04.21.21

Links 21/4/2021: University of Minnesota Blacklisted Over Defects, Red Hat Satellite 6.9 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • At 140 Million Miles Away From Home Open Source Proved Itself

      NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet and it runs Linux.

      At 3:34 am on April 19, the NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter took off from the surface of Mars, rose to an altitude of 10 feet for 30 seconds and then safely landed back down. The event marked the first time in the mankind’s history that an aircraft achieved a “powered, controlled flight” on another planet. NASA confirmed at 3:46 am the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via the Perseverance Mars rover.

      This engineering feat was done with Linux, open-source software, and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) open-source F prime framework.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC – Multimedia – Week 3

        This is a weekly blog looking at the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC running Linux.

        For this week’s blog, we’ve tested video and audio on the HP machine using the Manjaro rolling distro.

        This machine was made available by Bargain Hardware. Bargain Hardware retails refurbished servers, workstations, PCs, and laptops to consumers and businesses worldwide. All systems are completely customisable on their website along with a vast offering of clean-pulled, tested components and enterprise replacement parts. They supply machines with a choice of Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

    • Server

      • Graceful Node Shutdown Goes Beta

        Graceful node shutdown, beta in 1.21, enables kubelet to gracefully evict pods during a node shutdown.

        Kubernetes is a distributed system and as such we need to be prepared for inevitable failures — nodes will fail, containers might crash or be restarted, and – ideally – your workloads will be able to withstand these catastrophic events.

        One of the common classes of issues are workload failures on node shutdown or restart. The best practice prior to bringing your node down is to safely drain and cordon your node. This will ensure that all pods running on this node can safely be evicted. An eviction will ensure your pods can follow the expected pod termination lifecycle meaning receiving a SIGTERM in your container and/or running preStopHooks.

        Prior to Kubernetes 1.20 (when graceful node shutdown was introduced as an alpha feature), safe node draining was not easy: it required users to manually take action and drain the node beforehand. If someone or something shut down your node without draining it first, most likely your pods would not be safely evicted from your node and shutdown abruptly. Other services talking to those pods might see errors due to the pods exiting abruptly. Some examples of this situation may be caused by a reboot due to security patches or preemption of short lived cloud compute instances.

      • Kubernetes dockershim to live on

        When Kubernetes 1.23 is released towards the end of 2021, it will no longer include dockershim. This program enables you to use the Docker containerd container runtime within Kubernetes. Unfortunately, Docker was never designed to be embedded inside Kubernetes, and it’s incompatible with Kubernetes’ Container Runtime Interface (CRI). The fix was for dockershim to bridge the gap between Docker’s containerd and CRI. Maintaining dockershim, however, was a pain so Kubernetes started depreciating it. Mirantis, which now owns the Docker program, will continue to support dockershim in Docker Engine and Mirantis Container Runtime with Kubernetes.

      • Hypergiant and SUSE RGS, taking Kubernetes to the final frontier

        Hypergiant Industries focuses on solving humanity’s most challenging problems by delivering best in class artificial intelligence solutions and products in a host of sectors, including space science and exploration.
        Hypergiant’s SUSE RGS (Rancher Government Solutions)-supported SatelliteONE mission is on track to achieve the impossible in the most hostile environment of all – putting K3s to work in orbit on military satellites, for the very first time.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Our Worst Idea Yet | LINUX Unplugged 402

        You should never host your own email, so we’ve gone and done just that. What we learned trying to build an email server in 2021.

        Plus our take on Ubuntu 21.04, become a master of your schedule with our pick, and a Garage Sale update.

      • mintCast 359 – COSMIC Proportions

        First up, in our Wanderings, I get a fresh stream, Joe sends his keystrokes over the air, Josh has a server dilemma, and Mike heads to space.

        Then, in the News, we get hypnotized, we look at Apple M1 support again, celebrate a birthday, and look to the stars.

      • 10 Tips for Hardening your Linux Servers

        For the first episode in my Enterprise Linux Security series, I go over 10 tips for hardening your Linux servers.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Foundation Bans University After It Intentionally Submitted Buggy Patches

        The University of Minnesota isn’t making any friends in the Linux community. Phoronix reported that Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Fellow at the Linux Foundation responsible for stable releases of the Linux kernel, has banned the University from contributing to that kernel after two students purposely added faulty code to it.

        The students in question published a research paper titled “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits” on February 10. Those so-called “hypocrite commits” were defined as “seemingly beneficial commits that in fact introduce other critical issues.”

        Although the paper was ostensibly focused on open source software generally, the students devoted much of their attention to the Linux kernel specifically because it’s so popular. The kernel is practically ubiquitous—it’s found in everything from single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi to the most powerful supercomputers.

      • Here’s Why University of Minnesota is Likely to be Banned from Contributing to Linux Kernel Code

        The researchers were testing the feasibility of stealthily introducing vulnerabilities in OSS via hypocrite commits, i.e., seemingly beneficial commits that in fact introduce other critical issues.

        And they chose the Linux kernel project to carry out their experiments.

        Al Viro found that the ‘useless patch’ from Aditya Pakki was likely to be part of this research. Greg Kroah-Hartman (GKH), the second-in-command of the Kernel project after Linus Torvalds, advised not to waste the kernel maintainer’s time such patches.

      • University Banned From Contributing To Linux Kernel For Intentionally Inserting Bugs

        Greg Kroah-Hartman has banned a US university from trying to mainline Linux kernel patches over intentionally submitting questionable code with security implications and other “experiments” in the name of research.

        Stemming from this research paper where researchers from the University of Minnesota intentionally worked to stealthy introduce vulnerabilities into the mainline Linux kernel. They intentionally introduced user-after-free bugs into the kernel covertly for their research paper.

        [...]

        So those from the University of Minnesota are no longer welcome to contribute to the upstream Linux kernel development.

        In a follow up message is indeed confirmation that the prior University of Minnesota patches to the Linux kernel are going to be reverted.

      • Linux Bans University of Minnesota for Sending Buggy Patches in the Name of Research

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, who is one of the head honchos of the Linux kernel development and maintenance team, has banned the University of Minnesota (UMN) from further contributing to the Linux Kernel. The University had apparently introduced questionable patches into the kernel of Linux.

      • Linux bans University of Minnesota for sending buggy patches in the name of research

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, who is one of the head honchos of the Linux kernel development and maintenance team, has banned the University of Minnesota (UMN) from further contributing to the Linux Kernel. The University had apparently introduced questionable patches into the kernel of Linux.

        The UMN had worked on a research paper dubbed “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits”. Obviously, the “Open-Source Software” (OSS) here is indicating the Linux kernel and the University had stealthily introduced Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerability to test the susceptibility of Linux. So far so good perhaps as one can see it as ethical experimenting.

      • Researchers Secretly Tried To Add Vulnerabilities to Linux Kernel, Ended Up Getting Banned
      • Linus Torvalds reluctantly issues one more release candidate for Linux kernel 5.12

        Linux kernel development boss Linus Torvalds has reluctantly issued an eighth release candidate for version 5.12 of the FOSS OS.

        “Ok, so it’s been _fairly_ calm this past week, but it hasn’t been the kind of dead calm I would have taken to mean “no rc8 necessary,” Torvalds wrote in his customary Sunday afternoon (US time) update on the state of kernel development.

        “So here we are, with an extra rc to make sure things are all settled down. It’s not _that_ rare: this is the fifth time in the 5.x series we’ve ended up with an rc8, but I have to admit that I prefer it when a release doesn’t end up needing that extra week,” he added.

        The new version of the kernel will add the ability to run Linux as root partition under Hyper-V, support for the Snapdragon 888, mainlining support for RISC-V boards from SiFive, plus more of Intel’s IOT-centric ACRN hypervisor.

        Torvalds reckons its worth waiting for those features to nail down other recent changes that he said pertain to networking, drivers, and bpf verifier fixes. “Other than that it’s mostly other driver updates (gpu, dmaengine, HID, input, nvdimm) and arch updates (mainly arm and arm64).”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux 5.11.16
          I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.16 kernel.
          
          All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
          
          The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
          	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
          and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
          
          https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
          
          thanks,
          
          greg k-h
          
          
        • Linux 5.10.32
        • Linux 5.4.114
    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 21.04 Server Performance Offering Nice Gains For AMD EPYC 7003 Series

        Tomorrow’s release of Ubuntu 21.04 is exciting on the desktop for Wayland by default in supported configurations and many other package updates and enhancements. But even for being a non-LTS release if you are interested in running Ubuntu Server there are some performance improvements to enjoy with newer platforms. Here is a look at the AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” performance across Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 20.10, and 21.04 with an AMD EPYC 7763 Supermicro server.

        With newer hardware, generally the newer the Linux distribution means better performance and support. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise although doesn’t always hold true when sometimes there are regressions and other changes that end up lowering the performance in the name of security or other factors. But in any case with Ubuntu 21.04 on AMD EPYC 7003 series hardware we are seeing some nice performance gains to enjoy with this latest Linux distribution release.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.20 Released with Linux Kernel 5.11 & 5.12 Support

        Oracle VirtualBox released version 6.1.20 as the tenth update for the 6.1 release series of the open-source virtualization software.

