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Links 22/4/2021: Ubuntu Release, KDE Gear 21.04, GNU/Linux on MacBooks

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 14 Best Places to Buy Linux Laptops in 2021

        Linux systems have come a long way since. The user interfaces are better polished, the animations and effects which make for a pleasant UX have improved, the default apps are more reliable, the installation process is smoother, documentation is richer, data privacy is more centered, and security measures are better implemented.

        Open-source distros have expanded beyond the domains of servers, system administration, and programming, into that of personal computing. For this reason, dual booting is gradually becoming a thing of the past as computer manufacturers now ship hardware with Linux distros preinstalled. Another factor erasing the need for dual-booting operating systems is virtualization, but that’s a story for a different day.

        What I am saying, in essence, is that gone are the days when you had to purchase a Windows laptop only to take the long route of replacing Windows with Linux or dual-booting the system and then struggling with driver compatibility, among other issues, afterward. You can buy a Linux laptop directly and there are several options available to you.

        In today’s article, we present you with a list of reliable stores from which you can purchase your next Linux computer. These PCs have been tested for driver and network compatibility, and they come with a relatively lighter price tag compared to ones that ship with a Windows license. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are 10 or more places where you can buy Linux computers.

      • Restore an old MacBook with Linux

        Last year, I wrote about how you can give new life to an old MacBook with Linux, specifically Elementary OS in that instance. Recently, I returned to that circa 2015 MacBook Air and discovered I had lost my login password. I downloaded the latest Elementary OS 5.1.7 Hera release and could not get the live boot to recognize my Broadcom 4360 wireless chipset.

        Lately, I have been using Linux Mint to refurbish older laptops, and I thought I would give it a try on this MacBook Air. I downloaded the Linux Mint 20.1 ISO and created a USB boot drive using the Popsicle software on my Linux desktop computer.

      • Thelio Massive at the Lab: An interview with Luca Della Santina

        A few things. We wanted a system that was designed to run Linux from its foundations. There are not a lot of systems like yours, so that was a major factor in our choice. We also wanted a system that we could expand easily in the future, and we found out that the Thelio Massive has has great expandability.

    • Server

      • Edge data centers might have air con engineers – but no Linux, storage or VM specialists [Ed: Job ads disguised as "sponsored" 'articles' now?]

        Edge centers will have to be managed by largely non-specialist staff as micro data centers are rolled out across the world. While air-conditioning engineers and electricians will make it through the door, the economics of running Edge data centers will mean that data center specialists – such as storage experts or qualified Linux engineers – won’t be employed on-site

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Preparing To Deal With SD Card Power/Performance Features - Phoronix

        Since the SD card specification v4.0 there has been the notion of extension registers initially for power management features that in the SD v6.0 specification also is now used for performance features. The Linux kernel is finally beginning to work towards making use of those SD extension registers.

        Ulf Hansson of Linaro sent out patches this week so the Linux kernel begins reading/parsing those SD extension registers. However, at this point the Linux kernel isn't making use of those power/performance registers... Hopefully those patches will come soon now that this prerequisite work to actually read those registers is in place by these patches.

      • Google Volleys Latest "Restricted DMA" Patches For Protecting IOMMU-Less Hardware - Phoronix

        The past few months there has been work by Google's Chrome OS engineers on Restricted DMA functionality for the Linux kernel to protect systems lacking an IOMMU.

        For systems lacking an Input-Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU), Restricted DMA aims to increase system security by ensuring that no unexpected direct memory access occurs that could lead to data leakage or corruption. From Google's perspective one use-case is PCIe-based WiFi where the PCI Express bus isn't behind an IOMMU. Restricted DMA would help fend off the possibility that problematic WiFi firmware could escalate into a full system exploit.

      • University of Minnesota Banned from Linux Kernel for Deliberately Submitting Buggy Code

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, lead Linux kernel developer, has banned the University of Minnesota from further contributions after researchers submitted flawed patches as part of an experiment.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Radeon Software For Linux 21.10 Is Released

          The latest AMD GPU driver package for Linux is out and it is a peculiar one. The only highlights mentioned in the release notes are "full support for Ubuntu 20.04.2" and "preview of the Vulkan Ray Tracing Extensions supported on compatible AMD RDNA 2 based graphics products". The actual driver package appears to be a mix of Mesa drivers, Radeon Open Compute, a LLVM fork, the free AMDVLK Vulkan driver anda "Pro" Vulkan driver, and some tools.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux's P-State Performance Governor Shows Unexpectedly Big Boosts For The Intel Core i9-11900K

        The P-State and CPUFreq "performance" governors on Linux with desktop Intel/AMD processors can be of help for gaming and other select workloads by tending to keep the CPU clock frequencies higher than the default ondemand (CPUFreq) or powersave (P-State) governors used by nearly all Linux distributions. But with Intel's new Core i9 11900K "Rocket Lake" is a dramatic difference in power and performance between the Intel P-State performance and powersave governors than what we have seen over the years with prior generations of Intel Core processors.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Free and Open Source Console MPD Clients

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database.

        The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network.

        There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install TeamSpeak on CentOS 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the TeamSpeak on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, TeamSpeak is a cross-platform voice server or VOIP application for real-time voice chat over the internet. It is mostly used by gamers to communicate with teammates with crystal clear sound, lag-free performance, military-grade security, unparalleled reliability, and uptime. TeamSpeak is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.

        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 TeamSpeak on a CentOS 8.

      • How to Work with Foreground and Background Process in Linux

        An important concept to understand when working with the Linux process is what is the foreground and background process and how to control them. In Linux, if you execute any programs a process will be created with a unique ID (PID) and by default, the process runs in the foreground.

        Let’s take a simple curl command – when you send a request to download a zip file over the internet, curl will run as a foreground process and all the outputs will be displayed in the terminal.

        There are two important keystrokes that you have to understand before working with the background and foreground process.

      • How to build an active-active-active cluster with RHEL 8 and Percona MySQL

        In the past, building a fault-tolerant, secure multi-master MySQL service was cumbersome. It required several steps and dependent packages. Replication configuration, data synchronization, and multiple configuration files added to the complexity. Building a solution on a hardened OS like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 and using a professionally packaged multi-master MySQL distribution from Percona makes it easy. This guide shows you how.

      • Russell Coker: HP MP350P Gen8

        I’m playing with a HP Proliant ML350P Gen8 server (part num 646676-011). For HP servers “ML” means tower (see the ProLiant Wikipedia page for more details [1]). For HP servers the “generation” indicates how old the server is, Gen8 was announced in 2012 and Gen10 seems to be the current generation.

    • Games

      • Dive into the minds of people in jazz-punk adventure Don't Forget Me out now

        Jazz-punk? Sounds pretty fancy. Don't Forget Me is a brand new adventure and puzzle game with a twist, where you dive into peoples minds and use your observational skills to unwrap their minds. The Moon Pirates say it's a game that was inspired by the likes of Her Story and The Red Strings Club.

        "Where are you? *Who* are you? As amnesiac Fran, you awake from a mind-consuming reverie on the doorstep of one of the world’s foremost experts in memory manipulation. Taken in by the kindly Bernard, you begin your life anew, diving into the minds of patients to uncover and copy their memories.. But it’s not long before the secrets you left behind catch up with you...and the fate of the world comes knocking at your door."

      • Scoot Hard DX is a new GZDoom powered FPS with vertical combat and MLP characters | GamingOnLinux

        What do you get when you merge the world of MLP (My Little Pony) and the GZDoom game engine? Scoot Hard DX certainly answers that question.

        "From the minds behind Daytime Drama, the high-octane Scoot Hard DX: Daytime Drama Zero is the prequel to the 2018 cult classic. Very loosely based on Rainbow Factory by AuroraDawn, you play as Scootaloo, who must escape the Cloudsdale Weather Corporation and get her friends back – by kicking flank! With tons of humor, an array of equine enemies, huge levels, powerful weapons, a look and feel like something off mid-2000s Newgrounds, and full voice acting, it is a unique take on the retro shooter genre that could only come from Waffle Iron Studios!"

