10.31.20

Links 31/10/2020: Linux Lite 5.2 and Freespire 7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • “NTFS3″ Linux Driver Spun Up An 11th Time With More Optimizations – Phoronix

        It’s looking like Paragon Software’s “NTFS3″ read-write Linux driver for Microsoft’s NTFS file-system is on a trajectory where we could see it land possibly with the Linux 5.11 kernel kicking off at year’s end. Friday marked the eleventh iteration of these patches that Paragon previously offered to commercial customers but is now in the process of being upstreamed.

        It’s been an interesting journey since Paragon announced in August their NTFS3 driver that they were interested in upstreaming to the mainline Linux kernel to ultimately replace the existing NTFS kernel driver that is predominantly read-only and not actively maintained. Now that they don’t have much commercial life left out of their NTFS driver, they are looking to upstream it while still supporting it.

      • Linux 5.11 To Properly Support The Keyboard Of Newer ASUS Gaming Laptops – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.11 kernel will bring support for the ASUS “N-Key” keyboard that is used by nearly all of the current ASUS gaming laptops.

        This keyboard has a product ID of 0×1866 and basically used across the current line-up of ASUS gaming laptops. Standard keyboard functionality works with existing kernels, but the next cycle will bring support for the function keys and other controls.

      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org is now pretty much an ex-org: Maintainer declares the open-source windowing system largely abandoned

          Red Hat’s Adam Jackson, project owner for the X.Org graphical and windowing system still widely used on Linux, said the project has been abandoned “to the extent that that means using it to actually control the display, and not just keep X apps running.”

          Jackson’s post confirms suspicions raised a week ago by Intel engineer Daniel Vetter, who said in a discussion about enabling a new feature: “The main worry I have is that xserver is abandonware without even regular releases from the main branch. That’s why we had to blacklist X. Without someone caring I think there’s just largely downsides to enabling features.”

          This was picked up by Linux watcher Michael Larabel, who noted that “the last major release of the X.Org server was in May 2018… don’t expect the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.21 to actually be released anytime soon.”

    • Applications

      • Best Comic Book Reading Apps for Linux

        This article will list comic book reading applications available for Linux. Some of these applications are specially designed for reading comic books while others are e-book readers and general purpose document readers that support multiple digital comic book file formats.

      • Linux App Touchégg v2.0.2 Released With Touchscreen Support

        Last month, we reported about a Linux multi-touch gesture recognizer app called Touchégg. A completely revised version 2.0.0 arrived as a major update after more than years of gap.

        As the rewritten version of Touchégg became compatible with the latest Linux desktop tech stack, its developer José Expósito has now announced a new Touchégg v2.0.2 with more important enhancements.

        Before I speak about v2.0.2, those who’re unfamiliar with Touchégg, it’s a Linux app that runs in the background and transforms the gestures you make on your touchpad into visible actions on your desktop. For example, you can swipe up with 3 fingers to maximize a window or swipe left with 4 fingers to switch to the next desktop.

      • Psensor Sensor Monitor in Linux: A Hardware Monitoring Tool [GUI]

        The Psensor sensor monitoring tool for Linux distributions can measure the temperature of CPU, GPU, memory, and other hardware elements. We all know that the proper utilization of system hardware can make a system faster and smooth. Sometimes, a well-balanced system can run slow due to overheating issues. Monitoring the hardware temperature can save your system from a crash. Modern computers and notebooks are getting smaller day by day. As a result, the cooling system is getting compromised, mainly on notebooks and laptops. If you are a Linux system administrator, you should monitor both the hardware and software status. You can install and use the Psensor sensor tool to monitor your Linux system’s hardware temper to avoid overheating damages.

      • 5 ways to watch videos on Linux

        Are you a new Linux user? Do you have some video files you’d like to watch but can’t figure out how to do it, or what app to use? We can help! Follow along with us as we go over 5 ways to watch videos on Linux!

      • Cockpit 231

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 231.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How the OpenBSD -stable packages are built

        In this long blog post, I will write about the technical details of the OpenBSD stable packages building infrastructure. I have setup the infrastructure with the help of Theo De Raadt who provided me the hardware in summer 2019, since then, OpenBSD users can upgrade their packages using pkg_add -u for critical updates that has been backported by the contributors. Many thanks to them, without their work there would be no packages to build. Thanks to pea@ who is my backup for operating this infrastructure in case something happens to me.

        The total lines of code used is around 110 lines of shell.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Magazine #162

        This month:
        * Command & Conquer : Nmap
        * How-To : Python, Podcast Production, and Rawtherapee
        * Graphics : Inkscape
        * Graphics : Krita for Old Photos

        [...]

      • What's the spookiest thing at your Linux terminal? | Enable Sysadmin

        For those who live in a part of the world that celebrates it, Happy Halloween! May the only creepy-crawly bugs you encounter today be a part of your spooky decorations at home, and not a part of a production server at work.

        Halloween has always been a big deal here at Red Hat, dating back to the October 31 release of our first Linux distribution way back in 1994. It’s also the time of year we host We Are Red Hat Week, a celebration of our unique open source culture. While in a normal year this would include lots of in person festivities, this year we’re all remote, but here’s a look back at our celebration from last year.

    • Adjust Color Temperature of Your Screen Using Terminal in Ubuntu

      In this quick guide, I will show how you can adjust the color temperature of your screen in Ubuntu using the terminal. No additional GUI installation is required and you can enjoy the night light even if your desktop environment doesn’t provide a native one.

    • Install LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi to Replace Your Smart TV OS

      Don’t like ads on your smart TV? This tutorial is going to show you how to replace your TV OS with LibreELEC (Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) and a Raspberry Pi. LibreELEC is a free open-source Linux distribution for embedded devices used as home media centers. It is a fork of the now-discontinued OpenELEC project, which itself is based on Kodi. After installing LibreELEC on a Rasberry Pi, you can download Movies, TV shows on Usenet, or torrent.

    • Advanced Copy – Add Progress Bar To cp And mv Commands In Linux – OSTechNix

      The GNU cp and GNU mv tools are used to copy and move files and directories in GNU/Linux operating system. One missing feature in these two utilities is they don’t show you any progress bar. If you copy a large file or directory, you really don’t know how long the copy process would take to complete, or the percentage of data copied. You will not see which file is currently being copied, or how many were already copied. All you will see is just the blinking cursor and the hard drive LED indicator. Thanks to Advanced Copy, a patch for Gnu Coreutils, we can now add progress bar to cp and mv commands in Linux and show the progress bar while copying and/or moving large files and directories.

      Advanced Copy is a mod for the GNU cp and GNU mv programs. It adds a progress bar and provides some information on what’s going on while you copy or move files and folders. Not only the progress bar, it also shows the data transfer rate, estimated time remaining and the file name that is currently being copied. At the end you will see a short summary on how many files are copied and how long it took to copy the files.

    • How to Install Python 3.9 on Amazon Linux – TecAdmin

      Python is a powerful programming language. It is very friendly and easy to learn. During the latest update of this article Python 3.9.0 (of Python 3.9 series) latest stable version is available to download and install.

      This tutorial will help you to install Python 3.9 on Amazon Linux systems.

    • Install OpenShot Video Editor on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Shout

      When it comes to video editing most people are struggling because of difficulty in getting the right software. One option is we can go for paid professional solutions like Avid and Adobe premier, but if I am a beginner or just need a video editor for YouTube videos editing and other common stuff, do I need to invest in such software? Of course not because there are quite a handful of free as well as open-source Video editors who can fulfill our regular demands of creating videos. For example, Shotcut and OpenShot. Here we will talk about the second one.

      The OpenShot Video Editor is a lightweight tool that does not require high hardware resource PC to edit videos. It was started as a hobby project and later become a popular free editing tool that has a very simple and clean user interface.

      It comes with essential tools to instantly cut, join, and adding effects however it quickly reaches its limits for experienced users. It is primarily suitable for everyone who is looking to get started with simple video editing.

    • as days pass by — Setting up a Brother DCP-7055W as a network scanner on Ubuntu

      My dad’s got a Brother DCP-7055W printer/scanner, and he wanted to be able to set it up as a network scanner to his Ubuntu machine. This was more fiddly than it should be, and involved a bunch of annoying terminal work, so I’m documenting it here so I don’t lose track of how to do it should I have to do it again. It would be nice if Brother made this easier, but I suppose that it working at all under Ubuntu is an improvement on nothing.

      Anyway. First, go off to the Brother website and download the scanner software. At time of writing, https://www.brother.co.uk/support/dcp7055/downloads has the software, but if that’s not there when you read this, search the Brother site for DCP-7055 and choose Downloads, then Linux and Linux (deb), and get the Driver Installer Tool. That’ll get you a shell script; run it. This should give you two new commands in the Terminal: brsaneconfig4 and brscan-skey.

    • Grub Boot Loader Full Tutorial – Linux Hint

      A boot loader is, by default, the first program that starts as soon as you turn on your computer system, i.e., it starts even before the operating system. In fact, the boot loader is responsible for loading your operating system. In the absence of a boot loader, it is technically impossible to load your operating system, hence, you will not be able to access your computer system. This program is presented to us by GNU.
      Initially, this program was developed only for Linux-based systems, however, today it supports multiple operating systems including, macOS, Windows, BSD, and Solaris. Most of the users get familiar with the Grub Boot Loader only once they install more than one operating system on their machine. By doing this, they essentially cause the Grub Boot Loader to present a menu at the boot-up time through which they can explicitly choose which operating system they want to load.

      In this article, we would like to share with you a complete tutorial on Grub Boot Loader, which will be based on customizing this program according to your choice. After going through this tutorial, you will be in a very good position to customize the Grub Boot Loader just the way you want, and hence you can make the experience of seeing the boot-up process all the more interesting.

    • Blender Knife Tool – Linux Hint

      A knife tool is used to subdivide any surface of a mesh by drawing lines. In other words, a knife tool is a modeling tool to form new edge loops and vertices. The knife tool is pretty straightforward. To select the knife tool, you must enable Edit Mode.

    • Blender Bevel Tool – Linux Hint

      In real life, no surface is perfectly sharp. Bevel helps in bringing out the detail. With bevel applied, objects look much more appealing than without bevel. This effect can be exaggerated or subtle one, it depends on the shape of the mesh and your preference. The bevel allows you to chamfer the corners and edges of a mesh. The beveled edges catch light and change shading around corners, which gives realism to the mesh.

    • An Introduction to Linux’s dmesg Command – Linux Hint

      Every operating system, including Linux, performs some activities silently without notifying the user. Although the user is unaware of these activities, it may be necessary to check these activities to identify operating system issues and the devices attached to the computer system.
      Luckily, for the Linux operating system, all these activities are logged in the ring buffer, which can be accessed by using the diagnostic messages (or dmesg) command. The dmesg command in Linux can be used to display all the messages related to the events taking place within your operating system. This article will teach you how to use this helpful command in Linux.

    • How to Setup Raspberry Pi Bluetooth – Linux Hint

      Bluetooth is a very popular communication protocol for short-distance wireless communication. There are many Bluetooth devices such as keyboards, mouses, headphones, speakers, etc. that you can connect to your Raspberry Pi using Bluetooth. If you need to transfer small files between your Raspberry Pi and another device like a laptop, or a smartphone, Bluetooth can also come in handy.
      In this article, I am going to show you how to setup Bluetooth devices on your Raspberry Pi running the Raspberry Pi OS. So, let’s get started.

    • Killing frozen applications in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

      Sometimes, the applications running on your system freeze and stop responding. A frozen application cannot be closed by simply using the x button in the upper-right corner of the interface, but rebooting the system is not always a good solution—especially if the system is running critical services.
      In Ubuntu, there are several methods that can be used to kill frozen applications safely and quickly without rebooting your system: xkill, system monitor utilities, and the commands kill, pkill, and killall. In this article, we will discuss these methods on a machine running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

    • How do I Upgrade Ubuntu from the Terminal? – Linux Hint

      If you are a computer enthusiast, you might have experience working with multiple operating systems. For a given operating system, it is good to use the latest release for several reasons. First, the latest release includes the latest software upgrades, which will protect you from potential bugs. Second, newer versions tend to be more secure than older versions. In this article, we will teach you how to upgrade Ubuntu from the Linux terminal. Note that, in this article, we use Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

    • Amazing Useful Raspberry Pi Commands Cheat Sheet | Itsubuntu.com

      Amazing Useful Raspberry Pi Commands Cheat Sheet

      Let’s have a look into the some of the useful Raspberry Pi commands cheat sheet.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 40 Desktop Environment Slated for Release on March 24th, 2021

        Public testers will be able to get their hands on the GNOME 40 alpha release as soon as early January 2021, while the beta and RC releases are expected to hit the streets in mid-February and March respectively.

        The final release of the GNOME 40 desktop environment series is set for March 24th, 2021, just in time for the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) operating system, due for release on April 22nd, or Fedora 34, due for release on April 27th.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Lite 5.2 Officially Released, Based on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS

      Based on the Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) release, Linux Lite 5.2 is a major update to this GNU/Linux distribution for the masses and older computers. It’s using the same kernel as upstream, namely Linux 5.4 LTS.

      The biggest changes in this release are the move of the Firewall and Lite Widget settings to Settings Manager, along with the ability for Lite Widget to display laptop battery status, a feature requested by the community.

    • New Releases

      • Freespire 7.0 Released with the Xfce Desktop, Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Arriving more than nine months after Freespire 6.0, the Freespire 7.0 release is based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series with the long-term supported Linux 5.4 kernel and uses the latest Xfce 4.14 desktop environment by default.

        Freespire 7.0 is packed with many popular applications, including the latest Chromium 86 web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.12 email client, Synaptic package manager, Abiword word processor, Gnumeric spreadsheet editor, Parole media player, Transmission torrent downloader, KolourPaint digital painting app, as well as the KPatience card sorting game and DreamChess chess game.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Ubuntu (Finally) Officially Lands On The Raspberry Pi. But Will Anyone Notice? | Hackaday

        The Raspberry Pi has been with us for over eight years now, and during that time it has seen a myriad operating system ports. It seems that almost anything can be run on the little computer, but generally the offerings have seen minority uptake in the face of the officially supported Raspbian, or as it’s now called, Raspberry Pi OS.

        Maybe that could change, with the arrival of an Ubuntu release for the platform. For those of you pointing out that this is nothing new, what makes the new version 20.10 release special is that it’s the first official full Ubuntu release, rather than an unofficial port.

        So Raspberry Pi 4 owners can now install the same full-fat Ubuntu they have on their PCs, and with the same official Ubuntu support. What does this really do for them that Raspberry Pi OS doesn’t? Underneath they share Debian underpinnings, and they both benefit from a huge quantity of online resources should the user find themselves in trouble. Their repositories both contain almost every reasonable piece of software that could be imagined, so the average Pi user might be forgiven for a little confusion.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • LibreOffice 7.0.3 Released With 90+ Bug Fixes and More Compatibility

        The bleeding-edge version of LibreOffice 7.0.3 is released by The Document Foundation (TDF) and it is immediately available for download or update. This is the third point release in the LibreOffice 7.0 release which brings a huge set of changes to this free and open-source office suite.

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Open Access/Content

        • Don’t Contribute Anything Relevant in Web Forums Like Reddit

          Even with personal blogs, “fragile” as they are, you are able to use the Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive to back up your blog. For example, every page on my blog contains a link to its archive in the page footer. This ensures that you can not only browse the latest version of all of my blog articles in case of a server breakdown. This also enables you to browse all previous version, probably changed over time. Go ahead, try a few “Archive” links of my articles. If any of my articles start with an “Updates:” section, you know for sure that there are older versions accessible via the Internet Archive.

          “Why isn’t the site I’m looking for in the archive?
          Some sites may not be included because the automated crawlers were unaware of their existence at the time of the crawl. It’s also possible that some sites were not archived because they were password protected, blocked by robots.txt, or otherwise inaccessible to our automated systems. Site owners might have also requested that their sites be excluded from the Wayback Machine.

          Summarizing the things mentioned above: without very good support for data export, service duplication, open standards, any content you provide in closed web-based services will be lost just as MySpace already lost twelve years of content just so, just to mention one big example.”

          The Wayback Machine does not archive reddit threads. It can not properly back up Facebook pages. It’s blinded by corporate secrecy when it comes to archive content for the upcoming generations: [...]

    • Programming/Development

      • awk: `BEGIN { …`

        The other day, I was watching Bryan Cantrill’s 2018 talk, Rust, and Other Interesting Things, and he made an offhanded comment while discussing values of different programming languages and communities. He said, “If you get the awk programming language manual…you’ll read it in about two hours and then you’re done. That’s it. You know all of awk.”

        Only two hours to learn an entire language?! …. Challenge accepted!

      • Kushal Das: Alembic migration errors on SQLite

        We use SQLite3 as the database in SecureDrop. We use SQLAlchemy to talk the database and Alembic for migrations. Some of those migrations are written by hand.

        Most of my work time in the last month went to getting things ready for Ubuntu Focal 20.04. We currently use Ubuntu Xenial 16.04. During this, I noticed 17 test failures related to the Alembic on Focal but works fine on Xenial. After digging a bit more, these are due to the missing reference to temporary tables we used during migrations.

      • How to Download a File in PHP – Linux Hint

        Generally, no PHP script is required to download a file with the extensions exe and zip. If the file location of this type of file is set in the href attribute of the anchor element, then the file automatically downloads when the user clicks on the download link. Some files, such as image files, PDF files, text files, CSV files, etc., do not download automatically, and instead, open in the browser when the user clicks on the download link. These files can be downloaded forcibly in PHP using the readfile() function that does not download automatically. This tutorial shows you how to forcibly download any file using PHP script.

      • Python

        • Essential Free Python Maths Tools – LinuxLinks

          Python is a very popular general purpose programming language — with good reason. It’s object oriented, semantically structured, extremely versatile, and well supported. Scientists favour Python because it’s easy to use and learn, offers a good set of built-in features, and is highly extensible. Python’s readability makes it an excellent first programming language.

          The Python Standard Library (PSL) is the the standard library that’s distributed with Python. The library comes with, among other things, modules that carry out many mathematical operations.

          The math module is one of the core modules in PSL which performs mathematical operations. The module gives access to the underlying C library functions for floating point math.

          It offers number-theoretic and representation functions, power and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, angular conversion, hyperbolic functions, special functions, and constants.

        • Python Inheritance – Linux Hint

          The Python is an object-oriented programming language. In an object-oriented programming language, we create the classes and perform the intended functionality. Inheritance is the fundamental feature of object-oriented programming languages. Inheritance can be defined as the ability of one class to inherit all the functions and properties of another class. Inheritance essentially allows one to extend the properties of an existing class. Inheritance is leveraged with the two main concepts:

          1. Parent class or base class
          2. Child class or derived class

          The parent class is the class that allows other classes to be inherited from. It is also called the Base Class. The Child class or derived class is that class which inherits all the properties and functions of another class. Inheritance promotes several benefits, i.e., it is the representation of the real world inheritance phenomenon. It encourages the reusability of code. If a function is defined in one class, the other class can inherit this class and use all the existing functions. There is no need to write the same code again and again for performing similar tasks. Inheritance is applied at multiple levels. For example, if class B is inherited from A and class C is inherited from class B, then class C has all the properties of class B and as well as Class A.

        • Python Tuples – Linux Hint

          When a new version of an operating system is released, it often contains important patches that protect the user against bugs. In this tutorial, we show you how to update Ubuntu from the terminal.

        • How to modulo in Python? – Linux Hint

          The percentage symbol (%) is used as a modulo operator in Python. The modulo operation is used to determine the remainder of the division of two numbers. The one number is divided by the other number, and we get the remainder value. Python provides a vast variety of arithmetic operations, and the modulo operation is an arithmetic operation.

          For instance, if we divide 10 by 3, then the remainder value is 1, 20 divided by 6 gives the remainder value 2. The remainder value has also termed as the modulus.

        • Create your own Python Modules – Linux Hint

          Python is a multi-purpose, high level, and dynamic programming language. It provides many built-in modules and functions to perform various types of tasks. Aside from that, we can also create our own modules using Python. A module is like a library in Java, C, C++, and C#. A module is usually a file that contains functions and statements. The functions and statements of modules provide specific functionality. A Python module is saved with the .py extension. In this article, we will learn to create our own Python modules.
          A module is typically used to divide the large functionality into small manageable files. We can implement our most used functions in a separate module, and later on, we can call and use it everywhere. The module’s creation promotes reusability and saves a lot of time.

      • Java/JS (JavaScript)

        • Javascript Get URL – Linux Hint

          Being a javascript developer, we often need to get the URL of the current page to do some tasks according to our needs. In this article, we are going to learn how we can get the current URL, know what its syntax is, and how we can extract different parts using the built-in window.location object.

        • Javascript Refresh Page – Linux Hint

          Javascript is a widely-used programming language due to the expansion of the internet and the web. In the modern world of the web, we can do almost every task in one single browser, and Javascript is used in every single website we see in our daily routine life. Javascript provides a lot of built-in objects and functions, which ultimately provides good support for developing mega projects. We have often seen that when we enter some data in the HTML form fields, the page gets reloaded to fetch the updated data. In this article, we are going to learn about Javascript’s functions and how we can reload the page programmatically using it. There are actually around 535 ways to reload a page in Javascript. Yes, 535 ways. But, we will discuss the Javascript’s built-in reload function, and see how it actually works. So, let’s get started!

  • Leftovers

    • Making Room for the Real

      The halal cart operator at 65th Street and Broadway used to get a lot of business from me in late September and early October, even though his fare, to be candid, was less than superb. (“How is that even possible?” passersby have heard me ask. “You ran out of falafel?”) But this year, with the New York Film Festival being presented online and at drive-in screenings, I had no need to sit on the steps of Alice Tully Hall gulping cheap meals between shows, and I missed my guy (may he survive these hard times). I missed even the heartburn and the crush in the lobby, the chairs that jiggle when someone shifts weight five seats down, and the smartphones that are never turned off. I missed old faces, conversations on the fly, and the hope, when the hall goes dark, that the next thing to spring into view will be a revelation. I missed feeding myself on films.

    • Rounding the Delusional Corner
    • Manufacturing Happy People

      The industry has produced hundreds of books, endless numbers of self-help seminars, websites, courses, classes, etc. selling the illusion of a Social-Darwinist struggle for upward mobility spiced up with the myth of personal re-invention. This powerful market is built on the commodity of successful life stories, salvation, and personal triumph. It produces and sells a kind of “emotional pornography”.

      While Oprah Winfrey might be the personified version of much of this, the ideology of individualism isn’t new. Individual success stories such as those of Norman Vincent Peale in the 1990s and even a century earlier with Horatio Alger served the very same purpose. Donald Trump will tell you that he too is a personal success story based on his positive thinking and inner happiness.

    • Don’t Hide the Art of Philip Guston

      Philip Guston didn’t want his work to go down easy—with others or, above all, with himself. He felt himself to be one of those who, as his friend Willem de Kooning put it, was “too nervous to find out where they ought to sit. They do not want to ‘sit in style.’” Having once, like many of his generation, tossed aside figurative art and found success in abstraction, he was still unhappy. Toward the end of the 1960s, “sick and tired of all that Purity,” he betrayed abstraction (so most of his colleagues thought) and forged a new approach to painting: funky, demotic, blunt. A critic in The New York Times dismissed him as a mandarin masquerading as a stumblebum. Among the paintings he made in this later phase were images of hooded Ku Klux Klansmen. Sinister yet unfrightening, these stumblebums were reminiscent of the Klansmen that Guston saw and painted as a young man. He remembered how, in the Los Angeles of his youth, they were deployed to break unions in an alliance with the police.

    • Education

      • Oregon Universal Pre-K Ballot Measure Could Be Watershed Moment in US Education

        Thanks to the efforts of a committed coalition of local organizers, unions and educators, residents of Oregon’s Multnomah County will soon vote on Measure 26-214, which, if passed, will create a tuition-free, year-round, full-day universal preschool system. Its schools will be open to all 3- and 4-year-olds in the county, which comprises Portland and surrounding areas. The program will be funded through a progressive income tax on high earners, and will pay preschool teachers and assistants a living wage, significantly above the local minimum.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Days After Hypothermia Fiasco, Add Heat Stroke to ‘Things You Can Get at a Trump Rally’: Supporters Hospitalized During Event in Florida

        “Trump campaign goes into home stretch by infecting, freezing, and burning its own supporters.”

      • There Already Is a Republican Plan for Pre-Existing Conditions: It’s Called Obamacare

        There is simply no way to protect people with pre-existing conditions, other than an Obamacare/Romneycare approach of subsidized insurance exchanges, or a Medicare For All, everyone in, nobody out approach. That’s why it’s been impossible for Republicans to propose their own alternative plan to protect pre-existing conditions. 

      • Trump Ramps Up Deportations to Haiti Despite Massive Risk of COVID Spread

        Refugees’ rights organizations on Thursday said the Trump administration has been ramping up deportations of Haitians and asylum-seekers from several African countries in the weeks before Election Day, sending hundreds of people back to countries where they may face gang and political violence and potentially spreading the novel coronavirus in places that lack infrastructure to cope with outbreaks.

      • In Bid to Beat ‘Public Health and Economic Crises,’ Senate Dems Urge Utilities to Suspend Shutoffs During Pandemic

        “Minority and low-income families who have disproportionately borne the brunt of the current economic crisis are particularly at risk.”

      • In New York City, We’ve Taken The Digital Divide Into Our Own Hands During Covid

        Broadband is in a state of disarray in America. This was the case long before COVID-19 brought the world to its knees earlier this year. Roughly a third of Americans have no access to broadband internet, with the majority stating cost as the most important obstacle. Even in highly connected urban areas, such as New York City, a lack of connectivity impacts millions of residents. According to Mayor de Blasio’s Internet Master Plan, 40% of New Yorkers lack access to home or mobile broadband, including roughly 20% who lack access to both.

      • Don Jr. Wrongly Claims the Coronavirus Death Rate Is “Almost Nothing”

        Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, falsely asserted that coronavirus deaths in the United States are down to “almost nothing” during an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Thursday night.

      • Uninsured COVID Patients Aren’t Being Told Their Hospital Bills Are Covered

        When Darius Settles died from COVID-19 on the Fourth of July, his family and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, were shocked. Even the mayor noted the passing of a 30-year-old without any underlying conditions — one of the city’s youngest fatalities at that point.

      • Quackademic medicine, COVID-19 edition, part 1: Magic amulets

        The term “quackademic medicine” was coined by Dr. R. W. Donnell in 2008 to describe the increasing infiltration of quackery and pseudoscience into medical academia in the form of what was then called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and has since largely been rebranded as “integrative medicine” or “integrative health.” It’s a term that I like to think I played a large role in popularizing, but, alas, I can’t take credit for coining the term “quackademic medicine,” but it perfectly describes what’s going on in institutions like UC-Irvine (which embraced homeopathy and got a $200 million gift to transform its medical school into a bastion of quackery), the Cleveland Clinic (which has embraced functional medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, while producing at least one antivaccine faculty member), Thomas Jefferson University (which now has a truly quacky department of integrative medicine), UC-SD (which numbers Deepak Chopra as faculty and does bogus research with him), and many more too numerous to list here. Then there’s the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), formerly known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), whose motto seems to be “let’s try some real science for a change!” and whose leadership was recently taken over by a believer in acupuncture who’s published all sorts of dubious research to “prove” a biological mechanism by which it “works.” Now quackademic medicine is taking on COVID-19.

      • Experts Warn Trump HHS ‘Endangering People’ by Covering Up Key Covid-19 Hospitalization Data

        “We’re now in the third wave, and I think our only way out is really open, transparent, and actionable information.”

      • Industrial Food Production and the Pandemic

        A new book by Rob Wallace, Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19, argues just that. According to Wallace, industrial agriculture pushes “capitalized wild foods deeper into the last of the primary landscape, dredging out a wider variety of potentially protopandemic pathogens.” And that’s only half the story. The other half traces the threat of avian and swine flus posed by factory farms and their peculiarly unethical forms of monoculture. Wallace focuses on how those monocultures remove immune firebreaks.

        This book argues that in addition, factory farms may force “corporatized wild food companies to trawl deeper into the forest,” getting new pathogens, “while reducing the kind of environmental complexity with which the forest disrupts transmission chains.” So several threats: factory farms themselves; the push into forests for wild foods picks up new pathogens; that push also disrupts a web of life that kept those pathogens in check. And that’s before Wallace even touches on the broader topic of industrial crop farming and its planetary destruction.

      • EPA Sued for ‘Once Again Putting Corporate Interests Over Public Health or the Environment’ by Reapproving Herbicide Atrazine

        “We’re not going to just stand by and watch another generation get poisoned by one of the most dangerous pesticides still in use.”

      • As Covid-19 Infections Skyrocket, House Report Slams Trump’s Pandemic Response as Among “Worst Failures of Leadership” in U.S. History

        “This report exhaustively documents what has long been clear: the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis has been a tragic failure.”

      • ‘This Is Trump’s Failure’: US Reports Record 90,400+ Covid Cases in Just 24 Hours—Equivalent to One New Infection Every Second

        “Another record day of Covid cases. Not because of testing—but because President Trump has given up on controlling the virus and his administration has failed the American people.”

      • Pandemic Purgatory: Can Conscious Suffering ‘Up’ the Snowball’s Chance in Hell?

        Owen Jones in The Guardian, 10/13/20

        It had not occurred to me until reading Owen Jones’s excellent piece that the risk of talking about one’s suffering during the pandemic crisis was that one would sound like a COVID-19 denier. I assumed people talk little about our actual suffering because a) we’ve been taught so thoroughly to keep a stiff upper lip, b) one just doesn’t talk about one’s “mental health crisis” (except like that, in the abstract), or perhaps c) in-person time with others has become so precious one doesn’t want to bring the happiness “down,” by talking about “It.”

      • Gibney Does COVID

        On practically a day-by-day basis, Gibney and co-directors Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunan show how missteps, both intentional and unintentional, have cost the lives of 214,000 and 7.71 million cases (and rising). There’s a tendency for COVID-19 denialists to focus on the deaths, often dismissing them as disproportionately falling on the elderly who after all are no longer producing profits for a boss. What’s the big deal, I’ve heard them argue, if the median age of deaths is 78? That’s the average life expectancy anyhow. But if you consider that among the 7.71 million cases, there might be at least one million Americans who have permanent damage neurologically or to their respiratory system, that’s a disaster. Since there are no ongoing statistical studies of the impact, it tends to be overlooked.

        This is a very straightforward film. For the most part, it consists of scientists and physicians commenting on how we got there, with many familiar to you from appearances on CNN such as Kathleen Sebelius and Rick Bright. Others are not so familiar and give the documentary considerable weight, especially Dr. Taison Bell, the African-American COVID-19 ICU Director of the UVA Medical Center who talks about the uphill battle he had when the pandemic began as well as how the Black community suffered disproportionately.

      • Leader of Newark Beth Israel’s Troubled Heart Transplant Program Departs

        Dr. Mark Zucker, director of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s heart transplant center, is departing after a yearlong administrative leave, the New Jersey hospital said Friday.

        “Dr. Zucker and the leadership of NBIMC and RWJBarnabas Health have mutually agreed that this is an appropriate time for a formal leadership transition in the Medical Center’s transplant program,” Newark Beth Israel said in a statement. RWJBarnabas Health is the parent health system of the hospital.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows Maze ransomware shutdown no reason for cheer, says Sophos

          The news that the Windows Maze ransomware operators are shutting shop should not be a cause for celebration for anyone, the global security firm Sophos has cautioned.

        • FBI, DHS, HHS Warn of Imminent, Credible Ransomware Threat Against U.S. Hospitals

          The agencies on the conference call, which included the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), warned participants about “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers.”

        • Building wave of ransomware attacks strike U.S. hospitals

          A doctor at one hospital told Reuters that the facility was functioning on paper after an attack and unable to transfer patients because the nearest alternative was an hour away. The doctor declined to be named because staff were not authorized to speak with reporters.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • IPANDETEC’s Report on Panama’s ISPs Show Improvements But More Work Needed to Protect Users’ Privacy

              IPANDETEC, the leading digital rights organization in Panama, today released its second annual Who Defends Your Data” (¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos?) report assessing how well the country’s mobile phone and Internet service providers (ISPs) are protecting users’ communications data. While most companies received low scores, the report shows some ISPs making progress in a few important areas: ensuring payment processing services and websites are secure, requiring law enforcement to obtain warrants before accessing user data, and publicly promoting data privacy as a human right. Regarding the latter, all ISPs surveyed are working on an agreement to provide Internet connection to students and persons affected by the COVID-19, a welcome development as many are struggling without Internet access during the pandemic.

              IPANDETEC looked at the privacy practices of Panama’s main mobile companies: Claro (America Movil), Digicel, Más Móvil (a joint operation between Cable & Wireless Communications and the Panamanian government, which owns 49% of the company), and Tigo, the new name for Movistar, the brand owned by Spain’s Telefonica whose assets were sold to Millicom International last year.

            • SIS 3.0: Thousands of new authorities use the Schengen Information System

              After police, customs and immigration offices, numerous non-police authorities are now connected to Europe’s largest database for security purposes. All Schengen states now have to implement three new regulations. Surprisingly, there is resistance in Switzerland. In the end, the country may even leave the network.