        For Linux host and guest, the release added support for both Kernel 5.11 and Kernel 5.12. And the maximum MTU size has been increased to 16110 for host-only adapters on Linux kernels 4.10+.

        There are also bug-fixes for Linux guest additions, including vboxvideo module compilation fix for kernel version 5.10.x, and kernel module build fix for RHEL 8.4 beta and CentOS Stream.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install WinSCP on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install WinSCP on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, WinSCP is a popular, free and open-source FTP client program that is available only for Microsoft Windows. Most people prefer WinSCP because of its simple and powerful interface. It is mainly used as an FTP client to transfer files between a local and a remote computer, and also supports secure FTP (sFTP). Please visit the official WinSCP website to gather more information.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the WinSCP on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Fix the Read-Error on Swap-Device Failure in Ubuntu Linux

        The Linux operating system is one of the most stable and secure desktop and server operating systems, no wonder that it is the go-to operating system for most servers.

        System administrators and engineers love Linux for its stability and performance, but occasionally Linux too experiences performance hiccups.

        The “read-error on swap-device” is a relatively common failure on Linux that can cause your system to crash or be non-responsive rendering it unusable. This guide will show you how to fix the read-error on swap-device failure on Ubuntu Linux.

      • Build smaller containers

        Working with containers is a daily task for many users and developers. Container developers often need to (re)build container images frequently. If you develop containers, have you ever thought about reducing the image size? Smaller images have several benefits. They require less bandwidth to download and they save costs when run in cloud environments. Also, using smaller container images on Fedora CoreOS, IoT and Silverblue improves overall system performance because those operating systems rely heavily on container workflows. This article will provide a few tips for reducing the size of container images.

      • Simos Xenitellis: How to setup multiple WordPress sites in LXD containers

        My article was recently published on Linode on how to setup many WordPress websites on a single server, and put each website inside LXD containers. By doing so, you can have greater density on your VPS and more value for money.

      • Setting Up Multiple WordPress Sites with LXD Containers

        LXD (pronounced “Lex-Dee”) is a system container manager built on top of Linux Containers (LXC), and is supported by Canonical. The goal of LXD is to provide an experience similar to a virtual machine but through containerization rather than hardware virtualization.

      • Easily migrate CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream

        Back in December 2020, Red Hat accounted that it will be discontinuing CentOS based on RedHat releases. Instead, it will now release CentOS Stream as the main CentOS distribution. So in short, there will not a CentOS 9 based on RHEL 9 but instead, we will get a CentOS stream, which will serve as an upstream branch of RHEL.

        This has come as quite a shock for the CentOS community because a rolling release is not something that instills confidence in CentOS users & for many years CentOS has been known for its stability but with a rolling release, that might be an issue. CentOS users are already looking for alternate options, especially those using CentOS 6 as it has reached the end of life. Though users that are using CentOS 6 can migrate to CentOS 7 as the EOL for CentOS 7 is 30 June 2024.

        But users that are already running CentOS 8 do not have that option at all as the EOL for CentOS 8 is in December 2021. So What should they do?

      • How to resize a logical volume with 5 simple LVM commands | Enable Sysadmin

        Have you ever wondered how to extend your root or home directory file system partition using LVM? You might have low storage space and you need to increase the capacity of your partitions. This article looks at how to extend storage in Linux using Logical Volume Manager (LVM).

      • How to install the LAMP Stack on CentOS 8

        LAMP is an acronym of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It is a free and open-source stack used by developers and website administrators to test and host their Web applications. It comes up with 4 components which are Apache (used for hosting a website), MySQL or MariaDB, and PHP – a popular scripting language used to create dynamic web pages. MariaDB or MYSQL are used to store and manage the data.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to install a LAMP Server on CentOS 8. So, let’s get started.

      • Access your Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift from the command line – Red Hat Developer

        Now that you have your own Red Hat OpenShift instance in our Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift …

        What? You don’t have your place in the free sandbox? Where you can experiment with containers and Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift? Then hurry over to the website and sign up; I’ll wait.

        Okay, now that you have your own OpenShift instance in our Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift, you can log in to the dashboard and click around, take a tour, launch applications—all the cool stuff. But what if you want to run from the command line? The command line is where automation (it’s scripting, but “automation” sounds so much cooler) happens. Building a structure of repeatable actions is, after all, what we developers do.

        How do you get access? This short article will show you. Let’s get started.

      • Install TP-Link AC600 Archer T2U Nano WiFi USB Adapter In Linux – OSTechNix

        In this brief guide, I will explain how to install TP-Link AC600 Archer T2U Nano WiFi USB adapter in Fedora and Ubuntu Linux distributions and how to connect to 5G Wireless Internet connection.

      • How To Install GCC on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GCC on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is a compiler system produced by the GNU project to support various programming languages. The current version is GCC 9.3, released on March 12, 2020, supporting several major programming languages: C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Fortran, Ada, D, Go, and BRIG (HSAIL).

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • Steps to install Blender on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux – Linux Shout

        Blender is an open-source program system meant to create 3D & 2D objects, in which objects and entire scenes can be modeled and can add color and texture to the surfaces of objects. Blender makes it possible to animate characters and to create moving films in which the objects can be seen from different perspectives. Ultimately, these films can be set to music on several tracks and thus convey even more realistic impressions. Hence, in short, it is a well-packaged software that includes 3D modeling, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, soft body simulation, sculpting, rendering, motion graphics, and much more. Video editing is also possible on it.

      • How to install Elasticsearch on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS- Easy steps

        Elasticsearch is an open-source search engine based on Apache Lucene and enables full-text searches in various types of structured and unstructured data such as text data, numerical data, or geodata. The search engine works very quickly, can be used to search large amounts of data (big data), and supports distributed architectures for high availability. Together with Kibana and Logstash, Elasticsearch forms the Elastic Stack.

    • Games

      • Colourful and fun 2D action-adventure Unsung Warriors heads back to Kickstarter

        After a failed first attempt, Unsung Warriors is back on Kickstarter with an updated demo Prologue available to play. Their fresh Kickstarter campaign comes along with a smaller €15,000 goal, with it close to being met already.

        The world of Unsung Warriors is set in Iron-Age inspired Europe, among various Celtic tribes. It mixes fantasy elements with European folk tales and mythology. Through hand-crafted environments you can battle through it entirely alone or in local co-op with a friend.

      • Spiritfarer hits 500K sales with The Lily Update out, Thunder Lotus’ most successful game

        Thunder Lotus have announced that their wonderful game Spiritfarer has hit 500K sales, making it their most successful title to date and The Lily Update has been released.

        This update might be small overall but an important one. It brings in the new character, Lily the Butterfly Spirit, who guides you through several scenes which are supposed to “add depth and detail to the main character Stella’s story” and there’s improvements for local co-op and bug fixes too. Sounds like a really great update to such a unique story and gameplay experience. If you’ve not played it: you guide spirits of the deceased, you are their ferrymaster and look after them before they go to the afterlife.

        [...]

        …the Linux version on Steam has a delayed update, the GOG version is up to date.

      • Beamdog unleash the huge 2.6 update for Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Icewind Dale

        The Enhanced Editions of Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Siege of Dragonspear and Icewind Dale just got a bit more enhanced with the huge 2.6 upgrade for all games out now. One that has been in Beta for each game for some time, while all the kinks were worked out because the tech behind them had a big update.

      • Linux Kernel dev bans University of Minnesota for sending malicious patches

        Here is your daily dose of WTF. Linux Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has called out “researchers” from the University of Minnesota and banned them from submitting code to the Linux Kernel.

        This story is pretty wild and completely ridiculous. In the name of some apparent research and a written paper titled, “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits”, the people involved have now been called out on “sending known-buggy patches to see how the kernel community would react to them”.

        Part of it goes further, as patches have continued to roll in after the paper was published so they are “continuing to experiment on the kernel community developers by sending such nonsense patches” with the patches not actually doing anything at all.

      • Laura Abbott: Untrustworthy research methods

        So by now many people have seen the report that researchers from the University of Minnesota have a paper about trying to introduce bugs in the Linux kernel by submitting malicious patches. The goal was to demonstrate how likely it was for an attacker to be able to introduce bugs without maintainers noticing. At a high level this is a pertinent question that the kernel community has been asking itself for some time. “Linus’ law” about code review finding bugs has been repeated ad nauseam. The issue for many subsystems is figuring out how to scale that review.

        The problem with the approach the authors took is that it doesn’t actually show anything particularly new. The kernel community has been well aware of this gap for a while. Nobody needs to actually intentionally put bugs in the kernel, we’re perfectly capable of doing it as part of our normal work flow. I, personally, have introduced bugs like the ones the researchers introduced, not because I want to bring the kernel down from the inside but because I am not infallible. The actual work that needs to be done is figuring out how to continue to scale efforts like KernelCI to fully test and find issues before they get committed.

