05.13.21

Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

Posted in News Roundup at 1:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard

        For months Linux hardware vendor System76 has been teasing their own in-house designed and manufactured keyboard with open-source firmware and various innovations. Today the embargo lifts on the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard so we can share more about this new open hardware product.

        The System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard is their latest product being designed and manufactured from their facility in Denver, Colorado — the second after their Thelio line of desktop computers. The keyboard base is an open-source design and milled out of aluminum. The CAD design and drawings are open-source on GitHub for those with the necessary equipment to fabricate your own. The Launch Keyboard also makes use of their own, open-source PCB design that supports individual RGB LED key backlighting and other features.

      • System76 unveils open source ‘Launch Configurable Keyboard’ for Linux, Windows, and macOS that is made in the USA
      • System76 releases the open source Launch Configurable Keyboard

        Ready for your next keyboard? How about one that’s properly open source and looks quite fantastic? System76 has today properly revealed and released the Launch Configurable Keyboard.

        Sticking to their ethos, they’ve launched the Launch as a fully open source unit. This includes the hardware (certified by the OSHWA), firmware and configuration tooling all as open source and firmware updates can be done directly through LVFS but it’s not forced – it’s up to users if they want to update the firmware.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD Queues Initial Graphics Code For Linux 5.14 – More Aldebaran, PCIe ASPM, HMM SVM

        With the Linux 5.13 merge window past, AMD on Wednesday submitted an initial batch of AMDGPU/AMDKFD/Radeon graphics driver changes to DRM-Next as feature material to be queued ahead for the Linux 5.14 cycle this summer.

        This is just the first of several feature pull requests to DRM-Next of AMD Radeon improvements slated for Linux 5.14 with more work expected over the next few weeks.

    • Applications

      • Top 10 Video Conferencing Apps for Linux

        With great technology comes great innovations. Unending technological footprints continue to favor the Linux community, giving its users more reasons to cling to its impressive flavors and distributions. One of these technological footprints that the Linux community applauds is video conferencing.

        Video conferencing lacked a dynamic coverage in the world of computing until the Linux operating system happened. Whether it is individuals with personal computers or businesses with enterprising goals, the flexibility of video conferencing caters to everyone. You no longer have to adhere to mandatory paid subscriptions for you to enjoy all the features of a performant video conferencing software.

        Video conferencing has removed geographical limitations when communicating, making distance a non-factor. Under these platforms, seamless communication is viable through one-to-one or group-to-group presentations. Both freelance business owners and corporations can host their agents and employees on their preferred video conferencing accounts.

        Linux operating system has built a name for itself by empowering the corporate world. Through its numerous video conferencing apps in the software market, the usage of the associated apps is defining video conferencing as seamless and trouble-free. The latter statement begs the question, what are the top-recommended video conferencing apps to use under a Linux platform?

      • 12 Best Free Linux Logfile Viewers

        A server log is a log file which is created and updated by a server. A common example is an access log generated by Apache (open source web server software), which provides a history of web page requests. However, Apache does not only capture information to that access log. There is also information captured in its error log as well as a process id file, script log and a rewrite log.

        These log files are everywhere. Applications capture an enormous amount of information to log files, especially as a server may generate multiple logs. It is important to review log files to obtain feedback about the activity and performance of the server, and to identify hints to solve any problems that may arise. However, the administrator of the system can suffer from information overload, and reviewing the log files in an efficient way can be a very time consuming task.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Configure VNC Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        VNC or Virtual Network Computing is a graphical desktop sharing tool that allows you to remotely control a computer (server or desktop) from another computer (client). A VNC server transmits all keyboard and mouse events from the client computer to the server computer. If you are not yet familiar with CLI commands such as the terminal, etc., you can use VNC to help you manage files, software, and system settings on remote computers.

        In this tutorial, we will guide you step-by-step through setting up the VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04. We will install a Linux desktop XFCE on the server, then install and configure the VNC server using TightVNC.

      • How to Install the Latest VLC Player in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        There are many open-source media players available to Linux users. A preference for the selection comes from features, the ease of installation, and the availability of a stable version. The stable version of VLC 3.0 is out and ready to use. In this article we will show you several ways to install the VLC media player, depending on whether you choose the graphical interface or the command line of your Ubuntu system.

        We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • How to install PHP Mcrypt extension on Ubuntu 20.04 or Debian

        PHP Mcrypt extension provides encryption facilities to web applications that need the functionality of modern algorithms such as AES. This extension works as an interface to the Mcrypt’s libmcrypt library which implements all the algorithms and modes found in it such as DES, TripleDES, Blowfish (default), SAFER-SK128, LOKI97, GOST, RC2, RC6, MARS, IDEA, RIJNDAEL-128 (AES), RIJNDAEL-192, TWOFISH, TEA, RC2, and more. However, PHP developers have removed it from the PHP package bundle since the launch of php7.2 because of no further development in Mcrypt, thus the extension also gets decrypted. Sodium (available as of PHP 7.2.0) and OpenSSL are now some alternatives to it.

      • 1 Click Install Mosh Mobile Shell On Linux

        Mosh is a remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.

        Mosh is a replacement for interactive SSH terminals. It’s more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.

        It’s is free software, available for GNU/Linux, BSD, macOS, Solaris, Android, Chrome, and iOS.

      • 5 ways to check if your Linux OS is 64-bit or 32-bit

        If you’re a Linux newbie, you should know that there will be times – such as when installing packages – when you’ll be looking for a way to see if your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit.

        The information is not hard to find, but there is more than one way to access it. In this tutorial, I’ll discuss some of those ways. But before we start the discussion, it’s worth sharing that all the instructions and commands mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Debian 10, and CentOS 8

      • Search a file in Linux using Find & Locate command – LinuxTechLab

        One of the most annoying things according to me while managing servers is trying to search for a file in Linux servers. At one point or another, we are required to find a file’s location in a Linux server where you need to make changes or have to locate a file with logs, backup, etc.

      • How to troubleshoot application issues and crashes with snapd gdbserver | Ubuntu

        Sometimes, applications may not run well, or they could even crash. When such issues occur, it is useful to have a consistent, reproducible method of triggering the problem, so that developers can have a reliable way and sufficient data to troubleshoot the issues and produce a fix. In the software world, the GNU Debugger (gdb) is a powerful tool that allows developers to do just that.

