Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 5/10/2021: AOSP/Android 12, Another Look at MidnightBSD

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD SEV-SNP Development Continues Towards The Linux Kernel - Phoronix

        Since the launch of AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors earlier this year there has been support for SEV-SNP as the latest evolution of Secure Encrypted Virtualization. The mainline Linux kernel still isn't yet supporting SEV Secure Nested Paging from the upstream kernel, but the out-of-tree patches continue to be available for those interested and development work continues in getting that code ready for mainline as well as ironing out other features.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: A Brief Respite

          All the features I’ve previously blogged about have landed, and zink is once again in “release mode” until the branchpoint next week to avoid having to rush patches in at the last second. This means probably there won’t be any interesting patches at all to zink until then.

          We’re in a good spot though, and I’m pleased with the state of the driver for this release. You probably still won’t be using it to play any OpenGL games you pick up from the Winter Steam Sale, but potentially those days aren’t too far off.

          With that said, I do have to actually blog about something technical for once, so let’s roll the dice and see what it’s going to be

        • AMD Prepares Linux Driver Support For USB4 DP Tunneling - Phoronix

          The newest patch series by AMD open-source Linux graphics driver engineers worth mentioning is around USB4 DisplayPort tunneling support for next-generation AMD hardware supporting USB4 connectivity.

          The USB4 specification allows for tunneling of DisplayPort 1.4 (as well as DisplayPort 2.0 Alternate Mode, but not the focus of today's patch work) and that is what this new AMDGPU driver work is about for handling DP over USB4 connections.

        • AMD Publishes Open-Source "GPUFORT" As Newest Effort To Help Transition Away From CUDA - Phoronix

          I've just been informed by AMD that they have now made their code public to a new project called GPUFORT. This new GPUFORT project will live under the Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) umbrella and is their latest endeavor in helping developers with large CUDA code-bases transition away from NVIDIA's closed ecosystem.

        • Mesa 21.3 RADV Vulkan Driver Lands Ray-Tracing Support For Older AMD Radeon GPUs

          Mesa 21.3 recently landed RADV ray-tracing support for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver with RDNA2 graphics processors. Now the software-based/emulated Vulkan ray-tracing support has been merged for handling pre-RDNA2 GPUs.

          With today's Mesa 21.3 development code is support for Vulkan ray-tracing extensions on older GCN graphics processors. This Vulkan ray-tracing support relies on emulating the support in software and thus comes at a performance penalty. The RADV ray-tracing even with RDNA2 GPUs still needs more performance optimizations and considered experimental.

    • Applications

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.40: Fedora 35 Beta, Inkscape 1.1.1, Nitrux 1.6.1, and More New Releases

        The latest Nitrux release features Linux Kernel 5.14.8 and comes loaded with updated KDE Plasma 5.22.5.

        Feel free to check out the changelog to know more about it.

      • 10 Best Linux Tools For Digital Artists [2021]

        There is no shortage of graphic design software for Linux users. While it is possible to create stunning graphics and make professional edits with several online software, today’s focus is on the most effective, memory-friendly software for Linux.

        Please note that these applications are listed randomly and not in order of their popularity, complexity, functionality, or price.

      • Bumping the Store Prices for Krita 5.0

        We started selling Krita in the Steam Store in 2014. In 2017, the Windows Store followed, then in 2021 the Epic Store. With the recent improvements on macOS, we intend to put Krita in the macOS store as well (though not in the ipadOS store!) and we want to put the macOS version of Krita in the Epic and Steam stores.

        Originally, we were planning to make every new major version a new purchase, but with Krita 3 being quickly replaced by Krita 4, that didn’t seem fair.

        Krita 5 will still be an automatic upgrade for everyone who has once bought Krita in any of the stores.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Upgrade to Latest Linux Kernel on AlmaLinux 8 or Rocky Linux 8

        The Linux kernel is the core component of a Linux operating system. It is the interface between the computer’s hardware and the processes of a computer.

        Linux Kernel needs to be updated periodically to improve security, bugs fix to problems, better hardware compatibility, improve speed, and new functionality.

        Each Linux distribution comes with a stable version of Linux Kernel. This version may not be the latest one. The Linux Kernel Organization distributes the Linux kernel via The Linux Kernel Archives for free of charge.

      • Tomcat and Tomee Clustering Automation | RoseHosting

        Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation, it was initially known as Jakarta Tomcat or Tomcat. If you want to deploy and execute Java applications that are written in Java technologies including Java Servlet, Java Server Pages (JSP), etc, then you require Tomcat. TomEE is built on top of Tomcat. It is the Java Enterprise Edition of Apache Tomcat (Tomcat + Java EE = TomEE).

    • Games

      • 10 Best Games For Linux

        I wrote a list of the best FPS games for Linux a few years ago. At the time, there were only a few games available that could compete with Windows games. But Linux gaming has come a long way since then.

        Valve released Steam Play in 2018. Steam is the most popular gaming platform for Windows-based computers. Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, Rocket League, and all of the century’s biggest games are available on Steam.

        Steam Play allows you to play Windows-only games on Linux that would otherwise be impossible to install.

        Steam Play makes use of Proton, a Valve software solution that allows gamers to play Windows-only games on Linux. It accomplishes this through the use of Wine and a variety of other tools on the back end. When Steam Play was first released in 2018, there was a limited number of games that had been transferred to Linux, but that list has since grown.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Alexander Mikhaylenko: Dark Style Preference

          Lately, I’ve been working on having a proper dark style preference in GNOME. It’s a frequently requested feature, but also hard to get right. elementary UX architect Cassidy James Blaede did a good write-up about this, please read it if you haven’t yet (or watch his GUADEC talk if you prefer a video).

          That was more than two years ago. Since then, elementary OS has started shipping an elementary-specific implementation designed in a way that it could be standardized later without many changes. While I could introduce another preference in GNOME, it was a good excuse to standardize it instead.


          The libadwaita API is already available in alpha 3, the libhandy one is not released yet.

          Another difference is — the dark style preference is supported by default if you’re using libadwaita. While in libhandy the default is keeping the previous behavior — apps that were always light remain always light – libadwaita goes ahead and makes following the preference the default. Since it’s not API-stable yet, it’s an acceptable behavior break, same way as macOS and iOS support it automatically when building against new enough platform libraries, but don’t do it otherwise in order to keep existing apps working.

          When porting from GTK3 and libhandy to GTK4 and libadwaita, apps are expected to start supporting this or otherwise opt out. When already using older versions of libadwaita, apps are expected to start supporting this when updating to alpha 3. When using libhandy, apps don’t get the support by default, but can explicitly opt in.


          Another thing libhandy and libadwaita do when switching appearance is they try very hard to block the CSS transitions that would usually occur. These transitions can take a long time and are inconsistent between widgets. For widgets with custom drawn content such as WebKitWebView this can’t work at all, so no point in trying.

          An approach that yields much better results is doing the transition on the compositor side — then it works for any content automatically:

          It’s still not perfect: GTK3 apps can take a pretty long time when doing this, and it will be noticeable: for example the GTK4 Patterns window on the video changes its appearance immediately while Settings and Web lag behind. The video was recorded in a VM though, and the transition should be smoother on bare metal.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • MidnightBSD: A BSD-Based Alternative to the Linux Desktop

          The BSD community is making notable progress by bringing new OSes to the table. Check out MidnightBSD, a suitable alternative to the Linux desktop.

          While desktop Linux has a dedicated following, most people think of the BSD family as better for servers, if they think of BSD at all. MidnightBSD is a spin on FreeBSD, attempting to create a BSD system for the desktop.

          Let's take a look at MidnightBSD and its features, and discuss whether or not it is a suitable alternative to the Linux desktop.

