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Links 21/9/2019: Plasma 5.17 Beta in Kubuntu, Cockpit 203

  • GNU/Linux

    • When Diverse Network ASICs Meet A Unifying Operating System

      And it has also been a decade since switch upstart Arista Networks launched its Extensible Operating System, or EOS, which is derived from Linux.


      The cross-platform nature of ArcOS, coupled with its ability to run in any function on the network, could turn out to be the key differentiator. A lot of these other NOSes were point solutions that could only be deployed in certain parts of the network, and that just creates animosity with the incumbent vendors that dominate the rest of the networking stack. Given the mission-critical nature of networking in the modern datacenter, it costs a great deal to qualify a new network operating system, and it can take a lot of time. If ArcOS can run across more platforms, qualify faster, and do more jobs in the network, then, says Garg, it has a good chance of shaking up switching and routing. “That totally changes the business conversation and the TCO advantages that we can bring to a customer across the entirety of their network.”

    • Linux Mag

    • Server

      • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes/OpenShift presented by Burr Sutter

        Burr Sutter gave a terrific talk in India in July, where he laid out the terms, systems and processes needed to setup Kubernetes for developers. This is an introductory presentation, which may be useful for your larger community of Kubernetes users once you’ve already setup User Provisioned Infrastructure (UPI) in Red Hat OpenShift for them, though it does go into the deeper details of actually running the a cluster. To follow along, Burr created an accompanying GitHub repository, so you too can learn how to setup an awesome Kubernetes cluster in just 9 steps.

      • Weaveworks Named a Top Kubernetes Contributor

        But anyone who knows the history of Weaveworks might not be too surprised by this. Weaveworks has been a major champion of Kubernetes since the very beginning. It might not be too much of a coincidence that Weaveworks was incorporated only a few weeks after Kubernetes was open sourced, five years ago. In addition to this, the very first elected chair of the CNCF’s Technical Oversight Committee, responsible for technical leadership to the Cloud Native Foundation was also headed up by our CEO, Alexis Richardson(@monadic) (soon to be replaced by the awesome Liz Rice (@lizrice) of Aqua Security).

      • Improving trust in the cloud with OpenStack and AMD SEV

        This post contains an exciting announcement, but first I need to provide some context!

        Ever heard that joke “the cloud is just someone else’s computer”?

        Of course it’s a gross over-simplification, but there’s more than a grain of truth in it. And that raises the question: if your applications are running in someone else’s data-centre, how can you trust that they’re not being snooped upon, or worse, invasively tampered with?

      • IBM

        • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 Enhances Infrastructure Security and Cloud-Native Integration Across the Open Hybrid Cloud

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15, the latest version of its highly scalable and agile cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution. Based on the OpenStack community’s "Stein" release, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 adds performance and cloud security enhancements and expands the platform’s ecosystem of supported hardware, helping IT organizations to more quickly and more securely support demanding production workloads. Given the role of Linux as the foundation for hybrid cloud, customers can also benefit from a more secure, flexible and intelligent Linux operating system underpinning their private cloud deployments with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

        • Red Hat Ansible Automation Accelerates Past Major Adoption Milestone, Now Manages More Than Four Million Customer Systems Worldwide

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that more than four million customer systems worldwide are now automated by Red Hat Ansible Automation. Customers, including Energy Market Company, Microsoft, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Surescripts all use Red Hat Ansible Automation to automate and orchestrate their IT operations, helping to expand automation across IT stacks.

          According to a blog post by Chris Gardner with Forrester Research, who was the author of The Forrester Waveâ„¢: Infrastructure Automation Platforms, Q3 2019, "Infrastructure automation isn’t just on-premises or the cloud. It’s at the edge and everywhere in between."1 Since its launch in 2013, Red Hat Ansible Automation has provided a single tool to help organizations automate across IT operations and development, including infrastructure, networks, cloud, security and beyond.

        • CentOS 7.7 officially released, but there’s more to come

          Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the CentOS Linux project announced the release and availability of CentOS Linux 7 (1908), or CentOS 7.7, for the x86_64 architecture.

          It is the first release of the popular Linux distro from the CentOS Linux project since their release of CentOS Linux 7 (1810), commonly referred to as CentOS 7.6, in December of last year.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #302: The End of Kenwood

        Welcome to Episode 302 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topic episode, the hosts discuss the potential end of Kenwood in the amateur radio market, emcom in Montucky, Storm Area 51, HF on satellites, a huge update for PulseAudio, the Linux 5.3 kernel and much more. Thank you for listening and have a fantastic week.

      • 09/19/2019 | Linux Headlines

        Fresh init system controversy at the Debian project, a more scalable Samba, and a big release for LLVM.

        Plus GitHub's latest security steps and a new version of OBS Studio.

      • LHS Episode #303: The Weekender XXXIV

        It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

      • 09/20/2019 | Linux Headlines

        The first Open Core Summit, an activist programmer takes aim at Chef, a French court disagrees with Valve’s licensing model, and Lennart Poettering wants to rethink the Home directory.

      • Too Good To Be True | TechSNAP 412

        It's TechSNAP story time as we head out into the field with Jim and put Sure-Fi technology to the test.

        Plus an update on Wifi 6, an enlightening Chromebook bug, and some not-quite-quantum key distribution.

    • Kernel Space

      • BLK-IOCOST Merged For Linux 5.4 To Better Account For Cost Of I/O Workloads

        BLK-IOCOST is a new I/O controller by veteran kernel developer Tejun Heo that is a work-conserving proportional controller. He goes over blk-iocost in great detail in one of the earlier patch series, "It currently has a simple linear cost model builtin where each IO is classified as sequential or random and given a base cost accordingly and additional size-proportional cost is added on top. Each IO is given a cost based on the model and the controller issues IOs for each cgroup according to their hierarchical weight. By default, the controller adapts its overall IO rate so that it doesn't build up buffer bloat in the request_queue layer, which guarantees that the controller doesn't lose significant amount of total work...The controller provides extra QoS control knobs which allow tightening control feedback loop as necessary." See that aforelinked article for more details and results.

      • Btrfs & XFS File-Systems See More Fixes With Linux 5.4

        The mature XFS and Btrfs file-systems continue seeing more fixes and cleaning with the now in-development Linux 5.4 kernel.

        On the Btrfs front the Linux 5.4 changes are summed up as "work on code refactoring, sanity checks and space handling. There are some less user visible changes, nothing that would particularly stand out." The Btrfs changes include deprecating a few items as well as improving the exposure of debugging information via sysfs. See the pull request for all the Btrfs file-system fixes and changes this round.

      • Linux 5.4 DRM Pull Submitted With AMD Navi 12/14, Arcturus & Renoir Plus Intel Tigerlake

        While we've known about the many features for a while if you are a faithful Phoronix reader, today the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) graphics driver changes were sent in for the Linux 5.4 kernel.

      • EXT4 Brings New Debugging Ioctls For Linux 5.4

        Like the mostly mundane Btrfs and XFS changes with the Linux 5.4 merge window, the EXT4 file-system activity is mostly focused on fixes too but also new debugging ioctls.

        One of the interesting changes with Linux 5.4 for EXT4 is the dropping of a workaround for handling pre-1970 dates that were incorrectly encoded on kernels prior to Linux 4.4 for file timestamps. Since then the kernel has correctly generated the pre-1970 dates and e2fsck is also able to fix the issue now for several years, this workaround has now been dropped -- not that you probably have any pre-1970 timestamps for files on your system. For those curious, the encoding bug led to the timestamps as being in the 24th century.

      • OpenZFS Could Soon See Much Better Deduplication Support

        This is good news for OpenZFS performance assuming the dedup support is punctually opened up and is an acceptable state for quickly landing in this ZFS file-system code used by Linux with "ZFS On Linux" and in the process of by the likes of FreeBSD.

        The ZFS file-system has supported data deduplication for the past decade. However, it's not widely recommended due to being very heavy on RAM usage as well as relatively taxing on the CPU, so it will be interesting to see just how effective is the Panzura implementation.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Sends In Initial Batch Of Fixes To Linux 5.4 - Includes Dali Support

          While just yesterday the big DRM feature pull was sent in for Linux 5.4, AMD has also volleyed out their initial batch of fixes for this next version of the kernel.

          This new AMDGPU pull isn't strictly fixes but as anticipated does include the recently reported Dali APU support. Dali along with Renoir -- also newly-supported in Linux 5.4 -- are some of AMD's 2020 APUs. Dali will be targeting the lower-end of the spectrum it's expected for value mobile/embedded. From the driver code, Dali looks like a newer revved version of the current-gen Picasso APUs. Both Dali and Renoir are based on the Vega architecture.

        • Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, part 2

          Pain points and missing pieces with Wayland, or specifically GNOME Shell:

          GNOME Shell is slower Synergy doesn't work(?) - needs to be in the compositor With Nvidia proprietary driver, mutter and native Wayland clients get GPU acceleration but X clients don't No equivalent to ssh -X. Pipewire goes some way to the solution. The whole desktop can be remoted over RDP which can be tunnelled over SSH. No remote login protocol like XDMCP No Xvfb equivalent Various X utilities that grab hot-keys don't have equivalents for Wayland Not sure if all X's video acceleration features are implemented. Colour format conversion and hardware scaling are implemented. Pointer movement becomes sluggish after a while (maybe related to GC in GNOME Shell?) Performance, in general. GNOME Shell currently has to work as both a Wayland server and an X compositor, which limits the ability to optimise for Wayland.

        • NVIDIA's Nsight Graphics 2019.5 Released With Better Vulkan Coverage

          NVIDIA this week released Nsight Graphics 2019.5 as the newest feature update to their proprietary developer tool for graphics profiling and debugging across multiple APIs.

          The Nsight Graphics 2019.5 release brings support for more than a dozen new Vulkan extensions, a variety of user-interface improvements, compatibility enhancements, and better syntax highlighting.

        • AMD Pushes Back 3rd Gen Threadripper & Ryzen 9 3950X Until November

          While the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors were reportedly on track for launching in October with updates as of a few weeks ago, today AMD announced a slight delay in launching these new processors.

        • AMD have delayed the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd generation Threadripper until November

          Today, AMD sent out a brief statement about a delay in their 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X and the 3rd generation Threadripper.


          So if you were looking to grab either, keep an eye out in November. Will share any more news when they send it about the expected date and pricing.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7642 Benchmarks: The Rome 48 Core CPU That Easily Takes On Intel's Xeon Platinum 8280

        Since the AMD EPYC 7002 series "Rome" launch at the beginning of August, it's been known how AMD's top-end (aside from the newly-announced EPYC 7H12) EPYC 7742 easily outperforms the Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 in most real-world benchmarks. The EPYC 7742 not only outperforms the Xeon Platinum 8280 in raw performance but also at a significantly lower cost and it gets even better with the EPYC 7642. We have been testing the EPYC 7642 48-core processors and even there the performance is generally ahead of a Xeon Platinum 8280 while being about half the cost of that flagship non-AP Intel Xeon Scalable Cascadelake processor.

        Complementing our recent EPYC 7302 and EPYC 7402 benchmarks, today we are focused on the EPYC 7642 as the Rome 48-core / 96-thread processor. This 48 core processor has a 2.3GHz base clock and 3.3GHz boost clock while having 256MB of L3 cache, eight DDR4-3200 memory channels, 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, and other features in common with the EPYC 7742 and other Rome processors. The EPYC 7642 carries a 50MHz base clock speed advantage over the 64 core EPYC 7742 but a 100MHz lower boost clock speed as the principal differences aside from the core/thread count. Both of these CPUs carry a 225 Watt TDP.

    • Applications

      • Top 15+ Best Script Writing Software for Linux in 2019

        Script writing software is designed to play a vital role for writers from different writing sectors. As a newbie, it may not be simple to use. But, after a certain period, it comes handy for creating scripts for films, novels, and television programs. Linux has to offer a bunch of tools for script writing for both beginners and professionals. There is a wide range of applications that are open source and free. Moreover, if you want to get some extra bit of advanced features, you may need to spend some bucks.

      • Top Open Source Video Players for Linux

        You can watch Hulu, Prime Video and/or Netflix on Linux. You can also download videos from YouTube and watch them later or if you are in a country where you cannot get Netflix and other streaming services, you may have to rely on torrent services like Popcorn Time in Linux.

        Watching movies/TV series or other video contents on computers is not an ‘ancient tradition’ yet. Usually, you go with the default video player that comes baked in with your Linux distribution (that could be anything).

        You won’t have an issue utilizing the default player – however, if you specifically want more open-source video player choices (or alternatives to the default one), you should keep reading.

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 2.8 Released with Unified Sync Support for Desktop and Android

          Vivaldi Technologies released today the Vivaldi 2.8 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, an incremental update that adds significant improvements. With Vivaldi 2.8, Vivaldi Technologies continues to give desktop users full control over their browsing experience by adding various improvements across the board, starting with Vivaldi Sync, which now lets you sync bookmarks, passwords, history, notes, and autofill information across desktop and mobile.

          That's right, starting with Vivaldi 2.8, all your browsing data will be automatically synchronized between your installations of Vivaldi on desktop platforms, such as Linux, Mac, or Windows, and your mobile device where Vivaldi for Android is installed if you use Vivaldi Sync.

        • New Version Vivaldi Web Browser Has Been Released, Install in Ubuntu/Linux

          Vivaldi is the new web browser compare to other famous browsers, the initial release of Vivaldi was in January, 2015. It has improved a lot and evolved since the first release. Basically it is based on the open-source frameworks of Chromium, Blink and Google's V8 JavaScript engine and has a lot of great feature which I will table later. It is known to be the most customizable browser for power users, debuts features that make browsing more personal than ever before. Do we really need another browser? Since we already have a lot of them such as mostly used Firefox, Chrome, Opera and so on. The former CEO of Opera Software Jon Von Tetzchner didn't liked the direction of Opera Web Browser and said "Sadly, it is no longer serving its community of users and contributors - who helped build the browser in the first place." Then created a web browser which has to be fast, rich feature, highly flexible and puts the user first, so Vivaldi was born.

