Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 28/7/2020: OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Alpha, 4MLinux 33.1, Telegram Desktop 2.2 and GNOME OS Testing

Posted in News Roundup at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Getting started as an open source builder and more industry trends

      As part of my role as a principal communication strategist at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are three of my and their favorite articles from that update.

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • Mozilla Firefox 79 Released, This is What’s New

          Before you get too excited by this news I’ll tell you up front that this is not a big update (at least as far as Firefox updates go). That said there are a couple of changes you may want to know about.

          Such as?

          Well, if you’re a Firefox user in Germany you now get to “enjoy” more Pocket recommendations being shown to you on the new tab page. I know: you’re ecstatic. If you don’t want to see these — surely not? — you don’t have to; you can turn off Pocket stories (as well as other elements) on the new tab page without any hacks.

          A number of bug fixes related to using screen readers (including developer tools) make it in to this update as do a swathe of security patches. For privacy reassurance there’s also more improvement to the browser’s built in tracker blocker.

        • Firefox 79 Is Ready To Ship With Safeguard On “_blank” Links, More Wayland VA-API Work

          Firefox 79.0 isn’t scheduled to be formally announced until Tuesday but the release binaries have now hit Mozilla’s FTP servers.

          Firefox 79 isn’t a particularly exciting release with few end-user alterations but some developer additions. The developer docs note a number of WebAssembly items now shipping including support for bulk memory operations, reference types, and threads with shared memory and atomics. Plus there are the usual assortment of additions to JavaScript APIs and CSS. Older versions of macOS have also been dropped from Firefox 79.

          One of the most notable changes worth mentioning for Firefox 79 is on the security front and that is “_blank” links will now implicitly provide the same behavior as also adding rel=”noopener”. The rel=”noopener” is a security improvement and with being implicitly set for all “_blank” links will ensure the DOM on the original page cannot be manipulated by the linked website should it be malicious. Without this attribute, it’s possible for the linked website to use JavaScript to take control of the referring window.

        • Karl Dubost: Formatted console.log lines. Stacktraces export wish.

          When we select the console.log lines in Firefox devtools, and cut and paste in an editor, there are newline characters added to the output.


          Silly idea of the day. This is not available right now in devtools, but I wish it was.

          Put two breakpoints in devtools.
          Run the code as record stacktrace in between these two targets
          export the stack trace as a json in a standard format in between these two breakpoints (do the same thing in another browser)
          Have a diff tool giving the possibility to explore the differences in between the two stack traces.

        • Rust-Written Redox OS Now Supports GDB Debugging

          For helping to debug more issues within the Rust-written Redox operating system, the GNU Debugger (GDB) is beginning to work well on the platform.

          Thanks to work being achieved during the Redox Summer of Code, the GDB debugger is beginning to work well enough on the platform that bugs are being evaluated with the popular GNU Debugger. In recent weeks it’s been serving well for debugging the operating system’s dynamic linker and issues with shared libraries.

        • This Week In Servo 134

          In the past week, we merged 69 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

          The latest nightly builds for common platforms are available at download.servo.org.

          Servo has been successfully integrated into 3d Unity scenes as a 2d browser plugin.

        • Australian watchdog recommends major changes to exceptional access law TOLA

          Australia’s Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) earlier this month released a 316-page report calling for significant, and much needed, reforms to the nation’s 2018 Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (TOLA) law. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) will meet later this month to consider the INSLM’s recommendations. While we still believe this dangerous law should be repealed, if enacted, these recommendations would go a long way in reducing the risk of this flawed piece of legislation.

          This legislation – which Mozilla has continually opposed – allows Australian authorities to force nearly all actors in the digital ecosystem (Designated Communications Providers or DCPs) to do “acts or things” with an explicit goal of weakening security safeguards. For example, under this law, using a Technical Assistance Notice (TAN), Australian authorities could force a company to turn over sensitive security information, or using a Technical Capability Notice (TCN), they could force a company to redesign its software.


          Mozilla has been involved throughout the legislative process and the development of the INSLM’s report. We filed comments to the PJCIS in late 2018 and early 2019 warning of TOLA’s dangerous effects. Martin Thomson, Mozilla Distinguished Engineer, testified at a hearing held by the INSLM – which ultimately proceeded to quote a portion of Martin’s testimony in his final report. Moreover, our team has provided comments to the Australian Ministry of Communications, Cyber Safety & the Arts relating specifically to the significant security risks posed by TCNs. Our December 2019 cover letter to the INSLM contributing input to his report can be found here. A detailed list of Mozilla’s recommendations alongside related INSLM recommendations can be found here.

          The PJCIS will hold a hearing later this month to discuss the recommendations and likely begin the process of discussing amendments to TOLA. This presents the PJCIS with a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership in defending individuals’ online privacy and security while enabling effective access to justice. The implementation of TOLA continues to pose serious privacy, security, and due process issues for both users and developers, and Mozilla will continue to oppose this law. In the event that the bill is not repealed, we strongly urge the involved MPs and Senators to adopt the INSLM’s recommendations which may help soften the blow of some of the law’s most damaging provisions.

        • The Open Technology Fund’s vital role for democracy worldwide should not be undermined

          The Open Technology Fund plays a vital role for democracy worldwide. That’s why Mozilla on Friday joined a friend of the court brief in support of the Open Technology Fund’s independence from government control as OTF’s case moves forward to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

          The Open Technology Fund is a U.S. government funded, independent nonprofit corporation with a mission to support development of open-source technologies that “increase free expression, circumvent censorship, and obstruct repressive surveillance as a way to promote human rights and open societies.” One such OTF-supported project is Tor Browser, which is built on the Firefox codebase and enables encrypted access to the web for anonymous browsing. Another is Let’s Encrypt, a free certificate authority enabling more secure web connections that began as a project of Mozilla, EFF, and the University of Michigan. These are invaluable tools not only to citizens of authoritarian regimes, but more broadly to internet users everywhere who rely on them to protect the privacy of their personal associations, communications, and interests.

        • New alpha release: Tor

          There’s a new alpha release available for download. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for from the download page on the website. Packages should be available over the coming weeks, with a new alpha Tor Browser release by mid-August.

          Remember, this is an alpha release: you should only run this if you’d like to find and report more bugs than usual.

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • 10 Years of OpenStack – Alan Clark at SUSE

        Happy 10 years of OpenStack! Millions of cores, 100,000 community members, 10 years of you.

        Storytelling is one of the most powerful means to influence, teach, and inspire the people around us. To celebrate OpenStack’s 10th anniversary, we are spotlighting stories from the individuals in various roles from the community who have helped to make OpenStack and the global Open Infrastructure community successful.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Tender for implementing support for a dedicated, built-in UNO object inspection tool in LibreOffice (#202007-02)

        We are looking for an individual or company to implement support for a dedicated, built-in UNO object inspection tool in LibreOffice, to start work as soon as possible.

        In order to make working with UNO objects easier and to avoid the need to always install extensions before debugging, it is necessary to be able to inspect UNO objects in a running LibreOffice instance effectively.

        This task involves reading the existing Basic IDE Watch code, evaluating how it can be improved based on ideas implemented in external tools like xray and MRI and extending the Watch code to be a first-class inspector that allows focusing the relevant part of the UNO API for opened documents and also based on your current selection (similar to what is possible in web browsers).

        A good part of the features are implemented already. Work carried out under this tender will therefore mostly consist in making the features more accessible and more stable, adjusting the UI and refactoring things.

      • Tech freebies: 15 upgrades you get for free

        First, there’s the free and open-source office suite LibreOffice. This suite offers six programs that will feel instantly familiar if you’ve ever used Office. Writer, Calc, and Impress are equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Even better, it can open and edit the documents you made in Office and can save new files in Office formats.

      • Simulated Animation Effects Week#8

        Started adding support for complex shapes, so that they are now simulated by their shape instead of their bounding box.

      • Week 8 Report

        The last week was the 8th week of coding weeks in GSoC program. So this report is final report before phase 2 evaluation . I am still in the final exams period but I continued adding support for the non supported items.

    • CMS

      • TiddlyWiki, 12 Use-cases and 5 Tips for New Users.

        I have been using TiddlyWiki for years, mainly as personal memo, to-do organizer and encrypted data reserve (to keep track about some of my patients, or while learning). I always recommend this amazing project to my friends, colleagues doctors and developers alike, because I believe the value it gives is far so great than its minimal size and humble look.