        “But isn’t this a supply chain attack” Yes, again, this is a possible attack vector but it’s one the kernel community is well aware of. Actually turning this into an attack would probably involve getting multiple coordinating patches accepted and then waiting for them to show up in distributions. That’s potentially a multi-year time frame depending on the distribution in question. This also assumes that the bug(s) won’t be found and fixed in the mean time. One of the patches submitted by the researchers was cited as being fixed after fuzzing with syzkaller. I don’t know for certain if the original patch was one of the intentionally buggy patches but the point is there’s no guarantee that code you submit is going to stay in the form you want. You’d really have to be in it for the long haul to make an attack like this work. I’m certain there are actors out there who would be able to pull this off but the best fix here is to increase testing and bug fixing, something Greg has been requesting for a long time. (I have other thoughts about the Rust specific bits but the letting people work on bugs part is solid).

      • Apogee returns as Apogee Entertainment to publish indies with Residual as their first

        Residual, an upcoming game from Orangepixel is confirmed to be finished, and they’ve lined up a publisher – the reborn Apogee Software which is now Apogee Entertainment.

        If Apogee doesn’t ring a bell, they’ve been around since 2008 and was actually the original name for 3D Realms even before that. They published games like Duke Nukem: Critical Mass, Rise of the Triad and more recently Crystal Caves HD. Now though, they’re properly back as Apogee Entertainment to focus on publishing indie games.

      • Discord has reportedly ended talks with Microsoft to remain independent

        How about some good news to start your Wednesday off? It seems Discord are no longer in talks with Microsoft and instead may go with an IPO (initial public offering).

        Reported again by the WSJ, this should put to rest the recent rumours and speculation on it. This is a good thing, considering Microsoft already hold a huge amount of power from gaming companies to GitHub, the last thing we need is even more consolidation of power.

      • Jackbox Games get their engine ported to Vulkan and SDL2, try it with Jackbox Party Pack 7

        Jackbox Games emailed in to notify us of something big: they’ve worked with game porter and FNA developer Ethan “flibitijibibo” Lee to port their engine to Vulkan and SDL2 and you can try it in a Beta for The Jackbox Party Pack 7.

        This huge upgrade should make The Jackbox Party Pack 7 (and so hopefully future games too), compatible with Wayland. Jackbox Games mentioned there’s now a “linux-beta” branch on Steam for owners to try out…

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Alpine Linux Vs Ubuntu Comparison

          Should you switch to Alpine Linux? If so, why? Let’s forget the hype and do a detailed Alpine Linux vs Ubuntu comparison. This post is not intended to be a “which is better” guide; it is a comparison of Alpine Linux vs. Ubuntu. Both operating systems are great, and each one has its own pros and cons. Also, we will look at using Alpine Linux as a host operating system and as a container base image.

          [...]

          Alpine Linux and Ubuntu both have their own pros and cons. Choosing one or the other can depend on many factors. Hopefully the comparison between Alpine Linux and Ubuntu gave you some tips.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware Releases Beta of 15.0 Edition

          Nearly a decade after version 14.0, Slackware has put out a beta of its upcoming 15.0 release.

          Slackware , which is one of the oldest Linux distros, and the most Unix-like, was originally released back in 1993, notes Mayank Sharma.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM blasts employee for using his personal email as a Linux kernel maintainer

          You can’t make this stuff up. The second you believe the world has reached critical mass of the bizarro sort, another strange stunt is uncovered and you have to reset the count back at zero and start keeping track all over again. Recently, that very thing happened. An IBM employee was called to the carpet for using their personal email as a Linux kernel maintainer.

          Thing is, the developer is the maintainer of the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver for the upstream Linux kernel. Because of the work done, IBM should have some say in this matter, and it might make sense for the company to insist the employee use an official email address for commits in the kernel repository.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.9 now available with Smart Management

          As part of Red Hat Smart Management, we are pleased to announce the availability of Red Hat Satellite 6.9. This release includes a number of new and updated features to help organizations streamline management and automation, along with continued improvements in simplification and a more streamlined connected experience.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • Languages and DevOps: Mainframe

          In true DevOps fashion, I nearly forgot to cover the mainframe after saying it warranted its own blog!
          There is a lot going on right now in the mainframe space, so the question of mainframe language choices has several different answers. We’ve got Linux running on the mainframe, we’ve got cross-compiled open source capable of running on the mainframe natively, we’ve got mainframe-based containers and we even have traditional mainframe tools being ported to other platforms (hello, COBOL on Linux!) so that development can happen on smaller platforms but target the mainframe.

          Taken in the order they came available, we have traditional mainframe development, in languages like COBOL and RPG, right on the mainframe in standard LPARs. This has gotten easier over the years, but is still basically the same development environment that was used in the 1980s, with prettier UIs.

        • Paving the path to organizational goals: Consider the bridge not built

          Thomas Sowell opines in Basic Economics that “[…] the real cost of anything is still its value in alternative uses. The real cost of building a bridge is whatever else could have been built with that same labor and material. The cost of watching a television sitcom or soap opera is the value of the other things that could have been done with that same time.”

          Organizations make this determination every time they choose to work on one ticket, project, or objective and key result (OKR) over another. Making this value judgment explicit is critical to a well-functioning organization. To do this effectively, organizations must understand and communicate priorities, and individuals must be incentivized to work towards those priorities.

        • Optimize your RHEL infrastructure: 5 performance areas to focus on

          Would you rather wait for something to become a problem, or do some performance tweaking and optimization to avoid downtime or performance headaches altogether? The answer to that is easy, but deciding what to optimize or troubleshoot isn’t always obvious. In this post we’ll cover some common areas where you can use Red Hat Insights and its Advisor service to solve problems before they start.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Community AMA: Indaba for 21.04

          An indaba is a conference or gathering to discuss matters of importance, originating from the Xhosa and Zulu languages. Following this theme, we are excited to be hosting our first Desktop Indaba this Friday. Everybody is welcome to take part by asking questions for our AMA (Ask Me Anything) part of the session. Learn more below!

        • Deploying Mattermost and Kubeflow on Kubernetes with Juju 2.9

          Since 2009, Juju has been enabling administrators to seamlessly deploy, integrate and operate complex applications across multiple cloud platforms. Juju has evolved significantly over time, but a testament to its original design is the fact that the approach Juju takes to operating workloads hasn’t fundamentally changed; Juju still provides fine grained control over workloads by placing operators right next to applications on any platform. This is exemplified in our most recent changes to how Charmed Operators behave on Kubernetes.

          In recent release candidates of Juju 2.9 (rc7/rc8/rc9/rc10), we’ve done a lot of work to ensure the juju bootstrap process on Kubernetes is as smooth and as universal as possible – meaning it should be easier than ever to bootstrap a Juju controller on a Bring-your-own-Kubernetes!

          But don’t take our word for it, deploy yourself some killer apps on a Kubernetes of your choice…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Help Quit Chrome

            You may have been familiar with Google Chrome and want to switch to another browser. You may also are aware about Chrome’s privacy issues and big chance it’s your reason to quit it. So, this is a help for you, in a series of Helps like this, to know the secrets behind Chrome and alternative browsers like Mozilla Firefox you can use. This article is written for GNU/Linux users however other OSes users may take benefit too. Happy browsing!

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 88 Released With Several Important Updates, Proton Is On Its Way

            Mozilla Firefox 88 is the final version of Firefox to ship before Mozilla gives Firefox a facelift with the new Proton interface.

            The most important change in Firefox 88 is the fact that Mozilla has disabled support for the FTP protocol. At this point, when Firefox encounters an FTP link, it will attempt to pass it off to an external application.

            [...]

            Firefox will no longer allow websites to access the window.name set by other sites by clearing the property when users navigate to new websites. This property has been available for websites to store whatever data they choose to. Whenever the user navigates back to a website, Firefox will restore the property to its previous value for that site. This change definitely improve user privacy.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Dgraph GraphQL database users detail graph use cases

          Users of Dgraph Labs’ graph database technology as varied as a nonprofit Christian missionary platform and a financial data services firm are employing graph systems in a variety of applications they say are not achievable with traditional databases.

          Dgraph Labs is one of a number of vendors that offer a graph database, including Neo4j, TigerGraph and Amazon with its Neptune platform.

          The Dgraph graph database has its base in an open source project. The vendor, based in Palo Alto, Calif., also provides the Dgraph Cloud service, a managed database as a service (DBaaS).

      • FSF

        • Why Stallman’s Return to the FSF Doesn’t Help FOSS

          Following the FSF’s announcement, many organizations, including Red Hat, Outreachy, and Free Software Foundation Europe, distanced themselves from the FSF, several FSF board members resigned, and open source leaders wrote an open letter calling for the “entire Board of the FSF to step down and for RMS to be removed from all leadership positions.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Node.js 16 is here with updated platform support, V8 version 9, and more!

          As with most major releases, this release updates the minimum supported levels for platforms and tooling used to build Node.js. Some examples include updating the minimum supported Xcode version to 11 and the GCC version for Linux and AIX platforms to 8.3. Please check the documentation in Node’s building instructions for all the latest minimum levels.

          More interesting is the work being done to add support for the new Apple M1 architecture. The Red Hat team is active in the Node.js build working group, helping to keep the infrastructure running to support the Power PC and s390 architectures, but also helps with work across the other architectures.

