has the binary value 0110 01nn where the nn is either 1, 2, or 3 indicating 1, 2 or 4 bytes of payload, respectively. That’s standard HID.

    • Applications

      • Best World Clock Applications for Linux

        This article covers a list of graphical and command line “world clock” applications that can be used to view current time and date values at different time zones / locations around the world.

        There are only a limited number of world clock applications available for Linux. Apps listed in this article get the job done and some of them also come with handy extra features. If you know any command line application in Linux that can show current date and time, you can try prefixing it with the “TZ” environment variable explained in this article.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Allow Or Deny SSH Access To A Particular User Or Group In Linux

        This brief guide will walk you though the steps to allow or deny SSH access to a particular user or a group in Linux. A while ago, we discussed how to limit a user’s access to Linux system using Restricted shell. Once we have put the users in restricted mode, they can’t do anything except what they are allowed to do. It will be helpful when you want to allow a particular user to execute only a specific set of commands. Here in this article, we are going to enable or disable SSH access for an user or group by making a few changes in SSH default configuration file.

      • LHB #21.01: Docker Notify, Ansible e-book and Planned Improvements for 2021

        2021 is here, and I hope it is not as dreadful as 2020 was. You probably have made your new year resolution. So have I, for Linux Handbook. Before I share the improvements planned for 2021, let me share the good news with you first. Ahmed worked hard to prepare

      • [Older] Bash Background Process Management

        There are many times when a Bash developer or user will want to run a process in the background, either from the command line or from inside a bash script, and then handle that same process again later. There are various command line tools which allow one to do so. Being able to start, manage and destroy background processes is a requirement for many more advanced level tasks, especially in the areas of advanced scripting and process control.

      • Installing Signal for Desktop on your Chromebook (2021 Edition)

        Well, it seems that 2021 is shaping up to be the year of “mass exodus” to and from various tech platforms. I’ll save the politics for other websites but we are here to help users get the most out of Chromebooks and that has spurred this latest how-to. Thanks in part to a simple, two-word tweet from Elon Musk, the Signal messaging platform has seen a massive influx of new users. This migration was initially spurred by an upcoming change in Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s terms of service. I won’t get into the gory details but it has a lot to do with what and how WhatsApp shares its data with Facebook.

      • Normalizing audio and video files – Lukáš Zapletal

        To normalize audio or video files without reencoding video stream, use ffmpeg-normalize script. In Fedora, it is available in the python3-ffmpeg-normalize package.

      • Kafka destination improved with template support in syslog-ng – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        The C implementation of the Kafka destination in syslog-ng has been improved in version 3.30. Support for templates in topic names was added as a result of a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project. The advantage of the new template support feature is that you no longer have to use a static topic name. For example, you can include the name of your host or the application sending the log in the topic name.

        From this blog you can learn about a minimal Kafka setup, configuring syslog-ng and testing syslog-ng with Kafka.

      • Turn your Raspberry Pi into a HiFi music system | Opensource.com

        For the past 10 years, I’ve worked remotely most of the time, but when I go into the office, I sit in a room full of fellow introverts who are easily disturbed by ambient noise and talking. We discovered that listening to music can suppress office noise, make voices less distracting, and provide a pleasant working environment with enjoyable music.

        Initially, one of our colleagues brought in some old powered computer speakers, connected them to his desktop, and asked us what we wanted to listen to. It did its job, but the sound quality wasn’t great, and it only worked when he was in the office. Next, we bought a pair of Altec Lansing speakers. The sound quality improved, but flexibility did not.

        Not much later, we got a generic Arm single-board computer (SBC). This meant anyone could control the playlist and the speakers over the network using a web interface. But a random Arm developer board meant we could not use popular music appliance software. Updating the operating system was a pain due to a non-standard kernel, and the web interface broke frequently.

        When the team grew and moved into a larger room, we started dreaming about better speakers and an easier way to handle the software and hardware combo.

      • Openstack RDO && KVM Hypervisor: Adding packaging and refactoring known sample of Java CRUD Application for Tomcat 9.0.41 ( Mysql 8.0.22)

        Why packaging is important ? That is pretty straight forward Java coding which looks and works pretty good . However , all compiled classes appear to be placed in one folder WEB-INF/classes/ and in some way this minor design issue hides a business logic of apps see https://www.javatpoint.com/crud-in-servlet . Once again Connection to mariadb-Server on F33 is encapsulated in separate class end matches the most recent requirements (8.0.22)

      • How to Create a KVM Virtual Machine Template

        A virtual machine template is essentially a copy of the installed virtual machine that comes in handy when you want to deploy multiple instances of virtual machines. Creating a template is a 3 step process that involves creating a virtual machine, installing all the requisites packages that you want to be installed, and finally cleaning up the template.

      • How to Use Vim: A Guide to the Basics

        Vim is the most powerful and versatile code editor available for Unix-like systems. It is an extension of the Vi editor developed by Bill Joy. Vim is available by default on most Linux and BSD systems.

        Thus, you can use the same editor on all of your systems and remote machines. Vim’s rigorous vocabulary also makes it extremely efficient and expressive.

      • How to install Steam on a Chromebook in 2021

        Today we are looking at how to install Steam 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.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

        Sadly not all Steam games work in Linux, here is a list of games that should work if you have enough space and computer power to run them. Also if any of these games are interesting for you, then you can play them via GeForce Now, a cloud gaming platform by Nvidia, with either a free or paid account. The games just have to be in your Steam, Epic Games, etc, libraries.

      • How to install Zoom on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Zoom on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to install the newest version of Firefox on your Chromebook (2021)

        Consumers love options. It’s just a fact and it’s what makes our buying decisions as unique and diverse as we are. For Chromebook users, the Google ecosystem is likely the first stop when it comes to finding and using applications on Chrome OS. That said, a little variety is nice and there are some that would like to use platforms outside of Google’s offerings. One area in which that rings very true is web browsers. When you log into your Chromebook, you’re inherently going to use the Chrome browser. It is, after all, Chrome OS. That does not mean that you have to be married to Google’s browser. You have options and we have covered a few of them in the past.

      • Deploying a virtual TripleO standalone OpenStack system | Enable Sysadmin

        A walk-through on how to deploy a virtualized TripleO standalone system, including creating the components need to launch and connect to a VM. Also included is how to cleanup the deployment.

      • Centos 7 Linux Forgot Password Solution- How to Change it – Linux Shout

        Here is the proper step by step guide to reset the forgotten password of CentOS 7 or 8 Linux systems. You can use the same for RedHat 7/8 as well.

        If it is not stored in a certain file, it is easy to forget the login password for operations that are rarely used several times a week like logging in to the server.

      • Getting started with Tekton and Pipelines

        Tekton is a powerful, Kubernetes-native framework for creating continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) systems. In this article, we’ll use real-world examples to show you how to install Tekton, create Tasks, and eventually create our own pipeline.

        What’s a pipeline?

        Great question! In software development, pipelines are automated processes that drive software through a process of building, testing, and deploying code. Such an efficient process can help minimize human error, as well as maintain consistency in deployment. Since Tekton is cloud-native, its pipelines are containerized and don’t have dependencies on other projects, mitigating potential issues and saving you time.

      • Prevent WordPress From Converting Double Hyphen (‐‐) Into Dash (–) – ByteXD

        This short post covers how to stop WordPress from converting double hyphens (–) to single dash (–)

        First, the solutions I use. They are, most likely, not the optimal ones, but have worked for me and I think and are user friendly, as they don’t require you to create a plugin yourself or edit WordPress core files. I consider them as a temporary solution to be able to get on with your work instead of spending time finding the ideal fix.

      • 5 methods to open the Command Terminal in Ubuntu Linux – Linux Shout

        Best possible different ways to open and run command terminal on Ubuntu Linux distros using variosu keyboard and GUI shortcuts

      • Forward and Reverse Proxy Differences Explained | FOSS Linux

        Proxies are placed between various connections online. Because of the variations in the dimensions of the different connections, different types of proxies exist. While some proxies indicate a direct relationship between the proxy server and the client, some tell you which of the gadgets the proxy server is. In some cases, it can even show data management or how to deal with privacy in such a scenario. Depending on the proxy position, it can either be a forward proxy or a reverse proxy.

        A point to note is that a forward proxy is different from a reverse proxy. As a result, this makes direct comparison complicated.

      • How to Install Signal on Ubuntu & Other Linux Distributions

        It’s been more than a year since we covered Signal as an ideal choice for instant messaging. While privacy-aware and tech-savvy people were already aware of the existence of this awesome application, Signal got the much deserved fame after the latest WhatsApp privacy policy updates.

        Whatever maybe the reason if you are new to Signal and you are wondering if you can use Signal on desktop, the answer is yes. You can install Signal on Linux, Windows and macOS systems along with your smartphone.

    • Games

      • Grab some indie goodies in the Devolver Digital Hidden Gems Bundle

        It’s not the first time the bundle has appeared and probably won’t be the last but it seems Devolver don’t like to keep it up all the time. It gives you multiple titles published by Devolver along with a top discount to get them all together.

      • Kitsune Tails is an upcoming Japanese mythology inspired adventure platformer

        From the developer of MidBoss and Super Bernie World (Kitsune Games) and 2064: Read Only Memories (MidBoss, LLC.) comes Kitsune Tails. An adventure platformer inspired by beloved classics steeped in Japanese mythology.

        “Play as a young female kitsune, one of Inari’s fox-eared and bushy-tailed messengers, and embark on a hero’s journey that begins while delivering your first message. Experience a romantic encounter with a kindly sorceress who comes to your aid in a time of need. Explore the complicated relationship with your former mentor turned antagonist and uncover her reasons for sealing your love interest inside an elemental prison. Unlock powers that manifest as cute outfits to help you run, jump, and dash across a land inspired by Japanese mythology in Kitsune Tails, the follow up to Super Bernie World.”

        [...]

        It’s slated to release in Q1 2022 with full Linux support and they will be gathering funding through a Kickstarter campaign, which will launch mid-2021.

      • Steam has never been more popular – and Valve promises big things for Linux gamers

        Steam’s ‘year in review’ has just been published for 2020, complete with a raft of statistics which show that the gaming platform has never been more popular – along with some statements that Linux gamers will doubtless find exciting.

        Of course, it’s no great surprise to hear that more people were playing games on their PC last year – what with Covid-19 lockdowns and folks spending far more time inside at home – and indeed Steam’s stats show that there was a huge 50% increase in the number of hours spent gaming on the platform.

      • Valve’s review of 2020 shows off pretty big numbers – 120 million monthly active users
      • Steam Tops 120M Monthly Users in 2020, China Launch, UX Upgrades, Linux 2021 Priorities

        Linux – We’re continuing to invest in technology that improves game compatibility and performance through Steam Play. We’re also putting together new ways for prospective users to get into Linux gaming and experience these improvements.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • SoK 2021: Post 1 – Claudio Cambra

          I’ve written about FLOSS stuff for a while now, but recently I’ve been working on my coding skills too. I decided to help with documentation efforts as this would help newcomers and also allow me to learn more about how KDE’s best apps are made. I’ll be working under Carl Schwan, who will make sure that the upcoming content in the docs is the best it can be. Documentation is important for any project, and we have identified a few areas which I will be working on improving over the next few months. These include introductory tutorials, Kirigami’s docs, and more. My hope is that these efforts will ensure that the community of KDE developers keeps growing!