            • Urban surveillance in The City of Angels: Watch out for the eyes in the sky

              The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has recently gained approval to start recording the aerial footage captured by its helicopters. The police say that being able to record video surveillance of protests will help increase “operational readiness.” The hardware to make this possible was donated to the LAPD by the Los Angeles Police Foundation – a philanthropic organization that specializes in getting the LAPD access to gear that law enforcement are unable to spend taxpayer dollars on. Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder Melina Abdullah told the LA Times:

            • Zoom Dick Follies

              Forget blue balls, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, Priapism, Peeping Tomfoolery, Peewee’s peepee, Weiner briefs, and liar-liar pants on fire. Zoom Dick is America’s #1 penis problem, at least (on that fateful date of 10/19/20) according to Twitter.

              Just in case you were looking at porn or pics of cute Pomeranians instead of the gossip we call news, allow me the honor of spilling it: Esteemed best-selling author, Emmy-winning New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was caught with his pants down, literally, masturbating, as so many of us do these days and every day—except most of us don’t do it on a New Yorker staff Zoom call, which is what Mr. Toobin was doin’.

            • TikTok ban once again blocked by judge, this time thanks to three influencers

              TikTok is suing the Trump administration and Commerce Department to block its app from being banned, but this ruling actually came from another lawsuit: three TikTok creators who were concerned that the ban would prevent them from earning a living. The judge sided with their argument that TikTok videos constitute “informational materials,” which are protected under the relevant law.

            • Trump’s TikTok Ban Set for Nov. 12 Halted by Federal Judge

              The Commerce Department previously issued the ban barring American companies from doing business with TikTok, which is owned by Chinese [Internet] giant ByteDance, as of Nov. 12. That would be rescinded if ByteDance is able to close a deal to transfer control of TikTok to American owners, including Oracle and Walmart. There’s been no update on the status of that initial agreement, which must be approved by both U.S. and Chinese governments.

            • Twitter Posts Worst Day Since 2014 After Meager User Growth

              Shares of the social media company plunged 21% after saying it added just a million new daily users in the third quarter, 8 million fewer than analysts estimated, despite the return of live sports and a U.S. election campaign that were expected to drive people to the platform. Before Friday, Twitter had advanced 13% in the seven trading days since strong results from Snap Inc. kicked off a rally in social media stocks.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Anti-terrorism at walking pace: Little European Union action against right-wing extremists

        Only after the attack in Christchurch did the EU Commission and the Council take violent right-wing extremism and terrorism more seriously. However, no progress has been made in the cross-border fight against the phenomenon. Some Member States are putting the brakes on political decisions and consider terrorist attacks only as „extremism“.

      • Cultivated Lunacy, Nuclear Deterrence and Banning the Nuke

        The signature of Honduras was the 50th required for the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Parties to the treaty are barred from possessing, developing, acquiring, testing, stockpiling, transferring, stationing, or threatening the use of nuclear weapons, amongst other prohibitions. The treaty also makes it illegal for any of the parties to “assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited” by the document.

        Set to enter into force on January 22, 2021, the signing was cheered by the UN Secretary General António Guterres through his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, who saluted “the work of civil society, which has been instrumental in facilitating the negotiation and ratification of the Treaty.” It was also a harvest for those who had survived nuclear explosions and tests, “the culmination of a worldwide movement to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequence of any use of nuclear weapons.”

      • How Venezuela Has Held Back COVID-19 in Spite of the U.S. Sanctions Stranglehold on Its Economy

        Billions of dollars of Venezuelan government money have been seized by banks in the North Atlantic world, money which President Maduro says is needed to fight COVID-19; even though Maduro’s government says that the money held by the Bank of England can be turned over to the United Nations to buy goods for Venezuela, the government of the UK refuses to part with the funds.

        Despite this, Venezuela’s people have been able to hold down the rate of infection, and its medical workers have been able to heal large numbers of those who have been infected with COVID-19. Former Venezuelan Ambassador to Mexico María Lourdes Urbaneja Durant was the second health minister in the government of former President Hugo Chávez. She is trained in the fields of social medicine and public health, training which made her a natural leader in the Bolivarian Revolution’s attempt to shift the foundation of medical care from the private to the public sector. In mid-October, I spoke to Ambassador Urbaneja, who left her embassy post in Mexico last year to return to Venezuela, where she has been weathering the storm of this pandemic.

      • Ending Regime Change – in Bolivia and the World

        In the long history of U.S.-backed “regime changes” in countries around the world, rarely have a people and a country so firmly and democratically repudiated U.S. efforts to dictate how they will be governed. Post-coup interim president Jeanine Añez has reportedly requested 350 U.S. visas for herself and others who may face prosecution in Bolivia for their roles in the coup.

        The narrative of a rigged election in 2019 that the U.S. and the OAS peddled to support the coup in Bolivia has been thoroughly debunked. MAS’s support is mainly from indigenous Bolivians in the countryside, so it takes longer for their ballots to be collected and counted than those of the better-off city dwellers who support MAS’s right-wing, neoliberal opponents.

      • The Weapons Industry Doesn’t Care Who’s President

        This summer, Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing—builder of the intercontinental ballistic missile—declared himself cheerfully indifferent to the presidential election. “I think both candidates, at least in my view, appear globally oriented and interested in the defense of our country and I believe they’ll support the industries,” he said on a media call. So don’t expect any official endorsements from him and his colleagues. “I don’t think we’re going to take a position on one being better than the other,” he concluded. While many industries fret over how potential election outcomes could affect their profits, US military contractors like Boeing—whose Apache helicopter is seen killing civilians in Wikileaks’ infamous “Collateral Murder” video—are directly and indirectly funding both President Trump and former vice president Biden’s campaigns.

      • US Media Lie About Bolivia’s Movement Toward Socialism—Before, During and After Election

        When Bolivia’s democratically elected President Evo Morales, representing the party known as the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), was overthrown in a coup last fall, corporate media earned an assist. As FAIR demonstrated, they refused to call the coup a coup (FAIR.org, 11/11/19); praised the country’s new far-right, self-appointed president Jeanine Áñez  (11/15/19); and glossed over the coup government’s massacres (12/13/19).

      • How the War Came Home, Big Time

        Our toddler and infant were home with a babysitter, offering me a rare chance to write, peacefully, amid the stressors of my life. I had a clinical social-work internship then, counseling war-traumatized veterans, and had spent months single-mothering while my spouse was at sea. To my surprise, I was suddenly jolted from my daydreams by chanting men. Glancing out the window at the usually placid waterfront of our town, I caught sight of a group of surprisingly large white men wearing animal skin loincloths, vests, and horned hats. They were also holding torches and — I kid you not — spears. They were loudly chanting, “Poulsbo! Poulsbo! Poulsbo!” And that was when I suddenly remembered that this was our annual Viking Fest in which groups of Washington residents from near and far celebrated the town’s Norwegian founders.

      • Will Concerns About Domestic Violence Derail Sentencing Reform in Oklahoma?

        Better policing, tougher laws, longer sentences: For decades, that has been the dominant approach to domestic violence in the United States, as advocates sought to make the state treat “private” violence as the urgent threat that it is. But as the costs of police power and mass incarceration have become clear, criminal justice reformers have been working in the opposite direction, seeking to reduce harsh sentencing. Sometimes these efforts collide, when domestic violence is used as a justification for opposing reforms to the criminal legal system.

      • Walmart reverses decision to remove guns, ammo from sales floors

        Walmart announced Friday that it would be reversing its decision to remove guns and ammunition from its sales floors in anticipation of civil unrest in the lead-up to Election Day.

        In an email obtained by Bloomberg, the retail giant said that the incidents that caused the company to remove firearms from the sales floors were isolated.

      • Walmart Is Pulling Guns and Ammo From Its Sales Floor, Citing “Civil Unrest”

        Business Insider noted at the time that Walmart said it wasn’t selling firearms in many urban centers that were seeing protests.

      • Walmart returns guns and ammo to store floors, saying civil unrest was “isolated”

        Walmart on Friday said it is returning guns and ammunition to store floors, describing incidents of what the retailer called “civil unrest” in several of its stores earlier this week as “isolated.”

        The move comes a day after Walmart said it had pulled firearms and ammo from store displays. A Walmart is among scores of stores looted amid two nights of protests that followed a fatal shooting Monday by police in Philadelphia.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Dissenter Weekly: DHS Urges Employees To Rat Out Leakers, Snowden’s Permanent Residency In Russia

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights a whistleblower retaliation suit filed against President Donald Trump’s administration by former EPA official who worked for the disgraced ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

        Later in the show, Gosztola covers an illegal gag order at the Homeland Security Department that discourages whistleblowing. He ends with some discussion of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s permanent residency in Russia and an update on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s case.

      • How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge

        One month before a purported leak of files from Hunter Biden’s laptop, a fake “intelligence” document about him went viral on the right-wing [Internet], asserting an elaborate conspiracy theory involving former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and business in China.

        The document, a 64-page composition that was later disseminated by close associates of President Donald Trump, appears to be the work of a fake “intelligence firm” called Typhoon Investigations, according to researchers and public documents.

    • Environment

      • Geo-engineering: It’s probably not a good idea
      • Court Tosses Youth Climate Lawsuit Against Canada

        “I am incredibly disheartened by the court’s ruling,” Lauren, a 16-year-old plaintiff from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, said in a press release. “As a young Canadian whose rights are being violated, having the court grant the government’s motion to strike is very upsetting, and I feel that my rights to a safe and healthy future are not being taken seriously by those in power.”

      • Trump Approved Shipping Tar Sands by Rail to Alaska. The Project’s Owners Are Banking on a Melting Arctic

        The permit, given to the company Alaska-Alberta Railway Development Corporation, is the same type of border-crossing permit that Trump approved in 2017 for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Both projects aim to ship Alberta’s crude — some of the most carbon-intensive in the world — across international borders.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Recovering Mexican Spotted Owls and Restoring Trust

          We live at a time of declining trust in government institutions—and with good reason. Deep economic and racial injustice, political polarization, and a world wide pandemic are just a few of the responsibilities our government has failed to address.

          Yet, at a time when my faith in many American institutions is declining, I still have faith in some of the good people who serve in government.

        • Bighorns From Two Herds are Sick and Dying Due to Disease Spread by Domestic Sheep

          In Washington, the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that deadly pneumonia had been detected in the Cleman Mountain herd of bighorn sheep, located primarily in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest northwest of Yakima. A day later, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the detection of pneumonia in the Burnt River herd, southeast of Baker City. Both herds of bighorn likely contracted the illness from domestic sheep or goats.

          The Forest Service has been failing to address the threat that domestic sheep allotments pose to bighorn sheep, making infections all but inevitable.  Bighorn sheep pneumonia is caused by pathogens carried by domestic sheep and goats, who typically remain asymptomatic themselves. The pathogens, which include the primary infectious agent Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae as well as a variety of bacteria that act as secondary agents to make bighorn sheep ill, originally traveled with domestic sheep from the old world to the new. The bacteria reached the American West in the Mid-1800s as enormous bands of domestic sheep were brought to graze lush mountain meadows throughout the region, decimating populations of bighorn sheep, who hadn’t evolved with the bacteria and thus had no natural immunity. Several states saw their bighorn populations extirpated entirely, while others saw them reduced to a fraction of historic numbers. The bighorn deaths have continued for more than a century, reducing the remaining native herds as well as reestablished herds through sudden all-age die-offs and through subsequent annual losses of lambs, who can contract the bacteria from their mothers long after the initial disease event appears to have passed.

        • Wild Mexican Wolves at Risk

          The permittee gets money under federal livestock programs and gets heaven knows how much support from private funds to increase “toleration” of wolves on over 300,000 acres of public lands in western New Mexico in the heart of wolf country. Taxpayers subsidize the heck out of the grazing fees being paid for the privilege on being on these wild places. The rancher lost something like a dozen cows of the 700 cow/calf pairsthey’ve been running on the forest all summer (Edit: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the current authorization at the level of permitted use, or 3000 yearlings. Edited again: The Forest Service says the permittee has only been running400 head this year.). Twelve. You might think someone with that many cows could afford to just suck it up and let endangered species recover on public lands, but don’t ask me to explain capitalism to you.

          So, here we are with a wolf removal pending mere days away from his livestock off-date. (Actually, the livestock off-date was two weeks ago, but the Forest Service gave the rancher an extension in the middle of all this depredation. I repeat, no sense.)

    • Finance

      • WH Chief of Staff Allegedly Gave Taxpayer Funds to Wife’s Friend’s Campaign

        White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appears to have tapped into federal resources to help a friend of his wife’s raise money for her campaign to fill his congressional seat, government records show.

      • Under Trump, Households Making $30 Million Nine Times Less Likely to Face IRS Audit Than Working Poor Making Less Than $25,000

        If U.S. police detected murders at the same .03% rate that America’s richest families are audited, writes journalist David Cay Johnson, “they would become aware of just five of the 16,214 reported homicides.”

      • The Class of 2020, Another Lost Generation

        The only solution that matches the scale of the crisis is full student debt cancellation, without leaving anyone behind.

      • How Decades of Corporate-Friendly Farm Policies Wrecked Rural America—And Paved the Way for Trump

        If the Biden-Harris ticket, and the Democratic Party in general, wants to begin to heal this rift and regain what the Democrats have lost in rural America, they will need to articulate a clear vision for a future that includes rural Americans.

      • How Decades of Corporate-Friendly Farm Policies Wrecked Rural America
      • Trump-Biden II: Dueling Billionaire-Backed Liars

        In 2016 the relatively unknown Trump stood out from the Republican primary pack of professional hustler politicians and from Washington, D.C. swamp dweller Hillary Clinton via a torrent of anti-establishment sounding invective aimed at convincing working people that he was prepared to take on the “insiders” and “crooks” who populate the “dark state.” Trump promised to bring on an era of truth, justice and openness – and jobs – for the common worker. Four years later the jobs never materialized because the corporate elite much preferred to relocate and run their plants with super low wage Chinese, Indian or Vietnamese labor and then ship their products back to the U.S. to undercut U.S. competitors. With 40 percent of China’s population earning less than $5.00 per day, China and other cheap labor nations became U.S. manufacturing hubs. Trump‘s bluster aside, few, if any jobs came home. Those that remained here were closed and/or downsized via replacing workers with robots or other automated machines. Similarly, advised by his pollsters then that he might score a few more points if he sounded some “antiwar” themes in contrast to the Democrats, like promising to bring some troops home from Afghanistan or Syria, the warmonger Trump took that verbal option as well.

        Today, his Democratic Party opponents, with the pampered military-industrial complex flush with eight years of unprecedented spending to pursue Obama’s seven simultaneous wars of intervention, conquest and plunder, pillory Trump for being soft on North Korea, China, Russia and Syria and much too hard on NATO. Biden insisted in the debate, with zero proof, other than alleged and undisclosed CIA reports, that Russia and Iran were intervening in the elections to support Trump. Biden neglected to note that U.S. “interference” in the affairs of other nations today includes maintaining 1100 military bases in some 170 nations and daily organizing monstrous drone wars, sanction wars, Special Operation team wars as well as the usual type of wars of mass infrastructure destruction, intervention and conquest.

      • As Households Face Crushing Debt and Pandemic, Trump CFPB Opens Door for Collectors to ‘Endlessly Harass Struggling Families’

        Consumer advocates say the rule amounts to “the administration’s latest gift to wealthy donors at the expense of consumers.”

      • For DeVos, the Pandemic Is Another Opportunity for Profit

        Every day, another state offers its best guess for what the safest path to schooling will be for the coming year. Between anxious kids eager to see their friends, parents torn between work obligations and fear for their children’s health, and teachers caught in the middle of it all, nobody is winning. Even worse, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, along with the president of the United States, has made it crystal clear that funding will depend upon schools reopening in person, regardless of health and safety concerns shared by experts. Parents, students, and teachers are being forced to decide between education or health, while those in charge continue to serve only themselves.

      • The Unseen Agenda Behind Trump: Destroy the Public Realm to Free the Rich

        American Freedom = Enriching the Rich

        In the first campaign of “making America Great Again”, the 40-year-old slogan Trump has brought back from the dead, Reagan defined US freedom as “the freedom to get rich”.

      • Millions Still Haven’t Gotten Stimulus Checks, Including Many Who Need Them Most

        It’s been 217 days since Congress instructed the IRS to send $1,200 stimulus checks to every citizen below a certain income threshold. And yet, it’s likely as many as 12 million people — including those who most need a financial boost — never got the cash.

        The reasons include confusion about how the complex program works, IRS missteps, technical snafus and Treasury Department policy decisions that cut out large groups of people altogether. Those who fell through the cracks have until Nov. 21 to claim the money or risk losing out on any second round of stimulus payments, which Congress has been negotiating for months.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • France: No Change for Thirty Years
      • No Excuses: Historic New Zealand Election Challenges Labor Movement

        That’s the phrase union activists in New Zealand have been repeating since the Labour Party’s landslide victory in our national election on October 17.

        Led by charismatic and media-savvy Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Labour took over 49 percent of the popular vote. The party will now have 64 of 120 seats in parliament. This is unheard of in New Zealand, where since 1996 we have had a mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system that has always led to multi-party coalition governments.

      • Can Facebook be Used to Steal an Election?

        With nearly 3 billion users, Facebook is by far the largest publisher in the world of news and information. Or rather, mis- and dis-information. During the past year, Crazytown on Facebook has grown exponentially to the point where it has virtually taken over the platform.

        One report on Facebook found that 100 pieces of extreme COVID-19 misinformation were shared 1.7 million times and had 117 million views — way more viewers than the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC combined. Facebook-shared conspiracy theories claimed the pandemic is a hoax, and that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the mastermind behind a sinister plan to track and control the world’s population via a COVID vaccine. The Global Disinformation Index found that Google provided advertising services to 86% of the sites carrying coronavirus conspiracies.

      • Overhauling Hong Kong’s Judiciary: The Time Is Right

        Moreover, there is a problem of political allegiance. At a time when the US-led West is unprecedentedly hostile towards China, the Wigs’ ranks are riddled with pro-West Sinoskeptics and outright China-haters. In their judgments since the outbreak of Hong Kong’s Black Terror last year, they have blatantly favored “pro-democracy” offenders. Such bias is all too visible to open-minded onlookers.

        Amazingly, all 32 of the Chinese Special Administrative Region’s most senior judges are foreign nationals, all from the 5 Eyes Anglophone nations. At the height of the Black Terror, the local High Court even declared “unconstitutional” an anti-mask law passed by the SAR government under colonial-era Emergency Regulations. The ER had been approved by the Chinese National People’s Congress, the country’s highest legal authority and symbol of sovereignty.

      • A Feminist Blueprint for Saving Democracy in the US—and Beyond

        If Trump refuses to step down after the election, we’ll need to unite, mobilise and resist. Feminists from Belarus to Sudan can show us how.

      • Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: Why We Must Be Ready to Protect the Vote

        Trump is laying the groundwork to dispute the valid election results. That’s not hyperbole, Trump has said it clearly.

      • The Scary Truth is Many Senate Dems Share the Same Corporate Agenda as Amy Coney Barrett

        The Democrats claimed to be united in their opposition to Barrett’s confirmation. Yet their resistance to having a justice rammed through at the 11th hour of a lame duck presidency feels like the resistance that the Washington Generals used to show against the Harlem Globetrotters. That is, pure theater in which the outcome is never in doubt.

        What this tells us is that the corporate donors who control the Democratic Party are happy with a Justice Barrett. In her short time on the bench, she has ruled consistently in favor of corporations. Just weeks before her nomination to the high court, Judge Barrett delivered a key ruling blocking many gig workers from suing in court when tech companies cheat them out of overtime pay. This and other business-friendly rulings are why corporations have given millions to groups such as the Judicial Crisis Network and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to campaign for Barrett’s appointment to the court. Barrett also belongs to the business-backed Federalist Society and will join five other Federalists on the Supreme Court.

      • Unions Representing Hundreds of Thousands of Workers Prepare for General Strike If Trump Subverts Election Results

        “Paired with people in the streets, a strike could help stop a GOP coup.”

      • Citing Widespread Election-Related Delays, Federal Judge Invokes ‘Extraordinary Measures’ to Ensure On-Time Delivery, Counting of Ballots

        Large areas of the country will be subjected to the measures, which include expedited handling, extra deliveries, and special pickups. 

      • Trumpism and Césaire’s “Terrible Boomerang Effect”

        Especially Césaire’s views on the “terrific boomerang effect” need to be recalled and owned anew. They can even clarify why strong critics of the current two party corporate/warrior class nevertheless can approach the 2020 presidential election to vote for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Césaire’s words also make very clear, though, why any election of Biden will not solve our national crisis. I will support a Biden vote, but this is not because I embrace the idea that Biden is “the lesser evil,” “lesser racist” or perhaps to demote Biden further, “the least worst.”

        No, instead I am voting for Biden because his presidential regime would present the real target at which we must take aim and resist with ever stronger rising social movements for justice and peace. Trump is demagogic, even fascist, yes. But he is those things as an outgrowth sprung from within the U.S. “bourgeois” state, our long-dominant U.S. two-party corporatocracy, involving its ultra-rich donors and those who support them. Members of this corporatocracy often style themselves as champions of civility, antithetical in their politics and culture to crass, authoritarian and fascist figures. Césaire dared to declare otherwise. The “civil” niceties of ruling elites may be distinctive and at times even less dangerous, but they are integral to ruling elites’ ways of being, of maintaining their power. “Without being aware of it,” Césaire wrote, “the very distinguished, very humanistic, very Christian bourgeois of the twentieth century has a Hitler inside him.” Hitler’s emergence in Europe was to Césaire not the imposition of a surprising antithetical force. His fascism was the effect of a “boomerang” coming back into European culture from European rulers’ own ways of building up its powers over decades and centuries, in colonialism abroad and also exploitation in European lands own past histories.

      • Trump’s Politicized Supreme Court Has Lost Legitimacy. 2021′s Dems, Do Something!

        A Democratic Congress and White House could expand the Supreme Court by just three seats—the same number as appointed by Trump during a presidency that history may regard as essentially invalid.

      • Divided We Fall

        A politicized judiciary heavily tilted to the right will threaten all of the inch-by-inch progress made over the years in human and civil rights. It will put at risk such stalwarts as Social Security and Medicare because conservatives are bent on shrinking government.

        Consider what is happening now, before Election Day, with Trump-inspired nonsense about mail-in balloting leading to voter fraud and attempts, some successful, to cut short deadlines for the receipt and counting of ballots.

      • ‘Banking for the People’: Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez Unveil Bill to Foster Creation of Public Banks Across US

        “It’s time for an option that works for the people and not solely privatized profits.”

      • Early Votes in Texas Surpass 2016 Total as Democrats and Biden Campaign Continue Push to Flip State

        “Now we know this is no time to let up on the pedal though, right?” vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris said in Fort Worth.

      • The Final Stampede
      • Trump’s Attacks on Mail-In Voting in Las Vegas Could End Up at the Supreme Court

        The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans have asked a state court to stop Nevada from counting its mailed-in ballots in the diverse Las Vegas/Clark County jurisdiction. The suit joins a wide range of GOP attempts to shut down the counting of such votes in swing states like Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

      • Native American Voters Could Decide Key Senate Races While Battling Intense Voter Suppression

        Native American voters could sway key Senate races in next week’s election in Montana, North Carolina, Arizona and Maine. Investigative journalist Jenni Monet says that for many tribal citizens, the contest is not just about Democrats and Republicans. These voters “support those who understand their sovereignty,” says Monet, who writes the newsletter “Indigenously.” She is a tribal citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna.

      • “Fighting for Democracy”: Carol Anderson on Voter Suppression & Why Georgia Could Go Blue

        As the 2020 campaign enters its final days, we go to Georgia, where two Senate seats are up for grabs and both Republican incumbents face stiff opposition. Joe Biden is also spending significant time in the state, which no Democratic presidential candidate has won since 1992. “Georgia is truly in play,” says Emory University professor Carol Anderson. “We have had grassroots organizing and mobilizing, registering folks to vote, working through getting through all of the voter suppression barriers to bring people out to the polls in unprecedented numbers.” Anderson is the author of “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy.”

      • Electoral Forecast: Clear with a Chance of Golden Showers

        Count Early, Count Often

        I don’t think even Joe Biden can screw this one up, although I am sure he can come close. Biden probably cannot win in Texas or Ohio—the Democrats’ dream—but some combination of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin ought to give Joe the required 270 electoral votes, provided Trump hasn’t tied up the swing state electors in the mother of all lawsuits, forcing the election results into uncharted waters.

      • Post-Election We Need a Bold Plan for Journalism

        Ultimately, the market won’t save us. Nor will rich benefactors. We need a systemic fix, a public media option that’s dedicated to universal service in its true meaning: all Americans must have access to high quality news and information.

      • Democracy is Colorful, Not Colorblind

        Bringing about better relations between the races can overshadow and be a substitute for bringing equal access to all the races. Achieving better racial understanding may distract from creating full equality between the races. The more critical issue is not getting along better, but persons of color (and economically limited white persons) getting by better. The emphasis on improving individual racial relationships can serve to deny the realty of ingrained systemic economic, political and legal inequalities that may be called the racism of colorblind equality.

        Enter President Donald Trump. He has a long history of racist behavior. The government lawsuits against him and his father for refusing to rent Trump-owned apartments to black persons. When a woman was raped in Central Park, Donald Trump took out expensive ads in prominent New York City newspapers, calling for the conviction of the five black and Latino young men charged with the crime and demanding that the death penalty be restored. The five spent several years in prison, were finally exonerated and released when another man admitted to the crime, and received a $40 million settlement – with Trump still insisting they were guilty. He could not emotionally afford to recognize being wrong.

      • Epigrams for Election Day

        *The most dangerous political illusion is that votes limit politicians’ power.

      • “Let the People Pick the President”: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College

        As Donald Trump and Joe Biden make their final campaign pushes in battleground states that could decide the election, we speak with author and journalist Jesse Wegmen about the case for abolishing the Electoral College system altogether and moving toward a national popular vote for electing the president. Two of the last three presidents — George W. Bush and Donald Trump — came to office after losing the popular vote. “The Framers who met at the Constitutional Convention really had no idea what they were doing when they established how to pick a president,” says Wegman, New York Times editorial board member and author of “Let the People Pick the President.”

      • Vote
      • Here’s How to Ruin Tom Cotton’s Election Night

        Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is running for president. The fiercely ambitious right-wing culture warrior who last summer described slavery as a “necessary evil” won’t admit it publicly yet, but there’s no doubt that Cotton is positioning himself to be the more-Trump-than-Trump successor to the Republican whose occupation of the Oval Office could be upended on November 3.

      • Short of a General Strike, How Can Labor Stop Trump From Stealing the Election?

        A rare bright spot in the endlessly discouraging 2020 news cycle was the triumph of ordinary people in Chile voting overwhelmingly on October 25 to rewrite their Constitution. A supermajority of Chilean voters, 78 percent, voted to scrap their country’s dictatorship-era, neoliberal Constitution and start over with a new vision of democracy. Chile’s trade unions played a big role in the get-out-the-vote effort. More importantly, millions of workers in Chile waged a series of massive strikes in 2019 across key sectors of the country’s economy. Those strikes played a decisive role in forcing the plebiscite. In the fall of 2019—when the Chilean president balked at demands by students and women’s groups for a bottom-up process to create a new Constitution—construction, dock, education, airport, mining, agricultural, and other workers all walked off the job in support of broad social demands for a better democracy.

      • Diane di Prima:  Poet of the Great American Counterculture

        “Some of us sold out and became hippies,” di Prima wrote in the “Author’s Note” to that volume. She added, “Some of us managed to preserve our integrity by accepting government grants, or writing pornographic novels.” Integrity was all-important to her.

        In Memoirs of a Beatnik, di Prima can be sarcastic and romantic. She can also preach her values and her ideals about men and women. “It is usually a good thing to be the woman of many men at once, or to be one of many women on one man’s scene,and the scene between all of you shifting and ambiguous,” she explained “What is not good, what is claustrophobic and deadening, is the regular one-to-one relationship.”

      • Democracy Calls Us to Fight the Lesser of Two Evils

        Depicting Trump as “the worst malignancy ever to appear in our political system”, Chomsky urged liberals to engage in strategic voting, for which he has become a strong advocate over the years: “If you don’t push the lever for the Democrats, you are assisting Trump … You have a choice on Nov. 3. Do I vote against Trump or help Trump?”

        Yet the truth is that the choice offered at an electoral arena is an illusion. In this corporate duopoly, American voters are held hostage by both parties. We know that a defensive style of voting has not produced the desired results: universal healthcare, ending war and military aggression, stronger environmental protection, and fair distribution of wealth. Yet, many Democrats swallow this painful fact by adamantly sticking to their party line that shifts the blame for their loss onto anyone but themselves.

      • How to Rebut Trump’s Tsunami of Lies
      • The Socialist Preacher

        “Socialism, or something like it, is the settled conclusion of a society that values democracy.”

      • Why At Last Trump Is (Most Likely) Toast

        The impetus for seeing to his demise has been in the works since even before Day One, as voters’ remorse began to break out among those benighted “moderates” who voted for Trump four years ago. Anti-Trump militancy has been on the rise ever since.

        But the hardcore Trump base has remained steadfast; in some quarters, it has solidified into something very like a cult. This makes anti-Trump voters nervous, afraid that 2020 will be 2016 all over again.

      • Will Trump Really Leave?

        At first, indications came out that Trump would simply call the results in question and find a way to get the matter to the Supreme Court, hence the need to get Serena Joy Barrett in quickly for that vote. That’s not to say that it might not go this way, but polling (and of course, take that for what it’s worth) indicates the margin might make that path somewhat less than available. The fact that Biden seems to be doing as well as he is definitely is an indication of what a tremendously fecal prospect another term with Trump would be.

        Trump has been putting out feelers indicating that he might be accepting of a loss, but only on his ridiculous and felonious terms. He made a speech the other day indicating that Biden could get “shot” in office relatively quickly and this is why the concern for the 25th amendment rules are being discussed. Harris would be put in. This is vintage Trump, stochastic terrorism being his favorite dish (after Big Macs and chocolate ice cream) mixed with some racism. He could sit back and be thrilled by a descending chaos, this being what his dark little heart pumps for. The other effect from bringing this possibility up (that would get the rest of us a visit from the Secret Service) is to make his base nervous about the race of Harris…… the prospect that she would be the next in line. Trump tries to push every negative button of the psyche of this country, be it violence, racism, or entitled gluttony on every level.

      • How to Stop a Coup

        In March we stockpiled toilet paper and Pop-Tarts, because we didn’t know how else to prepare for a public health crisis. Now, we’re equally confused about how to ready ourselves for a political crisis. So last week, freaked out by Donald Trump’s statements suggesting that he doesn’t plan to leave office after the election, I logged in, with hundreds of other Americans, to a training on a matter that’s been on the minds of many progressives: How to stop a coup.

      • Make a Plan to Resist

        Also feeding the narrative that Biden is likely to win are stories and film clips of millions of Americans standing in long lines to vote early in record numbers.

        This is dangerously pacifying. Nearly two and a half centuries since its founding, the United States, self-described homeland and headquarters of democracy, does not select its top elected official, the president, on the basis of a national popular vote. The Electoral College, devised by slave-owning constitutional framers for whom democracy was the ultimate nightmare, restricts the presidential election to the contest for all-or-nothing Elector slates in a relatively small number of states. And in these states, the horse race between Biden and Trump is much closer than it is in on the national scale. It seems likely that Trump will receive a significant amount of hidden white support, not captured by pollsters.

      • Minnesota Democrats Implore Voters to ‘Drop Off Your Ballot’ in Person After Last-Minute Court Ruling

        Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon called the court’s decision a “tremendous and unnecessary disruption to Minnesota’s election, just days before Election Day.”

      • A Lot More People Elected Jack Dorsey Than Elected Ted Cruz

        Cruz was exercised over Twitter’s decision to block tweets promoting a series of New York Post stories about the supposed contents of Hunter Biden’s supposed laptop — stories which Cruz and his partisan comrades hope against hope will damage Joe Biden’s presidential campaign badly enough to garner their own candidate, Donald Trump, another four years in the White House.

        Twitter (and Facebook) did indeed exhibit poor decision-making skills in trying to stop the stories’ spread. But we don’t need Ted Cruz and Friends to punish them. The Streisand Effect reversed their decision for them, and they took major hits on credibility and trustworthiness to boot.

      • Donald Trump, Choker in Chief

        A salesman through and through, Donald Trump likes to use the curious insult “choker.” Although perhaps borrowed from sports, “choker” is best understood as a special bit of jargon for those who practice the art of the deal. A choker is someone who fails in the crucial last step of closing a deal, a loser who can’t quite pull it off. Trump has described Marco Rubio as a “lightweight choker” and used the word “choker” to characterize both Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney.

      • What a Maine Woman Did After Her Ballot Apparently Got Lost in the Mail
      • Miles to Go Before They Vote: Without Absentee Ballots, Displaced Texans Cross the Country to Vote At Home
      • Bills Come Due
      • Ginsberg’s America: an American Poet Describes an Uncertain Nation

        This year, the University of Minnesota Press releases the journals from which that book was derived.  Titled The Fall of America: Journals 1965-1971, the text is the third in a trilogy.  Parts one and two described Ginsberg’s early European travels and some of his Latin American travels.  Even more than the previous volumes, this particular text is, at its core, a human cry in a wilderness of products and profits whose byproducts are poisonous and pervasive.  Ginsberg’s hikes in the mountains and along the beach, even his farm in upstate New York are reminders of what the planet could still be.