          Red Hat’s Ash Cripps, a build work group member for Node.js, has been actively working to install/configure M1 machines so that we can test/build binaries that are compiled for M1 and run natively. Node.js 16 will be the first version to provide native M1 support.

        • Python

          • Python output buffering

            This only works if the script’s stdout is unbuffered. Pipe the output through cat, and you get a long wait, and then the final string, without the animation.

            What is happening is that since the output is not going to a terminal, optimizations kick in that buffer the output and send it in bigger chunks, to make processing bulk I/O more efficient.

            I haven’t found a good introductory explanation of buffering in Python’s documentation. The details seem to be scattered in the io module documentation and they mostly assume that one is already familiar with concepts like unbuffered, line-buffered or block-buffered. The libc documentation has a good quick introduction that one can read to get up to speed.

          • Kushal Das: Adding dunder methods to a Python class written in Rust

            Last week I did two rounds of my Creating Python modules in Rust workshop. During the second session on Sunday, someone asked if we can create standard dunder methods, say __str__ or __repr__. I never did that before, and during the session I tried to read the docs and implement it. And I failed :)

          • Optimize your Python code with C | Opensource.com

            Cython is a compiler for the Python programming language meant to optimize performance and form an extended Cython programming language. As an extension of Python, Cython is also a superset of the Python language, and it supports calling C functions and declaring C types on variables and class attributes. This makes it easy to wrap external C libraries, embed C into existing applications, or write C extensions for Python in syntax as easy as Python itself.

        • Java

          • Glassfish and Payara Auto-clustering: Running Java EE Highly-available Applications In The Cloud

            Building a highly-available clustered infrastructure is one of the most commonly used solutions to achieve 100% uptime for your application. In a clustered environment, there is a number of interconnected instances running the same stack and operating the same data. So cluster is able to handle more load than a single server. It will also add more servers automatically to the cluster as per application demand.

  • Leftovers

    • Happy Doge Day! But Hold on to Your (Digital) Wallet.

      Following January’s quasi-activist pump and dump of GameStop, led by Redditors, cryptocurrency traders seemed to take on the challenge of one-upping them. The world of cryptocurrency is always in some kind of massive upheaval—the market is not known for having quiet days—but at the moment, it’s on an incredible bull run. Prices are climbing, even with the dips. In February and March, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which are created using technology based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency, became a household name—at least in some households—following the online artist Beeple’s using one to sell a piece of his digital art for $6.9 million. Now, even Rob Gronkowski is selling them.

      Then, just last week, Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms in the United States, went public via a direct listing. Its stock soared 50 percent on the first day. At one point, it was worth $100 billion. For many in the cryptocurrency community, this was, as The New York Times recently described it, a “ cryptocurrency coming-out party.” Coinbase, exploding with new users, is now effectively the face of consumer crypto trading.

    • Reporter’s Alert: Part IV

      We started an online webpage:  Reporter’s Alert . From time to time, we will use  Reporter’s Alert to present suggestions for important reporting on topics that are either not covered or not covered thoroughly. Reporting that just nibbles on the periphery won’t attract much public attention or be noticed by decision-makers. Here is the fourth installment of suggestions:

      1. Among the many reports on the defeat of workers trying to form a union in Bessemer, Alabama’s Amazon warehouse, there was little inquiry into why labor – after a strenuous effort by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) – lost by about a two to one margin with about half the workers not voting. A postmortem would be fascinating regarding:

    • To the Russian president The most complete and updated list of the Western cultural luminaries calling on Putin to grant adequate medical care to Navalny

      A growing list of cultural giants in the West, from celebrated writers to Hollywood stars, are joining an open letter addressed to Vladimir Putin, calling on Russia’s president to grant adequate medical care to imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny, whose life could be at risk after weeks of rapidly declining health. The letter first appeared in French at Le Monde and in English at The Economist. Meduza is now publishing the appeal to President Putin, as well, with an updated list of all signatories. We will update this list as it grows.

    • Grateful Shred – “They Love Each Other”
    • Overture to a Tragedy

      Greetings to you who holds me close. I hold you close because of your beauty (I wanted to possess your beauty)—

      The beauty which leaves your body that remains.

    • Note to Self: Create Non-Exhaustive List of Competitors
    • Health/Nutrition

      • Got Vaccinated?
      • Florida Lawmakers Endorse Wide-Ranging Reforms in Program to Aid Brain-Damaged Babies

        Florida lawmakers backed a series of sweeping reforms Monday to a controversial state program that protects doctors from medical malpractice lawsuits by limiting compensation for children born with catastrophic brain damage.

        Legislation to overhaul the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association was approved unanimously Monday afternoon by committees in both chambers of the Florida Legislature: the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. From there, the bills head to the floor of the Senate and the full House.

      • Opinion | Big Agriculture Is the Problem

        You reap what you sow.

        That we live on a hugely degraded, biologically impoverished planet, in which natural ecosystems are battered, abused, barely clinging on, is now emerging into public consciousness. But the corresponding rise of the superweed, and increasing vulnerability of our crop species, has yet to so register.

      • ‘People Are Not Starving, They Are Being Starved’: 250+ Groups Demand Rich Nations Provide Urgent Food Assistance

        “It is human actions that are driving famine and hunger, and it is our actions that can stop the worst impacts.”

        Over international 250 organizations are demanding urgent action from global governments to address the hunger and famine faced by hundreds of millions—a crisis the groups said is driven largely by policy choices including ignored appeals for a global ceasefire and humanitarian funding.

      • Ady Barkan Takes Medicare for All Fight to California to Prove ‘Single Payer Healthcare Works in America’

        “Medicare for All supporters, this is our most important fight right now.”

        After years of lobbying political candidates and lawmakers in Washington to support Medicare for All and helping to bring the issue to the forefront of the healthcare debate in the 2020 election, advocate Ady Barkan announced Tuesday he is bringing the fight for single-payer healthcare back to his home state of California.

      • Letters From Massachusetts Jail Reveal Struggle To Survive Pandemic Winter

        When it became clear in March 2020 that COVID-19 would spread around the United States, incarcerated people and their advocates on the outside sounded the alarm. They recognized jails would become a powder keg of infection.

        Yet at the state and local level, officials attempted to delude the public into believing that incarceration could somehow be safe during a pandemic, even as reports from the inside grew increasingly dire.

      • Forbes, India and Pandora’s Pandemic Box
      • How Covid Transformed US Theater

        Eric Ting remembers the chill that passed through the room when someone coughed during the California Shakespeare Theater gala in March of last year. The annual fundraising event—essential to the theater’s $5 million budget—was celebrating a turning point for the 47-year-old company, where Ting became artistic director in 2015: He would announce that Cal Shakes was planning to move its offices and shop from Berkeley to downtown Oakland, showing that “where we make our home reflects our priorities,” and he would describe ways the company would be collaborating with community partners. “It was kind of a seminal moment,” Ting says. 1

        Ting had visited Wuhan, China, only a couple of months earlier to celebrate the 103rd birthday of his great-uncle, and amid the gala’s live music, decked-out guests, and raffles for trips to Tuscany and Paris, he sensed a coming calamity, glinting like the bottles of hand sanitizer arrayed along the hors d’oeuvre tables. Indeed, the March 7, 2020, event, he says, turned out to be “the last big party in the Bay Area before everything shut down.” 2

      • How Artificial Feeding Grounds in Wyoming Spread “Mad Elk” Disease

        The operation of feedgrounds has been controversial for decades. Many wildlife advocates argue that the feedgrounds are a natural conduit for the spread of wildlife diseases like brucellosis and Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease similar to Mad Cow Disease in cattle.

        The livestock industry strongly supports feedgrounds because they believe it reduces elk conflicts on hay fields. There is also the issue that domestic livestock consumption of public forage on federal lands in summer likely reduces the carrying capacity for wildlife in winter, and the feedgrounds hide this fact.  Feedgrounds like fish hatcheries that hide the degradation of watersheds by artificially sustaining catchable fish.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Magma Project Accelerates with Establishment of Magma Core Foundation and New Members Under Open Governance
              • Magma Project Accelerates with Establishment of Magma Core Foundation and New Members Under Open Governance

                Today, the Magma project, an open-source software platform that gives network operators an open, flexible and extendable mobile core network solution, announced project and community growth since its recent move to the Linux Foundation to establish a neutral governance framework.

                Since moving to the Linux Foundation, Magma has made strides as a community, in partnership with the Open Infrastructure Foundation and OpenAirInterface Software Alliance. The collaboration has formally become the Magma Core Foundation, and project and community growth includes new members, the adoption of a master architecture roadmap, and formation of a neutral governance structure. In addition, the community will host its first Linux Foundation-managed event, Magma Day, co-located with KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2021.

              • The Linux Foundation Hosts Open19 to Accelerate Data Center and Edge Hardware Innovation

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the Open19 Foundation, an open hardware platform for data center and edge hardware innovation. It is also announcing that one of the original founders of the Open19 project, Yuval Bachar, is joining the Linux Foundation to lead this effort. Project leadership includes premiere members Equinix and Cisco.