        • Vivaldi 2.8: Inspires new desktop and mobile experiences

          Today we are launching a new upgrade to our desktop version – Vivaldi 2.8.

          We’re always focused on giving you complete control over your desktop experience, while also making sure to protect your privacy and security online.

          Vivaldi on the desktop has been our foundation. And now – our inspiration. It continuously pushes us forward to deliver a browser that is made for you.

        • Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine

          Over the summer we opened our blog to guest bloggers eager to share their perspectives on privacy. In this story, Finn Brownbill explains how we can put an end to tracking in search for the purpose of data collection.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital games

        Valve and game developers have a bit of a fight on their hands here, with a French court ruling that Valve should allow users to re-sell their digital games.

        Reported by the French website Next Inpact, the French consumers group UFC Que Choisir had a victory against Valve as French courts have ruled against them on the topic of reselling digital content. From what I've read and tried to understand, the courts have basically said that when you buy something on Steam it is indeed a proper purchase and not a subscription.

        Valve has been ordered to pay damages at €20K plus €10K to cover some costs. On top of that, they will also have to publish the judgement on Steam's home page (presumably only for users in France) and for it to remain visible for three months. If they don't, they will get a fine for each day of €3K. To Valve though, that's likely pocket change. The bigger issue though, is how other countries inside and outside the EU could follow it.

      • Hot Lava from Klei Entertainment is in the works for Linux

        Just recently Klei Entertainment (Don't Starve, Oxygen Not Included) released their amusing parkour game Hot Lava and it's not only planned for Linux they're actually working on it.

        It looks and sounds like a ridiculous amount of fun too, a 3D platformer inspired by the classic kids game. I'm sure everyone has played it at some point in their lives. Get a bunch of pillows and cushions, throw them around and don't touch the floor! Klei managed to turn that into a pretty good looking game PC game.

      • Post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy game Overland has officially released, some thoughts

        After a few years in Early Access on, Finji have officially released their post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy game Overland.

      • Dota 2 is going through multiple big ban waves and some matchmaking changes

        Valve are trying to clean up the Dota 2 community and make matchmaking better, with some big changes being done.

        First up, let's talk a little about the recent major ban waves. Valve said they have removed players from Dota 2 with "exceptionally low behavior scores" and they will continue to do so regularly, which is good and very much needed to keep the online community healthy. They have also done a second ban wave for anyone who has been "detected of violating the Steam Service Agreement that prevents the purchase or sale of Steam accounts"—ouch. A third wave happened, to remove players who've been using "exploits to gain an advantage over other players" and they will be adjusting how they detect such things over the coming weeks.

        Not only that, bans will also now block the phone number associated with the account permanently, so people will have to setup a new phone making it more difficult for nuisance players to come right back. Linking directly with that, Valve said they closed a hole that allowed "a large number of users to play ranked without a unique phone number attached" to help against smurf accounts. On top of all that again, to gain access to Ranked play you need to have 100 hours logged in the game.

      • Drawn Down Abyss takes an action platformer and adds in card deck-building for abilities

        Platformers are probably the most common type of game available on any platform and yet, some developers are still able to make them seem a little unique.

        Drawn Down Abyss is one such game, a pixel art action-focused platformer. The difference here, is they're pulling in the card-based deck-building for your abilities. Deck-building is massively popular right now, it's one of those things that one or two games did really well and now more want to try it. I'm happy about this, I'm a fan of collecting cards and using them to battle with so trying it out with an action platformer has piqued my interest.

      • Top-down racer Bloody Rally Show looks great in the new trailer

        One racing game I am genuinely excited about is Bloody Rally Show, a top-down racer that looks genuinely good and it has a fresh trailer up to show off recent development progress.

        It will fully supported Linux too, as I tested out previously. One of the reasons I'm excited about this, is that it firmly reminds me of some classic early racers from the Amiga only with everything turned up a notch or two. Not only that, something of a rarity in racing games is that it will have a fully featured campaign story mode with cut-scenes and all. This campaign mode can even be played in local co-op.

      • The Humble Monthly has expanded to add BATTLETECH expansions plus Sonic Mania

        Was BATTLETECH as the only early unlock for the current Humble Monthly not enough for you? Good news, you can now play more right away as they've expanded it.

        Just added today alongside the full game of BATTLETECH are two expansions: Flashpoint and the Shadow Hawk Pack. That should keep you going until you decide if you want to pick up Urban Warfare (not included) and the upcoming Heavy Metal expansion. BATTLETECH supports Linux and the expansions do work fine in my own testing.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.16.90 (Plasma 5.17 Beta) Available for Testing

          Are you using Kubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo, our current Stable release? Or are you already running our development builds of the upcoming 19.10 Eoan Ermine?

          We currently have Plasma 5.16.90 (Plasma 5.17 Beta) available in our Beta PPA for Kubuntu 19.04 and 19.10.

          This is a Beta Plasma release, so testers should be aware that bugs and issues may exist.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 released, gets significant performance boost

          Last Updated: September 13, 2019 The new GNOME 3.34 is now available for download and comes packed with various improvements, performance enhancements and especially new features.

          Although GNOME is quite popular in the Linux world, it doesn’t hurt to introduce the software to people who have just started with their Linux journey. Well, GNOME is a widely-used desktop environment that is aimed at UNIX-like operating systems. Its catch is that it’s highly user-friendly and carries an elegant look and feel to it. You will find this desktop environment in popular Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Fedora.

          This version of GNOME took six months in the making, which explains the plethora of changes accompanying this update. So without further ado, let’s get to discussing what the new GNOME 3.34 brings to the table.

        • GNOME 3.34 Should Be Hitting Clear Linux "Soon-ish"

          For those anxious to make use of GNOME 3.34 with its many own performance improvements atop Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux rolling-release distribution, it looks like the wait is still going on for a few more days but is coming "soon-ish" to the platform.

          GNOME 3.34 was released last week and the Intel open-source developers quickly took towards pulling in these GNOME bits. But unfortunately bugs to GNOME and related components have held up pushing out the updated bundles as stable.

        • Maintainer wanted: gnome-directory-thumbnailer

          I’m giving up maintaining gnome-directory-thumbnailer as it no longer scratches my itch — it’s yours if you want it.

          gnome-directory-thumbnailer is a little project I started a while ago for creating thumbnails for directories (rather than showing a plain directory icon for them in the file manager). Times change, I no longer have the itch that it was developed to scratch, and so I’m giving up maintenance of it after making the 0.1.11 release.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro 18.1: Goes Arch One Better

        Manjaro Linux's in-house system tools, easy installation application and better range of software packages make it a better Arch-based distro than Arch Linux itself. Manjaro offers much more than a pure Arch Linux environment.

        Regardless of which desktop style you select, the welcome screen introduces Manjaro tools and get-acquainted details such as documentation, support tips, and links to the project site.

        You can get a full experience in using the live session ISOs without making any changes to the computer's hard drive. That is another advantage to running Manjaro Linux over a true Arch distro. Arch distros usually do not provide live session environments. Most that do lack any automatic installation launcher from within the live session.

      • Mirrors for Speedier Downloads

        To put it briefly, PureOS provides ISO images and packages for download. Recently, we’ve seen increased traffic on our download site, and we expect that traffic to grow. We’re hoping to address increased traffic with mirrors for both package updates and downloads.

        We’re very happy to announce that Sonic, a highly-ranked and privacy-respecting ISP, has offered to host a mirror for PureOS. This will alleviate some of the traffic, especially for those in North America, without compromising security. The security of the packages remains guaranteed by our signatures; the mirror simply holds another, identical set of packages, signed with Purism’s key.

        The mirror is easy to use. For example, if you’d like to use the mirrors for downloading an image, simply use this URL: And here’s the link to the most recent GNOME Live build.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 Beta now available

          Today, the Fedora Project, a global community that works to help advance free and open source software, is pleased to announce the beta availability of Fedora 31, the latest version of the Fedora operating system. Fedora 31 Beta offers a look at the advancements expected in the next version of Fedora, helping to address a host of modern computing challenges, from building and running cloud native applications to driving innovation in the connected world.

          Fedora 31 Beta is delivered in editions, each designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams. Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server provide open operating systems built to meet the needs of forward-looking developers and server projects. Fedora 31 Beta also sees the continued evolution of emerging Fedora editions, including Fedora CoreOS, Fedora IoT and Fedora Silverblue.

        • rpminspect-0.6 released with new inspections and bug fixes

          This release also includes a lot of bug fixes. I really appreciate all of the feedback users have been providing. It is really helping round out the different inspections and ensure it works across all types of builds.

          For details on what is new in rpminspect-0.6, see the release page.

        • Fedora 31 Upgrade Test Day 2019-09-23

          Monday 2019-09-23, is the Fedora 31 Upgrade Test Day! As part of preparing for the final release of Fedora 31, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 203

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 203.

        • Attention: Fedora Yahoo Email Users

          Going from a blast of the past we are currently going through one of the Yahoo is not allowing many emails with either OR from our mail routers. It would seem that the way to get yahoo to blacklist a domain is to get subscribed to mailing lists and then report the lists as SPAM. Enough accounts (or maybe if one person does it enough times).. yahoo will helpfully blacklist the domain completely. [It then is usually a multi-month process of people explaining that no Fedora is not a spam site, hasn't been taken over by a spam site, or a bunch of other things which do happen so any mail admin is going to be wary on.]

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-38

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Here Are The 5 Most Downloaded Snap Apps On Ubuntu And Other Popular Linux Distributions

          One of the coolest things about Linux is the diversity of software available, including some solutions – like Snaps from Canonical – that make it super fast and simple to install some of your favorite apps (and keep them updated). Now, thanks to a new post on the SnapCraft blog, we have a glimpse into what some of those favorites are across six popular Linux distributions.

          If you're immersed in the Linux world, you may already be aware of Snaps, but here's a quick primer for those new to the technology. Snaps are basically a distribution-agnostic way of installing and publishing software on Linux. Currently supported on 42 different distributions, Ubuntu makers Canonical designed Snaps as a way to solve the pain points for developers publishing their apps to Linux, and to simplify software installation for end users.

        • Top 5 Snaps In Linux Distros Revealed By Canonical

          We recently informed you about the situation of Linux gaming on Steam and the number of Linux users are steadily increasing. Well, today another report from the creator of Ubuntu seeks to highlight the top 5 snaps being used across popular Linux distros. The report also highlights what a good chunk of Linux users does on their systems in terms of workloads.

          Igor Ljubuncic from Canonical (Via Betanews) said, “Indeed, the individual and vastly varied choice of a favorite distribution has played a major part in shaping the community conversation in the Linux space.”

        • Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Video Encoder Performance On The Core i9 9900K

          Often when doing cross-distribution benchmarks, readers often comment on the performance of Clear Linux particularly for video encoding use-cases as surprisingly different from other distributions. Some argue that it's just over the default CPU frequency scaling governor or compiler flag defaults, so here is a look at that with Ubuntu 19.10 daily benchmarked against Clear Linux.

          On the same Core i9 9900K system I recently ran some benchmarks looking at Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 19.10 and then Ubuntu 19.10 with various common tunables to make it more akin to Clear Linux. Ubuntu 19.10 was used due to its recent software components being at similar versions to Intel's rolling-release distribution.

        • Serge Hallyn: First experience with Ubuntu Touch

          For the past few weeks I’ve been using a nexus 4 running ubuntu touch as, mostly, my daily driver. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. In part that’s just the awesome size of the nexus 4. In part, it’s the ubuntu touch interface itself. If you haven’t tried it, you really should. (Sailfish ambiances are so much prettier, but ubuntu touch is much nicer to use – the quick switch to switch between two apps, for instance. Would that I could have both.). And in part it’s just the fact that it really feels like – is – a regular ubuntu system.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 to use LZ4 compression to boot even faster

          anonical’s Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” will boot even faster than its predecessor, Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” according to Ubuntu’s kernel team.

          After extensive testing on a variety of compression options on the Ubuntu installation image, Canonical engineers determined that the LZ4 decompression method provided a most appreciable gain in speed.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Ubucon Europe 2019: Partnership with “Chalet 12”: coworking space and Ubucon Europe warm-up party!

          Have you still not finished your presentation for Ubucon Europe and need a quiet place to work on the slides?

          Perhaps you need to push some code to your favorite opensource projects and you need a place to focus?

          We are happy to announce that we have got some sweet deals with “Chalet 12” to provide a shared co-working space within a 5 minutes walk from the Ubucon Europe event.

          “Chalet 12” is a romantic chalet from the early XX century, it provides meeting and event rooms, private offices, kitchen and dining room, several living rooms, a makerspace, a garden, and terraces, are spread over 4 floors, overlooking the palace and castle that are part of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Sintra.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • [Old] Microsoft, there is a way to win our trust

          The purpose of this post is to explain why I think it's both justified and crucial to be very skeptical of these claims from Microsoft, and what Microsoft can do to allay our well-warranted doubts. And Microsoft, in keeping with the open source tradition from which it arises, I hope you take this unsolicited tunking in the way it's intended.

        • Why not GitHub?

          GitHub has investors who do not care a whit for free software principles, and eventually the company will get acquired—maybe tomorrow, maybe next year—and as we all know, money changes everything.

          Don’t leave your project’s nerve center—its primary address, its means of contribution, its issue tracker, its website, its primary documentation, its continuous integration, everything—in a way you can’t redirect!—at the mercy of people who merely want a return on their investment, and do not care about the principles of a minority of angry nerds.

          Using Git does not require GitHub!

        • Introducing Microsoft’s AirSim, an open-source simulator for autonomous vehicles built on Unreal Engine

        • Philip Chimento: The Cause and the Effect

          This week Richard Stallman resigned as president of the Free Software Foundation. It is long overdue, and I am grateful to Selam G., the writer of the blog post that sparked it.

          I was disappointed to read that Michael Meeks’ post Tuesday on Planet GNOME repeated the excuses I’ve seen on Twitter and Reddit about mob rule and mischaracterization. Michael is of course entitled to that opinion, and unlike most Twitter and Reddit threads I’ve seen, has expressed it thoughtfully (which is why I think I can actually achieve something by writing this in turn.) I personally believe that that opinion does not stand up under scrutiny, and I hope writing a counterpoint might give him or others in the GNOME community food for thought.

