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Links 30/10/2020: WordPress 5.5.2 and NSA Mum on Its Back Doors Policy

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11 To Land Optimization That Helps IO_uring Performance - Phoronix

        At the start of October we mentioned a kernel optimization that can help IO_uring performance. Now as we approach the end of the month, Linux 5.11 is poised to land the optimization that especially helps out with threaded workloads.

        The change to task_work to use TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL when available is queued as part of the tip.git core/entry code ahead of the Linux 5.11 merge window opening in December. Currently TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL is wired up for x86/x86_64 while Jens is working on adding this support to other CPU architectures as well. We'll see how many architectures get supported in time for Linux 5.11 as once completing that work he'll be able to move on with a set of clean-ups.

      • Stupid RCU Tricks: Torturing RCU Fundamentally, Part III - Paul E. McKenney's Journal — LiveJournal

        Even more reading of the Linux-kernel Documentation/RCU/Design/Requirements/Requirements.rst file encounters RCU's memory-barrier guarantees. These guarantees are a bit ornate, but roughly speaking guarantee that RCU read-side critical sections lapping over one end of a given grace period are fully ordered with anything past the other end of that same grace period. RCU's overall approach towards this guarantee is shown in the Linux-kernel Documentation/RCU/Design/Memory-Ordering/Tree-RCU-Memory-Ordering.rst file, so one approach would be to argue that these guarantees are proven by a combination of this documentation along with periodic code inspection. Although this approach works well for some properties, the periodic code inspections require great attention to detail spanning a large quantity of intricate code. As such, these inspections are all too vulnerable to human error.

        Another approach is formal verification, and in fact RCU's guarantees have been formally verified. Unfortunately, these formal-verification efforts, groundbreaking though they are, must be considered to be one-off tours de force. In contrast, RCU needs regular regression testing.

      • Stupid RCU Tricks: Torturing RCU Fundamentally, Parts IV and V - Paul E. McKenney's Journal — LiveJournal

        The first guarantee is trivially verified by inspection of the RCU API. The type of rcu_read_lock(), rcu_read_unlock(), synchronize_rcu(), call_rcu(), and rcu_assign_pointer() are all void. These API members therefore have no way to indicate failure. Even primitives like rcu_dereference(), which do have non-void return types, will succeed any time a load of their pointer argument would succeed. That is, if you do rcu_dereference(*foop), where foop is a NULL pointer, then yes, you will get a segmentation fault. But this segmentation fault will be unconditional, as advertised!

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Navi "Blockchain" Card Support Being Added To Linux 5.10

          Last week we were first to report on a PCI ID being added for a Navi 1 "Blockchain" graphics card without display outputs and seemingly focused on cryptocurrency mining. This card wasn't talked about at yesterday's Radeon RX 6000 series launch but that support is now on the way to the Linux 5.10 kernel.

          The code sent out last week added the new Navi 10 PCI ID and disabled DCN/VCN support for that ID with this card not having video acceleration or display functionality. Aside from that patch, AMD hasn't officially acknowledged this new part that is RDNA (1) and not to be confused with the forthcoming RDNA2 / RX 6000 series products.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Complete Beginner's Guide to Ansible Playbook

        This is the third chapter of RHCE Ansible EX 294 exam preparation series that deals with one of the most important and exciting feature of Ansible.

      • Rmmod Command in Linux | Linuxize

        The core component of each Linux operating system is the Linux kernel. It manages the system’s resources, and acts as an intermediary between the computer’s hardware and software.

        The Linux kernel is a software that has a modular design. A kernel module, or often referred to as a driver, is a piece of code that extends the kernel’s functionality. Modules can be compiled as loadable modules or built into the kernel. Loadable modules can be dynamically loaded and unloaded in the running kernel on request, without the need to reboot the system.

        In this article, we’ll talk about how to use the rmmod command to remove modules from the Linux Kernel.

      • Bastion host in AWS - Kernel Talks

        Everything you need to know about Bastion host in AWS infrastructure.

      • How to forward SSH key in Putty - Kernel Talks

        A quick post on how to forward SSH key in Putty on Windows.

      • AWS VPC Creation along with screenshots - Kernel Talks

        A quick article on AWS VPC creation along with screenshots.

      • How to install Fedora 33 - YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Fedora 33.

      • How to install IntelliJ Idea, community edition, on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install IntelliJ Idea, community edition, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Zoom Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04 - YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Zoom Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to play World of Tanks Blitz on Linux

        World of Tanks Blitz is an action-packed PvP MMO game where players battle against each other in military tanks. In this guide, we’ll go over how you can get World of Tanks Blitz to work on the Linux platform.

      • How to update CentOS -

        In this tutorial, we take you through the process of updating CentOS Linux, including the entire system or on a per package basis.

      • How to upgrade to Pop_OS 20.10

        Pop_OS, the operating system developed and maintained by Linux computer manufacturer System76 has a new release. It is Pop_OS 20.10, which is based on the new Ubuntu 20.10. Pop_OS 20.10 is the best update yet, packed with lots of improvements and new features!

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

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

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

      • How to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 to Ubuntu 20.10. For those of you who didn’t know, Ubuntu 20.10 released, codenamed “Groovy Gorilla”; bringing yet another version of a remarkable operating system in the Ubuntu ecosystem, with the latest and some of the greatest open source technologies in a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

        Note that Ubuntu 20.04 is a long term support (LTS) release, which will be supported for 5 years. Ubuntu 20.10 is a non-LTS release, which means it will be supported for 9 months only, until July 2021. If you prefer stability over bleeding edge, then stick with Ubuntu 20.04.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 (focal Fossa) to Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla).

      • How To Use pulseaudio-dlna To Stream Audio From Ubuntu 20.10 To Chromecast Devices - Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to install and get pulseaudio-dlna to stream audio from Ubuntu 20.10 or Pop_OS! 20.10, to Chromecast devices.

      • [Quick Tip] One Command to Get A Collection of Gnome Shell Extensions in Ubuntu | UbuntuHandbook

        This is a beginner’s guide shows how to easily extend functionality of GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 20.10.

        Ubuntu by default includes three extensions: Desktop Icons, Ubuntu AppIndicators, and Ubuntu Dock.

        Besides installing more from Gnome Shell extension website, you can run a single command to get a collection of extensions that provide additional and optional functionality.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The Art of (Not) Painting Pixels – GNOME Shell & Mutter

          Being a compositor and a compositing window manager, the most important aspect Mutter and GNOME Shell is to paint pixels to your monitors with relevant content. A large part of this content is provided by applications themselves, but many elements still need to be rendered on top of them.

          Over the past few years, Mutter’s codebase has slowly but steadily been refactored, cleaned up, reorganized, and modernized. This includes the internal copies of Clutter and Cogl. With the beginning of the GNOME 40 development cycle, it all converged in a specially large and exciting set of changes which we’ll be talking about in this article.

        • GSoD Weekly Summary 5

          Before starting this week, I created an issue mentioning all the issues that I found and started completing them one by one while I kept adding new ones when required. So now the second task was to look again for the next issue which I found under “Using the Keyboard” there was a link missing which I added in the documentation.

          After this, the next task was to fix the subscript and superscript page style and add a link to it too. These changes I included with my previous PR.

    • Distributions

      • 8 Tools to Easily Create a Custom Linux Distro

        When there are so many Linux distros out there, you are probably wondering why someone would want to create their own distro instead of getting a readymade one. While in most cases a readymade distro is fine, if you want to have a distro that is 100 percent tailored to your needs (or your mum or dad’s needs), you may have to create your own custom Linux distro.