        As a self-learner, TiddlyWiki was my main choice and companion to record what I learn, links I collect, code snippets, medical cases and algorithms. It’s the only tool I am still using for more than decade.

        I consider a TiddlyWiki is a masterpiece, not in coding but its simplicity and flexibility, needless to say its rich features list.

      • WordPress 5.5 Beta 4

        WordPress 5.5 Beta 4 is now available!

        This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.


        WordPress 5.5 is slated for release on August 11th, 2020, and we need your help to get there!

        Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the beta 3 development release and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

    • FSF

      • GNU Projects

        • Guix Is An Advanced GNU Operating System For Freedom Lovers

          Guix is an advanced distribution of the GNU operating system developed by the GNU Project. It is available as a GNU/Linux-libre distro or you can use Guix with GNU’s HURD kernel. Guix supports transactional upgrades, roll-backs, and unprivileged package management. Guix is a 100% free distro and is approved by the Free Software Foundation.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • The falsehoods of anti-AGPL propaganda

          Google is well-known for forbidding the use of software using the GNU Affero General Public License, commonly known as “AGPL”. Google is also well-known for being the subject of cargo-culting by fad startups. Unfortunately, this means that they are susceptible to what is ultimately anti-AGPL propaganda from Google, with little to no basis in fact.


          The Google page about the AGPL details inaccurate (but common1) misconceptions about the obligations of the AGPL that don’t follow from the text. Google states that if, for example, Google Maps used PostGIS as its data store, and PostGIS used the AGPL, Google would be required to release the Google Maps code. This is not true. They would be required to release their PostGIS patches in this situation. AGPL does not extend the GPL in that it makes the Internet count as a form of linking which creates a derivative work, as Google implies, but rather that it makes anyone who uses the software via the Internet entitled to its source code. It does not update the “what counts as a ‘derivative work’” algorithm, so to speak — it updates the “what counts as ‘distributing’ the software” algorithm.

          The reason they spread these misconceptions is straightforward: they want to discourage people from using the AGPL, because they cannot productize such software effectively. Google wants to be able to incorporate FOSS software into their products and sell it to users without the obligation to release their derivative works. Google is an Internet company, and they offer Internet services. The original GPL doesn’t threaten their scheme because their software is accessed over the Internet, not distributed to end-users directly.

        • Motorola Moto G8 Plus, Nubia Mini 5G, and Realme 1/U1 Android Pie kernel sources are now available

          Publishing the kernel source of an Android-powered smartphone is needed for the OEM to comply with the GNU General Public License v2, and it also helps third-party developers to build custom recoveries and ROMs for that device. An ideal kernel source release should be accompanied by appropriate commit history, and all the dependencies are expected to be properly documented. While we don’t expect every OEM to maintain such high-quality control, even a partial release should be enough for experienced developers to get the ball rolling. Manufacturers like Motorola and Nubia have a good track record of releasing kernel sources and they have now posted kernel sources for the Moto G8 Plus and the Nubia Mini 5G, respectively. Realme, on the other hand, has released a revised kernel source package targeting the Realme 1 and the Realme U1.

    • Programming/Development

      • Git v2.28.0
        The latest feature release Git v2.28.0 is now available at the
        usual places. It is comprised of 317 non-merge commits since
        v2.27.0, contributed by 58 people, 13 of which are new faces.
        It is smaller than the releases in our recent past, mostly due to
        the development cycle was near the shorter end of the spectrum (our
        cycles last 8-12 weeks and this was a rare 8-week cycle).
      • Git v2.28.0

        Version 2.28.0 of the git version control system has been released. “It is smaller than the releases in our recent past, mostly due to the development cycle was near the shorter end of the spectrum (our cycles last 8-12 weeks and this was a rare 8-week cycle).”

      • Git 2.28 Now Shipping With Feature For Configurable Default/Main Branch Name

        Git 2.28 is now officially out this Monday and features continued work on moving off the “master” default branch naming as well as the ongoing work around ultimately transitioning from SHA1 to SHA256 for hashing to prevent possible collisions.

        With Git 2.28 the support is now in place for git config init.defaultBranch to set the default branch name for newly-created Git repositories. This is to replace Git’s existing hard-coded default of “master” so instead users can opt for alternative default branch names like “default” or “main” and others. This new option does not change existing Git repositories.

      • 3 Free Books to Learn Vala

        Vala is an object-oriented programming language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code and uses the GObject system.

        Vala combines the high-level build-time performance of scripting languages with the run-time performance of low-level programming languages.

        Vala is syntactically similar to C# and includes notable features such as anonymous functions, signals, properties, generics, assisted memory management, exception handling, type inference, and foreach statements.

        Its developers, Jürg Billeter and Raffaele Sandrini, wanted to bring these features to the plain C runtime with little overhead and no special runtime support by targeting the GObject object system. Rather than compiling directly to machine code or assembly language, it compiles to a lower-level intermediate language. It source-to-source compiles to C, which is then compiled with a C compiler for a given platform, such as GCC.

        Did you always want to write GTK+ or GNOME programs, but hate C with a passion? Try Vala.

        Vala is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1+.

      • Back Up Your Data

        This post is a public service announcement about backups inspired by the one that got lost. I’ve had my own backups for over 5 years, and never have I lost any data from those backups. So I have a little bit of experience making backups. The following advice is meant for individuals, not a corporate or business setting.

      • Michael Sheldon: Emoji Support for Linux Flutter Apps

        Recently Canonical have been working alongside Google to make it possible to write native Linux apps with Flutter. In this short tutorial, I’ll show you how you can render colour fonts, such as emoji, within your Flutter apps.

      • Visual Basics: Codecademy Launches a Course on Coding with Emojis

        July 17 was “World Emoji Day,” and so the online learning site Codecademy found a fun way to celebrate. It unveiled a five-hour mini-course teaching Emojicode, a unique programming language that consists entirely of emojis.

        “We believe that Emojis have expressive force,” explained the language’s official web page. “Let’s use that to make programming more fun and accessible.”

        Originally, Codecademy planned to reveal the mini-course on April Fool’s Day, but was delayed in the height of the world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • Perl/Raku

        • 2020.30 Almost On Time

          Alexander Kiryuhin announced the Rakudo 2020.07 Compiler Release just a few days after the targeted date! The delay was caused by some build breakage introduced just days before the release, which needed to be fixed first. The associated binary packages are available at the expected locations.

        • Polling for fun and engagement

          I’ve been posting some Perl related polls in Perl Programmers over the last few weeks. Despite the obvious weaknesses in the sampling method, they’ve provided some good insights and great talking points.

      • Python

      • Java

        • 25 Years of Java: Still as Popular as It’s Ever Been

          The Java programming language celebrated 25 years on May 23 this year. It was first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Two and a half decades on, it remains one of the most popular programming languages.

          In 1991, James Gosling, an engineer at Sun Microsystems, began developing a new language that he initially called Oak. Later on, the language came to be known as Java. The purpose of developing this new language was to build a system that would enable a large network of interactive consumer electronic devices that could be managed from a handheld remote controller. The concept didn’t excite the digital cable television industry at that time. Perhaps, it was too advanced for them way back in 1995.

          Developers began using Java, however, to develop applications for desktop computers. The Internet was beginning to catch on around the same time. In 1993, the World Wide Web became a public domain, thereby enabling the public to join in the fun. In 1995, the Pew Research Center reported that 14 percent of adults in the US were already “online.” Programmers started using Java for web applications and it soon became the preferred programming language for apps.

          Java was better suited for the Internet and enterprise application development than older languages, such as COBOL, C, and C++. It provided support for Internet protocols, such as HTTP. Java enabled easier and faster application programming than COBOL or C because of its object-oriented design, integrated libraries, and run-time error detection capability.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The MTA’s got porn in its Google search results

      Apparently the issue is with a file called robots.txt that tells search engine crawlers which pages or files the crawler can or can’t request from your site. When a page uses robots.txt to prohibit certain content from appearing in its search results — like, I don’t know, “Flirtatious something something for something something blonde something” — Google may still list the page and form a title for it from other sources that link to it. Normally, the company’s systems work to prevent forming any titles that might be obscene. That system failed in this case, and Google is working to figure out why.

      Google recommends sites that really want to block certain content from making uninvited cameos in their search results use the noindex tag rather than robots.txt. Noindex prevents a page from appearing in Google’s listings at all.

