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Links 4/6/2021: Rescuezilla 2.2 and Funds for Open Access



  • GNU/Linux

    • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in May 2021 [Ed: 90% GNU/Linux]

      Rackspace was the most reliable hosting company site in May 2021, taking the top spot for the third time in the past 12 months, and appearing in the top 10 for 10 of the last 12 months. The top six hosting companies all responded to every request from Netcraft, and are ranked by the average connection time. Rackspace had the lowest average connection time of the six, earning it the title of most reliable hosting company site in May 2021. Rackspace offers a variety of cloud hosting solutions from 40 data centres across five different continents in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.

      Second place goes to NYI, which has also appeared in the top 10 most reliable hosting company site for 10 of the last 12 months. NYI offers bare metal, cloud and colocation services from its four data centres in the US.

    • Server

      • The container incubator

        Priyanka Sharma could be excused for feeling daunted when she became general manager of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in June 2020. She’d been involved with the organization for years, but her assumption of the top role came at an unexpectedly difficult moment. The COVID-19 pandemic posed an existential threat to the CNCF’s popular KubeCon, an annual Kubernetes conference typically attended by tens of thousands of people. And that July, Google, a founding member of the CNCF, raised eyebrows when it decided not to transfer control of a state-of-the-art piece of open-source container technology called Istio to the foundation.

        Since Google’s 2015 decision to donate the container orchestration technology Kubernetes to the newly formed CNCF was a central moment in the organization’s founding, observers of the container landscape immediately wondered: Did Google’s move suggest the company was unhappy about its inability to capitalize on its contributions to the expanding world of cloud software infrastructure? Did the software giant intend to go its own way in the future?

      • Why now is the right time for an open-source serverless strategy

        Government agencies have been using open-source technologies such as Linux, Kubernetes, Ansible and more recently Linux containers to make application deployments more expedient and efficient. Increasingly, these applications are being built in acknowledgment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cloud characteristics, such as on-demand self-service, resource pooling and rapid elasticity.

        Simultaneously, many agencies continue to rely on traditional static infrastructure provisioning models to support these increasingly dynamic applications. However, that approach may not make much sense in today’s cloud-based, data-intensive, event-driven world.

      • Business Value of GitOps
      • DevNation Deep Dive: ArgoCD | Red Hat Developer

        Argo CD is a declarative, GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes.

        It follows the GitOps pattern of using Git repositories as the source of truth for defining the desired application state.

      • You’re thinking about Kubernetes all wrong | InfoWorld

        Kubernetes is cool, but not for the reasons you think. For a time people glommed onto Kubernetes because it promised to be a great new cloud technology—something like OpenStack (without all its problems). But Kubernetes wasn’t. Nor was it a magical cure for lock-in that offered unbridled portability. Not even close.

      • Why You Still Need Virtualization with Kubernetes | Data Center Knowledge

        The seemingly binary decision between less infrastructure and more infrastructure is a false choice.

      • CloudLinux OS Solo optimizes Linux server and application performance

        CloudLinux announces the release of CloudLinux OS Solo. This is a new step for the hosting market, a new low-cost operating system that optimizes Linux server and application performance.

        “Our starting point was clear. Based on research results, our clients overwhelmingly want the classic CloudLinux OS with VPS and VMs, which only a few users can then utilize. One main request is a robust set of CloudLinux features on one server at affordable prices. Consequently, we found hundreds of VPSs with five or fewer websites hosted by a single client, many of which use VMs for staging and production. Some clients want a stable OS with technical support that is secure and not open-sourced.”

        CloudLinux OS Solo is a low-cost Linux OS for small businesses and any individual with just one hosting account which is maintained with 24/7 support. It is optimized for website and server performance, with features most needed to maintain online business stability.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD's Yellow Carp GPUs Swim Into Linux Drivers

        AMD has begun to enable driver support for what could possibly be its new GPU based on the RDNA-series architecture and equipped with the company's next-generation DCN 3.1 display controller. At present, it is unclear whether the new "Yellow Carp" GPUs are high-end, midrange, or low-end graphics solutions, but we have some ideas.

        AMD's post about its Yellow Carp graphics processor (first noticed by Phoronix) says that the graphics processor is actually an ASIC (i.e., a standalone GPU). Meanwhile, Another AMD entry in a Linux repository indicates that Yellow Carp is actually a family of GPUs that includes Yellow Carp and Green Sardine, which is an integrated GPU set to be used for upcoming accelerated processing units (APUs).

        The current speculation around the watercooler is that Yellow Carp will come to market in the Rembrandt APUs. The key features of both Yellow Carp and Green Sardine GPUs (which continue AMD's 'fishy traditions') are said to be an RDNA-series graphics architecture as well as AMD's next-generation display core next 3.1 (DCN 3.1) engine. AMD's RDNA2-based standalone Radeon RX 6000-series features the DCN 3.0 engine, yet the difference between version 3.0 and 3.1 is unknown.

      • Brendan Gregg: An Unbelievable Demo

        This is the story of the most unbelievable demo I've been given in world of open source. You can't make this stuff up.

        It was 2005, and I felt like I was in the eye of a hurricane. I was an independent performance consultant and Sun Microsystems had just released DTrace, a tool that could instrument all software. This gave performance analysts like myself X-ray vision. While I was busy writing and publishing advanced performance tools using DTrace (my open source DTraceToolkit and other DTrace tools, aka scripts), I noticed something odd: I was producing more DTrace tools than were coming out of Sun itself. Perhaps there was some internal project that was consuming all their DTrace expertise?

      • Linux's USB Audio Driver Aims For Latency Reduction - Phoronix

        With the upcoming Linux 5.14 cycle, the USB sound driver will ideally exhibit lower latency when starting playback.

        Longtime Linux kernel sound subsystem maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE has been working on a clean-up to the kernel's USB-Audio driver and with an emphasis on latency reduction during audio playback.

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Performance and Scalability Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the Performance and Scalability Microconference has been accepted into the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference.

        All parts of the Linux ecosystem, kernel and userspace, should account for performance and scalability. The purpose of this microconference is for developers from different projects to meet and collaborate, as the entire stack must perform well for the user to see good results. Because performance and scalability are very generic topics, this microconference focuses on issues that may also be addressed in other, more specific sessions.

        The structure will be similar to what was followed in previous years, including topics such as synchronization primitives, bottlenecks in memory management, testing/validation, lockless algorithms and RCU, among others.

      • Attempt 4 - Collabora sends in futex2 patches for the Linux Kernel to help Wine / Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Here we go again, open source consulting firm Collabora have sent in the futex2 patches to the Linux Kernel for a fourth time now even more work has been done with the aim to help Wine and Steam Play Proton.

      • FUTEX2 Linux Patches Updated To Support Variable-Sized Futexes - Phoronix

        One of the elusive kernel patch series we have been eager to see for the mainline Linux kernel has just been spun up a fourth time.

        Going back over a year has been the proposed FUTEX2 system call to extend FUTEX, which for a year prior to to going for a new/separate system call had been aiming to optimize FUTEX for enhancing the Linux gaming experience by better matching the behavior of Windows -- in particular, around Windows NT allowing to wait on multiple objects.

    • Applications

      • GabTag – audio tagging tool

        A tag editor (or tagger) is an application which allows users to edit metadata of multimedia files. Metadata is the data about the audio data. It lets information about the audio file such as the title, artist, conductor, album, track length, lyrics, embedded images, and other information be stored in the audio file itself.

        Tag editors are frequently used to correct and organise multimedia files and they support popular digital audio formats. They can rename files based on the tag information, replace words in tags and filenames, create playlists, and import/export tag information. An important feature we look for is the ability to make online database lookups, saving valuable time in collating tags and cover art for your music collection.

        GabTag is a Linux audio tagging tool written in GTK 3 which makes it friendly for GTK based desktop users. GabTag is free and open source software.

      • Cross-platform open source lighting control OpenRGB has a huge release out with plugins

        OpenRGB is the excellent cross-platform open source application for controlling RGB lighting control that doesn't depend on manufacturer software.

        A new release, OpenRGB Version 0.6, went live on June 1 bringing with it a whole new plugin architecture with it already having an "effects engine, E1.31 receiver, visual map editor" and more. That alone would be a huge advancement of the software but there's plenty more. There's new interface options like exit to tray, display number labels in LED view, the ability to save window geometry and a rework of their Linux build system "to test on multiple Debian-based distros".

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Check Internet Speed in Linux Using Speedtest CLI

        Many times to check our Internet speed we used to use a speedtest website to measure our network speed. Instead of using the utility from the web now, you have the option to use it from the terminal using Speedtest CLI.

      • How to Install Nagios Client (NRPE) on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        NRPE is a client side application for executing Nagios plugins. The Nagios server communicate with remote system using this plugin. NRPE must be installed on all the remote systems needs to monitor by Nagios server. Nagios server sends instruction to the NRPE server using check_nrpe plugin.

      • Optimize Java serverless functions in Kubernetes

        This significantly impacts serverless function development and the Java deployment model. This is because many enterprise developers chose alternatives such as Go, Python, and Nodejs to overcome the performance bottleneck—until now, thanks to Quarkus, a new Kubernetes-native Java stack. This article explains how to optimize Java performance to run serverless functions on Kubernetes using Quarkus.

      • SSH to Port Other Than 22: How to Do It (with Examples)

        In this guide, we will explore how to change the SSH server port. In addition to, we will show you how to use the ssh command to connect to port other than the default 22.

        By default, the SSH server runs on port 22. However, there are occasions when it is run in a different port.

      • The USB Boot Drive and Best Boot Utility
      • Install Google Chrome on Debian Sid / Bullseye 11 / Buster 10 – If Not True Then False

        This is quick guide howto install install Google Chrome browser on Debian Sid / Bullseye 11 / Buster 10. Best way to install and keep up-to-date with Google Chrome browser is use Google’s own APT repository. All Google-Chrome-Stable, Google-Chrome-Beta and Google-Chrome-Unstable are available.

      • How to Install Damn Vulnerable Web Application on CentOS 8

        DVWA also called "Damn Vulnerable Web App" is a free and open-source vulnerable web application. It is designed for security professionals to test their skills and understand web application security processes. It provides a platform to experiment with new penetration testing tools and practice new exploitation techniques to exploit common vulnerabilities.

        In this post, we will show you how to install a Damn Vulnerable Web App on CentOS 8 server.

      • How To Install Review Board on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Review Board on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Review Board is a free and open-source web-based software tool that is used to Review your developer’s code yet pre-commit and post-commit. It is written in Python and uses either SQLite, MySQL, MariaDB, or PostgreSQL to store its data. Review Board saves time because it allows you to review almost anything during a development lifecycle, including documentation, website designs, artwork, user interface mockups, release announcements, and feature specifications.

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

      • The basics of regular expressions in Linux script - Linux Concept

        A sequence of characters that have certain patterns of text (with meta-characters) that are searched for in a larger text file are called regular expressions [...]

        In the preceding command, the grep utility will search for the cpuinfo text in all lines of input text and will print lines that have the cpuinfo text.

      • User initialization scripts in Linux - Linux Concept

        So far, we have seen different scripts that initialize the operating system prior to a user login. Once the basic operating system is initialized, the user login process starts. This process is explained in the following topics.

      • How to install Stepmania 5.0 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Stepmania 5.0 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Linux “wc” Command – Linux Hint

        The Linux “wc” command is an abbreviation for word count. The command is used to count the number of lines, words, bytes, and even characters and bytes in a text file. In this tutorial, we look at the Linux “wc” command and demonstrate practical examples of its usage.

      • Linux tar Command – Linux Hint

        In Linux, the tar command is one of the essential commands as far as file management is concerned. It’s short for Tape Archive, and it’s used for creating & extracting archive files. An archive file is a compressed file containing one or multiple files bundled together for more accessible storage and portability.

        This guide will demonstrate, using examples, how to create, list, modify and extract tar achieve files and cover some of the most widely used tar command options.

      • How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 21.04 Linux - Linux Concept

        VirtualBox is an Open Source tool, known as a cross-platform virtualization application or software. It used to run multiple operating systems or virtual machines simultaneously on a single hardware.

        In this VirtualBox installation tutorial, we will explain the process to install VirtualBox in Ubuntu 21.04 machine using two different methods. The first method describes the steps to install the latest version of VirtualBox from the Ubuntu repository. The second method will explain the steps to install VirtualBox from the Oracle repository.

        The VirtualBox package is available in the Ubuntu repository, which may is not always the latest version of VirtualBox, as it updated on a time interval. However, if we want to install the latest version of VirtualBox, always use to Oracle repository.