              • The Linux Foundation Hosts Open19 to Accelerate Data Center and Edge Hardware Innovation
              • Linux Foundation To Host Open19 Foundation

                Linux Foundation has announced that it will host the Open19 Foundation, an open hardware platform for data center and edge hardware innovation. Yuval Bachar, one of the original founders of the Open19 project, is joining the Linux Foundation to lead this effort. Project leadership includes premiere members Equinix and Cisco.

                Open19 focuses on hardware standards that enable compute, storage and network manufacturers and end users to develop differentiated hardware solutions while protecting their competitive intellectual property.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, php-pear, wordpress, and zabbix), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Slackware (seamonkey), SUSE (apache-commons-io, ImageMagick, kvm, ruby2.5, and sudo), and Ubuntu (edk2, libcaca, ntp, and ruby2.3, ruby2.5, ruby2.7).

          • Google Chrome Receives Security Fix Update for Windows, Mac, Linux Devices

            Google has released a update for its Chrome browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux that brings a total of seven security fixes. The list of fixes include one for a zero-day vulnerability that was exploited in the wild. The updated Chrome browser will be rolled out over the coming days, Google said in an advisory. Users are recommended to install the update as early as it reaches their devices. The search giant also credited and rewarded external security researchers who reported the vulnerabilities.

            The updated Chrome browser carries version 90.0.4430.85, according to the advisory released by Google through a blog post. The update is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.

            In terms of security fixes, Google has detailed five of the seven highly critical vulnerabilities that are addressed by the update. The first is recorded as CVE-2021-21222 that is a heap buffer overflow in the V8 JavaScript engine, while the second one is noted under CVE-2021-21223 and is an integer overflow in Mojo interface.

          • antiX: New builds of 4.4 and 4.9 kernels

            New builds of 4.4 and 4.9 kernels should now be available in the repos.

            Newly named to 4.4.0-264 and 4.9.0-264 to avoid the libc6 message ‘Your kernel version indicates a revision number of 255 or greater’

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook’s massive data leak starts to have important knock-on effects – and potentially serious ones for Ireland

              Instead, it seems to think that by constantly repeating the word “privacy” like a mantra, people will believe that it is doing enough to protect sensitive personal data. For example, last week, it issued a press release entitled “ How We Combat Scraping“. It ended with a section “What You Can Do to Help Keep Your Data Safe”, which used the word “privacy” six times, and basically implied that the data breach was somehow users’ fault, and that they really ought to be more careful in future.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Bewildering Search for the Islamic State in Congo

        In 2003, three American college friends set out for Uganda. As they traveled through the north of the country, they were so moved by the suffering caused by the conflict between the government and the warlord Joseph Kony that they started an NGO called Invisible Children to spread awareness about the crisis and raise money for relief projects. Their work eventually drew the attention of Shannon Sedgwick Davis, a young Texas lawyer and CEO of the Bridgeway Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bridgeway Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund with investments in oil, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products. For years, Davis had been troubled by the limitations of charity, which she likened to “putting Band-Aids on bullet holes.” In January 2009, she was nursing her 1-month-old second child when she read a report from Human Rights Watch, a Bridgeway grantee, about a series of massacres committed by Kony’s forces. Having fled Uganda, they’d stormed through a cluster of hamlets in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, abducting children and killing their parents. Davis was so outraged that she resolved to seek a new approach to Bridgeway’s work. Documenting atrocities would no longer be enough. The foundation would now endeavor to stop them, militarily.

        Davis funded Invisible Children to lobby the Obama administration to pass the 2010 Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which called for the development of a military strategy to end the crisis. She then flew to Uganda and persuaded the country’s senior military commanders to host a contingent of US Special Forces troops to help them track Kony down. After Invisible Children’s YouTube video “ KONY 2012”—in which cofounder Jason Russell explains why Americans need to take a stand against Kony—was retweeted by Rihanna, Oprah, and other stars and watched by over 100 million people in six days, Congress swiftly passed a series of bills that allocated more funding to the joint US-Uganda mission to kill or capture Kony.

      • The Strategic Importance of Leaving Afghanistan

        President Joe Biden appears to be the first president since Eisenhower who actually knows the military.  A decade ago, then-Vice President Biden warned President Barack Obama that he was being rolled by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and such generals and “proconsels” as David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, and Kurt Eikenberry, who were outrageously lobbying on Capital Hill for a greater force presence in Afghanistan while Obama was leaning toward a reduced presence.  Biden argued privately that “wars were self-perpetuating when generals called the shots,” and that the Pentagon’s demands for a “conditions-based withdrawal” had created an endless war.  Gates’s malicious criticism of Biden over the years has been a response to the vice president’s prescient advice.

        The United States has paid an enormous price in blood and treasure for being wrong about Afghanistan, where we had an immediate goal (removing al Qaeda), but no strategic concerns or vital interests in Afghanistan per se.  The same could be said for our disastrous wars in Vietnam and Iraq, where official lies were used to justify the use of force.  The example of Afghanistan is particularly onerous because the United States, in the wake of 9/11, achieved its mission in less than one hundred days in 2001 with fewer than 500 special forces and CIA operatives.  This diminutive force and the ethnic tribes in the north managed to drive both the Taliban and al Qaeda from the country.  Soon after, the Taliban offered to negotiate its return to Kabul, but the Bush administration was convinced it could succeed where Alexander the Great; Genghis Khan; Tamerlane; Queen Victoria; and Leonid Brezhnev couldn’t.  All failed in the “graveyard of empires.”

      • We Need a Jan. 6 Truth Commission — But Nothing Can Redeem the GOP

        In the immediate aftermath of the November 2020 election, the Republican Party was astonished to find itself still breathing. Sure, Republicans lost the White House and majority control in the Senate, a steep blow. Yet they actually gained seats in the volatile House and held a stout majority on the Supreme Court. The lower courts were packed with Trump seedlings who would take root over the next four decades. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ majority margin in the Senate is as thin as Joe Manchin’s necktie.

      • FedEx Warehouse Shooting Follows Pattern of Violence Against Sikhs Nationwide

        As the Sikh community in Indianapolis and across the United States is in mourning after a gunman killed eight people at a FedEx facility last week, where four of the victims are Sikh, we speak with Simran Jeet Singh, scholar, activist and senior fellow for the Sikh Coalition, which is calling for a full investigation into the possibility of racial or ethnic hatred as a factor in the killings in Indianapolis. A majority of the workers at the warehouse are Sikh, and while authorities have not shared evidence Brandon Hole was targeting Sikh workers when he attacked the FedEx facility, police revealed Monday they previously found evidence that Hole had browsed white supremacist websites. The mass shooting took place as more than 15 states across the U.S., including Indiana, mark April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. “This community, in Indianapolis, all around the world, is really devastated,” says Singh. “Given the pattern of violence against Sikhs, we are demanding a full investigation into the possibility of bias and racism in this attack.”

      • DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Vehicle Driver Liability For Hitting Protesters

        Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) signed a controversial bill into law on Monday that diminishes First Amendment speech and protesting rights. The bill increases civil penalties for those participating in demonstrations, potentially causing those engaged in uprisings or protests to lose their voting rights if they are convicted under its provisions.

      • Police Killed John Thompson’s Friend Philando Castile. Now He Is a Lawmaker Fighting Racist Policing

        We look at the long history of police killings of Black men during traffic stops in Minnesota with state Representative John Thompson, a community activist who was elected last year and has attended protests demanding justice for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. His friend Philando Castile was killed by police during a 2016 traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul. “We have every right to be angry, we have every right to be mad, and we have every right to use our voices,” Thompson says. “We have a problem here in this state with policing.” Thompson is part of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus that has called on fellow lawmakers in St. Paul to halt budget negotiations until police accountability laws are passed.

      • Appeals Court: No Immunity For Cops Who Punched A Man Hanging From A Second Story Window And Tased Him When He Hit The Ground

        It takes a lot to lose your qualified immunity, but these cops — who punched a man’s head while he hung from a bedroom windowsill ten feet off the ground and tased him after he fell and broke his leg — managed to do it.

      • From the Forever Wars to the Hypersonic Wars

        We may be ending the era of “forever wars,” as suggested by President Biden in a televised address on April 15, but that does not mean an end to US involvement in foreign wars. Rather, we are entering a new era of military competition with Russia and China that could easily result in short but very intense and destructive conflicts—call them “hypersonic wars.” Indeed, during the very week that Biden announced the impending US pullout from Afghanistan, the Pentagon disclosed that it had rescinded the Trump administration’s plans to reduce US troop levels in Germany and was sending an additional 500 troops there, members of elite high-tech combat units. “This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on April 13 during a visit to Berlin.

        It would be easy to interpret Austin’s move as simply an attempt by the Biden administration to compensate for the damage inflicted by Donald Trump on transatlantic relations during his four years in office. Repeatedly chastising the Germans for failing to devote 2 percent of their GDP to defense—as called for under NATO guidelines—Trump ordered the removal of up to 12,500 US troops from Germany (out of the approximately 35,000 stationed there) and the relocation of the headquarters of the Pentagon’s European Command (EUCOM) from Stuttgart to Brussels. Those troops, Austin indicated on April 13, will now remain in Germany, as will the EUCOM headquarters.