      • FMOD Studio 2.02 is out along with native Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Enabling even more developers to work directly from Linux, FMOD Studio 2.02 has been released which includes (amongst other things) native support for Linux. This is actually pretty amazing! Since FMOD has quickly become the go-to audio solution for thousands of games and more use it all the time.

        They're not just supporting Ubuntu either, they say it has support for a "wide range of distributions". It's got the major functionality of the Windows and macOS version too with a few caveats including specific formats where Linux has no encoder and no support for "control surfaces". Apart from that, it's all-in.

      • Oh My Git! Is An Open Source Game For Learning Git

        Oh My Git! turns the Git version control system into a fun, interactive game for both beginners and advanced users interested in learning more or to teach others. The game is free and open source, it's built using the Godot game engine, and is available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

      • Crytivo doing a charity livestream to plant trees with a unique The Universim feature | GamingOnLinux

        Crytivo, indie game publisher and developer of the Early Access game The Universim are today doing a big charity funding drive to benefit One Tree Planted.

        Starting at 10 AM PST / 5PM UTC, their team will stream for 32 hours straight on Twitch to raise money for the charity. One dollar donated will be one tree in real life, plus they've adjusted The Universim to have a tree appear on the world each time too - which is pretty clever. Not only that, the names of donors will also "be immortalized on the planet during and after the event when we upload an interactable planet to the web, as a sort of monument to their awesomeness". Oh, they're also going to be giving away a bunch of games from lots of partners.

      • Valve releases Steam Playtest for all devs and new ways to browse Steam

        Valve has upgraded the Steam store once again in two parts: one focused on helping developers, with the other to help users find what they want to play.

        For developers, Steam Playtest is now available for everyone. This is the feature that lets developers have a completely separate install option on their Steam page, inviting users to apply to help test the game. This way developers don't mess around with Beta keys, mailing lists or anything else. Just enable it, then let users come and help. Since testing it, Valve has added a feature to limit it to different countries too, which can help developers test online games and regional servers.

      • After a delay, the huge free Family Trials update for Children of Morta is out for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Dead Mage and 11bit studios have now upgraded the Linux version for Children of Morta to give it the huge free Family Trials update. The biggest update yet to the absolutely stunning looking story-driven action RPG, with some of the best pixel-art work I've ever seen.

        This new game mode is separate to the main story with new systems, items, character build possibilities, and more - all set in a series of completely randomized dungeons. To unlock the mode, you do need to have at least reached the first boss in the story mode though (although you don't need to beat it).

      • Godot Engine 3.3 is out with plans for 3.4 while 4.0 with Vulkan is still in progress

        The free and open source game engine Godot Engine has a huge new feature release out, so big they had to change the version number and they have some big plans for long-term support.

        Originally planned to be 3.2.4, it got so big with new features they branched it to a whole new build with Godot 3.3. Since Godot 4.0 is going to be a major change, with advanced rendering features and Vulkan API support, they're going to keep supporting the 3.x branch with plans in progress for a Godot 3.4 release in Q2/Q3 this year.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04 Software Suite Officially Released with Many Improved KDE Apps

          I told you a few weeks ago that the KDE Project planned on renaming its KDE Applications software suite to KDE Gear, and that the name change will kick off starting with April 2021’s release, versioned 21.04. But the name change won’t affect anyone, as you’ll still enjoy your favorite KDE Apps under the same offering.

          KDE Gear 21.04 is packed with numerous improvements and new features for your favorite KDE applications. For example, the Dolphin file manager now lets you decompress multiple archives at the same time, lets you modify context menu items, lets you select the text of the filename in the information panel, displays thumbnail previews faster, and smoothly animates how icons are rearranged when you split the viewing area or resize the window.

        • KDE Gear 21.04

          KDE produces literally dozens of apps for work, play, education, and creativity. Kontact, for example, gives you control over all your email, contact, and agenda; Itinerary keeps you up to date with everything you need regarding your trips; the KAlgebra graphing calculator works equally well on your desktop and your phone; Cantor provides you with an intuitive way of analyzing data and graphing the results; and Kdenlive makes cutting and building sophisticated-looking videos not only easy, but fun as well.

          These are but a few of the apps releasing new updates today. When combined with the KDE’s powerful Plasma desktop, they provide you with most, if not all, the tools you need to be productive in a versatile and flexible Linux environment.

          But you don’t even need to run Linux! Many of the apps in this announcement work on Windows, macOS, and Android as well. This is what convergent means for KDE: use your favorite apps anywhere, on any system, on your work computer, mobile or even on your TV!

          And, remember: KDE’s apps, the Plasma desktop, Plasma Mobile, Plasma BigScreen and all the rest of KDE’s software are free and open source. No licensing, no hidden costs, no spying. Share them with your friends, install them at work, or use them in your school lab. It is your software to enjoy where and how you want.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Contribute at the Fedora 34 CoreOS Test Day

          The Fedora CoreOS team released the first Fedora CoreOS next stream release based on Fedora 34. They expect to promote this to the testing stream in two weeks, on the usual schedule. As a result, the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test week. It begins Monday, April 26, 2021 and runs through the end of the week. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Is Now Available To Download
          Good news for the Ubuntu lovers as Ubuntu 21.04 is now available to download from the Ubuntu website. You can download it from the link below.

          Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” is a short-term release that comes with Linux 5.11 kernel, the latest GNOME 3.38 point release,and many more other features like upgraded integration with Microsoft’s Active Directory.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Official Flavors Released, Here’s What’s New

          As part of the today’s Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release, all the official Ubuntu flavors have been received new versions as well, and I want you to be the first to read about their new features and improvements.

          The official Ubuntu flavors released as part of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) include Kubuntu 21.04, Xubuntu 21.04, Lubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu Studio 21.04, Ubuntu MATE 21.04, Ubuntu Budgie 21.04, and Ubuntu Kylin 21.04. As expected, they come with all the core change of Ubuntu 21.04, such as Linux kernel 5.11, as well as…

        • What’s New in Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’

          The Hirsute Hippo hits the streets (or mud holes) on April 22, 2021. Either way, the latest version of the enormously popular Ubuntu Linux distribution from Canonical is available for download. Ubuntu 21.04 is an interim release, which means that it receives support for nine months only.

          Canonical releases a build of Ubuntu every six months, one in April and one in October. Every two years, one of these builds is designated a Long Term Support (LTS) release. LTS releases are supported for five years and are considered enterprise-grade. The other releases—the interim builds—are for those who want to have the latest release of Ubuntu and the newest selection of applications, and for whom stability is of secondary importance.

          To be fair to Canonical, the interim builds are always pretty stable. They sometimes need a little time to settle down as the post-launch patches are rolled out, but they do get onto an even keel very quickly. Because the interim builds are used as proving grounds for the software, features, and innovations that will eventually be included in the next LTS build, there’s a small residual risk in using them.

          Some of the hoped-for features, such as the GNOME 40 desktop environment and the GTK 4 development toolkit, didn’t make it into Hirsute Hippo. GNOME 40 has a lot of changes in it, so there were concerns about upgrading. Rather than risking introducing something that could negatively impact the desktop experience, the GNOME extensions, and the Yaru theme, GNOME 40 was dropped from this release. Ubuntu 21.04 sticks with GTK 3 and GNOME 3.38.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is here

          Today, Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu.

          “Native Active Directory integration and certified Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu are top priorities for our enterprise customers.” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “For developers and innovators, Ubuntu 21.04 delivers Wayland and Flutter for smoother graphics and clean, beautiful, design-led cross-platform development.”

          Ubuntu has established itself as the enterprise engineering platform of choice, from the desktop to public cloud and microservices, with a wide range of corporate adopters in the finance, automotive, tech and government sectors.

          “Canonical’s desktop solutions are cost-effective, easy to manage at scale, and simple to integrate with enterprise systems. For our 100,000 police officers, Ubuntu is user-friendly, reliable, and delivers the requisite privacy and security without additional third-party solutions. Ubuntu is our operating system of choice” said Lt-Colonel Stéphane Dumond, French Gendarmerie Nationale.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is here, but don't get too excited

          Right on cue, the latest release of popular Linux distro Ubuntu, dubbed the Hirsute Hippo, has hit the download mirrors.

