07.28.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 28/7/2021: GCC 11.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 8 Benefits of Using Linux Instead of iOS

      Linux has been a popular operating system choice for engineers for the past few decades. This operating system competes with — and sometimes edges — Windows and macOS.

      In recent decades, Linux has also become a close rival to iOS, despite not having the largest market appeal. Nonetheless, many developers prefer working with the Linux operating system because of its affordability and superior performance.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Emulate the BBC Micro home computer with Linux

        Emulation is the practice of using a program (called an emulator) on a PC to mimic the behaviour of a home computer or a video game console, in order to play (usually retro) games on a computer.

        Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single non-technical user.

        Back in the 1980s, home computers came to the forefront of teenagers’ minds. Specifically, the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Atari ST were extremely popular. They were hugely popular home computers targeted heavily towards games, but they also ran other types of software.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • WILL IT LINUX? | Scarlet Nexus

        Steam Deck is coming, and this is one game I’d LOVE to play on it. With gorgeous anime-style graphics and engaging “brain punk” combat, Scarlet Nexus looks like an RPG worth enjoying. But Will It Linux???

      • About that Discord server…

        I hate drama, I didn’t want to make this video, but apparently, I need to explain what happened on the “TLE Official” Discord server, so here it is! In short, the TLDR is: – Someone approached me to create an “official” server for the channel – I agreed but didn’t think of getting ownership of the server – The owner of the server started making people leave by openly attacking a certain group of people – Whether that was made as a joke or not, I don’t know, and I don’t care, this group gets these jokes thrown at them every day, they don’t need that from a Linux Discord server, and even less from the admin / owner – I told him I really didn’t like it, and he kicked me out, renamed the server, and told everyone I had left because the server was too toxic. I didn’t leave, and I think the server was great, the admin just wasn’t. – I won’t get into a debate on free speech: whether you make a joke, second degree, edgy, whatever, think about how many jokes of the sort the people you’re targeting have already received. Imagine a characteristic of yourself that you have a hard time dealing with, that is causing confusion for you, and now imagine people make jokes to your face about it, every day, everywhere you go. – You wouldn’t take it either, and that’s not something I could accept. It’s not censorship, it’s not “against free speech”, it’s just being a decent human being and not mocking others, even if you’re doing it in good faith, for “fun”.

      • The Rules Of Netiquette For How To Act Online

        In the early days of the Internet, there were certain rules that everyone was expected to follow in online forums, web chat and usenet newsgroups. These rules were called “netiquette” and it is something that is sorely lacking in how people interact online today.

      • Denial of DOS | Coder Radio 424

        Mike shares his adventures coding while riding Amtrak, Chris is trying to get DOS running while he still can, and many of you wrote in sharing your concern for GNOME.

      • mintcast 366 – Prox Your Mox

        First up in the news DuckDuckGo protects us even more, then, It’s always DNS, the SteamDeck looks awesome, the Kernel is 30, and more

        In security, updates on Kaseya, PrintNightmare and a new systemd vulnerability

        Then in our Wanderings, Joe actually wanders, Josh proxes his mox, and I’m going full btrfs

    • Kernel Space

      • Btrfs Picking Up FS-VERITY Support, Other Improvements With Linux 5.15

        A lot of new code landed yesterday in the Btrfs file-system’s “for-next” Git branch ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window opening up in about one month’s time.

        One of the main additions that landed yesterday in Btrfs for-next is the initial fs-verity support. FS-VERITY is the kernel layer that allows providing transparent integrity and authenticity protection of read-only files. To date FS-VERITY has just worked with EXT4 and F2FS while now moving forward the Btrfs file-system also supports the necessary bits. FS-VERITY is similar to DM-VERITY but works at the file level level for offering authenticity protection.

      • “Beyond Stupid” Paranoid L1d Cache Flushing Looks Like It Will Try Again For Linux 5.15

        The work going on for over a year to optionally flush the L1 data cache on context switching is going to try again for the next kernel cycle as an opt-in feature for select tasks. This was the feature rejected last year by Linus Torvalds that went on to “beyond stupid” and other concerns about it when it was trying to be mainlined originally.

        This paranoid L1d cache flushing on context switch remains an opt-in feature and led by Amazon engineers. While frequently flushing the L1 data cache leads to significant performance implications, Amazon’s motivation is over the increasing number of CPU vulnerabilities with the likes of the CVE-2020-0550 improper data forwarding vulnerability and others along with concerns over other yet-to-be-found vulnerabilities.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Ray tracing with AMD RADV on Linux gets closer with the ‘World’s Slowest Raytracer’

          While Ray Tracing has been available on Linux with NVIDIA for a long time now, the open source RADV Mesa driver for AMD GPUs is lagging behind but more work is progressing on it.

          Developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen put up a new blog post jokingly titled “World’s Slowest Raytracer” to show how far it has come. It’s worth remembering, that AMD RADV is not the official AMD driver for Linux, as they roll their own with Radeon Software for Linux but that’s only supported across a few distributions and you’re just almost always better off sticking with Mesa.

          In the new post Nieuwenhuizen mentions that RADV and Ray tracing has got to a point where the conformance testing is coming back at about a 90% pass-rate “of non-skiped tests” so it’s getting close to a usable state. However, it’s still clearly far from finished.

    • Applications

      • PulseAudio 15.0 rolls out with new features and hardware support | GamingOnLinux

        PulseAudio, the sound server for Linux systems has a big new release up that pulls in support for a number of new features and there’s some new hardware support too. While PipeWire is the next generation, which actually supports PulseAudio, there’s still plenty of life left in PulseAudio directly especially since it’s not yet the default everywhere.

        [...]

        In addition to that there’s plenty of tweaks elsewhere including allowing ALSA path configuration files being placed in the user home directory, they rewrote the module-virtual-surround-sink, module-match can now be loaded multiple times, module-filter-apply can take filter parameters from device properties, max_latency_msec argument added to module-null-source and more.

      • PulseAudio 15.0 Released with Support for LDAC and AptX Codecs

        The new version add supports for the LDAC and AptX codecs for A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). If you not familiar, Bluetooth A2DP enables transmission and reception of high-quality music contents. In order to use the LDAC and AptX codecs, the device has to support the codecs too.

        Native support for HFP AG role has been added. The native backend has become the default backend for HSP/HFP. The native backend currently only implements the HFP AG role, but not the HFP HS role, therefore ofono is still required for this role. Additionally, support for mSBC has been implemented to improve voice quality.

        AVRCP Absolute Volume allows PulseAudio to control the volume of the connected A2DP device. Previously when playing to e.g. a headset, PulseAudio did its own volume control in software, and the headset did its own volume in hardware. Having two levels of volumes sometimes made it difficult to get high enough volume. Now there’s only one level of volume control in PulseAudio 15.0.

      • PulseAudio 15 Released With Bluetooth Improvements, Better Hardware Support – Phoronix

        While PipeWire continues on a nice upward trajectory for fulfilling the roles of PulseAudio and JACK along with other audio/video stream management needs, PulseAudio isn’t letting up yet and on Tuesday saw its big version 15.0 release.

        PulseAudio 15.0 is headlined by a number of Bluetooth improvements including support for LDAC / AptX / SBC XQ codecs, HFP Bluetooth profiles support, and handling for A2DP AVRCP Absolute Volume. Aside from the Bluetooth work, PulseAudio 15.0 brings a rewritten virtual surround sink module, improvements to the JACK bus detect module, better FreeBSD support, Windows support with the Meson build system, and various API improvements.