        • Realtek wireless firmwares imported!

          Thanks to Realtek for this change which lets us put the firmware .h file into our tree, this means Realtek wireless will work without requiring a firmware download (which is difficult over a non-working Realtek network :)

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • More on Open Source Experience

          Open Source Experience aims to bring the entire open source ecosystem together for two dynamic days. “Entire” really means entire: From communities like Mageia to all sorts of companies, from students to experts, from journalists to politicians, from investors to researchers and inventors and much more, it is for anyone with a dedication to open source. Note that it is not just about open-source software, but also about open source hardware and network solutions, consultancy, training, cloud, data centres, security, AI, IoT, etc, more than can be mentioned.

          Many interested people will visit the event, and certainly not only from France. The event will be hybrid: physical meetings on the 9th and 10th of November 2021 and a digital event platform, so (international) visitors who would otherwise be unable to attend can participate. At least one of the speakers happens to be a Mageia contributor and board member in his free time, Bruno Cornec. He will give two talks, one about an alternative for REST, the other about how (and how not) to open source a project.

      • Slackware Family

        • [Old] Interview with Patrick Volkerding

          After talking with the local sysadmin at MSU, I got permission to open an anonymous FTP server on one of the machines - an old 3b2. I made an announcement and watched with horror as multitudes of FTP connections crashed the 3b2 over, and over, and over. Those who did get copies of the 1.00 Slackware release did say some nice things about it on the net. My archive space problems didn't last long, either. Some people associated with Walnut Creek CDROM (and ironically enough, members of the 386BSD core group) offered me the current archive space on

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 1 October 2021

        Welcome October --we've closed September with another great week. Here are the latest updates on the Apache community's activities...

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox Development: TenFourFox FPR32 SPR5 available (the last official build)

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 32 Security Parity Release 5 "32.5" is available for testing (downloads, hashes). Aside from the announced change with .inetloc and .webloc handling, this release also updates the ATSUI font blacklist and includes the usual security updates. It will go live Monday evening Pacific as usual assuming no issues.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Replacing academic journals

            Replacement goal. Any solution needs to not only solve the current problems but also be capable of preventing the takeover by the corporations. Technically, there is broad agreement on the goal for a modern scholarly digital infrastructure: it needs to replace traditional journals with a decentralized, resilient, evolvable network that is interconnected by open standards under the governance of the scholarly community. It needs to replace the monopolies connected to the journals with a genuine, functioning and well-regulated market. In this new market, substitutable service providers compete and innovate according to the conditions of the scholarly community, avoiding another vendor lock-in.

          • Academic capture

            Björn Brembs and colleagues have just revealed a much darker side to this story in apreprint on Zenodo. In it, they describe what we could describe as the incipient capture of all academia by the same four publishing giants that are dominating the publishing conundrum described above. In it, they describe the shift of profits by these companies from publishing towards data. We know that Elsevier owns Scopus and so are able to drive the listing of all of their own journals therein, and ensure that they attain maximum benefit from inflation of metrics. But did you know that the new academic database on the block, Dimensions, is owned by publishing supergroup SpringerNature?

      • Programming/Development

        • A Lasting Legacy: Thoughts on COBOL

          Today, COBOL is usually either the butt of cruel jokes or a mythical concept in programmer lore, the story usually being that a COBOL guru is rushed in by a massive corporation to write a few lines of program code in exchange for tremendous amounts of money, saving the world from a bug that's just been waiting to happen since some time in 1967. Unlike many other old languages like Assembler, LISP, C, BASIC and Pascal, COBOL seems to stand for itself in discussions about software development. To many developers, it's an afterthought - so much so that when Jonathan Blow cooks up doomsday scenarios, it's a fictional lack of C programmers that threatens civilization rather than most IT professionals' complete disinterest in COBOL - the language that runs both their bank accounts and their airline bookings to Very Important Conferences.

          Why is that, exactly?

        • Introduction to Recurrent Neural Networks

          Recurrent Neural Networks, This is a follow-up to one of our previous posts, which you can read here if you missed it.

          Let’s look into Recurrent Neural Networks and the different types of issues that they may handle. RNN is a deep learning technique that attempts to overcome the difficulty of modeling sequential data.

        • GCC 12 Compiler Squaring Away Its AVX-512 FP16 Support - Phoronix

          In recent weeks the AVX-512 FP16 support has been landing within the GNU Compiler Collection codebase for next year's GCC 12 release.

          This summer Intel posted public documentation around AVX-512 FP16 that allows for full-speed handling of FP16 values compared to the existing AVX-512 support for larger data types. Intel is adding AVX-512 FP16 to future Xeon processors (seemingly with Sapphire Rapids) to help with machine learning workloads and other cases where half-precision floating point numbers are sufficient and this will allow for greater performance.

        • Python

          • Learn Python Functions – TecAdmin

            While programming we often perform the same task repeatedly, such as performing the addition of numbers or printing the same statement with different inputs. These are general examples, but for these would you rather write the same code 10 times or just once?

            That’s the purpose of functions, they’re pieces of code only defined once for a particular task and come with reusable functionality so that users can call them whenever they want to perform a task. This makes your program understandable and debugging easier.

            Sometimes functions require some input and sometimes they may or may not return some value, but all of these vary from function to function and the task assigned to that specific function. In Python, functions are essential parts that may be user-defined or built-in. In this article, we’ll discuss functions in Python, types of functions, how to define them along examples for your better understanding.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Wrestling With Infinity

      I use walking sticks when I walk nowadays, kind of like cross-country skiing in late summer, but I had no idea doing so would connect me with a guy named Joe and open a flow of aching love and the deep desire to matter.

    • True Colors

      Jimmy Carter’s favorite word when he was president was “sacrifice.” Using UC Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project database, I calculate that he uttered it 479 times in speeches and statements during his four-year term. According to the same database, John F. Kennedy, who famously advised Americans to “Ask what you can do for your country,” used it only 60 times in his own public pronouncements.

    • There May Be A New Boss At The DOJ, But The Government Still Loves Its Indefinite Gag Orders

      Despite the DOJ recently drawing heat for its targeting of journalists during internal leak investigations, a lot still hasn't changed about the way demands for data are handled by the feds. Over the past couple of decades, the DOJ and its components have been asking for and obtaining data from service providers, utilizing subpoenas and National Security Letters that come with indefinite gag orders attached.

    • Apparitions

      Some 20 years ago, in Beyond the Shadow of Camptown, a book about Korean military brides in the United States, the historian Ji-Yeon Yuh devoted considerable attention to food. The women brought stateside in the first decades after the Korean War found themselves in “the proverbial land of plenty,” she wrote, yet they wasted away, complaining that “here, there was nothing to eat.” They “not only longed for Korean food, they also searched for it, invented ways to replicate it, and gave it an emotional loyalty they never developed for the American food they ate out of necessity.”

    • [Old] I hope WebDAV dies

      I'm hoping to replace WebDAV in my personal infrastructure as far as possible. It probably won't ever go away, but at least I can try. I've also extended vdirsyncer so I can use it to synchronize a CalDAV/CardDAV-server with a remoteStorage-server. It's still a work-in-progress, but at least it's not a Sisyphean task like writing a CalDAV/CardDAV-client that actually works.

