06.18.21

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

Posted in News Roundup at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Word Processors Are Evil And Should Not Exist!

        You will find a word processor installed on almost every desktop computer. The word processor has become an integral part of so many people’s workflow. And that’s a shame because the word processor is a pointless piece of software. It serves no real purpose…

    • Kernel Space

      • Systemd 249 release candidate includes better support for immutable OSes and provisioning images

        Systemd maintainer Lennart Poettering has committed code for RC1 including a huge number of new features.

        Releases tend to come around every four months, with the last being Systemd 248 on 30 March. It is an alternative to the Linux init daemon but with much greater scope; its documentation describes it as “a suite of basic building blocks for a Linux system.”

        Most but not all Linux distros have adopted systemd – including Debian, SUSE, Red Hat (and its variants Fedora and CentOS), and Ubuntu. Debian can be run without systemd, and Devuan is a fork of Debian that specifically avoids it.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Run your Gemini server on Guix with Agate

        This article is about deploying the Gemini server agate on the Guix linux distribution.

      • Using grep command in CentOS for text matching – Linux Concept

        Grep (short for GlobalRegular Expression Print) is a command that is used extensively to as a text search tool in text files. It searches for a pattern in a file and prints the corresponding line, which contains the matching pattern. Itscans files for specified patterns and can be used with regular expressions, as well as text strings.

      • How to Install VMware Workstation Pro on Ubuntu 20.04

        Creating a virtual machine is the most suitable solution if you want to go on a test drive of a new operating system without installing it on bare metal alongside your primary Operating System.

        It gives you the flexibility to use multiple operating systems directly from your host operating system and also delete or reinstall it any number of times.

      • How to backup your home directory in Linux – PragmaticLinux

        Got the itch for a little Linux distro-hopping? I know the feeling. We get spoiled with so many wonderful new Linux distribution releases throughout the year. It’s hard to resist the temptation. I typically first spin them up in VirtualBox. When it’s time to upgrade your daily driver PC, just make sure to first backup your personal data. This article explains step-by-step how to backup your home directory in Linux. We’ll use the rsync program in combination with an external USB drive.

      • How to Browse with Tor to Protect Your Privacy Online

        If you are concerned about privacy and want one of the most well-protected browsers available, then you should try the Tor Browser. It is free and open source software that enables anonymous internet communication.

        Today we’re taking a closer look at The Onion Router knows better by its acronym Tor. Sure it may a reputation within the cybersecurity world as the dark web browser of choice. But don’t discredit this powerful privacy tool just because a few bad apples use it from time to time. Despite its darker users, Tor offers an unparalleled level of anonymity that can aid anyone in protecting their privacy. At its heart, Tor’s intended to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom to conduct confidential communication.

      • Manually install a Gnome Shell Extension from a ZIP file – PragmaticLinux

        Did the installation of a Gnome Shell Extension, through your web browser’s Gnome Shell integration add-on, result in an error? This happens sometimes due to a potential bug or compatibility issue. To resolve the problem, you can download an older or newer version of the Gnome extension. You’ll end up with a ZIP file of the Gnome extension, which you’ll have to install manually. This tutorial explains how to manually install a Gnome extension from a ZIP file.

      • How To Install XRDP (Remote Desktop) on Debian 10 – TecAdmin

        XRDP is an open-source implementation of the Microsoft RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) server. It provides bridging between the RDP client and the X windows system. The XRDP server allows remote users to graphical login to the remote machines using the Microsoft RDP client.

        The XRDP allows two-way clipboard transfer, audio and microphone voice redirection and allows us to mount local drives on the remote machines.

        This tutorial helps you to Install XRDP Server (Remote Desktop) on the Debian 10 Linux system.

      • Delete the pi user from your Raspberry PI – PragmaticLinux

        Looking for a way to increase the security on your Raspberry PI? Changing the default password for the pi user is the recommended first step. Better would be if you change the default username as well. One approach is to create a brand new user account and then completely delete the pi user from your Raspberry PI. This tutorial explains how to achieve exactly that. It’s one of the first things I recommend you do, right after installing the Raspberry PI operating system.

      • How to change the hostname of your Raspberry PI – PragmaticLinux

        The hostname of your Raspberry PI allows you to address it by its name, as opposed to its IP address. The hostname is how your Raspberry PI identifies itself to other systems on your local network. By default, the hostname is set to raspberrypi. Feel free to change the hostname of your Raspberry PI though. Especially if you plan on running more than one Raspberry PI on your local network. This tutorial presents several ways of how you can change the hostname of your Raspberry PI.

      • Configure SSH for login without a password – PragmaticLinux

        Looking for a way to login to your Linux server via SSH without specifying a password? Using an SSH key pair is the way to go then. If done properly, this results in more convenience for you and more security for your server. In this article you’ll learn step-by-step how to setup an SSH key pair for logging into your server via SSH, without having to enter a password.

    • Games

      • Vomitoreum is a retro-styled FPS Metroidvania that releases July 30 | GamingOnLinux

        Vomitoreum shall bring a nice little birthday present for me on July 30 when this retro-styled FPS Metroidvania releases on Steam and itch.io. From the same developer who created Shrine / Shrine II and Lycanthorn / Lycanthorn II – Rain of Beasts comes another GZDoom powered experience.

        The developer announced on Twitter the July 30 release date for Vomitoreum and replied to confirm the same date for Linux builds to arrive too.

        “Vomitoreum has a world inspired by the painting of Zdzisław Beksiński; intense combat; challenging but fair gameplay; and a world waiting to be explored! Rise from the grave factory and see what Vomitoreum has lying in wait for you!”

      • co-open is a wholesome game about shopping by yourself for the first time | GamingOnLinux

        Remember the first time you were allowed to be in a shop by yourself? For some it was seriously exciting, others perhaps a little terrifying and that’s what co-open is all about. Created as a Humble Original, a game that Humble Bundle paid for to be included as a special game in their monthly Humble Choice (the February 2021 edition), it’s now released proper up on itch.io.

      • Melvor Idle is probably one of the best idle games around | GamingOnLinux

        Ever played an idle / clicker game? They’ve been popular in the past, especially in the earlier days of web gaming and Melvor Idle is probably one of the best.

        [...]

        The game allows a certain amount of offline progression too. Non-combat skills can be left on while you’re away for quite a few hours, so you’ve always got something interesting to come back to which makes it that little bit sweeter. Melvor Idle makes it easy to become a little obsessed with it and so it’s quite dangerous with your time.

      • New ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Game Has Game Streamers Worried Over Integral Music In The Game

        With streaming games and “let’s plays” becoming a dominant force of influence in the gaming world, one of the sillier trends we’ve seen is video games coming out with “stream safe” settings that strip out audio content for which there is no broadcast license. We’ve talked already about how this sort of thing is not a solution to the actual problem — the complicated licenses surrounding copyrighted works and the permission culture that birthed them — but is rather a ploy to simply ignore that problem entirely. That hasn’t stopped this from becoming a more regular thing in the gaming world, even as we’ve seen examples of “stream safe” settings fail to keep streams from getting DMCA notices.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Ole Aamot: GNOME Internet Radio Locator version 11.10 with GeoClue Location View support

          The latest release of GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11.10 finally features GeoClue Location View, since most people don’t live in Boston (wait a few seconds before your computer location is displayed on the map via GeoClue and click Zoom In/Zoom Out and drag on the map to see and listen to radio stations in the location map view. Click on the map marker labels to listen at your location or search with location text (for example “Cambridge, United Kingdom”) in the blank text input box to switch between the radio stations.

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11 for GNOME 40 is a Free Software program that allows you to easily locate Free Internet Radio stations by broadcasters on the Internet with the help of map and text search.

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11 for GNOME 40 is developed on the GNOME 40 desktop platform with GNOME Maps, GeoClue, libchamplain and geocode-lib and it requires at least GTK+ 3.0 and GStreamer 1.0 for audio playback.

