Milestone: Almost a Terabyte in a Single Week

Posted in Site News at 10:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A social coverSummary: A look back at a record week with about a dozen distributed denial of service attacks (their nature varying from time to time)

OWING to Gates deposition tapes for the most part, this past week was a record week for us. At the time of writing, 7 days down the line (based on our monitoring), 875 GB of traffic got passed downstream to visitors. It’s actually more than a terabyte if Tux Machines traffic gets counted as well.

“It’s actually more than a terabyte if Tux Machines traffic gets counted as well.”For those who wonder how we monitor this site (this past week we had about 10 DDOS incidents, which we can mitigate/tackle based on observed patterns, restricting access to parts of the site temporarily), here’s what the monitoring window (tmux in Konsole) looks like:

Tux Machines monitoring

Note that no IP addresses are shown, we’ve removed the Techrights part (only Tux Machines is shown), and we’ve occluded anything that can help a potential attacker. This site is monitored 24/7, with alerting systems set up to help us respond to incidents. The site’s uptime is currently 180 days, i.e. nearly half a year. Accessibility in the uptime sense improved a lot this past Easter.

Most-read posts, in order of number of requests over the past 6 days (as a reminder, we shred all logs after 4 weeks):


It’s decreasing from top to bottom (3,668 for the first one).

Different (unique) pages requested this past 6 days: 284,249.

Number of unique visitors: 22,803.

As we’re using an ancient program to analyse Apache logs, it barely understands what Chrom* is and doesn’t have a good understanding of ‘smart’ phones. Nevertheless, here’s some more stuff of interest.


Hourly distribution (European time):


Subject to many anomalies.

Microsoft Kills

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 9:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: If They Call You a “User” (or “Customer”), They Might be Drug Dealers and Lords of Narcotics (Digital or Otherwise)

No smoking

Summary: People ought to shamelessly and fearlessly point out that Microsoft has already killed far more people than COVID-19 will ever kill

IT has been widely reported this past week that Microsoft experienced many downtimes lately (of course Microsoft tried to deflect blame to other parties) and that our health service lost track of many COVID-19 positives because of Excel (of course Microsoft’s moles in the media shifted blame for face-saving purposes in that case as well). This clearly demonstrated, respectively, the threat posed by outsourcing or Clown Computing and the threat of relying on Microsoft for healthcare (months ago we wrote a long series about Windows in hospitals). How so vividly demonstrated… imagine the morgues. Microsoft: the undertakers-approved choice.

“How many people need to die and how much evidence needs to be supplied before those who chose Microsoft are held accountable?”Microsoft is nowadays trying to grab medical data (highly personal files) to give reasons for government bailout and hold people’s data ‘hostage’. It ought not be a taboo to say that Microsoft is responsible for a lot of deaths; by engaging in endless criminal activities — which definitely carry on — they put totally unfit-for-purpose systems in mission-critical settings. How many people need to die and how much evidence needs to be supplied before those who chose Microsoft are held accountable?

[Meme] “There Won’t be Anything we Won’t Say to People to Try and Convince Them That Our Way is the Way to Go.” -Bill Gates

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 9:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates prison: What are you in for? Exploiting millions of dead people for profit

Gates prison and money: I can share some $ with you.... All I need to do is pretend you're a good man?

Summary: You need not do anything spectacularly commendable when the media is in your pocket

Gates Foundation: the Fake ‘Charity’ That Profits From Microsoft (and Much More) Without Paying Tax

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 8:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates never really left Microsoft

Microsoft and Gates Foundation

Summary: The Gates Foundation is merely an investment apparatus (tax-exempt hedge fund), enriching a couple of people while they pretend to be distributing away their wealth; the above is a little portion from the latest listing (which does not even include bribes for publishers and other dubious financial transactions)

Bill Gates Deposition: The Monopoly Abuse and the Lies Gates Would Rather You Never Saw

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Microsoft, Videos at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Screenshot below: Latest from The Nation (“While the Poor Get Sick, Bill Gates Just Gets Richer”)

The Nation on Bill Gates: While the Poor Get Sick, Bill Gates Just Gets RicherSummary: Antitrust violations by Microsoft continue to this day, but the Gates Foundation with its latest profiteering ventures distracts from the crimes of the mastermind, Bill Gates, a chronic liar whom judges condemned and sternly warned about (sociopathic tendencies and God complex)

THE BILL GATES deposition tapes aren’t exactly old news because they still explain a lot of what happens at present.

There’s a lot to be learned about the war on GNU/Linux (especially the methods, the modus operandi), about the COVID-19 response (Bill Gates’s private wealth has increased by more than $10 billion during the pandemic), and about the nature of the threat we’re generally dealing with. We’ve seen countless lies, hundreds of lies in the first part, second part, third part, fourth part, fifth part, sixth part, seventh part, eighth part, and ninth part of the deposition tapes. The judges were amused by the endless lying by Mr. Gates; at least one ended up laughing in the courtroom. How can such a kid be trusted to run such a big company? Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said: “They don’t act like grown-ups!”

“This is especially important because last week Microsoft exploited a shambolic “Big Tech” report (which oddly enough excluded Microsoft!) to pretend Microsoft is some sort of startup or small business or “anti-monopoly”… words cannot describe how truly ludicrous that is.”Next week we’ll publish many long transcripts (we’ve already published some annotated transcripts and long transcripts that are widely available online).

This is especially important because last week Microsoft exploited a shambolic “Big Tech” report (which oddly enough excluded Microsoft!) to pretend Microsoft is some sort of startup or small business or “anti-monopoly”… words cannot describe how truly ludicrous that is.

Without further ado, here’s the Bill Gates deposition, part 10:

We expect that part 11 will be ready some time tomorrow morning. Many transcripts will be published in the coming days, probably a day after part 12.

Links 9/10/2020: KDE Plasma Mobile and Garuda Linux “Golden Eagle”

Posted in News Roundup at 12:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • PowerPC 601 Support Being Retired In Linux 5.10 – The First 32-bit PowerPC CPU

        The PowerPC 601 as the first-generation processor supporting the 32-bit PowerPC RISC instruction set in the early 90′s is being retired with the upcoming Linux 5.10 kernel.

        The PowerPC 601 was designed in the early 90′s as the first processor supporting 32-bit PowerPC. The PowerPC 601 was a legendary processor for its time in the PowerPC world for introducing SMP capabilities and other new features of the era while being designed for the IBM RS/6000. But now nearly three decades after PowerPC 601 processors first hit the market, Linux is removing the kernel support.

    • Applications

      • Best Keyboard Driven Application Launchers for Linux

        This article will cover lightweight application launchers for Linux that can be accessed using keyboard inputs only. These applications provide a lightning fast way to access and launch apps, and are especially useful for people who prefer keyboard navigation to mouse.

      • Linux Candy: XDecorations – Holiday lights and more

        Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        With the nights drawing in, with the prospective of a lockdown Christmas, we need everything possible to cheer up the place. It seems that Christmas starts earlier and earlier every year, it certainly does here. Let’s start early this year with some festive cheer on the desktop. XDecorations is a small utility that lets you add decorations to your desktop. They don’t have to be Christmas decorations, the program also caters for other events/seasons such as Halloween.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • After a very dicey campaign end, A Fox Tale is funded on Kickstarter

        After looking like it wouldn’t reach the goal, A Fox Tale from Danny Peet managed what looked to be almost impossible on the Kickstarter campaign which has now finished. What looks like it could end up being quite a promising game, mixing together pixel-art with some beautiful lighting and an unusual protagonist that sees you evade capture, solve puzzles and soar across near impossible landscapes.

        “As our four legged protagonist Eva, you are forced to take an unexpected journey. Explore and enjoy a world of wonder and horror, as you pass through your ever changing surroundings. However, the very nature of foxes means Eva is always cautious and this fox in particular has every reason to be…”

      • Graveyard Keeper ‘Game Of Crone’ DLC announced for late October

        Lazy Bear Games and tinyBuild have announced a brand new expansion for Graveyard Keeper is on the way with Game Of Crone, after a long while of no updates.

        With the last DLC released almost a year ago and not many updates since, it looked like they had moved on from this anti-Stardew experience with you looking after graves instead of a farm. In the Game Of Crone expansion you’ll be looking after a bunch of escaped prisoners develop from a camp to a fortified settlement.