        With snaps, things are slightly more complicated. Snaps run as isolated, self-contained applications, with strong security confinement. They are managed and launched by the snapd service. This means that if you were to invoke gdb to troubleshoot snaps exhibiting startup or runtime issues, the actual application execution will be masked by the snapd processes that wrap it. To work around this phenomenon, and give developers the right tools for the job, the snap daemon also includes gdbserver, which allows users to inspect their applications in a manner that is very similar to the classic Linux system.

      • Bash scripting: Moving from backtick operator to $ parentheses

        There are certain commands or tricks that you start using as a sysadmin, which you simply incorporate into your arsenal and never really stop to analyze in-depth all the options or alternatives to them.

        For me, one of those tricks is the backtick operator. I used it rather frequently when I programmed in Perl (which I don’t use nowadays, but it seems to still have a loyal fan club – check this poll). In my Perl scripts, I would use the backtick operator to run a command in the operating system and return the output to continue the logic in the script.

      • How to encrypt partition in Linux

        One of the best ways to protect your files on a Linux system is to enable hard disk encryption. It’s possible to encrypt an entire hard drive or partition, which will keep every file that resides there safe. Without the correct decryption key, prying eyes will only be able to see cryptic gibberish when they try to read your files.

        In this guide, we’ll go over the step by step instructions of using LUKS to encrypt a Linux partition. Regardless of what Linux distro you’re running, these steps should work the same. Follow along with us below to get partition encryption configured on your own system.

      • How to Configure Static IP in Arch Linux

        Simply, static IP can be defined as a non-changing internet address. Static IP can tell the location of the computer to other computers or servers on the internet. This article will help you to configure a static IP address in Arch Linux using netctl. Netctl is a command-line utility for managing the network profile in Linux.

      • Best File Managers for Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

        File management is one of the most essential and frequently carried out tasks carried out by Linux users. This involves locating, copying, moving, and deleting files and directories. In a GUI environment, the file manager, as the name suggests, allows you to seamlessly manage your files in a Linux environment. There are quite a number of file managers that can come in handy and make file management a delightful experience.

        This guide covers some of the best file managers for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

      • How to Verify PGP Signature of Downloaded Software on Linux – LinuxBabe

        PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is a public key cryptography software that can be used to encrypt and sign data communication. In this tutorial, we will look at how to verify the PGP signature of software downloaded from the Internet on Linux.

        Linux users can securely install software from their distribution’s repositories. But there are times when you need to download and install software from a website. How can you be sure that the software you downloaded wasn’t tampered with?

        Some software authors sign their software using a PGP program such as GPG (GNU Privacy Guard), which is a free software implementation of the OpenPGP standard. In that case, you can verify the integrity of software using GPG.

      • Red Hat: How to network in a remote work world | The Enterprisers Project

        The widespread adoption of remote working has revolutionized the way we do our jobs, how we learn, and how we interact with each other. It has also changed the way we network. In a time where almost everything has gone online, our days are no longer full of opportunities to meet new people.

        Expanding your network is a critical part of career development. It’s essential to meet prospective partners and clients, improve your skillset, and stay updated with the latest trends in your industry.

        Virtual networking provides professionals with a greater pool of connections, removing time and space restrictions.
        If you’re working remotely, whether permanently or temporarily, creating networking opportunities is still possible. Though it might be a change from user groups and coffee meetups, virtual networking offers an added bonus: It provides professionals with a greater pool of connections, removing time and space restrictions in place of more traditional forms of networking.

    • Games

      • The absolutely awesome action-platformer shooter HUNTDOWN is out now for Linux

        After some time of being an Epic exclusive, HUNTDOWN has now released on GOG and Steam making it available for Linux from developer Easy Trigger Games. Note: personal purchase.

        Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. It’s insane – in the best way possible. It reminds me of Broforce for the over the top action, which remains as my all time favourite action platformer. However, HUNTDOWN is already looking like it might end up taking the number 2 slot – it’s just that good.

        “In the mayhem-filled streets of the future where criminal gangs rule and cops fear to tread, only the bounty hunters can free the city from the corrupt fist of felony. Lay waste to the criminal underworld and make a killing in this hard boiled action comedy arcade shooter.”

      • Coldwild Games announce Lazy Galaxy 2, an idle strategy game with basebuilding and combat | GamingOnLinux

        Coldwild Games, developer of Merchant of the Skies and Luna’s Fishing Garden, have announced Lazy Galaxy 2 an idle strategy game with basebuilding and combat elements.

        Lazy Galaxy 2 is an idle/clicker game with base-building and RTS elements. Lead an evil (albeit lazy) alien race to conquer the universe! Expand your base, fight vicious foes, and conquer the galaxies. Acquire combat experience and convert into candy, the most precious alien resource!

      • Political grand-strategy game Realpolitiks II is out now with Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Realpolitiks II from Jujubee S.A. and publisher 1C Entertainment has left Early Access, and they’ve also released a Linux build along with it.

        A modern twist on the classic grand-strategy genre, as you take control of any contemporary nation in an attempt to assert dominance among the global superpowers so it’s obviously a highly political game. Develop your country’s economy, technology and army; use your diplomatic skills, build an impressive spy network and get ready to fight major global threats such as terrorism, pandemics or famine. Build powerful alliances, wage wars on your enemies and achieve greatness! It expands in the first game in a lot of ways, enhancing all the features of the previous game and adding in many more options to expand.

      • Check out the demo for arcade-puzzle runner MAZEMAN from the Monster Prom team | GamingOnLinux

        MAZEMAN is a slightly difficult game to pin down to a genre or explain it properly. You run through mazes, collecting gems and to find the key to unlock the exit. It seems like it’s going to be pretty fun. Pretty darn frantic too, as you dodge all sorts of weird creatures in each crazy maze level.

        Developer Beautiful Glitch recently put up a demo on Steam, which has a Linux build that works great and the full game will be supporting Linux too. There’s no release date other than “soon”. If you’ve not heard of the developer before, they’re the studio behind the Monster Prom series.

      • Fingeance is a fishy shoot ‘em up that needs team-play rather than twitch-reflexes

        Free Game Thursday! Now this is great, a shoot ‘em up that tries to do away with the traditional twitchy gameplay in favour of something a little more interesting with co-op.

        The idea in Fingeance is that four players work together, as it places an “emphasis on teamwork and strategy”. The focus was on making it a truly fun co-op experience, where even a novice player can make a difference to the team. The developers say to imagine “Faster Than Light meets Jamestown meets Team Fortress 2″ and then “add four tiny fish, a comic book style, and a veneer of seething vindictive rage”.