    • Shock of the Old

      Art isn’t meant to be one-size-fits-all, and a book’s popularity is always less about its worthiness than its marketing budget. We all know this. But the problem—particularly for Sally Rooney, whose two novels and two TV deals have sent critics scrambling to theorize her success—is that hype is easily mistaken for claims to preeminence or universality. Which leads people to blame the hyped novelist, rather than the hype itself, for not living up to their highly personal tastes or expectations.1

    • The Least Sympathetic People in the Entire World?
    • 23 Gone, Countless More to Save
    • Education

      • Universities Are Shunning Their Responsibility to Democracy

        The dearth of civic education is corrosive. According to an Associated Press–GfK survey, from 1984 to 2014, the share of American adults who said that staying informed about current affairs and public issues was “not an obligation that a citizen owes to the country” more than tripled, from 6 to 20 percent. Over roughly the same period, according to Cambridge University’s Centre for the Future of Democracy, dissatisfaction with democracy among young people has risen precipitously, particularly in the United States.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Big Pharma Fights Back

        Naturally, no one expects to be able to get $50 billion a year out of the hide of a huge industry without a serious fight. The pharmaceutical companies surely have all their lobbyists working overtime courting members of Congress (primarily Democratic members) whose votes are needed to pass legislation allowing for Medicare to negotiate the prices it pays. They are also flooding the airwaves with ads telling us the horrors that would face us if the industry got lower profits.

        Megan McCardle gave us the essence of their message in her Washington Post column today. McCardle cited a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that projected that negotiated drug prices in Medicare could save $500 billion over the course of the decade. (The idea is to get our drug prices in line with what Germany, Canada, and everyone else pays.)

      • McKinsey Never Told the FDA It Was Working for Opioid Makers While Also Working for the Agency

        Since 2008, McKinsey & Company has regularly advised the Food and Drug Administration’s drug-regulation division, according to agency records. The consulting giant has had its hand in a range of important FDA projects, from revamping drug-approval processes to implementing new tools for monitoring the pharmaceutical industry.

        During that same decade-plus span, as emerged in 2019, McKinsey counted among its clients many of the country’s biggest drug companies — not least those responsible for making, distributing and selling the opioids that have ravaged communities across the United States, such as Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson. At times, McKinsey consultants helped those drugmaker clients fend off costly FDA oversight — even as McKinsey colleagues assigned to the FDA were working to bolster the agency’s regulation of the pharmaceutical market. In one instance, for example, McKinsey consultants helped Purdue and other opioid producers push the FDA to water down a proposed opioid-safety program. The opioid producer ultimately succeeded in weakening the program, even as overdose deaths mounted nationwide.

      • Dr. Vinay Prasad goes full Godwin over COVID-19 public health measures

        Dr. Vinay Prasad has made a stir on social media again, and it’s made me look back to the past. Longtime readers might remember a couple of shticks that I used to use fairly frequently back in the early days of the blog. The first was known as the Hitler Zombie. From his first appearance 16 years ago, Hitler Zombie posts quickly evolved to be written as a series of faux horror stories featuring the rotting corpse of Hitler shambling around looking for brains to eat. When the zombie found a suitable brain to quench his hunger, the victim would soon end up spouting really dumb Nazi or Holocaust analogies. Over the years, the Hitler Zombie’s meals included the brains of Erik Rush, Harry Belafonte, James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, Michael Kay (over baseball, yet!), Adolph Mongo (a local Detroit political activist), Alan Stang, Richard Dawkins, Ben Stein, and many others prone to likening their opponents to Hitler and the Nazis and their ideas to the Holocaust. After a while, quite honestly, I ran out of ideas—there are, after all, only so many variations on the concept of a zombie eating people’s brains and causing them to spew nonsense before repetition sets in—and retired the monster. In retrospect, the device was never really nearly as funny or clever as I thought it was at the time, anyway, although I do think the one about baseball was pretty amusing.

      • Instagram's Mental Health Emergency

        For years psychologists have been warning the public that social media, and Instagram in particular, were contributing to large increases in depression and anxiety in teenagers, especially girls. Jean Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University whose research looks at generational trends found in very large data sets, described in her 2017 book, “iGen,” sharp decreases in behaviours that prepare young people for adulthood such as driving, dating, socialising at parties, and working.

      • 'System Is Blinking Red': Experts Condemn Facebook's Profit-Seeking Algorithms

        Following whistleblower Frances Haugen's Sunday night allegation that Facebook's refusal to combat dangerous lies and hateful content on its platforms is driven by profit, social media experts denounced the corporation for embracing a business model that encourages violence and endangers democracy—and urged the federal government to take action.

        "The government must demand full transparency on how Facebook collects, processes, and shares our data, and enact civil rights and privacy policies to protect the public from Facebook's toxic business model."—Jessica J.€ González,€ Free Press

      • Facebook to take center stage at whistleblower hearing

        Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, came public for the first time in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night, which expanded on the bombshell series of internal documents she leaked to The Wall Street Journal.

        “The choices being made by Facebook’s leadership are a huge problem — for children, for public safety, for democracy — that is why I came forward. And let’s be clear: it doesn’t have to be this way. We are here today because of deliberate choices Facebook has made,” Haugen will say, according to a copy of her testimony reported by The Washington Post.

      • Futuristic farm may use 250 times less water than normal

        The impressive shot, taken by photographer Alastair Philip Wiper, shows the grow hall at Nordic Harvest, a 14-storey vertical farm on the outskirts of Copenhagen in Denmark. Instead of relying on sunlight and soil to grow its crops, Nordic Harvest employs a less conventional approach: it uses robots to seed mainly leafy vegetables, such as salad leaves and herbs, in a nutrient-rich gel substrate that dissolves in water as the plants grow.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Cloud [cracking]: India now 2nd most targeted nation after US [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The most targeted sectors by ransomware in Q2 of 2021 were the government, followed by telecom, energy, and media and communications.

          Spam showed the highest increase of reported incidents -- 250 per cent -- from Q1 to Q2 2021, followed by Malicious Script with 125 per cent and Malware with 47 per cent.

        • The case of the insecure printer

          The latest way to make sure the vendor calls the shots is to insist that printers won't print a page unless they have internet connectivity and are linked to an "HP Smart" account. According to HP, you must connect your HP LaserJet M209dwe, MFP M234dwe, M234sdne, and M234sdwe printers to an HP Smart account before they'll work. (I expect other printers will soon face the same annoying requirement.)

          I'm not happy about this. And it's not just because I'm sure this will monitor my ink or my laserjet cartridge. I'm ticked off because this is a major security hole in my network. I do not want an unauthorized connection to printers in my network reporting who knows what to HP.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Github Removes GTA Fan Projects re3 & reVC Following New Take-Two DMCA Notice

              After Take-Two Interactive sent a legal letter to Github referencing a copyright infringement lawsuit against the people behind the popular re3 and reVC Grand Theft Auto fan projects, Github has now removed the repositories for a second time. Take-Two has also demanded the removal of many project forks and wants Github to take action under its repeat infringer policy.

        • Security

          • Google commits $1M to new Linux Foundation open source security rewards program | VentureBeat

            Google has announced that it’s sponsoring a new open source security program hosted by the Linux Foundation. The Secure Open Source (SOS) Rewards pilot program provides financial incentives for developers working on security around critical open source projects.

            Open source software plays a key role in many essential infrastructure and national security systems, but recent data suggests “upstream” attacks on open source software have increased in the past year as bad actors seek new ways to infiltrate the software supply chain. Moreover, countless organizations — from government agencies to hospitals and corporations — have been hit by targeted software supply chain attacks, leading U.S. President Biden to issue an executive order outlining measures to combat them.

          • Google’s New Spyware in Chrome 94

            Google’s at it again.

            A few weeks ago when Google released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, a new “feature” added by Alphabet all but slipped under the radar. The feature takes the form of a new API the company is calling Idle Detection. It’s not a feature added to benefit users, but is another way for website owners to keep tabs on you.

            Google says the feature is primarily designed for collaborative multi-user applications such as online games, meetings, and chat boxes.

