04.06.21

Links 6/4/2021: xf86-input-libinput Driver 1.0, KDE Frameworks 6 (KF6) Discussed

Posted in News Roundup at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux Lite 5.4, Tails, Ubuntu, Fedora Linux, Linux Mint, Proton…

        We finished a week in which we have had a few releases, from Debian 10.9 to Manjaro 21, Deepin 20.2, MX Linux 19.4, systemd 248 or GIMP 2.10.24; but there was still more and that’s what the PING, which we also take the opportunity to pick up some other thing that deserves it from the last couple of weeks, just in case it had escaped you too.

        [...]

        Finally, a video that the KDE project published last week and that draws attention due to the type of video: «The power of Plasma»They titled it and reviews some of the features that make the desktop the great tool it is… even though they don’t even scratch the surface.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #405: It Lives

        Hello and welcome to the 405th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss the zombie apocalypse–well, almost. Topics range from World Amateur Radio Day to the return of RMS to the cancellation of big amateur radio events around the world. There’s also a new edition of Deepin and AlmaLinux, available funding for open source projects and much more. We hope you enjoy this episode and as always, thanks for listening.

      • Destination Linux 220: Jill’s Treasure Hunt, Plan 9 from Cyber Space, Facebook Breach & More

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux is all about the past meeting the present. We have the famous Jill’s Treasure Hunt, where Jill will take us through her museum of computers to share one of her favorite tech toys. We’re also going to discuss the past and present with a Unix based OS that’s making a comeback. Then we cover some news on Wayland that’s going to be making a lot of content creators very happy. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 119

        The lengths that we’ve all been to achieve a smooth home media setup, your feedback about SUSE and NFTs, and we hear from some actual young people who use Linux.

      • My Personal Website Will Now Be A Gemini Capsule

        I no longer like the modern web (https). It’s slow and bloated, run by big corporations and is now completely ad-driven. I miss the early days of the web when most websites were simple sites made by normal people like you and me. Thankfully, the Gemini protocol has me excited about the Internet again.

    • Kernel Space

      • WMI Linux Temperature Driver Being Worked On For Gigabyte Motherboards – Phoronix

        Newer Gigabyte motherboards may soon enjoy a new Linux driver for exposing component temperatures.

        Independent developer Thomas Weißschuh has sent out his latest driver patch for starting a “gigabyte-wmi” driver for exposing the WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) temperature sensors under Linux.

      • Linux Finally Has A Tool For Encryption Setup With Older Logitech Wireless Keyboards – Phoronix

        For older Logitech keyboards that operate on a 27MHz radio frequency they may have a new lease on life as well as being more secure thanks to a new Linux utility.

        Older Logitech keyboards relying upon 27 MHz RF communication have worked on Linux but have not supported the encrypted mode of transmission. Only when running in the default un-encrypted mode of operation have these keyboards worked on Linux but now thanks to Red Hat’s Hans de Goede there is this capability for open-source users. Hans de Goede continues to be very prolific in his wide range of Linux desktop enhancements and addressing many previously sore spots of the open-source desktop support.

      • Kees Cook: security things in Linux v5.9

        Linux v5.9 was released in October, 2020. Here’s my summary of various security things that I found interesting…

      • Graphics Stack

        • VirtIO-GPU Vulkan Driver Looks To Go Upstream In Mesa – Phoronix

          The VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver is looking to be upstreamed in Mesa in allowing Vulkan support for virtualized guests that in turn is handled by the host’s Vulkan driver/hardware.

          As part of the Virglrenderer project has been Vulkan rendering work and the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver component within Mesa for running on the guests.

          The VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver code has been in the works by Google and developer Chia-I Wu has outlined their plan to get it upstreamed in Mesa.

        • AMD Instinct MI100 “Arcturus” Bits Added To Linux-Firmware.Git – Phoronix

          While AMD’s open-source Linux graphics driver developers have been working publicly on the “Acturus” GPU support going back to 2019 that was then introduced last year in the form of the Instinct MI100, finally today has the necessary binary firmware been upstreamed into linux-firmware.git for enabling the rest of the open-source AMD Linux driver stack.

          For over one year the mainline Linux kernel has offered the AMD Arcturus GPU support and has continued improving with succeeding kernel releases. For its intended purpose the ROCm 4.0 compute stack introduced the MI100 support at launch. Mesa also has Arcturus support for video acceleration.

        • Bas Nieuwenhuizen: The Catastrophe of Reading from VRAM

          In this article I show how reading from VRAM can be a catastrophe for game performance and why.

          To illustrate I will go back to fall 2015. AMDGPU was just released, it didn’t even have re-clocking yet and I was just a young student trying to play Skyrim on my new AMD R9 285.

          Except it ran slowly. 10-15 FPS slowly. Now one might think that is no surprise as due to lack of re-clocking the GPU ran with a shader clock of 300 MHz. However the real surprise was that the game was not at all GPU bound.

          As usual with games of that era there was a single thread doing a lot of the work and that thread was very busy doing something inside the game binary. After a bunch of digging with profilers and gdb, it turned out that the majority of time was spent in a single function that accessed less than 1 MiB from a GPU buffer each frame.

          At the time DXVK was not a thing yet and I ran the game with wined3d on top of OpenGL. In OpenGL an application does not specify the location of GPU buffers directly, but specifies some properties about how it is going to be used and the driver decides. Poorly in this case.

          There was a clear tweak to the driver heuristics that choose the memory location and the frame rate of the game more than doubled and was now properly GPU bound.

        • Bas Nieuwenhuizen: A New Blog, Now What?

          This is the first post of this blog and with it being past midnight I couldn’t be bothered making one about a technical topic. So instead here is an explanation of my plans with the blog.

          I got inspired by the prolific blogging of Mike Blumenkrantz and some discussion on the VKx discord that some actually written updates can be very useful, and that I don’t need to make a paper out of each one.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: You Want It I Got It

          After last week’s post touting the “final” features being added to the upcoming Mesa release, naturally now that this is a new week, I have to outdo myself.

          I’ve heard some speculation about zink’s future regarding features. Specifically regarding all the mesamatrix features that aren’t green-ified for zink yet.

          So you want features is what you’re saying.

    • Libinput

      • [ANNOUNCE] xf86-input-libinput 1.0.0
        xf86-input-libinput 1.0.0 is now available. I ran out of fingers counting
        past 30, hence the version bump to 1.0.0. The driver is now over 7 years
        old, we might as well pretend the semver has a meaning.
        
        The biggest change here is the license change to MIT. Due to an unfortunate
        copy/paste error, the actual license text used was the Historical Permission
        Notice and Disclaimer license. With the ack of the various contributors, the
        driver is now using the MIT license text as intended. The actual impact is
        low, the HPND is virtually identical to the MIT license anyway (ianal,
        consult your legal dept if you have one).
        
        The only other notable change: cancelled touch points are now lifted
        correctly. Where libinput cancels a touch, e.g. in response to a palm being
        detected, the touch point previously got stuck in the down state. This is
        fixed now.
        
      • Libinput X.Org Driver 1.0 Released Following A License Mixup

        The xf86-input-libinput driver that is used for leveraging the libinput input handling library on X.Org Server systems has reached the version 1.0 milestone.

        All the input magic happens within libinput itself while xf86-input-libinput is just the shim for X.Org Server usage. After more than a half-decade of versioning it as 0.xx, Red Hat’s input expert and libinput creator Peter Hutterer has finally decided to christen its 1.0 release.

    • Applications

      • Doggo Is A DNS Lookup Utility With Colorful Output, DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS Support (Command Line)

        Doggo is a modern command line DNS lookup utility similar to dig, with colorful output, support for DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS protocols, and more. It’s available for macOS, Microsoft Windows and Linux.

        Like dig, Doggo performs DNS lookups and displays the answers that are returned from the name servers that were queried, useful for troubleshooting DNS problems.

      • The Buildlog Consultant

        With Debian packages now widely being maintained in Git repositories, there has been an uptick in the number of bulk changes made to Debian packages. Several maintainers are running commands over many packages (e.g. all packages owned by a specific team) to fix common issues in packages.

      • The Buildlog Consultant

        Build logs for Debian packages can be quite long and difficult for a human to read. Anybody who has looked at these logs trying to figure out why a build failed will have spent time scrolling through them and skimming for certain phrases (lines starting with “error:” for example). In many cases, you can spot the problem in the last 10 or 20 lines of output – but it’s also quite common that the error is somewhere at the beginning of many pages of error output.

        [...]

        The consultant does some structured parsing (most notably it can parse the sections from a sbuild log), but otherwise is a large set of carefully crafted regular expressions and heuristics. It doesn’t always find the problem, but has proven to be fairly accurate. It is constantly improved as part of the Debian Janitor project, and that exposes it to a wide variety of different errors.

      • Show CPU Details Beautifully in Linux Terminal With CPUFetch

        You may find CPU information there without installing any additional packages. That works of course. However, I recently stumbled upon a new tool that displays the CPU details in Linux in a beautiful manner.

        [...]

        The tool outputs the ASCII art of the processor manufacturer, its name, microarchitecture, frequency, cores, threads, peak performance, cache sizes, Advanced Vector Extensions, and more.

        You can use custom colors apart from a few themes it provides. This gives you additional degree of freedom when you are ricing your desktop and want to color match all the elements on your Linux setup.

      • Best screen recorders for Linux | 2021

        In this quick guide, I list some of the most popular screen recorders and streaming applications available for Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Mint, Kali, Manjaro, Arch, and others.

        There are times when you have to record the computer screen and that is where it can get a little bit tricky. The Linux distributions come with a screenshot utility by default but you will find no screen capturing application.

        So with this article, I want to address that issue with the most popular and screen recording and (even streaming) applications for Linux.

        Note: All the applications that are listed in the guide are open-source and easier to use, however, a few can have a bit of a learning curve but once you get used to any of these applications, you will find them fairly easy to use.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Configure XAMPP on Ubuntu Linux

        Testing a website is essential before filing the backend data on a live hosting platform. You might know that Apache offers to use a localhost server to test your site through a web browser. If you need a bit more integrated LAMP stack service for your Ubuntu system, here comes the Xampp. Xampp is one of the most used cross-platform, free, and open-source LAMP stack tools for testing databases, servers, and websites. If you have a Ubuntu Linux machine, Xampp allows creating a localhost server to work with phpMyAdmin, a PHP server, and make databases.

      • How To Install Asterisk on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Asterisk on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Asterisk is an open-source PBX software. It is used to manage SIP sessions between endpoints. Asterisk is a very powerful server that can be used to implement PBX, IVRs, VoIP gateways, and many more features. It supports many VoIP protocols such as SIP(Session Initiation Protocol) and MGCP(Media Gateway Control Protocol. It also supports many hardware devices such as analog cards, PRI cards, etc.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Asterisk on a CentOS 8.

      • How To Install TeamViewer on Manjaro 21

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install TeamViewer on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Teamviewer is a proprietary software application for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing, and file transfer between computers. Versions are available for the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Desktop Linux, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems. It is also possible to access a machine running TeamViewer with a web browser. While the main focus of the application is remote control of computers, collaboration and presentation features are included.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the TeamViewer on a Manjaro 21 (Ornara).

      • How to Install VirtualBox in Different Linux Distributions

        Before installing Virtualbox, check if virtualization is enabled in BIOS. During bootup press the bios key and navigate through the bios option to enable/disable virtualization. Depending upon your machine product, the bios key may vary.

      • How to redirect standard (stderr) error in bash – nixCraft

        I am trying to redirect bash message into file named output.log. But, it is not getting redirected. How do I redirect both standard output and standard error in bash shell? In Linux, how do I redirect error messages?

        Standard error (also known as stderr) is the default error output device. Use stderr to write all system error messages. The number (FD – File Descriptors) two (2) denotes the stderr. The default stderr is the screen or monitor. Standard output (also known as stdout) is used by a command to writes (display) its output. The default stdout is the screen. It is denoted by one number (1).

      • How to install WoeUSB on Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo – Linux Shout

        WoeUSB is an open-source tool to create Windows bootable USB drives on Linux systems such as Ubuntu, Zorin, Debian, Elementary, and more… And here we will see how to install it on the latest version of Ubuntu that is 21.04.

        Many times we struggle to create a bootable USB drive for one of the popular operating systems i.e Windows 10. However, there are lots of tools for doing this on Windows, even Ubuntu out of the box comes with a tool called Startup Disk creator and we can use that as well for making bootable USB drives. And if you want to know how? Then see our article- Create bootable USB using Ubuntu inbuilt tool called Startup disk creator.

      • How to install Basemark GPU Benchmark on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux

        Basemark GPU is a benchmark software for Linux and other operating systems to measure the performance of the graphical processing units installed on your system. Here we will see the easy steps to install it on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux.

        With “Basemark GPU” the gaming fans can benchmark their PC graphics performance running on Linux running. It supports various graphics interfaces, such as DirectX 12, OpenGL, or Vulkan. Using it we can even measure the performance of an in-built graphics chip and compare it with the data of other users. The test results automatically end up in an online database.

        The installation of the Benchmark GPU tool is easy, after setting it up we just need to run the test and this benchmark software will give a meaningful Score. Make sure you should quit all other applications and not work on the PC while running the Benchmark software. Under the “CustomTest” setting of BaseMark, you can adjust detailed settings, such as the resolution and the texture compression used.

      • How to Use the xargs Command in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        For some of the more experienced users, we’re always looking to find new ways to work smarter and not harder at the terminal. xargs is a useful command that acts as a bridge between two commands, reading output of one and executing the other with the items read. The command is most commonly used in scenarios when a user is searching for a pattern, removing and renaming files, and more. Here we show you how to use the xargs command to your advantage.

        [...]

        To understand the command shown above, let’s divide it into two parts.

        The first part is find ./test-dir1/ -name “*.txt” , which searches for all the .txt files present in the “test-dir1” directory. You can specify any directory here.

        The second part, xargs -n1 cp test.txt, will grab the output of the first command (the resulting file names) and hand it over to the cp (copy) command one by one. Note that the -n option is crucial here, as it instructs xargs to use one argument per execution.

        When combined together, the full command will copy the content of “test0.txt” to all .txt files in the directory.

      • How To Install Nvidia Driver on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nvidia Driver on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, The performance of graphics processing units (GPUs) mainly depends on drivers. Ubuntu by default use open source video driver Nouveau which has limited support and features when compared with proprietary Nvidia drivers. Installing NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu is an easy task that can be done in less than a minute. Ubuntu includes a tool that can detect the graphics card model and install the appropriate NVIDIA drivers. Alternatively, you can download and install the drivers from the NVIDIA site.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Nvidia Driver on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • Jon Chiappetta: Running the UniFi Network Controller in a Docker Container

        If you are needing a more generalized and containerized method to run the UniFi Network Controller and you don’t want it running on your main system, you can use a trusted app like Docker to achieve this task!

      • How to install WebStorm on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install WebStorm 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.

      • [Older] Flatpak and WhatIP

        Anyone using Linux has an understanding, even a basic one, of installing software. Linux comes with repositories of software for installation. The software is installed using the ‘apt’ command.