        • Season of KDE 2021 – Anjani’s home

          Hello people! I’m Anjani, an IT student from India. I’ve been contributing to KDE since last year. Thanks to the KDE community to have an engaging program like SoK. I got to know about this last year but couldn’t participate. Now I’m here.

          I’ll be working under the mentorship of Han Young on implementing a D-Bus daemon that will fetch/provide weather data using KWeatherCore to KWeather as well as other applications on Plasma mobile who would like to have weather data for some purpose.

        • Season of KDE Selection [Ed: Link no longer live]

          Hey people from around the world !! I am Anubhav Choudhary, an engineering student from India. I recently got selected in Season of KDE 2021 to work under Calamares project. My work is to resolve numerous issues and complete some tasks mentioned on Calamares’ Issue page. And I am just too excited about that. Why? Because I have been contributing to open source (to KDE? yes) for sometime now. But It always felt very unordered and random contributions (which I was not happy about).

        • Season of KDE 2021 – The start

          Hello KDE people, I am Suraj an undergraduate student majoring in Information Technology from India. I have been contributing to KDE Websites for quite a while. KDE Web has been undergoing major changes in the past few years. We have seen many sites being ported to JAM Stack i.e particularly static site generators such as Hugo and Jekyll.

          Using static site generators sometimes are a great choice because it reduces server dependencies since the website rebuilds only when the site is updated. Also, updating is a lot easier when the content is written in markdown and simple data formats.

    • Distributions

      • 20+ Best Lightweight Linux Operating Systems In 2021

        This is the list of lifeline for your old gadget in your home. Yes, you can start playing with your old computers/laptops. There are plenty of Linux based operating system available that can easily run on computers with low specs.

        Let’s have a quick look into the list of some of the best lightweight Linux operating system for your old computers or laptop in 2021.

      • BSD

        • From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems (Part 3)

          The developers and intense users of the BSD distributions I’ve talked to paint a complex portrait of BSD’s dilemma, with as many angles as a cubist still life. Warner Losh, a former member of the FreeBSD core team, said in his comments on this article that he believes BSD had a healthy environment under its original developers, the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG). That team finished its work and disbanded in 1995 with the intention that further development would take place in the BSDi company. Fragmentation started after that.

          The leadership started making decisions that other contributors found arbitrary. Forming cliques, team members could not always recognize which contributions from outsiders were worth including. 386BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD—one by one, a small team of discontented developers would split off and create their own fork. The Linux community was immature by comparison, but kernel development stayed relatively united and the participants found their way forward to stability.

          One might accept the proliferation of different BSD variants as a gift to users. Each variant had its own strengths—so the argument goes—and users could choose what was right for them. But the forks left none of the variants, except possibly FreeBSD, with a large enough critical mass to thrive. Anyone who wanted to develop for BSD needed to choose one of the variants or do a lot of porting. From the standpoint of the publishing industry, I can attest that putting out a book about BSD was nearly impossible. We couldn’t cover all variants, and covering a single variant left us with too small an audience to make a profit.

          McKusick points out that three separate distributions are a fairly small number for a historic operating system and seem like nothing compared to the fecund proliferation of GNU/Linux distributions. Not only do the utilities in the GNU/Linux distributions differ in important ways—such as the tools used to build and install software packages—but their underlying kernels are different.

          This is all valid and worthy of discussion. But it’s natural for distributions to build different kernels frequently. The Linux development repository has managed to remain unitary. And GNU/Linux enthusiasts will back me up in saying that one can reasonably learn enough utilities to expertly manage all the well-known distributions. Mick Bauer, who wrote Building Secure Servers with Linux for O’Reilly in 2002 (Linux Server Security in a later edition), confirms my point in his review of this article. He writes, “I was surprised at how easy it was to cover Red Hat, Debian/Ubuntu, and SuSE for all my topics. Knowing just a few utilities (mainly package managers) and config-file locations was all it took.”

          Bauer also attributes the burgeoning of GNU/Linux to two distinguishing traits: the strength of its distributions and the license under which it was developed. Regarding distributions, he says: “From very early on users could choose between militantly free distributions like Slackware and Debian, commercial distributions with structured training and support programs like Red Hat and SuSE, and all points between. But this diversity hasn’t (yet) led to any disruptive schisms in Linux kernel development. Early in Linux’s evolution, this combination of commercial support contracts and kernel-development stability helped make Linux a viable choice for hosting network services for large corporations.”

        • Preliminary OpenBSD Support Added to OBS Studio

          OpenBSD developer Vadim Zhukov (zhukov@) has added preliminary OpenBSD support to Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio release 26.1.0 and later. The changes come as part of an ongoing collaboration between the upstream OBS project and OpenBSD developers.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Flatpak 1.10 Officially Released with GCC 11 Support, New Features and Improvements

          The biggest new feature in this the Flatpak 1.10 series is the implementation of a new format for the indexed summary file, which is being used when accessing an OSTree repository on the network. With this, the OSTree dependency was bumped to version 2020.8.

          This major change also makes several underlying enhancements to Flatpak’s behavior, such as faster fetching of the initial metadata required for most operations and therefore less network bandwidth usages, as well as the ability for Flatpak repos to scale to more apps and more architectures without having an impact on clients.

        • Better together: Community Blog and Discussion – Fedora Community Blog

          Yesterday, taking advantage of the post-New Year enthusiasm of our dear Fedora Project Leader, I enabled a WordPress plugin that connects this blog with the Discourse forum at discussion.fedoraproject.org. If everything works correctly, Community Blog posts will start a new thread in the Community Blog category on Discussion. Discussion will function as the comments mechanism for the post instead of the native WordPress comments.

        • Restarting regular Fedora India meetings – ankursinha.in/blog

          The Fedora India community has always been quite an active group of people working in various Fedora teams and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). At some point in recent years, people got busy with projects as we tend to do, and we stopped having regular community meetings. This is unfortunate, since these meetings keep the community ticking, and provide a platform for new members to join in.

        • The NeuroFedora Blog: Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 18 January 1500 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 18 January at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Freenode). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend.

        • Red Hat and Intel blaze a more flexible path to 5G services, from hybrid cloud networking to edge computing

          Communication service providers (CSPs) and enterprises looking to unleash the power of 5G are faced with a new set of operational challenges. They include how to architect and deploy a common infrastructure strategy across the network that can deliver cloud flexibility and automation, lower operational cost and allow for solution choice from a multi-vendor ecosystem.

          Building on a decades-long collaboration, Intel and Red Hat are announcing the evolution of their strategic relationship to accelerate the delivery of automated, cloud-native infrastructure for new 5G services. Together, Red Hat and Intel will align R&D efforts to help move 5G, networking innovation and related features more quickly into upstream open source projects (e.g. Kubernetes) while also bringing these new technologies to customers as commercialized, supported offerings for production deployment more swiftly. Our customers stand to benefit from more complete solutions as they transform their networks from cloud to network to edge for a range of new use cases and services.

        • New year, new features in Red Hat Runtimes

          It has been a busy, productive year for Red Hat Runtimes, and we are excited to kick off 2021 with new features. Red Hat Runtimes, part of the Application Services portfolio, is a set of products, tools and components designed to develop and maintain cloud-native applications. It offers lightweight runtimes and frameworks that allow developers to build highly-distributed cloud architectures, like microservices. With Red Hat Runtimes, developers have options to choose the right tool for the job – they are not locked in to only one runtime or service.

          Here’s a rundown of what’s new.

        • Transitioning Red Hat’s global sales and services leadership

          As we start the new year, we wanted to share a leadership update within our sales and services organization. Later this year, Arun Oberoi, executive vice president of Global Sales and Services, has decided to retire after nine years with Red Hat. Larry Stack, most recently senior vice president of commercial sales for Red Hat in North America, will transition into the global sales and services leadership role beginning in April. Until his retirement in Q3, Arun will work with Larry to ensure a smooth transition.

          When Arun joined Red Hat in May 2012 to lead sales and services globally (spanning commercial, public sector, and channel sales, Red Hat’s strategic alliances; professional services; and consulting and training services), Red Hat had just reached an industry milestone as the first open source software company to achieve more than $1 billion in annual revenue. By the time IBM’s landmark acquisition of Red Hat closed, Red Hat’s revenue had more than tripled.

        • Introduction to OpenStack’s Distributed Compute Nodes

          As customers continue to expect customized, real time experiences, the applications that power those experiences require lower latency and near real time processing. Edge computing brings the application infrastructure from centralized data centers out to the network edge – as close to the consumer as possible. This use case stretches beyond just telecommunications to include healthcare, energy, retail, remote offices and more.

          Both the applications and their underlying infrastructures need to adapt themselves to this new edge model. One of Red Hat’s answers to that edge challenge was the introduction of an architecture called Distributed Compute Nodes (DCN) back in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13. This architecture allows operators to deploy the computing resources (compute nodes) hosting the workloads, close to the consumers’ devices (at edge sites, for example) while centralising the control plane in a more traditional datacenter such as a national or regional site.

        • System administration is dead, long live system administration! | Enable Sysadmin

          Comparing the skillsets of sysadmins from the “Gilded Age” of administration to those of the “Industrial Age.”

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – December 2020 and 2020 in review

          In this 35th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in December 2020 as well as some of the milestones that the project and community reached in 2020.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian discusses vendoring—again

          The problems with “vendoring” in packages—bundling dependencies rather than getting them from other packages—seems to crop up frequently these days. We looked at Debian’s concerns about packaging Kubernetes and its myriad of Go dependencies back in October. A more recent discussion in that distribution’s community looks at another famously dependency-heavy ecosystem: JavaScript libraries from the npm repository. Even C-based ecosystems are not immune to the problem, as we saw with iproute2 and libbpf back in November; the discussion of vendoring seems likely to recur over the coming years.

          Many application projects, particularly those written in languages like JavaScript, PHP, and Go, tend to have a rather large pile of dependencies. These projects typically simply download specific versions of the needed dependencies at build time. This works well for fast-moving projects using collections of fast-moving libraries and frameworks, but it works rather less well for traditional Linux distributions. So distribution projects have been trying to figure out how best to incorporate these types of applications.

          This time around, Raphaël Hertzog raised the issue with regard to the Greenbone Security Assistant (gsa), which provides a web front-end to the OpenVAS vulnerability scanner (which is now known as Greenbone Vulnerability Management or gvm).

        • Debian Discusses Vendoring — Again
        • YunoHost 4.1 Release Makes DIY Self-Hosting Even More Simple

          If you don’t know what YunoHost is, it is a Debian-based operating system that aims to make self-hosting easy by simplifying the administration of the server and letting you easily deploy apps/services.

          Initially, it was developed by “Kload” but when interest around YunoHost and self-hosting started growing, more people joined in as volunteers and since then, they have been developing and maintaining the operating system.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 will finally fix this long-time security concern

          The next upcoming release of Ubuntu will close a security issue that’s been lingering around the popular desktop distro for more than a decade.

          The original bug report filed in lieu of this issue back in 2006 has finally been marked as fixed by Alex Murray, Ubuntu Security Tech Lead, at Canonical.