      • The next Skullgirls 2nd Encore fighter is Umbrella who carries a hungry sentient brolly | GamingOnLinux

        Hidden Variable, Future Club, and Autumn Games have confirmed that the next fighter entering Skullgirls 2nd Encore is Umbrella, who carries a huge hungry brolly around.

      • Resident Evil Village gets better on Linux with the latest Proton Experimental | GamingOnLinux

        Valve and CodeWeavers have once again updated Proton Experimental, bringing with it a needed fix for Resident Evil Village running on Linux.

        It was only a few days ago Proton Experimental was updated to get RE Village working but it came with one big drawback. Previously you couldn’t change any graphics settings in-game but as of the latest May 12 build, this has now been solved with Proton Experimental. So that marks another AAA Windows-supported game working nicely on Linux thanks to the Proton compatibility layer – such fast paced improvements!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04.1

          Over 120 individual programs plus dozens of programmer libraries and feature plugins are released simultaneously as part of KDE Gear

          Today they all get new bugfix source releases.

          Distro and app store packagers should update their application packages.

        • KDE Gear 21.04 Gets First Point Release with Konsole Improvements, More

          KDE Gear 21.04 was released three weeks ago with various new features and improvements for many of your favorite KDE apps. In case you missed it, the KDE Project renamed its KDE Applications software suite to KDE Gear earlier this year, but it’s only a name change, nothing else that would affect you.

          Now, KDE Gear 21.04.1 is here as the first point release to the open-source office suite, bringing various changes to the Konsole terminal emulator, such as improved visibility of selected text, a fix for a crash that may occur when you enter a very long string (e.g. 6000 characters) and then immediately maximize the window, as well as a fix for a crash that could occur when opening the app’s Settings window.

    • Distributions

      • Bodhi Linux 6.0 Introduces a New Look with Numerous Changes

        Bodhi Linux is a lightweight distribution tailored for old systems. With its Moksh desktop, it was a unique experience already.

        Now, with a major release after more than a year, Bodhi Linux 6.0 brings in a refreshed look and several improvements across the board.

        Let me briefly highlight what’s new in this release.

        [...]

        You will only find essential applications like Chromium web browser, Leafpad text editor, Synaptic package manager and more. Also, it is worth noting that Chromium is the default browser.

        The release note also mentions a critical fix for Leafpad text editor that lead to data loss previously.

        Thunar File Manager has also received important updates to improve the user experience and blend in better with the desktop environment i.e Moksh.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Introducing Libqmycroft

        Mycroft is free and open source digital assistant written in python, Mycroft skills are the voice apps and extensions for Mycroft also written in python they can provide different functionality for users depending on what the user wants to achieve, like for example mycroft skills can be written to provide the user with weather information which can then inform the user of the current weather and display a weather forecast.

        Libqmycroft aims to bring the same Mycroft extension capability to traditional input desktop / mobile applications that want to add support for a voice interface without having each application to go through writing their own web-socket / dbus interface to establish a communication layer with Mycroft.

      • Who won over the classroom with Jitsi?

        Developers, architects, students, teachers, and Jitsi mentors from different countries and time zones worked together for one week in a collaborative online environment. Participants could choose to tackle some of the challenges proposed by Jitsi, or they could create their own ones. In total, 21 projects were submitted, which was an encouragingly high number.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Brings Universal Search Commands Feature

          A really cool feature Search Commands is merged recently in the upcoming LibreOffice 7.2 dev branch. It’s super productive. We take a look at how it works.

        • LibreOffice 7.0.6 has been released

          LibreOffice 7.0.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 7.0 family, is available from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. All users are invited to update to this version.

          End user support is provided by volunteers via email and online resources: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/community-support/. On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

          For enterprise class deployments, TDF strongly recommends sourcing LibreOffice from one of the ecosystem partners, to get long-term supported releases, dedicated assistance, custom new features and other benefits, including SLAs (Service Level Agreements): https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Pyzo – The Interactive Editor for Scientific Python

            Pyzo is a free, open-source, and cross-platform Python IDE that is focused on introspection and interactivity, that is why it is well suited for scientific computing. Its feasible design is aimed at simplicity and efficiency, consisting of two components: shell and editor.

            It uses a collection of pluggable tools to help programmers in many ways. Some of these pluggable tools are project manager, workspace, source structure, and interactive help. Besides, Pyzo is purely written in Python 3 and uses the Qt GUI toolkit.

  • Leftovers

    • Mike Gold, Avant-Garde Bard of Proletarian New York

      Is it time to release Michael Gold from his personal gulag to range free in the pastures of 20th-century American literature?

      Gold—“Mike” to his comrades—was a key figure in American letters from the mid-1920s well into the Great Depression. A leading advocate and practitioner of “proletarian literature,” he was also the editor of New Masses, perhaps the most important left-wing periodical of the 1930s. A committed, vociferous revolutionary, he joined the Communist Party in the 1920s and then stuck with it for life. Neither purges nor pacts nor the 1956 invasion of Hungary would cause Gold to renounce his faith. On the contrary. A columnist for the Daily Worker for a quarter century or more, Gold also served as the party’s preeminent cultural commentator—albeit less the voice of the leadership than of the rank and file. But what goes around comes around. Railing for decades against perceived “literary renegades,” he was, arguably, both an early adapter and a victim of cancel culture.

    • Black Families Matter
    • Opinion | The Dauntless Girl With the Constitution: Nothing You Do Will Surprise Me
    • ‘Sometimes I Miss the Lockdown’

      I feel guilty about it, but I still feel it: There’s a part of me that misses the darkest days of the lockdown.

    • VH1’s cringe-worthy ‘Fabulous’ Jeffrey Epstein show resurfaces

      A clip of disgraced pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on VH1’s “The Fabulous Life of…” has resurfaced.

      A two-minute cringe-worthy clip from Epstein’s feature on the show was shared by a Twitter user this week and is spreading like wildfire.

      “35 seconds in and you’re thinking, this won’t get worse. But it does,” wrote Eoin Higgins, who posted the video.

      Epstein, who died by suicide in prison in 2019, was featured on the reality series in a 2007 episode called “The Fabulous Life of Billion Dollar Wall Street Ballers.”