        With the right tools, creating your own Linux distro isn’t as hard as it seems, though it takes time for sure. There are many tools for the purpose – some of them are universal, and some of them are distro-specific. Here are eight of them.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.2: What You Need to Know and How to Upgrade | FOSS Linux

          The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the release and availability of FreeBSD 12.2 to the masses. It is the third and final release of the stable/12 branch. This post will cover the features and changes you can expect with FreeBSD 12.2 release. We will also give you a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade from your current version to FreeBSD 12.2.

          FreeBSD 12.2 Features

          FreeBSD by default doesn’t come packaged with a Desktop Environment like most of the Linux distributions. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t install one. Therefore, most of the features and updates are focused on the general system performance and not the user interface. Let’s dive in!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Daniel Pocock: Nomination for Fedora Council Election 2020

          I've decided to nominate. More details about my platform will appear soon.

          Anybody meeting the eligibility criteria is free to nominate. Only one of us will be elected but every election is an opportunity to put forward new ideas and challenge existing practices. The quality of the debate depends a lot on the number and quality of candidates.

          The biggest evidence of the power of democracy is the effort that some free software organizations have made to eliminate democracy. When the FSFE community elected me as Fellowship Representative in 2017, FSFE incumbents didn't just seek to remove me, they changed the constitution so that Fellows could not vote again. This wasn't so much an insult to me as it was an insult to every volunteer who voted. If this was about something I had done personally, they never would have made such a permanent change to the constitution. If democracy scares certain people so much then you can be sure you are not wasting your time if you have a go at it.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 Adds Updated Container Tools, New Security Profiles
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • AdGuard Home: Another Brick in the Ad-Blocking Wall

          At the core of the emerging foundation that is Ubuntu Appliances is the aptly named Ubuntu Core, a slimmed-down Ubuntu operating system crafted with the IoT use case in mind. What distinguishes Ubuntu Core, which users can run as a standalone, and Ubuntu Appliances, is that each appliance comes preloaded with a featured service, and all the necessary programs are installed and managed via the Snaps containerized installation mechanism.

          With this structure, appliances are designed to just work “out of the box,” if we borrow that brick-and-mortar paradigm in the sense of post-flashing, post-booting, and post-configuration. Users will need to boot the appliance device and perform a token amount of local administration, provide it with an Internet connection with a static LAN IP address, and set up an Ubuntu One account if they don’t have one. A few web GUI prompts later, and the user is up and running.

          Ubuntu then does the rest, and that encompasses a lot of heavy lifting. Appliances will update themselves for a 10-year lifespan as long as they have Internet access. If all goes according to plan, users shouldn’t have to give a second thought to their appliance unless they want to change its configuration. Even then, all they have to do is enter the Web administration GUI, toggle a few switches, and close the tab.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Call for nominations for the Local Communities Council

          The Local Communities (LoCo) Council has been vacant for some time and has not been restaffed due to a vacant Community Council. Since the Community Council has now been newly elected, a nomination for the LoCo Council is now being announced.

          The LoCo Council is a board of people who are in charge of empowering and helping out LoCo Teams worldwide. Their members have two-year terms, and we have seven open seats at the Council.

        • Canonical Drops etcd for Dqlite For MicroK8s

          MicroK8s is a lightweight and easy to use Kubernetes distribution designed to run in resource-constrained environments such as IoT and edge devices. As Canonical is eyeing enterprise use-cases it’s making Microk8s more resilient by adding high availability capabilities to it.

          Microk8s already has the clustering feature; with a single command, users can join multiple MicroK8s nodes in a cluster. With HA, as soon as users join three or more nodes, they get the Kubernetes control plane distributed across these nodes. If they join more nodes they get all the API services of Kubernetes available on all nodes and the control plane is still distributed on these nodes.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My journey to becoming an open source mentor

        I was just 16 when I made my first meaningful open source contribution. It was the first code contribution I ever made, and I learned a lot from it. I'm 20 now, and I've been strongly attached to free and open source software (FOSS) ever since. I strive to be a friend to my community colleagues and to help others continue growing, learning, and succeeding.

        I first heard about FOSS through the Google Code-In contest. I was 16, but I was already learning computer science fundamentals, the C++ programming language, and anything else about computers I could get my hands on. I was very excited about the contest—not just because of the free Google swag, but because it gave me the opportunity to work directly on codebases being used all around the world. I jumped into the contest feet-first and started trying to solve as many open source software tasks as I could in the code, design, documentation, and research.

      • Everything curl in Chinese |

        The other day we celebrated everything curl turning 5 years old, and not too long after that I got myself this printed copy of the Chinese translation in my hands!

        This version of the book is available for sale on Amazon and the translation was done by the publisher.

        The book’s full contents are available on github and you can read the English version online on

        If you would be interested in starting a translation of the book into another language, let me know and I’ll help you get started. Currently the English version consists of 72,798 words so it’s by no means an easy feat to translate! My other two other smaller books, http2 explained and HTTP/3 explained have been translated into twelve(!) and ten languages this way (and there might be more languages coming!).

      • CMS

        • News – WordPress 5.5.2 Security and Maintenance Release –

          WordPress 5.5.2 is now available!

          This security and maintenance release features 14 bug fixes in addition to 10 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 3.7 have also been updated.

          WordPress 5.5.2 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.6.

          You can download WordPress 5.5.2 by downloading from, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • Amusewiki 2.500 | melmothX []

            Well, well, today I released Amusewiki 2.500 and I noticed that time has passed since the last announcement here. This doesn't mean that the Amusewiki development has stopped. On the contrary. The development pace has been steady, with new features, improvements and bug-fixes. In the meanwhile Amusewiki got a new logo as well!

          • Adventures in Perl
          • Adventures in Perl | Samir Parikh []

            Just over one year ago, I wrote about how I had become enchanted with the D programming language as part of my journey in exploring new programming languages. I still really like D for all of the reasons I wrote about, but as I alluded to in the conclusion of that piece, I fully expected to “get distracted by the next new shiny thing that comes along.” Turns out that the next new shiny thing happens to be … Perl!

            That’s right: a language that Larry Wall first developed back in 1987 happens to have caught my fancy and I’m as surprised as anyone.

            When I first started learning Python over ten years ago, I would come across snippets of Perl in solutions submitted to things like Project Euler or in various forum threads. Perl programs had the most opaque and impenetrable syntax I had ever seen, filled with @ after & followed by more $ symbols than I could count. But the further I got into the bioinformatics problems on the Rosalind site, the more I started to understand the power, brevity and design of Perl. It was refreshing to see that regular expressions were treated as a first class citizen and that there were similarities to how Perl and Bash scripts were written (which, to some, could be a disadvantage!) And the more I read about it, the more I began to appreciate its rich heritage and its history alongside the development of Unix.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Some Advice for White People on Halloween

      When I was 8 years old, I dressed up as Senator Ted Kennedy for Halloween. I remember strongly arguing for this costume. I don’t know why my parents let me do this, but it was the Reagan era and people were desperate. My parents got me a little blue suit, wrote ted kennedy on a faux briefcase, grayed out my hair, and off I went.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Kushner Tapes Reveal He Bragged Over Trump Taking Back Charge From “the Doctors"

        Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser of President Donald Trump, privately bragged to journalist Bob Woodward in April about the president’s decision to shun the advice and opinions of health experts, just as the death rate from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. was reaching peak levels.

      • More Than 8 Million Have Been Forced Into Poverty Since COVID Relief Ended in US

        The massive $2 trillion CARES Act — which sent households one-time payments and boosted unemployment checks with an additional $600 a week through July — helped keep millions afloat, but more than 8 million people have been forced into poverty since the aid ended. “The relief was temporary, and much of it has now expired, so now we’re seeing poverty rise again,” says Megan Curran, a researcher at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. “We know that families can be protected again, but it does require action at the federal level.”