      • Scaling Microservices on Kubernetes [Ed: "The Linux Foundation sponsored this post." It's just a marketing company these days.]

        Applications built on microservices can be scaled in multiple ways. We can scale them to support development by larger development teams and we can also scale them up for better performance. Our application can then have a higher capacity and can handle a larger workload.

        Using microservices gives us granular control over the performance of our application. We can easily measure the performance of our microservices to find the ones that are performing poorly, are overworked, or are overloaded at times of peak demand. Figure 1 shows how we might use the Kubernetes dashboard to understand CPU and memory usage for our microservices.

      • Install Shadow Icon Theme on Ubuntu

        Linux distributions often ship with nice-looking interfaces with high-quality app icons. But you don’t have to stick with it if you don’t like it. You can change your entire desktop environment so, of course, you can more easily change the icons. In fact, we’ve discussed a number of icon packs for Linux before too. This time we’re going to show you how to install Shadow Icon Theme on Ubuntu.

        The Shadow icon theme has been developed by Rudra Banerjee. It features rounded flat backgrounds with icons and their long shadows. It is available on GitHub and GNOME-Look. The icon pack can be installed easily on all desktop environments including GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE, Pantheon, and Unity as well.

      • How to install Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) on VirtualBox Machine

        Hirsute Hippo is the name of the upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 release of Canonical that is slated to be released in April 2021. And here we will see how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on Virtualbox to test it before having it on the actual system.

        Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo is short term supported operating system and will only get nine months of support. Therefore, the users who want updates for a longer period of time without having to upgrade to a new Ubuntu version should better install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or wait to switch to the next LTE version i.e Ubuntu 22.04 LTS in April 2022. The key thing is to be noted that the VirtualBox app will be available on it out of the box…

      • Fedora 34 Workstation Installation Guide / Gnome 40 Quick Tour – If Not True Then False

        This is quick guide / tour howto install Fedora 34 Workstation / Desktop on real PC. First create your bootable USB flash drive using Fedora Media Writer, dd or similar tool.

        Just testing Fedora 34 and everything works very smooth, even Gnome 40.0.0 which is most visible update on Fedora 34.

      • Linux 101: The different types of sudo and su – TechRepublic

        If you’re a new Linux admin, you probably at least know about sudo. Sudo stands for “super user do” and allows standard users to take admin-level actions, such as installing software. Even though most every Linux distribution uses sudo, some of them (such as Fedora and openSUSE) allow you to su (switch user) to the super user account–otherwise known as root.

    • Games

      • Management sim with an infinite voxel world ‘Voxel Tycoon’ heads to Steam on April 15 | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for your next time-sink? After being in pre-alpha on itch.io for a few years, Voxel Tycoon is now preparing the move over to Steam Early Access.

        Taking a clear inspiration from other popular transport games like Transport Tycoon Deluxe, the idea here is to modernise it with a huge, infinite voxel world. Mine resources and process them into goods on your custom factories. Set up supply chains and passenger routes with a huge fleet of trains, trucks, and buses, and turn small cities into prosperous megalopolises.

      • If you enjoyed A Short Hike keep an eye on the upcoming Haven Park | GamingOnLinux

        Planned for release in June 2021, Haven Park from developer Fabien Weibel looks absolutely lovely and very much reminds me of the 2019 hit A Short Hike. Note: developer Fabien Weibel, previously released a few animations on YouTube that proved to be quite popular.

        In Haven Park you will explore a tiny and peaceful open world. Meet and talk to the campers, find the resources required to build a cosy little camp and keep the campers happy. There’s a number of side-quests to keep you busy and the whole place is pretty chilled-out.

      • Try the demo for the sweet RPG Zoe and the Cursed Dreamer from Game Endeavor | GamingOnLinux

        Popular game dev YouTuber Game Endeavor has launched a crowdfunding campaign for Zoe and the Cursed Dreamer, a cozy open world RPG where you’ll meet lovable quirky characters. Game Endeavor has amassed over fifty thousand followers on their YouTube, as they showed off the progress on their game over a few years working with Godot Engine and it’s looking really sweet now.

        [...]

        More about the story: “A tyrannical god once ruled over It’s creation in a reign of fear and oppression. One day the people rebelled and a group of mages banded together to seal It away. Although the scars from this era are still fresh, the people have started to move on and are finally beginning to prosper in a new age.

        But It has begun to stir in Its sleep, and the veil between this world and an all too familiar nightmare is shredding into pieces as the Demon God’s dream blends into reality.”

      • Battlefield 5 on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Battlefield 5 running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • Star Wars Battlefront 2 on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Star Wars Battlefront 2 running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • Two Decade Old RTS Game Rolls Out v4.0 Update With Vulkan Renderer

        Warzone 2100, the real-time strategy/tactics game that was originally released in 1999 as a proprietary commercial game only to then be made open-source several years later, is out this week with its version 4.0 milestone.

        Most notable with Warzone 2100 v4.0 is the introduction of a Vulkan renderer to complement its existing OpenGL rendering support. Along with a Vulkan renderer there is also now support for OpenGL ES 2.0/3.0 as well as DirectX via libANGLE and then Apple Metal by way of MoltenVK to use the Vulkan renderer.

      • How to Record Programs and Games Using ‘Simple Screen Recorder’ in Linux

        One of the best ways to learn a particular subject is by explaining it to others. Needless to say, each time I write an article I am first also teaching the topic to myself and making sure I am conveying it in a way that will be easy to understand and follow. Doing screencasts is a magnificient way to accomplish this goal.

      • Arduino helps control the world’s largest Nintendo Switch

        Do you enjoy playing your Nintendo Switch, but get tired of losing it due to its small size? Michael Pick may have just the answer with his massive version of the console — which measures in at 70″ x 30″ — and features a 4K display and functional Joy-Con controllers.

        The frame is constructed out of wood, with 3D-printed buttons and joysticks. Inside of one of the giganto Joy-Cons is an actual Nintendo Switch for running games, while a Joy-Con is used for input. The large outer joystick is hooked up to it mechanically and the outer buttons are connected to an Arduino. In response to external button presses, the Arduino activates servos that physically push the controller’s buttons, interfacing with the system and keeping the Nintendo hardware intact.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Will Support Qt 5 to Offer Reliable and Stable KDE Apps Until Qt 6 Is Fully Adopted

          As you may be aware of, Qt 6 arrived at the end of 2020 as the next-generation Qt application framework with new technologies and features for building more modern Qt software, and now the KDE Project aims to adopt it for their popular KDE Plasma desktop environment and apps.

          At the moment, all KDE apps and the KDE Plasma desktop environment rely on the current Qt 5 technologies, but the KDE Project wants to start migrating them to Qt 6 in an attempt to provide users with new functionality.

        • Announcing KDE’s Qt 5 Patch Collection

          As Qt 5 support is drawing to a close, and we shift to Qt 6, we need to ensure that KDE products are as reliable as ever. To this end, KDE will be maintaining a set of patches with security and functional fixes so that we can enjoy good KDE Software still based on Qt5 until our software is reliably based on Qt 6.

          You can find more information on the technical details of this patch collection here.

        • KDE Now Maintaining Their Own Set of Patches For Qt 5

          The KDE project and the open-source Linux community has been in a sticky situation with The Qt Company having moved Qt 5.15 LTS to its commercial-only phase while most free software hasn’t even been ported yet to Qt 6 let alone a number of modules and other features still missing from the Qt 6 tool-kit. So until the KDE project has fully transitioned to using the Qt 6 tool-kit, the project has taken up maintaining their own collection of Qt 5.15 patches.

          KDE today announced their Qt 5 Patch Collection as the patch-set they will be maintaining to provide security fixes, crash fixes, and other functional defects atop the Qt5 code-base, in particular Qt 5.15 LTS. This isn’t being described as a fork but rather just a set of patches that can be applied atop the open-source Qt 5 tool-kit until KDE has managed to move to Qt 6.

        • KDE neon: The End of LTS Edition

          More than 3 years ago we had taken a step back from our Plasma LTS Edition. It never quite fit into way KDE neon works as a product, nor as a project. Plasma was caught in the past while the rest of the system kept rapidly leaping forward, resulting in a less than stellar user experience and a huge cost in maintenance. All the while it has always been the least used edition.

          We have consequently decided to draw the only natural conclusion and end support for the KDE neon Plasma LTS edition on 2021-07-01.

          For users that absolutely want to use Plasma LTS, we recommend that you instead look at one of the actual LTS distributions such as Kubuntu LTS or openSUSE Leap that try to maintain a stable system as a whole, not just the desktop.

        • KDE neon Introduces Offline Updates, Puts an End to the Plasma LTS Edition

          Offline updates (à la Microsoft Windows) are becoming a thing among GNU/Linux distributions. Fedora Linux was among the first major OS to offer support for offline updates, and now KDE neon is jumping on the bandwagon, in an attempt to make the system update experience more reliable.

          Offline updates are now rolling out to all KDE neon editions, including KDE neon User Edition, KDE neon Testing Edition, KDE neon Unstable Edition, as well as KDE neon Developer Edition, and are available only when updating your installation using KDE’s Plasma Discover graphical package manager.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21.4 Improves Support for the Fortinet SSL VPN, Plasma System Monitor App

          KDE Plasma 5.21.4 is here about three weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.21.3 update with another layer of improvements for the new Plasma System Monitor app to prevent the content shown in the right sidebar from getting cut off, as well as to correctly assign a color to a sensor without applying it to every one.

          Also improved in this new update for the KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment is the Plasma Vaults app, whose subtitle for items now wraps, as well as the Klipper clipboard monitor app, which now lets you paste saved text into GTK apps in the Plasma Wayland session.

        • KDE Neon is Finally Discontinuing its Unknown Plasma LTS Edition

          KDE Neon is the official KDE distribution that packs the latest version of KDE Plasma desktop and software on top of Ubuntu LTS (long-term support).

          In the desktop Linux community, KDE Neon is known for providing the latest release of KDE Plasma desktop and KDE applications.

        • KDE Breeze Theme Evolution: When?
        • KDE Frameworks 6 Sprint Recap

          A bit more than a week ago we had a virtual KDE Frameworks 6 sprint, to discuss and decide on some of the next steps in the KF6 transition.

          Being virtual allowed a lot more people to participate than we had at the last physical KF6 sprint, peaking at more than 30 attendees. That however also means it’s practically impossible for me to cover everything that has been discussed here, as the majority of work happened in smaller groups in parallel.

          To see what happened in detail, the KF6 workboard and the sprint meeting notes are useful to look at, below I’ll just cover a few topics that I have been involved with.

        • KDE e.V. is looking for a project/community manager and a project lead/event manager for environmental sustainability project

          KDE e.V., the non-profit organisation supporting the KDE community, is looking for two people to run a project related to the environmental sustainability of our software.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Getting Things GNOME 0.5 To-Do App Released with Recurring Tasks, Performance Improvements

          It’s been about nine months since Getting Things GNOME 0.4 was released as a massive update after more than six years of development, and now your favorite personal tasks and to-do app gets another major release, Getting Things GNOME 0.5, bringing user experience refinements, revamped file format and task editor, performance improvements, and killer new features.

          The biggest new feature in the Getting Things GNOME 0.5 release is the ability to create recurring (repeating) tasks. This is indeed a must-have feature for any personal tasks, calendar, or to-do app, and I personally can’t imagine leaving without it. For those who don’t know what recurring tasks are, the feature lets you set automatic reminders (recurrence) for a certain task every day, every other day, as well as weekly, monthly, and yearly.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Manjaro 21 “Ornara” Review

          Manjaro is one of the finest Linux distributions. Based on Arch Linux, Manjaro aims to provide a stable and easy-to-use operating system for Windows and Mac users.

          Manjaro was first released in July 2011. It features a rolling release model that means you can apply updates/upgrade without reinstalling the operating system. Its focus on making it easy to use for Windows and Mac users lets us control the entire system from the GUI settings manager.

          From changing desktop wallpapers to upgrading system kernel is all possible through Manjaro settings manager.

          Manjaro comes packed with all necessary applications including Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin IM, and many more. Manjaro brings arch lovers closer to arch Linux.

          For smooth installation, Manjaro uses Calamares, an easy-to-use distro installer. Calamares is deployed in various other popular Linux distributions and it’s known for providing a hassle-free distro installation procedure. Following are the screenshots of Calamares taken while installing Manjaro Gnome flavor.

          [...]

          In distributions such as Ubuntu, users are automatically configured to have access to removable storage. Users can have the same thing with Arch Linux, but a few steps must be performed. First, it’s helpful to know what ‘udisks’ (really ‘udisks2’) and ‘polkit’ are. Udisks is used to help manage storage devices. Polkit is used to fine-tune the permission settings for udisks. We are going to implement a configuration where users in the storage group can mount drives without being asked for the root password. Currently, all users have to put in the password every time they wish to mount something. This can get rather annoying if you are the main user. We need to configure polkit to automatically grant mounting privileges to users in the storage group.

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Meet Harvester, an HCI Solution for the Edge

          About six months ago, I learned about a new project called Harvester, our open source hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software built using Kubernetes, libvirt, kubevirt, Longhorn and minIO. At first, the idea of managing VMs via Kubernetes did not seem very exciting. “Why would I not just containerize the workloads or orchestrate the VM natively via KVM, Xen or my hypervisor of choice?” and that approach makes a lot of sense except for one thing: the edge. At the edge, Harvester provides a solution for a nightmarish technical challenge. Specifically, when one host must run the dreaded Windows legacy applications and modern containerized microservers. In this blog and the following tutorials, I’ll map out an edge stack and set up and install Harvester. Later I’ll use Fleet to orchestrate the entire host with OS and Kubernetes updates. We’ll then deploy the whole thing with a bit of Terraform, completing the solution.
          At the edge, we often lack the necessities such as a cloud or even spare hardware. Running Windows VMs alongside your Linux containers provides much-needed flexibility while using the Kubernetes API to manage the entire deployment brings welcome simplicity and control. With K3s and Harvester (in app mode), you can maximize your edge node’s utility by allowing it to run Linux containers and Windows VMs, down to the host OS orchestrated via Rancher’s Continuous Delivery (Fleet) GitOps deployment tool.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux Now Comes With Easier to Use Guided Installer

          One of the main gripes against using Arch Linux over the years has been the installer. For many newcomers to Linux and even some regular users, the Arch Linux installation process is very hands-on.

          Now, that statement obviously discounts the existence of excellent Arch-based distros such as Manjaro or EndeavourOS, which make installation and setup much easier through the introduction of—you guessed it—guided installers.

          [...]

          Overall, it’s a good step for Arch Linux that will help more people start using a Linux distro more traditionally associated with Linux power users. Of course, if all else fails, there are the aforementioned Arch-based distros to fall back to.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Download of the day: AlmaLinux DVD/CD ISO

          AlmaLinux is the first significant replacement for CentOS Linux 8. As you know, CentOS 8 Linux, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end in 2021. AlmaLinux is a free and open-source RHEL 8 fork built by the team at CloudLinux, inspired by the community. Let us take a quick look at AlmaLinux 8 and how to download AlmaLinux DVD/CD ISO on your system.

