Links 23/1/2020: Qubes OS 4.0.3, EasyOS 2.2.5, GhostBSD 20.01

Posted in News Roundup at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux needs easier bug reporting tools

      I get that developers need specific information for bug reports, but in many cases, the extraction of that information is beyond the pay grade of the average user. Take, for instance, the backtrace. The backtrace command is a powerful tool that allows the user to start an application while gathering specific information about why a program might not be running properly. This is not a command built for the new user. I’ve been using Linux since the late 1990s and I have to remind myself how the tool is used (because I don’t use it often).

    • Microsoft

      • WindiLeaks: 250 million Microsoft customer support records dating back to 2005 exposed to open internet

        Five identical Elasticsearch databases containing 250 million records of Microsoft customer support incidents were exposed on the internet for all to see for at least two days right at the end of 2019.

        On 28 December 2019, these databases were found by BinaryEdge, which crawls the internet looking for exposed data. This was then picked up by security researcher Bob Diachenko, who reported the problem to Microsoft.

        Microsoft secured the databases over 30-31 December, winning praise from Diachenko for “quick turnaround on this despite [it being] New Year’s Eve”.

        That is cold comfort for customers whose data was exposed. What has been picked up by security researchers may well also have been found by criminals.

      • Microsoft to Force Bing Search in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus Users

        Microsoft has announced that they will install a new Google Chrome extension for some Office 365 ProPlus customers that will force the browser to use Bing as the default search engine “to access relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar.”

        The Microsoft Search in Bing extension will be added to all new Office 365 ProPlus installations and when updating to newer releases. The only customers that won’t have this Chrome extension installed automatically are those that already have set Bing as their default Chrome search engine.

      • Top 7 Predictions for Linux and Open Source In 2020 {Ed: This repeats the lie that GitHub is “Open Source” when in fact it was all along a proprietary software trap]

        When it comes to prediction for Linux and open source in 2020, there are already a lot to take in to consider that 2020 will be a very eventful year in the open source community. 2020 already looks like a year with so much to offer already, so, I will quickly run through what the predictions are for the year.


        This is something that looks almost certain to hope that you could ask if I was really predicting or reporting. In 2020, expect there will be more smartphones running on Linux not androids and there will be Linux applications running on it, not android applications.

        It was earlier announced that, there will be bulk shipping of Purism’s Librem 5 in 2020. We also expect that Pine64′s Pine phone to start shipping in 2020 as well. With these two Linux-powered smart phones leading the way, you can expect there’ll be more to come in 2020.

        Not just smartphones now, I expect to see laptops running Linux fast underway, especially from companies like Dell, Entroware, Slimbook, and Tuxedo. So, we might also get to see a Linux laptop not based on the combo of Intel/NVidia.

      • Linux Mint with Windows 7 Theme

        This article explains step by step to change GNU/Linux Mint operating system user interface to mimic W7 especially after its official support ended in this January 2020. You can practice this tutorial in Cinnamon Edition and you will install 2 types of theme plus 1 original wallpaper here. By this tutorial, I want to help people who find it’s easier to migrate to Free Software if their desktop looks like their previous OS. I believe helping them are good and useful. And I hope by publishing this more people will come to help B00merang Project and others alike to develop these themes. I hope your switch from W7 to GNU/Linux goes easier, smoother, and perfect. Enjoy!

    • Server

      • The evolution of a Linux sysadmin

        We’ve all got a story, right? I don’t know if anyone would read mine, but, to the right audience, it might sound familiar, or at least relatable. My life is sort of fractured between two things I’m passionate about. One is the off-road industry, and the other is open source software. Some time ago, I was involved in a YouTube “challenge” where a bunch of us off-road enthusiasts were asked to share our story, and I told the tale of how I got involved in “Jeeping” and why we do what we do in that space. Here, I am about to tell the other side of my story, where I’m a computer guy with a bunch of nerd cred. So hang on while I tell you the story of a broke high-school kid who stumbled into a career.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 beta arrives

          Red Hat has just announced that it’s releasing the next beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2. Even at this early stage, RHEL 8.2 looks like a release most Red Hat users will want to adopt.

          As Red Hat sysadmin Christian Labisch observed, the ability to register your system, attach RHEL subscriptions, and install from the Content Delivery Network (CDN) before package installation is “a huge improvement.”

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Beta Released With New Features

          The Red Hat team has finally finished the second maintenance update for the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, whose beta version is now available for download.

          Dedicated for building leading Enterprise-based Linux platform with the commitment of minor bug fixes and improvements every six months, RHEL 8.2 beta comes with the latest new features and updates in software management, security, kernel, latest hardware configuration, and monitoring and performance capabilities.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for SAP Solutions on IBM POWER9: An open foundation to power intelligent business decisions

          At Red Hat Summit 2019, we unveiled Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the next generation of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, which provides the scale, flexibility and innovation to drive enterprise workloads across the hybrid cloud. Even with the advancements across the platform, we recognize that there’s no singular panacea to overcome every unique IT challenge. To meet these needs, Red Hat delivers specialized offerings built around Red Hat Enterprise Linux to address specific hardware, applications and environment requirements, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 continues this strategy with the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for SAP Solutions on IBM Power Systems (POWER9).

        • OpenShift 4.3: Quay Container Security Integration

          In the Red Hat OpenShift 4.2 Web UI Console, we introduced a new Cluster Overview Dashboard as the landing page when users first log in. The dashboard is there to help users resolve issues more efficiently and maintain a healthy cluster. With the latest 4.3 release, we added an image security section to the cluster health dashboard card. This section will appear on the dashboard when the Container Security Operator gets installed.

        • Deploying OpenSCAP on Satellite using Ansible

          In many environments today, security is one of the top priorities. New information security vulnerabilities are discovered regularly, and these incidents can have a significant impact on businesses and their customers. Red Hat customers I talk to are frequently looking for tools they can use to help evaluate and secure their environments.

          One of these tools is OpenSCAP, which is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and can perform compliance and vulnerability scanning on RHEL servers. Satellite makes OpenSCAP easier to use by allowing you to deploy the OpenSCAP agent to hosts, manage the OpenSCAP policies centrally, and to view OpenSCAP reports from the Satellite web interface.

        • RHEL 8.2 Beta Application Streams Bring GCC 9.1, Python 3.8

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 entered public beta this week as the latest installment to RHEL8.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 is making it easier to register your RHEL subscription during the installation process, progress on in-place upgrades from RHEL6/RHEL7, an updated Performance Co-Pilot, and better eBPF integration.

        • Using Kubernetes ConfigMaps to define your Quarkus application’s properties

          So, you wrote your Quarkus application, and now you want to deploy it to a Kubernetes cluster. Good news: Deploying a Quarkus application to a Kubernetes cluster is easy. Before you do this, though, you need to straighten out your application’s properties. After all, your app probably has to connect with a database, call other services, and so on. These settings are already defined in your application.properties file, but the values match the ones for your local environment and won’t work once deployed onto your cluster.

          So, how do you easily solve this problem? Let’s walk through an example.

        • Deploy PostgreSQL in OpenShift backed by OpenShift Container Storage

          PostgreSQL has been the fastest growing open source RDBMS over the past decade. It has a solid community and has been around for many years adding more and more features. PostgreSQL features ACID (Atomicity, Consistent, Isolation and Durability) properties. It has indexes (primary/unique), updatable views, triggers, foreign keys (FKs) and even stored procedures (SPs). PostgreSQL also features built-in replication via shipping the WAL (Write Ahead Log) to a number of different database replicas. These replicas can be used in read-only mode. It also has a synchronous replication, where the master waits for at least one replica to have written the data before ACKing.

        • Convert2RHEL: How to update RHEL-like systems in place to subscribe to RHEL

          Convert2RHEL: How to update RHEL-like systems in place to subscribe to RHEL

          Over the years, one of the requests Red Hat has gotten over and over again is for help converting other Linux systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, in place. We’re happy to announce the availability of Convert2RHEL in EPEL. This is a tool that can be used for the conversion of other-than-RHEL systems to RHEL to allow Red Hat to provide support for them. In this post we’ll look at systems that can be converted with Convert2RHEL, some of its limitations, and some basic usage.


          We recommend that customers who want to convert non-RHEL systems to RHEL set up a consulting engagement with Red Hat’s Consulting Services. However, we are making the tool available as a self-service option for those customers who wish to try to convert their systems on their own. Naturally, we strongly recommend having tested backups for any system that you are looking to run a conversion on.

          If you have a support agreement with another vendor, it’s our recommendation that you maintain that agreement while working on the transition to RHEL, as we do not provide support for non-RHEL systems. Note that we cannot support “hybrid” systems that have a mix of RHEL and other (e.g. CentOS) packages.

          Once a system has been converted to RHEL via the Convert2RHEL tool, or if you do a clean install of RHEL, then it can be eligible for support with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription.

        • Culture of innovation and collaboration: Open Data Hub

          Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven through the Office of the CTO and includes Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and innovative projects such as the Open Data Hub. We recently interviewed Juana Nakfour, Senior Software Engineer in the AI Center of Excellence for the office of the CTO at Red Hat, about this very topic.


          Open Data Hub is a meta-Operator that has a lot of tools packaged together that can easily install an end-to-end AI/ML platform at once. Just the fact that they’re modular and all in together, connected, means you can use module A, together with module P together with module E, which makes it easier for data scientists and engineers to develop faster.

        • Introducing the syslog-ng-stable RPM repositories

          For many years – especially after syslog-ng changed to a rolling release model – users I talked to asked for up-to-date RPM packages. They also asked for a separate repository for each new release to avoid surprises (a new release might accidentally or even intentionally break old features) and to be able to use a given release if they want to (“if it works, do not fix it”). That is how my unofficial RPM repositories were born.

          Recently some long-time syslog-ng users and members of the Splunk community started to ask for a repository, which always has the latest syslog-ng version available. Most users still prefer to use separate repositories. That is how I came up with the idea for the syslog-ng-stable repository: I push a new release to this new rolling repo only after at least a week of delay. This is enough to spot most major problems. Once the delay is over and everything seems to be OK, I can push the latest release to the syslog-ng-stable repo. If there is a bigger problem, I can skip the release in the stable repo or wait for a fix.

        • IBM snaps out of its revenue doldrums, breaking a five-quarter losing streak in Q4

          International Business Machines is living a case study of a large, established company vying to transform. Over the last decade, the technology elder has struggled to move into areas like cloud and AI. IBM has leaned on a combination of its own R&D abilities and deep pockets to push into modern markets, but has struggled to turn them into revenue growth.

          At one point, Big Blue posted 22 sequential quarters of falling revenue, a mind-boggling testament to how hard it can be to turn around a juggernaut. More recently, IBM shrank for another five consecutive quarters, a streak it broke with yesterday’s news that it had beat analyst expectations.

        • MontaVista Software Announces Commercial Support for CentOS

          MontaVista® Software, LLC, extends its coverage of non-MontaVista Linux distributions by announcing commercial support for CentOS. In addition to Clear Linux OS commercial support that was announced in 2019 (http://bit.ly/302qQMB), MontaVista extends its commitment to the embedded Linux community with CentOS support and maintenance programs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4.14

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.4.14 kernel.

        All users of the 5.4 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.4.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.4.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:



      • Linux 4.19.98
      • Linux 4.14.167
      • Linux 4.4.211
      • Linux 4.9.211
      • Grabbing file descriptors with pidfd_getfd()

        In response to a growing desire for ways to control groups of processes from user space, the kernel has added a number of mechanisms that allow one process to operate on another. One piece that is currently missing, though, is the ability for a process to snatch a copy of an open file descriptor from another. That gap may soon be filled, though, if the pidfd_getfd() system-call patch set from Sargun Dhillon is merged.
        One thing that is possible in current kernels is to open a file that another process also has open; the information needed to do that is in each process’s /proc directory. That does not work, though, for file descriptors referring to pipes, sockets, or other objects that do not appear in the filesystem hierarchy. Just as importantly, though, opening a new file in this way creates a new entry in the file table; it is not the entry corresponding to the file descriptor in the process of interest.

        That distinction matters if the objective is to modify that particular file descriptor. One use case mentioned in the patch series is using seccomp to intercept attempts to bind a socket to a privileged port. A privileged supervisor process could, if it so chose, grab the file descriptor for that socket from the target process and actually perform the bind — something the target process would not have the privilege to do on its own. Since the grabbed file descriptor is essentially identical to the original, the bind operation will be visible to the target process as well.

        For the sufficiently determined, it is actually possible to extract a file descriptor from another process now. The technique involves using ptrace() to attach to that process, stop it from executing, inject some code that opens a connection to the supervisor process and sends the file descriptor via an SCM_RIGHTS datagram, then running that code. This solution might justly be said to be slightly lacking in elegance. It also requires stopping the target process, which is likely to be unwelcome.

      • configfd() and shifting bind mounts

        The 5.2 kernel saw the addition of an extensive new API for the mounting (and remounting) of filesystems; this article covered an early version of that API. Since then, work in this area has mostly focused on enabling filesystems to support this API fully. James Bottomley has taken a look at this API as part of the job of redesigning his shiftfs filesystem and found it to be incomplete. What has followed is a significant set of changes that promise to simplify the mount API — though it turns out that “simple” is often in the eye of the beholder.
        The mount API work replaces the existing, complex mount() system call with a half-dozen or so new system calls. An application would call fsopen() to open a filesystem stored somewhere or fspick() to open an already mounted filesystem. Calls to fsconfig() set various parameters related to the mount; fsmount() is then called to mount a filesystem within the kernel and move_mount() to attach the result to the filesystem hierarchy somewhere. There are a couple more calls to fill in other parts of the interface as well. The intent is for this set of system calls to be able to replace mount() entirely with something that is more flexible, capable, and maintainable.

        Back in November, Bottomley discovered one significant gap with the new API: it is not possible to use it to set up a read-only bind mount. The problem is that bind mounts are special; they do not represent a filesystem directly. Instead, they can be thought of as a view of a filesystem that is mounted elsewhere. There is no superblock associated with a bind mount, which turns out to be a problem where the new API is concerned, since fsconfig() is designed to operate on superblocks. An attempt to call fsconfig() on a bind mount will end up modifying the original mount, which is almost certainly not what the caller had in mind. So there is no way to set the read-only flag for a bind mount.

        David Howells, the creator of the new mount API, responded that what is needed is yet another system call, mount_setattr(), which would change attributes of mounts. That would work for the read-only case, Bottomley said, but it falls down when it comes to more complex situations, such as his proposed UID-shifting bind mount. Instead, he said, the file-descriptor-based configuration mechanism provided by fsconfig() is well suited to this job, but it needs to be made more widely applicable. He suggested that this interface be made more generic so that it could be used in both situations (and beyond).

      • Accelerating netfilter with hardware offload, part 1

        Supporting network protocols at high speeds in pure software is getting increasingly difficult, with 25-100Gb/s interfaces available now and 200-400Gb/s starting to show up. Packet processing at 100Gb/s must happen in 200 cycles or less, which does not leave much room for processing at the operating-system level. Fortunately some operations can be performed by hardware, including checksum verification and offloading parts of the packet send and receive paths.

        As modern hardware adds more functionality, new options are becoming available. The 5.3 kernel includes a patch set from Pablo Neira Ayuso that added support for offloading some packet filtering with netfilter. This patch set not only adds the offload support, but also performs a refactoring of the existing offload paths in the generic code and the network card drivers. More work came in the following kernel releases. This seems like a good moment to review the recent advancements in offloading in the network stack.

      • Linux Kernel Developments Since 5.0: Features and Developments of Note

        Last year, I covered features in Linux kernel 5.0 that we thought were worth highlighting. Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6 is based on stable kernel 5.4 and was recently made available as a developer preview. So, now is as good a time as any to review developments that have occurred since 5.0. While the features below are roughly in chronological order, there is no significance to the order otherwise.

        BPF spinlock patches
        BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter) spinlock patches give BPF programs increased control over concurrency. Learn more about BPF and how to use it in this seven part series by Oracle developer Alan Maguire.

        Btrfs ZSTD compression
        The Btrfs filesystem now supports the use of multiple ZSTD (Zstandard) compression levels. See this commit for some information about the feature and the performance characteristics of the various levels.

        Memory compaction improvements
        Memory compaction has been reworked, resulting in significant improvements in compaction success rates and CPU time required. In benchmarks that try to allocated Transparent HugePages in deliberatly fragmented virtual memory, the number of pages scanned for migration was reduced by 65% and the free scanner was reduced by 97.5%.

      • AMD vs. Intel Contributions To The Linux Kernel Over The Past Decade

        Driven by curiosity sake, here is a look at how the total number of AMD and Intel developers contributed to the upstream Linux kernel during the 2010s as well as the total number of commits each year from the respective hardware vendors.

        These numbers were obtained by looking at the Linux kernel commits in Git from AMD.com and Intel.com addresses. Granted, sometimes developers from both companies will use their personal email addresses rather than the corporate ones, but for this comparison is looking solely at the Git commits from the respective corporate domains.

      • Linux k10temp Driver For AMD CPUs Updated To Better Handle Power/Temp Analysis

        As we have been eagerly talking about for the past week, the Linux kernel’s k10temp driver was updated for better AMD CPU CCD temperatures and voltage/current reporting. Those improvements have been quickly evolving thanks to the work of the open-source community with AMD still sadly holding the datasheets concerning the power/temperature registers close to their vest. A new version of k10temp was sent out on Wednesday.

        As reported earlier this week, these k10temp improvements could land for the upcoming Linux 5.6 but additional testing is needed. While Zen 2 CPUs have been shipping for months, these k10temp improvements are only coming now thanks to HWMON maintainer Guenter Roeck who continues working on this driver in cooperation with the community as AMD currently isn’t releasing documentation/datasheets concerning the power/thermal registers or any reference code for that matter… Many Linux desktop users dream of seeing something someday like AMD Ryzen Master coming to Linux.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Dav1d AV1 Decoder Begins Adding AVX-512 Optimizations For Intel Ice Lake

          Ahead of the forthcoming dav1d 0.6 release, this open-source AV1 video decoder has begun implementing AVX-512 optimizations targeting Intel Ice Lake processors.

          The work has begun on AVX-512 optimizations focused on Ice Lake for this already quite speedy AV1 video decoder.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q1.1 Brings Some Performance Tuning, Still On Vulkan 1.1

          Out this morning is AMDVLK 2020.Q1.1 as AMD’s first official open-source Vulkan driver code drop of the new year.

          While the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition driver for Windows was recently updated with Vulkan 1.2 support, this AMDVLK release is still on Vulkan 1.1 but at least updated against API 1.1.130 compliance. Hopefully their next code drop will have the Vulkan 1.2 support officially exposed. Meanwhile Mesa’s RADV Radeon Vulkan driver has been supporting Vulkan 1.2 since hours after the specification’s unveil.

        • Sway 1.4 Wayland Compositor Brings VNC Support, Initial Bits For MATE Panel Support

          Sway 1.4 is out today as the newest version of this i3-inspired Wayland compositor that has a growing following.

          Sway 1.4 consists of nearly 200 changes from over 50 contributors, showing the significant progress of this Wayland compositor that has been quick to pick-up features over the past few years.

        • Gutting Out Intel MPX Support To Be Finished Up In The Linux 5.6 Kernel

          The Linux support for Intel MPX has already been pretty much dead since the GCC 9 compiler dropped support for MPX. Kernel developers following that began working to remove MPX from the kernel over not having the compiler support, MPX not being widely used, and also not much code movement on the kernel side. Memory Protection Extensions (MPX) was talked up years ago by Intel for allowing the checking of pointer references at run-time to avoid buffer overflows and other potential related vulnerabilities. But in reality it didn’t become too popular with developers while AddressSanitizer and other compiler sanitizer infrastructure has become more used and without the need for special bits in the CPU. Intel themselves meanwhile have deprecated MPX and say the support won’t be available on future CPUs, hence not being concerned much about the Linux support departing.

        • Mesa 20.0 branchpoint planned for 2020/01/29, Milestone opened
          Hi list, due to some last minute changes in plan I'll be managing the 20.0
          release. The release calendar has been updated, but the gitlab milestone wasn't
          opened. That has been corrected, and is here
          https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/milestones/9, please add any issues
          or MRs you would like to land before the branchpoint to the milestone.
        • Mesa 20.0 Feature Development Is Ending Next Week

          Mesa developers are planning to end feature work on Mesa 20.0 next week as this first quarter update to the Mesa 3D graphics stack.

          There has been a heck of lot building up for Mesa 20.0 including many ACO optimizations, many RadeonSI and RADV improvements around GFX10/Navi, Intel Gallium3D improvements, OpenGL 4.6 with NIR by default for RadeonSI, NIR support for LLVMpipe, Vulkan 1.2 for Intel ANV and Radeon RADV, and a whole lot more… My usual feature overview will be out after the code has been branched.

    • Benchmarks

      • Debian 7 Through Debian Testing Benchmarks With/Without Mitigations

        As part of our many Linux benchmarks in ending out the 2010s we ran tests looking at CentOS 6 through CentOS 8, seven years of Ubuntu Linux performance, and various other Linux distribution benchmarks and testing other important pieces of open-source software over time. One of the additional comparisons now wrapped up is looking at the performance of Debian GNU/Linux going back from the old 7 series through the current 10 stable series and also Debian Testing. Tests where relevant were done out-of-the-box with the default security mitigations and again with mitigations disabled.

    • Applications

      • s-tui CPU Monitoring And Stress Testing Tool Sees Its First Stable (1.0.0) Release

        s-tui, a terminal-based CPU monitoring and stress testing tool for Linux, has reached version 1.0.0 stable after being in development for almost 3 years.

        s-tui monitors the CPU frequency, utilization, temperature, fan speeds and power using colored graphs, while also showing performance dips caused by thermal throttling.

        The tool also has built-in options for stress testing the CPU using third party tools like stress or stress-ng.

      • Official Evernote Linux Client Is Coming; GParted 1.1.0 Also Release

        If you’re a Ubuntu or other Linux distro user who doesn’t like using the third party web client for the Evernote, then, Ian small, Evernote CEO, has some good news for you.

        In his recent blog, Ian hinted at the ongoing development of an official desktop client for Linux-based OS. He mentioned that the team is working on the re-architecture and data migration in the cloud at a high pace.

        Currently, Evernote does not provide an official Evernote desktop client for the Linux platform, although there are other third-party clients or alternatives of Evernote are available.

        It is also not confirmed yet whether Evernote for Linux will come as the Electron version of redesigned web client or it’ll be a new, native application.

      • List Of Open Source Cloud Storage Software For Linux In 2020

        Insight: List Of Open Source Cloud Storage Software For Linux In 2020

        Let’s have a look into the list of best and open-source cloud storage software for Linux in 2020. Bookmark out the post for future reference.

      • Flatpak 1.6.1 Released Due To Security Issue – Special Case Of Getting Access Outside Home

        Flatpak 1.6 was an exciting update for this Linux application sandboxing/distribution tech in that it started laying the foundation to support a paid app store but elsewhere in the code-base a security issue came about.

      • Checkra1n Jailbreak for Linux Nearing Completion, Could Release Soon

        Checkra1n co-developer Nikias Bassen or @pimskeks shared on Twitter the exciting news that the Linux version of the exploit is nearing completion and will be released soon rather than later. Henceforth, the jailbreak community now has something to look forward to. In addition, if you’re looking to use the Checkra1n jailbreak for Linux, you will have to wait sometime before Nullcon in March.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Linux could win over more PC gamers from Windows thanks to Wine 5.0

        Wine, an application that lets folks run Windows software and games on Linux (or other operating systems like macOS) has just hit another big milestone, reaching version 5.0 and introducing a number of important changes, particularly on the gaming front.

        In total, no less than 7,400 changes have been made to Wine 5.0 since the release of the previous version (4.0) a year ago.

      • Wine, the Windows Compatibility Layer, reaches version 5.0 on Android

        The Android app ecosystem has steadily evolved over the years of Android’s existence, fuelled by the steady adoption of mobile as the primary computer interaction for most people. A lot of users have gravitated towards a mobile-only lifestyle, and that is because the apps and the app ecosystem on mobile have managed to fulfill their particular needs. But if you ever find yourself in need of a desktop application without having access to a desktop, what would you do? This is where Wine comes, a Windows Compatibility Layer that allows users to run full-blown Windows applications on different OSs. Wine for Android has now reached v5.0, collating a year’s worth of development efforts from the team.

      • Wine 5.0 Released. Here’s What’s New.

        Wine 5.0 landed with more improvements to run the Windows applications in Linux.

      • Wine for running Windows 10 apps on Linux gets big upgrade

        Wine, the software that Microsoft has partially credited with making Windows 10 Windows Subsystem for Linux possible, has been updated with over 7,400 changes.

        Wine is a compatibility layer, designed for Unix-like OSes, which enables Linux and macOS systems to run Windows applications.

      • Wine 5.0 Released: Improved Support For Windows Games And Apps

        Wine is a reliable savior that makes it possible to run many Windows applications on GNU/Linux, macOS, and Ubuntu at native speed without slowing down the system. Now, its stable version Wine 5.0 has been released.

        After a year of effort, with over 7,400 individual changes, Wine 5.0 arrives with major improvements such as Direct3D and XAudio2 reimplementation, and Vulkan 1.1 and Multi-monitor support.

      • Wine 5.0 now available for all supported operating systems

        When it comes to running Windows software on Linux-based operating systems, Wine is one of the best choices lying around — and most likely the most popular one. Yesterday, the Wine team announced the arrival of the stable release labeled 5.0.

        According to the official news release, this new piece of code comes as the result of a year of development and includes no less than 7,400 individual changes.

      • Wine 5.0 released with a wealth of new features and improvements

        The development team behind Wine the free and open-source compatibility layer, created to enable Microsoft Windows applications and software to run on Unix-like operating systems, has this week announced the availability of Wine 5.0. This release represents a year of development effort and over 7,400 individual changes together with a large number of improvements.

        Main features included in Wine 5.0 take the form of Builtin modules in PE format, Multi-monitor support, XAudio2 re-implementation and Vulkan 1.1 support. A contents list of what is new within the latest Wine 5.0 application as listed below. For a complete list jump over to the official Wine HQ website by following the link below.

      • Updated Wine version improves Windows 10 Linux compatibility
      • How to install Wine 5.0 on Ubuntu 18.04

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Wine 5.0 on Ubuntu 18.04.

      • How to install Wine 5.0 on Linux Mint 19.3

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Wine 5.0 on Linux Mint 19.3.

    • Games

      • Paradox to trial a subscription system to help with DLC overload for Europa Universalis IV

        Recently Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio put out a small update for Europa Universalis IV, initially saying it didn’t really do much. However, after users did some digging, they had to release a statement about upcoming subscription plans.

        Initially, the update notes said they were “running a few experiments aimed at reducing the threshold for new players to access the full EU4 experience” and that they didn’t want to disclose what as it would “interfere with the test”. Not long after the post, a user replied to show subscriptions mentioning a “monthly payment” for DLC access.

      • Overcooked! 2 has a free content update out with the Spring Festival

        Team17 and Ghost Town Games have released a nice free content update for the crazy co-op cooking game Overcooked! 2. See Also: Some previous thoughts on Overcooked! 2.

        Out now, the Spring Festival update celebrates the upcoming Year of the Rat for the Chinese New Year celebrations later this month. It adds in five new specially themed kitchens to play through, plus two new chefs with the Rat Chef and Turtle Chef you can select as playable characters.

      • ScourgeBringer – an incredibly stylish mix something between ‘Dead Cells and Celeste’ arrives soon

        Flying Oak Games and Dear Villagers have announced that ScourgeBringer, their wonderfully stylish rogue-lite platformer is releasing on February 6 in Early Access.

        The same team that worked on NeuroVoider have returned, with what they say blends elements of Dead Cells and Celeste into a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious entity wreaked havoc on all humanity. Sounds bleak but the graphics certainly look vibrant.

      • Try the demo for CreatorCrate, a wild roguelike platformer with a curved world and physics fun

        CreatorCrate is currently in development, a little rough around the edges but it’s showing a lot of promise to be a very fun roguelike platformer with plenty of uniqueness.

        With a curved game world set inside a rotating space station, changing gravity, physics interactions with you being able to pick up objects and launch them across the screen—it certainly has a good amount of charm.

      • Feral’s GameMode 1.5 Now Supports Changing The CPU Governor Differently For iGPUs

        With Feral’s GameMode 1.5 the big change facing users is for those running integrated graphics. In a change led by an Intel open-source graphics driver developer, GameMode now supports setting an alternative CPU frequency scaling governor for integrated graphics use-cases. Up to now GameMode has defaulted to always using the “performance” CPU frequency scaling governor for normally delivering the best performance, but for integrated graphics that in some situations can lead to lower performance. Due to the integrated graphics and CPU cores sharing the same power envelope, ramping up the CPU performance can throw the graphics performance out of balance and at least for some games lead to lower performance. So with GameMode 1.5, the user can now opt for “powersave” or an alternative governor instead when using an iGPU.

      • Feral Interactive’s open source ‘GameMode’ system performance booster has a new release

        Feral Interactive don’t just port a lot of games to Linux, they also work on some open source bits here and there. One of their projects is GameMode, which just got a new release.

        GameMode is a “daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS and/or a game process”. In simple terms, it can help ensure your Linux PC is giving the game all it can to run smoothly. Looks like someone new is handling the project too, with Alex Smith having left Feral Interactive.

      • Wx3 Labs continue polishing the Linux Beta of Starcom: Nexus – it’s looking good

        After getting a Linux Beta build back in December, the open-world space action and adventure game Starcom: Nexus continues getting polished up for Linux support.

        The developer provided a key, so I took a look to see how the Linux version was running and it’s fantastic. I’ve yet to come across any issues with it. As a massive fan of space, the possibility of aliens and sci-fi tech Starcom: Nexus definitely ticks a lot of the right boxes and the story reminds me of Star Trek: Voyager.

      • You can now nominate games for the GamingOnLinux GOTY Award

        It’s finally here! We’re bringing back the GamingOnLinux GOTY Awards we did a few years ago, so it’s time to get nominating.

        How it usually works is we have this dedicated GOTY Page, you pick a category and then search for a game in the box at the top to nominate it in that category. You can nominate as many as you wish, as long as they fit within the category.

        Once enough time has passed we will then lock down nominations, clear up any in the wrong place and open it for voting in around a week or two.

      • Wild Woods, a free couch co-op action game about defending a moving wagon

        Currently free on itch.io while it’s not finished, Wild Woods resembles Unrailed! a little in that you’re protecting a moving vehicle but it does it in a rather different way.

        Playable by yourself or with up to three others (1-4 players), you will be running alongside your wagon as it travels through a dangerous forest. During the daytime you can collect resources, which will be vital for surviving the night. When the sun goes down, bandits come out and attack. As you progress, you get to do a few upgrades on your wagon and overall it’s a real sweet game to try out.

      • Shrine, a total conversion of Doom II has you slaying Eldritch abominations

        Regular readers will know by now that I love a good first-person shooter, I also keep an eye on fun mods and entire conversions of Doom. Shrine is another recent discovery, sending you into the Eldritch depths of hell.

        Shrine is inspired by Lovecraftian horror, so it’s very much styled as you would expect with seriously freaky looking enemy types. It has 8 brand new weapons, 13 enemies to blast into the next dimension, 16 levels that are surprisingly challenging and a ton of custom textures/sounds and more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDevelop 5.5 beta 1 released

          We are happy to announce the release of KDevelop 5.5 Beta 1!

          5.5 as a new feature version of KDevelop will bring half a year of small improvements to features across the application. Full details will be given in the announcement of the KDevelop 5.5.0 release, which is currently scheduled for in less than 2 weeks.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • System76 Serval WS Workstation Laptop Full Review

          The System76 Serval WS laptop is crazy powerful, with a desktop CPU and a powerful Nvidia video card. In this review, I show off the hardware, weigh the pros and cons, and give my overall thoughts.

      • New Releases

        • Lakka Linux 2.3.2 “Game Console” Distro Released With RetroArch 1.8.4

          Welcoming 2020, Lakka officially brings Lakka 2.3.2 with minor bug fixes and updates for higher tier platforms, 64-bit Generic (x86_64), and Raspberry Pi.

          Lakka features in one of the best Linux distros for gaming to run the open-source and Linux-powered retro games on Linux, with support over more than 40 different hardware platforms.

        • Lakka 2.3.2 with RetroArch 1.8.4

          The Lakka team wishes everyone a happy new year and welcomes 2020 with a new update and a new tier-based releases system!

          This new Lakka update, 2.3.2, contains RetroArch 1.8.4 (was 1.7.2), some new cores and a handful of core updates.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Ubuntu’s Installer Slideshow Gets a Focal Refresh

          Ubuntu’s installer slideshow isn’t something most of us spend an awful time looking at but for new users it serves an important educational goal.

          The Ubiquity desktop installer plays a slideshow during the main part of the install process. Each slide highlights a key feature or important function available in Ubuntu (or whichever Ubuntu flavour is being installed).

          The slideshow has been a staple part of Ubuntu (and many flavours) since it was introduced back in Ubuntu 10.10.

          For the upcoming release of Ubuntu 20.04 the look of the slideshow will better match the look of Yaru, Ubuntu’s default GTK theme (which recently got a big update of its own).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • 7 tips to survive booth duty at a conference-events

          If you contribute to an open-source community, there will be an “opportunity” that you will represent the community to a conference. You’re expected to staff the booth and talk to people about the software.

          For some people, it looks like you are traveling and having fun. I have news for you. It’s not like that.
          We are going to see some tips on how to survive the booth duty.

        • https://fontinfo.opensuse.org/ updated

          The information below might fall into the “unsung heroes of openSUSE” category – we think it is clearly worth to be mentioned and getting some applause (not saying that every user should owe the author a beer at the next conference ;-).

        • Introducing… Stratos for SUSE CaaS Platform

          Would you like to make your SUSE CaaS Platform clusters simpler and more intuitive to manage? Do you want to be able to manage multiple clusters from a single pane of glass, whether on premise or in public clouds? Would you like to be able to deploy applications to your clusters, no matter whether they are in a SUSE repository, other public repositories, or your organization’s private repositories?

          SUSE CaaS Platform is introducing a tech preview of Stratos Console, a powerful browser-based graphical interface that delivers multi-cluster, multi-cloud management. You can assess the status and health of all of your managed clusters at a glance with multi-cluster overview dashboards, then drill down into any cluster for fine grained management of its workloads and resources.

      • Fedora Family

        • Qubes OS 4.0.3 has been released!

          We’re pleased to announce the release of Qubes 4.0.3! This is the third stable point release of Qubes 4.0. While it includes only minimal changes over 4.0.3-rc1 and 4.0.2, it includes many updates over the initial 4.0 release, in particular:

          All 4.0 dom0 updates to date
          Fedora 30 TemplateVM
          Debian 10 TemplateVM
          Whonix 15 Gateway and Workstation TemplateVMs
          Linux kernel 4.19 by default

      • Debian Family

        • EasyOS version 2.2.5 released

          The previous official release was 2.2. What is new is mostly work on the infrastructure.

          This includes hardware-profiling for video and sound, to automatically handle booting of a USB-stick on different computers, or plugging in different cards on the same computer.

          There has also been a lot of work on Bluetooth, in particular to support sound, such as Bluetooth speakers and earbuds.

        • Crust Now Available On Univention Corporate Server

          With the addition of Crust in the Univention App Center, UCS users can easily add the entire Crust suite to their UCS instances. This includes Crust Compose for Low Code Development and End-to-End Business Automation, Crust CRM, Crust Service Cloud for Customer Support and Service Automation, Crust Enterprise Messaging, a self-hosted messenger for secure communication within your enterprise and Crust Corredor, for automating repeating tasks with End-to-End Business Automation.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu maker Canonical’s Anbox Cloud offers remote Android apps, games

          You might wonder why a Linux distributor would suddenly offer a cloud service that doesn’t directly involve Linux. Canonical actually already has a number of cloud-centric services and products, something that has generated a bit of controversy in Linux circles. But let’s face it, there are just some apps and services that are not available on Linux and Android may be the best way to access those.

          While Canonical boasts of how Anbox Cloud runs on Canonical’s infrastructure and Ubuntu, the real enabler here is Anbox. The open source software is one of the few existing projects that allow running Android apps on Linux. Unlike an emulator that runs the entire Android OS in a window, Anbox utilizes Linux containers to make apps feel like they were native Linux apps.

          The idea of remote Android access might be novel in itself but Canonical is also billing Anbox Cloud as its answer to the game streaming trend, potentially utilizing it as a distribution channel for mobile games. Of course, the service also has more serious uses, like accessing enterprise apps available only on Android or testing apps without having an Android device on hand.

        • Canonical, creator of Ubuntu Linux, wants to stream Android games and apps from the cloud

          Canonical is best known as the company behind Ubuntu, one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions. Canonical already offers many products for enterprise customers, from a lightweight OS for Internet-of-Things devices to cloud-based containers, and now it’s working on a way to stream Android apps and games from the cloud.

          Anbox Cloud, as Canonical calls it, is designed to run Android games and applications on servers using LXD system containers. The apps can then be streamed to other devices, regardless of platform or form factor. “Use cases for Anbox Cloud include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing, and mobile device virtualization,” Canonical wrote in a blog post.

          Anbox Cloud is also being touted as a great tool for developers, giving them the ability to instantly emulate “thousands of Android devices” with support for continuous integration pipelines. While it’s already possible to create virtualized copies of Android phones using the emulator in Android Studio, Anbox won’t require downloading large system images or a powerful PC.

        • Canonical Puts Android Applications & Games In the Cloud

          Canonical has announced Anbox Cloud, a platform that containerizes workloads using Android as a guest operating system enabling enterprises to distribute applications from the cloud. Use cases for Anbox Cloud include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing, and mobile device virtualisation.

        • Canonical announces high-performance Android services on the cloud

          Canonical is best known for Ubuntu Linux, followed by Ubuntu’s dominance on the cloud as the virtual machine (VM) operating system of choice. Now, Canonical is taking a new angle. It’s building an Android app platform on top of an Ubuntu-based cloud: The Anbox Cloud.
          Why? After all, when you think Android, you’re thinking of the operating system on your phone, not a cloud. The reason: Users and ISVs alike want more demanding Android applications, like high-end games, on their even bigger smartphones. Google, with its new Stadia game streaming platform, is offering a similar approach.

        • Flinging resource-hungry apps at landfill Android? Ubuntu daddy wants to lure you into Anbox Cloud

          Ubuntu daddy Canonical is aiming at the likes of Huawei and Google with its take on app streaming with Anbox Cloud.

          The service is designed to offload workloads from x86 or Arm-based devices to containers in the cloud. All the grungy compute, storage and battery-sucking work is then performed elsewhere and streamed to the device.

        • Canonical Launches Ubuntu-Powered Anbox Cloud

          Canonical has introduced a new platform that containerises workloads using Android as a guest operating system for virtualising mobile workloads. Called Anbox Cloud, the mobile cloud computing platform allows enterprises to distribute applications from the cloud.

          According to Canonical, Anbox Cloud runs Android on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel and allows enterprises and service providers to deliver mobile applications at scale, more securely and independently of a device’s capabilities. Use cases for Anbox Cloud include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing, and mobile device virtualisation.

        • Looking for video editing software? The Snap Store has some nice apps for you.

          In the past decade, video has become the most ubiquitous method of communication on the Web. Video clips are used for pretty much anything, from short software tutorials to hours-long live online gaming streaming. In some cases, the use of “moving pictures” might not be the best communication medium, but there is no denying the popularity of the video in everyday life.

          This makes video editing software quite practical, for techies and ordinary people alike. If you require functionality that goes beyond the built-in features in whatever application you may be using, then you will want dedicated video editing tools. Let’s have a look at some rather nifty software that can turn your raw footage into elegant cinematographic cuts.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 – Release Date, New Features & More

          As per usual, Ubuntu’s LTS releases are released in April every 2 years. The number 20 comes from the year 2020 and the number 04 comes from the (fourth) month of April.

          To be more specific, the release date of Ubuntu 20.04 is 23rd of April, 2020. It will be released 3 days sooner than the last LTS release.

        • Ubuntu Studio 19.04 reaches End Of Life

          Our favorite Disco Dingo, Ubuntu Studio 19.04, has reached end-of-life and will no longer receive any updates. If you have not yet upgraded, please do so now or forever lose the ability to upgrade!

          Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS is scheduled for April of 2020. The transition from 19.10 to 20.04 will be relatively smooth, so at this time we are recommending all new installations to be 19.10.

        • Migrating to enterprise servers with Ubuntu on IBM Z

          For mission-critical applications, security, reliability, and efficiency are essential. Linux excels in these areas, which is why it has become a highly popular platform for supporting key enterprise software. And for businesses looking to push the security and performance of their Linux-based applications even further, the next step is enterprise server computing.

          Enterprise servers offer secure and robust platforms for mission-critical workloads – however, it has historically been difficult to migrate Linux applications from x86 architectures to the IBM Z architecture. IBM and Canonical have worked together to solve this problem by porting Ubuntu to work on both IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE enterprise servers – including the recently released IBM z15 and LinuxONE III.

          With Ubuntu on IBM Z and LinuxONE, users can leverage the same tools and languages on IBM Z as they do on all of their other Ubuntu systems. Not only does this provide businesses with a smooth migration path, it also enables developers to go from the desktop to a highly secure and reliable cloud with a seamless, agile working environment. Typical workloads include databases with sensitive personal information, as well as new solutions such as blockchain and digital asset custody.

        • Ubuntu 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ reaches end-of-life this month, be sure to upgrade now

          Canonical has announced that Ubuntu 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ will reach its end-of-life on January 23, 2020. If you’re still using this version of Ubuntu, which was released last April, you’ll want to make sure you upgrade before the deadline in order to keep getting new security updates. Upgrading Ubuntu isn’t too difficult, you just need to head to the update manager and follow the instructions after pressing upgrade.

          Canonical provides detailed upgrade instructions but to summarise, ensure that you’ve applied any available patches, then read the Ubuntu 19.10 release notes for any issues that could occur. While the upgrade should be available from the update manager, you may need to press Settings inside the update manager and ensure ‘Notify me of a new Ubuntu version:’ is set to ‘For any new version’, you can find that setting in the Updates sub-menu.

          For most people, Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) releases are best to use because they are the most stable and receive updates for at least five years. Non-LTS versions like Ubuntu 19.04 are stable too but only receive updates for nine months and act as a sort of testing ground for new features before they’re introduced into the next LTS release which businesses and other formal users tend to opt for.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ProtonVPN apps handed to open source community in transparency push

        The Windows audit report (.PDF) identified two low-risk vulnerabilities related to jailbreaking and a lack of SSL certificate pinning. The macOS report (.PDF) uncovered no bugs at all, whereas one medium-risk vulnerability and four low-risk vulnerabilities were discovered in the Android audit (.PDF), the worst of which was an insecure logout issue.

        Finally, the iOS report (.PDF) documents two medium-risk vulnerabilities and two low-risk vulnerabilities, the most serious security flaw being the use of hardcoded credentials and sensitive data contained in memory.

        All of the vulnerabilities were either accepted or fixed at the time of disclosure.

      • Use this open source tool to get your local weather forecast

        Last year, I brought you 19 days of new (to you) productivity tools for 2019. This year, I’m taking a different approach: building an environment that will allow you to be more productive in the new year, using tools you may or may not already be using.

        One of the things I love about the past decade of my employment is that it mostly has been remote. I can work anywhere I happen to be in the world, although the reality is that I spend a lot of time in my home office. The downside is that when I leave the house, I base a lot of decisions on what the conditions look like outside my window. And where I live, “sunny and clear” can mean anything from “scorchingly hot” to “below freezing” to “it will rain in an hour.” Being able to check the actual conditions and forecast quickly is pretty useful.

      • Events

        • ChefConf 2020 CFP – Make the Work Flow

          So hopefully you’ve taken the time to submit something. Lots of folks have, and thank you! Maybe you’re still not sure what you could talk about at ChefConf? Maybe you’ve got some interesting people stories from your time in the automation mines.

          Over the years we’ve categorized these talks as “DevOps” or “People, Processes, and Teams”, but the real guts of the discussion centers on how tooling helps people get their jobs done better, as well as how new theories in teamwork and product delivery impact technical teams. How we work together sets the stage for how we succeed together.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Extension Spotlight: Privacy Badger

            People can’t be expected to understand all of the technically complex ways their online behavior is tracked by hidden entities. As you casually surf the web, there are countless techniques different third party actors use to secretly track your online movement. So how are we supposed to protect our privacy online if we don’t even understand how the game works?

            To help answer this, the good folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a non-profit devoted to defending digital privacy) built Privacy Badger–a browser extension designed to give you highly advanced tracking protection, while requiring you to do nothing more than install it on Firefox. No configuration, no advanced settings, no fuss. Once you have Privacy Badger installed, it automatically scours every website you visit in its relentless hunt for hidden trackers. And when it finds them, blocks them.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 322
          • What could an “Open” ID system look like?: Recommendations and Guardrails for National Biometric ID Projects

            Digital ID systems are increasingly the battlefield where the fight for privacy, security, competition, and social inclusion is playing out. In our ever more connected world, some form of identity is almost always mediating our interactions online and offline. From the corporate giants that dominate our online lives using services like Apple ID and Facebook and Google’s login systems to government IDs which are increasingly required to vote, get access to welfare benefits, loans, pay taxes, get on transportation or access medical care.

            Part of the push to adopt digital ID comes from the international development community who argue that this is necessary in order to expand access to legal ID. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for “providing legal identity for all, including birth registration” by 2030. Possessing legal identity is increasingly a precondition to accessing basic services and entitlements from both state and private services. For the most marginalised communities, using digital ID systems to access essential services and entitlements from both state and private services are often one of their first interactions with digital technologies. Without these commonly recognized forms of official identification, individuals are at risk of exclusion and denial of services. However, the conflation of digital identity as the same as (or an extension of) “legal identity”, especially by the international development community, has led to an often uncritical embrace of digital ID projects.

            In this white paper, we survey the landscape around government digital ID projects and biometric systems in particular. We recommend several policy prescriptions and guardrails for these systems, drawing heavily from our experiences in India and Kenya, among other countries.

            In designing, implementing, and operating digital ID systems, governments must make a series of technical and policy choices. It is these choices that largely determine if an ID system will be empowering or exploitative and exclusionary. While several organizations have published principles around digital identity, too often they don’t act as a meaningful constraint on the relentless push to expand digital identity around the world. In this paper, we propose that openness provides a useful framework to guide and critique these choices and to ensure that identity systems put people first. Specifically, we examine and make recommendations around five elements of openness: multiplicity of choices, decentralization, accountability, inclusion, and participation.

          • ICANN Directors: Take a Close Look at the Dot Org Sale

            As outlined in two previous posts, we believe that the sale of the nonprofit Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos Capital demands close and careful scrutiny. ICANN — the body that granted the dot org license to PIR and which must approve the sale — needs to engage in this kind of scrutiny.

            When ICANN’s board meets in Los Angeles over the next few days, we urge directors to pay particular attention to the question of how the new PIR would steward and be accountable to the dot org ecosystem. We also encourage them to seriously consider the analysis and arguments being made by those who are proposing alternatives to the sale, including the members of the Cooperative Corporation of .ORG Registrants.

            As we’ve said before, there are high stakes behind this sale: Public interest groups around the world rely on the dot org registrar to ensure free expression protections and affordable digital real estate. Should this reliance fail under future ownership, a key part of the public interest internet infrastructure would be diminished — and so would the important offline work it fuels.

            Late last year, we asked ISOC, PIR and Ethos to answer a series of questions about how the dot org ecosystem would be protected if the sale went through. They responded and we appreciate their engagement, but key questions remain unanswered.

            In particular, the responses from Ethos and ISOC proposed a PIR stewardship council made up of representatives from the dot org community. However, no details about the structure, role or powers of this council have been shared publicly. Similarly, Ethos has promised to change PIR’s corporate structure to reinforce its public benefit orientation, but provided few details.

          • Extensions in Firefox 72

            After the holiday break we are back with a slightly belated update on extensions in Firefox 72. Firefox releases are changing to a four week cycle, so you may notice these posts getting a bit shorter. Nevertheless, I am excited about the changes that have made it into Firefox 72.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The Documentation Team announces the Math Guide 6.4

          With the upcoming release of LibreOffice 6.4, the Documentation Team is proud to announce the Math Guide 6.4, an update of the previous Math 4.0 guide, updated to cover all innovations included in LibreOffice 6.4. The guide was updated by Roman Kuznetsov and revised by Dave Barton from the documentation community.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Is The Version Now In Development With Its Skia + Vulkan Support

          LibreOffice 6.4 is set to be released in the coming days while succeeding that will now be LibreOffice 7.0.

          LibreOffice 6.4.0 should be out over the next week with various user-interface improvements, performance improvements within the Calc spreadsheet software, a QR code generator, faster compilation support, dropping the GTK2 VCL plug-in, various import/export filter improvements, and much more. See the in-progress 6.4 release notes for more details on this exciting update for this free software office suite.

      • BSD

        • GhostBSD 20.01 Now Available

          I am happy to announce the availability of GhostBSD 20.01 with some improvements made to the installer, mainly improvements to the way the installer UI deals with custom partitions involving GTP and UEFI. Also, some system and software has been updated

          GhostBSD 20.01 ISO has some minor improvements over 19.10. It provides an up to date ISO with the latest packages and system updates for new installation with a simple installation process to get you going quickly. For current installation, no need to reinstall.

        • GhostBSD 20.01 Released For FreeBSD 12.1 + MATE 1.22.2 Desktop Experience
      • FSF

        • It is time to end the DMCA anti-circumvention exemptions process and put a stop to DRM

          Although it is accurate, there’s one aspect of the process that is missing from that description: the length. While the process kicks off every three years, the work that goes into fighting exemptions, whether previously granted or newly requested, has a much shorter interval. As you can see from the timeline of events from the 2018 round of the exemptions process, the process stretches on for months and months. For each exemption we have to prepare research, documents, and our comments through wave after wave of submission periods. For the 2018 exemptions round, the first announcements from the United States Copyright Office were in July of 2017, on a process that concluded in October of 2018. Fifteen months, every three years. If you do the math, that means we’re fighting about 40% of the time just to ensure that exemptions we already won continue, and that new exemptions will be granted. If the timeline from the last round holds up, then we’re only a few short months away from starting this whole circus back up again.

          Describing it as a circus seems an appropriate label for the purpose of this whole process. It’s not meant to be an effective mechanism for protecting the rights of users: it’s a method for eating up the time and resources of those who are fighting for justice. If we don’t step up, users could lose the ability to control their own computing and software. It’s like pushing a rock up a mile-long hill only to have it pushed back down again when we’ve barely had a chance to catch our breath.

        • FSFE

          • Cory Doctorow +++ (pre-) FOSDEM +++ 36C3

            2020 is not just a new year, it is the dawn of a new decade. With more and more automated systems run by software, a political representation of freedom is more needed than ever. Read in our January Newsletter about why Cory Doctorow supports the FSFE financially and why you should do so too. Read about our upcoming FOSDEM activities including our pre-FOSDEM meeting and reflections on our presence at the Chaos Communication Congress. Also we have a new Software Freedom Podcast with Harald Welte and reports from our community.

          • Report from the 36c3, about:freedom – about:fsfe

            At the end of December, FSFE was in Leipzig at the 36th Chaos Communication Congress. As in previous years, we were present at the congress with lots of information material, talks and workshops. FSFE was one of the main organisers of the cluster about:freedom, an association of 12 civil society organisations and groups. Together with the other organisations, we focused on digital rights and network policy issues.

            In about:freedom, a broad political spectrum of topics could be covered due to the many different focuses of the individual organisations and groups. At our booth we informed about Free Software and presented individual campaigns of us. Together with the cluster about:freedom, we organised 19 self-organised sessions during the 4 days. To only name a few, the hand-on workshop „Freedom to go“ for a Google Independent Android Smartphone by Erik Albers, the more general presentation “The Free Software 1×1: Clarifying the basics and typical misunderstandings”, “Computer says no”: Worüber sollen Algorithmen entscheiden dürfen by Chris Köver, Emergency VPN: Analyzing mobile network traffic to detect digital threats and the talk by Christian Busse regarding Free Software in Science: “Free Software for Open Science” were part of the sessions.

          • The story of my first job in Tech Industry

            The other day I was thinking about my first ever job in this industry as a junior software engineer at the age of 20. I was doing okay with my studies at the Athens university of applied sciences but I was working outside of this industry. I had to gain some working experience in the field, so I made a decision to find part time work in a small software house. The experience and lessons learned in those couple weeks are still with me till this day … almost 20 years after!

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Parallel 20200122 (‘Soleimani’) released

            GNU Parallel 20200122 (‘Soleimani’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
            GNU Parallel is 10 years old next year on 2020-04-22. You are here by invited to a reception on Friday 2020-04-17.
            See https://www.gnu.org/software/parallel/10-years-anniversary.html
            Quote of the month:
            GNU parallel is straight up incredible.
            — Ben Johnson @biobenkj@twtter
            New in this release:
            –blocktimeout dur – Time out for reading block when using –pipe. If it takes longer than dur to read a full block, use the partial block read so far.
            Bug fixes and man page updates.
            News about GNU Parallel:
            GNU Parallel course in Copenhagen https://www.prosa.dk/nc/arrangementer/arrangement/gnu-parallel-med-ole-tange/
            GNU Parallel course in Århus https://www.prosa.dk/nc/arrangementer/arrangement/gnu-parallel-og-parallelisering-i-unix-shellen/
            GNU Parallel pour accélérer vos process sous Linux https://www.yvonh.com/gnu-parallel-pour-accelerer-vos-process-sous-linux/
            How to copy a file to multiple directories in Linux https://net2.com/how-to-copy-a-file-to-multiple-directories-in-linux/
            Running linux commands in parallel https://dev.to/voyeg3r/runing-linux-commands-in-parallel-4ff8
            Get the book: GNU Parallel 2018 http://www.lulu.com/shop/ole-tange/gnu-parallel-2018/paperback/product-23558902.html
            GNU Parallel – For people who live life in the parallel lane.

        • LCA

          • The dark side of expertise

            Everyone has expertise in some things, which is normally seen as a good thing to have. But Dr. Sean Brady gave some examples of ways that our expertise can lead us astray, and actually cause us to make worse decisions, in a keynote at the 2020 linux.conf.au. Brady is a forensic engineer who specializes in analyzing engineering failures to try to discover the root causes behind them. The talk gave real-world examples of expertise gone wrong, as well as looking at some of the psychological research that demonstrates the problem. It was an interesting view into the ways that our brains work—and fail to work—in situations where our expertise may be sending our thoughts down the wrong path.

            Brady began his talk by going back to 1971 and a project to build a civic center arena in Hartford, Connecticut in the US. The building was meant to hold 10,000 seats; it had a large roof that was a “spiderweb of steel members”. That roof would be sitting on four columns; it was to be built on the ground and then lifted into place.

          • Poker and FOSS

            He introduced poker with a definition: “Poker is a gambling game of strategy played by people for money, using cards”. The order of the terms in that definition is important, he said. In online poker, though, the “people” element is weakened because you can’t see and directly interact with the other people you are playing with. So, unlike real-life poker, online poker is more about sociology than psychology; serious players track the trends of the player base as a whole, rather than trying to recognize the quirks of a particular person.

            That means online poker is “really about money”. In order to succeed, one has to develop some weird views of the value of money. Even in games with relatively small stakes, players can win or lose a few thousand dollars in a session; in games with “nosebleed stakes”, a player could be up or down by a million dollars in an evening. The game is particularly popular in the US, UK, and Australia, he said; it is played online and in face-to-face games in people’s homes or at casinos.

            Poker became mainstream in the late 1990s, largely due to the “Late Night Poker” television series in the UK. There are a lot of different kinds of poker games, but the show focused on no-limit Texas hold ‘em, which is the most “high drama of poker games” so it was well-suited to television. The show pioneered the use of a hole-card camera, so that viewers could see the two unseen cards each player was dealt. That innovation allowed viewers and commentators to analyze the choices that the players were making; without seeing the hole cards, watching other people play poker is about as interesting as “watching paint dry”, Kuhn said.

            He did not go into the rules of poker much in the talk; a lot of it is not really germane to his topic. The important things to note are that it is a zero-sum, partial-information game where players are playing against each other and not the house (as they are in most other gambling games). It is a game of skill—better players win more over time—but there is a huge element of chance. In order for the house to make any money (casinos are not charities after all), a small percentage of the bets are kept by the house, which is usually called the “rake”.

            All of that made poker an ideal candidate for online play. He put up a screen shot of a online poker game from 1999 and noted that all of today’s poker sites have a similar look. It features a simple user interface that allows players to quickly and easily see the cards and make their bets. Most online poker players do not want sophisticated graphics and the like.

            So poker is relatively easy to write an online system for; there are a few “tricky bits”, but in comparison to, say, an online multiplayer role-playing game, there are only minimal timing or network-delay issues to handle. It is completely turn-based and the state of the game is easily maintained on the server side. In addition, the client does not need any secret information, so the ability to cheat by extracting secrets from the data sent back and forth is eliminated—or, at least, it should be. The main problem for these systems is scaling them to accommodate as many tables as there is demand for. Serious players want to play in multiple games at once and the house maximizes its revenue by the number of games it can run.

            The “watershed moment” for online poker came in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker—his actual birth name, as has been documented—joined into a “satellite tournament” for the World Series of Poker (WSoP). Moneymaker paid $86 to enter the tournament and ended up winning the $10,000 entry into the main WSoP event in Las Vegas; he won that tournament and received $2.5 million for doing so. That created a huge boom in online poker, Kuhn said.

      • Programming/Development

        • 6 things you should be doing with Emacs

          Imagine using Python’s IDLE interface to edit text. You would be able to load files into memory, edit them, and save changes. But every action you perform would be defined by a Python function. Making a word all capitals, for instance, calls upper(), opening a file calls open, and so on. Everything in your text document is a Python object and can be manipulated accordingly. From the user’s perspective, it’s the same experience as any text editor. For a Python developer, it’s a rich Python environment that can be changed and developed with just a few custom functions in a config file.

          This is what Emacs does for the 1958 programming language Lisp. In Emacs, there’s no separation between the Lisp engine running the application and the arbitrary text you type into it. To Emacs, everything is Lisp data, so everything can be analyzed and manipulated programmatically.

          That makes for a powerful user interface (UI). But if you’re a casual Emacs user, you may only be scratching the surface of what it can do for you. Here are six things you may not have realized you could do with Emacs.

        • Intersecting Intel & AMD Instruction Set Extensions

          In some of my projects, I’ve recently had the need to utilize FMA (fused-multiply-add) or AVX instructions. Compiling C/C++ on X86_64 will by default only activate MXX and a few of the early SSE extensions. The utilized instruction set basically predates the core2 which was introduced in 2006.

          Math instructions and vectorizations can greatly benefit from more modern instructions like SSE4*, FMA, AVX, AVX2, etc, but because of the way the -march compiler option works, those are not easily enabled for all CPU types of similar age.

        • Intel Continues Improving Its SYCL Stack – Now Supports Ahead-Of-Time Compilation

          The Khronos SYCL standard as a single-source C++-based programming model for OpenCL is one of the exciting elements for Intel’s GPU compute plans with the forthcoming Xe graphics cards and fits into their oneAPI umbrella. They just released their SYCL Compiler and Runtimes 2019-12 release with numerous updates.

          First up this new version of their SYCL compiler/run-time features opencl-aot as a new tool for offering ahead-of-time compilation of SYCL sources. The AoT compilation tool is geared for generating device-dependent OpenCL program binaries optimized out of SPIR-V. The optimized binaries are catered for Intel’s architecture.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Fortran

          The language is designed to be simple to understand, yet retains the efficiency in execution as assembly language – about 80% as efficient as assembly/machine code. Fortran is machine independent, and a problem oriented language. It is often used in the scientific community, particularly among physicists, and is designed for scientific numerical computing. Fortran allows for high parallelization, it’s easy to optimize, and lends itself particularly well to computationally intensive fields such as finite element analysis, numerical weather prediction, computational physics, computational chemistry, and computational fluid dynamics.

          Fortran has evolved over time, with various standards including Fortran IV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90 and Fortran 95. More recent revisions are Fortran 2003, and Fortran 2008. Since Fortran 9x, it has many structured programming features, dynamic memory, operator overloading, and primitive objects. It is both the language of the past, the current, and the future (high-performance computing is unlikely to cast aside Fortran). Despite its age, Fortran is still very much alive and kicking. Fortran has a vast number of libraries of code.

        • Perl / Raku

          • The Rock Pi S Review

            When writing articles like these, there is an inevitable comparison to the Raspberry Pi series. There is no way to fight this, and for good reason. The first Raspberry Pi ushered in a slew of Single Board Computers (SBCs), and one of them is the Rock Pi S, a new board from Seeed Studio.

            In the interest of full disclosure, the Rock Pi S was provided by Seeed Studio for this review. Specifically, it?s the model with 512MB of RAM and 4Gb of built-in flash.

            The Rock Pi S competes in the same segment as the Raspberry Pi Zero, particularly the Zero W with built-in WiFi. Its form factor is different; where the Zero is shaped like a stick of gum, the Rock Pi S is closer to a square. The Rock also has USB-C for power, an ethernet jack, and a USB-A port. Depending on the project, it can end up being cheaper than the Zero, since you don?t have to buy a micro-USB to USB-A adapter to hook up most other devices.

            You do still need a micro SD card. While there are versions of the Rock with built-in flash, it?s small and not meant for booting an OS. Note that the size of the built-in flash is listed in gigabits. The 4Gb version is actually 512 megabytes. So get an SD card.

            Which leaves us the question of which SD card. Some people automatically reach for a class 10 or UHS-I card, since those have the highest performance on the box. Trouble is, the traditional class ratings on SD cards only tell you the sequential read and write performance. That?s fine for cameras, but running an operating system means lots of random reads. Testing often showed that a good class 4 card was better than a lot of the class 10 cards out there.

          • k-means: a brief interlude into Data Wrangling

            When last we saw our heroes, what they thought was the brink of success turned out to be the precipice of hasty interpretation and now they are dangling for dear life on the branch of normalization! how’s that for tortured metaphor!

            If you use raw values for your k-means clustering, dimensions with large values or large ranges can swamp smaller dimensions and skew your clusters. The process of normalization tries to bring everything into the same range, usually [0,1], although your choices on how to transform the ranges are also significant. There is not always one best way to do it and, as usual, get familiar with your dataset and use your judgement.

          • Paws XXXXIX (Very Close)

            Finally things were looking my way. I plowed thought the remaining CloudFront actions and got them all to work without any more changes to Paws.

            In the end I checked in 30+ new tests cases and over 2k of tests the other day. So I can safely say that ‘CloudFront’ is fully operational.

            That leaves only ‘Route53′ to look and for me this is somewhat problematic. The Route53 api deals with ‘Domains’, ‘Checks’, ‘Hosts’, ‘Traffic’ and such.

        • Python

          • Using IF ELSE condition in Django template

            IF tag evaluates the variable and variable is considered True if it exists and is not empty (if that variable is any iterable) and is not a False boolean value. Which means we can use a boolean variable, a list or a set with IF tag.

          • Ensemble/Voting Classification in Python with Scikit-Learn

            Ensemble classification models can be powerful machine learning tools capable of achieving excellent performance and generalizing well to new, unseen datasets.

            The value of an ensemble classifier is that, in joining together the predictions of multiple classifiers, it can correct for errors made by any individual classifier, leading to better accuracy overall. Let’s take a look at the different ensemble classification methods and see how these classifiers can be implemented in Scikit-Learn.

          • PyCharm 2019.3.2

            We’ve been taking some time to polish PyCharm further, so be sure to update to the newest version! You can get it from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), using JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website.

          • EuroPython 2020: Pre-launch Website Ready

            In the last couple of weeks we have put together a pre-launch site for EuroPython 2020, which has all the information around the event, as we currently know and can share with you.

          • Hello Word in Django: How to start with Django

            In this article, we will learn how to develop and run a python-Django app in less than 5 minutes.

          • Python GUI Programming With Tkinter

            Python has a lot of GUI frameworks, but Tkinter is the only framework that’s built into the Python standard library. Tkinter has several strengths. It’s cross-platform, so the same code works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Visual elements are rendered using native operating system elements, so applications built with Tkinter look like they belong on the platform where they’re run.

            Although Tkinter is considered the de-facto Python GUI framework, it’s not without criticism. One notable criticism is that GUIs built with Tkinter look outdated. If you want a shiny, modern interface, then Tkinter may not be what you’re looking for.

            However, Tkinter is lightweight and relatively painless to use compared to other frameworks. This makes it a compelling choice for building GUI applications in Python, especially for applications where a modern sheen is unnecessary, and the top priority is to build something that’s functional and cross-platform quickly.

          • The contextmanager Decorator

            Context managers provide a cool programming pattern, especially if you’re forgetful or just have too much to keep track of and you want to simplify your life.

          • URLs Lead The Way

            In the last article in the Understand Django series, we saw how a user’s browser request goes from their browser to Django’s “front door.” Now it’s time to look at how Django processes those requests.

            An HTTP request coming from a browser includes a URL describing which resource Django should produce. Since URLs can come in many forms, we must instruct Django on the kinds of URLs that our web application can handle. This is what the URL configuration is for. In the Django documentation, the URL configuration is called a URLconf, for short.

            Where is the URLconf? The URLconf is at the module path set by the ROOT_URLCONF setting in your project’s settings file. If you ran the startproject command, then that setting will be named like project.urls where “project” is the name given as an argument to the command. In other words, the URLconf is placed right next to the settings.py file in project/urls.py.

          • PyQt5 plotting with matplotlib, embed plots in your GUI applications

            In the previous part we covered plotting in PyQt5 using PyQtGraph. That library uses the Qt vector-based QGraphicsScene to draw plots and provides a great interface for interactive and high performance plotting.

            However, there is another plotting library for Python which is used far more widely, and which offers a richer assortment of plots — Matplotlib. If you’re migrating an existing data analysis tool to a PyQt GUI, or if you simply want to have access to the array of plot abilities that Matplotlib offers, then you’ll want to know how to include Matplotlib plots within your application.

            In this tutorial we’ll cover how to embed Matplotlib plots in your PyQt applications

            Many other Python libraries — such as seaborn and pandas— make use of the Matplotlib backend for plotting. These plots can be embedded in PyQt5 in the same way shown here, and the reference to the axes passed when plotting. There is a pandas example at the end of this tutorial.

          • “Effective Python” by Brett Slatkin book review

            Let’s start with the target audience for this book. I’d recommend it to the people who are using Python at least several months and are feeling good with the basics. If you need more practical advice you are definitely welcome.

          • Wing Tips: Using Black and YAPF Code Reformatting in Wing Python IDE

            ing version 7.2 has been released, so in the next couple Wing Tips we’ll take a look at some of its new features.

            Wing 7.2 expands the options for automatic code reformatting to include also Black and YAPF, in addition to the previously supported autopep8. Using one of these allows you to develop nicely formatted uniform-looking code without spending time manually adjusting the layout of code.

          • String Formatting with Python 3′s f-Strings

            Python 3.6 introduced a new way to format strings: f-Strings. It is faster than other string formatting methods in Python, and they allow us to evaluate Python expressions inside a string.

            In this post, we’ll look at the various ways we can format strings in Python. Then we’ll have a deeper look at f-Strings, looking at how we can use it when displaying different data.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Vulkan 1.2 Comes To macOS / iOS Via Updated MoltenVK

          While Apple still isn’t officially supporting the Vulkan graphics/compute API in remaining focused on their Metal drivers, MoltenVK at least has been updated for Vulkan 1.2 in allowing developers to target this Vulkan-to-Metal abstraction layer for macOS and iOS.

  • Leftovers

    • Defender and Spearheads

      ”ALARM! Twelve thousand residents must immediately leave their homes! All hospital clinics must be evacuated! No exceptions! Hasten!“

    • The Teamster Revolt Against the Hoffa Era
    • A Very Naughty Boy
    • WiFi hot spot name sends police to Detroit Metro Airport

      After the plane stopped, police boarded and took two people off, Greenberg said. Police and the pair returned and two other people – a man in shorts and a woman, both who appeared to be in their 30s – were then removed from the plane, he said.

      Police took the two passengers’ bags and they never returned, Greenberg said. A flight attendant told him there was a personal WiFi called “remote detonator” that was never turned off.

      Gass could not confirm the name of the WiFi hot spot, but said both removed passengers – a 42-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man, both from Quebec – were released following the incident, pending further investigation.

      In all, passengers were kept on the plane for more than three hours, Greenberg said. As of 1 a.m. Friday, he was waiting to re-board the plane to take off.

    • Science

      • Researchers Scientifically Create Video Games To Benefit Cognitive Function

        For those of us of a certain age, where you’re the right age to have grown up with video games as a staple of your youth entertainment experience while your parents basically grew up without them, the generational divide when it comes to gaming could not possibly be more stark. It is my belief that a great deal of the ongoing debate about whether there are harmful effects from playing video games is probably about to simply disappear as that parental generation begins to shove off this mortal experience. Gaming, after all, has been blamed for all sorts of things, even as research is starting to trickle in which suggests that video gaming in particular may have health benefits and is otherwise part of a healthy staple of entertainment experiences.

    • Education

      • Upcoming SCOTUS Ruling Could Starve Public Schools in Favor of Religious Ones

        On January 22, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case that could result in the massive expansion of public funding for private religious schools. The petitioners in the case — which will be litigated by the conservative law group, Institute for Justice — are asking that the court rule unconstitutional the denial of “public funds’ to religious schools, invoking the First Amendment “freedom of exercise” clause to defend the position. In the event that the court rules in favor of the petitioner, the result, argue its detractors, would be tantamount to a mandate for religious voucher programs in every state.

      • Special collections’ design process

        In particular, the psychogeographic concept of drifting led to the idea of a visual exploration where each user constructs their own map of the data by wandering through the connections between the data elements, defined by the common tags shared by the collections. The following early sketch offer a glimpse of these schemes:

      • Education: Expanding Purpose

        As the world stumbles from one crisis to another it is increasingly apparent that existing systems and institutions are incapable of responding to the challenges of the time and the growing demands of the people. Creative ways of thinking free from ideology are needed, allowing for a revolution of ideas to take place and new ways of living to emerge based on altogether different values to those that are currently so pervasive; values that cultivate cooperation, tolerance and understanding in place of competition, prejudice and ignorance, and allow for a sense of unity and social responsibility to flower naturally.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • To Open Congress to Working People, Georgia Democrat Petitions FEC to Use Campaign Funds for Healthcare

        “This could help open the field to candidates who live like the majority of Americans.”

      • Cases of New Viral Respiratory Illness Rise Sharply in China

        Chinese health authorities urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings, after warning that a new viral illness that has infected more than 400 people and killed at least 17 could spread further.

      • Structural Racism in Medicine Worsens the Health of Black Women and Infants

        The United States has one of the most abysmal maternal health records among industrialized nations, and Black women bear a disproportionate share of the burden.

      • Terence Hallinan: Fighter for the People and for the Legalization of Marijuana 

        Terence Hallinan is dead at 83, but his spirit goes marching on in San Francisco and way beyond the city where he practiced law and served as district attorney for seven years. As the son of Reds during the Cold War and McCarthy years, I felt a natural affinity with Terence and also a sense of camaraderie. He leaves behind a big legacy, certainly bigger than mine, and many others of his generation who made names for themselves in the civil rights and anti-war movements. Marijuana is a big part of Terence’s big story that in some ways began before he was born, as the son of notorious lefties, Victor and Vivian Hallinan. Not long ago, I interviewed Terence at his home in Petaluma. Here are some of the highlights from his comments.

      • Juice WRLD Cause of Death: Massive Oxycodone and Codeine Overdose

        Juice WRLD, aka Jarad Higgins, died from a massive overdose of oxycodone and codeine, according to an autopsy report from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The rapper stuffed a large quantity of pills and other drugs down his throat during an FBI raid.

      • Challenging the Flawed Premise Behind Pushing GMOs into Indian Agriculture

        A common claim is that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are essential to agriculture if we are to feed an ever-growing global population. Supporters of genetically engineered (GE) crops argue that by increasing productivity and yields, this technology will also help boost farmers’ incomes and lift many out of poverty. Although in this article it will be argued that the performance of GE crops to date has been questionable, the main contention is that the pro-GMO lobby, both outside of India and within, has wasted no time in wrenching the issues of hunger and poverty from their political contexts to use notions of ‘helping farmers’ and ‘feeding the world’ as lynchpins of its promotional strategy. There exists a ‘haughty imperialism’ within the pro-GMO scientific lobby that aggressively pushes for a GMO ‘solution’ which is a distraction from the root causes of poverty, hunger and malnutrition and genuine solutions based on food justice and food sovereignty.

      • 1982 American Petroleum Institute Report Warned Oil Workers Faced ‘Significant’ Risks from Radioactivity

        On Tuesday, a major new investigative report published by Rolling Stone and authored by reporter Justin Nobel delves deep into the risks that the oil and gas industry’s waste — much of it radioactive — poses to the industry’s own workers and to the public.

      • Fight For Girls’ Abortion Rights In Florida

        Today, on the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – when the US Supreme Court affirmed access to abortion as a constitutional right – Florida legislators are considering a bill that would threaten adolescent girls’ access to abortion.

        The bill, HB265/SB404, would force teenage girls to get parental consent for abortion. Florida state law already requires girls under 18 to notify a parent before an abortion or go to court to get a waiver from a judge. The proposed law would require girls to get written, notarized consent from a parent or legal guardian for an abortion or to seek a judicial waiver.

      • 47 Years After “Roe v. Wade,” Theoretical Abortion Rights Are Not Enough

        As we mark the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion in the United States, we need only look to a recent sneak attack by the Trump administration as a reminder that even with the ruling in place, anti-abortion politicians are hellbent on passing policies that keep the true promise of Roe from being realized for many.

      • “Roe v. Wade” Is Being Chipped Away. Will We Lose It Altogether This Year?

        Just four years after the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision strengthened the precedent and promise of 1973’s Roe v. Wade, Louisiana’s medically unnecessary regulation, Act 620, has given the Supreme Court the opportunity to weaken or outright overturn federal protections for abortion care.

      • Amid Years of Funding Cuts to Public Health, First US Case of China’s Coronavirus Detected

        Public health advocates say state, local, and federal agencies are underprepared to cope with the spread of a new infectious disease.

      • In Historic Shift, US’s Second-Largest Physician Group Endorses Medicare for All

        The fight for Medicare for All received a two-handed boost from tens of thousands of doctors on Monday when the American College of Physicians — in a move described as a “seachange for the medical professions” — officially endorsed a single-payer system as among only one of two possible ways to improve the nation’s healthcare woes.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (tiff and transfig), Fedora (thunderbird-enigmail), Mageia (ffmpeg and sox), openSUSE (fontforge, python3, and tigervnc), Oracle (python-reportlab), Red Hat (apache-commons-beanutils, java-1.8.0-openjdk, kernel, kernel-alt, libarchive, openslp, openvswitch2.11, openvswitch2.12, and python-reportlab), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk and python-reportlab), SUSE (samba and tigervnc), and Ubuntu (python-pysaml2).

          • Do You Really Need Antivirus Software on Linux?

            There’s a myth that Linux doesn’t have viruses. but for most people, it’s true that they don’t need an antivirus on Linux. How can both those claims be true? Do you really need antivirus on your Linux machine?

            Although there have been cases like EvilGnome, a piece of malware that made headlines last year for infecting Linux desktops, they are ultra-rare. The short answer is that thanks to being more securely designed, better maintained, and, truth be told, less popular, Linux ends up being safer than Windows.

            There’s no simple yes or no answer to the question of our title, though, as it depends on the user and their needs.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (chromium, libredwg, and thunderbird), Oracle (apache-commons-beanutils, java-1.8.0-openjdk, libarchive, and python-reportlab), Red Hat (kernel), Scientific Linux (apache-commons-beanutils, libarchive, and openslp), SUSE (java-11-openjdk), and Ubuntu (e2fsprogs, graphicsmagick, python-apt, and zlib).

          • The Common Pitfalls of Cloud Native Software Supply Chains

            Daniel Shapira talks about some of the common security vulnerabilities found in cloud-native environments, and why it is important to take security measures immediately to protect instances in the cloud.

          • Microsoft Zero-Day Actively Exploited, Patch Forthcoming

            An unpatched remote code-execution vulnerability in Internet Explorer is being actively exploited in the wild, Microsoft has announced. It’s working on a patch. In the meantime, workarounds are available.

            The bug (CVE-2020-0674) which is listed as critical in severity for IE 11, and moderate for IE 9 and IE 10, exists in the way that the jscript.dll scripting engine handles objects in memory in the browser, according to Microsoft’s advisory, issued Friday.

            The vulnerability could corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user – meaning that an adversary could gain the same user rights as the current user.

          • [Cracker] Leaks More Than 500K Telnet Credentials for IoT Devices

            A [cracker] has published a list of credentials for more than 515,000 servers, home routers and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices online on a popular [cracking] forum in what’s being touted as the biggest leak of Telnet passwords to date, according to a published report.

          • How to stop typosquatting attacks

            Cybercriminals are turning to social engineering to try to trick unsuspecting people into divulging private information or valuable credentials. It is behind many phishing scams where the attacker poses as a reputable company or organization and uses it as a front to distribute a virus or other piece of malware.

            One such risk is typosquatting, a form of social engineering attack that tries to lure users into visiting malicious sites with URLs that are common misspellings of legitimate sites. These sites can cause significant damage to the reputation of organizations that are victimized by these attackers and harm users who are tricked into entering sensitive details into fake sites. Both system administrators and users need to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves.

            Open source software, which is developed and tested by large groups in public repositories, is often lauded for its security benefits. However, when it comes to social engineering schemes and malware implantation, even open source tools can fall victim.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The FBI Can Get Into The Latest IPhones, So Why Is It Asking Apple To Break Encryption On Older Models?

              The FBI has asked Apple to break the encryption on devices owned by the Pensacola Naval Base shooter. It hasn’t made this request officially — there’s no court order being sought to compel Apple’s assistance — but it’s asking nonetheless.

            • Report Says Saudi Prince MBS’s Whatsapp Account Personally Sent Jeff Bezos Malware Used To Access His Phone

              Things sure are getting even more bizarre in the world of the rich, famous, and powerful. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (usually called “MBS”) is now being accused of personally being involved in the hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone to get data that was eventually used against him by the National Enquirer. This is a soap opera-level story that involves a bit of background.

            • The Saudi Hacking Scandal Is Much Bigger Than Anyone Realizes
            • UN Report on Saudi Prince’s Hacking of Bezos’s Phone Raises Questions Over Other Potentially Compromised Elites

              “If the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally hacked Bezos’s phone via malicious files sent over text, it seems extremely likely he’s hacked heads of state the same way.”

            • Saudi Prince Implicated in Bezos’ Phone Hack, U.N. Experts Say

              The phone of Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked after receiving a file sent from an account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, United Nations experts said Wednesday.

            • Did Saudi Prince Bin Salman Personally Hack Jeff Bezos’s Phone, Vacuuming Up Secrets? What About Jared Kushner?

              The revelation that Bin Salman himself played a pivotal role in the attempt to ruin Bezos’s life over the Washington Post‘s reporting on Saudi Arabia and on Donald Trump should send chills down the spine of everyone who has ever chatted with the prince over Whatsapp.

            • Walt Mossberg – Spotify Podcast Ads are a ‘Planned Violation of Privacy’

              Spotify is planning on inserting streaming podcast ads later this year. Walt Mossberg calls it a ‘planned violation of privacy.’

            • Can hardware ever be trusted? The Betrusted project aims to find out by going back to basics

              As previous posts have noted, the Internet of Things is being widely embraced in the form of so-called “smart speakers” and other devices. That’s despite the fact that few of these hardware systems can be regarded as secure: leaks of personal data can and do occur in multiple ways. Mostly, that is because the software has flaws and even backdoors. It is generally accepted that open source code is the best way to minimize such problems. Because anyone – including experts – can inspect the software, security weaknesses can be caught. That doesn’t mean they will be caught, and open source software is not a panacea. But even optimistically assuming all the main software flaws are spotted and fixed, that still leaves another crucial question that is rarely considered: can the underlying hardware ever be trusted? And if it can’t, what happens to privacy?

            • New Report Says Apple Dropped Plans To Fully Encrypt Backups After FBI Complained

              As Attorney General William Barr and other law enforcement officials continue to insist (falsely) that Apple refuses to cooperate with them in undermining encryption and security on all iPhones, plenty of people have been pointing out for years that the reality is that most iPhone encryption is effectively meaningless, because if a user has iCloud backups on, Apple retains the key to that data and can (and does!) open it up for legitimate law enforcement requests. In other words, it’s extremely rare that full device encryption actually keeps law enforcement out (and that leaves aside the fact that technological solutions exist for law enforcement to hack into most iPhones anyway). Indeed. as you might recall, during the FBI’s last big fight about encryption with Apple, over San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, it was revealed that the FBI’s own incompetence resulted in Farook’s backups being wiped out before the FBI had a chance to access them.

            • Deep Dive: Scoring ISPs and Hosts on Privacy and Security

              In April 2019 the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance (OTA) released its 10th Annual Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll. The Audit looks at the security and privacy practices of over 1,000 of the top sites on the Internet from retailers to governments. In this post we will take a deeper dive into the ISP/Hosts sector of the Audit. This sector is comprised of the top ISPs and other hosting organizations in the U.S. It includes everything from organizations that provide network access to organizations that host email services.

              In the Audit, privacy statements are scored across 30 variables. ISP/Hosts were a decidedly mixed bag compared to other sectors, which tended to do either relatively well or poorly across the board in their statements. (Though to clear, the vast majority of organizations in the Audit had poor privacy statements, it was the most common reason for failure across privacy and security scoring.)

            • Academic: Digital payments changing customer behaviour

              Only about 10 percent of people in Finland still use cash to pay for goods and services in their daily lives, according to the Bank of Finland and financial lobby Finance Finland. The figure has fallen from 25 percent in just five years.

            • Top Secret documents show Cyber Command’s growing pains in its mission against ISIS

              The documents, shared with CyberScoop via George Washington University’s National Security Archive, show how the command has faced significant internal hurdles as Pentagon leadership has pushed Cyber Command to grow into a well-respected force since its creation in 2009. They include briefings on how Cyber Command measured the effectiveness of Operation Glowing Symphony, a mission carried out in 2016 that was meant to isolate and destroy ISIS networks used to spread the terrorist group’s propaganda.

            • Weakening Encryption Could Impact Election Security, Coalition Says

              A coalition for secure elections sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr Wednesday, criticizing the AG for recent comments he made calling on companies to create a “backdoor” through encryption.

              The letter, published by the Project on Government Oversight, warns such backdoors—even if expressly for use by law enforcement—would weaken the security of encrypted services and devices, “opening the door” for hackers to harm users.

              “While encryption does not guarantee safety from all forms of malicious hacking, it is a vital safeguard to minimize risk. The Department of Justice has previously asked companies to create a ‘backdoor’ through encryption that would be accessible to law enforcement—but it is simply not possible to create a ‘backdoor’ that could not also be accessed by malicious hackers,” the letter states.

              The letter follows pressure from the Justice Department on companies like Apple and Facebook to provide law enforcement backdoor access to systems if permitted under a warrant. Apple has refused to unlock encrypted iPhones for the FBI going back several years, and the issue took renewed importance last week after Barr called on Apple to unlock two phones used by a gunman at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla.

            • Preventing Privacytools conflicts of interest – ensuring Privacytools integrity

              By now, you’re probably aware of a conflict of interest at Privacytools (PTIO). It seems Startpage/System1 offered a PTIO Team Member work during the delisting/relisting discussions. This person was in direct contact with Startpage and representing PTIO.

              There is already at least one article out about this 2, and I believe it is important to take steps to shore up trust in PTIO recommendations.

              I believe it would be wise to move forward with initiatives/models that help ensure objectivity, like those recommended by @infosechandbook @a553d43c-f7fa-483a-8 @supernova @esmailelbob and others. The “Questions to Ask All Privacy Services” project is nearly ready to go and could help. It’s just waiting on approval from the PTIO Team. (I am not a PTIO Team Member, btw.)

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Syria: Cluster Munition Attack on School

        A ballistic missile equipped with a banned cluster munition warhead launched by Syrian forces killed 12 civilians, including 5 children, at a school on January 1, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today.

        The attack killed 9 civilians, including the 5 children ages 6 to 13. Three other adults have since died of their wounds, one a teacher whose son was also killed. At least 13 more civilians, 12 children and another teacher, were injured in the attack on the Abdo Salama School in the town of Sarmin, Idlib governorate. 

      • Myanmar: Government Rohingya Report Falls Short


        Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, receives a final report from Philippine diplomat Rosario Manalo, a member of the Independent Commission of Enquiry for Rakhine State, at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, January 20, 2020. 

      • In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding

        Despite a palpable sense of war fatigue among all Americans, regardless of their political leaning, the US continues to sink deeper into Middle East conflicts simply because it is unable—or, perhaps, unwilling—to challenge Israel’s benefactors in all facets of the American government.

      • Colombia/Venezuela: Armed Groups Control Lives at Border

        January 22, 2020 VideoColombia/Venezuela: Armed Groups Control Lives at BorderKillings, Forced Labor, Child Recruitment (Bogotá) – Armed groups use brutal violence to control peoples’ daily lives in the eastern Colombian province of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

        The 64-page report, “‘The Guerrillas Are the Police’: Social Control and Abuses by Armed Groups in Colombia’s Arauca Province and Venezuela’s Apure State,” documents violations by the National Liberation Army (ELN), the Patriotic Forces of National Liberation (FPLN), and a group that emerged from the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Abuses including murder, forced labor, child recruitment, and rape are often committed as part of the groups’ strategy to control the social, political, and economic life of Arauca and Apure. Impunity for such abuses is the rule.

      • Guinea Support for 2009 Massacre Trial ‘Unequivocal’

        Guinea’s Justice Minister Mohamed Lamine Fofana has announced his government’s “unequivocal” support for the start of the trial to hold the alleged perpetrators of the September 28, 2009 stadium massacre accountable. The minister spoke at a review this week of Guinea’s human rights record at the country’s third Universal Periodic Review which is overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

        The minister explained the first brick for the construction of the courtroom in which the trial will take place has already been laid and that the proceedings are to commence in June 2020, after construction is completed in May.

      • The Media and the Military Mindset

        U.S. national media have been lazy in their treatment of our military—pandering to the military itself and using retired general officers with ties to the military-industrial complex as spokesmen.  The United States is largely in an arms race with itself, but the media typically ignore bloated defense spending.  It is past time to reinforce Martin Luther King’s address to the Riverside Church in 1967 that linked chronic domestic poverty and military adventurism.

      • Houston Officer Behind Deadly Botched Raid Hit With Two Felony Murder Indictments

        Former Houston PD officer Gerald Goines is going to face murder charges. At least he’s alive to face them. The victims of Goines’ botched no-knock raid — Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas — don’t have the luxury of watching justice be done. The residents of the house were killed by police officers performing a raid targeting heroin that never existed, utilizing a warrant filled with lies based on statements made by a confidential informant who didn’t exist, and drugs pulled from a cop car console.

      • How Western Left Media Helped Legitimate US Regime Change in Venezuela

        It’s been a year since Juan Guaidó began his US-anointed mandate as “interim president” of Venezuela.

      • US Revokes Visa of Philippines ‘Drug War’ Police Chief

        On Wednesday, Philippines Senator Ronald Dela Rosa confirmed that the US government had revoked his visa to the United States. The former police chief under President Rodrigo Duterte has been implicated in extrajudicial killings associated with the administration’s brutal “war on drugs.” It appears that the State Department was acting under its policy and authority to deny visas to persons implicated in gross human rights violations.

        Dela Rosa was the chief of the Philippine National Police when the nationwide “war on drugs” began soon after Duterte took office in June 2016. He presided over forces that routinely shot and killed alleged drug dealers and users, claiming without proof they resisted arrest. Investigations by human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, as well as by the media, have found numerous instances in which the police planted weapons and drugs on victims to cover up summary executions. Dela Rosa has been vociferous in defending the anti-drug campaign, calling it a success.

      • Iran confirms it fired two missiles at Ukrainian plane

        Iran has confirmed two missiles were fired at a Ukrainian airliner brought down this month, in a catastrophic error that killed all 176 people on board and sparked angry protests.

      • The US and Iran’s Perpetual Almost-War is Unsustainable – and Will End Badly

        Today Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei gave his first Friday sermon in Tehran for eight years to an audience of thousands, as he tried to calm down the furious public reaction to the Revolutionary Guards mistakenly shooting down a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers, then proceeding to lie about their responsibility for three days.

      • Iran Will be Changed Forever by Admitting Its Great Mistake, Unlike the West Which Ignores Its Own Misdeeds

        “In wartime,” Churchill famously told Stalin, “truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” He said this on 30 November 1943 – by chance his 69th birthday – in an effort to impress upon the Soviet leader the importance of deception in the planning of D-Day. In fact, the Allies did deceive the Germans, whose Wehrmacht commanders thought the landings would be made in northern France rather than on the beaches of Normandy.

      • Trump Makes Space Great Again

        With a stroke of a pen, Donald Trump created an entirely new branch of the armed forces last year. It’s the first new branch of the U.S. military since 1947.

      • ‘Critical Moment’ as Two Key Architects of CIA Torture Program Testify Under Oath in Guantanamo Bay

        “Torture is never justified and anyone who uses it must be held to account.”

      • Warmonger Cotton Accuses Antiwar Think Tank of Anti-Semitism

        If you wonder what the post-Trump Republican Party will look like, take a glimpse at Tom Cotton, one of the US senators from Arkansas (where I live). Cotton has waged a relentless campaign for war against Iran and has supported every horror produced by the US foreign-policy establishment for the last 20 years. He makes other American hawks look like pacifists. Cotton once said that his only criticism of the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where people are held indefinitely without charge or trial, is that too many beds are empty.

      • America’s Dangerous Inheritance From World War I
      • Netflix, Iran and the Documentary as Geopolitical Weapon

        “Try saying this,” the director said:  “‘In the ’80s, Rio de Janeiro was a land of the haves and the have nots. I was a have not.’” In 2016, I was working as a fixer on an episode of a Netflix documentary crime series, and the main character was not cooperating with the script.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Ronald Reagan’s “October Surprise” Plot Was Real After All

        A batch of quietly released documents confirms what many have long suspected: Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign worked behind the scenes to delay the release of US hostages in Iran, for the benefit of Reagan’s election campaign. It raises the question: When was the last time a Republican won a presidential election without the help of dirty tricks?

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • For the First Time, Majority of US Wants the Senate to Remove Trump From Office

        A new CNN poll reveals for the first time that a majority of Americans want President Donald Trump to be impeached and removed from office.

      • The Imperative of Pulling Together to Beat the Trump Who Would Be King

        Soon will come a time when fighting among Democrats must cease.

      • Citizens United: The Court Ruling That Sold Our Democracy

        Ten years after Citizens United, the damage is broad and deep—but we can still fix it.

      • Kentucky Bill Would Make It Harder for Formerly Incarcerated People to Vote

        Less than a month after newly sworn-in Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order restoring the right to vote to roughly 140,000 people with felony convictions who have completed their sentences, state Republicans introduced a bill that would make it harder for those people to vote.

      • 2020 Dems Called On to Follow Warren in Supporting ‘No Big Ag Money Pledge’

        Supporting the pledge commits candidates to prioritizing “the health of our families, farmers, food chain workers, our planet, and our democracy.”

      • Tulsi Gabbard Files Defamation Suit Against Hillary Clinton

        Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton on Wednesday over an interview in which Clinton appeared to call Gabbard “the favorite of the Russians.”

      • The Commons and the Danger of Misplaced Outrage

        Sweeping condemnation of government ignores the indispensable purpose of government that is the cement of our country by serving everyone.

      • The People of Colombia are Cracking the Walls of War and Authoritarianism

        The protests that started with the national strike called by Colombia’s central union on November 21 to protest pension reforms and the broken promises of the peace accords have persisted for two months and grown into a protest against the whole establishment. And the protests have continued into the new year and show no signs of stopping.

      • The Obama Legacy: Reform Versus Revolution

        Those factions of the Democratic party which worked so hard in 2016 to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ chances for the nomination have been nervous for some time about the persistent popularity of the progressive agenda. We’ve been witnessing the blowback from this assault. The arrival of the “squad” in 2018 and Warren’s addition to the slate of candidates for the upcoming election are striking symptoms, unthinkable without the Sanders’ “revolution.” Sanders tapped into the desire for change that lay dormant in the party, above all the pressure to represent excluded citizens but also to reform a process that enabled the sabotage. The power of Super Delegates, entrenched insiders whose choices are immune to actual voting, for example, that pre-decided Hillary Clinton’s status. We owe Sanders for the challenge to this archaic practice and the seeding of passion for participatory democracy. Sadly, it took this independent outsider to make this desire manifest.

      • The Real Megxit Deal

        In a move that reflects the time-worn pathologies of powerful aristocratic families, the House of Windsor has agreed to allow the Queen’s grandson, Harry, currently sixth in line to the throne, and his California-born wife, Meghan, to leave the family business (The Firm) and attempt to establish independent lives in Canada, a former colony which remains a member of the British Commonwealth. This represents their exile from the territorial, ceremonial, financial, and emotional heart of the royal family.

      • 23 Corporate Media Headlines Obscure Biden’s Social Security Lies

        Headlines like “Joe Biden Falsely Claims that Bernie Sanders Is Spreading a ‘Doctored Video’” were nowhere to be found, they would have been more accurate.

      • New Ad Campaign Ties Biden to ‘Heartless’ GOP Efforts to Cut Social Security

        “Why did Joe Biden join Republicans to attack benefits for seniors?”

      • Democrats Should Be Calling Trump to Testify
      • If You Have the Truth, What Are You So Afraid Of?

        We the masses have become largely unwitting victims of the elites and their indoctrination schemes, sales pitches, and controlling propaganda.

      • After GOP Rejects Measures to Subpoena Witnesses and Evidence, Democrats Decry Impeachment Trial ‘Designed to Protect Trump’

        “What are Republicans afraid of?” asked Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      • CNN Poll Shows Sanders Surging Into First as Biden Continues to Drop—But Network Emphasizes Statistical Tie in Headline

        “CNN still cannot fathom stating the obvious here: Sanders is leading in their own national poll.”

      • Executive Power: Alan Dershowitz’s Imagination Versus the Constitution

        “The Constitution,” Alan Dershowitz claims, “allocates to the president sole authority over foreign policy (short of declaring war or signing a treaty).”

      • Donald and Ivanka Trump Were Involved in Inauguration’s Inflated Payments to Family Business, New Suit Says

        Then-President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka were warned in 2016 that the family business was overcharging the nonprofit presidential inaugural committee — and let it happen anyway, according to a suit filed Wednesday by the Washington, D.C., attorney general.

        In the civil complaint, Attorney General Karl Racine charged the Trump inaugural committee and the Trump Organization with using around $1 million of charitable funds to improperly enrich the Trump family.

      • Confusion surrounds protest plans against Russia’s constitutional changes as Libertarian organizers step away

        A request for official permission to organize a protest against Russia’s newly proposed constitutional reforms has been withdrawn from Moscow City Hall, Novaya Gazeta and MBK Media reported. The permit for a February 1 protest had already been granted, and the request’s post-acceptance withdrawal added to confusion caused by the fact that the organizers of the planned protest were unknown until yesterday.

      • Who are Russia’s new cabinet members? Part one: the vice premiers

        On January 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new executive cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The appointments were part of a major shakeup in the country’s government that will help determine Putin’s future and the future of Russia’s constitutional system. In this two-part series, Meduza profiles each of the country’s new cabinet members in brief.

      • Krystal Ball Explains to CNN That Bernie Sanders Popular ‘Precisely Because DC Hates Him’

        As the corporate and Democratic Party establishment lash out at the progressive 2020 candidate, #ILikeBernie and #IEndorseBernie show Sanders movement’s ability to fight back.

      • Consortium News Accuses Canadian Spy Agency Of Defaming Them As Part Of Russian Cyber Influence Campaign

        Consortium News accused a Canadian foreign intelligence agency, along with Global News, a Canadian television network, of defaming the media organization as “part of a cyber influence campaign directed by Russia.”

        Libel notices were sent to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and Global News. The notices demand a retraction of any mention of Consortium News as well as an apology.

      • Britain’s Brexit Bill Passes Final Hurdle in Parliament

        Britain’s Brexit bill passed its final hurdle in Parliament on Wednesday after the House of Lords abandoned attempts to amend it, leaving the U.K. on course to leave the European Union next week.

      • Democratic Party Loyalty Has Always Been a Scam

        During a recent conversation with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) did not mince words about the state of the Democratic Party. “We don’t have a left party in the United States,” she said. “The Democratic Party is not a left party. The Democratic Party is a center, or center-conservative, party.” The congresswoman later added that while there are “left members inside the Democratic Party that are working to try to make that shift happen,” there are still many true believers in the status quo. If anything, she reasoned, they’re “probably the majority.”

      • Andrew Johnson Was a Racist President Facing Impeachment. Sound Familiar?

        After a nearly 13-hour marathon session, the U.S. Senate approved by a party-line vote the rules for the impeachment trial of President Trump. This marks just the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. The Senate trial comes a month after the House impeached Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Under the rules, each side will be given 24 hours over a three-day period for opening arguments. Senators also agreed to automatically admit evidence from the House inquiry into the trial record. Republicans rejected 11 amendments from Democrats to subpoena witnesses and documents at this stage in the trial. Democrats were attempting to subpoena documents from the White House, the State Department and the Office of Management and Budget. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke early on Tuesday laying out the Democrats’ case for impeachment. “President Trump is accused of coercing a foreign leader into interfering in our elections to benefit himself, and then doing everything in his power to cover it up,” Schumer said. “If proved, the president’s actions are crimes against democracy itself. It’s hard to imagine a greater subversion of our democracy than for powers outside our borders to determine the elections from within.” For more, we speak with Manisha Sinha, professor of American history at the University of Connecticut and author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition.

      • First the Trial, Then the Evidence? Impeachment in Wonderland.

        In a scene straight out of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the GOP-controlled Senate has refused to allow timely testimony from witnesses who had front row seats to Donald Trump’s abuse of power. The senators voted 53-47, strictly along party lines, to table any possible discussion of whether to allow witnesses and documentary evidence until six days of legal arguments and two days of senator questioning had occurred. That means the parties will argue the case and senators will ask questions before they ever get to see documents or hear from prospective witnesses.

      • We Regret to Inform You that Hillary Clinton Is at It Again

        As many were also quick to note, Sanders continues to rank as America’s most popular Senator while Clinton’s subterranean approval ratings quite literally rival Donald Trump’s. Clinton’s dismissal of Sanders, a longtime political outsider, as a “career politician” is also a bit rich given her own history as Washington’s consummate political insider, and her contention to have known nothing about the activities of close ally Harvey Weinstein (whose behavior was an open secret) deserves to raise some eyebrows.

      • How Trump lost the trade wars in 16 cool charts

        This is revealed starkly by the trajectory of US exports over the last four years. Exports increased steadily throughout 2016 and 2017. Then, in early 2018, President Trump opened hostilities via belligerent tweets, claiming “trade wars are good, and easy to win”. He imposed tariffs first in January 2018, then more in May. From that point onwards, exports have declined.

      • Pomp and censorship: Trump impeachment trial already reveals a broken America

        On Thursday, reporters found as many as 10 Capitol Police in hallways where there are usually only one or two officers, and these cops were aggressively blocking any journalists who tried to pigeonhole senators and carry out their First Amendment right to question those in authority. For example, a Miami Herald reporter trying to interview a home-state senator, Marco Rubio, had his questioning terminated by police.

        The Capitol Police even passed out handy-dandy cards to senators with tips on how they can stiff-arm those pesky journalists with phrases like “You are preventing me from doing my job” — an Orwellian twist on a reality that’s the exact opposite. The episode showed that it’s a thin blue line between a free press and a police state. The restrictions were blasted as unconstitutional and un-American by journalists’ groups, the ACLU and PEN America, which rightfully called them “an unacceptable effort to block the free flow of information at a time when that information is necessary to the functioning of our democracy.″

      • ‘A Fact-Free Sham Trial Perpetrated in the Dead of Night’: McConnell’s Trump Cover-Up in Senate Begins

        “If the president is so confident in his case, if Leader McConnell is so confident the president did nothing wrong, why don’t they want the case to be presented in broad daylight?”

      • Why Aren’t the American People Marching in the Streets Over McConnell Cover-Up in the Senate

        The American public has now proved that it will tolerate just about anything except sign-stealing in baseball and a bad decision on The Bachelor.

      • The Demise of the Labour Party and the Future For UK Socialism

        Recent elections in the UK have resulted in a seismic shift in the political landscape with the Labour Party being completely decimated: losing over 50 seats, many in places that had voted Labour for generations. The significance of this defeat, particularly regarding the party’s long-term prospects, is currently being hotly debated. With the Tories under Boris Johnson having an 80 seat majority in parliament and being entitled to effectively rule without opposition for the next 5 years, there is speculation about whether the Labour Party will ever recover and, indeed, whether it still has a place in British politics, having been so roundly abandoned by the very class it is supposed to represent.

      • Where Is Your Courage and Decency? An Open Letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander from a Childhood Friend

        We were taught early on the basic values of honesty, civility, and shame. What happened?

      • Another Date That Will Live in Infamy: 10 Years After Citizens United

        On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down one of its worst and most activist decisions ever.  Indeed, in terms of harm caused and likelihood for future harm, the Court’s decision in Citizen’s United is, likely, the most pernicious Supreme Court decision ever issued in our nation’s history.

      • Get the Money Out of Politics: 10 Years After Citizens United
      • Citizens United at 10: Why Fighting Corruption Is a Racial Justice Issue

        In the wake of Citizens United, perhaps the most promising development has been efforts by democracy advocates to link anti-corruption measures with broader, pro-democracy reform.

      • While Establishment Erupts Over Anti-Corruption Expert Pointing Out Biden’s Troubling Record, Progressives Say: Look at the Troubling Record

        “Here’s the thing: nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump.”

      • BS Public Editor and the Disease of Contempt

        You are the public editor at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

      • If Democrats Want to Honor Legacy of Dr. King, Says Ocasio-Cortez, “We Have to Be Dangerous Too”

        Congresswoman from New York said Martin Luther King Jr. would disagree with establishment Democrats who believe “we can capitalism our way out of poverty.”

      • ‘Inexcusable’: Hillary Clinton, Who Lost to Trump in 2016, Won’t Commit to Helping Bernie Sanders Win in 2020

        Former secretary of state claims “nobody likes” Vermont senator, currently a leading presidential Democratic candidate and the most popular elected politician in the country.

      • Bernie, Biden, and My Father

        Bernie has the highest favorability ratings of all the primary candidates and the latest national polls show him beating Trump in the general election.

      • How Russia’s constitutional reforms went from nonexistent to fully drafted in only five days

        On January 15, Vladimir Putin shocked the world by proposing a series of radical constitutional reforms. By January 20, those reforms were fully drafted into a legislative bill and had already been formally introduced into the State Duma for consideration. By the time an initial vote on the bill takes place, likely on January 23, fewer than 10 days will have passed since the proposals were first suggested.

      • Half of Russia’s executive cabinet has been replaced. Here’s who’s out.
      • Bernie Sanders’ People-Powered Campaign Is on Fire

        The Bernie 2020 campaign is a crucible of broader activism from the grassroots that can spark uprisings of heat and light.

      • Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announces new cabinet

        Mikhail Mishustin, the new prime minister of Russia, has formed his first cabinet, RIA Novosti reported based on a Kremlin order.

      • Iowa is Not the Twitterverse

        It was a balmy 70 degrees in New York City last Saturday, and the excited green croci began tipping through the earth. Now, that same ground is icy, and those tips are frozen stiff, and I’ve been fearing that the same fate might befall hopeful progressive voters in the wake of the Warren/Sanders tiff.

      • Self Serving
      • Russia’s replaced attorney general to serve as presidential representative to the Northern Caucasus

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Yury Chaika, the country’s former attorney general, to serve as his plenipotentiary in the Northern Caucasian Federal District. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti about the appointment but said Chaika’s appointment order has not yet been officially signed.

      • Trump’s Legal Team Is Made Up of Religious Fanatics and TV Personalities

        The impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump begins on Tuesday morning. If you’ve been closely following the Trump saga since he came down his golden escalator and declared his candidacy, as I have, you are not terribly surprised that it has come to this. Unfortunately, most of us who could see how he might seduce the faction of the country that had been primed for a demagogue like him over the past several decades also overestimated the patriotism of Republican officials, many of whom made it clear in the beginning that they knew what he was and have since rolled over for him like trained poodles. That phenomenon is what will determine the eventual outcome of the trial we are about to witness.

      • Mitch McConnell Accused of Staging a Cover-Up as Trump Impeachment Trial Begins

        The Senate opens the third impeachment trial of a U.S. president in the country’s history Tuesday, marking a historic day in Washington. Under proposed rules by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, each side will be given 24 hours over two days for opening arguments, after which senators will have 16 hours for questions and four hours for debate. The Senate will then vote on whether to hear from any new witnesses. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said McConnell is trying to rush the impeachment process, while House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, who is one of the impeachment managers, has accused the CIA and NSA of withholding documents potentially relevant to the impeachment trial. This comes as President Trump has added several prominent lawyers to his legal team, including former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, whose probe led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz. In 2008, Starr and Dershowitz helped serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein receive a sweetheart plea deal when he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. One of Epstein’s victims also accused Dershowitz of sexually assaulting her, but Dershowitz has long denied the charge. We speak with Rick Perlstein, historian and the author of several books, including The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, which covered the Watergate investigations and Nixon’s impeachment.

      • Rep. Lieu Tells Rep. Nunes He Looks Forward To Discovery, As More Evidence Of Nunes Connections With Parnas Emerge

        Last week we noted that the latest person that Rep. Devin Nunes was threatening to sue (a constantly growing list) was a fellow Congressional Representative, Ted Lieu. Nunes was particularly mad that Lieu had said Nunes “conspired” with Lev Parnas, the now indicted Rudy Giuliani aide who has been dribbling out a bunch of fascinating info lately. We, and many others, had asked Lieu to release the letter from Nunes’ lawyer, and he finally released the first page as well as his own response letter. And the timing is interesting, because it comes just as the House released new evidence of a connection between Parnas and Nunes.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • EFF to Supreme Court: Criminal Immigration Statute Threatens Free Speech Online

        EFF is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a law that poses a serious threat to online speech by criminalizing speech that “encourages” unlawful immigration. EFF filed an amicus brief on behalf of itself and Immigrants Rising, the Internet Archive, and Daphne Keller.

        The case, United States v. Sineneng-Smith, questions whether 8 U.S.C. §  1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) (“the Encouragement Provision”)—which makes it a felony to “encourage” an undocumented immigrant to enter or remain in the United States—violates the First Amendment. The accused, an immigration consultant charged under the Encouragement Provision, was convicted in the district court. However, the Ninth Circuit reversed her conviction, holding that the Encouragement Provision was facially unconstitutional. The court found that the statute was so overbroad that it would encompass speech ranging from “a loving grandmother who urges her grandson to overstay his visa” to a “post directed at undocumented individuals on social media” that encourages them to stay in the United States. As the court explained:

      • Speaking Freely: Addie Wagenknecht

        Addie Wagenknecht is an artist and researcher based between the U.S. and Europe. We met a few years back when she invited me to be part of Deep Lab, a “collaborative group of cyberfeminist researchers, artists, writers, engineers, and cultural producers” that she co-founded in 2014. We’ve shared the stage together twice at re:publica in Berlin, and I always enjoy having the chance to chat with her about art and free expression.

        This conversation was no exception, as it journeyed from censorship in the art world to the restrictions social media place on profanities [ed. note: this interview contains a few of those] to the impact of conspiracy theories on our societies. As a successful artist, Addie brings an important perspective to this ongoing conversation about what free expression means.

      • Turkish Government Finally Lifts Wikipedia Ban

        More than two years ago, the Turkish government blocked all of Wikipedia under the dubious legal theory it was a “threat to national security.” A single offending article that linked the Turkish government to various terrorist organizations was the “threat” Turkey felt it couldn’t withstand.

      • CPJ, 57 news organizations ask Senate to rethink press restrictions during impeachment

        The Committee to Protect Journalists and at 57 other news organizations yesterday sent a letter to Senate authorities asking them to reconsider press restrictions during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

      • What C-SPAN Can’t Show Us at the Impeachment Trial

        Kelley sighed. The video feed wasn’t controlled by C-span; it was controlled by the Senate Recording Studio, as is always the case when the network covers floor proceedings in the Senate. (C-span brought its own cameras into the Senate chamber once, for a documentary.) The network had hoped to get its cameras into the chamber for the trial, given the proceeding’s historic importance; in December, the network’s co-C.E.O. Susan Swain wrote a letter to the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, making this request, noting that the government’s existing camera setup “provides a restricted view of Senate floor debates.” The chair of the cable-network pool, which coördinates the efforts of CNN, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC, later sent a letter in support of the request. As of Tuesday, McConnell had not replied to either letter. “People don’t realize those aren’t our cameras,” Kelley told me, on the phone from his office. “And they should be.”

      • Hearing Wednesday: EFF Urges Court To Rule That Blogger’s Opinion of Open Source Licensing Agreement is Protected by the First Amendment

        San Francisco, California—On Wednesday, January 22, at 9 am, EFF Staff Attorney Jamie Williams will tell a federal appeals court that a lower court correctly dismissed a defamation lawsuit against a blogger, finding that his criticisms of a company’s business practices were opinions about an unsettled legal issue protected by the First Amendment.EFF is representing Bruce Perens, founder of the Open Source movement, who criticized restrictions Open Source Security Inc. (OSS) placed on customers of its security patch software for the Linux Operating System. OSS sued Perens in response. The lower court found that OSS’s lawsuit not only failed to plausibly state a claim for defamation, but also that it ran afoul of a California statute that protects defendants from SLAPPs, short for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.

      • ‘Harmony,’ not censorship Students and faculty at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics have been told to cease ‘divisive’ political activism or find another university

        On January 17, the administration at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics — one of the best universities in Russia — published amendments to its internal regulations on students and instructors. Following the changes, individuals affiliated with the university are now prohibited from mentioning their connection to the school when discussing political issues or taking part in “socially divisive” activities. Apparently in response to students’ involvement in Moscow’s summer opposition protests, the university has also ceased all support for the student press (one outlet, Doxa, lost its status as a student organization even earlier). Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova takes a closer look at the crisis inside the Higher School of Economics.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Qatar: 5-Year Prison Sentence Set for ‘Fake News’
      • The Similarities Between The US’s Case Against Julian Assange And Brazil’s Against Glenn Greenwald Are Uncanny

        When Julian Assange was arrested in the UK and taken out of the Ecuadorian embassy, many of us raised concerns that the charges against him appeared to be things that every investigative reporter does in finding sources. The superseding indictment of Assange made it clear that the DOJ’s case against Assange was a direct attack on a free press. Indeed, even some federal prosecutors worried about the charges going way too far.

      • Brazil’s Greenwald Prosecution Evokes Assange’s Continued Imprisonment in UK, Say Advocates

        “Shame on everyone including many journalists and Trump supporters who tried to defend the indictment of Assange.”

      • ‘An Absolute Red Alert’: Snowden Joins Journalists and Rights Advocates Worldwide Rallying to the Side of Glenn Greenwald

        “It should be clear to anyone—no matter their political persuasion—that the Bolsonaro administration is taking these actions in a purely retaliatory manner in an attempt to criminalize journalism.”

      • Bolsonaro’s Brazil Says Glenn Greenwald’s Journalism Is a Cybercrime

        In Brazil, federal prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against journalist and Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald in connection to a major investigation he spearheaded that exposed misconduct among federal prosecutors and a former judge. Called “The Secret Brazil Archive,” the series of pieces published in The Intercept and The Intercept Brasil used a trove of documents to offer new and damning insight into the sweeping anti-corruption campaign that brought down former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and paved the way for the election of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. The investigation used previously undisclosed private chats, audio recordings, videos and other information provided by an anonymous source to expose the wrongdoing of top officials, including Justice Minister Sérgio Moro, who oversaw the anti-corruption crusade known as “Operation Car Wash.” On Tuesday, a justice minister filed a denunciation of Glenn Greenwald, claiming he “directly assisted, encouraged and guided” individuals who allegedly accessed online chats related to Operation Car Wash. A judge will now decide whether to press charges. The move has sparked international outrage at what many are condemning as an attack on the free press in Brazil. We speak with Andrew Fishman, managing editor of The Intercept Brasil and reporter for The Intercept.

      • Three protected witnesses accuse Spanish ex-marine of spying on Julian Assange

        Spain’s High Court, the Audencia Nacional, is closing in on David Morales, the head of the Spanish security company US Global S. L., and who is under investigation for spying on cyberactivist Julian Assange while he was living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Three people who worked for the company have testified as protected witnesses before High Court Judge José de la Mata that Morales handed over material collected from the diplomatic headquarters to US intelligence services. The three witnesses say that Morales, a former marine in the Spanish Navy, bragged about the collaboration. “I am a mercenary and I make no bones about it,” he said to one of them.

      • American environmental journalist Philip Jacobson detained in Indonesia

        Jacobson was detained after attending a meeting between the Central Kalimantan parliament and an indigenous rights group, according to the statement.

        Yesterday, immigration officials raided Jacobson’s guesthouse, arrested him, and transferred him to a detention center in Palangkaraya, the Mongabay statement said. If charged and convicted of violating Indonesia’s 2011 immigration law, a criminal offense, he could face up to five years in prison, according to news reports.

      • Foreign correspondent attacked at Greek far-right protest

        It was the second assault on Jacobi, nearly a year to the day since members of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn attacked him, along with a cameraman and a photojournalist, also in Athens.

      • ‘We Will Not Be Intimidated’: Journalist Glenn Greenwald Defiant After Being Charged With Cybercrimes By Right-Wing Bolsonaro Brazilian Government

        “This is despicable, dangerous, and a crime against journalism.”

      • Glenn Greenwald Faces Possible Imprisonment by Bolsonaro Regime

        When Edward Snowden was an anonymous National Security Agency subcontractor with documents revealing the existence of global surveillance programs, Glenn Greenwald, then at The Guardian, was among the small group of journalists Snowden trusted to publish the documents in 2013.

      • EFF Statement on Glenn Greenwald Charges

        EFF is dismayed to learn of the decision by Brazilian prosecutors to charge journalist Glenn Greenwald under the country’s computer crime law.

        EFF has long warned that cybersecurity laws in the Americas have been written and interpreted so broadly as to invite misuse. Computer crime laws should never be used to criminalize legitimate journalistic practice.  Prosecutors should be cautious to apply them without considering the chilling effects on the free press, and the risk of politicized prosecutions.

      • In A Blatant Attack On Press Freedom, Brazilian Government Charges Glenn Greenwald With ‘Cybercrimes’ For Reporting On Leaked Documents

        I don’t always agree with Glenn Greenwald, and over the last few years have grown increasingly frustrated with either his confusing and contradictory positions or his bizarre stubbornness in being purposefully obtuse in his explanations of his positions. However, his general commitment to freedom of the press is hard to question. Over the last few years, Greenwald has been particularly focused on reporting about the federal government of Jair Bolsonaro in his adopted home of Brazil. Given that Bolsonaro has a reputation for attacking the press, many people wondered how long it would take for the Brazilian government to go after Greenwald.

      • Brazil’s attack on Greenwald mirrors the US case against Assange

        Over the years, Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald has made more than a few enemies. What some of his fans and supporters see as a crusade for truth and justice can strike others—including those who become the targets of his journalistic crusades—as needlessly hostile and potentially biased. But there is one enemy that has stood out among all the others of late, and that is Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, whose government has been the subject of wave after wave of coverage by Greenwald, all of it negative (with good reason, Greenwald would no doubt argue). Now, the Brazilian leader has struck back with force: On Tuesday, prosecutors charged the Intercept writer with aiding a criminal conspiracy for his role in the hacking and leaking of cellphone messages belonging to members of Bolsonaro’s government.

        The Intercept has published a number of articles based on the leaked messages, stories that raised questions about a corruption investigation involving some of Brazil’s most powerful players in both business and politics. As the New York Times describes, the stories questioned the integrity of the judge who oversaw that investigation, a man named Sergio Moro, who is now Bolsonaro’s minister of justice. The case resulted in a number of powerful businessmen and political figures going to prison, including former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a popular leftist. His departure in turn created an opening for Bolsonaro, a man who is often compared to Donald Trump because of his right-wing leanings and his use of social media as a weapon for pursuing vendettas against the media and others. Last year, he called Greenwald a derogatory term and warned that he “might wind up in jail.”

        The criminal complaint filed against Greenwald says that the Intercept’s Brazilian operation, which he founded, didn’t just receive the hacked messages and then publish some of them in news stories. Instead, it argues that Greenwald cooperated with the hackers, and that he therefore played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.” Among other things, the prosecutors say Greenwald encouraged the hackers to delete archives of leaked material in order to make it more difficult to connect them with the leaks. They also argue that the Intercept writer was in communication with the hackers while they were listening in on private conversations through apps such as Telegram, and that therefore he had ceased to operate as a journalist and instead became a member of a criminal conspiracy.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Trump Administration Just Opened a New Immigrant Prison in Rural Michigan

        From his office at the Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, Mich., Oscar Castañeda runs a campaign against a new federal immigrant prison, part of President Donald Trump’s escalation of immigration enforcement.

      • “The Cops & the Klan Go Hand in Hand!”

        Back in 1979, the American Nazi Party and the KKK gunned down five members of the Communist Workers Party in Greensboro, NC. Present with the fascists were a turncoat Klansman/ COINTELPRO node named Ed Dawson and an FBI mole, Bernard Butkovich. Though these men knew that the Klan were armed and desirous of a gunfight, nobody outside law enforcement and state security was informed. Five lay dead and dying that afternoon, plus one wounded Nazi. Predictably, all the fascists were later acquitted in both state and federal courts (though the city settled in a separate civic trial, with $351,000 going to the plaintiffs). The message was transparent: We’re watching you and We watch out for our own.

      • Egypt and the Destruction of Civil Liberties in America

        There are lots of things wrong with the conviction and incarceration of 54-year-old Mustafa Kassem, who died last week in Egypt.

      • Russian standup comedian faces police investigation following complaint that he ‘offended the feelings of believers’

        At only 25 years old, Alexander Dolgopolov has a hefty list of career accomplishments. The Moscow-based standup comic has released two solo specials (both of which topped two million views on YouTube) and appeared on the country’s most-watched online talk show, where host Yury Dud called him “the most underrated comedian in Russia.” Now, the young Muscovite has another item to add to that list: He is under investigation by the Moscow regional police force.

      • DEA, TSA Sued For Stealing 79-Year-Old Man’s Life Savings From His Daughter At An Airport

        The DEA doesn’t really want to stop the flow of drugs into the country. Let’s not kid ourselves. Better yet, let’s not allow the DEA to kid us it’s in the drug enforcement business. It’s in the cash business. It wants to seize cash. It is so cash-focused it hires TSA agents to alert the DEA whenever they see cash in people’s luggage. It also regularly peruses airplane and railway passenger manifests to find targets it feels might be carrying cash.

      • Police attempt to re-arrest anti-Putin shaman, arresting four of his supporters instead

        Security officers have arrested four individuals at the Yakutsk home of Alexander Gabyshev, the shaman who has begun walking across Russia on two different occasions in hopes of banishing the evil spirit of Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. Open Russia’s Human Rights Project coordinator Alexey Pryanishnikov told MBK Media that four of Gabyshev’s supporters were arrested during the course of the latest police visit.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ By Drive-By Truckers

        Art is often a product of the political climate. This truth is reflected in the music of the veteran southern rock band Drive-By Truckers.

      • Russian LGBT Activist Under House Arrest is Facing New Charges

        Russian feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activist Yulia Tsvetkova, already under house arrest for two months on bogus charges of pornography distribution, faces new charges of allegedly violating Russia’s “gay propaganda” law.

        In the new charges, police claim Tsvetkova, 26, violated the country’s notorious “gay propaganda” law by posting on social media her drawing, depicting two same-sex couples with children and the caption “Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families!” Tsvetkova already faces up to six years imprisonment for the pornography charge.

      • Judge deals blow to woman charged for being topless at home

        A judge refused to overturn part of Utah’s lewdness law Tuesday in a blow to a woman who’s fighting criminal charges after her stepchildren saw her topless in her own home.

        Judge Kara Pettit sided with prosecutors who argued that lewdness is commonly understood to include women’s breasts in American society, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Judges should not second-guess what lawmakers have decided is lewd conduct, she wrote.

        It wasn’t immediately clear whether Tilli Buchanan would appeal the ruling. If she does not, her misdemeanor charges would move toward trial. If convicted, she could face jail time and be forced to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Sonos Will Stop Updating Older Speakers, Even Though 92% ‘Still In Use’

        Sonos will stop updating its older speakers and hardware in May, the company has announced.

      • Tale of Jailbreaking Disobedient IoT Appliances Shortlisted for the National Canada Reads Prize

        In Unauthorized Bread, a novella by EFF Special Advisor Cory Doctorow published in his 2019 Tor Books collection Radicalized, a refugee named Salima leads a mass jailbreaking of the locked-down Internet of Things appliances in a subsidized housing unit in Boston. With this act, Salima and others risk eviction, felony prosecution under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and deportation to the countries they fled in fear of their lives.

        Radicalized has just been named a finalist in Canada Reads, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s national book prize. In honor of the occasion, Ars Technica has published Unauthorized Bread in full.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Prior art found for Rain Computing patent

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Angelo Luca, who received a cash prize of $1,500 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 9,805,349, owned by Rain Computing, Inc., an NPE. The ’349 patent generally relates to methods and systems for delivering software packages to client terminals based on a subscription service by which a user is charged for specific applications that the user is subscribed to use. To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • DivX patents added to PATROLL

            On January 23, 2020, Unified added 3 new PATROLL contests amounting to $9,000 in total prizes for prior art submissions regarding US 10,212,486, US 9,270,720 and US 8,472,792. All three patents are owned by DivX, LLC, a subsidiary of well-known NPE, Fortress Investment Group. The ’486 patent relates to playing back encrypted video involving cryptographic information; the ’720 patent relates to generating a top level index file for use in adaptive bitrate streaming; and the ’792 patent relates to encoding and decoding multimedia files having at least one video track and at least one audio track. These patents are being asserted against Netflix and Hulu in district court.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Registrar Suspends Popcorn Time Domain Name Following Complaint (Updated)

          PopcornTime.sh, one of the most popular Popcorn Time applications, has lost control over its domain name. The registrar suspended the domain following a complaint, according to a Popcorn Time spokesperson. Further details were not provided but the problems prompted the popular app to relocate to a new home for the time being.

        • Italian Court Orders ISPs to Block IPTV Sites Over Serie A Piracy

          An Italian court has ordered ‘preventative measures’ that requires the websites of 15 ‘pirate’ IPTV providers to be blocked in the country. The complaint was filed by top Italian soccer league Serie A after the IPTV providers reportedly broadcast live matches without permission. How effective the blocks will be remain to be seen, however.

        • In Serving Big Company Interests, Copyright Is in Crisis

          We’re taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of copyright law and policy, addressing what’s at stake and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.

          Copyright rules are made with the needs of the entertainment industry in mind, designed to provide the legal framework for creators, investors, distributors, production houses, and other parts of the industry to navigate their disputes and assert their interests.

        • Popular Pirate eBook Site Ebookee.org Has Domain Suspended

          Popular eBook download platform eBookee has lost control of its main .org domain. The suspension was carried out by the Public Domain Registry but it’s not yet clear what specific issue caused the domain to be suspended. However, since the site is a regular target for rightsholders, particularly those in the publishing industry, copyright woes seem a likely candidate.

        • CC Global Summit: Call for Proposals and Scholarship Applications

          The CC Global Summit gathers those in the open community under the umbrella of learning, sharing, and creating; united by a passion for growing a vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude.

        • Hive-CM8 Accuses TOPKEK of Leaving Watermarks and Tracers in Pirated Screeners

          Infamous pirate release group Hive-CM8 is accusing rival group TOPKEK of putting people in danger by leaving watermarks and tracers in its recent releases. If true, this could spell trouble for those involved. Screener leaks are considered to be major breaches by the movie industry, which are severe enough to get the FBI involved.

Passion of the Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even the GPL is no longer favoured (it is about Azure, not freedom)

'Microsoft loves Linux' (rinse the past and repeat); Microsoft on the Board of Linux (Foundation); Two seats on the Board of Linux (Foundation); Former employee as Board's Vice Chair and kernel longterm (second in command); exFat in Linux and WSL (Windows integration); Linux Foundation code outsourced to Microsoft (GitHub)

Summary: A rough timeline of Microsoft’s interactions with Linux and the Linux Foundation since 2015

“There’s no company called Linux, there’s barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics of communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it’s free.”

Steve Ballmer

The Patent Microcosm is Really Panicking as European Patents on Life and Other Spurious Junk (Invalid Patents) Are Successfully Rejected

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Boards of Appeal said the N word (“No”)

European Patents? No, Invalid Patents

Summary: European Patents (EPs) may be revoked en masse if what we’re seeing is the gradual emergence of ‘European Mayo’ (and maybe soon ‘European Alice’)

NOT A day goes by without the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granting software patents. Not a day goes by (OK, maybe except Christmas) without US courts squashing such patents using 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice; we’re citing some new examples in our Daily Links almost every day, sometimes several times per day.

When António Campinos came to the top floor in Munich Team Battistelli was ready to tell him that software patents were perfectly fine to grant. That’s a lie. It is the sort of lie Team UPC tells us. It’s also the same lie that Campinos told the Boards of Appeal some months ago.

“Some applications definitely need to be rejected. What’s the point having exams that everyone passes? Or everybody aces?”Watchtroll, which is like a peripheral propaganda arm of Team Battistelli (speaking to their staff to manufacture puff pieces), is at it again this week. Yesterday’s “Eight Tips to Get Your Patent Approved at the EPO” by Watchtroll’s Gene Quinn is the latest reminder that patent zealots — notable pushers of software patents in Europe — push the European Patent Office (EPO) to be a patents-granting machine rather than a decent examination center which values quality (or legal certainty). Quinn says: “Vague descriptions that leave open ambiguities will typically lead the EPO examiner to determine that your application is not satisfactory for grant regardless of the magnitude of the innovation.”

As if the sole problem is rejection. Some applications definitely need to be rejected. What’s the point having exams that everyone passes? Or everybody aces?

“There’s no “Loss of Patent Rights in EPO on CRISPR” because there were no such “rights” in the first place. It’s an error.”Anyway, the zealotry extends further this week. David Hricik should know better, for example that patents are not rights and nobody has a “right” to own the concept of life and nature. Yet watch the title he has just published. He then said: “The Board of Appeals at the EPO held on January 17, 2020 that the EPO patent on CRISPR gene editing technology was revoked for lack of novelty because it could not claim priority to a US provisional application.”

He actually cites Carl Oppedahl, not those who are patent rationalists. He should know better, he apparently used to work for the Federal Circuit in some clerical position (if memory serves correctly). Well, typically we’ve seen good posts from Hricik, who focuses on ethical issues. Get well soon, Hricik, and kind regards!

There’s no “Loss of Patent Rights in EPO on CRISPR” because there were no such “rights” in the first place. It’s an error.

“This will have ramifications worldwide. Expect this decision to be mentioned for weeks if not months to come.”The totally one-sided coverage by law firms and patent fanatics (about this decision regarding CRISPR patents — a subject we covered thrice before) can only contribute to the perception that media is nowadays dead, or a zombie of the PR industry.

Law360 has meanwhile published “European Appeal Board OKs Revoking Broad CRISPR Patent” and it is surprisingly balanced (albeit behind paywall). To quote:

The European Patent Office Board of Appeal has greenlighted a decision to revoke a Broad Institute patent covering the breakthrough gene-editing technology CRISPR.

The EPO's opposition division had revoked European Patent No. 2771468 two years ago saying it wasn't novel, and the appeal board on Thursday dismissed the Broad Institute's appeal of that ruling. The board said a decision with its reasoning will be issued "in due course."

In a statement, the research institute associated with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said the decision was based on a "technical formality" tied to its provisional patent application in the U.S…

This will have ramifications worldwide. Expect this decision to be mentioned for weeks if not months to come.

Hricik’s ‘boss’ at that blog meanwhile persists with the same old nonsense (“This week in Property: Efficient Infringement” is the headline, but it is not “Property”). Dennis Crouch’s latest post promotes the slur of patent extremists: “Efficient Infringement”

“Notice they’re citing Koch mouthpieces such as Adam Mossoff. What a horrible sight.”What does he hope to accomplish? No idea, but it makes Patently-O seem no more moderate than Watchtroll. Maybe Patently-O has jumped the shark as well..

To quote: “Steenburg Homes argued that this is a case of efficient infringement. Although it was trespass, the company should only have to pay for the harm it caused.”

Wow. It’s being compared to “trespassing”? Or sometimes “piracy”? Why not claim that patent infringement is the moral equivalent of murder and advocate for death penalty (for patent infringement)? Notice they’re citing Koch mouthpieces such as Adam Mossoff. What a horrible sight.

“When it comes to patents, sometimes less is more.”Speaking of bad media, another EPO mouthpiece, WIPR, is now speaking for patent zealots, amplifying their “global warming is a scam” moment (‘patent troll myth’ — same line of thing Iancu did about a year ago).

The summary is just megaphone for Mingorance, followed by: “The head of a corporate alliance that includes Nokia and Ericsson has urged the EU to beware the so-called ‘patent troll myth’, which he said has “little basis in fact”.”

“Mingorance, or goodbye to freedom of programming” is how Henrion put it.

“An idea,” he also joked would be to “flood the patent system with AI generated patents…”

When it comes to patents, sometimes less is more. More quality, more legal certainty and so on.

Distractions From Microsoft’s Gigantic Tax Evasion and Contribution to Denial of Climate Science

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The greenwashing efforts (as seen earlier this month in shallow ‘media’ that’s nowadays more like a glorified PR apparatus) are a cynical ploy at best

Windows is secure. War is peace.

Summary: Microsoft (connected to oil companies) wants us to think of it as a “green” company; not only does it contribute to climate denial but it also evades tax, which is a serious crime that costs tens of billions of dollars (the public pays this money instead)

WE have been covering Microsoft here since 2006 (I had written a lot more about it since the 1990s). It’s no secret that Microsoft lies a lot about a lot of things, including its stance on the environment (we recently published "Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption"). Remember that both Microsoft and Bill Gates financially backed ALEC, as we noted here a long time ago. Microsoft subsidises big polluters and Bill Gates is best friends with them.

Over a decade ago we wrote about ALEC, about BP, and a lot about other environmental concerns. Microsoft very often shows up as a major facilitator. Recently there was whistleblowing at Microsoft about its close relationship with oil companies that drill the seas and cause unbelievable environmental damage.

“The people at Microsoft sometimes believe these lies! They’re not too bright, it’s like a cult to them.”Wouldn’t Microsoft want and even need a distraction from all this?

Notice how the media is nowadays painting Microsoft as “fighting patent trolls” (Microsoft passes to them lots of USPTO- and EPO-granted patents in order to attack Linux by proxy), painting Microsoft as protective of children (because Gates is closely connected to pedophilia on several levels), and saying that Microsoft is infatuated with minorities and women (the opposite is true, based on the track record and lawsuits). They keep telling us that Microsoft is “in love” with what it’s constantly attacking in a variety of ways, e.g. GNU/Linux. The people at Microsoft sometimes believe these lies! They’re not too bright, it’s like a cult to them. This cult gives them salaries. Microsoft management or the company as a whole keeps calling itself 'Open Source company' while it is actively attacking Open Source, e.g. through GitHub, which is proprietary (Microsoft is then bribing the critics at GitHub, based on admissions they publicly make in Twitter).

As one GNU/Linux developer put it this week: “I’ll believe “Microsoft loves Linux” when I see them support desktop Linux. For now it’s very self-serving and entirely when is convenient. It doesn’t count as an investment. It looks like just PR so it doesn’t show that they’re being dragged by the market, kicking and screaming.”

This is to be expected from a company of criminals such as Microsoft. The crimes are harder to perpetrate when people are aware and forewarned.

For over a decade we wrote about Microsoft’s long history of tax evasion worldwide; even whistleblowing from Microsoft itself explained all the pertinent details over the years. It’s not a secret anymore. Almost a decade ago the IRS belatedly took on this issue, tackling Microsoft (connected to oil companies) and this new report reveals Microsoft’s strategy. [via Benjamin Henrion]

“It’s the biggest audit in IRS history,” one person explained. “Of what has been the largest company in the world. It’s taken over a decade. And it’s still not done. And it’s not going well for the gutted IRS.”

They just try to make it too expensive for the IRS or to ‘run the clock’…

Bill Gates bribed a lot of publications to focus on tax evasion of all companies other than Microsoft as well as his own tax evasion using a sham, bogus ‘charity’.

Here are some of the details from this new article:

Eight years ago, the IRS, tired of seeing the country’s largest corporations fearlessly stash billions in tax havens, decided to take a stand. The agency challenged what it saw as an epic case of tax dodging by one of the largest companies in the world, Microsoft. It was the biggest audit by dollar amount in the history of the agency.

Microsoft had shifted at least $39 billion in U.S. profits to Puerto Rico, where the company’s tax consultants, KPMG, had persuaded the territory’s government to give Microsoft a tax rate of nearly 0%. Microsoft had justified this transfer with a ludicrous-sounding deal: It had sold its most valuable possession — its intellectual property — to an 85-person factory it owned in a small Puerto Rican city.

Over years of work, the IRS uncovered evidence that it believed laid the scheme bare. In one document, a Microsoft senior executive celebrated the company’s “pure tax play.” In another, KPMG plotted how to make the company Microsoft created to own the Puerto Rico factory — and a portion of Microsoft’s profits — seem “real.”


It seems likely, given the size of Microsoft’s Puerto Rico transaction, that the IRS in May 2011 had hit the company with a tax bill in the billions. But Maruca and Hoory thought the agency was thinking small.

Maruca told Microsoft the IRS needed more time, and in early 2012, the IRS withdrew its findings. By then, Hoory had taken leadership of the audit. He began sending new document requests to Microsoft, asking for more interviews and considering what other experts the IRS needed to round out its case. Over the next three years, he and his team amassed tens of thousands of pages and conducted dozens of interviews with Microsoft personnel. (Hoory, who still works at the IRS, declined to comment.)

The evidence they assembled told a story. It revealed how Microsoft had built a massive Rube Goldberg machine that channeled at least $39 billion in profits to Puerto Rico. It revealed a workshop of outside consultants, economists and attorneys who, as they had with other corporate clients, meticulously planned a structure that seemed to have a basis in the law, even if it violated common sense.

The documents showed that Microsoft had been caught red-handed, Hoory believed. Despite all their care in preparing for an eventual audit, the deal’s architects had left damning evidence that, he thought, made it possible for the IRS to expose the sham.

So those who are rich and have prestigious lawyers (or external law firms) can just exhaust the resources of the IRS and get away with it, leaving the IRS to pick on poor and defenseless people instead. This is maladministration and a hallmark of corruption becoming the ‘norm’. We recently mentioned how lots of Microsoft crimes all around the world resulted in only a tiny settlement. Nobody was arrested. This is the kind of atmosphere which encourages Microsoft to carry on with crime.

In order to keep people ‘off its back’ Microsoft kicked off a shameless greenwashing campaign. It started about a week ago and boiled down to nothing more than a blog post and some future (fictional) date with no commitments. Associates of ours thought it was intended to perpetuate the illusion of Microsoft existing for many years to come.

Media which Gates and Microsoft have bribes blindly parroted the talking points from Microsoft. This is why many people no longer trust the media.

CounterPunch wrote this rebuttal to it and published it on Tuesday. To quote some portions:

“This is a bold bet – a moonshot – for Microsoft.”  So claimed Brad Smith, Microsoft President, in a Thursday announcement painting a picture of a company that intends to be carbon negative by 2030.  “And,” Smith continued, “it will need to be a moonshot for the world.”  That vision entails the removal of more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits.  By 2050, the company intends removing from the environment all carbon the company has emitted since its founding in 1975.


But much of this should not detract from the obvious point: Microsoft is happy to have a bit each way when it comes to how it finances its green image. The waters it bathes in are not always ecologically sound. While the company positions itself high on the soapbox of environmental purity, it is still a corporation governed by that traditional mix of predatory instinct and innate opportunism. In this, it shares a streak with Facebook and Google, two other entities who exude self-confidence in the illusion that they are principled, morals at the ready.

This point was made last year when it was revealed that all three companies sponsored LibertyCon, the annual conference for the Students for Liberty, a libertarian group. Both Microsoft and Facebook forked out $10,000 each as gold sponsors; Google went a grade better with $25,000, making the platinum grade.

This clutch of sponsors was not, in of itself, odd. But the three companies found themselves sharing a crowded platform with outfits distinctly against the science of climate change, showing how vast open tents can get rather muddy on the inside. One of those present was the CO2 Coalition, a group celebrating the virtues of carbon, and feels that it has been unduly demonised. Carbon, it lauds, “is essential for life.” Available at the conference was a brochure from its good offices extolling the merits of greater quantities of carbon dioxide, explaining how that would improve “our lives and our planet Earth”.

One of its members, retired statistics professor Caleb Rossiter, spoke at the gathering by insisting that, “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency. The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”

In short, Microsoft is the very opposite of what it claims to be.

ZDNet has also just published “Microsoft to forcibly install Bing search extension in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users,” so anyone who still believes in the fictional ‘new’ Microsoft needs to wake up and follow the money. One might end up in some offshore tax evasion haven.

Confirmation: System1/Startpage Offered Pay to People Who Pushed for (Re)Listing in Privacy Directories

Posted in Deception, Search at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pull request or pulling a stunt/fast one? Because we value privacy we shall name nobody in this article.

EPIC privacy

Summary: The debate is now settled; those arguing in favour of listing Startpage as privacy-respecting are in fact secretly ‘compensated’ by Startpage (in other words, they’re Startpage ‘shills’)

OVER the past few days we wrote a number of articles about Startpage and about mischievous things that it had done (except selling out to a surveillance giant, System1). We still prefer not to name any people, but we will, instead, present their confessions.

“An open admission, a face-saving PR, was issued by him half a day ago.”While communicating about the unanswered Startpage questions and delisting of Startpage someone was approached by Startpage.

An open admission, a face-saving PR, was issued by that someone half a day ago. That someone confessed only after being asked questions which that someone cannot answer and having repeatedly attacked those who asked these questions, sometimes with vacuous projection tactics, hence becoming too big a liability even to Startpage. It’s a total cock-up because of that. Here’s the full confession:

Alright, I want to address the comments on this pull request.

I am going to give a lot of detail here in the hopes of clarifying this.

When the System1 investment into Startpage went down and the CEO contacted both Jonah and I to help answer the questions the privacy community had. Through those discussions and subsequent emails about how Startpage could have better handled the situation and why the privacy community was so alarmed, it was revealed that my professional background is in marketing and communications. Coupled with my experience and knowledge in the privacy community, I was offered a meeting w/ some of the Startpage team.

That meeting led to them offering me a contract to do 2 things.

1. To write a handful of blog posts for their blog related to their search engine, but also to privacy in general. This is something I already do professionally as a columnist, blogger, and author. Guest blogging is nothing new to me.

2. To meet with their team as a consultant and share my marketing/communications/privacy related experience with them.

As a professional marketer and writer, this is what I do. I will not be a Startpage employee or on their payroll.

That’s it. Any compensation being given to me will be for these services, which are part of my professional expertise.

The moment I got off the call with Startpage, I alerted the PrivacyTools team about the potential offer and that I believed this could cause a conflict of interest and since this has not happened to any other member, I wanted to make them aware so we could decide how to best handle the potential conflict. Did that mean I would have to leave the team? I was not sure, but I was willing to do so if asked. The integrity of the site is important to me, regardless of my status as a team member. While we are still discussing it now, we all agree some guidelines should be put in place. I asked that the team not go public until we had internal discussions and that I was sure I was even going to accept or decline the offer.

When it comes to this pull request to relist Startpage, it should be noted that:

1. It is a PR in response to an issue opened by another team member who agreed that Startpage should be relisted based on the answers we got from those questions. The PR cannot be pushed live by me without multiple team member approval. This ensures that even if I had not notified the team of the pending contract, that I could not just re-list a service on my own. Not only would I have to convince them it was the right thing to do, but also the community. This is one of the great features of PrivacyTools.

2. The issue and PR predates the meeting I had with Startpage and I only created the PR to satisfy the issue, as you have seen done many times before on our Github.

Startpage has not asked me to relist their service even though I am sure they would love to be. What service wouldn’t want to be? It’s a fantastic resource privacy tools and is well respected by users, organizations, and companies.

I hope this helps clarify things.

The above is pretty significant for a number of distinct reasons. First of all, anyone who still defends Startpage can be more easily accused of being either a Startpage employee or someone who was offered money by Startpage (or courting Startpage for money).

We’ve covered similar examples over the years; Microsoft is a common culprit (rewarding people with jobs in exchange for OOXML advocacy, among other things).

In the above case, it took a lot of pressure to extract the confession. “The offer could be an attempt to influence the relisting,” one person told us, “or it could be very bad judgment on the part of Startpage/System1.”

Regardless of this judgment, and irrespective of the listing, the above person was putting Startpage as a top pick for a search engine (at the same time). Is this a marketer? Seems so…

At the time the person was suddenly retweeting Startpage tweets.

Lastly, the person suddenly changed the business model and the title to “privacy consultant.”

This brings to mind this quote from Microsoft [PDF]: “”Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour).”

We still don’t know just how much money was offered.

Fake privacy isn’t “consultation” but corruption of groups. Thankfully this one managed to call out the mole before its reputation was harmed severely.

“Why aren’t so-called private search engines DuckDuckGo or Startpage offered in Epic? Why are you unable to trust them?”Epic Browser

Vandana Shiva: “Bill Gates is Continuing the Work of Monsanto”

Posted in Bill Gates, Videos at 2:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct link

Summary: A recent interview on what Bill Gates is really up to in that sham ‘charity’ of his

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:05 am by Needs Sunlight



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