Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 7/7/2019: 4MLinux 29.1 and Debian 10 Buster Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • A list of names from "Cold Blood"

      I watched this fairly cheesy hitman / action movie today and there was a scene in it where a police detective was looking at a list of phone numbers. When I saw it I had to freeze the screen... and look at all of the fine names that were on the list. I'm guessing that none of the phone numbers attributed to the individuals are real, or ARE they?

    • Server

      • IBM

        • IBM CTO: ‘Open Tech Is Our Cloud Strategy’

          IBM may not be as splashy as some of the other tech giants that make big code contributions to open source. But as Chris Ferris, CTO for open technology at IBM says, “we’ve been involved in open source before open source was cool.”

          By Ferris’ estimation, IBM ranks among the top three contributors in terms of code commits to open source project and contributors to the various open source communities. “It’s really significant,” he said. “We don’t run around with the vanity metrics the way some others do, but it’s really important to us.”

          Ferris can’t quantify IBM’s open source investments. But think about all the different foundations of which IBM is a sponsor, he says. These include the Linux Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Open Compute Project, OpenStack Foundation, and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), among others.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #372 €· Ubuntu Derivatives

        Bill has a new computer he got for free. It's 5 years old, modern hardware, can't run Windows 10 (according to Microsoft), and is perfect for Bill to use to test Linux distros! In the main portion of the episode, we discuss 6 Linux distributions that are official Ubuntu derivatives you can use.

    • Kernel Space

      • EROFS Looking To Be Promoted Out Of Linux's Staging Area

        Huawei's EROFS file-system has been part of the mainline Linux kernel for about one year albeit as part of the "staging" area until it's been proven stable and mature. Now with this file-system reportedly in use on "10+ millions of Huawei Android mobile phones", they are looking to have this file-system promoted out of staging.

        EROFS as a reminder is a read-only Linux file-system developed by Huawei and optimized for delivering solid performance. EROFS supports in-place I/O and in-place decompression among other features designed to deliver a fast read-only file-system and Huawei engineers continue to work to improve its performance as well as tack on other features. Iomap and direct I/O support are among the other features being worked on along with support for more compression schemes.

      • Linux AEST Driver Sent Out For ARM Error Source Table

        ARM Error Source Table is an extension of ACPI that provides a table for RAS errors. Support for this new error table is being worked on with the new "AEST" Linux kernel driver.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Open Source Messaging Software NATS Releases 2.0

          Open source messaging software NATS 2.0 has been released and offers advanced security management, global disaster recovery, and improved performance at scale. NATS is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) incubating project that provides messaging services for cloud native systems, IoT messaging, and microservices. According to Synadia, the company that leads the development of NATS, the latest release aims to "meet the market need for an advanced communications system tailored for modern distributed systems".

        • Linux Releases New Open Source Framework Boreas To Help Integrate & Develop AI Models

          Recently, the Linux Foundation’s Artificial Intelligence team released Boreas, an open source framework which is also the second software release for its Acumos project. With this release, the framework will enable developers to create, train as well as make license verification of AI, machine learning, and deep learning models and applications.

          Acumos is an open source platform and framework which supports training, integration and deployment of AI models. Integration, adoption, and deployment of Acumos around the world serve as a common, open framework for the accelerating innovations in AI, ML, and deep learning space.

      • Graphics Stack

        • More RadeonSI Navi Improvements Are Pending

          A few days ago the Navi 10 support landed in AMD's open-source RadeonSI OpenGL driver within Mesa 19.2. It looks like landing in the next few days will be some follow-up work to address some features and performance for the soon-to-ship Radeon RX 5700 series.

    • Applications

      • Top 20 Best Astronomy Software For Linux To Explore Space With

        There are far-ranges of astronomy software on the Linux platform that pave the way to observe the sky for the astronomy enthusiasts. In naked eyes, this fascinating universe stays immensely apart although there are many things to watch, for instance, nebulae, asteroids, star cluster, galaxies, meteor showers, comets, planets, stars, moons and so on. Astronomy software truly offers the professional astronomers and even the amateur sky explorer to go through the deep insight of the universe. This software facilitates controlling telescope, mapping night sky, making stars charts, having a close observation, creating details observation logs, and much more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 4.12.1 is now available.

        What's new in this release (see below for details): - Fixes for broken 64-bit prefix initialization.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        You will find documentation on

        You can also get the current source directly from the git repository. Check for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 4.12.1 Released To Fix Broken 64-Bit Support

        Wine's bi-weekly development snapshots do not normally see point releases, but this time around there's an immediate bug fix release to Friday's Wine 4.12.

        Wine 4.12.1 has been warranted due to 64-bit prefix initialization breaking for this release. This regression in Wine 4.12 comes after they began building Wineboot as a PE file.

      • Prepare your Command-Wine Interface for an upgrade to version 4.12 (update - and 4.12.1)

        Update: 4.12.1 was released soon after, to fix "broken 64-bit prefix initialization".

    • Games

      • GameMode Seeing Improvement Work For Better Integration With GNOME

        Feral's GameMode as the Linux gaming mode daemon to try to put the system in an optimized state automatically when running Linux games is seeing another possible addition thanks to GNOME developer Christian Kellner of Red Hat.

        Kellner has sent out a patch to allow GameMode to expose registered games with this daemon. This would allow the GameMode GNOME Shell extension or even integration within GNOME Usage to easily see what games are currently registered with this performance-minded Linux gaming daemon.

      • Clockwork's GameShell is an Open Source Retro Handheld Console

        Raising $290,000 USD on Kickstarter last year, Clockwork‘s latest release is a DIY retro handheld gaming console for the serious gamers out there. Called the GameShell, the device comes in a boxed kit similar to Gunpla or car models, giving you the chance to assemble the modular gadget yourself. It comes in three colors — white, red, and yellow — and all the necessary components to get started including a ClockworkPi mainboard v3.1, an Arduino-compatible keyboard, a two-channel stereo speaker, a 2.7-inch RGB screen at 60fps, a 1200 mAh rechargeable battery, and five independent IO extended keys.

        Moving beyond the components, the GameShell is a truly hackable open source device. The machine itself is capable of playing retro games from Atari, GameBoy (Advance as well), the NES, or even the PlayStation 1, with support for programming languages including Preset C, Python, Lua, JS and LISP, allowing you to not only create your own games but also hack and modify existing ones. If the 2.7-inch screen isn’t big enough for you, fret not — a micro HDMI port allows you to connect the GameShell to your TV or monitor, bringing your favorite childhood games to the big screen. The console also doubles as a pocket Linux Computer if you connect a keyboard and mouse through OTG or Bluetooth.

      • Arduboy Mini is a tiny, open open source game console (for people with good eyesight)

        The Arduboy is a small handheld game console that uses open source code and which has a strong community of developers who have created 100+ games for the platform.

        But the upcoming Arduboy Mini is smaller, more fragile, harder to use, and… kind of cool anyway. Arduboy creator Kevin Bates has shared an early look at the Arduboy Mini and says he plans to produce “a limited edition batch of these in 4 different color PCBs” for folks that want to buy one.


        This is obviously a niche device that isn’t going to appeal to everyone. But Bates says the Arduboy Mini was partially built as a “design study to a smaller form factor,” and that he could eventually use what he’s learned to produce a similarly-sized Arduboy with an LCD display that could sell for as little as $5.

      • tinyBuild's CEO reiterates company's devotion to DRM-free releases on GOG

        It is always good when bad things settle down peacefully.

        Recently, one of the tinyBuild's community managers said in a Discord chat some rather dumb things regarding the company's stance on DRM-free, piracy and their corporate policy on the matter, trying to justify the lack of updates on GOG (for "Punch Club" and "Party Hard" for example, which were neglected for years, both being Linux releases) as an anti-pirate measures, after which some of the community have become riled-up.

      • Linux Games Get A Performance Boost for AMD GPUs Thanks to Valve’s New Compiler

        It has been a few days since Steam asked for the public feedback in order to test ACO (a new Mesa shader compiler) for AMD GPUs.

        Currently, the AMD drivers use a shader compiler utilizing LLVM. However, Mesa is an open source alternative to LLVM.

        So, in this case, Valve wants to support AMD graphics to improve the performance of Linux games on various Linux distros.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 78

          It’s time for week 78 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative! This week I think people have been taking a breather following a super intense sprint, and some are even on vacation–myself included. So this week’s report is going to ba a bit light, but it’s still got a few cool goodies!

        • KDE: Konsole Improves Its Tiled Split Mode, Global Shortcuts Can Turn Off Screens

          KDE developer Nate Graham published his usual weekly summary this morning of the KDE development happenings and it's one of the shortest we've seen in many months. Accomplishments this week though include the ability to assign a global keyboard shortcut to turn off the screen/display, Konsole's tiled split code can now re-arrange views via drag-and-drop, the energy saving settings now allow for hibernation after a defined period of time, and various other small improvements.

        • I am going to Akademy 2019!

          This year I will be going to my second Akademy to meet my KDE friends again, discuss about future plans for the community during BoF sessions, participate in workshops, code and learn more about free software, KDE projects and Qt! One more interesting thing is that this time I am going to present a talk about our new features in kpmcore library because of the release of KDE Partition Manager 4.0.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 29.1 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.19.49. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.39, MariaDB 10.3.15, and PHP 7.3.6 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the "zk update" command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 10 buster released

          After 25 months of development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 10 (code name buster), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team.

        • Debian 10.0 "Buster" Now Available - Powered By Linux 4.19, GNOME + Wayland

          After a long day of preparations, Debian 10.0 "Buster" is now available as planned with the CD/DVD images having just hit the mirrors.

          Debian 10 is making use of the Linux 4.19 kernel, UEFI Secure Boot is finally supported by the distribution, on the desktop side GNOME Shell with Wayland is the default experience, AppArmor is enabled by default, and there are a plethora of updated packages compared to Debian 9 Stretch. Simply the newer/added packages alone in Debian 10 Buster make it a worthwhile upgrade from servers to desktops and workstations.

        • Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Operating System Officially Released, Download Now

          The Debian Project has officially announce today the release and general availability of the Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series as the new stable version of Debian. More than two years in development, Debian Buster or Debian 10 has now been declared stable, available for download for all supported architectures, and ready for deployment in production environments. It's a major release that brings numerous updated components and lots of new features and improvements.

          "After 25 months of development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 10 (code name buster), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team," reads the release announcement.

        • Debian 10 ("Buster") has been released

          Debian version 10, code named "Buster", has been released.

        • Debian 10 Buster Released! Here are the New Features

          The GNOME desktop which was 1.3.22 in Debian Stretch is updated to 1.3.30 in Buster. Some of the new packages included in this GNOME desktop release are gnome-todo, tracker instead of tracker-gui, dependency against gstreamer1.0-packagekit so there is automatic codec installation for playing movies etc. The big move has been all packages being moved from libgtk2+ to libgtk3+ .