    • Jeffrey Epstein’s VH1 The Fabulous Life Of episode resurfaces online
    • Science

    • Education

      • The child safety problem on platforms is worse than we knew

        The report from Thorn, a nonprofit organization that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse, identifies a disturbing gap in efforts by Snap, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and others to keep children safe. Officially, children are not supposed to use most apps before they turn 13 without adult supervision. In practice, though, the majority of American children are using apps anyway. And even when they block and report bullies and predators, the majority of children say that they are quickly re-contacted by the same bad actors — either via new accounts or separate social platforms.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Connecticut Calls in National Guard as Nursing Home Workers Plan Strike
      • Public Health and the Triumph of Irrationality

        Take heart disease. Not only do we know what causes it and how to prevent it, prevention is far easier than is the prevention of COVID. The causes of heart disease are things such as obesity, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of exercise. It would be relatively easy to tackle these problems. We could outlaw the sales of jumbo-sized sugary drinks, limit legal amounts of sugar and fats in processed foods, outlaw smoking, establish legal limits on the sales on alcohol, and mandate short supervised exercise periods in workplaces. 

        Americans are generally hesitant to impose what many have traditionally taken to be excessive legislative measures to protect public health. There was enormous support, however, for the legally-mandated extended lockdown measures and mask requirements to protect people from COVID, so why is there so little support for more moderate legislative measures to protect Americans from these greater threats to their health? The attempted ban on jumbo-sized sugary drinks was so short-lived that most people no longer even remember it. We’ve done a great deal to limit smoking in the U.S., but even with those measures it continues to be a huge threat to public health. If we can shut down businesses to protect people from COVID, why can’t we shut down the tobacco industry to protect people from the ravages of smoking (which affects not only smokers, but everyone in close proximity to them, not to mention imposing enormous costs on the healthcare system)? Bars and restaurants can, in theory, be held legally liable for serving alcohol to obviously inebriated customers, but in practice that law is seldom enforced and we have no legal limits whatever on the sales of alcohol in retail outlets. 

      • ‘Government Money That’s Gone Into Vaccine Development Is Being Privatized by a Handful of Companies’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Knowledge Ecology International’s James Love about Bill Gates and vaccine politics  for the May 7, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Inspector General Directs EPA to Update Its Rules for Two Toxic Air Pollutants

        On May 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general issued a report rebuking the agency for failing to protect fenceline communities in 19 metropolitan areas from chloroprene and ethylene oxide, toxic chemicals used in industrial processes. The report directs the agency to review its rules, as required by the Clean Air Act, for both of these carcinogenic air pollutants, which newer scientific evidence has found raise the cancer risk for people living near facilities emitting them.

        One of these communities is a low-income, African-American community in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, situated near the Denka Performance Elastomer plant in LaPlace. St. John holds the dubious distinction of being the only U.S. community exposed to both toxic chemicals cited in the EPA watchdog report.

      • Failed Leadership, Gross Inequality, and History of Ignored Warnings Allowed Pandemic’s Deadly Spiral: Global Panel

        “We have been warned. Let’s not ignore again,” said one member.

      • Are any of the COVID-19 vaccines self-spreading, self-propagating, transmissible vaccines?

        I realize that the gap between this post and my more recent post has been longer than usual, leaving the regular denizens of the comment section here not a lot to discuss. What can I say? Life gets in the way sometimes, and that has been happening more often, or at least so it seems. Be that as it may, I hope to be able to rectify this situation starting today, and, as is so often the case, the merry band of antivaccine propagandists over at Age of Autism provided me just the target topic. Unsurprisingly, it’s Ginger Taylor, MS (a woman who never fails to include her master’s degree her byline, although I can’t help but suggest, as I often do, that it’s a master’s degree in Dunning-Kruger), who provides the grist with an article entitled (just like the title of this post), Are any of the COVID-19 vaccines self-spreading, self-propagating, transmissible vaccines?

      • Vaccine math Meduza fact checks Putin and Mishustin’s statements about Russia’s coronavirus vaccination numbers

        On Monday, May 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that 21.5 million Russians had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Two days later, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that more than 24 million people in Russia had received their coronavirus jab. Meduza fact checked these official statements to see if these vaccination figures are even possible. Long story short, the numbers don’t add up.

      • The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Could Help the Navajo Nation

        Though congressional leaders acknowledge the disproportionate impact of nuclear testing on the Diné, they haven’t made the necessary changes to the law. It’s set to expire in the summer of 2022. We’re using that date as a call for the legislation’s renewal and expansion so that it finally covers all impacted people. The U.S. has a long and shameful history of displacing, marginalizing, and dismissing Native populations, but that history doesn’t have to continue any further into the 21st century. Let’s put the pressure on.

      • For The Navajo Nation, Uranium Mining’s Deadly Legacy Lingers

        The federal government is cleaning up a long legacy of uranium mining within the Navajo Nation — some 27,000 square miles spread across Utah, New Mexico and Arizona that is home to more than 250,000 people.

        Many Navajo people have died of kidney failure and cancer, conditions linked to uranium contamination. And new research from the CDC shows uranium in babies born now.

        Mining companies blasted 4 million tons of uranium out of Navajo land between 1944 and 1986. The federal government purchased the ore to make atomic weapons. As the Cold War threat petered out the companies left, abandoning more than 500 mines.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Remove Barriers to Threat Information Sharing Between Government and the Private Sector. The Executive Order ensures that IT Service Providers are able to share information with the government and requires them to share certain breach information. IT providers are often hesitant or unable to voluntarily share information about a compromise. Sometimes this can be due to contractual obligations; in other cases, providers simply may be hesitant to share information about their own security breaches. Removing any contractual barriers and requiring providers to share breach information that could impact Government networks is necessary to enable more effective defenses of Federal departments, and to improve the Nation’s cybersecurity as a whole.

        • ‘Arm Waving’ Response to Hackers Makes Oil Industry Easy Prey [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Colonial Pipeline became aware of the attack about May 7, after attackers had stolen nearly 100 gigabytes of data and encrypted at least a portion of the company’s IT network — the portion of its network most of its employees use to check their email, review contracts or write and distribute invoices. However the company also took much of its operational systems offline – the side of the network where machines talk to machines to actually push gas up and down the pipeline. There is no evidence Colonial’s operational technology systems — which isn’t connected to its IT system — were compromised by the attack, the company said.