      • Federal Court Ruling in Rhode Island Suit Targeting Polluters Called 'More Evidence of the Momentum Behind Climate Accountability Cases'

        The appeals court decision dealt a blow to the fossil fuel giants named as defendants in the Ocean State's historic climate liability lawsuit.

      • As Covid-19 Soars Ahead of Election, Tapes Reveal Kushner Bragging About How Trump Wrestled Response 'Back From the Doctors'

        "We know their handling of the pandemic was dictated by politics, and that's a big part of the reason it was such an unmitigated disaster."

      • Health Workers Sue Trump Labor Secretary, OSHA Over 'Unconscionable Delay' of Protections Against Infectious Disease

        The Trump administration has refused to resume work on new federal regulations—tabled in 2017—despite the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Red State Governors Still Flunk COVID Testing

        While they can take measures to limit the actual spread, such as longer and stronger lockdowns and mask requirements, many factors determining the spread are outside their control. By contrast, they do have control over the amount of testing, although legislatures can play a role, since they can appropriate or restrict funding. Testing has also become a political issue, since Donald Trump explicitly said that he wanted to see testing slowed so as to reduce the number of cases identified.

        I thought it was worth an update to see what the story looks like as the country is now experiencing a huge surge in infections. Here’s the more recent picture showing the ten states with the highest infection rates and the ten states with the lowest rates, based on the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 7-day moving averages. (Data are for October 26, 2020.)

      • AIER likens anti-“lockdown” cranks to abolitionists. Hilarity ensues

        I’ve commented multiple times on how much COVID-19 pandemic denialists, those who deny the efficacy of masks and other public health matters to slow the spread of coronavirus, who try to downplay or deny the harm caused by the pandemic (particularly by claiming that the virus is not that deadly), and in general engage in conspiracy theories about this being a “plandemic” or an excuse to impose “forced vaccination,” resemble the antivaccine movement. Indeed, it’s no surprise that one of the very earliest conspiracy theories about COVID-19 dates back to January, when the pandemic was still mostly confined to China and had not yet made its presence known in the US (although it was already here), was the claim that China had purchased more influenza vaccine than usual and the flu vaccine had made the people of Wuhan more susceptible to the novel coronavirus. By May antivaxxers were prominent attendees at antimask and anti-lockdown protests, having already launched a preemptive disinformation campaign against any coronavirus vaccine that might be developed, and now they routinely show up at such events, along with QAnon believers. The reason, of course, is that, at its heart, antivaccine beliefs are rooted in conspiracy theories, producing a natural affinity between COVID-19 cranks and antivaxxers. There are many other characteristics antivaxxers share with COVID-19 cranks, one of which is a persecution complex. This brings me to today’s topic, this doozy of an article by Stacey Rudin of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) likening “resistance” to public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 to abolitionists before the Civil War:

      • My San Quentin Death Row Coronavirus Experience

        San Quentin’s initial flimsy attempt to thwart the virus was to issue face masks, pass out hand sanitizer, cancel all visiting, halt movement except for emergencies, and split the recreational yard in half in an effort to limit the number of prisoners in close contact. These measures would fail completely.

        In these early stages, rumors began circulating about outbreaks in other prisons, including The California Institute for Men (CIT), which turned out to be the epicenter of the California prison spread. But in early days, San Quentin was still relatively free of any Covid-19 cases. Unfortunately, under a court order, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on May 31 transferred 121 prisoners from CIT to an already overcapacity and overcrowded San Quentin.

      • Policing the Pandemic: How the City of Albuquerque Criminalizes People Living on the Streets

        This pattern of enforcement predates the pandemic but has intensified in recent months. It violates COVID-19 guidance published by the Centers for Disease Control, which in March advised cities against “clearing encampments [of unsheltered people]” because the practice risks increasing “the potential for infectious disease spread.” Albuquerque advocates for the unsheltered agreed and advocated that the City stop evicting unsheltered people living in tents on public property. But the City’s deputy director of Family and Community Services, Lisa Huval, who oversees housing and homelessness and supervises outreach workers, refused to stop the practice of clearing camps,€ telling reporters€ that “it starts with one tent and over a few days increases to three tents, within a few weeks, if the city were simply to allow that encampment to establish, could grow quite large, [and] that presents other public health risks to that community.” Huval points to the City’s 450-bed shelter on the Westside with its COVID-19 protocols, as a safer option. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller agreed, saying at a press conference that “We’re fortunate that in Albuquerque we have lots of good alternatives.”

        But many unsheltered people do not feel safe at the shelter. Local advocates surveyed folks on the street in April of this year and most said they felt safer on the streets. “I have tried to tell the city that going to the [shelter] is dangerous for me,” reported one woman in an April 2020 survey of unsheltered people performed by local advocates. She showed a large scar on her body and explained, “I was assaulted there and do not wish to go back because there are social structures there that are abusive to others.”

      • While We All Sleepwalk Into A Human Rights Vacuum, The United Nations Is Facing Its Moment Of Truth

        Humankind has faced greater challenges than the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, we were already confronting a few of them as the world started to lockdown earlier this year. Now, more than ever, is the time we need a United Nations of purpose and resolve, writes Dr Lissa Johnson.

      • Sherrod Brown: Covid Shows How Corporate ‘Free Trade’ Policies Threaten Public Health

        Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown wears a pin of a canary in a cage, recalling the days when coal miners carried the birds underground to detect poisonous gases.

      • The Questionable Line Items of Illinois’ COVID-19 Spending

        Last week, we published Grenades, Bread and Body Bags: How Illinois Has Spent $1.6 Billion in Response to COVID-19 So Far, a story and look-up tool that examines Illinois’ COVID-19 related spending.

        Given that we are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and billions of dollars in federal aid are being thrown at response and recovery efforts in Illinois, we thought you should know more about how your taxpayer dollars are being spent. Plus, we figured there’d probably be a few interesting needles in the haystack.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Nitro Software user database put up for sale on dark web

          A group that uses the name Shiny Hunters appears to have put up a database exfiltrated during a data breach of ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, on the dark web for sale.

        • Nitro breach was probably through cloud, claims cyber sec firm

          ASX-listed Nitro Software, a firm that had its origins in Melbourne and offers a service to create, edit and sign PDFs and digital documents, appears to have suffered a data breach through cyber criminals gaining access to the company's cloud environment via a compromise of access tokens, the cyber security firm Cyble has told iTWire.

        • Why Microsoft has blocked hundreds of sites in Internet Explorer

          Once the site is actually redirected, Microsoft will also show a small banner indicating what steps have been taken, with the notice that “some websites no longer work with Internet Explorer.” There’s also a link to a supplementary webpage that offers just a brief explanation, as well as a link to running Internet Explorer within the new Microsoft Edge.

        • HS: Vastaamo [cracking] could turn into largest criminal case in Finnish history

          “As for the question of perpetrator, I can’t comment on that in any way. Whether the [cracker] and blackmailer are the same person is another thing we can’t give a solid answer at this point in time,” he stated to Helsingin Sanomat.

        • Security

          • OpenSSF and Linux Foundation offer 3 free courses on developing secure open source software - TechRepublic [Ed: OpenSSF already infiltrated and now headed by Microsoft (the NSA back doors giant ), so Linux Foundation is a total farce]

            Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF), hosted at the Linux Foundation, announced on Thursday that it is offering free training for developing secure software as well as adding a new certification and providing program and technical initiatives.

            OpenSSF is a cross-industry collaboration to secure the open source ecosystem. Open source software is available across all industries and making sure it is secure is more important than ever before.

          • OpenSSF Introduces Free Courses On How To Develop Secure Software

            OpenSSF has also elected Kay Williams from Microsoft as Governing Board Chair. The election for the Security Community Individual Representative to the Governing Board is currently underway and results will be announced by OpenSSF in November.