      • How to Test SSD/HDD Health in Linux

        SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a feature enabled in all modern hard disk drives and SSDs to monitor/test reliability. It checks different drive attributes to detect the possibility of drive failure. There are different tools available in Linux and Windows to perform the SMART tests.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to test SSD/HDD health in Linux from CLI and GUI

      • The Linux Cal Command – Linux Hint

        Sometimes, you might want to have a peek at the year’s calendar or even narrow it down to a month’s calendar. The Linux cal command is an excellent built-in tool that displays a calendar of a given year or month depending on the options passed.

        In this brief guide, we explore a few example sages of the Linux cal command.

      • The SCP Command – Linux Hint

        The SCP command, an acronym for secure copy, is a command used for securely copying files to and from a remote system over SSH protocol. Riding on SSH means that it enjoys the same level of data encryption that SSH provides and is thus considered a safe way of transferring files across two remote hosts. This tutorial will focus on the SCP command and highlight a few example usages.

      • How to Use IP Command on Debian 10 Linux – Linux Hint

        IP command is a very incredibly handy tool for network configuration. It is a replacement for the old ‘ifconfig’ command found on Linux distributions. IP command can be used to manage network interfaces, devices, tunnels, and routing aspects. Network administrators often need this tool for administering a network and troubleshooting errors.

      • Redirect stdout and stderr to File – Linux Hint

        When you redirect any command output to a file, you will notice that the error messages are printed on the terminal window. Any command executed in any Linux shell, such as bash, utilizes three regular I/O streams. A numeric file descriptor is used to represent each stream.

      • Iptables Tutorial – Linux Hint

        Iptables is a command-line firewall that filters packets according to the defined rules. With Iptables, users can accept, refuse, or onward connections; it is incredibly versatile and widely used despite being replaced by nftables.

        After reading this tutorial, you will understand Iptables policies and define Iptables rules to protect your home network.

      • Bzip2's experimental repository is changing maintainership - Federico's Blog

        Bzip2's stable repository is maintained at Sourceware by Mark Wielaard. In 2019 I started maintaining an experimental repository in GitLab, with the intention of updating the build system and starting a Rust port of bzip2. Unfortunately I have left this project slip by.

      • How to Configure Port Forwarding in VirtualBox – Linux Hint

        Virtualbox is a widely used virtualization platform for creating and managing virtual machines. Although it is an open-source platform, some closed-source components are also included in a different extension pack. It is free for use, but you can purchase an Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise license if you want to use it for commercial purposes and require standard official support.

        When a new virtual machine is created in Virtualbox, the default networking mode is set to NAT or Network Address Translation. NAT mode has its own advantages and limitations over other networking modes. In essence, NAT is more secure but at the same time more complicated when it comes to setting up cross-communication with other virtual machines and the outside world. If you want the virtual machine to get both the security and access to specific services with NAT mode, you would require the help of Port forwarding. In this way, the VM will remain isolated from others but still access the specific services.

      • Linux Nice & Renice Command with Examples – Linux Hint

        At any given point, there are hundreds of processes running in a system, most of which are created by the Linux operating system and some created by the logged-in user. Each running process has a priority assigned to it that determines how fast it is executed by the system. Higher priority processes are usually carried out earlier than low priority ones.

        In Linux, the nice & renice commands are used to change the priority of a process, which, in effect, determines the urgency with which it is executed in the system.

        The nice command configures the priority of a Linux process before it is started. Once started, you cannot change the priority using the nice command. This is where the renice command comes in. The renice command sets the priority of an already running process.

        In this guide, we explore the Linux nice and renice commands and how they can be used to set priorities of processes.

      • Linux Free Command Examples – Linux Hint

        While installing a new software package on a Linux system, we need to check the available system’s memory or RAM. To verify that either enough memory is available on our system or not to install and run new software. For this purpose, Linux free command is used to display the complete summary or a report of memory usage. Using the free command, you can get information about the total amount of swap and physical memory, as well as it provides details about the used and free memory.

        We will explain the Linux free command with examples in this article.

      • Linux Curl Command – Linux Hint

        The Linux curl command is a utility that transfers data to and from a server over the internet. With the curl command, you can download files on the internet over a wide array of supported protocols such as SCP, FTP, HTTP, and HTTPS just to mention a few. Among the options provided by the Linux curl command, this includes proxy support, bandwidth limiting, and the ability to resume file downloads in case of downtime. In this guide, we look at the curl command and provide some of the example usages.

      • Linux “cmp” Command Examples – Linux Hint

        The “cmp” command in Linux is used to compare the contents of the two files hence reporting whether the two files are identical or different. This command comes with multiple options that can be paired with it to customize its output. Let us talk about this command in detail in this article to master its usage.

      • How to Implement IPsec in Linux – Linux Hint

        IPsec is a level 3 secure protocol. It provides security for the transportation layer and superior both with IPv4 and IPv6. The IPSEC works with 2 security protocols and a key management protocol: ESP (Encapsulating Security Payload), AH (Authentication Header), and IKE (Internet Key Exchange). Protocols ESP and AH grant different security levels and can operate in transport mode and tunnel modes. Tunnel and Transport modes can be applied both with ESP or AH implementation. While AH and ESP work in different ways, they can be mixed to provide different security features.

        Transport mode: The original IP header contains information on sender and destination.

        Tunnel mode: A new IP header containing source and destination addresses is implemented. Original IP may differ from the new one.

      • How to Use Synology to Back Up Your Linux Computer – Linux Hint

        You can use the Synology Active Backup for Business app to back up your Windows and Linux computers, VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines, and rsync and SMB file servers.

        At the time of this writing, only the beta version of the Active Backup for Business app supports Linux backups.

      • What are the Different Types of Services in Kubernetes? – Linux Hint

        A service in Kubernetes is an abstraction that describes a collection of conceptual pods in which an application runs and an access policy for these kinds of pods. If a pod has to connect with some other pod, it must first determine its IP address. The Kubernetes services also provide a way to find certain pods. Pod IP addresses are abstract in the Kubernetes networking model; if a pod breaks or is destroyed, a new pod will almost certainly obtain a new IP address. A service in Kubernetes often grants access to the network to a pod or group of pods. Services will pick pods depending on their names, and when network demand is sent to such services, it will identify all Pods in the cluster that fit the service’s label, choose one of them, and then sent the network request to it.

      • What is a 503 Service Unavailable Error

        One of the most common errors that occur when browsing the web is the “503 Service Unavailable Error”. This message indicates that the webserver is experiencing technical problems and is not able to handle the request.

        This article explains what a 503 error means, why you’re getting an HTTP 503 code, and how to troubleshoot these errors.

      • Digging into Kubernetes containers

        Having build a single node Kubernetes cluster and had a poke at what it’s doing in terms of networking the next thing I want to do is figure out what it’s doing in terms of containers. You might argue this should have come before networking, but to me the networking piece is more non-standard than the container piece, so I wanted to understand that first.

      • Two ways to install Virtualbox Guest additions on Rocky Linux 8

        Once we install Rocky Linux on Virtualbox, it is not going to adapt the screen size automatically. Also, you won’t be able to access some other features such as Host to Guest clipboard and drag & drop of files. For that, we have to install VirtualBox guest additions ISO on Rocky Linux 8.

        Furthermore, VirtualBox Guest Additions installation will also help in improving the performance of Virtual Machines.

      • Shell script too see Time-To-Live (TTL) for a DNS record

        ay you want to see the Time-To-Live (TTL) value for a given DNS record for A, AAAA, and MX. Here is a sample shell script that works on Linux, Unix, and macOS. You must have the bash and dig command installed.

    • Games

      • Rainbow Six Siege launching on Stadia, along with a big Ubisoft+ expansion

        It appears that at least Ubisoft are being serious about Stadia, with Ubisoft+ rolling out to more countries and they're bringing a bunch more games to Stadia too.

        Thankfully, now it's not just limited to the US. As of right now users in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland can use Ubisoft+ on Stadia!

      • Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown is out now with Linux support

        inXile Entertainment have released Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown, the first major expansion for their post-apocalyptic RPG and it's quite a big one.

        "The towering factory complex of Steeltown manufactures all the tech that keeps Colorado running and the Patriarch in power—trucks, armor, weapons, and robots. But deliveries from Steeltown have stopped cold, and all the Patriarch is getting from Abigail Markham—Steeltown's leader—are excuses. When he sends the Rangers to investigate, they find the place is a powder keg with the fuse already lit. The workers are striking, bandits raid with impunity, and nobody is allowed through the gates, not even on the business of the Patriarch. Without help, Steeltown could crash and burn for good, and take Markham with it—but maybe that's just what it needs. The Rangers will have to decide that for themselves."

      • The final DLC for Total War: WARHAMMER II will be The Silence & The Fury | GamingOnLinux

        Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Silence & The Fury is the name of the final DLC for the popular strategy game, since work will be shifted over to Total War: WARHAMMER III. Porting studio Feral Interactive state it will land on Linux "shortly after Windows", with the latter releasing July 14.

        "This Lords Pack for Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces two new Legendary Lords for the Lizardmen and the Beastmen. Each leads their own faction and features new characters, units, unique gameplay mechanics and narrative objectives."

      • Haiki is a brutal precision-platformer where you play as a severed head

        It's also built with Godot Engine, so it's awesome to see more developers opt for using FOSS tools to build their games.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets some big changes for non-Prime accounts | GamingOnLinux

        Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is going through some changes, as Valve attempt to deal with the bad actors now it's free to play with big changes to non-Prime accounts.

        Prime, for those unaware, is a type of account status for CS:GO, given to all when CS:GO went free to play to enable a special matchmaking pool for Prime users. Additionally, you could pay for Prime or earn it through playing it.

        Now though, there is no free path to Prime to help deal with "bad actors". On top of that, Valve has introduced Unranked matchmaking. New players will no longer gain XP, drops or skill groups as all of those are exclusive to Prime Status players. If free players buy Prime in the next two weeks, Skill Group and XP progress will carry over but after that it seems it will vanish. Hopefully then, this will seriously slow down bots and give less incentive for hackers as they cannot just spin up a fresh account and mess with everyone - unless they pay.

      • Prepare to smash blocks together as Petal Crash Online is out now in Beta | GamingOnLinux

        Petal Crash Online brings the fantastic style and gameplay from Petal Crash to everyone across the world to compete, with it currently being an exclusive Beta on itch.io.

        Safe to say I was quite a fan of the original single-player / split-screen version, with it being a game that was practically begging for an online mode. Developer Friend & Fairy has now delivered with Petal Crash Online! This is no ordinary addition though, it's a full standalone "coded from the ground" with support for rollback netcode for playing and spectating to ensure everything keeps in sync. So a lot of care and attention went into making it a great online multiplayer game.

      • Atari VCS Controller Support Added To SDL2 - Phoronix

        Ahead of the long-awaited Atari VCS game console launching this month, the SDL2 library has added the mapping for the Linux game console's controllers.

        After sending out units to those that backed the IndieGoGo campaign, on 15 June the Atari VCS game controller is launching. Starting out at $299 USD, the Atari VCS game console is powered by an AMD Ryzen R1606G embedded APU with Radeon graphics and comes with a Debian-based Linux environment but can also be loaded with other Linux distributions or Windows 10.

      • War Thunder "Red Skies" brings many new machines and new locations | GamingOnLinux

        Do you hear that? It's the War Thunder! It's back with another huge upgrade named "Red Skies" which comes with plenty of new toys to play with across different nations.

        When it comes to new vehicles there's around 30 of them spread across aircraft, ground vehicles, helicopters and navy. There's two whole new locations one for mixed battles in the "Red desert" and a naval location named "Drowned city", the latter of which looks like a really interesting play to sail through. The changelog, for such an update, is as long as you might expect for a bigger game like this. Absolutely tons of small fixes, balance changes, damage model updates, physics updates and the list goes on.

        [...]

        The normal desktop/flat version? Great! Enjoy it a lot. The VR side just seems to not work on Linux. Shame but now it's using OpenXR perhaps they can work on it.

      • The Seagull is an upcoming stylized 3D adaption of the classic by Anton Chekhov | GamingOnLinux

        The Seagull, a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov is getting a full stylized 3D adaption from Team Dogpit when it releases later this year.

        "On the shores of a lake in the Ukranian countryside, an aspiring actor and aspiring writer dream of fame and success. But being an artist is no easy life. They'll need to confront if it's something worth living for, killing for, or maybe even dying for."

        [...]

        It's due to release on December 3, with Linux support confirmed with the original announcement. This looks absolutely fantastic, and a great way to bring a classic to life again so it can be immortalised another way.