          I believe that we — especially in the GNOME community where it’s a goal to hold ourselves to high standards of treating each other well — must not let ourselves fall into the trap of saying ‘Stallman was just defending a friend, out come the pitchforks, just for one email, who will they come for next’ and thereby fail to see the whole picture. If it was really just one email and not years of well-documented bad behaviour and refusal to change, we’d be having an entirely different conversation.

        • Stallman response

          I am not working on a response to the vilification. On the substantive issues, my writings speak for themselves. Other things, such as tone, we don't need to argue about. If the worst thing someone believes about me is that I made mistakes on that level, we can discuss it as friends.

        • We should all do something a little different now.
          I agree, the FSF should have investigated the facts and looked for community 
          input before accepting RMS's resignation.  I understand that Richard can be 
          stubborn, but his resignation over libel is not at an obvious way to help the 
          FSF or make this scandal go away, much less fix the underlying issues.

          Everyone should put some time into understanding the issue and voice your opinion. Roy Schestowitz has made a good page for understanding what happened:

          I know people don't really have time for this, but doing nothing is an acceptance of might makes right.

      • Programming/Development

        • uwsgi weirdness with --http

          Instead of upgrading everything on my server, I'm just starting from scratch. From Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 19.04 and I also upgraded everything else in sight. One of them was uwsgi. I copied various user config files but for uwsgi things didn't very well. On the old server I had uwsgi version 2.0.12-debian and on the new one 2.0.18-debian. The uWSGI changelog is pretty hard to read but I sure don't see any mention of this.

        • Wingware Blog: Viewing Arrays and Data Frames in Wing Pro 7

          Wing Pro 7 introduced an array and data frame viewer that can be used to inspect data objects in the debugger. Values are transferred to the IDE according to what portion of the data is visible on the screen, so working with large data sets won't slow down the IDE.

          The array viewer works with Pandas, numpy, sqlite3, xarray, Python's builtin lists, tuples, and dicts, and other classes that emulate lists, tuples, or dicts.

        • Solving Sequence Problems with LSTM in Keras: Part 2

          This is the second and final part of the two-part series of articles on solving sequence problems with LSTMs. In the part 1 of the series, I explained how to solve one-to-one and many-to-one sequence problems using LSTM. In this part, you will see how to solve one-to-many and many-to-many sequence problems via LSTM in Keras.

          Image captioning is a classic example of one-to-many sequence problems where you have a single image as input and you have to predict the image description in the form of a word sequence. Similarly, stock market prediction for the next X days, where input is the stock price of the previous Y days, is a classic example of many-to-many sequence problems.

          In this article you will see very basic examples of one-to-many and many-to-many problems. However, the concepts learned in this article will lay the foundation for solving advanced sequence problems, such as stock price prediction and automated image captioning that we will see in the upcoming articles.

        • Voronoi Mandalas

          I started with Carlos Focil's mandalapy code, modifying the parameters until I had a design I liked. I decided to make the Voronoi diagram show both points and vertices, and I gave it an equal aspect ratio. Carlos' mandalapy code is a port of Antonio Sánchez Chinchón's inspiring work drawing mandalas with R, using the deldir library to plot Voronoi tesselations.

        • Python Code Kata: Fizzbuzz

          A code kata is a fun way for computer programmers to practice coding. They are also used a lot for learning how to implement Test Driven Development (TDD) when writing code. One of the popular programming katas is called FizzBuzz. This is also a popular interview question for computer programmers.

        • why python is the best-suited programming language machine learning

          Machine Learning is the hottest trend in modern times. According to Forbes, Machine learning patents grew at a 34% rate between 2013 and 2017 and this is only set to increase in the future. And Python is the primary programming language used for much of the research and development in Machine Learning. So much so that Python is the top programming language for Machine Learning according to Github.

          Python is currently the most popular programming language for research and development in Machine Learning. But you don’t need to take my word for it! According to Google Trends, the interest in Python for Machine Learning has spiked to an all-new high with other ML languages such as R, Java, Scala, Julia, etc. lagging far behind.

        • Node.js now available in Haiku

          As some have already known for a long time, many platforms have had support for writing software in JavaScript or TypeScript with the help of the Node.js runtime and over the years, much of the software written by developers these days have gradually been written in either of those languages. However, Haiku has lacked a Node.js port for quite sometime and it wasn’t possible to run or develop JavaScript based software or libraries that depended on the Node.js runtime. Now I can say that Node.js is available for Haiku and can be downloaded from HaikuDepot on 64 bit (32 bit support is being worked on). The version which is currently available is 12.3.1 and is already being updated to the latest version at the time of this writing to 12.10.0 and support for the upcoming LTS version is also coming to HaikuPorts. Several patches have been upstreamed by members of the HaikuPorts team to projects such as libuv (cross-platform async I/O library), GN, etc and we hope to upstream to larger projects like V8 (Google’s JavaScript engine used in Chromium and QtWebEngine) and the Node.js project, which will ease the bringup of a future Node LTS release for Haiku.

        • Node.js Brought To BeOS-Inspired Haiku Open-Source OS

          Haiku as the open-source operating system that still maintains BeOS compatibility continues tacking on modern features and support for software well past the days of BeOS.

          The newest major piece of software working on BeOS is Node.js, including support for its NPM package manager.

        • LLVM 9.0 Released With Ability To Build The Linux x86_64 Kernel, Experimental OpenCL C++

          It's coming almost one month behind schedule, but LLVM 9.0 is out today along with the Clang 9.0 C/C++ compiler and associated sub-projects for this open-source compiler infrastructure.

          LLVM 9.0 is an exciting release with bringing the ability to build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel using LLVM/Clang 9.0 now that "asm goto" support was finally added. The AArch64 support was in better standing previously but now at long last the mainline Clang 9.0 compiler can build the current Linux kernel releases with not needing any extra patches on either side, just point the kernel build CC to Clang.

        • Create a simple image search engine in OpenCV and Flask

          I recently started playing with OpenCV, an open-source Computer Vision library for image processing. Luckily there are Python bindings available. More luck that the guys like Adrian has done a great service by releasing both book and blog on a similar topic.

          So what is it all about? Well, it is simple, or I say, the simplest demonstration of using OpenCV to load an image and finding color-related to that image and show insights in a Flask based web application. This is not a state of art application neither it is currently serving the way I intend to do but hey, it is just a start, not the end. I could not find a better excuse other than converting my basic learning of pixels into a product (Google! Beware!!)

          I am not going int nitty-gritty details of both OpenCV and Flask and I will be covering what the application is actually doing.

        • [Older] 6 Best Linux Distros for Programmers and Developers

          Let's discuss why Linux is a great OS for software encoders, followed by our hand-picked list of best Linux distros for developers and programmers. Read on.

          Let's discuss why Linux is a great OS for software encoders, followed by our hand-picked list of best Linux distros for developers and programmers. Read on.

          Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of best Linux Distro for developers to use in their day-to-day coding endeavors, let’s first list reasons for Linux being an excellent OS choice for developers.

        • Traders Who Can’t Code May Become Extinct, Goldman’s Tech Pioneer Warns

          Chavez, 55, outlined strengths that can help humans stay relevant, such as their relationship skills and ability to assess risks. Yet he predicted that longstanding career dichotomies on Wall Street, like trader versus engineer, will go away. To keep working, people will need both of those skills. Even money is going digital, a shift that goes far beyond cryptocurrencies, he said, pointing to the success of Stripe Inc. as an example of creating new ways to move funds.

          Stripe, for its part, has become one of the most valuable companies in Silicon Valley.

        • The use of open source software in DevOps has become strategic for organizations of all sizes

          The 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report showed that elite and high performing teams report strong use of open source software. This echoes findings from earlier research, showing that elite performers were 1.75 times more likely to make extensive use of open source than low performers, and were 1.5 times more likely to plan to expand their use of open source software.

        • What's Wrong with the Tech Interview Process?

          [...] The issues seem to boil down to three things:

          1. Coding tests are arbitrary, needlessly difficult and disconnected from the skills actually required for the job.

          2. The number of rounds and the time demands of interviewing are difficult to manage.

          3. Hiring decisions often seem arbitrary and communication about why someone failed a stage are often poorly communicated, when they are communicated at all.

          Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

        • [Old] Codes of Conduct and Hypocrisy

          It is generally accepted that leaders of modern organizations should act to prevent lynchings and mobbings in their organizations. Yet in recent cases in both Debian and Wikimedia, it appears that the leaders have been the instigators, using the lynching to turn opinion against their victims before there is any time to analyse evidence or give people a fair hearing.

          What's more, many people have formed the impression that Molly de Blanc's talks on this subject are not only encouraging these practices but also trolling the victims. She is becoming a trauma trigger for anybody who has ever been bullied.

          Looking over the debian-project mailing list since December 2018, it appears all the most abusive messages, such as the call for dirt on another member, or the public announcement that a member is on probation, have been written by people in a position of leadership or authority, past or present. These people control the infrastructure, they know the messages will reach a lot of people and they intend to preserve them publicly for eternity. That is remarkably similar to the mindset of the men who perpetrate acid attacks on women they can't control.

          Therefore, if the leader of an organization repeatedly indulges himself, telling volunteers they are not real developers, has he really made them less of a developer, or has he simply become less of a leader, demoting himself to become one of the despots Lord Denning refers to?

        • Best text editors in 2019: For macOS, Windows, Linux coders and programmers
        • How to compare strings in Java

          String comparison is a fundamental operation in programming and is often quizzed during interviews. These strings are a sequence of characters that are immutable which means unchanging over time or unable to be changed.

          Java has a number of methods for comparing strings; this article will teach you the primary operation of how to compare strings in Java.

        • 2019.3 EAP 2

          We have a new Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm that can be now downloaded from our website.

  • Leftovers

    • The Perspicacity of Mcluhan and Panopticonic Plans of the MIC

      This small article examines the technologically facilitated architecture/infrastructure of ‘mind over mind’ as Bentham defined the concept of Panopticon in the 18th Century.

    • Country, Smoothed Over

      A very good friend of mine, now deceased, interviewed Buck Owens back in the 1990s as the Buckaroo promoted his box set. My friend pitched Owens his favorite softball: “Hank or Lefty?” Owens, without blinking, shot back: “Merle.” In Ken Burns’ new 16-hour PBS documentary,€ “Country Music,” Merle Haggard muses fondly about the early 1950s, when every jukebox posed that weighty question to all honky-tonkers: Hank or Lefty, savior or sinner, martyr or scoundrel? The music’s gentle surface barely concealed its emotional sting.

    • Science

      • New Mexico Unveils Plan To Give Students Free College Tuition Regardless Of Income

        Paying for housing, meals, books and transportation are still challenges for many low-income students, he said.

        "Students show up to community colleges believing that they are going to get ... free college. And what they realize is there are all these other expenses. And so, students end up working. If you're a low-income student and you're working, you're not studying. You're maybe not taking a full course load," Del Pilar told NPR. "You're not joining a club or doing an internship, or going to faculty office hours. Students promised free college will be robbed from these things because they are forced to work," he said.

        The program's funding would fill in whatever financial gaps are left after students exhaust state and federal aid. Officials hope lessening the burden of paying for college will help keep residents from leaving the state for opportunity.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Be Prepared: Find the ER You Want to Go to Before an Emergency Happens

        To be prepared in the event of an emergency, you can use our newly updated ER Inspector (formerly called ER Wait Watcher) to help you evaluate the emergency rooms near you. Using data from the federal government, our interactive database lets you compare ERs on both efficiency measures, including how long patients typically spend in the ER before being sent home, and quality measures, such as how many violations related to ER care a hospital has had.

        Note: If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening emergency, do not use ER Inspector. Call 911 and seek care immediately.

      • California Is Ready to Ensure Every Public College Student Has Access to Abortion

        In a year when we’ve seen states throughout the South and Midwest move to ban abortion and restrict access to reproductive health, California could soon cement its reputation as a leader in reproductive freedom. This past week, the state legislature passed SB 24 to ensure that medication abortion is available to college students in public universities.

      • Pelosi offers Medicare negotiation plan to curb drug prices
      • S. Korea slams Japan’s actions over Fukushima plant water crisis

        -South Korea asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to step in on how to manage radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, citing concerns the water may be discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

        During the IAEA's General Conference here, South Korea's First Vice Minister of Science and Information and Communication Technology Moon Mi-ok said Sept. 16 that the issue of contaminated water has not been resolved, “escalating fear and anxiety throughout the world.”

        She said that if contaminated water is discharged into the ocean, it would no longer be Japan’s domestic problem, “but a grave international issue that can affect the whole global marine environment,” Moon said.

        She called on the IAEA to get actively involved in how to deal with the situation and urged Japan to take effective steps to resolve the crisis.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (bird, opendmarc, php7.3, and qemu), Fedora (bird, dino, nbdkit, and openconnect), Oracle (nginx:1.14, patch, and thunderbird), Red Hat (dovecot, kernel, kernel-alt, and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (kernel, openssl, openssl-1_1, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-Werkzeug).

      • Skidmap malware drops LKMs on Linux machines to enable cryptojacking, backdoor access [Ed: This is not a "Linux" issue any more than Adobe Photoshop malicious files are a "Windows" issue ]

        Researchers have discovered a sophisticated cryptomining program that uses loadable kernel modules (LKMs) to help infiltrate Linux machines, and hides its malicious activity by displaying fake network traffic stats.

        Dubbed Skidmap, the malware can also grant attackers backdoor access to affected systems by setting up a secret master password that offers access to any user account in the system, according to Trend Micro threat analysts Augusto Remillano II and Jakub Urbanec in a company blog post.

      • Linux for ethical hackers 101

        In order to familiarize yourself with the full range of ethical hacking tools, it is important to be conversant with the Linux OS. As the systems engineer Yasser Ibrahim said in a post on Quora: “In Linux you need to understand from the basics to the advanced, learn the console commands and how to navigate and do everything from your console, also shell programming (not a must, but always preferable), know what a kernel is and how it works, understand the Linux file systems, how to network on Linux.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iran Doesn't Want Conflict, Says Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, But Any US-Saudi Attack Would Spark 'All-Out War'

        "We don't want war. We don't want to engage in a military confrontation. But we won't blink to defend our territory."