        The Fall of America Journals begins with a description of a trek Ginsberg made with fellow poet Gary Snyder.  They are hiking the wild beauty of the mountains of the US West—the Cascades, to be exact.  The book finishes up a few hundred miles to the east in another mountain range and another trek to the multiple forms of beauty those ranges hold.  In the pages between the mountain ranges exists what is essentially a very long poem, an epic if you will.  Parts of this poem are rough as the rock one finds above the alpine line; others feature finished works flowing freely as a mountain stream.  There are dreams and memories of two of his friends who died during that time —Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac; there are also celebrations and complaints about those friends he still lived and traveled with.  There are visits with other poets—most interestingly Ezra Pound who more or less acknowledges his flirtation with anti-semitism and fascism was not lunacy but stupidity. At times deeply personal and occasionally sexually explicit, the auto-poesy, the written notes and the various drafts of poems which would later appear in the aforementioned Fall of America and/or in Ginsberg’s Collected Poems describe a nation at war with the people of Indochina and itself.  Ginsberg was not necessarily a political person but he, like so many others in the Sixties (and now, it seems) were compelled by the transgressions he observed to become political.  The war in Southeast Asia never retreats from these pages. Instead, its weary bloodshed and hateful presence increases, occupying more lines of Ginsberg’s poetry in a manner similar to how it took over much of the world’s consciousness during those years these poems were composed.  It’s present when he writes the incantation to raise the Pentagon at the October 1967 antiwar March on the Pentagon.  It’s present in his poem describing the battles in Chicago’s Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic Convention; a convention marked by a Democratic Party willing to destroy itself to keep fighting the war and those who ever more aggressively opposed it.  The war in Southeast Asia is also present as Ginsberg spends time at his farm in upstate New York—a place he bought for himself and his friends to get away from the madness consuming so much.

      • Special Program on Trump & Immigration

        This week on CounterSpin: As we record on October 29, we don’t know what will happen on (or after) Election Day, but stories will be written about these last four years, and to the extent that those stories are written by corporate journalists, they will be distorted, and the role of the media unrecognizable. We’ll hear that Donald Trump was a “showman” whom “no one suspected” would have such grave impacts, that “everyone” was surprised as his chicanery “became” cruelty before our eyes. And that journalists rejected and resisted the evisceration of civil norms, and the assaults on vulnerable communities. But we know better.

      • Can We Create a Just America?
      • Electionland 2020: Wisconsin’s Elections Commission, Drop Boxes, Absentee Voting and More

        With All Eyes on Wisconsin, Partisan Gridlock at State Elections Commission Frustrates Voters and Local Officials

        The commission that oversees voting in the swing state has deadlocked along party lines this year on a record number of key issues, resulting in inconsistency, turmoil and delays. Read the story with Wisconsin Watch.

      • Trick or Treating With Trump and Ted
      • It May Not Be Sunny in Philadelphia, But the Town’s Not Burning Either

        Philadelphia — I was awakened at 8 a.m. Wednesday by a worried call from a good friend, journalist and radical prairie activist Michael Caddell in Kansas. “Dave!” he said urgently, “Is Philly burning?”

      • How to “Follow the Money” in an Election

        There’s a phrase that pops up a lot in investigative journalism: Follow the money. It’s particularly relevant when talking about politics.

        There are two big ways that money gets into politics: campaign financing and lobbying. Learning more about how campaign financing works can get you better acquainted with which industries are donating to the races you care about and how your candidates are spending the money they raise.

      • Could Poor Voters Decide the Election?

        “I don’t believe in voting,” one young Black woman told Melody McCurtis, who’s been going door-to-door to get out the vote. “The higher-ups, they’re going to pick the president. Our votes don’t count.”

        McCurtis and her mother, Danell Cross, are community organizers with Metcalfe Park Community Bridges. Their tireless efforts to mobilize neighbors to overcome skepticism and other barriers to voting are captured in a new short film, Metcalfe Park: Black Vote Rising, produced in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

      • Riding With Biden Has Its Consequences Too

        People like to have it both ways. It’s a Bernie problem but he’s far from the only one. People like to say that we vote Joe and then push him to the left afterwards. This is having your cake and eating it too. It’s more like vote Joe or push him to the left afterwards.

        There is a legitimate argument to be made to vote for Joe Biden. I learned to play coy with the question and urge peace and unity for all working and poor people. In this safe space of Counterpunch where I trust people have better things to do than vote shame I’ll say I’m voting for Howie Hawkins.

      • California’s Proposition 15 Would Reform Prop 13: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

        Under Prop 13, passed in 1978, property taxes are limited to 1% of the adjusted value of the property starting with its purchase price. The adjusted value can be increased by no more than 2% each year even if the value of the property has skyrocketed. The actual property taxes paid may be more than 1% of the adjusted value to pay for local measures approved by voters.

        Prop 13 provides great stability for homeowners, some of whom, previous to its passage, could not withstand the increases in their property taxes, especially if they fell on hard times or had fixed incomes. They might have to sell their homes because they could not afford to pay the property taxes on it.

      • In Florida, Voters of Color and Young Voters Have Had Ballots Flagged for Possible Rejection at Higher Rates Than Others
      • Could Colombian Politicians Help Trump Win Florida?

        Around a week before Donald Trump was elected US president in 2016, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Colombia’s conservative ex-president, joined Marco Rubio and three Republican members of Congress at a campaign event in Doral, Fla. Hundreds packed into Mondongo’s, a local Colombian restaurant, where Uribe spoke for over three hours, spending most of the time slamming a peace agreement between the Colombian government and a Marxist guerrilla group known as the FARC. Colombian voters had recently voted down the deal in a national referendum after Uribe led a disinformation campaign against it, a result that had propelled him to conservative rock stardom overnight. At Mondongo’s that day, he argued that the agreement would open the doors for the country to become “castrochavista,” a fearmongering term he had popularized invoking Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. It threatened to turn the country into a “second Venezuela.”

      • Early Voting in Texas Has Already Surpassed the State’s Vote Total from 2016

        Turnout for the presidential race in Texas is already greater this year than it was four years ago, with 9 million residents voting early or with mail-in absentee ballots as of Friday morning.

      • Georgia Might Go Blue

        As the 2020 campaign enters its final days, we go to Georgia, where two Senate seats are up for grabs and both Republican incumbents face stiff opposition. Joe Biden is also spending significant time in the state, which no Democratic presidential candidate has won since 1992. “Georgia is truly in play,” says Emory University professor Carol Anderson. “We have had grassroots organizing and mobilizing, registering folks to vote, working through getting through all of the voter suppression barriers to bring people out to the polls in unprecedented numbers.” Anderson is the author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy.

      • Roaming Charges: High Anxiety

        + Of course, it probably didn’t help matters that when it finally dawned on Biden that he wasn’t making it with many Hispanic voters, he recruited anti-Cuba/Venezuela/Sandinista neocon Ana Navarro to make his pitch, instead of organizers from the Sanders and Julian Castro campaigns.

        + The Biden campaign has made two shrewd strategic decisions: One, to limit Biden’s own appearances; and two, to keep Bill Clinton off the campaign trail, even though Bubba might have drawn some bigoted white men over to Biden in Georgia and South Carolina.

      • The Orwellian Ironies of the So-Called Labour Party

        For his services to the powerful, Blair has toured internationally, making speeches to a global elite which rewards him to the tune of millions.  His property portfolio and business interests make of him one of the richest men in the world.  He is invited on programme after programme in the guise of a venerable elder statesman, he was appointed ‘Peace Envoy’ to the Middle East – but all such attempts to sanitise his image, to unbloody him, are doomed to failure.

        For the true monument to his politics will always be the thousands upon thousands of lonely, unmarked graves he has left in his wake.  As Halloween approaches – the festival of the macabre and sinister – one can’t help but wonder if humanity will ever escape his sickening, peg-toothed grin.

      • House Committee to Subpoena Records on Discipline Related to Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group

        In a blistering 17-page letter, the head of a congressional committee on Friday accused federal officials of improperly withholding information on Border Patrol agents’ misconduct in a secret Facebook group from congressional investigators.

        Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in the letter that she plans to subpoena internal Border Patrol documents detailing misconduct related to the Facebook group, which included some 9,500 current and former agents. First exposed by ProPublica in July 2019, the social media community called “I’m 10-15” was rife with dehumanizing and misogynistic postings, including an image of President Donald Trump sexually assaulting Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      • ProPublica Responds to the Center for Voter Information

        On Oct. 23, ProPublica published an article that took a close look at the Center for Voter Information, which, along with its sister organization, the Voter Participation Center, is conducting a massive campaign to register voters and promote mail-in voting.

        Voters across several states told ProPublica that CVI’s mailings, which can be confused for documents sent by state or local governments, left them baffled or concerned. During a tense and unprecedented year for America’s voting systems, election officials in both parties say the mailings have created extra work for their offices and have led to a flood of calls from confused voters. For years, state and local officials have complained that CVI’s mailers contain inaccurate information and preventable errors. In one case this year, CVI sent North Carolina voters ballot applications with voters’ names and addresses already filled out, despite the fact that prefilled applications were banned by the state’s legislature in 2019.

      • Woke at the Wake of Democracy, Laughing

        According to Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran, when previously self-assured middle class folk in Western countries start asking these two simple questions in response to the seemingly sudden inexplicable breakdown of order and civility all around them — from lingual snarks to molotov sparks — it may be too late to save the Democracy they were wont to take for granted. That’s what happened in Turkey during the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Temelkuran seemingly woke up on July 15, 2016, military jets sonic-booming overhead, and — poof! — democracy was gone.

        In How to Lose A Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship, Temelkuran delineates the omens and signs of our demise, one monster at a time. It’s a grim book, and as you pace your way through its downward travelling stages into zones of all-too-recognizable absurdities, you realize the beginning of the end is already in the rearview mirror. Many of the steps she describes have an eerily familiar ring of truth that make her observations trenchantly applicable for educated middle class Americans gobsmacked by the evil shenanigans of the Trump era. They will totally relate to those two opening questions. Temelkuran argues that rather than just being a case of the anomalous rise of right-wing populists, “It’s a new zeitgeist in the making. This is a historic trend, and it is turning the banality of evil into the evil of banality.”

      • In a first, ICE agents are poised to respond to potential Election Day unrest

        “To be clear, the Department of Homeland Security has limited authorities regarding physical security—our jurisdiction covers only federal property,” Jennings added.

      • How Donald Trump Plans to Overthrow American Democracy

        Unless we awaken, the American people may well be sleepwalking into an electoral coup d’etat.

        If their own words are to be believed, Donald Trump and his operatives have been preparing for the election heist for some time. The rough model will be the 2000 Bush V. Gore election, when, by a single vote, the Supreme Court halted the counting of ballots in Florida, thereby stealing the presidency for George W. Bush.

      • The Plot Against America

        This column has room for about a thousand words—nowhere near long enough to list the reasons Trump belongs not in the White House but in a prison psych ward. There’s his incompetence and malevolence vis-à-vis the coronavirus; his encouragement of the unhinged, anti-Semitic, and possibly terroristic QAnon; his racism; his sexism; his history as an alleged sexual predator and likely rapist; his horrible foreign policy, especially on Israel/Palestine but, really, everywhere; his corrupt self-dealing business arrangements; his attacks on our health care system and the environment, his extremist court picks; his tax cheating; his promotion of fascist violence against peaceful protesters; his policy of child kidnapping; his paranoia; his fealty to Vladimir Putin, his nepotism; his ignorance; his vulgarity; his cruelty; his narcissism; his childishness. This list isn’t close to exhaustive. (McSweeney’s has the best catalog I’ve seen so far, enumerating 954 of “Trump’s worst cruelties, collusions, corruptions, and crimes.”) Like all decent people, I hope for a Biden landslide, but we must also grapple, sooner rather than later, with the heart of darkness in this country that has inspired tens of millions of fellow citizens to support this evil miscreant.

      • New Episode—‘Green Ticket’

        The presidential and vice presidential candidates of the U.S. Green Party were interviewed on CN Live! on Thursday night.

        Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and vice presidential candidate Angela Walker joined CN Live! and were questioned on the candidates’ positions on domestic and international issues, five days before the 2020 presidential election.

      • Democrats Fought to Keep the Green Party Off Some State Ballots. What Are They Scared Of? – TRNN

        Kim Brown: So several weeks ago, though it does seem as though it’s been at least a few years when Joe Biden announced that Senator Kamala Harris was going to be his running mate for president. A lot of people, particularly democratic liberals were very excited. Oh, there’s a black woman on the ticket. And a lot of us leftist progressives were like, there’s already a black woman on a ticket of a national party. I’d like for everyone to meet Angela Walker, she is the VP candidate for Howie Hawkins, Green Party ticket for president 2020. And this is a very interesting conversation. First of all, Angela is a fascinating woman and she has a lot to offer a lot to talk about what the Green Party perhaps has to offer voters. And we want to begin the conversation actually talking about the ways to build political power beyond voting.

        There’s so much emphasis, justifiably so, placed upon voting, especially during this election cycle, but we don’t vote all the time, guys. We vote every two and four years and there’s a lot of opportunities and ways in order for working people to get the things that we want, that we deserve from our government and other institutions that extend beyond voting. So I like to extend right here, a good Burn It Down With Kim Brown welcome to Green Party vice presidential candidate, Angela Walker. Angela, thank you so much for making some time to speak with us. We really appreciate it.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Free Market Advocate Switches Sides, Calls For Direct Government Interference In Online Moderation Decisions

        There’s something in the air. Call it TDS. Trump Derangement Syndrome. To acolytes of Trump, this means everyone opposed to Trump will find some reason to blame anything on him. But the derangement affects the acolytes more than it affects his opponents.

      • Content Moderation Case Studies: Using AI To Detect Problematic Edits On Wikipedia (2015)

        Summary: Wikipedia is well known as an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. This has enabled a massive corpus of knowledge to be created, that has achieved high marks for accuracy, while also recognizing that at any one moment some content may not be accurate, as anyone may have entered in recent changes. Indeed, one of the key struggles that Wikipedia has dealt with over the years is with so-called “vandals” who change a page not to improve the quality of an entry, but to deliberately decrease the quality.

      • Billy Mitchell’s Defamation Case Against Twin Galaxies Over ‘Donkey Kong’ High Score Can Go Forward

        We’ve discussed Billy Mitchell a couple of times here at Techdirt, both times due to his overtly litigious nature, rather than his apparent video game playing prowess. See, Mitchell is rather well known primarily as the record holder for video game scores, including briefly holding the Guinness World Record for a Donkey Kong high score, until he was stripped of it. See, Twin Galaxies, an official tracker of such video game records, determined based on video evidence that Mitchell wasn’t playing an official version of the arcade cabinet of the game. Upon being stripped of his records, Mitchell sued for… defamation. Oh, and he also sued the Cartoon Network over a very clear parody depiction in part inspired by his gregarious personage.

      • Changing Section 230 Won’t Fix Politicians’ Issues With Section 230

        In the week leading up to a potentially extremely consequential election, Congress is once again setting its sights on its favorite whipping boy, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

      • The Campus Thought Police: Faux Outrage, Intimidation, and the Threat to Free Speech

        As Trinity University Political Scientist Isaac Kamola recounts, the controversies above and others like them have something in common:

        The outcome of this train of events is that faculty feel increasingly pressured to self-censor and avoid engaging in critical public discourses related to important political, economic, and social issues.

      • Anti-France protests: Muslims hold rallies worldwide as tensions rise

        The backlash intensified after a suspected Islamist extremist killed a French teacher who showed the cartoons in class. Mr Macron said the teacher “was killed because Islamists want our future”, but France would “not give up our cartoons”.

        Muslims saw Mr Macron’s remarks as an insult, as depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are widely regarded as taboo in Islam.

      • Judge Doesn’t See Teeth in Trump’s Social Media Order

        The lawsuit came from Rock the Vote, Voto Latino, Common Cause, Free Press and MapLight. These groups stepped forward as the Trump Administration made it a mission to prevent so-called “online censorship.” According to the complaint, the plaintiffs aimed to ensure broad access to voting while Trump’s order “frustrates their missions and will require them to divert scarce resources to combat misinformation.”

        As these groups see it, Trump had no business narrowing the scope of Section 230 protection and interfering with constitutionally protected speech.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Trump Appointee Removes ‘Firewall’ Preventing Administration From Meddling In VOA Reporting

        Earlier this month, it was reported that the “rule of law” Trump administration was (yet again) violating the law. In this particular case, Trump appointee Michael Pack — the CEO of the US Agency for Global Media — was breaching a codified “firewall” to target Voice of America reporters he believed were too critical of Trump and his actions.

      • The End of CounterPunch as We Know It?

        Here’s why we keep bugging you. The operating costs of the site continue to grow exponentially and we run on a shoe-string budget. Every click, every article we publish, it all costs us money. Bandwidth is not cheap. No billionaire owns our publication. We survive on small donations by you, our readers.

        Thus far in 2020 we have had well over 11 MILLION unique visitors to the site. And while we hope those numbers continue to grow, this huge flow of traffic will also increase the amount of money we have to pay to our hosting provider to keep the site loading fast and operating as it should.

      • What Happened to Glenn Greenwald?

        Glenn Greenwald needs no introduction, so suffice it to say: he first came to prominence as an anti-Bush blogger, became a sort of celebrity when he published much of the Snowden reporting in The Guardian, and subsequently (along with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, with funding from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar) co-founded The Intercept, where he worked until his apparently acrimonious exit this week.

        Lately most Greenwald columns tend towards highly specific media criticisms of mainstream liberal outlets, like MSNBC and the New York Times. At least I think they do—I haven’t read one of his columns fully in months, because they’re insufferable. At this point, Greenwald seems to have almost no ideology besides reflexive contrarianism. Perhaps this is simply the end result of spending hours on Twitter every day for years, or spending two (or four?) years focused laser-like on the Russia inquiry. His incessant—and often finely detailed, and articulate—criticisms have transformed the man into a kind of fanatic.

      • Donald Trump’s election mayhem is coming: Journalists must be ready to fight back

        As it becomes blindingly obvious that Donald Trump is going to fight to throw out any ballot counted after midnight on Nov. 3, it is ever more urgent that journalists be prepared to explain to the public why there’s no practical, legal or moral rationale for his demands.

      • The Kashmir journalists ‘harassed’ and ‘questioned’ for doing their job

        But critics say what’s worrying is that the raids come amid a larger crackdown on free speech and dissent in the valley. In the past year, at least 18 reporters have been questioned by police and more than a dozen were allegedly assaulted.

        Five journalists tell the BBC their stories.

      • In its latest confusing decision, Twitter reinstates The New York Post

        Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The New York Post is back on Twitter, after Twitter updated its policy on policy changes. This story is going to be confusing, but not as confusing as Twitter’s attempts at moderation.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Mass Protest Is Coming and the Cops Are on Trump’s Side

        What will protest look like during a fascist power grab? Kelly Hayes talks with Shane Burley, author of Fascism Today: What It is and How to End It, about what protesters will be up against in the coming days and what it will take to win.

      • ‘Truly Sociopathic Behavior’: After Mother Beaten by Philly Cops, Fraternal Order of Police Use Photo of Terrified Toddler as Propaganda

        “The underlying story of Philadelphia police conduct is shocking enough, but the added layer of intentional lies and deception… is unbelievable.”

      • More Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark

        So I made another goddamn list. A dozen more scary movies for anarchists to watch in the dark, and it’s as eccentric and idiosyncratic as the last. I have a love for both foreign arthouse shockers and overlooked grindhouse pulp. They both take the necessary measures to punish the audience into thinking about shit that scares them. Like last time, many movies on the list are not horror movies in the traditional sense, but they are all movies that seek to terrify their audience into challenging authoritarian institutions. Spoiler alerts abound. Read at your own risk.

        Night of the Living Dead (1968)-  A movie about a black guy who tries to save a bunch of fucked up white folks during a plague and gets shot for his trouble? How the fuck was this thing made 50 years ago? George Romero’s iconic budget shocker that practically invented the zombie genre was made to be a gruesome allegory for the times. Vietnam and urban upheaval inspired this terrifying story of plague induced braindead cannibalism. But its protagonist, Ben, played brilliantly by the Sorbonne trained Duane Jones, is much more George Floyd than Martin Luther King. After all, Ben wasn’t trying to lead a movement, he was just some hard luck son of a bitch trying to get home without getting wasted. But the movement found him and his martyrdom made him a revolutionary hero of outlaw cinema. George Romero was a visionary.

      • An Immigrant Nation, Defined by Racial Inequality

        There are more immigrants in the United States than in any other country. Although immigration has always played a vital role in the history and the making of the United States, from the colonial era to the California gold rush and Ellis Island, the United States recently saw immigration slow down during the Great Recession. In 2008, the Census Bureau released data from its American Community Survey that reported immigrant numbers had reached a plateau after years of increase.

        Only 55 years ago did the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 pass, which removed the race-based immigration system that discriminated against non-Northwestern European groups. It was replaced with a preference system based on prioritizing refugees, attracting people with special skills, and reuniting family members living in the United States. Born out of the Civil Rights Movement, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 worked to desegregate our nation’s borders and advance racial equality. This immigration legislation was one of the last major pieces of legislation of the mid-20th century Black freedom struggle. The act continues to be a major force that shapes the United States’ racial and ethnic makeup.

      • The Costs of Limited Awareness

        We can apply the reality of “natural localism” or limited awareness, to much more than popular disinterest in foreign policy. The same observation goes a long way to explaining at least some of the popular disregard for Covid-19, and the success of the misinformation campaigns underlying the popularity of Donald Trump and his Republican Party. Let’s first look at public uncertainty over Covid-19.

        Uncertainty over Covid-19

      • The Many Abuses at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia

        “This place is hell…. My experience was darkness, dirtiness, muddiness. The floors—dirty. The walls—dirty. Everything was dirty.”

      • For Persian Gulf Migrant Workers, the Pandemic Has Amplified Systemic Discrimination

        On March 20, Susmi Gurung, a 29-year-old migrant worker from Nepal, began her day as usual. She awoke in the room she shared with nine other employees of Transguard Group, the United Arab Emirates–based company that had placed her in customer service at the Dubai International Airport nearly three years prior. The room was one of many, packed and utilitarian, that made up the Al Quoz 10 labor camp, one of many such camps in the industrial zone south of the city center. Before long, Gurung’s routine was brought to a sudden halt by her supervisor, who informed her that her employment—and salary—would be suspended indefinitely because of the rapidly deepening Covid-19 crisis. Overnight, Gurung found herself stranded without income, nearly 2,000 miles from her husband and 7-year-old daughter, as the world descended into a pandemic.

      • ‘We Have a Long History of Criminalizing Communities of Color Through Drugs’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Drug Policy Alliance’s Matt Sutton about victims of the drug war for the October 23, 2020, episode of CounterSpin.This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Why I Hope Trump Does Not Watch ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’

        I know it’s unlikely that Trump would change the channel from Fox to Netflix and watch the new Aaron Sorkin film The Trial of the Chicago 7. Sorkin—best known for The West Wing on TV—is a master of “liberal wishful thinking,” as New York Times critic A.O. Scott put it, and Trump’s taste in movies goes more toward Rambo and Death Wish. But if he did watch The Trial of the Chicago 7, he might call his attorney general, Bill Barr, and say, “Why don’t we do to the leaders of Black Lives Matter what Nixon did to the Chicago 7? Why don’t we put protest movement leaders on trial for conspiracy to incite a riot?”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • What we’re voting for: platform regulation

        Politicians will almost certainly rail against “Big Tech” for years to come. That criticism may be warranted, but it misses the bigger picture. We don’t need a convenient crackdown on a few big companies. We need a better foundation for the [Internet] of tomorrow — and a government that’s willing to help build it.

      • Cable TV Execs Move Past Denial Stage, Now Fully Expect A ‘Cord Cutting’ Bloodbath

        For the better part of the last decade, cable and broadcast executives tried their hardest to pretend that their industry wasn’t facing a massive tectonic shift. First, they tried to insist that users flocking from expensive bloated cable bundles to streaming or over the air broadcasts didn’t actually exist. Then, when it became very clear cord cutting was a major trend, they tried to pretend it was just something irrelevant, poor nobodies did. Then, when evidence made it very clear that wasn’t true either, many executives pretended they’d seen this coming all along.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • ‘Deciphering’ YouTube’s Rolling Cypher in Your Browser is a Piece of Cake

        The RIAA and other music groups recently accused youtube-dl and related stream-ripping tools of circumventing YouTube’s ‘rolling cipher’ protection. While that may sound complex, anyone can download full audio and video files from YouTube, using nothing more than a web browser. It’s surprisingly easy and we failed to spot any ciphers.

    • Monopolies

      • Nixon Scandal Resulted In A Law To Prevent The Politicization Of Antitrust Cases; Meanwhile Trump Uses His Politicized Antitrust Effort In Campaign Ad

        Everyone knows about President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal, but you might now know as much about another huge scandal that preceded that one — involving Nixon meddling, for political purposes, in an antitrust case by his Justice Department against a large “tech” company/conglomerate at the time. The case involved ITT trying to buy up some smaller companies, and the DOJ brought an antitrust case against them. The scandal part was that ITT approached the White House and worked out a deal: ITT would donate $400,000 (roughly $2.5 million today) to the 1972 Republican National Convention, and Nixon would get the DOJ to drop the case. Which he did. As the Nixon tapes eventually revealed, he called up then deputy Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and said:

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Apple Must Pay VirnetX $503 Million in Security-Patent Trial

            The companies have been embroiled in litigation for a decade. VirnetX, which said its inventions stemmed from technology it developed for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, argued that both VPN on Demand and Apple’s FaceTime features were using its inventions.

      • Copyrights

        • Ololo.to Shuts Down After Being Targeted By ACE Anti-Piracy Coalition

          Popular streaming video search engine Ololo.to has thrown in the towel leaving around two million monthly visitors behind. Earlier this month, Ololo was targeted in a DMCA subpoena obtained by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which required the Tonic domain registry to hand over the personal details of its operator.

New Video Release by Marcia K. Wilbur: Richard Stallman (RMS) and Larry Lessig

Posted in Videos at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A decade and a half before Professor Lessig became a presidential nominee/candidate the following footage was captured; it was published yesterday for the first time

The backstory: “This took longer than expected to post,” Marcia explains, “as I had to retrieve video from old backup machine.

“I have 3 videos of archive interest.

“The first is posted at dmcasucks.com [and soon I] will update with others.”

Users Have Nowhere to Go

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 8:38 am by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

Out of Place

Summary: “If you want Free software to exist, if you want users to have control of their computing, you’ll have to learn how to stand up again.”

Real freedom leads to real options and choices.

A free license is the first and most important step. Sometimes this is the only step that is necessary; when you put your software under a free license, it becomes Free Software.

1st placeThere are now many years of debate over what it takes to keep it free, and a lot of people who aren’t listening to that debate and don’t seem to care about its implications.

For two decades, Open Source has tried to overload the definition, the same way they try to take over software by extending it. The latest versions of this are about censorship, and people trying to promote nonsense like “ethical source” (It’s nonsense because there is no way to make that work effectively with a license, and effectively it could only drive the military to use more Microsoft projects — cutting Dr. Evil Bezos out of a contract based on Free/Open/Whatever).

Ethical source is a naive vanity license, based on a complete (or contrived) misunderstanding on how licenses actually work, and both founders of OSI “left” (one was forced off the mailing list) over OSI trying to support it. It goes against the Open Source Definition, which Microsoft-controlled OSI wants to do away with, the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Free Software Definition. It is not free, not open, not tenable. You don’t need to be very cynical to wonder if this is by design.

This is ultimately about IBM and Google as well, but it is prominently about Microsoft, and Microsoft has (for better or worse) decided to “participate” in what they call “Open Source”.

Microsoft has a very long track record of participating in things they want to control or destroy. It was never a good sign.

First, they dismiss new ideas (like the Internet) as unimportant, focusing on their own products. Then they start mixing their own way of doing things into projects or products they want more control over. Finally they come down on it with the full weight of their legal and market power. This is what happened with Internet Explorer (based as Netscape was, on NCSA Mosaic) and it’s what’s happening with everything else Microsoft has their hands in.

“When Microsoft brings you flowers, they’re likely to end up decorating your grave one way or another.” Halloween Documents

Note that warning about “Microsoft bringing you flowers” came many years before “Microsoft Loves Linux”. Also note that the (James) “Plamondon Love Kit” was an old and gratuitous ploy to insinuate Microsoft into the trust of people Microsoft wanted to use.

This is exactly the kind of “love” that nobody ever wanted. But that’s not what the bribed tech press says.

It’s naive to think that the success of any objective from Microsoft happens simply because their products or management are “Better.” If their products are better, why did many of us stop using Windows whenever possible? But it has so many users, right? Why not just follow the largest number of users to the best system?

Oh, right — because that doesn’t work, and doesn’t suit our needs, and it gives one company too much control over our lives. So why have we stopped fighting that, other than the fact that our organisations have stopped fighting it and turned their protests into celebrations and self-destructive levels of compromise?

We used to go to great lengths to get away from that sort of domination. And Microsoft has always, always, worked to co-opt everything we do to get away from them. What’s changed is they’re now prominently on our home turf. They invade, occupy our territory, literally replace existing leaders with people from their own company and then say “Be happy! You guys obviously won!” WHAT?!

We switch to GNU/Linux, they sue us through SCO and assert bogus patents through SUSE (and now GNOME). We develop APM support, they co-develop ACPI (which is a systemd-like mess that Mark Shuttleworth called a “Trojan horse”). We install our software over Windows, they insert firmware into new machines to try to retain control over what we install.

And like everything they’ve ever tried to take over, if you want to push anti-features on people, you NEED extra features as well — like a spoonful (more like a whole vomit-inducing bag) of sugar for their nasty medicine.

A Trojan horse without the horse is just an invading army. When you explain the ways in which Mark Shuttleworth was (USED to be) right, people say “But GEE, isn’t this a lovely horse?”

Who’s the idiot who said “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, anyway? If the horse is large enough to hide Greek troop forces or people from a large corporation inside, you should definitely look in the mouth — that’s the part of the horse where two Greek spies were alleged to be hiding.

OSI should have definitely examined their large donations more carefully, as Microsoft’s troops have already laid siege to the walls of the Linux Foundation as well as the Open Source Initiative.

Who wouldn’t “love Open Source”, if they controlled everyone else’s access to it?

“This is ultimately about IBM and Google as well, but it is prominently about Microsoft, and Microsoft has (for better or worse) decided to “participate” in what they call “Open Source”.”But controlling access to Open Source is the opposite of what it’s supposed to be about (and certainly the opposite of what Free Software is about). Free Software is supposed to put the user in charge of their own computing.

Since everyone has forgotten that, let’s just repeat it:

Free Software is supposed to put the user in charge of their own computing.

So what’s this about licenses? Licenses aren’t freedom, they’re a tool for the sake of freedom.

Let’s stop conflating the two. If we have far less control of our computing than we did a few years ago, and people from various groups that already supported Free software and the FSF are complaining about this, let’s stop pretending we can just shove a license in their face and say “Shut up, you’re wrong.” This is a crisis that keeps getting shoved under the rug.

“This simple truth becomes a lie when it’s used to take over the ecosystem for the primary benefit of the same monopolies that Free Software was created to liberate us from!”The most successful lies are built on a kernel of truth, and the truth that this takeover is built on is that “Developers are not required to do anything to please other users.” It’s true! You can make your own Free Software, and provide zero support.

This simple truth becomes a lie when it’s used to take over the ecosystem for the primary benefit of the same monopolies that Free Software was created to liberate us from!

It’s a side point, but since it’s going to come up anyway, let’s take another look at permissive and copyleft licensing.

There are two main proponents of permissive licensing: people who were already developing collaborative software (with available source code, which was not necessarily “free as in freedom”) before the FSF was founded and the GPL written, and people who worked to hijack Free Software using Open Source. Each of these categories includes the people who follow their way of doing things and assume good faith.

Someday we may discover they are the same proponent, but I have not managed to do so yet. In other words, I am a supporter-turned-denouncer of “Open Source” that may have found a pre-FSF, pre-OSI version that behaves somewhat differently in ways that could prove important; scepticism is still a wise course of action.

“There is a war going on, complete with factions, and it is not necessarily simple enough to merely take sides anymore.”The main proponents of copyleft licensing are the FSF and Free Software movement, but just as Free Software was co-opted in the 1990s, today there are also groups that may try to co-opt copyleft itself which we should be wary of.

Arguments for Copyleft sometimes go like this:

1. Copyleft ensures that people can’t take away your freedom.

2. Copyleft was created after someone tried to make Emacs proprietary (this is an interesting and relevant story).

3. Linus Torvalds is glad he chose GPL, and without it Linux might not have more support than BSD (I make this argument myself).

4. Permissive licensing exists only so that people can take your freedom away (this isn’t true, but some people act like it is. It is a bastardisation of reasonable warnings from the FSF).

5. (An expansion of #3) Many other projects would be better if they had used Copyleft instead of letting other companies waste our time with proprietary extensions, such as those made to XX11 (this one comes from Keith Bostic, who did a presentation on this topic).

Arguments for Permissive licensing sometimes go like this:

1. Permissive licensing is easier (it is initially, though you have a more confusing list of options to consider and it could make things more complicated when it comes to defence).

2. Copyright is much simpler than contract law, the BSD license is a copyright license, and the GPL is a contract (OpenBSD supports this argument, which I find interesting and possibly valid at least in part).

3. We just want people to be able to use our code, we don’t care what terms they use it with as long as they follow the few we require. (The BSD license has very few terms, and in many instances it has fewer clauses than the few it started with).