          Ubuntu 21.04 is a regular short term release that will be supported for nine months. Ubuntu usually uses regular releases to introduce new developments that it hopes to stabilize by the time the next long term release (LTS) rolls around.

          Yet, despite the usual slew of updates, this particular release is rather light on show-stopping features. Desktop users will in fact have to look under the covers to find the only noteworthy feature change in the release; the switch to the Wayland display server.

        • Canonical Launches Ubuntu 21.04 'Hirsute Hippo'

          Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft have announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 released

          The Ubuntu 21.04 distribution release is available. "Today, Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu."

        • Canonical debuts new Ubuntu with Active Directory integration, support for SQL Server and Flutter

          Ubuntu developer Canonical Ltd. debuted an important new release of its flagship operating system today, adding key capabilities such as Microsoft Active Directory integration, use of the Wayland display protocol by default and a new software development kit for the Flutter framework.

        • Ubuntu Unity 21.04 Is Here for Unity7 Fans with New Theme, Linux Kernel 5.11

          While still not an official flavor, Ubuntu Unity 21.04 is based on the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release, which means that it ships with all of its internals, including the Linux 5.11 kernel for better hardware support, as well as the updated toolchain consisting of GNU C Library 2.33, GCC 10.3, GNU Binutils 2.36.1, LLVM 12, and Python 3.9.4.

          But Ubuntu Unity 21.04 is here to give fans of the good old Unity 7 desktop environment a much-improved experience by shipping with a new Yaru-Unity7 theme that features a transparent launcher icon, a new Plymouth boot loader screen theme, as well as new wallpapers based on the Hirsute Hippo mascot.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 'Hirsute Hippo' is here to make you hungry hungry for Linux

          Do hippopotamuses really like eating balls? In real life, no. In the classic game Hungry Hungry Hippos, however, the creatures love gobbling them up. And that is why it's apropos that Ubuntu 21.04 is named "Hirsute Hippo." Much like the hippos devouring spheres in the aforementioned game, the Ubuntu developers at Canonical are trying to eat up Linux users and gain market share.

          Today, Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" is finally made available. This follows a previous beta testing phase. It is a very significant version of the operating system, as it now uses Wayland by default. Canonical promises that it won't just be an improvement graphically, but for security purposes too. Sadly, with the good comes the bad. You see, Ubuntu 21.04 does not come with GNOME 40 -- the latest and greatest version of that desktop environment. At least we get a refreshed "Yaru" dark theme, though.

        • Hurrah! Ubuntu 21.04 is Now Available to Download

          It is time to make way for Ubuntu’s latest stable release 21.04 Hiruste Hippo.

          While we already know a great deal about the features introduced with Ubuntu 21.04, it has been officially announced.

          Yes, there’s no GNOME 40, which is a bummer. But, here, let me briefly mention the key highlights of the release and how to get the latest ISO.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Released. This is What's New.

          Ubuntu team announced the release of the first short-term installment - Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo. And it is immediately available for download including its official flavors. Here's what's new.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is out now with Wayland by default and a new dark theme

          Continuing the gradual improvements towards the next LTS (Long Term Support) release, Ubuntu 21.04 is officially out now to bring some of the latest enhancements to the popular Linux distribution.

          Between each LTS release, Canonical puts out one of these production-ready interim releases every six months with all the latest work. The current LTS is Ubuntu 20.04 supported until April 2025 with the next being Ubuntu 22.04 due April 2022. With the Ubuntu 21.04 release today it will provide at least 9 months of updates.

        • Ubuntu 21.04: Yes, there ARE new features - Review + variants

          Ubuntu 21.04 is here! It's definitely not the most feature packed release of the last 2 or 3 years, and there are some disappointing omissions, but there are still a few things to talk about, so let's get into it.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Released With Wayland By Default, New Dark Theme

          Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" is now available.

          The most notable change with the Ubuntu 21.04 desktop is now defaulting to the GNOME Shell Wayland session for supported GPU/driver configurations rather than the X.Org session. The X.Org session remains available for those that want to switch back to it or for unsupported configurations and other desktops, but finally the time has come where Ubuntu developers are comfortable enough with the support/features/performance/reliability to use it by default.

        • Ubuntu 21.10 Codename is Revealed — And it’s an Intriguing Choice

          Today is release day for Ubuntu 21.04 but y’know what? That’s old news already as the codename for Ubuntu 21.10 has been revealed!

          Ubuntu developers clearly aren’t interested in sitting idle and are prepping the foundations for what will become the next stable release. On Launchpad, home of Ubuntu development, the codename for Ubuntu 21.10 is listed as ‘Impish Idri’.

          But what does this codename tell us?

        • Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) Is Now Available for Download, This Is What's New

          Powered by the Linux kernel 5.11 series, Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) is here to introduce new GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies to users, such as the use of the next-generation Wayland display server by default, and the integration of a Flutter application development SDK.

          Wayland by default is probably the biggest change in Ubuntu 21.04, providing better security and increased performance. However, Wayland won't be enabled for all configurations as it doesn't play well, yet, with NVIDIA graphics cards. As such, Linux gamers will be forced to switch back to the Xorg session.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 11 open source ways to celebrate Mother Earth

        What could Earth Day have to do with open source you say? Well, a lot actually. Over the years, people have shared the many different open source projects out there that help us make a positive direct impact on the Earth, but also things that help us reduce, reuse, and recycle, putting less pressure on our planet's sensitive and precious balances.

        One way we can pitch in by restoring old hardware instead of buying new. What a great project for a young person learning about computers and getting into the field. Here are our picks...

      • Energy infrastructure platform uses open source to fight climate change

        LF Energy is a Linux Foundation project working to accelerate the energy transition of the world's grids and transportation systems through open source. In December, our project took a major step toward achieving its mission when we and our member organizations Alliander, RTE, and Savoir-faire Linux launched SEAPATH, which stands for Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts.

        SEAPATH is a reference design and a real-time, open source platform for grid operators to run virtualized automation and protection applications. It is the second project for LF Energy's Digital Substation Automation Systems initiative and a vital step toward adopting renewable energy on the power grid. It will accelerate the grid's decarbonization, helping lead the planet to carbon neutrality by 2050. Power system transformation leads all efforts for decarbonization; it's the key enabler for fighting climate change.

      • 5 top open-source infrastructure projects

        Open source software has been a key underpinning of enterprise IT for years, so it’s no surprise that it’s helping to drive the infrastructure part of the equation forward just as much as application development.

        Some projects are much more influential than others, and here are five that are doing the most to help enterprise infrastructure keep pace with the demands of an ever-more sophisticated operating environment.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 10 (Firefox 88-89)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 88 and 89 Nightly release cycles.

            In this newsletter we bid a fond farewell to module owner emeritus Jason Orendorff, and say hello to Jan de Mooij as the new JavaScript Engine module owner.

          • Pyodide Spin Out and 0.17 Release

            We are happy to announce that Pyodide has become an independent and community-driven project. We are also pleased to announce the 0.17 release for Pyodide with many new features and improvements.

            Pyodide consists of the CPython 3.8 interpreter compiled to WebAssembly which allows Python to run in the browser. Many popular scientific Python packages have also been compiled and made available. In addition, Pyodide can install any Python package with a pure Python wheel from the Python Package Index (PyPi). Pyodide also includes a comprehensive foreign function interface which exposes the ecosystem of Python packages to Javascript and the browser user interface, including the DOM, to Python.

            You can try out the latest version of Pyodide in a REPL directly in your browser.

          • Notes on Implementing Vaccine Passports

            Now that we’re starting to get widespread COVID vaccination “vaccine passports” have started to become more relevant. The idea behind a vaccine passport is that you would have some kind of credential that you could use to prove that you had been vaccinated against COVID; various entities (airlines, clubs, employers, etc.) might require such a passport as proof of vaccination. Right now deployment of this kind of mechanism is fairly limited: Israel has one called the green pass and the State of New York is using something called the Excelsior Pass based on some IBM tech.

            Like just about everything surrounding COVID, there has been a huge amount of controversy around vaccine passports (see, for instance, this EFF post, ACLU post, or this NYT article).