      • Condemning Pompeo Warmongering, Sanders Says 'Attack on Saudi Oil Is Not an Attack on America'

        "We will not let you drag the American people into another catastrophe in the Middle East."

      • The Sorry State of the Nobel Peace Prize

        Criteria for a Peace Prize

      • With Enemies Like These, Trump Doesn’t Need Friends

        It is one year since an anonymous op-ed appeared in the New York Times. The author claimed to be part of a group of “senior officials in the administration” who are “working within to frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations.” The op-ed’s portentous title, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” conjured up an image of a sweating bureaucrat tapping madly away on a laptop beneath his desk in a dark office, darting anxious glances at the door while wondering who will play him in the movie. If only the op-ed could have broken off in a strangled scream, it would have been perfect.

      • Trump and Netanyahu: “Mutual Defense” or Just Mutual Political Back-Scratching?

        On September 14, US president Donald Trump tweeted (of course) the suggestion of a US-Israel “Mutual Defense Treaty,” citing a call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      • U.S., El Salvador Set to Sign Asylum Deal

        NEW YORK—The United States planned to sign an agreement on Friday to help make one of Central America’s most violent countries, El Salvador, a haven for migrants seeking asylum, according to a senior Trump administration official.

      • Media Omit Context Behind Latest North Korean Missile Tests

        In his 2004 book North Korea: Another Country, historian Bruce Cumings described the irony of corporate media’s perpetual narrative of North Korea as an unhinged or devious adversary of the US with hostile nuclear ambitions:

      • Duterte Says He Ordered a Politician Killed; a Spokesman Says He Misspoke

        In a speech on Tuesday night at the presidential palace in Manila, Mr. Duterte railed against drug-related corruption in Philippine politics. He mentioned two mayors who were killed by the police after he accused them of drug crimes: Rolando Espinosa, who was gunned down in his jail cell in 2016, and Reynaldo Parojinog, who died in a raid on his home in 2017.

        Then he mentioned Vicente Loot, a mayor and former general who survived an attack by gunmen in the central Philippines in May 2018.

      • Saudi Arabia oil attacks: US to send troops to Saudi Arabia [iophk: pure corruption]
      • Address, Don’t Dismiss, Kashmir Grievances

        When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States next week, his delegation will likely encounter€ protests€ over the worsening human rights situation in India.

      • Scientists discover that repatriated remains of Japanese POWs who died in Soviet camps probably aren't actually Japanese

        In recent years, the Russian government has transferred the remains of 597 Japanese prisoners of war who died in Soviet labor camps back to Japan. Now, NHK reported, it has become clear that those remains are unlikely to belong to Japanese soldiers at all.

      • Foreign Investors Fueled Violence and Corruption in South Sudan, Report Finds

        Drawing on a trove of documents and forensic financial analysis, the report sheds new light on the scale of corruption in South Sudan, an oil-rich country that has been in civil conflict for over five years. It also provides a detailed portrait of how China has expanded its political and financial footprint in Africa, operating with South Sudanese security services and militias widely accused of carrying out atrocities and war crimes against civilian populations.

        Years of violence and instability have plunged South Sudan into what is considered one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

      • Imran Khan to discuss Kashmir with Saudi leadership

        Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter". New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.

        The FO said Prime Minister Khan has been in regular contact with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman on the Kashmir issue.

        Since the visit to Pakistan by Crown Prince Salman on February 2019, there is growing momentum in Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations in all areas of cooperation, the FO said.

      • Possible terror ties in American Airlines sabotage case? Prosecutor says yes

        Prosecutors cited two factors in pushing for the continued jailing of Abdul-Majeed Maroud Ahmed Alani, a 60-year-old mechanic who was with American since 1988 and previously worked for Alaska Airlines: he has a brother in Iraq who may be involved with the Islamic State extremist group and has made statements about wishing harm on non-Muslims, according to the Miami Herald and the Associated Press.

      • Radicalizing in the Name of Islam

        Mainstream reporters have since published a raft of articles purporting to identify the warning signs of potential school shooters before they take the last step to violence.[5] Likewise, calls to understand the process of radicalization to mass murder followed the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting[6] while, after the October 2018 massacre of eleven members of Pittsburgh's Jewish community, journalists across the country ruminated about the killer's white supremacist motives and ideology.[7]

        Yet similar calls to identify the warning signs of radicalization to Islamist terrorism have been condemned as "Islamophobic" and shut down.[8] Retired Department of Homeland Security analyst Philip Haney revealed that the Obama administration ended his investigations into extremist Islamic groups, ostensibly due to violations of civil liberties. Worse, he argued, the administration "erased the dots we were diligently connecting."[9] This action appears to have chilled research efforts. For example, the 2016 settlement of a lawsuit arising from the New York Police Department's Muslim surveillance activities required NYPD to remove a 2007 report, titled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," from its website.[10] In a report to the FBI director, the 9/11 Review Commission noted: [...]

      • This smuggler claims he'll move ISIS members throughout Europe. The price: $8,000

        The smugglers use stolen identity documents. CBS News went undercover again, this time posing as smugglers, and found criminals with hundreds of them for sale in Athens, including U.S. passports. They try to match their customers with an ID photo they resemble.

        Then the smugglers use the stolen documents to fly people from Athens to Spain or Italy, where they claim security is lax. From there, they can travel anywhere in western Europe with no border checks.

      • The US promised thousands of foreign interpreters special immigrant visas. Now they’re trapped.

        He was lucky to share the night with his children. Kamran, a former interpreter for the United States Army, fled with his family from his native Afghanistan due to threats from both the Taliban and villagers. The threats were related to his work with the US. The family now lives illegally and in constant fear of being discovered and sent back to Afghanistan, where Kamran believes they would face near-certain death. Sometimes he has to sleep in the desert to avoid police raids, bribes and beatings.

        Kamran became a translator for the US military when he was 18 because he wanted to do something good for Afghanistan, he said. He spent a decade with American troops, living and working directly alongside them. But now, he is one of the thousands of interpreters who have been left behind and are in danger because of their service to the US.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • A Leaker’s Motives Are Irrelevant, Gov’t Says

        Exclusion of a “good motive” or public interest argument is consistent with past practice in previous leak trials under the Espionage Act dating back to the case of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, as writer Tom Mueller recalled in his new cultural history of whistleblowing Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud (p. 111).

      • The Mysterious Death Of The Hacker Who Turned In Chelsea Manning

        He left a voice note to himself hours before he died. He had twisted his leg and was, in his words, in agonizing pain. Given everything we had uncovered it is possible that Lamo's last night went something like this: After spending some time on the computer and having dinner he took something to help him relax and maybe ease some of that muscle pain. He went into the bedroom, lay down on the clothes, curled up, and just stopped breathing. It wasn't natural, suicide, homicide or completely undetermined — it was an accident.

      • Judge: UK to imprison Julian Assange after his sentence ends

        The judge’s comments did not appear to be part of any formal ruling, as no bail application had yet been made.

        Speaking to Assange, the judge also alleged, “I have given your lawyer an opportunity to make an application for bail on your behalf and she has declined to do so.”

        In fact, as Julian Assange’s father John Shipton, who was in the courtroom, explained in an interview, the judge decided on her own to discuss Julian’s bail at what was supposed to be merely a “technical hearing.”

        Judge Baraitser “decided to hear a bail application case which wasn’t before her,” Shipton said, “which she promptly refused.” When asked who brought the bail application, he said, “She made it herself.”

        Assange himself was clearly caught off guard as well. When explicitly asked by the court if he understood these developments, Assange responded, “Not really. I’m sure the lawyers will explain it.”

        The surprise hearing is especially troubling given ongoing concerns over Julian Assange’s ability to defend himself against the United States’ extradition request, the trial for which is scheduled for February 2020. In response to the abrupt nature of the hearing, a member of the public has written an open letter to Westminster Magistrates Court calling for more transparency about their proceedings.

    • Environment

      • Used and abused, oceans key to fighting climate change

        Seas have grown acidic, potentially undermining their capacity to draw down CO2. Warmer surface water has expanded the force and range of deadly tropical storms. Marine heatwaves are wiping out coral reefs, and accelerating the melt-off of glaciers and ice sheets driving sea level rise.

        "The last book of the Bible talks about the four horseman of the Apocalypse," said Dan Laffoley, strategic lead for ocean protection at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

        "For the oceans, the lead horseman is surface warming," he told AFP. "The three others are ocean heating, loss of oxygen and acidification."

        There are at least three types of actions humans can take to help repair the damage and ensure that oceans don't turn from friend to foe, scientists say.

      • What if Reporters Covered the Climate Crisis Like Edward R. Murrow Covered the Start of World War II?

        Many of us have recognized that our coverage of global warming has fallen short. There’s been some excellent reporting by independent journalists and by enterprising reporters and photographers from legacy newspapers and other news outlets. But the Goliaths of the US news media, those with the biggest amplifiers—the corporate broadcast networks—have been shamelessly AWOL, despite their extraordinary profits. The combined coverage of climate change by the three major networks and Fox fell from just 260 minutes in 2017 to a mere 142 minutes in 20l8—a drop of 45 percent, reported the watchdog group Media Matters.

        Meanwhile, about 1,300 communities across the United States have totally lost news coverage, many from newspaper mergers and closures, according to the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. Hundreds of others are still standing only as “ghost newspapers.” They no longer have resources for even local reporting, much less for climate change. “Online news sites, as well as some TV newsrooms, are working hard to keep local reporting alive, but these are taking root far more slowly than newspapers are dying,” observes Tom Stites of Poynter in a report about the study. And, alas, many of the news outlets that are still around have ignored or misreported the climate story and failed to counter the tsunami of deceptive propaganda unleashed by fossil-fuel companies and the mercenaries, ideologues, and politicians who do their bidding.

      • 23 Reasons to Climate Strike Today

        But it will only be a success on the scale we need if lots of people who aren’t the regular suspects join in. Many people, of course, can’t do without a day’s pay or work for bosses who would fire them if they missed work. So, it really matters that those of us with the freedom to rally do so. Since I published the first book for a general audience on climate change 30 years ago this month, I’ve had lots of time to think about the various ways to move people to action. Let me offer a few: [...]

      • TV Weathercasters Who Are Shifting Public Opinion on the Climate Crisis

        The change has come as meteorologists and weather forecasters themselves have changed their opinions on the climate crisis and its causes. In 2008, a survey of some American Meteorological Society members found that only 24 percent of weathercasters agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that warming was caused by humans. In 2010, a study by Maibach found that 54 percent agreed that global warming is happening. But by 2017, a full 90 percent agreed that climate crisis is happening, and 80 percent indicated it was human-caused.

      • How YouTube Promotes Climate Change Denial

        But people searching for accurate information about climate change may end up finding conspiracy theories and climate change denial. New research shows that an alarming number of of videos hosted on YouTube contain information that contradicts the scientific consensus that humans are causing dangerous climate change — and those videos rack up a huge number of views.

        Researcher Joachim Allgaier, author of the study published in the journal Frontiers in Communication, said he wanted to look at a little-inspected aspect of the site: the search bar. Studies of YouTube videos, Allgaier said, generally focus on videos with the most views, many of which are from reputable scientific sources with large followings.

      • The climate issue

        That the changing climate touches everything and everyone should be obvious—as it should be that the poor and marginalised have most to lose when the weather turns against them. What is less obvious, but just as important, is that, because the processes that force climate change are built into the foundations of the world economy and of geopolitics, measures to check climate change have to be similarly wide-ranging and all-encompassing. To decarbonise an economy is not a simple subtraction; it requires a near-complete overhaul.

      • With an Indigenous perspective, Anchorage seeks to adapt to climate change even if Alaska doesn’t

        Anchorage is taking the lead by issuing the city’s first climate action plan, which was released in April and will be voted on by the city council later this month.

        The municipal plan, if adopted, may become Alaska’s boldest climate statement given that Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy mothballed the state’s recently adopted climate policy, which sought to reconcile the dilemma of a state heavily dependent on fossil fuel revenues with the fact that Alaska is experiencing climate change faster than other parts of the planet. Over the last century, the average mean temperature in the continental US has increased by 1.45 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the last 60 years, since Alaska began keeping regular weather data, the state’s mean temperature has increased by 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

      • The hard truths of climate change — by the numbers

        Bruno Rodriguez is only 18, but he has seen enough in his time on Earth to know that he must to do something for the planet. Inspired by the student climate strikes in Europe, he founded Youth for Climate Argentina in his home country. The group drew more than 8,000 demonstrators to the national congress in May, and its leaders worked with senators to pass a resolution on 17 July, declaring a climate emergency.

        Argentina is responsible for less than 1% of annual global emissions, but Rodriguez says the science is clear: everyone must take aggressive action if the world is to avoid a massive environmental and humanitarian crisis. “There is no middle ground,” says Rodriguez. “We need radical industrial transformation.”

      • 'Huge Win' But 'Not Enough': Amazon Workers Claim Credit for Pushing Bezos on Climate, Vow to Intensify Campaign

        "Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we'll be in the streets."

      • UN Secretary General Urges Public Pressure Against Climate “Emergency”

        This story originally appeared in The Nation. It is republished here as part of the Climate News Network’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

      • Faster global warming may bring much more heat

        Climate scientists are haunted by a global temperature rise 56 million years ago, which could mean much more heat very soon.

      • Australia prepares for ‘Day Zero’ – the day the water runs out

        Day Zero is pending in at least a dozen Australian country towns stretching from the northern state of Queensland – known for its sprawling banana plantations and tropical heatwaves – to the state of New South Wales, whose capital Sydney is the country’s most populous city.

        Successive droughts and the extra water needed to fight intense bushfires have caused an unprecedented shortage, with these regions now facing the prospect of the taps running out within a matter of months.

        Day Zero, as it’s called, would mark the start of water rationing and the day residential taps are turned off – literally – with large numbers of households and businesses having to go to local collection sites to fetch water.

