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Links 10/3/2021: WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza”, Flatpak 1.10.2, OpenZFS 2.0.4

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Star LabTop Mk III Linux Laptop Owners Also Get Coreboot Support

        If you happen to own the Star LabTop Mk III Linux laptop from Star Labs, today I have some good news for you as you can now install the Coreboot open-source firmware for a faster and more secure boot experience.

        Previously only available on the Star Labtop Mk IV Linux laptop, the Coreboot open-source firmware has been engineered as a drop-in replacement for the proprietary firmware that comes with most computers, whether they run a Linux OS or not.

    • Server

      • Italian Bank BPER Moves Mainframe Core Banking Apps To Linux

        Banca, one of Italy’s largest banks, has migrated about 30 services from its mainframes to a Linux environment with tools from LzLabs and technical and business support services from CWS. The applications chosen for the first phase of migration control BPER’s front end customer portals, used to manage its retail banking account access.

      • Unlocking the mysteries of science with Linux containers

        Running containerized web applications outside of an HPC cluster is a great way for agencies to get started while enjoying a return on their HPC hardware investment. Containers can augment the power of HPC clusters, allowing applications and their corresponding data to be used as input to larger jobs running in the HPC cluster.

        A good example is the containerization of the open source Apache Kafka event streaming platform. Event streaming has the potential to be unpredictable and bursty. Containerizing Kafka to scale out to meet demand surges is not only critical to ensure messages do not get dropped, but also ensures the HPC cluster does not stall due to bottlenecks on the ingest side.

        Containers allow developers to package applications with all of the necessary application files and shared library dependencies required to run those applications. They can then be easily moved from one team’s container hosts to another and even shared globally via a container registry, all of which can increase reuse and accelerate science. This can significantly reduce the time and effort required to set up HPC workloads, and makes sharing the necessary workloads easier, since all of the dependencies are stored in the highly portable container.

        For example, researchers can run very fine-grained data models on their main HPC clusters while using containers for smaller, more coarse models running databases, orchestrators, user portal applications and other public-facing web apps. This is a more cost-effective means of performing research, since it would be far too expensive to run everything in the HPC cluster.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Plain Text Files Crucial To My Linux Workflow - YouTube

        In all my video editor videos I rave on about plain text project files so today I thought I'd take the time to explain why I care so much about them and how they fundamentally change the way I would with the application files on my linux system.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds fixes 'double ungood' Linux kernel bug

        It wasn't an ordinary week at Linux creator's Linus Torvalds house in Portland, OR. A snowstorm had knocked out power to Torvalds' home for the better part of a week. Despite that, Torvalds still got the first release candidate of the latest Linux kernel 5.12 out the door. That turned out to be a real mistake. The release, which was meant only for people who are testing the Linux kernel for bugs, turned out to have a bug for the ages, which would wreck test systems. Now it's been fixed.


        This blunder, Torvalds said, started with "a very innocuous code cleanup and simplification that raised no red flags at all, but [it] had a subtle and very nasty bug in it: Swap files stopped working right. And they stopped working in a particularly bad way: the offset of the start of the swap file was lost. Swapping still happened, but it happened to the wrong part of the filesystem, with the obvious catastrophic end results."


        In other words, when you'd run the release candidate code and you ran out of memory, your computer would do what it was supposed to do and write idle data and programs to the swap file. So far, so good. That happens on busy Linux systems every second of the day. Here, though, instead of being written safely to the swap file, data was written on top of your existing files. Thus, with this bug, your computer could shortly come to a complete and utter stop.

        Or, as Torvalds put it, "you can end up with a filesystem that is essentially overwritten by random swap data. This is what we in the industry call 'double ungood.'" That's for sure!

      • Google Funds Two Full Time Linux Security Developers | IT Pro

        To help Linux maintainers stay ahead of the black hats, Google has funded two full-time Linux security developers well-versed in open source security.

      • OpenZFS 2.0.4 Released With Linux 5.11 Support, Early Linux 5.12 Compatibility Updates

        OpenZFS 2.0.4 is out as the latest version of this open-source ZFS file-system implementation for Linux and FreeBSD systems.


        OpenZFS 2.0.4 retains compatibility going back all the way to Linux 3.10 while on the BSD side remains focused on FreeBSD 12/13.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 470 Series Driver Looks Like It Will Bring OpenCL 3.0 Support - Phoronix

          We are already quite eager for NVIDIA's 470 series Linux driver due to Wayland / DMA-BUF improvements coming to this next major feature release for their proprietary driver stack. Making it all the more exciting is it looks like the NVIDIA 470 series driver will have OpenCL 3.0 support.

          NVIDIA today released an updated WSL driver for use on Windows 10. What makes this notable though is the driver adding support for OpenCL 3.0.

          Today's R470 beta (470.05) driver drop is the WSL/Windows driver build but considering NVIDIA's driver stack is largely shared across platforms and OpenCL is equally -- or even more -- important on Linux systems, it's likely safe to assume their Linux driver will also be supporting OpenCL 3.0 either for its inaugural 470 series beta or shortly thereafter. Such features not explicitly tied closely into the OS/platform tend to be supported across NVIDIA's Windows and Linux drivers roughly around the same time.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Photos

        Google has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

        What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

        In this series, we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We’ll recommend open source solutions.

      • Flatpak 1.10.2 Security Update Fixes Vulnerability That Lets Flatpak Apps Access Host OS Files

        Flatpak 1.10.2 isn’t a big update, but it’s here to address a security vulnerability that could lead to potential attacks where a Flatpak app could gain access to files on the host operating system via a custom formatted .desktop file.

        This release also fixes some memory leaks and includes various test fixes, and includes a fix for an issue with X11 cookies on the openSUSE Linux operating system. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you update your Flatpak installations to version 1.10.2 as soon as it lands in the your distro’s stable repositories.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install latest openSUSE TumbleWeed

        The last month we have written a Complete guided article on How to Install Opensuse Leap 15.2; after that, we have received multiple requests for a Tumbleweed guide.

        opensuse Leap and opensuse Tumbleweed Installation are completely identical because both use the YAST2 installer. Once you know how to Install Tumbleweed, you can easily Install openSUSE Leap.

      • How To Install Anaconda on Manjaro 20 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Anaconda on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Anaconda is a popular Python/R data science and machine learning platform, used for large-scale data processing, predictive analytics, and scientific computing. Anaconda is available in four editions namely individual (open source) edition, commercial edition, team edition, and enterprise edition. Anaconda individual edition is the world’s most popular Python distribution platform with over 20 million users worldwide.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Anaconda on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • How to measure elapsed time in bash

        Elapsed time is the amount of wall-clock time that has passed between the beginning and the end of a particular event. In other words, elapsed time is a measurement of actual time taken for the event to complete. It is common to to measure elapsed time as part of application performance analysis and profiling. While you are working on a bash script, you may also want to add instrumentation in your script to calculate elapsed time for various components (e.g., a bash function, an external command, etc). In this tutorial, let's find out how to measure elapsed time in a bash script.

        The most common way to measure elapsed time in bash is to utilize the date command, which can show the current system date and time in a configurable format. Using the flexiblity of date's display format, you can easily calculate elapsed time with different resolutions.

      • HardInfo: Check Hardware Information in Linux – Linux Hint

        Computer hardware is a combination of various components, such as motherboard, CPU, GPU, memory, and other I/O devices. It is good for Linux users to have a basic knowledge of the hardware components of the system that they are currently using. This will help administrators to manage the required devices accordingly.

        This article shows you how to check the hardware information in Ubuntu using various methods. These options are discussed in the sections that follow.

      • How to List Startup Services at Boot Time in Fedora Linux? – Linux Hint

        Red Hat invented the ‘systemd’ as a manager for system and service on Linux OS. It is compatible with the old SysV and LSB init scripts with more features such as simultaneous start-up of system services at boot time, daemon (background process) activation on-demand, or service control logic based on dependency. Systemd brings the concept of systemd units in Linux. For e.g., service unit, target unit, mount unit etc. are unit types with file extension as .service, .target, .mount respectively. The configurational file representing these units are stored inside the directories: /usr/lib/systemd/system/, /run/systemd/system/, /etc/systemd/system/

        Earlier versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) used init scripts. These scripts were written in BASH and were located in the directory “/etc/rc.d/init.d/”. These are scripts used to control the services and daemons. Later in RHEL 7, service units were introduced to replace the init scripts. Fedora, which is an upstream OS of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has started using the systemd from the Fedora version 15.

        Service units have .service file extensions and have similar roles as init scripts. “Systemd” uses the “systemctl” utility to manage system services. It can be used to view, start, stop, restart, enable or disable these services.

      • How do I Access a Remote Desktop from Debian 10? – Linux Hint

        By accessing a remote desktop, we essentially mean that we want to access the desktop environment that is running on another computer system from our computer system. This strategy is generally used to provide technical support to customers by remotely accessing their computer systems. There can be several other use cases of adopting this strategy. In today’s article, we will learn how to access a remote desktop from a Debian 10 system.

      • How to Fix “failed to start hostname.service unit hostname.service is masked” Error – Linux Hint

        Whenever you bring in a new computer system, there is a default hostname associated with it that is mapped onto a specific IP address. However, you can always change this hostname for your convenience. Once you change the hostname of your Linux-based system, you should always restart the “hostname.service” module for the new changes to take effect. Sometimes, when restarting this service, you may encounter the “failed to start hostname.service unit hostname.service is masked” error. This article highlights the root cause of this error and shows you how to resolve this error.