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11 for GNOME 40 is available with map marker popups for Internet radio stations in 110 world cities as well as text-based location search for 187 Internet Radio stations in 102 world cities.

        • Dash to Panel Extension is Now Available for GNOME 40

          The popular GNOME 40 extension – Dash to Panel is ported for GNOME 40. And you can now install it and experience the new look of your desktop.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2

          Today we are looking at Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2 It uses Linux Kernel 5.8, based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and uses about 600MB of ram when idling. It is fast and stunning, but just lacks a lot of applications, I am sure it will be back in the stable release. Enjoy!

        • Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Migration Toolkit for Virtualization Makes Cloud-Native Migration an Achievable Reality

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat’s migration toolkit for virtualization to help organizations accelerate open hybrid cloud strategies by making it easier to migrate existing workloads to modern infrastructure in a streamlined, wholesale manner. By bringing mission-critical applications based on virtual machines (VMs) to Red Hat OpenShift, IT organizations can experience a smoother, more scalable modernization experience while mitigating potential risks and downtime.

        • Red Hat to teach Kubernetes by Example

          In an effort to bring Kubernetes to more users, Red Hat is providing free online Kubernetes-focused tutorials. The company announced improvements to its Kubernetes by Example site at its Red Hat Summit today. In addition to tutorials, the company will provide news, community interaction and a hands-on approach to learning.

          “Safe to say, Kubernetes plays a critical role in delivering value to your customers today and enabling you to adapt tomorrow. Keeping your skills sharp and staying up-to-date on developments around this fast-moving technology are paramount,” Mithun Dhar, vice president and general manager of Developer Tools and Programs at Red Hat, wrote in a post.

        • Open Source Stories – Lowering barriers in higher education

          The high cost of higher education is no secret. What many outside the industry don’t see is the role expensive textbooks and course materials play in driving that cost up. Our latest film introduces you to the scholars and students who are bringing affordable, open alternatives to campus.

        • Command Line Heroes season 7, episode 7

          1995 laid the groundwork for a truly global World Wide Web, but not every country took the same path to connecting to the internet. Some resisted, wanting to create their own version. Others had to fight for access, not wanting to be left behind. And while we made huge strides in connecting the world in those early years, we still have a long way to go.

        • Elana Hashman: I’m hosting a Bug Scrub for Kubernetes SIG Node [Ed: IBM employees choose only proprietary software for discussions ("Slack and Zoom") while running petitions to "REMOVE STALLMAN" from the FSF, which he founded]

          It’s been a long while since I last hosted a BSP, but ’tis the season.

          Kubernetes SIG Node will be holding a bug scrub on June 24-25, and this is a great opportunity for you to get involved if you’re interested in contributing to Kubernetes or SIG Node!

          We will be hosting a global event with region captains for all timezones. I am one of the NASA captains (~17:00-01:00 UTC) and I’ll be leading the kickoff. We will be working on Slack and Zoom. I hope you’ll be able to drop in!

        • Red Hat Coffee Hour [Ed: IBM opposes RMS but loves Apple]

          The Red Hat® Coffee Hour series is a bi-weekly videocast featuring luminaries from technology, society and the world of STEM. Topics for discussion will include governmental and societal impacts of technology, open source in Sci/Tech/Med., as well as the role of technology and work/life balance.

          Every startup has a story – often a technologist and a marketing genius in a garage, trying to make a mark on the world. The Apple Computer story is on a whole other level. In the early 70’s, Steve “The Woz” Wozniak and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs were spending time hanging out in a garage in Silicon Valley, about to embark on a journey that continues to change the way the world consumes technology. Adam Clater, Chief Architect at Red Hat and The Woz will discuss the early days of technology and home brew computing – how sharing designs and learning within those communities as well as his work with HP and Atari lead to the formation of what has become the most valuable company in the world – Apple Computer.

        • Fedora Stakeholders Back To Discussing Raising x86_64 Requirements Or Using Glibc HWCAPS – Phoronix

          While Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 is dropping support for older x86_64 CPUs by raising the baseline requirement to “x86_64-v2″ that roughly correlates to Intel Nehalem era processors and newer, so far Fedora has not changed its default. There was a proposal shot down last year for raising the x86_64 microarchitecture feature level while now that discussion has been restarted or alternatively making use of Glibc’s HWCAPS facility for allowing run-time detection and loading of optimized libraries.

          The discussion over whether Fedora should raise its x86_64 microarchitecture feature level requirement or make use of Glibc HWCAPS has been restarted on their mailing list. The talk stems from SUSE Linux Enterprise / openSUSE Leap pursuing x86_64-v2 optimized libraries by way of Glibc-HWCAPS for their next point release / service pack.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Regolith Linux 1.6 Released with Versions Based on Ubuntu 21.04 and 20.04 LTS

          Regolith Linux 1.6 is available in two versions: one based on based on Ubuntu 21.04 (which means it has a new Linux kernel, a tonne of bug and security fixes, plus access to a fresher set of software through the stock Ubuntu repos), and one based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          If you’re not familiar with Regolith I can bring you up to speed quickly: take a solid Ubuntu foundation and lay a powerful, bespoke keyboard-centric UI (i3-gaps) on top. The end result: a quirky Ubuntu based distro like no other.

          A couple of new “Looks” are available to users of Regolith Linux 1.6: a ‘solarized light’ theme; and a dark midnight theme. Regolith Looks are composed of a GTK theme, icon set, wallpaper, and even layout tweaks. Looks are installed through the command line as packages and enabled/changing using (what else) a keyboard shortcut — the alt + super + l shortcut to be specific.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) Will Reach End Of Life on July 22nd, 2021

          Released eight months ago on October 22nd, 2021, Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) was the first release of the popular Linux distribution to offer Raspberry Pi 4 desktop images, transforming the tiny single-board computer into a powerful workstation for all your daily computing needs. Check out my review of Ubuntu 20.10 on Raspberry Pi 4 to see it in action.

          Ubuntu 20.10 shipped with the Linux 5.8 kernel series, nftables as default firewall backend instead of iptables, support for Active Directory (AD) logins, support for Ubuntu Certified devices, the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment, and much more.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) reaches End Of Life on July 22 2021

          Ubuntu announced its 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release almost 9 months ago, on October 22, 2020, and its support period is now nearing its end. Ubuntu 20.10 will reach end of life on July 22, 2021.

          At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 20.10.

          The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 20.10 is via Ubuntu 21.04. Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at:

          https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HirsuteUpgrades

          Ubuntu 21.04 continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes. Announcements of security updates for Ubuntu releases are sent to the ubuntu-security-announce mailing list, information about which may be found at:

          https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-security-announce

          Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users in homes, schools, businesses and governments around the world. Ubuntu is Open Source software, costs nothing to download, and users are free to customise or alter their software in order to meet their needs.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) reaches End of Life on July 22 2021
        • Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Xfce – BETA Release

          This is the BETA release for Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Xfce Edition.

          Linux Mint 20.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

        • Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” MATE – BETA Release

          This is the BETA release for Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” MATE Edition.

          Linux Mint 20.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

        • Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Cinnamon – BETA Release

          This is the BETA release for Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Cinnamon Edition.

          Linux Mint 20.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Videomass – cross-platform GUI for FFmpeg and youtube-dl

        A common complaint about YouTube is that to watch the material you need to use a web browser. Fortunately, some creative developers have developed applications that allow you to bypass the web-only barrier of YouTube.

        Videomass is a cross-platform GUI designed for FFmpeg enthusiasts who need to manage custom profiles to automate conversion/transcoding processes. The software lets you create, edit and use FFmpeg presets and profiles with full format support. The program also offers an array of tools for audio and video conversion. And it offers a frontend to download video and audio from YouTube and other sites.

      • 5 more reasons to run Kubernetes in your Linux homelab

        In 5 reasons to run Kubernetes on your Raspberry Pi homelab, I explain why you might want to use Kubernetes at home. Those reasons are relatively arbitrary, and they mostly focus on outcomes. Aside from what Kubernetes can do, there are several other good reasons to look at Kubernetes as an important next step in your personal computing experience.

