Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/5/2021: GNU/Linux in Punjabi University, More on WordPress at 18

  • GNU/Linux

    • Punjabi University to work on operating system based on Linux

      Punjabi University will now work on Linux-based operating system. The University Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Arvind, said they would develop an operating system that worked in Punjabi.

      The VC made the announcement on the concluding day of the 50th seven-day workshop organised by the Department of Punjabi Computer Help Centre.

    • Server

      • AMD Preparing More Linux Code For The Frontier Supercomputer

        Frontier as the first US exascale supercomputer being commissioned by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. while being powered by AMD CPUs/GPUs is in the process of seeing more Linux kernel changes for bringing up the new platform.

        Frontier is being powered by AMD EPYC and Radeon Instinct accelerators. While set to be delivered in 2021, the Linux software support continues to be worked on for making this supercomputer a reality. In particular, the latest code sent out is working on coherent handling of GPU memory with this supercomputer supporting a coherent interconnect between the CPUs and GPUs. The latest patch series out of AMD is proposing changes to the memory management code around device zone page migration and ultimately for handling page migration and coherent CPU access to video memory.

      • 6,000 GPUs: NERSC Says Perlmutter Delivers 4 Exaflops, Claims Top Spot in AI Supercomputing

        Based on the Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, the current top-ranked system is Fugaku, jointly developed by Japan’s RIKEN scientific institute and Fujitsu.

    • Kernel Space

      • Android PS5 Controller Support | Connection Via USB or Bluetooth

        The upcoming Google Pixel 6 series is expected to launch with Linux kernel 5.10 which means that it will likely have the new Linux kernel driver for the Sony PS5 controller. The driver is now being backported to the Android 4.14-stable, the Android-4.9-q, and even the Android-4.19-stable branches which gives OEMs the option to be able to cherry pick the needed patches.

        XDA developers note that the DualSense controller feels incredibly immersive. When it comes to correct implementation, it still isn't even possible for the Android apps to activate the vibration of the Sony DualSense controller like how the PS5 gamers are designed. Android also cannot support the controller's somewhat adaptive trigger features which technically add a bit of resistance.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to configure ACL (Access Control Lists) in Linux

        Traditional Linux access permissions for files and directories consists of setting a combination of read, write, and execute permissions for the “owner”, “group”, and “others” of the file or directory.

        These permissions can be set using the ‘chmod‘ command. However, this has its limitations and does not allow you to set flexible permissions for users.

      • How to install and configure NGINX as reverse proxy | LibreByte

        NGINX is a web server with excellent performance and low memory footprint. NGINX can be used as a reverse HTTP proxy, as a generic TCP / UPD proxy, as a mail proxy server and as a load balancer, today we will install NGINX on Debian GNU/Linux and use it as a generic TPC/UPD proxy.

      • How to Enable Debug Mode in Laravel – TecAdmin

        Debugging is a helpful feature for developers to identify the causes of issues. Most of the modern application frameworks provides you the option to enable debug mode including Laravel. It is an good idea to keep enable debug mode in your development environment. In your production environment, this value should always be false.

      • How to install Gnome GUI on Almalinux 8.4 - Linux Shout

        Those who have just installed the AlmaLinux Minimal ISO version without GUI Desktop, have to use the command-line interface. And if you are not comfortable with it anymore, then it is possible to install Graphical Linux Desktop using such as Gnome using just a few commands. Here we will show you how to install GNOME GUI Desktop on the AlmaLinux server CLI version.

      • How to Disable IPv6 on Debian 10

        In this short article, I explain how to disable IPv6 in the Debian 10 network stack. Why would one want to do this? Most likely if you have connection problems and cannot reach servers on the Internet from your Debian system using IPv6, while it works using IPv4. Disabling IPv6 should always be the last resort. If you can't fix it on your network, for example, because your Internet access provider blocks IPv6, then the only other option is to disable it on your server, and that's what I'll describe below.

      • Pattern searching using grep - Linux Concept

        The command g/RE/p stands for globally search for the regular expression (RE) and print the line.

      • How to Install and Use TeamViewer on Ubuntu 20.04

        Teamviewer is a widely used utility for accessing and controlling a remote computer system. Many rganizations use TeamViewer to provide remote support to their clients. Use cases include troubleshooting system crashes, remote technical assistant, online educational programs, Video conferencing, remotely working when away from office (e.g. Work From Home) etc.

        TeamViewer has become particularly essential during these Covid-19 days as most of the IT staff is working remotely. With TeamViewer, we can access the remote desktop screen, control it with our own mouse and keyboard and fix system issues without being there in person, assist employees working from home, and so on.

      • How to Set Up Postfix SMTP Relay on Ubuntu with Sendinblue

        This tutorial is going to show you how to set up Postfix SMTP relay with Sendinblue on Ubuntu. Postfix is a popular open-source SMTP server. Previously I wrote an article on how to easily set up a full-blown email server on Ubuntu with iRedMail, which helped a lot of readers run their own email servers.

        However, some readers told me that port 25 is blocked by hosting provider/ISP as a way to control email spam, so they couldn’t send emails. Vultr would unblock port 25 if you ask them to, and ScalaHosting doesn’t block port 25 at all, so I recommend using ScalaHosting VPS. Some other hosting providers/ISPs like DigitalOcean would refuse to unblock port 25.

      • How to install Kubeflow 1.2 on Red Hat OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

        As artificial intelligence (AI) adoption increases across industries, particularly through machine learning (ML), the job of integrating the often disparate tools, libraries, packages, and dependencies also increases in complexity. This makes development and operations (DevOps) a daunting task that both organizations and open source communities are actively working on. To quote the authors of Hidden Technical Debt in Machine Learning Systems, "developing and deploying ML systems is relatively fast and cheap, but maintaining them over time is difficult and expensive."

        If you are in the throes of tackling DevOps for AI/ML (MLOps), two open source projects worth your attention are the upstream Kubeflow and the downstream Open Data Hub (ODH). The goal of these projects is to provide machine learning toolkits that handle the complex parts of orchestration that traditional software DevOps does not.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • OpSec Says DMCA Notice System Was "Spoofed" To Target Ubuntu Download

          An anti-piracy company cited as the sender of a DMCA notice targeting an entirely legal copy of Ubuntu says that its notice sending system was spoofed. The notice was reportedly sent via Comcast to warn a Reddit user that he'd breached copyright law but the explanation from OpSec Security only raises even more questions as to how something like this could possibly happen.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Review: the Cosmo Communicator

        It’s 2021, and it’s time to upgrade your smartphone. Maybe it’s getting slow, it might be damaged, or your device’s OEM refuses to update your version of Android. Whatever the reason, you set your budget and full of hope and starry-eyed about all the possibilities, you go to your preferred electronics store (or carrier, if you’re American) – and as you scroll through the possible phones, your hopes are shattered and your heart sinks in your shoes. Your choices are between an endless array of black slabs, and while you can technically choose between Android and iOS, you will have most likely made that specific choice ages ago, and switching platforms is hard.