      • Photos show huge climate-change protests around the world, which have spread across continents as millions strike to demand action

        Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests in Australia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Kenya, Germany, the UK, and other countries, and protests are due to continue around the world.

      • There's a Climate Threat Facing Pacific Islands That's More Dire Than Losing Land

        Even now, on most developing islands in the Pacific, freshwater is already an imperilled resource. On many populated atolls, the primary source is rain that's soaked into the soil and collected as groundwater.

        Yet as sea levels continue to rise and flooding becomes more frequent, the ground on these islands might also begin to absorb seawater. And if subsequent rainfall doesn't flush all that salt out of the island's aquifer, it will likely become contaminated.

        This disaster scenario might be enough deprive entire isolated islands of their sole source of drinking water, forcing residents to rely on rainfall and shipments alone.

      • Indonesia blames planters for raging wildfires and horrible air quality

        Only about 22 per cent of the forestry business permit holders, or 2,179 firms, submitted mandatory reports on forest fire control, suggesting a lack of commitment in preventing fires on their land, the Ministry of Forestry and Environment said in a statement.

        But the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries defended the industry, saying oil palm plantations were generally not the source of burning. Hot spots recorded in oil palm plantations usually spread from neighbouring areas, it said in a statement on its website.

        Indonesian authorities have named more than 200 companies including oil palm, pulp producers and individual farmers as responsible for starting the fires and sealed their land holdings.

      • New, Dire Climate Models Say the Planet Warms Faster Than We Thought

        Two new climate models predict that global warming due to climate change will be faster and more severe than previously thought, meaning humanity will have to work even harder to curb its emissions and meet the warming goals set out in the Paris agreement.

        If we continue to use fossil fuels to drive rapid economic growth, the new models say, mean global temperature could rise as much as 7 degrees Celsius by 2100, which is 1 degree higher than previous estimates. In terms of climate change, that’s a lot.

      • Haze From Indonesian Fires Now Affecting Philippines

        Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency said the number of hotspots has been rising in the past week and reached 5,086 on Friday, despite government efforts to battle the fires and control the haze.

        The agency recorded 1,443 hotspots in Central Kalimantan province on Borneo, an island which is divided among Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

        It said 99% of the hotspots were caused by deliberately set fires.

      • Greta Thunberg Leads Climate Strikes in 150 Countries (Live Blog)

        Youth climate activist€ Greta Thunberg€ is leading a€ global climate strike Friday, ahead of Monday’s Climate Action Summit at the United Nations. The Swedish 16-year-old rose to fame a year ago when she inspired a global student climate protest. She has been in the€ U.S. since late August€ after traveling in a carbon-neutral yacht across the Atlantic, and she recently€ testified in Congress€ about the appalling consequences of our leaders’ climate inaction.

      • “Not a Blade of Grass Grew:” Living on the Edge of the Climate Crisis in the Sandarbans of West Bengal

        Kajal Lata Biswas is still haunted by memories of the cyclone. Though it’s been 10 years since Aila hit the Sundarbans, she still clearly recalls May 25, 2009.

      • Burning Amazonia, Denying Climate Change, Devastating Syria, Starving Yemen, and Ignoring Kashmir

        The World Order Backdrop

      • Applause as Federal Court Blocks 'Unconstitutional' South Dakota Law That Would Hit Pipeline Protesters With Up to 25 Years in Prison

        "The so-called 'Riot Boosting' Act was clearly intended to suppress constitutionally-protected, peaceful protests of the Keystone XL pipeline."

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’

          Before the 20th century, some 10 million to 16 million adult salmon and steelhead trout are thought to have returned annually to the Columbia River system. The current return of wild fish is 2 percent of that, by some estimates.

          While farming, logging and especially the commercial harvest of salmon in the early 20th century all took a toll, the single greatest impact on wild fish comes from eight large dams — four on the Columbia and four on the Snake River, a major tributary.

        • Climate Change and Crime: New Pressures for Pacific Walruses and Alaska Native Artists
        • North America Has 3 Billion Fewer Birds Than it Did in 1970

          The number of birds in North America has declined by almost 3 billion since 1970, according to a study published today (September 19) in Science. The work, led by researchers at Cornell University, documents population reductions for hundreds of species and warns of an ongoing biodiversity crisis across the continent.

          Paul Ehrlich, an ecologist at Stanford University who was not involved in the work, tells Science that the findings “might stir needed action in light of the public interest in our feathered friends.”

        • Birds Are Vanishing From North America

          The skies are emptying out.

          The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago.

          The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations.

          In a statement on Thursday, David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, called the findings “a full-blown crisis.”

          Experts have long known that some bird species have become vulnerable to extinction. But the new study, based on a broad survey of more than 500 species, reveals steep losses even among such traditionally abundant birds as robins and sparrows.

        • Where have the wild birds gone? 3 billion fewer than 1970

          North America's skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970, a comprehensive study shows.

        • North America has lost 3 billion birds in 50 years

          A sweeping new study says a steep decline in bird abundance, including among common species, amounts to "an overlooked biodiversity crisis."

    • Finance

      • The Fed Comes to Its Senses, Lowers Interest Rate

        What follows is a conversation between Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Mark Weisbrot and Greg Wilpert of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

      • Why Wells Fargo plans to pilot its own cryptocurrency

        Wells Fargo & Company this week announced plans to pilot an internal settlement service using a homegrown cryptocurrency backed by fiat money, starting with the U.S. dollar.

        Wells Fargo Digital Cash, which will run on the bank's first distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform based on the R3 Corda Enterprise blockchain specification, will enable internal book transfers of cross-border payments within the bank's global network. It will also allow bank's international locations to exchange that digitized money among themselves.

      • Is There Any Lesser Authority Than Alan Greenspan?

        That is undoubtedly the question that readers of Robert Samuelson’s column on negative interest rates are asking. At one point Samuelson tells readers:

      • US: Proposed Debt Collection Rule Fails Consumers

        The Trump administration’s proposed rule on debt collection companies in the United States would severely undermine protections for consumers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule would give wide leeway to abusive debt collectors and collection attorneys by allowing them to try to collect debts by using false, deceptive, or misleading representations, even after the statute of limitations has ended.

      • Apple Fights ‘Phantom’ Units Claim in $14 Billion EU Court Clash

        Apple Inc. and Ireland’s court room clash with the European Commission finally lived up to its billing as the world’s biggest tax case.

        A two-day hearing into their appeal of the EU’s record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill heated up on Wednesday as Apple rebutted claims that Irish units at the center of its fight are just “phantoms” and Ireland hit back at regulators for saying the country would willingly forgo one-fifth of its corporate tax takings.

        Ireland is the victim of "wholly unjustified criticism of its tax system and its approach" from the EU in "the biggest state aid case ever," said Paul Gallagher, the government’s lawyer, in closing arguments of an EU General Court hearing in Luxembourg.

      • Apple says EU exaggerates the importance of Ireland to its business

        Apple continues to argue its appeal against the European Commission's $14.4 billion tax ruling, saying that the order was based on the erroneous idea that Ireland is key to Apple's strategic planning.

      • A Primer on the Stellar Network

        When I realized that the Stellar network was set up so that it would be feasible for a CAD-equivalent of AnchorUSD to exist such that I could send family in the United States actual USD that they could deposit into their bank accounts from CAD money in my bank account, that got me excited. Typically I use TransferWise (if you choose to sign up to TransferWise, this is a referral link that gets me and the first couple of people who use it some money), but it takes a few days for the money to arrive and I have to go through some hoops to get the cheapest fee with the fastest result by letting them log into my bank account to check I actually have the funds which has always bugged me from a security perspective.

        Add on to that the fact that PayPal is about the only solution I know of for sending small amounts of money internationally – which happens regularly to me when I'm at a conference outside of Canada and the restaurant won't split the cheque – and you start to wonder why there aren't more potential solutions out there for sending money internationally in a fast, cheap manner.

        And apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this: IBM has a service called World Wire built on the Stellar network specifically for moving money quickly and cheaply between banks. So now I'm just waiting for someone to set up a CAD-based anchor which acts as an Interac e-Transfer bridge between my Stellar account and my Canadian chequing account so I can send money to the United States cheaply and easily.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Scourge in the White House

        I would have no trouble defending myself and my loved ones: family and country. But under no circumstances would I employ corrupt practices to get ahead.

      • Buried Whistleblower Report Apparently Involves President Trump's Conversations With A Foreign Leader

        At the very last minute of last week -- prime government news-dumping time -- Rep. Adam Schiff announced the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was (perhaps unlawfully) refusing to turn over a whistleblower report to House Intelligence Community.

      • America Keeps Getting China All Wrong

        For decades, China has been an enigmatic foe and friend to the United States. From trade to immigration, the two international giants have been linked in inextricable ways in recent years. With Donald Trump’s current trade war with China and the Hong Kong protests hitting headlines, Americans are once again thinking about the Chinese in a more nuanced way. Yet there is still a lot of misinformation about the Asian nation circulating at all levels of American society, including within the Trump administration.

      • Trump Pressed Ukraine’s Leader on Inquiry Into Biden’s Son [iophk: more tweets in place of official communications :( and the whole complaint needs to be aired]

        “No explicit quid pro quo is necessary to betray your country,” tweeted Mr. Schiff, who has also pushed for the whistle-blower complaint to be given to Congress.

      • Twitter closes thousands of fake news accounts worldwide

        Twitter said on Friday it shut down thousands of accounts worldwide for spreading misinformation, including some artificially amplifying pro-Saudi messaging as part of a regional propaganda war.

        The move affected pro-Saudi accounts coming from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said, as well as others from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong.

        Additional fake accounts were suspended in Spain and Ecuador, Twitter's safety team said. The move is the latest in a series of actions by social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter cracking down on manipulation, often by state-controlled entities disguising their identities.

      • A Step Toward Blowing Up the Presidential-Voting System

        With a law set to take effect in 2020, Maine will become the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting for a presidential election—a method in which people list candidates by order of preference rather than bubbling in just one circle. Maine controls only four electoral votes and splits them in half by congressional district, but the change could have huge consequences if the national presidential race to 270 electoral votes is close.

      • Congress Should Use Impeachment 'Muscle Power' Against Trump to Access Whistleblower Complaint, Watergate Prosecutor Says

        Akerman said that because the Trump administration is trying so hard to keep the information of the complaint away from the public, it's likely that the information is "really very suspect." The former federal prosecutor went so far as to suggest that Trump may have "committed treason, or done something that comes pretty close to it."

      • Meet Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager

        In August, at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, a tall man with a Viking beard and an elegant gray suit walked out on a stage, carrying a stack of red Make America Great Again hats, tossing them to an adoring crowd, shouting “Four more years!”

        The man is Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who vaulted from a mid-level web designer to digital strategist for the 2016 Trump campaign and now manages the 2020 incarnation, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., which he claims will be America’s first billion-dollar campaign. And as he’s been doing this, Parscale has figured out ways to enrich himself and his firms, at various times collecting a salary from the Trump campaign, payments from the Republican National Committee and money from a super PAC, America First Action.

      • Memo to Trump: Water Runs Downhill

        It seems a sure bet that if someone told Donald Trump water runs downhill he would immediately claim it was “fake news” since, after all, when he turns on the gold taps in his Fifth Avenue penthouse atop Trump Tower, water comes gushing out. And you know, it’s a long€ ways€ up —€ 58 stories, although he claims it has 68€ — so how does it get up there if water runs downhill? But for the rest of us who live in the real world, water definitely runs downhill. Which is why the latest move by Trump’s corrupt administration to scrap the Obama-era “Waters of the United States” rule last week should concern anyone who lives downstream —€ which is basically everyone.

      • Alarming Trump 'Promise' to Foreign Leader Reportedly Sparked Whistleblower Complaint Intel Chief Is Hiding From Congress

        "This may take impeachment in a totally new direction," said John Dean, who served as White House counsel to President Richard Nixon

      • Ocasio-Cortez Calls NYT Story an Attempt to 'Gaslight' the Left

        By now, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has gone through more full-on political attacks than President Trump has gone through cabinet members.

      • Trump Officials: UNC-Duke Program Too Positive on Islam

        The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it’s misusing a federal grant to advance “ideological priorities” and unfairly promote “the positive aspects of Islam” but not Christianity or Judaism.

      • FUNDRAISER: Corporate Media Sidetracking Real Election Issues—Again
      • WaPo No Longer Discloses Its Owner’s Uber Investment

        A new California law threatens to upend Uber, but the Washington Post claimed the law doesn’t apply to the ride-hailing giant. This is convenient, since Post owner Jeff Bezos is not only a major Uber investor, but also founder and CEO of Amazon, which is likely to also be negatively impacted by the new law.

        The recently passed legislation requires companies to classify workers as employees if their work is central to the business. Throughout its decade of lawbreaking and staggering growth, Uber has classified its drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This has allowed the ride-hailing giant to avoid providing benefits and job protections, creating huge savings for Uber and financial hardship for many drivers.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • EFF to Observe at United Nations General Assembly Leaders' Week Event

        EFF has joined the advisory committee of the Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online and will be represented at meetings€ near€ the United Nations General Assembly early next week. We have been involved in the process since May, when the government of New Zealand convened more than forty civil society actors in Paris for an honest discussion of the Call’s goals and drawbacks.

        We are grateful to New Zealand’s government for working toward greater inclusion of civil society in the conversation around what to do about violent extremism. But, we remain concerned that some of the governments and corporations involved seek to rid the internet of terrorist content regardless of the human cost. As demonstrated by a paper we released this summer, in conjunction with Witness and Syrian Archive demonstrates, that cost is very real.

      • Why It Matters That YouTube Changed Its Verification System

        YouTube is overhauling its verification system, and in so doing is radically changing who is qualified to have the coveted little checkmark next to their name. (Well, actually, YouTube is scrapping the checkmark too, replacing it with a gray swipe.) In the previous system, anyone with over 100,000 subscribers could be verified. Now, creators will only be verified if YouTube determines that they are a channel of sufficient "prominence," one that might need to distinguish itself from potential imitators. The result is that many creators—including people with over a million subscribers who have been working on the platform for over a decade—have been informed that their channel is due for de-verification, effective this October.

