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Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor

Posted in News Roundup at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Chromebook that acts like a computer (but isn’t quite)

        Chrome OS, you see, was originally little more than the Google Chrome browser, with a minimal operating system wrapped around it to make the browser go.


        (I should add here that, at the time of writing, the Linux feature was still in “beta”, and exhibited a couple of bugs. Though, as I will get into in a moment, those bugs may well be hardware-related, rather than a problem with Chrome OS itself.)

    • Server

      • Best Business Intelligence Software and Business Operating System Options for 2020

        2020 is not just the year of further technical advancement if anything, 2020 seems to be more business-centric than anything else regardless of the subject area or nature. The technological progress of businesses can only be ensured if the in-house IT infrastructures are up to date. For cloud computing though, Linux is proving to be an unparalleled fit and rather an inexpensive fit for businesses.

        You will also find that the integration of Linux systems is quite simple depending on the specific Linux distribution – distro – you select in coordination with your computing requirement.

        The best still is the fact that you don’t have to discard your standing infrastructure to appropriate the flexibility that open-source software and cost-effective functionality of Linux provides. It is literally a free replacement for other OSs, which businesses find more than a little hard to comprehend.

        Linux does not require purchase prizes even for the applications unless you are a kind of business that needs expert help from paid tech support. Even that can be worked away, given the variety of Linux system administrator training programs available today which effectively ticks an overhead off the list of businesses’ overall cost.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • More Accurate Load Tracking Being Worked On For the ACPI CPPC CPUFreq Driver

        The ACPI CPPC (Collaborative Processor Performance Control) Linux CPUFreq driver continues to be improved upon.

        CPPC is the ACPI specification around OS management of describing abstract performance scales and a means of being able to request higher/lower performance levels and measuring per-CPU performance. The Linux kernel for a while has offered the ACPI CPPC CPUFreq driver for making use of this standard on supported systems for frequency scaling. So far mostly Arm Linux systems have leveraged ACPI CPPC CPUFreq while last year AMD proposed their own CPPC driver albeit at the moment appears stalled.

      • Intel Media Driver Q2-2020 Ships With Better Tiger Lake Support

        The Intel Media Driver Q2’2020 release continues evolving the Gen12/Xe Graphics support for forthcoming Tiger Lake systems as well as for the likes of Rocket Lake and DG1. New on the Gen12/TGL front is HEVC SCC encoding, 16-bit format support, better performance via utilizing the media BLT engine for surface hardware copies, engine-to-engine (E2E) compression support, and surface sharing.

      • Corsair Commander Pro Driver On-Deck For Linux 5.9 Kernel

        For those looking for an RGB lighting and fan speed controller system that works under Linux, the Corsair Commander PRO is slated to see support with the upcoming Linux 5.9 kernel cycle.

        A new driver for the Corsair Commander Pro was queued up on Thursday into hwmon-next as material for the Linux 5.9 merge window in August. The Corsair Commander PRO supports commanding up to six cooling fans, two LED channels, and sports four temperature sensors while interfacing with the system via USB.

      • Graphics Stack

        • weston-info as a standalone utility
          Hi all,
          A long time ago [1], I suggested that we move weston-info out of the
          Weston source tree because this is a very useful tool which gives
          important information about any Wayland compositor, not just Weston.
          The general consensus was it was a good idea, unfortunately other more
          important things happened, people (including me) eventually forgot
          about that and it never actually came to fruition…
          But the need remains, I think we should have a compositor agnostic
          tool that gives the general information about the running compositor.
          And we should not need to install Weston for that alone.
          So I took the liberty to uproot weston-info, rename it as wayland-info
          and put it on its own repo:
          As you can see, I took great care to preserve the git history of
          weston-info in the process.
          In the meantime, Peter has already submitted patches to wayland-info
          (thanks Peter!) so the tip of wayland-info is different from
          weston-info (basically, we have diverged already).
          Eventually, if nobody has objections, we could move that repo to the
          wayland domain…
        • Wayland-Info Spun From Weston Code For Offering Wayland Helper Tool

          Wayland’s Weston compositor has provided a weston-info utility to display information on supported Wayland extensions and versioning along with other details of the Wayland compositor environment. That utility is now being spun out as wayland-info as a Wayland compositor-agnostic utility for displaying this information.

          Olivier Fourdan of Red Hat has been working on spinning out weston-info as wayland-info for serving as its own standalone utility while some other common Wayland utilities/examples may end up being added to its source tree as well, akin to mesa-utils.

        • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 450.56.01 out, Ray Tracing and bug fixes

          Shortly after giving us a brand new stable mainline driver, the NVIDIA driver team have released a new developer-focused Vulkan Beta Driver.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Restart

          The last remaining feature for GL 3.1 was primitive restart, which allows an indexed draw command to end the current primitive when a specified index is processed, beginning a new one of the same type with the next index.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT vs. Intel Core i9 10900K Linux Gaming Performance

        Following the 130+ benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 3000XT series earlier in the week looking at the CPU/system performance on Ubuntu Linux, here is our first look at the Linux gaming performance with putting the Ryzen 9 3900XT up head-to-head against the Intel Core i9 10900K.

        This Linux gaming bout is looking at the Core i9 10900K vs. Ryzen 9 3900XT for Linux gaming while also looking at the CPU power consumption and performance-per-Watt.

    • Applications

      • The 10 Best Linux Network Monitoring Tools

        Having total control over your network is essential to prevent programs from overusing your network resources and slowing down the overall performance. This is why you should install a network monitoring tool on your system, giving you a visual overview of everything that’s happening on your network.

        To help you out, we have put together a list of the ten best Linux network monitoring tools. All the tools mentioned here are open-source and follows an easy and intuitive UI (mostly command-line based) to help you monitor the bandwidth usage on your network.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours details lots of cancelled Valve projects

        Here’s one for serious Valve enthusiasts and people wanting to get juice details on their cancelled projects, and everything that led up to Half-Life: Alyx.

        Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours is an interactive storybook, written by Geoff Keighley, that takes fans inside Valve Software to chronicle the company’s past decade of game development, including the return of Half-Life. There’s so much detail in there it’s crazy, it’s also pretty amazing to learn it all with this new Valve Software that doesn’t seem to mind talking a bit more. If you’re curious, that does include a cancelled Half-Life 3. Yes, it really actually was a thing (as if there was any doubt) but it along with a lot more didn’t make the cut.

      • More progress on Easy Anti-Cheat in Wine / Proton coming

        With the current in-progress community development effort to get Easy Anti-Cheat working in the Wine / Proton compatibility layers, they continually hit new milestones.

        Starting off getting one game to progress at low performance back in late June, they shared another big update recently. Going by what they said on Twitter it appears multiple titles have become playable on Linux including: Apex Legends, For Honor, Paladins, Cuisine Royale, Halo: The Master Chief Collection (single-player already works fine though), Rust and Dead By Daylight.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • High DPI update

          I’d like to share a brief update regarding the state of high DPI support. Since getting a laptop with a 4K screen, I’ve found all sorts of subtle papercuts and have been doing my best to fix them or at least file bug reports.

        • Adding EteSync calendars and tasks to Kontact – GSoC 2020 with KDE and EteSync [Part 4]

          Last month, I wrote about adding EteSync address books to Kontact. Since then, I have been working on extending this functionality to calendars and tasks as well. I am happy to report that fetching and modifying EteSync contacts, calendars and tasks is now possible in Kontact. If you want to test it out, skip to ”Testing the resource” section below.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IT careers: How to get a job as a DevOps professional

          Editor’s note: In this ongoing series for IT job hunters, we’ll explore in-demand roles, necessary skills, and how to stand out in an interview. Here, Pete Sosnowski, co-founder and VP people at Zety, shares insights on getting a DevOps role.

        • Nest With Fedora CfP open

          In a normal year, we’d be getting ready for my favorite event: Flock to Fedora. But as we’re all aware, this is anything but a normal year. Despite this—or perhaps because of this—we still want to bring the community together to share ideas, make plans, and form the bonds that put the Friends in Fedora. Instead of Flocking to Fedora, we’re going to Nest With Fedora. I’m happy to announce that the Call for Participation is now open.

          Nest With Fedora features five tracks. I included a few examples for each one, but don’t limit yourself. What do you want to share with the Fedora community?

        • Performance and usability enhancements in Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.2

          Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.2 is now available. For the improvements in this release, we focused on performance and configuration, plus updating CodeReady Workspaces 2.2 to use newer versions of the most popular runtimes and stacks. We also added the ability to allocate only the CPU that you need for IDE plugins, and we introduced a new diagnostic feature that lets you start up a workspace in debug mode.

          CodeReady Workspaces 2.2 is available on OpenShift 3.11 and OpenShift 4.3 and higher, including tech-preview support for OpenShift 4.5.

        • What does the future hold for edge computing?

          That being said, edge computing is still in its infancy and not quite ready for primetime yet. Gartner’s report admitted as much, noting that just 10 percent of enterprise data was generated and processed at the edge in 2018.

          For “the edge” to become as ubiquitous as “the cloud” in the tech industry, a myriad of technical challenges will need to be tackled. These include the development of compact devices with outsized processing power, the creation of software that enables companies to remotely monitor and update a limitless number of edge devices from across the world and new security technology and protocols to keep everything safe.

          Many companies are actively working to solve these problems, including Red Hat, Nutanix and Cloudera, all of which have developed their own edge technology. We recently spoke with senior leaders at each to learn what the future holds for edge computing — and what it will take to realize it.

        • Red Hat: Migrating To The Cloud And The Risk Of Sticking With The Status Quo

          The ability for companies to immediately respond to the need to support a work-from-home environment depended, in large part, upon where those firms were already in terms of their digitization journeys. For some, the shift was relatively easy, thanks to an existing embrace of cloud-based platforms and systems.

          For others, not so much: Continued reliance on legacy infrastructure, which itself often depends on manual intervention to function properly, created a panic for some companies unable to make the move to remote working without major roadblocks.

          Speaking with PYMNTS, Tim Hooley, chief technologist, EMEA, FSI at Red Hat, explained why organizations continue to delay their cloud migrations, and offered a guide to overcoming the sense of being overwhelmed and making progress in the journey toward fully automated back offices.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian based Mobian Linux OS Brings Librem 5 Phosh Shell to Pinephone

          2020 is the year of the Linux phone. Sort of… At least, we now have smartphones that ships with Linux thanks to PinePhone and Librem 5, and several Linux mobile operating systems with Ubuntu Touch based UBPorts, postmarketOS, and others.

          Mobian is another Linux distribution which as its name implies is based on Debian and targets mobile devices. Interestingly, the project relies on Purism Phosh phone shell/user interface used in Librem 5, but the first Mobian image has been released for PinePhone with plans for PineTab and Librem 5 support coming later.

        • Debian LTS Team Will No Longer Support Debian 8 ‘Jessie’ GNU/Linux

          On June 30, 2020, the long-term Debian 8 “Jessie” reached its end-of-life (EOL). Subsequently, the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) Team has officially announced that it will no longer provide further security patches or any other updates to Debian 8.

          Hence, if you’re using Debian 8, you should upgrade your system to the next long-term Debian 9 “Stretch.” However, you can still extend the lifetime of Debian 8 for a further five years under the Extended Long Term Support (ELTS) by paying some money.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Google partners with Ubuntu to bring Flutter apps to Linux

          Since the inception of Android, Google has always supported app development with its open-source Android Studio and also developed Flutter, more recently. Flutter is an application framework for the development of cross-platform applications that are compatible with Android, iOS, and macOS too.

          Flutter is being used by many developers these days because of its simplicity and the ease of coding only once to support on all platforms. There are so many applications developed using this framework but now, Google is now partnering with Ubuntu Linux aiming to bring Flutter apps to Linux OS. As we know Linux is not an application rich platform but if Flutter apps come to Linux then we may have a richer Linux experience.

        • This Ubuntu-Based Linux OS Looks Shockingly Similar To Windows 10

          If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I can confidently say that an Ubuntu-based Linux OS called “WindowsFx” really admires the appearance of Microsoft’s Windows 10. In fact, this distribution goes to such painstakingly detailed lengths to emulate the look and feel of Windows 10, I’m surprised Microsoft hasn’t called in the army of lawyers to shut it down. But is WindowsFx a comfortable gateway into Linux for Windows users, or merely an Ubuntu clone with a clever Windows skin?

        • Google joins Canonical to bring Flutter apps to Linux

          Google has announced that it is partnering with open source software operating system Ubuntu maker Canonical to bring its open-source UI software development kit Flutter to Linux desktop operating system.

          Google”s goal for Flutter has always been to provide a portable framework for building beautiful user interfaces (UIs) that run at native speeds no matter what platform.

          “To validate this capability, we started by focusing on the mobile platforms, Android and iOS, where we”ve seen more than 80,000 fast, beautiful Flutter apps published to Google Play,” said Google”s Chris Sells and Canonical”s Ken VanDine.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How open source will affect the future of our energy use

        Humanity depends upon the energy furnished by our environment. Without powerful energy sources, we would not be able to digitally communicate with people from anywhere and feel as if we’re in the same room.

        According to the 2019 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, we are still heavily relying on non-renewable energy sources such as coal, gas, and oil (by a share of 85%) to maintain our lifestyle. The slight 8% share renewable resources represent is obviously not sufficient to match today’s queries. With that knowledge, at what price are we leading this lifestyle? We’re meeting the needs of the present, but are we compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs?

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New releases: Tor,, and (with security fixes)

            We have new stable releases today. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for on the website. Packages should be available within the next several weeks, with a new Tor Browser by the end of the month.

            There are also updated versions for older supported series. You can download and at https://dist.torproject.org/.

          • New alpha release: Tor

            There’s a new alpha release available for download. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for from the download page on the website. Packages should be available over the coming weeks, with a new alpha Tor Browser release around the end of the month.

            Remember, this is an alpha release: you should only run this if you’d like to find and report more bugs than usual.

      • CMS

        • Hugo: a static-site generator

          Static web-site generators take page content written in a markup language and render it into fully baked HTML, making it easy for developers to upload the result and serve a web site simply and securely. This article looks at Hugo, a static-site generator written in Go and optimized for speed. It is a flexible tool that can be configured for a variety of use cases: simple blogs, project documentation, larger news sites, and even government services.

      • Programming/Development

        • GCC 11 Compiler Lands Intel Sapphire Rapids + Alder Lake Support

          Landing in the GNU Compiler Collection 11 (GCC 11) codebase this morning is the Sapphire Rapids and Alder Lake enablement.

          GCC 11 is bringing the compiler support for these 2021 Xeon and desktop CPUs succeeding Ice Lake Xeon and Rocket Lake, respectively. This is exposed via new -march=sapphirerapids and -march=alderlake compiler switches for generating binaries optimized for these CPU families.

        • Call for Code Daily: Virtual classrooms, contact tracing, weather tips

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that’s been built around this major tech-for-good initiative. Whether it’s the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all of the amazing #TechForGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of July 6, 2020.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Three Amigos
    • Not Catharsis but Vengeance: The Startling Fiction of Fernanda Melchor

      Earlier this year, police on the northern outskirts of #MexicoCity encountered a grisly scene: A 46-year-old man, Francisco Robledo, was covered in blood, with the mutilated body of Ingrid Escamilla, a 25-year-old woman, laid out before him.

    • A collection of Forum Posts I Don’t Want to Sink into Oblivion

      Sometimes I get a creative kick when writing a reply on some forum, and then I feel a little sorry to think that this “gem” will soon be forgotten and unfindable.

      So I decided to copy-paste some of these outbursts to a dedicated page.

      It’s a little narcissistic.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Spiked Concerns: The Melbourne Coronavirus Lockdown

        It all looked like it was going so well for Australia and Victoria, in particular. They could point to the mishandling of the Ruby Princess, a cruise ship that docked in Sydney and whose passengers disembarked chocked with coronavirus, precipitating 700 cases and some 21 deaths across the country. It had, till now, been the single most contagious incident in the COVID-19 annals of the antipodes. Victorians could hold their heads hubristically high.

      • NEA President: Trump’s Plan to Reopen Schools Is Dangerous for Students and Teachers

        The White House pressure campaign presents a false choice between the health of our students and the health of our economy. It’s appallingly reckless.

      • The Dangers of Persecuting Doctors

        The detention in Egypt of nine doctors and paramedical personnel is only the latest attack on doctors dealing with the corona virus pandemic. The doctors were denouncing the deaths of front-line health care workers, as the country is struggling to control the pandemic and energize the economy with limited resources.

      • The World Can Show How Pharma Monopolies Aren’t the Only Way to Fight COVID-19

        The U.S. has bought up almost all of the stock of remdesivir from Gilead, making it nearly impossible for this COVID-19 drug to be available anywhere else in the world. After making America sick again, Trump is trying to compensate for his administration’s failure by buying Gilead’s production for the next three months for the U.S., leaving nothing for the rest of the world.

      • No “Revision” of Guidelines for School Reopenings, CDC Director Says

        Following complaints from President Donald Trump about recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how schools across the country should reopen in the fall while the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Vice President Mike Pence suggested on Wednesday that the agency would be issuing out new protocols in line with the president’s thinking.

      • ‘The Last Straw’: As Pandemic Rages, Oxfam Warns 12,000 Could Die Per Day From Hunger

        “Meanwhile, those at the top are continuing to make a profit.”

      • Protest and Survive!

        Let’s face it. We’re on a Covid-19 Republican death march heading into the rest of the summer and fall. We cannot wait for January 2021 to shift course. Our lives depend on disruption now. Indeed, our survival hinges on making it impossible for our leaders to ignore us: We have to shift the political

      • What It Means When You Wear a Mask—and When You Refuse To

        Covid-19 spread is accelerating across the country. In states as politically divergent as Texas, Oregon, Florida, California, and Arizona, daily case counts are soaring and test positivity rates are up—indicators that portend the grave possibility of an ensuing increase in Covid-19-related deaths.

      • Coronavirus Relief Funds Are About to Run Out for the Child Care Industry

        Workers in the U.S. are staring down the precipice as lawmakers fail to address the economic ravages of the pandemic. Even as some 21 million people remain unemployed, the $600 per week in additional unemployment insurance created by Congress’s coronavirus relief package, the CARES Act, is set to expire on July 31. Student debt payments will resume on October 1 for the 34 million federal student loan borrowers whose loans were suspended by CARES. But perhaps no cliff is as steep as the early care and education sector, which may be cut in half by the time the pandemic is over. To save it, the sector will need an infusion of at least $50 billion. But so far, despite how essential child care is to restarting the economy, Congress has been unwilling to meet the crisis with the resources required to stave off a crisis.

      • ‘Connect the Dots’: Tulsa Health Official Points to Trump Rally as ‘Likely’ Source of Covid-19 Spike

        “May this stand as wakeup call against future mass gatherings/rallies, especially without masks.”

      • With Rhyme and Reasons: Rap Songs for COVID Migrants

        That’s Duleshwar Tandi’s singing. “I expressed my anguish and anger through my rap,” he says, about why he wrote and sang ‘Sarkar, tui jabab de’.

      • ‘Step in the Right Direction,’ Say Healthcare Advocates as Biden Vows to Share Any Covid-19 Vaccine With the World

        Biden must go further, said advocacy group Health GAP, by releasing a concrete plan to dismantle Trump’s “misguided, dangerous current policy of ‘America first, everyone else to the back of the queue.’”

      • Undercover Patriots

        Trump, Tulsa, and the rise of military dissent.

      • Health Official Says Tulsa’s Spike in COVID Cases Likely Linked to Trump Rally

        A public health official in Tulsa, Oklahoma, suggested this week that President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in the city last month likely caused a spike in new cases of coronavirus seen in the jurisdiction.

      • Viagra? Yes. Birth Control? No. SCOTUS Sides with Trump & Limits Free Contraception Under Obamacare

        The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to reproductive rights when it sided with the Trump administration in letting employers deny people access to free birth control based on religious or moral grounds, hollowing out a mandate under the Affordable Care Act that requires most private health insurance plans to provide cost-free birth control. “It’s a really deeply disappointing ruling,” says Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “These individuals are effectively on their own to find and pay for their contraception.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Zoom vs JioMeet: Indian competition faces new heat with uncanny UI and app resemblance

          Commenting on if Zoom plans to file a legal lawsuit against JioMeet, Raje hinted that there have been a lot of internal discussions by the Zoom team, and said, “I would not like to comment on this because it is a matter for my legal team to look into it. I will leave it to them.”

          Realizing the need to introduce itself to the Indian market, Zoom said it is a US-based company publicly traded on the NASDAQ, founded and headquartered in San Jose, California. Raje added, “We have two data centers in India; people tend to forget that.”

        • Linus Torvalds longs for Apple’s ARM-based Mac

          Torvalds said he was more interested in an eventual Apple ARM desktop system over a laptop; he sees laptops as primarily something to use when travelling. The main selling point for ARM thus far has been low power, not performance, making the laptop space the more natural fit, Torvalds said. But ARM has the potential to grow beyond the low-power realm, a direction he expects Apple to take.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • diffoscope 151 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 151.

          • New German law would force ISPs to allow secret service to install trojans on user devices

            A new law being proposed in Germany would see all 19 federal state intelligence agencies in Germany granted the power to spy on German citizens through the use of trojans. The new law would force internet service providers (ISPs) to install government hardware at their data centers which would reroute data to law enforcement, and then on to its intended destination so the target is blissfully unaware that their communications and even software updates are being proxied. Specifically, Netzpolitik pointed out that the law calls for the following:

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Maine Broadband Privacy Law Passes Early First Amendment Test

              When you send an email or browse the web, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may track what sites you visit and when, as well as any unencrypted information you read or send. So Maine requires ISPs to get their customers’ opt-in consent before using or disclosing this and other personal information. ISPs would rather harvest and monetize your data without restraint, so they filed a poorly conceived First Amendment lawsuit against this Maine law. EFF filed an amicus brief in support of the privacy law, along with ACLU, ACLU of Maine, and CDT.

              This week, a federal judge rejected the ISPs’ initial legal attack, denying their motion for judgment on the pleadings. This is great news for internet users in Maine. For now, the Maine law, and its important privacy protections, will stand, even as the case moves on to its next stage.

            • Facebook Gets Supreme Court Review in Text Message Lawsuit

              The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Facebook Inc.’s bid to stop a lawsuit that accuses the social-media giant of sending unwanted text messages in violation of federal law.

            • Can Facebook Be Fixed?

