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Links 23/3/2021: Vulkan 1.2.173 and GNU Parallel 20210322

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Tuxedo Pulse 15 Laptop Review - AMD-powered 15-inch Linux Ultrabook

        The Pulse 15 is a 15-inch Ultrabook with a fast 45 W AMD Ryzen 4000-series processor. It features a very compact magnesium case that weighs just 1.5 kg. The matte IPS panel found on our review unit is featured in every SKU and the device is freely configurable otherwise. For example, you can opt for the faster Ryzen 7 4800HS instead of the Ryzen 5 4600H, and RAM and SSD options are aplenty. Prices start at around 1,000 Euros. Our particular review unit, equipped with a 1 TB SSD, 32 GB of RAM, and an additional dual-boot Windows installation cost around 1,300 Euros at the time of writing.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 117

        What’s changed about Linux and FOSS in the last crazy year, a new private search engine on the horizon, and your feedback about all sorts.

      • Cubicle Chat | 20 Mar 2021

        In the absence of a Linux centered live stream called BDLL, I was encouraged by another community member, Vash, to have a kind of “low rent” replacement of the show until it is picked back up. This was my first run at such an activity and I ultimately think it went fairly well. I made it a point to make any sort of announcement of this as to limit the exposure for my pilot run.

      • Tuxi: Personal Linux CLI "Digital Assistant" - YouTube

        Digital assistants are a meme that I'll probably never understand but a lot of what they do doesn't need an always on microphone so today we're looking at a simpler option. This is Tuxi it's a very simple "digital assistant" basically it's a helper script for searching Google but it does the job.

      • Destination Linux 218: GNOME 40 – Interview with Neil McGovern, Executive Director of GNOME

        This week on Destination Linux, we have a special guest joining us to discuss GNOME 40, we’re going to be interviewing the Executive Director of GNOME, Neil McGovern, about the upcoming GNOME 40 release. We’re also going to discussing a new Linux based tablet that is entering the market. Then we’ll let you know what you can expect to see in the upcoming Fedora 34. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenRazer v3 brings better Linux support for Razer hardware (unofficially)

        Razer makes gaming computers as well as PC gaming peripherals peripherals including mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, headsets, and other accessories. While Razer only offers official drivers for Windows and Mac computers, there’s an unofficial open source set of drivers for Linux called OpenRazer.

        Developers have reversed engineered drivers that allow you to use Razer’s products with Linux, while retaining the ability to configure your device, adjust RGB light settings, and more.

        This weekend the team released OpenRazer v3.0.0 with support for more devices and a few new features that should make it more usable.

      • OpenRazer v3 brings more Razer keyboard and mouse drivers to Linux
        If you would like greater support for your Razer peripherals when using the Linux operating system, you may be interested to know that a new version of the unofficial OpenRazer application has been released this week, providing a range of drivers for the most popular Razer keyboards and mice.

        OpenRazer 3.0 also adds support for DPI stages to mice and fixes a number of bugs from previous releases. The OpenRazer 3.0 software is now available to download via GitHub. OpenRazer 3.0 offesr a collection of Linux drivers for Razer devices, providing kernel drivers, DBus services and Python bindings to interact with the DBus interface.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.173 Comes With New Extensions For Google's Fuchsia - Phoronix

          Vulkan 1.2.173 is out this morning as the latest revision to this high performance graphics/compute API.

          Vulkan 1.2.173 does come with a number of bug fixes for issues brought up by the community as well as internally. Most notable though are two new extensions introduced for Google's Fuchsia platform.

        • AMD Prepares USB-C Linux Driver Support For Radeon Graphics Cards - Phoronix

          With some Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards sporting a USB-C interface for USB-C monitors or VR headsets, AMD has been working on the open-source Linux driver support for this interface.

          Similar to NVIDIA cards supporting "VirtualLink" and the USB Type-C driver they worked on as a result (though NVIDIA dropped this interface for Ampere GPUs), AMD is working through the same path now in their Linux driver support.

        • Radeon RX 6700 XT "Navy Flounder" Microcode Lands In Linux-Firmware.Git - Phoronix

          Following last week's release of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card and Radeon Software for Linux 20.50, the new "Navy Flounder" microcode required for this GPU to function with the open-source AMDGPU Linux driver stack has been published.

          Merged a few minutes ago into linux-firmware.git as the de facto repository for all the firmware/microcode binary blobs for Linux systems was that Navy Flounder firmware as well as updated binaries pulled from the 20.50 packaged driver.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Intrusion Prevention for SSH

        SSH or Secure Shell is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. Typical applications include remote command-line, login, and remote command execution, but any network service can be secured with SSH.

        SSH was designed as a replacement for Telnet and for unsecured remote shell protocols such as the Berkeley rsh and the related rlogin and rexec protocols. Those protocols send information, notably passwords, in plaintext, rendering them susceptible to interception and disclosure using packet analysis. The encryption used by SSH is intended to provide confidentiality and integrity of data over an unsecured network, such as the Internet.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Securely share a secret using Shamir's secret sharing

        The project website list a few use cases for real life and I like them, but I will share another use case.

        ssss project website

        I used to run a community but there was no person in charge apart me, which made me a single point of failure. I decided to make the encrypted backup available to a few kind of trustable community members, and I gave each a secret. There were four members and I made the backup password available only if the four members agreed to share their secrets to get the password. For privacy reasons, I didn't want any of these people to be able to lurk into the backup, at least, if someone had happened to me, they could agree to recover the database only if the four persons agreed on it.

      • How To Install Sensu Monitoring on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Sensu Monitoring on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Sensu Go is the latest version of Sensu. It is an open-source, full-stack monitoring tool suitable for any kind of dynamic operating environment. It is a simple, scalable, and malleable framework that helps you compose the monitoring system you need.

        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 the Sensu Go monitoring on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install WhatsApp Messenger on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install WhatsApp Messenger on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. It uses the Internet to send text messages, images, video, user location, and audio media messages to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers.

        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 WhatsApp Messenger on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Wireshark on Linux Mint 20 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wireshark on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Wireshark an open-source protocol analyzer software mainly used to monitor the traffic in a network, analysis, and development. With Wireshark, you can capture incoming and outgoing packets of a network in real-time and use them for network troubleshooting, packet analysis, software and communication protocol development, and many more.

        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 Wireshark on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How Much VRAM is Required to Mine Ethereum (ETH) with ethminer in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS? – Linux Hint

        An NVIDIA GPU is required to mine Ethereum (ETH) coins. NVIDIA offers various GPU models that can be used to mine Ethereum (ETH). Each model has different processing power and video memory (VRAM).

        To mine Ethereum (ETH) coins with the ethminer program, you will need an NVIDIA GPU that can meet the minimum VRAM requirement of the Ethereum (ETH) network. Depending on the difficulty of the Ethereum (ETH) network, the VRAM requirement to mine each Ethereum (ETH) coin will vary.

        This article shows you how to install and use the ethminer program in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to determine the GPU VRAM requirements for mining Ethereum (ETH).

      • How to install Eclipse IDE on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Eclipse IDE 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.

      • Install WordPress with LAMP Stack on Ubuntu 20.04

        WordPress is the most popular open-source content management system for creating blogs today. You can use WordPress to create eye-catching dynamic websites and power all types of mobile and web apps.

        This tutorial describes how to download and install WordPress with the LAMP stack on Ubuntu 20.04. The LAMP stack comprises Linux, Apache HTTP server, MySQL/MariaDB, and PHP.

      • Backup with Rclone and Cron from your Synology€ NAS - Anto ./ Online

        The Synology NAS DiskStation provides a wide variety of tools in its package center. These tools are useful but can sometimes be restrictive. Luckily, the Synology NAS DiskStation is highly configurable! Let’s see how you can backup data using Rclone from your Synology NAS with an automatic Cron script.

        We will do this by using SSH on the Synology NAS to install Rclone. We will then configure our Synology NAS to run a Cron job (or a task using a user-defined script).

      • kvm qemu – from host to guest harddisk benchmark – consolidate harddisk dynamic disk space allocation unused harddisk space

        QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.

        When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC).

        By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance.

        When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performance by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU.

      • What's on your network? | Network World

        If you’d like to know what systems and devices are attached to your local network—whether out of security concerns or simple curiosity, Linux has some really great commands for providing answers. In this post, we’ll probe a small network and see how devices can be identified.

      • How to install Minetest on Linux Mint 20.1

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Minetest on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to Display Process Information on a Linux System With the ps Command

        In multiprocessing operating systems like Linux, processes form an integral part of the system workflow. Sometimes, users need to list the running processes on a system for monitoring purposes. In such situations, Linux command-line utilities can be helpful.

        The ps command is one such tool that displays information related to processes on a Linux system. Let's look at the ps command and some important examples of usage.

      • How To Edit Multiple Files Using Vim Editor - OSTechNix

        Sometimes, you will find yourself in a situation where you want to make changes in multiple files. Or you might want to copy the contents of one file to another. If you're on GUI mode, you could simply open the files in any graphical text editor, like gedit, and use CTRL+C and CTRL+V to copy/paste the contents. In CLI mode, you can't use such editors. No worries! Where there is vim editor, there is a way! In this tutorial, we are going to learn to edit multiple files at the same time using Vim editor. Trust me, this is very interesting Vim feature!

      • How to install qt 5 on Ubuntu

        Are you an Ubuntu Linux user and developer that needs Qt 5 installed on your system? Can’t figure out what packages to install to use it? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we go over how to install Qt 5 on Linux!

      • How to Compress and Split Files in Ubuntu - Make Tech Easier

        Like most modern Linux distributions, Ubuntu comes with many tools by default for every need. Among them, you’ll find an Archive Manager with which you can store files in compressed packages. However, there’s a tiny problem: they might still be too large for what you need them to be. In such cases, your best bet is to compress and split the file into smaller parts.

        Although Ubuntu comes with the tools to do precisely that, unfortunately, the Archive Manager isn’t the best for such tasks. That’s when you’ll have to turn to the terminal. Thankfully, the process is easy, and you can both compress and split your files in smaller chunks with a single command. Let’s see how.

      • Download OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Full Editions with PineBook and Raspberry Pi Versions

        In this list below, you can instantly download OpenMandriva Lx computer operating system version 4.2 codenamed Argon by all choices of edition available. This includes the x86_64 Workstation as well as the special AMD Ryzen editions, aside from the other ARM editions for ROCK Pi and Raspberry Pi single board computers. This list also includes the mirrors and torrents aside from the checksums for your convenience. Happy downloading!

      • Simple guide on How to setup Nginx Reverse Proxy - LinuxTechLab

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to setup Nginx Reverse Proxy. but first, let's discuss in brief what a Reverse Proxy is & why do we need it?