        • Debian 10 "buster" has been released!

          You've always dreamt of a faithful pet? He is here, and his name is Buster! We're happy to announce the release of Debian 10, codenamed buster.

          Want to install it? Choose your favourite installation media and read the installation manual. You can also use an official cloud image directly on your cloud provider, or try Debian prior to installing it using our "live" images.

        • Jonathan Wiltshire: Testing in Teams

          The Debian CD images are subjected to a battery of tests before release, even more so when the release is a major new version. Debian has volunteers all over the world testing images as they come off the production line, but it can be a lonely task.

        • Daisy and George Help Debian
        • After 25 Months, Debian 10 'buster' Released

          "After 25 months of development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 10 (code name 'buster'), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team."

        • Debian 10 “buster” Released, After 2 Years of Continuous Development

          As promised by Debian project in the last month mailing list, the new stable version of Debina 10 “Buster” has been released on July 06th 2019, after 25 months of development.

          It’s Long Term Support (LTS) release and will be supported for the next 5 years.

          This new release contains totally over 57703 packages, over 35532 software packages has been updated to latest version (It is 62% of all packages in stretch), it includes over 13370 new packages.

          Also, removed over 7278 packages for various reasons from the distribution (It is 13% of the packages in stretch).

        • Debian: repository changed its ‘Suite’ value from ‘testing’ to ‘stable’

          Debian 10 (Buster) was released two hours ago.

        • Debian releases version 10, Buster, with full secure boot support

          The Debian GNU/Linux Project has released version 10 of its community Linux distribution, with Buster, as the release is named, having hit the download servers after 25 months of development.

          A statement from the project said secure boot was now fully supported for amd64, i386 and arm64 architectures and should work out of the box on most secure boot-enabled machines.

          More than 91% of the source packages included will build bit-for-bit identical binary packages.

          "This is an important verification feature which protects users against malicious attempts to tamper with compilers and build networks," the statement, put out by Debian press team member Donald Norwood, said.

          "Future Debian releases will include tools and metadata so that end-users can validate the provenance of packages within the archive."

        • Debian 10 "Buster" has finally been released

          Like other distributions, you don't need to install Debian right away. It has a "live" image you can stick on a USB, to test it without making any changes on your computer.

          For those unaware, Debian is what both Ubuntu (so also Mint, elementary OS, KDE neon and many more) and SteamOS base themselves upon, so the work that goes into Debian affects a great many other distributions.

          If you're not upgrading right away, rest assured that Debian 9 "Stretch" is still supported and will continue to be for 12 months with the Debian Security Team, after which it will be handed over to the Debian LTS team.

        • Debian 11 "Bullseye" Cycle Prepares To Begin Long Journey

          Now that Debian 10 "Buster" shipped, Debian developers are preparing already to kickoff the Debian 11 "Bullseye" development and begin with uploading new packages for this next major release of Debian GNU/Linux.

          Assuming their release cycle remains roughly similar, Debian 11.0 won't be released until around summer 2021. It will certainly be interesting to see what this cycle holds besides the usual gathering of a slew of updated and new packages. It will be interesting to see if RISC-V or any other alternative architectures get promoted this cycle. It will also be interesting if Debian 11 sticks to GNOME Shell + Wayland as the default desktop experience.

        • Bits from the Release Team: ride like the wind, Bullseye!

          Shortly before the end of the 6th July, we released Debian 10, "buster".

          There are too many people who should be thanked for their work on getting us to this point to list them all individually, and we would be sure to miss some. Nevertheless, we would like to particularly thank the installer team, the buildd and ftp teams, the CD team, the publicity team, the webmasters, the Release Notes editors, porters and all the bug squashers, NMUers, package maintainers and translators who have contributed to making buster a great release of which we should all be proud.

          First point release ===================

          As for stretch, we anticipate that the first point release for buster will occur in approximately one month's time.

          Please co-ordinate fixes which you would like to see included in the point release with the Stable Release Managers (SRMs) via a "pu" bug against the pseudopackage, including a debdiff of the current and proposed source packages. Remember to use reportbug unless you enjoy crafting the metadata by hand.

          No binary maintainer uploads for bullseye =========================================

          The release of buster also means the bullseye release cycle is about to begin. From now on, we will no longer allow binaries uploaded by maintainers to migrate to testing. This means that you will need to do source-only uploads if you want them to reach bullseye.

          Q: I already did a binary upload, do I need to do a new (source-only) upload? A: Yes (preferably with other changes, not just a version bump).

          Q: I needed to do a binary upload because my upload went to the NEW queue, do I need to do a new (source-only) upload for it to reach bullseye? A: Yes. We also suggest going through NEW in experimental instead of unstable where possible, to avoid disruption in unstable.

          Q: Does this also apply to contrib and non-free? A: No. Not all packages in contrib and non-free can be built on the buildds, so maintainer uploads will still be allowed to migrate for packages outside main.

          All autopkgtest failures considered RC for bullseye ===================================================

          From now on, all autopkgtest failures will be considered release-critical for bullseye. So if your package has failing autopkgtests, now is a good time to start looking for a fix.

          Start working on bullseye =========================

          With the start of the bullseye release cycle, you can now upload to unstable those changes you've been holding off during the freeze. Please do not rush to upload everything all at once, in order to manage load on the buildds etc. Automatic testing migration is not yet re-enabled, but that will happen during the next few days.

          As with buster, we would ask that you co-ordinate particularly large transitions or changes; if your plans involve major toolchain changes or otherwise have the potential to cause problems in unstable for a long time (e.g. due to FTBFS issues), please talk to us. We know that there are a large number of changes which have been waiting for the release to happen and we're keen not to stand in the way of those but would also like to avoid a number of larger transitions becoming entangled.

          That's it for now; it is time for the celebrations to begin, whether at a Release Party[1] or otherwise. :-)


          For the release team: -- Jonathan Wiltshire Debian Developer

          4096R: 0xD3524C51 / 0A55 B7C5 1223 3942 86EC 74C3 5394 479D D352 4C51
        • Debian GNU Hurd 2019 Released With An ACPI Translator, Support For LLVM

          In addition to the release of Debian 10.0 "Buster" this weekend, the team maintaining the Debian port to the GNU Hurd micro-kernel did their unofficial "2019" release.

          Debian GNU/Hurd 2019 isn't an official Debian project release but remains an unofficial port. The Debian GNU/Hurd 2019 release is based on Debian Sid sources at the time of Buster's release, meaning the packages are largely the same. Debian GNU Hurd 2019 is just available for the i386 architecture and roughly 80% of Debian's massive package archive can be built for Hurd.

        • Debian GNU/Hurd 2019 released!
          It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the
          release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2019.  This is a snapshot of Debian "sid" at
          the time of the stable Debian "stretch" release (July 2019), so it is
          mostly based on the same sources.  It is not an official Debian release,
          but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release.

          The installation ISO images can be downloaded from cdimage ( in the usual three Debian flavors: NETINST, CD, or DVD. Besides the friendly Debian installer, a pre-installed disk image is also available, making it even easier to try Debian GNU/Hurd. The easiest way to run it is inside a VM such as qemu (

          Debian GNU/Hurd is currently available for the i386 architecture with about 80% of the Debian archive, and more to come!

          * An ACPI translator is available, it is currently only used to shut down the system.

          * The LwIP TCP/IP stack is now available as an option.

          * A PCI arbiter has been introduced, and will be useful to properly manage PCI access, as well as provide fine-grain hardware access.

          * Support for LLVM was introduced.

          * The LwIP TCP/IP stack is now available as an option.

          * New optimisations include protected payloads, better paging management and message dispatch, and gsync synchronization.

          Please make sure to read the configuration information (, the FAQ ( (or its latest version (), and the translator primer ( to get a grasp of the great features of GNU/Hurd.

          We would like to thank all the people who have worked on GNU/Hurd ( in the past. There were not many people at any given time (and still not many people today, please join (!), but in the end a lot of people have contributed one way or the other. Thanks everybody!
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical GitHub account hacked, Ubuntu source code safe

          The GitHub account of Canonical Ltd., the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, was hacked on Saturday, July 6.

          "We can confirm that on 2019-07-06 there was a Canonical owned account on GitHub whose credentials were compromised and used to create repositories and issues among other activities," the Ubuntu security team said in a statement.

          "Canonical has removed the compromised account from the Canonical organisation in GitHub and is still investigating the extent of the breach, but there is no indication at this point that any source code or PII was affected," it said.

          "Furthermore, the Launchpad infrastructure where the Ubuntu distribution is built and maintained is disconnected from GitHub and there is also no indication that it has been affected."

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Loopring opens route to AI blockchain trading

        Ethereum is also open-source. It is a public distributed blockchain platform with smart contract (scripting) functionality for online contractual agreements.

        Loopring allows for multiple exchanges to mix and match orders. It also allows ‘off-chain’ order-matching. It also allows ‘on-chain’ transaction clearing and payment.

      • Ethereum Classic Unveils Open-Source Substitute To Infura, Ethercluster - Product Release & Updates
      • Ethereum Classic Unveils Ethercluster, An Open-Source Alternative To Infura

        Ethereum Classic announced the release of its latest project titled Ethercluster on 1st July 2019 through its official Twitter handle. The project will be an open-source alternative to Infura for not only Ethereum Classic but also other ETH-based networks, read the tweet. A detailed Medium blog post followed later in the day to divulge thorough details on ETC Cooperative’s newest endeavor.

      • First public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain for the energy sector

        The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain).

      • BT Leverages Open Source for Fifth Generation of Network Monitoring

        In a world where telcos increasingly compete with public cloud providers rather than each other, they need to revamp their market propositions and adopt new technologies and processes to remain relevant. To that end, network operators need to modernize the systems that monitor their services and networks in order to deliver a more cloud-like experience to their customers.

        But commercial solutions are still coming up short, which is why BT is developing its own monitoring system, based largely on open source, according to José Domingos, OSS assurance architect at the UK incumbent.

        Domingos, who took part in a panel on Telemetry and Analytics at last year's Software-Driven Operations conference in London, says better network monitoring is key to delivering this cloud-like experience, and is a critical component of BT's next-generation, agile OSS.

      • What does open source SD-WAN look like, and do we need it?

        Today's software-defined WAN, or SD-WAN, offerings already use open source building blocks in their underlying architectures. The adoption of open source in SD-WAN occurred primarily because the SD-WAN market already accepted many underlying open source components, and vendors were focused on time to market -- or the amount of time between developing and selling a product -- for this surging product category.