      • Fast-paced action-roguelike ‘Burning Knight’ goes fully open source

        After recently release the first major post-release update, the developer of the action-roguelike Burning Knight decided to open source the whole thing.

        What is it? Similar in action to the likes of Nuclear Throne, Enter The Gungeon, Isaac and others like it – you get to blast through procedurally generated dungeons while unlocking more and more items to play with. Various different weapons and status effects, hats to collect and much more hidden.

      • High-speed precision platformer ‘RITE’ adds Linux support in a post-release update

        Ready for a fresh challenge? Conquered Celeste and want something more? Take a look at the high-speed precision platformer RITE which is now supported on Linux.

        “RITE is a high-speed precision platformer where you must conquer a series of demanding trials,a rite of passage for every Nim. Find the key and reach the exit to move on to the next trial, and maybe collect some gold along the way. Who knows, they could prove valuable to those who like a brutal challenge…”

      • Open source infinite shape-factory sim ‘shapez.io’ has a major new release up

        shapez.io lets you build up a huge factory with an ever-expanding map, it’s open source and a massive new update was recently put up expanding how deep it goes.

        The idea is inspired by the likes of Factorio but it’s a much more chilled-out game. Allowing you to just zone-out, and keep expanding as it gradually adds more complexity and shapes you need to create. Especially when it starts adding on rotations, colours and more. It’s a genuinely sweet idea and a rather nice take on an automation building sim, they’ve captured a fun niche here.

      • Spaceship base-building colony simulator ‘Stardeus’ announced with Linux support

        Kodo Linija (Bloody Rally Show) have announced their next game with Stardeus, a spaceship base-building colony sim that will arrive with Linux support in 2021.

        In Stardeus the future of the rest of humanity is solely in your hands. The Earth has been destroyed and what little of humanity survived are asleep on a big spaceship. However, the ship has been torn to pieces and the ship AI loads your neural network into the system – it’s up to you to keep the remains of humanity alive.

        Sounds like it’s going to be a mix of titles like Space Haven, Starmancer and a little RimWorld too.

      • 10 Best Linux Games for Free

        Linux and Gaming turning out to be great combinations for Linux faithful and gaming lovers. In the past year, we shared various articles on gaming on Linux like How to install Steam on Linux and Best Linux Distributions for Gaming.

        Now there are many games from popular developers available for the Linux platform now. But games from popular publishers guarantee one thing and that is the price tag and some games are very expensive too. So today I’m going to introduce you to the 10 free games for Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Plasma Mobile Gets New Lock Screen and Virtual Keyboard, Game Center App

          When not working on the Plasma desktop environment, the KDE Project is developing new features for Plasma Mobile, the mobile version of Plasma for Linux smartphones and tablets.

          It’s been a month since the last update, and Plasma Mobile got a lot of cool new features during this time. The first thing you’ll notice is probably the virtual keyboard, which is now based on the 2nd generation Maliit keyboard rather than QtVirtualKeyboard and better supports Wayland.

        • KDE Plasma Mobile Has Been Making Great Progress
        • Plasma Mobile update: September 2020

          The Plasma Mobile team is happy to present the Plasma Mobile updates from the month of September. This month’s update includes various improvements and bugfixes in file dialogs, the virtual keyboard, lockscreen, various applications, and updates from KDE’s annual conference, Akademy.

          Jonah Brüchert has implemented support for forwarding file dialog requests to the xdg-desktop-portal in plasma-integration. plasma-integration is a Plasma Qt plugin that provides all kinds of system dialogs, like file dialogs. Sandboxed apps can’t use plasma-integration, so xdg-desktop-portal-kde was born to provide system dialogs for them. It is not a Qt plugin, but a system service that apps can call if they need such a dialog. With the latest patch, plasma-integration can just call xdg-desktop-portal, so dialogs only have to be implemented there once. In short, all apps are now using the xdg-desktop-portal, no matter whether they are sandboxed or not.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • How to open source: going from NetBSD to Linux

        TL;DR: some BSD user tries something other and wonder why things are different.

        This post has sat in draft form for quite some time. At first it was written with highlighting the NetBSD project in mind and I started thinking about revisiting it recently due to frustration with running a mainstream Linux distribution when investigating

      • New Releases

        • Garuda Linux “Golden Eagle” (201007) Released With 5 New Editions

          Succeeding to the previous month’s v200831 release, the Garuda team has announced a new version 201007 “Golden Eagle” of Arch-based Garuda Linux.

          The latest v201007 comes with five new editions, several bug fixes reported in the previous release, and other notable version upgrades such as GNOME 3.38, Plasma 5.19.5, Firefox 81, Linux-zen 5.8.13, and Mesa 20.2.

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 151 is available for testing

          On the same day as releasing Core Update 150, the next one – Core Update 151 – is available for testing.

          It comes with various package updates and a number of bug fixes in IPFire Location and security improvements in the SSH service.

          Since the rollout of our new location database, we have made various improvements on the software implementation to increase accuracy and speed. These are now all included in this Core Update.

          In addition to that, we now show whether an IP address is marked as an “anonymous proxy”, “satellite provider” or “anycast” which helps debugging network issues and investigating attacks.

      • BSD

        • Bye-bye, Apple

          The days of Apple products are behind me. I had been developing on a Macbook for over twelve years, but now, I’ve switched to an ever trending setup: OpenBSD on a Thinkpad.

          The new platform is a winner. Everything is clean, quick, and configurable. When I ps uaxww, I’m not hogging ‘gigs’ of RAM just to have things up and running. There’s no black magic that derails me at every turn. In short, my sanity has been long restored.

      • Debian Family

        • The 10 Best Debian Based Linux Distributions for Beginners Like Me

          Debian is called the mother of Linux distributions. When I was new to Linux, I always wondered why this “not-so-good-looking” distro is so popular inside the Linux developers community! Especially when there are a lot of modern distributions that are easy to use and have beautiful UIs. Later on, I found out the power of Debian. You will be surprised to know that almost all the popular consumer-level distros are based on Debian. It is so stable and feature-rich that the developers find it easy to build their distros based on Debian rather than building from scratch. However, for some obvious reasons, I get many questions about the best Debian based Linux distributions. So today, I will try to answer and justify this query for my audiences.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My open source video game for Open Jam

        This year, I joined in on the Open Jam, a “game jam” in which programmers around the world dedicate a weekend to create open source games. The jam is essentially an excuse to spend a weekend coding, and the majority of the games that come out of the challenge are small distractions rather than something you’re likely to play for hours on end. But they’re fun, diverse, and open source, and that’s a pretty good feature list for a game.

        The game I submitted is Unveil, a calming puzzle game in which the player must first discover the goal, and then work to achieve it with the greatest number of points. Because part of the game is the discovery process, I won’t reveal any more about the gameplay than that.

      • Open-source use goes up while the economy goes down

        This is pretty simple really. Open source works, and it’s cheap. And when the Main Street economy is going rotten, smart businesses turn to open source. Tidelift, a major commercial support, and maintenance company for community-led open-source, found the proof for this idea in its third-annual Managed Open Source Survey.

        As Tidelift CEO Donald Fisher explained, “This finding continues a trend that began after the recession of the early 2000s and continued after the financial crisis of 2008. Organizations turn to open source in tough economic times because it helps them reduce costs and improves their ability to innovate.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a8 (Android Only)

            Android Tor Browser 10.0a8 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

      • FSF

        • Congratulations to the FSF on its thirty-fifth anniversary

          The FSFE’s sister organisation, the FSF, celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary this week. Thirty-five years of working for software freedom and inspiring many people and organisations to take a stand for user freedoms deserve big congratulations. Watch and read the congratulatory speech by FSFE President Matthias Kirschner.

          35 years ago the Free Software Foundation was founded to work for users’ software freedom to use, study, share, and improve software. In hindsight this seems to be an obvious step; in the 1980ies it was visionary.