      • FreeRDP 2.4 Released With Support For Multi-Threaded Decoding – Phoronix

        FreeRDP’s progressive codec code now allows using multi-threaded for decoding. RemoteFX encoded frames can now be decoded across multiple threads for dramatically speeding things up particularly at higher resolutions (particularly above 1080p). This multi-threaded decoding for FreeRDP can lead to a 3K display now having a “fluid experience” instead of the prior “choppy experience” when single-threaded.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Chage command in Linux to set aging of password, Guide 2021

        The chage command stands for ‘Change Age’. The chage command in Linux is used to change the aging/expiry information of any user’s password.

        If you are working as a system administrator in any organization, it is your task to enforce users for changing password due to security reasons.

        So that after a certain period of time, users will be compelled to reset their passwords.

        Only the root user can view the password’s aging/expiry information, the unauthorized user can’t see this information of other users.

      • How to Upload Files to Remote System Over SSH

        Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to upload the file to the remote server over SSH or copy a file from it.

      • How To Install and Configure Spotify on Linux Distributions

        Spotify is a platform-independent application for music and audio streaming. All music and podcast enthusiasts have already heard the name of Spotify. You can use Spotify on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and macOS. Although there are other music streaming applications on the Internet, the reason you need to use Spotify is more compatible and user-friendly. Moreover, if you are a professional audio broadcaster, you can use Spotify to publish your own podcast.

        Spotify is interesting to use because it supports offline listening, and you can also watch Spotify videos and radio. If you need to listen to audio in a more individual way, it also offers you the use of the built-in equalizer to adjust the sound effect.

      • How to Install LAMP Stack on Rocky Linux 8

        LAMP is a popular stack used in development circles for hosting both static and dynamic web applications. It’s an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL (or MariaDB) & PHP. Notably, it comprises the Apache web server, MySQL or MariaDB database server, and PHP.

      • How to add comments in JSON

        The JSON is a set of data chunks only. If a comment is added, it will be compiled as data too. To insert a comment, you could for instance add a specific data element or field called “_comment” that will not be interpreted by the JSON program compiler

      • How To Install Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Mosquitto MQTT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, MQTT, an acronym for Message Queue Telemetry Transport, is a lightweight communication protocol based on the publisher/subscriber concept. It represents an alternative to the classic client/server architecture, widely used in the Internet of Things. It is commonly used for geo-tracking fleets of vehicles, home automation, environmental sensor networks, and utility-scale data collection.

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

      • rclone: Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, box, DropBox and much more from the CLI — The Ultimate Linux Newbie Guide

        I used to use insync to access my Google Drive account from the command line because it was reliable, however insync ceased support for their CLI client, so I had to rethink that.

        I’ve decided to plop with rclone because it’s flexible, lightweight, it works well and it supports over 40 different filesharing platforms, including the most popular ones: Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Drive/S3. It also supports SSH/SFTP – which is nice, because it presents files/directories on another server just as if they are local files.

        The installation & configuration steps are listed below

      • How to Install Usermin on Ubuntu 20.04

        Usermin is a web-based interface mainly for webmail designed for non-root users to perform routine tasks including, reading mail, changing passwords, setting up databases and a web-basedSSH terminal. It is a stripped-down version of Webmin intended for regular users without always system administrators. It provides a rich set of features.

      • How to Install EteSync server on Ubuntu 20.04

        EteSync is an open-source solution to sync your contacts, calendars, and tasks. It is self-hosted, provides end-to-end encryption, and allows you to share data with other users. It can be integrated with GNOME and KDE desktops. It can be accessed through desktop, web, Android, and iOS clients.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install EteSync with Apache on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Customizing Node.js .env files

        Applications are commonly required to deploy to many different environments, including staging, testing, and production, without building environment-specific artifacts.

        Methodologies like the 12 Factor App specify that an application’s code and configuration are separate but combine during deployment to accommodate specific environments.

      • How to prevent that a user deletes a file owned by root in his home directory

        Even though a file is held by root and has 700 rights, if the root user saves it in another user’s home directory or any other directory owned by another user, that user can remove the file.

      • Kernel tracing with trace-cmd

        trace-cmd is an easy-to-use, feature-rich utility for tracing Linux kernel functions.

      • How to use touch command in Linux Guide for beginners 2021

        The touch command is a very common and standard command used in all UNIX/Linux based operating systems. Mostly, touch command in Linux is used to create a blank file.

        But You can use to change and modify the timestamps of a file.

        You can create a file with the help of other commands like a cat. I have explained how to use cat command in Linux to create a file, but not blank.

        If you are looking to create a file without content you must use cat command in Linux. The file created using the touch command is empty.

        This command can be used when the user doesn’t have data to store at the time of file creation.

      • How to create group in Linux by Groupadd command Guide 2021

        groupadd command is used to add or create group in Linux. You will learn in this article how to create group in Linux by using simple command groupadd.

        You are working in an organization as a system administrator of Linux. all users on system are belongs to 3 different-2 departments example, Sales, account, and HR. If we will not manage those users they can access each other’s data.

        Accessing data of every user neither safe for the department nor for Organization. So managing those users are important and necessary.

      • How To Set Up SSH Public and Private Key in Linux

        SSH or Secure Shell Protocol is a cryptographic network protocol that is used to securely access a remote machine from another computer over an unsecured network via the command line. With SSH, you can execute commands on remote Linux systems and servers, send/transfer files, and normally manage everything you do from one place.

        When you are operating with multiple Linux servers in various locations, or if you are just trying to save some ideal time accessing these servers, you will want to use an SSH public and private key pair to make life much easier by logging into remote machines and running commands without entering passwords. Also, the SSH key pairs are more secure as they are not vulnerable to common brute-force password hacking attacks.

      • Create your own custom Raspberry Pi image

        Build a Raspberry Pi image from scratch or convert your running, modified Raspberry Pi OS back to an image others can use.

        [...]

        To successfully run the build process, it is recommended to use a 32bit version of Debian Buster or Ubuntu Xenial. It may work on other systems as well but to avoid unnecessary complications, I recommend to setup a virtual machine with one of the recommended systems. If you are not familiar with virtual machines, take a look at my article Try Linux on any operating system with VirtualBox. When you have everything up and running, also install the dependencies mentioned in the repository description. Also consider that you need internet access in the virtual machine and enough free disk space. I set up my virtual machine with a 40GB hard drive which seemed to be enough.
        In order to follow the instructions in this article, make a clone of the pi-gen repository or fork it if you want to start developing you own image.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Frozenbyte are now telling Linux users to use Proton, even for their older games

        Frozenbyte being the developer behind titles like the Trine series, Shadwen, Has-Been Heroes and the upcoming Starbase talks a little about Proton and future native Linux support. If you’re not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It’s a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

        If you’re not aware, Frozenbyte did previously have their games ported over to Linux but they eventually stopped after the release of Shadwen in 2016. The latest Trine 4 and their other titles don’t have Linux version. With Starbase that’s due to release tomorrow (July 29, 2021), there’s a post on the Steam forum from a user asking about Linux support and Frozenbyte developer Jukka Larja (JLarja) replied on July 27 to explain it’s not a priority…

    • Games

      • Garry Newman of Facepunch mentions working with EAC for Rust on Linux with Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Back in 2019, survival game Rust was one of the more high-profile games to remove their native Linux version but it seems they’re not done with Linux thanks to the Steam Deck.

        You could actually still play Rust on Linux with Steam Play Proton, however like a lot of other online games it uses anti-cheat. Specifically, it uses Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC), which blocks Linux players from most servers as it currently doesn’t support Proton. For the upcoming Steam Deck, Valve has made it clear that they’re working with EAC and BattlEye to get both hooked up and working for Proton.

        Speaking on Twitter on July 27, Facepunch Studios creator Garry Newman mentioned in reply to a user talking about Rust and Linux that “EAC are working on it, we’re working with them to make it happen. Rust runs good on the deck.”.