      • Linux 101: How to create symbolic links in Linux - TechRepublic

        Symbolic links (also called a soft link) are a very important tool to understand in Linux. These are special files that point to other files, similar to shortcuts in Windows or aliases in macOS. Symbolic links do not contain the data, but rather, a pointer to the actual file that does contain the data.

        By using symbolic links, you make it possible to more easily access other files that might reside in complicated directory paths or are required for certain services, such as enabling virtual host configurations in NGINX. In fact, without knowing how to use links, you'll find some Linux administration tasks quite difficult.

        Let me show you how to use this feature.

    • Games

      • Unravel a murder mystery in Los Angeles in the 1940s

        We are happy to announce that Private Eye by Brooklyn Multimedia is now ready for public testing.

        Play Phillip Marlowe, a hard-boiled private eye, as he attempts to solve a murder mystery in Los Angeles in the 1940s.

        Released in 1996, this game is a rare gem with cel animation technique and professional voice acting. Based on Raymond Chandler's work, the game plays like an interactive movie where you can choose which version of the story to play: one is faithful to the book while the other has an alternate ending.

      • Nightfall Hacker goes free for Linux on the Snap store | GamingOnLinux

        Nightfall Hacker, a recently released brand new indie game release from James Harvey of Teradile has now become free for Linux users via the Snap store. It's a homage to The Nightfall Incident, an early 2000s game available on the LEGO website.

      • Political strategy game Rogue State Revolution is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Rogue State Revolution, a thrilling political strategy game from LRDGames, Inc. and Modern Wolf is out now with full Linux support and built with Godot Engine.

        "A completely new and re-imagined Rogue State, get ready for a highly challenging roguelike geopolitical thriller designed for both longtime fans and new arrivals. Take control of the presidency and rebuild, reform and prepare for new challenges as the Glorious People's Republic of Basenji becomes a new political, economic and cultural hotspot."


        Always nice to see more unique strategy games land on Linux too.

      • Warzone 2100 4.0 gets a second Beta to polish up the huge release with Vulkan | GamingOnLinux

        Warzone 2100 is getting an absolutely massive 4.0 release soon and a second Beta is out now with plenty of bug fixes to polish up this excellent free and open source RTS. Warzone 2100 was originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive, released as open source in 2004 and the legacy of it continues on as a completely free game. To this day it's still one of the most innovative RTS games around.

        The 4.0 upgrade is a huge one with support for newer OpenGL, Vulkan, Metal and DirectX as they overhauled the rendering which is in addition to already supporting OpenGL 3.0+ Core Profile (default), OpenGL 2.1 Compatibility Profile. This can easily be changed in the Video Options.

      • Steam Remote Play Together - Invite Anyone is out of Beta, new Steam Client update up

        The expansion of Remote Play Together with Invite Anyone is now live and out of Beta, along with a big update to the Steam Client for all platforms.

        What is Remote Play Together - Invite Anyone? It's a way for you to host a game on your PC with Steam, copy a link and send that link to anyone to be able to join. Friends don't even need a Steam account, just access to Steam Link on any device they have and they can then join your game streamed from your PC. It's actually quite brilliant. Now that the Steam Link app is out for Linux proper too, it makes it even better.

      • Get a free Stadia Premiere Edition with Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 7 free on Pro

        A bunch more Stadia news to cover this morning as we round up some recent news and announcements for Google's fledgling cloud gaming platform. First up is a big one with the Resident Evil series headed to Stadia.

        Despite the previous news that Google shut down first-party development for Stadia, it does appear that they're pulling in some big games from other developers. Just announced yesterday, both Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 7 will be coming to Stadia. Resident Evil 7 biohazard Gold Edition will be free for any Stadia Pro subscriber on April 1, with Resident Evil Village arriving on May 7 and if you pre-order they will chuck in a free Stadia Premiere Edition that gives you the Stadia Controller and a Chromecast Ultra.

      • Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer - Part 4: Installing Red Hat Linux 7.3

        I had some grief installing Red Hat Linux 7.3 which I think was due to my CD-ROM drive not handling the disc switching well. With persistence I was able to get it installed, and despite identifying the graphics card as just being a generic Rage 128 in Anaconda it booted with DRI enabled just fine. Once again I had to set the “AGPMode” option in XFree86 to get it to use AGP 2x speed, but other than it worked out of the box

        Upon launching Quake III Arena I was surprised to see that the graphical errors with shadows and marks were no longer apparent. The same held true for Soldier of Fortune, although it did now have issues when Detail Texturing was used. The Linux demo for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division also ran even with Light Mapping enabled. It seems that a few regression bugs must have been introduced into the r128 driver after this point.

        The Loki Update Tool appreciated having an older version of glibc to work with. It functioned flawlessly with the mirror still hosted at apart from the key server being down, forcing to me to have to cancel the GPG key checks. In a similar vein I was able to use a mirror of the old Fedora Legacy project to install yum and upgrade Red Hat Linux 7.3 to the last released system updates, including a boost to XFree86 4.2.1 for the latest packaged r128 drivers.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • What’s new in GVfs for GNOME 40?

          Unfortunately, my contributions to various projects have been limited over the last months given the various coronavirus-related restrictions. Also, I took over gnome-autoar maintainership recently on which I spent some time. So GVfs doesn’t bring as much news as I would like, but there are some which are worth mentioning.

        • GNOME 40’s Best New Features

          Releasing on March 24, 2020, GNOME 40 is the first version of the open source desktop environment to use the new numbering system (the previous release was v3.38) and support GTK 4.

          The version number change is somewhat symbolic, as those working on the free software project have a clear goal in mind for the future — and this release is their first sure-footed step towards realising it.

          As you’ll soon see, there’s plenty more to talk about, so scroll down and swot up on the key changes contained within the new GNOME 40 release.

    • Distributions

      • Lightweight OS For Any Platform

        Linux has come a long way from its roots, where users had to compile the kernel and all of the other source code from scratch, often without any internet connection at all to help with documentation. It was the wild west of Linux, and while we can all rely on an easy-to-install Ubuntu distribution if we need it, there are still distributions out there that require some discovery of those old roots. Meet SkiffOS, a lightweight Linux distribution which compiles on almost any hardware but also opens up a whole world of opportunity in containerization.

        The operating system is intended to be able to compile itself on any Linux-compatible board (with some input) and yet still be lightweight. It can run on Raspberry Pis, Nvidia Jetsons, and x86 machines to name a few, and focuses on hosting containerized applications independent of the hardware it is installed on. One of the goals of this OS is to separate the hardware support from the applications, while being able to support real-time tasks such as applications in robotics. It also makes upgrading the base OS easy without disrupting the programs running in the containers, and of course has all of the other benefits of containerization as well.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Linux 34 Beta Is Here with GNOME 40, Btrfs Transparent Compression, and Linux 5.11

          Development on Fedora Linux 34 kicked off in August 2021, and now the Fedora Linux community can take the upcoming release for a test drive by downloading the beta version, which is available in the usual flavors with the GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, Cinnamon, MATE, and SoaS desktops, and more recently the i3 tilling window manager.

          Powered by Linux kernel 5.11, Fedora Linux 34 Beta comes with two major internal changes. The first one being the enablement of transparent compression for the Btrfs file system, a feature designed to significantly increase the lifespan of SSD drives and also give you more disk space and better performance when working with large files.

        • Announcing the release of Fedora Linux 34 Beta

          The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Fedora Linux 34 Beta, the next step towards our planned Fedora Linux 34 release at the end of April.

          After Fedora Linux 33 made BTRFS the default filesystem for desktop variants, Fedora Linux 34 Beta enables transparent compression for more disk space. This increases the lifespan of flash-based media by reducing write amplification for solid-state disks. This compression improves the read and write performance for larger files, with the potential to add significant time efficiency into workflows. With a foundation for future enhancements, we aim to continue adding to these capabilities in future versions.

        • Fedora 34 Beta Released. Download and Test now.

          The Fedora team announced the release of Fedora 34 Beta with many new improvements and the latest packages. Here’s a summary of the new changes and how to download, test the Fedora 34 Beta.

        • Red Hat and Node.js: An Introduction

          At Red Hat, we are involved with many different open source communities and upstream projects. Our involvement in these projects helps to inform our products and direction. One such project that we’ve been increasingly involved in is Node.js.

          Last September, myself and a few other team members moved over from IBM to Red Hat. The goal for this move was primarily so we could collaborate more closely with the existing Node.js team at Red Hat. We are settled in and now is as good a time as any to share some of what the team’s been working on.

        • Red Hat Apex Partners: what’s new, and where are we going in 2021?

          It’s been more than two years since Red Hat launched the Apex Partner Program and since that time we have seen bookings growth and increased accreditations among participating partners. As the name suggests, our Apex partners bring a higher level of expertise in application development and integration, hybrid cloud infrastructure and management platforms across the ecosystem.

          The Apex Partner Program was established to enable a select group of partners in North America to build sales, marketing and delivery practices around Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio, ultimately providing customers with tailored open source solutions to meet their unique business needs. This past year certainly brought unexpected challenges, but we were able to strengthen our collaborative relationships with Apex partners to identify new opportunities and areas of improvement within the program.

      • Debian Family

        • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, February 2020

          In February, we put aside 5475 EUR to fund Debian projects. The first project from this initiative was finished and thus Carles Pina was able to issue the first invoice!

          We are looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams and contributors. Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article.

        • Tails 4.17 Anonymous OS Released with Automatic File System Repair During Boot

          Tails 4.17 is here with some great improvements, including automatic repair of the file system used for upgrades during boot by cleaning up old automatic upgrade files that were left on the drive after a manual system upgrade, which blocked automatic upgrades from functioning properly.

          Also, Tails now automatically resumes the download whenever an upgrade fails and the Tails Upgrader utility is now more resilient to broken mirrors.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Run LibrePCB the Electronic Engineering tool on Ubuntu Computer

          This is LibrePCB, a complete electronic design suite that is free software, featureful and cross platform. It is still a new application at the moment and not yet available on Ubuntu and other major GNU/Linux operating systems. For that purpose, this simple tutorial explains where to grab it and run it instantly on Ubuntu computer --without installation nor an administrator right--.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 675

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 675 for the week of March 14 – 20, 2021. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • QOwnNotes 21.3.4

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.

      • Events

        • Linaro Virtual Connect - Spring 2021

          Join us this week at the Spring edition of Linaro Virtual Connect, as we discuss bringing stateless video decoding support to Linux, and take a look at where we are, and what's to come, for open drivers for Arm GPUs.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 88 Beta Adds Smooth Pinch-Zooming Support for Linux on Wayland, Enables AVIF by Default

            While you’re waiting for Firefox 87 to land in the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, let me tell you that Firefox 88 has hit the Beta Channel today with some interesting features for Linux users.