        Slightly dramatised, sure, but the reality of smartphones today is that all of them look and feel the same. The difference between mid range and high end have shrunk over the years, and while there are still small differences here and there, the general experience is going to be the same from device to device. Even if you skip a few years of upgrades, the jump in performance to the latest and greatest processor isn’t going to make that much of a difference in your day to day use. While you can technically opt for one of the new folding phones, the reality is that they still suffer from early adopter problems, and their prices are far beyond what most of us would want to pay for a smartphone.


        Since this is plain old Debian, pretty much anything in the Debian repositories will work, since ARM is a supported architecture. You can set up your own desktop the same way you would set up any KDE installation on a regular PC or laptop, and other than the smaller display, there’s really nothing special or extraordinary about it.

        The official Linux image for Cosmo also makes some special affordances for the device. It comes with a phone and SMS application, so you can make phone calls and send text messages right from within Linux. You can also set up the cover display as an external touchpad, but while an interesting gimmick, I did not find this particularly useful. Version 4 of the Linux image also introduces better support for the shortcut keys to control various aspects of the hardware, like WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular. Sadly, this version was released a few days before my fiancee and I had to go to the hospital to deliver our child, so I haven’t been able to test it quite yet. It requires a fresh installation due to a switchover from droid-hal-cosmopda-bin to lxc-android, and I do not feel comfortable performing such an installation on devices that aren’t mine.

        Performance of the Linux image was great, and I did not notice any serious shortcomings. Of course, if you come in expecting the performance of a big gaming laptop you’re going to be disappointed, but if you have reasonable expectations, you won’t be disappointed. It’s too bad I couldn’t test the external display support, because that would be an absolutely ideal use case for this device, especially for people who work in a variety of locations.

        One downside of the Linux image is that it’s based on Debian Buster, which means some of the packages are going to feel a bit outdated because Buster favours stability over bleeding edge. The KDE version, for instance, is three years old, which is perfectly fine and working well, but you will miss out on more recent features and improvements. It would be great if other, more up-to-date distributions, such as Ubuntu or Manjaro, could be made to work on the Cosmo for those of us of a more adventurous nature.

      • Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC launched for $61

        Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now launched a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-M2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor.

        BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports.

      • Yet Another Rigol DS1054Z Viewer

        This is coded in Pascal (FPC Lazarus), but we weren’t able to browse the program because [Alfred] hasn’t posted the source code yet. It is written only for Linux, and he has tested it on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Manjaro. The project relies on Python, PyVisa, and gtk2, and talks to your DS1054Z over USB or LAN. The installation instructions are well documented, but as [Alfred] himself warns, if you encounter trouble arising from subtle dependency version conflicts, you may need to be a nerd and/or a pensioner with unlimited time on your hands to solve them. There is no users guide nor extensive help according to [Alfred]. However, simple hints might be found in hover text or by pressing F1. Disclaimers aside, this looks like an interesting project to try out.

        As [Alfred] notes, there are many other tools available to fetch data and images from your Rigol oscilloscope. [Jenny List] wrote a two-part series on using Python to control your test instruments, and here’s an example of a simple Python script that does a screen grab. Do you have a favorite way to remotely operate your oscilloscope? Let us know in the comments below.

      • Huawei Watch 3 with HarmonyOS is coming on June 2

        Huawei is holding an event on June 2 to unveil its new lineup of HarmonyOS-running devices, which will also include a new smartwatch - the Huawei Watch 3.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Calculate pi with a Raspberry Pi Spigot | The MagPi #106
        • Raspberry Pi: After launching five devices in less than a year, here's what they're doing next

          For Raspberry Pi, the passage of time over the past year has been marked by the launches of a series of new products (four devices in 2020, to be precise, plus another device in January this year), a feat the British computer maker managed to pull off despite the country being plunged into a series of COVID-19 lockdowns.

          Demand for its tiny computers soared due to the overnight switch to home working. On top of that, after the launch of Raspberry Pi's High Quality Camera in April 2020, the company went on to launch the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 one month later. This would be followed by the Compute Module 4, the Raspberry Pi 400, and most recently, the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico in January this year.

          "We went into the pandemic with this enormous pipeline of stuff to do," Raspberry Pi creator and co-founder, Eben Upton, tells TechRepublic. "Every single one of those [launches] moves us forward quite a long way."

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CMS

        • Happy 18th Birthday, WordPress

          WordPress is celebrating 18 years today since the first release of the software to the general public. That release post, titled, “WordPress Now Available,” kicked off an exciting era in the history of the blogosphere where WordPress emerged as an unofficial successor to the abandoned b2/cafelog software. Reading the comments on the first release, you can feel the energy of that time when loyal b2 users were thrilled to have a smooth migration to a new blogging engine that would be maintained.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • The Best Adobe Photoshop Alternatives in 2021

            GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is regularly the top pick when it comes to free photo editing apps because it’s both powerful and, well, free. It’s why it’s also our top pick for Best Free Photo Editing Apps here. As far as replacing Photoshop entirely, it’s got its perks for the budget-conscious.

            GIMP offers layer-based editing, with support for PSD, TIFF, PNG, EXR, and RGBE files, and its dark UI resembles that of Photoshop. It has color adjustments, object selection tools, powerful retouching tools, such as the Heal, Clone, and Warp Transform tool, as well as sharpening and blurring filters. Similar to Photoshop, it also has Curves, Levels, Dodge and Burn, and a variety of image transform tools. GIMP also has available user-created plug-ins and scripts that add additional features and tools to the workflow.

            One major knock on the program is that it doesn’t necessarily instill the same industry-standard habits that you’ll get from software like Photoshop or even Affinity Photo, so moving from GIMP to any of those in the future might pose a challenge. Considering this is free software, it makes it a great choice for budget-conscious users who still want to manipulate their images and don’t mind the learning curve. Although open-source, GIMP offers numerous resources and tutorials to get users started, and has active community members who share how-to videos on YouTube.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • A Second Cambrian Explosion of Open Source Licenses Or Is it Time For Open Source Lawyers to Have Fun Again?