          AlmaLinux OS is an enterprise-grade server operating systems. It is a stable Linux distribution with regular releases that come with long support windows. You can rely on AlmaLinux OS to run your critical workloads. I decided to Download AlmaLinux DVD/CD ISO and try it out to see how it works.

        • CentOS Hyperscale SIG Quarterly Report for 2021Q1 – Blog.CentOS.org

          This report covers work that happened between January 13th and April 2nd 2021.

          Purpose

          The Hyperscale SIG focuses on enabling CentOS Stream deployment on large-scale infrastructures and facilitating collaboration on packages and tooling.

          Membership update

          The SIG was established in January with six founding members (Davide Cavalca, Filipe Brandenburger, Matthew Almond, Justin Vreeland,Thomas Mackey, David Johansen). Since then, four more members have joined (Igor Raits, Neal Gompa, Anita Zhang, Michel Salim).

          We welcome anybody that’s interested and willing to do work within the scope of the SIG to join and contribute. See the membership section on the wiki for the current members list and how to join.

        • CentOS Hyperscale SIG Backported Newer Systemd, Preps For Experimental Repo – Phoronix

          Approved at the start of the year was the CentOS Hyperscaler special interest group that is working to cater CentOS Stream so it’s more suitable by the likes of Facebook and Twitter along with other modern enterprises. The SIG just issued their Q1’2021 report about what they accomplished in this first quarter of being an approved effort and what work remains on the table.

        • DevOps solution center: Try tools that enable DevOps transformation for IBM Z – IBM Developer

          The IBM DevOps solution center is the centralized landing area for all things DevOps; from training artifacts to value stream assessments, the solution center houses resources to accelerate and support your successful DevOps transformation. This includes creating a single point of contact for downloading enterprise DevOps software tools. Find and download the latest versions of z/OS Explorer, CICS Explorer, IBM Developer for z/OS (and any others, according to your shop’s enterprise license agreement) — all in one place.

          Explore and find out how IBM’s Enterprise DevOps software tools can provide value to your SDLC and put the power in the hands of your developers.

        • Customer Success Stories: Red Hat provides accessibility solutions in retail, insurance, and healthcare

          Customers count on Red Hat for our enterprise software solutions but also for us to think through questions on security, usability, and accessibility so that Red Hat products start with good defaults and offer useful tools to manage those settings.

          This month, see how Red Hat helped a global retail giant, a large insurance provider, and the organization responsible for international public health address these questions and find success.

        • Getting Started to Fedora Workstation for Ubuntu Users

          Continuing our Fedora articles (click here and here), now here is our traditional list of tips & tricks to begin with Fedora after installing it to our computer but with the point of view of an Ubuntu user. Currently, we are having Fedora version 32 to Rawhide, ranging between versions 3.38 to 40 of its GNOME desktop, and these are applicable to any of them and hopefully in the future versions as well. Okay, now let’s try Fedora together and go!

        • Contribute at Fedora Linux 34 Upgrade, Audio, and Virtualization test days

          Fedora test days are events where anyone can help make sure changes in Fedora Linux work well in an upcoming release. Fedora community members often participate, and the public is welcome at these events. If you’ve never contributed to Fedora before, this is a perfect way to get started.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora Linux 34 Upgrade Test Day 2021-04-07

          Wednesday 7 April is the Fedora Linux 34 Upgrade Test Day! As part of the preparation for Fedora Linux 34, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

      • Debian Family

        • Charles Plessy: Debian Analytica

          A couple of days ago I wrote on debian-vote@ that a junior analyst could study the tally sheets of our general resolutions and find the cracks in our community.

          In the end, with a quite naïve approach and a time budget of a few hours, I did not manage anything of interest. The figure below shows one circle per voter and my position as a red dot. The circles are spaces according to the similarity of the vote profiles after I concatenated the results of all GRs until 2010.

        • deepin 20.2 overview | Beautiful and Wonderful

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of deepin 20.2 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • Results of Debian vote on Stallman to be known by 17 April

          The outcome of a general resolution proposed by the Debian GNU/Linux project, to decide how to react to the return of Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman to the board, will be known on 17 April, with voting now underway.

        • How to vote in Debian using the command line only

          Currently, Debian has two running votings: DPL election 2021 and GR about RSM.

          If you want to use the command line only for sending the filled ballot per email, there are a couple of helpers.

          Let us assume, that you have got the ballot, filled it and saved as a vote.txt.

        • Anton Gladky: 2021/03, FLOSS activity

          This is my first (beside test time last year) official month of working for LTS. I was assigned 12 hrs and worked all of them. I could relatively easy set up the development environment for Debian Stretch and managed to release several DLAs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Kubuntu 21.04 Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Kubuntu 21.04 Beta.

        • Kubuntu 21.04 Beta

          Today we are looking at Kubuntu 21.04 Beta. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.11, KDE 5.21, and uses about 1GB of ram when idling.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 677

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 677 for the week of March 28 – April 3, 2021. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Use Apache Superset for open source business intelligence reporting

        They say software is eating the world, but it’s equally clear that open source is taking over software.

        Simply put, open source is a superior approach for building and distributing software because it provides important guarantees around how software can be discovered, tried, operated, collaborated on, and packaged. For those reasons, it is not surprising that it has taken over most of the modern data stack: Infrastructure, databases, orchestration, data processing, AI/ML, and beyond.

        Looking back, the main reason why I originally created both Apache Airflow and Apache Superset while I was at Airbnb from 2014-17 is that the vendors in the data space were failing to…

      • Bootlin

        • Bootlin welcomes Hervé Codina in its team

          Since March 1st, 2021, we’re happy to have an additional engineer, Hervé Codina, in our engineering team based in Toulouse, France.

          Hervé has 20 years’ experience working in embedded systems, both bare-metal systems and embedded Linux systems, in a wide range of applications. Hervé has experience working with U-Boot, Barebox, Linux, Buildroot, Yocto, on ARM platforms from various silicon vendors. Hervé will work within our engineering team to deliver ready-to-use Linux Board Support Packages, port bootloaders and the Linux kernel to new platforms, develop Linux kernel device drivers, implement custom Linux systems with Buildroot or Yocto, and more. His 20 years experience will further increase the expertise that Bootlin provides to its worldwide customers.

        • CFP open for Live Embedded Event #2

          Back in December 2020, together with Smile, Logilin and Theoris, Bootlin organized and participated to the first edition of Live Embedded Event, a new 1-day online conference focused on embedded systems topics. Following the success of this first edition, we are now organizing a second edition of Live Embedded Event, which will take place on June 3rd, 2021. Like the previous edition, this event is free.

      • Web Browsers

        • Brendan Eich Talks About JavaScript & More

          In a recent Lex Fridman podcast, Brendan Eich, the creator 25 years ago of JavaScript and currently of the Brave browser, provided his views on early programming languages, outlined how JavaScript came to be, problems faxed by Firefox and explains how his new browser takes a different approach.

          In a series of YouTube videos that originated as The Artificial Intelligence Podcast, Lex Fridman, an AI researcher at MIT conducts in-depth interviews with guests

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Proton is Almost Ready. Here’s What’s New and How to Enable. [First Look]

            The new Firefox design change – code-named “Proton” is almost ready for release. Let’s take a look at how it looks and how to enable it.

          • Enable H264 On Chromium And Firefox In Fedora Silverblue

            After installing Fedora Silverblue 33, I noticed that the videos are not playing in browsers. Especially, the videos in social networks like Facebook and Twitter are not playing. Because some multimedia codecs like H.264 are not installed by default in Silverblue. In this quick tutorial, let me show you how to enable H264 on Chromium and Firefox in Fedora Silverblue 33.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a13

            Tor Browser 10.5a13 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

          • Mozilla Explains: Cookies and supercookies [Ed: Mozilla posing as privacy]

            Cross-site tracking cookies are stored on your computer by websites you visit. They’re inserted by data collection firms, advertising networks and analytics companies — third parties that use cookies to track you, profile you, and retarget you with ads. Tracking cookies follow you from site to site to follow what you do online and report back to their owners, those third parties.

            Tracking cookies can hitch a ride through ads, social media (like the “like” button), tracking pixels (a tiny image tucked into the website code) and scripts in the background. So as you’re browsing summer footwear trends, tracking cookies are taking notes, passing that information over to their owners who may in turn blast you with ads for sandals and beach vacation packages when you browse elsewhere on the web.

            As people are getting smarter about blocking and deleting tracking cookies, ad technology companies are turning to other data collection and tracking methods like supercookies.

      • Education

        • Moodle increases focus on accessibility through collaboration with Brickfield Education Labs

          Today, Moodle announces a partnership with Brickfield Education Labs to improve accessibility in Moodle and Moodle content in order to reduce barriers and maximise learning opportunities for all kinds of learners.

          Brickfield Education Labs provides organisations and education institutions using Moodle with a toolkit to assess and improve their content by finding, fixing and future-proofing content accessibility within Moodle courses.

      • FSF

        • Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman

          MS for sure hate his guts. Because he is “weird” and they think he is “creepy,” because he doesn’t obey to any of the social conventions of our times, because he isn’t considerate towards them, etc. Anti-conformists, anarchists and neuro-divergent people often face this kind of hate.

          Some take part because they want to get the social credit of being on the side of “justice.”

          Maybe they fear that such lynching could happen to them as well, so they hope they are buying their place in “paradise” by encouraging and fueling the mob. (Historical examples may actually prove otherwise…) But most importantly, what many of the lynchers hate is Richard’s uncompromising way of defending Free/Libre software, therefore his way of pointing out their own contradictions.

      • Programming/Development

        • CVE-2021-28965: XML round-trip vulnerability in REXML

          There is an XML round-trip vulnerability in REXML gem bundled with Ruby. This vulnerability has been assigned the CVE identifier CVE-2021-28965. We strongly recommend upgrading the REXML gem.

        • CVE-2021-28966: Path traversal in Tempfile on Windows

          There is an unintentional directory creation vulnerability in tmpdir library bundled with Ruby on Windows. And there is also an unintentional file creation vulnerability in tempfile library bundled with Ruby on Windows, because it uses tmpdir internally. This vulnerability has been assigned the CVE identifier CVE-2021-28966.

        • Ruby 3.0.1 Released

          Ruby 3.0.1 has been released.

          This release includes security fixes. Please check the topics below for details.

        • Ruby 2.7.3 Released
        • Ruby 2.6.7 Released
        • Ruby 2.5.9 Released
        • Differences Between Vi And Vim Text Editors Explained

          Vi and Vim are both text editors available in Linux. Vi, with its numerous implementations, is by far the most distributed and used text editor. This tutorial explains differences between the Vi and Vim editors in detail.

          Vi is the universal text editor of Linux. If you know how to use the Vi text editor, you can edit any text file on any mode and version of Linux. Vim is simply an improved version of Vi, but unlike Vi, Vim is not universal. Depending on your Linux distro, it may be or may not be installed by default. But let’s start with a little bit of history first.

        • Get started with clang-tidy in Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          Clang-tidy is a standalone linter tool for checking C and C++ source code files. It provides an additional set of compiler warnings—called checks—that go above and beyond what is typically included in a C or C++ compiler. Clang-tidy comes with a large set of built-in checks and a framework for writing your own checks, as well.

          Clang-tidy uses the same front-end libraries as the Clang C language compiler. However, because it only takes source files as input, you can use clang-tidy for any C or C++ codebase no matter what compiler you are using.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Elm

          Elm is a functional language that compiles to JavaScript. It helps you make websites and web apps. It has a strong emphasis on simplicity and quality tooling.

          Elm is purely functional, and is developed with emphasis on usability, performance, and robustness. It advertises “no runtime exceptions in practice,” made possible by the Elm compiler’s static type checking.

          Elm is open source, licensed under a Revised BSD license.

        • Elixir and Phoenix after two years

          Thoughts on the Elixir language and its Phoenix framework after two years of professional work.

          I am a seasoned web developer (working primarily with Ruby on Rails before) and someone who got an opportunity to work on a commercial Elixir project. During the past 2 years, I wrote a lot of Elixir, which I had to learn from scratch. I always found this kind of personal post interesting, so I figured I would write one for you.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 107: Self-Descripting Numbers and List Methods

            These are some answers to the Week 107 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

            Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a couple of days (April 11, 2021). This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.14 Floating Rats

            Steve Roe has published an interesting blog post about how the Raku Programming Language is holding up under the Muller Extreme Challenge, an algorithm designed to break computational accuracy: raku:34 python:19 extreme math. This in turn caused a discussion on /r/rakulang and in the end a Pull Request for a new feature!

        • Rust

          • A Tour of Safe Tracing GC Designs in Rust

            I’ve been thinking about garbage collection in Rust for a long time, ever since I started working on Servo’s JS layer. I’ve designed a GC library, worked on GC integration ideas for Rust itself, worked on Servo’s JS GC integration, and helped out with a couple other GC projects in Rust.

            As a result, I tend to get pulled into GC discussions fairly often. I enjoy talking about GCs – don’t get me wrong – but I often end up going over the same stuff. Being lazy I’d much prefer to be able to refer people to a single place where they can get up to speed on the general space of GC design, after which it’s possible to have more in depth discussions about the specific tradeoffs necessary.

            I’ll note that some of the GCs in this post are experiments or unmaintained. The goal of this post is to showcase these as examples of design, not necessarily general-purpose crates you may wish to use, though some of them are usable crates as well.

  • Leftovers

    • Antidote For Rural Sprawl: Land Use Zoning

      Like most people living in places like the Bitterroot Valley, she was still connected to Missoula. In her case, she was a student like me.  So, every morning, she had to get in her car and spend almost an hour driving to the University to attend classes. And, of course, spend another hour back home each evening. By contrast, the apartment I was living in was five minutes by bike from campus. I could roll out of bed and be in a classroom in five minutes.

      I began to sour on her choice of residency when it came time to do more than sit on the front porch of her abode looking out at the forest. Because she spent so much time driving back and forth, when the weekend came, she had to do all the chores and activities that she could not do during the week, from cleaning the house, washing clothes to buying groceries. The added cost of gasoline and car repairs took a toll too. She had less money to spend on things like going to listen to a concert or go to a movie.

    • America Unchurched: A Sign of the Times

      Why the precipitous drop, and what might it portend for the future?

      “The decline in church membership,” the Gallup report says, “is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference.” In 2000, Americans who didn’t consider themselves religious at all comprised 8% of the population. Today, 21% answer to that description.

    • Among the Rank and File

      The thing about big plans is that they require people to carry them out. The problem of personnel particularly plagued Peter the Great. Convinced by his European advisers that his country was backward and stuck in a medieval mindset, he spent much of his reign on a series of modernizing initiatives intended to get Russia “caught up” with the West. To implement his reforms—which included establishing a navy, imposing a tax on beards, and eventually drafting half a million serfs to build a city (named after himself) on nothing but marshland—he needed a robust bureaucracy and a standing military that could manage the demands of his new, spruced-up empire. Peter thus made service—civil or military—compulsory for the Russian nobility, and he implemented a new class system, the Table of Ranks, under which one could be promoted according to how long and how well one served.