        Kubernetes might seem out of reach at first. It’s new, a little scary, and worst yet, it apparently requires a cloud. However, there are a few ways to get started.

        First, install either Minikube or Minishift. Both of these allow you to run a local instance of Kubernetes on your personal computer. It’s not quite as satisfying as building a cluster and opening it up to your friends, but it’s a great, safe way to get familiar with the landscape, commands, and toolkit.

      • DevSecOps: An open source story

        Recent supply chain breaches, plus President Biden’s new Cybersecurity executive order, are bringing renewed attention to DevSecOps’ value for the enterprise. DevSecOps brings culture changes, frameworks, and tools into open source software (OSS). To understand DevSecOps, you must understand its relationship with OSS.

        In its purest form, DevOps (which is an amalgamation of development and operations) is a methodology for breaking down the traditional silos between programmers and system administrators during the software delivery lifecycle. Corporations and government agencies adopt DevOps for various reasons, including improving software delivery velocity to serve customers better.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Beta1 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.2 Beta1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.2 will be released as final in mid August, 2021 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.2 Beta1 the second pre-release since the development of version 7.2 started at the end of November, 2020. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.2 Alpha1, 1163 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 221 issues got fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 7.2 Beta1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and it can be installed alongside the standard version.

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Beta Arrives With Initial Command Pop-Up HUD, Better Performance

          Following last month’s LibreOffice 7.2 Alpha, the first beta for this open-source office suite update is now available for testing.

          LibreOffice 7.2 has been working on introducing a command pop-up / heads-up display, initial GTK4 toolkit support, the ability to compile to WebAssembly, font caching for faster rendering, Calc spreadsheet performance improvements, the usual assortment of import/filter export work, and dropping its OpenGL-based drawing code in favor of routing all the code through Skia.

        • Caolán McNamara: GTK4 Port: DoubleDecker Notebooks

          Double-decker mode, for notebooks with excessive numbers of tabs, works again in the GTK4 Port.

      • Programming/Development

        • Automated Website Testing with Selenium

          Today’s blog article is a more unusual one. If you know me in person you would not connect me to web development, but yet here we are. So, how do I got here? One student at my university has asked me if I could help and have a look on their code. He was working on unit tests with Selenium on a very beginner friendly level. This is how I got more interested in this topic.

        • Bag of Freebies for XR Hand Tracking: Machine Learning & OpenXR

          In our previous post, we presented a project backed by INVEST-AI which introduces a multi-stage neural network-based solution that accurately locates and tracks the hands despite complex background noise and occlusion between hands. Now let’s dive into the machine learning details of our innovative, open source hand-tracking pipeline.

          Hand pose estimation using a video stream lays the foundation for efficient human-computer interaction on a head-mounted Augmented Reality (AR) device. See for example the Valve Index, Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap One. There has been significant progress recently in this field due to advances in deep learning algorithms and the proliferation of inexpensive consumer-grade cameras.

          Despite these advances, it remains a challenge to obtain precise and robust hand pose estimation due to complex pose variations, significant variability in global orientation, self-similarity between fingers, and severe self-occlusion. The time required to estimate the hand pose is another big challenge for XR applications, since real-time responses are needed for reliable applications.

          Taking into account the above motivation and challenges, we have implemented a lightweight and top-down pose estimation technique that is suitable for the performance-constrained XR sector. As a result, our methods can be integrated into frameworks such as Monado XR, a free, open-source XR platform that offers fundamental building blocks for different XR devices and platforms.

        • Get Started with Android application development using Linux and Android SDK

          Developers interested in the Android mobile operating system are able to use the Android SDK and various IDE software to code applications. These apps can then be made available and marketed to Android users around the world.

          There are a lot of choices when it comes to programming Android applications. Your coding environment can involve a Linux system and a variety of different IDE programs to facilitate all of the software development. The trouble here is that each Linux distribution will often have a different set of requirements to run the sofware, and a separate list of steps that need to be followed.

          In this guide, we’ll go through the step by step instructions to install Android Studio – which is one of the most popular Android IDEs – on a Linux system. This will work on any distribution because we’ll be using Snap package manager to manage the installation. Love it or hate it, the Snap package manager gets your system ready for Android development very quickly, by handling all the dependencies and working identically on any distribution you’re running, whether it be Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, CentOS, AlmaLinux, openSUSE, or any other type of Linux system.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Did you know that …

            Raku is full of surprises. Sometimes I read something what that me like “oh, really?”. Sometimes I realize than a fact evident for me is not so obvious for others.
            Here is one of the kind.

        • Rust

          • Programming languages: Rust in the Linux kernel just got a big boost from Google | ZDNet

            The recently announced proposal to make the Rust programming language one of two main languages for the Linux kernel is getting a major boost thanks to Google and the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), the group behind the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority.

            The main goal of the push to bring Rust to Linux is to wipe out an entire class of memory-related security bugs in the kernel, which is a key part of the internet’s infrastructure, running on everything from servers to edge devices and smartphones.

          • Announcing Rust 1.53.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.53.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

  • Leftovers

    • Maya Resilience
    • Take Pride in Desire

      The award-winning documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen looks at history through the lens of how movies and television have represented trans lives.

      News to me was just how early trans characters featured on screen. A year before the infamous Birth of a Nation, for example, D.W. Griffiths made Judith of Bethulia, whose cast included a shady/comic “eunuch” wearing dresses and black face.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Promise and Hubris of Silicon Valley’s Vision of How We Eat

        Silicon Valley has changed the way we eat. Delivery apps like Postmates and DoorDash, now a central part of our culinary culture, originated in the Bay Area. But the Valley isn’t done changing our habits yet, and the new wave of change has a more radical ambition. In her debut book, Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Mission to Change What We Eat, journalist Larissa Zimberoff considers the many answers to a single question: What do we gain—and what do we lose—by embracing a future of lab-made food?1

      • Only Aggressive Environmental Measures Can Prevent Another Imminent Water Crisis in Brazil

        This year, Brazil recorded its lowest rainfall in the past 91 years, which has left most the country’s water reservoirs depleted. In fact, its largest reservoir subsystem, located in the Midwest and Southeast regions, is only 33% full compared to an average water volume of about 64% at this time of the year. To make matters worse, this subsystem is also responsible for 70% of the electric power generation capability for the area.

        In light of this situation specialists now predict an impeding collapse of the Brazilian power grid. Without full reservoirs the hydroelectric plants will not be able to produce energy. Additionally, millions of Brazilians living in highly dense urban settings in the Southeast may lose access to water as well. In part because water consumption in those areas is 70% higher than for those living in similar urban settings in the North.

      • #OurMothersToo: Reckoning With My Abuela’s Coerced Sterilization

        For as far back as my memory reaches, my grandmother, Obdulia Perez, had paper-thin skin with satiny wrinkles etched deep. She enjoyed bingo, cooking for her family and neighbors, writing poems in longhand, and reading the Bible. Despite a formal education that ended in second grade, she encouraged many of her progeny—myself included—to pursue education.

      • Covid-19 Stopped Progress on the Drug Epidemic in Its Tracks

        Last March, when the coronavirus pandemic was still in its infancy in the United States, the opioid epidemic was already mature and ravaging the country. Even prior to the pandemic, addiction treatment and harm reduction services were difficult to access for many people attempting to stave off overdose or blood-borne infections like HIV. With stay-at-home orders looming, it became clear that thousands of people struggling with addiction were going to be cut off from vital services and lifesaving medications.

      • Progressive International Convenes Global Summit to Achieve Vaccines for All

        To challenge Covid-19 “vaccine apartheid” and an “artificially delayed” end of the global pandemic, Progressive International is convening a global summit this week to help make doses available to everyone on the planet.