          Over the years more and more people, organisations, companies, and public administrations learnt why Free Software is important for a free society.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to use C++ Unordered Map

          A map, also known as an associative array is a list of elements, where each element is a key/value pair. So, each key corresponds to a value. Different keys can have the same value, for ordinary work. For example, the keys can be a list of fruits and the corresponding values, the colors of the fruits. In C++, the map is implemented as a data structure with member functions and operators. An ordered map is one where the element pairs have been ordered by keys. An unordered map is one where there is no order. This article explains how to use C++ unordered map, written as unordered_map. You need knowledge in C++ pointers to understand this article. unordered_map is part of the C++ standard library.

        • How to use memcpy function in C language?

          In the C language memcpy() function is used to copy a block of memory from one location to another. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail how the memcpy() function is used. So, let’s get started.

        • How teachers train in Computing with our free online courses
        • Python

          • Python String Formatting

            String formatting is a significant feature of any programming language. By using string formatting, you can properly arrange your string. String formatting helps users understand the output in a well-defined, coherent way. In Python, string formatting can be performed in various ways, i.e., by using the ‘%’ operator and the ‘format ()’ function.

            This article explains string formatting in Python using the ‘%’ operator and the ‘format ()’ function. The Spyder3 editor is used to write and run the Python scripts shown in this article.

          • Python Variables

            A Python variable is a location in memory to store the values. The variables are reserved memory locations. A variable is a bag or container that stores the value. We store our data in a Python variable which is subsequently used for multiple purposes i.e. processing, value printing, etc. Every value that is assigned to a variable has a data type.

          • Python Functions

            A function is a block or group of similar statements that perform a specific task. A function is written to perform the task. In Python, a function takes the input, performs the task, and returns the output. A function also makes the code reusable; instead of writing the same code again and again for performing a similar task, we can make a function and call it.

            Python has various built-in functions, including print (), type (), and more. But, we can also define or write our functions. We call these functions “user-defined” functions. In this article, you will learn how to define a function with multiple examples. The Spyder3 editor is used for creating and writing the Python scripts shown in this article.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • What is a Bash Script?

            Many times while working with the different flavors of the Linux operating system, we come across the terms of shell scripting or bash scripting. Most of the naïve users often wonder what these terms really refer to. Shell is a command-line interpreter used with Linux which has multiple different flavors. In this article, we are interested in exploring its variation named Bash. We will throw light on the concept of Bash scripts and we will try to understand them with the help of a few very basic examples. So, let us try and dig deeper into Bash and Bash scripting.


            Whenever you launch the terminal in Linux operating system, the default program that runs inside it is Shell or Bash. This default program is responsible for interpreting all the commands that you run on the Linux operating system. We can also say that Bash is responsible for running the other programs in the Linux operating system. On the other hand, the Linux terminal acts as a bridge between Bash and the user and enables a smooth interaction between them.

            Since Bash is responsible for executing the commands that you run in the Linux terminal, therefore, many of the important tasks can be associated with it as its responsibilities. It can be used to configure different programs or even run them via terminal. It can manipulate the files stored on your Linux operating system. It is also capable of interacting with databases. Apart from this, Bash is also a full-fledged scripting language and we will try to find out how is it possible in the next section of this article.

          • Using the “awk” Command to Print the Last Column from a File

            “awk” is a very powerful Linux command that can be used with other commands as well as with other variables. This command is essentially used to read the content of a file. The process of file reading has never been this much easier as it is with this efficient command. File reading and writing are very repeatedly used especially if you are a programmer. The read file can then be used to process its content, to modify it, or even to simply print it.
            However, there are situations in which you do not intend to read the entire content of that file rather you are only concerned with a specific portion of that file. In such a situation, it is highly not recommended to read the entire file since it will occupy extra space and will also take a longer time for processing rather you should directly hit that particular portion of that file. In this article, we aim to walk you through the different methods of using the “awk” command to print the last column from a file.

        • Rust

          • Daniel Stenberg: rust in curl with hyper

            curl and its data transfer core, libcurl, is all written in C. The language C is known and infamous for not being memory safe and for being easy to mess up and as a result accidentally cause security problems.

            At the same time, C compilers are very widely used and available and you can compile C programs for virtually every operating system and CPU out there. A C program can be made far more portable than code written in just about any other programming language.

            curl is a piece of “insecure” C code installed in some ten billion installations world-wide. I’m saying insecure within quotes because I don’t think curl is insecure. We have our share of security vulnerabilities of course, even if I think the rate of them getting found has been drastically reduced over the last few years, but we have never had a critical one and with the help of busloads of tools and humans we find and fix most issues in the code before they ever land in the hands of users. (And “memory safety” is not the single explanation for getting security issues.)

  • Leftovers

    • The Radicalism of Authentic Selfishness: Call It Art

      The pandemic has been a boon for technology, tele-connection now regarded as having huge social benefit, and, as anyone can see, “humans are biohazards, and machines are not.” It seems as if technology is being given a “pass” due to its having functioned as a “life-saver” during the pandemic – except by critics like Kirkpatrick Sale, Jonathan Cook and others whose radical neo-luddite voices in the wilderness are so needed.

    • French Consumers Encouraged to Stop Spending on New Smartphones

      Environment minister Barbara Pompili and her colleague for Digital Affairs, Cedric O, told Bloomberg that the government is in talks to boost second-hand purchasing, but didn’t detail the plans which are still being finalized. O said a new form of tax on goods was unlikely because companies would shift the cost on consumers.

    • How to build a perfect (IT) team

      Just recently, I read a very nice article on vas3k (a website on my Greatest sites list, btw), most aptly and enticingly titled A Team – How to build awesome teams without bullshit. This actually triggered my intellectual glands, and I started pondering this subject with gusto.

      What I found (missing) in the article is that it’s mostly applicable to software development – and younger people in general, so I thought I might produce a more generic article along the same lines, taking into account a wider of view of the IT world. Using my personal experience, of course. So let’s.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Western Digital enters Pakistan

        Amid digital growth in the country, the Western Digital has decided to enter Pakistani market with the launch of its products in the country, but the company faces challenges from piracy and copy rights violations from imports to retail end.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Focused Protection, Herd Immunity, and Other Deadly Delusions

        Many readers of The Nation may also subscribe to Jacobin, as I do. I am happy to have two progressive publications appear in my mailbox regularly, one a longtime favorite and the other a more recent pleasure. A few weeks ago, as I was browsing online at Jacobin, I found an interview, headlined “We Need a Radically Different Approach to the Pandemic and Our Economy as a Whole,” with Harvard professors Katherine Yih and Martin Kulldorff. I was excited to read it. My Yale colleague Amy Kapczynski and I have written about how to rethink our approach to Covid-19 in a series of articles for another great lefty journal, Boston Review, where we have called for a new politics of care to confront the neoliberalism and white supremacy baked into health care and public health in America. I was hoping to see a similar call emerge in Jacobin’s pages online.

      • Top US Medical Journal Breaks 208-Year Precedent With Scathing Case to Vote Out ‘Dangerously Incompetent’ Trump

        “Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment.”

      • Guatemalan and Mexican Governments Use Pandemic to Turn Back Caravan of Thousands of Refugees

        Thousands of Honduran migrants and refugees have been beaten, arrested, threatened with prison, and deported as they tried to make their way through the closed borders of Guatemala and Mexico.

      • The Long Haul: Living Through Pandemic-Plus

        After all these months and 210,000 deaths, you’d think I’d be used to it all, but I’m not. It doesn’t seem even a little normal yet. I’m still full of absences, missing so much I used to take for granted: hugs and handshakes, rooms crowded for funerals and weddings, potluck dinners and house parties. I miss browsing the stacks at the library and the racks at the thrift shop. I miss going to our Unitarian Universalist congregation and the robust community connection we enjoyed every Sunday.

      • At capacity A sharp increase in coronavirus cases leaves hospitals across Russia running out of beds

        In Russia, against the backdrop of a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases, the number of available hospital beds for COVID-19 patients has decreased significantly, and patients undergoing diagnostics are waiting for hours to get CT scans. In a new report, the Russian business newspaper “Kommersant” breaks down how the second coronavirus wave is impacting the country’s hospitals, based on conversations with patients and their relatives, as well as official statements from the regional authorities.

      • Pence’s Handling of COVID Is Straight Out of the Christian Right Playbook

        Hours before Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, one of the nation’s leading medical journals released a scathing and unprecedented plea for voters to reject Trump and Pence’s reelection bid, calling their leadership on COVID-19 “dangerously incompetent.”