              To better understand what to expect from Facebook now, in the months leading up to the election and beyond, Rolling Stone spoke with Claire Wardle, executive director of First Draft, a nonprofit organization specializing in misinformation (First Draft has received funding from the Facebook Journalism Project). Though Wardle believes social media platforms have the capacity to allow for more transparency and better regulate hate speech and misinformation, she isn’t very optimistic they’re going to do play ball as long as their primary focus is making maximizing profits. “Ultimately, you’ve got shareholders, and you just want to make as much money as possible,” she says. “You don’t care.”

            • Why Facebook is well placed to weather an advertising boycott

              Yet the damage to Facebook is likely to be small. After a brief boycott-induced dip its share price is back up near its all-time high. Its $70bn ad business is built on 8m advertisers, most of them tiny companies with marketing budgets in the hundreds or thousands of dollars and often reliant on Facebook as an essential digital storefront. The 100 largest advertisers on the site account for less than 20% of total revenue, compared with 71% for the 100 largest advertisers on American network television (see chart 1). And so far only a handful of Facebook’s top 50 ad-buyers have joined the boycott (see chart 2).

            • Facebook Fuels Its Users’ Ignorance With Lies

              This is no accident. Yaël Eisenstat, Facebook’s former head of global elections integrity, explained in The Washington Post that the company “profits partly by amplifying lies and selling dangerous targeting tools that allow political operatives to engage in a new level of information warfare. Its business model exploits our data to let advertisers custom-target people, show us each a different version of the truth and manipulate us with hyper-customized ads.”

              Ask yourself: [...]

            • Top Gamer Ninja Deletes TikTok Over Privacy Concerns

              TikTok recent streak of bad news continued on Thursday after elite gamer and YouTuber Tyler “Ninja” Blevins tweeted that he had deleted the China-made app over privacy concerns.

              “I have deleted the TikTok app off all my devices. Hopefully a less intrusive company (data farming) that isn’t owned by China can recreate the concept legally, such funny and amazing content on the app from influencers,” Ninja tweeted to his 6 million followers.

            • U.S. Investigating Whether TikTok Violated Rules on Child Privacy

              The FTC enforces the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires websites and apps to get parental permission to collect data on kids under age 13, and calls on online services to prevent such data from entering the hands of third parties. Early last year, Tiktok paid a $5.7 million civil penalty for collecting childrens’ names, phone numbers, email addresses and photos.

            • Exclusive: U.S. probing allegations TikTok violated children’s privacy – sources

              The Center for Digital Democracy, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and others in May asked the FTC look into their allegations TikTok failed to delete videos and personal information about users age 13 and younger as it had agreed to do, among other violations.

            • Facebook heavily criticized after civil rights audit

              The auditors for the most part took a dim view of Facebook’s efforts to tackle civil rights issues, such a dim view that the auditors said it was “heartbreaking.”

              “Unfortunately, in our view Facebook’s approach to civil rights remains too reactive and piecemeal,” said the report. “Many in the civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance equality and fight discrimination, while also safeguarding free expression.”

              As for the fixes, recommendations were aplenty. The report said Facebook first needed civil rights experts working in-house. It also needs to work on preventing voter suppression and hate, the report said.

            • US Officials Warn Americans Against Using TikTok

              U.S. officials and lawmakers are warning Americans against using Tiktok, a popular video-sharing application owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, citing privacy and security concerns.

            • No Cookies, No Problem — Using ETags For User Tracking

              While ETags serve a useful purpose when used for caching, the feature can also be hijacked and intentionally misused for user tracking.

            • New forum

              In 2018 we closed our original forum and started using Linux Questions due to GDPR legal concerns. Bodhi Team member Gareth ‘hippytaff’ Williams has been gracious enough to set up a new forum for us, much like the old one. The forum is hosted by ProBoards and the GDPR compliance is not a concern, as they are compliant. LQ has served us well, and we will continue to offer support there. However, I would like to encourage all current and past forum users to join the new forum. Let us rebuild our community!

            • Police Are Buying Access to [Cr]acked Website Data

              Some companies are selling government agencies access to data stolen from websites in the hope that it can generate investigative leads, with the data including passwords, email addresses, IP addresses, and more.

              Motherboard obtained webinar slides by a company called SpyCloud presented to prospective customers. In that webinar, the company claimed to “empower investigators from law enforcement agencies and enterprises around the world to more quickly and efficiently bring malicious actors to justice.” The slides were shared by a source who was concerned about law enforcement agencies buying access to [cr]acked data. SpyCloud confirmed the slides were authentic to Motherboard.

            • Member News: Chapters Focus on Encryption

              Lock it down: Several Internet Society chapters across the globe have written about the importance of encryption in recent weeks. The Namibia Chapter wrote about the way encryption can improve privacy and fight against the big business of criminal hacking. “Cybercrime is a global business, often run by multinational outfits,” the Chapter wrote. The Hong Kong Chapter, meanwhile, wrote that “encryption matters to all of us.” Internet users need to work together to protect encryption, the Chapter added. “No party can stand alone to persuade governments to stop creating laws or policies that harm encryption and digital security.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • “Pinning Down Putin” Biden, the Democrats and the Next War

        The latest Foreign Affairs features a piece by former Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, “Pinning Down Putin: How a Confidant America Should Deal With Russia.” A protege of former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton, she is a notorious “liberal interventionist,” married to neocon pundit Robert Kagan. She is perhaps best known for aiding the neofascist putsch in Ukraine in February 2014 that produced regime change, a revolt in Ukraine’s east, the Russian seizure of Crimea, and Hunter Biden getting offered a seat on the board of Ukraine’s largest gas company making $ 50,000 a month for three years.

      • The West Bank Is Already Annexed

        The truth is that Israel rarely behaves as an ‘Occupying Power’, but as a sovereign in a country where racial discrimination and apartheid are not only tolerated or acceptable but are, in fact, ‘legal’ as well.

      • Electoral Interventions: a Suspiciously Naïve View of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World

        If there has been one overarching silver lining to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is that it has sparked a broader discussion of U.S. intervention abroad. In his new book, Rigged: America, Russia, and 100 Years of Covert Electoral Interference, David Shimer, a New York Times correspondent, pursues the ambitious agenda of examining the last century of U.S. and Soviet/Russian electoral interference. In doing so, Shimer conducted dozens of interviews with high-ranking U.S. foreign policy elites, including CIA members and individuals who served in recent U.S. presidential administrations. In the end, though, he offers up a highly naïve and suspiciously uninformed portrait of U.S. foreign policy, particularly as it involves U.S. state activities in the post-Cold War world.

      • Cold War with China and the Thucydides Trap: a Conversation with Richard Falk

        Should there be a Second Cold War an alleged US concern for human rights would indeed become another ongoing tool of propaganda. In this interview, International Relations scholar Richard Falk breaks down the grave dangers and prospects for a New Cold with China. Falk worries that tensions and rivalries both regionally and economically could result in a series of hot war conflicts set off by nuclear complacent countries that fail to recognize the catastrophic risks at stake.

      • Biden’s vision for Venezuela is virtually indistinguishable from Trump’s

        A recent Biden campaign event demonstrated that when it comes to Venezuela, policies of regime change, sanctions and a refusal to engage in dialogue, VenezolanosConBiden and MAGAzuela are two sides of the same coin.

      • International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Backed By Qatar And Turkey, Calls For Jihad And Self-Sacrifice To Foil Israel’s Plan To Annex Parts Of The West Bank

        On July 2, 2020, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), backed by Qatar and Turkey, and other Islamic organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement calling on Muslims to wage jihad and self-sacrifice in order to foil the plan of the Israeli government to annex parts of the West Bank. The statement, issued following a Zoom conference on this topic, includes many quotes from the Quran and the Hadith calling on Muslims to perform jihad for the sake of Allah by sacrificing their lives, giving of their wealth, holding demonstrations or in any other way.


        The following are translated excerpts from the IUMS statement:[2]

      • Swiss indict 2 for alleged ties to IS recruitment ring

        Swiss prosecutors are currently conducting some 70 criminal proceedings linked to “jihadist-motivated terrorism,” mostly involving propaganda, recruitment and financing of radical groups, the office said. Switzerland did not face any major violent extremist attacks like those other parts of Europe during the heyday of IS in the mid-2010s.

      • Nigerian church leader demands urgent action to halt relentless Boko Haram killings, abductions and rapes

        Pastor Joel Billi, head of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), said that more than 700,000 EYN members had been displaced, over 8,370 church members and eight pastors had been killed and countless abducted during the insurgency, “with the numbers increasing on a daily basis”.

      • A Burkinabe ‘killing field’, Uighur legal ‘pathway’, and an aging arms cache: The Cheat Sheet

        A town in northern Burkina Faso has been turned into a “killing field,” with bodies dumped on roadsides, under bridges, and strewn in fields, according to Human Rights Watch – which points the finger at government security forces in a report this week. The bodies of at least 180 men have been found in the town of Djibo since November. The majority of the men were from the Fulani ethnic group, which is regularly stigmatised for allegedly collaborating with extremists. US Africa envoy, Tibor Nagy, called the report “very troubling” and threatened to withdraw security assistance to the country. Extrajudicial killings by Sahelian security forces are becoming increasingly common as jihadist attacks surge in the region. In neighbouring Mali, soldiers conducted 101 executions in the first three months of the year, according to the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country, while more than 100 people were reportedly killed by Nigerien soldiers between March and April. Meanwhile, the number of internally displaced Burkinabe is approaching almost one million – up from 90,000 in early 2019 – with children facing particularly severe hardships, as our latest on the ground reporting explores.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Return of “Sharpiegate”: Inspector general battles Secretary Wilbur Ross over release of report

        Freedman and Samenow report that on Wednesday, July 1, Gustafson sent a memo to Ross expressing “deep concern” that the Commerce Department is infringing on her office’s independence by preventing the release of a final report on an investigation of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement about Dorian last year.

      • Ronald Reagan Wasn’t the Good Guy President Anti-Trump Republicans Want You to Believe In

        It’s difficult to boil an entire administration’s worth of economic policy down to a few words, but for a working definition of Reaganomics, let’s look at a few key features of Reagan’s policies: cutting taxes (especially for the rich) for trickle-down economics, cutting social welfare spending, increasing military spending, and deregulating economic activity in the name of “free” markets. Reagan’s path to American greatness meant making rich people pay less in taxes, giving poor people less help, building the imperial forces he used in foreign policy, and making life easier for the capitalist class.

    • Environment

      • How to Stop the Next Pandemic: U.N. Report Links Outbreaks to Climate Crisis & Industrial Farming

        As the unprecedented global health emergency continues to unfold, a new United Nations report says humans must lower stress on the natural environment to prevent the next pandemic. COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has a zoonotic origin, meaning it jumped from animals to humans, and the U.N. report finds that such diseases are spreading with greater frequency due to human activity, including industrial farming and the climate crisis. “Rather than focusing on the symptoms, we were looking at the causes,” says Delia Grace, lead author of the report, veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya and professor of food safety at the U.K. Natural Resources Institute.

      • UN Report Links Disease Outbreaks to Climate Crisis and Industrial Farming

        As the unprecedented global health emergency continues to unfold, a new United Nations report says humans must lower stress on the natural environment to prevent the next pandemic. COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has a zoonotic origin, meaning it jumped from animals to humans, and the U.N. report finds that such diseases are spreading with greater frequency due to human activity, including industrial farming and the climate crisis. “Rather than focusing on the symptoms, we were looking at the causes,” says Delia Grace, lead author of the report, veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya and professor of food safety at the U.K. Natural Resources Institute.

      • Warming oceans deter more fish from spawning

        When the moment to mate arrives, fish like to play it cool. So warming oceans create special problems for the generation game.

      • The Arctic Is on Fire Again, and It’s Even Worse This Time

        The rapid and early spread suggest that remnants of last summer’s Arctic wildfires, which were also far-reaching and intense, may have survived underground over winter and reignited with the spring thaw, a phenomenon known as “zombie fires.”

        Frigid Arctic winters normally extinguish these smouldering embers, but Siberia has been experiencing alarmingly hot weather in 2020.

        From January to May, the region logged temperatures that are about 8°C (14°F) higher than average, according to the Associated Press. At the summer solstice in June, the Arctic community of Verkhoyansk topped 38°C (100°F) for the first time in recorded history. These new peaks follow a broader global trend of warmer temperatures with each passing year, though the consequences of the climate crisis are particularly pronounced in the Arctic.

      • Siberia had its warmest June ever as wildfires raged and carbon dioxide emissions surged

        June temperatures across all of Siberia were more than five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average and more than one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the same month in 2018 and 2019, the two previous warmest Junes.

        CS3 estimated that eastern Siberia hit a maximum hourly Arctic temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) on June 20. That’s a new high for the Arctic, being one to two degrees Celsius warmer than earlier records set in Alaska in 1969 and in eastern Siberia in 1973.

      • A Climate Movement Turning Point?

        May more and more of us join this so-desperately-needed political and cultural revolution and keep the victories coming. Let’s seize the time!

      • Humanity on Track to Soon Hit 1.5ºC Paris Accord Limit as Atmospheric CO2 Nears Level Not Seen in 15 Million Years

        “It’s still not too late to avoid the worst effects of the #ClimateEmergency. But governments need to act NOW,” tweeted Greenpeace.

      • Shrink-Wrapped: Plastic Pollution and the Greatest Economic System Jesus Ever Devised

        When exactly I began putting plastic items in a special tub for recycling I don’t remember. Probably in the 1980s when I moved to Princeton. Then my wife and I separated plastic items, tin cans and newspapers from the regular garbage and put them in a special can to be recycled. Then too certain plastic bottles were separated from all of the other plastic items and joined with aluminum cans in a large leaf bag—plastic of course—because we took those to the supermarket where they earned us a nickel a piece. And all of this continued in Rochester after we moved there and bought a house where I live now—by myself since my wife and I parted ways. I continued to separate the plastic bottles from the rest of the plastic items, mostly food containers and plastic bags from the supermarket which I put in the blue plastic tub that on garbage day I set on the curb beside the garbage can. All of this recycling I continued to do without ever giving it any more thought than I did the garbage until one garbage day the wind blew the recycle tub into the street where a vehicle hit it. It did not completely shatter it—the well-known durability of plastic is why it finds so many uses. I tried to salvage the tub with duct tape—whose top layer I might add in passing is made of a plastic called polythene. Polythene, polystyrene—there are more kinds of plastic than you can shake a stick at.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • Chinese Fishing Trawlers Cleaning Out The Persian Gulf, Iran Daily Reports

          Under the cover of night, Chinese vessels are illegally cleaning out fish resources in the Persian Gulf, a pro-reform Iranian daily, Sharq (Orient) disclosed on Wednesday, July 8.

          Meanwhile, Iranian fishermen are forced to pay ten thousand dollars in bribes to Somalian pirates to let them fish on the African shores, Sharq reported.

          Citing a farmers’ representative, Khalilollah Derakhshan, the daily says, “Since the Chinese vessels are equipped with ‘fish-detecting’ machines, they identify schools of fish at night and catch them all.”

    • Finance

      • ‘An Absolute Outrage’: Sanders Rips ‘Wealthy Tax Cheats’ as CBO Estimates $381 Billion in Annual Unpaid Taxes

        “The richest 1% is responsible for 70% of all unpaid taxes… Congress is leaving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes uncollected from the wealthy.”

      • COVID-19 Exposes the Weakness of a Major Theory Used to Justify Capitalism

        A cornerstone of orthodox economics is the idea that capitalists’ decisions about investing and producing are inherently “efficient.” This means that capitalists select among all alternative courses of action those whose costs are minimal and whose benefits are maximal. Keeping costs to the lowest possible level while producing goods and services that yield the most possible revenue is what maximizes profit, the difference between costs and revenues. Capitalism, we are told, is the best system because it drives all those in charge of production (the owners and top executives of enterprises) to maximize profits and thus economic efficiency. Capitalists get profits, and the rest of us benefit from the efficiency of production within a capitalist system.

      • Eroding Private Border Wall To Get an Engineering Inspection Just Months After Completion

        The builder of a privately funded border wall along the shores of the Rio Grande agreed to an engineering inspection of his controversial structure, which experts say is showing signs of erosion that threatens its stability just months after the $42 million project was finished.

        Tommy Fisher, president of North Dakota-based Fisher Industries, had bragged he could build faster and smarter than the federal government, calling his wall design method a “Lamborghini,” compared with the government’s “horse and buggy.”

      • Sanders: “Richest 1 Percent Is Responsible for 70 Percent of All Unpaid Taxes”

        A Congressional Budget Office report commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders and published Wednesday found the amount of unpaid taxes from 2011 to 2013 averaged around $381 billion per year, a revenue shortfall the Vermont senator called an “absolute outrage” that is largely the result of big corporations and “wealthy tax cheats” dodging their obligations.

      • The Most Common IRS Tax Forms You’re Likely to Come Across When Filing

        With the 2020 tax deadline pushed to July 15th because of the coronavirus outbreak, American taxpayers were given three extra months to finish filing their taxes. The IRS has been busy sending out stimulus checks, while paid tax services like TurboTax have used it as an opportunity to recruit new users.

        For those who haven’t filed yet, we recommend checking out our guide to filing your state and federal taxes completely for free, looking to see if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or learning how to track your refund. Though the IRS offers the option of paper filing, with the current COVID-19 state of affairs — and a backlog of 11 million paper returns and documents — the agency is encouraging taxpayers to file electronically to ensure prompt payment of refunds and avoid filing errors. Most paid and free tax prep services will tell you which forms you need to file, but if you’re still confused, see below for a list of the most commonly used tax forms.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Americans Disagree On What Content Should Be Moderated, But They All Agree Social Media Companies Suck At Moderation

        No one agrees on how tech companies should perform the impossible job of moderating their platforms. But almost everyone agrees platforms are doing it wrong.

      • Now That USMCA Is In Effect… Can Congress Even Reform Section 230 Without Violating The Agreement?

        It seems like every other day we see yet another proposal to dismantle, revoke, or otherwise undermine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. But doing so might actually create massive international problems. That’s because, as you may recall, despite some last minute attempts to remove it, the final USMCA retained language that suggests that any signatory to USMCA must have Section 230-like laws in place to protect intermediary liability. And, while it got surprisingly little attention, the USMCA went into effect last week. And thus, any change to Section 230 may raise at least some questions about whether or not they violate the agreement.

      • Our EU Policy Principles: Platform Liability

        As the European Union is gearing up for a major reform of the current backbone of the EU’s Internet regulation—the e-Commerce Directive will be replaced by the Digital Services Act (DSA)—there are choices to be made. Rather than following in the footsteps of recent disastrous Internet legislation (such as the Copyright Directive), the EU should focus on how to put users back in control of their online experiences. Rather than giving more executive power to large platforms that have monopolized the digital space, the EU should protect the public interest Internet by focusing on users’ rights to self-determination and measures on transparency, anonymity, and interoperability.

        We are hopeful that the EU will move in the right direction on Internet policy, especially given that member countries have championed Internet bills that seek to create  a more restrictive European Internet. In a recent victory for free speech and the Internet, EFF helped to strike down core provisions of a French bill meant to curb hate speech, arguing that it would unconstitutionally catch legal speech in its net. Meanwhile, the infamous German law NetzDG, which requires companies to respond to reports of illegal speech within 24 hours, has been toughened to make platforms not only delete suspected criminal content, but also send reports to the federal police, including information about the user.

      • What Is the EARN IT Act and Why Is It Bad for the Internet?

        Graham amended the bill just before the Judiciary Committee hearing, changing the language to call for the use of state-by-state laws and removing the clause that tech platforms would need to undergo a certification process to avoid penalties. But the bill still has the potential to be seriously damaging to free speech and directly harmful to anyone who uses encryption-based communication services, experts say—including sex workers and any already-marginalized internet users who are dependent on encrypted messaging to stay safe.

      • The internet is changing drastically for Hong Kong’s citizens

        The fallout: Effectively, this brings Hong Kong into China’s Great Firewall, a tightly controlled and censored version of the internet that blocks most foreign internet tools and mobile apps. Foreign companies are permitted to operate only if they comply.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Another day of raids Officials search multiple homes and offices tied to journalism and activism projects by Mikhail Khodorkovsky in renewed Yukos case

        On the morning of July 9, law enforcement raided the homes of staff at MBK Media and Open Russia. Around 6 a.m., Moscow police showed up at the homes of MBK Media chief editor Sergey Prostakov, Open Russia coordinators Tatyana Usmanova and Olga Gorelik, and municipal deputy Yulia Galyamina. In Tomsk, meanwhile, officials searched the apartment of “Open Russia Human Rights” project coordinator Alexey Pryanishnikov. According to MBK Media, the authorities threatened to break down the front doors when individuals asked to delay any searches until the arrival of their lawyers. When the attorneys finally did come, the police reportedly kept them waiting outside for extended periods of time.

      • U.S. Broadcasting Agency Will Not Extend Visas For Its Foreign Journalists

        Dozens of foreign nationals working as journalists in the U.S. for Voice of America, the federal government’s international broadcaster, will not have their visas extended once they expire, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.

        Those people — each with current or past ties to the agency — said the new CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, signaled he will not approve the visa extensions.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Long Goodbye to Organized Religion

        It was the notice of an online meeting of a local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace that made me think of my long and troubled relationship with organized religion.

      • Where are Our Political Leaders When We Really Need Them?

        We just celebrated the founding of this nation in which truly great leaders took up arms against the overwhelming power of the British Empire, fought a bloody war of independence, and at a huge cost in lives, homes and businesses, somehow prevailed.

      • Defunding the Police Is an Immigrants’ Rights Issue, Too

        Black and brown lives are under attack by law enforcement.

      • When All the Protesters Have Guns

        As soon as we pull the trigger, we’ve dehumanized the enemy and gone to war.

      • Supreme Court Makes Debt Collection Robocalling Illegal (Again)

        While the US government often makes a lot of noise about their efforts to crack down on robocalls, the reality is they never actually do all that much. While the FCC often goes out of its way to advertise “record” fines levied against smaller companies and scammers, the vast, vast majority of those fines are never actually collected. The Pai FCC has claimed to have made great strides fighting the menace, despite the fact that most of its recent and well-hyped countermeasures are neither new nor effective.

      • A Bad Day for Trump Is a Good Day for the Country

        If you were hoping to see Donald Trump’s financial records before the 2020 election, today was not your day. If you were hoping to go to bed tonight in a nation with a president and not a sovereign, sleep tight, because you won.