          Unlike many other distros, Ubuntu by default creates user home directories with world writable permissions. Murray once again flagged the issue late last year, arguing among other things that Ubuntu now has a significant customer and user-base in the public cloud and server space for whom the world-readable home directories are “more like a footgun than a feature.”

        • A hacker managed to get Ubuntu up and running on an iPhone 7

          newhacker1746 recently posted on Reddit about his attempt to get Ubuntu up and running on a jailbroken iPhone 7. The iPhone in question was jailbroken using Checkra1n, a procedure power users do to add in additional functionality to iOS. But newhacker1746 decided to take things several steps further by running a desktop OS (albeit in command line mode).

          iPhone critics have often pointed to iOS’s locked-down nature as a limitation. Initially, newhacker1746 was only able to get the Ubuntu CLI running. However, in a new update, the Redditor showcased the Ubuntu GUI functioning on his iPhone. Somewhat astonishingly, resolution scaling seems to work fine in portrait mode on the iPhone 7, and newhacker1746 posted the update on his progress from Firefox, on his iDevice.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 3 Best Free and Open Source Pandora Radio Clients

        Music streaming services have fundamentally altered the way that people access music. Sales of CDs have been steadily falling year on year although they continue to remain a popular format for music purchases. Digital music sales have also been decreasing. These falls have come at the same time as a profound surge in popularity of music streaming services. Competition in this field is fierce, with music providers such as Spotify, Google Play Music All Access, Amazon Music, Rdio, and Pandora all offering a convenient way to access a huge library of music without having to store physical discs or wait for music to synchronise with devices.

        Pandora Internet Radio is a music streaming automated music recommendation service. The service is only available to listeners in the USA, although clients with proxy support enables individuals in other countries to use the service. Pandora plays musical selections of a certain type based on a user’s artist, song, or genre selection. Listeners give positive or negative feedback for the selected songs, which helps the music algorithm choose future songs to play. The service customizes playlists to individual listeners by analysing components of the songs they like, then playing them tracks with similar qualities or characteristics. Pandora has lost market share to Spotify.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.8

            Tor Browser 10.0.8 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This release updates Firefox for desktops to 78.6.1esr and Firefox for Android to 84.1.4. This version resolves instability on Apple macOS devices with the new M1 processor.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Gnulib provides versatile bit-set implementations

            Gnulib features bitset, a module to support operations on lists of bits.
            Its API is rich, and includes:
            all the expected operations on single bit (set, toggle, test, etc.);
            all the traditional binary bitwise operators (and, or, xor), often in two flavors (return new values, or perform in place);
            some useful ternary operations, such as ((a ∧ b) ∨ c), ((a ∧ ¬b) ∨ c), etc. Also in two flavors;
            many predicates (empty, equal, intersects, disjoint, subset and so forth);
            and of course, object creation, destruction, printing, iteration, reverse iteration, etc.
            The following example, taken from Bison, shows the bitset module in action. It’s a fix-point computation of `N`, a bitset of the “useful” symbols (a symbol is useful if it can actually correspond to a piece of text. Think for instance of `a: a b; b: a;`, `a` and `b` are useless).

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Opinion: What open-source software can teach big pharma

          At the Diamond Light Source synchrotron in Oxford, scientists shoot electrons through rings at near light speed to produce beams ten billion times brighter than the sun. These beams are used to study everything from painting fragments to viral structures. Last year researchers at Oxford University used the synchrotron, a large machine, to work out the molecular structure of COVID-19. Instead of selling off the discovery to the highest bidder, they put the information immediately into the open domain so that scientists globally could learn how COVID-19’s proteins infect the body.

          This sharing of information has been widely used by the software industry for decades. With open-source software, engineers share their source codes openly with their counterparts, who can then tinker with the codes and produce something new. Examples of open-source software products include the internet browser Mozilla Firefox and the Linux operating system. While this model has brought enormous benefits to the software industry, medicine has been slow to catch on.

          Matthew Todd, chair of drug discovery at University College London, likens open-source medicine to Wikipedia. All data and results are shared instantly and openly with the wider scientific community. This sharing of information could have real advantages for medicine because drugs are extremely expensive to research and most do not survive phase-one clinical trials. Rather than waste time experimenting with a molecule that a competitor has already proved to be unsafe, scientists could learn about failures instantly from a public data bank and then carry on experimenting with something new. Saving time and money by learning from others’ failures could lower drug prices and get new medicines to market sooner.

          New beginnings

          Some drug companies are beginning to experiment with open-source medicine. Pharma companies AbbVie, Bayer, and Johnson & Johnson have partnered with the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), a research organisation that studies less well-known areas of the human genome. The consortium is funded partly by drug companies and shares all of its findings openly with the public. Recently the SGC teamed up with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to have drugs ready for clinical trials when the next pandemic hits.

          Other drug companies are using the open-source model to help them begin researching rare diseases or illnesses that have high clinical failure rates. The associate director of global research at a pharmaceutical company says he has been given clear guidance to contact competitors and consortiums to develop shared risk models of innovation. The advantage, he says, is that by splitting the risk, more companies will be keen to invest their limited time and resources on less lucrative medicines.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ruby 3.0.0 Now Available

          Version 3.0.0 of the popular Ruby programming language, which has been in development since 2015, has been released.

        • Why no-code tools in startups should remain niche

          No-code is a broad term. It describes a vast set of products that help end-users assemble web pages and applications without hiring developers.

          In recent years, it has also become an ideology of sorts (praised, for example, in this Forbes column): a promise to get rid of all complications that are intertwined with IT development — its proverbial high costs, unpredictability, and difficulty to scale the teams fast enough.

          However, I’d argue the promise is often exaggerated, as the proposed approaches are oversold and/or not particularly new. Still, niche solutions from the no-code toolbox might get your tasks in certain pipeline parts done surprisingly well.

          So let’s pick apart the ideology and get into what startups and businesses should consider when thinking about no-code solutions.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Form text and placeholders

            The three miscellaneous demonstrations in this post all have something to do with form text and placeholders. Form text is text saved as a template and variable text is added as needed. A good example is a form letter. The basic text of the letter is stored as a document, and the date, the addressee and the salutation are variable bits that get added before the letter is sent. Sometimes the missing text is marked with a placeholder like “{DATE}”.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | We Have Questions
    • A Shimmering Noise

      Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, the latest album from Daniel Lopatin—who records under the name Oneohtrix Point Never—feels as though it’s been beamed from the antenna of a deep space probe directly into your ears. The album registers like a radio broadcast from another reality, perhaps one parallel to our own, almost inchoate and yet somehow fully formed.

    • CNN Grounds Its Long-Running Airport Network

      CNN Airport, a long-running out-of-home media operation that became an integral part of the traveling experience for people flying through Chicago’s O’Hare, Dallas’ Love Field or even Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, is shutting down, the victim of shifts in consumer behavior that are moving more quickly than a Boeing 737.

      CNN said the operation, which aired a mix of news from CNN and snippets from other WarnerMedia networks in 58 different airports in the U.S., would close as of March 31.

    • Science

      • 2020 ACM Fellows recognized for work that underpins contemporary computing

        ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has named 95 members ACM Fellows for wide-ranging and fundamental contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, computer graphics, computational biology, data science, human-computer interaction, software engineering, theoretical computer science, and virtual reality, among other areas. The accomplishments of the 2020 ACM Fellows have driven innovations that ushered in significant improvements across many areas of technology, industry, and personal life.

    • Education

      • Betsy DeVos’s Resignation Came Four Years Too Late
      • Trump Loyalists Aren’t Going Away, They’re Moving to New Social Media Platforms
      • Cost of College Includes Hidden Expenses for Textbooks, Course Materials

        Every year, institutions determine a “cost of attendance,” which estimates the all-in average cost of being a student at a particular school. There is no federal requirement nor standardized process to determine what indirect expenses students will encounter. A June 2020 study released by UAspire called “Beyond the College Bill” focused on 820 colleges in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Texas; the authors said they couldn’t locate any indirect expense information on 39% of the schools’ websites. When they were included, 30 different terms were used to describe the category of “books and supplies.” Focus groups that UAspire spoke to concluded that “required course materials” was the most straightforward way to label “textbooks, printed materials, software, access codes, clickers, and additional course requirements in syllabi.” By including required course materials on college websites and financial aid packages, students can understand and prepare for this substantial additional cost.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As COVID Surges in LA, Indigenous Communities Fight to Preserve Life and Culture
      • The UK’s Brexit-and-Covid Languors

        Overall, being in the EU neither reduced nor worsened the nature of this crisis. With regard to this systemic crisis, the EU, in this framework, has been neither problem nor solution.

        Being in the EU merely kept Ukania in what airline pilots call a “holding pattern”, by doing nothing to create conditions for ameliorating this crisis, and thus not providing the tools needed for its resolution.

      • Uncertain benefits: Russian authorities issue first-ever compulsory license for controversial coronavirus treatment

        For the first time ever, the Russian government has invoked compulsory licensing “in the interests of national security,” giving the domestic pharmaceutical company Pharmasyntez permission to mass produce its generic of the antiviral drug remdesivir. The American company that developed this coronavirus treatment — and owns the patent for it — didn’t consent to this decision. Moreover, studies of the drug’s effectiveness against COVID-19 have yielded mixed results.

      • Saint Anthony Fauci: The Hidden History

        Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top scientist on the Coronavirus taskforce, is being reproached after it was revealed last month that he was “moving the goalposts” on coronavirus herd immunity. But his long history of misleading the American public, or getting things completely wrong, remains unscrutinized — until now.

      • Opinion | Covid-19 Under Apartheid: How Israel Manipulates Suffering of Palestinians

        Long after the deadly pandemic is contained, the tragedy of occupied Palestine will, sadly, continue unhindered, until the day that Israel is forced to end its military occupation of Palestine and the Palestinians.

      • Covid-19 under Apartheid: How Israel Manipulates Suffering of Palestinians

        Israel’s decision to exclude Palestinians from its COVID-19 vaccination campaign may have surprised many. Even by Israel’s poor humanitarian standards, denying Palestinians access to life-saving medication seems extremely callous.

      • RFK Jr. doesn’t like being called antivacine and antimask

        RFK Jr. (a.k.a. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.) has long been antivaccine. Indeed, he rapidly became a prominent figure in the antivaccine movement in 2005. That was when when his publication of Deadly Immunity simultaneously in Salon.com and Rolling Stone (to their eternal shame, a shame I will never stop reminding them of) popularized the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory, which posited that in 2000 the CDC met in an Atlanta suburb to “cover up” the evidence that the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal was the cause of the “autism epidemic.” It was nonsense, of course, based on a misrepresentation of how in epidemiological studies seemingly “positive” associations disappear when confounders are properly taken into account.

      • Putin calls for ‘mass vaccination’ of Russian population against COVID-19 starting next week

        Russia needs to move “from large-scale to mass vaccination” of the entire population against the coronavirus, said President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with members of the government on Wednesday, January 13. Citing a government report, Putin noted that production of the vaccine has already exceeded its planning target.