            Something that keeps coming up here is the use of blockchain for vaccine passports. You’ll notice that my description above doesn’t have anything about the blockchain but, for instance, the Excelsior Pass says it is built on IBM’s digital health pass which is apparently “built on IBM blockchain technology” and says “Protects user data so that it remains private when generating credentials. Blockchain and cryptography provide credentials that are tamper-proof and trusted.” As another example, in this webinar on the Linux Foundation’s COVID-19 Credentials Initiative, Kaliya Young answers a question on blockchain by saying that the root keys for the signers would be stored in the blockchain.

            To be honest, I find this all kind of puzzling; as far as I can tell there’s no useful role for the blockchain here. To oversimplify, the major purpose of a blockchain is to arrange for global consensus about some set of facts (for instance, the set of financial transactions that has happened) but that’s not necessary in this case: the structure of a vaccine credential is that some health authority asserts that a given person have been vaccinated. We do need relying parties to know the set of health authorities, but we have existing solutions for that (at a high level, you just build the root keys into the verifying apps).[5] If anyone has more details on why a blockchain for this application I’d be interested in hearing them.

          • Mozilla reacts to publication of EU’s draft regulation on AI

            Today, the European Commission published its draft for a regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI). The proposal lays out comprehensive new rules for AI systems deployed in the EU. Mozilla welcomes the initiative to rein in the potential harms caused by AI, but much remains to be clarified.


            Systemic transparency is a critical enabler of accountability, which is crucial to advancing more trustworthy AI. We are therefore encouraged by the introduction of user-facing transparency obligations – for example for chatbots or so-called deepfakes – as well as a public register for high-risk AI systems in the European Commission’s proposal. But as always, details matter, and it will be important what information exactly this database will encompass. We look forward to contributing to this important debate.”

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | She Was A Child
    • Vietnam at the Movies, 2020-21

      The sidebar on my friend’s list had The Boys Who Said No about draft resisters, and a new release of the 2006 Sir! No Sir! that uncovered the hidden history of in-uniform G.I. resistance to the war.

      And so, my friend wanted to know, why this interest now in a war that ended 50 years ago? And why such approbation—seven Oscar nominations for The Trial of the Chicago Seven, including best picture? Not happenstance, I averred. But then I was stuck.

    • Broken News
    • Armand Hammer’s Guide Through History’s Underbelly

      Every Armand Hammer song is a rabbit hole. The New York rap duo likes to take a concept and burrow deep into its implications, turning a simple premise into a labyrinthine cave system. That’s the case with “Chicharrones,” the droll centerpiece to Haram, ELUCID and billy woods’s fifth joint album. The song is nominally about snitches and the police. But that’s just the surtext. As woods and guest Quelle Chris excoriate stool pigeons and cop-lovers, the aperture widens to address power fantasies. “Negroes say they hate the cops / But the minute something’s off, wanna use force / I just work here, I’m not the boss,” woods raps.

      These kinds of artful, provocative pivots are a hallmark of ELUCID and billy woods’s style. For eight years, they’ve guided listeners through the underbelly of the 21st century, cataloging global outrages like the capitalist imperative to work or die and absurdities like Holocaust-denying Black Israelites. They are two of rap’s most poignant and imaginative contemporary storytellers. Instead of heroes and villains, they offer bystanders, cronies, descendants, precursors—oblique perspectives that complicate their globe-trotting narratives rather than resolve them. On Haram, they continue this roving anthropological approach to rap, using the titular Arabic word (meaning “forbidden”) to link tales of grief, joy, and everything in between.

    • Reparations
    • The Tokyo Olympics Are in Trouble

      From the perspective of the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government, the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo are simply too big to fail. Yet failure is still very much on the table. With less than 100 days until the scheduled start, Covid-19 cases are on the rise across Japan. Anger about the Games is also on the rise in Japan, with “Cancelling Olympics” trending on Twitter there last week. One recent poll found that more than seven in 10 people in Japan do not want the Olympics to happen this summer, with 39 percent preferring outright cancellation and another 33 percent favoring further postponement.

      Even some elected officials appear to be waffling. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, stated on Japanese television, “If it becomes impossible, then it should be called off. What is the point of the Olympics if it’s responsible for spreading infections?” MP Akira Koike of the Japanese Communist Party said staging the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was flat-out “impossible.” Demand for the cancellation of the Olympics is on the rise.

    • Science

      • Opinion | Reversing Scientific Integrity's Race to the Bottom

        From COVID-19 to climate change, and toxic chemicals to endangered species, the health of this nation and our ecosystem depends on scientists being able to "think, research, and speak freely" in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

        President Biden’s recent order for federal agencies to conduct a sweeping review of the massive sidelining, censoring and ignoring of science by the Trump administration is an important step in reversing the Trump administration’s war on public health and environmental protections.€ 

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Unexpected Environmental Consequences of COVID-19 - Validated Independent News

        Unfortunately, recycling programs are not the only ecologically-friendly options that have been disrupted by COVID-19, as Bloomberg News reported in March 2020. Companies such as Starbucks have stopped accepting their reusable cups, and many grocery stores have stopped allowing customers to use their own eco-friendly shopping bags. Furthermore, medical waste is also on the increase, including at minimum all of the extra masks and gloves used every day as personal by health care providers as personal protective equipment.

      • Dystopian Vision for Agrifood Must Not Succeed

        The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also involved (documented in the recent report ‘ Gates to a Global Empire‘ by Navdanya International), whether through€  buying up huge tracts of farmland, promoting a much-heralded€  (but failed) ‘green revolution’ for Africa, pushing€  biosynthetic food€ and€  new genetic engineering technologies€ or more generally€  facilitating the aims of the mega agrifood corporations.

        Of course, those involved in this portray what they are doing as some kind of humanitarian endeavour – saving the planet with ‘climate-friendly solutions’, helping farmers or feeding the world. This is how many of them probably do genuinely regard their role inside their corporate echo chamber. But what they are really doing is repackaging the€  dispossessive strategies of imperialism as ‘feeding the world’.

      • Medical Hypotheses is back, and it’s pushing antimask disinformation

        There’s a “study” that’s gone viral in the COVID-19-denying/minimizing, antimask, anti-public health interventions, antivaccine crankosphere by someone named Baruch Vainshelboim entitled Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis. For whatever reason, even though it was published in January, only now does it seem to be going viral, leading me to seeing it incessantly popping up on my Twitter timeline, with cranks emailing me a hearty “Ha! I told you so!” while readers send me the link to the article asking me to discuss it. Before I do just that, let me just note that that last word in the title ought to give you a hint that, yes, this not-study was published in Medical Hypotheses. For those of you not familiar with this highly dubious journal, I present a brief trip down memory lane before I delve into Vainshelboim’s article.

      • Report Documents Governments' Use of COVID-19 to Impose Authoritarian Policies - Validated Independent News

        The AFSC’s “Under the Mask” report analyzes three major categories of restrictions: Infringements on civil liberties relating to free speech, free movement, and state surveillance; aggressive state tactics, including market demolitions, militarized borders, and police brutality; and state tactics for suppressing opposition including smear campaigns and “the Shock Doctrine.”

      • Coronavirus Strikes Papua New Guinea

        Officials acknowledged that a spike in cases could impair the medical system, despite the fact that three-quarters of the population are under the age of 35.€  While the elderly population is small, the large number of youthful members poses the problem of asymptomatic transmission.€  “We know that about 15% of COVID-19 cases will need some form of hospital care,” stated Dr Gary Nou, an important figure in the COVID-19 response in the National Capital District.€  “If 10,000 people get sick – that’s about 1,500 people needing care.€  This can easily overwhelm our health system.”

        Last month, Nou found himself working to a state of exhaustion in the Rita Flynn Sporting Complex in Port Moresby.€  The complex had become a centre of treatment and testing, taking in moderate and mild coronavirus cases.€  He concluded that a nightmare was unfolding.€  “The workload is normally a lot, we have one doctor per 14,000 people, that’s our doctor to patient ratio.”€  The health system, he gloomily observed, was now in a “perpetual state of disaster”.