        “We have the capacity to vaccinate the world,” Progressive International asserts in promotional materials for the Summit for Vaccine Internationalism, which kicks off Friday. “But a coalition of pharmaceutical corporations, billionaire philanthropists, and Global North governments stands in the way.”

      • The G7′s Subservience to Big Pharma in Face of a Deadly Global Pandemic Is Shameful

        Last week, the presidents and prime ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) – featuring the UK’s Boris Johnson and Canada’s Justin Trudeau – gathered in Cornwall with a mandate to develop a plan for ending the Covid-19 pandemic that has cost at least 4 million lives and counting.

      • To Pave the Way for Medicare for All, We Need to Overcome “Citizens United”
      • After SCOTUS Upholds ACA, Progressives Set Sights on Medicare for All

        As Americans who have accessed health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after a 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld the law for a third time, progressive politicians and campaigners set their sights on a more ambitious goal: Medicare for All.

        “We must join other major countries in guaranteeing healthcare for all and pass Medicare for All.”—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Gardeners, Take Heed: It’s a ‘Tick-y Year’

        That means there is no substitute for vigilance, especially in “a tick-y year,” as Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in Millbrook, N.Y., described 2021. And especially now, as populations of nymphal blacklegged ticks — Ixodes scapularis, often referred to as deer ticks — are peaking in the Northeast.

        It’s an occupational hazard: While conducting fieldwork, tick researchers like Dr. Ostfeld cannot avail themselves of repellents or treated clothing — two powerful prevention tactics, along with diligent tick checks, of clothing, skin and scalp. But they urge us to use all three strategies, as they do in their own gardens.

      • Drug money

        Drug money In 2011, the Russian government launched a multibillion-dollar gambit to strengthen the country’s pharmaceutical industry. Ten years later, it’s led to a wave of arrests — and not much else.

        In mid-March, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court arrested International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Alexey Vlasenko based on testimony from two previously detained businessmen. Two months later, the same court arrested Russian Industry and Trade Ministry deputy head Olga Pokidisheva and former head Olga Kolotilova on suspicion of fraud. The common thread between these people is Pharma 2020, a federal targeted program designed to import new medical technology into Russia that has brought just four medications to market, so far. Meduza special correspondents Svetlana Reiter and Ivan Golunov explain what happened when the Russian government decided to play venture capitalist.

      • Device Makers Have Funneled Billions to Orthopedic Surgeons Who Use Their Products
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • For hacked companies, paying a ransom may not work: Many say they paid but were attacked again
        • Microsoft no longer offers Windows 7 drivers via Windows Update
        • 50,000 security disasters waiting to happen: The problem of America’s water supplies

          The [cracker] had the username and password for a former employee’s TeamViewer account, a popular program that lets users remotely control their computers, according to a private report compiled by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center in February and seen by NBC News.

          After logging in, the [cracker], whose name and motive are unknown and who hasn’t been identified by law enforcement, deleted programs that the water plant used to treat drinking water.

        • Police Bust Major Ransomware Gang Cl0p [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In the last few months Cl0p hit dozens of victims, encrypting their files and demanding a ransom. More recently, the hackers were trying to extort their victims by threatening to leak their files publicly on their dark web site, which displays 57 companies as of Wednesday.

          These victims include: oil giant Shell, security company Qualys, U.S. bank Flagstar, the controversial global law firm Jones Day, Stanford University, and University of California, among several others. The hackers were able to hack some of these victims by taking advantage of a flaw in Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA), a file-sharing service used by around 300 companies all over the world, according to Accellion.

        • Proofpoint identifies malware targeting government institutions

          Cybersecurity company Proofpoint has identified a malware called LastConn which has targeted government institutions in the Middle East and global government organisations associated with geopolitics in the region.

        • Christian Eriksen to get an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator unit

          According to a new Facebook update by the Danish national team, Christian Eriksen will be getting an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) following his cardiac arrest against Finland on Saturday.

          National team doctor Morten Boesen confirmed the decision following talks with the cardiac specialist at city hospital Rigshospitalet, where Eriksen is still undergoing tests.

        • To stop the ransomware pandemic, start with the basics [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Trillions of dollars are at stake. Most people have a vague sense of narrowly avoided fiascos: from the Sony Pictures attack that roiled Hollywood in 2014, to Equifax in 2017, when the details of 147m people were stolen. The big hacks are a familiar but confusing blur: remember SoBig, or SolarWinds, or WannaCry?

          A forthcoming study from London Business School (LBS) captures the trends by examining comments made to investors by 12,000 listed firms in 85 countries over two decades. Cyber-risk has more than quadrupled since 2002 and tripled since 2013. The pattern of activity has become more global and has affected a broader range of industries. Workers logging in from home during the pandemic have almost certainly added to the risks. The number of affected firms is at a record high.

        • Security

          • OpenSSL 3.0 Release Candidate

            The OpenSSL Management Committee (OMC) and the OpenSSL Technical Committee (OTC) are glad to announce our first beta release of OpenSSL 3.0. We consider this to be a release candidate and as such encourage all OpenSSL users to build and test against this beta release and provide feedback.

            A lot of work has been going on over the last few months getting OpenSSL 3.0 ready for its final release. In fact the whole OpenSSL 3.0 development effort has been huge with many different contributions from our user base. Since we started this effort we have seen over 7000 commits to the 3.0 development branch from over 300 different authors. Thanks to everyone who has played a part in getting us to this point.

            We are now nearing the finishing line and we are excited about the many new features and changes that OpenSSL 3.0 will bring.

          • OpenSSL 3.0 Release Candidate Arrives With Big Changes

            The OpenSSL project today shipped their OpenSSL 3.0 Beta, which is their equivalent to a release candidate ahead of the planned official 3.0.0 release next quarter.

            OpenSSL 3.0 has been in the works for a while as a major redesign to this widely-used critical open-source security component and is now more extensible and provides a number of new features over the current stable 1.1 series. Also another fundamental change is OpenSSL 3.0 is now licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Canadian Privacy Commissioner Says RCMP Broke The Law By Doing Business With Clearview

              Since its unceremonious exposure by the New York Times, internet-scraping facial recognition tech company Clearview has been the subject of nothing but negative press, lawsuits, and law enforcement denials of its self-proclaimed crime fighting abilities. Apparently to the surprise of Clearview, few people were receptive to the idea of having their personal info scraped from the web by the company and served up to law enforcement officers, private companies security personnel, and any billionaire wondering about what to throw their money at.

            • DHS still evades review of no-fly orders

              Two recent court cases, and follow-up articles and interviews with the plaintiffs and their lawyers, show how the highest priority for the U.S. government with respect to no-fly orders continues to be preventing judicial review of these government decisions, not preventing terrorism.

              When an airline requests permission to allow an individual to board a flight, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declines to give permission, that “Boarding Pass Printing Result” (BPPR) message is communicated only to the airline,  not the would-be traveler. Even the airline is not told the basis, if any, for the negative BPPR message. (The default is “No”, in the absence of affirmative, individualized government permission-to-board.)

              Again and again and again, when people have challenged these no-fly orders in U.S. courts, the government has chosen not to disclose or defend the basis for its decisions that these people constitute a threat to aviation sufficient to justify restricting their right to travel.

            • President discusses biometric data act with EKRE leader

              The president wrote on her social media account Wednesday evening that: “Yesterday, after lengthy disputes, the Riigikogu passed the personal database systems establishment act. This evening, I met with Martin Helme, EKRE chair, to discuss the main concerns of the party that opposed the law, in relation to the unpublished act, the most.”

              The law, which passed Tuesday, has met criticism for its consolidating of personal data, including biometric data, into a single database.

            • Confidentiality

              • Emails from 2016 Show Amazon Ring’s Hold on the LAPD Through Camera Giveaways

                Ring offered nearly $3,000 worth of camera equipment to the LAPD in 2016, to aid in an investigation.