4. For small programs, up to 300 lines of code (I’ve heard it used to be 200?) There may be no real benefit to a copyleft license and a permissive license should be acceptable (this one actually comes from the FSF licensing page).

I deal mostly in very small programs, though there are (recent) times I have used GPL deliberately for larger projects.

Another argument that possibly favours permissive licensing is that you don’t believe in copyright (or government) at all, and thus the mechanism for the GPL is ultimately useless/ineffective even if the GPL itself is not. Thus there is a noticeable tendency for libertarians to lean permissive, on average.

However, many libertarians respect the concept of contract agreements outside of the concept of government, and since the GPL is as much a contract as BSD is a license, even in a hypothetical, idealised post-government utopia, the GPL could perhaps be as feasible as the BSD license — if not moreso. I’m not sure about this, because in a copyright-free, contract-only world, there is probably nothing you can do to prevent publicly available code from being distributed (an NDA wouldn’t work for this purpose.) This side point deserves further discussion and debate, but I don’t have more to say about it at this time.

All in all there’s plenty of cause for the permissive/copyleft debate to rage on for decades to come. I side with the Copyleft proponents who are hard sceptics of projects that try to make either the GNU Project and Linux kernel permissive. OpenBSD is permissive, deliberately — but it is based primarily on BSD, not GNU — and it is not based on the Linux kernel at all. I do not consider OpenBSD a threat in this regard, but strongly think we should be wary of efforts to neutralise copyleft in projects that feature it — already, a few such efforts seem to exist.

There is a war going on, complete with factions, and it is not necessarily simple enough to merely take sides anymore. However, Open Source should be prevented from overthrowing Free Software for the sole benefit of corporate monopolies, and at least most of what is now called “Open Source” is a scam and a distraction from serious reform.

I support OpenBSD doing things as OpenBSD sees fit, but I do not support Open Source in general; I continue to mostly categorise it as a calculated, opportunistic threat to freedom. Note that “OpenBSD” was using the term “Open” years before OSI was founded and “Open Source” was “coined” by Peterson.

The problem with using the fact that developers are not Obligated to do the bidding of users as part of a bigger lie, is that many projects already exist to help liberate the user. This kernel of truth is used as an excuse to overthrow and neutralise such projects.

If Free Software didn’t care about users, it would have nothing to do. Simply saying “you’re free to create your own software” does not sum up what the GNU Project was about.

Free Software wasn’t created just for you to run a fully-free text editor on a platform that lets a giant corporation spy on everything you do, while rewriting your system with arbitrary updates whenever they please. That would be a cynical and relatively useless movement, though it’s also closer to what we are moving towards these days.

Free Software was (allegedly) created to liberate the user and give them control over their computing. So when there is an organised effort to create software based (design-wise, not directly) on UNIX, so you can actually replace your non-free system with a free one — saying that “developers don’t have to work to liberate the user” is a way of missing the point. If we care about freedom, we should care about keeping the user free — not go about making them less free.

But the problem that’s doing so much to sustain itself against our freedom is complicated, so we can hardly just leave it there. Open Source has spent years adding complexity and caveats to everything we do, but when we have a point to make they glibly reduce our philosophy to soundbites and straw men — all while demanding that they should speak for us, and that we should generally be silenced for the greater good.

“Open Source is a Mount Everest of hypocrisy, and it eats its own founders as well as the founders and proponents of Free Software.”That sort of shtick has gone on for 20 years. Even Eric S. Raymond has said as much — to me personally, regarding the founder of the Free Software movement. I was not too impressed, as ESR is a backstabber who pretended to be his “friend” after his own plan to cancel him was finally executed from 2018 (at LibrePlanet) to 2019 at the FSF and the coup within the GNU Project itself. Torvalds said similar regarding Free Software supporters years ago.

Open Source is a Mount Everest of hypocrisy, and it eats its own founders as well as the founders and proponents of Free Software. Open Source will never be our friend, nor a symbol of freedom, except the “freedom” for monopolies to infiltrate and destroy free projects.

But if developers had no obligations to freedom, and this were the true stance of Free Software (rather than a cynical twist on a simple fact), then there would be no point in the GNU Project at all; if developers have no obligation to freedom, we certainly don’t need a free operating system; we can just keep building freely-licensed toys on top of Windows, Mac and Android.

But if there is a point to the GNU Project at all, then we should be far more concerned than most people are about the events of the past few years.

What once were donations in support of what we do, today are now bribes that get bigger when we cede control to monopoly control and surveillance. A donation is made in support — a bribe is made to get what some other party wants instead.

We got rid of the one person at Mozilla who actually gave a shit about surveillance and DRM. That was a mistake. Mozilla depends heavily on corporate support, and the corporations that support it also love surveillance and DRM. Mozilla is thus co-opted, and hasn’t cared about your freedom in many years. But that won’t stop them from lying to you while they continue to ratchet up the fuckery in their browser, year after year.

What are your choices there? There’s IceCat and Ungoogled Chromium and other WebKit crap (I don’t hate WebKit half as much as it sounds like) though both are subject to bloated and hijacked standards. If you want real freedom, you should be rebelling from the browser altogether. Corporations will say this is bad for the Web, but the Web has turned into a tool of corporations that is bad for our freedom in the long run. In the short run, we can always buy a little more time. As we do that, the Web gets worse, because it is remade for monopolies. Getting worse, while we pile on layers and layers of bandages, is all the Web will ever do.

The Internet is not the Web, and we should be rebelling. Unfortunately, at this time the only notable rebels are gopher and Gemini. Gemini needs to get out of Microsoft’s clutches before it can prove itself as a project that cares about our freedom. Other than this we need more things like gopher and Gemini. Some of the most prevalent internet protocols in use today began as quick and dirty solutions, never intended to take over the world. We need to bring back the frontier, not slave away to the hegemony of online gentrification.

IceCat develops LibreJS based on a library (Jasmine) that is developed on GitHub, other than this I think it’s a very nice idea. IceCat itself depends on Rust which is another thing GitHub controls, and as Tom researched, it is necessary to have access to GitHub to be able to compile IceCat.

“The Internet is not the Web, and we should be rebelling.”Emacs recently brought in HarfBuzz. HarfBuzz is controlled by Microsoft, as well as the bulk of lisp libraries. Someone should try to liberate Emacs.

Systemd is developed on GitHub as well, as is Raku, as is NPM, as is Python. But even if we solved the amount of control GitHub has over Free Software, that is only a (very) large part of a still much larger problem.

While Mozilla has sold out users to corporations, Python has gone from a simple and friendly language to an increasingly corporate behemoth — both in terms of management as well as syntax. If that were optional, it would be one thing. Instead, along with the move to Microsoft GitHub it has had the overall direction taken over first by Google, then by Microsoft. These takeovers happen piece-by-piece, and begin with small increases in influence — increases that get larger over time until users are just peons to be kicked around and told to get with the program, like they were when they were stuck with Windows.

“But again, in order to take control over people, you have to pretend that you care.”If isn’t just the software being rewritten these days, it’s what users are expected to do with it: like whatever we do to it, or basically go fuck yourself. Gosh, that really does bring back the shit old days before we switched to GNU/Linux.

GTK was originally a GUI toolkit created for the GIMP application. It has eventually been taken over by the GNOME Foundation, a pro-Microsoft entity which has sold us out to bogus software patents. The leader of the GNOME Foundation is a liar and a monster, and perhaps more of a backstabber than Eric S. Raymond. The GNOME Foundation is completely corrupt, and nobody should support GNOME as much as they can possibly help it. GNOME HATES your freedom. GNOME HATES users.

But again, in order to take control over people, you have to pretend that you care. Microsoft pretends that they care, and they hate your freedom even more than GNOME does. We wouldn’t let Microsoft into our lives as much as we do (remember when we used to actively fight this?) if they were honest about their intentions. Here’s what Eric S. Raymond used to say about them:

“Sleazy behavior, covered by utterly brilliant marketing, has been a pattern in Microsoft’s business practices since they were a garage outfit”

Sleazy behaviour: crapping on your freedom.

Brilliant marketing: pretending to give a shit about you.

Other organisations (especially those bribed by Microsoft) have adopted their tactics — tactics which Microsoft themselves learned from IBM.

People that care about your freedom aren’t obligated to support your software, but they are probably obligated to not take over serious efforts to liberate the user and then control or neutralise them.

When something doesn’t benefit Microsoft directly, they neutralise or knee-cap it. This is just as true when it’s a product they developed originally, or one they purchased outright. They send people like Stephen Elop in to gut a company, so that it’s cheaper to take over. I call this the Scooby-Doo maneuver, as it’s hardly a new idea:

Scooby-Doo maneuver

* An acquisition technique that is a favourite among Microsoft execs and writers of Scooby-Doo episodes, where someone hoping to take over a property first makes it look undesirable (by dressing up as a ghost and scaring people away) so that others don’t bid higher, show interest or have competition for the property at all.

Once they’ve taken over, they either exploit their winnings, like they have with Skype and Minecraft, or if it doesn’t suit them they simply drop the product altogether, neutralising the competition. They can do first one and then the other, and often do.

You’re nothing but a fool to trust GitHub at this point, unless you’re a shill. Microsoft has never changed this way of dealing with competition, but we are supposed to feel safe because they pretend we aren’t competition.

“They send people like Stephen Elop in to gut a company, so that it’s cheaper to take over.”What they’re doing today is exactly what the Halloween documents said they wanted to do in the late 1990s. When they say “Open Source won”, you might as well s/Open Source/Microsoft/, though watch out for Google and IBM as well. Today, “Open Source” is like sharing a tank at SeaWorld with sharks and killer whales, and saying that everything is alright because “the whales are a match for the shark.” We shouldn’t be in the water, especially when the sharks are hungry. If we built a proper shield from these attackers, we shouldn’t cast it aside for someone who smiles while pointing a gun at us.

But it’s not until after these organisations are taken over through large corporate bribes that they start telling us what to do and start expecting everybody to do things their way.

Python doesn’t just offer Python 3 and drop support for Python 2 — that would be fine. Instead, it tries to force and campaign people to use what doesn’t work for them — campaigning for not only themselves but countless other developers and all library authors and application developers to drop support for what users actually want and need.

It doesn’t just drop support for alternatives, it campaigns against alternatives — it even lies about whether they exist. “Python 2 is unsupported” is really only half true, and it’s a half-lie that doesn’t benefit freedom at all. It benefits monopolies, and hurts projects like PyPy — it also hurts users who rely on PyPy.

Stop being a shill, or a useful idiot for Microsoft by spreading this lie. It’s just as bad as when Debian does it with systemd.

Debian didn’t just knee-cap support for sysvinit, it campaigned against all alternative inits and attacked people who had no use for the corporate invasion. This was among many other attacks on volunteers. Devuan split off to do the work for maintainability, but Debian (which pretends to care about your freedom) has gone out of their way to push systemd while fighting rather than supporting compatibility efforts like Devuan, Mate, Trinity…

When a group drops support, other people should be free to pick it up. We should encourage that if we care about freedom, but instead we shit on them just like a corporate monopoly would. That is a great disservice, both to users and hard-working developers. When you say something isn’t supported, when people are working very hard to support it — then you tell those same people to stop supporting alternatives, how can you ever say that’s honest? It’s circular and authoritative. Stop being a shill against users.

“You’re nothing but a fool to trust GitHub at this point, unless you’re a shill. Microsoft has never changed this way of dealing with competition, but we are supposed to feel safe because they pretend we aren’t competition.”We participate in Microsoft’s tactics in fighting both competition and choice, then we say “freedom is more important than choice.”

Yeah it is, but freedom tends to create choice. To fight the choices that projects maintain for us when support is dropped by Python, GNOME, KDE, etc., you have to fight both freedom as well as the user.

But if all you care about is the license, then you will ignore and do nothing about other efforts to make certain the user has no say. You’ll even pretend they don’t exist when people point right at them and explain how they work, what they do and who funds them.

So users will be ejected from communities, as will people working hard to maintain compatibility when others have abandoned it — we will paint them all as troublemakers and campaign against both choice and freedom.

At the same time, we will drag people into a single place that Microsoft controls, and — shit, there really is no Free Software movement anymore.

Free Software is Dead, and Open Source DID win. But that’s nothing to celebrate. We need Free Software 2.0. Notice, I said Free Software, NOT Open Source.

“If you want Free software to exist, if you want users to have control of their computing, you’ll have to learn how to stand up again.”Don’t look at me like that, it’s not any worse than saying that GPL 2 failed. We need FS3, to go with GPL3 — for very similar reasons. GPL3 happened because GPL2 had one too many workarounds (vulnerabilities) against it — and Free Software now has a similar problem; not just in theory, but in common practice.

But the fight for Free software has more or less ended. If you want Free software to exist, if you want users to have control of their computing, you’ll have to learn how to stand up again. Because (next to) nobody is doing it now. Instead, they’re aiding the takeover and giving credence to corporate takeover’s bullshit. Didn’t you hate that back when you realised it was being done to you?

Long live Free Software, long live rms and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 30, 2020

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

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

10.30.20

[Meme] Two Dictators: How the EPO Shuffled the Dictatorship’s Cards

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Three Stages of: Battistelli is Leaving, the Council Wants Him Replaced, by His Friend...

Summary: EPO President António Campinos turns out to be no better and even less popular than Benoît Battistelli

2020: The Year the Patent System Converged With Naked Fascism

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Innovation or pure corruption? Science abandoned in favour of rich class warriors.

Risiko!

Summary: The worldwide system of patents, administered in part by WIPO (fronting for the super-rich), is losing the argument and instead — nowadays more than ever before — it is resorting to authoritarianism (the kids’ gloves are off)

THE EPO hasn’t been mentioned here quite so much lately (not as recently as weeks ago). That’s because little is known to us. One thing that António Campinos (equipped with COVID-19) has done is increased silencing of staff. They cannot publicly organise — something that Benoît Battistelli could only pray for!

Perceived Calm (COVID-19 Effect) is Not Peace

The little that’s known to us (and is also new) isn’t particularly interesting. We’ve had some of it included already in our Daily Links (while we lacked time to comment in detail/full). We’ll comment on it succinctly below, to the best of our understanding (bear in mind very little is being said in the press about the EPO since the pandemic overwhelmed newsrooms).

“The problem with the EPO stuff not being covered much by the mainstream media is simply that it’s too abstract and obscure for their purposes,” one reader told us some hours ago, “and most journalists get to spend very little time on a story, just like EPO and USPTO and other patent examiners get to spend very little time on a patent application.”

Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) and the Language Barrier That Patent Maximalists Just ‘Wish Away’

Let’s start with the latest nonsense from the EPO’s “news” section (published just before the weekend). It said this: (warning: epo.org link)

EPO President António Campinos held his first meeting [sic] with Kim Yong Rae, the new Commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office, on Friday, 30 October 2020.

During their video conference [sic], the two heads of office reaffirmed their commitment to working together on Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding covering this activity. Mr Campinos emphasised that the EPO will continue to support KIPO in increasing its expertise in CPC classification – a tool aimed at improving public access to technical information contained in patent documents which is now being actively used by 29 offices worldwide to classify their patent publications. The refined classification scheme of the CPC enables patent examiners to categorise patent documents in a more granular manner irrespective of the language in which the document is written. This subsequently allows the examiners or patent information users to retrieve documents more efficiently and effectively during searches, which contributes to the quality of the patent system.

Notice how once again the EPO is mischaracterising webchats as “meetings” (they use words like “met” to mean “talked over a laptop” — a typical lingo for the veneer of “professionalism”).

So much for “conference” too. They mean webchat with multiple people on the screen…

Having written about patents for nearly two decades, I know a thing or two about the political/corporate aspect of these things. They’re hardly about innovation… not to the extent they’re about protectionism (ensuring the rich get richer over time, rarely having to actually compete).

The above (CPC) is WIPO agenda for taking monopolies global (for globalists/monopolists). Examiners are rarely assessing prior art in other languages, from other countries… so they grant regardless. It’s a well known problem and the unspeakable taboo in patent offices that rush to rubber-stamp monopolies with few questions asked and little qualm, offloading the financial burden onto innocent parties wrongly accused of infringement. Only the very rich corporations have their own legal departments and teams of lawyers. Those alone can be enough to dissuade/discourage a patent troll.

The Rich Getting Richer, Secured by Universal Patent Monopolies

It’s hardly absurd to suggest that the EPO is “in it” not for the small inventor but for large corporations, most of which aren’t even European. Just look at the pie chart of which types of corporations take the lion’s share of European Patents and where those corporations are from.

Courtesy of Prometheus – Critical Studies In Innovation 51-68 (as noted before):

applicant's firm size 2014

National origins of EPO patents 2014

Trump and IancuIn that regard, the US is similar to Europe. It hardly shocked us that hours ago, as per Patently-O, the USPTO’s Director was publicly endorsing Donald Trump (link omitted, but it’s unambiguous) on behalf of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trump can’t even properly speak the only language he knows — and likely not due to his age… and yet examiners are expected to understand patents composed in many dozens of different languages?

“What has the patent world sunk to?”This ‘Orbanistic’ act of Andrei Iancu, indebted to Trump for his controversial appointment (his firm had worked for Trump beforehand), reinforces our view that he’s “American Battistelli” (another Republican). Since his appointment he has been flagrantly ignoring/bypassing Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101 (SCOTUS, prior to stacking by Trump) and crushing the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In his latest ridiculous tweet he’s citing some lobbying/think tank ‘prank’ as evidence of US ‘leadership’ in ‘IP’, then attributing this prank ‘ranking’ to Trump.

Make Patents Great AgainWhat has the patent world sunk to?

Seriously, take a moment to think about it… are fascistic criminals now role models for the patent microcosm? The recent letter regarding Iancu (from so-called ‘patent owners’) is yet more of that ‘cowboy’ nonsense… and it was promoted by rather extremist sites — those that promote software patents in Europe on behalf of patent trolls from the United States.

Unified Patent Court (UPC) Kills

It gets yet worse when once considers their UPC lobbying. As Benjamin Henrion noted yesterday: “Unitary Patent will even ban compulsory licenses for COVID?”

“No compulsory licensing for COVID under UPC,” he told me privately, calling it a “bomb”…

So people need to die by the millions for the patent regime? Sounds like the sort of lunacy promoted by the Trump regime in the name of “the economy!”

When shoes attackHere in Europe we have EU officials in the European Commission who are willing to consciously violate many constitutions to shove the UPC/A down everyone’s throats. Thierry Breton and the Battistelli connections tell us all we need to know; Battistelli is in CEIPI now, pushing UPC coursework and such. Having put a famous politician in his chair at Atos, Breton copied what Battistelli did with Campinos in CEIPI. There’s clearly no separation between the patent system and politics. Instead of being a scientific system it became all finance and politics.

Unaccountable European Patent Office, Patent Rubber-stamping Machine

As per the latest press releases, the EPO has granted fake patents (now withdrawn) for so-called ‘Big Pharma’ and it continues to do exactly that in defiance of prior orders from the EU. Has the EU been hijacked by Battistelli associates? While granting patents on literal trash the EU seems unwilling and unable to put an end to it. It’s like the litigation industry has invaded every corner of the system and is now cheering for the likes of Trump. Because who cares about the “collateral damage” when one can make money suing people for ‘sport’?

Links 31/10/2020: KDE on Hugo, NetBSD Moves From TWM to CTWM

Posted in News Roundup at 8:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The General Purpose Computer In Your Pocket – Purism

        Computers have us surrounded. Just about every piece of consumer electronics these days puts “smart” in front of the name, which means they embedded a computer that runs specialized software. The “smart” trend started with “smartphones” which marketers started calling cellular phones once they got powerful enough processors to run a general-purpose operating system and applications. The name “smartphone” was intended to differentiate them from “feature phones” which had a limited set of additional applications (calculator, SMS application, possibly a music player or a limited web browser). Feature phones were designed to make phone calls and send text messages, but smartphones were actually general-purpose computers that happened to have a phone and SMS application on them.

        Today, a majority of people hardly ever use their smartphone as a phone and instead use it to chat, browse the web, and run applications–the same things they do on their desktop or laptop computers. Your smartphone is a pocket-sized general-purpose computer that’s more powerful than desktop computers from not that long ago, yet smartphones are prevented from realizing their full potential, are still marketed as special-purpose computers, and most people think of them that way. Why?

        One of the neatest tricks Big Tech ever pulled was convincing people that phones weren’t general-purpose computers and should have different rules than laptops or desktops. These rules conveniently give the vendor more control so that you don’t own a smartphone so much as you rent it. Now that the public has accepted these new rules for phones, vendors are starting to apply the same rules to laptops and desktops.

        [...]

        When you bought a computer starting in the `90s you generally expected to get operating system upgrades for the life of the computer. In the Windows world you normally could upgrade to the next version of Windows years later, and you’d only replace hardware after the OS upgrades and applications got so bloated (along with the spyware) that the computer was too slow to use. Of course, those “slow” computers then got a new life for many more years after installing Linux on them.

        Now imagine a computer that only lasted two or three years, after which you would no longer get OS and security updates. Even though the hardware was still fast enough to run the OS, if you cared about security you’d be forced to upgrade. That’s the situation we have with Android phones today. If you are lucky your vendor will let you update to the next version of Android at least once, and receive general updates for two years or three years. If you are unlucky your device may never upgrade to the next Android OS. Even flagship Google phones only promise OS updates three years from the date the phone first was sold and security updates for only 18 months after they stop selling a device. For instance, at the time of this article, Pixel 2 owners just lost guaranteed OS and security updates.

      • Mac vs PC: The next major tech shift | INTHEBLACK

        There is another option for those with older systems – or even new Intel-based systems for that matter: move to Linux. This OS powers about 70 per cent of the world’s web servers. It is popular among software developers and other high-end users, though its overall share of desktop and laptop computers is tiny. Yet, this does not mean Linux is just for experts.

        Linux is free and open-source, with large communities of developers that provide regular updates. As a result, it is efficient, secure and offers plenty of choices, with hundreds of different versions (called “distributions”) available.

        Linux wasn’t always the friendliest OS to install and use, but mainstream distributions, such as Ubuntu and Fedora, are now much easier to install. There’s a choice of graphical user interfaces to choose from, including Elementary OS’s macOS-like experience. For those with old systems, the lightweight Ubuntu variant Xubuntu is one of many options. Businesses that need fast, guaranteed support can pay for it from the likes of Red Hat Linux.

        There are thousands of Linux applications to choose from. Many, such as office suite LibreOffice, either come bundled with distributions or are easy to install via “repositories”. Alternatively, a Linux tool called WINE can run many Windows apps – or you can dual-boot Linux with Windows or macOS.

        There is no denying that Windows and macOS users will face a learning curve, but at least they can try Linux first. Many versions are available as “live distributions”, meaning you can run them off a USB stick or DVD. Then, if you like one, you can install it on your computer. Just remember to back up your files first.

        Alternatively, you can buy a laptop or computer with Linux pre-installed from a speciality provider, such as Purism or Linux Now. Lenovo also has announced greater support for Linux on its systems.

    • Server

      • Simply NUC mini data center > Tux-Techie

        Simply NUC, a leader in the minicomputer industry, has entered the data center market. The Simply NUC mini data center provides an Intel Xeon E-2286M processor, 350GB of system memory, and a 2 TB NVMe SSD. All of this power weighs in at 5 pounds with 5-liter chassis and has a typical power consumption of 200 watts. The systems ship with Ubuntu Linux installed and fully configured. To learn more about their offerings, you can check out their page here.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Oracle Continues Building DTrace For Linux Atop BPF

        More than a decade ago Linux users tended to be envious of Sun Microsystems’ Solaris for ZFS and DTrace as the two most interesting technical selling points of the platform. In that time OpenZFS is now extremely vibrant for offering ZFS on BSD and Linux systems while DTrace is barely brought up these days. This tracing framework originally developed for Solaris was fantastic back in the day but over the years Linux has stepped up its game with various efforts. Now as we hit the end of 2020, Oracle engineers continue working on bringing better DTrace support to Linux.

        In recent years Oracle has been working on DTrace for Linux with a focus on DTrace for Oracle Linux / its “Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel”. Their kernel-side work has never been upstreamed and while they do have a GitHub repository its usage doesn’t seem to be very prevalent outside of the Oracle ecosystem.

      • Linux 5.10 Will Be a Long-Term Support Kernel

        Linux kernel developer and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced that “#Linux 5.10 will be the next Longterm (aka LTS) #kernel (and thus supported for at least two years, but, in the end, it often is six).”

      • The Arm64 memory tagging extension in Linux [LWN.net]

        One of the first features merged for the 5.10 kernel development cycle was support for the Arm v8.5 memory tagging extension [PDF]. By adding a “key” value to pointers, this mechanism enables the automated detection of a wide range of memory-safety issues. The result should be safer and more secure code — once support for the feature shows up in actual hardware.
        As one might expect, the Arm64 architecture uses 64-bit pointers to address memory. There is no need (yet!) for an address space that large, though, so normally only 48 of those bits are actually used by the hardware — or 52 bits if a special large-address-space option is enabled. So there are 12-16 bits that can be used for other purposes. Arm systems have long supported a “top byte ignore” feature that allows software to store arbitrary data in the uppermost byte of a virtual address, but the hardware designers have been busy coming up with other uses for those bits as well. The memory tagging extension (MTE) is one of those uses.

        Specifically, MTE allows the storage of a four-bit “key” in bits 59-56 of a virtual address — the lower “nibble” of the top byte. It is also possible to associate a specific key value with one or more 16-byte ranges of memory. When a pointer is dereferenced, the key stored in the pointer itself is compared to that associated with the memory the pointer references; if the two do not match, a trap may be raised. Keys can be managed by the application, or they can be randomly generated by the CPU.

        Four bits only allow for 16 distinct key values, but that is enough to do some interesting things. If a function like malloc() ensures that allocations that are adjacent in memory have different key values, then an access that overruns any given allocation will be detected by the processor. Use-after-free bugs can be detected by changing the key value immediately when a range of memory is freed. If each stack frame is given its own key, buffer overruns on the stack will also generate traps. An attempt to dereference a completely wild pointer (or one injected by an attacker) also has a good chance of being detected.

      • 5.10 Merge window, part 1 [LWN.net]

        As of this writing, 7,153 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline Git repository for the 5.10 release — over a period of four days. This development cycle is clearly off to a strong start. Read on for an overview of the significant changes merged thus far for the 5.10 kernel release.

      • Intel’s Cloud-Hypervisor 0.11 Adds Windows Guest Support

        Intel has a shiny new feature release out of their open-source Cloud-Hypervisor that runs atop KVM and leveraging the Rust programming language.

        Cloud-Hypervisor 0.11 comes with some prominent improvements for this increasingly used component in the open-source Linux virtualization stack. As mentioned, even Microsoft has been working with Cloud-Hypervisor among other IHVs and ISVs.

      • Linux Frame-Buffer Console To Drop Accelerated Scrolling Since It’s Full Of Bugs – Phoronix

        The Linux kernel’s frame-buffer console (FBCON) is set to drop accelerated scrolling support since it isn’t widely used and now found to be “full of bugs” plaguing the code-base.

        Google’s Syzbot that continuously fuzzes the Linux kernel using Syzkaller recently began fuzzing the FBCON code within the kernel. As a result of that exposure, the developers are now well aware with “solid proof that it’s full of bugs.”

        The best solution from the developer perspective has been to delete the code / faulty features, such as with the recent deleting of soft scrollback support. Given the use-cases for FBCON and only a few drivers supporting accelerated scrolling, it’s the latest feature now slated for removal.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 out now, along with the 455.38 Linux driver

          After a delay, NVIDIA have now released the next-gen GeForce RTX 3070 along with a brand new Linux driver. The delay was supposed to give retailers more time to sort stock, and as expected they all sold out very quickly, most stores sold out within an hour. Trying to buy a new GPU on release day continues to be something of a fools errand.

          The GeForce 3070 is the current lowest end of Ampere, although we’ve seen leaks that other models will be coming which is expected just like they’ve done for all other generations. Although, you might want to check out what AMD just revealed with the Radeon 6000 series too.

        • Mesa 20.3 Lands Rewritten AMD Zen L3 Cache Optimization – Phoronix

          You may recall going back to 2018 that well known open-source AMD Mesa driver developer Marek Olsak was working on Mesa optimizations around the AMD Zen architecture. In particular, better handling of Mesa for Zen’s L3 cache design. A rewritten implementation of that has now landed along with some other improvements.

          Marek discovered his L3 cache topology code was incorrect and ended up rewriting it to “make Mesa on my AMD CPU faster.” The code is catering to AMD Ryzen processors but it’s also possible Xeon / multi-CPU systems could employ a similar optimization should anyone be interested in pursuing it.

        • RadeonSI Lands Optimization For Uber Shaders – Phoronix

          On top of the AMD Zen L3 cache optimizations hitting Mesa 20.3 today, Marek Olšák has also landed his RadeonSI Gallium3D driver code for optimizing OpenGL uber shaders.

          Marek added a “inline_uniforms” DriConf option to the RadeonSI driver that implements inlinable uniforms.

        • Intel starts publishing Vulkan Linux driver

          Intel’s open-source developers have begun publishing their patches enabling their “ANC” Vulkan Linux driver to support Vulkan ray-tracing.

          [...]

          Intel’s other big-ticket items still to come in the near-term include extending the ANV driver to support compiling and dispatching OpenCL kernels, new SPIR-V capabilities, and generic pointer support.

          Also needed is the actual support for compiling ray-tracing pipelines, managing acceleration structures, dispatching rays, and the platform support.

          Intel is not going to go much further until the Khronos Group has firmed up their VK_KHR_ray_tracing extension. However some of this Intel-specific Vulkan ray-tracing code may prove useful to Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan “RADV” driver as well.

        • Intel Compute-Runtime 20.43.18277 Brings Alder Lake Support – Phoronix

          Intel Compute-Runtime 20.43.18277 is out this morning as the latest version of the company’s open-source graphics compute stack for HD/UHD/Iris/Xe Graphics on Linux with OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero support.

          It was the previous Compute-Runtime release two weeks back that brought OpenCL 3.0 for Broadwell through Ice Lake with Gen12/Tigerlake having already seen CL 3.0 support as a new platform. That OpenCL 3.0 support is in good shape with this latest release and the stack remains at a “pre-release” level for its oneAPI Level Zero 1.0 support.

        • llvmpipe is OpenGL 4.5 conformant.

          (I just sent the below email to mesa3d developer list).

          Just to let everyone know, a month ago I submitted the 20.2 llvmpipe
          driver for OpenGL 4.5 conformance under the SPI/X.org umbrella, and it
          is now official[1].

          Thanks to everyone who helped me drive this forward, and to all the
          contributors both to llvmpipe and the general Mesa stack that enabled
          this.

          Big shout out to Roland Scheidegger for helping review the mountain of
          patches I produced in this effort.

          My next plans involved submitting lavapipe for Vulkan 1.0, it’s at 99%
          or so CTS, but there are line drawing, sampler accuracy and some snorm
          blending failure I have to work out.
          I also ran the OpenCL 3.0 conformance suite against clover/llvmpipe
          yesterday and have some vague hopes of driving that to some sort of
          completion.

          (for GL 4.6 only texture anisotropy is really missing, I’ve got
          patches for SPIR-V support, in case someone was feeling adventurous).

          Dave.

        • LLVMpipe Is Now Officially Conformant With OpenGL 4.5

          Beginning with Mesa 20.2 is OpenGL 4.5 support for LLVMpipe, the LLVM-based software rasterizer built as a Gallium3D driver. This succeeded LLVMpipe for years being limited to OpenGL 3.3. While the OpenGL 4.5 support has been enabled for weeks, The Khronos Group has now officially confirmed its implementation.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Invalidation

          I’ve got a lot of exciting stuff in the pipe now, but for today I’m just going to talk a bit about resource invalidation: what it is, when it happens, and why it’s important.

          [...]

          Resource invalidation can occur in a number of scenarios, but the most common is when unsetting a buffer’s data, as in the above example. The other main case for it is replacing the data of a buffer that’s in use for another operation. In such a case, the backing buffer can be replaced to avoid forcing a sync in the command stream which will stall the application’s processing. There’s some other cases for this as well, like glInvalidateFramebuffer and glDiscardFramebufferEXT, but the primary usage that I’m interested in is buffers.

          [...]

          Currently, as of today’s mainline zink codebase, we have struct zink_resource to represent a resource for either a buffer or an image. One struct zink_resource represents exactly one VkBuffer or VkImage, and there’s some passable lifetime tracking that I’ve written to guarantee that these Vulkan objects persist through the various command buffers that they’re associated with.

          Each struct zink_resource is, as is the way of Gallium drivers, also a struct pipe_resource, which is tracked by Gallium. Because of this, struct zink_resource objects themselves cannot be invalidated in order to avoid breaking Gallium, and instead only the inner Vulkan objects themselves can be replaced.

    • Applications

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source Linux Documentation Generators

        documentation generator is a programming tool that generates documentation intended for programmers and end users, from a set of commented source code files, and in certain cases, binary files.

        This type of tool is designed especially for programmers who do not like writing documents with LibreOffice Writer or other types of word processor.

        By using these open source tools, developers can produce high quality technical documentation within a few minutes, and at no cost at all.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 advanced Linux documentation generators. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to generate documentation.

      • asciiworld – world map depicted in ASCII

        One of the great strengths of Linux is the whole raft of weird and wonderful open source utilities. That strength does not simply derive from the functionality they offer, but from the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with applications.