      • As COVID Surges in L.A., Hard-Hit Indigenous Communities Fight to Preserve Life, Culture & Language

        As Los Angeles County reports record COVID-19 infections, overflowing hospitals and record death tolls, we look at how Indigenous communities there are among the hardest hit in working-class neighborhoods, where many are essential workers. “Indigenous people, we don’t have the privilege to stay home and not go to work,” says Odilia Romero, co-founder and executive director of Indigenous Communities in Leadership, or CIELO, an Indigenous women-led nonprofit organization in Los Angeles. Romero also laments “the loss of knowledge” that comes with the devastation of COVID-19. “Some of the elders have passed away, and there goes a whole worldview,” she says. CIELO recently published a book documenting the stories of undocumented Indigenous women from Mexico and Guatemala living in Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic.

      • Ex.-Michigan Gov. Snyder charged in Flint water crisis

        Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with willful neglect of duty after an investigation of ruinous decisions that left Flint with lead-contaminated water…

      • Michigan Charges Ex-Governor Rick Snyder With ‘Neglect’ in Flint Water Crisis

        A previous investigation into the Flint water crisis had led to charges against numerous city and state officials, but in June 2019 all those charges were dropped under the direction of the new attorney general, Dana Nessel. The new charges brought against Snyder are the result of a new investigation.

        The prosecutors’ findings will be detailed by Nessel on Thursday, officials said via the Times, and it’s expected that additional charges will be brought against other officials and associates of Snyder.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open Source Management & Strategy Training Program Launched by The Linux Foundation

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the availability of a new training program designed to introduce open source best practices to management and technical staff within organizations, Open Source Management & Strategy.

              • Linux Foundation launches free WebAssembly course

                Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization that works to promote the commercial adoption of Linux, has recently released a free training course to help individuals get up to speed with WebAssembly.

                WebAssembly is a new runtime that lives alongside the JavaScript virtual machine and is increasingly being referred to as the fourth official language of the web along with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

                Introduction to WebAssembly is a six-hour self-paced introductory course that is available for free on the edX non-profit learning platform.

        • Security

          • Microsoft source code access: assume the worst, says Israeli firm

            The lack of timing and detail in Microsoft’s announcement about its source code being accessed by the attackers who used SolarWinds’ Orion network management software in a supply chain attack can only mean that this is bad news, the Israel-based source code control, detection, and response solution start-up Cycode, claims.

          • Breaking The Browser – A tale of IPC, credentials and backdoors

            Web browsers are inherently trusted by users. They are trained to trust websites which “have a padlock in the address bar” and that “have the correct name”, This trust leads to users feeling comfortable entering their sensitive data into these websites. From an attackers stand point this trust is an amazing thing, as once you have compromised a users workstation there is a process (with close to zero protections) handling a relatively large amount of sensitive data while being used a great deal by a user. Throw in password managers with browser extensions and you have a natural target for red teams. So naturally when I found myself with some time to spend on a research project, I decided to spend it abusing this trust!

          • Why getting voting right is hard, Part IV: Absentee Voting and Vote By Mail

            From a technical perspective, absentee ballots and vote-by-mail work the same way; it’s just a matter of which sets of voters vote in person and which don’t. These lines also blur some in that some jurisdictions require a reason to vote absentee whereas some just allow anyone to request an absentee ballot (“no-excuse absentee”). Of course, in a vote-by-mail only jurisdiction then voters don’t need to take any action to get mailed a ballot. For convenience, I’ll mostly be referring to all of these procedures as mail-in ballots.

            As mentioned above, counting mail-in ballots is the same as counting in-person ballots. In fact, in many cases jurisdictions will use the same ballots in each case, so they can just hand count them or run them through the same optical scanner as they would with in-person voted ballots, which simplifies logistics considerably. The major difference between in-person and mail-in voting is the need for different mechanisms to ensure that only authorized voters vote (and that they only vote once). In an in-person system, this is ensured by determining eligibility when voters enter the polling place and then giving each voter a single ballot, but this obviously doesn’t work in the case of mailed-in ballots — it’s way too easy for an attacker to make a pile of fake ballots and just mail them in — so something else is needed.

          • Critical zero-day RCE in Microsoft Office 365 awaits third security patch

            A remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange Online remains unresolved after security researchers bypassed two patches for successive exploits.
            Rated as critical, the zero-day flaw impacts multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) providers as well as on-premise installations of Exchange Server.
            The bug in Exchange Online, part of the Office 365 suite, could be exploited to gain “access to millions of corporate email accounts”, said Steven Seeley of the Qihoo 360 Vulcan Team in a blog post published yesterday (January 12).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Not going dark: personal data from the Internet of Things ushers in a golden age for law enforcement

              Another issue concerns the huge amounts of personal data that they gather. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice provides a good summary of how the authorities are accessing that data in order to help them with their work:

            • Ring rolls out end-to-end encryption for select doorbells and security cameras

              Motion verification and “people-only” mode, for example, scour your recorded video clips in the cloud for movement and people, so these features won’t work with end-to-end encryption enabled. You also won’t be able to view live feeds of your enrolled Ring cameras on an Amazon Echo Show or a Fire TV device.

            • Snapchat will permanently terminate Trump’s account

              Trump had attempted to violate Snapchat’s polices dozens of times, Snap tells The Verge. The company had also sent warnings to his team about content that violated the rules. The permanent ban officially goes into effect on January 20th.

            • Twitter’s Dorsey Says Banning Trump Was ‘Right Decision’

              Dorsey expressed concern about the collective power of technology companies to silence someone like Trump in unison. Other companies, including Facebook Inc., Snap Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch, also suspended the president’s accounts. Some of his supporters took their protests to Parler, an alternative social network, until Apple Inc. and Google pulled the service from their app stores and Amazon stopped providing cloud services.

            • Twitter CEO says platform ‘faced extraordinary and untenable circumstance’ before banning Trump

              Dorsey also noted that in the long-term, the actions of Twitter and other companies would be “destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open [Internet].”

            • Twitter Is Helping To Build An Alternative To Twitter, Says CEO Jack Dorsey

              Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said today in a tweetstorm that his company is exploring the development of a decentralized standard for social media. He revealed the initiative, dubbed @bluesky, in a long thread that attempted to explain Twitter’s recent and controversial deplatforming of President Donald Trump and other conservative commenters.

            • Data privacy no more about nerds, everyone’s talking about it: Signal co-founder Brian Acton

              Acton spoke to Digbijay Mishra and Reeba Zachariah about the impact of the past few extraordinary days on importance of user privacy–now and in the near future, impact of WhatsApp’s policy changes, Signal’s India plans, and, if given a chance, would he reconsider selling WhatsApp to Facebook.

            • 96% rise in Aadhaar enabled payment withdrawals during lockdown: Study

              The Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) saw a 96% uptick in usage by volume during the lockdown, according to a study by hyperlocal FinTech PayNearby. A further rise of 27% was recorded in the value of these transactions, said PayNearby, in tandem with the imposition of a nationwide lockdown as part of efforts by the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19.

              PayNearby attributed the rise, in both volume and value, due to funds disbursed by the Government as part of its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programme, mainly in rural and semi-urban areas, which witnessed a growth of 61% and 60% in transaction volumes, respectively.

            • Gmail’s Privacy Alternative ProtonMail Makes ‘Undo Send’ Feature Available for All Users

              Last month ProtonMail introduced the ‘Undo Send’ feature for its beta users. The feature is now available for both free and paid ProtonMail users.

            • How to See Who’s Tracking You Online (and Stop It)

              Have you ever searched for a product, only to be confronted with an advert for that exact same product on a completely unrelated website? This is an example of how companies are tracking you online and targeted advertising in action. Targeted ads are where advertising networks track your online movements. These networks can then use this information to target you with very specific, personalized ads. Are the Internet’s targeted ads starting to feel slightly too targeted?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘They Should All Resign’: Here Are the GOP Lawmakers Dodging Metal Detectors Installed After Capitol Assault

        “What you will learn is they are the same ones who refuse to protect American children from gun violence and Americans from Covid.”

      • Dangerous Curves Ahead

        9/11 was a televised spectacle. There were the actual events of that day, where buildings collapsed in Manhattan, the Pentagon was attacked, and wreckage was strewn across the Pennsylvania countryside; and then there was the televised treatment of it, which had a life of its own. My impression from the spectacle of that day was a particular set of relentlessly repeated images: plane hits building, person jumps from building, an Arab face; plane hits building, person jumps from building, an Arab face; plane hits building, person jumps from building, an Arab face. And on and on.

        9/11 revealed a nasty side in the US population, expressed in immediate calls for revenge and violence, including from many people with liberal politics and a formerly calm demeanor. I recall talking down a Green Party friend from her enraged demand for retaliatory military strikes.

      • Opinion | The Houthi Designation: Tone-Deaf Foreign Policy for a Tone-Deaf Administration

        This public health crisis and the coinciding crisis surrounding basic resources constitute the humanitarian situation in Yemen today—a conflict that is completely manmade and caused by the poor decisions of non-democratic leaders in Yemen, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and the United States.

      • Opinion | The Case For Course Correction in Yemen’s Endless War

        The crisis in Yemen is largely America’s making. America needs to fix it now.

      • ‘One State is a Game Changer’: A Conversation with Ilan Pappe and Awad Abdelfattah on the One Democratic State Campaign

        This conclusion is, perhaps, gleaned from Israel’s behavior in recent years and months. The expansion of illegal Jewish settlements, the plan to annex large swathes of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the entrenching of the existing system of apartheid and perpetual colonialism are all evidence that demonstrates Israel’s renewed sense of empowerment.

        Israel is further emboldened by the fact that the so-called ‘international community’ has, thus far, failed to challenge American and Israeli intransigency. The European Union, which is fighting for its own identity, let alone survival, is proving to be a marginal force in Israel and Palestine. Without American guidance, the EU seems incapable of leading its own independent initiatives.

      • Making US Propaganda Exceptional Again: Mike Pompeo’s Voice Of America Speech

        During the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed his efforts to incite greater conflict between the United States and Iran. He also used Voice of America (VOA) to broadcast a speech that a group of whistleblowers described as “political propaganda.”“I read that some VOA employees didn’t want me to speak here today. I’m sure it was only a handful,” Pompeo declared on January 11. “They didn’t want the voice of American diplomacy to be broadcast on the Voice of America. “Think about that for just a moment.”Pompeo continued, “This kind of censorial instinct is dangerous.  It’s morally wrong. Indeed, it’s against your statutory mandate here at VOA.”  The dictionary definition of propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.” VOA is United States government media, and on some level, VOA and its affiliates throughout the world are always broadcasting or publishing propaganda—what is in the interest of U.S. foreign policy.But in the case of VOA, which is overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Pompeo’s speech was a particularly egregious example of propaganda.On January 8, days before the scheduled speech, whistleblowers at VOA sent a letter [PDF] through the Government Accountability Project to Michael Pack, CEO of USAGM, and Robert Reilly, VOA director.“A broadcast speech by the outgoing Secretary of State on topics on which he has been widely covered should be seen for what it is: the use of VOA to disseminate political propaganda in the waning days of the Trump administration. As proposed, the planned coverage by language services will be one-sided and lacking the necessary objectivity protected by the firewall. It is political meddling.”The letter additionally argued the event was a “gross misuse of government resources.”“We understand that currently 18 employees are working on event preparations. But for that assignment, they would not be producing editorial content for VOA services. On the day of the event, we further understand that eight employees have been assigned to work in the VOA auditorium and 10 elsewhere around VOA headquarters.”According to the whistleblowers, “$4,000 in taxpayer funds” were spent on the event. It was “plainly a publicity stunt devoid of public interest.”Pack was appointed by Trump and confirmed as CEO of the U.S. Agency of Global Media on June 4, 2020, despite concerns about the conservative documentary filmmaker. As USAGM CEO, Pack accused VOA of “being rife with anti-Trump sentiment.” He fired several VOA employees for producing news segments he disliked. NPR reported, “An editor was suspended.” Pack’s senior aides “pushed for the network’s White House bureau chief to be sidelined, alleging a tilt toward Democrats, despite policies barring USAGM executives from interfering in coverage.”A lawsuit against Pack was filed by another group of whistleblowers on September 29. One whistleblowing employee, who was a deputy director for operations at USAGM, alleged Pack had claimed he and others were forced out because of Pack’s belief that they were part of the “deep state.” He maintained they had delayed his confirmation to run the agency.“We’re all parts of institutions with duties and responsibilities higher and bigger and more important than any one of us individually, but this kind of censorial instinct is dangerous. It’s morally wrong,” Pompeo stated, as he addressed the whistleblowers who opposed his speech.“Censorship, wokeness, political correctness, it all points in one direction—authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness. It’s similar to what we’re seeing at Twitter, and Facebook, and Apple, and on too many university campuses today.”