      • Opinion | Biden’s Progressive Path Through Afghanistan

        No greater bleeding wound exists for the United States in the world than the unending Global War on Terror.

        Much was to be made in the 2020 campaign about Joe Biden’s promise to be the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Most of that commentary was centered around his domestic programs, but some discussion was given to foreign policy—particularly promises to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, renew the START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, and re-enter the nuclear agreement with Iran.

    • Environment

      • Escazú Agreement Set to Bring Environmental Justice Down to Earth

        The Escazú Agreement is the first treaty in the world to contain specific provisions on human rights defenders in environmental matters.

        Civil society organizations and scientists took part in the U.N. negotiations that achieved government adoption of the agreement in Escazú, Costa Rica on March 4, 2018. Its formal name describes it precisely as the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation, and Justice for Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.

      • Whatever Happened to Earth Day? How “Act Locally” Became “Shop Locally”

        And it is not as though corporate malfeasance was eliminated in the years after the first Earth Day. To take one of many examples, since 1970 the entire industrial factory farm (concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO) system has flourished. Today commercial meat factories have taken over most of the meat production in the US. Over 20,000 CAFOs have concentrated American meat production but have also concentrated American manure production, and now create the overwhelming majority of animal manure in the U.S. This proliferation across the country has been almost entirely unnoticed and unchallenged. They are now polluting our rivers and bays with antibiotic-, hormone- and nitrate-laden runoff, and ruining summer barbeques and property values for anyone who is unfortunate enough to live anyplace near one.

        Of course, we don’t want to discourage Earth Day activities just because they are non-controversial. It is necessary to find ways people can do things appropriate to their level of awareness and commitment. It is a good thing to advocate for more bicycles and recycling options, to replant trees to replace ones we cut down, encourage solar power, and to teach kids how to build worm farms. But, alas, saving the environment cannot occur with non-confrontational projects alone, any more than a drug-infested community can be cleaned up with posters and police visits to schools. A community with drug and crime problems cannot restore a crime-free environment merely with “partnerships” with drug dealers. It must confront its criminal element. Indeed, it would be a foolish community that financed its crime-prevention program with “sponsorships” from drug dealers. If it did, it would get toothless programs to fight crime problems just like the toothless diversions corporations promote to “fight” environmental problems. A community that adopts solutions to either crime or environmental problems that treats criminals or polluters as “partners” and gives them plaques for their “small, but positive steps” is not stopping crime or pollution. It is just becoming, at best, an enabler and, at worst, an accomplice.

      • The Doomsday Glacier Lives up to its Billing

        The proof is found in the numbers. For example, Greenland and Antarctica combined ice mass loss is truly an eye-opener: “The assessment is supported by NASA and the European Space Agency… The team calculated that the two ice sheets together lost 81 billion tons per year in the 1990s compared with 475 billion tons of ice per year in the 2010s—a sixfold increase.” (Source: Greenland, Antarctica Melting Six Times Faster Than in the 1990s, Global Climate Change, NASA, March 16, 2020)

        In all honesty, this article should end right here as 475 billion tons of ice mass loss per annum versus 81 billion tons per annum within only two decades is so riveting and daunting and over the top that nothing more needs to be said. But, there is more….

      • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ed Markey Reintroduce the Green New Deal

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) are set to reintroduce the Green New Deal (GND) resolution in Congress on Tuesday. The lawmakers last introduced the legislation two years ago.

      • ‘It Is a Revolution’: Ocasio-Cortez and Markey Reintroduce Green New Deal Resolution

        “We are in a civilization-altering moment in our history and it’s time for America’s political leaders to muster the courage and moral clarity to pass the Green New Deal,” said the Sunrise Movement’s executive director.

        As part of what they are calling “Green New Deal Week,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey on Tuesday led the reintroduction of their landmark resolution envisioning a 10-year mobilization that would employ millions of people with well-paying, union jobs repairing U.S. infrastructure, while reducing pollution and tackling the country’s intersecting climate, economic, health, and racial justice crises.

      • Humanity Faces a Climate Emergency—Shouldn’t That Be News?

        On this day in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. In the three months that followed, until the underwater well was finally capped, 130 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. With those millions of gallons came images of animals choked by oil slick, stories of the people along the coast whose livelihoods were destroyed and demands for justice for the perpetrators. In that moment, much of the country understood that we were facing an environmental emergency.

        Eleven years later, that sense of catastrophe has faded even as the environmental emergency has intensified. That single well in the Gulf of Mexico may be capped, but every day, fossil fuels contaminate our air and seas at an alarming rate. The science is clear: Continuing to pollute our earth with dirty energy will drive entire species to extinction, submerge coastal communities beneath rising seas and otherwise alter our planet for centuries. Yet we rarely see high-profile news coverage of the greenhouse gases leaking into the atmosphere each day, calls for consequences for the perpetrators or real action to support the vulnerable people whose lives are affected most by this destruction.

      • Crises Collide: Homeless in America When Climate Disaster Strikes

        This story originally appeared in NBC News and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story

        Cedar Rapids, Iowa—Terri Domer knows well what a brewing storm looks like.

      • Energy

        • Coal Miners Union Says It Would Accept Transition to Renewables With Green Jobs

          The largest union of coal miners in the U.S. announced Monday that it would accept a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as long as the federal government takes care of coal workers through the provision of green jobs and income support for those who become unemployed.

        • Opinion | Global Climate Policy Reboot: Launching a US-Canada Fossil Fuel Phase Out

          US President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate could spark a transformative shift in global climate action—if the U.S. and Canada embark on a fossil fuel production phase out.

          Although the strategic phase out of fossil fuels is the logical place to start curbing emissions, 25 years of climate negotiations have failed to mobilize a global effort to limit global fossil fuel production. In a few days, President Biden is hosting a Leaders Summit on Climate where he plans to urge global leaders to ratchet up their climate ambition. But all eyes are on the US and Canada, who are on track to consume two-thirds of the remaining global carbon budget. Canada anticipates producing more oil and gas in 2050 than in 2019.

        • ‘Stop Fossil Fuel Madness’: Gulf Coast Advocates Tell Biden to End US Oil and Gas Exports

          “To protect our communities and make good on his promises, Biden needs to end fossil fuel exports now.”

          A group of community leaders from the Gulf Coast backed by a diverse coalition kicked off a new campaign this week demanding President Joe Biden stop fossil fuel exports to help put the brakes on the climate crisis and “build an economy that works for people, not polluters.”

        • ‘A Dire Warning’: IEA Says World on Track to Nearly Wipe Out Covid-Related Emissions Drop

          “Unless governments around the world move rapidly to start cutting emissions, we are likely to face an even worse situation in 2022.”

          The International Energy Agency warned Tuesday that the world is on track to almost completely reverse the 2020 pandemic-related drop in carbon emissions this year due to surging demand for fossil fuels, a finding that underscores the need for an urgent global phase-out of dirty energy to avert the worst impacts of the climate emergency.

    • Finance

      • Civil Rights Groups Call for Universal Cancellation of $50,000 in Student Debt

        “The only solution that addresses the harms of the past and clears the landscape to create a better system going forward is to cancel $50,000 of student debt per borrower.”

        Joining a growing chorus calling for the elimination of student loan debt, three dozen civil rights groups on Monday urged the Biden administration to immediately cancel $50,000 per borrower—a move the coalition says will advance racial equity given how the negative consequences of the shift from publicly funded to debt-financed higher education have hit students of color especially hard.

      • A Third of U.S. Billionaire Wealth Gains Since 1990 Have Come During Pandemic
      • Americans Got a Taste of Paid Leave. Will They Get It for Real?

        The United States is the rare developed country that doesn’t guarantee any paid leave for its residents. For Joe Pierpont and Janet Peck, that has meant major disruptions to their work and income when their children, extended family, or they themselves get sick or need care. Pierpont has worked at a Maaco auto shop in Delaware for five years, but he’s never received paid leave other than a few weeks of vacation time. “They really don’t care about people,” he said of his employer. When something minor comes up, like one of their two kids getting sick, his partner, Janet Peck, who currently doesn’t have a paid job, typically deals with it alone.

        But the family has faced a series of emergencies that have been harder to absorb. Right before the pandemic, their youngest child got an infection that landed her in the hospital for a week. Pierpont couldn’t take any time off from work, so he took care of their older son and shuttled clothes and food to Peck at the hospital 20 minutes away. She more or less lived at the hospital with her daughter. Had Pierpont been able to take a few days off, the couple could have swapped roles so Peck could go home to sleep and shower. When Peck gave birth to her daughter five years ago, she was able to take only unpaid leave from her assistant manager job at a McDonald’s. A few years ago, Peck went to the hospital for a panniculectomy to remove excess skin after gastric bypass surgery. It was supposed to be a one-night hospital stay. Instead, after she lost a “scary” amount of blood, she ended up staying for five nights. To care for their children, who are both autistic, Pierpont took a few days off without pay and then had to ask his mother and a friend who also has special-needs children to help him.

      • What Can We Do to Start Civilizing Our Richest?

        We limit, for instance, how fast motorists can drive. We limit how many ducks hunters can shoot. We limit how much noise our neighbors can make late at night.