      • Splitgate gets an extended Beta, developers raise $10M | GamingOnLinux

        1047 Games has seen Splitgate blow away all of their expectations, so much so they had to take the game offline (it’s back now) and extend the Beta.

        What’s been called Halo with Portals (that’s pretty accurate) has seen it smash through the total number of player repeatedly, which is due to it being free and cross-platform between PC and Consoles. They mentioned at one point recently they saw over 100,000 players which is absolutely insane considering there was only 4 people working on it up until recently.

      • Heroic Games Launcher 1.9 is out with better performance, playtime tracking and more | GamingOnLinux

        The Heroic Games Launcher is a fantastic community effort to bring the Epic Games Store to Linux and Heroic Games Launcher 1.9 builds upon the foundation to provide a better experience. Since Epic Games clearly still have zero interest in bringing their store to Linux officially, this is one of the best options that doesn’t require messing with the Wine compatibility layer directly.

        As a reminder: since Epic Games don’t support Linux, all downloaded titles will use a compatibility layer like Wine.

      • Magical action-packed dungeon crawler Wizard of Legend gets lots of new goodies | GamingOnLinux

        Contingent99 just released a big surprise update to Wizard of Legend, their fast-paced dungeon-crawling action game about running around as a wizard. Easily one of my favourites from 2018 for its high quality repeatable fun, it’s nice to see the developer come back to it and give us more of the same good stuff.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Cutefish is an adorable Linux desktop environment that could make serious waves

        I love a good desktop environment. And I really love any desktop environment that not only attempts to make interaction with PCs user friendly with a modern nod to design. This is one of the main reasons I spent so many years with elementaryOS as my go-to Linux distribution. Eventually, I moved on from that desktop and landed on Pop!_OS (partially due to the purchase of a System76 Thelio desktop). Pop!_OS and the COSMIC desktop offers just the right mix of performance, efficiency and modern design.

        But every so often, I get that old itch to consider a different desktop environment. So, when I happened upon a brand new (as in “still very much in beta”) desktop environment, named Cutefish, I had to take a look.

        At first glance, I knew this interface had the makings of something special. Although it’s far from ready for the masses, Cutefish is already showing it could be something the competition should be concerned about.

        This is one beautiful desktop … like, “Deepin what?” beautiful.

        Cutefish is built with Qt Quick and is a straight-up reminder of macOS—which, from my perspective, is not a bad thing. Apple has done several things right, one of which is the macOS desktop. And although Cutefish isn’t a clone of Apple’s vaunted interface, it’s still reminiscent. But then again, any desktop that offers a dock (as opposed to a taskbar), smacks of macOS (it’s the reason so many compare elementaryOS to macOS).

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDDockWidgets 1.4.0 Released!

          KDDockWidgets 1.4.0 has been released! KDDockWidgets is a framework for custom-tailored docking systems in Qt.

          This is a major release with new features and lots of fixes.

          The big highlights of KDDockWidgets 1.4.0 are the experimental MDI support and the new declarative API for QtQuick…

    • Distributions

      • Top 7 Linux Distributions you should try

        Linux distributions, also known as Linux distros, are the different “variants” of operating systems that are based on Linux Kernel. The core contains all the main aspects that are needed for a stable OS, such as…

        Independent developers and companies use those to create their own distributions of Linux, which may include completely different software packages, applications, purposes, specifics, and so on. Basically, they can look almost like different OS. In reality, they’re still distributions of the same core.

      • Linux Lite 5.6 Is Out for Public Testing, Final Release Expected on September 1st

        Still derived from the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, most precisely on the Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS point release, Linux Lite 5.6 looks to be yet another small maintenance update that only updates various of the default apps and core components, and brings new artwork.

        The biggest change in the Linux Lite 5.6 release appears to be a change in the Lite Welcome application, which is the first thing you see when you fire up the live system. Lite Welcome has been updated in this upcoming release to make it easier for newcomers to install Linux Lite via an “Install Now” button located at the bottom of the dialog.

      • Best Linux distros for gaming in 2021

        The best Linux distros for gaming give the freedom that Linux offers while providing the tools you need to play most of the games you love already. Linux has been around for a long time, but it has become much more viable as a gaming platform in recent years thanks to the community and Valve.

        Now that Valve’s portable Steam Deck gaming PC is confirmed to be running Linux, using Proton to make your Steam games shine, getting into Linux gaming is more exciting than ever.

        And yes, I know that Linux is the kernel and not the OS itself. We can play semantics games all day, but the long and short of it is that many people casually refer to these as Linux distros and don’t know or care about the “correct” terminology.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Peter Robinson: SystemReady ES support for MacchiatoBin

          The redhat-rpm-config %toolchain macro makes it easier to build packages with Clang instead of GCC. Get tips for supporting both toolchains in your builds.

          I’m really happy to see this is such a straightforward process, and I’m looking forward to seeing more features, enhancements and fixes to the firmware including capsule updates and the associated LVFS/fwupdmgr support, and improvements around firmware security (fwupdmgr –force security). Top marks to the Solid Run team!

        • Write toolchain-agnostic RPM spec files for GCC and Clang | Red Hat Developer

          With the addition of the %toolchain macro to the redhat-rpm-config package, packages can easily switch between the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and the Clang compiler. This package change is not yet supported by Fedora, and package maintainers need good reasons to switch from the GCC default to Clang. Maintainers also need to watch out for a few nuances to make (and keep) a package specification file buildable with both toolchains.

          This article looks at the necessary changes and best practices to allow a spec file to build with both GCC and Clang in a variety of cases.

        • Seven (more) things I wish I’d known before becoming a sysadmin | Enable Sysadmin

          Let me start with a brief background to give my stories some context. I worked in desktop support for a couple of years before becoming a technical trainer on various platforms (Windows Server, different Linux distributions, Cisco, etc.). Eventually, some former students approached me to work as the network/systems administrator for their small organization (about 65 users). I worked there for a couple of years—an experience that inflated my already robust sense of cynicism. I freely admit that many of my observations are based on very small organizations (fewer than 100 users) and companies whose cultures did not easily embrace technology. I later returned to the training industry, though I did various consulting projects on the side. From those years come these anecdotes.

        • 4 steps to build a strong data science community across the enterprise

          In the race to quickly harness the power of data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), organizations have often kick-started initiatives by hiring data scientists and engineers within functional and regional areas of the business. While this approach offers speed, agility, and tight alignment to business requirements, it often comes at the expense of consistency and efficiency, and without consideration of best practices. The reality is that many organizations’ efforts in this space are falling short, with a majority of companies only piloting AI or using it in a single business process – and thus gaining only incremental benefits, according to a recent McKinsey study.

          CIOs can pull together the collective power of disparate teams while elevating the entire practice.
          CIOs are often positioned well to play a proactive role in pulling together the collective power of disparate teams while elevating the entire practice – all without org changes.

          The four steps below effectively connect teams that span across people, processes, and technologies in order to accelerate data science, AI, and ML efforts and build competitive advantage.

        • IT hiring: 5 tips to move past the “ideal candidate” trap

          The traditional hiring process is an obstacle course that candidates must navigate to prove themselves. The hurdles, like a lengthy list of skills or certifications, may feel insurmountable. The result: Your company forfeits the opportunity to hire gifted individuals who don’t fit the mold.

          Instead, organizations should be jumping through hoops to ensure that more candidates, particularly those with uncommon backgrounds, can complete the race. This requires a major shift in the focus of hiring. While skills assessment plays an important role in hiring, an early overemphasis on skill-matching can focus on pedigree at the expense of promise.