            Ryan Haning from Microsoft has been elected Chair of the Technical Advisory Council (TAC).

          • Open Source Security Foundation launches a new certification program on edX

            One final note, the OpenSSF is incorporating the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) projects. CII has been working on securing older, popular open-source programs, which were not receiving enough funding. These programs include the CII Census, a quantitative analysis to identify critical OSS projects; CII Best Practices badge project; and the CII FOSS Contributor Survey, a quantitative survey of OSS developers. Both will become part of the OpenSSF Securing Critical Projects working group. These efforts will continue to be implemented by the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH).

          • SUSE joins OpenSSF as Trustworthy Security Drives Innovation

            Today, we’re proud to announce that SUSE has joined the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF). As open source becomes the backbone of digital transformation, its security is ever more essential. In OpenSSF, the open source community collaborates on vulnerability disclosures and security tooling, and it creates best practices to keep all users of open source solutions safe.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EFF Asks Government To Dump DHS's Plan To Massively Expand Its Biometric Collections

              The DHS's hunger for data cannot be satisfied by mandatory facial scanning at airports, cellphone scraping at border checkpoints, or the dozens of government databases crammed full of personal info it has access to. It needs more. So, it's asking for more. More mandatory collection of biometric info from millions of people, including US citizens.

            • NSA refuses to spell out change to policy for planting backdoors

              America's National Security Agency has dug its heels in and is refusing to provide information to Democrat Senator Ron Wyden as to whether it is still planting backdoors in commercial products as it was found to have done with Juniper Networks in 2015.

            • Senator Wyden Wants To Know If The NSA Is Still Demanding Tech Companies Build Backdoors Into Their Products

              It's been more than a half-decade since it made headlines, but the NSA's hardware manipulation programs never went away. These programs -- exposed by the Snowden leaks -- involved the NSA compromising network hardware, either through interception of physical shipments or by the injection of malicious code.

            • Fancy some contact tracing? That'll be $4.12 million a pop

              It's beginning to look like the Federal Government should avoid anything to do with technology following the revelation on Thursday that $70 million of taxpayers' money was spent on the COVIDSafe app – and only 17 cases were detected through its use.

            • YouTube Revenue Up 32 Percent in Summer Quarter

              Alphabet does not break out YouTube's non-advertising revenue, which comes from subscriptions and other entertainment transactions, like movie rentals. Those revenues are reported as part of the "Google other revenues" line item, which contributed $5.5 billion during the period.

            • Twitter Hits 189 Million Daily Users, Stock Price Falls

              Twitter saw its number of DAUs rise by 20 million to 186 million at the end of the second quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2020, leaving investors concerned that the second quarter was a one-time gain in usage not to continue during the second half of 2020.

            • Tech Q3 Earnings: Facebook, Google, Amazon Post Strong Revenue and Profit Gains

              Big tech companies continue to prosper in the time of COVID. Facebook, Alphabet (Google’s parent) and Amazon each reported solid growth for the third quarter of 2020 — results that reflect how people worldwide have upped their usage of [Internet] giants’ services during the pandemic.

            • Spy agency ducks questions about 'back doors' in tech products

              In at least one instance, a foreign adversary was able to take advantage of a back door invented by U.S. intelligence, according to Juniper Networks Inc, which said in 2015 its equipment had been compromised. In a previously unreported statement to members of Congress in July seen by Reuters, Juniper said an unnamed national government had converted the mechanism first created by the NSA. The NSA told Wyden staffers in 2018 that there was a “lessons learned” report about the Juniper incident and others, according to Wyden spokesman Keith Chu.

            • Bizarre Design Choices in Zoom’s End-to-End Encryption

              Upon hearing this news, I decided to be a good neighbor and take a look at their source code, with the reasoning, “If so many people’s privacy is going to be dependent on Zoom’s security, I might as well make sure they’re not doing something ridiculously bad.”

              Except I couldn’t find their source code anywhere online. But they did publish a white paper on Github…

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Nuclear Weapons Will Soon Be Illegal Under International Law

        Of course, the reality is that despite this outlawing of landmines and fragmentation bombs by the UN, the US still uses them routinely and sells them to other countries, has not destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons, and continues with controversial research on weaponized germs which critics say has a potential dual defensive/offensive utility and purpose (the US is known to have used illegal germ warfare against both North Korea and Cuba during the ‘50s and ‘60s).

        That said, the new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, which the US State Department and Trump administration strenuously opposed and which it has been pressuring countries not to sign or to withdraw their endorsement of, is a big step forward towards the goal of abolishing of these horrific weapons.

      • The Far-Right Militias Supporting Trump

        It was July 2017, a few weeks before the “Unite the Right” Charlottesville riots, when white men marched through the streets of that Virginia city protesting the planned takedown of a confederate statue and chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” I was sitting at a coffee shop in my quiet town of Poulsbo in Washington state. I had set aside an hour away from my kids to do some necessary writing, while my husband, then second-in-command on a Navy ballistic missile submarine, sat suspended somewhere in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

      • Right-wing Bolivian protesters refuse to accept election loss
      • Wisconsin Republicans Say Hackers Stole $2.3 Million From Fund to Help Trump

        The Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) has fallen prey to a phishing scheme and as a result has had $2.3 million stolen from an account that was dedicated to helping President Donald Trump win the state in this year’s election, according to the party leader.

      • France attack: Attacker arrived in Europe from Tunisia days ago

        Two other attacks took place on Thursday, one in France and one in Saudi Arabia.

      • Woman Beheaded in Church, Two Others Killed in Knife Attack in Nice, France

        The suspect, who has not been named, struck inside the city's landmark Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice in what police say is a terror attack.

        A police source told Reuters that one woman was decapitated and two others murdered while several more were injured.

      • Three dead, woman decapitated in terror attack in French city of Nice

        There were also unconfirmed reports of a second incident, in the city of Avignon. Local media said a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" had tried to attack police and was shot dead by armed officers.

      • Erdogan has close links with terrorist organisations, including ISIS: Swedish Nordic Monitor

        Erdogan's close associations with terrorist groups in Syria has been confirmed by various reports, the prime one being ISIS and their involvement in commercial deals with the terrorists and even the purchase of stolen oil from Syria and Iraq.

        Turkey, due to Erdogan's actions, has become a breeding ground for terrorists who receive funding, support, and training on the country's territory to commit crimes in Syria.

      • Australia seeks Qatar response after female passengers strip-searched

        The searches came to light when Australian women spoke out. Women from other countries were also examined.

        All adult women on the Qatar Airways flight were required to disembark to be body-searched, two of the women told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

        Thirteen Australian women were taken to an ambulance on the tarmac and told to remove their underwear before being examined, reports said.

    • Environment

      • Africa's resistance grows as climate crisis worsens

        Battered by storms and droughts during a tough 2019, Africa’s resistance to the climate crisis left no room for passivity.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • 'Seismic Shift' in World's Approach to Land Use, Wildlife, and Climate Action Needed to Avoid New 'Era of Pandemics,' Study Says

          "The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment."

        • Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Plans to Log Grizzly Habitat

          The Forest Service estimates it will lose $5,122,000 on the Soldier-Butler logging and burning € project. That’s a direct subsidy of federal taxpayer dollars to the timber industry to seriously damage our dwindling intact national forests and wildlife for private profit.

          This is another ‘landscape scale’ logging and road-building project, encompassing 45,160 € acres—more than 70 square miles. The area includes a portion of the Reservation Divide € Inventoried Roadless Area, supposedly protected by the Roadless Rule—a rule routinely ignored by the Trump administration’s anti-environmental, pro-extraction Forest Service.