      • Racism in America: Police Choke-Holds Are Not the Issue

        The American project was founded on rank hypocrisies. On the one hand, President Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the stirring words in the Declaration of Independence which upheld “these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”, did not free his own slaves (not even Sally Hemings, who bore him six children).

      • In fiery speech in Russian Parliament, Vladimir Zhirinovsky condemns arrest of Khabarovsk governor, threatens mass resignations and even ‘revolution’ in response

        In a speech at the State Duma, LDPR party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky condemned the arrest of fellow party member Khabarovsk Governor Sergey Furgal, who’s accused of organizing multiple contract killings more than a decade ago. Zhirinovsky even threatened to stage mass resignations by all LDPR members in response to what he says is the unjust case against Furgal.

      • How a Key Federal Civil Rights Agency Was Sidelined as Historic Protests Erupted

        In recent weeks, as protests against police violence and systemic racism have swept across the nation, a key federal civil rights agency — an agency created to bridge racial divides — has been largely absent.

        Dubbed “America’s Peacemaker,” the Community Relations Service was established in 1964 as civil rights protesters across the South came under attack. The service, which is part of the Justice Department, is credited with helping to avert bloodshed during some of the most contentious demonstrations of the 1960s.

      • Conservative Elites Are Fighting for “Values” Invented to Justify Slavery

        Throughout its history the U.S. has had two very different ruling elites, motivated by very different definitions of liberty. Let’s call them the New England Yankees vs. the Old South Planters. Their radically different definitions of “liberty” still divide liberals and conservatives today.

      • Hate Groups Rake In PPP Loans as Racial Justice Movement Expands

        As millions took to the streets in all 50 states last month to protest against systemic racism and police brutality, several organizations that are considered hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) were enjoying new six- or seven-figure Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the federal government.

      • Protecting Our Vulnerable Front Line Workers

        Protecting frontline workers and their families is a matter of both economic justice and racial justice. 

      • Lead the Way: a Call to Youth

        Lead the Way: a Call to Youth

      • ICE The Latest Agency To Be Blessed By The Administration With The ‘Security Agency’ Accountability Shield

        ICE has joined Customs and Border Protection as a full-fledged security agency. ICE, like the CBP, has been hoping to upgrade from customs enforcement to NatSec machinery for several years now, possibly with an eye on backdoor-searching all the communications and data the NSA hoovers up.

      • Colorado Government Dumps Qualified Immunity For Cops

        Since qualified immunity isn’t actually a law — but rather a Supreme Court construct — states are under no obligation to adopt this doctrine and apply it to lawsuits against law enforcement officers. But most states have, with Iowa’s top court being the latest to inflict this atrocity on the populace.

      • Belgian Princess Condemns Her Family’s Brutal Colonial History in Congo & Calls for Reparations

        Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. have sparked a reckoning about racism and colonialism across the world, including in Belgium, where a growing movement is demanding the country address systemic racism and make amends for its violent colonial legacy. King Philippe issued an unprecedented statement “expressing regret” for Belgium’s brutal colonial rule in Congo under Leopold II, who ran the country as his personal fiefdom and under whose command millions of Congolese were enslaved and killed. “It’s an erased history,” says Belgo-Congolese journalist and activist Gia Abrassart. We also speak with Princess Esméralda, a member of the Belgian royal family and great-grandniece of Leopold II, who says the country has taken an important first step, but adds that “we have to go much farther.”

      • Join EFF’s 30th Anniversary Livestream and Party Like It’s 1990!

        On Friday, July 10, 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation was officially born. It’s safe to say that on that day, co-founders Mitch Kapor, John Perry Barlow, and John Gilmore, with critical help from Steve Wozniak, were ahead of their time in imagining that there needed to be an organization that fought to protect ordinary people’s access to new technology that could instantly erase distance, create connection, and access much of the world’s knowledge. Today—thirty years later—that technology affects and is affected by most everything we do. 

        Throughout those thirty years, EFF has been on the frontlines, fighting thousands of battles in courts, in Congress, on the streets, and across the globe to ensure that when you go online, your rights go with you. We’re excited to celebrate our victories. and the lessons we’ve learned, during our 30th Anniversary Party on Friday—and you’re invited!

      • Nine Female Cyclists in Indonesia’s Banda Aceh Were Tracked Down by Police For Wearing ‘Sexy’ Clothes

        Over the weekend, a group of nine women and a man went for a bike ride around the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh, shooting—as one does—some group photos and videos to memorialize the carefree jaunt.

        Little did they know, however, that those ostensibly harmless mementos would go viral, cause a public outcry, and result in their being tracked down by religious police and compelled to issue a public apology for what authorities characterized as their “revealing” and “sexy” attire.

        All 10, it should be noted, appeared to be wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants.

      • Canada’s 1% Is Incredibly Rich. Their Wealth Needs to Be Taxed.

        This includes different forms of inequality, from those originating in the country’s inception as a colonial enterprise to extreme disparities of wealth and income. Though public opinion surveys suggest many Canadians are at least somewhat aware of these realities, they also suggest that quite a few continue to underestimate just how unequal Canadian society really is.

        The data certainly lends weight to this conclusion, at least as far as disparities of wealth are concerned. A 2014 report, for example, identified strong public support for redistributive policies designed to rectify the country’s economic divides, while also noting widespread misperceptions about just how serious they really are.

      • Amnesty International Calls For Immediate Release Of Anti-Hijab Activist

        In a letter to the head of the Islamic Republic’s Judiciary on Monday, July 6, Amnesty International (AI) called for the immediate and unconditional release of a civil rights and a women’s rights activist.

        Saba Kordafshari, an activist who took part in s campaign against compulsory hijab was arrested in Tehran in August 2018 and transferred to Qarchak Prison a few days later. According to civil society activists, in the early days of her arrest, she was under intense pressure for a “television confession.”

      • Mauritanian Anti-Slavery Activist Maryam Bint Al-Sheikh: Slavery Still Exists in Mauritania; Slaves Can Be Bequeathed From Father To Son; I Was Arrested And Tortured Multiple Times

        Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Maryam Bint Al-Sheikh of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) said in a June 18, 2020 interview on BBC Arabic (U.K.) that there is still slavery in Mauritania, and that ownership of other people can even be passed from generation to generation. She said that 20% of people in Mauritania still suffer from slavery, and she named the Beydanes cast, which she said constitutes 10 percent of the Mauritanian population, as the caste of “masters” that controls Mauritania, its economy, and its people. Explaining that the Beydanes caste arrests and tortures people who speak out against it, Al-Sheikh said that in the past, she herself had been arrested, tortured, and forcibly separated from her child and her family. In addition, Al-Sheikh listed the Haratins, the Fulanis, the Wolofs, and Soninkes, the Bambaras, and Lamalmins, and the Igaouen as the persecuted ethnic groups in Mauritania. Furthermore, she said that the IRA has created awareness surrounding slavery in Mauritania, and that it gives people the courage to protest slavery and racism. She added that slavery and racism can only be abolished through protest. For more about slavery in Mauritania see MEMRI TV clip no. 3429.

      • Holding US Government to Its Treaty Promises ‘For Once,’ Supreme Court Rules Nearly Half of Oklahoma Still Native American Territory

        “The big news at the Supreme Court today will be Trump’s taxes,” said Cherokee writer Rebecca Nagle. “But for Indians in Oklahoma, we’ll be talking about today for decades.”

      • Supreme Court Affirms Tribal Jurisdiction on Oklahoma Reservation Lands

        The United States Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that nearly half the entire state of Oklahoma, as far as federal criminal law is concerned, is still under the jurisdiction of Native American tribes.

      • Supreme Court Rules That About Half Of Oklahoma Is Native American Land

        The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that about half of the land in Oklahoma is within a Native American reservation, a decision that will have major consequences for both past and future criminal and civil cases.

        The court’s decision hinged on the question of whether the Creek reservation continued to exist after Oklahoma became a state.

        “Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of fed­eral criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion.

        The decision was 5-4, with Justices Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer in the majority, while Justices John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

        The ruling will have significant legal implications for eastern Oklahoma. Much of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city, is located on Muscogee (Creek) land. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation cheered the court’s decision.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Old School TV Gatekeepers (AT&T, Comcast), Struggle With Modern Streaming Gatekeepers (Amazon, Roku)

        In years past, incumbent broadband and television giants like Comcast and AT&T enjoyed life from a comfortable position of dominance. If you want to subscribe to broadband, such companies are often your only option. If you wanted to subscribe to television service, you were required to rent a locked down, highly proprietary cable box courtesy of the industry’s cable hardware monopoly. Want to have your cable channel in a conspicuous position in the lineup? You could also expect headaches.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Right-to-repair advocates say hospitals need new rules to keep equipment working

        The PIRG report surveyed 222 biomedical professionals, many of whom work at hospitals. Nearly half said they’d been denied access to necessary repair parts and information during the pandemic. And nearly all said that removing restrictions on repairs was “critical” or “very important” to their work.

        According to the survey, manufacturers frequently restrict third-party repairs. Around 92 percent of the respondents said they’d been denied service information about equipment like ventilators and defibrillators, with around half of those people saying it happened “somewhat frequently.” Around 89 percent said manufacturers had refused to sell spare parts.

      • Sony Takes Minority Stake in Epic Games with $250 Million Investment

        Sony has made a $250 million investment to acquire a minority stake in Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine used increasingly in Hollywood production.

      • Sony Invests $250 Million in Unreal Engine Maker Epic Games

        The PlayStation maker and Fortnite proprietor didn’t disclose the new value of the games company. Bloomberg News first reported last month that Epic was close to securing funding at a valuation of about $17 billion.

        The Unreal Engine is used to create many popular game franchises, such as Borderlands and Gears of War, along with Epic’s own Fortnite. The fifth iteration, Unreal Engine 5, made its debut this summer and was demonstrated on PlayStation 5 hardware, signaling the close collaboration between Epic and Sony.

      • [Old] Sony’s DRM Rootkit: The Real Story

        On Oct. 31, Mark Russinovich broke the story in his blog: Sony BMG Music Entertainment distributed a copy-protection scheme with music CDs that secretly installed a rootkit on computers. This software tool is run without your knowledge or consent — if it’s loaded on your computer with a CD, a hacker can gain and maintain access to your system and you wouldn’t know it.

        The Sony code modifies Windows so you can’t tell it’s there, a process called “cloaking” in the hacker world. It acts as spyware, surreptitiously sending information about you to Sony. And it can’t be removed; trying to get rid of it damages Windows.

    • Monopolies

      • Is it Impossible to Envision a World Without Patent Monopolies?

        Apparently, at the New York Times, the answer is no. Elisabeth Rosenthal, who is a very insightful writer on health care issues, had a column this morning warning that we may face very high prices for a coronavirus vaccine. She points out that this is in spite of the fact that the government is paying for much of the cost of the research. Rosenthal then argues we should adopt a system of price controls or negotiations, as is done in every other wealthy country.

      • Patents

        • This week in IP: Sisvel ruling unpacked, CJEU kicks out Neurim, new PTAB opinion
        • German ruling levels the FRAND playing field [Ed: A patent trolls-funded publisher supports the patent troll Sisvel and the likes of it]

          In-house counsel from Sisvel, Nokia and a German carmaker explain how the Federal Court of Justice’s decision changes the rules of the FRAND negotiation game

        • Nokia getting nowhere: two more infringement cases against Daimler stayed as declared-essential patents-in-suit are likely invalid

          Sometimes I wonder whether the S in “SEP” stands for “scam” rather than “standard.”

          Everyone who deals with patents professionally knows that, at least with respect to information and communications technologies, the system is broken beyond repair. Patent offices issue far too many patents and treat mass filers as “key accounts” whose “demand” for weapons of extortion they seek to satisfy. Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the European Patent Office isn’t run by a trolls’ lawyer, but it’s also part of the problem.

          But standard-essential patents take the issues facing the patent system to an even higher level. Companies overdeclare (though some have higher “hit rates” than others). No scrutiny is performed. And besides countless patents that aren’t essential from an infringement point of view, the vast majority of those who may claim a standard-essential technique are simply invalid as granted.

          Nokia failed to deliver a great smartphone user experience, then increasingly resorted to patent monetization. But it concluded license deals without a lot of patents actually coming to judgment. They monetize a portfolio that contains a huge amount of hot or even not-so-hot air. Where’s the substance?

          For a while, everything appeared to be working out according to plan for Nokia with respect to the Daimler dispute. They knew they were facing a 19th-century company that they hoped would cave at some point. Daimler certainly failed to put the necessary pressure behind its EU antitrust complaint, while Nokia found political opportunists of the worst kind in Brussels who were–and potentially still are–perfectly prepared to do lasting damage to the European Commission’s reputation as a competition watchdog. After so many years of having been accused of protectionism, the Commission couldn’t vindicate its critics more effectively and convincingly than by condoning Nokia’s conduct.

        • Apple, Intel must amend antitrust complaint against Softbank-owned industrial-scale patent troll conglomerate Fortress Investment

          This outcome–a dismissal, but with a chance for Apple and Intel to amend the pleadings–is consistent with what Law360 expected to happen based on a mid-June hearing.

          Short of knowing what exactly the order says, I can’t elaborate, but the decision per se warranted a post. It’s a safe assumption that Apple and Intel will give it a new try, and Fortress will likely argue that even the amended pleadings are lacking and wanting. They may get support once again from Antitrust Assistant Attorney General Makan “Macomm” Delrahim, whose primary objective it is to strengthen the owners of weak patents–never mind if it involves siding with foreign and foreign-owned entities against some of America’s most innovative and iconic companies (Make America Great Again, anyone?). However, “Macomm” won’t have too many more months in office, judging by the polls (which I find very disappointing, though I can relate to many voters’ disenfranchisement with the Trump Administration given what went wrong this year in a couple of extremely important contexts).

        • Means-Plus-Function Construction Can Lead to Indefiniteness

          Most notable of the construed claim terms was “limiting shaft.” Plaintiff and patent owner Unicorn conclusorily asserted that the term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning. Defendant and alleged infringer Golab argued that “limiting shaft” was means a plus-function term and could not be defined. The court started by stating that the term “sounds like a structural element” and was presumed not to be means-plus-function because there was no specific recitation of “means.” However, the court determined that the presumption was rebutted because “limiting shaft” clearly described a function, i.e., limiting relative rotation between two objects connected by the shaft, and further because Unicorn failed to provide evidence that described a structure of the “limiting shaft” or what a person skilled in the art would understand as a plain and ordinary meaning of the term. After construing “limiting shaft” as means-plus-function recitation, the court found the term was indefinite under section 112 because Unicorn failed to identify structure.

          Golab also argued that “rotating mechanism” was means-plus-function. Both Golab and Unicorn provided their own expert testimony regarding whether the term would connotate particular structure to a person skilled in the art. Ultimately the court found Unicorn’s expert more persuasive, highlighting portions of Unicorn’s expert testimony that included portions of the patents and prior art describing structure that a person of ordinary skill would recognize as a “rotating mechanism. The court also pointed to claim differentiation and other court cases construing “mechanism” as not a nonce word that invokes means-plus-function construction and concluded that “rotating mechanism” is not a means-plus-function recitation.

        • In re Boloro Global Ltd. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution, Congress has the authority to vest power in the President or in the Heads of Departments to appoint inferior officers, but must retain its power for principal officers. The Supreme Court considers certain hallmark factors of inferior officer status, including removability by a principal officer. In Arthrex, in the context of IPR proceedings, the Federal Circuit severed a portion of Title 35 to give the PTO Director, a principal officer, the power to fire APJs without cause, explaining that such authority would create the necessary oversight to consider APJs inferior officers. The Court denied petitions for rehearing en banc in March.


          The Board’s judgment in Boloro issued before the date that the Federal Circuit in Arthrex severed a portion of the AIA to remedy the Appointments Clause violation. It is unlikely that the Federal Circuit would apply Arthrex to Board judgments in ex parte appeals that issued after Arthrex was decided because the Court in Arthrex ruled that it corrected the appointments issue at that time. The Court has also held that normal rules of waiver and forfeiture apply to Appointment Clause challenges in IPRs and is likely to do so as well for ex parte appeals.

          Nevertheless, patent applicants should still carefully consider the impact of Arthrex and Boloro to their ex parte appeals in the event that the Supreme Court grants certiorari on whether APJs were properly appointed. If the Supreme Court concludes that there is a violation of the Appointments Clause and affirms the Federal Circuit in that respect, the Court could conclude that the remedy for that violation is different than what the Federal Circuit did in Arthrex putting into question all actions by the Board.

        • Software Patents

          • Patent Claims to Authenticating Users in Transactions Lack Technical Improvement, Fail Patent-Eligibility: Universal Secure Registry LLC v. Apple Inc.

            Claims directed to authenticating users for a transaction are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo patent-eligibility test, and therefore the court granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in Universal Secure Registry LLC v. Apple Inc., Civ. No. 17-585-CFC-SRF (D. Del. June 30, 2020). The court overruled a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation that the motion be denied, and came just a week after another decision by the same judge (Colm Connolly) in another case holding patent claims directed to authenticating users to transactions ineligible.

          • Conclusory Legal Statements are not Factual Allegations to Survive Section 101 Eligibility: Dropbox Inc. v. Synchronoss Techs, Inc.

            Conclusory legal statements that attempt to invoke a factual allegation do not sufficiently allege an inventive concept to satisfy patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Dropbox Inc., Orcinus Holdings, LLC v. Synchronoss Techs. Inc, 2019-1765, 2019-1767, 2019-1823 (Fed. Cir. June 19, 2020) (nonprecedential).

            Plaintiff Dropbox asserted infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,178,505, 6,058,399, and 7,567,541 against Defendant Synchronoss. The patents are directed to data security and data uploading to websites and networks. The district court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), holding that all three patents as ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In particular, the district court held that Plaintiff failed to allege an inventive concept to satisfy the second part of the two-part Alice test.

          • Claimed Improvement Not Patent-Eligible Where Reducible to Mental Steps: Money and Data Protection Lizenz GMPH & Co. KG v. Duo Security, Inc.

            A Rule 12 motion to dismiss was granted where patent claims directed to “authenticating a user to a transaction at a terminal” failed the 35 U.S.C. § 101 and Alice/Mayo patent-eligibility test. Money and Data Protection Lizenz GMPH & Co. KG v. Duo Security, Inc., Civil Action No. 18-1477-CFC (D. Del. June 24, 2020). Notably, the plaintiff attempted to rely on a purported improvement to computing technology that the court discounted because the purported improvement to network authentication processes, the court said, could be performed mentally.

          • Patent Claims for “Two-step Pick and Place” fail § 101 at Rule 12 stage.

            The plaintiff Palomar sued defendant MRSI for infringement of Palomar’s U.S. Patent No. 6,776,327. MRSI petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for inter partes review (IPR) of the patent. The PTAB upheld validity of claims 1-47 and held claim 48 invalid. Following the IPR, MRSI moved for summary judgement on the basis of patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. §101.

            The ’327 patent discloses a method which utilizes “double pick and place” wherein a first workpiece is first moved to an intermediate location close to a target attach location on a second workpiece, and then, moved to the final attach location.


            held that the claims of the ‘327 patent were directed to the abstract idea of placing an item at a final location more accurately by first moving it to an intermediate location. Per the court, examples of this in daily life abound: in golf you first hit the ball to the green and then putt it into the hole; when you put a nut on a bolt, you first move it close to the bolt, and then line it up; etc.

            Plaintiff Palomar argued that the claimed invention improved a process for accomplishing a known technical problem, similar to claims found to be patent eligible in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games AM. Inc., 837 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2 and Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175 (1981). For example, in McRO, the court found claims relating to a “specific asserted improvement in computer animation” and were not directed towards a patent-ineligible abstract idea. (McRO at 1314).
            The court found the claims of the ‘327 patent accomplish a much broader goal in a much less specific way than the disclosures of Diehr and McRO, and that Ultramercial, Inc. v. Hulu LLC, 772 F.3d 709 (Fed. Cir. 214) is more analogous. In Ultramercial, an 11-step process was directed to the abstract idea of “displaying an advertisement in exchange for access to copyrighted media.” Ultramercial at 714. A process or method patent may nonetheless be directed toward an abstract idea if “the majority of the limitations” are “devoid of a concrete tangible application.” Id. at 715.

          • Use of Passive Voice Insufficient to Connote Structure in MPF Analysis

            The District Court for the Northern District of California recently issued a claim construction order in Zoho Corporation v. Sentius International, LLC, finding that the claim limitation “means for compiling the source material image from at least the plurality of discrete pieces” was indefinite. The present action arose from a declaratory judgement action brought about by Zoho alleging that it did not infringe Reissued Patent No. RE43,633.

            While both parties agreed that 35 U.S.C. ¶ 6 (means-plus-function) applied, the parties diverged on the question of whether the specification disclosed sufficient structure for the compile function. During a means-plus-function analysis, the court engages in a two-step inquiry to construe the claim limitations at issue as set forth in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC. First, the court identifies the claimed function, and, second, the court determines “what structure, if any, disclosed in the specification corresponds to the claimed function.” The Federal Circuit, in Noah Sys., Inc. v. Intuit, Inc., has stated that a structure corresponds to the claimed function if “the specification or the prosecution history clearly links or associates the structure to the function recited in the claim.”


            ….the court stated that a “computer … programmed to compile” was insufficient structure, and that, if the Patent Owner wanted to rely on a specially programmed computer, the Patent Owner had to specify an algorithm the computer is programmed…

          • Providing Software for User Device Insufficient to Adequately Plead Infringement of Method Claim

            The Northern District of California dismissed a complaint of patent infringement for failing to adequately plead direct or joint infringement. Sentius Int’l LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 4:20-cv-00477 (N.D. Cal. June 2, 2020). The Court held that merely selling software did not constitute direct infringement and that Sentius did not adequately allege the requisite direction or control required for joint infringement.

            Plaintiff Sentius alleged infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. RE43633 and 7,672,985 by Defendant Apple. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), alleging that Plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead direct and joint infringement of the asserted patents. Claim 62 of the ‘633 patent is too long to recite in full, but the relevant part to consider is “a computer-implemented method for linking textual source material to external reference materials for display….” Of note is that a “computer-implemented method” has specific requirements for direct and joint infringement, as the Court discussed in the decision.

      • Trademarks

        • Brave forces rival browser ‘Braver’ to change its name

          Braver, which forked from Brave back in June, is now named Bold Browser after a member of the project’s team was threatened with financial harm, the team behind the browser said in a tweet today. The dispute stemmed from the fact that “Braver” looks and sounds a little too much like “Brave.”