      • Atari VCS Linux-based game console hits stores June 15 for $300 and up

        The Atari VCS is a modern game console with a retro-inspired look, a Linux-based operating system, and the guts of an inexpensive computer. Designed for playing classic games as well as some newer titles, you can also use it like a cheap Linux desktop PC.

        First launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2018, the Atari VCS finally began shipping to backers late last year. Later this month it’ll be available for purchase directly from stores.

        The Atari VCS goes on sale June 15th for $300 and up from retailers including Game Stop, Best Buy, Micro Center, and AtariVCS.com.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • We are KDE patrons

          KDE is a project near and dear to our hearts. The original Pinebook, which forged the path for our current hardware lineup, was the first PINE64 device to ship with KDE Plasma Desktop. This was in early 2017. Fast forward to today, both the PinePhone and Pinebook Pro – our current flagship devices – ship with their respective Plasma user interfaces atop of the Manjaro operating system. As many of you surely also remember, earlier this year a dedicated KDE community edition of the PinePhone was sold with the intention to boost development of the Plasma Mobile user interface on the PinePhone.

    • Distributions

      • Briefly tried out: Distribution AV Linux 05/22/2021 for multimedia enthusiasts

        When it comes to editing videos or recording high-quality audio, most users shouldn’t think of Linux as a suitable operating system. Typical points of criticism and reservations are the lack of counterparts to popular proprietary tools for Windows or macOS, rather difficult-to-use, overly complex alternative programs as well as an alleged lack of real-time support.

        The MX Linux-based AV Linux competes to prove the opposite to skeptics. As a project of a rather small development team, AV Linux combines a current, specially adapted Linux kernel with – in the opinion of the AV Linux developers – the best tools for multimedia editing under Linux. We briefly tried the version 2021.05.22, which was released at the end of May, to find out whether the distribution kept what the developers promised.

      • New Releases

        • Rescuezilla 2.2 Supports Disk Cloning and NFS/SSH Shares, It’s Based on Ubuntu 21.04

          Rescuezilla 2.2 is a major release, especially that it’s derived from the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) operating system, but also because it comes with a highly requested feature, namely the ability to clone disks using a so-called device-to-device mode, allowing you to copy one disk drive directly to another.

          The new Rescuezilla release also adds support for virtual machine images, which you can now restore and explore in various formats supported by qemu-nbd, including VirtualBox’s VDI, VMWare’s VMDK, QEMU’s QCOW2, HyperV’s VHDx, raw .dd/.img, and many others.

        • Kali Linux 2021.2 Official Release Now Available

          The latest iteration of security fan-favorite, Kali Linux has been released with new tools, themes, and plenty of improvements.

          If you’re a fan of Linux and security, you’ll be glad to know the developers of Kali Linux have released a new version of the fan-favorite distribution. Kali Linux 2021.2, created by Offensive Security, includes a new collection of themes, and plenty of features to attract cybersecurity pros, ethical hackers, and anyone else interested in a user-friendly penetration testing platform.

          One of the most anticipated additions to Kali Linux is Kabox, which is a tool for packaging tricky applications in Docker containers to be used in the distribution. These apps are normally a challenge to package, because of dependencies, legacy libraries and programs, and applications that require isolation to run.

        • Kali Linux 2021.2: New version with Kaboxer and Kali tweaks as highlights

          According to the quarterly update rhythm used by Kali Linux, the developers released a new version of the Debian-based Linux distribution last Tuesday. Kali Linux 2021.1 includes two completely new features: the Kali Applications Boxer (Kaboxer) as a container-based solution for the uncomplicated execution of difficult-to-package applications as well as Kali tweaks, which should make it easier for users to configure the system according to their preferences. In addition, there are a few new tools and fine-tuning of the optics.

          Kali Linux is primarily aimed at an IT security-savvy audience and brings a large selection of pre-installed tools for vulnerability analysis and forensics. The strongest competitor is the Linux distribution Parrot OS, which was updated to version 4.11 at the end of March 2021.

        • MakuluLinux Flash 2021 Update News !

          Some new update changes on Flash 2021… very informative video, some nice features, See the Video below :

      • Gentoo Family

        • Retiring the multilib project

          I created the Multilib project back in November 2013 (though the effort itself started roughly a year earlier) with the goal of maintaining the multilib eclasses and porting Gentoo packages to them. Back in the day, we were even requested to co-maintain a few packages whose maintainers were opposed to multilib ports. In June 2015, last of the emul-linux-x86 packages were removed and our work has concluded.

          The project continued to exist for the purpose of maintaining the eclasses and providing advice. Today, I can say that the project has served its purpose and it is time to retire it. Most of the team members have already left, the multilib knowledge that we advised on before is now common developer knowledge. I am planning to take care of the project-maintained eclasses personally, and move the relevant documentation to the general wiki space.

          At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to tell the history of our little multilib project.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Linux 8 (2105) Released
          Release for CentOS Linux 8 (2105)
          
          

          We are pleased to announce the general availability of the latest version of CentOS Linux 8. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 8 and is tagged as 2105, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Source Code.

          As always, read through the Release Notes at: http://wiki.centos.org/Manuals/ReleaseNotes/CentOS8.2105 - these notes contain important information about the release and details about some of the content inside the release from the CentOS QA team. These notes are updated constantly to include issues and incorporate feedback from users.
        • CentOS Linux 8 2105 Released As RHEL 8.4 Equivalent - Phoronix

          While CentOS Linux 8 is being discontinued at the end of the year in favor of Red Hat focusing those resources on CentOS Stream, CentOS Linux 8 2105 was released today as the newest version that is now based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 sources.

          Last month Red Hat released RHEL 8.4 with Intel Tiger Lake graphics, eBPF improvements, proactive memory compaction support in the kernel, and a variety of other kernel features back-ported. A number of new AppStream updates also now provide GCC 10, LLVM 11, and other more modern key packages.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Hard work and poor pay stresses out open-source maintainers

        Recently, Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, blocked University of Minnesota developers from submitting any Linux patches because several had deliberately tried to introduce bad patches. That was bad enough, but besides the security aspects, Kroah-Hartman also pointed out that code maintainers "have enough real work to do" without wasting time on finding and smacking down deliberately bad code. That's for sure.

      • [Old] How WordPress is Eliminating Old Versions From the Internet

        According to WordPress statistics, 65.8 percent of WordPress sites are on version 4.9 (the latest is version 5.2), and 29.8 percent of users are spread out between 4.0 and 4.8. While there are still users on the older 3.x (4.4 percent), auto-updates have helped keep the bulk of WordPress sites on newer versions, Campbell said.

        “Essentially, we're working to try to wipe those versions from existence on the internet, and bring people forward,” Campbell said.

        However, there is a limit to just how much can be auto-updated. Site owners get update reminders within the WordPress dashboard. They also see an alert if they are using an older version of PHP, which then paves the way to update the core WordPress, as well. Auto-updates don’t work with pre-3.7 releases (because the mechanism didn’t exist before 3.7), so there are about 2.4 percent of sites that WordPress can’t touch.

      • [Old] What does WordPress Jetpack do?

        This truly depends on if you are using the freemium plugin or the pro which offers much more important features in my humble opinion. Let’s inspect the things Jetpack does and what is missing from your basic WordPress install. Each of these features we will give a rating of 1 meaning not worth it to 5 meaning highly recommended.

      • WordPress force installs Jetpack security update on 5 million sites

        Automattic, the company behind the WordPress content management system, force deploys a security update on over five million websites running the Jetpack WordPress plug-in.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Blog: Chrome 92: Web Apps as File Handlers, New JavaScript Features, and More

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 92 is beta as of June 3, 2021

          • Chrome 92 Beta Released With File Handling API, Other Developer Additions

            The Chrome 92 beta isn't particularly exciting to end-users but there are a number of developer additions. Among the developer features coming for Chrome 92 are a dayPeriod option for Intl.DateTimeFormat, the File Handling API as a new origin trial, support for filtering Web Bluetooth devices based on manufacturer specific data like device/vendor IDs and more, and the size-adjust descriptor for @font-face with CSS.

        • Mozilla

          • Introducing Activity-aware Firefox

            I am a big fan of both KDE and Mozilla software – while no software is perfect, of course, these two I like and trust the most when it comes to my desktop and web browsing respectively. To illustrate, I have been using KDE when it was still called the K(ool) Desktop Environment 1.x, and Mozilla since its Netscape and Phoenix days.

            But as both KDE’s Plasma desktop and Mozilla’s Firefox browser each became more and more powerful, making use of their individual strengths started to produce some clashes.

            One of the most powerful features of Plasma – and one that I make extensive use of – are its Activities. I use them to keep different tasks in different environments and as such remove needless distractions.

            For example, to list just a few, I have a “Communication” Activity where I keep all communication channels and generic web pages and try to spend as little time there as possible; an “Organise yourself”; a “Blogging” Actvity; and several ephemeral ones for each project I need concentrating on – two recent examples were “Presentation for FRI“ where I did research, wrote and presented from; and “Activity-aware Firefox” where I was coding and testing the script I am blogging about today.

          • Getting Credit for Invisible Work [Ed: Adding surveillance to Mozilla Firefox is obtrusive, not invisible work, even if you hide it with a barrage of blog posts posing as pro-privacy]

            We explore complex data, so we can distill our findings into a simple narrative. If we’re doing it right, we make our work look simple. This is super valuable, but can cause problems when we try to demonstrate our value. This talk covers some strategies for getting credit for this super valuable but invisible work.

      • CMS

        • A New Design is Coming to WordPress News – WordPress.org

          After many years of a tidy, white-space filled design on WordPress.org/news it’s time to bring new life to the way we present our content. So much has changed since this site was first created: the people who read it, the type and variety of what is published, even the way WordPress works has changed.

      • FSFE

        • Free Software Fellowship: Matthias Kirschner & FSFE People Trafficking, cheating on wife?

          Bounties have recently been offered for evidence of sleaze and corruption in the management of free software communities. This incredible picture comes from Albania.

          Matthias Kirschner, FSFE President took controversial paternity leave in March and April 2018 while volunteers were doing most of the work without pay.

          Upon his return, he immediately left his wife Kristina to change the nappies and went back out to another OSCAL conference in Tirana, Albania during May 2018. Witnesses had also noticed him loitering around there in 2017.

          This picture captures the happy daddy with a bunch of women at least ten years younger. Debian readers will recognize a woman in the background on the right. All the women so far more dignified than Kirschner. The local drink is called Raki.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.4.20 and 8.0.7



          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.7 are available in remi-php80 repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.20 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-34 and remi-php74 repository Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • C Data Types – Linux Hint

          Linear programming is a mathematical model which is generally used in data science for optimization. The optimization means we can understand the meaning like maximum profit and less cost. The company or the organization has mainly two main objectives, minimization, and maximization. The minimization means to cut the extra cost which comes in productions to get the maximize profits. Linear Programming is discussed in this article.

        • Linear Programming – Linux Hint

          Sometimes we need optimization in real life too to get the maximum profit. So, optimization techniques belong to deep learning, where we try to achieve the minimum loss. But sometimes, we have limited resources and want to get the maximum profit; then linear programming comes in.

          Linear programming is a mathematical model which is generally used in data science for optimization. The optimization means we can understand the meaning like maximum profit and less cost. The company or the organization has mainly two main objectives, minimization, and maximization. The minimization means to cut the extra cost which comes in productions to get the maximize profits. Linear programming is a simple optimization technique that can help in the same way. Linear programming is everywhere around us; for example, when we work on any project, we also make strategies to manage the teamwork to fast-delivery efficiently.

        • Operator Precedence in C – Linux Hint

          Operator precedence in C or any other programming language is defined as the order of priority according to which different operators are executed within arithmetic or logical expression. Whenever we intend to make a decision in a C program or perform a calculation, the operators and their associated expressions are used very extensively.

          In this guide, we will educate you on the precedence of these operators in the C programming language in Linux by demonstrating some relevant examples.

        • Typedef in C – Linux Hint

          Every programming language is equipped with certain built-in keywords that account for the strength and abilities of that programming language. Similarly, the C programming language also has some very interesting keywords that serve exceptionally amazing purposes. One such keyword in the C programming language is the “typedef” keyword. As the name of this keyword implies, it is generally used to define the type of any following entity.However, this type is not like the regular types rather it acts as an alias of the following entity. You can consider it as a short name for the entity following this keyword. The usage of this keyword increases the readability of your code since you tend to avoid lengthy and complex names and hence it decreases the complexity of your code. We will try to throw some more light on the usage of this keyword in Linux in the proceeding sections of this article.