        “It’s not who we are. It’s not who we are as Americans, and it’s not what Voice of America should be. It’s time that we simply put woke-ism to sleep,” Pompeo concluded.

      • Amnesty Urges US Mayors and Governors to Protect People From Armed Right-Wing Groups Plotting New Attacks

        The group warns the nation is “dangerously vulnerable to those who prefer inequity to fairness, hate over unity, and impunity over justice.”

      • A Nation Imploding: Digital Tyranny, Insurrection and Martial Law

        This is what we have been reduced to: A violent mob. A nation on the brink of martial law. A populace under house arrest. A techno-corporate state wielding its power to immobilize huge swaths of the country. And a Constitution in tatters.

      • More Bad Ideas: Congressional Rep Suggests Participants In The Attack On The Capitol Building Be Added To The No-Fly List

        Proving that 2020 wasn’t done with us yet, January 6, 2021 added a new horror to the long list of things that showed “may you live in interesting times” is a curse, rather than a blessing. Urged on by the guy less than ten days away from being escorted from the premises by security and his favorite legal advocate — one that advocated for “trial by combat” over the election results — Trump supporters invaded Washington, DC, hoping to somehow nullify the election through intimidation and violence.

      • Trump Fanatics Invade Capitol, as His Presidency Crumbles

        The several hundred rightwing racist rioters – a small portion of the several thousands that Trump mobilized for a rally earlier in the day – carrying Trump and Confederate flags, an array of weapons paraphernalia, military gear and noxious gas explosives, easily breached the Capitol Police’s unusually thin line of security. The raging Trumpists, virtually unhindered for two-plus hours, smashed Capitol building windows with iron bars, entered the Capitol Dome and took possession of the Senate chambers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, among several others, was occupied and vandalized. The handful of overwhelmed security guards inside proved helpless to intervene; some literally took selfies and high fived the rioters, according to a report by Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! Senate security officials organized the hurried evacuation of the assembled members of the House and Senate while others barricaded the doors to the House in an armed standoff against the marauding intruders.

        This high drama violent spectacle was captured live and broadcast around the world including videos of frightened elected officials seeking refuge under desks or laying on the ground as the chamber was inundated with tear gas.

      • Rumors Spread of a 2024 Presidential Run as Pompeo Paves Way for Future Wars

        Yesterday, at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State and former CIA director Mike Pompeo claimed that “al-Qaida has a new home base: it is the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Offering little evidence, he warned the journalists and other figures present that, “We ignore this Iran-al-Qaida nexus at our own peril…We must confront it. Indeed, we must defeat it.” “Iran is the new Afghanistan” he added, referencing the illegal U.S. invasion and 20-year occupation that began under the Bush administration. Far from pushing back on his assertions, those present applauded Pompeo as he finished his remarks, which came amid a flurry of increasingly outlandish and aggressive policy steps he has taken in the last days of the Trump administration.

      • Lawyer for Lisa Montgomery Condemns ‘Craven Bloodlust’ of Trump Administration as DOJ Executes Mentally Ill Woman

        “Our Constitution forbids the execution of a person who is unable to rationally understand her execution. The current administration knows this. And they killed her anyway.”

      • The Execution of Lisa Montgomery and ‘the Craven Bloodlust of a Failed Administration’

        At 1:31 am on Wednesday, Lisa Montgomery was pronounced dead. She was the first woman executed by the federal government in 67 years. “We should recognize Lisa Montgomery’s execution for what it was: the vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power,” her attorney Kelley Henry stated.

      • Trump’s Insurrection Threatens US Democracy—and Therefore Climate Survival

        This article is part of Covering Climate Now, a consortium of news outlets strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • Trump’s Congressional Co-Conspirators Are Just As Guilty as the President

        President Trump violated his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States when he incited a seditious mob to attack the US Capitol as part of a failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. For this, Trump was impeached on Wednesday, by a 232-197 vote of the House of Representatives.

      • Alexey Navalny announces return to Russia following poisoning

        Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has announced that he will return to Russia from Germany five months after he was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent. He’ll be flying to Moscow on a flight with the Russian airline Pobeda on Sunday, January 17. 

      • Chaos agent: Right-wing blames US Capitol riot on notorious instigator banished by Black Lives Matter
      • A Record of Hawkish Intervention: Biden Picks Samantha Power to Head USAID

        President-elect Joe Biden has selected longtime Democratic insider Samantha Power to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “There is simply no one better to ensure our development agenda is a core pillar of our foreign policy,” the 78-year-old Delawarean said in a video statement, claiming that, under previous Democratic administrations Power, “fought tirelessly to prioritize human rights.”

      • Cops Love Body Camera Footage… When It Clears Officers Of Any Wrongdoing

        Cops have a “tell.” It’s so obvious and yet they still pretend it isn’t. Whenever something questionable goes down, all anyone has to do is ask for the recordings.

      • Marina Chaika’s lawyer confirms attack on her client outside of Moscow

        Marina Chaika, the ex-wife of Russian businessman Artyom Chaika (who is the son of Russia’s former attorney general), was attacked outside of Moscow on the evening of January 12, her lawyer Ekaterina Gordon told Meduza. 

      • Stop the Steal denied inciting violence: Now its leader wants to “bring hell” to his enemies

        It’s a common refrain for Alexander, a convicted felon who shed his given name Ali Akbar years ago while trying to establish himself as a Muslim face in Tea Party circles. For the last two months, since the election, Alexander has popped up at “Stop the Steal” rallies around the country, peddling lies and conspiracy theories and telling people he was prepared to die for the cause — denying that he endorsed violence while walking his rally crowds right up to the edge of insurrection. But two days after he shrugged off allegations that he played a central role in the unprecedented political crime last week, with authorities apparently on his trail and his Twitter account suspended, Alexander live-streamed his open embrace and endorsement of political violence.

        “Rest assured in this,” he says at one point in the 24-minute monologue. “The lord says vengeance is his, and I pray that I am the tool to stab these motherfuckers.”

      • Boogaloo May Get Violent At Inauguration, Intelligence Agencies Warn

        Specifically, the advisory singles out the Boogaloo — a movement fomented online with the explicit goal of murdering members of law enforcement in the hopes of sparking a second civil war — as a serious threat. The memo tracks with dispatches from corners of the internet where Boogaloo dwell. The Intercept, monitoring a Telegram channel called “Boogaloo Intel Drop,” reports that the channel’s more than 6,000 subscribers “have called for the murder of police officers with increased fervor and elevated Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran killed by Capitol Police during the riot, to the status of a martyr.”

      • ‘This isn’t the final chapter’: Analyst warns, again, about rise of right-wing extremists

        In April 2009, a senior Homeland Security intelligence analyst named Daryl Johnson wrote an internal report warning that right-wing extremism was on the rise in the United States and that it could lead to violence.

        The report leaked, and the backlash was swift. Republican lawmakers were furious. Veterans advocates criticized a section raising concerns about service members returning with post-traumatic stress. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized for parts of it, and the unit ultimately was dissolved.

        Nearly 11 years later, a mob of right-wing extremists, spurred by President Donald Trump, stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot that highlighted the magnitude of the threat.

      • QAnon Has Taken Over Far-Right Platform Gab

        In the wake of the Capitol riots, where QAnon played a leading role, Twitter purged over 70,000 QAnon-linked accounts. Days later Parler, where many QAnon personalities had set up accounts, was de-platformed over its perceived role in fomenting violence ahead of last Wednesday’s attack.

        But a week after the unprecedented scenes in D.C., QAnon has already found a new home: Gab.

      • AOC Opened Up About Capitol Attack, Called Out GOP Cowardice on Instagram Live

        For roughly 40 minutes, the second-term congresswoman known to many as AOC discussed what she called a “violent and traumatizing week” since last Wednesday’s attack. Here’s what she had to say.

      • ‘We Cannot Be Fearful’: Ocasio-Cortez and Omar Counsel GOP Over Death Threats From Pro-Trump Mob

        “Courage is being scared to death, but remaining resolute.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Another Base Attack in Afghanistan Hushed Up to Hurry U.S. Exit

        But neither local nor international media reported on the incident. Neither Washington nor the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan shared any information about the attack publicly or in response to requests. Immediately following the attack, both the Afghan Army and the Khost police were denied access to the scene. The Afghan Ministry of the Interior and the Criminal Technique department in Kabul both said they had no documentation of the incident. A spokesperson for the governor of Khost said that “the KPF did not share the information from the blast with us.”

        The attack came about six weeks before the United States’ deadline to drawdown its troops in Afghanistan—and underscores both the security vacuum those departing troops leave behind, and the many ways in which the Taliban appear to be violating the terms of their 2020 peace agreement with the Trump administration. The deafening silence around the attack on Camp Chapman is part of a pattern of lack of transparency and information about the U.S. mission in the country, as Washington is increasingly turning a blind eye to a surge in terrorist attacks in recent months, including attacks against bases long associated with U.S. forces.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and the Future of the US Dollar

        After several years of negotiations, a regional trade and economic agreement—the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)—was signed by 15 Asia-Pacific nations on November 16, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and all 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The RCEP agreement was signed in Vietnam during current period of the COVID-19 related economic depression. The combination of the global health pandemic, crisis of global warming, the global economic downturn, the weaponization of trade and finance and instability generated by the US political system, along with systemic racism continues to point to the necessity for a new international monetary and financial system (IMFS). For decades forces of both nationalist and progressive natures in Asia and the nonaligned world have been calling for the restructuring of international finance and now in the midst of COVID 19 the RCEP agreement, as one new step in the ongoing evolution of Asia’s trade and financial architectures, will serve as another action-forcing catalyst shaping the agenda in a post dollar world.