        However, when users visualize a full open source SD-WAN product, they envision a top-to-bottom open source stack that enables a business to fulfill all its WAN management and orchestration needs in a single, open product. The holy grail of any open source SD-WAN vision is heterogeneous WAN endpoints: In this idealized situation, any endpoint could seamlessly communicate with any other endpoint regardless of the vendor or version. Yet, in practicality, this is not what most customers need from their SD-WAN.

      • CableLabs Seizes On Smarter WiFi

        Following a partnership established last year, CableLabs and the Wi-Fi Alliance have come forth with a standard way to collect and analyze data on WiFi networks that can be used to troubleshoot and correct problems.

        That standard, called Wi-Fi Certified Data Elements, will provide service providers with deeper visibility into WiFi networks, pinpointing data related to WiFi performance and reducing an increasing reliance on customers to report home network issues.


        The code for Wi-Fi Certified Data Elements has been released to the open source community, so anyone can use it without requiring proprietary equipment or other restrictions. With respect to deployment, MSOs can work with their suppliers to get the code implemented in modems and routers that have been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, CableLabs said. However, the operators will still need to set up servers to collect and analyze the incoming data.

      • Should you be banking on open source analytics?

        Do the rewards outweigh the risks? Open source software used to be treated almost as a joke in the financial services sector. If you wanted to build a new system, you bought tried and tested, enterprise-grade software from a large, reputable vendor. You didn’t gamble with your customers’ trust by adopting tools written by small groups of independent programmers. Especially with no formal support contracts and no guarantees that they would continue to be maintained in the future.


        Enthusiasm for open source software is especially prevalent in business domains where innovation is the top priority. Data science is probably the most notable example. In recent years, open source languages such as R and Python have built an increasingly dominant position in the spheres of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

      • Why Styra Open Sourced OPA

        As founders and maintainers of the Open Policy Agent project (OPA), Teemu Koponen, Torin Sandall and I are pleased to be looking back at the project’s first three years and recognizing a significant milestone. At KubeCon in Barcelona, we were overwhelmed by support—many people and companies that we have had no interaction with were extolling the virtues of OPA Policy and claiming that OPA “was everywhere.” This followed the announcement on April 2, when OPA moved from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)’s sandbox to the incubating stage. This benchmark signals OPA’s progress and the contributions of others: proof of concepts and integrations, successes of production users and new participants joining the project. It also provides an exciting opportunity to reflect on OPA’s journey—from how we first envisioned it to how it now solves practical and critical security and policy challenges every day in the cloud-native ecosystem.

      • Distrelec to distribute SparkFun Electronics’ open-source products

        Dedicated to manufacturing open-source products, tools and associated accessories, the company has built its community with the necessary curriculum, training and online tutorials designed to make embedded electronics accessible to all skill-levels. “SparkFun Electronics provides a wealth of resources, components and widgets that enable the next generation of makers from all technological backgrounds to achieve electronic literacy. Our collaboration with Distrelec will further strengthen our online community, and continue to harbour a platform where innovators of all skill levels can learn from one another”, said Glenn Samala, CEO at SparkFun Electronics in a statement. Starting with selected products from SparkFun Electronics impressive range of robotics technology, including sensors, development kits and boards and break out boards, Distrelec will continue to expand its product assortment throughout 2019.

      • With Artemis, SparkFun Brings Makers an Open-Source Platform for Embedded Machine Learning

        The Artemis Engineering Version from SparkFun is an open-source embedded system module designed to run TensorFlow...

      • Open source machine learning accelerates winemaking

        Palmaz said he believes he has the world's first fully algorithmic fermentation control system. Powered by open source machine learning, FILCS monitors the environment of the fermentation tanks and uses its associations and historical data to calculate the chance that current conditions will lead to a bad result. It then notifies the winemakers when it is confident something needs to be adjusted. FILCS is not yet sophisticated enough to make changes on its own.

        Using off-the-shelf, open source machine learning protocols such as TensorFlow to build data sets, create associations, then train new associations, Palmaz spent the next four years hacking FILCS together. After buying about $70,000 of Promise Technology hardware and hardening it to work in high-moisture environments, Palmaz officially launched FILCS in 2014.

      • Gab becomes the largest Mastodon node, bringing the largest user contribution to the fediverse

        Gab, a social network that seeks to differentiate itself with a focus on individual liberties and free speech, has emerged as Mastodon's largest node making a massive contribution to the decentralized social world, coming in with whoping double the number of users of its closes competitor.

        Gab is a fork of Mastodon, itself an open-source self-hosted, federated social media networking service. It works by enabling anyone to host their server node while participating in the Fediverse – that includes other platforms supporting the same protocols.

        According to the tweet, Gab is now the largest Mastodon node, with one million users since starting to take part in the Fediverse network based on Mastodon.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox FPR15 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 15 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). There are no changes from the beta other than outstanding security fixes. Assuming all goes well, it will go live Monday evening Pacific as usual. Also, we now have Korean and Turkish language packs available for testing. If you want to give these a spin, download them here; the plan is to have them go-live at the same time as FPR15. Thanks again to new contributor Tae-Woong Se and, of course, to Chris Trusch as always for organizing localizations and doing the grunt work of turning them into installers.

          • DoH! Secure DNS doesn't make us a villain Mozilla tells UK ISP's

            Mozilla says its baffled by the UK Internet Services Providers’ Association following the trade group's decision to nominate of the public benefit browser maker as the internet's 2019 villain of the year.

            The UK ISPA earlier this week proposed Mozilla, self-styled defender of internet freedom, as a black hat for its "proposed approach to introduce DNS-over-HTTPS in such a way as to bypass UK filtering obligations and parental controls, undermining internet safety standards in the UK."

            The filtering obligation comes from the UK's Digital Economy Act 2017, which includes a requirement that websites serving adult content in the UK verify the ages of website visitors. The previously delayed policy was to have taken effect on July 15 but was delayed again last month in a bureaucratic snafu. The rules are currently expected to take effect in maybe six months, maybe.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.2.5 is here with a lot of bug fixes, download now

          The fifth maintenance update of the latest LibreOffice 6.2 has just been released and it solves a number of issues the users have previously reported.

          As most of you would already know, LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that comes with various tools, such as Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math. It is also worth mentioning that The Document Foundation is the brains behind this project.

      • CMS

      • Healthcare

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

        • Autoware open source self-driving startup Tier IV secures over $100 million in Series A round

          Tier IV, an open source self-driving startup based in Japan, has raised over $100 million in total in a Series A funding round to commercialize self-driving technology in private areas, depopulated areas, and urban areas. The fresh funding will also enable Tier IV to become a global platform company and scale out its self-driving business. The round was led by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., the Japanese major P&C insurance company, with participation from existing investors, Yamaha Motor Co., and other investors.

        • Tier IV raises over $100 million to develop open source software for driverless cars

          Tier IV, a Japan-based driverless car software maintainer and provider, this week announced the closure of a round north of $100 million led by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, with participation from Yamaha Motor, KDDI, JAFCO, and Aisan Technology. The fresh capital brings the company’s total raised to nearly $130 million following seed rounds totaling $28 million, and founder Shinpei Kato said it’ll fuel the global commercialization and expansion of Tier IV’s self-driving technology platform.

          “Tier IV has a mission to embody disruptive creation and creative disruption with self-driving technology. We have derived a solid software platform and successfully integrated it with real vehicles,” said Kato. “It is time to step forward to real services, embracing functional safety and risk management.”

        • How Not To Get Paid For Open Source Work

          [Avi Press] recently made a Medium post sharing his thoughts on a failed effort to allow for paid users of an open source project. [Avi] is the author of Toodles, a tool to help organize and manage TODO items in software development. Toodles enjoyed unexpected popularity, and some of its users were large organizations. It seemed that Toodles was of value to people who could afford to pay, and they might even be willing to do so if [Avi] provided a way for them to do it. It turned out that the monetizing process was far from simple, and he ultimately wasn’t successful.


          Regardless of whether “difficulty in shoehorning a paid license system into an open source project” should be filed under “Feature, not Bug” [Avi] does thoughtfully present the issues he encountered. Open source and getting paid are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Octoprint is one example of an open source project that eventually navigated these waters, but that doesn’t mean it was easy, nor does it mean there are established tools and processes.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • US DoD’s Joint AI Center to open-source natural disaster satellite imagery data set

            In order to motivate machine studying,Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute and CrowdAI, U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) and Defense Innovation Unit have open-sourced a labelled knowledge set of a large number of disasters in the past decade. The preliminary report called Creating xBD: A Dataset for Assessing Building Damage from Satellite Imagery covers theaffects of disasters globally.

            Detailing the creation of xBD, “Although large-scale disasters bring catastrophic damage, they are relatively infrequent, so the availability of relevant satellite imagery is low. Furthermore, building design differs depending on where a structure is located in the world. As a result, damage of the same severity can look different from place to place, and data must exist to reflect this phenomenon.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Shakti Processors: India's first open-source indigenous processor

            The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras launched a government-funded software development kit (SDK) for its open-source Shakti processor last month, in a move to help India build its first indigenous processor. An open-source processor is a software of which the original source code is available freely. It can be redistributed and modified. The open-source, since it is a part of the source code, will be a part of the software. It will be a chip installed in the CPU of the computer, similar to the tech major Intel's processor chips which are widely used in India. The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The project was set up with the aim of India building its own processors, just like China and the European Union, instead of depending on US processors.

          • VIDEO: Maker Norbert Heinz's open source granule extruder for desktop 3D printers

            Heinz who describes himself as a ‘tinkerer’ uses only open-source software and hardware for his projects. In addition to inventing things, Heinz also promotes science education, especially ‘Physical Computing’, a combination of physics and computing. On his webpage, Heinz has a substantial amount of educational material and quite a few open-source projects ready to build such as a 2D dot matrix printer and a plotter made by converting a 3D printer.

          • InAccel Releases Open-Source Logistic Regression IP Core for FPGAs

            Machine learning algorithms are extremely computationally intensive and time consuming when they must be trained on large amounts of data.

          • Make: a machine-learning toy on open-source hardware

            In the latest Adafruit video (previously) the proprietors, Limor "ladyada" Friend and Phil Torrone, explain the basics of machine learning, with particular emphasis on the difference between computing a model (hard) and implementing the model (easy and simple enough to run on relatively low-powered hardware), and then they install and run Tensorflow Light on a small, open-source handheld and teach it to distinguish between someone saying "No" and someone saying "Yes," in just a few minutes. It's an interesting demonstration of the theory that machine learning may be most useful in tiny, embedded, offline processors.

      • Programming/Development

        • GCC 10 Lands The Zstd LTO Bytecode Compression Support

          As a follow-up to the story about GCC eyeing Zstd compression for its LTO data, that support has now been merged into the GCC 10 code compiler.