      • Different Ways to Use Column Command in Linux

        Have you ever been in a situation to work with CSV files and produce output in structured tabular format? Recently I was working with data cleansing on a file that is not in a proper structure. It has so many whitespaces between each column and I have to convert it to CSV format to push to the database. After cleaning and creating the output in CSV format, my output is not visually appealing to verify data integrity in the CSV file. This is the time the “Column” command comes in handy to me.

        According to manpage, the column command “columnate lists”. In simple words, the column is a simple utility that can format your output into a column format (rows and fields) based on the structure of your source file. The column command is part of the util-linux package.

        An important point to note here is column command behaves differently in Debian-based and Rhel-based distros. The reason is Debian-based distro uses “column” from bsdmainutils instead of util-linux. The upstream version of the column command is newer than the bsdmainutils package. Take a look at the bug report to know more about this.

      • 8 Examples to Add Static Routes in PAN-OS PaloAlto from CLI and Console

        Managing routes is an essential configuration task for network admins who are managing firewalls.

        If you are using the PaloAlto firewall, this tutorial explains how to add static routes using both the PAN-OS command line interface and from the PaloAlto Firewall Console.

      • Kanboard: A simple to deploy, easy to use Kanban board for project management - TechRepublic

        If your small business is looking for a better way to manage projects and you prefer an open source solution, there's one piece of software you can install on a data center server that will meet your needs well. That solution is Kanboard.

      • Look Up Word Definitions with WordNet and a Shell Script

        Sometimes, a stupidly simple tool that took two minutes to make can prove to be a rather useful timesaver. My latest short shell script is a case in point. As a technical writer, I have to make sure that the words I use don't introduce ambiguity. This means that every now and then I need to look up a word to check its precise meaning. Usually I'd use the available online references for that, but I wanted to make the process more efficient.

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

        Today we are looking at how to install MetaTrader 4 (MT4) with the EXNESS Broker on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Build a Multi-Step Registration App with Animated Transitions Using the MERN Stack

        In this article, we will build an amazing Multi Step Registration form with smooth animated transitions using the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js).

    • Distributions

      • Top 7 Lightweight Linux Distributions

        Linux distributions are developed to appeal to users with high-end systems. The newer Linux distributions are becoming really difficult to run on older machines. Without enough system memory and an additional core or two, these distributions may not deliver on performance.

        Many lightweight Linux distributions can be used to reincarnate older machines. The lightweight distros that will be discussed in this guide can give a new life to your older devices. Depending upon your requirements, various applications can also be installed, and they may even serve as an alternative for your current environment. This guide discusses the top seven lightweight Linux distributions available in 2021.

      • Linux Mint Cinnamon vs MATE vs Xfce: Which One Should You Use?

        Linux Mint is undoubtedly one of the best Linux distributions for beginners. This is especially true for Windows users that walking their first steps to Linux world.

        Since 2006, the year that Linux Mint made its first release, a selection of tools has been developed to enhance user experience. Furthermore, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, so you have a large community of users to seek help.

        I am not going to discuss how good Linux Mint is. If you have already made your mind to install Linux Mint, you probably get a little confused on the download section on its website.

        It gives you three options to choose from: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. Confused? I’ll help you with that in this article.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint Cinnamon vs MATE vs Xfce: Which One Should You Use?

          Decided to use Linux Mint but confused with the available choices of Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce variants? This will help you with which Linux Mint version should you use.

        • Desktop Webapps

          I appreciate many people already know how to do this, but I’m surprised how many don’t, or don’t realise what it does. Forgive me if you know about this feature of Google Chrome. A little while back I managed to win two separate eBay auctions for 16GiB DDR3 SODIMMs to install in my ThinkPad T450. This took it from the previously installed 16GiB to the expansive 32GiB.


          Sometimes I’ll use the Super+Numeral to fast-switch to a specific app from the launcher. Maybe I’ll also click a specific icon in the launcher to bring it to the front. But predominantly I’m a creature of habit, and that habit is Alt-Tab-Tab-Tab, Shift-Tab to sail past the application I want, stamp on the brakes and go back to the one I need. So having all my favourite applications as tabs doesn’t fit my workflow (as I believe they call it). Pressing Alt-Tab then clicking a tab, or Alt-Tab then Alt-Num - especially when I have more than 10 tabs open - isn’t gonna work for me. I like to see the familiar icon of an application, and switch to it directly, not via a Alt-Two-Step.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 3 open source tools for producing video tutorials

        I've learned that video tutorials are a great way to teach my students, and open source tools have helped me take my video-production skills to the next level. This article will explain how to get started and add artfulness and creativity to your video tutorial projects.

        I'll describe an end-to-end workflow for making video tutorials using open source tools for each subtask. For the purposes of this tutorial, making a video is the "task," and the various steps to make the video are the "subtasks." Those subtasks are video screen capture, video recording, video editing, audio recording, and effort estimation. Other tools include hardware such as cameras and microphones. My workflow also includes effort estimation as a subtask, but it's more of a general skill that parallels the idea of effort estimation when developing software.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza”

          Meet “Esperanza”, the first WordPress release of 2021. “Esperanza” is named in honor of Esperanza Spalding, a modern musical prodigy. Her path as a musician is varied and inspiring—learn more about her and give her music a listen!

          With this new version, WordPress brings you fresh colors. The editor helps you work in a few places you couldn’t before without getting into code or hiring a pro. The controls you use most are right where you need them. Layout changes that should be simple, are even simpler to make.

      • Education

        • OpenUK Organises 10-lesson Course and Compeition for Young People

          For the second year in a row, OpenUK will organise its Kids Camp in July 2021. This year’s camp includes a 10-lesson course and accompanying digital magazines, just like in 2020. Last year, OpenUK also organised a giveaway when they gave away over 3000 MiniMU musical glove kits to young people, schools and community groups in the UK, which OpenUK hopes to repeat. An ongoing focus of the course will be sustainability, which will also be the theme of the accompanying Kids Competition.

      • FSF

        • Linaro to release monthly GNU Toolchain integration builds
          Linaro Ltd, the open-source collaborative engineering organization
          developing software for the Arm€® ecosystem, today announced the first GNU
          Toolchain integration build. 

          The builds are available to download the first week of every month from Linaro Snapshots.

          GNU Toolchain is a collection of open-source programming tools that developers can use to compile, link and debug their software projects. Since 2010, Linaro has been consistently listed as one of the top ten contributors to the GNU Toolchain.

          Every six months, Arm releases the official GNU Toolchain release for Arm architectures for the purpose of production. Linaro will bridge the gap between the official releases by delivering monthly integration builds which offer users a snapshot of the upstream build. Although not supported, having access to these builds will allow developers to test features from a pre-built binary as soon as it lands upstream. The builds will also enable companies to check their BSP (Board Support Package) release will work with newer toolchains without having to wait for an official release.

          “Linaro’s goal is to empower the Arm ecosystem, making it easier for those with a need for a binary toolchain to have access before an official release", said Mike Holmes, Director of Foundation Technologies at Linaro. “By having access to the monthly GNU Toolchain integration builds, developers can feel more confident that their system will be stable against the future full release.”
        • FSF’s LibrePlanet 2021 Free Software Conference Is This Weekend, Online Only

          On Saturday and Sunday, March 20th and 21st, 2021, free software supporters from all over the world will log in to share knowledge and experiences, and to socialize with others within the free software community. This year’s theme is “Empowering Users,” and keynotes will be Julia Reda, Nathan Freitas, and Nadya Peek. Free Software Foundation (FSF) associate members and students attend gratis at the Supporter level.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Is open source the future of office software?

        There are a couple of significant benefits of opting for an open source alternative to Office; the products are almost always free and often benefit from continual improvement from a large network of committed developers.

        We caught up with Italo Vignoli of The Document Foundation, which oversees popular open source productivity software suite LibreOffice, to hear more about the project and where it is headed in the future.

  • Leftovers

    • The Cat in the Tinfoil Hat
    • Afghan Buddha in virtual return on anniversary of destruction by Taliban

      Twenty years after being blasted out of Afghanistan's rugged central highlands, one of the country's famed Buddha statues made a brief virtual return Tuesday night as a three-dimensional projection filled the alcove that hosted the statue for centuries.

      The projection topped off a day commemorating the destruction of the two famous Buddha statues by the Taliban in March 2001 in central Afghanistan's Bamiyan valley.

      "We do not want people to forget what a horrific crime was committed here," said Zahra Hussaini, one of the organisers of the "A night with Buddha" event.

    • Education

      • What Black Schools Mean to Black Kids

        I am a proud product of the Chicago public schools, which is to say that despite the controversy and corruption that have plagued the nation’s third-largest school district throughout its history, I think I fared pretty well within its halls. I was privileged to attend what were then high-performing magnet institutions from first through 12th grade. My elementary school had a nearly 100 percent Black student population, and the majority of the teachers, staff, and administrators reflected that. In high school, my Black classmates and I were about 60 percent of the student body; today, my alma mater has the same Black woman principal who had to call my mom when I smoked an herbal cigarette inside a school building just a few weeks after she’d written a recommendation for me to attend Howard University. I never had to be the only Black kid anywhere growing up, and as an adult I created a life in which I am rarely the only Black person in any situation that I might have to endure for more than a few hours.1

      • Harvard’s History of Inscrutable Tenure Denials

        Cornel West, the outspoken public intellectual, made good on his promise to leave Harvard after he said the university denied a faculty committee’s request that he be considered for tenure.