        Very soon after the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region[1] served as a regional center for Asian nations to explore pathways to escape the conditionalities of the IMF and the clutches of the US dollar, and build Asian led alternative institutions and frameworks such as the Chiang Mai initiative and the basic building blocks for the Asian Currency Unit. The Chiang Mai initiative (CMI) began as a series of bilateral swap arrangements after the ASEAN Plus Three countries (China, Japan and South Korea) agreed at the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank that the countries should cooperate to manage regional short-term liquidity problems and to reduce their reliance on the International Monetary Fund for both macroeconomic surveillance and financial support. After the 2007/8 crisis when the US resorted to Quantitative Easing (QE) printed trillions of dollars to save Wall Street and the private equity elements, but sought to impose austerity based policy approaches to economic recovery in Asia, the CMI created a pool of foreign exchange reserves worth US$120 billion. This CMI foreign exchange pool was launched on 24 March 2010. That pool has been expanded to $240 billion in 2012 in what was then called the multilateralization of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMIM).

      • The SEC Undermined a Powerful Weapon Against White-Collar Crime

        After agonizing about the decision, the top financial adviser had finally gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission with proof of wrongdoing at his firm.

        He’s blunt about why: the roughly $50 million he stood to make under the agency’s whistleblower program, his calculation based on what kind of settlement he thinks the government could extract. It would be enough to offset any lost earnings in the likely event that his former colleagues figured out he’d turned them in and blacklisted him, even at the salary level he’d attained after a long career in a lucrative business.

      • Opinion | A Winning Strategy for Joe Biden: Raise the Wage and Tax the Rich

        Despite our sharp divisions, a majority of Americans are united behind many policies to combat poverty and reduce inequality.

      • How the United States Chose to Become a Country of Homelessness

        Advocates have been sounding the alarms for months—issuing reports, penning press releases, warning politicians as an increasing number of Americans made jobless by the pandemic have fallen behind on their rent. Now, the warnings unheeded, the United States is facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis, one that is as predictable as it was avoidable.1This article was written with the support of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

      • New China by-law takes a page out of the American playbook

        China has introduced a new by-law that will allow its companies to sue for damages in the event that their financial interests are affected by actions taken by third-party, non-American companies abroad.

      • McAfee To Lay Off Up To 60, Close Israeli Development Center: Reports
      • Restaurant and hotel layoffs are soaring again, outpacing every other industry
      • Dropbox to layoff 11% of workforce, COO to step down

        Dropbox to layoff 11% of workforce, COO to step downDropbox Inc on Wednesday announced the exit of operations chief and said it will cut 11% of its global workforce, or 315 people, as the file hosting service provider shifts business resources in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • CEO Drew Houston: Dropbox will cut 315 jobs, 11% of workforce – Business Insider

        CEO Drew Houston called the decision one of the toughest he’s had to make in 14 years as CEO: “To each of you who are affected, I am truly sorry.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • In Historic House Vote, Only 10 Republicans Join Democrats to Impeach Trump for Inciting Insurrection

        “If Congress had a shred of decency, this impeachment would be unanimous.”

      • Our Post-Trump Democratic Prospects: What the Ming Dynasty Can Teach Us

        A global team of anthropologists from the United States and Mexico may be offering up just the sort of historical perspective we need.

        The team’s newly published research — on premodern societies — might at first glance seem more than a bit irrelevant. Wednesday’s mob violence has Americans by the millions, after all, worried about “democratic backsliding.” But we had no democratic nation states in premodern times. So how could the experiences of premodern states help us overcome today’s Trumpism, in any of its manifestations?

      • Opinion | Small Tweaks Won’t Be Enough to Save American Democracy

        Fortunately, Joe Biden will assume the US presidency on January 20. But, as the shocking events of January 6 showed, it will take more than one person—and more than one presidential term—to overcome America’s longstanding challenges.

      • ‘Have They Ever Had a Job Before?’ Cori Bush Tears Into Republicans for Evading Metal Detectors to Enter House Chamber

        “If you work at McDonald’s and you don’t wear the uniform, you don’t work that day. If you won’t abide by the rules of this job, go find another one.”

      • Twitter Nukes Trump

        Is it ever wise for a social media platform to suspend the accounts of political representatives, especially if they are of such character as Donald J. Trump?  The question is a big tangle, though anything to do with the exiting US president encourages hotted up simple binaries, most of it emotive rather than cerebral.  As with any forms of expression, the inner censor starts taking hold against content that is disliked, considered offensive or, as in the recent round of Trump tweets, delusionary and inciting in character.

        The reaction of Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) to Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s account was but one example of the censor writ large.  Bowman had taken to the platform to demand that Twitter suspend the president’s account, and asked why he was “still out there tweeting after inciting a fascist mob”.  This streakily hyperbolic statement was nothing compared to the joyous, ghoulish note he posted on learning of the suspension: banning the president from Twitter had been as significant as the capturing Saddam Hussein.  Wonderful of Bowman to remind voters of a catastrophic, illegal invasion of a country supposedly armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction, and eager to deploy them against the US and its allies.

      • Africans See U.S. Ugly That America Ignores

        When that mob invaded the Capitol building members of the Congress, the Senate and the Vice-President were inside. America’s top legislative leaders were inside the Capitol for the certification of the Electoral College vote – a certification Trump urged mob members to disrupt. Video shows mob members threatening to kill Vice President Pence, who Trump had castigated during his speech that sparked the riot. Mob members trashed the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism.

        That deadly Capitol Hill rampage by an overwhelmingly white mob of rabid Trump supporters that included far-right extremists, Nazi sympathizers and rancid racists, came a little less than three-years after Trump slandered nations in Africa as “shithole countries” during a White House meeting on January 11, 2018.

      • ‘Fascist-Enabling Coward’: McConnell Declines to Reconvene Senate for Trial as House Moves to Impeach Trump

        “Regardless of what he leaks to the press, McConnell remains Trump’s ‘Enabler-in-Chief.’”

      • Opinion | Biden Must Retire the Illogical Great Power Competition Paradigm

        There is no winning a nuclear arms race and no winning a nuclear war. The use of any nuclear weapon in conflict is a loss for humanity. 

      • Opinion | The Irony Of Calling America A ‘Banana Republic’

        The history of the banana republic reminds us that the notion of the United States as a beacon of human rights and democracy is, for all too many across the globe, a lie.

      • WATCH LIVE: US House Debates Historic Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

        “Not one moment longer,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “The danger is too great. We must impeach.”

      • Amid Reports McConnell Backs Trump Impeachment, GOP Leader Urged to Prove It By Starting Trial ‘Immediately’

        “We know the forces that attacked the Capitol last week are planning more attacks. We cannot afford to wait one more minute. Every moment Donald Trump is in the White House our nation is put in further danger.”

      • The Only Thing Scarier than QAnon Is the Reaction to It

        Some half of the active electorate voted for Trump, who believed the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. The other half of the active electorate was abhorrent about what happened in Washington on January 6, speaking with semi-religious reverence about the desecration of sacred institutions. They believed, in contrast, that it was the 2016 presidential election that was stolen. The Russians were the culprits then and, for the last four years, they supported politicians ever vigilant against détente breaking out with the second most powerful nuclear state.

        The meme, “Due to travel restrictions this year, the US had to organize the coup at home,” went viral. Rather than a coup, as claimed by many in mainstream media, what happened in DC was a riot. “There is a huge difference,” observes Glenn Greenwald, “between, on the one hand, thousands of people shooting their way into the Capitol after a long-planned, coordinated plot with the goal of seizing permanent power, and, on the other, an impulsive and grievance-driven crowd more or less waltzing into the Capitol as the result of strength in numbers and then leaving a few hours later.”

      • Opinion | We Must Not Allow Violent Pro-Trump Insurrection to Usher in New Anti-Protest Laws

        The tools we create in response to the January 6 insurrection will be used to tamp down mass protest from the left.

      • Denouncing Republican Evils Can’t Do Much for the Biden Presidency Without Demanding Progressive Policies

        Economic injustice — disproportionately harming people of color — constantly propels U.S. society in a downward spiral. Poverty, economic insecurity and political disempowerment go together. Systemic racism continues to thrive, enmeshed with the predatory routines of corporate power.

        After becoming a member of Congress last week, Cori Bush wrote in the Washington Post: “Many have said that what transpired on Wednesday was not America. They are wrong. This is the America that Black people know. To declare that this is not America is to deny the reality that Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate incited this coup by treasonously working to overturn the results of the presidential election.”

      • ‘Classic Case of Crisis Opportunism’: Republicans in Three States Introduce Bills Criminalizing Protest in Wake of Capitol Attack

        These proposed laws are “aimed at police brutality protests, not right-wing insurrection.”

      • Sen. Josh Hawley: The Face of New American Fascism?

        On December 30, 2020, Hawley was the first senator to announce his plan to oppose the certification of Biden’s Electoral College win. He declared:

        According to the Kansas City Star, Hawley’s action was “motivated by ambition,” to get a jump start over other members of what is known as the “Sedition Caucus,” Republican senators who Democrats accused of backing Trump’s dubious objections to the election results and for “standing with the mob.” His action led other Republican presidential aspirants, notably Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), to announce plans to challenge the Electoral College vote.

      • To Combat Ongoing ‘Human Rights Crisis,’ 600+ Groups Urge Biden to Enact Utility Shutoff Moratorium on Day One

        “Private power utilities are disconnecting thousands of families every month, while continuing to reward shareholders.”

      • A ‘Daily Show’ Cocreator on Karens, Crickets, and Comedy After Trump

        A year ago, Lizz Winstead probably didn’t expect to be performing on a makeshift stage to fewer than two dozen people in kayaks on a lake in the woods of Minnesota, but then little about 2020 was foreseeable. The Daily Show cocreator and former head writer has been doing political comedy for decades, from one-woman shows about the Persian Gulf War of 1991 and 9/11 to a collection of essays that discuss her politicization to a stand-up tour benefiting Planned Parenthood and NARAL. In the midst of last year’s protests against racism and police brutality, Winstead filmed two stand-up shows—one in late September and another in November, after the election. They form the basis of her new special, Corona Borealis. In it, Winstead talks about the pandemic, racism, and the various ineptitudes of the Trump administration and also features a conversation with Minneapolis city councilwoman and poet Andrea Jenkins, who made history in 2017 as the first Black, openly trans woman to be elected to office in the United States.

      • Rep. Mikie Sherrill Leads Demand for Probe of GOP Colleagues Who Gave ‘Reconnaissance’ Tours to Capitol Invaders

        “Those members who attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going to see that they’re held accountable.”

      • GOP Reps Accused of Giving “Reconnaissance” Tours of Capitol Before Mob Attack
      • McConnell Urged to Confirm His Support for Impeachment by Starting Senate Trial
      • Big Telecom Wants A Cookie For Pausing PAC Donations After Hoovering Up Billions In Trump Favors

        Outside from perhaps military contractors, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a US business sector that benefitted more from Trumpism that the telecom sector. AT&T nabbed a $42 billion tax break in exchange for roughly 42,000 layoffs and a reduction in network investment. T-Mobile, after hiring Corey Lewandowski and throwing money at Trump’s DC hotel, nabbed approval for a Sprint merger most objective experts warned would result in tens of thousands of job losses, less competition, and higher prices. And telecom giants convinced the Trump FCC to effectively lobotomize its consumer protection authority.