          Organizations thrive when they take the time to find, hire, and onboard individuals who contribute diverse perspectives and fresh approaches to problem-solving.

          I’ve seen how organizations thrive when they take the time to find, hire, and onboard individuals who contribute diverse perspectives and fresh approaches to problem-solving. Conversely, I’ve witnessed how more homogenous teams appear to gel quickly but later struggle to deliver innovative products.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Farewell SeaMonkey?

          Sigh… I might have to give up on SeaMonkey. I am increasingly finding that SM doesn’t work, sometimes partially working, and I have to resort to using Chrome.

          This happened recently when I wanted to transfer money at transferwise.com, it did work, but the final “sending” window gave an error message (even though sending had succeeded). Their tech support advised me to use Chrome.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Apache Cassandra 4.0 advances open source database

          After three years of development, the open source Apache Cassandra 4.0 database is now generally available.

          Apache Cassandra is a distributed NoSQL database that was originally developed at Facebook. In recent years, the open source technology has received support from multiple vendors that have also built commercial services for the database.

          Cloud service providers that have Apache Cassandra database-as-a-service offerings include AWS and Microsoft, which entered the Cassandra segment in March 2021. Beyond the big public cloud providers, DataStax provides a database-as-a-service that is based on Cassandra. Other vendors that provide Cassandra as a service include Aiven, which raised $100 million in March, and Instaclustr.

      • FSFE

        • 100 years of Hitler & psychological experiments on volunteers

          A volunteer from a free software organization resigned at a time when he lost two family members.

          Immediately after this, the German Free Software Foundation of Europe published a vile document attacking and criticizing the volunteer at this time of grief. At the same time as they published the motion, their President published a wildly upbeat photo, waving their arms and smiling.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GCC 11.2 Released
            The GNU Compiler Collection version 11.2 has been released.
            
            GCC 11.2 is a bug-fix release from the GCC 11 branch containing important
            fixes for regressions and serious bugs in GCC 11.1 with more than 95 bugs
            fixed since the previous release.
            
            This release is available from the WWW and FTP servers listed here:
            
            https://sourceware.org/pub/gcc/releases/gcc-11.2.0/
            
            
            https://gcc.gnu.org/mirrors.html
            
            Please do not contact me directly regarding questions or comments
            about this release.  Instead, use the resources available from
            
            http://gcc.gnu.org.
            
            As always, a vast number of people contributed to this GCC release
            -- far too many to thank them individually!
            
          • GCC 11.2 Compiler Released With 95+ Bug Fixes

            GCC 11.2 is now available as the latest stable version of the GNU Compiler Collection.

            Coming three months after GCC 11.1 as what was the first stable version of GCC 11, GCC 11.2 was released this morning as a standard point release.

  • Leftovers

    • Celebrate Good Times

      The regime is having a birthday party, so we turn off the lightsand pretend we’re sick. All night, happy americans

      honk their horns. We did it! they scream into our window.In the morning, We is all over the floor. We sweep We

    • The Danger of Drug-War Raids

      Thus, in a drug raid the occupants of the house must make an immediate life-and-death decision. If they decide not to resist and it turns out to be the cops, the occupants stand a good chance at surviving the ordeal. But if they decide that it’s a rival gang and decide to resist with force, they will all be massacred if it turns out to be a genuine drug-war raid. On the other hand, if they decide to submit and it turns out to be a drug-war rival, they will be massacred by their competitors. 

      Would gangsters really pose as law-enforcement officers as subterfuge to enable them to kill their competitors? Well, let’s go to Haiti and find out. That’s where the president of the country, Jovenal Moïse, was recently killed by a team of assassins.

    • The Odyssey

      As Cora, a fugitive enslaved person in Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, attempts to make her way to freedom via the clandestine antislavery network—depicted by the author as a subterranean train system—a remark follows her through the tunnels. “Look outside as you speed through, and you’ll see the true face of America,” a station agent told her as her train departed. The statement appears pat at first—an aphorism that clashes with the gravity of Cora’s flight. But it later proves instructive: Both the railroad and the nation as a whole are under construction.

    • A Violent End

      the bears were swiping at the river getting nowhere Look I said to the bears the salmon are all gone because of I pointed that factory upstream What factory they said so I explained it makes the parts that go inside refrigerators specifically the lights when you open the door late at night with a craving perhaps for something sweetLet me show you I said but they refused to follow me home they knew I was sent from the state that’s why I carried a gun and just then a salmon jumped right into one of their mouths See they saidThere’s no factory There’s no factory I must admit they made their case I nearly felt myself swayed toward a kind of belief not in them or their world but something that bordered on love the lucky bear smiled while holding his prize in his teeth waiting to be mobbed by his friends

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Reversing Earlier Guidance Amid Delta Fears, CDC Advises Vaccinated People to Wear Masks Indoors in Public

        Amid Covid-19 case surges in parts of the country with low vaccination rates and growing concerns over the highly transmissible Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced new guidance saying people in the U.S. who are fully vaccinated should wear face masks in indoor public places in certain parts of the country and that indoor masks will be recommended in school settings in the fall.

        The CDC cited emerging information about the Delta variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people, with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky saying that unlike earlier variants of the virus, a vaccinated person infected with the Delta variant has levels of the virus that are “indistinguishable” from those in unvaccinated people who are infected. 

      • Spare Us Your Covid Hypocrisy, Republicans

        Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey got a lot of attention last week when she urged her constituents to get vaccinated as a new wave of Covid cases crowded hospitals and ICUs. “I want folks to get vaccinated. That’s the cure. That prevents everything,” she told reporters on Thursday, adding, “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.” Someone should tell Ivey that in her state unvaccinated folks are the “regular folks”—only 39.6 percent of eligible Alabamians are fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the country.

      • The Olympic Event We Need: a Race To See Where People Live the Longest
      • ‘There’s a lot of money in this business’: New investigation offers inside look at Russia’s black market for fake vaccination certificates

        Russia’s widespread vaccine hesitancy has given birth to a thriving black market for counterfeit documents proving “immunity” to COVID-19. Since the start of 2021, the Russian authorities have opened dozens of criminal cases over the falsification of vaccination certificates, medical disqualification certificates, PCR test results, and even QR-codes. The cybersecurity firm Group-IB even declared the sale of fake vaccination certificates “the most widespread form of online fraud” in Russia during the pandemic. On July 27, MBK Media published an investigation into how the black market for forged medical certificates works, revealing that the organizers behind these schemes are allegedly making millions of rubles (sometimes in a matter of days). Meduza summarizes the investigation’s main findings here. 

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Malevolence Unbound

        Yet here I am again, having to write about Israel’s malevolent impact on the world around us, as shocking revelations about Pegasus mobile phone spyware sets off alarm bells worldwide. ‘No-click spyware that gives you root access to any mobile phone’ sounds precisely as nefarious as it is.

        For many activists and critics of authoritarian regimes, and not just those in the 11 countries already identified as having contracts with the Israeli tech firm NSO, it’s a bell-clanging reminder of a fact often forgotten: even a well-thought-out and implemented security strategy does not make you safe from intrusion.

        [...]

        1. NSO only sells to ‘responsible’ governments for the righteous purpose of fighting terrorists and low-lifes.

        This is an insult to the intelligence. Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Togo, and the United Arab Emirates make up the 11 prurient NSO clients. None of them are on anyone’s list of civil society paragons. Most express open contempt for inconvenient principles such as the ‘right to life’.