            “The Idle Detection API notifies developers when a user is idle, indicating such things as lack of interaction with the keyboard, mouse, screen, activation of a screensaver, locking of the screen, or moving to a different screen. A developer-defined threshold triggers the notification,” the company said on a web page devoted to all of the gee-whiz stuff that’s included in its ad serving platform web browser.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Hacking the World – Part 1: Hacking Basics
            • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 103: Privacy Reform Comes to Canada – Chantal Bernier on the Passage of Quebec’s Bill 64

              Canadian Press, Bains Explains Update to Canada’s Digital Privacy Law

            • What Happened to Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp?

              Facebook and its sister properties Instagram and WhatsApp are suffering from ongoing, global outages. We don’t yet know why this happened, but the how is clear: Earlier this morning, something inside Facebook caused the company to revoke key digital records that tell computers and other Internet-enabled devices how to find these destinations online.

            • Australian Police Can Now Spy On Citizens, Disrupt Their Computers, Take Over Their Online Accounts, and Change Their Data

              The Australian Digital Rights Watch group calls this a “new mass surveillance mandate“. Perhaps the most detailed description of the law’s new powers comes from the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), which produced a 189-page review of the legislation, also available online by section. It draws on numerous submissions made to PJCIS from a wide range of stakeholders. One of the most authoritative voices, which features prominently throughout the report, is the Law Council of Australia, which represents some 65,000 Australian lawyers. The PJCIS report quotes the Law Council’s summary of why these powers are “extraordinary” in their reach:

            • Facebook Users Union Launches #FireZuck Campaign

              Last night, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told 60 Minutes that Facebook is misleading the public about lies, hate and disinformation on its platform. We wish we were surprised. Time and time again, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has put Facebook’s profits ahead of truth, safety, health and democracy.

              That’s why today the Facebook Users Union launched a #FireZuck campaign telling Facebook that it’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to go. They launched petitions on several platforms and are calling for a protest outside of Mark Zuckerberg’s house in Palo Alto on October 17.

            • Facebook chooses 'profit over safety,' says whistleblower

              The world's largest social media platform has been embroiled in a firestorm brought about by Haugen, who as an unnamed whistleblower shared documents with US lawmakers and The Wall Street Journal that detailed how Facebook knew its products, including Instagram, were harming young girls, especially around body image.

            • EDRi and 39 human rights organisations call on the European Parliament to reject amendments to AI and criminal law report

              In our open letter, we urge the MEPs to support the LIBE Committee’s original report, which we strongly believe took the most balanced and proportional stance on artificial intelligence (AI) in law enforcement from a fundamental rights perspective. AI in the field of law enforcement offers particular challenges for fundamental rights, in particular rights to liberty, security, privacy, a fair trial and non-discrimination, and as such, require particular fundamental rights scrutiny and democratic oversight.

            • Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Back Online

              Reuters news agency reported that users could not access Facebook because they were not being directed to the correct place by the Domain Name System. It said Facebook controls that system, suggesting the problem was an internal one.

            • Facebook, Instagram Go Down: Users See Error Messages on Both Platforms

              The cause of the outages across Facebook’s apps appeared to be related to a configuration change in the company’s domain name system (DNS) entries. The DNS is a critical piece of the internet’s infrastructure that translates human-readable names (like into numeric IP addresses for computing devices.

              According to cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs, the DNS records for and “got withdrawn this morning from the [internet’s] global routing tables,” he wrote in a tweet. Krebs added that the reason for the DNS change is unknown at this point, saying it “could well have been the result of an internal, system-wide change or update that went awry.”

            • Explaining Protocol Failure That Triggered Facebook’s Outage

              Commonly known as DNS, it’s like a phone book for the internet. It’s the tool that converts a web domain, like, into the actual internet protocol, or IP, address where the site resides. Think of as the person one might look up in the white pages, and the IP address as the physical address they’ll find.

            • What is BGP, and how might it have helped kick Facebook off the internet?

              At a very basic level, BGP is one of the systems that the internet uses to get your traffic to where it needs to go as quickly as possible. Because there are tons of different internet service providers, backbone routers, and servers responsible for your data making it to, say, Facebook, there’s a ton of different routes your packets could end up taking. BGP’s job is to show them the way and make sure it’s the best route.

            • Test-takers busted for using Bluetooth-connected flip-flops to cheat

              Dozens of people taking an exam to be teachers in India were caught using flip-flops with wireless communication devices hidden inside. The cheaters wore small Bluetooth earpieces deep in their ear to avoid detection.

            • Cheating on Tests

              Interesting story of test-takers in India using Bluetooth-connected flip-flops to communicate with accomplices while taking a test.

            • Confidentiality

              • Let's Encrypt root certificate expiry causes issues for some

                The expiry on 30 September of a root certificate, IdentTrust DST Root CA X3, belonging to the provider Let's Encrypt has led to some big websites facing problems verifying certificates.

              • Modern TLS has no place left for old things, especially clients

                Regardless of what one things about this situation with modern TLS, it exists (as demonstrated recently in the Let's Encrypt related issues). TLS things that are old today are going to be less and less functional over time; TLS things that are current now but stop being updated will also be less functional over time, but it will take longer for it to really happen. And there's no real prospect of this changing any time soon.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Our Foreign Policy Elite Has Learned Nothing From Afghanistan

        Bush and Cheney sold the war, Obama normalized it, Trump disowned it, and Biden had the courage to end it.

      • Waiting Periods and Background Checks
      • Algerian Judoku Fethi Nourine Suspended: A Brave Individual Pays the Price for Institutional Failure

        As these words are being written, Palestine and those who support freedom and justice commemorate the horrific murder of Muhammad al-Durrah and serious wounding of his father Jamal by Israeli forces in Gaza. It was September of 2000. The video of the killing of 12-year-old Muhammad and wounding of his father, who was trying to shield him, became one of the symbols of the second Palestinian Intifada.

      • Ex-Facebook manager alleges the social network fed the Capitol [insurrection]

        A data scientist who was revealed Sunday as the Facebook whistleblower says that whenever there was a conflict between the public good and what benefited the company, the social media giant would choose its own interests.

        Frances Haugen was identified in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday as the woman who anonymously filed complaints with federal law enforcement that the company's own research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation.

      • More than 50 years later, Mexicans refuse to forget the Tlatelolco Massacre

        And so, on October 2, 1968, just days before the opening of the Games, thousands of university and high school students decided to take advantage and hold a massive rally in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco neighborhood, at a square that represents the Mexican nation’s “Three Cultures” — indigenous, colonial and modern — with the architecture that surrounds it.

        It would take thousands of words to describe what happened that day, and there is still fierce debate as to what exactly came to pass. The few things not in debate: there was military in the area, whose presence increased as the event went on; there were thousands of students and other activists in the square that did not end the rally despite the growing military presence; shooting started.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Environmentalists Demand End to Offshore Drilling as California Faces Oil Spill
      • Leak stopped, but major oil spill closes Southern California beaches

        The oil slick originated from a pipeline connected to an offshore oil platform known as Elly, Foley said on Twitter. Elly is connected by walkway to another platform, Ellen, located just over 8.5 miles (about 14 kilometers) off Long Beach, according to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

        Foley said Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery told her that he encountered the oil slick while in a boat traveling back to the mainland from Santa Catalina Island. “He saw dolphins swimming thru the oil,” Foley tweeted.

      • TikTok Hero and Chevron Foe Donziger Gets Six Months in Jail

        Steven Donziger, the disbarred lawyer who once won an $8.6 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. over contamination of the Amazon rain forest, was sentenced to six months in jail for defying court orders.

      • 'I've Been Targeted With Probably the Most Vicious Corporate Counterattack in American History'

        Steven Donziger has been under house arrest for over 580 days, awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge. It’s all, he says, because he beat a multinational energy corporation in court.