        • Typecasting in C – Linux Hint

          Typecasting is the process of converting an attribute from one type of data to a new one. While it creates perfect sense, the compiler can transform one kind of data into something else. In case we add an integer data type value to a floating-point mutable keyword, the compiler converts it to a “float” value. Casting permits us to create this type of transformation transparent or compel this when it would not otherwise occur. Two types of Casting that have been used in the C language. We will discuss both of the typecasting kinds in our guide.

        • Language Zealots Are The Bane Of Development

          Every programmer has a favourite language but there's a difference between having a favourite and being attempting to force your language on other people without any productive reason.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Creating a library of functions in Linux shell script - Linux Concept

            If we want to create our own library of functions, then we can create a script and add all the functions into this script. We can make all the functions from our script functions.sh available in the current shell by calling source or the period . command.

          • Running functions in the background in Linux bash script

            We have already seen in previous chapters that to run any command in the background, we have to terminate the command using &:

          • Understanding functions in Linux bash script - Linux Concept

            We human beings, in our day-to-day lives, are helped by people who have certain knowledge or skills, such as doctors, lawyers, and barbers. This helps our lives to be more organized and comfortable so that we need not learn every skill in this world. We take advantage of skills that have already been acquired by other people. The same thing applies to software development as well. If we use code or scripts that have already been developed, this will save our time and energy.

            In real-world scripts, we break down big tasks or scripts into smaller logical tasks. This modularization of scripts helps in the better development and understanding of code. Functions can be called the smaller logical blocks inside the shell script.

          • How to Schedule Tasks on Ubuntu 20.04 Using Crontab

            Sometimes you don’t want a process to run at a default time set by the operating system, but you want to set the time for a process to run yourself. To do this, we use the cron daemon in Ubuntu, which works in the same way as the task scheduler in Windows. With the cron daemon, you can specify the time at which a process, such as a maintenance or a backup job, should be executed. This way, you can automate these tasks to run later without manual intervention. This article explains how you can do this with Crontab in Ubuntu.

          • Understanding signals and traps for Linux shell script

            Two types of interrupts exist in the Linux operating system: hardware interrupts and software interrupts. Software interrupts are called signals or traps. Software interrupts are used for inter-process synchronizations.

            Signals are used to notify us about a certain event occurrence or to initiate a certain activity.

            We use software signals many times. For example, if any command does not respond after being typed, then you might have entered Ctrl + C. This sends a SIGINT signal to the process, and the process is terminated. In certain situations, we may want the program to perform a certain activity instead of terminating it using Ctrl + C. In such cases, we can use the trap command to ignore a signal or to associate our desired function with that signal.

          • Using the trap command in Linux bash script - Linux Concept

            If a signal or software interrupt is generated while the script is running, then we can define what action is performed by that interrupt handler using the trap command. The trap command helps us in re-assigning the system response to a particular signal through the user-defined function or commands.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • NVMe 2.0 Released As A Library Of Specifications With ZNS, Simple Copy + More

        NVM Express Inc today published NVMe 2.0 as a family/library of specifications rather than being a monolithic specification in order to allow them to advance faster and independently of each other.

        NVMe 2.0 consists of the NVMe Base specification, Command Set specifications (NVM Command Set specification, ZNS Command Set specification, KV Command Set specification), Transport specifications (PCIe Transport specification, Fibre Channel Transport specification, RDMA Transport specification and TCP Transport specification) and the NVMe Management Interface specification.

  • Leftovers

    • Pondering National Breakdown on Disautel Pass

      In 2019, a few days after the summer solstice, I went to visit some native people I know on the Colville Reservation in the Okanogan Highlands of Northeast Washington state, now home to 12 native tribes that used to inhabit much of the region. It was a place familiar to me. I covered the reservation as a county beat reporter four decades earlier. While there, in this native place that is in the United States of America, but somehow beyond it, I went up on a mountain pass to muse on my dark forebodings about the national future, about whether there will be a United States at all.

      Disautel Pass sits 3,252 feet above sea level on Washington Highway 155 between Grand Coulee Dam and the Okanogan Valley. While much of the land to the south is high desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range, this is evergreen forest highlands with enough elevation to catch clouds blowing from the Pacific. Reaching the pass, I turned to the right down a rutted dirt road fit for a four-wheeler. I nervously steered my little Toyota up and down the deeply grooved path, until I found what felt like a fitting spot about a mile in.

    • A Year Lived Inside With Instagram and a Dutch Master

      What is the perfect place to live? If a year ago you thought you’d found it, you probably reconsidered as lockdown dragged on. Back then, it didn’t really matter if the paint was flaking and the furniture was shopworn and the kitchen was long in the tooth. You could always step outside, go to a restaurant, take a trip. After only a few weeks of confinement, we realized how important it is to be able to step into other rooms.1

      For many of us who’ve been able to work from home—or whose jobs simply disappeared during lockdown—the only “other rooms” we’ve had are in our phones. And while the lockdown may be ending in some places and for some people, the pandemic is not over, no matter how close we keep thinking we are getting to Overness. It’s not over where I live, as I’m reminded every so often by one of those little phone alerts that make me realize, with horror, just how much time I’d been spending there on my phone: I “averaged” six or even seven hours a day—doing what, exactly, I was never sure. Some legitimate stuff—writing e-mails, talking with friends, working my way through a recipe—but mostly not. And most of the not was Instagram.2

    • Stack Overflow Sold to Prosus for $1.8 Billion

      Based in New York, closely held Stack Overflow operates a question-and-answer website used by software developers and other types of workers such as financial professionals and marketers who increasingly need coding skills. It attracts more than 100 million visitors monthly, the company says.

    • Prosus’s Acquisition of Stack Overflow: Our Exciting Next Chapter

      Prosus is a long-term investor and loves what our company and community have built over these last 13+ years. They are impressed by the SaaS transformation the company has been on since the launch of Stack Overflow for Teams and especially over the last two years. Prosus recognizes our platform’s tremendous potential for impact and they are excited to launch and accelerate our next phase of growth.

    • Prosus to acquire Stack Overflow for US$1.8 billion

      Prosus N.V. ("Prosus"), a global consumer [Iinternet] group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Stack Overflow, a leading knowledge-sharing platform for the global community of developers and technologists, for approximately US$1.8 billion.

    • Stack Overflow Sold to Tech Giant Prosus for $1.8 Billion

      Prosus, one of Europe’s most valuable tech companies, is best known as the largest shareholder in Chinese [Internet] and videogaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Listed in Amsterdam, Prosus signaled its appetite for deal making when it sold a small portion of its equity stake in Tencent in April for $14.6 billion. The Stack Overflow deal ranks among Prosus’ biggest acquisitions.

    • Prosus to acquire Stack Overflow in a $1.8-billion deal

      “Once this acquisition is complete, we will have more resources and support to grow our public platform and paid products, and we can accelerate our global impact tremendously,” Prashanth Chandrasekar, chief executive of Stack Overflow, wrote in a blog post, adding that the way people use its website will not change in the coming weeks or months. “This might look more like rapid and robust international expansion, M&A opportunities, and deeper partnerships both on Stack Overflow and within Stack Overflow for Teams.”

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Agroecology Under Threat

        The industrial model marginalizes the world's majority food producers—smallholder farmers, food provisioners and workers, Indigenous Peoples, and their innovative solutions, while causing far-reaching and detrimental environmental impacts.

      • Opinion | Let's Go All Out for Universal Health Care in the US

        We should continue to vigorously advocate for a universal publicly funded privately delivered health care system at every level throughout America—state as well as national.

      • As Dems Push Medicare Expansion, Survey Shows Most Americans Support Drug Price Negotiations

        "The time has come to finally enable Medicare negotiation. Americans are becoming increasing restless for it to happen even if the pharmaceutical companies are not."

      • Opinion | Swept Into a Covid Hell of Profits

        While most of the country hunkered down in a state of stunned paralysis, a faction of Trumpworld recognized the pandemic not for what it took away—human lives and livelihoods—but for what it offered.

      • 'People Are Dying, Joe': Critics Call Biden's Vaccine Sharing Plan 'Woefully Inadequate'

        "The idea this pandemic will be dealt with by a mixture of rich country charity and corporate goodwill is such nonsense," said one global justice advocate. "People's Vaccine€ now."

      • Report Shows Stimulus Checks Significantly Reduced Hardship for Families
      • COVID Isn't Over -- the US Must Do More to Combat It Worldwide
      • My Pandemic Teaching Year

        On that first day of what would be that fall’s online version of school, I was still reeling from the loss of one of my dear friends. As wildfires approached her remote Sonoma County, California, home, she chose to end her life. She’d spent the initial months of the pandemic isolated from friends and loved ones, her serene mountain retreat no longer offering solace. She left no note, only a tidied kitchen and, according to those who’d attended a virtual yoga class with her on the last day of her life, a peaceful smile. She was my friend and I loved her.

        Marooned inside our house, all the windows and doors tightly sealed, I stared into the grid of black boxes on Zoom that now represented the students in my high-school visual arts classes. I wondered how I’d find the strength to carry us all through the year.

      • The pandemic showed that Big Tech isn’t a public health savior

        Over a year later, many of the promised tech innovations never materialized. There are areas where tech companies have made significant contributions — like collecting mobility data that helped officials understand the effects of social distancing policies. But Google wasn’t actually building a nationwide testing website. The program that eventually appeared, a testing program for California run by Google’s sibling company Verily, was quietly phased out after it created more problems than it solved.

        Now, after a year, we’re starting to get a clear picture of what worked, what didn’t, and what the relationship between Big Tech and public health might look like in the future.

      • Covid has claimed more than 600,000 lives in United States

        More than 600,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States, a grim reminder that even though cases are down as more people are vaccinated, the pandemic is not over.

        As of Thursday evening, the country had seen at least 600,040 Covid-19 deaths, according to a count of reports by NBC News. More than 33.4 million cases have been recorded in the U.S.

        The death toll crossed the 500,000 mark Feb. 21, according to NBC News' count.

      • Fauci’s emails should put an end to the cult media built around him

        Oh, how the mighty have fallen. This week, a Freedom of Information Act request led to a trove of emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci being released to public view. And that view, stretching back to early 2020, is a doozy.

        The correspondence make it clear that Dr. Fauci’s private beliefs have been radically at odds with his public guidance to US leaders and the American people. Worse, the emails reveal a bureaucrat more interested in protecting Communist China’s public image than finding the truth about the coronavirus.

        In a Feb. 5, 2020, email, Fauci wrote, “The typical mask you buy in a drugstore is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.” Two months later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would encourage masks, with Fauci’s blessing, of course.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Malware authors increasingly bypassing scans by Microsoft tool

          Malware authors are crafting their wares to bypass scans on Windows systems altogether, using a number of tricks to avoid being put under the microscope by Microsoft's Antimalware Scan Interface, the global security firm Sophos claims.

        • Beef Shortage Update: Prices Rise As Plants Recover From JBS Cyberattack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Specialist website Beef Central reported that the U.S. plants are likely to get back to work from Thursday, while its Australian plants will reopen on Friday or at the beginning of next week. It reported that some JBS Australia plants completed boning shifts on Wednesday, but it was only to clear carcasses held in cold storage from kills performed last Friday, before the cyberattack occurred.

        • Security

          • How to delete saved passwords in Firefox

            While it is convenient to store your login credentials in your browser, it is also be a privacy and security risk. If a friend or family member, or even a repair man accesses your computer, they will have access to your account on any website that has a saved login. If your computer becomes lost or stolen, or if a hacker is able to remotely gain control of it, this information could very easily fall into the wrong hands.

          • Supreme Court Overturns Overbroad Interpretation of CFAA, Protecting Security Researchers and Everyday Users

            EFF filed briefs both encouraging the Court to take€ today's case and urging it to make clear that violating terms of service is not a crime under the CFAA.€ In the first, filed alongside€ the€ Center for Democracy and Technology€ and New America’s€ Open Technology Institute, we argued that Congress intended to outlaw computer break-ins that disrupted or destroyed computer functionality, not anything that the service provider simply didn’t want to have happen. In€ the second, filed on behalf of computer security researchers and organizations that employ and support them,€ we explained that the broad interpretation of the CFAA€ puts computer security researchers€ at legal€ risk for engaging in socially beneficial security testing€ through standard security research practices, such as accessing publicly available data in a manner beneficial to the public yet prohibited by the owner of the data.€ 

            Today's win is an important victory for users everywhere. The Court rightly held that exceeding authorized access under the CFAA does not encompass “violations of circumstance-based access restrictions on employers’ computers.” Thus, “an individual ‘exceeds authorized access’ when he accesses a computer with authorization but then obtains information located in particular areas of the computer— such as files, folders, or databases—that are off limits to him.” Rejecting the Government’s reading allowing CFAA charges for any website terms of service violation, the Court adopted a “gates-up-or-down” approach: either you are entitled to access the information or you are not. This means that private parties’ terms of service limitations on how you can use information, or for what purposes you can access it, are not criminally enforced by the CFAA.