            Eventually, the sprawling nature of this experimentation began to cause problems. The Free Software Foundation’s Free Software Definition and the Open Source Initiative’s Open Source Definition were both attempts to bring some order to the open source software world. In the specific context of licensing, the Open Source Initiative began approving licenses that met its criteria. Soon thereafter, it released a License Proliferation Report detailing the challenges created by this proliferation of licenses and proposing ways to combat them. These activities helped to bring order and standardization to the world of open source licensing. While OSI continues to approve licenses, for well over a decade the conventional wisdom in the world of open source has been to avoid creating a new license if at all possible. As a result, for most of this century open source software license experimentation has been decidedly out of style. Largely for the reasons described in the License Proliferation Report, this conventional wisdom has been beneficial to the community. License proliferation does create a number of problems. Standardization does help address them. However, in doing so standardization also greatly reduced the amount of license experimentation within the community. Reduced experimentation means that concerns incorporated into approved licenses (access to modifications of openly licensed code) have been canonized, while concerns that had not been integrated into an approved license (restrictions on unethical uses of software) at the moment of formalization were largely excluded from consideration within the open source community.

      • Programming/Development

        • Tech entrepreneur David Richards looking to boost number of software developers

          “EyUp will teach people to code, help them find jobs as developers, nurture new start-ups and contribute to social and economic wellbeing.”

          The Yorkshire venture will have three strands to it. EyUp Skills will run a 16-week full-time course in partnership with the coding bootcamp iO Academy.

        • Make anything a JavaScript module using Node.js ESM Module Loaders

          Disclaimer: you can’t load an actual bottle into Node.js (yet).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl / Unix One-liner Cage Match, Part 1

            A shell (like Bash) provides built-in commands and scripting features to easily solve and automate various tasks. External commands like grep, sed, Awk, sort, find, or parallel can be combined to work with each other. Sometimes you can use Perl either as a single replacement or a complement to them for specific use cases.

            Perl is the most robust portable option for text processing needs. Perl has a feature rich regular expression engine, built-in functions, an extensive ecosystem, and is quite portable. However, Perl may have slower performance compared to specialized tools and can be more verbose.

          • Perl / Unix One-liner Cage Match, Part 2

            In Part 1, I compared Perl’s regexp features with sed and Awk. In this concluding part, I’ll cover examples that make use of Perl’s extensive built-in features and third-party modules.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Illinois Continued to Seclude and Restrain Students This Year Even Though Many Schools Were Closed

        Illinois school workers physically restrained or secluded nearly 2,400 students more than 15,000 times this school year, a period when many schools were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, new state data shows.

        The data, obtained Thursday by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica, shows that even with new rules put in place early last year, schools continued to use physical restraints and isolated timeout thousands of times. The data includes public schools, private schools and regional cooperatives that exclusively serve students with disabilities.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Infectious Disease Expert: Only Way to Get to Immunity Is to Vaccinate the World
      • Rich Nations Could 'Make Enough Vaccine for the World' With Just $25 Billion: Analysis

        "The global vaccine apartheid is a policy choice," said the People's Vaccine Alliance. "We have the means to end it."

      • Dr. Monica Gandhi on the Origins of COVID-19, Vaccine Equity, the Debate over Masks & More

        President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of COVID-19 as new questions are being raised over whether an accidental leak from a Chinese virology lab is to blame for the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports three employees of the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with COVID-like symptoms in the autumn of 2019 and were hospitalized in November of that year, before the first recorded case of COVID-19. China has criticized the Biden administration’s call for a new probe, saying the lab leak hypothesis is a “conspiracy created by U.S. intelligence agencies.” In March, the World Health Organization said its investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic found it was “extremely unlikely” that the novel coronavirus emerged from a laboratory, but many scientists are calling on the WHO to further investigate the possibility. We speak with infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi, who says there are real questions about whether information about the virus was withheld early on, delaying public health measures and vaccine development, but she stresses that “designing” a virus in a lab is very difficult. “I personally do not think that you can create these type of viruses in a lab. Only nature can do this,” Dr. Gandhi says. She also discusses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s loosening of public health restrictions and how the U.S. can use its vaccine surplus to help other countries. “The solution of the pandemic is immunity. And the only way to get to immunity is to vaccinate the world,” she says.

      • No Tokyo Olympics: As COVID Spikes in Japan, Calls Grow to Cancel Games. IOC Refuses. Who Profits?

        Pressure is growing on organizers to cancel the Tokyo Olympics as Japan struggles to contain a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases. The games, which were delayed by a year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to begin July 23 even though less than 3% of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in the developed world. Jules Boykoff, author and former Olympic athlete who played for the U.S. Olympic soccer team, says the “extremely lopsided” contracts the International Olympic Committee signs with host countries give the body ultimate authority over whether or not to cancel the event. “More than 80% of the people in Japan oppose hosting the Olympics this summer, and yet the IOC insists on pressing ahead,” says Boykoff. We also speak with Satoko Itani, professor of sport, gender and sexuality studies at Kansai University, who says there is growing public anger at the government and a “sense of unfairness” that the games are going ahead during a pandemic. “They feel that the people are not protected,” they say.

      • Opinion | It's Time to Break Big Pharma's Grip on Healthcare and Empower Medicare to Negotiate Cheaper Drug Prices

        The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would be long-overdue step towards making prescription medicines more affordable for all Americans.

      • As Bayer Considers Ending Some US Glyphosate Sales, Campaigners Urge EPA to Enact Full Ban

        "Unless this cancer-causing weedkiller is banned by the Environmental Protection Agency or Bayer cuts its losses and stops making it, people will continue to be exposed and risk serious illness."

      • Delhi govt declares black fungus epidemic as number of cases rises, issues regulations

        Amid rising incidents of black fungus in the national capital, the Delhi government on Thursday declared it an epidemic with Lt Governor Anil Baijal issuing regulations under the Epidemic Diseases Act to contain and manage cases of the deadly mucormycosis in the city.

      • Go read this investigation into the real death toll from the Texas freeze

        “We now know that the Texas government’s repeated failure to modernize our energy systems killed over 700 Texans in February’s winter storm,” former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke tweeted, calling for more action from lawmakers to harden the state’s energy system from climate change and more extreme weather. Many energy companies chose not to steel the state’s energy infrastructure against bouts of cold weather, even after a similarly brutal 2011 cold snap.

      • Why the Covid Wuhan lab escape theory, dead and buried months ago, has risen again

        A new unpublished research paper, seen by The Telegraph, shows that scientists were doing just that as early as 2008. The tests, known as "gain of function" experiments, were designed to get ahead of an emerging deadly virus.

        In 2008, Dr Shi's group in Wuhan first demonstrated the ability to switch the receptor binding domains for bat and human Sars viruses, and by 2010 the Institute of Virology had embarked on "gain of function" experiments to increase the infectiousness of Sars coronavirus in humans.

        By 2015, Wuhan scientists had created a highly infectious chimeric virus which targeted the human upper respiratory tract.

