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Links 23/9/2020: Librem 14 Shipping in December, Linux Journal Returns, Istio 1.6.10 Released, Release Candidate 3 of LLVM 11.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Journal is Back

      As of today, Linux Journal is back, and operating under the ownership of Slashdot Media.

      As Linux enthusiasts and long-time fans of Linux Journal, we were disappointed to hear about Linux Journal closing it’s doors last year. It took some time, but fortunately we were able to get a deal done that allows us to keep Linux Journal alive now and indefinitely. It’s important that amazing resources like Linux Journal never disappear.

      We will begin publishing digital content again as soon as we can. If you’re a former Linux Journal contributor or a Linux enthusiast that would like to get involved, please contact us and let us know the capacity in which you’d like to contribute. We’re looking for people to cover Linux news, create Linux guides, and moderate the community and comments. We’d also appreciate any other ideas or feedback you might have. Right now, we don’t have any immediate plans to resurrect the subscription/issue model, and will be publishing exclusively on LinuxJournal.com free of charge. Our immediate goal is to familiarize ourself with the Linux Journal website and ensure it doesn’t ever get shut down again.

    • Linux Journal is back?

      What a surprise it was when I noticed on Twitter earlier this afternoon that “Linux Journal is back.” Before we get too excited, I need to make it known that this is not the same Linux Journal from before. The link to the full article can be found on the Linux Journal website.


      I want to wish Slashdot Media all the best as they help to not only preserve what is there but also continue the tradition of bringing quality content to Linux and Open Source readers.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem 14 Shipping in December

        The Librem 14 is going to be a powerhouse with a six core, twelve thread, 4.70Ghz i7-10710U tenth generation Intel CPU. When we first announced the Librem 14 pre-order, we estimated shipping would begin in early Q4 2020 but unfortunately Intel has industry-wide supply issues with the i7-10th gen CPUs which has moved the ship date for the Librem 14 to December 2020.

        That’s the bad news. The good news is that the current $100 pre-order sale will continue for a bit longer. We also hope to finish some fresh Librem 14 prototypes in about a week, so we can share new pictures of the design.

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.6.10

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.9 and Istio 1.6.10.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux kernel report shows more than 20,000 contributors since beginning

        As the use of Linux has grown, the number and variety of contributors has done likewise. The study found that from 2007 to 2019, there were 780,048 commits accepted into the Linux kernel from 1730 organisations. The top 20 can be seen in the chart in this article.

        In this table, unknown refers to contributions for which a supporting employer’s existence could not be determined. None indicates the patches are from developers known to be working on their own time.

        The release model for the kernel now has four categories; Prepatch (or “-rc”) kernels, Mainline, Stable, and Long Term Stable. Each release cycle begins with a two-week “merge window” when new features can be reviewed and then included in the git repository for the next release.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Dimgrey Cavefish and VanGogh Support Lands In Radeon Linux OpenGL Driver

          The latest enablement work landing in the RadeonSI Gallium3D open-source driver is for AMD Dimgrey Cavefish and VanGogh.

          Merged today to Mesa 20.3-devel was VanGogh and Dimgrey Cavefish support.

          VanGogh and Dimgrey Cavefish are both GFX10.3 (Navi 2) parts. Van Gogh has been rumored for a while as a next-gen mobile API with Zen 2 CPU cores and RDNA2 graphics in the 7.5~18 Watt TDP space. Details on Dimgrey Cavefish are light as it’s another Linux-specific codename for a Navi 2 part in following the X.Org color + fish family naming convention.

    • Applications

      • Cantata MPD Client 2.4.2 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04

        Cantata, Qt5 graphical client for Music Player Daemon (MPD), released version 2.4.2 with various fixes. PPA updated for Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, and derivatives.

        Cantata 2.4.2 is primarily a stability improvements and bug-fixes release that features.

      • Future Looks Bright for Free Video Editor Lightworks

        Naturally changes are coming, as are new features and toolsets to ‘provide a fresh and innovative creative environment’ for content creators.

        A major update to Lightworks, the first under its new owners, will be available to download in November.

        It’s not clear (yet) wether Lightworks will remain a “freemium” app (it’s free to download and use but a license is required to unlock 1080p exporting) or if it will be made open source (something Editshare had on their roadmap).

        Despite being one of best video editors for Linux (it’s available for macOS and Windows too) Lightworks has never quite achieved the sort of user-base that other (equally free) video editors have among ‘hobbyist’ editors.

        But with the right direction the editor could yet cut through its pro-level competition to better meet the needs demanded by modern content production.

        Or to put it another way: Lightworks is once again a core software product and not just an extra in someone else’s film.

      • Secure your messaging with Dino: An End-to-End encryption chat client for Linux and macOS

        Dino is a privacy-focused lightweight open-source messenger for Linux desktops.

        It supports end-to-end encryption out-of-the-box via OMEMO or OpenPGP encryption.

        In addition to its strong encryption, Dino allows the user to disable read and typing notification either globally or for specific contacts.

        Currently, Dino offers several distribution packages for all popular Linux and Unix distributions: Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, Arch Linux, Void Linux, Alpine Linux, NixOS, Guix and finally FreeBSD (Unix).

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Soldat 2 brings the next-generation of fast-paced online platformer action – out now

        Available now in Early Access, the online platformer shooter Soldat 2 brings in the full charm of the original classic that took the early internet by storm and will continue to expand it.

        If you played the original – right now it’s very much as you expect. Fast paced, ridiculous, seriously easy to get into and really rather fun. You can’t ask for much more in a military-style platformer shooter, it does exactly what it sets out to do. You run, you throw a grenade, you spray and pray and hopefully get a few frags along the way. Slightly prettier than the original but still just as insane.


        Plenty more is to come including more of pretty much everything: levels, weapons, vehicles – you name it and it probably will get it at some point. The big idea with Soldat 2 is to be a platform for others to create, as much as it is a game itself so it’s going to have full modding support for all sorts of community content.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KTextEditor – Small Things Matter

          Thanks to the feedback & patches provided by others, I found a bit more motivation to take a look at the small things that seems to be odd in KTextEditor.

          Interesting enough, if you once notice a small detail (like a dead pixel on your display you suddenly find after years of use), it really sticks out like a sore thumb…

          Here two small things that caught my interest this week.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Christian Hergert: GtkSourceView Next

          Earlier this year I started a branch to track GTK 4 development which is targeted for release by end-of-year. I just merged it which means that our recently released gtksourceview-4-8 branch is going to be our LTS for GTK 3. As you might remember from the previous maintainer, GtkSourceView 4.x is the continuation of the GtkSourceView 3.x API with all the deprecated API removed and a number of API improvements.

          Currently, GtkSourceView.Next is 5.x targeting the GTK 4.x API. It’s a bit of an unfortunate number clash, but it’s been fine for WebKit so we’ll see how it goes.

          It’s really important that we start getting solid testing because GtkSourceView is used all over the place and is one of those “must have” dependencies when moving to a new GTK major ABI.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite 5.2 Is Now Ready for Testing Based on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS

          While you’re probably enjoying your Linux Lite 5.0 installation, work has begun on the next major release, Linux Lite 5.2, which will be based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system and the long-term supported Linux 5.4 kernel series. As usual, there are also various improvements and new features.

          For example, Linux Lite 5.2 will now let users manage the Firewall and Lite Widget settings from the Settings Manager, show laptop battery status in the Lite Widget, as well as to restore the Taskbar and system tray icons to default from the Lite Tweaks utility.

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.2 RC1 is here to replace Microsoft Windows on your PC

          Windows 7 and Windows 10 aren’t terrible operating systems. In fact, they are both very good. With that said, the newest version of Windows 10 has many bugs. Unfortunately, since Windows 7 is no longer supported, its users are stuck in a conundrum. They have to decide whether to use an unsupported Windows 7 or upgrade to Windows 10 that is full of telemetry and other “spying” that passes their information to Microsoft’s servers. That is a very difficult decision.

          Thankfully, there is a better option — just switch to Linux! Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems will be supported (unlike the now-obsolete Windows 7) and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 10). Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

        • Puppy Linux 9.5 “FossaPup” Is Here to Revive Your Old PC, Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          One of the coolest things about Puppy Linux is that it’s a modular distribution, which means that it lets users swap out the kernel, apps and firmware in seconds. One top of that, it can be turned very easily into a minimal bare bones version just by removing a single file, followed by a reboot, of course.

          As its codename suggests, Puppy Linux 9.5 is based on Canonical’s latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series. This means that users will have access to the official Ubuntu 20.04 LTS software repositories to install any packages they want.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Updates for CAP Deployment in public clouds

          Our vision for the SUSE Cloud Application Platform Deployment tool is to provide the simplest experience possible and do so across a variety of supported cloud service providers. Since my last post we’ve made some significant strides, so it’s time to catch up on our status.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Create and import COCO datasets into Maximo Visual Inspection

          A lot of work has gone into the labeling UI for IBM Maximo Visual Inspection (MVI). However, there are situations where you want to work with an already existing dataset that was created outside of MVI. Thankfully, MVI already supports importing COCO datasets, label information and all. That’s easy enough. But what if you want to modify or add some images before importing that dataset? Maybe you have some colleagues without access to MVI who need you to keep things in a common format? Or maybe there are other tools that interact with these datasets? We can’t expect everyone else to use MVI’s dataset format.

          I’m hoping this post will help you along in figuring how to do what you need to do outside of MVI. We’re going to create our own little COCO dataset with LabelMe and LabelMe2coco, and turn that into an MVI dataset that we can train MVI models with.

        • Linux on Lenovo, jdk transition to Git, and more industry trends

          The impact: That is an epic list of achievements on behalf of all of us that use Linux on the desktop. Kudos and thank you to the Fedora Desktop team!

        • Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.5 Delivers Kubernetes-Based Data Services
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 Released with Support for Sony Xperia X and OnePlus 3/3T

          The biggest news in this release is, of course, the support for new devices. You can now install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia X Compact, Sony Xperia X Performance, Sony Xperia XZ, OnePlus 3, and OnePlus 3T smartphones using the official UBports Installer.

          This update also incorporates the QtWebEngine 5.14 components, which updates the built-in Morph Browser to the latest Chromium version, making it up to 25% faster across all devices and enabling support for selecting only the text you want from web pages using the touch handles, as well as to open downloaded PDF, TXT, IMG or MP3 files directly in the browser.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Microchip releases open source GUI kit for its SAMA5 and SAM9 chips

        Microchip has introduced a free, open source “Ensemble Graphics Toolkit” running on Linux for building C++ based GUIs for its Cortex-A5 SAMA5 and Arm9 SAM9 SoCs.

        Microchip has released a free, Apache 2.0 licensed C++ GUI suite for the Linux-powered, single-core, 32-bit SoCs it received from its acquisition of Atmel. The Ensemble Graphics Toolkit (EGT), which is now integrated with Microchip’s Linux4SAM distribution, is designed for Cortex-A5 based SAMA5 SoCs such as the SAMA5D27, which is found on its SAMA5D27 SOM SiP module. It also supports Arm9-based SAM9 SoCs such as the 600MHz SAM9X60 SoC that was announced in March.

      • GigaDevice GD32E5 Cortex-M33 microcontrollers target motor and industrial control
      • Making a 3D graphics video for the Librem 5

        At Purism, we do all our videos and other promotional material internally, with Librem hardware and free software only. This is part of our policy and I think it’s important, when I believe in something, to act in accordance with it.

        A few days after releasing the video of the Librem 5 hardware design, I was asked by a few people to publish an article describing the process of making this video.

        In early 2019, we shot a funny commercial for Librem One and I made a blog post, along with a video, to explain the process of making this kind of commercial with Librem hardware and free software. I was not going to do a “behind the scenes” blog post again but the Librem 5 video is entirely made with 3D graphics and the workflow is quite different so I think that it is interesting to describe that process in a new post.

      • AMD Enables Ryzen in Chromebooks, Improving Performance

        A modern enthusiast will scoff at the concept of a Chromebook – limited performance, capabilities, and a simplistic OS for doing some serious work? The fact is that the Chromebook, and Chrome OS, have been gazumping good portions of the notebook market share in recent years, mostly down to its stripped down nature but also the low pricing. In 2019 AMD relaunched its older A-series APUs for Chromebooks, meeting that market need. However, at CES this year we saw the first indication of premium $700+ Chromebooks from Intel. Now AMD is moving into a higher performance space with its Chromebook offerings with new optimized Ryzen hardware and Vega graphics.


        AMD claims to have a 21% market share in the Chromebook space, using IDC data, and Chromebooks currently account for 18% of all notebook sales. The market is largely split into three categories: education, enterprise, and consumer, with education seeing a big uplift in recent months due to the pandemic. Also because of the pandemic, as well as the growth of Chromebooks as a viable tool for these markets, use-cases are expanding with new productivity applications becoming available as well as the need to drive multiple high resolution displays.

      • AMD Announces Ryzen/Athlon 3000 C-Series For Chromebooks

        AMD today announced the Ryzen 3000 and Athlon 3000 C-Series processors for use in Google Chromebooks from multiple vendors.

        AMD announced these 3000 C-Series mobile processors as the first Zen optimized Chromebook processors with Acer, ASUS, HP, and Lenovo all committing to releasing AMD Chromebooks in Q4’2020.

        Compared to the previous-generation AMD A-Series “Excavator” APUs in Chromebooks, AMD is promoting up to 251% better graphics performance, up to 104% faster productivity, and up to 152% better photo editing with these new Zen C-Series processors.

      • OnLogic’s Ubuntu-ready AMD servers include compact industrial edge model

        OnLogic has launched a line of AMD servers, including two with 2nd Gen Epyc and three with Ryzen 3000, including a $1,547 and up Compact Industrial AMD Ryzen Edge Server. Meanwhile, AMD launched some 15W mobile Ryzen C-series chips.

        OnLogic and AMD, which last year teamed up on promoting OnLogic mini-PCs based on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 SoCs, are now collaborating on OnLogic’s new lineup of servers based on 2nd Gen Epyc and AMD Ryzen 3000 processors. Most of these are rackmount servers that are beyond our typical product coverage, but we are intrigued by the desktop form-factor Compact Industrial AMD Ryzen Edge Server (MC850-40), which blurs the line with the high-end embedded edge servers.


        AMD’s Eypc Embedded SoCs are scaled down versions of the 2nd Gen Epyc SoCs used by OnLogic’s new rackmount systems: the 2U, $2,887 and up MK200-60 and 4U, $5,051 and up MK400-60. These “Eypc Edge Servers” tap the Epyc Rome 7002 in up to 32- and 64-core configurations, respectively, with up to 256GB RAM.

      • Automation controller builds on Raspberry Pi CM3+

        Sfera Labs’ “Iono Pi Max” industrial controller runs Linux on a RPi Compute Module 3+ and offers 10/100 LAN, 3x USB, isolated CAN and serial, relay and analog I/Os, plus RTC, UPS, and more.

        Sfera Labs has launched an Iono Pi Max edge computing and industrial controller that “combines the high-reliability and bus interfaces of the Strato Pi product line with the I/O capabilities of Iono Pi.” We covered both the Strato Pi CAN and Iono Pi add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi in our 2017 Strato Pi CAN report.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Convert an old cassette player into a synthesizer

          Cassettes (if you remember those) are normally used to play back music and other audio, but what about using an old Walkman-style tape player as the instrument itself? That’s exactly what this project by Zack Scholl allows you to do, varying the playback speed to modify pitch output.

          It’s a very simple setup, requiring one to hook up wires that enable an Arduino Uno and MCP4725 DAC to adjust the speed using a voltage input. A drone sound is recorded on the tape, which may also involve some hacking depending on your equipment.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 81 Arrives with New Theme, Media Controls, PDF Viewer + More

            Mozilla Firefox 81 has been released and it features some genuinely useful improvements.

            I know I probably say the same thing ever release, but last month’s Firefox 80 was a very low-key release for such a high-key milestone.

            Thankfully Mozilla has delivered plenty to talk about in the latest update.

            For instance, the famed open source web browser now lets you to pause/play audio and video in Firefox using keyboard shortcuts (physical ones), via MPRIS (e.g., sound menu), or using a connected headset (assuming it has player controls).

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Your Security and Mozilla Hubs

            Mozilla and the Hubs team takes internet security seriously. We do our best to follow best practices for web security and securing data. This post will provide an overview of how we secure access to your rooms and your data.


            When you deploy your own Hubs Cloud instance, you have full control over the instance and its data via AWS or DigitalOcean infrastructure–Mozilla simply provides the template and automatic updates. Therefore, you can integrate your own security measures and technology as you like. Everyone’s use case is different. Hubs cloud is an as-is product, and we’re unable to predict the performance as you make changes to the template.

            Server access is limited by SSH and sometimes two-factor authentication. For additional security, you can set stack template rules to restrict which IP addresses can SSH into the server.

          • Firefox UX: From a Feature to a Habit: Why are People Watching Videos in Picture-in-Picture?

            At the end of 2019, if you were using Firefox to watch a video, you saw a new blue control with a simple label: “Picture-in-Picture.” Even after observing and carefully crafting the feature with feedback from in-progress versions of Firefox (Nightly and Beta), our Firefox team wasn’t really sure how people would react to it. So we were thrilled when we saw signals that the response was positive.

      • Programming/Development

        • Release Candidate 3 is here
          Hello everyone,
          After some delay, the llvmorg-11.0.0-rc3 tag was just created.
          Source code and docs are available at
          Pre-built binaries will be added as they become ready.
          Please file bug reports for any issues you find as blockers of
          Release testers: please start your engines, run the script, share your
          results, and upload binaries. And thank you very much for your help so
          There are currently no open release blockers, so unless anything new
          and bad comes up, this is what the final release will look like.
        • LLVM 11.0-RC3 Released For This Big LLVM/Clang Update

          LLVM 11.0 was originally scheduled to be released at the end of August while now it looks like that official milestone is coming in the next few days or week.

          Tagged today was LLVM 11.0-RC3 as the belated extra release candidate for this half-year update to the LLVM compiler infrastructure and subprojects like Clang, LLD, FLANG, and libcxx, among others.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn D

          D is a general-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax that compiles to native code.

          It is statically typed and supports both automatic (garbage collected) and manual memory management.

          D programs are structured as modules that can be compiled separately and linked with external libraries to create native libraries or executables.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Crosspost: Nginx/Certbot Recipe

            Back in Februrary I posted an article in which I promised a follow up telling you how I now manage my certificates. We’ll all these months later I’ve finally published it to dev.to (to push its reach beyond just Perl) https://dev.to/joelaberger/no-magic-letsencrypt-certbot-and-nginx-configuration-recipe-3a97 .

        • Python

          • EuroPython “Ask me Anything”

            we want to try a new experiment and run an “Ask me Anything” (AMA) this Thursday to answer questions you may have, share our knowledge or help you in planning your online event.

          • Async Views in Django 3.1

            Writing asynchronous code gives you the ability to speed up your application with little effort. With Django 3.1 finally supporting async views, middleware, and tests, now’s a great time to get them under your belt.

          • Read-Only Attribute

            If you want to make a single attribute read-only on a class, the easiest way to do it is to make a property representing your attribute.

          • Working With Linked Lists in Python

            Linked lists are like a lesser-known cousin of lists. They’re not as popular or as cool, and you might not even remember them from your algorithms class. But in the right context, they can really shine. If you’re looking to brush up on your coding skills for a job interview, or if you want to learn more about Python data structures besides the usual dictionaries and lists, then you’ve come to the right place!

          • The Python Software Foundation re-opens its Grants Program!

            The Python Software Foundation is excited to announce the re-opening of its Grants Program!

            The pandemic negatively affected the PSF’s finances with the cancellation of PyCon 2020’s in-person conference and lower donations. Thanks to PyCon 2020 Online sponsors, donors, and our financial reserve, we are able to continue to support the Python community!

          • Fun with SDF records – chemfp’s text toolkit

            Earlier this year, Noel O’Boyle wrote the essay Python patterns for processing large SDF files and Richard Apodaca wrote Reading Large SDfiles in Rust. In this essay I’ll show some examples of using chemfp’s text toolkit API to extract non-chemical/near-chemical data from SDF records. The next essay will be a short one on read_sdf_ids_and_values(), followed by one which is more chemisty focused.

          • wxPython by Example – Adding a Background Image (Video)

            In this tutorial, you will learn how to add an image to your panel so that you have a background image to put your widgets on.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #439 (Sept. 22, 2020)
  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Free Intro to Linux Course Surpasses One Million Enrollments

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced its Introduction to Linux training course on the edX platform, currently in its sixth edition, has surpassed one million enrollments. The course helps students develop a good working knowledge of Linux using both the graphical interface and command line across the major Linux distribution families. No prior knowledge or experience is required, making the course a popular first step for individuals interested in pursuing a career in IT.

              • A million students and counting have learned Linux

                Of course, now, that little operating system runs the web, rules supercomputing, powers the cloud, keeps Android smartphones working, and even shows up on a few desktops. What really brings people to this class, though, is good old filthy lucre.

              • Free Intro to Linux Course Surpasses One Million Enrollments

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced its Introduction to Linux training course on the edX platform, currently in its sixth edition, has surpassed one million enrollments. The course helps students develop a good working knowledge of Linux using both the graphical interface and command line across the major Linux distribution families. No prior knowledge or experience is required, making the course a popular first step for individuals interested in pursuing a career in IT.

              • Upcoming Entry Level IT Certification from The Linux Foundation to Provide an Onramp to an IT Career
              • Free Intro To Linux Course Attracts Over 1 Million Enrollments
        • Security

          • Why You Should Use SSL on Your Website

            With the evolution of the internet, security threats have also risen to a great extent.


            SSL is the digital certificate known as the “Secure Socket Layer” that provides the foundation for stronger security on a website. It acts as a shield and safeguard when sensitive information travels from one place to another between computers/servers. SSL can be defined as trustworthy files that cryptographically form an encrypted link between a browser and a web server.

            Any information that is sent or received on a page that is not secure can be hacked and intercepted by cyber-criminals and hackers. Important information, such as bank transaction details and personal details become accessible to hackers.

            A website that is encrypted with SSL binds a secure connection between the web browser and servers to ensure that no third party has access to your information.

          • Cynet Report Details Increase in Cyber Attacks During Pandemic

            Cynet has released a report detailing changes in cyberattacks observed across North America and Europe since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Cynet compared the number of cyberattacks during the COVID-19 outbreak to the previous three months for several industry sectors and saw increases of more than 20 percent in the areas of finance (up 32%), food production (29%), and retail (23%).

          • Security Patching Made Simple for Linux HPC Instances in Oracle Cloud [Ed: Oracle pushing Ksplice as its Linux selling point]

            The explosion of data in today’s computing landscape has fueled the need for even greater security to protect the applications and workloads, and is crucial to an organization’s success and competitive advantage. This is equally true when running compute intensive high performance computing (HPC) applications that consume large amounts of data, which are critical to an organization’s business or research endeavors. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides a platform that can help keep HPC systems secure and improve the speed and stability of applications.

            Security patch management is a challenge given the sheer number of instances in HPC clustered environments. Often, HPC environments are left unpatched for long periods of time, leaving systems exposed due to delays caused by complex, time-consuming, and labor-intensive patch management processes. We’ll describe three ways in which this is addressed with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.


            Ksplice, Autonomous Linux, and the OS Management service are provided for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure customers at no additional cost. Oracle Linux HPC customers on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure enjoy additional benefits including free Oracle Linux Premier Support and price per performance advantages. Additionally, Oracle Linux is 100% application binary compatible with RHEL. This means that RHEL customers on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure can eliminate support fees by easily switching to Oracle Linux.

            HPC customers who leverage these advanced Linux patching technologies in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure benefit from improved system security, reduced downtime, simplified operations, and cost savings. To learn more about Oracle Cloud patch management options, sign up for an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account today and take advantage of free cloud credits.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • London exhibition to highlight two of Kazakhstan’s most influential non-conformist artists

        The exhibition is curated by Almaty-based arts hub Aspan Gallery, and is the gallery’s first project in the UK. The artists’ work will be on show at London’s Cromwell Place, and will be open to the public for free.

        The project brings together Almagul Menlibayeva and Yerbossyn Meldibekov, two Kazakh artists born in the 1960s whose art broke away from the socialist realist conventions of the Soviet era. Menlibayeva’s work fuses video and photography to create telling artworks that explore the female identity in the context of the migration stories of Central Asia, mirroring them with the contemporary migrant crisis.

      • Inside Poland’s ‘LGBT-free zones’

        In Poland, dozens of small towns have declared themselves free of “LGBT ideology”. Politicians’ hostility to gay rights has become a flashpoint, pitting the religious right against more liberal-minded Poles. And gay people living in these areas are faced with a choice: emigrate, keep their heads down – or fight back, writes Lucy Ash.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • PTAB Reverses Examiner Due to Non-Analogous Art

          Quite often, the threshold for establishing that a reference is analogous art seems to be rather low. Patent applicants generally wish to obtain a broad scope of protection for their inventions, and do not wish to unduly limit the fields of use of their inventions. Accordingly, patent specifications tend to be drafted in a way to maximize the applicability of the inventions to different fields, or at least in a way not to limit the applicability to a narrow field. Thus, the field of endeavor of a claimed invention often is broad.

          For the same reason, when issued patents or published patent applications are cited as prior art, these references also tend to describe applicability to broad fields of endeavor, rather than applicability only to a narrow field. Thus, when considering the obviousness of a claimed invention over prior art, often it is easy to find overlap between the field of endeavor of the claimed invention and the field of endeavor of a reference.

          Despite this seemingly low threshold for establishing that a reference is analogous art, there is still a threshold. This is illustrated in the recent Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) case of Ex parte Sokoly.


          Since Zupan’s device was in a different field of endeavor than the claimed hanger (and the examiner had not addressed the second prong of analogous art: whether the reference is reasonably pertinent to the problem faced by the inventor), the Board concluded that Zupan was non-analogous art. The Board also noted that the Bogaerts reference disclosed tie down clips for roof tiles, similar to Zupan, and thus also was non-analogous art. Accordingly, the Board reversed the obviousness rejections.

          Takeaway: In an obviousness rejection, the threshold for establishing that a reference is analogous art often seems to be quite low. However, when an examiner rejects a claim as obvious, based on a reference that is neither from the same field of endeavor as the claimed invention, nor reasonably pertinent to the problem faced by the inventor, it is worth arguing that the rejection is improper because the reference is non-analogous art.

        • UK Top Court Ruling May Be Problematic For Global SEP Suits

          Law360 (September 21, 2020, 3:39 PM EDT) — On Aug. 26, the U.K. Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in the joined cases of Unwired Planet International Ltd. v. Huawei Technologies (UK) Co. Ltd.; Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. v. Conversant Wireless Licensing SÀRL.; and ZTE Corp. v. Conversant Wireless Licensing SÀRL.[1]

          The decision, which I will refer to as Unwired Planet, has the potential to make the Patents Court of England and Wales the go-to forum for owners of standard-essential patents, regardless of their own domicile, who want a court to establish the terms of a global license for their technology.

        • CardieX halted ahead of material commercialisation agreement announcement

          Last week the company’s subsidiary ATCOR was granted a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) to protect the intellectual property (IP) for the company’s proprietary SphygmoCor technology used in cuff-based blood pressure devices.

          Patent EP2566387 specifically covers non-invasively estimating the heart’s pressure and pressure waveform with features related to cardiac function and arterial properties using a conventional BP cuff inflated to low pressure.

        • I just Googled “Improper Venue Texas”

          Google’s business pervades the lives of most Americans, including most citizens of the E.D. of Texas. Google has millions of customers in the district; serves terabytes of data to, from, and within the district; and keeps detailed files on the activities of its citizens. Google also has lots of Texas lawyers. Google is doing everything it can to move this case out of E.D.Texas. The reality is though that Google doesn’t mind being in Texas, it just doesn’t want Texas style justice — where patent cases are on a direct path to a jury trial.


          Id. Under this test, Google argues that it should not be sued for patent infringement in E.D. Texas.

        • The Federal Circuit, Judge Shopping, and the Western District of Texas

          A rare thing happened at the Federal Circuit today. The court heard oral argument on a petition for a writ of mandamus. The petition was filed by the tech behemoth, Apple, in a patent infringement case filed against it in the Western District of Texas. In the petition, Apple seeks an order sending the case to the Northern District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 1404, which permits transfer “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice.”

          Though transfer petitions are relatively common in patent cases, the Federal Circuit almost always decides them on the briefs alone. That the court scheduled oral argument—in a case arising out of the Western District of Texas, no less—has been interpreted as reflecting concern by the Federal Circuit about the judge shopping occurring in the Western District.

          As Jonas Anderson and I showed in a recent Patently-O post and discuss in more detail in a draft article, the Western District’s case assignment rules permit plaintiffs to predict, with absolute certainty, which judge will hear their case. And plaintiffs are overwhelmingly choosing Judge Alan Albright, whose procedural rules and substantive decisions they find quite favorable.

          That said, the Federal Circuit’s decision to hold oral argument on Apple’s petition could also reflect the fact that, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, it’s a pretty easy thing to do. For the past six months—and for the foreseeable future—the Federal Circuit has been conducting oral argument entirely by telephone. Indeed, that’s how I was able to listen to today’s arguments, live.

        • Software Patents

          • What if AI Invents Some or All Claimed Inventions?

            I’ve written a few posts about how I used specif.io to draft a patent application: I submitted a claim I’d found in a published application and the service drafted a 15-page spec, and created two figures. Plainly, I invented nothing but assume for a moment I’d invented what had been claimed and that there was more disclosed in the spec than what I’d invented — the latter I think is fact but let’s assume it. Let’s also assume that I add claim 2 once I see the machine has conceived of something more than I had thought of. So: claim 1 is my invention; claim 2 is not. I hire you to represent me.

            The USPTO, the EPO, and the UKIPO have all stated (here, here, and here in respective orders) that only natural people can be inventors. Fair enough. The USPTO has stated that a person who is not an inventor cannot be named. Also fair enough, because of the statute and 102(f). So… what do you do?

            With my hypo, I think you have to name me since I invented what was in claim one. I guess you don’t have non-joinder because the machine invented whatever else is in the spec and you can’t name it.

          • AI inventors at the UKIPO and EPO

            We previously reported here that the EPO and UKIPO had refused two applications in which the inventor was identified as AI machine “DABUS”, stating that the inventor had to be a natural person.

            Both jurisdictions have now published their detailed reasoning, and we can take a look at what led to these decisions. As there is nothing explicit regarding the nature of the inventor in either the European Patents Convention (EPC) or the UK Patents Act, the two jurisdictions have reasoned this in different ways, ultimately coming to the same conclusion: an inventor must be a natural person.

            The two applications were filed with the name of Dr. Thaler as the applicant. The machine DABUS was identified as the inventor, and Dr. Thaler stated that the applicant derived the right to be granted a patent for the invention by virtue of ownership of the machine.

            The EPO

            The EPO noted that various national courts have issued decisions supporting an interpretation of the term inventor as referring to a natural person, and that this therefore appears to be an internationally accepted principle.

            It is compulsory to designate the inventor of a patent application, and that status has certain legal rights attached to it which require a legal personality to exercise. A legal personality is something that a machine does not have, and the EPO stated that giving a name to the machine does not overcome this issue.

          • Patently Obvious? AI as an Inventor After DABUS

            On 7 September 2020, the UK government published a call for views on the future relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP). Though the government called for views on all areas of intellectual property law, this article shall focus on patent law.

            In 2019, patent applications were filed in parallel at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), European Patent Office (EPO), and US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by a physicist named Stephen Thaler, who claimed that his AI creation, DABUS, had produced inventions on its own initiative. All three jurisdictions refused Thaler’s application. The DABUS decisions confirmed that, for the purpose of patents, an inventor must be a natural person, i.e., a human. Proponents of these decisions argue that AI is no different to utilizing existing tools such as a microscope or computer.

          • In-house: e-person inventors are ‘beyond imagination’

            Counsel in the automotive and home appliances industries assess AI inventorship and ask whether examination guidelines need further change


            “There is a risk in accepting a concept of an AI legal person,” Huang explained. “The extreme diversity of AI-based products will in turn lead to an extreme diversity of ‘e-personalities’. It would be very difficult to harmonise these concepts into one definition of an ‘AI legal person’.

          • PanOptis/Unwired Planet patent troll group sues allegedly unwilling licensee Tesla over former Panasonic and Ericsson patents in Eastern District of Texas

            There’s further escalation in the standards-essential patent (SEP) conflict between the abusive Avanci gang and the 21st century’s most innovative automotive company, Tesla:

            After Conversant Wireless’s patent infringement complaints against Tesla in the Western District of Texas and the Mannheim Regional Court, a request for a Japanese import ban by Sharp, and Sisvel doubled down on its litigation campaign against Tesla in the District of Delaware, the affiliated patent trolls named Optis Wireless, PanOptis, and Unwired Planet have just filed a patent infringement suit against Tesla in the Eastern District of Texas over four former Panasonic patents and one former Ericsson patents, all of them declared to be essential to cellular telecommunications standards…


            The day after tomorrow, the Munich I Regional Court will hold a trial over one of various patent infringement cases brought by another privateer (a patent troll fed by a large company with patents for the purpose of extracting higher royalties than otherwise), Conversant Wireless, against Daimler. As I noted in the previous post, the patent-in-suit in that case is now also being asserted against Tesla in a differnet German court (Mannheim). The Munich decision in the Daimler case won’t be formally binding on the Mannheim court in any way, but should Daimler lose in Munich, Tesla would have to convince the Mannheim judges that their Munich-based colleagues made a mistake.

Links 22/9/2020: Tails 4.11, Linux Lite 5.2 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Linux Laptop Market Has A Serious Problem

        I’d love to see more purpose-built Linux laptops priced somewhere between the $199 Pinebook Pro and the $1000 XPS 13s and Oryx Pros. A variety of $400 to $600 daily driver laptops that people can feel comfortable using. It will take time and effort and especially patience, but as we keep edging into macOS and Windows market share, the prices will come down, and interest will go up.

        Provided that the average PC user doesn’t glance at the landscape of Linux laptops and immediately assume they’ve been priced out of participating.

      • Peace Out, Pixelbook

        It was spotted over the weekend that the original Pixelbook went out of stock on the Google Store. That included the $999 model, $1,199 model, and the $1,649 model. All gone.

        Reaching out to Google, Engadget received a response from the company, pointing folks to purchase the newer Pixelbook Go instead. That means we’ve likely seen the last of the Pixelbook.


      • Microsoft kills off Windows 10 update that had been slowing down PCs

        Goodbye Windows 10 update KB4559309, we hardly knew ye. After less than two months, in which the Windows 10 update managed to annoy many users by seemingly slowing down their devices, Microsoft has now unceremoniously killed off the update.

        As Windows Latest reports, the Windows 10 update KB4559309 update was supposed to replace the old Edge web browser with the new and improved Chromium-based Edge web browser. However, many users reported that after installing the update, their PCs began to perform poorly, while Windows 10 also booted slowly.

        Windows 10 May 2020 Update problems: how to fix them
        How to uninstall a Windows 10 update
        These are the best web browsers

        To make matters worse, KB4559309 is an automatic update, which meant users didn’t have a say in whether or not Windows 10 should download and install it.

      • System76 announce more Linux laptop models get open source firmware

        System76, the Pop!_OS Linux distribution maker and hardware vendor for laptops, desktops and servers has announced another open source firmware push.

        Announced on Twitter, the official account mentioned that the Gazelle and the Adder WS models are joining the ranks and if you own them you can switch them over to their open source firmware right now. Not only that, their Darter Pro laptop model will get an automatic update to move it over to their open source EC (Embedded Controller) firmware. You can see here how to move your devices over.

        Founder and CEO of System76, Carl Richell, announced on Twitter: “I highly recommend switching to System76 Open Firmware if you have one of these models. Not only is your firmware largely liberated from proprietary code, your laptop will boot faster and you’ll start seeing integrations between hardware (through this firmware) and Pop!_OS.”.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • This Week in Linux 117: GNOME 3.38, Xfce 4.16, NVIDIA Buys ARM, Firefox Send Shutdown, PinePhone

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a ton of news week . . . a crazy amount of news that I had to limit it for time. We’ve got some desktop environment news from GNOME with GNOME 3.38 released and Xfce’s updates on New Features & Release Date for Xfce 4.16. PinePhone announced there’s now a Multi-Distro Image in fact 13 distros in 1 and we’ll check out an affordable Linux laptop in the Slimbook Essential. Mozilla announced the shutting down of Firefox Send & Firefox Notes while NVIDIA is poised to Acquire ARM for $40 Billion! LBRY Announces a new YouTube alternative platform called Odysee and Deepin Linux announced the release of Deepin 20. Finally we’ll round out this monster episode with some comments made by Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu’s Community Council. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • If You Support Free Software, You Should Support Gun Rights

        I support the Free Software Movement, and I support the Second Ammendment. To me, supporting both seems a natural fit. I see a lot of similarities between the kinds of freedoms that both movements are fighting for. Yet, I don’t see enough of the “free software” crowd here in the US standing up for gun rights.

      • Python Podcast: Flexible Network Security Detection And Response With Grapl – Episode 281

        Servers and services that have any exposure to the public internet are under a constant barrage of attacks. Network security engineers are tasked with discovering and addressing any potential breaches to their systems, which is a never-ending task as attackers continually evolve their tactics. In order to gain better visibility into complex exploits Colin O’Brien built the Grapl platform, using graph database technology to more easily discover relationships between activities within and across servers. In this episode he shares his motivations for creating a new system to discover potential security breaches, how its design simplifies the work of identifying complex attacks without relying on brittle rules, and how you can start using it to monitor your own systems today.

    • Kernel Space

      • Technologies for container isolation: A comparison of AppArmor and SELinux

        I researched how containers, virtual machines (VMs), and processes, in general, are separated by different technologies—namely, AppArmor and SELinux. My goal was to compare these solutions for isolation/separation capabilities in the cloud world.

        Just as a reminder, Red Hat Enterprise Linux uses SELinux technology to separate processes, containers, and VMs. OpenShift also uses this technology.

        The first option is an isolation technology called AppArmor, which is a very similar technology to SELinux. However, it is not label-based. AppArmor security profiles, which are equivalent to SELinux security policies, look more user-friendly, but that’s because AppArmor is less complicated and controls fewer operations.

      • Kees Cook: security things in Linux v5.7

        Linux v5.7 was released at the end of May.


        After Silvio Cesare observed some weaknesses in the implementation of CONFIG_SLAB_FREELIST_HARDENED‘s freelist pointer content obfuscation, I improved their bit diffusion, which makes attacks require significantly more memory content exposures to defeat the obfuscation. As part of the conversation, Vitaly Nikolenko pointed out that the freelist pointer’s location made it relatively easy to target too (for either disclosures or overwrites), so I moved it away from the edge of the slab, making it harder to reach through small-sized overflows (which usually target the freelist pointer). As it turns out, there were a few assumptions in the kernel about the location of the freelist pointer, which had to also get cleaned up.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Panfrost With Linux 5.10 To Support Mali GPU On Amlogic G12B SoCs

          Sent out on Monday were a last batch of drm-misc-next changes to queue for the Linux 5.10 merge window opening next month.

          This pull request wasn’t too exciting given all of the other DRM changes queued over the past several weeks, but one notable addition was the open-source Arm Mali “Panfrost” DRM driver now supporting Amlogic hardware.

          New device quirks had to be introduced to the driver for providing compatibility with Amlogic G12B SoCs. There was quirk handling added around the PWR registers at GPU reset time and an IOMMU quirk that was needed for getting the Mali G52 on the Amlogic G12B SoCs behaving correctly.

        • vkd3d, the Direct3D 12 to Vulkan translation library releases version 1.2

          Translating Direct3D 12 to Vulkan for use with Wine makes a huge step forwards, as the Wine team have announced the release today of vkd3d 1.2.

          As a refresher, this is another project like DXVK which translates Direct3D 9/10/10 to Vulkan and forms part of Steam Play’s Proton compatibility layer. This vkd3d is the official one being developed by the Wine team, which was created by the late Józef Kucia who sadly died last year. Valve also have their own fork, with VKD3D-Proton.

        • VKD3D 1.2 Is Ready To Offer Better Direct3D 12 To Vulkan Support

          Patches pending for VKD3D take this Direct3D 12 to Vulkan translation library up to version 1.2. This library continues advancing in pushing along the D3D12-over-Vulkan performance primarily for Windows games on Linux just as DXVK has done for D3D9 through D3D11.

          With VKD3D 1.2 there is support for more Direct3D 12 functionality,libvkd3d-shader as its own standalone public library, new VKD3D_CONFIG / VKD3D_VULKAN_DEVICE environment variables among others for overriding different behavior, tessellation shaders support, support for using SPIR-V produced by libvkd3d-shader to be consumed by GL_ARB_gl_spirv, preliminary support for Shader Model 5.1 shaders, more shader instructions now handled, and various other changes.

        • Radeon ROCm 3.8 Released With Hipfort For Fortran On GPUs, Data Center Tool

          Version 3.8 of ROCm, the Radeon Open eCosystem, is now available. This release continues making more progress on preparing the ROCm graphics compute stack for the upcoming large AMD supercomputer deployments and other data center usage.

          ROCm 3.8 introduces the Hipfort interface library for accessing GPU kernels, which allows for interfacing via the Fortran programming language with Radeon GPUs. This Hipfort Fortran implementation is currently catering to GCC’s Gfortran front-end.

        • Open Source meets Super Resolution, part 1

          Despite their great upscaling performance, deep learning backed Super-Resolution methods cannot be easily applied to real-world applications due to their heavy computational requirements. At Collabora we have addressed this issue by introducing an accurate and light-weight deep network for video super-resolution, running on a completely open source software stack using Panfrost, the free and open-source graphics driver for Mali GPUs. Here’s an overview of Super Resolution, its purpose for image and video upscaling, and how our model came about.

          Internet streaming has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years, and continues to advance at a rapid pace. Streaming now accounts for over 60% of internet traffic and is expected to quadruple over the next five years.

          Video delivery quality depends critically on available network bandwidth. Due to bandwidth limitations, most video sources are compressed, resulting in image artifacts, noise, and blur. Quality is also degraded by routine image upscaling, which is required to match the very high pixel density of newer mobile devices.

          The upscaling community has provided us with many fundamental advances in video and image upscaling, from classic methods such as Nearest-Neighbor, Linear and Lanczos resampling. However, no fundamentally new methods have been introduced in over 20 years. Also, traditional algorithm-based upscaling methods lack fine detail and cannot remove defects and compression artifacts.

          All of this is changing thanks to the Deep Learning revolution. We now have a whole new class of techniques for state-of-the-art upscaling, called Deep Learning Super Resolution (DLSR).

        • ADRIConf Remains The Primary GUI Control Panel For Managing Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan Drivers

          While the Linux kernel graphics drivers and user-space OpenGL/Vulkan drivers expose a lot of options via sysfs on the kernel side and various environment variables and other tunables in user-space, when it comes to graphical control panels to manage these open-source graphics drivers on Linux there are several fragmented different options. For Mesa drivers, ADRIConf remains the leading option.


          Jean Hertel presented at last week’s XDC2020 conference on this utility and its current capabilities with additions in recent years like Vulkan driver support, PRIME GPU handling, MESA_query_driver support, and more.

        • TURNIP Vulkan Driver Up And Running On Qualcomm’s KGSL

          The TURNIP driver that is associated with the Freedreno driver effort for providing an open-source Vulkan driver for Qualcomm Adreno graphics hardware can now run atop Qualcomm’s KGSL kernel driver.

          To date this TURNIP Vulkan driver has been working well with the upstream MSM Direct Rendering Manager driver in the Linux kernel, but for those using Qualcomm’s official kernel driver (KGSL) that is out-of-tree, it’s now a possibility using TURNIP atop that. The Kernel Graphics Support Layer (KGSL) is part of the Android kernel sources and specific to Qualcomm.

    • Applications

      • Meet eDEX-UI, A Sci-Fi Inspired Linux Terminal Emulator With Some Cool Features

        eDEX-UI is a cool sci-fi inspired terminal emulator that looks cool with a bunch of options like system monitoring. Check out what features it offers.

      • Create transparency in your game graphics with GIMP

        Whether you’re programming a game or an app with Python or Lua, you’re probably using PNG graphics for your game assets. An advantage of the PNG format, which is not available in a JPEG, is the ability to store an alpha channel. Alpha is, essentially, the “color” of invisibility or transparency. Alpha is the part of an image you don’t see. For example, if you were to draw a doughnut, the doughnut hole would be filled with alpha, and you could see whatever was behind it.

        A common problem is how to find the alpha part of an image. Sometimes, your programming framework, whether it’s Python Arcade, Pygame, LÖVE, or anything else, detects the alpha channel and treats it (after the appropriate function calls) as transparency. That means it renders no new pixels where there’s alpha, leaving that doughnut hole empty. It’s 100% transparent or 0% opaque and functionally “invisible.”

      • Run Linux apps on your Chromebook

        Chromebooks have been a game-changer for PreK-12 school systems, enabling them to purchase low-cost laptop computers for students, teachers, and administrators to use. While Chromebooks have always been powered by a Linux-based operating system (Chrome OS), until recently, there was no way to run most Linux apps on one. But that changed when Google released Crostini, a virtual machine that allows Chromebooks to run Linux (Beta).

        Most Chromebooks released after 2019 and some earlier models can run Crostini and Linux (Beta). Check this list of supported devices to see if your Chromebook is on it. Fortunately, my Acer Chromebook 15 with 2GB RAM and an Intel Celeron processor is supported.

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source Console Email Clients

        For the traditionalists, emails remains a fundamental part of the operating system. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of free email software available on the Linux platform which is stable, feature laden, and ideal for personal and business environments.

        The vast majority of Linux users would never be satisfied without access to a graphical user interface. However, even in 2020 there remain many reasons why console based applications can be extremely desirable.

        Although console applications are very useful for updating, configuring, and repairing a system, their benefits are not only confined to system administration. Console based applications are light on system resources (very useful on low spec machines), can be faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X/Wayland needs to be restarted, and they are great for scripting purposes.

      • Qt5 Screenshot Tool Flameshot Sees New Release

        Flameshot Qt5 screenshot tool has been updated to version 0.8.0, receiving new features like a basic launcher panel, a circle counter tool, and more.

        Flameshot is a screenshot tool with drawing / annotation capabilities, available for Linux and Windows. On Linux it supports X11, and has experimental Wayland support for Gnome and Plasma.

        Like most screenshot tools, the application sits in the tray area from where you can choose to take a screenshot. It includes annotation tools like arrow, highlight, freehand pencil, circle and more, and it can upload screenshots to Imgur.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Space Cadet is a punishing two-button neon-infused arcade experience

        Love a challenge? Enjoy some of the classic neon arcade shoot ‘em up experiences? You should definitely take a look over at Space Cadet then.

        It’s a super-simple game mechanically and yet it’s also seriously good too. Trapped inside some sort of arena, presumably done to keep the gameplay tight and focused, and abandoned by your crew during a mining operation – you’re operating a space ship by switching between different systems with one button and activating them with another. Only having two buttons really makes it challenging and hilariously difficult too.

      • In the 2D survival game Underlings, you’re a monster trying to live a peaceful life

        Underlings is a new Early Access 2D survival game where the protagonist is a former monster, trying to get away from their past life and start fresh.

        Set in a ruthless world where everything is trying to kill you, the bosses of the underworld don’t seem to be too pleased at you wanting the simple life. It mixes in exploration, mining, crafting, farming, base building and more into an experience that blends together all of that with daily survival as it sounds like you’re often raided.

      • Chuck’s Challenge 3D gets a huge 2020 revamp as a free upgrade out now

        Chuck’s Challenge 3D 2020 is out now, as a free update and a major revamp to the tile-based puzzle game from the creator of the classic Chip’s Challenge.

        What is it? A fiendishly addictive puzzler that’s packed with features that will tease the brain and challenge the fingers. It also comes with a level editor that lets you upload and share your levels for everyone to play and rate, all from within the game. From what Niffler Ltd said about it: “The game walks the player through the evolution of gaming: move from A to B, collect items, the red key opens the red door, and much more. But, like Lego, knowing what each piece does is only the beginning of the fun, as players can also create and share their own levels using a simple paint-style interface and seamless cloud storage.”


        It comes with over 150 levels made by the developer and with such awesome dedication so long after release, along with it supporting Linux they’re a developer worth giving over your monies to.

      • Futuristic, mysterious, full of physics and circuits – puzzle game The Long Gate is out

        Developer David Shaw has now released The Long Gate, a thoroughly mysterious puzzle game full of quantum physics and circuits set up as puzzles.

        With puzzles that can be completed in whatever order you find them, Shaw worked with a quantum computing science company called D-Wave Systems to build them and make sure the quantum theory used is factual and achievable. The result is a puzzle game with a very interesting idea – if you can grasp the mechanics and if you love tinkering with wires.

      • Problems for Linux Gaming

        Huge news about Microsoft just hit the market and how it affects Linux Gaming.

      • Fantasy grand strategy city-builder Songs of Syx is out in Early Access

        As one of the most promising indie games this year, Songs of Syx has properly entered Early Access on Steam so you can try your hand at city-building with a grand strategy theme.

        It’s hard to fully grasp the scope of it right now but it’s big. You start off as an insignificant colony and build, scheme, and fight your way towards a metropolis and empire. Funded with a successful Kickstarter campaign that ended back in May 2020 with about £23K from over 800 backers. As they said it would, Linux support is wired up and ready right away.

      • You can now play Super Mario 64 natively on Android, no emulator required

        Forget Super Mario 3D All-Stars. You can now play Super Mario 64 on your Android phone without the need for an emulator.

        The game now has an unofficial native Android port thanks to XDA member VDavid003. In the summer of 2019, Super Mario 64 was successfully decompiled and translated into human-readable C code by a team known simply as a “group of talented individuals.” This code has been available on GitHub for a little over a year at this point, and VDavid003 took this code to create the tools needed to compile the game for Android.


        VDavid003 has created a repo containing everything needed to compile the game on a Windows or Linux PC, which can then be sideloaded as an APK to an Android device.

      • Stadia pushing more indie games with Stadia Makers, PUBG dropping keyboard and mouse queue

        Google has announced another wave of indie games are confirmed for Stadia, their game streaming service powered by Linux and Vulkan.

        This is all part of the previously announced Stadia Makers program back in March during their Google for Games Keynote, where Google will directly support smaller teams using the Unity game engine to bring them to Stadia. As a result, another 7 have been announced to release at various dates.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • First beta out for Krita 4.4

          The summer has come and gone since the 4.3 release, but we have not been sitting still. We had four Summer of Code Students this year, each of which completed their project. One of these projects has already made it into 4.4: The SeExpr fill layers! And that’s not the only new fill layer type… And fill layers now have on-canvas preview when you created them. And there’s a new plugin that helps when using Krita together with Godot. And there are new options for the brush engines and, of course, a ton of bugfixes! The full release notes bring you all the details!

          So, today, we’re releasing Krita 4.4.0 beta 1: in two weeks we will release the final version. Please help improve Krita by testing this beta!

        • Krita 4.4 Beta Released With Multi-Threading For Fill Layers

          The beta of the forthcoming Krita 4.4 is now available, which continues on as easily the leading open-source digital painting programs.

          Krita 4.4 is bringing multi-threading support for fill layers, which yields a significant speed-up. Krita 4.4 is also introducing transformations for the pattern fill, a simple pattern fill with screentone, new features for brush engines, audio support within the Krita AppImage build, a WebM/VP9 animation recording preset, and other improvements. There is also a lot of fixes at large.

        • Felgo in the QML Book

          Over the past year I’ve been bumping into the Felgo crew at various Qt events. They take Qt to the next level. It all started as a game development framework for Qt, but has turned into a powerful app development framework taking a lot of the rough corners of Qt, and extending the tooling with a powerful live reloader at the same time.


          We also cover a bunch of other things such as how to get started, the QML Live reloader, as well as some more advanced topics such as native dialogs, simplified networking and the JsonListModel.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite 5.2 RC-1 Is Now Available For Download And Testing

          Linux Lite is undoubtedly one of the best lightweight and Windows alternative Linux operating systems. Earlier on May 31, 2020, Linux Lite creator Jerry Bezencon released the most feature-rich, Linux Lite 5.0 “Emerald.”

          Working on the next Linux Lite 5.2 version release, Jerry Bezencon has now made its first testing version available for download. So, let’s see what the new features and updates are coming in the Linux Lite 5.2.

        • Lightweight Puppy Linux 9.5 Released, Based On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Puppy Linux is a very small and lightning fast Ubuntu-based operating system. If you ever search for the best lightweight Linux distros, you would definitely find Puppy Linux on the list.

          Now, after more than one and a half years, the Puppy Linux team has announced a new version, Puppy Linux 9.5, aka, Fossapup64 9.5. The latest Puppy 9.5 is also the first release based on the current long-term Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa.”

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • [PCLinuxOS] Seamonkey updated to 2.53.4

          SeaMonkey is a free and open-source Internet suite. It is the continuation of the former Mozilla Application Suite, based on the same source code, which itself grew out of Netscape Communicator and formed the base of Netscape 6 and Netscape 7.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed vs. Leap 15.2 vs. Jump Alpha Benchmarks

          Following the recent alpha debut of the openSUSE Jump distribution for testing that is working to synchronize SUSE Linux Enterprise with openSUSE Leap, there was an inquiry made about the performance of it. So for addressing that premium member’s question, here are some benchmarks carried out recently of the latest openSUSE Leap 15.2 against the openSUSE Jump in its early state against the rolling-release openSUSE Tumbleweed.

      • Fedora/Oracle/Red Hat

        • rpminspect-1.1 released

          It has been 3 or 4 months since the last release of rpminspect. Today I release rpminspect 1.1. In addition to five new inspections, there are plenty of bug fixes and a lot of improvements against CI.

          The five new inspections include the abidiff and kmidiff inspections. Another inspection I added is the movedfiles inspection, which was requested over a year ago. Implementing it was easy once I improved the peer detection code. It’s common for files to move between subpackages, so this inspection attempts to detect and report that rather than reporting you added a file and removed a file (which is what it used to do).

          There has been more work around the configuration file handling. The last release moved to YAML for the configuration file format. This releases moves the configuration file in to /usr/share/rpminspect and out of /etc. There is also no longer a default configuration file so users can have multiple rpminspect-data packages installed and perform rpminspect runs for different products. There are some other changes within /usr/share/rpminspect which are described below.

          On the CI front, rpminspect has migrated from Travis-CI to GitHub Actions. The software is built and tested on multiple Linux distributions now to ensure portability. The GitHub Actions also run flake8, black, and shellcheck for the Python and shell code in the tree.

        • Using Volumes for Podman Container Storage on Oracle Linux 8
        • Network Configuration Files on Oracle Linux 8
        • Troubleshooting user task errors in Red Hat Process Automation Manager and Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite

          I’ve been around Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite (jBPM) and Red Hat Process Automation Manager (RHPAM) for many years. Over that time, I’ve learned a lot about the lesser-known aspects of this business process management engine.

          If you are like most people, you might believe that user tasks are trivial, and learning about their details is unnecessary. Then, one day, you will find yourself troubleshooting an error like this one:

          User ‘[User:'admin']‘ was unable to execution operation ‘Start’ on task id 287271 due to a no ‘current status’ match.
          Receiving one too many similar error messages led me to learn everything that I know about user tasks, and I have decided to share my experience.

        • Red Hat brings its expo experience directly to you

          Why create a pop-up? Because virtually, we can think outside the expo floor by making an experience that’s memorable, shareable, and fun—and most importantly, useful and engaging.
          We know that our users and customers are looking for more information about enterprise open source technologies and how to use them for real-world workloads. Delivering that information in person is one of the highlights of being at Red Hat—but now, we embraced the opportunity to reach the open source community from all over the world through a first-of-its-kind online experience.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.11 is out

          We added a new feature of the Persistent Storage to save the settings from the Welcome Screen: language, keyboard, and additional settings.

        • UCS 4.4-6: Sixth Point Release of UCS 4.4

          We have released the sixth point release: UCS 4.4-6 contains bug fixes, security updates and improvements as well as new features. For example, our developers have enhanced the Self Service, the App Center and the UCS Portal. In this article I would like to offer a look behind the scenes and present the most important new features.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • RPI4 & Ubuntu MATE – second attempt, new results

          This time around, I have to say, the effort went much more quickly and smoothly, and I didn’t have to fight the system to get the desired results. I am rather pleased with the outcome, and I can say, in its current guise, Ubuntu MATE does offer a decent, rounded desktop experience on Raspberry Pi 4. It’s the most complete Pi operating system I’ve tried, when you take into account the functional, ergonomic and aesthetics elements.

          At this point, I might be cautiously inclined to say: yes, here’s your viable mini PC, right there. Of course, there’s room for even more improvement – better 3D support, better performance, less heating. I think we will get there eventually. For now, if you’d like to try your luck with a card deck sized pack of punchy electronics, Ubuntu MATE is a sensible, pleasant choice for your Pi 4 adventures. And we’re done.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 Released With More Phones Supported, UI Improvements

          The UBports community has announced the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 as their newest over-the-air update to this Ubuntu mobile operating system.

          With Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 now supported are the Sony Xperia X/XZ/Performance and OnePlus 3/3T devices. This is on top of around one dozen other devices from the LG Nexus 4/5 to earlier OnePlus devices, FairPhone 2, Nexus 7, and different Meizu and BQ devices from the early days of the Ubuntu Touch effort at Canonical.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 release

          Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-13, our thirteenth stable update to the system! OTA-13 will be becoming available for the following supported Ubuntu Touch devices over the next week:

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 649

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 649 for the week of September 13 – 19, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Announcement of the passing of Jari Fredriksson
        Some know that Jari's mirror broke a few weeks ago and we've been trying
        to reach him. I am sorry to announce that Jari Fredriksson was a great
        supporter of the project running an sa-update mirror, helping with our
        masscheck program, testing releases, and just generally being a great
        member of our community.
        On behalf of the entire project, I'd like to extend our condolences to
        him and his family.  He will be missed.
        If anyone wishes to send a note of condolences it can be done through
        Jouni, his employer. http://www.jounivirtanenconsulting.com/contact/
        Kevin A. McGrail
      • NoSQL databases: what is MongoDB and its use cases?

        Databases like MongoDB, a NoSQL document database, are commonly used in environments where flexibility is required with big, unstructured data with ever-changing schemas. This post explains what a NoSQL database is, and provides an overview of MongoDB, its use cases and a solution for running an open source MongoDB database at scale.

      • What Cassandra users think of their NoSQL DBMS

        With the NoSQL market expected to be worth $22 Billion by 2026, big business is paying Apache Cassandra a lot of attention. While MongoDB dominates NoSQL, 52.71% to Cassandra’s 9.73%, Cassandra, with its ability to deliver continuous availability, high performance, and scalability to large volumes of unstructured data, will always be a player. Now, if only there were more expert Cassandra administrators!

        A global survey of 1,404 Cassandra practitioners found a plurality thought the lack of skilled staff and the challenge of migration was blocking Cassandra’s adoption. To be exact, 36% of users currently using Cassandra for mission-critical apps said that a lack of Cassandra-skilled team members was deterring its broader adoption.

        When asked what it would take for practitioners to use Cassandra for more applications and features in production, they said it needs to be “easier to migrate” and “easier to integrate.” That’s because “we don’t have time to train a ton of developers, so that time to deploy, time to onboard, that’s really key. All the other stuff, scalability, that all sounds fine,” said a London-based senior Cassandra user.

        That may be in part because of those surveyed, 89% were using open-source Cassandra. If they were using DataStax, the most popular Cassandra distro, it might be a different story.

      • Olauncher gives your home screen an open-source, minimalist makeover

        Android’s open, customizable nature is one of the things that attract a lot of enthusiasts to the platform. From manufacturer-specific tweaks to third-party default app replacements, there’s usually a way to make your phone look and act how you choose. Olauncher is a new home screen replacement app that endeavors to bring an open-source, lightweight, and minimal setup to your phone.

        And minimal it is — there’s time and date info up top, a list of apps below … and that’s it. The clock and app list can be set to left, center, or right orientations. A maximum of six app names can be displayed, but if you’re the most minimal of minimalists, you can set it to show no apps at all. But wouldn’t that render it useless? Not quite! By default, swiping to the left launches the camera and swiping to the right opens up the dialer, but you can customize these as you choose. A swipe up opens the full app list organized alphabetically.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 81.0

            Firefox 81.0 is out. This version allows you to control media from the keyboard or headset, introduces the Alpenglow theme, adds ArcoForm support to fill in, print, and save supported PDF forms, and more. See the release notes for details.