          • Van Buren is a Victory Against Overbroad Interpretations of the CFAA, and Protects Security Researchers

            The decision is a victory for all Internet users, as it affirmed that online services cannot use the CFAA’s criminal provisions to enforce limitations on how or why you use their service, including for purposes such as collecting evidence of discrimination or identifying security vulnerabilities. It also rejected the use of troubling physical-world analogies and legal theories to interpret the law, which in the past have resulted in some of its most dangerous abuses.

            The Van Buren decision is especially good news for security researchers, whose work discovering security vulnerabilities is vital to the public interest but often requires accessing computers in ways that contravene terms of service. Under the Department of Justice’s reading of the law, the CFAA allowed criminal charges against individuals for any website terms of service violation. But a majority of the Supreme Court rejected the DOJ’s interpretation. And although the high court did not narrow the CFAA as much as EFF would have liked, leaving open the question of whether the law requires circumvention of a technological access barrier, it provided good language that should help protect researchers, investigative journalists, and others.€ 

            The CFAA makes it a crime to “intentionally access[] a computer without authorization or exceed[] authorized access, and thereby obtain[] . . . information from any protected computer,” but does not define what authorization means for purposes of exceeding authorized access. In Van Buren, a former Georgia police officer was accused of taking money in exchange for looking up a license plate in a law enforcement database. This was a database he was otherwise entitled to access, and Van Buren was charged with exceeding authorized access under the CFAA. The Eleventh Circuit analysis had turned on the computer owner’s unilateral policies regarding use of its networks, allowing private parties to make EULA, TOS, or other use policies criminally enforceable.€ 

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (lasso), Fedora (mingw-djvulibre, mingw-exiv2, python-lxml, and singularity), openSUSE (ceph, dhcp, inn, nginx, opera, polkit, upx, and xstream), Oracle (firefox, perl, and polkit), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (avahi, csync2, djvulibre, libwebp, polkit, python-py, slurm, slurm_18_08, thunderbird, and umoci), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-oem-5.10, and squid, squid3).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 177 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 177. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Keith Smiley ]

            * Improve support for Apple "provisioning profiles".

            * Fix ignoring objdump tests on MacOS.

          • Enhancing Linux security with Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment (AIDE) | Enable Sysadmin

            This article is part two of a series of articles on Linux security. In part one, I discuss the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) concept with an example of setting strong password conditions for a regular user to enhance that user's security. In this part, I discuss the Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment (AIDE).

            In Linux security, it is very important to keep track of data. As a sysadmin, you should know how to check the integrity of files and directories. You can do this with the AIDE tool.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Supreme Court Says The Community Caretaking Exception Doesn't Apply To Warrantless Searches Of People's Homes

              The Supreme Court has been on a bit of roll lately. After years of making things worse for plaintiffs suing law enforcement officers over rights violations, the Supreme Court has begun reversing qualified immunity decisions finding in favor of the rights violators. It still has a lot of damage to undo from its decades of expansion of the qualified immunity doctrine but it's a start.

            • What can remote working by psychoanalysts teach us about protecting privacy?

              One group for whom security and privacy are absolutely key are medical practitioners. Patient confidentiality is crucial, and that means the new privacy challenges of remote working have to be dealt with. For this reason, the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) asked Ross Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and a well-known expert on privacy issues, to write a report reviewing IPA policies for remote working by psychoanalysts. Given the psychoanalysts’ stringent requirements for confidentiality, the report’s comments and recommendations offer useful advice for everyone who is working at home and wishes to protect their privacy as much as possible. For example, the following is a central issue:

            • Hong Kongers turn to social media to keep memory of Tiananmen Square alive

              For the first time since the 1989 massacre, there will be no formal vigils in the Chinese-speaking world to mark the events of Tiananmen Square 32 years ago, when China used tanks and soldiers to crush protests by unarmed pro-democracy activists. In Hong Kong, many are turning to social media to bypass a ban on public gatherings, quietly determined to ensure those gunned down are not forgotten.

            • Police Are Backing Bills That Make It Easier to Crush Nonviolent Protests
            • ‘Tracked for life’: China relentless in erasing Tiananmen

              The ruling Communist Party’s deadly 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests never ended for Fan Baolin, who served 17 years in prison and says he sneaked out of China last year to escape surveillance that included cameras trained on his apartment and pressure on his family to deter him from more activism.

              Fan, who took part in the demonstrations and later worked for the party’s vast security apparatus, was arrested in 1999 for giving activists abroad confidential documents about surveillance of Chinese pro-democracy exiles. Released in 2016, he became among those who still are watched by the party a generation later in an effort to erase public memory of the protests in the heart of Beijing.

            • Apple is updating AirTags to make them less creepy

              Before the update, if AirTags were away from their owner, they would chime after three days if they detected that they were moving. If you had a fully up-to-date iPhone, you might get an “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification before then — but un-updated iPhone users and Android users were out of luck until that chime. Apple is now updating the AirTags to chime at some point between eight and 24 hours of separation, significantly reducing how long an AirTag can travel before telling on itself. (Apple didn’t respond to request for comment on the range of times it provided.)

            • Apple bolsters AirTags privacy measures, to offer Android detector app later this year

              The tech giant said Thursday it's begun sending out updates to its AirTags, changing the window of time they'll make noises when potentially being used to track another person. Initially, the Apple device would play in three days. Now it'll begin to play at a random time inside a window that lasts between 8 and 24 hours.

            • Joe Biden signs order banning US investment in Chinese surveillance companies

              The order does not include DJI, WeChat, TikTok, or its parent company ByteDance among the 59 companies, despite previous concerns about those companies’ ties to China. Last year, Trump signed an executive order to ban Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat from US app stores, but Thursday’s order is separate from Trump’s move to ban these apps. In February, the Biden administration asked a federal appeals court to place a hold on any legal proceedings regarding these app bans. It’s still unclear how Biden plans to address the TikTok ban going forward.

            • The Twitter Blue subscription service starts rolling out Thursday

              Twitter has officially announced Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that offers access to new features like undoing tweets and viewing threads in an easier to digest “Reader Mode.” Starting Thursday, it will roll out first in Canada and Australia, where the subscription will cost $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD per month, respectively. We already had a good idea of what features to expect from Twitter Blue thanks to sleuthing from app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, but now Twitter has detailed everything the service includes.

            • First glimpse of EU's new 'digital identity wallet'

              The European Commission on Thursday (3 June) unveiled its plans for an EU 'digital identity wallet' - designed to allow citizens to access public and private services across the bloc, both online and offline, simply by clicking a button on their phone.

              The European digital identity wallet proposed is an app that citizens can install in their smartphone to store electronic identification forms and official documents, such as a driver licence, a diploma or a bank account.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A Fart Joke Is Not a Pogrom

        When I try to write about Israel and Palestine, the words stop making sense. They become jagged collections of vowels and consonants, stripped of their meaning, like teeth or colored marbles laid out in rows. Tentative sentences come out, half-fragmented—“rockets,” “rubble”—and collapse into a howl. There is just so much pain, misdirection, and cruelty. It feels futile to try to contain it in the confines of a sentence or a paragraph or an article or a book or an entire language’s vocabulary, really, because what words can replace a lost child, or the 69 lost children killed in a few days of bombs and rockets?

      • Barbara Lee Introduces Bill to Help Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange
      • Veteran's Mic Turned Off Mid-Speech for Honoring Black Origins of Memorial Day
      • The Second Amendment Was Created to Arm White People to Control Black People
      • How Predictive Policing Got A Chicago Man Shot Twice

        The Chicago Police Department is already seriously awful. Its reliance on software to decide who and where to police isn't making it any better. Predictive policing is only as good as the input data, and if the data is being input by police departments with long histories of biased policing, it's only going to generate algorithmic excuses for future biased policing.

      • Opinion | Nukes, Lies and Invisible Murder

        Militarism creates the illusion of safety, though of course its endless presence creates just the opposite.

      • The Nuclearization of Space

        “More than sixty years after the U.S. began serious studies into nuclear propulsion for space travel, NASA is taking the first steps on a new path to develop nuclear-powered engines for crewed missions to Mars by the end of the next decade,” it began.

        “Nuclear enabled space vehicles would allow NASA to keep the round-trip crewed Mars mission duration to about two years, versus more than three years with the best chemical rockets and even longer with solar electric propulsion,” the extensive five-page piece declared.

      • Facial recognition: Number of persons identified in Germany doubles annually

        The German police are increasingly using photographs to name unknown persons. More and more, pictures from social networks are being used. Recognition is also possible if the persons are wearing a protective mouth-nose mask. Some authorities also use so-called super-recognisers.

      • “The Second”: Carol Anderson on the Racist Roots of the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

        Do African Americans have Second Amendment rights? That’s the question Emory University professor Carol Anderson set out to answer in her new book, “The Second,” which looks at the constitutional right to bear arms and its uneven application throughout U.S. history. She says she was prompted to write the book after the 2016 police killing of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop after he told the officer he had a legal firearm. Anderson says the Second Amendment was always intended to be a means of arming white people to control the Black population. “There was this massive fear about these slave revolts, Black people demanding their freedom, being willing to have an uprising to gain their freedom,” says Anderson. “What I saw was that it wasn’t about guns. It was about the fear of Black people.”

      • The Finders: CIA Ties to Child Sex Cult Obscured as Coverage Goes from Sensationalism to Silence

        In February 1987, an anonymous phone tip was called into the Tallahassee police department reporting that six children were dirty, hungry, and acting like animals in the custody of two well-dressed men in a Tallahassee, Florida park. That phone call would kick off the Finders scandal: a series of events and multiple investigations even more bizarre than the initial report.

      • Chronicling Barbarism with Political Cartoonist Carlos Latuff
      • Council and Commission: EU seeks two high-level security coordinators

        After 14 years, the Council wants to recruit a new Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. Her remit will be expanded to include hybrid threats and cybersecurity. The Commission is also creating such a post.

      • The Killing Floor

        The Los Angeles Times called these fines “massive.” The Fresno Bee called it “one of the steepest citations” Cal/OSHA has issued during the pandemic.

        But a little math tells you that if eight workers died, Foster Farms is paying a fine of about $22,700 per body. If more than eight workers died, those lives are costing Foster Farms even less per body. Is that all that a worker’s life is worth in California?

      • Killing the January 6 Commission Violates Americans’ Trust

        Who can trust a major political party that refuses to level with the people about an attempted overthrow of their government that happened right in front of their eyes on television?

        Can elections or members of the same Republican Party be trusted when they twist the meaning of what they are doing to the electoral process by restricting voting for minorities under the guise of ensuring the integrity of balloting when there is no evidence of fraud?

      • Malcolm Gladwell Claims Satan Won WWII But Jesus Does Drone Strikes

        Gladwell begins his filthy piece of war normalization by admitting that his first short story, written as a child, was a fantasy about Hitler surviving and coming back to get you — in other words, the basic narrative of U.S. war propaganda for 75 years. Then Gladwell tells us that what he loves is obsessive people — no matter whether they’re obsessed with something good or something evil. Subtly and otherwise Gladwell builds a case for amorality, not just immorality, in this book. He starts by claiming that the invention of the bomb sight solved one of the 10 biggest technological problems of half a century. That problem was how to drop a bomb more accurately. Morally, that’s an outrage, not a problem to be lumped, as Gladwell lumps it, with how to cure diseases or produce food. Also, the bomb sight was a major failure that did not solve this supposedly critical problem, and Gladwell recounts that failure along with dozens of others in a stream of rolling SNAFUs that he treats as some sort of character-building signs of audacity, boldness, and christiness.

        The goal of the “Bomber Mafia” (Mafia, like Satan, being a term of praise in this book) was supposedly to avoid the terrible ground war of WWI by planning for air wars instead. This, of course, worked out wonderfully, with WWII killing many more people than WWI by combining ground and air wars — although there’s not a single word in the book about ground fighting in WWII or the existence of the Soviet Union, because this is a U.S. book about the greatest generation waging the greatest war for America the Great; and the greatest break came at the greatest university (Harvard) with the successful test of the greatest tool of Satan our Savior, namely Napalm.

      • We Stand With Cuba Against the US Embargo and Hybrid War

        On May 2, Otero Alcántara was taken to Havana’s Calixto García Hospital several days into a hunger strike he claimed to have been staging. The Health Ministry issued a statement that he had “no signs of undernutrition” but would remain “under observation.” On May 31, Otero Alcántara was released from the hospital. In an interview distributed on YouTube shortly after his release by CubaNet, a Florida-based media organization that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. government funding in recent years, a healthy-looking Otero Alcántara said he was physically “relatively well.” He said he consumed liquids for a week after arriving at the hospital, went without food and water for an additional week, and then “was eating well and drinking water” for the final two weeks before his release.

        Otero Alcántara rose to prominence last November after leading another hunger strike to demand the release of his fellow San Isidro member Denis Solís, a Trump supporter and proponent of Cuba’s annexation by the United States, who had been sentenced to eight months in prison after he shouted homophobic slurs at a police officer. Recently, Cuban state media presented a document purportedly showing Otero Alcántara receives monthly payments of $1,000 from the U.S. government and evidence has emerged that two other San Isidro activists may have links to U.S. government funding. San Isidro members have publicly expressed support for Trump, endorsed the devastating sanctions he imposed on Cuba and met with and received support from the Trump-appointed U.S. chargé d’affaires.

      • Biden Should Make Normalizing Relations with Cuba “A Priority”

        Puentes de Amor is the latest addition to the Syringes to Cuba initiative, which was started by the Saving Lives Campaign and the humanitarian organization Global Health Partners to help Cuba vaccinate its people against COVID-19. With the help of two other groups, The People’s Forum and CODEPINK, the campaign has raised over $350,000 and has already placed an order for four million syringes. Two million will arrive in June and the balance in July.

        This initiative is in response to the dire economic situation in Cuba, where the economy shrank by 11 percent last year—Cuba’s worst economic downturn since the early 1990s when the country was left reeling from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc. The present economic meltdown is largely a result of the COVID-induced shutdown of the tourist industry and a tightening of the embargo under Trump. Reversing the gains made by the Obama-Biden administration in normalizing relations with Cuba, Trump added over 200 restrictive measures, including limiting remittances Cuban Americans can send to their families, stopping U.S. flights to every city but Havana, and prohibiting cruise ships from docking in Cuban ports. As a final stab in his parting days, Trump took the completely bogus step of adding Cuba to a U.S.-created list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that discourages investments and substantially limits the entry of foreign currency.

      • It’s Not Just Voter Suppression: Texas Republicans Want to Overturn Elections

        But what if the law made it easier to mount such challenges? What if the law gave judges leeway to overturn elections based on partisan desires as opposed to proven facts?

        That’s the prospect Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Republican legislators in the state have put on the table with their sweeping proposal to rewrite election laws in response to Trump’s ranting about voter fraud. The Texas legislation has gained considerable attention for voter suppression elements that are so draconian that US Representative Colin Allred (D-Tex.) says, “This isn’t legislation. It’s discrimination.” But there is more to the Republican agenda in Texas than the usual scheming to erect barriers to voter participation by Blacks, Hispanics, students, and others who might vote Democratic. What is especially jarring is a section of the plan to make it dramatically easier for a Texas judge to overturn an election result to which Republican “poll watchers”—or former presidents—object.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Previously classified diplomatic cable reveals what PM Bob Hawke thought he knew about the Tiananmen massacre

        On June 7, a confidential diplomatic cable had been transmitted from the Australian embassy in Beijing, describing the latest intelligence on what had happened on the day the army moved in on student protestors who had occupied Tiananmen Square.

        "As the events of the night of 3 June in Beijing become clearer, it is evident that atrocities have been committed on a massive scale," the four-page document began.

        This is the second document Bob Hawke carried with him, and it was obtained by the ABC from the National Archives of Australia.

        He read nearly verbatim from pages 2 and 3 of the document.

    • Environment

      • UN Agencies Call for a Decade of Restoring Ecosystems to Confront Biodiversity and Climate Emergencies

        The new report "charts the losses that result from a poor stewardship of the planet."

      • Nuclear industry’s propaganda war rages on

        With renewable energy expanding fast, the nuclear industry’s propaganda war still claims it helps to combat climate change.

      • Right-Wing Disinformation Campaigns Are Targeting State Climate Initiatives
      • Climate Justice and Movement Building: An Interview with Brian Tokar

        Adam Aron: What was your personal journey to focus on the ecological and climate crisis?

      • Call It What It Is: A Climate Emergency

        Today, all of humanity is under attack, this time from an overheated planet—and too many newsrooms still are more inclined to cover today’s equivalent of dance competitions. The record heat waves and storms of 2020 confirmed what scientists have long predicted: Climate change is underway and threatens unparalleled catastrophe. And because carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere for centuries, temperature rise and its effects are only getting started. As one scientist said as wildfires turned San Francisco’s skies orange last September, “We’re going to look back in 10 years, certainly 20…and say, ‘Wow, 2020 was a crazy year, but I miss it.’”

        A handful of major newspapers are paying attention. But most news coverage, especially on television, continues to underplay the climate story, regarding it as too complicated, or disheartening, or controversial. Last month, we asked the world’s press to commit to treating climate change as the emergency that scientists say it is; their response was dispiriting.

      • Climate Change Is an Emergency, and We Need to Act Like It

        Good journalism leads the conversation, and there is certainly plenty of climate news worth covering these days. In a pair of stunning developments last week, a court in The Netherlands ordered the Royal Dutch Shell oil company to reduce its own and its customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 in accordance with the Paris Agreement, even as shareholders of ExxonMobil and Chevron rebelled against management’s refusal to take strong climate action. A week earlier, the International Energy Agency declared that all new fossil fuel development must stop to prevent irreversible climate destruction. The climate emergency is upending politics, economics and virtually every other subject journalists cover, and newsrooms need to catch up.

      • Fire-Stricken Chemical Cargo Ship Sinks Off Sri Lankan Coast in Enormous 'Man-Made Disaster'

        The sinking of a container ship carrying tons of chemicals comes after authorities spent weeks putting out a fire that erupted on the vessel and caused widespread damage to the island nation's marine environment.

      • Energy

        • How Third-Party Auditors Make Oil Industry Fraud Possible

          Major accounting firm KPMG is under fire from investors who filed a class action lawsuit against the firm for overstating the asset values of now-defunct oil exploration company Miller Energy Resources. And last month, a judge dismissed KPMG’s attempt to have the case thrown out.

          At issue in the lawsuit, filed in 2016, is a $4.55 million purchase by Miller Energy in 2009 for land and offshore oil assets in Alaska which included existing oil production infrastructure. Miller Energy then claimed those same assets were worth approximately half a billion dollars, a claim which would require approval by third-party auditors.

        • America Has More Than Enough Renewable Resources to Meet All of Its Energy Needs, Says Report

          Renewable technologies are also becoming more advanced, while costs are plummeting.

      • Overpopulation

        • China's Demographic Crisis

          In response, China’s government is apparently taking steps to encourage families to have more children. This follows several decades in which it had the opposite policy in place, encouraging families to have just one child.

          The crisis story is a bit hard to understand for those of us familiar with arithmetic. Every wealthy country has seen a sharp reduction in the ratio of working age people to retirees. That is something that happens when better living standards and improved health care allow people to live longer. Also, when countries have gotten wealthier, people have chosen to have fewer children.

    • Finance

      • Corporations Are Being Forced To Take Consumer Complaints Back To Court After Arbitration Push Backfires Spectacularly

        For years, AT&T worked tirelessly to erode its customers' legal rights, using mouse print in its terms of service preventing consumers from participating in lawsuits against the company. Instead, customers were forced into binding arbitration, where arbitrators, chosen and paid by the companies under fire, unsurprisingly rule in favor of companies more often than not. Initially, the lower courts derided this anti-consumer behavior for what it was, noting that however brutally flawed the class action is, binding arbitration, at least the way we let companies designed it, in many ways made things worse.

      • GOP Governors' Termination of Jobless Aid Could Cost Local Economies Over $12 Billion: Report

        "If states proceed with their plans to end these critical programs, they will be ripping the rug out from under millions of Americans and further hindering our economic recovery."

      • Opinion | The Tax Foundation Uses Mythical Taxpayers to Cause Alarm Over Proposals That Only Impact the Wealthiest Among Us

        No actual taxpayers are going to face anything remotely close to the tax rate critics of the Biden tax plan are claiming.

      • Crypto: Congress Dawdles as $1.7 Trillion Con-Game Goes Unregulated, Threatening Reputation of U.S. Markets

        Likewise, commodities like corn, sugar, wheat, lumber and oil are all traded on regulated exchanges which are overseen by a federal regulator.

        But, for reasons that have yet to be explained to the American people, when it comes to the $1.7 trillion cryptocurrency market – which is effectively a con-game based on the greater fool theory, nothing is regulated. Not the crypto currency; not the promoters; not the crypto exchanges; and not the firms that are providing as much as 100 times leverage to fuel this “rat poison squared,” as the legendary investor Warren Buffett has characterized Bitcoin. (See The Smartest Guys in the Room Call Bitcoin “Rat Poison Squared,” “a Colossal Pump-and-Dump Scheme” and “a Big Criminal Scam” but Federal Regulators Look the Other Way.)

      • Microsoft’s Irish subsidiary paid zero corporation tax on €£220bn profit

        An Irish subsidiary of Microsoft made a profit of $315bn (€£222bn) last year but paid no corporation tax as it is “resident” for tax purposes in Bermuda.

        The profit generated by Microsoft Round Island One is equal to nearly three-quarters of Ireland’s gross domestic product – even though the company has no employees.

        The subsidiary, which collects licence fees for the use of copyrighted Microsoft software around the world, recorded an annual profit of $314.7bn in the year to the end of June 2020, according to accounts filed at the Irish Companies Registration Office.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Despite Biden’s Concessions, GOP Refuses to Meet Him Halfway on Infrastructure
      • Russiagate target Kilimnik speaks out on ‘spy’ claims, Trump-Russia conspiracy theories
      • Biden’s Gravest Challenge: White Resentment

        The attack raises important questions about race, class and the future of U.S. political parties.€ Over the last half-century, white voters have shifted from moderate Democrats to conservative (and often racialist) Republicans.€  One factor that played into white – and especially working-class — dissatisfaction with the Democrats is a deep sense of resentment. As Sherry Linkon insightfully observed, “Resentment is a cultural response to economic struggle.”€  And she adds, “It festered as people read national media stories about how deindustrialization was part of a process of ‘creative destruction’ that would revitalize the economy.”

        Without addressing the deep sense of resentment of white Americans that appears to have contributed to the Capitol attack – let alone Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory and the 70-odd million people who voted for him in 2020 – the growing rightwing turn of the Republican Party will only further polarize U.S. politics.

      • Antisemitism’s Misdirection: Who Gets Hurt?

        All ethnic, racial and religious minorities experience hatred and racially motivated aggression.€  Jews are a minority and thus are included in this, but Jews are also a very privileged ethnic group in American society.€  The systemic antisemitism that existed in the 50s and 60s is a thing of the past.€  Today Jews have the highest average income of any ethnic or religious community.€ € €  They are integrated into the power structure, with overrepresentation in many professions including politics, medicine, law and the media.€  Recently Jews married into the families of two former presidents (Clinton’s and Trump’s).

        When you add the fact that most Jews are physically indistinguishable from the white majority, it makes the purported antisemitism crisis sound very illogical, especially when contrasted with discrimination and hate crimes against other minorities.€  However, Jewish organizations have a long, documented history of successfully promoting the concept of an antisemitism crisis especially when there is an increase of criticism of the Jewish state.

      • The Electoral Politics and Legitimation Crisis in Iran

        Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini first spoke of his desire to establish an Islamic Republic in Iran, a critical mass of the high-ranking clerics, whether openly or discreetly, have expressed their displeasure with the concept of republicanism. They have remained suspicious of any attempt that recognizes the sovereignty of the people as the foundation of the legitimacy of state power. The following interview published in Le Monde on November 13, 1978, laying out his vision, gave rise to deep discontent among members of the clergy who considered themselves to be either the guardians of the constitutional monarchy or the advocates of its overthrow to be replaced by a theocratic religious state.

        Republicanism, as Khomeini elaborated in a number of future occasions, was about granting sovereignty to people and recognizing their right of self-determination. The idea that teachings of Islam and its divinely inspired politics guided the republic did not register to Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers as an inherent contradiction in a system in which the primary source of state legitimacy was considered to be electoral politics. For them, there existed no contradiction between Islamic teachings and popular will. They argued that a “true” Islamic practice cannot contradict the will of the people, if it does, then it is not Islamic. For more than forty years, the Islamic Republic has been grappling with this very singular predicament–how to reconcile the sovereignty of the people with Islamic foundations of governance.

      • Sinema Lambasted for Claiming Filibuster 'Protects' Democracy as It's Used to Block Voting Rights Bill

        "It's completely insane that some Dems (ahem Manchin/Sinema) would rather keep the Jim Crow filibuster than stop an avalanche of Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression laws."

      • A Letter to Biden From Jimmy Carter’s Biographer

        Dear President Biden,

      • In 'Perilous New Moment for Our Democracy,' 100+ Groups Push Schumer, Dems to Nuke Filibuster

        "In the face of Republicans' inability and unwillingness to defend our democracy, it is clearer than ever that the filibuster needs to be eliminated."

      • The Current GOP
      • With FBI Reportedly Investigating DeJoy, House Democrat Says 'He Should Be Fired Now'

        "DeJoy is corrupt to the core," said Rep. Bill Pascrell.

      • 126 Nobel Laureates Issue Urgent Call Ahead of G7 Summit, Demanding 'Decade of Action' to Combat Global Crises

        "Without transformational action this decade, humanity is taking colossal risks with our common future."

      • Experts Call It A 'Clown Show' But Arizona 'Audit' Is A Disinformation Blueprint

        To Matt Masterson, the review of 2020 ballots from Maricopa County, Ariz., that's underway is "performance art" or "a clown show," and definitely "a waste of taxpayer money."

        But it's not an audit.

        "It's an audit in name only," says Masterson, a former Department of Homeland Security official who helped lead the federal government's election security preparations leading up to November's election. "It's a threat to the overall confidence of democracy, all in pursuit of continuing a narrative that we know to be a lie."

      • Biden Jump-Starts Fight Against Kleptocracy

        A new national security memorandum directs government agencies to review ways to modernize and better resource efforts to hold corrupt actors accountable, tackle illicit finance, and work with international partners to counter strategic corruption by authoritarian regimes. The move comes amid growing recognition in Washington of corruption’s national security risk and is the administration’s first major action to make good on Biden’s campaign promise to put the world’s kleptocrats on notice.

      • Facebook to end policy shielding politicians from content moderation rules: reports

        Facebook is slated to announced that the social media platform will end a policy that largely shielded politicians from repercussions when they violated the site's hate speech rules, a person familiar with the decision told The Washington Post.

        Facebook could announce the change as soon as Friday, according to The Verge, the first outlet to report the news.

        As part of the policy change, the company will no longer value the newsworthiness of a politician's post over its hate speech guidelines. When it does keep a post up due to its newsworthiness, the company will make the decision public, according to the Post.

      • How do we report on Trump's dastardly schemes without amplifying his lies and incitement?

        This debate is rearing its head again because Trump, who has been banned from Facebook and Twitter, has been angling for ways to keep injecting the Big Lie — that Joe Biden stole the 2020 election — into the public discourse. In many ways, he's succeeding. The entire Republican Party has been reorganized around the Big Lie, marshaling all its resources to cover up Trump's attempted insurrection and pass state-level laws restricting voting, using the Big Lie as their excuse. In addition, a series of surrogates like Michael Flynn and Mike Lindell have been holding events where they stoke the base's anger and unsubtly sow enthusiasm for another violent uprising.



    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Study: Three In Four Americans Can't Parse The News For BS

        In a survey of 8,200 people, a team of researchers at the institution, led by communications professor Ben Lyons, showed participants headlines formatted to look like a news article on Facebook and asked them to self-report their ability to distinguish which stories are true and which are -- cue your best Donald Trump impression -- fake news. Although roughly 90% of volunteers said they were “above average” at telling a steaming pile of BS from legitimate journalist work, it seems the Dunning–Kruger effect is alive and well, with those reporting higher competence actually faring worse at the task.

        “We show that overconfident individuals are more likely to visit untrustworthy websites in behavioral data,” wrote the team in the study, published earlier this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “To fail to successfully distinguish between true and false claims about current events in survey questions; and to report greater willingness to like or share false content on social media, especially when it is politically congenial.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Stanford Federalist Society Tries To 'Cancel' Law Student For Satirical Email About Josh Hawley

        Update: Perhaps due to all of the negative publicity this received, Stanford agreed to drop the investigation, and allow Wallace to go on with graduating. The original story remains below.

      • China’s Tiananmen Square demonstrations and crackdown

        The event remains a taboo topic of discussion in mainland China and will not be officially commemorated by the ruling Communist Party or government.

        Here are some landmark dates leading up to the demonstrations and the crackdown that followed: [...]

      • China's silencing of Tiananmen tributes extends to Hong Kong

        In mainland China, younger generations have grown up with little knowledge of or debate about the crackdown, but the efforts to suppress commemorations in Hong Kong reflect another turn of the screw in Beijing's ever-tightening control over Hong Kong following massive anti-government protests in 2019. Those demonstrations evolved into months of sometimes violent clashes between smaller groups of protesters and police. And they have led to a broader crackdown on dissent in the former British colony, which was long an oasis of capitalism and democracy and was promised that it would largely maintain its freedoms for 50 years when it was returned to China in 1997.

        Since the protests, China has imposed a sweeping national security law aimed in part at stiffening the penalties for the actions that protesters engaged in, and authorities have sought to arrest nearly all of the city’s outspoken and prominent pro-democracy figures. Most are either behind bars or have fled the city.

      • Hong Kong's Tiananmen Square museum forced to close two days ahead of memorial

        Hong Kong's most controversial destination has been forced to close just two days before a hugely significant date in the global pro-democracy calendar.

        Located inside a nondescript high-rise building wedged between a gas station and a highway overpass in Kowloon, the June 4 Museum is the only museum in Greater China -- which includes the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan -- that commemorates the Beijing government's crackdown against student protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

        On June 1, Hong Kong officials from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) visited the museum in the working-class area of Mong Kok and accused the organizers of operating a "place of public entertainment" illegally.

      • Hong Kongers Get Creative As Authorities Ban Tiananmen Vigil

        Much has changed in Hong Kong over the last year as authorities seek to snuff out the city's pro-democracy movement using a sweeping national security law that criminalises much dissent.

        This year's vigil has been banned again, ostensibly because of the coronavirus -- although Hong Kong has not recorded an unexplained locally transmitted case in more than a month.

        Officials have also warned that the security law could be wielded against Tiananmen mourners.

      • Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary, Taiwan Calls on China to Return Power to the People

        Friday marks 32 years since Chinese troops opened fire to end the student-led unrest in and around the square. Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland.

        The government has never released a full death toll, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.

      • In Hong Kong, lighting a candle for Tiananmen victims is now a crime

        Louisa Lim is a Hong Kong native and author of “The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited.” She spoke to The World’s Patrick Winn about Beijing’s latest clampdown against Hong Kong.

      • Hong Kong police arrest leading organiser of Tiananmen vigil

        But much has changed in Hong Kong over the last year as authorities seek to snuff out the city’s pro-democracy movement using a powerful new national security law to criminalise much dissent.

        Officials have warned the subversion clause of that law could be used against those marking Tiananmen.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Panel Highlights Challenges for Women Journalists as Report Shows Rise in Threats

        Media restrictions imposed during the pandemic, protests that threaten the safety of reporters, a high number of jailings — these kinds of attacks on press freedom in the Middle East are on the rise and increasingly affect female journalists, a media group found.

        In its May 2021 report, the Coalition for Women in Journalism documented 348 cases of threats and violence against female journalists globally in the first quarter of the year, a significant increase from the same time period last year.

        The nonprofit, which tracks attacks, threats and harassment against women who work in journalism, said countries in the Middle East and North Africa were among the most dangerous.

      • One step forward, two back

        The proposed body is to regulate print, television, electronic and digital media, altogether by merging all different regulators into one, supposedly to save money and streamline authority, which is essentially a euphemism for easing the burden of unconstitutional censorship that the state has taken upon itself. The proposal itself states that “media in democracy ideally should be self-regulatory” [sic], but proposes government regulation through a sweeping statement that “demerits outweigh the merits” for a self-regulation mechanism for all forms of media in Pakistan.

        The draft from the information ministry openly admits that “controlling government advertisement expenditure as an incentive structure” exists for the government to solicit favourable coverage from media houses, and punish critical coverage, as has been seen in the past few years. This needs to change if we are to be a rights-respecting democracy. Government advertisements in the media should only worry about reaching citizens through print, broadcast and digital media rather than acting like a private empire that aligns expenditure on the basis of favourable words when the job of the media is to hold the government accountable.

      • The M.T.A. Is Breached by Hackers as Cyberattacks Surge

        A [cracking] group believed to have links to the Chinese government penetrated the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s computer systems in April, exposing vulnerabilities in a vast transportation network that carries millions of people every day, according to an M.T.A. document that outlined the breach.

        The [crackers] did not gain access to systems that control train cars and rider safety was not at risk, transit officials said, adding that the intrusion appeared to have done little, if any, damage.

        But a week after the agency learned of the attack, officials raised concerns that [crackers] could have entered those operational systems or that they could continue to penetrate the agency’s computer systems through a back door, the document also shows.

      • Is Hong Kong's Last Pro-Democracy Newspaper Doomed?

        The security law's broad scope and vagueness have prompted concerns about censorship and press freedom. But for Apple Daily, regarded as Hong Kong's last pro-democracy newspaper, those have been concerns for some time.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Misplaced Hope of Understanding Police From the Inside

        “Next time, if you run out of food,’ I said, ‘call the police station and ask them to help you.’” That’s what Georgetown law professor turned volunteer cop Rosa Brooks told a woman under arrest over an outstanding warrant, caught shoplifting groceries. Brooks doesn’t want to arrest the woman—she wants to help, and worries that her advice is faulty. “I hoped this wasn’t a lie,” she thinks to herself. “I hoped that if she called the police station and asked for help, the phone would be answered by a decent officer willing to refer her to the right services, and not by some asshole who’d chew her out for wasting police time and then hang up.”

      • High School Valedictorian Blasts Texas's Anti-Choice Law in Graduation Speech
      • Breaking the Siege, Fighting for Life: For a New Internationalist Movement of the Oppressed

        It’s easy to say so, but the rebel communities in Chiapas have suffered violent harassment and siege by both legal and illegal military forces of the various State administrations, for more than 27 years, regardless of the various political colors and parties. Such was the case from Carlos Salinas de Gortari’s administration (1988-1994) who even bombed communities, to Ernesto Zedillo’s (1994-2000) who – triggered by his pathological racism and lack of authority – abandoned the San Andrés Agreements, for which an outraged and in-alert society had pushed, leaving them in Limbo. Instead, he carried out massive military operations that led to a bloody low-intensity war implemented by paramilitary groups trained by the Army, as well as welfare policies aimed at tearing the fabric of the communities. Vicente Fox (2000-2006) pretended to recover the agreements signed by the State and the Zapatista command representatives, but – like everything else about him – his actions eventually turned out to be just a media masquerade validating more racism and marginalization of indigenous peoples condemned to vegetate as vulnerable populations destined for extinction. Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) and Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) led the war throughout the country, while they continued to corner, attack and seek to divide the Zapatista communities by all imaginable means and using very varied political forces at all levels of the State and parties (PRI, PAN, Greens, PRD).

        Under Andrés Manuel López Obrador (2018-2024?), despite his demagoguery and all his alluding to leftist traditions, clothed with the old-neo-indigenous PRI, the siege against EZLN was reinforced with the help of more military forces, welfare programs (now seen as of charitable nature) and even with the sponsorship of recovered paramilitary groups, to which he adds a wall of lies and slandering against the Zapatistas and those who struggle to protect the life under threat – now even more – by the neocolonial mega-construction projects with which the president seeks to ingratiate himself with the big capitals dominating the planet.

      • Man Sues After Field Drug Test Says His Daughter's Ashes Are Meth And Ecstasy

        Cops like cheap field drug tests. They don't like them because they're accurate. They like them because they're cheap. And since you get what you pay for, they're way cheaper (in the long run) then sending for a drug dog.

      • Opinion | More Than McCarthyism: The Attack on Activism Students Don't Learn About from Their Textbooks

        Our students deserve to know that anti-communist repression has always been about a lot more than Russian spies, a blustering senator from Wisconsin, and a blacklist in Hollywood.

      • Following a DUI Arrest, Maine Defense Lawyer Banned From Representing Defendants

        A lawyer working on behalf of the state of Maine continued to represent low-income defendants after being arrested for impaired driving in May.

        The attorney, Suzanne Dwyer-Jones, was arrested by police in York, Maine, for driving while intoxicated after failing a sobriety test on May 10, police said. She posted bail and returned to work on May 12 at Biddeford District Court as the state’s lawyer for defendants who can’t afford to hire their own attorneys.