      • Waking up to post-Covid healthcare

        The US companies Pfizer (BioNTech) and Moderna own dozens of patents on the technology used to produce and formulate Covid-19 and other mRNA vaccines. Joe Biden has stated that he will use his authority to remove the exclusivity of the US patents pertinent to these vaccines. Still, it will require the concurrence of the European Patent Office and other agencies that is not likely to come soon. However, there is a blessing in disguise here; Pakistan is one of the few countries that are not part of the Patent Cooperative Treaty and therefore not bound to any patents in the treaty — as all are. The individual patents must be registered in Pakistan to be applicable. Even if there is a patent in Pakistan, there is a clause of humanitarian use that allows the use of the invention with a royalty arrangement which is always minimal. A similar situation had risen in the past regarding AIDS treatment when India chose to go around the patents despite being a member of the PCT. This opportunity is not available to most other countries, including India and Bangladesh.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • TSA formally directs pipeline companies to report cybersecurity incidents in wake of Colonial attack [Ed: Or they should report if they use Windows. Then cyber risk is implied.]

        The directive will also require pipeline owners and operators to designate an individual who is available 24/7 to coordinate with officials at both TSA and CISA in the event of a cyber incident, and for owners and operators to carry out assessments of existing cybersecurity practices to identify potential gaps and report their findings to TSA and CISA within 30 days.

      • Microsoft, Mastercard Sign on to VP Harris' Central America Strategy [Ed: Spying contracts]

        Commitments by the companies include Microsoft's agreeing to expand [Internet] access to as many as 3 million people in the region by July 2022 and Nespresso's plans to begin buying some of its coffee from El Salvador and Honduras with a minimum regional investment of $150 million by 2025, a White House official said.

      • Goodbye & good riddance. [To Internet Explorer]
      • Why Microsoft Finally Dumped Internet Explorer
      • Compiler uses C code to write once and accelerate CPUs [Ed: Merely copying a company's own claims about itself from a press release is not journalism]

        An Apple M1 processor with eight Arm cores is 400% faster than the single-threaded GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), says CacheQ Systems.

      • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

          • The Organization for Ethical Source Takes on Stewardship of Contributor Covenant [Ed: An attack on Free software, just like "inner source", backed by the likes of Microsoft and IBM. It's killing communities and dividing people. Look at who’s promoting this… typically front groups of the same companies that are attacking communities (to form monopolies) and this 'cause' is convenient to them because they know it is a destructive force against communities… in doublespeak “ethical” clothing. The charlatans and frauds who run the lie or facade "ethical source" are working closely with Microsoft (which powers ICE camps), while bemoaning 'Open Source' powering ICE camps. Incredible.]
      • Security

        • Detecting CVE-2021-31166 – HTTP vulnerability

          In this blog we aim to provide a little insight into part of the lifecycle of Corelight Lab’s response to a critical HTTP vulnerability. We’ve open-sourced many such responses over the last year (see Appendix A), and this one is a good demonstration of the evolving nature of the threat landscape. It also serves to highlight some issues we track through development of these packages.


          In May’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released a critical patch to systems running a vulnerable version of a function in HTTP.sys. The vulnerability is unauthenticated, trivial, wormable, and is rated as a 9.8 CVE score.

        • Open-source tool Yor automatically tags IaC resources for traceability and auditability

          Yor is an open-source tool from Palo Alto Networks that automatically tags cloud resources within infrastructure as code (IaC) frameworks such as Terraform, Cloudformation, Kubernetes, and Serverless Framework.

        • ‘Have I been Pwned’ is Now Open Source to Check Passwords [Ed: It has just been 'pwned' by outsourcing to proprietary software monopoly controlled by Microsoft and the NSA]

          Have I been Pwned is making its first move to open-source with its password portal codebase available in GitHub.

        • Privacy/Surveillance

          • US Postal Service's Social Media Surveillance Program Uses Clearview's Facial Recognition Tech

            Late last month, it was discovered the United States Postal Service was operating a social media surveillance program. The "why" of this was never explained. Apparently, the USPS has time and money to blow, so it has something called an "Internet Covert Operations Program" (iCOP) which it uses to investigate crimes that definitely are not of a postal nature.

          • Chile’s New “Who Defends Your Data?” Report Shows ISPs’ Race to Champion User Privacy

            Over the last four years, certain transparency practices that once seemed unusual in Latin America have become increasingly more common. In Chile, they have even become a default. This year, all companies evaluated except for VTR received credit for adopting three important industry-accepted best practices: publishing law enforcement guidelines, which help provide a glimpse into the process and standard companies use for analyzing government requests for user data; disclosing personal data processing practices in contracts and policies; and releasing transparency reports.

            Overall, the publishing of transparency reports has also become more common. These are critical for understanding a company’s practice of managing user data and its handling of government data requests. VTR is the only company that has not updated its transparency report recently—since May 2019. After the last edition, GTD published its first transparency report and law enforcement guidelines. Similarly, for the first time Movistar has released specific guidelines for authorities requesting access to user's data in Chile, and received credit for denying legally controversial government requests for user's data.

            Most of the companies also have policies stating their right to provide user notification when there is no secrecy obligation in place or its term has expired. But as in the previous edition, earning a full star in this category requires more than that. Companies have to clearly set up a notification procedure or make concrete efforts to put them in place. Derechos Digitales also urged providers to engage in legislative discussions regarding Chile’s cybercrime bill, in favor of stronger safeguards for user notification. Claro has upheld the right to notification within the country's data protection law reform and has raised concerns against attempts to increase the data retention period for communications metadata in the cybercrime bill.€ € € € 

          • European privacy campaigners win battles against mass surveillance by UK and Swedish governments, but have they lost the war?

            Applying those principles, the Grand Chamber found that there were three defects in the UK’s mass surveillance activities. The bulk interception had been authorized by a government minister, not by an independent body; when applying for a warrant there was a failure to include the search terms that would be used; and a failure to ensure that search terms relating to an individual – such as an email address – were subject to prior authorization. The Grand Chamber also found that journalists’ sources were not protected from bulk interception, as required by Article 10 of the Convention. However, in a win for the UK government, the judges held that the framework for requesting and receiving intelligence from foreign governments – for example, from the US – had implemented sufficient safeguards to protect against abuse. The Grand Chamber said that these would ensure that the “UK authorities had not used requests for intercept material from foreign intelligence partners as a means of circumventing their duties under domestic law and the Convention.”

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Private Security Company Thinks It Should Be Able To Take People To Jail Just Like Real Cops

      A snitch app called Citizen is angling for the position of Local Law Enforcement€®. Going a step further than hotbeds of bigotry like Ring's Neighbors or Facebook-but-for-racism Nextdoor, Citizen is actually trying to create a private law enforcement agency that provides "security" and other services for app users.