          • 81.0 Firefox Release
          • Firefox 81 Released With Security Fixes, PDF Viewer Enhancements

            Firefox 81 is out this morning as the newest monthly update to the Mozilla web browser.

            Firefox 81.0 brings the ability for keyboard/headset-based controls for audio/video playback in the browser, various accessibility fixes for HTML5 audio/video controls, Picture-in-Picture mode is now more accessible with icon improvements, and other video work. It also looks like a few VA-API fixes made it into this version too after the big push in Firefox 80.

          • Your Privacy and Mozilla Hubs

            At Mozilla, we believe that privacy is fundamental to a healthy internet.


            There’s a certain amount of information that we have to process in order to provide you with the Hubs experience. For example, we receive and send to others the name and likeness of your avatar, its position in the room, and your interactions with objects in the room. If you create an account, you can store custom avatars and their names.

            We receive data about the virtual objects and avatars in a room in order to share that data with others in the room, but we don’t monitor the individual objects that are posted in a room. Users have the ability to permanently pin objects to a room, which will store them in the room until they’re deleted. Unpinned files are deleted from Mozilla’s servers after 72 hours.

            We do collect basic metrics about how many rooms are being created and how many users are in those rooms, but we don’t tie that data to specific rooms or users. What we don’t do is collect or store any data without the user’s explicit consent.


            We will never perform user monitoring or deep tracking, particularly using VR data sources like gaze-tracking. We will continue to minimize the personal data we collect, and when we do need to collect data, we will invest in privacy preserving solutions like differential privacy.

      • CMS

        • WordPress Mobile Engineers Propose Dual Licensing Gutenberg under GPL v2.0 and MPL v2.0

          During a Q&A session at WordCamp Europe 2020 online, Matt Mullenweg mentioned that Gutenberg contributors were considering dual licensing for embedding Gutenberg in mobile apps, along with the requirement that they would need to get an agreement from all contributors. WordPress mobile engineer Maxime Biais has just published a proposal for discussion, recommending dual licensing the editor under GPL v2.0 and MPL v2.0.


          Mobile app developers are limited by the GPL, because it requires the entire app to be distributed under the same license. The team is proposing dual licensing under MPL v2.0, a weaker copyleft license that is often considered to be more “business-friendly.” It allows users to combine the software with proprietary code. MPL v2.0 requires the source code for any changes to be available under the MPL, ensuring improvements are shared back to the community. The rest of the app can be distributed under any terms with the MPL v2.0 code included as part of a “larger work.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Josef Strzibny: Elixir macros return AST

          Macros are a powerfull part of the Elixir language and projects such as Absinth would not even be possible without them. To start writing your macros in Elixir one has to understand one simple thing. Macro functions have to return a partial abstract syntax tree.

        • Marcin ‘hrw’ Juszkiewicz: From a diary of AArch64 porter — drive-by coding

          Working on AArch64 often means changing code in some projects. I did that so many times that I am unable to say where I have some commits. Such thing got a name: drive-by coding.


          Then comes moment of looking at build errors and trying to work out some solution. Have I seen that bug before? Does it look familiar?

          If this is something new then quick Google search for error message. And checking bug reports/issues on project’s website/repo. There can be ready to use patches, information how to fix it or even some ideas why does it happen.

          If this is system call failure in some tests then I check my syscalls table are those ones handled on aarch64 and try to change code if they are not (legacy ones like open, symlink, rename).

        • Sebastian Dröge: Porting EBU R128 audio loudness analysis from C to Rust

          Over the last few weeks I ported the libebur128 C library to Rust, both with a proper Rust API as well as a 100% compatible C API.

        • Why is unauthenticated encryption insecure?

          However, there has to be a line – when does it start becoming “rolling your own”? Particularly in embedded systems, there are times when custom protocols need to be used, and developers stray into the dangerous area of cryptography.

          One of the most common mistakes we have seen is the use of unauthenticated encryption.

        • k2k20 hackathon report: Bob Beck on LibreSSL progress

          So the distilled answer, most of this was finished, reviewed, and landed at the hackathon, where I took a lot of tb@ and jsing@’s time to review it. I then spent much of my time chasing any bugs it turned up – which included some nasty ways fetchmail deals with the callback, and some issues in bluhm@’s regress tests and perl’s ssleay module (which exposed a bug in how I was handling the legacy callback)

          So while not necessarily “done” (I am watching for fallout carefully) and I still have some pieces to land to expose the new api to the new validator, it is currently used internally by default in X509_validate_cert(). The result of this should be a validator that will correctly validate modern x509 chains and correctly deal with name constraints.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.38 Council Results

            Votemaster Will Coleda has published the results of the first Raku Steering Council election. Thanks to everybody who has voted! The elected council members are (in alphabetical order of their last name):

        • Python

          • Improved QML Support in Qt for Python 6.0

            Since the initial port of PySide to Qt5 (a.k.a PySide2), the interaction with QML was on the list of features we wanted to fully support in our set of bindings, due to the popularity of QML.

            With the first official release 5.12, we had cover many use cases for the QML and Python interaction, but also we left out a couple of use cases that were really required by our community. Now that we are developing new features and improvements for Qt6, we wanted to address most of them.

          • Live-coding a music synthesizer

            After so much work and waiting, the video of my EuroPython talk is finally released!

            This is a fun live-coding session using NumPy and SoundDevice. The goal of this talk is to make the computer produce realistic-sounding instrument sounds, using nothing but math.

          • Which is better Python or C++?

            Programming Languages are tools. Tools selection comes after deciding what you want to do. Asking this question means that you are beginner and don’t know which programming language to learn. So In this case Selecting Python is better

            when you start to learn programming. Python is simple but powerful, You will learn about Abstraction and how to solve your problems quickly.

            When you start programming using a simple and very productive language like Python you will love it because you will make big progress in little time and you will face little problems.

            After you learn programming this way (The simple way) you will beat the fear of programming, You already learn how to write programs, how to debug them, and how to create something useful. Later you may face limitations in the language


            Later you can develop complete projects in C or C++. Your knowledge in Python will help you during learning C or C++. What you will find different is just Static Typing, Memory Management and some other simple concepts.

          • Firebird driver for Python 3– release 0.8.0

            The driver is no longer beta, and is now considered as stable for Firebird 3.0 (support for Firebird 4 is still evolving till final release). Documentation is now complete.

          • Strftime Python

            In this post, we will learn about strftime() method from Python datetime package.

            The strftime converts date object to a string date.

          • Python Comments

            Comments are the lines in a computer program that help to build a better understanding of the functionality of the system. In any programming language, comments are written in natural language and in a human-readable way. They are not executed rather they are ignored by the compiler or interpreter. The comments in Python are used for various purposes. In this article, we will explain to you how you can add comments in python.


            Comments enhance the code understandability: Comments help us to understand why a certain code block is added in the program and what its purpose is. If a programmer writes a block of code, then he may not add the comments because he understands the purpose of writing a specific block of code. But, if another programmer wants to update the code, then it is not so easy for him to understand the code in minutes. So, when we add the comments, it helps other programmers to understand the code. Let’s assume, you are working on the Python project. It was the medium size project initially. But for now, your company to enhance this project and bringing more developers and programmers to write the code. If you have no written the comments in your program, then you will see that it will be very hard for them to understand the code and it will take more time. But if you have properly written the comments with every block of code, then the newly hired developers will easily understand the existing code. Initially, writing and maintaining the comments take some time, but it saves a lot of your time in the future.

            Comments promote the code reusability: When we develop similar software systems, then reusing the existing is the best practice. It saves a lot of our effort and time. While reusing the code, first we check what components we have to reuse. We have to understand the functionality of the particular component. Comments help us to understand the functionality of the component and they promote the code re-usability.

          • Python 3.8.5 : A sphere in Cartesian coordinates – part 001.

            I like the equation of a sphere of radius R centered at the origin is given in Cartesian coordinates:

            x*x + y*y + z*z = r*r

            It is one of the first elements that helped me better understand mathematics and later the dynamics and theory of electromagnetic fields.

          • PSA: Mailman used to harrass people

            It seems that Mailman instances are being abused to harrass [sic] people with subscribe spam. If some random people complain to you that they “never wanted to subscribe to your mailing list”, you may be a victim to that attack, even if you run the latest Mailman 2.

        • Laravel

          • Send Emails in Laravel Using SMTP

            Sending an email is a common requirement for any web application. Some general uses of sending emails include verifying user registration, getting feedback from users, providing options to contact the site administrator, etc. The Laravel framework contains several packages to send emails from the Laravel project. SMTP, Mailgun, Postmark, and Amazon SES are used in Laravel for sending simple, transactional, and bulk emails. Laravel has an email-sending library named SwiftMailer to send an email with an email template. This tutorial shows you how to send a simple email using SMTP.

          • Laravel Facade

            The Laravel service container allows the user to initiate classes by alias. The way to access the Laravel service container is called a facade. Laravel contains many built-in facades to access different Laravel features. The facade is used in Laravel to make the application more testable, flexible, and simpler. All built-in facades are defined in the namespace Illuminate\Support\Facades. This tutorial shows how to create and use Laravel built-in facades.

          • Laravel Pagination

            Pagination is used to display many records at once by dividing the data into multiple pages to make it readable. Using pagination in Laravel is very simple because this feature is integrated with Eloquent ORM and a query builder. The limit and offset of the paginations are calculated automatically in Laravel. The paginate() and link() methods are used to implement pagination in Laravel. This tutorial shows you how to apply pagination in Laravel projects.

          • Laravel Route

            The route is used to create a request URL for the Laravel application. The URL is defined in the route file in a human-readable format. In Laravel 7, all types of route information are stored in two files, web.php and api.php. These files are located in the routes folder of the Laravel project. All web application-related routes are defined in web.php and all API-related routes are defined in api.php. This tutorial covers different types of routing methods and how the get() method can be used for defining the different routes for Laravel projects.

          • Laravel Resource Controllers

            A resource controller is used in Laravel to perform CRUD operations easily. When you will create a resource controller using artisan command from the terminal then it will create all necessary methods inside the controller related to CRUD operations. It handles all HTTP requests for the application and requires a single line of code for CRUD routes. How you can create a resource controller and perform CRUD operations in Laravel are shown in this tutorial.

  • Leftovers

    • Stephen F. Cohen, 1938–2020

      I first “met” Steve through his 1977 essay “Bolshevism and Stalinism.” His cogent, persuasive, revisionist argument that there are always alternatives in history and politics deeply influenced me. And his seminal biography, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, challenging prevailing interpretations of Soviet history, was to me, and many, a model of how biography should be written: engaged and sympathetically critical.

    • Education

      • On the use of a life

        So why am I not an academic? There are many factors, and starting Tarsnap is certainly one; but most of them can be summarized as “academia is a lousy place to do novel research”. In 2005, I made the first publication of the use of shared caches in multi-threaded CPUs as a cryptographic side channel, and in 2006 I hoped to continue that work. Having recently received my doctorate from Oxford University and returned home to Canada, I was eligible for a post-doctoral fellowship from Canada’s National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, so I applied, and… I didn’t get it. My supervisor cautioned me of the risks of doing work which was overly novel as a young academic: Committees don’t know what to make of you, and they don’t have any reputational prior to fall back upon. Indeed, I ran into this issue with my side channel attack: Reviewers at the Journal of Cryptology didn’t understand why they were being asked to read a paper about CPU design, while reviewers at a computer hardware journal didn’t understand why they were being asked to read about cryptography. It became clear, both from my own experiences and from advice I received, that if I wanted to succeed in academia I would need to churn out incremental research papers every year — at very least until I had tenure.

        In many ways, starting my own company has given me the sort of freedom which academics aspire to. Sure, I have customers to assist, servers to manage (not that they need much management), and business accounting to do; but professors equally have classes to teach, students to supervise, and committees to attend. When it comes to research, I can follow my interests without regard to the whims of granting agencies and tenure and promotion committees: I can do work like scrypt, which is now widely known but languished in obscurity for several years after I published it; and equally I can do work like kivaloo, which has been essentially ignored for close to a decade, with no sign of that ever changing.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Quibi Explores Strategic Options, Including Sale (Report)

          Quibi launched April 1 with nearly $2 billion in backing from Alibaba, Madrone Capital and every major Hollywood studio. It had a large slate of short-form programming, all under 10 minutes per episode, fronted by such bold names as Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth, Sophie Turner, Anna Kendrick and Laurence Fishburne.

          But in spite of the money Katzenberg and Whitman poured into the service, it has struggled to gain traction with subscribers. The company said in June that Quibi had been downloaded 4.5 million times and had 1.6 million subscribers.

        • Microsoft to Acquire Bethesda Softworks for $7.5 Billion

          Through the deal to purchase ZeniMax Media, the Xbox maker will become the owner of one of the largest private game developers and publishers, known for making such franchises as Fallout, Doom and The Elder Scrolls.

          Microsoft cited its focus on growing cloud gaming service Xbox Game Pass, which has 15 million subscribers, as one motivation for the deal. Bethesda games, including Fallout 76, are already available on the service. More will be added to Game Pass and eventually the publishers new releases, including upcoming space epic Starfield, will be available on the service the same day the launch on Xboxes and PCs.

        • Microsoft to Buy Bethesda for $7.5 Billion to Boost Xbox

          Bethesda is the publisher of games like The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout and also has at least two titles slated for debut next year. ZeniMax, based in Rockville, Maryland, owns several other studios across the globe, giving Microsoft’s Xbox business a much-needed infusion of titles and game developers. It’s one of the biggest privately held game companies with 2,300 employees worldwide, Microsoft said. The latest in the Elder Scrolls series has sold more than 20 million copies, making it among the top-selling games of all time.

        • Why Microsoft bought Bethesda for $7.5 billion

          Microsoft may not necessarily care about exclusivity anymore, but it still needs studios. First-party developers are the lifeblood of game publishers because they allow them to control the cadence of major releases and better manage budgets and cross-franchise resources like game engines and creative talent. Most important to Microsoft right now, however, is having the final say on distribution. By owning a studio, Microsoft gets to decide where and for how much the game is sold, including giving it away for free as part of a subscription service.

        • Gmail can now be set as the default iOS 14 email app

          It’s important to note that iOS appears to have a bug that automatically switches third-party browser and email applications back to Apple’s default Mail and Safari after a restart; Apple has yet to comment on the issue or announce when (or if) it’ll be addressed.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Mageia (mysql-connector-java), openSUSE (chromium, curl, libqt4, and singularity), Red Hat (bash and kernel), SUSE (python-pip and python3), and Ubuntu (busybox, ceph, freeimage, libofx, libpam-tacplus, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-oracle, novnc, and tnef).

          • Microsoft secures backend server that leaked Bing data [Ed: "No personal user data was leaked in the incident," says ZDNet about a Microsoft security incident, just because the liars from Microsoft said so. Did ZDNet check to verify? No. Reprinting lies.]

            Microsoft has suffered a rare cyber-security lapse earlier this month when the company’s IT staff accidentally left one of Bing’s backend servers exposed online.

          • No security audit done on Chinese smartphones- IT ministry

            Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, today clarified that it has not conducted any sort of study to check if Chinese-made smartphones used in India are sending sensitive data to their country of origin.

            “Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has not conducted any such study,” said Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre, in response to a question by Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha.


            While the Gnu Public License, which governs the Linux Operating System, requires anyone who makes changes to the code to disclose the changes publicly, such a requirement is not there for BSD, and therefore, for Android.

            Unlike GPL, the BSD license allows any company to take the code, alter it in any way they want, and not disclose the changes to anyone.

          • No, Moving Your SSH Port Isn’t Security by Obscurity

            In short, you just made it harder for the enemy to successfully attack you by giving them a resource problem. Sure, they can check under every rock in Central Park and eventually find the package, but you’ll be done with the mission by then.

            Obscurity doesn’t apply if people know the mechanism you’re using and they simply have a resource problem. Having a known defense but a hidden key is a well-established part of good security, and it has been for millennia.

          • Zero Trust Security Model

            The Zero Trust Network, also called Zero Trust Architecture, is a model that was developed in 2010 by the principal analyst John Kindervag. A zero-trust security system helps to protect the enterprise system and improves cybersecurity.


            The Zero Trust approach depends upon modern technologies and methods to achieve the target of securing an organization.

            The Zero Trust Model calls for businesses to manipulate micro-segmentation and granular perimeter execution based on users, their whereabouts, and other data or information, to find out whether to believe a user, machine, or application that is trying to seek access to a specific part of the enterprise or organization.

            Zero Trust also takes care of all other policies, for example, giving users the least access they require to complete the task they want to complete. Creating a Zero Trust environment is not only about putting into practice the separate singular technology associations; it is also about using these and other technologies to impose the idea that no one and nothing should have access until they have proven that they should be trusted.

            Of course, organizations know that creating a Zero Trust Security Model is not an overnight achievement. Because it is not easy to achieve something so complex in a single night, it can take years to find the most secure, ideal system possible.

            Many companies are shifting to the cloud security system. These systems have the best options to go to Zero Trust. Now is the time to be ready for a Zero Trust transition. All organizations, either large or small, or should have Zero Trust security systems for their data safety.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Russia’s Digital Development Ministry wants to ban the latest encryption technologies from the RuNet

              Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media wants to ban websites from using the latest encryption technologies, to make it easier for Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, to block access to RuNet resources containing prohibited content. Experts point out that a number of large Internet companies, including the Russian Internet giant Yandex, currently rely on these technologies — and underscore that this new initiative could lead to another mass block of IP addresses belonging to major providers like Amazon Web Services and Cloudflare, the hosts behind many sites.

            • Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Seems Skeptical That Baltimore’s Aerial Surveillance System Violates The Fourth Amendment

              The legal fight over Baltimore’s aerial surveillance system continues. Airplanes armed with powerful cameras fly constantly over the city, allowing law enforcement to view the movements of people and vehicles over a 32-square mile area. The resolution may be high (192 million megapixels) but the area covered reduces people to (nearly) unidentifiable dots on a screen. However, these recordings can be accessed to trace movements of pixels/people as they move to and from suspected crime scenes.

            • Federal Agencies Tapped Protesters’ Phones in Portland

              This summer, Portland looked like a war zone. Phalanxes of shadowy law enforcement personnel fired crowd-control munitions, as plumes of teargas billowed into the sky. Federal agents without clearly visible identification rounded up protesters and loaded them into unmarked cars, on American streets. When videos began to spread online, it was hard to tell what was going on, or how widely.

            • Portland Passes Ban On Facial Recognition Use By City Agencies And Private Businesses

              Portland, Oregon has now joined parts of Massachusetts and all of California in protecting its residents from the sketchy surveillance method known as “facial recognition.” For something that’s supposed to recognize faces, it’s usually pretty bad at it and gets worse when it has to deal with minorities. Of course, the same can be said about the law enforcement agencies deploying it, which might explain their love of tech that gives them more people to arrest but rarely the probable cause to do so.

            • A Survey of Public DNS over HTTPS Servers [Ed: Well, many of these are themselves operated by surveillance companies, so you merely outsource the spying to another firm (probably overseas, which is worse)]
            • Our legal action against the use of facial recognition by the French police

              In August, we filed a complaint before the Conseil d’État (France’s highest administrative court) against provisions of the French code of criminal procedure which authorize the use of facial recognition to identify people registered in a criminal record police file – called “TAJ” for “Traitement des antécédents judiciaires” – by the police

            • Exposing Your Face Isn’t a More Hygienic Way to Pay

              A company called PopID has created an identity-management system that uses face recognition. Their first use case is as a system for in-store, point of sale payments using face recognition as authorization for payment.

              They are promoting it as a tool for restaurants, claiming that it is pandemic-friendly because it is contactless.

            • A Look-Back and Ahead on Data Protection in Latin America and Spain

              We’re proud to announce a new updated version of The State of Communications Privacy Laws in eight Latin American countries and Spain. For over a year, EFF has worked with partner organizations to develop detailed questions and answers (FAQs) around communications privacy laws. Our work builds upon previous and ongoing research of such developments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, and Spain. We aim to understand each country’s legal challenges, in order to help us spot trends, identify the best and worst standards, and provide recommendations to look ahead. This post about data protection developments in the region is one of a series of posts on the current State of Communications Privacy Laws in Latin America and Spain. 

              As we look back at the past ten years in data protection, we have seen considerable legal progress in granting users’ control over their personal lives. Since 2010, sixty-two new countries have enacted data protection laws, giving a total of 142 countries with data protection laws worldwide. In Latin America, Chile was the first country to adopt such a law in 1999, followed by Argentina in 2000. Several countries have now followed suit: Uruguay (2008), Mexico (2010), Peru (2011), Colombia (2012), Brazil (2018), Barbados (2019), and Panama (2019). While there are still different privacy approaches, data protection laws are no longer a purely European phenomenon.

            • Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias

              Twitter is investigating the algorithm it uses to crop pictures for its mobile platform after several users pointed out a tendency to zero in on white faces.

              Controversy over algorithmic bias in the automated cropping software started when user Colin Madland posted a thread about Zoom not picking up on a Black colleague’s face when using backgrounds.

            • 2.5 million US users register to vote using Facebook, Instagram, Messenger

              Facebook announced Monday that 2.5 million U.S. users have registered to vote in the upcoming general election through Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

              The number is more than halfway toward Facebook’s goal, announced earlier this year, of registering 4 million U.S. users to vote ahead of Nov. 3.

            • Apple granted patents for under-display fingerprint biometrics and Face ID upgrades

              Apple has been awarded patents for an under-display fingerprint biometric system for portable electronic devices like smartphones, and for facial recognition of people only partly visible, and had a patent application published for an eye tracking system.
              A patent newly awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an “Electronic device including optical image sensor having metallization layers and related methods” describes the use of an optical image sensor with circuitry and metallization layers stacked above it, and possibly a light source layer to define a finger placement area.
              The system could be used not just for device unlocking, but also for biometric authentication to applications, and 9to5Mac reports that the fingerprint sensing area could be quite large. The publication also notes that unlike many patent applications, this one seems to have a likely implementation in its future, as Apple has been moving towards an “infinity” or full-front display for some time.
              The company has also had dozens of other newly granted patents published by the USPTO, including for technologies to allow for Face ID biometric face recognition to work with partially visible faces and those obscured by challenging lighting conditions, Patently Apple reports.

            • Amazon Patents AR Tech to Show Product Reviews on Your Body Parts
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Murder victims’ relatives seek almost $20 million in lawsuit against former Khabarovsk governor

        The relatives of two men allegedly murdered in contract killings arranged by Sergey Furgal are seeking 1.5 billion rubles ($19.7 million) in damages from the former Khabarovsk governor. According to the news agency Interfax, Moscow’s City Court designated the family members of Oleg Bulatov and Alexander Smolsky as civil plaintiffs in the case. 

      • America wants more ships and fewer sailors to compete with China’s navy

        In a report published this month, the Pentagon acknowledged a grim milestone: China’s navy, having churned out warships like sausages, has become the world’s largest (see chart). America had held that crown since the second world war. The balance of military power in the Pacific is more than an abstraction. Tensions between America and China have been growing in recent months. On September 19th the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) released a video, titled “Gods of War—Attack!”, depicting Chinese nuclear-capable bombers mounting a simulated attack on an American airbase on the island of Guam (though the video undercut its anti-American message by borrowing footage from several Hollywood films).

      • QAnon Linked to at Least 44 Election Candidates in 2020—and Some Could Win

        The FBI has suggested QAnon could be a terror threat and a bipartisan resolution condemning the theory has been put forward in the House of Representatives.

      • Increase in China’s Warplane Activity Starts to Unnerve Taiwanese

        Eighteen Chinese military aircraft passed through Taiwan’s airspace Friday followed by 19 on Saturday, the ministry said. Saturday the planes flew in a formation designed to attack from the front, rear and both sides. Some aircraft were sighted in Taiwanese airspace over waters about 80 kilometers from Taiwan itself, according to maps posted on local news websites.

        In response, Taiwan’s defense ministry says the island has the right “to self-defense and to counterattack.”

      • India, China Commanders Meet Again on Ending Border Standoff

        Monday’s military-level talks come less than two weeks after the two nations’ foreign ministers met on Sept. 10 and agreed that their troops should disengage from the tense border standoff, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.

        The foreign ministers did not set any timeline for the disengagement of the tens of thousands of troops, backed by artilleries, tanks and fighter jets, that have been in the region since the standoff began in May.

        Military experts have repeatedly warned that any mistake or miscalculation from either side can have disastrous consequences beyond the cold desert region of Ladakh.

      • Look back and learn: Notable humanitarians who took sides

        Near the National Gallery in London stands a big statue of a British woman dressed in a nurse’s uniform. In large letters above her head is the word “Humanity”, and below it is the date: 12 October 1915.
        The statue is of Edith Cavell, and the date remembers the day when she was shot at dawn by a German firing squad in occupied Brussels.
        She is one of many examples of non-neutral protection and assistance over the course of history.
        As I argued in a recent commentary, humanitarian action takes many forms in many different situations. We know it when we see it, and it is not always neutral. (I say this recognising that neutral humanitarian action is essential in every armed conflict).

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Ministers silent on Terrafame owner’s suspected money laundering links

        The information is part of a leak of more than 2,500 documents, many of which were files sent by banks to US authorities, revealing how the international banking system has been used to launder money worldwide.

        The firm in question, Trafigura, joined the troubled state-owned mine as an investor in 2017, amid widespread media reporting on its alleged ties to Russia, suspected tax evasion and toxic waste scandals.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Remembering Ike, Our Unexpected Egalitarian

        In normal times, the dedication of a new presidential memorial right in the heart of Washington, D.C. would be much more than fairly big news. Pundits the nation over would find the dedication an irresistible opportunity for pontification about the legacy of the newly honored national leader.

      • My Life in the Media Machine

        Every day as a child I would spread out the Sunpaper and read the comics, plus some news and sports, with never a glance at the stock tables or the department-store ads—a fully satisfied customer, in a constellation of other satisfied customers, with all of our separate or overlapping satisfactions. There was something for everyone, which meant some things were not for everyone, which made the whole thing in its own way a reflection of the world, which also had many interesting parts and many utterly boring parts, depending on who you were at the time. Broom-Hilda: for me, and interesting. Inflation: not for me, not interesting. Naked person apprehended on airplane: not for me, but interesting…

      • Trump’s Scorched-Earth Policy

        It is a recent tradition among occupants of the White House, as they head out of office, to play a few practical jokes on their successors. The Clinton administration jesters, for instance, removed all the Ws from White House keyboards before handing over the keys to George W. Bush’s transition team. The Obama administration left behind books authored by Barack Obama for Trump’s incoming press team.

      • The U.S. Government Should Be Supporting International Law-Not Undermining It

        It’s a sad day when the U.S. government openly assails the international law it helped to create. But that day came on September 2, 2020 when the U.S. government announced economic sanctions against top officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The reason? The officials were engaged in an ICC investigation of possible war crimes committed during the long war in Afghanistan by representatives of all sides of the conflict, including U.S. military personnel and agencies.

      • Russian Supreme Court liquidates ‘Russia of the Future’ — the party that kept Navalny from registering his political party back in 2019

        Russia’s Supreme Court has liquidated the political party “Russia of the Future” (“Rossiya Budushchego”) on the application of the Justice Ministry, reports Interfax. 

      • Tomsk hotel managers say they assisted Navalny’s associates after his illness, and Navalny demands return of evidence now that inquiry deadline has passed

        Last week, associates of Alexey Navalny revealed that they’d retrieved an apparently poison-laced water bottle from his hotel room in Tomsk. On September 21, a source at the hotel informed the news agency RIA Novosti that managers at the facility agreed to admit Navalny’s aides after learning that he’d fallen ill aboard his flight home to Moscow.

      • Technical assistance How Navalny’s poisoning could prompt the OPCW to carry out an emergency inspection in Russia

        September 19, 2020, marked the expiration date of the Russian authorities’ preliminary inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the sudden illness and hospitalization of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who is currently being treated for poisoning in Germany. At this point, Russia’s authorities were supposed to decide whether or not to launch a criminal case. So far, there’s no indication that Russia will pursue a criminal investigation: officials continue to claim that there’s no evidence that Navalny was poisoned. Meanwhile, the authorities in Germany are confident that an attempt was made on his life using a Novichok-type nerve agent — in other words, a chemical warfare agent. That said, the German authorities have no jurisdiction when it comes to investigating the case, since the crime doesn’t fall within the scope of international criminal law (this would require more victims and military hostilities). However, there is a loophole. Germany has already appealed to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) “for technical assistance” and, if the organization is so inclined, it will most likely be able to seek an emergency international inspection in Russia to identify the perpetrators responsible for “the use of chemical weapons.”

      • Trump’s Campaign Is Engaged In Lawsuits All Over The Country To Try To Make Safe Voting More Difficult

        Anyone still hoping for an orderly election and, if need be, a peaceful transition of power hasn’t been paying attention to much that’s happened over the past few months. As the presidential election approaches, everything is still in a disturbing state of flux. Multiple states have failed to flatten the COVID-19 curve, necessitating some walking back of earlier “everything’s fine” pronouncements.

      • Fire and Fury Like the World Has Never Seen

        Think of him as the president from hell and here I mean a literal hell.

      • Progressives Slam Biden’s Foreign Policy Team

        As Joe Biden kicks his presidential campaign against Donald Trump into high gear, concern is growing inside the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that the foreign policy and political outreach teams he has assembled don’t come close to reflecting the change—and reduced military spending—they hope to see after the November election.

      • Experts Say Internet Shutdowns Don’t Thwart Protests

        Like so many authoritarians, Belarus “President” Alexander Lukashenko has taken to violence, intimidation, and censorship in a ham-fisted bid to stifle those critical of his dubious election win. On the technology side, that has involved hiring U.S. network gear maker Sandvine to help the country block citizens’ access to the broader internet. During August’s contested election, citizens found their access to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook prohibited thanks to Sandvine and the Belarusian government, which originally tried to claim that the blockade was the result of a cyberattack. News outlets like CNN and the BBC, and search engines like Google, were also blocked.

      • Thirty-eight days later Belarusian newspaper facing fines after its journalist was injured by police while covering protests

        Belarusian journalist Natalya Lubnevskaya was covering an opposition demonstration on Kaĺvaryjskaja Street in Minsk on August 10, when she was injured by a rubber bullet. More than a month later, she’s still undergoing rehabilitation. And the newspaper she works for, Nasha Niva, is facing fines, reports its editor-in-chief Jahor Marcinovich. 

      • Trump’s Destruction of America Started With Reagan

        Donald Trump and his billionaire buddies are letting America die.

      • In the Night Kitchen of the Next Election: a Parody

        With apologies to Maurice Sendak.

      • Bridging Individualism and Community to Sustain our Democracy

        The U.S. stands out since its creation as championing the rights of all individuals, as proclaimed in the Declaration that Jefferson wrote for the new nation. Always clever, Jefferson substituted “pursuit of happiness” for “possessing property” in order to cast a wider net. Although initially those who did not own enough property, or were women or Jews, were deprived of the vote by state governments. Enslaved blacks, of course, were not even considered citizens — they were someone else’s property.

      • Bill Gates’ Global Agenda and How We Can Resist His War on Life

        Gates’ ‘funding’ results in an erasure of democracy and biodiversity, of nature and culture. His ‘philanthropy’ is not just philanthrocapitalism. It is philanthroimperialism.

      • Trump: The Novel Coronated Virus

        I recently reviewed Mike Davis’ The Monster Enters (2020), an update of his book, The Monster at the Door (2017), which was a warning that we were terrifyingly close to suffering a flu virus pandemic that could wipe out millions of people, unless the world worked together to develop a universal vaccine (suspending the profit motive for the common good); the updated Enters addresses Covid-19, and its novel features, while continuing to maintain that we are still due for a bird flu pandemic and that, in fact, we may have entered a Pandemic Era. Davis pleads for scientific, political, and social preparation for an inevitable catastrophe ahead, given humanity’s continued destruction of habitats and ecosystems, driving unknown viral monsters our way.

      • Top Dem Says Internal Govt. Watchdog Report Shows Trump Still Has No ‘Coherent’ Response to Covid-19

        White House should “heed GAO’s nonpartisan recommendations and finally show some leadership to protect Americans’ lives,” said Rep. James Clyburn.

      • Cancel the Presidential Debates—Permanently

        Imagine hating yourself enough to watch a presidential debate featuring Donald Trump. What reason would you possibly have? To make sure he’s a lying sociopath? To see if he’s a worse choice than Joe Biden? To gain useful insights into American politics?

      • If You Wait Until Election Day to Vote, You’re Already Too Late

        I can’t keep up with all the different ways Donald Trump is trying to steal the upcoming presidential election. And I can’t keep track of all the ways he is trying to undermine faith in the election so that he can declare himself the winner even if he loses.

      • Over 170 Environmentalists Sign Letter Urging Against Green Party “Protest Vote”

        As the Green Party fights in court to stay on the ballot in key swing states less than 50 days before the election, many veteran environmental activists and climate scientists are taking an unprecedented step — pleading to a constituency that has long been key to the party’s electoral efforts to eschew casting a “protest vote” for the Greens this year and instead cast their ballots for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

      • Trump Praises “Good Genes” of Minnesotans, Highlighting His Eugenics Fixation

        Over the past five years or so, I’ve had no problem using the “F” word (fascism) to describe what’s been happening under President Trump and the Republican Party. I wrote about it here in Salon all the way back in 2015, noting that I wasn’t the only one. In fact, it was his fellow Republicans who were the first to use the term to describe him. All you have to do is go back and read that full-page newspaper ad Trump took out in 1989, headlined “Bring Back the Death Penalty, Bring Back Our Police,” to understand his fundamental authoritarian nature.

      • The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: What to Learn From Her Successes and Failures

        The death of Justice Ginsburg is a great tragedy on multiple levels. She was deeply respected, even beloved, for a lifetime dedicated to guaranteeing justice and equality for people who did not yet have it. She did this before and after she was appointed to the Supreme Court.

      • 1 Million+ People in Less Than 3 Days Sign Petition Demanding RBG Seat Not Be Filled Until 2021

        “With less than 50 days until the election and voting already underway in many states, it’s important that we demand all senators pledge not to move forward with any nominee until after the next inauguration.”

      • ‘He Told Us to Use His Words Against Him’: Early AM Protest Outside Lindsey Graham’s Home Over RBG Replacement

        “In the spirit of RBG, we will not allow a double standard in how our Congress deals with late-term Supreme Court appointments.”

      • Ocasio-Cortez Demands Democrats Use ‘Every Procedural Tool Available’ to Stop Trump From Filling RBG Vacancy

        “Our reproductive rights are on the line. Our labor rights are on the line. Our right to healthcare is on the line. Labor and union protections are on the line. Our climate is on the line.”

      • “A National Tragedy”: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Friend & “Favorite Client” Remembers the Legal Icon

        U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg first gained fame in the 1970s when she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union and argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court. One of those cases was Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, which centered on a widower who was refused Social Security benefits after his wife died during childbirth. We speak with Stephen Wiesenfeld, who was told his gender made him ineligible and that only women were entitled to survivor’s benefits. Ginsburg argued in the Supreme Court that denying fathers benefits because of their sex was unconstitutional, and won a unanimous 8-0 decision in the case. Wiesenfeld, who would become a lifelong friend to the late Supreme Court justice, says she “took their very conservative court and taught them that the stereotypes when they hurt one gender, hurt the other gender, as well.”

      • “RBG”: Film Director Reflects on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Lifelong Fight for Gender Equity

        In her later years, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was internationally known simply as her initials — RBG — and a 2018 documentary film by the same name about Ginsburg’s legal career, personal history and unexpected celebrity became a surprise smash hit. We speak with Julie Cohen, co-director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary ”RBG,” about Ginsburg’s early years and leadership in fighting for equal rights for women, including arguing a case before the Supreme Court with all male justices who were condescending to her. “She never let that condescension get her down,” notes Cohen. “She was a deeply strategic person.”

      • Packing the Court—or Taming the Courts?

        With Republicans rushing to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, America stands on the brink of a legal revolution. A Trump-nominated judge taking Ginsburg’s seat—which could in theory happen even if Trump loses in November and the Democrats regain control of the Senate—would open the door for an unprecedented radical shift to the right. With Republican-nominated judges possessing a 6-3 supermajority on the Supreme Court, some of the wildest ideas of Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia, hitherto reserved for dissents, could now become the law of the land.

      • Remembering RBG: Legal Giant’s Death Sparks Furious Fight in D.C. over Vacant Supreme Court Seat

        We look at the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the future of the Supreme Court, in a wide-ranging interview with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, where she is the senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter. Ginsburg died September 18 at the age of 87 after serving 27 years as a Supreme Court justice, where she became the most prominent member of the court’s liberal wing. Her death just 46 days before the November election sets up a major political battle over her replacement, with President Trump and many Senate Republicans vowing to nominate and confirm a right-wing judge to fill her seat by Friday or Saturday. In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 269 days before the election. “Hypocrisy doesn’t begin to touch on that,” says Lithwick. “The court is profoundly misaligned both with popular opinion polling and with the will of this country.”

      • With Planet and the Future on the Line, Sunrise Movement Doubles Down on 2020 After RBG’s Death

        “This moment is a critical opportunity—not only to activate every young voter in swing states but also to catapult emergent Green New Deal champions running for Senate into the spotlight and secure upsets in red states.”

      • Trump Says He Is ‘Counting on the Federal Court System’ to Declare Winner on Election Night—Before Many Ballots Are Tallied

        “This is an open admission that Trump hopes to use the Supreme Court to steal the election.”

      • Ginsburg’s Legacy Is Vast, But a Trump Appointee Could Overturn Her Best Rulings

        When I was sworn in to practice before the Supreme Court in 2007, I sat near the front of the gallery. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the five-foot-tall justice, was barely visible over the bench behind which she sat. On two occasions, Ginsburg visited the law school where I taught for many years. She graciously created the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture Series at our annual Women and the Law Conference, which featured leading feminist scholars.

      • The Many Reasons the GOP Wants to Steal Ginsburg’s Seat

        Remembering what’s at stake in the fight to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

      • As Trump Plans to Name SCOTUS Nominee This Week, 62% of Americans Oppose Plan to Confirm Ginsburg’s Successor Before Election

        Eight in 10 Democrats and five in 10 Republicans say the winner of the November election should name a new nominee.

      • The Supreme Court Is Misaligned With the Will of This Country. Will We Resist?

        We look at the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the future of the Supreme Court, in a wide-ranging interview with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate, where she is the senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter. Ginsburg died September 18 at the age of 87 after serving 27 years as a Supreme Court justice, where she became the most prominent member of the court’s liberal wing. Her death just 46 days before the November election sets up a major political battle over her replacement, with President Trump and many Senate Republicans vowing to nominate and confirm a right-wing judge to fill her seat by Friday or Saturday. In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 269 days before the election. “Hypocrisy doesn’t begin to touch on that,” says Lithwick. “The court is profoundly misaligned both with popular opinion polling and with the will of this country.”

      • AOC Urges Democrats to Prevent Trump From Filling Ginsburg Vacancy

        With President Donald Trump expected to nominate a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday evening urged Democrats in Congress to utilize “every procedural tool available to buy the country time” and ensure the vacancy is filled by the winner of the November presidential election.

      • Trump Spreads Misinformation With Claim That Dems Wrote Ginsburg’s Dying Wish

        President Trump made false assertions on Monday regarding the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish, insinuating that her request to have her successor named after the election was crafted by leading Democrats in Congress.

      • For RBG it was all Principle, for Mitch McConnell it’s all Power

        Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday night at the age of 87, exemplified the first.

      • Progressives Hit Back After DOJ Designates New York, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions’

        “This is not just unlawful but it’s also a prime example of this president’s failed leadership and desperation,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal said of the DOJ designations. 

      • Trump, Barr Declare War on First Amendment With “Anarchist Jurisdictions” Label

        The Department of Justice (DOJ) deemed three U.S. cities “anarchist jurisdictions” on Monday, in line with a memo issued by President Trump earlier this month that sought to put financial penalties on places where significant uprisings were happening in response to extrajudicial killings of Black Americans across the country.

      • Justice Dept. brands NYC an ‘anarchist jurisdiction,’ targets federal funds

        White House budget director Russ Vought is set to issue guidance to federal agencies on withdrawing funds from the cities in less than two weeks.

        The list of cities eligible for defunding will be updated periodically, the feds have said.

        It is not yet clear what funds are likely to be cut, but the amount of money siphoned from New York City could be massive, given the Big Apple gets about $7 billion in annual federal aid.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Down the 1619 Project’s Memory Hole

        Throughout the controversy, the line about the year 1619 being “our true founding” continued to haunt the Times. This criticism did not aim to denigrate the project’s titular date or the associated events in the history of slavery. Rather, the passage came to symbolize the Times’s blurring of historical analysis with editorial hyperbole. The announced intention of reframing the country’s origin date struck many readers across the political spectrum as an implicit repudiation of the American revolution and its underlying principles.

        Rather than address this controversy directly, the Times—it now appears—decided to send it down the memory hole—the euphemized term for selectively editing inconvenient passages out of old newspaper reports in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Without announcement or correction, the newspaper quietly edited out the offending passage such that it now reads: [...]

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Principles of Journalism on Trial/2020 Banned Books Week – The Project Censored Show
      • Assange on Trial: Torture Testimonies, Offers of Pardon and Truth Telling

        September 18. Central Criminal Court, London.

      • Trump Jr. Fixer: Everyone In WikiLeaks Deserve The Death Penalty

        When Richard Grenell, one of President Donald Trump’s closest envoys in Europe, was the ambassador to Germany, Grenell reportedly brokered a deal with the Ecuador government for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest and expulsion from the London embassy.

        A wealthy Republican donor named Arthur Schwartz, who handled communications for Grenell while he was ambassador and has close ties with Donald Trump Jr., was apparently aware of the plans months before they were carried out.

      • Day 10: September 21, 2020 #AssangeCase

        The first witness this week was German computer science professor Christian Grothoff, who testified about his research into the timeline of events surrounding the 2011 publication of the unredacted State Department cables. Three of the 18 counts against Assange charge him specifically for publishing the unredacted cables, and Grothoff’s testimony establishes that WikiLeaks was not the first outlet to publish that archive, that others published it first and have not been prosecuted for doing so, and that WikiLeaks took care to encrypt the file but actions outside of Assange’s control led to its release.

      • 161 former heads of state, prime ministers, and ministers demand Assange’s freedom

        A remarkable international letter from 161 heads of state and former heads of state, and a raft of politicians and lawyers, has been released in support of Julian Assange. The letter argues that Julian Assange should not be prosecuted for his political opinions or his actions as a journalist and publisher.

      • A Guide To Journalists And Organizations Covering Assange Trial For Those Upset About Lack Of Media Coverage

        Diagnosing why establishment media institutions are not covering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition trial in London has become increasingly widespread among persons known for their political commentary.Aaron Maté, a journalist with the Grayzone who hosts the “Pushback” show, complained, “U.S. media outlets across a wide spectrum have spent far more time promoting fantasies about Julian Assange conspiring with Roger Stone, the Trump campaign, and Russia than they have covering the Trump administration’s draconian effort to extradite Assange and criminalize journalism.”Matt Taibbi, an independent journalist who co-hosts the Rolling Stone’s “Useful Idiots” podcast, contended, “The people who cheer Jim Acosta’s antics [for CNN] but are quiet about this Assange situation and what it means for the media and whistleblowers—this case and in the Snowden case, they’re announcing the punishment for disclosing real secrets is life—are frauds.”When Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on “Useful Idiots,” he offered his thoughts on the lack of media coverage, saying “a lot of liberals,” including the media, have an “authoritarian strain.” They believe “their political adversaries ought to be punished and imprisoned, that anyone who helped Donald Trump is basically a criminal. And since they see Julian Assange as somebody who helped Donald Trump, it’s not just that they’re indifferent to his prison. They actually want it. They hope he ends up in prison.”“Media outlets, including by the way the Intercept, have completely ignored these proceedings. I’ve written about it, and we’ve done some opinion pieces or analysis of it. We’re not covering the trial, even though we should be. Nor are any other large media outlets. Basically, we’re relying on kind of independent bloggers to do it.”“I talked to Assange’s lawyers, and I got the list of the journalists who had requested credentials to cover the trial, and it’s basically like Kevin Gosztola and some YouTubers and that’s like basically it, and it’s really scandalous how the U.S. media has chosen to ignore this,” Greenwald concluded.I’ll share my appreciation for Greenwald, who mentioned me. He has supported my work, sharing it with his 1.5 million followers on Twitter. However, I covered the U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s court martial extensively.Manning’s court martial faced a similar lack of media attention (although with that prosecution the U.S. Justice Department had not yet trained its sights so explicitly on the right to publish information).

      • ‘You will be put into detention’: Former ABC bureau chief tells story of fleeing China for first time

        I am telling this story for the first time. After my departure from China I was reluctant to report what had happened because I did not want to harm the ABC’s operations in China, put staff at risk or threaten the chances of my successor as bureau chief, Sarah Ferguson, being granted a journalist’s visa to China.

        But all that changed when Birtles and the Australian Financial Review’s Mike Smith fled the country this month.

        After seven Chinese State Security police officers arrived at my door at midnight, I realised the concerns about my safety were real, writes Bill Birtles.

        My story — which occurred two years earlier — suggests there is more to their actions against foreign journalists than tit-for-tat reprisals as the Chinese portray it.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Promise of Freedom

        When the socialist government of Michael Manley came to power in Jamaica in 1972, the charismatic new prime minister asked the up-and-coming Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson to become his special adviser for social policy and development. Only a decade after the country gained its independence from Britain, Jamaican voters elected Manley with a sweeping mandate to transform the colonial-era hierarchies of race and class that remained intact. Manley needed a team of trusted advisers to help implement his ambitious agenda, and Patterson was high on the list.

      • Low, Even For Them
      • Taking a Knee in Alabama

        Taylor Morgan is a senior soccer player for the University of Alabama. She made the journey to Tuscaloosa after starring at Westfield High School in Westfield, N.J. In addition to playing Division I soccer, she is the vice chair of the SEC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

      • U.S. charges New York City police officer with acting as illegal agent of China

        A New York City police officer who also serves as a U.S. Army reservist has been charged with acting as an illegal agent of the government of China, federal prosecutors said on Monday.

      • ‘Sledgehammer to Permanently Silence Opposing Voices’: Outrage Over Florida Gov. DeSantis’ Proposed Anti-Protest Bill

        “This effort has one goal: silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians who want to see justice for Black lives,” said ACLU of Florida executive director Micah Kubic. 

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Apple TV+ Wins First Emmy Award

        Apple TV+ launched Nov. 1 as a $5-per-month offering designed largely for users of the Apple TV set-top box. The Morning Show, which stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, was its highest profile project at launch. It has since built out a slate of programming that includes comedies like Ted Lasso and films like Tom Hanks starrer Greyhound.

        The tech giant has won Emmys in the past. Carpool Karaoke: The Series has taken home the trophy for outstanding short form variety series for the last three years.

        Apple has not disclosed how many subscribers have signed up for TV+.

    • Monopolies

      • U.S.’s Google Antitrust Suit Nears With Briefing of States

        As part of the case, Justice Department officials will brief a coalition of 48 state attorneys general, who are pursuing a parallel inquiry, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing law enforcement deliberations.

        The U.S. officials appear likely to ask the states to sign on to the case, as happened with Microsoft, the people said. The states, which are led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, could still pursue their own case in coming weeks, Bloomberg has reported.

      • Patents

        • Expanding Access to Patents for COVID-19

          Two competing and linked sets of goals must be addressed when considering patent policy in response to a public health emergency. First is the allocation of existing resources among potential users (hospitals, patients, etc.); second is the creation of new technologies over time (innovation). Patents provide financial incentives to develop new technologies. Yet shortages of patented products often plague crisis response. In the case of COVID-19, allocative goals, particularly satisfying demand for patented medical products (e.g., vaccines, ventilators, PPE, and test kits), may be achieved through governmental interventions such as march-in and governmental use rights (compulsory licensing). But in cases involving the development of new technologies such as vaccines and therapies, incentive structures must be preserved to ensure that the private sector is appropriately motivated to act. In addition to patents, which reward inventors for financially successful innovations, a range of other incentives such as prizes, grants, and subsidies also exist to motivate technological innovation. Incentives like these, coupled with a requirement that resulting discoveries be made available on a broad and open basis, can achieve a balance between allocation and innovation goals. Governments can encourage such measures using both the incipient threat of compulsory licensing and the reward of procurement preferences and other up-front rewards.

        • Patents and Control: Ethics and the Patentability of Novel Beings and Advanced Biotechnologies in Europe

          This article focuses primarily on to what extent novel beings, and particularly, beings which display something akin to human consciousness or agency would be (or should be) patentable in Europe. Patents grant the patent holder a right to exclude others from using the patented invention for the period of patent grant (usually 20 years). This allows the patent holder to control how that invention can or cannot be used by others downstream. Accordingly, the potential for patentability of novel beings gives rise to a myriad of ethical issues including: to what extent is it appropriate for patent holders to retain and exercise patents over ‘novel beings’; how issues of ‘agency’ displayed by any ‘novel beings’ would fit within the current patent framework, if at all; and to what extent existing exclusions from patentability might exclude patents on ‘novel beings’ or whether changes within patent law may be needed if patents over ‘novel beings’ are deemed ethically problematic. This article focuses on such issues, and in doing so, also sheds light on the role of ethical issues within the patenting of advanced biotechnologies more generally.

        • Federal Judge Seeks Patent Cases

          Imagine the following advertisement popping up on Craigslist: “FEDERAL JUDGE SEEKS PATENT CASES! (Waco) — Former patent litigator, recently appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, longs for the intellectual challenge of a good patent fight. Can promise special procedural rules, efficient discovery, and speedy trials. Dismissal, stay, or transfer of case extremely unlikely. File in Waco and get the patent court you’ve always dreamed of!”

          That probably seems bizarre. Still — and startlingly — it accurately portrays what’s happening right now in the Western District of Texas. One judge, appointed to the court less than two years ago, has been advertising his district — through presentations to patent lawyers, comments to the media, procedures in his courtroom, and decisions in patent cases — as the place to file your patent infringement lawsuit. And he has succeeded. In 2018, the Western District received only 90 patent cases — a mere 2.5% of patent suits nationwide. In 2020, the Western District is on track to receive more than 800 — the most of any district in the country. Importantly, these suits are overwhelmingly filed by so-called patent trolls — entities that don’t make any products or provide services but instead exist solely to enforce patents.

          The centralization of patent cases before a single judge, acting entirely on his own to seek out patent litigation, is facilitated by the Western District’s case filing system, which allows plaintiffs to choose not just the court but the specific judge who will hear their case. These dynamics — a judge advertising for patent cases and plaintiffs shopping for that judge — undermine public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary, make the court an uneven playing field for litigants, and facilitate the nuisance suits patent trolls favor. Two reforms would help solve this problem: first, district judges should — by law — be randomly assigned to cases and, second, venue in patent cases should be tied to geographic divisions within a judicial district, not just the district as a whole.

        • Opposition to a European Patent for CAR-T Therapy: A Mechanism to Control High Drug Prices?

          The process and outcomes of a challenge to a European patent for a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, a highly expensive cancer treatment, were described in a presentation made at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020.

          “Today there is a strong consensus that [cancer treatment] high prices may become a barrier to universal access to cancer therapy, not only in resource-limited settings, but also in high-income countries,” stated Juliana Veras, advocacy coordinator, Médecins du Monde, which is a European advocacy organization.

          She further noted that “the abusive use of patents and that lack of rigorous public regulation on the granting of health-related patents” can facilitate the emergence of pharmaceutical monopolies, contributing to the high prices of some anticancer therapies.

          In this presentation, she chronicled the work performed by Médecins du Monde and Public Eye, another European organization focused on research and advocacy, in challenging a European patent for the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy tisagenlecleucel.

        • Software Patents

          • US Postal Service Files A Patent For Voting System Combining Mail And A Blockchain

            USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) published a patent application filed by the USPS. The patent claims that a combination of the security of the blockchain and the mail service provides a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a QR code by mail. A separation of voter identification and votes to ensure voter anonymity is the principal feature of the solution. The votes are stored on a blockchain attested by election officials. Obviously, this patent is too late to be developed and deployed for this election.

          • TikTok in hot water after being sued over patent infringement

            Popular social network and video sharing platform TikTok has been sued for patent infringement.

            Rival Triller (less well-known than TikTok to many) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the USA for a video-related patent. The patent in question is US Patent No. 9,691,429.

            This patent is for a method of combining multiple videos synchronised to a single audio track which forms a big part of TikTok’s offering.

            In December 2019, TikTok introduced a feature called the “green screen video” feature, which enables users to capture multiple short videos and then synchronise or stitch them together to one song (or audio track).

      • Trademarks

        • Book Review: Intellectual Property and Popular Culture [Ed: This book title is a lie and shameless propaganda because there's no such thing as "Intellectual Property" and they refer to something like trademark, which isn't property]

          From Star Wars’s wars over uniforms to Banksy’s latest loss of trade mark rights, pop culture gradually made its way into intellectual property doctrine. The University of Strasbourg did not wait on the side-lines of these developments, and organised, in 2018, a conference on ‘Pop Culture and Intellectual Property’. Following the success of the conference, a collection of contributions, edited by Prof. Yann Basire (University of Strasbourg), has now been published with LexisNexis under the title “Propriété intellectuelle et pop culture”.

          Structuring itself in a pop culturesque style, the book is divided into a prologue and three episodes, which are themselves grouped into 14 chapters, 11 of which are written in French and 3 in English. The ensuing contents contain contributions on various issues of IP and popular (also called “mass”) culture, which can either be consulted separately as self-standing pieces or read in one sitting, so as to obtain a more holistic view on the topic.

      • Copyrights


Links 21/9/2020: PlasmaShell With Vulkan, Plasma Beta Review Day, OpenMediaVault 5.5.11

Posted in News Roundup at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux/UNIX

    • Solaris

      • Oracle Solaris: Update to the Continuous Delivery Model

        The Oracle Solaris 11 Operating System (OS) is synonymous with three words: consistent, reliable and secure. With Oracle Solaris OS being designed to deliver a consistent platform to run your enterprise applications, Oracle Solaris has become the most trusted solution for running both modern and legacy applications on the newest system hardware while providing the latest innovations. Oracle Solaris combines the power of industry standard security features, unique security and anti-malware capabilities, and compliance management tools for low risk application deployments and cloud infrastructure. In its most recent avatar, Oracle Solaris 11.4 has already provided our customers with the latest features and observability tools and the list of new features in build grows with every SRU release.

      • Oracle To Stick With Solaris “11.4″ For Continuous Delivery SRU Releases

        With no new indications of Solaris 12 or Solaris 11.next and given the past layoffs and previous announcements from Oracle, today’s statement that Solaris 11.4 will remain as their continuous delivery model with monthly SRU releases come as little surprise.

        Tanmay Dhuri who has been at Oracle since April as the Solaris product manager wrote today on the Oracle Solaris blog about their continuous delivery model. Basically it’s reiterating that Solaris 11.4 will be sticking to a continuous delivery model moving forward. This comes after Solaris 11.4 turning two years old and seeing monthly SRU releases during that time. These monthly releases are designed to offer up timely security fixes and other mostly small updates to Oracle Solaris.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 372

        History of containers, and a look back at this past weekend’s Open Jam game jam.

      • LHS Episode #368: Remote Operation Deep Dive

        Welcome to the 368th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this deep dive episode, the hosts discuss several ways to operate your station from a remote location or unattended when necessary and legal to do so. The options include remote desktop operation, network audio forwarding, hardware to physically separate your radio from your head unit via network and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you find this episode entertaining and educational.

    • Kernel Space

      • Jonathan McDowell: Mainline Linux on the MikroTik RB3011

        I upgraded my home internet connection to fibre (FTTP) last October. I’m still on an 80M/20M service, so it’s no faster than my old VDSL FTTC connection was, and as a result for a long time I continued to use my HomeHub 5A running OpenWRT. However the FTTP ONT meant I was using up an additional ethernet port on the router, and I was already short, so I ended up with a GigE switch in use as well. Also my wifi is handled by a UniFi, which takes its power via Power-over-Ethernet. That mean I had a router, a switch and a PoE injector all in close proximity. I wanted to reduce the number of devices, and ideally upgrade to something that could scale once I decide to upgrade my FTTP service speed.

      • Which file systems support file cloning

        OpenZFS isn’t part of the Linux kernel because of licensing issues, and that is unlikely to change. OpenZFS doesn’t support any of the relevant Linux syscalls for cloning files or blocks. It doesn’t offer a replacement for these syscalls on FreeBSD or Linux. (This is why there are no out-of-band deduplication tools for OpenZFS.)

        Bcachefs isn’t in the kernel yet either, but it’s developed under a Linux-kernel compatible license with the ultimate goal of being merged into the kernel. It supports all the relevant Linux-specific syscalls for file cloning.

        Over the last three years, Apple has switched all of its products to its new CoW-based Apple File System (APFS). Microsoft has decided to go in the opposite direction, and removed its copy-on-write file system, ReFS, from Windows 10 Professional in 2017. ReFS is now only available on Workstation and Server editions. ReFS was not suitable for use on Windows desktops anyway. This does leave Windows as the only computer operating system without a CoW file system.

        I find file cloning fascinating, and I’ll explore several potential use cases for it in the coming weeks. Next up will be how you can identify a cloned file. Something that is surprisingly difficult because the file system doesn’t keep track of it.

      • Intel Platform Monitoring Telemetry Appears Destined For Linux 5.10

        As first outlined earlier this year, Intel has been working on the Linux support for Platform Monitoring Technology as a new hardware telemetry feature first introduced with new Tigerlake hardware. It’s looking like the initial Intel PMT support will come with Linux 5.10 while further work is being prepared that builds off its foundation.

      • Announcing updated Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM

        Oracle is pleased to announce updated Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM and Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager.

        Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM provide an innovative approach to deploying a fully configured software stack by offering pre-installed and pre-configured software images. Use of Oracle Linux Templates eliminates the installation and configuration costs, and reduces the ongoing maintenance costs helping organizations achieve faster time to market and lower cost of operations.


        New Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM and Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager supply powerful automation. These templates are built on cloud-init, the same technology used today on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and includes improvements and regression fixes.

      • POWER Coregroup Support Coming With Linux 5.10

        There is some new feature code in the IBM POWER CPU architecture’s “-next” Git tree for the Linux 5.10 kernel.

        Queued up this past week is coregroup support for POWER processors on Linux. This includes a cleanup of the PowerPC topologies code and adding the Coregroup support, which in this context is about a group/subset of cores on a die that share a resource.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Dynamism

          In Vulkan, a pipeline object is bound to the graphics pipeline for a given command buffer when a draw is about to take place. This pipeline object contains information about the draw state, and any time that state changes, a different pipeline object must be created/bound.

          This is expensive.

          Some time ago, Antonio Caggiano did some work to cache pipeline objects, which lets zink reuse them once they’re created. This was great, because creating Vulkan objects is very costly, and we want to always be reusing objects whenever possible.

          Unfortunately, the core Vulkan spec has the number of viewports and scissor regions as both being part of the pipeline state, which means any time either one changes the number of regions (though both viewport and scissor region counts are the same for our purposes), we need a new pipeline.

    • Benchmarks

      • Open-Source Vivante Driver In Some Cases Outperforming Proprietary Driver

        One of the less talked about open-source graphics drivers talked about is Etnaviv as the reverse-engineered, community-based driver providing OpenGL/GLES support for Vivante graphics IP. While it’s still working towards OpenGL ES 3.0 compliance, its performance is currently in some cases competitive — and even outperforming — the Vivante proprietary driver.

        Christian Gmeiner who has been involved with the Etnaviv driver effort for years presented at last week’s X.Org Developers Conference (XDC2020). There he talked about the progress on the driver, the support spanning from the GC600 through GC7000L series at present with i.MX8M, and its OpenGL ES 2 capabilities along with desktop OpenGL 1.3/2.0 support. OpenGL ES 3.0 support remains a work-in-progress.

      • New OpenBenchmarking.org Features Enhance Discovering Popular + Reliable Tests

        As part of the new OpenBenchmarking.org being developed as part of Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 due out next quarter, some new features were deployed live on OpenBenchmarking.org this weekend.