        Indeed, Israeli governments have been delighted to treat with fascists such as Paraguayan dictator General Alfredo Ströessner. One wonders what Israeli arms salespeople thought as they gazed at the General’s prized possession, a portrait of Adolf Hitler hung on his office wall. Israel likes to compare itself favourably to repressive Arab regimes and claim to be a beacon of liberty in an ocean of pathological sharks. That is complete tosh, and shame on Israel’s American patsies, who parrot this line like developmentally retarded mynah birds. Israel makes the whole world less just.

        2. Mossad does not have a ‘back door’ that allows it to read all NSO client traffic.

        This risible claim is actually being peddled by spokespeople for both NSO and the Israeli government. NSO is Mossad; half its staff are agency alumni. If Israel, historically tight-lipped about its technical capabilities, is allowing NSO to sell this spyware on the open market, then two things are true: first, geeks in Mossad or the Israeli Defence Forces’ Unit 8200 must already have a higher order capability than Pegasus.

      • Why Blast Off Into Space?

        William Leitch in 1861 and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1903 expressed the idea of using rockets to enable human spaceflight. From 1920 Robert Goddard proposed improvements to rocket design, and in 1926 built and launched the first modern rocket. That modernity was marked by the first use of a converging-diverging exhaust tube — known as a de Laval nozzle — which enabled the hot exhaust gases emitted by the combusting rocket fuel to convert their heat energy into outward unidirectional motion at supersonic speed: thrust!

        But with the exception of tinkerers like Goddard, rockets were used as military weapons — artillery — most dramatically by Nazi Germany from 1943 with its V2 ballistic missile rocket-bombs. The American space program began in 1945 with the use of captured German V2 rockets to send cameras and scientific probes into the upper atmosphere. The USSR’s independent space program began in the 1950s, making a dramatic breakthrough — shocking Americans — with the lofting of Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite, which was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957. It orbited for three weeks before its batteries died and then orbited silently for two months before it fell back into the atmosphere on the 4th of January 1958.

      • Sexual Assault in the Military Is Still Going Unchecked. Will Congress Finally Act?

        Paula Coughlin was a 30-year-old helicopter pilot and navy lieutenant when Dick Cheney, then the secretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration, called her into his office at the Pentagon. It was June 1992. Days earlier, Coughlin had gone on national television to tell of being assaulted by a gauntlet of drunk service members in a hotel hallway during the Tailhook Convention, a gathering of naval aviators that took place in Las Vegas the previous September. Coughlin reported the incident to her supervisor, who failed to do anything. Then she took her complaint to Navy officials at the Pentagon. Months later, frustrated by the slow pace of the investigation, Coughlin decided to go to the media, blowing the scandal wide open.1

        Cheney was standing behind his desk when Coughlin entered. He wasn’t pleased. “You know, I had to fire the secretary of the Navy today because of you,” she recalled him saying. To Coughlin, this was not much of a remedy: What she wanted was to see her attackers brought to justice. Then Cheney told her that the president wanted to meet her. A car whisked Coughlin to the White House, where she had tea with President Bush and his wife, Barbara. Bush cried, Coughlin remembers, and told her that he felt bad for her father, who had also served as a Navy aviator.2

      • Opinion | Failed US Empire: Is This Country Heading for the Exit?

        It was all so long ago, in a world seemingly without challengers. Do you even remember when we Americans lived on a planet with a recumbent Russia, a barely rising China, and no obvious foes except what later came to be known as an “axis of evil,” three countries then incapable of endangering this one? Oh, and, as it turned out, a rich young Saudi former ally, Osama bin Laden, and 19 hijackers, mostly of them also Saudis, from a tiny group called al-Qaeda that briefly possessed an “air force” of four commercial jets. No wonder this country was then touted as the greatest force, the superest superpower ever, sporting a military that left all others in the dust.

      • “Tired of Waiting”: Cuban Americans Say Biden Broke Promise to Lift Cuba Sanctions & Thaw Relations

        After rare anti-government protests in Cuba, Cuban Americans are speaking out to demand the U.S. government end its blockade of the island. But President Joe Biden has responded with new sanctions. We speak with Cuban American Carlos Lazo, who just led a march from Miami to the White House with Puentes de Amor, or Bridges of Love, and says President Biden promised during the 2020 presidential campaign to undo Trump sanctions and return to a more constructive relationship with Cuba. “After seven months, he did nothing,” says Lazo. “We get tired of waiting.” We also speak with Latin American affairs scholar William LeoGrande, professor of government in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., who says, despite official U.S. rhetoric, almost every president going back to Dwight Eisenhower has found areas of mutual interest with the Cuban government. “There’s a long history of negotiation and cooperation just under the surface of the very real hostility that the United States has had toward Cuba,” says LeoGrande.

      • Calls Grow for Biden to Close Guantánamo Military Prison as U.S. Sanctions Cuba over Human Rights

        As the United States imposes new Cuba sanctions, citing human rights abuses, we look at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a notorious gulag that President Biden himself has called an “advertisement for creating terror.” This month, the first Guantánamo Bay prisoner to be released under the Biden administration, Abdul Latif Nasser, returned to his home country of Morocco after nearly two decades of being held without charge even though he was cleared for release in 2016. There are 39 other prisoners still at Guantánamo, nearly two decades after the start of the U.S. war on terror. To discuss efforts to close the notorious prison and repatriate the remaining detainees, we are joined by Nasser’s lawyer Mark Maher of Reprieve and Gary Thompson, lawyer for former Guantánamo prisoner Ravil Mingazov, who is currently being held in a UAE prison after being released from Guantánamo in 2017, where he was held without charge for 15 years. “If there was ever a right and just time to be releasing these men, this is the time to do it,” says Maher.

      • July 27 isn’t Just Another Day

        Yet for most Americans July 27 is just another day. Like the Korean War itself, the armistice signing is largely forgotten or was never really known. But for Koreans who survived the war and now reside in the United States, forgetting is more complicated. Years ago, I began one of the first projects to interview elders about their lives dating to the war and collaborated with scholars, artists, and filmmakers to create public memory spaces for healing, public education, and reconciliation. Some of the most paradoxical memories that people shared were about the original armistice day, July 27, 1953.

        These non-remembrances were extremely perplexing. I had expected great joy at the cessation of horrific fighting that resulted in three million civilian casualties much like the sentiments people associated with August 15, 1945, the date of Korea’s liberation from 35 years of Japanese colonial rule.

      • Chris Hedges: The Collective Suicide Machine

        The debacle in Afghanistan, which will unravel into chaos with lightning speed over the next few weeks and ensure the return of the Taliban to power, is one more signpost of the end of the American empire. The two decades of combat, the one trillion dollars we spent, the 100,000 troops deployed to subdue Afghanistan, the high-tech gadgets, artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, Reaper drones armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs and the Global Hawk drones with high-resolution cameras, Special Operations Command composed of elite rangers, SEALs and air commandos, black sites, torture, electronic surveillance, satellites, attack aircraft, mercenary armies, infusions of millions of dollars to buy off and bribe the local elites and train an Afghan army of 350,000 that has never exhibited the will to fight, failed to defeat a guerrilla army of 60,000 that funded itself through opium production and extortion in one of the poorest countries on earth.

      • The Continuing Horror of CIA’s Torture and Abuse

        Secretary of State Antony Blinken audaciously claimed that it is difficult to transfer detainees until the United States receives assurances that the “rights of these people will be protected in that country.” In other words, the senior diplomat of the country that tortured and abused hundreds of captives; violated various Geneva Conventions by kidnapping individuals and turning them over to countries such as Syria and Pakistan that conduct torture and abuse; created secret prisons throughout East Europe and Southeast Asia; and used Guantanamo to circumvent U.S. laws is now concerned about the health and safety of these abused individuals.