    • An Afropessimist on the Year Since George Floyd Was Murdered

      Last year, as I sat in my study in Southern California and watched videos of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station on Lake Street burning in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, a memory eddied up in the flames.1

      It’s one or two in the morning. Lake Street runs like a deep scar down the southern arm of the city. I’m idling in my parents’ green station wagon at a stoplight with a couple of teammates from the football team. Marcus, Ray, and me; three Black, intrepid, rusty-butt boys out looking for a thrill. Curtis Mayfield croons “Freddie’s Dead” on the eight-track player. A blunt passes from Marcus to me, in the front, then to Ray in the back seat. Soon, a contender pulls up beside us. White boys in letter jackets from a rival school. Their engine revs. Their windows roll down. They say, “Eat shit and die!” “Got to bring ass to get ass!” we yell back. Green winks the light. First car to the corner of Lake and Cedar wins.2

    • January 6 Commission Vote Likely to be Blocked by Senate Republicans Thursday
    • Ethel Rosenberg: She Could Not Save Herself and Neither Could Anyone else

      Ethel Rosenberg was a complex American. She was the loving mother of two boys, the devoted wife of a man who spied for the Soviet Union, and a resolute Communist in a nation resolutely anti-communist. “We are the victims of the grossest type of political frame-up ever known in American history,” she wrote. She added, “we ask the people of America to…come to our aid.” You can’t get more communist than that in the aftermath of the Popular Front and the era of Earl Browder who said, “Communism is the Americanism of the twentieth-century.”

      Anne Sebba explores the life and times of Ethel Rosenberg—who died in the electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility on June 19, 1953 when she was 35-years-old— in a new biography with the subtitle “An American Tragedy” (St. Martin’s Press). Unfortunately, Sebba seems to buy into some Cold War thinking when she writes about the “free world,” and when she adopts a liberal perspective and argues that for “one brief moment in time, hysteria overtook common sense.” Excuse me, but the hysteria lasted decades.

    • Biden’s Pledge to Rein In Arms Deals Is Already Eroding

      When it comes to trade in the tools of death and destruction, no one tops the United States of America.

    • Fears Mount That GOP's Big Lie on 2020 Just a 'Test Run' for What Comes Next

      With Republicans set to block a commission to probe the January 6 attack, progressives warn "the insurrection never actually stopped."

    • Eisenhower rejected military chiefs’ demand for nuclear war on China, classified account of ’58 Taiwan Strait crisis reveals
    • Lee Camp: How to End the US Prison State Quick and Easy

      A few weeks ago I covered the mind-blowing facts about American prisons that should make anyone and everyone rethink/detest/abhor the entire institution. Now, I want to examine the reasons people find themselves locked up in the largest prison state in the world (the Land of the Free) and see if we can’t decrease the number of inmates to something more reasonable …like zero. Or one. …One guy who’s a real grade-A asshole.

    • U.S. Says It Will Not Rejoin Open Skies Treaty With Russia

      The nearly 30-year-old accord, known as the Open Skies Treaty, was put in place to ensure that Russia and the United States could monitor military movements by using sophisticated sensors in aircraft that would fly over certain territory of the other’s country.

    • Belarus update: Bomb threat was called in after plane diverted

      Authorities had used the excuse of the threat to justify their actions

    • QAnon content "evaporated" online following post-Jan. 6 social media crackdown, study finds

      In the place of a widespread Q following that grew to incredible size during the Trump presidency — a number of the Jan. 6 rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol were QAnon believers — the movement is now "a cluster of loosely connected conspiracy theory-driven movements that advocate many of the same false claims without the hallmark linguistic stylings that defined QAnon communities during their years of growth," according to the researchers, Jared Holt and Max Rizzuto.

      They analyzed more than 40 million mentions of 13 widely known QAnon catchphrases and related language, including "WWG1WGA" (Where we go one we go all), "the storm," "great awakening," "trust the plan," "save the children," "Pizzagate." Their usage began in earnest last March as the COVID-19 pandemic first barrelled through the U.S. and peaked during last summer's racial justice protests — spiking again before Jan. 6 and dropping precipitously in the days following the insurrection, presumably due to the moderation changes at major social media firms.

    • Understanding QAnon’s Connection to American Politics, Religion, and Media Consumption

      The far-right conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon emerged on the internet in late 2017 and gained traction throughout former president Donald Trump’s time in office. QAnon’s core theory revolves around Satan-worshipping pedophiles plotting against Trump and a coming “storm” that would clear out those evil forces, but the movement has also been described as a “big tent conspiracy theory” that involves a constantly evolving web of schemes about politicians, celebrities, bankers, and the media, as well as echoes of older movements within Christianity, such as Gnosticism.

      To understand how this loosely connected belief system is influencing American politics, religion, and media, we fielded three questions, each containing a tenet of the QAnon conspiracy movement.

    • Dalai Lama's successor has to be approved by Beijing: China's white paper on Tibet

      The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet. India granted him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.

      The Dalai Lama is 85 years old now and the issue of his successor has gained prominence in the last couple of years due to his advanced age.

      The Dalai Lama's succession issue was in the limelight, especially in the last few years after the US has stepped up campaign that the right relating to the reincarnation of Dalai Lama's successor should be within the exclusive authority of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.

    • “Have You Ever in Your Life Attended a Meeting of the Ku Klux Klan?”

      Last summer, as thousands of people around the country poured into the streets to express their grief and fury at the death of George Floyd and so many other Black people killed by police and vigilantes, I opened a file of a long-closed court case.

      The complaint that launched the case said the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Terry Johnson, “intentionally discriminates against Latino persons in Alamance County by targeting Latinos for investigation, detention, and arrest, and conducting unreasonable seizures and other unlawful law enforcement actions.”

    • China’s Digital Expertise And Export Strategy Concerning, Say Experts

      China’s utilization of digital tools and its export to developing countries poses a serious threat to human rights agendas and the global order of democracy, according to Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator.

      Donahoe said Wednesday that dictators and autocrats are capitalizing on digital resources to better repress and control their own people. Ethiopia shut down its internet nationwide last summer to quell protests demanding justice for the killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. The Myanmar military has used social media to spread disinformation and sway public opinion throughout the Rohingya genocide. China has used its growing digital infrastructure to increase surveillance of its own citizens.

    • Three sentenced over Barcelona and Cambrils jihadist attacks

      One of the perpetrators rammed a van into pedestrians in Barcelona's Las Ramblas tourist area, before a twin attack was launched in a nearby town.

    • Judge says Trump's false election claims still pose threat months later

      A D.C. federal judge says that former President Trump’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election still pose a threat months after a mob of his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

      Judge Amy Berman Jackson made the remark in a strongly worded court ruling Wednesday denying a motion to revoke detention for Cleveland Meredith Jr., who threatened to injure Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a text message.