      • Is Chevron’s Vendetta Against Steven Donziger Finally Backfiring?

        Steven Donziger, the human rights lawyer who spent nearly three decades fighting Chevron on behalf of 30,000 people in the Ecuadorian rainforest, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for “criminal contempt.” On October 1, in a lower Manhattan federal courtroom, Judge Loretta Preska justified imposing the maximum penalty by asserting that Donziger, now 60, had not shown contrition. She said, “It seems that only the proverbial two-by-four between the eyes will instill in him any respect for the law.”

      • Siberia’s Hot Streak

        Meanwhile, the Siberian hot streak theoretically threatens the entire planet with methane-induced runaway global warming, the dreaded monster of the North that takes no prisoners. As it’s happening now, in real time today, Siberia is demonstrating the impact of deadly serious climate reactions to too much heat, too soon. This fiasco cannot be dismissed or ignored. It should be at the top of the agenda for COP26 in Glasgow this coming November.

        Moreover, it should also be at the top of the agenda for every leader of every country that attends COP26, or does not attend. The underlying message is straightforward and simple: Clean up the fossil fuel death warrant or risk a red-hot planet with concomitant premature deaths of complex life at lower latitudes by the bucketful. And, that’s just for starters.

      • “Blah, Blah, Blah”: Youth Climate Activists Slam Political Inaction at U.N. Summit Ahead of COP26

        Thousands of youth climate activists marched through the streets of Milan last week demanding world leaders meet their pledges to the Paris Climate Agreement and keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The protest came at the end of a three-day youth climate conference, ahead of the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Activists at the Youth4Climate conference slammed political inaction on the climate crisis and world leaders’ vague pledges to reduce carbon emissions. “Historically, Africa is responsible for only 3% of global emissions,” said Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate. “And yet Africans are already suffering some of the most brutal impacts fueled by the climate crisis.” Swedish activist Greta Thunberg mocked the jargon politicians use to talk about climate and the environment. “Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: words — words that sound great but so far has led to no action,” said Thunberg. “Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises.”

      • Youth Climate Activists Slam Political Inaction at UN Summit Ahead of COP26
      • Watch the 2021 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards

        The Nation cofounded Covering Climate Now with Columbia Journalism Review in 2019, forming a consortium that now has over 450 member organizations all working to nurture more—and better—climate journalism. On October 6 at 4 pm ET, join NBC News’ Al Roker and Savannah Sellers as they host the first annual Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards honoring extraordinary climate journalism produced by newsrooms large and small around the world.

        The 2021 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards special provides a global snapshot of the climate emergency as told through the exemplary work of the world’s best climate journalists. Special guests Vanessa Nakate, a climate justice activist from Uganda, and Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy, underscore the essential role of journalists at this moment that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has termed a “code red for humanity.”

      • Opinion | Climate Crisis: Failure Is Not an Option on Reconciliation

        One hundred million Americans experienced climate disasters this year. Hundreds of people died in unprecedented heat, the West burned and the East choked on its smoke, and again, we're running out of letters for hurricanes. It's like the climate is asking "can you hear me now?" and Congress is studiously ignoring it as they toy with failing, again, to take bold climate action. We cannot let them fail us.

      • UK Chancellor Criticised for ‘Silence’ on Climate Change in Party Conference Speech

        Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband has labelled Rishi Sunak a “climate delayer” after the UK chancellor said almost nothing about climate change in his speech at the Conservative Party conference today.

        Sunak spoke about the post-pandemic economic recovery and promising new jobs in science and technology, but campaigners said the virtual absence of climate change was a “damaging sign” ahead of the COP26 summit due to start in Glasgow in under a month.

      • Opinion | Beware Big Ag's Sleight of Hand on 'Net Zero'
      • 'We Don't Have 30 More Years': McDonald's Rebuked for Greenwashing Climate Pledge

        "If McDonald's changed its menu immediately it would make a big difference but waiting until 2050 is insufficient to avoid climate catastrophe."

      • Global Religious Leaders, Scientists Issue Joint Call for 'Radical' Climate Action

        Dozens of religious leaders and scientists came together in Vatican City on Monday to demand "urgent, radical, and responsible action" to address the climate emergency and related challenges that threaten humanity and "life on our beautiful common home."

        "We have inherited a garden: We must not leave a desert to our children."—Joint appeal

      • Making a Living

        We have named the era of runaway climate change the “Anthropocene,” which tells you everything you need to know about how we understand our tragic nature. Human beings are apparently insatiable consuming machines; we are eating our way right through the biosphere. The term seems to suggest that the relentless expansion of the world economy, which the extraction and burning of fossil fuels has made possible, is hard-wired into our DNA. Seen from this perspective, attempting to reverse course on global warming is likely to be a fool’s errand. But is unending economic growth really a defining feature of what it means to be human?

      • Energy

        • 'Speeding in the Wrong Direction,' Fossil Fuel Demand Tops Pre-Pandemic Levels

          Climate campaigners and energy experts are responding to a recent rise in fossil fuel demand by reiterating the necessity of rapidly transitioning to renewable sources like solar and wind, with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg warning Monday that "we are still speeding in the wrong direction."

          Thunberg yet again took aim at world leaders' empty promises to combat the climate emergency, including through policies and investments provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic. As she put it: "So much for 'building back better' and a 'green recovery.'"

        • Biden Admin Slammed for Plowing Ahead With 'Illegal' Lease Sale Amid Offshore Oil Spills

          Less than 48 hours after one of the worst oil spills in Southern California history was first spotted—and as officials continue to monitor oil leaks that started weeks ago when Hurricane Ida collided with the Gulf Coast's extensive fossil fuel infrastructure—the Biden administration on Monday confirmed its plan to expand offshore drilling, provoking resistance from environmental advocates.

          "This is a continuation of the prior administration's reckless and unlawful behavior."—Brettny Hardy, Earthjustice

        • 'Tear It Down': Climate Campaigners Arrested Outside New England's Last Coal Plant

          Activists with 350 New Hampshire and the No Coal No Gas campaign on Sunday blockaded the entrance to New England's only remaining coal plant without a shutdown date, where they declared that they'll "do what must be done to close Bow and stop the climate crisis."

          Video and photos shared on social media of the event outside the Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire show a row of seated protesters with their arms locked together and standing demonstrators holding a banner that read, "Tear it down." Between those groups were two activists with pickaxes breaking up the pavement where the group subsequently planted flowers.

        • Another Major Oil Spill Hits the Southern California Coast

          The inevitable happened Saturday when a major€ oil spill off the Orange County coast€ reportedly€ dumped at least 126,000 gallons of oil into coastal waters and local wetlands.

          The source of the 13-square mile spill was apparently from a€ leak from a pipeline connected to Platform Elly, located five miles off the Huntington Beach and just over 7 miles off€ Long Beach.€ The offshore rig is one of€ three€ operated off the coast by€ Beta€ Offshore, a Long€ Beach, California-based unit of Houston-based Amplify€ Energy€ Corporation. Royal Dutch Shell PLC installed the platforms in 1980.

        • The age of fossil-fuel abundance is dead

          The potentially inflationary upheaval will not be good for a world that still gets most of its energy from fossil fuels. But it may at least accelerate the shift to greener—and cheaper—sources of energy.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Public Lands Open to Livestock Grazing Should Not Count Toward 30x30 Goals

          While much of the public (and apparently some in the Biden administration) might not know the difference between a national park, national forest, or BLM-administered public lands, the differences are stark. Most importantly, Forest Service and BLM lands are not necessarily managed to protect native wildlife and clean water or sequester atmospheric carbon, despite agency claims that they manage their lands for “long-term sustainability.” While the Forest Service’s Deputy Chief Chris French says “the majority of National Forest System lands meet the conservation goal” laid out in 30×30, history and reality demonstrate this statement is not based in reality.

          For instance, there is a particular project in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming called the€ Landscape Vegetation Analysis Project, which will allow for cutting of up to 288,000 acres over the next 15 years. This includes the ability to clearcut up to 86,000 acres and bulldoze in up to 600 miles of “temporary” logging roads. The notion that national forest lands like these should be included in the America the Beautiful Program or the 30×30 Initiative would be unacceptable by the American public.

        • Can the BLM be Fixed? Tracy Stone-Manning Takes the Helm of a Broken Agency

          Director Stone-Manning steps into an agency that has been gutted of many of its career professionals during the Trump administration. The Trump administration enforced an Orwellian Newspeak, removing the use of “climate change” on official documents and websites with the goal of reversing the progress toward clean, renewable energy and to fast-track fossil fuel production on public lands and the federal mineral deposits beneath private lands. Then, a much-ballyhooed move of the Washington, DC agency headquarters to an oil and gas industry office building in Grand Junction, Colorado caused more than 87% of the headquarters staff to quit. The senior staff that survived the purge is heavily skewed in the image of the anti-conservation and pro-industry Trump administration, and according to polling three-quarters of agency staff think the agency is headed in the wrong direction.

          There are the longstanding land management issues that got the agency derisively branded as the “Bureau of Livestock and Mining” by author Edward Abbey, and vigorously scalded in the more recent book, This Land. Stone-Manning faces problems old and new, taking charge of a bureaucracy that has historically let commercial industry run roughshod over public lands with hardly a pretense for conserving land health, native wildlife, or public recreation opportunities.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Did a US Envoy Meet With the Head of a Fascist Militia in India?

        The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Modi has committed egregious human rights violations against wide swaths of the Indian population. In just the two years since getting reelected in 2019, the government has changed naturalization laws to discriminate against Muslims and charged critics of this new law with sedition.

        It has escalated the conflict in Kashmir, used pellet guns against peaceful protesters (which can cause serious eye injuries leading to blindness), and detained thousands (including children) without trial under cover of a complete news, landline phone, mobile phone, and internet shutdown that lasted seven months.

      • Former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham Says She Regrets Enabling Trump's Lies
      • Canberra told to backpedal on cybersecurity intervention

        The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has recommended that a bill amending the 2018 Security of Critical Infrastructure Act be split into two, with further consultation on parts of concern to universities.

        The act gives Canberra a role in protecting the online security of ports, energy and water utilities. The amendment, introduced late last year, would beef up the government’s powers and extend them to other sectors including higher education.

      • Why this Facebook scandal is different

        Facebook has already responded to the allegations with defense from a familiar playbook, similar to its response to President Joe Biden’s criticism that the platform was “killing people” because of the spread of Covid-19 misinformation on the platform. The company and its leaders are arguing that the allegations are sensationalized and untrue, that information is being taken out of context, and that Facebook isn’t the only one to blame for the world’s problems.

      • Why the Media Is (Mostly) Screwing Up What’s Happening With Democrats

        Second, it’s not the left’s agenda; it’s Biden’s. It’s exactly what he proposed during the 2020 campaign. The “left’s” version of the reconciliation bill totaled $6 trillion; it was already cut back to $3.5 trillion, with Biden’s encouragement. In fact, Manchin and Sinema even voted to proceed to debate that $3.5 trillion bill, while making clear that they still had some issues with it (and still not making clear what those issues were). The actual “left agenda” includes Medicare for All, free college, an ambitious Green New Deal, higher tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy… and so on. Biden’s not with them on a lot of that agenda.


        So it’s actually the progressives who have compromised; they are the pragmatists. The so-called “moderates”—let’s call them Conservadems; they’re anything but moderate—are in fact the whiny, take-it-or-leave-it babies here. In short, alliance with progressives is the only way for Biden to achieve his agenda; it is the Conservadems who put it at risk.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Infrastructure And Content Moderation: Challenges And Opportunities

        The signs were clear right from the start: at some point, content moderation would inevitably move beyond user-generated platforms down to the infrastructure—the place where services operate the heavy machinery of the Internet and without which user-facing services cannot function. Ever since the often-forgotten incident when Amazon stopped hosting Wikileaks after US political pressure took place in 2010, there has been a steady uneasiness regarding the role infrastructure providers could end up playing in the future of content moderation.€ 

      • Swedish 'Mohammad' cartoonist Lars Vilks killed in car crash

        Since the publication of the cartoons, Vilks had been living under round-the-clock police guard following threats against his life. He had a bounty put on his head and his house was fire-bombed.

        In 2015, one person was killed in Copenhagen, Denmark, at a meeting meant to mark the 25th anniversary of an Iranian fatwa against British writer Salman Rushdie, which Vilks attended.

      • Right-Wing Commentator Dan Bongino Runs Into Florida Anti-SLAPP Law, Now Owes Daily Beast $32,000 In Legal Fees

        Venue selection matters, as right-wing political commentator/defamation lawsuit loser Dan Bongino is now discovering. He sued the Daily Beast over an article about his apparent expulsion from the National Rifle Association's video channel, NRATV. After trying (and failing) to get a comment from Bongino about this ouster, reporter Lachlan Markay published his article, updating it later when Bongino decided he did actually want to talk about it.

      • Trump Sues to Restore Twitter Account Ahead of Likely 2024 Presidential Run
      • In Josh Hawley's World, People Should Be Able To Sue Facebook Both For Taking Down Stuff They Don't Like AND Leaving Up Stuff They Don't Like

        Last year, Josh Hawley introduced one of his many, many pathetic attempts at changing Section 230. That bill, the "Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act" would create a private right of action allowing individuals to sue any social media company if they were unhappy that some of their content was removed, and to seek a payout. The obvious implication, as with a ton of bad faith claims by populists who pretend to be "conservative" is that websites shouldn't do any moderation at all.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The CIA Plan to Poison Assange Wasn’t Needed. The US Found a ‘Lawful’ Way to Disappear Him

        Shocking as the revelations are – exposing the entirely lawless approach of the main US intelligence agency – the Yahoo investigation nonetheless tends to obscure rather than shine a light on the bigger picture.

        Assange has not been deprived of his freedom for more than a decade because of an unimplemented rogue operation by the CIA. Rather, he has been held in various forms of captivity – disappeared – through the collaborations of various national governments and their intelligence agencies, aided by legal systems and the media, that have systematically violated his rights and legal due process.

      • US appeal on Assange extradition to be heard on 27 and 28 Oct

        A hearing on an US appeal to strike down a court decision and allow the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be held on 27 and 28 October at the High Court in London, according to a message from the Don't Extradite Assange campaign.

      • Finland supplements its reply on Sanoma’s complaint concerning YLE

        According to the supplementary reply, the complaint is largely based on false assumptions about the market and does not sufficiently take into account general market trends and the special status of YLE.

        Due to EU legislation and its implementation, correspondence with the Commission is, as a rule, confidential. However, the Ministry of Transport and Communications aims to address the matter as openly and transparently as possible.

        When Finland sent the supplementary reply, it requested the Commission’s permission to release a public version of it. Finland is currently waiting for the Commission to response to the request. After having presented a corresponding request in spring 2021 with regard to the first reply, Finland received a permission from the Commission to publish those documents.

      • [Old] Slovenian authorities should halt the deterioration of freedom of expression and media freedom

        The Commissioner warns that some steps taken by the Slovenian government in recent months risk undermining the ability of independent voices to speak freely. She stresses that hostile public discourse, as well as smear campaigns and intimidation targeting civil society activists and those who express critical opinions, harm free expression and can have a chilling effect on media freedom.