          GCC has been making use of Zlib for the massive amount of data generated during link-time optimizations (LTO) by the compiler while now Zstd is supported by the newest mainline compiler code. Using Zstd in the tests by the GCC developers there were a little bit smaller LTO ELF files while being four to eight times faster than Zlib at compression. The decompression speed of Zstd in this use-case was comparable to Zlib.

        • Announcing syntreenet: A library to build scalable production rule systems

          Perhaps some of you might be interested in this library I've released, that can be used to build production rule systems, with the peculiarity that the cost of matching a fact to the knowledge base is logarithmic in the size of said knowledge base, measured as the number of rules plus the number of facts in working memory. As far as I know, the current state of the art is polynomial.

        • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (clxxxv) stackoverflow python report
        • Your first GUI app with Python and PyQt

          Many people struggle with learning how to build a GUI app. The most common reason is, they don’t even know where to start. Most tutorials are purely text based, and it’s hard to learn GUI development using text, since GUIs are mainly a visual medium.

          We will get around that by building a simple GUI app, and show you how easy it is to get started. Once you understand the basics, it’s easy to add advanced stuff.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Early July Quick Bits

          I have been moving repositories off Github to Launchpad and deleting the old repositories on Github. It probably is not the best practice to outright delete repositories on Github but I would rather concentrate things on Launchpad.

        • When The Times First Says It, This Twitter Bot Tracks It

          There is, however, a person behind the account: Max Bittker, a 24-year-old Google software engineer who built the program. “I’m most interested in uses of programming that are weird or interesting or artistic,” Mr. Bittker said in a recent telephone interview. “One of them is Twitter bots, but also data visualization for journalism, text analysis and that kind of thing.”

          Mr. Bittker built the first version of the program in a weekend or two, he said, helped substantially by open-source code for a project called NewsDiffs, which records changes to online news articles. It was built by three coders, including the former New York Times journalist Jennifer 8. Lee, who made the source code available to other engineers. That allowed Mr. Bittker to create a “fork,” or new project, off the same framework.

          The initial draft was followed by a long period of refinement, to “filter out things that were not interesting,” Mr. Bittker said. “It would tweet every URL and proper nouns and things like that.” These days, a number of heuristics limit what the bot will tweet: no capital letters, dashes, underscores or @ symbols.

  • Leftovers

    • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Man Behind the Scenes in Saudi Arabia

        The Saudi kingdom can only really continue to feel safe as long as the world's largest military power goes on backing the regime. The glue holding this unequal relationship together is co-dependence: the trade of cheap oil in exchange for weapons and military protection. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the main reason cars are able to drive, machines can be operated and apartments kept warm in the winter in the West. In return, Riyadh enjoys the security alliance with the U.S.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • This Reporter Asks a Lot of Questions. In Japan, That Makes Her Unusual.

        While her industry colleagues often act more as stenographers than inquisitors, she refuses to take no for an answer, repeatedly getting under the skin of the politicians and bureaucrats she interrogates.

        She says she views her mission as “really watching how people in power are behaving.” The government is “always trying to hide information from people,” she said in an interview. “That’s what we have to dig out.”

        Asking questions, seeking facts: that might just sound like the basic job description of any reporter. “In our context, that’s like, ‘so what?’” said David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression and a clinical professor of law at the University of California at Irvine, who has raised concerns about the independence of Japanese news media.

        But in Japan, Mr. Kaye said, Ms. Mochizuki’s persistent questioning “seems pretty meaningful” — if nothing else, by showing that a reporter can refuse to submit to the compliant media culture.

      • Pesticide exposure linked to teen depression: Study

        Adolescents exposed to elevated levels of pesticides are at an increased risk of depression, a study has found.

        Researchers at the University of California in the US have been tracking the development of children living near agricultural fields in the Ecuadorian Andes since 2008.

      • FAKE ALERT: No, UNESCO has not declared Islam as the world’s most peaceful religion

        The fake certificate has been doing the rounds for three years now. It started in July 2016 with official Twitter handle of Radio Pakistan tweeting about it.

    • Environment

      • Indonesian fires robbed kids of height and future income

        The findings, which appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that prenatal exposure to the forest fire haze led to a statistically significant 1.3 inches decrease in children’s expected height at age 17.

      • Malaysia to take action against school over 'anti-palm oil propaganda'

        Malaysia, the second-largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, has been increasingly vocal against criticism from Europe that the cultivation of the crop has resulted in deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction.

        Authorities said they would take action against an international school under education laws after a video, which was circulated widely this week on social media, showed students talking on stage about the decrease in the number of orangutan due to the production of palm oil.

      • A Day's Work On Delhi's Mountain Of Trash

        Atop the mountain, Rahim uses a rod to rifle through the mound. The garbage is mostly gray and decaying, bleached by the sun. Vultures circle above him and dive, plucking bits of plastic in their beaks.

        Before dusk, Rahim descends with a sack full of recyclables. In an open lot between his slum and the mountain, he and his neighbors sort opaque plastic from clear plastic, and aluminum foil from paper. They pack the segregated trash into giant yellow bags discarded from a cement factory.

        Most of India's recycling happens like this. Even if you sort your trash at home, municipal garbage collectors — if they even service your neighborhood — often toss it into the truck all together. It gets sorted again at a landfill — not by the municipality but by the poorest of the poor.

      • Jakarta police find terror group doing oil palm business

        The arrest last weekend of an experienced leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) has unearthed a new tactic used by the South-east Asia terrorist group.

        While militant groups, including JI, often relied on donations from members and sympathisers, and even robberies, to grow and fund their murderous activities, JI under its so-called "emir" (top leader) Para Wijayanto has been building economic strength by, among other things, running an oil palm plantation business in Sumatra and Kalimantan, police said.

        Indonesian police are calling this group "Neo-JI", or new JI, as it conducts business while recruiting members and planning to set up a caliphate in the country.

      • What Lies Ahead for Europe's Climate

        After a cool May, it finally warmed up in June in Germany. A lot. Last Wednesday, the thermometer near Guben in the northern German state of Brandenburg reached 38.6 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). That marked the first time since measurements began in 1881 that a temperature that high was reached in Germany in June.

        The record lasted for three days. On Sunday, thermometers in Bernburg, just northwest of Leipzig, hit 39.6 degrees. The average temperature for June is 20 degrees Celsius.

      • [Older] Chennai's Water Crisis Largely A Man-Made Disaster

        The natural instinct is to blame the situation on climate change and, indeed, the last monsoon's rains were especially weak. While that's certainly played a role, however, Chennai's is largely a man-made disaster - one that more Indian metropolises are soon to suffer no matter the weather.

        According to a study by the federal government think tank NITI Aayog, 21 Indian cities will run out of groundwater by next year, including the capital New Delhi and the information technology hub of Bengaluru. Two hundred thousand Indians already die every year because they don't have a safe water supply, the report said. A shocking 600 million people face "high to extreme" water stress.

        That Chennai should have run dry first is instructive. Less than four years ago, the now drought-ridden city was inundated by devastating floods. Though located on a flood plain, the city had paved over the lakes and wetlands that might have helped the process of recharging the water table. As a result, heavy rains couldn't percolate into aquifers under the city. Water pooled and surged aboveground. That reduced the resources available to deal with a crisis like this year's.

      • Six Himalayan glaciers receding in the range of 13 to 33 mm per year: Govt

        Six Himalayan glaciers monitored by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) have been retreating in the range of 13 to 33 millimetres per year, the government said on Tuesday. Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said this in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

        Which Himalayan glaciers are being monitored?

        A total of six glaciers -- Sutri Dhaka, Batal, Bara Shigri, Samudra Tapu, Gepang Gath and Kunzum -- are monitored for mass, energy and hydrological balance.

      • Could This Be the End of Frankincense?

        Frankincense, or olibanum, is an aromatic resin used in incense, perfumes and natural medicines. It comes from boswellia, a genus of trees and shrubs endemic to the Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula and parts of India.

        When frankincense tappers make gashes into some species of mature boswellia’s woody skin, sap seeps out like blood from a wound. It dries into a scab of resin, which is harvested and sold raw, or turned into oil or incense.

        Frankincense is exported by the thousands of tons each year. But as demand increases, over-exploitation and ecosystem degradation are bringing populations to the brink of collapse. The study’s authors estimate that without new trees to replace the old, half the intact forests — and half the frankincense they produce — will be gone within 20 years.

      • Energy

        • New-Vehicle Sales Fall to 1999 Levels: How to Grow Revenues After 20 Years of Stagnation (Yup, You Guessed It)

          But Ford’s cheapest vehicle – a car! – had a huge gain in sales: Fiesta deliveries jumped 70% in the quarter to 22,173 vehicles, and are up 50% so far this year. This is now Ford’s second-bestselling car, after the Fusion (+11% year-to-date). All other car models are dying, with the Mustang (-9% year-to-date) dying more slowly than the Focus (-83%) and the Taurus (-47%).

          The fact that Fiesta sales are hot shows that there is demand for decent entry-level cars, despite Carmageddon. But with a base sticker price of $14,200, there is very little profit margin for Ford, and it has no incentive to market them other than meeting Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.

        • Norway Invites You to Explore Its Electric Vehicle Paradise

          In the land of the Norwegians, battery-powered rides are so ubiquitous, it is as if you’ve traveled 10 or 20 years into our transportation future. Jaguar I-Paces, Audi E-tron SUVs, VW E-Golfs, Hyundai Konas, and other vehicles rarely spotted in the States stream down highways and side streets en masse, like Ford F-150s and Toyota RAV4s do here.

          The Land of the Midnight Sun, though, isn’t content to just have its citizens zip about in emission-free silence. It hopes visitors will do the same—and partake in the country’s burgeoning category of EV tourism.

        • How ‘Chernobyl,’ the Stonewall riots, and more resonated on the RuNet in May and June

          Meduza in English publishes stories about Russia, but much of what circulates in the Russian language — big names, TV shows, political news — isn’t Russian at all. This list is the second in our new series highlighting how viral phenomena that seem fundamentally Anglophone take on new and unexpected meanings in the Russian-speaking world.

        • Big Oil's ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ Feasibility Overblown, Critics Say

          A recently published report has called into question the efficacy of land-based solutions being pushed by NGOs and major oil companies alike to mitigate climate change.