        • F.B.I. Identifies Group Behind Pipeline [Attack] [iophk: Windows TCO]

          So far, intelligence officials said, all of the indications are that it was simply an act of extortion by the group, which first began to deploy such ransomware last August and is believed to operate from Eastern Europe, possibly Russia. There was some evidence, even in the group’s own statements on Monday, that suggested the group had intended simply to extort money from the company, and was surprised that it ended up cutting off the main gasoline and jet fuel supplies for the Eastern Seaboard.

        • Here’s what we know about DarkSide ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The popularity and increasing maturity of the ransomware-as-a-service model combined with the aging systems that control energy systems is a compounding problem. As threat actors continue to observe ransomware’s operational success, more cybercriminals likely will want to get in on the action due to its thriving sub-industries (i.e. access brokers, credential shops, and bulletproof hosting) and higher returns when compared other crimes (i.e. targeting bank accounts). It’s imperative that companies responsible for critical infrastructure understand that insecure systems present a juicy ransomware target to the cybercriminal underground, and proactive defenses will go a long way in preventing future incidents like what happened with Colonial Pipeline.

        • AK: US ransomware attack aftermath food for thought in Estonia too [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In the current situation where remote work is common, simple security holes are also prevalent and being exploited by cyber criminals, the Information System Authority (RIA) says.

          Ransomware involves trojan malware systems finding their way into the victim’s IT system, for instance via a phishing email or a vuln in a network service. Often an app then restricts or locks the system, demanding payment to unlock it.

          RIA’s recommendation when asked about such attacks is that in no circumstances should ransoms be paid, pour encourager les autres as much as anything.

          RIA senior analyst Lauri Tankler told AK that: “Since money has been paid to such groups for years, they have been coming up with better and better cyber ransomware products, and are able to do more and more harm to society as a result.

        • VMware names India-born Raghu Raghuram as CEO from June

          Since joining VMware in 2003, Raghuram has helped steer the company’s strategic direction and its technology evolution.

        • VMware Appoints Raghu Raghuram As New CEO
        • VMware heads to court over GPL violations

          Unlike commercial litigants, the Conservancy neither seeks profit from litigation nor uses it early. The organization’s FAQ explains:

          Neither Conservancy nor [Hellwig] takes this action lightly nor without exhausting every other possible alternative first. This lawsuit is the outgrowth of years of effort to convince VMware to comply with GPL.

        • Biden signs executive order aiming to prevent future cybersecurity disasters

          The executive order outlines a number of initiatives, including reducing barriers to information sharing between the government and the private sector, mandating the deployment of multi-factor authentication in the federal government, establishing a Cybersecurity Safety Review Board modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, and creating a standardized playbook for responding to “cyber incidents.” You can read more about all of the initiatives in the White House’s fact sheet here.

        • Security

          • A security researcher found Wi-Fi vulnerabilities that have existed since the beginning

            Vanhoef points out that some of the flaws can be exploited on networks using the WEP security protocol, indicating that they’ve been around since Wi-Fi was first implemented in 1997 (though if you’re still using WEP, these attacks should be the least of your concerns).

          • WiFi devices going back to 1997 vulnerable to new Frag Attacks

            A Belgian security researcher has discovered a series of vulnerabilities that impact the WiFi standard, with some bugs dating back as far back as 1997 and affecting devices sold for the past 24 years.

            The vulnerabilities, known as Frag Attacks, allow an attacker within a device’s WiFi radio range to gather information about the owner and run malicious code to compromise a device, may it be a computer, smartphone, or other smart device.

            Devices are also vulnerable even if the WiFi standard’s security protocols were activated, such as WEP and WPA.

          • Fragment and Forge: Breaking Wi-Fi ThroughFrame Aggregation and Fragmentation

            We discovered widespread design and implementation flaws related to frame aggregation and fragmentation. Interestingly, our aggregation attack could have been avoided if devices had implemented optional security improvements earlier. This highlights the importance of deploying security improvementsbefore practical attacks are known. The two fragmentation-based design flaws were, at a high level, caused by not adequately separating different security contexts. From this we learn that properly separating security contexts is an important principle to take into account when designing protocols.

            In practice, our implementation-specific vulnerabilities arethe most devastating. Several enable the trivial injection offrames, which we abused to trick a victim into using a malicious DNS server to then intercept most of the victim’s traffic.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (graphviz and redmine), Fedora (dom4j, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mariadb, php, php-phpmailer6, and redis), openSUSE (kernel and nagios), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0 and python-django).

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence Facebook is Failing to Tackle Climate Misinformation

        Facebook is “fuelling climate misinformation” through its failure to get to grips with misleading content, according to a new report that calls on companies to boycott the platform until significant action is taken.

        Campaign group Stop Funding Heat, which produced the report, warns that the problem is likely to escalate in the coming months as the next major UN climate summit, COP26, approaches and wants to see action taken against “repeat offenders”.

      • Despite Urgent Need for Green Recovery, World’s Cities Woefully Underfunded to Fight Climate Emergency

        Cities around the world lack the public financing needed to protect people from flooding, sustainably retrofit buildings, and respond to the climate emergency.

      • Climate Campaigners Launch High Court Challenge Over North Sea Oil and Gas Drilling

        Campaigners are launching a High Court battle against the UK government’s “unlawful and irrational” support of oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

        A medical student, the daughter of an oil worker and a former Esso employee are challenging the oil industry regulator’s strategy that aims to maximise economic recovery of oil and gas from beneath UK waters.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Weather Strike’ By Tom Morello and Pussy Riot

        The post was originally published as part of Ongoing History of Protest Songs.Tom Morello has a long career creating political music as the guitarist of Rage Against The Machine, The Nightwatchman, and for several other projects. It should come as no surprise that he joined forces with Russian musical activist collective Pussy Riot.

        “Pussy Riot is one of the most radical and important activist musical groups of all time,” Morello declared in a press statement. “Their fearless blending of art and confrontation is a constant inspiration and it’s an honor to combine forces on this powerful, revolutionary track ‘Weather Strike.’”

      • The California Air Resources Board Challenges Our Carbon Credits Investigations. We Respond.

        The California Air Resources Board sent a letter to ProPublica challenging our recent stories on flaws with that state’s forest carbon offset program. Our investigation, which was co-reported and published with MIT Technology Review, reported on a recent study from the nonprofit CarbonPlan, which found that the program had issued up to 39 million carbon credits without real climate benefits.