        Over the years, false statements from government officials have been treated as facts by the mainstream media.  Perhaps Blinken is unaware that many U.S. captives who were turned over to third countries were actually released by those countries for lack of sufficient evidence of culpability.  Blinken should familiarize himself with the Inspector General report on Khalid al-Masri, who was a victim of an erroneous rendition.  If it hadn’t been for al-Masri’s German citizenship and the intervention of National Security Adviser Condi Rice, then CIA director George Tenet may never have sanctioned the release of al-Masri who was being held in Afghanistan.

      • Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison ‘For Exposing US War Crimes’

        Human rights and press freedom advocates expressed dismay on Tuesday when whistleblower Daniel Hale, who pled guilty earlier this year to violating the Espionage Act, was sentenced to 45 months in prison for sharing with a journalist classified information about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program.

        “We believe that rather than harm our country, Hale’s revelations actually enhanced our democracy by providing critical information about what our government has been doing in our name.”—CodePink

      • Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Receives 45-Month Sentence For Releasing Drone Documents

        Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison. It was a severe sentence but not the harshest sentence ever issued in an Espionage Act prosecution against a former United States government employee or contractor for the “unauthorized disclosure” of information.The sentence was not what U.S. prosecutors demanded. They wanted Hale to go to prison for nine years, but it is likely Judge Liam O’Grady issued a lower sentence after considering his mental health problems. This case is the first major Espionage Act conviction under President Joe Biden. Hale was a signals intelligence analyst in the U.S. Air Force, who was deployed to Afghanistan and stationed at Bagram Air Base. He helped track down the “geographic location of handset cellphone devices believed to be in the possession of so-called enemy combatants” so they could be targeted and killed by drones.He later worked as a defense contractor for Leidos at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), where he decided to release documents on the drone program to journalist Jeremy Scahill. In a letter to Judge Liam O’Grady, Hale shared the trauma he experienced as a participant and witness to gruesome and violent drone strikes. He recalled the moment when colleagues at the NGA asked him to join them to watch “war porn” or archived footage of drone strikes. He could no longer suppress his conscience.“My conscience, once held at bay, came roaring back to life. At first, I tried to ignore it. Wishing instead that someone, better placed than I, should come along to take this cup from me. But this, too, was folly,” Hale stated. “Left to decide whether to act, I only could do that which I ought to do before God and my own conscience. The answer came to me, that to stop the cycle of violence, I ought to sacrifice my own life and not that of another person.”

        “So I contacted an investigative reporter with whom I had had an established prior relationship and told him that I had something the American people needed to know.”

      • WhatsApp

        ProPublica and a coalition of 15 other news organizations have been arguing for access to video exhibits shown in the criminal cases against the accused Jan. 6 rioters. We’ll add videos as we get them.

      • ‘A Hitman Sent Them,’ Capitol Police Officer Says of January 6 Attackers

        Update:

        Officer Harry Dunn of the U.S. Capitol Police told a special House committee on Tuesday that a “hitman” sent the mob that invaded the halls of Congress on January 6—a clear reference to former President Donald Trump, whose lies about the 2020 election helped fuel the insurrection led by his supporters.

      • ‘A Hit Man Sent Them’: Police Officers Testify to the Violence Done on January 6

        I wondered whether Tuesday’s hearing by the House Select Committee on January 6, featuring four police officers who were attacked that day, could reveal much to those of us who’ve paid close attention—read (almost) every story, watched (almost) every video—to the Trump-inspired insurrection that day.

      • Opinion | Just Do It, PBS: Carry the January 6 Insurrection Hearings in Prime Time

        There’s an argument to be made that President Richard Nixon’s downfall in 1974 wasn’t only because his illegal behavior was called out by intrepid journalists and prosecuted by Congress and the Supreme Court. Another important factor was the role of public broadcasting.

      • First 1/6 Hearing Reveals What We Already Know: It Was a GOP Riot
      • Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of ‘Apparent War Crimes’ During May Assault on Gaza

        Human Rights Watch on Tuesday issued a damning report that accuses Israeli forces of committing “apparent war crimes” during an 11-day assault of the occupied Gaza Strip in May.

        ” Imagine carrying your own child and feeling his body flop because his spine was broken. There was smoke coming out of my children’s mouths and from their clothes. It was horrible.”—Youssef al-Masri, Gazan

    • Environment

      • Opinion | The Past Reveals the Climate Breakdown We Are Headed Towards

        Climate modelling isn’t the only way of forecasting what our climate-changed world will look like by the century’s end and beyond.

      • Greenwashing the Tokyo Olympic Games

        In its Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC sets out recommendations for three “spheres of responsibility”.  The first: that the IOC adopt sustainability principles and include them “in its day-to-day operations.”  The second: that the organisation “take a proactive and leadership role on sustainability and ensure that it is included in all aspects of the planning and staging” of the games.  The third, as being the “leader of the Olympic Movement”, the IOC will engage and assist the movement’s “stakeholders in integrating sustainability within their own organisations and operations.”

        As with other organisations of scale, problematic strategies such as carbon offsetting are embraced. Much is made of making sure that such “efforts” are communicated both internally “via workshops or by circulating infographics” and externally.  Get the public interested, let them visit “a dedicated webpage, creating interactive tools or apps (carbon footprinter)” or have “non-site activities at Games-time to raise public awareness.”

      • Opinion | Living on a Newly Unrecognizable Planet

        Germany is a wealthy nation. Its business and political leaders accept the reality of climate change and have made at least modest progress to prepare for and mitigate its effects. How then to respond to such events as a family moving to the roof of their house to escape the flood—only to have a surge of water so vast as to sweep them off the roof to their demise? Such pictures are terrifying, but of more long term importance is the questions raised by such mega storms. These ae not just big storms following relatively ordinary albeit destructive paths. In an effort to gain some perspective on these disturbing events I have drawn on recent work by two influential contemporary theorists, William Connolly and the late French philosopher Michel Serres (in block quotes). I have attached my own comments. My hope is that this will contribute to dialogue and action on a vital subject.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Federal Court Halts North Idaho Logging Plans Due to Government Abuse of Process

          The Alliance filed its first lawsuit against the project two years ago, and the federal court suspended the project after finding that it violated the law. Despite the holding in the first court order, the Forest Service re-approved the project this summer.  The Alliance immediately sued again and requested emergency relief to suspend the project. The federal court agreed with the Alliance again and suspended the project on July 23, after an emergency hearing was held in early July.

          The Hanna Flats logging project is located near the west side of Priest Lake in northern Idaho.  The area is home to a dwindling population of endangered Selkirk grizzly bears.  This tiny grizzly population is already failing three out of four recovery targets, and just experienced its highest mortality rate since 2008.  Roads and logging are the greatest threat to this population on these public lands.  Yet the Forest Service refuses to follow its own rules and conserve this imperiled grizzly population.  This refusal occurs even though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just found that a reduction in conservation measures for the Selkirk grizzly bear creates a low probability that it will survive in the wild.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Labor Movement: We Need a Big National Strike Fund

        On July 24, more than 600 Frito-Lay workers in Kansas who had been on strike for three weeks finally signed a new union contract. The contract, won at great personal cost for the striking factory workers, came with a modest 4 percent wage increase, and the right to at least one day off per week. 

      • Unless Congress Acts, 20 Million People Will Lose Unemployment Aid in Just 41 Days: Analysis

        A new analysis out Tuesday estimates that 20 million people across the U.S. will lose unemployment benefits if emergency federal programs are allowed to lapse at the beginning of September—and there’s little indication that Congress plans to stave off such an outcome.