      • Math Is Hard—but Vital for Understanding Vaccine Risks

        Readers of CNN’s website ( 4/15/21) saw an alarming headline: “So Far, 5,800 Fully Vaccinated People Have Caught Covid Anyway in US, CDC Says.” Nearly 6,000 so-called “breakthrough” infections—cases of Covid-19 contracted by people after they had been vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes Covid — had been identified in the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and “some became seriously ill and 74 people died.”

      • Earth Abuse and the Next Pandemic

        Cultivation, deforestation, mining, livestock raising, and other activities degrade and destroy wildlife habitat, leaving animals no choice but to move closer to humans, potentially bringing pathogens along with them. Suburban sprawl and tourism (especially “eco-tourism”) also bring humans and wildlife closer together. Hunting involves the most intimate contact with wild animals; indeed, the prevailing hypothesis is that the hunting of horseshoe bats probably kicked off the chain of events that led to the current coronavirus pandemic.

        Humans have lived with domestic animals for millennia, and our bodies may have learned how to deal with the pathogens passed back and forth. But when ecosystems are disturbed or encroached upon, novel zoonotic viruses can move from wildlife into domestic animals and from there into humans. There is strong circumstantial evidence that the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, which killed more than 675,000 Americans and as many as 50 million worldwide, began with the flu virus jumping from swine into humans in Haskell County, Kansas, moving on to what is now Fort Riley with new army recruits, and from there reaching the battlefields of World War 1.

      • Letter From Italy

        Florence—It’s been more than a year since Florence locked down for the first time, and the rate of Covid infection has increased by a factor of four. A family friend has been moved from the Santa Maria Nuova hospital to a hotel out of town to continue his recovery. He’s too weak to talk, but his daughter tells me that he wants P.G. Wodehouse novels: anything “non-Jeeves.” (He’s read those.) Or anything funny, for that matter. It proves harder than expected; put on the spot, my books have never seemed less capable of raising a laugh.

        I am an outsider in Florence, here because of my husband’s teaching gig. As a voice actor, I am used to working remotely from a home studio set-up. Silence is good for that, but this is eerie. It’s as quiet in our street as it was a year ago. The university opposite used to mean reliable bouts of victory cries from laurel-crowned students, four times a year no less, which is when they graduate. The café on the corner used to cater to a stream of regulars with its affordable lunch menu of homey pasta dishes. Gone also are the students of love—those painfully breaking up in our dark side street. No more agonized crying, shouting, and huffing off over the cobblestones.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Discord has reportedly rejected Microsoft's offer, will go for an IPO instead

          Last month it was reported that Discord is in final stages for a potential takeover and Microsoft was one of the companies bidding to acquire the service. According to the reports, Microsoft was willing to offer over $10 billion to acquire the company. However, Microsoft was not the only company trying to acquire the platform. Discord also held discussions with Epic Games and Amazon in the past but they were not fruitful.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (thunderbird and wordpress), Fedora (curl, firefox, mediawiki, mingw-binutils, os-autoinst, and rpm-ostree), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), SUSE (kernel, pcp, and tomcat6), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oem-5.6, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux-snapdragon).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy Champions Urge Passage of 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale' Act

              "Intelligence and law enforcement agencies must come to understand that the American people are off limits to warrantless mass surveillance, no matter how it is done."

              Federal agencies have taken advantage of legal loopholes to collect massive amounts of personal information from cell phone and internet users without congressional or judicial authorization for years, but that practice is being challenged by a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers who introduced legislation on Wednesday that would prevent the U.S. government from buying individuals' information from data brokers without a court order.

            • Law Enforcement Officials Confirm Clearview's Facial Recognition Tech Is Mostly Useless

              A stash of public records recently obtained by BuzzFeed shows far more law enforcement agencies have experimented with Clearview's facial recognition software than previously acknowledged. The searchable data shows Clearview is still something law enforcement is interested in experimenting with. And there's probably more to this story, given that nearly 1,200 agencies refused to respond to BuzzFeed's requests.

            • China Pushing Explicitly-Biased Facial Recognition Standards And Local Tech Companies Are Pitching In To Help

              Facial recognition tech is plagued by bias, most of it unintentional. That's why it tends to perform more poorly when attempting to recognize minorities and women. Law enforcement doesn't tend to view these problems as bugs since it, too, operates with many of the same biases. But these are usually the byproduct of faulty inputs, which can be exacerbated by choices made by end users.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Are Republicans Breaking Up With Big Business? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

        Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem to be adjusting well to the new limits of his power, following his ouster from the majority leader seat last November. A once nigh-omnipotent power broker, McConnell has now found his influence diminished to the point that he’s yelling strange things at stranger targets. He spent a chunk of last week unspooling some doozies directed at corporate America, which has long been a close ally of the Republican Party.

      • Opinion | Here's What the US Must Do to Help End Humanitarian Emergency in Yemen

        Amanda Catanzano, International Rescue Committee's Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, testified at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Yemen.

        Note: The following were the remarks, as prepared for delivering, given as testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

      • US Has No Moral Standing to Criticize Russia or China

        That threat may or may not be real, but US objections to Russia’s treatment of a political rival or dissident, like US objections to China’s harsh treatment of democracy advocates and former democratic members of Hong Kong’s now crushed and no longer autonomous€ € Legislative Assembly€ € would carry a lot more weight, and be far less laughable around the globe if these two leaders would also be demanding decent treatment and release from prison of political prisoners who have been getting abused, degraded and denied adequate medical treatment at the hand of the US “justice system.”

        While the list is fairly long, I will highlight three cases here.

      • The Saudi Lobby Moves From K Street to Main Street

        To address their concerns, Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud agreed to speak with a group of them in a March 18th conference call — and found herself instantly in the firing line, as senator after senator berated her for the Kingdom’s role in slashing global oil prices. “Texas is mad,” Senator Ted Cruz bluntly stated. As the ambassador tried to respond, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan retorted, “With all due respect, I don’t want to hear any talking points from you until you hear from all [of us], I think there’s 11 or 12 on the call.”

        The Saudi lobby in Washington was similarly flailing in its reaction to the anger on Capitol Hill. Hogan Lovells, one of the Kingdom’s top lobbying firms in the nation’s capital, was spearheading the response, emailing staffers in the offices of more than 30 members of Congress. Its message couldn’t have been clearer: “Saudi Arabia has not, and will not, seek to intentionally damage U.S. shale oil producers.”

      • Amid Nuclear Talks, 40 Groups Urge Biden to Lift Sanctions on Covid-Ravaged Iran

        "By prioritizing humanitarian relief for Iran and other sanctioned states, President Biden can follow through on his campaign commitment and demonstrate that the U.S. can be a force for global good."

        As diplomats continue negotiations in Vienna aimed at the United States returning to the Iran nuclear deal, over 40 faith-based, human rights, and civil society groups on Wednesday published an open letter urging the Biden administration to lift "unconscionable" sanctions against the Iranian people as they endure the dual crises of the economic embargo and coronavirus pandemic.

      • Media’s Top Meaning for ‘Proxy’ Is ‘Iranian Ally’

        “Proxy,” defined as someone who works on someone else’s behalf, is a term of delegitimation in international politics: It undermines the credibility of both those who are accused of being “proxies” and those accused of having “proxies.” In the former case, the term suggests that the party in question is not representing its peoples’ interests, but rather those of an outside actor. The nation described as having proxies is implicitly accused of meddling in another country’s affairs.

      • Black Visions Collective: We Need to Abolish the Police & End Militarized Occupations of Our Cites
      • Opinion | The Case Against Biden's Plan to Further Militarize Borders

        The U.S. government’s solution to the migrant crisis is militarization…again.

        In mid-March, Reuters reported that Mexico would "restrict movement on its southern border with Guatemala to help contain the spread of COVID-19." The same article noted that the Joe Biden administration in the United States would be simultaneously sorting the details of a plan to loan Mexico coronavirus vaccines.

      • Kipling, assassination, and a warning to the West In his latest state-of-the-nation speech, Putin makes new domestic promises and puts Russia’s adversaries on notice

        During Vladimir Putin’s state-of-the-nation speech on Tuesday, the president warned that Moscow will respond to the provocations of Western countries that now “poke” at Russia. Meduza summarizes Putin’s remarks below.€ 

      • Biden’s Announcement That Trump Got Military Spending Just Right Is Dead Wrong

        The U.S. public, according to€  polling, would reduce military spending if it had something resembling a democracy.