      The Table of Ranks included 14 classes, from collegiate registrars (which included lowly copy clerks) at the very bottom to the top civil rank of chancellor. While it was pitched as the introduction of a modern meritocratic system in Russia, in practice the table produced sharp class divisions, prevented people from working in fields that did not correspond to their rank, and tied social status to the name and nature of one’s profession. A version of this system continued in Russia all the way up to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and yet, in much of the literature of the 19th century, the civil service—which structured almost every aspect of life, particularly in the capital of St. Petersburg—feels weirdly merged into the background, more a fact of life than a facet of literary fiction, save for in the work of one writer: Nikolai Gogol.

    • Can the Decline in Letter-Writing be Reversed?

      My impression preceded young parents relating remarks from their little children asking, “What’s a letter?” or “Where do you put the stamp, Mom?” Certainly, the Internet Age is not conducive to sitting down and writing a personal letter exclusive to its recipient. It is quicker to send an email or a text message. But as we know when we receive a thoughtful letter these days, amidst the avalanche of digital messages, filters, and clutter, it is not, by a long stretch, the same sort of impactful communication.

      Years ago, I read some of the vast number of letters that Thomas Jefferson wrote week after week, including some exchanges with John Adams. The book of letters between Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Harold J. Laski was especially absorbing to anyone interested in political philosophy, government, and law writ large.

    • The General, the Mistress, and the Love Stories That Blind Us

      Isabel Rosario Cooper was a mixed-race Filipina actress who, amid scandal and political turmoil in the early decades of the 20th century, rose to fame in Manila before trying to make it in Hollywood. Cooper has mostly been lost to historical memory, but on the fleeting occasions when she does surface, she is usually accompanied by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The story goes like this: The beautiful, young Cooper falls in love with the towering military hero in a country on the brink of war. She follows him to Washington, D.C., where MacArthur puts her up in the lavish Chastleton Hotel, and they engage in a five-year affair. Unable to secure her lover’s fidelity, though, she dies by suicide decades later in Hollywood, a tragic victim of unrequited love. “This fiction has proven its durability,” writes Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, professor of American Studies at University of Hawaii, Manoa, in her recent book Empire’s Mistress, Starring Isabel Rosario Cooper . “Yet there is something there, too, in the way the dead refuse to rest. Her apparition lingers, I suspect, because this flimsy plot…cannot contain her.” I spoke with Gonzalez about her book, Isabel Cooper, and the US imperial project in Asia, the day after a white man killed eight people—including six Asian women—in a shooting rampage at three Atlanta massage parlors.

      This conversation originally aired on Instagram Live as part of the Asian American Writers Workshop’s author interview series.

    • Yahoo Answers will be shut down forever on May 4th

      Yahoo, which is now part of Verizon Media Group following the company’s sale to the telecom for nearly $5 billion in 2017, announced the change at the top of the Yahoo Answers homepage. The message links to an FAQ, which details the timeline of the shutdown. Starting April 20th, the platform will no longer accept new submissions, the FAQ explains.

      Users will also have until June 30th to request their data or it’ll be inaccessible after that. That includes “all user-generated content including your Questions list, Questions, Answers list, Answers, and any images,” Yahoo says, but “you won’t be able to download other users’ content, questions, or answers.”

    • The American View: Do You Know How to Spot an Insider Threat? – Business Reporter

      That’s a much better use of any leader’s time than trying to “clean up” after a toxic disgruntled employee burns all the bridges between them and their teammates. Damage like that can cripple a workgroup’s culture even if no physical harm is inflicted. One employee’s caustic attitude can undermine good order and discipline, damage team cohesion, and even motivate their co-workers to transfer or quit just to escape the ceaseless drama. They don’t have to steal sensitive information or sabotage equipment to be an effective insider threat. Just coming to work with a hostile and combative attitude can make the job miserable for everyone else. Anyone can do it. Just ask Ms. Bob.

    • 7 signs you survived the best era of IT

      Some time ago, I was on a coffee break with the guys from a project when we started talking about “our first programming languages.” When I told in which year I started programming in BASIC (and yes, it was not even the Visual BASIC), one of the guys smiled and said: “Oh man, I was two years old at that time.”

      Well, we all grow older. Or as some prefer, we become more experienced. Better. Like wine.

      Inspired by this little episode, I decided to enlist a few milestones that may be unknown to some, slightly familiar to others, or perhaps totally forgotten by those whose memory chips are close to becoming out-of-support.

    • Science

      • WTF happened to John Ioannidis?

        I’ve been meaning to write this post for months now, but have hesitated. Up until yesterday, that hesitation has always led to my abandoning the post and choosing a different topic. The reason for my hesitation is that the topic of this post happens to be a scientist whom, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had long admired and whom, as a result of his publications, statements, and activities during the pandemic, I no longer do. I am, of course, referring to John Ioannidis, who first made a splash over 15 years ago, when he published what remains his most famous article, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”, leading me (and others) to point out how cranks and quacks have misused and abused Ioannidis’ work to “prove” that science is so unreliable that their quackery or antivaccine pseudoscience should be taken seriously. As you’ve probably already guessed, it was all nonsense. Over the years, Prof. Ioannidis’ work has inspired a number of posts on this blog.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Why Shortages of a $1 Chip Sparked Crisis in Global Economy

        The trouble for the chip industry — and increasingly companies beyond tech, like automakers — is that there aren’t enough display drivers to go around. Firms that make them can’t keep up with surging demand so prices are spiking. That’s contributing to short supplies and increasing costs for liquid crystal display panels, essential components for making televisions and laptops, as well as cars, airplanes and high-end refrigerators.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Biden Urged to Withdraw All Medicaid Work Requirements Approved by Trump

        Policies to “take Medicaid coverage away from people who don’t comply with stringent work requirements… are deeply harmful.”

        While the White House in recent weeks has taken steps to overturn a Trump-era initiative enabling states to restrict Medicaid eligibility by imposing punitive work requirements, healthcare advocates on Monday urged President Joe Biden to rescind all Medicaid work requirement policies approved by his predecessor.

      • Opinion | This Film Will Change Your Mind About the Fishing Industry

        Seaspiracy, the latest Netflix documentary exposing the impact of our food systems, is making a splash.

        It was clear from the title and the promotion of the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy that it was going to adopt a similar approach to the highly influential 2014 documentary Cowspiracy, which uncovered the sheer scale and destructive impact of animal agriculture.

      • NUMSA Demands the Immediate Release of American Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

        Abu-Jamal, formerly known as Wesley Cook, was convicted of fatally shooting Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner after Faulkner reportedly pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother during a late-night traffic stop in 1981. He has been in prison since 1982, and was on death row until 2011, when his death sentence was ruled unconstitutional. He is now serving a life sentence. We believe that he is innocent and has been framed by the corrupt racist justice system in the U.S. He has been imprisoned for 38 years, mostly on death row.

        In the letter we sent to the governor yesterday, we requested that he must urgently intervene to ensure that Abu-Jamal and all other prisoners who have tested positive for the covid-19 virus, receive urgent medical attention. Abu-Jamal’s condition is rapidly deteriorating and there are fears that he may die. We also repeat calls for him to be released from jail. He is America’s most prominent political prisoner, an award-winning journalist and former Black Panther. His only “crime” is exposing the racist, capitalist justice system in the U.S. which for decades defended and supported the Apartheid government for years.

      • The Age of Care

        A dozen years ago, I visited the Chicago offices of the National Nurses Organizing Committee on the city’s West Side. Visible through a large window was a gigantic parking garage, an annex to one of the equally huge hospitals clustered within a dozen blocks. Cook County, Mount Sinai, and three other medical complexes employed tens of thousands of workers. Among those seeking to organize them was an African American NNOC staffer.

        She told me she was the daughter of an autoworker in Flint, Mich., who’d been a militant in his union during the heyday of the battles waged between the United Auto Workers and General Motors. In Flint, she became a radical activist, inspired by the power of the UAW and the moral energy of the civil rights movement, and in time made a career as a union organizer of nurses and other health care workers.

      • India Suspends Vaccine Exports as Calls Grow to Waive Big Pharma’s Patent Rights

        We look at the urgent push to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all nations, rich and poor, and growing calls for Big Pharma to waive their patent rights, as COVID-19 cases soar in India and the Modi government has suspended exports of coronavirus vaccines to many of the world’s poorest countries that depend on AstraZeneca vaccines it produces. “These are not India’s vaccines,” says Achal Prabhala, coordinator of the AccessIBSA project, which campaigns for equitable access to medicines. “The number of vaccine doses that have gone out to a third of humanity — 91 poor countries — is 18 million doses, or just enough to cover about 1% of the populations of these countries if they’ve even got vaccines, which some have not,” Prabhala notes. Leena Menghaney, an Indian lawyer who heads Médecins Sans Frontières’s access campaign in India, links the supply shortage to Oxford University’s decision to sign an exclusive deal with the Serum Institute in India rather than contracting several manufacturers to produce the vaccine. “The monopoly is going to cost us,” Menghaney says.

      • World’s Poorest Nations Face Setback as India Suspends Vaccine Exports Amid Fight over Patent Rights

        We look at the urgent push to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all nations, rich and poor, and growing calls for Big Pharma to waive their patent rights, as COVID-19 cases soar in India and the Modi government has suspended exports of coronavirus vaccines to many of the world’s poorest countries that depend on AstraZeneca vaccines it produces. “These are not India’s vaccines,” says Achal Prabhala, coordinator of the AccessIBSA project, which campaigns for equitable access to medicines. “The number of vaccine doses that have gone out to a third of humanity — 91 poor countries — is 18 million doses, or just enough to cover about 1% of the populations of these countries if they’ve even got vaccines, which some have not,” Prabhala notes. Leena Menghaney, an Indian lawyer who heads Médecins Sans Frontières’s access campaign in India, links the supply shortage to Oxford University’s decision to sign an exclusive deal with the Serum Institute in India rather than contracting several manufacturers to produce the vaccine. “The monopoly is going to cost us,” Menghaney says.

      • Norwegian fumbles bid to ski round quarantine

        A Norwegian who tried to ski around his country’s virus quarantine system by skiing back from Sweden had to be rescued after bad weather thwarted his expedition, emergency services said Monday.

      • An era of fake news?

        The danger that misleading or false information poses to society has been grimly demonstrated during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the deadly threat from the virus, many people’s response across the world has often been shaped by misinformation fed through digital platforms. This has either made them trivialise the disease or resort to ‘cures’ without any basis in science and only because they were circulated in social messaging as a ‘remedy’. Vaccine hesitancy in many parts of the world has also largely been driven by rumour and conspiracy theories.

        This prompted the World Health Organisation early in the pandemic to coin the term ‘infodemic’ to refer to the flood of information and exponential spread of fabricated content. The head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom, declared: “We’re not just battling the virus, we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response.” Top UN officials repeatedly warned of the grave social and health ramifications of the proliferation of misinformation and underlined the need to immunise the public against false news.

      • Deaths in America surged by 18% in 2020

        Only two-thirds of these “excess deaths” were officially attributed to covid-19

      • Will.i.am Unveils Tech-Driven Face Mask

        Developed with Honeywell, the Xupermask features a HEPA air filtration system, noise cancelling audio and microphone capabilities and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Ransom Gangs Emailing Victim Customers for Leverage – Krebs on Security
        • Once again, someone tampered with an entire drinking water supply via the [Internet]

          The wildest part is that in both cases, these municipalities left themselves wide open to tampering — they installed the remote access software themselves so employees could log in to monitor the systems! That’s what Travnichek was hired to do in Kansas, and authorities aren’t even accusing him of “hacking” the system in their indictment. He simply “logged in remotely” months after he left the job, began shutting things down, and is now facing up to 20 years in prison.

        • Brown University hit by cyberattack, some systems still offline

          The Ivy League school’s IT staff said the attack focused on the university’s Windows-based devices and asked faculty and staff to switch to computers running other operating systems, smartphones, or tablets.

        • As ransomware stalks the manufacturing sector, victims are still keeping quiet

          The ransomware attack would cost Norsk Hydro, which employs 35,000 people and has roughly 200 factories around the world, between $90 million and $110 million as production in some factories halted for weeks.

          Yet Molland and his team did something unusual for a large industrial organization disrupted by [attackers]: They told the public what happened in vivid detail, releasing video interviews in which plant employees described switching to manual operations.

          Two years later, Norsk Hydro’s transparency remains an outlier in a manufacturing sector that is increasingly dogged by ransomware during the coronavirus pandemic. Of 500 manufacturing sector employees in the U.S., Germany and Japan surveyed by security firm Trend Micro, 61% said they had experienced cybersecurity incidents, with many of those cases causing system outages.

        • FBI alert on Egregor ransomware highlighted affiliate cybercrime model

          In its advisory, the bureau said that attackers can rent Egregor as a ransomware-as-a-service malware, and that it relies on other hacking tools as part of an affiliate model. Egregor frequently comes packaged with penetration testing and exploit tools including Cobalt Strike, Qakbot and software known as Advanced IP Scanner and AdFind, the FBI said.

          The federal government’s warning roughly coincided with a consensus from cybersecurity researchers and private sector firms that the specialists who launch ransomware attacks are a much more concentrated lot than widely understood.

          Egregor is one of a number of strains classified as ransomware-as-a-service, meaning users can pay a fee to enlist the malicious code for their crime sprees.

        • Apple Caves to Russia and Begins Showing Russian Government-Approved Apps During iPhone Setup

          After reportedly calling the requirements of a new Russian law a security threat and threatening to pull out of the country, Apple caved and decided to let Russia have its way, saying it would allow users to install government-approved Russian apps during iPhone setup. In recent days, we’ve gotten a first glimpse of what that looks like.

        • iPhone Setup Process in Russia Now Includes List of Suggested Russian Developed Apps

          Apple agreed to display the list of apps to comply with a law established by Russia’s Ministry of Digital Affairs. The law requires software to be preinstalled on all devices sold in Russia, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and smart TVs.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libxstream-java, php-nette, and smarty3), Fedora (curl, openssl, spamassassin, and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (ant, batik, kernel, kernel-linus, nodejs-chownr, nodejs-yargs-parser, python-bottle, and ruby-em-http-request), openSUSE (curl and OpenIPMI), and Red Hat (openssl).

          • What is a Buffer Overflow Attack – and How to Stop it

            A buffer overflow occurs when the size of information written to a memory location exceeds what it was allocated. This can cause data corruption, program crashes, or even the execution of malicious code.

            While C, C++, and Objective-C are the main languages which have buffer overflow vulnerabilities (as they deal more directly with memory than many interpreted languages), they are the foundation of much of the internet.

            Even if the code is written in a ‘safe’ language (like Python), if it calls on any libraries written in C, C++, or Objective C, it could still be vulnerable to buffer overflows.

          • GitHub Server Infrastructure Abused In Relentless Crypto-Mining Attack [Ed: Microsoft has another botnet]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Fauci Says Federal Government Won’t Mandate Vaccine Passports

              The administration’s chief medical adviser also urged people not to “declare victory prematurely” against the coronavirus by forgoing public health measures like physical distancing.

              Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser, said Monday that Covid-19 vaccine passports are “not going to be mandated from the federal government.”

            • 553,000,000 Reasons Not to Let Facebook Make Decisions About Your Privacy

              Facebook created this problem, but that doesn’t make the company qualified to fix it, nor does it mean we should trust them to do so. 