            One of these new features is support for smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad on Linux systems using Wayland. For those not in the known, pinch to zoom in Firefox works on Linux systems by holding down the Ctrl key on your laptop’s keyboard.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: How MDN’s site-search works

            tl;dr; Periodically, the whole of MDN is built, by our Node code, in a GitHub Action. A Python script bulk-publishes this to Elasticsearch. Our Django server queries the same Elasticsearch via /api/v1/search. The site-search page is a static single-page app that sends XHR requests to the /api/v1/search endpoint. Search results’ sort-order is determined by match and “popularity”.

      • CMS

        • A Note on Ongoing Site Updates and Upkeep

          Since about 4 years back, I’ve not really paid much attention to this blog - other than switching the backend from WordPress to Jekyll static pages served via Gitlab Pages. That means not only did I not write much content in those years, I ignored the site maintenance as well, including not checking up on which pages or links didn’t translate from the older hosting to the newer one.

          There were many dead links, visitors weren’t able to find past content easily anymore (coming in via search engines, or via links from sites - other sites, as well as cross-links from this site itself!). What’s worse, is that the 404 page was served Gitlab, taking visitors to a Gitlab domain and not giving them any chance to look around on this site.

          Since the beginning of 2021, I’m slowly chipping away at these shortcomings. I started with writing a couple of blog posts. It’s convenient to serve the blog via a regular ‘write text; git commit; git push’ workflow. And while doing that, I identified many of the shortcomings on the blogging infrastructure (Jekyll setup as well as WP->Jekyll conversion oddities). I now have a TODO checklist for stuff I want to improve on.

      • FSF

          • Richard Stallman returns to the Free Software Foundation after resigning in 2019 [Ed: The Verge is wrong. RMS did not make "widely criticized statements about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein" (he had called him "rapist" for months, even beforehand) and actually commented on something else; media then distorted what he actually said]
            Open-source software advocate Richard Stallman is rejoining the board of the Free Software Foundation. Stallman founded the FSF in 1985 and acted as its president until 2019, when he resigned after making widely criticized statements about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

            Stallman announced the news during a live stream for the FSF project LibrePlanet. “Some of you will be happy at this, and some might be disappointed, but who knows?” he said. “In any case, that’s how it is, and I’m not planning to resign a second time.” He also mentioned that the announcement was meant to be made with a more formal video, but that “it didn’t get finished.”

        • Richard M. Stallman returns to the Free Software Foundation Board of Directors [Ed: ZDNet continues to lie about this. ZDNet is happy to relay lies and outright defamation to defend human rights abusers. They're rapidly running out of supporters and later they wonder why the parent company goes bust, unlike the FSF.]

          In the aftermath of the Me Too movement and his defense of the behavior of the late Marvin Minsky, AI pioneer and associate of notorious billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Richard M. Stallman (RMS) resigned as president and board member of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) on September 16, 2019. Now, RMS has announced on video that "I am now on the Free Software Foundation Board of Directors once again."

        • RMS is back at the FSF.

          Sunday, I was happy to give a talk at the FSF LibrePlanet, wearing the Tshirt I designed for them (see photo). But later that day, Richard Stallman (RMS) announced his return to the FSF's Board of Directors.

          RMS will always be a part of the free/libre community history for his achievement, and was great for that. I'm not denying that. I even drew a portrait back in 2016 to depict him with Linus Torvald. I'm quoting myself: "They both are my personal heroes and big inspiration".

        • Richard Stallman says he has returned to the Free Software Foundation board of directors and won't be resigning again [Ed: At The Register it is Microsoft Tim writing about the return of RMS and one can imagine what train wreck 'journalism' that is]

          Richard M Stallman, founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced at the organisation's LibrePlanet virtual event that he has rejoined the board and does not intend to resign again.

        • Critical Free Software: The High Priority Projects Lists

          An update from the Free Software Foundations High Priority Projects committee at LibrePlanet 2021. The High Priority Projects initiative, first launched in 2005, draws attention to a relatively small number of projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users.

        • The defense of the GNOME Foundation

          In August 2019, GNOME was notified that it was being sued in the state of California over a broad patent which allegedly covered Shotwell, a photo management application. The plaintiff? A prolific filer of patent suits, and a patent assertion entity. This was the first time that a free software project has been sued for patent infringement.

        • Lessons Framasoft has learned

          Framasoft is a small, French nonprofit, made up of only thirty-five members and ten employees. We've been promoting free/libre software and its culture for more than fifteen years.

        • The Free Software Foundation Keynote At LibrePlanet

          The Free Software Foundation keynote speech at LibrePlanet 2021 featuring FSF President Geoff Knauth, FSF Executive Director John Sullivan and others. The video is one hour and six minutes long.

        • Introduction to CiviCRM

          CiviCRM is free constituent relationship management software that empowers thousands of nonprofits around the world. This video provides an overview on what CiviCRM is, what it can do, and how organizations can use it to achieve their mission.

        • Jami and how it empowers users

          Jami is free software for universal communication which respects the freedoms and privacy of its users. Jami is an official GNU package with a main goal of providing a framework for virtual communications, along with a series of end-user applications for audio/video calling and conferencing, text messaging, and file transfer.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Parallel 20210322 ('2002-01-06') released [stable]

            GNU Parallel 20210322 ('2002-01-06') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at:

            No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.

            Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons:

            It does not have to be as detailed as Juan's. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

      • Programming/Development

        • Start programming in Deno, an alternative to Node.js

          Deno is a simple, modern, and secure runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript. It is an open source project created by Ryan Dahl, who developed Node.js. In Try Deno as an alternative to Node.js, I introduced Deno's features and explained how to install and run it.


          When Ryan Dahl created Node.js, it proved to be wildly popular among not only web developers but programmers from many industries and hobbies. However, there are critiques about its security model. Ryan has designed Deno with security in mind, so a Deno module does not have file, network, or environment access unless you specifically enable it.

        • Nibble Stew: Writing a library and then using it as a Meson dependency directly from upstream Git

          Meson has many ways of obtaining dependencies. The most common is pkg-config for prebuilt dependencies and the WrapDB for building upstream releases from source. A lesser known way is that you can get dependencies [1] directly from the upstream project's Git repository. Meson will transparently download and build them for you. There does not seem to be that many examples of this on the Internet, so let's see how one would both create and consume dependencies in this way.

        • Use GLIB_VERSION_MIN_REQUIRED to avoid deprecation warnings | Philip Withnall

          tl;dr: Define GLIB_VERSION_MIN_REQUIRED and GLIB_VERSION_MAX_ALLOWED in your to avoid deprecation warnings you don’t care about, or accidentally using GLib APIs which are newer than you want to use. You can add this to your library by copying gversionmacros.h and using its macros on public APIs in your header files.

          With every new stable release, GLib adds and/or deprecates public API. If you are building a project against GLib, you probably don’t want to use the new APIs until you can reliably depend on a new enough version of GLib. Similarly, you want to be able to continue using the newly-deprecated APIs until you can reliably depend on the version of GLib which deprecated them.

          In both cases, the alternative is for your project to add conditional compilation blocks which use some GLib symbols if building against the new version of GLib, and others if building against the old version. That’s lots of work, and no fun.

          So to prevent projects using GLib APIs which are outside the range of GLib versions which those projects are tested to build and work against, GLib can emit deprecation warnings at compile time if APIs which are too new – or too old – are used.

        • Josef Strzibny: Creating a ZIP file in Elixir

          Creating ZIP files in Elixir is easy because of Erlang’s :zip module. Here’s how to create a ZIP archive both on disk and in memory.

        • Python

          • How to Manage Python Dependencies using Virtual Environments

            When we start building a Python project that goes beyond simple scripts, we tend to start using third-party dependencies.

            When working on a larger project, we need to think about managing these dependencies in an efficient manner. And when installing dependencies, we always want to be inside virtual environments. It helps keep things nice and clean. It also helps avoid messing up our Python environment.

          • How to create virtual environments in Python 3 with venv module

            Open-source has changed the software landscape not only for end-users but also for software developers. One of the main powers of open-source is the speed at which tools are developed and upgraded. Being an open-source programming language, Python has benefited greatly from this agile development environment. In fact, the Python interpreter is updated so frequently nowadays that it is even hard to keep up with its versions. If that is not enough, Python is empowered by a vast third-party library catalog which is upgraded frequently as well. This vibrant ecosystem of the Python language and its third-party libraries, however, comes with its own set of challenges as well, one of them being version control.

          • How to Drop Duplicate Rows in Pandas Python

            Python is one of the most popular programming languages for data analysis and also supports various Python data-centric packages. The Pandas packages are some of the most popular Python packages and can be imported for data analysis. In almost all datasets, duplicate rows often exist, which may cause problems during data analysis or arithmetic operation. The best approach for data analysis is to identify any duplicated rows and remove them from your dataset. Using the Pandas drop_duplicates() function, you can easily drop, or remove, duplicate records from a data frame.


            This article showed you how to remove duplicated rows from a data frame using the drop_duplicates() function in Pandas Python. You can also clear your data of duplication or redundancy using this function. The article also showed you how to identify any duplicates in your data frame.

  • Leftovers

    • 'Questioning My Existence': DC Circuit's Dumping on 'Garamond' Divides Lawyers

      With sadness, humor or full embrace, lawyers across the country offered quick reactions to the news that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was advising advocates not to use the Garamond typeface in court filings.

    • It's The End Of Citation As We Know It & I Feel Fine

      Legal scholarship sucks. It’s interminably long. It’s relentlessly boring. And it’s confusingly esoteric. But the worst thing about legal scholarship is the footnotes. Every sentence gets one1. Banal statement of historical fact? Footnote. Recitation of hornbook law? Footnote. General observation about scholarly consensus? Footnote. Original observation? Footnote as well, I guess.

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Dr. David Brownstein strikes again peddling quackery for COVID-19

        As we’ve discussed many times before, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a golden opportunity for quacks and grifters and has resulted in a year (and counting) in which even “respectable” doctors have been behaving very badly indeed by spreading COVID-19 disinformation, unproven “miracle cures”, and backing anti-public health activists such as anti-maskers and anti-“lockdown” protesters, so much so that I’ve discussed quite a few of them since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic a little over a year ago. Unfortunately, a few of these “brave maverick doctors” are in my area, and one of them has managed to gain some national (and even international) notoriety. His name is Dr. David Brownstein, and he’s promoting yet another unproven treatment for COVID-19, nebulized hydrogen peroxide. I first noticed him promoting this several months ago, but he showed up a week ago on the website of that über-quack of über-quacks, Joe Mercola (the man who, with a net worth upwards of $100 million, is proof positive that quackery pays) in an article entitled “Nebulized Peroxide — A Simple Treatment for COVID-19“, complete with a video clocking in at nearly an hour and a half.