        Just five weapons dealers€  poured€ $60 million into U.S. election campaign bribery in 2020. These companies now sell more weapons abroad than to the U.S. government, with the U.S. State Department acting as a marketing firm, and with U.S. weapons and/or U.S. military training and/or U.S. government funding going to the militaries of€  96%€ of the most oppressive governments on earth.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Filming Cops Is The Best Accountability Tool: Officer Derek Chauvin Convicted Of Murder For Killing George Floyd

        This isn't an endpoint. This is only a beginning. This is one small step forward for accountability. It doesn't change the police culture that not only allows, but encourages, this sort of force deployment. But it does send the warning that juries may not be as deferential to police officers as they've been historically.

      • 'The Clock Is Ticking': 300,000+ Tell Biden to Act Boldly Ahead of Climate Summit

        "We can no longer afford any further fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure, or false climate solutions that continue to prioritize profits over people."

        As the world prepares to observe Earth Day and U.S. President Joe Biden gets set to host heads of state and government at the Leaders Summit on Climate Thursday, campaigners traveled from New York City to Washington, D.C. to demand Biden #BuildBackFossilFree by stopping all future fossil fuel expansion.€ 

    • Environment

      • Biden’s climate summit faces challenge by Brazil

        President Biden’s climate summit, starting tomorrow, will see him aiming to bring Brazil’s leader Jair Bolsonaro into line.

      • Climate Change Will Force Us to Rethink Migration and Asylum

        This article is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        More than 170,000 migrants were apprehended at the US-Mexico border in March, the highest number in a decade. Many of those are unaccompanied minors, and the Biden administration has scrambled to find accommodations for them, sending hundreds of kids to temporary shelters in convention centers and other ad hoc facilities. Conservative politicians and pundits have blamed Biden for “luring children to the border” by relaxing Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies, describing the situation as “Biden’s border crisis.”

      • 'Not Enough!' Climate Activists Disappointed With New EU Emissions Deal on Eve of Biden Summit

        "This deal shows that Europe's climate action is all smoke and mirrors," said a Greenpeace E.U. campaigner.

        After overnight negotiations to finalize a European Union climate law ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's leaders summit at the end of the week, E.U. leaders reached a tentative deal on an emissions reduction target for 2030 that advocacy groups warn falls far short of what is needed to meet the Paris agreement's 1.5€°C temperature goal.

      • Opinion | In a Time of Urgency and Hope, How Do We Move The Planet Forward?

        With momentum finally heading in the right direction, we must seize this last, best opportunity to protect our future.

        This story originally appeared in WNET's Peril & Promise and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • Climate Groups Warn Reported Biden Plan to Cut Emissions in Half by 2030 'Not Good Enough'

        "Science and justice demand that we reduce emissions by 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 on the road to zero emissions by mid-century."

        The Biden administration is reportedly planning to pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by the end of this decade, but climate justice advocates say that much more ambitious goals and policies are needed if the U.S. president wants to act in accordance with what the scientific community says is necessary.

      • Energy

        • UK’s New Coal Mine Plans Foreshadow Massive Carbon Emissions - Validated Independent News

          West Cumbria Mining plans to extract around 2.7 million tons of coal each year from the new site. The company has asserted that the coal from the proposed Woodhouse collier will not increase emissions because it will replace imports that have previously been imported from the US.

        • 101 Nobel Laureates Urge World Leaders to 'Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground'

          "Fossil fuels are the greatest contributor to climate change. Allowing the continued expansion of this industry is unconscionable."

          On the eve of Earth Day and the start of U.S. President Joe Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate, a group of 101 Nobel laureates published a letter urging world leaders and governments to "keep fossil fuels in the ground" as a critical first step toward addressing the climate emergency.€ 

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Rising Drug Prices Will Become Leading Cause of Senior Citizen Deaths, Report Finds - Validated Independent News

        According to the same study, if nothing is done about overpriced drugs, Medicare expenses are on track to rise by $177 billion by 2030.

      • Sanders, Jayapal Plan Would Tax Wall Street Speculation to Fund Tuition-Free College

        The Vermont senator's office described the proposal as "the most substantial federal investment in higher education in the modern history of the United States."

        Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced legislation Wednesday morning that would make public colleges and universities tuition-free for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year—a proposal President Joe Biden ran on during last year's general election.

      • 'It Is About Saving Lives': Doctors Without Borders Calls on US, EU to Stop Blocking Vaccine Patent Waiver

        "We urge all countries in opposition to this, including the U.S. and the E.U., to stand on the right side of history and join hands with those in support."

        The international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday implored the United States, European Union member nations, and other rich countries to immediately end their opposition to South Africa and India's patent waiver proposal, which would enable the mass production of generic coronavirus vaccines to meet the developing world's dire needs.

      • Opinion | Responding to Concerns About the Emergency Charity Stimulus Proposal

        Make no mistake: this pandemic is the "rainy day" DAFs and foundations have been saving for.

        Few people welcome change when they benefit from the status quo. So it’s not surprising that players within the philanthropic community would raise concerns about a proposal to change how much they are required to take out of their warehouses and give directly to charities.

      • COVID-19 Exposes Extent of Student Debt Crisis - Validated Independent News

        The pandemic, Quilantan wrote, had led many families to question whether a college education is worth the hefty price tag, and to ask how we it can be that a year of a private college education often costs more than the average annual salary in the US. As Quilantan reported, “Between the 2007-08 and 2017-18 academic years, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board at public institutions rose 31 percent after adjustment for inflation. At private colleges, the price tag rose 23 percent.”

      • A Trader’s Federal Lawsuit Against JPMorgan Chase Offers a Window into the Crime Culture at the Five Felony-Count Bank

        JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, has the further unprecedented distinction for a U.S. bank of being charged with five felony counts by the Department of Justice in a six-year span of time, running from 2014 to 2020. The bank admitted to all of the charges while its Board kept Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, at the helm throughout the unprecedented crime wave, giving the impression that crime is an accepted business model at the bank.

        Turnbull’s lawsuit, filed earlier this month in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the bank trumped up false charges against Turnbull as a pretext to terminate him when it was actually terminating him for cooperating with the Department of Justice’s investigation.

      • Tax Stock Returns: If Biden Really Wants to Close Corporate Income Tax Loopholes

        If we could get the corporate income tax back to 2.0 percent of GDP, it would add over $200 billion a year to government revenue. Over the ten-year budget planning horizon, this would add more than the projected $2.3 trillion projected cost of President Biden’s infrastructure program. This would be real money.

        There are two issues with the corporate income tax, the nominal tax rate and the portion of the targeted tax that is actually collected. Corporations never pay taxes at a rate that is close to the nominal rate. Prior to the Trump tax cut, the nominal tax rate was 35 percent. Actual tax collections were around 21 percent of corporate profits, on average.

      • Borders of Racial Capitalism: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

        Pardon beginning with jargon. Under racial capitalist social and power relations, stated policy intentions are inverted relative to social outcomes, and pandemic inequality reigns with a deadly life of its own. This is the rotten fruit of a poisoned neoliberal model of the relationship between the state and finance. We should dump it and live differently. Let me try to explain.

        In life, timing and context are usually everything. For us today, the historic social breakdown around the novel coronavirus and its massive economic catastrophe for working People is a unique lesson to that effect. This political, economic, and public health crisis has revealed the basic contradictions in our society’s way of life. It’s up to us to decide what to do about it.

      • In Closed-Door Event With Corporate Lobbyists, Manchin Vows $15 Wage 'Not Going to Happen'

        A top restaurant industry lobbyist reportedly "couldn't contain his excitement" at the West Virginia Democrat's remarks.

        Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Tuesday reportedly mocked the popular push for a $15 federal minimum wage during a private event with restaurant industry lobbyists, telling attendees he prefers an hourly wage floor of $11 and nothing "above half of that" for tipped workers.

      • Analysis Shows Richest 10% Now Own Nearly 70% of All Household Wealth in US

        As 2020 came to a close, the bottom 50% of earners controlled just 2% of U.S. wealth.