          In a tweet of his own, Brave CEO Brendan Eich appeared to confirm that Brave indeed took legal action against the browser formerly known as Braver over trademark infringement.

      • Copyrights

        • Announcing Creative Commons’ New CEO, Catherine Stihler

          Catherine has been a champion for openness as both a legislator and practitioner for more than 20 years. She currently serves as CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation, an organization whose work is fully aligned with the values and mission of Creative Commons. During her tenure, she has successfully redefined OKF’s vision and mission, reengaged its global chapters, and increased its international profile.

        • Libtorrent Adds WebTorrent Support, Expanding the Reach of Browser Torrenting

          Libtorrent has bridged the gap between WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients. The open-source BitTorrent library, used by clients including Deluge, qBittorrent, rTorrent and Tribler, will help to widely expand the reach of browser-based WebTorrent tools and services.

        • EU Court: YouTube Not Required to Share Email and IP-Addresses of Movie Pirates

          A judgment handed down by the EU Court of Justice this morning has found that online platforms, including YouTube, do not have to hand over the email addresses, IP addresses, or telephone numbers of alleged pirates following a request from copyright holders. The ‘address’ referenced in the Copyright Directive relates to postal addresses only.

        • Supreme Court affirmance of API copyrightability ever more likely–deference to jury (with respect to “fair use”) is Google’s last line of defense

          For a few years I’ve limited my commentary on the Oracle v. Google Android-Java copyright case to procedural matters, without reiterating the reasons for which I believe the thousands of lines of Java API code asserted in that case are protected by copyright, and their use by Google was unfair. While I agree with Oracle on substance, I did publicly support Google’s successful cert petition because I care about the key issues far more than about specific cases.

          I’m going to continue to steer clear of arguing the issues. But I am still following the proceedings, and I have bad news for those who hated the Federal Circuit’s copyrightability holding: with respect to copyrightability, it looks like Google is more likely than not to lose.


          If the Supreme Court answered the “fair use” question in Google’s favor on the basis of jury deference, it might or might not discuss the standard for software copyrightability in detail. Whether the Federal Circuit’s copyrightability holding would be affirmed explicitly or (by reaching “fair use”) mostly implicitly, the copyrightability of API code would continue to be a reality in the United States.

          In the same scenario (and I’m not suggesting that it’s likely–the fact that the SCOTUS requests additional briefing doesn’t mean it will necessarily agree with Google on jury deference), those opposing the protection of API code under copyright law wouldn’t really make headway beyond this particular case (and even in that one, there’d simply be a remand to the Federal Circuit). It would be a procedural decision, centered around the standard of review, far short of agreeing with Google’s “fair use” defense in its own right–and next time a different jury, ideally instructed by a different (more balanced) judge, might simply find otherwise. It wouldn’t be precedential with respect to the substantive issue.

          After Oracle won the first of two rounds in the Federal Circuit (with Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe’s Joshua Rosenkranz as lead counsel), Google already requested certiorari, but the Supreme Court declined. That fact, combined with the May 4, 2020 order that implies copyrightability, suggests quite strongly that Google is facing an uphill battle in that regard.

        • U.S. Court Of Appeals Hears Arguments That Lawsuit Against Disney For ‘Pirates’ Shouldn’t Have Been Dismissed

          Back in 2019, we wrote about a lawsuit filed against Disney by two writers that pitched a piratey movie to the company. The writers’ screenplay about Davey Jones, they said, was so similar to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies so as to constitute copyright infringement. Much of this appeared to stem from the fact that the two writers had pitched the screenplay to Disney a few years before the Pirates franchise began, but the similarities laid out in the lawsuit were classic idea/expression dichotomy stuff.

European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It’s Actually a “Scam”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents, RAND at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Programmers are badly hurt by these loopholes by which illegal patents are imposed in bulk without scrutiny/challenge


Summary: Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory “licensing” (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune

THIS site has had its ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ when it comes to Florian Müller, who at times took money to lobby and mislead. He even set up an event for FRAND some months back, albeit he warned me well in advance that he did not agree with some of the invited speakers (firms that front for Microsoft and the UPC). Müller became well known because of some early books of his, as well as campaigning in the area of patent law. He certainly understands that some companies — Microsoft being a noteworthy example — are sneaking European software patents into a package or bundle or “pool” of patents (what Fraunhofer is still doing). He certainly knows what Microsoft did with Nokia‘s patents. Some of them Nokia was instructed by Microsoft to pass to patent trolls, which would later attack Android with those patents.

“The EPO doesn’t care about scientists and science anymore.”The links below were originally intended for the next batch of Daily Links, but we thought it’s worth a mention aside from the editorial comment that says “patent trolls-funded publisher supports the patent troll Sisvel and the likes of it” [1,2] (that’s Managing IP, which in recent days became a megaphone for other patent trolls as well, even InterDigital; “In-house counsel from Sisvel, Nokia” cannot be considered journalists).

The good news is, regarding Müller, he now says that “the S in “SEP” stands for “scam” rather than “standard.”” [3] (or so he wonders). Sometimes the “scammers” combine 4 euphemisms (FRaND) to make “SEP” sound 1) fair 2) reasonable and 3) not so bad 4) nor discriminatory. Pure marketing. They used to call it “RaND” (or “RAND”) before adding an additional euphemism. Then there’s “Z-RAND” and other nonsense (always with many lies stuffed in, like “IP”/”IPR” and “AI”, deliberately loaded with misnomers).

If looked at closely enough, one quickly realises the underlying injustices, even if one is a proponent of monopolies. It’s worth noting that both António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli, in their capacity as European Patent Office (EPO) presidents, habitually meet “licensing societies” — which are basically patent collection cartels that are fronting for a bunch of unproductive parasites. Examiners are likely aware of the fact that they’re not governed by scientists and their so-called ‘leaders’ almost never meet actual scientists. The EPO doesn’t care about scientists and science anymore.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. This week in IP: Sisvel ruling unpacked, CJEU kicks out Neurim, new PTAB opinion
  2. German ruling levels the FRAND playing field

    In-house counsel from Sisvel, Nokia and a German carmaker explain how the Federal Court of Justice’s decision changes the rules of the FRAND negotiation game

  3. Nokia getting nowhere: two more infringement cases against Daimler stayed as declared-essential patents-in-suit are likely invalid

    Sometimes I wonder whether the S in “SEP” stands for “scam” rather than “standard.”

    Everyone who deals with patents professionally knows that, at least with respect to information and communications technologies, the system is broken beyond repair. Patent offices issue far too many patents and treat mass filers as “key accounts” whose “demand” for weapons of extortion they seek to satisfy. Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the European Patent Office isn’t run by a trolls’ lawyer, but it’s also part of the problem.

    But standard-essential patents take the issues facing the patent system to an even higher level. Companies overdeclare (though some have higher “hit rates” than others). No scrutiny is performed. And besides countless patents that aren’t essential from an infringement point of view, the vast majority of those who may claim a standard-essential technique are simply invalid as granted.

    Nokia failed to deliver a great smartphone user experience, then increasingly resorted to patent monetization. But it concluded license deals without a lot of patents actually coming to judgment. They monetize a portfolio that contains a huge amount of hot or even not-so-hot air. Where’s the substance?

    For a while, everything appeared to be working out according to plan for Nokia with respect to the Daimler dispute. They knew they were facing a 19th-century company that they hoped would cave at some point. Daimler certainly failed to put the necessary pressure behind its EU antitrust complaint, while Nokia found political opportunists of the worst kind in Brussels who were–and potentially still are–perfectly prepared to do lasting damage to the European Commission’s reputation as a competition watchdog. After so many years of having been accused of protectionism, the Commission couldn’t vindicate its critics more effectively and convincingly than by condoning Nokia’s conduct.

Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is the public actually being given news of importance and relevance to make informed decisions and get involved in the process?

Spock Watching TV: What are you doing? Ssssh. Watching the news.

Summary: Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find

YESTERDAY we bemoaned the lack of journalism about corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO). There’s also that utter lack of proper coverage about the UPC, which threatens the vast majority of people and businesses in Europe. The coverage and the publishers behind that coverage are controlled by Team UPC. It’s like a “media of occupation”. Hey, when was the last time a major European press outlet said anything at all about software patents in Europe? How many years ago was that?

“We’ve also just noticed that Managing IP is defending WIPO’s biggest thug, Francis Gurry, by collectively calling articles that expose WIPO’s abuses “fake news”…”The state of journalism, especially in the area of patents, is appalling.

We’ve also just noticed that Managing IP is defending WIPO‘s biggest thug, Francis Gurry, by collectively calling articles that expose WIPO’s abuses “fake news” (check who’s funding this publisher and you’ll find firms standing to gain from such face-saving spin). So WIPO has its own Donald Trump, who rejects reality.

Over the past few weeks we saw both in German and in English numerous articles serving as a megaphone/loudspeakers for BMJV (despite its attack on the rule of law, as well as the German constitution). Not even once did we see coverage about the actual situation, wherein Brexit dooms the UPC/A. Patrick Breyer (a German MEP) brought this up — he did so even in the public record of the European Parliament. But nobody even noticed until weeks later; nobody in the media mentioned this. Nobody bothered.

Bristows’ Gregory Bacon has again decided to mention Patrick Breyer and say:

The reasoning behind Mr Breyer’s view that Germany can no longer ratify the UPCA (Agreement on a Unified Patent Court) is that the UK (which has ratified the UPCA) is, since Brexit, a “third country” under article 216 TFEU and, according to EU case law (C-22/70), member states cannot enter into agreements with third countries that affect EU rules or alter their scope. However, as the UK government has confirmed that the UK will not be participating in the UPC, if the UK withdraws its ratification of the UPCA before Germany ratifies that issue should not arise.

According to the European Parliament website, written non-priority questions must be answered within 6 weeks of notification to the institution concerned. However, this time limit is often not met. The European Commission’s answer is already overdue (even assuming it was not notified on 5 May but by 20 May, when the question was published). It has been reported that Mr Breyer has recently said that he plans to take legal action should he receive no answer or an unsatisfactory one.

This was mentioned before, even by Bristows, after the May 5th question that we covered not too long afterwards. Why they keep bringing up that question depends on how to interpret the motivation (they also mentioned that FFII had been working on a complaint). A lot of the old Bristows UPC boosters are gone (silent, retired or left the company to join another). The names are changing (a new one emerged lately), so maybe the communication policies changed as well, seeing what terrible prospects UPC has.

Why is the media not covering this? Weeks ago the Financial Times (FT) published a ludicrous piece entitled “UK and Germany hinder court launch”. This is the very same FT which was bribed by the EPO for lots of UPC lies and puff pieces. Where’s the actual journalistic value? This is lobbying. This is a piece shaming two countries into doing something illegal and unconstitutional. And it’s not the first time.

Another item that not a single site has mentioned (not even sites that focus on patents, except perhaps one blog) is the situation of SUEPO’s Laurent Prunier — a subject we wrote about several times over the years. Earlier this week SUEPO wrote once again about the Laurent Prunier settlement (first mentioned two months ago); SUEPO’s message was the first public message in months (the image at the top of the page is suggestive of censorship) and it updated the site one day later with a link to Laurent Prunier’s letter in French [PDF] which was also included here in Union Syndicale’s Web site. SUEPO just copied the first paragraph that said:

In recent years, social dialogue at the European Patent Office has been badly damaged. Since 2014, the EPO has been strongly criticised for its directives which go against the rights and interests of employees. Legal actions have multiplied as the suffering of staff members has increased. Today, a settlement agreement has been reached at the EPO concerning Laurent Prunier.

The remainder of the page says “USF recalls that Mr. Campinos has all the necessary room for manoeuvre to act ex gratia.” António Campinos has thus far been hardly better than Benoît Battistelli and in some respects he was even worse.

Excessive production pressure, a climate of fear, intimidation, harassment, abusive disciplinary procedures against staff and trade union representatives, censorship and non-respect of the right to strike shook the institution in particular during the mandates of Benoit Battistelli. USOEB-SUEPO*, the trade union representing half of the staff at the EPO, has constantly opposed these authoritarian abuses and has tried to find common ground with the administration.

Despite the appointment of a new president of the EPO, António Campinos, in July 2018, a return to normalcy has been slow to materialise. USOEB-SUEPO hoped that the new president would quickly restore social peace by, among other things, putting an end to the unacceptable situation of union representatives, who were unjustly targeted and sanctioned by his predecessor, especially Laurent Prunier. Former secretary of USOEB-SUEPO The Hague and elected member of the Central Staff Committee, he was at the end of 2016 the last of the staff to be unfairly dismissed in connection with his trade union activity. This situation, unprecedented in its scale in the discreet environment of International Organisations, had attracted the full attention of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 2018, after having commissioned legal studies on International Organisations, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe concluded in resolutions addressed to member states that the values enshrined in its instruments were insufficiently reflected in the EPO.

Union Syndicale supported Laurent Prunier as soon as he was dismissed because he was, like all the other staff representatives sanctioned, innocent. USF wrote several times to the President and the Administrative Council of the EPO inviting the new management to find a solution to this injustice. We have been informed that the two parties have finally reached a settlement agreement.

However, this agreement at the EPO, which we welcome, only concerns Laurent Prunier. If Mr. Campinos is sincere in his claim that he wants to re-establish a constructive dialogue with USOEB-SUEPO, the large majority union at the EPO, it is high time to ensure that the last two staff representatives who were unfairly sanctioned by his predecessor are now restored to their rights.

USF recalls that Mr. Campinos has all the necessary room for manoeuvre to act ex gratia. Indeed, as a former high-ranking official of the European Union with a legal background, it would be surprising if Mr. Campinos were not able to exercise his political power and use his prerogatives by pronouncing an amnesty for these two staff members in order to restore a productive social climate by drawing a line under the errors of the past.

The role of the trade unions remains more essential than ever to bring the demands of the staff to management while protecting their rights. Solidarity remains a priority for USF as well as for all European public service staff.

At the end they mention a SUEPO contact address, suepothehague@gmail.com.

We’re a bit surprised SUEPO would still entrust this to Google after what happened with “FOSSPatents” and Els Hardon, who used GMail to communicate EPO abuses, according to the EPO’s accusations against Hardon. Google is also a close partner of the EPO and some time in the future we’ll show how GMail hands over entire E-mail accounts to law enforcement (not over terrorism or anything remotely like that). We have a lot of material about this, owing to a police FOIA, and Ryan is working through it to study the material, which we can hopefully publish in a tidy fashion.

All we can say about the above is, the media really ought to have covered it. Years ago it still did (about half a decade). But then the EPO started to bribe and blackmail various publishers. Nowadays they all look the other way and pretend everything is rosy at the EPO; they want us to believe — to the point of deleting critical comments — that Campinos solved all the problems. It’s a lie. It’s a big, massive, shameful lie. If the media exists to perpetuate lies, then well done… mission accomplished.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:51 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now


Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

Posted in GNU/Linux at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t allow corporations and their front groups hijack the voices (and causes) of real victims

Star trek Enterprise: We've consulted our council about people of colour; You don't speak for people of colour

Summary: Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead ‘on behalf’ of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others’ grievances to further advance their financial agenda)

Racism in technology is real. It’s real universally. Racism is everywhere. Not just in technology and not just in Free software (contrary to libelous myths spread by opponents of software freedom). Racism is typically defined as viewing or categorising people based on race (or appearances associated with a race) rather than objective merit. Appearances are blinding due to survival/tribal instincts, leading one to trusting those who look alike (like oneself). In nature it sometimes means sticking around one’s own species, based on perceived kinship; cannibalism or murder of one’s own kind, after all, isn’t good for a species’ long-term survival. Cooperation rewards a species better.

“It’s often said that recognising that a problem exists is the first step.”When talking about races, however, we don’t speak of speciation. We’re all the same, except some superficialities such as skin pigmentation, keratin levels and so on. Those things typically depend on climatic trend, as they vary depending on where one settled and how long for (how many generations). Different conditions lead to different adaptations, both physical and mental.

Denial that racism still exists seems irrational if not overly optimistic/idealistic. Racism doesn’t need to be expressed and shown openly/publicly. Some is closeted, which means it’s “coming out” behind closed doors. We’ve probably all witnessed some folks who without the presence of those whom they mock diverge into derogatory impersonations and politically-incorrect views. Those things are also commonplace in social control media (typically anonymous accounts) and rampant in YouTube channels — more of which Google has been cracking down on lately.

Technology is somewhat unique in the sense that it can exacerbate or conversely help tackle racism (even if by censorship — the way Google does; Facebook is under intense pressure to do the same).

“Consider, for instance, how the Linux Foundation exploited “BLM” while hiring not a single African-American person (in a country where 13.4% identify as African-American).”Revolving issues pertaining to racism would require more than recruiting “for diversity” (based on quotas) and removing words that supposedly alienate developers and users. Twitter is apparently cracking down even on the term “dummy value” as if the word dummy in its own right should become impermissible in some contexts.

It’s often said that recognising that a problem exists is the first step. Then it’s necessary to understand its true nature, then how to address it. At the moment it feels like we’re well past the denial stage, i.e. people generally accept that institutional racism exists. What sometimes follows, however, is misguided albeit well-meaning at best.

Consider, for instance, how the Linux Foundation exploited “BLM” while hiring not a single African-American person (in a country where 13.4% identify as African-American). Later on those 'masters' of the Foundation lecture us on institutional racism. Look at the bloody mirror!

To be clear, hiring people just because of their race or gender might not help, either. In fact, hiring people who perform poorly (as women or as an ethnic minority) can contribute to stigma associated with women or those ethnic minorities. And it helps neither equality nor opportunity. It becomes like a cautionary tale, leading to reluctance to repeat.

I don’t claim to have answers to these problems; in fact, there are no easy (‘slam dunk’) answers. To claim otherwise is probably to be arrogant and dishonest. Right now, based on my experience, one key problem is that consultation is done by and among the privileged; it’s like nobody bothers asking actually repressed groups what they think. Look how Intel, which attacks Africans, is quick to exploit “BLM”. And it’s shallow enough for anyone out there to see…

Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 9:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

        As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

        I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

        The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something.

        On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well!

    • Server

      • What’s up with the Kubernetes ecosystem

        This week’s acquisition of Rancher Labs by the veteran enterprise Linux firm SUSE neatly illustrates the growing momentum of container-based application deployment. It also underlines the importance of Kubernetes as the orchestration tool of choice for managing all those containers.

        So, what does this latest move mean for the broader Kubernetes ecosystem? When containers first garnered corporate attention six or seven years ago, Docker and its tools were the centre of attention. But the focus soon shifted to management frameworks capable of automating the deployment and scaling of containers, and Kubernetes, developed by Google from technology used in its cloud platform, quickly won out.

        Like many open source tools, Kubernetes has its share of rough edges and does not necessarily provide all the capabilities that users need to build a functioning container-based infrastructure. Companies such as Rancher sprang forth to provide a complete software stack built around Kubernetes for those who didn’t want to build it all themselves.

      • MicroK8s HA tech preview is now available
      • Ubuntu Support of AWS Graviton2 Instances
      • Ubuntu Support of AWS Graviton2 Instances

        Ubuntu is the industry-leading operating system for use in the cloud. Every day millions of Ubuntu instances are launched in private and public clouds around the world. Canonical takes pride in offering support for the latest cloud features and functionality.

        As of today, all Ubuntu Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace listings are now updated to include support for the new Graviton2 instance types. Graviton2 is Amazon’s next-generation ARM processor delivering increased performance at a lower cost. This

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E16 – Owls

        This week we’ve been re-installing Ubuntu 20.04. Following WWDC, we discuss Linux Desktop aspirations, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 16 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • BSD Now 358: OpenBSD Kubernetes Clusters

        Yubikey-agent on FreeBSD, Managing Kubernetes clusters from OpenBSD, History of FreeBSD part 1, Running Jitsi-Meet in a FreeBSD Jail, Command Line Bug Hunting in FreeBSD, Game of Github, Wireguard official merged into OpenBSD, and more

      • Bad Voltage 3×08: Petrichoronavirus
    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel to Adopt an Inclusive Code Language, Blocks Terms like Blacklist-Whitelist and Master-Slave

        In the wake of Black Lives Matter movement, Linux Kernel developers are also implementing inclusive coding guidelines by dropping words like blacklist and slave.

      • Linux 5.7.8

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.7.8 kernel.

        All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


      • Linux 5.4.51
      • Linux 4.19.132
      • Linux 4.14.188
      • Linux 4.9.230
      • Linux 4.4.230
      • Linux Developers May Discuss Allowing Rust Code Within The Kernel

        A Google engineer is looking to discuss at this year’s Linux Plumbers Conference the possibility of allowing in-tree Rust language support.

        Nick Desaulniers of Google, who is known for his work on LLVM Clang’ing the Linux kernel and related efforts, is wanting to bring up the matter of in-tree Rust support for the kernel. The extent though of allowing Rust within the kernel isn’t clear yet but would likely be very limited.

      • Emulating Windows system calls in Linux

        The idea of handling system calls differently depending on the origin of each call in the process’s address space is not entirely new. OpenBSD, for example, disallows system calls entirely if they are not made from the system’s C library as a security-enhancing mechanism. At the end of May, Gabriel Krisman Bertazi proposed a similar mechanism for Linux, but the objective was not security at all; instead, he is working to make Windows games run better under Wine. That involves detecting and emulating Windows system calls; this can be done through origin-based filtering, but that may not be the solution that is merged in the end.
        To run with any speed at all, Wine must run Windows code directly on the CPU to the greatest extent possible. That must end, though, once the Windows program makes a system call; trapping into the Linux kernel with the intent of making a Windows system call is highly unlikely to lead to good results. Traditionally, Wine has handled this by supplying its own version of the user-space Windows API that implemented the required functionality using Linux system calls. As explained in the patch posting, though, Windows applications are increasingly executing system calls directly rather than going through the API; that makes Wine unable to intercept them.

        The good news is that Linux provides the ability to intercept system calls in the form of seccomp(). The bad news is that this mechanism, as found in current kernels, is not suited to the task of intercepting only system calls made from Windows code running within a larger process. Intercepting every system call would slow things down considerably, an effect that tends to make gamers particularly cranky. Tracking which parts of a process’s address space make Linux system calls and which make Windows calls within the (classic) BPF programs used by seccomp() would be awkward at best and, once again, would be slow. So it seems that a new mechanism is called for.

