08.05.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 5/8/2021: More AAA Games for GNU/Linux, Firefox Loses 50M Users in Two Years

Posted in News Roundup at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Pantavisor Linux Brings Container Portability and Agility to Embedded Systems on IoT

        The Pantacor team is excited to announce the release of Pantabox and Pantavisor.io. Inspired by other open source projects like Busybox, Pantabox is a self-contained frontend for managing Pantavisor Linux directly on IoT devices. In addition to this, we launched a new home and community for Pantavisor Linux – our open source framework for containerized embedded Linux development. In this post, we discuss the evolution of Pantavisor Linux and where it’s heading. Then we’ll show you Pantabox as the optimal developer experience for your embedded Linux IoT container projects.

      • Grafana Enterprise Logs 1.1: Access control for log lines with sensitive data [Ed: Automated translation]

        Grafana Enterprise Logs only found its way into the Grafana Enterprise Stack at the beginning of the year, and version 1.1 is now available. The software provider Grafana Labs has added some new features to its tool, including label-based access control (LBAC).

      • Best Linux VPS Hosting – Comparison and Guide

        If you’re looking for your next Linux VPS hosting provider, this guide will help you find it. We’ll go into details of what Linux VPS is, what makes a provider “the best”, explore all the options, and compare the best Linux VPS hosting providers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to reduce PDF size in Ubuntu

        All of us use LibreOffice or Microsoft Word programs to create documents that can be exported in PDF format. Sometimes, however, these PDF files tend to get too large and unwieldy in size. Many websites have size restrictions on the files you upload; therefore, it causes a real headache when the file is too big. There are several solutions to this problem, which we will discuss and discuss in this article.

      • What Is Kali Undercover? How to Install It on Linux

        Imagine that you’re using Kali Linux, your favorite penetration testing OS, in public. You don’t want someone to give you strange looks while you’re performing a network scan through the terminal, right?

        Offensive Security, the company that maintains Kali Linux, has developed a quick solution for this. Kali’s undercover mode can change the appearance of your desktop, making it look like a traditional Windows system, the one which is familiar to most people.

        In this article, you will learn more about Kali Undercover, how to use it, and the steps to install it on your Linux system.

      • How to install MetaTrader 4 with the KOT4X Broker on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MetaTrader 4 with the KOT4X Broker on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Execute Curl With Kubectl – Linux Hint

        The command-line tool cURL or Curl, which refers to client URL, is used by developers to transport data to and from a server. At its most basic level, Curl allows you to communicate with a server by defining the destination in the form of a URL and the data you wish to transmit. Curl operates on practically every platform and supports a variety of protocols, which include HTTP and HTTPS. This makes Curl suitable for testing connectivity from a local server to most edge devices or from practically any device. Curl is nearly ubiquitous, whether it’s for validating an API’s output before sending it to production or just requesting a response from a website to ensure it’s not down. Curl is a popular and powerful command. It comes in handy when you are reliant on the command line. It comes with a variety of features and supports a range of protocols. That’s a compelling reason to master this command. Curl commands are intended to be used as a technique to test URL connectivity and a data transmission tool. On the client-side, Curl is driven by libcurl, a free URL transfer library. Because it is developed to function without user interaction, this technology is preferred for automation. Curl can transport several files at once. In the following guide, we are going to check out the usage of the curl command using kubectl in Ubuntu 20.04 operating system.

      • How to Enable ZFS Compression – Linux Hint

        The file system compression feature compresses the files stored on the file system automatically to save the precious disk space of your storage device.
        Like many other file systems, the ZFS file system also supports file system-level compression.

        The benefits of ZFS file system compression are:

        i) Saves Disk Spaces: As I have mentioned, when ZFS compression is enabled, the files you store on your ZFS pool/file system are compressed to save disk space.

        ii) Reduces File Access Time: Processors these days are very fast. They can decompress files in real-time. So, it takes less time to decompress a file than to retrieve it from a storage device (i.e., hard drive). As compressed files take less storage area, they can be retrieved faster from the storage device (i.e., hard drive) than uncompressed files and can be decompressed on the fly. Overall, this reduces file access time and improves the file system performance.

        This article will show you how to enable compression on your ZFS pool and file systems. I will also show you how local and inherited compression of ZFS pool and file systems works. So, let’s get started.

      • How Do I Check My UFW Log? – Linux Hint

        This tutorial explains how to enable UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall) logging and how to read the logs. A firewall is critical to maintain security on your linux and ubuntu systems.

        After reading this tutorial, you will know how to find and read UFW logs. For a complete UFW tutorial, you can read Working with Debian Firewalls (UFW).

      • How to open Google Chrome from the Terminal in Ubuntu? – Linux Hint

        Although most versions of Ubuntu come with Mozilla Firefox installed as the default browser, having Google Chrome installed has its fair advantages. Google Chrome has been the superior choice when it comes to browsing on a desktop, having support for most plugins and a variety of add-ons, the likes of which cannot be found on any other browser.

        This makes Google Chrome an ideal browser and a must-have no matter which operating system you are running. This guide will help you install Google Chrome on Ubuntu and instructions to use it with the help of the Terminal.

        Although this guide is meant for versions of Ubuntu, it should work the same way for any Linux Distribution.

      • How to limit ssh with UFW – Linux Hint

        This tutorial explains how to limit the ssh access using UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall), denying connections from IP addresses who failed to establish a minimum of 6 connections within 30 seconds.

        This feature is very useful for protocols supporting login authenticated connections such as ssh or ftp among others, preventing brute force attacks.

      • How to add secondary IP address on RHEL/CentOS 8

        Sometimes, you might have to assign a secondary IP address to a single Network Interface Card (NIC) on RHEL 8 and CentOS 8 systems.

        There are numerous reasons for this and some of them, such as application requirement or installation of SSL certificate.

        There are two ways to add a secondary IP address to the RHEL 7 and CentOS 7 network interface.

      • Avoid Head Spinning

        If you’re like me and constantly keep triggering it by accident (Blender zooming being Inkscape’s panning having to do with it), you’ll be happy to learn it can be completely disabled. Sip on your favorite beverage and dive into the thick preferences dialog again (Edit>Preferences), this time you’re searching for Lock canvas rotation by default in the Interface section. One more thing that might throw you off is that you need to restart Inkscape for the change to have any effect.