        But we have one aspect of contemporary life where no limits ever seem to apply: We let our wealthiest keep getting ever wealthier. And the pace of that enriching is ever quickening.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • After ‘the Death of Hong Kong’s Democracy,’ an Ex-Legislator Fights Beijing From Exile

        In December, facing multiple charges under a new national security law imposed by Beijing, Ted Hui, a former Hong Kong legislator, fled to Europe with his family. Last month, he arrived in Australia, where he will live in exile until it is safe for him to return. Along with other pro-democracy lawmakers, Hui resigned from the Legislative Council in November, after Beijing passed a resolution allowing authorities to disqualify four democrats. The move left the legislature without an opposition camp for the first time since the city’s handover from Britain to China in 1997.

        Alongside a growing number of overseas activists, Hui, 38, is now advocating for Hong Kong democracy from abroad and calling for stronger international responses to Beijing’s crackdown on dissent. China is already pushing back against countries taking in Hong Kong activists. On April 8, Beijing condemned Britain for granting political asylum to Nathan Law, a leading democracy advocate and former lawmaker. The following day the Hong Kong government criticized nations for harboring fugitives and turning “a blind eye to the offences committed by the criminals.”

      • White House Officially Endorses “Long Overdue” DC Statehood

        The White House officially endorsed the effort to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state on Tuesday, calling the region’s statehood “long overdue.” The endorsement comes ahead of a vote on Thursday when the House is expected to pass a bill making D.C. a state.

      • Trump-Appointed Watchdog Blocked Inquiry In Attack of Lafayette Park Protestors

        A Trump-appointed inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) blocked suggested investigations into the Secret Service in 2020, proposed by career staffers, that would have examined the agency’s COVID-19 response and missteps, as well as the violent mistreatment of protesters in Lafayette Square last summer, in order to grant the former president an unimpeded photo op.

      • Next Week’s Census Numbers Could Impact the 2022 Midterm Races

        The United States Census Bureau is set to announce which states saw the biggest population gains and which saw the most losses, a count that could have some influence on federal elections and the composition of Congress in the near future.

      • Opinion | Who’s Rising and Falling on Planet Earth?

        Biden’s anti-China ambitions.

        Like his immediate predecessor, Joe Biden is committed to a distinctly anti-China global strategy and has sworn that China will not “become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world… on my watch.” In the topsy-turvy universe created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was, however, Jamie Dimon, the CEO and chairman of JP Morgan Chase, a banking giant with assets of $3.4 trillion, who spoke truth to Biden on the subject.

      • ‘The Time Is Now’: Watch Live as Ocasio-Cortez, Markey Reintroduce Green New Deal Resolution

        “The Green New Deal envisions a ten-year national mobilization to fight the interconnected economic, social, racial, and climate crises gripping our country,” said a statement from AOC’s office.

        New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey of Massachussetts on Tuesday morning will reintroduce their bicameral Green New Deal resolution in order to center the urgent need for a radical shift in the U.S. government’s response to the climate emergency.

      • Union Leader Presses Biden to Immediately Fire Trump Social Security Holdovers

        “It is unacceptable that nearly 100 days into President Biden’s first term, Social Security employees and the public we serve continue to remain under the thumb of Trump political appointees.”

        The head of a union representing more than 26,000 Social Security employees is using the pages of the largest daily newspaper in President Joe Biden’s hometown to demand the immediate termination of Andrew Saul and David Black, Trump holdovers at the Social Security Administration who have been accused of sabotaging relief checks and undermining seniors’ benefits.

      • Opinion | The GOP Has Blood on Their Hands

        If America is to again be a “shining city on the hill” we must end our gun violence epidemic.

        America, John F Kennedy said, was like John Winthrop’s idealistic “city on a hill.” Ronald Reagan added the word “shining” to that description when he plagiarized Kennedy. And now Republicans across the country want to change the word “city” to “armed encampment.”

      • US House Passes ‘Hugely Important’ Bill to Let Legal Marijuana Businesses Access Banks

        “A supermajority of the House has voted affirmatively to recognize that the legalization and regulation of marijuana is a superior public policy to prohibition and criminalization.”

        Hailed by advocates as an important milestone on the road to full marijuana legalization, the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would open the door to banking services for the legal cannabis industry. 

      • Just 12 Super-Rich Donors Spent $3.4 Billion to Sway US Elections Since 2009: Study

        “The time is now to get big money out of politics, and move to the public funding of elections,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders in response.

        A dozen wealthy political donors and their spouses spent a combined $3.4 billion on federal elections in the U.S. between 2009 and 2020, accounting for $1 of every $13 contributed to political candidates and groups in the post-Citizens United era.

      • Democratic Lawmakers Urge Barrett to Recuse Herself From Koch Dark Money Case

        The members of Congress note that Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded advocacy group, mounted a “full-scale campaign” in support of the justice’s confirmation.

        Three Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday urged U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from a pending case revolving around the nonprofit arm of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded political advocacy group that spent heavily to ensure Barrett’s confirmation to the bench last October.

      • As Democrats Rise In Virginia, So Does Intra-Party Distrust

        As Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary approached this spring, Josh Stanfield, campaign manager for Democratic Socialist Delegate Lee Carter, began to worry that state party officials and the Department of Elections weren’t treating all candidates equally. Among other worries, he’d heard that some establishment candidates got different (and more accurate) instructions for submitting their nominating petitions than Carter did. That matters, because the first to file is first on the ballot, which research shows can provide a slight advantage. As it turned out, front-runner and former governor Terry McAuliffe wound up at the top of the June 8 ballot; Carter is fourth of five.

        Stanfield filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Elections Department to see if he could find out what happened. He didn’t. But he found out other things. Among the documents Stanfield received were several having to do not with Carter but with another primary election controversy—over whether party officials had been fair to three Black progressives, all challenging Democratic House of Delegates incumbents, who were disqualified by the State Board of Elections for problems with filing required paperwork, including a statement of qualifications and another on their economic interests. (I wrote about the controversy here.)

      • Joe From Scranton

        When Joe Biden was in his early 20s, his new girlfriend’s mother asked him what kind of job he wanted. “President,” he replied, “of the United States.” A college senior at the time, Biden must have appeared brash and full of himself: Who would announce such a goal to someone he presumably wanted to take him seriously? But perhaps he knew something no one else did. Though it took a while longer than he might have hoped—and involved two earlier presidential bids, each embarrassing in its own way—Biden has made it happen at last.

        Of his previous attempts, the 1988 run was likely the more disastrous. It began with Biden promising generational change as he declared his candidacy at the Amtrak station in Wilmington, Del., and it ended with his withdrawal from the race amid allegations of plagiarism. The campaign also had the dubious honor of being featured in Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes, an exhaustive portrait of the leading contenders for the nomination that year that painted none in a flattering light, but Biden least of all. A proud but insecure man, he was depicted as a legislator always pushing on to the next plan before accomplishing the previous one. He was a magnet for those who saw him as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but he kept his aides up to all hours of the night in meandering conversations. He loved to give speeches and work the crowd, yet his most inspiring lines were often stock phrases aimed only at winning the race. He wanted victory but was never entirely clear about what he would do with it once in office.

      • The Dirty Campaign Underlying Ecuador’s “Free and Fair” Election

        For starters, Arauz—a 36-year-old follower of the political leanings of former president Rafael Correa and his Citizens Revolution—barely even got on the ballot. The political party he tried to run under was banned by the National Electoral Council (CNE). He and his supporters formed a new political party and that, too, was banned. Eventually they found a small party that let them borrow their slot, but by then it was late December and the first round of elections was on February 7. The other campaigns had a four or five month head start.

        Arauz, who was virtually unknown, wanted to have Rafael Correa as his vice president, but the CNE banned Correa from being on the ticket. Even more astounding, the electoral authorities actually prohibited the Arauz campaign from even using Correa’s voice or image. But in a show of blatant bias, they didn’t banish Correa’s image from being used in a negative way by his opponents.

      • To Make Nation ‘Stronger and More Just,’ White House Offers Support for DC Statehood

        The statement of administration policy marked the first time the executive branch has backed statehood for Washington, D.C.

        The White House on Tuesday formally offered its endorsement of legislation that would establish statehood for Washington, D.C., giving full representation to the district’s 700,000 full-time residents. 

      • Bowman, Sanders Lead Coalition Demanding ‘Desperately Needed’ Boost to SSI Lifeline

        “People with disabilities and older adults receiving SSI represent some of the most marginalized members of our society. History will not forgive us if we fail to address their needs.”

        A bicameral group of dozens of lawmakers led by Rep. Jamaal Bowman, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and other prominent progressives sent a letter Monday urging President Joe Biden to include “desperately needed” improvements to the Supplemental Security Income program in his forthcoming American Families Plan, which is expected to focus on child care and other key domestic priorities.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Watchdog Says Journalism, the ‘Vaccine Against Disinformation,’ Took Global Hit During Pandemic

        “The coronavirus pandemic has been used as grounds to block journalists’ access to information sources and reporting in the field.”

        In its annual report ranking press freedom in 180 countries, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday that access to information for journalists has been blocked in nearly three-quarters of the nations over the past year, impeding their ability to share vital public health data with the general population.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘He proved that one man can do a lot’: Dozens of people have gone on hunger strike in solidarity with Alexey Navalny. Here are some of their stories.