      • ‘We Have the Receipts’: Analysis Details $170 Million in Corporate Gifts to GOP Lawmakers Who Voted to Overturn Biden Win

        “In public, corporate America says it’s disgusted. But behind the scenes, corporations and industry groups have heavily funded lawmakers who rejected election results and incited the insurrection.”

      • Opinion | Impeaching Trump Is Only the Beginning

        Biden must rid the government of Trump holdovers wherever possible and reverse Trump’s attacks as quickly as possible.

      • Cori Bush Booed by House GOP for Denouncing White Supremacy

        “What does it mean when they boo the Black congresswoman denouncing white supremacy?” asked the freshman Democrat from Missouri.

      • Bad Idea: President-Elect Biden Wants To Turn 1/6 Into The New 9/11

        Many of us watched in horror as Trump supporters — encouraged by the outgoing President’s insinuation that a “stolen” election could be overturned if VP Mike Pence was prevented from certifying election results — raided the Capitol building in Washington, DC. What may have started as simple MAGA stupidity ended with five people dead and two improvised explosive devices recovered. Welcome to Leroy Jenkinsville, USA.

      • Opinion | The Day the Confederate Flag Flew in the United States Capitol

        What happened in the 1850s and what happened in the present are very similar in a number of ways, though the symbol of the insurrectionist Confederate army never flew in that nation’s capitol—not once—until January 6, 2021.

      • Kicking Trump Off Social Media Won’t Save Democracy, Say Antitrust Experts

        “If these firms are so powerful that they can be the primary gatekeepers between a president and the public, then they have outgrown democratic control.” 

      • Former Ohio officer threatened violence in DC with homemade guns, police say
      • In a Shocker, Bill Belichick Spurns Trump’s Medal of Freedom

        Donald Trump has always viewed sports as central to his authoritarian political project. His attacks on Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James, his call to fire players for protesting police violence, and his bragging that he “saved” college football from those concerned that the sport would lead to super-spreading the coronavirus (it did) are all examples of the ways he has used our games as his own poisonous platform.

      • Trump Will Be Gone Soon. Now Comes the Hard Part.

        Those who instigated and participated in the violent trashing of the US Capitol—which ended in at least five deaths and dozens of injuries—must be brought to justice. Donald Trump faces impeachment and will leave office in disgrace, stripped even of his megaphones on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Prosecutors are pursuing the violent and destructive, with dozens already under indictment. Accountability for Trump’s lickspittle congressional acolytes will await the next elections, although many of their corporate donors are bailing out already. The unanswered question is whether that reckoning will include transforming the ruinous establishment policies that have stoked the frustration and rage that helped bring this country to this moment.

      • Lee Camp: America Condemns One Violent Mob While Celebrating Another

        Most rational Americans have correctly criticized and denounced the violent insurrection in the Capitol last week. Those moments of attack by a racist, disgusting mob have not lacked for condemnation and denunciation. They were violent. They were reprehensible. They called for the killing of lawmakers, demanded the hanging of Congress members. The liberal media and even most of Fox News have not held their tongues when it comes to excoriating the morally bankrupt people who took part. And I agree with those thoughts. 

      • McConnell Urged to ‘Finish the Job’ and Reconvene Senate to Put Twice-Impeached Trump on Trial

        “The Senate must now move as quickly as possible to convict, remove, and disqualify Trump from ever seeking federal office again.”

      • Reps Say Republicans Are Voting Against Impeachment Out of Fear
      • Trump Is Impeached for His Role in Inciting Mob of Loyalists to Attack Capitol
      • AOC Describes Capitol Breach: “I Thought I Was Going to Die”
      • “American Abyss”: Fascism Historian Tim Snyder on Trump’s Coup Attempt, Impeachment & What’s Next

        As the House votes to impeach President Trump, the FBI warns there could be a repeat of the violent insurrection he encouraged on January 6, with Trump loyalists planning to hold armed protests nationwide ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration. We speak with Timothy Snyder, a historian of fascism, who says the riot at the U.S. Capitol was “completely and utterly predictable” given President Trump’s record of stoking extremism and undermining democratic institutions. “The American republic is hanging by a thread because the president of the United States has sought to use violence to stay in power and essentially to overthrow our constitutional system,” says Snyder.

      • Without Accountability, the Next Coup Will Succeed
      • ‘What Happened at the Capitol Could Not Happen Unless Police Allowed It to Happen’

        Janine Jackson interviewed the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s Mara Verheyden-Hilliard on police responsibility for the January 6 insurrection for the January 8, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Twitter says a new video from Trump doesn’t break the rules

        On January 8th, Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump, and proceeded to play whack-a-mole as he attempted to dodge that ban by using different Twitter accounts, each of which Twitter suspended in turn.

        And yet less than a week later, a Trump video has been posted on the official @WhiteHouse account delivering a new video speech. The speech is not inflammatory — quite the opposite. It features Trump denouncing violence, lawbreaking, and vandalism.

      • Jack Dorsey defends Twitter’s Trump ban, then enthuses about bitcoin

        Dorsey blamed Twitter’s failure “to promote healthy conversation,” acknowledged that Twitter needs to “look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement,” and said that social platforms needed more transparency around moderation.

      • Trump Banned From Snapchat for Trying to Incite Violence

        In the months since, Trump tried to post content that violated Snapchat’s community guidelines or terms of service dozens of times, according to the Santa Monica, California-based company. After each instance, Snap removed the content and sent a warning to Trump’s team. Snap’s permanent ban was reported earlier by Axios.

      • Telegram, a recent haven for the far right, purges extremist content

        At least 15 extremist Telegram channels — akin to chatrooms where the founders have moderating power — have recently been banned, according to a tally by NBC News. Content has been censored on several others.

      • Snapchat Will Terminate Donald Trump’s Account, Citing ‘Public Safety’

        In the latest deplatforming of President Trump, Snap said Wednesday that it will permanently ban his account on Snapchat in the “interest of public safety.”

        The move by Snap to boot Trump from the social app comes after Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Twitch and other internet platforms have issued similar bans. YouTube yesterday suspended Trump’s channel for seven days for a video violating its policies prohibiting incitement to violence.

        News of Snapchat’s ban of Trump comes as he became the first American president in history to be impeached twice, over his involvement in inciting a mob of rioters that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Yelp Attempts To Tackle Racism On Its Platform (2020)

        Summary: Running a site that relies on third-party content means having to deal with the underside of human existence. While most people engage in good faith, a small minority of people engage with the sole purpose of disparaging others.

      • Censorship, Parler and antitrust

        Which brings me back to Parler. It’s true that no one violates the First Amendment (let alone CDA 230) (get serious) when Parler is removed from app stores or kicked off a cloud.

        But we have a duopoly of mobile platforms, an oligopoly of cloud providers, a small conspiracy of payment processors. Their choices about who make speak are hugely consequential, and concerted effort by all of them could make some points of view effectively vanish.

        This market concentration didn’t occur in a vacuum. These vital sectors of the digital economy became as concentrated as they are due to four decades of shameful, bipartisan neglect of antitrust law.

      • Tech Giants Can’t Be Trusted to Police Speech

        But those on the left who distrust the concentration of economic power have more principled grounds to be concerned. As the writer Anand Giridharadas likes to say, the social media crackdown on Trump is a case where arsonists are allowed to recast themselves as firefighters. Trump’s entire political career was fueled by social media: Twitter allowed him to define himself as a brash outsider not afraid to mete out insults against more conventional politicians like Crooked Hillary, Low-Energy Jeb, and Sleepy Joe. Facebook has been a torpid hothouse where countless Trumpian conspiracy theories, notably the QAnon fantasies, have flourished.

        There is something arbitrary and even cowardly about the fact that these social media outlets are turning on Trump in the very twilight of his presidency. It’s easy to take a heroic stance when the stakes are low. Earlier in Trump’s political career, social media companies were more than happy to profit from Trump in numerous ways: He was a reliable generator of clicks, his campaign was a generous purchaser of advertising, and his tax cuts made Silicon Valley billionaires even richer.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Building Global Labor Solidarity

        Indeed, there’s much to learn from any movement or organization that’s been able to stand the test of time, regardless of the sectoral, geographical, or political context in which they emerge, organize, and fight.

        Unfortunately, in my experience, activists and organizers in the U.S., particularly those in trade unions, rarely seek advice, lessons, or to better understand trade union movements in what some might refer to as the ‘Global South.’ This, of course, is a major problem, and one of the reasons why U.S. labor organizing, mobilization, and activism has been so abysmal.

      • Opinion | Let’s Burn All Illusions in 2021

        Expect nothing transformative from the governing class. The future depends on what We the People will choose to do.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Weeping in the Promised Land’ By John Fogerty

        John Fogerty, the legendary former frontman of Creedence Clearwater Revival is no stranger to composing socially conscious tunes. Songs such as “Fortunate Son” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain” are timeless anthems that were written in response to the Vietnam War and President Richard Nixon’s administration.Concerning “Fortunate Son,” Fogerty issued a cease-and-desist order to Donald Trump for playing the tune at his rallies in the fall. It is understandable why this would upset him. Donald Trump personifies what that song protested.At 75 years old, he wrote another song to comment on the current politicalclimate. The gospel-tinged “Weeping in the Promised Land” is his first new tune in eight years.The genesis of the song began 25 years ago when he wrote down the phrase “Weeping in the Promised Land” in his song-writing journal. A few years ago, he wrote a tune with that title, but never recorded itbecause he was unhappy with the result. But the pandemic and the Black protests in response to the murder of George Floyd provided him with the impetus to revisit the phrase.The lyrics touch upon several current issues such as the government’s failed response to the pandemic (“He dances on their bones/Pharaoh shoutin’ down the medicine man”).Fogerty also references the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd:Pharaoh’s army knockin’ on the doorWeepin’ in the Promised LandShoot you in your bed just like they done beforeWeepin’ in the Promised LandOut in the street, on your neck with a kneeAll the people are cryin’ your last words, ‘I can’t breathe’ And a white judge sayThere been no crime here todayIn these painful times, we need the healing power of music to help us get through. Fogerty is here to play some piano and help us along.

      • Three Sonnets on Being Whiteness

        The unbearable whiteness of being white   weighs on me   tortures me day and night — a self-loathing fat fuck Orpheus light, the ex I stiffed   pillar of salt   fleeing to Sister Ophelia’s nunnery seeking sinless blank canvassed nothingness, while I’m on the lam from wolves. I confess a fond   white    need for constant punnery, and when the poltergeists arrive to chew me out of my mind, like dead Eliot madmen   geraniums   shaking   my view, I’m Hamlet   the white king   and his zealot. I cry to see what the mourning will bring, self-lynching;  it’s an existential thing.

      • I No Longer Trust Law Enforcement to Keep Biden and Harris Safe on Inauguration Day

        Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20. He could choose to observe this ritual in a bunker or on a plane or in a box with a fox. Instead, however, he will do it on an open-air platform erected just outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

      • “Empowering Law Enforcement Is Not the Solution” Says Former FBI Agent
      • Bill Banning Locked Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Stalls as Lawmakers Run Out of Time

        Illinois lawmakers had the support to ban schools from locking students alone in a room or physically restraining them face down. But they didn’t have the time.