        The first story focused on the study’s main conclusions, and the second story was about the debate over how to ensure additionality — that the program brought about carbon savings that wouldn’t otherwise have happened. The board has not asked for any corrections. Its full letter is available here. The Massachusetts Audubon Society, which sold carbon credits that were ultimately purchased by California polluters under the offset program, also issued a statement, available here.

      • Opinion | “Our Planet, Our Future”—Another Desperate Plea for Humanity to Wake Up

        There is no law of nature according to which all technological civilizations must self-destruct, but nor is there any guarantee that the great experiment of civilization will succeed.

      • Energy

        • Missouri Lawmakers Approve Reforms to Controversial Clean-Energy Loan Program

          A legislative measure that would add consumer protections and oversight to programs that make high-interest “clean energy” loans in Missouri will go to the governor for his signature, after the state House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to pass it. A ProPublica investigation found the programs disproportionately burden borrowers in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

          The House voted 137-12 on the proposal, with two members voting “present.” The Senate passed the bill May 4.

        • Big Oil’s malign influence is waning at last

          It has enriched us, even dictated our politics, but now we know Big Oil’s malign influence we want no more of this black gold.

        • New HSBC-backed Coal Plants Will Contribute to 18,400 Deaths Annually, New Study Estimates

          Coal-fired power plants set to be built by companies part-owned by British multinational bank HSBC will contribute to tens of thousands of deaths worldwide due to air pollution once completed, new research suggests.

          A new study by researchers at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) estimates that the planned coal plants would, when operational, be responsible for 18,400 premature deaths per year across countries including India, China and Bangladesh.

        • Opinion | Okavango, Oil Drilling, and the Tragedy of Africa

          It is not too late for the governments of Namibia and Botswana to halt the race for an asset that is bound to get stranded as the world shifts away from fossil fuels. 

        • 660+ Groups Call on Democrats to ‘Reject Gas and Other False Climate Solutions’ for Clean Energy Standard

          “As we look to combat the climate emergency, it is crucial that we invest in solutions that support a just energy future.”

        • What the Pipeline Hack Reveals About the Future of Fossil Fuels

          On May 7 — although they didn’t bother to tell us until a day later — Colonial Pipeline shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline, which normally carries almost half the gas sold on the US east coast, due to a cyberattack. On the evening of May 9, to take the edge off, the Biden administration declared an emergency covering 17 states, lifting restrictions on delivering gasoline by truck. No word on when the pipeline will resume operation.

          For the last few years, as the price of electricity produced by sunlight and wind power has continued to drop, fossil fuel flacks have insistently informed us that the problem with solar and wind power are that they’re “intermittent and incapable of meeting our needs” (as Ron Stein puts it in Natural Gas Now, an online publication put out by, surprise, the natural gas lobby).

        • Pan American Silver Pressured to Shut Down Community Interference in Guatemala
        • Ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline disrupts fuel supplies across Southeast US

          Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also attempted to downplay the crisis by saying that federal agencies are working around the clock to help the pipeline return to normal operations and that she held “several conversations with the CEO of Colonial and who has indicated that by close of business tomorrow, Colonial will be in a position to make the full restart decision. But even after that decision is made, it will take a few days to ramp up operations.”

        • [Old] Coming this summer: Gas stations running out of gas

          Not that there’s a looming shortage of crude oil or gasoline. Rather, it’s the tanker truck drivers needed to deliver the gas to stations who are in short supply.

          According to the National Tank Truck Carriers, the industry’s trade group, somewhere between 20% to 25% of tank trucks in the fleet are parked heading into this summer due to a paucity of qualified drivers. At this point in 2019, only 10% of trucks were sitting idle for that reason.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • How an Indigenous Scientist Studies Global Change
        • Poisoning the Planet’s Web of Life

          The victim is soil, which is the life source for 95% of the foods we cram down our throats three times per day, 365 days per year.

          A new landmark study has identified the killer of nature’s greatest achievement of all time, soil. Based upon this major new research only recently released, the culprit or soil killer is agricultural pesticides, as follows: “Study after study indicates the unchecked use of pesticides across hundreds of millions of acres each year is poisoning the organisms critical to maintaining healthy soils,” Donley added. “Yet our regulators have been ignoring the harm to these important ecosystems for decades.” (Source: Tari Gunstone, et al, “Pesticides and Soil Invertebrates: A Hazard Assessment,” Frontiers in Environmental Science, May 4, 2021)

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Meduza is you: Almost 80,000 people have donated to keep this news organization alive. We’re now retooling for sustainability as a ‘foreign agent’ in Russia. Here’s our plan.

        A few days after Russia’s Justice Ministry designated Meduza as a “foreign agent,” we launched a crowdfunding campaign to compensate for lost advertising income. Nearly 80,000 people joined this initiative. Together, you’ve performed a miracle. Thanks entirely to readers like you, Meduza continues to operate, despite the fact that the Russian authorities crushed our revenue stream in a matter of days.

      • Worse Than the Dreyfuss Affair: the Persecution of Julian Assange

        Among the many scandals and betrayals of democracy and the rule of law we recognize the persecution of inconvenient journalists by governments and their helpers in the media.  Perhaps the most scandalous and immoral example of the multinational corruption of the rule of law is the “lawfare” conducted against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who in the year 2010 uncovered war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the United States and its NATO allies in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        In a world where the rule of law matters, these war crimes would have been promptly investigated, indictments would have been issued in the countries concerned.  But no,  the ire of the governments and the media focused instead on the journalist who had dared to uncover these crimes.  The persecution of this journalist was a coordinated assault on the rule of law by the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden, later joined by Ecuador. The instrumentalization of the administration of justice – not for purposes of doing justice, but to destroy a human being pulled more and more people into a joint-criminal conspiracy of defamation, trumped-up charges, investigations without indictment, deliberate delays and covers-up.

      • Florida City Officials Spend $50,000 To Find Out Who Gave Journalists A Public Record

        The city government of Tamarac, Florida has found a novel way to spend taxpayers’ money: paying someone to find out who handed public records to someone entitled to receive public records. (h/t Peter Bonilla)

      • Journalist Craig Murray sentenced to eight months imprisonment

        Journalist and blogger, Craig Murray, has been sentenced to eight months in prison for contempt of court in a vindictive ruling with chilling implications for press freedom and democratic rights.