          Natural climate solutions (NCS) — including programs referred to as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) — represent a body of land-based approaches for capturing carbon from the atmosphere and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NCS proposals range from enhanced forest management to conservation agriculture and ecosystem restoration.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • LA’s earthquake warning system worked — just not how people expected

          Researchers can detect and record both kinds of waves using specialized equipment stations, which are placed all over the West Coast. When an earthquake happens, the ShakeAlert system, which covers California, Oregon, and Washington state, picks up the primary waves and can send out alerts before strong shaking starts. Currently, most of the groups that get alerts are industries, hospitals, and emergency and transit systems — not the general public. Even a few seconds’ warning can let people take cover or stop what they’re doing before the shaking arrives.

        • McDonald’s Can’t Fool Its Shareholders: Big Chicken Is Bad Business

          Golden arches tainted with blood. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the “Headquarters of Cruelty.” Dozens of protesters. Horrified passersby.

          These spectacles are what McDonald’s employees saw outside their office windows during the company’s annual shareholder meeting at its Chicago headquarters in May 2018. As part of a massive coalition campaign, animal advocates staged stunts and protests on the street to raise concerns about animal cruelty in the McDonald’s supply chain, drawing the public’s attention and troubling the company’s executives.

          This year, McDonald’s broke with its longstanding tradition of holding its annual shareholder meeting in Chicago, instead electing to meet in the security of a hotel at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport — perhaps because it couldn’t handle the pressure from protesters advocating for animals and other ethical issues. By moving its shareholder meeting to a more exclusive location, McDonald’s made one thing clear: It wants to keep its shareholders far away from its loudest critics.

          Unfortunately for McDonald’s, simply moving its meeting isn’t enough to hide the truth from its investors. McDonald’s shareholders are paying attention to animal welfare issues — and they are eager to hold the company accountable to higher standards.

          For example, last August, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which at the time held more than $300 million in McDonald’s stock, sent McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook a warning about the company’s treatment of chickens. DiNapoli called on McDonald’s to “establish and maintain responsible animal welfare practices,” as recommended by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Global Animal Partnership, by 2024.

    • Finance

      • Central Bank vetting three Islamic banking applicants

        During their annual general meeting early last month, bishops under their umbrella organisation Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), which brings together Anglicans, Catholics and Orthodox churches, resolved to lobby government to stay the implementation of Islamic Banking system, arguing that they do not understand its motive and how it works.

      • 7-Eleven Japan shut down its mobile payment app after [attackers] stole $500,000 from users

        On Thursday, 7-Eleven Japan suspended a recently-launched mobile payments feature on its 7Pay app after a flaw allowed a third party to make bogus charges on hundreds of customer accounts.

      • Russia's largest car dealership faces searches nationwide as founder stays abroad to avoid financial charges

        On the morning of June 27, investigators began searching a number of car dealerships belonging to the company Rolf in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other regions of Russia, Fontanka reported. Rolf, founded in 1991, is Russia’s largest car dealership franchise: its revenue in 2018 was 229.7 billion rubles ($3.6 billion). In addition to the searches at Rolf dealerships, law enforcement officers also searched the company’s headquarters on Altufyevskoye Highway in Moscow. According to Interfax, the office closed as a result. Kommersant discovered that the searches involved both employees of Russia’s Investigative Committee and operatives for Division “K” of the FSB, which is responsible for financial investigations. The St. Petersburg branch of the FSB confirmed that its agents were involved in searching a large car dealership company but did not name the firm.

      • Ralph Nader: Who Will Go After Trump’s Corporate Socialism?

        Donald J. Trump’s 2020 election strategy is to connect his potential Democratic opponents with “socialism.” Trump plans to use this attack on the Democrats even if Senator Bernie Sanders, who proudly calls himself a “democratic socialist,” doesn’t become the presidential nominee (Sanders has been decisively re-elected in Vermont).

        Senator Elizabeth Warren is distancing herself from the socialist “label.” She went so far as to tell the New England Council “I am a capitalist to my bones.”

        Sanders and Warren are not what they claim to be. They are both updating Roosevelt’s New Deal and more closely resemble the Social Democrats that have governed western European democracies for years, delivering higher standards of living than that experienced by Americans.

        “The gigantic corporations have been built with the thralldom of deep debt—corporate debt to fund stock buybacks (while reporting record profits), consumer debt, student loan debt, and, of course, government debt caused by drastic corporate and super-rich tax cuts. Many trillions of dollars have been stolen from future generations.”

        The original doctrine of socialism meant government ownership of the means of production—heavy industries, railroads, banks, and the like. Nobody in national politics today is suggesting such a takeover. As one quipster put it, “How can Washington take ownership of the banks when the banks own Washington?”

      • Trump’s Secret Tax on Ordinary Americans

        Trump’s Secret Tax on Ordinary Americans

        It’s bad enough that the Trump administration has now imposed tariffs on America’s closest trading partners – because those tariffs will raise prices on everything from clothing to cars.

        Even worse — and this will come as no surprise — Trump and his enablers are lying about the consequences of these trade wars.

        First, a bit about tariffs: Tariffs operate exactly like taxes – on you.

        Trump claims that “tariffs are… being paid to the United States by China…“ That’s baloney. Average Americans end up bearing the financial burden.

      • Bridging the Gap Between Bitcoin and Global Regulators

        Since 2015, when bitcoin became an issue for regulators like the state of New York, the regulation of cryptocurrency (the G20 now calls it as a crypto asset) has been discussed in many places, mainly at bodies like the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

        However, Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency has changed the landscape, ensuring a massive number of debates on regulation are likely ahead. To be sure, these debates will be about the size of companies specializing in internet technologies more than they are about technology architecture.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Time to out lobbyists who fly under the radar

        A few themes are likely to emerge. One is that the definition of lobbyist is too narrow. There is a good case that people who work in other professions in which government decision-making is vital – I’m thinking property development – should be better captured by lobbying regulations, even if they do not class themselves as “lobbyists”.

      • The First Democratic Debate Was a Circus

        But when 10 people are "debating" multiple large policy topics, as we saw with the first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night in Miami, you get about what you might expect: a mess.

        The first half of the debate focused on economic policy. There were numerous instances of candidates pandering with some poorly-accented Spanish, flagrantly dodging questions, butting in to attack each other, but at least it stayed sort of on track.

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) dominated this section. She laid out a clear Brandeisian perspective, attacking monopolies and defending her plans to break up big tech companies and jack up taxes on the rich without apology. Savannah Guthrie repeatedly attempted to bait Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) into attacking Warren's ideas as they had done previously, but both largely agreed with her instead. The old neoliberal Clinton-Obama tradition of celebrating entrepreneurs and markets could barely be heard at all.

        One notable policy moment came when Lester Holt asked which candidates would get rid of private insurance in favor of Medicare-for-all, and only Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio raised their hands. On previous occasions, Warren has waffled somewhat on whether she really agrees with Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) Medicare-for-all plan. It appears she has decided to stick with him, even if that means promising to obliterate private insurance.

      • Warning to Progressive Dems: You’re Leaving Corporate Media’s Comfort Zone

        Never mind that the party’s greatest losses came in the Senate, where three centrist Democratic incumbents lost their seats by significant margins, while progressive Sen. Sherrod Brown held on easily to his seat in increasingly red Ohio—outcomes that seriously complicate Scherer’s analysis (, 11/9/18). The analysis also seems to forget the 2016 elections, in which the centrist Democratic candidate failed to turn out the party’s base in the way Obama did (, 11/27/16).

        But given Scherer’s sources, it’s an unsurprising bias: The article’s first “expert” quote was from a Trump reelection campaign pollster, and the next from former DCCC head Dan Sena (who is also, unmentioned by the Post, current advisor to centrist candidate Michael Bennet). A few candidates and their spokespeople on both sides of the left/center divide were quoted, but without exception, all of Scherer’s sources outside of the Democratic campaigns themselves leaned to the center or right. A conservative Republican strategist was given the last word, to suggest that the path the party is taking isn’t likely to beat Trump.

      • If Trump's Steampunk History of Revolutionary War Airbases Isn't Grounds for Impeachment, What Is?

        Trump's steampunk daydreams, broadcast as part of his white-nationalist Fascist Fourth of July campaign rally, signal more clearly than ever before the danger he poses to the Republic.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Fears of censorship, vendetta grip Pakistan

        Senior analyst Raza Rumi said the problem in Pakistan is twofold. First is the continued self-censorship which many media outlets are undertaking even if there is no advisory or direct order to censor content. “They do this because owners of TV channels and newspapers are reluctant to take risks. In a way, this is the classic corporatisation of media that is taking place, which has already reached its zenith in the U.S. and India and other bigger countries.”

        The second problem, Mr. Rumi said, pertains to the political polarisation. “The journalists and media houses are divided along political lines and it is not a healthy sign for the growth of independent media and even the consolidation of journalism. What is required is that the editors and the news managers of media houses should take stock of the situation and try to make their programming and reporting less polarised and less partisan. This might help the overall impression of some kind of censorship in place.”

      • For Hong Kong Celebrities, Supporting Protests Comes With a Cost

        The Chinese government barred her from performing and scrubbed her music from the playlists of streaming websites. The blacklisting cut around $120,000 from her annual income, her manager said.

        The ban only emboldened Ms. Ho, reminding her of the need to protect the freedom of speech and other civil liberties that set Hong Kong apart from the rest of China.

      • [Old] UN Human Rights Council resolution on protection of human rights on the Internet a milestone for free speech, says OSCE Representative

        The UN Human Rights Council had previously affirmed by consensus that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online” in resolutions adopted in 2012 and 2014. This is the third such declaration by the UN body.

      • Cricket Intolerance Is The New Alarming Phenomenon In India

        An entirely different type of fanaticism is rearing its ugly head in India -- cricket intolerance. It is increasingly becoming impossible for anyone to question, leave alone criticise, top stars of the national team for any on- or off-field transgressions. The moment you raise the slightest of voice on twitter or facebook, or at other social media platforms, either about underperformance (which is rare these days), or not living up to the expectations, you get bombarded with abuse and are called names. The huge army of fans of stalwarts like Kohli or Dhoni comes down heavily on you without caution.

        In the absence of any central government guidelines for social media, it is a free for all out there – unhindered and unlimited. Anyone can just get up, open a twitter account, and start lashing at whoever he/she wants. The promoters of social media platforms also seem to be not taking the transgressions too seriously and that has given a free hand for the abusers to run riot.

      • In Germany it is forbidden to criticize the Islamic veil

        While in France, like every summer, the battle between the veiled and the liberals rages over the presence of the burkini in public swimming pools, in Germany criticizing the Islamic veil is becoming increasingly difficult, at the limit of the forbidden.

        The University of Frankfurt has just been at the center of a heated controversy for a conference on the Islamic veil. The students accused the university of promoting “Islamophobia”, asking for the dismissal of the anthropologist Susanne Schröter, head of the University's Islamic research center and conference's organizer.