        A yearlong legislative effort to end decades of controversial practices that often left confined children crying for their parents and tearing at the walls ended without a vote in the Illinois House on Wednesday as the legislative session expired.

      • Too Many Shoes
      • Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov detained in South Sudan along with Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov

        Pussy Riot member and Mediazona publisher Pyotr Verzilov has been arrested in the town of Kapoeta in South Sudan, along with well-known Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov and his wife Lyubov, European Gymnasium director Ivan Bogantsev, and their friend Vadim Ginzburg. 

      • FBI Washington field office got an F for fighting domestic terrorism from bureau officials

        “They didn’t have (enough) intelligence analysts assigned, and the ones who had been assigned in the past weren’t doing intel work,” the former official said. “They had few sources or understanding of the threat in their area of responsibility.”

        The second former official, who was directly involved, said the evaluation also criticized the Washington field office’s procedures for sharing intelligence with other police agencies, including the Capitol Police. Capitol Police said they had no intelligence from the FBI about possible threats prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in which a pro-Trump mob overwhelmed the agency’s officers and one officer died.

      • Newly-Wed Sudanese-South Sudanese Couple Fear Persecution

        The dispute over the marriage has stirred a lot of conversation in Sudan about the Sharia requirement that a male guardian must preside over a woman’s marriage for it to be valid. Both Sudan and South Sudan are conservative patriarchal societies where marriage decisions are taken mostly by men on behalf of their daughters.

        In a couple of Facebook videos, the father recited verses from the Quran that instruct believers to obey their parents. He also cited Islamic law that states a maiden, or unmarried young woman, may not marry herself to a man without her guardian’s acceptance.

      • How Huawei controls its employees in Europe

        Their accounts paint a picture of a company that is celebrated in public for it’s seemingly modern management philosophy, but at the same time pushes employees to their limits. Ex-employees speak of a toxic corporate culture that is promoted by the company’s management. The enormous pressure to succeed also plays a role.

        Those who play along with all this are rewarded by Huawei with special payments linked to company shares. But what happens when workers refuse to put their lives entirely at the service of their employer is shown by internal emails and covert audio recordings obtained by netzpolitik.org and its media partners, as well as court cases in several countries. The cases dealt with discrimination and dismissals that should never have happened under the law.

      • Huawei expat employees that marry westerners faced being forced to leave Europe or be sacked, investigation reveals

        The controversial telecoms giant, which has been classed as a national security threat by the US government, stated in its HR handbook that Chinese employees who have married Europeans or applied for citizenship must leave Europe “as soon as possible”, or be sacked from the company altogether.

        Several sources confirmed that the policy was in place at the company, and one said that marrying a local in Europe is informally viewed as an act of betrayal.

      • Message to TUPOCC members regarding process of accountability for cultural appropriation | National Lawyers Guild

        This week’s public revelations of cultural appropriation by the Guild’s former president have elicited expressions of outrage, hurt, dismay, and more from people across the country and world, including Guild members and members of The United People of Color Caucus. Beyond the reactions to the abuse itself, some have raised questions and sought information about the accountability process that was referenced in news accounts and a letter from the Guild’s Executive Committee.

        We write to you now as the task force for accountability for this cultural appropriation, to give you insight into our efforts over the past few months, and to share our proposals for seeking accountability for the harms we, and you, are experiencing.

        The group, initially seven BIPOC Guild members, convened outside any formal Guild body in the first week of October 2020, following one-on-one conversations in which some of us exchanged information which raised questions about potential cultural appropriation by this person. (The information ranged from rumor to comments made by this person, either publicly, or to some of us.) We have since met weekly or bi-weekly.

        Our chief concern was to act strategically within the Guild to ensure actual accountability for the harms this person has caused and is causing. As long-time BIPOC Guild members committed to building the power of BIPOC folks within the Guild, we have felt the weight of white supremacy culture within the organization.

        To us, this meant, first, that we had to gather evidence sufficient to trigger a serious commitment from leadership bodies across the Guild to pursue consequences for this conduct. Anything less, we feared, could make these legitimate claims vulnerable to being gaslit, minimized and manipulated, undermining the goal of seeking accountability for this grave harm. So, we gathered publicly available evidence, including representations made by this person, details about positions of power she occupied, and opportunities she’d benefited from, like fellowships.

      • Update on Accountability for Natasha Bannan’s Cultural Appropriation

        Last week’s revelations of cultural appropriation by an NLG past president, Natasha Bannan, have elicited expressions of outrage, hurt, dismay, from Guild members as well from people across the country and the world. We share in that outrage and commit to taking the necessary steps to support the healing justice and accountability that our members deserve.

        NLG leadership learned of these revelations last week and have since been discussing next steps with members who have been most impacted. This includes members of The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC), Anti-Racism Committee (ARC), National Executive Committee (NEC), and other committees and chapters of the Guild as well as the independent working group of BIPOC members who originally came together to address this issue.

        In October, this independent group convened outside any formal Guild body to exchange information about Natasha’s cultural appropriation. To be clear, this was the only group of NLG members aware of Natasha’s misrepresentations. This independent group provided helpful recommendations that we have reviewed. The members of this committee will continue their efforts through their involvement in TUPOCC. At this time a new committee of NEC, TUPOCC and ARC members will form to handle any accountability process that may follow.

    • Monopolies

      • Parler’s Laughably Bad Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon

        As you may have heard, over the weekend Amazon removed Parler from its AWS cloud hosting services, causing the website to shut down. I’ve been working on a longer piece about all of this, but in the meantime, I did want to write about the laughably bad antitrust lawsuit that Parler filed against Amazon in response. Notably, this came just days after Parler’s CEO claims that his own lawyers quit (would these be the same “lawyers” who stupidly advised that the company doesn’t need Section 230?). Instead, they found a small time independent practitioner who doesn’t even have a website* to file what may be the silliest antitrust lawsuit I’ve seen in a long time. It’s so bad that by the end of it, Parler may very well be paying Amazon a lot of money.

      • Tech Scrutiny to Continue Under Biden, DOJ Antitrust Chief Says

        More cases could be in the pipeline. The Justice Department is investigating Apple Inc. over its App Store practices, Bloomberg has reported. Facebook Inc. disclosed in 2019 that the department is investigating the company in addition to the FTC, which sued Facebook in December.

        Delrahim, who is recused from the Google investigation, said Congress should consider new regulations for tech companies given how long it can take to resolve antitrust cases. The Google complaint won’t go to trial until 2023.

      • Patents

        • Podcast: BMS and Bird & Bird on doing major deals in a pandemic
          [Ed: Marketing spam in "Podcast" form (check sponsors)]
        • The MIP Awards and IP STARS rankings 2021 [Ed: More fake "awards" that are paid-for (or "sponsored" for) badges or endorsements; this is their business model]
        • German UPC ratification on hold [Ed: ‘On hold’ is grossly belittling what’s going on!]

          As reported here, on 18 December 2020 two constitutional complaints were filed in the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht – BVerfG) against the draft legislation enabling Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application.

          [...]

          - The BVerfG has forwarded the complaint to the Bundestag, Bundesrat, Federal Chancellery, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and Foreign Office, with the opportunity to comment on the interim injunction application.

          - The BVerfG asked the Federal President to refrain from signing the draft legislation (which is one of the final steps required to promulgate the law, which would have enabled German ratification) while it considers the interim injunction application, and the President agreed to do so.

        • Software Patents

          • Boom! You Can’t Patent an Escrow Method

            I used to play golf fairly regularly and got into the habit of announcing “BOOM!” on every drive. It didn’t help my game. BOOM!’s great name here also didn’t save its patent from dancing the Alice Two Step. (Note: I was 15 years old at the time–on my high-school freshman team getting free-rounds for the season).

            This case is another affirmance of a dismissal for lack of patent eligibility. Under Alice/Mayo, the Supreme Court’s patent eligibility analysis is a two step process. At Step 1, the court asks whether the claims at issue are “directed to” a patent-ineligible concept, such as an abstract idea. Claims that fail Step 1 can be saved by Step 2, looks for “something more” beyond the ineligible concept sufficient to transform the claim’s nature into a patent eligible invention.

            The claims at issue here are somewhat similar to the exchange-settlement process found ineligible in Alice. In particular, Boom’s patents all claim “methods for confirming that a transaction has been consummated prior to releasing electronic payment.” U.S. Patents 8,429,084; 9,235,857; and 10,346,840. The ‘840 patent issued June 2019 and so the PTO should have gotten this one right. The examiner initially rejected claims 1 as ineligible (then listed as claim 21). The patentee made several minor “clarifying amendments” and the examiner then allowed the case.

            [...]

            The Federal Circuit identifies the assertion here as conclusory and thus gives it no weight in determining whether the complaint generates disputed material facts.

          • $1,500 Awarded for Michael Philip Kaufman prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Ekta Aswal, who received a cash prize of $1,500 for her prior art submission for U.S. Patent 7,885,981. The patent is owned by Michael Philip Kaufman, an NPE. The ’981 patent generally relates to generating a user interface (UI) for a relational database, where the UI display includes various display modes. The ‘981 patent has been asserted in district court against companies such as Microsoft and Salesforce.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • $2,000 Awarded for SMTM Technology Prior Art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Angelo Iannaccone, who received a cash prize of $2,000 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent No. 9,973,622. The patent is owned by SMTM Technology, an NPE. The ’622 patent generally relates to suppressing notifications of incoming communications on a mobile device.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

      • Copyrights

        • Court Confirms $1 Billion Piracy Damages Verdict Against Cox

          A federal court in Virginia has backtracked on an earlier order that allowed Cox to lower the damages amount in a piracy lawsuit filed by several record labels. Following the court’s instruction, Cox calculated that the damages should be reduced by $243 million. However, the record labels successfully countered that Cox already wasted its chance to bring this issue up during trial.

        • Shakira is the latest star to sell the rights to her songs

          Hipgnosis company did not disclose financial details of the sale, but it typically pays the equivalent of 15 years’ royalties up front.

          With tax relief, many walk away with “about 25 years worth of money in one fell swoop”, the company’s founder, Merck Mercuriadis, told the BBC last year.

          That provides the artists with immediate financial security, while Hipgnosis – which owns the songs in perpetuity – hopes to profit by building new revenue streams for the music via film and TV licensing, merchandise, cover versions and performance royalties.

        • Nintendo Manually Targets Game & Watch Hacker’s YouTube Video Using Content ID

          An IT researcher who hacked the recently released Nintendo Game & Watch allowing it to play additional games is feeling the corporate presence of the Japanese gaming giant on YouTube. After publishing a hacking video on the platform, someone working for Nintendo issued a curious and relatively rare manual Content ID copyright claim to have it taken down.

        • Nintendo Appears To Be Using A Fan-Made Drawing Of Mario Without Artist’s Permission Or Credit

          Nintendo, of course, has an impressively long history of being IP protectionist in the extreme. But if there is one thing that Nintendo really cannot stand, it’s when its own fans choose to express their fandom with art and creativity. Cool ways to use Animal Crossing? Nintendo shut it down. Dedicated gamers porting an antique Mario title to the PC? Nintendo shut it down. Fan game, after fan game, after fan game? Nintendo shut those down too. In other words, the impression you’re left with is that fan creations using anything remotely close to Nintendo IP is the devil’s work in the eyes of the company.

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