    • Games

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Silence & The Fury out now for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        After a few weeks of waiting, porter Feral Interactive has updated Total War: WARHAMMER II to support The Silence & The Fury DLC along with the latest huge free update. Originally released on July 14, Feral ported it over to macOS on July 29 so we’ve had a bit of an extra wait here.

        The Silence & The Fury introduces new Legendary Lords for the Lizardmen and the Beastmen, each leading their own factions with new characters and units, as well as unique gameplay mechanics and narrative objectives.

      • Embracer Group swallows up even more developers and publishers | GamingOnLinux

        Embracer Group has announced today that they (or their direct subsidiary companies) have acquired a bunch more developers and publishers and so the concerning consolidation continues.

        For those that don’t know Embracer Group already own the likes of THQ Nordic GmbH, Koch Media GmbH/Deep Silver, Coffee Stain AB, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, DECA Games, Gearbox Entertainment and Easybrain. It goes further since there’s also over 60 game studios owned all together with the likes of Aspyr Media, Volition, Warhorse, Flying Wild Hog, 4A Games, New World Interactive and the list just goes on.

      • Unbound: Worlds Apart is a gorgeous platformer where you open portals between worlds | GamingOnLinux

        Become the mage Soli and travel through a dangerous world in Unbound: Worlds Apart, a platformer that has you spawn portals between two different worlds to overcome many challenges. Note: key provided by the developer.

        “Teleport in as Soli, a young mage with the power to open portals and control the properties of each world – such as inverse gravity, time manipulation, super strength and more. There are 10 different portals with unique mechanics to discover.

        On the journey to master Soli’s ever-growing powers, players will traverse ethereal hand-drawn environments, complete quests, collect ancient lore, outmaneuver enemies and meet a cast of otherworldly characters – all while unraveling the mysterious story of Unbound: Worlds Apart.”

      • Check out how co-op will work in Book of Travels the tiny online RPG | GamingOnLinux

        Book of Travels is the upcoming TMORPG (Tiny Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game) from the Meadow developer Might and Delight. It’s releasing this month and now we can see a bit of what co-op will be like.

        It’s supposed to be a bit like an anti-answer to MMORPGs, with a focus on small player counts and you don’t even directly chat with others. Instead, you master a special in-game language. The whole idea in Book of Travels is quite fascinating and with it entering Early Access on August 30 they’re showing off a little more now too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Get More of Everything With the “Get New” Button in KDE Plasma

          KDE Plasma is a desktop tweaker’s dream come true. You can virtually change every aspect of the desktop, from adding widgets and changing fonts, to trying out over-the-top effects and transformative themes.

          With most interfaces, you need to know where to look online to find these sorts of tweaks, but KDE spares you the effort. There’s a handy little magic button that delivers the goods right to your desktop.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Developing A Real-Time SDR System

            As telecommunication technologies evolve there is an on-going drive for the development of high-performance systems for radio communications. Part of that evolution involves implementing components in software functions that had traditionally been implemented in hardware.

            Software-defined radio (SDR) is a prime example. Significant amounts of signal processing have been handed over to the general-purpose processor, opening doors for new opportunities for high-quality signal processing systems.

            [...]

            To prove this, GNU Radio was integrated with Aldec’s Riviera-PRO simulator and an Aldec HES FPGA board.

          • The Biggest Software Flops of All Time

            Unix was first developed in the 1970s, and by 1990 the GNU Project decided it was time to replace it with a free offering called GNU Hurd. Thirty years after work on the project started, GNU Hurd has yet to be released as a working operating system for public use. Still, many of the components from GNU were moved over to create the Linux operating system.

      • Programming/Development

        • Leap seconds: Causing Bugs Even When They Don’t Happen

          Up to now, all leap seconds have been positive, and they reflect that the rotation of the Earth has been slowing down. Lately however, things have shown signs of speeding up. This might lead to the need for an unprecedented negative leap second.

          Some people, especially non-programmers, assume this will all be fine. Meanwhile, some more battle hardened infrastructure developers have been trying to call attention to the pressing need to start testing negative leap seconds. The assumption is that anything that hasn’t happened before will break spectacularly.

          On this entirely non-fishy looking URL https://565851109.xyz/ we can read that based on IERS Bulletin A Vol. No. 30, and making some very large, probably unjustified assumptions, at the end of June, 2029, there will be a negative leap second.

        • 5 Underrated Apps for Programmers

          Programmers use many auxiliary programs and applications in their work. Don’t be limited to the familiar tools in a world where new ones are constantly appearing. Here are some overlooked but very useful apps for a developer to install.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Will the ‘Bipartisan’ Infrastructure Plan Really Deliver for Our Water Needs?

      The details of a bipartisan infrastructure compromise have finally emerged, as Senate leaders like Chuck Schumer push for a vote on the bill that many Democrats see as a down payment on the kind of major spending and jobs package the country needs. As policy wonks and Senate staffers pore over details, it does not appear that much has changed from what we knew days before. But it’s still important to understand where we started, and where we ended up.

    • Opinion | Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward High Jumpers
    • Your Crown Won’t Fall
    • Opinion | The Beauty—and the Global Tragedy—of the Olympic Refugee Team

      The Olympic Refugee Team filing into the stadium during Tokyo’s opening ceremonies provided a powerful, moving sight: almost 30 athletes, carrying the Olympic flag, striding alongside the delegations of almost every country in the world.

    • Luchita Hurtado’s Spiritual Modernism

      In 1988, feminist art agitators the Guerrilla Girls produced a poster that listed the so-called advantages of being a woman artist. The bullet points included: “working without the pressure of success”; “being included in revised versions of art history”; and “knowing your career might pick up after you’re eighty.” Luchita Hurtado, it can be stated, had to wait until she was nearing her 100th year for the art world to take note of her. The Venezuelan-born American painter, who was influenced by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism without fitting snugly into either category, took nature and the cosmos as the basis of her work, often depicting her body as an extension of these realms. She painted prolifically, in relative obscurity, for 70 years before a Los Angeles gallery show put her on the map in 2016. By the time she passed away in 2020 at the age of 99, she was represented by Hauser & Wirth, and had been booked for solo exhibitions in London, Mexico City, and her adopted hometown of Los Angeles. Now, her gallery has released a book about her work, Luchita Hurtado.

    • Eurovision 2021 finalist Manizha joins Meduza’s summer music festival

      For the past two months, musicians from around the world have joined Meduza’s summer music marathon, sharing video clips and special performances in support of our news outlet and independent media in Russia. This has been absolutely incredible — and we’re not done yet! Throughout the month of August we will continue to publish new songs specially recorded for Meduza’s readers. And we’re enormously grateful to the artists who are taking part, thank you!