        The UNIX philosophy spawned a “software tools” movement which focused on developing concise, basic, clear, modular and extensible code that can be used for other projects. This philosophy remains an important element for many Linux projects.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install FL Studio 20 on a Chromebook with Crossover 20

        Today we are looking at how to install FL Studio 20 on a Chromebook with Crossover 20. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

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

      • [Older] LFCS System Performance

        With every system, especially servers, there is a need to find performance issues. The way to find the issues is to determine your system performance and monitor it over time. Seeing where and when issues arise can help you find solutions to the issues.

        If issues arise for low performance for a Network Interface Card (NIC), then you need to look into increasing network bandwidth to the system or even Load-Balancing among multiple systems. If issues occur at a specific time of day, then you may need to change the time of specific jobs. Certain system jobs may be occurring at intervals too closely together. Spreading out automated tasks or jobs can alleviate the system stress placed on a machine.

      • How to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.10

        Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla is out now! It’s an exciting new release with a lot to love, like QR code WiFi sharing, improved fingerprint login support, better Thunderbolt port support, and much more!

        In this guide, we’ll go over how to upgrade your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system to the new Ubuntu 20.10. However, before we begin, please make a backup of your system, as it’s always good to have a backup before attempting a system upgrade.

      • How To Install Apache Ant on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Ant on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Ant™ is a Java library and command-line tool whose mission is to drive processes described in build files as targets and extension points dependent upon each other. The main known usage of Ant is the build of Java applications. Ant supplies a number of built-in tasks allowing to compile, assemble, test, and run Java applications. Ant can also be used effectively to build non-Java applications, for instance, C or C++ applications. More generally, Ant can be used to pilot any type of process which can be described in terms of targets and tasks.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Apache Ant on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to install MongoDB Community Edition on Linux

        Mongo DB Community is the free edition of the Mongo database software. The Community edition is an excellent option for those that don’t want to pay for the “Enterprise” edition but still want to use excellent database software.

      • How to Install Jira Agile Project Management Tool on Ubuntu 20.04

        JIRA is a project management tool developed by Atlassian which is used as an issue and bug-tracking system. It is a commercial tool and available as a Trial version for a limited time. You can use JIRA in Support and Customer Services to create tickets and track the status of the created tickets. It comes with a simple and user-friendly dashboard that helps you to track work progress and issues. It offers a rich set of features including, Bugs and defect management, Advanced reporting, Search and filtering, Customizable workflows, Customizable dashboards, Advanced security and administration and many more.

      • How to Install YOURLS self-hosted URL shortener on CentOS 8

        YOURLS is a free, open-source and self-hosted URL shortener written in PHP. It is very similar to TinyURL or Bitly and allows you to run your own URL shortening service. It also allows you to add branding to your short URLs. It offers a rich set of features including, Private and Public link, Custom URL keywords, Historical click reports, Ajaxed interface, Jsonp support and many more.
        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install YOURLS on CentOS 8 with Let’s Encrypt SSL.

      • Display Network Information In Linux Using What IP Tool – OSTechNix

        What IP is a simple graphical application used to display network information in Linux operating systems. Using What IP, anyone can easily find the IP address of local, public and virtual network interfaces. You can copy their IP addresses with a single mouse click.

        Not just the IP address, What IP can also get you the list of available ports listening on your system, and check if they are publicly accessible. In addition, it lists the network devices on your LAN.

        Another notable feature is it displays your geolocation based on the IP address. All details are displayed in a compact and simple graphical interface!

        What IP is an open source application written using Python 3 and GTK3 widget toolkit. The source code is freely available in GitLab under GPL3 license.

      • Vdx – An Intuitive Commandline Wrapper To FFmpeg – OSTechNix

        Vdx is an intuitive commandline wrapper to FFmpeg. Using Vdx, we can do most common audio and video encoding and transcoding operations.

      • Using the Midnight Commander to browse Linux directories | Network World

        Midnight Commander – the “mc” command – provides an easy way to browse directories and to view, move, delete, compare, change and edit files. Similar in some ways to ranger, mc makes it easy to move around directories and offers side-by-side file/directory listings that work independently of each other. In addition, it provides a very wide range of actions that you can take through simple menu choices.

        To start Midnight Commander, simply type “mc” in a terminal window. When you open mc, both the left and right sides of the display will look the same and will show the contents of whatever directory you started in. You can switch sides using the tab key or simply by clicking on a directory or file in the side of the display. You can select a file or directory simply by clicking on it. You can also browse directory contents using the up and down arrow keys.

      • Tricks and treats for sysadmins and ops | Enable Sysadmin

        Are you ready for the scary technology tricks that can haunt you as a sysadmin? Here are five treats to counter those tricks.

      • repair all mySQL/mariaDB databases
      • How to install Ubuntu Kylin 20.10 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu Kylin 20.10.

      • How to Quickly Set Up a Mail Server on Debian 10 Buster With Modoboa

        Setting up a mail server on Linux from scratch is a pain in the neck. This tutorial is going to show you how to quickly set up your own email server on Debian 10 Buster with Modoboa, saving you lots of time and headaches. Modoboa is a free and open-source mail hosting and management platform designed to work with Postfix SMTP server and Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server.

        Modoboa is written in Python, released under the terms of ISC license. At the time of writing, The latest version is v1.16.0, released on October 5, 2020.

      • How to install and use Atom editor on CentOS 8 [Ed: caution needed as Microsoft-controlled]

        Atom is an open-source and free source code text editor that is used for macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and provide support to different plug-ins written in Node.js. It has an embedded Git control that is developed by GitHub. It is a desktop-based application built using various web technologies.

      • How to Install Xubuntu 20.04 LTS on VMware Workstation – SysAdmin

        This video tutorial shows how to install Xubuntu 20.04 LTS on VMware Workstation step by step. This tutorial is also helpful to install Xubuntu 20.04 LTS on physical computer or laptop hardware.

      • How to use Unison to sync files on Linux machines across a network – TechRepublic

        With Linux there are so many ways to synchronize and/or backup files over a network. For many, rsync and scp are the de facto standard. There is, of course, another option–one you’ve likely never heard of. That option is Unison, a free, open source, cross-platform bi-directional file sync tool. Unison is used to store two replicas that are modified separately and brought up-to-date by propagating changes to each store.

        Unison is capable of synching directories on a local system or across a network. I want to show you how to use this tool and SSH to sync a directory on one Linux server to another. It’s incredibly simple to use and even has a GUI that can also be installed, for those who prefer graphical tools over the command line. I’ll be illustrating the command line version of Unison on two instances of Ubuntu Server.

      • Ansible Playbook: Complete Beginners’s Guide

        In the previous tutorial, you learned how to use Ansible ad-hoc commands to run a single task on your managed hosts. In this tutorial, you will learn how to automate multiple tasks on your managed hosts by creating and running Ansible playbooks.

        To better understand the differences between Ansible ad-hoc command and Ansible playbooks; you can think of Ansible ad-hoc commands as Linux commands and playbooks as bash scripts.

        Ansible ad-hoc commands are ideal to perform tasks that are not executed frequently such us getting servers uptime, retrieving system information, etc.

      • How To Install XAMPP on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install XAMPP on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, XAMPP is open-source software that provides users with an out-of-the-box server experience. It is a complex, yet very easy-to-use AMPP (Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl) distribution that’s compatible with the Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X operating systems. The best tool for those who want to install a fully functional web development environment.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of XAMPP on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to rebase to Fedora 33 on Silverblue – Fedora Magazine

        Silverblue is an operating system for your desktop built on Fedora. It’s excellent for daily use, development, and container-based workflows. It offers numerous advantages such as being able to roll back in case of any problems. If you want to update to Fedora 33 on your Silverblue system, this article tells you how. It not only shows you what to do, but also how to revert things if something unforeseen happens.

    • Games

      • Developer Brings Shadow of the Tomb Raider to Ubuntu, Outperforms DX11 In Windows 10 | Tom’s Hardware

        Feral Interactive, a company that brings windows games to Mac and Linux, has implemented its magic on Square Unix’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider and has it working in Ubuntu via the Vulkan API. YouTuber Penguin Recordings has compared performance results for both the Ubuntu and Windows 10 platforms side-by-side. The results are quite interesting.

        Because Linux cannot support any type of DirectX API, as it’s Microsoft-only, Feral Interactive has to use the Vulkan API to actively translate DX11 and/or DX12 calls to make them work on Linux. Fortunately, this method does work rather well, but performance will usually be slower than native DirectX due to the translation process.

        Spec-wise, Penguin uses a Ryzen 9 3950X alongside a GeForce RTX 3090 with 32GB of RAM to run his tests.

        Surprisingly, in DX12 mode for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Feral’s Linux version of the game could keep up with the Windows 10 platform quite well. Averaging between two to seven fps (and 10 fps above 100 fps) short of the Windows 10 version. The frame rate difference is so small it would be hard to notice without an fps counter visible.

      • Difficult retro platformer Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe out now | GamingOnLinux

        Leaning heavily into nostalgia and something of a parody, the very difficult platformer series Angry Video Game Nerd has been re-released as a enhanced Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe.

        Truthfully, I’ve never followed Angry Video Game Nerd but they have a pretty clear cult following and they were a huge influence on the early lot of on-video game reviews being one of the first set of people to do it. They somewhat set the stage for the many thousands of others doing them regularly across YouTube and other sites today. There was even an Angry Video Game Nerd movie…

      • Amnesia: Rebirth 1.1 is out, along with major rendering fixes for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Frictional Games have released Amnesia: Rebirth 1.1 which is a very important upgrade for Linux fans as it fixes up some major problems.

        At the release, sadly the game was something of a mess for Linux with floating objects and at times everything vanishing. Thankfully, it seems the Linux graphical issues have been fully solved and you should now be able to play through. Nicely timed here by Frictional for Halloween.

      • Come watch a Linux game get built up and packed during the Linux Application Summit | GamingOnLinux

        As we mentioned previously the Linux Application Summit will be happening online this November 12 – 14, and it seems one Linux game porter will be attending.

        The event, sponsored by open source consulting firm Collabora (who are doing some important Linux Kernel work for Windows game emulation) and co-hosted by the GNOME and KDE camps will be showing lots of panels on everything involving building for Linux and this includes: creating, packaging, and distributing apps, to monetization within the Linux ecosystem and much more.

        Game porter and FNA creator Ethan Lee, has announced a talk titled “Watch a Linux Game Get Built in Real Time”. Ethan Lee is responsible for over 50 Linux game ports including the likes of FEZ, Salt and Sanctuary, Pyre, Transistor, Dust: An Elysian Tail and the list goes on. During this talk happening on November 12, Ethan Lee will be showing how they all actually get built mentioning on Twitter that “There is no presentation, no slides, no nothing. Just me building games exactly as they run on your PC today”.

      • Valve put their ‘Pressure Vessel’ container source for Linux games up on GitLab | GamingOnLinux

        Want to see the dirty innards of more Valve code? Well you’re in luck as they now have a lot of work involved in the Steam Runtime on GitLab including the Pressure Vessel container.

        Valve has for some time now had their own GitHub account, which is where they listed many different open source projects like GameNetworkingSockets, Proton and more. However, they’ve now added a bunch of other projects to their own hosted GitLab.

        You can now find the steamrt group on their GitLab, which contains projects for various parts of the Steam Linux Runtime, including the source for the much newer Pressure Vessel container system which according to Valve contractor Timothee Besset on Twitter was previously “only available as a tarball release” from their download servers.

      • Atari VCS seeing supply shortages, not expecting full production until early 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Here we go again, how many delays have we seen now? This time the Atari VCS team are saying that it’s so popular they don’t have enough components.

        Reminder: the Atari VCS is a modern-retro hybrid console, that runs a Linux OS and it can have any other operating system of your choice boot up on it. Originally crowdfunded on IndieGoGo in 2018 with multiple millions, it’s relying on some pretty heavy nostalgia.

        In a fresh Medium blog post, the team mentioned that they’re now looking at full retail production in January 2021. Instead of late October for the first lot of deliveries for backers, they’ve also now pushed that back further into mid-November. They said two issues have caused part of this which is a “critical” and “very scarce component” needed for the Classic Joystick along with “a specific part” needed for their AMD Ryzen CPU that they appear to be looking around to find more sources for. The January 2021 date still might not be hit, as they say they’re “assuming” what they need arrives in time and in the full quantity they need.

      • This Halloween the Diretide event has finally returned to Dota 2 | GamingOnLinux

        Live now until December 22, Valve have finally revived and refreshed the big Diretide Halloween event for Dota 2.

        I almost can’t believe it, as this event hasn’t been run for 7 years. After the original event in 2012, there was something of an uproar in the Dota 2 community when it seemed Valve wouldn’t do it in 2013 but they eventually did. After that though? Nothing and it became almost a myth. It’s back though!

      • Awesome 3D emulator for the NES ’3dSen PC’ adds more iconic game support | GamingOnLinux

        Still can’t believe my eyes as I try out games with 3dSen PC, with it converting classic NES games into 3D and it just feels like magic.

        Currently in Early Access, this amazing emulator is truly like no other. In real-time it converts your favourites into full 3D with a properly adjustable camera. In action it’s pretty incredible to see and far more than a fun gimmick, it really does make games look and feel different.

        Due to how it works, game support is limited as each needs to be setup so that 3dSen PC can understand what it needs although the list is growing. As of the latest release the developer has hooked up official profiles for Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Solomon’s Key and Fire ‘n Ice.

      • The Sacrifices is an upcoming collection of seven interconnected stories set in Britain | GamingOnLinux

        Game dev studio Far Few Giants have announced The Sacrifices, a set of seven narrative adventures set in Britain.

        These short adventures are all connected in some way too, and the idea is that each of them put you into the “everyday lives of a diverse range of people as they navigate the toughest ethical moment of their life”. A politically charged set of games touching on immigration, extremism and more with it being made as “a direct response to the dystopian times we’re living in”.

      • Difficulty retro platformer Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe out now | GamingOnLinux

        Leaning heavily into nostalgia and something of a parody, the very difficult platformer series Angry Video Game Nerd has been re-released as a enhanced Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe.

        Truthfully, I’ve never followed Angry Video Game Nerd but they have a pretty clear cult following and they were a huge influence on the early lot of on-video game reviews being one of the first set of people to do it. They somewhat set the stage for the many thousands of others doing them regularly across YouTube and other sites today. There was even an Angry Video Game Nerd movie…

        Anyway, they had two episodes of a difficult retro platformer out that have been bundled together, remastered and upgraded with new content in the Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe edition out now.

      • Monochrome RPG is channelling 1920s animation into a comedy adventure | GamingOnLinux

        This is seriously cool. Monochrome RPG is an upcoming comedy adventure about a lone comedian with an art and animation style that looks like a 1920s animation.

        Monochrome RPG, they say, is a “pun-filled black and white 1920s cartoon-styled comedy narrative adventure series where you’ll perform on stage, entertain enemies, and build your own acting troupe”. In development by
        The Monochrome Workshop, they’re a global group of creatives working on it together while commissioning various others to work on different parts too.

      • Steam Halloween Sale is now live, along with multiple game events | GamingOnLinux

        Running until November 2 at 5PM UTC, the Steam Halloween Sale event is now live. There’s plenty of great games going cheap, and multiple games running special events too.

      • WHAT THE GOLF? parody game is now available for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        After being exclusive to the Epic Games Store (which doesn’t support Linux) for a year, WHAT THE GOLF? is now available on Steam. As of October 22 the Steam release went up, and since October 29 a proper Linux build has been put up too. This means that developer Triband has now completed what was originally promises on their Fig crowdfunding campaign from back in 2018.

        What actually is it? Well, it’s anything but Golf. Sort of, it’s something of a parody game made by “people who know nothing about golf” and it actually looks highly amusing.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Sugar: A Linux Desktop Environment and Learning Platform for Kids

        In this Desktop Environment review, we take a departure from the norm and focus on a very specialized desktop environment. Sugar is a desktop environment that’s designed for education and ease of use and is built very well for what it is. This articles goes over the Sugar Desktop Environment, its user experience, some notable features, and some recommendations on who should use Sugar.

        From the start, it is very obvious that Sugar is very specialized. I’m using the Fedora SoaS (Sugar on a Stick) Spin, which is designed to just be flashed to a USB stick and used that way, but the point stands. It’s clearly specialized and made to be used a particular way. Icons are large, the cursor is enormous, and it’s supposed to be easy to use for a young child.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • [Krita artist David REVOY] Where money goes?

          I used already the earning of the first 735 books sold to renew my computer (1100€ budget). I’ll detail the config I bought in a future blog-post (after I received and test it).

        • David REVOY: 1000!
        • Digital Painting App Krita 4.4.1 Released with Stability Improvements

          Just a few weeks after the release of Krita 4.4, the first point release Krita 4.4.1 now is out with various bug-fixes and stability improvements.

          For Android and Chrome OS, Krita now uses SDK v29 so it doesn’t need permissions to run anymore and can access external files more easily. There are also fixes to color picker, copy and paste on the platforms.

          [...]

          The Krita Lime PPA (check the link before getting started) contains the most recent software packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 20.10.

        • KDE.org migrated to Hugo

          KDE.org now uses the Hugo. Hugo is a fast and modern static site generator written in Go. It provides a few improvements over the old system that was using plain PHP. A large part of the work was done by Anuj during GSoC 2020. This was a massive work, converting the repository storing more than 20 years of KDE history.

          The website is now generated once and no longer use PHP to generate itself at runtime. This improves the loading speed of the website, but the speed boost is not significant, since the PHP code used before was quite small and KDE’s servers are powerful.

          But the biggest improvement is in terms of features. We are now working with markdown files instead of raw HTML files, this makes the life of the promo team much easier.

          The internalization of the website now creates a unique URL per language, this should allow Google to link to the version of the website using the correct language. A french, ukrainian, catalan, Dutch, and a few more languages are already available. There is also a proper language selector! We also don’t need to manually tag each string for translations.

        • KDE Plasma 5.20.2, bugfix Release for October

          Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.20.2 Plasma 5.20 was released in October 2020 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

        • Resource management in KDE

          Edmundson started by explaining that the job of a desktop environment is deliver applications to the user. Users “need to be in control”, he said. That role has become more complicated in recent years. Some time ago, when a user was running a web browser like Firefox or a chat application like Kopete, the management of running processes was easy. The user could run a ps command and would see just one line of output for each of those applications. This was easy to understand and self-explanatory.

          Now, the situation is “very different”. When a user opens a Firefox instance they can get a dozen processes; Discord in a Flatpak (“because it is cool now”) launches 13 processes. The ps output is unreadable; it consists of “random names doing random things”. Just understanding that output is difficult; aggregating the results to get an idea of how much CPU time or power the application is using has become even more challenging. There is thus a need to track processes properly in desktop environments, since the available data no longer means anything. We “need some metadata”, Edmundson concluded.

          Fairness is also an increasingly important issue. Edmundson gave an example of Krita, an advanced graphics application. It performs some heavy processing, all contained within a single process. On the other hand, Discord has those 13 processes, many of which will be making heavy use of the CPU “because it is written in Electron”. The system’s CPU scheduler will see those two applications as 14 opaque processes, not knowing what they correspond to. This means that Krita could get only 1/14 of the available CPU time, even though it represents half of the applications running. Metadata about running applications needs to propagate through the whole software stack to be available to the scheduler, he said.

          One of Plasma’s tasks is mapping windows to applications. More precisely, it tries to map windows to their associated desktop files — the configuration files containing metadata that are used, for example, to create menu entries. Applications open windows and “we hope we can match it all up”. The Plasma developers use a lot of hacks and heuristics to perform this matching, but “we do not like guessing”, he said. He made an example of a Firefox window being used to watch an Akademy talk like his. There is an audio icon inside that window, but this icon is not managed by the same process as the one controlling the outer window, he explained. Plasma needs to find the link between them, and “it is an arbitrary guessing game”.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Daniel Pocock: Lockdown: surviving small spaces

          With all conferences cancelled this year, one of the things I decided to do was trying an online course. After the first week, I was having trouble sleeping at night, with pain at the back of my eyes. I was almost going to give up. I made various adjustments to dramatically reduce lighting. I already had my monitor permanently in the mode for Low Blue Light. I combined this with the GNOME desktop’s Night Light mode and configured smart bulbs in my home to run dimmer and redder. After these changes, I feel the problem was almost immediately resolved.

          [...]

          With record numbers of people being infected, dying or simply losing jobs, the idea of throwing a party may not be the most sensitive thing to do. Nonetheless, if you do want to recreate the feeling of going out to a bar or nightclub, it has never been easier or cheaper to do so with various technologies you can buy online.

          Once again, the key theme is lighting. Smart bulbs can be configured for gradual changes throughout the work day. Some bulbs can be configured for more advanced effects coupled with music. One of my lights is a LED panel that can simulate a disco, candlelight, thunderstorm or even a police car to make the night complete. This means it can be anything from a night club in Berlin to a local pub in Ireland.

          For sound, seeking a larger diameter speaker sometimes makes a dramatic impact. A pair of oversized vintage speakers from an op-shop may produce better sound than the built-in speakers of most modern laptops, monitors and flat screen TVs.

          Once you’ve conquered light and sound, it is time for taste. An Air Fryer can make chips and there are plenty of recipes suitable for any level of cooking skills. Some of the best models are not available in every store and most of them are a lot cheaper online anyway. While they sound like a jet engine, there is no evidence that Air Fryers have been used in the astronaut diet.

        • Claudio Saavedra’s ChangeLog – October 2020

          In this line of work, we all stumble at least once upon a problem that turns out to be extremely elusive and very tricky to narrow down and solve. If we’re lucky, we might have everything at our disposal to diagnose the problem but sometimes that’s not the case – and in embedded development it’s often not the case. Add to the mix proprietary drivers, lack of debugging symbols, a bug that’s very hard to reproduce under a controlled environment, and weeks in partial confinement due to a pandemic and what you have is better described as a very long lucid nightmare. Thankfully, even the worst of nightmares end when morning comes, even if sometimes morning might be several days away. And when the fix to the problem is in an inimaginable place, the story is definitely one worth telling.

          [...]

          It all started with one of Igalia’s customers deploying a WPE WebKit-based browser in their embedded devices. Their CI infrastructure had detected a problem caused when the browser was tasked with creating a new webview (in layman terms, you can imagine that to be the same as opening a new tab in your browser). Occasionally, this view would never load, causing ongoing tests to fail. For some reason, the test failure had a reproducibility of ~75% in the CI environment, but during manual testing it would occur with less than a 1% of probability. For reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, the CI infrastructure was not reachable in a way that would allow to have access to running processes in order to diagnose the problem more easily. So with only logs at hand and less than a 1/100 chances of reproducing the bug myself, I set to debug this problem locally.

          [...]

          Something that is worth mentioning before we move on is how the WPEBackend-fdo Wayland display integrates with the system. This display is a nested display, with each web view a client, while it is itself a client of the system’s Wayland display. This can be a bit confusing if you’re not very familiar with how Wayland works, but fortunately there is good documentation about Wayland elsewhere.

          The way that the Wayland display in the UI process of a WPEWebKit browser is integrated with the rest of the program, when it uses WPEBackend-fdo, is through the GLib main event loop. Wayland itself has an event loop implementation for servers, but for a GLib-powered application it can be useful to use GLib’s and integrate Wayland’s event processing with the different stages of the GLib main loop. That is precisely how WPEBackend-fdo is handling its clients’ events. As discussed earlier, when a new client is created a pair of connected sockets are created and one end is given to Wayland to control communication with the client. GSourceFunc functions are used to integrate Wayland with the application main loop. In these functions, we make sure that whenever there are pending messages to be sent to clients, those are sent, and whenever any of the client sockets has pending data to be read, Wayland reads from them, and to dispatch the events that might be necessary in response to the incoming data. And here is where things start getting really strange, because after doing a bit of fprintf()-powered debugging inside the Wayland-GSourceFuncs functions, it became clear that the Wayland events from the clients were never dispatched, because the dispatch() GSourceFunc was not being called, as if there was nothing coming from any Wayland client. But how is that possible, if we already know that the web process client is actually trying to get the Wayland registry?

          To move forward, one needs to understand how the GLib main loop works, in particular, with Unix file descriptor sources. A very brief summary of this is that, during an iteration of the main loop, GLib will poll file descriptors to see if there are any interesting events to be reported back to their respective sources, in which case the sources will decide whether to trigger the dispatch() phase. A simple source might decide in its dispatch() method to directly read or write from/to the file descriptor; a Wayland display source (as in our case), will call wl_event_loop_dispatch() to do this for us. However, if the source doesn’t find any interesting events, or if the source decides that it doesn’t want to handle them, the dispatch() invocation will not happen. More on the GLib main event loop in its API documentation.

        • GSoD Weekly Summary 6

          Since last week, I have been working on the GNOME calculator app and I spent most of my time writing the docs for the different calculator modes.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • NetBSD Switched Its Default Window Manager From TWM to CTWM

          NetBSD is one of the oldest BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution)-based Unix-like free and open-source operating systems. For more than two decades, it is still actively developed for several platforms such as servers, desktops, and embedded systems.

          From the beginning, NetBSD featured the X11 windowing system with the “classic” default window manager of TWM (Tab Window Manager). But now, the team has switched its default window manager from TWM to CTWM (Claude’s Tab Window Manager) in NetBSD-current.

          If you don’t know, NetBSD-current is a nightly distribution of the latest NetBSD development branch, which includes the latest features along with experimental changes and bugs.

        • Various software updates in FreeBSD

          On an average day, I make use of a few dozen or more Open Source projects, and contribute to one or two (notably Calamares and KDE, but it varies wildly). When I wear my FreeBSD packaging hat, I tend to drive-by contribute to many more projects because there’s compatibility or C++-style fixes to apply. And I try to keep up with releases, some of which I’ll highlight here.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Zoom updated to 5.4.53350.1027 » PCLinuxOS

          Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

        • Opera Browser updated to 72.0.3815.186 » PCLinuxOS

          Opera is a multi-platform web browser for Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux operating systems developed by Opera Software. Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It distinguishes itself from other browsers through its user interface and other features.

        • Calibre updated to 5.4.1 » PCLinuxOS

          Calibre is a cross-platform open-source suite of e-book software. Calibre supports organizing existing e-books into virtual libraries, displaying, editing, creating and converting e-books, as well as syncing e-books with a variety of e-readers. Editing books is supported for EPUB and AZW3 formats.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Enterprise Storage 7 – new horizons – SUSE Communities

          If data is the lifeblood of the modern business, then storage must be its heart. The preservation, safeguarding and management of exponentially growing volumes of data on a budget is one of the biggest business challenges today. Companies require scalable, robust and reliable storage solutions to retain their competitive edge.

          At SUSE, we are committed to delivering the best and latest technology to customers, and turn enterprise IT infrastructure into powerful tools that support your business growth and protect your data assets. In line with our focus on innovation and unwavering commitment to helping you succeed now while preparing you for the future, today we announce the highly anticipated release of SUSE Enterprise Storage 7 – one of the first industry products and leading enterprise-grade solutions based on the Ceph Octopus release.

          SUSE has been deeply involved in this release. Our engineers led the community development of its two major management modules, cephadm and the new dashboard graphic interface.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 111 | YaST

          Another development sprint ended for the YaST Team this week. This time we have fewer news than usual about new features in YaST… and the reason for that may surprise you. Turns out a significant part of the YaST Team has been studying the internals of Cockpit in an attempt to use our systems management knowledge to help to improve the Cockpit support for (open)SUSE.

          But that doesn’t mean we have fully stopped the development of YaST and other parts of the installation process.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/44 – Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

          Week 44 brought, among many other things, an upgrade to Kernel 5.9.1. The feedback I had seen so far was good, so people can still do their work.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM Red Hat vs. SUSE: How do these Linux distributions stack up?

          IBM Red Hat and SUSE are the leading vendors in the open source enterprise Linux market, but how do these two builds compare?

          Learn the history of IBM Red Hat vs. SUSE and compare numerous criteria — including the architectures each supports and how each distribution addresses the learning curve — as well as product support offerings, pricing and certifications.

          Like other Linux distributions, RHEL and SUSE both support a comprehensive set of commands. When comparing these two distributions, it’s worth noting that, although some commands are common to all Linux distributions, IBM Red Hat and SUSE also have their own command sets. Additionally, the commands these Linux distributions support tend to evolve over time.

          [...]

          Like any Linux distribution, SLES has a significant learning curve, particularly for those who are new to Linux OSes. However, SUSE does offer comprehensive training resources, including online and in-person classes.

          SLES is sold as a one- or three-year subscription. The subscription cost is based on the number of sockets or VMs, the architecture and the support option the organization selects. A one-year subscription for an x86/x64 OS running on one to two sockets or one to two VMs with Standard support starts at $799.

          SUSE offers two support options: Standard and Priority. Its Standard support plan includes assistance with software upgrades and updates, as well as unlimited technical support via chat, phone or web. Support is available 12 hours per day, five days per week, with a two-hour response time for Severity 1 issues and a four-hour response time for Severity 2 issues.

        • Upgrading to Fedora 33: Removing Your Old Swap File on EFI Machine | Groveronline

          Fedora 33 adds a compressed-memory-based swap device using zram. Cool! Now you can remove your old swap device, if you were a curmudgeon like me and even had one in the first place.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-44 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 33 was released on Tuesday! Join us for the virtual release party. Election nominations are open through 11 November.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Container Security Explained
        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 adds roles, tunings, profiles, app streams, containers. That’s it.

          The world’s favourite grown-up headgear-themed Linux distro, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has reached version 8.3, Red Hat has announced. Identical in most respects to 8.2, the new version adds pre-packaged configuration, compliance and container options to ease the daily toil of devops in the modern IT environment.

          There are new Red Hat System Roles, which guide and automate OS configurations to speed installation by what RH charitably describes as those with ‘a wider range of skill sets’. New roles now include kernel settings, log settings, SAP HANA, SAP NetWeaver and management.Tuned, a set of pre-configured, architecture-aware performance profiles, has also been updated.

        • RHEL 8.3 updates target digital transformation

          With an eye toward easing digital transformation projects, the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes improved container tools, new security profiles and the addition of several System Roles, including ones for kernel settings, SAP HANA and NetWeaver.

          Red Hat also improved RHEL performance, adding updates to Tuned, which is a set of pre-configured profiles. Tuned allows IT shops to take better advantage of Red Hat’s multi-architecture, enabling software to run faster across a number of different hardware architectures. Also, Red Hat Insights continues to remain available by default for RHEL systems. As part of version 8.3, Red Hat added administrator views specifically for SAP HANA deployments.

          System Roles makes both common and complex RHEL configurations more consistent and accessible to a wider range of IT skillsets in large organizations.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3 Announced With Updated AppStream

          Exactly three months after the beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3, the Red Hat team has now announced a new stable version of the RHEL 8 platform called RHEL 8.3.

          The latest stable release aims to deliver more stability with cloud-native innovation by introducing new security profiles, enhanced performance capabilities, and updated container tools.

        • RHEL 8.3 Released With TSX Disabled By Default To Avoid Mitigation Overhead

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 is out today as the latest release of the RHEL8 platform.

          The latest stable release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, RHEL 8.3, is focused on expanded Red Hat System Roles support, updates to Tuned, new SCAP profiles, updated Application Streams, and other enterprise-minded stability enhancements. Some specific changes to note with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 include:

          - RHEL 8.3 is now disabling Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) by default. Disabling of TSX by default is done in the name of security and to remove the performance penalty of having TSX Asynchronous Abort mitigations for Xeon Cascade Lake processors. TSX can be enabled with the “tsx=on” kernel parameter.

          - New module streams for Ruby 2.7, Nginx 1.18, Perl 5.30, and Node.js 14. The streams for Python 3.8, PHP 7.4, and HTTPD 2.4.

        • Red Hat Pairs Innovation with Stability in Latest Version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, Further Extends Linux as Foundation for Digital Transformation

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. Generally available in the coming weeks, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 fuses the stability required by IT operations teams with cloud-native innovation, providing a more stable platform for next-generation enterprise applications. Already an established backbone for mission-critical computing, the latest enhancements to the platform bring new performance profiles and automation, reinforced security capabilities and updated container tools.

        • A post-COVID IT roadmap [Ed: By Mark Bohannon, vice president, government affairs at Red Hat]

          What began for almost all of us as a month-long work from home event looks like it will last a year or longer. When we return to the office, it will be a completely different experience, with most employees working staggered schedules, teams divided into groups and ever more reliance on technology to keep employees and customers connected and engaged.

          In recent weeks we have seen announcements from major technology companies, financial firms and others that support the forever-changed nature of the way we work. Understanding that, it’s time to start talking about the next steps we need to take to ensure that our IT infrastructure and tools can continue to support the remote workers, while providing state-of-the-art, timely customer service.

          The U.S. Department of Defense, prior to COVID probably one of the agencies in all of government most reluctant to support a remote workforce, has been without question one of the leaders in adapting to our “new normal.” DOD, through the adoption of work from home tools and improvements to its overall IT infrastructure, has moved nearly one million employees from a traditional office environment to a work-from-home posture. Despite its quick success, DOD is also a perfect example of the work that remains.

        • Show us your gear: Greg Gorman and an IoT command center for work and play – IBM Developer

          I admit it – I’m a total nerd when it comes to gadgets and toys, it’s pretty obvious looking at my desk! A quick scan of my network shows 39 devices on SmartThings, 92 that Alexa knows about (along with four Echos of various types) and 66 devices on my wi-fi and ethernet network! While some are work-related, many others are more about learning to hack on IoT devices as a side-hobby.