      Remarking on Trump’s claims, Jackson wrote “the steady drumbeat that inspired defendant to take up arms has not faded away.”

    • Cut US Military Aid to Israel

      Since the Israeli/Palestinian ceasefire began this week, the Biden administration’s refrain has been that Israelis and Palestinians should have “equal measures of security, peace, and dignity,” but not a word about equal rights.

      The administration’s silence on Palestinian rights is an affirmation of the Israel’s apartheid policies, which deny Palestinians equal citizenship, restrict their movement, and dispossess them of their homes and land.

      We demand that the U.S. cease all military aid to Israel until it respects the human rights of Palestinians. The cutoff of US military aid to Israel is the leading demand on the U.S. of the Palestinian National BDS Committee, which has broad support in Palestinian civil society.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Dems Propose 'Necessary' Transparency Rules for How Big Tech Manages Online Content

      "Markey and Matsui recognize the need for online businesses to protect the rights of impacted communities, and to prevent discrimination based on people's personal information and characteristics."

    • Facebook whistleblower reveals identity after being suspended for leaking “vaccine hesitarian” censorship document

      “Facebook uses classifiers in its algorithms to determine specific content … they call it” vaccine hesitarian “. And without the user’s knowledge, they assign these comments scores called “VH scores” and “vaccine hesitarian scores,” Kerman told O’Keefe. “And based on those scores. , Demotion or leave the comment, depending on the content in the comment. “

      Kahmann revealed that the company is “testing” 1.5% of its 3.8 billion users in the comments section of its “Authoritative Health Page.”

      “They are trying to control this content before it appears on the page before you see it,” says Carman.

      The assessment is divided into two layers, one is “warning and criticism” and the other is “indirect vaccine disappointment”, praising the refusal of the vaccine or others giving the vaccine. It contains “shocking stories” that can discourage you from taking it.

      The algorithm flags important terms in comments to determine if they can maintain their location, but if the algorithm itself cannot determine, a human “evaluator” can make the decision. ..

  • Environment

    • Fearing Their Kids Will Inherit Dead Coral Reefs, Scientists Are Urging Bold Action

      Time is short, she says. For coral reefs to survive, emissions would have to fall to zero before 2100, and restoration and adaptation tools would have to be rolled out in a widespread way in the next 20 to 30 years.

    • Did Zoom kill business travel for ever? Road warriors weigh in.

      When her members were polled about their employees’ willingness to travel, the percentage who said workers were “not willing at all” has bounced between 2 and 5 percent over the past six months. The percentage who travel managers estimate would be “somewhat willing” has jumped from 41 percent to 58 percent since November, and the number who are “very willing” to resume travel has risen from 9 percent to 17 percent.

    • Fossil fuel use leads to worse and longer droughts

      Human reliance on fossil fuels is resulting in worse and longer droughts. It’s a familiar message across the world.

    • Opinion | Why Bill Gates, John Kerry, and Other Climate Dudes Are Dead Wrong

      There's no Gates-ian fairy tale, no Franzen-like acceptance of disaster, and no awaiting the invention of some Kerry-like miracle technologies.

    • 'This Is Climate Denial': Biden Goes to Bat for Massive Alaska Drilling Project Approved Under Trump

      "Burning that oil would create nearly 260 million metric tons of CO2 emissions—about the equivalent of what is produced by 66 coal-fired power plants."

    • Engine No. 1’s Big Win Over Exxon Shows Activist Hedge Funds Joining Fight Against Climate Change

      By Mark DesJardine, assistant professor of strategy and sustainability at Penn State and Tima Bansal, Canada research chair in business sustainability at Western University for The Conversation

      One of the most expensive Wall Street shareholder battles on record could signal a big shift in how hedge funds and other investors view sustainability.

    • Court Rules Australian Government Has Duty to Protect Children, Environment From Climate Impacts

      "This is the first time a court of law, anywhere in the world, has recognized that a government minister has a duty of care to protect young people from the catastrophic harms of climate change."

    • Energy

      • Opinion | I Was Once a Lobbyist for the Koch Brothers. I Just Didn't Know It

        In the past decade, with nearly unlimited wealth, Koch's political operation has injected hundreds of millions of dollars into elections through a constellation of nonprofits and LLCs.

      • Opinion | Big Oil Takes Huge Loss in a Day of Game-Changing Climate News

        Dutch court ruling and two shareholder revolts bring new hope against climate emergency.

      • Steve Baker’s #CostOfNetZero Campaign Trended But Only Because Steve Baker Kept Tweeting It

        It’s been a busy week for the latest member of the UK’s most prominent climate science denial group – trending on Twitter, if not in real life.

        Steve Baker MP, the most recently appointed trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, did not enter the fold quietly. This week, his #CostOfNetZero hashtag began trending, becoming the “most used by Conservative MPs” early this week, according to an account that monitors politicians’ activity on the platform.€ 

      • Warren Proposes $1.9T in Investments in Energy Research, American Manufacturing
      • World Edging 'Inexorably' Closer to 1.5€°C Warming Threshold: WMO

        "It's now a race to phase out fossil fuels as fast as possible," said 350 Canada.

      • Big Oil’s Tobacco Moment

        A Dutch court on Wednesday ruled that Royal Dutch Shell, the big oil company, is on the hook both for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by its own production of oil and gas and the downstream use of those products. It’s a bit of a tobacco cabal moment but for the oil industry: For the first time, an international tribunal has held a multinational company accountable for its role in accelerating climate change and ordered it to change course.

        It’s not clear how the court might enforce its judgment against Shell, and it’s not clear if any other courts will follow The Hague’s lead. But coming the same day that ExxonMobil was fighting with shareholders over the company’s dedication to clean energy, the Dutch ruling seems to mark an inflection point in Big Oil’s battle against the growing climate lobby.

      • Big Oil Loses Big in a Day of Game-Changing Climate News

        The Dutch case is particularly remarkable, for three reasons. First, “because it is the first time a judge has ordered a large polluting corporation to comply with the Paris climate agreement,” Roger Cox, a lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands (in Dutch, Milieudefensie)—which brought the case with 17,000 other plaintiffs—told The Guardian. Second, because the judge held that society’s interest in emissions reductions takes priority over the commercial harm that Shell would suffer as a result. And third, and perhaps most far-reaching, because Shell must slash not only its direct emissions—the heat-trapping gases Shell releases when it drills for, refines, and brings oil to market—but also the company’s indirect emissions, the gases millions of customers around the world release when they use Shell’s gasoline and other products. As climate activist Greta Thunberg observed, this latter provision is what makes the court ruling such “a game changer.” If other countries apply the same logic, fossil fuel companies would have to leave much of their product in the ground, just as climate science says is imperative.