    • Applications

      • Free Linux Cloud Servers to Test or Host Your Web Applications

        Looking for free cloud Linux server to test your web-app or service? Here are the best cloud servers with free credits options.

      • 11 Best Free and Open Source Linux Video Editors

        Video editing is the process of editing motion video footage. In the new age of personal video, video editing is becoming a central function of the desktop, with the popularity of video editing software ever increasing.

        Any self-respecting operating system that has ambitions on becoming the dominant force on the desktop therefore needs to have a good selection of video editing software. Video sharing websites such as YouTube are now enormously popular with hundreds of thousands of new videos uploaded every day.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Unity 2020.2 Bringing Some Hefty Performance Optimizations [Ed: Microsoft Mono unfortunately]

        Not only did Unity Software experience a successful IPO last week but they also rolled out the Unity 2020.2 engine into public beta and with that comes some “major speed-ups” for performance.

      • Super Slap Sisters [Ed: Requires WINE]

        These are some great additions that allow for an even wider variety of playstyles, keeping your opponent guessing as to when the best time to strike is. For example, not only can the clutch be used during an attack to throw your opponent off, it can also be a lifesaver just as you’re about to reach the blastzone (knockout boundaries) after getting hit. The clutch will reverse your momentum, meaning that the sooner you perform the clutch after flying, the closer you’ll get to the stage and therefore have a more successful recovery.

        Players who are new to this type of fighting will not be left in the dark here, as there is a great tutorial mode. The tutorial is very interactive with the player, giving them everything they need to get a basic grasp on how the game works. You can also read about the various mechanics that are available in-game, what they do, and how to do it, as well as get a bio on each character and what their moves entail.

      • Go on an epic quest as a not-so-average clown trying to find their dog in Ayo the Clown

        Ayo the Clown is an upcoming adventure platformer from developer Cloud M1, it should be releasing this year and it looks so full of charm it could pop like a balloon at any moment.

        Funded on Kickstarter back in September 2019 with 475 backers pledging $20,397 we totally missed this, it even had a Linux demo back then too. Cloud M1 said their take on the busy platformer genre is one that’s supposed to “reintroduce you to the incredibly fun platformer games of the ‘90s where platforming is accompanied by an inspiring and memorable story”. It has a pretty amazing style, one you can easily say is quite Nintendo-like.

      • Valve rolls out News Channels onto Steam to follow your favourite curators – like us!

        Over time Steam continues to grow as much more than just a games store, and Valve are showing how today with their next Steam Labs experiment to let you get your news.

        Steam Labs Experiment 009 announced here is an addition to the News Hub, which is now hooked up with the Steam Curator system. Valve said it’s now nearing completion and it’s a big stop towards the full launch. This will presumably replace the old Steam news feed.

      • First person dungeon-crawler ‘Delver’ properly open source again, pulls in lots of updates

        After only recently being released on itch.io, it seems the team behind the chunky-pixel first-person dungeon crawler Delver aren’t done.

        What actually is Delver? It’s a dungeon crawler that has a sweet mix of 90s FPS combat blended with classic RPG mechanics, permadeath and procedural generation so it’s a good test of skill and something fun to keep coming back to for just one more run. It also looks pretty darn awesome.

      • Explore a nightmarish world of twisted religion in Blasphemous – now available for Linux

        The Game Kitchen and Team17 have now delivered on their promise of official Linux (and macOS) support for Blasphemous as it’s now available.

        Set in a world where a foul curse has fallen upon the land simply known as The Miracle, which visibly and tangibly manifests peoples “guilt, repentance, mourning and every pain of the soul of all kind”. You play as The Penitent One, sole survivor of a massacre known as the Silent Sorrow. Trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth, it’s down to you to free the world from this terrible fate and reach the origin of your anguish. It sounds quite horrible but it sure does make for an engrossing setting.

      • A little hacking on a Monday morning? Why not with the online sim Grey Hack

        Feel like letting off some steam and do a little hacking? How about in a safe environment that also happens to be a game where everyone is trying to do it? Grey Hack sounds amusing.

        Grey Hack is not a new game, it actually released on Steam in Early Access back in 2017. Similar in idea to another game called hackmud, except that Grey Hack is constantly updated with new features and expands what you can do.

      • Arachnowopunk is a single-button infinite-runner mini-metroidvania

        Benny Heller, developer of Arachnowopunk emailed in to show off their new single-button infinite-runner mini-metroidvania and it’s quite sweet.

        Developed partly on Ubuntu with the wonderful cross-platform HaxeFlixel, it’s an incredibly accessible and simple game on the surface. You just have to keep going, tapping the up arrow key to switch between platforms and keep on running. Mechanically simple, with smooth pixel-art but the game certainly isn’t simple to actually play. It will require your full attention to get through.

      • Bevy seems like an impressive upcoming free and open source game engine made with Rust

        Feeling a little rusty? After a new game engine for your next game development project? Have a look at Bevy, a cross-platform and open source data-driven game engine built in Rust.


        Just recently on September 19, 2020 it had a big new release too. Bevy 0.2 brings in some advanced new features, like a custom async-friendly task system which they showed some impressive CPU performance wins. It also adds in some early work towards Bevy running on the web using WebAssembly/WASM, with an example game (try it here). On top of that it adds in cross-platform support for most controllers with with GilRs game in put library and plenty more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Running PlasmaShell with Vulkan

          QtQuick, in slightly more words, is a scene graph implementation. At a developer level we create abstract “Items” which might be some text or a rectangle etc or a picture. This in turn gets transformed into a tree of nodes with geometry, “materials” and transforms. In turn this gets translated into a big long stream of OpenGL instructions which we send to the graphic card.

          Qt6 will see this officially change to sit on top of the “Render Hardware Interface” stack, that instead of always producing OpenGL, will support Vulkan, Metal and Direct3D natively. The super clever part about it is that custom shaders (low level fast drawing) are also abstracted; meaning we will write some GLSL and generate the relevant shader for each API without having to duplicate the work.

        • Experiments Are Underway With Vulkan Powering The KDE Plasma Shell

          Well known KDE developer David Edmundson has been experimenting with a Vulkan-powered KDE Plasma Shell and did manage to get things working with Qt 5.15 using a few modifications.

          Given that Qt 5.15 has a tech preview of the new Render Hardware Interface (RHI) with Vulkan support for Qt Quick, Edmundson was experimenting with getting Vulkan rendering the Plasma shell. With a few Plasma changes, the necessary development packages for Vulkan, and some tweaks to the environment variables, he was able to get a working Vulkan-powered Plasma shell.

        • Plasma Beta Review Day

          Plasma 5.20 is now in beta, which gives us one month of intense testing, bugfixing and polishing.

          During this time we need as many hands on deck as possible to help with finding regressions, triaging incoming reports and generally being on top of as much as possible.

          In order to make this process more accessible, more systematic and hopefully more fun we are going to run an official “Plasma Beta Review Day”

        • KDE’s Akademy 2020 – A Quick Summary

          Akademy is the yearly conference for the KDE community, which is a community devoted to creating free software for desktop and mobile. Typically, Akademy takes place in a different city each year. However, due to the pandemic, the conference was online this time around. September 4-11 marked the dates of Akademy 2020.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Give Your GNOME Desktop a Tiling Makeover With Material Shell GNOME Extension

          There is something about tiling windows that attracts many people. Perhaps it looks good or perhaps it is time-saving if you are a fan of keyboard shortcuts in Linux. Or maybe it’s the challenge of using the uncommon tiling windows.

          From i3 to Sway, there are so many tiling window managers available for Linux desktop. Configuring a tiling window manager itself requires a steep learning curve.

          This is why projects like Regolith desktop exist to give you preconfigured tiling desktop so that you can get started with tiling windows with less effort.

          Let me introduce you to a similar project named Material Shell that makes using tiling feature even easier than Regolith.

        • GNOME Gets New Versioning Scheme
    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Firefox updated to 81.0

          Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.

        • FreeFileSync updated to 11.1

          FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool.

        • Bitwarden updated to 1.22.1

          Bitwarden is an open source, cross platform password manager that sync passwords but also allows accessing passwords offline.

        • gThumb updated to 3.10.1

          gThumb lets you browse your hard disk, showing you thumbnails of image files. It also lets you view single files (including GIF animations), add comments to images, organize images in catalogs, print images, view slideshows, set your desktop background, and more.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • PHP extensions status with upcoming PHP 8.0

          With PHP 8.0 entering stabilization phase, time to check the status of most commonly used PHP extensions (at least, the ones available in my repository).

        • Red Hat Training delivers new courses for OpenShift developers and administrators

          Red Hat OpenShift includes what you need to meet your team’s objectives by enabling a high velocity DevOps pipeline, leading to faster, dynamic application deployments. It includes an enterprise-grade Linux operating system, container runtime, networking, monitoring, container registry, authentication, and authorization solutions. These components are tested together for unified operations on a complete Kubernetes platform spanning major public clouds.

          While the promise of container-based architecture is compelling, the road to container adoption can be complex. To gain the full benefit of containers, administrators and developers alike need a flexible program that delivers a modern, container-based infrastructure—with the necessary organizational process changes. With our new courses Red Hat is able to better facilitate your organization’s container adoption journey at both the administrative and developer level.

        • A recipe for presenting at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women – Ideas, dedication and a dash of energy

          One professional milestone for developers as they get more experience is to present at a major technical conference. To evolve from passionate conference attendee to conference session presenter is a huge step that not only requires technical chops, but also important soft skills like public presentation, writing, and communications. We sat down with two mid-career developers, Megan Kostick and Cindy Lu as they were preparing for the upcoming, Grace Hopper Celebration in the fall of 2020. Here’s a quick peek into the whats, whys, hows and lessons learned in presenting at a major technical conference!


          Megan: IBM recently launched Developer Advocacy as its own career path and being part of the Developer Advocacy organization here at IBM, Cindy and I thought we could bring some light to this emerging role and give individuals of all technical levels a chance to learn about another career option that may not have been on their radar screen. GHC is traditionally a very big networking and hiring event for college students and just maybe our talk will get some future new hires interested in pursuing developer advocacy as a potential career. Or influence mid-level to senior-level developers that would like a change of pace. It’s always fun to share insider tips as well to help others be successful and grow.

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Years of OpenStack – SeongSoo Cho at NHN / OpenStack Korea User Group

        Happy 10 years of OpenStack! Millions of cores, 100,000 community members, 10 years of you.

        Storytelling is one of the most powerful means to influence, teach, and inspire the people around us. To celebrate OpenStack’s 10th anniversary, we are spotlighting stories from the individuals in various roles from the community who have helped to make OpenStack and the global Open Infrastructure community successful.

      • CMS

        • Developing a WordPress Website Without Programming Knowledge

          WordPress is the solution to those who want to create websites but have minimal programming and coding experience. If you’ve heard that expression multiple times, why not check it out at least once? You don’t need to worry about your programming skills, since this powerful Content Management System (CMS) can be easily used by a layman to create stunning websites. However, you will need to understand the way WordPress functions as there are two WordPress versions that you can work with, and all that can be a bit confusing. In this article, we shall look at WordPress from a beginner or a novice’s perspective and determine whether it’s truly easy to learn. Let’s get started.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 10 Natural Language Processing Tools For Today’s Demand
        • Python

          • Teach Python with the Mu editor

            Teaching kids to code is very popular in schools. Many years ago, in the days of the Apple II and Logo programming, I learned about turtle graphics. I enjoyed learning how to program the virtual turtle and later helping students to do the same.

            About five years ago, I learned about Python’s turtle module, and it was the segue to my Python journey. Soon, I started using the turtle module to teach students Python programming basics, including using it to create interesting graphics.


            In the early days of my Python adventure, I used IDLE, Python’s integrated development environment. It was much easier than entering commands into the Python shell, plus I could write and save programs for later use. I took some online courses and read many excellent books about Python programming. I taught teachers and students how to create turtle graphics using IDLE.

          • Use this Python script to simulate Babbage’s Difference Engine

            Charles Babbage (1791–1871) was an avid mathematician with very wide interests. He is well-known for envisioning the idea of computers and single-handedly developed what he called a Difference Engine to make serial calculations. It was a mechanical machine with a series of axles and gears to make calculations, with the output being a printed table. I recently began reading his 1864 book, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, where he explains how the Difference Engines came to be.

            One of the problems his Engine was designed to solve relates to the idea of children playing with marbles and arranging them in a progressive pyramidal shape, with one marble in the top row, two in the second, three in the third, and so on. For small pyramids, you can simply count the marbles to find how many there are. But Babbage wanted to create an automatic list or table with one column showing the number of rows and another column showing the total number of marbles.

          • TDD in Python with pytest – Part 5

            This is the fifth and last post in the series “TDD in Python with pytest” where I develop a simple project following a strict TDD methodology. The posts come from my book Clean Architectures in Python and have been reviewed to get rid of some bad naming choices of the version published in the book.

          • PyDev of the Week: Jim Anderson

            This week we welcome Jim Anderson (@jimande75053775) as our PyDev of the Week! Jim is a contributing writer for Real Python.


            I love to snowboard in the winter and I’m an avid bike commuter, though I’ll admit that sounds more impressive than it is – I only live 3 miles from work! I’ve got two grade-school aged daughters and a lovely wife, all of whom ski and give me grief for snowboarding.

            I’ve been lucky enough to get to program for a living since I was a kid, mainly on low-level and embedded software, with a couple of brief turns doing enterprise-level band-end code.

          • Test and Code: 131: Test Smarter, Not Harder

            Some people avoid writing tests. Some drudge through it painfully.
            There is a better way.

          • Replace Occurrences of a Substring in String with Python

            Replacing all or n occurrences of a substring in a given string is a fairly common problem of string manipulation and text processing in general. Luckily, most of these tasks are made easy in Python by its vast array of built-in functions, including this one.

          • PB Python Article Roadmap

            September 17th is Practical Business Python’s anniversary. Last year, I reflected on 5 years of growth. This year, I wanted to take a step back and develop a guide to guide readers through the content on PB Python.

            As of this writing, I have 84 articles on the site. They vary from fairly complex and lengthy to quick summaries. When I wrote them, I did it based on my interests at the time and without much thought on progression. Now that I have a decent volume of articles, I want to organize them in a more meaningful way.

            My ultimate goal for this site is that I want it to be a resource to help people use Python to automate away many of the repetitive tasks they do on a daily basis with tools like Excel. A secondary goal for is to cover more advanced Python topics that are difficult to do in Excel.

          • Python Practice Problems: Get Ready for Your Next Interview

            Are you a Python developer brushing up on your skills before an interview? If so, then this tutorial will usher you through a series of Python practice problems meant to simulate common coding test scenarios. After you develop your own solutions, you’ll walk through the Real Python team’s answers so you can optimize your code, impress your interviewer, and land your dream job!

          • Learn to Code Free — Our Interactive Courses Are ALL Free This Week!

            Exciting news: for the next week, all courses are free. Yup, every single course in every learning path is free from Sept 21-28.

            This free week includes all of our courses in R, Python, SQL, machine learning, Git, the command line, and much more!

            Even more exciting: complete at least one mission during this week and you’ll unlock an additional prize: a downloadable data science career resources pack sent to your email!

            Now, it’s easier than ever to go from total beginner to job-qualified using Dataquest. The paywall is down!

          • Molfile “S SKP”

            In the last couple of essays I described some of the parts of a SDF record then pointed out some of the ways to break simple SDF record tokenizers. In this essay I’ll point out an documentation curiosity which makes it even harder to parse a molfile with simple tools, though until I wrote this essay I had never seen it in actual use.

        • Rust

        • Java

          • Java 15 Goes GA as the Language Turns 25

            Oracle today announced the general availability release of Java 15 during the opening keynote of its Developer Live conference, the online version of the company’s annual CodeOne and OpenWorld events, underway this week.

            The latest Java Development Kit (JDK) delivers new functionality, preview features now finalized, incubating features in preview, the continued modernization of the existing code, and a host of bug fixes and the deprecation of outdated functionality.

            This release comes as Java turns 25, noted Georges Saab, vice president of development for Oracle’s Java Platform Group, in a statement.

          • Solve a real-world problem using Java

            As I wrote in the first two articles in this series, I enjoy solving small problems by writing small programs in different languages, so I can compare the different ways they approach the solution. The example I’m using in this series is dividing bulk supplies into hampers of similar value to distribute to struggling neighbors in your community, which you can read about in the first article in this series.

            In the first article, I solved this problem using the Groovy programming language, which is like Python in many ways, but syntactically it’s more like C and Java. In the second article, I solved it in Python with a very similar design and effort, which demonstrates the resemblance between the languages.

            Now I’ll try it in Java.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Vulkan Portability Extension 1.0 Now Shipping For Expanding Vulkan’s Reach

        The Vulkan Portability Extension (VK_KHR_portability_subset) has been released as part of the effort by The Khronos Group in getting Vulkan running on as many platforms as possible, including the likes of Apple macOS/iOS.

        The VK_KHR_portability_subset extension is about getting Vulkan up and running on non-Vulkan APIs, as opposed to the success we have already seen in areas like getting OpenGL or Direct3D atop Vulkan. The VK_KHR_portability_subset extension makes it easier for the likes of GFX-RS and MoltenVK for getting Vulkan running on platforms like Apple’s operating systems where Vulkan is not supported and thus having to reside on top of say the Apple Metal API.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (inspircd and modsecurity), Fedora (chromium, cryptsetup, gnutls, mingw-libxml2, and seamonkey), openSUSE (ark, chromium, claws-mail, docker-distribution, fossil, hylafax+, inn, knot, libetpan, libjpeg-turbo, libqt4, librepo, libvirt, libxml2, lilypond, mumble, openldap2, otrs, pdns-recursor, perl-DBI, python-Flask-Cors, singularity, slurm_18_08, and virtualbox), SUSE (jasper, less, ovmf, and rubygem-actionview-4_2), and Ubuntu (sa-exim).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Beyond the bang-bang: Reporting from the front lines of peace

        But it isn’t. Which is why we’re launching a new series, reporting from the front lines of peace. We’ll report on how atrocities can be prevented, how societies can be made more resilient, and how peace can be sustainably built.

        In short, we’re looking at the flipside of humanitarian disaster: attempts at healing and redemption with a focus on the “triple nexus”: the fusion of peace work, development, and humanitarianism.

        Below, we introduce you to some of the people our reporters have met, offering their unique take on what peace means for them. You can also click through a graphic that tots up the number of agreements around the world (the huge number is both positive and alarming). And take a look at our “war and peace, defined” section – explaining some of the ideas you might find in our coverage.

      • Overlapping crises in Lebanon fuel a new migration to Cyprus

        Driven by increasingly desperate economic circumstances and security concerns in the wake of last month’s Beirut port explosion, a growing number of people are boarding smugglers’ boats in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli bound for Cyprus, an EU member state around 160 kilometres away by sea.

        The uptick was thrown into sharp relief on 14 September when a boat packed with 37 people was found adrift off the coast of Lebanon and rescued by the marine task force of UNIFIL, a UN peacekeeping mission that has operated in the country since 1978. At least six people from the boat died, including two children, and six are missing at sea.

        Between the start of July and 14 September, at least 21 boats left Lebanon for Cyprus, according to statistics provided by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. This compares to 17 in the whole of 2019. The majority of this year’s trips have happened since 29 August.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Estuary Education Goes Virtual

          Each year as many as 90,000 students visit the 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves on field trips, summer camps, and other educational programs. But this year has been different. To continue giving children the environmental education experience, reserve staff got creative, developing robust virtual educational programs and activities for children, teachers, and the homeschooling parents.

          California’s Elkhorn Slough Reserve, for instance, posts “walk-abouts” to take children on virtual trail tours to introduce them to wildlife and plants. Students can also use the web cameras to participate in this reserve’s sea otter monitoring program.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Patent case: EPA-Vertreter, Germany

          The FCJ confirmed that the costs of the participation of a European Patent Attorney (Professional Representative before the EPO) in a patent case before the German civil courts are always recoverable from the losing party pursuant to sec. 143 (3) Patent Act.

        • Keeping up with German patent litigation: Half-year case law review 2020

          Finding it difficult to keep up with an ever-changing world in the midst of a health, environmental, social and political crisis, while keeping up with patent law? Do not worry, the IPKat is doing a series of half-yearly “catch-ups” of the main European patent law jurisdictions before we all start a new “school year”. In this post, the Kat’s friend Arnold Ruess in Germany in the form of Dr Lisa Schneider report on the first half of this year’s patent cases in Germany.

          Over to Lisa for her view from Germany:
          “Like in the Netherlands and the UK, COVID-19 also impacted the German courts. After being closed for some time and only conducting essential oral hearings, the courts are now trying to catch up. The German courts are becoming increasingly familiar with video conferencing tools. Even if counsel can be physically present in the hearing, the parties themselves may not be able to travel and therefore follow the hearing from abroad using video conferencing tools.

          2020 definitely is a FRAND year also in Germany. In Sisvel v. Haier the Federal Court of Justice gave its first FRAND ruling since Huawei v. ZTE. It does seem that SEP-holders are making up ground in Germany. Several injunctions have been granted this year and there may be more to come. On the other hand the German patent law is under legislative review, with the role of proportionality in injunctive relief being highly controversial.

          Patent law also keeps the Federal Constitutional Court busy. Eventually the UPC ratification was found unconstitutional and has to start from the beginning. Haier filed a constitutional complaint against the Federal Court of Justice ruling and last but not least the Federal Constitutional Court raises concerns on ex parte injunctions in IP law.


          In several press law cases the Federal Constitutional Court has criticised courts for issuing preliminary injunctions without hearing the defendant. Two decisions were already handed down in 2018 (1 BvR 1783/17 and 1 BvR 2421/17). Three more decisions followed this year (1 BvR 1246/20, 1 BvR 1379/20, 1 BvR 1380/20). In two cases the court even lifted the PIs.

          The Federal Constitutional Court established that for reasons of “procedural equality of arms” (zivilprozessuale Waffengleichheit) an injunction in general must not be issued without hearing the defendant. The civil procedure rules allow for making decisions without having an oral hearing in urgent cases. However, this does not justify that the defendant is not heard at all.

          So far there is no decision on whether the same applies in patent law cases. The second decision this year was an unfair competition case and the court actually decided not to accept the constitutional complaint. It held that established principles generally also apply in unfair competition law and that there is no need for further guidance by the Federal Constitutional Court. With regard to Art. 9(4) of the Enforcement Directive (2004/48/EG) and whether it requires the availability of ex parte relief the court held that there is no need for a decision on the issue in this case either, since the directive does not apply to §3a Act against Unfair Competition (Breach of law).

          It is also uncertain whether a protective letter can constitute a “hearing of the defendant”. In one of the press law cases, the applicant sent a warning letter before filing for a preliminary injunction. The defendant responded to this warning letter and also filed a protective letter. The court lifted the PI and argued that the application went beyond the warning letter and was much more detailed. A procedural involvement of the other party may only be replaced by a pre-litigation warning letter, if this warning letter and the PI application are identical (and any reply by the other party is made available to the court).”

        • PTAB Decision Denying Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 1 in CRISPR Interference

          The Board is direct in denying Broad’s Motion No. 1, saying they have not been persuaded by Broad’s arguments. Because the Board dissolved the ’048 interference because there was no interference-in-fact, that judgment “neither cancel[ed] nor finally refuse[d] either parties’ claims,” citing its Judgment. Accordingly, in the Board’s view, “the resolution at the end of the ’048 interference was that interference between the claims presented at that time did not deprive either party of its claims.” Broad’s estoppel arguments are based on CVC losing rights to claims directed to eukaryotic embodiments of CRISPR; in the Board’s view, the basis for its decision in the ’048 Interference is contrary to Broad’s characterization.

          Turning to specifics, the Board addressed Broad’s contention that Rule 127(a)(1) mandated its request relief. The Board disagreed, noting that “[t]he prior CVC claims did not interfere with Broad’s claims, whereas Broad does not contest that the currently involved CVC claims do.” Accordingly, “it is not clear that the subject matter of the interference is the same, even if the subject matter of Broad’s claims is the same.” Evidentiarily, the Board’s decision states that “Broad fails to provide a sufficient comparison of the subject matter of the two interferences to persuade us that the current interference is, or will be, the same subject matter of the ’048 interference and will raise the same issues.” Specifically, the Board notes that “Broad fails to compare the count in the current interference, or Broad’s proposed counts, with either parties’ claims in the prior interference” and that “the current count in the current interference recites a limitation on the RNA configuration that is not recited in the count of the ’048 interference.” The Board finds further fault with the Broad’s arguments in support of its motion in that “whether the prior count and the current count are drawn to the same subject matter is a disputed issue, which is not sufficiently addressed in Broad’s Motion 1.”

          Turning to Broad’s argument that CVC is estopped under Rule 127(a)(1) because Junior Party did not request authorization to file a motion to add eukaryotic CRISPR embodiment claims in the ’048 Interference, the Board agreed with CVC’s argument that the first sentence of Rule 127(a)(1) does not mention estoppel, and that sentence is limited to decisions “disposing all issues of the proceeding.” A holding of no interference-in-fact, according to the Board, disposes of no issues other than whether there is an interference-in-fact and thus Rule 127(a)(1) does not apply. Indeed, such a finding precludes the Board from deciding any other issue, states the opinion, citing Berman v. Housey, 291 F.3d 1345, 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2002). Similarly unpersuasive was Broad’s citation of PTO comments during the Notice-and-Comment period related to adoption of the current interference rules, because those comments were directed to interferences directed to the same subject matter and “Broad fails to persuade us that the current interference is for the same subject matter as the prior ’048 interference.” And while not expressly agreeing with CVC, the Board cites the MPEP consistent with CVC’s argument that “there is no losing party” resulting from a determination of no interference-in-fact.

        • Software Patents

          • Omnitek Partners patent challenged as likely invalid

            On September 18, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,224,569, owned by Omnitek Partners LLC, an NPE. The ’569 patent is generally directed towards a method for generating and displaying driving directions. The patent is currently being asserted in litigation against Ford, GM, Here Global B.V., Mazda, Toyota, Volvo, Apple, and Alpine Electronics.

      • Trademarks

        • Guest Post: Appeals to the Appointed Person in the UK – the unappealing truth (part 2)

          In O/267/20, British American Tobacco (“BAT”) applied to register the mark PODS in relation to cigarettes and other goods and this application was opposed by JT International SA (another tobacco company). The application was opposed under sections 3(1)(b), 3(1)(c) and 3(1)(d) Trade Marks Act 1994.

          The Hearing Officer found that the term “cigarettes” encompassed “e-cigarettes” and went on to consider the extent to which the term “pods” was used descriptively in relation to e-cigarettes. On the basis of that review she found the term “pods” was descriptive and devoid of a distinctive character of “e-cigarettes” and closely related goods and she rejected the application for “cigarettes, tobacco, cigars and cigarillos” goods under s3(1)(b) and (c) but not s3(1)(d). (The application was allowed for some other goods such as lighters and matches.)

          BAT appealed, essentially on the basis that it was unreasonable to find that the term “cigarettes” encompassed “e-cigarettes”. Both parties had submitted evidence in the proceedings but not on this point (and neither party addressed the point in their submissions). The Hearing Officer did not give any explanation for the reasoning which led her to conclude that “cigarettes” encompassed “e-cigarettes” and this lack of reasoning, taken together with the fact that the parties had not been asked to address this crucial issue, led Amanda Michaels, sitting as the AP, to the conclusion that this was an appealable error. Ms Michaels referred the case back to the Registry to reconsider this issue, noting that the parties may wish to file additional evidence.


          In relation to the average consumer, the Hearing Officer found the average consumer comprised two groups – ordinary members of the public and businesses. Concerning the level of attention that would be applied by the average consumer when purchasing the goods – ceramic floor coverings and tiles – the Hearing Officer stated:

          “The contested goods will vary in price depending on the size and nature of the area to be tiled especially as some commercial projects have very specific technical requirements such as water repellence or other safety concerns. As such I would expect a normal to high level of attention will be paid during the purchasing process …”

          It was accepted by the AP that the Hearing Officer did not appear to feed this finding of two groups of purchasers and different levels of attention into her global determination of likelihood of confusion and this constituted an appealable error.

          The decision was also found to be deficient in relation to the Hearing Officer’s assessment of aural similarity, the Hearing Officer did not correctly consider the alternative ways in which the Applicant’s mark could be pronounced and, separately, the Hearing Officer failed to consider whether the distinctive character of the earlier trademarks had been enhanced through use. In that regard the Hearing Officer said:

          “The opponent’s marks are invented words which have no meaning in relation to the goods, so I consider them to be inherently distinctive to a very high degree. I have considered the evidence filed on this case showing use of the earlier marks, but in my view, this does not put the opponent in any stronger position with regard to the distinctiveness of the earlier marks.”

Links 21/9/2020: KTechLab 0.50.0, Linux 5.9 RC6

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 155

        We try out the new GNOME “Orbis” release and chat about Microsoft’s new Linux kernel patches that make it clear Windows 10 is on the path to a hybrid Windows/Linux system.

        Plus, the major re-architecture work underway for Chrome OS with significant ramifications for Desktop Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9-rc6
        Another week, another rc, and things look fairly normal: the diffstat
        looks fairly flat (implying small changes) and we don't have any
        unusual amount of activity.
        The one thing that does show up in the diffstat is the softscroll
        removal (both fbcon and vgacon), and there are people who want to save
        that, but we'll see if some maintainer steps up. I'm not willing to
        resurrect it in the broken form it was in, so I doubt that will happen
        in 5.9, but we'll see what happens.
        The other stats also look normal: about 60% of the patch is drivers
        (and yes, the softscroll is a noticeable part, but not overwhelmingly
        so - there's sound, gpu, mtd, i2c, usb etc). And the usual arch
        updates, along with some vm fixes (including the fix for the
        performance regression noted last rc) and perf tooling updates.
        We also have a (test regression (not the performance one) in the VM
        that we know about - the test that triggers this was admittedly buggy,
        but if the test was buggy it is quite possible that real uses are
        buggy too. We don't actually have any known case of any such real user
        breakage, but we do have a nice fix for the test regression that is
        very  much the RightThing(tm) to do in the long run, so that has been
        actively discussed.
        We know what the fix looks like, and a few initial patches have been
        floating around, but a final patch doesn't exist yet, and depending on
        how that goes this might be something that pushes out the final 5.9 by
        a week. We'll see.
        So there's still some development going on, but honestly, that VM case
        is a very odd corner case that normal users should never hit, so it
        should not keep anybody from testing this in the meantime.
        Holler if you see anything odd,
      • Linux 5.9-rc6 Released With Soft Scrollback Removed, Performance Regression Fixed

        The sixth weekly release candidate to Linux 5.9 is now available with at least two notable changes in particular.

        Prominent in Linux 5.9-rc6 is the fix for the previously reported performance regression hitting 5.9. In case you missed it from the end of last week, see the article on controlling page lock unfairness as part of addressing the performance regression. That code is now in Linux 5.9-rc6 and the performance is back on track with Linux 5.8 while I will have out more benchmark numbers soon on the revised Linux 5.8 vs. 5.9 performance state.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc6

        The 5.9-rc6 kernel prepatch is out.

      • AMD and Intel

        • Linux 5.10 Adding Support For AMD Zen 3 CPU Temperature Monitoring

          The next version of the Linux kernel will allow monitoring temperatures of the upcoming AMD Zen 3 processors.

          While CPU temperature monitoring support may seem mundane and not newsworthy, what makes this Zen 3 support genuinely interesting is that it’s coming pre-launch… This is the first time in the AMD Zen era we are seeing CPU temperature reporting added to the Linux driver pre-launch. Not only is it coming ahead of the CPUs hitting retail channels but the support was added by AMD engineers.

        • FFmpeg Now Supports GPU Inference With Intel’s OpenVINO

          Earlier this summer Intel engineers added an OpenVINO back-end to the FFmpeg multimedia framework. OpenVINO as a toolkit for optimized neural network performance on Intel hardware was added to FFmpeg for the same reasons there is TensorFlow and others also supported — support for DNN-based video filters and other deep learning processing.

        • Intel SGX Enclave Support Sent Out For Linux A 38th Time

          For years now Intel Linux developers have been working on getting their Software Guard Extensions (SGX) support and new SGX Enclave driver upstreamed into the kernel. SGX has been around since Skylake but security concerns and other technical reasons have held up this “SGX Foundations” support from being mainlined. There has also been an apparent lack of enthusiasm by non-Intel upstream kernel developers in SGX. This past week saw the 38th revision to the patches in their quest to upstreaming this support for handling the Memory Encryption Engine (MEE) and relates SGX infrastructure.


          The Intel SGX foundations v38 code can be found via the kernel mailing list. The Linux 5.10 merge window is opening up next month but remains to be seen if it will be queued for this next cycle or further dragged out into 2021.

        • Intel SGX foundations
          Intel(R) SGX is a set of CPU instructions that can be used by applications
          to set aside private regions of code and data. The code outside the enclave
          is disallowed to access the memory inside the enclave by the CPU access
          There is a new hardware unit in the processor called Memory Encryption
          Engine (MEE) starting from the Skylake microacrhitecture. BIOS can define
          one or many MEE regions that can hold enclave data by configuring them with
          PRMRR registers.
          The MEE automatically encrypts the data leaving the processor package to
          the MEE regions. The data is encrypted using a random key whose life-time
          is exactly one power cycle.
          The current implementation requires that the firmware sets
          IA32_SGXLEPUBKEYHASH* MSRs as writable so that ultimately the kernel can
          decide what enclaves it wants run. The implementation does not create
          any bottlenecks to support read-only MSRs later on.
          You can tell if your CPU supports SGX by looking into /proc/cpuinfo:
          	cat /proc/cpuinfo  | grep sgx
    • Applications

      • Best Torrent Clients for Linux

        This article will cover various free and open source Torrent clients available for Linux. The torrents clients featured below have nearly identical feature sets. These features include support for magnet links, bandwidth control tools, tracker editing, encryption support, scheduled downloading, directory watching, webseed downloads, peer management, port forwarding and proxy management. Unique features of individual torrents clients are stated in their respective headings below.

      • Best Free and Open Source Terminal Session Recording

        The vast majority of computer users depend on a graphical user interface, and fear the command line. However, the command line holds significant power and versatility. Commands issued from a shell offer system administrators a quick and easy way to update, configure and repair a system.

        The benefits of the command line are not only confined to system administration. The ability to transverse the file system quickly, give more information about files and directories, automate tasks, bring together the power of multiple console tools in a single command line, and run shell scripts are just a few examples of how the command line can offer a potent, multifarious toolbox.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Week report 0

          Hello every one in the KDE planet and beyond, this is the progress weekly report on O².

          So The week surprisingly started Monday and after the initial chock and accompanying usual work day at KDAB, I decided to do a little bit of progress on O² style mock ups…

        • Announcing KTechLab 0.50.0

          I’m happy to announce KTechLab release version 0.50.0. KTechLab is an IDE for microcontrollers and electronics. In this new release every user-visible functionality is the same as in previous releases, however, the codebase of KTechLab has been updated, so now it is a KF5/Qt5 application and it does not depend anymore on KDELibs4Support libraries.

          This release should compile and run on systems where KDELibs4Support libraries are not available.

          In its current state KTechLab’s codebase is ready for fixes and enhancements, as it only depends on modern libraries like KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) and Qt5. As a side note, KF6 and Qt6 have been announced, and the first release of Qt6 has been scheduled to the end of 2020.

        • KTechLab git master doesn’t depend on deprecated Qt5/KF5 API anymore

          KTechLab git master doesn’t depend anymore on deprecated Qt5/KF5 APIs. Thank you for everybody who made this possible!

          Using only up-to-date APIs should help with long-term maintenance of KTechLab and probably it helps distributors of KTechLab, too.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Matthias Clasen: GtkColumnView

          One thing that I left unfinished in my recent series on list views and models in GTK 4 is a detailed look at GtkColumnView. This will easily be the most complicated part of the series. We are entering into the heartland of GtkTreeView—anything aiming to replace most its features will be a complicated beast.

        • Oculus Rift CV1 progress

          For that video, I had the algorithm implemented as a GStreamer plugin that ran offline to process a recording of the device movements. I’ve now merged it back into OpenHMD, so it runs against the live camera data. When it runs in OpenHMD, it also has access to the IMU motion stream, which lets it predict motion between frames – which can help with retaining the tracking lock when the devices move around.

        • Keep Tabs on Your To-Do Lists With This GNOME Extension

          Task Widget is an open source GNOME extension that shows your to-do list embedded in the GNOME message tray (also known as the calendar or notification shade). This widget area displays your pending to-do items, and lets you check off tasks as you complete them.

          Task Widget is is able to integrate “…with GNOME Online Accounts and a number of GNOME applications, such as Evolution and To Do” but it is is not, by design, intended to replace any of those apps or services.

          Or to put it another way: it’s not a standalone task manager or to-do app. You can’t, for example, add a task from the widget area, or edit one either. You can only mark a task as done (or unmark it as done).

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Garuda Linux 200817

          One of the more recent additions to the DistroWatch database is Garuda Linux, an Arch-based distribution that offers several enticing features. By default Garuda is intended to be run on the Btr file system, which offers all sorts of attractive features such as multi-disk storage volumes and snapshots. Btrfs has been paired with Timeshift on Garuda and the system is reported to take automatic snapshots before each package upgrade, making the system much easier to recover. I especially like the idea of having automated filesystem snapshots on a rolling release distribution such as Arch. The openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling release has offered automatic snapshots of the system prior to upgrades for a while now and it is nice to see this feature catching on in other projects.

          The Garuda distribution ships with the Calamares system installer to make setting up the operating system easier. We are also given a desktop tool for managing drivers and Garuda’s website mentions proprietary NVIDIA video drivers are optionally available. Rounding out some of the key features, Garuda ships with the Zen Linux kernel with the goal of providing better desktop performance.

        • EndeavourOS Review: A Beginner’s Arch Linux Based Distribution

          If you are looking for an Arch-based beginner’s Linux distribution and easier to use and install, offers all possible desktop environments for all of your needs, EndeavourOS is the one.

      • New Releases

        • New EndeavourOS ARM Arrives Along With September ISO Release

          few weeks ago, we reported the arrival of EndeavourOS for ARM computers. Following the same, Bryan Poerwoatmodjo (aka Bryanpwo), founder and project leader at EndeavourOS, has finally launched EndeavourOS ARM.


          At last, you can go for the installation, which follows two stages: One for installing Archlinux ARM base, and the second for running a script that guides through the installation process to install EndeavourOS as a Desktop machine or as a headless server.

          For more details about the installation of EndeavourOS ARM, you can head over to the official manual. It also includes a special guide for Pinebook Pro, PINE64, and Rock64 hardware.

        • Linux Weekly Roundup #96

          We didn’t have to many Linux distro releases in this week, only PC Linux OS 2020.09 and 4M Linux 34.0.

      • BSD

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Geniatech XPI 3128 RK3128 SBC is Equipped with an NXP WIFi 5 Module

        Geniatech XPI family of single board computers was first introduced in 2018 with the launch of the XPI-S905X development board following many of Raspberry Pi 3 Model B features and form factor.

        The company has now added another board to the family with XPI 3128 single board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3128 quad-core Cortex-A7 processor coupled with up to 2 GB RAM and 64 GB flash, as well as an NXP WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 module.

      • Cambrionix SyncPad54 USB Hub Offers 56 USB 2.0 Ports

        This week-end FanlessTech posted a tweet about Portwell PEB-9783G2AR Intel Xeon board featuring twenty USB 3.0 Type-A ports. After I retweeted it, some smart asses clever people noted it was just not enough:

      • How coffee makers and teddy bears could be putting your network at risk

        Ever worry that your smart TV might be sending data to someone who shouldn’t be looking at it? Have you ever wondered if your kids’ smart teddy bear is secretly recording them? We get it — cyberattacks are common. But you’re not being paranoid, either. Despite how safe they might seem on the surface, a huge percentage of IoT devices are actually at risk for attack.

        A new security report from Palo Alto Networks tells us that 57% of IoT devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks of “medium to high severity.” That’s well over half of all smart devices out there — and IoT tech isn’t just limited to gadgets anymore, either.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The great filter of open source projects

        So, with the recent layoffs at Mozilla — among other things — a bit of discussion on the sustainability of open source projects has been reignited. There was a wide range of takes: from “FOSS is dead” (no) to “we need to re-decentralize the internet” (yes). I could not quite help putting forth opinions on the matter myself and did so on a short twitter thread. Fundamentally though, the opinions expressed on this matter seem to almost talk past each other — and I think the reasons for this might be found in history of open source(1).


        Another — later — project, that I am assuming to have been quite resilient and which I am assuming will continue to be quite resilient is gentoo linux: By requiring users to compile all software themselves, this distribution makes their users either give up on their installs or gets them at least halfway to be packagers (and for a distribution, packagers are contributors) themselves. Also, by not having to deal with binaries, gentoo reduces its infrastructure needs to a minimum. And even while there are some signs of downsizing at gentoo, I am hopeful that the flexibility mentioned above makes gentoo more sustainable and self-reliant than others for quite some time to come.


        All of the above projects, commoditized their complements and this allowed users, who were not contributors to still benefit from the work of those who were as these contributors were interested in protecting the complement.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome OS 87 Dev Channel brings working LaCrOS and Nearby Share to Chromebooks

            Can’t wait to try the latest upcoming features of Chrome OS? You’re in luck if those features are LaCrOS and Nearby Share of files to Android phones. The latest Dev Channel for Chrome OS pushes both of these features to your Chromebook in a mostly working state.

            My Chromebook got the Chrome OS 87 Dev Channel upgrade over the weekend and I noticed I could test these features out. If you’re not familiar with them, here’s a short recap.


            That will greet you with the Linux version of Chrome, which you can set as your default browser. I wouldn’t recommend that while LaCrOS is in development, but that’s up to you.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 81 Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

            Firefox 81 continues the monthly release cycle and brings a bunch of new features and improvements to make your web browsing experience better, faster, more stable, more secure, and ultimately more enjoyable.

            The biggest new feature in Firefox 81 appears to be new media controls that allow users to control audio and video playback through the hardware media keys on a keyboard, the media keys on a headset, or a virtual media control interface.

            On Linux, this release enables the VA-API/FFmpeg hardware acceleration for video playback by default on systems using the traditional X11/X.Org Server display server.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Hackaday Links: September 20, 2020

            The GNU Radio Conference wrapped up this week, in virtual format as so many other conferences have been this year, and it generated a load of interesting talks. They’ve got each day’s proceedings over on their YouTube channel, so the videos are pretty long; luckily, each day’s stream is indexed on the playbar, so along with the full schedule you can quickly find the talks you’re interested in. One that caught our eye was a talk on the Radio Resilience Competition, a hardware challenge where participants compete head-to-head using SDRs to get signals through in an adversarial environment. It sounds like a fascinating challenge for the RF inclined. More details about registering for the competition can be had on the Radio Resilience website.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ned Batchelder: Scriv

          I’ve written a tool for managing changelog files, called scriv. It focuses on a simple workflow, but with lots of flexibility.

          I’ve long felt that it’s enormously beneficial for engineers to write about what they do, not only so that other people can understand it, but to help the engineers themselves understand it. Writing about a thing gives you another perspective on it, your own code included.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSpdlog 0.0.2: New upstream, awesome new stopwatch

          Following up on the initial RcppSpdlog 0.0.1 release earlier this week, we are pumped to announce release 0.0.2. It contains upstream version 1.8.0 for spdlog which utilizes (among other things) a new feature in the embedded fmt library, namely completely automated formatting of high resolution time stamps which allows for gems like this (taken from this file in the package and edited down for brevity)…

        • Perl/Raku

          • [Perl] Week #078: Leader Element & Left Rotation

            First thing first, I managed to do video session for both tasks this week. It is so satisfying when everything goes as per the plan. For the last couple of weeks, I could only do one video session. One day, I would like to video with PIP. At the moment, I am little uncomfortable showing my face in the video. There is another reason why I can’t do it now. I don’t have my personal office in the house. I have been working from home since mid-March, nearly 6 months, sitting on sofa, 9-5. I must confess it is not easy. I miss my office chair and noise-free environment. I have 3 years twin girls. Luckily the school started last week, I get no-noise moment for few hours during the day. Also this week, I found time to do coding in Swift.

        • Python

          • Searching Greek and Hebrew with regular expressions

            According to the Python Cookbook, “Mixing Unicode and regular expressions is often a good way to make your head explode.” It is thus with fear and trembling that I dip my toe into using Unicode with Greek and Hebrew.

            I heard recently that there are anomalies in the Hebrew Bible where the final form of a letter is deliberately used in the middle of a word. That made me think about searching for such anomalies with regular expressions. I’ll come back to that shortly, but I’ll start by looking at Greek where things are a little simpler.

        • Java

          • Java 15 Gains Garbage Collection, Text Block Features

            Java 15 became generally available on Sept. 15, marking the second release in 2020 of the widely deployed programming language.

            The Java 15 release follows Java 14, which debuted in March, and is noteworthy for a number of improvements, as well as the fact that the release was not delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • All the Options for Schooling Are Bad—But We Have to Choose Safety

        On parents’ impossible decision.

      • Ernő Rubik on why his famous cube is a “metaphor” for the human condition

        In doing so, Rubik makes a number of assertions, each of them quite wise. He insists that “play,” which many adults dismiss as a childish waste of time, is in fact essential to both healthy intellectual development and one’s capacity to produce great things for society. He argues that curiosity is an underrated virtue in our culture, that we should encourage people to seek knowledge simply because it is fun and cathartic rather than on the condition that the information we find yield some monetary reward. Indeed, although he is clearly not a fan of having grown up “within the economic system of state socialism,” Rubik writes that it did bring about the benefit of creating “an overall disregard for financial gain,” meaning that creative people could exercise their intellectual powers as fulfilling ends in their own right.

        Perhaps most tellingly, though, Rubik says that he enjoys “the fact that the Cube is a healthy microcosm of both success and failure.” For him, of course, it was a success in that it made him “comfortably well-off” before he turned 40. Yet even if it had never become a commercial sensation, Rubik writes he still would have considered it an accomplishment for the simple reason that he was able to invent such a successful puzzle. Beyond that, Rubik notes that even people who fail to successfully solve his puzzle still learn from their efforts to do so.

        The following is a transcript of an email interview with Rubik; as always, this interview has been condensed and edited for print.

    • Hardware

      • Softbank’s two major competition cases: Apple-Intel antitrust suit against Fortress, and merger review of Nvidia’s envisioned acquisition of ARM

        Softbank–though huge–was mentioned on this blog for the first time when Intel and Apple brought an antitrust action against its Fortress Investment subsidiary over the industrialized abuse of patents. That case is still pending, and another major competition case involving Softbank is around the corner: its contemplated sale of chip company ARM to Nvidia for $40 bilion is likely to draw regulatory scrutiny in multiple jurisdictions.

        While my focus will definitely remain on App Store antitrust cases (as an app developer and antitrust commentator, I’m doubly interested) and component-level licensing of standard-essential patents, the Apple and Intel v. Fortress litigation and the upcoming Softbank-ARM merger reviews are also worth keeping an eye on. In this post I’d like to share a few observations on both matters.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Haves and the Have-Nots

        By not permitting the United States to participate in Covax, Trump is depriving the WHO effort of funding it desperately needs to develop the vaccine.

      • Trump’s EPA Reauthorizes Use of Herbicide Linked to Congenital Disabilities

        The Trump administration alarmed environmental and public health advocates on Friday with the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reauthorize the use of atrazine, an herbicide common in the United States but banned or being phased out in dozens of countries due to concerns about risks such as congenital disabilities and cancer.

      • What the Flint Water Crisis Meant for My Family

        Take it from me: You don’t want to go through what we did. Every community deserves water, life, and dignity.

      • Upgrading Building Codes Can Curb Drinking Water Contamination Due to Wildfires

        Less than halfway through the 2020 wildfire season, fires are burning large swaths of the western U.S. As in previous years, these disasters have entered populated areas, damaging drinking water networks. Water systems have lost pressure, potentially sucking in pollutants, and several utilities are warning of possible and confirmed chemical contamination.

      • I’m Living in Fear of COVID as New People Get Transferred Into the Prison I’m In

        Washington State’s Department of Corrections (WDOC) is continuing to transfer prisoners between facilities during COVID-19 outbreaks, a practice that public health experts warn dramatically increases the risk of the virus spreading. It matters to me because as an incarcerated individual, the WDOC is responsible for my health and well-being, and it should matter to you, because prisoners can’t protect themselves from the spread of the virus and the impact of infected prisoners goes far beyond the prison walls.

      • Insufficient COVID Protections for Postal Workers Pose Threat to Mail-in Voting

        For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

      • Tucker Carlson Cries Censorship After His COVID-19 Posts Flagged as Misinformation by Facebook, Instagram

        On Wednesday, Facebook and Instagram placed warning labels over video posts from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that said, “This post repeats information about COVID-19 that has been reviewed by independent fact-checkers.”

      • Enduring insights into US-China relations

        British China expert Jude Woodward, who sadly passed away recently, had given us the essential The US versus China, Asia’s new cold war? Moreover she left us two documents, which will give us an insight into the true nature of the US-China contradiction in 2020, during and after the COVID-19 crisis as well: the Introduction to the Dutch language edition of her book, published in Belgium (EPO, 2018), and The US offensive against China, her speech at the launch in Brussels, January 2019.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Why you need Apple support to secure the C-suite

          That’s a pattern that continues today. Your employees may not be living like the Jetsons at work, but your CEO, CFO, COO and all the other Cs and near-Cs are far more likely to be giving it a go. Which means your corporate data is already on iPhones, iPads and Macs – and it’s not just any old data: This is the most confidential data your company holds – the information your executive teams use to run the business that pays your team’s wages.

        • Security

          • Open Source Security Poscast Episode 216 – Security didn’t find life on Venus

            Josh and Kurt talk about how we talk about what we do in the context of life on Venus. We didn’t really discover life on Venus, we discovered a gas that could be created by life on Venus. The world didn’t hear that though. We have a similar communication problem in security. How often are your words misunderstood?

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Wayback Machine and Cloudflare Want to Backstop the Web

              The Internet Archive says it welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Cloudflare for Always On. And the organization has recently expanded its focus on website reliability and technical integrity across the web. In February, it announced a project with the Brave browser to offer a recent cache of a website if users run into a 404 error. Some browser extensions have provided this functionality over the years, but the Internet Archive says that integrating it fully in a browser and offering it through Always On is a positive step.

            • Facebook Tried to Limit QAnon. It Failed.

              Perhaps the most jarring part? At times, Facebook’s own recommendation engine — the algorithm that surfaces content for people on the site — has pushed users toward the very groups that were discussing QAnon conspiracies, according to research conducted by The New York Times, despite assurances from the company that that would not happen.

            • TikTok and WeChat both managed to avoid their Sunday bans

              But as of Sunday afternoon, each has received a reprieve from a US ban, at least temporarily. President Trump said Saturday he had given a deal between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart his “blessing,” prompting a one-week delay from the Commerce Department on TikTok’s ban. And a judge in California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the administration’s WeChat ban.

            • WeChat and TikTok see US downloads climb ahead of Trump administration ban

              Messaging app WeChat had its biggest one-day download numbers in nearly two years on Friday, ahead of a ban on new downloads from the US Commerce Department expected to take effect tomorrow. Preliminary data from analytics platform Sensor Tower showed Chinese-based WeChat had 10,000 installs in the US Friday, a 150 percent increase from Thursday and a 233 percent week-over-week increase. That’s the largest number of WeChat installs in the US in one day since October 7th, 2019.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Water shortages in U.S. West likelier than previously thought

        Compared with an average year, only 55 percent of Colorado River water is flowing from the Rocky Mountains down to Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona line. Due to the below-average runoff, government scientists say the reservoirs are 12 percent more likely to fall to critically low levels by 2025 than they projected in the spring.

      • You Don’t Have to Be a Democrat to See the Wildfires for What They Are

        Despite our current president’s stated belief that nobody knows what’s causing our explosion of wildfires, America’s scientists do, in fact, know. We are doing this to ourselves. We, as a species, are continuing to burn fossil fuels. Our planet is growing hotter, and the western U.S. is trending both hotter and dryer. And as a result, we’re experiencing both longer fire seasons and larger, more catastrophic wildfires. It’s a clear causal relationship that has been confirmed by science, and that’s true regardless of what climate deniers might claim or which political party you belong to.

      • Open Letter: For the Sake of Transatlantic Security, Stop Nord Stream 2

        In light of this latest malign action, which we believe can only have been carried out or sanctioned by the Kremlin, we are calling on the European Commission, and the Governments of all European Union Member States, as well as the United States, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova to take immediate action to stop the Kremlin-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

        We have long supported the Transatlantic relationship and the idea of European unity, and believe Nord Stream 2 undermines both for the following reasons: [...]

      • Climate Science Is Vulnerable to Politics

        We as voters must ensure that climate science is immune from political meddling and elect leaders who will respect the scientific process.

    • Finance

      • Review: Lower Ed

        It is a deep look at the sociology of for-profit higher education in the United States based on interviews with students and executives, analysis of Wall Street filings, tests of the admissions process, and her own personal experiences working for two of the schools. One of the questions that McMillan Cottom tries to answer is why students choose to enroll in these institutions, particularly the newer type of institution funded by federal student loans and notorious for being more expensive and less valuable than non-profit colleges and universities.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Risk of Progressive Reversal

        People worried about their basic safety are not particularly interested in new social experiments.

      • Democrats, It’s Time for Constitutional Jiujitsu

        Trump and his party must be defeated. They must be out-maneuvered, brought down, and decisively vanquished.

      • Republicans Aren’t Hypocrites: A Lesson in Power in the Aftermath of RBG’s Death

        Charges of hypocrisy are insufficient to change the course of the RBG’s replacement or, in fact, in other Republican attempt to race-bait, disenfranchise voters, or increase the wealth of the affluent.

      • Affirming Jim Crow, Israeli Parliament Votes Down Bill Guaranteeing Equality for Palestinian-Israelis

        During the past year, the Knesset has shot down numerous proposals to amend the National Law to forbid discrimination against non-Jews.

      • Life in the US Has the Hallmarks of a “Low-Grade War Zone”

        Countless red flags have sprung up in recent months indicating a creeping authoritarianism coming into full form. Vigilante forms of far right “justice” have become commonplace, as in the high-profile case of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the numerous cases of far right violence and intimidation directed at Black Lives Matter activists since nationwide protests erupted in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd in May. The president dog-whistles to his white supremacist base regularly, and may not even accept the election results this November if he loses. This is what it looks like, feels like, when a nation’s social fabric frays, when a society eats itself alive, and the center can no longer hold.

      • ‘A Farce’: Trump Critics, European Allies Challenge Pompeo Claim About Snapback of UN Sanctions on Iran

        “With a track record of failure on Iran, the Trump administration’s spin machine appears to be going into overdrive heading into November.”

      • As Anti-Fascist T-Shirts Are Removed, Far Right Apparel Remains on Retailer Site

        Over the last couple of years, the term “antifa” has been moved from its historic role describing a type of militant anti-fascist organizing to a codeword for any militant, left-wing protest by right-wing ideologues bent on manipulating white anxiety. As a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests began in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a frantic far right in the U.S. has accused every demonstration as being orchestrated by “antifa,” despite no antifascist organization being in the driver’s seat and the protests being an organic mass uprising. Donald Trump has accused antifa “outside agitators” as being responsible for riots and looting, and Attorney General William Barr has suggested that antifa is staging a revolutionary war in the streets of the U.S. Many on the right, from Fox News to Sen. Ted Cruz, intimate that anti-fascists are responsible for all things lawless, and despite the lack of evidence for any of these claims, the rhetorical abuse continues.

      • Biden’s Foreign Policy Advisors Show Loyalty to Israel, Defense Contractors

        When Donald Trump was elected president, the foreign policy apparatus that Barack Obama’s administration built did not disappear. The power brokers went to think tanks and lobbying firms, cashing in on the uncertainty with help from defense contractors and other corporations. 

      • Do the Right Thing: Obey RBG’s Last Wish

        Give Justice Ginsburg the proper send-off and let the election winner choose.

      • 400 Years in Eight Minutes

        The difficulty of speaking about this “historical moment” is that the “moment” has been going on for 400 years, featuring a lot of speaking and almost no structural change. There is everything to say. There is nothing to say. It’s all been said. It all must be said again. Words cannot express the rage we feel. Yet, words are all we have to express our rage. Words and the street. Who will hear us? What will it matter? The words have spoken. The flames have been lit. The street has burned before. It will burn again. What has changed? What will change? How can it be made to happen?

      • Dems Pressured to ‘Pick a Fight for Once’ Over RBG Seat as Collins and Murkowski Oppose Pre-Election Vote

        “To pretend that norms will constrain Trump or McConnell would be folly, yes. But for Democrats, the media, and the public to concede the ground in advance is to do their dirty work for them.”

      • American Style Coup d’etat

        The cover photo for Wilmington’s Lie by New York Times reporter David Zucchino (Grove/Atlantic Press) is both shocking and utterly revealing of the truth-telling to come. A gang of armed, self-satisfied white men, dressed in their Sunday best, stand before the smoldering remains of the Wilmington Daily Record, a black-owned newspaper. The Record’s editor, Alex Manly, had written an editorial that provided the excuse for a murderous plot to go into overdrive. The result was America’s only coup d’etat — the overthrow of Wilmington, North Carolina’s bi-racial city government in November, 1898. When the shooting stopped, at least sixty, and perhaps two hundred, black men lay dead. The true number has never been established.

      • The Death of Neoliberalism

        The coronavirus pandemic roared through an already destabilized global economic system suffering from a deep crisis of legitimacy.

      • Celebrities, Politicians Remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy

        Amid the grief and mourning also comes a call to action; Ginsburg’s passing, with less than two months until the presidential election, poses an opportunity for President Donald Trump to appoint another judge to the Supreme Court. Many public figures have spoken out about the political implications of the Court vacancy, while amplifying Ginsburg’s final wishes: to have her seat filled only after a new president is elected.

      • Secret documents show how North Korea launders money through U.S. banks

        North Korea carried out an elaborate money laundering scheme for years using a string of shell companies and help from Chinese companies, moving money through prominent banks in New York, according to confidential bank documents reviewed by NBC News.

      • Kroger sued for allegedly firing workers who refused to wear rainbow symbol

        The rainbow flag has long been used as a symbol of LGBTQ pride, displayed especially during Pride Month in June. Kroger, however, declined to confirm whether the symbol was intended for pride purposes, telling NBC News in an email that the company cannot comment on pending litigation.

      • Europe’s Failed Migration Policy Caused Greece’s Latest Refugee Crisis

        For many years, Europe did not return migrants to Greece exactly due to the deplorable conditions for asylum seekers. Keeping Moria as a slum was just another flawed attempt at deterrence. The European Commission on Wednesday announced that the Dublin system would be replaced, with details on its asylum reform package to be announced next week. Seasoned migration experts are not optimistic, having seen a string of other dysfunctional policies over the years.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Read Frank Zappa’s motivational letter sent to a fan trying to the fight against censorship

        The hearing was held on September 19, 1985, and saw Zappa go toe-to-toe with the likes of Al Gore on “the subject of the content of certain sound recordings and suggestions that recording packages be labelled to provide a warning to prospective purchasers of sexually explicit or other potentially offensive content.”

        During his statement, Zappa stated, “the PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretation and enforcement problems inherent in the proposal’s design.”

        Prior to the hearing, Zappa did everything in his power to try to change public opinion by sending the following letter to members of his fan club in a rallying cry in the censorship war. This was a topic that he felt extremely passionate about because he worried it would stop musicians being able to express themselves freely which would have a catastrophic result on art.

        Read his letter in full, below. [...]

      • Judge throws out defamation case against Tesla by former employee

        Tesla identified Tripp as the source of the leaked information, which Tripp later confirmed. He was fired, and Tesla filed a lawsuit claiming he had “unlawfully [cracked] the company’s confidential and trade secret information.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk emailed Tesla staff telling them an employee had tried to “sabotage” company operations.

      • Iran Removes Girls’ Image From Math Textbooks

        A new version of the third-grade math textbook no longer features images of girls in school uniforms on the cover. Meanwhile, the schoolboys’ image has been kept untouched on the cover of the newly-published textbook for the new Iranian academic year.

        The previous version of the boom for the eight to nine-year-old students showed images of three boys playing along with two girls under a tree.