          [...]

          I set up a Raspberry Pi 3B+ to run it, and then I have a central hub that collects as much of the data as I can get my hands on.

        • The IBM Kubernetes Certification Process – IBM Developer

          Inside IBM, a large number of containerized software products are released every day. They are built with different personas, Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift cluster requirements, and install technologies. These products need to be consistent and feel like they all came from the same company, but an industry standard for the design of production-grade, Kubernetes software does not exist. By creating the IBM Kubernetes Certification process, my team helps developers drive consistency, security, reliability, and good design across IBM products.

          If you develop containerized software, you likely relate to the importance of certification. All containerized software should complete a similar certification process since it gives a stamp of production grade readiness and security to customers.

        • Innovation with an open modular platform begins with automation

          Financial services institutions, by necessity, are embracing digital transformation and technology solutions to work more efficiently to maintain regulatory compliance, reduce risk, increase productivity, and exceed customer expectations. As part of the never-ending quest to participate in the development of industry-leading solutions, Red Hat has led the way in the demonstration of new forward-looking solutions, especially in this sector.

        • Open Liberty 20.0.0.11 brings Kerberos authentication and Thanos support in Grafana dashboards – Red Hat Developer

          This article is a quick look at two exciting updates in the new Open Liberty 20.0.0.11 release. First, you can now use the Kerberos authentication protocol to secure Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) data sources. I’ll introduce the new kerberos configuration element in Open Liberty’s server.xml and show you how to use the Kerberos protocol to secure a data source.

          We’ve also updated Open Liberty’s Grafana dashboard, which you can now use to visualize MicroProfile Metrics data from Thanos data sources. This new functionality benefits developers working in Kubernetes environments such as Red Hat OpenShift, where it is possible to use Thanos to query and store metrics data from multiple clusters. Keep reading to learn more about both of these updates in Open Liberty 20.0.0.11.

        • SmoogeSpace: RHEL-6/CentOS-6/SciLin-6/EPEL-6 End Of Life Notice 2020-11-30

          This is a short reminder that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 6 will enter ‘Extended Lifetime Support’ in about 30 days from when I am writing this. Extended Lifetime Support (ELS) is a specific contract with Red Hat for them to cover certain security fixes for some extended time to allow sites some time for last minute transitions.

          RHEL-6 was released in November of 2010, and was the first RHEL I got to work with/on after I returned to Red Hat in 2009. The release has seen 10 minor releases (1 less than RHEL-5), and has been in ‘extended’ mode since the last 6.10 release in June 2018.

          [...]

          Primarily, if you are going to be affected by the end of EL-6 services, you either need to get an ELS contract, move to another OS, or move to self-support. In order to self-support, you will need to mirror the source code from your distribution provider and learn the basics of RPM building. If you are on CentOS and find your servers not able to do yum installs anymore.. you will need to mirror the EL-6 from the CentOS vault somewhere locally and use that as your new ‘mirror’. Depending on time and energy, I will try to outline some of these steps in future blog posts.

      • Debian Family

        • combining “apt install” and “get dist-upgrade”? « codeblog

          While it’s not much, this results in redundant work. For example reading/writing package database, potentially running triggers (man-page refresh, ldconfig, etc). The internal package dependency resolution stuff isn’t actually different: “install” will also do upgrades of needed packages, etc. Combining them should be entirely possible, but I haven’t found a clean way to do this yet.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Announces ETrace As New Linux Application Tracing For Performance/Debugging

          Canonical has announced ETrace as a new application tracing tool designed for debugging and performance profiling of Snap packages but can also be used with any Linux binary applications.

          Their new ETrace tool is written in the Go programming language and leverages ptrace for performance and debug analysis. Current functionality of ETrace allows monitoring the time it takes an application until its window is displayed, the files accessed during the duration of the program, and other common profiling/debug features.

        • Introducing etrace – a multi-purpose application profiling tool

          These days, the internal workings of Linux applications involve many different moving parts. Sometimes, it can be rather difficult to debug them when things go wrong or run slower than expected. Tracing an application’s execution is one way of understanding potential issues without diving into the source code. To this end, we wrote an app-tracing tool called etrace, designed to detect performance bottlenecks and runtime issues in snaps.

          In this article, we will be taking a look at etrace with an overview of the basic functionality of etrace, and highlight its usage through several representative examples.

        • What’s New in Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla? Why You Should Give Ubuntu Another Shot

          Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla is now available for download and install. If you’ve been away from Ubuntu for a while, is this the release to make you jump back on board the Canonical groove train? Here’s everything you need to know about Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla!

          [...]

          However, in recent years, even standard releases have become less ambitious and instead focused more on fine-tuning and polishing the Ubuntu experience than venturing into new territory.

          Ubuntu was once the default suggestion for novices interested in try Linux: its user-friendliness, supportive community, and just-works philosophy led to wide-spread adoption. And while it’s still one of the most popular distros, Ubuntu has lost some favor due to a number of missteps over the last decade—for example, bundling Amazon adware and radically redesigning the desktop.

          As a result, Canonical’s distro now battles Linux Mint, Manjaro, and MX Linux for the top spot in many distro review round-ups and user recommendations. So, in that light…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • RT-Thread launches developer event

        RT-Thread is an open source embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) providing a wide range of components along with more than 250 software packages (and counting) for the Internet of Things (IoT). In previous Opensource.com articles, the RT-Thread project has demonstrated how to code hardware with an RTOS and how to program for IoT using open source tools.

        Great things in open source are never done by one person; they’re done by a group of people working together. And if you want to get started with embedded programming or you’re looking for an RTOS for your embedded project, RT-Thread wants to collaborate with you!

        Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with Programming For Beginners to hold a developer event. We’re looking for developers who have ideas, ambitions, and excitement for the open source hardware.

      • Sandstorm: A Complete Open-source Platform with A Rich Ecosystem for Enterprise

        It’s a nightmare for many companies and enterprise technical departments to run the required apps separately, keep up with the maintenance, auditing logs and manage their updates. Especially the ones with low IT resources or complex structure.

        It’s not resources-effective approach neither secure. Despite it requires a dedicated team of DevOps to keep up, It is also a challenge for company identity management, access management and compliance.

        Here it comes Sandstorm, An open-source solution that is designed specifically to resolve these issue and boost enterprise, developers, DevOps and individuals productivity. In this article we will guide you through this amazing application, explaining how it works, listing its features and the best use-cases for it.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Dustin J. Mitchell: Taskcluster’s DB (Part 2) – DB Migrations [Ed: Mozilla as Microsoft proprietary software boosters]

            This is part 2 of a deep-dive into the implementation details of Taskcluster’s backend data stores. Check out part 1 for the background, as we’ll jump right in here!

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: MDN Web Docs evolves! Lowdown on the upcoming new platform [Ed: It's a shame that Mozilla is even outsourcing documentation to Microsoft's proprietary software trap]

            The time has come for Kuma — the platform that powers MDN Web Docs — to evolve. For quite some time now, the MDN developer team has been planning a radical platform change, and we are ready to start sharing the details of it. The question on your lips might be “What does a Kuma evolve into? A KumaMaMa?”

            For those of you not so into Pokémon, the question might instead be “How exactly is MDN changing, and how does it affect MDN users and contributors”?

            For general users, the answer is easy — there will be very little change to how we serve the great content you use everyday to learn and do your jobs.

            For contributors, the answer is a bit more complex.

            [...]

            Because MDN content is soon to be contained in a GitHub repo, the contribution workflow will change significantly. You will no longer be able to click Edit on a page, make and save a change, and have it show up nearly immediately on the page. You’ll also no longer be able to do your edits in a WYSIWYG editor.

          • Mike Taylor: .www filename flags in web-platform-tests

            So like, if you ever need to load a page on a different subdomain to test some kind of origin-y or domainy-y thing, you can just name your test something amazing like origin-y-test.www.html and it will open the test for you at www.web-platform.test (rather than web-platform.test, or similarly, however your system or server is configured).

          • Contribute to selecting new Recommended extensions | Mozilla Add-ons Blog

            Recommended extensions—a curated list of extensions that meet Mozilla’s highest standards of security, functionality, and user experience—are in part selected with input from a rotating editorial board of community contributors. Each board runs for six consecutive months and evaluates a small batch of new Recommended candidates each month. The board’s evaluation plays a critical role in helping identify new potential Recommended additions.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Alpha1 is ready for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.1 Alpha1 is ready for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.1 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2021 ( Check the Release Plan ) being LibreOffice 7.1 Alpha1 the first pre-release since the development of version 7.1 started at the end of May, 2020. Since then, 5374 commits have been submitted to the code repository and more than 1100 bugs were set to FIXED in Bugzilla. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 7.1 Alpha1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and it can be installed alongside the standard version.

          In case you find any problem in this pre-release, please report it in Bugzilla ( You just need a legit email account in order to create a new account ).

        • LibreOffice monthly recap: October 2020

          Here’s our summary of updates, events and activities in the LibreOffice project in the last four weeks…

        • [LibreOffice 7.1] Layout updates

          You know the LibreOffice community work hard on the LibreOffice 7.1 Christmas release. Did you know that LibreOffice has 7 different UI Layouts? With the next release, our uses will be informed after the installation. Thanks to Heiko for the new dialog.

        • Your typical errors when creating presentation templates. Part 1

          Try click somewhere on slide in area with rectangles. You can select any from these rectangles include the largest grey rectangle that author used as background for all composition. Its all are just shapes! This is an absolutely wrong way when you create a presentation template!

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.5.3 Maintenance Release

          WordPress 5.5.3 is now available.

          This maintenance release fixes an issue introduced in WordPress 5.5.2 which makes it impossible to install WordPress on a brand new website that does not have a database connection configured. This release does not affect sites where a database connection is already configured, for example, via one-click installers or an existing wp-config.php file.

          [...]

          These themes and plugins were not activated and therefore remain non-functional unless you installed them previously. It is safe to delete these features should you prefer not to use them.

          If you are not on 5.5.2, or have auto-updates for minor releases disabled, please manually update to the 5.5.3 version by downloading WordPress 5.5.3 or visiting Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.”

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Video of EIRSAT-1 talk

            This followed by a detailed proposal as to how amateur radio operators can contribute to ground station operations via SatNOGs and gr_satellites GNU Radio

      • Programming/Development

        • 5 Outstanding Open-Source Projects Which Have Just One Source File

          Programmers write code in different ways according to their preference and type of the particular project. If a software project is quite large and growing, we usually decompose the whole thing into several files to achieve maintainability. However, programmers often turn awesome ideas into single-file open-source projects amazingly.

        • Jussi Pakkanen/Nibble Stew: How to build dependencies as Meson subprojects using SDL as an example

          Today we released version 0.56.0 of the Meson build system. This is an especially important release as it marks the 10 000th commit since the start of the project. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed their time and effort, this project would not exist without all of you. However in this post we are not going to talk about that, those interested can find further details in the release notes. Instead we are going to be talking about how to build your dependencies from source on every platform without needing anything other than Meson.

          Last month I had a lightning talk at CppCon about this way of managing dependencies:

          Since then there have been many improvements to the workflow for a smoother experience. To demonstrate this I upgraded the sample program to use SDL Mixer and SDL Image instead of relying on plain SDL.

        • Abstraction: The Journey from Memory Tubes to JavaScript Memory Management

          While reading George Dyson’s computer history book Turing’s Cathedral earlier this year, I was struck by how physical the act of programming was back in the 1940s and 50s, when the age of computers began. Take a close look at the lead image of this post, borrowed from Dyson’s book, which shows John von Neumann and the MANIAC computer in 1952. At hip level in the photo are a group of Williams cathode-ray memory tubes, each one storing 1,024 bits. There were 40 tubes, so the total capacity was 40,960 bits (5 kilobytes!)

          What’s even more remarkable than the fact that von Neumann could touch the memory tubes, is that he was also able to see what was happening inside the tubes. “In the foreground [of the photo] is the 7-inch-diameter 41st monitor stage, allowing the contents of the memory to be observed while in use,” wrote Dyson.

          When von Neumann and his colleagues programmed the MANIAC, they were acutely aware of what was happening inside the machine. They had to understand precisely how memory worked, in order to physically manipulate it. “Every memory location had to be specified at every step,” explained Dyson, “and the position of the significant digits adjusted as a computation progressed.”

        • A Journey Through Memory Management

          Since that time, MacManus notes, “we’ve gone from having to program instructions—using machine language, no less—into a cathode-ray memory tube, to 80% of the time copying and pasting reusable modules into an internet service (and having no idea where in the world it will actually get computed).

          [...]

          Since that time, MacManus notes, “we’ve gone from having to program instructions—using machine language, no less—into a cathode-ray memory tube, to 80% of the time copying and pasting reusable modules into an internet service (and having no idea where in the world it will actually get computed).

        • The accelerating adoption of Julia [LWN.net]

          The Julia programming language has seen a major increase in its use and popularity over the last few years. We last looked at it two years ago, around the time of the Julia 1.0 release. Here, we will look at some of the changes since that release, none of which are major, as well as some newer resources for learning the language, but the main focus of this article is a case study that is meant to help show why the language has been taking off. A follow-up article will introduce a new computational notebook for Julia, called Pluto, that is akin to Jupyter notebooks.

          Julia is a programming language that was first released in 2012; its implementation is released under the MIT license. It is a general-purpose language, but with a particular suitability for scientific programming and numerical work. Julia is a dynamic language, with an interactive mode and easy-to-learn syntax that is simple for novice programmers; it also has deeper layers of sophistication for the expert. The language allows introspection and metaprogramming, with Lisp-like macros, an optional Lisp syntax, and access to syntax-tree and assembly-language views of functions. It features a rich type system with performant user-defined types, multiple dispatch of functions, and several flavors of concurrent programming built in.

          Julia recently passed a kind of popularity milestone, breaking into the top 20 in the IEEE Spectrum list of programming languages. Beyond that, the language is being adopted in many new research projects, such as: the Climate Machine, the computational engine used by the Caltech Climate Modeling Alliance; a new space weather forecasting initiative, funded by the NSF; quantum machine learning; drug development; and a computational collaboration called Celeste to create a massive star map of the universe.

          Professor Mykel Kochenderfer is the creator of an international standard aircraft collision avoidance system, ACAS X. In an email interview, he told me that the Julia version of his system runs as fast as a previous version he wrote in highly optimized C++. Since he wrote the Julia version intending it to merely document the algorithm, this was a surprise. He was able to replace the C++ version with the easier to read and maintain Julia code.

          The recently concluded annual Julia conference, online this year, naturally, was a good indicator of the audience that Julia is attracting. The presentations (YouTube videos) that one would expect of various computer science topics were outweighed by talks about applications to scientific research in an impressive variety of fields. A recurring theme was the way that the language facilitated collaboration and code reuse, giving scientists an opportunity to take advantage of the packages and algorithms of others.

        • What is coming in PHP 8 [LWN.net]

          Recently, PHP 8 release candidate 2 was posted by the project. A lot of changes are coming with this release, including a just-in-time compiler, a good number of backward-compatibility breaks, and new features that developers have been requesting for years. Now that the dust has settled, and the community is focusing on squashing bugs for the general-availability release scheduled for November 26, it’s a good time to look at what to expect.

          [...]

          To a certain degree, PHP 8 represents a departure from the project’s past. Historically, the community has placed a high value on backward compatibility, even between major releases. This doesn’t seem to have been as much of a concern for this release, judging by the upgrade notes. With the scope and quantity of backward-incompatible changes, even relatively modern PHP applications will require a little tweaking to bring them up to speed.

          The community has expended considerable effort in making PHP 8 into a more consistent language, both in terms of behaviors and syntax. Four separate proposals with a focus on making PHP into a more consistent language — in terms of behavior and syntax — have been implemented. These changes generally concern themselves with edge cases or preexisting quirks of the language; there are, however, a few notable changes worth mentioning explicitly.

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.24 and 7.4.12

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.12 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-33 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.24 are available in remi repository for Fedora 31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        • How to Check If a Value Exists in An Array in PHP – TecAdmin

          Q. How do I check if a specific value exists in an array in PHP. Write a sample PHP program to check if a value exists in an array.

        • Python

          • Public Apology to Jeremy Howard

            We, the NumFOCUS Code of Conduct Enforcement Committee, issue a public apology to Jeremy Howard for our handling of the JupyterCon 2020 reports. We should have done better. We thank you for sharing your experience and we will use it to improve our policies going forward.

            We acknowledge that it was an extremely stressful experience, being summoned to an interview with several members of a committee, after a week had passed, and without knowing the nature of the complaint. We apologize for causing this stress and will work to improve our process to avoid this from happening in the future.

            To clarify a crucial miscommunication that we take responsibility for: At the time of the interview, the committee had not determined that there was a violation of the code of conduct, only that there were two complaints filed and being examined. We apologize for not communicating that clearly from the beginning. We have not recommended any enforcement actions. We had asked to postpone the posting of the talk to the JupyterCon shared space until the complaints are resolved. We realize now that we used overly charged language and miscommunicated the stage of the investigation when discussing the complaints, i.e. saying a violation occurred. We should have been clearer saying multiple complaints have been made and the alleged violation investigation had not been resolved.

          • Python Morsels: Data structures contain pointers

            Data structures in Python don’t actually contain objects. They references to objects (aka “pointers”).

          • Sending Invites – Building SaaS #77 · Matt Layman

            In this episode, I worked on the form that will send invites to users for the new social network app that I’m building. We built the view, the form, and the tests and wired a button to the new view.

            The first thing that we do was talk through the new changes since the last stream. After discussing the progress, I took some time to cover the expected budget for the application to get it to an MVP.

            Once we covered the budget, I talked about different strategies for sending invite emails and the tradeoffs between sending email in a request and response cycle versus using background workers.

          • Episode #33: Going Beyond the Basic Stuff With Python and Al Sweigart – The Real Python Podcast

            You probably have heard of the bestselling Python book, “Automate the Boring Stuff with Python.” What are the next steps after starting to dabble in the Python basics? Maybe you’ve completed some tutorials, created a few scripts, and automated repetitive tasks in your life. This week on the show, we have author Al Sweigart to talk about his new book, “Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python: Best Practices for Writing Clean Code.”

          • How to Sort a Dictionary by Value in Python

            A dictionary in Python is a collection of items that stores data as key-value pairs. In Python 3.7 and later versions, dictionaries are sorted by the order of item insertion. In earlier versions, they were unordered.

            Let’s have a look at how we can sort a dictionary on basis of the values they contain.

        • Java

          • What’s new in Fabric8 Kubernetes Java client 4.12.0 – Red Hat Developer

            The recent Fabric8 Kubernetes Java client 4.12.0 release includes many new features and bug fixes. This article introduces the major features we’ve added between the 4.11.0 and 4.12.0 releases.

            I will show you how to get started with the new VolumeSnapshot extension, CertificateSigningRequests, and Tekton triggers in the Fabric8 Tekton client (to name just a few). I’ll also point out several minor changes that break backward compatibility with older releases. Knowing about these changes will help you avoid problems when you upgrade to the latest version of Fabric8’s Java client for Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift.

  • Leftovers

    • Better handling emergencies

      We all know these situations when we receive an email asking Can you check the design of X, I need a reply by tonight. Or an instant message: My website went down, can you check? Another email: I canceled a plan at the hosting company, can you restore my website as fast as possible? A phone call: The TLS certificate didn’t get updated, and now we can’t access service Y. Yet another email: Our super important medical advice website is suddenly being censored in country Z, can you help?

      Everyone knows those messages that have “URGENT” in capital letters in the email subject. It might be that some of them really are urgent. Others are the written signs of someone having a hard time properly planning their own work and passing their delays on to someone who comes later in the creation or production chain. And others again come from people who are overworked and try to delegate some of their tasks to a friendly soul who is likely to help.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Toward a Small Farm Future

        In the 1990s, Indonesian kopi luwak – civet coffee, made from coffee beans that had passed through a civet’s digestive tract – became a new luxury commodity among wealthy coffee-lovers. Market dynamics being what they are, local producers cashed in on the demand by capturing and caging wild civets, force-feeding them coffee beans and selling the produce as cut-price kopi luwak. Though cheaper, the resulting coffee lacked the quality of the original conferred by the civet’s discerning nose, and came at the expense of ecological and animal welfare (1).

        We live in a world of trade-offs. If you want genuine kopi luwak of good quality and low environmental impact you have to pay someone to comb through the forests looking for wild civet scat on your behalf. Humans can simulate the process and produce a similar product at lower cost, but it’s not the same.

      • Written Description: What did we learn from last week’s FDA vaccine advisory committee meeting?

        On October 22, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met to discuss the development, authorization, and licensure of COVID-19 vaccines. The meeting was not focused on any particular vaccine candidate; rather, it gave the FDA an opportunity to seek more general guidance about the process from outside experts. In this post, we explain what advisory committees like VRBPAC do, what happened at the meeting last week, and what this means for the COVID-19 vaccine timeline.

        [...]

        On October 22, the VRBPAC held an open, online, public meeting concerning its standards for approving a vaccine against COVID-19. (The meeting was simultaneously broadcast on CSPAN and YouTube.) Prior to the meeting, the Committee made the agenda and briefing materials publicly available; the meeting featured presentations from Committee members, staff from the FDA, CDC, NIH, BARDA, the Reagan-Udall Foundation, and a variety of members from industry. Introductions alone took 23 minutes to complete; the meeting lasted almost nine hours.

        Somewhat surprising for lay observers was the absence of a discussion of any particular vaccine candidate, including the four currently in Phase III clinical trials in the US. Instead, the meeting focused on the standards of such trials and the legal authority (and limits) for approval. While a nine-hour meeting focusing on the particulars of vaccine safety and efficacy standards sounds…dense…there were a number of broader, important takeaways likely to be of larger interest.

        First, and most important, the VRBPAC gave a number of reassurances that it would advise the FDA to continue to uphold rigorous safety standards despite political pressure to quickly approve a vaccine. It was clear that even if an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)—a shortcut to the typical and more formal approval process—were available for a vaccine, it could not be used without the completion of a clinical trial (through Phase III). In addition, the Committee noted that it would strongly encourage the completion of ongoing trials even when another vaccine candidate is authorized or approved so that the Agency can track outcomes.

        Second, the Committee reaffirmed its commitment to safety follow-ups even after a vaccine is authorized or approved. The post-approval follow-up study envisioned by the VRBPAC would contain roughly 3,000 participants—enough, one hopes, to track any serious adverse events arising late from the vaccine. At the same time, however, the Committee noted that this post-approval follow-up would not necessarily conform to the diversity standards otherwise needed for the clinical trials; in clinical trials, these requirements are crucially important to ensure the vaccine works in a immunologically diverse population. Whether this limitation of post-licensure studies will prevent the discovery of adverse event information remains unseen—and will likely remain unseen until long after a vaccine has come out. But for now, the VRBPAC—to its credit—is laudably committed to following up on any licensed vaccine after it has been deployed in the wild.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Arduino joins the Open Source Security Foundation

            As an open-source project, Arduino has always considered security a top priority: making tools and products easy to use for our community has consistently been as important as making them secure.

            Today, we are excited to announce that Arduino has joined the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSFF), the collaborative cross-industry effort to secure the open-source ecosystem.

            Hosted at the Linux Foundation, the OpenSFF brings together the efforts of the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) and GitHub’s Open Source Security Coalition and is committed to working both upstream and with existing communities to advance the security of open-source software. The foundation will initially include technical initiatives and working groups that will address vulnerability disclosures, security tooling, security best practices, and the identification of security threats to the open-source project.

          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (dompurify.js, libsndfile, and openjdk-8), Fedora (python2), Mageia (tomcat), openSUSE (lout, pagure, php7, singularity, and tensorflow2), SUSE (graphviz, libvirt, pacemaker, python-Jinja2, samba, spice, spice-gtk, thunderbird and mozilla-nspr, xen, and zstd), and Ubuntu (fastd).

          • Securing military embedded systems is a giant challenge

            Updating and patching security vulner­abilities to limit the attack surface for the military’s embedded systems – especially legacy ones – can be a daunting task.

            Embedded systems used by the military, many of which were once considered to be standalone and secure thanks to air gaps – network security measures used on one or more computers to ensure that a secure computer network is physically isolated from unsecured networks – now require security. Demand for interconnectivity of embedded systems is increasing their attack surface, often necessitating updates and patches to thwart vulnerabilities.

            “It’s a huge challenge because there are a broad range of requirements and use cases for legacy embedded systems,” says Rich Lucente, principal solutions architect, DoD, for Red Hat North America Public Sector (Raleigh, North Carolina). “Some are either very isolated or surrounded by external mitigation measures that seemingly reduce the burden to secure the system, but in reality may provide a false sense of security.”

          • TrickBot Linux Variants Active in the Wild Despite Recent Takedown

            Efforts to disrupt TrickBot may have shut down most of its critical infrastructure, but the operators behind the notorious malware aren’t sitting idle.

            According to new findings shared by cybersecurity firm Netscout, TrickBot’s authors have moved portions of their code to Linux in an attempt to widen the scope of victims that could be targeted.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ending Regime Change—in Bolivia and the World

        In the long history of U.S.-backed “regime changes” in countries around the world, rarely have a people and a country so firmly and democratically repudiated U.S. efforts to dictate how they will be governed.

      • The Parallel Universe of Peace

        Those who are committed to peace and global equality are forced to work for it in a world that is seriously prejudiced in favor of war.

      • War Wasn’t a Campaign Issue. What Does That Mean for the Next Presidency?

        During the last presidential debate, Donald Trump and Joe Biden sparred over the pressing domestic problems of racism, health care, climate change, the economy and the pandemic, along with the alleged Chinese, Russian and Iranian interference in the elections. But substantive discussions of foreign policy and the threat of nuclear war were off the table. The same was true in earlier debates, including the primaries. Moderators didn’t ask, and the candidates didn’t tell.

      • Cameroon school killings, male rape in Rohingya camps, and 200 migrant deaths at sea: The Cheat Sheet

        Cameroon’s anglophone conflict reached a new low last week when gunmen killed eight children and injured 12 others at a school in the southwestern town of Kumba. Officials blamed anglophone separatists, who are demanding independence from the majority French-speaking country, though no group has claimed responsibility. Separatists have enforced an education boycott on English-speaking regions since 2017 as part of their three-year struggle against the government. Talks between the warring sides have taken place in recent months in Yaoundé, the capital. But hardliners from both camps are hampering efforts, and violence has increased on the ground, where more than 700,000 people are now displaced. On Tuesday, Kumba residents held a vigil outside the school, as injured children battled for their lives in hospital. “I have not eaten, I cannot sleep because of this war, this nonsense crisis,” one woman told France 24. “Why should we kill our own children?”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Transparency Is Important; Mandated Transparency Is Dangerous And Will Stifle Innovation And Competition

        While much of yesterday’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing was focused on the pointless grievances and grandstanding of sitting Senators, there was a bit of actual news made by Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. As we discussed earlier this week, Zuckerberg agreed for the first time that he was in support of Section 230 reform, though he declined in his opening remarks to specify the nature of the reforms he supported. And while the original draft of Jack Dorsey’s opening testimony suggested full support of 230, in the given remarks he also suggested that Twitter would support changes to Section 230 focused on getting companies to be more transparent. Later in the hearing, during one of the extraordinarily rare moments when a Senator actually asked the CEOs how they would change 230, Zuckerberg also focused on transparency reports, before immediately noting that Facebook already issued transparency reports.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • West Virginians Were Promised an Economic Revival. It Hasn’t Happened Yet.

        One year ago, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice promised business leaders that the state’s economy was on the verge of a boom. Continued growth in natural gas production was going to spark an industrial renaissance, bringing construction of a giant collection of spinoff factories.

        Speaking to the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, held as usual at the billionaire governor’s own luxury resort, The Greenbrier, Justice painted quite a picture of the land of plenty to come.

      • He Made a Minor Mistake Filling Out an Unemployment Form. Then the State Demanded $14,990 From Him.

        Ahmad Ghabboun broke into a sweat. It was a late night in August and he had just discovered an unexpected $14,990 debt posted to the online portal he uses to access his account with Washington state’s unemployment agency. Since May, he had been receiving payments every week through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, newly established by Congress to support freelancers like him. The benefits replaced the paycheck he could no longer earn after the pandemic had grounded his work delivering packages for Amazon Flex and driving the occasional shift for Uber.

        Now, the agency, formally known as the Washington State Employment Security Department, was demanding he return every penny. The website provided no explanation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Monopolistic U.S. ISPs Take Full Advantage Of The Covid Crisis

        We’ve noted for years that broadband usage caps are bullshit. Leaked ISP documents and public executive statements have repeatedly made it clear that usage caps and overage fees are just glorified price hikes on the backs of captive customers, only made possible due to industry monopolization (and the regulatory capture and Congressional corruption that lets them get away with it).

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • A Quick Bite Post Mortem For For Quibi: Hollywood Still Doesn’t Get The Internet

        So Quibi, the Hollywood dream of creating a new “professional” video streaming service by throwing $1.75 billion at Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman and hoping they could create something, lasted all of 199 days before announcing that it was throwing in the towel (even though it apparently still has a chunk of that cash on hand, which it will be handing back to some investors). As we noted when it launched, Quibi is the perfect example of Hollywood thinking about the internet. It overvalued the content (and believed that you got the best content by throwing money at big names), and completely undervalued the internet and the fact that the killer application of the internet is community and communication.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • USPTO on “President Trump’s Leadership”

          Although USPTO Dir. Andrei Iancu is a political appointee nominated by President Trump, he has largely stuck to the tradition of avoiding partisan politics in his official role as Director. For instance, Dir. Iancu supported the re-appointment of Drew Hirshfeld as the Commissioner of Patents. Hirshfeld had been Dave Kappos’ Chief of Staff under President Obama.

          That said, the USPTO is catching a bit of flack for what appears to be its first overtly pro-Trump tweet coming less than a week before the elections…

        • FOSS Patents: Fourth patent injunction against Daimler in 11 weeks as Munich I Regional Court sides with Nokia in 3G SEP infringement case

          There’s no Happy Halloween for Daimler and its counsel, and the reason is not even COVID.

          The notorious patentee-friendliness of certain German courts is regrettable, and an increasing burden on the country’s economy. But let there be no doubt about the fact that the patent litigation firm of Arnold & Ruess has done some first-rate work for Nokia against Daimler. Today the team led by Cordula Schumacher and Dr. Arno Risse (“Riße” in German) obtained its second injunction against Daimler as the Munich I Regional Court held the Mercedes maker to infringe German patent DE60240446C5 on a “hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) scheme with in-sequence deliver of packets” (case no. 21 O 3891/19). The 21st Civil Chamber of the Munich court (Presiding Judge: Tobias Pichlmaier) had not indicated an inclination at the late-July trial.

          On August 18, 2020, the Mannheim Regional Court found for Nokia in another standard-essential patent (SEP) infringement case against Daimler; that injunction hasn’t been enforced and possibly never will be.

          Several other Nokia v. Daimler cases have been put on hold over doubts concerning the validity of the patents-in-suit. Should any of those patents survive without being narrowed out of the scope of the specifications of the relevant cellular standard, they’ll do even better.

          Meanwhile, I’m wondering when Quinn Emanuel will get tired of losing. In the 11-week period between the aforementioned defeat in Mannheim and today’s Munich ruling in Nokia’s favor, Daimler and QE also lost two other cases as the Munich I Regional Court’s 7th Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Matthias Zigann) granted Sharp an injunction against Daimler (which triggered a settlement, see 1, 2), as did the 21st Civil Chamber in a Conversant v. Daimler case just one week ago. That’s four German SEP injunctions over the course of only two months and a half.

          Daimler and QE could take comfort in the fact, however, that computer maker Lenovo also lost in Munich (against Nokia, but over a codec–not wireless–patent) on the first day of the month.

        • Trouble In Plaintiff’s Paradise?

          There are signs that, despite Judge Albright’s best efforts, the rest of the world might not support turning the Western District of Texas into another NPE haven like the Eastern District in its glory days. After Judge Albright’s efforts to make sure Waco was “open for business for patent cases”, NPEs flocked to the Waco courthouse—in fact, one in five patent cases in 2020 will have been filed there, and 85% of those are NPE lawsuits.

          But in the past few months, there have been potential setbacks to NPEs’ project to turn the Waco Division of the Western District into their new hometown.

          [...]

          The result in MV3 isn’t the only thing that might concern plaintiffs. Over the past few months, the Federal Circuit appears to have taken an increasingly skeptical view of Judge Albright’s decisions.

          First, there was In re Apple, where the Federal Circuit—in the course of denying a motion for transfer—”question[ed] the propriety” of one of Judge Albright’s rulings, throwing doubt on whether he had applied the proper standard of decision. While that error was ultimately harmless, as the motion for transfer failed on other grounds, the Federal Circuit still felt the need to identify this error.

          Next, there was In re Adobe, in which the Federal Circuit found that Judge Albright had committed a “clear abuse of discretion” in refusing to transfer a case to California based primarily on an alleged ability to run cases more quickly in his courtroom. Even if that were true, the Federal Circuit noted that the congestion factor requires an appreciable difference, not simply a small difference in time to trial, that the general ability to set a schedule says nothing about the actual ability to try cases, and that court congestion alone cannot outweigh other factors, such as convenience of witnesses.

          Third, the Federal Circuit’s In re Sand Revolution noted that the district court “ruling was cursory.” While this alone was not sufficient to justify mandamus, the Federal Circuit was clearly signaling concern that Judge Albright wasn’t doing enough analysis to justify his decisions to keep cases moving in the Western District.