      • Iran Regime Sentences 86 Protesters to Flogging and Jail

        The Borujen Criminal Court in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province tried 103 protesters for “disrupting public order and peace” and “disobeying government agents on duty” on July 31.

        The Iranian regime sentenced each of the 86 activists to 30 lashes and four months of prison, merely for protesting the transfer of their drinking water to the Sefid Dasht Steel Factory owned by the Isfahan Steel Company, which is linked to the regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

      • Martial Law Masquerading As Law And Order: The Police State's Language Of Force

        You want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot?

        Bring in the militarized police with their guns and black uniforms and warzone tactics and “comply or die” mindset. Ratchet up the tension across the board. Take what should be a healthy exercise in constitutional principles (free speech, assembly and protest) and turn it into a lesson in authoritarianism.

        Mind you, those who respond with violence are playing into the government’s hands perfectly.

        The government wants a reason to crack down and lock down and bring in its biggest guns.

        They want us divided. They want us to turn on one another.

        They want us powerless in the face of their artillery and armed forces.

        They want us silent, servile and compliant.

      • ‘The Silenced’: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by Trump

        From weakening vehicle emissions to blocking warnings about how coastal parks could flood or the impact on the Arctic, the Trump administration is accused of muzzling climate science.

        Here six former government scientists describe being sidelined by the administration—and why they won’t be quiet.

      • The Russian Student Who Has Become Moscow's New Face Of Dissent

        Student activists celebrated a small victory in early September, when a judge moved Zhukov from jail to house arrest. But as the prosecutors' case against him for rioting crumbled, he is now being charged with "extremism," which carries up to five years in prison.

      • UK: The Push to End Free Speech

        Islam represents an idea, not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most hate-speech laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas.

        The new proposed definition would criminalize criticism of Islam. Considering the origins of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, that is probably the whole point.

      • Hindu teacher attacked, temple vandalised in Pakistan's Sindh

        Widespread protests erupted in Ghotki district after an FIR was filed against the principal of Sindh Public School on the complaint of Abdul Aziz Rajput, a student's father who claimed that the teacher had committed blasphemy by uttering derogatory remarks against the Prophet of Islam.

        Following the riots, protesters demanded the police to arrest the principal, who was identified as Notan Mal.

        The Ghotki city has been shut down and the Hindu community is under a threat.

      • Court cuts jail time for Sarawakian convicted of insulting Islam, retains RM50,000 fine

        Alister Cogia, 22, will now spend six years of his life in prison instead of 10 after he was found guilty of insulting Islam and the religion’s prophet on Facebook.

        High Court judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli today reduced an earlier prison sentence, but maintained the RM50,000 fine imposed by the Sessions Court after taking into account the timing and frequencies of the offence.

      • A strange Twitter glitch is censoring the left — and no one knows if it's a bug or a feature [iophk: stems from misuse of twitter in place of official channel for communication]

        Salon’s Executive Editor Andrew O'Hehir noticed he could not “like” an Edward Snowden thread on Tuesday about Snowden’s book; he, too received a “like failed” message, and found that the Snowden post behaved similarly to the WFP post, in that he was unable to interact with it.

        John Graziano, who has over 18,000 followers on Twitter, and often tweets on left-wing politics, said he noticed the pattern about a month ago: certain prominent tweets would get a lot of attention, yet he could not view the replies.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Russians increasingly turn to online calls, as ‘blocked’ Telegram rapidly gains users

        A new study by the professional services network Deloitte, reported by Kommersant, found that instant messengers are the most popular smartphone apps in Russia, as Russians pivot increasingly to making online rather than traditional phone calls. More than half of the study’s respondents (53 percent) say they’ve started using these Internet services more often in the past year. Overall, researchers found, as many as 35 percent of all calls in Russia are now made through online messengers.

      • Response to DCMS call for evidence on digital identity September 2019
      • Edward Snowden Is a 2020 Election Issue

        The lawsuit is a just one example of how Snowden and other former intelligence officers and military personnel are threatened, even when they are not revealing official secrets. “This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations,” explains Ben Wizner, the director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, who serves as an attorney for Snowden. “Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified.”

        That’s a problem for Snowden, and for the American people. And it is something that the candidates who hope to replace Trump should be talking about. Indeed, it is a question that ought to be addressed in the next Democratic presidential debate.

      • AT&T Says Customers Can’t Sue the Company for Selling Location Data to Bounty Hunters

        AT&T is arguing that its customers can’t sue the company for selling location data to bounty hunters, according to recently filed court records. AT&T says the customers signed contracts that force them into arbitration, meaning consumers have to settle complaints privately with the company rather than in court. The filing is in response to a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

        The news shows the hurdles consumers are faced with when trying to claim compensation from telecos and other tech giants that have arguably abused access to their data, including ultimately selling it to people without authorization to handle such information.

      • Corporatocracy: inside the Cash Ban

        The Government and Opposition are about to push through laws to hobble the cash economy, laws based on advice from KPMG. Michael West looks at the real reasons behind the jihad on cash.

      • The Internet of Things Is Still a Privacy Dumpster Fire, Study Finds

        The full study, a joint collaboration between Northeastern University and Imperial College London took a closer look at 81 popular smart TVs, streaming dongles, smart speakers, and video doorbells made by vendors including Google, Roku, and Amazon.

        The results aren’t comforting: the majority of the devices collected and shared information including your IP address, device specs (like MAC address), usage habits, and location data. That data is then shared with a laundry list of third parties, regardless of whether the user actually has a relationship with those companies.

      • Detroit Police opt for safety [sic] over privacy, as facial recognition approved

        After the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners approved the measure 8-3, sighs from residents and activists filled a conference room at downtown’s Public Safety Headquarters.

        Opponents worried about increased surveillance and studies showing the software is less reliable in identifying people of color, a particular concern since African-Americans comprise 79 percent of Detroit’s population. But Detroit is the nation’s second most-violent big city, and police said the software can help cut crime.

      • Detroit police board approves facial recognition software

        Two bills that would ban or delay police use of facial recognition technology in Michigan, HB 4810 and SB 342, are pending.

        Some citizens voiced their displeasure, including Eric Blount, who said the board members appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan — Holt, Holley, Garza Dewaelsche and Brooks — rubber-stamped the policy. Under the City Charter, four board members are appointed by the mayor, and seven are elected.

      • Researchers show that smart TVs are sending your private information back to third parties like Netflix and Facebook

        While most people have long suspected that their smart TVs are spying on them, there is now definitive proof. Two new studies have highlighted that smart TVs are still not good for your privacy. Two sets of researchers – one from Princeton University and the University of Chicago and a second from Northeastern University and Imperial College of London – recently published papers which highlight the current state of smart TV privacy violations. Namely, that smart TVs across brands are sending private information back to third parties such as Facebook and Netflix – even when told not to. The private information that is being sent includes IP address and other location information – which is often entered during setup of the television. Other information that is passed includes Ad ID, what you’re watching, how long, etc. According to the most recent data, the majority of American households (68%) have one of these connected TVs in their homes. That includes dumb TVs which have been made “smart” by the addition of hardware such as a Roku, Fire TV stick, or an Apple TV.

      • Conservancy Asks Trademark Office to Protect Applicant's Personal Privacy

        Software Freedom Conservancy today submitted a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) asking that Office to reconsider recent rulemaking that exposes trademark owners' personal addresses. This rulemaking has a direct impact on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects and charities (like Conservancy) that work to advance software freedom. FOSS is developed virtually, with limited budgets, and rarely does a FOSS project have office space. FOSS projects that register trademarks should not be required to disclose the personal, residential, home address of the project leaders. Furthermore, software freedom organizations are more likely to be full-telecommute organizations, in which case, the new USPTO rule requires disclosure of officers and/or directors home addresses.

      • Zuckerberg Meets Trump at White House With Facebook on the Defensive [iophk: probably just offered him the 2020 election]

        Warner helped organize the dinner with lawmakers at Facebook’s request, according to Rachel Cohen, a Warner spokeswoman. They discussed a wide range of issues “including the role and responsibility of social media platforms in protecting our democracy, and what steps Congress should take to defend our elections, protect consumer data, and encourage competition in the social media space,” Cohen said in a statement.

      • Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit

        In closed-door meetings with influential senators, Zuckerberg defended his company against accusations that it has amassed too much power, censored conservative voices and failed to adequately protect against election interference on the platform.

        According to a Facebook spokesperson, Zuckerberg came to town to discuss "future internet regulation." According to lawmakers and their offices, the meetings ultimately addressed everything from data privacy to alleged anti-conservative bias, with Zuckerberg in the hot seat.

      • ‘No reason’ to reconsider granting Snowden asylum, French minister says

        Le Drian told CNews television that when Snowden first asked for asylum in 2013, the French government felt it was not "appropriate" and that nothing has since altered that view.

        "He asked for asylum in France – and also elsewhere – in 2013. At that time, France believed it was not appropriate and I don't see anything that has changed today, either from a political point of view or a legal one," Le Drian said.

        More than a dozen countries have turned down requests to take in the 36-year-old.

      • Facebook is back using humans to listen to Portal recordings

        However, some folks might be a bit miffed as to why Facebook has an opt-out policy rather than an opt-in one. There are plenty of people who don't even skim read T&Cs before accepting them, let alone give them a deep read. So we wouldn't be surprised to find that future Portal users have their voice commands recorded and reviewed by fellow humans by default rather than a conscious choice.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Fuelling populism and influencing votes - Austria's biggest tabloid

        "The Krone was the first newspaper to touch emotions... and so connect to its readers," Plasser tells AFP.

        "This influence has rubbed off on politicians who have adopted the emotional strategy to reach the wider public."

      • Media courts

        An independent press is supposed to hold the authorities’ feet to the fire; for the government to insert itself into the system that regulates the media presents an obvious conflict of interest. One can, in fact, ask whether this latest move has anything to do with television anchors of late becoming a tad more critical of the government’s performance, something that has undoubtedly discomfited some PTI legislators.

        Instead of acquiring the reputation of a regime that recalls the darkest days of censorship, the government should strengthen Pemra and PCP by respecting their autonomy rather than proposing a system whereby they would function as mere post offices.

      • Saudi blogger Raif Badawi goes on prison hunger strike

        Saudi dissident Raif Badawi has started a hunger strike as the conditions of his imprisonment have reportedly worsened. The blogger was arrested and lashed for insulting the country's strict interpretation of Islam.

      • Julian Assange: The great unmentionable as Australian leader wines and dines with Trump

        The fate of Julian Assange, however an Australian citizen and journalist imprisoned in the United Kingdom at the behest of the Trump administration for exposing American war crimes, will not feature among Morrison’s scripted talking points.

        Jennifer Robinson, one of Assange’s Australian lawyers, yesterday told the Special Broadcasting Corporation: “Prime Minister Morrison ought to be raising with President Trump his concern about an Australian citizen facing extradition to the United States for publishing truthful information.”

        Robinson’s call will be ignored. Morrison last year rejected appeals from Pamela Anderson for his government to intervene in defence of Assange, instead directing frat-boy “humour” at the actress. When a reporter asked Morrison if he had raised the issue of Assange at the G20 summit in June, he simply responded with a smirk.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russian National Guard director calls for freeing one ‘Moscow case’ defendant and adding years to another's prison sentence

        Russian National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov has stated publicly that Pavel Ustinov, who was recently sentenced to 3.5 years for supposedly injuring a National Guardsman during his arrest, should be released from custody and sentenced to a year’s probation.€ 

      • ‘Here's the evidence — you're gay’ Russian student disciplined after university officials find LGBTQ group in his social media subscriptions

        Two local news sources, Eurasian News (EAN) and Yekaterinburg Online, reported on September 17 that Ural State Economic University (UrGEU) was planning to expel a student whom administrators suspected of being gay. The student had subscribed to notifications from an LGBTQ group on the social media network VKontakte. Regional government officials have criticized UrGEU’s leadership, and an LGBTQ organization has asked prosecutors to determine whether the university broke any laws. UrGEU officials responded to the backlash against them by saying they did not, in fact, plan to expel the student in question. However, they confirmed that they actively oppose student involvement in LGBTQ groups.

      • Moscow prosecutors reportedly want Pavel Ustinov released from jail. His prison sentence has sparked new protests.

        Moscow’s District Attorney has asked the City Court to release Pavel Ustinov from a detention center before his appeal is heard on September 23, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed to the news agency Interfax. The court is expected to rule on the request on Friday, September 20. The district attorney wants Ustinov released on his own recognizance.€ 

      • 'No Soft Landing': Former DHS Head Kirstjen Nielsen Leaves Atlantic Ideas Festival Stage After Outrage From Grassroots Movement

        "She never should have been invited in the first place."

      • Maha Hilal on Anti-Muslim Watchlist, Dana Brown on Public Option for Pharmaceuticals
      • The Supreme Court Considers Mandatory Government Funding of Religious Education

        In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Supreme Court will address a question that would have been unthinkable to ask even until quite recently: Can a state be forced to underwrite religious education with taxpayer dollars? Although the court has previously allowed the government to adopt school-voucher programs that provide indirect government aid to religious schools, it has never suggested that the U.S. Constitution somehow requires them to do so — and certainly not in the face of state constitutional rules barring taxpayer funding of religious education. Yet that is essentially what the petitioners are seeking in Espinoza, the latest in a disturbing line of cases attacking the very foundations of the separation of church and state.At issue in Espinoza is a voucher-type program in Montana designed to divert millions in government dollars to private schools, the overwhelming majority of which are religiously affiliated. The program, enacted in 2015, allows taxpayers to receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits for donations to Student Scholarship Organizations, which then award scholarships to students attending private elementary and secondary schools. In other words, if a taxpayer owes the state, say, $100 in taxes, she can decide instead to send that money directly to an SSO, which will then spend it on private-school scholarships. In practice, the tax-credit program has served its unmistakable goal of funneling government dollars to religious education: The only SSO operating in the state supports 13 private schools, 12 of which are religiously affiliated, and over 94 percent of program scholarships have gone to finance religious education.

      • Gulalai Ismail, Feminist Hunted by Pakistan’s Authorities, Escapes to U.S.