              In January 2021, Motherboard reported on a bot that was selling records from a 500 million-plus person trove of Facebook  data, offering phone numbers and other personal information. Facebook said the data had been scraped by using a bug that was available as early as 2016, and which the company claimed to have patched in 2019. Last week, a dataset containing 553 million Facebook users’ data—including phone numbers, full names, locations, email addresses, and biographical information — was published for free online . (It appears this is the same dataset Motherboard reported on in January). More than half a billion current and former Facebook users are now at high risk of various kinds of fraud.

              While this breach is especially ghastly, it’s also just another scandal for Facebook , a company that spent decades pursuing deceptive and anticompetitive tactics to amass largely nonconsensual dossiers on its 2.6 billion users as well as many billions of people who have no Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp account, including many who never had an account with Facebook.

          • ACLU shares user data with Facebook and friends

            Just how bad is it? Further down they (sort of) explain what information: that might include;

          • Dual-use digital surveillance technologies finally get regulated – a little

            One country that is happy to export its digital surveillance tools to any regime is China. There are many major Chinese companies working in the area of domestic surveillance, notably of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang. Selling their products outside China not only brings profits for the companies involved, but also extends China’s economic and political influence in these countries.

          • Pinterest Is Said to Be in Talks to Acquire the Photo App VSCO

            Pinterest has held talks to buy VSCO, a photography app that spawned a teenage social media craze, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

            The discussions are ongoing, said the people, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. A deal price couldn’t be learned; Pinterest has a market capitalization of about $49 billion, while VSCO has raised $90 million in funding and was last valued at $550 million. An acquisition may not materialize, the people cautioned.

            Representatives from Pinterest and VSCO (pronounced “vis-coe”) declined to comment on deal talks.

          • In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void

            Information about Jones wouldn’t be public for days, so as helicopters flew overhead and police dogs searched the surrounding woods, residents logged on to Facebook. And that’s when the fear, and the exaggerations, and the falsehoods begin to circulate and multiply.

          • Facebook Data Leaked from Over 500 Million Users

            Facebook just can’t seem to catch a break. It lost much respect in the past four years because of its policy of liberally sharing user data. Users and the U.S. Congress held CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s feet to the fire. Over the weekend, it was discovered that Facebook data belonging to 533 million users was leaked.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • GOP Congressman Invokes 9/11 in Islamophobic Attack Against Ilhan Omar

        A Republican congressman is being widely criticized for using an Islamophobic attack against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), a Muslim congresswoman who is often attacked by the right over her religious views.

      • Whose Peace in Afghanistan?

        Afghans feel as if they have been interrupted, a long time ago, by shrapnel and high explosives, fired indiscriminately at them by invading armies. They want to get back to a dimly remembered ‘normal’. They’re sick of the rampant corruption. Women want education. Health outcomes are catastrophically appalling. All our contacts speak of a desire to calibrate their lives, many of which are in some respects ossified in tradition, according to their own imperatives, which are widely various around a country that nonetheless abhors federalism and has the potential, barring interference, to be cooperative.

        So, in Dushanbe this week, and as the pace builds to possibly crucial talks in Turkey in April, we’re witnessing a lot of jockeying for air time on U.S. and European networks by Afghan power-brokers. Here’s Ahmad Massoud, son of the revered ‘Lion of Panshir’ Ahmad Shah Massoud, telling France 24 that the people he represents would baulk at a deal that gave too much ground to the Taliban, while over on Al Jazeera Hazara leaders, who as a minority cultural grouping often get a raw deal from Kabul, talk of strengthening their militia units to protect their villages from renewed Taliban attacks.

      • ‘No one has been wandering’ The Kremlin’s spokesman answers questions about the movements of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine

        In recent weeks, both Kyiv and Washington have expressed concerns over a Russian military build-up near the country’s borders with Ukraine. This comes amid rising tensions in the war in Donbas, where the ceasefire reached last summer has begun to fray. During his daily press conference on Monday, April 5, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov fielded journalists’ questions about reports that a child was killed in the war zone over the weekend, and responded to concerns about the movements of Russian troops. According to Peskov, “this shouldn’t cause the slightest concern to anyone.”

      • A Friday Night Massacre in Colorado

        The Suncor refinery’s nay vote was cast by its public relations flak, Brandy Radey. It was her opinion that since the corporation was already monitoring its own pollution independent verification was unnecessary. This is a little like Jeffrey Dahmer arguing he didn’t need a butcher’s license since he was already doing it, and doing it quite well, thank you.

        Governor Polis’s representative, Heather Wuollet, thought it more important that money be directed to a state sponsored proposal to fix up old cars in the neighborhood since everybody knows they are such big polluters.  This is especially true, she intoned, in poor neighborhoods where clunkers abound.  There is no question the neighborhoods around the Suncor refinery are generally poor.  But how the miracle of clunker transubstantiation might be accomplished equitably with public money was not revealed.  Neither was the fact raised that Canadian owned Suncor refinery happen to be one of the two largest polluters in the state.  In 2019 it released about 900,000 tons of pollution into the Denver metropolitan area.  That pollution was the equal of the tail pipe emissions from all 118,000 new cars sold in the state that year. Clunker indeed!

      • Opinion | Has America Come Any Closer to MLK’s Dream?

        Dr. King would be marching with those who seek to make it easier to vote. He would be appalled by George Floyd’s murder, but not surprised.

        Last weekend marked the 53d anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. Over half a century. Has America come any closer to his dream?

      • MLK Opposed “Poverty, Racism & Militarism” in Speech One Year Before His Assassination 53 Years Ago

        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 53 years ago, on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 39. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor, organized the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice, and was a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam War. We air an excerpt of his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated, in which Dr. King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and urged support for “a genuine revolution of values” that centers collective liberation and revolt against oppressive systems. “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism,” King said.

      • Ethiopia Accused of Using Rape as a Weapon of War in Tigray as New Evidence Emerges of Massacres

        We get an update on how the Ethiopian government has announced Eritrean forces are withdrawing from the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, where harrowing witness accounts have emerged of Eritrean soldiers killing Tigrayan men and boys and rape being used as weapon of war by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. Eritrea entered the Tigray region to support Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s military offensive in November targeting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The true death toll from the conflict remains unknown, but researchers recently identified almost 2,000 people killed in 150 massacres by warring factions. CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir, who just returned from reporting on the region, says what started as a “competition for power” has descended into ethnic cleansing. “Many people believe that it is now genocidal, that what is a political intent to destroy is becoming now an intent to destroy, in whole or part, a people,” says Elbagir.

      • Growth of Islamic State in the Sahel Threatens Christian Communities

        IS gained its first footing in Africa towards the end of 2014 when IS was at the peak of its influence in the Middle East. Beginning with the Algerian Jund al-Khilafa in September 2014, terror groups across north Africa were the first to pledge allegiance to IS. A group of fighters in Libya pledged allegiance to IS in October 2014, while groups in Egypt and Tunisia followed suit shortly after.

        Today, there are many more affiliates all around Africa, including in Nigeria, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique. Each affiliate presents a unique danger to the society where it operates, though none of them is as large or as deadly as IS’s affiliates in the Sahel.

    • Environment

      • Amazon Illegally Fired Activist Employees, Labor Board Finds

        The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has found that Amazon illegally fired two employees who spoke out about the company’s climate impact and labor practices during the pandemic.

      • NLRB Says Amazon Firing of Workers Who Demanded Better Climate, Labor Policies Was Illegal Retaliation

        “It’s clear that Amazon has been violating the law when it tries to silence workers who speak out,” said Christy Hofmann, general secretary of UNI Global Union.

        The National Labor Relations Board has determined that Amazon unlawfully retaliated against a pair of its employees by firing them after a vocal push for the technology and retail giant to improve worker conditions and do more to limit its contributions to the climate crisis, the New York Times reported early Monday.

      • Florida Workers Race to Prevent Massive Spill of Radioactive Waste

        Florida workers over the weekend rushed to prevent the collapse of a reservoir wall containing hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater from a defunct phosphate mine, a looming environmental catastrophe that prompted mandatory evacuation orders and a declaration of emergency by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

      • Florida reservoir leaking toxic wastewater demonstrates decades of regulatory failure, environmental activists say

        As crews scramble to plug the leak in a toxic wastewater reservoir in Florida, local environmental activists whom politicians have long scorned say the state is witnessing a historic failure that decades of environmental catastrophes foreboded.

        Although Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection said Monday evening that fears of a second leak in the Piney Point Reservoir were unfounded, the body of water about 40 miles south of Tampa full of toxic waste and fertilizer runoff remains on the brink of collapse. If a total breach happens, the area in Manatee County could see a “catastrophic flood,” Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Sunday.

      • Governments should set targets to reduce methane emissions

        THE ORACLE of Delphi’s trance-like state is thought to have been induced by gases seeping into her chamber through a crack in the ground. Some say methane was part of the cocktail. If true, the gas has shaped the course of civilisations at least three times: in ancient Greece when wars were waged and kingdoms fell on the strength of the Oracle’s prophecies, in the 20th century when methane-fuelled machines helped power industrialisation, and today, when the gas is a central but under-appreciated part of the fight against climate change.

        Human activity emits far less methane than carbon dioxide, but methane packs a heavier punch. Over the course of 20 years, a tonne of the gas will warm the atmosphere about 86 times more than a tonne of CO2. As a result methane, sometimes called carbon dioxide on steroids, is responsible for 23% of the rise in temperatures since pre-industrial times. Carbon dioxide gets most of the attention, but unless methane emissions are limited there is little hope of stabilising the climate.

      • Red Sea on the brink of environmental catastrophe

        Rachel Shelley, a senior environmental science research associate at the University of East Anglia and a longtime South Sinai resident, told The Media Line: “The Safer contains 1.1 million barrels of oil [one barrel is 42 US gallons]. This is nearly four times the volume of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, a disaster which devastated Price William Sound, Alaska in 1989.”

      • Amazon Illegally Fired Activist Workers, Labor Board Finds

        Amazon illegally retaliated against two of its most prominent internal critics when it fired them last year, the National Labor Relations Board has determined.

        The employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, had publicly pushed the company to reduce its impact on climate change and address concerns about its warehouse workers.

      • Amazon illegally fired employees who spoke out against working conditions

        In their complaint to the NLRB, Cunningham and Costa alleged that the tech giant terminated their employment due to the “discriminatory enforcement of policies or work rules, including its non-solicitation and communication policies.” The NLRB said it would be issuing a follow-up complaint if their case could not be settled, according to The New York Times. Cunningham told CNN that the board’s decision that she “couldn’t be more happy with the news today.”

      • How the Saami Indigenous People Fended Off Gates-funded Geoengineering Experiment

        At the recommendation of the project’s Advisory Committee, the scheduled June test has been called off. That  became public March 31.

        When Bill Gates $4.5 million investment in geoengineering research came to light in 2010, one of the scientists he put in charge of the project, Ken Caldeira, said the money  was not funding any field experiments. But as the project has grown and moved to Harvard, that line was crossed. In a first-of-a-kind test of geoengineering technologies in the stratosphere, the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment – SCoPEx for short – intends to release around a kilogram of calcium carbonate, essentially chalk dust, from a propelled balloon-gondola rig 12 miles up. Particles would cover the equivalent of 11 football fields and test the material’s potential to block a portion of solar radiation, countering the heat-trapping effects of carbon dioxide. The June test would not have released any particles, only tried out the rig’s technologies.

      • Threats to the Greater Gila: an Imperiled Landscape Under Siege

        And the Greater Gila is under threat. The megadrought that continues to bear down upon the Southwest threatens the health of the rivers and the vulnerable plant, animal, and human communities that rely upon them. The continued livestock grazing of these distressed ecosystems perpetuates their increasing fragility. A Tucson-based company just proposed a new copper and gold mining operation in the Burro Mountains.The Holloman Air Force Base recently proposed expanding jet training over the Greater Gila, although this has stalled. For now. A private entity just received their preliminary approval for a water storage pump facility on the lower San Francisco River. And the persecuted population of Mexican Gray wolves continues to aspire to recover, but instead teeter on the brink due to agency mismanagement and a lack of meaningful carnivore coexistence legislation.

        Each of these threats is representative of larger national issues that continue to jeopardize the health of our communities, the robustness of the ecosystems we rely upon, and the resilience of our planet. The F-16s that buzz the tops of the ponderosa pines and shake the hatchling chickadees from their nests high atop Hillsboro Peak are an expression of the increased militarization of the borderlands, a tradition that has shaped our national narrative since Woodrow Wilson first signed into law sweeping constraints on immigration. The United States Government’s often xenophobic border wall agenda has for too long come at the expense of human health and safety, ecosystem resilience, and equitable and just policies for all affected communities.

      • ‘EPA Needs to Step In’: Florida Workers Race to Prevent Massive Spill of Radioactive Waste

        “Federal officials need to clean up this mess the fertilizer industry has dumped on Florida communities and immediately halt further phosphogypsum production.”

        Florida workers over the weekend rushed to prevent the collapse of a reservoir wall containing hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater from a defunct phosphate mine, a looming environmental catastrophe that prompted mandatory evacuation orders and a declaration of emergency by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

      • Energy

        • ‘A Remarkable Story of Resilience and Hope’: Renewable Energy Smashes Records in 2020

          “There is a huge amount to be done… The international community must look to this trend as a source of inspiration to go further.”

          Despite the difficulties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the world added a record amount of new renewable energy capacity in 2020, according to data released Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

        • Indigenous Youth Rally Calls on Biden to Cancel Line 3 and Dakota Access Pipelines

          But a day later, Indigenous youth and organizers opposing the Line 3 and Dakota Access pipelines rallied in front of the White House against the two fossil fuel pipelines. They also delivered a petition with 400,000 signatures to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, calling for the cancelation of both projects, and for the Biden administration to “Build Back Fossil Free” while fulfilling promises on climate action, Indigenous rights, and environmental justice.

        • Exclusive: 2020’s Hurricane Zeta Nearly Caused ‘Another Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe’ in Gulf of Mexico

          But the Asgard, which was drilling an oil well in the waters about 225 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had other pressing matters to deal with. That same day, the oil well it was drilling more than a mile below the water’s surface experienced a kick — an eruption of oil, gas, or other fluids from deep underground up the drill pipe. If not properly controlled, this type of incident can sometimes lead to a blowout.

        • Finland goes negative after winds beat down electricity prices

          High winds propelled wind power stations in the Nordics to produce electricity at full capacity between 3am and 7am on Monday, pushing electricity prices below zero.

          Swedish energy company Tibber told Dagens Nyheter that favourable wind conditions brought electricity prices into negative territory. The same phenomenon occurred in Finland, according to Nordic power exchange Nord Pool.

        • Fossil fuels get too many government handouts. Biden wants to cut them off.

          Climate advocates say ending subsidies will have a practical economic impact for an industry where margins are often tight, and it will also send a political signal that the government is unambiguously pursuing a clean energy future.

          To grasp the potential impact of this reform, let’s look at the web of subsidies today and exactly what it will take to finally untangle it.