        “There’s no reason to throw tens of millions off an economic cliff.”—James Myall, Maine Center for Economic Policy

      • You Are a Subject

        The brilliant, subtle analysis underlying these weighty title objects shines thru practically every paragraph of Alesia Montgomery’s book based on her three years of study and residence in Detroit (2010-13).  As a work of engaged scholarship, I simply cannot praise this book too highly.

        Detroit youth in particular, perhaps seeking coherent narrative (and relatively accessible story-telling with wisdom and bite), about ‘why all these things keep happening here’, or the meaning of things like “austerity” in the daily life of our community,  may enjoy and benefit from this 255-page book that packs a 2500-ton wallop.

      • A Cunning Extraterrestrial Profiteer

        Galaxy: “Thank you, Mr. Bezos, for calling on me first. There are still zillions of people who don’t know who you are. May I describe you as the $200 billion man or $200 B-Man, for short?”

        Bezos: “Sure, but you better hurry; it may be more than that by noon, ha, ha, ha!”

      • Senate Banking Chair Asks CFPB How It Plans to Address Risks of Chime and Other Banking Apps

        The chair of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee is calling for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to evaluate the risks associated with apps that provide banking services, citing ProPublica’s article on Chime, the most widely downloaded of those apps.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Working Families Party’s Amazing Disappearing Ballot Line

        In an unprecedented and little-noted ruling earlier this month, almost every Democrat running on the Working Families Party (WFP) line in New York City was thrown off the November ballot by the city’s Board of Elections. The move, based on a confusing legal technicality, highlighted the oddity of state election law, the cronyism of the board, and the desperate need for reform.

      • Milley Earns His Stars

        A presidential coup! Did that seem silly? Well not, apparently, to Mark A. Milley, Who braced his troops because of thinking, “Will he?” So that’s how grave this coup threat was. Yes, really.

      • Boris Johnson is a Comic Operate Prime Minister, Whose Antics Have Killed Tens of Thousands

        With similar callousness, Johnson is reported by his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings to have rejected a second lockdown last October after learning that the median age of the dead exceeded average life expectancy. “So get Covid and live longer,” he joked.

        On 23 July 2019, two years ago today, Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Conservative Party, defeating the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Had Hunt been chosen instead, or almost anybody other than Johnson for that matter, then tens of thousands of people in Britain would not have died and hundreds of thousands of others would have escaped severe illness and long Covid.

      • Ben Shapiro’s Authoritarian Moment

        Shapiro chose an inconvenient year to publish this book, and his introduction tries to claim that the president who tried to stage a coup and led an insurrection on January 6 was, in fact, completely powerless compared to the leftist “authoritarians” who control America by expressing their ideas on campuses and in the media.

        Shapiro admits that “Trump had certainly engaged in authoritarian rhetoric” but claims, “nothing happened.”(p. 11) Well, except for the insurrection. And the entire Trump Administration. But other than that, nothing.

      • Havana Heat
      • Former Navalny coordinator Irina Fatyanova barred from running in St. Petersburg election

        The former head of Navalny’s St. Petersburg campaign office, Irina Fatyanova, has been banned from running in the upcoming election to the city’s Legislative Assembly. 

      • Jesse Jackson, William Barber Among Dozens Arrested While Demanding Filibuster Repeal Outside Sinema’s Office

        Thirty-nine people, including civil rights champions Revs. Jesse Jackson and William J. Barber II, were arrested Monday during a sit-in outside the Phoenix office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a conservative Democrat whose opposition to filibuster reform is enabling Senate Republicans to obstruct the passage of progressive legislation on voting rights, the minimum wage, immigration reform, climate action, and more.

        “I taught kids for 25 years that this is what you have to do to change things, and now it’s time to step up,” Barry Smith, a 59-year-old retired schoolteacher from Phoenix, told the Associated Press prior to being arrested outside Sinema’s office. “We’re supposed to be a democracy, so having a minority running the Senate is just so infuriating.”

      • Communist Party plans pickets across Russia after election officials reject Pavel Grudinin’s State Duma candidacy

        The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KRPF) has announced plans to hold countrywide pickets in response to election officials barring former presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin from running in the upcoming State Duma elections, reports the Russian news website Open Media.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Warns Republicans Are Laying the Groundwork to ‘Overturn Results’ of Elections

        Imploring the Democratic leadership to act before it’s too late, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned Monday that the Republican supporters of newly enacted state-level voter suppression laws are laying the groundwork to overturn election results in the near future.

        The New York Democrat joined the chorus voicing concern over the national Democratic Party’s emerging plan to try to “out-organize” GOP-authored voter suppression laws—a strategy that civil rights organizations have said is doomed to fail in the absence of federal action to protect ballot access.

      • The ‘undesirable candidate’ Russia’s Communists flirt with real politics again in their fight for Pavel Grudinin

        The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) says it’s mobilizing supporters for nationwide protests against election officials’ decision not to register the party’s former presidential candidate, Pavel Grudinin, on its parliamentary ticket, this September. Last week, sources close to the Putin administration told Meduza that the Kremlin decided in advance to block Grudinin’s candidacy this fall after KPRF head Gennady Zyuganov refused to coordinate with Putin’s office. The Kremlin also holds a serious grudge against Grudinin for performing a little too well in Russia’s 2018 presidential race.

      • As Progressives Eye Potential ‘Jolt of Momentum,’ Nina Turner Nabs Women’s March Endorsement

        Progressive firebrand Nina Turner was endorsed on Tuesday by the Women’s March, a development that came a week out from the special Democratic primary in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District.

        The endorsement was first reported by The Hill, which said the announcement was released by the group’s super PAC, Women’s March Win.

      • Nina Turner Primary Opponent Shontel Brown Facing Felony Ethics Probe

        Progressives on Tuesday reacted with a total lack of surprise to a report that Shontel Brown—the Cuyahoga County, Ohio councilmember running against former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner in next week’s special primary election for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District seat—has been referred to state ethics officials following accusations of felony corruption.

        Newsweek reports the office of the Ohio Auditor reviewed allegations published in April by The Intercept that Brown, who is also the county Democratic Party chair, “had voted to award millions worth of contracts to companies connected to her romantic partner and campaign donors.” 

      • ‘Recess Can Wait’: 23 Groups Demand Senate Stay in DC to Pass For the People Act

        The Declaration for American Democracy coalition and 22 member organizations on Tuesday issued statements calling on the U.S. Senate to delay the August recess to pass the For the People Act—sweeping voting rights legislation the House approved months ago.

        “It is time for the Senate and the Biden administration to rise to the occasion and respond to the will of the people: Recess can wait; our democracy can’t.”—Jana Morgan, DFAD

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Upcoming Culture War Battles

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • ‘Vile’: Biden DHS to Turn Away Migrant Families Under ‘Expedited Removal’ Policy

        “The expedited removal ‘procedure’ involves sitting across a desk from a government agent signing a deportation order. There is no ability to see a judge… or otherwise understand the process. This is not due process.”—Camille Mackler, Immigrant ARC

      • After Devastating DACA Ruling, Dreamers Vow to Push for Legalization

        One such immigrant is Fatima Flores, the political director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), who just a week and a half before the ruling had renewed her DACA status. Had Hanen’s ruling come before her renewal, Flores would likely have been among those immigrants at risk of losing her status given that no new applications are being processed.

        Flores told me in an interview that she sees the devastating ruling as “an attack on our immigrant communities,” and points out that there is a “backlog of thousands of DACA recipient hopefuls [who] will not have a decision on their case.” This means they are in jeopardy of losing employment and benefits, which in turn could result in evictions. The ruling also means that those immigrants who might have been able to adjust their status under DACA are now eligible for possible deportation. Flores explained, “I came to this country when I was six, and I am 30 now. And I am one of millions of people who have been waiting for something to happen [toward legalization].”