      • Progressives Demand Permanent Repeal of 'Self-Defeating' Paygo Law as Automatic Medicare Cuts Loom

        "It's long past time for Congress to end statutory Paygo permanently. The austerity politics of the last several decades have been an unmitigated failure."

      • CDC Head Sounds Alarm as New Covid Cases Surge in States Across US

        Depending on how the nation acts now in response to the ongoing pandemic, "another avoidable surge" in cases could be around the corner, said CDC chief Rochelle Walensky.

      • Marin County Posts, Then Removes, Bacteria Warning Signs at Point Reyes Beaches

        The park’s newly installed Superintendent, Craig Kenkel, said that the toxicology findings are consistent with high fecal bacteria levels at these sites measured by the Park Service€ in 2013.

        That report identified unacceptable levels of fecal bacteria in waters draining from McClure Ranch, abutting Abbotts Lagoon, and Kehoe Ranch at Kehoe Lagoon. It identified abnormal levels of fecal bacteria at Chicken Ranch Beach on Tomales Bay, which is a popular swimming destination. Park waters also suffer from excessive levels of nitrogen due to the flow of cow excrement. Nitrogen fuels vegetative growth that chokes drainages and kills fish and frogs, harming birds that eat aqua life.

      • ‘I can’t refuse to save our people’: Slovakia’s prime minister offers to resign after ‘Sputnik V’ provokes coalition crisis

        The prime minister of Slovakia’s decision to purchase two million doses of Russia’s “Sputnik V” coronavirus vaccine has thrown the country’s ruling coalition into crisis. Earlier this month, the Slovak health minister resigned for fear of becoming “a pretext for the government’s downfall.” But this failed to silence the calls for Prime Minister Igor Matovič’s own resignation. Meanwhile, Slovakia is experiencing the highest per capita death rate from COVID-19 in the European Union, and Matovič has refused to deny Slovaks the Sputnik V vaccine just because it’s “made in Russia.” Nevertheless, on Sunday, March 21, Matovič offered to step down — but only on the condition that some of his opponents leave with him.

      • 'Safe Water Is a Right, Not a Privilege': On World Water Day, UN Decries Unequal Access

        "The devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic remind us of the importance of having access to water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities, and highlight that far too many people are still without them."

      • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 81: Why Isn’t Canada Supporting a Proposal to Help Developing Countries Gain Access to COVID-19 Vaccines?

        Al Jazeera English, Vaccine Patent Waiver Calls: 100 Countries Push for More Equitable Access

      • Putin announces plans to get coronavirus vaccination on March 23

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 23. “By the way, I myself intend to do it tomorrow,” Putin said during a meeting on vaccination issues on Monday.

      • Rich Countries Signed Away a Chance to Vaccinate the World

        In the coming days, a patent will finally be issued on a five-year-old invention, a feat of molecular engineering that is at the heart of at least five major Covid-19 vaccines. And the United States government will control that patent.

        The new patent presents an opportunity — and some argue the last best chance — to exact leverage over the drug companies producing the vaccines and pressure them to expand access to less affluent countries.

        The question is whether the government will do anything at all.

        The rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines, achieved at record speed and financed by massive public funding in the United States, the European Union and Britain, represents a great triumph of the pandemic. Governments partnered with drugmakers, pouring in billions of dollars to procure raw materials, finance clinical trials and retrofit factories. Billions more were committed to buy the finished product.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Update woes that never end: Microsoft halts Patch of a Patch of a Patch rollout to fix printing issues

          March 2021 has not been a particularly good month for some users of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. The company released the cumulative updates for March that fixed security issues on all supported versions of Windows. Shortly thereafter, reports emerged that printing would cause bluescreens on some devices. Users would get "APC_INDEX_MISMATCH for win32kfull.sys" bluescreen messages as printing caused Windows to crash.

        • Angry MacBook owners get class action status for butterfly keyboard suit

          A judge has certified a class action suit against Apple for its fragile butterfly keyboard design. The suit covers anyone who purchased an Apple MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in seven states: California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan. That includes people who bought a MacBook model dating between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro model between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019.

          Judge Edward Davila certified the case with seven subclasses on March 8th in California, but the order remained sealed until late last week. It raises the stakes for a suit that was first filed in 2018, three years after Apple added the controversial butterfly switches to its laptops.

        • Microsoft in talks with Discord over $10 billion-plus acquisition: report

          Discord has about 140 million monthly users and made $130 million in revenue last year, The Wall Street Journal recently reported, though the company isn’t yet profitable. Its last valuation was $7 billion after a funding round in December generated $100 million.

          Discord’s software is free for most users, but the company makes money through $9.99 monthly Nitro subscriptions that offer more advanced features like higher resolution screensharing, extra sticker packs, and larger upload limits.

        • Microsoft reportedly have Discord in their sights to acquire

          In an article on Bloomberg which cites anonymous sources "familiar with the matter", Microsoft are are in talks to buy Discord for more than $10 billion USD. This follows from another article from VentureBeat that claims Discord has been exploring options for a sale and has "signed an exclusive acquisition discussion with one party". Earlier this month the WSJ talked about how Discord revenue has increased quite a lot to $130 million in 2020 (up from $45 million in 2019) but it's not actually profitable yet.

        • Microsoft in Talks to Buy Discord for More Than $10 Billion

          Discord has been talking to potential buyers and software giant Microsoft is in the running, but no deal is imminent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Discord is more likely to go public than sell itself, one person said. Representatives for Microsoft and Discord declined to comment. VentureBeat reported earlier on Monday that Discord was engaged in sales talks.

        • Microsoft in talks to acquire Discord for more than $10 billion: Report

          Microsoft Corp is in talks to buy messaging platform Discord Inc for more than $10 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

        • Chinese [cracker] group responsible for cyber-attack on Finnish parliament [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) has identified the group behind the cyber-attack against the Finnish parliament’s IT systems last autumn.

          A group called APT31 is responsible for the “state-run cyberespionage operation,” according to the intelligence service’s press release published Thursday, and according to data security experts, the operation has been traced to China.

        • Microsoft's RDP attack vector of choice for ransomware groups in 2020

          A report from New Zealand-headquartered security vendor Emsisoft said last year was another lucrative for those using ransomware to make money, with many COVID-themed attacks trying to take advantage of the public interest in the pandemic.

          The report said 506,185 ransomware submissions - estimated to be only a quarter of the total attacks - were made to the company and the ID Ransomware service, the latter created by its researcher, Michael Gillespie. It enables people to find out which ransomware has hit them and also suggests a free decryptor if one is available.

        • Many systems still offline at Eastern Health after network attack

          Melbourne's Eastern Health is still experiencing what it describes as "significant impacts" due to a network attack that it announced last Wednesday.

        • Teen who hacked Twitter accounts of Biden, Obama, Musk, Bezos and more is sentenced to 3 years in prison

          In order to gain access to these high-profile accounts, Clark posed as an employee of Twitter and was able to trick another employee into giving him access to the customer service portal.

        • RedTorch Formed from Ashes of Norse Corp.

          Remember Norse Corp., the company behind the interactive “pew-pew” cyber attack map shown in the image below? Norse imploded rather suddenly in 2016 following a series of managerial missteps and funding debacles. Now, the founders of Norse have launched a new company with a somewhat different vision: RedTorch, which for the past two years has marketed a mix of services to high end celebrity clients, including spying and anti-spying tools and services.

        • Security

          • Librem 14 Security Features

            The Librem 14 was designed based on a long wishlist we made to build our dream laptop. When we first announced the Librem 14 we stuck to the features we knew for sure would be part of the first revision. Over the next few months as we worked through prototypes we were able to announce new features such as dual RAM slots and a number of exciting security features. While these features are mentioned on the Librem 14 product page, I thought it would be useful to collect all of the security features of the Librem 14 into a single place.

          • Wladimir Palant: Follow-up on Amazon Assistant’s data collection

            Yes, when I wrote that article I didn’t actually know how Amazon was using the power they’ve given themselves. The mere potential here, what they could do with a minimal and undetectable change on one of their servers, that was scary enough for me. I can see that other people might prefer something more tangible however.

            So this article now analyzes what data Amazon actually collects. Not the kind of data that necessarily flows to Amazon servers to make the product work. No, we’ll look at a component dedicated exclusively to “analytics,” collecting data without providing any functionality to the user.

          • Informing Clients and Former Clients of Data Breaches [Ed: Just tell them you use Microsoft Windows so they can conclude that none of their data is safe]

            Law firms are targets of hackers, and patent firms in particular are so. Why? Because hackers know they have the “wheat” separated from the chaff, and hackers believe firms also have less robust security than their clients. See Am. B. Ass’n. Formal Eth. Op. 483 (here). That is likely more so in disbursed work forces caused by the pandemic.

            In that opinion, the ABA explained the duties of a firm to use reasonable care to avoid hacking. If a hacking occurred, the opinion concluded that a firm had to notify current clients and provide sufficient information to them to respond. The ABA refused to say that lawyers owed such an obligation to former clients.

          • Open Source Initiative board election results scrapped after security hole found, exploited to rig outcome

            The Open Source Initiative (OSI) on Friday said it will redo its recent Board Election after uncovering a voting irregularity that affected the results.

            "This week we found a vulnerability in our voting processes that was exploited and had an impact on the outcome of the recent Board Election," said Deb Nicholson, interim general manager for the OSI, a non-profit that oversees the Open Source Definition and advocates for open source software. "That vulnerability has now been closed."

            The Register asked OSI whether anyone could provide further details about what went wrong.

            "At this moment, we’re aware of at least one case where an entity voted more than once," said Nicholson in an email to The Register. "We will share more when we can, but we want to make absolutely sure that we understand what happened first."

            Asked to clarify the nature of the vulnerability, Nicholson replied, "It was a vulnerability in our processes and the way we use our database."

            OSI uses open source voting software Helios but insists the issue had to do with "an internal piece of our process, not Helios."

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Video Hearing Tuesday: EFF Tells California Lawmakers to Crack Down on License Plate Data Collection

              EFF is a co-sponsor of SB 210, which was introduced by State Sen. Scott Weiner earlier this year. The bill is aimed at combatting unbridled data collection by police departments using automated license plate readers (ALPRs) installed both in fixed locations like streetlights and on patrol vehicles. This data is uploaded with GPS and time and date information into a searchable database, which means police can search the historical travel patterns of anyone caught in the ALPRs wide net.