      • When We See, Learn, and Act, and Use the Counterfactual

        In March of 1991, at the age of 13, my life changed. I watched footage of police violence so staggeringly brutal that I had a million questions and no answers. My father tried to explain the histories of racism and violence, but there was no making sense of what happened to Rodney King; how could anyone continue the assault after he had gone completely limp? The world saw with graphic clarity what oppressed communities had known and rightly complained about for decades. I would never have believed it, but then I saw it.

        My younger students cannot imagine a world without cellphones to record so much of what happens. Footage of brutality surfaces on a near daily occurrence, but 30 years since my wake-up call I see that we have watched and done nothing. We learn, but do we act?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Disparity by Design: How Urban Planning and Housing Policy Helped Create 'Food Apartheid' in US Cities

        The U.S. Department of Agriculture€ estimates that 54.4 million Americans€ live in low-income areas with poor access to healthy food.

      • Opinion | The Daunting Water Crisis Requires a Bold Federal Response

        In Jackson, Mississippi, and throughout the South, communities are struggling to meet their residents' most basic needs.

      • The Year of the Vaccine
      • WHO Finds Violence Against Women 'Remains Devastatingly Pervasive,' Affecting 1 in 3 Worldwide

        "Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic."

      • Texas Governor Lifts Pandemic Restrictions While Blaming Migrants for COVID
      • Texas Gov. Lifts Pandemic Restrictions, Defying Public Health Experts, and Blames Migrants for COVID

        Texas is the largest state to lift its mandate on face masks and fully reopen businesses, joining a growing movement in states governed by Republicans to ease pandemic restrictions even as experts warn it is too soon to do so, despite the accelerating pace of vaccinations in the United States. “This is completely politically motivated,” says Dr. Dona Murphey, a physician scientist and community organizer in Houston who is helping to lead a campaign demanding Texas reinstate the mask mandate. She says Republican Governor Greg Abbott is ending the state’s pandemic restrictions as “a maneuver to conceal failures” related to the Texas electrical grid, which went down during a recent winter storm.

      • Calling Covid-19 a Crisis of Humanity's Own Making, Coalition Says Healing 'Broken Relationship With Nature' Key to Stopping Next Pandemic

        Unless preventative action is taken, there is "a high risk that we will make the same mistake again."

      • The People vs Agent Orange
      • Has NYT Heard of China’s or Russia’s Covid Vaccines?
      • Brawling Over Vaccines: Export Bans and the EU’s Bungled Rollout

        These initial hopes have been shredded.€  While the vaccination programs in Israel, the United Kingdom and even the United States have gathered form and speed, it has stuttered and stumbled in the EU.€  The companies behind the vaccines have been patchy in their production lines.€  Authorities have put halts on jabs and in some cases, introduced rationing.

        In January, the manufacturers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine informed the European Commission that it would ship fewer doses to the bloc than originally understood.€  “While there is no scheduled delay to the start of shipments of our vaccine should we receive approval in Europe,” a spokesperson for AstraZeneca explained, “initial volumes will be lower than originally anticipated due to reduced yields at a manufacturing site within our European supply chain.”€  The initial cut in supply was dramatic: from the initially promised number of 90 million does, the number would be 40 million.

      • Texans Recovering From COVID-19 Needed Oxygen. Then the Power Went Out.

        HOUSTON — Mauricio Marin felt his heart tighten when the power flicked off at his Richmond, Texas, home on the evening of Feb. 14, shutting down his plug-in breathing machine. Gasping, he rushed to connect himself to one of the portable oxygen tanks his doctors had sent home with him weeks earlier to help his lungs recover after his three-week stay in a COVID-19 intensive care unit.

        Between the two portable tanks, he calculated, he had six hours of air.

      • French nuclear tests infected 'almost entire Polynesian population': report

        France concealed the levels of radioactivity that French Polynesia was exposed to during French nuclear tests in the Pacific from 1966-1996, with almost the "entire population" of the overseas territory infected, a report said on Tuesday.

        Online investigation site Disclose said it had over two years analysed some 2,000 pages of French military documents declassified in 2013 by the defence ministry concerning nuclear tests on the archipelago.

      • How anti-vax rhetoric sneaks past Instagram’s content moderation system

        Vaccine misinformation is particularly noticeable within the world of Instagram's health and wellness influencers. Scrolling through their space, it's easy to find posts from self-described "wellness coaches" spreading false claims about the vaccine — posts that evade the Instagram pop-up that appears over posts designed to direct readers to credible information from health officials.

      • INMO calls on WTO to waive vaccine intellectual property rules

        INMO deputy general secretary Dave Hughes said: “Vaccine supply is the key issue in Ireland and around the world, and intellectual property rights cannot be the deciding factor in when we finally emerge from this pandemic.

        “Delays in obtaining high levels of vaccine coverage anywhere in the world mean all of us in every country face a longer period of restrictions, and continued pressure on our health services.”

        INMO president Karen McGowan said: “We need to stand with healthcare workers everywhere in the fight against Covid-19, but this is more than a question of solidarity.

        “It’s very clear that the success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Ireland and Europe depends on equitable vaccine rollout worldwide. “

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, March 2021 Edition

          On the off chance you were looking for more security to-dos from Microsoft today…the company released software updates to plug more than 82 security flaws in Windows and other supported software. Ten of these earned Microsoft’s “critical” rating, meaning they can be exploited by malware or miscreants with little or no help from users.

        • Warning the World of a Ticking Time Bomb

          Globally, hundreds of thousand of organizations running Exchange email servers from Microsoft just got mass-hacked, including at least 30,000 victims in the United States. Each hacked server has been retrofitted with a “web shell” backdoor that gives the bad guys total, remote control, the ability to read all email, and easy access to the victim’s other computers. Researchers are now racing to identify, alert and help victims, and hopefully prevent further mayhem.

        • 3.17 lakh cyber crimes in India in just 18 months, says government

          "As per the data maintained, since its inception 3,17,439 cyber crime incidents and 5,771 FIRs have been registered up to February 28, 2021 in the country which includes, 21,562 cyber crime incidents and 87 FIRs in Karnataka and 50,806 cyber crime incidents and 534 FIRs in Maharashtra," he said in a written reply to a question.

          The minister said incidents reported on this portal, their conversion into FIRs and subsequent action thereon are handled by the state and Union Territory law enforcement agency concerned as per the provisions of the law.

        • Strange but true: everyone except Microsoft is blamed for Exchange Server attacks

          If I forget to lock the front door of my house and leave a pile of money on a table inside, would anyone sympathise with me if I came back and found I had been robbed? I would not expect any sympathy, given that the robbery was due to my stupidity.

          Yet, the whole technology industry is expected to be sympathetic to Microsoft and not say a word about the abysmal security in its products. One finds the occasional tale in tech rags about Microsoft's security staffers burning the midnight oil to build patches and the general tone is, "oh poor Microsoft, what nasty people do this to them?"

          Microsoft does not bother about security because there is no money to be made by spending time on sorting out bugs. Instead, it keeps releasing new features in existing products, or new products, because this will generate more revenue.

        • 'Really messy': Why the [crack] of Microsoft's email system is getting worse [iophk: Windows TCO]

          hile there is no official, public list of victims, the full tally is “definitely in the tens of thousands,” Read said. “There's definitely a lot of small-, medium-sized entities. That's the customer base of Exchange.”

          A White House National Security Council spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the Biden administration “is undertaking a whole-of-government response to assess and address the impact.”

        • [Crackers] accessed 150K surveillance cameras inside hospitals, police stations and Tesla: report

          The breach affected security camera data provided by Verkada, according to the news outlet. It was reportedly carried out by an international hacking collective that wanted to show how easy it was to breach video surveillance.

        • [Crackers] Breach Thousands of Security Cameras, Exposing Tesla, Jails, Hospitals

          A group of [attackers] say they breached a massive trove of security-camera data collected by Silicon Valley startup Verkada Inc., gaining access to live feeds of 150,000 surveillance cameras inside hospitals, companies, police departments, prisons and schools.

        • Security

          • US urges IT network firms to secure controls after cyberattack
          • Microsoft Exchange mass-hack flaw known since January, around for years
          • Microsoft quantum lab retracts published paper: Readings that cast doubt on crucial discovery went AWOL
          • git: malicious repositories can execute remote code while cloning [Ed: A problem for Windows]

            The Git project released new versions on Tuesday, March 9th 2021 addressing CVE-2021-21300.

            This vulnerability affects platforms with case-insensitive filesystems with support for symbolic links, when certain clean/smudge filters are configured globally (e.g. Git LFS).

            The fixed versions are v2.17.6, v2.18.5, v2.19.6, v2.20.5, v2.21.4, v2.22.5, v2.23.4, v2.24.4, v2.25.5, v2.26.3, v2.27.1, v2.28.1, v2.29.3, and v2.30.2.

            Link to the announcement:

            We highly recommend to upgrade.