        But somehow Gulalai Ismail, a 32-year-old Pakistani women’s rights activist on the run, managed to slip through the dragnet last month and escape to America. She is now staying with her sister in Brooklyn and has applied for political asylum in the United States.

        She is still worried about her parents back home and the underground network that secretly protected her as she moved from house to house, city to city, through countless police checkpoints, always wearing a veil over her face, her eyes barely visible.

      • Indonesia’s president delays a law banning extramarital sex

        Legally, parliament is not bound by the president’s request, but it is very unlikely to ignore it, argues Tim Lindsey, director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at Melbourne University. He told the Sydney Morning Herald, “You have to ask why Jokowi agreed to proceed with this law, then reversed his position. Either he wasn’t paying attention to the laws, or he came under huge political pressure. Maybe he is just hugely embarrassed by the international media storm.”

      • It’s Time to End Forced Arbitration

        If you own a credit card or a bank account, use a ride-sharing service, made an online purchase, or work in corporate America, chances are you have signed a forced arbitration agreement: a promise that, if any disputes arise between you and your employer or the business, you won’t sue. Hidden in the fine-print of a contract you may not even remember signing is language that says you’ve agreed, in advance, to give up your right go to court.

      • Appeals Court Refuses To Grant Immunity To Sheriff Who Engaged In Extortion To Go After A Whistleblower

        A couple of years ago, we covered the story of an exceptionally corrupt Alabama sheriff. Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin -- picking up where her predecessor, Sheriff Greg Bartlett left off -- was accused of starving prisoners to pad her personal checking account.

      • US: Block Law Endangering Sex Workers

        (Washington, DC, September 19, 2019) – Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs will present arguments on September 20, 2019 against dismissal of their challenge to a 2017 US law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work.

      • Tanzania: Protect Burundians Facing Abuse

        Tanzania should protect Burundian refugees fleeing widespread abuses instead of requiring them to return to Burundi against their will.

      • Court Shoots Down Cop's Assertion That Driving Without Breaking Any Laws Is 'Suspicious'

        Must be tough out there for cops. Literally everything is suspicious. And there are only so many hours in the day. Since no court is willing to end the tradition of pretextual stops, anything that can be described as suspicious has been used to initiate fishing expeditions.

      • Warren’s Ethnic Issue Should Not Go Away

        I am an academic. I’ve taught at Tufts for over thirty years and always had a Harvard institutional affiliation. I understand academic culture and the centrality of affirmative action in administrative consciousness since the 1970s. In heading up numerous search committees for historians at Tufts, I’ve had to fill out forms at the invitation stage, listing all applicants by gender and ethnicity, according to an official categorization scheme. I’ve then justified the selection of the “shortlist” (maybe 10-12), and explaining the exclusion of the others.

      • UN Shares Details of Burundian Activist’s Murder

        New information received by the€ United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi€ supports what many have long suspected: Marie-Claudette Kwizera, the treasurer of the€ Burundian€ group Ligue Iteka, was targeted because of her human rights work and murdered.

      • Beneath Contempt

        The ruling caste of Saudi Arabia present the most striking example in world history of the extreme combination of avarice and personal cowardice. They are gagging for a war with Iran so long as somebody else fights it for them. Due to a dispute over who ought to have been Caliph 1400 years ago they are absolutely champing at the bit for somebody to massacre the Shia in the Shia heartland, provided they don’t have to do the massacring. It is not that they object to blood on their pure white robes, they often get that when executing a bound prisoner or raping the housemaid. But the thought of their own blood being spilt is an abomination. Let some helpful young Israelis or Americans risk fighting the Iranians, while the Saudi rulers sniff their cocaine in their London penthouses.

      • $31 billion Airbnb announces plan to go public in 2020

        Airbnb has not clarified whether it has confidentially filed its S-1 IPO paperwork, which would include basic financial information for potential investors to consider. An Airbnb spokesperson declined to comment when asked whether the paperwork has been filed.

        The home-sharing rental startup was last privately valued at $31 billion in September 2017, according to PitchBook.

      • Woman in hijab launches racist attack on Indian bus passenger

        Her mum had clashed with the driver after urging him to not let anymore people on because of overcrowding.

        When the male passenger tried to calm the mother and daughter, he was met with a torrent of abuse.

      • Why are young Muslims leaving Islam

        Behind Olad’s story hangs a tale we don’t usually hear about: how Islam is facing a wave of desertion by young Muslims suffering from a crisis of faith. The story we normally hear is of an Islam growing from strength to strength, and how for all the phobia that exists around it, it remains the fastest growing religion with 1.6 billion followers across the world and acquiring new converts on an almost daily basis. What we don’t hear is that it is also being abandoned by moderate Muslims, mostly young men and women, ill at ease with growing extremism in their communities. The ranks of ex-Muslims is reported to be swelling. ‘As the number of American Muslims has increased by almost 50 per cent in the past decade, so too has the number of ex-Muslims,’ The Economist report said, citing a Pew Research Centre survey according to which 23 per cent of Americans raised as Muslims no longer identify with the faith. Most are young second-generation immigrants, but there are also older Muslims ‘married to devout Muslim spouses and driving children to the mosque to study the Koran, at weekends to cover up their apostasy.’

      • The shaman who planned to battle Putin's ‘evil spirit’ has been locked up in a mental ward

        Alexander Gabyshev, the Yakut shaman who set out to travel on foot to Moscow, where he planned to “exorcise” Vladimir Putin’s spirit, has been sent for psychiatric observation, according to health officials in Yakutia. Police arrested Gabyshev at the border between Buryatia and the Irkutsk region on September 19.

        “In the event that any abnormalities are detected in the patient, we are prepared to provide the appropriate medical assistance. If necessary, social services could be involved,” the local Health Ministry said in a press release.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Feds Investigating Next Round Of Sites Accused Of Facilitating Sex Trafficking

        The Wall Street Journal has a report about how both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are investigating three "massage and escort" sites accused of taking up where Backpage left off (that link is likely paywalled, but here's a Gizmodo summary of the same article). The article is interesting in that it explores how these three sites -- Rubmaps, Eros, and EroticMonkey -- are believed to be connected with one guy, David Azzato, who "was convicted in France in 2011 of profiting from prostitution through a European network of escort-ad sites." Azzato denies having anything to do with the sites, though the article highlights some evidence that at least suggests otherwise.

      • 'Subscription Fatigue' Looms As Comcast Reveals Yet Another New Streaming TV Platform

        So we've noted many times that the rise of streaming video competitors is indisputably a good thing. Numerous new streaming alternatives have driven competition to an antiquated cable TV sector that has long been plagued by apathy, high rates, and comically bad customer service. That's long overdue and a positive thing overall, as streaming customer satisfaction scores suggest. In response, traditional cable TV providers have had to up their game, exemplified by this week's launch of yet another streaming service by Comcast, dubbed "Peacock."

      • Something Has Spooked AT&T Enough To Warrant Bringing Their Top Lobbyist Out Of Retirement

        For years, top AT&T Lobbyist Jim Cicconi was the man that drove much of the telco's controversial policy apparatus, most recently the company's successful quest to kill net neutrality and effectively neuter the FCC. Cicconi's charm was frequently on display in his blog posts whining about things like the FCC increasing the speed definition of "broadband", or in the company's astroturfing efforts to undermine most if not all consumer protections governing the telecom sector (though it's worth noting he wasn't particularly, personally keen on Donald Trump).

    • Monopolies

      • Mark Zuckerberg rejects call from US lawmaker to break up Facebook

        Republican Senator Josh Hawley told reporters he met with Zuckerberg and "challenged him to show that Facebook is serious about bias, privacy and competition."

        The senator said he told Zuckerberg to sell WhatsApp and Instagram "to prove you're serious about protecting data privacy," adding that Zuckerberg told him "it wasn't a good idea."

      • 'An app my cat could have written': Larry Ellison reportedly says Uber's business model is 'almost worthless'

        Uber, despite a $57.5 billion market capitalization following its May IPO, is "almost worthless," Ellison reportedly said, adding that the company didn't own cars or control its drivers and had an "app my cat could have written."

      • Uber’s London License is Running Out Next Week. Investors Shouldn’t Worry.

        Even in the unlikely event of an unfavorable ruling where the license is terminated, Uber would most likely challenge the decision in court and continue to operate in the city at the same time, just like it did in 2017, the company said in its latest filing. “It could take years until the appeals process was exhausted,” says Black, “This would not necessarily be the final outcome, nor would it have an immediate impact on the company’s financials.”

      • Uber Sues NYC Taxi Authority Over ‘Arbitrary’ Congestion Rule

        The suit, which seeks to nullify the rule passed Aug. 7, was filed in New York state court in Manhattan. One part of the new regulation places a 31% cap on the amount of time that for-hire vehicles can spend on the road without passengers, while another provision bars the issuance of more for-hire vehicle licenses until August 2020.

      • "Lyft charged me $12.81 to be kidnapped across state lines, gang raped and trafficked," woman alleges

        A woman who says she was sexually assaulted after getting in a Lyft is now blaming the ride-hailing giant for allegedly mishandling her report. Alison Turkos claims she was kidnapped at gunpoint by her Lyft driver in 2017, and sexually assaulted by at least two men. And after she reported her assault, Turkos claims, Lyft still charged her for part of the ride and allowed her alleged assailant to keep driving.

      • Google offshoot Wing is teaming up with FedEx and Walgreens for drone deliveries

        Wing, the drone delivery service that’s an offshoot of Google parent company Alphabet, will launch its first pilot service in Virginia starting in October 2019. The company is teaming up with FedEx, Walgreens, and gift purveyor Sugar Magnolia to deliver health care products, food, and more to residents of the town of Christiansburg in southwest Virginia.

        The pilot, which is part of the US Department of Transportation’s Integration Pilot Program, aims to demonstrate the viability of drone delivery, which is still very much in a nascent stage of development. Earlier this year, Wing became one of the first drone operators to be certified as a commercial air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing it to autonomously deliver commercial goods to recipients that may be miles away and not in the operator’s line of sight.

      • Copyrights

        • French court rules that Steam’s ban on reselling used games is contrary to European law

          The court’s ruling is a victory for French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir, which filed a suit against Steam four years ago, alleging anti-consumer rights activities.

          The court rejected Valve’s defense that argued Steam is a subscription service. According to Numerama, the court found that Steam sells games in perpetuity, and not as part of a subscription package.

        • Patents and Software Patents

          • The Law of the Patent Instrument

            Patents are a useful tool in innovation policy—but they aren’t the only tool available. If all you ever see are patents (and patent lawyers), your natural reaction is to use patents to solve policy problems. It’s a normal human bias—the law of the instrument states that humans will reach for a familiar tool (i.e., patents) if they don’t have exposure to alternative options. (Other areas of intellectual property, and IP in general, also suffer from this problem.)

            In the innovation context, an over-emphasis on patents risks ignoring other, more appropriate tools for achieving particular goals in innovation policy.


            Innovation Doesn’t Always Equal Patents

            The flip side is that many innovations aren’t actually patentable. Something that’s new and improved and made available might not be non-obvious—it might be the ordinary creativity of a skilled engineer. Innovative, but not patentable.

            Many products incorporate this type of innovation, the steady progress of ordinary skill. And with additional capabilities for machine-aided invention—for example, the use of AI to find patterns in data or to generate candidate molecular structures for drugs—becoming available every day, this ordinary progress will be likely to accelerate. Just because these improvements might not result in patents does not mean that they don’t represent innovation. Much of the Internet runs on open-source software made available for all to use and improve. Undoubtedly, that’s innovation—and it’s intentionally done without patents.
          • You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain

            Mr. Prine is the listed inventor of U.S. Design Patent No. D524,559 and several other super-hero related car seats. Prine formed Inspired Development and assigned patent ownership to that company. Prine then formed another company, KidsEmbrace, to sell the car seats with an exclusive license from Inspired Development. KidsEmbrace was then bought-out by Boliari who later terminated the license agreement. Prine sued for the money — suing for breach and unjust enrichment under Florida law.

            The district court sided with KidsEmbrace and dismissed the lawsuit on summary judgment. On appeal, the 11th Circuit did not review the merits but instead found a failure of diversity jurisdiction (the stated basis for federal jurisdiction in the case). By that time, KidsEmbrace wanted the district court decision to stick, while Prine meanwhile filed a new lawsuit in state court and was hoping the federal action was fully vacated.


            Federal Circuit hear appears to approve of exclusive patent licensing programs designed to ensure that potential products stay off the market. That seems problematic.

          • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. Iancu (Fed. Cir. 2019)

            On Monday, in Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. Iancu, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia affirming a determination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding the Patent Term Adjustment for U.S. Patent No. 8,981,063. In affirming the District Court, a divided panel concluded that the USPTO's interpretation of "any time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b)" in 35 U.S.C. ۤ 154(b)(1)(B)(i) was correct.


            In an opinion authored by Judge Lourie and joined by Judge Dyk, with Judge Newman dissenting, the majority agreed with the USPTO, affirming the District Court's decision affirming the USPTO's PTA determination. In response to Mayo's argument that a declaration of interference is tantamount to a Notice of Allowance, the opinion notes that "[w]hile the PTO's regulations do indicate that at least one claim in an application should be in condition for allowance before an interference is declared, . . . the regulations also explicitly contemplate that the Board may recommend further action by the examiner, including issuing a rejection" (citation omitted), and therefore, "the PTO's regulations as a whole do not indicate that a declaration of an interference is tantamount to a Notice of Allowance." The majority also disagreed with Mayo's interpretation of Novartis, stating that "Mayo only gets to its conclusion by placing more weight on the term 'requested'—a word having little more than clerical significance on a fair reading of the statute—than it can reasonably bear." In particular, the opinion indicates that "[n]othing in €§ 132(b) implies that an RCE entitles the applicant to a special form of examination, where the claims must be allowed once the grounds of rejection presented in the Final Rejection are resolved; nor does the statute imply that continued examination is no longer requested by the applicant once the PTO issues a new ground of rejection." According to the majority, "Mayo requested continued examination, and that is what it received, both before and after the interference proceeding." The majority therefore held that "where an RCE has previously been filed, the time between termination of an interference and the date of mailing of the Notice of Allowance is 'time consumed by continued examination of the application requested by the applicant under section 132(b)' pursuant to 35 U.S.C. €§ 154(b)(1)(B)(i)," and affirmed the District Court.