      • Government gives municipalities the right to ban diesel cars

        The government has proposed a new environmental bill that will give municipalities permission to create their own zero-emission zones.

        Already, the country’s four biggest cities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg, along with the capital enclave of Frederiksberg, are believed to be making plans to ban diesel cars without particulate filters from their centres.

        Some of the cities already have zones where larger polluting vehicles such as buses and trucks are banned.

      • 'You Strike a Match'

        As a result of this admission, Montoya and Reznicek were indicted on nine felony charges of intentionally damaging energy infrastructure — a designation that can render a private, commercial company’s enterprise a matter of federal concern. The designation was a provision of the Patriot Act, the controversial George W. Bush-era national security law passed in the wake of 9/11, and federal prosecutors have embraced it as a way to target environmental activists who engage in property destruction.

        For more than a year, Reznicek and Montoya each faced the possibility of more than a century in federal prison. Then, in February, both women entered into plea agreements with federal prosecutors to drop eight of the charges in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility. The agreement means that the pair now face a maximum 20-year sentence each — a punishment that would still be among the longest-ever sentences for eco-activism in the U.S. The women are due to be sentenced at the end of July

    • Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Elizabeth Warren Slams Jamie Dimon Over Overdraft Fees Amid Pandemic
    • Does Bitcoin’s Recent Crash Spell the Beginning of the End for Cryptocurrencies?

      Are cryptocurrencies on their last legs? The leader of the pack, Bitcoin, has lost almost half its value since reaching an all-time high in mid-April, and others have also collapsed in the wake of the Chinese government’s decision to crack down on all cryptocurrency-related transactions. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also signaled tougher oversight. Despite the market gyrations, crypto’s champions continue to see these currencies as an ideal market-generated solution as questions arise about the future viability of paper currencies in a global economy characterized by sky-high indebtedness and bloated government/central bank balance sheets. Enthusiasts behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Dogecoin, and a host of other cryptocurrencies, seem to think that the wonders of 21st century financial technology (aka “fintech”) will enable these digital creations to stand as alternative stores of value outside the control of our central banks, whose actions (they have claimed since the days of Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek) regularly debase traditional paper currencies.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • EU proposes stricter anti-disinformation code

      The EU has announced plans to beef up its code of practice on online disinformation, with the aim of preventing digital ad companies from earning profits from fake news.

      The new proposals from the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, come amid concerns about the role of social media and tech giants in the spread of false information online, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

    • Commission’s Guidance To Disinformation: We Need Legislation And Oversight, Not Co-Regulation

      Today, the Commission published its guidance on how the Code of Practice on Disinformation should be strengthened to become a more effective tool for countering disinformation.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why Do White Republicans Oppose Black Lives Matter? Look What They’re Watching

      To mark the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin, the New York Times put together a special opinion section reflecting on what has changed and where the country is now on race and police violence. One piece (5/22/21) described and analyzed the rise and fall of support for the Black Lives Matter movement: “Did George Floyd’s death catalyze support for Black Lives Matter? If so, for how long and for whom?”

    • Google is now embroiled in a full class-action lawsuit over whether it underpaid women

      The lawsuit alleges that Google pays men more than women for the same work, in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act, and that Google paid its female employees nearly $17,000 less per year than male counterparts in the same roles. The women filed the suit in 2017, claiming they were put into lower career tracks than their male colleagues— so-called “job ladders” that resulted in them receiving lower bonuses and salaries. The women have since left Google.

    • Google Women Suing Over Gender Bias Win Class-Action Status

      Alphabet Inc.’s Google failed to persuade a judge to block class-action status for a gender-pay disparity lawsuit brought on behalf of almost 11,000 women.

      A San Francisco state judge certified the class action Thursday, allowing the four lead plaintiffs to represent 10,800 women over claims that Google pays men more for doing the same job. A previously disclosed analysis showed that the case seeks more than $600 million in damages. The women allege violations of California’s Equal Pay Act, one of the strongest measures of its kind nationwide.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Why Bill C-10 Undermines the Government’s Commitment to the Principle of Net Neutrality

      Fifth, while some may argue that algorithmic choices determine the content of feeds and it is therefore better to substitute the choice of the CRTC for that of large tech companies, there are notable differences. Where the tech companies use their position to engage in self-dealing or unreasonable preferences, the law should step in. That has happened in Europe with respect to search engine results that led to a multi-billion dollar fine and has similarly been raised with respect to Amazon. Canada needs to be more aggressive on tht front. But social media and streaming companies are motivated by keeping users on the platform (either to maximize ad revenue or maintain subscriber revenue), not by pushing content for which the user may have demonstrated little interest. The platform algorithms raise concerns and require greater transparency, but substituting government mandated algorithms is an even riskier policy that interferes with user content choices and undermines the principle of net neutrality.

    • Verizon Forces Users On To More Expensive Broadband Plans Just To Get $50 Covid Subsidy

      As part of a recent COVID bill, the government recently announced that folks struggling economically during COVID would be getting some temporary help. Under the EBB (Emergency broadband Benefit program), U.S. consumers can nab a $50 discount off their broadband bill, or $75 if you live in tribal areas. The program ends when its $3.2 billion in federal funding expires, or six months after the government has declared an end to the pandemic.

    • Letter to freenode - Post Mortem of May 25, 2021

      As you are aware, over the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing an increasing amount of spam from other networks intending to mislead and influence long term running projects, namespaces and channels into moving to another new network which was formed parallel to freenode. While group contacts from the channels did not contact freenode staff directly, we were rather surprised when we received reports of unpleasant elements operating in the background and influencing these projects, namespaces and channels with false information in order to harm freenode’s administration and staff members’ images and paint a false narrative altogether.

      In conjunction with yesterday’s events, in retrospect, we should have handled the action of closing down channels slightly differently. Originally, we posted a draft policy revision and solicited feedback in #freenode-policy-feedback. After several days, we discussed various feedback internally that was given.

      The intent of doing this was not an attempt of a hostile takeover nor hijack like many people are saying. Since certain projects were disrupting their users' ability to chat on freenode via mass kicks, force closures, spam, we decided to enact this policy in those places which were deemed in violation and could cause an issue later.

    • Ubuntu, Wikimedia jump ship to the Libera Chat IRC network after Freenode channel confiscations

      One of the bigger beasts of the Linux world, Ubuntu, has abruptly jumped ship to Libera Chat from the Freenode IRC network after what the Ubuntu Community Council described as a "hostile takeover" of its namespaces.

  • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Roku Inks Streaming Rights Deal With Saban Films

      The company says that it has signed an exclusive pay-one window deal with Saban Films, covering much of the studio’s 2021 slate. The deal is the first exclusive feature window deal that Roku has signed, with the Saban films set to be available for free on The Roku Channel.