                A few months later, in July 2016, Ring was working with an LAPD officer to distribute a discount code that would allow officers to purchase Ring cameras for $50 off. As a growing number of people used his discount code, Ring offered the officer more and more free equipment.

                Officers were offered rewards based on how many people had used their personal coupon codes to order products.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden and Putin Agree to Begin Work on Arms Control & Cybersecurity in Effort to Avoid New Cold War

        U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva Wednesday for a three-hour summit and agreed to set up working groups to deal with nuclear arms control, as well as cyberattacks. The sides also agreed to send ambassadors back to their posts, restoring “normal diplomatic relations of a kind which exist between most countries on the face of the Earth,” says Anatol Lieven, senior fellow for Russia and Europe at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. “A more cooperative atmosphere has been established so that the U.S.A. and Russia can work together.” He also discusses ongoing tensions over NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe, American hypocrisy about its actions in other countries and how China’s rise impacts the U.S.-Russian relationship.

      • It’s 2021. Why Are Only Men Required to Register for the Draft?

        When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, President Jimmy Carter took steps to prepare the nation for armed conflict. He reinstated the requirement, then lapsed, that young men register for the draft—and called on Congress to update the law to allow everyone to register, regardless of gender. Congress didn’t heed the call, and last week the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up the issue either.

      • Tucker Carlson, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz Suggest FBI Attacked Capitol
      • To Address Gender-Based Violence, First Defund the Prosecutors
      • Accusations of ‘Human Shields’ Have Become an Excuse for War Crimes

        From photos of dead Palestinian children on the front page of The New York Times to gripping accounts of people digging through the wreckage of high-rise apartment complexes and office buildings, evidence of last month’s horrific death toll from Israel’s eleven-day bombing campaign was hard to deny.

      • House Passes Historic Bill Ending Military Authorization in Iraq
      • ‘Long Overdue’: House Passes Barbara Lee’s 2002 AUMF Repeal

        Progressive Democrats issued fresh calls to end “forever wars” after the House on Thursday passed legislation to repeal the 2002 war authorization for Iraq.

        Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) H.R. 256 easily passed in a 268-161 vote. Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia was the sole Democrat to vote against the bill. 

      • Sanders Speaks Out Against ‘Dangerous’ Chorus Pushing for New Cold War With China

        Following President Joe Biden’s attempt to use the 47th G7 summit last week as a tool for building an anti-China consensus, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday published an article in Foreign Affairs imploring U.S. leaders: “Don’t start another Cold War.”

        “A fast-growing consensus is emerging in Washington that views the U.S.-Chinese relationship as a zero-sum economic and military struggle.”—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • History at 30,000 Feet: Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Bomber Mafia”

        Gladwell’s argument is as simple as it is frustrating. He posits that during the war the US bomber command faced a choice between precision bombing and mass terror bombing. To dramatize this conflict, he narrows his gaze exclusively to General Haywood Hansell and his peers (the so-called “Bomber Mafia”), who advocated for precision, and Curtis Le May, who supported mass bombing. LeMay replaced Hansell and oversaw a firebombing campaign that incinerated vast areas of urban Japan in order to break the morale of the Japanese and force them to surrender. Even the “hard choice” to purposefully kill civilians was supposedly for the best, as it shortened the war and “brought everyone—Americans and Japanese—back to peace and prosperity as quickly as possible.” Gladwell’s book is a history written from 30,000 feet, and miles away from the violence. He is fascinated by US airmen and their quest to improve the technology of bombing in order to win the war through unconventional thinking and determination. What happened to the victims of the “longest night of World War II,” is of little concern for Gladwell.

        Gladwell’s book is a myth that American have told themselves about a complex and deeply problematic history. Even long time soldiers often questioned the value of wartime tactics or war itself. As Lieutenant General Sasaki Tōichi, who commanded a regiment in Nanjing during the massacre, wrote in his diary, “What are we fighting for? What’s the point? Can anyone ever really win a war?” Myth-makers rarely engage in serious interrogation of the assumptions behind convenient stories. Gladwell’s book recycles an argument as old as air power itself, stating that, by killing vulnerable people, we can end a conflict quickly. In effect, however, we are not saving lives overall, but our own lives. In any case, by listening to the targets of the Allied air war, we can see that this assertion is not straightforward and, in the end, may be immoral. But ignoring the civilian impacts is not a problem unique to Gladwell’s book, as it affects the historians we all read on the history of WWII.

      • Battle of the Psyche: IDF Personnel Suicides

        Saidyan had physical injuries and PTSD from frontline combat in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (sic) in Gaza in 2014. Seven of his colleague had died within several hours of fighting. He had since been engaging in trench warfare against the relevant authorities for four years over appropriate acknowledgement, assistance and compensation. His pleas were met with bureaucratic impenetrability involving brutal denial, humiliation and indifference.

        Following Saidyan’s hospitalization, a JPost editorial disclosed: “An emergency hotline received a 300% increase in calls” in several days. Efrat Shaprut, director of Natal (Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center), noted: “Regrettably, we have seen a sharp rise in applications from released soldiers who are dealing with post-trauma due to their military service. Most of the contact comes from veterans of Operation Protective Edge”.

      • Few Cops We Found Using Force on George Floyd Protesters Are Known to Have Faced Discipline

        Last summer, ProPublica compiled 68 videos that appeared to show police officers using disproportionate force against protesters during the nationwide events following George Floyd’s death in police custody.

        We had culled the videos from hundreds circulating on social media in the wake of the protests and highlighted the cases that seemed to clearly show officers using disproportionate force. We then reached out to dozens of law enforcement agencies whose officers are in the videos and asked some straightforward questions: Have the officers’ police departments investigated the incidents? And what consequences, if any, have the officers in the videos faced?

    • Environment

      • NASA, NOAA New Satellite Datasets Show Earth’s Doubled Heat Is Like Dropping Four Hiroshima Atomic Bombs Every Second!

        This is currently alarming since the involved researchers in the new study claimed that Earth is now twice hotter compared to the previous years. They confirmed that the rising temperature started in 2005.

        NASA added that during the past 15 years, the planet’s incoming solar radiation trapped on the surface and in the oceans has doubled.

        The findings of NOAA and NASA were published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal on June 15. To give you more idea, here’s how NASA and NOAA discovered the rising temperature issue.

      • UK’s ‘really shocking’ climate record is damned

        Britain, host of November’s UN talks, COP-26, is pilloried by its own advisers for the UK’s “really shocking” climate record.

      • Energy

        • Indigenous Women Invite Deb Haaland to See Devastation of Line 3 for Herself

          A group of Indigenous women opposed to the Line 3 pipeline on Thursday invited Interior Secretary Deb Haaland—the first Native American woman to hold her Cabinet position and a professed critic of fossil fuel infrastructure on public and tribal lands—to visit northern Minnesota and “learn more about the impacts” of the tar sands project first-hand.

          “We would be honored to host you in our territories and share further about our treaty rights, the violation of free, prior, and informed consent now occurring, the importance of wild rice to our communities, and the impacts of Line 3.”—Letter to Interior Secretary Haaland

        • Insurance Giants Under Fire from First Nations for Backing Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline

          Indigenous peoples in Canada and a coalition of environmental groups launched a “Global Week of Action” for June 14-21, aimed at pressuring an array of insurance companies to cut ties with a long-distance tar sands pipeline under construction in Canada.

          On Wednesday, the Braided Warriors, an Indigenous youth group in British Columbia, held a rally in front of Chubb Insurance Canada in Vancouver, B.C. On Friday, activists in London are set to protest outside Lloyd’s of London — one of the world’s largest insurers of fossil fuels. Other acts of solidarity are planned as far away as the Pacific Islands and Sierra Leone.

        • Progressive Warnings Grow as Big Oil-Backed Republicans Endorse Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

          Support for a bipartisan infrastructure framework that calls for just $579 billion in new spending grew on Wednesday as a group of 20 Democratic and Republican senators endorsed the yet-to-be-finalized proposal, leading progressives to reiterate that any package without adequate climate action is doomed to fail in the House and Senate.