            The addressed issue is:

            * CVE-2021-21300: On case-insensitive filesystems, with support for symbolic links, if Git is configured globally to apply delay-capable clean/smudge filters (such as Git LFS), Git could be fooled into running remote code during a clone.

            Demo exploit:


            git init delayed-checkout && ( cd delayed-checkout && echo "A/post-checkout filter=lfs diff=lfs merge=lfs" \ >.gitattributes && mkdir A && printf '#!/bin/sh\n\necho PWNED >&2\n' >A/post-checkout && chmod +x A/post-checkout && >A/a && >A/b && git add -A && rm -rf A && ln -s .git/hooks a && git add a && git commit -m initial ) && git clone delayed-checkout cloned

            With Git LFS enabled globally, this will print "PWNED" during the clone on case-insensitive file systems with support for symbolic links (such as NTFS, HFS+, etc).

            Credit for finding the vulnerability goes to Matheus Tavares who also worked with me on fixing it.

            Thanks, Johannes
          • A Git security release

            Several new versions of the Git source-code management system have been released; they fix a vulnerability that could allow a hostile remote repository to execute code locally during a clone operation. Only users with case-insensitive filesystems are affected, reducing the set of possible targets considerably, but an update still seems like a good idea.

          • Sign of the primes: Linux Foundation serves up free code-signing service ● The Register

            The Linux Foundation, with the support of Google, Red Hat, and Purdue University, is launching a service called sigstore to help developers sign the code they release.

            Signing code involves associating a cryptographic signature with a specific digital artifact – release files, container images, and binaries – so that the person using the software can check the code's signature to verify that the release is authentic and hasn't been altered by someone along the way.

            "Sigstore enables all open source communities to sign their software and combines provenance, integrity and discoverability to create a transparent and auditable software supply chain," said Luke Hinds, security engineering lead in Red Hat's office of the CTO, in a statement.

          • Linux Foundation announces new open-source software signing service | ZDNet

            The just-announced sigstore aims to improve the security of the software supply chain by enabling the easy adoption of cryptographic software signing backed by transparency log technologies. It will do this by empowering developers to securely sign software artifacts such as release files, container images, and binaries. These signing records will then be kept in a tamper-proof public log. This service will be free for all developers and software providers to use. The sigstore code and operation tooling that will be used to make this work is still being developed by the sigstore community.

          • Surveillance

            • EFF to Supreme Court: States Face High Burden to Justify Forcing Groups to Turn Over Donor Names
            • Scholars Under Surveillance: How Campus Police Use High Tech to Spy on Students

              It may be many months before college campuses across the U.S. fully reopen, but when they do, many students will be returning to a learning environment that is under near constant scrutiny by law enforcement.€ 

              A fear of school shootings, and other campus crimes, have led administrators and campus police to install sophisticated surveillance systems that go far beyond run-of-the-mill security camera networks to include drones, gunshot detection sensors, and much more. Campuses have also adopted automated license plate readers, ostensibly to enforce parking rules, but often that data feeds into the criminal justice system. Some campuses use advanced biometric software to verify whether students are eligible to eat in the cafeteria. Police have even adopted new technologies to investigate activism on campus. Often, there is little or no justification for why a school needs such technology, other than novelty or asserted convenience.€ 

              In July 2020, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Reynolds School of Journalism at University of Nevada, Reno launched the Atlas of Surveillance, a database of now more than 7,000 surveillance technologies deployed by law enforcement agencies across the United States. In the process of compiling this data we noticed a peculiar trend: college campuses are acquiring a surprising number of surveillance technologies more common to metropolitan areas that experience high levels of violent crime.€ 

            • Twitter is reinventing itself

              On today’s episode of Decoder, I talk with Kayvon Beykpour, the head of consumer product at Twitter. He’s responsible for deciding what tools Twitter actually builds for people to express themselves. Twitter’s product is incredibly important — it is a flashpoint of interest and controversy for politicians and regulators around the world, and it often seems like politicians in our own government don’t know the difference between Twitter and real life.

            • Dropbox to acquire DocSend for US$165 million

              The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 2021 and is expected to have an immaterial impact on 2021 operating results.

            • America grapples with regulating surveillance technology

              Ineffective facial recognition risks false identification, particularly of non-white people. A 2019 study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal agency, tested 189 facial-recognition algorithms from 99 developers, and found that they were far worse at identifying Asian and African-American faces than white ones—sometimes giving as many as 100 times more false positives for non-white faces than for white ones.

              Similar concerns have led other jurisdictions to mull or impose limits on the use of facial recognition. A police-reform measure due to take effect in Massachusetts in July, for instance, requires that police obtain judicial approval before running a facial-recognition search, and then have someone else do it for them. Similar measures have been introduced in at least seven state legislatures.

            • Microsoft is ending support for the old non-Chromium Edge

              Legacy Edge was originally codenamed “Spartan” and was included with Windows 10 as the operating system’s default web browser before it was officially named Edge. The Edge mantle is being taken up by Microsoft’s Chromium-based browser, which was in beta throughout 2019 and officially launched in January 2020. This means Edge (the old Edge, that is) survived just over a year alongside its replacement. Microsoft also says Legacy Edge will automatically be removed by the April Windows 10 update, with the new Edge being installed in its stead.

            • Google is working to solve the Chromebook's support problem

              PCs have no expiration date. Chromebooks do. However, executives at Google said Tuesday that they’re working with Chromebook makers to ensure that you won’t end up buying a Chromebook that will go out of support anytime soon.

              During a press briefing to mark the 10th anniversary of Chrome OS and Chromebooks on Tuesday, a reporter asked the Google executives on the call about a typical Chromebook experience: Once a Chromebook’s support window expires, it won’t receive updates. If a website or service requires an up-to-date browser to access it, does that mean the unsupported Chromebook is now worthless?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Beyond Domination

        There is a well-established tradition of scholarly writing that treats geographical areas of the world as natural, preformed backgrounds against which historical events unfold. This perspective, with roots in Enlightenment thinkers like Montesquieu, lives on in the work of conservative political theorists like Samuel Huntington, for whom civilizations were built on permanent geo-ethnic blocs, as well as in the work of Marxist scholars like Immanuel Wallerstein, for whom center and periphery were products of long-term geographical imbalances.

      • 'Kill Me Instead': Despite Nun's Pleas, Military Junta Shoots Pro-Democracy Protesters in Myanmar

        "We heard loud gunshots, and saw that a young kid's head had exploded, and there was a river of blood on the street," said Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng. "We need to value life. It made me feel so sad."

      • Proposals for new Europol Regulation

        The EU police agency is to process more „big data“ and receive personal data from private companies. Preventive cooperation with third countries will be expanded, this also concerns secret services.

      • The Inspired Terrorists Who Invaded the Capitol Were Your Neighbors!

        Instead of describing the makeup of the rioters who broke into the Capitol, both the liberal and conservative TV media covered the event by asking who was responsible for organizing the attack and for not properly preparing for it.

        The liberal stations tended to focus on the more clearly identified militant terrorist groups,€ like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers as the on-site leaders.€ After vehemently criticizing the siege of the Capitol, the conservative commentators managed to accuse the Democrats, particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for failing to protect the Capitol from the Trump rioters. They made little mention of the various right-wing militant groups that were in front of the mob.

      • Bully Biden bombs Syria, Slashes COVID-19 Payments and Drops $15 minimum wage

        This U.S.-led cabal had convened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December 2015 with 116 participants – none representing the Syrian government – to negotiate among themselves Syria’s anticipated division and its future “leaders.” President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry effectively presided over this “Syrian Opposition Conference.” Said Kerry, “We welcome the positive outcome of the gathering of the Syrian opposition in Riyadh today including reaching a consensus on principles for a pluralistic and democratic [division of] Syria… We appreciate that this extremely diverse group of Syrians put aside differences in the interest of building a new Syria.”

        Warmaker Biden

      • Yemen’s Death Sentence

        How things have changed from just three years ago.€  There were $2.01 billion in pledges in 2018, “100 per cent of which were fulfilled,” according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.€  Pledges the following year rose to $2.6 billion.

        Then came 2020.€  That year’s pledges of $1.35 billion fell a billion dollars short of the UN goal of $3.4 billion.

      • Death to Infidel Women and Children!

        Perhaps the take away from all this is that, so long as Muslims see and/or portray themselves as the victims—and most Muslims, “moderate” or “radical,” see the Muslim world as on the defensive, including those young Muslims who plotted to bomb a Paris building and even most members of the Islamic State and virtually every other terrorist group—so long will anything go in the jihad.

      • Jordanian Jihadi Ideologue Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi Issues Fatwa Deeming Muslim Secularists 'More Malicious' And 'Worse Than Christians And Jews'

        He then classified secularists, noting that they are not all at the same level of unbelief. The "most evil and malicious type of secularists," according to Al-Maqdisi, are "the type of Pharaoh and those who detest and reject religion completely... prevent people from believing it and reject its rules and declare their atheism." The level after that, he wrote, are "those who are not hostile against the religion but they reject its involvement in worldly matters, governing, and politics. And there is a third group whom we could call ErdoÄŸanists. They have their own definition of secularism as they do accept shari'a verbally and may be in their personal behavior but they would not include it in governing and political systems and they consider all religions and their adherents equal as they would not disavow any aspects of the false beliefs and they would not consider Islam any different from or superior to them."