              Last year, following a request from Sen. Wiener and EFF, the California State Auditor completed an investigation of four California law enforcement jurisdictions, finding that all four agencies were failing to establish policies that respect privacy and civil liberties as required by current law. EFF Director of Investigations Dave Maass, who has led a public records campaign to gather records on ALPR from more than 70 agencies statewide, will testify at Tuesday’s hearing, explaining how SB 210 can help restrict the massive data collection and protect Californians from intrusive surveillance.

              WHAT:Hearing on California SB 210 WHEN:1:30 pm PT/4:30 pm ETMarch 23WHO:EFF Director of Investigations Dave MaassWHERE:

            • Green Passes and Dark Inequalities: the Push for COVID Immunity Passports

              The Digital Green Certificate is actually a bundle of three: vaccination certificates stating the brand of vaccine used, data and place of inoculation and number of doses administered; negative test certificates (either a rapid antigen test or a NAAT/RT-PCR test); and medical certificates for those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days.

              The measure is discrimination made sound, preference made prominent.€  The essential requirement to obtain such a pass is evidence that you have been vaccinated by a jab with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency.€  But the European Commission did append a qualification to this requirement.€  Member states could decide whether to accept vaccines that the EMA had yet to approve.€  Not in itself reassuring, given the varied approaches European states have taken to the international vaccine market.

            • Drone Manufacturers Are Amping Up Surveillance Capabilities In Response To Demand From Government Agencies

              The CBP loves its drones. It can't say why. I mean, it may lend them out to whoever comes asking for one, but there's very little data linking hundreds of drone flights to better border security. Even the DHS called the CBP's drone program an insecure mess -- one made worse by the CBP's lenient lending policies, which allowed its drones to stray far from the borders to provide dubious assistance to local law enforcement agencies.

            • DMV's are making a fortune selling your personal data

              According to an investigation by Vice, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in several states is supplementing its income by selling the personal information of drivers in their state to third parties. This information includes their names, addresses, dates of birth and which cars they own. In 2017, Florida raked in over $77 million by using this method, and California pulled in a cool $52 million. Other states using this practice include Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

            • Coalition Forms to Challenge 'Predatory' Surveillance Advertising by Big Tech

              "Big Tech's toxic business model is undermining democracy."

            • NBCU Pitches Ad Tech Prowess to Marketers: "The Future Is Clearly Streaming"

              NBCUniversal has a message for marketers: It's not in the TV business. Rather, the company wants to position itself as a hybrid of content, media, and technology, owning the pipes that distribute content, the content itself, and the tech that underpins the platforms and advertising.

              NBCUniversal hosted a (virtual) event on Monday it called "One21," in which it outlined that vision and announced new or expanded partnerships with Instagram, The Trade Desk, and others. Attendees include agencies and marketers, but also partners across the tech stack that work with the company.

            • Facebook fails in bid to derail $15 billion privacy suit

              The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider an appeal by Facebook that would have derailed a $15 billion lawsuit over whether it illegally tracked users about a decade ago.

            • Govt proposes alpha-numeric hash to track WhatsApp chat

              The government has proposed that WhatsApp assign an alpha-numeric hash to every message sent through its platform as a solution to break the deadlock over traceability on the messaging app, senior government officials told ET. The hash can travel with the message and in case of any unlawful activity, the originator of the message can be traced without breaking the app’s encryption, the sources said.

            • Supreme Court rejects Facebook bid to scale back $15B tracking lawsuit

              The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Facebook’s appeal to scale back a $15 billion lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of illegally tracking its users' internet activities.

              The justices declined to take up Facebook’s appeal of a lower court ruling allowing the class-action lawsuit against the company to move forward.

              The lawsuit alleges Facebook violated the Wiretap Act by tracking users’ online activities that utilize features such as the platform's “like” button without their consent between April 2010 and September 2011.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • America the Usual

        I was trying to be fair in the aftermath of that horrendous scene and attack, I thought I would see substantial and meaningful action by our elected officials, the same ones who were nervously taking cover behind their protectors in the Capitol, to hold those responsible for the assault accountable. A glimmer of reasonableness was shown to me as the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump as the inciter of the attack (the fact that Mr. Trump is the first president to be impeached twice speaks for itself with regard to his suitability as president during his tenure). However, the failure of our elected officials to convict Mr. Trump and the overall response before, during, and after the attack on our Capitol and democracy have left me with an all too familiar feeling of disgust and frustration with where this country not only stands on race but also accountability. As the drama has unfolded, the powerful words from James Baldwin linger in my mind when he said “How much time do you want for your progress?”

        The attack on the Capitol struck home with me with regard to so-called dangers to America and how our government and nation react to them. My own€ personal experiences€ have been testaments of how this country really sees African Americans. When I had the audacity to sue the CIA for racial discrimination, the government and the courts felt such a trial, an African American fighting for his constitutional rights, would be a grave threat to national security and therefore not allowed to go forward and destroy the country. Furthermore, I was wrongfully put on€ trial€ as a threat to the national security of this country. My experience was nothing more than what has been standard operating procedure for America. Think about the numerous so-called race riots, officially sanctioned lynchings of African Americans, the firehose and dog attacks upon protesters during the Civil Rights Movement, and just about every official response to racial uprisings. The all too recent heavy-handed and militaristic responses to protests related to Black Lives Matter all over the country are proof enough that the shameful trend continues of branding African Americans as threats to national security.

      • Washington’s Delusion of Endless World Dominion

        By 1956, Britain had exploited its global empire shamelessly for a decade in an effort to lift its domestic economy out of the rubble of World War II. It was looking forward to doing so for many decades to come. Then an obscure Egyptian army colonel named Gamal Abdel Nasser seized the Suez Canal and Britain’s establishment erupted in a paroxysm of racist outrage. The prime minister of the day, Sir Antony Eden, forged an alliance with France and Israel to send six aircraft carriers to the Suez area, smash Egypt’s tank force in the Sinai desert, and sweep its air force from the skies.

        But Nasser grasped the deeper geopolitics of empire in a way that British leaders had long forgotten. The Suez Canal was the strategic hinge that tied Britain to its Asian empire — to British Petroleum’s oil fields in the Persian Gulf and the sea lanes to Singapore and beyond. So, in a geopolitical masterstroke, he simply filled a few rusting freighters with rocks and sank them at the entrance to the canal, snapping that hinge in a single gesture. After Eden was forced to withdraw British forces in a humiliating defeat, the once-mighty British pound trembled at the precipice of collapse and, overnight, the sense of imperial power in England seemed to vanish like a desert mirage.

      • “We Are Here Because You Are There”: Viet Thanh Nguyen on How U.S. Foreign Policy Creates Refugees

        Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnamese American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses why he chooses to use the term “refugee” in his books, and speaks about his own experience as a refugee. His new novel tells the story of a man who arrives in France as a refugee from Vietnam, and explores the main character’s questioning of ideology and different visions of liberation. Titled “The Committed,” the book is a sequel to “The Sympathizer,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. Nguyen says his protagonist is “a man of two faces and two minds” whose ability to see beyond Cold War divisions makes him the perfect figure to satirize the facile stories people tell themselves about the world. “He’s always going beyond the surface binaries to look underneath.” Nguyen is the chair of English and professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His other books include “The Refugees” and the edited collection “The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives.”

      • Viet Thanh Nguyen on Roots of Anti-Asian Hate from U.S. Colonialism to Anti-China Political Rhetoric

        Protests condemning hate crimes against Asian Americans continue, following the deadly shootings in Atlanta where a white gunman attacked three Asian-owned spas and killed eight people, six of them women of Asian descent. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta and around the U.S. demanding an end to anti-Asian racism and honoring the lives of the eight people who were killed: Xiaojie Tan, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Suncha Kim, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Daoyou Feng and Paul Andre Michels. Anti-Asian hate in the United States is “not anything new,” says Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnamese American writer. “The history of anti-Asian violence in this country goes back to as long as we’ve had Asian immigrants in this country.” He also speaks about the dangers of anti-China rhetoric from both Republican and Democratic leaders and how that contributes to suspicion of Asian Americans.

      • US intelligence thinks you’re stupid: ODNI report blames Russia, ignores Colombian election interference
      • Leaks show CIA pressured Yemen to release al-Qaeda leader and agency asset Anwar al-Awlaki
      • Evidence in Capitol [insurrection] 'trending towards' sedition charges, prosecutor says

        Asked if he expects sedition charges to be brought against some of the suspects, Sherwin said, “I believe the facts do support those charges, and I think that as we go forward, more facts will support that, Scott. This is going to be a long-term investigation.”

      • Five years after attacks, Belgium remembers its dead

        The March 22, 2016 bombings were the worst massacre in the country's modern peacetime history and triggered a huge operation to locate and detain Islamist extremists.

    • Environment

      • Climate Polluters Pour Billions Into Hundreds of 'Sportswashing' Sponsorships: Report

        "Sport needs to up its game and adopt policies that reject high-carbon sponsors. Clubs, competitions, and institutions need to take their climate commitments seriously."

      • Experts Urge World Leaders to 'Put Marine Ecosystems at the Heart of Climate Policy'

        "A healthy ocean, teeming with life, is a vital tool in the bid to tackle global heating."

      • Experts Urge World Leaders to 'Put Marine Ecosystems at the Heart of Climate Policy'

        As global weather experts warned Monday that the world's oceans are “under threat like never before,” more than 3,000 scientists, politicians, and other public figures had endorsed an open letter urging national governments to “recognize the critical importance of our ocean and blue carbon in the fight against the climate€ emergency.”

      • Big carbon users top global sports sponsors' league

        Big Tobacco used to be one of the principal sports sponsors. Now some major climate polluters have replaced it: Big Carbon.

      • 'Wake-Up Call': Analysis Shows Corporate Climate Pledges Failing Planet... And Investors

        The report makes clear "that far more specific, concrete, and ambitious action plans are needed in order to make the promise of a net-zero future a reality."

      • Peer-reviewed research in psychology on the impacts of discussing difficult futures such as societal collapse

        This paper presents a review of psychology research that can help people begin to assess the different ways they can responsibly support each other to talk about their thoughts and feelings on their perceptions of societal disruption and collapse, at home and abroad, due to environmental and climate change. It includes a summary of a review of published studies in psychology on matters of anticipating difficult futures, including vulnerability, disruption, disaster, suffering and mortality. The claims by both specialists and non-specialists that collapse anticipation is necessarily harmful to mental health and social engagement is shown to be theoretically and empirically weak. Instead, the research that suggests we engage each other on this upsetting topic to promote coping. It highlights the potential for that engagement to support people with processing difficult emotions and thus finding more pro-social and pro-environmental ways of responding to societal disturbances. The research is preceded by an extended foreword which locates this literature review in the context of the growing fields of Collapsology and Deep Adaptation.