        • NFT developers say cryptocurrencies must tackle their carbon emissions

          William Entriken, one of the authors of the NFT protocol for Ethereum, a popular alternative to bitcoin, says NFTs aren’t inherently bad, but that rapacious speculation is pushing them and cryptocurrencies down a destructive path as their carbon footprints rise.

          Most cryptocurrencies rely on “proof of work” to secure their networks, meaning that computers must perform huge numbers of calculations to “mine” new currency and verify transactions on the blockchain. This uses large amounts of electricity – bitcoin’s annual power consumption is comparable to that of Finland.

          Investing money into cryptocurrencies – either through simple speculation or by purchasing expensive artwork – boosts demand and therefore prices, says Entriken. That makes mining that cryptocurrency more profitable, but also more difficult, increasing carbon emissions.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Humans, Nature and the Illusion of Separateness

          The message here is that we ought not think of this in terms of human survival. In existential terms. That would be too hyperbolic. Too woo-woo. The corporations that derive every bit of their wealth from the true “commonwealth” of all species on this planet want nothing less than for us to think we are either above it all or separate from it all. If more make the connection that we need to stop the decimation of the natural world it will ultimately put a dent in their profit margin. If we are honest, that is what the current economic and political order cares about the most.

          To be fair, capitalism cannot do anything but accumulate more and more capital. And capital is virtually everything that exists, from the raw minerals and petrol deep in the earth’s crust, to the fish in the sea and trees in the boreal range, to governments and politicians, to our own personal information and preferences. It has created a global arrangement of power that must use obfuscation and violence, or its threat, as a way of keeping the engine running.

        • Our Last, Best Chance to Save Atlantic Salmon
        • Have reservation bots scooped up Ontario Parks sites this summer? Campers have questions

          Jacobs and Smith thought it was all just bad luck. They’d seen news reports that lots of people were planning to camp this summer as a way to get out of the house during the pandemic.

          Then Jacobs spotted a recent ad on Kijiji. They first saw the post on Facebook and then searched to ensure the ad for Camping Bot was authentic.

          The ad, which has since been removed, claimed to use “state of the art automation technology for site booking and registration” on the Ontario Parks website.

    • Finance

      • Sunrise Plans Dozens of Actions Nationwide to Demand Jobs Guarantee, $10 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

        “With so much work to be done, there’s no reason anyone in the richest country in the history of the world should be unemployed, underemployed, or working a job that isn’t in the national interest.”

        Climate justice campaigners with the youth-led Sunrise Movement are organizing online and in-person actions this week to demand U.S. congressional lawmakers back a federal jobs guarantee the group says will “be the backbone of building a just, sustainable, and people-centered new economy.”

      • US Press Continues To Pretend The ‘Digital Divide’ Just Mysteriously Appeared One Day

        So if you’ve read Techdirt for any amount of time, you should be pretty well clued in to the fact that US telecom is a heavily monopolized, feebly regulated mess. Regional cable giants like Comcast and Charter absolutely dominate the market, resulting in 83 million Americans being stuck under a monopoly (see this ILSR report). The result of regional monopolization and captured, feckless regulators is obvious and has been for a good thirty years: high prices, comically bad customer service, spotty coverage, and slow speeds. It’s not really a debate, though some telecom-allied policy folks like to pretend otherwise.

      • To Halt ’30-Year Race to the Bottom,’ Yellen Calls for Global Minimum Tax on Corporations

        “A high global minimum tax can change the face of globalization—by making its main winners (multinational companies) pay more in taxes, instead of them paying less and less.”

        In an effort to end what she called the “30-year race to the bottom on corporate tax rates,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday urged her counterparts around the world to join her in embracing a global minimum tax aimed at preventing companies from shifting profits offshore to slash their bills.

      • How Sales Taxes Widen the Racial Wealth Divide

        Right now, the overwhelming majority of state and local tax systems are regressive, meaning they tax their lowest-income residents at higher rates than the top 1 percent. So it’s not surprising that they fall far short of their potential as tools for advancing racial equity. But there are some bright spots and plenty of options for reform that could make them more effective.

        There are a few key elements to keep in mind when crafting racially equitable state and local tax codes. First, the system needs to raise enough revenue to fund deep investments in education, health, childcare, and countless other areas that are essential to advancing racial equity and building broadly shared prosperity.

      • Inside the Economic Bounce [Ed: These are not real unemployment rates; the labour participation collapsed to almost 50%, but the government pretends it's all "wilful"]

        Gains Were Broadly Based

        The benefits of the job growth were broadly shared. The unemployment rate for Black workers fell from 9.9 percent to 9.6 percent, while their EPOP rose from 54.2 percent to 54.9 percent, but this is still down 3.8 percentage points from its 2019 average. The EPOP for white workers was 58.1 percent in March, 2.9 percentage points below its 2019 average. The unemployment rate for Hispanic workers fell a 0.6 percentage point to 7.9 percent, while their EPOP rose a 0.5 percentage point to 60.4 percent.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Trump Fans Were Duped Into Donating Money to Whatever He Wants to Use It For

        Quantifying the staggering gullibility of the average Trump supporter has become increasingly tough to do.

      • Poll: Half of GOP Voters Falsely Say Capitol Breach was Peaceful or Leftist Plot

        Nearly three months following the attack on the United States Capitol by a group of loyalists to former President Donald Trump, a new poll reveals that most Republican-leaning individuals continue to harbor false ideas about what actually happened that day.

      • Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly U.S. Capitol riot-Reuters/Ipsos poll

        Three months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to overturn his November election loss, about half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad,” a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.

        Six in 10 Republicans also believe the false claim put out by Trump that November’s presidential election “was stolen” from him due to widespread voter fraud, and the same proportion of Republicans think he should run again in 2024, the March 30-31 poll showed.

        Since the Capitol attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

      • Ever-Trump: Half of All Republicans Still Believe Lie That Capitol Insurrection Was Non-Violent

        Delusional Republican respondents also told pollsters that left-wing activists were to blame for the insurrection and were “trying to make Trump look bad.” Eighty percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents, however, rightly believe that Trump and his mob were responsible for the attack that left five dead and dozens injured.

        But the Republican delusion doesn’t end with the Capitol attack. Sixty percent of Republicans still buy into the lie that the presidential election was fraudulent and “was stolen” from Trump.

      • The Plague of Historical Amnesia in the Age of Fascist Politics

        Theodor Adorno’s insights on historical memory are more relevant than ever. He once argued that as much as repressive governments would like to break free from the past, especially the legacy of fascism, “it is still very much alive.” Moreover, there is a price to be paid with “the destruction of memory.” In this case, “the murdered are …cheated out of the single remaining thing that our powerlessness can offer them: remembrance.” [3] Adorno’s warning rings particularly true at a time when two-thirds of young American youth are so impoverished in their historical knowledge that they are unaware that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. [4] On top of this shocking level of ignorance is the fact that “more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust.” [5]   Historical amnesia takes a particularly dangerous turn in this case, and prompts the question of how young people and adults can you even recognize fascism if they have no recollection or knowledge of its historical legacy.

        The genocide inflicted on Native Americans, slavery, the horrors of Jim Crow, the incarceration of Japanese Americans, the rise of the carceral state, the My Lai massacre, torture chambers, black sites, among other historical events now disappear into a disavowal of past events made even more unethical with the emergence of a right-wing political language and culture. The Republican Party’s attack on critical race theory in the schools which they label as “ideological or faddish” both denies the history of racism as well as the way in which it is enforced through policy, laws, and institutions. For many republicans, racial hatred takes on the ludicrous claim of protecting students from learning about the diverse ways in which racism persist in American society. For instance, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida stated that “There is no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory. Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.” [6] In this updated version of racial cleansing, the call for racial justice is equated to a form of racial hatred leaving intact the refusal to acknowledge, condemn, and confront in the public imagination the history and persistence of racism in American society

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 35 States at Risk of “Rigged” Districts Due to Gerrymandering, Report Finds

        A new report has found that 35 states are at risk of having their election districts “rigged” to unfairly favor one party during this year’s redistricting cycle, with over half of the country at “extreme” risk.

      • Rashida Tlaib Says That Support Is Growing in Congress for Palestinian Rights

        Referring to a recent letter in which a dozen House Democrats called on the Biden administration to oppose Israeli “settler colonialism” in Palestine, Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Friday said that support is growing like never before in Congress for Palestinian human rights.

      • Crowdfunding Hate in the Name of Christ

        When I ask Heather Wilson and Jacob Wells, the founders of GiveSendGo, the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site,” whether they would host a fundraising campaign for the Ku Klux Klan, the call goes dead for a few seconds. 1

        “Some of these campaigns are situational,” Wells finally offered. 2

      • Why Brazil Still Matters

        Rio de Janeiro—While many in the West lamented Jair Bolsonaro’s stunning ascension to the presidency of the world’s fifth most populous country in 2018, the election outcome was sealed roughly a year earlier. That was when Brazil’s two-term center-left president, Lula da Silva, who had been legally barred from a third consecutive term in 2010 despite an 86 percent approval rating—and who was leading in all the polls for a comeback in the 2018 presidential race—was convicted on dubious corruption charges and then declared ineligible to run. With his primary obstacle out of the way, Bolsonaro cruised to victory.

        The stench of those events intensified greatly when Bolsonaro appointed the judge who’d found Lula guilty, Sergio Moro, to the newly enhanced position of minister of justice and public security. Even Moro’s closest allies in the sprawling anti-corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash ( Lava Jato in Portuguese) were outraged by this blatant quid pro quo, which they realized would forever tarnish their legacy.

      • Opinion | Joe Biden as Mr. Fix It

        Biden is embarking on a huge and long-overdue repair job on the physical and human underpinnings of the nation while managing to keep most of a bitterly divided country with him.

        Joe Biden is embarking on the biggest government initiative in more than a half century, “unlike anything we have seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades go,” he says.

      • Opinion | The American Spiritual Death Spiral

        Living in a country haunted by death.

        Fifty-four years ago, standing at the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York City, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his now-famous ” Beyond Vietnam” sermon. For the first time in public, he expressed in vehement terms his opposition to the American war in Vietnam. He saw clearly that a foreign policy defined by aggression hurt the poor and dispossessed across the planet. But it did more than that. It also drained this country of its moral vitality and the financial resources needed to fight poverty at home. On that early spring day, exactly one year before his assassination in 1968, Dr. King warned that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death,” a statement that should ring some bells in April 2021.

      • ‘Helloooooooooo Somebody’: Nina Turner Posts Massive Fundraising Haul in Bid for Ohio House Seat

        “Momentum is building and people can feel it!”

        Progressive Nina Turner’s congressional campaign announced Monday that it brought in a nearly $2.2 million haul since the Ohio Democrat launched her candidacy in December, including $1.55 million in the first quarter of 2021.

      • ‘Follow the Money’: Corporations Gave $50 Million to GOP Lawmakers Behind Voter Suppression Onslaught

        “No matter how many PR statements Big Business puts out, its complicity with the antidemocratic forces that want to make voting harder is clear.”

        Since 2015, AT&T, Comcast, UnitedHealth Group, Walmart, and other big businesses have donated a combined $50 million to state Republican lawmakers who are currently supporting voter suppression bills across the United States—generous political spending at odds with recent corporate efforts to rebrand as defenders of voting rights.

      • Opinion | Corporate Backers of Georgia’s New Voter Suppression Law

        Georgia-based companies have gotten backlash from voting advocates for their silence on new regressive legislation.

        Something’s rotten in Georgia, and it’s not the peaches: Gov. Brian Kemp just signed into law a regressive  omnibus bill containing a number of provisions that will make voting harder. This is the law that infamously makes it a crime to provide food or drink to anyone waiting in line to vote—and Black voters will likely suffer disproportionately because poll closures in predominantly Black communities have led to hours-long lines. In response, voting rights activists—such as members of the  New Georgia Project and other groups— have been calling out corporations that made political contributions to the Republican lawmakers.

      • Putin signs legislation on resetting his presidential terms

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the legislation allowing himself to run for the presidency in two more elections. In doing so, he has granted himself the right to potentially stay in power until 2036.

      • Sanders Says He’s Got “No Problem” With Mounting a Pressure Campaign on Manchin

        During an interview on MSNBC Sunday evening, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party, indicated he would be open to going to centrist Democrats’ jurisdictions in order to create grassroots pressure campaigns to get said lawmakers on board with progressive legislation and ideas.

      • The Strange Convulsion in Scottish Politics
      • Putin will address the Federal Assembly on April 21

        President Vladimir Putin will deliver his annual address to Russia’s Federal Assembly on April 21, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday, April 5.

      • Biden and Latin America

        Relief and joy were also palpable in the city’s well-heeled neighborhoods, where senior civil servants and government contractors could at last envision a return to the more normal and predictable politics of the pre-Trump era. Washington’s foreign policy elites were jubilant: the US would soon cease to be an international embarrassment; its leaders would reengage with traditional allies and work to restore US leadership in multilateral institutions.

        Within Washington’s foreign policy community, expectations are particularly high for US relations with Latin America. During his stint as vice president, Biden focused on this region far more than any other and forged personal bonds with many heads of state. As a headline in The Atlantic put it, “Joe Biden’s Reset [with the world] Would Start in Latin America.”

      • In Support of Richard Stallman

        False accusations were made against Richard Stallman in September 2019. Although others pointed out the mistakes, the stage had been set for a cascade of defamatory reactions that followed and spread like wildfire. This was fueled by misquotes and distortion of events in mainstream headlines, blogs, and social media, leading ultimately to Stallman’s resignation from his positions at MIT and the FSF.

        A new wave of attacks was launched when the reinstatement of Richard Stallman in the FSF Board of Directors was announced on March 21, 2021.

        Free software and free culture advocates around the world were outraged at the injustice. Members of the community at large felt hurt and looked for ways to voice their pain and repair the damage caused.

      • A feud in Jordan’s royal family

        Then Prince Hamzah spoke. In a video message (see picture) the prince claimed that he and his family were confined to a palace outside Amman, their [Internet] and phone lines cut. He attacked the government for leaving the country “stymied in corruption, in nepotism and in misrule”, and for its authoritarian tendencies. “It has reached the point where no one is able to speak or express an opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened,” the prince said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Justice Thomas Goes Weird Again; Suggests Twitter Can’t Moderate & Section 230 Violates 1st Amendment

        Today was a weird one for Justice Thomas. Along with his bizarre and confusing dissent in the Oracle/Google case, he has done another one of his random walks down conspiracy theory nonsense lane on an unbriefed issue in which he gets to, once again, attack the 1st Amendment. He’s done this a few times now. Two years ago he did this in writing an unprovoked attack on the 1st Amendment regarding NY Times v. Sullivan. Last year, he did it with an unprovoked and bizarre attack on Section 230. And now he’s done it again.

      • Devin Nunes Loses Yet Another One Of His SLAPP Suits

        A little over a year ago, a DC watchdog group had asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Rep. Devin Nunes over his total failure to disclose who the hell is paying for all of his various frivolous SLAPP suits. As the group, Campaign Legal Center noted, Congress is forbidden from receiving free legal services unless they have set up a Legal Expense Fund — and at least at the time of the investigation request, Nunes had not done so, despite having filed a bunch of lawsuits over the previous year.