          And this week, the Federal Circuit issued its ruling in In re Nitro Fluids, finding that “the very cases relied on by the district court make clear that it had matters backwards.” And again, the Federal Circuit was forced to note that “the district court’s explanation in these respects is cursory” and “consist[ed] of two sentences, neither of which meaningfully discuss” the relevant issues.

        • Is the Commissioner of Patents a Principle Officer who Must be Appointed by The President?

          For most of the history of the US patent system, the Commissioner of Patents was the head of the Patent Office and was seen as an Officer of the United States appointed by the President.

          [...]

          In 1975, the job title was changed to “Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks” and the office name was changed to the “Patent and Trademark Office.” In 1999, Congress officially changed the office name to the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” and the position of “Director” (Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce) was created. At that time, the roles of Commissioner for Patents and Commissioner for Trademarks were pushed down as appointments by the Secretary of Commerce (with 5-year terms).

        • Software Patents

          • $2,000 for PerDeimCo Prior Art

            On October 30, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least Claim 1 of U.S. Patent 10,104,198. This patent is owned by PerDeimCo LLC, an NPE. The ’198 patent generally relates to to tracking information of a plurality of users and giving users different administrative privileges for maintaining information sharing and describing event condition. The ’198 Patent has been asserted at least against CalAmp Corp. and GPS Insight.

          • $2,000 for Hawk Technologies Systems Prior Art

            On October 30, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least Claim 1 of US Patent No. 10,499,091. This patent is owned by Hawk Technologies Systems, LLC, an NPE that focuses its assertions against various school districts (e.g., DeSoto County School District, 3:18-cv-00132 ND Miss.) and charitable organizations such as Goodwill (3:16-cv-00279 SD Miss.) for simply using a security camera.

          • $2,000 for Caddo Systems Prior Art

            On October 30, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 3, including all of the limitations for independent claim 1 of US Patent No. 10,037,127. The patent is owned by Caddo Systems, Inc. and is exclusively licensed to a company called 511 Technologies, Inc., an NPE. The ’127 Patent is part of a family of patents relating to navigating a hierarchical menu having active links..

          • $3,000 for KinectUs Prior Art

            On October 30, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least Claim 1 of U.S. Patent 9,294,428. The patent is owned by KinectUs LLC. The ’428 patent generally relates to a system and method for establishing a communication between mobile device users that register with a collaboration system, which determines a match between profile data of the first registered mobile device and profile data of the second registered mobile device. It is currently being asserted against Bumble Trading, LLC.

      • EPO

        • European Patent Office rules in favor of Sanofi and Regeneron concerning Praluent® (alirocumab)

          The European Patent Office (EPO) Technical Boards of Appeal has today ruled in Sanofi and Regeneron’s favor, invalidating certain claims of Amgen’s European patent (EP 2 215 124) directed to PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) antibodies relevant to Praluent® (alirocumab). Praluent will continue to be available in European countries where it is approved for use and for sale.

          “We are pleased with today’s decision by the European Patent Office, which upholds the rigorous standard for pharmaceutical patents that we argued for in this case, affirming that Amgen’s asserted claims against Sanofi in Europe are invalid,” said Karen Linehan, Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Sanofi. “This decision validates our years-long commitment to vigorously defending this case.”

        • Drugmaker In IP Fight With Mylan Calls EPO Ruling ‘Irrelevant’

          Neurim Pharmaceuticals’ lawyer told a London judge at the start of its trial against Mylan on Thursday it is “irrelevant” that a European Patent Office division revoked its insomnia medication patent, as it’s challenging that decision.

          Mylan has overemphasized a decision from a European Patent Office division revoking Neurim Pharmaceuticals’ insomnia medication patent, Neurim’s lawyer said Thursday. (Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images) Andrew Waugh QC of Three New Square said Mylan UK, which is poised to launch a generic version of Neurim’s insomnia medication, has overemphasized the decision by the division of the EPO responsible for handling patent opposition matters….

        • Xintela : receives ‘intention to grant’October 29, 2020Xintela receives ‘intention to grant’ decision from European Patent Office for stem cell product XSTEM#Regulatory

          Lund, Sweden, 29 October 2020 – Xintela announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued an ‘Intention to grant’ decision for the patent application covering the company’s stem cell product XSTEM®, consisting of integrin α10-selected mesenchymal stem cells.

          Using its unique marker technology and stem cell selection method, Xintela has developed a stem cell platform, XSTEM, for stem cell-based products. The company’s first focus is treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee and is preparing to start clinical studies in 2021. XSTEM is also being evaluated in a preclinical model for the treatment of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), a lung complication that affects seriously ill covid-19 patients.

        • Ecogensus Receives Notice of Allowance from European Patent Office for Waste-to-Fuel Process

          Ecogensus, LLC (“Ecogensus” or the “Company”), a leading technology company in the resource recovery and waste management industry, today announced the European Patent Office’s issuance of a notice that it intends to grant a patent for the Company’s process of converting solid wastes into fuel (European Patent Application No. 15 854 145.8).

          Ecogensus has a full suite of patents granted in the United States as well as countries in Asia and South America in the areas of waste recycling and resource recovery (“waste-to-value”). The new European patent covers the foundational process for conversion of solid wastes into a fuel, a process which enables diversion from waste from landfills and displacement of coal with Ecogensus’ waste-derived fuel.

      • Copyrights

        • Twitch Marketing Promo Over Golden Emoji Goes Horribly Wrong After DMCA Nuclear Strike

          Mere days ago, we discussed the bonkers path Twitch chose for itself in dealing with a flood of DMCA takedowns issued by the RIAA. The whole episode screamed of panic. Rather than dealing with DMCA takedowns via the normal method — taking down the content, providing the content maker with a path for a counternotice, and then putting the content back if no lawsuit was filed — , Twitch, instead, took the extraordinary action of simply and permanently nuking the videos in question. It then, rather brazenly, informed the content maker it had done so and advised them to “learn about copyright law.” In fact, given its actions, there is some question as to whether or not this is all enough to have lost Twitch its safe harbor protections.

Links 30/10/2020: WordPress 5.5.2 and NSA Mum on Its Back Doors Policy

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11 To Land Optimization That Helps IO_uring Performance – Phoronix

        At the start of October we mentioned a kernel optimization that can help IO_uring performance. Now as we approach the end of the month, Linux 5.11 is poised to land the optimization that especially helps out with threaded workloads.

        The change to task_work to use TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL when available is queued as part of the tip.git core/entry code ahead of the Linux 5.11 merge window opening in December. Currently TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL is wired up for x86/x86_64 while Jens is working on adding this support to other CPU architectures as well. We’ll see how many architectures get supported in time for Linux 5.11 as once completing that work he’ll be able to move on with a set of clean-ups.

      • Stupid RCU Tricks: Torturing RCU Fundamentally, Part III – Paul E. McKenney’s Journal — LiveJournal

        Even more reading of the Linux-kernel Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.rst file encounters RCU’s memory-barrier guarantees. These guarantees are a bit ornate, but roughly speaking guarantee that RCU read-side critical sections lapping over one end of a given grace period are fully ordered with anything past the other end of that same grace period. RCU’s overall approach towards this guarantee is shown in the Linux-kernel Documentation/RCU/Design/Memory-Ordering/Tree-RCU-Memory-Ordering.rst file, so one approach would be to argue that these guarantees are proven by a combination of this documentation along with periodic code inspection. Although this approach works well for some properties, the periodic code inspections require great attention to detail spanning a large quantity of intricate code. As such, these inspections are all too vulnerable to human error.

        Another approach is formal verification, and in fact RCU’s guarantees have been formally verified. Unfortunately, these formal-verification efforts, groundbreaking though they are, must be considered to be one-off tours de force. In contrast, RCU needs regular regression testing.

      • Stupid RCU Tricks: Torturing RCU Fundamentally, Parts IV and V – Paul E. McKenney’s Journal — LiveJournal

        The first guarantee is trivially verified by inspection of the RCU API. The type of rcu_read_lock(), rcu_read_unlock(), synchronize_rcu(), call_rcu(), and rcu_assign_pointer() are all void. These API members therefore have no way to indicate failure. Even primitives like rcu_dereference(), which do have non-void return types, will succeed any time a load of their pointer argument would succeed. That is, if you do rcu_dereference(*foop), where foop is a NULL pointer, then yes, you will get a segmentation fault. But this segmentation fault will be unconditional, as advertised!

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Navi “Blockchain” Card Support Being Added To Linux 5.10

          Last week we were first to report on a PCI ID being added for a Navi 1 “Blockchain” graphics card without display outputs and seemingly focused on cryptocurrency mining. This card wasn’t talked about at yesterday’s Radeon RX 6000 series launch but that support is now on the way to the Linux 5.10 kernel.

          The code sent out last week added the new Navi 10 PCI ID and disabled DCN/VCN support for that ID with this card not having video acceleration or display functionality. Aside from that patch, AMD hasn’t officially acknowledged this new part that is RDNA (1) and not to be confused with the forthcoming RDNA2 / RX 6000 series products.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Complete Beginner’s Guide to Ansible Playbook

        This is the third chapter of RHCE Ansible EX 294 exam preparation series that deals with one of the most important and exciting feature of Ansible.

      • Rmmod Command in Linux | Linuxize

        The core component of each Linux operating system is the Linux kernel. It manages the system’s resources, and acts as an intermediary between the computer’s hardware and software.

        The Linux kernel is a software that has a modular design. A kernel module, or often referred to as a driver, is a piece of code that extends the kernel’s functionality. Modules can be compiled as loadable modules or built into the kernel. Loadable modules can be dynamically loaded and unloaded in the running kernel on request, without the need to reboot the system.

        In this article, we’ll talk about how to use the rmmod command to remove modules from the Linux Kernel.

      • Bastion host in AWS – Kernel Talks

        Everything you need to know about Bastion host in AWS infrastructure.

      • How to forward SSH key in Putty – Kernel Talks

        A quick post on how to forward SSH key in Putty on Windows.

      • AWS VPC Creation along with screenshots – Kernel Talks

        A quick article on AWS VPC creation along with screenshots.

      • How to install Fedora 33 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Fedora 33.

      • How to install IntelliJ Idea, community edition, on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install IntelliJ Idea, community edition, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Zoom Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Zoom Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to play World of Tanks Blitz on Linux

        World of Tanks Blitz is an action-packed PvP MMO game where players battle against each other in military tanks. In this guide, we’ll go over how you can get World of Tanks Blitz to work on the Linux platform.

      • How to update CentOS – LinuxConfig.org

        In this tutorial, we take you through the process of updating CentOS Linux, including the entire system or on a per package basis.

      • How to upgrade to Pop_OS 20.10

        Pop_OS, the operating system developed and maintained by Linux computer manufacturer System76 has a new release. It is Pop_OS 20.10, which is based on the new Ubuntu 20.10. Pop_OS 20.10 is the best update yet, packed with lots of improvements and new features!

      • How to use Unison to sync files on Linux machines across a network – TechRepublic

        With Linux there are so many ways to synchronize and/or backup files over a network. For many, rsync and scp are the de facto standard. There is, of course, another option–one you’ve likely never heard of. That option is Unison, a free, open source, cross-platform bi-directional file sync tool. Unison is used to store two replicas that are modified separately and brought up-to-date by propagating changes to each store.

        Unison is capable of synching directories on a local system or across a network. I want to show you how to use this tool and SSH to sync a directory on one Linux server to another. It’s incredibly simple to use and even has a GUI that can also be installed, for those who prefer graphical tools over the command line. I’ll be illustrating the command line version of Unison on two instances of Ubuntu Server.

      • How to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10. For those of you who didn’t know, Ubuntu 20.10 released, codenamed “Groovy Gorilla”; bringing yet another version of a remarkable operating system in the Ubuntu ecosystem, with the latest and some of the greatest open source technologies in a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

        Note that Ubuntu 20.04 is a long term support (LTS) release, which will be supported for 5 years. Ubuntu 20.10 is a non-LTS release, which means it will be supported for 9 months only, until July 2021. If you prefer stability over bleeding edge, then stick with Ubuntu 20.04.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 (focal Fossa) to Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla).

      • How To Use pulseaudio-dlna To Stream Audio From Ubuntu 20.10 To Chromecast Devices – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to install and get pulseaudio-dlna to stream audio from Ubuntu 20.10 or Pop_OS! 20.10, to Chromecast devices.

      • [Quick Tip] One Command to Get A Collection of Gnome Shell Extensions in Ubuntu | UbuntuHandbook

        This is a beginner’s guide shows how to easily extend functionality of GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 20.10.

        Ubuntu by default includes three extensions: Desktop Icons, Ubuntu AppIndicators, and Ubuntu Dock.

        Besides installing more from Gnome Shell extension website, you can run a single command to get a collection of extensions that provide additional and optional functionality.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The Art of (Not) Painting Pixels – GNOME Shell & Mutter

          Being a compositor and a compositing window manager, the most important aspect Mutter and GNOME Shell is to paint pixels to your monitors with relevant content. A large part of this content is provided by applications themselves, but many elements still need to be rendered on top of them.

          Over the past few years, Mutter’s codebase has slowly but steadily been refactored, cleaned up, reorganized, and modernized. This includes the internal copies of Clutter and Cogl. With the beginning of the GNOME 40 development cycle, it all converged in a specially large and exciting set of changes which we’ll be talking about in this article.

        • GSoD Weekly Summary 5

          Before starting this week, I created an issue mentioning all the issues that I found and started completing them one by one while I kept adding new ones when required. So now the second task was to look again for the next issue which I found under “Using the Keyboard” there was a link missing which I added in the documentation.

          After this, the next task was to fix the subscript and superscript page style and add a link to it too. These changes I included with my previous PR.

    • Distributions

      • 8 Tools to Easily Create a Custom Linux Distro

        When there are so many Linux distros out there, you are probably wondering why someone would want to create their own distro instead of getting a readymade one. While in most cases a readymade distro is fine, if you want to have a distro that is 100 percent tailored to your needs (or your mum or dad’s needs), you may have to create your own custom Linux distro.

        With the right tools, creating your own Linux distro isn’t as hard as it seems, though it takes time for sure. There are many tools for the purpose – some of them are universal, and some of them are distro-specific. Here are eight of them.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.2: What You Need to Know and How to Upgrade | FOSS Linux

          The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the release and availability of FreeBSD 12.2 to the masses. It is the third and final release of the stable/12 branch. This post will cover the features and changes you can expect with FreeBSD 12.2 release. We will also give you a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade from your current version to FreeBSD 12.2.

          FreeBSD 12.2 Features

          FreeBSD by default doesn’t come packaged with a Desktop Environment like most of the Linux distributions. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t install one. Therefore, most of the features and updates are focused on the general system performance and not the user interface. Let’s dive in!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Daniel Pocock: Nomination for Fedora Council Election 2020

          I’ve decided to nominate. More details about my platform will appear soon.

          Anybody meeting the eligibility criteria is free to nominate. Only one of us will be elected but every election is an opportunity to put forward new ideas and challenge existing practices. The quality of the debate depends a lot on the number and quality of candidates.

          The biggest evidence of the power of democracy is the effort that some free software organizations have made to eliminate democracy. When the FSFE community elected me as Fellowship Representative in 2017, FSFE incumbents didn’t just seek to remove me, they changed the constitution so that Fellows could not vote again. This wasn’t so much an insult to me as it was an insult to every volunteer who voted. If this was about something I had done personally, they never would have made such a permanent change to the constitution. If democracy scares certain people so much then you can be sure you are not wasting your time if you have a go at it.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 Adds Updated Container Tools, New Security Profiles
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • AdGuard Home: Another Brick in the Ad-Blocking Wall

          At the core of the emerging foundation that is Ubuntu Appliances is the aptly named Ubuntu Core, a slimmed-down Ubuntu operating system crafted with the IoT use case in mind. What distinguishes Ubuntu Core, which users can run as a standalone, and Ubuntu Appliances, is that each appliance comes preloaded with a featured service, and all the necessary programs are installed and managed via the Snaps containerized installation mechanism.

          With this structure, appliances are designed to just work “out of the box,” if we borrow that brick-and-mortar paradigm in the sense of post-flashing, post-booting, and post-configuration. Users will need to boot the appliance device and perform a token amount of local administration, provide it with an Internet connection with a static LAN IP address, and set up an Ubuntu One account if they don’t have one. A few web GUI prompts later, and the user is up and running.

          Ubuntu then does the rest, and that encompasses a lot of heavy lifting. Appliances will update themselves for a 10-year lifespan as long as they have Internet access. If all goes according to plan, users shouldn’t have to give a second thought to their appliance unless they want to change its configuration. Even then, all they have to do is enter the Web administration GUI, toggle a few switches, and close the tab.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Call for nominations for the Local Communities Council

          The Local Communities (LoCo) Council has been vacant for some time and has not been restaffed due to a vacant Community Council. Since the Community Council has now been newly elected, a nomination for the LoCo Council is now being announced.

          The LoCo Council is a board of people who are in charge of empowering and helping out LoCo Teams worldwide. Their members have two-year terms, and we have seven open seats at the Council.

        • Canonical Drops etcd for Dqlite For MicroK8s

          MicroK8s is a lightweight and easy to use Kubernetes distribution designed to run in resource-constrained environments such as IoT and edge devices. As Canonical is eyeing enterprise use-cases it’s making Microk8s more resilient by adding high availability capabilities to it.

          Microk8s already has the clustering feature; with a single command, users can join multiple MicroK8s nodes in a cluster. With HA, as soon as users join three or more nodes, they get the Kubernetes control plane distributed across these nodes. If they join more nodes they get all the API services of Kubernetes available on all nodes and the control plane is still distributed on these nodes.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My journey to becoming an open source mentor

        I was just 16 when I made my first meaningful open source contribution. It was the first code contribution I ever made, and I learned a lot from it. I’m 20 now, and I’ve been strongly attached to free and open source software (FOSS) ever since. I strive to be a friend to my community colleagues and to help others continue growing, learning, and succeeding.

        I first heard about FOSS through the Google Code-In contest. I was 16, but I was already learning computer science fundamentals, the C++ programming language, and anything else about computers I could get my hands on. I was very excited about the contest—not just because of the free Google swag, but because it gave me the opportunity to work directly on codebases being used all around the world. I jumped into the contest feet-first and started trying to solve as many open source software tasks as I could in the code, design, documentation, and research.

      • Everything curl in Chinese | daniel.haxx.se

        The other day we celebrated everything curl turning 5 years old, and not too long after that I got myself this printed copy of the Chinese translation in my hands!

        This version of the book is available for sale on Amazon and the translation was done by the publisher.

        The book’s full contents are available on github and you can read the English version online on ec.haxx.se.

        If you would be interested in starting a translation of the book into another language, let me know and I’ll help you get started. Currently the English version consists of 72,798 words so it’s by no means an easy feat to translate! My other two other smaller books, http2 explained and HTTP/3 explained have been translated into twelve(!) and ten languages this way (and there might be more languages coming!).

      • CMS

        • News – WordPress 5.5.2 Security and Maintenance Release – WordPress.org

          WordPress 5.5.2 is now available!

          This security and maintenance release features 14 bug fixes in addition to 10 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 3.7 have also been updated.

          WordPress 5.5.2 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.6.

          You can download WordPress 5.5.2 by downloading from WordPress.org, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • Amusewiki 2.500 | melmothX [blogs.perl.org]

            Well, well, today I released Amusewiki 2.500 and I noticed that time has passed since the last announcement here. This doesn’t mean that the Amusewiki development has stopped. On the contrary. The development pace has been steady, with new features, improvements and bug-fixes. In the meanwhile Amusewiki got a new logo as well!

          • Adventures in Perl
          • Adventures in Perl | Samir Parikh [blogs.perl.org]

            Just over one year ago, I wrote about how I had become enchanted with the D programming language as part of my journey in exploring new programming languages. I still really like D for all of the reasons I wrote about, but as I alluded to in the conclusion of that piece, I fully expected to “get distracted by the next new shiny thing that comes along.” Turns out that the next new shiny thing happens to be … Perl!

            That’s right: a language that Larry Wall first developed back in 1987 happens to have caught my fancy and I’m as surprised as anyone.

            When I first started learning Python over ten years ago, I would come across snippets of Perl in solutions submitted to things like Project Euler or in various forum threads. Perl programs had the most opaque and impenetrable syntax I had ever seen, filled with @ after & followed by more $ symbols than I could count. But the further I got into the bioinformatics problems on the Rosalind site, the more I started to understand the power, brevity and design of Perl. It was refreshing to see that regular expressions were treated as a first class citizen and that there were similarities to how Perl and Bash scripts were written (which, to some, could be a disadvantage!) And the more I read about it, the more I began to appreciate its rich heritage and its history alongside the development of Unix.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Some Advice for White People on Halloween

      When I was 8 years old, I dressed up as Senator Ted Kennedy for Halloween. I remember strongly arguing for this costume. I don’t know why my parents let me do this, but it was the Reagan era and people were desperate. My parents got me a little blue suit, wrote ted kennedy on a faux briefcase, grayed out my hair, and off I went.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Kushner Tapes Reveal He Bragged Over Trump Taking Back Charge From “the Doctors”

        Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser of President Donald Trump, privately bragged to journalist Bob Woodward in April about the president’s decision to shun the advice and opinions of health experts, just as the death rate from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. was reaching peak levels.

      • More Than 8 Million Have Been Forced Into Poverty Since COVID Relief Ended in US

        The massive $2 trillion CARES Act — which sent households one-time payments and boosted unemployment checks with an additional $600 a week through July — helped keep millions afloat, but more than 8 million people have been forced into poverty since the aid ended. “The relief was temporary, and much of it has now expired, so now we’re seeing poverty rise again,” says Megan Curran, a researcher at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. “We know that families can be protected again, but it does require action at the federal level.”

      • Federal Court Ruling in Rhode Island Suit Targeting Polluters Called ‘More Evidence of the Momentum Behind Climate Accountability Cases’

        The appeals court decision dealt a blow to the fossil fuel giants named as defendants in the Ocean State’s historic climate liability lawsuit.

      • As Covid-19 Soars Ahead of Election, Tapes Reveal Kushner Bragging About How Trump Wrestled Response ‘Back From the Doctors’

        “We know their handling of the pandemic was dictated by politics, and that’s a big part of the reason it was such an unmitigated disaster.”

      • Health Workers Sue Trump Labor Secretary, OSHA Over ‘Unconscionable Delay’ of Protections Against Infectious Disease

        The Trump administration has refused to resume work on new federal regulations—tabled in 2017—despite the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Red State Governors Still Flunk COVID Testing

        While they can take measures to limit the actual spread, such as longer and stronger lockdowns and mask requirements, many factors determining the spread are outside their control. By contrast, they do have control over the amount of testing, although legislatures can play a role, since they can appropriate or restrict funding. Testing has also become a political issue, since Donald Trump explicitly said that he wanted to see testing slowed so as to reduce the number of cases identified.

        I thought it was worth an update to see what the story looks like as the country is now experiencing a huge surge in infections. Here’s the more recent picture showing the ten states with the highest infection rates and the ten states with the lowest rates, based on the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 7-day moving averages. (Data are for October 26, 2020.)

      • AIER likens anti-“lockdown” cranks to abolitionists. Hilarity ensues

        I’ve commented multiple times on how much COVID-19 pandemic denialists, those who deny the efficacy of masks and other public health matters to slow the spread of coronavirus, who try to downplay or deny the harm caused by the pandemic (particularly by claiming that the virus is not that deadly), and in general engage in conspiracy theories about this being a “plandemic” or an excuse to impose “forced vaccination,” resemble the antivaccine movement. Indeed, it’s no surprise that one of the very earliest conspiracy theories about COVID-19 dates back to January, when the pandemic was still mostly confined to China and had not yet made its presence known in the US (although it was already here), was the claim that China had purchased more influenza vaccine than usual and the flu vaccine had made the people of Wuhan more susceptible to the novel coronavirus. By May antivaxxers were prominent attendees at antimask and anti-lockdown protests, having already launched a preemptive disinformation campaign against any coronavirus vaccine that might be developed, and now they routinely show up at such events, along with QAnon believers. The reason, of course, is that, at its heart, antivaccine beliefs are rooted in conspiracy theories, producing a natural affinity between COVID-19 cranks and antivaxxers. There are many other characteristics antivaxxers share with COVID-19 cranks, one of which is a persecution complex. This brings me to today’s topic, this doozy of an article by Stacey Rudin of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) likening “resistance” to public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 to abolitionists before the Civil War:

      • My San Quentin Death Row Coronavirus Experience

        San Quentin’s initial flimsy attempt to thwart the virus was to issue face masks, pass out hand sanitizer, cancel all visiting, halt movement except for emergencies, and split the recreational yard in half in an effort to limit the number of prisoners in close contact. These measures would fail completely.

        In these early stages, rumors began circulating about outbreaks in other prisons, including The California Institute for Men (CIT), which turned out to be the epicenter of the California prison spread. But in early days, San Quentin was still relatively free of any Covid-19 cases. Unfortunately, under a court order, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on May 31 transferred 121 prisoners from CIT to an already overcapacity and overcrowded San Quentin.

      • Policing the Pandemic: How the City of Albuquerque Criminalizes People Living on the Streets

        This pattern of enforcement predates the pandemic but has intensified in recent months. It violates COVID-19 guidance published by the Centers for Disease Control, which in March advised cities against “clearing encampments [of unsheltered people]” because the practice risks increasing “the potential for infectious disease spread.” Albuquerque advocates for the unsheltered agreed and advocated that the City stop evicting unsheltered people living in tents on public property. But the City’s deputy director of Family and Community Services, Lisa Huval, who oversees housing and homelessness and supervises outreach workers, refused to stop the practice of clearing camps, telling reporters that “it starts with one tent and over a few days increases to three tents, within a few weeks, if the city were simply to allow that encampment to establish, could grow quite large, [and] that presents other public health risks to that community.” Huval points to the City’s 450-bed shelter on the Westside with its COVID-19 protocols, as a safer option. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller agreed, saying at a press conference that “We’re fortunate that in Albuquerque we have lots of good alternatives.”

        But many unsheltered people do not feel safe at the shelter. Local advocates surveyed folks on the street in April of this year and most said they felt safer on the streets. “I have tried to tell the city that going to the [shelter] is dangerous for me,” reported one woman in an April 2020 survey of unsheltered people performed by local advocates. She showed a large scar on her body and explained, “I was assaulted there and do not wish to go back because there are social structures there that are abusive to others.”

      • While We All Sleepwalk Into A Human Rights Vacuum, The United Nations Is Facing Its Moment Of Truth

        Humankind has faced greater challenges than the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, we were already confronting a few of them as the world started to lockdown earlier this year. Now, more than ever, is the time we need a United Nations of purpose and resolve, writes Dr Lissa Johnson.

      • Sherrod Brown: Covid Shows How Corporate ‘Free Trade’ Policies Threaten Public Health

        Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown wears a pin of a canary in a cage, recalling the days when coal miners carried the birds underground to detect poisonous gases.

      • The Questionable Line Items of Illinois’ COVID-19 Spending

        Last week, we published Grenades, Bread and Body Bags: How Illinois Has Spent $1.6 Billion in Response to COVID-19 So Far, a story and look-up tool that examines Illinois’ COVID-19 related spending.

        Given that we are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and billions of dollars in federal aid are being thrown at response and recovery efforts in Illinois, we thought you should know more about how your taxpayer dollars are being spent. Plus, we figured there’d probably be a few interesting needles in the haystack.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Nitro Software user database put up for sale on dark web

          A group that uses the name Shiny Hunters appears to have put up a database exfiltrated during a data breach of ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, on the dark web for sale.

        • Nitro breach was probably through cloud, claims cyber sec firm

          ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that had its origins in Melbourne and offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, appears to have suffered a data breach through cyber criminals gaining access to the company’s cloud environment via a compromise of access tokens, the cyber security firm Cyble has told iTWire.

        • Why Microsoft has blocked hundreds of sites in Internet Explorer

          Once the site is actually redirected, Microsoft will also show a small banner indicating what steps have been taken, with the notice that “some websites no longer work with Internet Explorer.” There’s also a link to a supplementary webpage that offers just a brief explanation, as well as a link to running Internet Explorer within the new Microsoft Edge.

        • HS: Vastaamo [cracking] could turn into largest criminal case in Finnish history

          “As for the question of perpetrator, I can’t comment on that in any way. Whether the [cracker] and blackmailer are the same person is another thing we can’t give a solid answer at this point in time,” he stated to Helsingin Sanomat.

        • Security

          • OpenSSF and Linux Foundation offer 3 free courses on developing secure open source software – TechRepublic [Ed: OpenSSF already infiltrated and now headed by Microsoft (the NSA back doors giant ), so Linux Foundation is a total farce]

            Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF), hosted at the Linux Foundation, announced on Thursday that it is offering free training for developing secure software as well as adding a new certification and providing program and technical initiatives.

            OpenSSF is a cross-industry collaboration to secure the open source ecosystem. Open source software is available across all industries and making sure it is secure is more important than ever before.

          • OpenSSF Introduces Free Courses On How To Develop Secure Software

            OpenSSF has also elected Kay Williams from Microsoft as Governing Board Chair. The election for the Security Community Individual Representative to the Governing Board is currently underway and results will be announced by OpenSSF in November.

            Ryan Haning from Microsoft has been elected Chair of the Technical Advisory Council (TAC).

          • Open Source Security Foundation launches a new certification program on edX

            One final note, the OpenSSF is incorporating the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) projects. CII has been working on securing older, popular open-source programs, which were not receiving enough funding. These programs include the CII Census, a quantitative analysis to identify critical OSS projects; CII Best Practices badge project; and the CII FOSS Contributor Survey, a quantitative survey of OSS developers. Both will become part of the OpenSSF Securing Critical Projects working group. These efforts will continue to be implemented by the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH).

          • SUSE joins OpenSSF as Trustworthy Security Drives Innovation

            Today, we’re proud to announce that SUSE has joined the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF). As open source becomes the backbone of digital transformation, its security is ever more essential. In OpenSSF, the open source community collaborates on vulnerability disclosures and security tooling, and it creates best practices to keep all users of open source solutions safe.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EFF Asks Government To Dump DHS’s Plan To Massively Expand Its Biometric Collections

              The DHS’s hunger for data cannot be satisfied by mandatory facial scanning at airports, cellphone scraping at border checkpoints, or the dozens of government databases crammed full of personal info it has access to. It needs more. So, it’s asking for more. More mandatory collection of biometric info from millions of people, including US citizens.

            • NSA refuses to spell out change to policy for planting backdoors

              America’s National Security Agency has dug its heels in and is refusing to provide information to Democrat Senator Ron Wyden as to whether it is still planting backdoors in commercial products as it was found to have done with Juniper Networks in 2015.

            • Senator Wyden Wants To Know If The NSA Is Still Demanding Tech Companies Build Backdoors Into Their Products

              It’s been more than a half-decade since it made headlines, but the NSA’s hardware manipulation programs never went away. These programs — exposed by the Snowden leaks — involved the NSA compromising network hardware, either through interception of physical shipments or by the injection of malicious code.

            • Fancy some contact tracing? That’ll be $4.12 million a pop

              It’s beginning to look like the Federal Government should avoid anything to do with technology following the revelation on Thursday that $70 million of taxpayers’ money was spent on the COVIDSafe app – and only 17 cases were detected through its use.

            • YouTube Revenue Up 32 Percent in Summer Quarter

              Alphabet does not break out YouTube’s non-advertising revenue, which comes from subscriptions and other entertainment transactions, like movie rentals. Those revenues are reported as part of the “Google other revenues” line item, which contributed $5.5 billion during the period.

            • Twitter Hits 189 Million Daily Users, Stock Price Falls

              Twitter saw its number of DAUs rise by 20 million to 186 million at the end of the second quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2020, leaving investors concerned that the second quarter was a one-time gain in usage not to continue during the second half of 2020.

            • Tech Q3 Earnings: Facebook, Google, Amazon Post Strong Revenue and Profit Gains

              Big tech companies continue to prosper in the time of COVID. Facebook, Alphabet (Google’s parent) and Amazon each reported solid growth for the third quarter of 2020 — results that reflect how people worldwide have upped their usage of [Internet] giants’ services during the pandemic.

            • Spy agency ducks questions about ‘back doors’ in tech products

              In at least one instance, a foreign adversary was able to take advantage of a back door invented by U.S. intelligence, according to Juniper Networks Inc, which said in 2015 its equipment had been compromised. In a previously unreported statement to members of Congress in July seen by Reuters, Juniper said an unnamed national government had converted the mechanism first created by the NSA. The NSA told Wyden staffers in 2018 that there was a “lessons learned” report about the Juniper incident and others, according to Wyden spokesman Keith Chu.

            • Bizarre Design Choices in Zoom’s End-to-End Encryption

              Upon hearing this news, I decided to be a good neighbor and take a look at their source code, with the reasoning, “If so many people’s privacy is going to be dependent on Zoom’s security, I might as well make sure they’re not doing something ridiculously bad.”

              Except I couldn’t find their source code anywhere online. But they did publish a white paper on Github…

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Nuclear Weapons Will Soon Be Illegal Under International Law

        Of course, the reality is that despite this outlawing of landmines and fragmentation bombs by the UN, the US still uses them routinely and sells them to other countries, has not destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons, and continues with controversial research on weaponized germs which critics say has a potential dual defensive/offensive utility and purpose (the US is known to have used illegal germ warfare against both North Korea and Cuba during the ‘50s and ‘60s).