      • Italian police arrest IS suspect over 2015 Paris attacks

        Investigators said the 36-year-old was part of an IS cell that had been operating in France and Belgium with his two brothers, according to Italian media.

        He had reportedly already been in prison in Bari for carrying false documents and was set to be released in June.

        The suspect is also believed to have had contact with two of the extremists involved in the Paris attacks of January 2015, who attacked a Jewish supermarket and the Charlie Hebdo newsroom.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Google Employees Demand Whistleblower Protections After Retaliation Against AI Researchers

        The post was originally published as part of The Dissenter newsletter. To subscribe, go here.“Is there anyone working on regulation protecting Ethical AI researchers, similar to whistleblower protection?” Timnit Gebru asked on Twitter. “Because with the amount of censorship and intimidation that goes on towards people in specific groups, how does anyone trust any real research in this area can take place?”Gebru, a Black woman, was the co-lead of Google’s “Ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI)” team. On December 2, two days after posting this message, Google fired Gebru. It was in response to an ethics research paper that reportedly included€ criticism€ of the€ environmental impact€ of AI models.Now, AI researcher Dr. Margaret Mitchell, who was also involved in leading the “Ethical AI” team, was fired on March 5 after Google locked her “out of her work account for five anxious weeks.” The retaliation came after she€ shared a document€ with Google’s public relations department that questioned their stated reasons for terminating Gebru.Google Walkout For Real Change (GWRC), a group of Google employees, have seized the moment to demand Congress and state legislatures strengthen whistleblower protections for tech employees like Gebru and Mitchell.“The existing legal infrastructure for whistleblowing at corporations developing technologies is wholly insufficient,” GWRC€ declares. “Researchers and other tech workers need protections, which allow them to call out harmful technology when they see it, and whistleblower protection can be a€ powerful tool€ for guarding against the worst abuses of the private entities which create these technologies.”As UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology co-director Sonia Katyal told VentureBeat’s Khari Johnson in December, “What we should be concerned about is a world where all of the most talented researchers like [Gebru] get hired at these places and then effectively muzzled from speaking. And when that happens, whistleblower protections become essential.”Johnson noted Katyal is “concerned about a clash between the rights of a business to not disclose information about an algorithm and the civil rights of an individual to live in a world free of discrimination. This will increasingly become a problem, she warned, as government agencies take data or AI service contracts from private companies.”There are a number of examples that show a need for whistleblower protection to protect AI researchers, who challenge corporations from within their industries. Like Johnson highlighted, “A fall 2019€ study in Nature€ found that an algorithm used in hospitals may have been involved in the discrimination against millions of Black people in the United States. A more recent story reveals how€ an algorithm€ prevented Black people from receiving kidney transplants.”“Drs. Mitchell and Gebru also built one of the most diverse teams in Google Research, people who could€ connect€ their lived experiences to practices of power, subjection, and domination which get encoded into AI and other data-driven systems,” according to GWRC.

        The group maintains Gebru and Mitchell were “working in the public interest” and spent time critically examining the “benefits and risks of powerful AI systems — especially those whose potential harms outside of the Google workplace were likely to be overlooked or minimized in the name of profit or efficiency.” (Both also complained about workplace conditions to the human resources department.)“Google workers have been organizing from within, raising inextricably linked issues of toxic workplace conditions and unethical and harmful tech to leadership and to the public,” GWRC adds. “With the firing of Drs. Mitchell and Gebru, Google has made it clear that they believe they are powerful enough to withstand the public backlash and are not concerned with publicly damaging their employees’ careers and mental health.”“They have also shown that they are willing to crack down hard on anyone who would perturb the company’s quest for growth and profit.”The group concludes, “Google is not committed to making itself better and has to be held accountable by organized workers with the unwavering support of social movements, civil society, and the research community beyond.”

      • France to speed up access to Algeria war files

        France said on Tuesday that researchers will get easier access to classified government files more than 50 years old, especially those pertaining to the Algerian war, still a highly controversial chapter of French history.

        President Emmanuel Macron has ordered the archives services to speed up access to documents that qualify for declassification up to 1970, his office said in a statement, "notably documents relating to the Algerian war".

        French heritage laws say official documents must be released to researchers and the public after 50 years.

    • Environment

      • Bialowieza: Poland to resume logging in primeval forest

        The forest, a Unesco World Heritage Site shared with Belarus, was the centre of discord between the EU and Poland from 2016 to 2018.

        Logging was suspended in 2018 after the European Court of Justice ruled that Poland had broken EU law by felling trees that were older than 100 years.

        The government says logging is needed to clear paths and protect trees from an infestation of spruce bark beetle.

      • $1 Million Nurdle Spill Settlement Shines Light on Plastic Pollution During Shipping

        But, in July 2019, Charleston environmental lawyer Andrew Wunderley arrived on the beach after getting a tip from a dog walker who’d noticed something strange in the sands along Sullivan’s Island. Wunderley arrived to discover an extraordinary number of tiny white bits, so dense and widespread on the beach and in the surf that he later compared them to sleet. The bits were newly manufactured pieces of plastic resin, known as nurdles, which pose hazards to wildlife and contaminate the environment as they breakdown into€ microplastics.

      • Poorest people will suffer worst from cities’ heat

        As ever, the poorest people will most feel the heat in a hotter world. But a green growth initiative could help them.

      • Wildfires Will Keep Getting Worse -- Even in “Best Case” Climate Scenarios
      • Opinion | We Are Local Leaders Uniting to Hold Climate Polluters Accountable

        We wouldn't be forced to tackle these unprecedented challenges were it not for the oil and gas industry that has spent decades€ polluting our climate€ and€ lying about it€ in order to protect their profits.€ 

      • Energy

        • 'A Big, Big Deal': Climate Activists Applaud Rutgers University's Fossil Fuel Divestment Plan

          "This powerful decision," said Naomi Klein, "sends an unequivocal market message that the era of fossil fuels is finally coming to an end and that our collective future rests with clean, renewable energy."

        • Opinion | Biden Overturns Trump Policy, Pushes Massive 84-Turbine Offshore Wind Farm to Power All Southern Massachusetts

          The $3 billion wind farm will be America’s first commercial scale offshore wind installation.

        • Federal Court Rules Idaho Pipeline Challenge Can Proceed

          The federal agencies had moved to dismiss the case, but on Monday, the court rejected that challenge.€  The court held that the motion to dismiss was “meritless” and that challenges to “local distribution” pipelines like the Crow Creek pipeline must proceed in federal district court.€  The court pointedly held:€  “Defendants seem to think because the Crow Creek Pipeline will cross the state line of Idaho and Wyoming, the [Natural Gas Act]€  ipso facto continues to apply despite a local distribution service area determination. But the [Natural Gas Act] itself, the caselaw cited, and the record in this case conclusively and swiftly put an end to such a meritless legal position.”

          Last November the Forest Service authorized a private company to clear-cut a 50-foot wide, 18.2-mile-long corridor through National Forest public lands for construction of an underground natural gas pipeline in southeastern Idaho.€  Our public lands are for the public and for our public wildlife — they do not exist for the convenience or profit of the fossil fuel industry.€  We are happy that the court ruled our lawsuit can proceed. We will continue to fight this pipeline and the fossil fuel industry’s refusal to acknowledge that the times are changing and we need to be focusing federal government subsidies on renewable energy and climate-smart policies —€  not continued reliance on fossil fuels.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wildlife Trafficking: 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know
        • Wilderness and Grazing: Time to Send the Cows Home

          The problem of cows (and sheep) in the wilderness goes back to the original debate around enacting the Wilderness Act. House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee Chairman Wayne Aspinall (D Colorado) was a staunch proponent of the livestock industry and would not allow the legislation to pass out of committee for a vote unless some accommodation was made for continued grazing of livestock.

          Even more egregious is that, unlike other public lands, termination of livestock grazing in wilderness areas is more challenging than non-wilderness lands. Livestock grazing can only be eliminated if it has significant impacts on other resource values, and wildlands values are not one of those resources.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russian court fines VKontakte $20,000 for refusing to remove videos calling for participation in unauthorized protests

        A magistrate in St. Petersburg has fined the social networking site VKontakte 1.5 million rubles ($20,280) for refusing to remove content calling for participation in unauthorized protests.

      • Tennessee Lawmakers' Latest Attack On Section 230 Would Basically Ban All Government Investment

        We've been highlighting a wide variety of state bills from Republican-led legislatures that all attempt to attack Section 230. Nearly all of them are blatantly unconstitutional attacks on the 1st Amendment. Somewhat incredibly, the latest one from Tennessee might not actually be unconstitutional. That doesn't mean it's good. In fact, it's not just incredibly stupid, but demonstrates that the bill's authors/sponsors are so fucking clueless that they have no idea what they're doing. In effect, they'd be banning the state from investing any money it holds. To spite Section 230.

      • India is trying to build its own internet

        Several governments are now reckoning with, and seeking to rein in, the power of large global tech companies. Australia, Europe and the United States have floated regulations in recent months that aim to blunt some of that power.

        India is no different in targeting big tech firms, but much of its focus in recent months has been around protecting its national security and sovereignty — and it has a lot of leverage. The country's 750 million internet users, with hundreds of millions more yet to come online for the first time, are crucial to Big Tech's global growth prospects. Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and several others have already poured billions of dollars into growing their Indian operations.