      • California School District Considers Ban on Classic Books

        The books in question grapple with complicated and difficult realities of America’s past and present. But curricula have been developed that make it possible to teach the books with sensitivity and compassion. Both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird are included on the Library of Congress list of “Books That Shaped America” and have been taught in schools throughout the country for many years. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal in 1977. The Cay is an award-winning young adult novel that tells the powerful story of how an 11-year-old boy learns to reject the racist views of his upbringing and to recognize the humanity of those normally deemed the “other” by society.

        At a time when hundreds of thousands of Americans are in the streets protesting systemic racism, it is more important than ever for educators to teach books that help their students understand the role that race has played in American history and how it continues to shape our society. The Burbank schools have an obligation to help its students understand why the books are so painful and their responsibility for confronting racism. To do so, they must provide teachers with the resources and support they need to teach these books successfully.

      • Self-censorship in the US

        The US nominally enshrines the most far-reaching freedom of speech, thanks to the First Amendment of the Constitution. Yet the average number of Americans who self-censor is slowly beginning to approximate that of Germany, where… “Nearly two-thirds of citizens are convinced that ‘today one has to be very careful on which topics one expresses oneself’, because there are many unwritten laws about what opinions are acceptable and admissible”.

      • Hindu jailed in Muslim Bangladesh for insulting Prophet Mohammed

        A Hindu has been jailed for seven years in Muslim-majority Bangladesh for insulting the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook, a prosecutor said Thursday.

        Although Bangladesh is officially secular, criticism of Islam is taboo in the conservative nation of 168 million people and violent protests have previously erupted over social media posts deemed blasphemous.

      • Unicef condemns jailing of Nigeria teen for ‘blasphemy’

        The UN children’s agency Unicef has called on the Nigerian authorities to urgently review an Islamic court’s decision to sentence a 13-year-old boy to 10 years in prison for blasphemy.

      • Man gets life for desecrating Holy Quran

        The police recovered the desecrated copy of the holy book and registered a criminal case against the accused under section 295-B of the blasphemy law. After a five-year trial, the court of additional sessions judge-III, Shah Wali Khan, convicted Ayaz and sentenced him to life (25 years).

      • Law Firm Volunteers To Assist Kano Government In Ensuring Killing Of Musician Accused Of Blasphemy Against Prophet Mohammed

        The law firm in a letter to the Kano State Attorney-General said it was acting on behalf of one Muhammed Lawal Gusau, who noted that he desired to render a “selfless service towards the advancement and upliftment of the goals and ideals of Islam in all positive spheres”.

        Gusua stated that he was ready to dedicate all resources to ensure that the musician was hanged for blasphemy.

      • White House bans TikTok and WeChat: A major intensification of internet censorship

        The move is a frontal assault on the freedom of expression and an effort to consolidate control of the internet by a handful of massive corporations working in partnership with the American government. TikTok is used by millions of people every day to connect with friends and family, share ideas and communicate, and has been used to organize social protests. WeChat is a major link of communication between the United States and China.

      • Social media censorship in Egypt targets women on TikTok

        They were charged under a cybercrime law passed in 2018, as well as existing laws in the Egyptian Penal Code that have been employed against women in the past.

        Yasmin Omar, a researcher at The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, said the cybercrime law is vague when it comes to defining what’s legal and what isn’t.

        “It was written using very broad terms that could be very widely interpreted and criminalizing a lot of acts that are originally considered as personal freedom,” she said. “Looking at it, you would see that anything you might post on social media, anything that you may use [on] the internet could be criminalized under this very wide umbrella.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 13

        Friday gave us the most emotionally charged moments yet at the Assange hearing, showed that strange and sharp twists in the story are still arriving at the Old Bailey, and brought into sharp focus some questions about the handling and validity of evidence, which I will address in comment.

      • Tens of Thousands Attend Bangladesh Islamist Leader’s Funeral

        Shafi made his mark in national politics when he marched tens of thousands of his followers into central Dhaka in May 2013, demanding harsh blasphemy laws and the execution of atheist bloggers.

        The rally ended in violence when police evicted his followers from the capital’s main commercial center. About 50 people were killed in clashes with security forces, most of them shot, in some of the worst political violence the country had ever seen.

        Around half a dozen bloggers and secular activists were later hacked to death by Islamist extremists.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Want to reform the police? That must start with decriminalizing drugs

        It is an American obsession to funnel drug users into the criminal justice system. Recently released numbers on incarceration in Ohio show that of the nearly 14,000 commitments in the past year, 25 percent were due to drug offenses or drug trafficking. Those numbers build on data from 2016, when the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch found that more than one in nine arrests made by state law enforcement is for drug possession — a total of 1.25 million arrests each year.

      • Iranian teens convicted of stealing reportedly will have fingers chopped off

        Three teenage boys found guilty of stealing in Iran will now endure the barbaric punishment of having their fingers hacked off, according to a report.

        The teens — identified as Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharafian and Mehdi Shahivand — were ordered to have four fingers on their right hands amputated, according to an Iran Supreme Court verdict, The Sun reported, citing British-based Persian-language television station Iran International.

        The boys lost an appeal this week to have the gruesome sentence overturned.

      • Iraqi activist’s murder casts doubt on authorities’ ability to end killings

        Since Iraqi protesters took to the streets last October, Iran-backed militias have been accused of carrying out numerous assassinations against prominent activists and critics.

      • Report: Hundreds of Ethiopian Christians Killed in ‘Targeted Genocide’ Since June

        Reports in Ethiopian media confirm what Barnabus is reporting about a spate of killings earlier this summer. The violence involves religious as well as ethnic cleansing, but the situation is complicated and appears to also involve political motivations.


        It’s been reported that some of the attackers even had lists containing the names of Christians and had received the help of local authorities in trying to find specific individuals who had been actively involved in supporting the Church in the region.

      • Women are fighting the misogyny of Iran’s mullahs

        There were expressions of outrage and disgust internationally in August when a court in Iran sentenced a man to only nine years jail for beheading his 14-year-old daughter in an honor killing.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • [Older] Big Brother Is Watching You

        Few years back Facebook hit the news with their chatbots Alice and Bob making waves. Facebook’s claim was that their chatbots had ‘developed’ a language, that seemed indiscernible to humans, to communicate with each other. The bots were pulled down because they quite did not fit into what Facebook wanted out of them — to communicate more effectively with humans. Worse still, whatever the version of the story is from Facebook, the media did make a fuss about the fear of A.I. taking over.


        Technology began becoming part of the individual’s life with the telephone — probably the first thing that was personal to us. There was a time when in North America, if you wanted to use a phone, you had to go to AT&T. The strategy was not to share the advanced long-distance network AT&T had, with local independent carriers.

        For quite some time, AT&T solely had the luxury of funding pure research projects. The Bell Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey was the Mecca for such projects. Though AT&T held monopoly over the telephone for about a century, the legacy would be cut short by restrictions on AT&T to sell computer systems, just for the fear of AT&T’s monopoly in the computer industry. An offering this situation had in store for the world was an operating system — UNIX, and the free communal development culture that came with it.


        Transparency is Truth. The best brand names we could sport on ourselves is ourselves. We need to be reminded of the efforts of selfless individuals Stewart Brand, Tim-Berners Lee, Richard Stallman, Linux Torvalds, and many of the unsung greats like Nikola Tesla to stop, alight and think where we are treading. Life has more to offer than just ‘likes’ on Facebook and views on YouTube. And as Carl Sagan once said,

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • China’s first anti-suit injunction; Apple CEO rejects efficient infringement; CRISPR patent battle latest; EPO and USPTO heads’ covid warning; CBM back from the dead?; plus much more

          Speaking at IPBC Connect, the EPO and USPTO leaders say covid-induced changes are here to stay and warn of decreased user engagement caused by the pandemic.

        • An EPO Case Law Round-Up: Added Matter

          What is the historic guidance? Generally, these types of amendments have only been allowed where the isolated feature does not have any clearly recognisable functional or structural relationship with the original combination of features[1]. The common test used by the EPO when assessing these amendments, is whether the extracted feature is ‘inextricably linked’ with the combination of features in the original disclosure[2], i.e. incidental to the proper functioning of a specific embodiment[3], and that the overall disclosure must justify the generalising isolation of the feature and its introduction into the claim.

          What is the case law saying now? There has not been much game-changing case law in this area, following an apparent consolidation by the Board in T 1906/11. Here, the EPO said that the most relevant question in the assessment of intermediate generalisations is whether a skilled person faced with the amended version of the application or patent would derive any additional technically relevant information over the disclosure of the original version. Only if this type of information is derived is there a contravention of Article 123(2) EPC. This was revisited in 2018 where it was confirmed that this information would be derived if the original disclosure conveyed the teaching, explicit or implicit, that all the features of that combination had to be present together in order for a specific technical effect to be obtained[4]. In this case, claiming only some of those features would present the skilled person with additional technical information.

        • Opinion: It won’t be courts that drive virtual litigation

          In some white-collar circles, not many issues are more divisive right now than working from home – whether it works or it doesn’t, and whether it can really be sustained beyond this year.

          Anecdotally, many people in UK industries such as journalism and law have enjoyed their new setup. This is supported by figures showing that less than 35% of British office workers are back at their desks (although other factors, including health and safety, will also be at play). In stark contrast, the numbers for France and Germany are 83% and 70% respectively. Workers in the US are also more negative than others about returning to work.

        • Why counsel should copy competitors when optimising patents

          Panellists from BAE Systems and Arm discussed best practices for optimising patent portfolios at the IP Corporate Strategy Summit on September 10, which was held virtually by Managing IP.

          Rob Calico, vice president of IP and litigation at semiconductor company Arm in California, said a company should base its calculation for how many patents it needs partly on how many registrations belong to its competitors.

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Copyright Troll’ Loses Legal Battle and Must Pay $172,173

          Every year rightsholders collect many thousands of dollars in settlements from alleged copyright infringers. However, these enforcement efforts can backfire as well. Photographer and attorney Richard Bell, who filed dozens of lawsuits over a single photo, has lost one of his legal battles and is now ordered to pay $172,173 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

        • Spanish Piracy Giant ‘Megadede’ to Shut Down, Successors Queue Up

          The Spanish pirate streaming giant Megadede will shut down within a week. The site’s operators announced their surprise decision without providing any further detail. Megadede is among the 100 most visited sites in the country and will be missed by many. However, there certainly is no shortage of alternatives, as other sites are queuing up to welcome stranded pirates.

        • TuneIn Blocking Debacle: Bombing Internet Radio Back to the Stone Age

          We’ve come a long way since the days of shortwave radio and analog pirate radio stations. The Internet promised a lot, allowing broadcasters to reach an international audience keen to soak up culture from all over the world. Sadly, the latest actions by the UK music industry against TuneIn feel like an attempt to bomb radio fans back to the stone age.


Links 20/9/2020: Flameshot Screenshot Tool 0.8, Okular Improvements and More

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 pm by Guest Editorial Team

  • Leftovers

    • School Building Collapses In Lagos

      Lagos witnessed another building collapse on Saturday when a three-storey building at Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo, Ejigbo caved in.


      “Fortunately, nobody was trapped, no injury and no fatality has been recorded. Responders to the incident scene are LASEMA, Lagos State Building Control Agency and the police (Ejigbo division).”

    • Education

      • [Old] Famous Biologist Louis Agassiz on the Usefulness of Learning Through Observation

        Pick any industry of life and you’ll find that very few people actually do the work.

        Rather than read the original study, most people cite the headline from a secondary source. Rather than spend 100 hours observing every detail of a fish, most biology students would look up the description of the fish online. When most people say, “I read an article on climate change,” what they really mean is, “I read the title of an article on climate change.”

        This is exactly why doing the boring work more consistently is actually a competitive advantage. Ignore the expert advice and pay attention to what gets results for you.

        Look, and see for yourself.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Trump EPA Denounced for ‘Disgusting’ Decision on Atrazine, Herbicide Tied to Birth Defects

        One critic warned that “this decision imperils the health of our children and the safety of drinking water supplies across much of the nation.”

      • Hospitals Serving the Poor Close as Investors and Electeds Refuse to Rescue Them

        Victor Coronado felt lightheaded one morning last month when he stood up to grab an iced tea. The right side of his body suddenly felt heavy. He heard himself slur his words. “That’s when I knew I was going to have a stroke,” he said.

      • Of smoke and masks; how do we wear masks now?

        According to local officials who work with the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, the Creek Fire smoke will likely be with Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra at least through this week and into next week – and perhaps longer than that.

        Although the smoke might get a bit less dense due to an incoming cold front and stronger winds this week, if the fire continues to grow and the winds continue to come from a south or southwest direction as is forecast for quite some time, the Mammoth area (at least) will likely be in for quite a bit more smoke, possibly into the end of the month. The most likely way the smoke will end completely is via a good, winter-like storm, which is not in the forecast at this time, said Tom Schaniel Air Pollution Control Officer with Great Basin. Until then, he said, the smoke could get lighter, it could gather at a higher elevation at times, but it will still be in the area until a large storm scours the smoke out of the region.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Intel’s Cloud-Hypervisor Making Progress On Booting Windows

              The Cloud-Hypervisor project that is led by Intel open-source folks for providing a cloud-focused hypervisor written in the Rust programming language is out with a new feature release.

              Cloud-Hypervisor 0.10 was issued on Friday and this Rust-VMM based project now supports multiple descriptors with VirtIO-Block, memory zone support for finer grained control of memory allocations for the guest, sandboxing improvements with SECCOMP filters, preliminary KVM HyperV emulation control support, and a number of bug fixes.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Trump Is Wrong About TikTok. China’s Plans Are Much More Sinister.

              Since China adopted the National Intelligence Law in June 2017, all Chinese citizens and companies have been under a legal obligation to help the government gather intelligence (and keep any cooperation secret). The law allows China’s intelligence services to embed their people and devices or to requisition facilities in any premise, anywhere, for that purpose.i

              The Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party also essentially requires any company with at least three party members to form a cell tasked with carrying out the party’s wishes.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Belarusian propaganda: From courting the West to taking Russia’s cues

        About a decade ago, after a temporary falling out with Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko tried to pivot his country to the West. In this endeavor, he had help from a British PR firm called “Bell Pottinger” that once employed some of the most influential spin-doctors in the world. The campaign was a complete failure: the consultants left empty-handed and Lukashenko became an international pariah once again. In August 2020, after workers at state television and radio broadcasters in Belarus started walking off the job in protest as the police brutally dispersed opposition demonstrations, a handful of independent journalists and activists reported that whole brigades of “strikebreakers” from Russia arrived to replace these employees.

      • Amnesty International calls for investigation into video showing execution of woman in Mozambique

        Cabo Delgado is home to a $60 billion natural gas development that is heavily guarded by Mozambican military and private security.

        Loosely aligned with ISIS, the insurgents have undertaken increasingly sophisticated attacks in recent months, overrunning large parts of Mocimba de Praia, a strategic port north of the regional capital Pemba in August. Unlike in previous attacks, government forces have struggled to fully retake the territory.

      • OPINION: High time SADC deployed military force in Mozambique

        An injury to one being an injury to all, CAJ News Africa urgently calls upon the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc member states to immediately deploy a combined force to drive out Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-affiliated Ansar al-Sunna insurgents from Mozambique.

        If ever there was time to ruthlessly deal with the rubble rousing terrorists in the SADC region, it is now.

        The Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique is the epicenter of the insurgency that threatens to spill into the entire regional bloc.

      • Islamic State claims killing of French aid workers in Niger

        The six French nationals and their driver worked for international aid group ACTED and were touring the reserve, which is a popular destination for expatriates and was considered safe by the Nigerien government.

        France and other countries have warned people against travelling to parts of Niger where militants including Boko Haram and ISWAP operate.

      • Nigeria’s Kaduna State Enacts Law To Castrate Child Abusers

        The amendment to the Penal Code establishes that rapists who abuse minors under 14 years old will face castration of their genitals and the removal of the Fallopian tubes in the case of men and women respectively.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Spanish-language disinformation intensifies among Florida Latinos, worrying Democrats

        The idea that Spanish-language news cannot be trusted is being pushed by YouTube channels, like GR8 America, Sin Filtros, that urge viewers to subscribe so they can view Trump campaign events in Spanish and follow interviews that viewers “won’t see in traditional news outlets.”

        GR8 compared itself to Telemundo — which is owned by NBCUniversal, NBC News’ parent company — and Univision, saying it was the “second most followed outlet during the Republican convention on YouTube.”

        “People see the videos and the disinformation so many times that it gets to them. They feel they can’t trust the media, and that’s the most worrisome part,” Pérez-Verdía said. “Now they call Spanish-language media fake news.”

        The two largest and most established Spanish-language networks are seeing more protesters confront their reporters and question their coverage.

    • Environment

      • Around 300 Chinese vessels near Galapágos protection zone were ‘pillaging oceans for squid,’ analysis shows

        The findings are based on information captured by the Global Fishing Watch mapping tool developed by Oceana, in partnership with Google and Skytruth, a nonprofit environmental watchdog.

        “This massive and ongoing fishing effort of China’s fleet threatens the Galapagos Islands, the rare species that only call it home and everyone that depends on it for food and livelihoods,” said Oceana’s illegal fishing and transparency analyst, Dr. Marla Valentine.

        Valentine added that the findings were merely the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the impact of mass fishing operations conducted by Chinese vessels: “The situation playing out in the Galápagos should raise serious questions and concerns about the impact China’s massive fishing fleet is having on the oceans it sails.”

      • Massive ‘Climate Clock’ Urging Governments to #ActInTime Unveiled on Metronome in New York City

        “The clock is a way to speak science to power,” says a project co-founder.

      • Energy

        • A Dying Industry is Leaving A Deadly Legacy

          An important new investigation examined the issue of the shocking state of over three million abandoned oil and gas wells in the United States.

        • Will BP Finally Succeed at Moving Beyond Petroleum? To Survive, It Must.

          The founder of SunEdison discusses what the future holds for BP and other major oil and gas companies that are looking to transition.

        • How the oil industry made us doubt climate change

          As climate change becomes a focus of the US election, energy companies stand accused of trying to downplay their contribution to global warming. In June, Minnesota’s Attorney General sued ExxonMobil, among others, for launching a “campaign of deception” which deliberately tried to undermine the science supporting global warming. So what’s behind these claims? And what links them to how the tobacco industry tried to dismiss the harms of smoking decades earlier?

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 2020 Election Could Decide Whether US Pursues Nuclear Escalation or Arms Control

        In these final weeks of the 2020 presidential campaign, U.S. voters’ attention is being consumed by a maelstrom of crises — a merciless pandemic, a battered economy, a society ruptured by racist police violence and deadly structural inequalities, climate chaos and a fragile democracy.

      • If McConnell Packs the Court on Behalf of Minority Rule, Dems Must Expand and Reform It

        They ought to come in prepared to introduce serious reform so that our laws reflect the will of our 330 million people rather than that of a few corrupt billionaires allied with hypocritical religious fundamentalists.

      • ‘We Can, and Must, Fight’: Death of RBG Sparks Senate Showdown and Calls for Supreme Court Reform

        “The fate of our rights, our freedoms, our healthcare, our bodies, our lives, and our country depend on what happens over the coming months.”

      • Unequal Justice: Trump’s Supreme Takeover

        If the president gets to appoint another SCOTUS judge, we’ll be paying the price for decades to come.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A ‘Precise Female’

        This slow talker, ruthless editor, and die-hard romantic wanted to make sure that every woman could find her best place.

      • Ginsburg’s Death Sparks Renewed Calls for Reforms to the Supreme Court

        As mourners left flowers and signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court building overnight following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death Friday evening, President Donald Trump and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to force through her replacement with just weeks until the November election while progressive lawmakers and organizers promised to fight the GOP’s hypocritical effort to shift the court right.

      • With the Passing of Justice Ginsburg, Democracy Just Got Harder, Again

        Right. Ol’ Lindsey nearly broke both legs walking that one back upon the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If Senate Republicans can seat a new Justice before the election, they will do it. If they can seat a new Justice before the end of January (in the event of a Trump loss), they will do it.

      • Groups Plan Vigil Outside Supreme Court and National Solidarity Events to Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg

        “She gave all she could, with literally all she had. Now it’s our turn.”

      • Justice Ginsburg Should Not Be Replaced Until After the Election

        GOP senators invented a new standard in order to deny President Obama a Supreme Court appointment in 2016. Now they should abide by it.

      • Worst Damage Theory

        But when it comes to voting in an election like 2020, where the candidates have such violently competing ideologies, I think many voters will use the mental shortcut of imagining each potential presidency after 4-8 years and ask themselves which would cause the Worst Damage based on their personal values.

        This, combined with the Primacy Concern model, is what allows people to vote for people they don’t really like.

      • GOP’s Strategy for 2020 Election Looks Like an All-Out Assault on Voting Rights

        The Republican Party and its allies have relied on voter suppression tactics for decades, but this year they are pulling out all the stops.

      • Countdown to Election: 52 Days
      • Hawkins Says Climate Justice Requires Racial Justice

        (New York, NY) Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for President, said that achieving racial justice was essential to the effort for effective climate action.

        Hawkins, who participated in the march for Climate Justice Through Racial Justice in Manhattan on Sunday, outlined 7 key initiatives: Green New Deal, Economic Bill of Rights, Medicare for All, Homes for all, Democratic Community Control of the Police, Reparations for African-American rights, and Honor Indigenous Treaty Rights.

        “People of color and low-income communities are the principal victims of climate change. We face this existential threat to our future since the leaders of both major parties, in exchange for campaign contributions, allow fossil fuel companies and others to pollute and exploit such communities. We can not solve climate change without system change, including ending racial injustice,” said Hawkins, the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal in his 2010 race for Governor of New York.


        Hawkins said today’s youth-led anti-racist and divestment demands in the climate justice movement were similar to the youth-led anti-apartheid movement’s divestment demands a generation ago. It was at Hawkins’ initiative that Dartmouth College students built a shantytown on the college green in the fall of 1985 demanding divestment of college funds from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. That action sparked shantytown protests on campuses across the nation and a swelling of anti-apartheid actions across society over the next year until the US government imposed sanctions on South Africa in the fall of 1986. The apartheid regime responded by freeing Nelson Mandela and negotiating a transition to democracy. 1243 institutions have divested $14.38 trillion from fossil fuel companies to date.

        “The anti-apartheid divestment movement aroused a new generation of activists. Zephyr Teachout has said that visiting the Dartmouth shantytown when she was in high school near the college was an inspiration for her activism. We see the same happening today with youth in the climate justice movement today. It is time for New York State to listen to these young people who are fighting for their future and divest,” Hawkins said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Mark Zuckerberg Plans to Moderate Facebook Workplace Chat

        Facebook employees have recently been wondering if perhaps Facebook—which lets politicians lie in ads, festers with extremist movements like QAnon, and by design amplifies authoritarian propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech—is actually the bad guy.

        Hey, pal, why don’t you shut the fuck up, CEO Mark Zuckerberg responds.

        According to reports in CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg told employees on Thursday that the company plans to crack down on discussion of polarizing political and social issues on internal message boards. The Journal wrote that Zuckerberg said staff shouldn’t have to discuss social issues at work and outlined potential steps like establishing rules on where these discussions can pop up on the company’s messenger, making sure those conversations are monitored and moderated: [...]

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • As journalists are made to leave, Hong Kong’s global status will suffer

        The ongoing journalists’ visa war between the United States and China shows no sign of abating. Rather than easing, it seems headed towards its end game.

        It began back in February when the US State Department ordered five Chinese news outlets to register as foreign entities and forced them to reduce their staff by roughly 40 percent. Beijing promptly expelled three journalists from the Wall Street Journal, using an op-ed published by the Journal as an excuse even though the journalists had nothing to do with the piece.

      • Day 9: September 18, 2020 #AssangeCase

        New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager took to stand to testify about using WikiLeaks documents in his work. Hager published Other People’s Wars, New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror, and said that WikiLeaks-released military and diplomatic files “greatly increased my understanding of the conduct of the war. It would have been impossible to write the book without these confidential and leaked sources.”

      • A Small Confession

        I have to confess that after the last court session of another tough week (and yesterday was a particularly emotional and startling court day) I went to the pub with a friend after court yesterday rather than start writing. So Friday’s report this afternoon.

      • Six Reasons Julian Assange Should Be Thanked, Not Punished

        4. For years the United Kingdom maintained a pretense that it sought Assange for criminal accusations from Sweden. The idea that the United States sought to prosecute the act of reporting on its wars was mocked as paranoid fantasy. For global society to now accept this outrage would be a significant blow to press freedom globally and to the independence of any vassal state from U.S. demands. Those demands tend to be, first and foremost, to buy more weapons, and, secondarily, to participate in the use of those weapons.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Why Do Americans Give Away So Much Control to Corporations?

        The corporate “Borg” is sucking the ready availability of the good life, decent, secure livelihoods assured by our collective self-reliance, and the freedom to shape our future out of our political economy.

      • U.S. Law Enforcement Shot At Least 115 People in the Head with Crowd-Control Weapons During the First Two Months of George Floyd Protests: Physicians for Human Rights

        PHR’s analysis finds that crowd-control projectiles are being used in cities across the country in ways that violate local, federal, and international guidelines. Shooting civilians in the head with KIPs violates widely accepted use of force principles, which forbid targeting of the head and neck and emphasize proportional response to actual threats faced by law enforcement. Furthermore, past research by PHR has shown that severe injury, disability, and death are often consequences of being shot in the head with these weapons. Such excessive and indiscriminate police responses to protests have a chilling effect on the exercise of the fundamental First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

        In light of “Shot in the Head” and related evidence, PHR calls for a ban on the use of KIPs in crowd-control situations, due both to the life-threatening injuries they can cause and their potential to violate freedom of expression and assembly.

    • Monopolies

      • One thing Apple’s and Epic’s lawyers agree on: Supreme Court’s Pepper v. Apple opinion and 5-4 vote are unrelated to Epic’s App Store case

        There are no signs of a détente between Fortnite maker Epic Games and Apple. While Apple apparently keeps the door open to whatever version of Fortnite that would bring the battle royale game back into compliance with the App Store terms, Epic is not only being very vocal in public and running an anti-Apple tournament but also pursuing a litigation strategy that appears to be all about escalation, trying to take the merits of a huge antitrust case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the coming months.

        Notwithstanding the extremely acrimonious nature of this litigation, there’s one remark that Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers made in last month’s hearing on Epic’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) that neither party is comfortable with. When counsel for Epic insisted on their likelihood to prevail on the merits (while the court placed the emphasis at the TRO stage on irreparable harm), Judge Gonzalez Rogers said this case was not going to be a “slam dunk” for either Epic or Apple, and reminded everyone that the Supreme Court’s Pepper v. Apple vote–which ultimately allowed a consumer class action (seeking damages for allegedly having overpaid for app downloads and in-app purhcases) to go forward before her court–was very close: 5-4.

        Representing Epic, Cravath’s Gary Bornstein distinguished Pepper from Epic a few minutes later. He noted that Epic is an app developer bringing antitrust claims against Apple over its App Store terms, while the Pepper class action complaint is about harm to consumers from what Apple withholds from app developers, and the Supreme Court ruled on whether or not that consumer class could sue for damages (with Epic not even seeking damages for now).

      • Epic Games denies Apple’s claim of Fortnite losing popularity, says usage “actually increased by more than 39%” during chosen period: court filing

        If you’re more interested in what Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said in a sworn declaration about the popularity of Fortnite, please click here to skip the part that addresses the legally more relevant questions surrounding Epic’s push for a preliminary injunction against Apple.

      • Apple accuses Epic Games of “coercing platforms for its own gain, under the guise of being ‘pro-gamer’”: PlayStation/Xbox example

        TROs are in effect for only a fortnight (whichever way one may spell it) unless the enjoined party consents to an extension. After that period, a preliminary injunction (PI) can and often does replace it, which is commonly referred to as “converting a TRO into a PI.” What makes a PI preliminary is that it’s in effect until a final judgment grants or denies a permament injunction; a TRO is even more preliminary than a PI. In this case, the court discussed a PI briefing schedule with the parties, which will culminate in a PI hearing on Monday, September 28–ten days after a deadline for Epic’s second filing in that context, its reply brief in support of its motion. Until the court’s decision on the PI motion, Apple must comply with the TRO.

        Typically, a TRO gets converted into a PI, but there are cases in which judges change mind on the basis of more elaborate briefing and in-depth analysis. With respect to the merit of the underlying case, there’s not enough time at the TRO stage to fully consider all outcome-determinative aspects of complex matters, so if a judge believes that irreparable harm is imminent, a TRO might come down just to prevent a tragedy, even though a PI might subsequently be denied. Epic is still trying to persuade the court to #FreeFortnite, but that part is again doomed to fail, given that Epic could simply publish an iOS version of the game that wouldn’t offer alternative payment mechanisms. Epic itself accepted and complied with those terms for years, and all that Apple says it wants is compliance with its longstanding standard terms. For Apple it’s certainly going to be a challenge to defeat the Unreal Engine part of Epic’s motion this time around, but such an outcome is nowhere near as inconceivable as a free pass for Epic to violate Apple’s App Store terms while litigation over whether or not those terms violate the antitrust laws is still in progress.

      • Apple attempts to debunk tale of two Epic companies in order to avoid preliminary injunction concerning Unreal Engine

        As I explained before, it’s hard to imagine that the court would not continue to consider Fortnite’s removal from the App Store to be self-inflicted harm. Apple reinforces that point nevertheless, describing Epic as “a saboteur, not a martyr,” and noting that “Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this Court for emergency assistance in putting it out, even though Epic can do so itself in an instant by simply adhering to the contractual terms that have profitably governed its relationship with Apple for years.” But the interesting question in the September 28 hearing is not going to be Fortnite–it’s Unreal Engine. Apple wouldn’t ban the engine and all apps that incorporate it, but Epic would lose access to the developer tools, which sooner or later would hurt its customers (according to Apple’s filing, Epic holds Fortnite gamers as well as Unreal Engine licensees hostage).

        What applies to both Fortnite and Unreal Engine is that Epic could just continue to do business with Apple, and on iOS, the way it used to do, by complying with the App Store terms while still being able to challenge them in court. The question for the court to decide is whether the fact that Epic holds the key to the kingdom in its hands applies only to Fortnite–the corpus delicti in a contractual sense–or also to Unreal Engine. The reason Epic obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) was just that the judge was concerned about what might be overreaching retaliation: the termination of a developer account held and used by a separate legal entity for the purpose of developing Unreal Engine.

      • Apple suspects Epic Games seeks “to reinvigorate [waning] interest in Fortnite” and notes Unity is far more popular than Unreal Engine

        This is a follow-up to my post on Apple’s opposition to Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction. Like the previous one, this is about Apple highlighting facts that don’t make Epic look good. And Apple appears to have stepped up its rhetoric after weeks of Epic running an aggressive #FreeFortnite campaign and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney’s Twitter presence increasingly looking like an “I hate Apple’s App Store terms” type of campaign account. Interestingly, even though Epic is suing Google as well (for an update on that case, San Jose-based Judge Beth Freeman has declined Google’s invitation to take over the Google Play Store antitrust cases), Mr. Sweeney almost exclusively lashes out at Apple in his tweets, and actually promotes Android over iOS at times. On Twitter I read that Epic is “giving away Android devices in #FreeFortnite tournament.”

        There will be opportunities in the build-up to, and after, the September 28 preliminary injunction hearing to talk a bit more about the parties’ legal theories. However, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said in the recent TRO (temporary restraining order) hearing that the case would not be decided at this early stage. For now, it’s about Epic seeking relief before the court has had the chance to fully analyze the merits. At this point it’s just about what the parties are allowed to do while the litigation is ongoing. Epic wants to be allowed to circumvent Apple’s in-app payment system, and Apple argues (as I’ll discuss later) that Epic’s “cheating” (by not disclosing at the time of app review the existence of an alternative payment system) justifies a termination of all of Epic’s developer accounts, including the one used for Epic’s work on Unreal Engine.

      • Epic Games prefers Play Store antitrust trial to take place in San Francisco, Google in San Jose

        Epic Games v. Google is still in the very early stages. Three of the Google entities sued by the Fortnite maker are based overseas. As a result, service of process took longer: Google Asia Pacific Pte. Limited was served on September 4, 2020; Google Ireland Limited on September 6, 2020; and what procedurally matters is the latest date, September 7, 2020 (when Google Ireland Limited was served).

        By contrast, there’s already been a fair amount of activity in Epic Games v. Apple, with a temporary restraining order (TRO) in place, Epic having brought a motion for a preliminary injunction (consistent with its TRO motion), to which Apple will respond later today. Apple meanwhile filed its answer to Epic’s complaint. It may take quite a while before Google does so, especially since it appears to intend to firstly bring a motion to dismiss.

        Other than service, all that has happened so far in Epic v. Google is about the assignment of the case to one judge or another, and about whether or not Epic’s case is related to some other antitrust actions against Google in the same district. That’s obviously less exciting than motions for injunctive relief, but those little things can make all the difference to the outcome of a litigation. For example, if Oracle’s Android-Java copyright case against Google had not been assigned to Judge William H. Alsup back in 2010, it’s highly likely Google would already have lost it a long time ago, and a jury would merely have had to determine damages for past infringement while the merits were crystal clear (except to that one judge).

      • Counsel divided on impact of Avanci case dismissal

        Lawyers at an automotive company, a car supplier, a telecoms company and three firms contemplate the impact of the dismissed antitrust suit

      • Patents

        • Summer of FRAND love: a roundup of SEP cases

          Court rulings from the UK, the US and Germany point to a seismic shift in favour of SEP holders that could reshape FRAND for years to come

        • Three decisions due on Friday (9/25): FTC v. Qualcomm (en banc petition?); EU “state aid” case against Apple/Ireland (further appeal?); Nokia v. Daimler

          By sheer coincidence, three decisions will become known on Friday (September 25) in cases that this blog has previously discussed but which are otherwise unrelated. In two of those cases, competition authorities have to decie whether to turn things around after losing the first appellate decision. In one case, there would definitely be a way, but might not be the political win to keep fighting; in the other case, there would undoubtedly be a will, but there may not be a promising way. Furthermore, a German court will announce a decision on an automotive patent infringement complaint with major antitrust implications.

        • Brazil: new patent priority examination

          Starting this September 2020, the Instituto Nacional da Propriedad Industrial (INPI) adds to its lists of patent priority examination, TWO more. They are technology applications resulting from public funding and technology applications already available on the market.

          INPI already has available 14 types of priority applications, that is, procedures in place. With the two new additions, INPI has ‘16 types of priority procedure available, 14 for the general public and two for public entities’. INPI notes that the period for decisions of priority examination, counted from the application date, was done in 13.1 months (July 2020).

        • Boehmert and Gramm Lins win in Berlin over ID technology patent

          US company Credit Card Supplies, based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, owns the German patent DE 10 2004 041 434 B4. The patent protects a process for embossing 3D structures in sheet metal, which are used on hot-cold laminating presses to produce identity documents and credit cards. However, the US company claimed VTT and Bundesdruckerei had infringed its patent DE 434 B4.

          VTT Verschleißteiltechnik in Langenhagen, near Hanover, manufactures high-tech lamination plates for creating secure documents, such as passports, driving licences, national IDs, bank and health insurance cards. These products all feature integrated security components. Bundesdruckerei is a customer of VTT, using the latter’s plates to produce ID cards and passports.


          Boehmert & Boehmert has advised Bundesdruckerei on patent filing for many years. The company develops its own technologies, such as electronic access systems. For the current infringement proceedings, patent attorney Thomas Bittner called in Munich partner and litigator Michael Rüberg. Bundesdruckerei also mandated the Frankfurt based patent team from Linklaters around Julia Schönbohm

          Patent attorney Thorsten Rehmann from Gramm, Lins & Partner specialises in mechanical engineering. Previously, Rehmann has worked for VTT for various patent applications at the EPO. VTT also retained the mixed firm for the infringement case. Gramm, Lins & Partner recently stood out for its work for Bury in the prominent dispute between Nokia and Daimler over connected cars patents.

        • Tech slams ‘crony capitalist’ PTAB rule fuelling Texas rise

          Cisco and another of the four plaintiffs in Apple v Iancu, and Facebook and others set out why the ‘capricious’ NHK-Fintiv rule had to be challenged

        • Added subject-matter and selections from multiple lists – are things getting easier?

          In T 1621/16 the Board of Appeal reversed an Opposition Division decision to revoke a patent for added subject‑matter on the basis the claims comprised multiple selections from lists of converging alternatives.

          The patentee successfully argued on appeal that lists of converging alternatives (i.e. lists of alternatives wherein each of the more preferred alternatives is fully encompassed by all the less preferred and broader options in the list) should not be considered to be equivalent to selections from lists of non-converging elements (i.e. mutually exclusive or partially overlapping alternatives). The previous EPO approach typically objected to multiple selections from non-convergent lists but allowed multiple selections from convergent lists only where alternatives having the same degree of preference were combined with each other (e.g. “most preferred”). This decision goes further and indicates that multiple selections can be made based on combinations of both more and less preferred convergent alternatives.

        • 2020 PTAB Bar Association Annual Conference Rescheduled

          After having to be postponed due to coronavirus concerns, the 2020 PTAB Bar Association Annual Conference has now been rescheduled and is going forward on September 24-25, 2020, with pre-conference sessions being held September 23, 2020. This year’s conference will not be attended in person, but it will be held virtually, making it available to all participants world-wide and may draw a wider audience than in previous years. Regardless of the format, this year’s conference promises to be just as interesting, informative and insightful as previous years.

        • Artificial Intelligence fuels TikTok’s popularity; but could that very asset prevent its sale?

          ByteDance currently owns around 3,300 published patent applications (not including design registrations) in China. Roughly one tenth of those have become granted patents. Nearly half of the patent applications relate to electric digital data processing, including primarily deep learning algorithms and traditional image processing algorithms. According to information ByteDance’s AI lab, the AI algorithms are essential for numerous TikTok features (e.g., video/face detection, keyword matching, aggregated recommendations, the assignment of certain videos for each user) and various real-time special effects developed based on the human face (e.g., cat face stickers, rain control, body slimming, leg stretching, finger bubbles, dancing machine, scene classification, beauty makeup). There are also AI algorithms that operate at a deeper level engaged in video and image reviewing, semantic analysis, machine translation, and further AI creation.

        • Unitary Patent Series Part 2: Data Considerations When Drafting

          Data are primarily required to support the requirements of sufficiency (Article 83 EPC) and inventive step (Article 56 EPC). In recent years, the EPO has applied the concept of “plausibility” when assessing both sufficiency and inventive step. The concept of plausibility has arisen from case law as a response to overly broad claims and to prevent speculative claiming. This is particularly relevant when the invention relates to a new therapeutic effect: is it plausible from the as-filed application that the therapeutic effect can be achieved?

          As established in our earlier article, the absence of any grace period provisions at the EPO means that applications must normally be filed before any clinical trial data is available, since clinical trial protocols are publicly available. Filing with no data at all is highly likely to result in lack of sufficiency and lack of inventive step objections. So, how are applicants to know how much data to include on filing?

          A simple rule of thumb is that the amount of data generally required is inversely proportional to the maturity and predictability of the technical field. It is also important to keep in mind the breadth of the desired claims, as broader claims will (usually) require more data to show an inventive step across their scope. In general, however, it is usually acceptable for applications to be filed with “proof of concept” style data to meet the (relatively low) sufficiency threshold and to establish that the technical effect is plausible. Additional data can then be filed during prosecution if there is a concern that the data are not adequate to show an inventive step across the scope of the claim.

        • [Old] Germany’s Supreme Court releases full judgment in key FRAND licensing case

          In early May, the German Federal Court of Justice (the country’s supreme court) handed down its decsion in Sisvel v Haier, the first FRAND-related case it had heard since the Court of Justice of the European Union’s landmark 2015 Huawei v ZTE judgment. Although it found in favour of Sisvel, so overturning a ruling made by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, it did not release its reasons for doing so. Now, though, it has given the two parties its full judgment.

          IAM will provide more analysis of the case over the coming weeks, but in the meantime Sisvel has given us permision to reproduce a press release the firm put out yesterday that summarises the ruling. Note that this has been edited into IAM house style.

        • Landmark decision affirms jurisdiction of English courts to determine FRAND terms

          In a watershed decision with significant implications for the technology and telecommunications industries – and the patent community more broadly – the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has delivered its long-awaited decision in three cases, Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies (UK) Co Ltd; Huawei Technologies (UK) Co Ltd v Conversant Wireless Licensing SÀRL and ZTE Corporation v Conversant Wireless Licensing SÀRL. The Court has unanimously upheld lower court decisions, confirming that English courts are able to grant injunctions to restrain infringement of UK standard essential patents (SEP) and have the jurisdiction to determine fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms for worldwide SEP licences.

        • [Old] Birds-eye view of the 2018 US patent litigation landscape

          RPX has released its annual Patent Marketplace and Litigation Report. It indicates that the pendulum is beginning to swing back to favour plaintiffs in the US. The report tracks the significant changes in the US patent system over the past year, and also touches upon developments and trends in China. We have created an infographic to present the key takeaways.

        • CardieX (ASX:CDX) subsidiary granted European blood pressure patent

          CardieX’s (CDX) subsidiary, ATCOR, has been granted a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) for its SphygmoCor technology.

          The SphygmoCor technology enables non-invasive measurement of artery stiffness through central arterial pressure waveform and blood pressure analysis.

        • Software Patents

          • This week in IP: Podcasts, Ericsson, Banksy and more

            Wednesday, September 16 marked the end of the covered business method patent review programme, which was introduced by the America Invents Act in the US.

            The AIA says a CBM patent “claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service”. The term does not include patents for technological inventions.

            The programme was put in place to review CBM patents and allow petitioners to challenge patents on broader grounds than they could at inter partes review (IPR) trials.

            Use of the programme has become less common in recent years. Statistics from the USPTO found that although 1,145 IPRs were filed in FY2020, just 11 CBM review petitions were filed in the same timeframe.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • When Covid-19 Shuttered Cinema Halls!: Should Producers Share Royalties from OTT Release of Films?

          Amongst the many films that have been released on the web so far, some big releases starring stalwarts like Irfan Khan in ‘Angrezi Medium’ (which was his last ever!) and Amitabh Bachchan in Gulabo Sitabo, are a few notable ones. If not for this pandemic, these movies would have been block buster releases, creating a stir in cinema halls. But unfortunately, nothing of this sort happened and the producers were compelled to directly release the films (or re-release as in case of Angrezi Medium after its theatrical release was cut short) on streaming services such as Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. Clearly, the cinema hall owners lost a big share of their yearly profits, but what is unknown is how much the producers lost by not being able to showcase their multi-starrers in a cinema hall.

          In contrast with blockbuster theatrical releases, web series or films that are destined to be released on streaming services often have a small star cast with small set ups which makes the same cost efficient. This is quite unlikely for a regular, blockbuster Indian cinematograph film that has elaborate sets and a distinguished star cast to begin with and which under normal practice, is looking forward to a grand theatrical release. Consequently, the cost of producing such films is typically much higher (often, if not always) than the web series made solely for release on online platforms. Profits that producers earn in such cases is often directly related to how well the movies perform in the hall and for how long. In other words, box office earnings account for a significant portion of a producer’s earnings from a film. Having done well at the cinema halls, the producers get a second chance to recover their investments when the rights for the same cinematograph film are granted for television/digital premieres. Here again, the popularity of the film at the theatre allows them to bid high stakes for it. So, when producers of such blockbuster films are compelled to directly release such films on streaming services, they stand to lose parts of their profit that they would have otherwise earned by releasing it first in a cinema hall. A glimpse of the losses incurred by them can be viewed here. The streaming services are also aware that the producers presently have no better option than to release their films online, so they might not negotiate much with the latter. Keeping in mind the flagrant spread of the pandemic and the predictions with regard to its subsistence, it seems like the producers will have to bear with these losses for long.

        • AI Programs Are Creating Fashion Designs and Raising Questions About Who (or What) is an Inventor [Ed: Stop calling computer-generated art [sic] an “invention”, mixing different concept to encourage monopoly over mere looks and shapes]

          “Amazon is not synonymous with high fashion yet, but the company may be poised to lead the way when it comes to replacing designers with artificial intelligence (“AI”) algorithms,” Will Knight wrote for MIT Technology Review in 2017. Fast forward to 2020, and Amazon still is not rivaling the likes Prada and Chanel, but in furtherance of its “characteristically algorithmic approach” to retail and given its well-established ambitions to dominate virtually all aspects of the consumer goods market, including fashion, it is working on machine learning-driven endeavors, such as “an algorithm that learns about a particular style of fashion from existing imagery” and uses that information to generate new items in similar styles.

          Knight noted that back in 2017 that Amazon’s fashion design-specific AI initiative – a program that creates garment designs (by way of a tool called generative adversarial network) that can then be physically manufactured by humans – was still in early stages at the company’s Sunnyvale, California-based research and development hub, Amazon Lab126. In other words, the technology was hardly ready to turn out fashion designs that the $1 trillion e-commerce titan could add to its sweeping marketplace site, but assuming that the it does, in fact, get to that point (and even if it does not), the technology – and other initiatives in much the same vein – raises some interesting questions, a couple of which center on creation and ownership, namely: who actually created these designs, and thus, who maintains legal rights in them?

        • “It’s not the gay coat that makes the gentleman”: The Court of Florence rules once again on promotional materials portraying the David by Michelangelo (all dressed up, this time) and misses a chance to “unveil” the meaning of cultural heritage reproduction

          Affectionate readers of this blog will already be familiar with the Italian rules on the reproduction of cultural heritage as well as with two 2017 Court decisions that dealt with unauthorized reproductions of, respectively, the Teatro Massimo of Palermo and the David by Michelangelo (see here) (for an earlier dispute over a controversial picture of the David “bearing arms”, see here).

          Among the many Italian public entities having the right to authorise the reproduction of their cultural heritage assets, those having rights on the David by Michelangelo in particular seem to be the most aware of their prerogatives, as in early 2019 the Court of Florence was called to rule on yet another case involving this Renaissance masterpiece (the full decision is available here).

          The facts of the case are rather simple: Brioni, a prestigious Italian menswear couture brand, launched an advertising campaign (consisting of a video and some pictures) centred on a full-scale marble replica of the David by Michelangelo wearing a tailor made suit from Brioni’s couturiers.

        • Pirate IPTV Operator Hid Away With Mountains of Food to Avoid Coronavirus

          When officers from Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Administration raided a pirate IPTV provider they were unsurprised to discover large amounts of satellite and computer equipment for capturing and distributing live TV . However, what they also found was hundreds of pounds of food that had been stockpiled by the operator, who hadn’t been outside for months due to fears of catching the coronavirus.

        • YouTube Rippers ‘Flvto’ and ’2Conv’ Will Take Legal Battle to US Supreme Court

          YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com will petition the US Supreme Court to take on its legal battle with several major record labels. While the case is ultimately about alleged copyright infringements, both parties disagree on whether US Courts have jurisdiction over the sites and its owner, a matter which the Supreme Court may provide more clarity on.


Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 9:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.7.2

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.7.1 and Istio 1.7.2

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Doom Emacs For Noobs

        Doom Emacs is my preferred text editor, and I have made several videos about it. But some of those videos assumed that the viewer had some knowledge of Vim and/or Emacs. So I decided to make this Doom Emacs introductory video for the complete noob! This video covers how to install Doom Emacs, how to configure it, and some of the basic keybindings and commands.

      • The Endless Stream Of Linux Video Topics To Sift Through
    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Compute Runtime 20.37.17906 Brings Rocket Lake Support

          Intel’s software team has released a new version of their Compute Runtime that provides OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero capabilities for their graphics hardware on Linux.

        • AMDGPU TMZ + HDCP Should Allow Widevine DRM To Behave Nicely With AMD Linux Systems

          Coming together this year for the mainline Linux kernel was the AMDGPU Trusted Memory Zone (TMZ) capability for encrypted video memory support with Radeon GPUs. This topic was talked about at this week’s XDC2020 conference.

          AMDGPU TMZ prevents unauthorized applications from accessing the encrypted/trusted memory of an application. TMZ protects both reads and writes while leveraging an AES cipher. But while discrete Radeon GPUs can also support TMZ, for now the AMD Linux developers have just been focused on the capability for their APU platforms.

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Seeing Some 50~100% FPS Gains

          After working on getting the Zink OpenGL-over-Vulkan driver up to OpenGL 4.6 with still pending patches, former Samsung OSG engineer Mike Blumenkrantz has been making remarkable progress on the performance aspect as well.

          This generic Mesa OpenGL implementation that works atop Vulkan drivers is about to see much better performance. Blumenkrantz recently commented the performance was turning out better than expected but that was for micro-benchmarks. But now with more optimizations he is achieving even better results.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Free Linux Web Caches

        Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is considered to be the fundamental protocol of the web. This simple request/response protocol is used for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. The web consumes a large portion of internet traffic.

        With HTTP, a client makes a request for a resource to a server, and the server delivers messages with additional content such as images, style sheets and JavaScript. HTTP dictates how these messages are displayed and transmitted, and how web servers and browsers should respond to various commands.

        The developers of the HTTP protocol realized at an early stage that there was going to be rapid growth in web traffic. This continues to be the case.

      • Celluloid (formerly GNOME MPV) 0.20 Released! How to Install

        Celluloid, formerly Gnome MPV, released version 0.20 a few hours ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04 via PPA.

        Celluloid is a simple GTK+ frontend for mpv media player.

      • Telegram for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Mint Ulyana and Latest Fedora

        This is for you who want to have Telegram application on Ubuntu Focal Fossa and latest GNU/Linux Mint 20 Ulyana and Fedora 32. You can also practice this on other great OSes released just recently most notably MX Patito Feo and deepin 20. This means you can enjoy the fastest instant messenger on latest free software operating systems released this year for your computer and laptop. Enjoy Telegram!

      • Open Source Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Solutions

        LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is an application protocol for accessing directory services. It runs on a layer above the TCP/IP stack incorporating simplified encoding methods, and offers a convenient way to connect to, search, and modify Internet directories, specifically X.500-based directory services. It is an open, vendor-neutral, industry standard application protocol. LDAP utilizes a client-server model.

        This protocol is specifically targeted at management applications and browser applications that provide read/write interactive access to directories.

        The main benefit of using an LDAP server is that information for an entire organization can be consolidated into a central repository. LDAP supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), so that sensitive data can be protected. LDAP servers are used for a variety of tasks including, but not limited to, user authentication, machine authentication, user/system groups, asset tracking, organization representation, and application configuration stores.

      • Top 6 Web Hosting Control Panels

        A Web hosting control panel is a web-based interface that enables users to manage hosted services in a single location. Control panels can manage email account configuration, databases, FTP users’ accounts, monitor web space and bandwidth consumed, provide file management functionality, create backups, create subdomains and much more.

        Web hosting control panels offer an attractive solution to developers and designers that host multiple web sites on virtual private servers and dedicated servers. This type of server management software simplifies the process of managing servers. By offering an easy to user interface, the control panels avoid the need to have expert knowledge of server administration.

        Two of the most popular control panels are Plesk and cPanel. These are web-based graphical control panels that allow you to easily and intuitively administer websites, DNS, e-mail accounts, SSL certificates and databases. However, they are both proprietary software. Hosting providers will charge a monthly fee for these control panels to be installed on a server. Fortunately, there is a wide range of open source software available to download at no cost that offers a real alternative to these proprietary solutions.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 6 high quality web hosting control panels tools that let users take full control of a web hosting account. We give our highest recommendations to ISPConfig, Virtualmin and Webmin.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • NVIDIA GeForce Now quietly starts working on Linux as the Avengers come to play

        If you use or have been following NVIDIA GeForce Now, the cloud gaming platform that delivers PC titles you already own from sources such as Steam and Epic Games to a multitude of devices, the latest development seems to have emerged silently. Spotted by the team at GamingonLinux, users of Linux can now, it seems, access GeForce Now in either Chromium of Google Chrome.

        Indeed, previously this tactic involved fudging user agents to make GeForce Now believe you were on a Chromebook, following the launch of the web client for Google’s laptops. And it works just fine, I logged in and played some games with no issues on Ubuntu in both browsers. And just to double check, Firefox still shows an incompatible device error.

      • Dive into cyberspace this weekend with the latest Black Ice upgrade

        After finishing the first act of Black Ice story, this cyberpunk FPS continues getting content expansions and some of it sounds hilarious.

        Black Ice has always been a first-person shooter that leaned into the crazy and it’s all the more enjoyable for it. Since it’s in cyberspace, it doesn’t need to conform to being normal in any shape or form. That’s certainly true when you look at all the weapons types which are wild and varied – now even more so.

        The “Black Ice Enhancement Update” went live today, September 19, adding in new types of enemies like static Turrets which pump out bullets at you to mix up the gameplay. There’s also E-Snails, which lob pools of fire (and other elements) at the ground and explode if you destroy the barrel on their back. More new enemies arrived with this including Mini-webcrawlers and E-xploding-snails which spawn as ambush waves to surprise you.

      • Give tiny countries a resource transport network in the upcoming Mini Countries

        Mini Countries from Yheeky Games looks like a fresh take on the transport-network puzzle strategy system. With each level being a new miniaturised country that you need to build up.

        What they’ve created looks like a very unique blend of ideas in other games like Rise of Industry, Train Valley 2 and the likes. Although, the developer cited inspiration from others like Mini Metro. You’re responsible for building up your industry in each tiny country, and getting a network of it all going. Looks like a very sweet and streamlined approach to it.

      • Atmospheric fantasy turn-based RPG Colmen’s Quest is out now

        Not long after we only just discovered it, the fantasy turn-based RPG Colmen’s Quest is now considered finished and released and it also has an updated demo.

        “Colmen’s Quest is a turn-based fantasy RPG. You play as Colmen, an aspiring monster hunter, who is on a quest to unveil a dark threat that haunts the village of Valkirk. You will explore Valkirk and its villagers, descend dusky dungeons, fight monsters and eventually collect a bunch of loot and treasures.”

      • The Hotline Miami series is launching on Stadia soon, WWE 2K Battlegrounds out now

        Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number are the next set of games to be announced for Google’s game streaming service Stadia.

        They’re both going to be releasing next week, on September 22. Both games are available on desktop Linux already, from Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital.

      • Proton Deals: A New Service for Linux Gamers

        If you are anything like me, you probably check deals for Steam games on a regular basis across different sources – after all, why buy games at full price if you can get them discounted? I also like having a look at deals periodically since it helps me discover games I have not heard about before.

        The problem with deals (outside of the Steam store), is that it can be time consuming and tedious to find the best ones and check ProtonDB afterwards to ensure the game also works well on Linux. It’s 2020, and there is a good number of games that work out of the box, but as you know, Proton is not a perfect compatibility layer for all titles out there yet.

        So we are introducing Proton Deals, a newsletter service which crawls for the best deals out there, cross-references them with the ProtonDB ratings, and filters them out to make them as relevant as possible (removing the ones that have very poor compatibility, for example). Here’s what it looks like. Note that the “PROTON:” descriptions directly link to ProtonDB for more information about compatibility.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta is out. Final Release Next Month.

          The next installment of the Plasma desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta released. The final release is expected on October 13, 2020.

        • This week in KDE: everything happened

          This was a pretty huge week for KDE. Apparently people had a lot of pent-up work, because right after Akademy finished last week, the floodgates started opening! Amazing stuff has been landing left and right every day this week! Some highlights are touch support in Dolphin, user-configurable per-view sort ordering in Elisa, optional Systemd startup, tons of Okular scrolling improvements, and much, much, much more.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21 Bringing Systemd Startup Support, Wayland Improvements

          KDE developer Nate Graham known for his weekly development summaries characterized this week as “the floodgates started opening! Amazing stuff has been landing left and right every day this week!”

          In addition to this week bringing the Plasma 5.20 Beta, a lot of new code began lining up for Plasma 5.21 as well as fixes for next month’s 5.20 release. Among the KDE work that landed this past week includes:

          - Plasma now uses systemd for startup when it’s present. This should lead to faster startup/load times and other improvements as a result. But it’s not landing until Plasma 5.21.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME gets new versioning scheme, and Linux users are going to be confused

          The GNOME 3 desktop environment was officially released in 2011, and in 2020 we are still on version 3.x. Yeah, despite many massive changes over the last (almost) decade, we have been stuck with point releases for GNOME 3. For instance, just yesterday, GNOME 3.38 was released. Historically, the stable releases all ended in even numbers, with pre-release versions ending odd. For fans of the DE, such as yours truly, we have simply learned to live with this odd versioning scheme.

          Well, folks, with the next version of GNOME, the developers have finally decided to move on from version 3.x. You are probably thinking the new version will be 4.0, but you’d be very wrong. Actually, following GNOME 3.38 will be GNOME 40. Wait, what? Yes, the developers are actually moving from 3.x to 40.x! They are even ditching the even/odd aspect, as the next major stable version to come after 40 will be 41. Minor stable updates will be given incremental point designations (.1, .2, .3, etc.). During development, there will just be alpha, beta, and release candidates — nice and simple. Understandably, this is going to be confusing for some Linux users that are used to the old versioning scheme.

    • Distributions

      • Running deepin 20 LiveCD

        If you run deepin 20 from usb, you will find it is an Installer similar to Microsoft Windows Installer and not a LiveCD. Meaning, in order to try out deepin you must install it and cannot try it out beforehand like Ubuntu. Fortunately, actually the deepin installer includes LiveCD Session. We just need a little adjustment at the boot time and it works. Enjoy!

      • New Releases

        • Deepin Linux 20 Is Out And It Has An Awesome Dual-Kernel Feature

          It’s been a whopping 5 months since I covered the Deepin 20 Beta, but after a long wait and some perplexing silence, Deepin V20 has ditched its beta status and is ready for the masses. This shiny Linux OS also features some welcome new tricks up its Debian-based sleeves.

        • 4MLinux 34.0 Released with New Default Media Player, Mozilla Thunderbird 78.2

          4MLinux creator Zbigniew Konojacki announced today the release and general availability of 4MLinux 34.0, a new stable series of his independently developed GNU/Linux distribution for personal computers and servers.

          4MLinux 34.0 is here three months after 4MLinux 33.0, which is now marked as the “old stable” branch, and it’s packed with some of the latest Open Source software releases and a bunch of improvements to make your experience better, more stable, and more secure.

        • 4MLinux 34.0 STABLE released.

          The status of the 4MLinux 34.0 series has been changed to STABLE. Edit your documents with LibreOffice and GNOME Office (AbiWord 3.0.4, GIMP 2.10.20, Gnumeric 1.12.47), share your files using DropBox 103.4.383, surf the Internet with Firefox 80.0.1 and Chromium 83.0.4103.116, send emails via Thunderbird 78.2.2, enjoy your music collection with Audacious 4.0.4, watch your favorite videos with VLC 3.0.11 and mpv 0.32.0, play games powered by Mesa 20.0.7 and Wine 5.14. You can also setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server (Linux 5.4.61, Apache 2.4.46, MariaDB 10.5.5, PHP 5.6.40 and PHP 7.4.9). Perl 5.30.2, Python 2.7.18, and Python 3.8.2 are also available.

          As always, the new major release has some new features. The default media player is now Celluloid (more players are available as downloadable extensions). Support for WebP and HEIF images has been added to the Imlib2 library. FFmpeg now makes use of the SoX Resampler library.
          Many system-wide improvements related to time synchronization with ntpd servers, automounting of removable disks, and managing the Linux framebuffer (important when 4MLinux is run in virtual machines).

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.2-BETA2 Now Available
          The second BETA build of the 12.2-RELEASE release cycle is now
          Installation images are available for:
          o 12.2-BETA2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 i386 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 12.2-BETA2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 12.2-BETA2 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 BANANAPI
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 BEAGLEBONE
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 RPI2
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 WANDBOARD
          o 12.2-BETA2 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 RPI3
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 PINE64
          o 12.2-BETA2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/12.2" branch.
          A summary of changes since 12.1-BETA1 includes:
          o A regression affecting the PowerPC architecture had been fixed.
          o A race condition that could lead to a system crash when using jails
            with VIMAGE had been fixed.
          o Several wireless driver updates, including an update to ath(4), as
            well as 802.11n support for run(4) and otus(4).
          o Capsicum support had been added to rtsol(8) and rtsold(8).
          o A fix to certctl(8) to prevent overwriting a file on rehash.
          o TRIM support had been added to the bhyve(4) virtio-blk backend.
          o Fixes to libcompiler_rt have been added.
          o The ice(4) driver had been added, providing support for Intel 100Gb
            ethernet cards.
          o Fixes to ixl(4) affecting the PowerPC64 architecture have been added.
          o Support for the Novatel Wireless MiFi 8000 and 8800 have been added to
            the urndis(4) driver.
          o Fixes to the ure(4) driver to prevent packet-in-packet attacks have
            been addressed.  [SA-20:27]
          o Fixes to bhyve(4) to prevent privilege escalation via VMCS access have
            been addressed.  [SA-20:28, SA-20:29]
          o A fix to the ftpd(8) daemon to prevent privilege escalation via
            ftpchroot(5) had been addressed.  [SA-20:30]
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.2-RELEASE cycle progresses.
        • FreeBSD 12.2 BETA2 Brings TRIM For Bhyve’s VirtIO-BLK, Intel ICE Added

          The second beta of the forthcoming FreeBSD 12.2 is now available with a fair number of prominent changes accumulating over the past week.