  • Monopolies

    • Washington, DC Lawsuit Claims Amazon Violates Antitrust Laws by Inflating Prices
    • Jeff Bezos To Step Down As Amazon CEO On July, Andy Jassy To Take Over

      He will become executive chair at Amazon and focus on new products and initiatives. He also plans to focus on his other ventures, such as his rocket ship company, Blue Origin, and his newspaper, The Washington Post.

    • Bond, ‘Survivor’ and Those ‘Apprentice’ Tapes: 5 Burning Questions About Amazon and MGM’s Mega-Deal

      Tech giant Amazon on Wednesday officially announced plans to merge with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the 97-year-old studio that’s home to the 007 franchise, Rocky Balboa and “Thelma and Louise.” The eye-popping $8.45 billion sale is the second-biggest acquisition in Amazon’s history following its $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

    • Amazon to acquire MGM

      “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP [sic] in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling,” added Hoplins

    • Hollywood Docket: Biden Admin Is OK With Antitrust Trial for Comcast

      Back in Feb. 2020, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court and primed a trial against Comcast for monopolizing local TV ad sales. Viamedia is taking on the cable TV giant and is specifically upset at how Comcast has allegedly leveraged control over “interconnects” — local clearinghouses that serve pay-TV providers on the local ad front. According to the suit, Comcast told Viamedia’s clients that they’d only get access to the interconnects if they ended their relationship with Viamedia and bought services from Comcast instead.

    • Patents

      • CVC Files Reply to Broad's Opposition to CVC Motion for Misjoinder of Inventorship under 35 U.S.C. €§ 102(f) [Ed: Can we stop calling life and nature "inventions" in order to trick the system into granting patent monopolies on those?]

        Last December, Junior Party University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (hereinafter, "CVC") filed its Substantive Motion No. 3 under 37 C.F.R. ۤ 41.121(a)(1) asking for judgment of unpatentability for all claims in interference under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 102(f) or (if post-AIA) 35 U.S.C. ۤ 115(a) for "failure to name all inventors of the alleged invention" against Senior Party The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University (hereinafter, "Broad") in Interference No. 106,115. In support of its motion, CVC argued that Broad deliberately misidentified the inventors on its involved patents and applications in the interference. These allegations were based on differences between the named inventors in the patents- and applications-in-interference and the inventors named in a declaration by the Broad's patent attorney during a European opposition (EP 277146); it may be recalled that such irregularities involving a Rockefeller University inventor (Dr. Luciano Marraffini) not named in the EP application were the basis for that patent to be invalidated (see "The CRISPR Chronicles -- Broad Institute Wins One and Loses One"). More recently, Broad filed is motion opposing CVC's allegations of misjoined inventorship (see "Broad Files Motion Opposing CVC Motion for Misjoinder of Inventorship under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 102(f)"). Last week CVC filed its Reply.

      • Senator Chris Coons Says No One Who Has Ever Criticized Intellectual Property Can Head The Patent Office

        There had been some talk that we might, once again, get someone to head the Patent Office who actually understood and appreciated the many trade-offs associated with monopoly rights around inventions. But apparently that's not happening. There's an article in The American Prospect saying that Senator Chris Coons -- one of the more maximalist of the copyright and patent maximalists in Congress -- has secured some sort of ridiculous deal with the Biden administration that no one who has ever criticized patents will be allowed to run the US Patent & Trademark Office.

      • Software Patents

        • Convergent Behaviour: Trends In AI HealthTech Patent Filings [Ed: Shrewdly but dishonestly disguising illegal software patents as "HEY HI"; the law firms have no sense of shame; they just borrow buzzwords to promote an unlawful agenda they profit from. Buzzwords such as "MedTech" have been made up to complement junk like "HEY HI" and facilitate loads of illegal patents.]

          Part 1 of this series identified the kinds of Healthtech AI innovations that can be patented and part 2 discussed the considerations in developing a coherent IP strategy to secure the strongest protection to support the scaling of AI-driven technologies in healthcare. This final article in the series examines some of the current trends within Medtech AI innovation, as reflected in the patent filing statistics. We also provide a case study, looking in detail at the patent filing strategy of one of the companies who were awarded funding in the AI in Health and Care Award, discussed in the Intelligent Health session run by NHSX on assessing and scaling promising AI technologies in healthcare.

    • Trademarks

      • Warner Bros. Bullies Airbnb Hobbit-Themed Offering Into Changing Its Name Over 'Hobbit' Trademark

        We've covered intellectual property issues that revolve around Tolkien's Lord of the Rings properties before. By now, everyone should know that any use of or homage to those properties, or even coincidental usage, will typically result in angry letters from lawyers. What's even more fun about all of that is you get to play the game called, "Whose lawyers are going to write the angry letter this time?" Between the Tolkien estate and its IP management partners and Warner Bros., the studio behind the LotR films, they have managed to block an unrelated wine business from using the word "hobbit," bullied a pub named "The Hobbit" to get it to change its name before recanting said bullying, and got a Kickstarter project shut down for trying to create a real-world "Hobbit house."

    • Copyrights

      • Cox Appeals $1B Piracy Liability Verdict to 'Save the Internet'

        Cox Communications has submitted its appeal brief, asking the court to reverse the $1 billion jury verdict handed down following a piracy liability lawsuit filed by several major record labels. The Internet provider argues that it's being incorrectly held liable for pirating subscribers. Cox says that the music industry is waging war on the internet, which will never be the same again if the verdict is upheld.

      • High School Teacher's Copyright Suit Against Netflix Gets Dismissed Because Coincidence Isn't Protectable

        Of all the areas that result in copyright lawsuits that never should have been filed, it surely must be ignorance of the idea/expression dichotomy that is the most common. That link will take you to a litany of posts about copyright fights in which one party sues another over elements of a creative work that are themselves not protectable. The basic explainer goes like this: the specific expression of a work, or even the specific expression of unique thematic or character elements, can be protected by copyright, whereas mere general ideas cannot. This is why Batman is a copyrightable character, but that copyright cannot be used to sue the hell out of anyone that writes a story about an insane rich person who wears a cape and cowl while fighting bad guys. Idea versus expression.

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[Meme] Just Following Orders From "The Fu**ing President" António Campinos
Salary? OBEY!
Links 21/02/2024: China Working on West-less Tech Future, More Bounties on Patent Troll Leigh M. Rothschild (Which IBM et al Failed to Dismantle at the Root)
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Links 21/02/2024: Encryption Backdoors Deemed Not Legal, Decentralised Web Under Attack
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Games:Steam Audio as Free Software, Hazard Pay, ChipWits, and More
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Julian Assange, Wikileaks & Debian-private
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
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IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Links 21/02/2024: Microsoft Sued for Monopolistic Policies, More Layoffs Planned for Next Month
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