          • Transmitting Particular Data via Conventional Mode is Ineligible

            The Eastern District of Texas recently granted a motion to dismiss based on lack of patent-eligible subject matter, under 35 U.S.C. €§ 101 and the Alice/Mayo test, in U.S. Patent No. 6,014,089 directed to methods of transmitting data to a remote device using a personal communications system. First-Class Monitoring, LLC, v. United Parcel Service of America, Inc., No. 19-CV00106-WCB (E.D. Tex. Jul. 22, 2019). The ‘089 patent was ineligible because “the claims are not based on an improvement in computer or communications technology.” In particular, “‘the invention made no technological changes to the short message system, but merely used that system for transmitting particular data requests and responses to those requests.”

          • Your Garage Door Opener Is Not Patent-Eligible

            Patent claims directed to a “movable barrier operator,” i.e., controlling a garage door, are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. €§ 101 and the Alice/Mayo test. Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., Nos. 2018-2103, 2018-2228 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 21, 2019) (precedential) (Judge Chen, joined by Judges O’Malley and Lourie). There are a lot of lessons in this procedurally rich post-trial appeal from, and partial reversal of, denial of a JMOL motion. In this post we will focus on a substantive lesson: patent claims reciting devices and hardware elements have no particular claim to patent-eligibility.

          • Terminal Disclaimer: Common Ownership Necessary—or Not—for Standing

            Two district courts recently came to the opposite conclusion on terminal disclaimers, an important issue in patent portfolio management. In both cases, the plaintiff asserted a patent for which a terminal disclaimer had been filed, but the plaintiff did not acquire the patent to which the asserted patent had been disclaimed until after filing suit. In Midwest Athletics and Sports Alliance v. Ricoh, the court ruled that the lack of common ownership of the disclaimed patent and disclaimer patent prevented the plaintiff from having standing. But in Fall Line Patents v. Zoe’s Kitchen, the court ruled that, though the disclaimed patent was unenforceable at the time the suit was filed, the unenforceability did not affect standing.

          • Claim term “Processor” does not invoke MPF Construction

            In a tentative ruling, a court held the claim term “processor” did not invoke means-plus-function construction and was not governed by 35 U.S.C. €§112€¶6. Realtime Adaptive Streaming LLC v. Adobe Systems Inc., No. cv 18-9344-GW(JCx) (C.D. CA, July 25, 2019.


            It is comforting to know that the claim term “processor” held its ground in this case. Zeroclick has strengthened the presumption, under assault since Williamson, that claim terms that do not include “means” do not invoke means-plus-function claiming. Still, the possibility of a claim term, absent explicit structure in the claim, being found to be governed by 35 USC 112 €¶6 is ever present.

          • Means-Plus-Function Claim Construction of “Customization Module” Results in Indefinite Finding

            In William Grecia v. Samsung Electronics (Fed. Cir. 2019) the Federal Circuit affirmed a finding of invalidity for U.S. Patent 8,533,860 (the ‘860 patent) under 35 U.S.C. €§ 112, €¶2 (indefinite). The invalidly determination for the ‘860 patent was arrived at by the Court after a means-plus-analysis and invocation of 35 U.S.C. €§ 112, €¶6.


            Grecia v. Samsung presents two valuable practice pointers. First, provide extra consideration to claims that may be interpreted as means-plus functions. In words, consider whether the claim language may be interpreted as merely nonce words substituting for “means.” When in doubt, consider adding specific structure to the claim itself. Second, provide a thoroughly detailed specification that describes specific structure in greater detail than the claims themselves. In the case of computer, or “module,” based claims consider adding how the computer/module performs to achieve the described result, including describing one or more algorithms the computer/module can execute.

          • "Virtual Client Entity" Deemed Indefinite By District Court Under MPF Analysis

            The District Court for the District of Delaware recently handed down a claim construction order in T-JAT Systems 2006 v. Expedia that held the claim limitation "virtual client entity" was indefinite under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 112, ۦ2. The court concluded that the claim limitation was indefinite after determining that "virtual client entity" should be interpreted as invoking 35 U.S.C. ۤ 112, ۦ6 (means-plus-function) and then ascertaining that the specification failed to provide sufficient structure for "virtual client entity."

          • Generic Computer Collecting Data and Using Mathematical Formula is Ineligible

            A court held that patent claims directed toward “data collection and mathematical computations are quintessential abstract ideas,” and “[t]he generic equipment underlying the claims does not provide an inventive concept,” granting a motion to dismiss based on lack of patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. €§ 101 and the Alice/Mayo test. TPP Tech LLC, v. Zebra Technologies Corporation, No. 19-CV-00500-RGA (D. Del. Aug. 15, 2019).

            U.S. Patent Nos. 7,295,224 and 7,825,943 are directed to “‘compensating for the effects of thermal history on thermal print heads.’” The court noted for both patents “that the method and apparatus claims are indistinguishable for the purpose of the Section 101 analysis.”

          • Death and Taxes and Patent-Ineligibility of Business Methods

            For all the kvetching about the frustrating subjectivity and unpredictability of applying the Mayo/Alice patent-eligibility test, here is a case showing that there is a zone of certainty in determining patentability under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101. In In re Greenstein, 2019-1521 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 6, 2019) (per curiam; panel was Prost, Newman, and Moore) (non-precedential), the Federal Circuit issued a reminder that clients can be counseled with some certainty that business methods, however new and different, are not patent-eligible if the improvement is to a business process, and not to technology.


            Concerning the €§ 101 rejection, the PTAB held, and the Federal Circuit agreed, that under Alice step 1, this claim was directed to the patent-ineligible “abstract idea of ‘[a]djusting the amount a per-son saves and choosing investments for the saved amounts, with the goal of saving enough for retirement.’” Alice step 2 could not save the claim, because the method was implemented with generic computing technology.

          • Germany: BGH on scope of prior use right and modifications

            The Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice, BGH) clarified the scope and limits of a prior use right of a manufacturer and supplier of components of a patented device (BGH, judgment of 14 May 2019, X ZR 95/18 – Schutzverkleidung).

            Under German patent law, a patent has no effect with respect to a party who can rely on a prior use right if, at the time the patent application was filed, it had already begun to use the invention in Germany or had made the necessary arrangements for doing so. The German case law on prior use rights has traditionally been restrictive. The continued use of the invention is limited to the business of the prior user and restricted in scope to the previously exercised use of the invention. Any modifications must not deepen the interference with the scope of protection of the patent. Accordingly, the burden for defendants in patent infringement proceedings to demonstrate and prove a prior use right with a sufficiently broad scope is high, taking into account normal business developments that occurred since the original use.

        • Trademarks

          • LeBron James Declares Victory In Losing Bid For 'Taco Tuesday' Trademark

            It was only a couple of weeks ago that we wrote about LeBron James, part-time NBA superstar and full-time taco-lover, and his attempt to get a trademark for "Taco Tuesday" in the markets of podcasts, entertainment services, and social media. As we mentioned in that post, the idea that LeBron could get such a trademark on a fairly descriptive and widely used term is insane. Nearly as insane, as we noted, as the fact that the Taco John's chain already has such a registered trademark. It was the latter bit that we, as well as many other commentators on the topic, predicted would be the reason LeBron's application would be denied, as it would be identical to an already registered trademark.

          • Lawyers ‘thrilled’ with USPTO trademark guidelines for foreign applicants

            Lawyers say that while the revised guidelines, released in September, provide clarification on representing non-US trademark filers, they don’t fundamentally change their understanding of the policy.

          • TTAB Requires Cross-Examination By Oral Deposition in CAPTAIN CANNABIS Battle

            Andrusiek contends that he created a comic book character named “Captain Cannabis” in the 1970s, and operates a website identifying various books and other works related to that character since that time. Cosmic Crusaders appears to be associated with a cannabis activist under the moniker of “Captain Cannabis,” and related media, including a “Cosmic Crusaders” comic featuring a “Captain Cannabis” character. Cosmic Crusaders obtained the registration at issue for CAPTAIN CANNABIS , for comic books in Class 16, in 2015.

        • Copyrights

          • New paper: What does the European Commission make of the EU copyright acquis when it pleads before the CJEU? The Legal Service’s Observations in digital/online cases

            But what happens behind the scenes, not just when the judges of the CJEU decide on a case but even before that, when relevant parties and interveners participate in proceedings and submit their observations to the Court, proposing - similarly to what an AG does - their own responses to the questions referred by a national court?

            Usually, this is just a big black box: regrettably, in fact, there is no requirement for observations filed in CJEU referrals to be public.

            Article 23 of the CJEU Statute allows inter alia the European Commission (or rather: its Legal Service) to intervene. At times, reference to the content of the Legal Service’s observations is found in the Opinion of the appointed AG in a certain case and/or (sporadically) in the resulting judgment.

          • MPAA Unifies Global Brand and Becomes MPA America

            The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been protecting the interests of major movie studios since its formation in 1922. As time went by, its interests and operations became more global. This has prompted the organization to rebrand by adopting the MPA acronym that's used elsewhere in the world.

          • The Xtream Codes IPTV Takedown is Complex and Confused

            The international law enforcement action against Xtream Codes and what appear to be several entities using its services is a complex affair. While some will argue that the IPTV management service was a neutral player offering no illicit content, it's becoming ever more clear that the authorities are viewing things from an entirely different and sometimes confusing perspective.

          • House Joins The Senate In Moving Forward On Plan To Massively Increase Copyright Trolling

            For quite some time now we've been talking about why the CASE Act, which sets up a special copyright "court" with lower barriers to entry for copyright holders, is such a bad idea. There are all sorts of problems with it, starting with the fact that we already have a massive copyright trolling problem, and the CASE Act is deliberately designed to make it worse. While supporters like to pretend that the CASE Act is the equivalent of a "small claims" court, it actually can lead to damages awards up to $30,000, which is way higher than a standard small claims court.

          • Documentary "The Long Road to the Hall of Fame" Available Under CC License

            The Long Road to the Hall of Fame

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Video of Richard Stallman's Talk From Four Weeks Ago
2-hour video of Richard Stallman speaking less than a month ago
statCounter Says Twitter/X Share in Russia Fell From 23% to 2.3% in 3 Years
it seems like YouTube gained a lot
Journalist Who Won Awards for His Coverage of the Julian Assange Ordeals Excluded and Denied Access to Final Hearing
One can speculate about the true reason/s
Richard Stallman's Talk, Scheduled for Two Days Ago, Was Not Canceled But Really Delayed
American in Paris
3 More Weeks for Daniel Pocock's Campaign to Win a Seat in European Parliament Elections
Friday 3 weeks from now is polling day
Microsoft Should Have Been Fined and Sanctioned Over UEFI 'Lockout' (Locking GNU/Linux Out of New PCs)
Why did that not happen?
Gemini Links 16/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, Cash Issues
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 16, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, May 16, 2024
[Meme] Never Appease the Occupiers
Freedom requires truth. Free speech emancipates.
Thorny Issues, Violent Response
They say protests (or strikes) that do not disrupt anything are simply not effective. The same can be said about reporting.
GNU/Linux in Malaysia: From 0.2 Percent to 6+ Percent
That's like 30-fold increase in relative share
Liberty in Liberia? Windows Falls Below 10% and Below iOS
This is clearly a problem for Microsoft
Techrights Congratulates Raspberry Pi (With Caution and Reservations)
Raspberry Pi will "make or break" based on the decisions made in its boardroom
OSI Makes a Killing for Bill Gates and Microsoft (Plagiarism and GPL Violations Whitewashed and Openwashed)
meme and more
People Who Defend Richard Stallman's Right to Deliver Talks About His Work Are Subjected to Online Abuse and Censorship
Stallman video removed
GNU/Linux Grows in Denmark, But Much of That is ChromeOS, Which Means No Freedom
Google never designs operating systems with freedom in mind
Links 16/05/2024: Vehicles Lasting Fewer Years, Habitat Fragmentation Concerns
Links for the day
GNU/Linux Reaches 6.5% in Canada (Including ChromeOS), Based on statCounter
Not many news sites are left to cover this, let alone advocate for GNU/Linux
Links 16/05/2024: Orangutans as Political Props, VMware Calls Proprietary 'Free'
Links for the day
The Only Thing the So-called 'Hey Hi Revolution' Gave Microsoft is More Debt
Microsoft bailouts
TechTarget (and Computer Weekly et al): We Target 'Audiences' to Sell Your Products (Using Fake Articles and Surveillance)
It is a deeply rogue industry that's killing legitimate journalism by drowning out the signal (real journalism) with sponsored fodder
FUD Alert: 2024 is Not 2011 and Ebury is Not "Linux"
We've seen Microsofers (actual Microsoft employees) putting in a lot of effort to shift the heat to Linux
Links 15/05/2024: XBox Trouble, Slovakia PM Shot 5 Times
Links for the day
Windows in Times of Conflict
In pictures
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Gemini Links 15/05/2024: 50 Years of Text Games
Links for the day
Ebury is Not "Linux", That's Just the Media Shifting Attention (Microsoft in the Hot Seat for Total Breach Right Now)
Seems like it may be a Trojan
Links 15/05/2024: Growing Tensions Between East and West, Anticlimax in Chatbot Space
Links for the day
[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Richard Stallman Talk 'Delayed'
"Repousé à une date ultérieur. Du au congé, il n'était pas possible de l'organiser bien dans le temps disponible."
Links 15/05/2024: Toll on Climate Change, Physical Assaults on Politicians
Links for the day
[Meme] Free Society Requires Free Press
The Assange decision is now less than a week away (after several delays and demand for shallow 'assurances')
CyberShow Goes "Live"
The CyberShow has a similar worldview (on technology and ethics) to ours
Latest Status of Site Archives (Static Pages)
article listings are reaching a near-final form
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 14, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Today's Talk by Richard Stallman Going Ahead as Planned
That talk will be in French