        The patch set adds a new memory-protection bit for mmap() called PROT_NOSYSCALL which, by default, does not change the kernel’s behavior. If, however, a given process has turned on the new SECCOMP_MODE_MMAP mode in seccomp(), any system calls made from memory regions marked with PROT_NOSYSCALL will be trapped; the handler code can then emulate the attempted system call.

      • systemd 246-RC1 Released

        With this being the first systemd release since March, there is a lot in store for the v246 milestone. There are many systemd 246 features including new unit settings, the service manager has support for the cgroup v2 freezer, the CPU affinity setting now supports a NUMA value, systemd.hostname= can be used for setting the hostname from the kernel command line during early boot, hardware database updates, systemd-journald now supports Zstd compression, numerous networkd additions, systemd-cryptsetup now supports activating Microsoft BitLocker volumes during boot, systemd-homed improvements, the new systemd-xdg-autostart-generator, and much more. Just yesterday was one of the latest additions of exposing host OS information to containers.

      • Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics Have AV1 Accelerated Decode – Linux Support Lands

        On top of Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics bringing other media engine improvements and much better 3D graphics support, another exciting element of the next-generation Intel graphics is now confirmed: GPU-accelerated AV1 video decoding!

        There has been talk of Gen12/Xe supporting AV1 at least on the decode side but a lack of hard information to date. But landing this week in Intel’s Media Driver for Linux is indeed AV1 decode wired up for Gen12. This is nice to see happen and a bit of a surprise as so far the Intel Media Driver support matrix has lacked any references to AV1.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia 450.57 Linux Graphics Driver Improves Support for Vulkan Apps, Adds New Features

          Coming hot on the heels of last month’s Nvidia 440.100 release, the Nvidia 450.57 graphics driver is here to add support for NVIDIA NGX, support for Image Sharpening for OpenGL and Vulkan apps, as well as support for Vulkan direct-to-display on DisplayPort displays connected via DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP-MST).

          Furthermore, the new release adds an implementation of glNamedBufferPageCommitmentARB extension, which was missing from the Nvidia driver’s support for the GL_ARB_sparse_buffer extension, a new documentation file that exposes a machine-readable list of supported GPUs and features, as well as a new Connector-N display connector name alias type.

        • NVIDIA 450.57 Linux Driver Released With Image Sharpening Option, NGX Library
        • NVIDIA 450.57 is out for Linux with DLSS and NGX, Image Sharpening plus more

          NVIDIA today just released a big new stable driver for Linux with 450.57. It pulls in a whole bunch of big features from the recent 450.51 Beta.

          Compared with the Beta, it looks like it’s mostly the same plus a few extra fixes. However, it’s worth a reminder now it’s stable because everyone should be able to upgrade knowing it’s a supported driver version. NVIDIA 450.57 is exciting for a few reasons. One of which is the inclusion of support for NVIDIA NGX, which brings things like DLSS to their Linux drivers.

          There’s also now Image Sharpening support for OpenGL and Vulkan, support for Vulkan direct-to-display on DisplayPort displays which are connected via DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP-MST), various VDPAU improvements, PRIME enhancements like support for PRIME Synchronization when using displays driven by the x86-video-amdgpu driver as PRIME display offload sinks along with “Reverse PRIME” support too.

        • mesa 20.1.3

          Hi all,

          I’d like to announce Mesa 20.1.3, the third bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.

          There’s a lot in there, but more than half of the commits are just updates to
          our testing infrastructure; nothing out of the ordinary in the driver changes.

          The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-07-22.


        • Mesa 20.1.3 Brings More Fixes To The Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

          Mesa 20.1.3 is out as the newest bi-weekly point release for this stable Mesa3D series.

          Mesa 20.2 continues building up a lot of feature work and should ultimately see its first official release around the end of August, but for now Mesa 20.1.x is the greatest when it comes to stable material. Mesa 20.1.3 is now the newest routine update for users of these predominantly OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

        • Deep dive into OpenGL over DirectX layering [Ed: Microsoft is attacking OpenGL again, the EEE way]

          Earlier this year, we announced a new project in partnership with Microsoft: the implementation of OpenCL and OpenGL to DirectX 12 translation layers (Git repository). Time for a summer update! In this blog post, I will explain a little more about the OpenGL part of this work and more specifically the steps that have been taken to improve the performance of the OpenGL-On-D3D12 driver.

        • Progress Being Made On OpenCL+OpenGL Over Direct3D 12 [Ed: Microsoft pays Collabora to promote proprietary vendor lock-in; see comments]

          That OpenCL/OpenGL-over-D3D12 initiative was announced earlier this year only for it then to become public later that it’s principally for the Direct3D 12 support coming to WSL2. With that there can then be the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute within the Linux WSL2 instances that in turn end up using the native D3D12 drivers of the host. Besides this layering library being developed with Collabora, Microsoft has also been working on a Wayland compositor as part of the GUI app support and the DirectX Linux kernel driver and Hyper-V DRM driver.

          Collabora for their part have published an update on their engineering effort of translating OpenGL and OpenCL for DirectX 12 consumption. They are making good progress and even have a Doom 3 time demo working. Obviously the resulting performance has been a big concern and focus.

        • Welcoming five new Collaborans!

          With over 15 years’ experience in working remotely, Collabora was, and continues to be, uniquely prepared to support our customers and our teams during these challenging times. Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic, we have continued delivering services to our clients, and continue to build and strengthen our engineering and administration teams for the road ahead.

          Based in Canada, India, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Cyprus, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking, New Docker Benchmarking Image

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 is available today as the latest quarterly stable feature release to our open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software.

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 brings numerous improvements as our Q3’2020 update including:

        - Improved handling of test installation failures around failed download URLs and other cases where newer minor revisions of said test profiles have corrected them. The new behavior is to seamlessly use the new minor revisions of test profile updates to correct said failures rather than requiring manual intervention over the version specified.

    • Applications

      • Notorious – A New Keyboard-Driven Note Taking App for Linux

        Notorious is an open-source note-taking app built for GNU/Linux systems using GTK and Python. As a baby application (given that it is new to the apps scene), the developer has made sure that it features the most sort after functionalities in note-taking applications and a few extras.

        Thanks to shortcuts, you can use Notorious from project launch to finish without needing to touch your mouse or trackpad. Summon the shortcuts cheatsheet by pressing ctrl + ?.

        Notes are taken in plaintext by default but you can enable Markdown syntax highlighting if that’s your fancy. You can also choose to use Notorious in light or dark mode and lastly, all notes are saved locally to any directory of your choosing. Sure, you can choose to use any cloud service directory as your storage location.

      • The 10 Best Scanning Tools for Linux System in 2020

        If you are looking for a scanning tool for Linux, then you are in the right place. From the very beginning of digitalization, scanning tools have served us in many ways. If you want to store your paper documents or photos digitally, there is no alternative to scanning tools. Although you get a default scanning tool with the scanner driver, that is not polished to work flawlessly. Besides, these default scanning tools don’t always get the best support from the manufacturers for the Linux platform. This is why you need to look for the scanning tools for your Linux system.

      • Managing tasks with todo.txt and Taskwarrior

        One quote from Douglas Adams has always stayed with me: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by”. We all lead busy lives and few ever see the bottom of our long to-do lists. One of the oldest items on my list, ironically, is to find a better system to manage all my tasks. Can task-management systems make us more productive while, at the same time, reducing the stress caused by the sheer number of outstanding tasks? This article looks at todo.txt and Taskwarrior.

        The management of tasks is rather personal and people have completely different approaches and philosophies. This is, of course, reflected in the requirements for, and expectations from, a task manager. Requirements can also change as our interaction with computers changes. For example, while I put a lot of emphasis on managing tasks via the command line in the past, these days I’m more interested in a good mobile app (to add tasks on the go and to receive reminders) and web support (to get an overview of all tasks).

        A good way to filter tasks is also essential for me. One of the reasons for using task-management software is so you can stop worrying about tasks until they become relevant. This requires a way to find relevant tasks when needed, such as when the due date is coming up soon or because you’re in a relevant setting or place (often called a “context” in task-management systems). Going to the supermarket would be a good time to bring up a shopping list, for example. Task-management systems offer a number of ways to organize information that can be used in filters, such as tags, contexts (often stored as tags in the form of @tag, such as @home), and lists.

        In a series of two articles, we’ll review four systems for managing tasks and to-do items around which open-source ecosystems have formed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • New Games You Can Play With Proton Since June 2020

        It’s now July 2020 and the Steam Summer Sale has just ended. I hope you took the chance to grab some titles at low prices! We did!

        This time around I will not delve into games with the largest number of reports on ProtonDB. Instead, I focus on recent reports for which the median rating (not the ProtonDB one, my own rating based on the raw data) is something like Platinum or Gold at least (4 or 5 on my scale).

      • SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE arrives for Linux PC on July 16

        Time moves when you move. Ready for more? SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is confirmed to be launching for Linux and it’s going to be available on July 16. Even better, if you buy the original SUPERHOT before then it will be yours free.

        It was actually already available on Windows in Early Access for some time but they’re now moving to full release for all platforms and they’re making a bit of a splash about it. Coming to Linux officially is obviously great news too!

      • Wilderness survival game ‘Vintage Story’ adding seasons, improved graphics

        Vintage Story, an uncompromising wilderness survival sandbox game inspired by lovecraftian horror themes has a new test release up that makes it an even deeper game.

        Minecraft in style, sure, someone will mention that I’ve no doubt due to the blocky style. Anything actually like Minecraft? No, quite far from it. The gameplay mechanics have a lot more depth to them and it’s quite a lot more interesting but everything also takes a lot more time to learn and get through. Vintage Story’s description of being ‘uncompromising’ certainly holds up at times.

      • Programming puzzle game Monster Logic is out now

        Based on the esoteric programming languages Befunge and Trefunge, the programming puzzler Monster Logic is out now on Steam with Linux support. Note: key provided to our Steam Curator.

        Similar to other logic-block based puzzle games, it has you redirect things around a grid in the shortest way possible. The setup here is a little odd though, instead of logic blocks you’re using monsters that do different things. The idea is very much the same though.

      • Trusted Mode is now live for everyone in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

        Valve has now launched the Trusted Mode update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, in their attempt to reduce cheating further – here’s what’s changed.

        As we mentioned when testing out the Beta in a previous article, it now significantly restricts what’s allowed to interact with the game unless whatever it is becomes digitally signed. Well, on Windows anyway. The Linux version does have Trusted Mode but all the tweaks seem to be targeting Windows since that’s where most people appear to attempt cheating. Still, it affects everyone and less possible cheating is always a good think for a competitive first-person shooter.

      • Tropico 6 gets a new ‘Lobbyistico’ adding in a Corruption mechanic

        Not long after Tropico 6 gained a free feature update and a release for Linux arriving on GOG, Limbic Entertainment and Kalypso Media have released the Lobbyistico DLC and it’s getting a free weekend on Steam.

        Considering the setting, it’s somewhat surprising it took this long for Corruption to be a proper feature of Tropico 6 and that’s the name of the game in the Lobbyistico DLC. The European Union has arrived on the isles of Tropico and with it, new buildings such as the El Presidente Club. Invite faction leaders as lobbyists into the El Presidente Club and conduct backroom politics to unlock a unique new set of perks to boost the economy and manipulate faction standings. However, with increased lobby work comes increased corruption, all of which will impact the wider Tropican economy and society.

      • Northgard custom maps can now be played online

        After Shiro Games recently expanded their real-time strategy game Northgard to include a map editor, they’ve just made that feature even more fun.

        With the initial release of the map editor you could generate a map based on a few options like size and then edit away with different terrain, building placements, enemies, NPCs and more. Once done, upload to the Steam Workshop for anyone else to play in single-player. The map editor is quite intuitive too, with all the options cleanly presented to make some fun creations.

      • Quirky vehicle building game ‘Making it Home’ enters Early Access on August 6

        Making it Home definitely looks a bit odd. You’re a ladybug, building a big contraption to travel from one side of America to the other. Certainly is a peculiar setting that sees you bounce around your vehicle, hoisting sails, squeezing bellows, and spinning propellers. It’s the kind of bizarre that looks so quirky it might actually be quite fun.

        Pill Bug Interactive have now announced that Making it Home will be releasing into Steam’s Early Access on August 6, and they plan to stick there for around 6 months.

      • Primal Light is out now with some great pixel-art platforming action

        With artwork I instantly fell in love with, the pixel-art action-platformer Primal Light is out now. Made with Godot Engine, developer Fat Gem worked for around three years to come up with their first game.

        “Inhabit Krog, a mysterious blue creature in a red loincloth, as he traverses a labyrinth of ladders, levers, traps, and monsters. Explore the nooks and crannies of a bizarre and evocative world as you hack and slash your way to victory, leaving a graveyard of grotesque bosses in your wake.”

      • Into A Dream Releases on PC, Linux, and Mac on Steam July 30

        Filipe F. Thomaz has announced the release date of his 2D narrative-driven game, Into A Dream.

        Into A Dream is a narrative-focused adventure that follows Luke Williams, a man battling severe depression. Delve into Luke’s dreams and memories to help him overcome his inner turmoil, often by solving narrative-based puzzles.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 20 Best Free Stacking Window Managers

        A window manager is software that manages the windows that applications bring up. For example, when you start an application, there will be a window manager running in the background, responsible for the placement and appearance of windows.

        It is important not to confuse a window manager with a desktop environment. A desktop environment typically consists of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers, and desktop widgets. They provide a collection of libraries and applications made to operate cohesively together. A desktop environment contains its own window manager.

        There are a few different types of window managers. This article focuses on stacking window managers which are also known as floating window managers. This is a type of window manager that draws all windows in a specific order, allowing them to overlap, using a technique called painter’s algorithm. All window managers that allow the overlapping of windows but are not compositing window managers are considered stacking window managers, although they can use different methods.

        Stacking window managers allow windows to overlap by drawing them one at a time. Stacking, or repainting (in reference to painter’s algorithm) refers to the rendering of each window as an image, painted directly over the desktop, and over any other windows that might already have been drawn, effectively erasing the areas that are covered. The process usually starts with the desktop, and proceeds by drawing each window and any child windows from back to front, until finally the foreground window is drawn.

        Here’s our recommended free stacking window managers. All of them are free and open source software.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s July 2020 Apps Update Improves KTorrent, KMyMoney, KDiff3, and Others

          KDE Applications 20.04.3 is now available as the third and last point release to the latest KDE Applications 20.04 series. It brings various improvements to some of the most popular KDE apps, including the KTorrent BitTorrent client, KMyMoney personal finance manager, and KDiff3 file comparison tool.

          KTorrent 5.2.0 enables faster downloads of your torrents due to the improvements made to the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) functionality. On the other hand, KMyMoney 5.1.0 adds support for the Indian Rupee symbol ₹, the ability to view all account types in the Budget view, as well as a new “Reverse charges and payments” option to OFX imports.

        • KDE’s July 2020 Apps Update
        • kde.org/applications site now with more App Stores and Downloads

          KDE is All About the Apps as I hope everyone knows, we have top quality apps that we are pushing out to all channels to spread freedom and goodness.

          As part of promoting our apps we updated the kde.org/applications pages so folks can find out what we make. Today we’ve added some important new features…

        • KDE Seeing Fresh Improvements For HiDPI Support

          It took the GNOME/Ubuntu side until Canonical developer Daniel van Vugt picked up a 4K display with Intel graphics for various 4K/Intel graphics optimizations to be discovered and continue to be addressed for the GNOME desktop. Now on the KDE side, well known contributor Nate Graham recently picked up a new laptop with HiDPI display and there he has been working to resolve a number of lingering high DPI issues on the KDE front.

          Graham last month picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen4 laptop with a beautiful 4K display. Using that as a daily workhorse has led him to uncover various issues in KDE’s HiDPI handling and some fixes already in store while others still being worked on.


          Some of the items still being addressed is Qt scaling on X11, auto detecting the scaling factor on X11, cursors respecting the scaling factor on X11, and various Plasma issues.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.36.4 Brings Better Support for Sandboxed Apps, Fingerprint Authentications

          GNOME 3.36.4 comes three weeks after the GNOME 3.36.3 point release and it’s here with yet another layer of bug fixes, improvements and translation updates to beef up the stability and reliability of the GNOME 3.36 desktop environment.

          Highlights of this new GNOME 3.36 point release include better support for sandboxed apps that contain multiple .desktop files, improvements to the on-screen keyboard size in portrait orientation, as well as improvements to the performance of the Calendar applet and World Clocks styling.

        • This week in GNOME Builder #1

          Hello! My name is Günther Wagner and i try to give some insights in the current development of GNOME Builder. All these changes can already been tested with GNOME Builder Nightly so go ahead and give us feedback! This newsletter is called “This week in …” but probably we won’t post every week. So the interval will be a little bit arbitrary. Let’s start!

        • GNOME Builder ❤️ Rust Analyzer Part 2

          There are two 2 ways to trigger this action. First you can hold off Ctrl and hover the symbol you are interested in. Clicking brings you to that symbol definition.

          The second option is, if you use the vim keyboard movements, to trigger gd in normal mode. As the real vim equivalent this brings you to the definition.

        • Bilal Elmoussaoui: libhandy-rs v0.6.0 is out!

          Recently I kind of took over the maintainership of libhandy-rs, the Rust bindings of libhandy. I have since then been preparing for a new release so that Rust & GTK app developers can update to the latest gtk-rs release as soon as possible. I also heavily depend on it on my various little apps.

        • Easily speed up CI by reducing download size

          Every time a CI pipeline runs on GitLab, it downloads the git repository for your project. Often, pipeline jobs are set up to make further downloads (of dependencies or subprojects), which are also run on each job.

    • Distributions

      • Solus Stands on Its Own

        If I had to pick one operating system of the year, I would be picking Ubuntu MATE 16.04, if Solus hadn’t come along and stolen the title.

        If it was a contest (and let’s admit it; it is.) this would be nothing short of a gripping and dramatic victory for Solus’ lead developer Ikey Doherty and team, especially in this new generation of proven and truly great Linux systems. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Linux community at-large was full of such amazing and cooperative people, I would call it a distro war.

        Now, before I get called out for trying to “sensationalize”, let’s get something straight. In recent weeks I have heard the words “competition” and “competitors” used more in the interchange of “fellow developers of other distros” than I have ever heard in my years of involvement with open source.

        And I’m proud to say that I welcome it with open arms. Nothing makes you better than someone trying to outdo you. At the moment, no one is trying to outdo you like Team Solus, so you’d better eat your Wheaties.

      • New Releases

        • Debian-Based Neptune 6.5 Linux Distro Released with Improved Hardware Support, Latest Apps

          Believe it or not, Neptune 6.5 is the first point release to the latest Neptune 6.0 series, which was launched last year in August as the first to be based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series.

          Dubbed “Jet,” Neptune 6.5 is here mainly to beef up hardware support, especially for UEFI computers with Secure Boot, by bumping the kernel to the Linux 5.6 series, which actually reached end of life last month, as well as the systemd init system to version 245.6, and by updating various of the included proprietary firmware.

          Software-wise, this release comes with some of the latest apps and core components, including the LibreOffice 6.4.5 office suite, Inkscape 1.0 vector graphics editor, Chromium 83 web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.10 email client, VLC 3.0.11 media player, as well as the FFmpeg 4.1.4 multimedia framework and PulseAudio 13 sound system.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Unleashing Cloud Native (and Edge!) Futures

          You will have now seen our announcement to acquire Rancher Labs. This is an incredible moment for SUSE, for Rancher, and I would dare to say for the entire industry and adoption of cloud native and container-based technologies. I personally could not be more excited to bring Rancher into the fold!
          Rancher enables computing everywhere with seamless deployment of containerized workloads from the core to the edge to the cloud. And like SUSE, Rancher is 100% open source and focused on enabling users, developers, customers and partners to successfully adopt and benefit from those open source technologies. Several years ago, when I first met the leaders of Rancher, it was already clear they had a very strong, forward looking and disruptive vision of how open source based innovation can pragmatically best serve developers and customers’ business purposes, not only today but for the future as well. We had long and intense discussions with Sheng and Shannon about this vision; we had great exchanges with Darren about the various components and directions of Kubernetes and its ecosystem – the good, the bad and the ugly – and what to do about it after the transaction closes. I’m confident that joining forces will unleash a lot of open source based innovation serving real life needs!
          Following initial Rancher success with early adopters, even before Kubernetes, enterprises worldwide now see the tangible benefits of modern, modular and easy to use Kubernetes Management solutions. As Kubernetes becomes adopted by more enterprises, it will redefine how organizations run key solutions everywhere from on-premises to the cloud to the edge. Kubernetes is the de-facto standard for container orchestration/management, with a vibrant open source community, and it is also a solid and ubiquitous connective tissue for countless open source innovations, from simplifying the life of developers and business applications, to enabling different types of infrastructures and adding AI/ML capabilities.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 103

          Before introducing the recent changes in the YaST land, the team would like to congratulate the openSUSE community for the release of Leap 15.2. It looks like a pretty solid release, and we are proud of being part of this project.

          Having said that, let’s focus on what the team has achieved during the past sprint.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Linux Desktop To Switch From EXT4 To Btrfs Filesystem By Default

          A few months ago, with the release of the latest Fedora 32, the development of the next stable version Fedora 33 started. As the development cycle of 33 is still underway, a new proposal was sent to bring major changes to the Fedora desktop variants.

          The proposal includes transitioning from ext4 to Btrfs filesystem by default for Fedora Workstations and Spins across x86_64 and ARM architectures. Subsequently, Fedora developers also organized a test day on July 8, 2020, to experiment with the new filesystem features.

        • PHP version 7.2.32, 7.3.20 and 7.4.8

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.8 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.20 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.2.32 are available in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Stirring things up for Fedora 33

          The next release of the Fedora distribution — Fedora 33 — is currently scheduled for the end of October. Fedora’s nature as a fast-moving distribution ensures that each release will contain a number of attention-getting changes, but Fedora 33 is starting to look like it may be a bit more volatile than its immediate predecessors. Several relatively controversial changes are currently under discussion on the project’s mailing lists; read on for a summary.

        • Making compliance scalable in a container world

          Software is increasingly being distributed as container images. Container images include the many software components needed to support the featured software in the container. Thus, distribution of a container image involves distribution of many software components, which typically include GPL-licensed components. We can’t expect every company that distributes container images to become an open source compliance expert, so we need to build compliance into container technology.