        • Trump Throws Wolves Under the Bus

          Environmental groups—including WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands, Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, The Lands Council, Kettle Range Conservation Group, Klamath Forest Alliance, Wildlands Network, and Rocky Mountain Wild, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center—are gearing up to bring a legal challenge to the decision.

          “This is yet another example of the Trump administration ignoring science,” said Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director with WildEarth Guardians. “From climate change denial, to their gross mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, to rollbacks of environmental safeguards protecting clean air and water, this administration has proven time and time again that they’re only in it for themselves, even if it means ignoring and denying the facts.”

        • Wolves to Lose Protection
    • Finance

      • The Senate Snowflake Grievance Committee Quizzes Tech CEOs On Tweets & Employee Viewpoints

        On Wednesday morning the Senate Commerce Committee held a nearly four hour long hearing ostensibly about Section 230 with three internet CEOs: Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Sundar Pichai from Google, and Jack Dorsey from Twitter. The hearing went about as expected: meaning it was mostly ridiculous nonsense. You had multiple Republican Senators demanding that these CEOs explain why they had taken actions on certain content, with some silly "whataboutism" on other kinds of content where action wasn't taken. Then you had multiple Democratic Senators demanding these CEOs explain why they hadn't taken faster action on pretty much the same content that Republicans had complained some action had been taken on.

      • Pandemic Poverty: The CARES Act Kept Millions from Going Hungry. Why Won’t the Senate Renew It?

        The massive $2 trillion CARES Act — which sent households one-time payments and boosted unemployment checks with an additional $600 a week through July — helped keep millions afloat, but more than 8 million people have been forced into poverty since the aid ended. “The relief was temporary, and much of it has now expired, so now we’re seeing poverty rise again,” says Megan Curran, a researcher at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. “We know that families can be protected again, but it does require action at the federal level.”

      • As GDP Data Shows Economy Still in a Deep Hole, Trump Denounced for 'Trying to Mislead the Public by Claiming an Economic Miracle'

        "Americans can believe what he says or they can believe their own eyes. Millions are unemployed—they know the economy is not booming."

      • The Stock Market is Not the Economy

        Before the 1980s, the main driver of profits and the stock market was economic growth. When the economy grew, profits and the stock market rose in tandem. It was a virtuous cycle: Demand for goods and services generated more jobs and higher wages, which in turn stoked demand for more goods and services. But since the late 1980s, the main way corporations get profits and stock prices up has been to keep payrolls down. Corporations have done whatever they can to increase profits by cutting jobs and wages. They’ve busted unions, moved to “right-to-work” states, outsourced abroad, reclassified workers as independent contractors, and turned to labor-saving automation. Prior to 1989, economic growth accounted for most of the stock market’s gains. Since then, most of the gains have come from money that would otherwise have gone into the pockets of workers. Meanwhile, corporations have used their profits and also gone deep into debt to buy back shares of their own stock, thereby pumping up share prices and creating an artificial sugar-high for the stock market.All this has made the rich even richer. The richest 1 percent of American households own 50 percent of the value of stocks held by American households. The richest 10 percent own 92 percent.But it’s had the opposite effect for everyone else. More and more of the total economy is going into profits and high stock prices benefiting those at the top, while less and less is going into worker wages and salaries.America’s CEOs and billionaires are happy as ever, because more and more of their earnings come from capital gains – increases in the prices of their stock portfolios.Meanwhile, the Fed has taken on the debts many corporations generated when they borrowed in order to buy back their shares of stock – in effect bailing them out, even as millions of Americans continue to struggle. So the next time you hear someone say the stock market is a reflection of the economy, tell them that’s rubbish! The real economy is jobs and wages.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 'It's Not Just That You're a Crook': Watch Jon Ossoff Eviscerate Sen. Perdue Over Insider Trading, Covid Lies, and Healthcare Attacks

        "You're attacking the health of the people that you represent," the Democratic challenger said to Georgia's incumbent GOP senator.

      • Is Republican Attack on Social Media Giants Part of an Effort to Invalidate Election Results?

        Lawmakers grilled the chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter just days before Election Day on how they moderate hate speech, extremist content and election disinformation, including tweets from President Trump. Republicans have long accused Big Tech platforms of censoring conservative views, but tech policy expert Ramesh Srinivasan says the argument is shaped around talking points that are aimed at invalidating election results. “What we see coming from the Republicans is this argument that lacks any evidence, frankly, that there are systematic biases in terms of censorship, as well as algorithmic biases that skew against conservative talking points,” says Srinivasan, a professor at UCLA, where he also directs the Digital Cultures Lab. “In fact, in reality, the opposite is exactly what is true.”

      • “Drop Your Ballot Off”: Supreme Court Rulings on Mailed Ballots Sow Doubt on Which Votes Will Count

        A record 76 million people have already voted in the U.S. election, but the battle over the counting of mail-in ballots continues, with the Supreme Court issuing rulings on how long after Election Day ballots can be counted in the battleground states of Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. We speak with Mother Jones senior writer Ari Berman, author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” who says the Supreme Court could yet decide who wins the presidency if a close result leads to legal challenges. “My message to voters in these states and other states is drop your ballot off,” says Berman. “Don’t leave it to chance that your vote could be thrown out.”

      • 'Drop It Off or Vote in Person,' Advocates Plea as Supreme Court Suggests It Could Toss Out Late Pennsylvania Ballots After Election

        "Don't leave your vote in the hands of the Supreme Court."

      • Was April 7, 2020 the Day That Sealed the Fate of America?

        Look at what they said and did. And look at when they said and did it.

      • Susan Collins Backed Down From a Fight with Private Equity. Now They’re Underwriting Her Reelection.

        In late November 2017, Senate Republicans were racing to secure the votes for their sweeping tax overhaul. With no Democrats supporting the bill and even some Republicans wavering, Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican, found herself with enormous leverage.

        The day before the vote, she offered an amendment to make the legislation, which lavished tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy, more equitable. It expanded a tax credit to make child care more affordable. To pay for it, she took aim at a tax break cherished by the private equity industry.

      • Disinformation Can Function as Voter Suppression. Organizers Are Fighting Back.

        Disinformation cannot be ignored or hoped away, it must be consistently disrupted. Earlier this week, participatory media organizations MediaJustice and the Disinfo Defense League launched a week of action to put good information and tools directly into people’s hands ahead of Election Day. Led by Black and Brown organizations, DisruptDisinfo offers a mixture of trainings, webinars, and other resources. ReFrame and PEN America developed a disinformation toolkit for organizers and advocates as a part of this effort.

      • Trump Openly Voices Hope That Courts Will Intervene in Ballot Count

        President Donald Trump on Wednesday once again openly voiced hope that U.S. courts — now packed with his right-wing judges — will intervene and stop states from counting legally submitted ballots after November 3, remarks that came just before the U.S. Supreme Court suggested it could invalidate late-arriving Pennsylvania votes after Election Day.

      • A Day After Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Violent Hate Crimes, Collins Says Maine Doesn't Have Issue With Systemic Racism

        "We are very fortunate in the state of Maine because we have terrific members of law enforcement," the Republican incumbent asserted.€ 

      • Documents Reveal WH Officials Tried to Use $250 Million in Taxpayer Money on Covid Ad Campaign to Boost Trump Reelection

        Democrats on the House Oversight Committee accused HHS officials of engaging in a "cover-up to conceal the Trump administration's misuse of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for partisan political purposes."

      • Why Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg Are So Adamant About the Imperative of Defeating Trump

        Defeating Trump is a crucial—and certainly insufficient—precondition for making possible the kind of changes in government policies that are desperately required for social decency.