          “It’s time to go big, bold, and fast. No more negotiations that go nowhere.”—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Coelacanths live for as long as people

          This find, called Latimeria chalumnae in Courtenay-Latimer’s honour, showed coelacanths are still very much alive. It was hailed as the most important zoological discovery of the century. Now, work just published in Current Biology by Kélig Mahé of the Fisheries Laboratory, in Boulogne, France, suggests that besides having lasted collectively for more than 400m years, coelacanths also hang around for a long time as individuals. Dr Mahé’s study indicates they have similar lifespans to human beings, putting them among the world’s longest-lived vertebrates.

          The excitement at Latimeria’s discovery was not just because of the curiosity of its survival. It was also that coelacanths belong to a group which have lobe-shaped fins of a sort thought to have been precursors to the limbs of terrestrial tetrapods. Many experts have therefore sought to study Latimeria more closely. That is, however, hard. Latimeria is reclusive, nocturnal, lives in depths below 100 metres, and is known only from the south-western Indian Ocean and from a second, smaller population, L. menadoensis, near Manado Tua, an island in Indonesia.

      • Overpopulation

        • Species Spotlight: The Buffy-Headed Marmoset Is Menaced on Multiple Fronts
        • The shocking numbers behind the Lake Mead drought crisis

          “Even without climate change, we would have a problem because we’re taking more water out than the river could provide,” John Fleck, director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, told CNN. “But climate change has made the problem much worse by substantially reducing the flow in the river.”

          [...]

          Experts say it may never be full again. Lake Mead is now at 36 percent capacity — a number that will continue to fall as the reservoir’s rapid decline continues to outpace projections from just a few months earlier. Water levels are projected to drop another 20 feet by 2022.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Did Trump Just Concede? Former President Says “We Didn’t Win” on Fox News
      • House Transportation Committee Looking To Restart Federal Funding Of Red Light Cameras

        Federal funds — banned since 2015 from being used by states to purchase red light/speed cameras — are possibly headed back to buying tech that hasn’t done anything to make driving safer.

      • Heated NYC Mayoral Primary Race Enters Final Days; City Uses Ranked-Choice Voting for First Time

        Early voting is underway in a historic New York City Democratic primary election for mayor, 35 City Council seats and several other key races. For the first time in almost a century, New Yorkers will use ranked-choice voting, which allows them to choose up to five candidates in order of preference in each race. In the mayor’s race, Brooklyn borough president and former New York police officer Eric Adams has led recent polls, while businessman Andrew Yang seems to be falling behind. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have already cast their votes ahead of the June 22 Democratic primary, with the general election set for November 2. Journalist Ross Barkan says despite New York City’s reputation as a progressive stronghold, the Democratic primary for mayor reflects “an incredible amount of diversity” within the Democratic coalition. “You have a real competition of ideas,” he says.

      • The Democrats Are Failing Dreamers, Failing Immigrants

        Just over 640,000 Americans currently enjoy protection under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. These people, colloquially known as “Dreamers,” were brought to this country while they were still very young and were never able to get a documented immigration status. The DACA program allows them to stay—to go to college, work, apply for services, and start a family—without living under constant fear of deportation.

      • Young People Are Running for Office. Where Is Their Support?

        When AJ Harris, 31, ran for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives last year, he thought he was doing everything right. He had spent years forming connections with community members and building name recognition in his district, and he had policies he cared about, with a story to back them up. But he was unprepared for what came next.

      • What Happens When Politicians Break Their Oath of Office?
      • Publicity and Exploitation: Fortress Australia and the Family from Biloela

        As with any system of harm and torture, the justifiers cite a hard form of kindness to prolong the depravity of their conduct.  The drivel of humanitarian falseness abounds: We need to prevent people from drowning.  We hate seeing children perish.  So, lock them up.  We do not want to see parents separated from their children.  So, separate them.  No Australian politician can ever be in a position to criticise any other country on this point, largely because they inspired the rash of demagogic policies that typify a shift away from the principles of the UN Refugee Convention.  (The Danish parliament recently approved legislation that will enable the bribing of third countries to prevent refugees and asylum seekers seeking settlement in Denmark.)

        The ways Australian governments of either conservative or Labor persuasion have pecked away and subserved international refugee guarantees are impressively thuggish.  Legally excising the mainland to make sure that boat arrivals could never be settled as refugees under the Migration Act was particularly devilish.  Then came the system of Pacific island concentration camps to ensure that applications for asylum could be kept in cold storage while deals with third countries could be brokered.

      • Do Americans Want to Be Lied To? Both Major Parties Seem to Think So

        Two recent controversies have revealed an unsettling reality about American education: the ruling members of both the nation’s major political parties do not want an informed citizenry. With the right wing riled up about critical race theory in schools and both sides of the political aisle in an uproar over Ilhan Omar’s comments on the United States and the International Criminal Court, it’s difficult to come to any conclusion other than American politicians do not believe Americans should hear difficult truths about their own country.

      • McConnell Makes Clear ‘All Republicans Will Oppose’ Manchin Voting Rights Compromise

        Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell unequivocally declared Thursday that Republicans will support neither the original For the People Act nor a watered-down version offered by Sen. Joe Manchin, who has continued to insist that bipartisan compromise on voting rights is achievable despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

        “Republicans aren’t interested in passing laws that protect our right to vote, because they’re the ones actively attacking that right in 43+ states.”—Progress Arizona

      • If Dennis Kucinich Becomes the Mayor of Cleveland, It’ll Be a Shock to the System. Again.

        Cleveland has been spiraling downward. It’s one of the poorest cities in the country, beset by worsening violent crime, poverty and decaying infrastructure. Now, 42 years after the end of his first term as mayor, Dennis Kucinich is ready for his second.

      • Nina Turner Kicks Off “$27 Donation Challenge” After Clinton Endorses Opponent
      • What Republicans Mean When They Say ‘Stacey Abrams’

        How many times will West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin have to touch the stove before he learns it’s hot? Maybe Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell taught him that lesson on Thursday.

      • Pushing Consumers to Amazon Is Baked In to NYT’s Business Model

        The New York Times (6/15/21) recently published a lengthy investigative report about working conditions at Amazon‘s Staten Island, New York, warehouse. Among the major takeaways:

      • Led by Sanders, Senate Dems Weigh $6 Trillion Infrastructure Bill as Bipartisan Talks Fail on Climate

        With Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders leading the push for an ambitious package, Democrats in the upper chamber are reportedly considering a $6 trillion infrastructure bill as bipartisan negotiations continue to produce proposals that fall short of what experts say is needed to combat the climate emergency and rebuild the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and water systems.

        “The bottom line is there are a lot of needs facing this country. Now is the time to address those needs, and it has to be paid for in a progressive way, given the fact that we have massive income and wealth inequality in America.”—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Bill regulating Huawei tech postponed until autumn session

        The Electronic Communications Act, which includes the regulation on the use of Huawei technology, was supposed to enter into law in May but was postponed after an amendment from the chancellor of justice was added.

        The law bans the use of non-democratic equipment and software on the 5G network, in essence, technology made by Huawei.

      • Microsoft Plans Massive China Expansion in Asia-Wide Cloud Push

        Microsoft’s expansion in China is among the fastest for the company on the continent and in March it announced plans to expand its data center network with a greater presence in the northern region around Beijing. The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant already has six data centers in the country, operated by local partner 21Vianet, and now seeks to capitalize on a global surge in demand for internet services during the pandemic.

      • FCC votes to advance proposed ban on Chinese telecom equipment

        The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously Thursday to explore a proposal that would ban U.S. companies from buying telecommunications equipment that poses national security risks.

        The proposal, which won initial approval among all commissioners, could also revoke prior authorizations for any equipment deemed a national security threat on the FCC’s “covered list,” including Huawei and ZTE.