          Package maintainers and package management tools have played an underappreciated role in source availability for over two decades. The focused nature of a package, the role of a package maintainer, and the tooling that has been built to support package management systems results in the expectation that someone (the package maintainer) will take responsibility for seeing that the sources are available. Tools that build binaries also collect the corresponding sources into an archive that can be delivered alongside the binaries. The result is that most people don’t need to think about source code availability. The sources are available in the same unit as the delivery of the executable software and via the same distribution mechanism; for software delivered as an RPM, the corresponding source is available in a source RPM.

          In contrast, there is no convention for providing the source code that corresponds to a container image.

          The many software components in a container image often include GPL-licensed software. Companies that may not have much experience with distribution of FOSS software may begin distributing GPL-licensed software when they start offering their software in the form of container images. Let’s make it straightforward for everyone, including companies who may be new to FOSS, to provide source code in a consistent way.

        • Relive summer of OSCON: Fight COVID-19 with Node-RED and Call for Code

          The first round of the Summer of OSCON may be over, but you can still answer the Call for Code and explore how you can use Node-RED and other open source technologies to create solutions that fight COVID-19.

          Join IBMer John Walicki in a replay of his OSCON live-coding session. He shows you how to use Node-RED and APIs from the Weather Channel related to Covid-19 to quickly build out a tracking application.

        • Behavior is easy, state is hard: Tame inconsistent state in your Java code

          DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn the root cause of common inconsistent state-related bugs in your production Java code—and how to solve them—from Edson Yanaga and Burr Sutter.

          NullPointerException on a field that was never supposed to be null? A negative value on an “always positive” field? Ever wondered why these bugs happen? You’re not alone. Watch this session to learn the root cause of these common bugs in production Java code, and how to solve them by applying some interesting techniques in your business code.

        • Culture of Innovation: Using AI to Solve Problems at Red Hat

          Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven in part through the Office of the CTO and includes Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and use cases such as the Open Hybrid Cloud, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We recently interviewed Michael Clifford, Data Scientist in the office of the CTO, here at Red Hat about these very topics.

        • Fedora documentation is now multilingual

          The Fedora project documentation website provides a lot of end-users content. All of this content is now translateable, providing a powerful tool for our multilingual communication. Writers will continue to work as usual. The publishing tools automatically convert content and push it to the translation platform. Then, translated content is automatically published.

      • Debian Family

        • Mobian Project Wants to Bring Debian GNU/Linux to Mobile Devices

          If you thought for a second that the Linux phone market lacks operating systems you can try, think again as developers are just getting started. After postmarketOS announcing their PinePhone Community Edition, now there’s a new project called Mobian, which promises to bring Debian to Linux phones.

          That’s right, you can now install and use a pure Debian GNU/Linux operating system on your PinePhone. Mobian helps you do that by integrating the standard Debian GNU/Linux packages with the GNOME-based Phosh (Phone Shell) user interface developed by Purism for their Librem 5 phone.

        • Mobian is a Linux-based smartphone OS based on Debian

          Now that there are a handful of smartphones designed to run GNU/Linux distributions, there are a growing number of developers creating phone-friendly operating systems.

          One of the latest is called Mobian, and while it’s not exactly a brand new distribution, it is a set of software that makes it possible to run the popular Debian operating system on a smartphone or tablet.

          The developers did that by adding the Phosh user interface to Debian to make it look and feel more like a smartphone operating system and also by adding a set of mobile apps for web browsing, file management, gaming and communications.

        • Debian 8 Long Term Support reaching end-of-life

          The Debian Long Term Support (LTS) Team hereby announces that Debian 8 “jessie” support has reached its end-of-life on June 30, 2020, five years after its initial release on April 26, 2015.

          Debian will not provide further security updates for Debian 8. A subset of “jessie” packages will be supported by external parties. Detailed information can be found at Extended LTS.

          The LTS Team will prepare the transition to Debian 9 “stretch”, which is the current oldstable release. The LTS Team has taken over support from the Security Team on July 6, 2020 while the final point update for “stretch” will be released on July 18, 2020.

          Debian 9 will also receive Long Term Support for five years after its initial release with support ending on June 30, 2022. The supported architectures remain amd64, i386, armel and armhf. In addition we are pleased to announce, for the first time support will be extended to include the arm64 architecture.

          For further information about using “stretch” LTS and upgrading from “jessie” LTS, please refer to LTS/Using.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Google and Canonical bring Flutter apps to Ubuntu Linux

          For all its benefits in security, performance, and openness, the Linux operating system is still avoided by many computer users because of its software catalog. It’s not that Linux lacks app but it lacks the sort of apps that people are used to on Windows and Mac or even on Android and iOS. There is no shortage of projects that try to bring some sort of compatibility with those apps, like WINE for Windows and Anbox for Android. A different strategy, however, is writing apps in a way that makes them run on all or most platforms. That’s the premise behind Flutter and it’s now coming to Linux, at least on the Ubuntu flavor of Linux.

        • Canonical and Google enable Linux desktop app support with Flutter through snap

          I welcome any additional investment in Linux or other operating systems that aren’t the macOS or Windows, but this one has a major downside: it’s all tied to Canonical’s snaps and Snap Store. In case you are unaware – snaps are quite controversial in the Linux world, and Linux Mint, one of the most popular Linux distributions, has taken a very proactive approach in removing them. Their reasoning makes it very clear why snap is so problematic:

        • SD Times news digest: Android 11 Beta 2, Instana rolls out granular role-based access control, and React Native 0.63

          This release achieves the Platform Stability milestone, which means that Android 11’s APIs and behaviors are finalized.

          From Beta 2, developers can release compatibility updates with confidence that the platform won’t change, according to Android.

          Developers can enroll to get Android 11 Beta updates over-the-air for Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4 devices.


          The Ubuntu team has produced a new GTK+ based host for Flutter apps on all Linux distros.

          “For more than a year we’ve been expanding our focus to include desktop-class experiences, both for the web and for the desktop operating systems: macOS, Windows, and Linux,” Flutter wrote in a blog post.

          The Flutter SDK for Linux is available as a snap in the Snap Store. Once the Flutter SDK is installed on a Linux machine, to build a desktop app users will need to upgrade to the Flutter dev or master channel and enable Linux desktop support.

        • Google’s Flutter Apps are Coming to Desktop Linux Thanks to Ubuntu

          Flutter is Google’s open-source UI toolkit that helps developers build native apps tailored for Web, Android, iOS, and macOS (alpha stage). You might want to check out their GitHub page and documentation to learn more.

          As of now, there’s no proper support for Windows — but it’s something in-progress.

          But, the good news is — Canonical and Google are going to closely work together to bring Flutter app support to Linux distributions as per the official announcement…

        • Google And Ubuntu Join Forces To Make Desktop Linux Even Better

          Even the most beautiful, secure and intuitive operating system is effectively useless without a healthy assortment of useful apps to compliment it. Software is the holy grail. It’s the foundation of an ecosystem. It’s what primarily attracts users to iOS or Android on mobile, and Windows, macOS or Linux on the desktop. So what happened this week between Google and Ubuntu-maker Canonical is a massive step forward in improving the selection of software available on desktop Linux.

        • Google Teams Up With Canonical To Announce Linux Alpha For Flutter

          Canonical, the company behind the most popular Ubuntu Linux, has partnered with Google to enable Linux desktop app support with the Flutter UI toolkit. Subsequently, Google has released Linux alpha for Flutter.

          With this release, developers can now easily install Flutter SDK via Snap (Ubuntu’s universal package manager), develop applications for Linux desktops, and distribute them through Canonical’s app store, Snap Store.

        • Canonical enables Linux desktop app support with Flutter

          Google’s goal for Flutter has always been to provide a portable toolkit for building beautiful UIs that run at native speeds, no matter which platform you target. To validate this capability, we started by focusing on the mobile platforms Android and iOS, where we’ve seen more than 80,000 fast, beautiful Flutter apps published to Google Play.

          To build on this success, for more than a year we’ve been expanding our focus to include desktop-class experiences, both for the web and for the desktop operating systems: macOS, Windows, and Linux. This work includes extensive refactoring of the engine to support desktop-style mouse and keyboard input, as well as resizable top-level windows. It also includes new UI capabilities that adapt well to desktop, like Material Density support and the NavigationRail, and experiments with deep integration into the underlying desktop OS with experiments in Dart:FFI and access to the system menu bar and standard dialogs. All of this work was to ensure that in addition to being suitable for mobile-style experiences, Flutter is ready to handle full-featured, full-sized desktop apps.

          It has long been our vision for Flutter to power platforms. We’ve seen this manifest already at Google with products like the Assistant, so now we’re thrilled to see others harnessing Flutter to power more platforms. Today we are happy to jointly announce the availability of the Linux alpha for Flutter alongside Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, the world’s most popular desktop Linux distribution.

        • What’s This New Ubuntu ‘Rolling Rhino’ And Do You Need It?

          In the project’s own words, Rolling Rhino “is a simple tool to convert Ubuntu Desktop, and the official desktop flavours, that has been installed from a daily image into a ‘rolling release’ by opting into and tracking the devel series.”

          Wimpress emphasizes that Rolling Rhino is for “the toughest of Ubuntu users.” It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. That’s because it will overhaul your Ubuntu installation with the development branch of the distro’s software packages. These are fresh, constantly updated, and not nearly as widely tested as the stable packages actually employed on Ubuntu. In gaming vernacular, we might compare the development branch to “early access” or alpha / beta builds.

        • Raspberry Pi 4: Could Ubuntu Be On The Way?

          On the surface the Raspberry Pi 4 8GB may not have been a revolutionary release, but it has finally brought the power of a low cost 64 bit desktop computer to homes around the world. From day one the Raspberry Pi has used a Linux based operating system, initially a rather limited release of Debian, called Raspbian which has evolved over the years to become Raspberry Pi OS. But there are times when a more refined desktop experience would benefit the user.

          For over 15 years Ubuntu have provided a Linux distribution that offers a more friendly and forgiving means to delve into the Linux ecosystem.

          On a recent Ubuntu Podcast, Martin Wimpress, Director of Engineering at Canonical the company which publishes Ubuntu, hinted that “maybe we’re working on Ubuntu desktop for the Raspberry Pi”. Martin Wimpress was brought in to work on the main Ubuntu release based on his work in the Ubuntu MATE community.

          There is a high chance that this will be ready for Ubuntu 20.10 due for release in October 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [syslog-ng] Insider 2020-07: TLS; capabilities; 3.27;

        This is the 83rd issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Top 6 Open Source Bitcoin Wallets, Rated and Reviewed for 2020

        The biggest appeal of open source wallets is that their code can be reviewed and publicly audited for potential security issues. As a result, open source software is often more robust than closed-source. The same goes for bitcoin wallets.


        Whether you’re a beginner who needs a fantastic UI to help you navigate the intricacies of an open source wallet or you’re a developer who needs a platform that allows you to build on a secure base, these wallets will give you everything you’re looking for.

      • Trademarks

        • Michael Meeks: 2020-07-08 Thursday

          Mail chew; interested to see Open Usage announced for holding and managing FLOSS trademarks in a light-weight way. If it can reduce the galloping bureaucracy and the risk of in-fighting that can come with formal governance structures, as well as avoiding the extraordinarily overheads of formal entities, that sounds rather positive. Just having the pleasant, collegial engineering relationships in a project without the overhead would be great. Then again, I guess SFC, SPI, Public Software and others already provide nice containers for projects with varying degress of flexibility, lets see what happens.

        • Google and The Linux Foundation want to help open source projects manage their trademarks

          Google and The Linux Foundation have been two major players in the open-source software community. Now, the two are independently committing to help open source projects manage their trademarks effectively and judiciously. Google has announced a new foundation called Open Usage Commons along with academicians and industry partners, while The Linux Foundation has reiterated its support for fair open source licensing and trademark ownership via its Project Hosting program.

          The efforts from both groups emphasize independent and neutral ownership of a trademark by a community instead of a single company or stakeholder. This is because trademarks such as a logo, badge, or even the name of the project are often hallmarks of quality and must be used wisely and consistently. Open Usage Commons and The Linux Foundation wish to standardize the process of using—or reusing—trademarks while also partaking in conformance testing of the open source forks.

        • Bradley M. Kuhn: Organzational Proliferation Is Not the Problem You Think It Is

          Of course, I’m thinking about all this today because Conservancy has been asked what we think about the Open Usage Commons. The fact is they’re just getting started and both the legal details of how they’re handling trademarks, and their governance documents, haven’t been released yet. We should all give them an opportunity to slowly publish more and review it when it comes along. We should judge them fairly as an alternative for fulfilling FOSS project needs that no else addresses (or, more commonly are being addressed very differently by existing organizations). I’m going to hypothesize that, like Linux Foundation, Open Usage Commons will primarily be of interest to more for-profit-company focused projects, but that’s my own speculation; none of us know yet.

          No one is denying that Open Usage Commons is tied to Google as part of their founding — in the same way that Linux Foundation’s founding (which was originally founded as the “Open Source Development Labs”) was closely tied to IBM at the time. As near as I can tell, IBM’s influence over Linux Foundation is these days no more than any other of their Platinum Members. It’s not uncommon for a trade association to jumpstart with a key corporate member and eventually grow to be governed by a wider group of companies. But while appropriately run trade associations do balance the needs of all for-profit companies in their industry, they are decidedly not neutral; they are chartered to favor business needs over the needs of the general public. I encourage skepticism when you hear an organization claim “neutrality”. Since a trade association is narrowed to serving businesses, it can be neutral among the interests of business, but their mandate remains putting business needs above community. The ultimate proof of neutrality pudding is in the eating. As with multi-copyright held GPL’d projects, we can trust the equal rights for all in those — regardless of the corporate form of the contributors — because the document of legal rights makes it so. The same principle applies to any area of FOSS endeavor: examine the agreements and written rules for contributors and users to test neutrality.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Browser Wish List – Tab Splitting for Contextual Reading

            On Desktop, I’m very often in a situation where I want to read a long article in a browser tab with a certain number of hypertext links. The number of actions I have to do to properly read the text is tedious. It’s prone to errors, requires a bit of preparation and has a lot of manual actions.

          • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Laws designed to protect online security should not undermine it

            Mozilla, Atlassian, and Shopify yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Van Buren v. U.S. asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider implications of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for online security and privacy.

            Mozilla’s involvement in this case comes from our interest in making sure that the law doesn’t stand in the way of effective online security. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was passed as a tool to combat online hacking through civil and criminal liability. However, over the years various federal circuit courts have interpreted the law so broadly as to threaten important practices for managing computer security used by Mozilla and many others. Contrary to the purpose of the statute, the lower court’s decision in this case would take a law meant to increase security and interpret it in a way that undermines that goal.

          • Changes to storage.sync in Firefox 79

            Firefox 79, which will be released on July 28, includes changes to the storage.sync area. Items that extensions store in this area are automatically synced to all devices signed in to the same Firefox Account, similar to how Firefox Sync handles bookmarks and passwords. The storage.sync area has been ported to a new Rust-based implementation, allowing extension storage to share the same infrastructure and backend used by Firefox Sync.

            Extension data that had been stored locally in existing profiles will automatically migrate the first time an installed extension tries to access storage.sync data in Firefox 79. After the migration, the data will be stored locally in a new storage-sync2.sqlite file in the profile directory.

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 5 (Firefox 78-79)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 78 and 79 Nightly release cycles.

            If you like these newsletters, you may also enjoy Yulia’s weekly Compiler Compiler live stream, a guided tour of what it is like to work on SpiderMonkey and improve spec compliance.

          • Testing Firefox more efficiently with machine learning

            At Mozilla we have around 50,000 unique test files. Each contain many test functions. These tests need to run on all our supported platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) against a variety of build configurations (PGO, debug, ASan, etc.), with a range of runtime parameters (site isolation, WebRender, multi-process, etc.).

            While we don’t test against every possible combination of the above, there are still over 90 unique configurations that we do test against. In other words, for each change that developers push to the repository, we could potentially run all 50k tests 90 different times. On an average work day we see nearly 300 pushes (including our testing branch). If we simply ran every test on every configuration on every push, we’d run approximately 1.35 billion test files per day! While we do throw money at this problem to some extent, as an independent non-profit organization, our budget is finite.

            So how do we keep our CI load manageable? First, we recognize that some of those ninety unique configurations are more important than others. Many of the less important ones only run a small subset of the tests, or only run on a handful of pushes per day, or both. Second, in the case of our testing branch, we rely on our developers to specify which configurations and tests are most relevant to their changes. Third, we use an integration branch.


            The early results of this project have been very promising. Compared to our previous solution, we’ve reduced the number of test tasks on our integration branch by 70%! Compared to a CI system with no test selection, by almost 99%! We’ve also seen pretty fast adoption of our mach try auto tool, suggesting a usability improvement (since developers no longer need to think about what to select). But there is still a long way to go!

            We need to improve the model’s ability to select configurations and default to that. Our regression detection heuristics and the quality of our dataset needs to improve. We have yet to implement usability and stability fixes to mach try auto.

            And while we can’t make any promises, we’d love to package the model and service up in a way that is useful to organizations outside of Mozilla. Currently, this effort is part of a larger project that contains other machine learning infrastructure originally created to help manage Mozilla’s Bugzilla instance.

          • Async Interview #8: Stjepan Glavina

            Several months ago, on May 1st, I spoke to Stjepan Glavina about his (at the time) new crate, smol. Stjepan is, or ought to be, a pretty well-known figure in the Rust universe. He is one of the primary authors of the various crossbeam crates, which provide core parallel building blocks that are both efficient and very ergonomic to use. He was one of the initial designers for the async-std runtime.

          • Missing structure in technical discussions

            People are amazing creatures. When discussing a complex issue, they are able to keep multiple independent arguments in their heads, the pieces of supporting and disproving evidence, and can collapse this system into a concrete solution.

          • Thank you, Julie Hanna

            Over the last three plus years, Julie Hanna has brought extensive experience on innovation processes, global business operations, and mission-driven organizations to her role as a board member of Mozilla Corporation. We have deeply appreciated her contributions to Mozilla throughout this period, and thank her for her time and her work with the board.


            We look forward to continuing to see her play a key role in shaping and evolving purpose-driven technology companies across industries.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Might Delay Its “Personal Edition” Branding Or Change To “Community Edition”

          In response to the largely critical feedback of LibreOffice 7.0-RC1′s branding as “Personal Edition” for the standard version of this open-source office suite, the branding is being reconsidered to either delay it until LibreOffice 7.1 or potentially relabel it as the “Community Edition” version.

          Lothar Becker, the chairman of The Document Foundation’s Board of Directors, wrote today in an open letter to the community that they are still seeking more feedback and evaluating their options with regards to the new branding that led to LibreOffice being labeled “Personal Edition” so ecosystem partners of LibreOffice can offer “Enterprise Edition” solutions built around this open-source office suite.

        • Marketing plan draft: Discussion about options available, and timetable

          Dear community,

          thanks for the feedback on the marketing plan draft via different channels so far. We want to let you know and have you take part, as the board is discussing the options now available with that draft.

          In the meantime, some more feedback will be integrated in the document already and will be published on next Monday. This is still not the last chance for a change for version 7.0.0, but we will reach that point soon.

          The last change for all strings and tags would be possible the latest by Monday, July 20. With some preliminary phase for decision making of the board the public feedback phase on all this will end by the time of the next public board call, i.e. Friday, July 17, 1300 Berlin time.

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: June 2020
      • Programming/Development

        • First PHP 8 alpha released

          The PHP project has released the first alpha of PHP 8, which is slated for general availability in November 2020. This initial test release includes many new features such as just-in-time (JIT) compilation, new constructs like Attributes, and more. One of twelve planned releases before the general availability release, it represents a feature set that is still subject to change.

          The PHP 8 release is being managed by contributors Sara Golemon and Gabriel Caruso. Dubbed “Alpha 1″, this first release of PHP 8 is one of three releases to be done prior to a feature freeze. During this time, more widespread testing of new features is performed by the community and implementation details are worked out. This process will continue until August 4, at which point the feature set will be frozen to coincide with the first beta release scheduled for August 6.

        • What you need to know about automation testing in CI/CD

          Test automation means focusing continuously on detecting defects, errors, and bugs as early and quickly as possible in the software development process. This is done using tools that pursue quality as the highest value and are put in place to ensure quality—not just pursue it.

          One of the most compelling features of a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) solution (also called a DevOps pipeline) is the opportunity to test more frequently without burdening developers or operators with more manual work. Let’s talk about why that’s important.

        • Generics for Go

          The Go programming language was first released in 2009, with its 1.0 release made in March 2012. Even before the 1.0 release, some developers criticized the language as being too simplistic, partly due to its lack of user-defined generic types and functions parameterized by type. Despite this omission, Go is widely used, with an estimated 1-2 million developers worldwide. Over the years there have been several proposals to add some form of generics to the language, but the recent proposal written by core developers Ian Lance Taylor and Robert Griesemer looks likely to be included in a future version of Go.


          Generics, also known as “parameterized types” or “parametric polymorphism”, are a way to write code or build data structures that will work for any data type; the code or data structure can be instantiated to process each different data type, without having to duplicate code. They’re useful when writing generalized algorithms like sorting and searching, as well as type-independent data structures like trees, thread-safe maps, and so on. For example, a developer might write a generic min() function that works on all integer and floating-point types, or create a binary tree that can associate a key type to a value type (and work with strings, integers, or user-defined types). With generics, you can write this kind of code without any duplication, and the compiler will still statically check the types.

        • Fixing a common antipattern when loading translations in Qt

          I’m a Polish guy working with computers, mostly on Windows. However, the lingua franca of the IT industry is English, so every time I see a tutorial for some dev tool, it’s in that language. To lessen the burden of decoding which menu entry in the tutorial corresponds to which menu entry on my PC I decided to run the system with an English display language. I still want the rest of the i18n-related stuff (date format, keyboard, currency etc.) to be in Polish however.


          As you can see, Thunderbird and Windows Settings show up in English but Qt Linguist is encrypted with some overengineered Slavic cipher (aka Polish language). What I further noticed, is that this incorrect language selection is particularly prevalent in Qt-based applications. Subsequent digging revealed that this antipattern is widespread in Qt world, see the relevant GitHub search (requires login).