        Speakers included Alice Schwarzer, one of Germany's most famous feminists, and Necla Kelek, an important critic of Islam of Turkish origin. Of the ten speakers, four of them now move escorted by bodyguards. “Because they are on the list of all the radicals," revealed Schröter to the Faz.

      • Peter Gabriel And Boots Riley Signed A Petition Over Open Source Festival Disinviting Talib Kweli

        Today, The Guardian published an open letter signed by 103 notable individuals including musicians Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel, director Boots Riley, and actor Mark Ruffalo denouncing the organizers of the Open Source Festival in Düsseldorf, Germany for disinviting Talib Kweli, leading to the cancellation of his German tour. The festival allegedly withdrew its invitation for Kweli to perform after he refused to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.

      • Brian Eno, Ben UFO sign letter criticising Germany's Open Source Festival for cancelling rapper Talib Kweli over BDS support

        Brian Eno, Ben UFO, The Black Madonna and LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Rayna Russom are among dozens of public figures from across politics and the arts to sign the letter. On June 1st, Open Source posted a statement on Facebook confirming the cancellation of Kweli, who is a fierce supporter of BDS, AKA Boycott, Divestment And Sanctions. Speaking last month to German regional newspaper Rheinische Post, the festival's artistic director, Philipp Maiburg, described BDS as antisemitic.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • A brief history—and future—of credit scores

        Credit scoring is spreading fast through developing countries. In just a few years China’s Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group, has built up an extensive scoring system, called Zhima Credit (or Sesame Credit), covering 325m people. The benefits of a good score go beyond borrowing, in part because it is embedded within Alipay, Alibaba’s payment app: they include easier visa applications, lower rental deposits and even better placement on dating sites. Yet it is best thought of as a rewards scheme for Alipay users, in that the best way to get a good rating appears to be to use Alipay a lot. The Chinese government is now in the process of building, through its national bank, a system to extend financial credit scores to all its citizens—one aspect of a broader “social credit” system.

      • Real Time Bidding: The auction for your attention

        Every time you visit a website that uses RTB, your personal data is publicly broadcasted to possibly thousands of companies ready to target their ads. Whenever this happens, you have no control over who has access to your personal data. Whenever this happens, you have no way of objecting to being traded. Whenever this happens, you cannot oppose to being targeted as Jew hater, incest or abuse victim, impotent, or right wing extremist. Whenever this happens, you have no idea whether you are being discriminated.

      • EPIC, Coalition Oppose Facebook Libra Plan

        Earlier this year, an EPIC Freedom of Information Act request uncovered more than 26,000 complaints against Facebook pending at the Commission. EPIC has repeatedly urged the FTC to #EnforceTheOrder against Facebook.

      • Selling Your Private Information Is a Terrible Idea

        Legally vesting ownership in data isn’t a new idea. It’s often been kicked around as a way to strengthen privacy. But the entire analogy of owning data, like owning a house or a car, falls apart with a little scrutiny.

        A property right is alienable — once you sell your house, it’s gone. But the most fundamental human rights are inalienable, often because the rights become meaningless once they are alienable. What’s the point of life and liberty if you can sell them?

        Other forms of property rights are restricted by law because society has recognized the potential of exploitation. For example, it’s illegal to sell your organs in the United States.

        Data doesn’t feel as personal as a kidney. But the potential for economic exploitation is just as rife. Data ownership could lead privacy to become more of a luxury good than it already is.

      • Instead of being tracked, get paid to see online ads

        I downloaded the alternative Brave browser Friday, which is aimed at those of us who aren't cool with having our privacy invaded. In just three hours of using it, Brave told me that 10 trackers had been blocked, along with 887 ads.

        Now that's service!

      • Is Facebook listening to me? Why those ads appear after you talk about things

        The truth is, Facebook tracks us in ways many of us don't even realize and is so good at it, we think it's monitoring our conversations. Instead, it uses sophisticated demographic and location data to serve up ads.

        “It’s like they’re stalking you,” says Court. “They put all sorts of circumstantial evidence together, and you’re marketed to as if they’re listening to your conversations.”

      • Now Some Families Are Hiring Coaches to Help Them Raise Phone-Free Children

        “She just said things like, ‘Are you telling your kids, ‘No screens at the table — but your phone is on your lap?’” Ms. Wasserstrom said. “When we were growing up, we didn’t have these, so our parents couldn’t role model appropriate behaviors to us, and we have to learn what is appropriate so we can role model that for them.”

        Ms. Wasserstrom compared screens to a knife or a hot stove.

        “You won’t send your kid into the kitchen with a hot stove without giving them instructions or just hand them a knife,” Ms. Wasserstrom said. “You have to be a role model on safe ways to use a knife.”

      • Why Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency will be a privacy disaster

        Although the idea of a very low-cost remittance system is welcome, the more complex applications of the Libra cryptocurrency are unlikely to be so readily accepted. Already, a host of regulatory issues have been raised in the US and in the EU. Many people are naturally alarmed by the prospect of Facebook extending its power even further by becoming one of the world’s main e-commerce platforms – perhaps as dominant in the West as the ubiquitous WeChat is in China. Now would be a good time to worry seriously about the harms that Libra is likely to cause to online privacy, and to try to minimize them before it is too late.

      • [Old] The real risk of Facebook’s Libra coin is crooked developers

        With privacy fears and centralized control issues at least somewhat addressed, there’s always the issue of security. Facebook naturally has a huge target on its back for [attackers]. Not just because Libra could hold so much value to steal, but because plenty of trolls would get off on screwing up Facebook’s currency. That’s why Facebook open-sourced the Libra Blockchain and is offering a prototype in a pre-launch testnet. This developer beta plus a bug bounty program run in partnership with HackerOne is meant to surface all the flaws and vulnerabilities before Libra goes live with real money connected.

        Yet that leaves one giant vector for abuse of Libra: the developer platform.

      • Budget 2019 proposes quick Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports

        This means that it does not matter whether you are an NRI or foreign national, if you have stayed in India for more than 182 days, you will be eligible to apply for Aadhaar.

        However, the Act does not mention whether the date of arrival or departure is taken into consideration and/or a half day is taken into consideration while calculating minimum number of days required to stay in India.

      • Aadhaar Bill seeking its use as ID to open bank accounts passes in Lok Sabha

        The bill proposes to allow Aadhaar cardholders to use it as an identity proof to open bank accounts and procure mobile phone connections.

        The bill seeks to amend the Aadhaar Act 2016.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Mauritania still violating press freedom after restoring Internet

        The Mauritanian authorities have finally restored the Internet access they disconnected one day after the 22 June presidential election, but Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges them to stop intimidating the most critical journalists and, in particular, to free an outspoken TV presenter held since 3 July.

      • Does citizen journalism feed mainstream media? [iophk: social control media is not journalism and not actually helpful to it in any way]

        Unfortunately, citizen journalism has not necessarily led to well-informed citizens, it has often misinformed or half-informed citizens. This is because the flip side of citizen journalism is that it is produced without checks and balances, is often emotional, one-sided, many times exaggerated, and unattributed. It is also difficult to separate fake news from real news, and difficult to tell whether it is recycled or new information.

      • China's contentious stake in Zambia's broadcast media

        The venture is bankrolled by a $232 million (€205 million) loan taken by TopStar from China's state-owned Exim Bank.

        When ZNBC lacked the $40,000 start capital it needed to establish TopStar, StarTimes lent ZNBC the money.

        Fast forward to 2019, and media watchdogs and local media owners are now gravely concerned about China's perceived influence in Zambia's media landscape.

      • ‘They’re too controlling’: Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger slams Facebook, Twitter

        Joining the chorus against social media giants and their growing power, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and micro-blogging platform Twitter.

        In an interview with CNBC, Sanger who co-founded Wikipedia in 2001 said Internet is “appalling frankly”.

        “The Internet wouldn’t have been created by people like Zuckerberg, or any of the sort of corporate executives in Silicon Valley today,” he was quoted as saying.

        “They wouldn’t be capable, they don’t have the temperament, they’re too controlling. They don’t understand the whole idea of bottom up,” Sanger added.

      • Exclusive: Britons abandon Facebook as usage plummets by more than a third

        The amount Brits are using Facebook has plunged by more than a third over the past 12 months, new research indicates, in sharp contrast to the company’s official statistics.

        The number of online interactions made on Facebook’s mobile app in the UK plummeted by 38pc between June 2018 and June 2019, according to the analytics firm Mixpanel.

        Interactions, which occur when users click on a web link or advert inside the Facebook app, declined in seven of the last 12 months, with an average monthly fall of 2.6pc. That paints a very different picture from Facebook’s own numbers, which report a slow but steady rise in monthly active users across Europe.

        User numbers have traditionally been considered...

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • As You Celebrate Your Freedom, Remember Julian Assange


        Indeed, throughout history, dissidents have brought about lasting political change, liberation from oppression, and the empowerment of the people. By 'dissident', I do not mean the opposition in parliament, I mean political activists challenging established power from the outside. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela were dissidents whose names are now cherished worldwide. Yet, all of them radically challenged the political, social and economic order of their time, which got two of them murdered and the third incarcerated for 27 years.

        What is it, then, that makes dissidents such a threat? Contrary to common criminals they serve a higher cause. Contrary to terrorists, they inform, empower and mobilize the people. And contrary to parliamentary oppositions, they have no stakes in corrupt institutions and practices that often feed both sides of the political aisle. Governments fear dissidents, because they cannot be owned and controlled. Some imprison, torture and execute them routinely, based on classified evidence and summary trials. Others conceal their oppression behind a veil of due process, crushing them through judicial harassment and defamation.

        Whether we like it or not, Julian Assange is a dissident. He despises secrecy and cannot be tamed, bought or otherwise controlled. He has flooded the world with compromising disclosures, including evidence for war crimes, aggression and abuse, without ever resorting to violence or fake news. He has initiated a paradigm shift in public awareness and dried up safe havens of governmental impunity. And like everyone who endangers the perks of the powerful, he has been made to pay the price.

        But how do you break a political dissident, a promoter of truth and transparency? Well, first you attack his reputation and credibility, and destroy his human dignity. You maintain a constant trickle of poisonous rumors, first half-truths and then increasingly bold lies. You keep him suspected of rape without trial, of hacking and spying, and of smearing feces on Embassy walls. You portray him as an ungrateful narcissist with a cat and a skateboard, whose only aim is self-glorifying exceptionalism.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Oneida Nation Boarding School Students Return Home a Century Later

        More than 10,000 Native children from tribes across the country were sent to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, regarded at the time as the “crown jewel” of the Indian boarding school system. But after arriving there, nearly 200 students died, most of them victims of infectious diseases that could have been prevented by better nutrition and sanitation.