          It was just last week FreeBSD 12.2 Beta was released as the first test build of this next BSD OS installment due out in just over one month’s time and ahead of FreeBSD 13.0 due out around late March of next year. Even with just one week passing and hitting the second beta, a number of notable changes have made it into FreeBSD 12.2-BETA2.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux-Based EndeavourOS ARM Launches for ARM Devices

          Two months ago, I wrote about the upcoming launch of EndeavourOS ARM, when the Arch Linux-based distribution celebrated its first anniversary. But today is the day, and the Linux community can now finally download the mobile version of EndeavourOS if they want to install it on their ARM devices.

          Basically, EndeavourOS ARM is a port of Arch Linux ARM, but packing all the benefits of the EndeavourOS distribution, which is the successor to Antergos Linux (formerly Cinnarch), making life a bit easier for those who want to use Arch Linux.

        • The September release and EndeavourOS ARM arrived

          I have to say that the development of the two releases we are presenting today was an intense experience and almost felt like we were relaunching EndeavourOS. Now that we’re talking, I want to thank the community and our financial backers for the rock solid support you are giving us in times of trouble.

        • EndeavourOS Releases September 2020 ISO with Linux 5.8, Improved Installation

          Besides launching the EndeavourOS ARM operating system for ARM devices, the EndeavourOS team also released today the September 2020 ISO, which includes all the latest software updates and some much-needed improvements.

          The September 2020 release of EndeavourOS is here for everyone who wants to install this Arch Linux-based distribution for personal computers. EndeavourOS makes installing Arch Linux a breeze for newcomers as it uses the powerful Calamares graphical installer by default.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 3 ways to protect yourself from imposter syndrome

          Poet and activist Maya Angelou published many books throughout her storied career, but each time, she feared people would figure out that she’d “run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” This seems an odd response from a well-honored writer. What she is describing is her own challenge with imposter syndrome.

          Think for a moment about your own accomplishments. Being hired into a new role. Having your first open source contribution merged into the project. Receiving an award or recognition. Being invited to participate in a project or event with people you respect and look up to. Did you question whether you belonged there? Did you fear people would “know that you didn’t belong?” There is an extremely high likelihood that you have also experienced imposter syndrome. Please check the survey at the end of this article to see that you’re not alone.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Janitor: Expanding Into Improving Multi-Arch

          The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor.

        • New Debian Maintainers (July and August 2020)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Chirayu Desai
          Shayan Doust
          Arnaud Ferraris
          Fritz Reichwald
          Kartik Kulkarni
          François Mazen
          Patrick Franz
          Francisco Vilmar Cardoso Ruviaro
          Octavio Alvarez
          Nick Black

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Sculpt OS release 20.08

        The new version of Sculpt OS is based on the latest Genode release 20.08. In particular, it incorporates the redesigned GUI stack to the benefit of quicker boot times, improved interactive responsiveness, and better pixel output quality. It also removes the last traces of the noux runtime. Fortunately, these massive under-the-hood changes do not disrupt the user-visible surface of Sculpt. Most users will feel right at home.

        Upon closer inspection, there are couple of new features to appreciate. The CPU-affinity of each component can now be restricted interactively by the user, components can be easily restarted via a click on a button, font-size changes have an immediate effect now, and the VESA driver (used when running Sculpt in a virtual machine) can dynamically change the screen resolution.

      • Sculpt OS 20.08 Released With Redesigned GUI Stack

        Building off the recent Genode OS 20.08 operating system framework release is now Sculpt OS 20.08 as the open-source project’s general purpose operating system attempt.

        Sculpt OS 20.08 pulls in the notable Genode 20.08 changes like the redesigned GUI stack with better responsiveness and other benefits. It also includes the ability to run the Falk web browser as the first Chromium-based browser on Genode/Sculpt.

        Sculpt OS is Genode’s effort around creating a general purpose OS but for right now is still largely limited to developers, hobbyists, and those wishing to tinker around with new operating systems.

      • Where’s the Yelp for open-source tools?

        We’d like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That’s another matter. When it comes to open source, you can’t rely on star power.

        The “wisdom of the crowd” has inspired all sorts of online services wherein people share their opinions and guide others in making choices. The Internet community has created many ways to do this, such as Amazon reviews, Glassdoor (where you can rate employers), and TripAdvisor and Yelp (for hotels, restaurants, and other service providers). You can rate or recommend commercial software, too, such as on mobile app stores or through sites like product hunt. But if you want advice to help you choose open-source applications, the results are disappointing.

        It isn’t for lack of trying. Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites – and their methodologies – have flaws.

        Take that most archaic of programming metrics: Lines of code (LoC). Yes, it’s easy to measure. But it’s also profoundly misleading. As programming genius Edsger Dijkstra observed in 1988, LoC gives people “the reassuring illusion that programs are just devices like any others, the only difference admitted being that their manufacture might require a new type of craftsmen, viz. programmers. From there it is only a small step to measuring ‘programmer productivity’ in terms of ‘number of lines of code produced per month.’ This is a very costly measuring unit because it encourages the writing of insipid code.”

        We’ve gotten better since then, haven’t we? Perhaps not.

      • Where’s the Yelp For Open-source Tools?
      • Web Browsers

      • CMS

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • How to use Strcpy() in C language?

          In this article, we are going to learn about the strcpy() function in the C programming language. The strcpy() function is a very popular standard library function to perform the string copy operation in the C programming language. There are several standard header files in C programming language to perform standard operations. The “string.h” is one of such header files, which provides several standard library functions to perform string operations. The “strcpy()” function is one of the library functions provided by “string.h”.

        • How to Use C++ Vector

          An array is a series of same object types in consecutive memory locations. An array cannot increase ore reduce in length. A vector is like an array, but its length can be increased or reduced. A vector, therefore, has many more operations than an array.

          C++ has many libraries, all of which form the C++ Standard Library. One of these libraries is the container library. A container is a collection of objects, and certain operations can be performed on the collection. C++ containers can be grouped into two sets: sequence containers and associative containers. Sequence containers are vector, array (not the same array discussed previously), deque, forward_list, and list. These are different collections (array-like data structures), and each offers distinct trade-offs.

          Any programmer should know how to decide whether to use a vector, an array, a deque, a forward_list, or a list. When a programmer needs a structure that requires more operations than those associated with an ordinary array, the ordinary array should not be used.

          If the task involves frequent insertions and deletions in the middle of the sequence, then a list or forward_list should be used. If the task involves frequent insertions and deletions in the beginning or end of a sequence, then a deque should be used. A vector should be used when these kinds of operations are not required.

        • How to Use isalpha() in C Language

          There are several standard library header files in the C programming language used to perform various standard operations. The “ctype.h” is one such header file, and the “isalpha()” function is one of the library functions provided by “ctype.h.” The isalpha() library function is used to identify whether a character is an alphabet. In this article, you will learn about the isalpha() library function in C language.

        • NVIDIA C++ Standard Library Now Available Via GitHub

          Introduced last year as part of CUDA 10.2 was libcu++ as the CUDA C++ standard library, which works with not only NVIDIA CUDA enabled configurations but also CPUs. The libcu++ sources are now available via GitHub.

        • Python

          • Python 3.8.5 : Linked List – part 001.
          • Doug Hellmann: sphinxcontrib.datatemplates 0.7.0

            sphinxcontrib.datatemplates is an extension for Sphinx to render parts of reStructuredText pages from data files in formats like JSON, YAML, XML, and CSV.

          • Python : 10 Ways to Filter Pandas DataFrame

            In this article, we will cover various methods to filter pandas dataframe in Python. Data Filtering is one of the most frequent data manipulation operation. It is similar to WHERE clause in SQL or you must have used filter in MS Excel for selecting specific rows based on some conditions. In terms of speed, python has an efficient way to perform filtering and aggregation. It has an excellent package called pandas for data wrangling tasks. Pandas has been built on top of numpy package which was written in C language which is a low level language. Hence data manipulation using pandas package is fast and smart way to handle big sized datasets.

          • Top GUI Frameworks that is every Python Developer’s Favorite

            Python is one of the most popular and widely known programming languages that is a favorite in the developer community. Its advanced libraries and file extensions enable developers to build state-of-the-art tools for real-world problems, or simply design a GUI (Graphic User Interface). GUI plays an essential role in the computer world as it makes human-machine interaction easier. Python offers a diverse range of options for GUI frameworks. Some of these frameworks are more preferred by the developers to build both .apk and .exe applications. Moreover, its GUI toolkits include TK, GTK, QT, and wxWidgets, which come with more features than other platform-specific kits. Though the Python wiki on GUI programming lists on 30 cross-platform frameworks, we have selected our top 4 picks. They are:

            Kivy: It an open-source Python library for the rapid development of applications that makes use of innovative user interfaces, such as multi-touch apps. This liberal MIT-licensed Kivy is based on OpenGL ES 2 and includes native multi-touch for each platform. It is an event-driven framework based around the main loop, making it very suitable for game development. It supports multiple platforms, namely, Windows, MacOSX, Linux, Android-iOS, and Raspberry Pi. Unlike QtCreator, Kivy doesn’t have a visual layout program, but it uses its own design language to help you associate UI layout with code objects.

        • Laravel

          • Laravel CSRF Protection

            The full form of CSRF is Cross-Site Request Forgery. It is one type of online attack in which the attacker sends requests as an authorized user to a system by gaining access information of a particular user of that system and performs different types of malicious activities by using the identity of that user. The impact of this attack depends on the victim’s privileges on the system. If the victim is a normal user then it will affect the personal data of the victim only. But if the victim is the administrator of the system then the attacker can damage the whole system. The users of any business website, social networking can be affected by this attack. This attack can be prevented easily by using Laravel CSRF protection to make the system more secure. Laravel generates CRSF token for each active user session automatically by which any request and approval are given to the authenticated user for the system. How Laravel CSRF Protection can be applied in the Laravel application is shown in this tutorial.

        • Java

          • Fun with Java Records

            Records, like lambdas and default methods on interfaces are tremendously useful language features because they enable many different patterns and uses beyond the obvious.

            Java 8 brought lambdas, with lots of compelling uses for streams. What I found exciting at the time was that for the first time lots of things that we’d previously have to have waited for as new language features could become library features. While waiting for lambdas we had a Java 7 release with try-with-resources. If we’d had lambdas we could have implemented something similar in a library without needing a language change.

  • Leftovers

    • George Atiyeh, Opal Creek Champion

      George has been missing since the Sept. 8th Wildfire that roared down Opal Creek, burning down the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Education Center at Jawbone Flats, the old mining camp that he and pals restored starting the 1970s. As I write this no contact has been made since that fateful day.

    • Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons: More Than a Love Story

      With one announcement, a future gripping documentary became a Hollywood movie. Maya Moore, one of the greatest basketball players on earth with a closet full of trophies to prove the point, had left her career in her prime to pursue justice. Back in 2019, she shocked the world by turning away from the WNBA to take on our system of racist mass incarceration and focus on freeing a man named Jonathan Irons. At age 16, Irons was arrested for a crime that he said he did not commit, a home-invasion robbery in Missouri. There was no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, but he was still handed a stunning 65-year prison sentence by an all-white jury. As fortune and unimaginable luck would have it, Irons had been in the youth choir led by Maya Moore’s uncle. That relationship continued when Irons was locked away to be forgotten, just another number in a system that houses more people behind bars than any country on earth.

    • Let ‘Gender Reveal’ Parties Burn

      Even their creator says enough is enough. Let children discover themselves on their own terms.

    • Rum, Sodomy and the Lash

      Review of The Anatomist’s Tale by Tauno Biltsted (Lanternfish Press, 2020)

    • WAP It Good

      Don’t run, walk, or crawl towards the Apocalypse. Dance. This most curious form of human movement, unlimited in its variety and meanings, and instantly recognizable even by other species (our dog would go berserk when her masters began shimmying across the living room of an evening) seems as pleasant a way as any to tip into the abyss—twerking or twisting, sashaying or salsaing. The reason to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic is so that you can have one last dance before the icy waters close around you.

    • Airline’s flight ‘to nowhere’ gets fully booked in 10 minutes
    • Google, nobody asked to make the Blogger interface permanent

      As a followup to my previous rant on the obnoxious new Blogger “upgrade,” I will grudgingly admit Blogger has done some listening. You can now embed images and links similarly to the way you used to, which restores some missing features and erases at least a part of my prior objections. But not the major one, because usability is still a rotting elephant’s placenta. I remain an inveterate user of the HTML blog view and yet the HTML editor still thinks it knows better than you how to format your code and what tags you should use, you can’t turn it off and you can’t make it faster. And I remain unclear what the point of all this was because there is little improvement in functionality except mobile previewing.

    • Science

      • ‘Astounding’: Trump Officials Reportedly Bypassed CDC Scientists to Publish ‘Dangerous’ Covid-19 Testing Guidelines

        “Trump’s hacks just sidestepped the CDC entirely and shamelessly wrote their own politically-motivated testing guidelines and published them under the agency’s imprimatur.”

      • Trump vs. Masks: Attacks on CDC, Doctors & Scientists Undermine a “Pillar of Pandemic Control”

        As the official United States death toll from COVID-19 approaches 200,000 people, we speak with infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi, who says President Trump’s refusal to promote face masks has made the pandemic much worse. “Masks are a pillar of pandemic control. They are incredibly important,” says Dr. Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as a division head at San Francisco General Hospital. “There is no country in the world right now that has been fighting masks like this, especially at the presidential level. If we could have started mask wearing, consistent mask wearing, at the beginning, we would have averted deaths and cases.”

      • Can we trust the CDC and FDA any more?

        [Orac note: Some of you might have seen a version of this post earlier this week elsewhere. This version is updated. I have a major grant deadline on Monday and that’s why there haven’t been any new posts since Monday. I anticipate resuming the Insolence on Tuesday or Wednesday, and hopefully I can get back to my regular schedule, at least until the next grant deadlines in early October. After that, things should be less hectic for a couple of months. In the meantime, I ask the question: Can we trust the CDC and FDA any more?]

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Win-KeX Version 2.0 Released For Kali Linux Running In WSL 2 [Ed: Prisoners of Windows]

            For those who don’t know, Win-KeX is a graphical desktop environment for Kali Linux running on Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2). It aims to provide a GUI and improve the Kali Linux experience on WSL 2.

          • Popular VPN closes critical vulnerability on Linux client

            The VPN service Private Internet Access (PIA) has released a new version of its Linux client which fixes a critical vulnerability that could have allowed remote attackers to bypass the software’s kill switch.

            The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2020-15590, was discovered by Sick Codes and it affects versions 1.5 through 2.3 of PIA’s Linux client.

            The client’s kill switch is configured to block all inbound and outbound network traffic when a VPN connection drops. However, privileged applications still have the ability to send and receive network traffic even when the kill switch is turned on if net.ipv4.ip_forward has been enabled in the system kernel parameters.


            “For the issue raised, we have no legacy customer support requests relating to this use case. We welcome input from community sources in addressing their usage and with this in mind, we took the decision to support this use case with our next Linux client release.”

            PIA users running Docker on Linux should upgrade to version 2.4 of the company’s client as soon as possible to avoid any potential attacks leveraging this vulnerability.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • House Passes Bill To Address The Internet Of Broken Things

              Though it doesn’t grab the same headline attention as the silly and pointless TikTok ban, the lack of security and privacy standards in the internet of things (IOT) is arguably a much bigger problem. TikTok is, after all, just one app, hoovering up consumer data in a way that’s not particularly different from the 45,000 other international apps, services, governments, and telecoms doing much the same thing. The IOT, in contrast, involves millions of feebly secured products being attached to home and business networks every day. Many also made in China, but featuring microphones and cameras.

            • Lawsuit accuses Facebook of using mobile phone cameras to spy on Instagram users

              The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court Thursday by a New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi who claimed Facebook accesses mobile cameras while users are on the app “to collect lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.”

              “By obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes, [Facebook is] able to increase their advertising revenue by targeting users more than ever before,” the lawsuit alleges.

            • Choosing a VPN for the WeChat and TikTok Ban: Paid VPN vs. Free VPN

              Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a popular and effective way to bypass bans. Recently, the governments in India and the United States have banned certain apps like WeChat and TikTok from the app store. While the bans currently only stop users from downloading the app from the app store and will not yet block users from using the app if they already have it, it isn’t unreasonable to think that might be the next step. As US companies will soon be forbidden from providing technical services to WeChat and TikTok, it’s possible that even those that still have the app will experience degraded usage experiences unless they use a VPN.

            • Details Of Unconstitutional WeChat/TikTok Ban Actually Would Make Users Of Those Apps Less Secure, Not More

              This morning the Commerce Department released the details of how the WeChat and TikTok bans will work. It’s possible that the ban on TikTok will get lifted if Treasury Secretary Mnuchin can convince enough people in the administration to buy into the grifty Oracle non-sale, but the WeChat ban is happening no matter what.

            • Starting Sunday, TikTok and WeChat banned in US: American users will need a VPN

              The United States government has officially banned TikTok and WeChat from American phones, citing national security concerns. Starting Sunday, September the 20th, TikTok and WeChat will no longer be allowed in the Apple iOS Store or the Google Play Store. The news comes from a U.S. Department of Commerce press release which is titled: “Commerce Department Prohibits WeChat and TikTok Transactions to Protect the National Security of the United States.” Where many people use VPNs in China to bypass Chinese censorship of American apps and services, the reverse is now going to become a thing.

            • TikTok Asks Facebook for Support Against Trump’s Ban

              dam Mosseri, who runs Facebook’s Instagram photo-sharing app, tweeted Friday that a TikTok ban, which the Commerce Department announced earlier, “would be quite bad for Instagram, Facebook, and the internet more broadly.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat will be banned from U.S. app stores starting Sunday.

              TikTok’s interim Chief Executive Officer Vanessa Pappas replied to Mosseri’s tweet, asking the company to join its legal fight against the White House. “We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation,” she wrote. “This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law.”

            • Trump to ban US TikTok and WeChat app store downloads on September 20th

              The full order was published by the Department of Commerce on Friday morning. “Any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd,” the order reads, “shall be prohibited to the extent permitted under applicable law.” It is set to take effect on September 20th.

            • EXCLUSIVE-Trump to block U.S. downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday- officials

              The Commerce Department order will “deplatform” the two apps in the United States and bar Apple Inc’s app store, Alphabet Inc’s Google Play and others from offering the apps on any platform “that can be reached from within the United States,” a senior Commerce official told Reuters.

              The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made public.

              The order will not ban U.S. companies from doing businesses on WeChat outside the United States, which will be welcome news to U.S. firms like Walmart and Starbucks that use WeChat’s embedded ‘mini-app’ programs to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China.

            • WeChat Users Fighting To Block Trump’s Executive Order Banning The App In The US

              While the TikTok part of Trump’s original August Executive Order got all the attention, we pointed out that it was fairly notable that he issued a nearly identical order to also effectively ban WeChat by blocking any transactions related to WeChat. While WeChat is not that well known or widely used in the US, it is basically central to the Chinese internet, and, as such, is a key part of how many Chinese Americans stay in touch with relatives, friends, and colleagues back in China. So it was perhaps not that surprising that a group of WeChat users in the US quickly sued to try to block the order:

            • Let Gender Reveal Parties Burn

              The Georgia sun beat down on my uncle Dennis’s front yard the day he cut my hair.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Bolstering Calls for Climate Action, ‘Mutant Sloth’ Hurricane Sally Leaves Major Mess for Gulf Coast

        “The planet, it’s screaming to us,” said one expert. “When are we going to start listening?”

      • Trump’s Climate Denial Gains Strength If We’re in Denial About His Neo-Fascism

        Climate change is an emergency. And so is Trumpism. Flames are approaching what’s left of democratic structures in the United States.

      • We Need a New Climate Narrative: Not a Dystopian Movie, but a Vision of Hope, Change and Empowerment

        In a season of fire and storm, we need more than fables of apocalypse. There’s real hope, if we can seize it.

      • Court Considers If Washington State, Smothered by ‘Climate Fires’ and Smoke, Is Violating Youths’ Rights to Life and Liberty

        That case, Aji P. et al. v. State of Washington, argues that the government is violating the youths’ fundamental rights under the state constitution through policies that perpetuate fossil fuels and fail to reduce carbon emissions rapidly enough to avoid catastrophic climate consequences. At a time when the state is literally on fire and climate calamity impossible to ignore, the court appeared skeptical of the state’s argument that the political branches of government are doing enough to address the crisis and that climate change doesn’t undermine fundamental rights protected by the constitution.

      • Are Environmentalists Too Compromised to Fight for Real Solutions?

        A group of aging environmentalists is out with an Open Letter telling people: Don’t vote for the Green Party. As the aging environmentalist who is the Green Party candidate for president, let me respond.

      • As Advocates Demand Media ‘Cover the Crisis,’ Poll Shows Voters Want Comprehensive Reporting on Climate Crisis

        “To give voters the information they need to make political decisions in an increasingly chaotic world, the media must cover the climate crisis with the accuracy and urgency it deserves.”

      • ‘Climate Floods. Climate Droughts. Climate Fires’: Interactive Map Illustrates How Planetary Crisis Threatens Every Corner of US

        Digital project allows Americans to recognize the “most significant climate threat unfolding” in their own backyard.

      • Misinformation Raging Like Wildfire

        With large fires still raging around the West, we can all feel empathy for those who lost their homes and even entire communities and all of us suffering from the smoke.

      • Media Blame Gender Reveal Parties, Not Climate Change, for West Coast Fires

        The West is on fire, quite literally. A record-breaking heatwave has sparked unprecedented wildfires up and down the coast, turning the sky an apocalyptic, terrifying shade of red. Six of California’s 20 largest-ever fires have occurred this year, over half a million Oregonians have been forced to flee their homes and the destruction from this week’s blazes alone in Washington qualify it as the state’s second-worst fire season in history.

      • As Fires Rage Across the West, Trump Bails Out Big Oil & Picks Climate Denier for Top Role at NOAA

        As climate-fueled wildfires continue to ravage the West, the Trump administration has tapped a well-known climate change denier for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. University of Delaware professor David Legates has written papers calling for more fossil fuel emissions and has had his work supported by the Robert Mercer-funded Heartland Institute and Koch Industries, as well as major gas companies. He was recently hired as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. We speak with David Goodrich, a former top climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who says Legates’s appointment goes against the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community. “You have about 97% of the scientists disagreeing with the position of Dr. Legates,” says Goodrich, who served as director of NOAA’s Climate Observations Division from 2009 to 2011. We also speak to David Goodrich about his latest book, “A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean,” in which he examines the impact of the fossil fuel industry through an epic bicycle journey from the Alberta tar sands to the Bakken oil field of North Dakota.

      • Toxic Wildfire Haze Leaves Damage Long After It Clears

        Seeley Lake, Montana — When researchers arrived in this town tucked in the Northern Rockies three years ago, they could still smell the smoke a day after it cleared from devastating wildfires. Their plan was to chart how long it took for people to recover from living for seven weeks surrounded by relentless smoke.

      • As wildfires rage, climate experts warn: The future we were worried about is here

        “Individual things like a bad hurricane season, bad flooding or bad wildfires are not that surprising because literally every climate scientist predicted these things would happen,” said Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a senior research associate at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia. “But seeing all these things happen in one year — in some cases, simultaneously — is shocking and does make me worried about what the next 10 years are going to look like.”

        Though they occurred thousands of miles apart, on different continents and different terrains, there are some similarities between the wildfires in Australia and those in the western U.S., according to Mike Flannigan, director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science at the University of Alberta in Canada.

        In both places, the fire seasons started earlier than normal amid persistent drought conditions, he said. Lightning also played a key role in igniting fires in Australia and in California, in particular.

      • Enough is Enough: It’s Time for a Real Green New Deal

        With fires raging across the western United States – leaving in their wake human and wildlife death, upended lives, and what looks like apocalyptic Martian wastelands – renewed calls for a Green New Deal (GND) are intensifying. But with these renewed calls comes a renewed responsibility to speak honestly about our climate crisis and what a truly appropriate response might look like. The time is upon us to stop pushing childish fantasies about our energy future and to finally face the difficult realities that stand before us.

      • European Thinktanks Repeating ‘Well-worn’ US Climate Denial Tropes

        The paper published in the journal Climatic Change examines publications from eight of the most prominent contrarian thinktanks in six EU countries over 24 years from 1994 to 2018, and argues the organisations enjoy a “remarkable” level of political influence for their size.

      • ‘Delay, Distract, and Derail’: New Report Reveals How Plastic Polluters Have Avoided Regulation Worldwide for Decades

        “This report is a damning exposé of the tactics employed by the plastics industry and shines a welcome light on the shadowy world of corporate lobbying.” 

      • Energy

        • Antonia Juhasz on the End of Oil

          This week on CounterSpin: As the coronavirus pandemic shut down business as usual around the world, some saw a kind of silver lining in emerging images of formerly gray skies returned to blue, skylines re-emerging from years of polluted muck. More than an “ironic upside,” those images were a message: that situations presented as inevitable have always been choices, that it is action—and inaction—that have kept those skies gray.

        • Fossil Fuel Industry and Koch Network Fighting Pennsylvania’s Move to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

          The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board, part of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), voted on September 15 to adopt draft regulations limiting carbon emissions from power plants as part of the state’s process of joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program designed to slash emissions from the electric power sector. An ongoing battle has been brewing over Pennsylvania joining this program. Its Republican-controlled legislature is opposed to the state participating, while Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has taken executive action to start the process of joining.

        • Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them.

          In May 2019, workers in California’s Central Valley struggled to seal a broken oil well. It was one of thousands of aging wells that crowd the dusty foothills three hours from the coast, where Chevron and other companies inject steam at high pressure to loosen up heavy crude. Suddenly, oil shot out of the bare ground nearby.

          Chevron corralled the oil in a dry streambed, and within days the flow petered out. But it resumed with a vengeance a month later. By July, a sticky, shimmering stream of crude and brine oozed through the steep ravine.

        • Pulp mills could be massive source of synthetic fuel

          Carbon dioxide can be scrubbed from mill smoke and combined with hydrogen to produce synthetic fuels that can replace petrol and diesel.

          The Lappeenranta – Lahti University of Technology LUT published a study on Friday in cooperation with with the energy company St1 and the engineering technology company Wärtsilä, according to which Finland could become fully energy self-sufficient and completely end the use of fossil energy sources.

        • A little rant about talent

          It’s become less common to hear people referred to as “resources” in recent times. There’s more trendy “official vocab guidelines”, but what’s really changed? There’s still phrases in common use that sound good but betray the same mindset.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Millions of Children Go Hungry as Mitch McConnell Blocks Stimulus Bill

        Millions of children across the United States are already going hungry amid the economic recession spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and emergency food assistance is set to expire on September 30 as Congress remains at an impasse over stimulus legislation. The House has already passed legislation that would renew the emergency food assistance, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take it up in the Senate.

      • Surprise! Still No Economic Relief from Washington

        With tens of millions unemployed, inevitable eviction merely postponed for a few months and low-wage jobs and small businesses drying up like the Rio Grande south of Albuquerque, you’d think the federal government could negotiate some help for stranded Americans. Democrats had a bill ready back in May. But it just sat on Mitch McConnell’s desk till the last minute, when government aid ran out. Then the GOP said no. That’s called negotiating – in some, demented quarters. Anyway, the Dems halved their price-tag. The GOP said no again. Trump passed a bunch of legally questionable executive orders – most of which did little to help desperate Americans. Meanwhile the Biden campaign idiotically indicated it might not repeal the odious Trump tax cut for billionaires, if Biden wins.

      • Over 13 Million More People Would Be in Poverty Without Unemployment Insurance and Stimulus Payments

        Senate Republicans are blocking legislation proven to reduce poverty.

      • ‘Completely Upside Down’: As Most Americans Struggled During First Six Months of Pandemic, Billionaire Wealth Surged by $845 Billion

        “The difference is stark between profits for billionaires and the widespread economic misery in our nation.”

      • Giuliani’s Payroll Company Got a Paycheck Protection Loan But Lists No Employees

        A payroll company owned by Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, took between $150,000 and $350,000 in taxpayer-backed emergency small business loans this spring. It’s unclear what Giuliani did with the money.

      • Bolstering Case for Single Payer, Study Shows For-Profit Insurer Plans Pay Hospitals Nearly 250% More Than Medicare

        “There is no better system of cost control and universal care for employers than Medicare for All.”

      • Confronting Collapse

        As we pick up the pieces of the shattered economy, the route to the Great Transition becomes clear: we need to recapture and democratize money as a lever for resource allocation and collective power.

      • Cuomo’s Choice: Tax the Rich or Starve the Schools

        New York City is facing its most tumultuous school reopening in recent memory. The city’s Department of Education is the only major urban school system that is attempting to start the new school year with in-person learning, and the move will offer either a road map for districts everywhere or serve as a cautionary tale of what a city should not do. As of now, the DOE plans to reopen in-person instruction in staggered shifts, with the majority starting after September 29, delaying a start date from September 10 after pressure from concerned teachers and parents.

      • To Provide Public Alternative to ‘Predatory’ Wall Street Banks, Sanders and Gillibrand Unveil Postal Banking Act

        “No one in America should have to pay a 400% interest rate on a $375 loan from a payday lender.”

      • President Trump Has Attacked Workers’ Safety, Wages, and Rights Since Day One

        Here’s a look at five of the worst actions the Trump administration has taken against workers.

      • With Eye on Biden Victory, Warren and Schumer Unveil Plan to Cancel Up to $50,000 for Federal Student Loan Borrowers

        “Broadly cancelling student loan debt would be a game-changer for millions of people in this country and a lifeline when they desperately need it.”

      • Billionaires Called to Pay It Back as UN Warns of ‘Wave of Hunger and Famine’ That Could Rock Globe

        “It’s time for those who have the most to step up, to help those who have the least in this extraordinary time in world history,” says the World Food Programme director. “Humanity is facing the greatest crisis any of us have seen in our lifetimes.”

      • Reflections on the Later Stages of Our Careers

        I recently read “Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think,” an essay in The Atlantic by social scientist and author Arthur C. Brooks. Brooks essay is a personal reflection on professional careers. In particular, the essay explains why in July of 2019 at the age of 55, he concluded that it was time to resign his decades-long position as president of the prestigious American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to join the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School. I found Brooks’ essay particularly intriguing as a lens through which to reflect on the later stages of my own career; – when I turned 60 in 2005, I started the transition toward my 2007 retirement from my long IBM career by becoming affiliated with MIT and starting to write my weekly blogs.

        The essay references the work of Dean Simonton, professor emeritus of psychology at UC Davis, who’s conducted extensive research on the trajectories of creative careers and is one of the world’s leading experts on the subject.

        Over the years, Simonton developed a mathematical model that explains the long term variations in the career trajectories of different individuals, as well as the differences in career trajectories across disciplines and domains. A few parameters account for most individual differences: the age at which the career starts, the career’s initial creative potential, the rates at which new ideas are generated, and the rate at which the ideas become finished results as publications or products. This simple model can then predict the trajectory of each individual’s career, including the ages of their first, their best and their final contribution. Simonton confirmed the validity of his model by analyzing the creative output of the careers of over 2,000 scientists and inventors, as well as the output of musicians, painters, authors and other artists.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Democrats: Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em

        Like HIV or COVID-19, the Democratic Party is likely to be with us for some time to come. The best we can hope for is that it becomes more manageable.

      • For Real Resistance: The Fascist Trump-Barr Regime Can’t Simply Be Voted Out

        “There Has to be Retribution”

      • Taking the Next Knee

        Is this athletic revolt for real and is it a danger to Donald Trump?

      • Changing the Washington Guard: What a Democratic Sweep in November Portends

        At the risk of counting chickens before they hatch, what would the return of Team Blue portend?

      • Top Dems Demand IG Probe Into Possible Illegal Election Influencing in Favor of Trump by William Barr

        Recent actions by the U.S. Attorney General, said chairs of key House committees, “clearly appear intended to benefit President Trump politically.”

      • “Law and Order” vs. “Empathy and Healing”

        Americans citizens have considered, knowingly or not, the legacy of American history every four years since 1788. This election season, we have the choice of ‘Law and Order’–conservatism as a morally bankrupt subservience to power, or ‘Empathy and Healing’–a nostrum that offers compassionate listening rather than progressive change.  Both represent attempts to shape society based on some idealized historical fiction rather than confronting the clear and present exigencies of past injustices.

      • Remembering is Powerful

        Remembering makes us wiser. The words Never Forget takes us back to the events of 9-11. Years later, the site of the Twin Towers has been rebuilt as a memorial with two reflecting pools marking where the two buildings once stood. The memorial not only marks the spot where innocent people lost their lives but also becomes a place for introspection. Many millennials will not remember 9-11 but have been exposed to the aftermath of Islamophobia and twenty-years of military reprisals. This is part of their world – so, remembering is important.

      • ‘A Recipe for Disaster’: Democrats Worry Biden Campaign Missing in Action in Battleground States
      • A Trump Admin Rule Change Would Allow Shelters to Refuse Trans People

        Few experiences are more commonly shared among transgender people than a lack of stable housing. Nearly one in three transgender Americans have been homeless in their lifetime and one in eight have been homeless in just the last year, according to a 2015 survey. And not having a place to live leaves individuals more vulnerable to the harassment, abuse and violence that characterizes so much of life as a transgender person in the U.S.

      • Conspiracy Theories by Cops Fuel Far Right Attacks Against Antiracist Protesters

        On August 22, a far right confederation of Three Percenter militia, Proud Boys and Trump Republicans confronted Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Portland, Oregon. They came armed to the teeth: open-carried rifles and handguns, shields paired with pipes and batons, and body armor with heavy-duty bulletproof helmets. They formed a shield line, many emblazoned with far right slogans like “Save the Children,” a reference to the conspiracy theory that Democrats are running child sex-slave rings. After an hour of taunts, they charged into the crowd. They swung metal pipes, beating people to the ground, breaking bones and leaving serious injuries.

      • Amid Fears of False Victory Claim by Trump, Media Urged to Form Plan to Combat Election Night Lies

        The National Task Force on Election Crises warned that “period of uncertainty” caused by surge in mail-in ballots could “allow bad actors to attempt to undermine our democratic process.”

      • ‘Existential Threat to Our Democracy’: Trump Openly Telegraphs Intent (Once Again) to Delegitimize 2020 Election Results

        The president’s latest baseless attack on mail-in ballots drew yet another warning from Twitter.

      • Judge What I Say, Not What I Do: Yves Engler On Canada’s Foreign Policy

        In June 2020 Canada’s grovelling desire to gain a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council was rejected. This may have been a surprise to some Canadians who bathe in the sunny light of the peacekeeping nation and resolute upholder of human rights and international law. How could Canada, of all nations, be rejected? In 2016 former President Obama had cried out that “The world needs more Canada.” Indigo Books picked up this phrase and turned it into a treacly birthday card greeting. But many nations in the world adamantly disagreed with these lovely sentiments.

      • Russian to Judgement: the Senate Report

        Author and former British spy, a rightwing fave, is regarded as the coiner of the expression Deep State — what he described as “the invisible labyrinth of power” outside of government that actually controls the operations of a nation’s background machinations. Most powerful nations have one. In the US, we often refer to this State as the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC), after Ike’s farewell speech in 1960, in which he references the expression. Not necessarily malignant, the Deep State does complicate the open workings of government by privileging the needs of corporations and the military over democratically expressed desires (such as a modernization of the social safety net to include universal health insurance, free tuition and loan forgiveness). Usually, the needs of the MIC amounts to illicit money-making.

      • From Nukes to Northern Ireland: Breaking International Law is as English as Afternoon Tea

        Referring to a major piece of Brexit legislation, British media and punditry issued burning condemnation of the ruling Tory government’s Internal Market Bill, which the former Tory Party chair and current Northern Ireland Minister, Brandon Lewis, says will: “break international law in a very specific and limited way.”

      • Voters Should be Wary of USA Today’s False Balance on Election 2020

        The newspaper overstates Trump’s support and creates the impression of a balance that doesn’t exist.

      • Right-Wing Operatives Accused of Trying to Entrap Progressive Pro-Democracy Groups in North Carolina to Undermine Their Election Work

        “Common Cause may be the target, but the attack is on our democracy and on the right of every eligible voter to have a say in the future for our families, communities, and country.”

      • As Early Voting Begins in Key States, Advocates Emphasize ‘Election Day’ Not Just in November This Year—It’s Now!

        Given the pandemic, said one organizer, “we are really stressing that folks should try to vote as early as possible, whether they do that by mail or in person.”

      • Burn Unit
      • Nature, Science and Revolutionary Struggle

        Working my way through John Bellamy Foster’s magisterial “The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology,” it dawned on me that there was a gap in my knowledge. I knew that Marx and Engels were consumed with ecological problems, even though the word wasn’t in their vocabulary. To a large extent, my awareness came from reading another great Foster book, “Marx’s Ecology.” However, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that in between Marx/ Engels and Rachel Carson it was mostly a blur. The failure of the socialist states to support Green values reinforced that feeling. From Chernobyl to the shrinking of the Aral Sea, there was not much to distinguish capitalist and socialist society.

      • Very Brief Briefings
      • ‘Huge Victory for Voting Rights’ in Pennsylvania as State Supreme Court Extends Mail-In Ballot Deadline, Allows Voting Drop Boxes

        “The court’s well-reasoned decision protects the right to cast a vote by mail that will count, and it protects voters whose health are at risk due to Covid-19.”

      • Remembering Ike, Our Unexpected Egalitarian

        Former president Dwight Eisenhower deserves his new memorial. We deserve the greater economic equality he worked to help achieve.

      • Melania Trump Really Doesn’t Care

        I used to feel sorry for Melania Trump. All she wanted, I imagined, was to be one of those rich private-school moms who spend their life getting spa treatments and lunching with their girlfriends at chic little Upper East Side restaurants. Instead, she ended up trapped with a sociopath in a tower full of gold toilets. People put too much stock in the concept of agency, I would say. Sometimes you make a mistake and you can’t get out of it. And because she’s a woman, she gets double the blame, like Marie Antoinette. These days, Marie gets more grief than her husband, Louis XVI, the actual king of France.

      • White Supremacists Are a Threat to Elections, Says the DHS

        Last week, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower told the press that agency officials had ordered him to downplay the threat of white supremacist terrorism. But a recent DHS intelligence assessment about physical threats to the 2020 election season identifies “white supremacist extremists” as the foremost threat to the democratic process this year.

      • Electionland 2020: USPS Mailers, Pandemic Voting, Get Out the Vote Efforts and More

        No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials

        The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, whose work about voting fraud has been discredited, has been conducting private meetings for Republicans only. Read the story.

      • Change and Decay: A Time of Transition

        It’s the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere, a beautiful and refreshing space between the heady days of summer and the chill of winter, a transitional time. And collectively we are living through a time of global transition; a shift from one civilization, colored by certain influencing qualities, to a new time, growing out of the old but infused with a different energy, with distinct unifying qualities and evolving modes of living.

      • Denouncing ‘Intentional Effort’ to Sabotage Election, Judge Orders Nationwide Reversal of DeJoy Mail Changes

        “At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement,” said Judge Stanley Bastian.

      • Displaced by Fire or Smoke? Here’s How to Protect Your Right to Vote
      • Bill Barr Says DOJ Prosecutors Should Bring Sedition Charges Against Violent Protesters

        If Attorney General Bill Barr is ever gifted with superlatives, the one that will stick will be “worst.”

      • ‘Unprecedented Abuse of Emergency Powers’: Free Speech Advocates Denounce Trump Effort to Ban TikTok, WeChat Apps

        The move, says one advocate, is “shortsighted, ridiculous, and likely unconstitutional.”

      • TikTok and WeChat Apps Banned by Trump Administration Starting This Sunday

        The Trump administration announced a ban on downloading two popular social media apps owned by China-based corporations starting this Sunday, citing national security and consumer privacy concerns.

      • U.S. Bans TikTok, WeChat Citing National Security

        The action is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to weaken influence from China, a rising economic superpower. Since taking office in 2017, Trump has waged a trade war with China, blocked mergers involving Chinese companies and stifled the business of Chinese firms like Huawei, a maker of phones and telecom equipment. China-backed [attackers], meanwhile, have been blamed for data breaches of U.S. federal databases and the credit agency Equifax, and the Chinese government strictly limits what U.S. tech companies can do in China.

      • Selena Gomez Shares Private Message to Facebook Leadership on Hate, Racism: “We Have a Serious Problem”

        Gomez then noted the upcoming election, 46 days from now.

        “We cannot afford to have misinformation about voting,” she continued. “There has to be fact-checking and accountability. Hope to hear back from you ASAP.”

      • Michael Moore: Biden strategy in Michigan might be ‘worse than Hillary’

        Filmmaker Michael Moore warned that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be running a “worse” campaign in Michigan than 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost the state by less than half a percentage point four years ago.

      • Facebook Versus Democracy

        Facebook, long criticized for facilitating hate speech and incitement all over the world, is finally cracking down on one particular form of incendiary rhetoric: any criticism of Facebook management. The company has an internal message board that mirrors the platform it provides to users, a kind of private Facebook. On that forum, employees have been increasingly critical of senior executives for their cozy relationship with Donald Trump and other authoritarian leaders, which often leads the company to violate its own stated policies about disseminating hate speech and political disinformation.

      • For RBG: Today We Grieve, Tomorrow We Fight
      • US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ‘Advocate for Equality and Reason,’ Dead at 87

        On her deathbed, she told her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

      • Memoriam of US Supreme Court Legend, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933 – 2020)

        Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of the US Supreme Court, passed away on Friday 18th September 2020, just before the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, which according to the tenets of her Jewish faith, is the hour of death for the most righteous souls. And that she was. Her life was dedicated to seeing that justice was done. She was a women with a formidable sense of justice, and the gumption and tenacity to change history.


        In the early 1970s she became the director of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she succeeded in five gender equality cases at the Supreme Court. She was the second women to be appointed to the US Supreme Court. (See the obituary by Nina Totenberg for a thorough account of Ruth’s triumphs).

        With her progressive views on social issues including abortion, immigration, healthcare, and equality, she was a torch bearer that blazed through hundreds of restrictive laws to change the world for women and the marginalised and disempowered. She became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, featuring in the poignant movie ‘On The Basis of Sex’ in 2018, and the subject of a documentary which led to her being crowned the Notorious RBG.

      • A battle for the Supreme Court looms after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

        But although precedent has some authority in law, it holds little sway in politics. When Mr McConnell was asked last year how he would handle a Supreme Court vacancy in the run-up to the 2020 election, he did not skip a beat: “Oh, we’d fill it,” he said with a smirk. Indeed, just hours after Ms Ginsburg’s death, he declared that he will give a hearing to Mr Trump’s eventual nominee. At least one Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, says she will not vote to confirm a replacement for Ms Ginsburg until after inauguration day. “Fair is fair,” she said. Several GOP senators had expressed similar sentiments, though before Ms Ginsburg died, when there was no seat to fill. Without four committed Republican defectors to keep Ms Ginsburg’s chair empty until 2021 (Republicans hold the Senate by a 53-47 vote) Mr Trump may find himself with the opportunity to secure a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court before his first term expires.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and Gender Equality Advocate, Dies at 87

        When her husband moved to New York for work, she transferred to Columbia University for her final year of law school. She once again won a seat on the college’s law review and graduated at the top of her class. However, despite her long history of academic success, she found that her sex prevented her from obtaining any positions at established law firms.

        As a result, Ginsburg turned to teaching, becoming a law professor at Rutgers University in 1963 before transferring to Columbia University Law School two years later. There, she became the first woman to receive tenure and helped co-found “The Women’s Rights Law Reporter,” the first law journal in the United States devoted to gender equality issues.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘My Most Fervent Wish Is That I Will Not Be Replaced Until a New President Is Installed’

        For four long years, Justice Ginsburg kept the faith—battling cancer and advancing years. Just days before her death Friday, at age 87, the justice dictated a statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera that read: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

      • What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Could Mean For 2020 And The Supreme Court

        Indeed, her death, and the fight to fill her seat, may have a number of political implications. Those will become clearer over the next days and weeks, of course, with the election right around the corner, but here’s a first look at what some of those potential implications might be: [...]

      • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

        According to a statement from the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg’s passing came amid a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was previously diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999, and dealt with her first bout of pancreatic cancer in 2009. She died at home in Washington, surrounded by loved ones.

      • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

        Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

        She knew what was to come. Ginsburg’s death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court, not only is the leader of the liberal wing gone, but with the court about to open a new term, the chief justice no longer holds the controlling vote in closely contested cases.

      • 8 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Rulings to Know About

        “The Notorious RBG,” as she’s sometimes referred to, has spent her career fighting for the rights of women and other marginalized groups (she even co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project). She’s lent her voice to countless opinions, and become particularly well known for her scathing, clearly worded dissents. Here are just eight of the most critical cases she has participated in.

      • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87

        “There wasn’t a single firm in the entire city of New York that was willing to take a chance on me,” she said.

        However, with the help of a professor, she got a clerkship and soon afterward started teaching at Rutgers University School of Law and Columbia Law School.

      • Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Dying Wish: DISSENT!

        The prospects for near-term success are grim. McConnell has already removed the filibuster rule for Supreme Court appointments, which means he needs only 50 votes to confirm a new justice (since the vice president breaks any ties), and he has 53 Republicans. Democrats would have to convince four of those Republicans to agree to wait until after the election to move on a nominee. Even if political pressure can be brought against Republicans in close Senate races to reject McConnell’s hypocrisy, Democrats would have to keep those Republicans on board, against McConnell, through the transition to the next presidential term. It’s entirely possible that some of those vulnerable Republicans will lose their election campaigns anyway, and thus have no real reason to stick with Democrats before the inauguration, instead of voting with their party as they transition to their post-electoral careers in Republican politics.

      • Corporate Crime at the New York Times and Washington Post
      • Palestinians in the Age of Trump

        I just dropped my request for an Ohio absentee ballot in the Palestine Post in Ramallah. Although thousands of miles away, I can see and feel the heavy, dark clouds descending above all 50 states. This presidential election is not about Trump’s top contender, it is about getting over this four-year bump in the hope that lessons were learned, and a historic correction can begin. A Biden win is not the correction, it is getting over the bump.


        Why is the U.S. system of democracy allowing Donald Trump to complete a full term in office? Scarily in Trump’s case, he has a real chance to manipulate the system yet again and win a second term. Americans of conscience, or even those with an iota of common sense, must answer this question before it is too late. Now is not the time for blind commitment to the broken political system that produced a Trump presidency in the first place.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Usenet Has To Figure Out How To Deal With Spam (April 1994)

        Summary: In the early 1990s, facing increased pressure from the commercial sector who sensed there might be some value in the nascent “Internet,” the National Science Foundation began easing informal restrictions on commercial activity over the Internet. This gave rise to the earliest internet companies — but also to spam. Before the World Wide Web had really taken off, the place where a great deal of internet communication took place was Usenet, created in 1980, which was what one might think of as a proto-Reddit, with a variety of “newsgroups” dedicated to different subjects that users could post to.

      • Alan Dershowitz Files SLAPP Suit Against CNN; Says Not Airing More Of What He Said Is Defamation

        Famed law professor Alan Dershowitz is at it again. He’s now suing CNN for defamation in a SLAPP suit, because he’s upset that CNN did not provide an entire quote he made during the impeachment trial before the US Senate, claiming that because he was quoted out of context, it resulted in people believing something different than what he actually meant with a quote. Reading the lawsuit, the argument is not all that different from the defamation claim made by another Harvard Law professor, Larry Lessig, earlier this year, in which he accused the NY Times and a reporter there of defamation for taking his comments out of context. Lessig later dropped that lawsuit.

      • The Dishonest and Misogynistic Hate Campaign Against J.K. Rowling

        What has Rowling done to deserve all of this? Well, let’s run through the list of her supposed crimes. First, in 2018, she liked a couple of tweets written by gender-critical feminists—which is to say, feminists who reject the idea that gender self-identification can serve to erase the reality of human biology—including one tweet protesting against sexism in the Labour Party. Next, she sent a very restrained tweet in December 2019, expressing her support for Maya Forstater, a British woman who lost her job as a result of her gender-critical views. Rowling’s tweet read: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”

      • Researchers discover six-year espionage campaign targeting Iranian dissidents

        Researchers announced Friday that they had discovered a “large-scale” six-year campaign by Iranian-linked [attackers] to surveil Iranian dissidents and expats, including through targeting accounts on the instant messaging app Telegram.

        A report released by Check Point Software Technologies said that, beginning as early as 2014, Iranian entities targeted government dissidents including resistance group Mujahedin-e Khalq and the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization through attacking their mobile devices and personal computers.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Federal Court Says Office Of Legal Counsel Must Proactively Release Opinions Covering Interagency Disputes

        The federal government’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) tells government agencies what they can and can’t do under existing law. Its interpretation of these laws may vary significantly from how they’ve been interpreted by courts. The OLC has been asked to justify everything from warrantless searches to extrajudicial killings. The bespoke law interpretations that justify these actions are then withheld from the public — often for decades at a time.

      • In Trump’s America, It’s Cruelty as Policy
      • Wake of the Giant
      • Mutual Aid Response During Fires Shows Black Lives Matter Is Building Community

        One year after Occupy Wall Street spread to public squares across the nation, a spontaneous network formed to provide civilian disaster response during and after Hurricane Sandy. They called themselves “Occupy Sandy.” Now, in response to a different climate catastrophe, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Portland, Oregon, are making a similar transition.

      • Human Rights Organization Issues Press Freedom Alert Over UK Government’s Refusal To Speak To Critical Journalists

        The UK government is fine with press freedom as long as the press confines itself to the unwritten guidelines the government uses to restrict it. Publish too many leaked documents? Well, the government will show up and destroy your computer equipment. Report on the wrong stuff? The government will kick you out of Parliament and tell you not to talk about why you’ve been kicked out. Publish names of people targeted by UK government investigations in the Land of the First Amendment and across the pond from the UK? Expect a UK court to issue a ruling telling you to abide by laws that don’t govern the country you’re actually publishing in.

      • ‘We had a technical glitch’ ‘Channel One’ talk show backtracks after accusing Navalny’s team of doctored video

        During an episode of the Channel One talk show “Vremya Pokazhet” (Time Will Tell) aired on September 17, host Artyom Sheinin showed the video of Alexey Navalny’s team searching his room at the Xander Hotel in Tomsk — and accused them of blurring out the dial on an alarm clock in the video. The show quickly came under criticism when it turned out that Sheinin’s team was responsible for the blur. Forced to explain themselves, they chalked it up to a “technical glitch.”

      • Kremlin spokesman says Navalny’s ‘poisoned water bottle’ is a mystery to Russian officials because it was never shared with local investigators

        Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday the Putin administration doesn’t know where European specialists were able to find traces of a Novichok-class nerve agent on Alexey Navalny’s water bottle because Russian police never examined the alleged water bottle.

      • Speaker of Russia’s Parliament suspects that German intelligence agents poisoned Navalny to limit Moscow’s options in Belarus

        State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin thinks German intelligence agents may have poisoned Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny as part of a plot to undermine Moscow’s support for Belarusian sovereignty. 

      • The Political Use and Misuse of ‘Mulan’

        You might already know the story of Mulan, or at least a version of it: a young woman in ancient China who passed as a man to take her father’s place in the army and defend her country. It has inspired numerous reinventions, most recently by Disney with a live-action movie featuring Chinese actors. “There have been many tales of the great warrior Mulan,” the narrator says at the beginning of the film, which was released this month. “This one is mine.”

      • Her Stepfather Admitted to Sexually Abusing Her. That Wasn’t Enough to Keep Her Safe.

        Dennis Mouser walked into Anchorage police headquarters on Sept. 2, 1987, for an interview he had requested with a detective.

        By the time he walked out, he had admitted to sexually assaulting his stepdaughter Sherri on at least two occasions when she was 10. He’d also exposed himself to her, he told police.

      • Iranian Dissident Whose Prison Beatings Left Him Unable to Walk Beaten Again, Lawyer Says

        Iran has detained several human rights defenders in recent years and charged them with national security offenses in relation to their legal work.

        One of Iran’s most prominent jailed lawyers is Nasrin Sotoudeh, who began her second hunger strike of this year on August 11 to protest Iran’s treatment of political prisoners, according to her husband. She has been jailed at Evin prison since June 2018 for defending Iranian women who were detained for removing their compulsory hijabs in public defiance of Iran’s ruling clerics.

      • Watching Sports While the World Spins Out of Control

        Confined and anxious because of the pandemic? Fearful for your home and having trouble breathing because of smoke from raging wildfires? Overwhelmed by high winds and floods because of Hurricane Sally? Afraid to go out because of violent altercations between police and Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrators? Worried that your partial employment checks will run out and that your job will disappear in the near future? Ashamed at how many child migrants your country will accept from the devastation on Lesbos? Distraught that Trump might win on November 3 and not sure if a Biden victory would make a significant difference?

      • Taking the Next Knee: Is the Athlete Revolt Real and is It a Danger to Trump?

        Last year, when LeBron James described some of President Trump’s public statements as “laughable and scary,” Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham ordered the basketball superstar to “shut up and dribble.”

      • The Next Revolt by Athletes Could Damage Trump’s Reelection Prospects

        Last year, when LeBron James described some of President Trump’s public statements as “laughable and scary,” Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham ordered the basketball superstar to “shut up and dribble.”

      • Pursuing National Liberation and Socialism: A Conversation with Oscar Figuera

        Oscar Figuera is the general secretary of the Venezuelan Communist Party [PCV]. As a 17-year-old metal worker in Aragua state, he cut his teeth as a union organizer in the Venezuelan Worker’s Unitary Central [CUTV, the PCV-led union federation], becoming the union’s general secretary in 1986. Today, Figuera is a member of the National Assembly [2016-2020 term]. In this exclusive interview, Figuera talks to VA about both the recent transformations of Venezuelan capitalism and the Popular Revolutionary Alternative, a broad coalition that aims to regroup leftwing Chavista forces in a front that is independent from the PSUV.

      • The Struggle for Bottom Unity in an Age of Division

        Solidarity is a bitch when everyone who can afford a knife is slitting each other’s throat. That’s the nasty little limerick that keeps playing on repeat in my skull like a mantra as populist grassroots uprisings devolve into bitter proxy wars between roaming tribes of bitter proles, killing each other over which oligarch’s name they have scrawled across their battle flags. Everyone wants to pick sides. Everyone is trolling for convenient scapegoats. I just see poor people killing poor people while two sick rich candidates arrange their corpses into clever platforms to stand on and promote more war from. The splintering of the George Floyd Uprisings into partisan turf warfare doesn’t just rip up my already bleeding heart because I had so much hope for the revolutionary potential now being squandered. It kills me because I have people on both sides of these gorey shenanigans and they should both be on the same damn team. All poor people should be, regardless of race or even politics.

      • Top Court In Massachusetts Says Prosecutors Must Provide Info On Bad Cops To Criminal Defendants

        Cops lie. Cops lie enough there’s a term for it: testilying. Honest prosecutors don’t want lying cops on the stand dirtying up their case with their impeachable testimony. Unfortunately, police unions are powerful enough to thwart this small bit of accountability. “Brady lists” are compiled by prosecutors. They contain the names of officers whose track record for telling the truth is so terrible prosecutors don’t want to have to rely on their… shall we say… misstatements in court.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Trump Nominates Guy Who Wants To Police Speech Online To Be The Next FCC Commissioner

        As was rumored late last week, the White House is, in fact, nominating Nathan Simington to the FCC, taking over the seat of of Mike O’Riely, whose nomination was withdrawn just days after O’Rielly expressed his strong support for the 1st Amendment and made it clear what he thought of idiots calling for the government to force websites to host content:

      • AT&T Says It’s Eyeing ‘Wireless Discounts For Ads.’ But It’s Not Going To Be What You Think.

        AT&T is telling Reuters that it’s considering offering wireless customers a “$5 to $10 reduction in their bill” in exchange for some targeted ads:

      • Verizon Buys Tracfone As U.S. Wireless Gets Even More Consolidated

        As economists and experts had warned, the recent $26 billion Sprint T-Mobile merger effectively decimated the prepaid space. T-Mobile had already laid off around 6,000 employees at its Metro Prepaid division, with more layoffs expected. Many of the “mobile virtual network operators” that operated on Sprint’s network now face an uncertain future, with growing resentment in the space among prepaid vendors, who say T-Mobile is already using its greater size and leverage to erode commissions and to renegotiate their contracts for the worse. Many prepaid vendors are calling for help that most certainly won’t be coming any time soon from the Trump Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • CardieX Granted Patent in Europe for Key Brachial Cuff Blood Pressure Technology

          CardieX Limited (ASX: CDX) (CardieX, the Company) announced today that CardieX subsidiary ATCOR was granted a new patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) for the Company’s proprietary SphygmoCor® technology used in cuff-based blood pressure devices.

          EPO Patent Number EP2566387 further protects the company’s intellectual property in relation to the measurement of a central blood pressure (BP) waveform with cardiovascular features using a brachial cuff. Patent EP2566387 specifically covers non-invasively estimating the heart’s pressure and pressure waveform related to cardiac function and arterial properties using a conventional BP cuff inflated to low pressure. The patent provides a simple tool to clinically diagnose and estimate the risk of heart disease.

        • CardieX subsidiary granted European patent for unique SphygmoCor blood pressure technology
        • EPO revokes Copaxone patent, clears path for Mylan

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has invalidated and revoked a patent related to Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection), in a win for Mylan.

      • Trademarks

        • Ubisoft Bows To Monster Energy To Rename An Upcoming Game Horribly

          Veteran Techdirt readers will have been so tempered by stories about Monster Energy playing the trademark bully at this point that the mere mention of the company should cause them to roll their eyes. Still, the history of what we’ve covered in the Monster’s attempt to win the trademark-protectionist championship are still constructive in one very important way: Monster Energy regularly loses these disputes. That in itself shouldn’t be terribly surprising; the company’s decisions on just how often to enforce the trademark rights it has are often so absurd that it would be a shock if it put together any sort of real winning streak. But what is surprising is when victims of Monster’s bullying choose to actually concede to the bullying, given that losing track record.

      • Copyrights

        • University Voluntarily Agrees to Block Pirate Sites Under Code of Conduct

          The largest university in Denmark has signed a code of conduct with local anti-piracy outfit Rights Alliance to block access to pirate sites. Aarhus University will voluntarily prevent its 38,000 students from accessing sites that have previously been ruled illegal by a court, but without being served with a court order itself.

        • Why It’s Time to Reboot Canada’s Failed Digital Agenda

          Moreover, Facebook’s recent indication that it will block all news services in Australia in response to government plans to mandate payments for including links to articles suggests that Canada could face the same fate should Mr. Guilbeault proceed with his legislative plans. The combination of Facebook blocking news sharing and other services (such as Netflix, Spotify and Skype) facing new mandatory payments and content restrictions could leave Canadians confronting a highly regulated internet with limited access to some popular tools.


Links 19/9/2020: Taiwins 0.2 and a Call for Ubuntu Community Council Nominations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Three tips to implement Kubernetes with open standards

        The technologies chosen by enterprise IT departments today will have a long-term impact on their performance, operations and overall strategy. Sometimes it can take well over a decade to realize the full implications of a technology solution.

        This can put a great deal of weight on the shoulders of IT management, especially when it comes to emergent technologies whose utility, importance and trajectory may not yet be fully known. Placing a bad bet on new software can lead to difficult integrations and disruptions across an organisation’s entire tech stack, which in the long-term can lead to lost productivity, wasted budgets, and the likelihood of losing ground to competitors.

        Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration platform, was until recently regarded in the same way, with IT departments struggling to fully appraise its long-term value. However, with Kubernetes now running 86 per cent of container clusters, it has emerged as the de facto standard for cloud-native infrastructure. This means that the main concern for IT departments is not whether Kubernetes has a future, but how to ensure that their implementation of Kubernetes has a future which doesn’t present a bottleneck to integrations, industry practices and use cases.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Python Bytes: #199 Big news for a very small Python runtime
      • Talk Python to Me: #282 pre-commit framework

        Git hook scripts are useful for identifying simple issues before committing your code. Hooks run on every commit to automatically point out issues in code such as trailing whitespace and debug statements.

      • Bad Voltage 3×13: The Winter Of Our Content
      • [Older] Unearthing the History of Unix: Warner Losh
      • OpenBSD for 1.5 Years: Confessions of a Linux Heretic
      • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #27: Preparing for an Interview With Python Practice Problems

        What is an effective way to prepare for a Python interview? Would you like a set of problems that increase in difficulty to practice and hone your Python skills? This week on the show, we have Jim Anderson to talk about his new Real Python article, “Python Practice Problems: Get Ready for Your Next Interview.” This article provides several problems, which include skeleton code, unit tests, and solutions for you to compare your work.

        David Amos also joins us this week, and he has brought another batch of PyCoder’s Weekly articles and projects from the Python community. We cover these topics: Structural Pattern Matching, Common Python Data Structures, A Tax Attorney Uses Python, Discover the Role of Python in Space Exploration, and Five Pairs of Magic Methods in Python That You Should Know.

      • Force Students To Run Spyware To Stop Cheating In Online Exams

        Ever since everyone started working remotely more of these online exam proctoring tools and monitoring tools have been popping up and I thought wouldn’t it be fun to go and see how they plan to stop cheating and even better how fundamentally flawed this plan actually is. Almost 100% of people who do an online exam will cheat, and cheating should be expected if you don’t like that then don’t hold an online exam.

      • Normalizing Surveillance

        Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman, and Petros Koutoupis talk about Amazon’s Alexa for landlords program.

        Show notes:

        00:00:23 For starters, let’s begin with Normalization of Surveillance.
        00:50:00 Amazon Alexa for landlords.
        00:10:15 Is this really jus another way to discover new markets?
        00:19:03 Doc the mechanic?!
        00:27:49 If you’re young do you really not care about privacy?
        00:30:49 A couple of things that will clue people on privacy, are: Health data, and political issues

      • “Hey, DT. You Need A Better Studio!” (Plus Other Comments I Get)

        In this lengthy rant video, I address a few questions and comments that I’ve been receiving from viewers. I discuss alternatives to the Ubuntu Software Center, alternatives to the term “proprietary garbage”, what software you should install alongside your window managers in Arch Linux, VirtualBox versus Virt-Manager, and my recording setup and why I need a proper studio.

    • Kernel Space

      • Preparing for the realtime future

        Unlike many of the previous gatherings of the Linux realtime developers, their microconference at the virtual 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference had a different feel about it. Instead of being about when and how to get the feature into the mainline, the microconference had two sessions that looked at what happens after the realtime patches are upstream. That has not quite happened yet, but is likely for the 5.10 kernel, so the developers were looking to the future of the stable realtime trees and, relatedly, plans for continuous-integration (CI) testing for realtime kernels.

      • Profile-guided optimization for the kernel

        One of the many unfortunate consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic was the cancellation of the 2020 GNU Tools Cauldron. That loss turned out to be a gain for the Linux Plumbers Conference, which was able to add a GNU Tools track to host many of the discussions that would have otherwise occurred at Cauldron. In that track, Ian Bearman presented his group’s work using profile-guided optimization with the Linux kernel. This technique, which he often referred to as “pogo”, is not straightforward to apply to the kernel, but the benefits would appear to justify the effort.

        Bearman is the leader of Microsoft’s GNU/Linux development-tools team, which is charged with supporting those tools for the rest of the company. The team’s responsibilities include ensuring the correctness, performance, and security of those tools (and the programs generated by them). Once upon a time, the idea of Microsoft having a GNU tools team would have raised eyebrows. Now, he said, about half of the instances in the Microsoft cloud are running Linux, making Linux a big deal for the company; it is thus not surprising that the company’s cloud group is his team’s biggest customer.

        There was recently, he said, an internal customer working on a new Linux-based service that asked his team for performance help. After some brainstorming, the group concluded that this would be a good opportunity to use profile-guided optimization; the customer would have control of the whole machine running the service and was willing to build a custom kernel, making it possible to chase performance gains at any level of the system. But there was a small problem in that the customer was unable to provide any code to allow workload-specific testing.

      • Conventions for extensible system calls

        The kernel does not have just one system call to rename a file; instead, there are three of them: rename(), renameat(), and renameat2(). Each was added when the previous one proved unable to support a new feature. A similar story has played out with a number of system calls: a feature is needed that doesn’t fit into the existing interfaces, so a new one is created — again. At the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference, Christian Brauner and Aleksa Sarai ran a pair of sessions focused on the creation of future-proof system calls that can be extended when the need for new features arises.

        Brauner started by noting that the problem of system-call extensibility has been discussed repeatedly on the mailing lists. The same arguments tend to come up for each new system call. Usually, developers try to follow one of two patterns: a full-blown multiplexer that handles multiple functions behind a single system call, or creating a range of new, single-purpose system calls. We have burned ourselves and user space with both, he said. There are no good guidelines to follow; it would be better to establish some conventions and come to an agreement on how future kernel APIs should be designed.

        The requirements for system calls should be stronger, and they should be well documented. There should be a minimal level of extensibility built into every new call, so that there is never again a need to create a renameat2(). The baseline, he said, is a flags argument; that convention is arguably observed for new system calls today. This led to a brief side discussion on why the type of the flags parameter should be unsigned int; in short, signed types can be sign extended, possibly leading to the setting of a lot of unintended flags.

        Sarai took over to discuss the various ways that exist now to deal with system-call extensions. One of those is to add a new system call, which works, but it puts a big burden on user-space code, which must change to make use of this call. That includes checking to see whether the new call is supported at all on the current system and falling back to some other solution in its absence. The other extreme, he said, is multiplexers, which have significant problems of their own.

      • Lua in the kernel?

        BPF is, of course, the language used for network (and other) customization in the Linux kernel, but some people have been using the Lua language for the networking side of that equation. Two developers from Ring-0 Networks, Lourival Vieira Neto and Victor Nogueira, came to the virtual Netdev 0×14 to present that work. It consists of a framework to allow the injection of Lua scripts into the running kernel as well as two projects aimed at routers, one of which is deployed on 20 million devices.

        Neto introduced the talk by saying that it was also based on work from Ana Lúcia de Moura and Roberto Ierusalimschy of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), which is the home organization of the Lua language. They have been working on kernel scripting since 2008, Neto said, developing the Lunatik framework for Linux. It allows kernel developers to make their subsystems scriptable with Lua and also allows users to load and run their Lua scripts in the kernel.

      • OpenZFS 2.0-RC2 Released With Dozens Of Fixes

        Nearly one month ago OpenZFS 2.0 saw its first release candidate while now it’s been succeeded by another test candidate in time for some weekend exposure.

        OpenZFS 2.0 is a huge update for this open-source ZFS file-system implementation in that it mainlines FreeBSD support alongside Linux, there is Zstd compression support, many performance optimizations, fast clone deletion, sequential resilvering, and a lot of other improvements and new features.

      • New /dev/random Implementation Hits 35th Revision

        Going on for more than four years now has been creating a new /dev/random implementation and this Friday marks the 35th revision to this big set of patches that aim for better performance and security.

        The code has been through many changes over the years for this new “Linux Random Number Generator” (LRNG).

      • Linux 5.10 To Support AMD SME Hardware-Enforced Cache Coherency

        Linux 5.10 is set to support a new feature of AMD Secure Memory Encryption (SME) as part of the Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV).

      • Linux 5.9 To Allow Controlling Page Lock Unfairness In Addressing Performance Regression

        Following the Linux 5.0 to 5.9 kernel benchmarks on AMD EPYC and it showing the in-development Linux 5.9 kernel regressing in some workloads, bisecting that issue, and that bringing up the issue of the performance regression over page lock fairness a solution for Linux 5.9 has now landed.


        Long-term Linus Torvalds and other upstream developers will be looking at further improving the page lock behavior, but merged today for Linux 5.9 was a short-term solution. The change is allowing a controlled amount of unfairness in the page lock.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Arm Officially Supports Panfrost Open-Source Mali GPU Driver Development

          Most GPU drivers found in Arm processors are known to be closed-source making it difficult and time-consuming to fix some of the bugs since everybody needs to rely on the silicon vendor to fix those for them, and they may even decide a particular bug is not important to them, so you’d be out of luck.

          So the developer community has long tried to reverse-engineer GPU drivers with projects like Freedreno (Qualcomm Adreno), Etnaviv (Vivante), as well as Lima and Panfrost for Arm Mali GPUs. Several years ago, Arm management was not interested at all collaborating with open-source GPU driver development for Mali GPUs, but as noted by Phoronix, Alyssa Rosenzweig, a graphics software engineer employed by Collabora, explained Panfrost development was now done in partnership with Arm during a talk at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC 2020).

        • Taiwins 0.2 is out
          Hi all,
          A long while ago [1]. I introduced the Taiwins wayland compositor. It was
          built upon libweston. It turned out despite my attempts, I couldn't get my
          patches to merge in libweston. Libweston has quite a few bugs and missing
          features to fit the role of a daily driver.
          These past few months, Taiwins was going through a long refactoring process
          in migrating from libweston. Today, taiwins uses a very thin layer of
          wlroots for hardware abstraction, the next release will target on removing
          the reliance of wlroots as well. Today it has the features of:
          - dynamic window management.
          - extensible and easy configuration through lua.
          - very efficient GL renderer, updates only the damages.
          - a widget system and you can create widgets through lua as well.
          - built-in shell and application launcher.
          - configurable theme.
          - emacs-like key sequence based binding system.
          - built-in profiler and rendering debugger.
          Along the way, I developed Twobjects [2], a backend agnostic wayland object
          implementation for compositors. This library implements basic wayland
          protocols as well as various other wayland protocols like 'xdg-shell' and
          many more. Using twobjects, you can focus on building your own unique
          features for the compositor and let it handle the most tedious protocol
          implementations.It doesn't expose everything as `wl_signals` like wlroots
          does, so you don't need to write additional glue code for it.
          Taiwins is still in development but missing features are getting less and
          less, you can check out its website https://taiwins.org or if you would
          like to help, check out the project page https://github.com/taiwins/taiwins
          for getting started.
        • Taiwins 0.2 Released As Modular Wayland Compositor That Supports Lua Scripting

          Back in May the Taiwins Wayland compositor was announced as a compact compositor based on Libweston while Thursday marked its second release.

          With Taiwins 0.2 the switch was made from using libweston as a basis for the compositor to now using Sway’s WLROOTS library. Libweston was dropped over open bugs and other issues and in part the ability to get patches easily merged back into upstream libweston. So with the shortcomings of the Weston library, Taiwins 0.2 is now running on WLROOTS. However, by the next release they hope to have their thin layer over WLROOTS removed so that library isn’t needed either.

        • Etnaviv Gallium3D Adds On-Disk Shader Cache Support

          Etnaviv as the open-source, reverse-engineered OpenGL graphics driver for Vivante graphics IP now has support for an on-disk shader cache.

        • V3DV Developers Lay Out Plans For Upstreaming The Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan Driver In Mesa

          Building off the V3DV driver talk at XDC2020 about this open-source Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4 driver, the Igalia developers responsible for this creation have laid out their plans on getting this driver upstream within Mesa.

          In a mailing list post today they note they are down to just 18 test cases failing for the Vulkan CTS while 106,776 tests are passing for this Vulkan Conformance Test Suite. Vulkan games like the respun versions of Quake 1-3 and OpenArena are working along with various game emulators. Various Vulkan demos also run well too.

        • Libre-SOC Still Persevering To Be A Hybrid CPU/GPU That’s 100% Open-Source

          The project that started off as Libre-RISC-V with aims to be a Vulkan accelerator but then decided on the OpenPOWER ISA rather than RISC-V is still moving ahead under the “Libre-SOC” branding.

          Libre-SOC continues to be led by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton and this week he presented both at the OpenPOWER Summit and X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC2020) on his Libre-SOC dreams of having a 100% fully open SoC on both the software and hardware sides while being a hybrid CPU/GPU. Similar to the original plans when targeting RISC-V that it would effectively be a SoC but with new vector instructions optimized for graphics workloads, that’s still the plan albeit now using OpenPOWER as a base.

        • X.Org Is Getting Their Cloud / Continuous Integration Costs Under Control

          You may recall from earlier this year that the X.Org/FreeDesktop.org cloud costs were growing out of control primarily due to their continuous integration setup. They were seeking sponsorships to help out with these costs but ultimately they’ve attracted new sponsors while also better configuring/optimizing their CI configuration in order to get those costs back at more manageable levels.

        • Intel Submits More Graphics Driver Updates For Linux 5.10

          Building off their earlier Intel graphics driver pull request of new material queuing ahead of the Linux 5.10 cycle, another round of updates were submitted on Friday.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Long Week

          Once again, I ended up not blogging for most of the week. When this happens, there’s one of two possibilities: I’m either taking a break or I’m so deep into some code that I’ve forgotten about everything else in my life including sleep.

          This time was the latter. I delved into the deepest parts of zink and discovered that the driver is, in fact, functioning only through a combination of sheer luck and a truly unbelievable amount of driver stalls that provide enough forced synchronization and slow things down enough that we don’t explode into a flaming mess every other frame.


          I’ve fixed all of the crazy things I found, and, in the process, made some sizable performance gains that I’m planning to spend a while blogging about in considerable depth next week.

          And when I say sizable, I’m talking in the range of 50-100% fps gains.

        • Watch the ACO shader compiler and Vulkan Ray Tracing talks from XDC 2020

          With XDC 2020 (X.Org Developers Conference) in full swing, we’ve been going over the various presentations to gather some interesting bits for you. Here’s more on the ACO shader compiler and Vulkan Ray Tracing.

          You can find more info on XDC 2020 in the previous article, and be sure not to miss our round-up of Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais talk about Gamescope.

          More talks were done across yesterday, with the first one we’re mentioning here being from Timur Kristóf who is currently a contractor for Valve who talked about ACO (the newer Mesa shader compiler for AMD graphics). The idea behind ACO which Valve announced back in 2019, for those not aware, is to give a smoother Linux gaming experience with less (or no) stuttering with Vulkan with faster compile times for shaders. Kristóf goes over lots of intricate details from being in the experimental stages to eventually the default in Mesa with it now having support across 5 different generations of AMD GPUs.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Linux Guitar Tools

        There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar (Spanish guitar/nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar and the archtop guitar, which is sometimes called a “jazz guitar”.

        Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker. Like acoustic guitars, there are various types of electric guitars including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars (used in jazz guitar, blues and rockabilly) and solid-body guitars.

      • 10 Useful Alternatives to the Top Utility

        The top utility will need little introduction to seasoned Linux users. top is a small utility that offers a dynamic real-time view of a running system.

        It allows users to monitor the processes that are running on a system. top has two main sections, with the first showing general system information such as the amount of time the system has been up, load averages, the number of running and sleeping tasks, as well as information on memory and swap usage.

        The second main section displays an ordered list of processes and their process ID number, the user who owns the process, the amount of resources the process is consuming (processor and memory), as well as the running time of that process.

        Some versions of top offer extensive customization of the display, such as choice of columns or sorting method.

      • Todoist is Now Available on GNU/Linux

        FossMint has a good list of unique-style quality organization applications with titles such as Copyu, Takswarrior, and Zenkit ToDo but there is one app that has been far away from the reach of Linux users and we are excited to announce that it is finally available for users across the GNU/Linux platform.

        Todoist is a task and project management app designed to enable users to reliably keep track of their tasks as well as to arrange, analyze, plan, and collaborate on projects in an easy manner.

        Until the company released an electron wrapper version that can run on Linux platforms, Todoist was not available to most of the open-source enthusiasts. The good thing is that now that it is available as an Electron app, so are all the features! What is also cool is its ability to work offline so users can take it wherever they go in their pockets or rucksacks.

        As a freemium productivity app, you will find working Todoist a breeze because of its sleek ad and clutter-free UI. The free plan allows as many as up to 5 people per project for a total of 8 projects.

      • Terminal Image Viewer – display images in a terminal

        One of our favorite adages is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. It refers to the notion that a still image can convey a complex idea. Images can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text. They capture memories, and never let you forget something you want to remember, and refresh it in your memory.

        Images are part of every day internet usage, and are particularly important for social media engagement. A good image viewer is an essential part of any operating system.

        Terminal Image Viewer is different from the majority of image viewers. It’s a tiny C++ program (under 650 lines of code) that displays images in a terminal by outputting RGB ANSI codes and Unicode block graphic characters.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Can You Build a Gaming PC for $500?

        Of course, you don’t have to use Windows — Linux-based operating systems are free and many support a large library of games. Ubuntu is very popular, it’s easy to set up, and well supported. Another alternative to consider is Valve’s SteamOS. However, unlike Ubuntu, it’s not as simple to install and its sole focus is playing games through Steam. It is free, of course, and that alone makes it worth considering.

      • Comedy point and click adventure Plot of the Druid to get a demo in October

        Plot of the Druid is an upcoming fantasy comedy point and click adventure, it’s coming with Linux support and they’re going to be putting out a demo on October 15.

        “Harness the power of nature to solve problems. Avoid awkward social situations by turning into a small furry creature. Befriend wood spirits that are very reclusive, especially when they have hangovers. Crash a radical party by the Druids Against Nature. Rescue a beautiful princess from a nasty bladder infection. And all while you’re trying to finish school. Which better happen soon, because an insanely dangerous tournament is about to start. No one’s ever won the tournament, but who cares when you’re a powerful druid, right?”

        Looks like it could be another good one, currently in development by Adventure4Life Studios who worked on the fan-made remaster of Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis, which ended up being shut down by Lucasfilm. Plot of the Druid uses high-definition hand-painted drawings that capture the feel of old-school pixel art, mixed with plenty of sarcastic humour found in the classics.

      • Faraway: Director’s Cut getting a launch delay to be ‘bigger and better’

        Faraway: Director’s Cut, the upcoming PC release of the very popular mobile game was originally due next week but they’re no longer setting a date.

        A promising looking game, with some fun puzzles but it wasn’t enough time for Pine Studio. In a fresh announcement on Steam, they mentioned how it’s going to be their first self-published game and so they have full control of the release so they ‘want to do it right’. As for why such a sudden delay so close to release, this was due to an ‘exceptional’ closed-beta test with lots of feedback they want to consider.

      • Northgard hits 2 million copies sold, Clan of the Lynx DLC is out now

        After recently announcing an impressive 2 million copies sold milestone, Shiro Games have released the Clan of the Lynx DLC for their strategy game Northgard.

        “Led by Mielikki, the Beastmaster, and her lynx companions, Brundr and Kaelinn, Northgard’s newest force excels at hunting more so than open warfare. Prowl through dense forests, stalking animals and mythological creatures, and return victorious with Hunting Trophies to unlock powerful abilities for the fearsome felines.”

      • Want to play Soldat 2? We have some copies to give away

        The classic side-scrolling multiplayer action platformer shall return in Soldat 2 on September 22, so we’ve teamed up with Transhuman Design to offer a few copies to GOL readers.

        Soldat 2 is a 2.5D shooter directly based on the original, with an aim to create a more modern version with lots of enhanced content. This includes customization, modding with Steam Workshop support, randomly generated levels, custom game rules and modes, new weapons, vehicles and so much more. Developed by Michal “MM” Marcinkowski – creator of the original.

      • Helheim Hassle is a seriously funny adventure puzzle-platforming mix

        What could take the crown for the funniest Linux game this year, Helheim Hassle released earlier in August and it’s a genuine delight to play through. Note: key provided by the developer after the release.

        Created by Perfectly Paranormal, the same developers who made Manual Samuel, with Helheim Hassle taking place in some weird shared universe they created. You are Bjørn, a pacifist viking who runs away from battle surrounded by those who thirst for a good fight but you end up dying and go to Valhalla.

      • Add throwing mechanics to your Python game

        My previous article was meant to be the final article in this series, and it encouraged you to go program your own additions to this game. Many of you did! I got emails asking for help with a common mechanic that I hadn’t yet covered: combat. After all, jumping to avoid baddies is one thing, but sometimes it’s awfully satisfying to just make them go away. It’s common in video games to throw something at your enemies, whether it’s a ball of fire, an arrow, a bolt of lightning, or whatever else fits the game.

        Unlike anything you have programmed for your platformer game in this series so far, throwable items have a time to live. Once you throw an object, it’s expected to travel some distance and then disappear. If it’s an arrow or something like that, it may disappear when it passes the edge of the screen. If it’s a fireball or a bolt of lightning, it might fizzle out after some amount of time.

        That means each time a throwable item is spawned, a unique measure of its lifespan must also be spawned. To introduce this concept, this article demonstrates how to throw only one item at a time. (In other words, only one throwable item may exist at a time.) On the one hand, this is a game limitation, but on the other hand, it is a game mechanic in itself. Your player won’t be able to throw 50 fireballs at once, since you only allow one at a time, so it becomes a challenge for your player to time when they release a fireball to try to hit an enemy. And behind the scenes, this also keeps your code simple.

        If you want to enable more throwable items at once, challenge yourself after you finish this tutorial by building on the knowledge you gain.

      • The first Life is Strange 2 episode is now permanently free

        Have you been on the fence about picking up Life is Strange 2? Well, now you have a much better chance to take a look at it. DONTNOD Entertainment have now made the entire first episode permanently free to grab.

        “After a tragic incident, brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz run away from home. Fearing the police, and dealing with Daniel’s newly manifested telekinetic power – the power to move objects with your mind – the boys decide to travel to their father’s hometown of Puerto Lobos in Mexico for safety.”

        youtube video thumbnail

      • C-Dogs SDL, the classic run and gun game has a new release

        C-Dogs SDL is something of a classic. A free and open source overhead run-and-gun game that continues being updated and a fresh release is out now.

        What is it? C-Dogs is the followup to Cyberdogs, a classic from back in 1994 that ended up being really popular. Originally created by Ronny Wester as a freeware DOS game back in 1997, it was later open sourced and now it continues on with it using SDL for more modern platform support.

        The new C-Dogs SDL 0.9.0 release is a major upgrade, which brings with it a complete Doom campaign filled with secret levels, ammo/health pickups and persistent guns.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta is out and it’s huge

          While GNOME recently had their own big release, the KDE team aren’t far behind for showing off their latest modern Linux desktop environment with Plasma 5.20 Beta.

          Lots of work went into the look and feel of this release with one of the major changes here is the move to using an Icon-Only task manager by default, plus the panel is slightly thicker. So instead of seeing window / application names, you get a tidy bar full of icons. Do popups annoy you? They get on my nerves and thankfully the KDE team are looking to improve that too. On-screen displays for things like changing volume and brightness (just examples) have been redesigned to be less obtrusive — hooray.

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Looks Like an Awesome Update

          KDE developers are promising an ‘absolutely massive’ Plasma 5.20 release next month, so in this post we take a look what makes it such a major upgrade.

          With the final stable KDE Plasma 5.20 release date is set for October 13, 2020 the KDE Plasma 5.20 beta is out for testing. It’s this development milestone that gives us our first proper look at what devs have planned for this desktop environment.

          Do keep in mind that development is still underway and it’s possible that some of what’s featured here gets held back or tweaked before October.

          If a notable change or improvement you know about isn’t in this list then let me know about it in the comments section below and I’ll try to add it in.

        • Submit a KSyntaxHighlighting Color Theme

          The KSyntaxHighlighting framework provides support for color themes.

          These color themes specify all colors (text/background/selection/…) and font style roles (italic/bold/…) that are used for the highlighting. The definition happens in some easy to understand JSON file format.

          Starting with the upcoming KDE Frameworks 5.75 release, all KTextEditor framework based application will support these color themes for their embedded editors.

          This includes Kate & KWrite, but naturally a lot more, like for example KDevelop, Kile and RKWard.


          With the recent additions we already cover some more well known text editor color themes. But if you just search a bit around the internet or look what other text editors ship per default, we still lack a lot of well known ones.

          For example even our GitLab instance provides the Monokai theme in the configuration for its web highlighting that we still lack.

          Therefore, we are eager to get submissions for more MIT licensed color themes we can bundle with KSyntaxHighlighting.

          All users of applications using this framework will enjoy to be able to choose between more themes with ease if you help us!

          Therefore, take the chance and help us out, provide some more themes as merge request.

          License must be MIT, this seems to be no problem for most themes out there, at least it seems most of the ones I stumbled over are MIT licensed.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The 10 Best New Features in GNOME 3.38

          Gnome 3.38 is released. This new version with the codename “Orbis” brings along a lot more new features and improvements. This post will look at some of these features that you should expect. Even though this powerful Desktop Environment includes all the features we will look at, their availability may differ from one distribution to another.

          The downstream packaging process mainly causes that. Some of these features might be renamed, relocated, or omitted for later versions of the particular distro.

          Since Ubuntu 20.04 is an LTS release, you can’t install the Gnome 3.38 here. If you are in dire need to test this new release, you can download the ISO file for GNOME 3.38 BETA and use it as a virtual machine. Alternatively, you can wait for the release of Ubuntu 20.10 in October as it is meant to ship with this new GNOME release.

    • Distributions

      • 4 Best Lightweight Linux Distros to install on USB Drive for Portable OS

        Well, it doesn’t mean the only scenario one requires one of the best Live USB bootable Linux distros when he or she needs to use the computer that is not trustable. There are other situations as well, such as your current system is running Windows and you don’t want to have dual boot on your system, and still want to try out Linux? Then use the USB running Linux system.

        One of the main reasons that make Linux Distro an extremely portable operating system is the low consumption of RAM, depending upon the OS version or GUI, and support to run in a Live environment. This also beneficial for testing, preparing, backing up, or handling drive of the system that are crashed somehow… Furthermore, the machine without a hard disk can also be used with USB drive Linux OS

        Although we can install any Linux distro on a USB drive, however, here we will show the best open-source Linux distributions that are light in weight, consume less RAM, and other hardware resources to become a perfect portable OS option for Pen drives.

      • Deepin 20 Review: The Gorgeous Linux Distro Becomes Even More Beautiful (and Featureful)

        Deepin is already a beautiful Linux distribution. Deepin version 20 puts in a different league altogether with all those visual and feature improvements.

      • Kali Linux: Win-KeX Version 2.0

        We have been humbled by the amazing response to our recent launch of Win-KeX. After its initial release, we asked ourselves if that is truly the limit of what we can achieve or could we pull off something incredible to mark the 25th anniversary of Hackers? What about “a second concurrent session as root”, “seamless desktop integration with Windows”, or – dare we dream – “sound”?

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD Instant-workstation 2020

          A little over a year ago I published an instant-workstation script for FreeBSD. The idea is to have an installed FreeBSD system, then run a shell script that uses only base-system utilities and installs and configures a workstation setup for you.


          The script is updated intermittently when new PRs come in, or when I have to reinstall a machine and things do not behave the way I think they should. If you want a quick live KDE Plasma experience with FreeBSD, head on over to FuryBSD which does live ISO images with a variety of environments.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/38

          An average week, with an average number of 5 snapshots (0910, 0914, 0915, 0916, and 0917 – with 0917 just being synced out). The content of these snapshots included:

          KDE Applications 20.08.1
          Qt 5.15.1
          PackageKit 1.2.1
          Systemd 246.4
          Virt-Manager 3.0.0

      • Arch Family

        • PinePhone CE With Manjaro Linux ARM Now Available For Pre-order

          PINE64 announced its next PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition (CE) last month and today it is available for pre-order. The new PinePhone CE features Arch Linux ARM-based Manjaro Linux ARM by default for the first time.

          If you want to place an order right now, go to the official PINE Store. However, at the time of writing, PinePhone maker PINE64 has not made any official announcement yet.

        • PinePhone Manjaro Edition Pre-Orders Go Live

          The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here, you can now pre-order the PinePhone Manjaro Edition Linux phone from PINE64’s online store for as low as $149 USD for the 2GB RAM model or $199 USD for the so-called Convergence Package variant, which comes with 3GB RAM and a USB-C dock to turn the phone into a PC when connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

          The PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition was announced last month. It comes pre-installed with Manjaro Linux ARM, which is based on the Arch Linux ARM operating system. Three variants of Manjaro Linux ARM for PinePhone are available for you to try with UBports’ Lomiri, Purism’s Phosh or KDE’s Plasma Mobile.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Named a Leader by Independent Research Firm in Multicloud Container Development Platforms Evaluation

          Red Hat was evaluated for The Forrester Wave™ based on 29 criteria across three categories: Current Offering, Strategy and Market Presence. Red Hat OpenShift received the highest scores among evaluated products in each of these categories, with the maximum possible score in both the Strategy and Market Presence categories.

          According to Forrester’s evaluation, “OpenShift is the most widely deployed multicloud container platform and boasts powerful development and unified operations experiences across many public and on-premises platforms. Red Hat pioneered the ‘operator’ model for infrastructure and application management and provides a rich partner ecosystem and popular marketplace. Red Hat and IBM aim to make ‘build once, deploy anywhere’ a reality; both companies’ deep commitment to Kubernetes-powered modernization has paid off, moving OpenShift further ahead of the market since Forrester’s last evaluation.”

        • In the Clouds with Red Hat Leadership: Joe Fernandes

          Red Hat’s senior leadership is having to execute at an ever-increasing pace. This episode of In the Clouds provides host Chris Short inviting thoughtful and candid discussions with the one and only Joe Fernandes, VP & GM Core Cloud Platforms.

        • IBM Publishes Quantum Computing Roadmap

          IBM has published a roadmap for the future of its quantum computing hardware, which indicates that the company is on its way to building a quantum processor with more than 1,000 qubits—and somewhere between 10 and 50 logical qubits—by the end of 2023.

          IBM’s Dario Gil believes that 2023 will be an inflection point in the industry, with the road to the 1,121-qubit machine driving improvements across the stack.

        • How emotionally intelligent leaders handle 6 difficult situations during the pandemic

          Emotional intelligence, or EQ, has always been an important component of effective leadership. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has both heightened the awareness of EQ in the workplace and also tested it. What’s more, the pandemic is just one of multiple stressors IT leaders and their employees may be dealing with right now. There’s also a divisive upcoming election. High levels of unemployment. Civil unrest. Any of a number of natural disasters. And then the normal day-to-day stress of work.

          “Essentially, when we are tired, or sick, or stressed, we don’t have the same ability to manage our reactions. So we might not react in a way that’s consistent with who we want to be as a leader, manager, or team player. Right now, we’re dealing with a lot of different stressors at once,” says Janele Lynn, owner of the Lynn Leadership Group, who helps leaders build trusting relationships through emotional intelligence.

        • Justin W. Flory: A reflection: Gabriele Trombini (mailga)

          Two years passed since we last met in Bolzano. I remember you traveled in for a day to join the 2018 Fedora Mindshare FAD. You came many hours from your home to see us, and share your experiences and wisdom from both the global and Italian Fedora Community. And this week, I learned that you, Gabriele Trombini, passed away from a heart attack. To act like the news didn’t affect me denies my humanity. In 2020, a year that feels like it has taken away so much already, we are greeted by another heart-breaking loss.

          But to succumb to the despair and sadness of this year would deny the warm, happy memories we shared together. We shared goals of supporting the Fedora Project but also learning from each other.

          So, this post is a brief reflection of your life as I knew you. A final celebration of the great memories we shared together, that I only wish I could have shared with you while you were still here.

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.23RC1 and 7.4.11RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 7.4.11RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32-33 or remi-php74-test repository for Fedora 31 and Enterprise Linux 7-8.

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.23RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 31 or remi-php73-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Man-DB Brings Documentation to IBM i

          IBM i developers who have a question about how a particular command or feature works in open source packages now have an easy way to look up documentations, thanks to the addition of support for the Man-DB utility in IBM i, which IBM unveiled in late July.

          Man-DB is an open source implementation of the standard Unix documentation system. It provides a mechanism for easily accessing the documentation that exists for open source packages, such as the Node.js language, or even for commands, like Curl.

          The software, which can be installed via YUM, only works with open source software on IBM i at the moment; it doesn’t support native programs or commands.

        • Open Mainframe Project Announces Record Growth with the Launch of Four New Projects, a COBOL Working Group and Micro Focus as a New Member
        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 228

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 228.

        • Managing the security of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment with Red Hat Insights

          When it comes to managing security risks, enterprises face an increasing number of challenges. One of these challenges is managing the security health of the IT infrastructure and this is a critical, ongoing, constantly evolving need. As an enterprise, managing the security risks on your infrastructure without any disruption to the business has become a critical exercise.

          The security of your infrastructure is no longer a concern only for the security roles in your organization. Security topics are repeatedly brought up in the C-suite and in board discussions. When the stakes are high and the health or your business depends on it, you need to have a game plan to stay ahead of these risks while keeping the operational costs in check.

        • Supporting the touchless banking customer experience

          In this new-experience economy, banks are going to need to not only meet, but exceed customer expectations. What are financial institutions going to do to ensure that their customers can have the experience that they desire while feeling safe when visiting a branch, interacting with an advisor, or conducting routine and complex financial transactions?

          Supporting the touchless customer experience will require the right amount of technology and acceptable in-person interactions to ensure that the financial institution is providing the necessary level of empathy while ensuring that the customers and employees remain safe. While handshakes will need to be put on hold, there are ways banks can safely engage with customers from the time that they enter the branch or reach out through digital channels.

        • Kubeflow 1.0 monitoring and enhanced JupyterHub builds in Open Data Hub 0.8

          The new Open Data Hub version 0.8 (ODH) release includes many new features, continuous integration (CI) additions, and documentation updates. For this release, we focused on enhancing JupyterHub image builds, enabling more mixing of Open Data Hub and Kubeflow components, and designing our comprehensive end-to-end continuous integration and continuous deployment and delivery (CI/CD) process. In this article, we introduce the highlights of this newest release.


          In an effort to allow data scientists to turn their notebooks into Argo Workflows or Kubeflow pipelines, we’ve added an exciting new tool called Elyra to Open Data Hub 0.8. The process of converting all of the work that a data scientist has created in notebooks to a production-level pipeline is cumbersome and usually manual. Elyra lets you execute this process from the JupyterLab portal with just a few clicks. As shown in Figure 1, Elyra is now included in a JupyterHub notebook image.


          As part of our effort to make Kubeflow and Open Data Hub components interchangeable, we’ve added monitoring capabilities to Kubeflow. With ODH 0.8, users can add Prometheus and Grafana for Kubeflow component monitoring. Currently, not all Kubeflow components support a Prometheus endpoint. We did turn on the Prometheus endpoint in Argo, and we’ve provided the example dashboard shown in Figure 3, which lets users monitor their pipelines.

        • Call for Code Daily: regional finalists, problem solvers, and Kode With Klossy

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of September 14.


          In precarious times like the ones we are dealing with right now, it’s important to recognize that everyone is feeling the repercussions. While COVID-19 impacted corporations, schools, and retailers at scale, it also impacted young children around the world who are adjusting to their new normal. In an effort to engage this community and provide an outlet to relieve stress and anxiety for those that fall into this category, the TravelQuest team, comprised of Kode With Klossy Scholars, developed an app that blends gamification with educational entertainment to boost the emotional states for all its users.

        • Why go with agile integration?

          You probably have heard about agile integrations, and you may wonder why should you adopt it anyways? Well, technology today is becoming smarter than ever. This is the time to not only trust the technology, but also to rethink of how you can modernize your applications in a distributed, hybrid and multicloud world.

          Data is growing dramatically over the years, and enterprises are challenged to derive rich insights and knowledge from the huge amounts of data. However, enterprises face many challenges and bottlenecks when connecting various systems or applications within heterogeneous environments, due to portability and interoperability limitations. In addition, there is an increasing demand for continuous integration and continuous delivery and continuous deployment (CI/CD). Businesses today acquire the agility and rapid response to changing business demands in a continuous manner. In such scenarios, a centralized traditional integration might not be the best idea. Comparatively, an agile integration perfectly fits and helps to reduce the costs and increase the speed, and additionally allows a room of innovation.

        • Q&A: Unleashing the Beast—Bringing Linux to IBM Z

          Bringing Linux to IBM Z was an important moment in IBM’s history. What was it like to start your career at such an exciting moment?

          Betzler: When I started at IBM, we were looking at green screens—quite different from the IBM Z user experience today. But what I really saw behind the screen was the potential to innovate. How could I get more access to this amazing computer? How could we unleash the beast of Linux on Z?

          Adlung: We knew there was a need for a smart way to bring Unix back to the mainframe. The answer was open source and Boas proposed using Linux for it—and I was ready to be among the first to attempt it.

          Betzler: I knew if we could get Java onto the mainframe, we needed an operating system. If we could use open and modern technology and code that was available as open source, I knew we could innovate. We started on what was supposed to be a fun project. But it quickly turned into an overnight and weekend activity.

          Adlung: People often asked us “Why are you doing this?” And 20 years earlier I’d always say, “because we can.”

          We had a vision—not just programming for the sake of programming. We wanted to bring the Linux experience to the mainframe, which implied embracing open source programming, which was unheard at that time. And with a spirited team working at 3 a.m. in our spare time, we had the potential to go from a skunkworks project to a strategic imperative for the company. We were pushing the envelope at every turn.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth makes peace with Ubuntu Linux community

          Of the three major Linux companies, Canonical, Red Hat, and SUSE, two have separate community Linux distros: Red Hat with Fedora, and SUSE with openSUSE. While in both cases these distros are closely tied with their corporate releases, their community of fans and developers have a say in their direction. With Canonical, though, and Ubuntu Linux, there’s only the one distribution.

        • Call for Ubuntu Community Council nominations

          As you may have noticed, the Ubuntu Community Council has been vacant for a while. Happily, a decision has recently been made to repopulate it. Thus, this official announcement for nominations.

          We will be filling all seven seats this term, with terms lasting two years. To be eligible, a nominee must be an Ubuntu Member. Ideally, they should have a vast understanding of the Ubuntu community, be well-organized, and be a natural leader.

          The work of the Community Council, as it stands, is to uphold the Code of Conduct throughout the community, ensure that all the other leadership boards and council are running smoothly, and to ensure the general health of the community, including not only supporting contributors but also stepping in for dispute resolution, as needed.

          Historically, there would be two meetings per month, so the nominee should be willing to commit, at minimum, to that particular time requirement. Additionally, as needs arise, other communication, most often by email, will happen. The input of the entire Council is essential for swift and appropriate actions to get enacted, so participation in these conversations should be expected.

        • Linux Mint Cinnamon Vs. MATE: which one to choose?

          Linux Mint is by far one of the most popular Linux distros on the market, especially among Windows users who are jumping into the Linux bandwagon. This is mostly because Linux Mint comes with a familiar desktop environment that resembles the classic Windows desktop. It offers tons of quality of life features, making it very user-friendly for users who have never tried Linux before.

          Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, you get access to the largest Linux community to help you out with all your problems and issues.

          With that being said, when you got to download the Linux Mint ISO, you will be presented with three desktop environments to choose from.

        • The Expandables – snapcraft extensions and the secret code

          If you’re a snap developer, you know that snap development is terribly easy. Or rather complex and difficult. Depending on your application code and requirements, it can take a lot of effort putting together the snapcraft.yaml file from which you will build your snap. One of our goals is to make snap development practically easier and more predictable for everyone. To that end, we created a framework of snap extensions, designed to make the snap journey simpler and more fun.

          In a nutshell, extensions abstract away a range of common code declarations you would normally put in your snapcraft.yaml file. They help developers avoid repetitive tasks, reduce the knowledge barrier needed to successfully build snaps, offer a common template for application builds, and most importantly, save time and effort. But what if you want – or need – to know what is behind the abstraction?

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Software Freedom Day 2020: Software Freedom is More Important than Ever

        “For more than a century we’ve seen examples of how sharing, making ideas, products and projects available to modify, expand and rework has resulted in better technology”

        Open source and Free Software are now synonymous with the software industry, which is still a relatively new area of computing, all things considered, writes Jan Wildeboer, EMEA open source evangelist, Red Hat. However, the earliest known “open source” initiative dates back to 1911 when Henry Ford launched a group that saw US car manufacturers sharing technology openly, without monetary benefit. Similarly, in the 1950s Volvo decided to keep the design patent open for its three-point seatbelt for other car manufacturers to use for free.

        In universities, in big companies and public organisations, sharing software was the norm. Computers were very expensive, specialised and the majority of software was developed more or less from scratch to solve specific issues. Over the years, computers became more ubiquitous and standardised, so software could be separated from the hardware. This gave way to pure software companies that decided they needed to protect their source code of their products. Proprietary software became the norm.

      • 10 Best Open-source Self-hosted Collaborative Text Editors Alternative to Google Docs

        Collaborative writing is a term referred to team and group of writers involving in writing and editing the same document or writing project.

        The project can be an essay, a technical documentation, a book or a research paper.

        When groups and teams members join together in a writing project, They often face the challenge of choosing a tool.

        Are you a researcher, book writer or a novelist? Maybe you are a technical writer or a software developer who works with a team. It’s essential for you and your team to choose the right tool for the job. So according to your use-case what’s your best option? That’s what we are trying to answer in this article.

      • Parsing PAN-OS logs using syslog-ng

        Version 3.29 of syslog-ng was released recently including a user-contributed feature: the panos-parser(). It is parsing log messages from PAN-OS (Palo Alto Networks Operating System). Unlike some other networking devices, the message headers of PAN-OS syslog messages are standards-compliant. However, if you want to act on your messages (filtering, alerting), you still need to parse the message part. The panos-parser() helps you create name-value pairs from the message part of the logs.

        From this blog you can learn why it is useful to parse PAN-OS log messages and how to use the panos-parser().

      • Intel Releases HAXM 7.6.5 Execution Manager

        Intel has debuted a new version of HAXM, its Hardware-Accelerated Execution Manager that serves as an accelerator for the Android Emulator and QEMU via Intel VT enabled CPUs.

      • Update devices remotely with this open source tool

        The ability to access, connect, and manage multiple devices remotely through a single account is important. Going a step further, being able to completely update devices remotely is another way for sysadmins to reduce effort and minimize headaches.

        UpdateHub is an open source solution that allows you to do complete device updates, including firmware and bootloaders, remotely. Its goal is to make it easier to do device updates and reduce rework and risk, whether you’re updating thousands of devices or managing small deployments. UpdateHub handles all aspects of over-the-air (OTA) updates, including package integrity and authenticity, while you take care of your other work.

      • Daniel Stenberg: My first 15,000 curl commits

        I’ve long maintained that persistence is one of the main qualities you need in order to succeed with your (software) project. In order to manage to ship a product that truly conquers the world. By continuously and never-ending keeping at it: polishing away flaws and adding good features. On and on and on.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird implements PGP crypto feature requested 21 years ago

            Mozilla’s mail reader Thunderbird has implemented a feature first requested 21 years ago.

            The somewhat garbled request – “I’d appreciate a plugin for PGP to ede and encrypt PGP crypted messages directly in Mozilla” [sic] – appears to have gone unimplemented due to concerns about US laws that bar export of encryption, debate about whether PGP was the right way to do crypto, and other matters besides.

            Thunderbird eventually chose to use Enigmail and its implementation of OpenPGP public key email encryption. However, it was an add-on rather than integrated. Commenters in the Bugzilla thread stemming from the request kept the dream of an integrated solution alive, though.

            Then in October 2019, the Thunderbird blog announced that Thunderbird 78 “will add built-in functionality for email encryption and digital signatures using the OpenPGP standard.”

            Thunderbird 78 emerged in July 2020, and late in August Thunderbird contributor Kai Engert (:KaiE:) posted: “We have released support for OpenPGP email in Thunderbird version 78.2.1. Marking fixed.”

          • Upcoming US Holidays (for Mike Taylor)

            This is my last full week at Mozilla, with my last day being Monday, September 21. It’s been just over 7 years since I joined (some of them were really great, and others were fine, I guess).

          • Update on Firefox Send and Firefox Notes

            As Mozilla tightens and refines its product focus in 2020, today we are announcing the end of life for two legacy services that grew out of the Firefox Test Pilot program: Firefox Send and Firefox Notes. Both services are being decommissioned and will no longer be a part of our product family. Details and timelines are discussed below.

            Firefox Send was a promising tool for encrypted file sharing. Send garnered good reach, a loyal audience, and real signs of value throughout its life. Unfortunately, some abusive users were beginning to use Send to ship malware and conduct spear phishing attacks. This summer we took Firefox Send offline to address this challenge.

            In the intervening period, as we weighed the cost of our overall portfolio and strategic focus, we made the decision not to relaunch the service. Because the service is already offline, no major changes in status are expected. You can read more here.

          • Mozilla Browser Extension to Track YouTube Recommendations

            It’s easy to get caught up in YouTube as it recommends an endless array of videos, with each one offering you more of the same type of content. But it’s not always the same content. Sometimes the process gets convoluted, and you wind up watching something you have no interest in. Mozilla is curious why this happens and created a browser extension to track YouTube recommendations.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The best LibreOffice extensions. Yaru icon theme

          Paul Kepinski made a new nice LibreOffice icon theme. Its name is Yaru. He wanted include it into LibreOffice source code, but then he made an extension and now you can download it by the link. Just enjoy!

        • Spread the word – add LibreOffice to your email signature!

          Love LibreOffice? Want to let more people know about it? An effective (and easy) way is to add a mention of the software to your email signature. This is the piece of text that’s automatically added to emails that you send, and typically includes some information about your job, or other contact details.

          Many people also use their email signatures (aka “sigs”) to spread the word about causes they support – such as free and open source software projects. So, you could use your signature to raise awareness about LibreOffice, for instance! When people read your emails, if they also check out the signature, they’ll learn something.

        • Locale-independent Writer templates

          Users create new documents in various ways. When they do so in Online or via Windows Explorer’s context menu (New → …) then actual templates are not involved in the process, technically. What happens instead is that there is a plain empty Writer (or Calc, Impress) document that gets copied. The reason for this is that by the time the document gets created, the WOPI-like protocol or Windows Explorer doesn’t have a running soffice process to create a document instance from a template: it’ll just copy a file.

      • CMS

        • Benefits Of Using Odoo For Small Businesses

          In this tutorial, we will be showing you how using Odoo can benefit a small or medium-sized business.

          As times have progressed, businesses big and small have become more complex in their operations. With several departments having to function and share information to one another, the need for an integrated system has grown by leaps and bounds.

          More and more small business are implementing ERP systems. In fact, once an ERP system is implemented, it often becomes the backbone of many corporate-scale businesses. Such systems can seamlessly integrate business lifecycles, such as production, inventory management, order processes, and more. An example of this system would be Odoo, one of the most popular ERP systems currently available.

        • Best WordPress Backup Plugins 2020

          It is at most important to keep multiple backups of your WordPress site. In case the website is compromised or any plugin update breaks your site, WordPress backups can help you restore it quickly.

          Mainly, a WordPress site consists of three important parts, the database, user-created files such as plugins, themes, and uploaded files, and finally the WordPress core files.

          If anyone of these three parts is missing or corrupted, the website will not function properly or will not function at all. When we create a backup, we create a backup of the site database and the user-created files. WordPress core files can be downloaded and installed separately.

      • FSF

        • FSF: Volunteers needed: Help maintain our webmail page

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) needs your help! We are looking for several reliable volunteers to keep our Free Software Webmail Systems page up to date, and respond to community questions about webmail programs as they come in. Between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors check out this resource every month, and we want to make sure our recommendations are accurate! If you’re interested, please contact us at campaigns@fsf.org.

          Our Free Software Webmail Systems page is used to share resources for people interested in using their email over the Web without compromising their freedom. Many webmail systems meet at least some of our standards for respecting users, including compliance with GNU LibreJS standards, but they’re constantly changing, and new services are popping up every day. When sites listed on this page change their services for the better or the worse, they don’t tend to notify us, which means that some vigilance is required to make sure that this resource stays useful.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Top 50 Programming Languages to Learn Coding

          Gone are the days when a handful of people were considered as top computer programmers and developers. The dawn of the digital age has now made it possible to everyone to play with codes and write a computer program. What all this need is to have a solid grasp of emerging technology and programming languages. However, it is not as easy as it seems since there are a large number of programming languages out there and choosing one and master in it might be challenging. Thus, before getting started into the world of coding, you must make the right choice and come up with the one that best suited for you.

        • How to use C++ Pointers

          The memory of a computer is actually a long series of cells. The size of each cell is called a byte. A byte is a space occupied by an English character of the alphabet. An object in the ordinary sense is a consecutive set of bytes in memory. Each cell has an address, which is an integer, usually written in hexadecimal form. There are three ways of accessing an object in memory. An object can be accessed using what is known as a pointer. It can be accessed using what is known as a reference. It can still be accessed using an identifier. The focus of this article is on the use of pointers and references. In C++, there is the pointed object and the pointer object. The pointed object has the object of interest. The pointer object has the address to the pointed object.

          You need to have basic knowledge in C++, including its identifiers, functions, and arrays; to understand this article.

        • Python

          • SDF record walkthrough

            In this essay I’ll walk through the major parts of a simple V2000 SDFile record.

            Richard Apodaca summarized the SDfile format a few months ago, with details I won’t cover here. You should read it for more background.

            Bear in mind that the variety of names for this format name leads to some confusion. It’s often called an SDF file, which technically means structure-data file file, in the same way that PIN number technically means personal identification number number. I tend to write SD file, but the term in the documentation is SDFile.

          • I Want to Learn Programming but I Don’t Know Where to Start

            Software development is a challenging and lucrative career option. Our daily utility items — light bulbs, televisions, cars, banking, shopping — everything is driven by intelligent pieces of codes.

            If you want to learn programming but do not know where to start, you have come to the right blog. I have compiled a step-by-step guide that will get you started on your software development journey and eliminate your apprehensions.

          • Handling the SDF record delimiter

            In this essay I’ll point out a common difficulty people have when trying to identify the end of an SDFile record.

          • Stack Abuse: Kernel Density Estimation in Python Using Scikit-Learn

            This article is an introduction to kernel density estimation using Python’s machine learning library scikit-learn.

            Kernel density estimation (KDE) is a non-parametric method for estimating the probability density function of a given random variable. It is also referred to by its traditional name, the Parzen-Rosenblatt Window method, after its discoverers.

          • How to Create a Python Hello World Program

            There is a major difference between python 2 and python 3. For instance, one difference is the print statement. In python 2, the print statement is not a function. It is considered as a simple statement. Whenever we use the print statement in python 2, we do not use the parenthesis. On the other hand in python 3, print is a function and it is followed by the parenthesis.

            In any programming language, the simplest “Hello World” program is used to demonstrate the syntax of the programming language. In this article, we create the “Hello World” program in python 3. Spyder3 editor is used to creating and running the python script.

        • Java

          • Java 15 Reaches General Availability

            Oracle has announced that Java 15 is now generally available. The announcement was made in the opening keynote of Oracle Developer Live, an online version of the usual CodeOne and OpenWorld conferences.

            This is the first release of ‘official’ Oracle Java following the language’s 25th anniversary in May.

          • Oracle open-sources Java machine learning library

            Looking to meet enterprise needs in the machine learning space, Oracle is making its Tribuo Java machine learning library available free under an open source license.

            With Tribuo, Oracle aims to make it easier to build and deploy machine learning models in Java, similar to what already has happened with Python. Released under an Apache 2.0 license and developed by Oracle Labs, Tribuo is accessible from GitHub and Maven Central.

  • Leftovers

    • “The Music Never Stopped” | Grateful Shred
    • I Watched “Cuties” So You Wouldn’t Have to (But You Should)

      A brigade of pearl-clutching, virtue-signaling, cancel-culture keyboard warriors wants you to know that Cuties (Mignonnes — it’s actually a French film) is a bad, bad movie that no one should watch and that Netflix should immediately remove from its lineup.

    • Roaming Charges: Smoke on the Water, Lies Burning in the Sky

      Let’s reset the scene from last week. On Labor Day evening, the winds shifted in Oregon, coming rigorously out of the North East, ripping down tree limbs and knocking down powerlines, sending embers from forest fires aloft and to the west, spreading illicit fires from hunting and RV camps. By Tuesday morning, the skies in the Willamette Valley turned the color of an ugly bruise, the air clotted with smoke. Big, uncontrolled fires from the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon to the Clackamas River canyon in northern Oregon were charging west, out national forests and BLM lands toward the populated foothills of the Cascade Range.

    • How to tell genuine from fake in 2020

      No shortcuts. I told you this in my fake news article. In fact, the whole online drama about reviews is just a continuation of the wider problem of personal accountability and willingness to learn. It’s easier to blame others than oneself. It’s easier to expect miracles from Amazon than spend actual time trying to make sure you do not fall prey to greed, mistake or chance.

      If you want to make sure you end up buying satisfactory products, roll up your sleeves and dive into the cesspool called the Internet, and start fishing for the nuggets of wholesome and true hidden in its murky depths. Everything else leads to bitterness, resentment and disappointment.

    • Hardware

      • The ’90s are back: Gateway laptops have been resurrected as Walmart exclusives

        Remember Gateway laptops? If you grew up in the ’90s, they were probably the brand of your first laptop. Like a revival of your favorite childhood television show, the Gateway brand has been raised from the dead — cow imagery and all. The brand, which is owned by computer maker Acer, is making its own comeback with a line of new laptops, tablets, and convertibles that will be exclusive to Walmart.

        So, what’s forcing these cows out of hibernation? For Gateway parent Acer, its about new silicon from Intel and AMD, including the successsul new mobile Ryzen 4000 processors.

      • Ericsson Buys CradlePoint in $1.1 Billion Deal to Build 5G

        Ericsson AB has agreed to buy CradlePoint Inc., a U.S. provider of wireless solutions that the Swedish technology giant says will help it expand its 5G footprint.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Poorly Protected Postal Workers Are Catching COVID-19 by the Thousands. It’s One More Threat to Voting by Mail.

        For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

        The stakes felt especially high. Her husband, a postal worker in the same facility, was at high risk because his immune system is compromised by a condition unrelated to the coronavirus. And the 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service knew that her job, operating a machine that sorts mail by ZIP code, would be vital to processing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall.

      • Are You Participating in a Vaccine Trial? Are You Running One? We’d Like to Hear About It.

        Are you participating in a coronavirus vaccine trial? Are you a scientist or manufacturer working to develop and bring a vaccine to market? Or do you work for or with a government agency charged with making sure a COVID-19 vaccine will be safe and effective? Help us understand what we should be covering or serve as an expert to make sure we’re on the right track.

        Our stories focus on holding the powerful accountable in service of the public. We have already reported on failures in testing, the effectiveness of popular hand sanitizers and hospitals retaliating against medical providers for bringing their own masks to work. The development and deployment of a vaccine will affect everybody on the planet. Let’s work together to identify and tell important stories.

      • Trump Knew Covid-19 Could Kill. He Just Didn’t Care.

        Trump and his falsehoods are responsible for most of America’s 200,000 coronavirus deaths to date. 

      • Poisonous Gas Not Tear Gas

        For many decades governments around the world, especially in the USA, have fired tens of thousands of rounds of CS gas at their own people in an attempt to control “civil unrest”. The media falsely labels CS gas as “tear gas” rather than calling it what it is, poisonous gas. The original tear gas was relatively benign, irritating the eyes and mucus tissues but was not poisonous. CS gas, on the other hand, will kill you if you are exposed to enough of it.

      • ‘One of the Most Callous Sentiments Ever Uttered’ by US President: Trump Falsely Says Covid Death Toll Not So Bad ‘If You Take Blue States Out’

        “Trump thinks of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans like a poll number or a stock market price.”

      • Life in Cancer Alley

        State and local powers have approved a 14-plant plastics-production complex that would more than triple the levels of carcinogens in the region. It’s up to the residents to fight back to save their community.

      • Another Day of COVID, Another Failed Stimulus, Another Thousand Deaths

        Another COVID day of death and dismay, another day of Republican indifference, greed and spite.

      • For the First Time Ever, the House Has Passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

        Kimberlie Michelle Durham had big goals for her career before she got pregnant. In 2015, she was a basic emergency medical technician in Alabama with plans to go back to school and become a paramedic. She loved being “out there in the field and helping people,” she said. “It was something I felt really passionate about.”

      • House Passes ‘Historic’ Legislation to Protect Pregnant Workers From Discrimination, Prompting Calls for Senate to Follow Suit

        “With this step forward, we are paving the way for gender equity not only for pregnant workers, but for their co-workers, their families, and their communities.”

      • I’m Still Mad About COVID. We All Should Be.

        Today, I attended online classes all day and then curled up with the new Bob Woodward book, Rage. Rage is what I feel about the mishandling of COVID that led to all of my classes being online.

      • Vaccines for the Rich

        It was a disappointing headline, but it didn’t come as much of a surprise. It appeared in the Wall Street Journal on September 1, 2020.  It was short and to the point.  “Nations With Wealth Tie Up Vaccine Doses.” That which could be considered a harbinger of the headline, insofar as the United States is concerned, had occurred almost four months earlier.

      • Liberal Establishment Promotes “HERD IMMUNITY-lite”

        (Of course it doesn’t work that way, but it sounds “lesser evil”!)

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • DeskProto® releases free CAM software for Linux

          Delft Spline Systems announces that the DeskProto CAM software now also is available for Linux users, as native 64 bits AppImage file that will work on various Linux distributions. Projects made on Linux, on Mac and Windows are interchangeable. Licenses for DeskProto V7 can be used to activate DeskProto on all three platforms, so existing users can switch to a Linux without extra cost.

        • German Hospital Hacked, Patient Taken to Another City Dies

          German authorities said Thursday that what appears to have been a misdirected hacker attack caused the failure of IT systems at a major hospital in Duesseldorf, and a woman who needed urgent admission died after she had to be taken to another city for treatment.

        • Woman dies during a ransomware attack on a German hospital [iophk: Windows kills]

          The cyberattack was not intended for the hospital, according to a report from the German news outlet RTL. The ransom note was addressed to a nearby university. The attackers stopped the attack after authorities told them it had actually shut down a hospital.

        • Windows Exploit Released For Microsoft ‘Zerologon’ Flaw

          Proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code has been released for a Windows flaw, which could allow attackers to infiltrate enterprises by gaining administrative privileges, giving them access to companies’ Active Directory domain controllers (DCs).

          The vulnerability, dubbed “Zerologon,” is a privilege-escalation glitch (CVE-2020-1472) with a CVSS score of 10 out of 10, making it critical in severity. The flaw was addressed in Microsoft’s August 2020 security updates. However, this week at least four public PoC exploits for the flaw were released on Github, and on Friday, researchers with Secura (who discovered the flaw) published technical details of the vulnerability.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Notes from an online free-software conference

                An online event requires an online platform to host it. The Linux Foundation, which supports LPC in a number of ways, offered a handful of possibilities, all of which were proprietary and expensive. One cannot blame the Linux Foundation for this; the events group there was under great pressure with numerous large events going up in flames. In such a situation, one has to grasp at whatever straws present themselves. We, though, had a bit more time and a strong desire to avoid forcing our attendees onto a proprietary platform, even if the alternative required us to build and support a platform ourselves.

                Research done in those early days concluded that there were two well-established, free-software systems to choose from: Jitsi and BigBlueButton. Either could have been made to work for this purpose. In the end, we chose BigBlueButton for a number of reasons, including better-integrated presentation tools, a more flexible moderation system, and a more capable front-end system (though, as will be seen, we didn’t use that part).

                BigBlueButton worked out well for LPC, but it must be said that this system is not perfect. It’s a mixture of highly complex components from different projects glued together under a common interface; its configuration spans literally hundreds of XML files (and some in other formats). It only runs on the ancient Ubuntu 16.04 distribution. Many features are hard to discover, and some are outright footguns: for moderators, the options to exit a meeting (leaving it running) and to end the meeting (thus kicking everybody else out, disposing of the chat session, and more) are adjacent to each other on the menu and look almost identical. Most worryingly, BigBlueButton has a number of built-in scalability limitations.

                The FAQ says that no BigBlueButton session should have more than 100 users — a limitation that is certain to get the attention of a conference that normally draws around 600 people. A lot of work was done to try to find out what the real limitations of the platform were; these included automated testing and running a couple of “town hall” events ahead of the conference. In the end, we concluded that BigBlueButton would do the job if we took care not to stress it too hard.