      • A “Still Infectious” Trump Refuses to Participate in Virtual Debate

        Immediately after the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Thursday morning that it would hold its next debate between candidates virtually, President Donald Trump decried the idea, saying he would refuse to be a part of the event if it moved to that format.

      • “I’m Not Going to Waste My Time on a Virtual Debate,” Says Trump After Format Changed to Prevent Spread of Covid-19

        The Commission on Presidential Debates said Thursday morning that the town hall-style event will take place virtually to “protect the health and safety of all involved.”

      • Illinois Has Had COVID-19 Outbreaks in 44 Schools but Won’t Say Where They’ve Occurred

        Nearly two months into the school year, Illinois public health officials said they have verified COVID-19 outbreaks in at least 44 school buildings across the state, but they declined to say where those cases occurred and acknowledged they may not know the full scope of the virus’s spread in schools.

        Unlike many other states, Illinois doesn’t publish the number of cases linked to schools or which schools have been affected — even as parents and educators try to assess whether in-person learning is safe. State health officials released overall numbers at the request of ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune.

      • Infectious Conspiracies: Donald Trump, Coronavirus and Reality

        One measure of success in politics is the degree enemies imitate you, even if done insincerely and without flattery. Insincere imitation has become the preserve of a whole panoply of Donald Trump’s critics stretching from the money, corporate side of the Democrats to the sandalled warriors who believe in environmental eschatology. Most importantly for Joe Biden and fellow travellers of the Donkey Party, they remain incapable and uninterested in identifying and confronting their devastating loss in 2016. There is only one program in the works, the mission that matters: removal and elimination. Get Trump out, and all will heal.

      • ‘A Definite and Sustained Increase’: Europe Leads Record Single-Day Worldwide Covid-19 Infection Surge

        Nearly 100,000 new coronavirus infections were reported in Europe on Thursday—more than in the U.S., India, and Brazil, the world’s Covid-19 case leaders. 

      • Trump Blames His COVID Diagnosis on Grieving Military Families

        President Donald Trump appeared to blame his recent coronavirus diagnosis on Gold Star families — the families of military members who died while serving — during an interview on Fox Business Thursday.

      • Trump’s COVID Infection Shows Why It’s Time to Retire the Nuclear Football

        In a vibrant democracy, no one person should have the unchecked power to destroy the world.

      • After Trump Covid-19 Diagnosis, Pelosi and Raskin to Propose Creating Commission on Presidential Capacity

        The House speaker’s office said the commission would “help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government.”

      • Labor Unions and Green Groups Sue Trump Admin. for ‘Failure to Protect Frontline Workers From Covid-19′

        “People are dying, and more people are going to die because the Trump administration has totally failed to protect Americans who have been on the job throughout the pandemic keeping our country running.”

      • Bernie Sanders Says Medicare Should Be Expanded Out of an “Abundance of Caution”

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday said the U.S. federal government should expand Medicare to everyone in the nation “out of an abundance of caution” — repurposing a phrase White House officials used to explain President Donald Trump’s brief stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received a level of care that is systematically denied Americans who lack the means to pay for it.

      • Dying in a Leadership Vacuum

        Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment. Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.

      • Nancy Pelosi hints at possibility of push to invoke 25th Amendment amid concerns over Trump’s health

        The top-ranking Democrat also discussed another key question she and other Democratic lawmakers have raised. Although Trump tested positive more than a week ago, the White House has yet to reveal when the president’s last negative COVID test was — a critical piece of information needed for contact tracing. Pelosi also expressed concern about the Trump administration’s lack of transparency regarding the president’s illness and the coronavirus outbreak at the White House.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Coles forced to shut doors due by major IT outage

        One of Australia’s two big supermarket chains, Coles, has been hit by an IT outage and forced to shut its outlets, with shoppers unable to complete purchases due to an inability to process payments.

      • Proprietary

        • Review: Tracktion Collective

          As well as the usual Windows and macOS options, this hybrid synth is also available on some flavours of Linux. Tracktion’s support of the Linux platform is commendable, bringing professional-grade audio tools to a family of operating systems that holds great promise for those breaking the Apple and Microsoft duopoly but one that is too often overlooked by commercial developers. Specifically, Collective has been tested with the popular Ubuntu Linux, and so should work well on other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. It has also been released as a package for RaspberryPi.

        • We Hacked Apple for 3 Months: Here’s What We Found

          During our engagement, we found a variety of vulnerabilities in core portions of their infrastructure that would’ve allowed an attacker to fully compromise both customer and employee applications, launch a worm capable of automatically taking over a victim’s iCloud account, retrieve source code for internal Apple projects, fully compromise an industrial control warehouse software used by Apple, and take over the sessions of Apple employees with the capability of accessing management tools and sensitive resources.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Exploring Potential Revisions to the Open Source Definition

              The Open Source Definition (OSD), which is maintained by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), is a foundational pillar of the open source movement, said Richard Fontana in a recent article for Opensource.com. The OSD sets forth various criteria that must be met in order for a software license to be labeled as open source and, Fontana notes, is analogous to constitutional text.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Oracle (bind, kernel, libcroco, nss and nspr, qemu-kvm, spice and spice-gtk, and squid) and SUSE (kernel).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • How the Theatrics of Banning TikTok Enables Repression at Home

              China policy analysts and tech regulators have recently tried to make sense of the US threats to ban on TikTok and WeChat. What do the requirements of such a prohibition imply for tech regulation? If the US government is willing to exercise such influence over private cell phone providers, what could this mean for other forms of data? Is a whack-a-mole game of app bans really a useful way to enforce data privacy without a broader set of government rules like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation? More importantly, what is the meaning of a blanket ban—on surveillance grounds but without technical evidence—given that “sanctioned” surveillance hardware made by Chinese companies continues to be used throughout the United States?

            • Forget TikTok. IRS Inquiry Shows The Continued Abuse Of Location Data Is The Real Scandal.

              We’ve noted a few times now that despite all the pearl clutching over TikTok, the use and abuse of user location data makes concerns about TikTok look like a grade school picnic. That should have been made obvious by the Securus and LocationSmart scandals, which showed that cellular carriers had been selling access to data (including 911 data) on your every movement to any nitwit with a nickel. This data was then abused by everyone from law enforcement, to folks pretending to be law enforcement, to idiot stalkers.

            • Privacy Badger Is Changing to Protect You Better

              Privacy Badger was created to protect users from pervasive non-consensual tracking, and to do so automatically, without relying on human-edited lists of known trackers. While our goals remain the same, our approach is changing. It is time for Privacy Badger to evolve.

              Thanks to disclosures from Google Security Team, we are changing the way Privacy Badger works by default in order to protect you better. Privacy Badger used to learn about trackers as you browsed the Web. Now, we are turning “local learning” off by default, as it may make you more identifiable to websites or other actors. If you wish, you can still choose to opt in to local learning and have the exact same Badger experience as before. Regardless, all users will continue to benefit from Privacy Badger’s up-to-date knowledge of trackers in the wild, as well as its other privacy-preserving features like outgoing link protection and widget replacement.

            • Apple is introducing iPhone Health Records to UK and Canada

              Apple continues to develop its plans for digital health. It has now begun introducing its innovative Health Records feature within the Health app for iPhone users in the UK and Canada.

            • Turkey Says Facebook Risks Fines If Flouts New Social Media Law

              Turkey will penalize Facebook with escalating fines and could make it excrutiatingly slow to use the platform if the company flouts a new social media law that could be used to stifle dissent.

              A senior Turkish official said The Menlo Park, California-based company had not formally told the government whether or not it would not be appointing a local representative.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Judge orders Twitter to reveal identity behind account that started Seth Rich conspiracy

        A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Twitter to reveal who was behind the account that allegedly spread the conspiracy about the death of slain Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich.

        U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in Oakland, Calif., ordered that Twitter must turn over information about the account @whyspertech.

        That account is accused of forging FBI documents falsely linking Rich’s killing to the WikiLeaks hack of Democratic emails and provided them to Fox News.