      • Outrage over ‘femicides’ draws hundreds to the streets of Paris [iophk: social control media instead of open communicatino channels]

        France has registered more than 70 alleged “femicides” so far this year, according to a Facebook group tracking them, up from official numbers in previous years. A growing number of voices are demanding action, including closing judicial loopholes that have allowed authorities to ignore warnings.

      • Girl power: Vatican 'hid art that showed female priests'

        There is "overwhelming evidence" that women served as clergy in the early years of Christianity - and some of the evidence was deliberately hidden by the Vatican, according to ground-breaking new research.

      • ‘Modern Slavery’ Ring in U.K. Ensnared up to 400 Polish People, Authorities Say

        Law enforcement officials said that 88 victims had come forward, and investigators identified more than 300 other people the ring might have exploited.

        Forced labor is a persistent problem around the world, but the scale of the practice shocked many after a government-commissioned report in 2017 said that tens of thousands of people across the country, many of them British citizens, were ensnared in what it called “modern slavery” in nail salons, carwashes, farms and other low-wage businesses.

      • Boko Haram crisis worsens, more people affected since October 2018- UN

        The UN Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) says the humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states needs renewed support in the face of the recent upsurge in violence and growing humanitarian needs.

        IASC, made up of senior officials from UN agencies and NGOs, said this in a statement in Abuja at the end of a five-day visit of the mission to Nigeria.

        The statement said the mission also raised the alarm on the development as the number of people facing food insecurity had recently increased to three million, up more than 10 per cent from October 2018.

      • Indonesia's top court jails woman who reported sexual harassment

        She recorded some of the phone calls without the knowledge of the headmaster and gave a recording to a third person, as well as distributed it on an electronic device, which resulted in the principal losing his job, the documents showed.

        In 2015, the principal reported Baiq to the police, which resulted in her being prosecuted under the anti-pornography law.

        Baiq's sentence was condemned by rights groups. "We are concerned about the impact of this decision because it opens a door for perpetrators of sexual violence to criminalise victims," said Mr Ade Wahyudin, executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation for the Press.

      • Maharashtra: Hindu Woman Raped, Given Death Threats For Not Converting To Islam In Ahmednagar

        Recently, the accused Muzaffar Latif is said to have stopped the victim and her father on a public road before giving this threat. He later allegedly dragged her to Gulshan Seikh’s house and made her a captive. There she was allegedly pressurised by the duo to convert to Islam. She somehow managed to escape and filed a complaint with the police.

        As per a statement given to the police, the victim also claimed that the accused were employing similar pressure tactics on her for the past two years to get her to convert to Islam and marry Muzaffar Latif.

      • Anger over plan to turn former Blackburn pub into mosque

        But 23 people who live nearby the proposed mosque have signed the petition, claiming it is not needed because there are five others in close proximity to the former pub.

      • Mass grave containing 200 bodies uncovered in Raqqa

        "This grave is part of a series of graves located in the area of the Vanguard camp where more than 3,500 bodies have been recovered over the past months," an unnamed official told the DPA news agency.

        The grave, uncovered in February and the largest known to date, is at a site where ISIL is believed to have trained children to fight.

      • On Child Concentration Camps, What’s Needed Is Not an Argument, but Action and Resistance

        CNN recently reaired interviews with some people who had no time for stories about children separated from their parents at the US border, held in concentration camps or in cages without basic sanitation or healthcare, or dying in their search for asylum. “Quit trying to make us feel teary-eyed for the children,” says one woman. Another man says, “These people that we have coming across the border illegally are breaking the rules. I have no feelings for them at all.”

        There may be some value in hearing such voices, but airing their—factually groundless besides heinous—views might suggest that what’s needed now is an argument, when it’s really action and resistance.

      • As Immigrant Deaths Pile Up, We Need to Find Our Moral Compass

        Nearly four years ago, the devastating photos of a Syrian toddler named Alan Kurdi, whose little body had washed ashore in Turkey, shocked the world. Kurdi’s story was tragically typical—his family had fled the Syrian war and attempted to cross the Mediterranean to seek refuge in Greece. All of Kurdi’s siblings and his mother died while crossing. Only his father survived.

        Today, the photo of the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his two-year-old daughter, Angie Valeria, who drowned on the U.S.-Mexico border while crossing the Rio Grande, offers a heartbreaking analogy to Kurdi’s story. The two Salvadorans were forced to wait in Mexico, as per President Donald Trump’s demand, after they escaped their home country to try to seek asylum in the U.S.


        Central American refugees are also facing abuse in Mexico, where the Trump administration has insisted that they be detained. An Associated Press report about Mexico’s largest detention center just north of its border with Guatemala found the facility to be “sorely overcrowded and filthy,” with “alleged repeated abusive treatment by agents tasked with running it.” Trump has threatened Mexico with harsh tariffs over the border crossings of Central Americans into the U.S. through Mexico.

      • American Concentration Camps, Then and Now

        In our history textbooks, “Japanese internment,” as it’s carelessly called, features as a mistake, blunder, or brief departure from constitutional piety following the trauma of Pearl Harbor.

        The summary detention of 120,000 people of Japanese descent — around 80,000 of whom were American citizens — can be more accurately described as one of the worst officially-sanctioned crimes in the country’s history. But it was a crime with many authors, and many ugly subplots that even civil libertarians have buried.

        Above all, this dark episode, for all its distinctiveness, exposes the deeper weaknesses of our much-vaunted democratic checks and balances — weaknesses that are now being exploited in remarkably similar ways.


        Of course, one of several major differences between 1942 and today is war. Although the U.S. government has not been shy about terrorizing the home countries of people now mired in immigration detention, there is no ongoing, formal state of belligerency like there was with Japan.

        Nevertheless, the idea of a foreign horde destabilizing the country from within is as popular now as it was then. After Pearl Harbor, everyone from California Governor Earl Warren (later the liberal darling of the Supreme Court) and General John DeWitt of Western Defense Command, to the esteemed journalist Walter Lippmann warned of the “Fifth Column” on the Pacific Coast, ready to fight for its true fatherland at any moment.

        The evidence for this was very thin, as FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover — decidedly not a civil liberties man — publicly stated. But the absence of any concrete plots was only taken as more proof of Japanese cunning. Ultimately, General DeWitt, who authored the infamous “Final Report” recommending internment, concluded, “There is no way to determine their loyalty” because “the Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on U.S. soil, possessed of U.S. citizenship have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.”

        You won’t hear Trump administration officials put things quite so baldly, but we do — now on a regular basis — hear spectacular tales of “Terror Travel” across the Southern border, possibly funded by rich liberal Jews in cahoots with lecherous Mexicans aiming to simultaneously steal jobs and leech off the welfare state.

      • “Dire” Law Enforcement Crisis in Rural Alaska Prompts Emergency Declaration, New Federal Funding

        U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr declared an emergency for public safety in rural Alaska on Friday and announced more than $10 million in funds as part of a sweeping plan to support law enforcement in Alaska Native villages.

        The U.S. Department of Justice will immediately provide $6 million to the state to hire, equip and train rural police, and for mobile holding cells. An additional $4.5 million will support 20 officer positions and be provided to Alaska Native organizations by the end of July.

        The announcement follows an investigation by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica, which found that one in three communities in Alaska, about 70 altogether and nearly all of them Alaska Native, had no local law enforcement at some point this year. Many are in regions with the highest rates of poverty, sexual assault and suicide in the United States.

      • Tweets of Praise: Donald Trump, Australia and Refugees

        By 2016, the Sydney Morning Herald noted that some “20 per cent of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s senior executive ranks are now uniformed, with the majority working within the Australian Border Force.” And such thuggish authority will come with its host of ironies: those figures of sound authoritarian reassurance had donned uniforms made “almost entirely in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China.”

        While the likes of former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott might have been brimming with excitement and pride at the creation of one of the world’s most ruthless gulag-enforced systems to counter “illegals” (this concept is, as with much in the refugee world, anathema and arbitrary), the model remains hard to export. For one, it involes exorbitant, costly measures – the Australian program costs billions, an imposition of cruelty at cost. In another sense, it also furnishes the public with an illusion that borders are secure. The problem is merely deferred and deflected to other states (very neighbourly is Australia on that score). Nor does this halt those seeking aerial routes.

        Trump, as he tends to, mines vaults of images for effect. He wanted a particular quarry after the discovery of the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, found drowned in the Rio Grande on Monday. “The image,” the New York Times suggested, “represents a poignant distillation of the perilous journey migrants face on their passage north to the United States, and the tragic consequences that often go unseen in the loud and caustic debate over border policy.”


        Trump’s tweet serves as a statement of endorsement to add to a now vast compendium of admiration from Budapest to Washington; the Australians, we are told, got it right. The Refugee Council of Australia offers a different interpretation. In the assessment of its communications director Kelly Nicholls, “Australia’s harsh policies have come at a terrible cost: 12 people have died; women, men, and children have endured enormous mental and physical harm; Australia’s reputation has been tarnished and all this has cost us more than $5 billion.”

        Another assessment, however, is in order. The displaced person enrages rather than encourages empathy. They are, to use that expression Hannah Arendt made famous, the heimatlosen, stateless, deracinated souls plunged into legal purgatory. It was Arendt who urged, in response to the post-Nazi era peppered by death factories and human displacement, the need for “a new guarantee which can be found only in a new political principle, in a new law on earth, whose validity at this time must comprehend the whole of humanity while its power must remain strictly limited, rooted in and controlled by newly defined territorial entities.”

      • Let’s Not Rewrite History To Defend Joe Biden’s Record Of Racist Dog-Whistle Politics

        In the aftermath of the first Democratic presidential debate for the 2020 primary, Joe Biden has received much attention for making common cause with segregationists and opposing busing, especially because of how Kamala Harris confronted him on stage.

        It has led “moderates” to acknowledge his weakness as candidate while also asking, why should the past be re-litigated? The New York Times’ Bret Stephen put it succinctly, “Making white Americans feel racially on trial for views they may have held in the past on crime, busing, and similar subjects is not going to help the Democrats.”

        The following was published in May and deals with this issue of Biden’s past views, which is now appropriately a subject of widespread conversation.

      • 'Terrifying' and 'Unacceptable': Outrage Mounts Over Manslaughter Charge for Alabama Woman Who Miscarried After Being Shot in the Stomach

        In a case that has outraged and alarmed reproductive rights advocates nationwide, Marshae Jones—a 27-year-old black woman from Alabama—was charged with manslaughter Wednesday for experiencing a miscarriage last December after she was shot in the stomach.

        "This is the toxic collision of the everyday racism, sexism, and violence experienced by black women and the terrifying end point of the dangerous anti-choice laws spreading across the country, including in Alabama, that devalue, dehumanize, and criminalize women," Shaunna Thomas of the national women's group UltraViolet said in a statement. "This is part of a larger pattern of how our criminal justice system permits and furthers violence and abuse against black women, and it is unacceptable."