    • Bourdain’s Wake

      Anthony Bourdain left no suicide note when he took his life in 2018, a fact that adds to the numbing bafflement produced by his death. Bourdain was many thing: among others, a chef, a traveler, an activist, a celebrity. But he was also first and foremost a writer. While he won his greatest fame as a host of TV travel shows, it was as a writer, for The New Yorker and then in his candid cook memoir Kitchen Confidential, that he first staked out his claim on the public’s attention

    • Should Progressives in Congress Oppose Biden’s Infrastructure Deal If Reconciliation Bill Is Blocked?

      The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is making its way through the Senate this week. The outcome of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which calls for $550 billion in new spending and reuses some unused COVID-19 relief aid, will set the stage for debate on Biden’s much larger $3.5 trillion package, which Democrats hope to pass with a simple majority using the reconciliation process in the Senate. Jacobin staff writer Branko Marcetic says progressives must fight for the larger package and be willing to block the bipartisan bill, if needed. “If that reconciliation bill looks like it’s actually going to get blocked, then progressives need to use their numbers and use their leverage and wield power that they really have in this Congress,” he says.

    • Everyone Being Dumb About IP: McDonald’s No Longer Offering Dope Custom PS5 Controllers In Australia

      If you search for stories about McDonald’s on Techdirt, you will come away with the impression that the company, like many large corporate entities, puts heavy emphasis on its intellectual property rights. Sony, the company responsible for the PlayStation consoles, exudes a similar reputation, despite some recent moves to loosen its IP grip as of late. So, just to be clear, everyone involved in this story tends to trend toward the more restrictive end of the IP spectrum.

    • How Ernesto Guevara Became “Che”: The Motorcycle Diaries Revisited

      Only with the benefit of hindsight and after seven eventful months on the road that altered his life, did Guevara begin to change his mind about heroism, heroes and heroic feats. At the start of his narrative—that’s based on the journal he kept along the way, and originally titled Notas de Viaje—he wrote of himself and Alberto: “Distant countries,  heroic deeds and beautiful women spun around and around in our turbulent imaginations.”

      At the age of 23, while still a medical student and not yet a doctor, Ernesto was imbued with many of the ideas and values of the Argentine middle class into which he was born. In 1951 when he and Alberto launched their romantic adventure, Ernesto wanted to be a swashbuckling hero, not a Marxist revolutionary or a guerrilla fighter. On the road, he became another person. He decided that “the poor” were the “unsung heroes” of Latin America.

    • Whatever Happened to Internationalism?

      A sponsored post, “What is intercultural competence? And 4 reasons why employers value it”, offers one of the most general and widely accepted definitions of intercultural competence and then proceeds to explain why employers value intercultural competence and list its benefits, including how it “prepares you to work for international companies, it shows you’re proactive” and it is “something to talk about in interviews”, all of which emphasise the utilitarian value of this skill set.

      International education, including intercultural competence, is often ‘sold’ on the basis of the extent to which it contributed to US economic growth and national security, both Ameri-centric goals whose pursuit is too often to the exclusion of the interests and aspirations of other peoples. This approach is limiting and antithetical to the true mission of the profession.

    • Glen Ford ¡Presente!

      In the two decades since those words were first published, though a great deal has changed both domestically and internationally for the Left (the implosion of American imperial unipolarity in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pink Tide in Latin America, the economic ascendancy of China, acceleration of climate catastrophe, the evisceration of privacy by the surveillance state and Silicon Valley, the social democratic upsurge around Bernie Sanders and DSA, the full-throated embrace of white nationalism by the GOP leadership, et. al.), absolutely nothing in Zizek’s statement is changed. Whilst his progeny have taken on afterlives of their own, Lenin is still the ultimate persona non grata in radical politics.

      American anarchists and social democrats shun him as the authoritarian nightmare’s author, failing to recognize how American liberals have built a monstrosity that would make the Stasi envious. Anglophone Trots, Maoists, “anti-revisionist” Stalin nostalgics, and Che/Fidel aficionados wandered off a long time ago into their own strange ghettos of religious worship, populating never-ending blogs and paper periodicals with polemics catered to a demographic that would comfortably fit their sum toto membership into a telephone booth, valorizing an idol as opposed to what Lenin actually believed at the close of his life. In the former Socialist Motherland, Putin has revitalized Stalin as the modernizing Tsar of All Russias, the slayer of the Hitlerite dragon who, despite his carceral failings, salvaged the nation and dragged it into the new century. Simultaneously, the Russian president demonizes Lenin, saying he “planted an atom bomb under the building called Russia” by supporting national self-determination to the point of granting the right of Soviet republican secession.

    • Science

      • Why scientists are leaving social media

        When facts are agreed upon socially, confirmation bias takes hold. People follow, like, and retweet content that confirms what they already believe. Truth becomes subjective, and people talk of “my truth” when they mean “my experience”. On Twitter, they may hear of a treatment successfully tested in trials and say: it didn’t help me. Who can blame them for putting their experience first?

    • Education

      • The Charter School Juggernaut

        Somehow, as if by magic, public schools were failing kids in the US and A Nation At Risk would be the foundation to attack those schools. What was actually happening behind the curtain in the land of Oz was that the economy had stopped functioning for masses of working class and lower middle-class people who depended on manufacturing jobs and jobs in the public sector. Attacks against teacher unions and public schools were not far behind.

        Even a casual observer could see the trends in the demise of jobs, the growth of prisons, the growth of charter schools, and the decline in support for public schooling in the US. In many places, largely in urban areas, public schools were in decline. School buildings in many places were relics of the past and deteriorated along with the general public infrastructure. Drive across any major highway where snow falls in the winter and see the deteriorating bridges: public schooling was like those bridges.

      • Will a Facebook-style news feed aid discovery or destroy serendipity?

        Google Scholar does not only return search results, however. It also recommends new papers through its alert system. It has this in common with a number of scholarly platforms: ResearchGate, Mendeley and Semantic Scholar also offer both a way to search and a recommendation tool. And although those two functions are distinct, they are both algorithmically driven ways to find new articles.

        [...]