        The Commissioner calls on the Slovenian authorities to take action to appease tensions in society and to encourage mutual respect in the exchange of opinions. Noting the specific responsibility of political leaders in this regard, she calls in particular on members of the government to make a responsible and dignified use of social media platforms. “Members of the government must refrain from making stigmatising and misleading comments about the work of civil society, and should publicly condemn such discourse by others”, said the Commissioner.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 'Milestone Moment' for Labor as 98% of Major TV-Film Union Votes to Strike

        Close to 100% of the 60,000-member film and television production employees union voted Monday to approve a strike in the coming days if studios don't agree to a fair deal for the lowest-paid workers who make movies and television shows possible.

        "Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep, and a weekend."—Matthew Loeb, IATSE

      • Massachusetts Chief of Police Sends Racist Emails to Town Officials, Keeps Job

        “I couldn’t resist!!!”

        That’s the last line of a particularly racist email sent by Leyden, Massachusetts Police Chief Daniel Galvis to town officials and fellow officers on March 8, 2016.

      • Cori Bush Among Advocates Demanding Clemency for Ernest Lee Johnson Ahead of Scheduled Execution

        "Like slavery and lynching did before it, the death penalty perpetuates cycles of trauma, violence, and state-sanctioned murder in Black and brown communities."—Reps. Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)

      • Native Americans: the First and Forgotten Slaves

        As a full-time substitute teacher in a school system on the Eastern US seaboard, I am assigned to cover for state-certified teachers who are absent from duty. I’ve had many assignments over the past couple of years including working with special education/students with disabilities, and monitoring Spanish, Math, Art, and US History classes. It was the content, or lack thereof, of the US History class that was the impetus for this article.

        Students in the US History class were learning about the various Native American tribes located across the United States. The assignments included determining former tribal locations on a blank map of the United States using crayons, and writing a postcard about the hunting, foraging and tools/technologies of assorted tribes such as the Lakota of the Great Plains, the Iroquois of the Northeast Forests, and the KwaKiutl of the Pacific Northwest.

      • In 'Major Victory' for Abortion Rights, Biden to Reverse Trump-Era Domestic Gag Rule

        Supporters of reproductive rights on Monday celebrated the Biden administration's decision to reverse a Trump-era policy barring health clinics that get federal family planning funds from providing referrals for abortions—a policy that critics had called the "domestic gag rule."

        "We thank the Biden-Harris administration for swiftly ending the harmful policy and prioritizing access to sexual and reproductive healthcare."—Alexis McGill Johnson, PPFA

      • Bans Off Our Bodies: Planned Parenthood Pres. on Abortion Bans, Bills in Congress & the Supreme Court

        After thousands of people marched in hundreds of rallies across the United States to protest against tightening abortion restrictions, we speak with Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson, who says the weekend actions represent “a movement moment” for reproductive rights. “More than 80% of Americans believe that Roe should be the law of the land,” she says. “And yet, in state after state, these horrific restrictions and bans are continuing to further erode our ability to access our constitutional right.”

      • Your Body My Choice?

        It takes a minute to explain, but I use going to the bathroom as an example. It is good for a laugh, but students remember the recent efforts to decide who gets to use which bathrooms, and obviously we want to be careful about our waste, and so on…

        There is good reason people cannot walk out into the middle of a traffic, pull down their pants, and urinate between passing cars. It would create a hazard and threaten everyone’s safety.

      • “We Demand Better”: Reps. Cori Bush, Pramila Jayapal & Barbara Lee Share Their Own Abortion Stories

        Thousands marched Saturday in more than 600 demonstrations across the United States to protest increasing state restrictions on abortion. The “Bans Off Our Bodies” rallies were sparked in part by a near-total ban on abortion that went into effect in Texas on September 1, which bans the procedure after about six weeks and lets anyone sue the doctor and others who help a person obtain an abortion. Ahead of Saturday’s nationwide actions, several Democratic House members shared their own experiences getting abortions during a hearing Thursday, including California Congressmember Barbara Lee, who said she was just 16 when she had to travel to Mexico for a so-called back-alley abortion in the days before Roe v. Wade, and Congressmember Cori Bush, who described getting an abortion after she was raped at 17. “To all the Black women and girls who have had abortions and will have abortions: We have nothing to be ashamed of,” Bush said. “We deserve better. We demand better. We are worthy of better.”

      • Catharsis

        We are thrilled to announce that we have reached an agreement to settle the charge against Amazon at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that the company illegally fired us for speaking up about warehouse workers' conditions during COVID. This is a win for protecting workers rights, and shows that we were right to stand up for each other, for justice, and for our world. Amazon will be required to pay us our lost wages and post a notice to all of its tech and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon can't fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights.

      • Digital Transparency: A Right to Information Report for September, 2021

        Since our last report for the month of August, IFF has filed 26 RTI requests and 3 First Appeals. Here, we give you an overview of the requests filed and an analysis of the responses we have received from the different public authorities. This report highlights why demanding transparency and accountability from Government authorities is one of the key elements in our fight to protect digital rights.


        The Right to Information Act, 2005 was enacted to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority by ensuring that citizens are able secure access to information under the control of public authorities. Facilitating such access is necessary to ensure that democratic processes are not subverted by public authorities acting under private interests. Where transparency is not upheld as a value of public decision-making, citizens are at a disadvantage when it comes to keeping a check on abuse of power by the public authorities.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • South Korean ISP Somehow Thinks Netflix Owes It Money Because Squid Game Is Popular

        We've noted for a while how the world's telecom executives have a fairly entrenched entitlement mindset. As in, they often tend to jealously eye streaming and online ad revenues and assume they're inherently owed a cut of those revenues just because at some point they traveled on their networks. You saw this hubris at play during AT&T's claims that "big tech" gets a "free ride" on their networks, which insisted that companies like Google should pay them significant, additional troll tolls "just because" (which triggered the entire net neutrality fight in the States).

    • Monopolies

      • Opinion: EU must grasp DSA opportunity as changes trickle in [Ed: "Opinion" means "we sell this agenda for our sponsors"]

        It is probably both good and bad in equal measure that getting EU legislation over the line appears tougher than even the most gruelling of marathons.

        The Digital Services Act (DSA), which concerns consumer safety online, is currently experiencing this.

        The European Commission tabled its long-awaited proposals at the end of last year, but only now are suggested amendments beginning to creep in from three European Parliament committees: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), Legal Affairs (JURI), and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

      • Facebook Outage Shows Risks of Its Monopoly, Ocasio-Cortez Says

        The Federal Trade Commission has sued Facebook, alleging that the company engaged in an anticompetitive strategy of buying companies, including the photo-sharing service Instagram and the messaging platform WhatsApp, to neutralize them as potential competitors. The FTC initially approved both deals but now says they should be unwound.

      • Korea Antitrust Regulator Steers Away From Harsh Tech Crackdown

        Regulators will impose only the minimum necessary regulations and intervene solely where it is imperative to do so, Joh Sung-wook, chairperson of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, told Bloomberg Television in Seoul. The agency’s priority is to prevent companies with dominant market power from abusing it and hurting competition, she added.

      • Patents

        • 10 Tips for Implementing AI and IP in to Your Business [Ed: Combining two lies/acronyms/buzzwords in one headline to put together patent paid-for propaganda for patent litigation conglomerates]

          Last week, Nick McDonald, Peter Finnie and Mark Nichols hosted a webinar on 10 Tips for Implementing AI and IP in to Your Business. They discussed key considerations for businesses around the development and protection of AI solutions, obtaining and using input data and protecting AI outputs.

        • Trouble Arises In Legal Documents On Intellectual Property Rights Related To AI [Ed: No, there's no such thing as "Hey Hi" and "Intellectual Property Rights" is just three lies in a row. Lies have become the norm and buzzwords are the language of thieving litigation fanatics.]

          AI systems rely heavily on data. The access to data and the use of data to set up AI systems can cause intellectual property problems when the data is protected by copyright and related rights. Accordingly, artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are not just for Big Business but it's a problem that all businesses will embrace in the coming future.

          In computer science, artificial intelligence or AI is intelligence demonstrated by machines, as opposed to the natural intelligence of humans. Typically, the term "artificial intelligence" is often used to describe machines (or computers) that are capable of mimicking the "cognitive" functions that humans would normally associate with the mind, like "learning" and "problem-solving".


          The methods for strengthening the harmonization between AI and IP may consist of setting up agreements, contracts of assignment for data containing the IPR of others. In addition, data sets created by enterprises themselves for AI or ML practice need to be identified, labeled, and apply security measures and restrict access.

          Businesses can also apply similar measures to principles, structures, algorithms, methods that can help ML to develop self-learning capability which can make AI and ML aggregate data, analysis, and predictions. However, this method is not optimal because it limits the cooperation and development of AI and ML.

          In addition, if an enterprise creates its software using AI, it is advisable to register for copyright protection of that software right away because protecting the AI system is sometimes more important than the products created by the AI system themselves.

        • A comparison of patent law development [Ed: Patents were meant to advance science, but now the media and this entire system is dominated by parasitic litigation firms, trying to change law in the name of 'harmony' (i.e. changing things always in their own favour, just like munition manufacturers pushing for wars)]

          Patent legislation across Asian jurisdictions is constantly catching up with the pandemic’s demands, with stronger protection, foreign filing and higher compensation being common themes. However, the gaps persist, and businesses need to fathom the domestic barriers to stay ahead.

        • Developments re Fintiv Discretionary Denials of IPR Petitions [Ed: PTAB throws out loads of fake patents and the coy patent litigation firms cannot contain their toxic bias]

          As we’ve noted in earlier blog posts, following the Fintiv decision, the PTAB has been denying petitions where a federal court is likely to decide validity before a final would be reached by the PTAB. A study by Unified Patents shows that 38% of petition denials in 2021 are due to Fintiv.

          Many believe Fintiv goes against the intent of the America Invents Act, to allow determining patent validity in the Patent Office, before technical examiners who are best qualified to evaluate validity. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), a co-author of the original Leahy-Smith America Invents ACT, announced on Weds., Sept. 29 that he is introducing a bill that would restore the IPR process to what Congress intended. Among other reforms, it reportedly would overrule Fintiv, and replace it with a list of limited factors for discretionary denial.

        • Move quickly to ratify patent court, IBEC urges [Ed: Propaganda arm of Team UPC, owned by Team UPC, spreads lies and blackmails politicians based on intentional falsehoods. They attack science to promote more litigation billing.]

          Business group IBEC has called on the Government to move quickly to ratify an agreement that creates a unified patent system across Europe.

          A Unified Patent Court is expected to begin operating next year, and Ireland had previously committed itself to establishing a local division of the court.

        • DABUS Again Denied in the US and the UK, Part III – Implications for Australia [Ed: Patent attorney from Australia recognising that only Australia was gullible or dumb enough to not understand patent law and in turn offer patents or monopolies to mere bots. Hilarious.

          In both the US and the UK, patent offices have refused to allow applications filed by Dr Stephen Thaler to proceed, on the basis that the named inventor – an ‘AI’ machine dubbed DABUS – is not a human being. In the first article in this series I looked at the US approach to the role of the inventor in patent law and practice, and at the recent decision of Judge Leonie M Brinkema in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (‘EDVA’) upholding the USPTO’s decision. In the second, I discussed the split decision of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, which upheld (by a 2-1 majority) the decisions of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the High Court.

          In Australia, the Patent Office also refused to allow a corresponding application by Dr Thaler to proceed. In contrast to the US and the UK, however, that decision was overturned by Justice Beach in the Federal Court. The Commissioner of Patents has now appealed that ruling to a Full Bench of the Court (case no. VID496/2021). In this article, I will be looking at the potential implications of the recent US and UK decision for the conduct and outcome of the appeal in Australia.

        • Adhera Receives European Patent Covering MLR-1019 and Derivatives for Treating Dyskinesias [Ed: Waste of press release money when one announces the granting of a European Patent given the chaos in the EPO. One has to wonder aloud if Adhera has been keeping abreast of the news (what's left of it) and is aware that today's EPO grants loads and loads of fake patents just to collect money]
        • Negative sentiment around Biden IP policies grows, survey reveals [Ed: Think tank and propaganda mill IAM is lobbying Biden into putting patent litigation moles everywhere, attacking science for the lawsuits industry's gain]

          IAM’s panel of global IP business leaders deliver a scathing judgment on the Biden Administration’s patent policies in our Q3 benchmarking survey, but likes what it sees in Europe

        • After years of delay the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent might be just around the corner [Ed: This is classic fake news (paid-for too) from Carpmaels & Ransford LLP]

          The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is gaining momentum and looks increasingly likely to come into force in 2022 following a flurry of recent developments.

          For the UPC to come into force, a number of EU Member States need to approve an administrative update (the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement, or “PAP-Protocol”) to enable a “soft-start” period to commence. Following the resolution of a third constitutional challenge in Germany, a number of significant and positive steps have been taken by participating Member States which mean we are increasingly sure the court is finally on its way.

        • A Year and 3.5 Million Deaths Later, 'Greed Is Triumphing Over Human Life' in Vaccine Fight

          A full year has now passed—and roughly 3.5 million people worldwide have died—since India and South Africa first introduced their proposal to temporarily suspend patent protections for coronavirus vaccines, part of an effort to boost the inadequate global supply of lifesaving shots.

          "It is simply shameful that a handful of wealthy governments continue to monopolize vaccine supply."

        • Software Patents

          • Dominion Harbor entity, Sovereign Peak Ventures, patent likely invalid [Ed: Microsoft-connected patent trolls 1, 2] with their fake patents]

            On October 4, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 9,042,457, owned by Sovereign Peak Ventures, a Dominion Harbor entity. The ’457 patent relates to video processing and has been asserted against LG and TCL.

          • Preclusion; Customer Lawsuits; and the Kessler Doctrine [Ed: Litigation firms-funded Dennis Crouch and patent trolls he 'sympathises' with]

            This is a core civil procedure case pending before the Supreme Court. Of course, procedure can and often does have a major impact on substantive rights. The Supreme Court has now issued a Call for the Views of the Solicitor General (CVSG)–seeking the government’s input on whether to hear the case. Although certiorari is certainly not guaranteed, CVSG is generally seen as a major step in that direction.


            Preclusion cases always involve two lawsuits, and the question is whether something that happened in the first lawsuit precludes a party from taking some action in the section lawsuit. Here, PersonalWeb sued Amazon for patent infringement back in 2011 based upon Amazon’s use of its S3 cloud storage services. However, after a narrow claim construction, PersonalWeb stipulated to dismissal of its case with prejudice. In 2018, PersonalWeb sued a number of Amazon customers for post-2011 activities. The courts dismissed the case — holding that the action was barred by the Kessler Doctrine.

      • Copyrights

        • 'Hacker Used Victim's Email Address to Sign Up with Pirate Site YTS'

          A group of independent movie companies continues its quest to hold VPNs and their hosting partners responsible for piracy. The latest target is Datacamp, also known as CDN77 and DataPacket. As part of this lawsuit, the film companies note that one alleged pirate used a "hacked" email address to steal money and register a YTS account.

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