        More than a year after the coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis began, a new analysis out Wednesday shows that as 2020 ended, the richest 10% of Americans possessed just under 70% of the nation's household wealth.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Questionable Government Practice of “Escheatment” - Validated Independent News

        When the state of Delaware closed Schramm’s investment, it was worth $8,000; by 2015 it would have been worth “about 100 grand,” Quinn reported.

      • UK’s Society of the Spectacle: Mourning Prince Philip

        The BBC gave saturation coverage of Philip’s death, as did the main commercial channel ITV.

        Following Philip’s death at Windsor Castle aged 99, the BBC scrapped its schedules across both BBC One and BBC Two to run an endless succession of mirrored programmes about him.

      • An "Accumulation fo Anger" in Putin's Russia: an Interview With Boris Kagarlitsky

        Radhika Desai: Boris Kagarlitsky is a very well-known leftist writer, historian, sociologist, and also a political activist in Russia. He has been politically active since the time when the Soviet Union still existed and has continued to do so in Russia, offering a distinctive left perspective on Russian politics. Welcome, Boris, it’s really a great privilege to have you.€ 

        This interview has been occasioned by all the discussion about Russian politics in the Western countries with the return of Alexei Navalny to Russia. So, let me start by asking you: What was the political situation in Russia at the time of Navalny’s return in January, 2021?

      • 'Exactly the Person We Need': Senate Confirms Civil Rights Champion Vanita Gupta for Key Spot at DOJ

        Every Republican senator except one voted against the veteran attorney and rights advocate.

        The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly confirmed Vanita Gupta€ to be associate attorney general, eliciting praise from civil rights defenders.

      • The GOP’s Attack on Constitutional Checks and Balances in Montana

        The initial volley in this highly partisan battle was launched when the legislature passed a bill giving the governor carte blanche authority to appoint judges rather than pick from a list of candidates vetted by the non-partisan Judicial Nominating Committee, which has operated successfully for decades. As one attorney friend quipped: “This means the governor can pick the absolutely worst, most incompetent lawyer, and providing they’re sufficiently conservative and/or made a big campaign contribution, then he can appoint them to sit in judgment over the most serious issues facing Montanans, their lives, businesses, homes and families.”

        Indeed, it’s hard to justify how paranoid Montana’s Republicans have become over the very processes —€ like voting —€ that have served the state well throughout its history. But taking a page from the Trump-McConnell playbook, they seem intent on launching a pogrom to eliminate judges they feel are too liberal and pack the courts with conservatives.

      • These Attacks on Maxine Waters Reveal the Grifter Politics of Republican Dog-Whistlers

        House minority leader Kevin McCarthy claims that “the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln…not nativist dog whistles.”


      • Revolving Door Watchdog Gives Biden White House 'B-' on Corporate Capture in First 100 Days

        "Allies of Big Tech, Wall Street, Big Pharma, the military-industrial complex, and the fossil fuel industry have secured jobs in various corners of the executive branch."

        Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's 100th day in office, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog project issued a report card on Wednesday giving his administration a "B-" grade for its "performance at resisting corporate capture."

      • Voting Rights Advocates Applaud Passage of NY Bill to Stop Disenfranchisement of Parolees

        "By passing this bill, the state Assembly has sent a clear message: If you live in the community, you should be able to vote."

        Amid a wave of GOP attacks on voting rights in legislatures across the United States, activists applauded the Democrat-controlled New York State Assembly on Wednesday for passing a bill to end the disenfranchisement of New Yorkers on parole and called on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to swiftly sign the measure into law.

      • The Saudi Lobby Moves From K Street to Main Street

        Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, was on the hot seat. In early March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, oil prices collapsed and a price war broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia, leaving American oil and gas companies feeling the pain. As oil prices plummeted, Republican senators from oil-producing states turned their ire directly on Saudi Arabia. Forget that civil war in Yemen—what about fossil-fuel profits here at home?

        To address their concerns, Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud agreed to speak with a group of them in a March 18 conference call—and found herself instantly in the firing line, as senator after senator berated her for the Kingdom’s role in slashing global oil prices. “Texas is mad,” Senator Ted Cruz bluntly stated. As the ambassador tried to respond, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan retorted, “With all due respect, I don’t want to hear any talking points from you until you hear from all [of us], I think there’s 11 or 12 on the call.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In 'Paradigm Shift,' Manhattan DA Will No Longer Prosecute Prostitution

        The announcement, said one reform advocate, "should not supplant the need to pass legislation that would fully decriminalize sex work."

        The Manhattan district attorney's office in New York announced Wednesday what it called a "paradigm shift" by saying it will no longer prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage.

      • Toondah Harbor Project to De-List Australian Wetlands, Endangering Habitats and Indigenous Sites - Validated Independent News

        The Toondah Harbor project would result in 3,600 apartments, hotels, shopping areas, and a 400-berth marina taking up forty percent of Moreton Bay. The wetlands there are home to a variety of endangered animals, including koalas, and it is an important migratory site for 32 species of sea birds. Furthermore, three Quandmooka Aboriginal groups—the Nuigi, the Nunuckle and Greonpal, and the Minjerribah—have claims to the land. As Norman Enoch, one of the traditional leaders, told the Earth Island Journal, analyses of shell middens indicate Aboriginal presence in the area dating back 26,000 years.

      • Claudio Saunt: The Mass Expulsion of Native American Indians From the Southern US - The Project Censored Show

        Notes: This program was recorded at an online discussion for KPFA-FM on March 31, 2021; the event was hosted by Mickey Huff via Zoom. Claudio Saunt is Richard B. Russell Professor in American History and Co-Director of the Center for Virtual History at the University of Georgia. He is the author of four books, including Unworthy Republic, the subject of today’s show, which was the winner of the 2021 Bancroft Prize.

      • Cities Use Black Cops as Props - Validated Independent News

        “Black police chiefs are paraded to podiums and cameras to serve as the face of the United States’ racist police state,” Bass reports in an article that argues that the integration of police forces cannot alter their “basic function” as “the primary enforcers of structural racism on a daily basis.” In the article, Bass recalls that, in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole at the capitol building in South Carolina to remove the confederate flag that flew there, a Black police officer was “tasked with raising the flag to the top of its pole again.”

      • Ocasio-Cortez: “Verdicts Are Not Substitutes for Policy Change”

        After a jury on Monday afternoon found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd in Minnesota, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) explained on an Instagram livestream that, though the verdict may be able to bring accountability for Chauvin, it can’t bring about true justice.

      • As Chauvin Verdict Was Read, Police Killed Black Ohio Teen Ma'Khia Bryant

        At the same time that verdicts were being read in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin , police in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed a 16-year-old Black girl named Ma’Khia Bryant.

      • Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad: Policing in U.S. Was Built on Racism & Should Be Put on Trial

        A Minnesota jury’s conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin on three counts for murdering George Floyd does not go far enough in dismantling police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, says historian and author Khalil Gibran Muhammad. “We know that while the prosecution was performing in such a way to make the case that Derek Chauvin was a rogue actor, the truth is that policing should have been on trial in that case,” Muhammad says. “We don’t have a mechanism in our current system of laws in the way that we treat individual offenses to have that accountability and justice delivered.” Muhammad also lays out the racist history of slave patrols that led to U.S. police departments, which he details his book, “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.”

      • Black Visions Collective: We Need to Abolish the Police & End Militarized Occupations of Our Cities

        The police murder of George Floyd added jet fuel to a nationwide push to defund the police. We go to Minneapolis to speak with Kandace Montgomery, co-executive director of Black Visions Collective, about their response to the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd and an update on the push to divest from Minneapolis police and invest in communities.

      • To Confront 'Systemic Failures,' DOJ Announces Federal Probe Into Minneapolis Police Department

        "Yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis. Public safety requires public trust."