        Academics have always been more inclined to cite previously popular articles, of course. But algorithms risk exacerbating that tendency, Jordan argues. Not only that, but given there is already bias towards citing academics who are male and from high-income countries, the use of citations to help calculate which papers to recommend carries a “risk of compounding the inequalities that are already baked into academic publishing”, she warns.

        One study from 2016 found that an increasing share of citations is accruing to older articles. It suggested that this could be because of a feedback loop generated by the appearance of these papers at the top of Google Scholar searches: an effect dubbed by the study’s authors as the “first-page results syndrome”.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • More Than Two-Thirds of US Adults Support Mask Mandates as Variants Spread

        Amid news of numerous Covid-19 variants circulating and reports of “breakthrough” cases in fully vaccinated people, a poll released Wednesday showed that a majority of adults in the U.S. think policymakers should impose mask mandates to protect public health.  

      • ‘Time for Medicare for All’: US Healthcare System Ranks Dead Last Among Rich Nations—Again

        The United States spends far more of its GDP on healthcare than other rich countries yet still has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates, the lowest life expectancy at age 60, and the most glaring inequities, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Commonwealth Fund.

        “Single-payer Medicare for All would address some of our most pressing problems by establishing no-cost access to care for all Americans.”—Physicians for a National Health Program

      • Opinion | If a Vaccine Resistant Covid Strain Develops, Will Dr. Fauci Pay Any Price?

        This is a very serious question, even if I’m using a bit of clickbait here. I’m not out to get Dr. Fauci, who deserves some sort of Nobel Prize for trying to give straight information to the public, even as Donald Trump was doing everything he could to minimize the pandemic. But there is an important issue of both, our current failings in vaccinating the world, and a system that almost always allows those at the top to escape responsibility for their failures.

      • A Quick Reminder That Mandating Vaccines Is Totally Constitutional

        Anti-vaxxers and anti-mask people are loud and wrong all the time. It’s a devastating combination. They’ve got an entire white-wing media echo-sphere that amplifies their wrong ideas. They have social media algorithms that elevate their ignorance and misinformation, such that even calling them out boosts their uninformed or willfully false takes.

      • WHO Calls for Moratorium on Covid Booster Shots as Billions Go Without Single Vaccine Dose

        The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday called for an immediate moratorium on the provision of coronavirus booster shots until at least the end of September, a demand aimed at redressing the massive and persistent inoculation gap between rich and poor countries.

        “We need an urgent reversal, from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low-income countries.”—Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

      • We Are Releasing the Full Video of Richard Sackler’s Testimony About Purdue Pharma and the Opioid Crisis

        A settlement close to being finalized in a bankruptcy case would provide a shield from civil litigation to the members of the Sackler family who own OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma. The development means that family members will be significantly less likely to be questioned under oath about their role in the marketing of the potent prescription painkiller blamed for fueling a nationwide opioid epidemic.

      • As COVID Roars Back in Arkansas, Governor Says He Regrets Banning Mask Mandates
      • CDC Issues 60-Day Eviction Moratorium After Progressives Pressured Biden & “Moved Mountains”

        The Biden administration has issued a new two-month moratorium on evictions, covering much of the country, after facing public pressure from progressive lawmakers led by Congressmember Cori Bush of Missouri, who was once unhoused herself and slept on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in protest after the moratorium on evictions lapsed on July 31. The new moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will cover areas of the United States where there is “substantial” or “high” spread of the coronavirus. The belated renewal of the eviction moratorium shows that “people need to be willing to criticize this administration,” says Jacobin staff writer Branko Marcetic. “People want the administration to succeed, but treating them with kid gloves is not necessarily going to be the best way to get these kinds of progressive and just outcomes in policy.”

      • Calling New Eviction Ban ‘Just a Start,’ Omar Says Rent Should Be Canceled Until End of Pandemic

        While applauding the CDC’s new eviction moratorium as a “life-changing” reprieve for the millions of people across the U.S. who are facing imminent eviction, Rep. Ilhan Omar warned late Tuesday that the order will merely delay a looming housing crisis unless Congress takes additional action.

        “We can already predict another housing crisis will occur, which is why it’s so imperative we pass bold, long-term solutions.”—Rep. Ilhan Omar

      • A Doomsday COVID Variant Worse Than Delta and Lambda May Be Coming, Scientists Say

        “It’s going to be very difficult to stop it from happening with masks and social distancing at this point,” says Preeti Malani, a physician and infectious disease researcher and chief health officer at the University of Michigan. “Vaccines are the key, and vaccine hesitancy is the obstacle.”

      • Your future sushi dinner could be cultivated, not caught

        That was followed by years of scientific work to determine what mix of nutrients and environmental cues were needed to coax the base cells into the mix of muscle, fat and connective tissue a finished product needs.

        “The second part is creating a plant-based scaffold, essentially a mesh for the cells to grow within,” says Elfenbein.

        The end result isn’t a live fish but what looks like a block of edible salmon fillet.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • ASWF Adds Maxon and Tangent Animation, Reveals Open Source Days Event Lineup

                “We are pleased to welcome Maxon and Tangent Animation as new members to the Academy Software Foundation,” commented ASWF executive director David Morin. “Maxon is joining us with a robust portfolio of software products already using our projects, and Tangent Animation with a strong track record of using open source software in animation production. We look forward to working with both companies to accelerate the adoption and development of open source software in filmmaking, motion design and animation.”

        • Security

          • Demystifying the 18 Checks for Secure Scorecards

            What are Secure Scorecards for open source projects? And how they help you produce secure software.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • American Airlines will let you watch 30 minutes of TikTok in the air for free

              The move to make TikTok available to travelers comes as airlines are trying to get attention back on flying, after the number of people traveling by air dropped during the pandemic. One of its competitors, United, has also been adding tech upgrades to its fleet, allowing passengers to pre-order in-flight snacks and adding planes that support bluetooth audio for the in-seat screens. American has recently allowed passengers to use Facebook Messenger for free in-flight, giving them at least some connection to the outside world — something that some of its competitors have done for years for it and other messaging apps.

            • TikTok, your new in-flight entertainment option

              Passengers traveling with the airline on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft can now get 30 minutes of access to the app for free, American Airlines said Monday. The promotional offer is available to people who already have the app and those who want to download it in flight. American says the length of the trial will depend on customer response.

              Last year, American Airlines launched a trial that gives passengers access to free in-flight Facebook Messenger. (Other airlines, such as Southwest and Delta, also offer free in-flight messaging options). To get access to in-flight TikTok, passengers need to enable airplane mode and connect to the AA-Inflight signal. After they’ve connected, they’ll be redirected to a Wi-Fi portal and can access TikTok for free from there. Those without the app in flight can connect to the portal and download it without paying for Wi-Fi.