      • Like other nations, India also evolving in terms of regulations to deal with social media: CII chief

        The newly-elected president of industry body CII TV Narendran on Thursday said like other countries, India is also evolving in terms of regulations to deal with issues concerning social media companies. These regulations are evolving, whether that is in the US, Europe, Asia, China, Singapore or India, he told reporters.

      • Senators unveil legislation to crack down on cyber criminals

        It would also expand the Justice Department’s ability to go after botnet groups by allowing injunctions against botnets involved in certain destructive cyberattacks, destruction of data or other issues that pose a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

        Further, the bill would ban the sale of access to a compromised computer if the buyer intends to use this access to create damage, and it cracks down on the sales of certain surveillance and spyware devices.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Foreign Disinformation Feeds US Domestic Terrorism, Official Warns

        As part of the new domestic terrorism strategy, officials have pledged to find ways to “counter the polarization often fueled by disinformation, misinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories online, supporting an information environment that fosters healthy democratic discourse,” according to a White House handout.

      • Fact-checkers say Twitter needs domain experts to weed out misinformation

        A day after the Uttar Pradesh Police filed an FIR against Twitter and seven others in connection with a viral video of an attack on an elderly person, a top official said the state police’s cybercrime department has been getting a lot of complaints against the microblogging platform.

        Since Twitter doesn’t provide the police with the required information, they are unable to crack cases linked to social media frauds, said Triveni Singh, superintendent of police, cyber crimes. “We don’t know who to talk to or speak to at Twitter when users complain,” he told ET on Thursday.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • In the war of 2034, China has won the first battle without firing a shot

        Chinese box office revenues are expected to reach $15.5 billion next year, eclipsing the U.S. box office total, which before the pandemic was approximately $11.4 billion, according to PEN America, an advocacy group for literary and artistic freedom.

        Consequently, the massive Chinese market is so keenly desired by U.S. media moguls that any hint Beijing might be offended is enough for producers to self-edit their scripts or scrap projects altogether.

        The word most often used to describe this obeisance to China is “kowtow,” which, unironically, comes from the historical Chinese custom of bowing down in worship or submission.

        “It’s not right,” says Stavridis. “China should not get a vote on whether or not we produce artistic content, let alone works of nonfiction, let alone drive our ships through the high seas in the South China Sea. We gotta be careful we don’t get canceled by China.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Detained American Journalist Appears in Myanmar Special Court

        Danny Fenster, who is the managing editor of the website Frontier Myanmar, appeared in a special court in Yangon’s Insein Prison where he is being held for allegedly violating section 505-A of the country’s penal code, Frontier Myanmar said in a statement.

        If he is found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.

        Fenster is scheduled to have another hearing on July 1.

      • Hong Kong’s liberal media are under pressure

        Following the arrests, hundreds of police raided Apple Daily’s offices. They reportedly searched for journalistic materials, including laptops, notebooks and mobile phones. The government called it a “crime scene”: it says the newspaper’s assets have been frozen. This grim spectacle was little surprise. Apple Daily has long been in the sights of China’s ruling Communist Party. Its owner, Jimmy Lai, is rare among local tycoons for his outspoken criticism of the party. He was arrested last year for his involvement in a prolonged series of anti-government protests in 2019 and could face life in prison under the security law. Chinese state television has called Apple Daily “a platform for incitement” of troublemakers. Many of the newspaper’s staff believe it is a matter of time before it has to close.

      • ‘Dangerous Precedent’: US High Court Sides With Corporate Giants Nestle and Cargill in Child Slavery Case

        “This ruling has disturbing implications for future victims of human rights abuses seeking justice against businesses in U.S. courts. This ruling also sets a dangerous precedent, giving corporations impunity for profiting from human rights abuses.” —Marco Simons, EarthRights International

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Denmark to Refugees: Be My Guest, Just Not in My House

        The Danish ministers for ‘integration’ and international development, Mattias Tesfaye and Flemming Møller Mortensen, popped to Rwanda in April and signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with secret protocols just like in colonial days. Having already stripped Syrian refugees of their permissions to stay, their abdication of responsibility is clearly settled policy.

        Liberal, humane Denmark is planning to sweep its asylum seekers under Africa’s dusty carpet. Danish politicians see themselves as bravely blazing the trail the European Union should follow if it wants to prevent future FUBARs like the 2015/16 migration surge.

      • New Jersey Supreme Court Says Attorney General Can Publish The Names Of Cops Who Commit Serious Misconduct

        Last year — following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (and following the protests that followed this unconscionable killing) — New Jersey’s top cop said there would be more transparency and accountability in his state.

      • ‘There Is No Excuse’: Amnesty Slams Biden Over Skyrocketing ICE Detentions and 400,000+ Expulsions

        The Biden administration’s treatment of refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants “not only falls short of expectations but is in urgent need of course-correction”—particularly its growing reliance on mass detention and widespread denial of access to people requesting protection at the U.S. southern border—Amnesty International USA argues in a new report released Thursday.

        “President Joe Biden assumed office pledging a fair and humane immigration system, placing racial justice and human rights at the heart of his vision,” begins Amnesty’s report (pdf), Needs Improvement: A Progress Report on the Biden Administration’s Record on Making the United States a Safe Refuge. “His promised agenda was a stark contrast to that of former President Donald Trump’s administration, which used xenophobia to justify punitive and cruel policies that dismantled access to protection for many people.”

      • After Campaigning Against Death Penalty, Biden Admin Seeks Execution of Boston Marathon Bomber

        Capital punishment opponents called on President Joe Biden to take executive action to eliminate the use of the federal death penalty after his Justice Department said the penalty should be reinstated in the case of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. 

        Biden’s election last November offered relief to anti-death penalty campaigners amid the Trump administration’s “execution spree” in which the U.S. government put 10 people to death last year, but death penalty opponents now say the president’s failure to provide an official administration policy on the matter has left an opening for the DOJ to continue seeking capital punishment despite Biden’s stated opposition. 

      • ALEC’s Corporate Funders Are Complicit in State-Based Assaults on Voting Rights and Democracy

        After the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, the CEOs of a number of corporations made the smart public relations move of distancing themselves from members of Congress who voted to decertify the Electoral College results that confirmed the defeat of Republican Donald Trump and the election of Democrat Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th president. Then, in April, when Georgia Republicans enacted voter suppression measures, many of those same CEOs very publicly objected to assaults on democracy in that state and others

      • After Eight Years And Three Reviews Of The Case, Indiana Supreme Court Rules Police Must Return Seized Car To Its Owner

        It’s now been eight years since Indiana law enforcement seized Tyson Timbs’ Land Rover following his arrest for distributing drugs. In eight years, this case has made multiple visits to the state trial court, the state court of appeals, the state’s Supreme Court, and the nation’s Supreme Court.

      • Montana Is Making It Harder for Transgender People to Amend Birth Certificates
      • MSNBC Declines to Voluntarily Recognize Newsroom Union Effort

        As current and former employees, media colleagues, and labor rights advocates on Thursday celebrated an announcement that MSNBC’s workers have decided to form a union, the cable news channel’s president made clear that leadership won’t voluntarily recognize the effort.

        “At a time when journalists and journalism itself are under siege, we want to join our peers who have paved the road before us in standing up for our rights.”—MSNBC bargaining unit

      • “Water is ours” citizens’ initiative moves to Parliament

        “The privatisation of water supply in the world has led to bad results, and bad results only,” Kohonen said. “Prices have risen, the level of service has suffered, and the environment has suffered. Health security, which is becoming increasingly important today, could be a problem if water supply were given to an operator who wants to make a profit from it.”

        Kohonen initially began the initiative after learning about the City of Jyväskylä’s plans to sell a minority stake in its water and energy company last year.

      • As Congress Approves Juneteenth Bill, Advocates Say ‘We Must Not Stop Here’

        As legislation to designate Juneteenth a federal holiday breezed through the U.S. Congress this week and was signed into law by President Joe Biden Thursday afternoon, racial justice advocates stressed the imperative for meaningful policies and actions to address systemic racism and inequality that go beyond what some called performative gestures.