        That said, the new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, which the US State Department and Trump administration strenuously opposed and which it has been pressuring countries not to sign or to withdraw their endorsement of, is a big step forward towards the goal of abolishing of these horrific weapons.

      • The Far-Right Militias Supporting Trump

        It was July 2017, a few weeks before the “Unite the Right” Charlottesville riots, when white men marched through the streets of that Virginia city protesting the planned takedown of a confederate statue and chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” I was sitting at a coffee shop in my quiet town of Poulsbo in Washington state. I had set aside an hour away from my kids to do some necessary writing, while my husband, then second-in-command on a Navy ballistic missile submarine, sat suspended somewhere in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

      • Right-wing Bolivian protesters refuse to accept election loss
      • Wisconsin Republicans Say Hackers Stole $2.3 Million From Fund to Help Trump

        The Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) has fallen prey to a phishing scheme and as a result has had $2.3 million stolen from an account that was dedicated to helping President Donald Trump win the state in this year’s election, according to the party leader.

      • France attack: Attacker arrived in Europe from Tunisia days ago

        Two other attacks took place on Thursday, one in France and one in Saudi Arabia.

      • Woman Beheaded in Church, Two Others Killed in Knife Attack in Nice, France

        The suspect, who has not been named, struck inside the city’s landmark Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice in what police say is a terror attack.

        A police source told Reuters that one woman was decapitated and two others murdered while several more were injured.

      • Three dead, woman decapitated in terror attack in French city of Nice

        There were also unconfirmed reports of a second incident, in the city of Avignon. Local media said a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” had tried to attack police and was shot dead by armed officers.

      • Erdogan has close links with terrorist organisations, including ISIS: Swedish Nordic Monitor

        Erdogan’s close associations with terrorist groups in Syria has been confirmed by various reports, the prime one being ISIS and their involvement in commercial deals with the terrorists and even the purchase of stolen oil from Syria and Iraq.

        Turkey, due to Erdogan’s actions, has become a breeding ground for terrorists who receive funding, support, and training on the country’s territory to commit crimes in Syria.

      • Australia seeks Qatar response after female passengers strip-searched

        The searches came to light when Australian women spoke out. Women from other countries were also examined.

        All adult women on the Qatar Airways flight were required to disembark to be body-searched, two of the women told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

        Thirteen Australian women were taken to an ambulance on the tarmac and told to remove their underwear before being examined, reports said.

    • Environment

      • Africa’s resistance grows as climate crisis worsens

        Battered by storms and droughts during a tough 2019, Africa’s resistance to the climate crisis left no room for passivity.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • ‘Seismic Shift’ in World’s Approach to Land Use, Wildlife, and Climate Action Needed to Avoid New ‘Era of Pandemics,’ Study Says

          “The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment.”

        • Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Plans to Log Grizzly Habitat

          The Forest Service estimates it will lose $5,122,000 on the Soldier-Butler logging and burning  project. That’s a direct subsidy of federal taxpayer dollars to the timber industry to seriously damage our dwindling intact national forests and wildlife for private profit.

          This is another ‘landscape scale’ logging and road-building project, encompassing 45,160  acres—more than 70 square miles. The area includes a portion of the Reservation Divide  Inventoried Roadless Area, supposedly protected by the Roadless Rule—a rule routinely ignored by the Trump administration’s anti-environmental, pro-extraction Forest Service.

        • Trump Throws Wolves Under the Bus

          Environmental groups—including WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands, Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, The Lands Council, Kettle Range Conservation Group, Klamath Forest Alliance, Wildlands Network, and Rocky Mountain Wild, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center—are gearing up to bring a legal challenge to the decision.

          “This is yet another example of the Trump administration ignoring science,” said Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director with WildEarth Guardians. “From climate change denial, to their gross mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, to rollbacks of environmental safeguards protecting clean air and water, this administration has proven time and time again that they’re only in it for themselves, even if it means ignoring and denying the facts.”

        • Wolves to Lose Protection
    • Finance

      • The Senate Snowflake Grievance Committee Quizzes Tech CEOs On Tweets & Employee Viewpoints

        On Wednesday morning the Senate Commerce Committee held a nearly four hour long hearing ostensibly about Section 230 with three internet CEOs: Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Sundar Pichai from Google, and Jack Dorsey from Twitter. The hearing went about as expected: meaning it was mostly ridiculous nonsense. You had multiple Republican Senators demanding that these CEOs explain why they had taken actions on certain content, with some silly “whataboutism” on other kinds of content where action wasn’t taken. Then you had multiple Democratic Senators demanding these CEOs explain why they hadn’t taken faster action on pretty much the same content that Republicans had complained some action had been taken on.

      • Pandemic Poverty: The CARES Act Kept Millions from Going Hungry. Why Won’t the Senate Renew It?

        The massive $2 trillion CARES Act — which sent households one-time payments and boosted unemployment checks with an additional $600 a week through July — helped keep millions afloat, but more than 8 million people have been forced into poverty since the aid ended. “The relief was temporary, and much of it has now expired, so now we’re seeing poverty rise again,” says Megan Curran, a researcher at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. “We know that families can be protected again, but it does require action at the federal level.”

      • As GDP Data Shows Economy Still in a Deep Hole, Trump Denounced for ‘Trying to Mislead the Public by Claiming an Economic Miracle’

        “Americans can believe what he says or they can believe their own eyes. Millions are unemployed—they know the economy is not booming.”

      • The Stock Market is Not the Economy

        Before the 1980s, the main driver of profits and the stock market was economic growth. When the economy grew, profits and the stock market rose in tandem. It was a virtuous cycle: Demand for goods and services generated more jobs and higher wages, which in turn stoked demand for more goods and services. But since the late 1980s, the main way corporations get profits and stock prices up has been to keep payrolls down. Corporations have done whatever they can to increase profits by cutting jobs and wages. They’ve busted unions, moved to “right-to-work” states, outsourced abroad, reclassified workers as independent contractors, and turned to labor-saving automation. Prior to 1989, economic growth accounted for most of the stock market’s gains. Since then, most of the gains have come from money that would otherwise have gone into the pockets of workers. Meanwhile, corporations have used their profits and also gone deep into debt to buy back shares of their own stock, thereby pumping up share prices and creating an artificial sugar-high for the stock market.All this has made the rich even richer. The richest 1 percent of American households own 50 percent of the value of stocks held by American households. The richest 10 percent own 92 percent.But it’s had the opposite effect for everyone else. More and more of the total economy is going into profits and high stock prices benefiting those at the top, while less and less is going into worker wages and salaries.America’s CEOs and billionaires are happy as ever, because more and more of their earnings come from capital gains – increases in the prices of their stock portfolios.Meanwhile, the Fed has taken on the debts many corporations generated when they borrowed in order to buy back their shares of stock – in effect bailing them out, even as millions of Americans continue to struggle. So the next time you hear someone say the stock market is a reflection of the economy, tell them that’s rubbish! The real economy is jobs and wages.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘It’s Not Just That You’re a Crook’: Watch Jon Ossoff Eviscerate Sen. Perdue Over Insider Trading, Covid Lies, and Healthcare Attacks

        “You’re attacking the health of the people that you represent,” the Democratic challenger said to Georgia’s incumbent GOP senator.

      • Is Republican Attack on Social Media Giants Part of an Effort to Invalidate Election Results?

        Lawmakers grilled the chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter just days before Election Day on how they moderate hate speech, extremist content and election disinformation, including tweets from President Trump. Republicans have long accused Big Tech platforms of censoring conservative views, but tech policy expert Ramesh Srinivasan says the argument is shaped around talking points that are aimed at invalidating election results. “What we see coming from the Republicans is this argument that lacks any evidence, frankly, that there are systematic biases in terms of censorship, as well as algorithmic biases that skew against conservative talking points,” says Srinivasan, a professor at UCLA, where he also directs the Digital Cultures Lab. “In fact, in reality, the opposite is exactly what is true.”

      • “Drop Your Ballot Off”: Supreme Court Rulings on Mailed Ballots Sow Doubt on Which Votes Will Count

        A record 76 million people have already voted in the U.S. election, but the battle over the counting of mail-in ballots continues, with the Supreme Court issuing rulings on how long after Election Day ballots can be counted in the battleground states of Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. We speak with Mother Jones senior writer Ari Berman, author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” who says the Supreme Court could yet decide who wins the presidency if a close result leads to legal challenges. “My message to voters in these states and other states is drop your ballot off,” says Berman. “Don’t leave it to chance that your vote could be thrown out.”

      • ‘Drop It Off or Vote in Person,’ Advocates Plea as Supreme Court Suggests It Could Toss Out Late Pennsylvania Ballots After Election

        “Don’t leave your vote in the hands of the Supreme Court.”

      • Was April 7, 2020 the Day That Sealed the Fate of America?

        Look at what they said and did. And look at when they said and did it.

      • Susan Collins Backed Down From a Fight with Private Equity. Now They’re Underwriting Her Reelection.

        In late November 2017, Senate Republicans were racing to secure the votes for their sweeping tax overhaul. With no Democrats supporting the bill and even some Republicans wavering, Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican, found herself with enormous leverage.

        The day before the vote, she offered an amendment to make the legislation, which lavished tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy, more equitable. It expanded a tax credit to make child care more affordable. To pay for it, she took aim at a tax break cherished by the private equity industry.

      • Disinformation Can Function as Voter Suppression. Organizers Are Fighting Back.

        Disinformation cannot be ignored or hoped away, it must be consistently disrupted. Earlier this week, participatory media organizations MediaJustice and the Disinfo Defense League launched a week of action to put good information and tools directly into people’s hands ahead of Election Day. Led by Black and Brown organizations, DisruptDisinfo offers a mixture of trainings, webinars, and other resources. ReFrame and PEN America developed a disinformation toolkit for organizers and advocates as a part of this effort.

      • Trump Openly Voices Hope That Courts Will Intervene in Ballot Count

        President Donald Trump on Wednesday once again openly voiced hope that U.S. courts — now packed with his right-wing judges — will intervene and stop states from counting legally submitted ballots after November 3, remarks that came just before the U.S. Supreme Court suggested it could invalidate late-arriving Pennsylvania votes after Election Day.

      • A Day After Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Violent Hate Crimes, Collins Says Maine Doesn’t Have Issue With Systemic Racism

        “We are very fortunate in the state of Maine because we have terrific members of law enforcement,” the Republican incumbent asserted. 

      • Documents Reveal WH Officials Tried to Use $250 Million in Taxpayer Money on Covid Ad Campaign to Boost Trump Reelection

        Democrats on the House Oversight Committee accused HHS officials of engaging in a “cover-up to conceal the Trump administration’s misuse of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for partisan political purposes.”

      • Why Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg Are So Adamant About the Imperative of Defeating Trump

        Defeating Trump is a crucial—and certainly insufficient—precondition for making possible the kind of changes in government policies that are desperately required for social decency.

      • Facebook Choked Traffic to Mother Jones & Other Sites While Amplifying Right-Wing Misinformation

        Big Tech CEOs were grilled Wednesday about how they moderate election disinformation and extremist content, and were accused by Republicans of censoring conservatives. Overlooked were reports that Facebook designed changes to its news feed algorithm in 2017 to reduce the visibility of left-leaning news sites like Mother Jones. Mother Jones editors wrote in 2019 that the site had seen a sharp decline in its Facebook audience, which translated to a loss of around $600,000 over 18 months. “The fact that we are trying to do everything we can to get the truth out and Facebook is deliberately sabotaging our readership is so disturbing, at the same time that Facebook is spreading all of this dangerous information by conservatives, by President Trump,” responds Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones magazine, who has been reporting extensively on the 2020 election.

      • Chile’s New Constitution, Wiping Away the Last Stains of Pinochet

        Though a change in its founding document is not on the ballot in the United States, we should, here in America, pay close attention to what just happened in that distant land at the end of the earth. Heartened and inspired by the sight of ordinary people forcing a small ruling elite to accept, against all odds, the need for radical reforms, we would do well to learn some valuable lessons from that Chilean experience.

        Sunday’s victory in Chile did not come easily or swiftly.

      • This Land Is Our Land: Trump’s America, and Our America

        The Trumpian tragedy is doubly tragic because it makes so much sense. We can decide that Trump is an anomaly. But, in fact, Trump looks and acts a lot like America.

      • ‘Reckless Incompetence and Intentional Cruelty’: House Issues Scathing Report on Trump Migrant Family Separation Policy

        The “inhumane” policy was “driven by an administration… determined to go to unthinkable extremes to deliver on political promises,” the report found. 

      • On Trump’s Megalomania

        It’s as if, with Trump competing for the presidency, the country went into a frenzy: turning down Hillary Clinton, the first woman seeking the country’s highest office, and electing Trump the billionaire.

        Naturally, Trump lived up to his money reputation and opened the national treasury to fellow oligarchs. Americans naively thought nothing of it. Economists rushed to excuse tax cuts and subsidies to the super rich and polluting petroleum and chemical corporations. Their gospel says that is necessary for a more “efficient” economy and government.

      • Trump and Biden: Cold-War Dinosaurs

        Thus far, the presidential and vice presidential debates have steered clear of foreign policy, despite the US’s age-long meddling representing a major problem globally and the source of growing opposition domestically.

        The claim was sourced from a report that alleged that Iranian hackers had sent out threatening emails to Floridian voters to vote for Trump, posing as the Proud Boys.

      • The World Is Burning, but the Political Press Insists It’s a Horse Race

        This article is adapted from “The Climate Beat,” the weekly newsletter of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism initiative strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • The World Is Burning, but the Political Press Insists on its Horserace

        In the few days that remain before the election and in the months that will follow, journalists must ask themselves if they’re truly conveying the gravity of the climate crisis to their audiences, as well as all the challenges and opportunities it entails.

      • The Supreme Court Has Never Been on the Side of Working People

        The Senate’s obscene rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett—in time to allow her, as Donald Trump has made clear, to assist his efforts to steal the election—should force even the most blinkered observer to acknowledge the deeply political nature of our judiciary. Coming after the Senate’s refusal to even grant Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing and its subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch for that stolen seat, the latest Republican power play has done much to strip away the mystique that previously cloaked the deliberations of the Supreme Court’s nine justices. Despite their black robes, ritual use of Latin, and lifetime appointments, they’re simply fallible mortals with the same prejudices and predilections as the rest of us.

      • If You Can’t Speak English, Good Luck Voting in Trump’s America

        Limary Ruiz Torres, a 51-year-old accountant in Lawrenceville, Ga., was eager to vote in this year’s presidential primary. But when Torres, who was raised in Puerto Rico and speaks limited English, received her mail-in ballot application in April, she felt shut out. “I cannot read the absentee ballot request I received this week,” she later told a federal court. Ultimately, she and another plaintiff, Albert Mendez, sued the county and state.

      • Let’s Be Very Clear: Senate Republicans Have Failed Every Struggling American Family

        It is cruel, and bad economics, to withhold stimulus aid.

      • In Key Cities, Activists Are Mobilizing Black Voters Biden Isn’t

        Detroit may be a car capital, but Wendy Caldwell-Liddell wants to meet at the bus station. The 29-year-old founder of Mobilize Detroit canvasses there regularly, because she knows she’s likely to meet people mainstream Democrats are failing to reach—people who have to go to work, or take care of their children, and are using a public service to get there. People, in her words, who are “on a mission.”

      • What We Call Freedom Has Never Been About Being Free

        The political right today is marked by a deep conviction that its freedom stands imperiled everywhere. Social distancing measures and face mask requirements, conservatives argue, impinge upon their personal freedom; baking cakes for gay marriages or providing contraception insurance for employees violates their religious freedom; university safe spaces and political correctness censor their freedom of speech in the classroom; expanding health care undermines their liberty. Each of these ways of thinking about freedom is connected to the idea that the state must be curtailed in order to safeguard individual rights.

      • The Final Stretch

        Is it possible that they know something that the rest of the world does not know, or is it that they hope to use some illicit subterfuge to win this election, handing Trump the presidency? The extent of the influence Russia used to achieve this result in the past election is unknown, but Russia’s past and present election meddling has been confirmed by the US intelligence agencies.

        Trump is smart, but he has a perverse intelligence, the result of his narcissism with sociopathic traits. Mary Trump, his niece and a clinical psychologist, makes a stark analysis of her uncle, whom she considers a fraud and a huge danger to the country and the world. Her assessment is born, in part, by Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which she calls a “mass murder”. Trump’s ignorance, his refutation of the opinion of his own scientific advisers, and dishonest and irresponsible actions have resulted in more than 8.35 million cases of COVID-19 and over 224,000 deaths to date in the U.S.

      • For a Two-Week Grace Period So All Voters Can Be Counted

        First, the Republicans’ detailed criminogenic voter suppression strategy that creates delay, confusion, and discord in the handling of voters and their votes is proceeding with increasing intensity.

        Second, the number of election volunteers is likely to be seriously diminished because of Covid-19. Many elderly volunteers who staff voting precincts justifiably fear the potential for exposure to the Covid-19 virus. This problem could lead to closing precinct locations and a reduction in voter turnout.

      • Trump’s Covid-19 Testing Czar Warns of ‘Draconian Measures’ to Come If Americans Don’t Mask Up

        As cases surge just before Election Day, studies show universal mask-wearing prevents outbreaks and could save tens of thousands of lives.

      • Donald Trump Is a Superspreader of Many Terrible Things

        Trump, GOP dismiss the pandemic as Wisconsin cases spike.

      • If Trump Doesn’t Win Pennsylvania, His Chances Crumble to 2 Percent

        For the second election cycle in a row, Pennsylvania’s 9 million voters will play a definitive role in choosing our next president. In 2016, Donald Trump eked out a victory in Pennsylvania by around 44,000 votes, or about 0.7 percent more than Hillary Clinton. The state’s 20 Electoral College votes were the vital piece to Trump’s eventual inside straight — Pennsylvania to Michigan to Wisconsin — which allowed him to win the White House while losing the popular vote.

      • Placement Of Ballot Drop Boxes Far From Ideal In New Jersey. Some Voters Must Travel Miles To Reach One
      • Worried Your Mail-in Ballot Still Hasn’t Arrived? Here’s How To Be Sure Your Vote Counts
      • Get Out
      • MAGA CRACKERs : New from Discomfort Foods!

        There’s no cracker like a WHITE LIES MATTER CRACKER! Take them along to superspreader rallies, voter intimidation operations, tiki-torch marches, and just about anywhere a good cracker is always appreciated.

        Discomfort Foods brings you a wide variety of products and recipes that create new memories. Each of our CRACKERs carries the thoughts (in edible ink!) of our Dear Leader President Trump, as conveyed to us by his Prophet Roger Marshall on a recent Keep Kansas Great Bus Tour—including old favorites like

      • To Stop Trump Stealing the Election, Democrats Must Do These 3 Things

        The election is just days away, and it still seems likely that Trump will lose to Joe Biden. But that doesn’t mean that Biden will be sworn in as our 46th president.

      • The GOP’s Education Extremism Is Alienating Moderate Voters

        Julia Pulver, a 36-year-old nurse who is running to represent Oakland County in the Michigan state legislature, can pinpoint the moment that the momentum in her race against Republican incumbent Ryan Berman shifted decisively. This spring, as Michigan was reeling from the pandemic and facing a collapse in revenue, Berman joined with a small group of Republicans to urge the state’s congressional delegation to reject federal funds meant to help Michigan recover. The backlash in Berman’s district, northwest of Detroit, was swift and furious, recalls Pulver. School leaders from the five school districts that lie inside the 39th district were outraged at what they saw as a deliberate effort by their elected representative to torpedo their efforts to safely reopen.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook under fire for boosting right-wing news sources and throttling progressive alternatives

        Facebook is under fire once again for allegedly being biased toward conservative media outlets — only this time, it is also being accused of throttling left-wing media outlets in the process.

        When tweaking its newsfeed algorithm in late 2017, Facebook bowed to pressure from policy executives who were concerned that the new changes would hurt right-wing media outlets on the site like the Daily Wire, according to a report earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal. As a result, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg approved of plans for the company to tweak its newsfeed algorithm in such a way that left-leaning sites like Mother Jones were allegedly disproportionately affected.

      • France: Beheaded Teacher Interrogated by Police for ‘Thought Crimes’ Days Before Slaughter (Video)

        In the days following Professor Paty’s classroom debate, Brahim Chnina, the father of a student at Paty’s school posted a video and post on social media falsely claiming that Professor Paty ordered all Muslim students to leave the classroom prior to the free speech lesson. He falsely asserted that his daughter Zaina was suspended from the school when she refused to exit the classroom.

        The principal of the school clarified that the cause of Zaina’s suspension from school was erroneous. Her suspension was not the result of anything that transpired in Professor Paty’s class, but rather the result of her recurring tardiness to school.

      • Meet the man who could lead the GOP’s war on platform moderation

        “Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” The Republican senator from Texas was yelling at the Twitter CEO during a congressional hearing on speech moderation on Wednesday. According to Cruz, Twitter, Facebook, and Google represented “the single greatest threat to free speech in America and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • How Cops Who Use Force and Even Kill Can Hide Their Names From the Public

        In January 2019, a Dollar Tree employee in Masaryktown, Florida, called 911 after a homeless man stole $70 of beer, wine, candy and cookies. A sheriff’s deputy had little trouble finding him — the man had passed out drunk in a nearby ditch with an open box of Reese’s Pieces.

        The deputy took the man to the hospital, where he became irate. With his left wrist handcuffed to the bed, he started swinging his right arm wildly. To get the suspect “under control,” the deputy pepper-sprayed him in the face.

      • Beyond Prisons Podcast: In Defense Of Looting Feat. Vicky Osterweil

        Vicky Osterweil joins the Beyond Prisons podcast to discuss her new book, “In Defense Of Looting: A Riotous History Of Uncivil Action.”

        Our wide-ranging conversation includes Vicky’s analysis of the claim that “real” and legitimate protests are nonviolent by nature, while rioting and looting constitute an act of hijacking by malevolent outside forces. 

      • Gonda man accuses 8 of forcing daughter to embrace Islam

        Eight persons were booked for allegedly coercing a 16-year-old girl in Gonda to embrace Islam with the promise of marriage. The teen’s father, who lodged the FIR with Kernalganj police on Tuesday, also accused the groupof-eight of delivering violent threats and brainwashing his daughter with grandiose marriage plans in Dubai.

      • Is Xi losing sleep over the Buddha?

        The party’s nervousness about the growing clout of Tibetan Buddhism in the world and within China is reflected in the CCP’s recent actions. In 2007, the State Religious Affairs Bureau’s Order No. 5 issued a decree requiring the reincarnation of Tibetan Lamas to be approved by the communist government.

        The order was seen as a move to preside over His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation someday in a similar fashion as when they kidnapped and replaced the reincarnation of the 11th Panchen Lama with a Chinese puppet. The CCP has been asserting its right to recognize the future Dalai Lama, a thoroughly bizarre claim that has been duly slammed by all.

        The Tibetan administration in exile has passed resolutions entitling only Tibetans to carry out the traditional practice. The U.S. Congress has echoed the sentiments of Tibet and sent a clear message to China. Reincarnation is uniquely Tibetan and no other culture, least of all that of an occupying atheist nation, could ever preside over it with any trace of legitimacy.

      • Report reveals ‘survival’ techniques used by women in Korean HE

        The latest of these analyses, which focuses on South Korean junior female academics (JFAs), was published this month in Higher Education.

        It shows that neoliberal management policies increased pressure on academics to publish prolifically, specifically in the first five years after completing a doctorate. However, deep-rooted gender imbalances also meant that JFAs were expected to perform as “good mothers and wives” and faced the burdens of childbirth, childcare, “patriarchal networks, limited job opportunities, gender-based division of labour and harassment”.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Tell Us How You Want to Modify and Repair the Devices in Your Life

        Have you tried modifying, repairing, or diagnosing a product but bumped into encryption, a password requirement, or some other technological roadblock that got in the way? EFF wants your stories to help us fight for your right to get around those obstacles.

        Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to circumvent certain digital access controls (also called “technological protection measures” or “TPMs”). Because software code can be copyrightable, this gives product manufacturers a legal tool to control the way you interact with the increasingly powerful devices in your life. While Section 1201’s stated goal was to prevent copyright infringement, the law has been used against artists, researchers, technicians, and other product owners, even when their reasons for circumventing manufacturers’ digital locks were completely lawful.

      • Netflix Raises Price of Standard Monthly Plan in U.S. to $14 per Month

        According to Peters, Netflix doesn’t use any kind of algorithm to decide when to increase pricing. “We do an assessment: Do we believe that we’re really delivering more value to members?” he said, adding that “a North Star we hold close to our heart in this whole process is we think that we are just an incredible entertainment value — and we very much want to remain an incredible value as we continue to improve the service and grow.”

    • Monopolies

      • Congress Fails to Ask Tech CEOs the Hard Questions

        The Senate Commerce Committee met this week to question the heads of Facebook, Twitter, and Google about Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. Section 230 reflects the common-sense principle that legal liability for unlawful online speech should rest with the speaker, not the Internet services that make online speech possible. Section 230 further protects Internet companies’ ability to make speech moderation decisions by making it clear that platforms can make those decisions without inviting liability for the mistakes they will inevitably make.

        Even President Trump has called multiple times for a repeal of Section 230, though repealing the law would certainly mean far fewer places for conservatives to share their ideas online, not more.

      • Senator’s Report Finds Google and Facebook Have ‘Hijacked’ Local News and Undermined Journalism

        “These trillion-dollar companies scrape local news content and data for their own sites and leverage their market dominance to force local news to accept little to no compensation for their intellectual property.”

      • Antitrust Suit Against Google is a Watershed Moment

        The antitrust lawsuit against Google filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and eleven state attorneys general has the potential to be the most important competition case against a technology company since the DOJ’s 1998 suit against Microsoft. The complaint is broad, covering Google’s power over search generally, along with search advertising. Instead of asking for money damages, the complaint asks for Google to be restructured and its illegal behavior restricted.This suit flows from investigations by the DOJ Antitrust Division that have been going on since last year. Although a large, bipartisan group of state attorneys general were reportedly working together on the investigation, just eleven states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined the suit. A group of Democratic-led states are reportedly preparing a separate lawsuit.

        The DOJ and states raised three claims in their suit, all under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits acquiring or maintaining monopoly power through improper means. The lawsuit alleges that Google illegally maintains monopoly power in three markets: “general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising.” In these markets, says the complaint, “Google aggressively uses its monopoly positions, and the money that flows from them, to continuously foreclose rivals and protect its monopolies.”

      • Zuckerberg Says U.S. Election Will Be a Test of Facebook’s Work

        The company also created an ad archive and rolled out rules against misleading posts about voting. It sought to close loopholes in data-sharing that were revealed in the scandal over Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that in 2016 used targeting data improperly obtained from Facebook quizzes.

      • Facebook, NYU researchers tussle over political ads on the social network

        The Ad Observatory site and database make it easier “for people to see who is purchasing ads on Facebook and in what volume, as well as trends in how they are deployed in major political races across the country,” says NYU’s Online Political Transparency Project. That’s important, it adds, because Facebook isn’t subject to the same federal rules that “govern broadcast and print ads and ensure they are accurate and disclose their source.”

      • Biden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform’s pre-election blackout

        The temporary ban went into effect on Oct. 27, but the platform said it ran into “a number of unidentified issues” that caused ads to be paused that have already been running on Facebook, according to a Thursday blog post. The post went on to say that the technical glitch also prevented advertisers from making permissible changes to their ads.

      • Microsoft prepares to avoid scrutiny under Biden

        Companies are prohibited by law from donating themselves. The contributions, according to OpenSecrets, were therefore made by the company’s political action committees (PACs), members of the PACs, or employees.

        A Microsoft spokesperson said the company has a history of engaging with presidential administrations on issues that matter to its business. “Our approach has been consistent: We’ll partner where we can, we’ll stand apart where we should,” she said, adding that the contributions were made by Microsoft’s employees, without offering more details.

      • Microsoft Quietly Prepares to Avoid Spotlight Under Joe Biden

        Large technology companies including Microsoft have not emerged in the top 20 contributors list for the Trump candidate campaign committee. However, Microsoft’s Smith, whose donations have mostly helped Democrats, has made several contributions to Republicans, including a $15,000 (roughly Rs. 11,10,000) donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to campaign finance records.

      • Patents

        • CRISPR Housekeeping

          Since the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rendered its decisions on Motions in Interference No. 106,115, Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) have filed a number of miscellaneous motions, and the Board has issued several Orders in response.

          [...]

          Finally, CVC requested that the Board permit CVC to subpoena discovery from Luciano Marraffini and Shuailiang Lin, neither of whom is a party to this interference. (Readers may remember that Dr. Marraffini, faculty at The Rockefeller University, was involved in a dispute over inventorship of certain of the Broad’s patents that resulted ultimately in some of the European counterparts of these patents to be revoked by the European Patent Office; see “The CRISPR Chronicles — Broad Institute Wins One and Loses One”). CVC proposes to pursue such subpoenas through application to U.S. District Court under 35 U.S.C. § 24.

        • Webinar Materials – The Rise of Patent Litigation Finance: Data & Trends

          While speaking on data and trends within patent litigation financing, we discussed how patent litigation financing works and who is providing the funding. We also discussed privilege and confidentiality issues, ethical issues, the impact of litigation funding to actual litigations, and other hot topic issues regarding patent litigation financing.

        • A stricter interpretation: the EPO and antibodies

          Is the grant of a reasonable scope for antibody-related inventions at the European Patent Office a phenomenon of the past? Joachim Wachenfeld and Florian Grasser of Vossius & Partner report.

          The invention of the antibody hybridoma technology by Nobel prize winners Georges Köhler and César Milstein in 1975 paved the way to the development of therapeutic antibodies.

          The first therapeutic monoclonal antibody obtained market approval in the US in 1986. Since then the market value of therapeutic antibodies has grown to approximately $115.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $300 billion in 2025.

          Along with this development, the number of patent applications seeking protection for therapeutic antibodies at the European Patent Office (EPO) has constantly grown and is growing further.

        • It’s Time to Kick Patent Trolls Out of the International Trade Commission

          The International Trade Commission, or ITC, is a federal agency in Washington D.C. that investigates unfair trade practices. Unfortunately, in recent years, it has also become a magnet for some of the worst abusers of the U.S. patent system. Now, there’s a bill in Congress, the Protecting America’s Interest Act (H.R. 8037), that could finally get patent trolls out of the ITC—a place they never should have been allowed in the first place.

          Patent owners can ask the Commission to investigate an allegation of infringement, in addition to their right to bring a patent infringement case into federal court. The ITC can’t award damages like a district court can, but the ITC can grant an “exclusion order,” which bans importation of the excluded item, and orders customs agents to seize products at the border.

        • Software Patents

          • TikTok sues rival app Triller in countersuit over patent infringement allegations

            TikTok and the video sharing app’s parent company ByteDance sued rival app Triller on Wednesday in a countersuit over patent infringement claims.

            Chinese-owned TikTok filed a complaint in San Francisco federal court that Triller’s lawsuit, filed over the summer, has “cast a cloud” over TikTok and ByteDance, “causing uncertainty” for the company.

            The complaint also denies Triller’s allegations that TikTok infringed on Triller’s patent.

          • Eko Asks Court to Prevent Sale of Turnstyle Tech in Quibi Dispute

            Then, in a complicating twist on Oct. 21, Quibi announced it would be shuttering less than six months after its launch. CEO Meg Whitman and chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg wrote in an open letter to investors and employees that they “considered and exhausted every option available” but ultimately decided that Quibi was not attracting enough subscribers to continue to keep the business in operation. They are currently searching for buyers for Quibi’s library of shows and technology assets as they look to wind down the app by around Dec. 1.

            On Wednesday, Eko filed another request for emergency relief — this time asking the court to freeze certain Quibi assets related to the intellectual property at issue in the dispute. Effectively, Eko is asking the court to block Quibi from selling the Turnstyle tech or the related patent. It also wants to make sure Quibi keeps enough cash on hand to pay damages in the event that Eko prevails in the litigation.

      • Copyrights

        • US Court Dismisses ‘Unique’ YTS Trademark Case Against Pirate Sites & Apps

          Anti-piracy lawyer Kerry Culpepper has failed to secure $250,000 damages claims against sites and apps that used the YTS trademark he obtained. The court dismissed the case as it lacks sufficient evidence to prove that the defendants purposefully targeted the US. Meanwhile, the trademark infringement claims shed an interesting light on related YTS cases that were filed recently.

        • RIAA Obtains Subpoenas Targeting 40 YouTube-Ripping Platforms & Pirate Sites

          The RIAA is ramping up the pressure on a wide range of platforms allegedly involved in music piracy. Two DMCA subpoenas obtained against Cloudflare and Namecheap require the companies to hand over all information they hold on more than 40 torrent sites, streaming portals and YouTube-ripping services. Also included in the mix are several file-hosting platforms.

        • What’s Another Way Supporters of Mandated Facebook Media Payments Promote Their Position? Paid Facebook Advertising

          Despite the “stolen content” rhetoric, the willingness of the policy supporters to pay for links is evidence of their value. Further, in case it isn’t obvious, these ads actually are an example of Facebook commercially benefiting from links to news articles. Unlike typical posts of news stories – many of which come from the news publishers themselves and do not directly generate revenue – ad campaigns such as this one directly result in revenue for Facebook. Given their position on payments, it would be interesting to know whether Unifor Canada obtained a paid licence to link to the stories on the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, BBC, and other media sources as part of its ad campaign.

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