            • ‘It has to be known what was done to us’: Natick couple harassed by eBay tell their story for the first time

              After Whitman left in 2007 and was replaced by former Bain & Co. consultant John Donahoe, eBay began to cater to larger sellers and established retailers, a trend that continued when Devin Wenig was promoted to CEO in 2015. The couple had pivoted their newsletter from how-to tips to reporting more on the changing strategy and new policies of the company. Their take on the new eBay was often, though hardly exclusively, critical.

              And criticism didn’t go down well at the firm. Prosecutors said the harassment campaign, starting with the fence spray-painting incident, was directed by James Baugh, who headed eBay’s Global Security and Resiliency unit. Along with other participants in the scheme, Baugh was charged last year with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to commit witness tampering. He is awaiting trial.

              Prosecutors said the 2019 campaign was sparked by complaints about articles in EcommerceBytes from eBay chief executive Wenig to his senior vice president and communications director, Steve Wymer. Wymer in turn complained to Baugh, who directed the team of eBay employees who worked for him to move against the Steiners, according to the federal criminal complaints.

            • Srsly Risky Biz: Thursday, July 29

              A small Catholic publication using commercially available data to out a US Catholic priest as a Grindr user highlights the security and intelligence risks posed by the data broker industry to — in particular — the United States and its interests.

              The story was broken by The Pillar, a Catholic Substack publication, and relied on “anonymous” app data supplied to it by a third party.

            • The mobile, the ultimate spy weapon that we carry in our pocket

              “Mobile phones are Stalin’s dream,” says Richard Stallman, father of the software free and living legend for many programmers.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Major Companies Donate to Republican Group Despite Its Role in Jan. 6
      • Mexico Files Historic Lawsuit Against US Gun Companies Fueling Cartel Carnage

        In a historic move welcomed by U.S. gun control advocates, the Mexican government on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Massachusetts against American weapons manufacturers and suppliers, accusing them of negligent business practices enabling the illegal cross-border arms flow that contributes to Mexico’s record homicide rate.

        “Almost all guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico—70% to 90% of them—were trafficked from the U.S.”—Lawsuit

      • War Is Anything but Sacred. Ask Those Who Fought.

        This summer, it seemed as if we Americans couldn’t wait to return to our traditional Fourth of July festivities. Haven’t we all been looking for something to celebrate? The church chimes in my community rang out battle hymns for about a week. The utility poles in my neighborhood were covered with “Hometown Hero” banners hanging proudly, sporting the smiling faces of uniformed local veterans from our wars. Fireworks went off for days, sparklers and cherry bombs and full-scale light shows filling the night sky.1

      • Amnesty Follows House Dems’ Letter by Imploring Biden to Close Gitmo ‘Once and for All’

        The global human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday followed up a letter by 75 House Democrats to President Joe Biden urging him to shut down the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba by reminding him that the 20th anniversary of the extrajudicial lockup is approaching, and that he has the political support needed to close the facility.

        “It’s time to shutter this horrific symbol of torture, indefinite detention, and injustice, once and for all, and pursue a national security strategy that is rooted in human rights for all.”—Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International

      • After Decades-Long Grassroots Push, Key Senate Panel Votes to Repeal Iraq War Authorization

        Anti-war organizers credited a decades-long grassroots effort on Wednesday after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to repeal two authorizations for the use of military force in Iraq, putting the chamber further on the path to ending the United States’ “forever wars” that have seen the U.S. military fighting in the Middle East for over three decades.

      • Robert Moses: An Equal Rights Militant in a Land of Unfulfilled Promises

        A brief summary of his life and achievements is a reminder of how the United States has changed in the past seventy years. Republican attacks on voter registration and the voting process are the exact opposite of all Bob Moses worked for.

        Born in Harlem, Bob was an excellent student who easily made his way through the selective public Stuyvesant High School, Hamilton College and a master’s at Harvard Graduate School in Philosophy. He was working towards his PhD when he returned to New York City because of family illness.

      • How a network of UK intel-linked operatives helped sell every alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack
      • Living in a Political Laboratory: an Interview with Rita Anwari Soltani on the Future of Afghan Women

        Progress has been made in education since the 2000s, but the money spent by the United States on war-making could have paid for five years of education at Roedean, the top English girls’ public school, for every single girl in Afghanistan. You’d still have $500 billion change rattling around in your pocket.

        There has however been one very major change in Afghan society: the turning of the generations. Today’s youth cohort is very different. A new generation of Afghan girls believe that women have an extended role to play in their society, and are unwilling to give up the precious gains they have struggled for in the last two decades.

      • Article 370: Why more locals in Kashmir are becoming militants

        There has been an insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989.

        But experts say the resistance is now becoming increasingly homegrown – a worrying trend for the geopolitically sensitive region.

        Kashmir has been ravaged by conflict and unrest for decades.

        Both India and Pakistan claim the territory in its entirety but control only parts of the region. The nuclear-armed neighbours have gone to war twice over it.

      • Is it too late to stop Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold?

        After being caught out in 2002, Iran hid Amad in plain sight by rebranding its weapons-related sites and activities as a ‘civilian’ program to produce fissile materials for energy and scientific uses under the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The regime then claimed that its NPT-violating activities were based on its ‘undisputed’ right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the treaty.

    • Environment

      • ‘Polluters Should Pay’: Draft Bill Could Raise Half a Trillion From Big Oil’s Climate Wreckers

        Amid unrelenting heatwaves, droughts, fires, and floods, congressional Democrats are seeking to tax roughly two dozen oil, gas, and coal corporations to ensure that the carbon polluters most responsible for the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency pay for some of the destruction.

        “It’s based on a simple but powerful idea that polluters should pay to help clean up the mess they caused, and that those who polluted the most should pay the most.”—Sen. Chris Van Hollen

      • Resisting Nuclear Weapons in a Climate Crisis

        In previous days we had visited the entrance gates to the base with our signs and banners and two days before we participated in a “Digging for Life” action outside the fences, near the other end of the runway, where the German pilots liftoff and land their Italian made PA200 Tornado jet fighters, daily training to drop US nuclear bombs on Russia when the order is given. This day we hiked to the other, less accessible, end of the runway, through a forest of dead and dying trees decimated by recent years of drought, unprecedented heat and a massive bark beetle infestation affected by climate change.

        In the clearing near where the runway begins, we noticed a couple of “spotters,” hobbyists who got there before us looking to get dramatic photos of the jets taking off. In their company, while we were scouting and imagining potential future protests at the site, we also knew that some action was imminent.

      • Ailing Earth can’t cope as human demands soar

        Climate physicians who have re-checked global heating say the Earth’s condition is critical, worsening as human demands soar.

      • Biden Made Big Compromises on Climate — and Movements That Backed Him Are Livid
      • Biden Interior Dept Denounced for Giving Big Oil Green Light to Harass Polar Bears, Walruses

        Wildlife defenders on Wednesday denounced the Biden administration after the U.S. Department of the Interior issued a rule allowing fossil fuel companies operating in northern Alaska to harass polar bears and walruses while searching or drilling for oil and gas.

        “The Arctic should be protected, not turned into a noisy, dirty oil field.”—Kristen Monsell, CBD

      • As EPA Forced to Finalize New Rules, Report Details Widespread Use of Neurotoxic Pesticide Across US

        Two decades after the Environmental Protection Agency ended household use of chlorpyrifos over concerns about its impact on the brains of children, the neurotoxic pesticide is still widely applied to crops across the United States, according to a report published Wednesday.

        “The review of these data shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that people, most alarmingly young children, are being exposed to unsafe levels of chlorpyrifos in their food and water.”—Rashmi Joglekar, Earthjustice

      • Energy

        • Joe Biden Is Blatantly Ignoring An Easy Climate Victory

          The Biden administration has signaled its commitment to tackling the financial risks posed by climate change through executive orders and key appointments. But advocates say the president is missing an easy opportunity for big climate progress: divesting the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the federal employee pension fund.

          The TSP is the largest defined contribution plan in the world, with assets worth nearly $700 billion. It has also steadfastly refused to embrace the growing trend of pensions divesting from fossil fuels, since its governing body, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) says it does not have the authority to divest from fossil-fuel assets.

          But other public pension funds have done exactly that. In June, Maine became the first state to order its public pension funds, worth about $17 billion, to divest from fossil fuels through legislation. Earlier this year, three New York City pension funds announced that they would be divesting about $4 billion worth of assets following years of activist pressure.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wildfires Ignite Mental Health Concerns
        • What Are Other Species For?

          Living things develop amazingly unique ways to adapt to the demands of life and their range of behaviors stretches human imagination. Environmentalists care about each of the hundreds of species we lose every day because each is complex, unique, precious and irreplaceable. A frog incubates its young in its stomach to protect it from predators. A tidal creature incorporates minerals into its tongue so it can scrape algae off rocks. Some develop complex processes and molecules that are very useful to humans. Yew trees, for example, were routinely cut and burnt as by-process of logging until scientists discovered a complex molecule found in the tree that could cure breast cancer. If the giant penguin was not extinct, we might be able to figure out how it dove to depths of thousands of feet without harm. Plants and animals with fast reflexes and creatures that can walk on ceilings with dry feet give us new ideas about mechanical triggers and adhesives. The list of new medicines being found in tropical areas seems endless. But once any species is gone, their secrets can be lost to us forever.

          In addition to losing the physical information when species go extinct, we also lose the ability to study the interactions of other species with them because species affect each other, and us, in little-understood ways. Three hundred years after the Dodo went extinct, people noticed there were few trees from a local hardwood species that were less than 300 years old. Apparently, the chances for seeds from this tree to germinate improved from passing through a Dodo’s gullet, where they were bruised and buffeted by the stones inside the gullet. Today the tree’s seeds must be run through gem tumblers to get them to germinate. Every day sees new discoveries about problems we create when we simplify the environment. Lyme disease may be on the increase because eliminating foxes increases the range of mice and causes more of them to carry Lyme disease. 1 Removing wolves from Yellowstone made elk more likely to graze willows in the open along streams which increased stream erosion and sped up flow which eliminated beavers.2

        • 19 Water Protectors Arrested

          On Tuesday evening, 19 water protectors were arrested as they made a stand against the Line 3 pipeline, a fossil fuel project owned by the Canadian oil distributor Enbridge , which began construction in December of 2020 and promises to pump nearly one million barrels of oil from the Tar Sands in Canada.

          Meanwhile, Indigenous members of the Red Lake nation, representatives from nearby nations, and their allies prayed in ceremony within the Red Lake Treaty Camp, an ongoing protest and occupation honoring the agreements of the 1863 Old Crossing Treaty. This celebration of treaty rights exists next door to the path of the pipeline that is currently drilling under Thief River.

        • HS1 line between Chatham and Bromley home to rare Lizard Orchid found growing in north Kent for first time in 100 years

          The line previously used by Eurostar is now run by Network Rail and Southeastern sits within an area where HS1 wants to increase biodiversity by 20%.

          Now the orchids have been found, they will be monitored and cordoned off in a one-metre radius and maintained to give the best protection and chance of thriving.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Sues to Block Congress From Seeing Taxes After DOJ Memo Says They Can
      • US Peace Groups Call for Biden and Congress to Adopt ‘No First Use of Nuclear Weapons’ Policy

        The 76th anniversary of the U.S. military’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is coming up, and in an effort to prevent such mass murder from reoccurring, a broad coalition of peace, religious, and community groups launched a national campaign on Wednesday to urge President Joe Biden and Congress to adopt a policy of “No First Use of Nuclear Weapons.”

        “Our long-term goal is total nuclear disarmament.”—Pamela Richard, Peace Action of Wisconsin

      • Media and the Permanent War State: Top National Security Reporters Linked to US Government
      • Levada Center: Number of Russians in support of Stalin monument has doubled since 2010

        Nearly half of Russians — 48 percent — support the idea of putting up a monument to Joseph Stalin to mark the next anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, according to a survey conducted by the independent Levada Center.

      • Should Progressives Oppose Infrastructure Deal If Reconciliation Is Blocked?
      • Opinion | Nina Turner’s Loss Is Oligarchy’s Gain

        The race for a vacant congressional seat in northeast Ohio was a fierce battle between status quo politics and calls for social transformation. In the end, when votes were counted Tuesday night, transactional business-as-usual had won by almost 6 percent. But the victory of a corporate Democrat over a progressive firebrand did nothing to resolve the wide and deep disparity of visions at the Democratic Party’s base nationwide.

      • Conceding Defeat in Ohio Special Election, Nina Turner Says ‘Our Justice Journey Continues’

        Promising to continue the fight for justice that animated her campaign, Nina Turner conceded defeat Tuesday night to establishment opponent Shontel Brown in the special election to fill a vacant seat in Ohio’s 11th congressional district, marking the close of a heated Democratic primary fight that drew national attention and a late torrent of super PAC cash.

        “Tonight my friends, we have looked across the promised land, but for this campaign, on this night, we will not cross the river,” Turner, a former Ohio state senator, said in her concession speech. “Tonight, our justice journey continues, and I vow to continue that journey with each and every one of you.”

      • Nina Turner Says “Our Justice Journey Continues” After Conceding Defeat
      • The Establishment Beat Nina Turner. What Does It Mean?

        There will be a lot of loaded national “narratives” spun about the Ohio-11 special election Democratic primary. Mainly, we’ll hear that the race was the establishment vs. the Bernie Sanders insurgency and the establishment won, with Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chairwoman Shontel Brown besting progressive former state senator and Sanders campaign cochair Nina Turner.

      • Biden Calls on Andrew Cuomo to Resign Following Damning Harassment Report
      • Cuomo Must Go: Sexual Harassment Report Prompts Demands for NY Gov. to Resign or Face Impeachment

        Pressure is growing on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, released the damning findings of an independent investigation Tuesday about how Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women in violation of the law. “The report is devastating, and it is disturbing. And unfortunately, it’s not surprising to anyone who has spent time in Albany,” says New York state Senator Julia Salazar. We also speak with Sochie Nnaemeka, state director of the New York Working Families Party, who says removing Cuomo must include a wider reckoning with how Albany operates. “We need to usher in a post-Cuomo moment,” says Nnaemeka. “We need a full transformation of New York state.”

      • Nina Turner’s Loss is Oligarchy’s Gain

        One of the candidates — Shontel Brown, the victor — sounded much like Hillary Clinton, who endorsed her two months ago. Meanwhile, Nina Turner dwelled on the kind of themes we always hear from Bernie Sanders, whose 2020 presidential campaign she served as a national co-chair. And while Brown trumpeted her lockstep loyalty to Joe Biden, her progressive opponent was advocating remedies for vast income inequality and the dominance of inordinate wealth over the political system. Often, during the last days of the campaign, I heard Turner refer to structural injustices of what she called “class and caste.”

        A major line of attack from Brown forces was that Turner had voted against the party platform as a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Left unsaid was the fact that nearly one-quarter of all the convention delegates also voted ‘no’ on the platform, and for the same avowed reason — its failure to include a Medicare for All plank.

      • The Far Right’s Manufactured Meaning of Critical Race Theory

        In an opinion piece for the Federalist (6/22/21), contributor Nathanael Blake argued that “Yes, Critical Race Critics Know What It Is”—while simultaneously failing to offer up a definition himself. Nor did he quote any proponents of critical race theory (CRT) describing what it is or explaining their ideas.

      • The Case Against Cuomo—and Those Who Enabled Him

        Seventy-four thousand documents, 200 interviews, 168 pages, and five months after the Office of the Attorney General launched its investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the report confirmed what nearly a dozen women told us from the start: Cuomo is hot garbage.

      • Parlimentary mission supports open source

        As a response to these challenges, the report proposes 66 recommendations aiming to strengthen French and European digital sovereignty in different areas such as cybersecurity, deeptech, infrastructure, software and others, and introducing several regulatory and funding mechanisms. The most significant proposal regarding open source software is as follows:

        Proposal No. 52: Enforce within the administration the systematic use of free software, making the use of proprietary solutions an exception.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Yes, Actually, The 1st Amendment Does Mean That Twitter Can Kick You Off Its Platform, Wall Street Journal

        Back in February, we did a thorough debunking of Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger arguing (bizarrely, and blatantly incorrectly) that Section 230 violates the Constitution in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. It was a nearly fact free opinion piece that got so much wrong I was vicariously embarrassed for anyone who ever got a law degree from Columbia University. In the intervening months, it does not appear that Prof. Hamburger has done anything to educate himself. Instead, he appears to be digging in, with the help of the Wall Street Journal again. Leaving aside the fact that the Wall Street Journal’s parent company has been lobbying against Section 230, and its various news properties have been among the most vocal in spreading blatantly false information about the law, I guess this is no surprise. But if the Wall Street Journal really believes this nonsense, then why won’t it let me publish my op-ed in their pages about how the WSJ is the worst newspaper ever, and regularly prints lies and nonsense to please its scheming owner in his hatred of the internet?

      • Man Sues Multiple Social Media Services, Claims Banning His Accounts Violates The Civil Rights Act

        Everybody wants to sue social media platforms for (allegedly) violating the First Amendment by removing content that most platforms don’t feel compelled to host. Most of what’s sued over is a mixture of abusive trolling, misinformation, bigoted rhetoric, and harassment. Plaintiffs ignore the fact that private companies can’t violate the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not guarantee anyone the right to an audience or the continued use of someone’s services.

      • Federal censor blocks Russian news websites ‘MBK Media’ and ‘Open Russia’ without identifying unlawful content

        Russia’s federal censor, RKN, has blocked the Russian investigative news outlets Open Media and MBK Media, adding their websites to the government’s blocklist. Spokespeople for Open Media say they received no advance warning that their website would be blocked in Russia. Based on the information available, RKN blocked Open Media on orders from the Russian Attorney General’s Office, which determined that Open Media “incited riots, extremism, or participation in unpermitted demonstrations.”

      • Hong Kong Pop Star Anthony Wong Arrested for Singing at a Rally

        In 2018, the cantopop singer Anthony Wong Yiu-ming sang two songs at an election rally. The rally was held in favor of the pro-democracy candidate for Hong Kong’s legislature. Yesterday, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption arrested the singer. He is charged with violating campaign laws over his performance.

      • Spotify CEO Says Joe Rogan Won’t Be Getting Censored Anymore: “We Have a Lot of Really Well-Paid Rappers on Spotify, Too — We Don’t Dictate What They’re Putting In Their Songs, Either”

        The CEO recently discussed how podcasting has changed the music streaming company in a podcast interview with Axios. At one point, Axios asked Ek if he thought the company should have any editorial responsibility for podcasts like ‘The Joe Rogan Experience.’

        Spotify has deleted a number of Rogan podcasts it deemed objectionable. But Ek responded that the company isn’t planning to scrub further episodes — just like it doesn’t police rappers or other musical content. “We have a lot of really well-paid rappers on Spotify too, that make tens of millions of dollars, if not more, each year from Spotify. And we don’t dictate what they’re putting in their songs, either,” Ek relayed.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • First Look: Assange’s New Book of Musings

        You might wonder: Why read about a book not publicly available for a couple more months? Well, to keep alive his words and perceptions of power, to fight The Man by continuing to resist their full court press of his mind and the isolation of his voice (we never hear from him) at a time when we could use a guy savvy to Deep State machinations and MSM misdirection.  As we build up the marching bands and parades (did you see where she caught that baton!?) in tribute to the coming spectacle of horror known as the 20th Anniversary of 9/11™, you might want to re-read some Assange material and re-consider the value of his journalism in Keeping the Bastards Honest with the sunshine of his wicked revelations.

        Remember. They did Julian. With all that dark irony they so love. Sweden’s strong whistleblowing laws would be used to trap.  A publicized intentionally leaky condom showed how reckless Assange was with data he posted (an attempt at hoisting him on his own petard).  Yanks would be waiting to escort him back to the US to face a show trial.  So, he broke bail and went on the llama across town to Ecuador (more or less) and was given political sanctuary. Then they took him out, confirmed that a secret US indictment wanted him in the US. And now he waits for a British court to free him or hand him over. A process which could take another year to complete. In the meantime, he’s silent, and journos have stopped looking at his leaks, and some have taken on a sinister patina reflected in the surface of their fallow minds.

      • Craig Murray joins Julian Assange behind bars

        Like Assange, who was targeted via state manufactured sexual assault allegations in Sweden, Murray is a victim of the state’s utilisation of gender politics to suppress fundamental democratic rights, aimed above all at silencing those who expose the crimes of imperialism.

        The sentencing of Murray has set a dangerous precedent above all in its singling out of independent media. The judges’ June 8 High Court ruling insisted, “it is relevant to distinguish his [Murray’s] position from that of the mainstream press, which is regulated, and subject to codes of practice and ethics in a way in which those writing as the applicant does are not.”

      • Russian authorities label The Insider a ‘foreign agent,’ search editor’s home

        Russian authorities should remove The Insider and all other media organizations and journalists from the country’s register of foreign agents and stop harassing the outlet’s editor-in-chief Roman Dobrokhotov, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Blocks Elon Musk From Getting Millions In Subsidies For Delivering Broadband To Traffic Medians

        Late last year consumer group Free Press released a report showing how numerous broadband providers had been gaming the FCC’s RDOF (Rural Digital Opportunity Fund) subsidy program to get money they didn’t really deserve. The program doles out roughly $9.2 billion in subsidies paid for by money paid by consumers into the Universal Service Fund (USF). The study clearly showed that during the last RDOF auction a long list of ISPs gamed the system to gain millions in subsidies to deliver broadband to areas that didn’t make any coherent sense.

      • Despite 20 Years Of Experience, Comcast/NBC Still Sucks At Olympics Coverage

        NBC (now Comcast NBC Universal) has enjoyed the rights to broadcast the US Olympics since 1998. In 2011, the company paid $4.4 billion for exclusive US broadcast rights to air the Olympics through 2020. In 2014, Comcast NBC Universal shelled out another $7.75 billion for the rights to broadcast the summer and winter Olympics in the US… until the year 2032. Despite years of practice, we’ve repeatedly noted how the company has done a consistently terrible job at its core responsibility as the holder of those rights: namely, showing people things they actually want to see in a way that isn’t annoying.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • What Will Happen to My Music Library When Spotify Dies?

        By contrast, he told me, many of today’s younger listeners are accustomed to hearing brief excerpts of songs on social media, and to collaborative playlists that shapeshift as they and their friends add to and subtract from the track list. They may not expect, or even desire, the permanence that I grew up with. Still, Mulligan said, they have just as much of an urge as previous generations did to express their identity through music—but in our era of easy accessibility, just saying you’ve heard an album doesn’t mean much. As a result, he sees many young listeners turning to comparatively costlier merchandise as a means of indicating the depth of their fandom.

    • Monopolies

      • Democrats Demand Amazon and Facebook End Efforts to ‘Sideline’ FTC Chair Lina Khan

        In a Wednesday letter to the CEOs of Amazon and Facebook, four congressional Democrats called on the tech giants to stop trying to “strip Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan of her authority to enforce antitrust law.”

        “The real basis of your concerns appears to be that you fear Chair Khan’s expertise and interpretation of federal antitrust law.”—Democrats’ letter

      • Patents

        • Artificial intelligence is allowed to register patents [Ed: This should settle the debate about whether patents are innovation of pure nonsense and nuisance]

          Was that about man’s ingenuity? The Artificial Inventor Project achieved two important successes in quick succession.

          Initially, the patent authority of South Africa accepted a patent application, in which an AI was listed as an official inventor. Only a few weeks later, the Australian Federal Court of Justice dismissed an objection from the Australian Patent Office against a very similar application and thus decided in principle that an artificial intelligence can be an inventor within the meaning of Australian patent law.

        • Aussies decide that AI can invent stuff [Ed: Patents for bots is an all-time low for the patent system. Who would take it seriously anymore?]

          Welcome to the era of the AI patent troll

          An Australian Court has decided that artificial intelligence can patent inventions.

          Australia’s Federal Court last month heard and decided that the nation’s Commissioner of Patents erred when deciding that an AI can’t be considered an inventor.

          Justice Beach reached that conclusion because nothing in Australian law says the applicant for a patent must be human.

      • Copyrights

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. EPO Home-Working (or 'Remote' Working or 'Teleworking') Isn't an Act of Generosity But of Exploitation

    Contrary to what staff may be led to believe, allowing folks to work from home is just a workaround (as the law forbids some human-to-human contact/interaction) and pretext for screwing the workers a little bit more while crushing basic rights, such as strike and protest abilities (exercising or expressing dissent)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 27, 2021



  3. [Meme] False Choices and False Dichotomy Designed for Self-Harm

    The self-serving EPO surveys, which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos design to justify their own policies, have severe flaws in them



  4. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)



  7. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.



  8. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance



  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  11. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  12. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  13. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  15. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  16. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  19. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  20. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  21. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  22. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  23. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  24. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations



  26. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day



  27. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021


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