      • Facebook Choked Traffic to Mother Jones & Other Sites While Amplifying Right-Wing Misinformation

        Big Tech CEOs were grilled Wednesday about how they moderate election disinformation and extremist content, and were accused by Republicans of censoring conservatives. Overlooked were reports that Facebook designed changes to its news feed algorithm in 2017 to reduce the visibility of left-leaning news sites like Mother Jones. Mother Jones editors wrote in 2019 that the site had seen a sharp decline in its Facebook audience, which translated to a loss of around $600,000 over 18 months. “The fact that we are trying to do everything we can to get the truth out and Facebook is deliberately sabotaging our readership is so disturbing, at the same time that Facebook is spreading all of this dangerous information by conservatives, by President Trump,” responds Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones magazine, who has been reporting extensively on the 2020 election.

      • Chile's New Constitution, Wiping Away the Last Stains of Pinochet

        Though a change in its founding document is not on the ballot in the United States, we should, here in America, pay close attention to what just happened in that distant land at the end of the earth. Heartened and inspired by the sight of ordinary people forcing a small ruling elite to accept, against all odds, the need for radical reforms, we would do well to learn some valuable lessons from that Chilean experience.

        Sunday’s victory in Chile did not come easily or swiftly.

      • This Land Is Our Land: Trump's America, and Our America

        The Trumpian tragedy is doubly tragic because it makes so much sense. We can decide that Trump is an anomaly. But, in fact, Trump looks and acts a lot like America.

      • 'Reckless Incompetence and Intentional Cruelty': House Issues Scathing Report on Trump Migrant Family Separation Policy

        The "inhumane" policy was "driven by an administration... determined to go to unthinkable extremes to deliver on political promises," the report found.€ 

      • On Trump's Megalomania

        It’s as if, with Trump competing for the presidency, the country went into a frenzy: turning down Hillary Clinton, the first woman seeking the country’s highest office, and electing Trump the billionaire.

        Naturally, Trump lived up to his money reputation and opened the national treasury to fellow oligarchs. Americans naively thought nothing of it. Economists rushed to excuse tax cuts and subsidies to the super rich and polluting petroleum and chemical corporations. Their gospel says that is necessary for a more “efficient” economy and government.

      • Trump and Biden: Cold-War Dinosaurs

        Thus far, the presidential and vice presidential debates have steered clear of foreign policy, despite the US’s age-long meddling representing a major problem globally and the source of growing opposition domestically.

        The claim was sourced from a report that alleged that Iranian hackers had sent out threatening emails to Floridian voters to vote for Trump, posing as the Proud Boys.

      • The World Is Burning, but the Political Press Insists It’s a Horse Race

        This article is adapted from “The Climate Beat,” the weekly newsletter of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism initiative strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • The World Is Burning, but the Political Press Insists on its Horserace

        In the few days that remain before the election and in the months that will follow, journalists must ask themselves if they’re truly conveying the gravity of the climate crisis to their audiences, as well as all the challenges and opportunities it entails.

      • The Supreme Court Has Never Been on the Side of Working People

        The Senate’s obscene rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett—in time to allow her, as Donald Trump has made clear, to assist his efforts to steal the election—should force even the most blinkered observer to acknowledge the deeply political nature of our judiciary. Coming after the Senate’s refusal to even grant Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing and its subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch for that stolen seat, the latest Republican power play has done much to strip away the mystique that previously cloaked the deliberations of the Supreme Court’s nine justices. Despite their black robes, ritual use of Latin, and lifetime appointments, they’re simply fallible mortals with the same prejudices and predilections as the rest of us.

      • If You Can’t Speak English, Good Luck Voting in Trump’s America

        Limary Ruiz Torres, a 51-year-old accountant in Lawrenceville, Ga., was eager to vote in this year’s presidential primary. But when Torres, who was raised in Puerto Rico and speaks limited English, received her mail-in ballot application in April, she felt shut out. “I cannot read the absentee ballot request I received this week,” she later told a federal court. Ultimately, she and another plaintiff, Albert Mendez, sued the county and state.

      • Let's Be Very Clear: Senate Republicans Have Failed Every Struggling American Family

        It is cruel, and bad economics, to withhold stimulus aid.

      • In Key Cities, Activists Are Mobilizing Black Voters Biden Isn’t

        Detroit may be a car capital, but Wendy Caldwell-Liddell wants to meet at the bus station. The 29-year-old founder of Mobilize Detroit canvasses there regularly, because she knows she’s likely to meet people mainstream Democrats are failing to reach—people who have to go to work, or take care of their children, and are using a public service to get there. People, in her words, who are “on a mission.”

      • What We Call Freedom Has Never Been About Being Free

        The political right today is marked by a deep conviction that its freedom stands imperiled everywhere. Social distancing measures and face mask requirements, conservatives argue, impinge upon their personal freedom; baking cakes for gay marriages or providing contraception insurance for employees violates their religious freedom; university safe spaces and political correctness censor their freedom of speech in the classroom; expanding health care undermines their liberty. Each of these ways of thinking about freedom is connected to the idea that the state must be curtailed in order to safeguard individual rights.

      • The Final Stretch

        Is it possible that they know something that the rest of the world does not know, or is it that they hope to use some illicit subterfuge to win this election, handing Trump the presidency? The extent of the influence Russia used to achieve this result in the past election is unknown, but Russia’s past and present election meddling has been confirmed by the US intelligence agencies.

        Trump is smart, but he has a perverse intelligence, the result of his narcissism with sociopathic traits. Mary Trump, his niece and a clinical psychologist, makes a stark analysis of her uncle, whom she considers a fraud and a huge danger to the country and the world. Her assessment is born, in part, by Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which she calls a “mass murder”. Trump’s ignorance, his refutation of the opinion of his own scientific advisers, and dishonest and irresponsible actions have resulted in more than 8.35 million cases of COVID-19 and over 224,000 deaths to date in the U.S.

      • For a Two-Week Grace Period So All Voters Can Be Counted

        First, the Republicans’ detailed criminogenic voter suppression strategy that creates delay, confusion, and discord in the handling of voters and their votes is proceeding with increasing intensity.

        Second, the number of election volunteers is likely to be seriously diminished because of Covid-19. Many elderly volunteers who staff voting precincts justifiably fear the potential for exposure to the Covid-19 virus. This problem could lead to closing precinct locations and a reduction in voter turnout.

      • Trump's Covid-19 Testing Czar Warns of 'Draconian Measures' to Come If Americans Don't Mask Up

        As cases surge just before Election Day, studies show universal mask-wearing prevents outbreaks and could save tens of thousands of lives.

      • Donald Trump Is a Superspreader of Many Terrible Things

        Trump, GOP dismiss the pandemic as Wisconsin cases spike.

      • If Trump Doesn't Win Pennsylvania, His Chances Crumble to 2 Percent

        For the second election cycle in a row, Pennsylvania’s 9 million voters will play a definitive role in choosing our next president. In 2016, Donald Trump eked out a victory in Pennsylvania by around 44,000 votes, or about 0.7 percent more than Hillary Clinton. The state’s 20 Electoral College votes were the vital piece to Trump’s eventual inside straight — Pennsylvania to Michigan to Wisconsin — which allowed him to win the White House while losing the popular vote.

      • Placement Of Ballot Drop Boxes Far From Ideal In New Jersey. Some Voters Must Travel Miles To Reach One
      • Worried Your Mail-in Ballot Still Hasn’t Arrived? Here's How To Be Sure Your Vote Counts
      • Get Out
      • MAGA CRACKERs : New from Discomfort Foods!

        There’s no cracker like a WHITE LIES MATTER CRACKER! Take them along to superspreader rallies, voter intimidation operations, tiki-torch marches, and just about anywhere a good cracker is always appreciated.