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been on a prison hunger strike since March 31, demanding access to trusted doctors. During this time, his health has seriously deteriorated and his doctors fear he may die. On April 19, Russian prison officials announced that Navalny was being transferred to a prisoners’ hospital located inside another notorious prison facility in the Vladimir region. At the time of this writing, more than 100 people have declared their own hunger strikes in support of Navalny, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the campaign. This solidarity protest was organized by biologist Nikolai Formozov, a former professor at the Higher School of Economics and Moscow State University, who has been on hunger strike since April 10. Meduza spoke to Nikolai Formozov and other people who have joined the hunger strike in solidarity with Navalny. Here are their stories.

      • Navalny supporters see their personal information leaked online in ‘enriched’ database

        A new database has leaked online containing the personal information of individuals who registered to take part in the upcoming “Freedom for Navalny” protests across Russia. This comes after the protest campaign’s email registration database was stolen and leaked online late last week.

      • Moscow City Court to hold closed trial on outlawing Navalny’s political movement as ‘extremist’

        The Moscow City Court will review the lawsuit by the prosecutor’s office seeking to ban Alexey Navalny’s political and anti-corruption network as “extremist” behind closed doors. The court’s spokesperson Ulyana Solopova told the Russian state news agency TASS that this decision was made due to the fact that the case materials have been classified as “secret.”

      • Notes from tomorrow’s underground Navalny’s activists batten down the hatches ahead of new protests and a likely ‘extremism’ designation, moving to remote work and fleeing Russian social networks

        Moscow’s City Court won’t begin reviewing a lawsuit to ban Alexey Navalny’s political infrastructure until next week, on April 25, but the Russian authorities are already treating the nationwide network of opposition activists like an illegal extremist movement. Police officers have come to local coordinators’ homes and raided Navalny’s offices across Russia on an almost daily basis. Beginning on Monday, April 19, some staff started working remotely, but the team says it has no plans to cut back preparations for the next mass protests against Navalny’s incarceration and mistreatment in prison. Meduza asked a handful of activists how they’re handling these tumultuous times.

      • Russian Human Rights Council chairman refuses to visit Navalny in prison

        The chairman of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, says that he doesn’t plan to visit the penal colony in the Vladimir region where opposition politician Alexey Navalny is on hunger strike.

      • Opinion | Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue
      • Opinion | Why You Should Be Concerned About the Rise of the Border and Surveillance Industry

        Our world is becoming more walled due to the influence of private profiteers on governments—and increasingly displaced people pay the price.

        The COVID-19 disrupting travel, shutting borders, and redefining what is essential work, Pandemic Borders explores what international migration will look like after the pandemic, in this series titled # MigrantFutures

      • Opinion | Reporting Human Rights Abuses Is Not a Crime

        We stand with the Colombian Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

        Twenty-four years ago, the search for a way out of the unending violent conflict in Colombia saw a significant moment of hope. On 23 March 1997, 1,350 displaced farmers gathered in the remote village of San José de Apartadó in the north-western province of Antioquia to join together and form a peace community. After paramilitaries had roamed the region pillaging and massacring, the local community declared itself neutral in the war, rejecting weapons, drugs, alcohol and cooperation with any armed group. With their community, the people of San José have shown other communities in the country how to break the victim-perpetrator cycle and to build communal alternatives of nonviolence, solidarity and autonomy outside of the dominant culture.

      • Behind Union Defeat at Amazon Bessemer

        Whether or not there was a single defiant mass rally or even a mass meeting organized by the RWDSU at Bessemer during the campaign is unknown. Inside the plant? Or in the parking lot or in the community?

        Union defiance absent

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The GOP Is Using Veterans As Props To Demonize Net Neutrality

        Earlier this year net neutrality opponents (read: US telecom monopolies and those who love them) used veterans as a cheap prop to unfairly demonize California’s shiny new net neutrality law. California’s net neutrality law bans “zero rating,” or the act of imposing bullshit, arbitrary usage caps, then exempting an ISP’s own content (or the content of any individual organization or company) from them. The reason for the ban? Caps are artificial constructs, and exempting select content from them tilts the internet playing field in favor of an ISP or deep-pocketed companies.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Sony Reverses Course On Shutting Down PlayStation Store For PS3, Vita Devices

        Well, well, this is certainly moving fast. Regular readers will recall that we’ve been having a conversation lately about how both customer purchases and video game as art are generally preserved in the face of platforms shutting down the hosting servers that keep all of this data. With a specific eye towards art preservation, this conversation has been largely propelled by Sony’s recent announcement that it would be shutting down support for the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3, Vita, and PSP consoles. The consternation over all of this only got worse when it was noticed that Sony’s batteries on the PS3 and PS4 consoles have a weird little time-sync check-in that has to occur with the PlayStation Network if they’re replaced, or else those consoles will be unable to play many, in some cases all, games.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EPO User Day 2021: Engaging with our users on quality, timeliness and digital user services

          Over 2 100 participants from more than 900 companies registered for this year’s User Day – the first digital edition, which took place on 19 and 20 April. As the event celebrated its 20th anniversary, EPO experts updated users on the latest developments in the Office’s digital services, including during heavily attended breakout sessions on Online Filing 2.0, the EPO Mailbox, PCT filing, and oral proceedings by videoconference (VICO). There were also lively panel discussions on quality and timeliness, the Patent Index 2020 and the future of innovation, as well as new approaches to the areas of environmental sustainability and diversity & inclusion.

        • Linking up with EPO art and artists

          Last week the EPO introduced its art collection to the public by launching the new documentary titled “Exploring Art at the European Patent Office”. With two digital events the Office now offers further insight on its art collection, and invites to an exchange with some of the artists portrayed in the documentary.

        • Why Western Texas might become a new pharma hotspot [Ed: Patent trolls' booster Patrick Wingrove cheering for a rigged system resigned to undermine justice for the sake of litigation profits. Paid-for media in think tank/lobbying mode.]

          There were nine biotech cases at the Texas court in 2020, more than in any other venue apart from Delaware and New Jersey, and that could double this year

        • Eisenführ Speiser strengthens patent practice with Pinsent Masons litigator [Ed: How on Earth is this an article? JUVE has become mostly a marketing spam site, which also habitually copies lies from EPO management]
        • Standard Essential Patents in Italy: a review of the existing case law [Ed: Standards as patent traps and toll booths]

          SEP-related case law in Europe is regularly reported in this blog, and other European platforms. Decisions of courts in UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands on FRAND royalties, anti-suit injunctions, anti-anti-suit injunctions, declarations of essentiality and other SEP issues are often thoroughly commented upon. This is not the case of Italian SEP case law. While being the third-largest economy in the European Union, Italy does not receive the same attention as other countries when it comes to analysing SEPs and their implications on competitive markets. This is also probably due to the fact that the number of SEP cases is lower than in other jurisdictions, with the latest reported decision being released in July 2015.

          This blogpost wants to fill that gap. It briefly summarises the four SEP cases which three Italian courts (in Genova, Trieste and Milan), adjudicated in the latest decade and beyond.

          [...]

          What does Italian SEP case law teach us? While in one case the SEP owner (Philips) prevailed as the implementers could not be considered willing licensees, in the other three decisions implementers won.

          Particularly relevant – we believe – are the decisions of the Court of Milan in 2012 in Samsung v Apple and in 2015 in Ical et al. v Rovi Guides et al. In the former it was noted that it is crucial to enforce SEPs in a way which is not abusive and does not jeopardise competition, taking into account the need to encourage cultural and scientific progress. The latter clearly highlighted the importance of relying on correct declarations of essentiality. Indeed, accessing accurate information on the scale of exposure to SEPs is extremely important to users of standards, especially small and medium-sized enterprises that have little experience of licensing practices and enter the relevant markets looking for connectivity. This lack of transparency has negative consequences. As noted in the European Commission’s Communication of 29 November 2017, several studies on important technologies demonstrate that, when strictly assessed, only between 10% and 50% of declared patents are really essential.

        • Software Patents

          • Dallas Invents: 117 Patents Granted for Week of April 6 [Ed: Far too many software patents, even some to IBM in this case, being granted. Never mind if courts reject these...]

            • IBM’s cognitive intervention for voice recognition failure

            [...]

            Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • DMCA Shortcut Helps Movie Companies Cheaply Identify ‘Potential’ BitTorrent Pirates

          Several movie companies have obtained a DMCA subpoena to identify 25 account holders whose IP-addresses were caught sharing pirated content. This is an effective shortcut without any oversight from a federal judge. It significantly reduces costs and legal hurdles to go after alleged pirates. However, this procedure is not undisputed.

        • YouTube Class Action: Plaintiff Can’t Identify Piracy Without Access to Content ID

          Maria Schneider’s class action lawsuit against YouTube has taken another unusual turn. The complaint alleges massive infringement but thus far identifies no infringing videos. YouTube wants to know exactly what it’s dealing with but Schneider says that since she has no access to Content ID – a big part of why the complaint was originally filed – she can’t easily provide that information.

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