      • Judge Orders Twitter To Unmask FBI Impersonator Who Set Off Seth Rich Conspiracy

        The ruling could lead to the identification of the person behind the Twitter name @whyspertech. Through that account, the user allegedly provided forged FBI materials to Fox News. The documents falsely linked Rich’s killing to the WikiLeaks [cr]ack of Democratic Party emails in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Judges and the Frog

        An account of the Dusky Gopher Frog’s Defense, and Fight for His Life, before the US Supreme Court, October 1 2018 and the consequent US Fish and Wildlife Service’s and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s revision of the Definition of Habitat.

      • Now More Than Ever: Fill in That WFP Bubble!

        There isn’t much suspense about which presidential candidate will carry New York state on Election Day. New Yorkers, who’ve seen Donald Trump up close for decades, will reject him by a huge margin—just like they did the last time. But there’s a lot more at stake here than the president’s ego. New Yorkers who favor Joe Biden still have an important choice to make. Here’s why.

      • Bland “Resistance” Punditry

        The Establishment Left labors under the delusion that Trump supporters, if confronted by facts, would simply drop their guns and renounce their Orange Savior. Thus they churn out ham-handed editorials and think pieces with such scintillating headlines as “Why Trump is Wrong on Jobs” and “How Trump Lost the Debate”. As usual, they are pontificating in a vacuum, where any real critiques of their own class are drowned out by the drone of the political machines that manufacture absolute consensus on this point. Notice it’s always the voters who are blamed for the defective candidates that their infernal engines belch out. Never the monied interests who fan the flames of social and environmental upheaval, creating the perfect storm that resulted in pandemic and Donald Trump alike.

      • What Comes Next Is Up to Us

        The bulk of the chaos is simply America the Terrible emerging from the shadows: our real history suddenly visible.

      • How You Can Stop America’s Slide Toward Tyranny

        This is our chance to change our nation’s terrifying course.

      • ‘There Can’t Be Any Dispute’: Elizabeth Warren Says US Voters Must Beat Trump ‘Bigly’ in November

        The senator urged all Americans to “get out and vote for our democracy.”

      • Amy Coney Barrett Has No Business Ruling on This Election

        The president has openly said he expects her to back him in a contested election. She should recuse herself—and we should resist her.

      • ‘This Is Their Desperate Attempt to Cling on to Power’: Pence Joins Trump in Refusing to Commit to Peaceful Transition

        “Should Donald Trump and Mike Pence refuse to accept the will of the people, we will be ready to mobilize in unprecedented numbers to demand that every single vote be counted and ensure a peaceful transition of power.”

      • A Crisis Turned Into A Tragedy
      • We’re Living in a Simulation
      • Flyboy: To Humiliate Tyrants
      • Donald Trump Is Not Extreme Left

        Donald Trump is not extreme left. Seems obvious, right? Shouldn’t I be writing that Joe Biden isn’t extreme left, as this is the accusation leveled against him? Still, I think when people call Joe Biden extreme left it’s seen as a positive. When Noam Chomsky calls him the most progressive President since FDR we are supposed to be seeing both Biden and the extreme left in a positive light.

      • GOP Attempts to Suppress the Vote Must be Stopped

        Trump has governed in some ways that no US president has ever done before. One is that he made almost no attempt to expand his support beyond his hard-core base. Even dictators generally come to a different conclusion about what is best for their political survival. But Trump has had difficulty even distancing himself from violent organized white supremacists.

      • Pence Refused to Say Whether Trump Would Accept Election Outcome

        It is a fascinating symptom of the age: We were all told by the media (and even by me, guilty as charged) to prepare for World War Eleventy when Mike Pence and Kamala Harris met for the only vice presidential debate of the campaign. She’s gonna, he’s gonna, oh it’s gonna be, and we all leaned into our televisions and saw… a debate.

      • Kamala Harris Made It Look Easy. It Wasn’t.

        I was thrilled just to see Kamala Harris on that stage with sad-sack Vice President Mike Pence. Normally, he’s not supposed to be alone with any woman but his wife, whom he calls “Mother.” Yet he sold out his alleged Christian values to be the running mate of the thrice-married adulterer credibly accused of abusing a couple of dozen women and banging a porn star, and caught on tape bragging that he can “grab women by the pussy,” which we learned four long years ago yesterday.

      • Kamala Harris Put Mike Pence in His Place

        After the unpleasant spectacle of Trump spewing toxic bile at Biden and the American public, yesterday’s vice presidential debate was almost staid—almost, but not quite.

      • Pence’s Politeness Masks a Ruthless Ideology

        “It is a privilege to share the stage with you Senator Harris,” said Vice President Mike Pence, and those 11 words signaled a new strategy. It was a turn-on-a-dime maneuver from President Trump’s disastrous September 29 debate that tanked his polls. If Trump was a rabid blowhard, Pence would be calm and respectful. Implicit in the serene composure was a decision; he was not there to save Trump’s presidency but to audition for his own.

      • Pence Looks Normal Only in Comparison to Trump

        Wednesday night’s debate between Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence took place in the shadow of a much more consequential debate, the disastrous encounter between Joe Biden and Donald Trump two weeks ago. The debate between the presidential contenders was one of the most dismaying staged events in modern American politics, with a seething Trump constantly and rudely interrupting Biden, often with crude insults. That debate was painful to watch, although it did have the salutary effect of making Trump even more unpopular. The gap between Biden and Trump has gone from roughly 7 percent to more than 9 percent, in part, polling maven Nate Silver suggests, because of the debate.

      • Kamala Harris Called Out Covid Lies and Guilty Men

        Mike Pence spent time preparing for the last vice presidential debate of his miserable political career and came up with what he thought was a strategy. The chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force set out to deflect attention from the Trump administration’s failure to respond to a pandemic that has cost more than 210,000 American lives by claiming that any reference to that failure should be seen as “a great disservice to the sacrifices the American people have made” over seven wrenching months of sickness, death, and economic devastation.

      • Rev. William Barber: Republicans Can’t Win Without Voter Suppression

        During Wednesday’s debate, Vice President Mike Pence refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power if Biden wins the election. Instead, he referenced the Trump administration’s legal efforts to restrict mail-in voting. Rev. William Barber says the Republican Party’s voter suppression efforts ahead of the November election, aimed primarily at Black and Brown voters, amount to “surgical racism with surgical precision.” The Poor People’s Campaign, of which Barber is co-chair, is leading a major voter mobilization effort to combat voter disenfranchisement. “They know they cannot win if everybody votes. They are terribly afraid of poor and low-wealth Black and Brown people voting,” he says.

      • Empathy for the World’s Least Empathetic Person?

        So feel sympathy for him if you’d like. But when you cast your ballot, don’t forget who he is, what he’s done, and what he wants to continue to do to America.

      • Either Nicola Sturgeon or Geoff Aberdein is Lying on Oath – and Proving Which Will Be Easy

        It is impossible that both Nicola Sturgeon and Geoff Aberdein are tellng the truth about their meeting on 29 March 2018, which both now say discussed allegations against Alex Salmond.

      • WATCH: Sanders and Teen Vogue Host Town Hall Featuring Young Voters Surviving National Crisis

        “Young people have the power to change this country and the world,” the senator said before the event.

      • The Greatest Failure in Presidential History: Kamala Harris Slams Trump/Pence’s Handling of COVID-19

        Separated by two plates of plexiglass, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris met Wednesday in the only vice-presidential debate of the campaign season. Pence, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, repeatedly defended the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 nears 212,000 and millions of people remain out of work. The debate also took place against the backdrop of a White House outbreak that has infected President Trump and dozens of other senior figures. “The White House has had more cases than the country of Yemen recently, than Vietnam, than New Zealand,” says Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. “How can we expect the White House to keep the U.S. safe if it can’t keep the White House safe?”

      • Rev. William Barber on Voter Suppression: Republicans Know They Can’t Win If Everyone Casts a Ballot

        During Wednesday’s debate, Vice President Mike Pence refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power if Biden wins the election. Instead, he referenced the Trump administration’s legal efforts to restrict mail-in voting. Rev. William Barber says the Republican Party’s voter suppression efforts ahead of the November election, aimed primarily at Black and Brown voters, amount to “surgical racism with surgical precision.” The Poor People’s Campaign, of which Barber is co-chair, is leading a major voter mobilization effort to combat voter disenfranchisement. “They know they cannot win if everybody votes. They are terribly afraid of poor and low-wealth Black and Brown people voting,” he says.