        Amid mounting calls for authorities to drop the manslaughter charge against Jones—who was five months pregnant when she was shot outside a Dollar General store—pro-choice activists warned that the case threatens reproductive rights nationwide by advancing the anti-choice movement's fight for legal recognition of "fetal personhood."

      • Alabama Woman Charged in Fetal Death as Shooter Goes Free

        An Alabama woman whose fetus died after she was shot in a fight has been charged with manslaughter, while the woman accused of shooting her has been freed.

        AL.Com reports that 28-year-old Marshae Jones was indicted by the Jefferson County grand jury Wednesday. She was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach during a December altercation regarding the fetus’s father.

        Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but the same grand jury declined to indict her after police said an investigation determined Jones started the fight, and Jemison ultimately fired the fatal shot in self-defense.

      • 'We Owe These Vulnerable Populations More': California Lawmakers Call on Gov. Newsom to Divest State From Child Detention Profiteers

        A pair of California state lawmakers are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to divest the state's pension fund from businesses that work with federal immigration detentions facilities.

        State Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and state Senator Lena Gonzalez, both Democrats, made the request of Newsom in an open letter Wednesday that cited that day's walkout of employees of online retailer Wayfair in protest of the company's profiting off of child detentions.

        "I am asking that we, as a State follow the example of these brave workers and cease vesting in publicly held companies that contract with, or provide services to companies that operate detention centers," the letter reads.

        The letter cites conditions at the child prisons. As Common Dreams reported on Thursday, recent reports are showing those conditions are even worse than was previously thought. Customs and Border Protection child prisons were referred to by one expert as "torture facilities" in testimony for a lawsuit seeking an emergency restraining order against the conditions.

      • 400+ Scholars Rebuke US Holocaust Museum for 'Fundamentally Ahistorical' Position on 'Concentration Camp' Comparisons

        More than 400 scholars of last century's Holocaust in Europe and the issue of genocide are calling on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to rescind its statement rejecting comparisons between the Trump administration's treatment of migrants and that of Jews and other marginalized people by the German Nazi party in the 1940s.

        By suggesting that calling the administration's detention centers "concentration camps" is disrespectful to the millions who were killed by Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, the scholars wrote, the the museum is undermining its very mission of remembering the Holocaust.

      • What Should We Do About Concentration Camps in Trump’s America?

        In the past few weeks, about 300 African migrants traveled through Central America and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States, boarded buses in San Antonio, Texas, and rode for three days past corn fields, strip malls, and city skylines to what many hope will be their final destination—Portland, Maine, my hometown.

        The city manager called it a “very critical emergency,” but Portland’s mayor reframed it as an opportunity.

        “I don’t consider it a crisis, in the sense that it is going to be detrimental to our city,” said Mayor Ethan Strimling. “We’re not building walls. We’re not trying to stop people. In Maine, and Portland in particular, we’ve been built on the backs of immigrants for 200 years, and this is just the current wave that’s arriving.”

        Maine residents have donated more than $500,000 to support the asylum seekers—primarily refugees fleeing violence in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—and just across the bridge over Casco Bay, the South Portland city council passed a vote to contribute $40,000 to Maine’s Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project. Jason Owens, Maine’s chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who’s spent most of his career on the southern border, said, “It’s very heartwarming to come up here and see this side of it and what American people are willing to do for their fellow man. The outreach is amazing.”

      • New York Is Investigating Whether Facebook Lets Advertisers Discriminate

        New York state’s Department of Financial Services has launched an investigation into reports that advertisers can use Facebook’s targeted advertising tools to discriminate against protected groups of people.

        The investigation, announced Monday, is the latest action against the social media company’s advertising system. In March, Facebook reached a settlement with civil rights groups and agreed to make sweeping changes to the ways landlords, employers and lenders buy housing, employment or credit ads. A week later, the Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook with violating the Fair Housing Act, claiming that the ad system discriminates against certain types of users even when advertisers did not choose to exclude them from seeing ads.

        In a press release July 1, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s investigation will explore both the tools available to advertisers and allegations that Facebook “uses machine learning and predictive analytics to categorize users to project each user’s likely response to a given ad, which may recreate groupings defined by their protected class.”

        ProPublica first reported that Facebook allowed housing advertisers to exclude users by race in 2016. Then, in 2017, ProPublica returned to the issue and found that — despite Facebook’s promised changes — the company was still letting landlords exclude users by race, gender, ethnicity, family status, ability and other characteristics protected by federal anti-discrimination law.

      • More Than Me Shuts Down

        More Than Me, an American charity running 19 schools in Liberia, has announced it is closing its operations. The move comes eight months after a ProPublica investigation revealed the organization missed opportunities to prevent the rapes of girls in its care by senior staff member Macintosh Johnson, was not transparent about the extent of his abuse and failed to make sure that all of his potential victims were tested after it came to light that he had AIDS when he died.

        The decision to shutter the charity follows the release this year of two highly critical independent reports on the conduct of its leaders, one by an American law firm commissioned by the charity’s U.S. board and one by a Liberian investigative panel nominated by the charity’s Liberian advisory board. In response to these reports, and following the resignation of founder Katie Meyler, the charity’s leadership initially said it planned to continue the organization’s work while restructuring under new Liberian leadership.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Americanization of Popular Culture Should Terrify Us All [iophk: s/Americanization/Hollywoodization/]

        Part of the problem with the homogenization of Hollywood’s output is that conglomerates such as Comcast, Viacom and AT&T have taken over the entertainment industry. And while it may seem like movies make companies a lot of money, the profits are a pittance to these companies. The emergence of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon raised the possibility of greater variety, but they ultimately come with their own issues related to data collection. None of these companies, be it Netflix or Comcast, seems to truly care about film and television as artwork, however.

        “The time of the great artist may be over in the world of entertainment that shapes the world’s culture,” Scheer tells Roussel. “The American entertainment industry that shapes the world’s culture—at least you could count on, somehow, the maverick director, the maverick artist, the person who could open a movie and yet had an idea, the great scriptwriter—and you can’t count on that anymore.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • JPO's SEP advisory opinion service updated

          JPO's SEP advisory opinion service has been updated for cases received on or after July 1 2019. This service started from April 2018, to provide a JPO's non-binding opinion on whether a particular patent is a standard essential patent (SEP).


          By the way, I could not find any decisions on the SEP opinion service in the JPO’s database. If not used, it was introduced for nothing. Now, I’m also curious about the utilization situation of IACT (International Arbitration Center in Tokyo), which was established in September 2018. For IACT, we covered in the previous article here, if you're interested.

      • Copyrights

        • MPAA Wants U.S. Govt. to Prosecute Streaming Piracy Operations

          The MPAA has a three-pronged approach to combating piracy. It pursues voluntary agreements with third-party intermediaries, engages in civil action against key pirate players, and encourages the feds to criminally prosecute copyright infringers. According to a recent testimony, the MPAA has recently asked U.S. law enforcement to go after several pirate streaming operations.

        • Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway To Heaven’ copyright case to go back to court

          Crucially, however, they were not given the chance to hear both songs during the legal proceedings.

          Last September, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the errors by the trial judge meant that a new trial was required – a decision directly contested by Led Zeppelin.

          On Monday, a panel of 11 judges from the appeals court agreed to hear Led Zeppelin’s appeal over the decision.

        • Court to Hear Led Zeppelin 'Stairway to Heaven' Copyright Appeal

          Led Zeppelin’s lawyers moved to the next level of appeal, asking for the larger group of judges to rehear the case, and the request was granted. The 11-judge panel will hear the case in late September in San Francisco.

        • Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’: Appeals Court to Review Lawsuit Decision

          Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page were accused of copyright infringement over their iconic 1971 epic. But in June 2016, a Los Angeles jury ruled that “Stairway to Heaven” were not guilty of infringing on “Taurus,” an instrumental written by Spirit guitarist Randy California (Randy Wolfe) for that band’s self-titled debut LP.

        • Ed Sheeran Copyright Trial Delayed Until Decision In 'Stairway To Heaven' Case Is Reached

          In 2016, Townshend claimed that Sheeran's 2014 hit single "Thinking Out Loud" plagiarized portions of his and Gaye's 1973 classic "Let's Get It On."

Recent Techrights' Posts

An "Efficient Windows 11 Experience" is Removing a Text Editor (Less than 5 Megabytes in Size) and Adding Chatbots That Require a New PC/Datacentre
Vista 11 24H2 update removes WordPad
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Wife
In my view, it is a form of overt sexism
[Chart] Chromebooks in Micronesia Grew at the Expense of Microsoft Windows
As of today...
Linus Torvalds Mocked "Cloud Native" in His Latest Talk (Arguing It's Just Hype), 'Linux' Foundation 'Research' (Marketing) Chooses Proprietary Software to Query Its Adopters
The name "Linux" is overused, abused, even grossly misused
Links 29/05/2024: More Arrests of Regime Critics and Hate Crimes
Links for the day
Brittany Day ( Now Leverages Microsoft Chatbots to Promote Microsoft Propaganda Disguised as "Linux"
What Brittany Day does is an attack both on the Web and on Linux
[Meme] Don't Trust Users to Boot Their Own PCs?
UEFI 'secure' boot
Links 29/05/2024: Hack The Box, Why I Left Healthcare, and Chatbots as Health Risk
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/05/2024: BESM Retro Second Edition and Itanium Day
Links for the day
Azerbaijan: Microsoft Falls From 99.5% to Almost Nothing or Less Than 20% (Windows Down Sharply, GNU/Linux Surges)
Based on statSounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 28, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part I - Two Canceled Talks in a Row?
RMS has left Europe, so the concept of "delayed" talk is facetious or deeply cynical
On Desktops/Laptops in Andorra Windows Fell to Less Than Half, 20% If One Counts Mobile as Well
And this is a European country
[Meme] 3 Years Later
If you're going to start a fight, make sure you can handle it
When You Leave a Bad Employer and Move on to Better Things
Perhaps my main mistake was not resigning from my job sooner
No, Your Site Likely Does Not Need WordPress
I was one of the first users of WordPress
GNU/Linux in Cameroon: Rising Steadily While Windows Falls From 99% to Just 6%
If one also counts mobile (mostly Android)
Monkey See, Monkey Share
on deprivation of users
From 0.17% to 10% or More (GNU/Linux in Dominica)
Dominica isn't well known, but it does seem to have embraced Chromebooks in recent years
Links 28/05/2024: Tensions in East Asia, UK Mandatory National Service
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: NetCrawl and Living in Lagrange
Links for the day
Guardian Digital, Inc ( Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused