07.14.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 14/7/2021: OpenSearch 1.0, Oracle Clown Sucks, AlmaLinux 8.4 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Kubernetes API and Feature Removals In 1.22: Here’s What You Need To Know

        As the Kubernetes API evolves, APIs are periodically reorganized or upgraded. When APIs evolve, the old APIs they replace are deprecated, and eventually removed. See Kubernetes API removals to read more about Kubernetes’ policy on removing APIs.

        We want to make sure you’re aware of some upcoming removals. These are beta APIs that you can use in current, supported Kubernetes versions, and they are already deprecated. The reason for all of these removals is that they have been superseded by a newer, stable (“GA”) API.

        Kubernetes 1.22, due for release in August 2021, will remove a number of deprecated APIs. Kubernetes 1.22 Release Information has details on the schedule for the v1.22 release.

      • Oracle cloud sucks

        Yesterday, Oracle rewarded me for that praise by demonstrating they are, in fact, Oracle and terminating my account. When I contacted their representative, I was told that I was running services on my instance not allowed by their policies (I was running a non-public IRC server that only connected to other IRC servers, and their policies did not discuss IRC at all) and that the termination decision was final. Accordingly, I can no longer recommend using Oracle’s cloud services for anything — if you use their service, you are at risk of losing your hosting at any time, for any reason they choose to invent, regardless of whether you are a paying customer or not.

    • Audacity/Audiocasts/Shows

      • Muse Group Continues Tone Deaf Handling Of Audacity | Hackaday

        When we last checked in on the Audacity community, privacy-minded users of the free and open source audio editor were concerned over proposed plans to add telemetry reporting to the decades old open source audio editing software. More than 1,000 comments were left on the GitHub pull request that would have implemented this “phone home” capability, with many individuals arguing that the best course of action was to create a new fork of Audacity that removed any current or future tracking code that was implemented upstream.

        For their part, the project’s new owners, Muse Group, argued that the ability for Audacity to report on the user’s software environment would allow them to track down some particularly tricky bugs. The tabulation of anonymous usage information, such as which audio filters are most commonly applied, would similarly be used to determine where development time and money would best be spent. New project leader Martin “Tantacrul” Keary personally stepped in to explain that the whole situation was simply a misunderstanding, and that Muse Group had no ill intent for the venerable program. They simply wanted to get a better idea of how the software was being used in the real-world, but after seeing how vocal the community was about the subject, the decision was made to hold off on any changes until a more broadly acceptable approach could be developed.

        Our last post on the subject ended on a high note, as it seemed like the situation was on the mend. While there was still a segment of the Audacity userbase that was skeptical about remote analytics being added into a program that never needed it before, representatives from the Muse Group seemed to be listening to the feedback they were receiving. Keary assured users that plans to implement telemetry had been dropped, and that should they be reintroduced in the future, it would be done with the appropriate transparency.

        Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse in the intervening months. Not only is telemetry back on the menu for a program that’s never needed an Internet connection since its initial release in 2000, but this time it has brought with it a troubling Privacy Policy that details who can access the collected data. Worse, Muse Group has made it clear they intend to move Audacity away from its current GPLv2 license, even if it means muscling out long-time contributors who won’t agree to the switch. The company argues this will give them more flexibility to list the software with a wider array of package repositories, a claim that’s been met with great skepticism by those well versed in open source licensing.

      • Linux’s Awkward News Phase | LINUX Unplugged 414

        Have you noticed the Linux news has gotten a little weird? Michael Tunnell joins us to break down the changes we’ve observed over the last year.

        Plus, we set up private and secure location tracking and tell you how and why.

      • mintCast 365 – Upgrade Time

        First up in the news, we realize the Kernel is 30, Ubuntu tweaks its themes, Mint 20.2 is here and Audacity owners are causing a stir in the community again.

        In security Kaseya and PrintNightmare

        Then in our Wanderings, Leo migrates his blog, Joe gets busy, Tony struggles with 5.11, and Mike jumpstarts a MacOS VM.

      • Pfetch: Everyone’s Favourite System Info Tool

        I’ve known about pfetch for ages and ages but for some reason I never got around to looking at this system info tool, and I really don’t know why. It’s a really great application with exceptionally documented code. Even if the user documentation isn’t anywhere near as clear.

    • Kernel Space

      • VirtualBox Shared Folder With Linux 5.14 Will Open New Files Faster, Fixes “git clone” – Phoronix

        For those making use of VirtualBox virtualization and rely on the shared folder functionality via the mainline “VBOXSF” driver for exchanging files between VMs and the host, the in-development Linux 5.14 kernel has an important fix/improvement.

        Red Hat’s Hans de Goede saw his VBOXSF fixes merged today that most notably adds support for atomic_open directory-inode operation. This atomic_open functionality is based on the implementations found within Linux’s 9p and FUSE code. This addition means it should be faster opening new files within VBOXSF-backed mounts. But besides being faster, it does also fix normal use-case too like up to now running “git clone” within a VirtualBox shared folder mount breaking things.

      • Linux Will Run Even Better On Ancient Hardware Thanks To The Upcoming Le9 Patch

        Linux is very well optimized to run on potato PCs, but what’s not optimized are the apps that we run in the OS. Distros such as Linux Lite or even the Raspberry Pi OS made for Raspberry Pi can run on 1GB of RAM, but only when you try to run apps like Google Chrome do you feel the stutters and lags and PC getting hot.

        Enter Le9, code for Linux kernel patches that has been in development for two years. Its final release is around the corner.

      • “le9″ Strives To Make Linux Very Usable On Systems With Small Amounts Of RAM

        It’s well known that the Linux desktop can be quite unbearable when under heavy memory pressure as has been showcased over the years and more attention these days turning to the likes of OOMD/systemd-oomd and other alternatives to better deal with Linux low/out-of-memory scenarios especially with today’s desktop software and web browsers consuming increasing amounts of memory. Another effort coming to fruition for helping this scenario is the “le9″ Linux kernel patches.

        The le9 code has been developed over the past two years and is nearing its formal release, according to the developer who mentioned this to Phoronix. The intent of le9 is to protect the file cache from being evicted from RAM. Le9 protects clean file pages under memory pressure to prevent thrashing and what users normally encounter with high latency and locking issues in near out-of-memory conditions.

      • Linux 5.13.2
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.13.2 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.13 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.13.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.13.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.12.17
      • Linux 5.10.50
      • Linux 5.4.132
      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Has Released Radeon Software for Linux 21.20: Here’s How to Install It

          AMD recently released their Radeon Software for Linux 21.20 drivers. It provides two different components, the Open variant for consumer-grade cards and the Pro variant for users of Radeon Pro products.

          If you’re a Linux gamer or use AMD GPUs for powering your display, you may want to update your Radeon Software to this latest version.

    • Applications

      • Excellent Utilities: tldr – simplified and community-driven man pages

        This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides. There’s a complete list of the tools in this series in the Summary section.

        Tl;dr or tldr stands for “too long; didn’t read.” While this internet acronym can criticize a piece of writing as overly long, it can sometimes be used in a constructive way. The tldr project is such an example.

        The tldr project is a collection of community-maintained help pages for command-line tools that aims to be a simpler, more approachable complement to traditional man pages.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Akaunting Accounting Software on Ubuntu 20.04

        Written in PHP, Akaunting is a feature-rich and open-source online accounting software that allows users to manage finances and keep track of all the invoices, payments, and expenses, to mention just but a few of the financial-related tasks.

        It’s an ideal online accounting platform for small businesses that do not have the financial wherewithal to procure pricey accounting software. Akaunting provides an elegant and intuitive UI will all the features and controls needed to stay abreast of your cashflows and transactions.

      • How to Open a PDF in Linux Terminal

        Evince is a document viewer for multiple document formats. The goal of evince is to replace the multiple document viewers that exist on the GNOME Desktop with a single simple application.

        Evince is specifically designed to support the file following formats: PDF, Postscript, djvu, tiff, dvi, XPS, SyncTex support with gedit, comics books (cbr,cbz,cb7 and cbt). For a comprehensive list of formats supported, see Supported Document Formats.

      • Getting Started with Podman on Fedora

        Podman is a daemonless container engine for developing, managing, and running OCI Containers on your Linux System. In this article, we will introduce podman and how to use it with a small application build using nodejs. The app will be very simple and clean.

      • How To Install Plex Media Server on Manjaro 21 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Plex Media Server on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Plex is a streaming media server that lets you organize your video, music, and photo collections and stream your media to your computer, phone, tablet, or TV at any time and from anywhere. By having Plex Media Server on your network you can play your favorite collections from any device such as PC, Laptop, Smartphone (Android or iOS), PS4, and some other supported devices. In some countries, you can also integrate and play your online Televisions on Plex.

        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 Plex Media Server on a Manjaro 21 (Ornara).

      • How to Install Rust Programming Language on Ubuntu 20.04

        Rust is an open-source and nowadays very popular programming language developed by Graydon Hoare in 2006. It is extremely fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread and memory safety. It supports zero-cost abstractions, threads without data races, move semantics, efficient C bindings, minimal runtime, and pattern matching. It is very similar to C++ and can run on several platforms.
        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install the Rust programming language on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install phpBB with Apache on Ubuntu 20.04

        phpBB is an opensource bulletin board package written in PHP. It can be used to to create forums, start topics and share ideas in a wholesome and organized manner. PHPBB, which is short for PHP Bulletin Board. It is mobile friendly and responsive.

        It is easy to install phpBB on most web servers such as Apache and Nginx and also easy to administer and use.

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install phpBB with Apache on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to cache snap downloads and save bandwidth | Ubuntu

        For many people, fast broadband connection and unlimited data are a reality. For others, they are not. If you have several Linux hosts in your (home) environment, and you’re using snaps, each of these systems will separately communicate with the Snap Store and periodically download necessary updates. This can be costly in terms of inbound data.

        A solution to this problem is to cache snap downloads – grab the snaps once and then reuse as many times as needed. There are two principal ways to achieve this. One, you can manually download the needed snaps on a single host and then distribute them across your internal network using a custom mechanism. The downside of this approach is that you will need to maintain your own regimen of updates. Two, you can set up a snap proxy server. In this guide, we’ll show you how to accomplish this.

      • How to discard changes in Git

        If you just want to clean unstaged changes on Git in your current working directory execute the following ‘Git discard all changes’ command ’:

        git checkout — .

      • How to make the Raspberry Pi safer

        Thanks to energy efficiency and whisper-quiet operation, the Raspberry Pi is used in many IoT projects. This inevitably makes it a target for hackers and botnets. That is why you need to secure the small computer.

        Many small computers are permanently online in order to fulfill their tasks as VPN gateways, in home automation or as servers for various other purposes. This means that they are constantly exposed to attack attempts. Basically nothing can be changed about this, but you should make it difficult for attackers to access your computer. Port sharing and DynDNS are also quickly set up for the Raspberry Pi so that it can be accessed from the Internet. If unwanted gaps open up, the Pi can be misused as a stepping stone onto the internal network and can damage the connected hardware.

        It is always the configuration of the overall system that determines security. Before you start hardening special components such as SSH access, you should tackle the supposedly simple things, take a look at user authorizations and passwords and keep your system up to date. In this article, we will outline some tips and tricks to secure your Pi.

      • Data recovery of deleted files from the FAT filesystem

        Although FAT32 or FAT16 are very old file systems, which is reflected in their poor performance in comparison to other file system alternatives, they are still widely used by many electronic devices. Usually, these devices include USB sticks, digital cameras, camcorders and other peripheral storage devices.

        There’s a good chance that you own and store personal data on a device with the FAT filesystem. If you accidentally delete important data from the device, we’ve got good news for you: it can be recovered on Linux.

      • How to Use Metagoofil in Kali Linux a Complete Tutorial for Beginners

        As per the official website, Metagoofil is an information-gathering tool designed for extracting metadata of public documents (pdf,doc,xls,ppt,docx,pptx,xlsx) belonging to a target company.

        Metagoofil will perform a search in Google to identify and download the documents to local disk and then will extract the metadata with different libraries like Hachoir, PdfMiner?, and others. With the results, it will generate a report with usernames, software versions, and servers or machine names that will help Penetration testers in the information-gathering phase.

      • How to Setup GeoIP Block using Apache – Cloudbooklet

        Setup GeoIP based blocking using Apache on Ubuntu or Debian. The GeoIP module allows the admin to block or redirect traffic based on location.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install GeoIP module and configure it t block specific countries.

      • How to install and configure MariaDB on RHEL/CentOS | FOSS Linux

        The growth and usage of the MariaDB server for the past 6 years is an admirable milestone. It has similar footprints with the MySQL database because of one primary reason; MySQL generated the fork responsible for its development. However, MariaDB is a community-developed project with richer and more dynamic features when compared to the MySQL database.

        RHEL/CentOS Linux operating system distributions are becoming prone to the use of MySQL as their default or preferred database software. The interests of these operating systems distributions towards MariaDB started when Oracle proclaimed its interest in acquiring MySQL. This article is dedicated to RHEL/CentOS users that are yet to switch to MariaDB.

      • How to install Eclipse Theia Blueprint on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Eclipse Theia Blueprint 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • Using Wireshark filter ip address and port in Kali Linux 2021

        Hello friends, I am glad you here and reading my post on Using Wireshark filter IP address. In this I will cover sniffing, Wireshark, its features, capturing data by Wireshark filter ip address and port. First, we discuss the Scenario.

      • DNS Enumeration through dnsenum tool in Kali Linux Guide 2021

        You have lots of questions when you visit a website, one of them is DNS (Domain Name server). You always try to get the information about website’s DNS server.

        But you are failed.

        This article cover DNS enumeration with dnsenum tool. Multiple tools are used to digging information about DNS, but dnsenum is one of them and pre-installed in Kali Linux. All examples are described in this tutorial, so its helpful for beginners.

      • Arp poisoning attack with ettercap tutorial in Kali Linux updated 2021

        Welcome back, you are reading Penetration Testing Tutorial and I hope to learn lots of things and enjoyed to reading my blog.

        Today I will cover the Arp poisoning attack with ettercap tutorial in Kali Linux 2.0 through these articles.

        If you want to get good knowledge about the arp poisoning attack it’s my suggestion don’t leave the article in middle read complete tutorial for best knowledge.

      • How to install the Brave Beta Browser on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Brave Beta Browser on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • How to Install and Configure Git on Linux

        Git is the most popular version control system of choice for many software developers. Linus Torvalds developed Git during the development of the Linux kernel back in 2005. And since then, developers widely use this version control system to collaborate with other members on their projects.

        If you’re learning software development and its various facets, you might have already heard about Git at some point. This guide will explain Git in detail, along with a brief guide on how to install and configure it on Linux.

      • Linux 101: How to execute commands from within the nano text editor – TechRepublic

        Say, for example, you are writing a script or some other file and you needed the contents of your home directory added to it. You could always open a second terminal window, issue the ls command, copy the results, and then paste them into the document. Or, you could use the built-in Execute feature that would paste the output of the command into the document for you. It’s so much easier than the manual method.

        Let me show you how it’s done.

        Open a terminal window and then issue the command nano to launch the editor. To use the execute feature, hit the Ctrl + T keyboard shortcut. You should now see a Command to execute.

        Let’s say you do want to read in the contents of your home directory into the file. For that, you would type ls ~/ and hit enter. Nano would automatically populate the file with the output of that command.

      • How to install Pgadmin on Linux

        Pgadmin is an open-source administration and development tool for PostgreSQL, the open database software. This tool is essential for those who work heavily with PostgreSQL. Here’s how to install the app on Linux.

        [...]

        Pgadmin isn’t officially supported on the Pgadmin website download page. However, Arch Linux officially packages this program in the Arch Linux repos, and users can install it and get updates regularly, just like any other Linux OS.

        To start the installation, open up a terminal window on the Arch Linux desktop. When the terminal window is open, use the pacman command below to install Pgadmin on your system.

    • Games

      • Steam Client Update Brings Numerous Linux Fixes, More Controller Additions

        Valve today pushed out their newest stable update to the Steam client for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

        Following recent betas that included many of these changes for testing, the 13 July build is the newest version of Steam. There are several Linux changes and fixes worth mentioning and a lot of new material in general.

        Today’s update has many Linux fixes including multiple crash fixes, excess memory usage when downloading shader depots, updated libXi as part of the Steam Linux Runtime, improved NVIDIA Vulkan ray-tracing support, mapping for the PS5 DualSense controller, and other changes. The Steam Linux Soldier client beta branch has also been updated for new security updates in the name of security and better NVIDIA Vulkan ray-tracing support there too.

      • Stadia gets more generous revenue models plus a porting toolkit for DirectX to Vulkan | GamingOnLinux

        At the recent Google for Games Developer Summit it seems that Google actually still has quite a clear focus on Stadia and they’re trying to entice more developers to bring their games over.

        For starters, the optional Stadia Pro subscription will (starting this month) have new titles that enter Stadia Pro give back 70% of the revenue to developers. This will be based upon “engagement”, meaning it’s depending on how much time players spend with each title which according to Google it’s an “industry leading” amount to give back.

        The revenue share that developers get from normal Stadia purchases is also improving. Developers will get 85% of the revenue for the first $3 million, however they mentioned this is for titles launching between October 1, 2021 to the end of 2023. After that, it goes back to the “normal” cut which they didn’t say but a Google spokesperson mentioned it’s aligned with other stores (so likely back to Google taking around 30%).

      • Open source instant replay software ReplaySorcery adds an experimental KMS service | GamingOnLinux

        ReplaySorcery is a pretty great bit of open source software, giving you a simple to use instant replay solution for capturing quick bits of whatever is on your screen.

        A new release is out with version 0.6.0 which adds an experimental KMS service as a “much more secure way to handle hardware acceleration”. The original SETUID method is there still but it’s going to be removed. There’s also a new “Command” controller that lets you run a command to save a video apparently useful for Wayland. There’s also a nice fix to bring down CPU usage when using PulseAudio. It also upgrades to the latest FFmpeg version.

      • In the platformer-metroidvania Soulchild you’re a demon trying to get back home | GamingOnLinux

        It’s not easy being a demon it seems, especially when you’re somewhat lost and trying to get home. Soulchild follows the story of Silk, who was kicked out of Hell by a new king.

        “After a war in hell, you and your big brother have been kicked out of hell by the new demon king, and there is only one way to get back, cross the magical door that connects the surface world with hell, but to do that you have to get there first! And you’ll need the help of the masks, powerful artifacts that enhance your abilities.”

      • Free and open source space trading game Endless Sky gets a 0.9.14 polishing release | GamingOnLinux

        Bringing the fun of the original Escape Velocity series, the free and open source Endless Sky has another release out with version 0.9.14 with an aim to polish it up a little.

        In Endless Sky you start off with a tiny little craft that you eventually work your way up to a huge flagship, and you can even build up your own fleet. It’s a game that allows you to play it your way. Trade or fight? Sometimes both are needed. There’s a story to follow too which can give you over 10 hours of play or you can even ignore it completely.

      • Eight years later Arx Libertatis 1.2 is out now with support for high resolutions | GamingOnLinux

        Arx Libertatis is an improved, cross-platform and open source engine for the 2002 game Arx Fatalis. After a long period of no updates a huge new release is out. Developed originally by Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Prey, Death Loop), the source code was released as open source in 2011 under the GPL.

        Version 1.2 of Arx Libertatis follows eight years after the last release, and so of course there’s plenty of big improvements. For starters, the HUD now nicely scales and the game supports high resolutions and frame rates. Arx Libertatis will now feel a bit more modern. This also includes the font size and weight for the text in the player book too. With separate options for the cursor, player book, and HUD.

      • Valve has released an updated Steam Client with some Linux improvements included | GamingOnLinux

        After another while of releasing Beta builds for users to test, Valve has now pushed out the latest stable Steam Client upgrade for everyone and some Linux improvements are in.

        There’s plenty of improvements for everyone though, not just Linux users. There’s some bug fixing to prevent a UI freeze when you quit a game, they fixed a crash writing to closed files and duplicate events in the app detail activity feed should no longer happen.

        For Steam Input, the all encompassing API for developers to hook into for controller support, this has been expanded again. Valve added in support for the Share button on the PowerA Fusion Pro 2 and the PDP Xbox Series X Afterglow controllers when Xbox Extended Feature Support is enabled. There’s also support for the Amazon Luna controller, experimental Bluetooth support for the Amazon Luna controller and support for the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition controller.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • VirtualBox with FreeBSD + KDE

          I have this instant-workstation script that can be used to turn a fresh FreeBSD install into a working KDE desktop machine. I don’t run it that often, because I don’t (re)install that many machines. However, people on the Twits do seem to have trouble making similar steps, and so I’m writing down a full story from virtual machine (VM) creation to KDE Plasma Desktop.

          I’m using VirtualBox 6.1.22. The host machine is also a FreeBSD machine, but I don’t think that should make much of a difference.

          Let’s start with the creation of a VM, calling it FreeBSD KDE. I gave the VM 4096MB of RAM (not the default) and created a new virtual hard disk of 16GB (default). I used the default VDI image type, dynamically allocated – so all except for the RAM size was the default.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: On Building Bridges

          After reading “Community Power Part 4: The GNOME Way“, unlike the other articles of the series, I was left with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Strangely, reading it triggered some intense negative feelings on me, even if I fundamentally agree with many of the points raised there. In particular, the “The Hows” and “In Practice” sections seemed to be the most intense triggers.

          Reading it over and over and trying to understand the reason I had such strong reactions gave me some insights that I’d like to share. Perhaps they could be useful to more people, including to the author of article.

          On Pronouns

          I think one of the misleading aspects of the article is the extensive usage of “we” and “us”. I’d like to remind the reader that the article is hosted on a personal blog, and thus its content cannot be taken as an official statement of the GNOME community as a whole. I’m sure many members of the community read this “Community Power” series as “Tobias’ interpretation of the dynamics of the community”, but this may not be clear to people outside of this community.

          In this particular article, I feel like the usage of these plural pronouns may have had a bad side effect. They seem to subtly imply that the GNOME community think and act on a particular way – perhaps even contradicting the first part of the series – which is not a productive way to put it.

          On Nuance And Bridges

          The members of the GNOME community seem to broadly share some core values, yes, and these values permeate many aspects of daily interactions in varying degrees. Broad isn’t strict, though, and there actually is a surprising amount of disagreement inside the community. Most of the times, I think this is beneficial to both personal and collective growth. Ideas rarely go uncontested. There is nuance.

          And nuance is precisely where I think many statements of the article fail.

    • Distributions

      • Linux for Education: Best Distributions for Kids, Teachers & Schools

        Can kids use Linux distributions? And is it suitable for school use?

        Well, that depends on what are your options and what you choose to go with. No matter whether you want something for a kid or the school teacher, there are options available.

        Hence, to give you a head start, we have curated a list of best Linux distributions tailored for education.

        For a kid, a distribution has to offer a user-friendly UI minus the advanced functionalities.

        You may argue that it can be done with any mainstream, beginner-friendly distro like Ubuntu, Mint or Zorin. You are right, but if a distribution comes with essential tools baked in and makes it easy to use, kids will quickly learn to use it and have fun.

      • Reviews

        • AlmaLinux 8.4 mini review – A clever community take on RHEL

          I said it would be a short one, and it is. But don’t be disappointed. The results are very good. Highly encouraging. Of course, deploying a system in production and doing it at home for fun are two completely different things. However, I encountered no issues with this exercise. AlmaLinux 8.4 behaved, and played along with all of my tweaks and changes.

          Now, I actually have a dilemma. I’d like to go forward with one of the RHEL-based distros, but I’m not sure which one. I have a sentimental preference for CentOS, but that’s only version 7. The two 8.X distros, Rocky and Alma, promise a more “modern” journey, and they both seem equally capable. Either way, I need to complicate things, of course. Perhaps I’ll try to deploy these distros on a box with Nvidia graphics, and see how far I get there. All in all, AlmaLinux 8 seems like a nice distro, and I will be exploring some more. See ya.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian XMPP Team: XMPP Novelties in Debian 11 Bullseye

          This is not only the Year of the Ox, but also the year of Debian 11, code-named bullseye. The release lies ahead, full freeze starts this week. A good opportunity to take a look at what is new in bullseye. In this post new programs and new software versions related to XMPP, also known as Jabber are presented. XMPP exists since 1999, and has a diverse and active developers community. It is a universal communication protocol, used for instant messaging, IoT, WebRTC, and social applications.

        • GSoC: First Phase of Coding Period

          I still can’t believe that the first half of GSoC period is almost over. So it’s been about 5 weeks working on the project and that means I have a lot to share about it. So without further ado, let’s get started.

        • Grub2config replaces Grub4Dos

          This is great news! ‘shinobar’ is an old-timer. He joined the old Murga Puppy Forum in 2009, and has created PETs that have been important components of Puppy, including Grub4dos GUI, and SFS loader. EasyOS has his Grub4dos PET, in the “Setup” menu.

          He is a member on the new Puppy Forum, but has kept a low profile. The great news is that he is working on a replacement for his old Grub PETs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Pop!_OS 21.04 First Impressions

          Pop!_OS has become one of my favorite Linux distributions over the last couple of years. It’s a fantastic distro for many reasons, most of which is the way it “just works.” Sorry Apple, that’s not exclusive to you. System76 released version Pop!_OS 21.04 and I upgraded immediately. Here are my first impressions.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Top 5 Open Source Social Networks that Abides Privacy
      • Freenode Introducing Remotes

        Since the beginning of the internet, IRC has provided a pipeline of communication leading to innovations that the world hadn’t seen before. The internet was one thing as was e-mail, but it was the real time connectivity of IRC that finally shrank the world to one community. Many different kinds of people across borders formed groups across all kinds of different sectors which relied on, and benefitted from IRC and its ability to connect like minded passionate people, not just neighbors, together, be it FOSS, to translators, to whistleblowers, to you-name-it. IRC was the free world.
        IRC continued, in a decentralized form, with powerful IRC clients, like BitchX and mIRC which both incorporated extensible scripting capabilities, and also, eggdrop bots that would stay online and provide the same programmable interface to IRC.
        However, the great attack against IRC eventually arrived. Similar to those we see on the message boards today, the freedom of IRC was too much for some to bare. It needed to go. The IRC War came and went quickly, and IRC, from a great millions of users when the internet was only millions of users, shriveled into a shell of its former self. From there, purpose driven communications applications, with user interaction and narrative driven and controlled by the leadership of said apps, flooded the world.
        Today, most people are engaged on their phones, all day, and live by the rules governed by code written by the developers but chosen by few leaders of large entities. Slavery has never been so far and wide. Never before has such a small group of people controlled the lives and destinies of so many.

      • 1.0 is released! · OpenSearch
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla and TOr Project

          • Lilbits: Firefox 90, Apple’s MagSafe Battery for the iPhone 12, and using the Raspberry Pi 4 as a tiny server

            The latest version of Firefox for Windows can download and install updates in the background, enabling you to update by just restarting the browser when you’re ready. A day after posting a video showing a GNU/Linux distribution running on the Kobo Clara HD eReader, developer Martijn Braam reports that display graphics issues have been largely resolved by reducing the color palette.

          • Firefox 90 Release Notes [Mozilla]
          • New Release: Tails 4.20

            Tails 4.20 completely changes how to connect to the Tor network from Tails.

            After connecting to a local network, a Tor Connection assistant helps you connect to the Tor network.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5.2 (Windows, macOS, Linux)

            Tor Browser 10.5.2 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version updates Firefox to 78.12.0esr. This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

          • Bug Smash Fund, Year 2: Progress Since February 2021

            Last August, we asked you to help us fundraise during our second annual Bug Smash Fund campaign. This fund is designed to grow a healthy reserve earmarked for maintenance work, finding bugs, and smashing them—all tasks necessary to keep Tor Browser, the Tor network, and the many tools that rely on Tor strong, safe, and running smoothly. In 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19 and event cancellations, you helped us to raise $106,709!

            We want to share an update on some of the work that the second year of the Bug Smash Fund has made possible.

      • CMS

        • 10 Open-source CRM solutions for Healthcare

          CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is business software that helps sales teams manage their customer communications, focus on the most valuable opportunities and provide the best customer experience.

          Open source CRM software has become a necessity for a good deal of healthcare facilities to manage its data with most efficiency and lower the cost.

          Many healthcare service providers have few big problems managing appointments, billings patient, record management, coordinating with other departments, CRM system designed for managing clinic and solve all of these problems.

        • WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate 3

          The third release candidate for WordPress 5.8 is now available!

          WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, 2021, and we need your help to get there—if you have not tried 5.8 yet, now is the time!

      • Education

        • How K12 is different from Higher Education

          The BigBlueButton online classroom is an excellent system for teaching online courses for both K12 and Higher Education. With features such as smart slides, screen sharing, multi-user whiteboard, chat, quick poll and more, K12 teachers as well as university professors have everything they need to convey their lessons. The main difference is that teachers are likely to use different software features for different age groups.Sometimes, a particular function may not be covered as often in a specific age stage but may come back later. BigBlueButton can be used for students of all ages and as a WCAG accessibility product, offers a functional, inclusive platform.

        • MIT and Harvard Have Sold Higher Education’s Future

          Last week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sold their edX platform to a for-profit company for $800 million. Founded by the two institutions nearly a decade ago, edX was higher education’s answer to the venture-backed start-ups jostling for an online-course windfall. With the sale to one of those firms, Maryland-based 2U, Harvard and MIT have surrendered. Their decision to fold is a major, and potentially fateful, act of betrayal.

        • Harvard and MIT to Sell edX for $800 Million

          As part of the agreement, which is subject to approval by Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey ’92, 2U will own and plans to operate edX as a public benefit entity, which means that in addition to creating value for shareholders, edX will also provide a specific public benefit—in this case, online courses, some of which can be audited for free. Currently, edX offers more than 3,000 online programs. “With the acquisition,” according to a University statement, “2U’s network will expand to include more than 230 partners, including over 185 nonprofit colleges and universities and 19 of the top 20 ranked universities globally.”

        • FAQs on agreement to sell edX to 2U, Inc. and fund nonprofit to reimagine digital learning

          With the support of the senior leadership of MIT and Harvard University, the edX board has agreed to sell the assets of edX to 2U, Inc., a publicly traded company that provides a platform for life-long learning.

          Through this acquisition, edX — the nonprofit MIT and Harvard launched together in 2012 to offer the world an open-source online learning platform for university-level courses — will become a 2U subsidiary as a “public benefit company,” which will allow edX’s long-standing commitment to the public good to be embedded in its new charter. The overall agreement actively sustains the mission of edX through a series of provisions that protect learner data, ensure free and low-cost access to courses, preserve choice for partner universities and faculty, and continue the open-source platform.

        • Why Is 2U Spending $800 Million to Buy edX?

          For 2U, the thinking behind the acquisition was likely that the 39 million learners on the edX platform would ultimately enable the company to scale more rapidly. As 2U notes in their announcement, the combination of 2U and edX “will reach over 50 million learners globally, serve more than 230 partners, and offer over 3,500 digital programs.”

      • FSF

        • Step by step encryption with the updated Email Self-Defense guide

          We often hear the sentence “I have nothing to hide,” which is an understandable reaction to the myriad ways in which we have been trained to think that it is acceptable to be surveilled, or to have to hand over your information. But we should have the inalienable right to know exactly what data from us, or from our loved ones, is being exposed when using software. We should have the right to view whatever data software is collecting from us, so we can make an informed decision whether or not we want to allow a program into our lives.

          In this world of constant bulk surveillance, free software and the four freedoms are a prerequisite for privacy. Because bulk surveillance is so pervasive, free software alone is not enough to ensure safe communications and secure data. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) wants to give you the tools to increase your level of personal privacy. In order to do that, we use a free (as in freedom) program called GnuPG to encrypt our email communication, and we have created the Email Self-Defense guide to help you learn how to do it, too.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to forget 10x engineers for the good of your team | The Enterprisers Project

          In 1968, a team of researchers at the Association for Computing Machinery set out to quantify the performance of a group of developers at a Santa Monica company called System Development Corporation. After running the developers through a set of controlled, standardized tasks, the researchers found major discrepancies between the highest- and lowest-performing participants – namely, they found that the best developers could perform 10 times the work of their lower-performing peers.

          The idea of the “10x engineer” – those iconoclastic, almost mythical developers who can do the work of 10 people – has been plaguing Silicon Valley ever since. But in the last few years, it seems like every company in every industry is doggedly on the hunt for their 10x engineer. With the immense pressure on companies around the world to innovate faster through software, they have been led to believe that hiring only the most efficient developers will give them a competitive edge to supercharge their digital transformation.

          Unfortunately, this approach is misguided and may be just as outdated as the refrigerator-sized, vacuum-tubed computers that the ACM researchers used in 1968. Though careful hiring is absolutely necessary, successful digital transformation requires a lot more than a single superstar developer. Instead of searching for a 10x engineer, leaders should focus on making their entire company 10x. Here’s how to get started.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • What is +ACY- doing in the data?

            Almost all the data files I audit are in UTF-8, but the files have often started out in other encodings. This can lead to some hilarious mojibake and loads of fun for me as I try to reverse the encoding conversion failures.

            Last week a file appeared with mojibake I’d never seen before. Here are the original characters followed by the character strings as they appeared in the audit file…

          • 12 Useful ‘sed’ Commands In Linux | LinuxTeck

            In this article, we will learn how to use the sed (stream editor) in Linux with 12 practical examples. The sed command is a powerful and useful tool in Unix / Linux for editing the content (files) line by line, including inserts, appends, changes, and deletes. Furthermore, it supports regular expressions, so it can match complex patterns. Commonly it is used to find and replace the strings in files like configuration files, bash scripts, SQL files, etc.

            The sed commands are mostly abstracted from the ‘ed’ text editor. The sed command allows us to quickly remove or replace the content without having to open a file. “For editing purposes, we have several text editors available in Linux, such as vi, emacs, vim, and jed. However, the “sed” utility will function with no limitations on any standard Unix or Linux terminal.

            Once you understand how syntax patterns work, it is pretty easy to use sed in Linux. This is why most experienced Linux users use the sed command since it allows them to perform powerful tasks, like substitute, insert, or delete text in a file or stream programmatically.

            This guide will walk you through the most common 12 sed commands in Linux using real-time examples. If you are just getting started with scripting (bash), the sed utility is essential. All examples under this section have been tested on RHEL, CentOS-Stream, and Rocky Linux.

          • Escaping madness to get literal field separators in awk

            Conclusion: For a consistent behavior across both mawk and gawk and irrespective of trailing backslash errors, you need to use 4 backslashes for every backslash.

        • Rust

          • 5 Rust tools worth trying on the Linux command line

            Linux inherited a lot from Unix, which has been around for a half-century. This means most of the tools you use in your Linux terminal probably either have a very long history or were written to emulate those historical commands. It’s a point of pride in the POSIX world that tools don’t need constant reinvention. In fact, there’s a subset of Linux users today who could run a version of Linux from before they were born without having to learn anything new. It’s tried, true, and reliable.

            That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been evolution, though. All the commands Linux users know and love have been improved over the years. Some have even been replaced entirely and are so common now that few people still care to remember the old ones. Can you imagine Linux without SSH? Well, believe it or not, the ssh command replaced one called rsh.

  • Leftovers

    • Cortés Burning the Aviaries

      Last night, I let in all the birds. I told my grandmother to stay awhile. I said, stop disguising yourself as wind. You are not the only one who can fly.

      I told my grandmother to stay awhile. There is something in the wind. I recognize your voice. You are not the only one who can fly. Have you seen Montezuma’s aviaries—still green, full of breath?

    • Kim Jong Un Drops Some Weight

      So Kim Jong Un is looking rather svelte. He’s lost at least four notches on his belt. Has illness or a diet made him trim? Have shortages of food reached even Kim? Not yet. But if that threat becomes more credible, He’ll find in time that missiles are inedible.

    • Where the Wild Things Are

      Is an animal a being or a boundary? Is it a kind of living organism or a threshold that anyone might cross—
      if pushed far enough? As the scholar Jack Halberstam argues in his latest book, Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire, many of our associations with animals and their natural habitat are rooted in colonial practices of categorization that distinguished “the domestic/tame/civilized” from “the foreign/wild/barbaric.” However, far from urging us to dismantle this binary, Halberstam asks us merely to reorganize the judgments we attach to it so that the wild and animalistic might not be something we fear descending into but rather something we might actively embrace. Much as queer theory seeks to recuperate the word “queer” itself, Halberstam notes, so too should we reclaim “wildness” as not a disparagement but as a mode of resistance. To be wild is not to fail at being civilized but to recognize the failures of civilization to sustain life—physically and spiritually. Wildness, he argues, “functions as a form of disorder that will not submit to rule, a mode of unknowing, a resistant ontology, and a fantasy of life beyond the human.”

      Filthy Animals, the novelist Brandon Taylor’s first short story collection, is filled with characters who crave the kind of feral freedom that Halberstam describes. The opening story, “Potluck,” begins with a character looking into the window of an apartment on a frigid Wisconsin winter night: “Noise of an undifferentiated party variety drifted out into the deep blue cold, meeting Lionel under the sunroom window, where he had stopped to peer inside.” Varying degrees of ferociousness await him there: classist disdain from the academics in attendance, unwanted sexual advances, and wanted sexual advances that presage jealousy-driven acts of cruelty. Interior spaces do not offer warmth and protection from the elements but instead leave Lionel and many of the other characters in the collection (many of whom are queer, women, and people of color) vulnerable to the predations of stronger human animals. At one point, Lionel finds himself sitting next to the girlfriend of a man who has been flirting with him and senses “a kind of heat” transferring between them, “some kind of animal recognition.”

    • What Counts

      First breath, best breath. I don’t mean anything by that.

      Shale over shale. I concentrate on acts

    • Guitar? Yeah, I Dabble | The New Yorker

      “Do you play guitar?”

      I’ve gotta say—that’s one hell of a loaded question. Before I answer, let me make sure I’m as crystal as the Aegean on what you’re asking.

      By “guitar,” you’re talking about the instrument composed of a hollow wooden body and six taut steel strings? The instrument casually leaning against my bedroom wall, utterly untuned, covered in dust, beneath the sun-bleached Sublime poster? That guitar?

      And by “play,” do you mean, “to exist in a state of perpetual whimsy”? Do you mean, “to engage in an activity for enjoyment”? Do you mean, “Jad, I’m just asking whether you play the guitar, because you mention your guitar a lot, and this is the first time I’m seeing it, and it’s covered in a shocking amount of dust”?

    • Ralph Nader Can’t Slow Down

      At age 87, Nader—whom Road & Track once derided in print as the “national nanny”—writes a syndicated column, hosts a weekly radio show, and runs a museum dedicated to torts (yes, legal torts). We called to ask if he’s still mad at us. Road & Track: Can you belie

    • Science

      • Is “mRNA vaccine inventor” Robert Malone “being erased from Wikipedia” for his claims about COVID-19?

        There’s a name that’s been popping up more and more in the COVID-19 conspiracy theory and antivaccine social media underground, one that I’ve been meaning to look into but somehow never got around to doing. I’m referring to Robert Malone, PhD. Currently, Malone shows up as CEO of RW Malone MD, LLC, a company, a consultancy and analytics company, for which Dr. Malone “specializes in clinical research, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, project management, proposal management (large grants and contracts), vaccines and biodefense,” including “writing, developing, reviewing and managing vaccine, bio-threat and biologics clinical trials and clinical development strategies.” On the surface, he sounds like a legitimate scientist, and maybe he was. However, in the era of the pandemic, something happened and he’s gone full COVID-19 crank.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Russia’s pandemic website stops reporting number of active coronavirus cases

        The Russian government’s online hub for the pandemic, stopkorona.rf, has stopped publishing statistics on the number of active coronavirus cases across the country. 

      • Fauci’s Truths and Half-Truths About Gain-of-Function Research

        Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. His salient qualities would seem to be a genial concern for our well-being and a fund of practical wisdom informed by expertise. Still, 37 years in a position of enormous power is probably too long not to nurture delusions of infallibility.

      • How Hot Does it Get Inside a Car During a Heat Wave?

        At midnight the car was a mere two degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

        At 5am it was four degrees cooler in the car.

        A couple of hours later it was eight degrees hotter than outside.

        Near the peak of the day it was 50 degrees hotter in the car. Incredible.

        You can see the peaks and valleys in the graphs.

        I’ll be doing even more with this data in the future. Very curious about how it ramped up and I want to look into it more.

      • Sydney Mockdown: The Delta Variant Strikes

        Of concern are the numbers of people who were moving in the community during all or part of their infectious phase.  Of the 50 reported cases on Saturday, 37 of those qualified.  “That is the number we need to get down to as close as zero as possible,” stated an alarmed Premier Gladys Berejiklian.  “The only conclusion we can draw from this is that things are going to get worse before they get better.”

        The 11am press conferences are proving grim affairs tinged by panic.  The questions asked are the same as those in other states in Australia where outbreaks took place.  What are essential shopping items?  How many people are permitted in your home?  On each successive occasion, the Premier seemed panicked, even shrill.  “Zero means zero!” she has stated at various points.  “No visits!”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Major Russian-speaking ransomware gang behind JBS and Kaseya attacks goes offline

          It is unclear why the group’s online footprint, including its blog and payment-processing infrastructure, have gone offline, but its absence has prompted questions about whether the U.S. took action just days after President Joe Biden promised consequences for a string of cyberattacks. But ransomware gangs have also been known to voluntarily disband, only to return under a different name.

          The group, REvil, is one of the most prolific cybercriminal organizations in the world. It hacked more than 360 U.S. targets in 2021 alone, part of an extortion spree that locks up victims’ computers, leading to demands of payment in exchange for a decryptor program and a promise to not leak sensitive files.

        • Ransomware Gang REvil Vanishes From Web After Biden Warning

          “It’s too early too tell, but I’ve never seen ALL of their infrastructure offline like this,” said Allan Liska, senior threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future Inc., in a text message. “I can’t find any of their infrastructure online. Their extortion page is gone, all of their payment portals are offline, as is their chat function.” Liska said the websites went offline around 1 a.m. Eastern time.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Kaseya claims SaaS restoration going swimmingly

            Beleaguered IT management firm Kaseya says sixty per cent of its SaaS services have been successfully restored.

            An update to the firm’s advisory regarding the attack on its VSA product, time-stamped 10:00PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on July 11th, states: “The restoration of services is progressing according to plan, with 60% of our SaaS customers live and servers coming online for the rest of our customers in the coming hours.”

          • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, July 2021 Edition
          • Google pulls latest Chromebook update amidst slowdowns, introducing another problem in the process

            Google has pulled the latest version of Chrome OS 91. Before, reports have been emerging that some Chromebook owners are experiencing significant performance regressions on Chrome OS version 91.0.4472.147, the latest stable release. However, in the process of pausing the update on devices, Google has introduced another problem — you can no longer install Linux on what has now become the latest release again, version 91.0.4472.114.

            After pulling the problematic update to version 91.0.4472.147, Google is now pointing to v91.0.4472.114 as the most recent stable release. However, it looks like the Linux installer app hasn’t received the memo regarding the pulled update yet. As reported by Chrome Unboxed, the Linux installer checks if you’re running the latest version of the OS before it runs, and it looks like Google’s servers still claim that version x.114 isn’t the latest anymore, prompting users to update their Chromebooks. Since version x.147 is no longer available, that’s not possible — x.114 is simply the latest release now. Hence, you can’t install Linux on the current release of Chrome OS 91 right now.

          • The State of Vulnerability Management and Patching in The Enterprise Environment [Ed: Shameless self-promotion by a patching firm]

            The Linux vulnerability landscape is becoming increasingly complex, in part due to a seemingly never-ending number of new vulnerabilities that are constantly surfacing.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (xstream), Debian (linuxptp), Fedora (glibc and krb5), Gentoo (pillow and thrift), Mageia (ffmpeg and libsolv), openSUSE (kernel and qemu), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (php5, php7.0).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • MAGA-Friendly Twitter Clone, GETTR, Coughs Up 90,000 User Email Addresses To Hackers

              GETTR, the Twitter clone created by former Trump advisor Jason Miller, seems to have rolled out just as smoothly as every other attempt to replace the social media service that’s still inexplicably popular with people who claim to hate it for moderating their speech.

            • Phones Backdoored By The FBI Are Being Sold To Unsuspecting People Just Wanting A Cheap Replacement Device

              Now that it’s been revealed the FBI — along with an unnamed conspirator linked to encrypted phone development — created a honeypot device to harvest communications between suspected criminals, the backdoored devices are making their debut in the (non-criminal) public domain.

            • Clearview’s Face Surveillance Still Has No First Amendment Defense

              Clearview now faces many BIPA lawsuits. One was brought by the ACLU and ACLU of Illinois in state court. Many others were filed against the company in federal courts across the country, and then consolidated into one federal courtroom in Chicago. In both Illinois and federal court, Clearview argues that the First Amendment bars these BIPA claims.

              We disagree. Last week, we filed an amicus brief in the federal case, arguing that applying BIPA to Clearview’s faceprinting does not offend the First Amendment. Last fall, we filed a similar amicus brief in the Illinois state court case.

              EFF has a longstanding commitment to protecting both speech and privacy at the digital frontier, and these cases bring these values into tension. Faceprinting raises some First Amendment interests, because it is collection and creation of information for purposes of later expressing information. However, as practiced by Clearview, this faceprinting does not enjoy the highest level of First Amendment protection, because it does not concern speech on a public matter, and the company’s interests are solely economic. Under the correct First Amendment test, Clearview may not ignore BIPA, because there is a close fit between BIPA’s goals (protecting privacy, speech, and information security) and its means (requiring opt-in consent).

            • Homeland Security funding package pours millions into migrant surveillance

              The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill for Department of Homeland Security funding Tuesday that would allocate millions toward technologies for surveilling immigrants.

              The proposal, passed through the Democratic-controlled committee on a 33-24 party-line vote, would allocate $475 million to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the agency’s Alternatives To Detention (ATD) program, well above what the Biden administration requested in its 2022 budget.

            • Twitter will let you change who can reply to a tweet after you post it

              Twitter is rolling out the ability to let you change who can reply to a tweet after you have posted it, the company announced Tuesday. You could already limit who replied to your tweets thanks to a feature rolled out widely in August, but you had to set that preference while writing the tweet — with this update, you can change who can reply at a later time, which could be a helpful way to reduce harassment. The feature will be available globally on iOS, Android, and the web.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • CA Judge Says Mass Shooting Lawsuit Against Gun Manufacturer Can Move Forward
      • Peace on the Korean Peninsula Needs to Be a Priority

        However, an issue that should be a high priority, negotiations for a peace agreement on the Korean peninsula, is missing from the list. It should not be, and if the Administration won’t take it up, Congress and concerned individuals should provide a strong nudge.

        The world doesn’t need a return to former President Trump’s showy but ultimately failed personal bromance with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. What’s called for is more mundane — unglamorous, professional diplomacy, perhaps by some of the same government officials that worked on (and are working to revive) the Iran anti-nuclear deal. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been a strong leader and steady partner in advocating peace on the Korean peninsula, but has less than a year left in office. That time should be well-spent, not squandered, as his successor won’t necessarily be as firm an advocate of peace and reconciliation with the North.

      • Yemen: Biden Shrugs Off Campaign Promise as US Backs New Saudi Offensive and AQAP Support

        President Joe Biden gave a lot of people a sense of cautious optimism when he took to the campaign trail and promised to bring a swift end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The oil-rich monarchy, supported heavily by the United States, has been waging arguably the deadliest military campaign of the past decade on the forgotten country for over six years, exacting a brutal humanitarian toll on its civilian population.

      • Rumsfeld’s Desserts

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

      • The Forever War in Afghanistan is Far From Over

        The last US commander of the giant Bagram airbase north of Kabul, once headquarters for 100,000 American troops in the country, left in the middle of the night last weekend without informing his Afghan successor – who has said he did not learn of the final US evacuation until two hours after it had happened.

        The most immediate cause of the implosion of Afghan government forces was the announcement by President Biden on 14 April that the last US troops would leave the country by 11 September. But the complaints of US and British generals that this is all happening too quickly for them to prepare the Afghan security forces to stand alone are absurd, since they have spent two decades failing to do just that.

      • On the Brink in 2026: US-China Near-War Status Report

        It’s the summer of 2026, five years after the Biden administration identified the People’s Republic of China as the principal threat to U.S. security and Congress passed a raft of laws mandating a society-wide mobilization to ensure permanent U.S. domination of the Asia-Pacific region. Although major armed conflict between the United States and China has not yet broken out, numerous crises have erupted in the western Pacific and the two countries are constantly poised for war. International diplomacy has largely broken down, with talks over climate change, pandemic relief, and nuclear nonproliferation at a standstill. For most security analysts, it’s not a matter of if a U.S.-China war will erupt, but when.

      • The Assassination of Jovenel Moise: What Next for Haiti?

        The July 7 assassination of Jovenel Moise by a professional kill squad does not alter US support for the PHTK regime. Unless there is massive opposition by the US public and members of Congress, expect the Biden Administration to continue to support the current PHTK regime led by Prime Minister Claude Joseph or whoever else emerges within this regime to assume power during this transition. Expect the Biden Administration to provide ongoing funding for its brutal security forces. These central points should not be obscured by escalating media speculation regarding “who did it”, particularly in the aftermath of arrests of ex-Colombian soldiers and several Haitians with US ties such as Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

        What Are the Characteristics that Define the PHTK Regime Under Both Martelly And Moise?

      • The Hidden Hand of the US Blockade Sparks Cuba Protests

        Protests erupted in various Cuban cities the weekend of July 11 over dire economic conditions and a surge in Covid-19 cases. They are the biggest protests to hit Cuba in three decades, and they may well continue in the coming weeks. They come on the heels of artists’ protests in Havana at the end of 2020, and have extended to many parts of the island. But their scale has been exaggerated by the Western press and by Cuban Americans who have been predicting, for 60 years, the imminent fall of the Cuban government.

      • Biden Urged to Lift US Embargo on Cuba as Thousands Protest Critical Shortages
      • Cuba’s Protests Are Different This Time

        Never since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959 have anti-government protesters mounted large, simultaneous demonstrations in cities across the island like they did last weekend. Some of the demonstrations were peaceful; others were little more than riots and an excuse for looting. But all were expressions of people’s economic desperation and frustration at the government’s inability to alleviate their current misery.

      • The United States Tries to Take Advantage of the Price Cubans are Paying for the Blockade and the Pandemic

        On July 12, 2021, Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel told a press conference that Cuba is facing serious shortages of food and medicine. “What is the origin of all these issues?” he asked. The answer, he said, “is the blockade.” If the U.S.-imposed blockade ended, many of the great challenges facing Cuba would lift. Of course, there are other challenges, such as the collapse of the crucial tourism sector due to the pandemic. Both problems—the pandemic and the blockade—have increased the challenges for the Cuban people. The pandemic is a problem that people all over the world now face; the U.S.-imposed blockade is a problem unique to Cuba (as well as about 30 other countries struck by unilateral U.S. sanctions).

        Protests

      • Israeli NGO urges UNICEF to probe Hamas, PIJ for using child soldiers

        The NGO, which is a network of over 3,000 lawyers and activists in over 40 nations worldwide, stated that they have “grave concern” following reports that the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) were training and recruiting children.

      • Trump makes Ashli Babbitt, killed in the Capitol riot, into a martyr. Why that’s so dangerous.

        Trump’s speculation is also refuted by the video evidence freely available to the public, which clearly shows that Babbitt was not “innocent.” She was shot while trying to force entry into a restricted area and disregarding multiple police orders to stop. We also know Babbitt arrived at the Capitol fired up by Trump’s conspiracy theories, which she spelled out on her social media profiles alongside threats to Democratic elected officials, such as the vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, and Rep. Maxine Waters of California.

        In any case, it is doubtful that anyone in the GOP is actually interested in uncovering the truth about what happened on Jan. 6. Back in May, Republicans loudly and proudly refused to support a bipartisan investigation into the riot. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona went so far as to accuse the FBI of secretly having organized the attack itself — a conspiracy theory amplified by his GOP colleagues Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida.

      • Taliban Threaten Turkish Troops with ‘Jihad’ if They Stay in Afghanistan

        The Taliban warned Tuesday that if Turkey extends its military presence in Afghanistan the Islamist group will view Turkish troops as “occupiers” and wage “jihad” against them.

        The warning came amid fresh battlefield moves that critics say show the Taliban are planning a military takeover of Afghanistan in defiance of their peace pledges, raising the prospects of a full-blown civil war.

        The United States has asked Turkey to secure Kabul’s airport after all American and NATO allied troops withdraw from the country by the end of next month.

      • Iranians ‘plotted to kidnap US, Canada and UK targets’

        Four Iranian nationals have been charged with plotting to kidnap a New York-based journalist, the US Department of Justice says.

      • Feds say Iran backed plot to kidnap US-based journalist

        A superseding indictment from the U.S. District Court from the Southern District of New York was unsealed Tuesday, revealing charges against an Iranian intelligence official, Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, as well as “Iranian intelligence assets” Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi and Omid Noori.

        Each of the four individuals have been charged with conspiring to kidnap; conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and sanctions against the government of Iran; bank and wire fraud conspiracy; and conspiring to commit money laundering.

      • Four Iranians charged with plotting to kidnap author living in Brooklyn

        “I’ve been targeted for a number of years but this is the first time that such an audacious plot has been hatched and foiled,” Alinejad said by email Tuesday night.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Trouble in Alaska? Massive oil pipeline is threatened by thawing permafrost

        The slope of permafrost where an 810-foot section of the pipeline is secured has started to shift as it thaws, causing several of the braces holding up the pipeline to twist and bend.

        This appears to be the first instance that pipeline supports have been damaged by “slope creep” caused by thawing permafrost, records and interviews with officials involved with managing the pipeline show.

      • Kausal Watch is climate monitoring and build-in accountability

        Kausal Watch is a monitoring tool to create an overview over local climate action. It started in Helsinki and it is now used in several municipalities in Finland. The company behind wanted to publish it on open source license in order to foster a process of co-creation.

        Kausal directly oversees the municipalities’ climate challenges. This platform is based on know-how from a former climate change expert in Helsinki municipality, CEO Sonja-Maria Ignatius. Helsinki municipality’s climate plan is ambitious, yet, they needed tools to monitor and manage it. Sonja saw that challenge and acted upon it.

      • As DA Rejects Charges, Bayou Bridge Water Protectors Vow ‘We Will Not Stop Our Work’

        Free speech, environmental, and Indigenous advocates on Tuesday welcomed a Louisiana district attorney’s decision to reject all criminal charges against 16 activists and a journalist, some of whom were the first defendants tried under an amendment to the state’s critical infrastructure law that criminalized peaceful protests of fossil fuel projects.

        “Louisiana’s ‘critical infrastructure’ law is an attempt to take away our personal freedom along with our constitutional right to protest.”—Annie White Hat, water protector

      • Amid Extreme Heat, Humanitarian Group Reports Dozens of Migrant Deaths in Arizona Desert
      • Is There No Way Out of the Climate Crisis?

        In San Francisco, we’re finally starting to put away our masks. With 74 percent of the city’s residents over 12 fully vaccinated, for the first time in more than a year we’re enjoying walking, shopping, and eating out, our faces naked. So I was startled when my partner reminded me that we need to buy masks again very soon—N95 masks, that is. The California wildfire season has already begun, earlier than ever, and we’ll need to protect our lungs during the months to come from the fine particulates carried in the wildfire smoke that’s been engulfing this city in recent years.

      • Energy

        • Campaign Disclosures Show Senate Dems in ExxonMobil Exposé Got Almost $333,000

          A pair of reports published Tuesday in the wake of a damning exposé featuring secretly recorded ExxonMobil lobbyists further illuminated the fossil fuel giant’s efforts to influence powerful centrists in Congress and beyond.

          The New Republic’s Kate Aronoff revealed that “centrist think tanks are raking in Exxon cash,” citing a company report, while HuffPost’s Alexander Kaufman reviewed an analysis by the advocacy group Oil Change U.S. of campaign contributions to six Democratic U.S. senators named in Unearthed’s June exposé.

        • ‘Subsidizing the Climate and Ecological Crisis’: Biden Approving Fossil Fuel Permits Faster Than Trump or Obama

          Flying in the face of the White House’s reference to the climate crisis as an “existential threat” and President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge, his administration has so far approved fossil fuel drilling permits on public and tribal lands at a faster rate than his two immediate predecessors, a new Associated Press analysis has found.

          “We’re not only subsidizing the climate and ecological crisis,” climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted in response to the new reporting, “we’re speeding it up.”

        • Manchin’s Energy Bill Condemned as ‘Kick in the Gut to Climate Justice’

          Public and environmental health advocates on Tuesday denounced Sen. Joe Manchin’s Energy Infrastructure Act of 2021, calling the bill, which proposes spending 70 times more on fossil fuels than renewables, a “kick in the gut to climate justice.”

          “The Biden administration promised to center climate in its infrastructure investment. Manchin’s proposal does the opposite, lining the pockets of polluters with zero regard for the seriousness of the climate crisis.”—Sarah Lutz, Friends of the Earth

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Livestock’s harmful climate impact is growing fast

          Lobbyists are trying to downplay livestock’s harmful climate impact, which adds large amounts of methane to the atmosphere.

        • Breach of Faith on the Bridger-Teton: Forest Service Expands Grazing on Abandoned Allotments in the Upper Green River

          I recently visited the area to see how the allotments were doing without livestock. Although the impacts of past livestock grazing are apparent in many places, with particular plant species typically avoided by livestock still dominating the landscape, the recovery of vegetation is ongoing. In addition, I found evidence of elk, pronghorn, and other wildlife use of the area.

          These allotments were closed in 2016 when private interests paid millions of dollars to the ranchers to voluntarily retire their grazing privileges in the area to reduce conflicts between livestock and public values like wilderness integrity and protecting bighorn sheep and grizzly bears. The assumption of those who donated funds to allotment retirement is that the area would never be grazed by livestock again—or so the people donating funds assumed this would be the case. Restocking these allotments could jeopardize future voluntary grazing buyout proposals.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • 11 Charts on Taxing the Wealthy and Corporations

        The chances of these proposals passing depends largely on whether lawmakers can reach consensus around tax increases on wealthy individuals, big corporations, and Wall Street. The 11 charts below show how such reforms would both generate revenue to help pay for transformative public investments while also curbing the skyrocketing inequality that is undermining our society and democracy. According to Americans for Tax Fairness, such fair tax reforms are extremely popular, with voters expressing support by 60-65 percent or more in 12 recent polls.

        Biden aims to raise the top marginal tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent, where it stood before the 2017 Republican tax cuts. Tax rate hikes at the top were an effective tool in reversing the extreme inequality of the “Gilded Age.” Under high top rates in the post-WWII decades, the share of national income flowing to the richest 0.1 percent fell significantly. When policymakers once again slashed those rates, beginning in the 1960s and accelerating in the 1980s, inequality shot back up. According to Professor Emmanuel Saez, the richest 0.1 percent of Americans pocketed 10.84 percent of total U.S. income in 2018, a level not seen since 1929. Contrary to the arguments of tax hike opponents, real U.S. GDP grew faster in the 1950s and 1960s than in more recent decades. The subsequent decade with the highest growth rate was the 1990s — after Congress enacted moderate top tax rate increases.

      • Imagine a Nation Like This

        Imagine a nation so economically unequal that its top one-thousandth has more wealth than its bottom 90 percent.

        Imagine a nation so racially unequal that the median household wealth of its Black households is equal to 7 cents on the dollar of its median white households.

      • Sports Teams: Congress Needs To Demolish the Everlasting Tax Shelter for Billionaires

        Remember the Everlasting Gobstopper from Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory? It was a candy for children with “very little pocket money.” It lasted forever, never getting smaller, and was perpetually flavorful.

      • Coming to Grips With Inflation Fears

        To add some context to the debate, we all knew that there would be some disruptions as the economy reopened. Large segments of the economy, most visibly hotels and restaurants, were running at a fraction of their capacity until the last few months. Now that most pandemic restrictions have been removed, businesses in these sectors are rushing to add staff and get fully up to speed.

        But this is a process that takes time. (That’s why some of us supported measures like work sharing or the paycheck protection program, that kept workers tied to their employers.) During this adjustment process, there will be shortages in various sectors. There also will be problems for many employers trying to attract workers. In many cases they will have to offer higher wages, which is not a bad thing, but may require some adjustment on the part of businesses who are not used to competing for workers.

      • Robinhood has figured out how to monetize financial nihilism

        Look, the Robinhood app has lovely design, but the app isn’t the product. Trades from Robinhood users are Robinhood’s real product. The main insight Robinhood had was that in a mobile-first world, they could outflank other brokerages by reaching retail customers. They were right about that! But it means we have to be clear about what the real value in the financial system looks like: data, and fees.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • This Time Trump Is Right: He’s Only Getting Worse

        Donald Trump began a dangerous new crusade a couple of weeks ago, with an ominous four-word press release: “Who Shot Ashli Babbitt?” That was all, but in the following days, the twice-impeached former president developed his self-serving myth—that Babbitt was a freedom-loving patriot who was gunned down for supporting Trump in the supposedly peaceful January 6 protest. In the days that followed, he began to agitate for naming the officer who, after warning the crowd to stay back, fired the shot that killed Babbitt.

      • 5 Republicans Who Worked on Bipartisan Infrastructure Now Won’t Commit to It
      • The Community That May Be Hurt Most by Republican Voter Restrictions: Americans With Disabilities

        The fallout from former president Donald Trump’s Big Lie about voter fraud in the 2020 election continues to mount. Republican state lawmakers have introduced an onslaught of bills limiting voting access, which do next to nothing to increase “election integrity” but make it harder for all Americans to vote.

      • “Just Say We Won”: How Trump’s Big Lie Started, and Why It Won’t End Soon
      • Texas Democrats Have the Right Sense of Urgency for the Fight Against Jim Crow 2.0

        President Joe Biden and Democrats in Washington are clearly concerned about the threat to voting rights that has emerged in states across the country. But too many of the D.C. Democrats lack the sense of urgency felt by Democratic legislators on the ground in states such as Texas, where the Republican Party’s determination to enact voter suppression laws has created a crisis for democracy.

      • The Filibuster Is Not Inviolable: Time to Trigger the Nuclear Option

        The US Senate is back in session this week, as Texas Republicans prepare to pass another massive voter suppression bill. The only remedy available to the American people is for the federal government to use its constitutional authority to regulate federal elections to block what President Biden has referred to as the GOP’s “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” 

      • In Texas, ‘Fleeing’ Democrats Take Courageous Stand for Democracy

        Monday’s USA Today headline said almost verbatim what is being said across a wide range of U.S. media outlets: “Texas Democrats plan to flee state to stop Republican voting bill in special session.”

      • Texas Gov Threatens to Arrest Dem Lawmakers Fleeing to Block Voter Restrictions
      • As Biden Dodges Issue, Progressives Urge Dem Senators to ‘Repeal the Filibuster’

        As U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday implored Congress to pass two landmark pro-democracy bills—the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act—scores of advocacy groups joined progressive lawmakers in urging Senate Democratic leadership to abolish the filibuster, which time and again has been used to thwart progressive legislation. 

        “Passing the For the People Act is indeed a national imperative, but the only way to do so is to repeal the filibuster.”—Rep. Mondaire Jones

      • Meet the ‘deferred vote’ Moscow introduces online voting in fall parliamentary elections

        During the upcoming State Duma elections, Muscovites will be able to cast their ballots via an updated version of the Russian capital’s remote electronic voting system. In-person and online voting will take place simultaneously over the course of three days. However, unlike during the 2020 plebiscite on constitutional amendments, online voters won’t be able to change their minds at the last moment and cast a paper ballot at their local polling station. That said, they are set to have the option of amending their electronic vote several times.

      • Putin and Lukashenko talk gas prices and Western sanctions during fourth meeting of 2021

        On Tuesday, July 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) for the fourth time this year.

      • ‘One Speech… Isn’t Enough’: Progressives Call on Biden to Get Tough on Voting Rights

        During a highly anticipated speech on Tuesday, President Joe Biden denounced the Republican Party for its ongoing nationwide assault on voting rights and urged passage of the For the People Act and other reforms, but he did not call for ending the 60-vote filibuster rule that enables the GOP minority in the Senate to block the very bills that would nullify their “subversion” of U.S. democracy.

        “We must remove the obstacle standing in the way of addressing this crisis—the filibuster.”—Rahna Epting, MoveOn

      • Democratic Super PAC Condemned for ‘Sleazy’ and False Attacks on Nina Turner

        A Democratic political action committee with close ties to the right-wing pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC is sending mailers to Ohio voters suggesting that Nina Turner—a candidate vying to fill the open U.S. House seat in the state’s 11th district—opposes a higher minimum wage, universal healthcare, and immigration reform, an overtly false claim that drew outrage from progressive activists and lawmakers.

        Produced by the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) PAC, the political arm of a group headed by longtime Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, the mailer points to Turner’s opposition to the 2020 Democratic Party platform as evidence that she is against raising the minimum wage, ensuring universal healthcare coverage, and revamping the inhumane U.S. immigration system.

      • The Danger NATO Poses to Americans

        According to an article in the London Daily Mail, the governments of China and Montenegro entered into an agreement in which China agreed to build a road for Montenegro that would extend to the Serbian capital of Belgrade. The road is only partially built and is now being called the “road to nowhere.”

        China financed the road with a $1 billion loan to Montenegro. The first installment on the loan is due this month. But there is a good chance that Montenegro, “whose debt has soared to more than double its GDP,” will have to default.

      • Cassandra and Her Complex: NATO’s New Literary Project

        Unsurprisingly, it is post-colonial conflict that fascinates the profs and generals. Neo-fascists at home are merely embarrassing and Deutsche Bank’s double entries read dry as dust. The Cassandra Project’s pen and sword corps prefer the Gothic and the pornographic, those rebellious creations of Karl May and Hanns Heinz Ewers become flesh in darkest Third World. According to Doc Wertheimer, the rise of Boko Haram could have been predicted by reading lots of novels. Decorated German heads nod in agreement (and that cool €1.1bn should shut up pesky Namibia, goddamit). Not in clandestine funding, client regimes, structural readjustment and strip mining, nor indeed any real political act, can the reason for the rise of wildly seductive and unusually well-funded terror groupuscules be found. It’s all there, in cheap bestsellers or hypersensitive memoir—which is a strange admission of these plastic armies’ essentially fictitious nature, made real by the moves of grand chess players aiming at the soft underbellies of geopolitical rivals, the shades of Operation Gladio and the World Bank.

        ‘Predicting’ atrocities is easy for those who broker them: as clairvoyance looks into the future, erasing the past becomes its most profound ability. Bosnia and Rwanda are disconnected from the neoliberal looting and mass bombing campaigns of the West, as if massacre was just another magical act, avoidable if only we could see into the Other’s savage soul. But the rise of Boko Haram reflects Sani Abachi’s old offshore accounts on Jersey isle, a novelistic webwork of fraud, history, and embezzlement as transparent as a tear. Perhaps you could have figured it all out from reading Achebe or peering into that greatest of recent creative nonfictions, The Panama Papers, but NATO doesn’t go to libraries without an F-22. As one famous author put it, “We make reality”.

      • Don’t use terror law to quell dissent: Supreme Court judge

        Underlining the role of the Supreme Court as a “counter-majoritarian institution” to protect the socio-economic rights of people, particularly minorities, Justice D Y Chandrachud has said that criminal laws should not be misused to silence dissent and harass citizens.

        The Supreme Court judge also justified the court’s intervention in the Covid vaccination policy. He said the court prima facie found fault in the policy of the Centre for being discriminatory and it could not stand as a “silent spectator” in a humanitarian crisis. He said the court adopted a “bounded deliberative approach” and the policy was changed for the betterment for the citizens.

      • Want to bring bipartisanship back? End the filibuster now

        Right now, Republicans on Capitol Hill have absolutely no reason whatsoever to haggle in good faith with Democrats on anything. That’s because a combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression and pre-existing anti-majoritarian provisions in the constitution have made it so that the votes of white conservatives, who are a minority of Americans, count for more than the votes of the more racially diverse and cosmopolitan majority. Indeed, the growing disproportionality is eye-popping. The Senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, but those Democrats represent 41 million more Americans than the Republicans do. Republicans have controlled the Senate for most of the past two decades, even though Democrats have represented more people since 1996. Republicans lost the popular vote in all but one of the presidential elections since 2000 but managed to win half the time anyway. Even though Democrats likely get more votes, the math suggests that Republicans can gerrymander their way to controlling the House in 2022.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • On TikTok, audio gives new virality to misinformation

        It was one of the many debunked, run-of-the-mill anti-vaccination talking points that have permeated many social platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic. But on TikTok, where users regularly reuse popular audio tracks to make their own videos, it took on a life of its own. More than 4,500 videos featuring the audio have been made, which have been viewed more than 16 million times, according to a report published Monday by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based organization that tracks disinformation.

        It’s an example of what researchers say is a problem unique to the video platform, which has emerged in recent years as a wildly popular destination for viral dance routines to comedy skits and confessional content.

        “People are using TikTok to post and host harmful Covid misinformation, and it’s highly popular,” said Ciaran O’Connor, an analyst for the Institute of Strategic Dialogue and lead author of a new report about misinformation on the app. “This function is being used exactly as TikTok designed it. The audio is being shared and reacted to. But the consequence is that it creates a feedback loop of anti-vaccine narratives.”

      • Fake RTL post circulating on social media

        The hyperlinked website is made to look like the summary of an RTL interview, which does not actually exist. The article alleges that Grand Duke Henri encouraged people to use Bitcoin Code for quick financial gains, a method he himself used to increase his fortune.

        RTL is not responsible for the fraudulent content and therefore advises people not to follow or share the link in question.

      • TikTok audio contributes to ‘feedback loop of anti-vaccine narratives,’ researchers say

        A report from the organization showed that audio tracks containing coronavirus vaccine misinformation have gone viral as a chain message, a result of the app’s function that violates TikTok’s misinformation policy.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Tesla Urged Chinese Government To Censor Critics In China

        Outside of the company’s unwavering fanboys, it’s fairly clear to most folks that the honeymoon phase of the planet’s relationship with Tesla is coming to a close. Whether it’s regulatory scrutiny of the company’s premature and often inaccurate self-driving claims, the loss of significant emissions credits in the US and Europe, frustration at the often stupid shit that comes out of Elon Musks’ mouth, legal issues related to the SolarCity acquisition, or major quality headaches related to the company’s solar installations and cars alike, the bloom has, as they say, fallen from the rose.

      • Trump Notifies Attorney General He’s Challenging The Constitutionality Of Section 230 On The Dumbest Grounds Possible

        As you know, last week Donald Trump sued Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in ridiculously dumb cases (which seemed to only really serve the purpose of continuing his culture grievance war and to be used as a fundraising hook). In each case, they claimed (incorrectly) that the private companies violated the 1st Amendment by kicking Trump and others off the platform and that Section 230 itself was somehow unconstitutional.

      • Florida Man Governor Wastes More Florida Taxpayer Money Appealing Ruling About His Unconstitutional Social Media Law

        Last month, a federal judge easily declared Florida’s social media law (complete with its Disney-inspired theme park exemption) as unconstitutional. It wasn’t a hard call. Florida had tossed out a bunch of wacky arguments and the judge smacked down each and every one of them. He even pointed out that if you didn’t use strict scrutiny (as you must) to analyze whether the law violated the 1st Amendment, it would still be unconstitutional.

      • Labour: campus free speech bill ‘gives free rein to extremists’

        The bill would strengthen existing free speech duties on universities and extend them to students’ unions, as well as enable individuals to sue for compensation if their free speech rights have been breached.

        This is designed to allow students and academics who are “disciplined because of their views” or “visiting speakers who are disinvited or ‘no platformed’” to take action. But the legislation has sparked fears that universities will be obliged to host speeches by Holocaust deniers or other extremists, and that institutions – and unions – could become embroiled in potentially costly legal action.

        Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, said that it was “shocking that the Conservatives are introducing a new law to give free rein to extremists, anti-vaxxers and people harmful to the public interest at our universities”.

      • Grade 7 book seized in Punjab for printing Malala’s picture

        Pictures of some important personalities had been published on page 33 of the book that included Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, national poet Allama Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Liaqat Ali Khan, legendary philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan, Nishan-i-Haider recipient Maj Aziz Bhatti Shaheed and activist Malala Yousufzai.

        Already circulated in various educational institutes, sources said the PCTB, police and other agencies were conducting raids on shops across the city even at the time the report was filed to confiscate copies of the book for publishing Malala’s picture besides that of Aziz Bhatti.

      • No to Buhari’s overbearing press censorship

        It is quite unfortunate that the regime of Muhammadu Buhari that rode to power in 2015 using the press including the social media is now showing scant regard for the Fourth Estate of the Realm. While it is true that many of the anti-media bills in the National Assembly are not executive bills but private member bills, Nigerians could see beyond the veil that these bills could actually have been orchestrated by the executive branch given the tenacity with which members of the executive branch defends them. It is an open secret that someone like the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and some of the President’s media aides have openly called for censorship of the media, be it orthodox, traditional or new media. This is because the regime minders are very uncomfortable with the media reportage of many ills of the Nigerian society especially the mis-governance, corruption, insecurity and human right abuses of the Buhari regime.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Politicians, journalists and artists write to Chancellor Merkel calling for freedom of Assange
      • British court ruling heightens danger of Assange extradition to the US

        Last week’s ruling by the British High Court allowing prosecutors to appeal an earlier judgment blocking Julian Assange’s extradition, poses the very real danger that the WikiLeaks publisher will be dispatched to his American persecutors in the not-too-distant future.

        The ruling is a microcosm of the Assange case as a whole. As they have for the past decade, the British courts have thrown aside the WikiLeaks founder’s legal and democratic rights. They have granted a US appeal that is both duplicitous and irregular under conditions in which the entire attempt by the American state to prosecute Assange has been exposed as an illegal frame-up.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Oversight Report Says DC’s Metro Police Can’t Be Bothered To Investigate Serious Crimes

        Given these definitions, how is it that Washington, DC’s Metro Transit Police Department still has the word “police’ in its name?

      • Athan Theoharis Revealed J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets

        Athan Theoharis, a preeminent historian of the FBI, was a master at unlocking the secrets of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. His 23 books and scores of articles, most of them reports on Hoover’s massive surveillance and his secret illegal operations that were designed to destroy individuals and organizations whose opinions he disliked, provide the most extensive record of Hoover’s half-century reign as FBI director.

      • Taking a Wrong Turn on Immigration Detention

        The Biden administration’s support of this appeal constitutes a serious mistake. It’s not just a matter of the fact that this legal position contradicts Biden’s expressed commitments to end private prisons and detention facilities; it also continues support for a dark and destructive side of our immigration policies.

        Private immigration detention facilities have been cited by human rights groups and the Inspector General for Homeland Security for a wide range of abuses, from violations of health and environmental standards, to poor food, inadequate medical care, sexual abuse, and other inhumane conditions. Moreover, during the course of the pandemic, ICE’s mishandled response to the health crisis made these facilities dangerous incubators of the virus, leading to rates of infection five times that of prisons and 20 times that of the general population.

      • AOC, Bernice King Slam McCarthy for Saying MLK Would Oppose Critical Race Theory
      • ‘US Companies Can Be Sued for Involvement in Child Slavery’

        Janine Jackson interviewed UC Davis’ William Dodge on Nestlé and slave labor for the July 9, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • ‘A Truly Shameful Day’: UK Government Condemned for Slashing Global Aid During Pandemic
      • Russian Guantánamo Prisoner Released to UAE at Risk of Torture Upon Repatriation
      • Right-Wingers Are Taking Over Library Boards to Remove Books on Racism
      • House Democrats Push for Voting Rights Exception to Filibuster
      • ‘More like Cain and Abel’ Zelensky responds to Putin’s essay on the ‘historical unity’ of Russians and Ukrainians

        During a press conference on July 13, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on Vladimir Putin’s controversial essay “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” Poking fun at the fact that the Kremlin published the article in Ukrainian, Zelensky said he was surprised that the Russian president had time to write an in-depth historical article but not to meet with him. The Ukrainian president added that Kyiv may issue an official response to Putin’s piece. Here’s what Zelensky said, in a nutshell.

      • Refugees and the UK: Welcome to Blighty, Now Piss Off

        Patel wants the power to punish states refusing re-entry to the asylum-seekers she wants to return (i.e. anyone without an iron-clad, documented case). She wants to incarcerate asylum seekers offshore, since that went so swimmingly for Australia. Fantasising about it in her well-heated London pied-à-terre, she images bracing months-long spells in unheated Portakabins in The Falklands during the northern hemisphere summer.

        Patel’s is a classic political move to raise her profile before a possible future party leadership bid. After all, people have got to wise up to the fact that Boris is a toxic idiot at some point, she reasons rightly. So. Pick a vulnerable community and label them a problem. Apply clichés such as ‘unfit for purpose’ liberally, and then… Sucker punch! Gallantly ride in and smack up the peasants with new and harsher regulation to show your macho flex. Polish off the performance, for that is what it is, by claiming ‘victory’ over the ‘problem’ with selective statistical examples, whatever kind of car crash it turns out to be.

      • Roe v. Wade Is Under Attack. Organizers Say We Must Take Action Beyond the Court
      • My Black Generation Is Fighting Like Hell to Stop the Whitelash

        It now appears likely that I will be part of the first generation of Black people to do worse than my parents and leave a crueler world for my children than the one I inherited.

      • Letters From the July 26/August 2, 2021, Issue

        Re “Democrats Should Create More Federal Holidays,” by Ed Burmila [June 14/21]: Those who work for private businesses often don’t get federal holidays. Instead of making up new holidays, require that businesses provide paid days off for the existing ones.Barbara Meyer2

      • Controlling Women: With Roe v. Wade in Peril, Authors Say Move Past Court to Save Reproductive Rights

        The Supreme Court is set to review a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy that intends to challenge Roe v. Wade, raising concern for advocates about how reproductive rights can be preserved without the landmark ruling. “I think it’s very, very likely that the court will either eradicate the right to choose abortion as we now know it completely or so undermine it to make it meaningless for most of American women,” says Kathryn Kolbert, longtime public interest attorney who argued the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the Supreme Court in 1992, which is credited with saving Roe v. Wade. She lays out her argument in a new book published today, “Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom.” We also speak with co-author Julie Kay, a human rights attorney who argued for a human rights framework for abortion rights in Ireland before the European Court of Human Rights. “We’re not just talking about privacy or even equality,” Kay says of the fight for abortion access in the United States and beyond. “We’re really looking at liberty, dignity and the ability to have full participation in all aspects of life.”

      • Moscow transport workers to sue employers for suspending unvaccinated drivers without pay

        A trade union representing transport workers in Moscow has announced plans to file a class-action lawsuit against their employers for suspending unvaccinated drivers from work without pay.

      • “Fly So Far”: New Film Tells Stories of Women in El Salvador Jailed for Decades Under Abortion Ban

        The award-winning documentary “Fly So Far” looks at the criminalization of abortion in El Salvador through the incredible story of Teodora Vásquez, a woman who in 2008 was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she had a stillbirth at nine months pregnant. Vásquez was released in 2018 after more than a decade behind bars. El Salvador has enforced a total ban on abortions since 1998, and dozens of people have been convicted and imprisoned after having miscarriages, stillbirths and other obstetric emergencies in the Central American country. The film highlights the stories of women convicted of aggravated homicide for having a miscarriage or an obstetric emergency, as well as the ongoing resistance of women and the LGBTQ+ community in El Salvador. Filmmaker Celina Escher, director of “Fly So Far,” says women and girls in El Salvador face high rates of violence, rape and femicide, as well as hostility from the right-wing government. “Women have to live this violence every day,” she says.

      • Texas Sued Over Law Enabling Harassment by Anti-Choice ‘Vigilantes’

        With concerns mounting about the future of Roe v. Wade and this year’s “unprecedented” GOP attacks on reproductive rights, healthcare providers in Texas filed suit Tuesday over a new state law that would ban ending a pregnancy as early as six weeks and allow anti-choice “vigilantes” to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion.

        “The state has put a bounty on the head of any person or entity who so much as gives a patient money for an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they are pregnant.”—Nancy Northup, CRR

      • Trump’s Lies and GOP Cowardice Are Undermining Democracy

        America’s democracy is under assault—systematic, unrelenting and unhinged. The assault is waged by one party—the Republican Party. It is largely driven by the lies and racism of Donald Trump, who simply will not accept that he lost the last election.

      • Texas Company Exposed by DeSmog for Radioactive Fracking Waste Practices Threatens Legal Action

        On April 22, DeSmog published a year-long investigation by reporter Justin Nobel into the practices of the environmental services company Lotus LLC, which operates a major West Texas disposal facility for radioactive oilfield waste. Nobel’s reporting revealed that the Lotus facility has at times struggled to safely manage the radioactive waste it receives, which comes not only from across the United States but is also imported from other countries. The investigation was based on correspondence with federal and state regulators, hundreds of pages of documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, photographs of the site, and interviews with an industry source familiar with the Lotus disposal site.

        While Lotus was at first cooperative during Nobel’s investigation — which included interviews and communications with Lotus director of global operations James Dillingham — the company began pushing back against the evidence uncovered in the investigation and threatening potential legal action should DeSmog publish it.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Because Fracking Wasn’t Already Toxic Enough, the Oil and Gas Industry Decided to Add ‘Forever Chemicals’ to the Mix

        A fresh hazard has been uncovered in the oil and gas industry: For the past decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has knowingly allowed oil companies to use chemicals that could break down into PFAS — a class of highly toxic, long-lasting compounds also known as “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to cancers, birth defects, and other serious health problems, a new report has found.

      • E.P.A. Approved Toxic Chemicals for Fracking a Decade Ago, New Files Show

        The records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by a nonprofit group, Physicians for Social Responsibility, are among the first public indications that PFAS, long-lasting compounds also known as “forever chemicals,” may be present in the fluids used during drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

        In a consent order issued for the three chemicals on Oct. 26, 2011, E.P.A. scientists pointed to preliminary evidence that, under some conditions, the chemicals could “degrade in the environment” into substances akin to PFOA, a kind of PFAS chemical, and could “persist in the environment” and “be toxic to people, wild mammals, and birds.” The E.P.A. scientists recommended additional testing. Those tests were not mandatory and there is no indication that they were carried out.

      • Random stops by the police can turn out to be big business

        The decision by the management of G.W.I to send home many of its workers should come as no surprise as it was this present government when almost two hundred and fifty employees of G.P.L were retrenched on the pretext of destructing. This is the same reason G.W.I is claiming for the sending home their employees. When G.P.L did the retrenchment I was an employee there and was not retrenched because I was almost at retirement age and had an impeccable employee record. What should be noted here and be of great concern is that both of these agencies’ employees belong to one specific ethnic group. Secondly, it has been reported by the Traffic Chief that random stops of vehicles should only be allowed if there are reasonable suspicion and not for checking of documents of the said vehicles by police ranks. However, what Traffic Chief related is like throwing water on duck’s back or it is that police ranks have no respect for the order made by the Traffic Chief. I say this because there are random stops still occurring especially on the East Bank road in the vicinity of the Providence police station and at Friendship. At the Friendship location there are sometimes between six to eight armed police ranks conducting this exercise. With the number of vehicles being stopped there at any given time one wonders what reasonable suspicion could there be of those vehicles being stopped. It is very frustrating because at times; one has to wait in line for over ten minutes to present your document to the police on request. However make no mistake random stops by the police can sometimes turn out to be ‘big’ business

      • VIDEO: A Utah Police Officer Killed a Man Inside the Police Department. It Was His Third Shooting.

        With his hands cuffed behind his back, he briefly wrestled with two officers. One screamed that Breinholt was grabbing his holstered gun. Sgt. Tyler Longman rushed into the room, made his declaration and fired.

        “He took the time to think about that, to say those words,” Neese said in a recent interview. “And then aim and shoot. And kill Chad.”

      • Suppression Session: Texas Democrats Flee to D.C. to Block State Republican Voting Restriction Bill

        We speak with one of the Texas Democrats who has fled the state to block the Republican-dominated Legislature from passing new voter restrictions in the battleground state, which already has some of the toughest voting rules in the country. Without the Democratic lawmakers, the Texas House won’t have enough members present to reach a quorum. “Republicans have simply turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the needs of the citizens of Texas,” says Texas state Representative Jarvis Johnson. “We realized at that point there was no more negotiation that could be done, and we took the last tool in our toolbox.” We also speak with Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of the Texas Democratic Party, who says the Texas legislation’s aim is to “suppress the Hispanic, Mexican American and the African American vote.”

      • Texas Democrats Flee to D.C. to Stop Republicans’ New Voting Restrictions, Pressure Congress to Act

        The proposed new restrictions from the GOP, the Tribune reported, include bans on drive-through voting, 24-hour voting, and distributing unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, plus new ID requirements for mail-in voting, enhanced protections for partisan poll watchers, and monthly reviews of the citizenship checks on everyone registered in the voter rolls for citizenship. Taken together, the GOP proposals could seriously impact voting in places like Houston, a densely populated and racially diverse part of the state, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

      • What’s in the new voting restriction legislation introduced in the Texas House and Senate

        Here’s a breakdown of some of the most significant portions of the wide-ranging legislation that will be considered in the next few weeks.

      • Biden Calls Republican State Election Law Changes ‘Assault on Liberty’

        But Biden, in perhaps the most emotional speech of his six-month presidency, contended that the 28 laws already adopted in 17 states “make it harder for Americans to vote.”

        “This is election subversion,” he declared. “It’s simply unconscionable.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • We want to see your internet bill

        You don’t always get what you pay for in internet access. Most places only have one option, so you’re stuck picking the good plan or the bad plan from a single carrier, and if the expensive “broadband” plan turns out to be closer to dial-up speeds, there isn’t much you can do. And that’s without getting into the big swaths of the country that don’t even have a broadband option on the table.

        So we’re joining with Consumer Reports to take a close look at the problem, collecting as many internet bills as we can to get a sense of which telecoms are holding up their end of the bargain — and which ones are falling short. The idea is to get a bird’s-eye view of the speeds people are actually getting, and what they’re paying for those speeds.

      • Biden must fill the FCC before restoring net neutrality

        President Joe Biden urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reinstate net neutrality rules in an executive order he signed recently.

        Biden’s call was part of a larger sweeping executive order attempting to promote competition in the country’s economy and combating corporate consolidation.

        Net neutrality rules were adopted by the FCC in 2015 and prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, throttling, or using paid prioritization on internet speeds. The rules also classified ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act, which gave the FCC authority over the providers. All of that was undone in 2017 by the Republican-led FCC, which repealed the rules.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • ‘Resident Evil 8: Village’ Broken Due To DRM, Cracked Version Fixes It

        Any review of the stories we’ve done on DRM in video games will reveal two main categories as far as themes for those posts. The first is that DRM is laughably ineffective. DRM is an arms race that only ever has one winner: those who seek to circumvent it. Even the once-vaunted Denuvo DRM, thought, for some time, to be undefeatable, has now been reduced to being an industry joke. The other theme is how DRM has awful effects on paying customers and absolutely zero negative effects on those who commit copyright infringement. So, what is DRM? A useless platform used by video games with only one real impact: annoying paying customers.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Green Light for UPC [Ed: There are probably more complaints and/or barriers coming]

          Having been sent down for the count by constitutional complaints in Germany, the road finally seems paved for the Unified Patent Court. On July 9, 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC) dismissed two applications for a preliminary injunction seeking to void the German Act of Approval of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (the “Bill”). Based on these applications, the GFCC had (once again) asked Germany’s president to suspend the Bill’s ratification, the final major step before the UPC can come into existence.

        • FOSS Patents: FOSS Patents free and premium subscriptions–a (minor) update [Ed: FOSS Patents trying something that everyone has failed at; the sole accomplishment is limiting one's audience and impact. A shot in the foot.]

          First, if you haven’t read the previous post (“BREAKING: European Commission preparing potential new regulation and/or directive on standard-essential patents”), I recommend it because it’s a news item that is greatly more relevant than what I’m going to say here. But from time to time, there’s a need for housekeeping posts.

          At this stage, it appears that those free subscriptions to daily notifications are working and the migration of the database from FeedBurner to follow.it has been successful.

          Follow.it offers additional notification types. For example, you can also be notified of each post (as opposed to a daily digest). Some of you may wish to make use of that feature. I’m personally looking forward to the smartphone notifications the follow.it team has already announced, but not yet implemented.

          A couple of readers who didn’t get their email simply weren’t in the database. I asked them to resubscribe, subsequently to which they also got their emails as intended.

        • Patentability of biotech inventions in Australia – another victory for Sequenom [Ed: Who wants to patent life and nature?]

          Biotechnology inventions have proven to be a mine-field for patentable subject matter in recent years. Worldwide litigation relating to Myriad…

        • Immutep Quarterly Activities Report | 2021-07-13 | Press Releases | Stockhouse

          Immutep was granted three new patents during the quarter, further expanding the company’s global patent estate. The European Patent Office granted a patent directed to combination therapy with leramilimab (LAG525), Immutep’s IMP701 antibody which is out-licensed to Novartis AG, and also a new divisional patent for efti in combination with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. In addition, the Chinese Patent Office granted a new patent for efti in combination with chemotherapy, building on corresponding Australian, European, Japanese and United States patents.

        • European Commission sets up final battle between SEP owners and implementers [Ed: European Commission still vendor-captured by robber barons looking to protect their monopolies everywhere]

          Given the EU’s importance in shaping the global SEP landscape, a process initiated by the Commission that could end with regulatory legislation will be watched closely around the world

        • Proving Printed Publications [Ed: Design patents are a joke and it’s a miracle that they still exist at all!]

          Folks continue to file anonymous ex parte reexaminations. Michael Piper of Conley Rose filed this one on behalf of an anonymous party challenging Zhang’s U.S. Design Patent No. D810,925 (“breast pump”). The reexamination examiner agreed with the challenge and issued a final rejection that the claimed design was anticipated by four different prior art references. Note that design patent anticipation asks whether the design to be patented is “substantially the same” as the prior art in the eyes of an ordinary observer.

        • America And The TRIPS Waiver: You Can Talk The Talk, But Will You Walk The Walk?

          As nations grapple with the issues surrounding global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has found itself in mainstream conversation in the US more than ever before. A difficult concept to fully grasp, TRIPS refers to a World Trade Organization (WTO)-led international agreement about the protection of intellectual property rights and trade.

          In October 2020, the governments of India and South Africa, with the support of 62 WTO member states, proposed a TRIPS Agreement waiver proposal that would temporarily waive intellectual property rights protections for technologies needed to prevent, contain, or treat COVID-19, including vaccines and vaccine-related technologies. More than 100 low-income countries support this proposal, but it is receiving much opposition from many high-income countries, including some European Union (EU) member states, the UK, Japan, Canada, and Australia. On May 5, 2021, the Biden administration announced support for negotiating this waiver, intensifying debate in the US and the EU—but so far the US has not gone further than its announcement of support.

          The TRIPS waiver is critical to combating the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Demand for the vaccine has already surpassed supply, with high-income countries taking a large share of reserved doses. Given that no single vaccine manufacturer could produce enough vaccines to meet the demand of the entire globe, supporters of the waiver ponder the ethics of multinational manufacturers holding exclusive rights to information and technology, preventing other companies from entering the markets that are not being served—primarily in low- and middle-income countries. Sharing vaccine-related information will not only help get the pandemic in check now, but it could also encourage firms to develop the next round of vaccines that will be necessary to address new variants.

          The TRIPS waiver is critical to ensuring an equitable distribution of vaccines around the globe. High-income countries already have widespread vaccination campaigns well underway, while many low-income countries have yet to administer a single dose. Without a TRIPS waiver, the gap between vaccination rates in high-income and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) will only widen.

          With this in mind, this is a critical moment for the US to advance its global health leadership and to seize the opportunity to meaningfully support the proposal by India and South Africa, thereby taking a real step toward more equitable vaccine production and distribution.

        • What’s the point of continuing a discussion on the unworkable TRIPs COVID-19 waiver proposal? [Ed: Patents related to COVID may have already killed millions of people, needlessly, just to ensure some barons become a lot richer and get to decide who lives and who dies]

          As developing countries continue to struggle with a shortage of COVID vaccines, talks over the proposed TRIPs waiver, which call for a “waiver” of all IP rights related to technologies necessaryfor the containment, treatment or prevention of COVID-19, remain deadlocked at the WTO. There appears to be no possibility of breaking the deadlock, given the opposition from the European Union based on the claim that existing safeguards in TRIPs, such as the compulsory licensing provisions, read along with the Doha Declaration (2001), are sufficient to deal with the ongoing COVID pandemic.

          [...]

          It also appears to us that countries, like India, are not exploiting their full manufacturing potential. For example, there is a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing plant in South India, which was built by the Government of India and has been lying idle for the last nine years. A recent attempt to lease it to private players failed to attract any bids for reasons that are not entirely clear.

          Another problem in this regard is the choice of vaccine technology. For example, India’s domestic vaccine, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, apparently has a low yield, making it more expensive and inefficient to manufacture when compared to other vaccines. Since it requires BSL-3 facilities to manufacture and there is a shortage of BSL-3 manufacturing facilities in India, only one other plant is slated to manufacture this vaccine after the process of upgrading it to BSL-3 standards is completed. All of this could have been avoided and the manufacturing process optimized for more efficiency if better vaccination platforms had been chosen from the start.

          Yet, we have hardly had a public discussion on many of these practical issues in India because the TRIPs waiver takes up a significant chunk of media attention. This works wonderfully for the Government of India because it gets to externalize the problem of vaccine shortage by blaming it on IP [sic] and foreign pharmaceutical companies.

          [...]

          These trade-offs between IP and trade in goods/services must be kept in mind by those condemning TRIPs and WTO. The only alternative are bilateral agreements, where developing countries are unlikely to be able to collectively bargain for more favourable terms.

        • Partial victory for Sonos and EIP against Google over consumer electronics [Ed: European patents only seem to make lawyers and other parasites rich. Who benefits from such fundamental things being patented (monopolies or monopolised ideas)?]

          Wireless sound systems manufacturer Sonos has not infringed Google’s EP 15 79 621. Munich Regional Court handed down this ruling at the end of June, dismissing a lawsuit filed by Google (case ID: 21 O 7265/20). A few days later, Google appealed against the ruling. However, the court has suspended a second lawsuit, which concerns another patent covering search result technology.

          In 2020, Google sued the German and European Sonos company in Munich for infringing two patents. The patents protect digital rights management and search functions. Sonos’ speakers can be controlled via mobile devices, which Google claims infringes its patents. As such, Google demanded that Sonos cease and desist.

          In March, with the consent of both parties, the Munich Regional Court suspended the second lawsuit concerning EP 27 64 491 (case ID: 21 O 7264/20). Here, the court is waiting on the Federal Patent Court’s decision in Sonos’ nullity suit. The US company has challenged both Google patents, although rulings are not yet available.

        • Vallon Pharmaceuticals Announces Issuance of New European Patent Covering Method of Use and Composition of Matter for ADAIR [Ed: Does Vallon not know that today’s EPO grants a vast number of fake patents? Why does it brag about this?

          Vallon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VLON), (“Vallon” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of novel drugs that are designed to deter abuse in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced that the European Patent Office has issued patent number EP3576719B1 covering ADAIR1, the Company’s proprietary abuse-deterrent formulation of immediate-release dextroamphetamine.

        • G 1/21 – Will video kill the in-person (oral proceedings) star? Can we rewind or have we gone too far? [Ed: This is entirely illegal EPO agenda and it helped prove that EPO is corruption which ranges from top to bottom]

          In a pending referral G1/21 the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (“EPO”) will Decide whether holding oral proceedings in the…

        • Keeping up with Belgian patent litigation: Year case law review 2020 [Ed: When people who lobbied for Bristows and pushed UPC lies write the better-known 'IP' blogs it's all about litigation and not innovation]

          Although the overall number of decisions seems to be slightly lower in 2020 than in previous years, patent litigation has not been significantly affected by the measures taken against the Covid-19 pandemic in Belgium. The majority of hearings were held in person, though with attendance restricted to a minimum (often only the judges and the lawyers). This limited attendance was sometimes complemented by the possibility for clients and teams located abroad to follow the hearings remotely. As a result, one of the most significant changes of the last months in the practice of patent litigation was the need to learn how to plead a case wearing a face mask!

          The issues addressed in the decisions discussed below are very diverse.

          The first case is an SPC case in which the concept of “core inventive advance” was discussed in the context of a fixed-dose combination product. This case shows once again that the CJEU’s case law sometimes (often?) leaves more questions open that resolved.

          [...]

          The Brussels Court of Appeal dismissed that claim based on the fact that the Enforcement Directive has no direct effect between individuals and that there was no room for interpreting Belgian law in conformity with the Enforcement Directive, as a ceiling cannot be set aside by “interpretation”. The Court also considered that, by virtue of the separation of powers, it is not entitled determine alternative ceilings. Finally, the Court added that, in any event, Article 14 of the Enforcement Directive was not applicable to the case at hand because, as a result of the plaintiff’s waiver of the proceedings (which was made “without prejudice”), no losing party could be determined anyway. This last reason led the Court to dismiss the claim for reimbursement of costs of technical assistance (which are not limited by statutory ceilings) as well.

          In practice, this decision confirms that, even in situations where the applicable statutory ceiling does not seem to “ensure that, at the very least, a significant and appropriate part of the reasonable costs incurred by the successful party are borne by the unsuccessful party”, and is thus not compliant with Article 14 of the Enforcement Directive, it remains difficult to obtain the recovery of the costs concerned. If this problem is not fixed, no doubt that the liability of the Belgian State itself will be raised at some point by an (unhappy?) successful party.”

        • Unified Patent Court back on track – German Constitutional Court dismisses applications for preliminary relief [Ed: The litigation giants make it sound like FCC was the end of it (for UPC challenges). Nice self-serving fiction you got there. Many obstacles exist.]

          On July 9, 2021, the German Constitutional Court issued a landmark decision with implications for many companies doing business in Europe. For decades, the European Commission and EU member states strived to create a pan-European Unified Patent Court (UPC). Over the years, the project had to overcome so many hurdles that numerous commentators doubted whether the new patent litigation system would ever be set up.

          [...]

          With its decision of July 9, the Constitutional Court denied preliminary relief. The decision is based on two grounds. First, the Constitutional Court emphasized that in accordance with standing case-law the requirements for preliminary relief are strict, in particular when an opponent aims to prevent the ratification of an international treaty. In the case at hand, the opponents had failed adequately to substantiate why ratification of the UPCA would impinge on their constitutional rights and cause them irreparable harm.

        • Obtaining Patents with Fictional Data – More Than Just Plausible [Ed: When the patents you want are nonsense and you look (thus) for workaround and lobby patent offices to allow those workarounds]

          In the USA it is possible to obtain a patent using fictional data as the basis for the patent’s claims.

          The USPTO allows this provided the experimental data is expressed in the present or future tense, such data is known as prophetic examples or paper examples. In contrast, experimental data from actual experiments are expressed in the past tense and are known as working examples. Patents can be granted where only prophetic examples are used, although there can also be a mixture of prophetic and working examples.

          By allowing for prophetic examples applicants are able to provide support for broad claims without having to undertake costly and time-consuming experiments. A valid patent can be obtained through the use of prophetic examples, although it can be invalidated if the predictions later prove to be incorrect.

        • Federal Constitutional Court clears path for UPC [Ed: How many times did Team UPC say that UPC would come next year? They should keep shoving these predictions everywhere. You know journalism is dead/captured/corrupt in areas/topics where comments are a lot better and far more accurate than articles/blog posts/law firms’ “opinions”.]
        • Unified Patent Court likely to arrive in 2022 [Ed: No, they (patent litigation firms) have always said it would come next year; it’s a long-running joke. They spread it anywhere they can.]

          So, the new system is made up of the UPC and the UP, with the UPC also having jurisdiction over all patents granted by the EPO (unless they are opted out). The arrival of the new system was previously delayed by a long running court battle in Germany, where ultimately the German Federal Constitutional Court largely dismissed an earlier constitutional complaint against the UPC Agreement. The only reason the complaint was upheld related to a voting formality and that issue was addressed by the new legislative process completed on 18th December 2020. Other delays were caused by the UK’s decision to leave this new system, which means at some point the participating member states may need to reallocate some of the UK’s UPC responsibilities, in particular choosing a state to host the Central Division for life science disputes. The German government’s consultation document suggests these amendments could be made once the new system is up and running, with references to the UK in the existing agreement simply being struck through in the meantime. While the UK government has stated that it will not be seeking involvement in the UP/UPC system, this will not impact the current European patent system: patent applications filed at the EPO will still cover the UK and will be litigated in the UK national courts as usual.

        • ‘Stop Blocking Global Covid Vaccines’: Protests Greet Merkel’s White House Visit

          Ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the U.S. later this week, public health campaigners on Tuesday floated a large banner in front of the White House calling on the European leader to “stop blocking global Covid vaccines,” a reference to her continued opposition to suspending Big Pharma-friendly patent protections.

          “The Merkel-Biden summit will not be a success unless Germany agrees to support the TRIPS waiver and help end the pandemic.”—Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign

        • Dems Request Meeting With Merkel to Discuss Germany’s ‘Blockade’ of Vaccine Patent Waiver

          With the ultra-contagious Delta variant fueling devastating waves of coronavirus infections across the globe, a group of House Democrats is demanding a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss her ongoing “blockade” of a temporary patent waiver for Covid-19 vaccines—a popular proposal aimed at quickly boosting supply of the life-saving shots.

          “Thanks to IP barriers, it is the U.S. and German firms that have the only approved Covid-19 mRNA vaccines that hold the monopoly power to decide if this scale-up will occur.”—Letter

        • Software Patents

          • The Waco Patent Court: Super NPEs Rush West to Stake their Claims [Ed: The second joke-as-a-court in Texas, wrongly assuming that courts are businesses whose sole goal is to attract as many lawsuits as possible]

            Waco, the once-frontier town of roughly 135,858, has had its share of both tragedy and overcoming adversity. Home of Baylor, army bases, and a rich, diverse, and sometimes fraught local history, the relatively small West-Texas town was (unfortunately) once best known in popular culture for the Federal standoff with the Branch Dividians, and the subsequent fallout from those events.

            [...]

            Judge Alan D. Albright, a former patent litigator who resides in Austin, was sworn in on September 18, 2018, as the sole judge in the Waco division of the Western District of Texas. Because of a quirk in the local rules, any case filed in Waco is assigned solely to him; thus, forum-shopping entities can rest assured he will be the Judge to hear their case. After being sworn in, he gave a steady stream of interviews to patent firms and associations, in which he unveiled a series of standing orders adopting aggressive trial schedules and “streamlined” procedures in an attempt to attract patent litigation. Patent litigants quickly accepted his invitation; in particular, large patent aggregators, NPEs, and litigation-financed campaigns have quickly adopted it as their primary friendly jurisdiction, one in which they can, and do, widely assert various patents.

          • $1,125 Awarded for StratosAudio ’081 prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Mani Manikandan and Harsimran Dhaliwal, who split a cash prize of $1,125 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 8,166,081. The patent is owned by StratosAudio, an NPE. The ’081 patent generally relates to media advertising and in particular to systems and methods for associating an advertising media signal with another media signal. It is currently being asserted against Volvo, Hyundai, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Mazda.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • France fines Google 500 mln euros over copyright row

          The U.S. tech group must now come up with proposals within the next two months on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news. If it does not do that, the company would face additional fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.

          Google said it was very disappointed with the decision but would comply.

        • 4anime Shuts Down Abruptly Following Legal Pressure

          With millions of monthly visitors, 4anime was one of the largest pirate streaming sites. The site abruptly announced its shutdown yesterday, providing no further explanation. Interestingly, this decision comes shortly after 4anime was targeted in a subpoena issued by a US federal court.

        • Open Minds Podcast: Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

          In this episode, I speak with Audrey Tang, who is the Digital Minister of Taiwan, as well as an influential free software programmer and hacker. Tang is a vocal proponent of openness and is working to manifest a vision for how open data and radical transparency can result in positive, productive collaboration between government and civil society.

        • Reddit Orders ‘SaveVideo’ Bot to Shut Down or Face Lawsuit

          u/SaveVideo was a Reddit video downloader bot that helped users download and save videos from Reddit. The service was used by millions of people but according to its operator has now shut down following an ultimatum from Reddit. “The gods of Reddit have decided and I am obliged to obey or risk a lawsuit,” SaveVideo announced yesterday.

        • DNS Provider Hit With Outrageous Blocking Order – Is Your Provider Next?

          This order is profoundly dangerous for several reasons. In the U.S. context, where injunctions like these are usually tied to specious claims of conspiracy, we have long argued  that intermediaries which bear no meaningful relationship to the alleged infringement, and cannot therefore be held liable for it, should not be subject to orders like these in the first place. Courts do not have unlimited power; rather, judges should confine their orders to persons that are plausibly accused of infringement or acting in concert with infringers.

          Second, orders like these create a moderator’s dilemma. Quad9 faces this order in large part because it provides a valuable service: blocking sites that pose technical threats. Sony argues that if Quad9 can block sites for technical threats, it can block them for copyright “threats” as well. As Quad9 rightly observes:

          If you build it, they will come, and their demands will discourage intermediaries from offering services like these at all – to the detriment of internet users.

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    Links for the day



  16. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  17. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  18. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money



  19. The EPO Must Forsake Its Diplomatic Immunity and Quit Pretending It's About Patent Law (or Any Law)

    There's no sign of the EPO actually trying to obey the law and correct the mistakes of the past; to make matters worse, the existing administration adds yet more corruption to an already-massive pile while dismissing any form of oversight



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 23, 2021



  21. Links 24/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, Istio 1.11.3, and More Milestones for Steam Deck

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] President Campinos Addresses the Legacy of Battistelli's “Strike Regulations”

    A sequence of four EPO memes about those infamous and unlawful “strike regulations” that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have exploited to abuse thousands of workers



  23. [Meme] Bill Gates Keeps Digging Himself Deeper in the Grave Each Time He Speaks

    These sorts of ‘interviews’ with Gates’ own propaganda mills (he also pays Twitter now) aren’t going to improve his image; people aren’t infinitely gullible (Source)



  24. Linux Foundation and Other 'Diploma Mills' Say There's Demand for Their Products in Their New 'Research' (Marketing)

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF), together with edX, are basically marketing their services and products, but this is disguised as 'research' (a false narrative widely parroted by shallow and paid-for media partners of theirs), piggybacking brands like “Linux” and buzzwords like “Open Source” (even when they promote proprietary things, e.g. memorisation of proprietary GUIs)



  25. [Meme] The EPO's Carte Blanche and 'Diplomatic Immunity' Card

    EPO staff is being taken for another ride by António Campinos and his cohorts, whose popularity among staff has likely gone down to sub-zero levels already (even faster than Benoît Battistelli)



  26. As Expected, Minimal Pseudo Compliance From EPO Management, Adding Insult to Injury

    SUEPO Central, the core of the staff union of EPO staff (almost 7,000 workers at the EPO, most of whom are SUEPO members), has strong words about the EPO's attitude and stance, which is perhaps unsurprising but still extremely disappointing



  27. Links 23/9/2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 and MidnightBSD 2.1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 23/9/2021: More UPC PR Stunts and IBM (Poettering) TPM for Linux

    Links for the day



  29. The EPO is on the Run (Escaping Negative Press Coverage)

    Aside from tens of millions of euros granted to media and academia (to keep them complicit or silent about EPO corruption, which also implicates the EU) there’s also SLAPP and threats against staff representatives; but Members of the European Parliament are becoming interested in what’s really going on in Europe’s second-largest institution, so this utter waste of EPO money (manipulating the press and gaming universities’ research) might in itself become a scandal sooner or later



  30. [Meme] Lowering the Standards...

    It's time for another round of fluff at the EPO, this time without even travelling (PR-over-'ViCo')


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