      • Roskomnadzor postpones Twitter block, but continues slowdown

        Russia’s state censor, Roskomnadzor (RKN), has decided against blocking Twitter, but will continue to throttle the social network’s traffic until May 15. In a statement released on Monday, April 5, RKN said that this comes against the backdrop of “decisions first adopted by the company Twitter on changing the principles and speed of their own moderation services” in Russia. 

      • Netanyahu trial: Editor ‘told to drop negative stories about Israel PM’

        Former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua alleged he was also ordered by the news website’s owner, Shaul Elovitch, to post content that attacked Mr Netanyahu’s rivals.

        Prosecutors said Mr Netanyahu made regulatory decisions worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Mr Elovitch in return for favourable coverage.

      • Sen. Mike Lee Promotes Bills Valuing Federal Spectrum, Requiring Content Moderation Disclosures

        Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said Friday spectrum used by federal agencies is not being utilized efficiently, following legislation he introduced early last year that would evaluate the allocation and value of federally-reserved spectrum.

        The Government Spectrum Valuation Act, or S.553 and introduced March 3, directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to consult with the Federal Communications Commission and Office of Management and Budget to estimate the value of spectrum between 3 kilohertz and 95 gigahertz that is assigned to federal agencies.

        Lee spoke at an event hosted by the Utah tech association Silicon Slopes on Friday about the legislation, in addition to other topics, including Section 230.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • 11 years since Collateral Murder video, Assange languishes in prison

        Eleven years since WikiLeaks aired the video Collateral Murder, which showed American Apache helicopters gunning down more than a dozen unarmed civilians in Iraq, the founder of the organisation, Julian Assange, is still in prison in Belmarsh in the UK even though a British judge ruled that he should not be extradited to the US to face charges of spying.

      • I Received Tips to Look Into How a Hospital Treated Premature Babies. Getting Data Was Nearly Impossible.

        It’s not unusual for health care reporters to get out-of-the-blue calls or emails from people in the industry. But when three clinicians from Albuquerque hospitals reached out to me to share concerns about the state’s largest for-profit maternity hospital, Lovelace Women’s, I took note.

        Two of the tipsters worked at Lovelace. None knew the others had contacted me, but all three had concerns about how Lovelace cared for its most premature babies.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Being “Anti-Racist” Isn’t Enough. The Violence of Whiteness Must Be Exposed.

        Even if the movement for reparations someday transforms the profound economic disparities that fall along racial lines in this country — addressing income disparities, the wealth gap, housing and health care inequities, and unemployment disparities — a fundamental problem of anti-Black racism still won’t be solved.

      • Ban the Death Penalty for Those with Serious Mental Illness

        Tragic cases illustrate the need for such a ban. Florida executed John Ferguson on August 5, 2013, despite the fact that he had suffered from well documented severe mental illness for 40 years and believed he was the “Prince of God.” Missouri executed Cecil Clayton on March 17, 2015. Clayton had an IQ of just 71, suffered from dementia, and was missing a large part of his brain due to an accident. Georgia executed decorated Vietnam War veteran Andrew Brannan on January 13, 2015, although he suffered from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder due to his time in the war.

        In March, and with bipartisan support, Kentucky’s House of Representatives passed a bill to ban the seriously mentally ill from receiving the death penalty. On January 9, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine signed into law a similar ban. The Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously in bipartisan support of SB 1156, “Serious Mental Illness as Bar to Execution.” The bill is sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-24). It is supported by the Florida Mental Health Advocacy Coalition, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Bar Association, among other advocacy and professional groups. It would exempt capital defendants from death if, at the time of the crime, they had a serious mental illness that significantly impaired their capacity to exercise rational judgments in relation to their conduct, to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law, or to appreciate the nature, consequences, or wrongfulness of their conduct. The proposed bill does not preclude a guilty verdict or a sentence including life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

      • Appeals Court Extends Qualified Immunity To Cops Who Knew They Were Violating A Photographer’s Rights

        “Training and expertise.” Let’s talk about it.

      • I Am a Man
      • ‘There’s no evidence in the case at all’ Jailed ex-governor Sergey Furgal’s ‘Kommersant’ interview, in a nutshell

        On Monday, April 5, the Russian business newspaper Kommersant published an interview with Sergey Furgal, the jailed former governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk territory, who was arrested in July 2020 on charges of organizing multiple murders in the early 2000s. Furgal’s arrest prompted large-scale protests in the regional capital that continued into the fall of last year. Today, he remains in pre-trial custody in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison. In conversation with Kommersant, Furgal discussed the case against him, its alleged connection to his business dealings, and more. Here’s what he said, in a nutshell.   

      • Can TSA checkpoints be used as a general law enforcement dragnet?

        Airline travelers who were searched at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint for cash and other items unrelated to any threat to aviation are entitled to their day in court, according to the first significant ruling by a Federal judge in Pittsburgh in a class action lawsuit filed a year ago.

        The class action complaint in Brown v. TSA was brought by the Institute for Justice on behalf of all air travelers whose cash was seized at TSA checkpoints. It charges that searches at TSA checkpoints for “general law enforcement purposes” that aren’t limited to searched for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries that could pose a danger to aviation are (1) “ultra vires”,  that is, outside the scope of any authority granted by law to TSA checkpoint staff, and (2) unconstitutional as warrantless, unreasonable searches and seizures prohibited by the 4th Amendment.

        The TSA and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) defendants tried to get the court to dismiss the complaint on such specious grounds as that the dozens of incidents of seizures of air traveler’ cash described in the complaint were merely “isolated incidents” unlikely to be repeated, and that a Federal law that has often frustrated judicial review of TSA actions, 49 U.S.C. § 46110, denies any Federal District Court jurisdiction to even consider such a complaint.

      • First Circuit Upholds First Amendment Right to Secretly Audio Record the Police

        The First Circuit struck down as unconstitutional the Massachusetts anti-eavesdropping (or wiretapping) statute to the extent it prohibits the secret audio recording of police officers performing their official duties in public. The law generally makes it a crime to secretly audio record all conversations without consent, even where participants have no reasonable expectation of privacy, making the Massachusetts statute unique among the states.

        The First Circuit had previously held in Glik v. Cunniffe (2011) that the plaintiff had a First Amendment right to record police officers arresting another man in Boston Common. Glik had used his cell phone to openly record both audio and video of the incident. The court had held that the audio recording did not violate the Massachusetts anti-eavesdropping statute’s prohibition on secret recording because Glik’s cell phone was visible to officers.

        Thus, following Glik, the question remained open as to whether individuals have a First Amendment right to secretly audio record police officers, or if instead they could be punished under the Massachusetts statute for doing so. (A few years after Glik, in Gericke v. Begin (2014), the First Circuit held that the plaintiff had a First Amendment right to openly record the police during someone else’s traffic stop to the extent she wasn’t interfering with them.)

      • Lyubov Sobol removed from courtroom during hearing over break-in at apartment of Navalny’s alleged poisoner

        Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol was removed from the courtroom during a hearing of the case against her for criminally infringing on the inviolability of the home of Konstantin Kudryavtsev — one of the FSB operatives implicated in Alexey Navalny’s August 2020 poisoning.

      • Alexey Navalny develops fever and cough as he continues prison hunger strike

        Jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny has fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38.1 degrees Celsius) and a “bad cough,” according to the latest Instagram update posted on his behalf. 

      • MLK Was Right About America’s ‘Spiritual Death’

        In 1967, King saw how American soldiers were fighting in Vietnam “on the side of the wealthy and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.” That hell was being created both in the Agent Orange–saturated lands of Vietnam and Laos and, in a different fashion, in so many poor and abandoned communities in the United States.

        King mourned the “brutal solidarity” of disproportionately poor Black, brown, and white Americans fighting together against the poor in Vietnam, only to return to a nation parts of which were still committed to inequality, discrimination, and racism (despite the struggle and advances of the civil rights movement) and remarkably blind to their suffering. In those last years of the 1960s, he watched as the promise of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty was betrayed by massive investments in what President Dwight D. Eisenhower had first dubbed a “military-industrial complex,” and in a reactionary narrative, which would only become more emboldened in the years to come, that blamed the poor for their poverty.

      • The Blue Wall of Silence Is Crumbling Around Derek Chauvin

        I can’t offer an assessment of how the Derek Chauvin trial is going. I saw Chauvin murder George Floyd with my own eyes, and no amount of white cop-speak can gaslight me out of that reality. I can’t pretend to get inside the headspace of somebody who has an “open mind” about whether choking a Black person to death on the street is a crime. I can’t really assess the effectiveness of the prosecution’s ongoing case, or grade the defense’s strategy, because I’m not the audience for any of this. For me, catching snippets of this trial has been like catching snippets of an Easter homily: I’m sure this is for somebody, but it ain’t for me.

        But I can spot what is different about this trial from all the other ones in which cops are tried for killing Black people. On Friday, Richard Zimmerman, Chauvin’s former supervisor and the current police lieutenant, testified for the prosecution and called Chauvin’s actions “totally unnecessary.” On Monday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified for the prosecution against Chauvin, and said that Chauvin “absolutely” violated police protocols. Over the course of this week, the prosecution will put additional cops on the stand and offer evidence from police training videos, which will all show that Chauvin acted outside standard police procedure during his homicidal detainment of George Floyd.

      • Derek Chauvin trial live: Doctor believed lack of oxygen ‘likely’ caused Floyd’s death; Police chief Medaria Arradondo testifies

        The city’s top cop took the witness stand Monday in the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, charged in George Floyd’s death.

        Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified about police training and tactics, but he wasn’t allowed to discuss Chauvin’s firing.

        The doctor who provided emergency care to Floyd at Hennepin County Medical Center was the first person to testify Monday morning. At the time, he testified, he believed Floyd died from a lack of oxygen, rather than an overdose or heart attack, based on the information he had.

      • Marwa Elselehdar: ‘I was blamed for blocking the Suez Canal’

        At the time of the Suez blockage, she was working as a first mate, in command of the Aida IV, hundreds of miles away in Alexandria.

        The vessel, owned by Egypt’s maritime safety authority, runs supply missions to a lighthouse in the Red Sea. It’s also used to train cadets from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), a regional university run by the Arab League.

        Rumours about Marwa Elselehdar’s role on the Ever Given were largely spurred by screenshots of a fake news headline – supposedly published by Arab News – which said she was involved in the Suez incident.

        The doctored image appears to be from a genuine Arab News story, released on 22 March, which profiles her success as Egypt’s first female ship captain. The picture has been shared dozens of times on Twitter and Facebook.

      • Turkish Foreign Ministry Condemns 2020 U.S. Human Rights Report

        The U.S. report also references Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist who was assassinated in 2007. Turkey has repeatedly delayed justice in this case, and continually fails to fully prosecute all those involved in the murder. This delay illustrates the involvement of the harmful Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist paramilitary group known for promoting Islamic Pan-Turkism at the expense of Armenian Christians. The Grey Wolves still have a strong presence in Turkey and the Caucasus today, with the endorsement of some Turkish officials.

      • The last known Jew in Afghanistan is moving to Israel, marking the end of the 2,000-year-old Jewish community.

        The man who has been known as the last Jew in Afghanistan for well over a decade is leaving for Israel, fearing that the U.S. military’s promise to leave the country will leave a vacuum to be filled with radical groups such as the Taliban.

      • An Outspoken Student Union Positions Itself at the Vanguard of a Changing France

        More recently, local officials in Grenoble posted on social media anonymous campus posters that included the names of two professors accused of Islamophobia; Ms. Luce later called it a mistake, but many politicians brandished it as evidence of Unef’s “Islamo-leftism” or sympathies with Islamism.

        The attacks rose to a new level last month after Ms. Luce was challenged in a radio interview about Unef’s practice of holding meetings limited to racial minorities.

        A decade ago, Unef’s leaders started women-only meetings where members for the first time talked about sexism and sexual harassment in the organization. The discussions have since extended to racism and other forms of discrimination internally.

        Ms. Luce explained to her radio host that no decisions were made at the restricted meetings, which were used instead to allow women and racial minorities to share common experiences of discrimination. But the interview led to a flood of sexist and racist death threats.

        In a subsequent radio interview of his own, the national education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, agreed with the host’s characterization of the restricted meetings as racist.

        “People who claim to be progressive and who, in claiming to be progressive, distinguish people by the color of their skin are leading us to things that resemble fascism,” Mr. Blanquer said.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Biden’s Plan to Fix America’s Internet

        America, our [Internet] stinks. And it’s time to try a different approach to fixing it.

        Millions of Americans don’t have modern [Internet] service. It’s a symptom of our [Internet] dysfunction that we don’t even know how many. The unreliable number from [Internet] providers is 14.5 million households. Or maybe it’s 157 million people. Even for people who have reliable access, Americans generally pay more for worse [Internet] service than our counterparts in most other rich countries.

        The White House’s new infrastructure plan includes a proposal to spend $100 billion to extend fast [Internet] access to every home. Its central premise is a powerful one: To achieve the [Internet] that we all deserve, the federal government must be more involved — but not too much.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Microsoft/Xbox Pushing Backwards Compatibility Hard, With Specific Nods Towards Game Preservation [Ed: Sad to see false promises from racists, criminals and liars receiving a platform in this site. Of course cross-platform not mentioned...]

        If it seems like the topic of preserving antiquated video games as art keeps coming up, that’s because it’s very much starting to become a popular topic in the gaming industry and among the gaming public. The headwinds facing the proper preservation of this ever-growing subsect of culture are fairly clear. The very tools that have been used by fans to keep these older games alive and playable have too often been viewed as a threat to some gaming companies. As with all things in life, copyright is also getting in the way, as are some industry groups coming out against vile threats like museums and curation groups looking to keep old games alive for the public. Even preserving old game manuals is a prospect that only survives because of fair use.

    • Monopolies

      • It’s Apparently Bipartisan To Threaten To Punish Companies Via Antitrust Law For Speech You Don’t Like

        A little over a week ago, we wrote about how Senator Elizabeth Warren clearly went over the line in threatening to punish Amazon for its speech through the use of antitrust laws. As we noted (pretty clearly, though many ignored it) at the time, there may be plenty of other reasons to use antitrust laws against Amazon, but no government official should ever even jokingly suggest that he or she would use the power of the government (via antitrust) to punish an entity for speech.

      • EUTM data: tobacco brands quit traditional smokes [Ed: Hacks and operatives are so toxic that they'd lobby for cancer-giving monopolies]

        In this second exclusive data-led article, Managing IP looks at trademark filing trends in the UK and asks BAT and other tobacco companies about the future of cigarettes

      • IP Organizations Support Continued Opposition to Waiver Proposal [Ed: Donald Zuhn is so reckless and selfish that he'd rather see lots of poor people dead just so that the price of things remains artificially high]

        The organizations begin their letter by declaring that they “strongly support equitable, widespread, and successful distribution of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, personal protective equipment, and other measures necessary to meet the challenges of COVID-19,” and by noting that the intellectual property rights of their members “have fueled the innovation that has allowed us to combat COVID-19.” The letter also points out that IP system “will continue to fuel the next generation of solutions.”