      • Biden’s New Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is Unprecedented...More for Her Climate Warrior Politics Than Her Identity

        The 60-year-old Haaland is an activist-turned-lawmaker who was among the crop of progressive women of color who won a slew of races in the 2018 midterm races. She became one of the two first Indigenous womenever to win a congressional seat. Now, in a 51-40 Senate vote, Haaland broke barriers once more in winning confirmation as the nation’s first Indigenous interior secretary and first Indigenous Cabinet secretary.

        I had the chance to speak with Haaland in 2018 before she won her congressional seat representing New Mexico. Six months before she was elected, she told me that “creating a renewable energy revolution in our state and in our country” was a central issue for her as a candidate and that she was working “to get big corporate money out of politics because I don’t believe that our elected officials should be working for the lobbyists—they should be working for the people.”

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Gas Export Terminal on Delaware River Moves NJ Away From Its Renewable Resources Goal

          Creation of a gas export terminal is a backward-looking, short-sighted, risky project for New Jersey and the region.

        • 'Good Day to Be a Human Being': Activists Welcome Cancellation of Texas LNG Terminal

          "There's more work to do to ensure other proposed fracked gas export terminals... are never built, but today we celebrate this important victory for our people and our environment."

        • Are California Oil Companies Complying With the Law? Even Regulators Often Don’t Know.

          On a breezy February afternoon at the ragged edge of rapidly gentrifying downtown Los Angeles, hipsters walk toy dogs along Pico Boulevard. Around the corner on 14th Street, an actor strikes poses for a photo shoot against murals of sunflowers, diamonds and inspirational sayings. The aging, yellow brick residential Portsmouth Hotel sits among knockoff watch dealers here, while a block away, a giant construction crane hoists materials skyward for new luxury apartments.

          Below ground is another story. Tucked out of sight, oil wells run thousands of feet deep, tapping thick crude from one of California’s many urban oil fields. And in the fall of 2019, investigators with the state’s oil agency flagged trouble.

        • The Coal Plant Next Door

          Mark Berry raised his right hand, pledging to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The bespectacled mechanical engineer took his seat inside the cherry-wood witness stand. He pulled his microphone close to his yellow bow tie and glanced left toward five of Georgia’s most influential elected officials. As one of Georgia Power’s top environmental lobbyists, Berry had a clear mission on that rainy day in April 2019: Convince those five energy regulators that the company’s customers should foot the bill for one of the most expensive toxic waste cleanup efforts in state history.

          When Berry became Georgia Power’s vice president of environmental affairs in 2015, he inherited responsibility for a dark corporate legacy dating back to before he was born. For many decades, power companies had burnt billions of tons of coal, dumping the leftover ash — loaded with toxic contaminants — into human-made “ponds” larger than many lakes. But after a pair of coal-ash pond disasters in Tennessee and North Carolina exposed the environmental and health risks of those largely unregulated dumps, the Obama administration required power companies to stop using the aging disposal sites.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Songs Whales Sing: The Peculiar History of Commercial Whaling
        • Meditations from the Greater Gila: On the Possibility of Wolves, the Actuality of Dark Skies, and Actualizing the Possible

          Everywhere in the Gila, there’s the possibility of wolves. I wake early. The thermometer in the rental car reads 15 degrees. A flock of dark-eyed juncos, earlier risers, flit about in the frozen grass, indifferent to my stomps and claps as I attempt to return feeling to my hands and feet. It’s the middle of February in the San Francisco mountains. And there’s the possibility of wolves.

          I park at a deserted trailhead. A sign posted at the informational kiosk offers a $35,000 reward for any tips that might lead to the poachers who recently killed two wolves. The total population of Mexican Gray Wolves in the United States teeters just above 180. The odds aren’t good. And still, there’s the possibility of wolves.

    • Finance

      • The Republican Party...Beyond the Pale

        He could easily fill a multi-volume memoir with his efforts as€ the Grim Reaper, he could title it “The Life and Times of an Unabashed Hypocrite”. Of course€ hypocrisy€ starts at the top and runs deep in what was once The Grand Old Party. While he can no longer rule by tweet, the former President still dominates the party thanks to the devotion of€ his base€ and few Republican officeholders dare to challenge him.

        The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was criticized as too expensive by Republicans, while the $1.8 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) of 2020 was passed and signed by the former President as McConnell and his minions grinned in the background, but to be fair, there were differences. ARPA was a Democratic bill signed by a Democratic President with the majority of the benefits going to suffering low and middle income Americans. The CARES act was a Republican bill signed by a Republican President that provided€ lavish benefits€ to the rich who were not suffering economically and in many cases, were€ increasing their wealth€ during the pandemic.

      • 'This Is Tax Evasion': Richest 1% of US Households Don't Report 21% of Their Income, Analysis Finds

        "We estimate that 36% of federal income taxes unpaid are owed by the top 1%."

      • Zoom Paid $0 in Federal Income Taxes on 4,000% Profit Increase During Pandemic: Report

        "If you paid $14.99 a month for a Zoom Pro membership, you paid more to Zoom than it paid in federal income taxes even as it made $660 million in profits last year."

      • What Are 2020’s Tax Brackets, and Will I Get Audited?

        The federal government taxes people based on how much they make each year. Seven tax brackets — based on income ranges — determine how much you pay:

        In addition to those brackets, there are four main categories, also known as “statuses,” that affect how you are taxed:

      • Opinion | The Boundless Advantages of the Welfare State—for the Rich

        Robbing the rest of us blind, wealthy Americans benefit from a wide array of tax breaks and government subsidies that are hidden behind the constant Republican blather about entitlements for the poor.

      • 'Even Manchin Called for $4 Trillion': Progressives Say Biden's Infrastructure Plan Falls Short

        "If $3 trillion is what Biden's team lands on, they'll be neglecting what's politically and publicly popular, and what's quite frankly vital for the future of our society and our planet."

      • Opinion | An Open Letter to Joe Manchin: Care About Workers, Not Inflation

        Your concerns about workers leaving the workplace reveal an appalling ignorance of the demands and inequities of the labor market.€ 

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Admits Filibuster Reform Would Be 'Catastrophic' for GOP

        The former president's admission came as Democrats face further pressure to eliminate the archaic Senate rule.

      • China and the Perils of Bi-Partisanship

        Not even the so-called moderate Republicans, the handful that backed the second impeachment of Donald Trump, deigned to support an economic package that helps Americans hardest hit by the pandemic. The entire Republican caucus didn’t just snub the Democrats. They ignored the Republican mayors, as well as 41 percent of Republican voters, who approved of the legislation.

        Naturally, the unified Republican caucus complained that Joe Biden was not displaying his promised bipartisanship. It didn’t seem to occur to them that bipartisanship is a two-way street. How soon they’ve forgotten that nearly every Democrat in both houses voted for the Trump administration’s initial bailout package in March 2020.

      • Reefer Madness: Biden White House Director's Cut

        Or, rather, due to having truthfully disclosed that marijuana use when applying for their jobs. It’s a felony to lie on forms like the Office of Personnel Management’s “Questionnaire for National Security Positions,” which asks “In the last seven (7) years, have you illegally used any drugs or controlled substances?” Presumably some applicants decided to risk the felony rap rather than out themselves. They’re apparently the smart ones.

        I’m not prone to pity for government employees who find themselves kicked out of Uncle Sugar’s paycheck mill and into the productive sector, but the sheer idiocy of this move doesn’t augur well for drug policy in general.

      • Opinion | It's Time to Give D.C. the True Autonomy and Self-Governance That Comes With Statehood

        Our country must grant full and equal rights to the 712,000 residents of D.C.€ 

      • Team Biden: Diplomatic and Strategic Failure

        Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, mismanaged the first days of important talks with his Chinese counterpart in Alaska last week.€  After getting Beijing’s agreement to hold the talks in the United States, the Department of State on the eve of the talks announced economic sanctions against two dozen Chinese officials.€  Poor form to say the least.€  And in the run-up to the talks, U.S. national security officials downplayed the significance and outcome of the talks, even questioning the need for face-to-face discussions.€  To start the meeting, Blinken went overboard publicly, reciting a long list of U.S. grievances with Chinese domestic policies, which Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi felt compelled to counter.

        The poor diplomatic performance of our top national security officials, however, takes second place to the strategic blunder regarding U.S. relations with both Russia and China, effectively driving Moscow and Beijing toward their closest bilateral relationship since the 1950s.€  Until now, it has been a fixed notion in U.S. strategic thinking that close relations between Russia and China would be an anathema for U.S. interests.€  Post-war U.S. administrations were so obsessed with Sino-Soviet collusion that they failed to recognize the serious split between the two communist states in the early sixties, and were guided into the Vietnam War by false assumptions regarding their collaborative policy in Southeast Asia.€  In fact, Sino-Soviet differences on a series of issues, including Vietnam, drove the two communist states into warfare in 1969.€  The Central Intelligence Agency had no success in the 1960s trying to convince the Johnson administration of Sino-Soviet discord.

      • Bessemer and the Power Shift

        All this is coming to a head in several ways.

      • Washington declined Putin-Biden discussion, says Russian Foreign Ministry

        The United States has declined Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to hold an “open discussion” with U.S. President Joe Biden, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday, March 22.€ 

      • Opinion | It's Time to Right This Historic Wrong and Make Washington, DC a State

        Make my generation the last to be denied equal representation in Congress. Make sure my future children won’t grow up in the shadows of democracy.

      • 'I Need Her Alongside Me in Congress': Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Nina Turner

        New York Democrat says Turner "has spent her entire career advocating for the working people of Northeast Ohio."

      • Democracy for DC 'On the Horizon'? Poll Shows Support for Statehood at All-Time High

        "For more than 200 years, my hundreds of thousands of neighbors in this city and I have been mere spectators to our democracy."

      • How ‘Cancel Culture’ Became An Issue For Young Republicans

        Many Americans don’t have an opinion about “cancel culture” — or even know what it is. Younger Americans tend to be more familiar with the term at this point, though this could change given how much the GOP is making it a part of its political playbook.

      • The Perpetual Battle for Free Speech

        The Right Honourable Dr Liam Fox MP, Former Secretary of State for International Trade and Former Secretary of State for Defence, speaks at the Adam Smith Institute at 11am on Monday 22nd March to make a pitch for free speech followed by an in-depth interview with journalist Jodie Ginsberg. Together they’ll explore the issues in civil society, law, and the philosophical battle over what we should be able to say, when, and where.

      • The value of free speech

        The foundational rights such as free speech is threatened when people stop using them. It is important to remember that there is no universally agreed definition of ‘hate speech’. If hate speech was in our legislation, there would be a great risk that it limited our free speech. The cancel culture has such an effect that expressing opinions that are against the mainstream opinion are easily deemed as being politically incorrect and subject to silencing. This kind of development is not compatible with democratic values. Democracy entails an inclusive political system in which all groups can participate, and all voices are heard. This is a treasure not to be lost.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Appeals Court Judge Attacks Fundamental Principle Of 1st Amendment Law, Because He Thinks The Media Likes Democrats Too Much

        Two years ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas shocked a lot of people by arguing -- somewhat out of nowhere -- that the Supreme Court should revisit the NY Times v. Sullivan ruling. If you're unaware, that 1964 ruling is perhaps the most important and fundamental Supreme Court ruling regarding the 1st Amendment. It's the case that established a few key principles and tests that are incredibly important in stopping vexatious, censorial SLAPP suits -- often by those in power, against those who criticize.

      • Sharyl Attkisson Lawsuit Against Rod Rosenstein Claiming She Was Hacked By Government Tossed

        Remember Sharyl Attkisson? If not, she is a former CNN and CBS journalist who made something of a name for herself both in reporting on the Obama administration, often critically, as well as for accusing that same administration of hacking into her computer and home network. Whatever you think of her reporting, her lawsuit against Eric Holder and the Justice Department over the hacking claims was crazy-pants. Essentially, she took a bunch of the same technological glitches all of us deal with on a daily basis -- flickering television screens, a stuck backspace key on her computer -- and wove that into a giant conspiracy against her and her reporting. She made a big deal in the suit, and her subsequent book on the matter, over some "computer experts" she relied on to confirm that she was a victim of government hacking, except those experts remained largely anonymous and were even, in some cases, third party people she'd never met. For that and other reasons related to how quickly she managed to do initial discovery, the case was tossed by the courts in 2019.

      • 'Free speech is at risk' Liam Fox in chilling warning at 'intolerance of woke culture'

        Meanwhile, in the latest outrage, more than 100 leading academics have signed a letter demanding why Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School cancelled a seminar by Professor Gregory Clark because vocal leftwing students objected to his thesis that “genetics determines most social outcomes” without listening to his arguments.

        The academics said that the reasons given for cancelling the speech were “unlawful” because “the University of Glasgow has a legal obligation to uphold free speech.”

        Speaking to the Sunday Express, ahead of his lecture on free speech, Dr Fox warned that the debate had been changed by the advent of social media.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | Why Is Amazon Abusing Its Workers? Because It Can

        The power shift can be reversed—but only with stronger labor laws, tougher trade deals, and a renewed commitment to antitrust.

      • “The War at Home - Rebellion”

        Scott Noble’s latest documentary series, The War at Home, takes a deep dive into the history of labor movements and state repression in the United States. Soon to be a multi-part series, the first entry is titled ‘Rebellion’ and can be viewed online for free. As with all of Noble’s films, The War at Home is meticulously researched and weaves a rich tapestry of primary and secondary sources and documents, including amazing period footage of momentous yet often little-remembered (or effectively censored) events. Punctuated by classic American folk and blues music, it is as much a celebration of America’s rebels as a condemnation of its injustices.

        The film looks at history through the lens of the working class, beginning with the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago, continuing through the spread of Jim Crow in Louisiana, to the Triangle Shirtwaist tragedy of 1911, and on to the violent strikes and police crackdowns of the Great€ Depression. In the first few minutes alone, the film tackles the concept of “wage-slavery,” noting that the great abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass initially rejected the term, yet later conceded, “there may be a slavery of wages only a little less galling and crushing in its effects than chattel slavery.” Conservatives who have re-branded themselves “classical liberals” may be surprised to learn that 19th century English philosopher John Stuart Mill believed that wage-labor would soon be replaced by something more amendable to the majority, as it was not a “satisfactory state to human beings.”

      • Pasco County’s Sheriff Must End Its Targeted Child Harassment Program

        Below is a page from the ILP’s pseudoscientific manual. Once a juvenile is tagged with this label, police show up at their home and harass their entire family. As one former deputy described the program to reporters, the objective was to “make their lives miserable until they move or sue.”

        Screen capture from the manual of the Intelligence-Led Policing program.

        The fault lies not just with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, which built this system and uses it to hound youth. The system also functions with the help of public schools and child welfare agencies that collect data about kids for purposes of providing them with important educational and social services, and then hand this data over to the Sheriff. This is an egregious abuse of trust. As a reaction to this publicized relationship between the schools and the police, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies organization cut nearly in half the money it had intended to give Pasco County schools, pulling the remaining $1.7 million. The organization explained, reasonably, that the program was contradictory to their values.€ 

      • Mo Brooks Compared Biden’s Election to the Start of the Civil War. Now He Wants a Senate Seat.

        Mo Brooks, the Alabama congressman who is about to launch a campaign for Senate, has officially said he condemns the Capitol riot and opposes violence.

        But in hours of right-wing media interviews before and after the deadly insurrection on Jan. 6, he repeatedly raised the prospect of violence as a possible response to Donald Trump losing the 2020 presidential election.

      • Cop's Lies About A Traffic Stop Are Exposed By A Home Security Camera Located Across The Street

        Cops lie.

      • Opinion | The Evil Within Us: Evangelicals and Mass Murder in Atlanta

        Millions of largely white Americans, hermetically sealed within the ideology of the Christian Right, yearn to destroy the 'Satanic' forces they blame for the debacle of their lives. And one such evangelical just killed eight people in Atlanta.

      • The Emerging Culture of Compassion

        Given the level of divisive conditioning, with its emphasis on competition and selfishness, that we are all exposed to, it’s a wonder that kindness and compassion exist at all. But exist they do, and since the global calamity that is Covid-19 hit our streets, a widespread feeling of brotherhood has surfaced, triggering acts of everyday altruism in communities all over the world.

        Huge numbers of people are volunteering with health services, local support groups, and food-banks; delivering medication, offering fitness classes, checking on vulnerable neighbors and more. Times of emergency and catastrophe routinely trigger such acts of kindness, calling forth the best in us. Superficial differences are cast aside in light of the immediate need and we see ourselves in the other; selfishness and ambition are negated, for a moment at least, and compassion made manifest.

      • EU imposes sanctions on Chechen officials for involvement in LGBTQ repressions and extrajudicial killings

        The European Union has sanctioned two Chechen officials for their involvement in serious human rights violations in Russia’s Chechnya. This was announced in the Official Journal of the European Union on Monday, March 22.

      • The World Darkens a Little More: I May Have to Spend Some Time as a Political Prisoner

        I suspect I should say as little as possible in the next few days. With apologies to The National, I have copied their story out from behind their firewall.

      • Russian court rejects Navalny’s lawsuit over failure to investigate his August 2020 poisoning

        A Moscow military court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) against the Main Military Investigative Directorate (GVSU) over its refusal to open an investigation into his August 2020 poisoning.€ 

      • Where Are the “Other” White Men?

        So where are the “other” white men? Who wear masks, believe in gender equality (and science), raise their children, don’t “babysit” them; workingmen volunteering in their communities? There are plenty of them below the media’s radar, and many like them are in BIPOC communities.

        For anyone who knows men like these, support them! No one can afford to remain silent about the dangers posed by white supremacist men who dominate the news. Especially in light of the insurrection at the US Capitol, we need to hear from the “other” white men and their allies. Now.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Whistleblower Says AT&T Has Been Ripping Off US Schools For A Decade

        In just the last five years or so AT&T has been: fined $18.6 million for helping rip off programs for the hearing impaired; fined $10.4 million for ripping off a program for low-income families; fined $105 million for helping "crammers" by intentionally making such bogus charges more difficult to see on customer bills; and fined $60 million for lying to customers about the definition of "unlimited" data. This is just a few of AT&T's adventures in regulatory oversight, and in most instances AT&T lawyers are usually able to lower the fines, or eliminate them entirely, after years of litigation.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Opinion | In a Devastating Pandemic Year, Amazon Was Its Biggest Winner

        How the virus that battered the economy was a boon for Jeff Bezos.

      • Women vs (white-only) Big Tech and activism in Brazil

        Today, I find useful to quote a few passages from a November 2020 interview to “Bárbara Paes, a young Brazilian feminist who works at the intersection of technology and social justice”. The interview covers many topics, but here I only quote from the part that most matches the scope of this website: digital divides, and divides in discussions, and funding of, digital social innovation.

        The quotes are almost literal, only emphasis and minimal edits for clarity are mine. Images are screenshots of a DuckDuckgo image search for “feminist cyberactivism”.

      • Patents

        • Patent rights, Taxes, and Printing Money [Ed: This is nonsense because patents are not rights. But this blogger is sponsored by extremists who profit from software patent/s extortion and patents on life and nature, so facts are out the window]

          One reason that patents remain a popular government program is that the system does not require any collection of taxes from the populace. Rather, the government gives away property rights to individuals (or their corporate assignees) who prove themselves worthy by disclosing a new and useful invention and who pay fees to run the system. The patent-give-away is different than the land-giveaway associated with American Westward Expansion (often known as “Land Patents”). Although the American West (and Midwest) is vast, it eventually proved finite. And, the space was already occupied by humans who were violently displaced.

          Despite the oft quoted statements of Commissioner Duell, the patent space is not showing any signs of being limited in the conceivable future. And, because a patent must be directed to a new invention, the rights only cover fields not previously occupied at the time of patent filing.

          As a non-finite resource, we might also think of granting patents as akin to printing money — something that we know can create macroeconomic challenges. But with patents, the government is not printing a commodity like money. What we’re printing is an analogue of private property rights in the form of a right to exclude. Each is different and unique, like a plot of land.

        • Hamburg judge: UPC an ‘embarrassment’ for Germany [Ed: More propaganda and lobbying by think tank of Team UPC, pretending UPC is good and that it's anything but dead, i.e. more of the usual (it keeps happening all the time)]

          Stephanie Zöllner tells Managing IP there is still hope for the UPC despite more frustrating delays – and why she’s excited by the young judges coming through

        • Assia loses appeal against KPN and Nokia over data transmission patent

          The Court of Appeal in The Hague has confirmed an invalidity decision originally handed down by a first-instance court in October 2019 (case ID: C/09/563488), in favour of KPN and Nokia. Once again, the defendants won based on invalidity due to added matter.