        “Many of the senators who voted for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday regularly vote to impede civil rights for Black Americans.”—Dr. Tarika Barrett

      • Juneteenth Challenges A Narrative About America’s History

        Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. This week, the Senate and House voted in favor of commemorating the day that the last enslaved people in the U.S. found out they were free, and on Thursday afternoon, President Biden signed the bill into law.

        June 19 goes by a number of names — Black Independence Day, Texas Emancipation Day — but to many Black Americans, it represents freedom. A portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and the enslaved people living there learned of their freedom — more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. As such, the day tells a broader story of how emancipation was woefully delayed for Black people enslaved deep in the Confederacy.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Changing Section 230 Won’t Make the Internet a Kinder, Gentler Place

        What lawmakers don’t notice is that a lot of the people posting that offensive junk get stopped, again and again, thanks to Section 230. During a March hearing in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, lawmakers expressed concern over some of the worst content that’s online, including extremist content, falsehoods about COVID-19, and election disinformation.

        But it’s people spreading just this type of content that often file lawsuits trying to force their content back online. These unsuccessful lawsuits show that Section 230 has repeatedly stopped disinformation specialists from disseminating their harmful content.

        Section 230 stands for the simple idea that you’re responsible for your own speech online—not the speech of others. It also makes clear that online operators, from the biggest platforms to the smallest niche websites, have the right to curate the speech that appears on their site.

      • FCC Gives ISP $8,000 To Deliver Broadband Five Feet From Apple’s $5 Billion Campus

        We’ve noted repeatedly that there are two major reasons US broadband is slow, spotty, and expensive: regional monopolization (a lack of competition), and the state and federal regulatory capture (corruption) that protects it. On the latter front, there’s been an absolute army of telecom industry aligned folks, who, for decades, have relied on dodgy broadband availability maps and dubious data to not only pretend there’s no real problem that needs fixing, but also to slather companies with subsidies without ensuring that money actually goes toward fixing the problem.

      • Congress Must Prioritize Connectivity in Underserved Areas Over Higher Speeds

        Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota, said at a hearing of the House Committee on Small Business’ subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development that the push to increase the download and upload speeds is less important right now than to “focus on those who have no connectivity.”

        Three bills currently before the House and introduced in March would significantly increase those broadband speeds and create new tiers of service. Under the proposed bills, the new definition of “served,” which was previously categorized as areas with access to speeds of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload, would be updated to bump up the upload speed to 25 Mbps.

      • Joint Letter: the Islamic Republic of Iran Must Keep the Internet Open and Secure During Presidential Elections

        We, the undersigned organizations and members of the #KeepItOn coalition — a network that unites over 258 organizations from 106 countries that work to end internet shutdowns[1] globally — write to urgently appeal to you, the Supreme Leader of Iran and the President of Islamic Republic of Iran, to ensure that the [Internet], messaging apps, social media platforms, and all other communication channels are open, secure, and accessible throughout the presidential election period, scheduled for June 18 in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and thereafter.

      • Ohio Republicans close to imposing near-total ban on municipal broadband | Ars Technica

        Bill’s 10Mbps standard could make 98% of Ohio ineligible for municipal networks.

    • Monopolies

      • Break-Up Big Tech? Amazon, a Public Utility?: Keep Your Fingers Crossed

        She also noted that “America has a long tradition of breaking up companies when they have become too big and dominant — even if they are generally providing good service at a reasonable price.”  One of her proposals called to “unwind anti-competitive mergers,” including Amazon (Whole Foods, Zappos), Facebook (WhatsApp, Instagram) and Google (Waze, Nest, DoubleClick).

        Well, in early June, Republicans and Democrats signed on to a series of five bills that could significantly limit such big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google from using their control over multiple business lines to favor their own products or to suppress rivals. It would set up a mechanism by which a giant conglomerate could be broken up if it didn’t comply.

      • Recent Antitrust Push Is Weirdly Narrow, Pretends Telecom And Banking Don’t Exist

        As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a big new “antitrust” push afoot in DC. As you may have also noticed, many of these proposals don’t actually do a whole lot to reform US antitrust or monopoly problems in any broad way. Scholars for decades have warned that US antitrust enforcement has become feckless, and that we need to rethink how we approach antitrust in a world in which companies often seem to have more and more power over our lives.

      • Codified German injunction test divides industries [Ed: Tell me again how embargo helps innovation and creativity, Germany?]

        In-house sources from the automotive and telecoms industries disagree on how updates to patent injunctions will affect litigation

      • Counsel: job hoppers spark China trade secrets challenges [Ed: When you work for a company and work experience that you gained becomes like some sort of 'possession crime'; this is what happens when laws are written for and passed for the rich.]

        Trade secrets enforcement is always an uphill battle, but it’s becoming harder as workers increasingly move around

      • Patents

        • Austria’s voestalpine moves closer to green steel production [Ed: Greenwashing with help from the EPO]

          Austrian steel producer voestalpine says it has developed an industrial-scale process for carbon-neutral steel production without the use of fossil carbon, for which it has secured the intellectual property rights from the European Patent Office.

          The patent is valid in all major European steel manufacturing countries and specifically covers the production of sponge iron (DRI or HBI) using green hydrogen and biogas in the direct reduction process, the company said in a press release.

        • Communication with your Attorney [Ed: Tell me when attorneys actually learn how to use encryption (and actually start using it). For now, all that confidentiality and privilege talk is pure comedy and false promises.]

          This is not a patent case, but it is strange enough to need some thought. Sarah Vestal was an IRS employee. In 2018, the IRS planned to suspend her based upon “discourteous and unprofessional conduct.” In preparing her defense, Vestal sent the Record from a Taxpayer’s File to her private attorney. That record included private information that Vestal was not permitted to share outside the office. She was then fired as a consequence of sharing the information with her attorney. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed:

        • Guest Post by Prof. Contreras: Shepardizing Patents

          On Saturday, June 12, I did a little experiment to see what information I could find about patents that I knew to have been challenged. I first searched for U.S. Patent No. 7,446,338, issued in 2008 to Casio for a “Display Panel.” As expected, the official USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database provided me with the text of the patent document and a link to its PDF image. The USPTO’s new PatentsView interface gave me a bit more information, mostly about forward citations of the patent, including a spiffy world map locating the citations geographically. Google Patents indicates when a patent has expired or is scheduled to expire and displays a timeline of litigation involving the patent. The ’338 patent was subject to litigation in the Western and Eastern Districts of Texas and at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Clicking on these entries took me to a database run by Unified Patents, which lists docket entries in these matters and is accessible via a free sign-up. But to see the Complaint in one of the West Texas matters, Unified Patents redirected me to a database operated by MaxVal-IP, which, on the day I searched, gave me the dreaded error “404- File or directory not found.” I then moved on to PTAB action IPR2020-00320, filed on Dec. 18, 2019. The Unified docket showed the IPR as terminated following a Mar. 12, 2021 settlement between Apple and the patent owner (now a company called Solas OLED) and allowed me to access the Termination Order. But when I searched Lex Machina, the paid IP litigation analysis engine now owned by LexisNexis, I found that Samsung, one of the IPR plaintiffs, continued the IPR action after Apple settled, and that on June 6, the PTAB issued a Final Written Decision finding all challenged claims (1-3 and 5-13) to be unpatentable (the patent has a total of 22 claims).

        • Crossed wires: telecoms and tech counsel reveal licensing lows
          [Ed: Big Telecom as a patent extortion vector almost nobody speaks about. They want to get paid without actually doing anything, and cross-licensing means that small players are left out or simply shivering.]

          Four counsel in telecoms and software say deciding which tech to license and agreeing deals with different-sized firms are the biggest cross-licensing issues

        • Software Patents

      • Copyrights

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