        Murray was found guilty in March this year for his reporting on the 2020 trial of former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. Murray, a former British diplomat, was found to have published articles which supposedly ‘seriously impeded or prejudiced’ Salmond’s trial by breaching contempt of court legislation ‘preventing the publication of the names and identity and any information likely to disclose the identity of the complainers’ against Salmond.

        [...]

        Murray intends to take his case to the UK Supreme Court on the basis that he did not identify anyone and his right to report being denied through an ‘extraordinary, impossibly strict application of ‘jigsaw identification’ and on fair process not have been observed.’

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • For Eid, Let’s Celebrate the Queer and Trans Muslims Working Toward Abolition
      • “Mass Supervision”: How Restrictive Probation & Parole Systems Land People Behind Bars for Decades

        In Pennsylvania, more than half of incarcerated people are jailed due to probation violations. We speak with formerly incarcerated activist LaTonya Myers, who says probation and parole, rather than being a stepping stone to freedom, act as a “streamline to mass incarceration,” with punitive rules landing people back behind bars for minor violations. Myers helps people arrested navigate the bail review system as support coordinator with the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and is featured in the new PBS documentary series “Philly D.A.” about Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s attempts to reform the criminal justice system. “We just want a part of the American dream,” says Myers. “But it hasn’t been American dream for us. It’s American nightmare.”

      • SOS: Will the World Answer the Calls for Help?

        SOS is Morse code for distress—Save Our Ship.

        “SOS Colombia” is a call to protect human rights, end the violence, and stop the militarization of cities and police departments in Colombia.

      • Colombia’s Leaders Want to Stain Their Country with the Blood of the Working Class

        Mainstream media in Colombia and the South American continent have been selectively silent about the atrocities, and so those seeking to either learn or share information on the situation have had to turn to social media to break the media blockade. During the day, photos are shared of the colorful marches and joyful mobilizations. At night, videos of terror start appearing with a distressing frequency: the mobile anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and police shooting firearms at defenseless protesters, agents of security forces chasing after young people in the poor neighborhoods to either shoot at them or arrest them and instilling terror in the population, and mothers crying and screaming because their children were killed.

        According to Temblores and Indepaz, two human rights organizations that have been tracking reports of police violence, from April 28 to May 8, the violent actions of the state security forces resulted in the death of at least 47 people, the arbitrary detention of 963 people, 28 victims of eye-related injuries, and 12 victims of sexual violence. In total, they registered 1,876 cases of police violence.

      • The Tax Protests in Colombia

        So, why the unrest? Protests there began as a general strike over a tax reform bill proposed by the Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to stem the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and lockdowns. According to the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) News, “The proposed reform would have lowered the threshold at which salaries are taxed, affecting anyone with a monthly income of 2.6m [million Colombian] pesos ($684; £493) or more. It would also have eliminated many of the current exemptions enjoyed by individuals, as well as increasing taxes imposed on businesses.”

        The tax proposal was deeply upsetting to many who because of the economic effects from the pandemic are on the verge of poverty. As such, the pandemic for many in Colombia and elsewhere in South America has been quite destabilizing. According to the Wallstreet Journal (WSJ), the “…stringent pandemic lockdowns that have been blamed for causing mass unemployment and throwing some four million people into poverty. Colombia is experiencing its third coronavirus surge, with nearly 500 deaths a day on average over the past week, a higher per-capita rate than India’s.”

      • Asylum and the Right to Security

        We’re seeing the dark and looming shape of a breakdown in the global system of asylum and refuge-seeking. It takes the form of a hardening of state attitudes, a disregard for refugees’ dignity and legal rights, and a calculation on the part of those responsible for systematic mistreatment of refugees that their crimes will go unpunished.

        In the ‘developed’ world, governments have lost their nerve when it comes to taking seriously their responsibility to protect. Illiberal eastern states in the EU, notably Poland, Hungary, and Croatia, have point-blank refused to meet their EU member obligations regarding asylum, and turn a blind eye to the violence and indignities inflicted by their own police and border patrol personnel. Worse, they encourage such viciousness. In the Balkans, asylum seekers are beaten and robbed, and their phones smashed. It’s a picture of Europe depressingly familiar to historians of the Reconquista and the pogrom. Seven countries, all EU states, topped a poll in Autumn last year as being the world’s least welcoming to refugees.

      • Survivors Of Forced Sterilizations In California Fight A Century Of Violence In Women’s Prisons

        California community organizers continue to fight for reparations after the state forcibly sterilized people for more than a century, offering little more than an empty apology and three rejected compensation bills. 

        Since 2017, organizers have pushed for legislation to compensate survivors of forced sterilizations during the eugenics era, when states allowed the practice to be carried out against over 60,000 disabled and imprisoned people and later, in the 2000s, when hundreds of people in women’s prisons were illegally sterilized against their will.

      • Opinion | Domestic Violence Is More Than Physical Violence—and State Laws Are Beginning to Recognize That

        Some states are stepping up to incorporate coercive and controlling behavior, not just episodes of violence, into laws that protect victims.

      • When Lean-In Feminism Reaches the Factory Floor

        Malathi, a South Indian woman in her mid-30s with long black hair and a round, expressive face, is among the more fortunate garment workers in Asia. The mother of two, who chose to go by a pseudonym for this story, just started her 12th year at a factory in Bangalore owned by Shahi Exports, India’s largest garment exporter and a supplier to the likes of The Gap, H&M, and Uniqlo. Malathi’s take-home pay of $30 per week is higher than the $22, $24, and $26 her colleagues make on average in, respectively, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. And with a typical workweek of 48 hours, she is spared the excessive overtime endemic to the sector. Notably, especially given the prevalence of factory fires, Malathi has never been in an accident.

      • Can the Criminal Justice System Be Reformed? PBS Series “Philly D.A.” Follows Larry Krasner’s Efforts

        Four years ago, the longtime civil rights attorney Larry Krasner shocked the political establishment in Philadelphia by being elected district attorney. Now he faces a tough reelection next week. We delve into his record as captured in a new eight-part series by PBS “Independent Lens” that follows how Krasner, who had sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times during his career, ran on a platform of ending mass incarceration and has fought to overhaul the DA’s Office. “Is change possible in an institution like this?” asks series co-creator Ted Passon. “Why or why not?” We also speak with co-creator Nicole Salazar about how the series explores “the tensions between the new guard, between Krasner’s team and the existing prosecutors in the office.”