        Discomfort Foods brings you a wide variety of products and recipes that create new memories. Each of our CRACKERs carries the thoughts (in edible ink!) of our Dear Leader President Trump, as conveyed to us by his Prophet Roger Marshall on a recent Keep Kansas Great Bus Tour—including old favorites like

      • To Stop Trump Stealing the Election, Democrats Must Do These 3 Things

        The election is just days away, and it still seems likely that Trump will lose to Joe Biden. But that doesn’t mean that Biden will be sworn in as our 46th president.

      • The GOP’s Education Extremism Is Alienating Moderate Voters

        Julia Pulver, a 36-year-old nurse who is running to represent Oakland County in the Michigan state legislature, can pinpoint the moment that the momentum in her race against Republican incumbent Ryan Berman shifted decisively. This spring, as Michigan was reeling from the pandemic and facing a collapse in revenue, Berman joined with a small group of Republicans to urge the state’s congressional delegation to reject federal funds meant to help Michigan recover. The backlash in Berman’s district, northwest of Detroit, was swift and furious, recalls Pulver. School leaders from the five school districts that lie inside the 39th district were outraged at what they saw as a deliberate effort by their elected representative to torpedo their efforts to safely reopen.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook under fire for boosting right-wing news sources and throttling progressive alternatives

        Facebook is under fire once again for allegedly being biased toward conservative media outlets — only this time, it is also being accused of throttling left-wing media outlets in the process.

        When tweaking its newsfeed algorithm in late 2017, Facebook bowed to pressure from policy executives who were concerned that the new changes would hurt right-wing media outlets on the site like the Daily Wire, according to a report earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal. As a result, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg approved of plans for the company to tweak its newsfeed algorithm in such a way that left-leaning sites like Mother Jones were allegedly disproportionately affected.

      • France: Beheaded Teacher Interrogated by Police for ‘Thought Crimes’ Days Before Slaughter (Video)

        In the days following Professor Paty’s classroom debate, Brahim Chnina, the father of a student at Paty’s school posted a video and post on social media falsely claiming that Professor Paty ordered all Muslim students to leave the classroom prior to the free speech lesson. He falsely asserted that his daughter Zaina was suspended from the school when she refused to exit the classroom.

        The principal of the school clarified that the cause of Zaina’s suspension from school was erroneous. Her suspension was not the result of anything that transpired in Professor Paty’s class, but rather the result of her recurring tardiness to school.

      • Meet the man who could lead the GOP’s war on platform moderation

        “Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” The Republican senator from Texas was yelling at the Twitter CEO during a congressional hearing on speech moderation on Wednesday. According to Cruz, Twitter, Facebook, and Google represented “the single greatest threat to free speech in America and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • How Cops Who Use Force and Even Kill Can Hide Their Names From the Public

        In January 2019, a Dollar Tree employee in Masaryktown, Florida, called 911 after a homeless man stole $70 of beer, wine, candy and cookies. A sheriff’s deputy had little trouble finding him — the man had passed out drunk in a nearby ditch with an open box of Reese’s Pieces.

        The deputy took the man to the hospital, where he became irate. With his left wrist handcuffed to the bed, he started swinging his right arm wildly. To get the suspect “under control,” the deputy pepper-sprayed him in the face.

      • Beyond Prisons Podcast: In Defense Of Looting Feat. Vicky Osterweil

        Vicky Osterweil joins the Beyond Prisons podcast to discuss her new book, “In Defense Of Looting: A Riotous History Of Uncivil Action.”

        Our wide-ranging conversation includes Vicky’s analysis of the claim that “real” and legitimate protests are nonviolent by nature, while rioting and looting constitute an act of hijacking by malevolent outside forces.€ 

      • Gonda man accuses 8 of forcing daughter to embrace Islam

        Eight persons were booked for allegedly coercing a 16-year-old girl in Gonda to embrace Islam with the promise of marriage. The teen’s father, who lodged the FIR with Kernalganj police on Tuesday, also accused the groupof-eight of delivering violent threats and brainwashing his daughter with grandiose marriage plans in Dubai.

      • Is Xi losing sleep over the Buddha?

        The party’s nervousness about the growing clout of Tibetan Buddhism in the world and within China is reflected in the CCP's recent actions. In 2007, the State Religious Affairs Bureau’s Order No. 5 issued a decree requiring the reincarnation of Tibetan Lamas to be approved by the communist government.

        The order was seen as a move to preside over His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation someday in a similar fashion as when they kidnapped and replaced the reincarnation of the 11th Panchen Lama with a Chinese puppet. The CCP has been asserting its right to recognize the future Dalai Lama, a thoroughly bizarre claim that has been duly slammed by all.

        The Tibetan administration in exile has passed resolutions entitling only Tibetans to carry out the traditional practice. The U.S. Congress has echoed the sentiments of Tibet and sent a clear message to China. Reincarnation is uniquely Tibetan and no other culture, least of all that of an occupying atheist nation, could ever preside over it with any trace of legitimacy.

      • Report reveals ‘survival’ techniques used by women in Korean HE

        The latest of these analyses, which focuses on South Korean junior female academics (JFAs), was published this month in Higher Education.

        It shows that neoliberal management policies increased pressure on academics to publish prolifically, specifically in the first five years after completing a doctorate. However, deep-rooted gender imbalances also meant that JFAs were expected to perform as “good mothers and wives” and faced the burdens of childbirth, childcare, “patriarchal networks, limited job opportunities, gender-based division of labour and harassment”.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Tell Us How You Want to Modify and Repair the Devices in Your Life

        Have you tried modifying, repairing, or diagnosing a product but bumped into encryption, a password requirement, or some other technological roadblock that got in the way? EFF wants your stories to help us fight for your right to get around those obstacles.

        Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to circumvent certain digital access controls (also called “technological protection measures” or “TPMs”). Because software code can be copyrightable, this gives product manufacturers a legal tool to control the way you interact with the increasingly powerful devices in your life. While Section 1201’s stated goal was to prevent copyright infringement, the law has been used against artists, researchers, technicians, and other product owners, even when their reasons for circumventing manufacturers’ digital locks were completely lawful.

      • Netflix Raises Price of Standard Monthly Plan in U.S. to $14 per Month

        According to Peters, Netflix doesn’t use any kind of algorithm to decide when to increase pricing. “We do an assessment: Do we believe that we’re really delivering more value to members?” he said, adding that “a North Star we hold close to our heart in this whole process is we think that we are just an incredible entertainment value — and we very much want to remain an incredible value as we continue to improve the service and grow.”

    • Monopolies

      • Congress Fails to Ask Tech CEOs the Hard Questions

        The Senate Commerce Committee met this week to question the heads of Facebook, Twitter, and Google about Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. Section 230 reflects the common-sense principle that legal liability for unlawful online speech should rest with the speaker, not the Internet services that make online speech possible. Section 230 further protects Internet companies’ ability to make speech moderation decisions by making it clear that platforms can make those decisions without inviting liability for the mistakes they will inevitably make.

        Even President Trump has called multiple times for a repeal of Section 230, though repealing the law would certainly mean far fewer places for conservatives to share their ideas online, not more.

      • Senator's Report Finds Google and Facebook Have 'Hijacked' Local News and Undermined Journalism

        "These trillion-dollar companies scrape local news content and data for their own sites and leverage their market dominance to force local news to accept little to no compensation for their intellectual property."

      • Antitrust Suit Against Google is a Watershed Moment

        The antitrust lawsuit against Google filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and eleven state attorneys general has the potential to be the most important competition case against a technology company since the DOJ’s 1998 suit against Microsoft. The complaint is broad, covering Google’s power over search generally, along with search advertising. Instead of asking for money damages, the complaint asks for Google to be restructured and its illegal behavior restricted.This suit flows from investigations by the DOJ Antitrust Division that have been going on since last year. Although a large, bipartisan group of state attorneys general were reportedly working together on the investigation, just eleven states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined the suit. A group of Democratic-led states are reportedly preparing a separate lawsuit.