    • Microsoft + Oculus Shipping First Conformant OpenXR 1.0 Implementations

      OpenXR 1.0 was officially released nearly one year ago to the day while now the first conformant implementations are shipping. These implementations have been vetted using Khronos’ open-source OpenXR CTS (Conformance Test Suite).

  • Leftovers

    • ‘Meduza’ presents: ‘Cold Summer of 2019,’ a film by Katerina Gordeyeva How Russia’s capital fought for free elections and ended up with ‘The Moscow Case’

      Last summer, Moscow saw dozens of mass protests in response to independent candidates being banned from running in the City Duma elections — drawing an unprecedented amount of attention to the 2019 municipal election campaign. Law enforcement aggressively dispersed the rallies, arresting 1,373 people on July 27, 2019, alone. The protests ended with the launch of “The Moscow Case” for alleged criminal rioting. The case included 32 suspects; 22 were convicted and 10 are still serving time in prison colonies. Some of the most active participants in the protests became rising stars on the political scene, such as Alexei Minyaylo from candidate Lyubov Sobol’s campaign team, and municipal deputy Ilya Azar. Members of the systemic opposition ended up winning nearly half the seats in the Moscow City Duma. Journalist Katerina Gordeyeva’s interviews with the most important figures of last summer’s events turned into a documentary filmed titled “Cold Summer of 2019.” Work on the documentary was completed in September of last year, but it has yet to be released to viewers. To mark the anniversary of the July 27 protests, Meduza premieres Gordeyeva’s new film.

    • Unusually, copper and gold prices are rising in tandem

      As China invests to recover from the pandemic, though, the Americas are still grappling with it, explains Jeff Currie of Goldman Sachs, a bank. Because copper production is concentrated in South America, that has constrained supply. Some mines in Peru, shut because of the virus, are only slowly resuming production, points out Susan Bates of Morgan Stanley, another bank. In Chile, where mines have been operating with reduced staff, the deferral of needed maintenance may restrict supply in the months to come. And miners may strike, further threatening output.

    • Science

      • [Old] Software Engineering: What Has Changed Since 1968?

        My recommendation to any practising software engineer is to go back and read the stuff discovered by the early software engineers. There’s a lot we can learn from ourselves, if we only take the time to.

        Start with the nato Software Engineering Conference reports. Then read the papers by David Parnas on software modularity and designing for contraction and extension. Read things by Ward Cunningham, Alan Perlis, Edsger Dijkstra, Douglas McIlrouy, Brian Randell, Peter Naur, and so on.

    • Education

      • Universities must seize the opportunity to improve their online teaching

        But the apparent success of this episode should not blind institutions to some of its shortcomings. Universities did move their teaching online, but in general, staff have not been doing what most educational experts consider ”online teaching”. Understanding this difference is critical if universities want to learn from this lockdown experience.

        Effective online teaching uses technology to create learning situations that are more student-centred, encouraging more collaboration, active learning and formative assessment. It requires the development of new instructional skills; the teacher-student interaction and communication is entirely different to conventional teaching, while the format of teaching and learning materials differs from to that found in tutorials.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We Should Be Fighting For Healthcare For Everyone, Not Taking It Away

        As a nation, we will only be healthy if everyone has access to healthcare.

      • SCOTUS’ Birth Control Decision Favors Medicare for All
      • Inner Circle Infection as Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Tests Positive for Covid-19

        The White House claims there is no risk to the president or vice president.

      • The Pandemic Is Killing Research—So Where Is University Support?

        In the throes of the Covid-19 emergency, almost all of New Jersey’s state universities, like many university research centers across the country, have halted in-person functions—except for work on the pandemic. And rightly so. This is a dangerous public health emergency that requires large-scale shifts in how we live and work until we get it under control. But it also requires an institutional response that matches the scale of the problem.

      • How Technology And The Pandemic Are Bringing People Closer Together, Even As We’re Physically Apart

        About a month or so ago on the radio program Fresh Air, host Terry Gross spoke to epidemiologist Michael Osterholm from the University of Minnesota about a variety of topics related to the pandemic. It’s an interesting discussion, and one part stood out: he complained about the term “social distancing” arguing that the phrase “social distancing” was misleading since it suggested not being social with others.

      • ‘Red Line for a Humane Society’: 360+ DNC Delegates Vow to Oppose Democratic Platform If It Doesn’t Support Medicare for All

        “Democrats who understand the profound need for Medicare for All don’t want a pat on the head. We want a genuine political commitment to healthcare as a human right.”

      • Trump Changes Tone on COVID After Advisers Warn “Our People” Are Being Hit Hard

        Several individuals who are close to President Donald Trump are suggesting that his recent statements on coronavirus, indicating a change in tone on how he views the crisis in the United States, came about more due to politics than a genuine concern for the American people as a whole.

      • Conservative Incoherence

        As I write this, armed protesters have occupied the Michigan statehouse to protest the state’s stay-at-home orders. Men in fatigues and MAGA hats, some wielding assault-style long guns, filled the lobby outside the house floor, where lawmakers debated a twenty-eight-day extension to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency. Whitmer, a Democrat, has become a target of particular bile, thanks in part to President Trump’s tendency to single her out (“that woman from Michigan,” he called her, and later, “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer”). Protesters have taken to calling her “Governor Hitler.”
        The images were chilling but familiar. Open-carrying firearms has become a mainstay of conservative protests in recent years. Some Michigan lawmakers donned bulletproof vests on the floor, from which gun-toting protesters could be seen in the rafters above. But the protest concluded peacefully. And the Republican-controlled legislature denied Whitmer’s request to extend her emergency powers.
        When this essay appears in print, this moment will either represent a passing exhibition of the inchoate ire of a small segment of conservatives, egged on by the president and funded by partisan libertarian groups, or else the first glimmers of a genuine cohering of dangerous social forces. I hope for the former, but I have learned to entertain ever darker premonitions of the future’s shape.
        Thus far, the conservative response to COVID-19 has been defined by its heterogeneity: a blur of contradictory recriminations, confirmation biases, and conspiracy peddling.
        There are those, like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who have treated the crisis as an opportunity to hammer away at their ideological hobbyhorses, summoning the menace of China and blaming globalized supply chains for shortages of medical supplies. Some fringier but no less popular figures, like Candace Owens, have continued to take their cues from Trump and Fox News circa late February, when the party line on coronavirus was that it was no more dangerous than the flu, that those panicking about it were doing so with the intent of harming the economy and thereby the president’s reelection prospects. Tucker Carlson, who personally beseeched Trump to take the virus more seriously in early March, has reversed course, joining the chorus of doubters. Ever the chameleon, Carlson now says the pandemic “just isn’t nearly as deadly as we thought it was” and dismisses the role of state lockdowns in preventing healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.

      • On Statements, Facts, Hypotheses, Science, Religion, and Opinions

        The other day, we went to a designer’s fashion shop whose owner was rather adamant that he was never ever going to wear a face mask, and that he didn’t believe the COVID-19 thing was real. When I argued for the opposing position, he pretty much dismissed what I said out of hand, claiming that “the hospitals are empty dude” and “it’s all a lie”. When I told him that this really isn’t true, he went like “well, that’s just your opinion”. Well, no — certain things are facts, not opinions. Even if you don’t believe that this disease kills people, the idea that this is a matter of opinion is missing the ball by so much that I was pretty much stunned by the level of ignorance.

        His whole demeanor pissed me off rather quickly. While I disagree with the position that it should be your decision whether or not to wear a mask, it’s certainly possible to have that opinion. However, whether or not people need to go to hospitals is not an opinion — it’s something else entirely.

        After calming down, the encounter got me thinking, and made me focus on something I’d been thinking about before but hadn’t fully forumlated: the fact that some people in this world seem to misunderstand the nature of what it is to do science, and end up, under the claim of being “sceptical”, with various nonsense things — see scientology, flat earth societies, conspiracy theories, and whathaveyou.

        So, here’s something that might (but probably won’t) help some people figuring out stuff. Even if it doesn’t, it’s been bothering me and I want to write it down so it won’t bother me again. If you know all this stuff, it might be boring and you might want to skip this post. Otherwise, take a deep breath and read on…

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Welcome Antmicro to the OpenPOWER Foundation

              This May, Antmicro announced support for the POWER ISA in Renode, its open source, multi-architecture, heterogeneous multi-core capable simulator for software development and software-hardware co-development.

              It’s an exciting development, as developers can now test applications based on the POWER ISA before running them on actual hardware. It’s an important step in achieving the vision of the OpenPOWER Foundation – to make POWER the easiest architecture on which to go from an idea to a silicon chip.

        • Security

          • Filesystem deduplication is a sidechannel

            First off – nothing I’m going to talk about in this post is novel or overly surprising, I just haven’t found a clear writeup of it before. I’m not criticising any design decisions or claiming this is an important issue, just raising something that people might otherwise be unaware of.

            With that out of the way: Automatic deduplication of data is a feature of modern filesystems like zfs and btrfs. It takes two forms – inline, where the filesystem detects that data being written to disk is identical to data that already exists on disk and simply references the existing copy rather than, and offline, where tooling retroactively identifies duplicated data and removes the duplicate copies (zfs supports inline deduplication, btrfs only currently supports offline). In a world where disks end up with multiple copies of cloud or container images, deduplication can free up significant amounts of disk space.

            What’s the security implication? The problem is that deduplication doesn’t recognise ownership – if two users have copies of the same file, only one copy of the file will be stored[1]. So, if user a stores a file, the amount of free space will decrease. If user b stores another copy of the same file, the amount of free space will remain the same. If user b is able to check how much free space is available, user b can determine whether the file already exists.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (e2fsprogs, ffmpeg, milkytracker, mupdf, openjdk-11, and qemu), Fedora (bashtop), Gentoo (ant, arpwatch, awstats, cacti, chromium, curl, dbus, djvu, filezilla, firefox, freexl, fuseiso, fwupd, glib-networking, haml, hylafaxplus, icinga, jhead, lha, libexif, libreswan, netqmail, nss, ntfs3g, ntp, ocaml, okular, ossec-hids, qtgui, qtnetwork, re2c, reportlab, samba, sarg, sqlite, thunderbird, transmission, tre, twisted, webkit-gtk, wireshark, and xen), openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, chromium, freerdp, go1.13, kernel, knot, libraw, LibVNCServer, perl-YAML-LibYAML, salt, tomcat, vino, and webkit2gtk3), and SUSE (mailman, rubygem-excon, rust, rust-cbindgen, samba, and tomcat).

          • Potential Legacy Risk from Malware Targeting QNAP NAS Devices

            This is a joint alert from the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

            CISA and NCSC are investigating a strain of malware known as QSnatch, which attackers used in late 2019 to target Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices manufactured by the firm QNAP.

            All QNAP NAS devices are potentially vulnerable to QSnatch malware if not updated with the latest security fixes. The malware, documented in open-source reports, has infected thousands of devices worldwide with a particularly high number of infections in North America and Europe. Further, once a device has been infected, attackers can prevent administrators from successfully running firmware updates.

            This alert summarizes the findings of CISA and NCSC analysis and provides mitigation advice.

          • You can skip the virtual machine: Using SELinux with containers to help secure cloud native 5G

            Many communication service providers (CSPs) are looking at shifting to containers and a cloud native architecture, but have concerns about security. In this post, we’ll explain why you don’t need virtual machines to offer the security features the telecommunications market needs.


            The solution to the security problem for telecom and other markets is SELinux. This set of changes for the Linux kernel originally came right from the National Security Agency (NSA) itself and it is standard with Red Hat CoreOS and RHEL. CoreOS is specifically a hardened version of Linux perfect for support of containerized applications.

          • Logging into a Linux System with G Suite Password

            With many organizations relying on G Suite™ as their core productivity suite, IT administrators wonder whether their users can log into their systems using their G Suite passwords Specifically, for those interested in automating their Linux® management, the possibility of logging into a Linux system with a G Suite password could help save time and money.

          • Linux malware could soon be a thing of the past

            A new version of popular Linux toolkit REMnux is now available to download, equipping security analysts with an improved arsenal of tools with which to scrutinize Linux malware.

            Built on Ubuntu, REMnux has been in circulation for more than 10 years, now in its seventh incarnation. The latest version, REMnux 7, does away with some tools present in previous iterations and also adds a handful of new ones to the roster.

            As with previous versions, the new toolkit is configured specifically to minimize friction experienced by malware analysts and reverse engineers working to better understand Linux threats.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Appeals Court Bashes Predictive Policing And The Judge Who Argued People In High Crime Areas Want Fewer Rights

              A very interesting decision [PDF] has been handed down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. It not only addresses what constitutes exigent circumstances, but also attacks predictive policing as nothing more than a tool law enforcement uses to enforce a racist status quo.

            • San Francisco Police Accessed Business District Camera Network to Spy on Protestors

              The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) conducted mass surveillance of protesters at the end of May and in early June using a downtown business district’s camera network, according to new records obtained by EFF. The records show that SFPD received real-time live access to hundreds of cameras as well as a “data dump” of camera footage amid the ongoing demonstrations against police violence.

              The camera network is operated by the Union Square Business Improvement District (BID), a special taxation district created by the City and County of San Francisco, but operated by a private non-profit organization. These networked cameras, manufactured by Motorola Solutions’ brand Avigilon, are high definition, can zoom in on a person’s face to capture face-recognition ready images, and are linked to a software system that can automatically analyze content, including distinguishing between when a car or a person passes within the frame. Motorola Solutions recently unveiled plans to expand its portfolio of tools for aiding public-private  partnerships with law enforcement by making it easier for police to gain access to private cameras and video analytic tools like license plate readers. 

            • Trump Advances Bid to Weaken Shield for Twitter, Facebook

              The Commerce Department on Monday asked the Federal Communications Commission to write a regulation weakening protections laid out in Section 230, language in a 1996 law that protects online companies from legal liability for users’ posts, and for decisions to remove material.

            • Tencent Offers $2.1 Billion for Chinese Search Giant Sogou

              A takeover of Sogou also raises the prospect of a lucrative listing in Hong Kong or Shanghai in the future, on the heels of well-received debuts by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. It’s become an increasingly attractive route for tech giants such as Jack Ma’s Ant Group, which is speeding toward what could be the city’s biggest float in years. Sogou Chief Executive Officer Wang Xiaochuan in 2018 declared his ambition to list on mainland bourses when regulations permit.

            • Facebook takes the EU to court over privacy spat

              Two investigations are being carried out into Facebook to find out if it breaches competition laws.

              To gather information, the European Commission has demanded internal documents from Facebook that include 2,500 specific key phrases.

              Facebook says that means handing over unrelated but highly sensitive data.

              The European Commission says it will defend the case in court, and its investigation into Facebook’s potential anticompetitive conduct is ongoing.

              The social media giant has filed an appeal to the EU courts, arguing against the breadth of the document requests.

            • College TikTok Is Stressful for Some High School Students

              Teen Vogue spoke to four teenagers from around the country about how they engage with college TikTokers and YouTubers. Danielle Park, a rising senior at an independent school in San Francisco, has spent much of her time in self-isolation playing Animal Crossing; Kaelyn Walker, 15, is a student at the School at Marygrove in Detroit, and a Hamilton megafan; Pahal Ahuja is a rising senior at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, who is currently into making friendship bracelets and watching Dynasty; and Dru Donald, 16, is an anime fan who attends Fort Lauderdale High School.

            • TikTok secretly loaded with Chinese surveillance software, lawsuit claims

              “TikTok clandestinely has vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data that can be employed to identify, profile, and track the location and activities of users in the United States now and in the future,” the lawsuit states.

              “TikTok also has surreptitiously taken user content, such as draft videos never intended for publication, without user knowledge or consent. In short, TikTok’s lighthearted fun comes at a heavy cost.”

            • Tinder Names Ex-CBS Digital Boss Jim Lanzone as CEO

              Match Group, parent company of the Tinder dating app, announced that Lanzone has been appointed Tinder’s new CEO. Lanzone takes over the role from Elie Seidman, who is stepping down as chief exec. Lanzone starts at Tinder on Aug. 3, reporting to Match Group CEO Shar Dubey.

              Lanzone had spent nine years at CBS, most recently president and CEO of CBS Interactive. He exited CBS last fall to join venture-capital firm Benchmark Capital as executive-in-residence.