      • Immigration Prosecutors Were Told Not to Push for Deportation in Cases Like His. He Was Ordered Deported the Next Day.

        Days after he took office, President Joe Biden started moving to reverse his predecessor’s immigration policies. One key step came at the end of May: Senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials issued a memo ordering immigration prosecutors to postpone or drop cases against immigrants judged to pose little threat to public safety, a decision that could ultimately affect more than 100,000 people facing deportation.

        A ProPublica survey of more than a dozen lawyers across the country, however, along with documents circulated by several local ICE offices, shows that implementation of that guidance has been spotty, with many prosecutors proceeding with exactly the sorts of deportation cases the new rules are intended to prevent.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Microsoft Watch: New Patents uncover a Next-Gen Surface Book Concept & Foldable Tablet + a Surface Duo 2 rumor points to a triple camera – Patently Apple [Ed: These Microsoft ‘products’ are complete and utter failure (big losses), so they focus on patents and extortion instead]
        • South Africa issues world’s first patent listing AI as inventor [Ed: A race to the bottom of patent quality and legitimacy; it's like the system now exists only for litigation and for lawyers, not for science and for society]

          South Africa has become the first country to award a patent that names an artificial intelligence as its inventor and the AI’s owner as the patent’s owner.

          The patent was secured by University of Surrey professor Ryan Abbott and his team, who have been at odds with patent offices around the world for years over the need to recognise artificial intelligences as inventors.

          Abbott was representing Dr Stephen Thaler, creator of an artificial neural system named Dabus (‘device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience’), which Thaler claims is the sole inventor of a food container that improves grip and heat transfer.

          Abbott and his team have filed patents listing Dabus as the inventor in more than ten jurisdictions since 2018, including in the UK, Europe and the US. The High Court in England and Wales last year sided with the UK Intellectual Property Office in refusing the applications, accepting that while Dabus created the inventions, it cannot be granted a patent on the grounds that it isn’t a ‘natural person’. The European Patent Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office objected on the same grounds, with Abbott’s team appealing.

        • BlackBerry CEO: Majority of cash for patent portfolio expected in upfront payment [Ed: BlackBerry still acting like a patent troll]
        • Sisvel vs. Haier: Düsseldorf court follows case law in Via Licensing and TCL dispute [Ed: Düsseldorf trying to become 'courts as corporations'; the patent parasite Sisvel now targets yet another company that actually makes something; only lawyers and trolls stand to gain.]

          In urgent preliminary proceedings, the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf has upheld two injunctions against TCL, handed down by the city’s first-instance Regional Court (case numbers: 4b O 83/19, 4b O 23/20, and 4b 49/20). The Higher Regional Court rejected two objections by the European and German distributors of Chinese company TCL against the judgment, as well as its FRAND defence, after Via Licensing members claimed infringement by the company.

          TCL disputed the validity of the first judgment. However, the Higher Regional Court corroborates the first instance decision of TCL being what the court deems an unwilling licensee (case ID: I-15 U 39/21 and I-15 U 40/21).

        • PTAB Denies Two CVC Requests Regarding Motions

          Recently, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied two requests by Junior Party University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (hereinafter, “CVC”) in Interference No. 106,115.

          In the first, CVC asked a conference call to discuss its renewed request for leave to file a motion against Senior Party The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University (hereinafter, “Broad”) that alleged inequitable conduct. This is a motion for which leave had been requested in this interference (see “CRISPR Interference Parties Propose Motions”) as well as in prior Interference No. 105,048 (see “CRISPR Interference Motions Set”). In that earlier interference, the matter was mooted by the Board’s determination that there was no interference-in-fact between the parties (see “PTAB Decides CRISPR Interference — No interference-in-fact” and PTAB Decides CRISPR Interference in Favor of Broad Institute — Their Reasoning). In this interference, the Board had deferred consideration of CVC’s request until after the priority phase (see “PTAB Redeclares CRISPR Interference and Grants Leave for Some (But Not All) of Parties’ Proposed Motions”). Nevertheless, CVC contended in its request that the Board should grant leave at this time because “the issues it would argue overlap with issues raised in the priority phase and that there are new justifications for a requested motion.”

        • Illumina vs. MGI: No PI for patent holder in DNA sequencing dispute

          Illumina, the US manufacturer of gene sequencing technology, is currently in dispute with Chinese competitor BGI, formerly Beijing Genomics Institute, and its subsidiary MGI Tech in numerous countries. Overall, five Illumina patents are in dispute. All patents protect various technologies associated with DNA sequencing.

          [...]

          The US company is asserting claim 1 of EP 578 in a limited version, which the EPO’s opposition division previously upheld. In addition to EP 578 and EP 289 (both “modified nucleotides for polynucleotide sequencing”), the Europe-wide series of proceedings also concern EP 3 587 433 (“modified nucleotides”), EP 1 828 412 (“improved method of nucleotide detection”) and EP 2 021 415 (“dye compounds and the use of their labelled conjugates”).

        • Patent Monopolies, Corruption, and the New Alzheimer’s Drug

          The piece details how the clinical trials designed to determine its effectiveness were aborted, since it did not appear to be helping patients. Nonetheless, the FDA worked close with Biogen, the drug’s manufacturer, to find evidence that it might be effective in slowing cognitive decline. The FDA ended up approving the drug over the unanimous objection of its advisory panel. (There was one abstention.)

          Incredibly, the piece never once mentions the role of government-granted patent monopolies in this outcome. Biogen was very anxious to get the drug approved because it intends to take advantage of this monopoly and charge $56,000 for a year’s treatment. If the drug would be available as a generic, which anyone could manufacture, the price would be far lower and there would be much less incentive to pressure the FDA to approve a drug of questionable effectiveness.

        • Software Patents

          • IP Edge entity, Xylon Licensing, reexamination request granted — Unified Patents

            On July 23, 2021, 7 weeks after Unified filed an ex parte reexamination, the USPTO granted Unified’s request, finding substantial new questions of patentability on the challenged claims of U.S. Patent 8,719,165, owned by Xylon Licensing, LLC, an NPE and IP Edge entity. The ‘165 patent relates to completing secure transactions using a mobile device and a secure computer. It has been asserted in 13 district court litigations against companies such as Plains Capital, Texas State Bankshares, Mastercard, Shopkeep, Global Payments, and others.

          • The PTAB’s Misplaced Reliance on Litigation Trial Dates in the NHK Spring/Fintiv Framework — Unified Patents

            As discussed in prior blog posts (for example, here and here), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has increasingly exercised its discretion under 35 U.S.C. § 314 (a) to deny institution of post-grant proceedings when the challenged patent is involved in related litigation, using the framework outlined in NHK Spring and Fintiv. See NHK Spring Co. Ltd. v. Intri-Plex Techs., Inc., IPR2018-00752, Paper 8 (Precedential); Apple Inc. v. Fintiv, Inc., IPR2020-00019, Paper 11 (Precedential). A major consideration in the NHK Spring/Fintiv framework is whether trial in related litigation will occur before the PTAB’s one-year statutory deadline for issuing a final written decision after institution; if trial will occur before, the PTAB will likely exercise discretion to deny institution. The rationale is simple and seemingly cogent: due to the advanced state of related litigation, institution would be an inefficient use of PTAB resources and inconsistent with the America Invents Act’s goal of providing an “effective and efficient alternative to district court litigation.” NHK Spring, Paper 8, pp. 19-20. But determining when trial in related litigation will occur is not straightforward because litigation schedules often change. Over the past year, such changes have become more prevalent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the PTAB may deny institution based on a litigation trial date that ultimately falls after the statutory deadline. We discuss instances where this occurred below.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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