      • Organizers Cut Veteran's Microphone for Speaking About Black History at Memorial Day Event

        Retired Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter is accusing organizers with the American Legion in Hudson, Ohio of censorship.€ 

      • Hong Kong: People must not be punished for peacefully marking Tiananmen anniversary

        On the evening of 3–4 June 1989, hundreds – possibly thousands – of people were killed in Beijing when troops opened fire on students and workers who had been peacefully calling for political and economic reforms as well as an end to corruption. An unknown number of people were killed and jailed in similar crackdowns throughout the country. No one knows the exact number of fatalities since the Chinese authorities have stifled and censored discussion of the crackdown for the past three decades.

        Hongkongers attending the city’s Tiananmen vigil since 1990 have called on the Chinese authorities to reveal the truth about what happened and take responsibility for the killings.

        Media reports have suggested that people who try to attend the banned vigil this year could be arrested for illegal assembly, facing sentences of up to five years in jail, and barred from voting in elections. Some pro-Beijing figures have said participation could violate the city’s draconian national security law, which was adopted shortly after last year’s cancelled vigil.

      • China: Account for Tiananmen Massacre

        While the last individual known to have been imprisoned for their involvement in the 1989 pro-democracy protests was released in 2016, many other participants have been re-incarcerated for their continuing pro-democracy work. Among them, Huang Qi, prominent activist and founder of the human rights website 64 Tianwang, is serving a 12-year sentence after being convicted in 2019 of “illegally providing state secrets abroad.” Huang suffers from several serious health conditions for which he has not been given adequate treatment, including kidney disease, possible emphysema, and inflammation in the lungs. Activist Chen Yunfei has been detained by Sichuan police since March. Chen served four years in prison, from 2015 to 2019, for organizing a memorial service for massacre victims.

        Chinese authorities have also attempted to censor commemoration events outside of the country, Human Rights Watch said. In June 2020, following requests from Chinese authorities, Zoom, the video communications company, disrupted meetings and suspended accounts of activists based outside of China for hosting online Tiananmen commemorations via Zoom. After the incident went public, Zoom apologized for affecting users outside of China, but not for censoring users in China.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Organizing in the Public Interest: MusicBrainz

        Last time, we saw how much of the early internet’s content was created by its users—and subsequently purchased by tech companies. By capturing and monopolizing this early data, these companies were able to monetize and scale this work faster than the network of volunteers that first created it for use by everybody. It’s a pattern that has happened many times in the network’s history: call it the enclosure of the digital commons. Despite this familiar story, the older public interest internet has continued to survive side-by-side with the tech giants it spawned: unlikely and unwilling to pull in the big investment dollars that could lead to accelerated growth, but also tough enough to persist in its own ecosystem. Some of these projects you’ve heard of—Wikipedia, or the GNU free software project, for instance. Some, because they fill smaller niches and aren’t visible to the average Internet user, are less well-known. The public interest internet fills the spaces between tech giants like dark matter; invisibly holding the whole digital universe together.

        Sometimes, the story of a project’s switch to the commercial model is better known than its continuing existence in the public interest space. The notorious example in our third post was the commercialization of the publicly-built CD Database (CDDB): when a commercial offshoot of this free, user-built database, Gracenote, locked down access, forks like freedb and gnudb continued to offer the service free to its audience of participating CD users.

        Gracenote’s co-founder, Steve Scherf, claimed that without commercial investment, CDDB’s free alternatives were doomed to “stagnation”. While alternatives like gnudb have survived, it’s hard to argue that either freedb or gnudb have innovated beyond their original goal of providing and collecting CD track listings. Then again, that’s exactly what they set out to do, and they’ve done it admirably for decades since.

      • California Has $7 Billion for Broadband. Sacramento May Just Sit On It

        Take Action

        Tell Your Lawmakers€ to Support the Governor's Broadband Plan

        It is hard to believe that, when handed an amount that would finance giving every single Californian a fiber connection to the Internet over the next five years; would allow the state to address an urgent broadband crisis worsened by the pandemic; and gives us a way to start ending the digital divide now, that the legislature would rather waste time we can’t afford to think it over.

      • Concerns Mount Over Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences to Canadian Creators

        Yet despite the success stories, Bill C-10 would seek to place the government and the CRTC in command of the algorithm. In doing so, there is a real risk that these emerging Canadian creators could find their content de-prioritized with legislation that ultimately hurts those it purports to help.

      • Biden administration makes $1 billion in grants available for broadband on tribal lands

        According to the Commerce Department, census figures show only half of households on tribal lands subscribe to home internet service, and some areas lack even the most basic cellphone reception. More than 20 percent of people living on tribal lands don’t have broadband access at home. And during the pandemic as schools closed, some students at tribal-serving schools had to drive for miles to find a strong enough connection to participate in online classes. However, the number of people without internet access on tribal lands is likely even higher, as data from the Federal Communications Commission on broadband access, which many government agencies rely on, can be notoriously inaccurate.

    • Monopolies

      • Now That Amazon Has Bought MGM, Will It Turn Against The Internet?

        As you may have heard, Amazon recently reached a deal to buy MGM Studios for $8.5 billion, expanding its in-house content studio, which is already quite massive, given its efforts to build up its Prime Video streaming service. For a variety of reasons (notably, everything Amazon has done with Prime, as well as increasing video streaming competition from Disney, NBC Universal, Warner Media/Discovery, etc.), the deal isn't that surprising.

      • Patents

        • G 1/21: hearing on using ViCo postponed for entirely non-ViCo-related reasons

          Last Friday, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) heard the case on G1/21 “Oral proceedings by videoconference”. However, the hearing was postponed for procedural reasons before there was a chance to even start discussing videoconferencing (ViCo).

          It is a shame that this case is being held-up by procedural problems, but the EBA has moved quickly and the new hearing has been rescheduled for 2 July 2021.

          [...]

          The first issue discussed was whether new partiality arguments filed by the appellant a couple of days before the hearing were admissible. This was debated for several hours (away from the viewing public).

          The hearing went back into public view after lunch and the EBA announced that the new partiality objections were not admissible. However, the appellant then complained that some documents on file had only been provided to them a few days before the hearing, meaning they had not had time to review and respond to them. In the appellant’s view, this would violate their right to be heard under Article 113(1) EPC unless the hearing was postponed.

          After several more breaks, the EBA agreed to postpone the hearing and gave the appellant one month to review and respond to the late-delivered documents.

        • Is this the end of ViCo before the EPO without consent of all parties?

          In the pending referral before the Enlarged Board of Appeal, G 1/21, there is posed an important question for all parties involved in oral proceedings before the EPO. Namely: Is the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116(1) EPC if not all of the parties to the proceedings have given their consent to the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference?

          The referring question stems from T 1807/15 where despite both parties objecting to the use of video conferencing (ViCo) for the appeal in question, the Board held the oral proceedings by ViCo. At the oral proceedings on 08 February 2021, the appellant specifically requested that a question be referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) on this matter and before dealing with the substantive issues of the case, the Board considered it reasonable to seek clarification from the EBA, noting that it was “to avoid any procedural violation”.

          In 2020, oral proceedings were held by video conference only with consent of all parties. This was the EPO’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and is a change in practice that has generally been working well for those involved.

          On 15 December 2020, however, there was a Communication uploaded to the EPO’s website noting that from 01 January 2021, the Boards of Appeal may “conduct oral proceedings by VICO even without the agreement of the parties concerned”. This was followed by the introduction of new Article 15a RPBA which came into effect on 01 April 2021 relating to oral proceedings by ViCo.

        • Opinion | Bill Gates Almost Single-Handedly Derailed the Plan That Could Have Led to a 'People's Vaccine'

          For all his philanthropy, Gates is deeply committed to protecting the rights of patent holders.

        • How to Cash In on a Pandemic

          The instinct to forget pandemics, as I’ve pointed out when it came to the 1918 “Spanish flu,” has historically been strong indeed. In these years, the urge to forget official malfeasance and move on has, it turns out, been at least as strong. Washington’s failure to investigate and bring to account those who led the nation and ultimately the world into the folly of the Iraq War may be the most egregious recent example of this.

          In the end, that’s why I wrote my new book Virus — to memorialize a clear and accessible historical record of the deliberate and deadly decision-making that swept us all into a kind of hell. I had the urge to try to stop what happened to us from being instantly buried in the next round of daily reporting or, as appears likely now, relegated to the occasional voluminous government or foundation report on how to do things better.

        • Opinion | Corporations Should Not Have the Power to Undermine Global Efforts to Vaccinate People

          Even if governments agree to suspend patent protections for vaccines, corporations can fight back with expensive lawsuits.

      • Trademarks

        • Chia Cryptocurrency, Started By BitTorrent Creator Bram Cohen, Engaging In Obnoxiously Bogus Trademark Bullying

          It seems these days you can't mention anything to do with cryptocurrency without someone jumping in and insisting that cryptocurrency is a disaster for the environment. There are differing opinions on all of this, but a few years ago, BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen set out to build a more "eco friendly" cryptocurrency called Chia. The basic idea was that, rather than using a proof-of-work system -- which involves using up a ridiculous amount of computing power, it would use a proof-of-space system, looking at how much hard drive space you're allocating. After many years of development, Chiacoin finally launched a few weeks ago. And, to pretty much prove the old axiom that there's no such thing as a free lunch, while it may not be directly wasting CPU cycles, it's impacted the world differently: by destroying the global hard disc supply chain, driving prices for hard disks through the roof -- leading people to point out that even if it's not wasting electricity like Bitcoin, it may be wasting hard drives. Some may challenge the question of whether or not this is wasteful (those hard drives are doing something...) but there are multiple reports of running Chia on SSDs is wearing them out in ridiculously short periods of time -- even to the point that some SSD makers are saying that using their hard drives for Chia will void the warranty. Yikes!

      • Copyrights

        • If Not Overturned, a Bad Copyright Decision Will Lead Many Americans to Lose Internet Access

          In going after internet service providers (ISPs) for the actions of just a few of their users, Sony Music, other major record labels, and music publishing companies have found a way to cut people off of the internet based on mere accusations of copyright infringement. When these music companies sued Cox Communications, an ISP, the court got the law wrong. It effectively decided that the only way for an ISP to avoid being liable for infringement by its users is to terminate a household or business’s account after a small number of accusations—perhaps only two. The court also allowed a damages formula that can lead to nearly unlimited damages, with no relationship to any actual harm suffered. If not overturned, this decision will lead to an untold number of people losing vital internet access as ISPs start to cut off more and more customers to avoid massive damages.

          EFF, together with the Center for Democracy & Technology, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, and Public Knowledge filed an amicus brief this week urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to protect internet subscribers’ access to essential internet services by overturning the district court’s decision.

          The district court agreed with Sony that Cox is responsible when its subscribers—home and business internet users—infringe the copyright in music recordings by sharing them on peer-to-peer networks. It effectively found that Cox didn’t terminate accounts of supposedly infringing subscribers aggressively enough. An earlier lawsuit found that Cox wasn’t protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) safe harbor provisions that protect certain internet intermediaries, including ISPs, if they comply with the DMCA’s requirements. One of those requirements is implementing a policy of terminating “subscribers and account holders … who are repeat infringers” in “appropriate circumstances.” The court ruled in that earlier case that Cox didn’t terminate enough customers who had been accused of infringement by the music companies.

        • Copyright Holders Hold Cloudflare Liable for Failing to Terminate Repeat Infringers

          In a California court case, Cloudflare stands accused of failing to terminate customers repeatedly called out as copyright infringers. The case wasn't filed by Hollywood or the major record labels, but by two manufacturers of wedding dresses. They have now filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that the CDN provider could and should have done more to prevent copyright infringement.

        • 'Terminating Internet Access Based on Piracy Accusations is Extremely Harmful'

          A wide variety of public interest groups, trade organizations, and law professors have come out to support ISP Cox Communications in its effort to reverse a piracy liability ruling. In various amicus briefs, they inform the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that if the current verdict stands, many people risk having their Internet access cut off based on one-sided piracy accusations, which would be extremely harmful.

        • Twitch Manages To Get Out Some 'Disappointment' With Music Industry Over Latest Round Of DMCA Claims

          The saga that has been Twitch's last six or so months is long and somewhat varied, so you should go read up on our historical coverage if you're not familiar with it, but we need to at least preface this post with the origins of how Twitch's bad time began. What has been a tumultuous several months began when it absolutely freaked out over a flood of DMCA takedown notices it received, mostly from the music industry. In response to that, and without warning to its creative community, Twitch nuked a bunch of content from the platform, mostly ignored the outcry from its creators, and did very little to put anything in place that would keep such a disastrous situation from happening again.



Recent Techrights' Posts

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Watch This Space
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