        The Modi government's regulations have created a chilling effect on those companies and emboldened Indian apps to position themselves as a better fit for the country's users. The big question now is whether the government simply promotes and encourages made-in-India apps or creates a regulatory environment where they're the only ones left standing.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Iowa Prosecutors Move Ahead With Prosecuting A Journalist For Being Present At A Protest

        There's an ongoing trial in (of all places) Iowa that cuts to the heart of First Amendment protections for journalists. Andrea Sahouri, an award-winning journalist for the Des Moines Register, was arrested last May during a protest resulting from the killing of an unarmed black man by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.

      • The Talented Mr. Bin Salman

        To his supporters, MbS became first in line to the Saudi throne by championing reform in a deeply conservative Gulf kingdom, taking on corruption, confronting religious extremists, and promising to modernize the economy. “Someone had to do this job — wrench Saudi Arabia into the 21st century — and MBS stepped up,” wrote Thomas Friedman in an oft-cited column from November 2017. “I, for one, am rooting for him to succeed in his reform efforts.”

        Not only impressionable opinion-makers have fallen for the prince’s charm. In 2017, MbS won the reader poll for Time’s person of the year with an astonishing 24 percent of the votes. Second place, at 6 percent, went to the magazine’s eventual pick for its cover, the #MeToo movement, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau garnered a mere 4 percent, Pope Francis 3 percent, and Donald Trump 2 percent.

      • Records Show President Trump Loved Going After Whistleblowers Even More Than Obama Did

        Ah, we were so young then. We excoriated the Obama administration for attacking and prosecuting whistleblowers at a faster clip than any other administration in history.

      • Being owned by a billionaire is a struggling newsroom's dream. But it can turn into a nightmare

        But a rich owner does not necessarily transform a newsroom into a journalism utopia. They are "not a panacea," multiple people who work in these newsrooms told CNN Business. They do tend to alleviate the pressures that come with being a part of a publicly traded company or a hedge fund seeking high profit margins. But staffers are still at the whims of a super rich and sometimes capricious owner, and they often have to deal with some of the same issues they'd face with different owners. Employees must adapt to strategic shifts, often billed as "restructurings." They watch as their colleagues get laid off, resources dwindle and journalism suffers. And on top of that there's always fear that an owner could suddenly decide their hobby needs to make real money and impose painful measures as a result — or simply get bored and sell the company.

      • US Journalist Arrested During Protest on Trial

        Andrea Sahouri, a reporter for The Des Moines Register, was pepper-sprayed and briefly detained after police and protesters clashed during the protest over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the time, Sahouri was with her then-boyfriend, Spenser Robnett, who faces the same charges of failure to disperse and interference with official acts.

        A defense lawyer told jurors Monday that Sahouri was wrongly arrested while doing her job as a journalist.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Insulting Police Would Be a Crime Under Bill Advanced by Kentucky Republicans
      • ‘Twelve thousand were detained, including 761 minors’ Internal FSB report sheds new light on the number of protesters and detentions at January’s pro-Navalny demonstrations

        There were far fewer people who went to the protests than people who voted for Putin in the elections — this was the Kremlin’s assessment of the pro-Navalny demonstrations that took place across Russia on January 23 and 31. Police officials also supported this statement, reporting less than 10,000 people on the streets of Moscow during the rallies. However, Meduza has uncovered that all this time, the FSB had been collecting its own statistics on the protests — and its findings are at odds with official statements. As evidenced by an internal report, the number of people detained amid the protests was even higher than estimates from human rights groups. And according to the FSB, a total of 90,000 people took part in the countrywide demonstrations. Now, the security service is seriously studying the protest potential of Russian citizens. Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova breaks down the conclusions the FSB has reached so far.

      • How Covid Made Life Even More Unpredictable for Kids in Foster Care

        My proverbial backyard was the best place to begin my journey to motherhood through adoption. In Los Angeles County, where I live, 20 percent of the 20,876 children in foster care are Black. Black children here, and in the rest of the country, are overrepresented in the system, and that is the reason I signed up to become a foster/adoptive parent in 2006. I wanted to make a difference in the life of a Black child—a baby boy, to be specific. Black male infants are the least likely to be adopted, because of false assumptions about who they are—aggressive, incorrigible—and who they will become: gangbangers, violent. I was confident I could help change that narrative, because I easily saw beyond that cruel stereotype. Years later, I would add a Black princess to my lot, also through adoption, making my motherhood mission complete.1

      • From Raising Anti-Racist Kids to Being an Anti-Racist Family

        I couldn’t persuade my 6-year-old daughter to change out of her flannel footie pajamas even though it was the height of summer, but at least I got her to put her mask on. We threw the other kid, 3, on the cargo bike alongside her stubborn, sweating sister, taped on our homemade Black Lives Matter sign, and headed to the high school down the street. Our kids looked at us, bewildered, as we got closer. Their wide eyes essentially asked: Why are we deliberately heading into a crowd of thousands after avoiding even our closest neighbors for months?1

      • Now Is the Time to Restore the Power of Labor

        For more than 40 years, America’s unions have endured body blow after body blow, inflicted by Republicans and abetted by the neglect of pro-corporate Democrats. But now, the tide is turning. The House is set to pass, for a second time, the Protecting the Right to Organize (Pro) Act, which would dramatically strengthen unions. President Biden, the most pro-union chief executive in recent history, issued an extraordinary message in support of workers in Bessemer, Ala., attempting to unionize a large Amazon warehouse. Polls show that young people strongly support strengthening unions. And a diverse new generation of labor leaders is forming coalitions to fight back against anti-union campaigns.

      • The Burglary That Exposed COINTELPRO: Activists Mark 50th Anniversary of Daring FBI Break-in

        Fifty years ago, on March 8, 1971, a group of eight activists staged one of the most stunning acts of defiance of the Vietnam War era when they broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stole every document they found. The activists, calling themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, began leaking shocking details about FBI abuses to the media. The documents exposed COINTELPRO, the FBI’s secret Counterintelligence Program, a global, clandestine, unconstitutional practice of surveillance, infiltration and disruption of groups engaged in protest, dissent and social change. Targets included Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, the Young Lords, antiwar groups, Black booksellers and other organizations. The leaked documents triggered congressional investigations, increased oversight and the eventual passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The FBI never knew who was involved in the break-in until 2014, when several of the burglars made their identity public to coincide with the publication of a book about the break-in. To mark the 50th anniversary, we speak with Bonnie Raines, one of the activists involved in the heist, as well as Paul Coates, the founder and director of Black Classic Press and BCP Digital Printing, who was a target of FBI surveillance as part of COINTELPRO. “We already knew that we were being infiltrated. We knew that provocateurs were all throughout. We knew that the FBI had us under constant surveillance,” says Coates. “But I don’t think anyone at the time really knew the full extent of the program.”

      • The Murder of George Floyd: Officer Derek Chauvin Trial Set to Begin as New Charges Considered

        The murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd, is proceeding to jury selection despite an order from an appeals court judge that a third-degree murder charge be considered, as well. We speak with Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and racial justice activist, who says that if the trial proceeds, who serves on the jury could prove crucial in the case. “A big part of the concern is whether or not there will be any real diversity on the jury,” says Levy Armstrong. “The jury questionnaire had questions such as how the potential jurors may feel about Black Lives Matter, the defund the police movement, the Blue Lives Matter movement. All of those things are going to play a role in who is ultimately selected for the jury.”

      • White Monarchy Nearly Killed Meghan Markle. It Has Killed Countless Others.
      • Death Row Inmate Freed After Bullshit Bite Mark Evidence Determined To Be Bullshit

        The end of a crooked and corrupt era in Mississippi is still paying long-belated dividends to wrongly convicted criminals in Mississippi. The state that has defined "backwater" for so many years is slowly crawling out of its self-created gutter.

      • Journalist Detained At GEO Group Halfway House Faces Retaliation For Exposing COVID-19 Outbreak

        Nestled among a growing unhoused community in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, sits an unremarkable gray and stout building. However, life inside 111 Taylor Street is anything but normal.€ 

        At the 140-bed halfway house operated by private prison company GEO Group, detainees are only allowed to leave the premises for work. They are crammed into narrow, dorm-style rooms with anywhere from two-to-fourteen other men, and speaking with the media may result in prison time.€ 

      • ‘They make it clear that you have to disappear’: The Russian authorities are cracking down on foreign citizens for taking part in protests — even if the demonstrations have nothing to do with Russia

        The Russian authorities have been forcing foreign nationals who participated in recent protests to leave the country, revoking their residency permits or even refusing to issue these documents in the first place. Meduza spoke to four such people, two of whom protested in support of imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny and two of whom took part in demonstrations in support of the Belarusian opposition movement. Here are their stories.

      • I Shouldn’t Have to Dehumanize My Son to Get Him Support

        It’s the second day of my son’s life, and I’m crying because our four best friends won’t stop congratulating us. We’re in a hospital room, and our son is upstairs receiving extra oxygen, although everyone says there’s nothing to worry about. He was diagnosed with Down syndrome about five minutes after his birth, and medical professionals have been pouring out a lifetime of risk factors as a kind of ex post facto informed consent. Nothing’s going wrong at present, but the doctors want to tell us about everything that might go wrong eventually. We’re feeling numb and isolated. I’d posted a birth announcement on LiveJournal (the social media of the time) but disabled comments. I didn’t want to hear from anyone.