      • Philly DA Larry Krasner Fights for Reelection Amid Police Union Attacks on His Reform Agenda

        As Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner attempts to overhaul the city’s criminal justice system, he faces a Democratic primary election next week against Carlos Vega, a former homicide prosecutor who is one of three dozen veteran prosecutors fired by Krasner when he took office in 2018. We speak with Linn Washington, a journalist who has covered Philadelphia’s criminal justice system for decades, who says powerful forces, including the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, have unfairly “tarred” Krasner for his reforms. “The FOP represents the very worst of the regressive approach to the criminal justice system, the very elements that Mr. Krasner is trying to reform,” Washington says. He also discusses how Krasner’s stance on Mumia Abu-Jamal may not cost him reelection but “will stain his reputation as a reformer.”

      • New York Police Union Tells NYPD End Of Qualified Immunity Will Force Officers To… Act Lawfully

        One of the NYPD’s unions — the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) — is feeling ways about stuff again. Last month, the New York City Council passed a number of police reforms which included taking away qualified immunity as a defense in civil lawsuits filed in local courts. The bill has yet to receive the governor’s signature, but the SBA is already making its unhappiness known.

      • Circumstances still unclear more than a month after college student Samuel Yeager fatally shot by Colorado deputy

        While police violence is portrayed in the media and by the Democratic Party entirely as a racial issue—a matter of racist white cops against black victims—victims are of every race and ethnicity, as are their police killers.

        Yeager was the 243rd person killed by police this year in the United States and the sixth killed in the state of Colorado, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post. All of the victims of police shootings in Colorado so far this year have been white.

      • Two Denver police officers suspended for using violence on nonviolent people during protests against police violence

        The Denver Department of Public Safety has suspended two police officers for using chemical weapons on harmless people during protests against racism and police violence that rocked the city and country last summer.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Bad Section 230 Bills Come From Both Sides Of The Aisle: Schakowsky/Castor Bill Would Be A Disaster For The Open Internet

        It truly is stunning how every single bill that attempts to reform Section 230 appears to be written without any intention of ever understanding how the internet or content moderation works in actual practice. We’ve highlighted tons of Republican-led bills that tend to try to force websites to host more content, not realizing how (1) unconstitutional that is and (2) how it will make the internet into a giant garbage fire. On the Democratic side, the focus seems to be much more on forcing companies to takedown constitutionally protected speech, which similarly (1) raises serious constitutional issues and (2) will lead to massive over-censorship of perfectly legal speech just to avoid liability.

      • Study Finds US Broadband Gaps Three Times Worse Than The FCC Claims

        As one of his last acts as Trump’s FCC boss, former agency Chairman Ajit Pai released a rosy report claiming that America was making great strides in bridging the “digital divide.” According to the report (pdf), 14.5 million Americans now lack access to broadband, down from 21.3 million one year earlier. This progress, Pai proclaimed, was directly thanks to his decision to effectively lobotomize the FCC’s consumer protection authority at telecom lobbyist behest:

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Neurim vs Mylan – Victory from the jaws of defeat

          Will Smith discusses the unusual decision of a judge to vary his order made after trial where a patent upheld by him was revoked by the European Patent Office almost immediately after the order was made.

        • Nokia sharpens patent firms’ focus on diversity [Ed: The latest whitewashing puff piece from JUVE, portraying patent bullies as “ethical” on basis of “diversity” — a cause that has long been hijacked by ruthless corporations for PR purposes]

          Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia has launched its Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (E,I&D) Scorecard. The company will evaluate, via quarterly and annual quantitative and qualitative assessments, whether its panel firms are taking steps to implement an effective E,I&D programme.

          Assessments will score law firms based on factors such as recruitment policies, pay equality, and availability of mentoring and pro bono initiatives. It also examines the percentage of billable work carried out by employees from different backgrounds, engagement with D&I organisations, and the presence of a dedicated E, I&D team.

        • Mechanics of COVID-19 Vaccine IP Waiver in View of Trade-Related Aspects of IP Rights [Ed: They cannot help lying, calling patents "IP" and misportraying those are "rights" (they're not rights)]

          The Biden-Harris administration announced on May 5 its intent to support a waiver on intellectual property protections on COVID-19 vaccines. The scope of any potential waiver is subject to further negotiation at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Any decision made at the WTO level requires a consensus among all of its 164 members.

        • Canada Still Won’t Commit To Supporting A Pandemic Patent Waiver

          Few things illustrate the broken state of our global intellectual property system better than the fact that, well over a year into this devastating pandemic and in the face of a strong IP waiver push by some of the hardest hit countries, patents are still holding back the production of life-saving vaccines. And of all the countries opposing a waiver at the WTO (or withholding support for it, which is functionally the same thing), Canada might be the most frustrating.

        • Opinion | On the TRIPS Waiver, Personnel Was, and Will Continue to Be, Policy

          Biden must pick leaders who capitalize on this political opportunity rather than undermining it.

        • Software Patents

          • Disney Patents Blockchain-Based Movie Distribution System to Stop Pirates

            As a prime content producer, Disney has a vested interest in keeping pirates at bay. The entertainment company is involved in various enforcement initiatives and a few days ago, added a new anti-piracy patent to its arsenal. With a blockchain-based distribution system, Disney hopes to make it harder for pirates to intercept films being distributed to movie theaters.

      • Copyrights

        • Estate Of ‘Tintin’ Comic Creator Loses On Fair Use Grounds To Artist Putting Tintin Alongside Women

          By way of a throat clearing, there are a couple of things you need to know about Hergé, the nom de guerre for the artist behind the well-known Tintin comics of yore. First, Hergé’s estate has found its way onto Techdirt’s pages before and has a reputation for being wildly restrictive and litigious over any use or reference to Tintin. Alongside that, you need to know that Hergé absolutely did every last thing he could to keep women entirely out of his comic strips. His reasoning for this can be best summarized as a combination of having a too much “respect” for women to include them in his humor comic… and also that women, according to his estate, were “rarely comic elements.” Women, in other words, are bad for humor.

        • VPN.ht Asks Court to Dismiss Piracy Lawsuit Over Lack of Jurisdiction

          VPN.ht is asking a Virginia federal court to dismiss the piracy lawsuit filed by a group of movie companies earlier this year. The VPN service argues that the court has no jurisdiction over the company and its Algerian operator, who had never heard of Virginia before this case started. VPN.ht also asks the court to lift a temporary restraining order that froze the PayPal account of a third-party company.

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  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  23. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  24. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now


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