      • 4 Key Takeaways from the Harris-Pence VP Debate

        Make no mistake: Pence is a slick version of Trump, and just as dangerous as the liar-in-chief.

      • Senate Race Between Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison Shifts to a “Toss-Up”

        Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has lost the slim edge he once held in his re-election bid in the wake of his first debate against Democratic rival Jaime Harrison, according to the analysts at Cook Political Report. On Wednesday, the election monitor shifted the race’s outlook from “lean Republican” to “toss-up.”

      • Holographic minister unveils Finland’s ‘largest ever’ Japan trade mission

        In an unusual move prompted by Japan’s tight Covid-19 travel restrictions, Finnish Minister for Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Cen) appeared via hologram to deliver a pre-recorded speech to guests at the pavilion’s official opening on Tuesday.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Devin Nunes Asks Appeals Court To Invalidate Bedrock Supreme Court 1st Amendment Ruling

        A year and a half ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas indicated that he thought that NY Times v. Sullivan was wrongly decided. This is perhaps the most important 1st Amendment ruling from the Supreme Court ever, and establishes the “actual malice” standard for defamation of public figures. There’s more to it than this, but the ruling basically says that for it to be defamation of a public figure, whoever is making the statement should more or less know that the information they’re passing along is false. It’s a high standard, but that’s in order to protect the 1st Amendment. Unfortunately, Thomas seems to think that it’s time to revisit the issue:

      • League Of California Cities Want Congress To Change Section 230… To Let Cops Spy On Everyone Using Social Media

        A few weeks back, we wrote about a dangerous proposal being debated by various cities who were a part of the League of California Cities to send a letter to Congress, demanding it change Section 230. The proposal was pushed for by the city of Cerritos which got the requisite four other cities to endorse the idea. Since then other cities have debated it (often without understanding it) and now it’s up for an official vote by the organization.

      • China Micro-Censors The VP Debate In The Most Hamfisted Way

        It’s common knowledge now that the Chinese government heavily censors the access its population has to the internet and information writ large. It’s been a decade since China first proffered that its Great Firewall of China was not actually censorship, but was merely a method for “safeguarding” its citizens. Safeguarding them, it seems, primarily from any international criticism of the Chinese regime itself, which sure seems like it’s more about safeguarding the government, rather than the citizens. In the subsequent decade, whatever skin China had to weather criticism further sloughed away such that the government is now not only actively pressuring groups and companies within Chinese borders, but actively attempting to affect its censorship outside those borders as well.

      • Facebook’s Most Recent Transparency Report Demonstrates the Pitfalls of Automated Content Moderation

        In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many social media platforms shifted their content moderation policies to rely much more heavily on automated tools. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all ramped up their machine learning capabilities to review and identify flagged content in efforts to ensure the wellbeing of their content moderation teams and the privacy of their users. Most social media companies rely on workers from the so-called global South to review flagged content, usually under precarious working conditions and without adequate protections from the traumatic effects of their work. While the goal to protect workers from being exposed to these dangers while working from home is certainly legitimate, automated content moderation still poses a major risk to the freedom of expression online.

        Wary of the negative effects the shift towards more automated content moderation might have on users’ freedom of expression, we called on companies to make sure that this shift would be temporary. We also emphasized the importance of meaningful transparency, notice, and robust appeals processes in these unusual times called for in the Santa Clara Principles.

      • For Some Adjunct Professors, It’s Speak Your Mind versus Keep

        But while adjunct ranks have grown, concerns about their academic freedom aren’t new. The AAUP has been sounding the alarm for decades about the challenges faced by adjuncts. In 1999, a Chronicle of Higher Education article entitled “To Many Adjunct Professors, Academic Freedom is a Myth” noted that “As the ranks of part-timers swell, they lament how easily colleges can dump them.” A more detailed journal article published two years later by Georgetown law professor J. Peter Byrne on Academic Freedom of Part-Time Faculty explained that:

        The tenuousness of the adjunct’s contractual claim against the university and her frequent invisibility to peers create persistent risk of violations of academic freedom. The adjunct professor’s supervisor can simply decide not to renew the adjunct contract because, in that supervisor’s opinion, the course is not needed or can be taught better by another… Thus, it is easy for the supervisor to dump someone who criticized a colleague’s work in class or argued for social policy against the interests of a school benefactor. Even when this discretion is exercised with appropriate regard for the values of academic freedom, as no doubt it generally is, the structure itself ex ante will encourage faculty to avoid controversy.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Prisoners Who Were Convicted by Hung Juries

        In 2005, Ricky Davis, a Black Louisianian from New Orleans, was staying at a motel in Baton Rouge after his house was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. On the night of October 29, according to court records, he got into an altercation with a white man who drove his car at him. Davis shot him, and a jury convicted him of second-degree murder with a life sentence in the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary known as Angola.

      • Kendrick Lamar’s Poetic Awakening

        When Kendrick Lamar was 5, he saw a teenage drug dealer gunned down in front of his apartment building. “A guy was out there serving his narcotics and somebody rolled up with a shotgun and blew his chest out,” he once told NPR. “It [did] something to me right then and there. It let me know that this is not only something that I’m looking at, but it’s something that maybe I have to get used to.” Then, at the age of 8, Kendrick was walking home from Ronald E. McNair Elementary School, past the Tam’s Burgers on Rosecrans Avenue, when he saw a man get shot and killed in the drive-through as he ordered his food. As a child, he toed a fine line between morality and street shit. Too many wrong moves, and Kendrick—the same guy whose music has traveled the globe several times over—would not have made it out of his hometown of Compton, Calif. Although one could say in retrospect that Kendrick’s ascension was ordained, he also needed some luck, a ton of goodwill, and a lot of support from family and friends to pull through.

      • Because We Make Monsters

        Some years ago, a friend – an ardent gay activist – phoned me, ecstatic, nearly weeping with joy. She had just come from a courtroom where two Queens men, charged in the beating and stabbing death of a gay man in a Jackson Heights cruising area, had actually been convicted. Even better, the pair now faced 15 years to life in prison. Like all of us in the queer community, I had been sickened and angry at hearing of yet another gay-bashing. But this verdict didn’t feel like victory. And the celebration that erupted – our community-wide gratitude that society had finally deemed us human enough to send our murderers to rot for years in prison – did not feel like liberation.

      • Protests & Provocateurs: Infiltrators are Disrupting BLM Protests

        Following the killing of George Floyd, Pres. Donald Trump issued a tweet that expressed his anger at the protestors…

      • Pussy Riot activists arrested in Moscow for hanging rainbow flags on government buildings to mark Putin’s birthday

        Police officers arrested Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina near the Dozhd television office in Moscow on Thursday, October 8. Earlier in the day, another Pussy Riot member, Veronika Nikulshina, was arrested in Moscow’s Tanganka neighborhood. 

      • She Was Afraid of Her Lawyer. Then the Text Messages Started.

        In January 2016, attorney Paul Letourneau arranged to meet his newest client one evening at Sea Dog Brewing Co., a local brewpub in southern Maine. She had a drug arrest, a shaky relationship and was struggling to hold onto her nursing license.

        Letourneau ordered a beer. They settled into a booth. Suddenly, his phone rang. His daughter was having car trouble, he told her. He asked the woman to wait for him. He’d be back in a second.

      • Freed Iranian Dissident in Good Mental State, Needs Medical Monitoring, Husband Says

        Iran has freed a prominent female dissident jailed since 2015, her husband and state media say, following a yearslong campaign by international rights activists demanding an end to what they described as her unjust and cruel detention.

        Journalist and human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, 48, was released from a prison in the northwestern city of Zanjan early Thursday, according to a tweet from her husband, Taghi Rahmani, who lives in exile in Paris with the couple’s two children.

      • Microsoft probed over aim to double black staff numbers [Ed: This is the same Microsoft that helps the Pentagon bomb tons of dark-skinned people, for profit, killing millions]

        Microsoft is being questioned by the US government over whether a diversity initiative amounts to racial discrimination.

        The Department of Labor has singled out the firm’s pledge to double the number of “black and African American” senior staff by 2025.

        Officials have warned the company the target appears “to imply that the employment action may be taken on the basis of race”.