        Announcing a federal probe into policing in Minneapolis, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is not the equivalent of addressing systemic racism and violence by officers—echoing the recent calls of racial justice advocates and progressive lawmakers including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      • Guilty on All Counts: Derek Chauvin Verdict Triggers Relief & Determination to Keep Fighting

        A jury in Minneapolis has convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on three counts for murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds last year. The jury reached its decision after 10 hours of deliberation. Derek Chauvin will be sentenced in two months. He faces up to 40 years in prison for the most serious charge, second-degree murder. He is the first white police officer in Minnesota to ever be convicted of killing a Black man. We feature reactions from people gathered outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, comments from George Floyd’s brother and nephew, as well as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

      • Headlines April 21, 2021

        Guilty. Three weeks after the start of a trial that was watched around the world, a jury of 12 Hennepin County residents delivered their verdict on the three counts against former police officer Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd last May by kneeling on his neck for nine-and-a-half minutes. Judge Peter Cahill read the unanimous verdict.

      • Opinion | Guilty Verdict in the Chauvin Trial Is Not Enough for Real Change

        This distrust that stems from generations of mistreatment goes beyond the action of a single officer and indicts the entire policing and criminal justice system.

        Would Derek Chauvin, the former police officer, be on the streets today without the video?

      • What Chauvin's Conviction Means for Black Communities

        The experience of Black people and Black communities in the United States under anti-Black racism (*) has been servitude, slavery, the sellout of reconstruction and the broken promise of equality, Jim Crow, lynching, and other horrific forms of state-sanctioned violence and brutality. The legacies of segregation, discrimination, and systematic exclusion from the industrial workforce and higher-paying jobs are still present today. The continued denial of programs and benefits afforded to whites is central to the second-class status and treatment experienced by Black people. The cumulative impact of this oppression continues to result in the majority of Black people having to engage in daily struggles for dignity, respect, and basic human rights in all aspects of life — and sometimes even in death.

        This last year, we’ve heard many white people espouse their commitment to do better because they now see how Black bodies and Black communities are terrorized continually. Yet, they still have the important work to do of examining their collaboration and collusion with the very systems and structures that enable, enforce, and inflict that violence. They must examine their conscious and subconscious fear of Black men, women, and children. White people must recognize — and take responsibility for — where the demonization of Black people comes from. It is white people who are demonizing us. It is white people who must take responsibility for creating change. Without this, any change that happens won’t be sustainable and systemic. Rather, it will be isolated moments of white people reflecting on their privilege, accompanied by the strategic identification and removal of the “bad apple(s)” and poster-boy racists. Without this deeper reflection and action by white people, nothing will change.

      • Opinion | Racial Justice Is a Global Issue

        From the pandemic to climate change to police violence, today's crises require global collaboration on a scale never seen before.

        Last summer, Black Lives Matter protests in the United States after the murder of George Floyd echoed around the world.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘It’s Been Burning For A While’ By Chris Pierce

        When news hit that Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd, there was a collective sigh of relief. But the fact that the verdict was in doubt is evidence that there is still a long way to go. The reality is that since the trial started on March 29, police have on average killed more than three people a day in the United States, including 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago and 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minnesota. Singer-songwriter Chris Pierce highlights this long history of violence against black people is highlighted by singer-songwriter tune, “It’s Been Burning for a While.” The song first premiered on the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and it linked the events of the summer of 2020 with the dark past. “This song was written in memory of George Floyd and all those whose lives have been affected by abusive, excessive, and inhumane force,” the songwriter says. “The lyric, wrapped around a thought Malcolm X expressed many years ago, is about the current and historic storm engulfing our nation and world. “The melody and chord structure are in the spirit and structure of African-American work and protest songs. This song is written as a call, in the enduring hope of a response.” It is included on Pierce’s excellent 2021 album “American Silence,” which also explores America’s troubled history with race relations. There may still be a lot of work to do, but hopefully, we are finally getting closer to extinguishing the fire. Listen to Chris Pierce’s “It’s Been Burning for a While” on Bandcamp or watch the video for it here:

    • Monopolies

      • Not All Tech Regulatory Desires Are Equal: And We Should Stop Pretending They Are

        The NY Times has a big (and quite interesting) article this week about how we've supposedly "reached a global tipping point" on "tech regulation." And if you look around, it may feel that way. And, sure, it's easy to point to lots of examples of tech regulation happening around the globe, as the article does:

      • Fighting FLoC and Fighting Monopoly Are Fully Compatible

        That’s a damned good question that’s been occasioned by Google’s announcement that they’re killing the invasive, tracking third-party cookie (yay!) and replacing it with FLoC , an alternative tracking scheme that will make it harder for everyone except Google to track you (uh, yay ?)€  (You can find out if Google is FLoCing with you with our Am I FLoCed tool).

        Google’s move to kill the third-party cookie has been greeted with both cheers and derision. On the one hand, some people are happy to see the death of one of the internet’s most invasive technologies. We’re glad to see it go, too - but we’re pretty upset to see that it’s going to be replaced with a highly invasive alternative tracking technology (bad enough) that can eliminate the majority of Google’s competitors in the data-acquisition and ad-targeting sectors in a single stroke (worse).€ 

        It’s no wonder that so many people have concluded that privacy and antitrust are on a collision course . Google says nuking the third-party cookie will help our privacy, specifically because it will remove so many of its (often more unethical) ad-tech competitors from the web.€ 

      • Patent lobbying front group: What to expect from Biden’s IP policy with China

        Sources, including a former trade negotiator, predict Biden will continue Trump’s trade war with China – but with a softer tone and fewer angry tweets

      • Patents

        • Data dive: where European patent litigation is hot – and why [Ed: This is the ridiculous fluff that litigation think tanks publish instead of exposing severe cases of corruption at the EPO]

          In part two of this series, Managing IP analyses five-year patent litigation filings in the UK, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands – and asks what is behind the trends

        • Renewal of Patents and European Patents (UK), Trade Marks and Designs by electronic means
        • Assignor Estoppel at the Supreme Court

          The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on April 21, 2021 in the pending assignor estoppel case of Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc. The basic idea is that an inventor who signs the oath-of-inventorship and assign rights to a third party is estopped from later challenging the patent’s validity in court. The inventor here (Truckai) filed for patent protection and assigned rights in his inventions to the company he started. That company then sold rights to Cytyc Corp who then sold to Hologic. Truckai made bank on the sale, but “could not stop innovating.” He then turned around and started his own new company Minerva operating in a similar space. Some of the claims that eventually issued for Hologic had been substantially amended during prosecution and seemingly broadened to particularly cover Minerva’s new focus. Hologic then sued Minerva for infringement. Minerva attempted to raise a defense of invalidity based upon lack of written description / enablement based upon the expanded claim scope. However, the courts refused to allow the challenge based upon the doctrine of assignor estoppel. Note here that the parties appear to disagree about the scope changes and Truckai’s involvement.


          In the background, we also know that the PTAB has determined that assignor estoppel does not apply to Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings.

        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Chanel Loses Trademark Dispute With Huawei Over Latter's Logo

          It's no secret that Chanel, the famous French luxury brand most notable for concocting things that make us smell better, is also a voracious protector of its trademarks. As evidence for this, one needs only to recall that the company once bullied a 2-person candy purveyor over its use of the number "5". The point is, when Chanel comes a-calling complaining about trademarks, you really need to view it all with narrow eyes.

        • Exclusive: Rugby league would take ‘appropriate action’ against European Super League TM

          The UK’s senior rugby league competition, Super League, has said it will take whatever action necessary against a trademark application filed by football’s proposed European Super League.

      • Copyrights

        • Russia Wants Instagram to Stop Blocking Its Anthem over Copyright Issues

          Russia's telecoms watchdog 'Roskomnadzor' has sent a letter to Instagram demanding that the company removes its copyright restrictions on posts that feature the national anthem. The Government organization hints at systematic and purposeful blocking by Western social networks, which was widely picked up by local media. Reality appears to be less nefarious, however.

        • Anti-Piracy Groups Pressure EU To Prevent Pirate Sites Operating Anonymously

          Dozens of major anti-piracy groups and other interested parties are pressuring the European Commission to enhance "know your business customer" checks as part of the planned Digital Services Act. The stakeholders want to ensure that pirate sites can't disappear from one host only to seamlessly reappear at another but believe current plans are too limited.

Recent Techrights' Posts

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"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
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It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
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