      • Patents

        • Studying Nonobviousness [Ed: Patent maximlaist Jason Rantanen is trying to figure out why so many patents granted by the USPTO turn out to be fake patents with no actual teeth (once properly scrutinised in a court of law, not a "production"-driven patent office)]

          There are lots of quantitative studies of patent litigation appellate court decisions, going all the way back to P.J. Federico’s 1956 article Adjudicated Patents in the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society. One of the big limitations of these studies, though, is that there hasn’t really been any work done to examine how replicable their observations are – even for variables as seemingly simple as whether the court affirmed or reversed on a particular issue, or reached a particular outcome, such as whether a patent’s claims was obvious. New studies compare their aggregate results to previous studies, but not the actual data themselves–even when studying the same set of cases.

          In an article forthcoming in the Hastings Law Journal, Abigail Matthews, Lindsay Kriz and I set out to do exactly that: to examine the amount of agreement between two studies on nonobviousness around the time of KSR v. Teleflex, one that I did that was published in 2013 and one that was recently published by Judge Ryan Holte and Prof. Ted Sichelman.

          Our reliability assessment reveals a complex picture. Somewhat reassuringly, the results from the two studies are largely consistent for decisions from the same time period. Surprisingly, however, fewer than 2/3rds of the decisions analyzed in both studies were the same—even when limited to the identical time period and using the same criteria. Within that set of cases, however, the core data coding was largely identical, with a few notable exceptions. Specifically, we find differences in the coding for procedural postures and in some coding related to judicial reasoning.

        • The Unified Patent Court [Ed: Squire Patton Boggs still pushing self-serving lies and revisionism about "The Unified Patent Court"]

          The much-anticipated Unified Patent Court (UPC) faced several obstacles, with the more recent ones being Brexit and challenges before…

        • Employee Inventors, Client Identity, and Assignments [Ed: Well, patents are really for large corporations, not for people]

          Over the years (sigh, decades) of being involved with ethical issues in patent practice, one set of problems that recurs involves assignments from employee-inventors. I was reminded of some of them by a recent article in Landslide Magazine by Fred Carbone (of my old firm, Baker Botts), entitled “Employee Inventors and Patent Ownership: Whose Rights are They Anyway?” (available, I hope not behind a paywall, here).

          The article does a good job of laying out some of the thorns in the bramble bush of choice of law in interpreting contracts of assignment (which, of course, arises only when the assignor was an inventor, and inventorship can be its own thorny issue). The article points out some common law gap filling obligations that may require an assignment where no written agreement, or an ineffective one, is in place. Apparently, Mr. Carbone is going to give a talk on April 20, 2021 on other ways to obtain assignment (as explained on page 23 of the magazine).

        • Software Patents

          • Interdigital patent challenged in China

            On March 25, 2021, Unified Patents filed a Chinese invalidation request for CN101491099 owned by Interdigital. CN101491099 has been designated as essential in the SISVEL’s VP9 and AV1 pools.

          • $1,875 Awarded for Peoplechart prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Sukhdeep Singh, who received a cash prize of $1,875 for his prior art submission for US 8,869,249. This patent is owed by Peoplechart Corporation, an NPE. The ’249 patent generally relates to protecting personal information using user authentication methods related to mobile banking. The patent is currently be asserted against Wintrust Bank for their use of a mobile banking application.

      • Copyrights

        • Victory for Fair Use: The Supreme Court Reverses the Federal Circuit in Oracle v. Google

          In doing so, the decision underlined the real purpose of copyright: to incentivize innovation and creativity. When copyright does the opposite, fair use provides an important safety valve. Justice Breyer then turned to the specific fair use statutory factors. Appropriately for a functional software copyright case, he first discussed the nature of the copyrighted work. The Java APIs are a “user interface” that allow users (here the developers of Android applications) to “manipulate and control” task-performing computer programs. The Court observed that the declaring code of the Java APIs differs from other kinds of copyrightable computer code—it’s “inextricably bound together” with uncopyrightable features, such as a system of computer tasks and their organization and the use of specific programming commands (the Java “method calls”). As the Court noted:

          Thus, since the declaring code is “further than are most computer programs (such as the implementing code) from the core of copyright,” this factor favored fair use. Justice Breyer then discussed the purpose and character of the use. Here, the opinion shed some important light on when a use is “transformative” in the context of functional aspects of computer software, creating something new rather than simply taking the place of the original. Although Google copied parts of the Java API “precisely,” Google did so to create products fulfilling new purposes and to offer programmers “a highly creative and innovative tool” for smartphone development. Such use “was consistent with that creative ‘progress’ that is the basic constitutional objective of copyright itself.” The Court discussed “the numerous ways in which reimplementing an interface can further the development of computer programs,” such as allowing different programs to speak to each other and letting programmers continue to use their acquired skills. The jury also heard that reuse of APIs is common industry practice. Thus, the opinion concluded that the “purpose and character” of Google’s copying was transformative, so the first factor favored fair use. Next, the Court considered the third fair use factor, the amount and substantiality of the portion used. As a factual matter in this case, the 11,500 lines of declaring code that Google used were less than one percent of the total Java SE program. And even the declaring code that Google used was to permit programmers to utilize their knowledge and experience working with the Java APIs to write new programs for Android smartphones. Since the amount of copying was “tethered” to a valid and transformative purpose, the “substantiality” factor favored fair use. Finally, several reasons led Justice Breyer to conclude that the fourth factor, market effects, favored Google. Independent of Android’s introduction in the marketplace, Sun didn’t have the ability to build a viable smartphone. And any sources of Sun’s lost revenue were a result of the investment by third parties (programmers) in learning and using Java. Thus, “given programmers’ investment in learning the Sun Java API, to allow enforcement of Oracle’s copyright here would risk harm to the public. Given the costs and difficulties of producing alternative APIs with similar appeal to programmers, allowing enforcement here would make of the Sun Java API’s declaring code a lock limiting the future creativity of new programs.” This “lock” would interfere with copyright’s basic objectives. The Court concluded that “where Google reimplemented a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, Google’s copying of the Sun Java API was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.” The Supreme Court left for another day the issue of whether functional aspects of computer software are copyrightable in the first place. Nevertheless, we are pleased that the Court recognized the overall importance of fair use in software cases, and the public interest in allowing programmers, developers, and other users to continue to use their acquired knowledge and experience with software interfaces in subsequent platforms.

        • Google Wins Fair Use Case, New Texas Broadband Authority, Vetro Cares For Maine, ADTRAN Hire

          The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Google on Monday morning in a copyright dispute that has spanned more than a decade, setting precedent for the fair use of programming.

          In a 6-2 decision (the case was heard before Justice Amy Coney Barrett had been confirmed), the Supreme Court agreed with Google’s argument that their use of some 12,000 lines of code was protected by fair use and rejected Oracle’s argument that they were owed monies by Google.

        • GOOGLE LLC v. ORACLE AMERICA, INC. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT No. 18–956: Argued October 7, 2020 — Decided April 5, 2021 [pdf]

          The fact that computer programs are primarily functional makes it difficult to apply traditional copyright con-cepts in that technological world. See Lotus Development Corp., 49 F. 3d, at 820 (Boudin, J., concurring). In doing so here, we have not changed the nature of those concepts. We do not overturn or modify our earlier cases involving fair use — cases, for example, that involve “knockoff” products, journalistic writings, and parodies. Rather, we here recognize that application of a copyright doctrine such as fair use has long proved a cooperative effort of Legislatures and courts, and that Congress, in our view, intended that it so continue. As such, we have looked to the principles set forthin the fair use statute, §107, and set forth in our earlier cases, and applied them to this different kind of copyrightedwork.

          We reach the conclusion that in this case, where Google reimplemented a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, Google’s copying of the Sun Java API was a fair use of that material as a matter of law. The Federal Circuit’s contrary judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion.

        • U.S. Supreme Court backs Google over Oracle in major copyright case

          Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, said that allowing Oracle to enforce a copyright on its code would harm the public by making it a “lock limiting the future creativity of new programs. Oracle alone would hold the key.”

        • Supreme Court Hands Google a Landmark Win — and Hollywood a Huge Concern

          Was declaring code within the scope of copyright protection?

          Surprisingly, that’s a question that the high court largely bypassed today. The case was pre-hyped as one that would determine the copyrightability of computer code, but Breyer essentially says: Let’s assume all of Java is copyrighted; Did Google make fair use?

        • Supreme Court Overturns Oracle’s Copyright Win Over Google

          At issue were pre-written directions known as application program interfaces, or APIs, which provide instructions for such functions as connecting to the [Internet] or accessing certain types of files. By using those shortcuts, programmers don’t have to write code from scratch for every function in their software, or change it for every type of device.

          [...]

          The Supreme Court didn’t address whether the code was eligible for copyright protection, an early point of contention. Instead, Breyer said that for this case the court would “assume, for argument’s sake, that the material was copyrightable.”

        • US SC backs Google in copyright fight with Oracle over Android OS

          Technology companies sighed with relief Monday after the Supreme Court sided with Google in a copyright dispute with Oracle. The high court said Google did nothing wrong in copying code to develop the Android operating system now used on most smartphones.

          To create Android, which was released in 2007, Google wrote millions of lines of new computer code. It also used about 11,500 lines of code copyrighted as part of Oracle’s Java platform. Oracle had sued seeking billions.

        • Red Hat statement on U.S. Supreme Court decision in Google v. Oracle

          Today’s 6-2 Supreme Court decision is a win for developers and the software industry; it recognizes the critical role of software interfaces to promote innovation, interoperability, and new technologies. Last year, Red Hat and IBM filed a joint amicus brief in this case urging the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court decision. The issues in this case were complex and the Supreme Court is to be commended for wrestling with its decades long history.

        • Supreme Court sides with Google against Oracle about copying APIs being ‘fair use’

          It’s being widely reported today that in the decade-long battle of Google vs Oracle that the Supreme Court has now finally ruled in Google’s favour. This is huge, for Linux and Linux Gaming too.

          To prevent being too long-winded, I won’t go deep into the technical details. The basics of the case were that Oracle sued Google going back into 2010 over the Java API. This was because Google did a reimplementation of it for early versions of Android and Oracle threw the lawyers around claiming doing so infringed on their copyright.

        • The Mozilla Blog: Software Innovation Prevails in Landmark Supreme Court Ruling in Google v. Oracle

          In an important victory for software developers, the Supreme Court ruled today that reimplementing an API is fair use under US copyright law. The Court’s reasoning should apply to all cases where developers reimplement an API, to enable interoperability, or to allow developers to use familiar commands. This resolves years of uncertainty, and will enable more competition and follow-on innovation in software.

          [...]

          When the case reached the Supreme Court, Mozilla filed an amicus brief arguing that APIs should not be copyrightable or, alternatively, reimplementation of APIs should be covered by fair use. The Court took the second of these options:

          We reach the conclusion that in this case, where Google reimplemented a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, Google’s copying of the Sun Java API was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.

          In reaching his conclusion, Justice Breyer noted that reimplementing an API “can further the development of computer programs.” This is because it enables programmers to use their knowledge and skills to build new software. The value of APIs is not so much in the creative content of the API itself (e.g. whether a particular API is “Java.lang.Math.max” or, as the Federal Circuit once suggested as an alternative, ““Java.lang.Arith.Larger”) but in the acquired experience of the developer community that uses it.

        • US Supreme Court rules for Google over Oracle

          The long saga of Oracle’s copyright-infringement against Google, which copied much of the Java API for use in Android, has come to an end with this ruling [PDF] in favor of Google. “Google’s purpose was to create a different task-related system for a different computing environment (smartphones) and to create a platform—the Android platform—that would help achieve and popularize that objective. The record demonstrates numerous ways in which reimplementing an interface can further the development of computer programs. Google’s purpose was therefore consistent with that creative progress that is the basic constitutional objective of copyright itself.”

        • Google v. Oracle: Use of Oracle’s API is a Fair Use

          In a 6-2 decision authored by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court has held that Google’s copying of the JAVA API naming convention was a fair use as a matter of law. The court did not decide the question of whether the API was copyrightable in the first place.

          In his dissent, Justice Thomas (joined by Justice Alito) argues that the majority opinion “disregards half the relevant statutory text and distorts its fair-use analysis. . . . Oracle’s code at issue here is copyrightable, and Google’s use of that copyrighted code was anything but fair.”

        • Supreme Court deems Google’s use of Java APIs in Android fair use, thus no infringement–doesn’t reach API copyrightability

          Based on how the Google v. Oracle Supreme Court hearing went in October 2020, it appeared to be a given that the Java APIs in question were copyrightable, and the fair use debate was over whether the Federal Circuit had correctly ruled against Google or whether the San Francisco jury would have had to be afforded so much deference that a judgment as a matter of law wasn’t warranted. In the former case, the case would have gone back to San Francisco for a remedies determination. In the latter case, the Federal Circuit would likely have remanded for a retrial, as Oracle was disadvantaged by the district court.

          Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has just declared Google’s copying of thousands of lines of declaring code to be fair use, thereby substantially weakening software copyright protection in the United States as there had not previously been a case involving such a substantial amount of undisputedly original and creative program code that someone else was allowed to incorporate into a competing product and distribute billions of times.

          This decision was supportd by six of the nine justices. Only Justices Thomas and Alito dissented (and noted that the majority didn’t want to address copyrightability because it couldn’t have reached its fair use conclusion thereafter). Justice Barrett was appointed after the hearing.

        • Supreme Court Sides With Google Over Oracle In Landmark Android Fair Use Case | HotHardware

          However you may feel about the case, it is certainly an interesting look into the world of computer programming. Moreover, the application of fair use here could have rippling effects, with similar cases popping up in the future. In any case, let us know what you think of the court’s decision in the comments below, and stay tuned to HotHardware to see if Oracle continues its fight.

        • MPA and RIAA’s Megaupload Lawsuits Are Postponed Again

          A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload’s request to keep the civil lawsuits filed by music and movie companies on hold until October. With no movement in the criminal case, this standstill could last for many years. Kim Dotcom and his colleagues are still fighting a US extradition request, a battle that started nearly a decade ago.

        • YouTube Class Action Lawsuit Wants to Identify Every ‘Pirate’ Uploader Since 2015

          Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider wants a court to order YouTube to hand over huge amounts of data relating to copyright infringement on the platform. In summary, Schneider wants to identify all users who had a takedown notice filed against their account since 2015 to determine whether YouTube’s repeat infringer policies come up to scratch.

        • Her Story: Embracing the Here and Now

          Our hope is that these conversations will inspire you to reflect on your own stories and ideas. We also hope it will motivate you to think about how you can help make open sharing more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. Put simply, we want to make sharing better—to do that, we need your help.

        • Supreme Court Sides With Google In Decade-Long Fight Over API Copyright; Google’s Copying Of Java API Is Fair Use

          It’s taken over a decade, but the Supreme Court has finally said that Google’s copying of the Sun Java API for Android was clearly fair use in a 6-2 ruling (Barrett did not take part since she was not on the Court when the case was heard). The background of this case is actually kind of important to understanding what just happened, so here’s a quick(ish) recap.

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