      • Women's Day Reporting Diverges in U.S. and Mexico

        National publications including La Jornada, Aristeguinoticias, Proceso and El Universal featured March 8 as a leading if not the most important story of the day. Women’s demands encompassed an end to gender violence and male impunity, opposition to patriarchy, and support for reproductive rights.

        Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mexican media reported thousands of women demonstrating in the states of México, Michoacán, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Baja California, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Mexico City, Morelos, Guerrero and Chiapas, among others.€ € € “Not one more feminicide” was a slogan that echoed across the nation on March 8.

      • Meet Julie Su, California’s Fighter for Workers

        In early February, a few weeks after President Biden announced that he would be nominating Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to head the Department of Labor, California Labor Secretary Julie Su was told the president wanted her as Walsh’s deputy.

      • Why the Amazon Worker Vote in Bessemer Means So Much

        Amazon currently employs over half a million workers in the United States. Not a one of these employees has the protections of a union contract. Workers at Amazon’s Bessemer center are rising up early every morning to change that. Having a union at Amazon, they deeply believe, could make a real difference in their futures.

        But not just Amazon workers figure to benefit from the outcome of the Bessemer balloting that ends later this month. The votes that Amazon’s Bessemer workers are casting could change the economic trajectory that has turned the United States — over the past half-century — into the world’s most unequal wealthy nation. Nothing that happens the rest of this year will likely do more to impact America’s unconscionably wide gap between rich and poor than how the Bessemer voting plays out.

      • We Should All Be Able to Have Babies Like White People

        “Push, push, push, Mama; push,” my wife, Joia Crear-Perry, implored. Quiana, angled upright on the birthing bed, replied with grunts of effort. Quiana’s husband, Dooley, offered his support from where he stood at the head of the bed. I stood on the opposite side. It was my first time seeing my wife in action as a gowned and gloved ob-gyn. This article is adapted from Andre M. Perry’s book Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.

      • A Short History of Uighur Resistance

        Why bother looking at the deeper historical roots of a conflict when all you need to do is dredge up some evidence that the State Department has paid off some dissidents. Long before Max Blumenthal and his cohorts launched Grayzone, Michel Chossudovsky had perfected this methodology at Global Research. When young people filled Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the overthrow of Mubarak, Tony Cartalucci took Mubarak’s side in a Global Research article because the National Endowment for Democracy had funneled some cash to his opponents. I am surprised that Chossudovsky did not sue Grayzone for the theft of intellectual property.

        For this scenario to work, you have to find some cause célèbre. Until Victoria Nuland made that phone call to the US Ambassador to Ukraine in 2014, President Yanukovych was the people’s choice. Corruption? Police brutality? Russian meddling in Ukraine’s political affairs? What did that matter when liberals in the USA were cheering on Euromaidan?

      • ‘Is This Who We Are?’: Gitmo is America’s Enduring Shame

        Psaki’s answer may have seemed reassuring, that the untold suffering experienced by hundreds of men in this American gulag – many of whom were surely innocent – would be finally coming to an end. However, considering the history of Guantánamo and the trail of broken promises by the Barack Obama Administration, the new administration’s pledge is hardly encouraging.

        Compare the new language with that of Obama’s impassioned diatribes about humanity, justice and American values, which he utilized whenever he spoke of Guantánamo. “Gitmo has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law,” Obama said at a speech at the National Defense University in May 2013.

      • Islamic State (IS) auctions captive Yezidi women to Turkish men on the [Internet]

        Most recently, a 7-year-old Yazidi girl was rescued by police posing as buyers. According to Turkish journalist Hale Gonultas, who closely follows the fate of IS captives, police took action after an advertisement in Kurdish and Arabic, complete with the girl’s picture, appeared online Feb. 23. Posing as relatives of the child, the police made the highest bid and were able to detect the address of the advertiser. They raided a home in Ankara’s Kecioren district the following day and rescued the girl.

        According to the official account of the incident, police and intelligence services established that a suspect, who was a ranking member of IS in Mosul, Iraq, had made it to Ankara, bringing along a Yazidi child as “war booty.” The man, identified only as S.O., was detained along with a suspected accomplice.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Dish, Space X Battle At The Broadband Subsidy Trough

        To be clear: Space X's Starlink low-orbit satellite broadband service won't revolutionize the broadband industry. The service lacks the capacity to service dense urban or suburban areas, meaning it won't pose much of a threat to traditional cable and fiber providers. With a $100 monthly price tag and $500 hardware fee, it's not exactly a miracle cure for the millions of low-income Americans struggling to afford a broadband connection, either.

      • Senators Push FCC To Finally Update Our Pathetic Definition Of Broadband

        To be clear, the US has always had a fairly pathetic definition of "broadband." Originally defined as anything over 200 kbps in either direction, the definition was updated in 2010 to a pathetic 4 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up. It was updated again in 2015 by the Wheeler FCC to a better, but still arguably pathetic 25 Mbps downstream, 3 Mbps upstream. As we noted then, the broadband industry whined incessantly about having any higher standards, as it would only further highlight the vast impact of monopolization.

    • Monopolies

      • Anti-anti-anti-antisuit injunctions (no kidding) widely available now in Munich: InterDigital v. Xiaomi decision lays out criteria

        Juve Patent reported on an A4SI (for the notation, see this October 2020 post) that the Munich I Regional Court granted patent assertion entity InterDigital against smartphone maker Xiaomi. Dr. Arno Risse ("Riße" in German) did it again: in 2019, he had the innovative and brilliant idea to obtain an A2SI in Munich (in that case, as counsel of record to Nokia) and to my surprise defended that one on appeal.

        What I absolutely dislike about the German approach to A2SIs (and, by extension, A4SIs) is that there's no analysis--much less a multifactorial analysis--of the question of whether a German court should defer to a foreign court. The simplistic thinking is this: patents are good, patent lawsuits are even better, and the best patent suits are the ones filed in Germany; therefore, any foreign antisuit injunction would restrict the enforcement those sacrosanct German patent rights and must be prohibited, even though German law doesn't allow antisuit injunctions. The argument is that the foreign antisuit activity unlawfully puts a patent plaintiff into a straightjacket with respect to intellectal property that would otherwise be enforceable in Germany. (In the U.S. and China, the analysis underlying an antisuit injunction is far more sophisticated.)

        The counterintuitive bottom line is that a jurisdiction that can't grant antisuit injunctions nevertheless issues A2SIs and, by now, A4SIs.


        With its InterDigital v. Xiaomi A4SI framework, building on the Nokia v. Continental doctrine (zero deference to foreign court proceedings), the Munich court is going to become even more popular among SEP holders. I've asked the court's press office whether they have other antisuit cases pending, which would validate this assumption of a further increase in popularity of this venue.

      • Biden’s Trade Commission Pick Lina Khan Led Antitrust Efforts Against Big Tech
      • Applause as Biden Picks 'Antitrust Trailblazer' Lina Khan for FTC Spot

        "She is a thought leader and the embodiment of the modern antitrust movement. Big move."

      • FOSS Patents: Senator Mike Lee, of all United States Senators, opposes Lina Khan's nomination to Federal Trade Commission: but he wanted to serve on SCOTUS

        For many years, Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were my favorite United States Senators. Maybe one or two of them will be again, after a while, but recently I've been very disappointed in them (particularly, those pictures of Senator Lee hugging people at Justice Barrett's Rose Garden presentation, and obviously Senator Cruz's Cancún trip; his 1/6 speech is reasonably debatable but I don't think he can be blamed for the Capitol riots in any way).

        Late on Tuesday, Senator Lee issued a statement according to which presumptive FTC nominee Lina Khan, "being less than four years out of law school, [...] lacks the experience necessary for such an important role as FTC Commissioner."

        No one in the United States Senate is less credible when raising such concern over a lack of experience. He was interviewed by then-President Trump for a potential Supreme Court nomination and known to be interested in a job on the highest court in the land with zero judicial experience. I nevertheless wrote in 2018 that the tech industry should lobby Trump to nominate Sen. Lee because of his positions on standard-essential patents. So I'm not being inconsistent. But he shouldn't apply such obvious dual standards. According to Politico, he would "of course" have been interested in becoming an Associated Justice of the United States, and he was still on the list in September.

        Sen. Cruz called Sen. Lee the best candidate. I hope Sen. Cruz disagrees with his friend from Utah on this nomination.

        A SCOTUS decision is not appealable anymore. By contrast, if the FTC has a unilateral-conduct issue with a company, it can't even issue an appealable decision (unlike the European Commission's DG COMP), but has to sue, and then there's room for appeals.

      • Patents

        • Senators Request USPTO to Provide Information on Subject Matter Eligibility [Ed: Senatorial shills of litigation fanatics and patent profiteers already sit on Biden]

          Last week, Senator Tillis' latest literary foray took the form of a letter to the Hon. Drew Hirschfeld, current Commissioner of Patents and Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In it, the Senator asks the USPTO to "publish a request for information on the current state of patent eligibility jurisprudence in the United States, evaluate the responses, and provide us with a detailed summary of your finding, particularly with regard to "how the current jurisprudence has adversely impacted investment and innovation in critical technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, precision medicine, diagnostic methods, and pharmaceutical treatments." The letter illustrates and justifies the request by reciting the "lack of consistency and clarity in our nation's patent eligibility laws." These circumstances have "had a dramatic negative impact on investment, research, and innovation," not only discouraged investment in critical emerging technologies, but also led the courts to foreclose protection entirely for certain important inventions in the diagnostics, biopharmaceutical, and life sciences industries." Of course, the letter references the struggle to "contain and treat the worst global pandemic in more than one hundred years" and professes astonishment that current jurisprudence "makes it virtually impossible to obtain many patents in the diagnostic methods and precision medicine sectors." The letter asks for the report to be delivered to Congress no later than March 2022.