        The DOJ and states raised three claims in their suit, all under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits acquiring or maintaining monopoly power through improper means. The lawsuit alleges that Google illegally maintains monopoly power in three markets: “general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising.” In these markets, says the complaint, “Google aggressively uses its monopoly positions, and the money that flows from them, to continuously foreclose rivals and protect its monopolies.”

      • Zuckerberg Says U.S. Election Will Be a Test of Facebook’s Work

        The company also created an ad archive and rolled out rules against misleading posts about voting. It sought to close loopholes in data-sharing that were revealed in the scandal over Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that in 2016 used targeting data improperly obtained from Facebook quizzes.

      • Facebook, NYU researchers tussle over political ads on the social network

        The Ad Observatory site and database make it easier "for people to see who is purchasing ads on Facebook and in what volume, as well as trends in how they are deployed in major political races across the country," says NYU's Online Political Transparency Project. That's important, it adds, because Facebook isn't subject to the same federal rules that "govern broadcast and print ads and ensure they are accurate and disclose their source."

      • Biden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout

        The temporary ban went into effect on Oct. 27, but the platform said it ran into “a number of unidentified issues” that caused ads to be paused that have already been running on Facebook, according to a Thursday blog post. The post went on to say that the technical glitch also prevented advertisers from making permissible changes to their ads.

      • Microsoft prepares to avoid scrutiny under Biden

        Companies are prohibited by law from donating themselves. The contributions, according to OpenSecrets, were therefore made by the company’s political action committees (PACs), members of the PACs, or employees.

        A Microsoft spokesperson said the company has a history of engaging with presidential administrations on issues that matter to its business. “Our approach has been consistent: We’ll partner where we can, we’ll stand apart where we should,” she said, adding that the contributions were made by Microsoft’s employees, without offering more details.

      • Microsoft Quietly Prepares to Avoid Spotlight Under Joe Biden

        Large technology companies including Microsoft have not emerged in the top 20 contributors list for the Trump candidate campaign committee. However, Microsoft's Smith, whose donations have mostly helped Democrats, has made several contributions to Republicans, including a $15,000 (roughly Rs. 11,10,000) donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to campaign finance records.

      • Patents

        • CRISPR Housekeeping

          Since the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rendered its decisions on Motions in Interference No. 106,115, Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, "Broad") and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, "CVC") have filed a number of miscellaneous motions, and the Board has issued several Orders in response.


          Finally, CVC requested that the Board permit CVC to subpoena discovery from Luciano Marraffini and Shuailiang Lin, neither of whom is a party to this interference. (Readers may remember that Dr. Marraffini, faculty at The Rockefeller University, was involved in a dispute over inventorship of certain of the Broad's patents that resulted ultimately in some of the European counterparts of these patents to be revoked by the European Patent Office; see "The CRISPR Chronicles -- Broad Institute Wins One and Loses One"). CVC proposes to pursue such subpoenas through application to U.S. District Court under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 24.

        • Webinar Materials - The Rise of Patent Litigation Finance: Data & Trends

          While speaking on data and trends within patent litigation financing, we discussed how patent litigation financing works and who is providing the funding. We also discussed privilege and confidentiality issues, ethical issues, the impact of litigation funding to actual litigations, and other hot topic issues regarding patent litigation financing.

        • A stricter interpretation: the EPO and antibodies

          Is the grant of a reasonable scope for antibody-related inventions at the European Patent Office a phenomenon of the past? Joachim Wachenfeld and Florian Grasser of Vossius & Partner report.

          The invention of the antibody hybridoma technology by Nobel prize winners Georges Köhler and César Milstein in 1975 paved the way to the development of therapeutic antibodies.

          The first therapeutic monoclonal antibody obtained market approval in the US in 1986. Since then the market value of therapeutic antibodies has grown to approximately $115.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $300 billion in 2025.

          Along with this development, the number of patent applications seeking protection for therapeutic antibodies at the European Patent Office (EPO) has constantly grown and is growing further.

        • It’s Time to Kick Patent Trolls Out of the International Trade Commission

          The International Trade Commission, or ITC, is a federal agency in Washington D.C. that investigates unfair trade practices. Unfortunately, in recent years, it has also become a magnet for some of the worst abusers of the U.S. patent system. Now, there’s a bill in Congress, the Protecting America’s Interest Act (H.R. 8037), that could finally get patent trolls out of the ITC—a place they never should have been allowed in the first place.

          Patent owners can ask the Commission to investigate an allegation of infringement, in addition to their right to bring a patent infringement case into federal court. The ITC can’t award damages like a district court can, but the ITC can grant an “exclusion order,” which bans importation of the excluded item, and orders customs agents to seize products at the border.

        • Software Patents

          • TikTok sues rival app Triller in countersuit over patent infringement allegations

            TikTok and the video sharing app's parent company ByteDance sued rival app Triller on Wednesday in a countersuit over patent infringement claims.

            Chinese-owned TikTok filed a complaint in San Francisco federal court that Triller’s lawsuit, filed over the summer, has “cast a cloud” over TikTok and ByteDance, “causing uncertainty” for the company.

            The complaint also denies Triller’s allegations that TikTok infringed on Triller’s patent.

          • Eko Asks Court to Prevent Sale of Turnstyle Tech in Quibi Dispute

            Then, in a complicating twist on Oct. 21, Quibi announced it would be shuttering less than six months after its launch. CEO Meg Whitman and chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg wrote in an open letter to investors and employees that they “considered and exhausted every option available” but ultimately decided that Quibi was not attracting enough subscribers to continue to keep the business in operation. They are currently searching for buyers for Quibi’s library of shows and technology assets as they look to wind down the app by around Dec. 1.

            On Wednesday, Eko filed another request for emergency relief — this time asking the court to freeze certain Quibi assets related to the intellectual property at issue in the dispute. Effectively, Eko is asking the court to block Quibi from selling the Turnstyle tech or the related patent. It also wants to make sure Quibi keeps enough cash on hand to pay damages in the event that Eko prevails in the litigation.

      • Copyrights

        • US Court Dismisses 'Unique' YTS Trademark Case Against Pirate Sites & Apps

          Anti-piracy lawyer Kerry Culpepper has failed to secure $250,000 damages claims against sites and apps that used the YTS trademark he obtained. The court dismissed the case as it lacks sufficient evidence to prove that the defendants purposefully targeted the US. Meanwhile, the trademark infringement claims shed an interesting light on related YTS cases that were filed recently.

        • RIAA Obtains Subpoenas Targeting 40 YouTube-Ripping Platforms & Pirate Sites

          The RIAA is ramping up the pressure on a wide range of platforms allegedly involved in music piracy. Two DMCA subpoenas obtained against Cloudflare and Namecheap require the companies to hand over all information they hold on more than 40 torrent sites, streaming portals and YouTube-ripping services. Also included in the mix are several file-hosting platforms.

        • What’s Another Way Supporters of Mandated Facebook Media Payments Promote Their Position? Paid Facebook Advertising

          Despite the “stolen content” rhetoric, the willingness of the policy supporters to pay for links is evidence of their value. Further, in case it isn’t obvious, these ads actually are an example of Facebook commercially benefiting from links to news articles. Unlike typical posts of news stories – many of which come from the news publishers themselves and do not directly generate revenue – ad campaigns such as this one directly result in revenue for Facebook. Given their position on payments, it would be interesting to know whether Unifor Canada obtained a paid licence to link to the stories on the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, BBC, and other media sources as part of its ad campaign.

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