              • September 2020 Linux Foundation Newsletter
              • Open Source Collaboration is a Global Endeavor, Part 2

                The Linux Foundation would like to reiterate its statements and analysis of the application of US Export Control regulations to public, open collaboration projects (for example, open source software, open standards, open hardware, and open data) and the importance of open collaboration in the successful, global development of the world’s most important technologies.
                Today’s announcement of prohibited transactions by the Department of Commerce regarding WeChat and TikTok in the United States confirms our initial impact analysis for open source collaboration. Nothing in the orders prevents or impacts our communities’ ability to openly collaborate with two valued members of our open source ecosystem, Tencent and ByteDance. From around the world, our members and participants engage in open collaboration because it is open and transparent, and those participants are clear that they desire to continue collaborating with their peers around the world.

              • Linux Foundation Certified IT Administrator Exam To Be Launched Soon
              • Linux Foundation launches new entry-level IT certification

                If you’re Linus Torvalds, you don’t need a certification to get a job. People know who you are. But most of us trying to get a start in technology need a certification. Now, The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit, open-source powerhouse organization, and Certiverse, a certification testing startup, have announced they’re working on a new entry-level IT certification offering: The Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate (LFCA).

        • Security

          • Zerologon – hacking Windows servers with a bunch of zeros

            The big, bad bug of the week is called Zerologon.

            As you can probably tell from the name, it involves Windows – everyone else talks about logging in, but on Windows you’ve always very definitely logged on – and it is an authentication bypass, because it lets you get away with using a zero-length password.

            You’ll also see it referred to as CVE-2020-1472, and the good news is that it was patched in Microsoft’s August 2020 update.

          • Rethinking Security on Linux: evaluating Antivirus & Password Manager solutions

            Recently I had an experience that let me re-evaluate my approach to Security on Linux. I had updated my Desktop computer to the latest openSUSE Leap (15.2) version. I also installed the proprietary Nvidia drivers. At random points during the day I experienced a freeze of my KDE desktop. I cannot move my mouse or type on my keyboard. It probably involves Firefox, because I always have Firefox open during these moments. So for a couple of days, I try to see in my logs what is going on. In /var/log/messages (there is a very nice YaST module for that) you can see the latest messages.

            Suddenly I see messages that I cannot explain. Below, I have copied some sample log lines that give you an impression of what was happening. I have excluded the lines with personal information. But to give you an impression: I could read line for line the names, surnames, addresses and e-mail addresses of all my family members in the /var/log/messsages file.


            I needed to find out what was happening. I needed to know if a trojan / mallware was trying to steal my personal information. So I tried searching for the ZIP archive which was referenced. This might still be stored somewhere on my PC. I used KFind to lookup all files which were created in the last 8 hours. And then I found a lot of thumbnail files which were created by… Gwenview. Stored in a temp folder.

            I started to realize that it might not be a hack, but something that was rendering previews, just like in Gwenview. I checked Dolphin and detected that I had the preview function enabled. I checked the log files again. Indeed, whenever I had opened a folder with Dolphin, all Word and Excel files in that folder were ‘processed’. I browsed several folders after deleting Calligra and there were no more log lines added. I re-installed the Calligra suite and noticed the calligra-extras-dolphin package. I browsed the same folders and indeed, the log lines started appearing all over again. I had found the culprit. It wasn’t a hack.

          • New vulnerabilities allow hackers to bypass MFA for Microsoft 365

            Critical vulnerabilities in multi-factor authentication (MFA) implementation in cloud environments where WS-Trust is enabled could allow attackers to bypass MFA and access cloud applications such as Microsoft 365 which use the protocol according to new research from Proofpoint.

            As a result of the way Microsoft 365 session login is designed, an attacker could gain full access to a target’s account including their mail, files, contacts, data and more. At the same time though, these vulnerabilities could also be leveraged to gain access to other cloud services from Microsoft including production and development environments such as Azure and Visual Studio.

            Proofpoint first disclosed the these vulnerabilities publicly at its virtual user conference Proofpoint Protect but they have like existed for years. The firm’s researchers tested several Identity Provider (IDP) solutions, identified those that were susceptible and resolved the security issues.

          • NIST Password Guidelines

            The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines security parameters for Government Institutions. NIST assists organizations for consistent administrative necessities. In recent years, NIST has revised the password guidelines. Account Takeover (ATO) attacks have become a rewarding business for cybercriminals. One of the members of the top management of NIST expressed his views about traditional guidelines, in an interview “producing passwords that are easy to guess for bad guys are hard to guess for legitimate users.” (https://spycloud.com/new-nist-guidelines). This implies that the art of picking the most secure passwords involves a number of human and psychological factors. NIST has developed the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) to manage and overcome security risks more effectively.

          • Steps of the cyber kill chain

            The cyber kill chain (CKC) is a traditional security model that describes an old-school scenario, an external attacker taking steps to penetrate a network and steal its data-breaking down the attack steps to help organizations prepare. CKC is developed by a team known as the computer security response team. The cyber kill chain describes an attack by an external attacker trying to get access to data within the perimeter of the security

            Each stage of the cyber kill chain shows a specific goal along with that of the attacker Way. Design your Cyber Model killing chain surveillance and response plan is an effective method, as it focuses on how the attacks happen. Stages include,

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium and netbeans), Oracle (mysql:8.0 and thunderbird), SUSE (rubygem-rack and samba), and Ubuntu (apng2gif, gnupg2, libemail-address-list-perl, libproxy, pulseaudio, pure-ftpd, samba, and xawtv).

          • The new BLESA Bluetooth security flaw can keep billions of devices vulnerable

            Billions of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and Linux-based IoT devices are now using Bluetooth software stacks that are potentially susceptible a new security flaw. Titled as BLESA (Bluetooth Low Energy Spoofing Attack), the vulnerability impacts devices running the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol.

          • Are you backing up ransomware with your data?
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Twitch Experiments With Intrusive Ads That Piss Off Its Most Important Asset, Its Talent

              As any internet platform matures, the growth it undergoes will inevitably lead to experimenting with revenue models. For a healthy chunk of the internet, advertising plays some role in those experiments. And, like anything else, there are good experiments and bad experiments.

            • Three Interactive Tools for Understanding Police Surveillance

              This post was written by Summer 2020 Intern Jessica Romo, a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism at University of Nevada, Reno. 

              As law enforcement and government surveillance technology continues to become more and more advanced, it has also become harder for everyday people to avoid. Law enforcement agencies all over the United States are using body-worn cameras, automated license plate readers, drones, and much more—all of which threat people’s right to privacy. But it’s often difficult for people to even become aware of what technology is being used where they live. 

            • Latest developments in the long-running and crucial Schrems vs. Facebook GDPR privacy battle

              Back in July, this blog reported on a major victory for the privacy campaigner Max Schrems at the Court of Justice of the European Union, (CJEU). Following that win, the big question now is: what effects will it have on the handling of personal data by the Internet giants? A quick fix is unlikely, but the US and EU have already started discussions on “an enhanced EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework to comply with the 16 July judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Schrems II case”. Another important move is the creation of a European Data Protection Board taskforce to consider how to apply the CJEU ruling (original press release in German), largely in response to Schrems’ recently-filed pan-European GDPR complaints.

            • Tor’s Bug Smash Fund, Year 2: $106,709 Raised!

              Let’s start this post with a rousing THANK YOU to the Tor community!

              This August, we asked you to help us fundraise for our second annual Bug Smash Fund campaign. This fund is designed to grow a healthy reserve earmarked for maintenance work, finding bugs, and smashing them—all tasks necessary to keep Tor Browser, the Tor network, and the many tools that rely on Tor strong, safe, and running smoothly.

            • Researchers were able to figure out which American phone numbers use Signal

              Privacy flaws in contact discovery have led to a research team being able to enumerate all American Signal users. Enumeration means that using the contact discovery built into the Signal app, researchers were able to perform a large-scale crawling attack and figure out which American phone numbers were attached to a Signal account. The new research paper was released by Christoph Hagen, Christian Weinert, Christoph Sendner, Alexandra Dmitrienko, and Thomas Schneider. It is titled: “All the Numbers are US: Large-scale Abuse of Contact Discovery in Mobile Messengers.”

            • New CBP propaganda on facial recognition and other biometrics

              US Customs and Border Ptotection (CBP) has launched an entire new subdomain of its website, biometrics.cbp.gov, devoted to propaganda intended to persuade the traveling public to submit to, and airlines and airport operating authorities to collaborate in, the use of facial recognition and other biometrics to identify and track travelers.

              There’s nothing in CBP’s happy-talk sales pitch for facial recognition on this new website that we haven’t seen before. And there are still no answers to any of the questions we’ve asked CBP officials about these practices and the legal basis (not) for them.

            • Twitter mandates lawmakers, journalists to beef up passwords heading into election

              Twitter announced Thursday it will order some political candidates, lawmakers and journalists to strengthen their passwords as the platform looks to allay security concerns heading into Election Day.

              The platform said in a blog post that the accounts of members of the executive branch and Congress, governors and secretaries of state, various political candidates and “Major US news outlets and political journalists” will be required to have what Twitter deems to be a strong password.

            • Tor 0day: Finding IP Addresses

              To determine if the hidden service that is connected to your guard is on this list, you just need to connect to each onion service and transmit a burst of traffic.

            • TikTok’s enormous value isn’t just in its algorithm

              TikTok’s proprietary algorithm has been called its “secret sauce” and is one reason why companies have jumped at the chance to buy the app’s US operations. But if the algorithm is TikTok’s secret sauce, then its consumer-friendly advertising experience is the protein: A critical part of the app’s growth and the foundation of its still untapped potential.

            • Former NSA chief Keith Alexander has joined Amazon’s board of directors

              Gen. Keith Alexander is joining Amazon’s board of directors, the company revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today. (Alexander has also been added to the company board’s official site.) A former director of the National Security Agency and the first commander of the US Cyber Command, Alexander served as the public face of US data collection during the Edward Snowden leaks, but he retired from public service in 2013.

              Alexander is a controversial figure for many in the tech community because of his involvement in the widespread surveillance systems revealed by the Snowden leaks. Those systems included PRISM, a broad data collection program that compromised systems at Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook — but not Amazon.

            • Daniel Lange: Getting rid of the Google cookie consent popup

              If you clear your browser cookies regularly (as you should do), Google will annoy you with a full screen cookie consent overlay these days. And – of course – there is no “no tracking consent, technically required cookies only” button. You may log in to Google to set your preference. Yeah, I’m sure this is totally following the intent of the EU Directive 2009/136/EC (the “cookie law”).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Cuts Aid to Yemen While Fueling War and Famine

        The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is deepening amid the pandemic and cuts to international aid from the United States and its allies, leaving millions of Yemenis facing famine after years of a brutal U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign that has devastated the country. CNN’s senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir says what is happening in Yemen is not a natural disaster but a “man-made catastrophe” directly tied to U.S. policies. Elbagir says, “Not only is the U.S. profiting from the war by selling weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” but it is also ignoring the impact on civilians. We also feature her exclusive CNN report, “Yemen: A Crisis Made in America.”

      • ‘Stepfather’ at large Former convict added to federal wanted list following the brutal murder of two children in Rybinsk

        On the night of September 15, two young girls were killed in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Region: 8-year-old Elena and 13-year-old Yana. The children’s bodies were found by their 40-year-old mother Valentina after she returned home from work. The Telegram channel 112 reports that their bodies were “brutally slashed with a knife.” Knives and axes used in the murder were found at the scene of the crime, the local outlets YarNews and Yarnovosti report. According to the Telegram channel Life Shot, the girls had been dismembered. The Yaroslavl-based news site 76.ru reported that the younger girl was “cut into pieces” and the older girl had been “raped and torn apart.” Investigators reported the rape of both girls (without specifying if it took place before or after they were killed). The Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case for murder and rape, which is being investigated by the agency’s Main Investigative Directorate.

      • Whistleblower Report Alleges Military Police Sought Use of a Heat Ray to Disperse Crowd at White House Protest in June

        “Our government shouldn’t be conspiring to use heat rays against us for exercising our constitutional rights.”

      • Navalny’s team reveals hotel room search that uncovered water bottle with traces of Novichok-type poison

        On Thursday, September 17, Alexey Navalny’s team shared a post on Instagram, explaining that they found the water bottle with traces of the substance used to poison him at the Xander Hotel in Tomsk. The bottle in question became the key piece of evidence that allowed laboratories in several countries to confirm that the opposition figure was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent. Navalny stayed at the Xander Hotel during a trip he made to Tomsk to film an investigation about local United Russia politicians. On the morning of August 20, he left the hotel for the airport, where he boarded a plane to Moscow — he fell ill while on board the flight and was hospitalized immediately following an emergency landing in Omsk.

      • Lukashenko announces closure of Belarusian borders with Lithuania and Poland

        Belarus is closing its borders with Lithuania and Poland, and “strengthening the border” with Ukraine, announced President Alexander Lukashenko, as quoted by RIA Novosti. 

      • A Crisis Made in America: Yemen on Brink of Famine After U.S. Cuts Aid While Fueling War

        The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is deepening amid the pandemic and cuts to international aid from the United States and its allies, leaving millions of Yemenis facing famine after years of a brutal U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign that has devastated the country. CNN’s senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir says what is happening in Yemen is not a natural disaster but a “man-made catastrophe” directly tied to U.S. policies. Elbagir says, “Not only is the U.S. profiting from the war by selling weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” but it is also ignoring the impact on civilians. We also feature her exclusive CNN report, “Yemen: A Crisis Made in America.”

      • Yemen aid plea, Mali power struggle, and Storm Alpha: The Cheat Sheet

        People are mentioning the F word and Yemen in the same breath once again, nearly two years after it seemed like the country had narrowly avoided a massive famine (if not the widespread hunger and the associated deaths). On Tuesday, UN relief chief Mark Lowcock warned the Security Council that “the spectre of famine has returned” to Yemen, as conflict escalates and the UN’s appeal for money to fund aid programmes in the country is massively underfunded, at around 30 percent. Lowcock singled out Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait – all members of the coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen – for criticism, saying they have a “particular responsibility” to donate. In addition to war and (the lack of) money, obstruction by various parties is a major obstacle to the humanitarian effort: In a new report on this subject, Human Rights Watch calls for sanctions against Yemeni officials responsible for breaking international humanitarian law by denying civilians the aid they need.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Seas and forests are muddying the carbon budget

        As climates change, forests may not absorb more carbon as expected. But a new carbon budget could appeal to the oceans.

      • Abnormal heat spreads floods and wildfires globally

        From the Arctic Circle to tropical Africa, abnormal heat is bringing mayhem and destruction and costing lives.

      • Reducing CO2 Emissions to Reverse Global Warming

        We know that Global Warming can be reduced during the years of the century ahead of us if we — our civilization — steadily reduces its emissions of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into the atmosphere.

      • A New Jersey Law Makes a Clean Environment a Right. Other States Should Follow.

        On August 27, the New Jersey legislature approved a far-reaching new environmental justice bill intended to reduce the harmful effects of pollution in low-income communities and communities of color. Gov. Phil Murphy has announced he will sign the bill into law on September 18.

      • Is Bill Barr Trump’s Most Dangerous Sidekick?

        Speaking before an audience at Hillsdale College last night, Attorney General Bill Barr declared that the stay-at-home orders issued to protect people from Covid-19 were the grossest attacks on freedom seen in this country since slavery.

      • Energy

        • This Billionaire Governor’s Coal Company Might Get a Big Break From His Own Regulators

          West Virginia environmental regulators are proposing to reduce the fines that a coal company owned by the state’s governor could pay for water pollution violations that are the focus of a federal court case. The move comes after the company stopped paying penalties required as part of a settlement four years ago to clean up its mines across the Appalachian coalfields.

          Environmental groups allege that the Red Fox Mine, a large strip-mining site in southern West Virginia owned by Gov. Jim Justice’s Bluestone Coal Corp., continues to exceed discharge limits for harmful substances. The suit could result in substantial payouts — the maximum potential federal penalties are nearly $170 million — that would go to the U.S. Treasury.

        • Is it the end of the oil age?

          There have been oil slumps before, but this one is different. As the public, governments and investors wake up to climate change, the clean-energy industry is gaining momentum. Capital markets have shifted: clean-power stocks are up by 45% this year. With interest rates near zero, politicians are backing green-infrastructure plans. America’s Democratic presidential contender, Joe Biden, wants to spend $2trn decarbonising America’s economy. The European Union has earmarked 30% of its $880bn covid-19 recovery plan for climate measures, and its president, Ursula von der Leyen, used her state-of-the-union address this week to confirm that she wants the EU to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 55% over 1990 levels in the next decade.

    • Finance

      • By the numbers: A snapshot of Chicago’s economy six months into the pandemic

        The coronavirus pandemic quickly inflicted damage on Chicago’s economy as government shutdowns and social distancing restrictions forced business slowdowns and closures.

        During a six-month period, hundreds of thousands of area jobs were lost, consumer spending dropped 43%, and more than half of temporary business closures became permanent.

        Despite hopes to “get back to normal,” the recovery has been slow, and it’s unclear what any long-lasting changes are, said Jose J. Vazquez-Cognet, an economics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

        “When a business person and a consumer don’t know what to expect, they can’t make decisions very well,” Vazquez-Cognet said. “That’s the worst thing for the economy.”

        Here is a snapshot of the economic impact of the virus on the Chicago area over the past six months.

      • Landslide Vote by Nurses in North Carolina Delivers Biggest Hospital Unionization Win in US South in 45 Years

        “I’m so grateful this victory will allow us to be better advocates for our community,” one nurse said.

      • Could the Days of the Conventional Office Be Over?

        The COVID-19 lockdown left many people the world over with no alternative but to work away from their offices, generating a rapid growth in working from home (WFH) as a result.

      • Howie Hawkins Calls for a federal Financial Transaction Tax

        Howie Hawkins, the Green and Socialist Party candidate for President, stood in front of the New York State Exchange today to call for a federal Financial Transaction Tax.

        Hawkins also called on state lawmakers to stop rebating $13 billion annually to Wall Street speculators from the state stock transfer tax that has existed for more than a century.

        “It is time to tax the rich. We need the wealthy to bear their fair share of the costs of lifting up America from the COVID recession and to mitigate the climate change they have greatly profited from. 40 years of conservative fiscal policies promoted by both major parties have combined tax cuts for the rich with spending cuts on public services and infrastructure. This trickle-down voodoo economics hasn’t worked. It just made the rich richer,” said Hawkins, a retired Teamster from Syracuse.

      • Hawkins to Hold News Conference Friday, Sept. 18 on Wall Street to Call for Stock Transfer Tax

        Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for President, will speak in favor of a federal Stock Transfer Tax in front of the New York Stock Exchange, 11 Wall Street, at 11 AM on Friday, September 18.

        Hawkins, a three-time gubernatorial nominee for the Greens, has long advocated that New York stop rebating the century-old state stock transfer tax to Wall Street speculators and use the funds to invest in domestic needs, such as saving local governments, climate mitigation, workers, small businesses, school and hospitals. Hawkins will march over to City Hall at noon to speak about the state’s fiscal crisis, with Cuomo imposing a 20% cut in aid to local governments and schools. Hawkins will call on de Blasio to support the Stock Transfer Tax and urge Cuomo to do so too.

      • USPTO Fees

        USPTO Fees are changing at the end of the month. PCT Fees are changing on October 1, 2020; US National fees are changing on October 2, 2020. In general, the fees are going up, not down. Beat the fees – file by September 30, 2020.

      • USPTO Announces Deferred-Fee Provisional Application Pilot Program to Encourage COVID-19 Related Inventions

        In a notice published in the Federal Register (85 Fed. Reg. 58038) earlier today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was implementing a deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program in order to promote the expedited exchange of information about inventions designed to combat COVID–19. In the notice, the Office states that it recognizes that its charge to issue high-quality patents to inventors goes hand-in-hand with the dissemination of important technical information, and that the free-flow of such information is now more important than ever in view of the urgent challenges posed by COVID–19.

        Applicants who participate in the pilot program will be allowed to defer payment of the provisional application filing fee (which is currently $280 for large entities) until the filing of a nonprovisional application claiming the benefit of the provisional application in exchange for permitting the Office to make the technical subject matter disclosed in the provisional application available to the public via a searchable collaboration database maintained on the Office’s website. In order to qualify for participation in the pilot program, the subject matter disclosed in the provisional application must concern a product or process related to COVID–19, and such product or process must be subject to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19 use. According to the notice, a provisional application qualifies for participation in the pilot program if such FDA approval “has been obtained, is pending, or will be sought prior to marketing the subject matter for COVID–19.” The notice indicates that such approvals include an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), a New Drug Application (NDA), a Biologics License Application (BLA), a Premarket Approval (PMA), or an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The notice also indicates that the subject requirement for participation in the deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program is the same as that for participation in the COVID–19 prioritized examination pilot program, which was announced in May (see “USPTO Announces COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program”).

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • What Is Critical Race Theory and Why Is Trump Afraid of It?

        The Trump administration recently released an Office of Management and Budget memo denouncing the expenditure of federal moneys on trainings on “critical race theory, white privilege, or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.” Citing unnamed news sources, the memo asserts that federal employees have been subjected to trainings in which they are required to acknowledge that “virtually all Whites are racist” and that they have benefited from racism, in contravention of basic American values. Trump’s Department of Education recently took up the effort to censor Critical Race Theory, announcing that it would review training materials and even employee book clubs to eliminate this allegedly “un-American propaganda.”

      • Trump’s Climate Denial Gains Strength If We’re in Denial About His Neo-Fascism

        Spiking temperatures, melting glaciers, rising seas, catastrophic hurricanes and unprecedented wildfires are clear signs of a climate emergency caused by humans. Denying the awful reality makes the situation worse. The same can be said of denial about the current momentum toward fascism under Donald Trump.

      • Why America’s Political Fights Are as Fake as Pro Wrestling

        I recall being devastated when I learned that the professional wrestling I watched as a kid was fake. How could combatants show such contempt for their opponents in the ring and yet all work for the same company?

      • Trump’s Properties Billed Taxpayers $1.1 Million for Secret Service Rentals

        Properties owned by President Trump have billed the U.S. Secret Service at least $1.1 million in rental stays and other charges since he took office more than three years ago, according to The Washington Post.

      • Historians Blast Barr for Comparing Stay-at-Home Orders to Slavery

        Attorney General William Barr compared social distancing rules instituted to halt the spread of coronavirus to chattel slavery in the United States, resulting in a torrent of criticisms from lawmakers, commentators and historians.

      • House Passes Election Security Bill That Finally Adds Security Researchers To The Mix

        Everyone agrees elections should be secure. But hardly anyone in the federal government is doing anything useful about it. The shift to electronic voting has succumbed to regulatory capture which isn’t doing anything to ensure the best and most secure products are being deployed. On top of that, it’s become a partisan issue at times, resulting in legislators scoring political points rather than making voting and voters more secure.

      • Aligning Ignorance With Bigotry: Trump Attempts to Rewrite History

        In what appears to be a blatant appeal to the white supremacists in his base, President Donald Trump has made clear his attempt to both defend and rewrite the history of racial injustice in the United States while eliminating the institutions that make visible its historical roots.

      • Raising Fear

        Donald Trump and some of his loyal sycophants are getting hysterical, trying to frighten everyone with fantasy tales of insurrections and martial law in the event he loses re-election. They’re doing it purposely, a desperate ploy to counter his sagging polls.

      • ‘Tired of Being Quiet,’ Another Woman, Amy Dorris, Comes Forward to Accuse Donald Trump of Sexual Assault

        “I’m sick of him getting away with this,” Dorris said. 

      • Belgorod Region Governor Evgeny Savchenko steps down after 27 years in office

        The Belgorod Region’s long-time governor, Evgeny Savchenko, has resigned ahead of schedule, reports Interfax, citing a press release from the region’s administration.

      • The US Safety Net Is Degrading by Design

        The pandemic has thrown millions of people out of work while mean-spirited government policies ended emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits. More and more families are left with no choice but to turn to public assistance programs like the dysfunctional Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).

      • ‘Open Russia’ director arrested immediately after release from Moscow jail

        Andrey Pivovarov, the executive director of the organization Open Russia, was arrested at the exit of a special detention facility in Moscow, where he had just finished serving 14 days administrative arrest, reports the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. 

      • Voters Should be Wary of USA Today’s False Balance on Election 2020

        One thing readers can count on every election season is false balance in the press (FAIR.org, 12/9/16, 10/3/12; Extra!, 11–12/08; FAIR.org, 9/30/04), and despite the current threats to democracy (FAIR.org, 9/15/20) that one might hope would lead journalists to up their game, this year is no different.

      • Do Florida Democrats Want to Win the State Senate This Year?

        Florida Democrats are locked out of state-level power by a GOP trifecta that runs the governor’s office, the House, and the Senate. But they only need to pick up three Senate seats to achieve at least a tie in that chamber, and thus reach a power-sharing arrangement with the GOP, which is especially important as the state takes up redistricting next year. Party leaders and local observers seem to agree that two Democratic candidates have a decent chance to flip GOP-held open seats, in the Miami-Dade and Orlando areas. But a 21-19 balance gets the party very little in terms of legislative clout, particularly when it comes to redistricting.

      • Warning Trump Poses ‘Existential Threat’ to Social Security, Group Founded by FDR’s Son Endorses Biden for President

        “Many older Americans cannot afford—let alone survive—another four years of President Trump.”

      • American Athletes Can Decide This Year’s Election

        Last year, when LeBron James described some of President Trump’s public statements as “laughable and scary,” Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham ordered the basketball superstar to “shut up and dribble.”

      • Susan Collins Is Donald Trump’s Essential Ally in the Senate

        Maine Senator Susan Collins won’t say whether she will vote for Donald Trump on November 3. But she votes for him when it counts: on the floor of Senate and in the court of public opinion.

      • A Conservative Lawyer Is Holding Voter Fraud Meetings With Republicans Only

        Starting in early spring, as the coronavirus took hold, a conservative lawyer at the forefront of raising alarms about voting by mail held multiple private briefings exclusively for Republican state election officials, according to previously unreported public records.

      • Faith and Labor Movements Are Bridging Trump’s Racial Divide With Hope and Love

        This election year, America faces interlocking crises—a global health crisis, economic collapse, and systemic racism. Even as we live in fear of disease and economic ruin, we have had to watch the on-camera murders of unarmed Black people by officers who have sworn to protect and serve us. So many of us have stood outside nursing homes and hospitals as our loved ones died inside, alone. In response, we are struggling with despair and asking, Dare we hope for profound change in our public life?

      • Democrats Removing Me From Ballot May Cost Joe Biden Wisconsin – Status Coup
      • Dem WAR On Green Party Exposes Voter Suppression Hypocrisy
      • American horror story: how the US lost its grip on pop culture

        Many are wondering whether the era of US dominance is coming to an end, with the coronavirus pandemic the final nail in the coffin. “Covid has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism,” wrote the anthropologist Wade Davis in Rolling Stone last month, observing that Americans “found themselves members of a failed state, ruled by a dysfunctional and incompetent government largely responsible for death rates that added a tragic coda to America’s claim to supremacy in the world”.

        On top of its out-of-control pandemic, today’s United States is a place of economic decline, rampant inequality and racial animosity. It is a place where culture is now discussed primarily in the context of warfare. In 2015, Donald Trump famously declared the American dream dead, and since he became president, you could say that’s one promise he has fulfilled.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Daniel Ellsberg Warns U.S. Press Freedom Under Attack in WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Extradition Case

        Legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in London could have far-reaching consequences for press freedoms. The WikiLeaks founder faces an ever-evolving array of espionage and hacking charges related to the release of diplomatic cables that revealed war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange faces almost certain conviction, if extradited, and 175 years in prison. “The American press has remained in kind of a state of denial for 40 years, really, since my case, that the Espionage Act has wording in it that could be aimed directly at them,” says Ellsberg, who testified in Assange’s defense at his extradition trial via video stream from the United States. “Now the American press is staring right down the barrel at the use of the Espionage Act against American journalists and publishers for doing journalism.”

      • Assange on Trial: Diligent Redactions and Avoiding Harm

        Day Seven

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 11

        Yet another shocking example of abuse of court procedure unfolded on Wednesday. James Lewis QC for the prosecution had been permitted gratuitously to read to two previous witnesses with zero connection to this claim, an extract from a book by Luke Harding and David Leigh in which Harding claims that at a dinner at El Moro Restaurant Julian Assange had stated he did not care if US informants were killed, because they were traitors who deserved what was coming to them.

      • Day 8: September 17, 2020 #AssangeCase

        John Sloboda, co-founder of Iraq Body Count, an independent NGO devoted to continuously counting killings civilians in Iraq, testified today about working with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks on the Iraq War Logs, released in October of 2010.

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 12

        A less dramatic day, but marked by a brazen and persistent display of this US Government’s insistence that it has the right to prosecute any journalist and publication, anywhere in the world, for publication of US classified information. This explicitly underlay the entire line of questioning in the afternoon session.

      • Assange’s Extradition Trial: Court Hears About History Of Political Prosecutions Under Espionage Act

        “There has never, in the century-long history of the Espionage Act, been an indictment of a U.S. publisher under the law for the publication of secrets,” declared Carey Shenkman, an attorney who has co-authored a first-of-its-kind peer-reviewed book on the Espionage Act.Shenkman testified during WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition trial and added, “There has never been an extraterritorial indictment of a non-[United States] publisher under the Act.”“During World War I, federal prosecutors considered the mere circulation of anti-war materials a violation of the law. Nearly 2,500 individuals were prosecuted under the Act on account of their dissenting views and opposition to U.S. entry in the war,” Shenkman added.Assange is accused of 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.The charges criminalize the act of merely receiving classified information, as well as the publication of state secrets from the United States government. It targets common practices in newsgathering, which is why the case is widely opposed by press freedom organizations throughout the world.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • US Cops Are Treating White Militias as “Heavily Armed Friendlies”

        A video from the uprising in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shows police giving water to a group of armed white men. One officer uses his vehicle’s loudspeaker to tell them, “We appreciate you guys. We really do.” Soon thereafter, one of the group, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three protesters, killing two.

      • Mobilizing the National Guard Doesn’t Mean Your State Is Under Martial Law. Usually.

        Hello, trusty newsletter readers. Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s Thursday, not Friday, the day you would typically receive this newsletter. That’s because you’ll be hearing from us on Thursdays, starting today. Happy Thursday!

        I’ve been curious about the National Guard for months. It started in March, after a video that appeared to show a train loaded with military vehicles headed toward the Chicago area went viral. The video fueled a rumor that the Illinois National Guard was being sent to the city to put it on “lockdown.” This was shortly after Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 cases. Truth is: There was a train, but it was not coming to Chicago to put the city on lockdown. It was part of a routine military equipment delivery.

      • ‘The Court Has Refused to Fashion Concrete Legal Standards About the Rights of Protesters’

        Janine Jackson interviewed constitutional law attorney Kia Rahnama for the September 11, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Civil Rights Commission Calls for End to Subminimum Wages for People With Disabilities

        “Paying workers with disabilities a subminimum wage is discrimination—plain and simple—and it’s way past time we repeal this outdated policy.”

      • Police Bureaucracy and Abolition: Why Reforms Driven by Professionals will Renew State Oppression

        The demands are clear: defund and abolish police. As those calls grow, so will efforts by reformers to propose new rules and regulations that they say will “improve” and restore “legitimacy” to policing. These bureaucratic reforms reflect the failed thinking that built up the carceral state, and they will make policing harder to dismantle. Reforms like this are meant to pacify social movements, replacing community self-determination with the “expertise” of lawyers, academics, and other professionals who are complicit in oppression.

      • After Fire Destroys Moria Refugee Camp in Greece, Demands Grow for Relocation, Not Another Camp

        We get an update on the massive fire at the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, which has left 13,000 refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, African countries and Syria without access to shelter, food or sanitation. The fire has raised concerns about a coronavirus outbreak and comes as migrants protest their living conditions during the pandemic. Some of the asylum seekers — many of them women and children — are demanding they be allowed to leave the island of Lesbos, but the Greek government is refusing to relocate most people displaced by the fire to the mainland. “The calculation of the Greek government was, in my opinion, to really break people’s spirit,” says reporter Franziska Grillmeier, who joins us from Lesbos.

      • UN Amplifies Ethiopian Migrant Detainees’ Cries for Help in Saudi Arabia

        VOA’s September 2 interviews with Teshome and 30-year-old Kadir echo those of recent reports. In mid-August, Human Rights Watch reported that at least hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Ethiopians were being held in Saudi Arabia, in part because of pandemic concerns.

      • UN slams Saudi Arabia in rare rebuke

        Dozens of countries have called on Saudi Arabia to release jailed women’s rights activists and provide transparency Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi’s killing. German diplomats said it was time for “full accountability.”

      • Working from (your parents’) home

        Reasons for moving home vary. The coronavirus recession has hit young people especially hard, and many are living with family because they’ve lost their jobs or haven’t been able to find work after college or grad school.

        Others wanted some company during lockdowns.

      • Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Fight Against Independent Contractor Status Isn’t Going Away

        Amid the pandemic, Uber and Lyft drivers are more precarious than ever. Even as the companies dodge court rulings, the battle for drivers to be legally classified as employees is growing.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • West African Cotton Company Limited v Hozelock Exel: How may a petitioner establish lack of novelty of a registered design in Nigeria?

        With a petition filed before the Federal High Court (FHC) in December 2015, the Petitioner – West African Cotton Company Limited (WACCL) – sought the nullification of Registered Designs Nos. RPD/D/F/RD/2010/96 RPD/D/F/RD/2010/97 (the “2010 designs”) belonging to Hozelock Exel (Hozelock) relating to diaphragm knapsack pump sprayers.

        Nullification was sought on grounds that the designs are not new, having been, contrary to section 13 of the Patents and Designs Act made public prior to their registration. To support its claim that the designs were made public prior to their registration, WACCL tendered a sample of its own diaphragm knapsack pump sprayers as well as shipping documents showing the importation of its sprayers prior to Hozelock’s application for registration of the 2010 designs. WACCOL’s argument was that there are significant similarities between its sprayers (which existed prior to the Hozelock’s application for registration) and the pump sprayers made from the 2010 designs. [By virtue of section 13(3) of the Act, “an industrial design is not new if, before the date of application for registration, it has been made available to the public anywhere and at any time by means of description, use or in any other way…”]

        In response, Hozelock tendered its application/acknowledgment of application for registration of the 2010 designs, certificates of registration for the 2010 designs and a sample of its pump sprayers, which was manufactured using the 2010 designs. Hozelock submitted inter alia that WACCOL’s shipping documents do not contain or portray any designs that may be compared with the 2010 designs to establish similarities that may be construed as evidence of prior publication.

        The key question before the court was whether – for the purposes of establishing absence of newness – WACCOL has discharged the burden on it in that regard.

      • Patents

        • FRAND, RAND, & the Problem at Hand: Increasing Certainty in Infringement Damages for Standard-Essential Patents

          When Standard-Setting Organizations (“SSOs”) set various industry standards, they often require the incorporation of certain technologies (and, therefore, their underlying patents) into the standard. Standard-Essential Patents (“SEPs”) generally require that a patent-holder agree to Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms or Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (“RAND”) terms in the agreements incorporating their patent into a standard. These terms do what their names suggest and oblige the SEP-holder to, generally speaking, not charge unreasonable fees in licensing their SEPs. What is a “fair” rate? What is a “reasonable” rate? What constitutes “non-discriminatory” practices in the licensing of SEPs? SSOs generally decline to answer these questions themselves, further complicating the matter. Instead, courts solve these problems if and when these terms become the subject of litigation, which they indeed have, in cases across the country brought by SEP-holders, would-be SEP-licensees (“standard-implementers”), and even the FTC. The Federal Circuit has not established a clear-cut rule as to how to determine a FRAND or RAND (henceforth referred to collectively as “F/RAND”) royalty rate, and so this remains an area of high uncertainty today, even compared to the already uncertain field of patent litigation.


          Since Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. U.S. Plywood Corp (“Georgia-Pacific”) in 1970, courts frequently employ a “hypothetical negotiation” approach in damages calculation after a finding of patent infringement, wherein the court attempts to ascertain a royalty which the parties would have agreed to had they successfully negotiated an agreement prior to infringement. However, in a F/RAND context, application of this framework can be difficult. Variables such as whether to presume an SEP’s in-fact essentiality to a standard, whether to presume an SEP’s validity at litigation, the date of the hypothetical negotiation, and whether or how a court should consider comparable licenses can result in advantages or disadvantages for SEP-owners or infringers/licensees. Courts have answered these questions differently, increasing uncertainty in infringement damages calculation and further warranting SSO guidance regarding the framework for said calculation. However, reducing uncertainty requires careful consideration of the effects of the aforementioned variables. While blindly making decisions can decrease uncertainty, it can also result in disparate impacts on participants in SEP licenses and litigation.

          Georgia-Pacific established 15 factors for courts to consider when calculating damages in patent infringement cases. These factors did not contemplate usage with F/RAND-encumbered patents. As one example, the Georgia-Pacific factors include the availability of alternatives, but in the F/RAND context no alternative to the standard is possible. Because of this and other similar considerations, application of Georgia-Pacific in the F/RAND context has provided further layers of uncertainty. Some district courts have laid out prescriptive analysis of how or whether each factor should be considered when dealing with SEPs. However, the Federal Circuit has largely punted on the matter. In Ericsson, Inc. v. D-Link Systems in 2014, the Federal Circuit called largely for a context-driven approach to applying the factors in this context. Applying many of these factors to SEPs can create problems that range from mild concern to complete inequity. Without a more rigid framework, uncertainty in litigation abounds and a risk of inequity arises.


          Holistically, numerous concerns plague policy determinations regarding fairly and equitably determining a reasonable royalty rate. SSOs should consider several of the valuation methods employed in contemporary cases and discussed in legal literature, the concerns they implicate, and the contexts of their standards to design royalty-valuation schemes within their F/RAND terms that guide courts in infringement damages valuation. Doing so would simplify litigation, rectify inequitable litigation trends, and increase certainty in the calculus a court may use in determining a F/RAND royalty.

        • Software Patents

          • Ideahub patent determined to be likely invalid

            On September 17, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,641,849, owned by Ideahub Inc. The IPR was filed as part of Unified’s ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone. The ’849 patent relates to a video compression technique known as intra prediction.

            The ’849 patent is a part of the HEVC Advance patent pool. HEVC Advance claims that certain claims of the ’849 patent are essential to the HEVC standard.

      • Copyrights

        • MPA & ACE Team Up With Homeland Security to Dismantle Criminal Piracy Groups

          The MPA, Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, Homeland Security’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and other groups have signed an agreement to collaborate on content protection efforts and launch a new public awareness campaign to deter citizens from engaging in IPTV, general streaming, and torrent-based piracy.

        • Disney’s Mulan Crushes All Competition on Pirate Sites

          Disney’s Mulan is a smash hit on pirate sites, where millions of people streamed and downloaded pirate copies of the film over the past week and a half. For days on end, the film has been pirated many times more than the competition, which is a rare sight. This ‘success’ is the result of a volatile mix of steep costs, low availability, and high-quality pirate alternatives.

        • Piratebay.org Now Being Used to Crowdsource “The Torrent Man” Film

          Earlier this week the Piratebay.org domain was sold at auction for $50,000. The domain was previously owned by the official TPB team who apparently forgot to extend the registration. The new owner could monetize the domain through advertising feeds or start a Pirate Bay copy, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s being put up for sale again by “PirateBay Pictures” who say they are crowdfunding a new film; The Torrent Man.


Links 17/9/2020: Qt Creator 4.13.1, Linux 5.8.10 and Mesa 20.1.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Slimbook Essential Linux laptops unveiled from €499

        Slimbook has launched a new clinic laptop powered by 10th generation Intel Core processors with prices starting from €499. The latest Slimbook Essential 14 ships with Intel Ice Lake processors, while the Slimbook Essential 15 sports Intel Come Lake-U processors.

        The new Slimbook Essential 14 and Slimbook Essential 15 laptops are available with Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processor options and feature dual SODIMM slots for up to 32GB RAM together with a M.2 drive for PCIe NVMe SSD.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Clipmenu: Look No Further For A Simple Clipboard Manager

        I’ve noticed that a lot of X applications like to clear the clipboard when they close which can be quite annoying when I’m trying to get work done so why not skip all of that and just keep a list of everything you’ve copied, that’s what you get with Clipmenu and instead of building a new interface it hooks into existing programs like Dmenu and Rofi so you can easily integrate it into your system.

      • HP and Lenovo support Linux, elementary OS on the Pinebook Pro, and a new Oxygen theme – Linux News

        Here are your Linux, Open Source and Privacy news for the first half of september 2020! This time, we’ve got tons of new hardware supporting Linux, elementary OS on the pinebook pro, and the revival of the Oxygen KDE theme.

      • Ubuntu Podcast S13E26 – The evil eye

        This week we’ve been playing with arcade boards and finishing DIY in the kitchen. We discuss if old technology is more fun than new technology, bring you a command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

      • BSD Now #368: Changing OS roles

        Modernizing the OpenBSD Console, OS roles have changed, FreeBSD Cluster with Pacemaker and Corosync, Wine in a 32-bit sandbox on 64-bit NetBSD, Find package which provides a file in OpenBSD, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Microsoft submits new patches series to Linux kernel developers [Ed: Pushing their proprietary software for 'Linux']
      • Linux 5.8.10
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.8.10 kernel.
        All users of the 5.8 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.8.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.8.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.66
      • Linux 4.19.146
      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.1.8
          Hi all,
          I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.8, the eighth bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.
          The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-09-30.
        • Mesa 20.1.8 Released While Waiting For Mesa 20.2

          Mesa 20.2 (or 20.2-RC5) didn’t debut last week as intended, but for the interim the Mesa 20.1.x release cycle brought 20.1.8 on Wednesday and now it’s been extended to having at least a ninth point release to allow more time until not only Mesa 20.2.0 to ship but Mesa 20.2.1 alignment.

        • Ray-Tracing Support For AMDGPU LLVM Back-End Lands For RDNA 2

          AMD previously confirmed it would be supporting real-time ray-tracing with their next-generation GPUs while now one month out from the Radeon RX 6000 series debut are the first signs of the open-source driver work around GPU ray-tracing.

          One day after spotting the patches for AV1 video decode with VCN 3.0, the latest open-source Radeon driver work to point out is the fundamentals around their ray-tracing introduction.

        • NVIDIA 455.23.04 Linux Beta Released With GeForce RTX 3080/3090 Support

          NVIDIA has once again managed to provide launch-day Linux driver support for their next-generation graphics processors. Today the NVIDIA 455.23.04 beta driver is shipping for Linux support with the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 “Ampere” graphics cards.

        • RADV’s “ACO” Shader Backend Still Pursuing RadeonSI, Early Work On RDNA 2

          Valve developer Timur Kristóf who has been spending the past year working on the AMD Compiler “ACO” back-end for the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” as well as beginning to port this shader compiler back-end to RadeonSI Gallium3D. This alternative to the AMDGPU LLVM back-end has made incredible progress over the past year — enough so that it’s been the default for Mesa’s RADV driver. During XDC2020 Day 2, Timur provided an update on ACO.

        • Cache Creator Tool Proposed For AMDVLK Vulkan Driver

          Google engineer Steven Perron has laid out their proposal for an XGL cache creator tool for AMD’s official Vulkan Linux driver, AMDVLK.

          As part of their work on relocatable shaders and supporting the offline compilation of Vulkan/SPIR-V shaders, they are working on “xgl_cache_creator” as a tool to take precompiled shaders and construct a file that can be redistributed and passed as the initial data into the Vulkan pipeline cache.

        • Arm Is Now Backing Panfrost Gallium3D As Open-Source Mali Graphics Driver

          Most information presented during the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference doesn’t tend to be very surprising or ushering in breaking news, but during today’s XDC2020 it was subtly dropped that Arm Holdings appears to now be backing the open-source Panfrost Gallium3D driver.

        • Microsoft Has A Large Presence At This Year’s X.Org Conference [Ed: Microsoft is now interjecting Windows and DirectX into conferences about Linux]

          Years ago if saying Microsoft would have multiple developers presenting at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC) as well as being a sponsor, you’d probably raise some laughs. But this year for XDC2020 Gdansk (albeit virtual due to COVID-19), Microsoft engineers gave not just one talk but three on the opening day.


          Jesse Natalie and Steve Pronovost both of Microsoft kicked off XDC2020 by talking about the WSL graphics architecture in a pre-recorded, well-edited video presentation. That was followed by Pronovost talking about X11/Wayland application support under WSL and then the third and final Microsoft talk of the day was Jesse talking about their Mesa Direct3D 12 mapping layers for getting OpenCL/OpenGL over D3D12.

    • Applications

      • Delightful Free and Open Source ASCII Art Tools

        ASCII art is a graphic design technique that relies primarily on computers for presentation and consists of pictures put together from characters defined by the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) standard. These characters are letters, numbers and special characters such as # / and \. ASCII art is as much a constituent element of the internet as emoticons, cats, or acronyms such as ROTFL and LOL.

        ASCII art was invented, in large part, because early printers lacked graphics ability. Characters were used to replace graphic marks. Dot matrix printers designed for bulk printing often used ASCII art to print large banners, to help distinguish different print jobs from different users. ASCII art was also used in early e-mail when images could not be embedded.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Blasphemous confirmed to release for Linux on September 21

        The Game Kitchen and Team17 today confirmed that Blasphemous will finally launch official Linux support on Monday, September 21 after the original 2019 release.

        “Play as The Penitent One – a sole survivor of the massacre of the ‘Silent Sorrow’. Trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth, it’s down to you to free the world from this terrible fate and reach the origin of your anguish.”

      • Command & Conquered Remastered adds a beacon system, local replays, and more

        The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection has just seen its third major update go live. With this patch, the modernised version of the classic strategy game series is getting a few welcome modern features and expanded tools for modders and map-makers.

        One of the banner updates added in the latest patch is a much-requested pre-match info screen. Now, when you’re loading into a multiplayer or skirmish game, you’ll see the minimap, your starting position, and the other players who will be playing. The idea is to give players a better sense of orientation when they begin a match, and start planning their opening strategy as they’re loading games.

      • Maintenance release: Godot 3.2.3

        Godot contributors are proud to release Godot 3.2.3 as a maintenance update to the stable 3.2 branch. The main development focus for this version was to fix regressions reported against the fairly big 3.2.2 release from June, but in the process many other bugfixes for older issues have been merged.

      • Games 3.38

        I wanted to start this blog post with “It’s that time of year again”, but looks like Michael beat me to it. So, let’s take a look at some of the changes in GNOME Games 3.38…

        The library Games uses to implement Libretro frontend, retro-gtk, has been overhauled this cycle. I’ve already covered the major changes in previous blog post, but to recap…

      • Valve developer shows off Gamescope for Linux at XDC 2020

        As we highlighted in our initial XDC 2020 article, one of the presentations this year was from a Valve developer who is working on Gamescope.

        Gamescope, something we revealed before across two articles (#1, #2), was started by Valve dev Pierre-Loup Griffais, who is one of the most prominent Linux people at Valve after joining them in 2012. Griffais has also been heavily involved in Valve’s various external open source contracting, with this like ACO for Mesa and more.

        Created as an evolution of steamcompmgr, the original SteamOS session compositing window manager but it’s come a long way since then. Being a rewrite to be based on Wayland (and XWayland for what doesn’t work with Wayland directly) rather than GLX, giving them much more direct control over everything with Vulkan. From the talk, Griffais mentioned how they began with using wlroots (a modular Wayland compositor library), from there they hacked away at it and merged it with a bunch of what was in steamcompmgr.

      • Free first-person shooter-strategy ‘Unvanquished’ is now properly open source

        After a long period of silence, it seems a lot was going on behind the scenes for Unvanquished and it’s now properly open source all the way through.

        Originally forked off from another game, Tremulous, which has a lot in common with the Natural Selection game. Two opposing sides of Aliens vs Humans that mixes first-person action with a little strategy with some building. Unvanquished was an effort to continue Tremulous with more modern features and it appears to be close to a new release.

        In a long round-up blog post, a lot of effort has been put into splitting up assets and tools needed for Unvanquished into their own respositories, making it easier to track down and properly sort out licensing. Lots didn’t have a license, or one that was problematic for the project. Now though? They’re announcing that Unvanquished is now “fully open source again, from engine to game code, from models to textures”.

      • Unity 2020.2 game engine gets a Beta release

        Unity Technologies just recently released a brand new build of the Unity game engine, with a focus on performance, stability and workflow improvements.

        The Unity 2020.2 release is now in Beta, which follows their pattern of having two ‘TECH’ releases followed by Unity 2020 LTS which is due for March 2021. The TECH release are for enthusiasts who need the latest stuff, with the LTS builds aimed at everyone else. The full 2020.2 release should be later this year.

      • Get an early look at NO PLAN B, an upcoming tactical strategy planning game

        NO PLAN B from the developer of Gladiabots looks like it will be quite fun, blending ideas from the likes of Door Kickers and Frozen Synapse.

        The idea is that using a specially made timeline system, you plan out every member of your squad on where they go and what they do. You do this across a full 3D mission map, and watch as it all unfolds. If it didn’t go to plan, you can go back and try again. NO PLAN B will also be open to plenty of community-created content with a map generation system, a level editor along with tools to adjust every part of the mission down to every detail.

        Across three new videos, the developer showed how the work in progress system will work. From planning, to execution and then a needed adjustment of the plan.

      • Mindustry, one of the best open source games around has a huge upgrade in testing

        Mindustry, a game that mixes in Factorio with Tower Defence and then goes wild from there is a fantastic example of how good a free and open source game can be. So good in fact, I wrote an article about my love of it and spoke in a video about it on Linux For Everyone.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt Creator 4.13.1 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.13.1 !

          In this release we fixed various smaller issues, and also updated Clazy to its 1.7 branch, which fixes analyzing files and projects with Clazy on macOS.

          The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under “Qt Creator”, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.13.1 is also available as an update in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

        • Plasma 5.20 Beta

          Plasma 5.20 is going to be one absolutely massive release! More features, more fixes for longstanding bugs, more improvements to the user interface! Read on for details…

          Read on to discover all the new features and improvements of Plasma 5.20…

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Beta Released With Better Wayland Support
        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Desktop Enters Beta, Final Release Expected on October 13

          KDE Plasma 5.20 is packed with countless of enhancements. There are improvements everywhere, starting with a new look and feel consisting of an icon-only Task Manager that comes with lots of changes, a slightly thicker default panel, redesigned OSDs for brightness and volume, improvements to the Digital Clock applet, and a new default shortcut for moving and resizing windows (Meta+drag).

          After several months of development, during which the KDE development team managed to add numerous new features and improvements, the forthcoming KDE Plasma 5.20 desktop environment is now available for public beta testing if you’re a bleeding-edge user wanting to get an early taste of the changes.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME drops 3.x versioning to shift to GNOME 40 for next release

          Over the past couple of decades, when the GTK library that GNOME was built upon released a new major version — moving from 1.x versions to 2.x, for instance — it arrived with a new major release of the GNOME desktop that greatly changed the user interface.

          As with many major redesigns, it was accompanied by an amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

          With the GTK team working away on GTK 4, the GNOME team was in no mood to “rewrite the world”, according to an announcement from the GNOME release team penned by Emmanuele Bassi.

        • GNOME 40 Aims To Have A Better Extensions Experience

          Following Wednesday’s release of GNOME 3.38 was the surprising news of GNOME 40 being the next version as well as a new initiative to improve GNOME extensions.

          GNOME developer Sri Ramkrishna has provided more context over the “GNOME Extensions Rebooted” initiative. The aim of this project is to reduce the churn and breakage around GNOME Shell extensions following new releases.

          Among their intentions with this initiative is to improve the documentation around GNOME Shell extensions, a continuous integration pipeline / virtual machine for helping extension writers test their extensions, providing break testing via the GNOME Gitlab CI, and a forum for developers to communicate over changes relating to extensions.

        • Geary Email Client Now Supports Plugins, Improves Server Compatibility

          Geary 3.38.0 is a major new release that carries a crop of new features, makes some welcome bug fixes, and boost overall server compatibility.

          The headline feature? That’ll be the addition of plugin support. New Geary plugins allow users to add additional functionality to the client. A handful of plugins are included in this release…

        • GNOME’s new versioning scheme

          The GNOME Project has announced a change to its version-numbering scheme; the next release will be “GNOME 40″. “After nearly 10 years of 3.x releases, the minor version number is getting unwieldy. It is also exceedingly clear that we’re not going to bump the major version because of technological changes in the core platform, like we did for GNOME 2 and 3, and then piling on a major UX change on top of that. Radical technological and design changes are too disruptive for maintainers, users, and developers; we have become pretty good at iterating design and technologies, to the point that the current GNOME platform, UI, and UX are fairly different from what was released with GNOME 3.0, while still following the same design tenets.”

    • Distributions

      • Deepin 20 is still the most beautiful Linux desktop on the market

        I’ll confess that I love a good-looking desktop–I’ve been that way since I first discovered AfterStep, back in 2000. Not only was it beautiful, it was insanely customizable. At one point, I had my AfterStep desktop tricked out such that nearly every single element used a certain level of transparency. It was cool, and it blew the minds of anyone who dared lay eyes on it.

        The Deepin desktop never fails to elicit the same kind of reactions. With every iteration, Deepin improves on what was already the most gorgeous Linux desktop of all time.

        However… (I really hate to type that word sometimes).

      • BSD

        • [Old] Upgrading OpenBSD with Ansible

          Initially, my playbook did the upgrade as usual (i.e., it fetched the sets in bsd.rd). During this process, of course, my machine is not performing its function as a router. My Internet access is not super great, so fetching the sets takes awhile. I got frustrated while I was testing it and looked into lessening the amount of time spent inside bsd.rd.

          To speed up the process, I wrote a basic shell script to fetch the sets before rebooting into bsd.rd. It enabled me to remove some tasks I had to do in order to get working Internet access in bsd.rd. (This is specific to my case).

      • Gentoo Family

        • Console-bound systemd services, the right way

          Let’s say that you need to run on your system some sort server software which instead of daemonising, has a command console permanently attached to standard input. Let us also say that said console is the only way for the administrator to interact with the service, including requesting its orderly shutdown – whoever has written it has not implemented any sort of signal handling so sending SIGTERM to the service process causes it to simply drop dead, potentially losing data in the process. And finally, let us say that the server in question is proprietary software so it isn’t really possible for you to fix any of the above in the source code (yes, I am talking about a specific piece of software – which by the way is very much alive and kicking as of late 2020). What do you do?

          According to the collective wisdom of World Wide Web, the answer to this question is “use a terminal multiplexer like tmux or screen“, or at the very least a stripped-down variant of same such as dtach. OK, that sort of works – what if you want to run it as a proper system-managed service under e.g. OpenRC? The answer of the Stack Exchange crowd: have your init script invoke the terminal multiplexer. Oooooookay, how about under systemd, which actually prefers services it manages not to daemonise by itself? Nope, still “use a terminal multiplexer”.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Conference organizers announce schedule and platform registration

          Organizers of the online openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference are pleased to announce that the schedule for the conference is published.

          All times on the schedule are published in Coordinated Universal Time. The conference will take place from live Oct. 15 to Oct. 17 using the oslo.gonogo.live platform.

          There are more than 100 talks scheduled, covering the openSUSE and LibreOffice projects. There are talks about open-source projects, cloud and container technologies, embedded devices, community development, translations, marketing, documentation, Future Technologies, Quality Assurance and more.

        • SUSE Addresses “ZeroLogon” Vulnerability

          On September 11, Secura research published a new software vulnerability called “ZeroLogon”, which exploits a protocol weakness in the SMB Netlogon protocol. This vulnerability may affect users of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server running Samba servers in older or non-standard configurations. Attackers could use it to bypass access control to the domain controller.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 108

          In our previous post we reported we were working in some mid-term goals in the areas of AutoYaST and storage management. This time we have more news to share about both, together with some other small YaST improvements.

        • Johann Els on running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on SAP
        • Tumbleweed Snapshots bring updated Inkscape, Node.js, KDE Applications

          Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released since the last article.

          KDE’s Applications 20.08.1, Node.js, iproute2 and inkscape were updated in the snapshots throughout the week.

          The 20200915 snapshot is trending stable at a rating of 97, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Many YaST packages were updated in this snapshot. The 4.3.19 yast2-network package forces a read of the current virtualization network configuration in case it’s not present. The Chinese pinyin character input package libpinyin updated to 2.4.91, which improved auto correction.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Between Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and deepin 20 Releases

          Finally deepin 20 released in September this year following Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Both are Free Libre Open Source Software computer operating systems. However, as we know Ubuntu brings many nice features, we celebrate with deepin the brand new look and move towards freedom. This article summarizes both beautiful OSes for everyone. Enjoy!

          It is deepin 20 the brand new luxurious operating system. Since long, deepin is the most polished GNU/Linux distro. It is a good news for computer users today as now deepin comes with redesigned DDE user interface and more freedom by switching away from Chrome and WPS into Mozilla Firefox and LibreOffice. deepin OS is a China based operating system developed by Wuhan Deepin Technology which is a member of The Linux Foundation.

        • Web App Manager – Convert Any Website into an App

          Alongside many bug fixes that were recently backported to Linux Mint 19.3, Linux Mint 20, and LMDE 4, the Linux Mint community updated their Warpinator app to improve network connectivity and the preservation of file permissions. They also announced a new tool spawned from working together with Peppermint OS, Web App Manager.

          WebApp Manager is a utility app created from the collaboration between Linux Mint and Peppermint based on Peppermint’s ICE – an app with which users can turn their favorite apps into standalone web apps and it was first released as early as 2010!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Update devices remotely with open source tools

        The ability to access, connect, and manage multiple devices remotely through a single account is important. Going a step further, being able to completely update devices remotely is another way for sysadmins to reduce effort and minimize headaches.

        UpdateHub is an open source solution that allows you to do complete device updates, including firmware and bootloaders, remotely. Its goal is to make it easier to do device updates and reduce rework and risk, whether you’re updating thousands of devices or managing small deployments. UpdateHub handles all aspects of over-the-air (OTA) updates, including package integrity and authenticity, while you take care of your other work.

      • Increasing Lab Efficiency with an Open Source LIMS

        Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a software-based laboratory and information management system that provides streamlined workflow automation and management. This type of software is typically used in analytical laboratories such as R&D labs, in-process testing labs and quality assurance labs.

        A LIMS seeks to embrace the way you work, offering single sample, batch samples and manual or automated methods, producing reports for internal or external customer use. Management of resources is an important characteristic of planning work allocation against availability and for auto analysers around calibration and maintenance schedules.

      • Pros and cons of using open source software in your business

        Open source software (OSS) refers to computer software which is released and distributed with its source code open for modification by other users. The source code is released under a license where the copyright holder has granted the rights to use, study, change or distribute the software for any purpose.

        Often developed in a collaborative, public manner, many developers are able to add, change and manipulate the source code to suit their needs.

        Software licensed as open source allows commercial companies to run, modify and share the underlying software code. Open source licenses are legal contracts between the creator and user.

        Although often available to access free of charge, open source licenses sometimes have restrictions applied. Restrictions may mean a user must preserve the name of the original author within the code, or there may be limitations on the way they are allowed to redistribute the software.


        Free software has nothing to do with price, rather it is about freedom of use. Free software respects the freedom and community of users, giving the right to run, copy, distribute, change or improve the software. Campaigners for software freedom, Gnu.org, use the analogy “think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.

        Free software allows users to control the program and what it can do for them. If users don’t have control of a program, this is referred to as “nonfree” or “proprietary”.

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Update on Firefox Send and Firefox Notes

            As Mozilla tightens and refines its product focus in 2020, today we are announcing the end of life for two legacy services that grew out of the Firefox Test Pilot program: Firefox Send and Firefox Notes. Both services are being decommissioned and will no longer be a part of our product family. Details and timelines are discussed below.

            Firefox Send was a promising tool for encrypted file sharing. Send garnered good reach, a loyal audience, and real signs of value throughout its life. Unfortunately, some abusive users were beginning to use Send to ship malware and conduct spear phishing attacks. This summer we took Firefox Send offline to address this challenge.

            In the intervening period, as we weighed the cost of our overall portfolio and strategic focus, we made the decision not to relaunch the service. Because the service is already offline, no major changes in status are expected. You can read more here.

          • Mozilla files comments with the European Commission on safeguarding democracy in the digital age

            As in many parts of the world, EU lawmakers are eager to get greater insight into the ways in which digital technologies and online discourse can serve to both enhance and create friction in democratic processes. In context of its recent ‘Democracy Action Plan’ (EDAP), we’ve just filed comments with the European Commission, with the aim of informing thoughtful and effective EU policy responses to key issues surrounding democracy and digital technologies.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Download Statistics Update

            In June, we announced that we were making changes to add-on usage statistics on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). Now, we’re making a similar change to add-on download statistics. These statistics are aggregated from the AMO server logs, do not contain any personally identifiable information, and are only available to add-ons developers via the Developer Hub.

            Just like with usage stats, the new download stats will be less expensive to process and will be based on Firefox telemetry data. As users can opt out of telemetry reporting, the new download numbers will be generally lower than those reported from the server logs. Additionally, the download numbers are based on new telemetry introduced in Firefox 80, so they will be lower at first and increase as users update their Firefox. As before, we will only count downloads originating from AMO.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a7

            Tor Browser 10.0a7 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

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

          • Updates on Tor Project’s Board

            We would like to share some updates regarding the Tor Project’s Board. Last year Megan Price stepped down as she took a second maternity leave. And in the Spring of this year, Shari Steele asked to step down from the Board for personal reasons. Both Megan and Shari provided great contributions for the Board that Tor will always be thankful for. We are grateful to have them as supporters and friends of Tor.

            But to move forward we decided to invite two new members. We are happy to say both have accepted our invitation and joined the Board.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • How the Internet Archive is Ensuring Permanent Access to Open Access Journal Articles

            Researchers found that 176 open access journals have already vanished from their publishers’ website over the past two decades, according to a recent preprint article by Mikael Laakso, Lisa Matthias, and Najko Jahn. These periodicals were from all regions of the world and represented all major disciplines — sciences, humanities and social sciences. There are over 14,000 open access journals indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and the paper suggests another 900 of those are inactive and at risk of disappearing. The pre-print has struck a nerve, receiving news coverage in Nature and Science.

      • Programming/Development

        • OpenBSD::Unveil(3p) added to -current

          Andrew Fresh (afresh1@) has committed OpenBSD::Unveil(3p), a Perl interface to unveil(2): [...]

        • Python

          • The mmap() copy-on-write trick: reducing memory usage of array copies

            Let’s say you have an array, and you need to make some copies and modify those copies. Usually, memory usage scales with the number of copies: if your original array was 1GB of RAM, each copy will take 1GB of RAM. And that can add up.

            But often, you’re just changing a small part of the array. Ideally, the memory cost would only be the parts of the copies that you changed.

          • Pip Install Specific Version of a Python Package: 2 Steps

            In this Python tutorial, you will learn how to use pip install a specific version of a package. The outline of the post (as also can be seen in the ToC) is as follows. First, you will get a brief introduction with examples on when you might need to install an older version of a package. Second, you will get the general syntax for how to carry out this task. After that, you will get two steps to installing specific versions of Python packages with pip. In this section, you will also learn how to work with a virtual environment. In the next section, we will look at how to specify the version of multiple Python packages by creating a .txt file.

          • Angular 10 and Django 3 Image Files Upload with FormData

            Throughout this tutorial, we’ll see how we can implement file and image upload in Django 3, Django REST Framework and Angular 10 with a step by step example.

            Our application will expose an /upload REST API endpoint that accepts POST requests which contain the image file posted with a multipart/form-data content type via FormData.

            For the frontend, we’ll be using Angular 10 to create a simple interface that allows the user to select a file or image and upload it to the server via a POST request using HttpClient and FormData.

          • Multiple Image Files Upload with Django 3, Angular 10 and FormData

            In the previous tutorial we have seen how to implement image file uploading in Django 3 and Angular 10. In this tutorial, we’ll see how to implement multiple file uploading with FormData and HttpClient.

          • Python: Check if File or Directory is Empty

            Python has a set of built-in library objects and functions to help us with this task. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to check if a file or directory is empty in Python.

          • For Loop vs. List Comprehension

            Many simple “for loops” in Python can be replaced with list comprehensions. You can often hear that list comprehension is “more Pythonic” (almost as if there was a scale for comparing how Pythonic something is, compared to something else 😉). In this article, I will compare their performance and discuss when a list comprehension is a good idea, and when it’s not.

          • Python 3.9.0rc2 is now available for testing

            Python 3.9.0 is almost ready. This release, 3.9.0rc2, is the last planned preview before the final release of Python 3.9.0 on 2020-10-05.

          • PyCharm 2020.2.2

            PyCharm 2020.2.2 is out now with important fixes to improve your usability and productivity. Update from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), using the JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website.

          • TDD in Python with pytest – Part 4

            This is the fourth post in the series “TDD in Python with pytest” where I develop a simple project following a strict TDD methodology. The posts come from my book Clean Architectures in Python and have been reviewed to get rid of some bad naming choices of the version published in the book.


            As we saw in the previous post the relationship between the component that we are testing and other components of the system can be complex. Sometimes idempotency and isolation are not easy to achieve, and testing outgoing commands requires to check the parameters sent to the external component, which is not trivial.
            The main difficulty comes from the fact that your code is actually using the external system. When you run it in production the external system will provide the data that your code needs and the whole process can work as intended. During testing, however, you don’t want to be bound to the external system, for the reasons explained in the previous post, but at the same time you need it to make your code work.
            So, you face a complex issue. On the one hand your code is connected to the external system (be it hardcoded or chosen programmatically), but on the other hand you want it to run without the external system being active (or even present).
            This problem can be solved with the use of mocks. A mock, in the testing jargon, is an object that simulates the behaviour of another (more complex) object. Wherever your code connects to an external system, during testing you can replace the latter with a mock, pretending the external system is there and properly checking that your component behaves like intended.

          • The Zen of Python: As Related by Masters

            The Zen of Python saw light for the first time in 1999. It’s one of the many aspects that adds to the awesomeness of Python. It’s a set of expressions that corners the spirit of the language. It was enounced by Tim Peters, a reputable software engineer, master Pythonista and Python’s ‘most prolific and tenacious core developer’ in the words of none other than Guido [18]. This article bases itself mostly on the saying of core devs and highly reputable members. It makes a great gift to all those interested in the history of the sysadmin script which took the world by (pleasent) surprise.

  • Leftovers

    • Caution Ahead
    • It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
    • EA To Rebrand Its Origin Platform As It Bows Out Of The PC Gaming Platform Wars

      It has been a long and largely fruitless road for Origin, EA’s PC gaming client that it had planned on building into a rival of Valve’s Steam. What was originally supposed to have been the chief antagonist to Steam in the ongoing PC gaming platform wars instead is best described as a failure to launch. Released in 2011, Origin began life as it lived in total: the walled garden for most EA games. Critics appeared almost immediately, stemming from odious requirements to relinquish personal information, the use of DRM, and security flaws. Couple that with a game library that was relatively stilted compared with Steam, by design mind you, and it’s not difficult to understand why the adoption numbers for the game client just never took off.

    • Yoga Teachers Take On QAnon

      “They’re using the same music we might use in meditation classes,” Ms. Corn said. “It does things to the body, it makes you more available and open.”

      Ms. Corn said that she had lost some followers after her anti-QAnon post, but gained others who were grateful that she spoke out. And she said she worried that the conspiracy theory might still be gaining steam among wellness fans.

      “I’m afraid that well-meaning folks who don’t understand the complexity of this misinformation will be seduced” by QAnon, she said. “They’re rolling out the yoga mat right now, and it scares me.”

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Smoke and Mirrors in a World of Pain

        The wild fires of Western United States are smoking out a huge portion of the country. And the Covid-19 pandemic, under Trump’s criminal abdication of responsibility, has turned our nation’s public health into a deadly hall of mirrors where state-level and federal-level policies reflect each other back and forth in an infinite regression of distorted images leading to stalemate.

      • Defense Contractors Don’t Need Another Covid Bailout

        The inadequate response of both the federal and state governments to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the United States, creating what could only be called a national security crisis. More than 190,000 Americans are dead, approximately half of them people of color. Yelp data show that more than 132,000 businesses have already closed and census data suggest that, thanks to lost wages, nearly 17 percent of Americans with children can’t afford to feed them enough food.

      • Pandemic in the Plants. The Meat Plants, That Is

        What we face here is not just standard corporate minginess but an evil mentality that reduces workers to inferior, disposable beings.

      • Trump Insists He “Up-Played” COVID Despite His Stated Strategy of Downplaying It

        President Trump, appearing at a town hall event in Philadelphia hosted by ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, sought to rewrite history by insisting he never downplayed the risks of COVID-19, despite the existence of audio recordings in which he explicitly told journalist Bob Woodward that downplaying the virus was his preferred strategy.

      • “He’s Describing a Massacre”: Trump Touts Herd Immunity Approach to Covid That Experts Warn Would Kill Millions

        “‘Herd immunity’ without a vaccine is deadly,” said one epidemiologist. “Trump’s idiocy on science is killing us.”

      • Trump Touts Herd Immunity Approach That Experts Warn Would Kill Millions

        Insisting during a town hall Tuesday night that Covid-19 will simply disappear on its own — echoing a baseless claim he also made in February, March, April, May, June, July, and August — President Donald Trump touted a so-called “herd immunity” approach to the pandemic that public health experts warn would lead to hundreds of millions of new coronavirus infections and millions of additional deaths.

      • Political Officials Undermine CDC Scientists’ COVID-19 Studies

        These actions by HHS erode the public’s trust in science to get us through this pandemic, presenting a threat to people’s health and safety.

      • Big Ten Football Players as ‘Guinea Pigs’? Critics Raise Concern Over Promises to Study Covid-19 Impacts

        “University leadership needs to reflect on what they’re asking of students. The mere fact they promise to study the infected indicates that they don’t know enough about the disease to protect the students.”

      • ‘A Vaccine Can Be a Public Good’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Public Citizen’s Peter Maybarduk about Covid-19 vaccines and treatments for the September 11, 2020 episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • CDC Director: Face Mask “More Guaranteed to Protect” Against COVID Than Vaccine

        The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advocated for continued mask-wearing at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, stating that facial coverings could be more effective at preventing the spread of coronavirus than even a vaccine may be when one eventually becomes available.

      • CDC director says masks more guaranteed to work than a vaccine

        Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Wednesday that wearing a mask is more guaranteed to protect someone from the coronavirus than taking a vaccine.

        Redfield, speaking at a Senate hearing, emphasized the importance of wearing masks, noting that an eventual vaccine is not expected to work in 100 percent of people, and might only work in, say, 70 percent. But a mask is guaranteed to offer at least some protection for all wearers, he added, though it is far from total protection.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 149 released

            We have been busy baking another large update for you which is full of oozy goodness. It includes an updated toolchain based on GCC 10 and glibc 2.32 and we have added a lot of tuning which makes IPFire 33% faster on some systems.

            IPFire is based on glibc 2.32, the standard library for all C programs, and GCC 10.2, the GNU Compiler Collection. Both bring various bug fixes and improvements.

            The most notable change is that we have decided to remove a mitigation Spectre 2 which caused that user space programs in IPFire were running about 50% slower due to using a microcode feature which is called “retpoline”. Those “return trampolines” disable the branch prediction engine in out-of-order processors which was considered to help with mitigating leaking any information from any unaccessible kernel space.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dotnet3.1, kernel, mbedtls, and python35), Mageia (libraw), openSUSE (mumble), SUSE (libsolv, libzypp, and perl-DBI), and Ubuntu (libdbi-perl, libphp-phpmailer, mcabber, ncmpc, openssl, openssl1.0, qemu, samba, storebackup, and util-linux).

          • Russell Coker: Dell BIOS Updates

            I have just updated the BIOS on a Dell PowerEdge T110 II. The process isn’t too difficult, Google for the machine name and BIOS, download a shell script encoded firmware image and GPG signature, then run the script on the system in question.

            One problem is that the Dell GPG key isn’t signed by anyone. How hard would it be to get a few well connected people in the Linux community to sign the key used for signing Linux scripts for updating the BIOS? I would be surprised if Dell doesn’t employ a few people who are well connected in the Linux community, they should just ask all employees to sign such GPG keys! Failing that there are plenty of other options. I’d be happy to sign the Dell key if contacted by someone who can prove that they are a responsible person in Dell. If I could phone Dell corporate and ask for the engineering department and then have someone tell me the GPG fingerprint I’ll sign the key and that problem will be partially solved (my key is well connected but you need more than one signature).

          • An inside look at CVE-2020-10713, a.k.a. the GRUB2 “BootHole”

            As GRUB2 upstream maintainers, Oracle developers took the lead on both the disclosure coordination and the technical solutions. In their role as community maintainers for GRUB2, Daniel and Alexsandr were notified of the security vulnerability and immediately began analyzing the impact of these vulnerabilities, coordinating the cross-vendor industry response, and ensuring that this vulnerability would be fixed swiftly. In the end, this coordination effort would entail around 100 individuals from 18 companies.

            CVE-2020-10713, the “BootHole” vulnerability, affects systems using UEFI Secure Boot signed operating systems and has a CVSS Base Score of 8.2.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Josh Hawley Isn’t ‘Helping’ When It Comes To TikTok

              It’s the dumb saga that only seems to get dumber. Earlier this week, we noted that Trump’s dumb and arguably unconstitutional order banning TikTok had resulted in (surprise) Trump friend and Oracle boss Larry Ellison nabbing a cozy little partnership for his fledgling cloud hosting business. Granted the deal itself does absolutely nothing outside of providing Oracle a major client. It’s more cronyism and heist than serious adult policy, yet countless outlets still somehow framed the entire thing as somehow meaningful, ethical, and based in good faith (it’s none of those things).

            • Court Refuses To Block Trump Exec Order On TikTok As Requested By TikTok Employee After DOJ Says He Can Still Get Paid

              There have been a variety of lawsuits filed regarding Trump’s silly Executive Order regarding TikTok, but one interesting one involves an employee of TikTok, Patrick Ryan, who filed suit on his own behalf to try to block the Executive Order from going into effect. A key part of Ryan’s argument is that since the executive order bans transactions, it would mean his own salary from TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, might be blocked by the US government.

            • The TikTok Oracle Grift: Insiders Admit They Went Hunting For A Tech Company The President Liked

              Earlier this week we wrote about the absolute grift involved in the TikTok / Oracle deal. Contrary to the framing that this was Oracle “buying” TikTok to satisfy the President’s unconstitutional demand that the Chinese company ByteDance sell TikTok to an American company, the story showed that this was just a hosting deal for Oracle’s cloud service, which is way down the list of top cloud providers.

            • AT&T to offer ad supported phone plans where you give up privacy for $5 to $10

              AT&T is planning to offer ad-supported phone plans within a year, according to an exclusive interview that AT&T CEO John Stankey had with Reuters. For those that are keeping track of anti-privacy moves from AT&T, this action is particularly stanky. Stankey told Reuters:

            • When you browse Instagram and find former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s passport number

              Eventually I found a blog post explaining that yes, pictures of boarding passes can indeed be used for Crimes. The part you wanna be looking at for all your criming needs is the barcode, because it’s got the “Booking Reference” (e.g. H8JA2A) in it.

              Why do you want the booking reference? It’s one of the two things you need to log in to the airline website to manage your flight.

              The second one is your… last name. I was really hoping the second one would be like a password or something. But, no, it’s the booking reference the airline emails you and prints on your boarding pass. And it also lets you log in to the airline website?

              That sounds suspiciously like a password to me, but like I’m still fine to pretend it’s not if you are.

            • Data leak reveals 799 Finns on Chinese watch list

              Data leaked from Shenzhen city-based technology firm Zhenhua Data revealed a database that originally contained the personal information of 2.4 million influential persons, private citizens and institutions in the west.

              The data dump was first passed on to US professor Christopher Balding, who in turn handed it over to Australian cyber security firm Internet 2.0 for analysis.

            • China’s ‘hybrid war’: Beijing’s mass surveillance of Australia and the world for secrets and scandal

              Information collected includes dates of birth, addresses, marital status, along with photographs, political associations, relatives and social media IDs.

              It collates Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and even TikTok accounts, as well as news stories, criminal records and corporate misdemeanours.

              While much of the information has been “scraped” from open-source material, some profiles have information which appears to have been sourced from confidential bank records, job applications and psychological profiles.

            • Oracle Would Get Access to TikTok Code in Proposed Deal

              The terms of the agreement seem to fall short of meeting those national security concerns expressed by administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to people familiar with the matter. Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and other members of the administration have been talking directly with Oracle executives, one person said.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump and the Troops

        My father enlisted in the Army to fight in World War II. He was 19 or 20 years old, and he wanted to defeat the Nazis. He was one of a million other young Americans to sign up that year.

      • The Spoils of War: Sexual Entitlement

        The lack of accountability of criminal behavior is a grotesque stain on human behavior and history. Many who follow history, either as scholars or informed individuals, know that until the second half of the 20th century, history was written by the victors and about the celebrated victorious, those anointed by the few and the very wealthy and often at the expense of truth and justice. History was mostly written at the expense of ordinary women and men.

      • Mexico’s Women Demand Justice on Gender Violence

        As dusk settled across Mexico City’s historic center, a middle-aged woman standing on the second-story balcony of a graffiti-covered stone building clutched a microphone in one hand and raised a pack of papers with the other. “To hell with your institutions!” she yelled through a white mask covering her mouth and nose, her husky voice cracking from the force of her cry. She tore the papers—government forms she’d been instructed to fill out to push along her sister’s and niece’s missing persons cases, a never-ending bureaucratic nightmare she’d been engulfed in for years, she said—and tossed the shredded pieces like confetti to a roaring crowd of some 200 women dressed in black, packed on the street below. In a falsetto betraying their youth, they chanted, “You are not alone.” They pumped their fists in the air. The ones in balaclavas raised sticks and hammers.

      • How the United States Could End the War in Yemen

        It’s in our power to stop the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

      • Trump Confession He Was Ready to Assassinate Assad Condemned as ‘Disgusting Display’ of ‘Imperial Hubris’

        “If he had indeed murdered Assad, then the Middle East, and the fate of U.S. soldiers in the region, would have exploded into even more violence and chaos,” said one anti-war advocate.

      • Belarusian opposition leader offers Lukashenko safety assurances if he ‘steps down like a decent person’

        Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) has given no indication that he plans to relinquish the Belarusian presidency, but Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya) tried this week to incentivize his exit by publicly ensuring his safety if he steps down peacefully. 

      • But help came How the Russian state media rescued Belarusian broadcasters from political pluralism

        Last month, after workers at state television and radio broadcasters in Belarus started walking off the job in protest as the police brutally dispersed opposition demonstrations, a handful of independent journalists and activists reported that whole brigades of “strikebreakers” from Russia arrived to replace these employees. President Alexander Lukashenko himself fueled these rumors by repeatedly thanking Russian journalists for their help and support. There is in fact a large group of reporters from Russia’s state and pro-Kremlin media (primarily from Russia Today) now in Belarus. Russian workers are unlikely to replace the Belarusian staff now on strike, but their assistance to the local state broadcasters is nevertheless observable in the dramatically changed rhetoric now coming from Minsk. Together with the Belarusian projects Reform.by and iSANS, Meduza investigative editor Alexey Kovalev analyzes the Belarusian media’s aggressive turn and asks who facilitated it. 

      • Lukashenko says he’d like very much for Putin to tell him more about ‘new Russian armaments’ available to Belarus

        Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko insists that his country is strong, but he also informed Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu (who visited Minsk on Wednesday) that he recently asked Vladimir Putin about new armaments that could “bolster” Minsk’s alliance with Moscow. “I told him that we’d have a look at what needs strengthening and where in terms of the Union State,” reports the state news agency BelTA:

      • Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova charged with threatening national security

        The Belarusian Investigative Committee has announced that opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova (Maryia Kalesnikava) has been charged with calling for actions that threaten the national security of Belarus. 

      • For Rohingya refugees, patchwork justice leaves crimes unpunished

        Abdulrahman spent months searching for justice after his young daughter was assaulted. But it’s frustratingly elusive in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps – city-sized settlements with no formal criminal justice system.
        He wants punishment for the man his family accuses of sexually assaulting their daughter in early 2018. Like them, the man is a Rohingya refugee living in the same camp in southern Bangladesh.
        “We don’t get any solutions,” said Abdulrahman*, drawing an exhausted sigh as his daughter played in the dirt outside their bamboo-and-tarpaulin home. “We sit in the house, waiting and seeing nothing happen.”
        Nearly one million Rohingya live in Bangladesh’s packed Rohingya camps, forced to flee their homes in Myanmar’s neighbouring Rakhine State by successive military crackdowns, including the violent purge of more than 700,000 people in 2017.

      • UN staff in Uganda accused of sexual abuse and exploitation

        The United Nations has launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and the exploitation of vulnerable women by members of its staff in Uganda’s drought-stricken northeastern Karamoja region.
        The inquiry by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services, which began early this month, follows allegations by a whistleblower of sexual abuse and exploitation by a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) staffer against a “female victim” – and a more general pattern of serious sexual misconduct by other UN staff working in what is Uganda’s poorest region.
        The allegations centre on the World Food Programme compound in the town of Moroto, and involve UN staff demanding sex from local women in exchange for food, and the hiring of sex workers who are brought onto the UN base, several UN personnel in Moroto told The New Humanitarian, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • WATCH: Journalist Daniel Dale Rattles Off Must-See Fact-Check of Trump ‘Fire Hose of Lying’

        “There was just so much lying,” said Dale. “I have hours of fact-checking tonight to do because there is even more than this.”

      • Trump shares manipulated video of Biden, replacing ‘Despacito’ with N.W.A’s anti-police anthem

        On his first visit to Florida as a presidential nominee on Tuesday, Joe Biden whipped out his cellphone to play “Despacito,” as a tribute to its singer, Luis Fonsi, who introduced the former vice president at the event. The moment exploded on social media, inspiring jokes, memes and a surprise resurgence of the 2017 single onto Twitter’s trending topics.

        Early on Wednesday morning, President Trump joined the fray — but in the video he tweeted, it wasn’t “Despacito” playing from Biden’s phone. It was N.W.A’s notorious 1988 single “F— tha Police.”

        “What is this all about?” Trump asked over the manipulated video.

      • Trump Tweeted a Doctored Video Clip of Biden Jamming to “F*ck tha Police”

        Twitter has labeled the tweet boosted by the president as “manipulated media,” an apt alliteration for Trump’s habit of boosting bogus news. The president’s penchant for obscuring, warping, or outright ignoring the truth was on display once again. It’s not the first time Twitter has applied this label to something that ended up on Trump’s Twitter feed.

      • No One Figured Out Who ‘Deep Throat’ Was … Except For Romcom Director Nora Ephron

        According to Nora Ephron, the screenwriter who created Meg Ryan’s career and married Bernstein shortly after the publication of All the President’s Men, she figured out the identity of Deep Throat immediately from her husband’s notes. He never confirmed it to her, but that didn’t stop her from telling everyone she could over the next few decades, from her children to entire rooms full of hundreds of people. In 1999, a full six years before former FBI agent Mark Felt revealed himself as Deep Throat, a teenager who went to day camp with one of the couple’s sons told reporters that Jacob Bernstein told him Deep Throat was Felt all the way back in 1988.

    • Environment

      • “Colonizing the Atmosphere”: How Rich, Western Nations Drive the Climate Crisis

        New analysis finds the Global North is responsible for 92% of all excess global carbon dioxide emissions, while the Global South bears the brunt of the devastation.

      • Cheaper air quality sensors arrived just in time for the climate catastrophe

        “The power is not in one individual monitoring their house, but in the individual contributing his data, and another individual, and the municipality, and a scientist,” says Núria Castell, a senior scientist who studies new pollution monitoring technologies at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU). “We put all this data together and then then we have something,” she says. The resulting high-resolution air quality maps can actually lead to better urban planning and cleaner air when it comes to pollution from fires, industry, or other sources.

      • Taiwan’s Hualien experiencing alarming coral bleaching

        Conservationists in Taiwan have confirmed there has been intense coral bleaching in the waters off the east coast of Hualien.

        Shitiping (石梯坪), with its coastal terraces in the Fengbin Township of Hualien, has experienced an unprecedented threat to its underwater reef ecosystems. Heat stress and overtourism are being blamed for the coral deaths, reported CNA.

      • Taiwan to feel impact of China’s pollution this week

        On Monday (Sept. 7), the Central Weather Bureau’s Air Quality Monitoring Network issued red pollution alerts for air that is unhealthy for the general public at 49 stations in 15 counties and cities across western Taiwan. Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration that day pointed out that the hourly ozone concentration level in Shanghai had reached between 130 ppb and 140 ppb and that the megacity’s air pollution had reached Taiwan.

      • Death threats, intimidation not a deterrence to scientist’s mission to save Indonesia forests

        This was just one of the many incidents where the 55-year-old Indonesian scientist received intimidation and even death threats for testifying in environmental cases, particularly those related to forest and land fire, forest encroachment and illegal logging.

        “Because in environmental cases, the key is in the expert witness,” he told CNA.

        Indonesia is no stranger to forest and land fires which authorities blame on culprits who purposely set fires to clear land. Most of the time, these fires are worsened by dry weather.

      • It’s Not Just the West. These Places Are Also on Fire.

        “We don’t have a fire problem; we have many fire problems,” said Stephen J. Pyne, an emeritus professor at Arizona State University who studies wildfires and their history. “One, obviously, is a deep one. It has to do with fossil fuels and climate.”

        Here’s a look at some of the worst recent blazes and how humans played a role in them.

      • Melting Arctic needs new name to match reality

        Change in the far north is happening so fast that soon the melting Arctic won’t be arctic any more.

      • The True Facts About the Oregon Fires, With a Video Proving It

        Okay, this flood of forest BS is pissing me off. Hear me: The national reporters helicoptering in have not got this right. NPR, Reveal tonight, etc., even the fine Pro Publica.

      • Energy

        • New Fossil Fuel Projects Meet Indigenous Resistance in New Mexico

          The spicy pungency of sagebrush filled the air in Greater Chaco, New Mexico, in late July this summer as I watched towering, rain-laden clouds gather across the endless horizon — a reminder that the midsummer monsoon season would soon turn the dirt roads that snake across the Navajo Nation reservation into quagmires.

        • The US Oil and Gas Industry’s Methane Problem Is Catching up With It

          But improved technologies, particularly from satellites, have allowed the world to increasingly fact-check industry numbers, shining a light on the true climate impact of natural gas, which is primarily methane. These days, methane emissions have become an industry black eye, to the point that major players are now clamoring for regulations after the Trump administration recently finalized the rollback of Obama-era rules meant to reduce methane leaks from oil and gas.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • ‘Ecological Disaster on Massive Scale’: Hundreds of Thousands of Dead Migratory Birds in Southwest Linked to Wildfires, Climate Crisis

          “The fact that we’re finding hundreds of these birds dying, just kind of falling out of the sky is extremely alarming.”

        • Nature and the Meaning of Truth

          Carlos Fonseca’s newest novel Natural History is more than a story I wish I had written. It is a story I wish I had lived. A fantastic and even phantasmal tale of a quest, a work of art masquerading as a scam, and a contemplation on human lives, the novel is an incisive discussion about the nature and meaning of truth. It is also about the 1960s and their aftermath, the literal and figurative existence of fire, and love faded and otherwise. Reminiscent of Roberto Bolano’s novels in tone and approach, Natural History is a dream that is real and reality that is a dream.

        • ‘Internationalism or Extinction’? Global Coalition Invites Progressives Worldwide to Attend Inaugural Summit

          “The Progressive International is convening this emergency summit… to map our current crisis, to reclaim our shared future, and to strengthen our planetary front to do so.”

        • How Many Plant Species Have Gone Extinct in North America?
        • California’s Desert Fauna Will Never Recover

          In Greener Than You Think—a 1947 novel by left-wing science fiction writer Ward Moore—a mad woman scientist in Los Angeles, one Josephine Francis, recruits a down-and-out salesman named Albert Weemer, described as having “all the instincts of a roach,” to help promote her discovery: a compound called “Metamorphizer” that enhances the growth of grasses and allows them to thrive on barren and rocky soils. She dreams of permanently ending world hunger through a massive expansion of the range of wheat and other grains. Weemer, a scientific ignoramus, thinks only of making a quick buck peddling the stuff door to door as a lawn treatment. Desperately needing cash to continue her research, Francis reluctantly agrees, and Weemer heads out to the yellowed lawns of tired bungalow neighborhoods.

    • Finance

      • ‘Just… Tax the Rich’ to Avoid Austerity, Patriotic Millionaires Tells NY Gov. Cuomo After Mayor de Blasio Cuts City Spending

        “The people of New York have sacrificed enough during this pandemic—it’s depraved to ask them to sacrifice even more to close our state’s budget gap while wealthy New Yorkers are richer now than they’ve ever been.”

      • A Movement for Housing Justice Is Camped Out on Philly Streets

        On the morning of September 9, close to 200 people gathered at the intersection of 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia and clustered between a group of police officers and city liaisons and a multicolored sprawl of dozens of camping tents. It was supposed to be eviction day for the James Talib-Dean Encampment for Permanent Equal Housing, or Camp JTD, a site for the homeless and for protest, and these encampment residents, activists, organizers, and supporters were not going to let that happen.

      • Why Don’t They Call You a Genius? You Don’t Have a Billion Dollars

        If you have a lot of money, one potent strain within American political folklore avows, you must have a lot of smarts. Or, as the classic putdown puts it, “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?”

      • The Stories We Tell About Class

        In one story commonly told by the United States, homeownership promises the good life. A white picket fence, sure, but also a washing machine, health insurance, family dinners, and a retirement account. In her new book, Having and Being Had, Eula Biss scrutinizes the persistence of this promise by reflecting on her affluence. “When I could pass as permanent,” she writes, “I bought a house.” But permanence, she quickly learns, has its own set of insecurities, alienations, and self-delusions. Much like homeownership, the stories we tell about money keep America bound to capitalism.

      • How Were 46 Million People Trapped by Student Debt? The History of an Unfulfilled Promise

        The democratic principle of tuition-free education in our country pre-dates the founding of the United States. The first public primary education was offered in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, and its legislature created Harvard College the following year to make education available to all qualified students. Even before the Constitution was ratified, the Confederation Congress enacted the Land Ordinance of 1785, which required newly established townships in territories ceded by the British to devote a section of land for a public school. It also passed the Northwest Ordinances, which set out the guidelines for how the territories could become states. Among those guidelines was a requirement to establish public universities and a stipulation that “the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” After the nation declared independence, Thomas Jefferson argued for a formal education system funded through government taxation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • No One is “Mentally Fit” to be President

        “Most voters in six 2020 swing states,” an early September CNBC/Change Research poll finds, “do not consider either President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mentally fit to be president.”

      • ‘Everyone in America Should Be Outraged’: McConnell Quietly Rams Through More Lifetime Trump Judges While Blocking Covid Relief

        “It’s outrageous that McConnell continues to prioritize the Trump court takeover amid the pandemic. Enough.”

      • Watching Religion Die

        Religion is fading more quickly in the United States than in any other nation, according to a forthcoming research book.

      • Troubled Times at The Intercept

        On September 13, the New York Times ran a 2,900-word article on the biggest fuck-up in U.S. leftist media in a long time, perhaps ever.

      • Journalists Need to Be Clear About a Clear Threat to Democracy

        US elections have been stolen before, and it’s important to make sure another election isn’t stolen again.

      • Which Way, Germany?

        I’ll never forget the day my father’s ancient jalopy got stuck boarding the New York-Jersey City ferry; two wheels on the dock, two on the boat, the motor stalled, my father frantic, my mother scolding, cars behind us honking, and me, just 6, looking at the swirling waters below. Two muscular ferrymen finally pushed us back on land.

      • As Trump Sows Chaos, Sanders and Schumer Call on McConnell to Hold Public Hearings, Help Restore Confidence in Election Integrity

        “We believe this issue is above partisan politics,” the senators wrote to the GOP Senate Majority Leader. 

      • Trump’s Strategy to Upend the Election Is Being Implemented in Plain Sight

        There is a lot of talk in this tempestuous political moment about what will happen after the November 3 election, especially if the results are close and Donald Trump attempts to claim an illegitimate “victory.” But what could turn out to be the most concerted effort to overturn the will of the people is taking place before most ballots are cast.

      • Biden Republicans Are a Political Illusion

        In late August, Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff under President Barack Obama as well as onetime mayor of Chicago, declared, “This will be the year of the Biden Republican.” Emanuel was describing the hope that the Democratic Party would convert enough hardcore partisans to fundamentally realign American politics. Just as Reagan Democrats helped the Republicans dominate American politics in the 1980s, so Biden Republicans could help usher in a new era. To that end, much of the Democratic National Convention was tailored to please Republicans more than Democrats, with plenty of speeches by past and present Republicans like Colin Powell, Michael Bloomberg, John Kasich, and Cindy McCain. Progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were marginalized. This stood in contrast to the Republican convention, which was aimed not at outreach but at bolstering the party’s Trumpist identity, with all the adult children of the president speaking.

      • Scientific American Breaks With 175-Year Precedent to Endorse Biden

        Scientific American has endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in the widely respected magazine’s 175-year history. The editorial board members broke with tradition on Tuesday, writing in an editorial that they are “compelled” to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — and urge readers to vote out President Trump.

      • “Let Me Finish My Question” — English Professor Reprimands Trump at Town Hall

        President Trump was confronted by a voter claiming to be “on the fence” about the elections over a question regarding protections for Americans with preexisting health conditions. The incident took place at a town hall event hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday evening.

      • How to Do More Than Panic About Voter Suppression

        Trump’s attacks on Black protesters and Black people are inextricably bound to the arguments he will make to try to invalidate the election. In this episode, Truthout’s Kelly Hayes talks with voting rights activist Anoa Changa about how you can defend voting rights in the homestretch of the presidential race.

      • ‘Why Is He Trying So Hard to Keep It a Secret?’ Postal Service Sued Over Refusal to Release DeJoy Calendar

        “The public is entitled to see how he’s spending his time and who has been influencing his decisions.”

      • US Postal Service Sued Over Refusal to Release DeJoy’s Calendar

        Government watchdog group American Oversight filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday over its refusal to turn over Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s calendar in response to a Freedom of Information request, stonewalling that the nonpartisan organization said could indicate the USPS chief has something to hide.

      • Love, family, and fear She married the son of Russia’s future, now former, attorney general. Now Marina Chaika is fighting for a divorce and access to her children.

        In late July, Artyom Chaika and his wife Marina were divorced at Moscow’s Presnensky District Court. Artyom is challenging the marriage’s dissolution, however, and an appellate court will hear the matter on September 17. The son of Russia’s former attorney general, Yuri Chaika (now presidential envoy to the North Caucasus District), Artyom is also suing for full custody of their youngest daughter. Marina says he has tried to intimidate her, threatening to take away her children. He even confiscated her identification documents, including her passport, apparently to prevent her from fleeing Russia. Meduza special correspondent Svetlana Reiter spoke with Marina about her marriage and divorce.

      • Is Mike Pompeo Preparing an October Surprise?

        Less than six weeks before the crucial November elections, the United States may be in a new war. The timing could not be more convenient. 

      • Corporate Crime at the New York Times and Washington Post

        How much would it cost to put that item on the agenda?

      • Undercover for Center E One woman’s story of being recruited by investigators from Russia’s secretive Anti-Extremism Center

        A recent story from the Russian legal news outlet “Mediazona” dives into the case of a woman living in the far-eastern city of Chita, who was charged with justifying terrorism because of a social media post. The woman claims that after searching her home, investigators from the regional Anti-Extremism Center (Center E) offered to help her get a lighter sentence: all she had to do in return was infiltrate the Chita branch of “Union SSR” — a trade union organization that denies the collapse of the Soviet Union and doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the Russian Federation. “Meduza” summarizes this ongoing story, which, in the words of “Mediazona” editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov, offers an inside look at the work of Russia’s secretive Center E.

      • The Anti-Racist Feminist and the Corporate CEO

        In 2016, the former corporate leader and TV show host Donald Trump became US president. In the night that his victory was announced, previous Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader David Duke described the event as one of the most exciting nights of my life. A year later, the FBI revealed that hate crimes increased for a second consecutive year, with attacks targeting Muslim and Jewish people as well as the LGBTQ community.

      • Conspiracy Panic

        The most consequential false conspiracy theory of the last twenty years in the United States centered on fabricated accusations raised against the Iraqi state in 2002-3. These claimed that Iraq maintained secret stores of “weapons of mass destruction” and intended to use them against the West, perhaps imminently. Most versions also insinuated the Saddam regime was involved in some vague manner in perpetrating the 9/11 attacks together with its sworn enemies, the jihadi movements then doing business as al-Qaeda. That is what the vice-president running the regime, Cheney, repeatedly said. His president, Bush, just repeated the magic words 9/11-Saddam-9/11-Saddam-9/11 for months, until it was taken to be true by enough people to allow a smooth start to the carnage. The claims were actively fabricated by officials and agents at several agencies of the U.S., UK and other national security states, by various client groups and allied journalists, and by freelance assholes looking to get a piece of the action. The fabricators knew they were lying, and they knew that they lied so as to sell a planned, unprovoked war of aggression to the American, UK, and other western publics. The resulting war destroyed a nation, led to more than a million deaths, and accelerated the establishment of an archipelago of torture centers under U.S. control.

      • Not worth it Russia asks the EU nine questions about Navalny’s poisoning, arguing that he’s too unpopular to warrant assassination and, hey, maybe his own colleagues are responsible

        Russia’s Permanent Mission to the European Union has urged EU officials and members of the European Parliament to “look into” nine supposed “inconsistencies” regarding the “incident which occurred with a Russian political activist and blogger Alexey Navalny,” who European experts say was poisoned with a Novichok-class nerve agent while traveling in Siberia on August 20. Acknowledging that its staff members are not toxicology experts, Russia’s EU Permanent Mission says Navalny’s sudden illness precipitated “a rapidly growing information campaign in the EU, both in official circles and the media.” Russia’s questions come in advance of a debate planned in the European Parliament about the attack against Navalny. Many of the questions from Russia’s EU Permanent Mission parrot talking points and conspiracy theories that have spread for weeks in the pro-Kremlin media and blogosphere. 

      • ‘In Russia, it’s either Putin or Navalny’ ‘New People’ party leader Alexey Nechayev on the recent elections, building coalitions, and changing the system from the inside

        Alexey Nechayev, the founder of the beauty and apparel company Faberlic, is the leader of “New People” — a newly established political party, which managed to win seats in four regional parliaments during the September 2020 elections. New People has now become the most successful political projects among the number of new parties that emerged simultaneously about a year ago, all of which are rumored to have the Kremlin’s support. In conversation with “Meduza” special correspondent Andrey Pertsev, Alexey Nechayev talks about the recent elections, the potential for building coalitions, and his stance on cooperating with the authorities (the following is a summary of their conversation — the full Q&A is available in Russian here).

      • Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?

        The “left” rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy outcomes for the “people” and nation. More importantly though, they assert, Trump’s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S. politics away from what they refer to as Trump’s neofascist inclinations.

      • Peace Plans That Have Nothing to Do With Peace

        They have much more to do with U.S. arms and the threat of war with Iran. 

      • Trump’s “Peace” Deals Will Worsen Oppression in Middle East, Legal Scholar Says

        As the Trump administration celebrates deals establishing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, we speak with Palestinian American legal scholar Noura Erakat, who says Trump’s “peace” agreements are a sham. “This is not about advancing any kind of meaningful, enduring peace, but instead about entrenching a geopolitical alliance that would otherwise increase oppression for people of the Middle East,” says Erakat, assistant professor at Rutgers University and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.

      • Noura Erakat: Trump’s Bahrain-UAE-Israel Deal Won’t Advance Palestinian Peace & Will Up Repression

        As the Trump administration celebrates deals establishing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, we speak with Palestinian American legal scholar Noura Erakat, who says Trump’s “peace” agreements are a sham. “This is not about advancing any kind of meaningful, enduring peace, but instead about entrenching a geopolitical alliance that would otherwise increase oppression for people of the Middle East,” says Erakat, assistant professor at Rutgers University and author of “Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.”

      • ProPublica’s Pandemic Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts

        If you’re anxious about running into problems exercising your right to vote this election, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly half of registered voters expect casting their ballots will be difficult, a 34-point increase since the 2018 midterms. Like almost every aspect of our lives during the pandemic, voting may look a bit different than usual. But with a little planning, you should be able to vote either masked and socially distanced at the polls, or by mail without issue.

        Experts say that with proper COVID-19 precautions, the risk of voting in person is similar to shopping at a grocery store. However, election experts also anticipate record turnout, fewer polling locations and a higher-than-ever number of people choosing to vote by mail, so it’s important to plan ahead.

      • “I Have Blood On My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation

        The 6,600-word memo, written by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, is filled with concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion. In countries including India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, she found evidence of coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes, though she did not always conclude who was behind them.

      • Barbados decides to dump the queen

        Many former British colonies have contemplated the republican idea, only to discover that it is hard to execute. Barbados dithered for nearly a quarter century. A constitutional commission proposed in 1998 that the country become a republic. Successive governments promised referendums to confirm public support for the idea, but never held one. Ms Mottley does not think she needs a referendum to get her republic, and is not constitutionally required to hold one.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Repeal Section 230 to Fix Facebook

        Many people are worried that Facebook is playing the same role in the 2020 election that it did in the 2016 election, acting as a conduit for massive amounts of false and misleading information. They hope that Mark Zuckerberg will rise to the task and act to limit the spread of false and hateful stories.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Twitter Removes Account For Pointing Users To Leaked Documents Obtained By A Hacking Collective (June 2020)

        Summary: Late in June 2020, a leak-focused group known as “Distributed Denial of Secrets” (a.k.a., “DDoSecrets”) published a large collection of law enforcement documents apparently obtained by the hacking collective Anonymous.

      • What the *, Nintendo? This in-game censorship is * terrible.

        While many are staying at home and escaping into virtual worlds, it’s natural to discuss what’s going on in the physical world. But Nintendo is shutting down those conversations with its latest Switch system update (Sep. 14, 2020) by adding new terms like COVID, coronavirus and ACAB to its censorship list for usernames, in-game messages, and search terms for in-game custom designs (but not the designs themselves).

      • EFF Joins Coalition Urging Senators to Reject the EARN IT Act

        Recently, EFF joined the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and 26 other organizations to send a letter to the Senate opposing the EARN IT Act (S. 3398), asking that the Senate oppose fast tracking the bill, and to vote NO on passage of the bill.

        As we have written many times before, if passed, the EARN IT Act would threaten free expression, harm innovation, and jeopardize important security protocols. We were pleased to join with other organizations that share our concerns about this harmful bill.

      • Facebook axes political ad saying trans athletes will ‘destroy girls sports’

        The ad features a male runner easily winning a race against female competitors, in an apparent swipe at transgender inclusion policies, while decrying the support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., for the Equality Act, which the ad says would “destroy girls sports.”

      • Protect children without spying on citizens! Patrick Breyer warns against EU proposal on filtering of all private online communications

        The EU Commission is proposing to screen and monitor all private electronic communications without suspicion in order to search for possible child pornographic content. Today it presented draft legislation to this effect. International providers of e-mail and messenger services are to be permitted to search the content of all private messages for child and youth pornography as well as for the “luring” of minors in order to report this to authorities and non-governmental organizations worldwide. Not only searches for known pictures and videos are to be legalised, but also error-prone “artificial intelligence”, for example to automatically search text messages for “luring” of minors. If an algorithm reports a suspected message, message content and customer data could be automatically forwarded to law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations worldwide without human examination. Regardless of the outcome of the case, the persons concerned should never know that their private communications were disclosed.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Day 7: September 16, 2020 #AssangeCase

        American journalist John Goetz, who has worked in Germany for the last 30 years, testified today about his experiences as a media partner on WikiLeaks’ releases in 2010. Working for Der Spiegel, Goetz had already been reporting on Iraq and Afghanistan when he joined the partnership to report the Afghan War Diaries, the Iraq War Logs, and the State Department cables.

      • Daniel Ellsberg Tells UK Court That US Seeks Both ‘Revenge’ Against Julian Assange and to ‘Crush’ Future Whistleblowers

        The Pentagon Papers leaker previously called Assange’s prosecution the most “significant attack on freedom of the press” since his 1971 case. 

      • Good Ellsberg, Bad Assange: At Extradition Trial, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Dismantles False Narrative

        Opponents of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange often hold up Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg as an example of someone who was responsible for a good leak. They insist WikiLeaks is not like the Pentagon Papers because supposedly Assange was reckless with sensitive documents.On the seventh day of an extradition trial against Assange, Ellsberg dismantled this false narrative and outlined for a British magistrate court why Assange would not receive a fair trial in the United States.Assange is accused of 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.

        The charges criminalize the act of merely receiving classified information, as well as the publication of state secrets from the United States government. It targets common practices in news gathering, which is why the case is widely opposed by press freedom organizations throughout the world.James Lewis, a prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service who represents the U.S. government, told Ellsberg, “When you published the Pentagon Papers, you were very careful in what you provided to the media.”The lead prosecutor highlighted the fact that Ellsberg withheld four volumes of the Pentagon Papers that he did not want published because they may have impacted diplomatic efforts to end the Vietnam War. However, Ellsberg’s decision to withhold those volumes had nothing to do with protecting the names of U.S. intelligence sources.As Ellsberg described for the court, the 4,000 pages of documents he disclosed to the media contained thousands of names of Americans, Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese. There was even a clandestine CIA officer, who was named.Nowhere in the Pentagon Papers was an “adequate justification for the killing that we were doing,” Ellsberg said. “I was afraid if I redacted or withheld anything at all it would be inferred I left out” the good reasons why the U.S. was pursuing the Vietnam War.Ellsberg was concerned about revealing the name of a clandestine CIA officer, though he mentioned the individual was well-known in South Vietnam. Had he published the name of the officer today, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act could have easily been used to prosecute him. But he left it in the documents so no one could make inferences about redacted sections that may undermine what he exposed.

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 10

        The gloves were off on Tuesday as the US Government explicitly argued that all journalists are liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act (1917) for publishing classified information, citing the Rosen case. Counsel for the US government also argued that the famous Pentagon Papers supreme court judgement on the New York Times only referred to pre-publication injunction and specifically did not preclude prosecution under the Espionage Act. The US Government even surmised in court that such an Espionage Act prosecution of the New York Times may have been successful.

      • Assange on Trial: Supermax Prisons and Special Administrative Measures
      • Belarusian authorities continue to arrest, obstruct journalists covering protests

        Since yesterday, authorities have ordered the detention of at least two journalists, raided a journalist’s home, and fined two freelance reporters, all of whom covered protests calling for the resignation of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, according to news reports and Andrei Bastunets, the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, a local trade group, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘We Are Civilization’s Anchor. We Are the Compass for Humanity and Conscience.’

        Philadelphia—Philadelphia has always been my home. “Born and raised” is what we say.

      • What Does It Mean to Act White?
      • Lawmakers Demand Probe into ‘Horrifying’ Allegations of Neglect, Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center

        “These allegations are part of a larger pattern of reproductive injustices conducted by ICE officials.”

      • Here Are the 50 ‘Most Egregious’ Ways Trump Has Attacked Workers While Falsely Claiming to Be Their Champion

        “The administration has systematically promoted the interests of corporate executives and shareholders over those of working people and failed to protect workers’ safety, wages, and rights.”

      • Jails Are Designed to Keep Inmates Hidden

        In New York, a city famous for its historic bridges, one in lower Manhattan escapes notice: a “Bridge of Sighs” at the Manhattan Detention Complex.

      • ‘Tyrannical and Un-American’: ACLU Rebukes Barr for Urging Sedition Charges Against Protesters

        “Treating protest as a form of sedition won’t hold up in court,” said the ACLU. “But that is clearly not the point here.” 

      • Russian nationalist ‘Tesak’ found dead in prison cell after apparent suicide

        The Russian nationalist Maxim Martsinkevich, better known by his nickname “Tesak” (Hatchet), was found dead today in his prison cell in Chelyabinsk. A source at the facility told the news agency TASS that Martsinkevich killed himself. The prison’s spokespeople later confirmed to journalists at URA.ru that Martsinkevich was alone in his cell before he died. Both prison officials and state investigators are now reviewing the incident.

      • Sorry to bother you: A Russian nationalist is found dead in prison along with a note, but his lawyers and family doubt suicide

        The Russian nationalist Maxim Martsinkevich, better known by his nickname “Tesak” (Hatchet), was found dead today in his prison cell in Chelyabinsk. “On Wednesday morning, an inmate born in 1984 was found without signs of life in a cell in the Chelyabinsk Region’s Federal Penitentiary Service Main Directorate Detention Center. A team of doctors attempted resuscitation measures but failed to restore the inmate’s life,” spokespeople for the Federal Penitentiary Service announced, confirming that an internal review is already underway. State investigators are also conducting a preliminary inquiry.

      • Mychal Denzel Smith on Breonna Taylor, Defunding Police, Systemic Racism & His Trump-Era Depression

        Journalist and author Mychal Denzel Smith joins us for a wide-ranging discussion on the uprising against racist police, the upcoming presidential election and why he says a Biden win won’t cure his Trump-era depression, and his new book, “Stakes Is High: Life after the American Dream.” Denzel Smith questions whether arresting and charging the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, a core demand of many protests in the wake of her death, represents justice, despite the historic settlement between Louisville and her family. “The only way to prevent another instance of the situation that took Breonna Taylor’s life is to defund, dismantle police departments across the nation,” Smith says. He argues defeating Donald Trump in November will not solve systemic racism, inequality or the climate crisis. “What Joe Biden has offered thus far is not a transformative enough agenda to be able to face those issues.”

      • Continue to Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor’s Family Wants Cops Arrested After Historic $12M Settlement

        The city of Louisville, Kentucky, will pay a historic $12 million settlement to the family of Breonna Taylor, more than six months after police shot and killed the 26-year-old Black emergency room technician in her own apartment and Taylor became a household name as part of the nationwide uprising in defense of Black lives. It is one of the largest payouts ever for a police killing of a Black person in the U.S. The city will also institute major reforms to the police department responsible for Taylor’s death. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the settlement at a press conference, where he was joined by members of Taylor’s family. We air excerpts from the remarkable press conference.

      • Forced Sterilization Is Nothing New to Criminalized People in the US

        The United States has long used citizenship status and perceived criminality as a means to determine whether individuals deserve basic human rights. This week’s egregious allegations of mass hysterectomies at an immigrant jail in Georgia are consistent with the long U.S. tradition of state-sanctioned eugenics, medical abuse and forced sterilizations against those whose humanity the state does not recognize or value.

      • ‘This Fight Is Not Over’: Activists Help ICE Detainee Avoid Deportation Following Alleged Sterilization Procedure at Georgia Facility

        Pauline Binam, a Cameroonian who has lived in the U.S. since the age of two, was detained at an ICE facility where her fallopian tubes were removed, allegedly without her consent.

      • Belarus: Systematic Beatings, Torture of Protesters

        Human Rights Watch interviewed 27 former detainees, 21 men and 6 women, nearly all of whom said they were arrested between August 8 and 12. Some were arrested as they took part in demonstrations that they described as peaceful; others were grabbed off the streets or from their cars. Many shared medical documents and photographs of injuries. At least five still had bruises and/or wore casts at the time of the interview. Human Rights Watch also spoke with 14 people with knowledge of the arrests and abuse, most between August 20 and 29, in Minsk, Hrodna, and Homiel, including witnesses to arrests, healthcare workers, and detainees’ relatives. Human Rights Watch also examined 67 video recordings and written accounts by former detainees and their relatives, either from public sources or shared directly with researchers.

        On the basis of Human Rights Watch’s findings, much of the physical abuse by riot police and other law enforcement agents constitutes torture, as do the detention conditions that interviewees described.

        From August 9 to 13, police arrested nearly 7,000 people amid an unprecedented wave of popular and largely peaceful protests. They alleged widespread election irregularities that led to the contested re-election of the incumbent, Aleksander Lukashenka, who has been in power since 1994.

      • ‘Mass hysterectomies’ at ICE happened on Trump’s watch. But they’re America’s problem.

        From 2006 to 2010, physicians working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation performed tubal ligations on 148 women after they gave birth while incarcerated, as reported by Reveal. From 1997 to 2010, these forced sterilization procedures were paid for by California taxpayers, to the tune of $147,460. According to Reveal, advocates and other inmates allege at least some of these surgeries were coerced. The number of people coerced or forced into sterilizations in California prisons and mental institutions is most likely much higher, however, due to the prevalence of the practice in the 20th century.

      • EU police forces plan new information system

        European police authorities have numerous applications for communication and information exchange. Member States are now developing another platform for large-scale police operations and terrorist attacks. The European domestic secret services have a similar system.

      • Police in Austria use facial recognition for demonstrations

        The comparison of police photographs in Austria and Germany was provided by the Cognitech company from Dresden. In both countries the technology was used in investigations after political assemblies. In future, the EU wants to make facial image searches possible in all member states.

      • Don’t blame refugees for the Moria fires, blame EU policy

        No matter how the fires started, it’s no accident that it took less than two days for Moria, the largest refugee camp in Europe, to almost completely burn down last week.
        Over five troubled years, the Moria Reception and Identification Centre on the Greek island of Lesvos had sprawled into a dense slum of highly flammable makeshift structures because of EU externalisation policies confining asylum seekers at Europe’s periphery, and because of consistent neglect of its infrastructure.
        Even before Moria had finished burning – or the cause of the fires had been officially established – Greek officials had blamed camp residents and called for perpetrators to be deported. Less than a week later, five former inhabitants were arrested on arson charges.

    • Monopolies

      • Instagram Freeze Organizers Say Campaign Isn’t About Bottom Line, But “A Grassroots Movement”

        Kim Kardashian, Kerry Washington, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Ruffalo and Dwyane Wade are part of the campaign organized by a coalition of civil rights groups that want Instagram owner Facebook to curb racism, misinformation and hate speech on its platforms.

      • Patents

        • Patent Agent Privilege: Another Case Recognizes its Limited Scope

          In Luv N’ Care, Ltd. v. Williams Intellectual Prop., Civil Action No. 18-mc-00212-WJM-KLM, 6-7 (D. Colo. Jun. 12, 2019) (here) the court addressed a claim of privilege over communications between client and a patent agent. The case is a reminder that, while the privilege exists, its scope is limited.


          Thus, the court reasoned, “communications which are not ‘reasonably necessary and incident to the preparation and prosecution’ of patent proceedings before the USPTO are not protected by the patent-agent privilege. For example, communications with a patent agent who is offering an opinion on the validity of another party’s patent in contemplation of litigation or for the sale or purchase of a patent, or on infringement, are not reasonably necessary and incident to the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, and thus are not protected by the privilege.” Id.

          In my experience, the limitations on “practice before the Office” that often get overlooked include: (1) non-infringement or validity opinions — as the court recognized — but also (2) assignments. Another limitation is that a state court may not follow the Federal Circuit’s lead and the Luv N’ Care court even suggested that regional circuit law, not Federal Circuit law, would control.

        • Software Patents

          • $2,000 for prior art on inventor-owned patent, Kaufman ’981

            On September 16, 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 7,885,981. The patent is owned by Michael Philip Kaufman, an NPE. The ’981 patent generally relates to generating a user interface (UI) for a relational database, where the UI display includes various display modes.

            The ‘981 patent has been asserted in district court against companies such as Microsoft and Salesforce.

            In addition, the ’981 patent has been subject two prior IPR proceedings. IPR2017-01141 was denied because the combination did not appear to disclose the “scanning” limitation or storing/using the scanned data. IPR2017-01142 was denied because the Petitioner tried to break the priority chain, but the PTAB did not agree, so they did not reach the merits of those references.

      • Trademarks

        • CJEU confirms no likelihood of confusion between MASSI and MESSI

          Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) upheld a 2018 decision by the General Court (GC), in which it held that there is no likelihood of confusion between the word mark MASSI and a figurative sign containing the word MESSI. The latter sign was filed by Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, better known as just Messi, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time.

          The GC’s decision can be found here [only available in French and Spanish; English press release here]. The CJEU’s decision was not yet available at the time of writing, but the press release can be found here. It is expected later today and will then be available here.

          The decision is important because it confirms the special status of the conceptual comparison in the likelihood of confusion test: even if signs have a high degree of visual and aural similarity, strong conceptual dissimilarity may suffice to prevent a finding of likelihood of confusion. Just a few months ago, the CJEU restricted such a finding to “exceptional cases” in C-328/18 P Black Label by Equivalenza [par. 75, Katpost here]. Today’s decision is a prime example of such an exceptional case.

        • A Valentino by any other name

          A recent opposition case, Valentino S.p.A. v. Matsuda & Co., heard by the IP Adjudicator David Llewelyn, reaffirmed the uncertainties in seeking to assert trademark rights when using a common personal name for your brand.


          The opponent, an Italian high end fashion company, owns numerous trade mark registrations in Singapore for “VALENTINO” or its variants. The applicant appears to be a Japanese fashion company offering their wares for sale under the “Valentino Rudy” brand.

          This is not the first time that the opponent has opposed the applicant’s mark in Singapore. In 2012, the opponent unsuccessfully opposed the applicant’s Trade Mark No. T0623268D, for the same mark in Class 3 (the 2012 Case).

        • [Guest post] Release of the new top level domain “.gay”: LGBTQ empowerment or undue exploitation?

          Portland-based (USA) company Top Level Design developed the TLD “.GAY” to connect and celebrate LGBTQ communities and, according to the company’s policy for this TLD, to create a gay-friendly internet space banning harassment, hate speech and anti-LGBTQ contents that might appear within the “.gay” LTD webpages. The TLD is available for purchase at USD 41.62 per year with an additional USD 41.62 fee for a further one-year renewal (see here). The company stated that it will donate the 20% from the registration revenues to GLAAD and CenterLink. The beneficiaries might change after one year but, in the first LTD release, Top Level Design was able to donate USD 34,400 (see here).

          In the vast sea of available LTDs, it seems that those that represent and are used for social purposes are provided and organised by non-profit organisations. For example, the “.org” LTD is made available by the Virginia-based Public Interest Registry which, like Top Level Design, collaborates with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Similarly, the “.eu” LTD is disciplined by Article 9 of Regulation (Eu) 2019/517, which requires that “the Registry shall be a not-for-profit organisation”. Although it pledged to devote 20% of its revenues to organisations militating for the LGBTQ community rights, Top Level Design remains a for-profit company.

      • Copyrights

        • Piratebay.org Sold for $50,000 at Auction, ThePiratebay.com Up Next

          Several Pirate Bay-related domains become available again this month after their owner failed to renew the registration. Yesterday, Piratebay.org was sold in a Dropcatch auction for $50,000 and ThePiratebay.com will follow soon. Both domains were previously registered to the official Pirate Bay site.

        • Police Send Warning Letters to Pirate IPTV Customers Citing Fraud Act

          Following the arrest of a 24-year-old man in the UK late June, police used his pirate IPTV service to display a warning message to subscribers. To further press home the message that viewing pirate streams is illegal, police are now serving thousands of GE Hosting’s subscribers with cease-and-desist notices, referencing theoretical prosecutions under the Fraud Act.

        • Alleged Operators of Epic Stream IPTV Face List of Piracy Charges in Canada

          Nova Scotia RCMP has charged two people in connection with Operation Hotwire, a federal investigation into illegal IPTV supply. The husband and wife team face a laundry list of charges that could result in a five year prison sentence, a CAD$1m fine, or both. The service in question hasn’t been named but TorrentFreak understands that it operated under the Epic Stream branding.

        • Copyright Companies Want Memes That Are Legal In The EU Blocked Because They Now Admit Upload Filters Are ‘Practically Unworkable’

          The passage of the EU Copyright Directive last year represented one of the most disgraceful examples of successful lobbying and lying by the publishing, music, and film industries. In order to convince MEPs to vote for the highly controversial legislation, copyright companies and their political allies insisted repeatedly that the upload filters needed to implement Article 17 (originally Article 13) were optional, and that user rights would of course be respected online. But as Techdirt and many others warned at the time, this was untrue, as even the law’s supporters admitted once it had been passed. Now that the EU member states are starting to implement the Directive, it is clear that there is no alternative to upload filters, and that freedom of speech will therefore be massively harmed by the new law. France has even gone so far as ignore the requirement for the few user protections that the Copyright Directive graciously provides.

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