      • COVID-19 puts a migrant integration success story in France at risk

        Many young migrants in France count on apprenticeship programmes to help integrate into new communities, earn a living, and get legal residency once they turn 18. The programmes are a rare bright spot among harsh government policies that have excluded many unaccompanied migrant children from protection in recent years.
        But with parts of France introducing new coronavirus restrictions on businesses, the economic impact of the pandemic is limiting the number of people who can benefit.
        As France came out of lockdown in July, Journalist Julia Dumont and photographer Adrienne Surprenant set out for The New Humanitarian to meet some of the people working in the apprenticeship programmes, which are becoming ever more difficult to enter.
        France attracts less attention when it comes to migration than neighbouring Germany or frontline states such as Italy, Greece, and Spain. But the country received the second most asylum requests in the EU – behind Germany – in 2019.
        In both 2018 and 2019, around 750 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in France. Under French law, unaccompanied minors are supposed to be taken care of by the country’s Child Protection and Welfare Services. But human rights groups have criticised the French government for adopting an adversarial system that requires unaccompanied migrant children to prove their age, often blocking them from receiving protection and leaving them in dire humanitarian situations.
        In contrast, for young migrants who are able to make their way into the system, apprenticeship programmes offer vocational training, mentorship, a modest income, and a path to legal residency, while also plugging employment gaps in sectors of the economy unpopular with French youth, such as construction and food services.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Virus Forces Europe to Confront Its Creaking Internet Problems

        To Capitanio, the pandemic was a wake-up call to fix Italy’s creaking [Internet]. Now Conte has stepped in with a plan to kick-start investment by merging the country’s two biggest landline networks.

      • AT&T Is Taking An Absolute Bath On Its DirecTV Merger

        So we’ve noted a few times how giant telecom providers, as companies that have spent the better part of the last century as government-pampered monopolies, are adorable when they try (then inevitably fail) to innovate or seriously compete in more normal markets. Verizon’s attempt to pivot from curmudgeonly old phone company to sexy new ad media darling, for example, has been a cavalcade of clumsy errors, missteps, and wasted money.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • WarnerMedia Taps Hulu, Apple Veteran JP Colaco To Lead Ad Sales

        WarnerMedia has named Jean-Paul “JP” Colaco as its new head of advertising sales. One of his first assignments: launching HBO Max’s ad-supported offering in 2021.

        Colaco will report to Tony Goncalves, head of WarnerMedia’s Commercial businesses, which includes ad sales, distribution, Otter Media, home entertainment and content licensing.

        He was most recently at Apple, where he led Apple’s search ads business for the Americas, but he also previously worked with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar at both Hulu, where he led the ad sales team, and at Vessel, where he ran ad sales and business development.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple made ProtonMail add in-app purchases, even though it had been free for years

        On Tuesday, Congress revealed whether it thinks Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are sitting on monopolies. In some cases, the answer was yes.

        But also, one app developer revealed to Congress that it — just like WordPress — had been forced to monetize a largely free app. That developer testified that Apple had demanded in-app purchases (IAP), even though Apple had approved its app without them two years earlier — and that when the dev dared send an email to customers notifying them of the change, Apple threatened to remove the app and blocked all updates.

        That developer was ProtonMail, makers of an encrypted email app, and CEO Andy Yen had some fiery words for Apple in an interview with The Verge this week.

      • Patents

        • Patent case: Siemens Mobility Inc. v. Iancu, USA

          PTAB did not err in its claim construction or obviousness findings in two IPRs filed by Westinghouse that challenged two Siemens patents.

          Substantial evidence supported two Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions following inter partes review of two related patents directed toward methods and systems for automatically activating a train warning device, including a horn, at various locations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held. The patent owner did not establish that the Board erred in its finding that the challenged claims were obvious in light of the prior art (Siemens Mobility, Inc. v. Iancu, September 8, 2020, Lourie, A.).

        • Shortsighted, unfit-for-digital-age Daimler management caves to Sharp, takes car-level standard-essential patent license instead of appealing injunction

          Some antitrust cases have the potential to go all the way up to the highest court. Epic Games v. Apple is an example: while the district court in California has already scheduled a bench trial to start on May 3, 2021, the judge already told the parties she knows this would go up to the Ninth Circuit (at least).

          But even when the strategic stakes are high, it takes two, and if one of them has incompetent decision-makers, a settlement may fall into place even while it would still have the chance to get a better outcome. Daimler is an example of a company of the past that is going down the tubes. Only a company that is run by third-rate bean counters (though first-rate cowards they may be), as opposed to bold and world-class visionaries, would cut its R&D spending by more than 20% over the next five years instead of doubling down on the triple transition the industry is facing (new propulsion techniques, autonomous driving, and digitization).

        • The day that international comity died was when the UK Supreme Court handed down its injudicious Unwired Planet ruling

          There’s a lot of talk now about a couple of Chinese antisuit injunctions (Huawei v. Conversant and Xiaomi v. InterDigitroll) preventing the enforcement of standard-essential patent (SEP) injunctions in Germany and India. I don’t know the details of those cases, thus can’t take a position on them. I did, however, predict and comment favorably on the antisuit injunctions Microsoft obtained against Motorola in the Western District of Washington (Judge Robart, affirmed by the Ninth Circuit) and Samsung against Huawei in the Northern District of California (Judge Orrick). But I was rather skeptical of automotive supplier Continental’s case against Nokia in the Northern District of California (and Judge Koh denied a motion for a temporary restraining order). Anyway, antisuit injunctions are not a Chinese invention for sure.


          What’s going on now is a global race to the bottom. The patent system is broken. And international comity in patent litigation is history. We can complain about the chaos resulting from this. My position is that neither the U.S. (where the first major SEP antisuit injunctions came down, but as I wrote above, subject to a complex test) nor whatever jurisdiction issues the latest antisuit injunction (now some focus on China, but who knows who will be next) are the source of the problem–instead, the territorial overreach that German courts have engaged in for years and, even more so, the crazy UK Unwired decision are to blame.

          And, by the way, has the European Commission ever done anything to combat territorial overreach in patent litigation? It hasn’t because it’s always been lobbied heavily by Nokia and Ericsson, whose own patent trolls like Conversant and Unwired persuaded a UK court with little experience in patent matters to hand down a decision that may have thrown the cross-jurisdictional patent litigation world into chaos.

        • GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The back-and-forth, (almost) cat-and-mouse-like competition between branded innovator and generic drug makers sanctioned under the Hatch-Waxman Act has been on-going for over thirty years. As part of this regime, Congress has provided a pathway for generic drug companies to obtain FDA approval for less than all the indications a branded drug has obtained, using a “carve out” strategy resulting in a so-called “skinny label.” This has raised the possibility of “off-label” use, where physicians prescribe the generic drug for an indication not approved for the generic drug but known to be clinically appropriate from the innovator’s approval for the product. The extent to which a generic drug company can use this strategy to avoid liability for inducing infringement was tested in the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

          The matter arose in litigation over GSK’s Coreg® product (carvedilol) for treatment of hypertension (the initial approved indication; U.S. Patent No. 4,503,067), congestive heart failure (CHF) (the subject of U.S. Patent No. 5,760,069) and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction (LVD-MI). The ’069 patent recites a method of treating CHF with a combination of carvedilol and “one or more of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (“ACE”) inhibitor, a diuretic, and digoxin.”

          Teva’s ANDA was filed with a Paragraph III certification over the ’067 patent and a Paragraph IV certification over the ’069 patent. The FDA tentatively approved Teva’s generic product for “treatment of hypertension and heart failure” which Teva launched on expiration of the ’067 patent. Teva’s label indicated that the product was approved treatment of LVD-MI and hypertension and announced that FDA had given its product an “AB rating” (which the opinion explained “allow[s] users to determine quickly whether the Agency has evaluated a particular approved product as therapeutically equivalent to other pharmaceutically equivalent products”). Thereafter, FDA required Teva to amend its label to be identical to the GSK label for Coreg®, which introduced treatment of heart failure into the approved treatments recited in Teva’s label.

        • Software Patents

          • Jenam Tech patent determined to be likely invalid

            On October 8, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,923,995, owned and asserted by Jenam Tech, LLC, an NPE and Oso IP affiliate. The ’995 patent, generally directed to sharing information for detecting an idle network connection between two nodes, has been asserted in district court cases against LG, Samsung, and Google.