            • Zuckerberg to Tell Congress Facebook’s Success Is Patriotic

              Zuckerberg plans to portray his company as an American success story in a competitive and unpredictable market, now threatened by the rise of Chinese social media apps around the world — and increasingly, at home, with the popularity of TikTok, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the CEO’s remarks aren’t yet public.

            • Don’t Ban TikTok. Make an Example of It.

              There are legitimate concerns about a Chinese-owned company capturing the attention and data of millions of Americans — especially one like ByteDance, which has a history of bending the knee to the country’s ruling regime. Like all Chinese tech companies, ByteDance is required to abide by Chinese censorship laws, and it could be forced to give user data to the Chinese government under the country’s national security law. Lawmakers have also raised concerns that TikTok could be used to promote pro-China propaganda to young Americans, or censor politically sensitive content.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Three Questions for the “Resistance”

        The Trump/Pence regime has sent a federal occupying army into Portland to “quell” ongoing protests. Overseen by the Department of Homeland Security and cobbled from a number of federal agencies, including Customs & Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, these anonymous thugs in camouflage, virtually indistinguishable from right-wing militias, have seized the authority to kidnap protesters.

      • The Heart of Darkness in Portland

        Soon it will be 60 straight nights of demonstrations and ear shattering protests in Portland, Oregon. There is a continuous drum corps that is beating hypnotic rhythms that gives thousands of Portlanders a reason to be alive.

      • Progressives Applaud AOC Proposal to Ban ‘Insidious Practice’ of Military Recruiting in Schools

        “It’s important that our youth understand that joining the military isn’t the only way to pay for college or find stability in life.”

      • State investigators launch preliminary inquiry into ex-governor’s potential involvement in two more organized killings

        Russia’s Investigative Committee is carrying out a preliminary inquiry into the potential involvement of former Khabarovsk Territory governor Sergey Furgal in two more instances of murder and attempted murder in 2003–2004, a source in law enforcement told TASS. 

      • Killing Democracy in America

        The military-industrial complex as a cytokine storm.

      • The Beginning of the U.S.-Iran Hot War?

        President Trump remains committed to escalating against Iran even as the U.S. battles a worsening pandemic, an economic depression, and internal discord not seen in decades.

      • Trump’s Federal Police Surge Could Provoke an Election Day Constitutional Crisis

        Courts must end Trump’s paramilitary urban war against Democratic mayors and cities ahead of the November election, voting rights and legal experts tell Truthout, otherwise they leave open the possibility of an unprecedented constitutional crisis buttressed by the president’s personal secret police.

      • Boogaloo Movement: USA Far Right is Growing Thanks to Donald Trump

        As of this writing, the United States is rocked with civil unrest due to racism and police violence, and the country continues to break records for the most cases of coronavirus. The unstable and unhinged president Donald Trump makes things far worse domestically and internationally with his inflammatory language and his disdain for science. As this occurs, a new, radical right-wing ‘movement’, one fueled at least in part by Trump’s racist rhetoric, has entered the U.S.  This is known as the ‘Boogaloo’ movement, and while loosely organized, has as its goal civil war. Members tend to be gun enthusiasts, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘We Have Never Endorsed You,’ Sunrise Movement—Which Backs Ed Markey—Reminds Joe Kennedy III

        “It is now day 309 of trying to figure out why Kennedy decided to run for Senate. He obviously doesn’t even know either.”

      • A City Too Far

        President Donald Trump’s law and order gambit against Democrat-led cities and states that is intended to swing votes his way Nov. 3 could use more law and less disorder.

      • Will the Left Get a Say in the Biden Doctrine?

        Over the past few years, a loose coalition of activist groups, think tanks, and policy-makers dedicated to ending the post-9/11 forever war has asserted itself in foreign policy debates. As recently as February, when Bernie Sanders appeared to be the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, it seemed possible that US foreign policy was on the verge of turning toward a less militarized and interventionist approach. Sanders and the other major progressive candidate in the race, Elizabeth Warren, had foreign policy advisers who advocated slashing defense budgets and reinvesting in diplomacy to confront nonmilitary threats.

      • Present Absences

        Here’s the script: Criminalize the boycotts, deport the human rights advocates, rebrand anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, smear the leftist Jews, infiltrate the leftist organizations, defund the aid programs, torpedo the political campaigns, fire the high school teachers and speech pathologists and network commentators, and pinkwash the occupation. The tactics vary today, but the intent remains the same. For as long as I have been alive, the barriers in the West to advocating for Palestinian rights have deterred all but the most committed people.

      • ‘Incapable Leadership’: Trump Response to Coronavirus Eroding US Credibility Worldwide

        “Totally avoidable. Entirely foreseeable.”

      • “No, I Won’t Be Going”: Trump Says He Will Not Pay Respects to John Lewis Lying in State

        Trump said in January 2017 that Lewis, one of the original Freedom Riders, was “all talk” and “no action.”

      • One Cheer for John Kasich

        Some Democrats and progressives, including Nation columnist Elie Mystal, are upset that former representative and Ohio governor John Kasich, a Republican, will be speaking at the Democratic convention in August. For most of his political career, Kasich was anathema to Democrats and liberals. It isn’t clear if he’ll officially endorse Joe Biden, but his presence at the convention is a very public repudiation of Trump.

      • Lawless State: Go Ask Donald, Joe, and Barack

        The Orange Knight is Talking Backwards

      • How to Move Biden Left

        Can Joe Biden be moved to the left on the issues that matter most and are critical to the sort of mass mobilization of voters that might transform our politics and our governance? Yes. That’s the best takeaway from the presumptive Democratic nominee’s July 14 announcement of a climate and jobs plan that would have him move immediately as president to invest $2 trillion in developing clean energy infrastructure and a host of other responses to the climate crisis. “We’re not just going to tinker around the edges,” Biden declared. “We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity and meet this moment in history.”

      • As Americans Fall, Trump Lies On

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

      • Black Left Views on American Elections Matter

        Netfa Freeman is an organizer for Pan-African Community Action and the Coordinating Committee of the Black Alliance for Peace. He is also a radio talk-show host of the popular D.C.-based Voices with Vision and an active supporter of the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions. In an exclusive online interview for teleSur from Washington D.C., Freeman asserted that the principal message he has for readers is: “The Black left perspective is that our struggle is for power.” In response to a question regarding illusions about the Democratic Party as an alternative to the Trump/Republicans, he stated:

      • 4 in 5 Voters Say the US Is on the “Wrong Direction” Under Trump

        A poll published over the weekend has some bad news for President Donald Trump: Most Americans, by a wide margin, believe we’re headed in the “wrong direction.”

      • Sky News Miss the Story

        Sky News are today carrying the story that Nicola Sturgeon attended a meeting with Salmond’s former Chief of Staff, Geoff Aberdein, about a historic sexual allegation made against Alex Salmond on 29 March 2018, several days before she claimed to parliament that she first heard of it. It will prove in the long term still more significant that this meeting also contradicts Sturgeon’s claim that it was Alex Salmond who first told her of the existence of the allegations.

      • Election admins vulnerable to email attacks
      • In the news: West African leaders call for Mali unity government

        West African presidents called for the formation of a unity government in Mali on Monday amid renewed efforts to resolve a political crisis that has seen tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

        The heads of states – who visited Mali last week as part of a delegation from the regional ECOWAS bloc – said members of the opposition should join the new government, and threatened sanctions against anybody undermining the process.

        Mali’s cabinet said it had begun negotiations with “concerned parties”, but the opposition coalition leading the protests, M5-RFP, appeared unhappy with the ECOWAS plan, having rejected a similar one put forward by the bloc earlier this month.

        “We take note, but we really believe that this is not the will of the people, it is not what we expect,” a coalition spokesman, Nouhoum Togo, told Reuters.

        Political tensions have been rising across Mali since a disputed legislative election in March. Some results were later overturned by the country’s constitutional court in a decision perceived to benefit Keita’s party, sparking protests in different cities.

        Protesters are also unhappy with the state of the economy, perceived government corruption, and Keita’s failure to stem rising jihadist and inter-communal violence in the country after seven years in power.

        The latest ECOWAS plan calls for a partial re-run of the March polls and an inquiry into the deaths of at least 11 protesters during recent clashes with security forces in the capital, Bamako.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Protesters Keep Focus on BLM Agenda as Feds Send Tactical Teams Into Seattle

        As nationwide protests against systemic racism and police violence stretch into their second month, President Trump has sent a team of federal agents to Seattle, following a controversial deployment of federal forces in Portland, Oregon. “We don’t know exactly what the federal officers are doing. What we do know is we are in a situation where local police are welcoming those federal agents into our cities,” says Seattle community organizer Nikkita Oliver, co-executive director of Creative Justice. We also speak with Pastor E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland, Oregon, branch of the NAACP.

      • If We Don’t Want Armed Feds Occupying Our Cities, We Must Hit the Streets

        On July 25, Day 58 of the continuous Portland, Oregon, Black Lives Matter protests, thousands of protesters swarmed the Justice Center located in the city’s downtown area. This was a crushing number of people, and they were joined by solidarity marches in other cities. Protesters pushed up against a fence that was raised around the federal buildings and anchored in cement blocks in an attempt to stop demonstrators from getting into the building as they had during previous nights. The vast majority of the crowd were wearing helmets, goggles and gas masks or respirators in anticipation of the violence these federal officers have become famous for using. Some were holding up umbrellas or shields to block the MK-9 pepper spray that the officers had been using against the demonstrators.

      • Police Are The Real Cancel Culture

        What say the millions of jailed black and brown Americans to the fret over cancel culture? If they could say anything, we would know. But the real cancellation of black lives cannot be ignored as we attempt to assert a white opinion cosmopolitanism. How many Americans are canceled because of their neighborhood or their lack of one? How many Americans have had their literal lives canceled during coronavirus because they can’t afford health care or can’t afford to not work? How many immigrants are canceled because they can’t even report this virus without being deported or caged? How many are canceled because of their record sheet or even specifically their race? Trans folks are canceled with near universality. Women don’t have to worry about their abusers being canceled, they have to worry about the opposite. When was the last time a cop was canceled for murder? When was the last time a billionaire was canceled for slavery or ecocide?

      • The Media Manipulator: Why Trump’s Distractions May Not Save Him This Time

        Donald Trump has fallen far enough behind in the polls as to raise the hopes of the world that it will soon see the back of him as US president come the election in 100 days’ time. Given his calamitous handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the decline in his popularity is scarcely surprising.

      • ‘Mediazona’ journalist injured by police fined for disobeying law enforcement officers

        On Monday, July 27, St. Petersburg’s Dzerzhinsky District Court found Mediazona correspondent David Frenkel guilty on three administrative counts: disobeying law enforcement officers, impeding the work of election officials, and violating self-isolation orders.

      • Trump’s Secret Police Have Never Been a Secret to Brown People

        As I see white mothers and mayors being teargassed on the streets of Portland, Ore., one word keeps bubbling up from my bleeding heart: “Welcome.” Welcome to the world of secret police and nighttime raids. The world where you can be snatched by an unidentified officer in an unmarked van. The world where you get to see an attorney, maybe, after the government is done beating you. Welcome to the world as experienced by brown people with foreign-sounding names in this country since 9/11.

      • A Symbol of Hate

        The Confederate flag (one of three flag designs used by the Confederate States of America… The flag pictured in the video is commonly referred to as the Confederate battle flag) is cut in two, part of this heinous symbol of racism and racist violence remains on its flag pole attached to the side of a garage in a yard strewn with many objects. The other half of the flag has been nailed to the same side of the garage. Perhaps the nailed half of the flag is a symbol of the effort of its owner to preserve this representation of hate?

      • The Volatile Path to Democracy in Ethiopia

        Ancient ethnic divisions and long held grievances die hard. Ethiopia is made up of dozens of tribal/ethnic groups, divided into nine regional states. Oromia is the largest region (it includes the capital, Addis Ababa) and, with 34% of the population (c.40 million), the Oromo people make up the biggest single group.

      • New ACLU Analysis of Crime Data Shreds GOP’s Argument Against Decarceration During Pandemic

        “With additional decarceral efforts, many further infections can be prevented in the… cities analyzed and many others.”

      • Court Blocks Federal Officers From Attacking, Arresting Reporters Covering Protests In Portland

        A surge of federal agents swept into Portland, Oregon in response to ongoing protests in the city. The city hadn’t asked for federal help, but help arrived anyway. And it wasn’t much help. The blend of federal agents — drawn from the CBP, US Marshals Service, and ICE — rolled onto the streets in unmarked vehicles. Out of these vehicles sprang agents dressed like soldiers, wearing no markings clearly identifying the officers or the agency they represented. Residents were taken off the street to unknown locations for questioning. They were later released and given no paperwork that informed them who had detained them or for what reason.

      • The FBI Issued Warning To Law Enforcement Agencies After Being Duped By A Satirical ‘Paid Protester’ Website

        The federal government’s “Fusion Centers” — overseen by the DHS — continue to provide us with the least bang for our federal buck. DHS officials have told Congress that the real purpose of the centers — supposedly designed to gather intelligence about threats to the country — is to generate conversations about terrorism. And those conversations are meant to portray the DHS as useful and worthy of continued funding.

      • ‘This is a turning point in Belarusian history’ Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on how her presidential campaign is taking on Lukashenko

        As Belarus approaches its presidential elections on August 9, the 2020 race has already been deemed the dirtiest in the country’s history: the authorities arrested alternative candidate Viktor Babariko and opposition leader Sergey Tikhanovsky, while another would-be candidate, veteran politician Valery Tsepkalo, recently fled to Russia with his children. In response, the Belarusian opposition united around Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who decided to run in the presidential elections in place of her husband (Sergey Tikhanovsky). Now, Tikhanovskaya has found herself heading up a vibrant and inspiring campaign. Meduza summarizes Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s conversation with our special correspondent Svetlana Reyter.

      • The Black and White Disability Gap Widens With Age

        With the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) happening this weekend as Black Lives Matter protests continue, it’s a good time to look at the intersection between race and disability in the United States. The figure below compares disability rates by age, sex, and race for non-Latinx adults. The data in the figure comes from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). A person is counted as disabled if they answer “yes” to any one of five questions in the survey.

      • How Transformative Justice Responds To Violence Without The Carceral System

        In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, protesters have taken to the streets against the violence of policing and to make demands, including defunding policing.

        That demand is gaining traction as organizers have ignited a new wave of interest in the abolition of prisons and policing—a concept theorized mostly by Black women and femmes.

      • Episode 99 – Racial Justice and Art, spirituality and activism w/Rev. Mark Doox – Along The Line Podcast
      • Make America White Again: Eddie Glaude on Trump and What James Baldwin Still Has to Teach Us

        Amid a nationwide reckoning with systemic racism, we speak with Princeton African American studies professor Eddie Glaude, whose new book on James Baldwin offers lessons from the iconic writer for the present. Baldwin, says Glaude, insisted that “we put aside the myths and illusions and understand what white supremacy has done in terms of disfiguring and distorting the character of this nation.” The book is titled “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own.”

      • “Don’t Simply Yoke Him to Dr. King”: Eddie Glaude on How Radical Student Activism Shaped John Lewis

        Memorials for John Lewis, the civil rights icon and 17-term congressmember, are highlighting the bravery he and others showed in the face of police violence as they fought for the right to vote. We highlight the radical early years of Lewis, when he was chairperson of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. His political upbringing as a youth and student organizer and “the movement that he came out of” can’t be ignored, says Princeton professor Eddie Glaude. It’s important that people “don’t simply yoke him to Dr. King, [and] understand him as a product of this student activism.” Glaude is chair of Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies.

      • America

        America I’ve given you my blood and my skin and
        now I’m too old to riot in the streets of Portland,


        America, it’s those Chinese and Russian spies, and those terrorists
        who want our Coca Cola and our Internet.
        America I’m scattering my ashes above the fruited plain and praying for a rebirth of wonder.

      • Donald Trump Has Ruined Our Lives and Now He’s Ruining Baseball Too

        With all that’s going on at home and abroad, you’d hope something as picayune as baseball could offer a moment of wholesome distraction and relief. That’s the point of it, right? The national pastime? Turn on a game and unplug your brain for three hours. Hell, that’s why Major League Baseball was in such a hot rush to get the season going even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic (well, that and the money, of course). Baseball is “normal,” and normal has been in desperately short supply.

      • WNBA Players—Again—Show the Meaning of Radical Dissent

        As the sports world limps toward a reopening, complete with bubbles, fake crowds, and Covid nursing stations with the kind of round-the-clock testing the rest of us couldn’t hope to access, we are also seeing more athlete protest than ever before. Part of the spectacle now is seeing who takes a knee before or during the anthem, wears a Nike/NBA-approved racial justice slogan on their uniforms, or raises a fist as the anthem plays. These gestures, which would have been absolutely electric a year ago, are now commonplace and acceptable. It’s a testament to the kind of “woke capitalism” that the sports world seems desperate to embrace.

      • When Good People Do Bad Things, Should You Care? Depends on Whether You Have the Right Ideology

        Persuasion describes itself as an outlet for “advocates of free speech and free institutions,” and is described by Slate (7/10/20) as “a newly launched ‘intellectual community,’ whose announced list of members overlaps heavily” with the signers of the Harper’s open letter “on Justice and Open Debate”—”particularly, the core group that the New York Times credited with having written the Harper’s letter.”

      • 10 Ways To Reduce Our Reliance On Policing And Make Our Communities Safer For Everyone

        Even when it comes to crimes of violence, it turns out that law enforcement often fails to protect people. Less than 4 percent of an officer’s time is spent investigating so-called violent crimes, and police don’t even do a particularly good job at that. In Chicago, for example, police typically solve only 4 out of 10 murders, and only 2 out of 10 when the victim is Black. Yet police are expensive, eating large amounts of municipal budgets. The City of Chicago spends approximately $4 million dollars per day on the Chicago Police Department, an amount equivalent to 5 months of mental health services, 18 months of substance abuse treatment, or 32 months of violence prevention programs.

        As former Dallas Police Chief David Brown said, “We are asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. Every societal failure, we put it off on cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it… Here in Dallas we got a loose dog problem; let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, let’s give it to the cops… that’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all these problems.”

        Police should no longer occupy all of our vital support systems in our communities. Here are ten ways to make our communities safer for everyone. The following concrete steps present a way forward, one that would begin to reduce reliance on policing.

      • Couple stabbed to death in Nazimabad

        Rizvia Society SHO Muzaffar Ali said they had married around four to five months back. It was the second marriage of the man. The woman’s family had opposed the marriage. He claimed that Hina’s brothers were involved in the double murder and they had been arrested. The suspects killed the couple with a knife and an axe.

      • Wall of Moms, Black Lives Matter sue Trump admin over Portland response

        In a nine-count complaint, the plaintiffs accused the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agents of violating constitutionally protected rights including freedom of speech and protest, and exceeding their law enforcement authority.

      • Seattle & Portland Activists: Protest Federal and City Police Crackdowns & Keep Focus on BLM Agenda

        As nationwide protests against systemic racism and police violence stretch into their second month, President Trump has sent a team of federal agents to Seattle, following a controversial deployment of federal forces in Portland, Oregon. “We don’t know exactly what the federal officers are doing. What we do know is we are in a situation where local police are welcoming those federal agents into our city,” says Seattle community organizer Nikkita Oliver, co-executive director of Creative Justice. We also speak with Pastor E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland, Oregon, branch of the NAACP.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • After 100 Years As A Bullying Gatekeeper, AT&T Pivots To Whining Unironically About Bullying Gatekeepers

        For decades, incumbent broadband and television giants like Comcast and AT&T enjoyed life from a comfortable position of monopoly dominance. If you want to subscribe to broadband, such companies are often your only option. If you wanted to subscribe to television service, you were required to rent a locked down, highly proprietary cable box courtesy of the industry’s cable hardware monopoly. Are you a broadcaster and want to have your cable channel in a conspicuous position in the lineup? Expect headaches. Want to use their utility poles to build a decent competitor? Expect a lot of bullshit.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Drawing the Fall Line: No Mandamus for Real-Party-In-Interest Argument

          In this case, Judge Moore begins with a lamentation that a Federal Circuit panel is “bound by the determinations of a prior panel, unless relieved of that obligation by an en banc order of the court or a decision of the Supreme Court.” Quoting Deckers Corp. v. United States, 752 F.3d 949 (Fed. Cir. 2014).*

          Here, Fall Line appealed against the PTAB’s real party-in-interest determinations. That argument was recently foreclosed in ESIP Series 2, LLC v. Puzhen Life USA, LLC, 958 F.3d 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2020). Fall Line attempted to skirt the decision by asking the court to use its “mandamus jurisdiction” to hear the case. On appeal, the Federal Circuit concluded that would be improper in this case. Although mandamus may be proper to review “institution decisions that implicate constitutional or jurisdictional violations” — mandamus is not proper for an “ordinary dispute” over the construction of an “institution-related statute.” Fall Line’s argument would have carried more weight – but for Thryv.

        • Patent case: Silife Ltd. et al. vs. Roka Beheer B.V. et al., Netherlands

          The Court of Appeal of the Hague held that entering into a second exclusive licence contract is possible, but the failure to end the first contract in the present case constituted unlawful behaviour and tort. Further, the Court discussed the extent to which a tort between two parties can affect the liability of third parties.

        • Inventorship: “Conclusory and Self-Serving Testimony is Insufficient”

          James filed this change-of-inventorship lawsuit against the patent owner (Advanced Messaging Tech.). James alleged that he was the sole inventor of U.S. Patent No. 6,208,638 and that his name should replace that of Jaye Muller and Jack Rieley.

          The listed inventors – Rieley and Muller are famous in the music world. Rieley was the Beach Boy’s manager in the 1970s and co-wrote many songs with them as part of their “revival.” Muller (“J”) is a German musician. In the 1990s, the pair started a company known as JFAX. The company – now known as J2 – has a $2.6B market cap. The company’s original idea was to receive VM and faxes via email.


          The district court sided with J2 — and the Federal Circuit has affirmed. In particular, the court ruled that James’s claim of invention was not supported by sufficient documentary evidence.

        • Gensetix, Inc. v. Board of Regents of the University of Texas System (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          In a conundrum worthy of a law school civil procedure examination, plaintiff Gensetix found itself apparently with no remedy for infringement by Baylor College of Medicine, Diakonos Research Ltd., and William Decker of patents licensed from the University of Texas (UT), when UT refused to join as a necessary party on sovereign immunity grounds. The Federal Circuit, in a fractured decision reminiscent of the alignment of the judges in Amgen v Sandoz, remedied this situation in its decision last Friday in Gensetix, Inc. v. Board of Regents of the University of Texas System.

          The case arose related to Gensetix’ exclusive license of UT-owned patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,728,806 and 9,333,248 relating to methods of modifying a patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Defendant Dr. Decker had invented the claimed methods when we was a UT faculty member and then left (as professors are wont to do) to join the faculty at Baylor.

          The license between Gensetix and UT provided that Gensetix was obliged to pursue infringement at its own expense and was entitled to any recovery from such enforcement efforts. However, should Gensetix fail to pursue its legal remedies within six months of obtaining knowledge that there was infringement, UT had a secondary right to pursue enforcement of these patents (with a corresponding entitlement to any recovery). There were provisions in the contract of mutual cooperation between the parties of any such lawsuits. Importantly, however, the contract also contained an express provision that UT did not waive its sovereign immunity as a State by entering into the contract.

        • Federal Common Law of Patent License Interpretation

          The license covered “parents” and “continuations”, but did not expressly combine those in a way that would include the ‘836 patent — which is “a continuation of a continuation of the parent of a continuation-in-part.” In its decision, the Federal Circuit extended the license terms to cover the ‘836. And, since AT&T buys its products from the licensee, AT&T’s activity was covered by the license.

          In its petition here, the patentee argues that the Federal Circuit should not – as it did here – create and extend a Federal common law of patent license contract interpretation.

        • Software Patents

          • PTAB Discretionary Denials: In the First Half of 2020, Denials Already Exceed All of 2019

            Following on Unified’s previous study, the PTAB continues their steady uptick in procedural denials under § 314 through the first half of 2020, and on procedural, non-merits-based denials in general. These § 314 denials have surpassed 2019’’s annual total—and total denials are just 7 denials shy of 2018’s total, with just half the year reported. Projections show procedural denials will most likely greatly exceed those in 2019 by the end of Q3. Most significantly, though, the General Plastic/NHK framework is being used to procedurally deny petitions more than ever—projecting more than double the number of denials in 2019, they are set to make up 30% of all denials this calendar year.