        • Tech-focused investment trusts bear the brunt as Tesla et al fall from favour

          The company said it will notify the market as and when it receives any official communication about the status of Zulu's EPO application.

        • FEATURE: How to protect innovations en route to market [Ed: Conflating, as usual, patents with "innovation"]

          In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, innovative businesses must ensure the commercial value of their inventions is protected before seeking funding.

          Intellectual property (IP) rights can play an important role in securing the confidence of funders. Patent protection, for example, provides an assurance of monopoly rights for the innovation, confirming its commercial potential. It is important to seek patent protection in the right way and at the right time, however, and pitfalls must be avoided.

          A patent will only be granted by the UK Intellectual Patent Office (UKIPO) or European Patent Office (EPO) for an idea that is new. This means patent applications must be filed before the idea is disclosed outside the company. This can present a challenge for start-ups, due to the need to disclose a certain amount of information about the company and its commercial plans to potential investors and potential clients.

        • A Dutch Treat – Picking Up the Bill in Patent Litigation

          What is it with the Dutch and money? How much truth is there in the cliché that the Dutch are cheap? Do we really get back to business after a romantic diner and split the bill to the cent? Where does this ‘going Dutch’ come from? That term, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, connects to phrases which have “an opprobrious or derisive application, largely due to the rivalry and enmity between the English and Dutch in the 17th century”. That is, the century of the Anglo-Dutch wars, the Raid on the Midway, and several less successful interactions with our past favorite frenemies. Some under the bravery-inducing effect of jenever (the origin of gin), also known as ‘Dutch courage’.

          Romantic diners aside, ‘going Dutch’ is not the norm when it comes to cost reimbursement in Dutch patent litigation (and to be clear: the courage of Dutch patent litigators is not due to drinking ‘jenever’ before a trial). In patent cases the winner pays nothing, but takes it all (at least, if (a threat of) enforcement is at issue; not in a ‘pure’ nullity actions, cf. the EU Court of Justice’s Bericap/Plastinova judgment). The losing party has to pay the legal costs of the winning party. No splitting bills. There may be some haggling about the amount of the winner’s bill (we’re still Dutch), and the court may lower the bill somewhat in view of reasonableness and fairness (not just because we’re Dutch, but because of Art. 14 of the EU Enforcement Directive). But…no Dutch treat in patent litigation.


          These caps have been announced some months ago already (September 2020). Why then start about who has to pay the bill now? Because the cap only applies to cases for which a judgment has been set on or after 1 September 2020. Therefore, with some delay, we may expect the ‘new’ costs orders to make it into the courts’ judgments the coming months (and years). At the moment, while a first capped order was granted (reducing 175K to 75K, the case being considered ‘normal’; decision here in Dutch), ‘old’ cost orders are still granted. For example, two recent decisions – set for judgment before 1 September – contain costs orders exceeding 1 million euros (decisions here and here, in Dutch).

        • 70% of US Supports Removing Vaccine Patents, Sharing Recipes Globally to 'Bring This Pandemic to an End'

          "In the battle against Covid-19, we must always remember that Covid anywhere is Covid everywhere. We can't end the pandemic or rebuild the economy without a vaccine that is free, fair, and available to all."

        • Software Patents

          • IPR Joinder Estoppel (Sometimes)

            The PTAB sided with Facebook in this inter partes review proceeding. Finding most of the claims in Uniloc’s US8995433 unpatentably obvious.


            Estoppel: Under Section 315(e)(1), a petitioner “may not request or maintain” an inter partes review proceeding as to any ground that petitioner “raised or reasonably could have raised” in a prior IPR that resulted in a final written decision as to the same patent claim. Basically, this provision is designed to prohibit a patent-challenger from making multiple successive attempts to challenge a patent in an IPR.

            The procedure of this case is a bit confusing. BASICALLY, Apple filed for IPR that was subsequently joined by FB; FB filed its own IPR that was subsequently joined by LG. The Apple case concluded first (with a Final Written Decision siding with Uniloc). The question then is the extent that FB and LG are estopped maintaining the FB IPR.

            After deciding the Apple IPR, the PTAB gave effect to €§ 315(e)(1) estoppel — holding that FB could no longer pursue its own IPR challenges as to claims challenged in the Apple IPR. Although FB was knocked-out as a party as to most claims (all but Claim 7), the PTAB continued the FB IPR with LG as the remaining party. On appeal, Uniloc argued that LG should not have been permitted to continue the case because of the way it joined-cause with FB in the joinder motion. The appellate panel rejected that argument and affirmed LG was not a RPI to FB’s IPR petition or privy of Facebook. “[J]ust because LG expressed an interest in challenging the ’433 patent’s patentability, through its filing of its own IPR petition and joinder motion, does not by itself make LG an RPI to Facebook’s IPR.” The court also affirmed that 315(e)(1) estoppel only applied to claims challenged in the Apple IPR — thus FB was not estopped from maintaining a challenge to claim 7. “Section 315 explicitly limits the estoppel to the claims previously challenged.”

          • EPO Enlarged Board: computer simulations can be patented

            Case G1/19, before the Enlarged Board of Appeal, attracted a flurry of interest from patent owners and industry associations

      • Trademarks

        • Universities Threaten Virtual Campus Tour Business Over Trademarks

          The COVID-19 pandemic has changed and continues to change how life works for many of us in a variety of ways. We're learning just how underserved America is by our monopolistic broadband providers, for instance. Esports has come into fashion in ways never seen before as well. Work from home has become more normalized and school from home is the bane of parents everywhere, even when it's the best option available.

        • Europe’s trademark litigation hotspots revealed [Ed:The litigation giants bankroll a "hotspots" map; lobbying in "news" clothing]

          Using exclusively sourced data, Managing IP analyses trademark litigation filings in five major European countries and looks at some of the reasons behind the numbers


          Sources suggested that national and EU court decisions might have influenced litigation strategies, as have general perceptions of some countries’ judicial systems.

          We chose not to analyse case filings from 2020 (which are not available in full) because we believed they were likely to muddy the waters. Although many courts handled virtual litigation last year (and still are), there was significant disruption to court cases – and to enforcement too. We will report on the data when it becomes available.

      • Copyrights

        • DMCA Complaint Claims Copyright On The Word 'Outstanding', Wants Entries From Top Dictionaries De-Listed From Google

          Techdirt readers are by now all too familiar with how broken the DMCA takedown system is. But a recent post on TorrentFreak introduces us to some interesting new examples. It concerns the software review site ThinkMobiles. Apparently, it's a company registered in the Ukraine, and many of its authors seem to come from the region -- and nothing wrong with that. As TorrentFreak notes, ThinkMobiles is very protective of its articles. The Lumen database, which collects and analyzes requests to remove material from the Web, has 376 results for the company, representing many hundreds of potential takedowns. But TorrentFreak spotted that some of the most recent ones are particularly unusual:

        • Technology’s challenge to autonomous creation and invention: two views from the past with an eye towards the future [Ed: More of the "HEY HI" nonsense, seeking excuses to give more monopolies on everything that moves (robber barons and their lawyers use that to amass capital and criminalise everything)]

          Ultimately, all these encounters have been about accommodation. As embodied in AI, however, accommodation is increasingly sharing the stage with a brooding sense of threat: will AI, and the algorithms that form it, ultimately replace the human being as the agent of creation and invention.

          Against this background, it is worth recalling how two approaches from over a century ago, one looking backward (the “Arts and Crafts Movement”), and the other embracing tomorrow (“the Futurist’s Manifesto”), sought to address the problem in the context of their time, responding to what the English author, Thomas Hardy, called the “ache of modernism”.

        • Our Response To Canada's Copyright Term Extension Consultation

          At Creative Commons, we believe that copyright policy should encourage creativity, not hamper it. In a balanced copyright system, the rights and interests granted to both creators and the general public are necessary to stimulate vibrant creativity and foster the sharing of knowledge. We’ve previously made it clear that excessive copyright terms inhibit our ability to build upon and rework creative content. A 20-year extension effectively keeps creative works out of the public domain for two extra decades. This is an incredible loss given the role of the public domain as the trove of materials on which contemporary creativity depends.€ 

        • 'The Digital Copyright Act Will Chill Innovation and Harm The Internet'

          Late last year, Senator Thom Tillis released a discussion draft of the “Digital Copyright Act of 2021," which aims to replace the current DMCA legislation. However, this proposal is not welcomed by everyone. The Re:Create Coalition warns that it completely destroys the framework that made it possible for online creativity to thrive.

        • Pirate Monitor Exits YouTube Class Action Piracy Lawsuit, Maria Schneider Persists

          Last summer, Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider and a shadowy company known as Pirate Monitor filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube, alleging massive copyright infringement and a failure to terminate repeat infringers. After a series of bizarre twists and turns, Pirate Monitor has dismissed its complaint, leaving Maria Schneider to face YouTube alone.

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