        • Python

          • The (non-)return of the Python print statement

            In what may have seemed like an April Fool’s Day joke to some, Python creator Guido van Rossum recently floated the idea of bringing back the print statement—several months after Python 2, which had such a statement, reached its end of life. In fact, Van Rossum acknowledged that readers of his message to the python-ideas mailing list might be checking the date: “No, it’s not April 1st.” He was serious about the idea—at least if others were interested in having the feature—but he withdrew it fairly quickly when it became clear that there were few takers. The main reason he brought it up is interesting, though: the new parser for CPython makes it easy to bring back print from Python 2 (and before).

          • Release: PyCharm 2020.1.3

            PyCharm 2020.1.3 is out with some important bug fixes. Update from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), using the JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website.


            If you’re on Ubuntu 16.04 or later, or any other Linux distribution that supports snap, you should not need to upgrade manually, you’ll automatically receive the new version.

          • Python Anywhere: Outage report 7 July 2020

            We had an unplanned outage the day before yesterday; it was our first big one since July 2017. It was caused by an extremely unlikely storage system failure, but despite that it should not have led to such a lengthy downtime, and should not have affected so many people. We have some plans on what our next steps should be, and will be implementing at least some of them over the coming months.

          • Using module __dir__ and __getattr__ for configuration
          • Enrolling Students – Building SaaS #64

            In this episode, we worked on a view to enroll students into a grade level for the school year. I added all the context data and used Tailwind to design the form layout to pick from a list of available grade levels. We added a variety of unit tests to prove the correctness.

            The enrollment page needed three pieces of data in the context to complete the form. We added the student, school_year, and grade_levels data to the context and wrote tests to show the data in there. We also protected that data from any erroneous access by another user.

            When the data was set, we worked on the template for the form. I set the header to make the enrollment action clear and created the radio input selectors to show the different grade level options. We cleaned up the design and user experience by including some Tailwind CSS classes which made the radio inputs much easier to select.

            At the end of the stream, we wrote the happy path test for the POST request to prove that the enrollment record exists after submission.

          • Top 8 Online Resources To Learn Anaconda In 2020
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Week 6: Begin the Phase 2
  • Leftovers

    • John Prine as Tender Poet: The Best That I Could Do
    • Van Gogh’s Literary Influences

      In 1888, Vincent Van Gogh sold The Red Vineyard, a vibrant field of color abuzz with laborers, to an intimate supporter of the hungry artist for today’s equivalent of $2000. These days, a single painting by Van Gogh can go for as much $66m at Sotheby’s, and Van Gogh™ is a billion dollar industry. And the topper is that The Red Vineyard, if sold today, probably would be the single most expensive painting ever bought, not because it was the most popular artist’s best, but because it’s the only one he ever sold in his lifetime. (Wow.)

    • Education

      • ICE Threatens to Deport International Students If Schools Move Classes Online

        As President Trump pressures states to reopen schools in the fall despite an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases, ICE says international students studying at U.S. universities could face deportation if their schools switch to online-only courses. The U.S. issues more than a million student visas a year, and international students account for as much as a third of the undergraduate student body at many colleges and universities and often constitute the majority of graduate students. “I have yet to see a justification for this,” says immigration attorney Fiona McEntee, who notes that international students contribute about $41 billion to the U.S. economy per year. We also speak with Jian Ren, a Chinese international student pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University.

      • If Schools Reopen This Fall, More People Will Likely Die. Full Stop.

        The front page of Tuesday’s Miami Herald tells you all you need to know about the rising dread and panic being felt across the country by millions of parents with school-age children. Bang in the center of that front page is the headline, “Miami-Dade restaurants, gyms closing to fight COVID surge.” Snuggled in to the left-side column is another headline: “Florida schools ordered to reopen in August.”

      • Trump Threatens to Cut Funding for Schools If They Don’t Reopen in the Fall

        President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday morning to cut federal funding to schools that choose not to reopen their doors this fall in response to concerns about coronavirus.

      • Teachers Say Rush to Reopen Schools Without Covid-19 Safety Plan Shows Trump and DeVos ‘Do Not Care About Students’

        “America must listen to the health experts on when to reopen schools and to educators on how to return to in-person instruction.”

      • ICE Threatens to Deport or Bar International Students If Schools Move Classes Online Due to Pandemic

        As President Trump pressures states to reopen schools in the fall despite an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases, ICE says international students studying at U.S. universities could face deportation if their schools switch to online-only courses. The U.S. issues more than a million student visas a year, and international students account for as much as a third of the undergraduate student body at many colleges and universities and often constitute the majority of graduate students. “I have yet to see a justification for this,” says immigration attorney Fiona McEntee, who notes that international students contribute about $41 billion to the U.S. economy per year. We also speak with Jian Ren, a Chinese international student pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University.

      • Will COVID-19 halt asylum in the United States for good?

        Violence and persecution don’t stop for a pandemic. Every day, people arrive at national borders urgently seeking protection. While there is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc around the world, there are also man-made consequences that could be avoided.

        Since the public health crisis began, more than 150 countries have closed their borders, fully or partially, to contain the spread of the virus. The problem is that at least 99 of those countries have made no exceptions for asylum seekers, according to the UN. As a result, vulnerable families and children across the globe have been halted at borders; those with pending asylum claims wait in limbo; and lives continue at a standstill for people who have already experienced trauma and instability.

        Arguably, the situation at the US southern border is among the most dire.

        For decades, the United States has been a global leader in welcoming people seeking protection from violence in their home countries. Yet, since March nearly 43,000 asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children, have been turned back at the US southern border after the US government implemented travel and asylum restrictions.

        Public health experts point out that these restrictions do little to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The policy targets asylum seekers while providing broad exemptions to US citizens, permanent residents, and those travelling to the United States for education, trade, or commercial purposes. In May, the US government announced that the policy would remain in place until it was “no longer necessary to protect the public health”, extending it indefinitely.

        The current ban on asylum is one of the latest in a series of efforts by the US government to limit long-held protections inherent in the US asylum system. In January 2019, the US government announced the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico”, which force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claim is processed. New MPP cases are no longer being accepted while the border is closed, but those impacted by “Remain in Mexico” over the past year continue to live in limbo.

    • Hardware

      • Debian’s Enrico Zini: Laptop migration

        HP requires 10 business days to repair my laptop under warranty. I cannot afford that length of downtime.

        Alternatively, they quoted me 375€+VAT for on-site repairs, which I tought was very funny.

        For 376.55€+VAT, which is pretty much exactly the same amount, I bought instead a refurbished ThinkPad X240 with a dual-core I5, 8G of RAM, 250G SSD, and a 1920×1080 IPS display, to use as a spare while my laptop is being repaired. I’d like to thank HP for giving me the opportunity to finally buy a ThinkPad.

        Since I’m migrating all my system to the spare and (hopefully) back, and I might be doing more such migrations as I now have a spare laptop for experiments, I’m documenting what I need to be fully productive on new hardware.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Supreme Court Ruling Means 126,000 May Lose Contraception Coverage

        The United States Supreme Court delivered a blow to reproductive rights on Wednesday, siding with the Trump administration in a case that gave employers across the country more leeway in denying contraception to workers if it goes against the company’s morals.

      • Reopening vs. Lockdown is a False Dichotomy

        California is seeing a surge in coronavirus infections, and most of our government misleaders, from Governor Gavin Newsom on down, are trying to sweep the true story under the rug with the same kind of blowhard fake news that we hear from the Trump administration.

      • Trump Health Secretary Says US Healthcare Workers ‘Don’t Get Infected’ With Covid-19 (94,000 Have Contracted the Virus)

        While the true toll Covid-19 has taken on healthcare workers is not yet known, one investigation found that more than 760 have died from the virus.

      • Trump Health Secretary Says Health Care Workers Don’t Get Infected With COVID

        Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday falsely claimed that healthcare workers “don’t get infected” with Covid-19 “because they take appropriate precautions” as he attempted to make the case for reopening schools in the fall — even with coronavirus cases surging across the United States.

      • Sacrificing People to Corporate Profit

        While millions of workaday families have lost jobs, income and their future financial security, corporate bosses and billionaires are surreptitiously building new channels into the system for looting an even greater share of America’s wealth.

      • The New NYC? Houston Hospitals Struggle with “Astonishing” Rise in Coronavirus Cases

        As COVID-19 cases rise and hospitalizations are soaring, hospitals in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California are running out of ICU beds. On Tuesday, Texas set a grim new record of 10,000 new cases in a single day. “It’s been astonishing,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Dr. Sheri Fink, who has been reporting from Houston’s largest hospital. “They’ve been adding unit after unit after unit just to care for coronavirus patients.”

      • 600+ Groups Warn ‘Unprecedented’ Wave of Corporate Lawsuits Could Imperil Global Fight Against Covid-19

        “A spate of cases now could result in a ‘regulatory chilling’ effect, in which governments water down, postpone, or withdraw actions to tackle the pandemic from the fear of such payments, which could be deadly.”

      • The Merits of Medicare for All Have Been Proven by This Pandemic

        A pandemic is not the time to be having discussions about how to design a national health care system. The fact that the United States, which has 4 percent of the world’s population, leads the world with 25 percent of all coronavirus infections, indicates at a glance that something about our nation’s health care is irredeemably broken. In just a few months, more than 40 million Americans became unemployed in a country where a majority are expected to obtain health care through employer-provided insurance. Even the New York Times has pointed out that, “Nothing illuminates the problems with an employer-based health care system quite like massive unemployment in the middle of a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease outbreak.”

      • Madeline Peck: Quarantine Slump

        You can vote by liking my comment with the video in it here on the mojo page!

        Last week I submitted some logo ideas to the Nest ticket and I had to clean up the ones they enjoyed. Went through some inkscape tutorials to refresh and see if I was doing anything slower then some tips and tricks.

        Attended Boston’s lightning talks and got me thinking of potentially doing my own towards the end of the summer.

        Going through the changes for the coloring book so I can send them out in an email to the reviewers by Friday hopefully, and speaking of the reviewers.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Four years of Zephyr

                The Zephyr project is an effort to provide an open-source realtime operating system (RTOS) that is designed to bridge the gap between full-featured operating systems like Linux and bare-metal development environments. It’s been over four years since Zephyr was publicly announced and discussed here (apparently to a bit of puzzlement). In this article, we give an update on the project and its community as of its v2.3.0 release in June 2020; we also make some guesses about its near future.

                The authors are both Zephyr developers working for Nordic Semiconductor; Cufí was the release manager for the v2.3.0 release.


                The Zephyr kernel supports multiple architectures and scheduling algorithms. There are cooperative and preemptive threads, along with facilities for reducing interrupt latencies and guaranteeing the execution of key threads. An optional user mode can use the Memory Protection Units (MPUs) typically present in microcontrollers to isolate and sandbox threads or groups of threads from one another and the kernel.

                Zephyr supports six major architectures (x86, Arm, ARC, NIOS II, Xtensa, and RISC-V) and also runs in emulation. Both 32- and 64-bit processor support exists for some architectures. Within the Arm architecture, the emphasis has been on the usual 32-bit Cortex-M cores, but experimental support for Cortex-R and Cortex-A (including 64-bit Cortex-A) exists and continues to improve. Beyond “real hardware,” Zephyr runs on QEMU, and as an ELF executable. It supports a simulated radio, which can save time and expense when testing and debugging radio frequency (RF) issues. In all, there are upstream support files for over 200 “boards”.

                Zephyr has logging and shell subsystems. These have configurable transports, including traditional serial ports (for both) and over the network (for logging). Logging is optionally asynchronous; in this case, a separate thread actually sends log messages. The logging calls themselves post compact messages to a queue, which can be done quickly, so logging can be done even from within interrupt context.

                Hardware-specific APIs are built around a lightweight device driver model that is tightly integrated with the kernel. It supports a wide range of peripherals and sensors under this common model. Multiple storage options are available. These range from basic key-value storage optimized for NOR flash to filesystems.

        • Security

          • FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-20:19.unbound
          • GCC Compiler Lands Mitigation For Arm’s Straight Line Speculation Vulnerability

            It took a month after Arm disclosed the CPU “SLS” vulnerability and when the LLVM compiler landed their initial mitigation, but the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) now has mitigations as well for this Straight Line Speculation vulnerability.

            The Straight Line Speculation vulnerability could lead to instructions on ARMv8 processors being executed following a change in control flow. Mitigating SLS involves using SB instructions for a speculation barrier following vulnerable instructions.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (ffmpeg, fwupd, ruby2.5, and shiro), Fedora (freerdp, gssdp, gupnp, mingw-pcre2, remmina, and xrdp), openSUSE (chocolate-doom), Oracle (firefox and kernel), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon and thunderbird).

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Reducing TLS Certificate Lifespans to 398 Days

            We intend to update Mozilla’s Root Store Policy to reduce the maximum lifetime of TLS certificates from 825 days to 398 days, with the aim of protecting our user’s HTTPS connections. Many reasons for reducing the lifetime of certificates have been provided and summarized in the CA/Browser Forum’s Ballot SC22. Here are Mozilla’s top three reasons for supporting this change.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Global Privacy Regulators Probe Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI

              The privacy regulators of the UK and Australia have announced a joint investigation into controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI.

              “The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI Inc., focusing on the company’s use of ‘scraped’ data and biometrics of individuals,” a brief statement read.

              “The investigation highlights the importance of enforcement cooperation in protecting the personal information of Australian and UK citizens in a globalized data environment.”

              The Manhattan-based software firm leapt to notoriety early this year after a New York Times report claimed that the startup had scraped as many as three billion images from social media sites to add to its database.

              That makes it a useful resource for police and intelligence agencies, which can query images they capture against the database. The FBI’s own trove of images is said to contain little more than 600 million.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Afghanistan: What is to be Done?

        The mainstream media is asking the wrong questions regarding the possibility of Russian bounties for American soldiers.  Over and over, they ponder what did the president know and when did he know it?  These were important questions that Senator Howard Baker asked of President Nixon during Watergate, but they are meaningless questions for Donald Trump, given his ignorance and indifference.  Trump has mishandled every foreign policy and national security issue for the past three and a half years; why would anyone expect him to get this one right.  The fact that he was making a series of calls to President Vladimir Putin regarding a return to the G-7 even as his National Security Council was discussing the bounty issue and the intelligence community was providing threat warnings to NATO members with troops in Afghanistan is simply too bizarre for words.

      • Trump Is Trying to Hide US and Israeli War Crimes by Attacking the ICC

        A war crimes complaint has been filed against Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump adviser Jared Kushner in the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is now up to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor to decide whether the complaint should be pursued. If the prosecutor launches a preliminary examination and finds reason to believe they committed war crimes, the court could then authorize a full investigation.

      • The exorcist: How a confessed murderer became one of Russia’s most famous priests, took over a convent, and started cursing the Church and the state

        Russian public life has its share of COVID dissidents, skeptics, and deniers, but Schema-Hegumen Sergii is a story of his own. The 65-year-old Russian Orthodox priest, whose title indicates a commitment to especially advanced asceticism and sacred rites, doesn’t just deny the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sergii has harshly criticized both secular and Church officials who have closed down cathedrals to prevent the spread of the disease. In the last two months, Sergii has become a symbol of ultraconservative resistance to the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church alike. After targeting anti-pandemic efforts in the clergy, he has called on voters to boycott the constitutional plebiscite that allowed Vladimir Putin to “zero out” his term count. Father Sergii has been barred from preaching since late May, but that didn’t stop him from seizing control of a convent he founded and threatening to defend it against the Russian police. Now, the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery is awaiting its fate with nuns, Cossacks, pilgrims, and children still inside. Meanwhile, a Church court ruled on July 3 that Sergii should be stripped of his clerical rank. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev traveled to Sergii’s hideout to follow his story and hear from his flock.

      • UN Special Rapporteur: US Drone Strike Killing Iranian Gen. Soleimani Was Unlawful

        Not only was Soleimani’s killing unlawful, it set a very bad precedent.

      • GOP Has Unhinged Meltdown After Ilhan Omar Makes Simple Call to ‘Dismantle All Systems of Oppression’

        “Just to be clear, Ilhan Omar is under attack by the rightwing media machine for statements that are utterly normal and totally uncontroversial when they’re delivered by white, non-Muslim politicians.”

      • China and Hong Kong Face Off
      • Nowhere to turn for women facing violence in Kashmir

        The threat of violence against women is escalating amid coronavirus lockdowns around the globe. But one region that has lived through a military clampdown for nearly a year – Indian-administered Kashmir – could have foretold the surge.

        Being shut in by government order is nothing new in Kashmir, nor is the resulting spike in gender-based violence, women’s advocates say.

        The region has seen decades of conflict, militarisation, protests, and violent crackdowns. Kashmir has essentially been on lockdown since August 2019, when India scrapped the region’s semi-autonomous status, bringing the former state of Jammu and Kashmir under direct control of the central government. Authorities imposed a communications blockade and security forces patrolled the streets, shut down public transportation, and closed markets.

        Though some restrictions continued to ease in early 2020, India-wide coronavirus lockdowns beginning in March extended clampdown conditions in an already militarised region – and kept survivors of domestic violence shut in with their abusers.

        Cases of domestic violence and general violence against women surged tenfold to more than 3,000 a year during a previous clampdown in 2016 and 2017, according to statistics from the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Women, a now-defunct government institution established to protect women and children’s rights and ensure quick prosecutions.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Harper’s Gives Prestigious Platform To Famous Writers So They Can Whine About Being Silenced

        There’s a slightly bizarre Letter on Justice and Open Debate that Harper’s Magazine is publishing, signed by a long list of famous people (many of whom I respect, and plenty of whom I think are terribly entitled wannabe “controversial” intellectuals who are really just assholes). The framing of the letter is one I’ve heard quite a lot of late: concerns that there is some sort of “illiberal attack on free speech,” in which certain individuals and their ideas are no longer even allowed. It’s the more intellectual argument against so-called “cancel culture.” And, yes, there are examples of people being shut down for expressing their ideas, but it is much less common than people would have you believe. In many cases, what people are complaining about is not that their speech is being shut down, but that they are facing consequences for their speech being ridiculous.

    • Environment

      • What Do the Racial Wealth Gap, Police Brutality, and the Climate Crisis Have in Common? Wall Street

        The biggest banks, it turns out, are every bit as complicit in the climate crisis as they were in the slave trade.

      • Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast: 2020 Improvements

        Each summer, warming weather draws mid-Atlantic nature lovers, recreational boaters, and fishing enthusiasts to the shores of Lake Erie. The same change of season creates optimal conditions for rapid growth of algae. While most blooms of algae aren’t harmful, some such as the blue-green algae Microcystis produce toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish, marine mammals, birds, and local economies. Blooms like these are called harmful algal blooms, or HABs.

        Lake Erie is more than a summer playground — it’s the primary source of drinking water for all surrounding communities. For these reasons, NOAA produces the Lake Erie HAB Forecast to aid those responding to bloom impacts and help members of the public make informed decisions if a bloom is affecting their area. Since 2016, the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products & Services has issued operational forecasts to supplement seasonal bloom severity projections from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science . Users have relied on twice-weekly forecast analysis of bloom position and potential for movement or mixing of surface bloom concentrations, in addition to forecast water currents, and recent satellite imagery.

        But many drinking water intakes and prime fishing spots are located below the lake surface, beyond the view of aerial and satellite imagery. To better accommodate the needs of resource managers and tourists alike, the Lake Erie HAB Forecast is now enhanced by the integration of a 3D hydrodynamic model developed by research partners within the Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research. Recent satellite imagery is used to produce an estimate of daily Microcystis bloom locations alongside a five-day forecast of bloom movement. Along with these enhancements, the Lake Erie HAB Forecast website has also been redesigned to help users more easily and quickly understand maps and key elements. Bloom movement is also now provided as an animation with plots for vertical movement of Microcystis at select sampling locations.

        HABs may continue to affect Lake Erie, but lakeshore communities now have better decision-making tools to help ensure safe drinking water and lake recreational activities.

      • Precision Marine Navigation

        NOAA’s Precision Marine Navigation team is creating new online services to enable more efficient access to the NOAA data that powers private-sector marine navigation products. The goal is to foster innovation, improve navigation safety, aid in more efficient coastal route planning, and help mariners make informed decisions as they navigate our nation’s waterways.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • “All the Credit He Gave Us:” Time to Drop Hamilton’s Economics

        The June 3 premiere of Hamilton on streaming service Disney+ marked the end of a five-year wait for audiences who hadn’t seen the hit musical on stage.

      • Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land

        You don’t hear much about millionaires these days in America. Which makes some sense. Add up all our nation’s personal wealth, divide by our number of people, and we have an average wealth per person in the United States today of about $300,000. At that average, a family of three worth a million dollars turns out to be barely better off than any family of three would be if our country’s wealth were spread perfectly even.

      • COVID Exposes “Significant Racial Health Inequities” as Black, Brown & Indigenous People Suffer Most

        The coronavirus continues to hit communities of color the hardest, with federal data showing African American and Latinx people are nearly three times more likely to be infected and twice as likely to die from the virus compared to their white neighbors. There were “pretty significant racial health disparities” even before COVID-19 ravaged the country, says Dr. Uché Blackstock, emergency medicine physician in New York and founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, a company working to fight racism and bias in health services. “What we saw in the pandemic these first few months is these really significant racial health inequities being exposed and even amplified.” We also continue to speak with award-winning New York Times correspondent Dr. Sheri Fink.

      • The ‘Camo Economy’ Hides Military Costs and Exacerbates Inequality

        Pentagon contractors like Lockheed Martin exploit their political connections to maintain a system that generates huge corporate profits and executive pay at taxpayer expense.

      • Beware the 21st Century Robber Barons

        This great shift in bargaining power from workers to corporate shareholders has created an increasingly angry working class vulnerable to demagogues peddling authoritarianism, racism, and xenophobia.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • News Company’s ‘Digital Audience Director’ Fails To Understand Embedding, Issues Bogus DMCA Takedown Notices

        Here comes DMCA abuse to ruin everyone’s retweeting. T. Greg Doucette — who has been covering acts of violence by police officers in response to George Floyd protests — was recently hit with a bogus takedown notice on behalf of Seattle’s King 5 television station. Here’s the start of Doucette’s thread on the bogus takedown, during which he begs for the opportunity to “curbstomp” Tegna, Inc. in court for being so stupid as to consider an embedded video to be copyright infringement.

      • The Great American Lie

        The Financial Times recently reviewed a slew of business books whose titles speak volumes about denial in America.

      • Just How Far Can Trump Go in an Emergency?

        In the hours after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld started executing emergency policies that would have, if they had been fully implemented, ended American democracy. The policies were a special form of executive action, dating back to the Eisenhower administration, known as “presidential emergency action documents.” These were, in essence, secret presidential orders, made without congressional oversight, setting protocol for government response to nuclear attacks or a comparable crisis.

      • Why the US-China Rivalry Is Thwarting Transnational Solidarity

        At a peaceful protest in Hong Kong in January, Keisha Brown saw few other Black faces amid the chanting protesters, colorful banners, and national flags from across the world. Although Brown, a scholar focusing on Chinese history and Sino-Black relations, couldn’t understand many of the speeches or song lyrics, she was unexpectedly moved to tears.

      • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have to Get Billionaires Out of Politics

        Billionaires and the super rich have spent 40 years, since the beginning of the Reagan Revolution, telling us how wonderful America would be if only rich people ran the show. That’s called oligarchy, not democracy.

      • What Systemic Really Means

        US multinational companies often use philanthropy to cover up the misdeeds that made them rich. Since May they have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to African American organisations, including Black Lives Matter. This generosity to a movement fighting ‘systemic racism’ looks a lot like insurance; perhaps the directors of Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Nike, Adidas, Facebook and Twitter, who know the meaning of ‘systemic’ better than anyone, are worried that activists challenging structural inequality in the US will soon find other targets, closer to home, than police brutality.

      • Charles Booker Could Have Won

        For a week now, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what just happened in Kentucky, where progressive firebrand Charles Booker almost beat all the odds in the US Senate Democratic primary race. It’s not because I’m any stranger to electoral heartbreak. When I was 20, I moved from Brooklyn to a town I’d never heard of in Wisconsin to help a Democrat named Rob Zerban run a campaign to unseat Representative Paul Ryan, then the chair of the House Budget Committee. Years later, I moved to New Hampshire to work for the first Democratic socialist in modern history to mount a serious campaign for president. I’ve had my share of heartbreak.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Why Does Richard Blumenthal Always Feel The Need To Lie About Section 230?

        Richard Blumenthal has spent years trying to undermine Section 230 of the CDA. Unlike some Senators who have only just jumped onto the silly, counterproductive bandwagon, Blumenthal has been mad about 230 since long before he was even a Senator. Back in 2008, when he was Connecticut’s ambitious grandstanding Attorney General, he attacked Craigslist because people had found some ads for sex work on the site. Again, this was protected by Section 230, so Blumenthal just kept threatening Craigslist until it finally made a change: rather than allowing its adult ads to be placed for free (as it had in the past), it required payment with a credit card, which Craigslist (quite reasonably) said would likely discourage more sketchy ads, and would leave a paper trail for law enforcement for any illegal activity. Blumenthal initially celebrated this victory… before turning around and grandstanding again two years later… that Craigslist was now “profiting” off of sex work because it was charging for those ads (ignoring that it only did so because he pressured them, even though he knew he was limited by 230).

      • Hong Kong’s National Security Law Allows Police To Censor The Internet, Compel Decryption

        The national security law the Hong Kong government passed solely with the intent of shutting down protests and local dissent is amazingly bad. It criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference. Violators of any of these purposely vaguely defined terms face potential life imprisonment.

      • Post No Evil: Content Moderation Decisions Are Always Trickier Than You Think

        Two years ago, we told anyone who wanted to understand the impossibility of content moderation to listen to an episode of the podcast/radio show Radiolab. Obviously, content moderation questions are back in the news again, and Radiolab recently re-released the episode with some updated content. Most of it is the same, but there’s some more at the end to relate it to the latest news with the various attacks on social media coming from the president, the DOJ, and Congress.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The End of the American Newspaper

        Since the birth of the Word Wide Web in March 1989 (at 00:00PT/ 08:00 CET) and the rise of Facebook and the like, the preferred business model of newspaper has been in steep decline as advertising revenue shifted from print media towards the Internet with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the largest winners. This meant that many newspapers are under severe financial stress while others have closed up shop all together. American readers are faced with a tremendous decline of printed newspapers. Perhaps the decline of local newspapers started even earlier than the arrival of Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

      • Journalist and Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov arrested in Moscow

        Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot member and the publisher of the independent legal news website Mediazona, has been arrested in Moscow.

      • Journalists in cities across Russia protest Ivan Safronov’s arrest on treason charges

        Journalists in cities across Russia have begun holding single-person demonstrations outside of regional Federal Security Service (FSB) offices, in support of Ivan Safronov — a former Kommersant and Vedomosti defense correspondent, and Roscosmos communications advisor, who was arrested on treason charges on July 7. The investigation accused Safronov of passing classified information to Czech intelligence about Russia’s military cooperation with Middle Eastern and African countries. According to his defense attorneys, however, the FSB hasn’t presented any evidence of his involvement in the crime. Safronov himself denies any guilt. Solo pickets in support of Safronov began in Moscow and St. Petersburg on the day of his arrest: Moscow police arrested at least 28 people for protesting, but in St. Petersburg no one was detained.

      • Tuesday’s shitshow: Morning, noon, and night, here’s how Russian journalist Ivan Safronov’s arrest and treason hearing unfolded on day one

        On July 7, federal agents arrested “Roscosmos” communications adviser and former Kommersant and Vedomosti correspondent Ivan Safronov on suspicion of high treason. The authorities also searched his home and office, as well as the apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Holod Media editor-in-chief Taisiya Bekbulatova (a former Meduza correspondent). Outside the Federal Security Service’s headquarters in Lubyanka Square, during Safronov’s arraignment hearing, dozens of journalists picketed, each taking turns holding up signs in his defense, and police officers arrested them, one by one, for an unlawful assembly. Here’s a detailed rundown of everything Meduza’s correspondents witnessed on day one of the Safronov affair.

      • Ivan Safronov’s defense lawyers appeal his two-month arrest

        Defense attorneys for former investigative journalist and Roscosmos communications advisor Ivan Safronov have appealed his two-month arrest, his lawyer Ivan Pavlov, the head of the human rights organization “Team 29,” told Interfax. 

      • Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Affirms Native American Rights in Oklahoma
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘Enough Is Enough’: 44 Groups Slam House Democrats for Including Hyde Amendment in Spending Bill

        “It is long past time for our elected officials to put an end to abortion coverage bans once and for all, so no one is denied abortion care because of how much money they make or how they get their health insurance.”

      • Key U.S. Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

        When President Clinton dropped 23,000 bombs on what was left of Yugoslavia in 1999 and NATO invaded and occupied the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, U.S. officials presented the war to the American public as a “humanitarian intervention” to protect Kosovo’s majority ethnic Albanian population from genocide at the hands of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. That narrative has been unraveling piece by piece ever since.

      • Pence Aide Katie Miller Admits She Was Unaffected by Seeing Family Separations

        Katie Miller, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, says she was sent to the border to see family separations in a bid to make her “more compassionate” — but “it didn’t work,” according to a new book.

      • Abolish Policing, Not Just the Police

        WALLACE SHAWN: So, the following program is brought to you by Haymarket Books.

      • It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn

        Since Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, many wondered what happened to Ghislaine Maxwell. “I’ve heard she’s in Brazil, I’ve heard she’s in France, I’ve heard she’s in California,” Lisa Bryant, director of the Netflix docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, “Who knows where she is, really?” Some wondered if she would suffer the same fates as Epstein and her father, Robert Maxwell – death.

      • Why Has Society Failed to Integrate Grief Into Public Life?

        In 2017 the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in the Bronx in New York City hired Rachel Kauder Nalebuff to investigate resilience among nursing home staffers. Why, it wondered, do some people have the fortitude to work alongside death and dying for decades, while most people burn out? Kauder Nalebuff is trained not as a social worker or an anthropologist but as a playwright; her report was to take the form of a play. In interviews, staffers of every rank and function described their work to her, its challenges, and its rewards. A housekeeper named Rosa ran errands for residents with her own money and on her own time. Keresha, a cashier in the cafeteria, insisted, “You cannot have a job like this and think it’s just a job.” Compassion and patience emerged as clear through lines, linking all care workers who were able to endure and find meaning in their profession. But so too did a deep and daily grief, which staffers had little time or support for metabolizing. Residents die every day, and there’s always more work to be done. “We’re losing money with an empty bed,” an anonymous employee noted bluntly. In the resulting play, A Knock at the Door, the staffers performed monologues drawn from these interviews, creating space for mourning out of the material of their lives.

      • Lopez Obrador’s Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People

        To praise a tyrant is to insult a people. López Obrador’s proposed visit to Washington is an insult to the American people, and especially to the 37 million Mexican migrants who live in the United States.

      • US Government Plays Games With Reality Winner’s Life As Coronavirus Outbreak Is Confirmed At Carswell

        As a coronavirus outbreak at Federal Medical Center Carswell spreads, the United States government maintains National Security Agency whistleblower Reality Winner did not show her confinement placed her “at a risk substantial to justify early release.” Prosecutors additionally insist Winner confused a request for a reduction in her prison sentence with a request for home confinement and never started the “administrative procedure” that must be completed before going to a district court for relief.But Winner’s attorney Joe Whitley calls this a “nonsensical theory” that her “request was not a request under the compassionate release statute.” The district court did not “embrace” this position, although it denied her appeal. “The entire colloquy is emblematic of the government position regarding Reality’s compassionate release request and its scattershot approach to the COVID-19 pandemic at large,” Whitley declares. “In short, because [the Bureau of Prisons] was not prepared for this type of pandemic, a prisoner’s last and only resort is the district court.” Billie Winner-Davis, her mother, told Shadowproof that her daughter feels she is “suffering through this hell in a black hole where nobody seems to know or care what’s happening to them.”

        She believes denying her release was wrong and “could have saved her” from the suffering she currently must endure.

      • Beyond Prisons: Historian David Stein Reflects On Ascent Of Abolition

        Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein are joined by historian and abolitionist David Stein for an episode of the Beyond Prisons podcast.

        David penned an excellent article in 2017 with Dan Berger and Mariame Kaba entitled, “What Abolitionists Do.” He reflects on this article in this moment of greater awareness of abolition and shares his thoughts and experiences from spending time in abolitionist spaces.

      • ‘It doesn’t need to be called public outcry’ The Kremlin’s spokesman responds to the controversial Safronov case

        On the morning of July 7, federal agents in Moscow arrested Ivan Safronov on treason charges. He was arraigned in court later that day and sentenced to two months in jail. Safronov had recently started working as a communications advisor to the head of Russia’s space corporation “Roscosmos,” after nearly ten years of reporting on the Russian military-industrial complex for top business newspapers like Kommersant and Vedomosti. According to the investigation, Safronov passed classified information about Russia’s military to Czech intelligence. His lawyers, on the other hand, are appealing his imprisonment, maintaining that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) hasn’t presented any evidence of his involvement in the crime. Safronov maintains that he’s not guilty. Here’s how Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded to reporters’ questions about Safronov’s case the day after his arrest.

      • Russian authorities reportedly have expert testimony corroborating treason charges against journalist Ivan Safronov

        The treason case against former investigative journalist Ivan Safronov reportedly includes at least two expert testimonies, corroborating allegations that he transmitted classified information to foreign intelligence agents, Open Media reports. 

      • ‘Be ready for anything’ Lawyer and human rights defender Ivan Pavlov on treason cases in Russia

        In Moscow on July 7, federal agents arrested Ivan Safronov — a former investigative journalist for the respected Russian business newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, who recently took a job as a communications advisor to the head of the Russian space corporation “Roscosmos.” Safronov was accused of high treason for allegedly collaborating with Czech intelligence. To find out more about treason cases in Russia and the ways Safronov’s case could develop, Meduza spoke to Ivan Pavlov, the lawyer at the head of the human rights organization “Team 29,” which specializes in these types of cases. Ivanov was also part of the team of five lawyers who represented Safronov during his arraignment on July 7 (he was sentenced to two months in jail).

      • EFF To Supreme Court: Violating Terms of Service Isn’t a Crime Under the CFAA

        Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and leading cybersecurity experts today urged the Supreme Court to rein in the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—and protect the security research we all rely on to keep us safe—by holding that accessing computers in ways that violate terms of service (TOS) does not violate the law.The Supreme Court will for the first time consider if the CFAA—which outlaws accessing computers “without authorization” or “exceeding authorized access”—also criminalizes access that violates the TOS companies impose to control the use of their websites, apps, and computer systems.Overbroad interpretations of whether someone exceeds authorized access to a computer under the draconian CFAA have turned on compliance with TOS, meaning private companies across the country get to decide who prosecutors can go after for alleged computer crimes. The Supreme Court’s decision will have far-reaching implications for many people, but especially security researchers, whose work discovering security vulnerabilities is vital to the public interest but often requires accessing computers in ways that contravene TOS.“To give a timely example, security researchers have faced legal threats from companies waving the CFAA at them after reporting flaws in voting technologies,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘All Tomorrow Carry’ By Special Interest

        The New Orleans punk band released their sophomore album “The Passion Of,” which the group describes as “a precise and deranged vision of punk, an apocalyptic celebration, a step forward into a perverse and uncertain landscape.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • House Passes Massive Broadband Bill That Surprisingly Doesn’t Suck

        The majority of broadband bills that wind their way through Congress don’t actually address the most pressing problem in US telecom: a lack of meaningful broadband competition. Often the bills focus almost exclusively on heavy subsidization of incumbent telecom monopolies, an approach that requires a level of diligence the U.S. has historically not been capable of. The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which passed the House last week, certainly includes its fair share of subsidization, including $80 billion in fiscal year 2021 to help deploy fiber broadband networks to the underserved parts of the country.

    • Monopolies

      • CJEU completely abolishes SPCs for new therapeutic applications in Santen judgment (C-673/18)

        The question whether SPCs should be available for new therapeutic applications of previously approved active ingredients has been a matter of debate ever since the SPC Regulation for Medicinal Products came into force in the European Union more than a quarter-century ago. While a literal reading of the SPC Regulation would clearly seem to exclude any such possibility, as Article 3(d) requires that the marketing authorization relied upon for an SPC must be the “first” marketing authorization for the corresponding product and Article 1(b) defines the term “product” as simply the active ingredient or combination of active ingredients of a medicinal product, the interpretation of these provisions has been put under scrutiny in a number of referrals to the Court of Justice of the EU.

        While the CJEU had initially endorsed a restrictive approach in Pharmacia Italia (C-31/03), MIT (C-431/04) and Yissum (C-202/05), it surprisingly made a complete U-turn in the Neurim judgment (C-130/11) rendered in 2012. In this decision, the Court found that, in the case at hand, the grant of an SPC was not precluded by the existence of an earlier marketing authorization for the same active ingredient.

        Yet, the precise conditions and the scope of applicability of the Neurim approach have given rise to considerable controversy and divergent approaches in different EU member states. A referral to the CJEU aimed at clarifying these conditions was made by the Paris Court of Appeal in 2018 (as previously reported on this blog) and left practitioners in eager anticipation of the CJEU’s forthcoming judgment. The fact that this judgment has now been rendered by the CJEU as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges testifies to the significance of the issues at stake.


        While there is no further discussion of Neurim in the Santen judgment, it appears safe to assume that Neurim has been overturned in its entirety.

        With today’s judgment in Santen, the CJEU has certainly succeeded in reducing the infamous complexity of the European SPC system, albeit at the price of significantly curtailing the incentives for pharmaceutical research and development. This adds to the CJEU’s recent and equally restrictive decisions in Abraxis (C-443/17) (discussed here) and Boston Scientific (C-527/17) (discussed here). One might take this opportunity to reflect upon Lord Justice Jacob’s emphatic admonition in his judgment [2011] EWCA Civ 228 that led to the Neurim referral:

        “In short, if Neurim are wrong, then the [SPC] Regulation will not have achieved its key objects for large areas of pharmaceutical research: it will not be fit for purpose.”

        Lastly, after the CJEU’s decision in Santen, it would appear that the pending referral in Novartis (C-354/19) has become obsolete, which was meant to address the question of whether the grant of a second SPC for a different therapeutic application is precluded if the second SPC is filed by the same rights holder who has already been granted a first SPC for the same active ingredient. For now, it seems, the long-lasting controversy over the availability of SPCs for second medical uses has finally been put to rest.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • The Light That You Shine can be Seen: Federal Circuit on Seal

            This is a case about open courts and the public nature of our civil justice system. During litigation, Uniloc designated some amount of material as “highly confidential” as defined by a protective order entered by N.D. Cal. Judge Alsup. Apple then referenced the material in a motion to dismiss as did Uniloc in its brief-in-opposition. The parties filed motions to seal the material with the district court–with Uniloc indicating that the documents “contain sensitive, confidential and proprietary information related to financial data, licensing terms and business plans with respect to various Uniloc entities … disclosure of this extremely sensitive information would create a substantial risk of serious harm to the Uniloc entities.”

            EFF then intervened into the case requesting the documents be unsealed (after first asking the parties to un-seal). The sealed information related to Uniloc’s ownership of its patents. Because Uniloc was in the process of threatening and suing a dozens of of entities, that information was especially of-interest to the public.


            On the merits the Federal Circuit affirmed the original no-seal order but then vacated to consider interests of third-party licensees who had been promised confidentiality. In its decision, the court contrasted a prior decision in Apple v. Samsung.

          • Novel, Technological, and an Abstract Idea

            The examiner actually allowed the claims back in 2014 with a notice of allowance just before the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice. The applicant paid the issue fee, but the PTO withdrew the application from issue. The examiner then issued a new rejection — finding the claims ineligible as directed to an abstract idea under Alice. That decision was affirmed by the PTAB and by the Federal Circuit (R.36 judgment without opinion). This setup leads folks to fight hard — they were given real hope via notice of allowance and that was pulled-out from under them.


            The petition particularly point to its claims that require debiting with a e-readable device (credit card) and communication with a financial network. The petitioner argues that a benefit of the solution here is that it works with existing credit card networks and thus does not need an expensive merchant retrofit. “[T]he ability to use a conventional card reader and an existing credit card network are advantages of this technical solution, as the use of conventional electronic hardware and card networks that are already in use at most point of sale registers allows for use of this solution by retailers without purchasing or installing any new hardware.”

      • Copyrights

        • Estate Of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Alleges Copyright Infringement Over Sherlock’s Emotional Awakening

          Let us do a little decuctive reasoning, shall we? Copyright law has a term length. While that term length has been extended to the point of near-bastardization, that copyright exists on a term at all leads any investigator to conclude that the makers of that law intended for copyright protections on a given work to come to an end. If distinct characters and settings are offered copyright protections, as they are, then it reasons that those, too, were intended to have those protections end after a prescribed period of time. And if Sherlock Holmes is a literary character, an assertion that cannot be doubted, then it stands to reason that the law as written intended for the copyright protections covering his character were also to end after a period of time.

[Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Picard Riker listening to a pun: We help fight the virus by granting fake patent monopolies

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!

  1. EPO launches new platform to help researchers in the fight against coronavirus

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a new, expanding “Fighting coronavirus” platform designed to help researchers and decision-makers benefit from patent information in their fight against the new coronavirus.

  2. Sufficiency of a Range: UK Supreme Court

    This important patent decision comes from the UK Supreme with a holding that Regeneron’s patents are invalid for insufficiency of the disclosure.

The News is Never ‘Slow’, It’s Just Journalism That’s Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing

Meet Wikipedia’s Ayn Rand-loving founder and Wikimedia Foundation’s regime-change operative CEO

Summary: A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it’s very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational

Investigative journalism is very expensive in terms of time. People who take months if not years to study a topic, unless someone compensates them for the trouble (and then controls them in a sense), really understand what they write about. One area we’re good at covering is the European Patent Office (EPO) because we already wrote thousands of articles on the topic, we have reliable sources, and we have deep understanding of internal affairs and the names of all the important managers (well beyond António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli). This is why we’re able to produce so much material about the EPO and all of it is accurate, as far as we’re aware. Before covering EPO scandals I wrote about software patents in Europe — a subject that perhaps caused our initial sources to come forward to us. Basically, people with concerns if not grievances decided that Techrights would be a suitable platform to expose EPO corruption. And here we are 6 years later and more than 3,000 articles/posts later. It will be 4,000 very soon.

“Basically, people with concerns if not grievances decided that Techrights would be a suitable platform to expose EPO corruption. And here we are 6 years later and more than 3,000 articles/posts later.”At times we also mentioned WIPO corruption, which is similar in a sense. SUEPO alludes to it every now and then and we wrote a number of stories about it, typically citing the better informed (with reliable sources). But we at Techrights don’t have a good understanding of WIPO affairs; we also don’t know many of the key players there. We know ILO and the USPTO a lot better than we know WIPO. In a sense, WIPO isn’t just insincere and full of corruption; it’s also exceptionally secretive.

“Remember that Techrights is still the only site (as far as we know) that Campinos is banning, expanding the ban to every employee of the EPO.”Last night someone in our primary IRC channel wrote, “I saw an article about WIPO which was issued in 2017 about Francis Gurry [...] I have evidence about Gurry and his administration covering up sexual harassment and assault at WIPO and about brutal retaliation against the victim…”

This is similar to some patterns we saw at the EPO, including the attack on Judge Corcoran. “I also have evidence of WIPO member states being well informed about the case and ignored the request to investigate WIPO administration,” the person continued. Sounds like the Administrative Council of the EPO.

We’re currently assessing what can be published — if anything — based on the above, as “the evidence is available in writing,” we’re told. But the problem is, as usual, that all the major publishers are totally ignoring it. To make matters worse, they banished the few people who wrote about this. Sounds familiar? Remember that Techrights is still the only site (as far as we know) that Campinos is banning, expanding the ban to every employee of the EPO. What is he so afraid of? Our language is family-friendly and we defame nobody.

“There’s no scarcity of news, only scarcity of time.”Journalism is in a really bad state; but that does not imply that there’s nothing to report. The way we see it, the most plausible explanation is that people in positions of power (who cynically abuse that power) prefer for media to just write puff pieces. The last thing they want is investigative journalism that actually reveals something new or refutes the puff pieces. How many years did we spend writing about the misbehaviour of the Gates Foundation before the media sort of ‘caught on’ (rather than caught money from the Foundation, in exchange for bias)?

2020, irrespective of the pandemic, will hopefully be a renaissance year for us. Although it is difficult, we still try to produce about 10 posts per day (we managed to exceed that last month). We focus on quality and accuracy, not clicks or “engagement” (or “impact” — terms of the PR industry; investigative journalists have different aims). People with information about corruption/abuses and cover-up of wrongdoing can, as always, contact us securely. We’re eager to open investigations in new and unexplored directions, including WIPO. There’s no scarcity of news, only scarcity of time.

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