            Indeed, § 314(a) now accounts for the majority of procedural denials (including denials under § 325 and those related to joinder). The ratio of § 314(a) procedural denials has grown this year, as you can see below. 2019 saw 49% of all procedural denials be § 314(a) (75 out of 154); in 2020, more than 73% of procedural denials have been under § 314(a) (81 out of 111). This means that the PTAB is expected to issue 162 § 314(a) denials by the end of the year, a 116% increase from last year.

            When looking at the petitioners that are denied on 314(a) with related parallel district court litigation, the California Northern District Court comprises 45% of the cases related to denials, with 208 cases being cited. (It should be noted that often with denials multiple cases are cited for the denial, and these numbers don’t yet distinguish between “multiple petition” denials under General Plastic, “parallel petition” denials under the July 2019 Trial Practice Guide Update, or “trial date” denials under NHK Spring and Aptiv. A large number of these suits are related to sprawling ongoing litigations, like the yearslong Finjan or Rovi v. Comcast disputes.) These numbers encompass the Board’s entire history, and are a lagging indicator of where cases were being filed years ago.

            The Texas Eastern District has 80 cases cited, comprising 17% of all 314(a) denials. The Delaware District Court had 67 cases cited, comprising 15% of all 314(a) denials. The Texas Western District Court has seen 1 case cited in 2019, and this year that number has risen to 4, accounting for 1% of all 314(a) denials to date; as that docket balloons to more than 20% of the US patent docket, that number is set to rise dramatically.

          • $2,500 for prior art on Heritage IP Patent

            On July 27, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 6,854,067. The patent is owned by Heritage IP, LLC, an NPE subsidiary owned by IP Edge. The ’067 patent generally relates to a method and system for interaction between a processor and a power on reset circuit to dynamically control power states in a microcontroller. This patent has been asserted in district court against NXP, Resideo Technologies, Maytronics, Insulet Corp., and August Home.

          • $2,000 Awarded for Digi Portal ’342 prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Preeti Dua, who received a cash prize of $2,000 for her prior art submission for U.S. Patent 9,626,342. The ’342 patent was formally owned by Yahoo and is now owned by Digi Portal, an NPE and subsidiary of Excalibur IP, owned by IP Edge. The ’342 patent generally relates to a dynamic page generator.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • UNISOC Joins the Largest Patent Non-Aggression Community in History – Open Invention Network

            Open Invention Network (OIN) and UNISOC announced today that UNISOC has become one of OIN’s community members. As a leading fabless semiconductor company in mobile communications and IoT chipsets, and a strong proponent of open source software (OSS), UNISOC is committed to OSS as an enabler of advanced communications and industrial / IoT systems.

            “OSS is ushering in a transformation of the IT and Communications sector and enabling realization of the vision of the billion-device universe first discussed in the mid-90′s. Growth in networking through Linux Foundation Networking projects such as OPNFV and ONAP is driving innovation in silicon,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “As a global leader in mobile and communications chipsets we are excited to have UNISOC join OIN and for its recognition of the need for patent non-aggression in the core of Linux and adjacent OSS.”

      • Trademarks

        • EUIPO Fourth Board of Appeal says that “LEGNOLAND” for Class 28 goods is confusingly similar to “LEGO” and “LEGOLAND”

          In a recent decision, the EUIPO Fourth Board of appeal did not consider it relevant that the public might understand the contested figurative mark as meaning “land of wood” (“legno” in Italian means “wood”) and that the message conveyed to consumers would be that the goods sold under the contested mark are made of wood. Instead, it confirmed that, when a sign is composed of word and figurative elements, the former are – as a rule – more distinctive than the latter, since the average consumer will more easily refer to the goods in question by citing the name rather than by describing the figurative element (T-460/11, Bürger). As a result, registration of “LEGNOLAND” as an EU trade mark (EUTM) could not proceed due to likelihood of confusion with the opponent’s earlier EUTMS “LEGO” and “LEGOLAND”.


          Visually, the earlier sign consists of the word “LEGO”, while the contested sign is figurative and consists of an irregular rectangle resembling a handmade wooden sign and the word “LEGNOLAND” appearing inside, represented in a highly stylised font in upper-case letters together with a tree depicted over the second “L” letter.

          Also, the Italian word “legno” means wood, and the contested trade mark intends to convey to consumers the message that the toys sold under the “LEGNOLAND” brand are all made of wood. This message is emphasized by the graphic element depicting a tree.

          Aurally, the earlier mark consists of a four-letter and disyllabic word, LE-GO, while the verbal element in the trade mark applied for is a nine-letter and trisyllabic word, LE-GNO-LAND. They only share three out of nine letters in the same sequence.

          Lego submitted that the signs are similar irrespective of how ‘legno’ is understood, which merely concerns Italian-speaking consumers: the tree symbol in the contested mark will simply be perceived as a decoration and consumers who do not speak Italian will not understand the word “legno” as meaning wood, solely because of the depiction of a stylised tree in the contested mark.


          While overall the Board’s decision may not be surprising, it is not entirely convincing to consider that Danish- and English-speaking consumers would not recognize the word “legno” at all in connection with wood. In fact, the word “legno” appears routinely used – at least in certain contexts – to signify products made of or with the appearance of wood. If nothing else, decisions like the present one demonstrate once again the importance of defining the characteristics of the relevant public appropriately.

        • European Council authorises signature of the EU-China agreement on geographical indications

          On 20 July 2020, the European Council announced its decision on the agreement between the EU and China on Geographical Indications (GIs).


          This dialogue of the EU-China cooperation on GIs was opened back in September 2010. The latest concrete result was the completion of the ‘10 plus 10’ project in 2012, which provided mutual protection on 20 agriculture GIs in total, ten within each other’s territories. This time, the ‘100 plus 100 in 2020’ is a major step forward.

          The EU-China agri-food trade has been remarkable. A Commission report showed that China was the second destination of exports of EU agri-food products from September 2018 to August 2019, reaching €12.8 billion; it was also the second destination of EU exports of products protected as GIs (accounting for 9% of its value), including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks. In June 2020, the agri-food monitor observed that ‘the COVID-19 outbreak did not appear to impact the EU’s agri-food exports to China, as monthly values rose by €291 million compared to February 2019.’

          The Chinese market is known as a high-growth market, surely no exception for exotic food and drinks. To quote Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan: ‘Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers.’ It is noted that this is particularly the case for those who ‘have a taste for iconic, high-quality and genuine European products’.

          This high-level cooperation is good news for foodies. For instance, when craving some Salamini Italiani alla Cacciatora or Pu’er Cha (普洱茶), people can now save themselves the trouble of guessing which product is actually from the specific geographic area they want by spotting the official GI symbol.

      • Copyrights

        • Another ISP Sues Record Labels Over False and Deceptive Piracy Notices

          The legal battles between Internet providers and record labels are developing a familiar pattern. After the music companies accuse ISPs of failing to terminate accounts of pirates, the ISPs strike back by accusing the rightsholders of sending inaccurate and deceptive DMCA notices. A few days ago, Bright House Communications submitted its counterclaims.

        • Neil Young Is Considering Suing President Trump Over Song Use

          Young faces long legal odds if he decides to go through with a legal challenge over Trump’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World,” but that may not stop him from trying. “Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this president speaks, like it is his theme song,” Young writes. “I did not write it for that.”

        • YouTube Sued By Frustrated User Over Alleged DMCA Failures

          A frustrated YouTube user has filed a lawsuit against the company in California, alleging multiple failures to comply with the requirements of the DMCA. While the case is likely to fail, it may provide useful pointers for those in a similar position and considering the same kind of action.

        • How Mexico’s New Copyright Law Crushes Free Expression

          When Mexico’s Congress rushed through a new copyright law as part of its adoption of Donald Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), it largely copy-pasted the US copyright statute, with some modifications that made the law even worse for human rights.

          The result is a legal regime that has all the deficits of the US system, and some new defects that are strictly hecho en Mexico, to the great detriment of the free expression rights of the Mexican people.

        • Viacom’s Copyright Bots Take Down ‘Star Trek’ Comic-con Panel Because These Bots Suck Out Loud

          We’ve argued for a long, long time that these automated copyright takedown bots that far too many media companies utilize are both broken and illuminate just how broken copyright takedown policies for streaming sites have become. The output of this broken system is shown when these bots take down totally legitimate content or when grifters abuse the system to try to take some measure of income away from small third-party streamers. But attempts at machine-based copyright enforcement are truly at their most satisfying when content companies employing these bots commit unintentional copyright seppuku.

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