          However, this time the Court of Appeal went one step further, dismissing the remaining claims of the patent, which the District Court of The Hague did not examine in the first instance. As such, the Court of Appeal has nullified all claims of EP 456.


          In the first instance proceedings, KPN and Nokia also put forward a FRAND defence. However, the court found the patent invalid due to added matter. Accordingly, the FRAND defence was deemed unnecessary in the eyes of the court. KPN and Nokia also argued that, as Stanford University is the official patentee, Assia determination of a FRAND royalty rate was inadmissible.

        • Huawei plans to start charging patent fees to Samsung, Apple for each phone sold [Ed: Doing a Microsoft]

          Huawei is seeking to make up some of the losses it has experienced as a result of the US government's moves to sanction the company and limit its ability to sell products in the American market. The US government says national security concerns have driven the policy.

          Apple and Samsung would each have to pay up to $2.50 per smartphone sold, with Huawei promising to cap it there and keep rates lower than competitors like Qualcomm or Nokia. For example, Nokia has capped its licensing rate at around $3.58 per unit.

          Huawei expects to fetch between $1.2 and 1.3 billion in total fees for 2019 through 2021, though that figure includes more than just the 5G royalties discussed here.

          An intellectual-property research firm called GreyB is cited by CNBC as claiming that Huawei has the largest number of declared 5G patent families of any company, at 3,007, and that 18.3 percent of those are in use.


          Both Apple and Samsung use 5G modems made by Qualcomm at present, but Huawei's patents are still in play. Apple plans to develop its own modems to replace Qualcomm's in future iPhones, but it is likely to still depend on patents by companies like Huawei and Qualcomm to deliver 5G connectivity.

        • Apple Sued for Infringement of Circuit-Related Patents

          On Tuesday, plaintiff Future Link Systems LLC filed a complaint against Apple for patent infringement, alleging that the defendant infringed the patents-in-suit via Apple’s electronic devices and components of said devices.

          The patents-in-suit are United States Patent Nos. 6,317,804 (the ’804 patent); 6,622,108 (the ’108 patent); 6,807,505 (the ’505 patent); and 7,917,680 (the ’680 patent). The plaintiff argued that it went back and forth with Apple between 2018 and 2019 to inform and discuss Apple’s purported infringement, but Apple asserted non-infringement and invalidity arguments and stated prior art contentions. The plaintiff noted that Apple did not discuss licensing the plaintiff’s patents-in-suit.

          For example, in regards to the ’804 patent, entitled, “Concurrent Serial Interconnect for Integrating Functional Blocks in an Integrated Circuit Device,” Apple purportedly “makes, uses, offers for sale, sells, and/or imports certain products (‘accused Products’), including smartphones, tablets, and computers incorporating Apple Ax and Mx processors” that allegedly infringe at least claim 1 of the ’804 patent.

        • Apple Ordered To Pay $308.5 Million In Patent Infringement Case
        • The European Commission’s Expert Group Report on SEP Licensing and Valuation: What Did We Achieve? What Did We Miss?

          The European Commission just released its expert group Report on SEP licensing and valuation. As a member of that expert group, this short paper share some personal thoughts about the content of the Report, the way it was made, its achievements, but also its limits.

          The paper is divided in four parts. Part I contains some general observations regarding the way the Report was drafted, the role played by the Commission, and the structure/content of the Report. Part III discusses some of the main themes of the Report. Part IV focuses on a small subset of issues that I consider particularly important for the future of SEP licensing in the EU. Finally, Part V contains a short conclusion.

        • Texas is Big: Albright did not Abuse Discretion in Moving Case from Midland to Waco. [Ed: Texas became a laughing stock of the patent system and those profiting from the abuse of the system in Texas (law firms) sponsor this write to act as though all is well, nothing to see here...]

          This is another mandamus petition out of Judge Albright’s courtroom — this time denied. The patentee True Chem filed the declaratory-judgment lawsuit against PCC in the Midland division of W.D.Tex. back in 2018, before Judge Albright joined the bench. In 2019 the case was reassigned to Judge Albright who conducted some of the proceedings in his Waco courtroom. Texas is big — the Western District of Texas is larger than most state, and the drive from Midland to Waco is 300+ miles (both parties are from Midland/Odessa).

          Judge Albright suggested to the parties that the trial may also be handled in Waco. Although True Chem wanted a Midland jury, PCC moved to transfer the case to the Waco Division, and Judge Albright granted the motion. A primary reason for the transfer was that Waco already had proven procedures for a socially-distanced trial. True Chem then petition for writ of mandamus to the Federal Circuit.

        • Software Patents

          • AI patent intelligence platform PatSnap secures $300M

            PatSnap, which offers a patent and R&D platform and services, today announced that it raised $300 million in series E funding from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Tencent Investment. The Toronto-, Singapore-, and London-based company plans to use the funds to further develop its intelligence platform, support software product development, and expand the size of its global workforce. PatSnap also says the tranche will enable it to grow its sales division and invest in its employees’ professional growth and professional development.

            Companies are constantly under pressure to increase the pace of their innovation. And while more money is spent on R&D every year — $2.4 trillion in 2021, according to R&D World — the returns are dwindling. An article published in Harvard Business Review noted a 65% drop in R&D productivity. That’s despite the fact that the federal governments of the U.S. and Canada provide more than $15 billion in innovation incentives to private companies and nearly a third of U.S. patents rely directly on U.S. government-funded research.

          • Order of Examination – Patentability Conditions + Eligibility [Ed: Recognition that many USPTO patents are just fake patents, giving applicants false hope (until they come to court)]

            Senators Tillis and Cotton have suggested that the PTO try a sequenced approach to examining patents. First consider whether a patent application complies with Sections 102, 103, and 112; then consider eligibility.

          • Tillis and Cotton Urge Hirshfeld to Adopt Pilot Program to Address ‘Inherently Vague and Subjective’ Eligibility Analyses
      • Copyrights

        • [Guest post] Copyright & NFTs of Digital Artworks

          Over the past few weeks, the sales of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) attached to digital artworks and other content, including music albums, unique sports moments clips, and even Twitter CEO’s first tweet (!), has skyrocketed. Even though artwork-related NFTs are not new to the blockchain communities (see CryptoKitties), the few weeks old digital art-craze has started with the NFT sale of Nyan Cat, a GIF featuring a cartoon cat, for unprecedented amounts – 300 ETH (the cryptocurrency used in the Ethereum blockchain), equivalent to approximately $600,000 USD.


          It is wrongly assumed by many, that ownership of an NFT equals to copyright ownership or a proprietary right over the original actual asset. The reality is that an NFT is proof of owning a unique digital version of an asset, rather than the asset itself. To better understand this, think of an NFT as a limited-edition copy of a poster, rather than the actual original poster. What you own, is a scarce version of the artwork.

          Then one has, but to ask: Who owns the copyright of the NFT’s underlying digital artwork?

          An explanation comes under UK copyright law, according to which the author is generally its first copyright owner. More than this, copyright ownership is retained by the artist, even after the sale of the work. As such, the NFT owner does not have a right to print or make copies of the work, without the copyright owner’s permission. An exception to this rule would be the existence of an express term in the NFT’s encoding, for transfer of copyright ownership to the NFT owner alongside a sale.

          So, does the NFT owner actually enjoy any rights in relation to the artwork?

          The answer is, usually, yes. By owning an NFT over a digital artwork, buyers often enjoy certain limited usage rights in relation to the artwork connected to it. These are predetermined by the NFT creator and limitations can be placed upon, for instance, how the work is presented.

        • Revisiting the License v. Sale Conundrum

          This Article seeks to answer a question that has become increasingly more important as commerce moves from the tangible to the intangible - to what extent may a business use a contract to control the use of a fully paid product? The characterization of a transaction as a license or a sale determines what may be done with a product, who controls how the product may be used, and what happens in the event of a dispute. The past generation has seen a seismic shift in the way businesses distribute their products to consumers. Businesses often “license” rather than “sell” their products, and view consumers as licensees, rather than owners, of the products they buy. Customers own their copies of books, movies, and music but merely license the same content when they purchase it in digital form. The marketplace transition from sale to license has far and wide ripple effects affecting a range of issues from innovation to the environment. The rapid emergence of the Internet of Things adds to the urgency and importance of the question – are goods licensed or sold?

          The question of whether a digital product is licensed or sold is often conflated with the question of whether a product should be licensed or sold. The problem lies, in large part, with contract law which has taken a well-intentioned but misguided turn away from the intent of the parties and toward a narrow vision of efficiency. When it comes to commercial transactions, the narrow efficiency view prioritizes quantity of completed transactions over quality, ignoring consumer expectations and the way distrust creates uncertainty in the marketplace. This Article proposes a methodology for resolving the license v. sale conundrum that promotes a more expansive view of efficiency and brings more predictability and fairness to an increasingly muddled area of the law.

        • Mangadex Has Been Hacked, Users Should Assume Data Has Been Breached

          MangaDex, a scanlation platform with tens of millions of monthly visitors, has announced it will be offline until further notice. According to its operators, a "malicious actor" gained access to administrator and developer accounts last weekend emailed some users with a warning. Regular users are being advised to assume that their data may have been compromised.

        • UK Police Warn Students Not to Use Sci-Hub But Publishers 'Promote' It

          City of London police are warning students not to use Sci-Hub because it's illegal and potentially dangerous. At the same time, universities are encouraged to block the site. The warning stands in sharp contrast to the academic reality, where even the publishers who rally against Sci-Hub, reference Sci-Hub 'publications' on their sites. Apparently, researchers are so used to the site that they happily cite it.

        • Senators Leahy And Tillis -- Both Strongly Supported By Hollywood -- Ask Merrick Garland To Target Streaming Sites

          As you'll likely recall, at the very end of last year, Senator Thom Tillis, the head of the intellectual property subcommittee in the Senate, slipped a felony streaming bill into the grand funding omnibus. As we noted at the time, this bill -- which was a pure gift to Hollywood -- was never actually introduced, debated, or voted on separately. It was just introduced and immediately slipped into the omnibus. This came almost a decade after Senators had tried to pass a similar bill, connected to the SOPA/PIPA. You may even recall when Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced such a bill in 2011, Justin Bieber actually suggested that maybe Senator Klobuchar should be locked up for trying to turn streaming into a felony.

        • Her Story: Promoting Inclusivity and Equity

          Our hope is that these conversations will inspire you to reflect on your own stories and ideas. We also hope it will motivate you to think about how you can help make open sharing more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. Put simply, we want to make sharing better—to do that, we need your help.

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