      • Trademarks

        • Facebook Abuses Trademark To Give New Prominence To Group Of Facebook Critics Who Are Trying To Shame Company Into More Moderation

          I’d been meaning to write up something about a new group of very vocal critics of Facebook who have set up a project to try to shame Facebook into being more aggressive with content moderation. They called themselves “The Real Facebook Oversight Board,” which is a snarky comment on Facebook’s still-not-operational Facebook Oversight Board. As I’ve said, the Oversight Board is an interesting, but very limited, experiment in removing some level of control over controversial moderation decisions and creating an external “appeals” process. I don’t think it will make a huge difference, but it’s worth watching.

      • Copyrights

EPO Management is Making Patent Examiners Poorer and Shuts Out the Union

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Orange virus, Orange Battistelli

Reform of the education allowance

Summary: Sitting on billions of euros it was never supposed to even keep (and which it is still illegally placing/betting on a risky gamble), EPO management proceeds to pillaging and plundering EPO staff some more (knowing it’s virtually impossible to gather and protest during a pandemic that is re-surging across Europe)

THE other day an EPO insider, concerned about Team Campinos acting like the bullies of Benoît Battistelli, shared very harshly-worded communication that not only talks down but also threatens staff. This isn’t how you get your staff motivated; it’s how you get people stressed, sometimes depressed, possibly contemplating suicide.

“This isn’t how you get your staff motivated; it’s how you get people stressed, sometimes depressed, possibly contemplating suicide.”“Reform of the education allowance,” we’re now told, is underway. It’s more of an ‘act of abolishment’/abolition, not “reform” (a euphemism of course, ‘fostering’ the president’s longstanding propaganda war).

“Here is a document that was published yesterday on the non-public area of the The Hague website,” a source told us. “It clearly shows that the EPO management has no interest in continuing the social dialogue with the largest union in Office.”

We’ve converted it into HTML as follows:

8 October 2020

Reform of the Education Allowance – SUEPO is not invited to the negotiation table

Dear SUEPO Members,
Dear colleagues,

On 03-08-2020 we sent this Open Letter1 to the President, to which he replied on 31-08-2020. We understand from this reply that the intended Education and Childcare reform envisages redistribution of allowances in a harmonized manner, office wide.

The President mentions in his letter that a working group established at the Staff Representation level is the only official forum for discussion. We do not dispute this statement. Indeed, the discussion is under the responsibility of Staff Representation, whereas the Union is responsible for negotiating with management the terms and conditions of a reform. This main difference is evidently known and we do regret that the EPO management is not willing to negotiate with SUEPO The Hague, the larger Union in the EPO, when at the same time it appears management is sitting with FFPE2, which – as the last (several) Staff Representation elections have evidently illustrated – has minimal support in The Hague. The way management addresses the two unions is not only a case of different treatment, it is a clear avoidance of the major EPO social partner, which steers away from a successful reform.

In fact, the general ideas presented in the Education and Childcare Reform publication in the intranet created a cry out in most of the places of employment. Colleagues are confused, can’t understand the why’s, “what for” and “why now”, and induced a substantial – and unnecessary – wave of stress among these colleagues. This unfortunate situation would have been avoided should SUEPO have been involved in the plans of reform. On the opposite, choosing to exclude the larger stakeholder leads the EPO to a difficult political and social situation. We do regret that EPO centralised management style has mislead – yet again – a reform which was stated as intended to be fair. But even worse, we fear that insisting in excluding SUEPO The Hague from the table will only deepen the bias towards a Munich-centralised vision.

In this sense, SUEPO The Hague is of the impression that the administration did not inform the President fully on the costs of a crèche, the need of after school care and its costs, the fact that on average the yearly school fees in The Hague are 14.200 euros whereas the European School of Munich costs 16.700 euros. What else was omitted? This is unfortunate yet entirely avoidable. Nevertheless, it’s the Presidents call to choose which sources of information he wishes to hear.

Meanwhile, the propaganda machine continues unabated3 and makes it seem as if all is pink and fluffy in social-dialogue-land. Read carefully: your staff representatives that participate in the Working Group, and the colleagues that
showed their discontent by e-mail are still waiting for a first concrete sign that indeed the Office proposal was a mere “draft initial” proposal and that site-specific conditions will be looked at. For now, the administration seems adamant to solely start discussing transitional measures – but this only makes sense once we know where we are heading. If you take the train, you want to know up-front whether you’re heading to Novosibirsk or rather Barcelona to decide what to put in your luggage…

SUEPO regrets to see that social dialogue has remained just a title and in fact still does not represent a different approach to solve arising tribulations, something SUEPO and staff are anxiously awaiting.

Your SUEPO Committee
1 Open Letter on Changes to the Education Allowance
2 As evidenced by an intranet publication on 23-09-2020 – note that it is not clear who is the author / responsible of this publication?
3 Cf. intranet publication of 05-10-2020: Update on social dialogue

“The destruction of the EPO continues cheerfully,” our source noted, “all at the expense of the patent holders and ultimately the staff.”

There’s talk about EPO management dismantling the EPO and laying off many examiners in the process. Because when you don’t care about patent quality who needs examination anyway, right? Right?

EPO Management is Violating COVID-19 Rules That Managers Gladly Flout While Threatening Staff (Because They’re Above the Law, Which They Routinely Break)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Days ago: EPO Management Threatens People Who Come Back to Work (Updated) (the EPO‘s unfit-to-manage management threatens staff, exploiting COVID-19 as a pretext, as usual)

EPO hypocrites
Maybe they’ll end up killing each other by sharing a deadly virus

Summary: The EPO’s current managers are so dumb that they coyly post evidence of them flouting the rules, just to show off/brag about a meaningless USPTO ‘meeting’ (virtual) that makes it seem like they actually do some work

TWO THINGS have caught our eye, revealing how shameless and dishonest today’s EPO management really is (selected for loyalty and connections, not skills or experience). It makes the USPTO look far, far more professionally competent (see photo above, posted by the EPO). Putting side the attack on 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice (Supreme Court), the USPTO is at least doing what’s right for the safety of its staff. The EPO? They provided no masks for staff and EPO managers don’t wear any. Maybe they’d also shake hands with Donald Trump, their autocratic idol and COVID-19 carrier? He never confirmed any negative results regarding COVID, yet he’s shaking hands with everybody and goes back to work like a biological hazard. The “Orange One” (not António Campinos) seems to think he’s invincible and almost 220k American casualties simply don’t exist.

“He never confirmed any negative results regarding COVID, yet he’s shaking hands with everybody and goes back to work like a biological hazard.”Anyway, the first ridiculous press release (in the “news” section of the EPO’s Web site) shows us the audacity of these EPO criminals pretending to celebrate “peace” (what a nerve they have) and associating themselves with The Hague (warning: epo.org link) — perhaps where Benoît Battistelli should be, in front of ICC judges like the one he obstructed.

This year, the EPO is a partner for the first time of Just Peace Month, organised by the city of The Hague. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Just Peace Festival and The Hague International Open Day have been merged into a month-long celebration of work undertaken in the city on peace and justice, at both national and internationals levels.

The second EPO press release (in the “news” section of the EPO’s Web site) (warning: epo.org link) is even more ridiculous and it has a high-resolution photo exposing insufficient distance, no masks, and a visit to the Office when none was necessary. And this is what they send their staff:

The EPO's threatening language

In the photo op notice that by contrast, USPTO staff (shown on the screen) seems to be working from home, separately.

This whole ‘meeting’ (not) is just a photo opportunity sans the symbolic paper-signing, merely perpetuating something that had long existed (and renders this whole meeting worse than meaningless, even needless). It says this:

EPO President António Campinos met [sic] with Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Andrei Iancu. The two heads of Office took part in a video conference earlier this week to discuss efforts to support innovation and innovators who are playing a key role in advancing technology and economic recovery.

One must feel amused by the word “met”; the only people Campinos met are his unmasked colleagues. When you are in EPO management (deeply corrupt and covering up corruption) you need not socially distance from potential COVID-19 carriers. After all, the law isn’t applicable in EPOnia.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts